One Room Challenge: Week 5|Tiling and Decor Inspiration

Today marks week 5 of Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge™ and that means we are less than one week away from the final reveal. We thought we would have a little more finished this week but with a grant application deadline that my wife needed to submit for, things got pushed to the side. As of now, all the tile has been laid on the floor and walls and we are getting ready to grout tomorrow. We have had our fair share of cuts and bruises (not to mention fatigue) but we are finally nearing the finish line and are so excited to share with you.

All right! Here’s what we have left to do:

1. Grout and clean the haze

3. Prime and paint the non-tiled walls

4. Install vanity, toilet, storage cabinet, and other accessories

5. Decorate and style

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Progress:
Einstein was really on to something when he came up with his theory of relativity. It’s seriously hard to believe that we have been working on this project for a month now! To recap: We demoed and gutted the bathroom, installed the new bathtub and had the pipes replaced, installed new cement boards and insulation, mudded and tiled everything. Tiling was not hard but it was tedious because of all the cuts I had to make. The good news is that grouting shouldn’t take more than a few hours (if we can actually settle on a grout color). After that the plan is to do minor touch-ups to the drywall and then prime and paint. If all goes according to schedule, we hope to install the vanity this weekend and get the bathroom ready for the final photoshoot.

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This past weekend we went and picked out our bathroom furniture from IKEA and it was a bit more difficult than we had anticipated. The vanity series that we really liked only came in two depths: 11″ and 19″. Both of these were on the extreme ends of what we wanted. Ideally, we were looking for something around 15-16″ to maximize storage efficiency and spaciousness. We found exactly that but in a color that we weren’t so sure about. In the end we had to make the sacrifice and go with this one in black-brown. The major upside to this was the vanity sink. Every single thing about the sink that comes with this vanity series is beautiful and perfect. Okay, I know I’m talking about a sink here but it truly is a thing to behold.

lillangen-sink-white__0381414_PE556140_S4The light fixture was something else that we had to settle on this week and we went with an inexpensive bath bar light and these awesome filament globe bulbs. It might look simple but with the specific lightbulbs we chose,  it looks really cool.

Decor Inspiration:
We put together a mood board of inspiring decor items from IKEA, Target, Etsy, Urban Outfitters, and Anthropologie. We are not going to necessarily buy all of these things but creating this helped us decide on the look that we are going for: something earth-inspired, calming, and with a splash of color.

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At the center of the mood board is a quote art that my wife made herself. It’s something our son always says when he’s splashing around in the bath and we thought it would make for a nice bathroom wall decor. We are also providing it to you as a free download printable. Think of it is a gift of appreciation for putting up with us and our crazy projects all this time 🙂

Printable Wall Art: splishsplash

Anyways, we could have shown you more progress shots but we will save that for next week. There’s nothing worse than a trailer that gives away a movie’s plot. The accent wall turned out more amazing than we could have thought so we will just let you revel in that thought until you can see it for yourself in next week’s final post.

Would you like to see our progress as it unfolds? You can also follow along on Instagram @thecozyhomechronicles for behind-the-scene videos!

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One Room Challenge: Week 4|Mudding and Tiling a Bathroom

We are hitting week 4 of  The One Room Challenge™ and that means we are less than two weeks away from the final reveal. Yikes! All the cement boards are completely up on the floors and walls and we are mudding as I speak (type). In other news, our accent wall tile arrived! And boy are we happy with the product. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that we were torn about what color to go with for our planned accent wall in the shower. We had to order it online and we made the split decision to go with the mint green arabesque from Home Depot. It was a gamble to order online because pictures can be very deceiving but luckily these Merola tiles are more gorgeous than we could have imagined.

