Tutorial for making a 'Big Summer Blowout Onesies... LOL! {Sawdust and Embryos}

A Tour of our Homestead!

Holy cow you guys! I’m just now coming down off the high of having a video go viral. Sooooo CRAZY! Thanks to everyone that shared it!

Today’s post is a little different than my typical… I don’t normally do the ‘Home Tour’ posts, but my HOME tab above needs updating anyway, so why not share it in a post too?!


If you’re stopping over from Charles and Hudson… welcome to Sawdust and Embryos! If our blog title confuses you, feel free to click our About tab for the full story. We’re obnoxiously open about our lives. Heh!

Welcome to our 115-year-old home on 5 grassy acres in the middle-of-nowhere Iowa! I love the character of old homes, while my husband gets a real kick out of the fact that THERE ARE NO RIGHT ANGLES. Click here to read the story about us finding our dream home.

The Homestead {Sawdust and Embryos}

It seems only natural to start our home tour at our doorstep. We put in this giant rounded patio and pergola last summer… and absolutely LOVE it. We’ve added a firepit and picnic table and spend many a’summers night out here soaking up the good life. (disregard that pile of rubble. It’s long gone)

DIY Patio Tutorial {Sawdust and Embryos}

As with many old farmhouses, the actual front door rarely gets used. Everyone enters right into the kitchen through this door. The Wooden Doormat, Geometric planters, and Kilim House Number Art were all DIY projects!

Bright and inviting front porch area! {Sawdust and Embryos}

Our kitchen was the first thing I fell in love with when we found this house. It just felt GRAND. We painted the walls dark teal with a glossy swirl accent wall, and painted the backsplash to look like tile. It transformed the whole room and made it feel unique and ME!

Sawdust and Embryos' Kitchen


This served us well for several years… BUT (I know you felt that but coming!), I started to be bored with it and needed change. It all started one day when I impulsively decided to take a reciprocating saw to the kitchen island to start modifying it to be a breakfast bar while Nick was at work. That was the beginning of a series of ambitions projects that I tackled all by my lonesome! After finishing the breakfast bar, I decided to tackle the ‘mudroom corner’ by adding a built-in bench, a rolling bench underneath, and cubbies for hats/mittens/etc. OH! And you guessed it, we painted over the dark teal. We’re extending the cabinets up to the ceiling and across the mudroom area… and will be painting them a fun color. Not to mention a new backsplash. Stay tuned for that!

Progress in the kitchen! {Sawdust and Embryos}

Next is our dining room! I love that our house has the original 115-year-old hardwood floors… but that’s about the only thing that stayed the same in this room. Would you believe it had turquoise sponge-painting with beige painted trim when we moved in? I like to think it’s at least improved since then.

Sawdust and Embryos' Dining Room

The walls got painted a pale gray (SW Site White) and we popped up some crown moulding. The following are tutorials for the lined curtains, vintage-esque starburst clock, and modifying bamboo shades to fit your windows.

The dining set was passed down to me from my Grandmother. It was in rough shape, so I did my wood stain art technique on the top, and the chairs got painted and reupholstered.

Stained Dining Table {Sawdust and Embryos}

One of my favorite pieces in our whole house is this credenza. You’ll just have to read the post.


Just off the dining room is our downstairs bathroom / laundry room. This room has been a work in progress for over a year, and is JUST NOW feeling semi-finished.

We redid the flooring, built the vanity from scratch, installed the backsplash and added the dangly edison lights.


On the other side of the room, Nick did all the wiring and plumbing to move the washer and dryer. He also built all those shaker cabinets. Doesn’t this just make you want to blast some Meghan Trainor and fold some laundry?


I realized that the toilet isn’t in any of these shots, but it’s there… I can assure you. And if I’m going to leave anything out, the toilet seems like the perfect choice. You can read through this whole room transformation post by post here. We still plan to install under-cabinet lighting, but for now we’re checking this room off our list. Phew!

Moving along!


Our  living room used to be closed off from the dining room by A WALL. Nick and his dad tore it out one weekend, and Nick framed in the arches. We had to have the giant column to house the duct work.

Removing a load-bearing wall! {Sawdust and Embryos}

The following are tutorials for the board and batten, stencil job above the board and batten, and crown moulding. I also stripped and stained the front door!


This secretary desk is where I’m sitting right at this very moment, and is another one of my favorite of all our furniture transformations! I whitewashed/glazed the exterior and added a bunch of hardware so it looks like an apothecary cabinet, and I painted the inside white and did my own layered stencil treatment.

Secretary Desk Transformation {Sawdust and Embryos

There’s a small room off the living room that’s technically a bedroom because it has a closet. But it doesn’t practically work for us as a bedroom… so we call it the studio to sound fancy. It’s slowly turning into my ‘creative space’ (because craft room is super kitchy), but it has a looooong way to go.


