The Kitchen Renovation of 2013 – 1 Leak. 1 Year. 1 Woman.

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How I Re-Built My Own Kitchen (after a leak) | Pretty Handy Girl

2013 Could be called the year of the kitchen renovation in our house. Or the year that nearly killed me. Or the luckiest year of our lives. I’m still debating the title. What I do know is that, I decided to take on my biggest DIY project to date. I re-built my own kitchen from bare studs and subfloor.

It started one morning as I was confronted with a foul odor. It’s only describable as that odor that usually lives in the high school gym locker room. I thought my 9 year old son’s feet were starting to stink. Unfortunately a stinky pair of shoes wasn’t the culprit, it turned out to be a very minor leak that turned into a very big kitchen renovation. We persevered through 45 days without a washer and dryer and many months without a kitchen. But, it was like being a contestant in Survivor. I lasted the year of construction; the set backs and sore muscles; and in the end I was rewarded with a brand new kitchen!

Today, I walk into our beautiful kitchen and I know it was all worth it! It was worth all the sweat equity, the daily Advil doses, and the tree falling on the house. If you want to reminisce with me as I recap my kitchen renovation of 2013, here’s your ticket to all the tutorials and posts: [Read more...]

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

One of my favorite places to thrift shop is the Habitat ReStore. I mean, where else can you find cool $2 cabinet doors?

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

This fine cast off door is just screaming to be upcycled into a beautiful tray. Especially when the same thrifting adventure yielded VERY COOL door hardware! Simply combine the two and you have yourself a unique serving tray to give as a gift (or keep for yourself.)

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

  • Cabinet door
  • Door handle or cabinet handle
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Screwdriver bit
  • Rubber bumpers

Optional: Rub n’ Buff Gold Leaf

The steps are super simple. [Read more...]

Wall-Mounted Kitchen Hutch Tutorial

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Have you heard the term sandbox when talking about software development? It’s the term used for the testing area where the engineers can “play” with their ideas before they go live to the public. Well, this little kitchen desk and hutch (kitchen command center) was my sandbox before I ordered our kitchen cabinets. It was my place to play with colors and style before making the very big step of ordering all the kitchen cabinets. When I had finished with the desk and hutch I was so thoroughly smitten with the colors that I had no problem ordering most of my kitchen cabinets in the same Sherwin Williams Copen Blue color!

Last week I showed you how I raised and transformed the Habitat ReStore desk into a counter-height desk. At the same time I bought the desk, I found a sheet of finish grade plywood that was an old folding table top. At $25 for the sheet, I brought it home and used it to create a wall-mounted hutch. After mounting it on the wall, I worked with my electrician to wire a lamp in the hutch. (Exterior wall mounted light from Lowe’s.) The result is a charming cottage style desk and hutch where I keep our lives organized!

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Are you ready to build your own wall-mounted hutch? Grab your tape measure and saw and let’s get busy! [Read more...]

Building a Window Seat with Storage in a Bay Window

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built_in_bay_window_seat_with_storage_tutorial

You know when you dream about the finished product on something that you’ve been planning for a long time? And then you finish and your dream becomes a reality? And you think to yourself, am I still dreaming? All those sentiments and more have been going through my head since I finished the built-in window seat in our bay window. This seat is devine! In fact, I’ve begun calling it the Queen’s seat in the hopes that it will deter any male folks from claiming it in our household.

window_seat_in_bay_window

Several of you have asked for the tutorial to build the window seat. I have that for you, but I want to mention that this is a slightly more advanced project. Halfway into writing this tutorial, I realized there was no way I could show you each and every cut, step, and trick without this being the world’s longest blog post/tutorial. If you have some basic carpentry skills (you know how to hammer, nail, use some power tools and you know how to attach a 2×4″ securely to a wall), you should be able to handle this. With that being said, I do want to offer any help if you should have any questions during the process of building this bench, please feel free to email me and I will do my best to help you.

I also want to mention that I did have to move the HVAC vent forward so it came out the front of the window seat. Here’s the tutorial to move a floor vent. I do want to caution you against building over a vent. We have a bookcase that was built over the register and the wood inside grew mold because there wasn’t enough force to blow the air and moisture out the front of the bookcase. Just a warning, don’t take the easy way out.

Basics for Building a Built-in Window Seat in a Bay Window: [Read more...]

