Tag Archives: diy

Guest Bathroom Remodel – In Yellow!

My husband & I bought our first home a little over 3 months ago.

We were very fortunate to find a house in good condition. The house did not need any major work – it just needed to be updated/customized to our liking.

It’s a pretty typical house for our area – 1970’s construction – that came complete with 70’s style bathrooms.

If you don’t know what I mean, let me just show you the before picture of the guest bathroom…

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Yep. It’s blurry, but your eyes are not deceiving you.

Here are some close ups.

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert MonsterGuest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

You can see why we had to remodel this bathroom immediately.

Apparently in the 70’s in South Florida, bathrooms came in funky patterns & 3 colors: mustard yellow, light blue, & pink. Our master bathroom is light blue – we can live with that for now.

There was just one issue my husband & I had when deciding what to do about this bathroom: money. We had a couple of other projects going on & didn’t want to spend a whole lot on this bathroom. Plus, the previous owner had replaced the toilets in both bathrooms before selling the house.

Yes, that’s right, the toilet in the pictures is brand new. The previous owner special ordered a new mustard yellow toilet. Bless his heart.

I was not about to get rid of a brand new toilet. I knew there was some way I could work around this.

I also knew I couldn’t be the only one with this problem, seeing as how this really was a popular bathroom color back in the day. I started searching online for inspiration. In my searching, I came across this post from Remodelaholic. They did a GREAT job on that bathroom! I loved the idea of embracing the yellow & using it as an accent color with some molding across the wall.

Our bathroom didn’t need quite as much work as they put in to theirs. We just had to demo ours a little bit first. That was the fun part!

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Our friend lent us some demolition tools that made it really fun!

We removed the tile floor, sink & vanity, mirror, light fixture, towel bars, & toilet paper holder. We also removed the sliding glass doors from the tub. One thing we did not mean to remove was the shower tiles – but when we were removing the doors they all started coming down from both sides.

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster


Luckily, we were able to salvage them & reattach.

Once everything was removed, the bathroom looked pretty rough.

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Before we did anything else, we laid new tile. My husband & I fell in love with the tile that looks like wood. The bathroom isn’t very big, so a couple of boxes of tile from Home Depot did the trick. My husband became well acquainted with the tile saw we rented. Instead of removing the toilet we tiled around it, which meant he had to cut some interesting pieces. He handled it like a pro!

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Before the grout.

I love how it turned out! My mother in law helped us out by grouting the floor & shower tiles. I repaid her in shrimp & grits. 🙂

As you can see in the demo pics, there were some holes in the walls after we took everything down. The walls in this house are plastered – another 70s trend apparently. It actually helped us out, though. After using a couple of drywall patches & spackle, the walls look good as new (in a DIY home improvement sort of way)!

Once the spackle was dry & sanded, we painted. Using the top of the shower tiles as a reference to where we wanted the molding to go, we drew a line with pencil & painted the top of the wall a bright yellow. I had found a shower curtain at Target with an ombre floral pattern – so I wasn’t too concerned with the different shades of yellow, knowing that the shower curtain was going to tie everything together. We painted the rest of the wall white, & once everything was dry we put up the molding with some adhesive.

Then came my husband’s time to shine. He installed the vanity & sink, the medicine cabinet, & the light fixture. I am so blessed to have married such a handy guy!

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

We decided on oil-rubbed bronze fixtures. When I first saw that you could replace your toilet handle, I thought it was a bit silly. But after we had installed everything & put up the new towel hooks, the silver colored handle stood out like a sore thumb…

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

It cost $14 – money well spent!

I didn’t bother with the shower fixtures, though. They are behind the curtain!

The only thing left for me to do was decorate.

We had these two canvases up at our last place that ended up matching perfectly in this bathroom!

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

The other wall originally had these two old-timey borderline-creepy pictures. Like the kind of pictures that, if this was a horror movie, would move when you weren’t looking. So I discarded the pictures, kept the frames, & made my own bible verse prints.

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Voila! The bathroom is complete.

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Gotta love the panoramic mode on my camera!

All in all, we completed this bathroom in about 3-4 days with about $400. I think it’s the room I’m most proud of when you consider the before & after.

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Guest Bathroom Remodel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

It was a good bit of work, but now I know that my hubby & I can handle home improvement projects together. I love the yellow & oil-rubbed bronze combo!

Someday we might replace the tub & toilet, but for now I’m very pleased with how we were able to work around it!

In The New House Designs

DIY Bookends

One of the major projects we did in our house was a TV Wall. Instead of an entertainment center, we put up shelves. Which means that instead of a DVD rack, we have shelves. Which means that to put up our DVDs, I needed bookends.

You can see where this is going.

I tried to find cute ones online, but I was not satisfied with any of the ones I was seeing. So I decided to make my own!

