Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I've been hitting all kinds of unexpected stumbling blocks while working on my little girls' bathroom. I was going to wait until everything was perfect to show you, but in the interest of keeping it real, I've decided to go ahead and show you everything, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Here's the before:

poof- kinda-sorta

And the current state of things:

First, let me say that I have spent zero dollars thus far. Ca-ching. My goal here was to pretty up this bathroom for my two little girls using materials I had on hand and to do something to make the fixtures in here (namely the light fixture, the medicine cabinet and the cabinetry) more attractive without buying new ones and without permanently changing the existing fixtures. I originally planned to paint all the wood white, but thought for resale the wood might be better as is.
Okay, let's start with the good, shall we?

Last summer I bought a box of fabric remnants on Craigslist for $10. All three of the fabrics here were in that box. There were also all kinds of other goodies in that box that you can now see in the throw pillows on my sofa and in various other projects around my home. Since I've already used more than $10 worth of fabric from the box I'm not counting that towards my bottom line of zero. BTW- this green houndstooth is available on for $3.95! Does anyone know the name/manufacturer of the floral? I've used every scrap and would love a little more.

The first project I tackled was to skirt the sink, covering the cabinetry. This has worked out really well because it's been keeping my almost 2-year-old out of the drawers.

and there's the little stool I showed you the other day. Oh, and I don't know if you can tell in the photo above, but I hung a pretty little mirror at just the right height for someone standing on the stool to see her sweet little face within the frame.

Next I used some more of the fabric from the magical box to adorn my plain white shower curtain. I also added some ribbon that I've had for a while and some pink ball fringe that I've also had (purchased when a local craft store went out of business- 20 yds for $1!)

Next I used more of the same to make a pelmet box using LGN's instructions which I hot-glued (just a little dab on each side so I can pop it off later) to the existing oak light cover.

I used more of the houndstooth to cover the frame of the medicine cabinet.

I just unscrewed the backing, popped out the mirror, wrapped 4 strips of fabric around the frame and hot-glued it in place on the back side of the frame so that I can pull it off down the road.

and I embroidered and adorned my plain white towels.

Now, on to the bad. I wanted to add a little something for visual interest to the wall above the towel bar. I saw these on PB kids and thought "those are cute, but $39 for stickers?! I can make those!"

Oh, yes. So confident was I in my crafting prowess. I was certain that armed with some contact paper and scrapbook paper I could create the next internet crafting craze by the sheer power of my mad skeells. That's when God decided to serve me up a heaping helping of humble pie. Yum.
Without further ado, here's my version:

might be cute on an elementary school bulletin board, but I don't want it in my house. My plan was to put the flowers up and then add the stems, but once I saw how the flowers looked I decided not to add insult to injury.

To make them I cut out flower shapes from SBP (I traced the outlines from the actual pottery barn photo 'cuz I have no fine art talent!) modge-podged the cutouts to contact paper, brushed two coats of modge-podge over the top, let them dry and cut them out. Then I used a sharpie to add in the little dashed lines.
After all that they're weirdly shiny, kinda bumpy and just plain weird. Oh, well. At least I didn't spend anything on them. On to plan B...

And now for the ugly- the school-chalk yellow walls. This color combo looks to me like something Blanche Devereaux would have chosen for the florida room. I thought if I added enough pretty fabric to this room, enough ball fringe (I just can't get enough!) maybe the walls would sort of fade away. But they haven't faded. Not one iota. It's even worse with the main light fixture turned on. The light sorta bounces off the color and makes it glow. Ugh. I told you the other day that I was going to have a painter come to aid this damsel in distress. I just hate not being able to do something myself, but the ceilings in here are vaulted and high. Very, very high.

I found a guy who would do the room for $120 if I supplied the paint. I made an appointment. Then he called me a few hours before he was supposed to show up. He had to reschedule. Strangely I was relieved. I realized that even though $120 is pretty cheap considering the job and hubby's fine with it, I set out to do this room for free (or close to free) and it's killing me to have to pay someone to do something I should be able to handle. Crazy, right?!

After talking to my sister, I think I might be able to do this myself afterall with the help of a roller extension and the oh-so-sophisticated paintbrush-duct-taped-to-a-stick. Then again, if I hadn't listened to my sister I never would have wound up in the driver seat of my mom's mini-van while it stood stuck in the mud and hanging over the retaining wall in my parents backyard. Wish me luck...

