DIY

Product Review: WORX Hydroshot Power Cleaner

When I was first approached to try out the WORX Hydroshot Power Cleaner, I wasn’t sure I could use it because I live in an apartment and don’t have access to a garden hose faucet. But when I realized that all I needed was a bucket of water to make it work (or any other water source), I was excited to try it out.

WORC-Hydroshot-Power-Cleaner

Everything on my balcony gets very dusty, very fast, so I had the perfect testing ground to see how well the Hydroshot Power cleaner works. Setting it up was very easy – I filled a bucket with water, placed the filtered end of the hose in the water and then snapped the other end of the hose onto the power cleaner.

Hydroshot-snapping-on-hose

I cleaned the floors first and I was very impressed with how well it removed the dust that had been collecting for a while. I had read some negative reviews online saying that the water pressure wasn’t high enough. There’s actually 2 water pressure setting that can be selected by pressing a button – I used the high pressure setting which is 320 psi and I can say that the pressure was more than enough to remove the type of dirt I had on my balcony. The lower pressure setting is meant more for watering plants.

Full-body-with-bucket-powerwasher-vertical

It was very satisfying to see all the grime come off the balcony ledge and my white furniture.

cleaning-the-top-of-the-walls

I also used it to clean my patio door window and screen – so much fun! Loved seeing all that dirt come off!

washing-window-and-screen

Screen-dirt-washed-off

There’s many accessories that come with the Hydroshot to make washing different things easier, and there’s also a squeegee adapter which is perfect to wipe everything dry, including the windows. I don’t think my windows have ever been this clean since I’ve moved here, despite me trying to wash them many times before.

Squeegee-the-window

The Hydroshot is very light so it was easy for me to handle and wash every part of my balcony, including the lattice panels – I hadn’t been able to clean those easily before but now I will actually enjoy cleaning them!

Washing-the-lattice-panels

I had so much fun using the power cleaner – it’s truly perfect for those of us that live in apartments. It’s compact to store and even if you don’t have a balcony, you can use it anywhere, even to wash your car. All you need is a bucket of water! If you want to order one, you can get 15% off coupon by using the coupon code HYDROEYS on the WORX website. Hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as I do!

*** this post is sponsored by WORX but all thoughts and opinions are my own ***

When I was first approached to try out the WORX Hydroshot Power Cleaner, I wasn’t sure I could use it because I live in an apartment and don’t have access to a garden hose faucet. But when I realized that all I needed was a bucket of water to make it work (or any other water source), I was excited to try it out.

WORC-Hydroshot-Power-Cleaner

Everything on my balcony gets very dusty, very fast, so I had the perfect testing ground to see how well the Hydroshot Power cleaner works. Setting it up was very easy – I filled a bucket with water, placed the filtered end of the hose in the water and then snapped the other end of the hose onto the power cleaner.

Hydroshot-snapping-on-hose

I cleaned the floors first and I was very impressed with how well it removed the dust that had been collecting for a while. I had read some negative reviews online saying that the water pressure wasn’t high enough. There’s actually 2 water pressure setting that can be selected by pressing a button – I used the high pressure setting which is 320 psi and I can say that the pressure was more than enough to remove the type of dirt I had on my balcony. The lower pressure setting is meant more for watering plants.

Full-body-with-bucket-powerwasher-vertical

It was very satisfying to see all the grime come off the balcony ledge and my white furniture.

cleaning-the-top-of-the-walls

I also used it to clean my patio door window and screen – so much fun! Loved seeing all that dirt come off!

washing-window-and-screen

Screen-dirt-washed-off

There’s many accessories that come with the Hydroshot to make washing different things easier, and there’s also a squeegee adapter which is perfect to wipe everything dry, including the windows. I don’t think my windows have ever been this clean since I’ve moved here, despite me trying to wash them many times before.

Squeegee-the-window

The Hydroshot is very light so it was easy for me to handle and wash every part of my balcony, including the lattice panels – I hadn’t been able to clean those easily before but now I will actually enjoy cleaning them!

Washing-the-lattice-panels

I had so much fun using the power cleaner – it’s truly perfect for those of us that live in apartments. It’s compact to store and even if you don’t have a balcony, you can use it anywhere, even to wash your car. All you need is a bucket of water! If you want to order one, you can get 15% off coupon by using the coupon code HYDROEYS on the WORX website. Hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as I do!

*** this post is sponsored by WORX but all thoughts and opinions are my own ***

Recycled DIY Wall Art

When I was giving my balcony a makeover, I wanted to reuse what I had as much as possible. I loved the wood tile I had hung on the lattice panels when I originally decorated my balcony but with the new design, I felt it just wasn’t big enough. So to make is more substantial, I recycled materials I already had on hand to create the perfect wall hanging.

Higher-view-of-wall-art

I have a lot of scrap wood left over from other projects, so I rummaged around to see if there was something I could use to create a backdrop for the wood tile, and I came across this square piece of plywood that was the perfect size. I wanted my wall art to look softer and blend in with the white lattice panels so  I decided to staple a piece of canvas drop cloth to the plywood.

attaching-canvas-cloth-to-plywood

To soften the look even more, I applied a white wash over it, which I made by mixing water with white solid weatherproofing stain from BEHR. 

Whitwashing

Since this will be outside, I wanted to be sure it would be sealed, so after the white wash treatment dried, I added a couple of coats of Mod Podge all over the canvas and I also used the weatherproofing stain to seal the back of the plywood.

Putting-on-mod-podge

I didn’t like how dark the wood tile was so I also white washed it so it would be the same tone and color as the drop cloth.

Tile-whitewashed

Then all that was left to do is hang the tile on the plywood covered with canvas (I just used a nail and hung the tile on it). I also added picture hanging hardware on the back and hung it on the lattice panels with wire. Easy! 

Balcony-full-view-square

I love it when I’m able to reuse and recycle things that I had on hand to create something new and beautiful: saves things from ending up in the landfills and it saves money too. Win, win!

When I was giving my balcony a makeover, I wanted to reuse what I had as much as possible. I loved the wood tile I had hung on the lattice panels when I originally decorated my balcony but with the new design, I felt it just wasn’t big enough. So to make is more substantial, I recycled materials I already had on hand to create the perfect wall hanging.

Higher-view-of-wall-art

I have a lot of scrap wood left over from other projects, so I rummaged around to see if there was something I could use to create a backdrop for the wood tile, and I came across this square piece of plywood that was the perfect size. I wanted my wall art to look softer and blend in with the white lattice panels so  I decided to staple a piece of canvas drop cloth to the plywood.

attaching-canvas-cloth-to-plywood

To soften the look even more, I applied a white wash over it, which I made by mixing water with white solid weatherproofing stain from BEHR. 

Whitwashing

Since this will be outside, I wanted to be sure it would be sealed, so after the white wash treatment dried, I added a couple of coats of Mod Podge all over the canvas and I also used the weatherproofing stain to seal the back of the plywood.

Putting-on-mod-podge

I didn’t like how dark the wood tile was so I also white washed it so it would be the same tone and color as the drop cloth.

Tile-whitewashed

Then all that was left to do is hang the tile on the plywood covered with canvas (I just used a nail and hung the tile on it). I also added picture hanging hardware on the back and hung it on the lattice panels with wire. Easy! 

Balcony-full-view-square

I love it when I’m able to reuse and recycle things that I had on hand to create something new and beautiful: saves things from ending up in the landfills and it saves money too. Win, win!

Home office ideas: whiteboards

I’ve been working from home for a few years now and one of the things I love to use to brainstorm ideas is a whiteboard. When I lived in my NYC studio apartment, I used a removable Whiteboard Sticker .

NYC-home-office-white-board

I liked that the sticker was flush to the wall and that I could easily hide it with a picture frame – this was important to me because my office was in the main living area and I didn’t like looking at all my work stuff when I wasn’t working! It worked well enough at first but because it picked up the texture of the wall, over time it became difficult to get it clean. I was also disappointed that I couldn’t reuse it again when I moved – after removing it from the wall when I made the move to LA, the back wasn’t sticky anymore so I had to throw it out. 

NYC-home-office-picture-covered-white-board

I always meant to buy a new whiteboard when I set up my home office in LA but just never got around to it. So when the folks at Bootstrap Boards offered to send me one of their whiteboards to try, I was excited to test it out! They come in large frameless boards of 8ft x 4ft and in smaller mini boards that are 18″ x 24″. Since I don’t have a big office, I went with the mini whiteboard. 

bootstrap-whiteboards-unboxing

Each whiteboard comes with everything you need to install it and to use it. The boards come with double sided stickers pre-installed on the back so it’s easy to hang them without any tools. There’s also an option to use eye screws and since I’m a renter and didn’t want to risk damaging my walls with the stickers, that’s what I used – there’s no need for any tools to put them in and then it’s just a matter of hanging the board like a picture frame. 

installing-eye-screws

I like that it doesn’t have a frame – it blends in more seamlessly with the wall and it also makes it possible to put 2 boards next to each other to create a work larger surface. It’s also magnetic so they can double as a pin board and both the wipe and the whiteboard pen have magnets so they can be stored right on the board which is very convenient.

bootstrap-whiteboard-clean

I’m really happy with this new addition to my home office, it fits right in and the smooth surface is way nicer to work with than than the wall sticker I had before. If you’re interested in giving these whiteboards a try, you can buy them on Amazon and I’m happy to say that that folks at Bootstrap Boards are offering a 10% discount to my followers with this exclusive coupon code – YOURSPA18 

Bootstrap-whiteboard-with-coupon-code-

Let me know if you end up trying them out and what you think!

