Repurposing Fence Panels: Headboard and Shutters

When I bought my house, it wasn’t exactly HGTV-ready. Unless it was on Fixer Upper. Then it was definitely, definitely appropriate. I had a lot of work to do inside and out! One of the major things that needed replaced was the fence. We have a huge backyard which means a LOT of fence that was pretty dilapidated. When Zach moved in after we got married, he came with dogs. Three dogs. Three big dogs.  So he tore down all the existing fence panels and we had an upgrade.

Me being such the hoarder innovator that I am, I didn’t want all these old fence panels to go to waste. There were stacks and stacks of them, and they weren’t all that bad! Reclaimed wood is the cool new thing, right?! I considered doing a plank wall, but most of the walls in our house are too big for such an elaborate accent wall. Well, I ended up making several projects out of this wood and I love the rustic touches throughout my home!

I made a headboard, outdoor shutters, and some wall art.

The Headboard

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I had been eyeing those cozy tufted headboards for a while, and thought there might be a DIY for that in the near future… but when I was given loads of free material for a plank headboard, I couldn’t pass up that opportunity! Plus, it was about 48 times easier than cutting, stuffing, and stapling fabric.

I’m not kidding you, this project took ten minutes. I measured the width of my bed and decided how high I wanted the headboard to go. Zach trimmed off the top and bottom edges of one fence panel with a skill saw to make smooth edges. He cut it to size: it was about 60 inches wide for our queen size bed. I was going to paint it but the natural wood looked awesome with my white bedding so I just sanded some of the rough parts and edges. We used screws to hang it on the wall and voila! It makes the room look so much more put-together. Not quite ready for the “after” shots on Fixer Upper, but we’re working on it.

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The Shutters

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This one is my favorite! A simple project for major curb appeal. If you read last week’s post, you know that I hate the color of my brick. It’s orange! And in my opinion, orange is NOT the new black. We’ve painted the garage and siding, and added some lovely landscape (side note: my attempt at having a peach tree completely failed), but the outside of the home was still blah. SHUTTERS TO THE RESCUE! Okay, I might have gotten a little too excited there, but seriously, these shutters changed my curb appeal life.

What you will need:

fence panels or any wood!

-sandpaper

paint of your choice

-stain of your choice (I recommend something dark… I used dark walnut by Rustoleum)

-paintbrushes and/or small paint rollers

rags

-latex gloves (optional but highly recommended)

The one upside of having front windows that aren’t enormous and grand is that the extra fence panels were easily long enough to make shutters. And please ignore my hideous windows, the pretty ones new have been ordered! Again, Zach used the skill saw to cut to length and then made 4 shutters that were 3 panels wide each.

I picked up a quarter gallon of a dark teal paint in Lowe’s discount section for 2 bucks. I had used it to paint my front door, so I thought I would use it for the shutters to tie it all in. I love that it gives it a pop of color, but isn’t too obnoxious with the stain over it.

I had a small paint roller set that worked perfectly for the size of these shutters. After I did some slight sanding, I rolled the paint on the sides and fronts and used a brush to get in between the panels. Notice that the “fronts” here are not the smooth faces, but rather the sides with the connecting posts.

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After all four were painted, I took a short lunch break and they were all dried by the time I returned less than an hour later. The first one was nearly dry by the time I finished painting the last one anyway!

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I used a cheap paintbrush to slap on some stain in medium-size sections. I stained about 1/3 of each shutter at a time. I rubbed it in/rubbed it off with a rag and the dark stain settled in nicely to cover up the brightness of the teal. I repeated the process for all four. It took me about 2 hours for the entire project. They look amazing on the front of the house and the color even goes great with the red crepe myrtles.

I want to see someone try it in red!

