The DIY journey of a California citygirl and a Montana farmboy

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I love plumbers pipe.  It’s industrial look mixes so when with farmhouse decor.  It is easy to use and super versatile.  The two things that stress me out the most though when I am considering it for a project are:

  1. It is so expensive!
  2. It is so dirty!

I can’t do anything about the price, but I was bound and determined to figure out how to clean it faster.  I google and searched – not much on the internet except for ways to clean CLOGGED plumbers pipe (totally not was I was going for) . I recently had a client hire me for a large build FULL of plumbers pipe – I needed to figure out this cleaning thing fast.

I guess I should have thought a little harder about it – but thankfully my wonderful friends at The Home Depot introduced me to ACETONE!  Yippee!!  Super similar to what our little girlies use to clean their fingernail polish off with.  Smelly – totally.  Effective – completely!

As always I have a 60 second DIY Tutorial to fast track you through the process.

Continue reading for lots of good details and tricks!

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I remember when chalk paint started to become a “thing” many years ago, and I just wasn’t buying it.  Was there really a paint that you could use on top of almost anything without sanding or using a primer? I didn’t think it was possible.  Finally I decided to try it on an old table that I was not wanting to refinish and it worked!  I was sold!  Since then I have used chalk paint for many DIY’s and it is awesome.  And now they even have SPRAY CHALK PAINT!!!  So today I am giving a tutorial on where to buy it and how to use it (so easy).

As usual, I am including first a 60 second video tutorial to show the main steps of the process.  Then follow along for lots of resources and details for your latest DIY with Spray Chalk Paint!

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I love plumbers pipe.  It adds an industrial twist to my farmhouse style.  It is strong and easy to use.  The problem is it’s not super cheap, I am still trying to find someone who has invented a lighter, more inexpensive decor plumbers pipe – any tips?  It still is a great DIY product and less costly than department store products.

I needed somewhere to hang my towels in the kitchen so they would stop ending up on the oven door handle.  I came up with this and was positive it would be the easiest DIY ever.  Boy I was wrong!  Apparently I needed my mathematical brain on and totally left it somewhere else.  Thankfully my teenage smarty pants came to my rescue to help me finish the job.  And now I want to share with you how to do it and bypass the mistakes I made!

As always, I have made a 60 second video tutorial for you to get the down low and see if it’s a project you would like to try.  For more specific details keep on reading!

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Ever since Joanna Gaines started sharing her love of shiplap, I have totally been crushin on it.  I knew I needed some in my home.  I put it off for years and finally last week had the time and the guts to tackle it.

I researched a lot of ways for it to be done and wanted to see if I could install it all by myself.   Mr. Farmboy is always willing to help, but I just wanted to see how possible it was for one person to get it all done.  And now I can say – IT IS POSSIBLE!  It’s not easy and takes a lot of time when you are on your own, but it is possible.  Would I recommend it?  If you are all you have – heck ya.  If you have help though?  Use it – it’s a lot of work alone.  Alright now, here we go…

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I know, I know – why would anyone write a blog post about getting wood cut at The Home Depot?  Well, for years I was to nervous to ask The Home Depot to cut my wood for me, thinking they would treat me weird or something.  I was so insecure about my building skills that I felt I couldn’t risk the embarrassment because I didn’t know what I was doing anyway.  After hearing the Shanty Sisters talk about “ripping” plywood and how easy it was, I thought I would give it a try.  Problem was I didn’t even know what “ripping” wood meant.

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IMG_7541I found some darling LED lights at Joann Fabrics on clearance and I just had to have them.  I do that sometimes, when it’s so cute I just can’t stand leaving it on the shelf!  I did that with my rod iron birdcage – my hubby was a little confused when I brought it home because we didn’t even own any birds.  That’s another blog post for another day.

NOTE: If you need a quick review of this tutorial I made a 60 second short film to watch here.

I knew the area I wanted these LED lights at and so my creative juices needed to start flowing to come up with the best way to use them.

IMG_7122 I contemplated a few ways to utilize the light fixtures in the space I needed and ultimately came up with this.  I hope you can use some of these ideas to create your own Farmhouse LED Light Fixture!

Materials:

  • 2 LED Lanterns – you can shop Joann Fabrics, Michaels, Ross Dress for Less, TJ Max, etc… to look for these.  You can also order them online at Amazon.  The ones I found were at Joann Fabrics on summer clearance for $16 each.  I found some darling ones at The Home Depot, you can find their site here:  Search OUTDOOR LED LANTERNS here. 
  • 2 pieces of Old Barn Wood – of course you can use new wood and make it look old. To do that follow along with Mountain Modern Life here or with DIY network here.
  • 2 Garden Planter Hooks – I found mine at The Home Depot years ago on clearance and held on to them.  You can find their site here:  Search PLANT BRACKET here.

Note: We love getting recommendations from people we trust.  Why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have too?  We want to help our readers with resources that we love.  Rest assured that any affiliate link that we post in our blog are companies that we trust and do business with ourselves.  We are (very lightly) compensated for any purchase you make through our links, but will only recommend products that we are confident in.  Compensation in no way will change our view on products.  If there is an item we love, we share it. We hope that you will find these resources helpful in your DIY adventure!

Tools:

  • Power Drill – I use my Ridgid 18 Volt handheld power drill, which you can buy here.
  • Four 3 inch wood screws
  • Four 1 inch wood screws
  • Four drywall anchors if you do not use studs
  • Stud Finder – I use my Zircon StudSensor HD55 Stud Finder, which you can buy here.

