Looking for an easy way to inject some greenery into your home? This DIY Terrarium is super easy to create and a great way to do just that. Plus, we love that this natural element and pop of greenery can double as a great piece of decor in just about any room of the house!
We chatted about creating a DIY Terrarium on this news segment last week, but wanted to break it down on the blog as well. It really is simple and it can make such a big impact. Here’s what you will need to get to make your very own DIY Terrarium.
Rocks (we used 2 small bags)
Soil (we chose soil best for cacti + succulents)
Bowl (any shape, size, or style)
Drop Cloth (not necessary, but highly recommended)
We love that this project can be individualized to fit your home’s decor and style. We chose a glass bowl from HomeGoods, but honestly a terrarium can work in just about any bowl.
Because we were sharing this on TV we went with a larger bowl, but if you want to cut down on costs, choosing a smaller bowl (even from a thrift store!) can work just as well.
Because there’s not drainage in this bowl, it’s important to start the terrarium with a layer of rocks (which doubles as a natural drain of sorts.)
We used two small bags of rocks for this project, which we found in the plant section at Lowe’s.
After the layer of rocks, add the layer of soil. We chose to go with the potting mix that was specifically made for succulents/cacti and bought far more than we actually needed. Working with the soil becomes a bit of a mess so we would suggest wearing gardening gloves during this project AND working outside on the grass or on a drop cloth.After there was a healthy layer of soil, we arranged the succulents in a way we liked and started planting each one into the soil.
From start to finish the entire terrarium took less than 5 minutes to plant.
The hardest part was trying to make sure the succulents were surrounded by enough soil after we added them to the terrarium. We wanted them to settle into their new home with plenty of soil to support them. A few minutes later, we had this colorful terrarium and love the variety of shapes, sizes, and colors of this mixture. We sprayed the succulents with some water and let the terrarium dry before bringing it inside to display.
Fast forward a few weeks and this mini terrarium is alive and thriving! We keep it by Casey’s front windows so it has PLENTY of sun.
When we do notice the soil is dry, we give it a good soak and wait for it to dry out again.
We love what a statement this terrarium brings and are on a MISSION to keep this planter alive… and thriving! Do you guys have any tips or tricks that have worked for your succulents? B has had this little hedgehog one for over a YEAR, but we’re not exactly sure what the magic answer is to keep it alive. Most of the time she forgets to give it any attention and magically it’s still alive?!
And don’t even get us started on the amazingly gorgeous succulents growing like weeds in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. How do they do it?! Especially when most of them live outside? Succulents you’ll forever have our hearts.
If you’re just joining us, make sure you START HERE to catch up on the first few steps of installing new baseboard. Yesterday we tackled steps #1 through #4 and today we are picking up where we left off to finish up this attainable DIY project
If you’re back for more baseboard business, let’s dive right in. Here are the remaining steps (and lots of Rookie Tips!) to replace the baseboard in your home.
1. Buy New Baseboard & Shoe
You obviously need to buy new material (baseboard and shoe*) for this project. Chances are you’ll probably want to buy the same style baseboard that you have throughout the rest of your home so the new baseboard looks cohesive with the existing type.
Once you know the style, go ahead and buy the baseboard. But make sure you buy pieces that are LONGER than the wall you are attaching it to. This is important because you need to have plenty of room to make your cuts on both ends and still have it fit onto the wall.
*The shoe of the baseboard is that bottom piece that juts out a little bit and is connected to the floor. Believe it or not, this is a separate piece of wood that is attached to the baseboard after it’s attached to the wall. Whatever length you buy of the baseboard, you’ll need to buy the same length for the shoe.
2. Measure & Cut Miters on the Baseboards
Once you have the material all set, it’s time to cut both the baseboard and the shoe to size.
Here’s where your miter saw is needed. I usually cut the new baseboard exactly how the old pieces were cut. If the old baseboard butts up to a straight edge (like a vent) than you will probably cut it straight, which makes the cutting process a whole lot easier.
However, if you’re meeting two corners of wood then you’ll most likely be “mitering” the corners, which means cutting each at a 45 degree angle. This is necessary so that when they are matched up together they make a perfect 90 degree angle at the corner. You can see in the photo above that you make these cuts by simply moving the saw blade from 0 degrees to 45 degrees. You cut it the exact same way, it’s just the saw itself that is reconfigured so that corners will be mitered.
This baseboard was cut at a 45 degree and notice that it was cut standing straight up on the saw and not laying flat.
To make the cut on the other 1/2 of the mitered corner simply change the 45 degree angle on the saw to the other side of saw (still 45 degrees) and make a cut. Once you put those two angles together they should fit perfectly into a 90 degree corner.
Rookie Tip: This is not hard but sometimes it takes a few cuts of trial and error to confirm that you have it down (it can feel like a bit of a brain puzzle sometimes). I would suggest making a few practice cuts on leftover/scrap trim so you can perfect the combo before doing it on your new baseboard or shoe.
Another Rookie Tip: I usually mark my baseboard for size and then draw the angle that I want to cut. This little sketch really helps when I take it to the saw because I have a visual reminder about which angle I need to cut.
