DIY Concrete Planter

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This old filing cabinet was taking up space in our detached garage and my husband wanted it gone. Rather than paying to haul it to the dump and creating more waste – I decided to upcycle it into a massive concrete planter. I absolutely love how this project came together – click here to see my instagram highlight.

Here’s everything I used:



  • Drill/Driver
  • Saw
  • Square Trowel
  • Paint brush
  • Large bucket

First I removed the drawers and lightly sanded the outside of the cabinet. Then I applied a stone texture spray paint to what will be the top of my planter. I did this because I will not be able to attach cement board to the top – so I wanted a textured surface for the mortar to (hopefully) stick to.

After that, I cut my cement board to size. You can either measure, or simply line up the board with the filing cabinet, and trace where you need to cut. There are several ways to cut cement board. I used a box knife to score, then snapped the excess off. Be sure you score deep enough before you attempt to snap otherwise your cement board will crack.

Once I had all of my pieces trimmed to size – I stuck them to the sides of the filing cabinet with liquid nails. Make sure the rough side is facing out because that is what your mortar will stick to. Additionally, If you have any rust on your filing cabinet, be sure to sand and coat it with something (like flex seal) that will prevent further damage before applying the panels.

Now it’s time to attach the panels with screws. It may seem tempting to use whatever screws you have on hand but cement board screws are corrosion resistant and made specifically for cement board. I highly recommend using them for this project.

You’ll need to drill pilot holes first to get the screws through the metal. Because the screws are longer than the thickness of the cement board + filing cabinet – I cut down some cedar 1 x 2 boards to line the inside. Now I won’t have screws poking through on the inside of the planter. Also make sure your screw heads are flush or just below the surface of the cement board.

Once everything is securely attached, caulk the seams with paintable (outdoor) caulk. Once that is dry go over your seams with mesh cement board tape. I went over the corners, as well as along the bottom edge where my cuts were made to keep the raw edge in tact.

Grab a bucket and mix your mortar according to the package. I chose a gray color but there are other options to choose from! Use a square edge trowel to apply a thin layer of mortar to the outside of the cement board. Once it starts to dry, scrape away any excess and use a paint brush dipped in water to smooth any imperfections. If you want a more textured look, skip the paint brush or you can use the paint brush to create a fun texture. Have a little fun with this part and get creative! You’ll probably need to do 2-3 coats of mortar.

Once it’s dry, lightly sand to remove any unwanted rough spots with a 80 grit sanding block, then seal the mortar with a concrete sealer to protect it from the elements. Drill holes in the bottom for drainage. Then for good measure, I also sprayed the inside with a coat of flex seal to help prevent any possible corrosion. The inside is not the cutest which no one is going to see anyways, but I think if I were to go back and do it again I would tape off the top, and use black flex seal on the inside instead.

I am totally obsessed! I have the perfect spot picked out – now I just need to figure out what I want to plant in it! If you try this DIY, don’t forget to tag me. I LOVE to see your creations!

Side note: this planter will be SUPER heavy – I recommend filling the bottom with something lightweight (like cut up pool noodles, or empty milk jugs). This will not only help with drainage, but it will also keep you from having to fill the entire thing with dirt.

DIY Chore Chart

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If you’re looking for a great way to keep your kids on task, try a chore chart! I was able to put these together for around $30 each and it was SO easy. Here’s a list of everything I used + links:

First I created the chart on my computer. I’ve included a digital download of the chart below – all you have to do is add your child’s name to the top! I had these charts printed at our local photo center.

I placed them both in inexpensive poster frames that I picked up at Walmart. I chose poster frames because they have plexiglass fronts, rather than glass.

I snagged some super cute wooden stars from amazon as well as these VELCRO® Brand Sticky Back Dots. I stuck one side of the dots to the stars, and the other side to the poster frame.

Then I filled in the chart with a dry erase marker. The plexiglass on the frame makes it easy to change up their chore list as they grow.

My kids thrive off of having visuals so this has really helped to keep them in a good routine. VELCRO® Brand Sticky Back Dots allow my boys to add or remove stars as needed and it’s a great way for them to see what’s done and what still needs to be done. They love adding the stars themselves when they complete a task.

This chore chart was a huge hit at our house! It’s really given my boys a sense of accomplishment and has helped them stay on task each day. I definitely recommend giving it a try – especially if you have younger kids.

Halloween Ghost Hunt

Not comfortable letting your kids trick or treat? Do you have littles who aren’t quite ready for trick or treating? Do a ghost hunt at home! My kids LOVED these when we were trapped at home by the panoramic and it’s now become a yearly tradition for us.

Cut white fabric into 12×12 squares.

Wrap candy inside and secure with a pipe cleaner to make little arms. Attach a glow stick to make it fun after dark – we designate a specific color for each kid.

Use a sharpie to draw a little face and you’re done! Hide them around the yard or inside the house and let the fun begin. Happy Halloween!

Mood Board: Boys Room Refresh

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DIY Sonic + Tails Kids Costume | No-Sew

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I can do a lot of things. Sewing is definitely not one of them yet for some reason I convince myself that I should DIY my kids Halloween costumes every year. The past couple of years have been a breeze (pants, shirt, hat, done) but this year my boys have decided that they want to be classic video game characters from when I was younger: Sonic and Tails.

