Curtain tiebacks as mudroom hooks

I’ve been putting off doing any permanent storage in our mudroom/laundry room. I’ve been holding off; wanting to wait until I can install the mudroom of my dreams, complete with lots of storage, a bench to sit on, and hooks for backpacks and coats.

Well, we’ve been here a year and a half, and this is just not a practical goal. Backpacks and coats have been strewn all over the floor, and the kids have started avoiding the mudroom completely and dumping all their bags, books, coats, and shoes in my dining room every day. Enough is enough!

I created a temporary (but probably less temporary than I’d like to admit) solution for all their stuff. Here is the view into the kitchen from the mudroom.

On a side note, just ignore the missing tile on the floor. It got removed during renovation to install the new pocket door in the pantry, and I just haven’t bothered laying new tile yet. I have the new tile, after rescuing it from the Habitat store that I accidentally donated it to, but in all honesty, I’m just not that motivated to patch it up. I don’t even like the floor to begin with, and I hope to replace it someday, so I’ve just been avoiding it all-together.

The black door on the left is the door into our garage. The door is set away from the perpendicular wall just enough that there is enough space there for some wall hooks.

I have this random bin full of all sorts of hooks, knobs, and the like, so I rummaged through it to find some hooks to hang on the wall.

There on top were some old curtain tiebacks that I forgot I saved. Thrifty Decor Chick used curtain tiebacks on her door for bags and scarves, and I’ve always loved that idea, so I tried it out for our backpacks.

I used my new handy dandy stud finder that Ben got me for Christmas (it was on my wish list!) and because the studs were reasonably placed, I screwed directly into them instead of using anchors.

A quick tip: if you ever need to hang anything on your wall, or do anything on your wall that requires any pencil markings, put painters tape on your wall first, then do all your markings on the painters tape. You can drill or screw directly through the tape, and once your screws/nails are set, just rip the tape off. Now you don’t have to touch up any paint to cover all the pencil markings.

Once the 3 hooks were installed I tested them out with the heavy backpacks and my purse. AWESOME. Finally! Storage. And it only took me 10 minutes using stuff I already had sitting around. Why did I wait 18 months again??!

The hooks and bags fit snugly behind the door without blocking the door from opening all the way. It’s like it was meant to be.

I also found this cute cast iron key hook at Hobby Lobby that I hung up.

I was going to call it “wrought iron” because I’ve always thought any type of iron or metal like this is “wrought iron” but after googling I found a simple explanation between cast and wrought iron:

“Wrought iron has been worked (wrought) by hammering and bending, often into elaborate shapes. It is distinguished from cast iron, where the iron takes on the shape of the mold the molten metal was poured into.”

Now we can all stop calling it wrought, and start calling it what it really is – cast iron. You are welcome.

And finally, our new curtain tieback wall hooks working double duty with our bags and coats, and the new cast iron key holder.

Hallelujah for simple storage solutions that make a big impact. My goal for 2015? To get this house organized once and for all.

-curtain tiebacks = awesome big hooks
-painters tape for pencil markings on wall
-cast iron instead of wrought iron


The updated columns in the kitchen

Okay, so first off, holy moly you guys are seriously the best. I am blown away by all the comments I received on my post from yesterday. I am not speechless often, but right now, I am speechless. Thank you for just being you. I wasn’t expecting anything when I typed up that post last night. I just felt like I owed you guys an explanation. Comments across blogs are at an all time low, so I guess I just didn’t even think that anyone would comment. I woke up this morning to so much support in my comments section and on facebook. I was taken aback by all the love. I’ll admit, I did get choked up a little. Thank you thank you. Today reminded me that you guys are what’s important to me. Nothing else matters but you.

Okay, sappy time over and out.

We made a subtle change to the columns in the kitchen that just made the entire ensemble look so much more crisp and professional. Can you spot the differences? Keep in mind this “after” picture is before all the final painting of the walls and baseboards.

Do you see them? This is like one of those “spot the 10 differences” games in the back of People magazine. ;)

I’ll give you a hint…

Now do you see them?

We left the far left column alone but we built out the center column and right column so they are square to the counter instead of a weird triangle angle. Do you see it now?

