TUTORIAL: DIY MEMO BOARD

I’ve been doing some work on my daughter’s bedroom makeover and I finally have a project to share with you! One of the items my daughter specifically requested in her new room was a memo board. So I decided to make her a unique one that will fit with the mix of modern and traditional decor in her new room.

Here’s what I came up with…

I took this framed painting I found on Craigslist:

BEFORE

And turned it into this unique memo board:

AFTER

I removed the painting, added some metal dowels in a grid pattern, and spray painted it all gray. This was a project that I kinda just saw in my head and figured it out as I went. Once I figured out the details, it actually became a really easy project.

I think there are a lot of possibilities with this memo board. It can be painted any color to match your decor, but I also think using a stained wood frame and just leaving the dowels unfinished would work great for an industrial or farmhouse look. You could easily paint the dowels one color and the frame a different color too. The style frame you choose can also change the look of the memo board, and you can try different patterns for the metal dowels (see some options in the directions below).

materials + tools

wood frame of your choice
pencil
paper
1/8” x 4’ aluminum metal dowels (the number of dowels you need will depend on how large your project is but I used 4)
drill
hacksaw
miter box
Gorilla Glue
spray paint/primer (optional)

directions
back of frame

ONE. Start with a frame that’s made from wood. It can be a photo frame, but mine happened to be a framed small canvas painting that I found used on Craigslist for $20. The painting itself is boring, but I purchased it just for the frame. I love the ornate detail and the large size (overall it’s about 22”x26”)!

Remove the framed print, any glass and any hanging wire on the back so all you have is the wood frame.

BRINGING BEAUTY + ORGANIZATION TO YOUR CLOSETS

As I mentioned a while ago, I’ve been slowly removing all of the old wire shelving in every closet in our home and replacing it with custom wood/mdf shelving. With a total of eleven closets in our home, it’s taking me awhile. I just finished our guest bedroom closet and my daughter’s bedroom closet. (My daughter’s closet overhaul was the first step in giving her room a makeover.) Now I only have one closet left to do and I’ll finally be done!

Here are the two closets I recently finished, they are nothing fancy but better than the cheap wire junk that was there:

MY GUEST BEDROOM CLOSET

MY DAUGHTER’S BEDROOM CLOSET

Here’s a photo from my walk in closet that I redid a while ago:

All of my closet overhauls have inspired me to share some tips on organizing and beautifying closets! If you feel like your closets need a new look and a little order, you could hire a closet makeover company, but that will cost you a lot of money. You could also gut your closets and install a completely new storage system on your own like I did, but that will cost you a lot of time. (If you do want to install custom closet shelving like I did, the process is really quite simple it just can be a little time-consuming. If anyone has any questions about the shelving I installed, leave a comment below and I’ll reply.) If you’re limited on money and time, you can still give your closet a brand new look for an affordable price all in a weekend. Just read on!

It really comes down to two steps. First, purge and group the items in your closet. Second, find some ways to bring some pretty. It’s that simple.

So I LOVE organizing and beautifying any space but in case you’re not a big fan, I’m going to start by giving you some inspirational photos of gorgeous well-organized closets…

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Has that gotten you motivated to bring some beauty and organization to your closets? Okay, you may not be able to transform your closet into some of those in one weekend, but you can certainly bring some noticeable improvement!

Time to get started…

QUICK KITCHEN TABLE MAKEOVER

There are a lot of areas in our home that I’m dying to makeover, but our kitchen is likely at the top of my list. However, I’ve done an estimate for how much it will cost to transform the room into what I want, and it’s way too much money for us right now. So the kitchen makeover will have to wait. There is one area of our kitchen that simply can’t wait though…

This is our kitchen table in the breakfast area. There’s a lot wrong with this table! The style is boring, I’m tired of the color, and then there’s the broken chair (on the right). Yeah, there’s nothing like inviting friends over only for them to sit on a broken chair! This table makeover couldn’t wait! And fortunately, it would be an easy and affordable transformation… or so I thought.

My plan was to replace the broken chairs with some stylish new modern ones, and then do a little DIY project on the old solid wood table in order to transform it into something much more classy. After about a month of sanding, altering, staining and sealing the old table, my transformation was complete!

MY OLD TABLE (UPSIDE DOWN)

I moved the table back into our breakfast area… and within 24 hours it was ruined!! The dog jumped on the table (something she’d never done before!) and somehow when my son went to get her down (I don’t know how this happened I wasn’t there to see it) the table BROKE! Like totally unfixable, throw in the trash broke!!! Ugh! There went the past month of my life… wasted!

But I put the whole situation into perspective (aka I realized the world was not ending because of a broken table), managed to not yell at my son or the dog (that’s a win), and moved on to find a solution!

The metal hairpin legs were just fine and still usable so all I needed was a new wood table top. I considered making one myself from 2x4s, but while I was weighing how to fit yet another project into my busy schedule, we had a fire in our garage! Thank the Lord it was contained to the garage and no one was injured and the rest of the house is fine! But everything in the garage was destroyed by the smoke damage. I no longer had any tools, supplies or even a place to do my DIY work.

So I guess I wasn’t going to be making a table top myself!

Instead, I turned to a craftsman who works out of a local salvage store. He was able to build me a nice reclaimed wood table top for a very reasonable price. We discussed the details of the look I was going for, I picked out the exact planks of wood I wanted, and he showed me how they would look sanded and assembled. (A big thank you to my dear friend Emily who was willing to tag along with me on this trip even though there was no air conditioning in the building and it was the middle of summer!)

