Hole-y Patchwork Batman!

Hey y’all. You remember our double the leaks, double the fun post from the other week? Welp, I’m back to continue the story of how we fixed our leaks but managed to destroy a good chunk of our ceiling in the process. I mean look at that poor thing.

IMG_7189 But we decided hey, we’ve never drywall patched anything larger than a few inches across, this will be a great learning experience! So we did some Googling to figure out what we needed: a panel of drywall, drywall tape, drywall mud, a mud pan, and a taping knife. When we got to the store, we had the option of either buying a 2ft x 2ft drywall piece or a full size 4ft x 8ft panel. We opted for the smaller one. 

So before I get into a how-to, I’ll preface it by saying we didn’t totally do things correctly. Even though our hole could be covered by the 2 foot drywall square, we probably should have cut even more of the ceiling out because it was visibly bowing down in the middle. See that 2×4 nailed to our ceiling? We had hoped that if we nailed a straight board through our curved ceiling and into a ceiling joist, it would help straighten out the bow.

Long story short, that technique didn’t work. The bowing part of our ceiling reached all the way past two light fixtures, and we really didn’t want to have to cut around both of them. But turns out, trying to make a flat panel of drywall match a slightly bowed ceiling was probably more difficult than just dealing with the lights.

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Even though the patch and the ceiling didn’t quite match up due to the bowing, we figured we could make up the difference with drywall mud. At least that’s what we kept telling ourselves. Especially once we were too far in to turn back haha.

But anyways, back to how we did what we did. First we held the drywall square up to the ceiling and traced around it. Evan cut along the line we traced with his sawzaw so we had a clean edge that the drywall square could fit right up into.

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That square did overlap one of our recessed lights, so we traced the light hole onto a sheet of paper and then used that paper to trace a circle where the light would be on our drywall piece.

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We held the square up to the ceiling and screwed it into a couple ceiling joists. Then we added another sliver of drywall because our hole was just a hair too wide.

IMG_7205 Next we added our drywall tape. We did a few runs of tape over each seam to make sure it was nice and secure.

IMG_7209 IMG_7208 You can see pretty well in the photo above how bad the gap was.

IMG_7212 Then came the fun part: mudding. Evan did the first layer. He could just slop the mud up on there messily because we didn’t need to get it perfectly smooth (our ceiling is textured).

IMG_7213 We let that dry and then I swooped in to add some texturing. Matching it ended up being easier than expected too. After I spread on a nice thick layer, I loosely wrapped a plastic grocery bag around my hand and patted it into the mud. This created a texture super close to the one our ceiling had and we didn’t have to buy any extra tools!

IMG_7227 IMG_7221 Unfortunately, texturing couldn’t cover that gap. Although we had taped and mudded over the gap, and structurally it was fine, there was still a noticeable bump at either side of the patch. So we had to add another coat of mud and cover up my beautiful texturing hard work.

IMG_7224 IMG_7223 After letting this next layer of mud dry, I went back and added more mud just near the gaps/bumps to smooth out the transition, texturing it again as I went. I repeated this process a few times: mud, texture, dry, mud, texture, dry.

IMG_7238 I’d like to say I got it to a point where the patch wasn’t noticeable. I’d also like to say that I workout every morning, always take my vitamins, and fully understand how to work our printer. But none of those things are true.

IMG_7240 But by this point, we’d been at it all day (lots of drying time!) and we called good enough good enough. I primed and painted it using one of those handy ceiling spray paint cans and that definitely improved the look.

Oddly enough, these days we don’t even really notice it. So either our ceiling’s patch is really not that terrible, or we’re just becoming blind to it. Win win? Haha.

IMG_7606 I think what we learned on this one is sometimes it’s more work to attempt a shortcut than it would have been to do it the right way. Thanks DIY universe for teaching us this valuable lesson *bows*.

Wedding Project Roundup

Hey everyone! It was our two year anniversary this past week, can you believe it?

11233168_10100107584327190_2117511645406056350_o We’ve been having fun reliving all the wedding memories, and I was actually talking to some coworkers about allllll the DIY projects we tackled for the big day. So I thought it would be fun to do a wedding project roundup in honor of our 730 days as a married couple. Here goes!

1) If you want an easy wedding project (that would also be super cute for birthday parties or showers), you could try making DIY heart paper straws! The cool thing about these is you don’t have to make one for every single person if it’s a large event, just enough for a sprinkling of pretty heart straws amongst your guests.

Reception-63 2) If you’re looking for something a bit larger scale, you could try making a DIY paper lantern chandelier. Again, this would also be suuuper cute hanging above a dessert table at a shower or party! We actually ended up selling ours after the wedding to someone throwing a baby shower.

Reception-17 10373703_835624170550_8305555891174426498_n 3) You can see in the photo above our DIY centerpieces, which we collected tonnnnnns of bottles for. I realize now that that makes us sound like we drink a lot. We actually just have lots of generous friends and families that helped us collect them! Who might really like wine…

10270592_835624155580_248134231184137967_n (1) 4) One of the most fun things about our wedding was our photobooth- we created the booth and backdrop ourselves, and brought around 200 props for everyone to have fun with. It was chaos, and it was awesome. We DIY’d a photobooth box that incorporated a camera and a monitor so people would see themselves- which makes for the best pictures!

