How to Brighten Up an Oak Mantle

White Mantle

Hey guys! I was super busy this weekend with lots of fun projects and I can’t wait to share them all with you. Today I’m going to share how I FINALLY updated our fireplace mantle.  It has a honey oak stain and I have disliked it since the day we moved in, but I lived with it for a long time because honestly, I was kind of afraid to paint it.  It’s a really big focal point of our house because we have such an open concept and the fireplace is right in the middle of the living room. But oh my gosh you guys, I can’t believe it took me this long.  It has already made SUCH a difference and I absolutely LOVE It.  

Here is what the fireplace looked like before.  

honey oak fireplace mantle

Yeah a lovely orange golden oak and I really was just not a fan. It made the whole room look so dark and orange. So what do you think I did? Obviously I painted it…WHITE. 

Here’s how it turned outbrighten up oak mantle

Don’t you just love it? You will also get a little sneak peak at the other part of this project we worked on this weekend, but I haven’t had time to style everything yet so I will be doing a full reveal soon.  

The room is just so much brighter I can’t believe it. It even makes the brick look totally different.  I wish I would have completed this project sooner.  If you’re thinking of doing a simple quick project like this to brighten up your space, here is how I did it. This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my disclosure policy.


  • White interior paint 
  • Painters Tape– I prefer this kind
  • Sand paper
  • Paint brush


  • Tape around your wall and brick – taping is really my least favorite part of painting but its necessary for this because you don’t want to get paint on your brick because its hard to get off…trust me. before
  • Give your mantle a quick sanding.  I used 220 grit paper which isn’t very strong. I just wanted to give it a little scuff in order for the paint to stick better.  If you have a really high gloss or clear coat on your’s you might want to use a more aggressive/lower numbered paper. sanding
  • Once you have given it a quick sanding go back through and wipe it down with a wet wash cloth.  You just want to get it clean of any dust so you have a fresh pallet.  
  • Paint it! I painted two coats on our mantle, but depending on how dark your’s is you might have to do more.

Super simple, right? The power of paint is amazing.  AND the best part for me was my husbands reaction.  He said, and I quote, “do you think if we paint the kitchen cabinets white they will brighten up the kitchen that much?” I literally almost died.  So maybe…someday…I’ll get a white kitchen, you heard it here first.


Check back later this week for a full reveal of the fireplace makeover we did.  You can also see how I turned the brass trim on our fireplace to silver here




Easy How To: Removing Tarnish From a Copper Kettle

I am seriously the definition of procrastination.  I got this old copper kettle 2 years ago. It has moved around the kitchen a few times and I see it pretty much everyday. But I still could not manage to spruce it up and make it shiny and new looking again.  You don’t even want to know how many times I have thought about it and then decided I had ‘better things to do’.

And those ‘better things’ probably consisted of watching an entire series on Netflix and not leaving my house or doing anything until I finish it.  Do you ever have that problem?  I have to avoid Netflix most of the time because I know if I get started on a TV show I will have to watch them all before I can move on with anything else in my life.  My current addiction is, The Following, so.good.I.cant.stop. The one before that – My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Thankfully there were only like 7 episodes of that show.

Anywho, I finally managed to clean up my old kettle and it was so easy to get rid of the tarnish, I don’t know why it took me so long.


 This is what we started with, just not living up to its full copper tarnish free potential.

I just cut up a lemon, added some salt and scrubbed the surface of the kettle.  Easy peasey lemon squeezey (pun intended ;))


The tarnish came of so easily, its pretty much like magic.  I did leave a tarnish in some spots because I like the way it still made it look old and antique but not all over dull. I don’t actually use this kettle for tea, just for decoration. Oh and I would recommend doing this in the sink and probably not on your counter top. Its very messy and the lemon and salt is very hard to clean up if it dries a little.



So shiny and pretty right? I love this little kettle even more now.  And my pig cutting boards, my new collection I have started, aren’t they the cutest?


Do you have any super easy projects you have been procrastinating on completing? I would love to hear from you in the comments, or follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

Thanks for reading! If you need me I’ll be watching The Following. But seriously, who comes up with this stuff? Its addicting.

//Inspire Me Please\

Target HACK – Stool Makeover

A few weeks ago I was doing my favorite thing – AKA browsing the aisles of Target and I came across these adorable counter stools.

