Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

DIY Burlap Bulletin Board


When we moved in our house five years ago, I envisioned a large bulletin board above the butcher block to keep things organized. Instead we’ve been living with a cluttered corner on our kitchen counter. When the pile got too high, we would “binge organize” and purge papers till the pile is down to an acceptable size. Needless to say, this DIY burlap bulletin board is long overdue. I’ve seen similar products at Ballard Design, Pottery Barn and Etsy. This one was made with a fraction of the cost.



  • Stretched canvas (I upcycled a used canvas from the art department at school)
  • Burlap (mine is from the fabulous
  • Upholstery tacks
  • Cork tiles
  • Hot glue gun
  • Rubber hammer
  • Nail gun

Step 1: Trim the burlap to size. I cut mine to be 10 inches larger than the canvas dimensions. You may need to adjust the allowance depending on the thickness of your canvas.

Step 2: Center the canvas on top of the fabric. Start at the center of one side; wrap the burlap around the frame then staple. Continue this process towards the corners. Once the first side is stapled, move on to the opposite side. Be sure to pull the burlap taught. If you prefer a clean edge, fold the raw edges in first then staple like I did here.

burlap bulletin 1

Step 3: Wrap the corners, fold as neatly as you can. The material here will be a bit bulky. Don’t be afraid to shoot several staples to hold it in place.

burlap bulletin 2

Step 4 (optional): Cut a piece of burlap with a finished edge of desired width. Staple it to the bottom edge of the board to create a pocket. Originally, I planned to use webbing but the green trim the burlap came with was too cute not to feature.

burlap bulletin 3

Step 5: Place upholstery tacks along the edges with even spacing. I used a measuring tape as a guide to help with spacing and straightness. Given the tacks a good press so they stay in place, then hammer in with a rubber hammer. If you like a more distressed look, use a regular hammer instead.

burlap bulletin 4

Step 6: Place the cork tiles on the back of the canvas, trim the excess with scissors. Secure in place with hot glue.

 burlap bulletin 5

I’m really happy with how the bulletin board turned out. I don’t know why I waited this long to tackle this project. Do you have cluttered corners or piles of paper you’re dying to organize? Do you have any tips on to keep mail/reminders/coupons organized?

burlap bulletin board 7

Hide Those TV Components

I’ll be the first to admit it—I love TV. My husband thinks that I enjoy watching TV so much because I did not experience cable TV until I went to college. Yup, I grew up with channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, & 13, which seemed just fine to me. Now, what I don’t particularly love about TV is the number of wires/components that go with it.

When we first moved in, we used a large cabinet as our TV stand. It housed all TV/Wireless related components, DVDs, photo albums, and the occasional other random thing or two. Everything was hidden out of sight.

A clear sign of recent moving- sparse rooms

A clear sign of recent moving- sparse rooms

After being in our house a year and a half, it was my project to breathe some new life into our living room. As much as I loved the green piece, I knew I wanted to move it to the bay window and use it to hold platters and things of that nature. Instead of a bulky piece of furniture, I wanted an open piece for our TV in order to keep the room airy.

While furniture shopping with my mother in law, we found this console table at Pottery Barn on super-super clearance, and I knew it was meant to be.

*image taken from Google*

*image taken from Google*

The first thing I wanted to do was lift the TV off the stand and mount it on the wall. Since we didn’t want wires hanging down, we purchased this fabulous kit by PowerBridge that forces the wires to go behind the wall.

*image taken from amazon*

*image taken from amazon*

It was a matter of cutting two rectangles into the wall, hooking up the wires, and mounting the TV to the wall. It was a quick, two person job, and I just love having the TV off of the table.

Now, what to do with our cable box, router, and wireless access point/back up hard drive? I was not a fan of how they looked sitting out under the table—it was a bit lackluster and too much metal going on.

P1030557It didn’t take but a minute to think of a solution—hide it in a pretty basket of some sort. Yet again I was off on another quest to Homegoods. While I liked the baskets, I was drawn to something else. You’ve all seen the boxes that look like books:

bookThey were smaller than a basket, yet big enough for the things I needed hidden. They were also more sturdy and would allow me to stack one on top of the other.