I started my search where I seem to always start my search: Amazon and Etsy. Here’s everything that I ordered for this no-sew costume (tap the picture below for links):

To make the fox tails for Tails I used spray adhesive to glue 2 pieces of orange fleece together.

Then using a stencil made out of cardboard, I traced my tail design onto the fleece, then cut it out. Make sure to leave some extra at the top so you can attach them at the end.

For the white tip, I used the same technique. Glued 2 pieces of fleece together, traced the end of the tail, then simply cut out a jagged design to give it the look of a fox tail. Use the spray adhesive to attach it to the tail and you’re done.

Sonic’s tail was much simpler. Again I glued 2 pieces of blue felt together, then cut it out with my fabric scissors, and again I made sure to leave an extra inch at the top so I could attach it to the pants.

I used my Cricut to create vinyl stencils and painted the belly’s of both characters. If you don’t have access to a Cricut don’t panic! You could easily create a stencil using some painters tape. For Sonic I used the color Parchment, and Tails I used Wicker White. Make sure you remove your stencil while the paint is still wet.

For the hair on Tails I used another small section of the orange felt and glued 2 pieces together. This time however, I placed 3 small pipe cleaners (one for each spike of hair) in between to keep the hair in place and to make it more of a poseable feature.

I used Sleek and Thin Adhesive Velcro strips to attach everything to the costume. The adhesive is perfect for fabric and is strong enough to go through the wash. The best part is there’s no sewing required!

A little ingenuity and a few hours later, Sonic and Tails are ready to go! I’m completely obsessed with how these came together. Thanks to Velcro, we are trick or treat ready!

DIY Concrete Heirloom Pumpkins

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It’s the most basic of all the seasons: pumpkin season.

Don’t get me wrong – I love a good fall porch display. It’s really the only fall decorating I do aside from sprinkling a few small white pumpkins around the house. Every year we line our front steps with an array of pumpkins and mums. It’s always a good mix of real and faux…and I always spend 2 months picking up the faux from the yard. Midwest winds in the fall are absolutely absurd.

This year I was already dreading the thought of fixing my display day after day so I decided to do something about it. What’s heavy and durable enough to withstand fall in the Midwest? A. Cement.

Here’s a list of what I used to make these concrete beauties.

  • Quick Dry Cement
  • Large Bucket
  • Small Bucket or Planter
  • Nylons
  • String or Twine
  • A hose
  • A tree branch (for the stem)
  • Paint (optional)
  • Spray Polyurethane (optional)

First I mixed the cement in the large bucket. I added a little more water than necessary in order to keep it from drying out. Once you have that mixed, cut the legs off of one of your nylons, stretch it over the top of your small bucket and be prepared to get messy.

Fill the nylons with cement until you’re happy with the size (don’t make it too big or the nylons will rip). Tie the nylon in a knot at the top and trim the excess. Then take your string and tie 3-4 pieces around the cement. See the images for reference. This will create the grooves of your pumpkin.

Do this process 5-8 more times. Depending on how big you make them, you should be able to get 6-8 pumpkins from 1 bag of cement and 2 pairs of nylons. Let your pumpkins harden for about 24 hours.

Once the cement is dry, trim the strings and nylons with scissors and ta-da! Unwrap the cutest little concrete pumpkin! I love the cement look. You could totally add some stems and stop here but I chose to paint ours to look more like real heirloom pumpkins.

I picked up some chalk paint from the craft section at Walmart. I mixed different portions of these 6 colors in order to achieve the look I was going for: Plaster, pumpkin, moss, mineral, cashew and dusk. Have fun with this part! Get creative, get the kids involved! My boys had so much fun helping.

After painting I hot glued on a small tree branch to give the look of a stem, and I sprayed them down with a polyurethane in order to protect the paint.

I think these turned out SO much cuter than I had anticipated and the best part?? No more picking faux pumpkins out of the neighbors yard!

If you try this DIY don’t forget to tag me! Happy fall!

DIY Shaker Style Barn Door

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We installed a sliding barn door kit in our great room not long after moving into our house. It added a nice focal point to an otherwise blank wall, but it was mostly to keep the dogs out of the kids rooms when we weren’t home. We debated on painting or staining it – but in the end decided we liked the natural wood.

After living with it for a couple of years I was ready for a change. I envisioned something a little less farmhouse and a little more modern. I love the clean lines of shaker style doors and knew that’s the look I wanted, so I came up with a plan.

The door kit we purchased from Amazon came with 4 diagonal trim pieces that we never attached. I figured I could trim those down to size to create the additional horizontal pieces I needed and attach them with my brad nailer. The only issue left was to fill the grooves that ran the length of the door.

My first attempt was joint compound. I had used this stuff previously to fill in the grooves on some of the wood paneling at the lake house. At first it worked great! (So great that I painted and rehung the door thinking I was done with this project). About a week later, after the joint compound had time to settle, the grooves reappeared. I reapplied, let it dry, sanded. The grooves came back AGAIN. Total bummer.

