5 Ways to Deal With the Dreaded Vinyl Wall Panels in Mobile Homes

The biggest complaint for most mobile home owners is usually about the notorious vinyl wall panels in their homes. Every model and make seemed to have used them between 1980-2000. Each company used their own special brand and some have that plastic looking coating and some don’t. Colors and patterns vary drastically. All have the seams with the strips or battens that “connect” the panels and nobody really knows how to update them, until now. Here is the 5 best ways to handle those pesky walls:

Just Paint Them. Easy enough for anyone. Always clean them first with TSP (or equivalent). Paint doesn’t stick to grease or smoke or dirt and there’s more on your walls than any of us care to think about. Use a really good primer. If your walls are more paper like than plastic make sure to use an oil based primer. That will keep the paper from soaking in all the moisture and raising in odd shapes that look like Abe Lincoln’s hat. If they are more plastic like, you may want to use a Grip type primer. It grips paint and it works.

Texture It All. Not so easy but fun! Just remove the strips (battens) and then throw some mud up. Texture by using whatever tool you have handy. There’s endless types of mud and spackling so do your homework or ask the home improvement employee unless they are younger than you. In that case, go find anyone that looks like they would know. You will get a better answer.

Remove the strips, mud the seams, sand and paint. This is not easy and not fun. If you are a perfectionist do not even try it. You will never match your mud texture to the walls but you can get really close. If your walls have a texture, you don’t have to work so hard. If your walls are smooth your gonna have to work at it. It will look great when you do match closely though.

Strip the paper. Not easy nor fun and not highly recommended. This is for the walls that have the very fine layer of paper attached. If it is easily pulled down in small strips and you see a smooth wall underneath this is a great option for you. If your lucky enough to have this type, just start peeling. You could always rent a steamer to help. Simply prime and paint afterward.

Wallpaper. Remove the strips (battens) and hang. Wallpaper is not easy so get a pattern that can be quickly matched. Get some good tips and tricks before you start. The more knowledge you have the better you can fight the paper, and fight you will.

There’s plenty more ways to update vinyl walls in mobile homes. Painting the walls one color and adding white 1×3 molding over the seams can create a cute cottage look. You could also paint the panels in vertical stripes and use the strips as the divider between colors. It all depends on how much work your willing to do and how much help you have. Use your common sense and ask the pro’s if your in doubt. Don’t take on too much at once, limit yourself to one wall at a time and complete the first before starting the next. Otherwise, have fun with it. If your ready for a new look I’m sure your walls are, too.

Crystal Adkins was born and raised in mobile homes and is now the proud owner of her own. She hates the words “trailer trash” and tries to rid the world of the stereotype every chance she gets. She’s an art and craft fanatic and constantly updates her home. She publishes a blog called Mobile Home Living that features ideas, inspiration and information on mobile homes. Join her at

3 Affordable DIY Window Decoration Ideas

Giving the window areas of your home some life doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.

Why not add some little features in obvious areas? You can beautify your home with these window treatments without the usual expense…


An often overlooked but very easy way to personalise your window decorations, the tie backs that curtains usually come with tend to be fairly boring.

So why not replace them with…

  • Antique door knobs. Only basic DIY skills required here. Add some boutique doorknobs to pull your curtains back behind. Stylish, and affordable.
  • Gold or silver chains. But without the cost of the real precious metals obviously! Buy some heavy chains to use as ties, and spray them the colour of your choice.
  • Leather belts. Use some old leather belts – as long as they’re not too frayed around the buckle. Or in fact, even if they are! It all depends what look you’re going for.
  • Neck ties. Got a whole bunch of gentleman’s ties knocking around? Here’s a possible use for them. This can be a great option because there are lots of patterns readily available.


If you’re not down with your curtain-related terminology, “valance” is the decoration that hangs along the top of your frame. It often serves to hide the curtain rail or any other mechanism that you’ve got up there. They’re also sometimes known as “swag.”

Instead of expensive shop-bought valances you can try…

  • Pennants or small flags. This is particularly easy in the US, where most sports team, camps, and societies seem to do their own little bunting flags. There’s no need to sew these together to make a valance. You can simply tie them up in a row, possibly with a little bit of ribbon if they don’t come with attachments of their own. Great for kids’ rooms.
  • DIY with fun fabric. This will require some basic DIY skills again. All you really need to do is make a long and flat U-frame to shape the valance. Polystyrene is a good option for a lightweight material to use for this – you can get it in the form of ‘insulation panels’ from most DIY stores. You can pick up some interesting fabric (you won’t need very much after all!) for surprisingly little too. Then all you need to do is wrap your fabric around your carefully measured A-frame and pin it in place. Make sure the pattern is straight!


