Basement Bar DIY Backsplash

When we had the bar built in our finished basement, we knew we would eventually want to tile the backsplash.

Basement - Bar

But, we didn’t worry about having our contractor do it, because we knew we would be able to DIY it in the future, since we had done it before.  So, several months ago we  began our search for a tile to complete the backsplash.  We looked at the normal places, Lowe’s and Home Depot, but didn’t find anything that was even close to being an option.  Then we remembered another local place, Fleming Tile & Marble, which is where we had gone to pick out our granite for the bar.  Bob and I went there and it didn’t take long for us to find what we wanted.  It was a glass bamboo mosaic tile by Bella Vita Tile.   It tied in the colors of our granite counter with the floor tile and the color of the cabinets.


The website on the box said, and below are the details from the box.

Bar Backsplash - Tile details

After having the tile sit for months in the house….we were saving it for one of our winter projects, we finally got to work on it in January.  We started by prepping the bar area to protect the granite counters.  We used plastic drop cloths and painters tape to cover the counters.

Bar Backsplash -Prepping with covering granite

We kept our tradition as we did upstairs and marked the wall before we started tiling.   This gives away my slow turnaround time on blogging, but it did take several weekends to complete all the steps.

Bar Backsplash - Bob and Leslie

We bought a small bucket of adhesive at Lowe’s to use to adhere the tile.  With the glass tile, the only advice the tile shop gave us was to make sure we used a white adhesive so that it didn’t show through the tile.

Bar Backsplash - Adhesive

To make sure we had a straight edge that lined up along the bar edge, we secured a 1 x 4 on the wall and made sure it was level.

Bar Backsplash - Prep for straight edge

Bob and I both worked on placing the tiles.  He is better at applying the adhesive than I am.

Bar Backsplash - Bob placing adhesive - first tile sheet in place

We did use our tile saw to make the cuts as needed.  A word of caution…glass tile can make sharp glass shards!  If you attempt to DIY with glass tile, please use safety gear such as safety glasses and gloves.  We were wearing safety glasses at first, but never thought of gloves until Bob was using the tile saw and a shard flew directly into his thumb.  Fortunately, he didn’t need stitches, but it was painful and we had to keep it tightly bandaged.  So, because of our extra safety measures, I did not stop to take any pictures of us cutting the tile.  We also learned it was easier to cut with both sets of hands.  Bob “fed” the tile through the saw and I held up any portion that hung over the edge to keep it level and take the pressure off it hanging over the edge of the saw.  That method worked the best for us.  Once we got going it moved along pretty quickly.

Bar Backsplash - Leslie tiling around tv

I’m the one who did all the measuring and tile placement.  It was a bit like putting together a puzzle around where the TV is normally.  No one will ever see it, but we did fill it in completely.  I just saved that part until the end and used all the random pieces to fill in the spaces without as many cuts.  My initial calculations were pretty close.  We had ordered 2 spare tiles, and that is what we had leftover, plus a few cut portions.  We got all the tile placed in a few hours.  But, it had to wait until the next weekend until I had time for the grout.  Our grout color is Desert Khaki.  Bob mixed it up for me in an old dishpan I had.  I read on other blogs that the grout should be the consistency of peanut butter, so we added a bit more water than the instructions said.

Bar Backsplash - Grout in dishpan

Grouting is a one-person job in our house, so once Bob mixed it up, I got busy grouting the tile.

Bar Backsplash - Leslie starting to grout

Grouting only took a couple hours in total.  It really is the most tedious part of the process.

Bar Backsplash - Grout applied to tile

I followed the directions on the grout by leaving it on for 15-20 minutes and then wiping off with a sponge.  It was easy to see as the grout was drying too.   At one point I started wiping it off too quickly, and it was not a good idea.  It needs that amount of time to set.  And, I also learned to leave it look hazy for 3 or more hours and then wipe it clean.  The finished look is well worth the time and effort.

