Happy Spring???

Dear Mother Nature,

It is the end of March.  Where is spring?

Much anticipating your answer,                                                                                                                                                                                                             Pink Toes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             (although you wouldn’t know it, since my toes are still wearing slippers instead of sandals)

***

I’m sure that most of you are aware that garage floors in unheated spaces are cold.  Very cold.  So I’ve kind of been on a DIY hiatus because my 40ish year old body cannot handle the cold out where the tools are located.  So I was much anticipating our school’s Spring Break so I could get started on a rather large project that is next on my list.  But instead of breaking out the nail gun, I was in the grocery store getting ready for the 6 inches of snow that they are calling for in our area.  I’m hoping that it melts quickly, but since we were out of pretty much everything, I couldn’t chance it!

So I guess I will finalize the plans for the big project over the next few days, so that I’m ready when the warm weather finally hits.  I’ll post the drawings soon.

Hope you are warm wherever you find yourself reading this!  I’m thinking happy thoughts of blooming daffodils and chirping birds.

Kristen

P.S.–I had to begin to moderate the comments again today–sorry if that is a pain for anyone.  A bunch of spam was getting through the last few days.  It stinks when the few ruin it for the many…

 

DIY Puppy Dog Valentine Box

Are you still in a chocolate candy induced coma from Valentine’s Day?  I hope you had an enjoyable holiday!  Pip’s was a little brighter because her grade had a Valentine’s box contest for their party, and she tied for the “Most Creative” with this DIY Puppy Dog Valentine Box.  I got the idea from Pinterest, but I couldn’t find any instructions for the actual construction, so we winged it.  I know that it is too late to use this for this year, but you can always pin it for future use :)

Puppy dog valentine box collage_2

Full disclosure:  This is not hard, but it takes a LONG time to make!!  I think I spent over 3 hours on it, and Pip was helping too!  Here’s how we started out: Read More…

Warning about Swagbucks

A warning to anyone who is considering downloading anything from Swagbucks!!!  A few days ago I decided that I surf the web often, so I should sign up for Swagbucks and earn points for surfing around.  Maybe get an Amazon gift card here and there–I get excited about a $5 gift card and I love Amazon–it all sounded so good!  Creating an account and surfing the web using their search engine would have been fine (from what I read now).  BUT I decided to download their toolbar.  BIG ENORMOUS MISTAKE.  DO. NOT. DO. THIS.  I trusted too easily, since I have heard from relatives and other bloggers that Swagbucks is so great, and I just walked right into a huge problem.

Dowloading the toolbar also wiped out my computer.  At least from what I can tell.  I can’t get on it, it keeps running things to try to fix an error the computer recognizes, but can’t seem to recover from.  It tells me to uninstall whatever I last installed, but I have no idea how to go about that when I can’t even get into the computer.  Luckily we just renewed our McAfee subscription and I backed up my computer in December.  Unluckily I’m going to have to tell my husband about this because it is outside of my DIY realm.  I’m not the only one who has had this problem I have found now that it is too late.

I am thankful that it was not on the computer that we use for any financial accounts since others began to have suspicious things happen when they logged in to their bank’s site.  Always be wary when you are suddenly asked for information you’ve never had to provide in the past.

Hopefully the recovery will go ok, fingers crossed.  So glad I backed it all up not too long ago!  Two things to learn from me:

1) Go back up your computer, right now.

2) Don’t download anything from Swagbucks.

Now I’m off to break the news to the Hubs.  Anyone familiar with how Rachel apologizes to Ross when he discovers she and Joey are dating?  I’ll be using that technique…(I love Friends.  Perhaps too much.)

 

Remodelaholic organization link up party!

I was pretty excited to find out that I was one of the featured projects in a recent Remodelaholic post!!  They mentioned my under the sink organization I wrote about last year.

Before and After DIY under the sink storage

Man, I still love that before and after.  I know I’ve hit gold when I’m able to keep it looking like this for an entire year, because I’ve made no secret of the fact that neat does not come naturally to me, myself, and I.

Anywhoo, I thought I would mention that if you have an inexpensive organization tip, trick, project for any part of your house, go to Remodelaholic right now and link up!  There are not that many projects on there, and they are going to feature a few that catch their eye later this month.  Getting talked about by Remodelaholic is an awesome opportunity to drive traffic to your own site :)

Can I also admit that I linked up Pip’s closet organizer?  It is inexpensive in the grand scheme of closet organizers, but maybe not what Cassity was thinking when she said it is an inexpensive organization link-up party.  Do you see what I stress about??  Sheesh, it’s a wonder I don’t have high blood pressure.  I attribute dodging that bullet to a steady supply of wine.

Hope you are keeping warm–it is insanely cold here in Ohio right now!

 

How to make a pillow cover with an envelope closure

Yeesh!  Sometimes it is the smaller projects that take a lot of time to write a tutorial on the process and this is one of them!  Here’s one more project to cross off the list for Pip’s room…one step closer to the big day…an entirely complete room in my house!  Can you tell that I am just slightly excited about the prospect of that?!  Today my power tool of choice is my sewing machine, and I used it to make pillow covers with an envelope closure.  And it’s pretty cool how the stripes take on a new look by cutting out some triangles and sewing them together.

