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All home and garden DIY projects to create a unique and beautiful home inside and out. Find DIY projects for your indoor and outdoor space so you can create your dream home.

These 4 Home Owners Tiled Their Bathroom Floors With Pennies

These 4 Home Owners Tiled Their Bathroom Floors With Pennies

I created a penny floor in my foyer back in 2013 and one of the most frequently asked questions about this project is, “Can I install a penny floor in the bathroom?”

Yes, you actually can install pennies as flooring in your bathroom. In this post you’ll find several examples of home owners who have installed penny tiled bathroom and shower floors.

However… there is a big “BUT” that comes with this post. I cannot vouch for how well these penny bathroom floor projects have held up. If I’m being honest, I would not recommend installing pennies in the bathroom, especially if you are new to DIYing and don’t have much tiling experience. If you are putting pennies in an area that’s going to get wet all the time, it can be a big risk. The pennies can also get a little slippery when they’re wet.

Let’s take a look at some of the bathroom penny floor projects submitted by my readers.

Brandon’s Penny Bathroom Floor

Brandon's penny bathroom floor
Brandon’s penny bathroom floor

This is Brandon’s penny bathroom floor! Many of you ask if it’s possible to do a penny floor in your bathroom where there’s a lot of moisture. Well, Brandon is your guy to ask since he’s done it.

When asked about the process of creating a penny floor, Brandon says,

“It can be done. If you’re here researching whether you should do it or not, you can and should!”


Johanna’s Bathroom Project

Johanna's penny bathroom project
Johanna’s penny bathroom floor

Johanna just finished her bathroom project. She’s getting ready to seal it and has decided to use polyurethane.  She thanked me for the blog and said she spent “countless hours reading about your efforts…” — how sweet! Thank you Johanna. Your floor is incredible!

Want to make your own penny floor? Read my step-by-step guide to making a floor out of REAL pennies.

Carl’s Penny Bathroom with Nickel Foyer

Carl's penny bathroom with nickel border
Carl's penny bathroom with nickel border

Take a look at Carl’s super high-gloss epoxied penny bathroom floor with a double-border of nickels.

Carl used a high-gloss epoxy finish. He didn’t leave much detail with his photos and unfortunately I don’t know the sealer he used. If I were to try a penny floor in my bathroom, epoxy would likely be the option I’d go with to seal the floor.

I am LOVING the nickel border. The silver lining around the copper looks so great. Nice job, Carl.

Linda’s Dressed Up Penny Bathroom

Linda's penny floor bathroom - prep

Linda’s penny floor project came from converting their basement into a studio and house concert space. She needed to dress up the bathroom… and what better way than with a shiny copper penny floor? Her project began with a concrete floor, and she glued down each penny, followed by black epoxy grout and then three coats of water-based floor poly to preserve it.

Linda's penny floor bathroom - final
Linda’s penny bathroom floor

Wrapping Up

As you can see, it’s definitely possible to install pennies as a flooring option in your bathroom or any other room of your house. However, I’d recommend doing a lot of research and making sure that you’re comfortable with tiling and maintaining a moisture barrier before you tackle this penny project.

If you have a penny floor in your bathroom and can give me any insight as to how it’s held up over the years, I’d love to hear from you! Contact Amy here.

Get Inspired: 9 Penny Floors DIYed by Home Owners

Get Inspired: 9 Penny Floors DIYed by Home Owners

If you’re thinking about making your own penny floor, here are some projects by home owners just like you who have created beautiful works of art with penny flooring.

Rick’s Penny Floor Map

Rick's Penny Floor Map
Rick’s penny floor map

Rick’s penny floor is the most intricate penny floor design I have ever seen! Rick’s project took him nearly 4 years and consists of pennies, nickels and other coins from around the world. He created a large map of the eastern hemisphere on the floor of his man cave. The outlines of the land are outlined using a black spray paint and the compass is pennies that have been painted red!

Rick estimates that the map contains about 70,000 pennies and 8,000 nickels. In each country he features at least one coin from that area within the design. He got most of these foreign coins off eBay.

To highlight the western hemisphere, he created a bar that features coins from EVERY state as well as the surrounding islands of North and South America. 

Kelly’s Freehanded Penny Foyer

Kelly's freehanded penny foyer

Kelly’s foyer was freehanded — how incredible to do this by eye!

Kelly separated dark from newer pennies and began a mosaic pattern. This project took her about three weeks 3 weeks from start to finish. She says that gluing the pennies and keeping straight lines was the hardest part. Kelly grouted the pennies, sealed with several polyurethane coats to protect the finish, and viola! It’s gorgeous, durable!

Kelly says, “I would recommend removing any floor underneath and installing basic subfloor panels to glue the pennies on.” She also suggests scratching the subfloor surface so the glue and grout will stick, and either a poly coat or an epoxy coat to seal it in well.” She also emphasized the need to allow enough drying time between coats and phases.

This photo is after one coat of poly and grout. I must say I’m jealous of this one!

Check out her step by step ideabook on Houzz.com

Want to make your own penny floor? Read my step-by-step guide to making a floor out of REAL pennies.

The Lincoln Room Penny Floor

The Lincoln Room Penny Floor
The Lincoln Room Penny Floor

This home owner wanted to create a special floor for her favorite room; her 6×9′ pantry. After seeing a penny bartop at a local bar and her love to collect all things copper, a penny floor seemed a natural choice!

PrettyPurpleDoor.com was one of the first sites she found to get some information on the process. As you can see in one photo, using the penny template helped her to create the medallion “L” for the room’s center. The “L” represents her last name and also that she calls her pantry “The Lincoln Room”.

To finish the floor of her Lincoln Room, this homeowner used polyurethane. While she liked the glass-look of the epoxy resins, the process of pouring epoxy is a bit intimidating with great potential for mistakes. The polyurethane was a good alternative solution! She added,

“The extra effort you put forth to document your efforts and knowledge, (from experience), and share it with strangers like me, is incredible and very much appreciated. Thank you very much!”

Michelle’s Sunburst Penny Floor

Michelle's penny floor with sunburst pattern

Michelle decided to make her 4 x 4 foot foyer floor into a penny floor.  She has a lot of “suns” in her house so she thought making a sun would tie everything together. Michelle used newer, shiny pennies, all heads up for the sun. Michelle made the sun design on a board and when she was happy with it, she put a piece of clear contact paper over the design so she could transfer it to the floor.

Michelle ran into a few problems during the installation. At first, she just put down the pennies in no particular order wanting it to look more organic. That didn’t seem to work for her as there were too many big gaps between the pennies. So after she glued down about 1/4 of the background, she pulled them all up (except for the sun) and decided to lay them closer together so the pennies interlocked with each other.*

When Michelle got to the sun, she found that the gaps were also too big between the sunrays. So she ended pulling up each penny one at a time and adjusting it so it would line up with the others. After she was finished she used tin snips to cut pennies to fill in around the perimeter.

Next, Michelle used a dental pick and picked out the excess adhesive from between the crevices. She used green grout instead of the usual black or brown because she likes the look of copper with verdigris when the copper begins to patina. *Just a note: using my penny floor template would eliminate this problem from happening to you!

The scariest part for Michelle was putting the epoxy down to seal the floor. She had to make a dam so it wouldn’t flow onto the hardwood floor on two sides of her penny floor. She also had to figure out how to make the area at least 75 degrees (Fahrenheit) for 72 hours in order for the epoxy to cure. She decided the best way to do this was to hang a drop-cloth from floor to ceiling using tension rods to keep it nice and tight. Then, she left a space heater inside this area for 3 days so that it would get to the right temperature.