Bar Backsplash - Tile close-up after

We had the most delay in our final clean-up step.  While the tape and plastic provided the protection we needed for the granite during the tiling process, it provided quite a struggle in the clean-up process.  Since we placed the tile and grout directly on top of the counter, the tape was stuck there.  Bob had to use a knife and razor blade to remove the tape and plastic to get a really clean edge.

Bar Backsplash - After corner view

But, it was well worth the wait.  Our only remaining step is probably to add a strip of caulk where the tile meets the counter.  And, we are considering adding a trim piece along the raw tile edge.

Bar Backsplash -after tile

The backsplash has really transformed the look of the bar.

Bar Backsplash - After full bar view

It’s amazing what some tile, grout, and a bit of DIY can do to change the look of a space. We love the final results.  So, how about you, and other DIY tiling stories to share?  Any suggestions on what type of trim to use on the raw tile edge?

DIY Show Off


Christmas and New Year’s

We celebrate Christmas with my family on the Sunday after Christmas, so this year it was the day before New Year’s Eve, which meant celebrating just continued from one holiday right into the next holiday.  Bob and I made it a nice extra long weekend to allow time for us to really enjoy our time with family and friends.  My family started the Christmas celebration with a wonderful meal.  Bob was able to capture a picture of all of us at the table.

Christmas - Family Table

Mom added a bit of Christmas decoration to her kitchen by hanging a small wreath, which I think is actually a candle ring, above the stove. 

Christmas - Wreath on tiled backsplash

I think she really wanted her wreath featured on the blog, because she made sure to point it out.  I guess after I posted her leaves in the crock, she realized she is at risk for me taking pictures and posting, so this time she chose what she wanted me to share. 🙂  I am gladly sharing, because I like how it looked.  And, it shows off the backsplash tile that Kristel and I installed for Mom last year. 

After our delicious meal, we all shared in some gift giving.  We added some fun to it, and made whoever was the first to find a present with their name on it, then got to find a present for the next person.  We did that until we all had a present in hand.

Christmas - Family with first present

Then, it was the big decision of who got to open first!!  The kids were very anxious, but everyone was patient and shared in the fun and spirit of the season of giving.

Christmas - Cake Pops

There were also some treats to enjoy throughout the day.  Aniyah had gotten a cake pop maker for Christmas, so we got to sample her delicious and adorable creations.  The kids then had some fun playing one of the new games, Hedbandz.

Christmas - nieces and nephews playing hedbandz

They all look so cute with their hedbandz on…and they are no dummies, they tried to cheat and ask to see the picture I took of them so that they would know what they were.  Each kid didn’t know what was on their head and had to ask questions to narrow down what they might be until they could guess what they were.  It was quite entertaining. 

Christmas with my family was a wonderful day!

The next day was New Year’s Eve.  I ventured out to Target to do some shopping…I had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket!  I lucked out and all the Christmas decor was 70% off.  I was looking at the Christmas decor for two reasons – one to see if there would be anything I could use in my house for next year, and two for anything I could use for New Year’s decorations.  I’ve never actually decorated for New Year’s before, but we were having neighbors/friends to our house that evening.  I didn’t want to take all my Christmas decorations down, but I did want to add some New Year’s decor.  The evening was to be a progressive evening, so everyone was coming to our house for cocktails and appetizers before moving on to the next house for dinner.  So, I added a few touches of New Year’s to the basement bar and dining area.

New Years - Basement Bar buffet

I set up the bar with part of the appetizer buffet, more food was brought by our guests.  I took the pictures early, so I didn’t forget once everyone arrived.

New Years - Basement Bar Vignette

For the bar decorations, I used glass containers that I had.  I bought some silver and gold bead garland and the tinsel at Target.  I used gold ornaments that I had and put them in the one glass with the beads.  The other glass just has the tinsel layered in it.  And, the apothecary jar in the back has silver and gold painted pine cones that I had, and was using in my Christmas decor.  I found the New Year’s printable on Pinterest (although I can’t seem to find my original pin of it now).  I just printed it on plain paper and slipped it in a frame I had – it’s actually a frame that normally has our wedding picture in it, but it matched the colors so I borrowed it for the evening.