The Wall Art

This was an existing project turned super-project. This post had originally inspired me to hang some cute letters on my wall like so:

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Photo Cred

I originally had my letters (found at Michael’s) painted coral to match the living room, but my coral-and-navy theme lasted a month before I switched to yellow-and-navy. It was hanging in my entryway, so it wasn’t my top priority to take them all down and re paint them. But when the fence panels graced my life, I decided to upgrade the entire project.

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I used the same yellow spray paint from my mantle décor and gave these letters a heavy coat. As they dried, I had Zach randomly cut pieces of the panels; each ended up being around 16 or 18 inches long. He used another panel vertically along the back to screw in and keep the 6 pieces together. I used hot glue (generously) to secure my quote. Another pretty project complete!

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Let me know if you come up with any other fence-panel projects!

xoxo

Friday Favorites!

It’s Friiiiiiiiday, we shake ’em up!

That was an old chant we did in high school to get amped for football games. Oh, high school football. Such fun memories.

Speaking of memories (sort of?), Fridays is a good day to recall some not-so-distant memories from the previous week. Making it to Friday is definitely worth some celebration. It means the work week is over and the weekend has begun. And for me, it usually means I get out of cooking at least once for date night.

So I’ve decided to give birth to FRIDAY FAVORITES! A place to celebrate my great accomplishments of the week. And by accomplishments, I mean managing to feed my husband and keep the house clean. I want to share my favorites of the week: favorite meal, outfit, song, book, and whatever else made me smile during the week. And hopefully it can bring you the same simple happiness in your upcoming week :]

Favorite Food

Meal: Crockpot Chicken Tacos

I’m telling you, these things are EASY. If you have time to turn the crockpot on a few hours before dinner, this one is a big hit. It’s literally chicken breasts, ranch seasoning, taco seasoning, and chicken broth. I don’t particularly love the taste of ranch, but this recipe doesn’t have an overwhelming ranch flavor. I make my tacos with meat, cheese, and sour cream and I could eat leftovers for days. Unfortunately, there weren’t any leftovers because I’m married to the cookie (or taco) monster.

Recipe and photo by Eat. Drink. Love.

Dessert: Homemade No-Churn Ice Cream

This recipe turned out far better than I could have imagined. Zach informed me the night before that we were hosting a family dinner at our house. If you know me at all, you know I need at least a week of preparation for events like this!! I love party-planning and hosting, but it’s all about the details and I like to be prepared. Not to mention we definitely cannot fit ten people in our kitchen AND we were having a garage sale on the same day. Within twenty minutes, I had scrolled Pinterest for a meal plan, changed into my Superwoman gear, and headed to the grocery store.

Zach made some delicious chicken and steak kabobs, but dessert is my specialty. I found this summery recipe for no-churn ice cream that you could make in five different flavors. All I saw was “peanut butter cup” and barely glanced at the other choices. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. The base was made of whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract. I was nervous while it was being whipped up in my Kitchenaid; it felt like it was taking forever to make the “stiff peaks.” If you try it, be patient… I probably mixed for 5 minutes. I already have a million ideas of other flavors I could add in. Everyone raved about it and I will definitely be making it again… I see Oreos in my future.

The original recipe called for chopped chocolate and chopped peanut butter cups. Next time, I would double the PB and skip the chocolate (or use chocolate chips instead). It was a little too crunchy for me. I also added 1/4 cup melted peanut butter to mine to make the flavor stand out a little more. I bought a 1.5 quart Pyrex dish with a lid that worked perfectly for freezing. Let me know if you come up with any fun flavors!

In my haste to devour the entire dish, I forgot to take pictures until it was too late! Plus, Half Baked Harvest had pictures too pretty NOT to share…

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Favorite Media

Favorite thing I heard: “Fairly Local”

We have been obsessed with watching America’s Got Talent and there is a cool new band called 3 Shades of Blue on there. I’m not typically into rock music, but this last week, they covered a band called Twenty One Pilots. I’ve never heard of them, or the song they performed, but it was such a cool vibe! Check out the cover here

Okay, this one is a little selfish and probably won’t benefit you at all, but I couldn’t NOT talk about it this week. We finally got it back from my amazing videographer/photographer and it is beautiful. If you are in the Oklahoma City area, CALL THEM! III Oaks Video. Their work is incredible.

