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As if you hadn’t noticed already, we’ve been taking a bit of a break around here. Or at least a home improvement break. There has been a lot going around here including side projects and family visits which has left us with zero time to DIY. Not only DIY but more specifically finish the kitchen. Last we left off, we were looking a little something like this.

And it stayed this way for A…LONG…TIME. Finally Easter rolled around and I had the brilliant idea to invite friends over for lunch. With that motivation and my impeccable skills of persuasion, I convinced the hubby to finish the upper cabinet doors and install our on-a-budget backsplash. It must be the dinner I cooked or the movie I let him pick because he actually did it! He is my hero. So while I scrubbed the house from top to bottom (we are talking cleaning baseboards and moving furniture that hasn’t been touched in months), good ole Wes finished the kitchen cabinets.

Love it! It really made the kitchen feel so much more open and the ceilings feel sky-high with all that white and not to mention that the cabinets are installed right up to the ceiling. As I mentioned above, we went for a on-a-budget backsplash which translates to…beadboard. We had a leftover package of v-groove beadboard from an abandoned project last year and one of us (honestly can’t remember which one of us but I’ll gladly take he credit) had the brilliant idea to use it as our backsplash. We used a little construction adhesive along with a few finishing nails and voila! Instant backsplash. We went for white paint in a semi-gloss finish to keep things bright and easy to clean. Total backsplash cost … $30. Try and match that with tile!

We obviously still have details to tackle like trimming out the backsplash, install a fascia board to cover up the bottom of the cabinets (hence why we weren’t worried about the white paint that got on it), and install a shelf for the regularly used items we want within easy reach. That will come eventually. We are just excited to have all our dishes covered up so we don’t have to look at the mish mash of serving ware we have acquired over the years! How do people have matching dishes that can be displayed on open shelves?! Maybe I’m just too cheap to shell out the cash for a matching set. Whoops, got off topic there. Moving on.

So that sums up semi-completion of ONE wall in the kitchen. That sounds so sad when I read that. All this time and only ONE semi-completed wall. Oh well, moving on…we have a real problem on our hands besides our lack of free time. Ikea. Yes, Ikea is the thorn in my side. As I mentioned previously, we are going to install another prep area on the opposite side of the kitchen.

In case you forgot, our Lagan butcherblock countertop is out of stock at Ikea and has been for quite some time. Its been months now and still no countertop and no estimated arrival date.  What is a girl to do?! Google. I googled because there had to be some other irate people out there in need of a countertop and I found many! In one of the MANY threads, someone mentioned that Ikea was having trouble with their distributor and may never have that countertop back in stock again. Most devastating news ever.

So that’s how we ended up back at the countertop drawing board. Do we use a totally different countertop at this new section or just chuck our current countertop and start new so that everything matches. We’re still torn but I’ll post with our decision once it’s made. What do you think…different materials or trash the $60 countertop and start fresh?

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So last we left off, our kitchen was looking a little like this.

Not completely tragic, but still a long way to go. This picture captures what we lived with until the next weekend. Once the work week resurfaces, Wes and I are pretty much useless. The last thing we want to do when we get home is start a project. This may differ a lot from other DIY couples out there. Call us busy, call us lazy, call us whatever you want. DIY is for the weekend around here. Any hoo, the following weekend, we picked back up where we left off which included installing the countertop and putting our sink back in! Yep, we managed to make it through the week with only our bathroom sink. Not really that difficult honestly. We ordered in a lot, used paper plates, pretty much the same thing we’ve been doing since we moved in and had no dishwasher. But that was all about to change.