Threshold™ 24" Industrial Counterstool with Wood Top (Set of 2)


But at $98 for the pair, I wasn’t really willing to spend that much. Then I remembered that I had some pretty sweet vintage stools that I traded Katie for a can of paint for a few months ago.  I planned to use them in the basement craft area, but the Target stools gave me a totally new idea on how to spruce them up a bit. Here’s what the stools looked like when we started. Very sturdy, but a little rusty in some spots and I didn’t looove the color.


So we decided to give them a little makeover to look more like the stools I found at Target. It was actually a pretty easy process. Here’s how we did it.

::Materials Used::

  • Plywood- we purchased a 2×4 piece of plywood at Home Depot. It was sanded already on one side so it made finishing a little easier
  • 8 Carriage Bolts, washer & nuts
  • Drill
  • Skillsaw
  • Jigsaw
  • Hand sander
  • Stain
  • Spray paint

::Step 1 ::

We spray painted the base of the stools in Rustoleum Heirloom White, in a satin finish.

Then we measured the top of each stool seat.  Ours were 14″x14″.  Then marked our measurements on the wood, a 14×14 cutout.


:Step 2::

With the skill saw we cut out the top pieces of plywood.

::Step 3::

Because the skill saw only makes straight cuts we had to place the cutout on top of the stool and trace the corners to see where they need to be rounded. Once the corner rounds were traced off, we used the jigsaw to round them off.

::Step 4::

Next we sanded the corners to make them smooth.


::Step 5::

Because our stools already have holes in them it was easy to measure where the holes would need to be cut to screw the bolts into.  We traced from underneath the stool seat where the existing holes were to the bottom of the new seat.  Then we used our drill to drill the holes for the bolts to fit into.

::Step 6::

Next we stained the tops with a combination of Ebony and Red Mahogany and finished them with a clear wax.

::Step 7::

When the stain was dry we attached the wood tops to the stools with the carriage bolts and made sure they were tightened securely.

And that was it, not difficult at all.  Here’s the finished product-


stool 3


target hack-vintage stool makeover

Pretty similar, right?  What do you think? Will you be on the lookout for some vintage stools to try this project?

You might have noticed a little sneak peek of my craft room, stay tuned I will be sharing the full reveal later this week!

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No Sew DIY Grain Sack Pillow

I can finally say that all of the holiday decor is officially put away and our house is somewhat back to normal. It only took me almost a month, but I made it. Usually for me cleaning leads to redecorating and re-arranging around the house. I decided to put the tree in the corner close to the window, to the right of the fireplace this year. So I moved the console table that sits next to the fireplace to the foyer.  That lead me to move the foyer dresser into the kitchen area. Well, once the tree was gone, there was an empty space next to the fireplace, so they all got moved back to their original spots.  Which then left me with an empty space in the kitchen.  So I shopped the house for something that would fit in that small space and I found a cute little burlap bench that I reupholstered last year.

Photo 1

It needed something to spruce it up a little bit, and add some height. So I decided to add some pillows that I had laying around.  I remembered that I had a few grain sacks laying around that I picked up over the summer at antique stores and markets. My mom also gave me a couple for Christmas.  I change my mind often, and I didn’t really feel like busting out the sewing machine to make pillow covers.  So went for the next best thing and made my own, no sewing involved and instant gratification.

Here are the materials you will need and the simple steps-


Grain sack
Pillow insert
Safety pin

Step 1::

Stuff your pillow insert into the grain sack. You will probably have a lot of excess fabric depending on the size of the pillow.

Photo 5

Step 2::

Center the sack around the pillow and turn it over. Fold the corners of the sack to meet the top of the pillow.  You should have something that looks like the top of an  open envelope.

PicMonkey Collage

Step 3::

Fold the point down to the back of the pillow in about the center or however far you need to make the front of the sack straight and tight.  Safety pin the point to the back of the pillow.

That’s it, super easy, no sew, non permanent grain sack pillow.  It literally took me two minutes, and if I ever want to change them out or change my mind it will take two minutes to take apart and use for something else.

Photo 8

Photo 13

Photo 20

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you all have a great week and stay warm, this polar vortex is seriously kicking my butt and all I want to do is snuggle on the couch all day.  Spring can get here anytime now!



