9 Clever mother's day gift 1

9 CLEVER MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS FOR THE CRAFTER MOM UNDER $50

Mothers Day will soon be here and it’s time to find a cool Mothers day gift for mom.

If you are a DIYer like me, you can certainly make a nice Mothers Day gift for Mom like this cute scented pillow shown below (just click on the image for the tutorial):

amigas4all mothers day gift pillow burlap painters drop cloth heart monogram mothers day gifts

You can make this pillow with scrap material and any other cute little items you have around the house.

Now, if you are pressed for time or Mom has hinted a wish list, why not surprise her with a Mothers Day gift that you know she will use in all her crafting activities?

Because I’m a good Amiga, I have done all the shopping for you. I have included all the tools and other goodies I use the most in my own crafts.

Hopefully, Mom’s wishes are on this list or you may find something completely unexpected that she may love. 

Simply click on the image and you will be redirected to the merchant’s website.

MY FAVORITE CRAFT/DIY MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS UNDER $50

This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission from any purchases you make through these links without any extra cost to you. This is how I make sure my foster birds have plenty of wood toys to play until they find their forever home

Did Mom ever mention wanting to make wood signs or other wood projects but couldn’t make them because she could not cut the boards or drill hooks for the wall?

There are the tools she would need.

           

And here are a few examples of what she can make. I think she will be thrilled to make these.


DOES MOM LIKE TO MAKE JEWELRY OR CREATE CUTE DESIGNS WITH WIRE?

Here are some great tools for that:

             

And here are some examples of the lovely things she can make with if she gets any of these tools above for her Mothers Day Gift:


MOM IS ALWAYS PAINTING ROOMS AND FURNITURE

Is Mom always bringing home furniture from the thrift store or from the neighbor’s bulk trash because they are in such a good shape and she’s sorry to see them go?

If so, these are some items that she will really love to have to transform those thrifty finds:
              

And here are some of the cool things Mom can do with these tools:

 

Now, since this post is mostly showing items from Amazon, you’re gonna love this:

If you sign up for Amazon Prime you will get free two-day delivery on most of these items. Click on the link below if you wish to gift Prime to Mom, or sign up directly in your shopping cart.

 

You can even make your purchase, get the free delivery and cancel within 30 days!

Of course, there are so many benefits in keeping Prime since you can get music, videos, and some great TV shows and still get free 2 day deliveries for a whole year on most items. I’m a big fan of Amazon as you can see.

Well, these are my picks for clever gifts for the crafting/DIY Mom.  

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.

You can also sign up below to receive more news and updates from our blog. As a thank you, you will receive a nifty Project Budget Checklist so you can keep any DIY project on budget.

Happy Mothers Day!

 

 

 

zen bed feature amigas daybed from old mattress

How to DIY a Fabulous Outdoor Zen Daybed Using an Old Mattress

Have you thought about converting your old mattress into an outdoor daybed?

You just bought a new mattress and now you have to discard the old one. Of course, as you probably know discarding mattresses are a nightmare.

They are clunky and most people just throw them in a dumpster (when they can find one), or on the sidewalk on “bulk trash” day, or they have to drive to the nearest “dump”. Which is also a nightmare with all the rules about when and if they will accept your mattress.

Donation places won’t take them as easily (maybe because of fear of bedbugs), so a lot of times mattresses just sit there by the side of the house or in the garage taking all that space. 

Until now!

How I Came Up With a Way To Repurpose An Old Mattress

This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission from any purchases you make through these links without any extra cost to you. This is how I make sure my foster birds have plenty of wood toys to play until they find their forever home

When I bought my new memory foam mattress I was in heaven. It was nice and firm, and it was great to wake up refreshed.

If you are in the market for a mattress, you can check my selections below:


If you order them online through the above links you can also apply for Amazon Prime and get free delivery, which is better than most mattress stores that charge a lot for delivery.  You can click below to apply for a Free 30-Day Trial of Amazon Prime.

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Anyway, my old mattress was very high quality, it was still in good shape and it still had some life in it.

I didn’t want to throw it away but I knew no one would take it other than bulk trash. I felt bad about sending something perfectly good to the landfill. Plus, you all know I try to save the earth as much as I can.

My solution: Why not reuse that mattress and make an outdoor daybed?

I have this area in my backyard that has a lot of trees and even in the hot Arizona Summer, it’s a cool spot to hang out. 

I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to have a daybed under those trees? It would be the perfect place to read a book and drink some iced tea in the afternoon and “chillax“!.

Of course, I wanted to save money so I decided to build it. The project was very simple and the secret is in the bolts holding the whole thing together.

Materials for the Day Bed

12 boards (2×6)- See Measurements in the image below

  • 2 boards for the header and 2 for the sides.
  • 1 for the headboard
  • The remaining boards for the slats (you can also use 2x4s or even 1x4s instead, but I wanted the slats to be sturdy, so I used 2x6s)
  • Some scraps for the “side tables” and 2 (17-inch pieces to support the headboard)

daybed measurements from old mattress

1 2x4x80in board: for the center of the bed frame.

2 1x2x75in boards: for the inside frame to support the slats. Pieces to support the middle board.

1 4×4 post: for the legs (cut into 12in each)

Box of Wood screws (3in long)

12 (6in) round head screws with bolts (decorative and sturdy to support the weight of the bed and mattress  

12 (4in) round head screws with bolts (for the headboard)

4 Casters (optional)

4 “L” brackets to support the “side tables” (If you are adding the side tables be sure to get a bracket that supports the weight of the boards)

Liquid Nails or Wood Glue

Drill

Phillips Screw Driver 

Wrenches to tighten the bolts

Putting the bed together

Start by cutting the boards to size using my schematic above. Consider the size of your mattress and give at least 1 inch more to give room for any bed covers to fit in.

I started with the frame first. Glue each corner with liquid nails or wood glue and use wood screws to join them together. It will make things easier when you are trying to add the bolts into the frame.

Glue and attach the inside boards (1x2s) to the side of the bed frame (level with the floor). This is where the slats will rest on.

After attaching the side boards, flip the frame over (this will be how the frame will remain when the daybed is done).

Measure the distance from the top of the side board (inside the frame) to the top of the frame (this will tell you the distance you have to level the middle frame).

Mark the measurement on each end at the center of the head and foot of the frame.  You want to make sure that the center frame is at the same level of the boards inside the frame. See image below (this is “under” the bed). 

daybed from old mattress image of starting frame amigas4all

Attaching The Legs

Once the frame is ready and stabilized with wood screws and glue, it’s time to attach the legs to each corner of the frame. (Note: the boards you see on each corner in the image above were only temporary. Please ignore them).

To attach the legs you will need to raise the frame first or work on it upside down using a piece of 2×4 to level the legs with the same level as the inside boards (the slats will rest on the legs too).

I wanted the legs to be sturdy so I drilled two holes on an angle, straight through the post on each corner of the head and foot of the bed. See below (sorry, the image is not the best). Place bolts and nuts and tighten to make sure the frame is not wobbly.

Then on the side of the bed, I drilled another hole for one bolt (making sure that I didn’t hit the same spot as the two bolts).

detail wood legs daybed from old mattress amigas4all

The Headboard

I chose to make a simple headboard with one board only. I thought it had a nice Zen looking style with a clean line.

