Simple Bathroom Makeover (almost done!)

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
I have been working really hard lately to finish up some projects I had committed to and this simple bathroom makeover is getting so close to being done! And yes, I’m calling this a simple bathroom makeover because most everything was kept and it was done by me, a regular diy’er, and others with little experience in this type of thing. The last few things left (new flooring/baseboards) are things that are out of my capabilities on such a large level so those are being hired out. But I’m extremely proud of what has been accomplished so far and thankful for all the help I have had during this process. This makeover has happened in two bathrooms at my church and is almost done in another two, but I’m focusing on this one for sharing purposes. They all are the same colors and style, but the women’s bathroom is more pleasant for pictures ;) I seriously can’t believe how different it looks with just a few changes!

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
This is the before picture. Not horrible, but not terribly inviting and the lighting was not really pleasing for a bathroom. When I was asked to present design ideas for the bathrooms, I was told that the flooring was definitely going to change, but what other changes could I come up with. I sat down and really tried to think of what could be done easily, within my skills, and keep as much as was there as possible. I was inspired by bathrooms I had seen on pinterest and drew up this design:

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
My plan was to keep the existing cabinets but add new hardware and also wood to create a shaker style, add a new countertop, add a backsplash, new mirrors, lights if possible, fresh paint, and wood ledge to place items on. I also had some ideas for how to deal with the hand soap since the wall ones wouldn’t work for this type of set up. As you can see below, I did end up changing one thing on my original plan: instead of wood countertops I did a faux concrete on top of what was there. It made it so nothing had to be removed and saved a lot of time and money.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
The very first thing an amazing group of volunteers did was paint the walls in Sherwin Williams Alabaster (SW 7008). Then the very first thing I did was buy some 2’x2′ and 2’x4′ lauan plywood boards and rip them down to 2.5″ strips. Then I lightly sanded the doors and used wood glue and my nail gun to put them in place. I used wood filler on the nail holes and in any seams that had a gap. Then I caulked around the edges where the wood met the doors because the doors were curved on the edges. This just helped fill in that space. Not a necessity, but I thought it made it look a little more finished.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
Then came all the painting! If you are doing a lot of doors, make sure to mark which ones go where so when you go to put them back on it doesn’t take forever. We used an enamel paint in Sherwin Williams color Black Magic (SW 6991). I had a lot of helpers with painting these, as I do not have a sprayer. I found this tutorial useful for getting a nice finish even though we used a brush and roller. A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
I also added some trim to the side of the cabinets to continue that Shaker cabinet look.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
The hardware added a lot to the cabinets! The top “drawers” are not really drawers, but adding the pulls (we used these) makes it look so finished. New knobs (here) on the doors also helped update the look and they all matched the sink faucets. My sweet friends installed all of these for me while I worked on the backsplash. It was such a big help!

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
The countertop transformation took a total of three days, but I felt it was easier and more cost effective than the wood option. I read so many tutorials and went for it. It took three coats to get it all covered and I’m happy with how it turned out. The picture below is after the first coat.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
After the faux concrete was all dried and sealed I went to work on the backsplash. I used these inexpensive subway tiles and this grout. It was my first time working with a dark grout and I found that this stuff is messy! lol But it looks beautiful. I just suggest doing smaller sections to make cleaning easier. It seemed to dry faster to me.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
When all of that was finally done, I added this pretty wood ledge. It is a 2″x4″x10′ with a 1″x4″x10′ piece behind it. I screwed the 1″x4″ to the 2″x4″ first and then used liquid nails and a nail gun to keep it in place on the wall. Oh, and I stained it with Minwax Early American and sealed with three layers of polycrylic semi gloss before putting it on the wall.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
For the soap, we decided to go with soap pumps by the sink. It really takes the look up a notch and I totally did this hack where you add the hose underneath to connect to a large bottle of soap versus the small bottle that comes with these. This is the soap pump and the hose we used. They are working great so far.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
The greenery all came from Hobby Lobby and I put one of the plants in a clay pot. I found a clear vase in the back for the fern plant.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
I also added two 4″x6″ pictures frames so they can put in announcements or holiday themed printables, etc.

