DIY Project Parade ~ Dining Room, Faux Fireplace Fix and Banner

It’s been a busy week but I managed something small. We found this old fireplace mantel/surround in the barn when we moved in. I love that it’s original to the house and new I wanted to add it to a wall in our dining room.  I love the flexibility of moving things around, so I boxed it in so it is ‘freestanding’ and not attached permanently to the wall.

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DIY Show Off – Dining Room Transformation

Our Dining Room Makeover:

Our dining room (before) when we bought the house:



See that nasty carpet?

These ugly tiles were on the ceiling.

Then…Russ & stepdad, Butch put up smooth/pretty drywall ceiling! Love it!

Hardwood floors refinished. Here’s a peek of floor:

What we did:
  • Took down old ceiling tiles
  • Installed smooth drywall ceiling
  • Ripped out old filthy carpet
  • Sanded and poly’d hardwood floor
  • New light fixture
  • Painted
Christmas 2010:

Spring 2011…new distressed bamboo floor:

Decorated for fall…

Door before…

Door now…

When we bought the house…


Christmas 2011:


Faux fireplace – pallet shelving:

Seasonal dining room mantel:

DIY vintage mantel


farmhouse mantel - spring

summer mantel:

summer garden mantel

Christmas in the dining room 2012

Christmas dish display

along with a new area rug…

Christmas dining room

The sliding door gets a paint job:

painted door after

See all dining room related posts in the DIY Show Off home tour.
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DIY Holiday Highlights Linky Party ~ Empty Fireplace Card Holder and Vintage Soda Crate Advent Calendar


When I decorated my dining room for Emily Henderson’s Holiday Guide  a few months ago, I added in a couple of easy holiday DIY projects. (Have you checked it out? So many great holiday ideas from DIY, decorating, entertainment, gift suggestions, etc.)

Advent Calendar
An old vintage soda crate has 24 boxes. I turned it on its side, added stamped numbered boxes and let the countdown begin, with sweet little gifts inside…

Favor boxes found in the baking section of Michaels.
Free printables:  Maggie Cat, Family Crafts
Pretty Etsy Options:  Here, here and here
Christmas Mantel
An empty {faux} fireplace with a few covered tension rods and curtain clips became a Christmas card display:

Tension Rod Christmas Card Holder How to: (works for windows or open shelving too!)

Have you been in the Christmas spirit a little early this year?  L
et’s see your holiday DIY posts!


  • You must use the button above in your blog post or side bar to share the linky love.
  • Add your permalink (not your blog url, but your holiday project post url which is the web address that goes directly to your holiday project blog post, not your blog address). Feel free to link a Past Post, just be sure add the DIY Holiday Highlights button to your side bar.
  • Or email your link to and I will add it for you.
  • If you notice your link has disappeared please check the content of your post. Is it holiday related? Add the link back to The DIY Show Off to your post today with a quick note to your readers about the party and try again! 


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I‘m joining the new party over at

Made in a DayTickled Pink at 504 Main good one Sunday's Best Linky Party!


DIY Project Parade

Remember when I found this old mantel in the barn?

 I‘m guessing it’s original to the house. 

It got a good scrubbing and sat propped up against the back wall of our barn patio for a while but I knew I wanted to bring it back into the house. 

But I wanted to be able to move it around, not secure it to the wall. I love to rearrange.  Right now I love having it in the dining room but what if I want it in the family room or a bedroom someday?

Enter True Value Hardware. Three pine 1x4s, a few L-brackets
Aleco 477502 Replacement L-Bracket, Alum, for 4PLT3
and some spray paint to blend it in (I haven’t had the heart to paint the original mantel yet but perhaps someday).

Boxing it makes it stand alone and movable!

I changed my fall mantel up a bit…
< span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: x-large;">Now…

 Yarn pumpkins with pinecone stems…

 Fall monogram wreath…

 Pinecone votives on pedestals…

It’ll probably look different before next week’s DIY Project Parade! 🙂

The DIY Show Off
Let’s see what you’ve been up to!

1. You must use the button above (ADD BUTTON HTML CODE FROM SIDE BAR TO YOUR POST) and link to this post to share the linky love.

2.Include your name or blog name and project title. Add your permalink (not your blog url, but your DIY project post url). Feel free to link a Past Post, just invite your readers in a current post with a quick note.

3.Or email your link to and I will add it for you.

4.If you notice your link has disappeared -please add the link back to The DIY Show Off to your post today, a button or a quick note to your readers about the party and try again! I love when everyone participates and readers check out everyone’s links, but I think the return favor of linking back is the nice thing to do so everyone plays fair and enjoys all of the projects and links. Also – this blog party is for DIY projects only. Links not related to DIY will be deleted.

5.  NOW you can “like” the links!  What a fun idea!  Most liked links may be
included in a post of DIY Project Parade highlights later in the week!

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I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Electric Fireplace Before and After – DIY at the Wright House!

Happy Wednesday!  1/2 way through the week!  Today’s DIY Show Off feature is Natalie from 
the wright house

Isn’t that header adorable?

First up, Natalie had one of these electric fireplaces.  Red mahogany and glossy:

To see the tutorial of how they transformed it, visit “Electric Fireplace Before and After“.  The result is amazing!

Here she is in all of her gorgeous white and distressed dress:
LOVE LOVE LOVE the barnwood mantel!
Natalie’s DIY and decorating don’t stop there.  Visit The Wright House to see more.  Here’s a few sneak peek from her beautiful home tour
More to drool over…
I want this entire corner in my home…
Natalie…you don’t even need your amazing talent for photography to make your pantry look good…it’s heavenly!
I swear there is TONS more of her beautiful style to see in her home tour – SO.MUCH.INSPIRATION.
I’m so envious of her vintage accents/collections!
and oh my! You must see the kids’ rooms and laundry room. And living room. And kitchen. And – oh just her entire home. I want my house to look like hers when it grows up and gets finished. 
Guess what’s behind this antique window turned mirror/door?
Lucky girl has a mail sorter!
Mudroom full of charm.  Look at that chippy old happy door!
You’re heading over there now to see her DIY talent, right?  I was tempted to include lots more, but you’ll have to visit her (warning:  you’ll need an hour or so because there’s so much to see). Tell her I said “hello”!
Ps. Once you’re done there, (and I hesitate to tell you this because I have to make the time to go there first!) but she’s also got a cute shop!  Don’t empty it before I’ve had a chance to shop too!

DIY at The Pear Tree Cottage

Meet:  Becky from

The Pear Tree Cottage
Becky and her husband are DIYers who are on a mission to change their 1990s home into something they can be proud of.  
Beautiful Dining Room Transformation
This is what their house looked at the first time they saw it with the realtor:
Here is the amazing transformation…
Yes, the open doorway has been changed!  See all of the details here. Walls were knocked down, doorways were patched, new flooring and beautiful cottage decor.  Great job, Becky!
The boy’s room got an awesome makeover too!
Before (previous owner’s things)
After (chalkboard tutorial here) with more to come!
That chalkboard says it all! F~U~N!
And one last thing then you’ll have to visit The Pear Tree Cottage to see more!
Fireplace Before and After
Gorgeous after…
Wait! That can’t be the same room, can it?  It’s magazine-worthy beautiful!  See the fireplace how-to for more details.
Hurray, Becky! You’re doing an amazing job and creating a lovely home!  
Just a reminder about I <3 thrifting day.  Get the details here!