Category: How To’s & Quick Tips

Quick Tip: Clean Your Clothes Iron with Rock Salt

This simple cleaning tip will help your iron glide smoothly over your clothes—and prevent any accidental stains the next time you'd like something pressed.

How to Clean the Bottom of an Iron - Ironing Clothes


Cleaning your clothes iron probably isn’t at the top of your priority list, but you’ll wish it had been the minute your dirty iron leaves an unsightly stain on your pants or shirt. Keep this from happening by regularly removing built-up residue. The process is so simple that there’s really no excuse for having a dirty iron—all it takes to keep yours clean is a sprinkle of salt.

How to Clean the Bottom of an Iron - Clothes Iron


Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until your iron causes a stain to know it needs cleaning. How can you tell it’s time for a good going-over? The answer is easy: resistance. A well-maintained iron will glide effortlessly over clothing, while a dirty iron is more difficult to move. Over time, starch, fabric softener, and melted fibers build up on the iron’s metal plate—also known as the soleplate—making it difficult to maneuver. A dash of salt not only scrubs off stubborn residue, it also offers an inexpensive, environmentally friendly alternative to store-bought cleaners.

Begin by placing a flat brown paper bag (one without print) on top of your ironing board, then sprinkle one tablespoon of salt over the bag. While any variety of salt will work, perhaps the best choice is one with a larger surface area, like rock, kosher, or sea salt. (Smaller grains, like those found in table salt, tend to get stuck in the steam holes and can be difficult to remove.) Be sure to set your iron to the highest possible cotton setting—without steam. Once it’s hot, run the metal plate across the paper bag, and continue to rub the iron in a circular motion over the salt crystals. After a minute or two, let the iron cool and brush off any remaining crystals. If your iron still seems sticky, throw away the first batch of salt and repeat the process with a fresh sprinkling. Depending on how long you waited to clean your clothes iron in the first place, it may take more than one try to get the job done. That’s all there is to it! You’d be hard-pressed to find an easier, less expensive solution for keeping your iron sparkling clean and your clothes stain-free.

Genius! The Easy-as-Pie Way to Carve a Pumpkin

Halloween is fun for all ages, but it's even better without the mess. With two easy pieces—one from the kitchen and one from your toolkit—you can make this kid-friendly jack-o'-lantern in just a few easy steps.

Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Kids - Use a Cookie Cutter


Celebrating Halloween with the kids seems like a great idea…until it gets scary. Pumpkin guts everywhere, kids equipped with carving knives, and arguments bubbling up over how to carve the face (sweet? no, spooky!). Amplify all of that by the sugar rush from the pile of candy just unwrapped. Keep the peace—and from having to pull out the Band-Aids—with a genius carving trick from Steph of Modern Parents Messy Kids. The best part: Her way to get quick, clean cuts is probably already camping out in your kitchen.

Instead of making a run to the store for a kit this year, rifle through a drawer and grab a few cookie cutters to guide your cuts. Begin as you typically would, slicing off the top of your jack-o’-lantern with a sharp knife and scooping out all of the pulp. Then hand the emptied-out gourd over to the kids, and have them tap their preferred cookie cutters into the skin of the pumpkin using a rubber mallet or small hammer. Once a design is pressed into place, the supervising adults can carve along the inside of each cookie cutter and punch the shapes out.  To get that gourd glowing, add a candle or an LED lantern inside and set it on the porch.

Besides keeping the mess to a minimum, this method makes it easy to appease picky kids. Steph’s advice: Customize your own ‘kit’ with “whatever theme your kids are currently interested in” by snagging one or two themed cookie cutters when they go on sale. The kids won’t get bored, and your porch will feature pumpkin carvings with pro results. What’s not to love?

FOR MORE: Modern Parents Messy Kids 

Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Kids - Glowing Pumpkin


DIY Lite: Modern Bookends on a Modest Budget

Add a touch of originality to your shelves with a DIY geometric bookend, molded easily from leftover cardboard and a little concrete mix.

How to Make Concrete Molds - Finished DIY Bookends

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Wholly malleable yet still a sturdy project material, concrete mix has proven its worth outside of just lawn and garden projects. The versatile supply has come en vogue for many in the interior design world, achieving the trendy industrial-modern quality in a large range of household wares on a seriously small budget. It only takes a bag of mix and a small supply of recycled cardboard to realize just about any shape, from unique pendant lighting to a custom concrete vanity. Given its weight and finish, we fashioned the concrete into a set of DIY geometric bookends—functional art for any set of shelves. The key to achieving those diamond facets is in the molding. Read on for how construct your own.



