Category: How To’s & Quick Tips


DIY Desk Organizer with PVC Pipe

PVC pipe makes for a cheap and efficient desktop organization solution.

PVC Pipe Desk Organizer

Why buy a desktop organizer when you can make your own? That’s what Cher, brains behind Designs by Studio C, thought when she made this incredible PVC pipe office supply holder. Taking her inspiration from an in-store version, she hacked her own for less money and only a little extra work. Well done! Take a look to see how she took a simple plastic tube and made it into so much more.

For less than $10.00 including paint, you can make desk organizing cups with PVC in whatever color you want to match your decor plus the number of cubbies are entirely up to you!

MATERIALS

- PVC pipe (2″, 1.5″, 1.25″ round sizes)
- cardboard
- liquid nails
- spray paint
- mitre saw (or handsaw—or ask them to cut for you at hardware store)

STEP 1

I used a miter saw (or you can use a handsaw and miter box) to cut the pipe in random lengths. I cut a 30 deg. bevel at one end of each pipe.

Cut PVC pipe for DIY desktop organizer

STEP 2

I used spray paint (Valspar in Gloss Frosty Berry) and painted each piece separately.

STEP 3

Once the pieces were dry, I arranged the pieces in a manner I was happy with—not an easy task—then glued the pieces together with dabs of Liquid Nails.

Glue PVC pipe for DIY desktop organizer

 

STEP 4

For the bottom, I put the entire assembly on a piece of cardboard and drew around the outside of the cubbies.

Making DIY PVC pipe Desk Organizer

STEP 5

I cut it out with scissors, dabbed Liquid Nails on the bottom of the cubbies, and attached it to the cardboard.

DIY PVC Pipe Desktop Organizer

It is so easy and inexpensive to make desk organizing cups with PVC – the cups can be edged with washi tape for a sort of whimsical look or paint each pipe a different color. Taller pipes can be used for organizing paint brushes, as well.

PVC pipe organizer finished

Thanks for sharing, Cher! To see even more ingenious DIY projects and furniture plans, check out her website, Designs by Studio C.


DIY PVC Pipe Wine Rack

Instead of buying an upscale wine rack, this blogger made her own at a fraction of the cost.

Finished PVC Pipe Wine Rack

When Rachelle, blogger from Adventures in Creating, saw a modern (and pricey!) wine rack for sale, it was love at first sight. And when she realized she could make her own strikingly similar DIY wine rack using PVC pipe, well, the rest was history. Using her handy power tools and a heavy dose of ingenuity, she elevated the simple PVC pipe to an accent piece worth showcasing in any modern home. Take a look below to see how she did it—and you’ll see why this project gets a big thumbs up from BobVila.com.

Umbra Wine Rack

MATERIALS

- 4″ round PVC pipe
- 1.5″ round PVC pipe
- Dremel (or mitre saw)
- safety glasses
- mask
- #8-32 x 3/4 screws
- epoxy glue for plastic
- spray paint

STEP 1

I bought lengths at the hardware store. It was a little over $1 a foot. You can have them cut it down to the length you need so you won’t have to buy a big giant long pipe. I used 4″ and 1.5″ pipe.

STEP 2 

I used the plastic cutting bit of my Dremel to cut the pipe down further to 6″ lengths, 6 of each size. You can use a mitre saw or hack saw to cut the pipe if you don’t have a Dremel. Be sure to wear eye glasses and a mask—pipe dust gets everywhere!

Cutting PVC pipe for DIY Wine Rack

STEP 3

Once I had all my pieces cut I used a sander so smooth out the edges. If you use a different kind of saw you might be able to skip this step, my edges were not completely even. Then clean all your pipes to get any dust or residue off.

Sanding PVC pipe DIY wine rack

STEP 4

After that I arranged my pipes in the pattern I wanted, looking at the original picture as a guide.

