A Virtual Cottage Kitchen Redesign…which plan do you prefer?

I should be concentrating on finishing my little girl’s bedroom…or sharing my next batch of free farmhouse style quote art (I know many of you guys are hanging out for these – don’t worry, they’re coming really soon!)…though last week I accidentally got lost designing a kitchen instead!

Over the Easter break we were lucky to be invited to stay with friend’s at their little beach house. It’s a traditional 60’s fibro in near original condition and sorely in need of a new kitchen. Our friends mentioned they were keen to renovate, though weren’t quite sure how exactly. Basically, as is usually the case, they were having trouble visualising things. So, me being me (that is, a slightly obsessed decoraholic with zero willpower or desire to ignore a design dilemma!), I offered to play around with some ideas in my 3D rendering program.

Here’s how the space currently looks…

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before

As you can see, the kitchen is part of an open plan room incorporating the dining area and living space. It’s clean, homey and useable though dated, worn and cramped. There’s no pantry or dishwasher, no housing for the rubbish bins or microwave, no ventilation for the stove, the ceiling lights are unattractive fluoros, and the pokey cabinets and tiered counter fail to make the most of the available space. Sadly, there’s little scope for a mere cosmetic refresh here. This is a total gut job!

Along with retaining the current ‘U’ shaped configuration I also played around with the idea of an ‘L’ with a separate island.



Kitchen 1

Kitchen 3D Rendering

Cottage Kitchen Virtual Plan

Kitchen 3D Plan


Cottage Kitchen Design

Cottage Kitchen 3D Rendering

L Shaped Kitchen

L Shaped Kitchen Rendering

Which one do you prefer?

I like them both. The open and contemporary feel of the ‘L’ appeals to me though I think the ‘U’ perhaps sits more comfortably in the space. Does that make sense? It just seems a little more natural.

Also, it’s easy to miss though the ‘U’ accommodates more seating at the counter than the ‘L’ does at the island. I couldn’t make the island any longer or there would be no space to open the fridge or place the dining table. Plus, the ‘U’ allows for a longer dining table as the kitchen cabinets don’t protrude into the dining zone as they do in the ‘L’.


L v U Shaped Kitchen

As I never fully discussed all of the specifications for the space with our friends, I’ve taken total creative license with these designs! Of course, everything is merely suggestive and open to customisation as desired. Let’s face it, when it comes to decorating taste is subjective and the possibilities are endless!

I used a neutral base of white accented with bluey-charcoal and red. I’m not usually a red person though for some reason I love pops of it in a cosy cottage space, especially when paired with bluey-charcoal. The over-all vibe is classic cottage meets modern industrial – or something like that.

One thing our friends did mention was that they were considering a dark counter so I created another plan with black soapstone in place of the white marble…

Kitchen with Dark Counter

Do you prefer the contrast the dark counter offers? Or do you like the harmony of an all white kitchen?


Dark v Light Counters

Again, I like both and there’s really no right or wrong here. It’s just a preference thing. I think I would choose the light counter.

Anyhoo, here are some before and afters just for comparison’s sake…


B and A


Kitchen Before and After

I had so much fun playing around with this kitchen and it’s lovely to be able to offer our friends a visual guide before they dive into renovating. Hope you like it!


If you’d like some design help for a room in your home, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Super Affordable DIY Wall Decals…using clear sticker paper

How to Make Your Own Cheap Custom Wall Decals

If you follow me socially, you might have read that over the next week or two I’ve decided to focus on finally finishing my little girl’s bedroom!

It’s been 90% done for the past two years though for some reason I’ve been struggling to get it “complete-complete”.

If I’m honest, I’ve probably been putting-off sharing it here because; 1) it’s a tiny little space with some weird angles which makes it almost impossible to photograph, 2) I used a bold-ish pattern on the curtains (bold-ish patterns are not my strong suit) and ever since have been struggling to reconcile the best bedding combo, and 3) I have this problem with part-time perfectionism.

I know. I know. Those are crazy excuses, right? Which is exactly why I’ve decided to finally get it done already! Starting with the dull solid core door.

For a while now I’ve been wanting to jazz-up the rear of the door. Originally, I was simply going to paint it, or add some basic off-the-shelf decals (which would have been fine), though then I saw some gorgeous wallpaper which got me thinking.

