Sports Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Sport Gear Storage in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

My home is protected by ninjas! Well, actually Tae Kwon Do athletes, but they are ninjas in training. So, don’t even think about breaking into our house or they will open up a can of whoop ass on you! ;-)

Unfortunately, where my boys are plentiful in kicking and punching skills they lack in the picking up your stuff department. Which means that the bottom of the stairway to our bonus room is usually the dumping ground for their gear bags, clothing and gear.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

I knew I could “up” the amount of storage we had in this small unused space by going vertical. I designed and created Sports Gear Storage Shelves in the small space at the base of our bonus room stairs. Adding mesh siding gives the storage system a locker vibe and allowed for better air flow around stinky sports gear.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to know how to build your own Sport Gear Storage Shelves? Hang out for a while and I’ll walk you through the step-by-step tutorial.

Materials:

  • 6 – 1 x 3 x 8′ poplar boards
  • 1 – 4′ x 4′ x 3/4″ finish grade plywood
  • 2 1/2″ wood screws
  • 1 1/2″ cabinet screws
  • 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • Wood shims
  • Wire mesh
  • Stain (or paint)
  • Wood glue
  • Finish nails
  • Wood putty
  • Putty Knife
  • Kreg Jig
  • Hand saw or coping saw
  • Power sander and sandpaper
  • Nailgun
  • 1 1/4″ finish nails
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Painter’s tape
  • GRR-RIPPER 3D Pushblocks

Cut List:

  • 5 – 15″ x 24″ plywood (shelves)*
  • 5 – 1 x 3 x 15″ (shelf cleats)
  • 5 – 1 x 3 x 23″ (shelf cleats)
  • 2 – 1 x 3 x 88″ (sides of support frame)
  • 2 – 1 x 3 x 4.5″ (top & bottom of support frame)
  • 1 – 5.5″ x 84″ piece of wire mesh
  • Rip edge banding 1/4″ thickness from one 1 x 3″ board

* You should be able to get a sixth shelf cut from your plywood if you wish to use it for a base.

Instructions:

Before beginning to build, sketch out your design with painter’s tape. Take note of the height of any baskets or gear bags you will store on the shelves. This should give you the ability to visualize the storage shelves and make any alterations to your design before you build. Once you are happy with the layout, write down your shelf heights.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

You may wish to clad the walls in wood planks like I did before you build the shelving. If you decide to add the planks, here’s the tutorial for planking your walls.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure and mark the heights of your shelves.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Using a level, draw a pencil line where the shelves will rest.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Secure the 1×3″ cleats below the pencil line using 2 1/2″ wood screws into studs.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Continue securing shelf cleats to the wall with screws into available studs.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint or stain the cleats to match the wall color.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Building Curved Shelves with Edge Banding: [Read more...]

How to Build Custom Rustic Wooden Box Crates

How to Build It Gallery

How to Build Custom Rustic Box Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Making custom rustic wooden box crates is super easy. You can build your crates to fit in a book case or use them as drawers in a cabinet. When I was giving my IKEA cabinet a makeover, I chose to remove a door and build custom box drawers instead.

How to Build Custom Rustic Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Here’s the super easy tutorial so you can build your own:

Materials:
(some links are affiliate links)

Tools:

Instructions:

Begin by cutting the 1/2″ plywood into four pieces the size you want for your crate sides.

How to Build Custom Rustic Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Test fit the sides together. Add a line of glue to the ends of the plywood. [Read more...]

Tips for Choosing Paint Colors in the School Library

Tips for Choosing Paint Colors | Pretty Handy Girl

Tips for Choosing Paint Colors | Pretty Handy Girl

Choosing paint colors can be a daunting task. Looking at small paint chips at your local Lowe’s Home Improvement store can be a bit overwhelming. Especially because there are so many colors to choose from! (That can be a good thing too ;-).)

Luckily I have two tips to help you choose the paint color that’s right for you:

1. Use Valspar paint. Finding a paint color you love is easier with Valspar. If you don’t love the first color you choose, you can have another on them. It’s as easy as, love your color, or change your color. That’s the Valspar Love Your Color Guarantee. And it certainly helps alleviate the stress of choosing the right paint color for your room.

2. Create larger paint chips. Looking at tiny paint chips won’t help you conceptualize that color over the entire wall. Making large paint swatches using foam board and sample paints is easy and can save you time when choosing the ideal paint color. I put together this short video to show you how we selected the final color for the school library.