New curtains can be horribly expensive – especially if you’re trying to match existing decor. So why not make your own matching sets for a fraction of the cost of buying them new?

How about…

  • Re-purposing old bed sheets. You’re going to need some basic sewing skills for this one, but the world is then your oyster when it comes to plaits and ruffles.
  • Printing designs on plain linen curtains. Saving you the expense of pricey patterns, is this fun solution. The easiest way to do this is with stencils and spray paint. But you could also make a stamp out of a sponge for easy repeat patterns.

If you’re at all worried about marking your windows, it’s probably best to check with your
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5 Simple Display Construction Ideas For Showing Off Your Kids’ Artwork

1. Magnetic board

This is one of the easier ways of displaying art, and is an alternative to the fridge door. You can use a wide variety of things to create your board, from kitchen trays to sheets of steel. If you want to be really creative, you can even get hold of some magnetic paint and include it in your interior decor. You can put your board up on the wall and move it out of sight when you want your house to look really neat and tidy.

2. Clips and wire

A cheap and simple way of displaying kids’ artwork is to hang up a wire between two walls in your home and clip art to it. Things like washing line wire and fishing wire will work, but you can also use curtain rods, or anything else which you can attach to your walls. This way you’ll have plenty of room for lots of art, but it will be kept up out of the way.

3. Scrapbook

A way of saving the work which didn’t quite make it to the wall is to store it in a scrapbook. Use foam pads to attach pieces neatly, as these are less messy than glue and tape, and bare less risk of ruining the pages. If you still think there are too many, you can scan them into your computer and create a digital scrapbook.

4. Shelves

If your kids have been making 3D artwork, such as small models, then a great way to show them off is to install some shelves. You can be really creative with your display construction, so see what kind of layouts you can come up with to compliment your interior decor. Shelves are also a neat and eye-pleasing way of displaying frames.

5. Frames and wall art

Probably the most simple way of displaying a picture is by sticking it on the wall. However, you can turn this method from tacky and messy to stylish and artistic with the addition of frames. These neaten things up and give you freedom with display construction, allowing you to create some creative and eccentric designs using different shapes and sizes. This is a great way of displaying your favourite pieces, but if you can’t pick your favourites, you can always swap around what gets displayed from time to time. There are frames available which can hold multiple pieces, so you can easily swap the picture in front for one behind. If you don’t want to use frames, you can create an easy display by putting up a decorated board and sticking up your kids’ work using sticky tac or adhesive foam pads.

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10×16 Gambrel Shed Plans – Making a 10×16 Gambrel Shed Affordably

A Gambrel Shed is a typical shed which deviates from other shed designs especially when it comes to the roof. It is ideally suited for any whether is exceptionally useful as it allows the user to make a far better usage of space. A Gambrel Shed is a specially constructed shed which has two angles instead of just one. This gives the Gambrel shed a distinctive inverted ‘U’ shape. The advantage of having such a design is that it allows for more storage for less space.

There is a critical point where people tend to get stuck when trying to decide about making a shed in their backyard. As the market is flooded with Of the shelf sheds, people obviously are tempted to go in for them as these are very easy to build. In fact if you have the money for it, you have every right to purchase one of those. However be advised that these sheds are very expensive and usually cost between 2,000 to 3,500 dollars per set. Another disadvantage here is that these sheds do not allow you to make many amendments and/or changes as all the parts have already been cut. This, coupled with their expensive rates usually turns out to be the deal breaker for most people.

As an alternative, you can build one 10×16 Gambrel shed all by yourself. Now admittedly this sounds scary, especially if you have no prior experience in constructing sheds, however you should know that fundamentally there is no difference between constructing a shed yourself and installing a ready-made one apart from the fact that in the former you have to get the tools and materials yourself while in the latter you have the materials provided for you.

One of the greatest benefits of making a 10X16 Gambrel shed yourself is that it is much cheaper than the other option and you may easily save over 1,000 to 1,500 dollars doing so. So if you have decided to make a 10×16 Shed by yourself then you will first of, need to get some good Gambrel shed plans. These can either be sourced from the internet or a home improvement store. As these kind of sheds are ideally suited for larger spaces and greater storage, it will be best to get either a 10×12 or a 10×16 Gambrel shed plan.