Rubbed Bronzing Cabinet Hardware

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Have you ever fallen in love with two different cabinet hardware? But, you worried that your friends and family might have you arrested by the non-coordinating home accent police? No? Okay, so maybe it was just me.

I fell in love with these glass knobs. [Read more...]

Cabinet Hardware and Winners of the D.Lawless Giveaway

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The winners of the D. Lawless Hardware giveaway are:
Mary Glidden & Lora Wikle!

Congratulations gals, I hope you have an easier time deciding on what you’ll purchase with your gift certificate.

For the rest of you, Mr. Lawless himself has been kind enough to give y’all a discount code you can use to get 10% off your order! Simply use “prettyhandy” in the coupon code field at checkout. Visit DLawlessHardware.com to see all the beautiful hardware they sell.

Thank you so much for helping me decide which cabinet hardware I wanted for my kitchen. I appreciate each one of your suggestions and votes. I think I chose the ones that received the majority of the votes, but honestly it was more helpful to read your responses and realize that I either agreed or disagreed. It’s like when you go to a restaurant and you ask the waiter which of two meals he would recommend. And when he answers mac & cheese and you suddenly feel let down because you really wanted the hamburger. Yup, it was kind of like that situation.

And…the hardware I chose is:

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If you can’t tell from the photo, I chose choice E! I really liked the little screw head pulls, but ultimately I liked the feel of the larger bronze pull in my hand. And you knew I couldn’t resist the bling! It will be glass octagonal knobs for this girl.

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I’m also very honored that D.Lawless has agreed to work with me and supply the hardware for my kitchen. It was really nice of them, but I want you to know that I approached D.Lawless Hardware because they are all about quality, service and price. I’d recommend D.Lawless Hardware to my friends (which means all of you.)

Have a great rest of your week! I’ll be crawling around on all fours installing flooring in our kitchen if you are looking for me.

PHGFancySign

 

Disclosure: I will be receiving hardware for my kitchen cabinets in exchange for posting about D.Lawless hardware. I was not influenced or told what to write about D.Lawless. 

Cabinet Hardware {The Jewelry of the Kitchen} Giveaway

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Cabinet hardware is akin to the finishing touches on an outfit. It is the jewelry that really catches the eye in a kitchen. I’m not a big jewelry person. I only wear my wedding rings on a daily basis. And I have necklaces and bracelets for the days that I actually change out of my work clothes. But, I’ve never been the type of gal to go ga ga over a diamond.

However, I found myself getting starr-eyed while trying to choose our kitchen hardware. I felt like a kid in a candy store because there were so many choices (and yet so little time.) This week I learned that our cabinets will be arriving at the end of the month. And my designer (who really needs to be my personal assistant) gently asked me, “Have you ordered your cabinet hardware yet?” Gulp…umm no. What I wanted to say was, “Seriously? This is the least of my worries! I need to get the walls finished and a floor in our kitchen before I can even think about bling!” That’s when it dawned on me, a Handy Gal can’t do everything! Especially when it comes to jewelry (it’s just not my strong suit.)

With that in mind, I’m asking for your help. Yes, that means you Ms. “I’m Sitting Here at My Computer Drinking My Coffee While I Watch Pretty Handy Girl’s Kitchen Renovation Updates”! And you may be thinking, heck no, I don’t have time to help her. But, what if I told you there might be something in it for you? Hmmm? Are you willing to help me now?!

Here’s the deal, I’m going to show you some of my choices and you help me choose by leaving me a comment below. Then  you can enter to win one of two $100 Gift Certificates to D.Lawless Hardware. And if you are saying, I’m still not going to help her because I’m happy with my cabinet hardware already. Well, what if I told you that D. Lawless sells a lot more than cabinet hardware:

D_Lawless_hardware_giveaway

Knobs and pulls are the least of their offerings! Corbels, hinges, switch plates, drawer slides, hooks, pie safe punched tin, casters, shelf brackets, space savers and much more! This is one of my favorite products they sell: [Read more...]

The Hometalk Show – Learn How to Update Your Kitchen on a Budget

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of hanging out with Miriam from Hometalk and Heather from At the Picket Fence. We discussed budget kitchen updates that you can make to your kitchen right now for very little money! If you missed the hangout, no worries, you can watch the recorded show here:

Or watch it on Hometalk’s Google+ page.

I’ll see you here tomorrow, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel and I guarantee you won’t want to miss tomorrow’s post. Pee before you read it because you are gonna laugh your buns off! I promise!