Jackalope Wallpaper

The Legend of the Jackalope from Walls Need Love

My daughter adores animals, particularly bunnies, and surely there was a way to replicate the feel of this wallpaper without spending $140 (AUD) on the actual product. After all, I’m talking about decorating the rear of a door here. The least cashola I can spend, the better, right?

Anyhoo, here’s what I decided to do…

Although I’ve used a door for my particular project, of course you could also use a larger area (such as a wall or ceiling) or a smaller area (such as an artist’s canvas or piece of furniture). You could even attach these DIY decals to decorator items, such as glassware or ceramics. Additionally, I decided to DIY my decals because I wanted to create something super affordable that was also completely custom – plus, I just like experimenting with, and sharing, new ideas. A few different options I considered which you could possible employ instead were; using a rubber stamp, using actual decal paper, using paper decoupage, using a professional service to print and die-cut my stickers for me, using a stencil, using an image transfer method. All that said, I like my method and would certainly do it again :)


DIY Wall Decal Supplies


This stuff comes in inkjet or laser (to suit your particular printer) and sometimes might be labelled gloss or matte. It also comes in super affordable or crazily expensive so shop around to make sure you get a good deal. I found mine here on eBay for around 60 cents per sheet. I’ve seen others for as much as $2.50 per sheet.


Obviously, this can be anything you want. I found several different downloadable bunny illustrations on Etsy then my daughter chose her favourite. Of course she picked the most intricate one! I’m not gonna lie, trimming around the antlers was kinda painful, and if I was going to do this project again I’d choose something simpler. That said, it was completely do-able for the small-ish area I covered. If you plan to cover a large area I would definitely suggest using an image which is easy to trim around – it will just make the project feel like less of a chore.

You can find the jackalope I used here on Etsy for just $3.








Making DIY Wall Decals

STEP 1 Print your image onto your sticker paper.

First, decide what size you’d like your decals to be then re-scale, duplicate (if needed) and arrange your image to fit nicely on a standard A4/Letter sized sheet of paper. I used Photoshop for this though you could just as easily do it in Word. Next, print onto your clear sticker paper as per the supplied directions. As I wanted my bunnies to face both left and right on the door, I mirrored the printing as required.

How to Make DIY Wall Decals

STEP 2 Trim as closely as possible around your printed image.

Using a nice sharp pair of scissors, trim around your image. The idea is to have no discernible border. Yes, I realise the clear sticker paper is transparent and pretty much invisible, however for best results you still want as little border as possible. Like I mentioned earlier, cutting around the antlers was somewhat tedious so when you’re selecting your image, bear in mind how easy it is to trim around, especially if you need to cut out a heap. All up, it probably took me almost two hours (on-and-off) to cut all of my jackalopes out.

DIY Wall Decal Tutorial

STEP 3 Measure and mark your surface.

You can be as thorough or casual as you like when it comes to working out your decal placement. I went with casual. Staring from the top of the door I simply measured down as required, drew a horizontal guideline (to ensure my row would be nice and straight), then went from there. For each subsequent row I drew a new horizontal guideline though aside from that I just eyed the placement of the decals.

If you’d like to be more thorough, consider where the pattern will start and end (to help with symmetry and avoid cut-offs), and take into account any possible obstacles you might like to avoid – you may notice that I had to trim one of my decals to fit around the door handle though this was easy and I think it actually helps make the pattern look more integrated. For complete accuracy you can draw a grid or create a template to help with consistent spacing.

In other news, I really need to get a less filthy ruler to use for my tutorial pics!

How to Make Your Own Custom Wall Decals

STEP 4 Attach your decals to your surface.

Using your markings as a guide, begin attaching your decals as desired. Simply peel off the backing paper, hold your decal in place, press it down with your fingers then smooth it on firmly using a clean cloth (try to avoid rubbing with your hands as any oil or moisture from your skin may smudge the fresh ink). This was super easy. The sticker paper I used was repositionable and didn’t stick to itself. Try to attach the decals a few millimeters away from any pencil lines – this will just make it easier to erase them in the next step.

DIY Wall Decals at Home

STEP 5 Erase pencil marks.

With all of the decals in place, use an eraser to remove any pencil marks.

DIY Block Printed Style Door Decals

STEP 6 Voila!