New Years - Tablescape - mercury glass candles tinsel ornaments

This was the table in the basement. We didn’t actually ever sit at it, but it provided nice ambiance.  I had the mercury glass candle holders – they are from Target too, I just bought them before Christmas. 

New Years - Centerpiece - candles tinsel ornaments mercury glass

For the centerpiece, I used a rectangular white serving dish.  It was in the Christmas clearance at Target, so I got it cheap, and I know I will use it over and over.  The center candle holder was another one of my Target purchases that day.  I had the two little candleholders; they are normally on the shelves in the basement.  I just added the tinsel and some silver and gold ornaments and called it done.  I’m glad I decorated, because both of the other houses we went to that evening had very festive New Year’s decorations.  Here is all of us enjoying our cocktails and appetizers – Bob was the photographer again, so he’s the only one missing from the picture.

New Years - Friends celebrating at basement bar

A good time was had by all!  Happy New Year!!

Our Christmas House

Christmas - Puddy on porch with greenery in urns

Welcome to our Christmas House!  I’ve shared some pieces of projects around our house recently, but this is the complete tour of  our home at Christmastime with many pictures and few words. 

Christmas - Greens-magnolia-berries-urn-on-porch

I just stuff several types of greenery in the urns and added a few faux berries, but I think the real highlight are the magnolia branches in each pot.  This was the first year I’ve used them and I think it really adds to the overall composition.

Christmas - DIY Wreath on Door

The poinsettias are more burgundy than the picture shows, but you can get a pretty good idea of the overall look.

Christmas-Foyer table with tree and santa

Right inside the door, the foyer table is decorated with tree #1.  This tree is home to the more sentimental ornaments.

Christmas- Puddy with Tree with Red and Green Lights

I had a lot of difficulty getting a picture of our real tree lit, so I snapped this one of Puddy is his normal spot with the tree in the background.

Christmas-Real Tree in daylight

Same tree, just in daylight.

Christmas - Greens in Spraypainted vase-ornaments- wreath on mirror-foyer-tree-in-background

The living room coffee table, looking back to the foyer.

Christmas - Neutral Vignette with Santa trees and Nativity

A little vignette on the table in the odd corner of the living room.

Christmas-Ornaments in vase reflecting in mirror

Christmas - Fresh Greens lights and stockings on mantle

Christmas-Touches of Christmas in Powder Room

The powder room even has a little touch of Christmas.

Christmas - Craft Room Shelves

These are the shelves above my desk in my craft room.  They were the first part of the house to be decorated, since its one spot that is mainly just for me to enjoy.

Christmas - DIY Centerpieces-Sprayed Branches with snowflakes-poinsettias-and-candlesticks

I’m still using my spraypainted branches!  I just changed the vase filler and added some snowflakes.

Christmas - Ornaments in Glass on Buffet

I have quite a variety of ornaments, so they end up in any vessel I can find around the house.  These are on the buffet in our breakfast room.

Christmas -DIY Cork Board into Card Holder

This is my card display in our kitchen.  I used an old cork board and just wrapped fabric around it using staples to secure it on the back, and added Christmas roping secured with nail head trim on the front and staples on the back.  Above was with our first card that arrived.  Below, it is now overflowing with greetings from friends and family.

Christmas-DIY Card Holder full of cards

Christmas - Basement - Table and Side Table Decorated

Now, you are getting the tour of the basement decorations, starting with table and side table above.

Christmas - Basement Entertainment Center Shelves

The shelves get a whole new look for Christmas. 

Christmas-Basement Tree with Christmas Shelves and Angel

And, finally this is tree #3!  This tree has had two different looks this year.  It was decorated in pink for Keri’s baby shower, but I changed it to the blue decorations since then.  We’ve only had this tree for two Christmases, and I just love it.  It is so nice to be able to put it up early and leave it up for as long as we like.  I think it was up until February last year!

