Easy One Hour Blanket Ladder

While at SNAP a few months ago, I attended a class taught by the darling Shanty 2 Chic sisters. They build all kinds of fun things and in the class they made a simple little blanket ladder. I loved it and knew that I could use one in my home too so this past weekend I whipped up my version of the easy one hour blanket ladder.

Easy One Hour Rustic Blanket Ladder

Supplies needed:
(2) 8 ft 2×4’s
3” screws
a miter box
a drill

Cut List:
2 at 54”
4 at 13”

I found this 2×4 in my supply that had a cut in it from a different project and decided to use it. I cut it on the mark, which was 54” tall, and cut out two 13” pieces as well. I did the same with the second piece.

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I did cut one end on each piece at a 15 degree angle so it would lean back nicely against the wall.

I lined up the side pieces and mark them together so each side would be the exact same. I made the first line about 3 inches from the top and then marked the width of the board (3.5”) and then marked 10” and started the pattern over again.

At first I was going to use my Ryobi airstrike nailer and wood glue and glue the rungs on straight – but then I decided to twist the rungs a little bit for some character. Spencer came out and asked what I was doing and I told him I was building a blanket ladder and he told me that I probably needed to use a drill and 3” screws because our kids would climb on it – he was right!

I turned the ladder on the side and making sure my rungs lined up with my marks on the inside – I pilot drilled and used my impact driver to drive in the 3” screws.

You can see in the above photo that the first side is done. I simply flipped it over and did the same thing on the other side – making sure the rungs line up with my marks.

You need two screws for each rung on each side so the rungs don’t twist and turn.

Usually I take all the photos so it was kind of fun to find this picture that Spencer took – see!! I totally built by myself! Woot! Woot!

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I painted it with DecoArt Chalk Paint called Yesteryear. Then I sanded it and roughed it up a bit and applied the DecoArt Clear Cream Wax. I love chalk paint because it is super easy to apply and it dries really quick!

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Then I leaned up against the wall, added my blankets and was done!

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I love that we can fold them and “display” them instead of throwing them over the back of the couch or hiding them in a basket. All three of these blankets are from IKEA – but it would be really cute and special if you had some heirloom blankets to display!

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White Subway Tile Backsplash

I am in la, la, la love with my white subway tile backsplash. When we set the first few tiles I sort of gritted my teeth and hoped I had made the right decision but every day I just love it more and more! I love the contrast of the white tile and gray grout with the granite counter tops and (hopefully soon) cherry cabinets!

White Subway Tile Backsplash

Are you ready for a picture overload??

Here we go!!

A couple before and after’s….

  

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It’s quite the difference huh? The white makes our kitchen so much brighter and cleaner and adds such a fun farmhouse aspect to our home.

(farmhouse may or may not be a little bit of foreshadowing!!) {wink!} {wink!}

Here are a few more beauty shots for you to enjoy!

   

One of my favorite things about the new tile, is that it goes up and over the window around the sink. At first we only had it as high as the tile underneath the cabinets, but then changed our minds and carried it all the way up and it was the best decision.

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Another fun decision we made that we both really love is replacing our white outlet covers for silver covers. We purchased ours from Home Depot and they are actually nickel covers and you can find them here. I love the simple step detail of the covers. It adds a bit of personality without being “too much.”

 

What do you think? Do you guys like the subway tile? Do you guys have it in your kitchens? Are you thinking about it now!!

I hope so!!

If you are on the fence – do it! You will love it!

To create this look in your home you can find all the tips and tutorials you need here:

How To Use A Tile Saw
How to Cut Tile for an Outlet
Create a Subway Tile Backsplash
How to Grout Tile
How to Seal Tile

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How to Seal Tile and Grout

Let’s talk sealer shall we?!  We have tiled and grouted and scrubbed the tile clean and now it is time to protect all our hard work! I know nothing about good sealers so I went to Home Depot and looked around at the ones they had. I compared a few by looking at the bottles and finally settled on this one:

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SurfaceGard Maximum Strength Sealer — in a spray bottle.

I bought for a few reasons, the first being I was tiling  backsplash and I liked that I could just spray it onto the wall. Second, it is made for natural stone, tile, grout and masonry. Third, it is “supposed” to protect for 20 years. Lastly… it didn’t get too bad of reviews.

All I did was spray it on all over the tile. Easy right?

I made sure I sprayed it on in a uniform pattern and made sure all my sprays overlapped. I paid close attention to the grout lines and the amount of sealer they were absorbing – if I felt there was a spot that was absorbing too quickly or was too dry, I would give it another quick spray.

After waiting about 5 minutes I wiped off all the extra sealer with a clean dry rag.