Before attaching the headboard, lay the 2x6x76in onto the floor and select where you want the vertical support boards to go on the headboard frame.

I chose to put each board in the center of each side of the middle frame.

You can certainly move them closer to the edge or the middle but I thought this would make it more stable.

Attach the vertical boards with the edges level with the horizontal board first. I drilled on an angle just like the legs. See detail image below:

daybed frame from old mattress before paint headboard

I did the same with the bottom part that was going to be attached to the frame. See below image:

daybed frame from old mattress before paint

When I took these pictures I haven’t started blogging about my projects so I know I’m missing a couple of step by step pics of the back of the frame and how I attached the side tables but it’s easy.

The Side tables

Of course, no Zen retreat is complete without somewhere to put your tea on. Enter the “side tables“.

They are basically shelves attached to the bed. But how cool is that? No need for extra furniture. It’s all in one piece.

Before attaching the headboard you should install the “side tables” when you have the bed upside down (bottom up). That way you can simply lay the 2x6x17in board on the floor by the side of the bed and attach the “L” brackets without having to work “under” the bed.

Before attaching the headboard you should install the “side tables” when you have the bed upside down (bottom up). That way you can simply lay the 2x6x17in board on the floor by the side of the bed and attach the “L” brackets without having to work “under” the bed.

If you do this after the headboard is on then you can just raise the side of the bed you are working on with a bucket or something to have better access to install them.

Next Step: Paint!

I chose a dark brown color because it closely matched the color of my pergola outside. I love how it turned out:

daybed from old mattress image after paint

Notice I added casters to the legs?

Well, I really didn’t have to do that since the daybed was going on grass. I figured it would be easier to drag it around if it had wheels but forgot that they would also sink on the grass. Sigh! 

At least you get an idea what it looks like with wheels in case you are doing this for a cement patio. Then you definitely want wheels.

Installing them is easy. Simply flip the bed frame on its side and screw the metal brackets onto the bottom of the legs (they come with the wheels) and that’s it!

I didn’t paint the slats because that would be a waste of good paint. They were going under the mattress anyway.

My Zen Daybed and Repurposing that old mattress

Here is the final product before the mattress went on:

Daybed from old mattress front view outside

 daybed from old mattress side view amigas4all

And now, with the mattress and a cover I made for the daybed:

daybed from old mattress under pergola

Giving an extra twist to the Zen Style Daybed

Because I just can’t stop crafting, I decided that my zen daybed retreat was missing something.

Oh! Yes, Curtains!! 

So I got some burlap and made these curtains to give it an extra zen look to my daybed (tutorial coming soon-psst, it’s no-sew!!).

daybed from old mattress final with curtains front view amigas

daybed from old mattress final side view

Notice the paint color for the stencil was similar to the bed cover?

Isn’t this the best place to read or what?!

Before I go, you must be wondering what happens to the mattress when it rains.

I bought a sturdy plastic sheet and wrapped the mattress on it really well before putting the new cover on.

There is some waterproof mattress covers out there too. But I just thought a sturdy plastic would do.

Status Update:

I made this bed at least 2 years ago, and everything, including the mattress, looks good. Except for the terracotta cover: the sun really did a number on it. I will be replacing it soon.

If you don’t think you have the skills, or time to make this daybed but you like the design, here are some fabulous outdoor daybeds that you can purchase.

Don’t forget you can use my Amazon Prime link above to get free shipping on most selections (it’s free for 30 days!):


I hope you enjoyed this project. I so happy I was able to save a mattress from going to the landfill and got my Zen retreat in the process.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Pinterest. Sign up for our email list below and receive updates and other news about upcoming projects and ideas.

As a thank you for signing up, you will receive a nifty project budget checklist where you can make drawings, list your materials and even write down price comparison to make sure your project doesn’t get off track.

Until next time,

 

 

How To find Inspiring Pieces for Your Next Bathroom Remodel jif 1

How To find Inspiring Pieces for Your Next Bathroom Remodel in a Jif

Finding inspiration for your next bathroom remodel is no longer a struggle.

I’m glad the days of “leg work” are gone. Remember when you had to drive in every direction to visit the available stores in your area just for one project?

It was even worse when all of them carried the same “boring” styles.

If you are like me, you want things done yesterday. And I‘m not the most patient when it comes to shopping for products and accessories. I want to see them all. NOW!

This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission from any purchases you make through these links without any extra cost to you. This is how I make sure my foster birds have plenty of wood toys to play until they find their forever home


But how do you find everything for a bathroom remodel in one place without ever leaving the house?

Thank goodness for the internet!

There is nothing better than online shopping for someone who is not interested in driving all over to find each little item for a bathroom remodel. 

And who has the time to drive around anymore?

Lately, my go to online store is Amazon.

You can see everything under the sun in one place. Which saves you time and money too. Imagine being able to compare prices with their multiple associated vendors without ever leaving the site.

Plus with Amazon Prime, you get 2-day shipping on most purchases. Imagine how much you can save on shipping if you buy a big honking item like a vanity or a heavy mirror (psst, you can try it for free for 30 days!).

Here’s a link if you wish to sign up for it: 

I know I sound like a big fan but with a busy life like mine, time is money.

Inspiration for my bathroom remodel

Even when I’m diy-ing a project or looking to buy items to complete a project I first get my inspiration on Pinterest. Then my next step is to shop online.

Take a quick look at my two bathroom remodel projects: my downstairs bathroom and my powder room. I found the inspiration for both of these projects online (see my inspiration images below).

And if you love any of the pieces I selected, simply click on the image and you are redirected to the source where you can buy them.

How easy is that?

Unique Farmhouse bathroom decor pieces I found on Amazon

Starting with these oh-so-cool accessories:

                        
        

 

       

The farmhouse toilet paper dispenser is fabulous! My other personal favorite is the wood shelving in the above image.

For my downstairs bathroom remodel, I ended up skipping the traditional medicine cabinet and opted for a rustic wood shelf with little storage trunks to hide the “medicine”.

The trunks were even big enough to hide an average size can of shaving cream.

Here is my “medicine cabinet” in more detail:

medicine cabinet inspiration bathroom remodel

Who says you need to stick with a traditional medicine cabinet? A little creativity and you can accomplish the same purpose without being boring.

The vanity: Queen of the Castle

The vanity is the anchor of any bathroom project.

Unfortunately, due to a major budget setback, I ended up not buying any of my inspiration vanity pieces below.

Repurposing my old vanities and creating something similar for both my downstairs bathroom project and my powder room projects was the only other option.

But if your budget allows, these vanities “scream” farmhouse style and they will not break your budget (unless the main pipe bursts in your adjoining laundry room-sigh). 

 

               Aren’t these vanities fabulously farmhouse-y?

Notice the “Shaker” style doors of the white vanity above? They look a lot like the doors on my own DIY vanities.

I hope you enjoyed my inspirations pieces.

Stay tuned for more inspiration posts from my adventures in shopping and DIY-ing around the house.

Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for more projects and decor ideas. And don’t forget to sign up below for our email list for news and updates.

Sign up and you will receive a free budget estimator for your next remodeling project. It includes space for drawings, measurements, and price comparison so you can make sure you stay within budget.