I’m so thrilled with the way this turned out! I was conscious they might look like just a bunch of stickers though they actually look like legit decals!

DIY Wall Decals

I think the success lies in the attention when trimming so do try and take your time.

Yes, it’s a pretty full-on design though that’s why I used the rear of the door. It’s a fun, bold pop that’s discreetly enough positioned so as not to overwhelm the little room.

How to Make Your Own Wall Decals

I considered sealing the stickers, to protect the ink and integrate them into the door, though decided against it as the ink seems well and truly set and they are perfectly adhered. I guess if I do happen to notice any problems I can always seal them at a later stage.

Note: If you do intend to seal your decals, I would recommend spraying with a clear acrylic sealer first. This will protect the ink (especially if you used an inkjet printer), providing a barrier of sorts to prevent ink “pick-up” (and subsequent running or smearing) when you brush over the decals with your clear acrylic sealer.

DIY Decals using Sticker Paper

I also considered adding a few half decals to make the pattern look a bit more continuous, like wallpaper, though in the end I didn’t think it was needed – and, if I’m honest, I couldn’t face the thought of having to cut around any more antlers!

DIY Custom Wall Decals Using Sticker Paper

I’m not certain if these decals will damage the paint when it comes time to remove them in the future. I did do a test and the decal I removed came off cleanly though that was after it’d only been attached for a few days. Based on the type of adhesive they appear to have I would assume they should be fine though regardless I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. Let’s face it, when it’s finally time to remove them the surface will surely be due for a fresh coat of paint anyways!

All up this project cost me around $16. That includes the sticker paper, printer ink and the graphic I purchased. This means each decal totalled less than 50 cents! Not bad for a serious punch of pattern that my daughter absolutely adores!

Hope you like it and can use this idea somewhere in your own home :)


Catch-up on all of the design ideas and previous projects from Charlotte’s room here.

How to Make Your Own Cheap Wall Decals



Easy DIY Faux Multi-Drawer Cabinet Hack…using peel and stick flooring!

DIY Faux Multi Drawer Cabinet...using peel and stick planks!

Don’t you love it when an idea simply pops into your head?

That’s just what happened with this sideboard makeover.

I was about to cut down a sheet of thin plywood to create some faux drawer fronts when I suddenly stopped.

“Hey, peel and stick floorboards are about the same thickness as this plywood”, I thought. “Why don’t I try using them instead? They can be trimmed with a utility knife so I can share a cool ‘power tool free’ method anyone can have a go at!”.




Faux Drawer Sideboard Supplies

You can affix faux drawer fronts to lots of different furniture items. From a dresser to an armoire to a nightstand, the options are almost endless. However, there are some attributes which will make things easier and produce better, more authentic-looking results. See my list of “What to Look For” towards the end of this post for some hints and tips.

I used a laminate office sideboard I found on eBay for just $35. Yes, that orange beast in the above pic is the actual piece of furniture I started with.

Now, I could pretend I bought this sideboard just last month. And that I refurbished it within a reasonable time-frame. ‘Cause, you know, that’s just how I roll.

Truth be told, it was sitting in my parent’s garage for almost three years before I even looked at it. ‘Cause, you know, that’s actually how I roll.

I bought it just after I finished this faux drawer DIY because I had a hankering for another similar project. Turns out my hankering wasn’t particularly pressing!

Of course you can use whatever style you like. I went with Senso Self Adhesive Vinyl Planks in Rustic Walnut which I found at Bunnings. These have an amazing texture and look incredibly legit. Although the packet isn’t super cheap at around $60 I only used half so technically my faux drawers cost just $30, plus I still have plenty of boards left-over for another project! In the past I’ve used thicker products (generally 6mm/0.2″ plywood) to create faux drawer fronts however I needed something thin in this case to allow the doors to continue to swing freely (so as not to catch when opened) and to sit within the recess of the side panels (so as not to protrude and expose the ends).

I used some left-over paint I already had. It’s Dulux Aquanamel in a navy colour called ‘Diplomat’. Of course, you can use whatever you like.

Little knobs and label holders can be found in lots of places for super cheap nowadays. Etsy, eBay and AliExpress all have a good range, as do many discount cabinet hardware stores. I got my brass knobs from AliExpress (for just 20 cents a piece) and the label holders from eBay (for around 10 cents each). I also used three cup pulls which I also bought from eBay (for 60 cents each).


