Installing a Bathroom Faucet Yourself

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Moen, Incorporated for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Did you know removing an old bathroom faucet and installing a new one is totally a DIY project you can have done in a couple hours? No plumber or scary expensive tools required... just you and a Starbucks. (Okay, the Starbucks might be optional... might)  If you can assemble furniture, you can install a bathroom faucet.

A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to sample the Moen Boardwalk 1-Handle bathroom faucet in Spot Resist Brushed Nickel and show you guys how to install it. Since I'm currently renting and the new house isn't exactly ready for faucets, I decided to surprise my parents and upgrade their powder room. #daughteroftheyear Here's what I started with. Their house was built in the mid 90's and while all the other faucets in the house have been switched out over the years, the powder room was still hanging on to the basic builder model.
  • 5/8" Wrench
  • Crescent Wrench
  • Channel Locks
  • Plumber's Putty
  • Teflon Tape
Step 1:
Turn the water off. Don't be scared! It's really simple and you can easily test if you did it right. Just turn the two knobs under the sink to the right. You'll know it's off when you try to turn the faucet on and nothing comes out. This will also drain any water left in the faucet. Ta-da! Easy. The one on the left should be hot and the one on the right should be cold. Now lay a towel down in the cabinet because a few drips will come out when you start unscrewing stuff.

Step 2:
Disconnect everything that is holding the old faucet on. It's really that easy. If it's holding the old faucet to the sink, you need to unscrew it. I first unscrewed the water lines with the wrench, then disconnected the stick that makes the drain plug work. This thing...
After you disconnect it underneath, just pull the stick out through the top.
After that, there were two screws holding the faucet to the sink. Unscrew those and the faucet should lift up.
Eww. Yeah, that mess is plumber's putty. It scrapes off easily.

Step 3:
Remove the drain. Since you took the stick part out in step 2, the round metal plug will lift right out. Stick a screwdriver or something under there and pop it up. 
After that, there will be two large nuts under the sink on the drain. You might need the channel locks to unscrew them or they might be a plastic and you can unscrew by hand. There will also be a rubber gasket and maybe another washer or something. You most likely won't need any of it since the new faucet will come with all new parts. However, I keep everything until I'm totally done just incase.
If the drain just spins from the top when you try to unscrew the bottom, get a partner to hold it from the top. I stuck a screwdriver down into the drain to hold it still while my husband unscrewed from under the sink. When it comes out it will probably look something like this beauty here. That's 20 years of hand washing there. Nice.

Most of that is plumber's putty and you need to clean it all off the sink. You can toss the disgusting drain!

Step 4:
Attach the faucet to the sink. Open the box, find your instructions, and keep all the parts in their separate bags until you need them. Makes everything go a lot faster.
Stick the faucet into your sink. Since our sink had three holes we had to use the optional plate. If your sink has one hole, you can just put the faucet directly on the sink. You will use one small rubber gasket also. The directions clearly showed what order to put everything.
Attach the faucet to the sink using the "U" bracket that comes in the box and the handy wrench tool so you can get your hand up where it needs to be. This was just one nut to tighten under the sink. We were carful not to tighten Incredible Hulk style so as not to crack the sink. Just tight enough to secure the faucet.

Step 5:
Reattach the drain. Since Moen is wonderful, they kept all of the drain parts in one bag together. Grab the bag with the drain parts and screw them on according to the picture. This is where you will have to use plumber's putty. It's just like your kindergarten days of Play-Doh. :) You need to make a snake.
The putty goes between the sink and new drain. Remember where you scraped it off before?
Yep, that lovely hole. We have to put new putty around it. From my experience, the rule is, use enough so it squirts out when you tighten down the drain. You just smoosh it under the lip of the drain so that no water can leak between the drain and sink. Clean off the excess that squirts out. Then plop the drain stopper in. Make sure the loop at the end of the stopper is open to the back. (you can see the loop at the end of the stopper in the pic below)

Step 6:
Attach the drain stopper stick (I made that name up). You have to reattach this thing so your drain functions.
So stick it down in the little hole in the back, and wiggle it a little to get past the bracket underneath. Once it's under there, you'll attach it to another rod with holes in it. It comes with a little clip to do this. Those holes are so you can adjust how far down you have to push the stem to get the drain to open, and how far up you have to pull it to get the drain to close. Then stick the rod with the ball attached (this is rod #3 if you're counting) into the hole in the back of the drain. Then the other end of rod #3 goes into one of those holes from rod #2. Are you confused? Don't be! The instructions give you 3 really clear pictures and this step requires no tools. :)