Until next time,

 

 

Powder room redo amigas feature image (1)

How to Transform Your Powder Room on a Miracle Budget

Transforming your powder room on a limited budget does not mean it should look cheap. You just have to be wise where you are spending your money and the final result will surprise you.

Follow me on my continuous journey to bring my house to this century, one project at a time.

Today, I will be showing you how I managed to transform my powder room from the 60s into a modern farmhouse chic design for around $350 bucks.

But first, I want you to savor the “before” images as they will give you a pretty good idea how bad things were.

The powder room before transformation

overall image powder room redo amigas4all

image powder room redo mirror amigas4allsink detail image powder room redo amigas4allopposite wall powder room redo image amigas4all

The top left image is the overall look of the bathroom. The image on the right is the “fabulous” (yuk) light fixture from the 80’s.

The bottom left image is the old metal sink covered in rust and chipped paint and the faucet. Don’t get me started on that faucet!

The bottom right image is the opposite wall from the sink. As you can see, pretty dated.

Let me tell you a secret. It used to be worse!

When I moved into this house, the wallpaper was this ugly purple ribbon print with pink flowers. It was so ugly I never even took any pictures.

Anyway, to protect my eyes from any damage (the wall was that ugly!), I slapped on a new wallpaper over the old. I had found this wallpaper at a thrift store for less than $3 bucks for 5 rolls. So for a temporary measure, it wasn’t too bad.

It was enough to cover the entire room and at least make it look semi-acceptable until I had the money to really transform that room.

Taking the wallpaper out

This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission from any purchases you make through these links without any extra cost to you. This is how I make sure I have enough paint for my next project

Now that I finally could work in the powder room, the first thing I had to to do was remove the newspaper.

Let me tell you, it was pretty tedious work.

The lifesaver was using a wallpaper remover. At least the wallpaper would come out like “butta” once you applied the remover.

But it still took about 2 days to get it all out. Remember, I had two layers of wallpaper to remove.

Here’s the powder room without the wallpaper.

Notice the lovely 1965 Pepto pink walls? 

image mirroe without wallpaper sink detail powder room redo amigas4allimage powder room redo without wall paper

Refinishing the walls – materials

After the wallpaper was removed, the walls were in pretty rough shape. To refinish the walls you will need the following materials:

After pulling all the wallpaper you will see that there are parts that are scratched, dinged or that need smoothing. 

In my powder room, the walls were uneven because the top wall had the wallpaper but the bottom wall had paneling at some point in its life. So over the years with paint and wallpaper, the wall had some issues.

You may not need to do all this if your house is newer or the walls are in better shape than mine.

Applying the compound

Simply pick up a small amount of joint compound and smooth it over the wall. Like applying icing to a cake, or butter to a piece of bread (it’s not hard to learn this).

Apply the compound as needed and make sure to keep the amount even to cover all the details and defects. You will need to let it dry overnight and then apply a second coat.

Then it’s time to sand the wall. If you have “raised” areas with the compound, use the rougher grit sand paper (60 or 80) to “level” the raised spot. If the wall is mostly smooth then use the 220 for a smooth baby skin finish.

After your walls are dry, you can paint them.

The vanity transformation

Since I needed this project to meet a certain budget, I decided to save some money and restore my vanity.

There were many reasons I needed to do that. One, this vanity fit perfectly in the space. There was also a weird thing the builder did for the sink to fit in the space (see image below) so I didn’t want to risk having to restructure a new vanity just to fit in the weird space.

If you prefer a new vanity, below I gathered some ideas I found when searching for a vanity that could work in that space 


Here is the vanity “before” restoring it:

bathroom transform image of cabinet door amigas4all

To see how I transformed this vanity, check out my post about my vanity transformation from another bathroom project I worked on.

The techniques are the same and even the color and materials are the same. I wanted them to have the same style since these bathrooms are both downstairs. The only difference here is the size of the vanity.

Here are the “after” pics for this vanity:

image cabinet painted powder room redo amigas4all 1

And here, after cutting the sink and the butcher block to size:

image counter top powder room redo sink in amigas4all 1

Wall feature

After installing the sink and butcher block, it was time to install the wall feature. Since it was a very small room I wanted to add some “wow” factor to it.

So I chose a mosaic glass tile backsplash. I decided that I was going to apply it in a vertical line instead of the typical horizontal backsplash.

There are several ways to apply a backsplash if you are not comfortable with tiling. I am old school and just tiled with thin-set like any other tiling job.

But there are easier options like peel and stick tiles, or tile mats if you want to use your option of tiles but you don’t want to work with thin set. These are not the cheapest options but they are an option. 

The materials for my wall feature:

I won’t be teaching you how to tile today, but there are some good videos on Youtube on how to tile a wall. It’s not that difficult.

The tricky part is cutting the tile. If you are using glass tiles it is easier to cut them with a manual saw.

If you are skilled with the wet saw it goes much quicker for sure. Be prepared to have 200 cuts on your fingers by the time you are done. If you can use gloves then do it. I just can’t work with gloves.

Once the tiles are on the wall, then apply grout. Clean up the grout with the sponges and rags. Be sure to cover your butcher block with plastic before working with water and grout.

It’s pretty messy. Plus you don’t want the grout getting on to the surface even if you seal your butcher block really well.

The tiled wall

Here’s the wall after tiling:

tiles powder room redo image amigas4all 1

The lighting is not the best at this point because the only light (over the sink) was not installed yet.

And here’s the light fixture I selected:

image light fixture powder room redo amigas4all 1

Some similar styles that were my inspiration:

After installing the light fixtures I added some Edison lights to give it a “vintage” industrial farmhouse look to the powder room.

Here they are installed:

tiles light fixture image powder room redo amigas4all 1

Finalizing the room:

After installing the lights, I added an oval mirror I found for about $25 bucks. Even though the room was white and gray, I wanted the mirror to have a silvery gold frame just like my other bathroom.

Finally, it was time to add the sink with plumbing (not my favorite part) and new faucets. I did splurge on the faucets ($99) because this room gets a lot of traffic when guests are over and a cheapie would not last.

I also wanted it to match with the other bathroom faucet.

The final product

It’s hard to believe this is the same room. Here is the final product. I’m so happy with the result:

1st angle image powder room final amigas4all 1

My favorite part was decorating the powder room. The mirror was the first piece.

Then I wanted to add some storage over the toilet bowl for TP, an extra hand towel and a splash of color with an orange flower bouquet since the room was so white and gray.

For added style, I found this wooden star (left image) for sale for less than $10 bucks.

It serves a dual purpose: It’s a great looking wall piece but it also serves as a night light so guests can find the light switch when they enter the room. Even the towel ring was less than $5 bucks!

Here’s another angle. You can see the mirror a little better (the circle in the middle is actually a mirror on the opposite wall):

wall chips final look image powder room redo amigas

Pardon the lighting. It’s a very small and dark room.

Here’s yet another angle:

final angle left powder room redo amigas 1

Overview:

powder room redo 2nd angle amigas4all 1

For the opposite wall, I just chose these round framed mirrors (also dirt cheap) and hung them with command strips to make sure people didn’t knock them out when they used the powder room (yes, the room is that narrow).

mirrors side wall powder room redo amigas

Total cost for this project was around $350 (mostly because of the butcher block, about $80 and the faucet about $99). The rest was the tiles (about 9 pieces at about $9 bucks each). I already had thin set, tools and paint from other projects.