Arranging PVC DIY wine rack

STEP 5

My main issue next was how to attach the pipes. There’s plenty of ideas of how to attach them end to end, but side to side was a different story. I decided to use a mixture of screws and epoxy glue made for plastic. (*Note: I have recently learned that Pluming Adhesive would be best for this!) I used #8- 32 x 3/4″ machine screws. We don’t have a real hardware store in our town so this is the best Walmart had. They are long enough to fit through the 4″ tubes where they connected and not to long on the ends where the 4″ and 2″ tubes connect.I marked the edges that needed screws then drilled 2 holes on either end 1″ in from the ends.

Attaching PVC pipe DIY wine rack

This was the hardest and most time consuming part. Marking each edge then drilling took some time but was successful in the end.

STEP 6

After is was all together I used Locktite Epoxy Glue made for plastic (again all Walmart had- E6000 or another brand would work fine) and poured it into the crevices. Because the screws are attaching hard edge to hard edge, the joints were a little wobbly. The glue helped keep them in place. Next time I might try rubber washers and see how that does instead.

I let the glue cure for 24 hours, then it was time to paint! I used a white Rustoleum spray paint to cover any of the original markings on the PVC pipe and to disguise the screws.

Finished DIY PVC pipe wine rack

Thanks for sharing, Rachelle! To see even more of her inventive DIYs, check out her site, Adventures in Creating.


DIY Kids Chairs with PVC Pipe

Turn PVC pipe into furniture like this blogger did.

PVC Kids Chairs

Summer might be over, but that didn’t stop us from appreciating these amazing (and amazingly simple-to-make) summer camp chairs. Made by one of the two Elizabeths behind Simple Simon and Company, these chairs are as affordable as they are easy to build. Plus kids will like them. That gets a thumbs up in our book. So take a look at how these PVC pipe chairs can be made in no time at all.

Kids Using DIY PVC Pipe Chairs

So, in my summer nostalgia, I was telling Liz about how I wanted to make some stools like I had when I was little for our kids. And so we started talking…. and we came up with these summer camp stools for our kids.  AND. THEY. ARE. AMAZING. They are light, portable… and the best part… YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO ASK YOUR HUBBY TO MAKE THEM. They are so easy! Really. And they can each be made for around $6 dollars a piece. Even better.

MATERIALS

- (4) 15″ pieces of 1″ round PVC pipe (you can have it cut at the home improvement store)
- (2) 10″ pieces of 1″ round PVC pipe
- (2) 7″ pieces of 1″ round PVC pipe
- 8 PVC elbows
- (2) 3″ bolts and nuts
- power drill
- 7 x 18 inches of ripstop nylon (or heavy duty canvas)
- primer and paint (optional)
- acetone (optional)

STEP 1

OK. Here is the deal. Go to your local home improvement store… ask them to cut the pieces, and help you find the rest of the pieces. You will have to drill 4 holes and that’s it. Really. We promise that you can do it!

STEP 2

OK, here’s what you need to do to make the seat covers. One helpful tip–use a super heavy duty canvas. It needs to be able to hold the child’s weight and not stretch out or rip.

Seat Cushions for DIY PVC Pipe Chairs

Measure and sew a 2.5 inch casing on each side, enough to slide through the PVC pipe.

STEP 3

And here’s how you make the seats. We did end up priming and painting our PVC pipes because they have black labels and numbers on them. (Another approach from a Simple and Simon Co. reader is to use acetone to remove the black labels.)

STEP 4

Drill hole in PVC pipes

Find the middle of all four 15″ PVC pipes and drill a hole in the middle of each.

STEP 5

Put seat on DIY PVC pipe chair

Thread the seat through one 7″ piece of pipe and one 10″ piece of pipe.

STEP 6

Making DIY PVC Pipe Chair

Make your pipes into rectangle shapes.

STEP 7

Criss cross DIY PVC pipe chairs

Then, criss-crossing your rectangles, line up your drilled holes and insert the bolts on each side of the chair. Use the nuts to tighten.

STEP 8

Finished DIY PVC Pipe Chairs

ENJOY!

Thanks to both Elizabeths at Simple Simon and Company for sharing with us. To see more of their crafts for kids or some fun fall projects, check out their website.

 

 

 


Genius! DIY Faux Stained Glass

DIY Faux Stained Glass

Photo: justpaintitblog.com

There’s something about the nostalgic and timeless beauty of stained glass… but genuine stained glass comes with a hefty price tag. So, innovative DIYers like Colleen from Just Paint It are making their own—and so can you!