Saturday, December 4

We have our game face on and to-do list in front of us. Plumbing was the name of the game for us. We started with the sink. Wes cut a lovely hole in our beutiful butcher block and slid our sink right in. We decided to keep our existing sink because (a) we have loved it since we bought it and (b) to save money. Why buy a new sink when we already had a perfectly good one! After the sink was in place we went to work on the dishwasher. Now everyone seems to be pretty amazed that we installed it ourselves. It actually was one of the easiest projects so I’m not sure why the shock. Maybe because it requires an electrical connection or maybe because you have to hook it up to water? If you or your significant other is comfortable with electricity and water then this is certainly something someone can do at home. After about half an hour and a trial run to make sure we didn’t have any leaks, we were officially a dishwasher-runnin’ family!

Now that was one of the worst pictures ever taken but it’s all I have so deal. 🙂

After the dishwasher install we decided to relax since we felt so accomplished. We just loaded up the dishwasher and literally washed every thing in the house which at the moment was still covered with dust from the demolition the week before. *hangs head in shame* Then we settled in for a Twilight Saga marthon. Yep, thats who we are.  Best Saturday ever.

Sunday, December 5

Rest.

Week of December 6

Wes decided to be proactive after work one day this week and installed the upper cabinets. Love him! He also took the opportunity to start putting things away after running them through the dishwasher. Love him even more! And if that wasn’t enough, he even installed the base and casing.

It almost looks like a kitchen again! Oh, and I almost forgot one thing…look what Santa brought us!

Best Christmas present ever!

So I left you with a little bit of a teaser last time.

Saturday, November  27

Saturday on our home improvement holiday weekend, was spent finishing up the hardwood floor install. I have to say that this was way easier than I thought. Well, granted Wes did a lot of the work but I was certainly the trusty sidekick. To start with, we brought as much of our planks into the kitchen so they were within reach and started laying out row after row. This was a great tip from the hubby’s shop manager who suggested you lay it out and cut your ends all at once. That way you don’t have a lot of pausing at the end of each row. You can get a rhythm going which is really important to getting a project done! So we laid it out and then went to town installing each row. Our flooring was tongue and groove with a staple installation which meant that we needed a rubber mallet and a pneumatic stapler. We certainly didn’t buy one but rented one for a day and a half from Home Depot. Because of the tongue and groove construction, we had to make sure the planks were locked in place. Thats where the rubber mallet came into play. It helps whack those guys together whichout damaging the sides of your flooring. Once you have a tight fit, you just go down the row and whack the pneumatic stapler which attaches the planks to the subfloor and helps get the planks even tighter together. Thats it. Way easier than tiling in my opinion. No thinset, no grout. Definitely not as messy. Love it!

So the floor was done. We certainly felt like we could do a little happy dance after this because finally a major milestone had been accomplished. We had a floor. But the fun doesn’t stop there, we still had to finish them. So we headed to Home Depot (Trip #382…ok, I lost count) to rent a floor sander.

We get back home with the giant floor sander and Wes went to town. (It has just been pointed out to me that I did a horrible job of taking any action shots of our project. Um, I’m sorry. I was kind of busy helping remodel the entire kitchen :)).

<insert picture of Wes sanding if I had one, but I don’t because I’m lame.>

After sanding the floor, we started to vacuum all the dust so that we had a perfectly debris-free floor for staining. Thats when the vacuum died. Awesome. Off to Home Depot I go (Trip #1,082) to purchase a shop vac. I guess we needed one anyway. At least thats what I tell myself while shelling out $50 for a stupid vacuum that we don’t have room to store.

Back home with the shop vac and it has way more sucking power than I thought. Sweet! This thing is actually pretty handy. The floor is now debris free and Wes starts to stain and I’m in charge of wiping. So we start in the top right corner and do small sections at a time making sure to move quickly so we don’t have sections that dry before we can wipe and blend the edges together. Again, mucho importante. This helps avoid lapping marks and gives you nice even coats. It also leaves a thin coat of stain that the wood actually absorbs instead of thick puddles that will wear over time.

