Tag Archives: (DIY) Do-it-Yourself

A bedroom fit for a Tween (or Teen)

Our transformation from a boy’s room to a girl’s tween/teen paradise is nearly complete and all things pink that my daughter once tolerated for her mom’s sake *wink* is now a thing of her past.  This is now officially “her domain”!  Hopefully you can find some inspiration with some ideas we were able to do and change it to suit the queen in your life.

Before

After

Here’s what we did:

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Portfolio-Budget Kitchen remodel

Updating a kitchen doesn’t have to break your bank.  There are some simple things you can do to give your kitchen a clean and updated appearance.

This was a recent single family home I purchased for renovation and resell.  The lower kitchen cabinets were in horrible condition from what appeared to be water leaks.  The counters were the old style butcher block laminate and the floors were painted concrete.

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How to give new life to old home decor for as little as $1

Wall decor found in brown but repainted in black to match new decor

Redoing a room in a new color scheme and suddenly find yourself faced with the dilemma of spending more money on decor pieces to match?  Even crazier, have you found yourself trying to find that perfect light fixture or decor piece but its the wrong color?  Don’t let a little color issue get in the way.  Worry no more, because with a can of the latest spray paints available and a little crafty work, you can give new life to that decor and re-use it.  The best part is, no one will know you just spent pennies on what will look like all new decor…what a great little secret!

Depending on what type of use the piece will get, you can find a can of spray paint for as little as $1 at most big box home improvement stores or discount stores.  Use a better quality paint for heavier use items such as exterior pieces, light fixtures, mirrors, etc.  Decor pieces that sit on a shelf or on a wall do just fine with the inexpensive paint.

Krylon’s line of spray paints come in a variety of finishes and can be applied to a variety of surfaces such as metals, plastics, wood, etc. so all is pretty much fair game! Just follow their application instructions to ensure a quality finish:

http://www.krylon.com/products/

Here’s some things recently repainted with a $1 can of spray paint for my tween/teen room project, but should give you an idea of the variety of finishes that can be painted:

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How to maximize your home value with home improvements

Many areas across our country have been hit hard with declining real estate values.  As a result, more and more people are looking at ways to stay in their current home and ride-out the decline.  As I like to say, learn to “love the home you’re with”.  By completing a few critical home repairs or improvements, homeowners can actually add value to their home by increasing its equity and marketability.  Even better, there are many options that can be done yourself that won’t break your bank.  When you can tackle smaller projects yourself, you save even more money.

Invest wisely:

Invest your time and money into wise improvements.  Before tackling larger projects, consider the resale value of those improvements.  Will you get all or most of your money spent back equally in the increased resale value?   Renovating your home can also improve your quality of life.   Any upgrade should reflect your style, but try to choose colors, building materials and furnishings that will bring you maximum marketability for resale. Even low cost improvements like painting can go a long way.

Consider Functionality

Will the renovation serve a purpose for your family?  Does it fit into your lifestyle?  Will it improve the use of a current space?  Consider the size, location and layout of any addition to ensure it blends well into your current surroundings.

Go Eco-Friendly

Let’s face it, with current tax credits available and all the buzz about carbon footprints and going green, this should be a very important part of your investment decision.  Not only do energy efficient improvements save money on utility costs or take advantage of recycled building materials, they are becoming a hot selling factor in homes which increases your marketability resale value to buyers.  Insulated windows, lighting, solar panels or other energy saving features are among the available options to homeowners.    There are also a variety of building materials that are available in eco-friendly options such as flooring, natural fiber carpets, VOC free paints, recycled material countertops, etc.

Popular Options for Home Improvements:

Fresh Paint Inside and Out: By far, this is the least expensive and easiest way to get a lot of bang for your buck.  Don’t overlook door trims, exterior paint, corners and doors.  Chipped or dirty paint in a desirable color does nothing for resale value, but a fresh coat of paint says “welcome in”.  Go over your home inside and out from a buyer’s perspective and ensure your paint is in its best condition and clean.

Landscaping/Outdoor Amenities: As families are getting back outside to enjoy time together and entertaining, patios and decks are a good option for any property. Decks and patio additions can recoup at least 75% of their cost in extra home value.  Flower beds, brick walkways, fresh mulch and other landscaping add instant curb appeal.  Curb appeal will be the first thing any real estate agent will look at when you go to sell your home.

Kitchen or Bathroom upgrade: These two rooms historically bring the best resale value to homes when updated in current finishes.  You might be surprised that by doing even a budget kitchen makeover, it will go a long way on the value you get in return.

Survey your floors and cabinets to determine if they should be updated.  Consider sanding, staining, or painting dingy looking cabinets.  Replacing old cabinet hardware can add a lot of visual appeal for a low cost.  Old and worn sinks and fixtures should be replaced.

For some budget kitchen makeover ideas:

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/21/6-quick-and-easy-tips-for-a-budget-kitchen-makeover/

For some budget bathroom makeover ideas:

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/27/portfolio-bathroom-remodel/

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/28/portfolio-bathroom-remodel-2/


How to recover a chair seat cushion, vanity seat cushion or ottoman

Before

After

Timeless furniture pieces can last a lifetime with proper care but sometimes, spills happen or just good ol’ wear and tear to the fabric portions of seat cushions or ottomans.  No need to throw the furniture away; just replace the fabric!  Same thing would apply to finding a piece of furniture at a second-hand store; that junk could be your treasure.

