My January Cure – Bathroom Project

My buddy Lauren over at Stay Home With Me & I decided to attempt Apartment Therapy’s January Cure this winter – as a part of our mutual decision to kick of 2014 with a positive & organized bang. I’ve really been enjoying receiving my regular email from Apartment Therapy each morning – containing the daily assignment for the cure. I’ve been attempting to keep up – although it has not been particularly easy with my busy weekends & 50+ hour work weeks. I feel wonderful every time I complete a task, and I’ve gotten a whole lot of great new ideas for keeping my home organized & clutter free. (Unfortunately, I’ve yet to implement all of these great ideas, which makes that ‘clutter free’ sentiment feel like a distant dream…) Nonetheless, I am pleased with the progress made thus far, and hope to completely catch up before the end of the month (for example, Assignment #13 is top priority…)


At the beginning of the month, I made a nice long list of all the problem areas in our home that I would like to tackle at some point. This list includes big projects – like the wallpaper I’d like to remove in our entryway, the baseboard I’d like to replace throughout the apartment, and the massive job of organizing our attic. I’ve also got dozens of smaller jobs on my list – like sorting out my craft supplies (ok, that one is maybe not such a small job), painting a room or two, and finishing the little gallery wall I started when the Christmas decorations came down.

But the project I chose to complete as per the cure was an update in our bathroom. The bathroom refresh included the following jobs:

– Remove the old, cracked caulk around the tub & re-caulk


– Paint the window trim, door & door trim white (the trim was an off-white/almondy ish color, and in need of some spackle/hole repair as well).


– Paint the ceiling white


– Refresh the decor.

Our hands are pretty tied with the color of the tile right now – as we are not able to do a huge tile job in the near future. I’m not in love with the color (or having a fully tiled bathroom in general) – but I have to live with it. I hope that adding some crisp white trim & some fun new accessories will help. We’ve decided phase one will be paint & new accessories, and in phase two (later this Spring, perhaps) we will try to replace the sink, vanity, TP holder, towel rack, etc. – which is not going to be a walk in the park, as there will be holes in tile, etc. Uhg.

Anyway, after a nice long weekend & an extra snow day to boot, I’ve made significant progress. The tub is caulked & the trim is painted, and we’re hiring help to deal with the ceiling (there is some water damage/work that needs to be done to avoid mildew down the road).


I also picked up some fun new towels & accessories from Target (with perfect timing from a Cartwheel coupon on Threshold bath accessories!).

And, if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw the saga of the ceramic deer head. Sniff. I debated whether I wanted to use this $7 find (from TJ Maxx back in December) as a towel holder. I decided to go for it – and I loved it with all my heart. I named him Roger. 24 hours later, Roger was in about 100 pieces on the floor… as was my heart.

photo 4

What home projects have you been up to lately? Anyone else doing the January Cure? Have you lost any ceramic animal buddies lately?


DIY Key Holder

I can never find my keys. Every morning I embark on the same quest. My keys like to hang out in coat pockets, the bottom of my purse, the dining room table, my dresser, my makeup bag… (don’t ask). While re-arranging my second-floor stair & entryway, I knew I wanted to add a key holder, and was pretty sure I could make one myself.

After a day and a half of trial and error, I ended up with an entryway plaque (which was originally meant to be the key holder), and a successful, second attempt, new home for our keys.

1) The plaque originally meant to serve as key holder

I started with an unfinished wood plaque from Michael’s.

Since the color scheme of our entryway is currently dictated by the wallpaper, I stuck with a neutral palate & painted this little guy brown (Paint- Folk Art Coffee Bean). Underneath the plaque is a box of thank you cards- serving to keep the plaque off the table & allow me to paint the edges.


At the same time, I coated these cute little wooden letters in Martha Stewart’s Putty paint.

I gave both the plaque & the letters a good 3 coats (probably should have used a primer paint, first, but they turned out fine). I worked from paint squeezed into the bottom of a water bottle~ cause I’m thrifty!

After everything dried (I painted these last night, and waited until this morning to assemble), I used wood glue to attach my letters to the plaque. The original plan was to insert little hooks into the bottom of the plaque to create a key holder. I did this, and then while playing around with placement in the hallway, I realized it just wasn’t going to work in the space I had imagined. So I removed the hooks, filled in the holes w/ putty, sanded & painted over my goof-up.

After waiting for everything to dry again, I glued on two pretty felt flowers (also from Michael’s) and hung my key-holder-turned-plaque above the door to our apartment!


2) Key Holder {Second Attempt}

Inspired by this idea found on Pinterest, I decided my key holder, take two, would have to be made from a picture frame, as it would become a part of my new picture-wall-endeavor in the stairway.

I already had a picture frame that I knew would work, so I headed back to Michael’s (p.s. Michael’s rewards program rocks, plus you get a discount if you are a teacher!)

I needed some pretty scrap book paper for my new plan, and I found the perfect vintage key design paper. I only needed one sheet, so this second-attempt-key-holder would cost me a total of $0.13! (Not that this is all I bought at Michael’s, but this was the cost of this particular project. 🙂

Back at home, I headed to one of my favorite wedding sites, Wedding Chicks, and took advantage of their free, printable monogram designs that I gushed about in this post, to create this lovely letter C:

I printed out my free monogram design onto kraft paper.

Quick & easy- I secured my cut-to-size pieces of scrap book paper & my monogram to the picture frame mat, & then screwed my little key hooks right into the bottom of the frame. (I have a little kit of nails/picture hangers/etc that included these little brass hooks that easily screw into wood/walls/etc. I saw similar hooks at Wal Mart).

Viola! My Key Holder, Take Two!


Here’s a sneak peak of this DIY key holder’s place on my in-progress-picture-wall as part of my entryway makeover!



It’s been a crafty St. Patrick’s day around here… how about you?