Step 7:
Reattach the water! This is where the Teflon tape comes into play. You just wrap it once around the threads of the water pipes before you screw them into the new faucet. This way, the connections are water tight. Attach hot to left and cold to the right. Guess what? You're done!
And because the Moen Boardwalk has the Spot Resist Finish, it resists fingerprints and water spots (seriously needed in this house with 7 grandkids passing through) and is WaterSense compliant, saving mom money on utilities. I can hardly wait for the fam to see her revamped powder room this Thanksgiving! Just one small change and it looks so much more "custom". You can pick up your own Moen Boardwalk at Lowes and Like Moen on Facebook for more tips and inspiration. 
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RYOBI Nation + Awesome Tool Giveaway

This post brought to you by RYOBI.
Hey ya'll.  Today I wanted to let you in on a pretty neat program and website from RYOBI. It's called RYOBI Nation and I'm a member as well as many of my DIY blogger friends. RYOBI Nation is the official project sharing community of RYOBI tools. What does that mean? It means lots of ideas and tutorials from talented DIY bloggers all in one place. Plus, members save money with exclusive offers and they have monthly challenges where 3 members win over $500 in RYOBI tools. Best part? It's free. I love it and get tons of ideas. If you're interested, sign up here.
And because RYOBI is excited to get you moving on the DIY bandwagon, they are giving away a RYOBI ONE+ 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Drill and Impact Driver Combo Kit to one lucky reader. Sweet deal. I own a few RYOBI tools but a drill is an absolute must in any homeowner's stash. And, even if you're not the DIY type... holy great gift! :)
Giveaway ends November 6th at midnight. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Life Inspired Link Party #10

It's link party day which means it's the last Friday of the month which means October is almost over which is CRAZY to me. Time just flies when you're old! I totally remember toasting on New Year's Eve to a great 2013. Now it's almost over. My wrinkle cream can't keep up.

Last party there were lots of great link ups! Thanks so much for sharing your stuff. I love spying on all of you. Without further ramblings, here are a few I'd like to try.
I can totally see this in Austin's room. He'd love it.

Oh my goodness I want to make this so bad! I need some friends to have some girl babies. Get on at. K? Thanks.

You know I'm a sucker for a good printable. This one you can color yourself!  Love that. Great idea.

How could I not love the minion?! Yep, more people definitely need to have some babies so I can make this stuff. :)

So are you ready to link up, get your trick-or-treat on and head into November? Can you hear the Christmas music now?


Printable Monster Art

This post is sponsored by Monsters University. All opinions and ideas are 100% my own.
So, Halloween is next week. I haven't bought my candy yet for fear I will eat it all before the kids arrive. I know myself. The Almond Joys don't stand a chance. But we have been building up our Halloween anticipation in other ways. The costumes are part made and mostly bought, the decorations have been strewn about, and we've been watching Monster's University on loop for since it arrived. (Funny side note: the kids get the words University and Anniversary confused so most of the time they ask to watch "Monster's Universary". Ha!). Such a great not-so-scary option to get the kiddos (and you) in the Halloween mood.

While the kids were watching I did most of the decorating. The wall just beside the front door has been bare since we moved in. I planned on jazzing it up for Halloween but really always wanted something there year round. So, I figured out a way to do both. 

You see, we've been needing a way to display quick art besides covering the side of the fridge. You know... kid art (I could open a gallery), seasonal stuff, cool greeting cards, printables, and pictures. So, I created an easily changeable "art" display that I could decorate now for Halloween but change easily throughout the year... and it's so simple!


Clip Boards
Craft paint and brush
Command Hooks or nails
Monster Art!

Step 1:
Paint your clipboards. I chose white so anything I put on them will "go" but the color (or pattern) is up to you. It took a couple coats and dried in no time.

Step 2:
Arrange the hooks evenly on the wall and hang your boards. If you keep them in a neat row it looks more gallery-like but if random floats your boat, go with it. I use removable hooks because I'm renting but small nails would work just as well.

Step 3:
Create your own Monster art or download the printables I designed based on our favorite characters from the movie.

Did you guess who was who? Art, Don Carlton, Mike Wazowski, and Sully... but, get creative! Crayons, paint, buttons, yarn would all look fantastic. Right now I'm digging the modern look of the printables but I know soon they will be replaced with the kids' renditions. Can you see the glitter now?

Step 4:

Display and walk away! I just made that up. (I can see your eye roll from here) But really, it's so simple to give all our art it's time in the spotlight now and not have it get buried under pizza coupons on the fridge.

So go create your own Monster art while you're carving that pumpkin. Follow Monsters University on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for some fantastic art inspiration. And, Monsters University will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack October 29th (you can click here to find it) just in time for Halloween.

Now come snoop around the other projects inspired by Monsters University.


Free Owl Printable Invitations

Happy Wednesday ya'll. Just a quick post of free printables today. A few months back I designed an invite for a baby shower at work. The theme was pink and yellow and owls and girly. So cheery. Since Katie from Sew Woodsy and I work together, she posted about it here. Go look. So cute right?

