DIY Mini Barn Doors…a complete tutorial

DIY Mini Barn Doors

This was one of those “gee, if this actually works it’s gonna be really cool” kinda projects.

Well, thankfully, it did…and it is! If I do say so myself :)

DIY Mini Barn Door Tutorial

Although I installed these DIY barn doors specifically to conceal a washing machine, they could be used in place of ordinary doors wherever space permits. Wouldn’t they make a great TV cover? And, whilst mine are attached directly to a counter top, you could also affix this style of DIY barn door to a free-standing piece of furniture, such as a buffet. On top of all that, you could opt for a single door instead of two. The possibilities are almost endless!

I know that concealing the washing machine in a laundry room might seem a tad extraneous, and in most cases it probably is, though when I was charged with the task of refreshing my parent’s laundry room, it was almost a given.

You see, this room adjoins a main hallway in their house and has no dedicated door (or even doorway) so is entirely open! Not only is it super visible, though it’s also often used by guests as a powder room of sorts to service an adjacent water closet.

Yep, something pretty, yet still practical, was certainly called for.

Here’s how the whole thing went down…

Given the tight time-frame for this makeover (and the fact this was an entirely experimental project I thought might not even work!), I didn’t take progress photos of this DIY. That said, I have taken a few “example” pics and will do my utmost to explain everything as clearly and concisely as possible. 

You will need…

DIY Barn Door Supplies and Hardware

1 METAL FLAT BAR
This can be found in several lengths, widths and thicknesses at most hardware stores. I chose a black steel bar that measured 25mm/1″ wide (just narrower than my counter thickness) x 3mm/.1″ thick x 2 meters/6.5′ long. It only cost $5.

2 METAL GARDEN EDGING PEGS
I swear, when I stumbled across these at the hardware store a string orchestra started playing and a sudden beam of sunlight illuminated aisle 4! I had a pretty open mind about the style of hardware I could repurpose for the door sliders though these matched my vision perfectly! And they were only $1 each! Squeee!

3 SPACERS
To provide a gap between the counter and bar I used some rubber chair leg stoppers (because, well, that’s what I found in the shed – plus, they just happened to be perfect). You could use almost anything with appropriate dimensions; washers, nuts, felt pads – you could even make your own spacers by slicing up a wooden dowel. Just ensure that whatever you use is thicker than the arm of your edging pegs or they will rub and won’t glide easily. And remember, don’t worry too much about what colour they are as you can always paint them.

4 SCREWS & BOLTS
Screws to attach the metal bar to the counter (ensure they are long enough to provide a decent hold). I used dome head screws. Bolts to attach the edging pegs to the doors (ensure they are long enough to go right though the doors with enough remaining thread to attach the nuts). I used dome head bolts.

5 PLYWOOD
You could use anything similar to make the doors. I like plywood because it’s inexpensive, comes in lots of sizes and thicknesses and is more hard-wearing than most composite boards (such as MDF and masonite). I needed the total thickness of my doors to be around 1cm/.4″ to fit nicely within the arch of the edging pegs so I used 7mm/.3″ plywood for the door panels themselves and 3mm/.1″ plywood for the decorative trim.

6 SPRAY PAINT
For the metal bar and edging pegs. I simply used matte black for an industrial feel. A brassy gold would be cool for a more contemporary look.

7 PAINT
For the doors themselves. I used standard acryclic wall paint in “Green Result” by British Paints.

8 HANDLES
I used basic handles from the hardware store which cost just $4 each. In my case, these are merely cosmetic as the doors glide best when they are pushed from the top, plus it saves having to bend to open them.

 

STEP 1 Trim metal bar.

Measure how long you need/want your metal bar to be (mine is just shy of the full length of my counter) then trim it to size. I simply used a hacksaw and it was quick and easy.

Cutting the Metal Bar

Tip: If the cut end is overly rough, you can smooth it with a metal file.

 

STEP 2 Drill holes in metal bar and edging pegs.

For the metal bar…

You will probably need affixing holes at each end plus one in the center. You may also want additional holes to form stoppers for the doors and/or help stabilise your bar if it’s quite long. I added two extra holes around 30cm/12″ in from each end.

Barn Door Screw Points

My five affixing points are circled in yellow above.

Note: If you do add more holes, ensure they are positioned so as not to impede the desired opening span of your doors as the peg arms will hit the screws.

To make the holes, use a drill bit one size larger than your screws. You want the screws to fit through the holes with relative ease.

Drilling into Metal Bar

Apply even and steady pressure – getting through can take a bit of strength and time – and ensure your underlying surface isn’t anything precious as you’re likely to hit it one you get through the metal. If you have trouble with the drill bit slipping at first, use a smaller bit to create a pilot hole.

