Decor

DIY Renter-Friendly Old Vinyl Floor Makeover

Looking for a renter-friendly way to give your entryway a makeover? Watch how I changed my entryway floor to give it a fresh new look without taking the original old vinyl floor off and without making any permanent changes! The new floor are made with ram board and include a beautiful compass rose design which I made using a Cricut Maker Machine, it was my first project using this machine and it was a lot of fun. You can watch the entire project in this video.

Or if you prefer reading and seeing pictures, I’ve added the entire episode transcript below (with some modifications for clarity)  along with some images to highlight the main steps. 

Episode Transcripts and Highlights

I recently gave my tiny entryway (it’s only 3ft x 3ft) a makeover to brighten it up and I was liking the changes I had done except that now the old vinyl flooring was standing out like a sore thumb. It was just begging for a new look! 

Brainstorming ideas on how I could do this in a renter friendly way, I thought about the ram board that I used to create a dramatic textured black wall in my bedroom. It’s meant to be used to protect floors during construction so it’s very sturdy. Since the rolls are three feet wide, I would be able to cover the entire entryway floor with one piece. 

Then I could paint it a light color and also incorporate a classic Compass Rose design like this one.

I started by painting the ram board. I did the first coat with paint that I had leftover from my office makeover (it was the type of paint that has primer combined). And because this will be on the floor in a high traffic area. I added two coats of floor paint in a light Arctic gray color. I found out the hard way that it’s very important for that first coat of paint to have some primer in it. Otherwise, putting the floor paint directly on the rim board may cause it to dent or warp in some areas. 

After letting the paint dry overnight, it was time to tackle the compass rose design. I considered painting it but it would have taken me hours to get it just right, so I was happy to try out the Cricut Maker Machine to make this part of the project go a lot quicker and easier. 

Once the machine was powered and connected to my computer,  it just took a few minutes to download the Cricut Design Space software and get started. I arranged all the triangles in a way that would maximize the use of the material being cut. 

It’s so much fun to watch the machine cut everything so precisely and quickly. It only took minutes to cut both the dark and light pieces for my compass rose.

With the compass rose triangles cut, I drew the middle lines so I could line up all the triangles with the center of the floor.

Then I painted the border. This took me way longer to do because of having to tape and do several coats of the paint. Plus you can see that the edges were far from perfect and needed lots of touching up.

To secure the cardboard to the vinyl flooring, I use the same removable double sided tape that I  used for my bedroom project

I also placed strips of removable double sided carpet tape in the middle of the floor, and that was to make sure that the cardboard didn’t lift off the floor. I chose this tape because it’s very thin and won’t make any indentation in the cardboard. 

I removed the tape backing only at the front edge initially to make it easier to line up.

Once I had that front section secured. I moved gradually towards the back of the entryway removing the tape backing section by section, until it was all secured in place. Getting a perfect fit around the edges can be tricky but if you have gaps, molding can hide any imperfections. As I was admiring this new floor, I started thinking that having some black to the compass rose design would make it stand out a lot more. It only took minutes to reload the cricut maker machine and cut the new triangles in black.

After doing just the large triangles I felt like that was enough black so I decided to go with this version.

I also made the thin line of my border black but instead of painting it, I used vinyl tape to make this part go quicker.

The last step to protect the floor was to add two coats of glossy polyurethane. It gives such a nice sheen to the floor, and it also sealed around all of the edges of the vinyl pieces, so I can Swiffer the floor without having to worry about any of the pieces coming off.

What a difference from the original floor, and while I did like the two color Compass Rose, I much prefer the one with the black. I find it adds a lot more life and dimension to the design. 

*This project was sponsored by Cricut all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Looking for a renter-friendly way to give your entryway a makeover? Watch how I changed my entryway floor to give it a fresh new look without taking the original old vinyl floor off and without making any permanent changes! The new floor are made with ram board and include a beautiful compass rose design which I made using a Cricut Maker Machine, it was my first project using this machine and it was a lot of fun. You can watch the entire project in this video.

Or if you prefer reading and seeing pictures, I’ve added the entire episode transcript below (with some modifications for clarity)  along with some images to highlight the main steps. 

Episode Transcripts and Highlights

I recently gave my tiny entryway (it’s only 3ft x 3ft) a makeover to brighten it up and I was liking the changes I had done except that now the old vinyl flooring was standing out like a sore thumb. It was just begging for a new look! 

