Thursday, October 8, 2015

Review: Ikea Stocksund

Miss me?  I miss blogging and sharing- but life has been busy...

I promised a review of the Ikea couches, so here it is.  My sofas are from the Stocksund Collection and we have had them for almost a year now.  Our family room has very little wall space and needed plenty of seating that was small enough for the walls we do have.  

We purchased two of the loveseats, one side chair, the ottoman, and bench.

The Highlights:

  • The sofas are comfy, I'd say a 4 out of 5.
  • Wide choice of colors 
  • Washable, zip-close, cushion and arm covers
  • Choice of foot color-dark or light
  • The bench has storage (toys, blankets, etc.)
  • Nicely priced


  • Can't reverse the lower seat cushions
  • Not stain resistant
  • Legs loosen easily (maybe it's the jumping kids)

Overall, I would say they've held up great, considering we have had a lot of traffic on these babies!  I let the kids eat on them and of course the dog sleeps up there once in a while ;)

Since my purchase, Ikea added a red velvety cover and I WANT these for winter, if only on the chair... 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

DIY Fireplace Surround

The fireplace installation took a detour once I injured my knee, and I had to put off the crown molding and finishing touches.  I'm showing how it turned out, although it isn't flawless, that's for sure, I'm so pleased with the end result and I love how it looks next to my staircase redo!  I am just a little bit proud that I did the whole surround, mantle, hearth, and crown with my own two hands!!
Last Winter, we opted to buy new furniture because our sectional ("Big Brown") didn't fit anymore once the fireplace went in, but oh how I miss her :(  
This tiny set was new to Ikea this Fall, it's part of the Stocksund collection.
We went with cheap because of the five kids and the dog. ( Okay, really it's because I change stuff too often to invest in anything pricey). 

This is where I left off before my knee surgery...  
My fireplace was the never-ending-story.  I couldn't get the darn thing finished thanks to my torn ACL and the fact that I HATE to do crown molding.  I slapped up some of the trim and really didn't care about how imperfect it was,  and I actually had to get this done because it I knew it would be months before I could climb a ladder again.

I needed to attach the crown molding across the front of the fireplace- here's the pre-crown shot (complete with dry wall mud all over the ceiling).

Since I stink at lining up the corners, and in this case I discovered that our house is really, really crooked, I decided to attach the corners before I hung the crown. as if I were trimming a piece of furniture.
I found that this technique worked a bit better and looks good enough for us.

  And because I spent the greater part of a 10 day stretch, laid up on the sofa, across from this very fireplace, in a post-op stupor, using my continuous movement machine like a good little patient, I enjoyed the view so much that I thought I would share the finished project!

It's closure people...
Thanks for looking!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

How to Add a Barn Track Sliding Screen Door

Updating a Standard Sliding Screen 

Anyone in the Greater Philadelphia Region wondering why we had a heat wave last week?  

It's my fault.  I finally have a screen door that works and keeps out critters, so immediately we were unable to use it and had to turn on the AC! (Sorry about that).

Here's the deal, we have a dog.  (Need I say more?) Our sliding screen door was bent and busted, so I threw it out.  I  went to the home improvement store for a replacement, only to discover our door was not "Universal" in size.  The replacement we ended up buying never fit properly and someone continued to plow through the bottom of it, and we ended up with what I call the "Redneck Doggie Door".

Nice right?
But we love him, so I had to solve the problem.

Then I found this image on Pinterest (of course). 

I was so excited to try this!   
I bought the track, let it sit in the box for a year, then used it on the laundry room door, and still had the Redneck Doggie Door this Spring.  :( new track, one unfinished wood screen door, and a door molding kit later...

I've got this...

I originally intended to add the wood pieces to create the barn door look, but I needed to be reminded that this is a colonial style house and sometimes I just have to accept that.  (sigh).

It blends nicely from out here.

Skill Level

This was a one woman job.  I would say it took minimal skills for this.
The only power tool I used was a drill to attach the track to the house and some elbow grease.


The door was around 70 bucks  at Lowe's,  and I painted mine white

I ordered the track from Amazon, it's now less than $50 and ships free with Prime.

TCBunny 6.6 Feet Sliding Door Hardware Closet Set Antique Style (Black)

 The molding/weather stripping that I tacked around the frame of the door was less than $20.  So it cost about as much as a custom replacement screen, but this is way more interesting! 

...and I taught this guy to speak to come in and out!
Thanks for looking!