 

How to Remove a Soffit – Kitchen Renovation Update

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How are y’all doing this week? Getting ready for the holidays? Instead of decorating, we did some demolition in the kitchen this past weekend. And it involved buying myself an early Christmas present:

DEWALT 10--Amp Keyless Variable Speed Corded Reciprocating Saw DW304PK 1V

I snatched up this DEWALT 10–Amp Keyless Variable Speed Corded Reciprocating Saw that was on sale at Lowe’s. I actually held each and every reciprocating saw in the tool department. Those saws are not lightweight by any means. And since I had to hold this over my head and make repeated cuts, I wanted to make sure I bought the lightest one I could find. However, I had one other factor to contend with. Battery life! The lightest weight saw was a Ni-Cad battery saw and I didn’t want to deal with losing power in the middle of the job and waiting for the battery to charge up again. So, I chose this mid-weight fighter because it has a cord and it won’t run out of power…ever…well unless your power goes out. I’m thrilled with its performance, this prize winning middle weight really knows how to throw a knock down punch to soffits.

AND, in a pinch, it works great as a turkey carver (LOL!)

I also took advantage of those fabulous Black Friday sales at Lowe’s and bought two of these [Read more...]

Art and Craft Studio using Flow Wall Reveal

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Can I get a huge cheer and a big raise the roof sign on this project! This was the project that took FOREVER because of a few speed bumps: pneumonia, mono, water leak, mold growth, asbestos discovery, and finally being evacuated from our own house. Slowly but surely I was able to transform our bonus room into an amazingly creative art and craft studio for us to enjoy. I gave you the low down on how easy the Flow Wall was to install yesterday. But, I’ve been teasing you and I know you definitely want to see the after pictures.

Before you get the 10 cent tour, let’s take a look back in time at what the room used to look like: [Read more...]

Flow Wall Assembly in the Art and Craft Room

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The art and craft studio is nearly complete. One of the major successes in this room is the Flow Wall storage under the eaves of the sloped ceiling. I couldn’t be happier with the ease of installation and the storage possibilities.

If you remember my plans from September, I sent this sketch to Flow Wall and they shipped out the wall panels and components immediately. Then I had to deal with pneumonia, water leaks and my littlest guy came down with mono last month. But, once I cracked the first box, it only took me an afternoon to hang the flow wall panels; assemble all the cabinets; and mount them on the wall panels. [Read more...]

Faux Zinc and Chalkboard File Cabinet – Lowe’s Creative Idea

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This summer I was out thrifting with a few friends for I Heart Thrifting Day. At the Goodwill I grabbed a metal chest that had extra wide and deep storage! That was about the only thing that it had going for it. The hot pink and mint green were disguising the true potential of the chest, but like a color-blind dog, I was able to see beyond its garish appearance.

And then the poor chest sat in our garage for months and months until I had a chance to work a little spray paint magic and turned it into….ta da: [Read more...]

Creating Open Frame Radiator Screen Cabinet Doors

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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...]

Installing a Split Face Travertine Backsplash

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Installing Split Face Travertine Tile

I met Jacque and Matt from The DIY Village recently at Haven. They are such an adorable (AND TALL) couple:

Seriously, these two are TALL, I’m 5’6″ and I was wearing heels in that picture! Poor Matt was one of the few guy bloggers at Haven, but he was able to ham it up with us gals. Even if he didn’t get the memo that Jacque and I were wearing coral colors. ;-)

As I’m getting ready to head out on the BIG GMC Adventure Along the World’s Longest Yard Sale, I asked these two fellow DIYers if they’d share one of their DIY adventures with you. I can seriously relate to this “simple” home improvement turning into a much bigger improvement. It happens to us DIYers all the time. So, check out how Matt started with simply swapping out their old microwave and ended up installing new drywall, removing and moving their wall cabinets, installing new stainless steel appliances, AND adding a beautiful split face travertine backsplash. Phew, I’m tired just thinking about it.

Give it up for The DIY Village People (sorry I couldn’t resist. Now you’ll have that song “Y-M-C-A” in your head all afternoon.) [Read more...]

Installing the Flow Wall System

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When last I left you, I was covered in dust and debris from scraping the popcorn ceiling in our laundry room. After a shower and some sleep, I was ready to start another productive day.

First I hired some cheap labor to help me paint the walls. Well, I helped ;-).

The color I used was Benjamin Moore’s Glacier Blue in the Aura Bath & Spa Line of paint (since it is a laundry room.) And every time I walk in the room the color makes me want to sing! [Read more...]