Colleen’s a self described self-taught artist. “Years ago I was a display designer in a large craft store. Faux finishes were just coming into vogue and there were no glazes or tools locally available in California.” That was pre-Internet, which means Colleen got really creative with new craft products to create different effects. Eventually her love for the craft took her inside people’s homes, painting faux finishes and murals.

But for this paint lover, not all paint is equal. For home decor projects, she favors chalk paint and for artwork, watercolors. “I’m new to both of them and I absolutely love them. Chalk paint is incredibly forgiving and watercolors give a ‘painterly’ look with very little experience or effort.” She says she stays away from crackle finish, though. “I can’t think of one time I’ve had success with it.”

If you tackle this or any other paint project, here’s Colleen’s advice: “First and foremost—it’s only paint! If something doesn’t turn out, just paint over it and start over. Also, we are our own worst critics. Give yourself a break and some time to get the hang of a technique or new product.”

So with that in mind, here’s how to make your own faux stained glass!

MATERIALS
- Glass surface (I used a thrift store frame)
- Rubbing alcohol and cotton
- Pattern
- Glass stain leading
- Utility knife
- Glass stains (clear, yellow, orange, red, brown, and green)
- Toothpicks
- Paper towels
- Small paintbrush
- Painter’s tape (optional)

Materials to Make DIY Faux Stained Glass

You can use anything for a pattern, or my fall leaves, if you like. All you need is an outline. Or you could use stencils.

STEP 1
Thoroughly clean the glass with rubbing alcohol and allow to dry. While it’s drying, mark off the borders. I used the cardboard that came in the frame, created the borders and transferred the leaves.

DIY Faux Stained Glass - Steps

Photo: justpaintitblog.com

STEP 2
Pour your glass stain leading. Think about real stained glass—it’s a bunch of pieces of glass that are soldered together. So you want to create that effect with your leading and “solder” the glass into the frame. Leading takes about 6-8 hours to fully dry.

DIY Faux Stained Glass - Leading

Photo: justpaintitblog.com

 

I had some goopy clumps. No worries, ok? Just allow the leading to completely dry and then remove any clumps with your utility knife.

I missed a spot here and there. Again, no worries. Just come back with your leading and fill it in.

STEP 3
Next, mix and pour your colors. It’s so easy! Just squirt a little brown, then a little yellow, take a toothpick and swirl it all together. So much fun!

Couple of tips: “Pull” the colors to the leading with your toothpick. As the paint dries it shrinks a bit, so you want to make sure you’ve completely filled the space in with color.

I found it more comfortable to work in smaller portions, rather than filling in an entire leaf.

DIY Faux Stained Glass - Mixing Colors

Photo: justpaintitblog.com

Thanks for sharing, Colleen! To use Colleen’s pattern to make your own faux stained glass window or to watch her video tutorial to get started, check out her website.


DIY PVC Pipe Mirror

Crosscut PVC pipe comes together in a starburst mirror with a twist.

DIY PVC Pipe Mirror

Who says PVC pipe can’t be really, really good-looking? Alicia from Thrifty & Chic makes a case for keeping PVC pipe on hand as an essential DIY material. Using crosscut PVC pipe and a whole lot of glue, she made this fresh take on the classic starburst mirror. After using PVC pipe for various household projects, Alicia realized she had a lot leftover for a new project. That’s when she got out her trusty saw and got to work. She mentions (and we will too!) that her way might not be the safest way to go about this project—but it certainly worked for her. Make sure to take appropriate safety precautions and always wear the right safety gear when operating a saw. Safety first and ingenious mirror ideas second.

MATERIALS

- PVC pipe
- miter saw
- hot glue gun and glue sticks
- spray paint (optional)
- mirror
- safety glasses

STEP 1

You can spray paint your pipe whatever color you wish before you cut it.

STEP 2

I took the pipe, marked every 1/2 inch, and sent it through my miter saw. In order to get the best cut and not have it ping and then shoot out flying across the room, it is best to go at a slow downward speed. Just trust me on this one.

