Monday, October 8, 2012

Loft Bed DIY

This is a project that I've been very excited about! I don't know about the rest of you, but we have a TON of projects that we would like to do or are in the process of doing. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and jump head first into a project that you REALLY want done! This one wasn't really at the VERY top of our to-do list, but we just decided to finally do it!! And I'm so glad we did! Jordan's such a big kid nowadays, that she really needed her bed to catch up to her. And I'm so happy that we were able give her so much space to play!

The Inspiration (Pin-spiration) Process 

Pottery Barn Teen (retails for $1,799)
Ana White design (yet another amazing Knock-Off Wood design!)

Ana White design (PERFECT for our little-big girl!)
 We decided to change the rails that go across. This is a little "boy-ish" for my "vision",
so we decided to make rails more like this:
Ana White design (perfect railing detail!)

Building Process 

We printed both sets of plans and got to work! Well, Justin and Grandpa got to work... I got to watch the kids, and check on progress periodically of course!

Justin and Grandpa Jim worked from 2:30 PM to 10:30 PM Saturday and finished up after working again all Sunday afternoon!! They were beat!!

The LAST screw!!


 Jordan's last night in her toddler bed (Saturday). She spent Sunday night on the futon thanks to drying paint.

And the paint wascomplete after two coats and a couple hours of woman-powered labor!
{Side note: I just LOVE this tarp! It has paint from all of our projects on it!}

The Result

One VERY happy girl!! :) I swear she's already demonstrated to everyone how to get in the bed, and just look at that smile!! :) Totally worth all the money, sweat, and late nights!

Hopefully she actually SLEEPS tonight!! :)

Over costs for this bed build:
  • Lumber and supplies: Approx. $120 (it would have been less if we wouldn't have altered the rails)
  • Paint: $40 (purple was on hand from the wall color, and we have over 1/2 gallon left of the white!)
Not too shabby!! :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

A new bed for Jordan?!

So, I saw this beautiful loft bed on Pitnerest a while back and fell in love with it. I showed it to Jordan and she asked, "Can I have a big bed so that I can touch the ceiling?!" Apparently good taste is genetic. ;) Here's the bed we saw:

After some investigating, I found out this was a Pottery Barn bed, and it came with a "Pottery Barn price". Now, I have a Pottery Barn dining room set, however I bought it used for $250... new, that's what one of the chairs cost and I would NEVER pay that much even if I could afford it; okay, maybe if I could totally afford it! ;)
So, I began looking around, and turned to one of my favorite places: Ana is an amazing woman! She can build just about anything, by designing her own plans, and then she posts them for FREE on her website. Hello! Thank you Ana! On her website I found plans for a loft bed that she was inspired to make after Pottery Barn came out with their bed. (Girl after my own heart!) They look a little something like this:

Needless to say, SOLD! :) Justin... ehh, luke warm on the idea of building a bed that's going to put his 3 year old 6 feet in the air. So, we've put it off. And put it off. And put it off some more. UNTIL, I found this:

Thank you AGAIN Ana White!! It's like a little kid version of her loft bed, with super easy steps and 1 rung ladder to get into it! :) LOVE! And I even have Justin on-board to build it! :) BONUS! After all, I would hate to have to try and operate his saws by myself (mostly because he would just throw his hands in the air and take over anyway)! It's easier just to have him on my team from the get-go! ;) LOL!

So, the plan is we will paint it white and she can have a whole Barbie world underneath! Now, with this project, we also have to take down some shelving... that needs a new "home". The shelves will be moved into her closet to facilitate a new closet organization system... since we already have them, why not! We also have 1 (which equals 2 in reality) more project that will come of this, but you'll have to wait for that one! :)

Now, it's time to BUILD, buy a mattress, and shop for bedding (at least sheets)... thankfully she has some pretty talented family in Ohio that have made her HUGE blankets that she loves and that keep her warm!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Growth Chart Ruler

Who doesn't want to measure their kids as they grow? Well, I would like to, however I just couldn't find the right growth chart.I don't like the felty-ones from when I was growing up... and I didn't want to write on the wall... I also didn't want to pay a lot of money for something I did like. I was stuck.

