backyard fire pit build inexpensive, concrete masonry, diy, outdoor living

Make an Inexpensive Backyard Fire Pit

When we moved into our house, our backyard was a big (we have a half acre lot), empty, BORING blank slate. We'd had a small, portable fire pit at our old house and loved it, so we knew that we'd get a lot of use out of a more permanent fire pit here.

a wall of mirrors in the master bath

A Wall of Mirrors in the Master Bath

When we moved into our house, the master bathroom had a really long counter with double sinks...and a GIANT frameless builder grade mirror above it. The ugly mirror wasn't even in good shape--it had some weird, discolored spots on it--so it had to go and we had to come up with a reasonably priced replacement. Read about how we safely took down the old mirror here.

faux cake for a spooky wedding halloween display

Faux Cake for a Spooky Wedding Halloween Display

I like my Halloweens with themes, particularly literary ones, so I made this Miss Havisham's wedding cake the year we had a Great Expectations themed Halloween (we've also done Edgar Allan Poe). It would also work for a Haunted Mansion theme or just an all purpose spooky wedding display.

horror movie posters for halloween

Horror Movie Posters for Halloween

Our overall theme for Halloween last year was "decomposing composers," but I ran out of theme-related ideas by the time I got to our foyer. I still wanted to Halloween it up, though, so I went campy in there with some vintage horror movie posters.

whitewashed plywood plank wall, basement ideas, woodworking projects

Whitewashed Plywood Plank Wall

We're working on finishing a game and movie room in our (formerly completely unfinished) basement right now. We're doing everything ourselves and on a very tight budget; this isn't a full scale basement finishing project, but we do want a fun space for our kids (and us!) to hang out in. Three sides of the room already had walls, but the fourth was framed out but not finished, so we needed to come up with an inexpensive solution. And we really didn't want it to involve us having to hang drywall!

inexpensive custom shelving for a kid s closet

Inexpensive Custom Shelving for a Kid's Closet

My youngest son's room has a tiny walk-in closet that was woefully underused for the first couple of years that we lived in our house. There was a clothes rod on one side and a single shelf on the other. The room it opens into is relatively small, so we wanted to keep as much space open for play out there as possible, which meant finding a way to take fuller advantage of the closet space. Before we redecorated his room, we had built a Montessori inspired shelf to hold all his toys out in his room, but now that he was older we wanted to leave that area available for lying down and reading books or pushing toy cars around.

no sew dropcloth play tent

No-sew Dropcloth Play Tent

When we were redoing my preschool son's room with a National Parks theme, we wanted to make sure there was something really fun in there for him, so we came up with this plan for an inexpensive, easy to make (no sewing!) play tent for him--perfect or the outdoorsy/camping theme we had going on! We were really happy with how it turned out.

diy national parks inspired chalkboard

DIY National Parks Inspired Chalkboard

We recently completed a National Parks themed room for my four year old son, and this is one of our DIY projects from the room. I'd originally been thinking we'd do a bear-shaped chalkboard, but I couldn't get my sketch to look exactly like I wanted, so I changed course and went with an arrowhead shaped inspired by the NPS logo instead. You can see the finished room here.

easy book ledges

Easy Book Ledges

We added these simple Ikea book ledges to my son's room, and they've been great! I love that he can see all the book covers so he can easily find the one he wants and I also love how it acts as a constantly changing wall of art for his room with all those colorful illustrations. As a bonus, it was a super easy and inexpensive project.

basement movie room makeover

Basement Movie Room Makeover

I've always wanted a finished basement, but, even though our current house has a big basement with high ceilings and lots of space, a "real" finished basement has never been in the budget. We finally decided to stop waiting and go ahead and spend a little money and do a lot of work to turn part of our basement into a finishedish space to use for family movie and game nights.

Gretchen
Gretchen