Plans to Update My Laundry Room with Flow Wall System

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You know that beautiful laundry room I showed you last year? Yes, this one:

Well, it isn’t so pretty right now, and honestly I strategically didn’t photograph the ONE wall in the laundry room that isn’t….so….pretty. Can you blame me?!

But, that is all about to change! I’ve been working with a Flow Wall System representative to come up with a plan for my laundry room wall.

Flow Wall Garage and Home Storage Solutions

Within half an hour of sending him my measurements (of my laundry room, not my body measurements – LOL), he sent back multiple possible configurations for our room.

I can’t even begin to tell you how fantastic it is to turn over the planning to someone else for a change! Of course, being the planner that I am, I had to tape up a few paper templates to help visualize how they would work in my space.

The Flow Wall System looks like it is going to be a snap to install (and I will definitely let you know for sure!) Here is a short 60 second video to show you a little more about Flow Wall System:

Here are my beautiful plans for the laundry room using the Flow Wall System sketches as inspiration.

1. Flow Wall medium wall mounted storage bins to hold the iron and ironing supplies

2. Flow Wall small storage hook to hang ironing board on

3. Flow Wall white coated wire shelves for extra storage and drying clothes

4. Flow Wall jumbo decor bins in cream to corral detergents, spot cleaners, etc

5. Waverly Pom Pom Play Spa fabric for a faux roman shade

6. Spray painted brass chandelier inspired by Modern Parsonage

7. Flow Wall cabinets to hide my unsightly mess

What do you think? Do you like the design? I’m probably going to scrape the ceilings and repaint in there too. The exact wall color will have to wait until I get the fabric. I’m particular about color like that. More on my color snobbishness next week. Until then, I hope you have a great weekend. Don’t forget to enter to win a $50 AmEx gift card.  A winner will be chosen at random tonight.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Flow Wall Systems. I have been compensated for my time and will be receiving some complimentary products. However, the ideas and words are all my own. I was not told what to write or what products to write about. I believe you have the right to know when a post is sponsored. Regardless of whether a post is sponsored or not, I believe in honesty, truthfulness, and complete transparency in my posts.

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.

DIY on a Dime Kitchen Cabinet Plans + Apartment Guide $50 Gift Card Giveaway

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Sometimes it can be frustrating when you want to make changes to your home to reflect your style, but you can’t because you are in a rental. Or you do own, but you don’t have the disposable income to make grand scale renovations.

I feel your pain! Long ago I resigned myself to the fact that I can’t make any major changes to our kitchen. But, I still stare longingly at photos of open kitchen shelving.

photo credit: Tatertots and Jello

I love the look, but shuddered at the thought of open shelving showing off my eclectic (in the tacky sense of the word) dishes to the world.

The other day I decided to dream no more, now was the time to take action and make my kitchen a reflection of who I am! I put together a simple design plan:

Open shelving with patterned backed shelves (inspired by Tatertots and Jello’s shelves pictured above) and matching dishes. Plus, my plan had a “wind back the clock” option where I could return the kitchen to the exact same state it is today in no time.

Truth be told, I saw this set of white dishes marked down on clearance ($5.99 for 4 place settings) at Kroger (our grocery store.) So, they were already in the mix.

But, here’s the sweet part: I sold my old 90′s cobalt dish set for $20 and then donated the rest of the mismatched dishes. So, I actually profited from my little dish switcheroo.

With car keys in hand and $20 dollars in my wallet, I set off to Michael’s to buy everything else I needed:

  • Foam board
  • 1 Yard of Top Drawer Bella Citrus Fabric
  • Clear packing tape
Check back with me on Wednesday to see the tutorial and reveal of my kitchen plans. I urge you to make your own plans to update one small space in your home. Make it your own and be proud of it.

Here are some inspirational ideas from Apartment Guide for 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.comand http://www.apartmentguide.com/blog/

$50 American Express Gift Card Giveaway

Sorry this giveaway has ended.

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One lucky winner will be chosen after midnight EST on Friday, February 17th.

A special thank you to ApartmentGuide for offering this giveaway to you.

Whether you’re living, looking or moving, ApartmentGuide offers how-to tips for making the most of your space on a budget.

 If you’re ready for a whole new space or looking to move, ApartmentGuide has the photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you find the perfect apartment community.

 Special Date Night Sweepstakes Announcement!

