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Dining Room/ Home Office {How to make a hanging file drawer with a Dremel}

I love hanging files, so when turning the Dining room into a Home Office space, hanging file drawers were a must.  I played around with my own design and measured existing file drawers in our house to come up with a plan.  I pinned some things I could purchase to attach to the drawer, but I wanted two drawers and I was looking at about $30, which was more than I wanted to spend.  And then Sandra over at rescued me and published a post about how she made some file drawers and it was cheap.  That was the way I wanted to go, but the problem was that Sandra used a table saw to make hers.  And my table saw was still in a really big and heavy box in our garage at the time.

Dremel sent me some of their tools awhile back to try out and I decided to use the Multi-Max to make my hanging file drawer instead of the table saw.

Dremel multi-max

My drawers are going in horizontally so the files go from side-to-side rather than front to back.  The drawer dimensions are 14″ deep by 19″ wide (exterior dimensions).  If my cabinets were deeper, I would have made the file drawer deeper because getting them in and out works, but I can’t take them straight up and out because it would hit the drawer above it.  You can see that it sits right under the drawer above when fully extended.

DIY hanging file drawer installed

So here’s how I went about it.  Take your hanging file and mark where you should cut. Read More…

Today’s Project


It’s a beautiful day for painting! We just had a shed built in the last few weeks and decided to paint it ourselves to save some money. I love the look of our Woodshed, as the Hubs has taken to calling it, even though we won’t store wood in it. It’s the name of the model we had built.

We saw the Weaver Barns at the Parade of Homes in June and liked their model. If you live in a two hour radius of Holmes county in Ohio I highly recommend them. Hubs compared some other sheds and we got better quality, higher-end materials for a similar price than the others were charging. And I think it looks so cute and not like a place to store a lawn mower–more like a little cottage!

We also recommend site prep by Nelson Yoder. I hate to put his cell on here in case he would get spammed, but either ask for his number at the dealer or contact me and I’ll give it to you. He did a fantastic job and the base your shed sits on is unseen but so important!  We did have him only extend the rock sides out 6″ past the shed sides so we didn’t have all that gravel for planting stuff there. Ask about that if you speak with him.

If you want to mention me as your catalyst for going to them, that would make me happy! But they have never heard of me and I did not receive compensation from them for this post. Just passing along a good experience and product :)

Board & Batten {post 6} Angle cut at the baseboard

Hi all!  I had a recent question in the comments from Kelly asking for close up photos of how the batten meets the baseboard when I posted my Laundry Room board and batten project.  Since it was awhile ago, I had to go back and review the five posts on that project.  But I was confident that I would find the info, in order to link to the post in my reply to her comment…but I actually discovered that I never provided a picture of that particular part.  Huh!  Thanks for asking for that, Kelly, because that would be helpful!

So now I am correcting that oversight :)

If you read Post 1, you will see that I decided to go with 1/2″ thick batten because I didn’t like that the 3/4″ boards created more of an obvious cut-back where it meets the existing baseboard molding.

In Post 3, I show how I decided to slice off some of the batten so it met the baseboard–but I didn’t go the more popular route that other bloggers have gone, with a 45 degree cut.  I showed that 45 degree cut on the 3/4″ batten in post 1, but the 1/2″ board is not cut back at all in that post.  I only took off enough of the board, so that the cut sat on top of the baseboard already on the wall.

Here’s how it looks in close-ups on the wall and complete:

Batten angle close up

And also how it looks at standing height:

Batten meets baseboard

I remember being a little worried that the 1/2″ option would be thick enough, since many bloggers were using the 3/4″ option.  I have no regrets going with the 1/2″, and I prefer that the batten doesn’t stick out any farther than it does in this room.  I also like that everything is slightly smaller than the door moulding and the built-in cabinet face frame boards.

So there you go–thanks for asking for this info Kelly!

You may not look too closely at anything other than the batten in these pictures.  I need to freshen up the ding marks on the doorway with new paint.  And maybe eliminate a dust bunny…or two…or seven.  Truly, after showing some other messy areas in our house over the years, you’d think I’d be over any embarrassment, but it turns out that I’m not, lol!

Posts in this series:

Board & Batten {Post 1}

Board & Batten {Post 2}

Board & Batten {Post 3}

Board & Batten {Post 4}

Board & Batten {Post 5} The Reveal

Board & Batten {Post 6} Angle Cut at the Baseboard

Quick Tip {Painter’s tape as a third hand}

I’m just not sure why evolution hasn’t stepped in and fixed the problem of only having two hands.  Every mother certainly needs more than two.  I mean come on–why does an octopus get eight??!!  I have never seen an octopus simultaneously unloading an overflowing grocery cart and keeping a three-year-old out of the candy bars.  And what DIYer doesn’t need an extra hand or two?  Or eight?