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Joy Banner {DIY}

Hey Hey Hey! Happy Wednesday, hope your all having a great week, don’t worry only a few more days until Friday then its the weekend!! We are hosting an ugly Christmas sweater/white elephant party at our house on Saturday and I have been busy for weeks trying to get the basement in shape.  We have the drywall guy coming tonight so fingers crossed, we can get that done before Saturday.  I cant wait to show you all the progress we have made down there with the craft area and closet that Patrick built.

You may have noticed from the post about our Christmas Mantel & on our home tour the other day this sweet little JOY banner that I made. Well, in case you were wondering where I got it or how I made it, this post is definitely for you. And guess what! It’s sooo easy. Here’s a step by step process for you.


3 book pages



Twine, string or ribbon

Craft paint & brush

Stencil {I actually just free handed my letters)

Ruler or straight edge

Elmers Glue & Glitter [ optional & not pictured]

{Step 1}

Gather Supplies

{Step 2}

With a pencil, draw a line from the bottom corner of the page diagonally to the center. Repeat on the other side so it  looks like a triangle. Cut out the bottom triangle so it looks like image 3.

{Steps 3 & 4}

Free hand or stencil your letters on the center of the page.  Color it in with your paint and set aside to let it dry. I decided later that i wanted to add some glitter around the edge of the letters. To do this, I traced the letter with white Elmers glue and sprinkled glitter on the glue.

{Step 5}

Once everything is dry its time to attach it to your twin, string or ribbon. I fold over the top of the page about a 1/2 inch down and glued it to the backside with the string in between. This still lets me move the pages along the string if I need to and they stick in place pretty well when I want them to.  Next you hang it where every you like! I hung mine on my mantel between our two stockings and I love how the lights from the Christmas tree or above the TV hit the glitter just right and its super sparkly and festive!

Joy Banner 5 steps

christmas mantel 2

See, like I said, super easy! What do you think? Will you try making one?

I feel like I want to make banners with all different sayings now. How cute would little mini ones without letters be for garland on your tree?

Have a great weekend friends!

//Holiday Cheer Link Party\\ //Inspiration Exchange\\//Inspire Me Please\\//Christmas Extravaganza\\

Bye Bye Brass – {Fireplace Makeover Part 1}

There are a lot of changes we would eventually like to make to our fireplace and mantel. We don’t love the color of the brick or the mortar…it looks too pink to me but we haven’t really decided which direction we would like to go. I would maybe eventually like to whitewash the brick and paint the mantel but the first and easiest thing on the makeover list is to say bye bye to the brass around the fireplace.

fireplace before

Yeah…that. I know that brass is totally making a comeback but I’m just not feeling it here. I originally thought about taking off the panels to try and spray paint them. Then I had an idea after reading about how much of a fan Caramel is of this stuff called Rub n’ Buff, so I thought I would give that a try first. Yea, I said Rub n’ Buff.  Its pretty much magical and the easiest stuff to use, EVER.

rub n' buff1

I bought mine at Michaels, and most craft stores carry it but usually in limited colors. If you want other colors I recommend looking online.  Like I said its super easy to apply and took about 5 minutes.  You literally rub it on and then come back and buff it.  You can use a lint free cloth or your finger. I recommend using your finger because you will have better control over the application.  A little goes a long way and you just wash your hands with soap and water after. So are you ready for the amazing reveal….

fireplace after 2

Fireplace after


I like the look of the silver/chrome much better. I think if we do end up white washing the brick I might change everything to black, but I guess we will cross that bridge when we get to it.

So what do you guys think? Do you prefer the bronze or silver better? Do you have a bronze fireplace? I totally recommend you try Rub n’ Buffing it!


//Liz Marie Blog\\ //The Shabby Nest\\

Guest Bathroom Progress & DIY Rustic Towel Rack

Hello lovelies, how’s it going? I’m back today to share the progress of our guest bathroom with you all. It’s definitely not complete but we have made some progress. I’ll share some progress pictures with you and a little list of what things we would still like to do. I also made a pretty towel rack out of a scrap barn board that I want to share with you.

Lets take a look at the mood board I created for this space

Guest Bath Mood Board numbers_overlay



I was going for a light, fresh, colorful space for our guests to use.  And I think I’m getting there. Here are a few pictures of what the bathroom currently looks like.