BAM! Stained floors. Now I have to make another statement here which I’m sure you have heard before. You get what you pay for. We did not purchase our stain or polyurethane at our local home improvement store. We chose to purchase our supplies at a local paint store that provides more professional use products. We tried a few sample pieces with Minwax stain and a poly found at Home Depot and did not get the results we wanted so we decided to shell out the extra cash to get a better product. The moment we completed the sample, we knew we made the right choice. The finish was beautiful. Is the color the exact same as our existing? No but it is pretty darn close if you ask me. Something that we weren’t going to achieve with the cheaper stuff. Just a little friendly advice from me to you.

Anyway, after applying the stain with a rag and wiping off with a rag, we let it dry the appropriate amount of time (just read the label) and then added our first coat of polyurethane. We chose a water based polyurethane since we would be in the house while it dried (oil based poly is super smelley) and it dries faster. Pretty critical when you are trying to have a functioning kitchen as soon as possible.

I finally took an action shot. Go Me!

Before polying, make sure to put on your protective booties (refer to photo above. Cute, huh?). This keeps your shoes from scuffing up the floor and messing up you finish. Then lightly sand so that the floor will absorb the poly. You apply the poly with a sponge applicator that can be purchased at Home Depot/Lowes. You want to make sure and get even coats. No puddles. Important! We chose to apply (3) coats of polyurethane for a super hard finish that filled the grain and left us with a smooth top coat. Make sure to let the floor dry the appropriate amount of time between coats and sand each time.

This step carried into Sunday a bit beacuse of the drying time. Patience, my friend. Patience.

We just had to stare at the beautiful floor until it dried and keep the dogs away from it. Not too difficult actually when you have lazy dogs like ours that just sleep all the time.

We spent the afternoon painting the base cabinets since we aren’t very good at sitting still. By Sunday night the floors finally were dry. I went grocery shopping for anything that could be prepared in a microwave and Wes started a little project of his own. Installing the base cabinets. What?! Yep, we are pretty impatient around here. I came back from grocery shopping to this.

Oh, did I forget to mention that we painted the walls too. Yep, early Sunday morning before the last coat of poly, I carfully painted the walls. Most stressful painting of my life. If I had gotten paint on the new floors, I’m pretty sure Wes would have been filing for divorce. We chose very neutral Benjamin Moore Ashwood which is kind of a cream with a hint of green. I really like it. More neutral than I’m used to which is why I’m looking forward to adding some art and splashes of color in there.

But back to the cabinets. Don’t they look amazing? I love white cabinets. They make me happy and the butcher block counter?! Awesome!!

So what do you think? An improvement or worse than when we started? We still had a ways to go but we were finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Friday, November 26

6:30 AM – Get the coffee brewin’ because Home Depot is calling our name! You don’t realize how much you need a home improvement store until it’s not actually open. Naturally Home Depot is our first stop of the morning to get our plumbing supplies for the retrofit. You see, this is what our washer connection looked like before.

 

Tragic, isn’t it? Yep, our water supply and drain were actually located outside of the wall. Most new construction has the nice recessed box in the wall with all those handy dandy connections that you may be used to seeing. Well, we were determined to hide this sucker. We specifically wanted to tackle this project since our floor was going to be completely removed and we could access the crawlspace with no problem-o. With our handy plumber Wade in tow, we hopped on over to Home Depot on Black Friday. AHHH! It actually wasn’t that bad. I guess tools and appliances aren’t on everyone’s Christmas lists this year. (In case you are interested, they are definitely on mine…hint, hint.) Anyway, we didn’t have to tackle any crowds and managed to scoop up all the pvc plumbing components we could get our hands on.

With all the supplies ready to go, Wes and Wade tackled this.

With absolutely no help from me, they ended up with this.

Awesome! All nice and neat and tucked away out of sight. While we were messing around with the water in the house, we went ahead and added a waterline for our future refrigerator’s icemaker.

Isn’t that fancy? It makes me feel fancy. LIke by having waterlines tucked away in your wall actually makes you more of an adult. Thats the way it felt to me. We were on our way to a grown up kitchen.

