The Big List: Home Improvement Updates Wish List and FREE Printable

Use this free printable checklist to organize all your home improvement ideas!

Every Spring, I get a burst of energy and optimism about home improvement. I’m going to fix this, paint that, finally replace this, and on and on. We’ve been living in this house for five years. In that time, I’ve planned out so many home improvement renovations, DIYs, and updates in my head, but haven’t actually completed very many in real life. I get busy, we don’t have the money, blah, blah.

Do you do this too? It’s human nature to dream and plan, but it’s also human nature to procrastinate. What’s a girl to do?

I’ve decided, in an effort to organize my thoughts and keep myself accountable (and inspired!), to list all my ideas here. Enter the Big List of Home Improvement Updates. Perhaps with all my ideas in one place, I’ll be more focused and more productive at completing the items on the list. I’ve also created a free printable home improvement wish list for you, so you can make your own Big List and join in on the DIY-ing fun!

Now, I realize many of things are not going to actually get done. We are hoping to put our house on the market sometime in the next year, so we can move a little closer to ‘town’. ‘Town’ is really a small city about 20 miles away, but I like to say things like “I’m going into town” and feel like I’m living in a Laura Ingalls Wilder book. I do like the idea of living out in the country, but the impracticality is getting to me. It’s. So. Much. Driving. Right now we are a 30-40 minute drive from church, the YMCA, Target (priorities), and all the restaurants, shopping, and activities that are in the small city near us. We’d like to move closer before the kids start school, so another year or possibly two.

That being said, the focus has shifted from updating the house for me, to updating the house to sell. Still, I’d like the updates to still feel like my country farmhouse style. Because of the plan to sell and the timeline, some of the items on the list will get done, and some will not. I’m ok with that. Just the act of listing all my ideas has already made me feel more productive!

The plan is to tackle what we can, and just keep working at it. I’ll update this list as projects get done, with links to tutorials and before and afters.  Hopefully having it all here will keep me organized and on track. Next time I’m wondering what to do next, I can just refer to this list and quit procrastinating and get moving!

Alright, room by room, here is the Big List (with a few notes and ideas and some links to show you what products I’m thinking about).

Affiliate links are included for your convenience.  Read my full disclosure here.

Kitchen

Living Room/Dining Room

  • finish spray painting curtain rods (oil rubbed bronze)
  • wall art above couch and tv
  • decorate tv shelves
  • organize toys
  • screen for sliding door
  • paint baseboard heaters white

Entryway

  • paint bench white
  • paint mirror white
  • paint shelf white
  • hang hooks
  • hang baskets (for mittens, hats, etc)
  • new entryway table
  • paint inside of front door (aqua blue?)
  • organize coat closet for maximum storage
  • long rug under hooks
  • mat for in front of door
  • new light fixtures

Downstairs Bathroom

  • paint vanity (white? green? blue? gray?)
  • paint medicine cabinet
  • art above towel rack
  • shelf above toilet?
  • replace ugly fluorescent lighting

Stairs and Upstairs Hallway

  • paint (need a big ladder)
  • new light fixtures

Upstairs Bathroom

  • replace vanity
  • replace medicine cabinet
  • replace toilet
  • paint shower and tub white
  • vanity backsplash and decorative tile in shower and tub
  • replace towel rods and toilet paper holder
  • shelves behind toilet
  • organize linen closet

Master Bedroom

  • new carpet
  • paint walls
  • headboard and foot bench
  • night tables
  • art above bed
  • bedding
  • new ceiling fan
  • new curtains

Kids’ Room

  • twin beds and bedding
  • stuffed animal and toy storage
  • update artwork from ‘baby’ stuff

‘Pink’ Room (named for it’s pink rug)

  • new rug
  • paint walls
  • make into a playroom/home office combo
  • clean out big closet
  • new ceiling fan
  • new curtains

Laundry Room

  • clean (floor and walls)
  • hang shelf above washer and dryer
  • organize for laundry baskets, hanging stuff, folding, etc

Basement

  • clean
  • get rid of all the junk

Outside

  • paint deck and porch
  • replace lattice
  • plant shade plants in the front
  • plant vegetable garden on the side
  • make a kids play area and set up swing set
  • paint outside doors black (try this paint?)
  • grow grass on top part of driveway
  • plant flowers by the big rock
  • DIY a cute house number (planter? on the rock? post? on the house?)
  • get driveway regraded
  • put rocks under deck and by basement door

Whelp. That is a long list. How much of it can I really get done? I guess we’ll see!

Below is the printable home improvement wish list I made for you. I organized it by room, just like my list above. Just fill in your wish list items under each room, and start tackling your projects! I hope it helps you stay organized, focused, and productive.