Michelle says that if she were to do this again, she would seal the floor first before putting the epoxy down because the grout was actually much brighter before she sealed it.

Products used on Michelle’s Sunburst Penny Floor

  • Gorilla Glue Construction Adhesive (she said that the clear gorilla glue worked on her sample boards, but they only have small bottles)
  • Grout360 for the green grout
  • BestBarTop Epoxy

Patricia’s elegant penny kitchen floor

Patricia's kitchen has an elegant penny floor

I must say, this is one of the most elegant penny project’s I’ve seen so far. Patricia’s penny floor is not quite done yet, but isn’t it so beautiful and classy? I love the tone of the copper pennies mixed with the reds on her wall.

It adds such a high-end touch. Upon completion, Patricia plans to grout the pennies and finish off with an epoxy.

Nick’s Penny Closet Floor

Penny Floor Walk in Closet

Have a look at Nick’s dreamy penny floor walk-in closet. Nick wanted to surprise his fiancé with her dream penny floor walk in closet. This master closet masterpiece used to be a second floor restroom. The closet floor has wheat and even 27 Canadian penny’s also 🙂.

Next Nick is working on the game room and plans on using pennies again! This time he want to plan a design into it.  After the game room Nick will be finishing the new second floor master bath and it will have a 6×8 walk in shower with a penny floor.

Thanks for sharing this dream closet with us Nick! We can’t wait to see your game room and master bath shower floor! That’s one lucky fiancé you have!

Kayla’s Shiny Penny Foyer

Kayla's Penny Foyer
Kayla's Penny Foyer with cat

Here are some photos of Kayla’s amazing shiny penny foyer — bonus photo of her adorable cat.

She sent these photos over, saying:

“I followed your post for the penny floor and I just have to thank you because your 1 article was more help than the other thousand articles I read before I started it. I still have to poly it but the tedious part is done! Again, thanks!”


Cheryl’s Penny Floor

Cheryl's penny floor

Cheryl was the very FIRST submission to the penny floor gallery. Here are some photos of her penny floor. It wasn’t quite finished when she took the photos… this was while she was still cleaning grout from the floor. After cleaning she sealed the floor with polyurethane.

Amy’s Penny Foyer

copper penny floor
Here’s the copper penny floor after it’s been sealed and the moldings installed and the hardwood refinished.

When I first moved into my house, I found pennies everywhere! Seriously, in every little nook and cranny of my house there was a penny wedged. I found them in the cracks of the sidewalk, along ledges, in floor and sink drains… They’d even hit me in the head when I slammed a closet door.

I did some research to find out what this could possibly mean. Why are there pennies all over the house?

Some people say that finding coins or feathers in repetitive numbers is a message from the angels. Others say it’s to keep negative spirits away.

I saved the pennies as I’ve found them, always thinking I’d find a way to do something creative with them.

penny floor in a kitchen with island

Then, one day I stumbled upon this photo. And that’s where my penny foyer idea was born.

Danielle’s Penny Floor

Danielle's Penny Floor

Danielle’s penny floor contains 23,715 pennies and one dime (lol). There is one zinc penny that looks silver and a Bahama commonwealth penny. There are wheat pennies hidden within new pennies throughout, and one entire square foot of all heads up one row of heads up and one row of tails up.

Danielle wrote me saying that this penny project was very interesting, but more time consuming than she anticipated. What she thought would take a weekend took over a month. It turns out, Danielle did not use the penny floor template, and placed every penny one-by-one. Obviously this is something you can do, too… but just know that it will take a lot longer than you plan!

Danielle started out using Elmer’s glue for adhesive then halfway through she used polyurethane (that was for the finish) as the adhesive.  She said that this went A LOT faster.  I have never tried this personally.

She said she put 3 coats of amber colored semigloss polyurethane at the beginning of the project and it came out glossy and was very happy with it! After she finished laying the last penny, she did a coat of poly over the rest of the floor.  The next morning it looked dry and dull.

I talked to Danielle about her problem. She wrote me back saying that it turned out she did not mix the polyurethane enough and it ended up getting very cloudy. She said,

“What I have learned is you have to stir your poly FREQUENTLY!! It has some chemical that keeps the sheen that may settle if you don’t stir it.”


Her floor ended up very shiny once she discovered the problem 🙂

Wrapping Up

As you can see, creating a floor out of REAL pennies is doable by the average home owner. No matter how simple or complex you make it, this is a project that will be the centerpiece of your home for years to come. Before you get started, read my complete guide to creating your own penny floor. Don’t forget to check out my penny floor FAQ post as well to get some of the most common questions answered.

While this post is only about penny floor projects, there are many, many different uses for pennies in your home. I’ve seen a full kitchen floor created with just pennies. There’s even a bar in NYC that has a penny floor! How about using the pennies as a backsplash, or table or a bar top? Or on a vanity or a tub surround? The possibilities are endless!

Make a Penny Floor Out of Real Pennies
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Purple Front Door Meaning (with purple door examples)

Purple Front Door Meaning (with purple door examples)

So, you love the idea of having a purple front door? Me too! Adding a purple splash of color to your home has some beautiful and unique meanings behind it, too. Perhaps some of these meanings will inspire you to give purple try. If that’s the case, my photo gallery of purple front doors will give you some more ideas.

A purple front door is a sign of creativity and open-mindedness. Purple doors can also promote good health and success in your career. In many cultures, purple is associated with royalty, wealth and honor. It’s also a spiritual color, worn by pastors and priests. In feng shui, it’s said that a purple door will invite opportunities into your home. A purple door can also mark the homestead of a witch or practitioner of magic who knows how to live a prosperous life beyond monetary gain.

When I bought my new home, I was excited to paint the front door purple since I first pulled up, way before I made an offer. Pretty crazy right? Purple felt like the perfect color to set apart my plain white house with plain black trim.

My mind spun with ideas.

My house needed TLC, love, personality. A front door color should make a statement, but also shouldn’t offend anyone… or be too weird to fit into the neighborhood. This is where painting your front door purple can get a bit challenging. It is a little bit unconventional. But, if you read through this post and my purple color suggestions, you’ll find the perfect shade of purple for your situation. So lets dive in and find out if a purple door is right for you!

My Purple Front Door, PrettyPurpleDoor.com

I guess you can say that I’m sold on the idea of a purple front door. Not only is a purple front door unique, but I love the message and meaning behind it. The exact color I chose for my front door is “Purple Energy” — a new Clark & Kensington color you can get at Ace Hardware.

Quick Tip: Check out my purple front door color suggestions if you’re looking for some color ideas and pictures

What Does a Purple Front Door Mean?

Here are some other little-known representations of purple:

A purple front door represents wealth, honor and royalty.

Having a purple front door lets others know that you are living a prosperous life. It does not necessarily mean that you are wealthy, but you are rich in your quality of life and well-being. You are also honorable.

A purple front door can show your open mindedness.

The color purple also is not a common front door color depending on where you live. So when you paint your front door purple, you are telling people that you are open minded and versatile to life’s possibilities. You think outside the box.

A purple front door can bring a sense of calm.

If the shade of purple you choose for your door has some blue hues in it as well, this can bring a sense of calm and have a peaceful affect on your front door space. There is a lot of good energy surrounding the color purple. Think about how you’ll feel if you come home to a front door that is painted purple.

Purple Door - Homestead of a Witch
A purple door can also mean that a Witch lives in your home! Yikes!

What Blooms with What?

Never know what to plant together? Find out with this FREE Plant Pairing Guide and become a pro at combining plants for the best garden design possible!

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A purple front door can mean a witch lives in the home.