*** This post was sponsored by Bootstrap Boards –  all thoughts and opinions are my own ***

 

I’ve been working from home for a few years now and one of the things I love to use to brainstorm ideas is a whiteboard. When I lived in my NYC studio apartment, I used a removable Whiteboard Sticker .

NYC-home-office-white-board

I liked that the sticker was flush to the wall and that I could easily hide it with a picture frame – this was important to me because my office was in the main living area and I didn’t like looking at all my work stuff when I wasn’t working! It worked well enough at first but because it picked up the texture of the wall, over time it became difficult to get it clean. I was also disappointed that I couldn’t reuse it again when I moved – after removing it from the wall when I made the move to LA, the back wasn’t sticky anymore so I had to throw it out. 

NYC-home-office-picture-covered-white-board

I always meant to buy a new whiteboard when I set up my home office in LA but just never got around to it. So when the folks at Bootstrap Boards offered to send me one of their whiteboards to try, I was excited to test it out! They come in large frameless boards of 8ft x 4ft and in smaller mini boards that are 18″ x 24″. Since I don’t have a big office, I went with the mini whiteboard. 

bootstrap-whiteboards-unboxing

Each whiteboard comes with everything you need to install it and to use it. The boards come with double sided stickers pre-installed on the back so it’s easy to hang them without any tools. There’s also an option to use eye screws and since I’m a renter and didn’t want to risk damaging my walls with the stickers, that’s what I used – there’s no need for any tools to put them in and then it’s just a matter of hanging the board like a picture frame. 

installing-eye-screws

I like that it doesn’t have a frame – it blends in more seamlessly with the wall and it also makes it possible to put 2 boards next to each other to create a work larger surface. It’s also magnetic so they can double as a pin board and both the wipe and the whiteboard pen have magnets so they can be stored right on the board which is very convenient.

bootstrap-whiteboard-clean

I’m really happy with this new addition to my home office, it fits right in and the smooth surface is way nicer to work with than than the wall sticker I had before. If you’re interested in giving these whiteboards a try, you can buy them on Amazon and I’m happy to say that that folks at Bootstrap Boards are offering a 10% discount to my followers with this exclusive coupon code – YOURSPA18 

Bootstrap-whiteboard-with-coupon-code-

Let me know if you end up trying them out and what you think!

*** This post was sponsored by Bootstrap Boards –  all thoughts and opinions are my own ***

 

Quick and easy DIY present idea for Mother’s Day

I love making gifts instead of buying them and with Mother’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to make something simple but special for my mom. 

Decorative-tray-DIY

I got the idea for this project when I spotted these plain Jane wood trays at JoANN’s – they are a nice size ( 14″ x 11″ x 2.5″) and cost only $8 (and by using a coupon, I ended up paying just $5).  

Plain-tray

I had this gorgeous handmade and hand painted paper from another project and I had just enough to cover the bottom of the tray. I got this paper at World Market and though I don’t think they have this specific design anymore, they do have lots of other beautiful papers to choose from.

Screen-Shot-2017-04-18-at-10.34.35-AM

I started by staining the the sides of the tray in a couple of coats of a semi-transparent exterior wood stain in a dark brown color (I had this left over from another project as well – it’s from Behr and is in a color called coffee and a sample 8 oz size is more than enough to do this project). 

Tray-with-stain-only

I taped the sides of the tray to protect the sides with painter’s tape and covered the bottom of the tray with a coat of Mod Podge (satin finish), placed the paper on top and then sealed it with 2-3 coats of Mod Podge.

Tray-with-paper-and-tape-around-it

I let that dry and then removed the tape – since I didn’t cut the paper exactly to fit inside the tray, I had to use a utility knife to cut off the excess material along the edges.

Tray---Trimming-off-excess-material

To coordinate with the old gold tones in the paper, I finished the edges of the tray with a gold sharpie – I love these metallic sharpie pens so much! So much easier to work with than paint and they come in many different tones, like silver and copper. 

Tray-putting-on-gold-sharpie

This was such a simple project that I ended up buying a few more of those trays and I plan to personalize them to give as gifts to friends. I think they make the perfect gift: pretty & useful (who can’t use a cute tray around the house?!). But this one is going to my mom, hope she likes it!

Finished-tray-with-card

 

I love making gifts instead of buying them and with Mother’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to make something simple but special for my mom. 

Decorative-tray-DIY

I got the idea for this project when I spotted these plain Jane wood trays at JoANN’s – they are a nice size ( 14″ x 11″ x 2.5″) and cost only $8 (and by using a coupon, I ended up paying just $5).  

Plain-tray

I had this gorgeous handmade and hand painted paper from another project and I had just enough to cover the bottom of the tray. I got this paper at World Market and though I don’t think they have this specific design anymore, they do have lots of other beautiful papers to choose from.

Screen-Shot-2017-04-18-at-10.34.35-AM

I started by staining the the sides of the tray in a couple of coats of a semi-transparent exterior wood stain in a dark brown color (I had this left over from another project as well – it’s from Behr and is in a color called coffee and a sample 8 oz size is more than enough to do this project). 

Tray-with-stain-only

I taped the sides of the tray to protect the sides with painter’s tape and covered the bottom of the tray with a coat of Mod Podge (satin finish), placed the paper on top and then sealed it with 2-3 coats of Mod Podge.

Tray-with-paper-and-tape-around-it

I let that dry and then removed the tape – since I didn’t cut the paper exactly to fit inside the tray, I had to use a utility knife to cut off the excess material along the edges.

Tray---Trimming-off-excess-material

To coordinate with the old gold tones in the paper, I finished the edges of the tray with a gold sharpie – I love these metallic sharpie pens so much! So much easier to work with than paint and they come in many different tones, like silver and copper. 

Tray-putting-on-gold-sharpie

This was such a simple project that I ended up buying a few more of those trays and I plan to personalize them to give as gifts to friends. I think they make the perfect gift: pretty & useful (who can’t use a cute tray around the house?!). But this one is going to my mom, hope she likes it!

Finished-tray-with-card

 

How to hang curtains to conceal vertical blinds

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I dislike vertical blind and how I’m always looking for ways to get rid of them or camouflage them. However when you live in a rental apartment or in a condo where you’re not allowed to remove them, it can get a bit tricky, especially if you can’t drill holes in the walls to hang a curtain rod. So when I came across these nono brackets on Amazon, I had to give them a try.

outside mount nono bracket

The brackets slide onto the existing vertical blind track, so if you have a plastic valance that covers the track, you will need to take that off first.

Taking-off-the-valance

Then you slide the brackets onto the track, adjust the bottom piece so it fits tightly against the track and then you tighten the screw on top. Since this particular track is very close to the ceiling, I ended up using an offset screwdriver to do this. 

No-No-bracket-outside-mount-on-track

The curtain rod is then placed on the brackets. It’s that simple and there’s no need to make any holes in the walls! 

putting-on-curtain-rod

The curtain rod held up well without a third bracket in the middle but I used very light weight curtains so if you’re planning on hanging heavy drapes, I would definitely recommend using 3 nono brackets

Putting-on-curtain-wide-view

Hanging curtains completely transformed the look of this bedroom, and it literally took just a few minutes. Plus hanging the curtains had the added bonus of hiding the A/C unit when not being used and brining in lots of color in an otherwise very white and boring room. 

Krystina's bedroom before and after front view

Hope this was helpful and I’m looking forward to seeing your window transformations!

And FYI, the curtains were just one thing I did in this bedroom makeover – I also revamped a bookcase for more storage, installed a hanging jewelry box and I also made a DIY makeup organizer. You can see all the projects I did in this video:

 

 

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I dislike vertical blind and how I’m always looking for ways to get rid of them or camouflage them. However when you live in a rental apartment or in a condo where you’re not allowed to remove them, it can get a bit tricky, especially if you can’t drill holes in the walls to hang a curtain rod. So when I came across these nono brackets on Amazon, I had to give them a try.

outside mount nono bracket

The brackets slide onto the existing vertical blind track, so if you have a plastic valance that covers the track, you will need to take that off first.

Taking-off-the-valance

Then you slide the brackets onto the track, adjust the bottom piece so it fits tightly against the track and then you tighten the screw on top. Since this particular track is very close to the ceiling, I ended up using an offset screwdriver to do this. 

No-No-bracket-outside-mount-on-track

The curtain rod is then placed on the brackets. It’s that simple and there’s no need to make any holes in the walls! 

putting-on-curtain-rod

The curtain rod held up well without a third bracket in the middle but I used very light weight curtains so if you’re planning on hanging heavy drapes, I would definitely recommend using 3 nono brackets

Putting-on-curtain-wide-view

Hanging curtains completely transformed the look of this bedroom, and it literally took just a few minutes. Plus hanging the curtains had the added bonus of hiding the A/C unit when not being used and brining in lots of color in an otherwise very white and boring room. 

Krystina's bedroom before and after front view

Hope this was helpful and I’m looking forward to seeing your window transformations!

And FYI, the curtains were just one thing I did in this bedroom makeover – I also revamped a bookcase for more storage, installed a hanging jewelry box and I also made a DIY makeup organizer. You can see all the projects I did in this video:

 

 

My Top 10 favorite Christmas Tree ideas for small spaces

 I’ve always lived in small apartments so when it comes to decorating for Christmas, I’ve tended to not have a traditional Christmas tree because they take up a lot of floor space.  So I thought I would round up my favorite ideas I’ve seen on the web for Christmas trees that you can either hang on a wall or from a ceiling and don’t take that precious floor space.
 
