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How To: Pour a Concrete Patio

DIY Concrete Patio

Photo: quikrete.com

Whether rectangular or curvy in design, next to the home or freestanding in the yard, a concrete patio establishes new living space outdoors and adds a striking feature to the landscape. Of all the commonly used patio building materials, concrete ranks as one of the most durable and versatile. It’s affordable, too, not least because an ambitious, capable do-it-yourselfer can handle the project himself, saving the considerable cost of a contractor. If you’ve worked with concrete before and feel ready to tackle a larger, more complex project, you can—with proper planning, the right materials, and the necessary tools—achieve a long-lasting, eye-catching result. To help you succeed with minimal hassle, QUIKRETE® offers these detailed guidelines.

Before you begin, survey the location you’ve chosen for your DIY concrete patio. If the ground here isn’t level, you may need to regrade the site, with or without the help of an excavator. Even if there’s no plainly visible, dramatic slope and the terrain looks level, it’s best not to trust your naked eye. Rather, drive stakes around the project area, attaching mason’s strings between each one. Using a line level, make sure the string runs at a consistent height. Next, measure from the string to the ground at each stake. Compare the line-to-ground measurements of any two stakes, dividing the difference (in inches) by the distance between the two stakes (in feet). If you get a calculated slope greater than one inch per foot, then you’ve got some grading work ahead of you.

 

MATERIALS AND TOOLS

Photo: quikrete.com

- QUIKRETE® Concrete Mix or QUIKRETE® Crack-Resistant Concrete Mix
- Grade stakes
- Mason’s string
- Line level
- Tape measure
- Square-end spade
- QUIKRETE® All-Purpose Gravel
- Tamper
- 2×4 lumber
- Circular saw
- Level
- Power drill
- 3” screws
- Vegetable oil or release agent
- Wheelbarrow
- Stiff-bristled broom
- Concrete finishing tools
- QUIKRETE® Acrylic Cure & Seal

 

STEP 1: LAYOUT

DIY Concrete Patio - Layout

Photo: quikrete.com

Using either rope or a garden hose, delineate a rough outline for the planned patio. Next, drive in stakes in alignment with, but sitting about a foot outside, each corner of the rough layout. Once you have done so, run mason’s strings between the stakes; where possible, use two stakes set back about a foot from each corner so that the perpendicularly running strings will intersect at the true corners of the project area. Now it’s time to square the staked-out area. To do so, use what’s known as the 3-4-5 triangle method. From any corner, measure and mark a point three feet out along one string, four feet out along the other. Measure between the two points. Is the distance precisely five feet? If not, adjust the position of the strings, resetting the stakes if necessary, until the points are, indeed, five feet apart. Follow the same approach in each corner of the project area. Finally, use a line level to ensure that the mason’s strings run at a consistent level.

 

STEP 2: EXCAVATION

DIY Concrete Patio - Excavation

Photo: quikrete.com

To keep water from pooling on the patio surface—or worse, flooding your basement—give your patio a slight, rain-shedding slope. At this stage, setting the slope means angling the mason’s strings. Follow the two strings running away from the house to the stakes where they’re tied. Because the standard slope is 1/8 inch per foot, multiply the planned length of the patio’s side (in feet) by 1/8. Whatever you get, that’s how far down to move the strings. Finished? OK: The most laborious part of the process begins now. Your goal is to excavate the project area—and six inches around it—to a depth of six inches below the mason’s strings. For all but the most forgiving soil, a square-end spade may be your best bet. Good luck! Upon completing the excavation, add in a layer of QUIKRETE® All-Purpose Gravel to provide a level, stable foundation. Pour the gravel to a thickness of about five inches, then use a tamper to compress it to four inches.