This is a really weird one. Depending on your superstition level this could be a deal breaker. Personally, I still think it’s positive and kind of neat!

A purple door is the door to open mindedness, intuition and awakening of the subconsciousness. It often represents the homestead of a Witch or practitioner of magic who understands higher levels of consciousness and how to live a prosperous life beyond monetary gain.

purple front door color options
The exact color I chose for my front door is “Purple Energy” (the second purple guy front the left) by Clark & Kensington. You can buy it at Ace Hardware.

Purple front door – feng shui meaning

Looking for the right door color to optimize energy flow and good fortune? Well you’re in luck because the color purple in the practice of feng shui is the only color that you can use, pretty much no matter what direction your house faces. There’s one exception, which I’ll talk about in a bit.

In feng shui, purple invites opportunities to your home, activates the energy of the entry way and can also improve your opportunities.

You can instantly improve the chi of your home simply by painting your front door… you guessed it… purple. That’s because purple invites opportunities to your home and activates the energy of the entry way – which is where chi enters your home. In addition to increased opportunities, a purple door will also improve whatever aspect of your life that relates to the direction that your door faces.

Want a better career? Paint your door purple. Want to improve your health? Purple can help with that. Wish you had more friends and recognition? Purple saves the day.

Purple doors for homes facing Northwest

There is only one exception for using purple and that front doors that face northwest. Northwest facing front doors support the element of metal expressed through the colors of white and gray/silver and colors of fire and water are known to weaken and corrupt metal.

Because of this it’s recommended to avoid blue, black, red, purple, orange and deep pink with a northwest-facing door. Most say that it’s best to paint your northwest facing door gold, white, silver, or gray. But, perhaps you can choose a purple that’s got a lot of grey undertones? Maybe we are pushing it a little too far with this one!

I think I’ve made my point that the color purple is extremely versatile and just plain awesome in almost every case. 🙂 But, if you’re interested in learning more about feng shui and front door positioning, check out the video below. I’m not an expert in feng shui so I don’t want to give any misinformation on this topic.

When to paint your front door purple

There are many options of purple to choose from.  In this great article about when to paint a purple front door, author Jennifer Ott gives some reasons when purple makes sense.

What shade of purple should I use?

  • If the exterior of your home has a light, neutral hue, a deep dark purple will call attention to your front entrance.
  • If your home has a medium gray exterior, pretty much any color will work. Ott suggests a saturated purple with a bit of red to warm it up.
  • If your exterior is an olive green or light taupe, choose a cooler bluish purple front door color to create a welcoming entrance.
  • If you want to go more “neutral” with your color palette but still like the idea of a purple front door, try an inky purple color (with some blue undertones). This color purple can almost read navy or black, making it a more neutral purple.
  • You can also use purple or different shades of purple to emphasize the architectural elements of your homes exterior like the moldings and window trim. This is a great way to add a touch of whimsy to your curb appeal.
  • A very bright purple front door color on a plain white home can be a really exciting idea to try. It will also create a more modern look and freshen things up.
  • Pairing lavender purple with a bold yellow hue against a neutral backdrop to add a huge punch of color and style to your home.
  • Check out these purple front door color suggestions if you are ready to start painting!

What do you think? Are you brave enough?  My philosophy is that a coat of paint is easily changed, so it’s very non-committal to give it a try.

Quick Tip: If you’re ready to get painting, check out my post on how to prep your front door for painting and ensure that you have a finish that will last for years to come.

Purple front door idea gallery

purple front door
A bright and unique shade of purple against the white exterior makes this front door pop!
lavender purple front door with gate
How about a lavender front door for a beautiful statement?
purple back door
Lots of glass in this purple front door allows the use of a much bolder color.
dark purple front door
This dark and dangerous purple front door is a very deep purple eggplant color
purple front door green siding
This purple front door color looks great with the green siding.
purple front door wreath
Love the idea of a purple front door but afraid of the commitment? A purple wreath may do the trick. Learn to make this wreath here

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the meaning behind purple front doors. If you liked this post, definitely check out purple front door color suggestions to find the exact color match of your future purple front door.

More posts about front doors

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What's the meaning behind a purple front door and is it right for you?
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DIY Floating Glass Frame (make from ANY picture frame)

DIY Floating Glass Frame (make from ANY picture frame)

I love the look of a floating glass frame and I’m always on the hunt for them. But, for my latest piece of art, I couldn’t find a square one in the size I was looking for. While searching for an alternative solution, it occurred to me how ridiculously easy it would be to make a floating glass frame out of a regular picture frame.  It literally only takes ONE simple supply to turn almost ANY picture frame into a beautiful floating glass frame.

So… this short & sweet tutorial will show you how to make a floating frame from almost ANY picture frame!

Materials to make a floating frame from a regular picture frame

This is a pretty simple process. Here’s what you need:

  • A non-floating picture frame that’s larger than the artwork or photo you would like to frame.
  • An additional piece of glass or acrylic plexiglass that’s the same size as the glass in the picture frame you’ll be using. You can use either glass or acrylic for this project, it doesn’t make a difference in the way you build it.
  • Double-sided tape (or scotch tape that you just fold over to make double-sided.
  • Glass cleaner and some paper towels.

P.S. You might also need something to hold the glass into the frame. Most picture frames will already have a mechanism to secure your frame to the back. If it doesn’t you could use push pin glazier points or picture turn buttons

P.P.S. If this is something you plan to do often, I’d recommend getting a Point Driver tool (I have the Logan Dual Point Driver Elite). You’ll also need flex points for the point driver. Flex points are those little bendable pieces on the back of the frame that you pull upward to remove the photo, and the point driver lets you install these yourself on any project.

Floating glass frame vs. pressed glass frame – what’s the difference?

Typically, people will call this type of frame a “floating glass” frame when they are putting a photograph or paper into the frame and want it to look like it’s floating. When putting a dried flower or some other flattened item into the frame, people will call this a “pressed glass” frame. Honestly, these are teh same exact thing and you can put either a photo, paper or even a pressed flower into your frame. 

How to make any frame into a floating glass frame

OK– so we have our materials and we’re ready to get started. I can’t believe how simple this is and I’m kicking myself for buying expensive floating frames when I could have been doing this all along.

Make a floating glass frame from any picture frame Second Piece of Glass
If you can’t find a second piece of glass, sometimes its easier to buy a cheap picture frame and just take the glass out of that.

If you can’t find a second piece of glass, sometimes its easier to buy a cheap picture frame and just take the glass out of that. This record frame was $3.

Disassemble your picture frame removing the backing and any artwork that’s inside of it. Make sure you clean both pieces of your glass really, really well!

Make a floating glass frame from any picture frame Position Artwork
Use double-sided tape to position your artwork in the center of one piece of glass.

Take the “second” piece of glass that you’ve purchased, and use double-sided tape to position your artwork in the center of the glass. So, the artwork will be taped on TOP of your second piece of glass. You can see in the photo that the tape will be hidden from view if you do it this way.

Make a floating glass frame from any picture frame View from back
Sandwich your artwork between the two pieces of glass.

Put the glass with the artwork into the frame right on top of the other piece of glass. Ultimately you are “sandwiching” your artwork between the two pieces of glass. Here’s a view from the back… it will be your original piece of glass, then your artwork, then the second piece of glass. You can see the tape marks from the back only.

Make a floating glass frame from any picture frame AFTER
Reassemble the frame and hang it up

Reassemble the frame and hang it up! This is what mine looks like.

Make a floating glass frame from any picture frame
Before and After views of the floating glass frame.

