Category Archives: Paint

DIY Geometric Mirror Using Children’s Blocks

A friend and I were discussing DIY fails the other day. Always a cheery topic.

The reality of my life is that some projects turn out and others…not so much.

She mentioned that IF I have flops, I don’t share them on the ol’ blog.

Well, duh! I don’t share pictures of the gravity-defying things my hair does when I wake up in the morning either. But maybe I should. It would certainly shock and awe.

I do try to share the foibles that inevitably come with most of my projects though.

Today I’m sharing a project FILLED with foibles. It’s cup runneth over with what NOT to do.

But if you stand about 10-feet back and squint one eye at the finished product, you might say, “Dang! That looks sweet!” If I’m being brutally honest, a lot of days, that’s good enough for me.

Here’s how the project started…

My daughter has had the same small mirror in her bedroom for practically her entire life. It’s not a good mirror. It has a cheap frame around it and the finish was made worse by me letting a 5-year-old “help” paint the mirror from pink to purple. If you haven’t let a 5-year-old help you paint yet, you’re smarter than me really missing out.

A combination of time, a few moves, cheap construction and a bad paint job made the mirror less than ideal.

This is, to me, what makes a mirror a good candidate for a DIY experiment. One of those crafty ideas you’re not sure will work, but if it did work I would be sure to humble brag about it it would be pretty amazing.

My crafty idea was to see if I could use these children’s geometric blocks to makeover the mirror. Pretty much every preschool classroom on the planet (I hardly ever exaggerate) has a set of these wooden pattern blocks.

My kids loved them so much at school that I bought a set for home use. The kiddos hardly ever used them at home, of course have outgrown the wood blocks, but they are really cool!

Just the wrong color for what I had in mind.

Here’s some more brutal honesty. When my DIY projects flop, it’s usually because I lack the attention-to-detail the project requires. Meticulous measuring? Not my thing. Fine precision? Not my thing. More than 3 steps? Not my thing.

If I had calculated the trajectory to the moon, you would have ended up on Jupiter instead. I would have said, “Ah, close enough! At least you made it to space! I was worried there for a second when you blasted off!”

But I digress.

I started out by playing around with the various shapes trying to see what might look interesting and what might actually fit on the mirror frame.

Then I drew a template and traced it onto the mirror frame. So far, so good.

But! There’s always a but.

It ended up being just a tad off.

If you are a perfectionist you might want to skip over this next part.

Instead of starting over and redrawing the template, I just fudged the blocks a little to make it work.

Classic me.

Adhering the blocks to the mirror frame was a bit tricky. They are slippery little suckers! It was hard to keep them in an exact position. That’s why I decided to use hot glue. Once I attached them, they weren’t going to move.

Hot glue has three downsides for this project

1. Once I attached the blocks, they were weren’t going to move. HA! It was good if I put the block down in the exact right position. It was bad if I didn’t. Please refer to the above list of why my projects flop for an indication of how well this part of the process went.

2. If anything happens to the mirror – Say it gets a hard jolt while falling off the temporary place you’ve hung it, some of the shapes can easily pop off. Yes, this happened to me! And it wasn’t immediately after hanging it. It was 20 minutes later after I’d done the victory dance. I just had to shake my head when I heard the crash.

3) The glob of hot glue raises the blocks up ever-so-slightly. It’s not noticeable until you go to paint the mirror and realize it doesn’t have a clean finish because a shape here and there is slightly higher than another one.

(I think the below picture is from before I glued everything down because it looks wonkier than the final version. Wonkier is a technical DIY term.)

After the blocks were glued onto the mirror frame, I taped off the mirror surface so I could spray paint the frame and finally finish this project!

In hindsight (and by hindsight I mean immediately after I started painting), I would have painted the frame and the blocks separately.

It was a pain to get the spray paint in all the nooks and crannies of this project. And if a block falls off, then you have an unpainted surface underneath and special care has to be made to replace the block in the exact same position.

It also made it difficult to sand any imperfections between paint coats. By imperfections I mean the dust particles or bugs that landed on the mirror. So. many. bugs.

By the way, when the blocks fell off, I had the opportunity (see how I made that a positive thing?) to reattach them with an all-purpose, heavy duty glue.

In small batches, this approach seemed to work well and those blocks are much more secure now. Lesson learned.

