Home Improvement Tips and Ideas + HM #232

Find great home improvement tips and ideas. Plus, link up at Home Matters with recipes, diy, decor, and crafts. #HomeImprovement #HomeDIY #HomeMattersParty

Home Improvement Tips and Ideas + HM #232

Woot! The gals of Home Matters are exploring fabulous Home Improvement tips, ideas, hacks and more. Check out the amazing DIY projects and other ideas for your home, yard, and more.  Enjoy!


DIY Baseboards, Moldings, and Trim from KathyThe Budget Decorator


How to Plank a Popcorn Ceiling from Cindy @ Edith & Evelyn Vintage


21 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal from KateDIY Roundup


DIY Mantel Makeover – An Easy Home Improvement from LorelaiLife With Lorelai


Home Improvement Tips and Ideas Blog Hop

Click through all the Hosts and Co-hosts blogs to see the complete Themed Roundup!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


A Home Matters Themed Roundup

Last Week’s Theme: Mother’s Day Love for Mom

Next Week’s Theme: Memorial Day

Welcome to the weekly Home Matters Linky Party. A great place to come, share your blog posts, and make new friends.

We would love to have you visit our blogs and follow us on social media!


Lorelai @ Life With LorelaiFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Ashley @ Sweetpea LifestyleFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Donna @ Modern On MonticelloFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram


Sahana @ VikalpahFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Emily @ Domestic DeadlineFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Nina @ Vintage Mama’s CottageFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram


Check out more posts from the Hosts and Co-Hosts on our
NEW Pinterest Board, All Things Home Matters!
And, please do follow…

Follow All Things Home Matters Board on Pinterest.


Each week, we like to feature some of the awesome posts shared at last week’s party. We hope you will be inspired by these creative and talented bloggers who share their best recipes, DIY projects, crafts, home decor, organization ideas, and more. Enjoy!

Check out this week’s features below.


DIY Flower Tower from Ashley @ Simply Designing

PIN here

Create Your Own Home Decorating Organizer from Jennifer @ Celebrating Everyday Life

PIN here

Decorative and Functional Clothes Line from Penny @ Penny’s Vintage Home

PIN here

DIY Faux Ming Vase Flower Pots from Claire @ Pillar Box Blue

PIN here

10-Minute Honey Garlic Shrimp Recipe from Love Keil @ Munchkin Time

PIN here


Thank you to all who linked up at last week’s party. We look forward to seeing what you will be sharing with us this week!

Remember that every feature is shared on all Host’s and Co-Host’s blogs, as well as on the Home Matters Linky Party Pinterest Board! Don’t forget to follow…

Follow Home Matters Linky Party Board on Pinterest.

If you were featured this week, Please Grab our Featured Button to display proudly on your blog post, featured page, or sidebar! Share the joy…

Are you ready to Party?

The linky party starts when Friday begins and closes when Monday ends, EST.

We at Home Matters love meeting new people and discovering new blogs. Help us grow this party by sharing a link on your post or grabbing our party button for your sidebar or party page.

Stop by and VISIT as many OTHER BLOGGERS as you can. Leave them a message, and share their talents on social media.

Be sure to Please USE our Registered Hashtag


Home Matters Linky Party Guidelines:

We are thrilled that you came by to link up today! Here are a few rules that hosts and co-hosts of the Home Matters Party follow, and we ask that you follow them, as well.

  1. Please link up no more than THREE posts each week–try to make sure that they are new links that you have not shared here previously. (Exception: Holiday/Seasonal specific posts may be shared once per year.)
  1. Please take some time to poke around and visit some of the other links.
  1. Please take some time to check out your hosts and co-hosts on social media.
  1. We appreciate the variety of blogs on the www; however, the Home Matters Party is for links on matters of the HOME. Please link accordingly.
  1. We ask that you do not add other Linky Parties, Blog Hops, or Giveaways–unless you begin the party with a new project, recipe or post.
  1. On the same note, please do not add links of an extremist, political or strong controversial nature. (The hosts and co-hosts read each and every blog post linked and will contact you directly if you have linked something that does not fit into the realm of the party.)

With your help, we can continue to grow the Home Matters Party! Thank you!