FYI: If you choose to use a miter saw, let it cool down a couple of times between cuts. It will thank you. Or if you don’t have a miter saw, and have a lot of time on your hands, you can cut these with a hack saw or even with pvc pipe cutters.

STEP 3

Now that you have all your cut pieces, lay them out into whatever desirable decor piece you would like.

Cut PVC pipe for DIY PVC mirror

STEP 4

Once you have this all laid out, start hot gluing them together. I started from the outside in. It just made more sense to do it that way. And as I was gluing, I made sure that pieces that had ink or marks on them were hidden beneath the glue so they wouldn’t be so obvious when I was finished with the piece—and mainly because, I was lazy and didn’t spraypaint or paint the pipe before hand to hide said marks.

STEP 5

Next, I took a mirror that I found at the craft store and glued that baby on also.

Hot Glue PVC Pipe Mirror

STEP 6

Once all was said and done….and dried. I had to clean off the hanging plastic that was left from the cutting and all the little shards of plastic that not-so-mysteriously appeared (as you can see above).

Finished PVC Pipe Mirror

Thanks for sharing, Alicia! To see even more of her inventive DIY projects, or to take a tour of her house, visit Thrifty & Chic!

 


DIY PVC Pipe Bathroom Storage

Hack PVC pipe into an inventive bathroom storage solution.

DIY PVC Pipe Toothbrush Holders

When Crafting in the Rain blogger, Steph, remodeled her bathroom, she said goodbye to an ugly old cabinet—but lost some prime storage space in the process. Since her new vanity left her with little counter space and her kids weren’t yet tall enough to reach the way-up-high shelves, she knew she’d have to get creative. 

That’s where these DIY PVC pipe toothbrush holders came into the picture. With this cheap and easy material, Steph made space for everyone’s toothbrush right where the kids could reach them. And the best part is that you can make your own, too!

MATERIALS

- 1-inch round PVC pipe
- PVC pipe end caps (one for each holder)
- command hooks
- vinyl or stickers
- PVC pipe cutter
- drill (or drill press)

STEP 1

Cut pipe into 4.25 inch sections.

STEP 2

Drill a hole about 1/2 inch from the end, making sure it’s on the “back side” where any printing is.

Drill PVC Pipe Toothbrush Holder

STEP 3

Wash the pipes. Cut vinyl initials (or use stickers) to label each holder. Add end caps; they don’t need to be glued on, and then you can disassemble them later and wash them out as needed.

STEP 4

Install command hooks on the inside of the cabinet door.  Our vanity is small, so more may fit in your doors if you need them.  Let them set for 1 hour before hanging holders and toothbrushes.

Command Hooks PVC Pipe Toothbrush Holder

STEP 5

Hang your new toothbrush holders!

Hanging PVC Pipe Toothbrush Holders

Thanks for sharing, Steph! For more inventive DIY projects, check out Crafting in the Rain!


DIY PVC Pipe Planter

PVC pipe end caps get new life as DIY planters.

DIY PVC Pipe Planters How to

Everyone’s got that their weak spot. For Melissa, it’s succulents. So when her gardening addiction found her running out of tiny containers for these low maintenance houseplants, she got creative. Inspiration struck in the unlikeliest of places—the plumbing aisle of the local hardware store. That’s where The Happier Homemaker blogger picked up all the materials she’d need to create these inventive PVC pipe planters. For about $5 and some paint she already had on hand, she elevated this humble plumbing staple to new heights. Take a look to see how she did it!

MATERIALS

- PVC end caps (1.5-inch and 3-inch)
- painter’s tape
- plastic primer
- gold spray paint
- soil
- succulents

How to DIY a Succulent Planter

STEP 1

I used painters tape to tape off the areas I wanted to stay white then I used the same Valspar Plastic Primer I used on my plastic playhouse makeover and gave them one quick coat.

STEP 2

I let that dry for an hour before giving them two light coats of my favorite spray paint-Krylon Quick Shots in Gold Leaf.

STEP 3

When the Gold Leaf was dry (I waited another hour) I carefully peeled off my tape-I love the way they turned out!