The one little corner of this room that actually feels DONE is this mid-century hutch that houses all the girls’ creative/crafty things. I added removable wallpaper to the backboard of the hutch for a little added interest while maintaining the integrity of the genuine mid-century-ness. The paint dipped paintbrush clock was a super fun DIY. You should totally make your own!

Kids Craft Room {Sawdust and Embryos}

Let’s head upstairs now, shall we?


The first room you come to upstairs is the bathroom. There’s still a lot we want to do in this bathroom, but we have enough other things on our radar right now that this room is on the back burner. It’s come a long way though! We extended the vanity and added the sink, built a butcherblock counter, and installed our own DIY Mason Jar Mosaic Backsplash. Best idea EVER.


I’m not even going to show you the rest of the room. Because NO.

Next room? Our ‘master’ bedroom! I put ‘master’ in parentheses because in houses this old, there is no such thing as a master room. All the rooms are the same size: TINY. But we make the best of these situations. By painting them dark colors apparently. LOL!

The Master {Sawdust and Embryos}

These windows face the south and east, so we get lots of awesome light in here. Plus we just liked the moody dark color. The night stands came from a desk that we chopped in half to make two night stands. The cheater tufted headboard is one of those projects that put our little blog on the map. We’ve had TONS of readers email pics of their versions that were inspired by this project!

Easy Upholstered Headboard {Sawdust and Embryos}

And those vintage swag hanging lights used to have globes that broke, so I added wire and beads to make them totally custom and AWESOME. My fave element in this room!

Sawdust and Embryos Master Bedroom

The next room down the hall is the nursery. We completely DIYed everything in this room when I was pregnant with the twins. We still love it and have left most of it the same even after our new baby girl is not living here.

The Nursery {Sawdust and Embryos}

I painted the walls, made the curtains, the tissue paper pom pom mobile, painted the crib, made the crib skirt, and bumper pad… and Nick built the floating shelves and book ledge. Holy run-on-sentence! Gasping for air now.

Nursery {Sawdust and Embryos}

My favorite element of this room is the changing table. This is an old cabinet that we pulled out of my Grandfather’s barn. It was in ROUGH SHAPE. We fixed it up and gave it a new lease on life. You’ve got to see the whole story (including before pics) here! I love that the damask I painted is a perfect match to the pattern on the curtains.

Paint a design on furniture using an overhead projector {Sawdust and Embryos}

For a full reveal and cost breakdown for the nursery, click here! I’m pretty proud that we completely furnished and decorated that nursery for under $400.

And FINALLYYYY… last but certainly not least. The twins’ room:

Toddler room transformation {Sawdust and Embryos}

UGH where do I even start with this room. I just love it SO MUCH.

Toddler room {Sawdust and Embryos}

I can’t decide between the DIY Fainting Couch Toddler Beds or the Stenciled Herringbone Patchwork Wall for first place as my favorite thing in this room. Or the Papasan Chair turned Canopy Reading Nook? I can’t. I just can’t choose. Don’t make me choose.

Soooo many fun projects in this room. I’m just going to list them below in the form of images since I already have these made up. Click each image below to be taken to that particular tutorial!

Stenciled Herringbone Accent Wall {Sawdust and Embryos} DIY Roman Shades {Sawdust and Embryos}
DIY Tufted Fainting Couch Toddler Bed TUTORIAL (Sawdust and Embryos) DIY Vintage-esque Starburst Mirror Tutorial (Sawdust & Embryos)
End Table Tulle Chandeliers {Sawdust and Embryos} Heirloom Dollhouse Transformation {Sawdust and Embryos}
Papasan Chair turned into Dreamy Reading-Nook Canopy for kids room! (Sawdust & Embryos) DIY Pinwheels using scrapbooking paper and vintage buttons {Sawdust and Embryos}

This concludes our home tour! Do you feel like we’re fully BFF’s now? You’ll be relieved to know that my house usually looks like this. Thanks for hanging in there through this excessively long post! With all those projects and links I needed to go hunt down, I’m actually impressed with myself that it’s only taken me 4 hours to write this! Phew!

If you decide to try (or have already tried!) any of our projects, please send us pics! We love seeing what you guys come up with… and knowing that we inspired someone is THE BEST FEELING EVA.


Be sure to snoop around all the homes on the tour below! And huge thanks to Gina @ Shabby Creek Cottage for organizing this!


Monday, May 25th

The Shabby Creek Cottage

The Nester

The Inspired Room

City Farmhouse

In My Own Style


Tuesday, May 26th

Rooms for Rent

East Egg Style


Decor Adventures

House no 124

Finding Home


Wednesday, May 27th

Craftberry Bush

Happy Happy Nester

Ella Claire

Funky Junk Interiors

Organizing Made Fun


Thursday, May 28th

My Fabuless Life

Addisons Wonderland

Liz Marie Blog

Charles & Hudson

Sawdust & Embryos (meeeee!)