 

STEP 3: FORM WORK

DIY Concrete Patio - Formwork

Photo: quikrete.com

Whereas it takes brawn to complete the site excavation, it takes finesse to construct the form—that is, the wood frame that needs to be built to contain the poured concrete, establish its height, and determine its shape. Begin by positioning 2×4 boards onto the gravel along the perimeter of the project area, using the mason’s strings as a reference. Because the inside dimensions of the form must equal the total size of the project area, set the boards so that their inside edges hit directly below the strings. Then, every three feet along the outside edges of the form boards, drive in a foot-long stake cut from your stock of 2×4′s. To fasten the stakes to the boards, drill three-inch deck screws through the one and into the other. Finally, after leveling the form boards, screw them all together to finish. To prevent the concrete from bonding with the wood, coat the form with either vegetable oil or a commercial release agent.

 

STEP 4: POURING AND FINISHING

DIY Concrete Patio - Pouring & Finishing

Photo: quikrete.com

Proceed to mix and pour the concrete in evenly placed mounds. From there, distribute the concrete over the project area by means of a hoe, then level out the concrete with a screed board—here, simply a 2×4. Advance the screed in a sawing motion, removing the excess concrete in front of the board and using it to fill any dips behind it. Once the concrete has lost its sheen, go over it with a wood float, using arcing motions to smooth the surface. After that, finish the conrete with a stiff-bristled broom to make the surface nonslip. Now, as a next-to-last step, allow for seasonal expansion and contraction by using a groover and straightedge to put in control joints. Control joints should be cut to a quarter of the slab depth and added at least every 10 feet in each direction. Finally, apply QUIKRETE® Acrylic Concrete Cure & Seal, not only to eliminate the need for water-curing, but also to repel water and prevent stains.

 

Watch a video demonstration of concrete pouring, courtesy of QUIKRETE®!

For more even more details on pouring a patio, visit QUIKRETE® now!

Photo: quikrete.com

This post has been brought to you byQUIKRETE® Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.


Boost Laundry Room Efficiency in 3 Steps

A cluttered space and neglected appliances can cut down on your laundry room’s productivity and possibly create a household hazard. Follow our instructions for proper maintenance to keep your laundry room as safe and efficient as possible.

Laundry Room Tips - Washer and Dryer

Photo: fotosearch.com

It’s one of those little ironies: The laundry room often gets next to no TLC, even though we rely on it for the care and cleaning of so many of our other possessions. In addition to being the hub for dirty clothes, laundry rooms also act as a catchall for everyday items, which can quickly lead to a disorganized space. But laundry room clutter doesn’t just affect the room’s aesthetic; it can also impair the functionality of your appliances and lead to some real safety hazards. Here are some guidelines to help ensure that your laundry appliances and the space itself are in tip-top shape.

Laundry Room Tips - Cleaning

Photo: fotosearch.com

Get Organized 
Take note of all the nonessentials that have gradually accumulated in your laundry area and dispose of what’s not useful. For instance, if you’re collecting an Everest-like pile of rags, keep only enough to fill a small grocery bag and pitch the rest. Consider how you actually live, and not the special, sometime-in-the-future circumstances.

After you’ve removed the obvious excesses, evaluate your stash of cleaning supplies. There’s a reason household chemicals are labeled with so many warnings. Minimize the danger by keeping only what you use, and trashing any products that have passed their expiration date. Organize what remains on shelving or in cabinets, being careful not to store reactive chemicals, such as ammonia and bleach, near each other. Also, be aware that flammable liquids must never be kept near a gas-fired appliance, such as a water heater, boiler, or furnace.

Check Up and Clear Out
Today’s washers and dryers are so user-friendly that homeowners often forget that they, like any other heavy-duty machine, need at least occasional—if not regular—maintenance. Proper upkeep will be rewarded with excellent performance, a longer product lifespan, and even peace of mind: According to the National Fire Protection Association, one out of every 22 house fires starts in the laundry room. But it doesn’t take much time or energy to stay safe. Here’s what to do.