How to Make Concrete Molds - Supplies

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

- Cardboard
- Pencil
- Ruler
- Scissors
- Packaging tape
- Masking tape
- 2 plastic buckets
- Dried beans
- Concrete (2.5 pounds for each shape)
- Spoon or trowel
- Sandpaper



How to Make Concrete Molds - Step 1

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

To make the faceted diamond shape, you’ll want to piece together enough cardboard to make your mold. Check the recycling bin! An old shoebox, for example, will work perfectly.

It all begins with a basic two-dimensional diamond. Start by drawing a cross on your cardboard; the vertical line should measure 10 inches long crossed at the exact middle by a shorter, horizontal 4-inch line. Connect the four ends with lines to form a diamond shape, and cut it out of your cardboard. Then, measure 3 inches from one end, draw a straight line across, and cut off the end. Repeat four more times to create five identical pentagons.



How to Make Concrete Molds - Step 2

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Protect your five cardboard shapes against the moisture of the wet concrete mix by completely covering one side of each with a clear plastic packing tape.



How to Make Concrete Molds - Step 3

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Turn all cardboard so that the side with clear tape is face-down. Lay each piece side by side in the shape of a fanned peacock tail, and tape along the seams. Now fold and crease the short end of each pentagon, right where you initially drew the 4-inch line; the taped side should fold in on itself.



How to Make Concrete Molds - Step 4

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Lift the fan, crease it along the seams, and curl it so that the surface coated with tape makes up the inside of the mold. Tape the two long sides together to complete the faceted cone, and proceed to tape around the top to connect the shorter facets together. Don’t hesitate to reinforce your cardboard mold with even more tape along the outside—you’ll want the shape to be as strong as possible so it’s ready to hold the setting concrete.

Repeat steps 1 through 4 to create another mold for a second bookend.



How to Make Concrete Molds - Step 5

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Now, grab your buckets. Fill one that’s slightly larger than your cardboard diamond mold part-way with dry beans. Stand the mold inside (with the point down and the opening facing out the top), then continue to fill around it so that it doesn’t topple.

In the second bucket, use a spoon or trowel to mix up the concrete; follow the packaging’s instructions on ratio of water to mix carefully. Continue blending until you have a smooth mixture, then use your stirring utensil to help pour the concrete into your mold.



How to Make Concrete Molds - Step 6

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Let the concrete dry completely—it should take approximately two days—before peeling away the cardboard. When in doubt, check your mix’s instructions regarding dry time.



How to Make Concrete Molds - Step 7

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Once your bookend is unwrapped, leave it to dry and cure for two more days. After those 48 hours pass, you can sand the piece to smooth out any small imperfections.

Remove leftover dust with a soft bristled brush and rinse the concrete diamond under clear water before setting it out on your bookshelves. Depending on the facet that lays flat, you can stand it tall or on one of its sides at the end of a row of books. However you position it, take pride in your new artful bookends—they’re just another reason to give pause at your bookshelves.


How to Make Concrete Molds - DIY Bookends

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

3 Fixes for Fur-Covered Furniture

The house may not be a home without a furry friend, but that doesn't mean you have to live with the unpleasant mess caused by shedding. Try one of these quick and creative solutions to keep your clothes, carpets, and furniture hair-free.

Pet Hair Removal - Cat Hair


If you’re the proud companion of a four-legged friend, you understand the pain of finding pet hair everywhere—clothes, furniture, shoes, carpet. The struggle is real. While there’s not much you can do to stop your dog or cat from shedding, there are methods for getting this particular pet peeve under control. Try a few of these easy techniques to help solve this hairy problem.



Pet Hair Removal - Rubber Gloves


Ditch the lint roller! While its sticky sheets are handy for a last-minute clothing cleanup, it’s no match for this genius—and inexpensive—solution. Pull on a pair of rubber gloves and run your hands over your carpets, furniture, or clothes to gather up pet hair. The rubber creates a static charge that will attract your pet’s shedded fur like a magnet. When you’re done, simply dip your hands into a bowl of water. The hairs will release from the gloves and float to the surface. If you choose to rinse off in a full sink instead, just be sure to skim the hairs off the top and discard them in a waste bin before releasing the stopper—otherwise, the next item on your to-do list will be unclogging the drain.



