The DIY Playbook – 2016 Yearbook

Staying with DIY Playbook’s end of the year tradition, here is our 2016 BLOG recap ….yearbook style. Think best dressed, most likely to get married, valedictorian … but for blog posts. For the second year in a row (you can check out last year’s right here), we just couldn’t help capturing some of our most memorable posts while having a little fun (and poking a little fun at our own work).

Biggest Risktaker: The DIY Playbook Style Series

Starting the DIY Playbook Style series was definitely something that was outside of our comfort zone and something that felt a little intimidating. However, we are SO grateful for all of the love and support we have received and can’t believe that our fashion posts have turned into some of our most popular. We plan on continuing to post each Wednesday about our favorites in fashion in 2017!

The Science Department’s MVP: Keep a Fiddle Leaf Plant Alivefiddle-leaf-survival-tips

When we asked on Instagram for YOUR tips and tricks to keeping fiddle leaf figs alive, we were blown away by the feedback you guys gave us. We compiled those tips and tricks and have been using them (religiously!!) to keep our fiddle leaf plants alive. B’s happy to report her fig is still alive… and thriving (for the first time ever!).

Award for Outstanding Achievement: Modern Address Tutorial

bridgets-first-house-fall-mums-2We can’t believe how popular this project has become since posting it this summer. With a few FREE paint sticks, you can recreate this look in an afternoon and immediately upgrade your curb appeal. We love that re-creating this project doesn’t have to be expensive… or super difficult!

Most Popular: DIY Industrial Pipe Shelvesrustic_industrial_pipe_shelves_nursery-13

We LOVED working on B’s nephew’s nursery this year, including building these DIY industrial shelves. We wanted these shelves to resemble ones from Restoration Hardware without the steep price-tag. And because these shelves are living in Owen’s nursery, we even found a way to baby proof them!

Biggest Transformation: Casey’s Condo marble-table-built-in

Casey’s been in her place for a little over a year, but from taking a tour of her place you would NEVER guess it’s been just a year! From her new built-ins, to the reveal of her bedroom, the guest room, and her dining room, she’s been one busy lady! Although her space feels like it’s really coming together, she still has some projects up her sleeve (of course!) and is awaiting the delivery of her NEW COUCH!!!

Prom Queen: Lowe’s Fall Makeoverlowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal

The Lowe’s Fall Makeover was definitely a fan favorite around here! We still can’t believe the dramatic transformation of this bedroom and hope to have even more of these dramatic makeover opportunities in 2017!

Most Likely to be on TV: DIY Shiplapshiplap_bathroom_reveal-15

Thanks to Chip and Joanna Gaines and their Fixer Upper Phenomenon in 2016, our Shiplap tutorial has been very popular. This was our first shiplap project but we hope to tackle more of this in 2017 because we love the look and can’t believe how EASY it was to DIY!

Best Couple: B & C’s 2 for 1 holiday home tour

We loved injecting our own holiday style into each of our homes and shared them in this 2 for 1 holiday home tour!

Best Baby Face: Newborn Photography Tipsnewborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-6

B joined Casey in the “AUNT CLUB” this year and because our first post about newborn photography tips was so popular, we decided to provide even more tips after photographing this little cutie!

Biggest Risk: How to Change a Light Switch


We never thought we could DIY simple electrical updates (like changing an outlet or a light fixture) but you guys encouraged us to give it a try. And you were RIGHT, we could do it and these simple fixes weren’t nearly as scary or as challenging as we thought. #thankyou

Most Athletic: NFL Homegating Party

We were so excited (and honored) to partner with the NFL to provide tips and tricks for a home gating party! Although the Chicago Bears were nothing to brag about this year, we still had fun cheering them on while coming up with simple ways to upgrade your next football party.

Most Tardies Class: DIY Blackout Curtains casey-bedroom

Can you even believe these DIY curtains are not only inexpensive but they require ZERO SEWING?!! Our kind of project right there.

Biggest Rebel: Casey’s Guest Room Reveal View More:

We REALLY stepped outside our comfort zone when we painted Casey’s guest room dark navy. Although we were a bit nervous while painting this bold color on the walls, we are both obsessed with the look and have absolutely NO regrets.

Most Unlikely to Succeed: Under the Sink Organizationorganized-sink-kitchen-cleaning-supplies

This under the sink storage solution didn’t have any fancy labels or ccolor-codedsystem, heck it isn’t even full of pretty “eye candy” so we weren’t anticipating it to take off like it did. However, we are so grateful that you guys liked it and really do love this easy and realistic solution!

Best Teamwork: 2016 Blogger Gift Guideholiday_christmas_bridget_skirt_gift_necklace-3

We can’t emphasize enough how much we love collaborating with other bloggers and how grateful we were when a group of some of our favorite bloggers agreed to be a part of this year’s first annual Blogger Gift Guide. We learned SO much from this year’s first ever gift guide and can’t wait to use those tips and tricks to make next year’s even better!

Best Investment: Our Favorite Photography EquipmentArizona_camera_bridget-001

We invested in a new camera and a few new photography items and can’t tell you how happy we are that we finally took the plunge.

Prom King: One Sport Coat, 2 Ways

How lucky are we to not only have these two hunks supporting EVERYTHING we do here on the blog, but are also willing to step in front of the camera for their first ever takeover of the DIY Playbook Style Series? This may have been the first takeover, but after hearing the feedback, this is probably not their last. 😉 Thanks, Finn & Matt for being our biggest fans and two of the best sports around.

Most Likely to Become a Journalist – Painting Tips from a Pro

zillow-how-to-paint-a-room-14We interviewed B’s dad (thanks Dad!), a professional painting contractor, about tips for painting and we can’t believe how much we learned! What paint brush to buy, how long these brushes should last, what paint to use… he covers all of this and much more in this post!

Most School Spirit: DIY Playbook turns 3!diy_playbook_3_birthday-004

The DIY Playbook turned 3… so of course we celebrated! Looking back at these photos has us excited (and scheming) for the Playbook’s 4th birthday in March.

Most Likely to be Everyone’s BFF: Happy Hourhappy-hour-graphic

We changed the format of our monthly recaps and coined this monthly feature, “Happy Hour”. These monthly posts are a time to sit back, relax, and catch up on everything and anything… like girlfriends do. Grab your coffee (or champagne) and let’s chat!

Most Likely to Travel the World: A tie between Guide to Alaska and Carmel, CA Recap

2016 offered some pretty amazing trips and reminded us how much we love traveling and exploring new places!

Techiest: DIY Playbook gets a mobile makeoverchicago_bridget_fashion_fall-riverwalk-jeans-sweater-phone-cell

Upgrading our mobile site was a project that we were working on behind the scenes for a majority of the year! In the fall, we finally checked it off our to-do list (with the help of our amazing tech team) and we’re so excited that our readers can navigate the playbook on their phones SO MUCH EASIER! #itwasabouttime

President of the Drama Club: DIY Playbook shares Seasonal Videos!  Matt-winter-boots

One of our goals this year was to incorporate more video and we are proud to report that we took some baby steps to make this happen! To give you guys a little insight into the shenanigans on what goes on behind-the-scenes the Playbook, we started documenting some of our memories together as a “video scrapbook”. We shared a video of from summer, fall and tomorrow we’re excited to share our holiday video! We also hired a crew to capture some footage of our Lowe’s Makeover, which was something new for us, and we already love looking back and seeing that project unfold!

travel-carmel-bridget-casey-rookies-fashion-dressWow, 2016 really as a busy & jam-packed year and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Looking forward to what next year has in store for us here on The DIY Playbook.


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.