Because we like to over-do some things…. I repeated the process one more time just to make sure it was really sealed!

I sealed the tile in the morning and waited until the evening to really utilize my kitchen. You only need to wait about 3 hours for it to fully dry but since I did two coats I personally wanted to wait just a bit longer.

We have had this backsplash finished since July. Surprise! This project was one of the many projects we completed over the summer while we were gearing up to start our blog and share with you. Since it has been done since July… I feel I can give you a better  and honest review of the tile sealer.

I really love it and have not had any problems with it. One time I splashed bright red spaghetti sauce all over the backsplash by the stovetop and was able to wipe it all off without any hassle and my grout looked just fine. Some people give advice and suggest to reseal every 6 months but our sealer is holding up just fine and we haven’t had any problems. In the summer, I may reseal around the sink and the stovetop because those are wiped down on a regular basis just to be extra sure they are sealed in tight but other than that we have had no problems and our grout and tile still look awesome!

On Friday, I will show you the finished project!! I am so excited!

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How to Grout Tile

Are you ready to grout? Has your tile cured for at least 48 hours? Yes!!?? Then let’s grout!

You will need:

  • Grout
  • A grout float
  • A large grout sponge
  • A large bowl of luke warm water
      We chose to buy and use a pre-made grout. Since we were only doing a small space this worked out best for us. I really wanted the lines to pop a little bit so we went with a gray grout – plus, we really loved the gray grout tile from

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      !

Swoon!

    A grout float is a float with a smooth bottom side and the best sponge to buy is a large one with a scrubber on one side and a sponge on the other!

I am really excited about this post because I (Amanda) did all the work! I grouted my new backsplash! Woot! Woot! I’ll admit, I was nervous but once I started it was pretty easy and once I found my groove there was no turning back!

How to Grout Tile:

Add a small amount of grout to the bottom of your grout float.

Using the float, push the grout into the open lines of your tile. There are no tips or tricks really – it sort of comes natural. You push in the grout and then smooth it out and move onto the next line. You want to make sure that you fill the entire space with grout so there are no holes or air bubbles.

I did it small space by small space so the grout wouldn’t dry too much by the time I went to wipe off the excess. Use the scrubber side of your sponge and wipe off as much grout as you can. Make sure that you wipe off with flat and straight motions. Wiping grout out of the grout lines defeats the purpose a little bit (wink!)

When you have most of it off, flip the sponge over and wipe off the remaining grout. You shouldn’t have too much to wipe off but make sure it is as nice and clean as you can get it. You will still have a little bit of grout left of the tiles, it will pretty much just look like dirty water but let the grout dry for 48 hours.

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After 48 hours you can seal the grout. Before you apply your sealer, give the tile one more good scrub. I like to clean each tile one by one. It is tedious – but it would drive me nuts to seal a dirty tile and then have to see it every day!

This tutorial is for a backsplash, but you would use the same exact steps to grout any tile (shower surround, flooring, bathroom backsplash, walls and so on). Just make sure you press the grout in and clean it up really nice.

Tomorrow I will show you the grout sealer that I purchased and used and I’ll tell you why I went with the one I did.

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How to Create a Subway Tile Backsplash

Hello Friends! How was your weekend!? I was able to knock-out a couple organizational projects (I love to deep clean in January!) one of which we will be sharing – soon… I hope! But today we are going to show you how to tile a subway tile backsplash!

For this project you can use any rectangular tile you want and adjust the measurements as necessary. We picked out a White Daltile 3” x 6” tile from Home Depot. I am not sure how much they are per tile, but a box is only $22! We bought 4 boxes and had more than enough. The best part is that we could bring back the tiles we didn’t use. Okay… that’s not the best part… the best part is our amazing white tile subway backsplash… the returning part is just a fun little perk!

For our backsplash we used 1/8” tile spacers. We had a mixture of purple ones and white ones. I tried to take pictures with the purple ones so you can see them better. We like to dump ours in a paper bowl for easy access.

The mortar we used is a thin set pre-mixed mortar that we bought at Home Depot. I loved this because there was no mixing and no mess – we could just get to work! You also want to make sure you use thin set mortar on your backsplash. It is the perfect consistency so your tiles stay put and isn’t too thick.

You also want to make sure you use a slotted blade! Why? Because the cutouts create space between the tile and the wall and when you press the tile onto the wall it “sucks” it on so it stays better! Simply put your mortar on your tile and when you scrape off the extra, the slots will make the lines for the mortar you need to use.

 

Set your tile saw up somewhere close and outside since it is a water saw and let’s get to work!

For our backsplash, we started on the side of the kitchen with a bar top counter and a window and went from there. The most important part of tiling is making sure you are inline and straight. You want to make sure all your lines line up both horizontally and vertically. One of the best ways to do this is to take your level and make a line on your wall so you know where your tiles should line up.

