Board + Batten

With school back in session I am determined to finish up some home projects we’ve been working on for (gulp) a few years. I can’t believe that we started this in 2016! I’m sure you have continuous projects over at your house…which often only end when it comes time to sell the house. Amiright?

Today I’m going to share part of the girls’ room makeover.

If you’ve followed along over the past few years, you might recall we built a new home in 2013, and moved in on Valentine’s Day 2014. You can read along with those adventures in a series called Building a Home.

When we first moved in, Clara was still in a crib so she got her own bedroom. Remember her old bedroom post here? (It has some good before + afters.)

But now that she’s older, the girls are sharing a room….which can be tricky with decorating, since Clara is 6 and Lucy is 12. Clara wants lots of pink; Lucy doesn’t want it to look juvenile. So I’m trying to make it sophisticated and feminine.

Here’s how the room has looked for the first couple years of living here (that same “family portrait” came along!)

The room has been a hodge podge of things, which is totally fine. There are many other rooms in our house that are similar to this, because—let’s be honest—it takes time, energy, and money to get things decorated. And I feel like I have to keep my head in the project for a while to actually complete it (which is why it ends up taking years for one room to be finished). So I try to never feel bad about not having Pinteresty rooms throughout our house. Life and family are way more important than that.

Okay. Therapy session done.
I decided we would start by adding wooden accents to the wall.  It just feels timeless. And I know that no matter who ends up in this room down the road, the wall accents will be awesome and polished looking.

So Casey and I installed Board and Batten.
And I absolutely LOVE the finished product.

As I researched the process, I discovered there are many different ways to do it. So here’s what we did along the way….

There are tons of design options for a “wooden” look on your walls:
Board and Batten
Chair rail
Faux wood (mdf) painted a color, or real wood with a stain.

And those are just a few.
Really, it’s ENDLESS.
Check out a wood working or wood molding book for so many great ideas. Or just look online!

We went with Board and Batten, which is made up of flat Board pieces, and Battens, which are thicker wooden pieces like the ribs or skeleton around the boards.

You can make your Board + Batten any design you want! Yay! Just google it or look on pinterest and you’ll see some really neat ideas. There’s no wrong or right here. But here are some tips…

Well, a good rule-of-thumb is to break the wall into thirds—also called The Rule of Thirds. This means that it’s more pleasing to the eye to look at things in thirds rather than broken up in halves (if you’ve ever used a photo app or noticed a grid on your camera, THAT is using the rule of thirds. It’s showing you where the “thirds” intersect in your frame.) What this means is that you want the wood take up either 2/3 of your wall, or 1/3 of your wall, or all of your wall. Design-wise, that will look best.

I’m not going to go into the nitty-gritty, exact dimensions of all our wooden pieces, because you’ll have to figure out how the spacing works on your walls. But I started with our 9-foot high walls, subtracted the baseboard and ceiling molding, and figured out approximately 2/3 of that leftover space. This is how tall I wanted our wood coverage to be on the walls.

• Baseboards – Everything is about ratios and scale. So if you have 8-9 foot ceilings, you want a baseboard that is chunky and fits the scale of the walls, otherwise the boards look a bit dwarfed. On 8-ft walls, I would go with a 6-inch baseboard or taller. On 9-ft walls, I would go with an 8-inch baseboard. This is what we have throughout our house.

• Crown Molding + Ceiling Molding/Trim – There are endless ways to do this also. In our last house we went with a more traditional Crown Molding, which looks like a “crown” sitting on your walls, because the wood is angled out. This is what most people refer to when talking about trim around the ceiling. But when we moved into this house I couldn’t decide how to do “crown” molding because the style in this home is much more modern and simple. So I researched it and realized….there are no rules! Crown Molding is not the answer to every wall! It’s perfectly fine to do a simple flat molding (aka trim piece) around the entire ceiling….which is essentially, like putting a baseboard around the top of the wall as well.
And that’s what we did.

I love that touch that it adds to the room. So just go with the style of your room, and find what works for your aesthetic.

Oh my gosh. I love looking at this pic…because I just adore all that pretty white trim! I used to think I only wanted an old craftsman home because those were the homes that had all the cool moldings and polished features. And then I realized, duh. You can add those to new homes as well!

I hate to keep repeating myself, but there are multiple ways to cut and install the boards and battens. And part of that depends on what aspects of the room you want to “keep.”  For instance, are your baseboards already installed? If so, the battens might overhang from the baseboards, etc. So here are three methods I’ve come across and why we did what we did:

1) Faux Board + Batten – I’ve seen people only install battens on the wall, without a board behind it. Then, you would paint all the battens and the exposed wall area inside of the battens the same color (white, for example). This is a quick method, but I don’t personally like it because most walls these days have subtle texture to them. So you can see that texture on the wall between the battens. It doesn’t really look like “wood” or “board” to me. Which is why it’s the faux method.