Home improvement tasks checklist

To download, sign up below to get the password for the Sweet Maple Lane printable library. New printables added all the time!

Happy DIY-ing, friends!

Farmhouse Wreath Printables

Hi friends! Today I’m sharing a new set of farmhouse wreath printables I made over our February vacation.

There are four sayings, each in a simple farmhouse wreath. I kept them black and white so they could go with any decor, or you could use a fun colored frame.

 

 

Free farmhouse wreath printables!

Free farmhouse wreath printables!

Free farmhouse wreath printables

Free farmhouse wreath printables!

To access these printable and others in my free printables library, sign up here:

You’ll get the password in your email, and you can come back any time to download any other free printables you want. I add more printables regularly, so to keep you in the know, I send out a monthly newsletter with updates on what’s been added and other goings on around Sweet Maple Lane.

I’d love for you to sign up and join the Sweet Maple Lane family, and of course, download as many free printables as you want!

Want to save this for later or share the printable love with your friends? Pin the image below!

Free farmhouse wreath printables from Sweet Maple Lane!

 

Easy DIY Valentine’s Day Wreath

 

Make this easy DIY Valentine's Day felt wreath!

Valentine’s Day is coming in just a week and a half, so I put together this cute little rag wreath to hang above my hutch. It’s so easy (and cheap!) you could put it together during nap time!

Affiliate links are included for your convenience.  Read my full disclosure here.

Materials:

Easy DIY Valentine's Day felt rag wreath from Sweet Maple Lane.

Wreath form (I used this straw one, because I already had it, but a foam one would probably be easier)

Felt (I used 2 sheets of pink, 4 sheets of light pink, and 8 sheets of white)

Push pins

Scissors

Directions:

Cut the felt into squares or rectangles. You don’t have to be exact. I just cut each sheet in half, then in half again, and kept going until I had rectangles that were about one inch by two inches.

Fold each piece in half, then in half again, and place the pin through the folded corner and into the wreath form.

Easy DIY Valentine's Day felt rag wreath from Sweet Maple Lane.

Easy DIY Valentine's Day felt rag wreath from Sweet Maple Lane.

Easy DIY Valentine's Day felt rag wreath tutorial from Sweet Maple Lane.

Keep putting the folded felt onto the wreath, alternating colors. I wasn’t careful about which direction the folded side was facing, so they were pointing in all directions.

Easy DIY Valentine's Day felt rag wreath tutorial from Sweet Maple Lane.

Keep going until the wreath looks full, fluffing as you go.

Easy DIY Valentine's Day felt rag wreath tutorial from Sweet Maple Lane.

That’s it!

Easy DIY Valentine's Day felt rag wreath tutorial from Sweet Maple Lane.

Easy DIY Valentine's Day felt rag wreath tutorial from Sweet Maple Lane.

I put the wreath above my hutch (I need to move the nail from my other wreath, that’s why it’s just leaning against the wall) and added some other Valentine’s Day decor to make it a little more festive. I painted a mason jar a dusty pink and put some faux baby’s breath in it, added the metal ‘love’ sign, and made this super easy burlap banner.

Easy DIY Valentine's Day felt rag wreath tutorial from Sweet Maple Lane.

Easy DIY Valentine's Day felt rag wreath tutorial from Sweet Maple Lane.

Easy DIY Valentine's Day felt rag wreath tutorial from Sweet Maple Lane.

This method is super easy, super cheap, and easily customized with different fabrics or colors. I have another, more neutral wreath that I made with drop cloth scraps, that usually hangs above the hutch. See it here.

Give this easy Valentine’s Day rag wreath a try and let me know how it goes!

Pin the image below for later!

Make this easy DIY Valentine's Day felt wreath!

 

Rustic Winter Hutch and FREE Winter Decor Idea!

Winter hutch decor and free winter decor ideas!

Hi friends! Today I’m sharing my newly decorated rustic winter hutch AND a free winter decor idea!

If you follow me on Instagram (you don’t? you should!) you saw my sparse and sad hutch last week after all the Christmas decorations came down.  I got sick of looking at it, so I shopped around my house and redecorated with a natural winter theme.

I also came up with a genius idea for FREE winter decor!  Ok, maybe it’s not genius, but I’m pretty proud of myself for thinking of it!

Here is how the hutch looked right after I cleared all the Christmas stuff away.

Winter hutch before

And here is how it looks now.

Winter hutch decor after

I just love how it came out.  Did you see my genius FREE decor idea? No? Look again at the greenery.

