Two hacks in one post (curtains for my boy’s room)

Hiah my friends! I have been doing a little bit of tweaking in my son’s room this past week and am very excited to show you! His poor room has been virtually neglected the past almost-3-years that we’ve lived here. Thank goodness he is a typical boy who could care less what his room looks like. As long as he has his legos and DS, he is a happy camper.

Okay, so his room started like this:

First off, I ditched the shelf below his window almost immediately. It’s now on the other side of the room. And just for a refresher, here’s the post I wrote about all his bedding.

I’ll just go ahead and start with the “after” and then share the deets. I hung some curtains in his room and I still can’t believe what a huge difference it made.

I’ll let you do a quick double-take now. Yes, I am just as shocked with the before and after.

I didn’t even paint his walls or anything. Just curtains. And the room looks like 10 thousand percent better. Wow.

I love with a capital L these curtains. They are actually navy/white pinstripe twin bedsheets that I found at Target in the clearance section a few weeks ago. All I did was add a 1″ wide orange grosgrain piece of ribbon down the inner edge of either panel.

The stripe compliments the stripe on the bedding, but because it’s such a narrow pinstripe it doesn’t compete with the bedding. To turn the flat sheet into a curtain I sewed the orange ribbon down the side and stuck a curtain rod through the top of the sheet (I had to seam rip some stitching to open it up on either side).

Then I just hung the rod so that the curtain would barely touch the floor – no hemming or anything. So easy!

Now for the really fun part! I totally did an ikea hack to hang the curtan. I was going to make another one of my custom $2 curtain rods but as luck would have it I came across two ikea “bygel” kitchen rails in my stash. I had them in my office before Ben and I did one of our many office flip-flops.

The wheels started turning and I thought to myself, “Self, these look like they could be awesome cheap curtain rods!” I tested them out and sure enough, they were long enough and the fabric fit on them.

All I had to do was screw them into the wall with the curtain already attached, and voila! instant curtain rods.

I am just giddy at how well they worked. And if you can even believe it, they are only $2.99 at ikea and come in two different lengths (these are the shorter 21″ length).

I guess you’d say this post is a double hack. I hacked some twin bedsheets into curtains, and I hacked two kitchen storage rails into curtain rods. I’m sexy thrifty and I know it.

And for your pinning pleasure:

I have been working like crazy on this house lately and I can’t wait to get down to business and show you everything I’ve done! If you’ve done any crazy ikea hacks lately or have made some curtains, share your post with us in the comments section!


The laundry slash mudroom is almost done

You guys, I am so close to being done with the laundry room renovation. And I am giddy with excitement over how it’s turning out. So. Much. More. Awesome. than I could have anticipated.

We’ve been using the laundry room while it’s in transition, and even with missing trim and much needed paint touch-ups, the room functions as a laundry-slash-mudroom perfectly. Definitely worth the hard work and time I’ve invested in it.

I started a few weeks ago by showing you how to hang beadboard and how to turn ikea furniture into a mudroom locker system.

Then I dove into showing you how to run a vent pipe through your new mudroom locker system.

Today I want to give you a basic update just to show you where I’m at now. I also will give some pointers on hanging wall hooks so they are level and spaced evenly apart.

Here’s the mudroom locker system almost totally finished. All it needs is a little bit of finishing trim and some crown moulding.

I finally hung that shelf across the top (I just followed the directions that came with the shelf from ikea). I also added a strip of MDF across the back and hung up 5 new coat hooks.

I chose to add a strip of MDF across the back before I hung the hooks for two reasons. One, I think it looks more finished and more “built in”. Two, it gives the hooks additional support. The screws had something more than beadboard and drywall to bite into.

I cut a strip of 4″ wide MDF the length that I needed it, and then before I hung it up (with liquid nails and a nail gun) I measured and marked five evenly spaced lines across the board.

Then I marked where each of the screws needed to go for each hook. After I hung the board to the beadboard I drilled pilot holes into each of the screw hole markings and puttied up all my nail holes.

By pre-drilling all the screw holes, you can now prime and paint your board and not worry about where to hang each hook. You will see all your pilot holes after the paint is dry.

By pre-measuring and pre-drilling before painting, once the hooks were hung I didn’t have any paint touch-ups. It was really nice. (The coat hooks are from Home Depot and were around $4ish each.)

Now that the top shelf and the coat rack are hung I can finally focus on adding trim around all the raw edges. I bought some quarter-round I’m going to add to cover those edges. It will help give the unit a much more finished and built-in look.

Here’s how the unit is currently looking. It is fully functional, just needs the basic finishing touches (trim).