Now here we go!

First off I had to change up the color of my lanterns.  Paint and stain are one of my favorite ways to change the look of something.  There is lots of rules with combining paint colors – sometimes I adhere to them and sometimes I don’t, especially if it’s for a super small project like this one.  The Hollow Road Blog has a really great post here on mixing paints if you would like a lesson!

Here I mixed 2 colors to create the deep brown that I was looking for.

The first coat looked like this:

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I wanted an darker look than this so I dabbed a paper towel in the solid black paint after this was dry and did a light rub all over it.  It came out great.  If you need to repaint your LED lights, be creative!  Here was my final look:

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Next step is prepping the wood.  If you choose to use new wood and make it old as in the tutorials above, you can bypass this next step.  If you are using truly old wood that has been left outside and weathered, it is very important that it is cleaned and sanitized before using it in your home.  I wrote an entire blog post on this topic which you can read here.  It will give you all the resources and step by step process you need to make sure your wood is ready for home decor use.

Here is my before and after cleaning photos of the old barn wood I used:

These are the tools that I used for this project:

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My Irwin Drill Bits and Ridgid 18 Volt Drill are my staple tools for most of my DIY’s. Additionally this Stanley measuring tape and Zircon stud finder are also in my tool box at all times.  You can purchase all of these at The Home Depot here.

You will be mounting your garden brackets onto your wood bases.  I measured into the middle by one inch and down 2 inches (my wood is a 2 x 4).  Then I placed the bracket where I wanted it and marked where I needed the holes with a sharpie marker.

It is important to pre drill your holes so that your wood does not split.  It happens a lot, especially in more fragile old pieces.  After the pre drill is complete, you will mount your bracket onto the wood with your hand drill, using your 1 inch screws.

Once you have decided where you want these on your wall, you will measure for the studs.  To do this you use your stud finder and slide it vertically across the wall – slowly. Once it senses a stud the arrow will light up, This is where you drill.

I always try to drill into a stud if possible because it is such a string support system, but if that’s not an option I use E-Z Ancor Twist-N-Lock or ITW Brand anchors. Mr. Farmboy insists they are the best and I started using them years ago to hang things. They are easiest for me to handle.  You search for them here at The Home Depot.

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Another quick tip we use.  A leveler is another staple you need in your tool box.  We have a few lengths to help with different projects.  This allows you to make sure whatever you are hanging or installing is even and accurate.  BUT, if you don’t have one and are in a bind – there is and APP for it!!  Amazing right?  The Bubble Level for Iphone is a great one, as well as Toolbox Pro.  Here is what it looks like, excuse my bad photos but the lighting was not very good at midnight!  (Different apps will vary):

I used (well, Mr. Farmboy used) a 3 inch wood screw to mount these into the studs, one on each end.  We pre drilled them as well for easier mounting.

Our second light did not have a stud for us to use so we did use our anchors.  A tip: If you pre drill the screws you are using so they stick out of the other end, you can gently push it into the wall where you want it.  This will leave a small mark as to where you need to drill your anchors.  Then once the anchors are in, you can easily mount the rest of the light fixture!

I made sure the LED light was turned on when I was ready to add my lights.  They charge during the day and turn on at night!

Inside lights off:

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Inside lights on (the LED lights still stay on when my inside lights on are, they turn off when the sunshine comes in):

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Finally, we added a darling sign we ordered from Kohl’s.  Its one of my most favorite online shipping stores for farmhouse decor.  They have so much more online than in the store, there is always sales and coupons, and always free shipping offers.  I love them!  Look at this GREETING sign we found:

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So that’s it!  Let us know if you have any questions or how your project turns out – we would love to see it!  Please note that we do use affiliate sites on our blog.  But always know we only use ones that we love and use ourselves as DIY’ers.   Happy Building!

And P.S. – check out these darling posts from difference bloggers all over the country to help you find some amazing DIY’s!

Love,

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When I dreamed of being creative but didn’t have the confidence to try it yet, I would watch my favorite mentors as they grew and became top DIY Masters.  The Shanty Sisters inspired me.  They were two darling ladies with serious building skills, and I was mesmerized.   Shanty2Chic has now inspired thousands of women to learn how to build through their tutorials.

One of the tools they always talk about is The Kreg Jig.  I had never heard of it until they introduced me and I was intimidated.  I watched them use it and I was amazed and confused.  First off, this is what they look like:

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There is something about checking out your homegirls house and swooning over her creativity.  We get inspiration when we learn and grow from each other.  That’s exactly how I feel checking out Carla from OakHillFarms (check her insta page here).  Her dedication to family, her love for simple home decor, and passion for gardening makes me wish we were neighbors!  Then her growing business of all soy wax candles, goats milk soap, natural lip balms has me crushin – she’s amazing!  (And check out her etsy shop right here, you will love it!)

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Come stroll with me as we check out her home and get to know her better.  I am sure you will adore her as much as I do.

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I find myself getting giddy when we see old wood somewhere, it just sparks creativity all over me.  Old wood like that on Mr. Farmboys ranch in Montana.  The kind that has sat through every kind of weather, seen years of good use and has lots of memories sunk into its splinters.  It just makes me happy.  So when my dear friend called me up and said  “I have all this old barn wood that we salvaged from a cabin in Utah, you want some?”  I was like “Heck ya homegirl!”  Christmas time for this city girl!

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Do It Yourself Mini Curtain Rods!  You will love these quick and easy rods that add a fun element to your room.  Come follow along!  I have attached a DIY Video below for further help.

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