3. Nail it to the wall
Before I nail the new baseboard to the wall, I lay it along the wall around the perimeter of the room and make sure it fits like a glove (or as close as possible) before nailing it to the wall.
When I feel like it’s perfect, it’s time to nail it to the wall using a nail gun.
You’ll want to nail the baseboard on the top and bottom of the baseboard along the entire piece. I was a little too generous with the nail gun on this piece, but I guess it’s better to have a few too many nails than too few.
4. Repeat Steps #2 – #3 with the shoe
Now that the baseboard is attached, it’s time to attach the shoe. Honestly you follow the exact same baseboard steps to attach the shoe. Getting the perfect mitered edges with the shoe always seems a little bit more confusing to me so I definitely take advantage of a few practice cuts before I attempt the “real” cut. But just like the baseboard, some of the shoe may just require a straight cut… which is by far the easiest!
4. Putty the Nail Holes
Having too many nail holes is not a huge problem, but it does make this step a little more time-consuming. Take the putty and fill in all of the nail holes on the baseboard and shoe. Once it has dried, you can lightly sand off the excess so it’s a smooth surface and ready for primer/paint.
If you’re tackling white baseboard and trim, caulk is your BEST FRIEND because it can help mask some of your less than perfect cuts. I like to use bright white caulk (to match the bright white trim) and caulk that is specifically made for trimwork.
As you can see here the photo on the left is a straight cut that was cut just a hair short. But after caulking the edge, you can hardly see this tiny imperfection. This same idea goes for all of your corners of both the baseboard and the trim! <— caulk makes the finished project look a LOT more professional.
You’ll also want to caulk the space in between the baseboard and the shoe (if there are any gaps or inconsistencies), where the shoe hits the floor, as well as the seam where the baseboard hits the wall.
6. Prep for Painting
Once the caulk is dried, it’s time to finish this gorgeous new baseboard with a few fresh coats of paint!
I typically tape everything around the trim (floor, walls, outlets, etc.) so that I don’t make a mess.
The tape is especially important on the floor if you are not an experienced painter… no one wants bright white paint on their hardwood floors (or carpets!). #yikes
7. Prime + Paint
Then it’s time to prime and paint. I typically put one coat of primer on the baseboard followed by a light sanding to remove anything left on the baseboard.
After that it’s time for a coat of bright white, semi-gloss paint. I used two coats of this paint just to make sure the baseboard was covered well, but you may only need one.
Rookie Tip: Most trim is painted with semi gloss because it’s the easiest to maintain/clean and it offers a good contrast next to the wall, but honestly this is personal preference!
Much better right?! I love that after the caulk and paint the cuts looks perfect, even if they weren’t exactly perfect (our little secret).After the trim is painted and dried you can add tape the top of the baseboard and paint the wall that you previously patched. Once the wall is painted (if necessary) then your job is just about over!!
8. Remove Tape and Clean up
Is it already time to clean-up?!
Peel up the tape, fold up the drop cloths, and clean up the area. If you’re left with any paint stains on the hardwood floor I like to use this Goof Off to clean up those little drips. You add a little to a cloth, wipe up the specific area, and it should wipe right up.
DISCLAIMER: Please test this product on your hardwood floors in a place that is not visible (maybe in a closet). Make sure it dries without impacting the finish of your floors before using it throughout the whole room. This product doesn’t have any impact on my floors, but that may not be the case with your floors depending on their finish. <– Better to be safe than sorry!!
And just like that, your new baseboards are all done… and most importantly, you DIY-ed them! Replacing all of the baseboard in your entire house may be a little overwhelming at first, but trying this out in one room will help you gain confidence in your skills and prove that you can do this, one step at a time.
My goal this summer is to replace a lot more old and grungy baseboard in other parts of our home. If you would have told me that I would be replacing baseboard throughout our house a year ago, I would have laughed at this absurd idea. But now that I’ve tackled a few smaller spaces, I feel more than capable of replacing the baseboard throughout the house. And now that I see what a difference this simple upgrade makes, I’m a lot more motivated to do so.
Not sure how to get the old baseboard off and prep your walls for the installation of new baseboard? Check out this DIY Baseboard Tutorial!
Thanks to our blog survey last month we received several requests for a specific tutorial on how to replace baseboard. We’ve tackled this project a few times (usually in the process of adding wood treatment to a wall) yet never really thought about sharing the tutorial on this DIY project.
So as obvious as this request seemed, it provided us with a much-needed A-HA moment, which led to today’s tutorial.
Plus this was actually perfect timing because my office really needed new baseboard. I replaced half of the baseboard in this space when I DIY-ed the barn door and am replacing the other half now as I add DIY shiplap to the office (more details on the shiplap coming soon).
As you can see from the last three photos, the baseboard in my office was a hot mess and in person it looked even worse. I estimate that this baseboard is over 50 years old and has definitely seen better days.
Some of the paint was chipping, the caulk had condensed with the temperature changes, and some of the wood was actually cracking (how does that happen?!). Painting the baseboard or re-caulking it would’ve only provide a band-aid on an open wound, so I decided to replace the baseboard throughout the entire room.
