Home Decor

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 4

Yay! Our small bathroom makeover is DONE! This makeover took a lot longer than I had originally anticipated. I am going to blame part of that on the baby and the other part on me just losing motivation. But I got my mojo back and the makeover is done! I am so excited about how this turned out. The bathroom transformed from a room that was a major bummer to a space that I actually enjoy being in. So sit tight for small bathroom makeover part 4!

The last step of this makeover was the finishing touches. You can see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 to see how this bathroom transformed.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

The Budget

I had a goal of staying on a budget of $300. Lets see how we did below:

Grand Total of $228.5 – yay, under budget!

Door Updates

Both our closet door and bathroom door were in need of updating. The closet door was a louvered one and way past its prime. We exchanged it with this one from Menards. My hubby painted it the same color as the walls and changed out the plastic door knob that it comes with to a sleek sliver one. We have exchanged all the closet doors in our house to be the same as this one over the past couple of years. This was the last one that needed to be replaced and it feels good now that it is done.

Next we took down our bathroom door. Once it was outside on the saw horses we took off the hardware and sanded it down. It then got a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. This door was in really good shape but it was just starting to look really grungy. The hardware had been painted over main times and were mismatched. This simple update of the door really made a world of difference.


So you might have seen the wooden shelves that I made for the bathroom in my part 3 post. I really liked these shelves and they turned out great. But then I went to install them in the bathroom and they looked out of place in there. I think they were too dark and looked bulky, too. I like the shelves and will definitely use them in a different room of the house, but just not the bathroom.

Sometimes that happens, though – something just doesn’t work in a space. I put a lot of work into these but I was okay with moving on to a shelving unit. Then I spent the next couple of weeks trying to find something else. I looked at my favorite stores and Pinterest for inspiration. I kept coming back to a rope shelving unit, but I wasn’t sure. Ultimately, one day I just decided to go for it and make the shelving unit and if I didn’t like it I would scrap the project.

Well it turned out great and better then I expected! You can read the full tutorial here on how I made this awesome (if I do say so myself) rope shelving unit. I was so surprised on how easy this actually was to make. In fact, it was way easier than the other shelves I made.

I have decorated it with some odds and ends that I had in the bathroom already and a couple of new plants. Having plants in the bathroom was an important goal for me. Beyond looking great they help add oxygen to the house and absorb moisture, which is important in a bathroom.

Finishing Touches

A soap dish I got from an art fair in town over the summer.

This is a small bathroom so I didn’t need to go overboard with the accessories for it. I did update the bath mat, opting for a 100% cotton one from Target. I also re-installed these amazing hooks for hanging towels. These hooks came from a little boutique and they have moved around from bathroom to bathroom with me. They have now been with me through 3 different apartments and a house. They are iron and very sturdy. I have had them for years and they have really held up.

I got the above soap dish from an art fair during the summer. It was reasonably priced and looks so cute. Sometimes it is worth holding back on just running to the closest store and instead taking your time to find a gem like this one.

I also upgraded to some new cotton towels. I found these great bath sheet towels from Target. They are so soft and are 100% cotton!


We had an old fashioned light that was true to the era of the home, but it looked strangely industrial. I didn’t want to replace the the whole light fixture because the base was still functional. Instead I replaced the globe to this classic white one. You can find the same one on Amazon here.

Window Treatments

There is one window in this bathroom and it used to have blinds on it. I would always have it closed for privacy, but I missed the light that came through the window. When demoing the bathroom I removed the blinds and patched the holes in the molding. I ended up selling the blinds on a Facebook market place.

Using a tension rod that I had on hand, I got some curtain rod clip rings and cloth napkins to create these cute little curtains. I love these because they are 100% cotton and easy to clean. They also let all the morning light in.

Counter Top

As an experiment I covered my dated, yellow-streaked, laminate counter tops in contact paper. I was hoping to get something like this. However, I remembered that I had leftover white contact paper from another project so I just used that. This was definitely an experiment and I am mixed with the results. It made a very big change to my bathroom. However, this contact paper is on the thinner side so the pattern of the counter top shows through a little bit. It was also hard to get a nice cut around the sink. Maybe with some practice I could get better at it. The good thing is that it is really easy to clean. This isn’t going to last forever but it will look better until I am able to replace the counter top for something else.

This bathroom makeover took a lot longer than I had originally anticipated. It has been finished for a while but I just haven’t been able to get it together to take photos. I am planning on doing a bigger remodel further down the road, but for now this update has freshened up the bathroom and made it a room where I don’t mind spending time.

Small Bathroom Makeover

How To Make a Rope Shelf

As part of my small bathroom makeover Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 I wanted to put some shelving on the far wall. I had originally made box type shelving but didn’t like it. So, Plan B is this rope shelving. Honestly, I was surprised at how easy it was to make! So join me in my latest post on how to make a rope shelf.