After you have got your Gambrel shed plans you will need to get the materials. Doing so is not really that hard; all you have to do is stick to your plans as any plans will start out with a list of materials and tools needed for the job.

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7 Crucial Pieces of Greenhouse Plans

Greenhouse building plans are the place you begin. These plans give you all the information you need to start putting your greenhouse together. Without a plan, you are just guessing. Plans usually come with standard information included. Getting familiar with these bits of information can make your planning and purchasing much easier and clearer. Where do you start?

Materials – Any good plan will include a list of materials. Materials are those things you use to construct the greenhouse. A good plan will give you a list of everything you need to purchase from the foundation up to the rafters. Materials include your foundation, framing, covering, fasteners, and other accessories necessary to put the plan into action.

Foundation – Foundations are everything for any structure, including a personal greenhouse. Without a solid foundation, your greenhouse has nothing to set on. Your plan needs to outline the final dimensions. It will also show how the greenhouse frame will attached to it. Your plan will also provide suggestions for flooring materials.

Walls – Walls provide support for the covering materials as well as the roof. Without the right framing and structure, your greenhouse will not stand the test of time or the elements. Your plans should show all of the uprights and cross members required. It should also provide dimensions for each covering opening.

Roof – The roof requires its own part of the plan. It has unique dimensions and material requirements based on the particular design you choose. You need to follow the plans instructions precisely for the best results. It may require cross bracing or other structure enhancements for areas in high wind or snow levels.

Covering Placement – Once you get the skeleton up, you need to fasten the covering in place. Each panel of glass, fiberglass, or PVC panels requires exact dimensions and individual framing to hold in place. That means your skeleton framing is only the beginning.

Venting – Most plans provide options for venting the interior. That may mean windows that open or adding fans that draw air in or out with the flip of a switch. Your plans should outline the options and materials required. The plan may also provide information on wiring for electric fans

Sealing – All greenhouses require sealing. That may indicate gaskets around windows or using silicone caulk on certain joints. Some plans call for other building materials. Your plan should outline all sealing materials you need and how you need to apply them properly.

Many plans include other pieces. But these are the basics. Without these basics, you do not have a full picture of the final greenhouse your efforts will produce. Start with a plan and continue from there.

Michael Keller is a freelance author with a life long love of gardening. If you want more information on greenhouse construction [http://www.greenhousebuilds.com/greenhouse-building-plans/], you can find it at his website http://www.greenhousedreams.com [http://www.greenhousebuilds.com].

7 of the Best Woodworking Ideas & Plans to Start During the Holidays

If you have been browsing around your local home improvement store or craft shop then you have probably noticed some great woodworking plans. Problem is, there is so many to choose from, how do you decide what to do?

Well you can narrow down your choices if you decide what season you would like your project to represent. Here are a few suggestions of projects that you may want to try your hand at for the different seasons.

1. Flower holders and Planters

As soon as spring rolls around most of us seem to develop “spring fever”. We’re anxious to get outdoors and start working on those gardens.. So why not go find yourself a few neat plans to build some flower holders and planters.

2. Outdoor summer décor.

Its nice to have all the landscaping done, and the garden furniture in place. If you have some spare time on your hands, now is the ideal time to take on one of those projects you have been thinking about all winter. Like the fort you promised to build the boys, or maybe the playhouse your daughter has been begging for. Better still do both. Visit your local craft store and just review all of woodworking patterns they have to offer for both the forts and the playhouse. Choose one that’s going to fit your needs.

3. Garden Décor

If you look around some of the local improvement stores you will see tons of whimsical garden decorations. Problem is everyone in the neighborhood has the same thing. Why not be unique. Start a project and make your decorations, instead of having the usual plastic or cement ones.. Be creative and original. Gnomes made from wood, or even a few woodland animals would be perfect.

4. Fall Decor

Before you know it the leaves are hitting the ground, and those summer breezes that were once warm and inviting have become a bit nippy. So why not perk up your landscaping with some fall décor. After all a nice big fat turkey (a wood one of course) sitting along side your fence would create some interest. Then there’s Halloween where you can just let your imagination run a bit wild here.

5. Fall is the perfect time to go ahead and build that compost box you have been talking about. Especially now that you have all the fallen leaves to find a home for. You are going to want to find woodworking plans that will apply to the size of the area you have available.

