Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How to make and install a sliding barn door for less than $100

DIY Sliding Barn Door for less than $100

Credit Pinterest or Fixer Upper for the phenomenon: Sliding barn doors are trendy as hell when it comes to prettying up your space.

Unless you're a carpenter prepared to build a door out of two by fours all on your own, adding a barn door to your home can be costly. Real-wood slab doors, when bought new, begin in the $300 range and only go up from there based on size and style. Add the sliding barn door hardware, and you could be looking at an investment of $600 or more – ain't nobody got time for that.

But what if I said you could spend less than $100 on a barn door AND hardware? You can. Because, if I, Daryl why-DIY-it-when-you-can-just-buy-it Lindsey can do it, so can you. 

For the past six months, my husband and I have been renovating our 1930's Tudor bungalow. We've devoted every spare minute, dollar, and thought to the renovation since then – and we're still not done.


Admittedly, we were way too ambitious: Knocking out a staircase to convert our basement into a rental unit and fully renovating both apartments was absolute crazy-town a big undertaking we weren't altogether prepared for. 

Because we are masochists, we added a sliding-barn door to the list of many projects for our rental unit. The wall with the barn door on it is also one of the first things you see when entering the apartment, so we wanted the door to make a strong visual statement. Also, we watch Fixer Upper and are total sheeple, so we figured we'd hop on the bandwagon. 

But because money is tight (Reno budget? What's a reno budget?) we had to get creative.

The key, and this is really important, is to find a used, already-made slab door. 

This is easier than you think. I found a beautiful old door on my first trip to the ReStore, which is a construction-materials thrift store of sorts for Habitat for Humanity. It needed some love, certainly, but slab doors at the ReStore are only $5, which makes the extra effort more than worth it. 

I am not a prolific gif-maker, but I tried.

How to make an affordable sliding barn door:


  • Salvaged wood slab door – ReStore, $5
  • Barn door hardware – Amazon, $47.95
  • Electric sander – Borrow from a friend if you don't have one on hand, $0
  • Power drill – Borrow from a friend if you don't have one on hand, $0
  • Sanding disks – Harbor Freight, $3.99 
  • Wood stain – Home Depot, $7.77
  • Polyurethane in Flat/Matte or Satin finish – Home Depot, $12.67
  • Rag or pad for staining – Home Depot, $5
  • Brush set – Home Depot, $7.97 
Total cost: $90.35. Because I had most of this stuff on hand already, I only spent about $60 for this project. 


How to sand and stain a wood door
#MuchHGTV #VeryDIY #Wow
  • Find a super freaking cool slab door at the ReStore or other construction-materials thrift store. Like I said earlier, I found a door on the first try. I didn't love the color (hence the choice to stain it) and we had to cut four inches off the bottom so it would fit in the basement space.
  • Take that sucker home, turn on your sander, and blast off any nasty paint or stain you don't like. If the door appears to be in good condition, you can skip this step, but use your judgment. Any stain you don't sand off will appear through the stain you apply on top. For example, it was too tedious for me to sand off the doors orange-ish stain around the edges of the panels, so I made the *creative decision* to leave the stain on in those areas, making the panels' edges a lot warmer in tone than the rest. Since shabby-chic is the goal, you have room for error – or, um, laziness.
  • Apply your stain according to instructions, using a rag or staining pad. I used Miniwax Wood Finish in Walnut. Let dry.
  • Apply a second coat of the stain if you're not satisfied with the color. Let dry again, duh.
  • Pat yourself on the back for getting this far, because you're a freaking badass.
How to refinish a wood door
Sanding, and stain, and poly, oh my!

  • Use a paint brush to apply a polyurethane finish in matte or satin. You definitely don't want a shine on your rustic AF barn door, am I right? Let dry.
  • Let your barn door sit under your carpark for a month while you procrastinate on this project. Oh, just me?
  • Hang your wall hardware according to package instructions. You'll need a power drill or electric screwdriver. The hardware comes with optional wall anchors if you don't have wall studs where you need 'em. Not gonna lie, guys, this took us a while. Luckily, google exists, so I promise you'll get through it.
  • Attach the door hardware to the top of your door using a power drill or electric screwdriver, according to package instructions.
  • Hang up your door and screw in the stoppers on either side so the door doesn't come crashing off the rails.
  • Bask in the glory of the gorgeous door you just made and installed like the grown-ass adult you are. 

