By Alyce Collins
THIS MUM of six shows off her impressive DIY skills as she transformed a HULA HOOP into a chandelier and made wallpaper from a BED SHEET.
Stay at home mum, Kelli Bateman (34) from Idaho, USA, is a mother of six, with her children ranging from two years old to 14 years old, and she has become a social media sensation as she shares crafty tips for her useful DIY hacks.
Kelli first noticed her creative side eight years ago when she and her husband, Todd, were living in their first house and she wanted to make it feel more like their own. Having a tight budget limited Kelli, until she realised that she could achieve high-end looks with little cost and effort.
Kelli has developed her skills exceedingly through the years and now hardly a day goes by that she doesn’t create a new decorative accessory or transform an old piece of material. She has turned a hula hoop into a floral chandelier, made her own headboard and created a feature wall from an old gingham bedsheet.
On her Instagram, @myhouseof8, Kelli regularly shares candid tips for recreating her hacks as well as a glimpse into her family’s immaculate home, despite having six young children. To keep the house pristine, Kelli encourages ‘pick up time’ every day when each child is assigned a room to clean as well as weekly and daily chores.
“I feel like it’s important for me to be organised and tidy with six kids because it helps me feel sane,” said Kelli.
“I first noticed I had a flair for being creative eight years ago. We had bought our first home and I felt like I could finally make it my own. We were on a tight budget then, so I had to be creative because we barely had a spare £40 to spend on home décor.
“I would shop on Craigslist and charity shops to find items that worked within a tighter budget. I call it treasure hunting. It would make me so excited to find a good deal.
“I learned that spray paint goes a long way and I became obsessed with spray painting anything and everything. I started transforming old dressers, picture frames, bookshelves, you name it.
“My house started to feel like a home that represented me. I think it’s important to create a space that you can be proud of. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but you want to feel good and happy when you walk in the door of your home.
“My mind is always buzzing with new ideas of what I can do to my home, so I do change things often. Whether it’s just by bringing in a new pillow, a throw blanket or painting an entire wall. My husband never knows what he’ll come home to.
“I typically keep my projects realistic with my skill set, so most of the things I share on my Instagram account are quick and easy DIY’s because that’s what I like.
“Most of the projects I do are quite simple, but I would say the most challenging would have been hanging the faux brick wall in my son’s bedroom.
“The faux brick wall was one of my favourite projects as well as the DIY wallpaper out of a bed sheet I did in my daughter’s bedroom. That one was so fun, easy and affordable. It instantly changed the whole vibe of her room.
“The faux brick wall was a two-day project. The faux brick is sold in large panels which made it easy to screw into the wall. I had to try and disguise the seams between each panel so that took a little more work, but it wasn’t bad.
“I had wanted a new wallpaper for my daughter’s room but didn’t want to spend the prices I was seeing for wallpaper which were about £100. Online, I had seen others use fabric to create the wallpaper look so I priced out how much it would cost to get all the pieces of fabric and that was pricey too.
“Then the thought of using a king size bed sheet popped into my head, and it only cost £20. It saved me so much money.
“I decided to pin it to the wall instead of using the liquid starch and am happy with how it turned out. It will be an easy thing to take down when she’s ready for a change in her bedroom. It is also a great way for renters to be able to add some interest to their homes, because it isn’t permanent and is easily removed.”
In addition to her clever feature walls and chandelier, Kelli has made her own photo frames from panels of wood, made a headboard out of a large piece of wood and some foam, as well as pillows out of tea towels.
Kelli encourages her children to help with the maintenance of the house by getting them involved with cleaning and chores every day.
“With all the bodies and constant movement in our household, I need to feel like the house is in order or it starts to drive me crazy,” said Kelli.
“Now let’s be real, it doesn’t always stay perfectly organised, but I’ve learned I have to let some things slide. Our house can get messy daily, but we will have multiple times a day when it’s ‘pick up’ time and the kids are assigned rooms or specific items to clean up.
“My kids are also assigned a chore at least once a week on top of their daily chores of cleaning their own bedrooms and helping sort and put away laundry. My husband is quite a tidy person as well, which is nice.
“The kids are all different as far as tidiness goes. I have a few that are very tidy and some that need a bit more encouragement.
“It can be difficult to juggle my hobbies with six children. It’s a balancing act that I’m still trying to figure out, and honestly, I’m not sure it can ever be perfected. With six kids comes six different personalities, and schedules.
“Being a mother and wife is a wonderful calling and I feel so blessed to be able to have those titles. For me to be the best at those roles I also need to make sure I’m still taking care of myself and staying involved in things that bring me joy and spark excitement.
“Instagram has been a wonderful outlet for me to share my ideas with others as well as connect with people all around the world to share similar interests.
“I think as stay at home mums, we can sometimes feel like we’re losing ourselves. From the day to day task of dishes, laundry, dirty nappies, making meals and the constant tidying up, it can feel a little daunting at times.
“It’s been very valuable for me to rediscover who I am and what fuels my interests and passions on top of being a mother.
“I feel very fortunate that my husband has been able to provide well for us so that I have the opportunity to stay home with the kids.
“Instagram has been a platform that has allowed me to continue to be home with my kids, as well as explore another side of myself. And by doing so I feel more whole, more balanced, and overall happier because of it.
“For future projects, I have some ideas I’m playing around with in my head, just not sure when I will tackle that project yet. Typically, the projects I do are very cost effective, so they work well within our budget.”
You can follow more of Kelli’s creative ideas by visiting @myhouseof8.