I was a bad blogger and didn’t take progress pics of every stage of this project. That said, I’ll do my best to explain things as clearly as possible.


STEP 1 Measure, trim and attach faux drawer fronts.

Decide how many drawers you’d like and their sizes. I went with ten drawers per door in a graduated formation; five small ones at the top, four medium ones in the center then one large one at the base. The large drawer front not only works to add interest, though also covers the toe-kick.

DIY Faux Flat File Cabinet

When you’re working out the dimensions, remember to account for an approximate 2mm/.1″ gap in between each drawer. Also, be sure to consider the width of your peel and stick planks. Obviously, you want as little wastage as possible and can save yourself some trimming.

Because my sideboard had a continuous bank of doors with no dividing verticals, the first thing I did was add two pieces of trim to break-up the drawers. Obviously, if your item of furniture already has dividers, or if you simply don’t mind if your faux drawers join, then you don’t need to worry about this extra step. To make them I simply cut down a length of pine moulding, painted them to co-ordinate with the body of the sideboard then glued them to the edge of both end doors. As with the base drawer, they also extend down over the toe-kick.

DIY Flat File Cabinet

Due to the vertical dividers, the two flanking doors are slightly narrower than the central door though this doesn’t detract from the look of the drawers at all.

Once you’re happy with the drawer dimensions you’ve decided on, cut down the planks with a utility (stanley) knife as needed, using a steel ruler as a guide. Once the score line is deep enough the plank should simply snap apart. It’s pretty quick and easy though you do need to concentrate somewhat to ensure your lines are nice and straight.

Cutting Vinyl Planks for Faux Drawers

Note: You’ll probably notice that the cut edges of your faux drawers have a white-ish grey appearance. If you like, you can colour them at this stage using a permanent marker, or some paint or stain, to co-ordinate with the surface tone of the planks. Otherwise, you could simply leave them or colour them black in Step 4.

I was keen to simply peel and stick these straight to my doors though I found there just wasn’t enough grip for them to adhere properly. They seemed to attach nicely to begin with though after a little while some areas began to wave and bow out. This may be because my piece of furniture was slippery laminate, or simply because the boards are designed to be adhered to a horizontal surface. Regardless, I decided to add a few dobs of liquid nails to each faux drawer to ensure a firm bond (I knew attaching the handles would help hold them in place too though I didn’t want to rely solely on those few screw points).

Tip: For ease, you can remove the doors and lay them flat whilst you’re attaching the faux drawers.

As mentioned earlier, the base faux drawer also works to conceal the toe-kick. To achieve this I simply extended it (and the vertical divider) over the toe-kick, so it’s longer than the actual door. The top half of the faux drawer is attached to the bottom of the actual door, the lower half of the faux drawer simply sits over the toe-kick. To cover the exposed adhesive and give the faux drawer more stability I attached some thick card to the rear of the over-hanging section.

Faux Drawer Toe-Kick Cover

The last thing I did at this stage was add a proper base and some little feet.

DIY Faux Drawer Cabinet

Obviously, this isn’t essential and depends on the design of your particular piece of furniture and the look you personally want. To do this I cut down a plank of pine and attached it to the base of my sideboard along the front. I then cut down two smaller pieces from the same pine plank and attached them to the base along each side. To finish, I cut down a square length of pine to create four simple little feet and screwed them to the new base.


STEP 2 Paint.

Remove the doors (if you haven’t already) and paint your piece of furniture as desired. As mine is laminate I sanded it thoroughly and used a good primer before applying two top coats.

Faux Multi-Drawer Cabinet using Vinyl Flooring!

The vertical divider appears to over-hang the side of the door in this pic. I think this is because the edge of it looks darker which has created the illusion of a shadow. It’s actually flush with the door.

Along with painting the entire body, I also painted the edge of the doors to ensure none of the original orange laminate could be seen peeking-out from around the sides.


STEP 3 Attach hardware.

This is when it all starts to come together!

If, like me, you have a million handles and holders to attach this step can get tedious. Don’t feel like you need to do it all in one go.

DIY Faux Fat File Cabinet with Brass Handles

A cardboard template can make things quicker and more accurate. And, as always, I recommend drilling pilot holes for all screws, even the tiny baby ones. It just makes things easier (although the vinyl is pretty easy to screw into). Ensure you use a drill bit one or two sizes smaller than the screw itself for any pilot holes.