I'm linking to:
Trash to Treasure at Reinvented
DIY day at ASPTL



  1. It turned out so cute! And you can totally paint that yourself. Go for it.

  2. It's looking great! I love that green houndstooth.
    I think your flower stickers are pretty darn good, but have you checked Dollar Tree? They've had a lot of those wall stickers, and I got a couple of sets of flowers for my daughter's room.

  3. I think you've done a FANTASTIC job. It's just darling! That is DEFINITELY something to be very proud of!

  4. WOW!! The mirrors made me stop dead n square. The flowers dont look as bad as you are writing them to be. Have you taken another stab at it? I love how it's looking so far!

  5. I love what you've done! I've seen a few people make wall art from fabric cutouts starched to the wall, it supposedly comes off clean (for resale), and I'm sure you have fabric hanging around...

    Good luck painting!

  6. Boogie,

    Don't get down on this one. You pour your heart and soul into making our home beautiful and every day it gets better. I couldn't think of a better place to hurry home to after work. And when it comes to the beauty of our home, you being there is the most important part!

    the Hubby

  7. Aw, shucks, do I have the best hubby, or what?! Thanks everyone for your encouragement! I didn't mean to sound quite so grumpy when I wrote this post, but it was very, very late at night and I was exhausted. I am much happier by the light of day, but the flowers really are not good. Trust me, they look worse in real life than in the photos. Oh, and they're falling off the wall, so even if they looked good, they're just not working out. It's okay, I've got plenty more ideas where that one came from!

  8. I say keep the walls- they look fine and if you HAVE to spend money- buy the stickers. I mean $120.00 can go a long way for more goodies- that's how I think. But I didn't think the stickers were bad- but if it doesn't work it just doesn't. Good for you for repurposing and basically recycling.

  9. I thought your stickers were cute!! :) The room looks great!!! Your hubby is such a sweetheart. :)

  10. I am in love with that beautiful green fabric!! Absolutely gorgeous bathroom!

  11. Cuteness! I especially love the towels, the light covering, and the shower curtain. :-)

  12. love the ball fringe! I wish I had some:) not sure if you'd be interested in this, but I think Home Depot rents scaffolding/tall ladders for maybe $20/hr ish, which might be cheaper than hiring a painter... good luck either way!

  13. Adorable! I'm loving the little mirror at little girl height.

    What about fabric and starch to create those flowers? I know I've seen it done in blogland, but I can't seem to find a link! I'm not sure how it would hold up to the steam and moisture in the bathroom...But it's a thought!

  14. Pam, what a cute project this is!

    And big congrats! You won the Flea Market Style magazine giveaway. Please send me your mailing address & I'll get it out to you:

  15. It's looking SO good. I mean, WOW, girl, you have some serious sewing skills. Makes me really happy for you.

    One note, though: don't be afraid to paint cabinets. The wood cabinets would not be better for re-sale; an updated look would be better for resale. I love your skirt, but if you want to paint the cabs, you should go for it!

  16. I love the medicine cabinet! You have a new follower in me!


  17. LOL, Pam, you are cracking me up! I MUST hear the rest of the minivan story. :)
    I'm loving the bathroom, especially the shower curtain, so cute!

  18. That light cover is genius. Love the pink and green!

  19. I love your solutions for the things you can't change right now! The pelmet box over the light fixture is a revelation, and I love the skirt over the cabinets. Great ideas!

  20. This bathroom is ADORABLE. My favorite is the extra little mirror hanging so your little one can see herself. SO sweet!

  21. I am a new reader, and I just LOVE what you've done in here! And I have to say that I really do like the wall stickers - I think you're being too hard on yourself. The little ball fringe is just adorable, too!!!

  22. I saw some of those flower sticker/decals at my local dollar tree. Very cute, like PB without the price tag. But your bathroom is adorable with or without the added decal.

  23. It turned out cute!

    {I did the paintbrush on a paint roller extension stick thing when I painted the walls in my hall. I did it with my friend and we giggled the whole time.}

  24. Oooo, I want to know what happened with the mini van!

  25. I love what you've done in the bathroom so far! The stickers seemed fine to me; although I can understand not liking the shine so much. Is there a more matte type finish you could put on them instead? You scored on the fabric and trim! Good job. :)

  26. Just discovered you today. I am so excited to get tips on making ugly into pretty. I am very
    s-l-o-w-l-y refurbishing a horribly ugly 70's style home. I'm talking cheap, dark, wood paneling. Avocado green, harvest gold and 70's wallpaper, yikes!! I have a very small budget but love a clean, cottage style. Your rooms are so nice! I am anxious to see your ideas on slipcovers...just what I need right now. Nice to meet you.


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