The decor pieces were about $40 bucks total.

I hope this post inspired you to start your own powder room project.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Pinterest and sign up for our email list so we can keep you updated on new projects and ideas.

Until next time,

Faux cement tile backsplash amigas4all

How to Make a Fabulous Faux Cement Tile Backsplash

A kitchen backsplash can really add up in a kitchen project budget. When I was researching for tiles for my kitchen backsplash I completely fell in love with the cement tile backsplash. The problem was: They are Oh! so pricey! 

image of brick above the stove before faux cement tile backsplash

According to my measurements for the wall behind my stove, I would need $900 worth of cement tiles. For one wall!!  (See my kitchen project here).

And, that’s not counting the thin set, grout and the sealant. Worse?

I had two walls of about the same size to do. $1800 for a backsplash? I don’t think so! 

Faux cement tile other stove amigas4all

This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission from any purchases you make through these links without any extra cost to you. This is how I make sure I have enough paint for my next project

If you do have the money and don’t want to get into stamping, check these designs I found on Amazon (below). They are mah-velous! 


I decided to research some more to see what was out there as a possible alternative to make a faux cement tile backsplash. However, most DIY projects for cement tiles involved using stencils.

While I love stencil projects (like my DIY Bar Menu and my Bar Sign projects), I felt that this one would have to be a little easier since I still needed to get tiles installed first before I could get into the printing process.

I decided that stamping would be a lot faster and easier because if you are following a print on a stencil you can’t really move on to the next piece until the other piece next to it dries.

Especially if you already have the tiles installed and you just want to update it.

After much research I chose this print as my favorite design for my faux cement tile backsplash:

faux cement tile backsplash project design image

It doesn’t look like much now but wait until you see all the tiles side by side. The effect is really cool.

Click on the link to see my tutorial on how to create a stamp for this project.

Once your stamp is ready. It’s time to stamp away!

Here are my stamps:

faux cement tile backsplash project stamp design image

The top stamp goes with the black design and the bottom stamp is for the gray design.

Materials for the Faux Cement tile backsplash:

  • Your newly created stamp
  • A tiled wall (of course!)
  • Tile Primer 
  • Foam rollers
  • Foam brushes
  • Chalk Paint (most latex paints will work but I would use chalk paint instead. It’s a double assurance that the paint will stick)
  • Sealer (Be sure that your paint base is the same as your sealer-Water based paint/water based sealer. Or oil based paint with oil based sealer).  Watch for sealers that can yellow the paint.The yellow could ruin your final color). Finally, if you don’t want it too shiny I would select satin finish instead of gloss.
  • rags for clean up.

The Tile Wall

Now, you ask: “why would you go through all the trouble to tile the wall and paint the tile when you can buy a ready-made tile backsplash with all the colors you want?” Price!

Since I wanted the look of cement tile and their prices were prohibitive for my I had to find another option. Sure I could have bought these fancy looking backsplashes you see everywhere. But they would not look right in my kitchen and they are still pretty pricey.

The option was to get these square subway tiles at Home Depot. They were pretty cheap and for one wall I spent about $38 bucks!

The total cost for both my walls with all materials was less than $100 (tiles and stamp materials included!).

If you already have the tiles and all you are doing is the stamping, you are looking at less than $25 bucks for the stamp materials, the paint, and the sealer. Not bad for a customized backsplash! 

See why I took that route?

I will not be teaching you how to tile here today (hopefully soon). But I will show you how to stamp these tiles and get them to look exactly how you dreamed.

Note: If you are starting your project with a tiled wall with a base color or print you don’t like simply apply the primer, paint the tiles with a new base color and then start your stamping project. 

Important Secrets for your tiles to last (don’t Skip!

Since I was going to have to tile the walls I decided to stamp the tiles BEFORE installing them. My honest opinion? DON’T!

I learned that the hard way.

After installation, I had to grout the tiles. That’s when you risk losing your work. Even if you apply all the seal in the world, the print will not survive the grouting process. Grout contains sand. Even if you use unsanded grout, it will still have some “grit” to it and it will peel the paint right off.

So if you are starting with new tiles like me, please tile first, then grout, THEN stamp.

If you are concerned whether the paint will hold the normal wear and tear of a kitchen, it will. You will need to be a little more careful not to scrub the tiles too heavily when cleaning, but once the seal sets, it will hold just fine.

After the tile is installed, you will need to apply the primer. Simply use a foam roller or brush. Apply a couple of coats just to be sure. Let it dry well between coats.

The Stamping Process

Once the primer (or base paint) is dry (preferably overnight) then you can start the printing process. You can do some test pieces first to get a hand of the technique before doing the entire wall.

I started with my darker color stamp first. The easiest way to do it, in my opinion, is to get a shallow tray for the paint and grab just a little bit of paint with a foam roller and roll it onto the stamp.

Be sure to take out the excess paint from the stamp with a foam brush. You really want just a little bit of paint and just enough to cover the raised design on the stamp.  

Since I used a tile with the same size as the tiles I was printing, all I did was line up the sides of the tile to make sure my print was centered and applied just enough pressure to transfer the paint from the stamp onto the tile.

Image faux cement tile backsplash project

Notice the imperfections? Don’t worry!

If you researched about cement tiles you probably know that they are hand made and that each one is unique. 

And yes, the imperfections ARE part of the real deal and it will be part of our project here too. Pfeeew! 

The only way to get a perfect print on a cement tile will be to buy regular tiles that are “imitation” cement tile like these porcelain ones below for example:

But I wanted something close to the real deal, so the imperfections stay!

Now if you make a big mistake like a misaligned print or the print is too light, no worries. Simply wipe the design off and start over!

Finally getting to see the final look

The next step was to stamp the lighter color over the black design. Same process as the stamping above. I lined up the base of my stamp with the sides of the tile and the print was automatically centered.

faux cement tile backsplash project stamped tiles amigas4all

This part was fun because the paint dries quickly and you can actually start the second color just about an hour after the first color.

Since I had over 100 tiles to print (I lost count), by the time I finished the first color on all tiles, the first tile was dry enough to start the second color. 

The whole wall (er, tiles for that wall) was done in about 2 hours!

It was very cool to see how they looked so quickly.

See the final effect with the circles and squares? You can actually see several designs if you look at different angles. It looks modern and farmhouse-y without looking busy.

Sealing The Tiles

After the paint was dry (overnight just to be sure). I applied at least 3 coats of polyurethane to seal the print. Let it dry at least 4 hours between coats. This may even contradict what the instructions on the can say. Just trust me on this one.

If you follow my suggestion above and print your tiles after they are installed, once the tiles are sealed your work is ready to be admired by all!

 Here is the final product:

faux cement tile backsplash final product image

The best part is: if you get bored with the design you can scrape it all off with hot water and some scrubbing and you can do a whole new print!

This can also work if you rent and you hate the look of the current tiles but don’t want a permanent change.

UPDATE

It has been about 7 months I did this project and I can say that it’s holding up pretty well. I had some very minor peels but only because they were flimsy in the first place (Remember I told you about not doing the stamping before tiling and grouting? Yep, I didn’t do that and that’s the only reason I had some peels).