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You may also want to play around with your design to make sure you like how the tiles will fall. I wanted a longer tile to overhang the bar top so we started there and made our lines and cuts based off that tile. Since our tile is 6” we have a line drawn at 6” and at 9”.

(Sorry about the awesome picture… taking a picture into the light of the window is a challenge for me!)

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With our lines drawn we cut and mortared up our first tile! To mark your tile, simply take a permanent marker and mark the tile where it touches the pen line. This makes it easier to get an accurate cut then trying to measure and mark from under the bar top.

At first we thought we wanted a little space between the countertop and the tile (you can see the purple spacers), but after placing a few we decided against it and simply put the tile onto the counter. Our counter is level so it makes a good starting “line.” After placing the first few tiles, we were on a roll.

 

We had a few outlets and light switches to cut around. You can find the tutorial on how to cut out the outlets here.  Remember to step back every so often and make sure all your lines are lining up.

Whenever we came to a “tricky” spot, we would bust out the level, draw a simple little line and keep on going. This ensured we would cut the tile where it needed to be cut and ease the pain of screwing up.

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After all the tile was done and set and before we grouted, we sealed the tile to the counter with a premium waterproof (clear) permanent silicone. We didn’t want to take the chance of something getting under the tile and since it is the kitchen – you want it waterproof!

Apply a small bead and then simply smooth it out with your finger.

 

Now we wait for the mortar to cure and then we grout!! I am so excited about this project that I feel like I have been in a permanent state of “happy dances!” since we finished it!

Want to know how to grout? Good!! Because we a a tutorial for that too!!

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How to Cut Tile for an Outlet

Now that you know how to cut tile with a tile saw, lets get down to business! Today we are going to give you step-by-step instructions on how to cut small tile for an outlet. It may seem super complicated… but it’s not and when you see how easy it really is you may start thinking about adding tile for your backsplash!

First, hold the tile up to the wall where you will be placing it and (using a permanent marker) mark where the cutout for the outlet box is width wise.

With your tile facing the same way, move it to the side of the outlet and position it where it will go and mark the tile length-wise.

Using a level, so your line is nice and straight and well… level {wink!} …draw a line using your mark length-wise.

 

Use your level and do the same for the width marks.

You will now have a nice little outline of the outlet.

Take your tile to your tile saw and cut out the outlet piece.

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You may have seen this tile before because we used this tile in our post and video about how to use a tile saw. You will want to watch the video! Spencer walks you through the whole process of cutting the tile and gives lots of good tips to make it easier for you. I have embedded it below but here is a link in case it won’t pull up for you.

Your cut out piece will slip nicely over your outlet…

And will pretty much look freakin’ awesome!!

Now that we have shown you some tips and tricks for creating a backsplash, next up… How to Tile a Backsplash!

See you Monday!

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How to Use a Tile Saw

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Hey Friends! Amanda here and today Spencer and I are going to show you how to use a tile saw! Since I am dreaming of a white tile backsplash… and am getting what I am dreaming of (Yay! happy dance!!) we are going to take you through a “how to tile a backsplash” series and offer up how-to’s and tips to help build your confidence on tiling a backsplash as well. You can use these tips for almost any tiling project.

Did you know that a tile saw doesn’t cut you? We have tiled quite a few places in our home and have used a tile saw but I had no clue the “saw” wouldn’t cut you… until Spencer stuck his hand right into the blade and dang near gave me a heart attack! I threw my hands up in front of my face and just knew he had lost a finger when he simply said “amanda, it doesn’t cut you…” and after I mustered up the courage to look… sure enough… no blood. Crazy right? It will tear through ceramic and stone and porcelain but not your flesh!

Alright… here is a simple little video we made just for you to show how to use the tile saw. Enjoy!

And if you don’t care to watch the video (although I don’t know why you wouldn’t!) or can’t for some reason, here are some photos and a little tutorial just for you!

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Here is the top view of the tile saw. You can see the blade and a blackish/silverish table. That moves back and forth so you simply put your tile piece on it and slide it back and forth. We mostly use it to steady the piece of tile we are cutting.

Mark your tile where you need to cut it. For this piece we are going to be cutting a little bit off the corner.

Line your marks up with the blade to make sure you will be cutting where you need too and then smoothly and steadily make your cuts.

   

More than likely, your cuts will not totally line up and match and you will have a small space in between cuts. Simply and carefully break the piece off.

You will have a little “tag” where the piece was being held on. Move your tile across the blade and smooth it out.

 

And you are done!

There is more white tile backsplash fun coming your way so stay tuned!

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