2) Full Board with Battens – This is probably the most common method. You basically install a giant piece (or pieces) of 1/8 inch thick Hardboard, or Plywood, or Beadboard on to the wall. Then you frame out the battens on top of the flat hardboard, and paint it all. The downside to this, is that the added thickness of the hardboard on your wall can cause the battens to stand out further than your baseboard, typically (if your baseboards are already installed, which ours are, or if your baseboards have decorative curves like the photo below). Now, you could cheat that by using 1/8 thick Hardboard strips for your battens, but that feels a little too flat for me. I wanted chunkier battens. I didn’t want the photo on the left below–which is a fine method to do–but it just didn’t go with my aesthetic. I wanted the battens to be be flush with our baseboards like the photo on the right. SO…

3) Cut Boards and Battens – We cut all the board pieces and battens separately (and had the hardware store cut them for us!).  This method wasn’t any more time consuming to do and sure made it easy to get our supplies home in the car. I drew out a diagram with all the specifics for each wall. Then we went to Home Depot and had them cut the hardboard on their huge saw. That was awesome. Then you build the skeleton of battens and nail the boards into the spaces. Or do them both together as you go. I was really worried that something was going to be a little too big, or a little too small in some spaces. But it really worked great! And there’s always a nice touch of caulking to fill in any gaps.

I mean…he was done cutting our pieces in 10 minutes! Thank you hardware guy.

We used:

• 1 x 4 inch wood – for the battens and for the window trim.
• 1 x 2 inch wood – for a subtle ledge at the top of all the wood. We nailed two of these, one in front of the other, so that it sticks out a bit. You could use something wider to make a larger ledge for pictures or other things.
• 1/8 inch thick hardboard – for the board pieces.
• 8 inch wide “baseboard” – for the ceiling trim.
Something to NOTE about lumber pieces! If you’ve built a house or have worked in construction you already know this, but a standard 1 x 4 is not exactly 1 by 4 inches. It’s really 3/4 inches by 3 1/2 inches. So keep that in mind as you’re drawing out plans.

LEFT photo: Primed wood pieces that we used.
RIGHT photo: Hardboard on the top shelf, and other options.

I should also note that we framed out the windows too, which really adds to the overall look. We removed the little ledge piece that the builder had installed, added a 1 x4″ frame, and added some hardboard to the inside frame.

And then Casey got to work, putting the puzzle pieces together!
….while listening to podcasts.
….with me popping in every once in a while to check on progress.
….and to take photos.
(We all know our strengths.)

It’s so fun to see the walls in the photo below. Seeing all the brown hardboard contrasted with white (before anything is painted) helps visualize how cool it would be to paint the boards a totally different color than the battens! I’ve seen that before and it looks amazing.

• The blue tape pieces mark where studs are in our walls. Casey tried to nail to the studs when possible.
• Putty the holes – When you’re done nailing the boards and battens to the wall, fill the holes with wood putty, and sand so that everything is smooth (we used a sanding sponge, with just a quick back and forth. You can see the sanding marks on the boards below)
• Caulk – Caulk around all the boards to fill in the gaps.
• Paint – We used Sherwin Williams PURE WHITE 7005 to paint the boards and battens (either eggshell or satin finish—can’t remember now!) You can paint everything the same color, or paint the boards a contrasting shade.
SW 7005 is the same color we’ve used throughout our house for walls, trim, and the exterior trim. Mmmmm.

And there you go. All done!
It feels so grown up in the room now.

One last touch. I really do love how it looks in this nice bright, white room. But I also thought the wood trim was a little lost among the remaining white wall above it. So I did something that is so not me. I added a very subtle cream color to the top wall. I never use cream, or off-white, or anything that’s not pure white.

But ahhhhh. This subtle touch of color really makes the white trim pop!
The color I used was SW 7009 Pearly White….which is one of their main “white” colors. So again, it’s subtle. But adds so much.

Annnnd, the paint color goes really nice with….the wallpaper on the 4th wall.
But I’ll save that for another post. Let me just say that it’s Blushing with Dutch Blooms.

That’s all for now.
Happy woodworking!

(hint, hint)…..

Sew a Dress

You guys have asked forever….Can you make a video of the First Day Dress??
What an excellent idea! Yessssss.
Let’s make a dress together!

How to Sew a Kids Dress | Video Tutorial from MADE Everyday with Dana Willard | First Day Dress sewing patternMaking a kids’ dress is one of the most fun sewing projects you can do. I’ve completely lost count of how many of these I’ve made. It’s so rewarding! And once you get the hang of it, it doesn’t take long at all.

You can make one for the First Day of everything! Haha. I love how this large scale Blush print looks on the A-line version.

How to Sew a Kids Dress | Video Tutorial from MADE Everyday with Dana Willard | First Day Dress sewing patternIn the video, you’ll see how to do everything from cutting out to hemming. Even the lining and the closure aren’t difficult! It’s all demystified.