Lunch Time: Wade’s plumbing contribution is complete and he hits the road. We are forever indebted to him. We scarf down a quick bite and clean up the work area. There is noting that Wes and I hate more than a messy and disorganized workspace. We are perfect for each other, aren’t we? So we straighten and get our final piece of subfloor secured. We are almost ready for the…wait for it…new flooring.

We do have one last step before the beautiful red oak planks can be slapped into place. A bit ole roll of black felt paper. This is really to keep moisture away from the wood so they don’t warp. Mucho importante. This was probably the easiest step so far. You just roll it on the floor and staple it. Done! Oh, but don’t forget to use your trusty chalk line again. You don’t want to forget where those joists are.

If you aren’t thinking this looks better than the before, then you should stop reading now and get your eyes checked because this is one beautiful site compared to the torn vinyl we have endured for 4 years.

Ok, so technically this isn’t the end of our work on Saturday but I’m tired so you’ll just have to hang around for the next installment. Goodnight!

Thursday, November 25: Thanksgiving (aka The Day Home Depot is Not Open)

This time Wes and I start the day together. After a very rushed cup of coffee together and a quick shower, we decide to get right to work. The challenge: removing the original flooring.

 

After realizing that there was no way for us to pull the (10)layers of flooring up manually, we resort to the circular saw. We had already decided to put down a new subfloor since we knew there were some soft spots in the floor around the sink but even if the subfloor was the remain, we could just set the depth of the circular saw so not to cut anything we didn’t want to. Let ‘er rip!

There’s no going back now. We have officially removed a portion of the flooring and it became very clear that this was the method to continue with. Thank goodness I’ve got Wes around or otherwise I would still be sitting indian style on the floor with my hammer and crowbar trying to pry up each layer. I dare you to guess who’s the brains of the operation around here. Anyway, after removing the first piece, we realize that we are up against much more than we thought. The flooring was a whopping 1 1/2″+ thick!

No wonder we had to step up into the kitchen! At least now with the original flooring out of the way, we can see that when we put down the new 3/4″ subfloor and 3/4″ thick red oak flooring, everything will be nice and level. I can breathe a little easier now. With one success already, Wes continues cutting up the floor and I continue taking it outside to the trash pile…in the rain…lame. In the midst of the cutting and the trash hauling, we uncover a little set back.

A big giant hole that resides right under the cabinetry/sink location. We always thought that spot felt a little soft while we were doing the dishes. Turns out the flooring had rotted away (probably some sort of water damage) and the previous owners had just added a piece of 2×4 to help support the cabinet. No fixing the subfloor or any other structural item. Nope, just wanted to focus on the cabinetry. We would really hate for that to sink cabinet to be wobbly. Please tell me you sense my sarcasm or we can’t be friends any more. Previous owners = morons. Luckily Wes had anticipated something like this so we had already purchased the materials to repair it. House – 0, Us – 1. Score!

Company Arrives: Some how we rope Wes’s Dad (Mike) into helping us with the project on Thanksgiving. All we had to do was buy him lunch. We definitely owe him big time. In addition to that, Wes’s Mom’s husband (Wade) shows up with all his plumbing tools in tow (he’s a plumber…yes, we love him). Mike and I move forward with prying up the original subfloor while Wes & Wade get a game plan in place for the new plumbing.

You see, our plumbing for the washer looked like this.

Ohmygosh, that picture is embarrassing. The plumbing was in front of the wall. Yep, just what you want your visitors to see as you entertain them in the kitchen. Luckily with our trusty plumber sidekick, we can move the plumbing into the wall and while we are at it, add a waterline for a future refrigerator ice maker (You’re welcome, Dad!). But as I mentioned earlier, Thanksgiving is one of the two days that all home improvement stores are closed. Trust me…we checked…3 of them.  Plumbing must wait until Friday. *Sigh*