In this example, I found a combination seat/storage bench but the fabric was all wrong for the tween/teen room it would be in.

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How to build a canopy fit for a “tween/teen”

My little girl will always be my princess, but she was ready to part ways with all things pink and ready to restyle her kingdom.  This is an alternative of the last do it yourself instructions on how to build an overhead bed canopy.  Fortunately, you can use these same how to instructions to build a bathroom tub valance or window valance because of its shape.

In case you missed it, here is the other alternative on how to build a canopy over a bed:

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/05/05/diy-bed-canopy/

Materials you will need:

One 1″x 12″ x 7′ white pine board ($8); Two 4 pack packages of “L” brackets-one large, one small ($6 total); Fabric of your choice-1 yard to cover valance;  # of feet of trim depending on your desires (price varies)

Tools you need:

Glue gun,   Staple Gun, cordless drill, drywall screws and drywall anchors

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Peel and Stick Wall Art Mural…so Easy, A Kid Can Do It!

As I am working on my latest project, the tween room makeover, I found these neat little peel and stick wall art murals at Hobby Lobby.  They have a variety of styles and designs.    They retail for $19.99 but Hobby Lobby considers them “wall art” which placed them at 50% off during their weekly special.

Its a stick on vinyl, so all that you have to do is roll it smoothly over your wall.  It comes with little jewels for embellishment that you can stick on as shown above.

The finished piece looks clean, crisp and very stylish.  The best part?  My daughter was able to do it by herself and we know how accomplishing something for yourself feels!

Preparing for a “Green” baby – 6 DIY tips for an eco friendly nursery

Don’t worry, your baby won’t be a little green alien.  Although sometimes, it may feel like it with the jabs and rolling motions of the little life inside you waiting to make his or her appearance in this world.  Having a baby is life changing.  Most expectant parents want to do their best to prepare for their new arrival, so it makes sense to embrace a lifestyle change to eco-friendly if you haven’t already, starting right in the nursery.

Here are some eco-friendly home improvement options when planning your new nursery:

1)  Follow your nose

Lead is no longer found in newer paints found in stores, but there is another chemical you should become aware of: volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) How can something that says its organic be bad you ask?  The VOC culprits emit toxic fumes and invisible gases from common household items such as paints, flooring or even a new vinyl shower curtain.

Thankfully, many major paint brands now offer low or no-VOC paints.  Check the labels!

2)  Now I lay me down to sleep

Add a corded dimmer switch to your lights that are next to your cozy chair so it’s always within reach.   A little night-light  also provides sufficient lighting in the dark at lower wattage use.

3)  Beyond the 5 second rule

Crawling around on the floor can have its disadvantages for baby.  Carpet is one of the most toxic elements that you can put in any home.  Carpets can harbor dust mites and other allergens.   Even worse, new synthetic carpets can emit gaseous VOCs.

Options to keep the nursery carpet-free:  bamboo flooring, cork or carpet tiles.  Add softness to the bamboo floors using a natural fiber rug or mat.   If you don’t like the idea of carpet free, at least consider one made of natural fibers such as wool, cotton, hemp or jute and don’t forget about checking the padding!

4)   Let the sun shine in

Cordless cellular shades (available through Levolor) is just that…cord free! This is the safest option for curious little fingers.  Use natural fiber window coverings to compliment your color scheme and room decor.

5)  The air we breath

An air purifier improves indoor air quality by removing allergens such as dust, pollen, mold and pet dander.    The Idylis air purifier from Lowes claims to remove 99.9% of airborne allergens.

HEPA filtration on vacuums also helps reduce airborne allergens.

6)  Keeping it clean

Using eco-friendly cleaners are the safer alternative for your whole home.  Even a little vinegar, baking soda, etc. can do a great job cleaning without the harmful chemicals.

Make your next DIY project a successful one

“You Can Do It Too”…Make your next DIY project a successful one

I love starting new projects.  I love learning new things.  Each time, I savor the sense of accomplishment by not only completing the task, but  also knowing that I was successful.  The following are tips to help you get the most out of your next home improvement project too:

1.  Have the right tools and the right materials

Before tackling any project, determine the type of tools needed and the type and amount of all the materials for the project.

2. Research and planning

Research the steps necessary to complete the project from start to finish to ensure you will have the know how.  Plan the project in steps so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

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A Home Remodel Series (Part 5-Retile a Shower)

At last, today is moving day for my friend!  Her mini-home remodel is complete and the construction dust is gone.    My friend went from vanilla everything to “wow” by making subtle changes with color and a few finishes.  Concluding our home remodel series we started last week, her master bath shower and tub, like the rest of her home,  were white on white.

To see where we started and what we’ve done, click here:

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/27/a-home-remodel-series-part-1-before-demo/

For such a large and bright space, it lacked a lot of personality.  With some paint and new tile, see the room take on a new life below.

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