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How To, Plainfield House

Easy Wallpaper Removal

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Im gonna let you all in on a little secret I just discovered. Today. Like, 7 hours ago. Easy wallpaper removal. I bet your thinking total oxymoron. No way removing wallpaper can be easy. Welp, it is.

We got a few walls worth of drywall at the new house over the weekend. Most of the new drywall areas are next to old wallpaper areas, and I don’t mean old as in 5 year old wallpaper, but more like 25+ year old wallpaper. So I have a ton of scraping to do so the drywall guys can tape and mud, and whatever else they do. I bought a wallpaper scraper, a scoring tool, and wasted way too much money on removal sprays and gels on Sunday. It was all working ok, but there was way to much repeating the process then I would of really liked. I just want to peel it, score it, spray it, and scrape it.

Sunday evening we went over to Ace so Keith could get some clamp things, and I browsed around for something that might actually work when taking this freaking wallpaper down. And there it was. At the end of the isle. In this random everything’s a dollar section. LA’s Totally Awesome All Purpose Concentrated Cleaner. It says right on the bottle it removes glue. So this morning I went back to the new house to scrap this wallpaper, hoping this would work.


First thing I did was peel off the wallpaper. The top layer peeled right off in nice, big sections and left behind the terrible glue. I then used the scoring tool on the glue paper. Make sure you don’t press very hard. You want it to score the glue paper, but not damage the wall. I feel like the more holes you make the better. The holes help the cleaner get into both sides of the paper, so all the glue will come off nice and easy. Next, spray LA’s Totally Awesome all over. I like to really soak the wall then wait 5-10 minutes for the cleaner to work it’s magic. Grab your scraper and go to town! Most of the glue will scrape right off. Occasionally you get a stubborn little piece of the glue that the cleaner didn’t reach, so just grab the bottle and spray. After the paper is peeled, grab your 3M heavy duty stripping pad and lightly go over the wall. This will pick up any little glue piece that are clinging to the wall. I usually wipe the wall down with a rag after so it picks up any cleaner left on the wall, but it’s up to you if you do or don’t. I wont yell atcha.

I do recommend that you wear some protective wear while doing this. A face mask, gloves and some protective eyewear might not be a bad idea.

How To

DIY Kitchen Rope Chalkboard

untitled-1-3I am a Post-It freak. I have them in every nook and cranny of my house. I mean, you really never know when you’re gonna need to write something important down. Amiright? So anyways, I figured a chalkboard in the kitchen would be great. Less Post-Its, more chalk.

Side note: You have been warned. My nails are seriously sexy in this post.



+ Round wood
+ Jute Twine
+ Foam Brush
+ Stainless Steel Eye
Chalkboard Paint

First thing I did was paint the wood with 2 coats of chalkboard paint. After it was fully dried, I measured the center of the circle and marked on the edges where to drill. Using a 1/4″ drill bit (this will change if you use a different size stainless eye), drill about an inch. You want to leave a little room to be able to screw the eye in a few times.

DrillingAfter the stainless eyes were screwed in, and the dust was wiped away, I got out the twine. First thing I did was cut about 4 feet of twine. I found the center of the piece and made a knot in the twine. Knot

I then took each end of the twine and put it through each stainless eye. I cut 2 additional 12″ pieces of twine. I took one end and tied it to the stainless eye (as tight and as close to the wood as possible). With one hand, I held the end of the twine and used the other hand to start twisting it around the stainless eye. Once I got to the hook part, I put the twine up through the center and kept wrapping. It gets a little harder towards the end, but I just used a pencil to push the twine up through the center. I wrapped all the way back to where I started then tided it off and cut the end. Make sure to tie it in the back so you cant see it!

After all of that I went back to the ends I first put in the stainless eye. I took the end and wrapped it up the twine, about 4″, then back down the other side. Then I tied it off an cut it. Obviously I did that on both sides.
wrappingTo finish it off, I took some extra twine and tied one end to a stainless eye and the other to a piece of chalk.


How To, Naperville House

Kitchen Countertop Redo

The countertop in the kitchen was a mess. They are the original countertops and were in rough shape. I wanted to redo them without spending a lot of money. I don’t plan on having these counter tops more then a few years and didn’t want to go through the hassle of ripping them out. That’s where chalkboard paint comes in. I have seen people do it on wood and thought it could work on my existing countertop. And it did!

Ok, so this is what I started with. The counter was sort of an off white color full of burn marks and clearly someone thought it would be ok to use it as a cutting board. Yuck!

untitled-2-2First thing I did was sand down the countertop. I used an electric sander and took off the finish. You can feel and see the top coat sanding off. Once that was done, I cleaned the counters with all purpose cleaner to remove any dust that was left over from sanding. Then using regular chalkboard paint and a paint brush, I painted around all the corners of the counter. _MG_8154

I then took a small foam roller and painted one coat on the counter.untitled-4-2

untitled-5-2After the whole counter was painted, I let it completely dry. I did 3 coats of paint, each time painting in a different direction. Once the 3 layers were dry I used a finishing sanding block to lightly sand the surface. I once again, used all purpose cleaner to clean off any dust. I let the counter dry for a few hours then sealed them with paste wax. I’m really not sure how food safe the wax is, but I always use a cutting board and really never put food directly on the counter. I did 2 thin layers and let it fully dry over night before using the counter.

untitled-1They really turned out better then I expected. Plus it was only about $20 in supplies and a few hours of my time. So far they are holding up great and I haven’t had any issues. Next on this kitchen list is the backsplash. I am really excited with how the whole kitchen is coming together.