Affordable sliding barn door for less than $100

We pulled the gold handle off the slab door before staining it (hence that chunk cut out of it on the right side) and will replace it after spray-painting it black.

Just one more thing we'll put off until the last minute, I'm sure. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Cholula, Mexico: Part 1

Heather and I headed to Cholula on our second day in Mexico. Apparently there's a fairly convenient bus you can take there from downtown Puebla, but we couldn't find it. The Taxi there cost 90 pesos ($5.42 USD) so we didn't feel too bad. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

#STOPSORRY: A Different Kind of Self Esteem Movement

Last week I wrote this post for The Everygirl about "self-esteem" advertisements that get it wrong.

I decided to create one that tries to get it right.

BAM. You're welcome.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dos and Don'ts for Climbing Mount Timpanogos

Mount Timpanogos is the second tallest mountain in Utah's Wasatch mountain range. It's also the first real mountain I've ever climbed. I can say without hesitation that reaching the summit was one of the most physically challenging and mentally rewarding things I've ever done.  The hike is strenuous but not difficult on a technical level so even inexperienced hikers can reach the top with enough willpower.

Here are some tips to help make the most out of your climb!

DO: Pack enough snacks to keep you energized throughout the day. Energy bars, string cheese and trail mix are all good options. Consider bringing some sugary snacks for quick bursts of energy when you need it.

DON'T: Overpack. A small backpack with straps at the waist and chest is ideal. The heaviest item in your pack should be drinking water.

DO: Climb more than once.  The man in the photo above has summited Mount Timp one to two times a week (throughout climbing season) for the past several years! You don't need to go that often, but it's an interesting hike that has it all: forest, meadows, lakes...even a glacier!

DON'T: Climb before May or after October, and even then check the climbing conditions before you go.  Winter hiking requires technical climbing experience and is much more dangerous. June-September are the ideal climbing months.

DO:  Get started early. We started our hike at the Timpooneke trailhead in American Fork Canyon at 6:30 AM and still didn't reach the top until about 3:30 PM. If you plan on beginning any later than the crack of dawn, bring a flashlight for the way back!

DON'T: Overdress. Summer hikers probably only need a T-shirt and windbreaker. Spring and Fall hikers will likely need a T-Shirt, a warmer layer and a windbreaker plus a hat and gloves. Dress in layers, because the hike can be warm near the bottom and then windy and bitterly cold once you reach the ridge line.

DO: Wear shoes or boots that fit well and support your ankles. The last third of the trail crosses what is essentially a giant pile of rocks and slate. Your ankles will roll if they don't have the proper support.

DON'T: Litter. This much should be obvious. Finding trash along this gorgeous trail is no fun!

DO:  Take your time to enjoy the summit.  It will have taken you the better part of the day to get there, so spend forty minutes or an hour resting and taking in the views. You might even see some mountain goats!  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

An Open Letter to My Church: Please Stop Excommunicating the Doubters

This blog post is written in response to the Mormon Church's move to excommunicate John Dehlin announced this morning January 15th, 2015.

I am a (sort of) Mormon woman living in Salt Lake City. I am hurting.

That's what happens when one wakes up and finds themselves in the grip of a harrowing and tumultuous crisis of faith: it hurts. I hurt.

I was raised with one foot in Mormonism and one foot out: the daughter of a Mormon and an atheist. Even though my Mormon parent was never very religious, I stayed involved in LDS activities and called myself a believer. 
I progressed into my early twenties, growing into myself and developing an understanding of who I really was and who I wanted to be. With that growth came a slew of glaring and unanswerable questions. Suddenly, mercilessly, I understood that my belief in the teachings of the Mormon church came not from my
own convictions but from passive acceptance of the lessons and traditions I'd been raised with. It wasn't working for me anymore; blindly accepting what I was told and calling it faith was not the way I wanted to worship... it stopped being enough.

I am a doubter.
I am a doubter, and I'm hurting.

I don't fit perfectly within the Mormon box. I am loud. I am ambitious. I want a career. I want to graduate summa cum laude and go to an Ivy League graduate school. I've been happily married for over three and a half years but still have no desire to have children. It's not that I just want to wait until school is over or until we're more financially stable....I just genuinely do not want to be a mother at this point at time. Maybe that will change. Maybe it won't.

I have no desire to stop consenting adults from loving or marrying each other, regardless of their sexual orientation. I can accept that God considers the union of a man and a woman to be sacred, but I believe fiercely in agency (2 Nephi 2:27) and I can't wrap my head around the idea of a religious organization pouring millions of dollars into influencing legislation to take that agency away. It baffles me and breaks my heart.