This rope shelf turned out great and was made in an afternoon. Luckily I had extra wood and the rope was left over from another project. I used 1*8 pine and 1/2 inch sisal rope. All I needed to get were the hooks and the O rings for hanging up the shelf.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interests at heart.

Materials and Tools

Materials needed:

Tools needed:

  • Saw (electric or hand)
  • Sander and sand paper
  • Clips or heavy duty scissors
  • Drill and 5/8 inch paddle drill bit
  • Rag
  • Tape
  • Straight edge
  • Pencil
  • Tape Measure
  • Level
  • Clamp
Step One

The first step is to cut the wood to size. I chose to make three shelves using a piece of 1*8 cut to 20 inches. The great part of this project is that the shelving unit can be very customized to meet the needs of the space. The depth, length, and number of shelves can all be changed. If the length gets to long, add extra rope in between for stability.

Step Two

The second step is to drill holes in each corner of the shelves. Measure one inch from each edge, and mark with a pencil. Using the drill and paddle drill bit, drill holes though each corner.

Pro tip – do not drill all the way through on the first side. Drill through enough that the drill bit has just broken though the bottom of the wood. Once this is done, flip the wood over and use the small hole to position the drill bit and continue from the other side. This will prevent the wood from splintering (see the second picture with my helper Samoa).

How to make a DIY rope shelving unit
Step Three

The next step is to measure and cut the rope. For this project, cut two lengths measuring 8 feet. I left plenty of extra rope because I would rather cut some away at the end then have too little to complete my project.

Next find the center of each rope. From the center, measure and tape the distance between each shelf. I used 12 inches between each. When I got it into the bathroom, I ended up wanting to change the distance. The great thing about this shelf is that it is easy to change.

Step Four

Before threading the rope through the wood, insert the O rings on to the middle of each rope. Next, line up the end of the tape with the top of the shelf. Then tie a knot under the shelf. Keep it fairly loose for now. The knot can be tightened when you’re checking that it is level during the hanging process.

How to make a DIY rope shelving unit
Step Five

Using a level and tape measure, determine where the hooks should be placed on the wall. Mark where the screws should be inserted with a pencil. Drill holes in the walls and insert dry wall anchors. Next, install hooks using the drill and screws. Hang the rope shelves using the O rings. Take the level and place it on each of the shelves, adjusting any of the knots that need to be adjusted and tightening the remaining knots. Finally, cut off the ends to the desired length and either rap the ends with string or fray the ends to the knot. Then decorate!

How to make a DIY rope shelving unit

I found this project to be pretty easy and it’s a great look for the bathroom!

What did you think of this post on how to make a rope shelf? Have you given it a try? Let me know in the comments below!

how to make a rope shelf

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 3

Welcome back to Little Family on the Big Lake. Please check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this makeover if you haven’t done so already! Lets get going on small bathroom makeover part 3.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interests at heart.

Time for Paint

So far we have planned out our to do list for our bathroom makeover and started on the demo. Now it is time for paint. I wanted the bathroom to feel light and airy so I chose a light green/blue color. I also purchased this flooring paint for the linoleum floor. Even though I wanted a light gray, the flooring paint I got is in white. They only had a white and a dark gray available in this type of paint. I also have white paint for the trim and ceiling. We have a bunch of this paint already, so I didn’t need to purchase any more. Yay Reusing!

small bathroom makeover
Goodbye ugly walls!
Painting Flooring
The first coat on the floor left some patches, so it will need a second coat.

After painting the floor and living with it for a while, I decided I really didn’t like the white. It just showed too much dirt. So I mixed the white floor paint and some dark gray floor paint that I had from another project to create a light gray. I am so happy with the results!

Fresh paint small bathroom makeover

Wow, the magic of paint! It is already looking so much better. In total, there are two coats of paint on the walls and trim. The floor ended up with four coats, two of the white and two of the gray. For consistency’s sake, I applied the paint with a brush around the edges and with a roller in the middle. Even though the floor paint dries in a couple of hours to the touch, I would recommend letting it sit for a couple of days before using the bathroom.

Check out the progress we have made so far…

Small Bathroom Makeover part 3
Building Projects

A decor (and practical) element I wanted in the bathroom was some type of shelving above the toilet. There are many options, from over the toilet units to brackets and shelves. In the end I decided to make something more custom. I came up with this basic box design as shown below (my goal was to have it look a bit like wooden crates.) Also, I liked adding a natural element to the bathroom design. To make these shelves I purchased 1*6*6 pine boards from Home Depot and used stain and lacquer that I already had to finish them.