I’m laying it bare with how this project went because I want you to know that DIY projects (mine and I’m willing to bet most people’s) are not picture perfect processes. Things happen. Mistakes are made. This particular project had more hiccups than most. 

But! There’s always a but!

That’s how I learn. Fail. Try Again. Fail. Adjust. Readjust. Tweak. Improve.

It can be hard to go through that process in the public eye. No one wants to share how their freshly spray painted project got attacked by a swarm of gnats because they left it outside to dry! Twice. Okay, three times.

I have to laugh at myself and not take things too seriously. It’s not like I’m sending people into space.

The Internet needs to come with a warning sign similar to the one on car mirrors. “Projects on this website/blog/social media may appear way more glamorous than real life.”

Real life DIY can be messy, imperfect and an oddly-satisfying experience.

I’m not entirely displeased with how this geometric mirror makeover ultimately turned out. Especially if I squint and stand 10-feet back from it!

Most importantly, I learned from this experience and know how to do it better next time.

And there WILL be a next time.

After all, I have an entire bucket of blocks to use up!

Happy creating, everyone!


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Upcycled Tic Tac Toe

My son’s kindergarten homework for the week of Earth Day was to:

1) play outside
2) do a project that involves reusing or recycling

I was ALL on board with #1.

In the interest of full disclosure, I had every intention of ignoring #2. It’s kindergarten. It’s not even required in our state. I know, I know. Mother of the year.

Don’t worry. I have not sent my son down the path of underachievement…yet. We pulled the project off – even if it began accidentally. Here’s how it went down…

While the kids were outside playing, I decided that would be a good time to apply a coat of stain to a project I was working on.

My little helper has a 6th sense about projects. If I’m painting or staining, he always wants to help. I love it and I dread it. There are just some projects that do not need the expertise of a 5-year-old.

This isn’t my first parenting rodeo though. He wanted to stain something too. So while he went to find his “painting shorts” I went to find him something he could stain. It didn’t really matter what it was. His imagination is robust – anything would make him happy.

I happened to find a small rectangular piece of wood shoved in the corner of our storage room. It was dusty and covered in cobwebs. He loved it.


In the interest of reusing, I used a lid from a Simply Orange container and poured a little bit of stain in it. Then I let him go to town. He was actually pretty careful, but this wasn’t his first time staining. We always stain with paper shop towels instead of a brush and I definitely recommend wearing disposable gloves.

He was doing such a great job and enjoying it so much that we flipped the board over before it was fully dry and he stained the back too.

While we worked side-by-side we brainstormed things we could create out of his board. He had an idea to build a workbench using the board, some nails and a Sharpie. He definitely had the start of something there.

I suggested a game board. He and I love to play Tic Tac Toe. We’ve even played a few times while waiting for the pediatrician. Isn’t that what those paper sheets on the exam tables are for?


He wasn’t sold on the idea of a Tic Tac Toe game board until I told him he could paint the lines on the board…in gold paint.

He abandoned the Sharpie and nails idea and was ready to go.

He helped me measure lines with a ruler and lay down painter’s tape.

Then I let him paint the gold lines on the board.


This was his first experience creating straight lines using painter’s tape. He was a bit skeptical of how this process worked.

I see myself in him so often.

Soon it was time to peel the tape off. He was getting pumped up now.

As he carefully peeled the painter’s tape off the board, I’m pretty sure his world exploded. “I love magic lines, mama! Look at these magic lines.”

I love them too, buddy.


It took two nights to finish painting the lines on the board, so we started on the Xs and Os while we waited for the paint to dry.

This was an Earth Day project, so we had to use what we had on hand or upcycle something that would have been headed for the trash. We did both.

For one version we use pull tabs from soda cans and rubber gaskets.

For another version we used cut-up membership cards for the Xs and leftover pieces from a baby gate for the Os.

Our favorite version, however, was using perler beads to make the Xs and Os.

They turned out super adorable!
Again, in the interest of full disclosure, I did help my son layout the Xs and Os with the perler beads. This was partly because he was more interested in using the “dangerous” iron to melt the beads.

Someone might be an adrenaline junkie.

It was also because he thought the game pieces might look better like this:

Candles, swords and I’m not sure what the other pieces are.

Creative differences are normal during the DIY process.

The same creative differences also apply to teeth brushing and bed making.