First, carefully inspect the washing machine hoses—both the hot and cold inlet hoses and the drain hose—for signs of wear. If they’re rubber, consider swapping them for more durable, braided-metal hoses. You should also consider equipping the drain hose with a strainer to keep debris from clogging the outflow. The component most likely in need of attention is the gasket around the washer door; its rubber needs to be intact and flexible to form a proper seal, so keep an eye out for cracks or tears. Depending on the age of your appliance, you may be able to find a suitable replacement at your local hardware store or home center. If not, contact the manufacturer.

When it comes to the clothes dryer, you already know the lint trap needs to be cleaned after each use. To remove stubborn lint, try using either a damp cloth or fabric softener sheets. Rinsing with warm water helps, too. Next, clear the exhaust by disconnecting the hose from behind the appliance and vacuuming out the buildup. To do a thorough job, consider purchasing a dryer vent cleaning kit—ideally one with a rotary brush that extends up to 12 feet. If your exhaust hose is made of either flexible plastic or foil, don’t hesitate to replace it with rigid or flexible metal ducting. Metal ducts have smooth interiors that resist the clogs that create so many problems, including fires.

Wash the Washer
Believe it or not, the washing machine needs to be cleaned every so often, particularly if you own pets. When the interior drum is completely dry, vacuum using the brush attachment and then wipe down the walls. Residue from detergent and fabric softeners can accumulate over time, which can result in performance issues—and a foul odor. To combat this problem, periodically run the empty washer with a cup of white vinegar or liquid chlorine bleach instead of detergent.

Finally, check the filters that sit where the hot and cold water inlet hoses meet the washing machine—you may discover dirt and limescale that need to be removed. To clean these filters, first unplug the washer and turn off its water supply. Next, disconnect the inlet hoses and, with a careful twist, remove the filters. After a soak in white vinegar, they should emerge good as new. Rinse them in cold water, put them back in place, reconnect the lines, and restore the water supply.

You should notice a performance improvement, but that won’t be the only payoff—with this little bit of regular maintenance, you can also expect your washer and dryer to last longer and cost less to run. Now, with your laundry area decluttered and your washer and dryer cleaned up and humming along, resolve to keep this hardworking space organized in the future for a safer, more-efficient laundry room.


How To: Install Chair Rail Molding

Historically used to protect walls from being damaged by the seat backs of chairs, chair rails now serve primarily as a stylish embellishment. With these straightforward instructions, you'll be able to install chair rail molding in a weekend—and reap its visual and practical benefits for years to come.

How to Install Chair Rail

photo: zillow.com/digs

Sometimes the simplest updates make the most impact in a room—and chair rail molding is no exception. More than an easy way to add architectural interest and classic style to bare and basic walls, chair rail is also a fairly straightforward addition that most DIYers can tackle in a weekend. Follow our steps for installation, and give your space an embellishment to brag about.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Tape measure
- Chair rail molding
- Masking tape or pencil
- Level
- Compound miter saw or handsaw and miter box
- Hammer or pneumatic nailer
- Nail set
- 2-1/2-inch finish nails
- Wood glue or construction adhesive
- Wood filler
- Sandpaper
- Caulk and caulk gun
- Paint or stain

How to Install Chair Rail - Nailing

photo: fotosearch.com

STEP 1
Before you purchase materials, determine how much molding you’ll need by measuring the length of your walls at the appropriate chair rail height. As a general rule, chair rail should be applied one-third of the way up the wall from the floor—so for a room with an 8-foot ceiling, installing the chair rail at around 32 inches is a safe bet. When considering how much to buy, make allowances for miter cuts and mistakes by adding about 1 foot to the length of each wall.

STEP 2
Shop around for your favorite style of molding, mindful of the room’s existing trim when making your selection. Installation will be easiest and will look best if the molding is similar to and no thicker than the trim around the room’s doors and windows. Whether you’re interested in a simple, restrained look or something more ornate, most big-box home improvement stores will carry a wide selection of molding to choose from. If you strike out there, though, a local millwork dealer or lumberyard is sure to have options that suit your style.