A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together A Simple Bathroom Makeover | happy together
Lastly, the awesome electricians were able to wire in these lights (which if you wait for a sale, they have gotten as low as just over $30/each!) for us and the mirrors are from Target. They are the most cost effective for this type of metal mirror I have found, and I scoured the internet a long time! I am not sure when the flooring and baseboards will be done, but I wanted to go ahead and share this part of it. When that part is done, I will share a final reveal. I also plan to do a more in depth post next on my experience with the faux concrete countertops, so be on the lookout for that if you are interested. And always remember, a little change can go a long way in making a simple bathroom makeover.

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together
Whenever there is a blank wall that needs some decor something with plants is almost always a good option in my opinion. Especially if the plants aren’t real and require no maintenance. So when this lovely wall needed something, I dreamed up a diy wall planter to hold faux succulents and ferns. I was inspired by the succulent walls that Pottery Barn sells and some faux plant installs I have seen in stores and restaurants.This piece has added some lovely color and life to this little corner.

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together
Now I always try to work smarter, not harder (hahaha) so I was hoping to create a piece with as little wood cutting as possible. There are these lovely inexpensive pieces of lauan plywood and the 2’x4′ (like this) was a great size for the space. So I started with that as the base and bought some 1″x4″ ‘s in the lengths I needed to cut the outer frame and create the center X. I decided to add that X feature to break up the plants and help hold them in place, but it’s not necessary. I think I bought five of  1″x4″x6′ pieces of wood, but I was actually just shy of an inch on one of the last cuts for the inside pieces. I fortunately was able to just cut another small piece to fill it in and knew the plants would cover it, so it worked out. I first cut the outer frame pieces at 90 degree angles and used wood glue and my nail gun to put them together. Then I glued and nail gunned the lauan plywood to the back. The inside X was harder for me as I am just not very good at cutting angles. But I managed to make it work! One piece goes completely straight across and the other side of the X in in two pieces. Now, I should have written down what angles I used, but I had to play around with it to get them just right (and even then it wasn’t perfect). But again, plants will disguise the not so perfect. Oh, and there’s wood filler too. I used that on all the seams and it helped create a really nice finished look.

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together
Once it was all together and the glue was dry, I used Minwax Early American to stain it.

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together
I will not lie. All of these plants cost some money, so I suggest waiting for sales and using coupons. If you have the time, you can slowly accumulate what you need too. All of these succulents came from Hobby Lobby and then I found all of the ferns from Michaels. I started by hot gluing the ferns in place first. I used wire cutters to cut plants apart, trim off leaves, or cut off the stems. Some of the ferns were too full, so I used the pieces I cut off as fillers in other spots. Once the ferns were spread out to my liking, I added the succulents. I tried to spread out the similar ones so it was more pleasing to the eye. Then I used moss to fill in any spots that were bare.

Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together Faux Succulent and Fern Wall Planter | happy together
Since this was going on a wood wall I just screwed the planter right to it. I wanted to make sure it would be really difficult to pull off since it is in a public place. So far all the plants have stayed in place, except one day some kids were in front of them and I believe their heads hit them and caused them to fall off. But I glued them back on and in worst case scenario, I could use a stapler or nail gun to help keep them in place. I thought about using construction adhesive to keep them in place, but I tried that on another succulent on wood install and it was not good. Many fell off. I also thought about liquid nails, but that stuff comes out so fast and I didn’t want to get it all over the plants if i made any mishaps. All in all I’m very happy with the whole process of putting it together and with how it came out. I think it would be lovely in a home and would really make a statement. Let me know if you make one like this or something similar :) -jess

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
This month’s issue of Food Network Magazine is showcasing fifty different eggs from fifty different bloggers (you can now see them all online here: Easter Eggs Across America). Each state is represented! I am honored to represent Louisiana as this is the state I have lived in for the past six years. I have grown to love it here as it is a state full of it’s own unique culture and such wonderful people. I had to share a few ideas on what type of egg I could create that would showcase a bit of the state. I secretly really wanted to make a crawfish egg, but Mardi Gras beat it out hahaha. That is one thing this state is known for and we have enjoyed all the family events that come along during that time of the year. I now get to share the Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY for anyone who might want to make one or create their own spin of this type of egg. Or, as i like to call it, a Masquer-Egg…..get it? ;)