Pet Hair Removal - Carpet


A surprisingly simple method for gathering up pet hair relies on a humble window-washing product you probably already keep in supply: the squeegee. Drag a squeegee over your surfaces and watch as the rubber blade loosens and attracts hair that’s hiding deep in the fibers of your fabrics. (A short-handled squeegee is ideal for upholstery, while a longer-handled model will work wonders on carpets and floors.) This approach may be a bit time-consuming, but it’s well worth the effort to get rid of fur once and for all—or at least for a while.



Pet Hair Removal - Dryer Sheets


Sometimes the best cleaning solutions are hiding in plain sight—this time, specifically stacked neatly on an appliance in the laundry room. A dryer sheet’s softener coating can help break the static bond that causes pet hair to cling to surfaces. Dampen and toss a sheet into the dryer with your clothes, blankets, or slipcovers for 10 minutes, and it will loosen the clinging hairs so they can become trapped in the lint screen. Then finish by running the load through the wash with a dollop of fabric softener to ensure that your items emerge fur-free.

You can also use these laundry necessities to wipe down and pick up hair on furniture, floors, and draperies. A word of caution: Dryer sheets may leave behind a shiny residue on some fabrics and upholstery, so rub one on an inconspicuous spot before you tackle the whole piece to make sure that you won’t leave unsightly stains.

How To: Clean a Toaster

Banish crumbs from the bottom of this everyday appliance for good with an easy cleanup in under 10 minutes.

How To Clean A Toaster


You use your toaster almost daily, but when was the last time you cleaned this receptacle for burnt crumbs? We have some good news: Cleaning this particular workhorse kitchen appliance is almost as easy as crisping up a delicious piece of bread. With minimal tools and just a few short steps, you’ll immediately notice a huge difference—namely a crumb-free counter space where your toaster sits and the absence of smokey scent the next time you’re looking to make breakfast. Just follow these easy steps to get started.

- Gentle liquid dishwashing soap
- Warm water
- Sponge
- Small pastry brush
- 2 Soft microfiber cloths
- Vinegar (only if your toaster is stainless steel)

How To Clean A Toaster - Bread Crumbs


Unplug your toaster, and be sure it has cooled completely before getting started. If you can, bring the appliance over to the sink or an open trashcan for cleaning. It’s easy to accidentally dump crumbs everywhere when you jostle a toaster, so working over a catchall can minimize necessary clean-up efforts when you’re all done.

Many toasters include a removable crumb tray located at the very bottom of the appliance for easy collection and disposal of leftover crispy bread chips. If yours does, pull out the shallow drawer and shake off any loose crumbs. Then wash it with warm soapy water until it’s completely clean. Set the crumb tray aside to dry while you move on.

If your toaster doesn’t come with a crumb tray, don’t fret; simply turn the appliance upside down over your sink or bin and shake out as many crumbs as you can. (And if you do have a crumb tray, it’s still worth it to knock some of the crumbs loose before you continue.)

But even a good shake won’t always dislodge the pieces that are really burnt and crusted onto the coils. To get every last crumb out of the tricky, tough-to-reach corners, stick your pastry brush in through the top slots and give the inside of the appliance a good sweeping. The bristles help to easily break up any clumps and remove crumbs without scratching or damaging your appliance.

Next, wipe down your toaster’s casing, knobs, and levers with a damp cloth and some gentle dish soap to remove any finger smudges.

If your toaster is stainless steel, a little vinegar goes a long way to restoring its exterior with a nice shine. Fill a spare spray bottle with equal parts water and vinegar, plus a drop of dish soap. Mix up the solution, spray it onto a fresh microfiber cloth, and wipe down your toaster. (You can use whatever’s left in the bottle to care for your other stainless steel appliances!)

Push the crumb tray—now completely dry—back into place, and wipe down the counter of any remaining crumbs. Now that you’ve undone the source of your crumb collection, future kitchen cleanup will be a cinch.

Quick Tip: Clean Ceiling Fans with a Pillowcase

The one cleaning tool you need for this hard-to-reach chore is hiding in your linen closet.

