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- DIY Plywood Magazine File
DIY Plywood Magazine File
Storage bins that fit seamlessly into your decor are hard to come by. And what is available out there often costs a pretty penny. So why not follow this blogger's lead and make your own?
The IKEA Expedit is a veritable mainstay in homes across the world. It’s perfect for collectors and book lovers, but you may not want all of its many shelves on display. That’s why Tanya at Dans le Townhouse decided it was high time to find a storage solution to hide her many magazines. But when buying a container looked bleak, she and her husband decided to DIY their own—from plywood! The effect is perfect, and gives this big box shelf a custom flair all its own. Find out how they did it by reading the how to.
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- 1/4″ Carribea pine plywood (approximately 1.5 sheets)
- Wood glue
- White stain
- Low-luster varnish
- Drawer pulls
- Felt feet
Once we had an idea of what we wanted—and what size—Hubby used this online cut list tool that he really likes. It helps figure out how much material we need, and helps us efficiently cut up a sheet of plywood.
He used a table saw to cut all of the square/rectangular shapes and a bandsaw for the triangular cuts.
He edge glued and clamped the boxes together (applying wood glue to both sides of each joint). Once dry, he glued the internal dividers into place. Without dividers, these would make great storage bins for the Expedit.
Once the glue dried, we sanded the finished magazine files smooth. I was definitely tempted to paint them aqua (everything turquoise!), but for some reason I’m really smitten with the Carribea grain. I decided to paint the inside turquoise. To help insure no paint bled onto the fronts, I didn’t paint the edge—only the insides.
While I love the Carribea grain, I don’t love the natural colour of pine. Three coats of my favorite white stain helped tone down the yellowness. Once the stain was dry, I applied two coats of low luster varnish, lightly scuff sanding in between coats.
We installed my vintage hardware—centered—with the help of a small metric bolt and washer.
Finally, we added some felt feet to the bottom of each file to keep it from scratching the Expedit.
And you’re finished!
- Interior Design >
- DIY Plywood Bookcase
DIY Plywood Bookcase
When this blogger needed a spot to unpack boxes of books after a move, she decided to create a library shelf from plywood boards. Why buy when you can DIY like this?
When we saw Ama’s sleek and contemporary bookshelf, we were impressed. And when it became clear that it was made entirely out of plywood, we were doubly so. Her project, which we came across at Oh Oh Blog, is proof that humble materials need not be relegated to lowly status. In fact, after seeing this bookshelf, we think plywood deserves a second look. Here’s how she did it.
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Plywood (see dimensions below)
- Wood glue
Cut the plywood boards (or have them cut professionally) using the following dimensions.
A – 16 pieces of 10″ x 10″
B – 4 pieces of 10″ x 63″
C – 1 piece of 10″ x 36.5″
D – 4 pieces of 5″ x 10″
E – 1 piece of 5″ x 36.5″
Glue the “A” pieces two by two to make the vertical parts. I used wood glue and clamps to hold them together until it was well stuck.
I did the same with the D pieces to make the base.
I sanded all the pieces, flat and edges (booooring part).
I stained shelves in chocolate color and applied transparent varnish on the other pieces. I like the contrast between the two colors. This can work with any other colors combinations—give it a try.
I assembled the D and E pieces to make the base of the bookcase. You have to put the D pieces perpendicular to the E piece, put some glue between the pieces, and then fasten with two screws on each side.
Then I did the same with the C piece and two A pieces (after gluing them 2 by 2) to make the back of the bookcase.
After that, I attached three A pieces to a B shelve. I put glue on the shelf and laid the A above, making sure they were vertical.
Almost done! We can start to assemble the shelves. Put the base on the floor, add some glue and put a shelve on top. Use clamps or weights (like books or tool box) to ensure a strong bond. Then add glue and put the other part on top, and so on… until the last shelf!
Thanks for sharing, Ama! To see even more incredible DIYs, visit her at Oh Oh Blog.
- How To's & Quick Tips >
- DIY Plywood Marquee Letters
DIY Plywood Marquee Letters
Plywood usually spells practical, but can it ever be fun? This project certainly has us rethinking that notion. Boring no more!
Think that fun and custom home accents need to be pricey? If so, you’re in for a shock. Take a look at this amazing marquee sign made by the talented Allison at Two Thirty-Five Designs. It’s all made from humble plywood and simple string lights. With a few power tools and a free weekend, you could make a sign all your own. Read on to find out how.
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Plywood (2 sheets – thickness depends on if you are going to attach it to the wall or lean it)
- Outdoor string lights (1 strand per letter)
- Corner Sander
- Screws (if you plan to attach to the wall)
I set up a projector and used a photo editing software to trace my letters, according to the size that I needed.