 Back to the floor! Mike & I (with the help of Wes too) get the entire subfloor removed. And yes, I was a big part of that. I have the sore muscles, scraped knuckles, and bruises to prove it. I’m awesome. After completely freaking out the dogs with the no-floor-in-the-kitchen thing, we decide to get the new subfloor down before bed. You know, so the pups don’t drop straight into the crawl space when they want to get a drink of water. Mike & Wes handle the subfloor like pros. We chose a 3/4″ tongue and groove subfloor to give us the right height for our new hardwoods. After a little research, we determine that the best way to install a subfloor is to use a subfloor construction adhesive to glue the floor to the joists of your house as well as screw it. The adhesive keeps the floor from squeaking. We used Liquid Nails Subfloor Adhesive in case you are curious. So we glue, lay, and then chalk line. Yes,  we had an excuse to buy a chalk line. Super fun! We used the chalk line to mark where the joists were running so that the subfloor actually get screws to something instead of thin air.

 We install the floor running from the cased opening to the back door and leave the rest for Friday. We figure leaving access to the crawl space will be helpful with the plumbing install/modification. It will at least keep any one from having to actually crawl in the crawl space. Um…gross.

Oh, and one last thing before bed. We did experience one casualty from the day’s events.

My beloved schoolhouse globe met its match. It didn’t put up much of a fight against the 4×8 piece of subfloor. It’s alright though, I think it was actually a blessing in disguise. More on that later!

We have officially started the kitchen renovation and have added a slew of new DIY skills to our toolbox. Just a little reminder of where we started.

Here’s how Weekend 1 went down.

Wednesday, November 24

I’m on my own today. Wes isn’t lucky enough to have the day off so I give him my best Girl Scout’s Promise to get this show on the road. Wes believes me. I was very tempted to sit in my pajamas and watch Gilmore Girls all day but the excitement of a beautiful new kitchen kicked my bootie into overdrive and got me showered and dressed before 7:00 AM. I packed up all the items in the kitchen cabinets which was a little more difficult than I imagined since I we don’t have extra storage containers just lying around. So I unpacked containers in the attic so that I could pack them back up with kitchen stuff. The beauty of the packing exercise is that you realize how much junk you have and never use. I easily came across 20 things that I haven’t used in over a year. I see a yard sale in my future.

After emptying all the kitchen cabinets, I grabbed our trusty crowbar and started pulling out all the moulding in the kitchen. Then I remembered that I needed to find our utility knife (unsuccessful) so I can slice through the caulk first before pulling the little boogers out. Home Dept Trip #1. Return with a brand new utility knife and get started. Let me tell you, pulling out casing and moulding is no joke. Especially when the previous owner uses framing nails to attach the moulding. They also used roofing nails to attach the drywall to the studs. I can’t quite understand this. Doesn’t the box of nails/screws/fasteners tell you what they are best used for? Even I know this.

Distraction: After pulling out the casing and threshold around the doorway to the kitchen, I caught a glimpse of this…

 

I just had to find out what was under there. The idea that we may have hard wood floors underneath all that vinyl was eating away at me so I popped a squat and started ripping away. Well maybe not ripping away but making small tiny tears in an effort to eventually start ripping away. I just had to get it started, right?! Wrong. I was tearing and chipping away for what seemed like hours (probably more like 20 minutes). My tiny tears did reveal that we were dealing with MULTIPLE layers of vinyl. At this point, I had a total count of (4) sheet vinyls and (2) subfloors. Apparently demolition is highly over rated. The previous owners over the last 60 years decided to just put new flooring on top of the old, over and over and over again. So at this point I start mumbling rude comments about the previous owners and then I find…wait for it…hardwood floors underneath the vinyl. Shut Up!

Call from the husband/lunch time: I admit to getting distracted and that I haven’t quite finished removing all the moulding but I do share my latest discovery. Hardwoods! He is a little less excited since this means he may have to do all the plumbing and electrical work in the crawl space instead of taking advantage of the floor being removed and not having to endure the dreaded crawl space full of insects and nastiness. I can’t say I blame him.

