September 01, 2019

A Few Recent Projects I've Worked On

I started writing this post weeks ago, when I had first started on just one project; but then I moved on to another and then another, and now I guess this is just a compilation of recent things I've worked on ;)

A few weeks ago, Jerry, Eli, and Eli's friend went up north to my sister's place in the upper peninsula. It was a long guys' weekend of fishing and four-wheeling... neither of which interest me at all, so I chose to stay home. They even brought Joey along!

Meanwhile, Noah went to North Carolina with a friend. I was home alone (with just the cats) for a long weekend! I had plans of sitting around in my pajamas and reading my book (I was finishing up A Column of Fire by Ken Follett). After everyone was out of the house, it was SO quiet. I started getting fidgety, and no less than three hours later, I decided to work on a project.

The last "weekend project" I took on turned into my giving the whole house a makeover (with the exception of my master bathroom and the laundry room) over the next nine months, haha. I knew I wanted to redo the master bathroom and laundry room someday, but I wasn't in a hurry to do them. I need to put up some new sheets of drywall in the laundry room (which also has our furnace and water heater); and in the master bathroom, we need to replace the shower. Not a small project.

I hadn't yet removed the textured ceiling in the bathroom because I figured I should just wait and do it when we eventually replace the shower. But I was itching to do a weekend project, and I decided to go ahead and remove the textured ceiling. Which would also involve mudding and taping the seams. And then painting the ceiling and walls. And I couldn't do all that without painting my cabinets, too. Oh, and making a new countertop.

I didn't even have to spend much money, because I had leftover particle board and laminate, leftover oil-based paint for the cabinets and trim and leftover ceiling paint from when I made over the other bathroom. The only expenses were the wall paint, a sink and faucet, and the cabinet knobs. When we replace the shower, I will add floor trim and new casings, but for now, I'm just glad to have the "new" cabinets and countertop.

Estelle didn't think ahead when she climbed the ladder and walked the tiny beam across the shower doors. It was hilarious to see the look on her face when she realized she either had to turn around or walk backward! I ended up having to rescue her. She scratched the heck out of my arm in thanks.

Here is the main bathroom cabinet before...

And then after painting, making a new countertop, and installing a new sink, faucet, and knobs:

Much better!

I spent every moment of the weekend I had to myself working on the bathroom. I love how it's looking, but in retrospect, I should have probably taken advantage of the alone time to relax!

I've been touching up other things around the house that I've needed to finish--painting the floor trim in the boys' rooms, installing and painting new floor trim and window/door casings in my bedroom. I also installed and painted a bi-fold door for my closet:

I was spending a ton of time in the garage between painting cabinet doors to cutting floor boards and the countertop, etc., and I found myself constantly stepping around Eli's fishing stuff. He has a TON of fishing tackle, poles, reels, line, hooks, all the stuff that you can imagine for fishing. A couple of months ago, he wanted a new pole really badly and I told him that he could get it if he got rid of all his other poles except for three.

He moved a lot of his stuff to my dad's garage (my dad is the one who gave him most of the stuff in the first place), but he still had a bunch of stuff lying around the garage. I decided to make a simple fishing pole holder to at least keep the poles off the floor. They are awkwardly shaped and take up a surprisingly large amount of space.

My plan was to basically just make a small frame to attach to the wall in the garage where he can stand the poles upright and they won't take up as much space. That five-minute project turned into a cool fishing gear "station" that Eli said he wants to keep for the rest of his life, haha. (He's so sweet!)

Standing the poles upright wasn't working out, so I decided they needed to lie on their sides using hooks or shelves of some sort. Then I thought it would be nice to put them in his bedroom instead of the garage. And while I'm at it, why not make a couple of shelves to go along with it for some of his gear?

This project was cool because I didn't have to buy a single thing for it. I made every bit of it out of scraps of what I already had! And it was nice to use up so many scraps--my excess stuff dwindled down a lot.

This is what it looked like after priming and painting. There is a spot for each of four poles, plus a couple of shelves for extra stuff. But it seemed so plain to me! So I decided to "mom" it up.

I printed out about 45 photos of Eli fishing throughout the years and then I used Mod Podge to seal them.

Then I used the Mod Podge to adhere them to the background of his "fishing gear station"...

I applied a few coats of polyurethane, then added some hooks on the right side (to hang tackle or whatever) and a piece of foam along the front to stick hooks into (I can't tell you how many times I've accidentally been hooked from tackle lying around!). He always has spools of fishing line unwinding everywhere, too (just look at the brush roll of my vacuum cleaner) so I solved that problem with a simple dowel. It's removable so that he can put the spools on it and then hang it back up.

And finally, when it was all dry and ready for his gear, I brought it into his bedroom. He hung his poles and put about 2% of his fishing gear on the shelves. (The lighting was weird in his bedroom when I took this final photo, but it's actually blue like in the above photos.)

Thankfully, he LOVED the photos on the background. He was crazy excited about this little "station". And it was a fun project to work on! I love how it turned out.


  1. Great job on the projects! I love them. Also, you got me started on the Ken Follett books and I'm reading Column of Fire now too!

  2. You are absolutely amazing! There are no words. Those men of yours are lucky to have you!!

  3. You're very talented! I love the fishing gear station and bathroom makeover.

  4. The fishing station is amazing. My youngest son loves to fish and he received a fishing bag for xmas last year. It's great for carrying all of our family poles when we go fishing. We got tired of the lines tangling together when throwing 5 poles together in a vehicle and this carrying bag keeps the poles separate. You can see bags on amazon by searching "fishing pole bag carrier"

  5. You are so talented!! I love the fishing station! What a great way to keep the fishing stuff organized!!

  6. amazing! you're so creative! and hard working!


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