On to plan b: hardboard! I decided the easiest thing to do was to just cover each section completely with a thin hardboard. I cut a few panels down to size and used liquid nails to attach the panels to the door. Then I caulked around the seams. I completely neglected to document this part but it worked like a charm!

Now it’s time for paint! ALWAYS prime first. Especially when you’re painting wood. I had some spray primer on hand so I just used a couple of cans of that first. Then I painted the door my favorite gray: Dove by Behr. It was the perfect amount of contrast on the white wall. Be sure to lightly sand between coats to get the smoothest finish!

I absolutely love how this door turned out! It’s simple and modern and is exactly what our great room needed.

You Down with LVP?

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I knew that switching up the flooring in our home was going to be a major task, but I also knew it was going to completely transform our spaces. My husband and I had decided right off the bat that LVP was the way to go. It’s affordable, low maintenance and super durable. With 2 dogs and 2 boys under our roof – it was a no brainer.

Before: The listing photo of our great room.

We started our search where most people probably start: the hardware store. I grabbed every sample that I thought I liked. Once we got them home, and out of the flourecent store lighting I hated every single one of them. They all looked completely different once we looked at them under the lighting in our home.

After searching the internet for more options, I started getting ads on my social media pages…weird how that happens, isn’t it? That’s about the time I fell in love with Flooret! Every color option I saw I loved and the cost was right within our budget. After doing a little bit of research I decided to order some samples – and that’s when they won me over.

I put their samples to the test to make sure they were going to last. I soaked them in water for 24 hours. I tried scratching them with a fork. I drove hot wheels across them, spilled paint on them…anything I could think of that my dogs or kids could possibly do to ruin these floors. The samples passed with flying colors.

We wanted a lighter wood tone to brighten up our poorly lit great room. The two samples I ordered were Soho and Nakan. I was certain that Soho was going to be my choice, but Nakan was love at first sight. We decided on the Base option which is their 6” wide plank.

If I’m being completely honest – the installation was a bear. Not because it was difficult…but because we did over 1000 square feet. By ourselves. I won’t bore you with the details but do I have a few takeaways from DIY-ing LVP that are worth noting.

  • Make sure your subfloor is COMPLETELY LEVEL. We had a seam on our subfloor that was warped and it gave us some trouble – nothing an orbital sander couldn’t take care of.
  • Make sure there is ZERO debris as you lay your planks. We used a shopvac to clear the path as we went.
  • Get an LVP install kit and a trim puller.
  • Knee pads. Enough said.
  • Move everything out of the room if you can! We couldn’t and it sucked having to shift furniture around.
  • LVP is thin! You may have to either lower your trim or install moulding to cover and gaps from where the old flooring is laid (if you removed your old flooring like we did).
  • Be sure to use spacers! You have to leave room for the flooring to expand/contract. Industry standard is 1/4″ from the wall.
  • Watch for repeat planks. There are a good variety of plank designs but you’ll come across some duplicates occasionally. Make sure you pay attention.
  • Flooring should to be inside to acclimate for at least 48 hours before installation.

If you’d like to see more on our install, check out my Flooret highlight on Instagram. Overall it was a very easy but time consuming process. 1000 square feet is a lot. We were tired and sore but SO happy with the results. 10/10 would recommend Flooret Flooring.

If you’d like to see some samples for yourself – use code houseon610th33 for 33% off.

Modern Boho Shared Boys Room

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Did you share a room with a sibling growing up? I always had my own room, but I was also quite a bit older than my brother and sister so it never really made sense for us. My boys are almost 4 years apart and when we first moved into the new house we had them in separate rooms. Our oldest, however, starting going through a “thing” where he was afraid to be alone in his room. After a few sleepless months it was a no brainer to me to move him into a room with his brother. So we had a chat about it and thankfully he LOVED the idea.

Since I carry the same color palette throughout the house it was a really easy transition to combine the rooms. I wanted to make sure to incorporate items from both rooms.

The biggest purchase we made was a set of bunk beds. For now we have a bed and a crib. Our youngest needs containment – for as long as possible. BUT before we know it, he’ll be free to roam and sleeping in a big boy bed so bunk beds was the logical choice. We love this full over full bed from Wayfair. Once the crib leaves the room I’ll probably replace it with a little desk.

The other need we had was a dresser big enough for both of them. We moved the Ikea dresser into the other bedroom to make room for the bunk bed. It was too big for the spot we had available. We ordered this really cute navy dresser from Amazon. I will say I’m not impressed with the quality. I’ve had to glue the drawer fronts back on a couple of times. It’s cute but we’ll probably have to replace it in the near future.

My favorite feature are the wall sconces! We cut the cords and did the puck light hack so they would both have little night lights. No wiring required and they look SO good on the black wall.

Overall I’m so happy with how the room came together and the boys absolutely LOVE being in a room together. If you’re on the fence about it: 10/10 recommend it! The morning conversations that we hear through the monitor are my absolute favorite (Almost 6 and almost 2 – you can imagine). I know they’ll eventually probably want their own spaces, but I hope that’s not any time soon.

Paint colors: Walls – Cameo White – Behr, Accent Wall – Dark Secret – Behr