STEP 3
If you’re looking to paint or wallpaper your room, do that before you install the chair rail, and plan to touch up afterward as necessary. Next, find the wall studs and mark their locations with masking tape or a pencil. Then, use a level and measuring tape to draw a guideline around the room at the height where you want the chair rail to sit. If your floor is not level (a common issue in older or historic homes), you may need to split the difference between the guideline on the wall and a consistent measurement from the floor, otherwise the chair rail could end up looking crooked even if it is truly level.

STEP 4
Evaluate your space so you can figure out a plan of attack for cutting the molding to fit. If possible, start at a window or doorframe that requires only one piece of molding that can be cut at a 90-degree angle on both ends. For everything else, you’ll need to employ a few other cuts to create specific joints.

• If one of your walls runs longer than your longest piece of molding, connect two pieces with a miter joint. The two should join over a wall stud, so first measure along the wall and cut the moldings to a length at which they will overlap at the stud. The cuts should be at opposite 45-degree angles.
• For inside corners where one of the strips of molding has been finished with a square cut, you will have to cope the end of the connecting piece for a seamless joint.
• For outside corners, a miter joint formed from two matching 45-degree angles will do the trick. Not all outside corners are perfect right angles, however, so it’s best to use scrap pieces to test the corner angle before making the cut on your molding.

STEP 5
If you want to apply a stain to your molding, do so before attaching it to the wall, and touch up after as necessary. But if you want to paint the molding, it’s best to apply a coat of primer first, attach the molding to the wall, and then paint the molding once it’s set.

STEP 6
To install the molding, apply wood glue or construction adhesive to the back of the first piece and attach it to the wall, placing the bottom edge of the wood at the guideline you marked in Step 3. Secure each piece with two 2-1/2-inch finishing nails in line with each other. When you’re bringing two ends together in a miter joint, add extra wood glue at the joint, and complete the seam with two finishing nails into the studs. Use a nail set to recess the nail heads to achieve a smooth appearance. Continue with each piece until you complete the room.

STEP 7
Once you’re sure all nail heads are recessed, use wood filler to fill the holes and any gaps at joints. Then, lightly sand the filler and the joints. Apply a bead of caulk at the top and bottom edge of the molding where it meets the wall. Finally, complete any touch-ups or finish coats as necessary and step back to admire a job well done.


This 1 Clever Product Turns Anything into a Table

Crafting your own furniture has never been so simple! Check out the sleek, modern, and easy-to-add clamp legs that are revolutionizing the idea of custom pieces.

Floyd Leg - Kitchen Table

Photo: thefloydleg.com

Got an old wood plank, used door, or slab of countertop sitting around? Well, then you’re halfway to a truly one-of-a-kind custom table! If you had a set of four clamp-on legs, you could set up (and later break down) an extra work surface in minutes. That’s the idea co-founders Kyle Hoff and Alex O’Dell dreamed up, which resulted in The Floyd Leg, a new line of reusable table legs that instantly transform flat surfaces into tabletops.

“I was moving frequently between cities and constantly disposing of furniture,” Hoff says, noting that nothing was terribly convenient to pack up and transport. “The legs were born out of these circumstances, and the idea resonated with our friends.” It was an immediate hit with consumers around the world, too. Launched as a Kickstarter project two years ago, The Floyd Leg had a successful initial run in which more than 1,500 sets were supplied and shipped from the Detroit warehouse to 33 countries.