I’m happy to say my son’s tic tac toe board was a big hit at school! He was able to share with the class how he made it and the kids were able to play the game during indoor recess. I’m so proud of him for all of his hard work. I have a feeling he’ll become quite handy, just like his daddy.

P.S. If you’ve barely made a dent in your perler bead collection, here’s another perler bead craft idea.

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Vintage-Inspired Storage Box

A long time and three states ago we bought a 10-ft. artificial Christmas tree. It was the display model.

Here’s a warning. Christmas tree display models do not come with a box. You’re going to have your very own National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation moment getting it home.

griswold-christmas-tree-carImage Source: A Pilgrim In Narnia

To give you something else to think about, once the Christmas tree is out of the box (literally) it never stores nicely again.

For the 49 weeks per year when we weren’t using the tree, we wrapped it in a tarp and shoved it under the stairs in our basement.

That didn’t look serial killer-ish or anything.

Eventually we finished our basement and the under-the-stairs tree storage was no longer practical. We couldn’t get rid of the tree though because according to Handy Husband’s calculations, we’d finally gotten our money’s worth out of the tree. Now that we’d broken even on that investment the tree was saving us money every year.

He really knows how to put the holly jolly in the holidays.

The tree was here to stay. Half the lights didn’t work and we could only use two-thirds of the tree since we didn’t have a two-story ceiling any longer, but hey, that Charlie Brown tree was giving us an excellent return on investment!

charlie-brown-768Image Source

Handy Husband, in a stroke of brilliance, built a wood storage chest to hold the tree. I know we had a good reason for going this direction instead of getting one of those Christmas tree bags. Maybe because we wanted to be able to store other things as well?

Most likely it was because we wanted the tree and its storage container to be stored out-of-sight in our barn. That meant our storage solution needed to be able to withstand rodents and moisture. When faced with a challenge, Handy Husband does not mess around. This sucker was built out of marine-grade, 3/4-inch plywood and ended up being heavier than both of us could easily lift.

It was perfect.


It was also ugly, but that didn’t matter because it was hidden in our barn.

Fast forward a few years and we moved to the suburbs of Atlanta. The Christmas tree coffin storage chest moved with us – mainly because we had movers to do the heavy lifting. This may shock you, but barns are hard to come by in the suburbs. I now had to look at the eyesore.

Apparently I have a high tolerance for eyesores because it took me a full year to give the storage box a makeover.

This was going to be a free makeover using supplies we already had on hand. Stain seemed like the easiest place to start. I didn’t have enough of any one stain to finish the job, but if I combined them all I would! This truly is a custom creation. One-of-a-kind. Not to be repeated.

I sure hope I don’t need to do any touch-ups.


After the stain had dried, I got to work stenciling on some character. I don’t have one of those fancy vinyl machines or stencils in every size and shape, so I had to go old school. I selected a font with a bit of vintage flair and printed out my letters on computer paper.

Then I cut out the letters and arranged them on the outside of the chest using tape. Once I had them placed to my liking I used a white pencil to mark the outline of the letters on the chest. A white pencil showed up better on the dark stain than a regular pencil.

Now all that was left to do was the most tedious part: hand-painting the letters on the chest. It took a couple of coats of leftover white house paint to fill the letters in to my liking.

Then I undid my work with a couple of passes over it with my Ridgid Palm Sander. I wanted the chest to look like it had a story many decades long instead of a few years long.


I probably could have done a bit more sanding, but honestly, it’s a little painful for me to undo all of that work.

From here on out, the storage box is going to have to age all on its own.


I’m happy with how the storage chest turned out. Why did I wait so long to spruce it up? The only other thing I would do to this chest is add vintage wheels. That would look awesome.

Now, who needs a large storage chest to store sports equipment, holiday decor, etc.? I can make you a killer deal on this one.

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Barstool Make Under

Maybe you remember 137 years ago when I posted this photo?

It was more like 3 weeks ago, but who’s counting?

That was a chalk paint fail.

I was trying to make over these barstools, which I loved 8 years ago. What do I feel now? Definitely not love, but I don’t detest them. That would require too much energy.

The wood base was actually in good shape on all three of the stools. The faux leather tops, however, were looking like they’d been mauled by a pack of animals used by small children for the past 8 years.