Friday, May 29th

Jones Design Co.

The Shabby Nest

Haneen’s Haven

Jeanne Oliver

All Things Thrifty

Colorful Wood Stain Artwork on Furniture


Friends! Good Tuesday to you! Today I’m grateful for short work weeks and those who gave their lives for our freedom. Such an immense sacrifice given by so many! As I was scrolling through Facebook over the weekend, I came upon a photo someone posted of a mom and baby having a picnic on their husband/daddy’s grave. It really struck me and made my heart physically ache for those that lost loved ones for the sake of our country. We are so privileged. I wish I could find that photo to post here … [Read More...]

Daddy’s Birthday Celebration


On Tuesday, we celebrated Nick’s 33rd Birthday. What an old man! He really robbed the cradle with me… until I turn 33 myself in July. But let’s not dwell on that fact. Weren’t we such babes back in the day? The girls are a little confused about Birthdays. Every single day they ask if it’s their Birthday. So I wasn’t sure how it was going to go with us celebrating Daddy. I made a special point to really include them and let them help make decisions about how to make their Daddy feel … [Read More...]

Fabric Painted Onesies {Big Summer BLOWOUT!}

Tutorial for making a 'Big Summer Blowout Onesies... LOL! {Sawdust and Embryos}

I know the movie Frozen is SO LAST YEAR. It came and went like Brittany Spears. But one thing that lives on is this hilarious scene that Nick and I quote ALL.THE.TIME. Don’t sit there and try to tell me that Oaken isn’t your favorite character. ANYWAY. My bestie Dana was over for dinner a few weeks ago, and I was holding Cypress who was ‘working on a big one’ (which, these days, is usually a BLOWOUT)… and Dana pipes up ‘here comes a Big Summer Blowout’. After recovering from my … [Read More...]

Repurposing Bamboo Blinds into Art!


Remember how we recently chopped up our bamboo blinds to custom fit them to our windows and saved hundreds of dollars? Best idea EVER. After cutting them to size, Nick decided to save the scraps… because we might be able to repurpose them! Haven’t I trained him well? It was actually his idea to make these into hanging wall art. We brainstormed design ideas, and decided on painting stripes… vertical, horizontal, and diagonal. Each strip of bamboo shade got rolled up in a tight … [Read More...]

Tulip Time


This past weekend, my sister, mom, sister-in-law, and all our children made a little girls-day trip to Pella, IA for Tulip Time. I grew up in Iowa, so it’s pretty sad that I’ve never been to this huge Dutch festival! My sis-in-law Carrie grew up in this predominantly Dutch town, and showed us around… our own personal tour guide! I ate my FIRST EVER Dutch Letter while the kids played in the fountain. Cypress had a little snack with me. Being responsible for all three girls in a sea … [Read More...]

Chocolate Mousse BROWNIES!


Hey! Its Meghan from Cupcakes with Sprinkles and this month do I have the recipe for you! Do you have the same brownie recipe that's your go to? I have one but I thought I would branch out and try something new, see if there's something better, so when I saw this recipe with the frosting I had to try it. Its oh so chocolatey and has a light fluffy whipped cream frosting. Its a little on the rich side so it goes perfectly with some vanilla ice cream. Lets make us some brownies! … [Read More...]

Staining Wood w/ Raspberry Juice (Unique Art!)


Last week, I took a bag of frozen raspberries out of the freezer to thaw. There must have been a hole in the bag, because the next morning there was bright red juice all around the bag. It had even dripped off the edge of the counter and puddled on the floor. At first glance, it looked like a homicide crime scene. I would have taken a picture of it, but WHY WOULD I? It’s not like I was planning to blog about it. Luckily, I’m a great writer and adequately described the mess so you have a … [Read More...]

The kitchen is no longer teal


One of the first things we did when we moved into our house was PAINT THE KITCHEN. I got all brave and went with this dark teal color to contrast my white cabinets and chunky white trim, and I absolutely loved it. And apparently you did too, because that post about me painting the kitchen has been pinned over 700,000 times on Pinterest. In my pajamas. The big draw to this room was that one wall I did the glossy swirls on. This was back when Pinterest was first a ‘thing’… (remember when you … [Read More...]

Wooden Wall Art Inspiration


One of my favorite posts of all time is this ‘Kilim’ / Native American wooden artwork we did last year. I’ll admit it was tedious, but so so worth it. And I went to great lengths to make the tutorial easy for y’all to understand. You’re welcome! I don’t usually do round-up posts, but I’ve been stumbling upon so many awesome pieces of wooden artwork by some of my bloggy friends, I can’t help but gather them up in one place for some serious eye candy! If you’re like Nick and I, you … [Read More...]