Step-by-Step Tutorial to Replace Baseboard
Today I’m walking you through all of the steps I took to replace my baseboard, which made SUCH a difference in this room. I was intimidated to tackle a baseboard project the first few times I did it, but after breaking down the daunting task into smaller steps, I feel a lot more confident. And although you may not think so, this is definitely a project you can DIY if you know how to work a nail gun and miter saw. Here’s how…
1. Remove Old Baseboard
Before you put on the new baseboard you need to take the old stuff off. This step may take a little muscle but if my little muscles can handle this step all alone, I KNOW that you can do this too.
Along with some serious muscle you’ll need a hammer and a pry bar to remove the old baseboard.
Simply hammer the pry bar behind the top of the baseboard and pull it toward you (away from the wall).
Repeat this step over and over again along the entire baseboard until the whole piece of baseboard can be pulled away from the wall. Repeat this step around the entire perimeter of the room until all of the old baseboard is off.
Rookie Tip: Some of the old pieces you rip off may be way too big to stick into an average garbage can. I usually cut these old pieces down using the miter saw so that I can throw the scraps right into the regular garbage cans, but be careful! The old nails that may be sticking out of the wood can be hazardous. <— wear gloves!
2. Pluck out old Nails
When you pull the baseboard away from the wall there will most likely be nails that are sticking out of the baseboard, as well as out of the wall. The nails in the old baseboard are no problem as long as you handle the wood carefully. But the nails remaining in the wall need to be removed before you can eventually add the new baseboard.
This step isn’t difficult, it just requires some patience and a little more muscle. I typically use a pair of needle nose pliers and pluck the nails out of the wall until they’re all gone.
3. Scrape off old Caulk
Once the nails are out of the wall it’s time to scrape away the old caulk from both the wall and the floor.
Any size scraper will work for this step along with… you guessed it…more muscle!
This photo shows the old caulk removed from the floor, but it also shows that the wall is in need of some more scraping. After getting up all the old caulk on the floor, make sure you scrape the seam on the wall where old caulk or paint has built up. Getting that layer of extra paint/caulk is important to remove, so you’re left with a flat wall surface that you’ll eventually patch and repaint.
4. Patch the walls
Once that wall is smooth it’s time to patch it. I like to use this pink spackle because it’s very easy to see where I patched (it’s bright pink!) and when it dries it turns white.
You don’t have to patch all the way to the floor, just enough to cover up the original seam. Heck if the old baseboard was removed super carefully you may be able to skip this step entirely! In my case the new baseboard was not going to match up to the old line and some of that grungy old wall was going to show. Patching ensured it would eventually look smooth like the rest of the wall.
5. Sand the Patches & Clean up
Once the patches have dried you can lightly sand the excess spackle from the wall until you’re left with a surface that’s smooth and consistent with the rest of the wall.
Rookie Tip: Sanding spackle is SUPER DUSTY so I would definitely suggest closing the door in this room (and all of the other rooms in the house!) while also putting down a drop cloth. Covering anything else in the room that could get dusty is probably a good idea too. I typically do a clean of the area after this step so that my work area is far less dusty when I move onto the installation/painting steps.
Can you believe we’re already half way done with this DIY!? As much as these steps go pretty quick, I feel like this post is already long-winded. I’m going to continue the last half of the step-by-step tutorial in tomorrow’s post.
I want to provide as many specific details as possible (including lots of pictures) and breaking this process up into two posts is the best way to do that. Plus this is usually a two-day process and this post covers the steps I usually get done during Day 1. So this seems like the perfect place to break until tomorrow. See you then!
Last weekend we had the opportunity to showcase some projects on ABC news here in Chicago. We were tasked with displaying DIY’s that could refresh your indoors for the new season. Since we’re all about easy projects that make a big impact, we were excited to brainstorm DIY’s that would work well for spring.
Here’s a link to the full segment if you want to check it out. We had a blast and hope to be back again soon!
One of the projects that we did on the show was a DIY wood planter box. We both struggle with decorating our dining room tables for the everyday, and this planter box solved that problem. You can build this simple box, fill it with mason jars, and then display seasonal flowers right in there. It makes a big visual impact without cluttering up your entire table. Love when that happens!
Plus, this wood planter box is SUPER SIMPLE to build. Seriously only a couple cuts, some staining, and putting it all together!
Wood: 2 (1×6 pine) & 1 (1×4 pine); Length will depend on the size of your box
Safety glasses (or if you forget yours like we did, then sunglasses will also work to protect your eyes!)
First you’ll want to plan out the size of your planter box. We wanted to fit 5 mason jars, so we decided to make it 22 inches long. We then marked 22 inches on each piece of wood for the 2 sides and the bottom. We used pine boards that were 6 inches wide for the sides, and a pine board that was 4 inches wide for the bottom.
You’ll want to wait to cut the 2 end pieces until you have your other 3 long pieces all cut. This will ensure that you get the right size and they’re not too long or too short.
With your pieces measured, it’s time to make the cuts. We love our miter saw and it gets easier (& less scary!) every time we use it. Just be confident with your cuts and go up and down quickly.
With your 3 long pieces cut, it’s time to assemble! We used a nail gun so it took no time at all. If you don’t have one, then finishing nails and a hammer will do (although it will take some time to get it all together). Space out your nails accordingly so it looks even and nice. You won’t cover the holes, so you don’t want too many nail holes.