How To Clean Ceiling Fans


Too far out of reach (and often out of sight during normal cleaning routines), ceiling fans collect plenty of dust when left unused in the off-seasons. But what homeowner wants those allergens and air pollutants scattered throughout the room when it’s time to turn the fans back on? Fortunately, cleanup can be a breeze. The next time you switch the direction your fan spins for the season—whether clockwise to warm up a room or counterclockwise to cool down—bring an old pillowcase up the ladder with you to do the dirty work all at once.

How To Clean Ceiling Fans - Living Room


That’s right, a bit of retired bed linen is the key to clearing dust without it flying everywhere. Carefully climb up your stepladder with any old pillow cover in hand, and hold it open to slide over one fin completely. Leave the case on and use its fabric to wipe off the dust that covers both sides of the fin, just as you might a rag. The bedding will keep all the dust and dirt bagged up—no more distributing extra debris while you work. Repeat the process with the rest of the blades. When you’re done, just take it outside, turn it inside out, and shake off most of the dust before tossing it in with your next load of wash.

If you don’t like the idea of dirtying a pillowcase with that much dust and then setting it out on the bed again later (even after a wash), simply designate just one for chores by marking it in a corner with a Sharpie. Stow it with rest of your cleaning tools between uses, and go back to breathing easy.

How To: Paint a Brick Fireplace

Sometimes it pays to skip the remodel! Rather than pulling out an outdated brick fireplace, save money and still transform this feature into one you'll enjoy for seasons to come—with just a bit of paint.

How To Paint a Brick Fireplace - White Brick

Photo: Zillow Digs home in Oakland, CA

Sometimes, even despite attentive maintenance and care, brick masonry fireplaces amass a fair amount soot, mildew, and efflorescence that cumulatively dates a modern home. While a teardown of this brick feature for something more modern can be cost-prohibitive to many homeowners, you can still brush off outdated design before winter’s cold arrival by brushing up your fireplace exterior—with paint. Unlike drywall or wood, brick has a unique texture that should be taken into consideration when painting. Follow this tutorial to fix up your bare brick masonry fireplace in under a weekend.

- Water
- Soap
- Stiff-bristle brush
- Trisodium Phosphate (optional)
- Bleach (optional)
- Wire brush (optional)
- Acrylic caulk (optional)
- Painter’s tape
- Drop cloth
- Paint roller fastened with a thick-nap roller cover (1 ¼” nap recommended)
- Paintbrush
- Telescopic roller extension pole (optional)
- 2 5-gallon buckets
- 2 paint bucket screens
- Masonry primer
- Acrylic latex paint

How To Paint a Brick Fireplace - Painted Brick


Due to the tendency of brick to accumulate grit, you should wet and clean the brick fireplace prior to painting it to ensure better paint adhesion. Using a stiff-bristle brush doused in soapy water, first scrub the face of the brick fireplace with a brush to remove dirt or efflorescence—that is, white, powdery, mineral deposits. If your fireplace also contains leftover soot, follow with a mixture of 1/2 cup of trisodium phosphate and 1 gallon of water.

Then proceed to remove any visible mildew with a solution of one part bleach to three parts water. Sponge the diluted bleach over your brick, let it soak in for for half an hour, and scrub the surface with a wire brush. Once you’ve wrapped up cleaning, allow the brick to dry for at least 24 hours before painting.

Inspect the fireplace for small cracks in the brick. If you find any, pick up some acrylic caulk from your nearest home improvement store and use it to fill in. Check your bottle’s instructions for required dry time before you move on.

Using painter’s tape, cover the areas around the fireplace that you do not want to paint, such as where the brick meets the floor and walls. Protect the floor and the fireplace hearth from splatter by laying out a drop cloth.

Pour your masonry primer into one of the 5-gallon buckets and insert a bucket screen on end; this painting tool will assist in both minimizing mess and achieving an even coat on your roller. Now dip the roller into the bucket, roll it along the screen, and repeat until it’s completely loaded with primer.

Carefully apply the first coat to the entire surface of the brick, ensuring that you cover the surface as well as the mortar joints. Switch to a brush to paint deep joints that the roller misses. If your brick structure reaches the ceiling, you may also opt to bring in a telescopic roller extension pole to help you access hard-to-reach areas near the top of the fireplace.

Wherever you had cleaned off efflorescence in Step 1, go back and apply an additional coat or two. Then, wash up your painting tools and allow the primer to dry completely overnight.