I knew if I could create big paint chips and let the librarian live with the large chips for a few days, she’d be better prepared to make a final decision. As you saw, she was much more comfortable choosing this way.

The winning color was Montpelier Wedgewood by Valspar. And, luckily after we began painting, we all fell in love with the color she chose.

Here’s how we tackled painting the school library (acoustic ceiling tiles and all!): [Read more...]

Elementary School Library Reveal

School Library Reveal | Pretty Handy Girl

School Library Reveal | Pretty Handy Girl

For a month I’ve been working on the school library makeover that was facilitated by a donation from Overstock.com. This morning I got my emotional reward. I walked into the library ready to put on the finishing touches in the room. There were a few kids in the main section of the library reading. But, when I turned the corner and gazed into what used to be the dark back corner…

library-before-pic-1

…I was surprised to see a dozen kids sprawled on the rug, dog beds and bean bags.

School Library Reveal | Pretty Handy Girl

They were all piled back there and quietly reading! My heart almost burst. The librarian told me it’s been like that since we finished painting. The kids love to hang out there. And not just the younger grade levels, all the kids love it! My heart is just singing with joy. [Read more...]

Plans to Create a Library Reading Retreat

Library Before Pic

library_entrance

The elementary school library at my kids’ school is one of my favorite spots to volunteer. The main library has soaring ceilings with windows and lots of natural light. It is truly a pleasure to spend an hour volunteering to shelve books.

soaring_library_ceilings

But, there’s one spot that seems like the forgotten corner. It’s a bit of a cave with less natural light and lower ceilings.

library-before-pic-1

This corner of the library houses the picture books and easy reader books, and is often the introduction to reading for Kindergartners. As you know, instilling a love of reading is crucial for young children. Fostering a love of books and reading can be paramount to a child’s future.

With this in mind, the school librarian and I decided to turn this dark corner into a reader’s retreat — an inviting spot for kids to explore, relax and READ. As fate so often happens, Overstock.com contacted me and asked if I’d like to complete a room makeover with credit to their online store. I immediately thought of the school library.

If you’ve shopped on Overstock before, you know that your money can go far because they have good quality furniture, home décor, electronics and much more for a lot less! (They also have a section called World Stock that has a virtual marketplace of artisan goods available for purchase.)

world-stock-items

When you buy from the World Stock section, 60-70% of the purchase price goes back to the artisan and suppliers! What a great way to help less fortunate communities around the world.

[Read more...]

20 Brilliant Built In Storage Ideas

Built_in_storage_ideas

Built_in_storage_ideasI love finding unused space for storage. Nothing bothers me more than a wall that obviously hides a large void behind it.  Or a built-in bench that could have been perfect for extra storage.

While on the hunt for creative ways to store more, I found 20 brilliant ways to add built-in beauty AND storage to your home. You can see some above, but there’s plenty more in this curated collection of storage ideas that I put together for you. Enjoy.

PHGFancySign

Creating Open Frame Radiator Screen Cabinet Doors

Doors_closing_animation


A few months ago when I got the call that Woman’s Day wanted to send a photographer to photograph me and my garage, I kind of freaked a little. I mean, it was my garage, the least attractive room in our house! Part of the unattractiveness stemmed from my workbench with a huge gaping hole in it.

It was suggested that I could just cover the hole with some fabric (which, yes, I could have done.) But, being that it is my workshop and a sawdust producing place, I felt I could do a little a little better than just some fabric. I decided to build custom doors for the opening. Luckily they turned out to be less of an involved project than I originally anticipated. (I love when that happens.)

Come on in the workshop and I’ll show you how I built these open frame cabinet doors. [Read more...]

Fabric Backed Open Kitchen Cabinets – DIY on a Dime the Tutorial

I’m back to show you the updates I made to my kitchen. Remember the plans I shared with you?

Well, they have been implemented and I LOVE the results! Best of all, the materials I bought cost me under $25 and that included the white dish set. But, the cherry on top is that I can easily reverse the changes if we move (or get sick of the look.)

And now, I present to you:
Fabric Backed Open Shelving for the Kitchen

When we first met these sad cabinets, they were dark, dreary and had an eclectic collection of mugs:

Within only a few hours (minus drying times), I had a stylish new look that is bright and cheery!

