Category: Interior Design


DIY Plywood Bookcase

When this blogger needed a spot to unpack boxes of books after a move, she decided to create a library shelf from plywood boards. Why buy when you can DIY like this?

Bob Vila Thumbs Up Plywood

DIY plywood bookcase

Photo: ohohblog.com

When we saw Ama’s sleek and contemporary bookshelf, we were impressed. And when it became clear that it was made entirely out of plywood, we were doubly so. Her project, which we came across at Oh Oh Blog, is proof that humble materials need not be relegated to lowly status. In fact, after seeing this bookshelf, we think plywood deserves a second look. Here’s how she did it.

 

MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Plywood (see dimensions below)
- Wood glue
- Clamps
- Sandpaper
- Stain
- Varnish
- Screws
- Drill

 

STEP 1

DIY plywood bookcase - cut sizes

Photo: ohohblog.com

Cut the plywood boards (or have them cut professionally) using the following dimensions.

Shelves:
A – 16 pieces of 10″ x 10″
B – 4 pieces of 10″ x 63″

Back:
C – 1 piece of 10″ x 36.5″

Base:
D – 4 pieces of 5″ x 10″
E – 1 piece of 5″ x 36.5″

 

STEP 2

DIY Plywood Bookcase - Assembly Diagram

Photo: ohohblog.com

Glue the “A” pieces two by two to make the vertical parts. I used wood glue and clamps to hold them together until it was well stuck.

 

STEP 3
I did the same with the D pieces to make the base.

 

STEP 4
I sanded all the pieces, flat and edges (booooring part).

 

STEP 5
I stained shelves in chocolate color and applied transparent varnish on the other pieces. I like the contrast between the two colors. This can work with any other colors combinations—give it a try.

 

STEP 6

DIY plywood bookcase - base construction

Photo: ohohblog.com

I assembled the D and E pieces to make the base of the bookcase. You have to put the D pieces perpendicular to the E piece, put some glue between the pieces, and then fasten with two screws on each side.

Then I did the same with the C piece and two A pieces (after gluing them 2 by 2) to make the back of the bookcase.

 

STEP 7

DIY plywood bookcase - step 7

Photo: ohohblog.com

After that, I attached three A pieces to a B shelve. I put glue on the shelf and laid the A above, making sure they were vertical.

 

STEP 8

DIY Plywood Bookcase - Assembly Process

Photo: ohohblog.com

Almost done! We can start to assemble the shelves. Put the base on the floor, add some glue and put a shelve on top. Use clamps or weights (like books or tool box) to ensure a strong bond. Then add glue and put the other part on top, and so on… until the last shelf!

Thanks for sharing, Ama! To see even more incredible DIYs, visit her at Oh Oh Blog.


Weekend Projects: 5 Bright Ideas for a DIY Lamp

If you're looking for a light fixture that fits your style, your space, and your budget, don't waste time in stores—make your own!

I continue to be astonished by the retail cost of most light fixtures. If you, too, have been subject to sudden bouts of sticker shock, know this: It’s so much cheaper—and really, so much easier than you might have feared—to create a DIY lamp. Best of all, you can completely customize the design to suit, not only your style preferences, but any quirks that happen to exist in the space where you need a bit more light to see by. Scroll down to see five favorite DIY lamp projects now!

 

1. PLUG IN A JUG

DIY Lamp - Glass Jug

Photo: theinspiredroom.net

From The Inspired Room, here’s a DIY lamp project involving a vintage glass water jug, the sort of thing you might find at your local flea market. It’s more or less a readymade lamp stand, thanks to its size and sturdiness. All you need to do is glue a socket into the mouth of the jug, then finish things off with a shade.

 

2. GO OUT ON A LIMB

DIY Lamp - Branch

Photo: themerrythought.com

Even elements of nature can be reused in your design for a DIY lamp. Need proof? Check out this charming handmade project from The Merry Thought. Here, Manda drilled through a straight, cut-to-size branch, snaking the cord through. Then she attached a socket to the top of the branch and a base to the bottom.