For the edging pegs…

Work out where you want/need to bolt your doors to the pegs. Remember to account for the “dead” space the bar will occupy at the top of the pegs.

I made one hole towards the base then another around 3cm/1″ above it.

DIY Barn Door Hardware

To make the holes, insert a scrap piece of wood into the arch of the peg to keep it rigid. Drill through your holes, then remove the wood scrap.

Drilling through Pegs

For demonstrative purposes, I’m only making one hole. Of course, I made two in my actual pegs. Also, this red peg is slightly smaller than the silver ones I actually used though it’s all they had at my nearest hardware store!

Using the holes as a guide, next drill through the back side of the peg too, being careful to keep the drill as straight and level as possible.

DIY Barn Door Hardware

Again, choose a drill bit one size larger than your bolts. You want the bolts to slot through easily.

Note: You can use regular bits to drill through metal (I did) though it can take a while and will blunt the bits. Purpose metal bits are far better if you have them. Once you’re done, you can use a file if you need to smooth any particularly rough edges.

 

STEP 3 Paint hardware.

Clean all of your hardware then spray it your desired colour.

Black Spray Paint for DIY Barn Doors

To ensure you get a good, long-lasting finish, wipe each item with isopropyl alcohol first.

 

STEP 4 Attach bar to counter.

Measure to the center of your counter. Hold a spacer in place then drill a pilot hole straight through both the spacer and counter (use a drill bit one or two sizes smaller than your screw – if your spacers already have a central hole then you can drill the pilot hole through the counter alone). With the spacer still in place, line up your metal bar (using the central hole you’ve already drilled in it as a guide), insert a screw then screw the bar, together with the spacer, to the counter.

Attaching the Bar

Note: If, like me, you’re using rubber spacers be careful not to tighten the screws too much. It may overly compress the rubber and result in too narrow a gap for the edging pegs. Of course, you can always loosen the screw if you do happen to tighten it too much.

Repeat with the remaining affixing points until the bar is completely attached.

DIY Barn Door Track Hardware

Note: I decided to attach the bar at this stage so I could use it as a definite guide for determining the accurate dimensions for my doors. I liked that I could drape the pegs over it and get a good visual by playing around with everything first. I don’t do so well using measurements alone! If you feel confident enough working out the size for your doors without having the bar in place, you could attach it during Step 6 instead.

 

STEP 5 Make doors.

Accurately measure how large each of your doors needs to be. Remember to allow for some clearance at the base if you’re taking your doors all the way to the floor like mine. My doors are 30cm/12″ wide x 85cm/33″ long.

Cut your door panels from the plywood sheet. I used my plunge track saw for this though if you’re not confident with power tools (or, if you don’t even have any) your hardware store may cut it for you.

Cutting the Barn Doors

Add decorative trim in any style you like (I went with a basic farmhouse inverted “V”).

DIY Budget Laundry Makeover with sliding barn doors

I created my trim by cutting down a sheet of plywood however you may be able to find off-the-shelf strips at the hardware store, or perhaps you could repurpose something, like venetian blind slats.

Attach the trim with wood glue, ensuring it is evenly clamped until completely set. If you notice areas where the trim is lifting or not sitting flush, you can use some small nails or screws. Just be sure to countersink the heads and fill any divots prior to painting.

Once the doors are constructed, caulk any gaps (if required), finish them as desired with your choice of paint or stain then attach your handles.

Note: Plywood has a tendency to warp, particularly if one side becomes overly hot or damp. I was working on my doors outside in the sun and they bowed considerably. I was a little worried they would be ruined, though once I got them inside they straightened out again. If you have trouble with warping which doesn’t seem to self-right, you can compress the doors under something heavy overnight.

 

STEP 6 Attach doors.

As mentioned above in Step 4, if you feel confident working everything out based on measurements alone, then go for it. Measurements alone are not my friend. I like to play around with the actual components and position everything in place to determine where I need to drill and join. So, this is how I went about attaching my doors (feel free to do whatever suits you)…

Drape the edging pegs over the bar then slot each door in place. Use a spacer (I just used a narrow timber off-cut) to hold the doors up off the floor at your desired clearance height.

Tip: If you find the arch in your pegs is too narrow for your doors, pry them open a little by leveraging them using your foot.

Once the pegs and doors are in exact position, mark the doors where the bolt holes need to be made (by inserting a pencil through the holes in the pegs). Remove the pegs and doors and drill the bolt holes in the doors (use a bit one size larger than the bolt).

Next, line up the holes in the doors with the holes in the pegs and push the bolts through. Fasten at the rear with a nut.

Rear of DIY Barn Doors

If your bolts overhang, you can trim them down with a grinder or hacksaw.