Find great home improvement tips and ideas. Plus, link up at Home Matters with recipes, diy, decor, and crafts. #HomeImprovement #HomeDIY #HomeMattersParty Click To Tweet


We are looking for Co-Hosts. Help us Rock this party!
If you are interested, please

Click Here for DETAILS!


Link Up!

By joining the Home Matters Linky Party you are giving permission for all hosts and co-hosts to use and share any part of your post, including pictures, for party promotion, as featured posts, in party photo collages, on blogs, and across social media, etc. All credits will be given to the original source. Also, you will receive a weekly email reminder regarding the new week’s Home Matters Linky Party.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thank you for joining in the fun and excitement at the Home Matters Linky Party. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. We look forward to chatting with you in the comments.


Don’t have a blog, but want to Remember to Party With Us each week?
Forgot to leave your email while linking up your post?
You can still sign up for our Email Party Reminders. Click below for a form…







Share using our Hashtag!


Leave me a comment… I’d love to hear from you!




Sign up today, and don't miss anything! Enjoy EXCLUSIVES, FREEBIES, and FUN.




Contact Lorelai at Lorelai@LifeWithLorelai.com


Christmas Mantels – 12 Days of Christmas – Day 11

Christmas Mantels – a place to hang your stockings, a focal point for decor. 12 Days of Christmas Ideas Blog Hop ideas for celebrating the holidays. You are going to love all of the Christmas goodness that is headed your way over the next several days. Don’t miss a single day — they are all different and promise tons of holiday cheer and inspiration! Enjoy…

Join us for the 12 Days of Christmas Ideas Series along with eleven other talented bloggers. We’ve rounded up the best of the best Christmas ideas to make your holiday season more festive and fun.

Every day December 1-12th we will be sharing a new collection of Christmas Ideas rounded up from our best blogging friends around the web. That’s a total of 144 awesome Christmas Ideas to make your holiday season easier and more fun! Some of our topics include Decor, DIY, Organization, Food, Games and so much more. We don’t want to spoil the fun by telling you too much. We want you to be surprised! Now is the perfect time to subscribe so you’ll be the first to know!

Meet The Hostesses

Shirley of Intelligent Domestications ~ Erlene of My Pinterventures ~ Lindsay of Crazy Organized

Michelle of Our Crafty Mom ~ Stephanie of The Tip Toe Fairy ~ Lorelai of Life With Lorelai

Katie of The Organized Dream ~ Amanda of The Kolb Corner ~ Marie of DIY Adulation

Megan of C’mon Get Crafty ~ Sara of Twelve On Main ~ Kim of Made in a Day

Welcome, Sara from Twelve On Main.

Hi all!  I am so excited to be showing you some of my most favorite Christmas Mantels as part of this 12 days of Christmas series.

It’s Day 11 and we’re sharing

Christmas Mantels

What do you love about Christmas mantels?  Is it the garland, the lights or the stockings?  I am a sucker for stockings.  Check out these 12 Christmas mantels and maybe they will inspire you.

I thought I’d start it off with my Christmas mantel from this year.  My farmhouse mantel.

Source: Twelve On Main

Source: Lemon Thistle

Source:  House of Hargrove

Source:  Southern Hospitality

Source:  Pink Peppermint Design

Source: Atta Girl Says

Source:  Thats My Letter

Source:  Prodigal Pieces

Source:  Behind The Big Green Door

Source: DIY Beautify

Source:  Love and Renovations

Source:  The Kim Six Fix

Which one is your favorite?

Thanks so much for joining us for the 12 Days of Christmas Ideas Blog Hop! If you missed any of our fun collections just see the links below!







Share using our Hashtag!


Leave me a comment… I’d love to hear from you!




Sign up today, and don't miss anything! Enjoy EXCLUSIVES, FREEBIES, and FUN.




Contact Lorelai at Lorelai@LifeWithLorelai.com


Mantel Makeover – An Easy DIY Home Improvement

Mantel Makeover – An Easy DIY Home Improvement

This post, Mantel Makeover – An Easy DIY Home Improvement, has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Prep4Gathering #CollectiveBias

Hello! I am super excited about today’s post. Finally, I’m crossing off a long-awaited project from my wish list. And it is all part of my preparation for the family gatherings over the holidays. I know you have all heard of spring cleaning, but I dig even deeper in the fall.