 

3. PLAY UP YOUR PASSION

DIY Lamp - Trumpet

Photo: instructables.com

Hit just the right note in your living room’s lighting with a lamp constructed from a once-loved instrument. This Instructables how-to turns an out-of-work trumpet into a side table’s lamp by threading it skinny lamp base right through the base of the horn and pulling the cord through to where a lightbulb will rest on the mouthpiece end.

 

4. SHED LIGHT ON HOBBIES

DIY Lamp - Cameras

Photo: starsforstreetlights.com

The best home accessories—lighting included—give a nod to a homeowner’s personality or passion. For this photographer’s dream lamp, Stacie of Stars for Streetlights stacked vintage cameras to build a charming base. And no topper would be quite as fitting as this handmade shade of strung-up photography slides.

 

5. KNOCK ON WOOD 

DIY Lamp - 2 by 4

Photo: decorandthedog.net

For her DIY lamp, Michelle at Decor and the Dog chose to build the base out of a run-of-the-mill two-by-four. The final results, though, were far from ordinary, since she combined the wood with an unlikely companion—iron pipe. Two very different looks are possible, depending on whether or not you include a shade.


Weekend Projects: 5 Ways to Make a Bar Cart

This weekend, why not raise a glass to celebrate the bar cart you made with your own hands?

You might think of the bar cart as a purely functional furniture, limited to the duty implied by its name. But if you give it a second thought, a bar cart can do so much more than store cocktail supplies and provide a serving station. It’s a versatile piece, especially when outfitted with wheels. While today it might be chockablock with bottles of booze, tomorrow it could display framed family photos or travel mementos. Given its vintage pedigree and air of glamour, simply possessing a bar cart says something about you; put together a DIY bar cart to ensure that it says precisely the right thing about your personality and your space.

 

1. BETTER A BOOKCASE

DIY Bar Cart - Ikea Hack

Photo: sugarandcloth.com

To build her DIY bar cart, Ashley—the blogger behind Sugar & Cloth—began with a square shelving unit from IKEA. From that basic starting point, she went on to create something spare yet special through the judicious addition of brass hardware, including brass-hooded ball casters that make the cart easy to re-position.

 

2. CLEAR THE PIPES

DIY Bar Carts - Plumbing Pipes

Photo: alifedesigned.blogspot.com

Plumbing pipes are a do-it-yourself favorite, because anyone can fit pipes together, even if it takes a bit of trial and error to strike upon the optimal design. Nancy of Life Designed offers amusing step-by-step commentary on her creation of a DIY bar cart that manages to look both rustic and industrial all at once.

 

3. WORK IN WOOD

DIY Bar Carts - Woodworking

Photo: inhonorofdesign.com

Thanks to its compact size and straightforward design, a DIY bar cart can be a terrific project for an aspiring woodworker who’s looking for a beginner-level project. To give this one a shot, you’ll need only some inexpensive materials, a couple of basic tools, and the full project tutorial provided by In Honor of Design.

 

4. TRICK OUT A TABLE

DIY Bar Cart - Table

Photo: myfashionjuice.com

Look very closely, and you might be able to tell that this fancy-looking DIY bar cart was once an IKEA coffee table. Cris of My Fashion Juice saved it from the curb, dressing it up with a coat of metallic spray paint. To complete the transformation, she surfaced the table top with mirror tiles and added casters to the legs.

 

5. CREATE AND COLLAPSE

Bar Cart Tray

Photo: honestlyyum.com

If all you need is a pop-up drinks station for parties—or an extra surface for special occasions—take a cue from Erica at Honestly Yum. She made her collapsible DIY bar cart simply by adding gold-toned hardware to a black lacquer tray. Placed on a folding restaurant tray stand, Erica’s pseudo cart does the trick for as long as she needs it. Afterward, it stows neatly away.


The Cheapest Wall Art Option for Your Bare Walls

If you've ever purchased a posters or prints, you know they're not cheap. If you really want to save money on wall art, the place to go is your local copy center. Here's why.

Engineer Prints

Photo: eastcoastcreativeblog.com

Recently, a single painting—Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jimson Weed/White Flower No.1—sold for a record high of $44.4 million at Sotheby’s. That is, of course, a staggering sum. But even for those of us content to own anonymous prints and not original works by cultural icons, art can seem astronomically expensive.