Creating a floating glass frame that hangs by a chain

If you want a unique way to hang your frame you can add a chain to the edges of the picture frame and hang it from a hook. However, it may be difficult to attach the chain to the frame. My recommendation for floating frames with chains would be to use a solid wood picture frame to start. This will make it much easier to install the hardware that holds the chain.

Attaching the hardware to the top of floating frame: If you want to attach the chain to the top of the frame, I’d recommend using screw eye hooks to secure the chain to the frame.

What chain should you use? Well that depends on your personal preferences. Just make sure that the chain is able to hold the weight of your picture frame with double-pane glass. You can purchase lengths of chain at the hardware store in all different link configurations and even different colors. You can also purchase a plant hanger chain like this one – it should hold about 20lbs of weight. Just make sure that you pick up some hardware in order to clip the chain to the screw eye hooks.

Wrapping Up

I told you it was super easy to make a floating glass frame. All you need is a second piece of glass. Tape your artwork onto the glass and then sandwich the artwork in between the two. Reassemble your frame and hang it up! It’s super simple, effective and much less expensive than buying a fancy floating frame.

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$12 Rustic Media Stand Makeover

$12 Rustic Media Stand Makeover

My style has changed a lot over the years and this laminate media stand is one of the few modern (and low-end) pieces I have left. Well… apparently I have expensive taste because every media stand I found that I like costs a damn fortune. So, for now I decided to just do a quick makeover of the piece by swapping out the doors for more rustic ones that fit with the style of other pieces in my living room.

It always surprises me how some of my favorite DIY projects are the cheapest and easiest to complete! That definitely holds true for this super simple rustic makeover of my old laminate entertainment stand / media center — can you believe this makeover only cost about $12!!!??

Rustic media stand inspiration piece.
Rustic media stand inspiration piece… too bad it costs nearly $450.

Tools & Materials

This is what you’ll need:

Rustic Media Stand Makeover

modern media stand
In this tutorial I’ll be turning this modern media stand into a rustic one!

Measure existing doors

All I did here was remove the original doors from my media stand and make replacements for them. The dimensions of my doors are immaterial as I doubt you have the same stand as mine. So, just remove your doors and carefully measure the length and width.

Cut wood to length

Now, you’ll need to cut your wood to make the same exact sized door as the one you removed. Easy enough, right?

Connect wood to make a door frame

Attach wood to make a frame
This photo shows a “frame” from a different project, but it’s the same principal. Just attach the wood pieces together with screws from the back to make a frame.

This is where the Kreg Jig comes in handy, as I was able to put the pieces together and connect them using pocket hole screws from behind. To make your joints stronger, you can apply some wood glue as well. Just make sure you wipe any excess with a damp rag so that it doesn’t affect the way your piece stains.

Sand, Stain/Paint, Seal

Minwax American Chestnut Stain
Paint or stain your rustic media stand door frame.

Once assembled, I sanded the frame and applied the stain (I used Minwax American Chestnut stain). Since I used a stain with polyurethane, I didn’t need to seal it. If you don’t use a combo stain like me, you should also seal the wood after the stain dries. Or, if you are painting the frame, simply paint it and once it dries you’re done. If you are looking for some creative painting ideas, I recommend you check out my posts on making your own chalk-style paint or this really cool dresser makeover using chalk paint and dark wax. If stain is more your thing, you can check out my tutorial on how to stain wood in absolutely any color you want!

Cut, Paint & Attach Gutter Guards

InvisaFlow Metal Lock-In Gutter Guard
InvisaFlow Metal Lock-In Gutter Guards make a great screen for a rustic cabinet

Ok… now that we’re done painting/staining and it’s all dry, we’re going to attach the gutter screen to the inside of the frame. Measure the opening and cut the gutter screens a little bit longer and wider (about 1-2″) than your measurements. I used wire snips which made this way easier. If you want to paint your screen now is the time. Using spraypaint would be my recommendation for getting this done quickly.

To attach the screen to the frame, simply staple along the screen into the frame from the back. You don’t have to go crazy here… just a few staples to hold it into place should be fine.

Add Hardware

rustic cabinet hardware
Find some rustic cabinet hardware to use for your makeover.

Next, attach any new hardware or take the hardware from your old doors and transfer it onto your new rustic doors. You can find rustic cabinet hardware online, in the big box stores and even in the craft stores. If you are feeling really adventurous, you can even scour flea markets and vintage stores to get some unique pulls & hinges! You can purchase the 4 drawer pulls pictured for less than $20.

Hang your new doors

Hang your new doors
Attach your new doors to your old media stand to complete the rustic look.

After attaching the hardware you should be able to simply hang/attach your new doors to your old media stand. And… that’s it — you’re done!

Wrapping Up

Like I said, I love these types of projects that don’t cost a ton of money, take very little time and have a big impact. Although I’ll probably replace this new media stand at some point, at least for now spending $12 to update the one I have is money well spent. I’ve considered painting the rest of the media stand as well using some chalk paint, but I really don’t think it needs it.

If you have any questions or end up using my ideas to create your own rustic media stand, I’d like to hear from you in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

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Penny Floor FAQ – Your Penny Floor Questions Answered

Penny Floor FAQ – Your Penny Floor Questions Answered

I installed my penny foyer back in 2013, which means that I had to learn how to create a penny floor without an awesome blog post to follow. I know… feel bad for me :).

Since I had to learn so much I my own, I wanted to give you answers to the questions I know you have been mulling over in your head. This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page has answers to all of the burning penny floor questions you probably have.

I hope this will give you the confidence you need to get started on the right foot.

Laying your penny floor

Getting ready to start your penny project? I know you’ve got questions and I’ve got the answers for you!

I spent hours in front of the computer creating the penny template to make the process easier for myself and I’m so glad to be able to share it with you. Since 2013, I’ve had a lot time to reflect on the choices I made. I’ve also gotten a TON of questions from others who have tried their hand at this project.

So, take a look at these frequently asked questions about installing a penny floor before you get started!

Do I NEED the penny floor template to complete this project?

No! Absolutely not. If you want to freehand your project you can easily follow along without using the template. But, the template does have many benefits and was the key to my own success in finishing this project! Here are some of the benefits:

  • Use your floors while setting your pennies onto mosaic sheets.
  • Avoid the back-breaking work of being hunched over pushing pennies into the floor.
  • Work at your own pace building easy to manage 1x1ft mesh sheets of penny tile. Work on nights or weekends if you want.
  • Transfer the template right onto your work surface to assure your rows of pennies will be straight
  • 5 page instruction guide included.
  • 3 different template options included for different sizing and spacing

How has your floor held up over the years?

“I am curious though, it looks like your last entry and picture of the floor was from a couple years back. Now that it’s been a few years how is it holding up? I’m sure there is your typical everyday wearing down of it but do you think it was worth it that way? Would you do it again?”


Hey Chris. The poly has held up really well. I have not refinished it although refinishing would be easy (just sand and re-apply). There are areas of wear but it works for me. None of the pennies have been damaged. I hope that helps… poly is the safest way to do it and the easiest to reapply/refinish down the road. I would certainly do it again.

PS: scroll down and you will see a gallery of my penny floor over the years. I also added a video created in January 2018 showing the details of my floor, so check that out too.

Will the template work for US pennies and UK pennies?

The penny floor template was designed for United States pennies.

The US Penny is .75in (19.05mm) and the UK Penny is .799in (20.3 mm).

Those of you using UK pennies SHOULD be able to use the penny floor template included in your purchase entitled “circlegrid-morespacing.pdf” (I would love some feedback on how this works out).

But again, the template is designed for use with the USA 1 CENT PENNY

How long should I wait before we begin to walk on the floor?