Floyd Leg - Coffee Table

Photo: thefloydleg.com

Today, the company that started with simple, sleek clamp legs now sells four different products—including one that lets you craft custom floating shelves from flat scrap materials. The company’s online shop lists two sizes of the original leg, one 16 inches and the other 29.5 inches tall (the height of a standard table). Each set of legs supports up to 75 pounds, making them suitable for light-duty use holding a side table, foyer catchall, plant seat, or coffee table. A heavier-duty Floyd Utility Set meets more substantial needs, holding up to 125 pounds—perfect for a dining table, work desk, or even a Ping-Pong table! Constructed of powder-coated steel, The Floyd Leg is available in classic black and white as well as bold hues that include Vermillion Red, Saffron Yellow, and Pastel Blue, while the Utility Set comes in black or white, with a cross-bracing strap of black, green, or gray. No matter how you customize, all options pack plenty of personality into the sleek modern design.

Purchase The Floyd Leg, starting at $179 for a set of four.


Lawn Mower Pit Stop: 5 Maintenance Musts

This summer, show your lawn mower some love, and let it reward your efforts with better performance and a longer life.

Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips

Photo: fotosearch.com

Your lawn mower has more in common with a race car than you might think. To stay in top working order, both require that their hardworking parts be properly maintained on a regular basis. Just as Nascar drivers pull over for pit stops midcompetition, homeowners should take time for some lawn mower maintenance at least once during the season. If neglected, your mower might not make it to summer’s end. By following these simple tune-up tips, you can go a long way toward ensuring that your mower not only continues to function at peak level, but also remains a reliable performer for many summers to come.

 

1. CLEAN SLATE

Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips - PivotPro Isolated

Photo: thehydeway.com

First things first: Mower maintenance must include a thorough cleaning. Spray down the plainly visible portions of your mower, but also, and more important, be sure to clean the underside of the deck. This is where the most dirt and grass clippings accumulate. Traditionally, cleaning the underside of a lawn mower always begins with the hassle of tipping the machine over onto its side—no easy feat, considering average equipment size and weight. Today, it’s all a lot easier—a lot less messy too—if you employ the HYDE PivotPro Outdoor Cleaning Water Wand. Named for its patented pivoting nozzle, this powerhouse cleaning tool attaches directly to your garden hose and sprays water at any angle along a radius of 135 degrees. Simply tilt up the mower, prop up its wheels, and slip the PivotPro nozzle underneath. Then, by adjusting the grip on the barrel of the PivotPro, aim the spray upward to blast crud off the mower blade and deck housing.

Has it been a while since you last cleaned your mower? If so, don’t hesitate to bring soap into the equation. Choose a mild detergent, and pour it right into the PivotPro mixing reservoir. Next, after setting your desired soap-to-water ratio, point the PivotPro and toggle the trigger to send a steady, soap-infused stream of cleansing water wherever you want it to go. For maximum cleaning power, scrub the mower at the same time as you’re spraying it down. PivotPro comes with a stiff-bristle brush that swings into action when you need it and out of the way when you don’t. For all its attachments, perhaps the best part about PivotPro is that, thanks to its 46-inch length and adjustable spray angle, you can easily get to all those hard-to-reach areas, attacking grit and grime from every side, all without having to bend, stretch, or stoop. For that reason and many more, cleaning the mower—and countless outdoor surfaces—couldn’t be easier, thanks to PivotPro.

Note: Before you begin cleaning your mower, cover up the air intake to keep it dry. Also, try to avoid spraying directly into any parts of the engine that are enclosed with steel mesh.

 

2. TOP UP 

Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips - Engine Oil

Photo: fotosearch.com

It would be overkill to check the oil level every time you mow the lawn, but when you’re tuning up the mower, it’s a good idea to top off the fill tube. Be careful not to add too much, though; excess oil can cause many of the same engine problems that too little oil does. If you’ve been operating the mower over rough and dusty terrain, be aware that such conditions sometimes degrade oil. Before adding any oil, therefore, it’s smart to inspect the color of the existing oil. If it’s dark, that means the oil has degraded and needs to be changed out. Different mower models drain oil in different ways; check your manual for specific instructions.