STEP 4

To plant my succulents I filled the bottom with gravel and then put the plants in potting mix on the top

PVC pipe succulent planters finished

Thanks for sharing, Melissa! To take a tour of Melissa’s house or see even more of her DIY projects, visit The Happier Homemaker


5 Things to Do with… Magnets

Tackle some of your biggest home organization challenges with the help of the small-but-mighty magnet.

In most homes, the only magnets are the ones studding the refrigerator door. And while many of us would be lost without the conveniently located everyday reminders posted there, magnets are actually quite versatile and can be used in so many different ways, not only in the kitchen, but also elsewhere in the home. Scroll down to see five ingenious DIY uses of magnets. Copy your favorite project, or let others’ creativity inspire your own decorative yet functional design.

 

1. SPICE THINGS UP

Uses of Magnets - Spice Storage

Photo: abeautifulmess.com

As the home cook stocks up on spices, his collection can very quickly expand to the point where it takes him five minutes to find the cinnamon. If that sounds familiar, try this trick from A Beautiful Mess: Move spices into shallow, compact containers with magnet backings that let them live on the front of the fridge.

 

2. BOOKMARK THIS

Uses of Magnets - Bookmark

Photo: feelincrafty.wordpress.com

From I’m Feelin’ Crafty, here’s a way to never lose your spot in a good read. Simply stitch small, circular magnets (available at your local craft store) between two strips of leftover fabric. Even if the book jostles around in your bag for hours, this customized, eye-catching, and magnetized bookmark isn’t very likely to budge.

 

3. GET IT TOGETHER

Uses of Magnets - Desk Accessories

Photo: houseofearnest.com

Is your desk littered with things like thumbtacks and paperclips? Magnets are perfect for corralling these metallic odds and ends, and you need not sacrifice style for better organization. Just look at what House of Earnest made by hot-gluing magnets inside leftover containers that she’d painted to complement her office decor.

 

4. STAY ORGANIZED

Uses of Magnets - Meal Planner

Photo: onelmon.com

Simplify meal planning with this fit-for-the-fridge project from Onelmon. Here, handy labels made from magnetic tape (and decorated with washi tape) represent the family’s favorite foods, while the days of the week and important reminders can be handwritten on the magnetic board with markers in your favorite colors.

 

5. PROVIDE EASY ACCESS

Uses of Magnets - Makeup

Photo: lizmarieblog.com

In some parts of the home, such as the bathroom, there’s a finite set of things that you’re always reaching for. To keep these “usual suspects” easily accessible, follow the lead of Liz Marie Blog, who mounted a magnetic board (beautified with a frame), then glued a magnet to each personal item she wanted to keep close at hand.


Today’s Homeowners Rediscover the Benefits of a Root Cellar

Store fruits and vegetables appropriately—in a cool, dark, well-ventilated storage area—and the fall harvest can last you most or all the way through the winter.

How to Build a Root Cellar

Photo: shutterstock.com

Until fruits and vegetables were available year-round at the grocery store, the root cellar played a vital role in daily life. Today, backyard gardeners (and those who buy in bulk at peak season) are rediscovering the advantages of the root cellar—in essence, a pantry for long-term storage of produce like apples and potatoes. Though classic root cellars were dug into hillsides, there are plenty of more casual ways to achieve the same result. No matter your approach to making one, keep these considerations in mind as you work to ensure that your grown or purchased produce lasts as long as possible into the winter season.

Temperature
When you set out to build a root cellar, temperature outweighs all other factors in importance. The reason why root cellars are so often underground is that below grade, temperatures are not only stable but cool. Anywhere between 32 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. Keep a close eye on the temperature, at least when you start. For help here, it’s certainly worthwhile to invest in a quality thermometer; choose one that tracks minimum and maximum readings over a set period of time.

Indoors, store produce low to the ground and close to the walls. Here, produce will remain a few degrees cooler than it would on a high shelf near the middle of the space. If your basement doesn’t get down to 32 or 40 degrees, follow in the footsteps of others who have dug below the basement slab in order to access cooler temperatures. The easiest method—though it has drawbacks—is to simply bury a produce-filled plastic or metal trash can in the yard, covering it closed with straw.