With your base all together, measure the width for the side pieces and cut those. Then take your nail gun again and secure the pieces to the sides. At this point, you can stain the entire box inside and out. You could also stain the pieces before you put it together, but because we were impatient and didn’t want to wait for the dry time to move forward…we decided to do it after the fact. We used our favorite colored stain…dark walnut.
Rookie Tip: Use Q-tips dipped in stain to get the color into the corners of the box. This will ensure that no spot remains uncovered!
This step is purely optional, but we think it’s a good one to do if you want to jazz up your wood box a bit. We picked up some gold L-brackets from the hardware store and attached them to the bottom 4 corners of the box. This added some shine & interest to the piece. Just drill a pilot hole first, and then use screws to attach the brackets. Be careful about screwing through to the other side. You don’t want any screws poking through into the middle of the box!
Place the mason jars in your wood box and add your favorite flowers!
We love using hydrangeas because they’re so full and lush, but you can use absolutely anything! Wouldn’t this piece look gorgeous on your table for the holidays? We imagine it filled with branches, greenery, and these mason jars with cranberries and floating candles!
Doesn’t it look pretty in the middle of the dining room table? Love the wood against the sleek white marble! Come dinner time, this wood planter box is super easy to pick up and move off the table…which makes it the perfect dining accessory.
We hope you give this simple DIY a try. All it takes is a few tools to build your own wood planter box.
Remember the Rookie Mistakes series is a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE. We’ve both made ALL of these decorating mistakes in our own homes (evidenced by today’s post) and simply want you to learn from us so you can make your home look amazing without having to make the mistakes we did!
Rookie Mistake – Over-the-door hooks & mirrors
So today let’s dive into our feelings about over-the-door hooks and mirrors. Don’t get us wrong, there is definitely a time and a place for these genius inventions.
The time? Your College Days OR Renting Days
The place? Your College Dorm Room OR Rental Apartment
If you’re in one of these stages of your life then you are NOT currently making a rookie mistake by using an over-the-door hook or mirror. Actually, you’re doing everything right because no one wants lose their security deposit for damage to the walls! But if you’re not in one of those stages of life, we think there is a better, more stylish alternative for each of these very practical pieces.
Anyone who has lived with an over-the-door product knows how ANNOYING they become when you’re trying to close the door, not to mention the scratches they can make on the door or to the door frame.
We don’t want to be dramatic because we realize that this problem isn’t the worst case scenario, but we do think that ditching the over-the-door hooks for a permanent, more stylish solution is well worth it.
Swapping out the over-the-door piece for a permanent hook, or hooks, will be far less annoying, yet just as functional.
I (Bridget) recently did this in my office. I chose this handmade hook because of its simplicity and shallow depth (plus the Etsy seller was awesome to work with). Finding a hook that is shallow enough and won’t make contact with the wall behind it is important to keep it from causing other issues.
I installed the hook into the hollow door using this method, which is very similar to hanging a picture frame on a wall by using anchors and screws.
Matt actually picks out his outfit and hangs it up behind the office door each night. This tiny hook works so hard each day, yet no one ever knows it’s back there because it’s hidden by the door! Plus whenever I want to close the office door for a conference call, I can easily do so without fighting an over-the-door hook.
I only added one hook to this door but if you have small kids or a couple of kids sharing a room, we think adding two hooks at varying levels could also work well. How cool would it be to get hooks that have each child’s initial on them so they know where to hang their outfit, or school bag, or even bath towel?!
Speaking of towels, both of us have hooks just like this for towels in our bathrooms and Casey even has one in her guest room. For such an affordable piece that’s so easy to install, it seems silly not to add them into each room for a bit of extra storage. Although it may be small, these secret weapons can really make a difference!
Rookie Tip: For those of you who may be a little nervous to drill the door, adding a hook to the wall behind the door can work just as well! We did that in B’s sister’s nursery last year and she still loves the function it offers. She usually hangs her little guy’s mini towel on it after bath time.
Just like over-the-door hooks, over-the-door mirrors are perfect for college students/renters, but we think that creating a more permanent solution for homeowners offers a practical yet still stylish choice.
Don’t get us wrong, the over-the-door mirrors have come a long way in the style department since we lived in dorms. But we don’t love the hooks you see while standing on the other side of the door. And like we mentioned before, we don’t enjoy the struggle to try to close the door when these items are attached.
Our solution? Hang a mirror on the wall behind the door! It still provides the function of having access to a full length mirror, it’s still hidden, and it doesn’t mess with the function of the door. <— sounds like a win, win, win to us!
I’ve always wanted a full-length mirror in my house but couldn’t figure out a place to make it happen. I was tight on space and living without one for four years! That’s when it dawned on me to add this very functional piece to the back of my bedroom door.
And that’s exactly what I did! I bought this one from IKEA for $49 and hung it behind the door. It adds a TON of function, yet it’s not taking up any valuable space, actually… no one even knows it’s back there!
The one thing I would note is that it’s important to find a mirror that isn’t too deep. This one is a bit thick for the job, so you need to make sure it don’t line up with the door knob because this could damage the mirror overtime. If you choose a very thin mirror, that won’t be a problem at all.