Using a saw, I cut 4 pieces to 18 inches, 4 pieces to 5.75 inches and 2 pieces to 16.5 inches. The longest pieces are for the top and bottom, the shortest for the sides and the other 2 for the back. This will make two shelving units. I used glue and clamps to assemble the shelves and nailed them together once they dried.

To finish the shelves I sanded them with small grit sandpaper. Next, I stained the wood with the dark walnut stain that I typically prefer. I gave it a couple of days to fully dry before applying two coats of lacquer (but can be more depending on the level of protection you want.) I will be installing these into the wall above the toilet using screws and drywall anchors.

Check out Part 4 of our Small Bathroom Makeover to see the finishing touches and to see if we stayed on budget!

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 2

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 2

This is Part 2 of our Small Bathroom Makeover: the demo! Check out Part 1, where we planned out this makeover. In this post we will be covering removing the wall paper, preparing the walls, and painting. We will also be painting the floor!

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate, I earn money from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my reader’s best interest at heart.

Step 1

The first step in the small bathroom makeover part 2 was to peal of the painted wall paper, which was on two of the walls. Luckily, once I got a corner off with my putty knife it came up pretty easy. I used an old putty knife that I have had forever, but you can find a new one here on Amazon or in most hardware stores.

Personally, I love discovering the layers of colors underneath. During the whole project I found this orange (pictured above), a sky blue, and an olive green. Overall, the wallpaper removal took me less then 30 minutes! The next step was to remove the wallpaper residue from the walls. This took a little more time and both my husband and I worked on it. It took us around an hour to get the wall clean by our standards. Using hot water, dish soap, and rags, we wet the walls and simply rubbed off the glue.

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 2
Step 2

Second, I needed to take off the grout tape (I’m actually not sure what it’s called, but that’s what I’m calling it). I eventually got it off using a putty knife and utility knife. Honestly, it put up quite the battle and took pieces of the wall with it.

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 2
Step 3

The final step of the demo process was to sand the walls and trim. Normally when painting wall I wouldn’t do a lot of sanding, but in this case, there were too many drip marks all over the walls. They had to go! I used a palm sander like this one. The bag on the back of the sander helped control the dust.

Next, I cleaned off the walls and patched any holes with spackle. In particular, I needed to fill in some larger holes where the grout tape was taken off. It took a couple of layers of spackle to get it level with the wall. I then sanded the dried spackle and checked that the walls were ready for paint.

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 2

Check out my Bathroom Makeover Part 3 to see the paint color and the newly painted floors!

Harry Potter Growth Wall Ruler

Harry Potter Growth Wall Ruler

When planning the decorations for Little One’s nursery, I came across wall growth charts. I thought, “what a great idea!” Instead of using a door frame or the wall like I did when I was little, this ruler could be portable. My second thought was “I can make that!” Also, I wanted to include a Harry Potter element to the ruler. I found the quote “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be”, as stated by Albus Dumbledore in Goblet of Fire. So I made this Harry Potter Growth Wall Ruler.

This growth chart ruler was incredibly easy to make, so the tutorial below will be fairly quick…and the result turned out so cute! An idea I’ve been contemplating is putting heights on the ruler of some of my favorite Harry Potter characters. I may have to take to the internet to see if I could even find the heights of the characters, or at least the heights of the actors that play them. Do you think that would be a cute idea? Let me know in the comments below!

You can check out our full nursery post here.


1 piece of 1″ x 8″ x 6′ of pine. I got mine from Home Depot. When picking out the board check that it is straight and doesn’t have any large holes or gashes.

1 wood stain of your choice. I went with a lighter stain so it would be easier to see the height marks.

Sharpie marker or paint to write the quote and numbers

Sander (electric or hand) and sand paper

Screws 2″ in length

Ruler or measuring tape



Step One

Step one is measuring the piece of wood and making sure it is 6 feet in length. Trim the ends, if needed. Next, give the piece of wood a good sanding, starting with a high grit sand paper around 80 and working toward a low grit around 200. Once all the edges are smooth, dust it off to prepare for staining.

Step Two

Stain the wood using the wood stain of your choice. Use a paint brush or a clean rag to rub the stain on the the wood, going with the grain of the wood. Once complete, use another clean rag to wipe off any excess stain and allow it to dry completely.

Step Three

Using a ruler and a pencil, measure and lightly draw out on the left side of the growth chart the ticks at every inch from bottom to top on the board (6 feet in all). The 6th tick, which should be 12 inches from the floor, should be longer and a number 1 can be written next to it to indicate 1 foot. Keep measuring up every inch and then draw in the ticks with paint or a sharpie. (Keep in mind that because the growth chart will be secured into the wall 6 inches off the floor, and the bottom edge of the board will be the start, the first tick an inch up from the bottom edge will measure at 7 inches high). Continue marking ticks at inch intervals until you reach 6 feet at the top of the board.