I hope you enjoyed the tour of our Christmas House.  Anyone else have three trees?  Do you decorate the whole house, or just certain rooms?

Keri’s Baby Shower

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of hosting a SURPRISE baby shower for my younger sister, Keri.  It was a joint effort of my Mom, my older sister, Kristel, and I.  We began planning it in early October, and boy does time fly when you are trying to plan a surprise and also get ready for the Christmas Holiday Season!!

There were a few DIY projects that were part of the shower, but I know my family is anxious to see pictures of the event, so I will give the highlights today and then I can recap the DIY for you later.   Plus, I seem to have failed to take a picture of my one project, so I will need to try to get one from Keri so that I can share with you.  It started with DIY invitations in the shape of diapers, this is just a quick snapshot of the variety of the invitations.  I’ll share the templates and step-by-step later.

Baby Shower - DIY Diaper Invitations

I know this picture is blurry, but it conveys the moment of the surpise with Keri’s reaction.

Baby Shower - Keri Surprised

Plus, I was behind her, so I didn’t get to see her face…I did get to see her jump and her hands fly up onto her pregnant belly.  By her reaction, I think we definitely pulled off the surprise.  My Mom was the key to getting  Keri to my house without her knowing it was a shower.  Pretty challenging, when you are also bringing along three of the guests!!  But, Mom thought of a great plan and it worked. 

Baby Shower - Keri and Mom

Keri and Mom

Since we knew it would be a busy time of year for everyone, we planned the shower as a Saturday morning brunch, hoping it didn’t cut into too many other plans.  Keri is due January 29th, so we planned the shower around the time of year, with Christmas and winter decorations.  And, lots of PINK, because Keri knows she is having a baby girl.  My cousin Kirby went above and beyond. I showed her a cute snowman diaper cake that I had pinned, and she said she could do that and make it pink.  She was not kidding.  She made this beautiful Snow Woman, which became a central part of the decor for the shower.

Baby Shower - Diaper Cake Snow Woman

We had the shower in my basement to provide plenty of room for everyone to move around and still be in the same space.  I set up extra tables and chairs so we would all have a place to sit and eat.  We used the bar to set up the buffet.

Baby Shower - Brunch Buffet

Baby Shower - guests at tables for brunch

Everyone got the chance to eat and visit with each other to start the day.

Baby Shower - Guests eating brunch

Baby Shower - June Mary Mom and Peggy

Then, we played some games.  We started with playing “Guess what is in the diaper”

Baby Shower -What's in the Diaper Game

I had never played before…actually, I still didn’t…I watched everyone else try to guess what was in the diaper.  They looked really gross, but it really was delicious candy bars melted in the diapers.

While the diapers were being passed around, others were trying to “Guess how big Keri’s belly is.”  We used pink ribbon and they each got to cut off the amount of ribbon they thought it would take to wrap around Keri’s belly.

Baby Shower - How Big is her belly game

Then, to see who got it right Kristel measured Keri’s belly.  She came in at 42.25 inches.  Keri’s mother-in-law was almost perfect with her 42 inch guess!

Baby Shower - Measuring her belly

Kristel measuring Keri’s belly

Our third game was “Name that tune” and we played short clips of songs, all of which contained the word baby.  It was a fun challenge.  Speaking of baby, my cousin’s baby Natalee was in attendance and is as sweet as ever.  Everyone was taking turns passing her around, and I couldn’t resist snapping pictures of her!!

Baby Shower - Kristel and NataleeBaby Shower - Granny and Natalee

Kristel and Natalee (left) and Granny and Natalee (right)

The final game was “Baby Price is Right”  We put out 4 baby products at a time and the lucky contestant got to put them in order of cheapest to most expensive.  It proved to be more difficult than anyone thought it would be.

Baby Shower - The Price is Right Game

Since I had my tree up, we decided that it was definitely the place to put the gifts.  I even decorated the tree in pink, just for the occasion.  The white painted changing table was one of the DIY projects that I will share later.