How to Sew a Kids Dress | Video Tutorial from MADE Everyday with Dana Willard | First Day Dress sewing pattern

How to Sew a Kids Dress | Video Tutorial from MADE Everyday with Dana Willard | First Day Dress sewing pattern

Let’s sew dresses. Hit the play button below and enjoy!
If it isn’t showing up for you, you can WATCH IT HERE.

If you don’t have the First Day Dress pattern yet, you can get it here.

To watch other episodes of MADE Everyday with Dana–Subscribe to my YouTube channel so you’re updated as soon as the episode goes live.


Piano Bag Duet

Hello friends! I’m afraid this post might be a bit of a rambling mess….because it feels good to be back!—Back in school, back to our routine, back to blogging, back to sewing. All that good stuff. Of course I LOVE to travel (and you can follow along with our adventures on Instagram) But once the car, house, and laundry are clean I’m ready to dive back into the sewing business.  And first up is this cute little piano bag I made for Clara.
YES. Clara. Wasn’t she just born?

I made it with the canvas print from the Fiesta Fun Fabric collection.
And I love it!
Clara loves it too.

It’s hard to know when to start a child on piano or music lessons. And I am definitely not an expert on that. My mom taught us to play piano when we were kids and I really enjoyed it, but I’m very rusty. And in all honesty, I don’t have the patience to teach my kids. I mean, as wonderful as it is to teach many things to my kids….THANK GOODNESS for other teachers and other perspectives and other people that my kids will respond to better than me (which is why Lucy took sewing lessons this summer. Haah. But that’s a whole other post. Ya see, I told you this would be rambling).

So. A few years ago the older kids started lessons with an awesome teacher in our town. And her recommendation was that if Clara could read, and was excited to learn, then she was probably ready. She started last week with her first lesson. And so far she’s practiced Mary had a Little Lamb 50 times.
I think she’s ready.

When we talked about her taking piano lessons, the first thing she said was, Well we need to find a cute piano bag! 
So I sifted through the many bags in my closet, and we looked for something while we were out school shopping. And then I had that DUH moment I always get (like making skirts for a birthday party again and again)….when you realize that you’ve wasted way more time looking for something, rather than just making it.

So I pulled out this canvas from Fiesta Fun, which is a great weight for a tote bag.
And I made a little bag in about 30 minutes!

If you’ve never made a bag before, follow along with my easy tutorial here and video here (just hit the play button below):

Here are the specs for this PIANO BAG:

• Cut two pieces 14 x 18 inches (W x L) – press the top hem under 1/2 inch, then press under another 1 inch.
• Cut two handles 2 x 27 inches – press the outside edges under 1/2 inch lengthwise, then fold in half and press to make a sandwich. Top stitch down both sides.
• Box out the bottom 1.5 inches (follow along in the video above, or this tutorial here).

My favorite little trick on these boxed out totes (especially when there will be books inside) is to give some added support on the bottom (I talk about this at the end of the video also).
• Cut two pieces of cardboard to fit the dimensions of your boxed out area. Hot glue those two pieces together (two layers of cardboard makes it stronger). Then hot glue a piece of fabric around the cardboard—doesn’t have to look pretty underneath. Then stick the board in the bottom of the bag! I like to leave mine “floating” in there so I can take it out if I need to wash the bag. But you can certainly glue it to the inside if you’d rather it was permanent.

And you’re done!
The thing I really love about this fabric print is that it can be directional or “tossed”.  The inspiration for the print is from beautiful Mexican embroidery I grew up with in California and still love today. So you can use the fabric with the symmetrical design as the focal point. Or use the other part of the print to give it a random/non-directional look.

And of course I couldn’t share about Clara’s bag without showing the bag I made for Owen a few years ago when he started taking lessons.  I added a zipper pocket to it, which was sort of like making a zipper pouch with one “normal” side and one really huge side.

And if there’s one thing you should know about Owen, it’s that he LOVES orange.

I’m dying looking at these two pictures side by side. I used the same fabric to make his KID Shorts years ago, and then this piano bag soon after (both made of a bottom weight canvas from Jo-Ann).  I mean, even the blue books match!

And look at these little guys!
How does life move so quickly??

Here’s a photo from last year when we had a caricature drawn of them at Universal Orlando. The kids have been asking me to hang it on the wall—which I finally did this week! I’m trying to get back into the home decorating bug and really hang up artwork and photos that make our house feel like a home. Baby steps to the back-to-school-and-work routine.

Happy routine-ing to you too!
If you’d like to make other bags, check out these fun tutorials here on my site:

Basic Pocket Tote
Reversible Tote
Oilcloth bag
Quote Totes (vinyl totes)
Corduroy the Bear Bag
Placemat Bag
Napkin Tote (with pocket tiers)
Neon Painted bags
School Bags – Transportation tote