Thursday, October 8, 2015

17 UHeart Organizing: Budget Friendly Bathroom Shelving

I remember when we first moved into our home and one of the first things I purchased was an expensive over-the-loo etagere.  And when we went to update the bathroom, funny enough, it was the first thing to go.

Sure, the storage was great... but it was visually bulky and wobbly and didn't allow me to add styling and character to our bathroom.  Every since then, open shelving has had my heart.

The lovely DIY Playbook duo is here today to share how they whipped up some beautiful, yet budget friendly, shelves for their bathroom nook.  I love how the new shelves visually changed the space, offered functionality and also provided them a place to add in some personality and pizzazz.

My husband Finn & I recently purchased our first home together... a condo in the city of Chicago. We've been moved in for about a month now, and things are slooooowly starting to take shape around here. And when I say slow, I mean it. We're trying to make intentional decisions as we decorate this new space, so we don't end up with design regret. Instead of rushing to hang things on the walls and fill up every nook & cranny, we're first living in the space to see how we use it on an everyday basis. Sounds easy enough... but it's hard for this Type-A, list-loving gal to sit back and take things slooow, when all I really want to do is get 'er done.

One room that we've struggled with is our master bathroom. It's a beautiful, large space but it lacks storage. The only place for bathroom items are the two cabinets underneath the vanity. Other than the vanity cabinets, there are no drawers or a linen closet, and there is no way all of my toiletries are fitting in this space. From day one, we knew that we had to up the storage.

Here's a view of our not-so-glamorous potty. This area seemed like the ideal candidate for an upgrade, and I realized that my favorite DIY shelves would work perfectly in this space. I could utilize the bare wall above the toilet, add some personality, and incorporate some secret storage. That's a win-win-win in my playbook!

  • Wood (Cut to size at the hardware store)
  • 3 sets of these IKEA shelf brackets
  • Wood Stain (I used the finish Jacobean)
  • Rag & gloves
  • Level
  • Painter's Tape
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil/Pen
  • Anchors & Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill with regular & pilot hole bits

I first measured the area over the toilet and decided to go with wood shelves that were 21 inches long. I found wood at the hardware store, had the guy cut it right in store (for F-R-E-E!) and brought it on home. Then, I got to work staining. I chose the color "Jacobean" to match our newly stained hardwood floors. When staining, I always wear gloves and I just dip a rag in the stain and rub it over the wood. 1 coat, and you're good to go!

I let my wood dry for a couple of days, and then got ready to install them.

The hardest part of this project is the installation. It's not crazy difficult, it just requires some attention to detail. A pen, tape measure, and level will be your best friends for this portion of the project.

In order to make sure my shelves were vertically aligned, I put painter's tape on the wall and used a level to make sure they were straight. I then figured out where I wanted my shelves and marked the wall at all 3 spots. I ended up spacing each shelf about 14 inches apart, but you can do whatever works for you and your space.

These particular brackets call for 2 holes on each side. So I marked the holes for 1 bracket at a time, and then got out my drill to make some pilot holes.

Rookie Tip: Put a piece of painter's tape on your drill bit that is the length of your anchor/screw. That way you don't go too deep into the wall when drilling.

With my pilot holes made, I then drilled in my anchors and then attached the bracket with screws. Next I made the holes and inserted the anchors for the other bracket, and then slide the wood into place before attaching the second bracket to the wall.

Rookie Tip: This is when another set of hands would come in.... well, handy. You can do this by yourself (I did), but you'll cut the amount of curse words, excessive sweating, and dropped tools if you grab a buddy to help you.

In fact, Bridget & I installed these same shelves in her sister's kitchen last year. Here's a little time lapse of the installation process.

If only it was that fast in real life!

After one shelf is up... moving on down to level two.

And before you know it you'll be on your third and final (!) shelf.

Now time for the best part... the styling & organizing!

I decided to showcase some personality on these shelves with sentimental items and artwork. Our favorite vases, a Chicago record, and colorful art really "pretty up" these rustic shelves.

I love incorporating some nature into every space. So greenery and fresh flowers were a no brainer!

I'm so happy that I was able to add some decor & personality on these DIY shelves, but what I love even more is the extra storage they provide.

A shot glass corrals rogue bobby pins. And you'd never know that this pretty white jar holds q-tips and cotton balls!

A bowl of matches from our favorite dinner spots are gathered together in a decorative bowl. Matches in the bathroom are always a great idea to eliminate odors. #sofreshsoclean

I used a wicker basket to store extra toilet paper that was taking up valuable real estate underneath our vanity.

I'm thrilled with our new master bathroom shelves, but I'm even more excited that I crossed something off our mile-long home to-do list.


"Hey There! We're Bridget and Casey, the best friends, Chicago gals, and editors behind The DIY Playbook. Even though we consider ourselves busy girls with full-time jobs, husbands, and never ending to-do lists, we believe there is always time to add personality to our homes. On our blog, we strive to inspire our readers to inject their sparkling personalities into their own spaces with affordable and attainable solutions. We heart Instagram, can't turn down a cup of coffee, have no clue what we're doing in the kitchen, and are beyond excited to be part of the IHeart Organizing team!"

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

38 DIY Herringbone Pattern Headboard

Hello superstar readers!  I would like so start out with one more jumbo sized THANK YOU for last week's love.  Taking a few days off has definitely done me some good.  Although I am not diving back into a full time posting schedule just yet, I have been planning out a few new post ideas that I am really excited about.  I was also able to log quite a few hours finalizing the release of my 2016 planner, which was really fun for me to focus on.  For those of you waiting on the new printables, I sincerely appreciate your patience and hope to have them out to you very soon.

