Tag Archives: Tutorial

DIY to D.I.Why!?

Not every DIY project is a smooth-sailing success story. I screw up—a lot. There’s many stories like these to tell but I’d thought I’d share my most recent because it is so hilariously bad!

I had it in my mind that I was going to create an abstract acrylic painting for the kitchen makeover. This was my inspiration. And by inspiration I mean I wanted to copy the composition entirely.

via sfgirlbybay

Here is my version.

DIY Fail Abstract Painting

LOL. Well at least I tried, right? This looks like a contest entry for a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper design. Aaron and I laughed hysterically about it all. I’m not ashamed to say I spent a good 24 hours trying to convince myself that it was good.

DIY Fail Abstract Painting

I’m missing some layers, I went too crazy with the drips and the colors are too neon… among other things!

I’m not sure I’m ready to give up the paint brush just yet. Danielle posted a great DIY abstract art tutorial on her blog a few weeks ago. I think I need step by step instructions. Better yet—a paint by number approach would be just perfect. :)

DIY Fail Abstract Painting

Has anyone tried the DIY abstract art? Any luck? I think the DIY approach is tricky because it still requires talent! A skill I have yet to develop!

Happy Monday everyone. I just got back from a weekend of camping and it was a blast! After the week of travel and events last week, I’m pumped to settle into a slower week and enjoy these last few weeks of summer!





How to Hang Stuff on Brick

I’ve drilled through the brick exterior of the house twice now to hang different stuff, so that makes me an expert right? Screwing anything into brick has always been one of those intimidation projects for me, but with the right drill, it’s really just as easy as drilling into wood or drywall. For this project, I’m going to use the installation of my American flag on the front porch as my example.

Installing on Brick



Hammer Drill

Masonry Bit

Plastic Anchors and Screws

Gettysburg Flag Works American Flag

How To Do It:

1.) Mark your holes

Marking holes on brick is not easy. I highly suggest putting a bit of paint on a small brush to mark your spots. I tried to use the baby powder approach (blowing powder through the holes to mark the spots) but it was a huge mess. Don’t go that route! Paint or a paint pen will work just fine.

Installing on Brick

2.) It’s time to drill!

With your masonry bit and hammer drill, it’s time to drill those holes. Hammer drills work great on brick because they “hammer” and spin at the same time, creating the force you need to get through the extra hard surface. Most all of them come with a depth protector, to keep you from going too far into the brick. That’s what the crazy arm thing is on front. As far as size goes, that will depend on what you’re installing. The bit we used was 1/4″ as that was the size of the plastic anchors that came with the American flag kit. And from a heat perspective, just keep an eye on it. There’s no need to keep water on it while drilling, but if it gets super hot, give it some time to cool down. We just dipped our bit in water once or twice.

Installing on Brick

3.) Install your plastic anchors.

These are installed like all wall anchors—just hammer them (with a regular, ole hammer) into each hole. If you find they begin to bend under the hammer, make a slightly bigger hole.

Installing on Brick

4.) Time to install!

Now it’s just a matter of screwing the plate (or whatever you’re hanging) into the brick.

Installing on Brick

We actually used this same exact process to hang our modern house numbers, except instead of wall anchors we used construction adhesive. Those numbers weighed much less, which is why we felt OK skipping the anchors (plus we didn’t want the plastic anchors to be visible).

This flag-hanging project was done on the Fourth of July, with a parade going. I can’t think of anything more patriotic than that. There may have been some beer involved as well. 😉

Installing on Brick

Installing on Brick

A big thank you to Gettysburg Flag Works for sending this American flag to me. They got hit pretty hard by the Storm Arthur two weeks ago, so I’m hoping their hometown operation is back up and running. Thinking of you guys!

Installing on Brick

We are feeling so patriotic! This flag is fancy in that it doesn’t get all bunched up and wrapped up. It always looks so pretty and proud.

Installing on Brick

It feels SO good to be back to writing posts. I feel like I’ve been off topic for so long. Also, I am dying to get back to projects. I know I said I was going to take a break this summer to recover from the photo shoot madness, but I think I’m fully recovered lol. Now, just how to break this to Aaron…


Disclaimer: This flag was provided to me by Gettysburg Flag Works. I was not required to write anything, but wanted to share the love! It’s a great product.

This post includes affiliate links. I make a small commission (pennies!!) if you click on the links listed in the materials section.

How to Hang Anything on Brick

DIY Upside-Down Shelving on Marble Tile

DIY Upside-Down Shelving on Marble Tile

The shelving on the wall of marble was by far the most intimidating part of the kitchen renovation. The drilling alone! There was also the concern of installing the shelves in a way that would actually hold. Both of these projects are ones we had never tackled before and the unknown comes with a certain set of anxieties. It all turned out well though, and we certainly learned some stuff along the way, so wanted to recap all of that here.