To get the doors on the bar, remove a few of the fastening screws (in my case, the central one along with the two on the right hand side) then slide the doors into position before re-attaching the screws.

Attaching the DIY Mini Barn Doors

Note: Depending on how accessible your space is, you may need to completely remove your bar to slide the doors on. Alternatively, you may be able to slide the doors on from each end. Just do whatever works best for your situation.

 

STEP 7 Finishing touches.

Due to the fact the existing cupboard doors abut the underside of the counter, and because the washing machine protrudes somewhat, I had no choice but to attach my doors to the face of the counter. As a result they sit further out than the existing cupboard doors which initially produced a relatively obvious gap when viewed side-on. To remedy this, I attached two plywood off-cuts to act as “blinkers”.

DIY Bran Doors Side Blinkers

They are screwed to the inside of the cupboards and, painted cream to co-ordinate, look just like part of the cabinetry.

Although it was part of my original plan, these doors have no floor guides or stays. I found that they hang neatly and glide smoothly as is, which I think can be somewhat attributed to their petite nature. If you found you had difficulty getting your doors to sit the way you wanted, or if they didn’t glide in a nice straight line, you could install some simple floor guides or stays, or even attach cute little wheels.

To finish, I coloured the screw and bolt heads to match my hardware. I just used a permanent marker though you could also paint them.

If needed, you can also touch-up any paint chips elsewhere on the doors or hardware.

STEP 8 Done!

DIY Budget Laundry Makeover with sliding barn doors

How to Make these DIY Sliding Barn Doors

DIY Mini Sliding Barn Doors

I don’t think I need to reiterate how stoked I am that this crazy, affordable, and not too tricky, project actually worked!

Love them!

END NOTES

:: Although these little doors work exceptionally well, I’m hesitant to recommend upping the scale unless you use larger pegs (so the doors can be thicker, thus less prone to waves or warps) and some sort of floor runner (to assist with smooth motion).

:: Some of my readers expressed concern about the “metal on metal” screeching which might arise from the opening and closing of the doors. I can honestly say that there is almost no sound at all!

:: I thought that the spray paint might chip easily though it’s holding up incredibly well. Like, really, really well! There is barely any sign of wear and these doors are opened and closed several times daily. I have used isopropyl alcohol a few times to clean metal prior to spray painting it and I think it makes a huge difference.

:: Not only do these doors work to conceal the presence of an unattractive appliance, though they are entirely practical. They glide with ease, don’t shake or rattle when the washing machine is in use (which surprised everyone!) and sit neatly side-by-side when closed. Don’t ask me how it all came together so well…maybe thanks to a gut-full of determination sprinkled with a hand-full of luck :)

Here are some before and afters just for context’s sake…

Budget Laundry Room Refresh

Budget Laundry Room Refresh

DIY Laundry Room with Farmhouse Shelves

I hope this tutorial inspires a few of you to give it a go!

Catch up on all the laundry room refresh projects here.

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How to make your own cheap and easy barn doors

PS If you’re an email subscriber of mine, you may have noticed a little change this week.

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How to Add Trim to Plain Doors

The “new” doors were one of the most commented on and asked about elements in the laundry room makeover.

Complete DIY Door Trim Tutorial

And, subtle as their redo was, they really did deserve the attention!

Although I was hopeful dressing them up with a bit of trim would inject fresh character, I was genuinely surprised by the impact they actually have in the space. They were even the first thing my husband commented on when he saw the refreshed room; “Gee, doesn’t this moulding make a difference?”.

“Why, yes it does!”.

DIY Budget Laundry Makeover with sliding barn doors

Great news is, it was a simple, affordable and relatively speedy project anyone can have a go at.

YOU WILL NEED…

DIY Door Trim Supplies

1 MOULDING/TRIM
I used 18mm/.7″ pine moulding though you can use whatever you like. If you’re planning on painting it, then you can even opt for a cheaper material, such as MDF or PVC – if you can find it in the profile you like. Before you purchase your moulding, check the lengths for straightness and any imperfections. Some pieces can be quite warped or have cracks, dents and knot holes.

2 WOOD GLUE
Any strong wood glue is fine. I used PVA. Glue isn’t essential though does help provide a more secure and consistent bond.

3 FINISHING NAILS
These are simply fine nails with small bullet heads designed to sink into wood. They leave no surface sign of the nail itself though sometimes produce a little hole which requires filling. I used nails which were only around 5mm/.2″ longer then the depth of my moulding. You can use glue alone though the nails make the project speedier (as they provide instant grip) and help with creating a certain bond.

4 FILLER
To patch any gaps, cracks or holes prior to painting. I used Selley’s ‘No More Gaps’ because that’s what I found in the shed.