Tip: Check for any obstacles which might interfere with your hardware placement, such as hinges or internal shelves.


STEP 4 Finishing touches.

Use a long-tipped black marker or fine paint brush to colour the gaps between the faux drawers black.

Painting the Drawer Gaps

Of course, if your doors were already black or very dark you don’t need to worry about this step. My doors were basically bright orange!

Note: I chose not to paint my doors before applying the planks because I was concerned the laminate wouldn’t hold the paint well enough. If I had painted my doors first, then the planks would essentially have been attached to the surface paint, not the doors themselves, and I figured it was likely that the adhesive on the planks would easily pull the paint straight off. You could paint your doors first if they are made from something which will take the paint well.

As mentioned earlier, you can also colour the edges of the planks at this stage if you like. Any excess ink or paint should wipe off the vinyl with ease so keep a damp cloth on hand.

To complete the project, fill the label holders. You could hand-write your labels though I decided to print some letters and numbers onto aged paper.

DIY Faux Flat File...using peel and stick planks!

STEP 5 Done!

DIY Multi-Drawer Cabinet...using vinyl peel and stick planks!

I couldn’t be happier with the way this all came together!

Faux Drawer Cabinet Before and After

At first I was questioning my choice of paint colour (which was merely a left-over I figured I may as well use), though all styled-up it actually works really well!

I particularly love the way the faux drawers have slightly imperfect edges which mimic the rusticity of their finish.

DIY Faux Fat File Cabinet with Brass Handles

Oh, and just in case you’re worried, opening the doors is a cinch. The little handles are easy to clasp and the doors swing really easily, no matter where you grab them from.

Faux Multi-Drawer Cabinet using Vinyl Flooring!

All up this project cost me around $60 (minus the price of my sideboard) which I think was definitely worth it. Such a difference!

As mentioned above, if you’re interested in having a go at a project like this, there are some furniture attributes which can make things easier and produce better looking results…


:: CONCEALED HINGES Obviously, if you’re trying to pretend a cabinet with doors is actually comprised of drawers, you don’t want visible hinges giving the jig up.

:: SLIGHTLY RECESSED DOORS You need some space for the faux drawers to nestle into so that their ends aren’t visible.

:: DIVIDING VERTICALS This is a matter of personal preference though I think cabinets like this look more authentic if the drawer rows are segregated.

:: FLAT PANEL DOORS For obvious reasons, it works best to attach the faux drawers to a nice flat surface. Doors with raised mouldings or engraved details may not work as well.

This sideboard will be used in my parent’s bedroom retreat to store all of mum’s sewing stuff. If you noticed the stenciled floor, you can read a bit more about that here. I’ve actually been working on refreshing this room for the past five-ish years. Isn’t that ridiculous? It’s a tiny space though mum keeps changing her mind about what it “needs to do”. Yes, let’s just blame her ;) I definitely think this is the year to get it done though. Right?

I love doing these faux multi-drawer cabinets and am already looking forward to my next one. I want to do something massive with heaps of really skinny drawers. Finger crossed it doesn’t take me three years to get around to it this time!

DIY Multi-Drawer Cabinet Makeover using peel and stick planks!



You can find my previous faux drawer makeovers here…

DIY Flat File Drawers Flat Pack Hack


DIY Over-Size Book Page Quote Art…with free printables!

Large Scale Book Quote Art FREE Printables!

You can now purchase your very own CUSTOM quote art sign here.

I’m so excited to finally share this project with you guys!

I started dreaming-up this DIY and designing these free printables almost two years ago (yes, you read right, two years ago) after I published this post about my little DIY quote art sign.

Don’t ask me why it’s taken me sooooo long to finally get the project and printables done. Seriously, don’t ask me. I honestly have no decent answer :)

Anyhoo, I got there in the end, right? And I’m loving the way everything turned out.

I was inspired by some of the large farmhouse style book page quote signs I had seen on Pinterest…

Large-Scale Book Page Art

Fable & Flame | Unknown

Some Googling around revealed that this style of wall art isn’t exactly cheap. Like around $400 not cheap. Yikes! Surely I could do a bit better than that.