If anything peels you can always do minor corrections with a brush and reseal the tile. No Biggie. Just make sure that when you clean the tiles you don’t use any scrubbing sponges or harsh chemicals.

Basically, soap and water. Even if you fry stuff near the wall, somehow the sealer prevents the grease from sticking to it and it does make it easy to clean just by wiping.

I hope you enjoyed this project. Follow us on Facebook for new updates and cool projects. We are also on Pinterest.

Oh, if you sign up for our email list below, you will receive a few ready to go designs you can use to make your own faux cement tile backsplash!

Simply print the design, make your stamp, and start printing! I would love to see how your design turned out!

Until next time!

 

 

DIY Gift Tags

Oops! I forgot to buy gift tags. Now What do I do?

That’s right! I forgot to buy gift tags and I had to wrap all these presents to be shipped the next day. Somehow, I lost the ones I always have stashed in my gift wrap closet and it was close to 11pm. There was no way I was going to drive to the pharmacy to buy labels at that hour. 

Well, I had to get creative and quick. So I decided to make my own labels!

I wanted them to look classy and whimsical (I know, very demanding considering my late start). Since I love to DIY and even more to recycle and reuse materials for unexpected purposes (like my Christmas angels made with mattress springs, for example), I chose to use materials I had at home to make my gift tags.

Here’s what I used to make my DIY gift tags:

This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission from any purchases you make through these links without any extra cost to you. This is how I make sure the cats will have their catnip for Christmas

My Diy Gift Tags

First, decide what size and shape you want your tags to be. I chose rectangular at about 2 1/2in long and 1 1/4in wide.

Image of craft paper diy gift tag

image of paper cutter diy gift tag amigas

Since I had a paper cutter on hand, I used it to cut my labels. But you can certainly improvise with a ruler to make them perfectly straight.

After cutting the number of tags I needed, I punched a hole on each tag to run the twine through.

mage of hole punch gift tags

image of gift tags with holes

Each twine was cut at about 5 inches long.

image of twine gift tags

Now it was time to select my designs for each tag. A lot of the designs were a little too big for my selected tag size. So I decided to go with it and selected odd parts of each design to glue onto each tag. Like this stocking for example.

image of gift wrap stocking gift tags

Or this snowflake.

image of gift wrap snowflake gift tags

Once I glued each design on each tag I just tied a little knot on the twine and voila! Gift wrap gift tags!

image of gift tags horizontal

It took me no more than 20 mins to make these. Don’t they look adorable? Oh, I used a silver pen to write “to/from” on the tags but a good old Sharpie is just fine too. 

I hope this project will inspire you to recycle some of your gift wraps. I hate to see all this paper gone in less than 5 seconds when people open their presents. So if I see that they are in good shape I save them for projects like these (and no, I’m not a hoarder! I promise!).

Until next time!

how-to-make-an-adorable christmas angel

How to Make an Adorable Christmas Angel From an Old Mattress

Angels from an old mattress spring #easydiy Click To Tweet Who doesn’t love Christmas angels? Now, isn’t it even better if it’s from upcycled materials?

If you have been following this blog you should know by now that I love making things. Especially from unusual or unexpected materials.

I love upcycling and recycling things and making “new” things. The results may really surprise you. Who here remembers my bar table using an umbrella stand as a base?

That’s why I could not help myself when I came across these old mattress springs in a pile of discarded items.

christmas-angels-from-old-mattress-springs-amigas-image-of-springs

I’m not a hoarder by any means. In fact, if my house is not organized I can’t even function. But when I see materials that can be turned into something new, I keep it.

Recycling/Upcycling Saves Money and Trees

In a world of consumerism, where everything is disposable I’d like to think that I’m saving the world one upcycled/recycled project at a time. And I get to have something “new” without spending much, if at all. It’s like Christmas morning every time!

So before you throw away something that is well built, it’s not broken and that could use a little bit of TLC, think twice.

Can you paint it and make it look new? What if it just looks “tired” but you would totally keep it if it just looked a little more updated?

Wouldn’t it be better than spending money on something that already works but just needs some “love”?

When I remodeled my downstairs bathroom I was sooo glad to get rid of this eyesore:

christmas angels mattress spring light-fixture-eye-sore-image

Of course, looking back I could have made a pretty nifty terrarium to plant some succulents! Sigh. The one that got away! (….but it was soo ugleeee!).

And how about my bathroom vanity from the same bathroom project? It was an original 1965 vanity that I magically transformed with just some paint and new trim to give it a facelift. Now, it looks like a modern “Shaker” style vanity that people are paying top dollar to get. That project cost me $200 only. And that includes a new sink AND the counter top.

The reason I’m saying all this is because I made this project using only things I had around the house. Some of the materials are remnants from other projects that I saved for future projects that would eventually pop in my head.

So let’s do this!

Materials for the Christmas Angels

This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission from any purchases you make through these links without any extra cost to you. This is how I make sure the cats will have their catnip for Christmas

While I am giving you a list of the materials I used, remember that you can use your creativity and use any materials you like. Any fabric that you think could work can be used. You can also use paper or cardstock for the details.

The Christmas angel project

The first thing you want to do is design and cut the angel wings. For that, you can free hand it or you can find an image online as inspiration.

Before you trace the shape of the wings fold the fabric in half so when you cut the wings they will have the same size and shape.

christmas-angels-image-of-wing-design-on-fabric

Then you need to place the base of the spring onto the drop cloth (or burlap) and trace it around the spring. Cut and use “tacky glue” to glue the base onto the spring. Note that this step is optional. This can serve as a base for your electronic candle.

christmas-angels-image-of-spring-base-tracing

christmas-angels-image-of-spring-base-gluing

Hot glue the wing onto the back of the spring (Yes, I know the spring is circular). You just have to decide where you want the wing placed (notice the hook at the top of the spring on the image? I wanted that straight tip to point backward).

image-of-christmas-angel-wings-glued

The next step is to decorate the “front” of your angel. I chose to make a bow by cutting the edging part of the burlap for one of the angels. 

For my other angel, I used burlap to make the wings and I used the drop cloth to make the bow (see below)

christmas-angels-image-of-burlap

christmas-angels-image-of-bow

I hot glued each bow on the “front” of my angels and then used buttons to decorate the bows and give them a “homey” feel to them.

After the wings and bows were in place, it was time to make a “halo” for my angels. I used a piece of sisal twine and made a circle for each angel.

Just hot glue the tips to make a circle about the size of the top of the spring. 

christmas-angels-image-of-halo christmas-angels-image-of-twine

Let there be light!

Now that your angel is pretty much ready, it’s time to make it shine!

Because the electronic candle is not the prettiest thing in close up, I decided to cover the side with sisal twine to make it blend in with the angel. The only visible part would be the top of the candle and the light.

All you need to do is hot glue the sisal twine by wrapping it around the side of the candle. 

christmas-angels-image-of-candle-with-sisal-rope

christmas-angels-image-of-finished-candle

This next step is optional: Remember I told you to glue the fabric base onto the spring? Well, you can place your candle there and you are done.

But I decided that I wanted the light to be a little higher so that my angel looked more illuminated. It is an angel, after all!

So, another option is to hot glue the side of the candle a little higher in the spring, right about the height of the bow.