With money saving in mind, you might have visited your local copy center to inquire about the fees charged for photo enlargement. After all, how much could it cost to have a favorite photograph blown up and printed on quality paper? Well, as you would have found out, it usually costs a whole lot more than expected!

It’s all so head-scratchingly frustrating. That’s why so many people have gotten so excited about engineer prints. Never heard of them? Here’s the skinny.

What’s an Engineer Print?
Simply stated, an engineer print is a low-cost, black-and-white photo enlargement option at your local office supply store or copy center, including chains such as Staples and Kinko’s. The name refers to its most common use, in the architectural and engineering professionals. But this year, the rest of the world caught on, in large parts thank to these prints’ affordability. For about $10, you can get any photograph blown up to the gigantic proportions of your choosing.

Before you run to get one, understand this: An engineer print is not a photographic reproduction. The paper is thin, similar to weight of newsprint, and the print process is halftone black and white. With a resolution around 600 dpi, you end up with something more similar to a photocopy than a photographic print. That said, many people are fond of its imperfection, and if you get a little experimental in your photography, an engineer print can look downright artsy.

Engineer Prints - Detail 2

Photo: eastcoastcreativeblog.com

So How Do You Get One?
You’re only a few steps away from affordable art:

1. Choose a photo without a busy background, since details are most likely to get lost in the grainy reproduction. Higher resolution photographs end up being less grainy, so if you’re shooting new photos for the purpose of achieving a satisfying engineer print, set your camera to its highest level of resolution.

2. Having imported the photograph from your digital camera to a computer, use photo editing software to convert the photo to black and white. In the color settings, play with the contrast and brightness until you’re happy with the the image.

3. Decide what size you would like the engineer print to be. Consider the size of the wall you’re going to hang it on. Also, weigh whether or not you plan to hang the print. The larger the frame necessary, the more it’s going to cost. There’s no sense saving money on a print if you’re going to spend a boatload on its frame.

4. Visit the copy center and hand off your image(s) for printing.

How Do You Display It?
Options abound. If you decide not to frame the print, you can always mount it on a plywood backing, propping it up on a shelf or mantel. You can even split a larger image into sections, printing them out as separate panels to display next to one another, mural-style. Yet another creative idea: Skip the wall entirely and decoupage the engineer print onto a large piece of furniture. The price encourages experimentation and no-regret replacements when the season changes, or your mood does. No matter where you put the print, it’s bound to command attention and start conversations. What are you waiting for?


Weekend Projects: 5 Ways to Make Your Own Snow Globe

Bring a touch of whimsy and magic to your decor with a custom snow globe that you can probably put together with items you have lying around the house.

Whether a memento of a wonderful vacation or an interactive addition to your holiday decor, a snow globe is a magical miniature world that never ceases to delight both children and adults. Store-bought options are beautiful, but with a DIY snow globe, you get complete control over both the container and its contents. Scroll down now to see five equally inventive approaches to the project. None require special tools, and all involve stuff you probably have already!

 

1. MODIFY A MASON JAR

DIY Snow Globe - Mason Jars

Photo: make-haus.com

For her DIY snow globe project, Heather at Make+Haus chose an assortment of mason jars to house plastic greenery from the local craft store. Hot-glued to the jar lids, the faux foliage sits within a mixture of water and glycerin, while glitter and confetti swirl around.

 

2. ALTER A LIGHT BULB

DIY Snow Globe - Light Bulb

Photo: magicaldaydream.com

We love the concept of repurposing light bulbs, but as Mariëlle attests on her blog, it can be tricky to detach the metal base from the glass. From there, it’s easy: Choose your decorations, add glitter and H20, then glue the globe shut with a bottle cap of the appropriate size.

 

3. SEASON A SALT SHAKER

DIY Snow Globe - Salt Shaker

Photo: makelyhome.com

If you’d prefer not to include water, don’t! Over at Makely School for Girls, Lindsay made a suite of waterless DIY snow globes, each in a different glass vessel. Inside every one sits a bottle-brush Christmas tree and—quite fitting for the salt shaker theme—several teaspoons of Epsom salt.