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY | happy together Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY | happy together
Materials needed:

  • Boiled Egg or Fake Egg (I used an Eggnot)
  • Mardi Gras colors of acrylic paint (purple and green)
  • 2 Paint Brushes
  • Gold Leaf Flakes
  • Gold Leaf Adhesive (my local craft stores were all out, so I used Mod Podge and it worked great)
  • Optional: One Step Crackle Finish (I used this to try to create more texture, but it didn’t make enough of a noticeable difference in my opinion)
  • Mask: black card stock, toothpick, small feathers, small rhinestones, glue, and small scissors or exacto knife)
  • Optional: Egg Carton

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
Begin by painting the top of the egg purple. Allow to fully dry. I found that using an old egg carton upside down was a great way to set the egg in place during drying times (see picture further down of this).

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
Once the purple is dry, paint the rest green. Allow it to fully dry. If you like, this is when you can add the one step crackle finish to one side at a time. Allow to dry.

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
Now for the fun part. I had never used gold leaf flakes before and was excited to try it out. It was fun! It made me want to gold leaf all the things. I painted on a layer of Mod Podge to one end of the egg. Then I took a dry brush and placed it in the gold leaf flakes and applied them. I just added the flakes until I was happy with it. Then I took the brush I had applied the Mod Podge with and added a top coating of Mod Podge to the flakes to seal them in place.

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
Once that half is dry, flip the egg over and repeat on the other end.

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
For the mask, I found a simple outline on the internet. I printed it to the size I wanted and used that as a template to cut out the black card stock. I had no small scissors, so I used an exacto knife to make the small intricate cuts.

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
You can decorate your mask how you like, but I glued on small feathers and two small rhinestones for a simple look. Then I painted a toothpick black to be the holder. Glue the mask in a place you like and let it dry. Now you have a fancy Mardi Gras Easter Egg. Don’t forget to check out the Food Network Magazine to see all the other state Easter Eggs.  -jess

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together
Last weekend I hosted my Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop. It was so much fun and to add to the fun it actually snowed the morning of this workshop! It never snows here in Southwest Louisiana so it was quite a surprise. The locals told me the last time it actually snowed like this was twenty something years ago. It was also the first time my two daughters were able to experience snow and that was a whole magical thing to watch in and of itself. So with snow on the ground (but not the roads thankfully), I prepared for my guests and we even made them gumbo and hot chocolate (from scratch!) to enjoy during the craft night.

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together
I kept the decor simple since our home was already decorated for Christmas. I made a simple sign with some card stock using my Cricut machine and used paper decorations that I have picked up over the years when I see them on sale. I highly recommend doing that if you host lots of parties. Then you have a stash you can always grab from. I laid out each space with the sign they would be painting, their supplies, and fabric covered plastic candy canes with their names on it.

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together
Once everyone arrived, we snacked some and then got to work. There were three projects: a Christmas countdown sign, oyster shell ornaments, and water color gift tags with pom poms. While the sign and ornaments were a “do it just like me” kind of project, the water color tags allowed them to be creative and make them however they wanted. I loved seeing everyone’s creativity and I enjoyed sharing with them skills they hadn’t learned before.

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together
I’m so thankful for these ladies that support and encourage me in my crafting endeavors. They make these type of events so worth it! -jess

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Craft Workshop

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Craft Workshop | happy together
Christmas is just around the corner! If you live in the Southwest Louisiana area, I am hosting a ladies night out Christmas craft workshop “Craft, Snack, and Be Merry” that you are invited to attend. It will be held on Friday, December 8, 2017, at 6:30 pm in Sulphur, LA. The address of where it will take place will be sent once your ticket is purchased. Each participant will create three projects: a hand painted Christmas countdown sign, a gilded oyster shell ornament, and water color gift tags with mini pom-poms. All supplies are provided and there will be snacks too. The cost is $35 + processing fees and you can register here. There are limited tickets available, so make sure to get yours today if you plan on attending. I look forward to doing some Christmas crafting with y’all. -jess

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Craft Workshop | happy together Gilded Oyster Shell Ornament | Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Craft Workshop | happy together Water Color Gift Tags with Mini Pom-poms |Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Craft Workshop | happy together