The DIY Playbook – 2015 Yearbook

Before we dive headfirst into 2016 (woo woo… how is it only 3 days away?), we thought we would take a stroll down memory lane by highlighting some of the projects we tackled here on the DIY Playbook in 2015. Ladies and gentleman, here is our 2015 BLOG recap …. yearbook style. Think best dressed, most likely to get married, valedictorian … but for blog posts (the school teacher in Bridget just couldn’t help herself…)

Most Likely to go to College: Dorm Makeover

dorm makeover dormify grace room

We went back to college thanks to this dorm makeover!! Grace and Fran welcomed us onto the campus of St. Mary’s College and let us do our thing in their dorm room. We were instantly reminded of how tiny dorm rooms really are (how did we do that?!), how these buildings still don’t have A/C, and how making your home away from home cozy and happy is an important step to try to avoid home sickness. Congrats to Grace and Fran for a successful first semester at school… you go girls!!

Most Revealing: Day in the Life

We’re tired just re-reading that post, but we loved putting this post together. We especially loved hearing where the other one was when we were tackling our own “normal day” at our day jobs. Disclaimer: our everyday lives are very non-glamorous… quite the opposite actually.

Class Clown: Awkward Blogging Moments

Blogging is fun, exciting, challenging, hard work, a team effort, creative…. but it’s also super AWKWARD at times. If you need a good chuckle, make sure you check out the awkward side of blogging in this post. <— because heck, if you can’t laugh at yourself for being ridiculous, then who can you laugh at?!

Most Social: Casey is Dating

computer mug zillow

No, no… not actually dating (she’s a married woman!) more like going through what she felt was a similar emotional roller coaster while trying to find the perfect house. Haha …and as crazy as it sounds, readers definitely related! She received a lot of great advice, words of encouragement, sweet emails, and general support leaving her feeling that her “perfect house” was still out there. Fast forward a few months later…. she found it (and couldn’t be more in love)!!

Fan Favorite:  A Guide to a Weekend in ChicagoChicago navy pier

Whether you’re looking to visit or are playing tourist for the day, we hope you enjoyed our weekend guide to Chicago as much as we enjoyed writing it. We really do love this city and try to share our love for Chi-town here on the playbook. Yes, we think we could get WAY better in this department and plan to do so in 2016 <— (it’s one of our goals!!). #eek

Most Popular: How to Decorate a Rental

Casey-Couch-Family-Room-Pillows-BlanketWe must have a lot of renters out there because this post was by far our most popular one of the year. We understand how difficult it can be to decorate temporary spaces, and we hope this post gave you the confidence to get your home lookin’ good…even if it’s not your “forever home.” Even though we’re both homeowners now, we still use many of the tips from this post in our own places!

Most Unlikely to Succeed: A DIY Baby Gate Video TutorialFabric-Gate-for-Stairs

Who would have thought that a baby project would be such a hit around here? The baby gate tutorial was a surprise success and we aren’t complaining…. but we also aren’t rushing to do more baby projects in 2016.

Best Teamwork: Blogging Advice from the Pros

blog week blog adviceDuring the summer, we devoted an entire week towards all things blog. We packed in tips & tricks for anyone out there with a blog, r looking to start one. Our grand finale of the day included tips from some of the best bloggers out there. We were overjoyed by the insights and advice from this talented group. Now that’s teamwork!

Best Baby Face: Rookie tips for Newborn Photos


Casey became a first-time AUNT (and first-time GODMOTHER) in 2015! To welcome this bundle of joy, we packed up our cameras and headed over to snap some newborn photos of this perfect little guy. Lots of research and photos later, we LEARNED more than we ever thought we would and shared it in this rookie tips for newborn photos. Let’s just say, the pros make it look a lot easier than it is. We had such a great time but we’ll be sticking to the blog photos. #rookies

Prom Queen: Mag Mile Makeover maggie reveal


Talk about a dramatic makeover, this new space really is just as gorgeous, chic and charming as a prom queen!! Maggie bought her first place in April and we had such a blast helping her make this space her ‘home sweet home’. From a kitchen makeover, a living room makeover, new built-ins and a chic bedroom reveal, we pretty much want to move in with her now! Thanks for having us, Mag… less decorating, more celebrating in 2016. (full tour of the #MagMileMakeover here).

Sweetest: DIY Donut Pumpkins

DIY Donut Pumpkin milk

Halloween is typically not our jam. So when we stepped outside the traditional orange + black combo and instead, traded it for pink + sprinkles…. we were big fans! This sweet donut pumpkin was a big hit and one that is so darn easy to re-create.

Most Dreamy: Michael’s Dream Tree Christmas dream tree Maggie

When Michael’s challenged us to create our “dream tree” for the holidays, we really did just that. This gold and glam tree combo totally stole our hearts this Christmas and truly was way more “dreamy” than we ever expected it to be. Plus, with a DIY bow (tutorial here) on each gift, easy monograms, and DIY ornaments, this tree was personalized which makes it even more dreamy in our eyes.

Most Hardworking: Dining Room Board & Batten

Dining Room Board and Batten Reveal

Bridget and her dad put so much hard work and time into B’s new dining room space. And let’s just say their hard work paid off. The board & batten brightens up the space and makes it look like a completely different room. Gotta love when a little time & dedication pays off big.

Most Organized: Organize all your Electronic Cords 

Last January we tackled lots of great organization projects, and this one was by far our favorite. All you need is some washi tape, a sharpie marker, and a clothespin and you’re on your way to controlling the cord chaos in no time at all.

Biggest Rebel: Office RevealBridget full verticalGold Office Makeover Trunk

We call this our “biggest rebel” because it stepped outside our typical ‘look’ more than any other room we tackled this year. Although it’s not the bright, white or pastel look we typically gravitate towards, we really loved stepping outside our comfort zone in this space! #worththerisk

Most Photogenic: Casey’s Master Bedroom

02-bedroom-mirror-above-bed-lulu and georgia
It may not be done quite yet (we’ll finish it up in January!), but Casey’s new master bedroom is one pretty place to photograph. Because of the large windows, this space receives so much natural light which makes it incredibly photogenic. We can’t wait to finish up this space and get a full reveal post on the calendar in 2016.

Biggest Drama Queen: Spring Makeover Reveal

Patio Reveal Door

It’s safe to say that our spring makeover with Lowe’s wins the title of MOST DRAMATIC. Heck, this makeover was full of drama – planning a complete before & after from hundreds of miles away, finishing the project in 24 hours, anevery day sure the family was happy with the final result? Pretty dang dramatic. But boy oh boy, it was a wonderful experience and we think it makes for one heck of a before & after.

Most Grateful: US!!

Yes, that’s us! WE ARE so grateful for all of your love and support in 2015!! Thank YOU for tuning in everyday, putting up with our corny puns and excessive use of exclamation points!!!!!! everyday. Without you, the DIY Playbook would not be possible and life would look a lot different for the two of us. We truly l-o-v-e everything about this little ol’ blog and are forever thankful for being here as we share this unexpected journey.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.