Follow along for the tutorial and the 50 cent tour (please deposit your pocket change on the way out.) Just kidding. I’ll let you in for free.

Materials:

  • Drill or screwdriver
  • Small plastic baggie
  • Foam board
  • Fabric
  • Packing tape or Duct Tape
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife
  • Metal edged ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Iron
  • All purpose cleaner
  • Rag
  • Sand paper
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife

Optional: 

  • Primer
  • Paint brush
  • Small paint roller
  • Paint
  • Shelf Paper

Difficulty: Easy

Step 1: Empty your cabinets.

Clean the insides with an all purpose kitchen cleaner.

Step 2. Starting from the bottom, remove the screws from the cabinet door hinges. The last screw should be the very top hinge (to keep the weight of the door from wrenching the screw out of the wood.)

Put screws into a ziplock bag and label your cabinet doors in order so that you can return them to the appropriate cabinet opening at a later date.

Now you should have a clean slate like this:

Step 3. If your cabinets are dark inside, you may or may not decide to paint the insides. (Be sure to check with your landlord if you are renting.) I chose to paint mine because the interiors were so dark. If you want to skip this step, fast forward to the next step.

Prime the insides by rolling on primer over the flat surfaces. Use a brush to get into the corners and crevices.

Once the primer has dried, get out the wood putty and putty knife.

Step 4. Using the putty knife, spread a small amount of putty over the holes where the hinges were. Push the putty into the holes, then scrape the excess off. Allow the putty to dry completely.

Step 5. Sand the puttied holes until smooth.

Step 6. Touch up the putty holes with paint or stain. Add caulk to any cracks or seams at the back of your cabinet. Allow the caulk to dry thoroughly.

If you are painting the inside of the cabinets, roll on paint with the small roller and use the brush to smooth out the paint and get into the grooves.

Step 7. Measure the dimensions of the back of your cabinets. Make sure your measurements are precise (measure twice, cut once is a good adage.)

Cut a piece of foam board using the measurements you just took.

Test fit the foam board into the back of the cabinet. If your cabinet’s face frame is smaller than the cabinet back, you will probably have to bend the foam board to get it in.

Step 8. Iron your fabric. Make sure to iron all the wrinkles out.

Cut the fabric 3 inches wider than the foam board. Lay the foam board on top of the fabric (wrong side facing up.)

Step 9. Tape the edges of the fabric onto the back of the foam board. Be sure to pull the fabric taut.

Fold the edges of the fabric as you would on a gift. Tape the ends to the back of the foam board.

Step 10. Insert the foam board into the cabinet.

Push the foam board firmly against the back of the cabinet. The tension of the fabric and the board against the edges of the cabinet should hold it in place, no need to tape or glue anything!

It is a good idea to try to line up your pattern if you have multiple shelves. (Do as I say, not as I do.)

Start putting your coordinated dishes back into the cabinet. Think about displaying them as you might see in a store.

For visual interest and extra storage, I hung some mugs from the top of the cabinet.

It was as simple as pre-drilling some holes and screwing in white cup hooks. (I did measure the same distance back from the face frame and spaced the hooks evenly. But, I’m a perfectionist like that.)

I am in love with my new kitchen! And all it took was less than $25 in supplies and a few hours.

What do you think?

The best part about this project is that I can easily remove the foam boards…

…or tape new fabric onto the back when I want to update the look!

Can you imagine a cheaper, easier or more glamourous update to your kitchen?

Are you an apartment dweller that is restricted from making permanent changes to your home? Or does your budget limit the renovations you’d really like to make? Why not make a few frugal changes that reflect your own style.

Apartment Guide has changes you can make that won’t break the bank:

Want to find even more design tips for your home? Apartment Guide has budget friendly ideas and DIY how-tos for people in any sized home on http://www.movingtoday.com and http://www.apartmentguide.com/blog/

Disclosure Statement:

Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in their monthly blogger program.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what project to create or what to purchase. Nor did they influence my opinions! We believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Best of Pretty Handy Girl 2011

It’s the end of the year and I know y’all have been busy. So, I thought I’d give you the cliff notes version of Pretty Handy Girl in 2011.

