In Category: ‘personal’

DIY Headboard

December 9, 2011

IMG 0225 DIY Headboard

I posted the headboard that my husband and I built over Thanksgiving weekend on twitter a few weeks ago and ended up with a few requests on how we made it…so I promised a blog post, and (albeit a little later than I anticipated) here it is!

So a little background…the whole project is based off of this picture I saw on Pinterest (if you want an invite to pinterest, let me know!) There wasn’t a tutorial or anything that went with it, so I was just kinda winging it.

The supply list:

- Six 6′ long boards (will depend on how wide your bed is) of varying widths. Mine are about 5, 7 and 10″ wide in pine planks. (How many boards you need will depend on how tall you want the headboard. We discussed having it go all the way to the floor, but decided against it. I think it would be cool to have an entire section of wall covered, though.

- 4 support boards for the back, just the skinny-ish long boards (husband insists I call them shims…we’re agreeing to disagree) so you can cut them into 4 pieces. They were like $1 something each.

- 1 5/8″ cool colored screws  (just not silver, basically…I painted the heads of mine black with some extra paint I had) The length of the screws will depend on how thick of boards you go with.

- Diluted black or dark grey paint (approximately 1 to 1 ratio…I just put some paint in a cup and put some water in it until it was runny. Scientific, I know) I bought mine on the “already mixed but someone done changed their mind” table…there’s often a significant discount for these cans, so I always check there first.

- Grey stain (the exact kind I used is Rust-oleum Sunbleached) Side note, if you are local and going to do this project, I have excess paint and stain that I would love to give someone to use…let me know! The 80z container of stain should probably be plenty for this project.

I didn’t take any pictures along the way, which I regret now…so if you have any problems understanding what I did, feel free to ask!

First thing I did was arrange the boards on the floor in the order they would be hanging on the wall. Spaced out the thicker boards from the thinner boards until it looked good. I then marked the pieces I wanted cut to give it a more authentic look. I just eyeballed this so they were pleasantly staggered, then my husband cut them.

Prep for the wood was the most intensive part, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. Pine in itself is a really yellowish color, not at all what I wanted for our room. To give it a more authentic aged look, I started out by distressing it. Meaning I scrubbed it with a hard wire brush, pounded on it with a hammer, and whatever other tools my husband foolishly left lying within my reach. icon wink DIY Headboard I also hammered screws on their side into the wood randomly and pulled them out. I’ve heard that dropping/hitting the wood with chains works really well, but I was fresh out of chains on this particular day.

For the paint/stain part, I did 2-3 boards at a time, since you need to do a few steps before the stain dries (and it does dry pretty quickly) Also, wear rubber gloves or some other protection for your hands.

First step is a light coat of the grey stain, which I applied with a 2″ wide paintbrush. Once you have that on the boards, using a rag, I dipped it in the diluted black paint and started rubbing it into the boards, making sure to get into the creases and all of the marks you made while distressing the wood. This part is really where you’ll get the look I was going for. Using varying amounts of paint and coats, you create a different look for each board. Some planks I used two coats of the black paint, just to give them a little different look. The paint does dry lighter, so if you feel like you’re going too far, you can wait for it to dry and apply another coat if you’d like.

Once you have the black paint as you’d like it, I applied one more light coat of the grey stain with a rag, mostly to seal the wood.

After the stain/paint dried, I painted the edge of each board with the black paint to give it a more finished look. Even the ones that aren’t going to be showing because they’ll be butted together, it makes a difference. Gives it a depth that I don’t think would be there if I had left it the light color.

We let the wood dry in a well ventilated area over night. In fact, do all of this in a well ventilated area, please. icon smile DIY Headboard

As for assembly, after finding the center point of the wall, my husband used a stud finder (making at least ONE obligatory “Oh look, I’m a stud” joke, I’m sure) and attached four of the aforementioned long skinny-ish board (shims) directly onto the walls, then attached the planks to those boards with the 1 5/8″ screws. I wasn’t actually there for this part, but I’m sure it would help to have two people there, one for board holding, one for the screw putting in.