5 PAINT
I used bright white in a semi-gloss finish to co-ordinate with the near-by doors and architraves. Of course, you can use whatever you like.

ALONG WITH…

MITRE SAW/HAND SAW & MITER BOX

PENCIL

TAPE MEASURE/RULER

SPIRIT LEVEL

MASKING TAPE

HAMMER

SANDPAPER

Dotted-Break

For the purpose of this tutorial, I’m attaching the trim to a door in an adjoining room (as I didn’t take progress pics when I completed the doors in the laundry room).
For clarity, I’ll outline my exact process though keep in mind there are heaps of different moulding styles and application methods you could choose to use instead.

Dotted-Break

STEP 1 Determine the placement and dimensions of your moulding.

Measure your door, along with the handle position, then roughly draw it down on paper, including all of the dimensions.

DIY Door Trim Before

Here’s mine…

How to Mould Doors

NOT TO SCALE

Note: Check your door for squareness. Measure horizontally across both the top and bottom. Measure vertically along both the left and right sides. If you notice any major discrepancy, be sure to account for it when you’re working out the dimensions for your moulding or it may look a bit askew.

Next, establish where you’d like your moulding to be positioned. You can place it wherever you feel it will look best. It doesn’t need to be centered or symmetrical and you can use three or four or five or more “panels” – just keep in mind the more complex you make the design the more complex you make the measurements, plus there is then also more cutting involved. If you’re not confident visualising your design, use some masking tape (or a pencil) to mark out the approximate placement on the door first. Once you’re happy, measure where the moulding needs to sit on the door.

Add your moulding to the drawing of the door and use all of the measurements you’ve taken to work out the lengths for each piece of moulding.

Here’s my finished drawing…

Adding Moulding to Doors

NOT TO SCALE

So, based on my measurements, all of my horizontal mouldings need to be 64cm/25″ (80cm/31″ minus 16cm/6″). My vertical mouldings vary due to the fact the door handle isn’t centered. The upper verticals need to be 94cm/37″ (110cm/43″ minus 16cm/6″). The lower verticals need to be 74cm/29″ (90cm/35″ minus 16cm/6″).

 

STEP 2 Trim moulding to length.

With all of the dimensions determined, it’s time to break out the saw!

The moulding needs to be mitered (trimmed on a 45 degree angle). For this you can use a power miter saw or simply a miter box and hand saw.

First, trim one tip off your length of moulding at 45 degrees to give you a starting point.

Door Molding Trim

Note: If your moulding has a stepped profile, like mine, pay attention to the direction it needs to sit on the door to ensure you are mitering it the right way. Don’t ask me why I know to double check this!

Next, from the longest point, measure out your required length and place a mark on the moulding where your next cut needs to be made.

Measuring Door Moulding

Note: Because my moulding is so narrow, I didn’t bother drawing a guide line. I simply marked it with a dash. If your moulding is particularly wide, for greater accuracy you may want to use a combination square to draw a 45 degree trim line to follow.

Remember, the length for your moulding is from longest point to longest point.

 How to Trim Molding

Finally, using the opposite miter to that of the first cut, trim your moulding to size.

Trimming Moulding

Here’s what a finished piece should look like…

Door Molding

Obviously, you want your piece of moulding to be accurately cut first go. However, if you’re not feeling super confident, err on the side of caution and go a tad bigger. You can always make another small cut if required. You can’t, however, add length if you happen to trim the moulding too short! And remember to account for the blade width.

Repeat this process until all of your pieces of moulding are cut to size. Check them for accuracy as you go.

To finish, if necessary, lightly sand the cut ends, being careful not to round the moulding too much.

Tip: Be mindful of the order in which you cut your pieces to best manage wastage. For example, rather than cut three 55cm/21″ pieces from a 2 meter/78″ length of moulding (thus resulting in 35cm/15″ of offcut), cut one 55cm/21″ piece and two 68cm/26″ pieces (resulting in just 9cm/5″ of offcut). Of course, these dimensions are just exemplary. It’s up to you to work out the best use of your moulding lengths based on your particular dimensions.

Tip: If you happen to run just short, you can piece together two offcuts to make up one whole piece. Simply cut them straight in the center then miter each end at the required length. When you attach them to the door, butt them neatly together and fill any gaps with caulk prior to painting.

 

STEP 3 Attach moulding to door.

Start with the top-most horizontal piece.

Based on your previously determined placement, measure down from the top and in from the edge of your door (8cm/3″ in my case) then mark that point with a pencil.

DIY Door Molding

Excuse my filthy ruler! #liquidnailsisreallythatsticky

Tip: If you’re planning on adding the same moulding to multiple doors of the same size, make a template so you don’t need to measure each time.

Smear the rear of your moulding with a sparing amount of wood glue.