The next day, set out to prep your acrylic latex paint the same way you had your primer in the second 5-gallon bucket with its own bucket screen. (While you can choose any paint finish, a matte paint really complements the natural texture of the brick.) Then, dip your roller into the bucket and coat it evenly with paint. Generously apply a top coat of the paint to the brick using overlapping strokes to cover nooks and crannies as best as possible, and leave it all to dry.

Perform any paint touch-ups as desired with the brush, and then give all of your tools a thorough wash before the paint dries. When you’re finished, pull back the painter’s tape and the drop cloth from the fireplace area. If you encounter paint splatter where it shouldn’t be, just wipe it away using a soft cloth damp with warm water—the sooner, the better! Otherwise, all that’s left to do to enjoy your newly refreshed fireplace this season is to stock up on kindling.

Quick Tip: Deodorize Old Books with a Pantry Hero

Once upon a time, you had to live with that “old book smell.” Now, you can banish it to a faraway land with one pantry staple.

How to Get Rid of Old Book Smell


No matter whether you prefer heart-warming classics or heart-pounding thrillers, your personal library of paperbacks and hardcovers runs the risk of collecting a fair amount of dust and a musty, “old book smell”—that unpleasant aroma emitted when the organic compounds in the pages of books degrade with time. While it’s easy to eliminate dust, banishing that old book smell has remained as elusive as the ending of a mystery novel—until now. So gather your books from their place on a shelf, the back of the closet, or attic boxes. You can banish antagonizing smells from them with the help of an unexpected pantry hero: cornstarch.

How to Get Rid of Old Book Smell - Home Library


Though traditionally used as a thickening agent, cornstarch is also a natural odor remover that is gentle enough not to damage the delicate pages of your books. Open your books partway and stand them on end over a long piece of parchment paper. Then, grab a box of cornstarch and sprinkle it over the books, and fan out the pages a little more for a well-distributed coat. Leave the setup overnight to allow the cornstarch to set and pull out odors. The following day, you can shake off the excess—carefully, so as not to damage the binding or the pages. Now for the sniff test: You shouldn’t be able to detect a hint of “old book smell” in your freshened books! Sweep up the remaining cornstarch with the parchment paper, and toss or reuse to give another pile of malodorous books a fairy-tale ending.

How To: Frame a Mirror

Mirrors are both handy for checking your look as you run out the door and strategically decorative, capable of visually expanding your space. But an attractively framed mirror can set you back a pretty penny. Save some cash by making a custom frame for an inexpensive mirror. You'll get just what you need—for less!

How to Frame a Mirror


Done any shopping for your home recently? In perusing the aisles, you may have noticed that even a very simple mirror can be surprisingly expensive, considering it’s just a piece of glass flanked by wood on four sides. If you have intermediate woodworking skills—or the willingness to persist through a bit of trial and error—you’ll get a better deal on one by buying the materials separately and frame the mirror yourself. Apart from saving money, taking the DIY route also means you can customize the dimensions, ensuring that the framed mirror will fit precisely in the spot where you’re planning to hang it. Read on to learn how to frame a mirror. It’s easier than you think!

- 1″ x 3″ lumber (3/4″ x 2-1/2″ actual dimensions)
- Miter box with saw
- Dado blade
- Table saw
- Caulk (optional)
- Sandpaper
- Silicone glue
- Band clamp
- Wood putty (optional)
 Hammer or finish nailer
- Finish nails

Note: This step-by-step tutorial describes how to use a pair of 1″ x 3″ boards (each 7 feet in length) to frame a 30″ x 22″ mirror. That said, so long as you’re working with lumber that measures at least 3/4 inch thick, you can freely modify these instructions as necessary to frame a mirror of virtually any size.

How to Frame a Mirror - Isolated Detail


Measure the length and width of your unframed mirror. Let’s say that it’s 30 inches long by 22 inches wide. Meanwhile, being that stock 1″ x 3″ boards are actually (and yes, confusingly) 2-1/2 inches thick, we know that there would be a border of 2-1/2 inches running around the glass. So, from your twin planks of wood, proceed to cut four pieces—two that are 35 inches and another two that are 27 inches. (Don’t forget to wear safety gear, as there are hazards associated with any cutting tool.)

Cut a dado into each of your four wood pieces. In an assembled frame, the dado serves as the groove in which the mirror sits and remains securely held. In other words, you can’t skip this step.