I’m just going to begin my penny floor for my bathroom, How long should I wait before we begin to walk on the floor. Thanx.


Hi Lisa, You’ll have to check the instructions on the materials you use (mortar, grout, poly, etc). They are all different. Follow the instructions provided on each item.

I don’t want to take a chance using epoxy and messing it up… should I?

I can’t speak for everyone, but I would not use the epoxy… for the exact same reason. I was afraid to mess it up. So, I used Minwax Polyurethane for Floors and it turned out fabulous. If you don’t want to use epoxy… don’t. I am not sure who is forcing epoxy on you??? I didn’t use it and you don’t have to either (unless you want to)!

I coated my floor with epoxy and now it looks like crap. What do I do?

I have made my toilet floor with European 2cents (same color and size of American pennies). Glued and with a top of epoxy. First there was a weird reaction at the opening of the door (epoxy became blurry). Than, I put a uv top coat. But this was mat (dull). Now, the penny are almost not visible. I’m really disappointed. Before the top coat, it was shiny and really beautiful. Can I polish it? And what do you think about a shiny floor? My friend said that it is really nice at the beginning but becomes fast ugly (where we walk…).”


I’m sorry I can’t help with the epoxy. However, I’ve had the floor installed and sealed with polyurethane and walk on it every day. Even my 100lb dog trampled it, and now my 40lb dog. It gets a lot of use and I’ve never had an issue with the floor “wearing” where we walk.

I was thinking of using [insert random sealer name here]. Will this work?

I love you all to death but I have absolutely no idea if some random polyurethane, sealer or epoxy that you’ve researched will work. I’m just a home owner like you and I’ve shared my penny floor project on a website. I only know that Minwax Polyurethane for Floors will work, because that’s what I’ve used.

If you take a look at the comments section of the penny floor post, many have commented on other types of polyurethane or other products they have successfully used. However, I haven’t used them and I don’t give you advice about ANYTHING that I haven’t personally tried myself.

Do I need to use grout?

I definitely would recommend grouting the penny floor if you plan to use a polyurethane sealer. Polyurethane is meant to be applied in very thin even coats. Therefore, trying to fill the holes between the pennies with polyurethane is not a great solution. The poly may not dry between the pennies and that wouldn’t be a good thing.

If you seal your penny floor with epoxy, the epoxy will harden between the pennies in the same way a grout would. In this case it’s probably not necessary to grout. But, grouting is also an option if you like the look of it — the grout should not affect the epoxy.

In my opinion, grout is pretty and makes your penny floor look finished. Pick a nice color like a charcoal or a reddish brown. There’s a lot more grout information in the penny floor post – click here to read through all of it!

Should I use sanded or non-sanded grout?

“I see a lot of talk about no sand grout but my tile guy says sand grout is what should be used?”


Michael, I would recommend unsanded grout as it will be less likely to scratch the pennies. In addition, unsanded grout works better in joints that are less than 1/8″ wide so you won’t have any issues if the spacing of your pennies are close together.

Are the gaps wide enough to actually hold the floor in place with grout?

I’m not started yet but concerned that there will not be enough grout to hold the pennies or to keep the grout stable. Even tiny standard tiles have a continuous gap so the entire tile can be surrounded by grout. Your thoughts?”


The penny floor template that you can download has the spacing set to the same exact spacing that I’ve used. There are a few things that come into play with holding the pennies down.

  1. the Weldbond glue that adheres the pennies to the mesh.
  2. the thinset mortar the holds the pennies and the mesh to your cement board
  3. the grout between the pennies

The combination of all three will give you enough adhesion that your pennies will not “pop off.” Mine has been walked on since 2013 and I’ve NEVER had a penny come loose. I hope this helps!

Can I put a penny floor in my bathroom or shower?

I really would not recommend putting pennies in an area that’s going to get soaked all the time, like outdoors or in a bathroom or wet room… they’re not really a flooring material. Pennies can also get a little slippery when wet.

However, the answer is yes — you technically can. There are several home owners who have sent me photos of their penny bathroom floor projects.

Linda's penny floor bathroom - final
Linda’s Penny Bathroom floor

Can I do this outside, like on my back porch?

Can you do this on an outside sidewalk in Pennsylvania? Being the temperatures vary. Has anyone done this and is it slippy?”


Hi Colleen! I’m from PA too! I think outside would be a challenge. I have seen penny gazing balls for the garden that turn green and weathered with the rain, snow etc., so my guess is that it would get that look to it. I also think pennies may get quite slippery outside.

Perhaps try a small area or the penny gazing ball and see what you think?

Is a penny floor slippery?

I love this idea and feel very confident in all aspects of carrying out the project for my kitchen floor, I do however have concerns. Once the floor is coated is it slippy?


Yes penny floors ARE slippery… in the same way that hardwood floors are slippery. It will really be as slippery as the sealer that you use.

The sealer I used was a polyurethane for hardwood flooring. It makes it as slippery like a hardwood floor — no more, no less. 

Please note that I can only vouch for using Minwax Polyurethane for Floors. I really don’t know how slippery epoxy or any other sealer would be to walk on.

Will the penny floor scratch easily?

I understand from your threads it’s hard wearing to everyday ‘traffic’, but I’m dubious that if ever my appliances need to be dragged out for any reason that they’ll leave scratches, particularly washing machines as they’re very heavy?”


I don’t really know how to answer this question. If you drag something along the floor, like a large stove, yes, you’ll probably damage the surface of the floor… meaning the polyurethane (the sealant over the floor surface). You would probably then have to sand the floor and reseal it.

If you are this concerned about durability and it’s common for you to drag large appliances around your kitchen, then I wouldn’t really recommend installing a penny floor. It’s more of a conversation starter or accent flooring. Pennies obviously aren’t “made” to be flooring. Maybe you could do a penny backsplash instead?

How do you clean a penny floor?

I wondered please, the best cleaning products? Also, what’s the best cleaning product in general? For once the varnish has been set?”


“So how do you clean a penny floor?”


You grout the pennies just like you would any tile floor then coat it with polyurethane. So you can clean it just like you would any other tile…

Mr. Clean, mop and glow, swiffer, steam mop etc! 

Honestly I don’t really worry about what product I use when because it’s held up over so many years. But, if you are worried about damaging the pennies like Catherine and Ann, I would use whatever you clean your hardwoods with since the polyurethane is for hardwood flooring — maybe try a steam mop and then wipe it dry afterwards.

Is it legal to make a floor or other project from pennies?

It’s absolutely legal to use pennies as a building material, or indeed for any other purpose for which you could lawfully use a plain disc of copper-clad zinc (other than to melt them down to recover the metal therein).

It is immaterial whether the usage damages the pennies; it is perfectly legal to damage coins. 

What is not legal is to damage a coin and then attempt to use the damaged coin to commit a fraud. Tiling a floor with pennies is not inherently a fraudulent activity. Read the federal regulations here.

What does a Penny Floor look like after 6 years of wear and tear?

Here’s a video I made of my floor in January 2018 — nearly 6 years after its been installed.

Amy’s Penny Floor Gallery

Here’s some photos of my penny floor foyer so you can get a good idea of what it looks like.

Penny Project Submissions

Check out the following penny project ideas:

Make your own penny floor

If you are ready to get started, jump over to the Ultimate Guide for Creating a Penny floor for step by step instructions.

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial

Warty pumpkins and gourds are so cool. Right? Something about the texture and the imperfections that make them desirable to buy. But… they can be expensive. A lot more expensive than a regular old pumpkin. And I have yet to see any “warty pumpkins” that are fake that you can bring out each year during the Halloween season. Maybe they are out there, but I haven’t seen them yet. So, I did some experimenting with a few different techniques and came up a with a really easy and fun way to make your own warty pumpkins. The kids can help too… they will love it.