A huge thanks to Vintage Revivals for her tutorial on upside-down shelving and to Bower Power Blog for her tutorial on hanging shelves on tile. My tutorial is essentially the combination of both of those projects and you’ll see I followed each of them pretty closely!

Materials Needed:

(4) 12″ x 8″ white brackets

(12) 1/4″ bolts (length will depend on the width of the shelf)

(12) 1/4″ bolt caps

(1) 1/2″ diamond hole saw

(8) 1/2″ wall toggles

(1) 3/16″ bit for pilot holes in shelves

(2) shelves (we used leftover butcherblock)

(1) spray bottle with water

(1) level

More On Upside-Down Shelving:

Because these brackets are being installed upside down, attaching the brackets to the shelf worked a little differently. In a normal installation, the bracket would carry the weight of the load. In this installation, the capped bolt takes the weight of the load… if that makes sense. Another way to explain it would be that the bracket sits on top of the shelf, not underneath. I chose this for two reasons: A) It’s a little more of an updated look and B) it allows for more real estate on the second shelf because the diagonal support piece isn’t in the way

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile

The Process:

1.) Attach Brackets to Shelf

We started this step first so that we could use the installed bracket on the shelf to template out the holes on the wall. To attach the brackets on top of the shelf, we laid the brackets in their desired locations (about 3″ from both ends) and marked the holes. There were 12 holes total.  We first used a smaller bit to drill pilot holes (I was worried about splitting) and then used our 1/4″ bit to drill all the way through the hole. Here are the bolts and screws we used. Our bolt length was decided on per the width of the shelf. We needed about 1/4″ inch of screw past the width of the shelf to get the bolt caps to screw on securely.

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile


2.) Mark the Drill Holes On the Tile

With the brackets installed on both shelves, it was time to mark the drill holes  on the wall. These shelves were HEAVY butcherblock and we needed a creative way to “scaffold” the shelf so that it would hold while we figure out levelness and placement. Enter this adjustable IKEA stool. It was magic and made this part go so smoothly. So much of this work happened late at night so little wins like this were so rewarding. It seems so simple now but at the time we were so pleased with ourselves haha.

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile

3.) Drill Holes into the Tile

The dreaded drilling hole step. My advice here is to relax, take a deep breath and take comfort in the fact that you won’t break a thing. At least that’s the hope. 😉 I highly recommend this 1/2″ diamond hole saw (the 1/2″ size was dictated by the size of our wall anchors… more on that in a minute) for drilling into marble tile. It worked like a dream. It’s pricey (about $25) but its effectiveness was priceless.

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile

This was a 2-person job. Someone with the muscle to do the drilling and someone with less muscle to provide a constant spray of water on the cut. I bet you can guess who did what here. After doing 2-3 of these holes, Aaron found that the trick to getting the hole started, which was the hardest part, was to center his chest in front of the hole. This seems so weird but I swear, it was the trick. He started at a 45 degree angle to get the cut going. Once he had drilled out enough of a gouge to get a better footing, he leveled out the drill and kept drilling until he was all the way through. Throughout all of this, I was spraying the hole with my water bottle.

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile

It was so messy, but it worked. By the fourth or fifth one, we were feeling much more confident.

4.) Set Your Wall Anchors

We needed super heavy duty anchors to secure the shelves to the wall. The shelves alone were very heavy (maybe about 12 pounds each?) plus the additional weight of all the plates and glasses it had to hold. We used these, called Toggler Snaptoggles. Each of them is supposed to hold like 350 pounds, which is exactly what we needed to feel somewhat confident that these shelves would actually stay up on the walls.

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile

We ran into a little bit of a problem with the anchors closest to the door trim. Our holes were close enough to a stud that it was hindering the anchors from fully expanding behind the wall. After lots of cursing and broken anchors, we figured out that we just needed to place the metal part vertically versus horizontally. By placing it vertically, it made the stud issue null and void. Durr..

5.) Screw in the Shelves

With all of the anchors installed, it was time to screw in the shelves. This part was easy! Also, when your buying supplies, it’s wise to make sure the screws that come with the anchors fit in the bracket holes. We almost made that mistake…

DIY Upside Down Shelving on Marble Tile

Anyways, the shelves have been up and fully loaded for a couple of weeks now. They work great. I check them every once in a while to ensure nothing is pulling away from the wall, but I can guess I’ll ease up on that once I just chill out and accept the fact they’re there to stay. :)

The Kitchen: Chapter Six (Final Reveal!)

Open shelving has been really great so far. I was initially worried about dust settling on plates we eat on, but the reality is we go through plates and cups so quickly that nothing has a chance to build up! We love the access to everything and even more so we love that we get to display our favorite kitchen stuff.