I love to decorate for the holidays and have a home that is festive and cozy for family and friends to stop in for a visit or a party. Before I start decorating, a clean house is a must.  But it is not just my living spaces that need to be in tip-top shape, it is my kitchen and bathrooms too. With a house filled to the brim with family, you can’t leave a nook or cranny uncleaned, because you just know that great-aunt Bessie will point out the spot you missed. So, I make sure I stock up on great cleaning supplies like Pledge® Spray products, Scrubbing Bubbles® products, and Windex® Outdoor Cleaner. They get the job done and make easy work of it too.

Another way I ready my home for holiday parties, is with some sort of project to freshen up the decor, or make a home improvement. Last year it was new valances; this year, it is my mantel makeover.

We have a pretty stone-faced fireplace in our home, but for some reason, it has (or had) a tiny little mantel that was good for almost nothing. So, today, I am going to show you how we transformed that ugly hunk of wood into a mantel that makes a statement.

Mantel Makeover

An Easy DIY Home Improvement Project

The old so-called-mantel looked like somebody shoved a 2″ x 4″ atop the stones and gave it excessively thick coats of paint. It certainly did not become the crowning glory of the fireplace. But, with a few supplies from The Home Depot, some simple tools, and a minimal budget, my dreams came true. And just in time to decorate for the holidays too!

Tools and Supplies:

  • Lumber
  • Crown Moulding (or another type of moulding or trim)
  • Miter Box and Miter Saw
  • Utility Knife
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Scraper
  • Measuring  Tape
  • Moulding Adhesive
  • Screws and Finish Nails (or a type of liquid nails)
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Paper Towels
  • Sand Paper
  • Putty
  • Paint or Stain

DIY Mantel Makeover How-To:

  • Remove old trim and get down to the mantel wood that you will use as your base.
  • Check the level of your starting mantel, so you know what you need to do to make your new mantel square and level.

  • Attach spacer boards if needed to make the mantel wider or deeper.
  • You can see above, we used a 2″ x 4″ as a spacer, and also 3/4″ x 3-1/2″ milled common pine pieces as the backer. These boards made our mantel larger and were the width size of the moulding we chose.
  • Attach the backer to the spacer. We drilled pilot holes and used screws to keep the wood from splitting. We also floated those boards to make our mantel level and square, since the old mantel was not. Squaring these pieces is easier for moulding placement.
  • Attach the top mantel board using three counter-sunk screws and some finish nails into the old mantel wood. Be sure to use a nail set to push them down below the surface, so you do not dimple your mantel shelf.

  • Carefully measure and cut moulding, one piece at a time. Test fit. Make sure you measure EACH individual piece, as dimensions will most likely differ due to wavy walls, etc. Our mouldings all fit square, so we cut 45-degree angles to make a square corner.
  • Once satisfied with the fit, we used a 10-minute moulding adhesive to glue our moulding pieces to the backer boards and top mantel board. We chose a water-based adhesive for easy clean-up. Use Painter’s Tape to hold mouldings in place while they dry.
  • Clean excess adhesive with a scraper and a damp paper towel. If you do this right away it is easier than trying to do it after it dries.
  • We had two separate mouldings, a 3-1/2″ moulding on the lower part of the mantle covering the backer boards, and a 3/4″ moulding trim to edge the top mantel board. If you have access to a router, you could always route your own details.

  • Putty the screw and nail holes, so there are no divots in the shelf surface.
  • Once putty and moulding adhesive are dry, sand smooth.
  • Prime and paint, or stain.

A Few Tips:

  • Buy DRY wood, not wet. It will help prevent warping and twisting. You can tell the difference between wet and dry wood by color and weight. Dry wood will be lighter in color and lighter in weight. Wet wood is darker and heavier.

  • Cut the pieces to an approximate length and sand all pieces before putting it together. Try your best to avoid cutting through any knots in the wood.
  • Moulding adhesive allows you wiggle room to adjust placement before it sets.
  • You could use a type of liquid nails to float the entire mantel to level instead of screws or nails if your starting base has the dimensions you want.

If you have a larger size mantel, you may not want or need the 2″ x 4″ spacer that we used. The contractor for our mantel must have gnawed out the wood using a beaver and an ax, and apparently didn’t own a level either.

Now, onto the really fun part, the decorating! Since I am preparing for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and all the family gatherings that go along with them, I wanted something festive with a seasonal scent — the Glade® Apple Cinnamon Candle is perfect. It smells like hot apple cider on the stovetop, and the color is gorgeous too.