Like the door hook, we think this secret solution can make such a difference in your everyday life without interrupting the door’s function or having hooks poking out on the other side of the door.
If you’re an owner looking to upgrade your over-the-door hooks or mirrors, we hope you consider these easy, affordable options! Fighting with the door in order to close it is enough motivation to make the switch! Now we’d love to hear from you guys… what do you hide behind your doors?! Any other secret storage solutions you’d like to share with the group?
5 years ago neither of us had ever picked up a pneumatic nail gun and we definitely had no clue what a miter saw was. Today, we use those tools on a regular basis whenever we’re tackling a new woodworking DIY project.
Woodworking projects are some of our favorite because they can add so much to a space. Sometimes they add some function (like board & batten with hooks for storage). Other times they simply make a builder basic home look much more high-end and custom. Plus, once you do 1 woodworking project you usually have the skills to tackle any other form of this DIY.
Today we thought it would be fun to recap all of the woodworking projects we’ve tackled in our own homes. It’s funny because we realized that Bridget has added wood to just about every single room in her entire house. Every room but one! That may seem excessive to you, but it just shows the care and attention she has given each space to truly make it her own.
Here’s a list of our favorite woodworking DIY projects. If you get just one of these under your belt, we promise you can tackle any of the others!
Writing this post makes it very clear…we are obsessed with adding wood to walls! Ha! But honestly, it’s just because it’s the easiest and most inexpensive way to add personality to your home. All you need are a few tools, wood, and paint to completely transform the look of a space.
We highly recommend adding these basic woodworking skills to your DIY repertoire. Because once you master those, the possibilities are endless!
I cannot thank you all enough for your PATIENCE throughout this barn door journey. I’m happy to report that it’s FINALLLYYYY time to dive into the last step of DIY-ing this barn door and revealing what a gorgeous and functional addition this has been in our office.
If you’re just joining in on the fun today, you can catch up on the process and get detailed step by step tutorials here:
Step Three: Painting a DIY Barn Door and Attaching the new Pull <– you’re here, keep reading
For those of you who have been patiently along for the ride, let’s pick up right where we left off — choosing the perfect paint color for our DIY door.
Choosing the Perfect Grey
It wasn’t a surprise to me that choosing the perfect grey for this door was tough. Grey paint colors are really hard to choose because they often have undertones of other colors. Some appear too blue or purple while others appear too green or yellow.
I set out to find a very light grey that didn’t have a strong undertone of another coloring coming through. Unfortunately that’s a lot harder than it sounds and that’s where the delay came in.
I asked for suggestions on our InstaStories and got a lot of great… or shall I say grey… suggestions. I wrote them all down and visited several different hardware stores to find swatches of all of these greys/greiges. After bringing them all home and lining them up together, I eliminated some right away because of those other colors coming through. I was drawn to a lot of greige colors, but wanted to stick with a pure grey for this space, which eliminated more from my swatch collection.
I narrowed down my search to 6 shades of grey and brought home samples of all of those colors. I painted them on a piece of white wood and eventually decided on the grey that seemed most “pure” when compared to its surroundings.
I went with Glidden’s Universal Grey in Eggshell finish. Although I usually opt for a matte finish, I went with something a tad more glossy so that it would stand up to more wear and tear. Matte finishes aren’t very forgiving in high-traffic areas and although the eggshell is not as forgiving as a semi-gloss, the egg-shell would allow some forgiveness while still looking a bit more matte than the semi-gloss would. Since it’s a door that will probably see some finger prints, forgiveness was definitely a priority.
Once I settled on this light grey color, it was time to paint. Two coats of paint later (after we primed it during Step 2), we were left with this gorgeous new look…
I mean, can you even?! I was always excited about incorporating this new project in our home but after seeing it painted, I was even more excited to cross the finish line! Once it was dried, all that was left to do was add a handle.
I knew I wanted a long sleek handle to make this barn door a little less farmhouse and a bit more modern. I looked on Amazon and found a few really great options BUT all of those options were made for cabinets and not barn doors. Why does that matter?
Well, when the hardware is made for cabinets instead of a barn door, the screws that come with them are not long enough to go through our 2+ inch door and catch the handle on the other side.
I contacted a few sellers to see if they had longer screws to sell for these more affordable handles but they all said no. SOOO… I decided that I needed to find a handle from a barn door company, which would ensure that the screws would be long and sturdy enough for this job. I bought the “LOFT STYLE PULL” from Rustica Hardware but it was definitely pricier than I had anticipated. At around $70, the handle was almost the same price as the entire track.
When it arrived though, the higher price tag was well worth it because the screws fit perfectly and the handle was heavy-duty and very gorgeous!
Installing the handle was a little nerve-racking since there was very little room for error. <– I did not want to drill the hole wrong and have to DIY a whole new Barn Door!
I measured about 17 times, checked the level a few more times, and drilled my two pilot holes. Thankfully the precision paid off because the handle went on without a problem and I was left with this…
It’s exactly what I had envisioned when I set out to tackle this project and I’m really loving the new look.
The black hardware next to the white walls and super light grey door is perfect for our bright office. Although there were some bumps along the way, like the epic track fail, I can confidently say our barn door mission has been accomplished… and man did I learn a lot along the way.