The barstools had admirably served their purpose, but it was time for them to go. While I made up my mind about what new stools to get, I thought I would try my hand at making the stools over with a little chalk paint. Kindly reference the first photo in this post to see how that turned out.

Yes, yes. You said chalk paints are not all created equal. I’ll have to take your word for it because I’m never painting with chalk paint again. Ever. Until I forget this painful experience and decide to try it again. Coincidentally, that’s also how I ended up with two children.

Thankfully, I only attempted the chalk paint makeover on one of the three barstools, but the mistake still had to be sanded off. Last week I decided it was high time I crossed that chore off my list.

Here’s the part of the story where I’m not entirely sure if I actually did something cool or if I loathed this project so much that I just convinced myself it turned out cool so I could be done.

It could go either way.

That’s right…

I started ripping into the base of the barstools with 40-grit sand paper and it was just eating the finish off the stools in glorious fashion. Adios chalk paint. Sayonara to the cherry stain. It was really quite enjoyable.

That super rough sandpaper was making some seriously lovely gouges in the wood too.

I fully intended to sand these stools down to bare wood and smooth them out the correct way with finer and finer grit sandpaper.

Really, I did.

Then I stepped back and looked at my bar stools and decided they were freaking magnificent all beat up and kind of rustic looking. I was definitely digging their “made under” state.

Delusional on my part?

Don’t answer that.

I wanted a wipeable material to recover the tops of the stools, but I didn’t see anything online or in the fabric store that I was over-the-moon crazy about.

Instead, I found this duck cloth at Hobby Lobby that felt fresh and springy to me. I’m sure it will feel Christmasy after my 5-year-old wipes spaghetti sauce on it too.

I only spent $7 on the fabric though, so I figured for that little money, 10 minutes and a few staples later, it was totally worth the result.


That’s the story of how I “made under” my 3 barstools. Anyone else do a make under and were you happy with the results?

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Step Stool (from High School Shop Class) Makeover Part 2

We have two step stools that were made during high school shop class. Anyone else have such a treasure?

After all these years, the stools are still super sturdy. Education for the win!

I made over the first stool last year, but the second stool was still in dire need of a refresh. As you can see, it has been lovingly cared for for many years.

I decided to makeover the stool using natural wood and stained wood. That’s how my thought processes start – very vague.

While I was mulling the direction the makeover should go, I dived in and sanded the stool down with my Ridgid Sander.

With the stool freshly sanded, I was committed to the makeover. I went with the “eeny, meeny, miney, moe” approach and decided to go a bit geometric for the transformation.

I made a variety of diamond shapes with computer paper and then traced them onto the top of the stool with a pencil. Pretty low tech.

The only problem with my “fly by the seat of my pants” plan was I didn’t know how to keep the stain from bleeding through into the area I wanted to keep natural. After much Googling, I decided my only chance would be to score a line between the area to be stained and the area not to be stained. What’s the worst that could happen?

In this case, I used a craft knife to score a line right along my pencil mark.

As a further precaution, I taped off the inside of each diamond.

Then I carefully painted the stain onto the stool right up to the score mark. Through trial and error I figured out how far the stain would bleed and how close I could get to my score line. Oh, and yes, I did use the cheapest brush I could find – one of my kid’s watercolor brushes. That was mainly because I didn’t want to clean stain out of a good brush.

I have to tell you, I was shocked at how well the scoring worked.

Now, if you are anal retentive about perfectly perfect lines, this might not be your jam (or your blog), but I thought mine turned out pretty well. They definitely got better as I moved through the project. Practice makes perfect! Or in my case, practice makes close enough!

I stained the remainder of the stool and then sealed it all with one coat of polyurethane – mainly to protect the natural wood.

The stain and poly brought out some of the imperfections in the wood and the stain didn’t take evenly in all areas. Live and learn.

In the end, those imperfections won’t matter as i’m hoping this stool continues to get used and abused – adding to its character.
This makeover had me mulling over my decorating style. Did this geometric stool fit in? Did I care? What is my style? Did I remember to turn the oven off?

Oops, my brain gets easily distracted.

Back to the point. Part of creating a pretty home is surrounding yourself with items that make you happy. The eclectic grouping of items and styles doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you! Go crazy!

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Repairing Nicks and Scratches in Linoleum or Vinyl Flooring

If you were to play that game “which of these things don’t belong,” well, the flooring in our kitchen would definitely win the prize. It does not fit in with the gorgeous wood floors throughout the rest of the house.