Painter’s tape to the rescue!

Cove molding on the top of the desk hutch

Keep the moulding right where you want it while using a nail gun.

painter's tape as a third hand

This would have been impossible to try to drill into the cabinet without extra help.

Just two quick examples of how I have used it beyond its obvious purpose.  I’ve also seen some examples on the web how others have used the tape for clamping.  Here is a video from where Carrie uses it to construct some 4×4 posts out of mdf.  This bit of genius may be coming in handy for a future project I have in mind for one of my boys.  And Sandra over at recently used it to finish her library.

What about you??  Have you discovered the wonders of painter’s tape?  What have you used it for (because I can always use a hint or two as well!!)

Living Room Built-In {post 4: Coping Base Moulding}

I have attempted to cope moulding in past projects with limited success, so I was a little leery of how well it would go this time.  It was one of the things I was determined to learn because I would like to put in crown moulding on the entire first floor eventually, and from what I read, it sounds like coping is a necessary skill to make it look good year-round due to expanding and contracting of the wood during seasonal weather changes, and from walls that may look perfectly straight, but are not (so you don’t have a perfect right angle to split in half and you have to figure out what angle you DO have–not fun I imagine).  I am here to tell you that you can master this skill in very little time with the right tools!

In case you happen upon this post without seeing the project I am talking about, here is the built-in I will be referencing in this post :)

Built In cabinet left side

First I want to show you how I put the Living Room Built-In right next to the wall to make it look built in without removing any base moulding.  In previous projects I have removed all the base, cut the base so I could slide the cabinet next to the wall, and reattached the moulding around the cabinet.  If you want to go that route, you can look at Pip’s built-ins or the laundry room built in and see what I did on those.  It will involve this:

Removing base moulding

There is a LOT of moulding to remove on the wall where this built-in resides.  I dreaded the thought of having to pull it all up, so…

I originally planned on using a Dremel MultiMax like they do in the video “Cutting trim from a wall” so that I didn’t have to remove all the moulding.  But in the end I decided to do something a little different so that I could move the cabinet if needed in the future.

I traced around a scrap piece of the base on the back corners of the cabinet and cut it out with a scroll saw.  I should have erred toward cutting it out a little shorter than my base because the cabinet sits on carpet and causes the base around the cabinet to stand proud from the base already on the wall due to the carpet height.

Did you follow that??!!  It wasn’t a big deal–I had a small hole that I filled with caulk–you’ll see it a little farther down in the tutorial.

Cut out the back of the cabinet to slide over the base moulding

Built-in cabinet slid into place

So now it slides right up to the wall and can be moved along any point of the wall and still look built-in once the moulding is applied to the front and sides.  However, now the only way to apply the moulding to the sides is to cope the wall end to fit over the existing wall moulding.  Here’s an example of a coped joint from Family Handyman if you want to check out their instructions.  Maybe you can get good results with a coping saw–I couldn’t.  Then I found this YouTube video and now coping is possible for me! Read More…

Quick Tip {Painting walls and furniture}

When we built our house we decided that we would do all the interior painting to save some dollars…but then decided we would paint all the walls and ceilings and hire out the trim. That was a very wise decision, because not only did we save a bunch of time (and our marriage), but we got to know our painter and he taught me two very valuable things I still use to this day.

1. Blue painters tape is A.W.E.S.O.M.E. I don’t know how I ever lived without it.  That may be a slight exaggeration–I can live without it, but it is still pretty fantastic.  I have got a pretty steady hand when I am trimming a room, but nothing can match the crisp line you get with painter’s tape around all moulding.  One word of warning, however: I tried using it on my ceiling once, and it pulled up the paint on the ceiling (It was not fresh paint).  I have no idea why, but it did.  I now trim at the ceiling with a steady hand and no tape.

blue painters tape

2.  Stu, our painter, taught me that if you are painting with any sheen other than flat, you must keep a wet edge until you come to a corner or end.  When you start a wall, you need to keep going on that wall for its whole surface corner to corner, top to bottom because if you don’t, the sheen will be uneven.  In other words, don’t put your roller extension on and paint the entire top part of the room, take off the extension, and roll the rest of the room–stick to one wall at a time.  Here’ s a picture example from my house where for some reason we painted a portion of the wall and left part for another time.  I think it was because of having to paint by the ceiling on the stairs.

Example of importance of keeping a wet edge when painting a wall

Not a great picture since it was really low light, but you can see to the right of the door, how it shows the edge we let dry before finishing painting that wall. Same paint, same sheen (eggshell).

I also make sure that I do all the cutting-in, trim painting first and then roll, and roll as close to the ceiling and other edges as I can.  Don’t worry about a wet edge from the cutting in.  I haven’t noticed sheen differences from any of that in my other rooms, and little things like that generally are blaring, thorns-in-my-side if they show up :)  All of this applies to any painting you do–a cabinet side will show sheen differences too.This will mean that any touch-ups you do in a room with paint besides flat, will show up in sheen differences also, unfortunately.  So keep anything like that as small as you can–don’t use a paintbrush when a Q-tip will work.