Winter Woes

6. Now that the snow has presented itself, you are back to cleaning that mucky mess at the back entrance, and of course tripping over the boots. You have decided that something has to be done about this. Great! Go grab yourself some plans and start building that boot rack that is going to solve all these problems.

7. Have you ever admired those lifelike reindeer standing out in the snow? Yes the ones made from wood. What an ideal project to fulfill two ideas at once. The reindeer add just a bit of color and interest during the winter months. So you have some nice outdoor winter décor. Then at Christmas just tie a big red bow around their necks and there’s part of your Christmas decorating all taken care of.

No matter which of these projects you decide to take on do yourself a favor. Go and check out all of the woodworking plans at your favorite store. They are all simple projects but still require some step by step direction.

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6 Simple Steps For You To Follow For A Clean And Organized Garage

Your garage’s main function is usually to safeguard and store your car, truck or motorcycles. That can’t take place if your garage has turned into a glorified storage unit, stuffed to the rafters with boxes,toys, tools, bikes, strollers and everything else you either don’t have room for or just don’t want in the house.

Below are 6 easy to follow steps that will help you clean and organize your garage and seize control once again.

Step 1 – get everything out of the garage and sort it all into groups. Categorize it all and put everything into groups with like items. For example, toys with toys, carpentry tools with carpentry tools, yard tools with yard tools etc. Make a pile for trash, anything you don’t want that you can sell in a garage sale and items to give away.

Step 2 – Get the appropriate organizational tools and supplies. After you’ve grouped everything, decide on exactly what tools and resources will help you organize these items better.

For example, do you need shelves? If so what kind… a free standing shelving system or shelves mounted to the wall? Do you need storage bins, cabinet systems, tool chests, peg boards, hanging roof systems, hanging bike racks, hooks etc.

Step 3 – Clean garage. As soon as you empty your garage it’s important to take time to sweep out all the loose debris and remove cobwebs. You’ll appreciate your garage much more if it’s clean so make sure to sweep and dust routinely.

Step 4 – Decor. This does not mean you need to remodel your garage into pseudo-living room, however you could think about a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Next think about the floor?

Lots of people prefer to paint and seal the floor of their garage to protect it from stains and also makes cleaning easy. Transforming your wall and floor surfaces will have a enormous effect on the appearance of your garage.

Step 5 – Arrange Items For Storage. As soon as you are done with cleaning the garage (floor and walls)now’s the time for you to put everything back. Place those items that you use on regularly within easy reach.

Put items less frequently used further back in the garage or higher up on shelves or in cabinets. Putting labels on shelves, bins and boxes will make it a lot easier for you to find what you’re looking for.

Step 6 – Lastly, make some rules for yourself and family members and implement them. Rules along the lines of, “Always return the items you used back to where you got them,” needs to be put into practice at all times if you plan on keeping your garage clean and organized.

If you follow these 6 simple steps, in no time you will have a clean and well organized garage. Not only will you be able to park your car in your garage but you’ll also be able to find anything want when you need it. One more thing, don’t forget to have a garage sale to help get rid of all those unwanted items and put some cash in your pockets!

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9 Basic Steps to Construct Your Own Wall Pocket As Wall Decor

Are you a fan of Do-It-Yourself projects? They can save you money. They are fun to do. They can give you that same feeling of accomplishment that you had when you tied your first shoelaces. In the wide world of home decor, you can create several pieces on your own including wall decor. Here are some basic steps to follow, in order to create your own wall pocket:

Step 1: Secure your materials

For this project, you will need:

– bud vase

– drill bit (metal-cutting)

– electric drill

– floral wire

– safety gloves

– tin snips

– vintage ceiling tile (2)

– wire cutters

Step 2: Cut one ceiling tile

You can use the entire ceiling tile if you want. Another option is to cut it down to a smaller size. It is your call!

Step 3: Drill a hole in the tile

This should be from the top of the tile, and the hole should go completely through it. Make sure to wear safety gloves!

Step 4: Curve the second vintage ceiling tile into a tube

This curved ceiling tile will serve as the front of the wall pocket. Make sure to wear the safety gloves. Remember that one alternative to creating your own wall pocket is to purchase quality metal wall vases.

Step 5: Drill holes into the curved ceiling tile

The holes should go into both the sides and bottom of the tile. Make the holes near the perimeter, and roughly ¼ inches in from the

Jessica Ackerman writes for WallDecorandHomeAccents.com, a site featuring
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About Hardwood Veneer

Hardwood veneer is a wood product that comes from trees classified as angiosperms. Hardwood comes from trees that lose their leaves in the winter. Softwoods come from trees like holly and pine that do not lose their leaves. Hardwoods are distinctive because of its pores and vessels that vary widely in size, structure and shape.