Moving Back in!
Once the mess was cleaned up, I brought everything back into the office including all the stuff that was in the closet before we started this project. My objection with the last closet was that the bypass doors only allowed me to look into half of the closet at a time, which made it difficult to see everything and to enter our crawl space.
*this picture only shows the barn door half-open
Now that the entire barn door moves to the side, the closet seems 100x bigger and far more convenient to look through. This is probably by favorite change between the before & after. Saying it’s been “life changing” seems a bit dramatic, but it has made a big difference every time I open up that closet. Which makes me want to add a barn door to ALL of my closets. Haha kidding… kinda?
Before vs. After
I was intimidated to start this project because it was very new to me and I figured it would cost a ton of money, especially after looking at buying a pre made barn door instead of DIY-ing one.
Now that I’ve survived the project, I can’t even express how happy I am that I stepped outside of my comfort zone to tackle it. The total cost (with track, hardware, paint and supplies) probably cost me a little less than $300, with $70 of that being the handle. I’ve seen DIY-ed handle options that aren’t as modern but would probably cut down the cost quite a bit.
I’m sure I missed some information throughout the journey so if you’re looking to DIY your own barn door and have a specific question, feel free to leave it in the comments or shoot us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll try my best to answer it! Bottom line: if I can do this project, I know that you can too… and you should because it’s SO worth it in the end!
Now that it’s officially Spring, we have seen some pretty amazing sales on flowers… especially tulips!
After a dreary winter these pops of bold color (typically under $5 a bunch!) are exactly what our homes are craving. And don’t even get us started on how amazing these flowers are at lasting in a vase longer than some of our other favorites (yeah… we’re looking at you hydrangeas). Tulips in spring are always a good idea & today I thought it was only fitting to pop in with a super quick tip that has made such a difference in helping me display these beautiful blooms in some of my favorite vases.
This is a shot I took when I came home from the grocery store and plopped the tulips in one of my taller vases. It’s definitely not bad-looking (some may even prefer this tighter look), but I like my tulips to droop out of the vase. That way the arrangement seems to take up more room on the table and it makes a larger visual impact.
Unfortunately these stems were too short, so they didn’t have enough height to droop outside of the vase. Instead they are only peeking out of the top, which makes a smaller visual impact.
Give your Flowers Height
But with a super easy trick, I was able to use the same vase and achieve the bigger, more droopy arrangement I wanted from the start. My secret weapon?!
A mini tupperware bowl! You can use an actual bowl or a heavy measuring cup (these actually work better). Since this tupperware bowl fit the circumference of the vase perfectly, I’m using it instead.
This mini tupperware bowl (or whatever household item you choose) will add “secret” height to the bottom of your vase so that your short flowers will look a lot taller when you plop them in the vase.
The taller they are, the more opportunity you will have to arrange them how you like.
After you add the bowl upside down into the bottom of the vase, add water and no one will ever know about your secret weapon.Then all you have to do is plop the short stemmed tulips (or whatever flower you have) into the vase and arrange accordingly! Not all tulips start as droopy as these did, but over time your short stems will start drooping around the vase and will make a bigger visual impact when on display. For such a simple trick, I’m always surprised at what a difference it makes. You may not have to use this trick every time, but I wanted to share it just in case you come across short blooms that you want to display in your favorite tall vase.
Create a Tight Arrangement
And for those large mouth vases that tend to spread your flowers around the mouth of the vase, think about adding a smaller vase inside the larger one. This will create a narrower opening. There’s been plenty of times where I sneak a mason jar inside a larger, more stylish vase. This way the flowers are tighter and I can still use the vase I had my heart set on.
In cases like this, I usually only put water in the mason jar (or the skinnier vase) and not in the large vase too. That’s what I did with this flower arrangement of spray roses…
So what do you guys think… do any of you already use tricks like this? I love splurging on fresh flowers, and hate when I don’t have the perfect vase to fit the specific bouquet I purchased. Any tips or tricks to creating a solution OR keeping my flowers alive as long as possible are very welcome!
Today I’m sharing ALL the details in hopes that this info will help you avoid making the same mistakes I did. More specifically I hope this post allows you to avoid the same EPIC mistake I made that forced us to back track and start all over from step one. Yes, you read that right.
1. Empty the Closet
Last time we chatted, I had just finished hanging this barn door track and the wood header to support the track (and door). After that update I emptied out most of the closet and put protective plastic over what remained so it didn’t get dusty.
Rookie Tip: I was initially undecided whether or not I was going to do this step since I didn’t think this project was going to be overwhelmingly dusty. I’m SO glad I did because there was far more dust than I thought and the protective layer of plastic really worked to keep the closet as clean as possible.
2. Remove the Closet Casing
After the closet and room were prepped, I removed the casing around the door frame. I removed the casing for two reasons. #1. I was concerned that the casing around the closet door was too thick and would eventually butt up against the finished barn door. #2. I was also concerned about the look of the thicker casing and didn’t want this trim to detract from the sleek look of the barn door. I wasn’t excited about this part because it made the project a lot more work (enter new casing, patch work, painting, etc.) but I’m so glad I did it because it made such a difference in the overall look of the finished product.