Baby Shower - Presents under the tree

Keri’s family and friends were very generous and I think she has everything she needs for when she and Cory bring home baby Anna.

Bamboo Chairs – Before and After

I took my mother-in-law on one of my recent thrift shopping adventures.  We were actually shopping for her, she wanted to find a new nightstand.  But, of course I had fun looking as well.  We both lucked out at Charlie’s Used Furniture in Lancaster.  As she was checking out nightstands, I was just browsing the store.  I found a pair of bamboo chairs.

They were definitely used, but in good enough condition for me.  I didn’t really know where I would put them, but I inspected them and knew they could easily be reupholstered. I still wasn’t sure until the owner ventured over to see how we were doing, and informed me that the pair were half price.  So, instead of $19 each, I could have the pair for $19.  SOLD!  Meanwhile, my mother-in-law also found a nightstand she liked, so we did good on our first stop of the day.

I had flipped the chairs over to see how they were put together, so when I started my disassembly at home, it was a pretty easy process.

There was only 1 screw in the front and 2 on the rear of the chair holding the seat to the base.

I removed the seat and was left with the fabric staples to remove.

I found a surprise after removing the fabric, which I just use a flat screwdriver and then pliers to pull out the staples.

There was another layer of fabric under the first one.  I’m sure this was the original fabric, and the previous owner had just added new fabric  on top of it.  I wanted to make sure that the foam was in good condition, so I also removed this layer of fabric.  Once all the fabric was gone, I found the foam in very good condition.

I had some batting on hand, so I just added that as an extra layer to maintain the condition of the foam and hold everything in place before attaching my fabric.  I purchased 1/3 a yard of fabric at Jo-Ann Fabrics, on sale for only $14.99/yd, so my cost was $10.  The fabric is called Signoria Harvest, and it was in the 55″ rolls of home decor fabric.

The batting and new fabric are secured only with the staples.  I do one side at a time, then the opposite side and then repeat the same steps on the other two sides, saving the corners for last. I didn’t want a seam to show on the corners, so I rounded them the best I could and stapled.  That part took two hands, so I don’t have an in-process picture.

To make sure I was fine with the corners, I tested it by putting the seat back on the chair.  Looks good to me.  I also used some wood glue to secure sections where the accent details (not sure what they are called) were coming loose.  Then, I had to get Bob’s help to secure the seats back on the chair, as it was much more difficult putting the screws back in than taking them out.  I held the seat in place and he used his drill to make them really secure.

 For now, the chairs have found a place in the basement beside the console table and under the sconces.

Puddy gives his approval by testing them out in their new home! 

While I was rearranging, I started to take down some of my Fall decor and change up the look on the console table.  I still feel like it needs something else.  I seem to always struggle with getting the right look on tablescapes and vignettes….it takes me a few tries before I get it right, and I have to live with it a while in between the tries to decide what I think about it.   Any suggestions on how to finish off this spot in our basement?  Am I the only one who is ready to take down all the Fall decor and start decorating for Christmas?

Our Basement Retreat

When we bought our home, the basement was unfinished, but we knew that we wanted to finish it some day.  Since our house is a ranch home, finishing the basement allowed us to double our square footage.  Before we finished the basement, it only was used for storage and a space for my workouts.

We began the process of finishing the basement during Winter 2010.  As much as we like to do the work ourselves for most of our projects, this was not one of them.   We chose to hire a contractor for our basement project.  It took him and one other laborer about 4 months to complete the entire basement.  Bob and I worked closely with the contractor to create a design that worked for us.  We wanted a very open family room, a bar area, a workout room, an office/music room and a bathroom. Now, we have just we wanted and envisioned for our basement, and the only part Bob and I had to do was paint!

This is the view of the family room area from the bottom of the steps.  The one door you see is to our storage area.  I use it for my seasonal decor, paint, and we keep our patio furniture in there during the off-season.