This one is made with pallet wood which gives it its rustic charm. Though you could saw all the boards you need for this project by hand, a circular saw is definitely handy to cut all the wood, especially to get the right angle.
 
DIY_Huntress_Pallet_Wood_Christmas_Tree-3
DIY Pallet wood Christmas Tree by blogger: DIY Huntress
Image credit: DIY Huntress
 
This next version of a wood Christmas tree is also made with pallet wood but is simpler in that you don’t need to cut the wood at an angle. And I love the paint treatment with the snow flakes – adds a bit of whimsy to the design!
 
diy-wood-pallet-christmas-tree-tutorial-1333x2000
 
DIY wood pallet Christmas Tree by blogger: Vintage News Junkie
Image credit: Vintage News Junkie
 
This is a different take on a wood Christmas tree – I love the 3 dimensional design and the irregular outline, which is more like a real tree. This design does also require making different angled cuts with different lengths so it’s a bit more involved than making straight cuts like the previous design. 
 
Ryobi-Rustic-Christmas-Tree-3-572x1024
Rustic Christmas Tree by blogger: Her Tool Belt
Image credit: Her Tool Belt 
 
I’ve made a few decorations with driftwood and I love the look so I immediately fell in love with this wall mounted Christmas tree made with driftwood and rope. The building process is very simple and doesn’t require any tools, which is nice, and the space between the pieces makes it easy to hang lights and decorations.
 arbol de navidad con palos lalole stick christmas tree 1
Driftwood Christmas tree by blogger LALOLEBLOG.
(Image credit:LALOLEBLOG)
 
If you want more color for your tree, this one is a great option, plus it reuses something that would potentially end up in the landfill: an old screen. You could make many different sizes and get really creative with how you want it to look by choosing different types of ornaments.
 
ORNTREE3
Ornaments hanging from a screen by blogger Into Vintage.
(Image credit: Into Vintage)
 

For a more realistic looking tree, this version of a wall mounted tree uses pine garlands and glue dots tabs to recreate a tree hung directly on a wall. I’ve done this 2 years in a row and everyone that sees comments how real it looks! And since the tabs won’t leave any marks on the walls , it’s also great if you rent.

Christmas-Tree-Finished-side-view-daytime_edited-1

 

This next idea is such a simple way of using pallets – no need to remove all the boards, cut them, reassemble, etc.! I love the rustic look with the lights and decorations. I couldn’t find the original source for this project so if anyone knows who made this, please let me know in the comments!

wall-mounted-xmas-tree-unknown-source

 

This next design, “Pines in line”, is from Domino and it’s prefect for those wanting a more minimalist look that also brings in nature – and this one also requires no tools, bonus!

 

christmas-tree-alternatives-for-small-spaces-christmas-tree-alternatives-ideas-for-small-spaces-lined-pine-56422f7b84cc6e023ab9727e-w1000_h1000

Pines in Line by: Domino.
(Image credit: MICHAEL WILTBANK)

 

This is a more modern and colorful take on a wall mounted Christmas tree – all you need in terms of tools is a hand saw to cut the dowels and the rest is very simple to put together.

 

modern+christmas+hanging+tree+inspired+with+bing+smart+search

Ornaments hanging from a screen by blogger Jenny Batt.
(Image credit: Jenny Batt)
 

Last but not least is this impressive  Christmas tree hung from the ceiling. It only requires a jewelry crimper to make it but judging from the tutorial, you’ll also need a bit of patience. But the end result is definitely worth it!

2_greentree

Ornaments hanging from a screen by blogger Not Martha.
(Image credit: Not Martha)
 

I hope you’ve enjoyed all these ideas and I wish you all Happy Holidays!

 I’ve always lived in small apartments so when it comes to decorating for Christmas, I’ve tended to not have a traditional Christmas tree because they take up a lot of floor space.  So I thought I would round up my favorite ideas I’ve seen on the web for Christmas trees that you can either hang on a wall or from a ceiling and don’t take that precious floor space.
 
This one is made with pallet wood which gives it its rustic charm. Though you could saw all the boards you need for this project by hand, a circular saw is definitely handy to cut all the wood, especially to get the right angle.
 
DIY_Huntress_Pallet_Wood_Christmas_Tree-3
DIY Pallet wood Christmas Tree by blogger: DIY Huntress
Image credit: DIY Huntress
 
This next version of a wood Christmas tree is also made with pallet wood but is simpler in that you don’t need to cut the wood at an angle. And I love the paint treatment with the snow flakes – adds a bit of whimsy to the design!
 
diy-wood-pallet-christmas-tree-tutorial-1333x2000
 
DIY wood pallet Christmas Tree by blogger: Vintage News Junkie
Image credit: Vintage News Junkie
 
This is a different take on a wood Christmas tree – I love the 3 dimensional design and the irregular outline, which is more like a real tree. This design does also require making different angled cuts with different lengths so it’s a bit more involved than making straight cuts like the previous design. 
 
Ryobi-Rustic-Christmas-Tree-3-572x1024
Rustic Christmas Tree by blogger: Her Tool Belt
Image credit: Her Tool Belt 
 
I’ve made a few decorations with driftwood and I love the look so I immediately fell in love with this wall mounted Christmas tree made with driftwood and rope. The building process is very simple and doesn’t require any tools, which is nice, and the space between the pieces makes it easy to hang lights and decorations.
 arbol de navidad con palos lalole stick christmas tree 1
Driftwood Christmas tree by blogger LALOLEBLOG.
(Image credit:LALOLEBLOG)
 
If you want more color for your tree, this one is a great option, plus it reuses something that would potentially end up in the landfill: an old screen. You could make many different sizes and get really creative with how you want it to look by choosing different types of ornaments.
 
ORNTREE3
Ornaments hanging from a screen by blogger Into Vintage.
(Image credit: Into Vintage)
 

For a more realistic looking tree, this version of a wall mounted tree uses pine garlands and glue dots tabs to recreate a tree hung directly on a wall. I’ve done this 2 years in a row and everyone that sees comments how real it looks! And since the tabs won’t leave any marks on the walls , it’s also great if you rent.

Christmas-Tree-Finished-side-view-daytime_edited-1

 

This next idea is such a simple way of using pallets – no need to remove all the boards, cut them, reassemble, etc.! I love the rustic look with the lights and decorations. I couldn’t find the original source for this project so if anyone knows who made this, please let me know in the comments!

wall-mounted-xmas-tree-unknown-source

 

This next design, “Pines in line”, is from Domino and it’s prefect for those wanting a more minimalist look that also brings in nature – and this one also requires no tools, bonus!

 

christmas-tree-alternatives-for-small-spaces-christmas-tree-alternatives-ideas-for-small-spaces-lined-pine-56422f7b84cc6e023ab9727e-w1000_h1000

Pines in Line by: Domino.
(Image credit: MICHAEL WILTBANK)

 

This is a more modern and colorful take on a wall mounted Christmas tree – all you need in terms of tools is a hand saw to cut the dowels and the rest is very simple to put together.

 

modern+christmas+hanging+tree+inspired+with+bing+smart+search

Ornaments hanging from a screen by blogger Jenny Batt.
(Image credit: Jenny Batt)
 

Last but not least is this impressive  Christmas tree hung from the ceiling. It only requires a jewelry crimper to make it but judging from the tutorial, you’ll also need a bit of patience. But the end result is definitely worth it!

2_greentree

Ornaments hanging from a screen by blogger Not Martha.
(Image credit: Not Martha)
 

I hope you’ve enjoyed all these ideas and I wish you all Happy Holidays!

How to do a white wash treatment on natural wood

I recently took on the challenge of transforming a dark and neglected basement into a creative space for me to use for a few months. I was on a very tight budget for this project but luckily there were a few things left in the basement that I could use or repurpose, like this old shelving unit built out of 2″x4″. It will be very useful to store things but I had to figure out a way to spruce it up without spending a lot of money.

White-wash-shelving-before

I had always wanted to try white washing a piece of furniture so this was the perfect occasion to give it a try without too much stress about the outcome – this will be a creative space to experiment after all!  So after doing a bit of research online, I settled on making a white wash mix of 1 part paint, 2 parts water. It’s important to mix the 2 together very well to have a uniform distribution of the paint.

White-wash-treatment-step-1

I prepped the shelving unit by filling in holes with wood filler and sanding down the rougher parts.

White-wash-treatment-step-2

Then I applied the white wash mix onto the shelving unit with a brush first, and then wiped off the excess with damp rag. Please don’t go “sans-gloves” like I did or your hands will be covered with paint like mine were! 

White-wash-treatment-painting-on-square

White-washing-rag-first-coat-square

After doing the first coat and letting that dry, I opted to apply another coat for a whiter look. 

White-wash-treatment-wiping-off

The shelves had a lot of stains so I painted them instead of doing the white washing. 

White-wash-treatment-painting-shelves

I really liked how it turned out. I didn’t do this but it would be a good idea to seal it with wax or some other sealer.

White-washed-shelving-unit

Here’s the shelving unit with that side of the basement finished. I made some barn doors, including the hardware, to partially cover up the front and the things I’m storing that aren’t the nicest to look at.

Shelving-unit-with-barn-doors

You can see all the projects I did in the basement in this video, including how I built the wall panel, temporarily covered up the old carpet. 

 

 

I recently took on the challenge of transforming a dark and neglected basement into a creative space for me to use for a few months. I was on a very tight budget for this project but luckily there were a few things left in the basement that I could use or repurpose, like this old shelving unit built out of 2″x4″. It will be very useful to store things but I had to figure out a way to spruce it up without spending a lot of money.

White-wash-shelving-before

I had always wanted to try white washing a piece of furniture so this was the perfect occasion to give it a try without too much stress about the outcome – this will be a creative space to experiment after all!  So after doing a bit of research online, I settled on making a white wash mix of 1 part paint, 2 parts water. It’s important to mix the 2 together very well to have a uniform distribution of the paint.

White-wash-treatment-step-1

I prepped the shelving unit by filling in holes with wood filler and sanding down the rougher parts.

White-wash-treatment-step-2

Then I applied the white wash mix onto the shelving unit with a brush first, and then wiped off the excess with damp rag. Please don’t go “sans-gloves” like I did or your hands will be covered with paint like mine were! 

White-wash-treatment-painting-on-square

White-washing-rag-first-coat-square

After doing the first coat and letting that dry, I opted to apply another coat for a whiter look. 

White-wash-treatment-wiping-off

The shelves had a lot of stains so I painted them instead of doing the white washing. 

White-wash-treatment-painting-shelves

I really liked how it turned out. I didn’t do this but it would be a good idea to seal it with wax or some other sealer.

White-washed-shelving-unit

Here’s the shelving unit with that side of the basement finished. I made some barn doors, including the hardware, to partially cover up the front and the things I’m storing that aren’t the nicest to look at.

Shelving-unit-with-barn-doors

You can see all the projects I did in the basement in this video, including how I built the wall panel, temporarily covered up the old carpet. 

 

 

Get more storage out of a plain bookcase

I’m a big advocate of making what you have work for you, especially when you can repurpose something without spending too much time or money. This bookcase is a perfect example – it’s very useful to store beauty products and clothes but it’s kind of plain and not very interesting to look at and it could use some more organizing. So to make it work better in the room and get more storage space out of it, I gave it a few upgrades.

Small-bedroom-before-right-side

The first thing I did was to pretty up the back of the bookcase. I used removable double sided tape to secure beautiful wallpaper remnants I had on hand from a previous project. You could also use contact paper, but I find it can be difficult to handle at times to get a smooth finish so I prefer this wallpaper/removable double sided tape. 

Putting-in-wallpaper-with-double-sided-removable-tap

Next I made some small shelves out of scrap wood  – I cut 2 smaller pieces to make the supports, painted them white and used the same removable double sided tape to secure them to the sides of the bookcase, at the back. Then I simply placed the top of the shelf on the supports. 

Putting-in-shelf-support

Putting-in-the-top-of-the-shelfI had some wallpaper left so instead of painting another smaller shelf, I covered it with the wallpaper using Mod Podge. if you didn’t want to make yours, you can buy shelf extenders, most often used for pantries.

Covering-up-the-shelf-with-wallpaper

Smaller-shelf-with-wallpaper

Having those smaller shelves not only makes it easier to see what’s there, it also uses up more of the vertical space. As a result, I was able to free up a shelf and use it for shoe storage. The easiest way to make a shoe rack in a bookcase is to use tension rods.

Putting-in-tension-rods-to-make-a-shoe-rack

I put one in the back and one in the front, with the back one being a few inches above the front one.

Tension-rod-shoe-rack

The tension rods are so simple and they work great!

Shoes-on-tension-rods

The last thing I did was use some inexpensive cloth boxes that fit the depth of the bookcase (about 11″) to store clothes and other nicknacks.

bookcase-bottom-view-with-cloth-boxes

Now the bookcase is much more organized with everything easy to find, all for less than $25!

Bookcase-and-jewelry-storage-small-bedroom-makeover_square

I’m a big advocate of making what you have work for you, especially when you can repurpose something without spending too much time or money. This bookcase is a perfect example – it’s very useful to store beauty products and clothes but it’s kind of plain and not very interesting to look at and it could use some more organizing. So to make it work better in the room and get more storage space out of it, I gave it a few upgrades.

Small-bedroom-before-right-side

The first thing I did was to pretty up the back of the bookcase. I used removable double sided tape to secure beautiful wallpaper remnants I had on hand from a previous project. You could also use contact paper, but I find it can be difficult to handle at times to get a smooth finish so I prefer this wallpaper/removable double sided tape. 

Putting-in-wallpaper-with-double-sided-removable-tap

Next I made some small shelves out of scrap wood  – I cut 2 smaller pieces to make the supports, painted them white and used the same removable double sided tape to secure them to the sides of the bookcase, at the back. Then I simply placed the top of the shelf on the supports. 

Putting-in-shelf-support

Putting-in-the-top-of-the-shelfI had some wallpaper left so instead of painting another smaller shelf, I covered it with the wallpaper using Mod Podge. if you didn’t want to make yours, you can buy shelf extenders, most often used for pantries.

Covering-up-the-shelf-with-wallpaper

Smaller-shelf-with-wallpaper

Having those smaller shelves not only makes it easier to see what’s there, it also uses up more of the vertical space. As a result, I was able to free up a shelf and use it for shoe storage. The easiest way to make a shoe rack in a bookcase is to use tension rods.

Putting-in-tension-rods-to-make-a-shoe-rack

I put one in the back and one in the front, with the back one being a few inches above the front one.

Tension-rod-shoe-rack

The tension rods are so simple and they work great!

Shoes-on-tension-rods

The last thing I did was use some inexpensive cloth boxes that fit the depth of the bookcase (about 11″) to store clothes and other nicknacks.

bookcase-bottom-view-with-cloth-boxes

Now the bookcase is much more organized with everything easy to find, all for less than $25!

Bookcase-and-jewelry-storage-small-bedroom-makeover_square

Budget Rental Kitchen Remodel That is Easily Reversible

Think you’re stuck with your rental kitchen the way it is and that you can’t do anything to change it? This rental kitchen remodel will change your mind! I had a $500 budget to inject some fun and personality in a generic rental kitchen and to make it more functional to prepare meals.

Tessa's-Kitchen-before-side-view-square

Now, first let me say that this is a perfectly nice kitchen as it is in it’s original state. It’s all a matter of taste – if you like white than this is great. If you like more color and pattern, then this isn’t going to do it for you.

Smart-Tiles-tile-close-up

The mission was to inject some fun and personality and to do that, I chose these beautiful peel and stick tiles (Smart Tiles VINTAGE in AZUR) to “redo” the backsplash by installing them over the existing tiles. The colors and pattern in the tiles are full of life and perfectly match the eclectic quirky sense of style that I was going for.

Smart-tiles-cutting-them

The tiles are easy to cut with a utility knife and a ruler so getting around outlets and window frames is really easy and fast.

Smart-Tiles-tile---installing-them

To install the tiles, you just remove the backing part way to start and then keep peeling it off as you stick the tile onto the wall, or in this case, the existing tile. Doing it this way is so much easier than having to remove the existing tile, which would make a mess! Plus it’s easy to change you mind after – All you need is a hair dryer to heat up the tiles a bit to loose up the glue and the tiles come off cleanly without leaving any residue on the existing tiles.

Cornice-made-from-wood-scraps

I used the colors in the Smart Tiles as inspiration for the rest of the makeover, including the rustic window cornice/valance I made with some scrap wood. By using some brackets on either side of the cornice, it simply rests on top of the cabinets so I didn’t have to make any holes in the walls to install it.

IKEA kitchen Cart before

On old IKEA kitchen cart also got a revamping with new wheels and a new top. I made the top with pine boards and furring strips and stained it with a semi-transparent exterior stain from Behr in a color called wedgewood.

IKEA kitchen_cart_top_view_close_up_web

I also made the kitchen cart even more functional by incorporating a spice rack on one side. It’s now the hub of the kitchen and with the beautiful blue stain I chose for the top, it looks right at home with the tiles. 

Image_2_Tessas_kitchen_side_view_of_corner_with_island_horizontal_web_watermarked

I love how this turned out and the best part is that everything is easily removable when moving out, including the tiles. All you need is a hair dryer to heat up the tiles a bit to loosen up the glue and the tiles come off cleanly without leaving any residue on the existing tiles. This is also perfect if you don’t want to commit to a look like this for the longterm.

Image_4_Tessas_kitchen_wide_front_view_horizontal_high_res_watermarked

Tessa's Kitchen side view of window close up high res watermarked

The entire kitchen remodel came in under budget at $446, including the plants. You can watch the entire makeover, including how I installed tiles, made the window cornice and the IKEA kitchen cart revamp, in this video.

** This post was sponsored by Smart Tiles – all thoughts and opinions are my own **

Think you’re stuck with your rental kitchen the way it is and that you can’t do anything to change it? This rental kitchen remodel will change your mind! I had a $500 budget to inject some fun and personality in a generic rental kitchen and to make it more functional to prepare meals.

Tessa's-Kitchen-before-side-view-square

Now, first let me say that this is a perfectly nice kitchen as it is in it’s original state. It’s all a matter of taste – if you like white than this is great. If you like more color and pattern, then this isn’t going to do it for you.

Smart-Tiles-tile-close-up

The mission was to inject some fun and personality and to do that, I chose these beautiful peel and stick tiles (Smart Tiles VINTAGE in AZUR) to “redo” the backsplash by installing them over the existing tiles. The colors and pattern in the tiles are full of life and perfectly match the eclectic quirky sense of style that I was going for.

Smart-tiles-cutting-them

The tiles are easy to cut with a utility knife and a ruler so getting around outlets and window frames is really easy and fast.

Smart-Tiles-tile---installing-them

To install the tiles, you just remove the backing part way to start and then keep peeling it off as you stick the tile onto the wall, or in this case, the existing tile. Doing it this way is so much easier than having to remove the existing tile, which would make a mess! Plus it’s easy to change you mind after – All you need is a hair dryer to heat up the tiles a bit to loose up the glue and the tiles come off cleanly without leaving any residue on the existing tiles.

Cornice-made-from-wood-scraps

I used the colors in the Smart Tiles as inspiration for the rest of the makeover, including the rustic window cornice/valance I made with some scrap wood. By using some brackets on either side of the cornice, it simply rests on top of the cabinets so I didn’t have to make any holes in the walls to install it.

IKEA kitchen Cart before

On old IKEA kitchen cart also got a revamping with new wheels and a new top. I made the top with pine boards and furring strips and stained it with a semi-transparent exterior stain from Behr in a color called wedgewood.

IKEA kitchen_cart_top_view_close_up_web

I also made the kitchen cart even more functional by incorporating a spice rack on one side. It’s now the hub of the kitchen and with the beautiful blue stain I chose for the top, it looks right at home with the tiles. 

Image_2_Tessas_kitchen_side_view_of_corner_with_island_horizontal_web_watermarked

I love how this turned out and the best part is that everything is easily removable when moving out, including the tiles. All you need is a hair dryer to heat up the tiles a bit to loosen up the glue and the tiles come off cleanly without leaving any residue on the existing tiles. This is also perfect if you don’t want to commit to a look like this for the longterm.

Image_4_Tessas_kitchen_wide_front_view_horizontal_high_res_watermarked

Tessa's Kitchen side view of window close up high res watermarked

The entire kitchen remodel came in under budget at $446, including the plants. You can watch the entire makeover, including how I installed tiles, made the window cornice and the IKEA kitchen cart revamp, in this video.

** This post was sponsored by Smart Tiles – all thoughts and opinions are my own **

Old IKEA kitchen cart gets a second life

While working on a rental kitchen makeover for some friends, I needed to find a kitchen cart or island to add more counter space for food preparation. I considered buying a new a new island or building one from scratch but I opted instead to reuse an old IKEA kitchen cart that my friends already had. It was in pretty bad shape but I knew I could bring it back to life, and also make it even better by customizing it to work with the new look of the kitchen. I couldn’t be happier with the end result and the cart fit in perfectly in the new kitchen!

IKEA kitchen_cart_top_view_close_up_web

It started off looking like this and definitely had seen better days.

IKEA kitchen Cart before

Step 1: Removing the top

I removed the top by unscrewing it from the existing brackets – very easy.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-hack

Step 2: Replacing the old casters

The existing casters were worn down and didn’t work anymore so they needed to be replaced.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-before-casters

Because the new casters I bought were shorter (2 ½” inch ones) and had a bigger base, I needed to do a MacGyver fix: I screwed a piece of ½” plywood to the bottom of the legs and used that to secure the new casters to. 

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-casters

Step 3: Making the spice rack

The MacGyver fix for the casters created a shelf of sorts and it gave me the idea to use the space to make a spice rack. I had lots of wood left over from other projects so I used that to make it. First I  added some wood edging to pretty up the sides of the plywood. Then I attached a piece of ¼” thick plywood to the existing shelves to make the back of the spice rack.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-1

For the bottom shelf, I simply glued  a ¼” thick 3” wide pine board wedged between the legs.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-2

For the top shelf, I used small pieces of quarter round molding as supports for 1”x2” and then I glued another piece of ¼” thick 3” wide pine board to complete the shelf.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-3

Step 4: Sand and stain the base of the cart

By using all the different types of wood for the spice rack, the side of the cart looked a bit like a frankenstein.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-4

But by sanding the cart and staining it, it all blended nicely. I used an antiquing stain I had from IKEA that I don’t think they make anymore.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-5

Tip: I made my own sanding blocks by stapling sandpaper to scrap pieced of wood – works like a charm and it’s a lot cheaper than buying sanding blocks.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-stained

Step 5: Building the new top

a) The original top was 23” x 19” and I wanted to make the new top slightly wider and longer. I used four 1” x 6” boards to make a new top that’s 22” wide x 32” long. Because I had limited tools on hand, I kept this build very simple by using 1”x2” furring strips to attach the wider boards together.  I was using SPAX screws that don’t need to have holes pre-drilled but if you use regular screws, you’ll want to pre-drill holes before screwing the boards together.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-1

I wanted to be able to take this apart later if necessary so I didn’t put glue in between the boards. After doing 1 end and one side, I screwed in place the middle 1”x2″ which is cut short to allow the top to sit flush on the sides of the cart base, and I used clamps to keep the boards close together while screwing it in place.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-2

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-2-part-2

b) Then I screwed in place the other end board and the last side board.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-3

c) The edges look thicker thanks to the 1”x2” but it’s not very pretty to look at so I glued and nailed ¼” thick 1” x 2” boards to the sides for a cleaner look.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-4

d) I stained the top with the semi-transparent exterior stain from Behr in a color called Wedgwood which coordinates nicely with the tiles in the kitchen makeover. I didn’t mind if the top got worn over time but you could also add a coat of polyurethane to protect the surface even more. Then all that was left was to attach the new top using the existing brackets.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-staining

It took a bit of time and effort to bring this cart back to life, and the total cost came in around $50 but it feels really great to reuse something that otherwise would have gone into a landfill, plus it gave me the chance to customize the cart to fit the kitchen perfectly and to make it even more functional. Win-Win!

Rental kitchen makeover vertical_front_view_web_watermarked

You can see the complete makeover of the kitchen in this video – enjoy!  

 

While working on a rental kitchen makeover for some friends, I needed to find a kitchen cart or island to add more counter space for food preparation. I considered buying a new a new island or building one from scratch but I opted instead to reuse an old IKEA kitchen cart that my friends already had. It was in pretty bad shape but I knew I could bring it back to life, and also make it even better by customizing it to work with the new look of the kitchen. I couldn’t be happier with the end result and the cart fit in perfectly in the new kitchen!

IKEA kitchen_cart_top_view_close_up_web

It started off looking like this and definitely had seen better days.

IKEA kitchen Cart before

Step 1: Removing the top

I removed the top by unscrewing it from the existing brackets – very easy.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-hack

Step 2: Replacing the old casters

The existing casters were worn down and didn’t work anymore so they needed to be replaced.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-before-casters

Because the new casters I bought were shorter (2 ½” inch ones) and had a bigger base, I needed to do a MacGyver fix: I screwed a piece of ½” plywood to the bottom of the legs and used that to secure the new casters to. 

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-casters

Step 3: Making the spice rack

The MacGyver fix for the casters created a shelf of sorts and it gave me the idea to use the space to make a spice rack. I had lots of wood left over from other projects so I used that to make it. First I  added some wood edging to pretty up the sides of the plywood. Then I attached a piece of ¼” thick plywood to the existing shelves to make the back of the spice rack.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-1

For the bottom shelf, I simply glued  a ¼” thick 3” wide pine board wedged between the legs.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-2

For the top shelf, I used small pieces of quarter round molding as supports for 1”x2” and then I glued another piece of ¼” thick 3” wide pine board to complete the shelf.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-3

Step 4: Sand and stain the base of the cart

By using all the different types of wood for the spice rack, the side of the cart looked a bit like a frankenstein.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-4

But by sanding the cart and staining it, it all blended nicely. I used an antiquing stain I had from IKEA that I don’t think they make anymore.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-step-5

Tip: I made my own sanding blocks by stapling sandpaper to scrap pieced of wood – works like a charm and it’s a lot cheaper than buying sanding blocks.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-spice-rack-stained

Step 5: Building the new top

a) The original top was 23” x 19” and I wanted to make the new top slightly wider and longer. I used four 1” x 6” boards to make a new top that’s 22” wide x 32” long. Because I had limited tools on hand, I kept this build very simple by using 1”x2” furring strips to attach the wider boards together.  I was using SPAX screws that don’t need to have holes pre-drilled but if you use regular screws, you’ll want to pre-drill holes before screwing the boards together.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-1

I wanted to be able to take this apart later if necessary so I didn’t put glue in between the boards. After doing 1 end and one side, I screwed in place the middle 1”x2″ which is cut short to allow the top to sit flush on the sides of the cart base, and I used clamps to keep the boards close together while screwing it in place.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-2

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-2-part-2

b) Then I screwed in place the other end board and the last side board.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-3

c) The edges look thicker thanks to the 1”x2” but it’s not very pretty to look at so I glued and nailed ¼” thick 1” x 2” boards to the sides for a cleaner look.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-new-top-step-4

d) I stained the top with the semi-transparent exterior stain from Behr in a color called Wedgwood which coordinates nicely with the tiles in the kitchen makeover. I didn’t mind if the top got worn over time but you could also add a coat of polyurethane to protect the surface even more. Then all that was left was to attach the new top using the existing brackets.

IKEA-kitchen-cart-staining

It took a bit of time and effort to bring this cart back to life, and the total cost came in around $50 but it feels really great to reuse something that otherwise would have gone into a landfill, plus it gave me the chance to customize the cart to fit the kitchen perfectly and to make it even more functional. Win-Win!

Rental kitchen makeover vertical_front_view_web_watermarked

You can see the complete makeover of the kitchen in this video – enjoy!  

 

Camouflaging a dated bathroom light fixture

When I was working on giving a friend’s small bathroom a facelift, I needed a quick inexpensive way to update a very dated lighting fixture that also happened to be off-center over the vanity. Since replacing it wasn’t in the budget, I opted for camouflaging the fixture with a DIY light cover that cost less than $15 to make, all without using any power tools! 

Lighting fixture after

Here’s what the fixture looked like before – very dated, to say the least, and off-center over the vanity.

Old off-centered lighting fixture_edited-2

You can watch this video of how to make it or follow the steps below:

Step 1: Make the structure for the new cover. Here’s what I used to make the structure:

1/4″ x 6″ poplar boards

3/4″ thick square wood dowels

I cut the boards into 3 sections (2 x 4.5″ and 1 x18″) and cut the dowels into 4 pieces (4 x 5.5″) using a hand saw. I used wood glue to attach the square dowels to join the front to the sides (Painter’s tape helps to hold the pieces together while the glue dries).

Connecting the side to the front wood boards_edited-1

Then I glued the other 2 dowel pieces to the back of the sides.

Gluing back dowel pieces_edited-1

Step 2: Paint or stain the wood

Here’s what I used as a finish for the wood:

Chalk paint (sheepskin)

Wood tint

White wax

Plaid products for finishing wood_edited-1

I painted the wood with 2 coats of the paint, then brushed on a coat of the stain and then protected the surface with a coat of the white wax.

Finish for wood - waxing_edited-1

Step 3: Make the light diffuser: Here’s what I used to make it:

Thin linen like fabric

Plexiglass (Acrylic) sheet for diffuser (11”x14” ⅛” thick)

Mod Podge

Double-sided tape

I placed the fabric on top of the non-glare side of the acrylic panel and soaked it with MOD PODGE making sure the fabric is soaked through.  

Gluing fabric to acrylic panel with mod podge_edited-2

I let it dry and trimmed off the excess along the edges with a utility knife. 

Trimming off fabric from acrylic panel

Then I glued it to the structure using double sided tape.

Acrylic panel installed to the back of the lighting fixture cover_edited-1

Step 5: Installing the new cover.

I removed the old cover and placed 3M command strips on either side of it to hang the new cover so that it would be centered over the vanity. The new cover is very light so the strips are fine to hold it and this avoids having to make holes in the wall (but you could also use brackets to attach it to the wall). I didn’t have a level handy so I ended up using an app on my smart phone to make sure the fixture was level!

3m command strips to hang the new cover_edited-1Using phone level to install light

Bottom view of new centered lighting fixture_edited-1 The new cover completely hides the existing fixture and it’s now perfectly centered! So much better than what was there before! 
After-Right-side-vertical-watermarked-high-res
You can watch the entire bathroom makeover in this video here, enjoy!
 
 

 

When I was working on giving a friend’s small bathroom a facelift, I needed a quick inexpensive way to update a very dated lighting fixture that also happened to be off-center over the vanity. Since replacing it wasn’t in the budget, I opted for camouflaging the fixture with a DIY light cover that cost less than $15 to make, all without using any power tools! 

Lighting fixture after

Here’s what the fixture looked like before – very dated, to say the least, and off-center over the vanity.

Old off-centered lighting fixture_edited-2

You can watch this video of how to make it or follow the steps below:

Step 1: Make the structure for the new cover. Here’s what I used to make the structure:

1/4″ x 6″ poplar boards

3/4″ thick square wood dowels

I cut the boards into 3 sections (2 x 4.5″ and 1 x18″) and cut the dowels into 4 pieces (4 x 5.5″) using a hand saw. I used wood glue to attach the square dowels to join the front to the sides (Painter’s tape helps to hold the pieces together while the glue dries).

Connecting the side to the front wood boards_edited-1

Then I glued the other 2 dowel pieces to the back of the sides.

Gluing back dowel pieces_edited-1

Step 2: Paint or stain the wood

Here’s what I used as a finish for the wood:

Chalk paint (sheepskin)

Wood tint

White wax

Plaid products for finishing wood_edited-1

I painted the wood with 2 coats of the paint, then brushed on a coat of the stain and then protected the surface with a coat of the white wax.

Finish for wood - waxing_edited-1

Step 3: Make the light diffuser: Here’s what I used to make it:

Thin linen like fabric

Plexiglass (Acrylic) sheet for diffuser (11”x14” ⅛” thick)

Mod Podge

Double-sided tape

I placed the fabric on top of the non-glare side of the acrylic panel and soaked it with MOD PODGE making sure the fabric is soaked through.  

Gluing fabric to acrylic panel with mod podge_edited-2

I let it dry and trimmed off the excess along the edges with a utility knife. 

Trimming off fabric from acrylic panel

Then I glued it to the structure using double sided tape.

Acrylic panel installed to the back of the lighting fixture cover_edited-1

Step 5: Installing the new cover.

I removed the old cover and placed 3M command strips on either side of it to hang the new cover so that it would be centered over the vanity. The new cover is very light so the strips are fine to hold it and this avoids having to make holes in the wall (but you could also use brackets to attach it to the wall). I didn’t have a level handy so I ended up using an app on my smart phone to make sure the fixture was level!

3m command strips to hang the new cover_edited-1Using phone level to install light

Bottom view of new centered lighting fixture_edited-1 The new cover completely hides the existing fixture and it’s now perfectly centered! So much better than what was there before! 
After-Right-side-vertical-watermarked-high-res
You can watch the entire bathroom makeover in this video here, enjoy!
 
 

 

DIY Outdoor Lounging Bench

While working on my friend Lisa’s balcony, I was looking for a seating option that would maximize seating on her small and narrow balcony (it’s only 4.5 ft wide) and give her a place to lounge with her dog Leo. After looking at a few options, I decided to build a simple bench, much like the ones that I had built for my NYC apartment balcony. I tweaked the design a bit to make it wider so it was more like a sofa than a bench and I also added bracing to make it sturdier.

DIY-outdoor-Bench-tutorial-main-image

It only cost $30 in materials, plus the stain, and by having all the wood cut at the hardware store, it turned out to be a very quick build using very basic tools: a drill, drill bits and a speed square (clamps optional):

Bench dimensions: 52″ long x 24 ¾”” wide x 16 3/4″ high

Materials needed:

Frame:  

1”x 4” x 2 x 51”

1” x 4” x 2 x 19 ¼”

Top:

1”x 2” x 2 x 52”

1”x5” x 4 x 52”

Legs and bracing: 2”x3”

Legs: 4 x 16”

Bracing: 2 x 19 ¼”, 1 x 45 ½”

Weatherproofing stain or paint

Exterior or decking screws (1 1/4″, 2″)

Step 1: Cut the pine boards and stud to size (I had mine cut at the hardware store):

Step 2: I recommend staining all the wood prior to assembling it but you can also stain is after, like I did. It’s just a bit challenging to get in between the boards when it’s all assembled. I used a semi-transparent weatherproofing stain from BEHR (coffee color) and applied 2 coats.

Step-1-staining-wood

Step 3: Build the frame:

You can use corner clamps to hold the pieces together (adding wood glue before doing this will make the joints stronger but skipping the glue will allow you to easily disassemble the bench later). Or you can go free hand – if going with that method, I recommend using a speed square to make sure that the boards are square.

DIY-outdoor-bench-step-1

Drill pilot holes and put in screws (use 1 1/4″ screws). After the four sides are put together, add the 2 middle piece for extra support. Again, using a speed square is helpful to make sure the pieces are square.

DIY-outdoor-bench-Step-2-a

DIY-outdoor-bench-step-2b

Step 4: Place one of the top 1″ x 4″ on top of the frame so that it extends 1/2″ past the edge of the frame at the ends and on the sides. Drill pilot holes and screw in place.

DIY-outdoor-bench-Step-3

Screw in place the remaining pine boards, using a scrap piece of 1″ x 4″ as a spacer.

DIY-outdoor-bench-step-4

DIY-outdoor-bench-step-4s

Step 5: Attach the legs:

You can simply hold the leg in place or you can use clamps to help the leg to the inside of one corner of the frame:

DIY-outdoor-bench-Step-5

Drill pilot holes and screw in place (use 2″ screws).

Step 6: Attach the Bracing

I like to mark where the bracing pieces join before attaching them.

DIY-OUtdoor-bench-step-6a

Start with the bracing in between the legs, lining them up in the middle and using a scrap piece of 2”x3” to hold them up. Drill pilot holes and screw them in place with 2” screws.

DIY-outdoor-bench-Step-6

Once both sides are done, attach the middle bracing, centered.

DIY-outdoor-bench-step-6c

And that’s it, your bench is done!

Finished-DIY-outdoor-bench-top-and-front-view-unstained

For seat cushions, I used 2 HALO outdoor seat cushions from IKEA ($25 each) which are 24”x24”. Since the bench has a wall for a back, I was able to use outdoor pillows for the back. It was the perfect seating option for this balcony and you can watch the entire balcony makeover in this video. Enjoy!

 

 

 

While working on my friend Lisa’s balcony, I was looking for a seating option that would maximize seating on her small and narrow balcony (it’s only 4.5 ft wide) and give her a place to lounge with her dog Leo. After looking at a few options, I decided to build a simple bench, much like the ones that I had built for my NYC apartment balcony. I tweaked the design a bit to make it wider so it was more like a sofa than a bench and I also added bracing to make it sturdier.

DIY-outdoor-Bench-tutorial-main-image

It only cost $30 in materials, plus the stain, and by having all the wood cut at the hardware store, it turned out to be a very quick build using very basic tools: a drill, drill bits and a speed square (clamps optional):

Bench dimensions: 52″ long x 24 ¾”” wide x 16 3/4″ high

Materials needed:

Frame:  

1”x 4” x 2 x 51”

1” x 4” x 2 x 19 ¼”

Top:

1”x 2” x 2 x 52”

1”x5” x 4 x 52”

Legs and bracing: 2”x3”

Legs: 4 x 16”

Bracing: 2 x 19 ¼”, 1 x 45 ½”

Weatherproofing stain or paint

Exterior or decking screws (1 1/4″, 2″)

Step 1: Cut the pine boards and stud to size (I had mine cut at the hardware store):

Step 2: I recommend staining all the wood prior to assembling it but you can also stain is after, like I did. It’s just a bit challenging to get in between the boards when it’s all assembled. I used a semi-transparent weatherproofing stain from BEHR (coffee color) and applied 2 coats.

Step-1-staining-wood

Step 3: Build the frame:

You can use corner clamps to hold the pieces together (adding wood glue before doing this will make the joints stronger but skipping the glue will allow you to easily disassemble the bench later). Or you can go free hand – if going with that method, I recommend using a speed square to make sure that the boards are square.

DIY-outdoor-bench-step-1

Drill pilot holes and put in screws (use 1 1/4″ screws). After the four sides are put together, add the 2 middle piece for extra support. Again, using a speed square is helpful to make sure the pieces are square.

DIY-outdoor-bench-Step-2-a

DIY-outdoor-bench-step-2b

Step 4: Place one of the top 1″ x 4″ on top of the frame so that it extends 1/2″ past the edge of the frame at the ends and on the sides. Drill pilot holes and screw in place.

DIY-outdoor-bench-Step-3

Screw in place the remaining pine boards, using a scrap piece of 1″ x 4″ as a spacer.

DIY-outdoor-bench-step-4

DIY-outdoor-bench-step-4s

Step 5: Attach the legs:

You can simply hold the leg in place or you can use clamps to help the leg to the inside of one corner of the frame:

DIY-outdoor-bench-Step-5

Drill pilot holes and screw in place (use 2″ screws).

Step 6: Attach the Bracing

I like to mark where the bracing pieces join before attaching them.

DIY-OUtdoor-bench-step-6a

Start with the bracing in between the legs, lining them up in the middle and using a scrap piece of 2”x3” to hold them up. Drill pilot holes and screw them in place with 2” screws.

DIY-outdoor-bench-Step-6

Once both sides are done, attach the middle bracing, centered.

DIY-outdoor-bench-step-6c

And that’s it, your bench is done!

Finished-DIY-outdoor-bench-top-and-front-view-unstained

For seat cushions, I used 2 HALO outdoor seat cushions from IKEA ($25 each) which are 24”x24”. Since the bench has a wall for a back, I was able to use outdoor pillows for the back. It was the perfect seating option for this balcony and you can watch the entire balcony makeover in this video. Enjoy!

 

 

 

How to organize kitchen cupboards to display china

A couple of weeks ago I helped my mom move into a new apartment. It’s a wonderful apartment but a bit smaller then where she used to live, so there isn’t enough space for her beloved china cabinet. It housed an exquisite collection of fine china my parents had accumulated over the years, and it was very important to my mom to find a new way to store and display the collection. When I saw the big kitchen plenty of kitchen cabinets, I got an idea to use some of the cabinet space to display some of the china.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-full-view-2

I used an inexpensive tension I got at the Dollar Store and placed it about a couple of inches above the shelves, and about an inch away from the back.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-with-tension-rod

Then it was just a matter of wedging the plates behind the tension rod to make them stay upright. They make a pretty backdrop and this also leaves room in front of the plates to either display more china or to store other things.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-full-view-1

Now my mom gets to enjoy looking at her beautiful collection of fine china every time she opens the cupboards – another win for tension rods!

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-close-up

 

 

dc296f1ea217849a68afadce55eb17d473c8fbfc9efbef98ee

A couple of weeks ago I helped my mom move into a new apartment. It’s a wonderful apartment but a bit smaller then where she used to live, so there isn’t enough space for her beloved china cabinet. It housed an exquisite collection of fine china my parents had accumulated over the years, and it was very important to my mom to find a new way to store and display the collection. When I saw the big kitchen plenty of kitchen cabinets, I got an idea to use some of the cabinet space to display some of the china.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-full-view-2

I used an inexpensive tension I got at the Dollar Store and placed it about a couple of inches above the shelves, and about an inch away from the back.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-with-tension-rod

Then it was just a matter of wedging the plates behind the tension rod to make them stay upright. They make a pretty backdrop and this also leaves room in front of the plates to either display more china or to store other things.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-full-view-1

Now my mom gets to enjoy looking at her beautiful collection of fine china every time she opens the cupboards – another win for tension rods!

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-close-up

 

 

dc296f1ea217849a68afadce55eb17d473c8fbfc9efbef98ee

How to make knobs or drawer pulls

When renovating a kitchen or bathroom, the cost of changing out the knobs can add up very quickly. The same goes when sprucing up a dresser with new drawer pulls. So I experimented with a couple of different inexpensive ways to make my own, and turns out it’s pretty easy to do! 

First option: Stones

Stone-knob-on-drawer-close-up

For these knobs, I ended up buying river stones from the dollar store – I live in LA and though there are beaches nearby, finding stones that are smooth and the right size proved to be too challenging!

rocks

To turn the stones into knobs, all you need are these nifty things called connector caps (or barrel nuts) and bolts. 

hardware-for-knobs

You can get connector caps in different finishes, like the bronze ones in the picture and you can get bronze bolts to match but since you don’t see them, I went with regular ones to save some money. If you do this, you just want to make sure that the bolt and connector have the same thread size and to stick with either metric or imperial (mixing the two won’t work). The length of bolts you will need depends on the thickness of the drawer face. In most cases, 25mm (1”)  long bolts should work well. 

I found these silver colored Barrel Nuts and bolt sets on amazon.com (20 for about $5) – they work great as well but the only thing is that the bolts are a bit too short (20mm instead of 25 mm), so I bought longer bolts (I had to get metric because the barrel nuts are metric) to make them work.

Knobs-silver-cap-nuts

Wether you use the connector caps or barrel nuts, the steps are the same. The first thing I did was find rocks that have a flat side and I sanded it down to remove any residue and have a better surface for the glue to grip. I cleaned off any dust and also cleaned the connector caps.

sanding-rock

I mixed epoxy glue, and dipped the top of cap to cover it with glue and then placed it at the center of the stone. 

stone-knobs-mixing-epoxy Stone-knobs-Putting-epoxy-on-the-caps

I placed the knobs on a bed of gravel (I had that from another project – it’s actually for aquariums!) so they could be flat during the drying process. You could also use sand for this.

Stone-knobs-letting-the-glue-dry

Then it was just a matter of using the bolts to secure them to the drawers.

Putting-in-knobs

And that’s it – my bathroom vanity got a whole new look thanks to these stone knobs. 

Rock-knobs

Second option: shells

For these drawer pulls, I used shells from the Dollar Store (same issue as with the stones), nuts & washers, bolts (about 1 to 1.5 inches longer than the thickness of the shell), scrap rigid cardboard, rubber bands and epoxy glue.

The first thing I did was cut a piece of rigid cardboard so that it’s the width of the shell and extends past it by about an inch, and made a hole in the middle. It will act as the flat surface of the dresser drawer to set the bolt in place.

Next I inserted the bolt in the hole of the cardboard

I poured epoxy glue into the shell cavity (I used the type that mixes together as it’s poured), making sure to mix the glue with a tooth pick and that there’s enough glue to cover the head of the bolt.

I placed the head of the bolt so that it touches the bottom of the shell cavity, while making sure the cardboard is flush to the back of the shell. Then I moved the bolt around so it is perpendicular to the cardboard.

When the bolt is placed properly, I used a rubber band to secure the cardboard in place, double checked that the bolt is still touching the bottom of the shell cavity and still straight (it doesn’t have to be perfect but the straighter the better), then I placed the cardboard on the edge of 2 glasses. You could also place the shells in sand like I did for the stone knobs. This allowed the epoxy to settle on the bottom and cover the head of the bolt.

Another way to make these knobs is to use oven bake clay (I used Sculpey) and barrel nut and bolts like I used for the stone knobs. I filled the cavity of the shell with the clay, pressed the barrel nut head into the clay to make an imprint, making sure the bolt sits straight, and then baked the shell in the oven as per the manufacturer specs (I baked mine for about an hour @ 275 degrees F). Then I used epoxy to glue the barrel nut to the shell. 

Shel-knobs---oven-backed-clay-method

For either option, I let the epoxy harden and voila, beautiful shell knobs ready to give a new look to a dresser or a cabinet!

You can use these ideas to make knobs out of just about anything, all you need is a little imagination – I hope you’ll share what ideas you come up with!

When renovating a kitchen or bathroom, the cost of changing out the knobs can add up very quickly. The same goes when sprucing up a dresser with new drawer pulls. So I experimented with a couple of different inexpensive ways to make my own, and turns out it’s pretty easy to do! 

First option: Stones

Stone-knob-on-drawer-close-up

For these knobs, I ended up buying river stones from the dollar store – I live in LA and though there are beaches nearby, finding stones that are smooth and the right size proved to be too challenging!

rocks

To turn the stones into knobs, all you need are these nifty things called connector caps (or barrel nuts) and bolts. 

hardware-for-knobs

You can get connector caps in different finishes, like the bronze ones in the picture and you can get bronze bolts to match but since you don’t see them, I went with regular ones to save some money. If you do this, you just want to make sure that the bolt and connector have the same thread size and to stick with either metric or imperial (mixing the two won’t work). The length of bolts you will need depends on the thickness of the drawer face. In most cases, 25mm (1”)  long bolts should work well. 

I found these silver colored Barrel Nuts and bolt sets on amazon.com (20 for about $5) – they work great as well but the only thing is that the bolts are a bit too short (20mm instead of 25 mm), so I bought longer bolts (I had to get metric because the barrel nuts are metric) to make them work.

Knobs-silver-cap-nuts

Wether you use the connector caps or barrel nuts, the steps are the same. The first thing I did was find rocks that have a flat side and I sanded it down to remove any residue and have a better surface for the glue to grip. I cleaned off any dust and also cleaned the connector caps.

sanding-rock

I mixed epoxy glue, and dipped the top of cap to cover it with glue and then placed it at the center of the stone. 

stone-knobs-mixing-epoxy Stone-knobs-Putting-epoxy-on-the-caps

I placed the knobs on a bed of gravel (I had that from another project – it’s actually for aquariums!) so they could be flat during the drying process. You could also use sand for this.

Stone-knobs-letting-the-glue-dry

Then it was just a matter of using the bolts to secure them to the drawers.

Putting-in-knobs

And that’s it – my bathroom vanity got a whole new look thanks to these stone knobs. 

Rock-knobs

Second option: shells

For these drawer pulls, I used shells from the Dollar Store (same issue as with the stones), nuts & washers, bolts (about 1 to 1.5 inches longer than the thickness of the shell), scrap rigid cardboard, rubber bands and epoxy glue.

The first thing I did was cut a piece of rigid cardboard so that it’s the width of the shell and extends past it by about an inch, and made a hole in the middle. It will act as the flat surface of the dresser drawer to set the bolt in place.

Next I inserted the bolt in the hole of the cardboard

I poured epoxy glue into the shell cavity (I used the type that mixes together as it’s poured), making sure to mix the glue with a tooth pick and that there’s enough glue to cover the head of the bolt.

I placed the head of the bolt so that it touches the bottom of the shell cavity, while making sure the cardboard is flush to the back of the shell. Then I moved the bolt around so it is perpendicular to the cardboard.

When the bolt is placed properly, I used a rubber band to secure the cardboard in place, double checked that the bolt is still touching the bottom of the shell cavity and still straight (it doesn’t have to be perfect but the straighter the better), then I placed the cardboard on the edge of 2 glasses. You could also place the shells in sand like I did for the stone knobs. This allowed the epoxy to settle on the bottom and cover the head of the bolt.

Another way to make these knobs is to use oven bake clay (I used Sculpey) and barrel nut and bolts like I used for the stone knobs. I filled the cavity of the shell with the clay, pressed the barrel nut head into the clay to make an imprint, making sure the bolt sits straight, and then baked the shell in the oven as per the manufacturer specs (I baked mine for about an hour @ 275 degrees F). Then I used epoxy to glue the barrel nut to the shell. 

Shel-knobs---oven-backed-clay-method

For either option, I let the epoxy harden and voila, beautiful shell knobs ready to give a new look to a dresser or a cabinet!

You can use these ideas to make knobs out of just about anything, all you need is a little imagination – I hope you’ll share what ideas you come up with!

Small Bathroom Remodel: Easy DIY Tile Backsplash

As I mentioned in my previous post reviewing Smart Tiles, my friend Tom asked for my help to makeover his small half-bath in his condo. He had a tiny budget of $200 to makeover his equally tiny 20 ft2 bathroom. Luckily he was happy with the neutral color palette so no painting necessary, but he did want to update the look by adding a touch of warmth and elegance, and he also wanted to have more storage. Here’s the plan I came up with for the makeover:

  1. Add a contemporary tile backsplash above the sink area and a mirror
  2. Upgrade the lighting fixture
  3. Add a storage cabinet above the toilet

The first thing I tackled was adding the backsplash above the sink area:

Smart-Tile-Finished-backsplash

This is what the area above the sink looked like before – a blank slate!

Tom's-bathroom-sink-before

I was really excited to try Smart Tiles for the first time for this project. I don’t have much experience tiling so the fact that these tiles have a peel and stick backing was a welcome simplification – there’s no grout or specialized tools needed so the installation is quick and mess free. I chose the Capri Taupe Smart Tiles from the Mosaik collection because of their beautiful stone and glossy dual finish

Smart-Tile-other-Mosaik-Capri-tiles

I needed 4 tiles to cover the length of the vanity – they are easy to cut using a ruler and utility knife. I cut all the tiles to be 7 inches high and and for the first tile, I also cut off the ends to have a clean edge.

Smart-Tiles-cutting-the-tile

I cleaned the wall with TSP to remove all the dust and grease, marked the height of the tile on the wall and then used a level to trace out the line. I removed some of the existing caulking where the tile meets the vanity to ensure that the tiles sits flush at the bottom. To install the tile, I first peeled back a couple of inches of the backing, used the line as a guide to make sure the tile is straight and then removed the rest of the backing and pressed the tile on wall.

Smart-Tile-Peeling-off-the-backing

Smart-Tile-Installing-first-tile

For the last tile at the edge of the wall, the remaining space was a bit awkward to measure so I used a sheet of paper as a template and used that to cut the tile.

Smart-Tile-corner-tile-template

For a more finished look around the tiles, I used a Smart Edge Brillo (silver) and for a nice clean corner, I cut the ends at a 45 degree angle.

Smart-Tiles-coner-edge-installation

A quick trick to make sure you get a perfect 45 degree cut every time is to first draw a straight line on your scrap piece of wood with a speed square and then use the 45 degree side of the speed square to cut the Smart Edge.

Smart-Tiles-corner-edge-cutting

And there you have it, for about $40 and in less than an hour, the backsplash was done and it looks absolutely beautiful!

Smart-Tiles-bathroom-backsplash-by-Engineer-Your-Space-cropped

It completely transformed the bathroom as you can see in this before and after picture:

Before-and-after-right-side-watermarked

You can see how I did the entire bathroom makeover, including the backsplash and how I tackled the very dated and uncentered lighting fixture above the vanity, in this video:

** This post was sponsored by Smart Tiles – all thoughts and opinions are my own **

As I mentioned in my previous post reviewing Smart Tiles, my friend Tom asked for my help to makeover his small half-bath in his condo. He had a tiny budget of $200 to makeover his equally tiny 20 ft2 bathroom. Luckily he was happy with the neutral color palette so no painting necessary, but he did want to update the look by adding a touch of warmth and elegance, and he also wanted to have more storage. Here’s the plan I came up with for the makeover:

  1. Add a contemporary tile backsplash above the sink area and a mirror
  2. Upgrade the lighting fixture
  3. Add a storage cabinet above the toilet

The first thing I tackled was adding the backsplash above the sink area:

Smart-Tile-Finished-backsplash

This is what the area above the sink looked like before – a blank slate!

Tom's-bathroom-sink-before

I was really excited to try Smart Tiles for the first time for this project. I don’t have much experience tiling so the fact that these tiles have a peel and stick backing was a welcome simplification – there’s no grout or specialized tools needed so the installation is quick and mess free. I chose the Capri Taupe Smart Tiles from the Mosaik collection because of their beautiful stone and glossy dual finish

Smart-Tile-other-Mosaik-Capri-tiles

I needed 4 tiles to cover the length of the vanity – they are easy to cut using a ruler and utility knife. I cut all the tiles to be 7 inches high and and for the first tile, I also cut off the ends to have a clean edge.

Smart-Tiles-cutting-the-tile

I cleaned the wall with TSP to remove all the dust and grease, marked the height of the tile on the wall and then used a level to trace out the line. I removed some of the existing caulking where the tile meets the vanity to ensure that the tiles sits flush at the bottom. To install the tile, I first peeled back a couple of inches of the backing, used the line as a guide to make sure the tile is straight and then removed the rest of the backing and pressed the tile on wall.

Smart-Tile-Peeling-off-the-backing

Smart-Tile-Installing-first-tile

For the last tile at the edge of the wall, the remaining space was a bit awkward to measure so I used a sheet of paper as a template and used that to cut the tile.

Smart-Tile-corner-tile-template

For a more finished look around the tiles, I used a Smart Edge Brillo (silver) and for a nice clean corner, I cut the ends at a 45 degree angle.

Smart-Tiles-coner-edge-installation

A quick trick to make sure you get a perfect 45 degree cut every time is to first draw a straight line on your scrap piece of wood with a speed square and then use the 45 degree side of the speed square to cut the Smart Edge.

Smart-Tiles-corner-edge-cutting

And there you have it, for about $40 and in less than an hour, the backsplash was done and it looks absolutely beautiful!

Smart-Tiles-bathroom-backsplash-by-Engineer-Your-Space-cropped

It completely transformed the bathroom as you can see in this before and after picture:

Before-and-after-right-side-watermarked

You can see how I did the entire bathroom makeover, including the backsplash and how I tackled the very dated and uncentered lighting fixture above the vanity, in this video:

** This post was sponsored by Smart Tiles – all thoughts and opinions are my own **