All right! Here’s what we have left to do:

1. Tile and grout
2. Install the vanity
3. Install the medicine cabinet
4. Connect the toilet and sink
5. Decorate

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Progress:
I know it’s been a slow first few weeks but we are feeling the fire now and desperately trying to finish on time. This past week was spent cutting and installing cement boards on the floors and walls. We also got rid of the debris from the demolition over the weekend. The city that we live in opens the dump to the public on the third Saturday of every month, which is awesome because you can dump all types of material except hazardous chemicals. It’s super convenient and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. On the down side, I managed to get a nice scar on my jaw when a mesh wire from the cement boards caught my skin. Ouch!

Once the mud dries we will sand and then thoroughly remove all the dust so that we can begin tiling tomorrow. We will start with the floors first and then do the walls. Next week, we will be sharing a design board of some decor ideas and a fun little printable we have been putting together for wall art. Until next time 🙂

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Would you like to see our progress as it unfolds? You can also follow along on Instagram @thecozyhomechronicles for behind-the-scene videos!

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One Room Challenge: Week 3|Laying the Foundation for Tile

We are hitting week 3 of The One Room Challenge™ and boy has it been rough! We just finally finished the demolition this past weekend and up until an hour ago our bathroom was completely gutted. Right now we are seriously questioning if we can finish on time and that’s been a bit disheartening but we are pumped to make it happen. It’s called a challenge for a reason, right?! In this post we will be sharing why our progress has been slow as well as some mistakes that we made so that you can avoid them.

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Progress:
As you know from last week’s update, we had some hiccups with the walls because the tile wasn’t chipping away easily so we made the decision to take everything out all the way down to the studs. If you follow along on our Instagram stories, you might have seen how we completely demolished the walls and the floor in the bathroom. We also took out that hideous 300-pound blue tub (with help of course…that is why you have brother-in-laws!). With the walls and floors gone, we layed down the moisture barrier and plywood so that we can install the cement boards and tile. We have our plumber guy coming first thing tomorrow morning to replace some corroded pipes and get the bathtub and shower head/faucets all set up. Replacing plumbing wasn’t in our budget but now that we’ve gotten this far it doesn’t make sense to build something new on a faulty foundation. And those pipes were clearly nearing the end. Once the plumbing is all set, we can begin tiling!

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Issues & Concerns:
The reason that our demolition took two weeks (besides that we are doing this in the evenings with two kids) is that the removal of the tile proved to be much more labor intensive and involved than we had anticipated. This was an issue we had little control over. There is one blunder that we made, however, that cost us unnecessary delays. The bathtub. You see, there’s not much you can do without your bathub in place. During the entire brainstorming and design stage of this project, we focused entirely on the tile, vanity, and lighting and we completely neglected the bathtub! We just assumed that we could walk into a local Home Depot and leave with a reasonably-priced, 5-star tub. Yeah, no. Once we started looking into reviews and the different types (cast-iron vs. steel) we became so overwhelmed. Many of the good ones were not available in-store and would have cost us another 1-2 weeks of time if we ordered online. In the end we settled on a tub that had decent reviews and was available in-store. The awesome thing about it is that it is 2 inches deeper than standard bathtubs. It is now sitting in the bathroom so that the plumber can set it up and we can finally begin putting this room back together again. The lesson in all of this? If you’re ever considering doing a bathroom renovation on a tight schedule then have a bathtub selected and a plumber arranged to come before you start.

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Would you like to see our progress as it unfolds? You can also follow along on Instagram @thecozyhomechronicles for behind-the-scene videos!

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One Room Challenge: Week 2|Bathroom Renovation Demolition

Good evening friends! Today is exactly one week since we started our bathroom renovation project in conjunction with The One Room Challenge™ and so far we are still in the demolition stage. In this post we will be sharing our progress and where we stand currently. To be honest, I thought we would be done with the demolition by now but we all got sick and needed to take it easy. I didn’t want to be a hero and push myself past my limit so I took off the last two days. Slow and steady wins the race.