Brainstorming ideas on how I could do this in a renter friendly way, I thought about the ram board that I used to create a dramatic textured black wall in my bedroom. It’s meant to be used to protect floors during construction so it’s very sturdy. Since the rolls are three feet wide, I would be able to cover the entire entryway floor with one piece. 

Then I could paint it a light color and also incorporate a classic Compass Rose design like this one.

I started by painting the ram board. I did the first coat with paint that I had leftover from my office makeover (it was the type of paint that has primer combined). And because this will be on the floor in a high traffic area. I added two coats of floor paint in a light Arctic gray color. I found out the hard way that it’s very important for that first coat of paint to have some primer in it. Otherwise, putting the floor paint directly on the rim board may cause it to dent or warp in some areas. 

After letting the paint dry overnight, it was time to tackle the compass rose design. I considered painting it but it would have taken me hours to get it just right, so I was happy to try out the Cricut Maker Machine to make this part of the project go a lot quicker and easier. 

Once the machine was powered and connected to my computer,  it just took a few minutes to download the Cricut Design Space software and get started. I arranged all the triangles in a way that would maximize the use of the material being cut. 

It’s so much fun to watch the machine cut everything so precisely and quickly. It only took minutes to cut both the dark and light pieces for my compass rose.

With the compass rose triangles cut, I drew the middle lines so I could line up all the triangles with the center of the floor.

Then I painted the border. This took me way longer to do because of having to tape and do several coats of the paint. Plus you can see that the edges were far from perfect and needed lots of touching up.

To secure the cardboard to the vinyl flooring, I use the same removable double sided tape that I  used for my bedroom project

I also placed strips of removable double sided carpet tape in the middle of the floor, and that was to make sure that the cardboard didn’t lift off the floor. I chose this tape because it’s very thin and won’t make any indentation in the cardboard. 

I removed the tape backing only at the front edge initially to make it easier to line up.

Once I had that front section secured. I moved gradually towards the back of the entryway removing the tape backing section by section, until it was all secured in place. Getting a perfect fit around the edges can be tricky but if you have gaps, molding can hide any imperfections. As I was admiring this new floor, I started thinking that having some black to the compass rose design would make it stand out a lot more. It only took minutes to reload the cricut maker machine and cut the new triangles in black.

After doing just the large triangles I felt like that was enough black so I decided to go with this version.

I also made the thin line of my border black but instead of painting it, I used vinyl tape to make this part go quicker.

The last step to protect the floor was to add two coats of glossy polyurethane. It gives such a nice sheen to the floor, and it also sealed around all of the edges of the vinyl pieces, so I can Swiffer the floor without having to worry about any of the pieces coming off.

What a difference from the original floor, and while I did like the two color Compass Rose, I much prefer the one with the black. I find it adds a lot more life and dimension to the design. 

*This project was sponsored by Cricut all thoughts and opinions are my own.

DIY renter-friendly old vinyl floor makeover

Products I used in this project:

Ram Board

Cricut Maker Machine

Products I used in this project:

Ram Board

Cricut Maker Machine

Kitchen upgrade and more with under-cabinet lights

Thank you to Parmida LED for sponsoring this video! Here’s the link to the ultra-thin under-cabinet lights I used in the kitchen mini-makeover, my entryway and my home office update: https://bit.ly/eysundercabinetlights

Thank you to Parmida LED for sponsoring this video! Here’s the link to the ultra-thin under-cabinet lights I used in the kitchen mini-makeover, my entryway and my home office update: https://bit.ly/eysundercabinetlights

DIY small office makeover – home office inspiration

You will get lots of DIY renter-friendly home office decor ideas in this video, including how to have a hidden whiteboard, and office organization ideas, especially if your office space is very small. 

Here are some of the items I used in this makeover (most of the wood I already had):

Pendant lamp: http://bit.ly/pendantlampwood

Plug-in Lamp kit: http://bit.ly/pluginpendantkit 

Magnetic whiteboard: https://amzn.to/2PetzfW

Smart LED light bulbs: https://amzn.to/2YCpu8P 

Barn door hardware:

Patio Door roller kit (for wheels): http://amzn.to/2npLxTd 

Aluminum flat bar (¼” thick 8ft long):  https://thd.co/2zFvZvU 

Stainless steel straws (for spacers): http://amzn.to/2BBvHrr 

Hacksaw: http://amzn.to/2kgMxYh 

Mini Pipe cutter: http://amzn.to/2AO0MLl 

Regular Barn Door Hardware: http://amzn.to/2jECUyY

* some of these product links may be affiliate links

You will get lots of DIY renter-friendly home office decor ideas in this video, including how to have a hidden whiteboard, and office organization ideas, especially if your office space is very small. 