Winter hutch with greenery

Yep.  I chopped up my Christmas tree!  You may have seen on Instagram (have you followed me yet?) that my husband dragged our tree into the yard and left it there, stand and all. We have no neighbors, so no one can see it and think we’re wackos.  It’s been out there for a week and a half, and when I came home one day and saw it all twinkling in the sunlight and covered in snow, I had the idea to chop off its branches and use them to decorate my house. Ha!

I tried using kitchen scissors, but that didn’t really work, so I just broke off a bunch of branches.

Winter greenery from Christmas tree clippings

I put some in the white enamel pitchers, and a few sprigs in the ceramic pitcher.  Then I shopped around my house for other woodsy-green-brown items and arranged them on the shelves.  It reminds me of winter in the woods.  Which is good, because it’s winter, and we live in the woods!

Winter hutch decor ideas

Even my mail baskets tie in with the rustic winter theme! (Check out more cute farmhouse baskets here.)

I had some greenery leftover, so I tied it up with a tan and gold ribbon and hung it on the front door.

winter greenery door hanging DIY

Winter greenery door hanging DIY

What do you think?  How do you decorate after the holidays?

If you’re looking for other post-holiday decor ideas, check out my winter pillow cover roundup and my winter decor roundup.

Pin the image below to save it for later!

Rustic farmhouse winter hutch decor and free winter decor idea!

DIY Birthday Shirt Tutorial

DIY birthday shirt tutorial from Sweet Maple Lane

Hi friends!  My two little pumpkins turn 3 today!  We had a birthday party for them Saturday, and I made them some special birthday shirts to wear.  If you have a little one with a birthday coming up, these shirts are super cheap, super easy, and super adorable!

DIY birthday shirt tutorial from Sweet Maple Lane

DIY Birthday Shirt Tutorial

Affiliate links are included for your convenience.  Read my full disclosure here.

Materials

DIY birthday shirt tutorial from Sweet Maple Lane

Plain white or colored shirt ($3.88 at Walmart, or free if you have one already)

Small piece (6″x 8″) of fabric in a fun print ($4.92 at Walmart, with a lot left over)

Number outline (free, just google “number outline” and print)

Heat ‘n’ Bond iron-on adhesive ($5.30 from Amazon, with a lot left over)

Iron, scissors, pencil

Procedure

Following the directions for the Heat ‘n’ Bond, cut a piece about the same size as your number and iron to your shirt, paper side up.  One sheet of this Heat ‘n’ Bond product will last 6-8 projects, depending on the size of your shape.

DIY birthday shirt tutorial from Sweet Maple Lane

Cut out the number outline, trace onto fabric in pencil, and cut out the number in fabric.  You can see above that I traced onto to the back, so I flipped the number so it would be right when I cut it out.  You could do this or just trace onto the front.

DIY birthday shirt tutorial from Sweet Maple Lane

 

Peel the paper off, stick number to shirt, and iron to adhere the number to the shirt.  I did put a piece of cardboard in between the two layers of the shirt, just to be safe.  The Heat ‘n’ Bond directions do not say this is necessary.

DIY birthday shirt tutorial from Sweet Maple Lane

That’s it!  So easy, no sewing or fancy craft maneuvers necessary.  As you can see from the picture, I made one for each of my kids.  They looked adorable at their birthday party rocking these cute shirts!

This technique is so versatile, you could easily customize the fabric and shape for any holiday or special occasion.  Pumpkins for Halloween, turkeys for Thanksgiving, reindeer for Christmas, the possibilities are endless!  I have a Christmas design in mind that I’ll be sure to share with you as soon as it’s done!

Do you have any birthdays coming up?  Let me know if you try out this technique!

The Secret to Hanging Picture Frames

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a pic of the new prints I got for the entryway.  Today I’m going to share my trick for hanging picture frames so they come out perfect every time!

How to hang picture frames perfectly every time!

Affiliate links are included for your convenience.  Read my full disclosure here.

Oh these prints.  I heart them.  The faux barn board backgrounds, the faded farmhouse blues, and — of course — the mason jar full of wild flowers!  Love, love, love.  I ordered them from Jane.com and they’re by a seller called Home, James. They were super cheap — I paid 23 bucks for all 3 including shipping — and they’re a nice, frame-able 11 X 14. Since Jane.com is a daily deal site, these prints are no longer available, but they have prints from this seller often, so keep checking back! (Update: as of 8/2/16 the prints are back on Jane.com for two days only!)

I bought some inexpensive black frames from Walmart, in an 11 X 14 (with a mat) size.  They came with two hanging hooks on the back, which means they’ll hang straight (yay!) but are harder to hang (boo).

