Project Gallery

Wire Basket Mailbox

May 17, 2017

I don’t know about you guys, but I am so incredibly happy that wire baskets are becoming a HUGE trend.  Just the right amount of clean simplicity, with just enough rustic edge – I love it!  And you know what I don’t love?  The piles of mail that sit on my new island because I haven’t got around to sorting it yet (sigghhhh).  So I decided to tackle making a wire basket mailbox!  Because even if my mail isn’t more organized, I still get adult points for making it look pretty, right?

First of all, I am super lucky in the fact that my Grandpa’s farm has a great supply of old barn wood.  I had a piece already cut for another project, but it worked perfectly for this one instead.  And the two wire baskets, I ordered from Amazon.  Where else!  They actually were meant to hang over a cabinet door, but I rigged them up to hang on this board instead.

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If you look realllllly close you can see where I marked my two hole with pins.  I put the basket where I wanted it and pushed the pins where I needed my little nails to go.

Here is a little closer picture.

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Next, I pounded little nails in where the pins were and bent them upwards with a pliers to create a little hook.  And my baskets hung right on there!

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This project literally takes no time at all.  Just attach a wire to the back for hanging and you have a nice little mailbox!



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Farmhouse Tour

The Shack’s Entryway – Before!

May 5, 2017

Well, here it is!

Please ignore some of the wonky, yellow glare in some of these pics.  These were taken right away when we moved in, and there really is no good way to photograph a shiny purple wall with a blurry iPhone!


The wall seperating the entry from the kitchen – this isn’t here anymore!
A little look into the kitchen. Did you know the room we’re in was actually used as a bedroom?
A peek into the closet.
More of the purple wall. This was taken standing right in the front doorway! The master bedroom is off to the side there. Do you think I should have kept the purple and turquoise?


Here’s a view of the whole room! The walls, carpet, and doorway look nothing like they do now!

Want to know what the entry looks like now and how we did some of the renovations?  Check back tomorrow!

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Kickoff to the Home Tour!

Alright everyone, the moment you’ve been waiting for!

Drumroll pleaseeeee…


It’s time for the start of the HOME TOUR! WOO!


Since not all the rooms in the Stella Street Shack (from now on, lovingly referred to as “The Shack”) are done yet, I’ll be doing this tour in segments.

The entry is the first room you would see if you came to visit; so let’s start there, shall we?


Home Tour – The Entry Before!

Come back tomorrow to see how the entry looks now!

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Project Gallery

Installing a Mosaic Tile Backsplash

May 2, 2017

I have always thought my mother’s kitchen is gorgeous.  But guys, we just took it to a whole new level this weekend.  She now has a beautiful backsplash – that we installed by ourselves! In ONE day.  So if your excuse for not having a backsplash in your kitchen is that it’s too hard – I’m not letting you get away with that anymore!

Tools you need: 

TileQu!ck Wall Tile Adhesive Mat – from Menards (a must!)

Pre-Mixed Grout

Tile (12×12 mosaic tiles squares is what we used)

Wet Tile Saw

Outlet extenders

Grouting float



To start, make sure the area you are tiling is clean and smooth (or as smooth as possible).  We tiled over an area that was already textured and it seemed to work fine!


Next, turn off the power to the outlets, and unscrew outlets from the wall.  You will need to pull them out slightly to install the extenders.

The outlet extenders should slip over the outlets.  Our preference was the blue extenders because they are more shallow.  They did the trick, and were much easier to slip over the outlets.  Keep the long screws that come with the extenders and let the outlets hang out until you are done tiling.  Screwing the outlets, extenders, and outlet covers in over the tile will be the last thing you do.

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Next, measure and cut the TileQu!ck to cover the area you are tiling.  We cut this using a linoleum knife and T-square.  It comes in a roll 18″ x 10′ long, which perfectly did the entire kitchen for us.

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**Honestly, I wouldn’t have attempted this project without TileQu!ck.  It saved so much time and mess!  If you are going to be using mortar to attach your tile, then this is not the tutorial for that!

Peel off the backing on the TileQu!ck mat, and apply to the wall.  We rolled over the mat with a small rolling pin to make sure it was really stuck.


Now for the fun part.  The kitchen changes so quickly!

The tiles come in 12×12 squares with uneven sides.


This makes it easy to place them next to each other without seams, but you will need to cut the first square down to create a straight edge.


To cut the tiles, use a wet saw.  Basically, this a saw that cools the diamond blade with water underneath to prevent chipping the glass tile too badly.

We bought the QEP 4″ Torque Master XT Portable Tile Wet Saw for $30 at Menards.


If you are planning on doing a larger project, this may not be the most durable option.  But it did the job for us!  Make sure you create a drip loop in the power cord and add water to the bottom of the saw according to the directions – do not let the saw run dry.  

Now for the tricky part- the outlets.

To cut around outlets, we made cuts with the linoleum knife in between the tile rows closest to the top and bottom of the outlet.

**We found that our mosaic tile was pretty much made for outlets.  The measurements for the top and bottom of the outlets almost always fell between two rows of tile. Super nice!

This is marking off the top and bottom of the outlet. See how it falls neatly between the rows!


This doesn’t have to be an exact science either, because outlet covers and grout fill a lot of these spaces.  If you are not using the same small mosaic tile we used, then you may end up cutting your tiles length wise to fit.

**We found that our mosaic tile was pretty much made for outlets.  The measurements for the top and bottom of the outlets almost always fell between two rows of tile. Super nice!

Such cute hands. 🙂

Once you have cut in between the rows, it is easy to peel back the tile and only make a cut along the side of the outlet.


Your tile square will end up being stuck to the wall in two pieces around the outlet, but this seemed like the easiest way to do it!

You may need to fill in small gaps with leftover glass tile pieces, so save the outlet cutouts because they will come in handy.

Also, our backsplash area was 13.5 inches high, so to cover the top inch and a half, we cut off individual rows of tile to fill in as needed.

When you have finished covering the entire area with tile, grout immediately.  We used TEC Ready to Use Pre-Mixed Grout in the Coffee color from Menards.  Place a fair amount grout on the edge of the float.

These pictures got a little blurry. She was moving too quickly for me!

Apply by wiping top to bottom along the tile to start.  This pushes the grout into the cracks!  Then, wipe the grout side to side and thoroughly over entire area.

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When you are done grouting, use a damp sponge to scrub off any excess.  Finally, run a damp cloth over tile to remove any remaining grout.

This is the tiles after the sponge scrubbing, but before the final wipe with a damp cloth. Not quite shiny yet!

Let dry, and screw outlets, extenders, and outlet covers into the wall over the tile.



Stand back, have a glass or two of wine, and admire your work – you’re done!

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If you want to check out another idea for an easy backsplash, check out my Faux Brick Backsplash post.





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