Do you prefer a cozy night in or a night out on the town? No matter your preference, hurry to enter Apartment Guide’s Night In or Night Out Sweepstakes* for a chance to win your perfect evening. Enter today to win! Visit www.Facebook.com/ApartmentGuide to submit your entry.

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Sweepstakes ends @ 9:00 PM ET on 2/14/12. Must be a US legal resident of the 50 US or DC and 18 years of age or older. Sweepstakes subject to full Official Rules available at www.facebook.com/apartmentguide. Void where prohibited.

Disclosure Statement:

Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as myself 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.

How to Make a Shoe Storage Bench out of a Habitat ReStore Wall Cabinet

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We had a great turnout at the Habitat ReStore demonstration on Saturday! Thank you to everyone who showed up. It was nice meeting some new friends. There will be another talk at 1 pm on Saturday, December 10th at the Cary, NC Habitat ReStore! I hope you can make it, because I’ll be showing how to turn some common ReStore items into holiday gifts and décor.

And now for the tutorial that you really wanted to see — but couldn’t make it to see — making a shoe storage bench out of an kitchen wall cabinet!

Wall cabinets that fit over your fridge or stove work really well for this shoe storage bench project. Ideally the cabinet will be 18″ in height (standard seat height). If it is shorter, you can build a base for your bench to raise it up a little.

It is more than likely that these cabinets will be coated with about 5 lbs. of grease. But, have not fear, I found THE BEST cleaner for removing grease. Hot water and ammonia! You must work in a well ventilated area when working with ammonia. Sponge on the ammonia and hot water concoction and wait about 10 minutes. Wipe off the cabinet and repeat until clean.

Materials:

  • Ammonia, hot water and a sponge or rag (to clean off grease)
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Nail set
  • Miter saw
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Wood putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Construction or thick wood glue
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • 2″ finish nails
  • 1 and 1/4″ finish nails
  • Quarter round moulding for base of cabinet
  • Cove moulding for top of cabinet
  • 1″ thick board (cut to fit inside cabinet dimensions)
  • 1×4″ pine firring strips
  • Plywood or pine board cut to fit 3″ wider and 1.5″ deer than finished dimensions of the cabinet (after moulding is added.)
  • Optional: Thin plywood to use as a filler strip

 

Remove all the hardware and the doors. Remove any nails that are poking out or hammer them flush with the wood.

Measure the inside depth of the top of your cabinet.

Cut three 1×4″ boards to sit on top of the cabinet and use for the bench support and to give your nails something to grip when attaching the bench top. (Without these supports it would be very difficult to nail or screw into the particle board cabinet without it flaking and chipping.)

Use thick construction glue to attach the boards. (Glues that have a toothpaste consistency.)

Nail finish nails into the boards at an angle to secure them.

For good measure, nail two more finish nails through the back of the cabinet and into the ends of the support boards.

Measure your cabinet sides and front. Cut quarter round (convex shape) for the base of your cabinet and cove moulding (concave shape) for the top of your cabinet.

Here is a close up of the moulding I used for the base and crown of the cabinet.

If the face frame of your cabinet juts out past the side, you’ll have a gap (see below). No worries, we can fix that!

Slip a piece of thin plywood to fit behind the quarter round (and cove moulding). Draw a line at the top of your quarter round (and bottom of the cove moulding). Cut the plywood piece with a jig saw.

Glue the thin plywood strip onto the cabinet.

Rest your moulding on top of the filler strip.

Predrill holes in your trim moulding, then hammer finish nails to secure the trim. If you are using a finish nailer to secure the moulding pieces, you won’t need to pre-drill.

Fill any nail holes or cracks with wood putty.

Fill the seams of the filler strips with wood putty too.

Allow the wood putty to dry and then sand it smooth.

Your cabinet should look something like this:

For the top of your bench, cut a piece of wood that is 3″ wider and 1.5″ deeper than the top dimensions of the cabinet (be sure to measure to the edge of the crown moulding.) Sand it smooth. Stain or paint the bench top.


At this point, you can attach your bench top by screwing a few screws from inside the cabinet up through the support pieces and into the bench top.

*For demonstration purposes, the video will show how I attached the bench top with glue and finish nails from the top: Add some construction glue to the wood supports. Then, nail the top into the three support boards on top of the cabinet. Fill the holes left by the nails. And touch up the spots with stain or paint. Either way will work, but the screws from below will save you the work of adding wood putty and/or touching up the nail holes.