It is a big sheet of chipped, scratched, dinged and maybe-burned linoleum. I really have no idea what could have caused so much damage to one section of flooring.

While this was not the overall ugliest linoleum I had ever lived with, it was certainly the most damaged.

I couldn’t wait to tear it out.

But then I couldn’t decide what to replace it with.

So, I sat there staring at all of those black marks on the floor. I swear they were laughing at me.

No, that’s not dirt. Those are all of the mocking marks I was telling you about.

So, I did what I do when all else fails me.

I got out my craft paint.

I mixed up a nice little blend of tan, grey and white.

At this point, I figured I couldn’t actually make the floor any worse. And if, on the off chance I did, well, then we’d go back to Plan A and rip it up.

I started dabbing the paint on all of the scratches. It worked best to keep the paint as much on the actual scratch itself as possible and to not paint too far outside of the scratch. Otherwise, it just drew more attention to the repaired area.

(You can see how big this particular scratch is in relation to my craft brush.)
While I waited for it to dry, I moved on to cover another scratch and another.

When I thought the paint might be dry, I spent 5 minutes trying to find the painted spot.

I kid you not, it was harder than it seems to find all of the spots I covered up – especially the tiny ones.

(Sorry about the shadow on this photo – the big scratch is in the shadow.)

Then I applied a coat of matte Mod Podge over the craft paint.

I tried a semi-gloss finish Mod Podge first, but it was too shiny for my floor.

I had no idea if it would work.

It was like science class. “Here’s my hypothesis. Now, let’s start this experiment!”

Here’s a big mark in the photo below. I think it might have been a burn mark, but I’m not sure.

Here’s that same spot now with the craft paint and the Mod Podge on it.

Can you see it?

It’s there. It just blends so much better – especially when you are standing up a little higher.

(Ha! As I was staring at this photo, I totally found some random dirt spots. So nice.)

I wasn’t sure if I’d even share this little experiment with you, but I did this project exactly one month ago and the Mod Podge is still holding up. I’m pleasantly surprised!

I don’t know how long it will last though. So far I have vacuumed it almost daily and mopped or spot cleaned it at least a dozen times. Oh, and it also survived ten kids traipsing in and out filling up water guns and creating a huge, wet mess on the floor. Don’t ask.

The thing about this technique is that if you get down and look for the spot you can see it, but when you’re standing up and walking around, you don’t notice the imperfections any longer. Your eye glances over them…it’s a great kind of camouflage.

Will this work for everyone? I have no idea. I think it would probably depend on the pattern of your flooring. Mine has a lot of movement and no set pattern, so it was very forgiving of this technique. It definitely works better on the smaller scratches than the larger ones. I have a deep, 3-inch crack that’s out-of-frame in these photos that I’m still trying to figure out how to fix.

Was it worth it? Yes! The time and cost of this project was minimal. Honestly, the scratches aggravated me so much that I don’t care if it only last 30 days. I had the supplies on hand and it didn’t take long at all to cover up the scratches. It was kind of fun, actually!

It makes me happy to bring some beauty back into this horribly damaged linoleum. Plus, it buys me time to figure out what we can and should do next. 


P.S. It should be noted that I’m not sure if what we have is vinyl or linoleum. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but do have some key differences in how they are made. I learned more about the two here.

P.S.S. You can also buy vinyl repair kits at your home improvement floor. I looked into this vinyl floor repair kit on Amazon.

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Kitchen Refresh – The Beginning

I considered calling this post “Putting Lipstick on a Pig,” but I thought that would confuse the Google search algorithm.

Our kitchen needs a major gut job. What it’s going to get is a little glamour session.

Is it warped that I’m slightly more excited to see how little or much we can transform a space with just elbow grease and minimal dollars spent? Probably. #noapologies

So, this is the disaster I’m working with:

I’ve actually seen worse. I’m sure I’ve lived with worse.

At a minimum, the plan is to paint the cabinets and figure out some sort of backsplash, since there is no backsplash to speak of.

I’ve already started on the cabinets. We decided to strip the paint off some of the cabinet doors. As you can see, there were about 40 gajillion layers of paint. I found the mossy green, white and blue colors. Eventually I discovered the original oak-stained cabinet doors.