DIY Door Molding Tutorial

Line up your length of moulding with your mark, use a spirit level to help gauge its straightness, then tape it securely in position (at this point you can also measure to double check the position is 100% accurate, especially if your door is hanging a tad crooked like mine).

How to Add Molding to Plain Doors

The piece of moulding looks a little wonky in the above pic, though it’s just the angle of the photo.

Hammer in three – five finishing nails along the length of the moulding then remove the tape. If necessary, wipe away excess glue and use a punch to countersink any proud nail heads.

Hammering in the Nails

Tip: I find it’s best to hammer in the central nail first. This allows you to swivel or manipulate the moulding if it happens to shift out of position.

Attaching Molding to Solid Doors

One piece down!

With the first length now attached, you can use it as an “anchor” to easily complete your moulding.

First, at the approximate place the lower piece of moulding will sit, measure in from both edges of the door and mark with a pencil (again, 8cm/3″ in my case).

Adding Molding to Doors

Smear the remaining three pieces of moulding with glue.

Next, starting with a vertical length, position it on the door using your pencil mark as a guide. Tape it in place temporarily.

Repeat with the second vertical length.

Adding Moulding to Doors

Again, it looks a little wonky, though it’s just the angle of the pic.

Finally, add the lower horizontal length. Make any small adjustments as required (use a spirit level or ruler if needed), then tape each piece securely in position.

How to Add Molding to Doors

Nail each piece of moulding to the door then remove the tape. If required, clean-up excess glue and countersink any nail heads.

DIY Door Moulding

Add the second “panel” using the same method as the first.

DIY Door Moulding How-To

You can glimpse the finished laundry room double doors in the above pic on the left.

Note: You could use wood glue alone and forgo the nails. You would just need to leave the tape in place until it dries completely. Conversely, you could use nails alone and forgo the glue. I like to use both because the nails provide instant and certain grip and the glue helps with a more secure and consistent bond. It’s really up to you.

 

STEP 4 Caulk and paint.

Once your door moulding is complete, fill any gaps or nail head holes with caulk, allow to dry then paint as desired.

Adding Trim to Interior Doors

As mentioned in the ‘Suppplies’ section, I freshened my door up with a few coats of bright white in a semi-gloss finish to co-ordinate with the near-by doors and architraves.

 

STEP 5 Done!

DIY Door Molding After

There is just something so satisfying about dressing-up a boring door with some trim!

DIY Interior Door Trim Before and After

And for only $14 per door, and around an hour of time, it’s sooooo totally worth it.

DIY Door Moulding

Budget Laundry Makeover with DIY Door Trim

The amount of character the moulding adds is amazing. It really gives the whole room, not just the doors themselves, a huge personality boost. Love it!

Anyhoo, I hope my ridiculously OTT tutorial encourages a few of you to give it a go too :)

Sorry it took me a while to get this how-to together. I wanted to make the post as thorough and clear as possible.

I’ll be back as soon as I can to share the tutorial for the little barn doors!

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You can find the laundry room refresh and all of the related projects here.

How to Add Trim to Doors

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DIY Farmhouse Wall Shelves…using hand-rail brackets

DIY Budget Laundry Shelves

You know when you have a design idea, though the details are all a bit hazy and there are way too many options to consider, so you go to the hardware store in hopes a magical product will jump out and make the style decision for you?

That’s pretty much what happened with these shelves.

I knew I wanted open shelves on the wall in my parent’s laundry room, however I didn’t have a clear vision of what they should look like. Nor, given the tight time-frame of the room makeover, did I have my usual luxury of spending days (or even weeks!) coming to a decision.

Enter my “just-choose-something-already” trip to the hardware store.

These were the brackets which first caught my eye as I was perusing the (rather dull, if I’m honest) offerings.

Black Handrail Bracket

They are actually hand-rail brackets – and rather pragmatic ones at that. Still, I liked their somewhat crude industrial form and the fact they weren’t traditional shelf brackets – they felt unique. I also thought they would tie-in nicely with the barn door hardware I was planning for the room. And, as a bonus, they were only $8 each!

If you like the idea of using hand-rail brackets yourself, turns out they are actually quite prolific and come in lots of styles and finishes…not to mention price-points! Here’s just a small selection I found during a quick online search…

Handrail Brackets as Shelf Brackets

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Note: Some handrail brackets are set on a slight angle. Ensure the ones you choose are at 90 degrees.

Aren’t the ones with the separate “U” clasps cute?

To compliment the brackets, and reference the new butcher-block style counter, I decided on simple timber shelves.