Rookie Tip: Depending on your situation, you may not need to do this step. If you don’t need to remove your door frame’s casing, you can go ahead and skip to Step #7 of this tutorial!
3. Remove Baseboard
With the casing gone around the door frame, the existing baseboard did not match up to the edge of the door anymore so that had to be removed & replaced as well. I only took the baseboard from this area of the room off because I plan on replacing the rest of the room’s baseboard when I add shiplap in here. I took off existing baseboard and replaced it with the same exact style, just a longer piece that butted up to the new trim around the door (which was thinner than the old casing). One step at a time, right?!
4. Patch & Add Lattice Border
With the casing around the door frame gone, I had two options. I could patch up the drywall and not have any wood work around the door frame OR I could put a thin piece of lattice around the door that would eliminate the patchwork. This slim frame wouldn’t protrude and disrupt the track either.
I chose the second option because adding lattice seemed like a less dusty option and one that would take a little less time since I wouldn’t have to tackle multiple layers of patch work.
Plus, I liked the look of the thin layer of lattice around the door. The lattice also gave me the new guide of where to match the new baseboard up to so I was ready to get started on that step once the lattice was attached (using a nailgun).
5. Patch Baseboards
This next step may not be required for everyone, but we patched around the baseboard (and a little bit around the lattice) because this new woodwork didn’t match up perfectly to the old stuff.
6. Hang New Baseboard + Shoe
Once the patches were dry, I cut the baseboard and shoe and hung that with the nailgun. Although some of the cuts were tedious and time-consuming, the new look made the time well worth it! I also made sure to cut the baseboard long enough to “butt up” against the lattice trim around the door frame.
7. Pick up Material for Door, Cut to Size
Once all that “prep work” was out-of-the-way, it was finally time to start tackling the barn door! I brainstormed/researched a lot of options when choosing a barn door, and just couldn’t seem to find a pre-made door on a budget.
A door that would fit this four-foot wide, seven-foot high closet opening was hard to find. If I had a traditional one door opening, I could have just bought a barn door from most big box hardware stores for reasonably cheap. Since mine was far from standard size, buying one would have cost A LOT of money. So I decided to DIY the door and I’m happy to report that I bought the supplies for this door for less than $85 (+ the cost of paint eventually).
I bought a piece of 1/2 inch thick MDF, which was 49 inches wide (perfect!!) and had it cut down in stores to 86 inches long. Then I bought 6 pieces of 1×4 MDF strips to border the entire door and add depth to the back. I also bought 2 pieces of 1×3 MDF to add to the middle in order to create a more modern barn door design. The only other supplies I needed were nails for the nail gun, caulk for the seams, primer, and a wood filler to fill in the seams/nail holes.
8. Attach molding
Building the actual barn door was probably the easiest part of this entire project. I cut the strips, laid them out, and then used a nail gun to secure everything in place.
Then we flipped over the barn door and put two vertical strips along the back of each side so that it was thick enough to attach to the hardware. Plus, those vertical boards cut down on the gap between the door and the wall.
To fill in the seams and the nail holes, we tried this product, but you can also use putty + caulk for this step. We let the patchwork dry and cleaned off the excess to find smooth holes and filled in seams.
9. Attaching the hardware
This was a tedious part of the process because there was NO ROOM for error! It’s hard to give tips here because every barn door situation will be different, but I would say to measure multiple times and use a level to make sure you are drilling your pilot holes in the perfect spots!
We measured and leveled the hardware as much as possible to ensure that we were doing just that. Then we drilled pilot holes before eventually putting the hardware on the door and screwing in the large bolts that came with the track. You’ll probably need some type of pliers during this step to tighten the screws as much as you can!
10. Hang the Door (enter EPIC fail here)
It was finally time to hang the DIY barn door on the track and we were SO excited. We carefully put it up on the track (it’s pretty heavy… and big!) to find out that it slowly slid open without us wanting it to move. [move hand to forehead and insert swear word here]
The track we installed in this post was not perfectly level and that small imperfection created a big problem for the barn door. The track was 3/8 of an inch off, which led the track to glide “downhill” when it wasn’t supposed to. Oh my goodness, I was shocked… and then pissed! How could that happen?! How could such a small imperfection lead to such a big problem?!
I share this epic fail so that you don’t make the same mistake that I did. I can’t stress enough how the track needs to be installed perfectly level so the door does not wheel on its own (oops). This minor error required us to take down the entire header and track and start over with the hanging process.
It was SO frustrating and such a waste of time, but in the end it was definitely the right thing to do. We probably could have lived with the first option because it did stay in place if I put it in place and walked away slowly, but over time that would’ve driven me crazy! Starting fresh was unfortunately what we had to do.
11. Prime & Paint the Door, Trim, Baseboard & Wall
Once the NEW header and track was installed, we put the door back on the track and it was finally perfect, which meant it was time to start painting!
So far we only primed because I’m in the middle of testing out paint samples for the door. Once I decide on the perfect grey, we’ll finish painting and reveal the gorgeous new space. I know it’s not done yet, but wow…. this door is already making a stunning statement in our office. But just so we’re all on the same page, here’s an updated list of what still needs to get done.