I found a different shower curtain at Target along with the glass shelf.  I also hung up an antique mirror/tray that my parents got for me at a garage sale. I shopped around the house for the other accessories.

happycow Collage

To the left of the sink, I found a happy ceramic cow and put a frame around him. I love that he smiles at you every time you dry your hands 🙂


Hanging out on the other side of the bathroom is this rustic towel rack that I made.  This bathroom is pretty small, and I couldn’t fit a cute little shelf or cabinet on this wall so I decided to create cute AND functional towel rack. You can see I was inspired by this image. I knew that there were old barn boards hanging around the farm so I gave my farmer the job to find me just the right one.  And he totally came through, I know he secretly gets as excited about these DIY projects as I do 😉

This towel rack was super easy to make and takes literally about 15 minutes.


You will need the following supplies:

  • Distressed barn board. You can make your own with new wood and paint, or if you are lucky enough like me you can find one that is naturally distressed.
  • Mason Jars
  • Hooks or knobs
  • Sawtooth hangers (not pictured)
  • Hose clamps to hold the mason jars (not pictured)



Step 1-

Measure where you would like to have the hooks and jars on the board. Attach the hooks to the board

Step 2-

Attach the sawtooth hangers to the back of the board.

Step 3-

Attach the hose clamps to the board where you would like the mason jars to be. It is a little difficult to attach the hose clamps to the wood so you will have to use some strong screws and  little elbow grease.

Step 4-

Hang up on the wall. Seriously…that’s how easy it is.


I added a few Q-tips and cotton balls for guests, but you could really put anything you like in the jars. Maybe some fresh flowers when you have guests over?

There are still a few things that we would like to do to the bathroom before we can say its complete .  I still need to paint the vanity, add hardware, frame the mirror and change the floor. I will keep you all updated on the progress as it happens.

Do you have any bathroom makeover projects going on? Or are you dreaming of one? I would love to hear about them.


To keep up with my daily life and projects be sure to follow me on Instagram @adashofcoco or on Bloglovin  Follow on Bloglovin

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DIY Orb Light Fixture & Pinterest Challenge



Hey peeps! Its spring pinterest challenge time. A time to get off your butt, step away from the computer and actually complete a project that you have pinned. The Pinterest challenge is a link party hosted by Katie (Bower Power), Sherry (Young House Love), Emily (Sparkle meets Pop) and Renee (Red Bird Blue).  It can be anything crafty, a recipe, a room re-do, whatever you want, or have pinned.  Its a fun way to get people to actually act on their pins and to share them all in one place.


Many of you may have seen these and probably have them in your home. You know what I’m talking about, we so affectionately like to call them boob lights…get it? I’m not a huge fan, they just don’t really do it for me. So I have made it my mission to slowly but surely replace all the boob lights in the house. First victim is the one in the foyer. I figured it was getting a nice makeover in a few other ways, why not this? And it only cost $22, that’s my kind of light.

Orb light fixtures are a pretty popular trend, but can be very pricy.  Here are a few inspiration pictures I found.

I have always loved the look of these fixtures but could never bring myself to spend the money on one.
Until I saw this pin from Thrifty Décor Chick.
pinterest challenge pin
Then a light bulb went on in my head. haha funny, right? I figured I could re-create that no problem. She makes it look so easy.
So here are the steps that I took, because I did modify her tutorial just a tad.
orb final-2
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure & privacy policy. 
Materials List –
  • Embroidery hoops – I used 4, but if you want a more enclosed orb like Sarah’s, you can use more. I got mine for $1.00 for all 4 at a garage sale. Any craft store like JoAnn’s or Michaels will have them too.
  • A LightKit– I purchased mine from World Market. You can get one here.
  • Spray paint – I used Rust-Oleum black because I had a can on hand.
  • Thin thread
  • Drill with 3/8″ bit
  • Edison light bulb

Step 1 

Intertwine your embroidery hoops until you get the desired shape and width between the spaces.  I used the inside of the hoops so they wouldn’t have that tightening hardware stuff showing.

Step 2

Once you have the desired width. Cut some thread and tie around the top where all the hoops meet. I just kept winding it around until it was tight and the hoops didn’t move. Do this on the top and bottom of the orb. (sorry I don’t have a picture of that step)

Step 3

Spray paint your hoops. You may have to let it dry and then turn it over to get the other side.

