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We finally finished a project, well finished enough to post at least.  We are expecting baby #2 in January and will be losing one of our two guest rooms to make a room for the baby.  There are a lot of times we have more than one family/couple staying with us and we had some “wasted” space in what will eventually be our office upstairs.  Currently, this room is still little more than a storage areas but I do have big plans for it in the future.

I measured and this space was 60.5″ deep.  We had an extra queen size mattress, which is 60″ wide so I thought we could turn this into a built-in daybed.

The nook before

The nook before

It took us several weeks, but really only about 8 hours of work to get from that empty space to this.  Hindsight is 20/20.  I started the wainscoting on the left side and by the time I made it to the right I realized the light switch was right in the way.

Nook after

Nook after

Don’t look too closely or you’ll see that the wainscoting and walls need another coat of paint or two, but it is functional enough for guests.  It would also make a relaxing reading area if one of us had time to sit around and read.

View from the daybed

View from the daybed


It is finally finished. Here is the Pottery Barn Stratton inspired bed that we just completed.

The only thing left to do on it is make the dog bed for the end. The one you see is Major’s old bed. In hindsight, I would have shortened the overall height. Don’t worry though, I’ll explain exactly where in the tutorial below.


  • 3 – sheets of 1/2″ MDF
  • 3 – 6′ 2x4s
  • 3 – 8′ 2x4s
  • 6 – 6′ 1x4s
  • 1 – 8′ 1x4s
  • Trim

NOTE: I allowed for a 2″ thick headboard to attach to the bed. If you are not using a headboard you may want to shorten the boxes.

  1. Cut MDF for top and bottom into 61″ x 21.5″
  2. Cut and attach 21.5″ lengths of 2×4 to the left, center, and right bottom of the MDF – this will elevate it off the ground the perfect distance to add the 1×4″ facing boards at the end (I know the picture shows two sections but that is only because I was using scrap 2x4s and didn’t want to waste anything. The other two boxes were done using 21.5″ sections)

  3. Cut and attach 14.5″ 2x4s to the MDF base (we used the Kreg jig for pocket holes) to the MDF in six places (front left, back left, front middle, back middle, front right, back right) Our 2x4s were cut to 17.5″ and if I were to do this again I would shorten it by 3″. I suggest you cut them to 14.5″

4.  Attach MDF board to the top (61″ x 21.5″)

    5.  Attach MDF panels to the inside walls of the compartments (21.5″ x 14.5″)

    6. Add 1×4 facing boards horizontally to top and bottom first and then vertically to left, middle, and right

    7. Add trim pieces (I used cove molding because it is the same width as the 1×4)

    8. Add beadboard for backing.

    I chose not to finish the ends on the two benches that would be used for the left and right side of the bed. I wanted the box at the foot of the bed to fit snugly up against them. However, the ends on the box for the foot had to be finished.

    Footboard box notes:

    • Make sure to account for added width of the boards you will be using on the ends. I had to cut the MDF down to 59.5″
    • Remember that whatever you add to the back will push the box away from the other two – I added trim pieces inside on the top and bottom and then used liquid nails to glue the beadboard to it. The beadboard was then flush with the edge of the MDF

    It really wasn’t hard to make. I apologize for not taking better pictures. Just remember to think through the concept before you make your cuts – especially on the footboard box.

    We attached the headboard using large L brackets

    If you are wondering what that stuff on the vent is, yes, it is duct tape. The bed was going to cover 1/2 of the vent and I didn't want to heat and cool under the bed. It is working like a charm.

    Bed with two boxes in place

    We didn’t want to use a boxspring with our mattress so we opted to add slats instead. I attached a 2×2″ to the back of the boxes for the slats to rest on. The slats are made from the left over MDF.

    The baskets are the the large Wicker Pole Handle Storage Baskets from the Basket Lady. The paint is Pottery Barn Decorators White from Benjamin Moore.

    A few months ago I was in a painting mood, which doesn’t happen very often because frankly I’m not very good at painting. Unless you count include painting rooms, furniture, accessories. We needed some art work for the wall above the staircase and I thought I would share with y’all the finished product.

    I want to share my latest project with you, but it is going to take a while to complete it. In the meantime, here are a few pictures of the work I did over the weekend. Anyone (other than Mom and Matt) want to take a guess on what this is going to be?

    Trying to work out the dimensions in my head

    A few pocket holes never hurt anything

    Don't worry, the box isn't staying

    At least it looks like something now

    A few hints for you…

    1.  The box is a placeholder for a basket

    2.  There will be a back

    3.  The finished product will have 3 of these

    Now it’s  your turn to entertain me. Any guesses?

    Alright, I’ll admit it. I was a little lazy with the post. I actually completed this project a week ago, but I felt a little guilty since I wasn’t very good about taking before pictures. I’m always so excited to get started on a project and realize halfway through when I’m almost finished that I didn’t take pictures. I was perusing Cottage Coast Store a few weeks back and I saw this beautiful wooden whale. I wanted it but I did not want to pay $65 for it. Besides, I figured I could probably make one. It would be worth a shot at least, right?

    I went out to the garage and dug around for a scrap piece of wood. I found the perfect 1″ x 12″ that previously served as the shelf in the master closet. I’m not a great artist but I did manage to freehand the whale onto the board and cut it out with the jigsaw. 30 minutes later, this is what I had.

    I already had a white base layer, so I added a coat of Behr Rain Washed blue and then I dry brushed a little Behr Surfer blue on top.

    It found a home above our headboard for now. Please excuse the contrasting wall color. I have plans to repaint the bedroom a shade of white.