A bit of the design has changed since creating this original mood board (I ordered a shelving unit instead of hanging shelves on the wall), but one thing that has not changed are my plans to swap out our current closet doors with a DIY barn door.
The closet is located in the corner of the room and it’s home to the only access point to our crawl space. Not only are our current doors very plain-looking but I want to swap them out for a wider barn door because I’m confident that this change will allow easier access into the crawl… and into the closet in general.
Anndddddd, I think the doors could definitely add some much-needed style to that plain corner. With those thoughts in mind, I have set out to DIY a barn door, for the first time ever. I’ve done a lot of research before diving into this project but as I already found out, I’m learning a lot along the way.
Today we’ll dive into step one (of maybe 3?) of the DIY Barn Door project. There’s a lot to cover and I’m hoping I can break it down as much as possible so others looking to incorporate a DIY barn door into their home can learn from me (and my mistakes!).
Here’s what the plain closet corner looked like before we started this project.
The closet doors are not awful or damaged, I just think a little DIY love (and color) in this corner can make a big difference. The old doors came with the house and were typical bypass closet doors. But because they were bypass I could never open up the entire closet at once, which always annoyed me a bit. I’m excited that the new barn door system will allow us to open the barn door and see into the entire closet, which will also give us better access to the crawl space.
Rookie Tip: I chose to tackle step one, installing the barn door track, with the existing closet doors still attached. I was hoping that the doors would protect the stuff in the closet from the dust/mess from this step. My plan is to remove the existing doors, empty the closet, and cover everything remaining in the closet with plastic before starting the next step.
Adding Some Reinforcement
Before we even started the project, I did a lot of research on barn doors and tracks. I thought about buying a barn door and track instead of DIY-ing, but because my closet doors are two doors instead of one, the sizes I needed would require a custom order… with a HUGE price tag.
I did a lot of research and eventually decided to DIY the door and buy a made-to-order track from Amazon (this one!). I chose to go with an 8 ft. track that was by far the most affordable I could find, and it can hold up to 300 lbs!
The only negative about this made-to-order track system was that the pre-drilled holes on the track did not match up to the studs in my wall. This meant if I hung the track without first hanging a “header” onto the wall to support the track, I would be drilling into drywall and not catching studs. Up to 300 lbs of track + door would never be supported without hitting studs, so I was forced to add a 1 x 8 (painted the same color as the wall) for extra reinforcement.
Rookie Tip: If your track matches up with your studs (or if you want to drill new holes in the track) maybe you can skip this step, but I did not have that option.
So after the piece of wood was cut to size (about 2 inches longer than the 8 ft track), I primed and painted it so it would blend with the existing wall color as much as possible. Then I set out to hang that sucker on the wall. Casey and I did so by first finding and marking all of the studs in my wall.
Then we drilled pilot holes on the wood and held the wood up, making sure it was level.
Once we tripled checked that the board was level and lined up with the studs, we used 2″ stainless steel screws and screwed the board into place. This step took at least two people and some serious muscle to make sure the screws were screwed as far into the studs as possible.
Rookie Tip: If I were to do this step again, I would use lag bolts instead of screws. Not that the screws didn’t do their job, but lag bolts would be even stronger. And in a situation like this, the stronger… the better!
Installing the Track
Once the header was installed, it was time to hang the track on top of the header.We held up the track and made sure it was level before marking where each of the screws needed to be placed. Then we put the track back on the floor and drilled pilot holes into the header at those marks.
This part sent us straight to the hardware store and ended up wasting a lot of time, so we share it with you so that you can learn from our mistakes. You need a socket and a bit for your drill in order to tighten the screws and finish hanging the track. We did not have a socket or a bit to attach into our drill (we needed size 13mm) so make sure you have this tool!
Once we had the right socket + bit, screwing in the large lag bolts was a breeze! We were nervous, but it was probably the easiest part of the whole process.
Rookie Tip: The track NEEDS to be exactly level before moving on because this will ensure the barn door will glide properly and not on its own. There is NO room for error… the track needs to be level, no exceptions!
And that’s exactly where we left off. I plopped one of the rolling pieces of hardware onto the track to see how it would glide but didn’t take any more specific action in this phase.
Now that the track is installed (the project is probably 20% done), here’s what’s left on my to-do list.
DIY Barn Door To-Do List
Remove casing around the closet
Remove old baseboard that currently butts up to the casing
Patch/Paint around the door frame
Patch/Paint/caulk the piece of wood holding the track
Install new baseboard
Paint new baseboard
Build the Barn Door
Paint/Caulk the Barn Door
Choose/Order Handle Hardware for the door
Attach Hardware to Door
Clean/Organize Closet from all the dust
Hang the Door & Celebrate!!!
Obviously I still have a LOT of work ahead of me, but I’m excited to keep on moving. This project is very new to me so I’m bound to learn a lot along the way (heck, I already have!). But that’s what this blog is all about, right?! Learning along the way and gaining confidence to try bigger and better projects… even if these projects seem intimidating at first.
We love to share our ideas and photographs with you. Feel free to use an image from our site, as long as it is accompanied by a link back to DIY Playbook. Failure to link back and credit DIY Playbook as a source constitutes a copyright violation. For full disclosure of all blog policies regarding comments, advertising, copyright, and other matters please look here.