Step 4

With a 3/8″ drill bit, drill a hole in the top of the hoops through the middle. Sarah just rests her bulb between a few hoops, but I wanted a more centered look. Be sure to go all the way through all of the hoops.


orblight DIY step 4

Step 5

Because I wanted my bulb  and cord to run through the middle, we had to modify the lighting kit a little bit.   You will have to take apart the lighting kit in order to shorten the cord, but be sure to remember how to put it back together.
orblight DIY light kit closeup
Once the kit is taken apart, you will have to decide on how long you want to cord to be and how far you want it to hang between your light. I wanted the cord to hang about 8 inches from the ceiling mount to the top of the fixture and then the bulb to be as high up on the orb as possible.
orb light with cordIn order to get the cord to go through the hole in the hoops and for the bulb to rest underneath you will have to cut it. We just used a scissors to shorten the cord. We used a knife to cut the rubber cord back to expose the wires and then stuck it through the hole.
diy orb light cord closeup
orb light with cord
Step 6
Once the cord is cut to the length you want, put the wires and the light kit back together.  Then attach the light kit to the ceiling mount and add a bulb. There are directions in the light kit packaging on how to install a light fixture but I just got this hunky farmer to install mine for me 😉 I think there is some saying about farmers…they are a Jack of all trades but master of none? installation
Step 7
Sit back and enjoy the hard work
orblight finished
complete orb light

DIY Orb Light Fixture

Well there you have it my friends, your very own orb light fixture for under $30.
Have you ever made your own light before? Will you attempt this simple DIY?
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P.S. I’m linking this post to The Shabby Nest & Inspire Me Link party.


Foyer Makeover- Dresser Re-do

We are working on giving our foyer a little face lift.  We want to give her a little more “Hi how are ya, welcome to our home” feel.  We are secretly really trying to impress the many children solicitors that we get. I’m not even kidding you, at least 1 or 2 kids  a week come to the door wanting to sell something.  And me, of course, the sucker that I am, gives in every.single.time. I swear that we have a sign on our roof that says, a sucker for church or summer camps or sports lives here. No, for real though, I love our neighborhood. I will forever continue to buy their popcorn, fruit baskets and discount cards, because it kind of makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside…yea weird, I know.

So today I’m sharing a little dresser that I worked on this past weekend. Here is what she looked like before..


Kind of blah, huh? I got a little antsy and took the hardware off before I got a full before picture. But you guys get the idea.  I bought her at Savers this winter for $12, and she has been sitting in the basement all winter, and now she is ready for her makeover. I’m not really sure why I refer to my pieces as a specific gender, but I do, so lets just go with it.

It was my first attempt at making my own “chalk paint” I followed a recipe I found from Liz Marie.  I mixed un-sanded grout with paint. She recommends flat paint, but I had  a few  free quarts of paint from work and they were satin. I’m not sure if that makes a huge difference or not, but there were a few areas that weren’t as flat as I would like them to be. But over all I think it turned out really cute.

 I only applied one coat of the chalk paint. I like how the wood sort of shows through in some places.  I sprayed the pulls with a fresh coat of Rust-Oleum metallic gold, and I just shopped around the house for the accessories on top. I like that it gives me so much more storage space as well. I put all our winter hats, mittens, and scarves in the drawers.    Here are a few more after pictures.






So, what do you think? She cleaned up pretty nice I would say. Our foyer is slowly coming along and looking more bright and inviting.  I’ll share more info about the striped wall and a few more changes with you soon!



P.S. I’m linking up here

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TDC Before and After

DIY Music Page Wreath

Hey everyone! I wanted to share with you how I made my music page wreath and used it as my tree topper this year.  Its super easy and the best part is that it only takes about 20-30 minutes to make!


Here’s how~
1. You will need a Styrofoam wreath,  I used the smaller one and bought it at JoAnn’s for $3 with a coupon.  Music note pages,  I bought at few books at a thrift store for I think .90 each.  I chose ones that already had yellow pages, not the bright white ones because that was the look I was going for.  Hot glue gun or sewing pins. I used pins because it was easier to move things around where as glue is more permanent.
2. Rip out one page at a time and accordion fold it the long way. If you learned hot dog or hamburger in school, it would be the hot dog way ;).  Cut the folded page in half so you have two smaller halves of accordion folded paper.
3. Stick the pages in around the wreath form with push pins or hot glue.


Hang as your tree topper like I did or use anywhere you could use a pretty wreath. I think after Christmas I will keep mine out and hang it on the mirror on my old door in the foyer.

There you have it a super fast and easy way to make a wreath out of music pages. Have you ever made a wreath from paper? Will you attempt this easy project?   coco