For the final step, we attached some pivoting lights, (I bought these) which I think, really completed the whole thing for us. They screwed right into the boards and the cords are just secured on the side and hang down behind the bed to the plug. It’s nice having our own lights since we keep somewhat different night schedules, plus the reduction of clutter on our nightstands from our old lamps is awesome. Open space on tops of furniture gives me the happies.

Hopefully this answers any questions you might have about this project, or suggestions on what I can include to make this more clear, please feel free to leave a comment below!



Day Four: The kiddos met me at the end of one of my family sessions to deliver some hot cocoa to the family I had just photographed. icon smile RACKd: Days Four through Eight IMG 0284 RACKd: Days Four through Eight

Day Five: We wrote and colored letters to send to the troops, thanking them for their service.

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Day Six: This was a fun one, we hung candy canes with little notes on them around all of the playgrounds in our neighborhood. The kiddos had fun acting all sneaky, running and putting the treats around and running back to the car before anyone saw them. Note, Sis lost one of her front teeth the other day…we’re hoping for the other one to fall out so she can sing the cliche Christmas song legit-like. icon smile RACKd: Days Four through Eight

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Day Seven: This was probably one of my favorites so far…we got coloring books and crayons and delivered them to the local children’s hospital waiting room. The nurses seemed really appreciative. I know we’ve been in a waiting room with restless kids before and I hope it makes someone’s day just a little easier.

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Day Eight: We taped quarters to the little treat machines at the front of the grocery store. In the time it took to go shopping and come back, all of them were gone. icon smile RACKd: Days Four through Eight

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RACK’d: Day Three

December 3, 2011

Today our RACK’d was a little different, we (and when I say *we*, I mean everyone in my family but me…) ran in the 1k/5k Race this morning benefiting the Arthritis Foundation. As a family we were able to raise $110 to donate to the cause! Here’s some pictures from our day. You may notice a theme in the (sometimes crappy) cell phone photos…I’ve decided that I’m not going to make this about getting the best pictures, because when I turn on photographer mode, I tend to be so busy trying to capture the moment, I forget to enjoy the moment myself, does that make sense to anyone else? So anyway, (sometimes crappy) phone pictures it is! icon smile RACKd: Day Three

David did a FANTASTIC job…this was his first run off the treadmill and in the balmy 25 degree weather. He finished in 25 minutes, way ahead of his goal time. So proud of how far he’s come, it’s awesome to watch.

Also thinking from here on out, I’ll be blogging a few days at a time as to not overwhelm. Just a note. icon smile RACKd: Day Three


The kids’ shoes all jingle-belled out, ready to go!

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The runners!

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Before the race. <3

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They stretched out with Santa and his elves before the race.  Santa must have been running a lot this year, he’s lost a considerable amount of weight! icon wink RACKd: Day Three

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Just before race time!

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Dawson was quick! I almost missed taking a picture because he ran by sooner than I expected. He ended up getting fourth place in the kids’ race.

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Caitlin held Lukie’s hand the entire race. IT WAS SO FLIPPING CUTE. icon biggrin RACKd: Day Three

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My happy Dawson!

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IMG 0259 RACKd: Day ThreeWe did it!!! (Shortly after this, Caitlin made the comment: “Now I understand why you were so tired after your triathlon! That was hard.” haha

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Me and my cute elf runners. So proud of my family today. icon smile RACKd: Day Three IMG 0262 RACKd: Day Three

Rack’d: Day Two

December 2, 2011

Today’s RACK’d was to hand out candy canes at a store exit. All in all, it was a fun time, gave lots of candy canes out along with wishes of a good holiday season. Also think it was a great experience for my kids to put themselves out there, Dawson did so well at approaching people, I was proud of him. Lukie and Caitlin were a little (understandably) shy, but ended up feeling confident talking to people.

