Thursday, October 1, 2020

IKEA Moppe Makeover

IKEA Moppe made over with Halloween papers. The drawers are separate, removable boxes with a finger cutout which can be turned to the front or back. Using the plain side as the front, I decoupaged the drawers and added label holder handles. I painted the exterior with black craft paint. Done!


DIY Paint Brush and Pen Holders

Super easy DIY! I upcycled drink mix containers into paint brush holders by simply wrapping them with paper. 

The containers are just the right height for paint brushes. For shorter pens and swabs, I cut a piece of sponge to put in the bottom of the container.


Thursday, May 28, 2020

More Repurposed Kitchen Cabinets

More repurposed kitchen cabinets! I used wall cabinets this time. Floor cabinets would have been too tall and too deep for the space. The shorter and shallower wall cabinets fit perfectly under the window on either side of the floor vent.

I painted the cabinets in black and Halloweeny lime green. At first, I thought the green was too loud and intense.

But filling the cabinets with cans, jars, and painting supplies obscured the color a bit. Now it's calling out rather than shrieking. :)

Two lessons learned from this project:
1. Wall cabinets need not be hung on a wall.
2. A color (or pattern) that seems too intense when the cabinet is empty may be just right when the cabinet is full.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Repurposed Kitchen Cabinets

Two of my old kitchen cabinets have been repurposed in my workroom.

Just for fun, I painted them in a Halloween-inspired palette of black, orange, purple and green.

I added drawer liners made from a vinyl tablecloth.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

DIY Shelf from a Repurposed Drawer

After treating myself to new kitchen cabinets, I am repurposing the old cabinets. They're poor quality and quite worn, but most of them are serviceable for my workroom and garage. More on that later. :)

One base cabinet was in such bad shape that it essentially fell apart when I moved it. (I can't believe it managed to support the weight of a countertop for 45 years!) The drawer was the only salvageable part.

I decided to turn it into a shelf to store my craft paints. After measuring the paints and the drawer, I determined how far apart to space the individual shelves.

I made shelf supports with small slices of 1x3 boards and attached them with my power nailer. I placed 1x3 boards on the supports to create the shelves.

After primer and green paint, I added black and white striped wrapping paper and topped the shelves with black and white striped washi tape.

The end result is storage perfectly sized for my craft paints and other small supplies.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Kitchen Remodel: Quarantine Style

Thanks to the COVID-19 stay-at-home situation, my kitchen remodel has taken on a somewhat different style than originally planned.

Instead of standard granite countertops, I have a custom set of boards and plywood topped with shelf liner. Truly unique! No one else has countertops like mine.

My cabinets and drawers don't have pulls to open them. With this stay-closed feature, they are guaranteed to remain tidy. Well, more accurately, they're guaranteed to remain empty.

Instead of a stainless steel double-bowl sink, I have a plastic utility sink. With its slender legs and built-in scrub board, it's elegant enough for the finest basement or laundry room. It has a quick disconnect feature as well; one little bump to the sink, and the plastic drain assembly falls apart.

The sink provides cold water only. Hot water is at hand, though, thanks to the shiny kettle with an LED-illuminated on/off lever. It's very user-friendly; simply tilt, and hot water is dispensed through the spout. 

But wait! There's more! The kitchen has additional fabulous features...

Electric cooktop! It has high, medium and low heat settings, allowing me to burn, overcook, or give up on my food.

Pantry! It's ideally suited to the latest stay-at-home lifestyle, with ample storage for shelf-stable foods. Built-in wheel technology allows it to roll in not one, but two directions!

Dishwasher! It's very energy efficient, using no electricity at all. It has several settings, from a gentle wash with Swish and Rinse to a thorough scrubbing with I Hate Washing Dishes.

Kitchen Remodel: COVID-19 Version

After tolerating horrible cabinets for years, I am finally remodeling my kitchen. :)

Kitchen remodels are inevitably expensive. With lots of research, I decided which aspects I would save on and which aspects I would splurge on. The big splurge was custom cabinets with professional installation. It was not easy to convince my frugal self to go with custom! But I wanted to accommodate some unusual personal preferences, and custom was the way to accomplish that.

Kitchen remodels are also inevitably disruptive. I carefully planned the process to minimize the disruption. While the cabinets were being made, I did the demo, paint, electrical and flooring work in the kitchen area. The new appliances were delivered and stashed in the garage. I bought the new sink, faucet, and related accessories. Everything was staged and ready to go. The cabinets arrived...

And then so did COVID-19. :(

I managed to unstack and unbox the cabinets. Unlike my old, flimsy cabinets, which I could practically carry with one hand, these new ones are HEAVY. The small three-drawer cabinet shown below weighs 86 pounds! And of course, it was stacked on top of another cabinet. I learned that I can lift 86 pounds if I'm motivated enough.