ORCProgress:
If you follow along on our Instagram stories, you might have seen that we already removed the toilet and the vanity over the weekend. The last major piece we need to take out is our bright blue 1950’s tub. We managed to remove the majority of wall tile from the existing cement boards only to realize that the mortar isn’t coming off as we had imagined. Considering the age of the bathroom, I’m not all too surprised. The good news is that we are a little more settled on the tile we will be using. After a recent trip to Home Depot, we really fell in love with this Carrara Matte tile for our floors. With white subway tile for the walls, it’s going to look great!

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Issues/Concerns:
Since I will not be sticking to the original plan of leaving the cement boards, I had to purchase a new blade for the angle grinder so we can cut through the cement boards and take them out piece by piece. Removing everything all the way to the studs is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good is that we will redo the bathroom with all new construction materials, we will be able to do a clean, solid job from beginning to end. The bad is that we will have to spend more $$$ on purchasing drywall and new cement backer boards. Considering that this bathroom is a small space, the additional expenses shouldn’t exceed $250 (and this is considering that I will also have to remove and replace the subfloor with new plywood & moisture barrier). We just really wanted to challenge ourselves to do this renovation on an extreme (but realistic) budget so we could inspire others who might not otherwise consider renovating because of the cost.

All this fun stuff with the walls and floor removal, which I had hoped I wouldn’t have to deal with, will add between 1-2 weeks to the job. As is the case with any renovation project, you have to be prepared for stumbling blocks and plan accordingly. Despite our setbacks, I think we will still make it out in 6 weeks. We sometimes get discouraged thinking it will take that long, so we have to keep reminding ourselves that we have day jobs and two little ones and that’s why we can’t just finish it as quickly as we would like. Until next week 🙂

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You can also follow along on Instagram @thecozyhomechronicles for the latest behind-the-scenes and videos of our progress.

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One Room Challenge: Week 1|Bathroom Renovation Preparations

We are super excited to share that this year we will be participating in our first ever One Room Challenge! Hosted by Lisa of Calling It HomeThe One Room Challenge™, is a widely anticipated biannual event every April and October in which twenty design bloggers take the challenge of transforming a space in just six weeks. Every Wednesday, the designers document their process while sharing their sources and professional advice. On Thursdays, guest bloggers, like us, can play along and support other guest bloggers that are also tackling a room renovation. We have been wanting to participate for a while now but last year we started our kitchen renovation much later than anticipated and so we weren’t able to play along.  We really hope we can get this bathroom done in the six week period but with two kids under the age of two and graduate school on our plates that is a tall order. We are diving right in regardless.

ORCLast week, in anticipation of this event, we shared two design boards and some bathrooms for inspiration. You can check them out here. We spent the last two days completely emptying out our bathroom and relocating to the bathroom downstairs. With me gearing up to start dissertation fieldwork this summer and my husband starting his MBA soon, we decided this project could not wait any longer because life will just get busier. Besides getting it done in under six weeks, we also need to stick to a tight budget. Challenge accepted.

Alright! Here’s what our bathroom looks like now:

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Ugh.  So much YELLOW. As a photographer, the urge to edit these images was intense but I wanted to capture the space exactly as is so we can all enjoy the final transformation. The wall tiles are still in great condition but they make the space so dark. We really want a bright clean look that white subway tile will definitely give.

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We started some of the demolition today by taking out the toilet, sink, and vanity. The tub will be next to go followed by the tile and then it’s all rebuilding from there. We still haven’t fully settled on the floor tile, accent wall tile, and vanity but we will be deciding in the next day or so. The feedback we have received from readers, family, and friends has overwhelmingly been in favor of Design Board #2 which is interesting because we are leaning toward white marble floors and black fixtures. I guess you will just have to tune in next week to see where we are in the process. You can also follow along on Instagram @thecozyhomechronicles for the latest behind-the-scenes and videos of our progress. Until next week 🙂

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National DIY Day Celebration

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Happy Monday Friends 🙂 Yesterday, April 2nd, we celebrated National DIY Day by gathering with a group of awesome volunteers to build raised garden beds for a local community garden. If you are unfamiliar with National DIY Day, it is a day founded by Craft Box Girls two years ago as a way to bring people together and celebrate creativity. Last year, people all over the world were celebrating April 2nd, some as far as Australia!