DIY Budget Laundry Makeover with sliding barn doors

Initially, I was loving the idea of reclaimed wood though whilst at the hardware store I just happened upon the perfect pine plank for only $14. To make the shelves I simply cut it down as required then stained both lengths to co-ordinate with the counter (I used Feast Watson ‘Old Baltic’ which I already had on hand).

DIY Handrail Bracket Shelves

Now, I never intended to share a full “how-to” for the installation of the shelves. I mean, it’s really not that interesting and is a pretty straight-forward DIY. That said, I do remember the last time I attempted to install shelves (#disaster #iblamescreamingchildren #Ialsoblamemysister), so here’s my basic process…

1 Determine approximately where you need your brackets to go then check the wall for any studs. If possible, adjust the placement slightly so that at least one bracket per shelf is in a stud. If installing into a stud isn’t an option for you, ensure you use appropriate plaster/drywall plugs to secure the brackets safely.

2 Once you have gauged the bracket placement, install one bracket, ensuring it is straight and level. Next, use a spirit level to determine the accurate placement of the second bracket. Whilst the bracket is in perfect position, accurately mark the screw points on the wall with a pencil or drill bit. If you’re fortunate enough to have a second person around, it can make things easier.

3 Once the second bracket is installed, place the shelf on top then mark the screw points from the underside with a pencil. Remove the shelf to drill the pilot holes then reposition and attach with screws.

Tip: If your screws aren’t the same colour/material as your brackets, once installed colour the heads with a permanent marker to match. That’s exactly what I did!

Tip: As with any hardware which requires multiple screws, I don’t like to fully tighten the screws until they are all in place. I find this just provides some wriggle room for getting the hardware and screw head positions properly aligned.

DIY Farmhouse Shelves with Handrail Brackets

I realise that’s a pretty blunt summary, though let me know if you have any questions :)

To style the shelves I used a selection of pretty, budget-friendly laundry/powder room-ish accessories.

DIY Farmhouse Style Shelves

Glass Jars (Ikea)
Wooden Hand (eBay)
Hand Towels (H&M)
Mortar & Pestle, Marble Canister, Lotion Bottles (Kmart)
Everything Else (Thrifted)

So, for just over $20 per shelf, and less than an hour of my time, I managed to create a really cool focal point. Yay to that!

DIY Laundry Room with Farmhouse Shelves

DIY Budget Laundry Makeover with sliding barn doors

See the entire laundry room makeover here.

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PS I didn’t win the laundry refresh contest though thanks to your votes I came in a respectable fourth place, plus my parent’s have a “new” laundry room they absolutely love, so in many ways I did win really! Thanks so, so much to everyone who took the time to vote for me.

PPS For those of you have been following me for a while, you might be interested to hear that my eldest started school yesterday! Do you remember when I was decorating her nursery? That was just last week, wasn’t it?

$20 DIY Farmhouse Shelves using Hand-Rail Brackets!

 

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DIY Vintage Style Glass Decal…with free printable

You guys!

I was totally overwhelmed by the response to my laundry room makeover. Thank you all so, so much for the sweet comments, and for your votes! Although I’m not sure I can compete with some of the other super talented and popular contenders, it’s been heartening to see my numbers grow and I might still have a chance. You guys are the best!

Now, as promised, I’m back to start sharing more details about some of the DIY projects in the space and thought I’d begin with one of the most asked about elements – the glass door decal.

DIY "Through to Garden" Decal...and free printable

This was a really easy and affordable project which packs a heap of vintage punch.

I’ve been wanting to embellish a glass door for a while now so deciding to add a decal was a no-brainer. Settling on the graphic, however, was a little more tricky. I went back and forth between lots of ideas though kept coming back to a “beer garden” type feel. I almost wanted it to look like the door had been salvaged from an old hotel or something and just happened to suit its new home.

Anyhoo, here’s how I did it…

DIY Vintage Style Glass Window Decal

You can find my graphic as a free download at the end of this post.

I used Photoshop however you can use almost any word processing or image editing program you like (please refer to my note below for some info about possible restrictions). The font I used is Copperplate Gothic Bold and I found the directional hand on a free clip art site. If my graphic isn’t right for you, and you’re not sure about designing your own, you can also search online for a free or premium digital one to use.

Note: Not all image types and file formats are supported by all vinyl cutting machines. ‘Raster‘ images (such as JPG, PNG and GIF) may not perform as well as ‘Vector‘ images (such as SVG, EPS and DRW). If you intend to use your own desktop vinyl cutter check the options first. If you plan to engage the services of a professional, inquire about what is accepted and/or whether they can help if needed. If you find you have a graphic which doesn’t comply, it may be able to be made compatible through the use of conversion software. I have offered a few different versions of my free printable to (hopefully!) cover all bases.