How to hang picture frames perfectly every time!

First I put my prints in the frames and decided which order I wanted to hang them in.  Then I flipped them over to measure the hooks on the back.

Are you ready for the secret?  Painter’s tape.  Yup, good ol’ trusty blue painter’s tape.  Here’s what I do:

First I put a piece of tape on the back of the frame, carefully covering both hooks evenly.  I also make it a little longer than the width of the frame at first, so there is some hanging off each side.

How to hanging picture frames perfectly every time!

Then I press it down over the hook — see how you can (sort of) see the outline of the triangle shaped hook under the tape?  — and mark a little dot where the nail will go.

How to hang picture frames perfectly every time!

Then I rip off the excess tape on each side so my tape is the same length as the width of my frame.  I’m not too concerned about a perfect straight edge, here, I just want to be able to see how wide the frame is.

How to hang picture frames perfectly every time!

I also mark which way is up with an arrow and a number to indicate which frame this is (obviously you won’t need a number if you’re only hanging one frame).

How to hang picture frames perfectly every time!

After I do all three, I take the tape off and go to the wall where I want my frames to hang.  Now I can place each piece of tape on the wall and space out the frames how I want.  Remember, the tape is the width of the frame, so keep that in mind when you’re arranging the tape on the wall.

How to hang picture frames perfectly every time!

I always use a mini level to make sure my nails will be level.  This is especially important when your frames have two hooks on the back.  The nice thing about painter’s tape, is you can easily stick it and unstick it without damaging your wall.

How to hang picture frames perfectly every time!

Once I have my tape arranged how I want, I use my hammer and nail to make a small hole where each dot on the tape is.  Then I pull off the tape and hammer in the nails, leaving a half inch or so out to hang the frames on.

How to hang picture frames perfectly every time!

Now I hang my frames and step back to admire my handiwork!

How to hang picture frames perfectly every time!

I love how the prints brighten up the space a little.  It’s always so dark in the entryway, because there is only one small window.  Pretty!

Now that you know the secret, go and hang your frames with confidence!

Pin the image below to save it for later:

How to hang picture frames perfectly every time!

 

Spray Painting a Patio Table

Hi friends! Today I’m sharing an easy makeover I did by spray painting our patio table.

How to spray paint your patio table and make it look fresh and cute for summer!

One of the things I love most about summer is relaxing outside.  We have a big deck that needs to be redone soon, and a big, private yard that needs a little TLC, but I wanted to tackle something I could do by myself in just a couple of hours. So I decided to spray paint our patio table!

This post contains affiliate links.  Read my full disclosure here.

Our patio table had seen better days. It was only a couple of years old, but it was covered in pollen and dirt and living in this unused sad corner of our deck.  It looked pretty terrible.

Spray painting a patio table with Sweet Maple Lane.

Yes, that is a pile of leaves in the corner of our deck.  And yes the railings, floorboards, and lattice are three different colors.  Ok, and yes that is broken outdoor thermometer just chilling on this gross table.  There’s no where to go but up, people!  It can’t look much worse than this.

The first thing I did was give it a thorough cleaning. I’ll spare you the gross picture of the grime I scrubbed off of it and the critters that scurried away.

Next I unscrewed two of the legs so I could take the glass top off.  After putting the legs aside, I covered the glass top with paper to protect it from the spray paint.  I couldn’t fully remove the glass inset from the outer metal edge, so this was the next best thing.

Spray painting a patio table with Sweet Maple Lane.

You can see here that I got smart after the first one and just slid the edges of the paper under the edge of the table.  How annoying is it to tape curves?  This was so much easier.

Spray painting a patio table with Sweet Maple Lane

I chose this pretty blue (on the right) called ‘Seaside’ in Rustoleum Painter’s Touch 2X.  It’s a paint and primer in one, so the coverage was really good.

Spray painting a patio table with Sweet Maple Lane.

I did three thin coats, with about 10 minutes drying time in between.

Pretty!

Spray painting a patio table with Sweet Maple Lane.

Spray painting a patio table with Sweet Maple Lane.

Bonus when I realized the color I picked matched my pretty blue mason jars!  Cheers!

Spray painting a patio table with Sweet Maple Lane.

Remove the paper and tape and voila! From sad to glad!

Spray painting a patio table with Sweet Maple Lane.

Now I need to buy some chairs on end of the season clearance!

Spray painting a patio table with Sweet Maple Lane.

How about you?  How is your patio table looking? Could it use a little sprucing up with some spray paint?  Let me know in the comments!

Pin the image below to save it for later!

How to spray paint your patio table and make it look fresh and cute for summer!

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