Click here for an update on this post!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

$20.00 Vintage Sliding Door - part 2

I wanted to share the finished laundry room door, because it's a looker and I smile every time I go near it, which is fifty times a day.  Okay, so maybe it's not really vintage, but it looks like it is.  
Don't have an old door?  Make one.

As a recap, I wrapped the old louvered door with pine boards and popped out the upper section of louvers to make room to install the fake glass, you can check that out here.  I finally stained the door and it looks just like the one I made up in my head.  I used a stain/poly combo in Mahogany and didn't focus on sanding and smoothing because I wanted this to look old.   
I have to say it is very heavy, and if I had proper wood working tools, I wouldn't have attached the wood to the old door.  Since I don't own anything more powerful than a miter box and saw, I did it my way.  Mistakes... I've made a few.  (Sorry, Sinatra fans, I had too).  So until the door falls apart or the track falls off the wall (whichever comes first)  it's staying like this!
This project inspired me to solve a screen door problem, I'll post that tomorrow.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

DIY Vintage Sliding Door Under $20- part 1

I fell for the look of that old office door attached to a sliding frame for our laundry room, the one I posted here.
 Like all good things, I couldn't find exactly what I wanted, and all of the "maybes" were way too expensive.  Who knew anyone else would want one of those?  

Anyway, I decided to make my own, and the whole thing cost me under $20.

 I used my existing door (the ugly vented shorty) and created an old office door look.  Now it needs to be stained or painted, not sure which yet, but here it is "raw"...

Here's what I used...
miter box
liquid nails
an assortment of 1 X 1's, 1 X 3's, and a 1 X 6's
plastic sheet (used to cover fluorescent lights)
Vinyl letters
Door Pull- Amazon

There are a ton of other ways to fake the glass for the door, but I chose the cheapest and easiest to replace (five kids and all...)

I then glued all of the wood onto the old door, allowing it to overlap because the old vented number was too narrow and too short.

So far so good, it's holding up fine, how dare I doubt Liquid Nails??
Now to paint or stain it?

Thanks for looking..

Friday, April 10, 2015

Laundry Room Sliding Door

Last month, we had a few unexpected snow days, yes in March, so I  took advantage of the schedule-free days, and decided to clean up my laundry closet.  (Before the knee surgery!)  Now, let me begin by saying that my washer bit the dust and the dryer was close behind, so we bought a new set of stackables.  I didn't really want these, but given the lack of space we have in there, it was no contest.  Now that I have a whole extra 3 square feet of space (sad, right?)  I decided to make the most of the tight quarters and added a cabinet, counter, shelf, and hooks.  Yeah, I need to paint in there, but I am not exaggerating when I tell you, that aside from the cat, I am the only living soul who goes in there.  It's upstairs and out of sight. (Plus I'm the only one who does the laundry).   I also decided to remove the door because it opened in, and it really gets in the way when you are heading out of there with a basket full of clothes.  

However...this is what it looks like most of the time!
okay all of the time.

We needed the door back.
I guess a sliding door is best, and they are everywhere, if not played out a bit ;(
I've been searching for some ideas, although I really don't want to buy a new door.. (planted and blooming here and all-gotta make the most of what I've got).  But I found some nice ones...

Here's my absolute favorite..


And this one... I have no words, really, I'm wiping up drool.

I do like the barn door style, simple to create, but maybe overused? They really aren't unique anymore.


I decided to install an industrial door track which was a purchase I made (for no reason) last summer.  So I busted that out, and after 2 hours of interpreting the wordless drawings, I had it assembled. 
 The spouse thought the concept of a sliding door was great.  

I was blushing on the inside at my creative genius, when he threw in the comment, "'s a shame that ugly track thing shows..."  
(cue the crickets).  

Anyway, back to the door.
It's a standard louvered door (yuck)  and again, nobody sees it but it's ugly and needs love, lots of love.  

I can't wait till this knee is project-ready and I'll share what I come up with.!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Faux Mirrored Console Table

So I tore my ACL and while I am waiting to have my surgery, I need some "ladder-free" projects because I am so bored!  I've been wanting to replicate the look of  a mirrored table and thought I'd use an old console table as a guinea pig.  I saw that someone had actually used reflective contact paper to cover the drawer fronts of a side table, so I thought I'd try it.  


However, my contact paper looked more like stainless steel when it arrived.

I decided to improvise and use spray paint.  I hauled the table out onto the deck (yes, in 20 degree weather) and spray painted it with this...(if you know my spouse, don't mention the spray-painting-on-the deck situation, then he'll know why there's a few silver flecks out there ;).

