Mosaic Glass Tile Backsplash

UPDATE: Congrats to megcaton for winning this giveaway! This giveaway is now closed, thank you to everyone who entered! A very Happy Friday to you!  

I'm so delighted today to share with you one of my favorite sawdust-free projects with you that we've done on the Momplex.  Of course, I'm partial to all things made of wood - but really, the same basic skills that help you make wood projects nice, translate to other mediums - like tile!

We've been working hard a

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Easiest Drawers

Hello DIY Friends!!!

I'm so excited to share with you a little sneak peek of the kitchen we are working on!

Everything BUT the kitchen sink (and appliances) is DIY!!!  

We've made some major progress lately, and I'l be sharing how we did those projects with you shortly.

Today, I want to share with you (just in case you missed it the first time around) my favorite way to do drawers for kitchens. 

Favorite because

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Poor Man's Marble

This is almost as bad as the time that I admitted that I secretly like minivans ... (shh, don't tell, but seriously, automatic sliding doors, easy to put car seats in, plenty of room for friends ... you had me at hello low lift gate!). 

I'm admitting, straight up, that I like laminate countertops. As an owner of a granite countertop, and a busy mom, here's why: 

- Laminate is softer and more forgiving. The granite (and I imagine marble or tile or other hard surfaces) is so unfo

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Subway Tile Backsplash Install

For me, the sawdust is where it is AT.

Wood is my medium of choice.  I love how easy to cut wood is, how naturally beautiful it is.  I love how it smells when you work with it, I love how functional it becomes when you use it.  I love that wood is renewable, and while it renews, it renews our air.  I love working with wood.

But while taking on a Momplex, we've had to work with alot of other mediums.  Styrofoam blocks, poured concrete, and drywall. &

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Operation Microhood

It took us two tries to get you all the deets on installing the Microhood ... good thing we got two moms and two Momplex units to finish up!

Microhoods to me are like toilets or power lines or my big toes....  function over form here, especially when space is at a premium.

The good news about every microhood I've been a part of installing is they come with pretty darn good instructions and hanging hardware.

The tem

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Installing Laminate Countertops

So where were we ....

We got kitchen cabinets built, 

then we DIYed a laminate countertop, 

Now it's time to install them!!!

Most countertops are just glued down, but remember us? And our overbuilding, do-it-right-the-first-time issues?  

Yeah, glue just not going to be enough for us.  I know it would work just fine .... but why not add some screws too?  Help us.

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DIY-ing a Laminate Countertop

My friend Kate made me a believer.

When it came time to install a countertop for the Momplex Vanilla kitchen, we did go have a solid surface countertop priced out.  

The cost of the solid surface countertop was MORE than the entire kitchen!!!  And it would take 8 weeks and we'd have to pay for a full travel day each time someone drove to the site to measure, fit and install the countertop (yes, we are to blame there for living in the sticks in Alaska).


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Hanging Kitchen Cabinet Doors with Concealed Euro Hinges - Momplex Vanilla Kitchen

With the doors painted, it's time to take this -

And turn it into this -

Pretty crazy how just installing doors over cabinets can do that, isn't it?

The doors we ordered are measured for full overlay, and will require a Euro Style Concealed Hinge, 1-1/4" (sometimes referred to as Full Overlay), Face Frame.  

Full Overlay means the doors pretty much cover the entire cabinet - there's a 1/2" gap between all doors and

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Kitchen Cabinet Doors

I remember back when we used our Get Out of Jail Free card on the Momplex, and I dreaded receiving comments about hiring help and taking a step off from DIY.

But you totally suprised me.

Instead, many of you commented that a good DIYer knows when to DIY, and when to seek help.

The primary reason we hired out the drywall finishing is tool investment.  In order to tool up to do two homes worth of drywall, we'd be into it about as much as the cost of hiring

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FInishing Details on Kitchen Cabinets

Whether you buy kitchen cabinets or you DIY them yourself (I'm totally on team DIY here!) I think the biggest difference maker in how professional looking your kitchen cabinet ends up appearing is in the tiny little details.  In other words, after you hang your cabinets, you aren't done quite yet.

After installing all the kitchen cabinets for the Momplex Vanilla Kitchen, there's a few little things that will make a big difference to take care of.

The most obvious one is finis

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Adding Crown Moulding to Wall Kitchen Cabinets - Momplex Vanilla Kitchen

Hi everyone!

I'm really excited today to share with you how we installed crown moulding on top of the wall kitchen cabinets - finishing out the seam between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling.  

But before we get to that - don't forget - today's the day! 

The Home Depot Do-It Herself Workshop - featuring a storage trunk plan designed by me (it super simple so very beginner friendly) is happening tonight!!!

You can re

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Installing Kitchen Cabinets - Momplex Vanilla Kitchen

After a couple of weeks of building kitchen cabinets and finishing them, I can't tell you how excited and eager I was for this day to come ...  Kitchen cabinet installation day!!!

Yep, this blank space is going to be a kitchen after today!

We are going to do the wall cabinets first.

First, we mark the height of the bottom of the wall cabinets.  Standard height is 54".