I hope these tips help you achieve a professional looking paint job in your home!

Scrap wood heart collage

I’m getting closer and closer to having ONE room in this house that is completely and truly done!!!! I can’t wait for that day :) Pip is really liking her desk hutch, but the project I am writing about today is one of her favorites for her room and it turned out a lot easier than I imagined. And it used up a lot of scrap plywood I had been accumulating–high fives all around! Here is the scrap wood DIY heart collage I put up on one of her walls:

Scrap wood heart collage

Scrap wood heart collage

I started this back in the summer and then procrastination hit…sometimes it is the silliest things that throw me off the finish line for a project. Picking out the pictures is what did it this time! I had a niggling of a feeling of wanting to do the picture-picking-out last weekend so I jumped on it, and now the project’s got a check mark next to it on my to-do list.

This used up a surprising amount of scrap 3/4″ and 1/2″ plywood. I wanted both sizes because I thought it would add some visual interest to the picture collage.  Most of them are 4 x 6, but a few were smaller because it was what I had left. Read More…

DIY Ruler Growth Chart

My nephew turned one last July, and his mommy had discovered that generally, by the time you get to child #2, you have all the toys you will ever need without getting more! And she had recently discovered Pinterest and its plethora of great ideas, which resulted in a request for a growth chart similar to the ones floating around in cyberspace. I looked around and found a good tutorial and then like any good aunt, got right on it–4 months later.  Just so you don’t think I should be locked up for nephew neglect, I did have some gifts for him to open on his actual big day!  Not that he really noticed through all the icing and cake he had smeared all over :)

I am really happy with how it turned out:

I did change a few things from the original tutorial.  I made two short lines at 1.5″ and then a longer line at 2″ (so 1.5, 1.5, 2, 1.5, 1.5, 2″ and so on) and then each number line I marked at 2.75″.  I also printed the font (I used Book Antiqua) at 300.  I used the tutorial’s transfer technique and I also used a black Sharpie to make the lines and fill in the numbers.

The stain was a custom mix of two stains I had in the basement–which one was already a custom stain to begin with, so I can’t even tell you what the two are to reproduce mine.  I didn’t topcoat it with anything because my sister wanted it to look worn.  I prefer that look on it as well.  Keep in mind that if you are using it for an actual growth chart that you will write on, you will need to be able to mark over the top of your topcoat if you choose that route.  If you use a wax, that may present problems.

And in the interest of full disclosure, not only was it 4 months late, but I finished it at their house while visiting last weekend.  That actually does border on nephew neglect.  Wonder when I’ll get around to sending out Christmas cards this year…would it be inappropriate in May?

How to make a camera bag insert for a purse

I discovered, as I was completing my teaching degree in recent years, that one of the state standards for Ohio’s school children is teaching them the difference between a “want” and a “need”.  Many people in our great country have got problems with this concept IMHO and although I feel that I have pretty much mastered it, at times I may slip.  Like when I mentioned on my Facebook page that I might need a digital SLR camera.  This would, in fact, be a want not a need.  But I have been wanting one for quite a while now, I had some Christmas money + other money I’d been squirreling away, and I finally bit the bullet and bought one.  And now I need a camera bag and I want it to be pretty.  So I made one. Because OMG are the pretty ones expensive.

Pinterest had a plethora of choices for a DIY bag.  I pinned four onto my Photography board, but the one I chose was from  Some of the tutorials actually put the foam pieces under the purse liner, which was kinda cool, but I want the option of removing.  And I loved her purse/fabric combo.  Here’s mine:

DIY camera bag

The purse I chose was a Nine West.  Now I am not a fashion diva, although you may think that from this post, so I’m not quite sure the original price tag of $72 was accurate, but I paid $24.99 at Burlington Coat Factory. Read More…

DIY Geometric Painting

I’m not big on store bought art for my walls.  If I do purchase something, I like for it to come from a person and not a machine–or at least have some meaning if it comes from a machine.  We have bought art while on anniversary trips and family vacations that we treat as souvenirs.  Some of my favorite art on my walls came from my mom’s camera–I sent her out with some 35mm film (back in the days before digital!) and I printed it in black and white.  She came back with photos from a barn near the house I grew up in–you can see those in this DIY wall art post.  This time I’m the one who is creating the art and it’s going in the kids’ bathroom.

DIY Geometric Painting

I was inspired by this quilt I saw on Pinterest.

Being the pack rat that I am, I already had this canvas sitting waiting just for this moment.  It was just under 20×24, so I drew 4″ squares–6 across and 5 down. Read More…


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