Then Pinterest came to my rescue! I found this really cool, rustic-y wood growth chart. I followed the link, and found the lady was making them after seeing one at Pottery Barn. She was charging $69. :( So, I looked around some more, and found a tutorial on how to make it. Well, not as much a tutorial as instructions.  Here's the blog I referenced:


So! I sent, I mean "asked", Justin to pick up supplies and I was on my way! He picked up:
  1. 10 ft. board- make sure you like the knots on it, because they will show through the stain.
  2. 1 quart of stain (Walnut- we were going for a rustic look)
I Also Used:
  1. Sharpie oil-based pain marker in black (from Joann Fabric)
  2. Numbers- printed out on a regular sheet of paper. I printed a couple sets so I could decide which font I liked best. I made sure that my numbers would be about 2 inches high when printed.
**It's worth noting that all our supplies totalled about $15, and we had LOTS of stain left-over, and the paint pen ($3.50) is hardly at the end of its life.

  1. Saw- to cut board to the length you want. Or you can have them cut it at the store. Or just buy a 6 ft board if you would like; since it will sit a few inches off the floor, it will give you just over 6 ft to measure with.
  2. Tape measure
  3. Pen or pencil- to mark off your inch/feet lines

Getting Started:
We measured where we were going to put the board. In our house, we have this "post" at the bottom of the stairs, that I'm pretty sure holds a 6x6 stud supporting the 2nd story. I don't REALLY know that, but there it does meet the dimensions. So, I figured this would be a great place for a floor to ceiling ruler, because the ruler would cover the whole side of the "post". Justin broke out one of his saws that was "perfect" for the job, and cut!

Time to stain! this was my first time staining EVER. So I highly suggest testing your staining technique on the back side of your board. ALSO- be sure to wear gloves... otherwise your hands will look really dirty for a day or so; no matter how much you wash them.

Just follow the instructions on the stain you get, which is basically: apply stain, wait 15 minutes, and wipe off. Repeat process until you are happy with the color. (Of course you could always paint the board whatever color you would like if you're going for that look.)

After the stain is dry... it's time to start measuring! Place the board on the wall where you would like it- we placed ours on top of the baseboard- and measure the first few inches; mark with pen or pencil. Don't worry about the pen/pencil mark, your paint pen will cover it up! Lay the board out and measure out the rest of your increments: I measured in 1 foot sections to ensure my measurements stayed true, and only marked a small dash on each inch.

Justin had this great little tool-thing (yep, I said "tool-thing") that helped me keep my lines straight. It's not a "MUST" for the project, but it made my life easier! My "inch lines" are 1 1/2 inches long and my "foot lines" are 3 inches long.

To put the numbers on the ruler, I printed out a few "sets" of numbers in different fonts, so that I could decide which ones I liked better. Then I simply placed the paper on the board, lining up the numbers where I wanted them, and traced the letter on the paper, on the board. This makes indents on the board for you to fill in with your paint pen.

Here's a closer picture of how the lines and numbers turned out:

And the finished project:

(It's really not THIS dark, but our natural lighting stinks, and we only have floor lamps in the living room, which is off to the right side of this picture.)

Do you see what I mean about the "post"? It was useless until now! :) And I love the way the board is the exact size of the post! I love it so much that I touch it (well, "pet" it) all the time! And the kids noticed it to and kind of check it out. :)

I'm going to get medical records from the kiddos' well-child checks to get their heights from the past, so I can fill in some records from when I didn't have this chart. And I'm fully anticipating that visitors are going to measure themselves when they come over- so it's a conversation piece, too!

Anyway, I'm really interested to see what something like this would look like painted. Obviously paint comes in every color, and the paint pens do, too! Be inspired friends! Make one for your kiddos!

P.S. The original blog I saw this on is now charging $75 for their growth rulers and the kid's clothing consignment store in town is charging $40 for theirs. Remember I said this cost me approx. $15 and I still have supplies? Oh yeah! THIS is why I love DIY! :)

P.P.S. Bring over your board and your measurements... we have the tools to cut and measure- I'd be happy to help you!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Picture This...

So, recently I registered for supposed to be a great place to score deals for doing things and going places. I thought it would be nice to see if they ever had something Justin and I could do together, you know, as ADULTS! LOL! Right.

Well, they had a "deal" the other day... a FREE (yes, FREE) photobook from Shutterfly! I was ALL over that, let-me-tell-you! So, I made a little book of some recent memories we've made. What fun! Take a gander if you'd like. :)

OH... P.S... these are great things to make for your kids, with pictures of people that they don't get to see often. I made one for Jordan was she was one, and she loved it! In fact, she loved it so much that the sucker finally started shedding pages (yes, it actually wore out!). Great idea for military families.

Visit to create your own personalized photobook.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Game Oranizing for Dummies

So... We have had a box of board games and the like sitting in a box on the landing at the top of the stairs for approximately a year. And in the interest of full disclosure... before coming to live on the landing, the box of games lived in the dining room for a long time. Sheesh, right?