 

4. REWORK A WINEGLASS

DIY Snow Globe - Plastic Wine Glass

Photo: mysocalledcraftylife.com

Party supply stores sell plastic wineglasses that substitute superbly for vintage bell jars. Once you’ve removed the wineglass stems, you’re left with small bowls that need just a few finishing touches to become tabletop ornaments. Visit My So Called Crafty Life for a full how-to.

 

5. TERRARIUMS

DIY Snow Globe - Terrarium

Photo: pinkpistachio.com

Sculptural apothecary jars, beautiful on their own, are even more so when converted—at low expense and with minimal effort—into small-scale winter vignettes, such as these from Pink Pistachio, who illuminated her grouping with string lights that only add enchantment.


Before & After: A Cozy Reading Nook from Scratch

Faced with an awkwardly sized staircase landing, this blogger transformed what had become a "drop spot" into a real destination.

DIY Reading Nook - Before and After

Photo: turnrightatlakemichigan.com

Update a 114-year-old, 1,200-square-foot Dutch Colonial to meet the needs of a young family? Challenge accepted, said lifestyle blogger Tabatha Muntizinger. But she would do it, in her own words, “without sacrificing any fun or creativity.” With two children and seven pets, Muntzinger—the creative force behind Turn Right at Lake Michigan—decorates in a style that both celebrates and is honest about life as it’s lived in under her roof. Earlier this year, when she set out to redecorate a staircase landing, she eschewed the more formal sitting area for a cozy, family-friendly reading nook. This time of year, we can’t help but dwell on the design details that make a house a home, so we asked Muntzinger for details on how the project came together.

The reading nook fits so snugly into a landing at the top of your stairs. What had been there before?
The space at the top of the stairs was the result of a dormer window. It was incredibly deep—big enough for a twin bed, for sure—but… there wasn’t much purpose for it. For the longest time, we had filled it with some side chairs and a small end table. But over time it just became a really fancy place to leave random things. And then later you’d return to find a cat sleeping on top of those random things.

DIY Reading Nook - Framing

Photo: turnrightatlakemichigan.com

Why build a window seat?
When we bought the house, I had always envisioned a window seat in the space. I’ve been in love with the idea of one since I was a kid. At one point, my parents toured a house with a window seat, and they didn’t end up buying the house, but I can still remember what it felt like to curl up and feel the sun shine on me. As our family grew, I realized the landing should be functional for all us. The idea for the nook was that it would become a communal space where I could sit and share my love of reading with my kids in a fun yet practical way.

Did the project involve learning any new skills?
I’d certainly never cut up a mattress before or sewn a custom-shaped cover for one…. And this was actually our first foray into using some of Ana White’s DIY plans. To build the reading nook, we actually modified her instructions for making a storage daybed.

DIY Reading Nook - Close Look

Photo: turnrightatlakemichigan.com

So many clever ideas went into this. Which aspect are you most proud of? 
Probably the cushion. The challenge was to come up with a seating solution which wouldn’t need constant readjustment and which would be comfortable for up to four people. So I started with the cheapest foam mattress sold by IKEA (it was far cheaper than upholstery foam). After cutting it down to size, the next step was to design a cover that would look good but still be completely washable—because, hi, small children and multiple pets. This was the first time I’d sewn something that I’d completely made up in my head. Luckily, it all turned out so much better than I’d hoped.

What advice would you share with someone who wants to make something similar?
Measure twice, cut once! Also, you’ll probably want a cushion that’s twice as thick as the one you start out thinking would be sufficient.

DIY Window Treatment - Awning

Photo: turnrightatlakemichigan.com

What do you enjoy most about the reading nook?
Finding my kids curled up on it, on their own, reading from their “library.” That’s exactly what I’d hoped for—to create a fun, practical space for them to fall in love with books and build their imaginations.

How has this makeover changed how your family uses the space?
It’s not just a catchall anymore; it’s truly a gathering place for the family, as we go through the routines of our days. I sit there to braid hair and help brush teeth and fold laundry. I sometimes even sneak there myself, after bedtime, to write blog posts or read. It’s also pretty safe to say that the animals all enjoy it, too. All in all, the window seat has become a wonderful communal space for everyone to lounge and enjoy the simple things—like, each other. Plus, whereas we used to shove linens wherever they’d fit, we now have fantastic storage for extra pillows, bed sheets, and spare blankets.