    Matt suggested adding water droplets coming out of the blow hole and I love the idea. I’ve been contemplating how to do that for the last week and I think I have a solution. I don’t want to give too much away yet, but dowel rods are involved. Again, this will have to wait until we come back from vacation.

    I picked up this window at the Habitat Re-Store for $5 about a week ago and I had a plan to turn it into a wall mounted jewelry organizer. Surprisingly, Matt didn’t think I was insane.

    I was afraid the clear panes would look a little weird on the wall so I picked up a can of frosted glass spray paint from Home Depot. I had never used it before but it was really easy and turned out great. All you do is wash the glass and then spray two coats on. It was finished in less than 20 minutes.

    I picked up a box of small hooks and painted those with the oil rubbed bronze, drilled pilot holes and voila!

    The hooks will easily hold necklaces, bracelets, and rings, but what about earrings? I came up with a solution that I thought would work. I drilled holes on both sides of one of the panes and wrapped the hooks with jute.

    Jute wrapped hook

    With a little super glue the jute adhered perfectly to the hook and allowed me to pull it tight as I wrapped the other side. I added two screw hooks in the wall and two wire eye lags to the top of the window for hanging.

    I still haven’t decided how to handle stud earrings, but I was thinking of picking up a few of the organza bags from Michael’s and then hanging those. Do you have any ideas? This is now hanging on the wall of our closet (opposite the clothes rack).


    Also, the paint color is Behr Surfer Blue (I just couldn’t resist the name…it is amazing what has meaning to you when you live in a landlocked state).

    Also linking to:

    The Girl Creative Making Keeping It Simple toolsareforwomentoo

    All Thingz Related Trash to Treasure Tuesday

    That is a proverb that tells our dilemma (see photo below)

    Matt’s numerous hats needed a home other than the closet floor. So, here is my solution…

    Yep, just a chain, some “s” hooks, and a hook to go in the wall. Ta-da!

    This cost less than $8 to make (I don’t know the exact amount because there is no way I can go in Home Depot and just buy a few things). Now I think I may need one of these for my handbags.

    Related links:

    All Thingz Related

    Matt & I have been composting organic matter in a pile in the backyard (behind the garage so we don’t have to look at it) for way too long. I finally got around to building a compost bin this weekend using scraps left over from our back fence. I had no real plan to build from so there was quite a bit of improvising. My mom and stepdad are in town for a few days and she was kind enough to take lots of pictures to document the process.

    The first step was to build the gate that will lift out of the front. This will allow easy turning of the dirt. I spaced out the five boards evenly and screwed to board perpendicular to hold them in place.

    Front gate

    In order for the front gate to slide in and out properly there needed to be some type of joint (there is probably a more accurate term for it but that is all I could think of) in place. I inserted a 1″ x 2″ between two of the cedar boards and screwed them together to form the joint.

    Adding the side joints

    2 x 4s were added to the back to create a frame for the cedar boards.

    Creating a frame

    Next, I screwed the cedar boards onto both sides and realized that I didn’t have any boards long enough to fit across the length of the back. I cut a center brace to fit and trimmed the cedar boards to 1/2 the length and attached them.


    Complete (almost - I added cedar boards to the top to cover the 2x4s)

    Matt finally came out to assist in moving it into place and moving our compost pile into our new compost bin. There were far too many spiders around for me to do that job.

    Putting Matt to work

    Wow, we really need to weed our beds again. So, there it is and I didn’t spend a single cent. Every board was left over from a previous project. Now we have one less thing on the to-do list.

    For more on composting, check out:

    Composting 101

    The bookcase is complete! I still can’t believe it took so long for the oil paint to dry. This was the inspiration.

    Pottery Barn Thomas Wide Bookcase

    Here is our bookcase:

    Hays bookcase

    Oh wow. Doesn’t posting your own pictures make you realize what you could have done differently? I’m thinking we should add a trim piece to the bottom to smooth out the lines a little.  In any case, it is so sturdy and needed. This was our reading nook before. I can’t believe we have been living with our books like that for over two months!

    Reading nook before bookcase

    We are definitely going to have to build more because we still have a lot of books on the floor. The plan is to build two more. One the same size which will go to the right of this one and another shorter to fit on the wall with the window. We will have a square open spot in the corner if we do that so I plan on making a filler table so the tops are consistent around the wall.

    Here are the plans if you want to build some for yourself.

    I finally finished the hanging wall shelves for the bedroom and they are great!

    Hanging wall shelves

    I originally saw these on My Home Ideas but I decided to make some adjustments. Theirs called for inserting small dowels under each shelf to hold it in place.

    I opted to tie a knot under each shelf.

    The knots made leveling the boards a little difficult, but all in all it took less than 20 minutes to hang and put them in place. I had a little assistance from Matt. He was pretty good at telling me if they were level or not. (The shelf is hanging at the foot of the bed so he had the perfect vantage point)

    Hard at work

    I had a hard time adjusting the shelves properly on the floor and found it was easier to hang the rope and then add each shelf one at a time. I secured a wall hook with anchors and draped the two ropes through it. The anchors were larger than the hook so I’ll have to go back and touch those up.

    Wall hook

    I also only used three boards instead of four. The spacing was too small between shelves with four boards.

    Material list:

    8′ 1×8″ – cut into 30″ sections (three sections)

    24′ sisal rope (I used 3/4″)

    1″ spade bit

    Wall hook


    Related links:

    The Shabby Chic Cottage, Its So Very Cheri

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