 

3. FRESH AIR

Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips - Air Filter

Photo: fotosearch.com

Lawn mowers live not only on gasoline, but also on air. Therefore, it’s critical to address any clogs in the air filter. Left unchecked, a clogged air filter can kill a perfectly good engine. Fortunately, most air filters are easy to clear out. You can usually restore a paper filter to like-new condition by means of an air hose. Own a mower with a foam filter? Simply wash it under soapy water, then allow it to dry out completely. No matter what type of filter you’re dealing with, if you find that it’s damaged beyond repair, you can always purchase and install a new one. Just bring your old filter with you to the home center so you know what type to get.

 

4. PLUG IN

Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips - Spark Plugs

Photo: fotosearch.com

In the absence of a functional spark plug, the fuel you’re adding to your lawn mower might as well be pure water. So, as a general rule of thumb, whenever you change the oil, you should also change the spark plug. To do so, remove the wire attached to the existing spark plug, then use pliers or a wrench to remove the plug by turning it counterclockwise. Once it’s free, check the threaded part of the plug for grease or oil; if you see any, something may be amiss. Be smart and take your mower to a repair shop that specializes in small engine repair. Otherwise, swap in a new plug, aiming for a snug fit but making sure not to overtighten the component.

 

5. BE SHARP

Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips - Blade

Photo: fotosearch.com

Mower blades take a serious beating from common, often hidden, landscape hazards like loose rocks and exposed roots. Unless you go out of your way to look at it, you probably wouldn’t notice a dull blade, but you can plainly see its effects. That’s because, rather than cleanly trim, a dull blade rips and shreds grass blades. This isn’t merely a problem of aesthetics—grass cut by a dull blade can be unusually susceptible to disease and pest problems. To protect the health of your lawn, have a local service shop sharpen your blade. Alternatively, tackle the job yourself: Remove the blade, clamp it in a vise, and repeatedly run a metal file along the edge.

 

If you keep your mower in top condition this summer, you’ll be able to spend more time enjoying your weekends and less time struggling with your lawn equipment. Take good care of your mower, and you can expect the machine to reward your efforts with peak performance and a longer lifespan.

This post has been brought to you by Hyde Tools. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.


Bob Vila Radio: Removing a Wall Anchor

They make it a cinch to mount artwork and keepsakes, but removing wall anchors can be a tricky task. Here are some pointers.

Wall anchors allow you to hang almost anything almost anywhere. But what does one do to remove a wall anchor?

Removing Wall Anchors

Photo: fotosearch.com

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Listen to BOB VILA ON REMOVING WALL ANCHORS or read the text below:

If there’s a screw in the anchor, remove it. Next, inspect the anchor closely. If it’s made of plastic and features a plus-sign-shaped slot on its end, insert a Phillips screwdriver and turn it to the left. If the anchor binds on the way out, give it a gentle pull with your needle-nose pliers. If it still remains stuck, slip the edge of a putty knife under the collar of the anchor, then tap the handle of the knife until it slices off the collar. Finally, poke an awl into the anchor and give it a tap or two, pushing the anchor in the cavity of the wall.

For metal anchors, you’ll probably do better using your needle-nose pliers to grab the collar of the anchor and gently bend and twist it until it pops off. You can then tap what remains of the anchor into the wall cavity. Now, all you’ll need to a little joint compound and light sanding to make that hole disappear!

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free.


5 Things to Do with… Pool Noodles

Almost every swimming enthusiast has used a pool noodle, but there’s a lot more to this colorful flotation device than meets the eye. Here are 5 cool new uses for pool noodles (swimming pool not required).

Brightly colored pool noodles usually evoke images of relaxing summer days spent lazily afloat, but these versatile water toys can do more than assist you in soaking up the sun. Lightweight and vibrant, pool noodles have the potential to decorate and buffer as well as make your summer afternoons more refreshing all around. Read on for five reasons to snatch these kiddie toys from the pool and use them for crafting.