Ready? Let’s do this!

DIY Warty Pumpkin Supplies

This is what you’ll need to make your super warty pumpkin!

  • A pumpkin – it can be real or fake (about $7). You may want to get a bunch of smaller pumpkins like these (about $17) instead… that would be fun too!
  • Paint. I used Folk Art chalk paint in sheepskin and rich black, but you can use whatever you have lying around. If you want your pumpkin to be orange and it already is orange, you’ll still need to find some orange paint — I’d recommend the “cinnamon” colored chalk paint for a nice pumpkin color (about $5).
  • Fast Mache (the super secret ingredient) – Fast Mache is made from 100% recycled paper, dries pretty fast, and unlike regular clays you don’t have to bake it or anything to set the “clay” (about $10-$15).
  • Annie Sloan wax — I used clear and black wax (optional) — the brand is also optional.
  • Amy Howard dust of ages (optional) — you can now get this at Ace Hardware.
  • Mixing bowl, paper towels, a plastic spoon, pencil

Average cost: around $20-$40 depending on supplies you already have at home. I’d recommend using what you have rather than buying expensive paints and finishes. I had everything at home to make these except the mache and the pumpkin.

Process for making your warty pumpkin

Find some inspiration photos

By the way, it helps if you have an “inspiration photo” of a warty pumpkin you like, so you can try to make it look similar. Here are some cool warty pumpkins and gourds I used as inspiration photos to make my own. Aren’t they so cool?

Paint Your Pumpkin(s)

Paint your pumpkins
Paint your pumpkins a base color.

Once you’ve found some inspiration, paint your pumpkin the color you want it to be when it’s finished. It will be easier if you paint it now so that you don’t have to get into all the nooks and crannies later when you have the mache on it. Let the paint dry completely.

If you want the pumpkin to be orange, you can probably skip this step.

Mix up your paper mache

Next, you’re going to mix up your mache and get to work. Use the “medium consistency” recipe on the box (3 parts mache to 1 part water).

Stick your mache warts to the pumpkin

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial
Stick your paper mache warts onto your pumpkin.

Once your mache is mixed you just need to stick pieces of it onto your pumpkin. Getting the paper mache mix just right is important to having success.

The first time around I added too much water and the mache was really stringy. If this happens to you, just roll the mache in your hands to make balls and logs and stick them on your pumpkin.

If you have children to help you this is the time. They will love to play in this stuff and help you to roll the mache. And, it’s all paper and water so when you are done the wash-up is pretty easy. It does dry out your hands a bit though.

Make warts on top of your warts

Once I got enough warts on my pumpkin, I started to take little pieces of the mache and plopped smaller balls/warts onto the other warts I already put on. It adds depth and makes it look more real if you do this.

Techniques to make the warts look real

Ok once your pumpkin is thoroughly wartified you may need to smooth out the warts a bit to make them look natural. Here’s a few ways you can do this:

Stick paper mache to pumpkin
Stick your paper mache “warts” to the pumpkin. The back of a plastic spoon helps to set them into place.

Plastic spoon: Use the back of a plastic spoon dipped in water to form nicer warts (lol). I used the edge of the spoon to break some of the warts into separate pieces, too.

DIY Warty pumpkin tutorial
Use a damp paper towel to make your warts stick to the pumpkin without sticking to you.

Damp paper towel: Take a damp paper towel and press on all the warts to make sure they will stick. This also helps to make them smoother and less stringy/wild.

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial
The back of a pencil wrapped in a damp paper towel is great for making divets and depressions.

Back of pencil: Another technique you can try is using the back of a pencil wrapped in a damp paper towel to make some divets and depressions in the warts.

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial
I tried using hot glue but this was quite stringy and I didn’t like the effect.

Hot glue: I tried to make a warty pumpkin from just the hot glue gun and I didn’t like the way it was coming out. They really didn’t have any depth and some of the hot glue melted down the pumpkin. I would recommend skipping the hot glue and just using the paper mache. If you do end up trying the hot glue make sure you pull all the strings off before they dry. And, use it sparingly to add some extra warts. Basically don’t do what I did… it doesn’t work.

Satisfied? Ok great. Let the mache dry completely. This depends on your water/mache mix. It may be a few hours or even a day or two.

Repaint your pumpkin with the base color

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial
Once you’ve added enough warts and they’ve dried, repaint your pumpkin using the base color from the first step.

After the mache is dry, paint your warty pumpkin with the base color making sure you cover up all the mache and anything you missed the first time around.

Finish off your warty pumpkin with creative details

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial
I used black wax over chalk paint and Amy Howard’s “Dust of Ages” product to bring out the details of my pumpkin warts.

Since I used chalk paint, I applied Annie Sloan clear and black wax… and a really cool product called “Dust of Ages” by Amy Howard. I put the wax and dust of ages into all the nooks and crannies and along the edges of the warts to add more depth and dimension. This step is optional.

If you don’t use chalk paint or want to use what you have on hand, you can also mix up a slightly darker color of paint and add it to the nooks and crannies of your pumpkin and warts.

You can also get creative and paint your warts all different colors!

DIY Warty Pumpkin Tutorial
My finished warty pumpkins.

And there you have it. Super easy and fun! Since I used fake pumpkins I’ll be able to bring these bad boys out every year instead of having to buy them.

Wrapping Up

This DIY Warty pumpkin tutorial is super easy and fun… and you can get the kids involved. Just paint your pumpkin and then mix up your paper mache.

Roll the mache into wart shapes and glop them onto the pumpkin. After that you add additional warts on top of the warts for more depth. I used the back of a spoon to smooth out the mache a bit and divide some larger warts into smaller ones.

Then, I used a damp paper towel and lightly pushed on the mache to smooth it out even more and make sure it was sticking everywhere. This was the key to getting that stringy stuff out. Pushing the back of a pencil wrapped in a damp paper towel will add some divets and depressions to your warts.

Once it’s all dry you can recoat your pumpkin with paint and decorate until your heart is content.

I’d love to see what you came up with, let me know what you’ve done to make your pumpkins extra warty. -Amy

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Charming brick paver walkway project

Charming brick paver walkway project

Forking over the cash for new sidewalks is not my idea of a fun project. Nor is it a DIY project. So… since I had to do it, I figured I’d splurge by adding an extra charming brick paver walkway to my house! I think the results speak for themselves on this one!

A charming brick paver walkway adds tons of curb appeal
A charming brick paver walkway adds tons of curb appeal!

Pouring new concrete sidewalks

I’ve been putting off getting new sidewalks poured since I’ve moved in. Now, it’s been 5 years and I decided it’s finally time. But… boy… it’s so expensive and just seems like such a crappy way to throw money. I know it will make a difference and adds curb appeal, but there’s nothing exciting or interesting about pouring concrete sidewalks.

So, I decided to seize the opportunity and while I had the contractor there, I talked to him about some ideas to create a really charming brick walkway to my house.

