Roll up your sleeves and tackle a project that will improve your bathroom. Learn how with our instructions and ideas for fabulous renovations you can do yourself! We have compiled gorgeous ideas — from weekend-long remodels to quick and easy updates — that will inspire you to refresh your bathroom. Faux built-in vanities and extra storage created with secondhand furniture results in affordable and personalized bathroom decor. Other simple storage tricks and tips will keep your toiletries tucked away, towels tidy, and other grooming essentials accessible but out of sight. Low-cost bathroom updates, while easy on your wallet, have a huge impact on the overall space. And don’t forget about the bones of your bathroom. We have helpful instructions for how to install a bathroom vent, re caulk your shower, and install a medicine cabinet. Most of these DIY projects can be completed in a few days. For gorgeous real-life inspiration, check out our done-in-a-weekend bathroom refreshes. The before-and-after images will make you look twice.
Furniture-style vanities are fashionably “in.” To achieve the look in your powder room, try modifying an antique dresser to house a sink. Choose a dresser or desk that is sized to suit your room, the right height for hand washing, and large enough inside to accommodate the sink and plumbing.
Ash flooring stained in a harlequin pattern creates a pretty setting for this vanity, as does the beaded-board wainscoting covered in high-gloss white paint on the lower half of the walls. The walls above the wainscoting are upholstered with French toile fabric.
For this simple yet sophisticated treatment, staple batting to the wall and then stretch and staple fabric over the batting. To hide the staples, hot-glue cording along the seams. Decorative objects, such as frames and the mirror, wear lipstick red.
The hand-painted motifs on the sink and faucet were inspired by the toilet fabric stapled to the walls. If the top of your furniture piece is in poor condition, add a granite or solid-surfacing vanity top.
To accommodate plumbing, the dresser’s interior shelves were relocated and the upper drawers were reinstalled with only a center support bar.
Simple frames in eye-popping color showcase a quartet of watercolors. Triple mats look luxe — ideal for a feminine powder room.
- Use a jigsaw to cut a hole in the top of the dresser for the sink and a hole saw to make the 1-1/4-inch-diameter faucet opening.
- Remove drawers or shelves that prevent the sink and pipes from fitting properly. Attach the drawer faces as false fronts, or reconfigure the drawers to fit around the pipes.
- Measure the height from the floor of the water supply and drain lines. Use a jigsaw to cut an opening in the back of the furniture piece, where the pipes from the wall will come through.
- Lightly sand the dresser, then seal it with marine varnish to protect it against splashes.
- Once all adjustments are made and the dresser is in place, mount the sink and seal it with caulk. Mount the faucet and reconnect the plumbing.
STENCIL A WALL
Give one wall in a room a dose of pattern with a stencil. It’s less time-consuming than stenciling a whole room, and you’ll need less paint. For subtle contrast, use a color for the pattern that is just a few shades lighter than the background.
Stenciling for Beginners
Before beginning any stenciling project, it is important that your surface be prepared properly. It is best to stencil surfaces that are as smooth as possible. If the surface is not smooth the stencil will not produce clean, crisp designs. *(If working with wood, the best way to smooth a surface is with fine sand paper).
If the back ground of your project needs a base coat, simply pick your background color and paint with a foam brush. *Foam brushes cover a lot of area quickly and smoothly. They are also washable, so you can use them over and over.
Pour a small amount of paint on a plate or palette, about the size of a quarter. Dip just the tip of your brush or sponge into the paint. If using a brush, with a circular/swirling motion, remove excess paint on a different paper plate or paper towel until the brush is “dry”. Too much paint on the brush causes blotchy designs. If using a sponge, start dabbing and ‘pushing/working’ the paint into the sponge until the sponge feels almost ‘dry’/moist (NOT WET!) *Remember – stenciling is a “dry” brush technique. The most common mistake is overloading your brush. It is far better to stencil a few layers gradually, instead of one thick paint application. If paint begins to ‘bleed’ behind your stencil or if your designs do not have crisp defined edges, YOU ARE USING TOO MUCH PAINT.
Once brush is loaded, test (practice) on an area of your paper plate to test the imprint. The brush/sponge is properly loaded when there is a uniform (almost powdery) looking imprint on the plate. There should be nothing wet or sloppy.