To the right is a small dining area.  I imagine it would be a great game space too, but we haven’t used it for that purpose yet.  This area is full of my DIY projects.  The table and chairs used to be painted blue – I searched for a before picture, but it was long before I thought of blogging.  It is my one successful staining project though.  The chairs were also the first ones that I reuphostered.  The small side table was a $5 craigslist find that I painted.  And, the wicker chair was free from a friend and I just made my cushion and pillow.  There is a matching footstool that you can’t see that I got for 10 cents and reupholstered as well.

The bar is to the left of the dining area.  From the very beginning, we imagined a bar in this space and we are so happy with the final design.  It just needs a back splash, which will be one of our upcoming Fall/Winter projects.  We bought a beautiful glass tile for it this year, we just need to find time to install it.

This is the view from behind the bar into the dining area.  The door you see on the far left is to the storage/furnace area.  The two open doors are the bathroom (left) and workout room (right).

I originally didn’t want a bathroom in the basement, mainly because we have three upstairs!  But, I am so glad we added it.

The workout room is quite a change from what I used before.  To take the picture, I had to stand in front of the TV, so that is the only part you cannot see.

This is the view from the sofa.  Bob and I saw shelves similar to this in a magazine.  The shelves weren’t used for a television in the magazine, but we shared it with our contractor and he customized it to fit our needs exactly.  He also added the idea of the cut-outs on each side to give it more definition.  And, just to orient you more, the door on the left is to the workout room.  The door on the right is to the Office/Music Room.

The Office/Music Room is Bob’s space.  We used to share the office space in one of the upstairs bedrooms, but when we finished the basement, Bob made this  his space.  He can play away and I can just barely hear it upstairs.  Plus, I took over what used to be the office upstairs and made it my craft room.  I’m trying to wrap up some projects in the craft room and then I’ll share pictures of it with you.

 You’ve already seen this corner, it is directly outside of Bob’s Office/Music Room.

So, that is the tour of our basement retreat.  How do you use your basement?  Or,  do you even have a basement?  My first home didn’t have one, so I had to use the attic for all my storage there.

Frog City

We have an egress window in our basement, which is the required emergency exit.  Its not very pretty to look at, but it provides natural light so we didn’t want to hide it.  We tried to dress up the window by adding blinds and curtains, and even went as far as putting pebble stones in the window well.  Then, I had the great idea to put a plant in the window well.  Since it is a basement, it is challenging to add plant life because of the lack of natural light.  But, the window well got light and this way the plant would have a better chance of survival.  I got a nice big fern and put it in the window well.

You might notice there is a large piece of driftwood in the window well also.  The driftwood was a later addition, after we realized that the window well had become home to some frogs.  Before the driftwood, Bob added a water bowl that I picked up at Goodwill.

The frogs loved the water bowl.  The shells were added because they seemed to have difficulty getting up the sides of the bowl.  Eventually, since the frogs seemed to multiply…or at least tell their frog friends that it was a nice place to live, we added a real water dish from the pet store.

Oh, and we also started feeding them crickets!!  We would go get about 50 crickets and the frogs just had a party.

Some of these pictures are from last summer.  The frogs provided us with so much enjoyment, that we created Frog City (as my nephews named it) again this year.  Puddy absolutely loves the frogs.  If we are watching out the window, he will jump up and down and cry and want up to see the frogs too.

Puddy also gets excited about looking out the window because it seems to attract other creatures as well.  We have had our fair share of bunnies and even larger rabbits end up in the window well.  One time there was a cat in there too…it had preyed on a bunny and they both landed in the window well.  We apply immediate catch and release with the other animals.  This summer, we had 2 baby birdies in the well.

The birdies were just learning to fly and couldn’t figure out how to get out of the window well, so I had to climb out there and help them back to the yard so they could get back to their momma, who was close by watching.

As the weather begins to turn into colder nights, we slowly release the frogs back into nature so they can bury themselves into the ground to survive the winter.

We released the frogs a few weeks ago after a family dinner.  As I said, the frogs have provided us with much enjoyment, so it was only natural to make an event out of releasing them.  But, it seems frog season was not over, because last week a new one landed in the window well.  And, he’s a big bull frog!