DIY Bookends Bull & Gator - Mrs. Dessert Monster

You may be wondering, “what’s up with the bull & the alligator?”

My husband is an alumnus of USF, home of the Bulls. I am an alumna of UF, home of the Gators.

Thank you, Gilmore Girls, for teaching me the proper singular forms of the word alumnus. Yes, that is all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls on the shelf.

So, these bookends are a subtle tribute to our alma maters. They were also really easy to make!

DIY Bookends Bull & Gator - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I bought the bull & gator on Amazon & the birch bases at Michael’s. I had this adhesive for other home projects, & it was perfect for this one since it dries clear! You can probably use one of several other types of adhesives, but this is what I had around the house & it did the trick.

DIY Bookends Bull & Gator - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This adhesive also takes 24 hours to set, which is great because I totally moved the Gator around several times before I found the best spot for it.

DIY Bookends Bull & Gator - Mrs. Dessert Monster

See, totally clear! The whole picture is clearer. The adhesive didn’t have anything to do with that, but still! Clear.

Umm, that’s it.

That’s how easy these were to make.

DIY Bookends Bull & Gator - Mrs. Dessert MonsterDIY Bookends Bull & Gator - Mrs. Dessert MonsterGo ahead, judge our collection. I think it’s pretty sweet, especially now that it’s up with these awesome bookends!

In The New House Designs

Wedding Wednesday – DIY Wedding Day Signs

Last week I shared on how I used vinyl records for a guest book. There was a sign on the table asking guests to ‘record’ their attendance.

DIY Wedding Signs Record Attendance - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I know, I am sooooo clever!

I made that sign, and a couple of others, for the wedding!

DIY Wedding Signs Instagram Hashtag- Mrs. Dessert Monster

One of my bridesmaids got me this really cool red & cream card stock with music written all over it. I couldn’t believe it when she showed it to me! This craft paper just screamed GINA’S WEDDING!

I knew right away I wanted to use it for wedding day signage.

So with my special paper & some of the card stock I had left from making my own invitations I made 3 sings: one for our ‘guest book’, one for our wedding hashtag, & one for the bar.

The day of the wedding I never made it to the bar.

We were absolutely spoiled. At our reception the waiters gave us the choice between serving ourselves at the buffet/bar or being served. It was great; I wouldn’t change a thing!

The closest I came to getting a picture of all my signs is this Instagram picture my friend, Caroline, posted. (You should check her blog out!)

DIY Wedding Day Signs - Mrs. Dessert Monster

She came in to town for the wedding a couple days early so we got to spend some quality time together finishing up last minute things!

EDIT: I was looking through our wedding video to grab a screenshot of our card box & I saw this!


The finishing touch on these signs were some picture frame easels from Michael’s. The best part about those is I can now use them for other stuff around the house!

Same time next week?

Wedding Wednesday – Ornament Favors/ Place Cards

It’s Wednesday! I’m off work for the rest of the week to do things around the new house. But before I get started, I wanted to share my Wednesday Wedding post.

Christmas Wedding Ornament Favors Place Cards - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I had seen some cute ideas on Pinterest (of course) for ornaments as place card holders. I loved the idea, & also liked that the ornaments could be given away as the wedding favors.

Ornaments made great decorations in general for our Christmas themed weddings, so around October when Hobby Lobby had a sale I went a little crazy.

Christmas Ornament Wedding - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I also knew I needed ornaments for the wedding cake, so it was a great deal!

One of the tutorials I saw on Pinterest for getting ornaments to stand up on their own said to use plastic fabric rings & glue them on to the bottom. I bought some white fabric rings & my hubby spray painted them gold.

Christmas Wedding Ornament Favors Place Cards - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Originally I was going to hand-write on the ornaments. Pinterest made it seem so easy! I bought some cute markers & everything. However, I could not seem to do even ONE straight! So instead I got the idea to order some personalized ribbon from Oriental Trading. My friend Beth came over & helped me mod podge the ribbon & the fabric rings to the ornaments.

The only thing left to do was make the place cards. I decided to do them like gift tags. I happened to have a circular hole punch that made them fit perfectly over the top of the ornaments.


Our place card table looked awesome!

wpid-1433337912374.jpgChristmas Wedding Ornament Favors Place Cards - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Thanks for checking out Wedding Wednesday!

Red & Cream Music Themed Wedding Stationery

As soon as we got engaged in March & set the date for December, I knew I was going to do a lot of stuff myself for the wedding. I really do enjoy crafting, and also I can be a little bit of a control freak. I won’t guarantee that I saved a ton of money, but I did get exactly what I wanted, designed by me, made to my specifications. These projects were time consuming! And time is money, friends.

Save the Dates

From the very beginning of our engagement we decided on a Christmas-y Music themed wedding. We met in high school marching band & both remain pretty band nerd-ish (we play hand bells at our church). I saw the idea for save the date calendar stickers before online, & I think mine came out pretty good!

Red Cream Music Save the Date


I probably did save quite a bit of money on my invitations. The secret is that I cut almost all my own paper. I originally bought an invitation kit from Michael’s that included the RSVP cards. I didn’t like the invitation but I did like the RSVP cards so I used those. Then I bought 8.5 x 11 cream card stock, as well as sheet music & red card stock 12 x 12 in bulk (watching for sales & 50% off coupons at Michael’s) & spent hours with a paper cutter watching Gilmore Girls & cutting paper. I only cut myself once during the entire process!


I took the advise of a lot of DIY invitation blogs/forums I read & chose my envelopes first, then decided what size I wanted the invitation to be. I read several horror stories where brides made these beautiful invitations that were not a ‘standard’ size & then their enveloped cost a fortune or didn’t fit properly.

In my invitation suite I included invitation (7×5), reception card (4.5×5.75), RSVP card & envelope (5.5×4.25), map/directions card(3.5×5), & accommodations/website card(3.5×5).

Red Cream Sheet Music Wedding Invitation

Then all of these inserts were wrapped together with a belly band.

Red Cream Sheet Music Belly Band Wedding Invitation

I designed & printed everything myself, including the envelopes. There are tutorials online for doing mail merges & how to print on envelopes. I lined the envelopes with the music paper. This worked out well for me since I bought square flap envelopes – I just had to cut the sheet music up into squares. Had they been the pointed/European style envelopes I don’t think I would have put myself through the trouble.

I had help assembling the invitations. After I cut everything, my mom, mother in law, sister in law, and BFOTB (best friend of the bride – a la Sookie from Gilmore Girls) came over for an assembly party.IMG_20140913_193131


The last thing I printed for the wedding were the programs. I bought a bi-fold program kit from Michael’s & designed them similarly to how I did the invitations. I was very pleased with how they turned out.

Red Cream Music Wedding Programs

This was A LOT of work, but it’s a once in a lifetime experience. It made the wedding planning experience more ‘mine’, & I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Wedding Card Booklet


We finally finished our thank you cards a couple weeks ago. It only took us like 2 1/2 months! Now I can move on to wedding crafts I’ve been dying to do. The first of which was this wedding card booklet 🙂

I got the idea of off Pinterest (of course) & it immediately appealed to me because I LOVE cards. Opening up all of our cards on Christmas morning (the day after we got back from our honeymoon) was very meaningful to my husband & me – & not because some of them had money in them!

I bought some binder clips, gathered the cards & my other supplies & got to work. The process was fairly straight forward. I found the tallest & the widest cards to use for the dimensions.


I love that we got a bunch of cards from Italy!

Then I arranged the cards small to large.


I created the cover from some hard cardboard & leftover out of town bags I had.


Then I just hole-punched the cards (It was actually harder than I anticipated to ensure the holes were centered and/or not cutting anything important out) & put them all together!


We got a lot more cards than I thought, so my booklet is kind of fat, but I love it.


Much more fun to go through this way than just thrown in a box somewhere!

Pinterest Projects In Real Life

I love Pinterest. A lot of the ideas for my wedding came from things I saw on Pinterest. But before I talk about those, I wanted to share some of the various Pinterest projects, large and small, that I’ve done around the home.

Pinterest Projects In Real Life - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Bedroom Mini Makeover

I came across this blog one day and knew I had to copy it. The steps were fairly easy. My only struggle was that the black letters I wanted from Hobby Lobby, which were 12″ tall & frequently go on sale, for some reason did not include an ampersand. So I bought a plain wooden one from Amazon, painted it black, and Mod Podged it. The frames I got from the clearance section at Michael’s; 20 x 24. This is a very simple, yet elegant in my opinion, way of decorating an entire wall.

Engagement Photo Collage


This project didn’t have a particular pin attached to it exactly, but it looks Pinterest-y to me! I was developing prints for our save the dates, and Walgreens had a great deal. So I began to think of ways to display 4 x 6 photos without framing a bunch of little pictures. I used the same type of frame as I had for the bedroom makeover, cut a piece of cardboard to match the size, and painted it black. I used a glue stick to attach the pictures to the card stock I was using for the save the dates, which was 4.5 x 6.5 so there’s a nice little border. I then mounted the card stock framed pictures to the cardboard with glue sticks & Mod Podged (is that a word? I’m going to keep using it) the whole thing. For the final touches I bought some little wooden letters, and again this time I could not find an ampersand to save my life (Michael’s this time). I ended up buying some sticker letters that were approximately the same size/font which included the elusive ‘&’, and painted both the letters and sticker to match the card stock frames. In the sticker aisle I saw these really cute ‘we’re engaged!’ stickers & there you have it.

Once we get our wedding photos back we will replace this in our living room with some of those, but it’s been really nice to be able to look back on that day and smile. My mom took those pictures at a local park. We had such a blast; still on the high from getting engaged the week before. That newly engaged feeling was great. The only thing that has topped it for me is this wonderful newlywed feeling. Every time I say ‘my husband’ I smile.

Button Crafts


One of the best parts about having nieces & nephews is doing things like this for them! I have always liked having small charms like buttons & sequins, but have done very little with them. Then one day I came across this button elephant & button monogram. Aren’t they adorable? I had to make something like this for my nieces. This involved some patience and a lot of hot glue. I traced my designs on to one of those hard thin canvases, & just starting placing buttons. Then I used the sequins to fill in the gaps. For the L, the zebra buttons are just white ones I drew stripes on. Nothing too fancy! Gluing sequins was a lot of work; the hot glue kind of melts them. I wonder if a different glue might be better for them, but to be honest this was the messy fun type of project that I like sometimes. I recently read one of those life hack things that said putting petroleum jelly around the end of a glue gun helps prevent getting webs of glue everywhere. I have not tried this tip personally, but next time I use my glue gun I will.

Our First Tree Ornament


This Pinterest project was super easy & makes me all happy when I look at it. I feel like I have to admit that I actually made this after New Years right before we took the tree down (I’m one of those Christmas-isn’t-over-until-January-6th people). After Thanksgiving, I told my mother-in-law we were getting a real tree and she reminded me of this Pin she had seen. So when we picked out our tree we asked the guy to cut us a slice from the bottom. I didn’t even drill a hole in it. I just used a screw eye hook (not gonna lie – totally had to look up what the ‘screw with the hole that came with my picture hanging kit’ was called) & manually screwed it in to the tree slice. After I was done writing on it in Sharpie, I sprayed the whole thing with an acrylic sealer.

I look forward to telling our kids about this ornament one day as we are decorating the tree, listening to Christmas carols & eating gingerbread cookies. *Sigh*

My Big Fat Tri-Lingual Photo Collage


Man, was this a project! We had this very large blank wall at our place. I had been looking at pins like this one & this one. You do the math. The first step for me was actually finding ‘family’ in the three different languages. Originally I had said I wanted something like ‘family, love, faith’, but my husband was the one who came up with the idea of the three languages. I love it; it shows off our melting pot pretty well. So after some searching I found this shop on Amazon. They have lots of cool stuff, and I’m very pleased with the quality. Lightweight, but still really solid. The only thing is that they took FOREVER (2 weeks) to arrive. So if I order from them again I will definitely do expedited shipping, or learn to be more patient. It depends on what my wallet tells me at the time. Along with the words I knew I wanted an ‘M’ & I knew I wanted a cross. The cross is actually a painting I did back in college when I first became a Christian/was saved/met Jesus/insert-Christian-jargon-here. The ‘M’ is from Hobby Lobby; same as the letters from the bedroom makeover. The rest just fell in to place.

We had bought the mask in Venice intending to do something with it, and it fit in just right. The big picture in the center of the collage was actually taken by us in Burano, which I highly recommend seeing to anyone visiting Italy. I cannot wait to someday go back. Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand, next was the frames. I had several 8 x 10 & 11 x 14 because I usually buy frames if I see them on sale or clearance. Then I went to the dollar store & just picked up a bunch of 5 x 7 & 4 x 6 frames. This picture doesn’t do them justice, but it’s actually a bunch of different styles of frames. So with the frames all picked out, I started designing the layout. Basically I gathered all of the frames, sprawled myself out on the floor with them, and started arranging. I’m kind of type A/ kind of OCD about certain things like lines and shapes, so I made this more like a rectangle and less like a free-form collage. Of course I couldn’t actually leave all of this stuff on the floor, so I used measuring tape to record the dimensions & took lots of pictures of the set up.

I actually didn’t pick out what pictures I wanted to include on the wall until after I had done the layout. That made it a lot easier to be like ‘OK I need this many 8 x 10 landscape, this many 5 x 7 portrait,’ etc. Once I got all of the pictures I wanted developed, the only thing left was to hang everything up! One day after work I just grabbed the hammer and started going at it. I put up the ‘Family’ word first, then the cross painting & the M. Then I put the Burano picture up in the center, followed by the 2 bottom corners. After that it was just a matter of trying to follow the measurements I had done on the floor earlier, and making sure it looked nicely spaced on the wall. So, the whole process from conception to execution was probably about a month. I love this wall. This is my favorite thing about where we live right now & when we move I will be replicating this idea in some way.

So there you have some of my older Pinterst projects. What are some of yours?