 

1. CRAFT A COOL GARLAND

Pool Noodle Crafts - Garland

Photo: sugarandcloth.com

Celebrate the summer with this super-simple decor idea from Kathleen of Snowdrop & Co.! As a minimal-effort alternative to the ever-popular tissue-paper tassel garland, use a craft knife to slice various colors of pool noodles and then string them in alternating hues onto a length of twine. The end result: an easy way to get festive at any backyard barbecue or porch party.

 

2. FORM A WREATH

Pool Noodle Crafts - Wreath

Photo: bravenewhome.com

Showcasing a gorgeous wreath on the front door is a wonderful way to welcome guests to your home—and it’s even more rewarding if you make it yourself. Rather than purchasing an expensive wreath form, simply cut a pool noodle to a length that, when shaped into a circle, complements the size of your door. Duct tape the ends together, wrap the wreath with felt or fabric, add a few decorations (if you’d like) and hang. It’s that easy.

 

3. DIY A DOORSTOP

Pool Noodle Crafts - Door Stop

Photo: muslinandmerlot.blogspot.com

Keep kids from accidentally getting their tiny fingers and hands slammed in doors with this genius project from Muslin & Merlot. Cut a pool noodle so that it’s about 10 inches long, and then make a vertical cut on one side. Carve out a little extra in the middle so there’s space to slip it over the side of your door, then sand the edges with fine-grit sandpaper and affix in place. No more slamming!

 

4. MAKE A ROOT BEER FLOAT

Pool Noodle Crafts - Drinks Float

Photo: wikihow.com

Nothing pairs more perfectly with a laid-back pool day than refreshing beverages. Now, if you craft this DIY floating cooler, you don’t even need to get out of the water to grab a cool one. To make yours, cut a pool noodle in pieces sized to fit around a lightweight plastic shoe or sweater bin. Run a strong string though the holes in the pool noodle and tie it tightly around the outside of the makeshift cooler. All that’s left is to fill your “cooler” with ice and a few drinks. Be sure to test how much weight the container can hold before loading it up—your refreshments won’t do you any good on the bottom of the pool!

 

5. CHILDPROOF A TRAMPOLINE

Pool Noodle Crafts - Childproofing

Photo: instructables.com

Anyone who’s ever been pinched by a trampoline’s huge springs will be thankful for this affordable hack. Keep little ones’ toes safe and sound with these easy directions from Instructables: Measure the length of the trampoline springs and then use a serrated kitchen knife to cut pool noodles into pieces of that size. Cut a vertical slit on one side of each pool noodle piece, then slide one piece over each spring surrounding your trampoline. It takes only about 10 minutes to save you a season’s worth of injuries.


IKEA Wants You to Help Design Tomorrow’s Kitchen

IKEA believes that there's no such thing as a bad idea. The innovative Swedish brand has called for a global brainstorm to explore the way we use the kitchen and, ultimately, to discover the future of kitchen design.

IKEAtemporary - Concept Kitchen

Photo: IKEA

Too little storage, not enough chairs? For any sort of home furnishings conundrum, IKEA has the answers. But when it comes to homes of the future, IKEA has only questions—and lots of them. In 20 years, how are people going to be cooking, and in what type of kitchen? And if family dinners are so hard to schedule in 2015, what’s it going to be like in 2036? To explore such questions, the company has launched #IKEAtemporary, a six-month workshop that includes dozens of events, online and off. Whether it’s a pop-up expo in Milan, a streaming video cook-along, or a live Twitter dialogue, #IKEAtemporary wants to get people talking.

IKEAtemporary - HACKA

Photo: IKEA

This isn’t the first time that the Swedish retailer has delved deep to better understand the kitchen, not to mention cooking and eating and the role of both in everyday life at home. Earlier this year, IKEA teamed up with design students to create Concept Kitchen 2025, an experiment showing how technology could be not an obstacle, but a bridge that enables us all to enjoy healthier, more rewarding relationships with food and each other. And then, of course, there’s IKEA HACKA, a new modular kitchen system that makes it possible to customize a solution that perfectly responds to your individual needs. For the first time, you can combine IKEA products with what you’ve already got to create something totally unique.