After tracing, I cut out each letter with my jigsaw, sanding any rough edges quickly with my hand sander.
I measured out the strand of lights on each letter, marking exactly where I wanted all the lights to be, making sure the cord was not pulled to tightly. Also, plan beforehand how you will make each plug attach to the next plug/letter.
Using my drill and drill bit, I drilled out a hole per light for every mark I made on each letter.
Carefully unscrew each bulb and run the base through the backside of the letter/each hole, and screw back in each bulb as you go.
Depending on if you mount your letter, lean or whatever your preference is, you can tuck and/or tape the extra cord behind the letters. I mounted mine with 2 1/2″ anchor screws into a stud and tucked the excess cord behind the letters.
Thanks, Allison! Did you like this? Find even more great DIYs at Two Thirty-Five Designs.
- Roofing & Siding >
- Bob Vila Radio: Prevent Roof Collapse with a Snow Rake
Bob Vila Radio: Prevent Roof Collapse with a Snow Rake
In the unlikely event of a snow load testing the strength of your roof, use a snow rake to lighten the load up there.
When it comes to snow on the roof, how much is too much? That depends a lot on the way your roof was constructed.
Listen to BOB VILA ON SNOW RAKES or read the text below:
Steep and smooth roofs tend to shed snow loads easily, while roofs that are only slightly pitched or flat tend to collect big drifts. Another important factor is the weight of the snow. Half a foot of wet snow tips the scales about the same as a yard or more of fluffy flakes.
If you have a multi-story house, you’d best hire a licensed and insured pro who has the right equipment to get the job done right.
On the other hand, if you have a single-story home, you can pull snow off the roof with a long, telescoping snow rake. Look for sturdy models with small rollers that keep the edge of the rake away from your shingles—you don’t want to damage those.
Finally, before you start pulling snow off the roof, put some thought into where the snow’s going to land. You’ll want to pick a spot other than on your head or the heads of bystanders!
Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.
- Interior Design >
- Weekend Projects: 5 Bright Ideas for a DIY Lamp
Weekend Projects: 5 Bright Ideas for a DIY Lamp
If you're looking for a light fixture that fits your style, your space, and your budget, don't waste time in stores—make your own!
I continue to be astonished by the retail cost of most light fixtures. If you, too, have been subject to sudden bouts of sticker shock, know this: It’s so much cheaper—and really, so much easier than you might have feared—to create a DIY lamp. Best of all, you can completely customize the design to suit, not only your style preferences, but any quirks that happen to exist in the space where you need a bit more light to see by. Scroll down to see five favorite DIY lamp projects now!
1. PLUG IN A JUG
From The Inspired Room, here’s a DIY lamp project involving a vintage glass water jug, the sort of thing you might find at your local flea market. It’s more or less a readymade lamp stand, thanks to its size and sturdiness. All you need to do is glue a socket into the mouth of the jug, then finish things off with a shade.
2. GO OUT ON A LIMB
Even elements of nature can be reused in your design for a DIY lamp. Need proof? Check out this charming handmade project from The Merry Thought. Here, Manda drilled through a straight, cut-to-size branch, snaking the cord through. Then she attached a socket to the top of the branch and a base to the bottom.
3. PLAY UP YOUR PASSION
Hit just the right note in your living room’s lighting with a lamp constructed from a once-loved instrument. This Instructables how-to turns an out-of-work trumpet into a side table’s lamp by threading it skinny lamp base right through the base of the horn and pulling the cord through to where a lightbulb will rest on the mouthpiece end.
4. SHED LIGHT ON HOBBIES
The best home accessories—lighting included—give a nod to a homeowner’s personality or passion. For this photographer’s dream lamp, Stacie of Stars for Streetlights stacked vintage cameras to build a charming base. And no topper would be quite as fitting as this handmade shade of strung-up photography slides.
5. KNOCK ON WOOD
For her DIY lamp, Michelle at Decor and the Dog chose to build the base out of a run-of-the-mill two-by-four. The final results, though, were far from ordinary, since she combined the wood with an unlikely companion—iron pipe. Two very different looks are possible, depending on whether or not you include a shade.
- Contests & Give-Aways >
- Official Rules: Bob Vila’s New Year, New Tile Give-Away
Official Rules: Bob Vila’s New Year, New Tile Give-Away
- Contests & Give-Aways >
- Enter Bob Vila’s New Year, New Tile Give-Away!
Enter Bob Vila’s New Year, New Tile Give-Away!
Enter to win $4,000 in custom tile, $500 in shipping, and $500 in installation from Fireclay Tile!
At one time or another—perhaps as recently as five minutes ago—you daydreamed about updating your kitchen or bathroom. The problem is, and has always been, affording such a big remodeling job. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Fireclay Tile, offering a give-away that can bring your fantasy kitchen or bath one step closer to being a reality. The winner of our sweepstakes gets—are you ready?—$4,000 in custom tile, $500 in installation, and $500 in shipping costs!