The concrete pour was really straight forward. I called 3 contractors to get quotes (see below for my tips about working with contractors). I talked to the contractors about how they would pour the concrete. Here’s what we covered:

  • pouring as a separate sidewalk and curb or pouring together — they poured them together
  • adding rebar to reenforce the concrete
  • mixing fiberglass into the concrete for extra strength (he said lots of people opt out of this because you can see the little fiber glass flecks in the concrete. I decided to do it anyway and I’m happy I did — the durability and strength outweighed the cons for me)
  • expansion joints and score lines
  • addressing the walkway — I wanted to add pavers, but would these be a separate project, laid onto the ground with sand, or laid overtop of a thin concrete layer. I decided to go with the thin layer of concrete so that laying the walkway would be easier, level and (hopefully) last longer through our harsh Northeast PA winters.
  • sealing the concrete afterwards

Charming brick paver walkway project

The brick paver walkway was the most exciting part of this project for me. I went online and found some photos of what I liked, and was able to show these to the contractor. He picked out the brick and sent me photos of the options. And, since I was home during the install, I was able to give some extra input about the design and how I wanted the bricks to lay out. Just a note, my contractor was super friendly and accommodating — not all are as nice as this and would probably be annoyed if you were hovering over them as they work.

Cottage-Style Walkway Inspiration Photos

I wanted small bricks or something “cottagy” for the walkway. So I went on Pinterest and found a bunch of photos I liked so I could give the contractor an idea of what I was looking for.  Here are the example photos I pulled from the internet.

After I got the pricing, I picked the best contractor fit for me. And— was immediately put on a waiting list. The 3 week wait-list quickly turned into 7 weeks. But, once they were ready to work it went really quickly. The project was started on a Friday, they worked on Saturday and Tuesday, and finished up on Wednesday. All in all, the entire project was about 20 hours of labor.

Sometimes working with contractors feels really difficult. But if you follow my tips below, you’ll have a much better experience and feel more prepared when it’s time to hire!

What Blooms with What?

Never know what to plant together? Find out with this FREE Plant Pairing Guide and become a pro at combining plants for the best garden design possible!

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Before & After Concrete & Walkway Photos

Here are some before and after photos of the entire project! What a difference the new concrete sidewalk an the brick paver walkway makes. I’m all smiles when I drive up to the house!


Here are some before photos… as you can see I really did need some help with my concrete sidewalks!


All of the old concrete was removed and disposed of. Then, new concrete was laid on both the sidewalk and the walkway. The brick pavers were placed a few days later when the concrete dried. They are layed directly onto a layer of concrete.


I’m sure you can see what an incredible difference this project made to my home’s curb appeal. I love the way it came out.

Brick paver walkway - After photo
New sidewalks and a charming brick paver walkway up to the house.
Brick paver walkway - After photo
Here’s a view of the brick pavers from the front porch.

Wrapping Up

Overall, spending a ton of money on something like concrete can really suck the life out of you. Where I live, our borough does not care for the sidewalks in front of your home, although if it gets very bad, they can actually mandate you to get them repoured. Check your local township/city/borough website for details on pouring sidewalks… you may luck out and they will take care of them for you.

If you are in the same boat as me and have to pour them yourself, you may want to consider adding something special to the project. This always helps me to feel a little better about spending the money.

  • I needed basement windows, so while the contractor was there I had him enlarge a window in my office.
  • I needed sidewalks poured, so while the contractor was there I had him install a cute brick paver walkway to add a little more charm.

Doing this helps you to appreciate the project more, and not feel like you are wasting your money on items that don’t bring you joy. You deserve a little joy, and while you have a contractor already coming to do something else, you may as well inquire about those little touches you wouldn’t otherwise do!

As with any project, gather sample photos and make sure that you have a clear idea of what you expect from the contractor. Follow all of the contractor tips in this post to make sure you are picking one that’s a good fit for you and the project you are working on. Most of all, enjoy the process, have fun, and use these types of projects to add a special touch to your home!

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The cheapest way to enlarge your windows

The cheapest way to enlarge your windows

Did you know that enlarging a window isn’t as expensive as you think? To save money enlarge your window vertically, which is called a cut-down. Making a window wider involves permits, new headers, and a lot more work… which means a lot more money.

Larger windows = more light

A larger window can completely transform your room. As a home owner, there’s so many things that “need” to be done. I’ve learned that a lot of money is spent on invisible upgrades.

I’ve been in my home since 2012 now. And I’m SO thankful that I’m at a point where I’m not just doing work that needs to be done. Rather, I’m able to tailor my projects around the WAY I use the house, and what would make that easier or better.

After enlarging my window in the office, I can honestly say that adding more natural light is a fantastic way to spend your money.

It will make you smile. You will use the space more often.

You will be in a better mood.

It’s one of those renovations that you will enjoy EVERY SINGLE DAY.

That’s why I wanted to share with you some tips for getting larger windows without blowing your entire life savings. Because, if you don’t know what you really want before talking to a contractor, you jaw will DROP at the price of some of the window options available.

Project Planner worksheets

Project Planner Worksheets

If you plan a lot of DIY projects around the house, you may be interested in my project planning worksheets. Print new ones whenever you need – they will keep you super organized as you’re working and also serve as a great way to archive your projects when they’re done!

Types of Window Enlargements

There are three basic ways that you can get bigger windows… a cut-down, an enlargement or a cut-up.

Window Cut-Down Option

A cut-down involves expanding the window opening downward. If you qualify for the “cut-down” option, this is the key to keeping the price down! Why? Well because a cut-down doesn’t affect the header above the window or the studs around it.

Because the structural integrity of the walls surrounding the windows is not challenged, cut-downs usually don’t require a municipal building permit.

A cut down also requires less work than enlarging the width of your window and, as a result, costs less money than other options.

Window enlargement before & after
Office window before and after “cut down”

Here’s a before and after of my office window. It’s the same width (about 60″) but enlarged downward from 14″ to 50″ in height! If you are lucky enough to have crappy windows that are placed high on the wall and are very wide, you are the perfect candidate for what’s called a “cut-down.”

Now you can save some money!

Window Enlargement Option

The enlargement option is the most expensive. An enlargement of your window means that you are either extending the window left of right (the width).

If you want to enlarge your window width, your project will require a permit from your city/borough. 

Window Cut-Up Option

There’s also the “cut-up”, which means the window is small and you want to increase the height of the window upward. This may be combined with the cut-down to increse your window height in both directions.

Performing a “cut up” on a window also requires a permit.

This option is always more expensive than a cut-down because you are affecting the studs (enlargement option) and/or the header above the window (cut-up) option. In fact, I’d estimate this would run around the same cost as an enlargement.

Cost of Enlarging your Windows

I did some research before I had these windows installed and I found on Houzz that the cost for a cut-down would be about $500 in addition to the cost of the window. I was really excited. Until I got some actual quotes.

In my experience the estimate on Houzz is absolute BS. I’m sorry if I mislead you by saying that this is a cheap project. It’s really not.

The cost to cut-down my window was around $1,000. This is in addition to the cost of the actual side-by-side double-hung window which ran around $500. You’re looking at about double the cost of what Houzz estimates.

You should also keep in mind that my town is typically on the lower end of cost when it comes to construction/renovation. You’ll have to get some quotes to find out what this would cost where you live.

Just for reference, the contractors I spoke with said to enlarge the window would be at least double the cost of a cut-down. So, let’s call it $2,000 for an enlargement.

Enlarged window before/after photos

Tips for working with contractors

Since this project will likely entail hiring a window contractor, I thought this would be a good place to add some tips about working with contractors.

As a home owner, I’ve found dealing with contractor BS to be one of the least enjoyable parts of renovating my home. Many contractors will try to screw you by overcharging. Others will not call you back. Even worse, some will show up, give you a quote, then vanish into thin air.

Thankfully, this isn’t true for every single contractor you’ll come into contact with. But one or two bad apples will really have you hesitating to start your next home reno project. So, follow these tips to protect yourself and set your project up for success!

Ask around

The best place to find a really good contractor is through word of mouth. So, ask your family, friends and neighbors for advice. Heck, even ask on Facebook. I’ve found some of the best contractors through other connections and it really makes the decision process a lot easier.