How to Build a Root Cellar - Potatoes

Photo: shutterstock.com

Ventilation
For a successful root cellar, the ventilation system must be designed so that it exchanges air without simultaneously raising the temperature. That can be accomplished by leveraging simple science: Warm air rises and cool air falls, so locate the intake on the low side of the cellar, while positioning the outlet near the ceiling of the storage area. A fan can force air through the intake, and if you are building the root cellar in your basement, a window can serve as the outlet. If possible, store produce in elevated crates for better circulation.

Humidity
Maintain a humidity level that’s high—about 90 to 95 percent relative humidity—but not so high that the root cellar becomes a dripping jungle. A dirt or gravel-covered floor may be moistened periodically with the addition of water. If humidity levels still fall short, try packing the produce in damp sawdust, sand, or moss. Along the way, track your progress with a hygrometer, a simple device that measures relative humidity.

Darkness
Because light can cause some fruits and vegetables to spoil more rapidly, keep the root cellar as dark as possible. If the storage area is going to inhabit your basement, plan to fully cover over any windows.

Size
A root cellar doesn’t need to be large. A five-by-eight space can hold up to 30 bushels—more than enough for most families. To maximize storage and to keep things organized, install slatted shelves along the walls.

Different types of produce have different storage requirements. If you’re serious about building a root cellar, research the recommendations for the specific fruits and vegetables you plan to keep there. With the general advice above, however, you should be well on your way to winter’s worth of healthy, fresh eating. Yum!

 


Weekend Projects: 5 Creative Ways to DIY Your Next Calendar

It's a busy time of year, and while there's much to recommend digital schedule-keeping, many of us prefer something we can actually touch. Here are five creative twists on the the traditional calendar.

It used to be that people relied on the seasons to measure the passage of time, but once the calendar came into common use—well, it stuck around. In recent years, though, many have chosen to go digital, transferring schedule-keeping to the online realm. But perhaps an equal number of us have chosen to stick with our traditional, tangible calendars. You can always buy a new one at the bookshop or stationery store, but since the appeal of a real calendar is that you can actually hold it in your hands, there’s poetic justice to the idea of making your own. Scroll down to see five DIY calendar projects to mimic or to inspire your very own design.

 

1. STICK IT

DIY Calendar - Washi Tape

Photo: modishandmain.com

DIY decorators have made a darling out of washi tape, which is Japanese adhesive paper that not only goes on and peels off easily, but also comes in an endless array of designs. Use the tape to create a border for your DIY calendar, then fill the grid with colored post-it notes, one for each day, as Modish and Main cleverly did here.

 

2. PAINT IT

DIY Calendar - Chalkboard Window

Photo: housebyhoff.com

Plenty of non-energy-efficient vintage windows are homeless and looking for a second life. House by Hoff figure out that for a weekly calendar, a paned window lends itself extraordinary well to use in a DIY calendar. Simply chalkboard-paint the glazed portions of the window and use vinyl letters to define the different days.

 

3. SNAP IT

Photo Calendar

Photo: photojojo.com

From Photojojo, here’s a DIY calendar perfect for any amateur photographers in the crowd. To get started, head outside and start snapping pictures of letters and numbers in your neighborhood. You’ll need 49 total: the numbers 1 through 31, a set of letters or words to represent the different days of the week, and 11 fillers.

 

4. CLIP IT

jennarosejournal.blogspot.com

Paint a regular clipboard and hang it from a nail in your entry hall or home office. Swap in patterned paper and simple print-out calendar templates for each passing month. It’s a quick way to see your month at a glance. For details on the (readily available) materials needed to make your own, head on over to Jenna Rose Journal.

 

5. BOX IT

Daily Calendar in a Box

Photo: witandwhistle.com

Some people use calendars to organize and plan; others use calendars to remember dates and reflect. Designed for the latter, a DIY calendar journal provides space to record your daily activities so that you can revisit them fondly year after year. Wit and WhistleWit and Whistle shows how to create one using only index cards and a recipe box.

, all you need to get started are a stack of index cards (365 of them) and an embellished recipe box for storage.