DIY Reading Nook - Storage

Photo: turnrightatlakemichigan.com


Meet the Brightest Woodworkers in the Carolinas

Whether you love minimal modern design or have an eye for fine woodworking, prepare to be blown away by Shelli and Seth Worley's exciting wood lighting designs.

Worley's Lighting portrait

Photo: worleyslighting.com

Meet the duo behind one of the trendiest lighting companies around. Shelli Worley and her husband Seth started Worley’s Lighting, a shop specializing in sleek, modern, and minimalist designs made from quality materials. With the help of their family, this Charlotte, North Carolina-based pair is creating some of the most beautiful—and functional—lighting designs we’ve seen in ages. The pieces are well-considered and beautifully crafted, hinting at Shelli’s long family line of woodworkers and designers. In a meeting of the minds, we posed our most burning questions about the creative process to the the folks behind this charming specialty store—read on for what Shelli had to say.

The reason we started doing what we do is…
Worley’s Lighting started as my dream. I always had a passion for decorating and interior design. Deciding to focus my energy into lighting took a bit of time, but I eventually developed a real excitement for it! Lamps are a vital part of any room, and they vary in shapes, sizes, textures, and materials. That’s why lighting has become a great and broad avenue for me to express my creativity and build things that I love.

Bookend lamp - Worley's Lighting

Photo: WorleysLighting.com

We started our company when…
I started the company at a time of transition in my life. I was in between jobs and had a lot of design ideas for home accessories. Those ideas turned into actual products, and, after listing them in our online Etsy shop, they began to sell! Three and a half years later we continue to sell on Etsy and now our own e-commerce website.

We’d define our design style as…
Modern/minimal, balanced by the warmth and natural look and feel of hardwood.

Related: 7 Totally Unique Table Lamps for a Modern Home

My first job was…
When I was 16 I got my first job at a thrift store. We mainly bought and sold clothes. Growing up, my parents encouraged my sister and I to get jobs and earn our own money as soon as we could. I’m thankful for the lessons I learned at such a young age because they lead me to become an entrepreneur.

Our main sources of inspiration are…
I am always inspired by the wood that we work with. I try to keep all of our designs simple to showcase the natural beauty of the wood. I am all about clean, modern lines and wholesome, woodsy materials.

Swinging arm desk lamp - Worley's Lighting

Photo: WorleysLighting.com

The most challenging thing about our work is…
The most challenging thing about our work is keeping up with production in our current facilities. We are thrilled about every single order that comes in, be that from one of our online stores or from a retailer. But currently, we have about outgrown our 1,300 sq. ft. workshop and office space, which creates quite a few challenges for us. We get creative with space-saving solutions—we’ve got a lot of wall shelving and always try to go vertical for storage.

Related: 7 Totally Unique Table Lamps for a Modern Home

Our favorite part of the process is…
My favorite part is the initial designing process. I usually sketch things that pop into my head and spend quite a bit of time contemplating new designs. I love taking what started in my head, putting it down on paper, and then bringing it to life with my two hands.

Gem Stacked Lamp - Worley's Lighting

Photo: WorleysLighting.com

Our favorite materials to use are…
We love wood! Walnut is our favorite. We also love hard maple, cherry, and sapele.

Our all-time favorite go-to tool is…
We absolutely could not function without our multiple JawHorses—they are so versatile. We use them for glue-ups, holding pieces in place to work on them, and lots of other stuff.

If you like Worley’s Lighting as much as we do, check them out online or follow them on Facebook to keep an eye on their newest products or take home a totally unique lamp.


1 Coffee Table, 3 Ways

What are the keys to a great piece of furniture? Sturdy construction, attractive styling, and flexibility—qualities this adaptable little coffee table has in spades.

What I love most about quality furniture is its staying power. Over the course of its at times decades-long career in the home, a well-made piece can serve multiple purposes. After all, a nightstand is a nightstand only if you place it beside the bed. Choose another location for the same piece, accessorize it accordingly, and that same small table can easily perform an entirely different function. As your life and your needs change, quality furniture adapts.