And yes, I enlist all sorts of tools in my DIY projects, including random shoes to hold down drop cloths.

The good news with this hot mess of cabinetry is that we are going to be able to “geek out” on different methods of getting to the painting stage.

In addition to stripping the paint off some of the doors, we will also sand some and on others try a simple deglossing technique. It’s partly out of curiosity and partly because the cabinets all vary in their condition.

Clearly we don’t have any hobbies.

There’s also a weird patch of stickiness that has not come off with any household cleansers or the deglosser. I really do not want to strip or sand this soffit area, so I have one other thing to try first. Otherwise, I’ll have to hit it with the sander.

So, if you’re wondering how we are spending Spring Break, this is it! My kids wanted to go to the beach. I assured them this would be much more fun! 😉

Actually, we took today off and visited Six Flags Over Atlanta for the first time. I guess I thought everyone would be at the beach. So wrong. So, so wrong. They were all at Six Flags! I was so happy when my kids asked to go home after 4 HOURS spent in the 90 degree sun waiting to ride 3 stinking rides. I don’t think we are tough enough for Disney yet.

Have a great weekend!

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Child Painted Horse Artwork

When my daughter was 5, we redesigned her room in Oregon. Gone were the baby things – she was a big girl! Part of the process included me trying to figure out how to incorporate some of my daughter’s artistic masterpieces into the space. The problem was that most of her artwork from school was just one random piece after another and I wanted a pair. Plus, I was hoping to get the artwork to be in the right color scheme.


I asked her if she would be on board with making some art! When she found out she’d get to use my paints and brushes, she couldn’t get into her paint clothes fast enough!

I printed out a piece of black and white clipart from the Internet. You can find free images online, but I believe this is one that had to be purchased. (Depending on the image and the colors you intend to use,  you may need to lighten the image some in a graphic or photography program.)

I gave my daughter a pre-selected palette of craft paints to work with and had her paint over the lines on the clipart. The only guidance I gave her was just to “follow the lines.”  She went to town with picking out what color to paint the mane, the nose, etc. It’s basically like the concept of a coloring book, except we were using craft paint.


Since I needed two images, I “reversed or flipped” one of the images when I printed it out. That way, the horses would be looking at each other when I hung them on the wall. When she was done, I cut some off the bottom of the paper to make the image square-shaped.


I had a pair of frames sitting in storage that I had had for EONS. I bought them on big time clearance at a craft store and when I got them home it was because I realized they were a super weird size. That meant buying a mat for the frames would have been more expensive than the frames themselves. That was annoying. So, they sat just waiting for their moment to shine!


I realized I could make these odd-sized frames work for this project. I used silver Christmas wrapping paper as a mat and laid my daughter’s artwork on top. The paper isn’t “perfect” as far as a mat is concerned. You can see in the pictures that it has a weird warped look to it depending on how the light hits it. However, it doesn’t bug me enough to change it. 🙂


Whenever someone comments on the artwork, they are surprised to learn that my daughter, who was five at the time, painted them. She wasn’t painting or drawing perfect horse heads at age 5 (or now), but she was great at following the lines and filling in white space!


The result was practically FREE artwork that was completely personalized to her room. The best part is that she is proud of her artwork and still loves it two years later. That definitely makes me do my happy dance!

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Pottery Barn Trundle Bed Knock Off

When we moved from Oregon to Georgia, we knew we’d need to get a new bed for our 7-year-old daughter. Her bed in Oregon was built-in, so we were only able to take the mattress with us when we moved. I knew we didn’t want to go the bunkbed route, but liked the idea of a trundle. So, I searched high and low on Craigslist and in stores for a trundle bed that met our quality and price requirements and came up empty.

That’s when I had one of my more brilliant ideas – to make her a bed! Thankfully, my sweet husband agreed – in other words, went along – with this plan. It should be noted that all of my brilliant ideas end up with us doing the work, so I’m not so sure if they really are brilliant!


We loved the Emmett kids bed from Pottery Barn, but it is no longer available. However, the design looked simple enough and Ana White had free plans, which simplified the planning portion of the build. It’s nice when someone else has already done the measuring for you!