And here are the angels with both options:

christmas-angels-from-old-mattress-springs-amigas-image-of-final-angels

And here’s a close-up of each one:

christmas-angels-image-of-finished-angel

christmas-angels-image-of-finished-burlap-bow

Notice I added a little piece of burlap in front of the wing to cover the hot glue that was showing where I glued the wing. Here’s the detail:

christmas-angels-image-of-finished-burlap-bow

This project is very easy and the final product looks very angelic! Pun intended!!  Here’s another picture of one of my angels with different lighting:

christmas-angels-image-angel-in-different-light

I would love to see how yours turned out. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for updates.

Until next time!

D

 

 

image of Bathroom Vanity Transformation from this to this (3)

How To Magically Change Your Old Bathroom Vanity

Featured on Hometalk.com

When I decided to remodel my downstairs bathroom I had all these dreams of changing the vanity, the walls, the floor and the shower stall.

But life likes to throw curve balls and when I first started demo-ing the bathroom I found mold! Of course, my heart sank! There goes my budget.

So I had to hire professionals to get rid of that and turns out they had to take down parts of the walls and that meant finding asbestos too!!

This house is from 1965 and drywall had asbestos back then. Yet, another ding on my budget.

After all was said and done my budget was pretty much gone and with that, my dreams of having a new vanity and a fancy granite top.

Here are some of the things I dreamed for this bathroom:


I girl can dream, right?!

I will soon have a post about my entire bathroom remodel. But what I really wanted to show you today was how I was able to save my original vanity (yes, from 1965!) and transform it into a modern looking piece just like the ones shown above. And all of that using less than a quart of paint, wood strips and wood putty (well, a couple of other things too but this was a cheap project considering the final look).

I did spend some serious money on a 8ftx.25in butcher block but I only used a 4ft x 22in piece for my bathroom counter and I was able to use another piece for my powder room remodel.

After those two projects, I still have a lot leftover I can use for other projects like a DIY kitchen cutting board for a handmade gift or some cool shelving. So it was a good investment.

MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!

Since my dreams of getting a new cabinet were shattered by the unforeseen expenses I decided I was going to “save” the vanity that was already there. 

This is “the beauty” in all its glory:

bathroom-remodel-on-a-miracle-budget-inside-angle

Notice the doors? Ugh! 

I thought about improvising or buying an antique dresser and transforming it into a sink but there was a minor little issue with this bathroom:

If I put anything deeper than 18 inches for the counter top near the door, my bathroom door wouldn’t close!

Notice how the old counter top had this angled cut on the stone near the door? 

Here’s a picture of the angle in more detail

image-of-counter-detail-bathroom-transform-amigas4all

I could have put a smaller cabinet away from the wall near the door but then I would have a big gap between the wall and the cabinet.

Also, any shelving or garbage can would have looked weird in that space since it would be on the other side of where the toilet was.

The old cabinet not only had drawers that were the perfect size for the area but the entire piece was perfectly lined up with the plumbing too. So I decided to keep it and make the best of it.

The Prep work and paint

Going back to demo day, I took the old vanity outside thinking it had mold on it too. But after a thorough inspection, there was only one small spot in the base. Since the base was warped anyway I cut it off and I decided that it would look more modern with wooden legs.

The first thing I did after chopping the old base was to give it a good clean and apply wood filler to cover any dings and scratches. Once the wood filler was dry I sanded it to remove any imperfections.

image-of-vanity-with-wood-filler-prepaint-bathroom-transform-amigas4all

Then I gave it 3 coats of paint. I chose this light gray color called Morning Mist by Behr in semi-gloss. The semi-gloss would make it more impermeable and easier to clean in a bathroom setting. 

image of vanity painted in grey bathroom transform amigas

Looks like a million bucks already! I bought one quart of the paint and I didn’t even use half of it and that included painting the doors!

The next thing I did was modernize the front of the cabinet doors. No matter how much paint I used, I had to do something about those doors or the cabinet would have still looked dated. Here’s a better picture of the doors:

bathroom-transform-image-of-cabinet-door-amigas4all

After a lot of searching for the right trim and how to make it work with the current curve in the corners, I decided that a “Shaker style” trim would not only be easier to apply but it would look modern and “farmhouse-y” at the same time. It was sooo easy I wish I had done this a long time ago!

Shaking the Style

To turn the cabinet doors into a Shaker style, I needed a flat trim with no curves or anything. I went to the hardware store and found this 1in x 1/4 in x 4ft wood strip that would be perfect for my “Shaker” trim. For the two doors, I calculated that I needed four “4 footers” of this trim.

Basically, all I did was measure the edges of the door where the curvy detail ended and cut two strips for the vertical trim. Then I measured the distance between the two vertical strips to cut my horizontal trim that would sit in between the vertical trims. 

Here’s a better explanation:

image-of-curvy-corner-edge-bathroom-vanityimage-of-schematics-for-shaker-vanity-door I used Liquid Nails to glue the trim on the door and I let it sit overnight with the door faced down. I made sure to put a few books (weights) on top of it to make sure there would not be any unglued spots.

Here’s the door after the trim was added:

amigas4all-kitchen-bath-redo-during-wood-strip

Notice I plugged the hole for the old door knob with wood putty because the new door handle would be installed on the trim.

I did the same for both doors and painted them. Don’t they look modern already?!

bathroom-transformation-image-of-painted-doors

image-of-drawers-vanity-bathroom-transform-amigas4all

Then it was time to paint the drawers and install the feet (I painted the feet before installing them. Much easier that way). 

image-of-vanity-feet-amigas4all

Notice I didn’t add any strips on the drawer fronts because the curvy details on the edges already looked good. And the paint alone gave them a more modern look. 

Let’s not forget the hinges!

My budget was so beyond tight that I even decided to save the hinges. 

First, because the holes were already there. Second, they were in pretty good shape (these were not from the 60’s, I don’t think). And third, I already had silver spray paint from another project and didn’t fell like going to the store to buy new ones.

These hinges are not really that expensive (about $3 bucks each). I was just really penny pinching here.

Here’s what the hinges looked like before painting them (sorry, not a good picture):

bathroom-transformation-image-of-painted-doors

 and here it is after paint:

mage-of-hinge-after-paint-bathroom-vanity-amigas4all

The vanity is finally taking shape

After putting the vanity together and putting it back in the bathroom, it was time to install the new butcher block counter top. 

To cut the butcher block, I used the old countertop as a template for the new one. But I didn’t want that ridiculous angled cut in the corner like the old countertop so I decided to make it a straight cut instead.

If you are tackling cutting the butcher block with a circular saw and you never did that try recruiting someone who knows how to do this. Maybe the “hubs” or a neighbor. Unless you are crazy like me and will try anything. Then just watch your fingers!

Oh, Don’t waste your time using a jigsaw to cut the butcher block, it’s pretty solid wood and you will be going through several blades if you do. Unfortunately, I had to cut the hole for the sink with the jigsaw (that was so fun…not!)

After making all the cuts including the opening for the sink, it was time to seal the countertop with polyurethane waterproof sealant.image-of-butcher-block-countertop-bathroom-vanity-amigas4all

Be sure to sand between coats and follow the instructions on the can. It’s not a difficult job but it’s messy. And for someone impatient like me, it was tough to wait 2 hours in between coats. I did about 5 of them.