Once brush/sponge is loaded. …You are ready to stencil! There are different ways to stencil. The most common is either the ‘stippling’ or ‘swirling’ technique. Stippling is a straight up and down motion. Swirling is in a circular motion. Here is what I recommend:
LARGER AREAS – I like to use a sponges. With a sponge, you can cover a larger area MUCH faster and will have a smooth (non-stippling) finish. It covers fast and evenly distributes the paint…. then a second layer with the swirling technique (to give it a sharp/crisp edge)
SMALL/DETAILED AREAS – I like to use the swirling technique. The reason this is the best technique for a tiny detailed area, is when you’re swirling it really gets those tiny edges and corners that are hard to evenly distribute when just stippling or spongin. Swirling is the BEST choice for detailed or sharp areas. *Important: …when using this techinique, your brush needs to be very ‘Dry/Damp’ …if it’s too wet, it will look sloppy and leak. Be patient, even if it takes a few coats, it will look just beautiful and crisp in the end! J
When finished stenciling, carefully peel off the stencil. ….You’re not finished yet! ….Remember to connect those bridges! *Especially when stencil with letters. Just because you stenciled something, doesn’t mean it needs to LOOK like a stencil when you’re finished! Bridges are needed in stencils, so the middles don’t fall out (example: the letter ‘B’) …if there were no bridges, the middle of the B would fall out. SO, after stenciling, take a small paintbrush and dip the tip into the same color as the letter/image. Then lightly connect the letters. The finishing product is SO much more professional. Take pride in your work and take time to connect the bridges to give your project that final touch. You’ll be happy you did!
Want to give your project that ‘worn’ primitive look? You can ‘rough up’ your edges with some sand paper. Just rip off a piece and (I usually wrap it around one of my small bottles of paint), then scuff up the edging and sides. The rougher the sand paper, the more scuffed up it will look. When choosing the grit size …the lower the number, the rougher it is. To rough up your sign even more, you can use a meat tenderizer or any household items that ‘bang/mark up’ a surface well.
Once your project is dry, (and edging finished if you choose), you can spray or paint a protective coat. I usually use the spray can. There are different finishing sprays you can use, that are all available in your local craft store (paint isle). I like to put a finishing spray on my projects, as it gives it that ‘professional/finishing’ look and it also helps protect your product for years and years of enjoyment.
Clean up time! After you’re finished, simply toss out your paper plate. Your stencils and brushes/sponges can all be cleaned with soap and warm water. Also, we find household cleaners such as Windex, Oven Cleaner and Clorox Kitchen cleaner work very well… just spray down your dry stencil and wait a short bit, then spray it off with your sink sprayer. Careful cleaning of your stencils and brushes will enable them to be uses again and again.
DIY Cupcake Sugar Scrub Bars
Valentine’s Day is all about chocolate, but that doesn’t mean it has to be all about calories. These DIY cupcake sugar scrub bars combine exfoliating sugar, moisturizing oils, and cellulite-fighting chocolate to make your skin super soft—and they just so happen to smell amazing. Plus, they’re non-toxic and really easy to make, so your little ones can have fun “baking” them with you. (Just make sure they don’t try to lick the bowl!)
- 1 c + 2 Tbsp granulated (white) sugar
- ¼ c cocoa powder
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ¾ c coconut oil
- ¼ c cocoa butter
- 2 Tbsp sanding sugar
Step 1: Combine 1 c sugar, cocoa powder, and 1 tsp vanilla in a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir with a fork.
Step 2: Heat ½ c coconut oil until soft but not liquid (about 45 seconds in the microwave). Add to sugar mixture and stir to combine.
Step 3: Lightly grease a cupcake tin with coconut oil. Transfer sugar scrub mixture to cupcake tin, filling each baking cup about 4/5ths of the way full. Place cupcake tin in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
Step 4: When chocolate sugar scrub bars are mostly set, start the “frosting.” Heat cocoa butter and remaining ¼ c coconut oil until soft but not liquid, about 45–60 seconds. Place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (a mixing bowl and electric beater will also work). Add remaining 2 Tbsp granulated sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract, and mix on high speed until light and fluffy, 3–5 minutes.
Step 5: Take cupcake tin out of the freezer, keeping the sugar scrub in the tins. Scoop about 1 heaping Tbsp of “frosting” onto the top of each sugar scrub “cupcake” and smooth it into a mound with a spoon. Optional: sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Step 6: Return cupcake tin to freezer for at least 30 minutes to allow sugar scrub bars to set. Once sugar scrub bars feel hard to the touch, remove them from the freezer (at your leisure) and carefully insert a paring knife to loosen each “cupcake.”
Keep a few cupcake sugar scrub bars in a sealed Mason jar by the shower and store the rest in the freezer until ready for use. Keep out of reach of dogs, small children, and husbands. (My boyfriend tried to eat them!) Luckily, these are non-toxic for humans, so it’s not the end of the world if your little one sneaks a nibble, but do make sure to keep away from dogs because of the chocolate.
To use, rub the chocolate side over wet skin to exfoliate. Follow with the frosting side for extra moisturization, and rinse with warm water.