As DIY Day Ambassadors we wanted to use our DIY skills for a good cause and so we teamed up with Zaman International, a non-profit humanitarian organization committed to addressing the basic needs and empowerment of marginalized women and children locally and internationally, to host the event. Since their foundation, they have provided essential needs to more than 180,000 clients in Southeast Michigan. In April 2016, Zaman moved into a 40,500 square foot Hope for Humanity Center in Inkster, Michigan. Aside from launching a Food Pantry, Zaman was recently accepted into the Feeding Inkster Community Garden Program which provides seeds, plant starters, garden tools (as available), and technical assistance for the creation and harvesting of a community garden. They are expected to ensure low-income community residents receive harvested, fresh produce in a timely manner. With not much viable land near their warehouse, we stepped in to build and decorate raised beds that will allow them to grow their fruits, vegetables, and herbs. We will be returning early next month to fill the beds up with 2 inches of gravel, soil, and plants but until then we just wanted to share a little bit about our first successful event. There were a few minor hiccups and delays but overall we are very pleased with the end result.

With a team of 10 volunteers were able to put together four 4ft x 8ft beds in just a few short hours. Two local Home Depots were generous enough to provide $25 vouchers to help with the cost of supplies like the screws, paint, and weed-blocker while the Craftbox Girls sponsored the cost of the wood to build the beds. A friend with a background in interior design and art, came up with a few cool designs that were easy to paint and added a fun splash of color to the garden beds. Scroll on down to see pictures from the event and be sure to check back in with us next month when we return to complete the project. If you’re feeling inspired and want to build your own raised bed for your dream summer garden, head on over to our very own post that covers just that. If there’s anything we hope people take away from National DIY Day, it’s this: The ability to create is part of what makes us human. We all have it in us and anyone can unlock that potential and  create anything, if only they set their mind to do it.

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DIY Framed Chalkboard Wall

Our son is getting to the age where he can almost color without trying to eat his markers and crayons (the keyword there is almost), however, he still attempts to scribble on the wall any chance he gets. Despite getting him a small IKEA table for all of his creative pursuits, he seems not to want to be confined to paper so we figured if coloring on the walls is what he wants then coloring on the walls he shall get. We have always been admirers of chalkboards…the rustic kind that you see in old schoolhouses in black and white movies. We figured a chalkboard would not only be nice for doodling and writing the dinner menu on but also as a fun educational medium to teach letters, words, and concepts.

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We did toy around with the idea of painting an entire wall, which has become popular these days, but in the end we decided a 6ft x 3ft area was plenty of space for all of us to use. Plus since we chose to put it in the hallway, adjacent to the kitchen, we wanted to preserve some wall space just in case we wanted to add wall art or organizers for a command center in the future. The awesome thing about making your own chalkboard wall is that for $10 of chalkboard paint, you can get a little over 100 sq. ft of coverage. That’s a steal when you consider that chalkboards the size of small picture frames are going for that and much more. The other really nice thing is that you can frame the painted area to achieve that authentic chalkboard look and you can do so using any type of wood you like in any stain you want. We went with an inexpensive white moulding from Home Depot that we nailed directly to the wall. We’ve come across DIY framed chalkboards that involve painting another medium and then hanging it up. Not only is a large chalkboard heavy and impractical to hang but it would be dangerous if you have little ones in your life. Just something to think about if you are not sure how you feel about painting a wall with chalkboard paint.

The only thing you need to be mindful of is if you have kids in the house then you will want to time your painting after their bedtime so the paint can dry without handprints all over it. Other than that, this chalkboard wall is super easy to put together and loads of fun. Our son loves scribbling on it, I love practicing my handlettering, and of course baba loves leaving silly doodles for us to wake up to. Yes, we are not ashamed to admit it… this chalkboard was as much for us as it was for our son.