I have mentioned in a few recent posts that with our oldest son starting High School this year, our gift to him is a bedroom that better fits his age and lifestyle.  We had already done a few things for his space over the past couple of years, but now I am on a quest to finish it up and create something a bit more cohesive and functional.  So far we have DIY'd a wall study organizer and organized his newly painted armoire.  Today, I am sharing the headboard we recently built for him, which is now the new focal point in his room.

Bryan and I have been wanting to do a herringbone wood project for quite a few years now, so when we discussed potential headboard patterns with Preston, we were excited with his selection.  Although some folks may be ready to say farewell to herringbone as the chevron trend fizzles, I think it is a fantastically classic pattern that we will continue to love for many years to come.

To come up with the final size of the headboard, we added a couple of inches to the width of the mattress and selected a height that would allow the pattern to remain visible above a stack of pillows.


To get started, we drew a template on the piece of MDF to determine measurements and angles (all angles ended up being 45 degrees).  We drew the first line down the center of the board and divided it into four sections to create the pattern.  Then we used one of the 1" x 3" boards to trace the correct pattern size.

The next step was to cut the 1" x 3" boards to fit the pattern.  This was one of "those" projects in which I figured we would just pre-cut all of the boards, glue them in place and call it an easy peasy day.  Then, Bryan stepped in and decided to measure and cut each board specific to the placement on the MDF board based on how the pattern was evolving (to prevent any cuts from being too long or short or creating imperfections and gaps).  The basic steps for this project were to measure, cut, glue, nail and repeat until we completed the entire pattern.

The carpenter's square was helpful in drawing the 45 degree angles on the 1" x 3" boards.

All of the angled cuts were done with the miter saw.

Once a board was cut, it was affixed to the MDF with wood glue.

We initially started the project by also nailing the boards up through the back to prevent the show of any nail holes, however, this was essentially doubling the entire time of an already long project and became more and more challenging as we worked our way to the center of the board.  Eventually, we switched to nailing on the front side.

The carpenter's square was also a really nice aid in keeping the boards straight while nailing.

The plan from the beginning was to cover the entire piece of MDF with the pattern and use our circular saw to slice down each edge of the headboard for a nice and straight finish.  So as we went, the final pine pieces began to hang over the edges of the MDF board.

We used the saw to clean up the perimeter prior to trimming it out with the 1" x 2" boards.

The next step was to fill the visible nail holes.  This normally doesn't make me think twice when we are painting something (we just use whatever wood filler or painter's caulk we have on hand), but being that we were staining this decorative piece of furniture, I wanted to keep them as discreet as possible.

I found a stainable wood filler at Home Depot, as well as a plastic putty knife.

I filled the holes by placing the wood filler on my finger and rubbing it over the hole. I followed behind by scraping everything nice and smooth with the putty knife.

You will know you did a good job if your fingers look like they could be the starring role of a horror film. #gross  After washing up, I went over the entire headboard with a fine grit sanding block and followed up with a vacuum and a slightly damp rag to remove all of the dust.

Once the putty was dry, I grabbed the pre-stain, stain and polyurethane.

Being that I wanted a consistent finish over the entire headboard, I began with a pre-stain wood conditioner which I applied with a brush.

After the pre-stain was applied and dry, I noticed that the wood filler became a bit more prominent because it absorbs differently than the actual wood.  So, we went back over the entire surface with the palm sander to remove any excess filler and ensure everything was super smooth.

I applied one more coat of the pre-stain as well as two coats of Early American by Varathane (the same stain finish I used on the wall organizer).  I used a brush to apply the stain in the direction of the wood grain, let it sit for a couple of minutes and then wiped it down with a soft rag (a foam brush also works well for staining). 

I waited 24 hours before applying the second coat of stain.  The nail holes were still slightly visible, but the second coat really helped to disguise them.  Another 24 hours later I applied a coat of the Triple Thick Polyurethane (which dries clear and only requires a single coat).

The initial plan was to hang the headboard on the wall, however, once it was finished it was extremely heavy.  We ultimately opted to affix the headboard to the bed frame by adding two legs with some scrap 1" x 2" boards, which were screwed to the back of the MDF.

Preston sort of initiated this makeover by moving his bed to the center of his room one day... Now it is the statement maker of the entire space!

The warmth of the wood partners really nicely with all of the blues and grays throughout the room.

We still have a few things planned to really finish up the space; such as adding in some art, photos and personal items, as well as updating the lighting situation.  I am still toying with the idea of adding a very subtle pattern to the upper portion of the room (and maybe even painting the decorative moulding).  Once I finish installing the remainder of the items and organize a few of the piles sitting in the corner, I will show how the entire space pulls together.  Until then, you will find us all randomly popping our heads into Preston's room just to ooh and ahh at our latest project.  That's not at all annoying to a teenage boy, is it?

We always learn something with each project and maybe would have done a thing or two differently.  It was not necessarily difficult, just extremely time consuming with the amount of measuring and cutting it required (a perfect project for a day of watching football).  We definitely could have simplified the pattern and cuts but I am so very happy we didn't.  And if you really wanted to prevent any nail holes on the face, I think the pieces could have simply been attached with a construction grade adhesive, and they would have remained in place just fine once framed out.  

As excited as I am about how the project turned out in general, the sentimental side of me really loves that Preston now has a piece in his room built by his parents.  And it is also a piece he can take with him when he heads off to college someday, or even hand down to his own kids.  #mushymom
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