May 27, 2013

Picture Perfect Old Window

The first house my husband and I bought when we were first married was 700 square feet of never-been-updated-1950's-pure-bliss.

I'm fibbing about the pure bliss part.
But it was our first house.

The little old man who owned it before us left lots of treasures in the garage, including storm windows for each of the windows on the house.

Shortly after moving in, we replaced all the windows leaving the storm windows in a forgotten corner.

When we moved 5 years later we left a lot of the original treasures and on a whim I told my husband to pack one of the storm windows into the moving van.  I thought I could put pretty papers in it and it would make a great picture.

A few short years later, old windows became in high demand on the brocante market.

I kick myself often for not taking more of those beauties.

We moved into our home in 1999, I put pretty papers in each window pane and hung that baby up.  
And never looked at it again.  ( <--- highly embarrassing)

As the remodel took shape this year and we stripped everything out of our home, I saw the old window for what it had become.


It's ok if you cringed.  I do too.

I decided if the hallway was to truly be a Gallery Hallway then why not add more pictures?

The best part?  It cost me a $1.48.

I looked through pictures of my boys and found some great personality shots.
I sent them to be printed to Office Max.
Office Max?? 
A little known fact:  Office Max will print your pictures 
on Engineering Paper (11x17) for pennies!!  
For this project it was perfect.  It is not on photo paper, 
so it best to use this service for a project like this or one that involves decoupage

Here is how I turned ugly into personality!

The tools you will need:
1.  Pictures printed on paper large enough to fit each frame.  
2.  A template the size of each window frame.
My frames are 11 1/2 x 10 3/4" and I used one of the papers previously hanging in the window.
3.  Painter's Tape
4.  Marker
5.  Paper Trimmer

Lay the template on the section of picture you want shown in each window frame.
With the marker, mark the photo at all four edges of the template.
Line the marks up with the blade of the paper trimmer and trim.
Important : If your window frame sizes are not square be sure your template is lined up on the paper the correct way.

Once all pictures are trimmed, arrange them how you want them placed in the window.
Be sure the tops of the pictures are placed at the top of your window frame.

Flip each picture over and using the painter's tape, tape each picture into place.

Here you see that one of my pictures was printed vertically making it a smidgen too short on the sides.  

No worries.

I taped the picture into place and grabbed some scraps that I had previously trimmed off.
I flipped the scraps over and used the white backsides to frame in the vertical picture.

With everything taped into place, I flipped it over
and hung it back on to the wall.

A reminder of where I started ....

...and what I have now!

It was such an easy and inexpensive project making it super easy
(and guilt free!) to change the pictures out often.

The entire project took less than an hour and cost less than 2 bucks.
My lattes cost more than that.

I apologize for the glare on the window glass; 
no matter what angle I took the picture I just couldn't 
get rid of the closet door trim trying to take center stage of the picture.

Trim can be like that.

May 21, 2013

Bi-Fold Door Transformation

The hallway closet transformation is complete!

Here is the blank slate I started with.
Honey colored oak bi-fold doors are no more!

This is what we have now and I LOVE it!

I couldn't resist a fun and unexpected door handle.
Although we added a lot of satin nickel with our makeover,
I thought the oil rubbed bronze finish looks great with dark wood floors.

Updating the doors took a weekend of my time and cost less than $50.
If you want the step by step of how I did this transformation you can find that here.

The entry hall into our home is now bright and light 
and no longer feels like a dark tunnel.

Next time you are in the neighborhood, stop by and say hi.
When I open the door to greet you, 
this is the view you now see :

It is far from basic and it makes me smile to see
that fun and funky chandelier in our family room.

However, I think it's time to replace that light in the hallway.

"Oh Honey...." <---sung in a sweet and melodic voice.
(I'll let you know if the sweet tone works.) 


May 13, 2013

Bye Bye Blah Bi-Fold Doors

Our house was as builder-basic as they come. 
For a long time I lived with it, even though I didn't like it much. 
I always liked the look of trimmed-out doors, but not the price tags that came with it. 
Our bi-fold closet doors were blah and boring.  See?

With my son needing a project for his shop class, I knew exactly what we could do.  It was time to change out the big, blah, boring doors in our hallway.  I knew he had never done anything like this before and well, neither have I.  A perfect lesson for the both of us.

First I contacted my friend Harold at a local lumber yard.  
He let me ask him all kinds of really basic questions and I mean basic.  

I determined the look I wanted would require a 1/4" x 1 1/2" trim piece - the kind most commonly used in creating garden lattice.

Second, I drew the doors, took measurements and determined the layout of the doors.  
Now fully armed with the knowledge of the measurements, I handed my son a tape measure and had him do exactly the same thing.  

After all, this was his school project.

We determined we needed :
8 boards 6½' long
2 boards 4' long
3 boards 3' long
Light grade sand paper
Wood Glue

New Door Pulls - a girl has got to have her bling!

First, we sanded the doors.
Then with the doors still hanging, we measured (twice!), 
cut and then glued our pieces into place.

Our ever so professional blueprint.

After talking with our local hardware store,
we decided super-duper-don't-get-it-on-your-fingers glue was best.

Whoa Nelly, is that stuff powerful!

The glue worked great and even allowed for a 10 to 15 seconds of adjustment time.

Here is our first piece glued into place.

Each bi-fold is framed with trim pieces reaching from top to bottom.

When placing the outer most trim pieces it is imperative to leave
approximately a 1/4" gap.
This allows the doors to open and fold.

Without the tiny gap, you will not be able to open the doors as the trim will butt up against the door frame.

The good news - although the gaps may look glaring to you,
no one will notice them once the project is completed.

I promise.

Once all the vertical pieces were up the 

top and bottom pieces were glued into place,
followed with the middle piece.

Now that you have a top and a middle section on the first bi-fold,
simply divide each section in half to place the final two pieces.

With one bi-fold completely finished, the other three go by
quickly as you no longer have to measure each section
but simply line them up to each other.

Next is the priming and then the painting.
The glue adheres best when wood meets wood,
this is why the priming and painting are not done before.

Here is my work station.  It's a piece of cardboard.

It's awesome.

Next week I'll show you the the completed project.

I'm happy to report, m
y son's project got an "A"!