Supplies
Chalkboard Paint ($9.67)
Wood Moulding
Trim Nails

Tools
Paint Roller
Paint Tray
Paint Tray Liner
Blue Painters Tape
Hammer

Chalk options
Chalkboard Wall Safe Markers ($12.95)
Regular Chalk from IKEA  ($0.99)

Note: If you end up taking on this project using similar dimensions to our chalkboard then know that you will have leftover paint. Don’t you fret though, we will probably come up with another DIY project to make use of it.

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Directions
1. Measure the area you want to paint and outline the area with pencil.
2. Apply the painter’s tape over your outline, pressing down firmly as you go so you don’t have any air pockets where the paint can seep through.
3. Mix the paint using a paint stick and pour 1/4 of the paint in the paint tray.
4. Gently dip your paint roller in and start painting your designated area in a “W” pattern. Make sure you don’t use too much paint on your roller as it will start dripping and take away from the smooth surface of the board.
5. Let dry for 4 hours before applying a second coat.
6. After the final coat is painted, let it set for 3 days (per instructions on the paint container) before writing on it.
7. Test your new board with the writing medium of your choice: old-fashioned chalk or chalkboard marker.

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Have you been wanting to put up a chalkboard wall? If so, what’s been stopping you?

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DIY Spring Succulent Wreath

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Can you believe it’s March already?! I mean just last year we were gearing up to begin our kitchen renovation and now here we are off on new adventures and projects. Spring is certainly in the air here in Michigan as we have had several days of 55 degree weather in the last few weeks. We are now preparing to usher spring into our home and what better way than to spruce up our entrance. I was recently at Jo-Ann Fabrics getting ideas for some upcoming projects and I came across several pretty spring wreaths covered in moss, crawling vines, foliage, and succulents. These wreaths screamed Lord of the Rings (big fans here if you hadn’t figured that out already) but the price…they ranged from $30-$60! I knew I could make one for much less and that’s exactly what I did (with a lot more succulents too). This is such an easy and fun project and it really made the door stand out with a pop of earthy green. This wreath is also the perfect project to make with children and can even be turned into a learning activity. Our son, who is almost two years old, had so much fun picking up the succulents and moving them around as I tried to settle on the final design.

In other news, we are super excited to share that were chosen to be ambassadors for National DIY Day which is coming up on April 2nd. Aside from this post, we will have some more fun DIYs coming your way in the spirit of celebrating creativity and crafting. We will also be hosting a local event in the Metro Detroit area, building raised garden beds for a community garden (stay tuned for more info). And speaking of DIYing for a good cause… As National DIY DAY ambassadors we are proud to support AdoptAClassroom.org and their mission to give teachers a hand by providing much-needed classroom materials so that their students can learn and succeed. National DIY DAY and The Cozy Home Chronicles are committed to supporting classrooms and providing tools for students and teachers to enhance the creative learning experience.

You can support AdoptAClassroom.org by Texting a Donation Today! Text the word “Give” to (678) 582-8594 and you will be prompted through a secure system to make a donation of your choice!

Alrightie, let’s make that wreath!

Supplies
18′ Grapevine Wreath ($4.99)
Succulent Mat ($4.99)
Moss rocks ($3.49)
Greenery of your choice ($4.99-$9.99)
Hot glue gun & glue sticks

Total Cost: $23.45 + tax

I purchased my supplies from Michaels over the course of a few weeks and used my coupons to put my wreath at well under $20. From the greenery I purchased, I had enough leftover to make another wreath if I just purchase more succulents and a grapevine wreath. So for the price of a store-bought wreath, you can basically make two or even three wreaths.