For months now this invite has just been collecting digital dust on my computer. Not doing much good there so I thought I'd share.  I also changed up the colors and made a blue version as well. The invite is 5" x 7".
The PDF contains a version without crop marks and a version with crop marks.  Use whichever suits you best. Enjoy your hump day.


How to Make Grommet Top Curtains

Still movin' and shakin' (well, more like crawlin' and jigglin'... mental note to resume jogging, ugh.) with Operation Big Girl Room. This weekend I finished up some cuddle-worthy grommet top curtains made with fantastic fabric from Online Fabric Store.net.  They're my new BFF after we were introduced at Haven Conference this year. They don't know that, but it's totally true. Promise. I shopped and asked OnlineFabricStore.net to provide fabric for this post and they graciously agreed. 

The curtains she had before were a solid pastel pink. Now looking at them, I just keep thinking why did I choose solid pink 6 years ago? Curtains are an easy place to add some fun, pattern, and punch to a room. So recently, I searched like crazy locally (okay, like 2 stores, but still) to find a bright pink geometric print fabric to compliment my kid's new bedding. No dice. They were either pastel-ish or muted or floraly (it's a word). I wanted punch, not blah!

That's when I went to the web. Onlincefabricstore.net has sooo many options. Take a gander at the pink lovelies I stalked...
I absolutely love the anchors but decided against it since the main color is white. I really needed something bold to contrast the neutral wall color. Now I just need a project I can use those anchors for. Hmmm. I decided upon Michael Miller Moroccan Lattice Pink Fabric. It's nice and bright but not too juvenile. I also really like the graphic punch of the Moroccan pattern. (Note the coffee)
Now that we have some gorgeous fabric, let's make some curtains.

  • Sewing machine and the usuals
  • Heat-N-Bond
  • Grommets (I use Drtiz brand)
  • Fabric (yardage will depend on how high you're hanging them... I used about 5 and 1/2 yards)
Here are the grommets I use. This is the 3rd set of curtains I've made with Dritz grommets. They are pretty inexpensive (Around $8 - $11) and you don't need any tools to attach them to your curtains. They also come in a variety of finishes. They are plastic (not metal) but you can't tell at all once they are up on the wall. Very easy to use. I wasn't paid to say that... I just really like these! :)

Step 1
Measure from your curtain rod to the floor and figure out your length. Then, add to that a couple inches for the bottom hem and about 5ish inches for the top hem where the grommets will be. Cut two panels this length. I just use a tape measure on the floor.

Step 2
Fold over the top hem 5" and press. I laid one grommet on top to see how it was going to look. Then I folded the bottom edge of this hem under about 1/2" and pressed again. That way when you sew this part down, all the edges are tucked in neat and nothing will fray.

Step 3
Add a strip of Heat-N-Bond under your 5" hem. I just cut the strip slightly smaller than my flap and stuck it under there. You're just making the top of your curtains a little sturdier to hold the grommets nice and crisp. If you're working with a thick fabric, you can probably skip this step.
Peel off the backing and iron. Just follow the directions on the package.

Step 4
Sew your pressed hems, both top and bottom.  I also sewed the side hems at this point by just folding them under once, pressing, and sewing a straight line. Little secret; I did not cut off the selvedge. Since these are in my daughter's room, and pretty casual, and no one will ever see the back... I left it. It saved me a step by not having to fold the sides under twice to prevent fraying. Call the sewing police... it's cool.

Step 5
Lay out your grommets evenly across your curtain on top of the upper hem.  Make sure to use an even amount of grommets. (4, 6, 8... etc depending on the width of your panel) You must use and even amount so your panels always have a nice fold to the back on either end once they are up. Trace a circle on the inside of your grommet. The grommet package comes with a little plastic template thing. I never use it though. I find it easier to trace the grommets.

Step 6
Cut out the circles you just traced. Since I don't use the template and trace the actual grommets, my circles are actually a little smaller than they need to be. I fix that by cutting just to the outside of the line I traced.

Step 7
Push one side of the grommet through the hole and snap into place using the other side of the grommet. You just push with your fingers. No tools! This part goes really fast.

And that's it. Hang them up. Easier than you thought? These grommets make super quick work of rectangular table cloths too. You can make yourself a set of curtains in less time than one episode of Property Brothers. ;)
I made the shelf/rod contraption there too. Secret... it was cheaper than a real curtain rod! Details on that soon.
So go visit OnlineFabricStore.net because they can take you from this...
to this. (Okay, they won't take away your clutter, well they might if you ask nicely... but you get the gist)

If you'd like to see where we started or other projects from Operation Big Girl Room, click on the pics below.