I picked up my candle at The Home Depot while we were gathering our supplies for the mantel project. I also grabbed the Pledge® Multisurface – Antibacterial. Won’t that come in handy for turkey day! It gently cleans your kitchen countertops. You can never be too safe with those raw turkey juices and the messes you know will happen. I use Windex® Original Glass Cleaner all the time for mirrors, windows, and vinyl blinds, and I was excited to try the Windex® Outdoor Cleaner — amazing! The outside windows are always so much harder to clean, and this product is made specifically for this grimy job. The Home Depot and SC Johnson have made prepping for the holidays a snap. With the right supplies, it is always easier to get your sense of humor on and be prepared to entertain your family and friends.

I know my guest will be comfortable in my clean home, and I am excited for them to see my beautiful fireplace. Just look how pretty my new mantel turned out, and it cost me less than $50. I am so pleased!

So here’s to family gatherings for the holidays! Remember to feel joy, laugh a lot, and be prepared for life’s little messes. #Prep4Gathering







Share using our Hashtag!


Leave me a comment… I’d love to hear from you!




Sign up today, and don't miss anything! Enjoy EXCLUSIVES, FREEBIES, and FUN.




Contact Lorelai at Lorelai@LifeWithLorelai.com


5 Essentials For Outdoor Fall Events

This time of year is full of entertaining opportunities, and it is lovely to spend those last moments before the winter freeze outdoors. Debbie Lewis is here to share 5 Essentials for Outdoor Fall Events.

5 Essentials

For Outdoor Fall Events

When the weather starts to take on a cool edge and the days begin to grow shorter, you might think you’re doomed to be cooped up indoors for the next several months. However, you can still enjoy being outside. All you need to do is create an outdoor space where you and your guests can be comfortable even during the fall and winter months. Here are some essentials that you’ll need:

A Fireplace

Image via Flickr by Jarsin Trevino

Yes, you could tell your guests to wear lots of layers, but that isn’t nearly as comfortable or relaxing as sitting by a fire. Contact local experts who can help you design an outdoor fireplace that complements your home’s décor and will serve as a cozy place where you can sit and swap stories while you snack on smores.

Another option is to buy a metal fireplace from your local home improvement store, but that lacks the class and longevity of a permanent stone fireplace that you and your guests will be able to enjoy for years to come.

Adequate Lighting

When you host fall and winter outdoor events, the last thing you want is to have to send your guests home when the sun sets. Make sure you have adequate lighting so no one trips and gets hurt. You can have a floodlight attached to your house, but that may not be enough. Think about installing small solar-powered lights along walkways outside your home.

Search the internet for creative ideas on how to light your home’s exterior. You can also use candles in mason jars to add an extra touch of elegance, or you could string up icicle lights for a lovely holiday party. The possibilities are endless!

A Patio

Image via Flickr by Mr_Wahlee

When the weather is dry, it might be no problem to have guests relaxing in your grassy yard. During fall and winter, however, the grass will often be wet and muddy. When temperatures take a plunge, your yard could even become slippery to the point of being dangerous. A paved patio provides a safe walking surface. If necessary, you can place rubber mats on it to make it even safer.

An Outdoor Kitchen

Image via Flickr by Roger Mommaerts

Your outdoor kitchen doesn’t need to be elaborate, but it does need to have some basics. It could be as simple as a grill, a bin to keep drinks in, and a storage place for outdoor cooking supplies. You should also have a place where you can keep carafes of hot drinks, such as coffee and cocoa, so your guests can help themselves to something warm and tasty whenever they want.

Overhead Covering

Image via Flickr by Bellafaye Garden

If you live in an area where rain is common in fall and winter, you’ll have to prepare for that liquid sunshine when you’re planning your outdoor event. You can buy some sturdy patio umbrellas, or you could build an awning or a gazebo that will provide shelter from drizzles and raindrops.

Sometimes it is nice to stay indoors during fall and winter. However, you and your guests can still get outside and enjoy the fresh autumn air.







Share using our Hashtag!


Leave me a comment… I’d love to hear from you!




Sign up today, and don't miss anything! Enjoy EXCLUSIVES, FREEBIES, and FUN.




Contact Lorelai at Lorelai@LifeWithLorelai.com

Exit mobile version