Paola Navone, Thomas Sandell, Matali Crasset, and other acclaimed designers are joining the kitchen-focused conversation, and you can too! Voice your thoughts across social media—on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter—using the hashtag #IKEAtemporary. As the company’s design manager Marcus Engman says: “Even more brainpower can only be a good thing. We want your thoughts, opinions, and feedback on what we can improve. We believe it’s much better when you tell us how you want to live—not the other way around. You could say that IKEA has the ingredients, but you have the recipes.”

 

 

This post has been brought to you by IKEA. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.


Genius! This DIY Bottle Opener Catches Caps, Too

This no-mess bottle opener and cap catch is the best thing to happen to your summer socializing since beer bottle caps were patented in 1892!

DIY Bottle Opener Cap Catcher

Photo: imgur.com

Hosting a summer party for family and friends is hardly a small task. Manning the grill, scrambling to set up seating, compiling the perfect playlist—pulling it all off can take some work. So the drinks—at the very least—should be refreshingly easy! With convenience in mind, Redditor ComradeNorgren made an easy add-on for the fridge that does everything but buy the beer for you. When you use it to pop off the top of your bottle, it will even catch the discarded cap so there’s no cleanup.

To make the bottle opener’s base, cut a piece of wood about four inches wide and nine inches long. Then, pick the spot along the board where your caps should collect. Use a drill press to create a hole in the back side of the board to hold a rare-earth magnet. The hole should be deep enough so that only about 1/8 inch of wood will sit between the magnet and the popped caps. Place the magnet inside the hole. Continue by boring two shallow holes, one at the top and one at the bottom of the back side of your piece of wood, and fill these with rare-earth magnets to hold the device to the fridge. Secure all the magnets with wood glue or epoxy. Finally, using two screws, attach a stationary bottle opener toward the top of the front side of the board. For a warmer, more finished look, you can sand the wood and wipe the board down with tung oil.

Because it’s mounted magnetically rather than screwed in, this is an ideal project for renters or homeowners who are trying to minimize wall damage. Plus, it allows you to place the opener right on the other side of the door from your chilled drinks. No more digging around—or forcing your guests to dig around—for a bottle opener. Cheers to that!

FOR MORE: Reddit

DIY Bottle Opener Cap Catcher - Series View

Photo: imgur.com


Bob Vila Thumbs Up: The Repurposed Dresser Competition Starts Today

Vote now—and vote daily—to choose your favorite among the repurposed door projects competing to win this month's Bob Vila Thumbs Up competition!

Photo: fotosearch.com

Perhaps, there’s no satisfaction so sweet as seeing a raw materials take shape into an incredible DIY project. But we happen to think that the rewards of repurposing a junky piece of furniture into a new household staple are just as great. That’s why we’re featuring some of the most incredible furniture revivals around the web in this Bob Vila Thumbs Up competition.

SEE ALL PROJECTS HERE

Bob Vila Thumbs Up highlights some of the best and brightest DIY bloggers, and this month we’re excited to share five beautiful dresser redos. Each and every one wins points for creativity and style, but we’re counting on you to help us name one blogger as the champion of this month’s competition and the prize—a $250 gift card.

SEE ALL PROJECTS HERE

So cast your vote today and every day in June to help your favorite blogger become this month’s Bob Vila Thumbs Up winner. After all, it’s your vote that determines the outcome of this competition.

Congrats to last month’s winning blogger, Thistlewood Farms. Read more about the winning Bob Vila Thumbs Up project right here.

Would you like to recommend a blogger for the next Bob Vila Thumbs Up? Tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter!