Simple DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Box

This year I wanted to create a homemade Valentine’s Day gift box for some of my family members. Now, it might be easier to send flowers but I feel something homemade just does something for the heart, for both you and the recipient. The gift box I created was filled with two homemade treats and a few traditional staples, candy conversation hearts and pink, white, and red M&Ms. Gift boxes are completely customizable, if you have someone trying to stay away from sweet treats, I’ve also included suggestions to mix-up the box contents.

Valentine’s Gift Box example:

Customizing Gift Boxes: Go beyond the Valentine’s Day Gift Box

Gift boxes are great for so many different holidays, or just because! I’ve included some gift box suggestions for a few holidays. The first place I typically shop for small little items to include in the gift box is the Dollar Tree. Plan and purchase early, the holiday sections sell out quickly! For the Valentine’s Day gift box I started shopping the last week of January and Valentine’s day was on the way out and St. Patrick’s Day was moving on in. In the comments, share what else you would include in your gift box!

  • St. Patrick’s Day: Include cut out shamrocks, small green top hat, a can of Guinness, small bottle of Jameson Whiskey, St. Patrick’s theme coaster set, shamrock cookies, green rice crispy treats, pretzels covered in white chocolate and sprinkles with green sprinkles.
  • Easter: Filled Easter Eggs, Easter theme coaster set, small plush bunny, photo frame and photo of the recipient celebrating a past Easter, bunny shaped cookies, Peeps, or Cadbury Eggs
  • Thanksgiving: Recipe cards for a traditional family thanksgiving dish with non-perishable contents included in the gift box. The following download included examples of recipes. Other items can include; fake leaves, pumpkin spice cookies, peanut brittle, apple cider, or spiced donuts.

There are so many other holiday’s where customized boxes would be appropriate: their birthday, Independence day, Christmas, bosses day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day

Compiling your Gift Box

  1. Pick our your box! Be mindful of the size, especially if you are shipping the box. I used this small box from Walmart. Online they come in groups of 18 or 25 but in store, you can buy single boxes.
  2. Fill your box! Take the recipient into account and customize for the holiday.
  3. Ship or deliver your gift box. Shipping on a ~12×8 box from Illinois to Florida is $13.50 with medium weight contents.

Simple at home haircut: No Experience Required

During the 2020/2021 pandemic we’ve all experienced some changes in life. I used to head to the salon for a cut and color at least every six months. The best part of the salon is feeling pampered and leaving with the feeling of fresh and healthy hair. Well, life has changed a bit and an at home haircut is the only option. I am one of those immunocompromised people with an autoimmune disease plus asthma plus I’m pregnant. I religiously follow my doctors orders and therefore very rarely leave the house. Grocery shopping is my regular outing and I get so excited for that weekly happening, my husband knows to dare not take on that task. We’ll see how I feel once the waddle increases a bit. I might allow him to occasionally take on that chore for me.

Back to beauty and pampering; my last haircut was in July and it was definitely time for a clean up. My hair is the longest it has ever been and despite deep conditioning treatments, tangles and split ends are taking over. I would love to add a little color to the pampering activities, but per doctor’s orders, that is out of the question for me.

I couldn’t just give myself an at home haircut and not document the milestone. Now, a few things went smoothly, others did not and a friend joined for some commentary. Check out my adventure!

Disclaimer: I am not a hair stylist and have never cut my own hair before. I watched about ten minutes of YouTube clips prior to starting the at home haircut, and of course added my own flair throughout.

Before/After: At home Haircut

At home haircut before and after
Smiling, wardrobe and make-up are all so overrated. Of course I forgot to take proper before and after’s so had to grab video stills.

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Valentine’s Day M&M Cookie Recipe

This year I wanted to create a homemade Valentine’s Day snack box for some of my family members. Now, it might be easier to send flowers but I always think something homemade just does something for the heart, for both you and the recipient. The boxes started with testing out a few different Valentine’s Day cookie recipes. Part of the criteria was something that would ship well, stay moist for a week when correctly packaged, and looked festive! Right away that steered me away from anything frosted or with any sort of filling. That just opens too much risk for mailing.

I narrowed it down to a Valentine’s Day cookie recipe using red, pink and white M&M’s and then had to find the perfect recipe. I like my cookies plump and soft and many of the recipes and therefore, I used my chocolate chip cookie recipe as a staple and added a few ingredients consistent with sugar cookies.

The cookies turned out perfect. With a bake time of 10 minutes, rest on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes and then transferred to a cooling rack, it produced soft fluffy cookies! I boxed them up and they are ready to be sent off! In a separate post, I’ll share more about the entire gift box. The Valentine’s Day cookie recipe below walks you through how to make the perfect cookies!

Valentines Day Cookie Recipe

Valentine’s Day Cookie Recipe

Serving Size:
4 dozen
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

Ingredients for Valentine’s Day Cookie Recipe

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups M&Ms (divided)

Directions for Valentine’s Day Cookie Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix well using a stand or handheld mixer.
  3. Add in eggs and vanilla extract. Mix well with the stand or handheld mixer.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
  5. In 1/2 cup increments mix in the dry ingredients to your wet ingredients.
  6. Stir in 1 1/2 cup M&Ms
  7. Roll into small balls ~ 1 1/2 Tablespoon size and place on the parchment paper. 12 per cookie sheet.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool on the cookie sheet for three minutes. While cooling use your reserved 1/2 cup of M&M’s to place additional M&M’s on the tops of each cookie. This will help bring out the Red, White and Pink colors.
  10. Place on a cooling rack. Try to wait at least 10 minutes before you dig in!

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Plan for the best Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

The past five years, my husband and I made travel a priority. We wanted to see as much as we could before we started to grow our family. Now that our first child will be arriving in May 2021, we would like to make sure she also is able to explore. Our new trips might be slightly different, but seeing new sights and learning about different cultures will always be a priority. One of my favorite trips was attending Oktoberfest in Munich Germany. We enjoyed it so much my husband has been five times and me, I’ve been three. Each trip we pick up on must do’s and tips to get the most out of your Oktoberfest experience.

There is so much to share about the Oktoberfest and traveling to Munich, Germany in general. These are just the “must know’s” to plan a successful trip.

5 Tips when attending the Oktoberfest in Munich Germany

  1. Strategically plan your arrival and departing flight times
  2. Follow an itinerary
  3. Load up on cash
  4. Dress the part
  5. Navigate the crowds

1. Strategically plan your arrival departing flight times

Oktoberfest Arrival Tips

When traveling to Europe from the U.S. I recommend booking an evening flight. Plan to leave anywhere from 5:00-8:00 PM. This allows you to get on the plane, enjoy your meal, turn on the television and get some sleep.

In order for sleep to be possible, make sure you start your travel day early. Get up no later than 6:30 AM, exercise, finish packing and no naps!

You’ll land around 9:00 AM in the morning. Once you get through customs and locate your hotel, it will be 11:30 AM. Grab lunch and plan an afternoon activity. The best thing you can do on day 1 is to stay awake until 8:00 PM.

Pro tip: Interested in upgrades? I recommend booking economy plus with your original reservation. This is typically less than $200 more per ticket and upgrades your cabin, meals and leg space.

Oktoberfest Departure Tips

The best flight out of Munich leaves between 3:00-4:00 PM CST. If you do an add-on trip (more below), the recommendation still stands. Get a flight back to the U.S. that leaves Europe between 3:00-5:00 PM. Allow yourself a cat nap, but you want to land tired. Find a few movies that interest you on the way to Europe and plan to watch those on the way home. On the way to Europe you will want to sleep.

Depending on your final destination in the U.S. you will probably land between 5:00-7:30 PM. This is perfect for you to go through customs, find your car or taxi and head home. Go right to sleep, you’ll be tired. You might wake up at 4 AM in the morning, go back to sleep if possible. If not, start your day. I guarantee that taking an evening flight home will significantly decrease jet lag.

2. Follow an Itinerary

When exploring it is important to keep your valuables either locked in a safe at your hotel or on your person. Most flag hotels (Marriott/Sheraton/Hyatt..etc) will have a safe in each room. If you are carrying your passport and other valuable items with you, I encourage you to invest in a travel pouch or travel purse. Both will block RFID. The pouch is worn under your clothes.

Oktoberfest 4-Day Itinerary

At a minimum, you will want to spend four days exploring Munich and the Oktoberfest. There are so many great sights to see beyond just attending the festival. Since you’ve already traveled all the way to Europe, if you select a 4 day Oktoberfest itinerary, please consider doing an “add-on trip”. This itinerary includes two days at the fest and two days exploring Munich and the surrounding sites, such as the Marienplatz, the Original Hofbrauhaus, Dachau, the BMW Museum, Olympic Park and the English Garden.

Oktoberfest 5-day Itinerary

This Oktoberfest 5-day Itinerary includes two days at the festival, plus recommendations on several other must see places around Munich. Note, the Neuschwanstein option is a very full day trip. The train ride is two hours each way and the experience will last about four hours. The Andechs option requires a 45 minute train ride and about a three hour onsite experience.

Oktoberfest Trip: Recommended Add-On’s

These add-on trips are great to get a more inclusive European experience. I recommend spend trying to 8-9 nights total. For those of us working a Monday-Friday, 8-5 that tends to be a good amount to refresh, see the sites and start to miss the comforts of your home. Once you have your first European trip under your belt, you’ll have a better idea of the magic duration for you. Duration will also depend on where you are going, how busy you want to be and how much you want to see. Recommendations included in this add-on itinerary include: Amsterdam, Dublin and Prague.

3. Load up on Cash

Cash is very important in many places in Europe, but especially Munich. You can get euros at your bank prior to your trip or you can visit the cash station at the Airport.

Make sure to call your bank prior to your trip to alert them of your travel. The worst thing that can happen is your cash station card and credit cards don’t work. Also, make sure to review your credit card policies and fees on withdrawing cash prior to departure. Some banks will charge hefty international transaction fees.

You will pay for everything in the Oktoberfest grounds with euros, plus many of the meals you have at restaurants in Munich. I recommend $100-$150 per person per day as a starting point. You can always get more euros when you arrive. Credit cards are more commonly used for retail shopping, train fare and hotels.

Pro-tip: Just get euros before you leave. This will minimize any anxiety for finding a cash station and doubting if your credit cards and cash station cards will work.

4. Dress the part: Traditional Oktoberfest outfits

It is customary to dress in traditional Oktoberfest attire when attending the festival. This is optional, but just know the outfit is part of the experience and 90% of attendees will be in traditional attire. You will wear your traditional Oktoberfest outfit each time you visit the fest, therefore make sure to take that into consideration when packing.

For ladies: A dirndl, however, there are some ladies lederhosen versions. I recommend starting your collection with a dirndl and if you want to expand later, you can look into lederhosen. Items to take into consideration:

  • Sizing: All sizing is European, so make sure you are aware of how your size correlates from US to European.
  • Quality: Do not buy a dirndl from a gift shop. If you are going to spend the money on a nice dirndl, purchase one from an authentic German clothing store. Moser Trachten is a high quality store if you would like to purchase online prior to your trip. I bought mine on site at the AngerMaier Trachten, which is about a 15 minute walk from the Hofbanhoff (main train station).
  • Costs: You will need to purchase the dirndl plus the blouse. At places like the AngerMaier, you will be able to get a high quality dirndl for 150-250 euros. Credit cards are accepted.
  • Accessories: The weather might be slightly chilly, so bring accessories to accompany your dirndl. Bring a button or zip down neutral sweater, brown or black flat does to wear with your dress and a nice white push-up bra (smaller cup- avoid the full coverage cups)

For Men: Lederhosen is your traditional outfit. Now these short overall type outfits are made of leather and therefore can be pricy. Lederhosen, without the collared shirt run anywhere from 170-500 euros. A white (~30 euro) or gingham shirt are traditionally worn under the lederhosen. The outfit also consists of high wool socks (~10 euro) and traditional shoes (~50 euro).

Traditional Oktoberfest outfits
If you would like to purchase all your attire prior to arriving, I found some similar options on Amazon! Order in advance to make sure you have time to return and re-order if the sizes aren’t quite right.

5. Navigating the Oktoberfest crowds

A lot of people come to the Oktoberfest each year! It is a one of a kind event and honestly, one of the most interesting and culture filled fests I’ve attended. Take the following into consideration when planning your itinerary:

  • Unless you have a connection (know someone with a long standing reservation) your chances of getting into a tent on opening or closing day are slim to none. I’d lean more towards none with those scenarios.
  • Attend the fest at least two days when you are there and space our your visits (example: day 2 and 4).
  • Get to the fest early!! I cannot stress this enough. If you get to the fest after 4:30 PM you will not find a seat. Get to the fest early, find a tent you want to sit in for the rest of the day and STAY PUT.
  • Purses larger than a small handheld will need to be checked. You’re dirndl will have pockets, use those and only bring necessities.
  • It is very hard to hold seats. If you are waiting for friends, make sure all of you get there together and early. You might be able to hold two seats for 30 minutes before 4:30 PM but after, no such luck.
  • Remember to bring the cash. A server will come to your table and you will pay for all food and drink in cash.
  • If you are taking up a table, continue to order. I recommend having a few drinks, then ordering a meal (recover from the beer) and then you can continue ordering.
  • Remember this is a marathon day not a sprint when it comes to alcohol consumption. You will find that the purity levels in the beer make for a much smoother taste and honestly, minimized, if any hangover.
  • At night it will get rowdy with chugging, and table dancing. Kids should exit by 5PM.

Enjoy your trip! If you have any planning questions, feel free to email me.


Emily M

Two easy ways to use spent brewing grains

My husband and I are big fans of craft beer and I’m excited my hiatus is almost over. During the pandemic, my husband has been home brewing, which leaves us with pounds of spent brewing grains after each batch. He started with brewing kits and has transitioned to creating many of our favorites from our travels. I am so impressed with taking only one sip of his brews, from the Sierra Nevada, NE IPA, Stout, Root Beer for me, Apfelwein, and Helles. The next beer is a Citra-infused Hazy IPA.

He typically brews a 5-gallon batch once to twice a month. If you are familiar with the process, then you know you will end up with at least 10 pounds of spent brewing grain! This volume isn’t enough to donate to a local farmer for feed. I’ve been on a mission to determine what to do with the Spend Brewing Grains.

Dog treats and whole-grain flour are my top uses. Through this whole experiment, I’ve created a monster with Opha May the Bulldog. She loves her spent grain treats so much that she pouts when I reach for the milk bones. this post walks through making both, dog treats and flour.

Before you start any of the following recipes. Make sure your spent brewing grains does NOT include, rice hulls or hopps. Both can be dangerous to animals!

1. Dog Treats from Spent Brewing Grains

Effort: Minimal

Time: 3 hours

Cost: $4.00 (Makes 6 dozen treats)

Grains used: 3 cups out of ~30 cups

  • 3 cups Spent Grains
  • 1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3/4 cup Organic Peanut Butter (the more natural and lower sodium the better)
  • 3 Tbls Flax Seed
  • 9 Tbls Water

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grind Flax Seed in the food processor on high for 2 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, combine 3 Tbls of ground flaxseed and 9 Tbls of Water. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of Spent Grains and 1 1/2 cups of Whole Wheat Flour. Stir. Add 3/4 cup of Peanut Butter and stir well.
  5. Add the flaxseed and water mixture to the large bowl mixture. Stir well.
  6. Using a rolling pin, roll out the mixture on a flat surface. The mixture should be 1/4- 1/2 inch thick.
  7. Cut into squares or use a cookie cutter.
  8. Using a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, load on the treats. You can put them pretty close together. They will not expand.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
  10. Decrease the heat to 180 degrees. You will want to bake them until your treats are fully dried. Check your thickest treat to determine the level of doneness. This step may take up to 2 hours.
  11. Treats are good for up to three weeks in an airtight container.
The Results

This spent brewing grain recipe made ~75-100 dog treats. Since they only last 2 weeks, have a plan to share with other pups!

Just a portion of the treats!

If you would like to make a fancy gift from the treats, I recommend cellophane gift bags. You will be able to find generic bags at Dollar Tree or Amazon has cute paw print cellphone bags. Attach the ingredient card and deliver!

Click here to download the ingredient card to affix to your doggie treat bags.

Check out our Pumpkin Dog Treat recipe post!

2. Make Flour from Spent Brewing Grains

Effort: Minimal

Time: 9 hours

Cost: $0

Grains used: ~7 cups per baking sheet

This repurposing process, while requiring minimal effort does take a significant amount of time! Next time I will make my husband start brewing at 7:00 AM so I am not up stirring drying grains at 1:00 AM. One challenge with trying to repurpose all the spent brewing grain is time. The grain will start to go sour after about five hours of unrefidgerated, so you need to work with a sense of purpose. If you plan to refrigerate, you can make flour and or treats the following day.

This recipe will cost you nothing! Well, besides your oven being on for 7 hours.

The Process
  1. Count how many cookie sheets you can fit in your oven. I was able to fit 2 full-size cookie sheets and 2 cake pans. You’ll be able to get ~6-7 cups per baking sheet and ~3 cups per cake pan.
  2. Layout a bed of paper towels on your kitchen counter and spread out the spent brewing grains (1/2 inch thick). The purpose of this process to get as much liquid out of the grains as possible. You can hand squeeze them, but goodness gracious, who has time for that!
  3. Dry the grains for 2 hours. During this time, you can be baking the dog treats!
  4. Heat the oven to 190 degrees. Note- the total baking time is 7 hours.
  5. Layout the spent brewing grains on the cookie sheets 1/2 inch thick and place them in the oven.
  6. Stir at the 4-hour mark. Some of the grains will lightly stick to the cookie sheet, gently scrape clear the grains.
  7. Remove from the oven after 7 hours. Let cool.
  8. Time to grind! In small batches grind the spent brewing grains in your food processor. I have a 12 cup food processor and did ~6 cups of grain per batch. After grinding, 6 cups of grains turn into 1 1/2-2 cups of flour.
  9. After all the grains are ground. Label and store in an airtight container. Flour is good for up to 6 months.

The whole grain flour can be used for a recipe requiring whole wheat flour. You can substitute half of the required whole wheat flour for whole grain.

Just for kicks another option: Feed for chickens

We are lucky and have two neighbors with chickens! If I do not have time to make treats and still have enough flour from the previous batch, we will give our spent brewing grains to our neighbor. Make sure to give them a heads up, since the grains have a limited lifespan.

Enjoy the time in the kitchen!

Emily M

Simple Kitchen DIY: Peel and Stick Wallpaper

Our kitchen island is a place of congregation at our home. I’m sure my little person will soon be sitting on the island stool kicking her legs and what happens then? Yep, you guessed it, wall scuffs. With $25 and 30 minutes of work you can protect your kitchen island and add a little bit of spice. I used Peel and Stick Wallpaper to create an farmhouse shiplap look. You can also use the Peel & Stick Wallpaper for your backsplash, coffee bar, bathroom, or for it’s original purpose, to line your kitchen cabinets.

I had other plans for our backsplash, so elected only to use the Peel and Stick Wallpaper for the Island. I will share the full kitchen upgrade from builder to WoW in a future post.

The Starting Point
Kitchen Island: White builders paint.
Materials for this project:
  • Measuring tape: We love the Craftsman because it has measurement fractions
  • Level
  • Peel and Stick wallpaper
  • Sharp pocket knife
  • Plastic smoothing device (This Amazon find includes a smoother and sharp knife)

Selecting your Peel and Stick Wallpaper

I used the NuWallpaper Reclaimed Shiplap Peel and Stick from Amazon. The shiplap look works well in my home but you could go really bold. This is a place to that will bring some color into your kitchen. Make sure you take your entire kitchen vision into mind when picking your Peel and Stick Wallpaper. It should match your cabinets, countertops, backsplash and any other kitchen décor pieces.

When selecting your Peel and Stick Wallpaper things to consider are:

  • How will the pattern match up? With a kitchen island being a small space, consider how often the pattern repeats on the role to determine how much wasted paper you will have.
  • What way should the pattern appear on the surface? I placed my peel and stick shiplap horizontally. I’ve seen others place vertically.
  • Price. I purchased mine on sale for $25 but a roll can get up to $100.

Some other great looks:

Completing this simple kitchen island DIY
  1. Measure the space you will cover with the Peel and Stick Wallpaper. When selecting the wallpaper look at the length and width to determine how many segments of wallpaper you will need to match and adhere to the wall.
  2. Purchase your Peel and Stick wallpaper
  3. With this project you can dig right in. If you have a pattern, determine if you can start with the top of the role or if you need to cut off a few inches to allow for your pattern to restart.
  4. Place the open end on your starting point on the wall. Eyeball for level and pull back the backing (about 3-4 inches). Lightly stick against the wall. Get our your level and make any updates. You will be able to easily remove the paper from the wall. Once level, continue.
  5. Continue to peel the backing while lightly scraping down with your smoothing device.
  6. When you come to the bottom of your segment, smooth the entire section down once again. Once all bubbles are gone and you are happy with your placement, with your pocket knife, but the bottom of the roll.
  7. Repeat to adhere to the rest of the wall. Always be mindful of your pattern, level the top of each starting point and smooth before cutting.
  8. If you have an outlet, paper over the outlet initially. Then go back with your pocket knife and carefully cut out around your outlet.

This simple 30 minute project added protection and flair to the kitchen. I would love to see your Peel and Stick projects!



Check out our other Simple DIY projects

Wall Enhancements: Simple Board and Batten

In may homes you may walk into a sprawling entranceway with high ceilings. Decorating these large entryways can be overwhelming and expensive! Do you purchase art and create some sort of 20 foot tall artistic moment, do you paint the area to give it a little depth or do you ignore the area because you are not sure where to start?