I would high recommend all future brides to get a videographer. I have seen so many of my friends get married and have a family member or friend record it and it’s just not the same. Professional video has great quality and they can cut it together as a montage, add music, and pretty much do anything amazing. My parents’ wedding video was done by my mom’s uncle and he ended up recording his daughter a majority of the time rather than the wedding festivities!

Whitewash a Fireplace & Style a Mantle

I decided to become a homeowner last November. Paying rent felt like a waste, my boyfriend (now husband) owned a home improvement business, and I had the money saved up… It felt like an easy decision. But boyyyyy, I had no idea how much work it would be! I don’t think there will every be a day were I’ll stop rearranging, improving, or styling my home. Lucky for me, I LOVE seeing changes and don’t mind having a never-ending wish list. Every time a projects gets completed, it’s like my own little Christmas. Even my husband jokes that even he can’t make me as happy as getting a new rug can. (Don’t worry, babe— it’s not really true!!)

So, cue the problem: my brick color. It’s hideous. It’s a mix of orange and purplish-brown. It was so frustrating to pick a paint color for my garage and front door because orange just isn’t chic in my opinion. While a little landscape can make the exterior of my home more appealing, my biggest issue was the matching brick stacked high as the focal point of my living room: the fireplace.

Here’s the hunk of junk I was working with. Even the pictures make it look better than it was!!

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Something had to be done. Maybe it was time for one my pins to actually come to fruition!! Don’t make fun, you know what I’m talking about. 10,000 pins but only a few you’ve ever tried. I was graced with a snow day at work so instead of bingeing on Netflix and junk food, I studied up. My main source of inspiration is found here. I loved that she didn’t use straight white paint and her mantle styling was adorable.

Here’s what I did and what I would do differently:

MATERIALS:

Paint– a quarter gallon would be more than enough. Since you mix it with water, a little goes a long way. I used an off-white paint I had laying around, but you can use plain paint+primer or any light shade of whites, beiges and grays. Mine was BARELY off-white

Paint tape– I’m not usually one to tape before I paint, but trust me, this stuff is the consistency of milk

Tarps– the paint/water mixture can splatter so make sure your floors are covered

Paintbrushes– I used two of the medium sized low-grade ones from Lowe’s that cost less than a dollar each. Since brush strokes won’t show up, you can pretty much use any kind of brush, but it will probably get destroyed so keep that in mind

Rags– I had a bunch of old T-shirts that I cut up into pieces about the size of my hand. Some people just use one large rag for the whole surface, but I liked having a new one every couple of sections.

Bucket– You will need something you aren’t attached to for mixing the paint and water. I had a small plastic bucket, but you could use an old mixing bowl or even cut the top off of an empty gallon of milk.

Stain (optional) – My natural wood-colored mantle didn’t match afterward, so I used Rust-Oleum’s “weathered gray” stain.

Gloves (optional)- It’s not really necessary for the white-wash, but latex gloves do help keep your hands clean. If you do use stain on your mantle, these things will save you from looking like a gray smurf for a few days.

MAKE IT HAPPEN:

Start by taping off all the edges of your fireplace. Where it meets the wall, where it meets the floor, and the mantle. Spread the tarps out around your area so you’ll have a place to put the paint mixture, brushes, and rags.

Mix the paint: I wanted a lot of coverage, so I did one part paint to two parts water. This allows for some of the color variations of the original brick to show through, but none of the orange color is visible. You could start out with 3 parts water if you’re nervous, but I didn’t want to see the color and I figured I could always paint over it completely if it didn’t work out. Risk for reward, right?!