Recently, we've been on a kick of making our house work for us. We've decided to build cabinets on the 3nd story landing, but that's going to be a little expensive, so until then we must figure out other storage solutions.

We bought new furniture this year, including a storage ottoman. It's fantastic! It has four tops with four compartments and... it's empty. Seriously the only thing I ever even thought to store inside of it was throw blankets!! It wasn't until after we brought it home that I realized we aren't really throw blanket kind of people! Who knew?! So, it's been sitting empty for months.

Just the other day I was perusing some blogs... mainly iHeart Organizing, and came across this idea:
  • Store games in your storage ottoman for easy access and convenient storage!
Click HERE for Jen's post.

Uhh... why didn't I think of that? :( Regardless... thank you whatever blog I saw that on- I'm so grateful! I mean, it's not like it was a genius idea, but I hadn't thought of it before. And now... BAM! Instant game organization and 1 less box sitting on the landing! :) Super fantastic!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Adventures in Painting

I'm not sure if I've explained our misguidance in buying a new construction home or not. Here's the deal... just because it's new, doesn't mean it needs less work. For example: Paint. Yes, our house was full of fresh, never-touched-before white (ick) paint. HOWEVER, the contractor used flat paint. For those of you that don't know... flat paint = unwashable!! And that means that anytime a dog knocks it's wet self against a wall, or your child touches the wall while in time-out... there will be evidence left behind for all of time. Or until you paint. And don't you for one minute think that I haven't attempted to be the exception to the rule and have washable flat paint... the paint and texture come off the wall wherever I've attempted a clean-up job. :(

The solution? Paint the entire downstairs. We thought we started this when we painted "Harvest Gold" 3 years ago. Turns out the fall/harvest decor didn't happen and we ended up with really bright goldy-yellow walls. Then last year, we decided to do some remodeling and build a den. So, for exactly 1 year we've had two unfinished walls (just textured) in our downstairs because I can't decide on a tan/beige paint color; yes, I take full responsibility for this one.

Thank you Sherwin Williams for having your 40% off paint sale the 20th-23rd! While we spent $303 on paint, it was high quality and SO MUCH less than what the same paint could have cost; 40% less to be exact! We decided on Resolute Blue and Kilim Beige, the perfect compliments to our warm-green kitchen!

So we being our painting weekend by sending Justin to the zoo with the children! Thankfully our neighbor needed to get his little guy (Jordan's "favorite prince") out of the house too, and that my parents were planning on surprising us by taking the kids to the zoo (LOL), too! So the dads, kids, grandparents and Auntie Jill all got to go to the zoo!

(Another thanks to Grammy, Pop-Pop, and Uncle Wessy for Jordan's wagon! It's well loved!)


And Justin's favorite part:


And my Favorite parts:

(Apparently they held hands nearly the whole time! So adorable!)

(And my little man)

Okay- enough of the slackers! Just kidding... I'm SOOOOO grateful for the zoo trip! It was an amazing help to have the kiddos out of the house while it was destroyed and wet with paint!

Here's the before pictures we snapped:

(corner of living room with Harvest Gold and unfinished wall)


(TV's new location in the corner)

(Yet another round of color samples we considered- testing them against the painted kitchen color)


During and After:

And the Dining room:

(I was surprised that it looked like we were moving when I saw the dining room in disarray!)

(The former time-out corner... Can you see all the hand-prints?!)

(Justin did a lot of the prep work on Sunday, Jimmy helped him and kept an eye on Joey!)

Some final photos:
(new location for our house star picture)

(see the new color??)

(Moved our sign from above the slider to above the pantry/laundry)

(Reorganized the star wall!! I'm SO in love with it!)

And now... the Detwiler-projectness shows... It wouldn't be one of our projects without SOMETHING going wrong... well, it did, and it was all my fault!! While touching up the ceiling in the living room, I went to move the ladder, but I had to fold it first. I grabbed the blue paint cup I was using and started to fold the ladder... I totally forgot I had the only quart of our white ceiling paint on the ladder shelf!! :(

(Paint ALL OVER the carpet!!)

Yep... while we're not in love with our carpet, we are stuck with it for another couple of years, so this was BAD news! :( And did I mention it was the only can of ceiling/original paint we had, and that it doesn't have a label or anything to suggest what white color it is?? I was able to save a lot of the paint... and Justin was able to salvage the carpet!!! :) Thank you to the internet suggesting that laundry detergent and water should do the trick! It's not all out, but after a lot of hands and knees scrubbing on Justin's part, we can still make it another couple years with the carpet!! :) He saved the day!