DIY Hanging Ladder


A couple months ago, I finished my first bathroom renovation, but the finishing touches had yet to be put on. In fact, I still don't have a toilet paper holder. Haha! But one of the latest additions to the bathroom is this rope ladder that is serving as my towel rack solution. It's all thanks to Janet Crowther, DIY mastermind, who brought my vision to life, and she also has given you FREE step-by-step instructions. 

I met Janet through Pinterest, actually. We were both part of the first and only group Pinterest Ambassadors. I had just given birth to Levi, and I had traveled all of the way to San Francisco when he was just four weeks old. It was one of those trips I didn't want to miss, so off to Pinterest we went. Janet was so kind and sweet, and after meeting her I discovered her eye for trends and design is AMAZING. She is a stylist to the core, and has a way of explaining how to do things in simple ways. Her DIYs feel approachable and achievable. No Pinterest fails with this girl! 

In fact, you can get her beautiful book, A Well-Crafted Home, to get all of her amazing DIYs. It's a fabulous gift for the holidays, and it makes a great coffee table book too. 


But back to the the ladder...Man, it was the perfect addition to the space. It doesn't take a up a lot of room, and it holds more than a typical towel rack. It also makes the space feel taller because it is hung from the ceiling to the floor.  Check out the tools and materials you need to make your own, and follow the step-by-step instructions below to make one for your home. 

(2) 1” x 48” wood round dowel
Measuring Tape
Rotary saw or hand saw
Scrap piece of flat wood
Power drill
13/32“ drill bit
6/64” drill bit
20 ft of ⅜” solid braid rope
Duck tape (best to use black if using black rope)
(8) 6D 2” finishing nails
Nail set (optional)
Natural pine wood putty (optional)



  1. Measure, mark and cut each dowel into 3 even sections (approx 16” lengths).

  2. Measure 1” in from both ends of each dowel and mark with a pencil. Holding the wood firmly,  at the 1” mark drill a 13/32” hole through the diameter of the dowel, on both ends. Make sure to drill straight up and down and that both holes are aligned. Repeat and drill through all 6 dowels. You will have 2 extra 16” dowel lengths in case one is off or for practice drilling.

  3. Load the drill with the 6/64” bit and drill into the end of each dowel perpendicular to the ⅜” holes. Going straight through the length of the dowel and right at the center of ⅜” hole. Drill both ends of all 6 dowels.

  4. Sand the ends of the dowels smooth as well as the holes. Wrap a small piece of sandpaper around your pencil to sand inside the 13/32” hole. Make it as smooth as possible so the rope doesn’t snag when threading through.

  5. Tape both ends of rope tightly with duck tape. Find the center of the rope and tape around. Cut the center of the tape creating two 10 ft lengths of rope. Fold one end of rope over onto itself at 12” and form an overhand loop knot. Pull tightly so it stays in place. Repeat on one side to the other length of rope. Make sure the loops are even in size and adjust if needed.

  6. From the bottom of one overhand loop knot measure 21” down and place a ½” piece of duck tape very tightly around. Measure 14” down from the duct tape and wrap another piece around. Repeat 2 more times measuring 14” down from each piece of tape. You should have 4 pieces of tape total. Hold the unwrapped piece of rope next to the tapped one and copy the placement, make sure the knots at the top stay even and tape placement is exactly the same on both.

  7. Lay the 2 pieces of rope on the floor about a foot apart, knots to one side. Take one dowel and slide the taped ends of rope (opposite of the knot)s through the 13/32” holes. Slide it all the way up to the top pieces of tape, the tape should be inside each dowel, hidden by the holes. Repeat with 3 more dowels bringing them up to the remaining tape stations.

  8. Make sure that all the dowels are level and even across the rope. Adjust as you go and check after each nail is placed because once you nail them in you will not be able to adjust! Starting with the top dowel, hammer one finish nail into the small drill hole on each side of the dowel. There will be a bit of resistance when you reach the rope so make sure to hammer straight and forcefully so the nail doesn’t come out where it’s not supposed to. Hammer all 8 nails into the dowels.