But we can't just mark 54" and pull a string line,

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Video Tutorial - Base Kitchen Cabinet Carcasses - Momplex Vanilla Kitchen

Well, we started working on the next set of kitchen cabinets for Momplex Unit A - and man, have things ever been slow going with a newborn! The Ram's pretty much been a one man show this kitchen ... poor guy, on the last kitchen we built, his building partner was 8 months preggers. One of the things we really wanted to do this time around was put together video tutorials for the bigger steps in building kitchen cabinets. I know many of you find helpful to see something done, and not just r

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Operation Remove 8" of Cabinet

Hi everyone!

Happy New Year!

Thank you for welcoming our son to the Knockoffwood family!  He's doing wonderful, and I promise, I'll be sharing some more photos and details with you soon.

While I was pregnant, the Ram and I worked extra hard to finish up Grandma's (the Ram's mom, otherwise known as Sewing Mom) side of the Momplex so she could be moved in by the Holidays.  And knowing we'd have a newborn baby arriving, we wanted to get as much done as possi

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Dishwasher End Panel

So what the heck do you do when you build a kitchen, and there just isn't enough space to add another cabinet on the other side of the dishwasher? How do you support the countertop over the dishwasher without a cabinet on either side of the dishwasher?

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Painting the Face Frames

So let's just say you got a team of two building a kitchen, and one hates painting and the other can't paint.

Well, it's not that I couldn't paint.  They say occassional painting in a well ventilated area is fine for pregnant women.  

But up here in Alaska, in the cold winter months, working inside a poured in place concrete building, with no ventilation, where your full time job is to build and paint or stain furniture, it's not occassional and it's not well vent

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Kitchen Cabinet Drawers - Metabox Installation

So what is the most intimidating part of building your own kitchen cabinets? 

Apart from the huge scope of the entire project, I'd have to say building and installing easy to use drawers can seem very intimidating.  Kitchen drawers get used dozens of times a day, so you want drawers that are both easy to use and will hold up over years of use.

For the Momplex white kitchen, we decided to use a drawer side/slide combo system, call Metabox drawers by Blum.

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Building Base Cabinets

Seven sheets of PureBond plywood and $200 in popular boards.

Yep, that's what it took to take this blank space ....

And turn it into this:

Well, at least to build all those cabinets!

I'd love to know how to make a dishwasher out of plywood, but I'm going to stick to cabinets for now.

The Ram and I spent about a week building the cabinets, and honestly, the building was the easy part.  Once we got all th

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Base Kitchen Cabinet Layout

Thank you for all the lovely comments and likes and love on our Momplex kitchen reveal!  Man was it ever tough keeping a secret from you and we are so glad to finally get to share all the details with you on how we went from this:

To this:

Before we get to paint and all the pretty details, we had to first come up with the general layout of the kitchen.

The original plan from the start was to build a pantry in the c

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Back Burner

You know how you sometimes get that super annoying feeling that you are forgetting something? Well, it's been nagging on us for a while now. What have we forgotten? There's something that's been put on the back burner and forgotten about, and it's about to boil over.

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Kitchen Base Cabinets 101

There's been quite a few awkward moments of me peeking inside kitchen cabinets to get to this point. And I'm not interested in what type of peanut butter my friends like, or how they store their canned goods.  I've been on a quest to find a way to build strong, high quality kitchen cabinets for less than flat pack - that mind you, you still have to "build" anyways - with simple tools and standard off the shelf materials and basic techniques.  Techniques that I can do, that most anyone

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Tooling Up For Kitchen Cabinets

When we built our home years ago, before I started building furniture, I asked my husband if we could save money and build our own kitchen cabinets.The Ram has experience with traditional woodworking and knows all about biscuit joints and planers and joiners, and his response was "by the time we buy all the special tools, set up our shop, and build the cabinets, it would be cheaper and easier to just buy the cabinets."Dozens of trips, 100 miles each way, with a newborn baby crying on my back, I

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What Next?

I've been dreading writing this post. This is not easy.I hope you understand that we are real people, working with real limitations on a budget, and there is no midnight crew making things happen magically. It's just us, one family, trying to build two houses in one for our Moms. We have been waiting and waiting for a break in the weather to put the roof on the Momplex. The trusses are sitting there, ready to shed snow, if we could just get a week of no snow, no wind, and decent temperatu

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Four Washing Machines Closer

I wish I could say we are one roof closer to Mom moving into the Momplex. But we are instead dealing with record smashing cold in Interior Alaska, according to the Washington Post, my toes, and any other exposed skin as I run from the house to the garage.And we are not one roof closer to building two homes for our Moms.  Not today.  But we are also NOT $2000 closer to being out of money to keep working on the Momplex.  You know this crazy Momplex dream is what keeps me driving

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Vote: Big L or Little L

Mom, we love you, but not this much.  There are trusses delivered and sitting up at the Momplex right now.  And nobody wants to see that roof go up more than me, but with temperatures in the heat of the day rising to "extreme cold" with a feels like temperature of -26 degrees below zero, even if we did love our Mom's enough to work regardless of the weather, our tools don't love Mom that much.  At these temperatures, air compressors act funny, nailers don't nail, drill batterie

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The K Word

Shall we talk kitchens? I've been promising you that we will make real kitchens for the Momplex, and blogging the tutorials and plans.  Every since the day I spent $7000 on cabinets for a 10x10 kitchen, I've been tossing and turning at nights, thinking, I could have made my own cabinets.  I've been thinking I could have made my own cabinets much easier, much simpler ... because it was quite a chore just installing the cabinets.On the Momplex, we have two kitchens, and we will be bui

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