My husband began the task of cutting and assembling the headboard and footboard. The Kreg-Jig came in handy for this project. So did these two helpers below. Just kidding. 🙂


Now, look very closely at the trundle portion of this bed because I realized that I didn’t take any finished pictures of the trundle when it was pulled out. In my defense, there’s not that much to see. Since the trundle is not going to be used very often, we decided to use an air mattress in the trundle when my daughter has a friend stay the night. That would give us flexibility to use the trundle for off-season storage if we wanted.

I painted the outside of the trundle white to match the rest of the bed, but opted to stain the inside. I figured the stain would “wear” better over time – especially if the trundle is used for toy storage.


I used Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint in a semi-gloss finish. I loved that it had the paint and primer combined, which was great since I was painting fresh wood. I sanded in between each coat of paint and still ended up using 3 and in some places 4 coats of paint.


Instead of spending hours deciding between 100 billion shades of white paint, I opted to take the easy route and use Behr’s standard Ultra Pure White color. Since this is one of their pre-mixed colors, it saves me the time waiting in line at Home Depot to get a color mixed. The race car carts will only entertain my 4-year-old son for a small amount of time, so “grab it off the shelf and go” is one of my favorite mottos!


I have yet to decide what sort of handles or pulls to put on the trundle. I’ve ignored that issue for now because I know that any handle would be used as a “step ladder” of sorts by my kids.


One thing that we need to adjust on the bed is the size of the wheels or casters on the trundle. They are too small to roll easily on the carpet. If the bed was on a wood floor, it wouldn’t be a problem. As it is now, I have to pull pretty hard (and it’s possible there are some un-lady-like grunts) to pull the bed out. Keep that in mind if you build this bed using the Ana White plans.


The bedding is from Target. My daughter’s new favorite color is blue, so we’ve incorporated navy into her lavender and grey color scheme. This bed is a little tricky to make, especially if you want the sheets and blankets tucked in. So, I haven’t quite reconciled how I “want” my 7-year-old to make her bed. At this point, I’m happy if she just pulls the covers up nicely.


If you want to try building a bed, this is a pretty straight-forward design to start with. The bed is sturdy and classic in design. I’m so happy we decided to build her a bed that is not only functional, but pretty too. I’m confident that it will last longer than her new favorite color will. 🙂


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Step Right Up

It’s possible I’m feeling a little sentimental. My baby does turn FOUR in less than a month.

How did that happen so fast?

Anyway, we’re working on making over our powder room. There was just something about the patterned wallpaper from 1986 that wasn’t going to work in this century. I’m crushing on the grey and yellow combo lately, so that’s what inspired the overall color scheme for the powder room and for this mini step stool makeover. (And, yes, I will show you what’s happened in the powder room, but I’m not quite done with it yet. Stay tuned.)

It seems that during the preschool years hand and footprint art is all the rage. Who can blame them? Seeing our child’s tiny handprint or footprint forever captured with finger paint tugs on every single one of our maternal heartstrings. Since my baby is getting bigger (in other words, his feet won’t fit on the stool soon), it was time to jump on that bandwagon.

Plastic step stool makeover

Plastic step stool makeover

I have had this basic Safety 1st step stool for years. I don’t know where I got it. Maybe Target? It was great and functional, but it didn’t match a thing.

My first step was to spray paint the stool a glossy grey. I’m not brand loyal when it comes to spray paint, but I used Krylon this time. It took two coats and my patience to wait for it to dry. Then it was time to jazz it up.

Basic Safety 1st step stool

Basic Safety 1st step stool

So one day last week I got a wild hair to paint my 3 year old’s feet.

Can we say “living on the wild side?” 

All I had on hand was some yellow craft paint, so that’s what we used. I spread some paint on a paper plate and then had my son step on the plate. There’s probably a better method for this, but again, we were living on the wild side and winging this DIY project! After the paint was smeared on his foot (technical term), I brought the stool up to his foot and gently pressed.

Footprint step stool makeover

Footprint step stool makeover

Ba-da-bing, ba-da-bang it was done. It wasn’t perfect as there were some 3 year old wiggles involved, but it was perfect enough for me.

Footprint step stool makeover

Footprint step stool makeover

I finished it off with a couple of coats of a clear spray paint to protect the footprints.

There have been a few “Tor got paint on the step stool” moments!


Footprint step stool makeover

Footprint step stool makeover

He makes a fine leg model, doesn’t he?

Have a happy day!


P.S. Linking up with

The 36th Avenue
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