After the countertop was done, installing it was a breeze. I just needed “L” brackets to hold it in place with some short screws (make sure they are not longer than the thickness of the countertop or the vanity frame. 

Plumbing: not my Favorite Activity but “doable DIY”

Because I was using the same vanity as before, the pipes were pretty much there. Except, I wanted new pipes because they were pretty gross (who knows how old these were?).

If you DIY the plumbing, be sure to watch plenty of videos if you never did this. It’s not hard, but it’s a frustrating job. Be sure to check for leaks so you don’t have any surprises like mold or ruining the wood under the sink.

After it was all in place I installed the sink (pretty easy to do) and sealed the edges with clear silicone. Be sure to use blue tape on the counter around the sink and on the edges of the sink to avoid getting silicone everywhere.

Oh, and wear gloves! What a mess! Wipe the excess silicon and pull the tape and voila! A clean “caulking” job.

The finishing touches

After the plumbing work was done it was pretty much just installing the new drawer and door pulls and the hinges. I found these modern looking pulls on Amazon and they gave a very fresh and modern look to the vanity.

Here’s the final look!

image-of-bathroom-vanity-front-angle-amigas4all

image-of-bathroom-vanity-doors-amigas4all

image-of-bathroom-vanity-front-view-of-doors-amigas4all

image-of-vanity-final-product-2

amigas4all-kitchen-bath-after-higher-pixel

The vanity looks completely new and fresh. It doesn’t even look like the old sad vanity. The total tally on this project? $195.28.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • $17.98 for paint – Color: Misty Morning from Behr (I used less than half a can and I was able to use the same paint on my hall bath project)
  • $4 bucks for the wood trims (home improvement store)
  • $19.84 for the door pulls and knobs from Amazon.
  • $120 for the butcher block (I paid $250 for a large piece but used less than half on this project and used another piece on my powder room project and still have left overs)
  • $29.98 for the porcelain sink from the hardware store
  • $3.46 for a Pipe kit from the hardware store
  • I already had the sealant, silicon calk, liquid nails, tape, rollers and brushes at home but if you were to buy it all it would be less than $40 bucks for all of them.

Not bad for less than $200 bucks with the counter top and sink and pretty much custom!

Other options and final thoughts

Another way to do the counter top, if you think the cost for the butcher block is too steep, is to buy 2×6  or 2×8 lumber and make your own butcher block.

You can glue the boards side by side with wood glue.  Then let them dry overnight with clamps holding them together to ensure that there won’t be any gaps between boards. Seal it with polyurethane and voila! DIY butcher block for less than $20 bucks!

I had fun doing this project and seeing how it turned out. I know some may think $200 is a bit much for a vanity redo. Especially, when you can buy a new one for around $300. But you won’t buy quality for that price.

Plus it will never have the “personality” of a butcher block finish. Nor will the quality of the wood construction be the same. I can probably get another 40 years out this vanity (maybe with a new color trend when the gray gets old).

If you have a decent countertop but only the vanity needs a fresh look, you may only have to spend money on paint, replacement pulls or minor finishes. You could probably do that for less than $100 (that’s counting buying a faucet that’s over $30 bucks).

I hope this project has inspired you. Try using things you already have at home. Make something new out of them. If the piece has “good bones”, why not use it? 

Please share your before and after pictures and stay tuned for more projects.

I hope you enjoyed this project. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for new updates and cool projects. And don’t forget to sign up for our email list below to receive news and updates.

Until next time!

 

how-to-teach-kids--budget-for-a-lifetime-of-good-choices

How To Teach Kids to Budget For a Lifetime of Good Financial Choices

It’s difficult to imagine how your seven or ten year old could learn how to budget so early in life. Especially when he or she is still coming into the house covered in mud or glitter and you still have to beg for them to brush their teeth. But it is absolutely possible and actually not that difficult.

 Leading by example is a way to start teaching your kids how to budget

As the oldest of 5, I was very close to the decision making process, the planning and what the family needed to buy or save for.

My father constantly traveled for work and sometimes spent a whole month out of the country while my mom all-by-herself took care of the house. When he traveled she would be the one handling the budget. Financially, it was a great thing for the family when she was in charge of the money.

She was a stay at home mom who never quite finished school and she had a very poor childhood (financially, of course). Every Cruzeiro  she made was carefully saved (no pennies because this was in Brazil). So as a child she learned the value of keeping track of her money.

Because of her budget skills, she was able to make the money last the whole time my father was out of the country. She would even save enough money to buy us each an outfit so we could dress up to pick up our father at the airport when he returned. Happy times!

Be very careful with your own budget or the kids may learn some bad habits too

In contrast, I learned at an early age that my father was not good as good as my mother with his budget. During his career he was always a hard working man but he also spent too quickly. That habit came from his own father. I learned and still remember the adults saying that grandpa just got paid. He then would spend his entire budget with presents for the kids on the day he got the pay check.

While it was nice to get presents I never understood how grandpa could pay for his food or rent. I know, I was an inquisitive kid, thinking about that even back then.

Nowadays, many parents want to shield their kids from the world so they can enjoy a few more years with fairies and superheroes and not so much of the “real life”.

I know it is commendable to give your kids a childhood but it is also important that they learn to budget early on. If you do so they will have a reasonable understanding of why you are not buying that toy or video game today. Who here doesn’t remember throwing tantrums in the supermarket?

A Kid’s budget lesson should start with an allowance and some chores that can they turn into cash

I don’t know about you but when my father asked us to mow the lawn or wash the car we just ran for the hills. Until he made a list of chores that we could turn into cash. That was one good thing we learned from dad: you work-you get paid!

For us kids, it was like finding a gold mine. If we wanted that video game, we could finally buy it (remember Atari cartridges? Cough, cough! Sorry, a lot of dust flying here!).  Or we could buy the next hot toy out there.

I know you are going to say that “kids should be doing their chores regardless”. Yes! I agree. For the most part.

I also think that since kids are not legally allowed to work for an actual paycheck until a certain age (at least in the US) giving them a list of “for hire” chores can teach them the value of work in exchange for money.

budgeting-for-kids-how-to-teach-your-kids-to-budget-pinterest

They can learn that by working they are able to buy that game.Or that doll or even that dog they always dreamed about (before you buy a dog please read my article about gifting a pet). They will also see that they need to work first in order to get that money, and that it is not “easy” making money. 

Learning the value of money is the first step for kids to learn how to budget

If kids learn that there is an “exchange” in order to get that money, i.e. you dedicate an hour or two to mow the lawn and you’ll get money in the end, they will quickly learn that the time spent working (mowing the lawn, washing the car) has value.

The first value they will learn is that “time is money”. The second value they will learn is that it takes a combination of several “hours” (“time”) to get the total amount of money they are looking for.

For example, if you pay $5 for your 10 year old to wash the car, he will see that it took 1 hour or so to make that amount of money. Just like us when we are adults we get our first check and realize we worked 40 hours to make, say $300 a week or $1000 a week.

And let’s say your kid wants a game that costs $25 dollars. You should explain that if he is looking to get that game he will need to wash that car at least 4 more times to be able to buy it. Or find another chore on the “for hire” list to make more money.