Step 2 DIY Vintage Glass Door Decal

Due to the nature of my particular design, I needed (well, wanted) to use two forms of decal; a vinyl decal (for the text portion – including the dots and underscore) and a waterslide decal (for the hand). I decided to use a vinyl decal for the text portion because it’s crisp and clean and has no carrier film. I used a waterslide decal for the hand because the image was too intricate to be cut from vinyl, plus it would have been almost impossible to “weed” out neatly.

CREATING THE VINYL DECAL (FOR THE TEXT COMPONENT)

If you have a domestic vinyl cutting machine (like a Cricut or Silhouette) you can simply use that. As I don’t have a machine I enlisted Vivid Wall Decals to cut the vinyl on my behalf. Custom vinyl cutting is a very common and super affordable service. My decal cost just $8.

CREATING THE WATERSLIDE DECAL (FOR THE HAND ILLUSTRATION)

Creating the waterslide decal is pretty easy. You just need a sheet of waterslide decal paper and a printer. Waterslide decal paper can be found online or in some craft/hobby stores. Be sure to purchase the “clear” paper in either “inkjet” or “laser” to suit your particular printer. Here’s how to make the decal…

How to Make Waterslide Decals

1 Print onto the smooth side of the waterslide decal paper and allow the ink to completely set (around 30 minutes).

2 Depending on the brand of waterslide decal paper you use, you will probably also need to seal the decal. For this, you can either mist with a few light coats of clear sealer OR laminate with some magic coating paper (find my tutorial about using magic coating paper here). As this decal is being used purely for decorative purposes, spray sealer should provide ample protection.

Note: I’ve never personally used it, however I believe Lazertran waterslide decal paper does not require sealing.

3 That’s it!

Step 3 DIY Glass Decal

Because I didn’t stop to take notes and photos when I applied my decal to the door, for the purpose of this tutorial, I’m using picture frame glass (which is also a cute alternative if you don’t have a door or window to apply the decal to). 

APPLYING THE VINYL DECAL

If you purchase your decal from a supplier, they will include full instructions. If you have your own cutting machine, you’re probably an application pro already!

Vinyl decals generally come in three layers; backing liner (to conceal the sticky surface of the adhesive sheet), vinyl decal (the actual graphic), adhesive sheet (to help with the accurate placement of the decal). The process is pretty straightforward…

How to Apply Vinyl Decals

1 Ensure your surface is clean.

2 Fix the decal in position by running a length of masking tape, to act as a hinge, along the top edge.

How to Apply Vinyl Decals

3 Hinge the decal out and peel the backing liner down a few inches (shout out to my little daughter for being my hand model here – I told her we were making a sign to a Troll’s garden dance party!).

4 Continue peeling back the liner, a little at a time, and smoothing on the adhesive sheet with a credit card as you go.

How to Apply Vinyl Decals

5 Once the backing liner is completely removed, the adhesive sheet should be fully affixed. Smooth over the underlying vinyl decal with the credit card, ensuring it is well adhered.

6 Remove the masking tape and gradually peel back the adhesive sheet, keeping it on a tight angle to the surface. The vinyl decal should remain affixed. You can rub with a credit card as you go if needed.

7 That’s it!

APPLYING THE WATERSLIDE DECAL

Unlike vinyl decals, which are silhouette cut, waterslide decals have a carrier film which results in a slightly translucent background. On opaque objects the film becomes almost invisible though I wasn’t sure how it would look on the glass with the light shining through it. Although it does have a slightly frosted appearance, it actually works really well, almost like the hand has skin. Applying the decal is super simple…

How to Use Waterslide Decals

1 Cut as neatly and closely as possible around the image.

2 Immerse in lukewarm water for 30 – 60 seconds until the paper layer begins to release (the decal will probably curl though don’t worry about that). Leave the paper attached at this stage.

How to Use Waterslide Decals

3 Position the decal as desired, with the paper layer on the underside, then gently slide the paper out. This can be fiddly and the decal will probably move around and might crease a little though it can be easily repositioned and flattened whilst still wet.

4 Use a soft damp cloth or small rubber squeegee to smooth out any air bubbles and creases, working from the center out.

5 That’s it!

Step 4

DIY Glass "Garden" Decal Tutorial...with free printable

Waterslide Decal Detail

The picture frame turned out really cute though I adore the amount of charm the decal lends the door.

How to Transfer Images onto Glass

Door Makeover with Vintage Decal Before and After

The new paint colour on the door is “Green Result” by British Paints.

Especially with all the greenery behind it.

How to Transfer onto Glass...with free printable

Mum and I kept standing back and saying “Wow, that actually looks really, really cool!”. I think we stared at it for about ten minutes! Ha, ha.

The vinyl decal is deeper in colour and a tad sharper than the waterslide decal though they still work really well together.