I may even add some pretty knobs to the bench drawers. It would be purely cosmetic though since the drawers have a great tap function. You just barely tap on the drawer and it pops open. The kids’ socks are stored in the drawers (they each get a drawer).

And here’s a sneak peek of the entire room. I can’t wait until I finish all the trim and crown moulding so I can give you a full tour of the room.

Oh, and check out the “before” photo. What a dramatic difference!


I think I’ve been starved for some serious DIY projects after taking a break from big projects all summer long. I just love transforming boring spaces into super-functional and pretty ones.

For a source list, check out this post.

Part 1: How to install beadboard and turn ikea furniture into mudroom lockers

Part 2: How to install a vent pipe through shelving


Laundry room phase 2 + how to run a vent pipe through a shelf

Oh boy am I tired today. Pooped out. In addition to finishing the laundry room, I’ve decided it would be the perfect time to have a huge garage sale this Friday.

Yes, I am insane. I have no boundaries.

{If you live anywhere near NW Austin and would like to stop by my garage sale, it will be this Friday at 7am. I am opening it up to friends/blog readers Thursday night from 9-9:30pm so you can shop/snoop early. Please email me for my address. I don’t feel comfortable just posting it online.}

Anyway, I am so tired. Between tackling this next chapter in the laundry room renovation and planning for a garage sale I have really outdone myself.

I didn’t get that far with the laundry room today because I had to install a vent pipe through the entire mudroom furniture. Do you remember back when I told you about the venting issue we have and how I vented the dryer through the window instead?

Well, we still have the same vent situation. The builder installed a vent up the wall that makes TWO 90-degree turns. The hot air gets trapped inside and it takes forever for the clothes to dry. So I just fixed it my venting through my window instead. Works amazingly well.

So today I had to extend my vent all the way across the laundry room. The only problem is, the new shelves and bench are in the way. This is my solution.

I wanted to vent through the wall. I wanted to hire out and have the vent professionally installed horizontal through the wall and then exit the house next to the window through the brick. However, unfortunately, the wall that I need to vent through is apparently a major support wall.

This is called being stuck between a rock and a hard place. I can’t use the current vent because the hot air can’t escape. I can’t vent through the wall to the front of the house because the wall is a support wall. I really have no options here other than the current solution – venting through the window.

Now that you know the “why”, here’s how I did it.

I started by purchasing a big honkin’ huge drill bit. It’s a little over 4″ wide (4 1/8″ I think). The big round bit and the drill bit attachment had to be purchased separately and let me tell you, they were not cheap. The two pieces cost me about $35. ::sad face::

I tackled the bench first. I needed the 4″ vent pipe to fit through the back of the bench and rest between the top shelf and the middle shelf. Any lower and I’d be cutting into the drawers below. I removed the top shelf, and after lots of measuring and math I drilled my 3 holes. Then I inserted the pipe to make sure it all fit.

From there I measured some more and then cut holes through both side shelves.

Once all the holes were cut, I attached the hard metal vent pipe to the section in the window using foil tape and the accordion-style cheap dryer vent tubing.

After making sure it all lined up and fit snugly it was time to reattach the top shelf.

I added wood glue to the raw edges before attaching the shelf just to insure it fit properly and didn’t wiggle. Check it out. You can hardly even see the vent pipe now that the seat and shelves are in place.

I’ve used the vent a few times already just to test everything, and in case you are wondering, yes, it gets hot. However, I don’t feel like it is hot enough to do any damage to the furniture or start a fire or anything. However, I know this probably isn’t “to code” so if you copy this tutorial do it at your own risk.

I also finished hanging the beadboard behind the washer and dryer…

And I spent the rest of the time filling nail holes, caulking every single visible seam, and painting all the new trim work. If you notice, it is the exact same white as the furniture. I took a shelf to Home Depot and had them match the ikea white exactly. I purchased Behr paint and primer in one. I will give you the exact formula on the next laundry room update post.

So as you can see, the room is coming along. I tried out Restoration Hardware’s “slate” paint on the wall (same paint as my dining room) but I really don’t like it in here, so I’ll try out another color soon. I probably won’t get much done in the laundry room for the next few days now that I’m planning for a big blow-out garage sale for Friday.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section. If you want to flame me because this project “isn’t to code”, please don’t bother. I’m already assuming it isn’t. If you want to pay like a billion dollars to have a brand-new header put in my support wall so I can run a new vent pipe through the wall, let’s talk. ;)

Here’s my 1st laundry room renovation post: How to install beadboard.

Part 1: How to install beadboard and turn ikea furniture into mudroom lockers

Part 3: The laundry slash mudroom is almost done

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