DIY pillow covers

I made a couple of pillows like this for our couch awhile back, and when I found the clearance sheets for Pip’s room that I talked about in the Scrap Wood Upholstered Footstool I recently posted about, I knew I eventually wanted to make some pillow covers for her room using the same process.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

First we need to make a pattern.  Read More…

How to build a simple, scrap wood upholstered footstool

An upholstered footstool is one of the gifts that I made for Pip for Christmas this year, in my quest to have one room in this house completely finished up.  This is part of how I made it–I say part, because I think I deleted the building part of the pictures…oops!  It is so simple though, you really don’t need anything but a picture to put it together.  And I used scrap plywood and miscellaneous supplies from my sewing room, so it was free.

Scrap plywood upholstered footstool

See what I mean?  This was a very easy project.  I had put together the bench part before I started on the living room built-in, but I finished the rest of this in the midst of my general-Christmas-madness-combined-with-starting-a-major-project brilliance.  I will once again beg all of you to remind me that I should not start major projects during the holiday season next year!

I left the edges of the plywood unfinished–I just filled some spots where there were little voids in the ply with wood putty and sanded really well.  Two coats of primer and 1 coat of my white.  I did do two thin coats of polycrylic since I had it out already for the living room built in.  I really like the smooth finish I end up with when I use it.

Here are the steps I used to upholster the top.

Upholstered footstool supplies needed Read More…

Living Room Built-In {post 6: Make A Pocket Hole Plug Jig & Pocket Hole Doors}

If you use a pocket hole jig to assemble cabinet doors, you are left with holes on the back of the door that can be seen.  This may not bother you, and I decided it didn’t on Pip’s built-ins for her room because I didn’t want to deal with it and it wasn’t going to be seen by many.  For the living room built-in, I decided I needed to do something about them.  Using the plugs that Kreg makes is an option, but Kreg intentionally leaves them long so you can trim them for an exact fit.  I decided that if I needed to trim them anyway, I’d do it a little cheaper.  Here’s my DIY pocket hole plug jig.

Here’s a picture of one of the doors I put into the built-in for the living room.  I actually didn’t mean to construct them this way…I meant to do it the same way I constructed the drawer fronts on Pip’s closet organizer.  But I remembered that after I had already routered the edges on all the 1x3s I used for the rails and stiles.  Oops.  Constructing them this way  makes it more difficult to assemble the door perfectly square and end up with cuts that meet exactly right on the corners.

Mitered Corner Pocket Hole cabinet doors

One door was perfect and it was the one I did second.  For that door I assembled 3 corners, and then used the clamps in the picture to square up the door before screwing in the pocket  holes for the last corner.  To make sure the door is square, you measure the diagonal corners–each measurement should be the same.  If not, adjust the clamps until they are.  The one that I did first, and didn’t square it up with the clamps before attaching the last corner, did not turn out exactly square…I had to shave off the top edge.  Next time I construct a door or drawer front that is going to be inset, I’ll plan on making it a little oversized so I can shave it down to perfect (thanks for that hint Dennis!)

Now onto the pocket hole plug jig.  First step is to take a piece of scrap and drill the pocket holes into both ends.  I used my miter saw to shave off some of the ends of the boards after I drilled the holes, so that the screws could move freely without catching on the wood.  Don’t take off too much though, then the screw falls right through the hole (I did that the first try…).  Put screws into each pocket hole. Read More…

Sew a Tote from a Tank Top

With the new year in it’s first few days, you might be cleaning out some closets.  If you happen to have some tank tops that you don’t love anymore, I’ve got a simple sewing project that will repurpose tank tops into tote bags!  I had three that I removed from my closet awhile ago and I turned them into these:

Black tank top turned into a tote

Blue tank top turned into a tote bag

Orange tank top turned into a tote bag

Here’s the tutorial from CraftyNest.com.

Has anyone else done this already?  Have you turned any other clothing into something useful?  I have a slight obsession with tote bags.  I think I need to cull some of my other not-so-cute totes and donate them…

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 DittleDattle.blogspot.com 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 Sawdustandpaperscraps.com 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 5: How to install crown moulding}

Ahhh, crown moulding.  How I covet thee.  I want to put it everywhere in this house, but it seems so hard!!  This was my first attempt at any kind of crown.  Up until now, every built-in I have done has been capped off with casing (I think…or it is base…either way, it hasn’t been crown).  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out on this project, so I’m not as afraid to give it a go in other places now.  Here’s how I went about it!

First I did some research after I discovered that I wasn’t sure which way was up.  If you read my little rant, you already know that apparently other people don’t know which way is up either.  I had a little bit of a sticky situation though…I didn’t have much room before I hit a corner, and the crown I had picked out takes up more room depending on how you put it up.  Lucky for me it worked out.

Figuring out which way is up with crown moulding

The research said that the bottom of crown most times has the more decorative elements.  Also, the crown should take up more space on the wall than it does on the ceiling (that is what saved me from having to apply mine upside down–it gave me enough room before I hit the corner of the wall).  This is all in general–it might not be applicable in every instance.  Just don’t ask anyone who knows anything about crown to come into your house and you’ll be fine either way (I crack myself up sometimes).

Anyone interested in coming in and refinishing my floors for me?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller? (Who can name that movie?)  Look how scratched up they are–and I want them a much darker color now.  Uggh.  I don’t look forward to that project.

During my research, I read this article from DIY Network.com where they put base moulding on upside down before the crown to build it up.  I loved it, so I did the same thing on mine.

crown moulding part 1

But it kinda ended up being a good thing I had planned on this.  I originally had a top to the cabinet that was separate that I was going to add between the cabinet and the shelves.  Then I made a big mistake and had to modify the plans, but the separate top was 1.5″ thick and I already left 2″ of clearance at the top.  That meant there was only air to attach the crown to on the cabinet and that wasn’t going to work.  The upside base gave me something to work with!

Read More…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 706 other followers