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Directions:

  1. Collect your succulents, moss rocks, and greenery and start placing them on your grapevine wreath until you are happy with the arrangement. You might have to move things around several times to get the desired look.
  2. Once you have settled on your design, you will need to glue each piece in place using a generous amount of hot glue, embedding the stem deep into the vine, and holding down for 20-25 seconds until firmly in place.
  3. Once all the pieces have been glued down and any excess strands of glue have been removed, you can hang your wreath on a hook or door wreath hanger.

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IKEA Hack: DIY Rustic Bread Tin Box

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We eat A LOT of bread… possibly too much of it but we are hobbits so that’s probably not going to change anytime soon. Although we finished renovating our kitchen this past May, there is still some work to be done in terms of organizing and decorating. One of the things that needed to get checked off of our to-do list was finding a way to preserve and store our leftover bread. When we searched for bread storage online, we immediately fell in love with the charm of those rustic farmhouse bread tins. Of course it would have been easy to click purchase and have one delivered straight to our doorstep for $45 but where’s the fun in that? Instead we took our time getting ideas until we came up with an easy DIY bread tin. Not only is it way cheaper than any bread tin you’ll find in store but it’s super easy to make and customizable too. IKEA has two different tin options that you can use for this project and both are under $15. 

The Beromlig that we settled on came with two sizes for $8.99 and we used the larger one to make the bread tin box (we will probably turn the smaller one into a cookie tin). That’s a steal considering simple tins like the one pictured below on wayfair.com are going for $26.99 at sale price. Besides the choice of tin, you also have the option to pick any font you want. We went for a classic look with “Old School Alphabet” stencils that we found at a local Michaels. Lastly, you’ll need to settle on an ink color from the many pretty shades that are out there. Why permanent marker you ask? Well we did try acrylic paint and it peeled off too easily. Although permanent marker can come off with rubbing alcohol (we checked!), it does not come off with a gentle wiping using a wet cloth. I suppose you can use spray paint or some other fancy medium but for a simple and inexpensive home decor item,a  good old Sharpie will do the trick. Alright, let’s get started!custom_imageMaterials
Beromlig Storage Tin
 or Hemsmak
Letter stencils
Permanent marker
Washi or painter’s tape

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Directions

1. Wipe the inside and outside of the tin clean with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly.
2. Arrange and level your letters on the tin and tape them in place using washi or painter’s tape.
3. Fill in the letters with any color permanent ink you choose.
4. Let dry for 10 minutes before removing the stencils.
5. Find a happy place for your bread box and fill with delicious breads 🙂

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What projects and adventures are you working on right now? Please join the conversation below in our comment section, we would love to hear from you!

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Dress your plants: DIY Washi Tape Planter Art

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This month, the wonderful Igor and Judith at Urban Jungle Bloggers are on the lookout for creative, inspiring and unusual planters for dressing up plants. We took this as a challenge to transform our neutral, minimalist IKEA pots into something a bit more bright and cheery for our eclectic space. Plus with the holidays around the corner, we thought it would be nice to offer a simple DIY gift idea for that special plant-lover in your life.

We’ve seen many cool Washi Tape projects before but had never attempted one until now. Not only is Washi Tape super versatile but the variety of colors, patterns, and textures it comes in makes for endless crafting possibilities. Aside from the planters, tape, and scissors, all you really need for this project is your imagination. To get your creative juices flowing, we are sharing the simple designs we came up with when we put our scissors to the tape. Although it was tedious, we found it much easier to work with smaller pieces of tape with regards to the curvature of the pot (hence the mosaic look!). Despite the time it took, we really enjoyed watching the abstract design emerge as we added piece by piece. 

Supplies
Planters
Washi Tape
Scissors
Mod Podge

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Directions
1. Design your planters. There’s no limit to what you can think up and create.
2. Cut and stick your Washi Tape pieces on the planter according to your design.
3. Seal your design with Mod Podge.

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img_8269What are some ideas you have for decorating planters in your home? If you attempt this project please do share the finished product with us on instagram under #chcdiy 🙂

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