With one year old twins, my time for any kind of projects, especially, DIY decorating or updating my house projects are limited and honestly, had been put on the back burner. Now with our “stay at home orders”, I have more time to work on DIY projects, which has been a bit of a blessing for me. I love decorating and recreating things I find at thrift and antique stores.
Our twins currently take a long nap in the morning and a shorter nap in the afternoon. Keeping them on a great schedule and having my in-laws here has given me the time I need to get things done. I use this time to take care of myself, eat, connect with friends and family and clean up my house most days. See my article about five things I do every day to be and stay happy. Here and there, instead of doing my “normal” routine, I take advantage of nap time to tackle a random DIY project. This series will talk about and show you the DIY home decorating projects I’ve been able to tackle and complete during nap time.
For my Nap Time DIY Projects I try to stick to things that I can realistically get done in an hour and a half to two hours max. Otherwise, I have to wait until my husband isn’t working (he’s working from home now, but he’s working, so he can’t exactly help me during business hours) and can either go for a long walk with the twins or play with them so I can get my projects done. For the shorter projects I like to get them done in one day. I get so much satisfaction from completing something and having it turn out better than expected in just a couple of hours.
My first Nap time DIY Project in our new house was to paint our fireplace mantel in our family room. It was a really dark grey and with the dark brick on the fireplace, it made the whole room feel very dark and out dated. I eventually want to re-do the entire fireplace and replace the brick with a tile and take out the very large, over sized hearth, but for now, just updating and brightening the fireplace mantel is a great start!
I didn’t want to spend a bunch of time or money on this project. We are planning to completely re-do the fireplace and convert it from wood burning to a gas insert, at some point, so spending a bunch of money and time on it is out of the question for now. We also, just renovated our basement and painted all of our new doors (in the entire house), so I had some nice white paint left over that I could re-use. I used what we had in our storage area already and since it’s so dry here in Colorado, I was able to brush the first coat on the mantel and step away to work on another small project. I let it dry while I put one coat of paint on the half wall in my living room to also freshen that up a bit. Thankfully, the half wall only needed one coat & dried super fast. The half wall was a project we were going to have our handy man do the next time we have him come out (we have other outside projects that we need his help with still) but I saved money and time by doing it myself. Bonus!
You can see in the before photo that the room isn’t that large and the fireplace is the focal point. The furniture and art work in the above photo is the previous owners. I didn’t get a good “before” photo of the room before I got started on this project so I’m using the one that was used for the real estate photos when the house was on the market (when we purchased it). I think the “before” photo compared to my “after” photos shows how I turned this room that didn’t have much personality into a family room that is cozy, comfortable and full of love now!
By using paint we already had, I was able to save money and time. I did this entire project in about 3 hours total. I started it during nap time on one day and was able to decorate the mantel during nap time the next day. Plus I had time to freshen up the half wall in our living room. It’s just a wood cap that is painted white on the half wall that goes around the stairs to our basement. It’s not that exciting to look at and I didn’t get a before photos, so I’m not including a photo of that. It’s just to let you know that I had time for more than just this one project on the day I got stated. The steps I took for this project are below:
- I took everything off of the mantel
- I cleaned the mantel really well. The climate is really dry in Colorado, so dust can be a problem here
- I used a gallon of white paint that we already had in our storage room left over and a new paint brush that I had purchased a while back but never used
- It took two coats of paint and a very little amount of touch up when it was completely dry to finish this project
- While the first coat on the mantel was drying I painted one quick coat on the half wall in my living room. When I was done with that, the mantel was dry enough for a second coat. I finished the second coat and had time to do a few touch ups here and there, then wash the paint brush before the twins woke up from their nap.
- The next day, when I knew for sure the mantel was completely dry, I decorated it for St. Patrick’s day. I decorate my mantel for each season/holiday. Right now it has a couple of Easter bunnies on it with some of our normal decor. I don’t have much Easter decor so it’s not photo worthy, in my opinion. I hope to be able to get some more Easter decor on sale once we are no longer on “stay at home” orders. That way, next year I’ll have a plethora of bunnies to display for Easter!
I love to decorate and do all kinds of DIY projects. Since having the twins, they take up the majority of my time, so, my projects until we were put on “stay at home orders” were on the back burner. Now that I have some extra time, my husband is working from home and my in-laws are here, I’ve had more time to get some of those back burner projects done. My in-laws help me either with the twins or my projects. My father-in law is great. I just have to tell him what to do or where to hold something and then I can get it done. I love that they don’t mind helping out while they are here. Our new house is coming together beautifully and becoming our home that our twins will love to grow up in.
What DIY projects are you working on while your kiddo’s nap or are doing their online studies? Are you finding extra time to do some of your “on the back burner” projects during this crazy “stay at home” time we’re all in? I’d love to hear about your projects and even see some before and after photos. I reply to all (legitimate) comments and really do love hearing from my readers. I hope you and your family are using this extra time to bond, eat home cooked meals and come up with fun, creative things to do as a family together. We are making the most of it for sure.
The next Nap time DIY projects I’ll be writing about are how I created my own version of a Gallery Wall in our family room and how I created a much needed mini office for myself in our living room. Stay tuned…
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Instant gratification projects are the best! And a coat of white paint does it every time, doesn’t it? Congratulations on your new home.
Thank you so much Carolyn! I’ll have you over when we are able to get together again!