When they realize the value of their work, the “budget talk” should come next

When your child realizes that it will take a little longer to get enough to buy that game or doll you are probably going to get one of two responses: “Can I just wash the car everyday so I can get this money quickly?” Or ,“This sucks! I don’t want to do this anymore”.

When you get the “can this be faster” response, this is a great opportunity. Clearly explain that saving money takes time and effort but with patience he or she will get what they are saving for. Ask them to imagine the day they are finally going to the store to buy what they want.

If you get the “this sucks!” response, ask your child why, and have her explain to you why. I bet you, their issue will be how long it takes to get enough money to get what she wants.

In this case, she will need a “small victory” to get the “taste” of getting what she wants to buy in exchange for work. You have to be careful because this is where kids can also feel “entitled” after you “give” them that small victory.

Here’s what you are going to do instead: You are NOT going to make this easy.

Sure, they need to experience that “thrill” of making enough to get what they want at least once. And maybe only once.

But you need to make the chore a little more “difficult” to complete and make it clear that it is a one time deal. That if they want to get something else they have to go back to the “old system”.

For example, if your kid wants that video game/or that more expensive doll have him/her agree to a “set of chores” before they get their money. Combine a lot of things you want them to do into this one time deal.

DO NOT give them chores that they are supposed to be doing already like cleaning their room or gathering their toys or picking up after themselves.

You could offer a prize here and there for doing those chores but NEVER make that part of the “for hire” chores. Maybe every 2 months they get free ice cream or something they value but that it’s not too expensive.

The chore should be something unusual like mowing the lawn (not for a 7 year old of course!) or sweeping the yard. It can also be something you are working on yourself but could use the extra help like sorting papers to shred, or organizing the garage.

The point is that after they complete ALL the tasks you gave them, they get that one big “payday”.

When they finally experience the first purchase with their hard earned cash, in most cases, they are “hooked”.

Yes, be prepared for them to ask you for more “for-hire” chores, and your own budget may not allow you to offer those a lot. But even if you start with a dime here or a quarter there, they will get the picture. And start early on in their lives. Start with a candy purchase with that quarter. Or a small toy with that dollar.

Show them how to stretch that budget too and the value of bargain hunting 

One way to monitor your “little workers” is to make a grid or checklist for each child. Have them create their own goal list too. Something like this for example (click on the image for a downloadable form like this one):

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This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission from any purchases you make through these links without any extra cost to you. This is how I make sure I can feed the cats in the neighborhood.

When you see that your child is getting close to getting the amount they need to reach their goal, take them “window shopping” for the item they want. Online shopping also counts.

Teach them to compare prices. Show them how to stretch their money by showing them that they can buy something similar for less. Or that you can find their particular item at a more discounted rate. Show them how to wait for sales if you know a “season” like Black Friday is coming up.

This lesson will trigger their “bargain hunting” skills.

They will see that their money can go much further if they take the time to find the right price.

Let’s say your kid wanted a video game.  After “bargain hunting” you both find out there is a deal for the original game he wanted. You also find out there’s an expansion for that same game for the same price or for a “hair” more.

Make them excited for that possibility. Give them the opportunity to learn to wait so they can gather that little extra cash to get that extension. Who doesn’t like a bargain?

Of course, to show your kids how to budget you should also know how to do your own budget. I wrote two articles called How to Create and Maintain a Budget Without Starving. I also wrote about How to Balance Your Budget Like a ProThese articles are a good way to start your own budget if you are not sure how.

Learning How to Budget Early will help them avoid a lifetime of Debt

Teach your kids how to budget early on. When they reach college age they will know how to handle their own finances. A lot of us have huge student loan debts. This is partly because we were unprepared to budget college living expenses.

Even more critical is knowing how to use a credit card at an early age. A lot of college kids nowadays don’t know how to use credit cards. All they see is that they can swipe their card in a machine and they can buy “whatever” they want.  It is “easy money” until the bill shows up in the mail box and panic sets in.

Set up a time with each child. Choose a favorite “piggy bank” or box as their “savings” account. You can choose to let them keep control of the “bank”. Or teach them the value of banking once they understand how a budget works. You could offer to be the “bank” so they are not tempted to spend the money earlier if they prefer.

Either way, your child will be more prepared for a lifetime of good financial decisions.

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Until next time!

 

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How to Get an Awesome Laundry Room With Paint

Laundry Room painted. Case closed!

Kidding!

For the DIYers out there, it’s probably very clear that paint can do magical things to just about anything. But if you never tackled a paint job it can be scary. Some wonder: Can I even do that? Yes, you can! Everyone can.

The best way to start if you never painted any room is to start with a little project first. Even if it’s painting a cardboard box just to get the hang of it.

But once you do: Oh! So fun to see the results. 

This is the story of how I completely transformed my laundry room using nothing but paint!

My Boring Laundry room

Here’s my before pics of my laundry room:

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When I bought this house the previous owner had some nice things installed in the laundry room.

They put in a white marble counter top (not the best choice for a laundry room but still fancy). They also had new(ish) white cabinets (they really needed some cleaning and adding a few shelves in the broom closet).

As you can see it is a festival of white on white plus white appliances. It all so blended that despite having these nice features the room was just BLAH.

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Ok, I admit that the sink is more like “brown” but it’s because my husband put the coffeemaker in the laundry room (long story and why I think marble is a bad choice), and he can’t seem to be able turn on the faucet to wash out the grounds. Argh! 

No worries, I will work on that too

The first thing I needed to do was to find the right color for the laundry room. I thought yellow would be a cute choice but my kitchen already had some yellow there. Plus the bamboo floor in that room was already yellowish (it has since been replaced thanks to “the flood of 2015!” LOL).

And I also didn’t want the room to be an extension of the kitchen but its own little world.

Most of the rooms in my house have their own color. And the only beige wall is still beige only because it’s in a spot I can’t reach (we have a 20 ft ceiling in the foyer). I’m afraid of heights and don’t trust the husband with a brush (I still love him. He buys me tools! HA!). So it’s still there is all its beige glory!

So when it was time to paint the laundry room I wanted it to be a pop of color and that matched something in the room. Since matching the floor was out I chose to match the wall with the gray veins in the marble counter top.

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Gray is my new best friend

Yes, gray is the new beige. I’m not a fan of beige but yes, I can live with gray!

And since I was planning to redo the bathroom right next to the laundry room in gray (also thanks to the flood of 2015), I decided for a slightly darker gray for the wall.

Here’s is the laundry room with its new gray wall:

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Paint is all I did. Some gray paint and POP! I can finally see my white cabinets!

Now it looks like a nice room with a nice counter top and new(ish) cabinets. I did repaint the broom closet since it was not a match cabinet from the other cabinets and the built-in was also not from the same system.

Oh, and I did use some elbow grease to restore that sink (I could not find a reasonably priced one that matched the size of that cabinet). Plus elbow grease is free and it did look brand new….until the next pot of coffee! Sigh.

I’m still day dreaming about a cool backsplash to give it an extra pop of color. For now a shelf with a cute sign (←here’s some other cool ones online) and a sweet little bird will do.

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I hope you liked this project. Find a small room to start if you are a little hesitant. A powder room is small enough or a coat closet if you want to start with something really REALLY small.

Happy Painting!