Get 3 quotes

This is always my advice: get 3 quotes on the project. You can get more if you want, but you need at LEAST 3 quotes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a project quoted to find that the prices were ALL OVER THE MAP. You need to get 3 so that you have some comparison. When I got the first quote, I was baffled by the cost because of the fake crap I read online about this being really cheap. Second quote, baffled again… but I suppose this was a reality check. The third time I was ready for it, although I was hoping that they were going to fall into that $500 range I saw online. Unfortunately, not… on this project all three quotes worked out to be within $100 of each other.

Ask for a line-item estimate

On a side note, I also had four basement windows replaced during this project. When I asked the contractors to line-item the estimate (you should always do this), the pricing was different… some were charging more or less for the basement windows, or more or less for the office cut-down project. If I wanted to be a complete scrooge I could have hired one company for the basement and another for the cut down. But… it’s likely that the contractor would raise the price if I did this, or even not want to take the job because it was too small and not worth their time.

Get a contract

It’s important to get some sort of written contract or invoice from the contractor. Make sure that you cover everything. In a window project, you’ll want to make sure that the quote covers:

  • Repairing / replacing any exterior material like your siding or brick.
  • Interior trim — I recommend showing them another window in your home that you want the trim to look like so that they can give you an appropriate price. Some trim work is more labor-intensive than others and this can affect the price.
  • Payment terms — when do they need payment? I’d recommend giving them half down, and holding the other half until you are completely satisfied with the project. For example, if they are ready to leave, but didn’t finish the trim work, or did some damage to your drywall / plaster when they cut, you’ll want to make sure you address this before handing over the final payment. This is fair to the contractor as well– they won’t be called back to the jobsite after the fact to fix something that was just overlooked.
  • Warranty information — usually there’s different warranty times / coverage for the labor and the actual window. So, if your wall starts leaking or the seal breaks, you’ll need to refer to the labor warranty. If the window cracks or gets condensation inside, this is likely to be a defect in the window itself, which can be under a different warranty.

Don’t decide just on the bid price

It’s easy to think that getting three quotes means that you will automatically pick the cheapest one. But… you really shouldn’t. I always judge contractors by the free estimate meetings I have with them.

Does the contractor seem like they are interested in your project?

Was the contractor able to confidently answer all of your questions?

Did the contractor offer you multiple options (cheaper vs. more expensive ways to get the job done)?

Are you comfortable with the contractor being in your home? What about when you aren’t there to supervise?

Honestly, I go with my gut when the prices are close. If I liked one contractor’s personality over another, I will 9 times out of 10 choose that contractor.

So… if there are any contractors reading this… be respectful, personable, friendly, and helpful during the estimate. I am always grateful for that and am always surprised at how many contractors are rude to me…

…because I’m a woman.

…because they are tired or overwhelmed with work.

…because I don’t know specifics about their specialty that they somehow “expect” me to know.

Customer service is really important to me, and it should be to you as well.

Don’t forget to grab my super handy project planner worksheets for all of your DIY project needs! Check out the video to see how I use them. 

The cheapest way to get bigger windows
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Wrapping Up

So, today we’ve learned that the cheapest way to get your windows enlarged is the cut-down option, which means enlarging the window downward vertically on the wall.

We also learned that this can be about $1000, plus the cost of window so it’s actually not THAT cheap. But, it’s about half the price the alternative. Enlarging or cutting-up a window involves getting a permit and adjusting the header and studs, which affect the structural integrity of your home.

I also included a few tips for working with contractors on your window project. Ask around to get some referrals. Sometimes the best option is to choose someone based on the recommendation of a trusted family member, friend or neighbor.

Even if you are really happy with a referral, you should still get three quotes with line-item estimates. It’s just good practice to do so to make sure that you are paying the appropriate price. Paying too little can be just as bad (if not worse) than paying too much. You don’t want to regret your decision when the damage is already done.

In addition, make sure you ask about extra things like repairing/replacing exterior brick or siding, finishing off the trim (inside and outside) and ensuring that the window selection and finish work will match the other windows in your home.

Don’t forget to discuss payment terms and warranty information, too!

Lastly, trust your gut. Don’t always go for the cheapest bid. Consider other factors like… Was the contractor friendly? Did he/she make you feel comfortable?

Developing relationships with contractors is an important part of being a home owner… you never know when you may need their services again so take the time to find a good one!

I’m interested in knowing if anyone else has had a cut-down window enlargement project done. Comment below if you would like to share the price of your project so that we can see what it would cost in different areas other than the Northeast Pennsylvania region. Thanks for reading and as always let me know if you have any questions.


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Easy DIY Mothers Day Gifts your mom will love

Easy DIY Mothers Day Gifts your mom will love

Since Mother’s Day is only a few short weeks away (OMG)… I thought it would be fun to make a list of some cool DIY projects that you can make for mom! I’ve found that handmade gifts are always appreciated by my mom. Putting some thought into Mother’s Day this year will make a world of difference to her… and it won’t even take that much time.

Who knows, you might even have some fun making these projects!!!

Or better yet… pick a project that you and mom can make together 🙂

Handmade Family Tree

What mom wouldn’t love this? Pick up this DIY family tree kit on Etsy and you’ll be on your way to making an awesome family tree in no time. It comes with a great booklet of ideas to get you started…. but guess what?? If you want to completely DIY this you can get the idea book for FREE… Just visit this link to pick yours up today.

DIY a Hanging Basket

diy self watering hanging basket
Isn’t that gorgeous?

Here’s a SUPER easy way to make a DIY self-watering hanging basket or self watering planter without spending any money at all. I got this awesome basket with holes in the sides from Plantopia on Amazon. Then head over to this post to make it self-watering!

Old Drawer Planter

Cool DIY Projects - How to Make Planters from Old Drawers Before & After

How adorable is this drawer planter! It only took me an hour or two to make it. Maybe skip the “grow dammit” plaque and add something a little more sentimental for your mom. Unless your mom is like my mom and would get a kick out of a humorous sign 🙂

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How about a handmade picture frame?

Rustic Pallet Frames by PrettyPurpleDoor.com

These rustic pallet frames hold two 4×6″ photos and are made from reclaimed pallet wood, burlap, and other miscellaneous metal, & paper supplies. Any family loving mom would love a handmade frame. I used to sell these in my Etsy shop, but I’ve also provided a tutorial so you can make your own at home.

Scarecrow & Snowman Door Hanger

Reversible Pallet Door Hanger by PrettyPurpleDoor.com
Here’s a snowman with a girl scarecrow on the other side. Just flip it over when the seasons change!

Maybe it’s a little early for this one but omg these are so cute and your mom will love them. This reversible pallet door hanger features a scarecrow on one side that flips to a snowman on the other side.

They are super fun to make (here’s a step-by-step tutorial) and are a great way to transition from fall to winter without any hard work or storage. Just flip it over and you’re done!

Seriously… tell me… what mom wouldn’t love this?

Stained Glass Solar Powered Mason Jar Lights

Paint Mason Jars at night with solar lights

Get some of those quilted patterned jelly mason jars and some of the 97 cent plastic solar path lights you find at Walmart (Westinghouse brand). 

Use my tutorial to turn the jars into solar lights, then paint the jars with glass paint to really add some whimsy to them.

Special bonus tip: Since I’ve posted this tutorial about the glass paint they’ve come out with an awesome new product: Stained glass spray paint. I’ve personally tried it and within a few seconds you can get this amazing look! Try the orange!

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cool DIY projects that you can make for mom
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