I am not exaggerating, this paint is more "reflective" than the contact paper.  So much so, that I thought I had forgotten to paint the legs of the table because the hardwood floor was reflecting off of them, Good stuff.

I used the contact paper on the top surface of the table and on the drawer fronts, I wasn't ready to give up on the paper or my ten bucks.

I  folded the edges like a present.

Then I smoothed it all down and covered the drawer fronts the same way.

I had a few extra crystal knobs lying around so I used those to finish it off.  

and some finishing touches...

Friday, February 13, 2015

Let It Go...

Of course... we had to have a Frozen theme for the Girl's 6th Birthday Party!
I promise not to bore you with the details, but since I tore my ACL back in December, I've had a lot of time on my I collected tons of cute ideas, and I'll share.

We had the party at an adorable place nearby, called Enchanted Dreams, because what little girl wouldn't want this party at 6 years old??   The fabulous staff took care of all of the entertaining and Queen Elsa was there of course.  The girls were able to choose a"dress up" costume and crown for the first half and donned grass skirts and leis for the second half!

Because the staff handled the party, we didn't need Frozen theme food or games, this left me with plenty of time to focus on the fun stuff...

  The invite was a Google find and a free download found here, I saved the image to my computer and used PicMonkey to edit it.  

The Elsa-like cupcake toppers were an accidental Amazon find, and I made Blue Velvet cupcakes for those, and to mix it up I added Pink Velvet as well.  I used a Wilton frosting tip to pipe on bright white frosting and topped the Pink Velvet with white chocolate tiaras made from Candy Melts.

The kids and I made Frozen Goo from a recipe I found here.  This was a fun project and my little boys loved it!  
The labels for the "Thank You Bags" were downloaded from this site and printed onto adhesive labels.

By far, my favorite thing to make, was the Elsa on the bag!  I can't take credit for the concept, I saw a similar rendition on Etsy, but thought they were a bit pricey and they looked more like Elsa was wearing Cinderella's skirt rather than her cape.  So I modified it and it turned out stinkin' cute! 

(Yes these photos were with my phone, but you get the idea).  I printed out Elsa,  cut back her upper body so that her arms would show, and hot glued the glittery tulle behind her, gathering it along the way, and then I re-glued her upper body down.

Thank you "snow" much for looking!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fireplace Surround~ The Stockings Were Hung...

  We were so busy enjoying the holiday season that I forgot to share the fireplace surround.  I finished it just in time to decorate for Christmas (I was so excited because all  of the stockings fit across the fireplace).
We had a plan in mind and a picture we both liked, believe it or not.  I agreed to the T.V. above the fireplace,  but didn't want it to stick out any further than the wall.   So the upper portion has a recessed "box" for the mounting bracket and cords, making it flush with the "wall" once it is mounted.
After the insert was installed and the frame and dry wall went up, (no, I did not do any of that) it was time to start on the surround.  I shared the idea photo and the first steps in this  previous post

Here's the rest...

First, I cut 1 X 3's to the length I needed in order to create the design for the surround.  I used liquid nails and real nails to attach them all the way around.  I used a 1 X 6 board for the base of the surround, just to visually anchor it to the hearth a bit.
  This couldn't have been easier, they were all straight cuts and I used a saw and miter box.  You don't even need electricity for this job, people.

The mantle is a 1 X 12 board that I cut to the length of the entire box,  along with a few inches of overhang to allow for the crown molding that would be added underneath.  
I "liquid nailed" that on and used weights to secure it until it bonded.   

Now as for the tile,  I don't own a wet saw or even tile nippers.  I knew I wanted a small area of tile around the box- just 6 inches.  After a ton of what-if's, we chose a less-than-favorite, but oh-so-simple solution.   I found tile sheets at a local store that  were 12x12  and consisted of square and rectangular tiles, so that meant no all!  I don't know how I lucked out on this, but even the length across the top fit perfectly without any cuts.  

I used this easy, premixed adhesive and grout.   

Here it is half grouted and half not.  

The hearth is a few tiles- that were cut by a very kind worker at a store where we didn't even buy them.  I cut back the carpet, installed cement board, and then the tile. 

 After a coat of paint.. .

...and in the process of decorating 
(yes there are cords and crap everywhere in this picture)  I still have a lot to finish, but I quit there to enjoy Christmas and I'll finish the upper portion later.  

and it was good enough for Santa.