Tile a Wall (Pt 2): Install a Patterned Backsplash

Today we’re bringing back an updated and improved version of our step-by-step tutorial on how to install a patterned tile backsplash. It’s so exciting once you get to the tiling stage; it brings the vision together to help complete the space!!

Before hubs worked his reno magic, our basement laundry room started with humble dungeon-like beginnings. It had a typical builder set-up of a double sink and connections for the washer and dryer.

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Tile a Wall (Pt 1): How to Install a Ledger Board

Sometimes you get to a point in a renovation where you just can’t make decisions. That happened to us when we were finishing our basement laundry room and were ready to tile our laundry room backsplash. We knew we at least wanted to replace the counter top but we couldn’t decide whether or not to keep our old lower cabinets. Had we kept the lower cabinets and counter, we would have started our first row of tiling from the counter up to the underside of the cabinets and be well on our way to finishing our laundry room.

Since we couldn’t come to a decision and wanted to move ahead, we worked backwards. We purchased the tile and installed it before the rest of the finishes. Installing a ledger board offered a solution! Since we were starting with a clean slate (no lower cabinets) we knew that installing a ledger board would be a must-have step for supporting the weight of the tile as it dries. If you’re as indecisive as us and you want to move ahead with tiling a backsplash, keep this post handy: we’re going to explain how to install a ledger board. Our updated how-to guide for tiling a patterned backsplash will follow here tomorrow!

Here was our starting point in our laundry room renovation. We had both upper and lower cabinets installed.

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Staircase Makeover

You may remember our staircase makeover from a few years ago, but we’ve revamped the tutorial so it’s now better than ever! A staircase is often one of the first things you see when you step into a house and can really set the tone for the rest of the decor. Today we’re sharing how we stripped and refinished it.

Here’s a before of the hallway as it looked when I bought the house. The 80’s called and they wanted their wallpaper and blond oak trim back! No problem; we couldn’t wait to bring it into the current decade.

Staircase Makeover | How to strip and refinish a staircase | #DIY #stairsmakeover #staircaseideas #staircase #stairrailingideas | BirdzofaFeather.ca

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10 Must-Do Steps Before Installing an Engineered Hardwood Floating Floor (Pt. 2)

Although there is no reveal at the end of this post, there’s an even bigger payoff – especially if you’re planning an upcoming flooring DIY – because it has some great tips to get you ready for a professional-looking floating hardwood floor installation. Pin it for future reference and share it if you know someone who might be interested!

This second in our series on installing an engineered floating floor is all about the prep work. It assumes you’ve already selected and calculated the amount of engineered hardwood you need. If you missed the first part where discussed those things and gave you 12 tips to shopping for engineered hardwood floating floors, check it out now before you read on.

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Milk Paint a Shelf!

We love milk paint! It’s all natural and eco-friendly and because it comes from the earth, there are no chemicals in it. Milk paint is created today using traditional ingredients such as limestone, clay, casein (milk protein), chalk and natural pigments such as iron oxide. There are no VOCs so it’s the ideal product to use when painting indoors. And because it dries so fast, you can get a project done in just a few hours!

Milk paint is so versatile. We even incorporated it into our wedding giveaways on the handles of these miniature rolling pins….

Milk Paint a Shelf! | How to milk paint a shelf | DIY milk painting | Step by step milk paint tutorial on how to milk paint #MilkPaint #Craft #DIY #Paint #FurnitureMakeover | BirdzofaFeather.ca

Milk Paint Colour on Handles: Spice (Homestead House)

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Tuna Can Swing Out Storage Tower

Whenever I look at the recycle pile, I see untapped potential. Little did I know that when I had an epiphany about the tuna can one day while making lunch, creating tuna can swing outs would be so addictive! I had never seen it done anywhere before, so it was quite an interesting challenge to figure out the mechanics of it.

You may have seen the two I did previously to corral hot drink supplies and to store costume jewelry. I’ve since created two new ones: for office supplies, like push pins and paper clips, and even one for a little friend to house his collection of hot wheels!

My husband and I have always been compelled to create using garbage finds and unexpected materials, so it was a natural progression to expand our blog to include crafts. We called our new craft section ‘Craft Rehab’ because our goal is to encourage others to try sustainable crafting. It’s all about the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle.

All good intentions aside, as much as we love to do our small part to divert waste, we’re also mindful that a project has to be easy to do and that the materials have to be readily available – or who’s going to want to replicate it? But it also doesn’t hurt to work in some ‘wow factor’. I think we accomplished those goals with this unique upcycle.

Along with the tuna cans, we’ve used recycled scrap paper for the labels, smoothie straws we had in the pantry, a plastic straw from a broken insulated cup, the end of a dried-up pen and leftover black iron pipe from another project. The Tuna Can Swing Out is both sustainable and practical: each can opens fully to reveal its contents then closes right up again for dust-free storage! You can use it for anything small: you’re only limited by your imagination.

We hope you use this tutorial to inspire your own sustainable craft project because, as our motto points out, good planets are hard to find! Continue reading

Levelling the Basement Floor with Levelrock

Many years ago, we applied to be on one of those home reno shows and they chose to renovate our basement! – or so we thought. In the planning stages of the reno, the show’s contractor discovered that the slope of our basement floor was too steep to build on. The floor was inconsistent and out of level by over half a foot in some areas! There wouldn’t be enough time in the production schedule to fix it properly so they were going to have to take a pass on us.

At first, we were disappointed: who wouldn’t want a crew to come in and take care of a major renovation while we sit back and let them do all the work? But on the flip side, as avid DIY’ers, it was going to be hard to give up full control of the project. In the end, it worked out in our favour because there’s no sense in finishing a basement when there’s still things to renovate on other levels of the house (i.e. our kitchen still needed to be renovated). You really need open access to the plumbing and electrical in the basement before closing those things off forever once the basement is done!

Anyway, since we had cleared our stuff out of the basement for the show, it seemed like a prime opportunity to level the basement floor and get it over with. Once that was done, we could take our own sweet time to renovate the basement ourselves when we were ready. But with 700 square feet of space in our basement, it wasn’t going to be something that we could tackle ourselves. We needed an expert.

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Fire Pit Upcycle

Last summer, I made it my mission to create and craft using nothing but items I found on garbage day within a few block perimeter of my house. Unfortunately my mission was prematurely cut short after my craft studio sprang a leak and I no longer had a place to work and store my finds 🙁 I did however, score a few great things before becoming water logged and having to put my projects on hold!

It’s amazing what you can find kicked to the curb every week. It breaks my heart to see the abundance of waste that goes to landfill when there’s much that can be done to breathe a second life in it! As I walked down the street on this particular day, I spotting something in the distance.

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Stained Glass Wall Art for the Bedroom

When you think of wall art for the bedroom, stained glass probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but I think incorporating a piece of stained glass can make a stunning addition to any bedroom decor!

I’ve always had a fascination with stained glass and longed to own a piece, but the time and expertise that goes into creating these beautiful works of art unfortunately priced it right out of my budget when I young. After purchasing my first house, I was house rich but cash poor so when I discovered a beginner’s stained glass course at my local community centre, I jumped at the chance to learn the art. Several years later I continued taking courses at a stained glass studio, when I moved to a new neighbourhood, where I dabbled with glass mosaic:

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