  9. This step is optional. If you would like a seamless look on the side, use the nail set and hammer to push the nail further into the dowel and beneath the woods surface. Then fill the small hole in with wood putty. Once the putty is dry use sandpaper to buff off any excess putty from the surface.

  10. Knot both ends of rope right under the bottom dowel. Cut the rope 2.5” from the bottom of the knots. Using your fingers separate the strands of rope and fluff them to create a tassel.

  11. To make the top knot tassels cut the short end of rope 2.5” from the bottom of the knots. Using your fingers separate the strands of rope and fluff them to create a tassel. Trim any longer strands to make even ends.

  12. Hang the ladder from the ceiling using large ceiling hooks.


Front Door Makeover


Earlier this week I shared with your our backyard makeover, and now I'm going to share with you our front door makeover. When we first bought our bank owned property our front door had a security gate on it, which wasn't attractive at all. Also, our front door wasn't even a REAL front door. It was an interior door that had been kicked in at some point in time (oh yeah, baby).

The front yard looked like old people lived there with randomly placed bushes and pale green paint to "match." Oh, that paint! The red brick with the green color just made me cringe.


So, we changed the exterior of the home by painting it gray, and adding a pop of color with a "grellow" front door. We bought a door light kit on and then we purchased a solid wood door from Home Depot. With the help of my father-in-law we were able to install the light kit and add some shiny new hardware to make our home look more modern.


I highly recommend door light kits over buying some expensive new door. It doesn't take more than a half a day's work to create a statement for your home. Not to mention, the inside of our house is filled with so much more light.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 4.16.56 PM
Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 4.16.56 PM

Now we just need to do some more landscaping to make the front have more curb appeal.

Photos of the new exterior by Gina Meola.

DIY Credenza & Chalk Art


For three years I've known I wanted to build a "fauxdenza" in our kitchen. When I saw the DIY originally on The Brick House, I knew it was the perfect solution for our insanely long wall in the kitchen. We have a 1950's ranch home that lacks storage, and this credenza would not only serve as a decorative bar, but as a place to store placemats, napkins, vases and other nicknacks that you collect over the years. credenzabeginning2 credenza1

We started with Ikea kitchen cabinets. We bought four of them to span 10 feet. We chose the matte white doors (your cheapest option) and followed the shopping list on The Brick House's blog (below). We followed the installation instructions and asked my father-in-law to help Ryan since the cabinets are pretty heavy and the process is time consuming.

FAUXDENZA (from The Brick House)

Dimensions: 10′ long x 13-1/2″ deep x 33″ tall

Materials from Ikea:

8  -  Applad Doors (15 x 18″) 4  -  Akurum Wall Cabinets (30 x 18″) 8  -  Integral Hinge (2 pack) 2  -  Akurum Suspension Rail


The wood we chose to float on the top and sides of the cabinets is poplar from The Home Depot. The top is one continuous piece of wood that was cut to size by the lovely people at Home Depot. It was stained with Minwax's golden oak and sealed with Minwax's clear satin finish (also found at The Home Depot).


We had our friend Mason install the wood because he is a professional handyman, and we had one shot at fitting the wood.


Such a long piece of furniture calls for a large piece of art work. We decided chalk art would complement the rustic quality of the wood. Chasing Paper makes a stickable chalk paper that was easily to apply. You can see the process in the photos below.


We simply measured the area, cut the paper and stuck it to the wall.


For the chalk art I asked my friend Katie Sterbenz to create a custom drawing of the verse in Acts that says, "They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts." I thought it was the perfect message for the kitchen because that's what Ryan and I really want our home to be all about - a place to enjoy community and celebrate the great things God has done.


Katie used a transparency and overhead projector to help her. She used several different sized chalk pens to draw everything. You can purchase this print (in a smaller size) for your home and others when you visit her Etsy shop.

You can see how incomplete everything was without the wood on the shelves and the wood around the art. We had Mason create a frame for Katie's piece with the same poplar wood. We stained it with the golden oak color to match the credenza.