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Articles Tagged “DIY”

A Shed And A Cold Frame

Now that fall is here I thought I would post a couple of photos of what we were up to outside this past summer. I actually worked outside a lot this year and although it still feels like we have a long way to go, I’m happy with my progress.

Not only did I work outside, but I also put Jason to work :) My favorite project we tackled was our shed. Since we don’t have a garage at the Club House (one of the things we miss the most from our previous house), we needed some storage space for lawn and garden items.  We decided a shed was the best way to go and there was even a cement slab on the property from where a shed previously resided but was removed before we bought the house. That made things a lot easier!

shed 1

Our cement slab was odd dimensions and rather than have a custom shed built to fit it exactly, we just bought a shed kit from Lowe’s that was a bit smaller than the slab and it worked great. The main criteria I had is that I wanted a wood shed and we didn’t want to spend a fortune. This one fit the bill perfectly :)

shed 2

Isn’t it cute? Jason and I spent one day putting it together and another was spent doing the roof. After that came the painting and we were done. And of course I painted it white! We actually had a lot of fun building it and it was a pretty simple project. It’s only an 8′x8′ shed and we don’t even have it full yet. I thought for sure it would be stuffed to the brim but not yet :) That will come with time, I’m sure!

Since the slab is bigger than the shed, I also had just enough extra room to put my potting bench on the side. It’s still kind of messy on that side but eventually, it will be cute! Just to help you get your bearings, the shed is to the left of the house (if you are facing the house from the street) and the doors open towards the house. So, from the street, you actually see the side of the shed if you are looking head on.

Another project Jason worked on for me was a cold frame. I have been wanting one for a while and so I’m really excited to use it this winter!

cold frame 1

We found this glass door on the side of the road for free. I originally had other plans for it but this ended up being the perfect thing. Then my Dad had some nice thick wood that he wasn’t going to use and so it hardly cost us anything to build.

cold frame 2

Jason painted the frame for me but I still need to paint the door. We are also going to patch the holes where the handle was and add a door pull.

cold frame 3

There it is, right next to my little shed :)

cold frame 4

This week we moved some of our plants to it. It finally got cold enough! For those of you who don’t know, a cold frame acts like a mini green house. You can keep things in it over the winter (like my succulents) and also grow lettuces and spinach. I am definitely going to try to grow some spinach and lettuce this winter. It will be an experiment!

cold frame 5

Last photo… I love it now that it’s full of green stuff. I can see it from my kitchen window and it makes me smile :)

If you are interested in your own cold frame, there are lots of DIY tutorials out there. There are also lots of different ways and materials to build them with. I’ll give you an update with how my mini winter garden works and maybe you will want one for yourself!

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Before and After: Loveseat

Today I thought I would show you a little before and after of our loveseat. When I was searching for a loveseat I really only had a few requirements. 1. I wanted white. 2. I wanted it to be a slipcover so I could wash it (see #1). 3. It couldn’t cost an arm and a leg. I didn’t think it would be terribly hard to find something I liked, I mean, the internet is a vast place! I was super close to buying the Karlstad from Ikea but for whatever reason, something was holding me back. I’m not sure what because it’s super similar to what I ended up with :)

And then I found a crazy little mid century modern sofa on Craigslist for $30 and I was sold. But it desperately needed a cover which was perfect because that’s what I wanted anyway. For several months, we just did this:

couch before

Not pretty.

Another thing the loveseat lacked was the bottom cushions. But for $60 I got some custom cut online. Sorry, I can’t remember the source but it was great because it told you how to measure for the right fit. So, here is the loveseat in all its before glory…

couch before

I originally planned to have the slipcover made by a local upholsterer but they were really busy and it wouldn’t be done for several months. They were able to make the cushions quickly but for the body of the loveseat, I decided to tackle it myself. I took the loveseat to my Mom’s house so I could have another opinion when needed and I spent a couple of days working on it.

Here is a little in progress shot:

couch during

One thing the Ikea sofa lacked was piping on all the seams. I really wanted piping but I had never done it before. A little bit of trial and error and some google searching helped me in this area and before you knew it, it was done.