The only thing I needed to modify was that I wanted air to circulate around the components. My lovely husband pointed out that it would be quite easy to cut the back side of the box, allowing plenty of air flow. I suppose you could do this with a handsaw (it might be hard to get a perfectly straight line), but he used our trusty jigsaw.

cut book

With the TV wires and components now hidden, I’m one happy couch potato!





Powder Room Face Lift

We found our townhouse when we weren’t even seriously looking to move. We saw this house had popped up via foreclosure and when we went for a walk through we knew that the opportunity was too good to pass up. The house was in no means unlivable (compared to my old condo—which upon seeing it for the first time with my father I literally cried while he was like a child in a candy store). The house just needed a bit of TLC and some elbow grease, which we were more than willing to do.

It’s been a process, but we’ve chipped our way along most of the rooms in the house, trying to turn the damaged or lackluster spaces into something a bit more cozy and to our taste. Unfortunately, we’re not Rockefellers, so we’ve had to be very conscious of budgeting money for projects and choosing where to save and where to splurge just a wee bit.

The powder room in our house was a great candidate for a face lift. Here’s a shot before we moved in:


Not bad at all—the brown paint was a lot more intense than it seems in the photo, and the toilet, as in most vacant houses, had seen much better days. There was no mirror, towel bar, or lighting fixture—the bank had sold off these types of things in the entire house. These were some easy fixes.

As the entire house had each room a different color (seriously– avocado green, navy blue, purple, both light and dark, orange, brown, sea foam green, and one in a peachy Venetian plaster faux finish), we chose to have it professionally painted one color before we moved in. With a two story foyer and crazy vaulted ceilings, it was worth it to us to pay to have the whole place painted a neutral color. We could then decide individual room paint colors later on and do this ourselves. We chose Wool Skein by Sherwin Williams- a great, warm neutral color.

wool skein joined

Here’s a shot after the neutral color went on as well as after we put in a new toilet (sorry it’s dark).


After adding a mirror, lighting fixture, towel bar, and toilet paper holder, the bathroom was fresh and functional. We left it this way for a little over a year and a half as we focused our attention on other spaces.

Since we decorated our living space on the first floor in hues of greens, blues, and creams, it was time to revisit the powder room.  We wanted to coordinate the bathroom with the living space and newly constructed built in entertainment center.

It didn’t take much to further transform this bathroom. I love the look of beadboard in a bathroom, especially in a half bath where there may not be much character in the space. I think pairing blue or gray paint with white beadboard is a classic look (luckily my husband agrees) so our decision was easily made.

We put up the beadboard which was actually fairly easy to do. It is just a matter of cutting the sheet down to size, holding it against the wall, and using a nail gun to secure it in place—definitely a two person job.

Action shot of my hard worker :)

Action shot of my hard worker :)

We then painted the walls from the top down to where the beadboard started. We came close to the top of the beadboard but were not concerned about being perfect as the chair rail would cover this anyway. The paint color is Aloof Gray by Sherwin Williams. It is a lovely color that I would certainly use again in the future.

aloof gray joinedAfter this dried, we installed the chair rail. We gave the chair rail and beadboard two coats of white paint that we had leftover from painting other trim in our house. After cutting/painting some base molding and then quarter round to match the wood floors, we were all set! This entire project took us a weekend to do.

Keeping with the sailing/Annapolis area theme of the basement, I found two photos, one of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and another of the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. It took a while to find frames that were a good match for the colors in the bathroom. I settled on these Threshold ones from Target:


I just needed a garbage pail and basket for toilet paper, and knew Homegoods was the place to find these. I settled on an antique looking wire basket with burlap lining for our toilet paper holder, and a natural basket for our garbage pail.

Here’s the final product:

P1030510new one P1030520


 before after

I’m very happy with how this mini transformation came out. It was not expensive, took little time to do, and was a huge improvement from the dark cave-like space it used to be.

Have any of you given a mini makeover to your spaces lately?



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