And, in case you’re worried, the glass door even looks charming from the backside too…

DIY Vintage Door Decal (from the rear)

Although it is tricky to photograph!

You can download your free printable below.

Free Printable Vintage Door Decal

Note: I’ve created a folder complete with PDF, JPG and EPS files, including left and right versions of the hand. Choose the right file for your intended use.

If you don’t have an appropriate glass door or window, you can apply the decal to almost any smooth surface using the same method I’ve described above. Or, you can do as I have for the tutorial and use the glass in a picture frame. Another option is to simply print the graphic onto regular paper and pop it into a frame, or create your own custom sign (I have a tutorial for that here). The possibilities are almost endless.

Have fun!

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Free for personal non-commercial use only.

DIY Vintage Style Glass Decal Tutorial...with free printable

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A Budget-Friendly Laundry Room Refresh

DIY Budget Laundry Makeover with sliding barn doors

Well, hello there!

Remember me?

Sorry I disappeared for a few weeks.

I know it probably seems like I was doing little more than enjoying the summer sun, however, amidst sipping rosé and splashing in the ocean waves (which, let’s face it, are obligatory tasks), some serious decorating has actually been going on!

Just prior to Christmas I was asked to participate in a room refresh competition for Angie’s List. Although I wasn’t super keen about “contending” (#insecure), it sounded like a fun project and was a great motivator.

I had around five days and just $500 to transform a laundry room from blah to beautiful – this was my kinda challenge (well, minus the tight time-frame…I think we all know how awesome I am with tight time-frames!).

Given my laundry room is in need of much more than a mere “refresh”, I decided to recruit my parent’s space. Not only did their room have more potential, though enlisting a second party meant I also got a free labourer – thanks mum! Nothing like having a grateful lackey to do all the boring jobs. Ha, ha!

I’ve been hanging out to share this project and am so excited it’s finally go time!

Here’s what I started with…

Laundry Room Makeover Before

Laundry Room Refresh Before

Laundry Room Makeover Before

Laundry Powder Room Before

Laundry Room Redo Before

Utilitarian much? Thing is though, it needn’t have been. There is ample cupboard space available to house all of the unattractive necessities.

And, aside from the fact it’s clearly a functioning laundry room, it also acts as a powder room of sorts to service the adjacent water closet. This means it’s often used by guests. The real kicker however is that this space is off a main hallway in the house and is completely open! Yep, with no dedicated door (or even doorway!) this laundry room isn’t even it’s own “room” at all.

So, given the time-frame and budget (plus my weird need to dodge avoidable mess and work!) the plan was simple…prettify this space by making the most of as much as possible.

Given the go-go-go of it all, I didn’t really have a chance to stop and share progress posts as I went. Instead, I’ll be back soon with some tutorials and source lists. In the meantime, you can read a bit more about my ideas and processes over on Angie’s List.

Anyhoo, here’s the room now…

DIY Budget Laundry Makeover with sliding barn doors

DIY Budget Laundry Makeover with sliding barn doors

DIY Budget Laundry Makeover

DIY Budget Laundry Makeover with sliding barn doors

DIY Budget Laundry Makeover with sliding barn doors

Pretty Powder Room/Laundry Room

Laundry Makeover with DIY Vintage Door Decal

DIY Door Moulding

DIY Budget Laundry Shelves

Laundry/Powder Room Vignette

Powder Room Basin

Just a tad more appealing!

It can be tempting to throw the baby out with the bathwater, though as you can see, I kept the cabinets, tiles and flooring and dragged them all out of the past with some fresh and thoughtful “accompaniments”. Breathing new life into the existing elements in a room is one of my favourite ways to redecorate.

I’m so, so proud of the way this space came together. Mum and I did all of the work ourselves and chuckled from time-to-time about our new careers in plumbing and carpentry!

Here are a few side-by-side before and afters for comparison’s sake…

Budget Laundry Room Refresh

Budget Laundry Room Refresh

Budget Friendly Laundry/Powder Room Refresh

DIY Door Makeover with Moulding

DIY Laundry Room Barn Doors

Powder/Laundry Room Basin Before and After

Laundry/Powder Room Refresh

Like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t participate in this campaign for the competition aspect, though I am up against nine other talented, and popular, bloggers. To save me from looking like a total loser, if you like what I’ve created, I wouldn’t hate it if you have time to stop by and give me a vote (it’s just one click, well, technically two).

Vote for Me

VOTING HAS NOW CLOSED

I know this isn’t a spectacular transformation though it was a fast and fun budget-friendly one. I really hope you like it and that it helps inspire.

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UPDATE
You can now find tutorials and further information about the projects in the space here.

DIY Budget-Friendly Laundry Room Refresh

 

 

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