Here is a photo from when we first brought it home:

couch after

And here it is today:

couch 2

And if anyone is interested to know, I spent about $200 and that includes the cost of the loveseat, fabric, cushions, and paying to have the cushions made. And the finished product fits all of my criteria!

Some of you may also be wondering if I like having a white couch. The answer is mostly yes. It’s fine for the two of us but we do have a gray cat. And let’s just say you can always see where she has been sleeping and she has pretty much claimed the left side as her territory. But it’s just fur and it is easily removed. My husband might not agree but I would do it all over again.

For my first experience making a slipcover for a loveseat I’m pretty happy with it. There are a few little errors here and there but I’m probably the only one who would notice them unless you knew where to look. Next time I make one, I think I will tackle the cushions too. Sounds like a fun challenge :)

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Small Spaces: Mini Pantry

When you have a small space, you find a way to fill every nook and cranny. With the quest to find more usable space in the kitchen, we found another little nook that could be utilized. You may remember from our floor plan that there is a door in the kitchen that leads to the stairs to go to the basement. The door opens to a very small landing at the top and at first glance, it seemed too small to be usable for anything. But I was not put off! I knew I could squeeze something in that space!

mini pantry before

At first, all we had there was two bowls for our cat. Don’t you just love how she has to make her way into photos?! I guess she’s just wondering what I’m so interested in and has to see for herself :)

mini pantry work

After measuring the space, I realized shallow shelves would fit just perfectly there. We had about 10 inches from where the door swung open to the wall and so I bought 7″ x 24″ shelves at Ikea and they were perfect! I was so glad I didn’t have to do any trimming whatsoever!

mini pantry

I could have added one more shelf close to the floor but I had visions of our cat knocking everything off and watching as the items made their way down the flight of stairs. To be on the safe side, I just went with four shelves :)

mini pantry

And then the fun part, I got to fill them up with stuff! I mostly have baking items in here like flour and sugar and, of course, the cat food for our little buddy.

mini pantry

All usable space, is good space :) And the cat made her way into another photo…

mini pantry

The good thing is that I can reach all of the items on the shelves except for the top row. But the top row is mainly small appliances that we don’t use often and then I just get a stool.

Another small space utilized!! Now I’m on the hunt for more…

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Small Spaces: Hidden Jewelry

With having a small house now, I find that I am trying to use what storage we have to every last inch. Every closet, shelf, and cupboard are planned to maximize the space and be useful and functional. Cute is a nice factor also :) Not only am I trying to use the storage that is already in place, but I’m also trying to add more storage in creative ways. One thing I’m not trying to do, is cram a 2100 square foot house into an 800 square foot house. That would be completely crazy. When we moved I got rid of over half of our stuff. It was a wonderful thing, no joke. So to keep from getting right back to where we started, I limit what we bring into the house and I try not to buy as much :) But I digress… back to storage. Even though we got rid of stuff, we still have stuff. And that stuff has to go somewhere. My jewelry was one thing I wasn’t sure where I was going to put it. Until I got a brilliant idea :)

I knew that for me to put on jewelry most every day (which is my goal), it had to be accessible and I had to be able to see it all. Previously, I used a jewelry box and a couple of different wall organizers. When we moved, I ditched the jewelry box because I no longer had a place to put it and decided to go in a different direction. I wanted something that could hold all of my jewelry in the same place.

We have this little space in our bedroom that was dead space. It was a tiny space but still, space. In a small house, every space, no matter how big, needs to be put to work. This is the space I’m talking about:

club house floor plan with arrow

See, I told you this floor plan would come in handy :)

When you open the door to our bedroom, you are faced with a blank half wall that is the end of the closet. A full length mirror was on the list of wants for our bedroom and this blank space was the perfect spot for one. I have always wanted a full length mirror and in all of our 13 years of marriage, never had one. In our last house, I resorted to stand on the toilet to see a full length version of myself in the mirror that was over the sink. In this bathroom, that wouldn’t work since the sink isn’t across from the commode. And so, I found a mirror:

full length mirror

So, what does the full length mirror have to do with my jewelry space? Well, it’s very tricky, I bet you haven’t figured it out yet :)

jewelry 1

My mirror is on a hinge! Brilliant, right?!

jewelry 2

I got the idea for this and figured we would have to make the mirror ourselves. But then, I was at Ikea, and I found a mirror that already came with hinges so that if you bought 3 of them, it becomes a three way mirror by turning the outside ones. It was perfect for my plan because it was exactly the look I was going for and it had the ability to open. I just added a magnetic catch so it would latch and hung it on the wall. Easy peasy!!

jewelry 3

Next, I used a level and tape measure to mark spots on the wall and then drilled pilot holes for the little metal cup hooks. Then I simply screwed the cup hooks into my pilot holes.