20140412_215733-MOTION IMG_5326 5) Of course, having a photobooth means you’ve gotta have an awesome backdrop to go along with it! We created one by building a framework with wooden legs and curtain rods, from which we hung fabric strips that I’d dyed shades of pink, peach, and blue. You can check out instructions on building the frame here and creating the fabric backdrop here.

Portraits-398 6) We also DIY’d our own dessert table, which was oh-so-delish (who doesn’t want their mom’s desserts at their wedding?) but also offered up some logistical challenges. Here are some tips if you want to tackle your own!

Reception-108 7) Next, we wanted something for the entry of our venue (you know, so people knew they were at the right place) but we also wanted it to be something we could take home later and hang in our house. Enter nail and string letters! These were super quick, easy, and fun to make!

Portraits-4 8) And speaking of letter art, this brings me to our most commented on, most pinned, most popular project- our L.O.V.E. marquee letters. They literally were a labor of love, but they are our favorite thing we’ve ever built. These currently live in our living room and I can’t imagine our house without them! Here you can read part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 of the tutorial.

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Well there you have it folks! Lots and lots of projects for this spring wedding season. Also, going through this post made me realize there are some wedding DIY’s I never posted about. Time to get writing!!

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Leak Week

Welp. Not all home-blog posts can full of pretty progress pics and well-lit “afters”. Ha, who am I kidding most of our posts don’t even have that stuff! But what we DO have are two leaks in one week, a brave husband sticking his head in crazy places, and a wife that is patting herself on the back for simply not freaking out. And that’s gotta count for something.

Anyways, you might remember that we have galvanized pipes up our attic. Thank you 1978! 

20130323_222055-copy When we first moved in, we had a couple slow leaks the inspector found; one we fixed with a simple clamp, and one required that we replace an entire run of pipe with PEX. After that, we vowed to regularly go check the pipes up in the attic to make sure we catch leaks before they happen. Hahahaha. We did that maybe once. Then one day I came home from work, turned down our hallway, and stepped in a puddle.

Y’all, old Katelyn would have panicked at this point. Old Katelyn would have been sure the floors were ruined, the attic was a sea of wet insulation, and the whole house was basically falling apart. But not new Katelyn. New Katelyn said “this is not the first time I’ve dealt with plumbing issues, grabbed a towel and a bucket, and even had the foresight to take a photo of our sad ceiling for the blog.

IMG_7119 Evan came home shortly after I finished cleaning up the puddle (somehow no floor damage, yay!) and that’s when we started poking around for the cause of the leak. And I mean that quite literally. Evan grabbed a screwdriver and began making tiny holes in the ceiling.

Water trickled out a little, but we felt like it was also moving around up there. So we kept poking more holes. And more holes. ‘Til finally we said screw it and cut a chunk out with our saw zaw.

IMG_7122 We still couldn’t really tell what was going on, and to make it worse the leak was under our AC unit so we couldn’t get to anything from up in the attic. Meaning the only way to see what was happening was for my very brave husband to stick his head into places unknown…

2016-04-06 (2) Once Evan got up in there, he identified the leaky culprit, which was actually a piece of pipe not under our AC unit. But it was under some nailed down plywood in the attic that the AC was on top of. So up in the attic we went to cut through the plywood (we couldn’t just remove it since the AC was on top of the same plank of wood).

IMG_7129 From downstairs we had measured out where it seemed the leaky pipe was, so we measured again up in the attic and cut where we thought it was. Found it!

IMG_7131 double copy But it was a bad enough leak that we couldn’t just clamp it- it would need to be replaced with PEX. We knew we wouldn’t have a chance to do that ourselves til the weekend, and we weren’t comfortable letting the thing leak for several days, so we bit the bullet and called our plumber. In the meantime, we went ahead and clamped it, put a foil tray under it to catch any drips, and cleaned up our mess.

IMG_7140 The next morning, our plumber showed up and we had a nice new piece-o-PEX up there and a slightly bigger hole above our heads. Yay!

IMG_7189 But what’s that piece of wood on our ceiling you ask? Well as much as I’d like to say the story ends here, it does not. So we will get to why we attached a 2×4 to our ceiling later. We patched the hole (again, more on that later) and primed/painted over the water stain left behind. While I was up there priming, I figured I’d also cover an old, tiny water stain that has been in our entry since we bought the house (it’s amazing what you can become blind to over time). So I primed them both, let them dry, and when I came back to repaint I noticed that the stain in the entryway had somehow spread past the area I had painted… strange

IMG_7279 I touched it and it felt cooler than the surrounding area. Bad news. Luckily, there were no obstructions in the attic over this spot so I hopped up and sure enough, another dang leak!!! In a completely different run of pipe I might add, so it’s not like we had a particularly bad pipe giving us trouble- just our house laughing at us.

IMG_7282 Luckily it was pretty minor and we had a couple extra pipe clamps leftover from our last pipe-clamping project, so this one was a quick fix, especially compared to the last leak. If you’ve never used these clamps they are SUPER easy. Just unscrew them wide enough to pop over your leak and then screw them tightly until they are snug around the pipe. We have a video of it in this post that we linked to earlier. They’re not forever solutions, but the clamp above our kitchen/office area has held up fine for three years! 

Two leaks in a week is enough to make you weak! Ok I’ll stop that was lame. But two leaks in one post is enough to make you tired about reading about leaks, so we will end it here for now. In the next post we’ll go over how we actually patched the gaping 2ft x 2ft hole in our ceiling and why there’s a 2×4 attached to the ceiling – it was a tale of denial, bargaining, and finally acceptance.

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