As I began sorting through these feelings I read talk after talk, lesson after lesson, all telling me I was wrong, selfish, a sinner. The guilt was overwhelming. Why couldn't I change the way I felt? I wanted to change, and yet it was impossible - it was impossible because it would mean rewriting every facet of my identity and lying to myself on the most intrinsic of levels.

I wanted to believe. In many ways, I still do. It's not a thing I can fix by just "praying and reading my scriptures," which seems to be the cure-all prescribed and exhorted in every Sunday school class and Testimony Meeting.  If I am to ever find my way back to that proverbial path I will need to be unfailingly honest with myself.  If I'm to find or grow the testimony I wish I'd always had, it needs to be real and, most importantly, it needs to be mine.

I began a zealous search for answers. I read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants. I read a 740 page historical biography of Joseph Smith. I poured over books and blogs, subscribed to podcasts, joined facebook groups.

Incredibly...I found that I wasn't alone. There were thousands just like me who had one too many questions and many seeds of doubt, and yet they were trying just as earnestly as I was to hold on and find a way back. It was the most merciful of blessings I could have hoped for - suddenly I had a family who understood me, supported me, and carried me back to a much healthier and positive place.  They showed me that it's possible to be a flawed, passionate, liberal, imperfect feminist and still believe that Jesus is my savior, that the Book of Mormon is inspired, that the leaders of my church are human and flawed but can still be called to do God's work.  They gave me hope.

As I'm sure you've already gathered from the title of this post, one of those groups is Mormon Stories, a website/podcast/facebook group that creates a genuine discussion about the issues within the Mormon church, created and run by John Dehlin.  This is not an anti-Mormon website. This is not a wolf in sheep's clothing out to prey on the flock.  This is a community of doubters who want, like me, to find their way home.

Today you moved to excommunicate John Dehlin. Last month, you called a friend of mine into a BYU disciplinary hearing for no other crime than identifying as a feminist. This summer, you removed a woman I respect from a church calling because she voiced her opinion on same-sex marriage in front of a church member who then reported her.

By doing these things you tell me that my doubt equates to apostasy. You tell me that voicing genuine opinion and fears is dangerous and worthy of punishment. You tell me that people like me are unwelcome in your house. 

In a church and community where I am supposed to feel joy and love and forgiveness, you make me feel unsafe.

I want to be a Mormon and I want to be a believer.  I just wish it weren't so hard sometimes. 

Monday, November 3, 2014


Sometimes the spoken word says it better, don't you think? You can click through to the video on youtube to access helpful links and sources that I've posted to the youtube description.

The fact of the matter is this: Women are hugely under-represented at the polls in all US elections, but the disparity is particularly huge/crazy/ridiculous during the midterm elections.

There are many reasons for this, and I know with work, school, kids and other responsibilities, taking the time to research congressional candidates can seem overwhelming.

 Still, I beg you. Less than a century ago, WOMEN COULD NOT VOTE. Through the hard work, pain and alienation of brave women before us, we thankfully have that right and ability now. Let's honor them by exercising said constitutional right tomorrow.

 If you're having trouble making sense of it all, I'd love to help you sort things out. Leave a comment, send me an email or contact me through social media!

See you at the polls!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Easy + Cheap Halloween Costume Idea: Velma

I decided I wanted to be Velma for Halloween just a few weeks ago when I was watching Scooby Doo with my friend's kids. It fit right in my favorite category of Halloween costumes: Something cute but quirky and fun. Past halloween costumes include but are not limited to: Where's Waldo, Rainbow Brite, Mary Poppins, etc;.   I grew up watching Scooby Doo and ALWAYS related to Velma. I was never much of a Daphne.

What was the best thing about this costume? When all was said and done the outfit only cost me $8, one trip to the thrift store and a stop at walmart.


Orange Turtleneck - Thrifted ($3)
Red Skirt - Already in my closet! It was originally from the Etsy Store Seven Blooms.
Orange Socks - Walmart ($3.87, in a pack with two other knee-highs)
Shoes - Already in my closet. Originally from Nasty Gal. 
Magnifying Glass - Walmart ($0.94) 
Glasses - These glasses are my regular prescription glasses and worked perfectly, but any cheap pair of fake glasses from a drugstore would work!

Total Cost: $7.81! 

Happy Halloween, everyone! What/who are you dressing up as? 


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