How To, My Kind of Style

Essential Oil Sugar Scrub

Sugar_ScrubI love a good sugar sugahh scrub. I have been playing with essential oils for a few months now and have made some pretty awesome stuff. This is one of my favorites. It just melts away dry, winter skin.

You will need, sugar, coconut oil, grapeseed oil and lavender essential oil.
+Sugar is an awesome exfoliator. It will not clog your pores and helps to restore your skin’s natural oils.
+Coconut oil helps to moisturize the skin and remove excess dead skin.
+Grapeseed oil is another great moisturizer. It can also minimize skin aging and tighten skin.
+Lavender Essential Oil is one of my favorites. It works great on dry skin and has a nice, calming aroma.

_MG_7969Sugar_Scrub_RecipeQuinn has had the driest hands ever this winter, so he has been my guinea pig. He hates trying all the different things I have been making lately. Then again, he is a 7 year old boy, go figure. Although, he will admit that he likes how his hands feel after this specific sugar scrub.




How To

14 Valentine’s Day Card Ideas (Non-Treat)

My favorite part of Valentines Day parties at school were always the candy hearts. Mmm, chalky, delicious candy hearts. But now things are a little different. Quinn’s school has a strict no treats at holiday parties rule. I get it, kids have all these new, fancy allergies and what not these days but come on! I always loved bringing in cupcakes for my birthday, and baggies of goodies for Christmas, etc.

No kid wants to just bring a boring stack of cards for their Valentines Day party either. So I searched the internet high and low for some inspirational, non-treat, Valentine Ideas.

14 valentines day card ideas
Paging Supermom

14 valentines day card ideas
Delia Creates

14 valentines day car ideas
Warm Hot Chocolate

14 valentines day card ideas
Design Sponge

14 valentines day card ideas
Love Stitched


14 valentines day card ideas
Rook No. 17

14 valentines day card ideas
Little Lovables

14 valentines day card ideas
One Charming Party

14 valentines day card ideas

14 valentines day card ideas
Persia Lou

14 valentines day card ideas
Great Griffins

14 valentines day card ideas
Kelli Murray

14 valentines day card ideas
Thirty Handmade Days

14 valentines day card ideas
The Nerd’s Wife

How To

Easy Peasy $4 Bath Toy Storage

If your child is anything like mine then you have about 50 thousand bath toys. Obviously Im over exaggerating, but sometimes it feels like it. I have looked at every store and every type of bath toy storage for the last few years and have never been able to find one that was inexpensive and actually held all of the toys. Then earlier this week it hit me, duh, a laundry basket! You know, the kind every college kid has? I picked up this one from Target for $4 (It was $3.99 at my store).

I used to keep the toys between the tub and toilet. It drove me crazy. They always ended up all over the bathroom floor, or half chewed by the dog.
_MG_6711After! Everything fits and we can easily move the bag if we need to. Its perfect to just throw everything in after a bath and they just drip dry without making a mess. Even better, now my bathroom floor is clean! No more freaking bath toys!

How To, Naperville House

2 Easy DIY Outdoor Mats (+ Print out Skull Stencil)

Venice_And_Overland_RUGSI really needed a new door mat for my front door and my back sliding door. I decided to make my own! I bought 2 of these mats from Ikea. They are really thick and heavy, plus at 10 bucks each its hard to beat.

#1. Skull Rug
Ikea mat
Skull Stencil (download stencil here)
Black spray paint + primer
Xacto Knife
Spray glue or glue stick

First thing I did was draw out a simple skull on a regular piece of printer paper. I used my Xacto Knife to cut it out. I traced and cut out 13 stencils.

Venice_And_Overland_Skull_RugI covered the back of the stencils in glue and then put them on the rug. The glue helped the stencils to stay in place while spray painting.

_MG_5445Make sure to spray straight down, not at an angle. You dont want to accidentally paint under the paper!

Venice_And_Overland_Skull_Rug3Once you are finished painting, its time to remove the stencils! You might get a little paint on your hands, so throw on a pair of gloves.


Venice_And_Overland_Skull_Rug7I love how this rug turned out! Some neighbor kids ran up to me and were like: Oohh cool! Did you make that! I guess if my neighbor kids think its cool, then it must be right?! Hah!


#2. Striped Rug
Ikea mat
Painters tape
Black spray paint + primer

Venice_And_Overland_Striped_RugUse the painters tape to tape off stripes on the rug, spacing them evenly.


Venice_And_Overland_Striped_Rug3Once the rug is taped up, its time to paint! Again, make sure you spray straight down, not at an angle, or else your paint may spray under the tape.

Venice_And_Overland_Striped_Rug4Venice_And_Overland_Striped_Rug5After you have completely painted the rug (dont forget the sides!), its time to take off the tape! I would definitely wear gloves for this part. I got paint all over my hands. You can use nail polish remover to get it off, but its not ideal. Any knick or cut on your hand will definitely burn a little.