About a month later, my table top was finished!

TIPS + ADVICE FOR DECORATING A TEEN/TWEEN BEDROOM

As I mentioned a little while ago, I am giving my tween daughter’s bedroom a makeover. My apologies for how slow this project is coming! The delay has been a result of a combination of many TOTALLY unexpected things, including dealing with a fire in our home (yes, we had a fire in our garage and thank the Lord no one was hurt but it’s taking forever to get cleaned up!), our hot water heater bursting in the attic and damaging our ceiling, prepping for my son to go on a mission trip to Haiti this summer, me getting distracted by other design projects, my son accidentally destroying a DIY project I was about to photograph and post about last month, and last but not least, not being able to find the right used furniture piece to start my first project for her bedroom (all the equipment I needed to make this project was in the garage and it’s ruined now so I wouldn’t be able to do this project for awhile anyway so I guess it’s kind of a moot point). Throw in my kids’ activity schedules and the regular responsibilities of life, and it’s been an exciting past couple months! Okay, it’s been a FRUSTRATING past couple months, but c’est la vie! As soon as I can get the items in my garage replaced, I’ll be back in business and hope to share some progress on her room with you!

In the meantime, I’m going to share some tips for redecorating your teen/tween’s bedroom.

Maybe you’ve been considering giving your teen/tween age child a bedroom makeover for a while, or maybe your child has been nagging you for a cooler room for over a year now and you can no longer come up with an excuse to put it off (I’m slowly raising my hand for the latter option here). Either way, you’re not super excited about the prospect. After all, it’ll take lots of time, some money, and even worse you and your teen will have to make lots of decisions together and you’re not sure it’s even possible that you can actually agree on something… anything! I am the mom of a 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter so I get it! Parenting teens and tweens is a challenging task in general, and the idea of decorating your teen/tween’s bedroom successfully can feel daunting. But it doesn’t have to! Here’s some advice to help you navigate this process with ease…

come up with a plan

Your current plan for your teen’s new bedroom may simply be to spend a day shopping together and let them pick out whatever they want. But this is not the best way to end up with a room that you and your child both like. Instead, I recommend coming up with a plan before you hit the mall. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or involve learning how to draw a floor plan in AutoCAD, just a little brainstorming and a few thoughtful ideas is enough to help you create a room that works for your child.

I suggest starting by sitting with your teen in his/her bedroom. Have a quick conversation about what’s working and what’s not working for them in the room. What’s important to them? What items do they feel they’ve outgrown? What items do they never use? What areas of the room feel overcrowded? Is there too much furniture and storage or not enough? I suggest having a pad of paper handy and jotting down your child’s answers so you can remember them.

Discuss how your child will be using the room. Will they do their homework in there? Practice music or sports in there? Do their hair or makeup in there? Regularly host friends in there?

It’s important to design a room around its functional needs. If they’re doing homework, they’ll need a desk and chair. Hosting lots of friends? They’ll need lots of seating options. Practicing an instrument every day? They’ll need a designated space for a chair and music stand. You get the idea. Write down things they’ll need in order to accomplish their desired tasks in the room.

Now that you’ve finished brainstorming what’s needed, you can focus on coming up with a room theme and/or color scheme. Browse Pinterest or online stores like Pottery Barn Teen for some great ideas and color options.

If you have the time and want to take it a step further, go visit places of inspiration for your teen’s room. For instance, years ago when I redid my son’s bedroom, we visited a sports museum. Since he loved sports and wanted that to be a part of his room, I took notice of the displays, colors, and decor in order to help bring that same vibe back to his bedroom. Does your daughter love horses? Go visit a local horse farm then take note of the colors, textures, and items around the farm. Try to incorporate those types of things in her room.

Once you know what you need and have a general idea of what styles and colors your teen/tween likes, it’s time to let the shopping begin!

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This teen girl’s room covers lots of current design trends including pastel colors, lots of texture, and hanging furniture.

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This teen boy’s bedroom includes storage space for all of his hobbies and interests

let them express themselves

Remember this is your teen/tween’s room, not your room. Since you are in charge and are likely paying for this makeover then you get a final say in what goes in the room, but it’s important to give your child as much freedom as possible to express themselves in the one place that’s really all theirs: their bedroom. In case you haven’t noticed, teens love to express themselves any way they can and here is a safe environment for them to do it. So if your son wants the theme of his room to be some trendy rock band you find weird then let him do it, just keep it in moderation (see tip “don’t overdo a theme” below). If your daughter wants a hot pink zebra stripe theme that you find annoying, let her do it… again, just have her keep it in moderation. Your teen likely needs to feel some ownership to what happens in the room, so let them make as many decisions as they can while you give them some general guidance and boundaries.

It’s also important to personalize the space to your child. You’ll want to include things that are important to them like a place to display photos of their friends or room to store all their art supplies. Create an area to display their collections, hobbies, or trophies. My daughter was big on having her initial somewhere in her bedroom. All of these things put your teen’s personal stamp on the room and define it as theirs.

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I love the way the teen’s trophies are neatly and prominently displayed in this bedroom.

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This teen girl’s bedroom has lots of seating options which is great for hosting friends,
and the gallery wall puts a personal stamp on the room.