New Project! Board and Batten Walls, the cheap, cheater way

If you read the title and thought, “come on Hardware, that was sooooooooooo 2012,” to you I say, you’re right! But two years ago I was pregnant with my head in a toilet all day and and I’m still catching up! This project was really a blog group effort. I wasn’t invited to the blog group per se, but I did follow their tutorials. I spent a couple hours blogging some of my favorite sights and have compiled a list of my favorite tutorials on the matter Sherry & John, my girl AnaSarah, and Karla.

As far as this project, you must first know I have had a crush on my cute boy for years. All my babies mesmerize my heart, but even given that, this one was a real charmer from the beginning. I am telling you all this at a desperate attempt to justify my love even though his room just recently looked like this:

james room. before

I know, it looks like the forgotten-child-quarters. But never fear, I have some big plans for this room. Board and batten is just step one project for the room.

I have wanted to do board and batten but could not find the right depth of wood that would work with my baseboard and I didn’t want the board & batten to be thicker than or hang over the baseboard, and I really, really, really didn’t want to pull off all the baseboards. Then, while looking for rock for the side yard a ray of light burst open at the hardware store. The whole time I had been looking in the lumber section, but I needed to go cheaper. This wood was out in the landscape section. Jackpot. It’s called bender board because it bends of course, they are usually used for flower boxes, so why not bedrooms? ALL the wood was $31.82! Wahoo!

Redwood bender board 2 Redwood Bender Board

The best part is it is the right DEPTH! No tearing off baseboards or having an overhang.

depth of the bender boardWhen dealing with cheap wood, here is the deal: it bows more, it is rougher, more irregular, and well, less standard. If you can deal with sifting through the pile to find the best boards, then sand them down, spend more time on the project and deal with the irregularities, then welcome to my party! Land of the cheap ya’all!

I’m starting on the project today. And I’m so excited. Let the games begin!

Side Yard Complete!

Our side yard went from white trash to rock garden:side yard beforeSide yard after 3

Do you feel like calling me a rock star? (Hahaha, get it? ROCK star? Oh, I need a break.) With those pictures posted I can now say I will be perfectly content to not see another landscape rock or shovel for about a year. In the end I shoveled two tons of rocks (yep, 4,000 pounds!), planted two glorious trees, and threw away a lot of old wood and junk. It feels so good. I am going to miss my favorite spray paint location, and my kids are definitely going to miss when it rains:

good times in the side yard 2 good times in the side yard

But now that it’s done I can honestly say it was worth it.  I thought a lot about people who live alone or are a single parent. Most of the project I did by myself, my dad helped me shovel rocks for a couple of hours and my husband made a cameo appearance one night to help move around dirt… but at the completion of the side yard I am convinced you can do it. For real. If I can shovel that many blasted rocks, even without help if you really want something done at your house just do it!

If you are going to finish your yard, here are three questions to consider:

  1. Consider where you live, what is the climate like? I am in the desert. Most people want low maintenance yards and finished space that does not require a lot of water, that’s why I put down rocks. I much prefer grass, but that is not really environmentally responsible around here.
  2. How much time do you have for maintenance? If you don’t have time to mow it, trim it, or water it, don’t plant it! Consider a simpler solution that will still be “finished”. Rocks are about as easy as it gets…
  3. Will it look planned and orderly? Make a master plan before you start.

My favorite part of this project are the beautiful trees. They may be small now, but one day they will be mighty:

blessed trees

This is my last outdoor project for a while, between this and the curb appeal, garden and fire-pit, it’s time to finish some stuff indoors. I already have the materials for my next project! Yeah!

Side yard after

Have a great weekend and happy creating all!

Building a Backyard Fire Pit

Let me just say we have already cooked more than one tasty smores around this beauty:

fire pit finished

Our backyard isn’t huge, but there is some space for hanging out and fun. My kids love campfires, so a fire pit was added to my 2014 project list and the kiddos early awaited. This project was rolled into the side yard, which will be finished today and I will post pictures tomorrow, and as it turns out it was much easier than I thought. After looking for the perfect pit, this display at Lowe’s ended up sealing the deal:

fire place store example

I already had the metal fire pit part that I bought on Black Friday a couple of years ago for $19, so I wanted to build something around it to fit. I ended up needing 39 number of these bricks:

build a fire pit materials

You can buy them at a hardware store or a nursery. They cost about $2 each and are a trapezoid shape that make a circle simple to create. Level the ground, mark in the soil the shape you want and place the rocks, staggering the levels. This is an easy afternoon project. The only thing I think is noteworthy is that if you have a smaller car, make sure the weight of your bricks won’t weigh it down too much. Other than that, get the chocolate and mallows ready for a party.

Tomorrow, the side yard. Happy Creating!

An easy drip line system & Side Yard Update

I hope I’m not the only person that decides on a project and thinks, “oh ya, that will probably take like three, four hours tops” and then two full days later you’re sitting on a pile of cursed rocks slumped over in total exhaustion and reality that you’re not done… at all…

Actually I hope I am the only one that under estimates how much time a project will take, but I’m kinda thinking I am not. I will save you the long saga on the side yard over the weekend, and report happily, I really am almost done (okay, maybe refer to paragraph one in that statement.) Well, at least all the materials to finish are at the house now! Here is the current state of said yard:

side yard mid project

Not bad right? A reader Emily (shout out to you girl) asked if I would post how to make a drip line system for trees. I have written a tutorial for a garden drip line, but a tree is a bit different… the good news is, if you have a convenient water source it really is easy!


  • Water source
  • Connecting parts to your water source
  • Drip line tubing, I use the 1/2 inch size
  • End cap
  • garden shepherd hooks
  • Drip emitters (tiny nozzels)

I actually liked this article on irrigation drip lines by How Stuff Works. There are many different ways of installing a drip system and different kits you can buy, but this is the cheapest way that works best for me:

1. Connect to your water source. Find out the size of your water source if you don’t already know it. You can cut a piece off or measure it, I use my sewing measure tape, works great.

find the size find the size 2

Don’t be afraid to ask the person at the sprinkler store how to connect your size and type of water source to a garden drip line tubing. Mine required a simple connector. The connect by simple pushing the pipe into the connection:

drip line for trees tubingconnector piece

2. The great thing about drip line tubing is it is flexible and can zig zag through plants, but also it doesn’t need to be buried like a pipe would be. Hallelujah to that! Run your drip line near what you need watered, in my case a tree.

3. Flush out or clear the drip line to remove dirt and rocks (picture from the garden drip-line tutorial). You want to make sure the pipe is clear so rocks and dirt don’t get jammed into the emitters and preventing water from getting through.

flush water

4. Cap off the end. I use a figure 8 piece, fold down the tubing and put on the figure 8 (make sure you get the right size for your tube). I used a zip tie once and without warning it snapped after so much sun and flooded the yard… splurge the .99 cents and make sure the water is tied off.

figure 8 end clamp end piece

5. Add emitters by poke through the line. This is where the water will come out. Place it near the roots of your trees:

drip line for trees emmitersemitteremitter 2

6. Use the Shepard hooks to hold your line in place and then bury your line under your ground cover.

shepard hooks

Let me know if you have questions! Happy Creating!

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