For less than $100 and a weekend of work, I will guide you through a simple wall enhancement: Board and Batten. I recommend MDF boards for indoor Board and Batten based on lessons from this project. When I completed this project, I used pine and ended up spending a lot of time picking out boards and painting wood imperfections. MDF’s are perfect because they do not have wood knots and you will not have to scour the hardwood selection to find the straightest boards with minimal defections. Now some people may disagree, because they like the real wood feel. When painting white, MDF’s are gold, if you are staining the wood, go with Pine.

The starting point:

What will you need for the Board and Batten project?

  • Miter saw (we love our Dewalt)
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • 1X4 MDF boards
  • 1X2 MDF boards
  • 1X3 MDF boards
  • Baseboard shoe (only needed if flooring is wood/tile/laminate)
  • Chalking gun
  • Liquid Nails
  • Nail gun (you can always hammer in the nails if you do not have nail gun)
  • Finishing nails
  • Putty
  • light grade sandpaper
  • Chalk
  • Paint

Simple Design

Project Steps for Board and Batten

Step 1: Measure

Take your time on this step. If done correctly, you will hopefully only need to go to the hardware store once. Unfortunately, due to me rushing measuring at times, most of my projects have results in at least two trips to the hardware store. Mainly because I measured incorrectly, ended up under purchasing or didn’t make a list of items needed and forgot something.

What do you need to measure?
  1. First, determine the amount of 1×4 MDF boards needed. Measure the top and bottom pieces of your board and batten. If you have traditional baseboards, the bottom piece of board will actually replace your current baseboard. In my situation, the top vertical board and bottom vertical boards needed to be 16 feet each. I purchased (2) 1x4x10 and (2) 1x4x8. I got a little extra, just in case a little mishap occurred.
  2. Second, determine the amount of 1×2 MDF boards needed. The 1×2 will sit perpendicular on your top 1×4 only. This adds a nice finishing touch to your board and batten. If you want a slightly larger ledge on the top, you can increase this board to a 1×3. I wouldn’t go any larger. I purchased (1) 1x2x10 and (1) 1x2x8.
  3. Third, determine the amount of 1×3 MDF boards needed. This can get a bit complex. You will want to equally space out the vertical boards. In my design the boards are 14 inches apart, however, nobody is going to that close of attention, so if you need to move an inch in one way of the other to avoid an outlet, DO IT! I take the outlets into consideration when deciding the space between the boards, to avoid custom cutting around the outlets. This wall is about 25 feet tall and the vertical boards are 4.5 feet each. Each of the 7 vertical boards got their own 6 foot piece of 1x4x6 MDF board.
  4. Fourth, determine the amount of shoe needed. When you take off the existing baseboard, you might be able to preserve the shoe. I was not able to do this. The amount of shoe needed will equal the bottom horizontal board. In my case 16 feet.

Step 2: Create your shopping list and purchase materials

After you measure, it’s time to get to work. All hardware stores such as Menards, Lowes or Home Depot will have all the materials needed for this Board and Batten project.

Step 3: Get to work!

  • Remove the existing baseboard
  • Cut and install the top vertical board. Use a level to insure your board is level. If your board starts at 5 feet up on your wall, measure 5 feet up in multiple places on your wall, align the board and level the board. After you are happy with the placement, with your pencil make a line on the top and or bottom of the board across the wall. Remove the board, in an “S” pattern apply your liquid nails. Apply the board to the wall, make sure you are lined up with your pencil line and nail with the nail gun. Nail every 12-16 inches.
  • Cut and install the bottom vertical board. Use a level to insure your board is level across the bottom of your floor. Your flight might not be fully level, so making sure your board is level is very important. The shoe you place in front of the board will hide any gaps. Place a line on the wall to indicate proper placement. Remove the board, in an “S” pattern apply liquid nails. Apply the board to the wall, make sure you are lined up with the pencil markings, and nail with the nail gun.
  • Install all the vertical boards. All boards will be similar in length, but you will have a few variances. I recommend doing one at a time. Measure, cut, install. The same process will occur with each board. You will use the level, mark alignment, apply liquid nails and then nail with the nail gun.
  • Affix your top 1×2 to the top horizontal board in a perpendicular fashion.
  • Install the shoe (if on a hard surface)

Step 4: In Conclusion, add the finishing touches

  • In addition to installing the wood, you will need to chalk the wall. Apply chalk to each place a board meets the wall. Smooth using your finger.
  • Putty the nails and let dry.
  • Sand down the putty nail whole and wipe with a rag to remove any dust.
  • Paint your board and batten. I used a white semi gloss.

It’s time to sit back and relax!

Looking for other simple DIY projects?

Simple Kitchen DIY: Peel and Stick Wallpaper