I couldn’t figure out how to evenly measure the paint and water without ruining a measuring cup, but I settled on using a small Styrofoam cup as my guide. It equaled out to be about one Cup paint and two Cups water and I had plenty of leftovers for the size of my fireplace. I stirred it all together with a paint stick and was ready to work.

Applying the mixture: It’s best to work in small sections so you have time to wipe it off before it dries. I did about 4 to 6 bricks at a time. (Note: I started from the bottom of the wall and worked upward then finished with the “bench” part. However, I would high suggest starting with the top of the wall so the new sections don’t drip  on your finished sections).

Paint the mixture on just like you would do with normal paint. It’s very liquid-y so it will spread and drip. Cover the area you are working with (a few bricks at a time). Once the paint is on, immediately take a rag and rub over the area as if you were trying to remove the paint.. This will take off the excess and help with the white-washed effect. Continue working until all sections are complete. I found that it was best to use a dry rag every 2 sections so it would get fully wiped off and rubbed in. Ta-da!

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It took me four hours from start to finish including the mantle. I think it goes so quickly because you don’t have to be that careful. Slap the paint on, rub it off, and voila! It also dried fairly quickly.

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To stain the mantle, it’s the same process! The directions are on the can, but you paint a small section on with a smaller brush, wipe it off immediately, and continue on. Make sure your newly white-washed fireplace is taped off well, because this stuff is also a liquid.

STYLING:

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Everything I used except the mirror and flower are from good ol’ Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby is a great place to shop to get décor that all compliments each other.

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Mirror- At Home. This store used to be called Garden Ridge in my town; they have a website but apparently don’t sell online. Target and Hobby Lobby have design mirrors as well.

Bird cage- Hobby Lobby. Always use the daily 40% off coupon or wait until it goes on sale!

Blue bird- Hobby Lobby. I couldn’t find this exact one online but here is a similar one.

Hello- Hobby Lobby. I spray-painted mine yellow to match my living room theme and to make it pop.

Candles- Hobby Lobby has a two pack.

I think I picked the flower up at At Home as well, but fake flowers are everywhere!

Oh, and for those of you wondering, the curtains came from Bed, Bath, and Beyond!

Hope you find yourself with a free afternoon to make this quick and gorgeous transformation!

Xoxo

First Post: Why I’m Here? PASSION

I can’t wait to dive in to blogging about all the fun projects I’ve completed on my home! But first, I thought I would dedicate my starter post to a little more about who I am and why I’ve started a blog.

I know that blogging has become extremely popular in today’s time. Who wouldn’t want to sit on the couch and make money, right? Although I do hope to make income off of this eventually, I started this because of passion. Passion is a word that I have always used loosely and not fully understood. As I’ve grown and matured the last several years, I’ve learned what the word truly means.

I always liked to think of myself having passion, but until I met my husband, I didn’t realize what I was missing. Yes, I am passion about Jesus and His church… beyond that, I’ve always loved socializing, baking, and doing crafts. But were those things passion? When I started getting to know my husband in the beginning of our relationship, he would light up as he talked about his career, his future, and his ideas. He has so many dreams and goals for his life; some may think of him as over-ambitious. To me, however, it was admirable. I wanted to get excited about something in life! What did I want to do with my life? What did I want to do to further God’s Kingdom? I truly had no idea.

By all means, I’m not saying I’ve figured out the key to life or anything, but I felt that I was letting life live me instead of me living life! I like my career (I’m a sign language interpreter), but I realized I had lost my passion and excitement over it as I took in the monotony of everyday life. I wanted to wake up ready to take on the world!! This is where the blog comes in. It’s always something I’ve been interested in but was too afraid to commit. Even if no one ever reads the words on these pages, it will be enough to try out a passion.

I’m definitely not done with my soul-searching. I hope that I’m always learning about myself and what I love! For now, though, I think I’ve found my niche and I hope that others are inspired to do the same, whatever it may be.

xoxo

-B