Step Four

Using a pencil, lightly draw out the quote vertically on the right side of the board. Next, using paint or a sharpie go over the pencil. This writing part can be customized to your style. You could go with bold lettering, script lettering, or something completely different. For mine, I chose a book text that looks Harry Potter-esque.

Step Five

Drill pilot holes toward the top and bottom of the growth ruler in its center. Mount it to the wall using the 2″ screws and drywall anchors, if needed.

Finally, measure your little ones for years to come!

Let me know what you think of this Harry Potter Growth Wall Ruler in the comments below.

Harry Potter Nursery

With unlimited ideas available to us for our Little One’s nursery, we were originally set on Winnie the Pooh…wait, what? Yes, Winnie the Pooh, due to the fact that I have a giant Pooh from my childhood. We were both excited because we had a lot of ideas. Excited, that is, until my husband was standing in the future nursery and said (with a grin and magic in his eyes) “What about Harry Potter?”. Well it didn’t take much and I was sold! So I took to Pinterest to find ideas for a Harry Potter Nursery. I did’t want anything too over the top and preferred something that could fairly easily transition into different themes, if Little One chooses to do so.

In the end we went for a Harry Potter/owl/starry night direction. I’d like to share some of our favorite elements of Little One’s nursery, which we have since named the Owlery.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Projects for Nursery

Some of the projects for the Owlery were DIY efforts while other items were purchased…follow links and descriptions below if you find something you like!

Harry Potter Nursery

Craft Projects

Flying Key Mobile. Any Potterhead should be familiar with the flying keys from the end of Sorcerer’s Stone. Little One loves laying in his crib watching the keys fly around! See a tutorial here.

Hogwarts Painting. After believing we were all set with Little One’s Owlery, we noticed that it needed something more. For a solution, I created this painting of Hogwarts with extra canvas that I had.

Dumbledore quote. I love this Dumbledore quote – “In dreams we enter a world that’s entirely our own”. I’ve had this frame for many years and with some water colors, I created this image for the Owlery.

Quilt. I created this lap quilt with triangles channeling the design of the Deathly Hallows.

Harry Potter Nursery

Woodworking Projects

Growth Ruler. To track the height of our Little One as he grows up, we created this growth chart. We chose an inspirational quote by Albus Dumbledore that reads vertically – “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” See a tutorial here.

Toy Chest. This toy chest is an heirloom from my husband’s childhood. In order to keep its integrity, we just sanded it down and gave it a coat of stain.

Dresser. I have had this dresser for years. To freshen it up, we painted it white and put the changing pad on top of it.

Wall Decals/Pictures

You Are So Loved wall decal. We found this fantastic decal on Etsy. I love this quote from the books because this is a statement that Lily says to Harry when he is a baby, even though they were in a tragic situation. We both believe it is important for our Little One to have a constant reminder that we love him.

I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good. We found this awesome decal on Target. This is a classic Harry Potter quote. I have a full review of the wall decal here.

House Animal Pictures. We found these prints on Etsy via Pinterest. Unfortunately, these prints are no longer available from this particular seller. Luckily, there are many other prints available elsewhere on Etsy that are very cute! We printed them on our home printer and put them in classic white frames from Michael’s.

Lumos/Nox Light Switch Cover. We found this light switch cover on Etsy, it adds a bit of whimsy to detail that might get over looked. You can find a similar one here.

Harry Potter Nursery

Decor Items

Crystal ball curtain rod. We purchased this one from Target. I thought the crystal balls on the ends of the rod were relevant nods to divination classes at Hogwarts.

Hufflepuff-themed rug. We found our striped, gray and yellow, 100% cotton rug on Wayfair. Although aesthetically I love this rug, I probably wouldn’t get it again if I had the chance. I found that it is difficult to clean, especially considering it stains easily (the instructions say to get it professionally cleaned, but who has the time for that?). Also, the instructions say to sweep debris off with a broom instead of vacuum, although we do use the vacuum cleaner without the brush roll. Overall, it’s an extra effort to keep clean.

Star sheets. You can purchase these adorable star sheets at Target.

Curtains. We found these simple black out white curtains at Wayfair.

Dobby socks. My co-workers created this as a gift at the Harry Potter-themed baby shower they hosted for me…thanks ladies!

Triwizard Tournament night light. When we found this night light at Target, we just had to have it! It gives a great low light, which is perfect for those midnight diaper changes.

We love the Owlery and spend a lot of time playing in it. Our design has created a calm environment with a hint of magic that will hopefully stay with Little One for years to come! What do you think of this Harry Potter nursery, comment below.

Harry Potter Nursery