We will release him too…but not before our family gets to come over and see the big guy!

Cheap Sconce Makeover

My sconces makeover took much longer than I expected.  The actual transformation of the sconces was relatively quick and easy.  This is the before look, which I showed previously.

I bought the sconces for $2.99 each at the Salvation Army.  I gave them a few thin coats of spraypaint, and they were ready to be hung.  I ran into issues with finding the right candles though.  The distance from the candle holder base to the ring was 6″, which I thought would work with most standard pillar candles, but unfortunately most 6″ pillar candles are really only 5.5″, so it ended up looking really strange.  I did find some nice candles in my searches, but I was not about to pay $27 for a candle to put in a sconce I paid $3.  Finally, I found success at Wal-Mart.  They had 8″ pillar candles for $6 each.  I bought 2 and was finally ready to share my sconces.

The only problem was that the overall look  just seemed weird.  We had the picture hanging on the wall for a long time and it always looked very sparse in its surroundings. I should have taken an true before picture to show how lonely it looked.  Its a very long wall in our basement and the couch doesn’t sit directly against the wall, it is probably about 10-12 feet away from it, so the long wall really needed help.  The sconces did help, but then I decided to try what had once been our foyer table under the picture.  This was all part of the rearranging that occured with my free corner shelf and the sconces.  The previous foyer table had just been living under another picture in the basement near the bar/dining area of the space.  So, I stole that table and its accessories and lived with it under the picture for a while and decided it could stay.  Here’s the current look.

And,  here is another view so that you can see the perspective of sofa in front of it.

It is also really difficult to take nice pictures in a basement!  These are about as accurate as I can get the colors without much natural light.  So, what started out as quick little project, ended up creating a lot of rearranging in our basement.  But, the good thing is I think it created some improvements.  The lamp on the table under the pictures creates really nice light as we are relaxing on the sofa watching TV or reading.  I have more areas of the basement to show in some upcoming posts.  There were many projects that happened along the way as we furnished the basement.  Plus, I’ll share the true before and after of the basement with the concrete walls and floors, to the warm cozy family area we have now.

Anyone else work on a quick, easy project that ended up snowballing into many other projects?

My FREE Corner Shelf

So, I teased before about the free corner shelf that I found when I was out yardsale shopping.  This is what it looked like the last time you saw it.

In order to keep it a free project, I had to use what I had in my supplies already.  Fortunately, I won a quart of Annie Sloan Chalk paint at the Haven Conference.  And, I also got a new Purdy brush in my swag bag at Haven too!

Chalk paint is great because you do not have to prime, so I was able to just get to work painting the shelf.  I did give it a quick sand just to make sure it was smooth and it had some grit to it for the paint to adhere.  I did my first coat with the brush, but unfortunately it had too many streaks for my liking.

Since it was all flat surfaces, I decided to use a little 4″ foam roller for my second coat.  It looked much better, and it was a faster process.  Bob ended up helping me out and he put a line of caulk down the back corner where the two upright boards met.  It helped it look more complete.  Then, I just shopped the house for items to put on the shelves, and this is the current look.

Puddy seems to think that anytime I get out the camera that he needs to be in the picture!  I do think he makes them look cuter though, and since the blog is named after him it only seems right to include him!!  I used random pictures that we had in other places in the house and also some that had been stored in the closet.  The bottom “picture” is just another piece of scrapbook paper in a frame.  The only new item is the clock on the wall, and I did have that I just hadn’t found a spot for it in the basement until we rearranged for the corner shelf.  The Fall picture on the wall was taken by one of Bob’s co-workers, so he gets artistic credit for that one.  It used to hang in our hallway upstairs, but after trying a few other pictures in that spot, Bob thought of that picture and said it would look better…and he was right!  I used some real pumpkins and some fake ones to complete the look for Fall.

Anyone else score some curbside freebies lately?  What did you do to give them a new life?