Fireclay Tile is a leader in its category, and not only because the company manufactures all of its tile in California using sustainable practices. Unlike many of its competitors, Fireclay understands that shopping for tile can be daunting, especially for first-timers. For that reason, Fireclay delivers a slew of additional services to help you make the right choice. These include design consultations, digital renderings, color samples, and project quotes, all free of charge. It’s old-fashioned service for the homeowner of today.
Since the business began in 1986, Fireclay Tile has retained its original mission: creating beautiful handmade custom tile, providing unbeatable customer service, and using environmentally-responsible practices in their work.
Today and every day this month (from noon EST Wednesday, December 31st, through 11:59 a.m. Saturday, January 1st), enter to win your custom tile package from Fireclay Tile!
Bob Vila’s New Year, New Tile Give-Away is open only to permanent legal U.S. residents of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Void in all other geographic locations. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Contest Period for Prize runs from 12:00 p.m. (EST) EST Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 through 11:59 am Saturday, January 31st, 2015. One entry per household per day on BobVila.com. Alternative means of entry for Drawing is available by faxing your name and address to 508-437-8486 during the applicable Entry Period. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. By entering, all entrants agree to the Official Rules.
- Interior Design >
- Weekend Projects: 5 Ways to Make a Bar Cart
Weekend Projects: 5 Ways to Make a Bar Cart
This weekend, why not raise a glass to celebrate the bar cart you made with your own hands?
You might think of the bar cart as a purely functional furniture, limited to the duty implied by its name. But if you give it a second thought, a bar cart can do so much more than store cocktail supplies and provide a serving station. It’s a versatile piece, especially when outfitted with wheels. While today it might be chockablock with bottles of booze, tomorrow it could display framed family photos or travel mementos. Given its vintage pedigree and air of glamour, simply possessing a bar cart says something about you; put together a DIY bar cart to ensure that it says precisely the right thing about your personality and your space.
1. BETTER A BOOKCASE
To build her DIY bar cart, Ashley—the blogger behind Sugar & Cloth—began with a square shelving unit from IKEA. From that basic starting point, she went on to create something spare yet special through the judicious addition of brass hardware, including brass-hooded ball casters that make the cart easy to re-position.
2. CLEAR THE PIPES
Plumbing pipes are a do-it-yourself favorite, because anyone can fit pipes together, even if it takes a bit of trial and error to strike upon the optimal design. Nancy of Life Designed offers amusing step-by-step commentary on her creation of a DIY bar cart that manages to look both rustic and industrial all at once.
3. WORK IN WOOD
Thanks to its compact size and straightforward design, a DIY bar cart can be a terrific project for an aspiring woodworker who’s looking for a beginner-level project. To give this one a shot, you’ll need only some inexpensive materials, a couple of basic tools, and the full project tutorial provided by In Honor of Design.
4. TRICK OUT A TABLE
Look very closely, and you might be able to tell that this fancy-looking DIY bar cart was once an IKEA coffee table. Cris of My Fashion Juice saved it from the curb, dressing it up with a coat of metallic spray paint. To complete the transformation, she surfaced the table top with mirror tiles and added casters to the legs.
5. CREATE AND COLLAPSE
If all you need is a pop-up drinks station for parties—or an extra surface for special occasions—take a cue from Erica at Honestly Yum. She made her collapsible DIY bar cart simply by adding gold-toned hardware to a black lacquer tray. Placed on a folding restaurant tray stand, Erica’s pseudo cart does the trick for as long as she needs it. Afterward, it stows neatly away.
- Green >
- Beep, Beep, Beep: Silence Your Malfunctioning Smoke Detector
Beep, Beep, Beep: Silence Your Malfunctioning Smoke Detector
If you're being driven mad by the shrill, intermittent beeping of your smoke alarm, it's probably trying to tell you something. Read on to learn what it's saying, so you can figure out how to make it stop.
If there have been nationwide polls conducted to determine what drives homeowners the most crazy, I would bet that beeping smoke detectors rank high on that list. As annoying as a smoke detector beeping can be, the most common cause is a low battery, a problem you can remedy without any hassle. It doesn’t matter whether the alarm runs entirely on batteries or is hardwired and has a battery backup—either way, you’re going to hear chirping when the battery goes dead.
But what do you do if you’ve replaced the battery and the smoke detector keeps on beeping?
A Mixed Bag
If the smoke detector is beeping irregularly, with no discernible pattern, it’s probably not the battery. It could be—brace yourself—that a spider has made itself cozy inside the alarm. Screw up your courage, take the cover off the device, and then use a can of compressed air to blow out any cobwebs that’ve gathered there.