Gift Bucket Liner from Goodwill Pants

How to Paint a Dandelion Wall Mural

Fork Photo and Note Holder

Spring Paper and Button Flowers

How to Paint Doors the Professional Way

 

How to Paint Like a Pro Series:

 

Build Your Own Ladder Display Shelves

Photography Secrets for Shooting Indoors

 

Toilet Repairs Series:

 

Dream Big Butterfly Window

Backlit Cut Out Bookcase

Rustic Wine Crate

How to Replace an Ugly Hollywood Strip Light

Board and Batter Tutorial

How to Make a Branch Towel Bar

Light Bulb Comparison

How to Install Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Ombré Paint Chip Lampshade

 

Cabinet Door Revamped to Chalkboard Message Board

Kitchen Cabinet Turned into Shoe Storage Bench

 

Dollar Tree Placemat Garden Flag

 

Beveled Glass Light Fixture Ornaments

DIY Matchbox Car Race Track

 

And Finally, A Whole Slew of Power Tool Tutorials:

Compound Miter Saw

Jig Saw

Finish Nailer and Compressor

Cordless Drill

Circular Saw

Table Saw

Band Saw

I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited for 2012! I hope you’ll stick around for some more DIY tutorials and empowerment!

Did you have a favorite post of mine this year that I forgot to mention? Do tell! Chosing from almost 200 posts makes for some tough decisions.

Backlighting a Cut Out Bookcase

bee_with_pollen_legs

I promised to show you how I lit my son’s bookcase. It really isn’t anything fancy.

But, a promise is a promise. Here is the view of the back of the bookcase:

I purchased the LED rope lights at Home Depot. They came with little snap in holders. You simply drive a screw into the mounting hole. Then snap the rope light into the holder.

On the top edge, I used a long channel strip (sold separately near the rope lights. It has a self adhesive backing. Then you firmly press the rope light into the channel. This took some serious strength, but I finally got the length of the rope light inside the channel.

Finally, I plugged the light into a timer.

The lights are set to come on at bedtime and turn off shortly before sunrise.

That’s it! And this is probably the shortest tutorial I ever wrote.

So, I’ll share a few pictures from my sister’s flower garden in California. Check out all the pollen on the back legs of this bee! They are the orange masses hanging from his legs.

The bees were loving the agapanthus as well.

The pink blossoms are from a lemon tree that grows in their back courtyard. Sadly none of them were ripe while I was there. I can only imagine how fresh and sweet lemonade from those fresh picked lemons would taste. Mmmmm!

Be back later this week with more DIY tutorials!

New Life for a Borders Bookshelf

light_seeping_out_back

I hope you will take a moment to view how I test drove my Dremel Trio. This is seriously a really fun power tool! Just be sure you are safe so as not to ruin the fun. Eye protection, face mask, and ear plugs. Check.

For those of you who like to skip to the end of the book and see the ending, here you go:


For the rest of you, here is how I created this cut out/back lit bookshelf that started life as a bookshelf from a closing Borders bookstore.


Tutorial for creating a cut out bookcase:
Almost any bookcase will work for this project, but the ones that have a thin wood (can be masonite) backing will work best. Set up a work area that you don’t mind getting dusty and dirty. Remove the shelves from your bookcase.

Cutting the endcap:

Materials:

  • circular saw
  • level
  • clamp
  • scrap wood
  • screws
  • drill

I cut the endcap in half lengthwise so I could use half for each end of my bookshelf, and to position it flush against the wall. To cut a straight line using a circular saw, I clamped one end of a level to the endcap. My level wasn’t long enough, so I drilled a scrap piece of wood on top of the level and into the end cap to support the other end.


I set the circular saw blade just below the depth of the endcap. By resting the endcap on two 2×4″ boards, I was able to creative a gap below the endcap for the sawblade to pass through.Then I ran the circular saw along the level for a straight cut. Straight as an arrow, and it met Pretty Handy Dog’s approval.

Cutting out the backing design and painting:

Materials:

  • Dremel Trio
  • Palm sander
  • Sandpaper (100 grit & 220 grit)
  • Scrap 2×4 lumber
  • Chalk or pencil
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Primer
  • Paint (white and navy blue)
  • 3M Clean Edge technology painter’s tape
  • Newspapers
  • 2″ paint brush
  • Small paint roller and tray

Sketch out the design on your bookshelf (using chalk or pencil) before beginning.

Before using any new power tool, take some time to read through the manual.

To insert a bit into the Dremel Trio, you push in the blue (shaft lock) button on the front and use the enclosed wrench to loosen the collet nut on the tool.

Insert the cutting bit into the Trio. (The trio also comes with a sanding drum bit and a routing bit!)

Tighten the collet nut with the wrench.

Turn the blue handle on the side of the TRIO to raise or lower the base plate.

Adjust the base plate until the cutting bit extends slightly below the wood backing of your bookcase.

Lay the bookcase down on its back. Position 2×4 boards under the edges of the bookcase (or you will be cutting into concrete. I’m pretty sure the TRIO is not capable of that, but I could be wrong.)

Plug in your Trio and get ready to have some FUN! You may want to practice on a scrap piece of wood before working on your bookcase. The TRIO allows you to change directions quickly and easily. Creating fanciful cuts is a breeze!

Squeeze the trigger and when the bit reaches full speed you can plunge it into the workpiece. For the pin holes hold the Trio steady, insert the bit and then lift it back out of the same hole.

To cut trees and other designs, plunge the TRIO into the wood and then slowly move the tool through the wood to carve your design. Be wary of long “V” shape cuts as they will make the backing weaker.

When your design has been completed, use the power sander to sand the back of the bookcase (where the majority of the splintering will have occurred.)

Insert the sanding drum bit into the TRIO and sand any large cut out areas.

Fold a piece of sandpaper in half and feed it through the thin lines of the branches to sand any rough edges that can’t be reached with the sanding bit.

Set the bookcase upright and inspect the cuts for more splinters. You can preview what your design will look like when lit up. Lookin’ good, huh?!

Before sanding the rest of the bookshelf, repair any dents or holes with wood putty. (This is a post I wrote about repairing all types of holes if you need help.)

Use the palm sander and a fine grit (220 grit) sandpaper to rough up the rest of the bookshelf.

Apply a coat of primer to the bookcase, shelves and sides. (Still working on emptying that can of KILZ Clean Start primer! Love that stuff.

When the primer has dried, mask off the sides of the bookcase where they meet the back.

3M sent me this Scotch Blue Painter’s tape with Edge-Lock protector to try. I was skeptical, but when I pulled the tape off it did give me a clean edge. The only place I had a little bit of seepage was in the corners where I didn’t press the tape tightly into the corner. The key to using this tape is to firmly press the edges with your finger to engage the “Edge-Lock” seal. I haven’t tried it for painting walls, but you better believe I have a wall project coming up that I can try it on.

Paint the back of your bookcase. I chose a very dark navy blue. To save paint, I used a medium blue paint for my first coat to darken the back and hopefully save paint.

Then paint one coat of the navy blue.

Follow up with a second coat to eliminate any streaking.

When the navy paint has dried, tape along the edges of the navy blue backing, where it meets the sides. Slip pieces of newspaper underneath to catch any paint splashes. (Will you get a load of my lazy supervisor! You think he’s been working hard in the heat? Uh no, that would be me doing all the work and him snoozing away the day.)

Paint the rest of the bookcase, the sides and the shelves white. I used two coats of Benjamin Moore Impervo Semi-gloss white.


Once the paint has dried completely, re-assemble the bookcase. And screw the end cap halves onto either side of the bookcase.

I installed a light rope behind the bookcase (tutorial to come at a later date) and set the lights on a timer. The rope light comes on at dusk and illuminates all the cut outs.

There is a very soft glow emitted from the back of the bookcase.

It provides the perfect amount of light for my son who HAS to have a light on at night.

My only complaint about the rope lights is that they give off a strong plastic odor. But, after a week the smell has dissipated.

I had the foresight to purchase a few of the clear display stands that slide into the end caps of the bookcase. It makes it easy to display books to pique my son’s reading interests.

Oh look! There he is now! Mission accomplished, reading interest piqued. Yes, I think he is double-jointed and a teacher pointed out that both my son’s sit like that. Must be in the genes.

A few more detailed pictures of the bookshelf. This has to be one of my favorite projects I’ve created recently. And it wasn’t very difficult to complete.




 

 

 

Ladder Display Shelves

As you are reading this I’m on my way back from a long weekend getaway with Pretty Handsome Guy. I took loads of pictures to share with you at a later date. I didn’t want to say anything ahead of time (you know, for safety reasons), but now I can tell you that we were out of the country! Just the two of us! Yippee!

So, do you want to know where? You’ll just have to guess, but I’ll give you one clue: Nessie.

Anyway, I was under a strict no-computer policy, so I thought I’d repost an older tutorial that I created for sweet Kate aka Centsational Girl back in November. I hope you enjoy.

I know you’ve seen them, those adorable book shelves that look like ladders. I really wanted one.  But, the price tags were enough to send me running from the store with my purse gripped tightly in my hands. I mean, really? $299 for one unit!

When I saw this ladder at the Habitat ReStore for $15 I knew it had the potential to fulfill my ladder shelf dreams.

The skeptical cashier tried to persuade me not to buy the ladder, warning me not to climb on it because it was too rickety.

Who cares about rickety, I was in love with the paint splashes all over it!

So, I hauled the old ladder home (and received funny looks along the way because it was hanging several feet out the back of my car.) Little did they know that I was about to transform that old ladder.

Tutorial for Building Ladder Shelves:

Start by measuring the width of each step (and subtract 1/8″ to account for the slant of the ladder.)

Use 1″x10″ pine boards (or any depth you choose.) Lucky for me, I had some leftover shelves from my coat rack and shoe bench.

Cut them down to size on a miter saw or ask the lumber store to cut them for you. Yes, it was a total coincidence that my boards were covered in paint splotches too!

Dry fit the boards to make sure they fit your ladder. My heart was thumping now because I could really see the project taking shape!

Next cut some 1″ x 2″ strips the same width as each shelf. These are for the backs of your shelves. If necessary stain your shelves or paint them to match your ladder.

To attach the strips to the back of the shelves, use some Gorilla Glue…

…and then screw or nail the 1″x2″ pieces securely to the shelves. I chose to use a pneumatic nailer (but who wouldn’t if they have one lying around.)

Choose the depth you want your shelves to extend beyond your ladder. Then using a carpenter square or ruler, mark a line on all the shelves. I chose a 3″ overlapping depth.

Use a drill to pre-drill three holes per ladder rung.

Turn your ladder upside down and set the screws inside the holes.

Line up your pencil lines on the shelf to your ladder step.

Using one hand to support the shelf (or better yet get a helper to hold it), drive the screws into the bottom of each shelf.

Repeat the process for all the shelves.

Then flip the ladder back over and admire!

$15 for the ladder and no cost for the materials I had on hand. Much better than $299 and the best part is mine is charmingly rustic.

It looks great on my beach inspired screen porch. But, this beauty would look good anywhere in your home.

The minnow trap hanging pendant lights up my treasures on the shelves.

So what do you think? Do you like it? I bet you could build one for yourself.Oh, I almost forgot, if you are wondering what I did with the back of the ladder. Take a peek here.

Have a great week! I’ll be back soon. ;-)

I Love Decorating with Books – Guest Post from Honey We’re Home

On the heels of my de-cluttering post, I have a special guest who is going to show you how you can keep all your books and make them look attractive instead of cluttered! Hooray for book lovers!!! And once you see how she used her books as décor, you are going to run to your bookshelves and create another reason to fall in love with your home!

Without any further waiting, I’d like to introduce Megan from Honey We’re Home
(and her fabulous helper and right hand man, James.) 

Okay, but wait, before I let her talk, I have to tell you that Megan’s home is absolutely gorgeous. If you haven’t visited her blog, do so NOW!

What, you are still here? Seriously! Look, here are just a few pictures from her home:

Okay, so you are back, and NOW without any further delay, Please welcome Megan!

Although I had admired Brittany’s handiwork and especially her boy’s reading nook for a long time from afar, I was thrilled to get to meet her in person at Blissdom.  Needless to say, she is so down-to-earth and personable and really listens to you when you are talking.  Eye contact and all.  And she really is purely intent on showing her readers how they can accomplish the kinds of projects she does in her home in theirs!

What I’m sharing with you today is how I’ve used books as decor in our home.  I love reading and have amassed quite a collection of books over the years.  It’s funny how you can tell a lot about a person by the books they read.  In my house, you would guess I’m into God/religion/spirituality, decor/interior design, parenting/babies, fashion, and cooking.  My husband’s books are all about business, law, and history.

I’ve received a lot of inspiration for decorating with books from blogland and I especially love those “rainbow” bookshelves and wanted to try my hand at it.  I’m pretty familiar with my books, so I’m sure I won’t have any trouble locating them even though they aren’t categorized by subject.

Here’s my rainbow bookshelf in the upstairs hallway.  All I did was group the books into rainbow order by their spines and then arrange them on the shelf.   I reworked it a couple of times, and ended up with this:

basket, book, James, walls, J bath 001
basket, book, James, walls, J bath 002

Here’s the close up:
basket, book, James, walls, J bath 007 basket, book, James, walls, J bath 004 basket, book, James, walls, J bath 006
There’s barely a room in my house that doesn’t have books, for example:
My Office
image
image
image
Kitchen
Books 007
Pantry
image
James’ Nursery
Books 023
 Books 026

Thanks for having me Brittany!!

Be sure to check out some other ways you can “Fall in Love with Your Home!”

Quick and Easy Bookcase Facelift – I’ve Got Your Back

Now that my re-upholstered office chair is complete, I wanted to address the dark looming bookcase that I sit next to. I am obsessed with natural light and the color of a room can really effect my mood. We recently painted our office and had ceiling lights installed in the ceiling. Anyone else out there have one of those old houses where the light switch on the wall controls the outlets? I HATE this! Let there be light in all my rooms.

Now that we have light in the ceiling, I also want to be sure that I take advantage of natural light as well. The majority of the furniture in our office is a dark cherry color. Bookcases, armoires and other recessed furniture will absorb light. I knew I wanted to lighten up the back of the bookcase, but didn’t want to paint it or do anything to destroy the value of the furniture. So, I set to work on this super quick and easy project, making decorative backer boards for the bookcase.

Materials:
Foamcore (32″ x 40″ made 3 backer boards)
Decorative Fabric (leftover from my chair upholstery project)
Batting
Scissors
Hot Glue Gun
Cutting surface
X-acto knife and fresh blade
Metal Ruler (or ruler with a metal edge)
Pencil
Sharpie Marker

First measure the bookcase cubby dimensions.

Next draw out the dimensions on a large piece of foamcore.  Then lay your foamcore on top of your cutting surface. Personally I like the self healing cutting mats. I use them for everything (matting, paper cutting, sewing, craft projects, etc.) I recommend buying at least a 24 x 36″ size. You can find them for about $40 here: http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/Mat-and-Paper-Cutters/Creative-Mark-Self-Healing-Cutting-Mats.htm

A Note on Safely Using an X-acto Knife:

First, be sure that you always use a clean and new x-acto blade while you are cutting foamcore. Otherwise, the blade will catch on the foam interior and tear up your board.  I learned the hard way how to use an X-acto knife while in art school. Let’s just say I’m glad that thumb tips grow back. Always use a ruler that is metal or has a metal edge. When holding your ruler, be sure your fingers are WELL AWAY from the edge of the ruler you are cutting on.

Try to cut with your blade on the waste side of the piece you are cutting. That way if the blade slips, it will mess up on the waste edge. For cutting foamcore or mat board, use light pressure and pull your blade through the material and towards you. You will need to make several light cuts until you are through the material completely. You will get a cleaner cut this way as opposed to using heavy pressure and try to cut through your material in one pass.

If your board is larger than your cutting surface, cut half your foamcore, then move the board on the cutting surface to protect the floor or furniture you are cutting on.

If you successfully cut your foamcore backer boards and still have all your fingers, you can now lay your decorative fabric on top of the foamcore. I played with the placement to make sure I liked the pattern that would be shown. Then trace a 1″ border around the boards and cut the fabric.

Next you will want to trace your backer board on top of the batting (no need to add a 1″ border on the batting. Just trace to size.) Then cut the batting.  Lay your fabric right side down, then the batting, and finally put your foamcore backer board on top.

Heat up your glue gun. While you are waiting for it to heat up, trim the corners on your fabric. Trim about 1/2″ away from the corner. This will help you neatly fold your corners when you glue them.

Run a line of glue on the edges of your backer board and fold your fabric over on top of the glue.

When you are done, flip over your board and admire.

Now comes the super easy part! Walk over to your bookcase and insert your backer boards. Tilt the top in first and then push in the bottom. The fabric and batting should allow the board to stay in with tension. Plus, the great thing about using foam core is that it will crush slightly to fit your space. 

AND, if you want to use it as a bulletin board you can! I’ve been thinking about using the leftover decorative nail head trim nails (from my chair upholstering project) as push pins. But, for now I’m enjoying the lighter back of my bookcase! And, loving the way it coordinates with my desk chair.