Basement Playroom Remodel (part 1 of 2) under $300

Map wallpaper finished love

Of all projects playrooms are some of my favorite. When my mom enlisted my help to redo her play room I was ecstatic. My sisters were also on board to help. At the base of her stairs is a large room that all the grandkids play in. Although it’s big (about 14×20) there are no windows, so it’s kinda dark. Also, my mom has 27 grandchildren so the place gets thrashed and she has little desire to buy new furniture for such a crazy zone (I wouldn’t either). Mom is very clean, but here’s a before shot of the playroom AFTER the children hoopla-ed:

playroom redo before 3 playroom redo before 2

Yep, needs help. Her objectives were simple:

  1. Create an inviting room to play
  2. Brighten it up
  3. Make it kid friendly and gender-neutral
  4. Re-purpose existing toys and furniture and stay under $300

The easiest way to brighten a room is paint. We painted the entire room Sherwin-Williams “blue horizon” and it instantly felt better:

Playroom paint

Then we attempted my second-ever wallpaper project. I saw this amazing map on one of my favorite blogs, Oh happy day! and instantly knew it would be perfect. One night when my sisters were in town and the kiddos were finally asleep (so, ya it was really late) we hung the map. Let me just say I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time…

playroon wallpaper fun 2 playroon wallpaper fun!

The wallpaper came in eight sections and was pretty easy to hang, but there were a lot of us there!  We started off-center and had to cut and rearrange, which was adventurous, but it ended awesome. If you are going it alone or you’re an amateur wallpaperist like me (totally just made up that word), check out a youtube video on hanging wallpaper before diving in. A helpful hint, we bought wallpaper glue from the hardware store instead of mixing the paste that came with the map.

Map wallpaper finished

Still to come, part 2 includes painting the entertainment center, and organize all the toys! I hope to post it next week… huge shout out to mom, Andi and Zub, you guys rock wallpaper.

Have a great weekend and happy creating!

Favorite Summer Vacation Souvenir

Souvenir Placemat Love

Summer is winding down and I feel like I need a little vacation from our vacations ( mostly family reunions back to back that were a total party!) I am abnormally nostalgic, but for some reason really hate souvenirs. Don’t get me wrong, I love souvenirs that have meaning and purpose like a tablecloth a friend in Chile crocheted and art I bought off the street in Venice… it’s the little key-chains and ruined-after-one-wash t-shirts that I loath.

For years my husband and I have been content to come home from a trip with nothing but photos and dirty laundry. But now it’s my kids that always want to buy something on our excursions, so, here is my perfect solution: Make Place Mats.

Summer Souvenir PlacematsSummer Souvenir Placemats 2

This summer my kids collected as many free maps/guides they could find. Saving maps didn’t bug me at all. At home the kids chose their favorites, layered them two-sided, and laminated them at the local copy store. $4.67 later the kiddos were thrilled with their memorable souvenir and I was so happy to have a purposeful and super inexpensive summer souvenir! I’ll be honest, meals take a little longer as they study the mats, but they reminisce in fond memories which I think it time well spent.

Summer Souvenir Placemats Finished

Maybe you still have maps and guides floating around from your summer travels, make a place mat!

Happy Creating!

(If you’re wondering why my table is yellow, you can check it out here)

I’m Back! And so is school…

Back to school and love itSchool started today. Can I hear a cyber hallelujah!? After traveling at least half of the summer and playing lifeguard the other half I am actually thrilled that the structure is back. I know parental emotions about school are all over the board.  Me, I wish I could go to classes for the rest of my life…. my kids, I’m not so sure.

Back to School

Whatever your opinion, happy return-to-school. I’ll be back tomorrow with some of the projects I completed over the summer, which really should be just all the empty popsicle boxes, but there are a few legit ones and even more that I have been waiting to have the time to complete. The beginning of school means a new beginning of the blog too! Yahoo! Until tomorrow,

Happy Creating!

Front Door Plant Pots

I spruced up my home exterior recently, but our front door although repainted looked lonely. And boring. I really wanted some artificial topiary trees but my bff hubby is adamantly against the idea. I have had pots and flowers by the front door before and in the summer when the 110+ degrees come scorching in it is a sad end to flowers and plants. It seems like the three options are no plants, dead plants, or artificial plants… really the latter is the lesser of the three evils don’t you think? I guess I have one more year to prove my theory to my husband, so I might as well do it in style.

I don’t often find anything great at our thrift store, maybe the town is too small, or we don’t donate enough, but Monday I was taking loads of stuff after cleaning out the garage and there were these two beauties in the yard:

planter before

Metal. Matching. What’s not to love? I claimed them on the spot. $5 later my bff was wondering why I donated a few boxes, yet brought more stuff home. I assured him they would be awesome when I was done. The hardest part of the project was deciding what spray paint to use. Until I realized our walls are two-toned, why should they have all the fun? I decided to paint blue on top and my favorite oil rubbed bronze on the bottom (I have used the bronze in many projects like this and this)

planter paint

I cleaned, treated the rust, and spray painted blue, taped off the top and then covered with bronze. This is the first time I have used Valspar spray paint and I was not impressed. It was hard to push and didn’t seem to go on evenly. I can say though that the color was great and really true to the paint lid even after on the planters.

planter project planter one coat tape off planter for two tone

My favorite cheater trick from this project is stretching the good soil when planting… I usually don’t want to use really good soil to fill a pot when the roots just don’t go very deep (and it costs money, yuck.)  I usually use any dirt I can find to use at the bottom and even fill the bottom with used plastic bottles, milk cartons, whatever, to take up space:

empty bottle planters

The front porch looks so much happier:

finished planter planter after

in part due to my awesome ever-present helper:

planter cleaning helperplanter helper

Happy Creating!

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