Happy new year! I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season, full of good food, family and fun. We enjoyed a lot of R&R around here and I’m still feeling really lazy. I figure we earned it, because 2018 was another eventful year dans le lakehouse! We had some happy times (Hubby and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary!) and some sad times (Hubby’s grandpa Bert, who painted so many of the beautiful paintings in our house, passed away). Overall though, we had a really great year because we made time for fun: we launched our sailboat after a long hiatus, we spent a ton of time enjoying our new car with friends, and we found a new beach that became our home away from home. Around the house we tackled quite a few projects – but unfortunately some of them (*cough*exterior renovation*cough*) dragged on forever. The exterior renovation kind of mushroomed so it’s another year that we haven’t tackled the kitchen, or the powder room, or the laundry room. Le sigh. But today I’m rounding up our 18 best DIY projects of the year – and just look at how much we did get done! Honestly, it can be so discouraging to look at a long, looming to-do list and feel like we’re not making enough progress – compounded by the fact that Pinterest and Instagram bombard us with non-stop images of fully renovated, crazy expensive spaces – but seeing even just some of the best DIY projects we did accomplish in one big list is so motivating and gratifying! Even small little crafts and DIY projects add up to creating a beautiful and cozy home. So let’s get to it and dive into the best DIY projects of 2018!
The bunkie bathroom reno had such horrible timing because we did the work in a really compressed timeline, just as our house was getting sawed open with larger windows installed. It was a gong show here for a over a week and we barely slept, but now it’s fresh and functional for friends and family and I’m so happy with how this collab with Lowe’s Canada turned out! If you missed the before/after of this top to bottom renovation, check it out here. This bathroom renovation just turned out so cool! There were some smaller DIY projects I shared after the reveal, like how to sew a simple shower curtain and the vintage stool makeover, but I’ve got a few more little bunkie bath projects to share in the new year!
After a battle with the government, we finally got our shore erosion structure in place, which helps save our eroding shoreline and protects the lake from run off from our yard. Technically this isn’t a DIY – although we did manually move some rocks and do our own landscaping – but I wanted to include this because we’ve been meaning to do this for years but it was just so expensive that we kept putting it off. In the end it was way more hassle than we could have even imagined, and cost twice as much as we had hoped, but the shoreline looks SO good now and it was one of those adult things we just needed to do. Seriously, if you love a good before/after – and a dramatic telling of renovating gone awry – check out the post here. And check out how I grew grass too! That’s a big accomplishment for me because growing stuff is not my strong suit.
I finally fessed up to buying a 2017 Camaro, which is oodles of fun to drive (and also why we can’t afford to renovate the kitchen, haha). It finally pushed me to let go of Charlie, which was sad, but this new car has been so much fun and such a great hobby to share with Hubby. This winter I combined two of my favorite things (crafting and Camaros) to make this thrifted winter snow diorama. Now the countdown to spring begins, so I can drive it again…
After five years of living dans le lakehouse, we finally solved our fireplace problem and designed a hack to get our (new) TV up on the fireplace. After a few different phases, and without tackling the major fireplace reno we have planned for down the road, we finally have our dream living room with a beautiful view of the lake and a cozy fireplace/TV. I am so hopeful that this hack helps someone else make peace with an imperfect fireplace! We also splurged on a new TV and you can read my Samsung Frame TV review right here. I am SO thrilled that we could make this living room so perfect without lifting a sledgehammer.
I have been collecting and hoarding vintage patterns for so long, so it was so much fun to finally use them – well, photocopies of them 😉 haha. I needed a new sewing box so I decoupaged a wood box with copies of my favorite vintage patterns – which is not a typical craft for me. I’m not really a decoupager, so this retro pattern mod podge project was a great experiment and it always feels good to tackle a project many years in the making!
DIY Alcohol Ink Craft Projects
My DIY alcohol ink craft projects have been so popular, so I’m lumping them all together here! In 2018 I showed everyone how to make basic alcohol ink art but the Lake Superior inspired notecards I made with that art were an even bigger hit! I’ve been getting lots of requests to sell them and I’m seriously thinking of opening up an online shop this summer with items handmade and designed by me. I also used alcohol inks to update old ceramic cups and saucers and create beautiful, one-of-a-kind coasters!
This MCM sofa makeover took FIVE long years to happen – but it was worth the wait. Check out the post if you missed the terribly worn out “before” – it’s a stunning transformation and there’s a furniture hack in there too (how we “made” that matching ottoman) so that’s why I’m sneaking it into a DIY list, even though the sofa was professionally recovered ;). I also share the story of where it came from, why we didn’t keep it, and where it went!