To install the shelf, level the board you cut to fit inside the cabinet (or shall I call it a bench since we are almost done!)


Use either “L” brackets inside the cabinet to hold the shelf or hammer nails from the side and into the ends of the shelf to secure it. Luckily shoes aren’t super heavy, so you can get away with using finish nails to hold the shelf in place.


Use a nail set to sink the nail below the wood surface.


Add a small amount of wood putty to the nail hole.


Gently sand the cabinet and shelf to scuff up the surface and give it a “tooth” for the primer to adhere to. Prime the cabinet and bench.


Paint the cabinet, shelf and bench.


Protect your bench with a few coats of polyurethane and you are done!


Room for about 8 pairs of shoes! If you wanted a larger bench or more storage, you could attach two cabinets side by side.


Here is the video from my Habitat ReStore talk. (I apologize about some of the background noise.)

By the way, thanks to my sponsors Bogs Footwear (boots) and Tomboy Tools (tool belt.) I need to lower that belt a little ;-). I was rushing in and just buckled it on me without adjusting it.

 

 

 

Sharing this tutorial with Home Stories A2Z Tutorials and Tips Link Party and The Shabby Creek Cottage’s Transformation Thursday

A Dry Erase Message Board from a Cabinet Door

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Happy Monday morning y’all! I’ve been working like a busy bee this past month. So many projects! I need to clone myself so one of us can work on the projects and the other can write the posts. (Luckily I had an extra hour yesterday thanks to switching back to standard time.)

One of the reasons I’ve been so busy is that I will be giving my first demonstration at the Raleigh Habitat for Humanity ReStore this Saturday at 1pm. If you are in the area, I’d love to see you. Here is the address and more information about the  ReStore. I will be demonstrating how I turned a truly nasty greased wall cabinet into this charming shoe storage bench.

I’m not the type who can throw something away, so when I removed the cabinet doors to make the shoe bench, I decided to salvage them and make message boards. The first one was transformed into a cute chalkboard frame.

The other one was turned into a — you guessed it — dry erase board!  And of course (because I love you), I’ll share with you how I made it.

 

Materials:

  • Cabinet door (pre-primed and painted)
  • Plexiglass cut to the interior panel dimension
  • Scrapbook paper (choose a light color that dry erase marker will show up on top of)
  • 4 Nail head trim tacks
  • 3 Cup hooks
  • X-acto blade
  • Metal ruler
  • Sharpie marker
  • Drill and bits
  • Scrap of wood
  • Hammer
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Dry erase marker
  • E-6000 glue

1. If you haven’t already: clean, prime and paint your door. It isn’t necessary, but if you want to give your cabinet door a new look, go ahead and paint it any color you like! The sky is the limit on color. I used American Accents Antique Black.

2. Cut your scrapbook paper to fit inside the cabinet door panel. As always, be sure you are using a fresh new x-acto blade and a metal edged ruler.

3. Mark a dot 1/2 inch from the corners of the plexiglass.

4. Drill a small hole through the plexiglass at each dot. Use a drill bit that is slightly larger than the nail on your nail head tack.

5. Lay your scrapbook paper into the panel, then rest your plexiglass on top of the paper. (I purposely didn’t glue the scrapbook paper so I could change it out when I want a décor change.)

6. Set a nail head into each corner hole in the plexi. Hold the nail with the needle-nosed pliers as you hammer each tack into the cabinet door.

7. If your tacks go through the back, flip over the cabinet door. Set the piece of scrap wood (red arrow) under the nail head and hammer the point of the nail to bend it to the side (so no one gets poked!)

8. Use a ruler to mark where you want your cup hooks mounted. Pre-drill holes for your cup hooks using a drill bit slightly smaller than the cup hook screw end. Then screw them into the holes.

9. Attach D-ring hooks to the back of the door.

10. Attach a dry erase pen to the board using string. Or if you find a marker with a magnetic cap, you can glue a magnet to the board using E-600o. Now you can hang the marker back on the board when you’re done writing a message.

11. Hang that cute little dry erase board up on the wall! Did you see this and this tip for hanging frames that have two hooks? Genius!

That is how you can make a custom dry erase board out of an old cabinet door! I love how it matches the bench colors and can match anything I want it to by changing out the scrapbook paper. Shoot, I could probably put photos behind the plexi too!


Okay, so who is coming out to join me on Saturday? Please don’t let me show up and give a talk to the crickets. ;-)