What was interesting to me was the variety of reactions the kids got. Most of the people they approached with Merry Christmas and asked if they wanted a candy cane responded positively, even when they didn’t want the treat. They were asked more than once skeptically how much the candy canes were. The others, I’d say 40% of people, rushed by or ignored them completely. One older lady stopped to ask why we were doing that and very nicely made my kiddos feel fantastic about what they were doing. Grateful to her.

This experience will definitely make me think twice the next time I’m approached by someone. Even if I think they’re just trying to sell me something. icon wink Rackd: Day Two



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You’ve been RACK’d!

December 1, 2011

In 2011, my family and I have made a lot of changes. We’ve changed our diets (for the better!), changed our exercise habits (I did a sprint triathlon in October, and my husband is running his first 5K this weekend, YAY!!). We stopped using our cars as much as we could, choosing to get around by bike when possible. I even took about a year off of facebook trying to take away some of the noise in my life to really figure out how to balance my life. Running a business, being a parent (and hopefully a good one), etcetera, amongst training and exercising, not to mention the things the kids are involved in….it’s TOUGH! And although I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I have everything completely under control, things are good. I’m in my happy place, and I like it here. icon smile Youve been RACKd! Note: Now please don’t go micro-examining my life and judging my habits (ok, yes I probably twitter too much still)…I’ve still got a while to go, but I’m  headed in the right direction!

Another thing we’ve tried to change is the focus in our lives around *stuff*. Stuff to me is almost a dirty word (haha) and these days, the less of it I have, the better!! What I think we’ve learned the most is that it is never the stuff that we love, appreciate or remember…it is the fun we had, the experiences we shared, the goals we met, etc. And we are happier for it.

As this Christmas season has drawn closer, this subject has weighed heavy on my mind. I wanted to make sure our Christmas doesn’t turn into being about stuff, and instead not just remembering but cherishing the things that are truly important to us. As I came upon a post on Pinterest a few months ago about a woman who spent her 38th birthday doing 38 good deeds, I knew that I had to do something like that. A few days ago came across this blog: and was hooked! (if you happen to read this, Tracie, thank you for your example and inspiration!)

Today was our official first day of our ‘Random Acts of Christmas Kindness’. I spent a little time this morning brainstorming with my kiddos nice things we could do. They had some great ideas. Lukie was all over helping old people: “Donate alarm clocks to old people”, “Read books to old people”, “Sing for old people”. Made me smile! It was so great seeing my kids thinking of all the many ways they could help people, and trying to base them not around large gifts or money, but how it would make people feel. Watching their little faces light up when thinking about how we could make people feel brought tears to my eyes…and again now as I’m thinking about it! Darned stuff in my eye…. icon smile Youve been RACKd!

Here’s our little brainstorming list…not set in stone, just ideas for how we’re going to get through the month:

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Today’s activity: Bake cookies for neighbors, knock on their doors and leave the treats for them to find.

We made cookies, packaged them up, and got ready to doorbell ditch a few of our neighbors.

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I had cute cards to print out, then I brought the wrong one on the jump drive to the store, so these people got some nice (and when I say nice, I mean sloppy) hand-written ones.

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This first picture was taken right after we dropped off the cookies at the second house. I love the look on Dawson’s face, the pure joy and mischievousness. LOVE.  The second picture is our skewed exit plan. Everyone running a different way, with Dawson having rung the doorbell and didn’t actually drop the treats off at the door. Going back sheepishly to the people that opened the door, apologizing for doorbell ditching and offering them cookies was quite funny.

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And our more coordinated exit from the door…think we had a clean getaway on that one.

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All in all, we had such a great time today…we’re still laughing about it. I’m so excited to keep this going this month, and can’t wait for the experiences we’ll be able to have as a family because of it.

I hope this post finds everyone well, and hope you all have a very happy holiday season!