The column on the far right now wraps around the sink wall and has a recess on the bottom right that used to not be there. It just looked strange before not having that column bump out, so we created a faux bump out. We also un-bumped the center column at the ceiling so it would match the section of wall on the left. I know, I know, so confusing!

I did all the bumping out and squaring off of the columns using various sized pieces of wood; mainly 2x6s, 2x4s, and 1/2x1s. It involved a lot of math and measuring and both hands, so I didn’t take any photos of the ordeal. Once the wood was in place the sheetrock guy finished everything off.

We had to wait until the counters went in before the final taping and floating and texturing could be finished, so once the counters were installed the sheetrock guy finished it all up.

Making progress… it’s starting to look like it’s original to the house.

Once all the rounded corners were finished as well as the taping and floating, he finished it all off with texture. In case you are going to be texturing your walls any time soon, the tool he is using is called a hopper. You hook it up to an air compressor.

Ah, looking so much better!

The final step was adding the baseboards, which need to be painted white. Spoiler alert: I already painted them and showing you guys is on my immediate to-do list.

We also cut the bar height counter down to counter height to open the kitchen up more and make it feel more open to the family room. Oh, and one more thing before I forget, the entry into the kitchen on the far right used to be an arched tunnel that we ripped out and squared off.

And now, faux columns that look like they’ve been there this house’s entire life.

Like I said, very subtle but it just finishes off the space and makes it look a whole lot crisper and more professional.



How to make a Magnetic Frame to display artwork

(I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.)

My daughter LOVES to draw and is very crafty. We have artwork all over our fridge and taped to the walls. I made her a magnetic frame for her to display all her artwork, photos, notes, and cards. It looks a lot classier on a magnetic frame instead of taped to the wall!

The frame is quite large. I wanted her to have enough space to display LOTS of artwork, not just a picture or two. Now she has plenty of room to expand her collection.


I couldn’t help but pull out some of my favorite old photos of her. Gah, she was just the most adorable little girl. Now she is 10! Time flies.

Here’s how to make your very own Magnetic Frame. I wanted something simple that I could make in a day. I started by purchasing a piece of magnetic sheet metal from True Value Hardware.

For the frame I used planks of MDF. These are 4″ wide that I had leftover from a previous project. Using the sheet metal as a guide, I cut the MDF with mitered edges, glued them together with wood glue, and then added some stapes on the seams on the back for added support. I let this dry overnight.

Once dry I lightly sanded the seams and all the edges.

I used some Painters Pyramids to support the frame while I sanded and painted it. These things are great and as you can see by how colorful they are, I use them frequently.

Once my frame was sanded, I added a coat of primer. MDF guzzles paint so it’s always a good idea to prime first. My favorite is Zinsser Bulls-Eye 1-2-3 Primer.

I let it sit for a few hours to completely dry before painting it. I used a leftover color – here is a similar one called Lemon Kiss at True Value. You can see in the picture below that I like to store extra touch-up paint in smaller glass jars. Much easier to use for small projects than a big metal paint can.

When the frame was dry I gave it a once-over with a can of satin clear top coat spray paint. Here is the exact type of top coat I like.

The sheet metal I purchased at True Value had a thin coating on it that I had to buff off with glass cleaner.

Once the frame was totally dry and the sheet metal was clean it was time to attach it to the frame. I did this using Liquid Nails.

I coated the inside perimeter of the frame with the Liquid Nails and then placed the sheet metal on top of the adhesive. I also set a few heavy paint cans on the corners of the frame to create a tight bond between the liquid nails and the frame.

From there it’s time to add the picture hangers. I love these picture hangers that you don’t need little tiny nails to attach. You simply hammer the picture hanger directly into the frame.

While I was making the frame Kinsey was busy making bottle cap magnets with a friend. She used leftover bottle caps, glued a magnet to the top of the bottle cap, flipped it over, decorated the inside of each cap, then gave it a good coating of mod podge dimensional magic. Aren’t they so adorable?!

From there it was just a matter of hanging it in her room and adding her creations!

I love all the little bottle cap magnets she made. It adds a nice finishing touch.

How do you display your kids artwork in your house? Artwork has a way of taking over the entire house. Have fun making your very own Magnetic Frame!

Check out all my other True Value projects here!

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