All up this project cost me about $40 though you could easily do it for under $10 if you’re feeling extra thrifty. I’ve included some savvy tips and tricks in the info below.




There are heaps of places which offer printing services. If you’re not certain where to start looking, check out your local office supplies store or have a Google around for “print and copy services”. I’ve also seen some super affordable printing services being offered through eBay. You can visit a store in person or use an online upload interface. I personally prefer the ease and convenience of uploading my artwork online then having my print delivered directly to my door. This is maybe because my nearest print store isn’t exactly near-by.

For ease, I’ve designed these printables to fit within standard large poster frames (60cm x 90cm/24″ x 36″) however you may reduce or enlarge the size within reason to suit your particular needs (be aware that excessive re-sizing can result in a poor quality print).

You should be able to find a service which will print a full colour, large poster-sized print on decent paper for around $15 – $40. I used the Officeworks Colour Poster printing service. If you’re interested in making this project even more budget friendly, you could opt for a black and white engineering/plan print on bond paper for as little as $2 (you could then add some colour with a tea-stain, or similar). Alternatively, you could have it printed at premium quality onto a specialty material, such as canvas, for anywhere from $50 – $150. The options are almost endless.

For further printing information refer to my Free Printables series.



As mentioned above, to make things super easy for you guys, I’ve designed these printables to fit perfectly within standard large (60cm x 90cm/24″ x 36″) poster frames. If you’re unsure where to find large poster frames, check out your local dollar and discount department stores, do a quick Google search or head into Ikea – they have a few to choose from.

Of course, you can always DIY your own farmhouse style custom frame if you’d prefer (refer to my tutorial here – you simply need to up the scale and choose your desired framing wood), or use a thrifted frame as long as the aspect-ratio is compatible. You could also simply top-and-tail the print itself with some dowels and add a cute twine hanger to make a simple wall chart.

For the purpose of this blog post, I framed my printable in a standard large poster frame I found for $15 at a local discount variety store.

Poster Frame Before

The faux wood frame was a little too perfect for my liking so I decided to attempt a farmhouse style makeover. I distressed it to make it look like reclaimed wood (I simply scratched it up with a serrated knife and banged it with some nails before lightly sanding it – similar to what I did here) then I stained it a warm brown.

Distressed Farmhouse Sign Frame

I wasn’t sure how the laminate would respond to being distressed and stained though it actually worked really, really well!

For an authentic ‘sign’ look, I also removed the glass and affixed my print directly to the backing board using spray adhesive.




I’m offering eight printables in total; four different quotes in both sepia and chalkboard. As mentioned above, these are high resolution, large-scale images.

I chose these quotes because they’re a little bit unusual and something about them just spoke to me. I especially love the ‘Cherokee Legend’ which is the first one I designed.

Free Printable Book Page Quote Sign

Have you heard this one before? It’s so evocative.

Anyhoo, grab your free printables below. There are two separate files; one for the sepia images, and one for the chalkboard images.

Free Printable Book Page Quote Page Art

Free Download Sepia Book Quote Art Free Download Chalkboard Book Quote Art

I know it can be disheartening when budget restraints push the items you love out of reach, so if you’ve been coveting these lovely farmhouse style signs I hope my free offerings give you a little “squeee” moment and help make your walls beautiful.

As a budget-focused decorator and blogger, conjuring and sharing ways to “get the look for less” is something I relish. This project was no exception.
Originally, it was my belief that these artworks were merely part of the prevailing typography sign trend; mass-designed, mass-produced and mass-distributed. I have since learned the concept for these designs originated with a small business.
As such, although this style of quote art is now everywhere, I will not be offering any further bulk free printables in this exact style.
That said, I do plan to design and share further quote art of my very own (you can browse my other free printables here) and will continue to offer one-off custom book page signs as requested.


As always, if you have trouble or are unsure of anything, feel free to ask.

Oh, and I just wanted to let you know that the photos in this post are of my actual finished sign. I was looking at them and the artwork almost appears to be super-imposed. Believe me, it’s truly ruly real!

Free for personal non-commercial use only.

Click the below image to see and download my latest round of dictionary inspired free printable quote art signs!

18 Large-Scale FREE Printable Quote Signs!

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 attached to the sides of the cupboards (screwed on from inside 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!


:: 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.


How to make your own cheap and easy barn doors

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