We gave the bedroom a little refresh – but it’s already been changed up again! I’ll be doing a full home tour to reflect all of the changes soon because the new windows in all of the rooms have made a huge impact and changed the look and feel of every room. One of my favorite sewing DIYs from 2018 was this DIY gathered silk pillow, especially because the fabric on the left is leftover from my wedding dress. It only took me ten years to do something with it, lol! Let’s just say I was waiting for our 10th wedding anniversary and then the delay seems sweet and not lazy.
With the house exterior consuming every penny we have and then some, we had to get creative updating the garage to match – luckily Rust-Oleum and Wagner were happy to collaborate. I still need to share the fully finished “after” of the garage – with the new copper ferry light and sleek black motion light – but in the meantime we did make major changes by spray painting the soffit and fascia black to match the house, for a fraction of the cost of replacing it! We also painted the old composite siding on the garage to match the new steel siding on the house. Neighbors have asked if we re-sided the garage too, so that’s a successful DIY as far as I’m concerned. Pop over to this post to get the full before/after.
Although I’ve made a lot of my own wall art, I’ve never played with spray paint in an artistic capacity so tackling my own DIY garage mural was so much fun and surprisingly challenging! I have a new respect for graffiti artists, that’s for sure. I love coming home and pulling up to the coastal inspired garage mural because it’s such a happy little project. It’s difficult to capture in photos – where it looks flatter – but in real life I used a lot of shimmer and metallic paints, so it really glows and glimmers quite beautifully. I’m so grateful Hubby encourages and embraces my weirdness so heartily.
I love the look of fiber art, but I’ve never been a fan of weaving – it’s too stressful and too time-consuming for me. To get the look without the effort, I dreamed up this gorgeous wool ring DIY wall hanging and it looks even better than I imagined – plus it’s SO easy. I promise, anyone can make this statement-making fiber art.
So by now you know we had to replace our old garden doors – and gosh do I regret buying the sliding patio doors I bought – but I still think this turquoise patio door makeover was a great project from 2018! Even though we ended up changing the door and tearing off the stone, I think that this makeover with Home Hardware showed what an impact can be made with paint! You HAVE to see the before if you missed it – take a look here. P.S. You can find out how to paint a manufactured stone exterior here, another stellar project from 2018.
I did quite a few holiday DIY projects this year, like my mod plywood ornament display, my retro DIY tinsel wreath, those cute vintage ornament inspired magnets – but this boho wreath was definitely my favorite! I made those embossed velvet leaves, the peacock feathers were sentimental, and those MCM inspired battery lights were awesome – the whole project turned out so cute.
2018 was a year for experimenting! I tried shou sugi ban (woodburning) for the first time, which creates a beautiful charred finish on wood. I had so much fun charring our front step, our new step for the patio doors, and also the bench we built the year before. I also made a smaller wood burned project – a DIY wood burned frame for art – to give people an idea of some smaller, more do-able, ways to experiment with wood burning.
Although I worked on this room in 2017, I didn’t share the full reveal of the Fish Room turned Craft Room until 2018 and I’m so thrilled with how this budget-friendly space turned out – it was even featured on Apartment Therapy! Those watercolor inspired DIY plywood floors (see how we actually installed the DIY plywood floors here) are still one of my most favorite projects ever, and they’re holding up amazingly well! Check out the whole room tour here.
I don’t paint as much these days, but I should because it’s so relaxing! Nothing beats a sunny day on the deck, creating something lovely. Wine may or may not help this process along. I reworked three old painting and created this simple, DIY coastal art.
I love a good sewing project – especially if I can use up bits and pieces from my epic craft stash. This DIY tea cozy was simple and practical, but the Delpozo-inspired beading and applique was such a fun touch! I really want to do some larger scale beadwork this year, maybe on a pillow or a blouse?
I have some plans for the kitchen in 2019, to give it a little update, seeing as this “temporary, budget-friendly kitchen makeover” is turning out to be less temporary than I thought… In the meantime, rearranging the shelving and switching up the artwork gave the kitchen a really fresh new look. I love sharing ideas and inspiration that cost as little as possible, which is why this little reorganization makes my list even though it’s not technically a DIY project (other than the new frame for the art).
There were so many fun smaller DIY and decor posts from 2018 but I’m only sharing my top 18! I’ll be working on an updated project gallery this month (I stopped updating mine years ago!) so it should be easier to navigate and see old posts. And if you don’t want to miss a post or project, be sure to sign up for posts in your inbox or follow me on Pinterest and Instagram (where I share a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that doesn’t make it onto the blog).
Thanks so much to everyone for following along! I’ve got a lot of great projects and posts planned for 2019 but if you want to shape the content here on Dans le Lakehouse, let me know what kind of posts you’d like to see! Feel free to leave a comment here, reach out on social media (where I love connecting with so many of you!), or drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m wishing everyone an amazing 2019 – I hope it’s filled with love, fun, and lots of DIY!