Another common cause of a smoke detector’s beeping is a sharp variation in temperature and/or humidity. If the smoke alarm sits in an unconditioned part of your home—the attic, for example—it may be that in the winter, as the temperatures dropped, the battery became too cold to reliably deliver an electrical charge.
Yet another possible explanation: If it’s the type of smoke detector that goes off when something—ash, pollen, or dust—interrupts a small beam of light housed within the device, then even something as innocuous as an open window could be to blame. Consider cleaning the unit, being sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Reset the Power
If you’re dealing with a hardwired model, first try the suggestions above, but if the smoke detector continues to beep, then it’s time to visit the electrical panel. Look for a breaker labeled “smoke alarms” or “central alarm.” Toggle the breaker into the off position, wait a couple of minutes, then toggle it again to restore power. If the alarm does not resume its beeping, you’ve most likely solved the problem by resetting the device. To confirm, push and hold (for a few seconds) the test button on the face of the detector. If the alarm sounds a few times and then goes silent, that means it’s back to working order.
A smoke detector beeps so loudly that even if the sound seems to be coming from one spot, it may really be emanating from somewhere else in the home. Folks have been known to spend hours fussing with one smoke detector only to discover that the culprit was a smoke detector located in, say, the attic right above the alarm they’d been focused on.
It’s possible the beeping isn’t even coming from a smoke detector. Could it be that your carbon monoxide alarm was unplugged or that part of your home security system needs attention? Before concluding that a smoke detector is to blame, consider whether you have any other alarms in the house capable of producing a similarly ear-piercing beep.
Finally, how old is the smoke detector? Most manufacturers design their products to last for about 10 years. After a decade of service, some of the alarm’s components may no longer be functioning properly. The smoke detector itself, and not its battery, may be what needs replacement!
- Interior Design >
- The Cheapest Wall Art Option for Your Bare Walls
The Cheapest Wall Art Option for Your Bare Walls
If you've ever purchased a posters or prints, you know they're not cheap. If you really want to save money on wall art, the place to go is your local copy center. Here's why.
Recently, a single painting—Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jimson Weed/White Flower No.1—sold for a record high of $44.4 million at Sotheby’s. That is, of course, a staggering sum. But even for those of us content to own anonymous prints and not original works by cultural icons, art can seem astronomically expensive.
With money saving in mind, you might have visited your local copy center to inquire about the fees charged for photo enlargement. After all, how much could it cost to have a favorite photograph blown up and printed on quality paper? Well, as you would have found out, it usually costs a whole lot more than expected!
It’s all so head-scratchingly frustrating. That’s why so many people have gotten so excited about engineer prints. Never heard of them? Here’s the skinny.
What’s an Engineer Print?
Simply stated, an engineer print is a low-cost, black-and-white photo enlargement option at your local office supply store or copy center, including chains such as Staples and Kinko’s. The name refers to its most common use, in the architectural and engineering professionals. But this year, the rest of the world caught on, in large parts thank to these prints’ affordability. For about $10, you can get any photograph blown up to the gigantic proportions of your choosing.
Before you run to get one, understand this: An engineer print is not a photographic reproduction. The paper is thin, similar to weight of newsprint, and the print process is halftone black and white. With a resolution around 600 dpi, you end up with something more similar to a photocopy than a photographic print. That said, many people are fond of its imperfection, and if you get a little experimental in your photography, an engineer print can look downright artsy.
So How Do You Get One?
You’re only a few steps away from affordable art:
1. Choose a photo without a busy background, since details are most likely to get lost in the grainy reproduction. Higher resolution photographs end up being less grainy, so if you’re shooting new photos for the purpose of achieving a satisfying engineer print, set your camera to its highest level of resolution.
2. Having imported the photograph from your digital camera to a computer, use photo editing software to convert the photo to black and white. In the color settings, play with the contrast and brightness until you’re happy with the the image.
3. Decide what size you would like the engineer print to be. Consider the size of the wall you’re going to hang it on. Also, weigh whether or not you plan to hang the print. The larger the frame necessary, the more it’s going to cost. There’s no sense saving money on a print if you’re going to spend a boatload on its frame.
4. Visit the copy center and hand off your image(s) for printing.
How Do You Display It?
Options abound. If you decide not to frame the print, you can always mount it on a plywood backing, propping it up on a shelf or mantel. You can even split a larger image into sections, printing them out as separate panels to display next to one another, mural-style. Yet another creative idea: Skip the wall entirely and decoupage the engineer print onto a large piece of furniture. The price encourages experimentation and no-regret replacements when the season changes, or your mood does. No matter where you put the print, it’s bound to command attention and start conversations. What are you waiting for?