Bathroom Re-Do for $212.00
How many times have you gone in your bathroom and hated it? I could not stand how our guest bathroom looked. The wall paper was from the ’60s, everything is trimmed in bright gold finish, the mirror on the medicine cabinet is cracked, and I had a huge picture of a monkey chugging a bottle of liquor on the wall in bright yellow. The cabinets had water stains on them. The wall paper had designs of ugly flowers and vines, that if you looked really closely, you could make out the outline of a woman and her breast. None of the towels matched. The decor really worked well together!
My husband and I live in a 1970’s model double wide that I have been taking strides to update and make into a home. We got it for free. F-R-E-E. Now I know not everyone is blessed with a free house, and there were some definite drawbacks to it. It’s gotten new shingles, new siding (it had been through a hailstorm and tornado), new electrical wiring, basically lots of new just to make it livable.
So now that it is comfortably livable…I’ve been “decorating”. I’m making air quotes with my fingers, because I’m a firm believer that I have an absolute lack of style when it comes to picking curtains, decor, etc. This year, I’ve learned about myself that I really just don’t like what there is to purchase for decor. I want to make it myself. Partly because I didn’t even know how to use a sewing machine 5 years ago, and I am so excited that I can actually do something useful. And when you make it yourself, you can save a ridiculous amount of money by making your house look AWESOME.
Working on a budget!
The first thing I did was move all of the mis-matched towels out of the bathroom. I made a trip to TJ Maxx and purchased some really nice dark gray DKNY bath, hand, and face towels, then I purchased two coordinating rugs. This was the biggest purchase I made for the bathroom. I spent about $40.00 on the 2 rugs and $50.00 on the towels. I could have gone to Wal-Mart for the towels, but the ones TJ Maxx has are really, really nice. They are soft and plush and not thin and flimsy like the cheapies at Wally World, and I was okay with spending a little extra on those.
When I got the towels home, I cut pieces of fabric and hemmed the sides. Then I just trimmed all of the towels in a variety of different fabrics that coordinated with the color scheme I was planning on using–gray and teal/turquoise.
I purchased one gallon (I probably only needed a quart) of gray paint in the shade that I wanted at Home Depot for about $25.00. I always buy the kind that has the primer mixed in with it so I don’t have to do double the work. I probably should have used Kilz, but my husband insists we are building a house, so I didn’t want to spend the extra money if it was temporary. I already had the bright teal paint that I had used to repaint our kitchen, but if I had purchased it, I would have needed a quart–so let’s add about $10.00 to that. I already had the paint brushes and painter’s tape, but let’s say I didn’t and I spent another $30.00 on brushes and tape.
The key to working on a budget is to work with things you have already purchased! I really liked the paint I already had, so I just bought a neutral to coordinate with it. And I am really careful about cleaning paintbrushes after they’re used so they don’t get stiff and ruin.
I taped off the bathroom and painted the walls and cabinets. Painting the cabinets was much cheaper than replacing them. And if you use a really fine brush, it can make the room really pop. (if you had a larger budget, you could actually fill up the cabinet with towels 🙂
Step 3 was wall decor. I’m pretty picky about what I like and what I don’t like. So I made my own. Before I painted I took down the hideous monkey picture, and there was no way it was going back up. I bought that myself, by the way. I told you I had good taste.
After I painted, the walls looked pretty bare. Don’t get me wrong, they looked GREAT without that dated wall paper, but something was missing to tie the room together.
I made another trip down to the Wal-Mart and purchased some pretty decent frames. I spent $12.00 on the smaller one, and $30.00 on the large one. I could have gone way cheaper, but I wasn’t replacing the bathroom counter or the linoleum, so I figured I had a few extra bucks.
Mind you, I had no plan for what I was going to put in these frames. I’m shocked that I came up with something. For the 4-picture frame, I decided to put our last name in applique on some Tula Pink fabric that I had. It was pretty time consuming, but worth the effort. That was one picture. The other three, I went with a nature-y theme and just did some free-motion quilting samples on solid colored fabrics that coordinated with the colors of paint I used. I did pebbles, all over leaves, and wood grain. Each one took me about 45 minutes.
Helpful hint: The glass in the frames I picked up was FILTHY. Be careful when you take the glass out to clean it prior to mounting your decor. I sliced the crud out of my finger and nearly bled all over the things I had spent so much time on, but luckily I noticed in time to get a band-aid.
The second frame I picked up had three places for pictures, so I decided against quilting again and did something a little more “manly”. I used google images for outlines of the state of Texas and a buck. Then I appliqued them onto another Tula Pink fabric that I had. Are you seeing a theme here? (I love Tula Pink!) If I have time, I’ll post a tutorial on how to do this–it’s really easy!
To sum it up, I spent $212.00 total to make this bathroom look a little updated. I added in $15.00 for fabric-you don’t need much…that’s probably over estimating the cost.
I could spend a little more and replace the sink and counter top, and I do plan on replacing the mirror (which I am getting for free).
You save a ton of money by doing everything yourself, and you get the satisfaction of seeing your work put to good use.
And the best part is I don’t have to look at an abstract picture of a woman’s breast every time I’m in there.