Back to work: I ignore the flooring for now so that I can finish the moulding removal and feel like a task is complete and officially marked off the list. Bam! Done!

Now that I have officially completed my first construction task, I go back to the floor. This is eating away at me! Can we really return the wood flooring we purchased and keep the original hardwoods to the house! It’s got to be too good to be true!

And it was. Wes gets home from work and we really get down and dirty with the floor. We finally peel away a larger section and see what we are really working with. Our grand total comes to (5) sheet vinyls, (3) subfloors, (1) vinyl/linoleum tile, and antique heart pine hardwoods. Yes, I just said that. Antique heart pine hardwood planks. They are amazing or at least would have been amazing if one of the previous owners hadn’t stuck linoleum tile right on top of the beauties.

Ruined. My wood loving husband had a little bit of heartburn over this. We finally admit to ourselves that we can’t salvage the original hardwoods and that the circular saw is coming out. Yep, the only way to get through these (10) layers of flooring is to cut them out in chunks. And that is what we resolve to do…first thing in the morning. So we say good night to this.

Ok, so that statement isn’t entirely true. I still love yellow and want to wear yellow sweaters while I carry my yellow purse and although I’m still searching for yellow shoes, I will find them, and wear them with all my other yellow things while wearing my yellow necklace. BUT…my yellow lamps are not bringing the sunshine into my living room like I had hoped. I don’t know if it was the shade of yellow or perhaps the finish but they were lack luster to say the least. So I made an executive decision to sand them and go white. Bright glossy white. I know it seems boring but I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’m kind of boring. I like the neutral wall color in our living room and kitchen, the earth tones of the rug and curtain, the white trim, and dark woods. Boring, yes…makes me happy…YES! So I’m embracing my boring and going white. You also know that I change my mind on a daily basis when it comes to design decisions so if my darling thrift store lamps are neutral then they will always coordinate with the rest of the room or any room if I choose to move them around. I need that sort of flexibility in life desperately because let me tell you, sanding these suckers has been a nightmare.

First off, let me just air my dirty laundry. I primed these brass beauties before applying the yellow paint and for some reason the primer left a sort of rough texture. Did I do anything about it? No. So I ended up with sandpapery yellow lamps and I just chose to live with it. Poor decision. Now that I want a smooth glossy white finish, I have to sand the lamp down to be super super smooth. This is annoying and makes me cranky. Husband laughs at me because he sands on a daily basis and he has to be much more tedious and detail oriented and on a much larger scale. He is quite the one-upper sometimes (love you babe!). Ok, I can’t beat him when it comes to complaining but thats not going to stop me. Sanding lamps with bumpy primer texture stinks and it almost makes me just want to have one lamp in the living room and just trash the other because I don’t want to sand it.

Ok, Well I sucked it up and did both because I just couldn’t bare to fail again!

After getting my lamps sanded down, I taped up the electrical portions and got my glossy white spray paint ready go. Thats how we ended up with this!

I love them and they make me happy. However, as you very well know, I reserve the right to change my mind at any point. 🙂

Back in the big bookcase reveal, I shared with you a few pics of our accessories at the time. I had picked up a few unique items at our local antique mall, Sleepy Poet; including an antique block planer, artillery box, and brass duck heads.

 

I’ve been struggling with the brass duck heads since I bought them. Not struggling with whether or not I liked them (I love them actually) but what to do with them. Should they stay brass, should I paint them white? These are the important questions that plague me at night :). Well I finally decided to paint them because the brass just wasn’t cutting it. And what did I decide on…blue! Seems odd I know but as I observed the other “things” on the bookcase, I noticed that I already had a blue theme going and I didn’t even know it. Blue vase, blue door photograph. So I grabbed a can of Valspar gloss spray paint in Royal Blue and went to town. A perfect super quick project to complete in between episodes of America’s Next Top Model a really intellectual documentary.