I placed the cabinets more or less where they'll eventually be installed. Then I found countertops in my basement. The color is called Scrap Wood. ;)

Topped with shelf liner, the wood tops are functional enough. Once I get the pulls installed so I can actually open the doors and drawers, I can have some semblance of a kitchen again.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

DIY Dog Gate

As I mentioned in my entryway organizer post, the door from the garage into the house opens into a tiny entryway which is at the top of the basement stairs. 

My dog always greets me in this entryway. To ensure she doesn't fall down the stairs, I placed a baby gate.

The gate served its safety purpose, but it was ugly. It was also annoying because I had to remove the gate and set it aside every time I needed to go down the stairs. I wanted a gate I could simply swing open, but I faced a challenge. The gate could not swing into the entryway because it would block the entry on one side or the other. Therefore, the gate had to swing into the stairwell. But it could not swing to the left side because that's where the handrail is located, and it could not swing to the right side because there is a horizontal "shelf" sort of structure in the way. With some thought and the help of Google, I came up with a solution that would allow the gate to swing to the right.

First, I built the gate. I cut a piece of MDF to the appropriate size and then attached 1x3 and 1x4 boards to match the board and batten style of the entryway organizer.

Then I implemented the solution which allows the gate to swing to the right. This solution is... a board! ;) It's a 1x6 board which functions as a sort of gate post. The board is attached to the wall (to the door trim, actually), and the gate hinges are attached to the board.

The gate swings open to the right.

As with the entryway organizer, this was a "Why didn't I do this ages ago?" project. Instead of having to remove and replace an awkward tension gate, I simply have to swing a gate open or closed. And it looks infinitely better!
ugly, awkward plastic gate
not-ugly, easy-to-use wood gate

To finish the entryway makeover, I replaced the old door trim with new, wider trim in a simple style.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Entryway Organizer

Some projects have such an impact that I think, "Why didn't I do this ages ago?" Improving my garage entryway was one of those projects.

Because I park my car in the garage, I always use the garage door into and out of the house. The door opens into tiny entryway which has the basement stairs on one side and a wall on the other.

The entryway poses some real challenges. At only about 3 feet (1 meter) square, it provides just enough space for the door to swing open. Unless this door is propped or held open, it closes on its own. And trying to maneuver around the half-open door puts one at risk for falling down the basement stairs. (Safety was apparently of no concern to the designers of my house.)

Safety and convenience were both greatly improved by the addition of a magnetic doorstop. Simply push the door open until it touches the doorstop, and the magnet holds the door open. I love it! :)

To really level up the entryway, I wanted to add an organizer to hold my work laptop, bag, keys, and so forth. There was plenty of horizontal and vertical space on the wall; however, depth was an issue. The organizer had to be shallow enough to allow the door to open completely.

The biggest challenge was finding something large enough to hold my work laptop but thin enough to fit behind the door. Finally, I found a wire basket at the thrift store.

I decided on a board and batten style for the organizer. Using boards, tape, and cardboard, I marked the placement of each element.

I wanted the organizer to serve a secondary purpose of covering prior doorknob damage and a badly patched area where a large dog door had once been. To accomplish this, I attached hardboard to the wall.

Then I attached 1x3 (vertical) and 1x4 (horizontal) trim boards. Hooks would be attached to the horizontal boards, so I ensured that they were screwed firmly into the wall studs. I painted everything grey to match the walls.

I attached the basket and four hooks.

Done! :)

Now, instead of hanging my bag on the back of a chair and putting my laptop on the dining room table, I can keep everything in one place by the door. And it all fits neatly behind the door in a space less than 5 inches (13 cm) deep!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Cubicle Makeover

This is my cubicle at work. The walls are beige. Bleh. On the plus side, they're essentially giant bulletin boards...

making it easy to tack fabric over them. Purple, of course. :) I added the usual office supplies, a storage bench...

and the drawers, desk organizer, and ampersand I recently decoupaged.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Tiny Chest of Drawers

Another easy transformation with paint, paper and glue! I found a tiny chest of drawers in a thrift store. Its white finish was chipped and peeling.

I painted the chest black and decoupaged paper on the top, sides, and drawer fronts. The knobs are white... but maybe they would look better painted black? What do you think?

Dumb question. ;) The knobs are black now.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Desk Organizer

This project began with a bare wood desk organizer purchased on Amazon. It has four drawers which I neglected to put back in prior to taking the "before" picture. Oops.

The organizer's size can be adjusted because it is made of two pieces which slide apart. Nifty! :)

I painted the edges and smaller areas with black acrylic craft paint. I decoupaged floral paper on the larger areas and lined the drawers with a polka dot paper. I completed the organizer by adding black drawer pulls.