Hardwoods are highly valued for their beauty, durability and quality. These types of wood develop unique and rich grains with striking colors, and can be very expensive. The hardwood veneer demand is very high, because it is much more affordable and retains some of the benefits that are seen with solid hardwood.

Veneers are basically thin strips of wood applied to less expensive products including plywood, MDF board, particleboard, along with other products. This gives the beautiful look of hardwood to the building or improvement projects while also keeping the cost down.

Cherry, oak, maple, mahogany, and birch are a few of the most popular types of hardwood veneers. Veneer uses vary widely including flooring, counters, cabinets, furniture, and paneling. Veneers are made by cutting a thin layer of wood from the tree. The angle of the cut determines the look of the veneer. There are also many different ways to cut veneer that give distinctive looks such as, rotary cut, plain sliced, rift sliced, half round sliced, quarter sliced as well as others.

There are several types of veneers which show grain patterns in different ways. Whole piece veneers are cut using the rotary process, and result in continuous pieces of veneer. Slip matched veneers are made by laying out each strip side by side, producing a repetitive pattern. Spliced veneers are made up of several pieces glued together. The way the pieces are laid out will determine the final appearance. Book matched veneers are made by having each strip side by side, with every other piece turned over.

Hardwood veneer is an excellent choice for adding a striking appearance to any wood working project, especially if you are looking for cost effective ways to maintain the look of hardwoods.

Jim Buchanan is a freelance writer, and part time hobbyist. For more information about
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5 Steps to Selecting the Perfect Interior Design Style for Your Home or Apartment

For many homeowners deciding on a theme or style for the interior of their home seems about as simple as splitting an atom or negotiating peace in the Middle East. Daunted by an overload of magazines, web-sites, books and television shows each presenting dazzlingly photographed interiors filled with chic, stylish and wildly desirable objects and each slapping an editorial spin on what this look will be called; is it any wonder that most homes languish in an unfocused design haze far longer than necessary?

To cut through the clutter and the confusion here are 5 Steps to Selecting the Perfect Interior Design Style for Your Home or Apartment:

1. Understand the Architectural Style in which you will be living. Maybe your home is a California Bungalow or a New England Cape. Maybe your condominium building is heavily influenced by Mediterranean Architecture or is a symphony of modern glass and concrete. Regardless of what’s going on around you to intelligently parse out what will happen inside your home you should have a grasp of your homes’ architectural styling.

2. Have an opinion on what will happen inside your home. Good design is not for wimps and great design actually necessitates a home’s owner to have well formed opinions about what they want to live with every day. So do your homework. Visit a Designer Show House, tour model homes or spend a Saturday afternoon flipping through pages of design and architecture books and get in touch with what makes you smile. You don’t need to identify every element in the room on the page you just need to know that looking at it makes you smile. While the smile is still fresh on your face place a post-it-note on that page and we’ll come back to it shortly.

3. Play nicely with those who share the same address. Few things are as tedious as are constantly bickering couples. On the best of days finding harmony amid life’s madness can be a challenge. Please don’t add decorating discord to the list of topics on which you and your spouse joust. No one ever wins these bouts; in fact everyone within earshot actually loses. So think in terms of mutually beneficial negotiations as you hash through the thoughts and ideas shared by your life-partner and seek ways to weave together the single best idea each one brings to the table. Melding two design ideas under one roof is neither revolutionary nor improbable. In fact, it’s been done for decades with happy relationships as a delightful by-product.

4. Create visible reminders of the agreed upon direction (s) for your home. If “Big-City Modern with a touch of French Empire” is what’s been agreed upon then make it the law of the land by memorializing the decision with a pin-board and shared idea-page. Own the decision which is the result of your hard-fought negotiations by establishing visual markers. This way those in your spheres of influence can hold you to your choice and support you as you together create your new home.

5. Don’t hesitate to call in professional reinforcements. There are times, both in the negotiation phase and in the shopping phase, when outside help can be priceless. Learn who the pros are in your area who you can call for that bit of non-partisan back-side kicking. And don’t be shy about dialing their number. Writing a check for an hour or two of design consultation can mean the difference between a good room and a great room. You’re worth it being great so do what’s necessary. You won’t regret the call.

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