Easy DIY Bathtub Tray

I'm hosting a craft night at the ReStore in a couple weeks and I think I came up with a project that will be fun and useful! It was kinda tricky because while many DIY projects are easy-ish, they require a lot of time between steps. After poking around on the interwebs, I decided to try a mash-up of several bathtub trays I've seen; paring it down to make the project simple and quick so we can finish it in one evening. The event is on July 16th from six to eight and I've been told there will be wine! I hope you'll join us, click here to sign up! If you can't make it to the ReStore, I've put together a little tutorial on the bathtub tray we'll be making. 
diy salvaged bathtub tray
First, I measured the edge-to-edge width of our bathtub, which is a pretty standard thirty one inches. Then I hit up the ReStore where I found a piece of wood and a pair of ah-mazing brass handles. Seriously, if you need hardware, try the ReStore first! They have a meeeellion drawer pulls, handles and knobs to choose from and the prices are so affordable; I think I paid three dollars for everything and a friendly staff member even cut the board for me!
how to make a bathtub tray
Once I had my materials, I sanded the board a little, wiped it down and applied two coats of stain, waiting an hour between coats. Then I applied a couple layers of clear poly spray and let it dry overnight. I'll be honest, sanding is easy, but tedious, and I should have spent more time on it. You'll see in the finished pics below where there are some half circle sanding marks that would make any self-respecting wood worker itch!
how to make a bathtub tray
Next, Jesse helped me measure and drill holes for my handles. I'm trying to learn how to do this stuff myself, so he explained to me that he used a counter sink drill bit because it makes a little recessed spot for the screws to sit in. Noted!
gripper bars for bathtub tray
Lastly, no one wants their glass of wine to end up in the tub, so I added some adhesive grippy bars for extra stability.
diy bathtub tray with brass hardware

diy bathtub tray with brass hardware
Ugh, there are the sloppy sanding circles I mentioned above. In real life they are much less noticeable, but if I use the bathtub tray a lot I'll probably remove the hardware and give it another go. Anyways, let's ignore them and talk about those gorgeous brass handles! They were all black and tarnished when I rescued them from a bin at the ReStore, but a little Brasso spruced 'em right up!
DIY bathtub tray with brass handles
I also added a pothos plant in a clear plastic container; there is a skylight in the shower, so I think it should do well. I'm not the best at keeping plants alive (I'm trying to get better!), but I love how they magically make a space feel finished and I have one in almost every room.I can't wait to try this little bathtub tray with a glass of wine and a good shelter magazine. Lush just opened a store in Omaha so I'm definitely going to treat myself to a couple of bath bombs, too! Have you tried those? They are so delicious...like buttah!


Working on Curb Appeal: The Front Porch

Hey friends! I am so excited to share our porch makeover today. For years, we had this strange paint palette and dated metal scroll work going on. Not to mention the boring white front door. Finally, last year we had the house painted, which was a huge, improvement. A whole year went by and last weekend Jesse and I cranked out a few more updates.
budget front porch makeover

Here's what the house looked like before we had it painted last summer.

Here's how the font porch looks today. Boom! The difference is blowin' my mind! When I pull up in front of the house I'm like, "Oh, what a cute little front porch. Wait. That's our front porch!" Aside from having the house painted last year, we did this whole makeover in about two days and AND spent just over $200! I mean, sure, updating a ranch home can be a snap if you have an architect and a big budget, but two hundred bucks? I think we did pretty good here. 
budget front porch makeover
First, I set to work painting the front screen door. We thought about taking the door off completely, but going bare just wasn't right for us. We like having the option to leave the door open and catch a breeze. We also thought about replacing it, which we will down the road, but I'm guessing that will cost a couple hundred bucks. More if it's a custom size. So, I picked up a can of black semi-gloss Rustoleum and got to work. I prepped the door by removing the screens and giving it a good cleaning. The girls were very confused about the missing door screens.

budget front porch makeoverThe front door was a hunter green that I didn't care for, so used the same can of Rustoleum to paint that black as well. I also replaced the screen door hardware. It's not the fanciest, but it looks better and was simple to install, I even managed to do it without Jesse's help. I just followed the enclosed instructions and luckily the parts all lined up with the existing holes. The only tools I needed were a screwdriver, measuring tape and bolt cutters.
screen door painted with Rustoleum
I wanted to replace the bistro set with a bench so I decided to use this vintage glider we had on our back deck. Isn't that orange lovely? I went through a "Tangerine Tango" phase. I used the same can of black semi-gloss Rustoleum to paint the glider, too. One can goes a long way, folks!
old gilder painted with rustoleum
budget front porch makeover
We also added a couple hanging ferns I found on clearance at Lowe's. I ditched the plastic store hangers and used this simple technique to fashion new hangers from rope.
hiding dated front porch scrollwork
My favorite improvement, though are the boxes Jesse built around the dated metal scroll work. The new pseudo columns were inexpensive (about $60 worth of plywood) and just completely freshen the look of our house. 
hiding dated front porch scrollwork
I got up early on Sunday to prime and paint the columns. The bugs were terrible all weekend, so I set up a defense barrier with citronella candles and spray. Those dang mosquitoes love me though, and my legs are all chewed up and itchy today. Womp womp. 
budget front porch makeover
Budget Breakdown and Resources:
Wood Boxes - Plywood, glue, paint, $70
Door and Glider Paint - Rustoleum Semi Gloss, Black, $10
Plants - $30
Welcome Mat - Target, $20
Planters - Home Goods, $60
Paint Brushes, hardware, miscellaneous - $20
Toss Pillows - already owned, made covers using a shower curtain from Target, $15
Gilder - already owned (free from my Mother in Law a few years ago!)
Rope for hanging planters - already owned
Total makeover = $225