Obviously, the styling of a bookcase is quite the process and evolution but I’m starting to like the direction it’s  going. I’m focusing on found objects and meaningful things from our life together. The one thing that really needs to be addressed is the light in the hallway. I can never get a good picture because the lighting is horrible and I always end up having to use the flash. Boo! I’m thinking I might create a similar fixture as the one in the kitchen. Thoughts?

Our bathroom is finally complete. I know I never thought I would utter those words and I’m sure you didn’t either. As I hope some of you saw, little ole Out of Square was featured on Kara Paslay Design earlier this week and I used that opportunity to debut our bathroom. If you missed it, here is a little peak about what I shared.

The devestating before.

The beautiful after.

So what do you think? Did we hit it out of the park?! Ok, if your response is no, then don’t answer. I like living in my little bubble of bathroom love. We are so proud of all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the darn thing. We were able to DIY the entire thing. From the vanity, to tile, to reglazing the tub. All done with our own two hands. I’m not sure that you want to hear all the laborious details but if you do, just give me a shout. I’m always happy to share!

Since I did receive a few questions regarding where some of our items in the bathroom came from, I figured I would follow up my guest post with a nice little source list. Here are the ins and outs of our bathroom:

And here are a few more pictures just for the fun of it. Enjoy!

 

 

As I mentioned in my last Love Affair of the Week post,  I decided to tackle a DIY Schoolhouse light. If you didn’t make it through the entire post in order to read that, I won’t hold it against you. I’m not one to hold grudges…usually. Anyway, I finally gathered all my supplies together and I’m here to tell you how to create the classic schoolhouse light for under 30 smackeroos.

First I scoped out the schoolhouse globe, also known as a milkglass globe/shade if you are googling. I found the perfect 9″W shade on ebay for…wait for it…$7. There was one for $0.99 but I missed out on that one. Let that be a lesson learned. Never hestitate when ordering on ebay. Especially if it’s only $0.99! Moving on…this is the little guy that I settled on.

He was the perfect size and in my opinion the perfect price. Now before I commited, I did a little research to make sure the rest of the light could be purchased separately. I know that may sound silly but I’ve never had to buy parts and pieces for a light fixture, just the whole package. So with my trusty friend Google, I determined that (1) I needed a canopy and glass shade holder and (2) you could in fact find these sold separately from a shade. I finally stumbled upon Light Fixtures for Dummies MyLampParts.com. This website offers every possible thing you would need to create your own light fixture. Including the perfect canopy and shade holder.

 

Now of course nothing is that easy. Once I determined that this was the canopy/holder I needed and wanted, I had to make sure all the parts and pieces were included to actually make this a working light fixture. Thats where the wonderful people at MyLampParts.com come in. I e-mailed them a description of what I was trying to accomplish and they e-mailed back a complete list of the parts and pieces I would need. My order came to a whopping $11.

Now I know you’re thinking…”White? I’m not sure I love the white.” And you would be right. I was hoping for an oil rubbed bronze finish. But I didn’t let the existing finish get me down. No, no, no. If  I’ve learned nothing from my constant blog stalking, it’s that you can spray paint anything. Enter my weekend project:

Using our household staple, Kilz Spray Primer, and a magical can of Rustoleum Metallic Spray Paint in Oil Rubbed Bronze, I created this!

I followed the same steps as when I created my darling yellow lamps (which you can find here). Don’t you just love it! And for only $18 plus a little bit of shipping, you can’t beat that! To avoid some shipping costs, you could also try to track down the globe at a local thrift shop or Habitat for Humanity ReStore. As for the canopy/shade holder, try a local lighting distributor. This was my first attempt at a DIY light fixture so I found the internet to be my best friend. Maybe for my next venture, I’ll try to use local resources.

So what do you think. Was this project a success or what?! I have to give myself a pat on the back honestly. Not only did I create my first light fixture from scratch but I also saved us a minimum of $75!  Every schoolhouse light I’ve found was nearly $100 at least!

Well enough about me. What have you created lately that saved you a ton of money or was your first attempt at DIY-ing something out of the norm?

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