Actually, I originally was reluctant to drill that many holes into the wall. So first, I purchased a ton of sticky wall hooks and they worked great… for about a week. And then, they just started to fall off, one by one. And it always seemed to happen in the middle of the night. My necklaces would come crashing down. So I had to give in and drill holes in the wall. But now that it’s done, I’m happier with it. The cup hooks are smaller and I can add more if I want to. It all worked out in the end :)

jewelry 4

I actually drilled a bunch of extra holes so that in the future as I add more jewelry, I can just screw another hook into the wall. Really, it resembles a peg board.

jewelry 5

My new jewelry space holds all of my jewelry except for a couple of bracelets that are too thick to fit behind the 2″ space behind the mirror. Not too shabby.

So, pretty awesome, right? A full length mirror and a jewelry closet. I love it if you can’t tell :) How’s that for creative storage?!

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New Doors For An Old Cabinet

Before we made the decision to sell our house, I was working on a project with my Dad for our guest bathroom. Then, when we decided to sell, I quickly finished up the project and it looks so nice I wish I would have done it ages ago!

In our guest bathroom, we had an ugly vanity. I mean, nasty. See, the previous owners had taken the old cabinet doors and filled the groves sloppily in with putty and then painted them with glossy paint. It has always bugged me. I always just thought we would need to replace the whole cabinet but then I got to thinking that maybe just the doors would need to be replaced. That’s where my Dad comes in. He was a cabinet maker for 30+ years so he knows what he’s doing and I knew I needed his help :)

Want to see the before? Ya, I bet you do:

Can’t tell so much from a distance but up close is where the fun starts. And the missing knob? Not so great :)

Can you see those lines? They were all groves filled in. Not a very good idea. Plus there are paint drips like you wouldn’t believe!

And even closer… Gross! Plus the glossy paint made everything show up even more. Time to do away with these little guys and on to something better.

First, my Dad measured it for me and we made a plan and figured out what sizes we needed.

Next, I ran the boards that we were going to use through the planer. It helps cut down on sanding later and I am all about that! I hate sanding. Always have. Anyone with me on this?!

After my Dad cut the pieces to the desired lengths, he ran them through the table saw with two blades to make a groove.

See the groove? This is what will hold the middle panel in place.

Next, he ran the sides through to create grooves so the side pieces would fit together. I’m not able to get real technical here since I had no idea what we were doing, I was just following the master, documenting it all :)

Once everything was cut, we started assembling using some wood glue.

And then we clamped them and let the glue dry. After they were dry, I sanded them all and painted them. Then I had to call my Dad back over to hang them for me. My Dad is the best :)

Instead of going with the original white, I decided to go black and I love it! I was never super crazy about the white with the counter top so a color change was in order. And now it looks super sharp.

A head on view, with me in the mirror after we had just finished and I’m still in my grubby clothes.

Much better! Now when I walk in the room I smile instead of grimace! And you know the best part? I only had to pay for hinges which my Dad found at Habitat For Humanity and the new wooden knobs because for everything else we used scraps my Dad had lying around. The whole project cost less than $20! Pretty good upgrade for cheap! My favorite kind :)

And this isn’t the only bathroom that got a facelift. Wait until you see the master bath!

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Hello, and welcome to my little blog! What started out as a blog to show some of my scrapbook pages ended up being a blog that shows all of my projects, ranging from scrapbooking to decorating to sewing to photography. I also run a little online shop called every jot & tittle where I sell handmade paper products. Take a look and leave me a comment to say hi! (Photo by Heather Smith.)

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