Though it’s possible to create a dado using a router, it’s much easier and more accurate to use a table saw. Here’s how to set up your cuts. First, attach a 1/4-inch dado blade to the table saw, being sure to set a 1/2-inch blade height. Next, align the table saw 3/8 inch away from the fence. Finally, having turned on the saw, slide the boards, one by one, along the fence. (Again, safety first!) Each board now has a 1/4-inch dado, designed to accommodate the thickness of the mirror. If your mirror happens to be thicker than the standard 1/4 inch, simply adjust the dado blade accordingly.

Select any one of your four wood pieces and get your miter box and saw ready for action. Being sure to keep the dado oriented toward what’s going to be the inside of the frame, cut one end of the wood piece at a 45-degree angle.

Next, select an edge of the mirror that matches up with the length of your board. Slip the mirror edge into the dado, lining up one of its corners flush against the angled miter cut. Then, holding the corner of the mirror in position, carefully mark where the opposite corner of the mirror meets the dado.

Now, go back to the miter saw and shift the saw to the opposite side. At the point where you made your pencil mark on the dado, cut an opposite-running 45-degree angle. At this point, the board has two angled ends, each pointing away from the other. Using the same technique outlined above, proceed to cut angles into both ends of your remaining three wood pieces.

Sand down any rough edges of your wood pieces, taking the time to remove sawdust with a damp cloth. Once the wood has dried out completely, go ahead and apply silicone glue to each joint and along the inside of the dadoes. Before the glue has begun to dry, fit the boards together around the mirror and wipe away any excess glue. Then, with a band clamp, apply compression to the frame so that the wood pieces remain in the correct position as the glue dries.

At this point, if you would like to conceal the seams as much as possible, consider applying caulk where the mitered boards meet. If you decide to use caulk here, follow the instructions printed on the package and be sure to smooth the sealant with your finger before allowing it to dry. Having glued and clamped—and perhaps caulked—the frame, give it at least a couple of hours to set.

If you trust yourself to handle the framed mirror gently at all times and if you don’t plan to move it very often in the future, you can probably stop here, trusting the glue to hold the frame together. But if you want to strengthen the construction, then you need to drive a nail or two into each corner. Be careful, though; a forceful impact could potentially undo what you’ve accomplished with the glue. If you have access to a finish nailer, use it. This power tool is capable of setting nails with precision (and only a concentrated jolt); it’s ideal for this application. That’s not to say you can’t use a hammer. You can. Just be sure to do so with care.

Finally, once the nails are in place, you have the option of concealing their presence with wood putty or wood filler. If you use either, you may want to sand again, cleaning off the sawdust and letting the frame dry once more. Beyond that, consider applying paint or stain (either will help disguise your wood filler even further) to give the perfect finish to a job well done!

Custom Kitchen Banquette

This blogger added style and function to her kitchen with this stylish banquette she crafted herself.

custom banquette end


You would never believe that this custom banquette is a renter-friendly project. But when Rita from Crane Concept needed a solution to lend more space to her kitchen, she created the plan for this stylish seating that rings up at just about $200. 


custom banquette tools and materials


- Top
- Legs
- Cleat (used some extra wood from the top as my cleat)
- Front panel
- Baseboard
- Corner molding
- Paint
- Foam roller
- Wood filler
- Finishing nails
- Hammer
- Screws
- Drill
- Jig saw
- Sander



custom banquette step 1

I used a jig saw to cut the shape of the baseboard out of the legs. This really gave it a more custom look.



custom banquette step 2

After cutting out all of the grooves, I screwed the top of the bench to the legs. You might need a friend to help you balance and lift the top of the bench.



custom banquette step 3

Find the studs and screw the cleat to the wall. The bench should sit securely on the cleat. Screw the top of the bench to the cleat.



custom banquette step 4

Slide the rest of the legs underneath and screw or nail the boards down.



custom banquette step 5

Add your paneling to the front of your banquette. Nail the panel to the legs. I used a pencil to mark where the legs were located. I did the same thing with the 1×6 baseboard, nailing the baseboard to the legs with finishing nails.



custom banquette step 6

Again, I cut the groves out for the baseboards.



custom banquette step 7

After this point, I filled in any holes with the wood filler, sanded all of the corners and edges, and gave a good coat of paint with my foam roller. To give it a little more detail, I mitered the corners of the corner molding. I use a few finishing nails to secure into place. I gave the banquette a couple more good coats of paint, and done!


custom banquette opener

Thanks, Rita! For more stylish solutions, visit