Here are some of the items I used in this makeover (most of the wood I already had):

Pendant lamp: http://bit.ly/pendantlampwood

Plug-in Lamp kit: http://bit.ly/pluginpendantkit 

Magnetic whiteboard: https://amzn.to/2PetzfW

Smart LED light bulbs: https://amzn.to/2YCpu8P 

Barn door hardware:

Patio Door roller kit (for wheels): http://amzn.to/2npLxTd 

Aluminum flat bar (¼” thick 8ft long):  https://thd.co/2zFvZvU 

Stainless steel straws (for spacers): http://amzn.to/2BBvHrr 

Hacksaw: http://amzn.to/2kgMxYh 

Mini Pipe cutter: http://amzn.to/2AO0MLl 

Regular Barn Door Hardware: http://amzn.to/2jECUyY

* some of these product links may be affiliate links

Easy renter-friendly lighting upgrade, no electrician needed!

Thank you to the folks at Signify for introducing me to the amazing Philips Hue smart LED light bulbs with Bluetooth – such an easy way to customize your home lighting. As a renter, these lightbulbs are the perfect solution to upgrade the way I control the lights in my bedroom!  And I like the fact that I’ll be able to reuse them in the next home I move into!

Thank you to the folks at Signify for introducing me to the amazing Philips Hue smart LED light bulbs with Bluetooth – such an easy way to customize your home lighting. As a renter, these lightbulbs are the perfect solution to upgrade the way I control the lights in my bedroom!  And I like the fact that I’ll be able to reuse them in the next home I move into!

Color inspiration: Black feature wall without painting the wall

After giving my bedroom a makeover, I got this crazy idea to make a black feature wall – problem is that I’m a renter and I’m not supposed to paint my walls, or if I do paint, then I need to put it back to white before I move out. I didn’t want to have to repaint so I got creative and came up with a way to cover the entire wall to make it black, all without a drop of paint touching the actual wall!

Here’s what I used to make it happen:

Ram board

Double sided tape

Contact Paper

After giving my bedroom a makeover, I got this crazy idea to make a black feature wall – problem is that I’m a renter and I’m not supposed to paint my walls, or if I do paint, then I need to put it back to white before I move out. I didn’t want to have to repaint so I got creative and came up with a way to cover the entire wall to make it black, all without a drop of paint touching the actual wall!

Here’s what I used to make it happen:

Ram board

Double sided tape

Contact Paper

DIY Murphy bed / wall bed with hardware kit & DIY LED lights

The 200 ft2 rental studio apartment I’m working on needed a Murphy bed so I built one with an industrial inspired interior complete with lighting. I did it using basic hand tools (no table saw or track saw), and without a workshop or fancy woodworking tools. It’s only the start for this studio apartment, lots more projects to come!

My Murphy bed hardware kit is from https://murphybeddepot.com/ and here’s some of the handy tools and supplies I used to build this Murphy Bed: 

WORX portable work bench

WORX cordless circular saw

Mini clamps

Carpenter square

Speed square

Veneer edge trimmer

Drill

Sander

Wood edging – 250 ft for $28

Stain (Briarsmoke)

Inside color: BEHR Butter Rum

The 200 ft2 rental studio apartment I’m working on needed a Murphy bed so I built one with an industrial inspired interior complete with lighting. I did it using basic hand tools (no table saw or track saw), and without a workshop or fancy woodworking tools. It’s only the start for this studio apartment, lots more projects to come!

My Murphy bed hardware kit is from https://murphybeddepot.com/ and here’s some of the handy tools and supplies I used to build this Murphy Bed: 

WORX portable work bench

WORX cordless circular saw

Mini clamps

Carpenter square

Speed square

Veneer edge trimmer

Drill

Sander

Wood edging – 250 ft for $28

Stain (Briarsmoke)

Inside color: BEHR Butter Rum

#Engineeryourspace inspired spotlight: The DIY Drum Shade

Eight years ago, I created Engineer Your Space and launched my YouTube Channel and blog with 4 videos. One of those videos was titled: “how to make a DIY drum shade” – I wasn’t sure when I published it if anyone would watch a 15 minute video about making a drum shade, and at first nobody did. Then a few months in, something amazing happened: Apartment Therapy featured my project on their website and I got invited to give a presentation about it at their design evenings in NYC. 

Apartment Therapy Design Evening 4-11-2012

Just like that, my channel and blog started getting noticed and people started watching. Eight years later, that video continues to get thousands of views every month and now has over 750,000 views. Crazy! It’s amazing to me that the content continues to resonate with people (despite the poor video quality and my beginner skills at video production!). I guess I’m not the only person out there looking for an inexpensive, electrician free way to deal with unsightly ceiling light fixtures. To this day, I continue to receive pictures of custom drum shades that people have made. This gorgeous shade was hand crafted by Libby, from Victoria, BC, to cover up an old ceiling fixture in a bedroom.

Libby Victoria BC drum shade

This beautiful drum shade is the creation of Maria which she made to upgrade a pendant lamp in her dining room.

Drum-shade-by-Maria (1) copy

I love seeing these beautiful creations with different colors and textures because I still remember the happiness I felt when I covered up my ugly lighting fixtures with something beautiful that reflected my style and personality. It was a very small thing, but the impact it had on how I felt about my home was huge. It was such an empowering feeling to know that even as a renter, I could also have a beautiful and functional home that was just right for me. I didn’t have to wait until I owned a home or spend tons of money, I could have it right now! 

NYC-custom-DIY-Drum-shade

There is so much joy that comes from seeing beyond the flaws and limitations of your space and my hope with Engineer Your Space is to empower everyone to see the possibilities for making themselves at home no matter if they own or rent,  how big or how small their space and budget are. With just a little bit of imagination and elbow grease, you CAN have a home that is both beautiful and functional, a home that represents who you are, and ultimately a home you love.  

Keep sharing your #engineeryourspace inspired project by sending me your pics, along with a brief description, via DM on Instagram or at info@engineeryourspace.com. I love seeing what you’ve created! And if you want to see more #engineeryourspace inspired projects, check out my Pinterest board here. 

Here’s to making yourself at home, no matter where you live!

 

Eight years ago, I created Engineer Your Space and launched my YouTube Channel and blog with 4 videos. One of those videos was titled: “how to make a DIY drum shade” – I wasn’t sure when I published it if anyone would watch a 15 minute video about making a drum shade, and at first nobody did. Then a few months in, something amazing happened: Apartment Therapy featured my project on their website and I got invited to give a presentation about it at their design evenings in NYC. 

Apartment Therapy Design Evening 4-11-2012

Just like that, my channel and blog started getting noticed and people started watching. Eight years later, that video continues to get thousands of views every month and now has over 750,000 views. Crazy! It’s amazing to me that the content continues to resonate with people (despite the poor video quality and my beginner skills at video production!). I guess I’m not the only person out there looking for an inexpensive, electrician free way to deal with unsightly ceiling light fixtures. To this day, I continue to receive pictures of custom drum shades that people have made. This gorgeous shade was hand crafted by Libby, from Victoria, BC, to cover up an old ceiling fixture in a bedroom.

Libby Victoria BC drum shade

This beautiful drum shade is the creation of Maria which she made to upgrade a pendant lamp in her dining room.

Drum-shade-by-Maria (1) copy

I love seeing these beautiful creations with different colors and textures because I still remember the happiness I felt when I covered up my ugly lighting fixtures with something beautiful that reflected my style and personality. It was a very small thing, but the impact it had on how I felt about my home was huge. It was such an empowering feeling to know that even as a renter, I could also have a beautiful and functional home that was just right for me. I didn’t have to wait until I owned a home or spend tons of money, I could have it right now! 

NYC-custom-DIY-Drum-shade

There is so much joy that comes from seeing beyond the flaws and limitations of your space and my hope with Engineer Your Space is to empower everyone to see the possibilities for making themselves at home no matter if they own or rent,  how big or how small their space and budget are. With just a little bit of imagination and elbow grease, you CAN have a home that is both beautiful and functional, a home that represents who you are, and ultimately a home you love.  

Keep sharing your #engineeryourspace inspired project by sending me your pics, along with a brief description, via DM on Instagram or at info@engineeryourspace.com. I love seeing what you’ve created! And if you want to see more #engineeryourspace inspired projects, check out my Pinterest board here. 

Here’s to making yourself at home, no matter where you live!

 

My LA Bedroom Makeover

 

Not sure why I waited so long to give my bedroom a new look – I love it so much more now! Lots of  small bedroom ideas for renters in this makeover: hanging blackout curtains and sheer curtains to replace vertical blinds, DIY nightstand, DIY headboard, electrical cord organization, and much more! All of these ideas are quick and affordable to do and here are some of the things that I used to make this makeover happen:

NoNo brackets
Drapery Pins (to hang curtains from vertical blind clips)
Curtain rod
Black out curtains
Glue Dots Flex tabs
Smart LED lightbulbs
WORX workbench
3M Command strips – removable
Brooklinen Bed Linens

Here’s the video on how to make the side table:

And here’s the video on how to make the headboard:

 

 

 

Not sure why I waited so long to give my bedroom a new look – I love it so much more now! Lots of  small bedroom ideas for renters in this makeover: hanging blackout curtains and sheer curtains to replace vertical blinds, DIY nightstand, DIY headboard, electrical cord organization, and much more! All of these ideas are quick and affordable to do and here are some of the things that I used to make this makeover happen:

NoNo brackets
Drapery Pins (to hang curtains from vertical blind clips)
Curtain rod
Black out curtains
Glue Dots Flex tabs
Smart LED lightbulbs
WORX workbench
3M Command strips – removable
Brooklinen Bed Linens

Here’s the video on how to make the side table:

And here’s the video on how to make the headboard:

 

 

How to build a small bedside table

Necessity is the mother of all inventions…. I needed a new bedside table to go with the  DIY headboard I made a few weeks ago, I had a pile of scrap wood, plus I got some great new toys, I mean tools!, including a portable work bench and a circular saw, and this is the result: a one of a kind sculptural bedside table!

Here’s a list of some of the tools and materials I used to make this table:

Tools:

Circular saw

Drill

Materials:

1”x3”

1”x4”

¾” plywood

Iron-on wood edging

Wood glue

SPAX Screws

Necessity is the mother of all inventions…. I needed a new bedside table to go with the  DIY headboard I made a few weeks ago, I had a pile of scrap wood, plus I got some great new toys, I mean tools!, including a portable work bench and a circular saw, and this is the result: a one of a kind sculptural bedside table!

Here’s a list of some of the tools and materials I used to make this table:

Tools:

Circular saw

Drill

Materials:

1”x3”

1”x4”

¾” plywood

Iron-on wood edging

Wood glue

SPAX Screws

One DIY Headboard with Two Different Looks

When I moved into my LA apartment,  I had bought a bed frame that didn’t have a headboard – the plan was to build one that would have legs that could simply be wedged between the bed and the wall and not require to be screwed into anything. The first version of the headboard was upholstered with burlap and I loved it but over time, it got a bit discolored so I used that as an excuse to come up with a new look for my headboard.

The second version is more sleek and upscale, something you would find in a boutique hotel. The new look was inspired by a previous project where I had build wood wall panels to cover up an ugly wall. I love the way this one turned out and it has inspired me to make over the rest of my bedroom, so stay tuned for that!

Here’s a list of materials that I used to make the upholstered headboard:

3M Command strips – removable
Peel and Stick fabric tape
Burlap 13.5” wide panel fabric
Burlap 3” wide ribbon
Batting
Decorative nails

I recommend protecting the burlap or fabric with UV protectant , otherwise it may become discolored over time.

For the second version of the headboard, I used 1/4″ thick floor underlayment, 1″x2″ furring strips and screen molding to make the panels. Basswood strips were used to pretty up the sides.

I also used SPAX screws for this project which are my favorite – you can give them a try with this SPAX assortment screw pack

When I moved into my LA apartment,  I had bought a bed frame that didn’t have a headboard – the plan was to build one that would have legs that could simply be wedged between the bed and the wall and not require to be screwed into anything. The first version of the headboard was upholstered with burlap and I loved it but over time, it got a bit discolored so I used that as an excuse to come up with a new look for my headboard.

The second version is more sleek and upscale, something you would find in a boutique hotel. The new look was inspired by a previous project where I had build wood wall panels to cover up an ugly wall. I love the way this one turned out and it has inspired me to make over the rest of my bedroom, so stay tuned for that!

Here’s a list of materials that I used to make the upholstered headboard:

3M Command strips – removable
Peel and Stick fabric tape
Burlap 13.5” wide panel fabric
Burlap 3” wide ribbon
Batting
Decorative nails

I recommend protecting the burlap or fabric with UV protectant , otherwise it may become discolored over time.

For the second version of the headboard, I used 1/4″ thick floor underlayment, 1″x2″ furring strips and screen molding to make the panels. Basswood strips were used to pretty up the sides.

I also used SPAX screws for this project which are my favorite – you can give them a try with this SPAX assortment screw pack

Home color inspiration from my Chicago, LA and NYC studio apartments

Looking for ways to add color or personality to your home but can’t or don’t want to paint the walls? You’ll see lots of ideas to add interior color from my Chicago, LA and NYC Studio apartments.

Here are some of my favorite things I’ve used to bring in color and make myself at home no matter where I live:

Curtains

Colored Temporary Wallpaper

Grasscloth Temporary Wallpaper

Flexible Magnetic Sheets

Rugs

Furniture

You can see all the projects I did to my NYC studio apartment in this playlist and all the projects from my LA apartment are in this playlist – enjoy!

Looking for ways to add color or personality to your home but can’t or don’t want to paint the walls? You’ll see lots of ideas to add interior color from my Chicago, LA and NYC Studio apartments.

Here are some of my favorite things I’ve used to bring in color and make myself at home no matter where I live:

Curtains

Colored Temporary Wallpaper

Grasscloth Temporary Wallpaper

Flexible Magnetic Sheets

Rugs

Furniture

You can see all the projects I did to my NYC studio apartment in this playlist and all the projects from my LA apartment are in this playlist – enjoy!

DIY LA balcony makeover

My LA balcony is getting a new look! This makeover is full of small balcony ideas you can use, especially if you live in a rental apartment and can’t make any holes in the walls. I’m in love with the artificial boxwood greenery – it totally transformed the look of my balcony! Here’s some of the other things I used to complete the transformation:

Outdoor moroccan lantern

Outdoor smart LED lights

Double sided removable tape (indoor/outdoor)

Vinyl Rug – it’s not meant to go outdoors but it is waterproof):

You can see what I did to my LA balcony the first time I gave it a makeover in these videos. Enjoy!

My LA balcony is getting a new look! This makeover is full of small balcony ideas you can use, especially if you live in a rental apartment and can’t make any holes in the walls. I’m in love with the artificial boxwood greenery – it totally transformed the look of my balcony! Here’s some of the other things I used to complete the transformation:

Outdoor moroccan lantern

Outdoor smart LED lights

Double sided removable tape (indoor/outdoor)

Vinyl Rug – it’s not meant to go outdoors but it is waterproof):

You can see what I did to my LA balcony the first time I gave it a makeover in these videos. Enjoy!

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

 

DIY room divider sofa bed combo

This quirky school bus conversion out in beautiful Joshua Tree is definitely one of the most unique projects I’ve worked on and my DIY sofa that also doubles as a bed and room divider is definitely one of a kind as well. It was so much fun to build and even though it was made for a bus, it could also work great in a studio apartment to help divide up the space. This is also a very affordable project: the cost, including the seat cushion foam, was $220 and here’s a list of the materials that were used:

Wood filler

¼” plywood

high density foam foam

Batting

Varathane wood stain (color: kona)

9 x 2”x4”s

2 x 4’x8’ 1/2 inch plywood

Spray Adhesive

Staple gun

This quirky school bus conversion out in beautiful Joshua Tree is definitely one of the most unique projects I’ve worked on and my DIY sofa that also doubles as a bed and room divider is definitely one of a kind as well. It was so much fun to build and even though it was made for a bus, it could also work great in a studio apartment to help divide up the space. This is also a very affordable project: the cost, including the seat cushion foam, was $220 and here’s a list of the materials that were used:

Wood filler

¼” plywood

high density foam foam

Batting

Varathane wood stain (color: kona)

9 x 2”x4”s

2 x 4’x8’ 1/2 inch plywood

Spray Adhesive

Staple gun