Since the fall, our lift-top coffee table from Sauder has been sitting in the living room, where it’s been doing those things a coffee table does best—displaying books and magazines, for example, and keeping beverages within arm’s reach. Because the tabletop lifts, the piece has also served as a casual work surface and has even functioned as an impromptu snack bar. Lately I’ve been thinking of yet more ways to take advantage of the coffee table’s versatility. That is to say, what if I didn’t actually use it as a coffee table? The same qualities that make it work so well in the living room—built-in storage and a low profile—would allow it to work equally well elsewhere at home.

ENTRYWAY

I love my house, but it’s not perfect. Particularly in the colder months, I’m annoyed by the lack of a coat closet in the entryway. Especially now, as the holidays bring guests, and those guests bring parkas, peacoats, and puffer jackets, I knew something had to be done to contain the approaching onslaught of winter paraphernalia.

Out back, we have a mudroom that goes a long way toward keeping our kids’ stuff organized. I thought, if it works for the kids, then it can work for anyone. So I set out to re-create the mudroom’s magic in the front hall. The recipe for success involved three crucial ingredients: a place to hang coats; a spot to store miscellaneous items, such as hats and gloves; and an area for people to sit while taking off their big, bulky boots. The coffee table, of all things, ties all these requirements together.

Whereas in the living room we’d used the coffee table’s cubbies to store board games and DVDs, here the same cubbies hold winter boots, lunch boxes, and a basket to catch wayward mittens. With the addition of a coat rack and umbrella bin, our winter wear solution became complete. To make the area as attractive as it is hardworking, a small graphic rug warms up the space, and cozy pillows and a throw blanket invite visitors to rest upon arrival or as they prepare to leave.

All told, it took me just 15 minutes to move and restyle the coffee table, and I feel certain that, in its new location, it’s going to serve us well through the season.

WINDOW SEAT

My kids are learning to read, and it’s wonderful to see them so excited about books. To encourage their new pastime, I’ve wanted to create a special place where they can lounge comfortably with a favorite book. A built-in window seat in the playroom would be perfect, as the exposure looks onto the garden and has a beautiful view of the sunset. We may be a year or two away from actually building that window seat, but in the meantime, I couldn’t help testing out the design concept.

Here, the coffee table serves as both a bench and a mini library. A well-made piece of solid-wood furniture, it’s sturdy enough to support the weight of a 40-pound child. And the integrated cubbies fit books of all sizes, keeping them off the floor in a room whose carpet often cannot be seen for a blanket of playthings.

On top of the table, I placed a long, cushy pillow covered in a fabric that unites my girls’ love for both rainbows and animals. A couple of fuzzy throw pillows round out the look. A beanbag chair, which we already had on hand, sits next to the bench, so both girls can occupy the nook at the same time if they want.

Sure enough, before long my youngest planted herself on the window seat to browse her latest find from the library.

I’d hate not to have the coffee table in our living room, where it fits right into the decor and our lifestyle. But I love knowing that if the room ever evolves to the point where the table no longer belongs, I can easily use it elsewhere. That’s what I call staying power, and it’s the reason to buy quality wood furniture.

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

 


Holiday Hotlines to Have on Speed Dial

Millions of turkeys will be brined, pies baked, and wine bottles opened in America this coming holiday season. While we all cross our fingers on flawless meal prep, it's good to have a backup plan: Keep these emergency hotlines on hand to avert kitchen and cleanup disaster.

Hotlines to Help with Holiday Prep

Photo: shutterstock.com

The holidays (and holiday guests) are a-coming, so stock the refrigerator, unearth your turkey roaster, and polish the silverware. But there’s only so much prep you can do to distract your mind from the looming fear: What if something goes wrong? Luckily, you can get the 4-1-1 for your holiday 9-1-1 from these holiday hotlines, and save the day. Add these three numbers to your speed dial, stat.

Butterball
1-800-BUTTERBALL, M – F 10am – 7pm
The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line has connected trained turkey experts with home chefs to answer pressing questions for more than 30 years. What started in 1981 as just six experts fielding roughly 11,000 calls has grown to a team of 50+ people offering advice via all mediums—phone call, social media, email, and live chat—all the way up through Christmas Eve.

Help for Cooking Turkey

Photo: shutterstock.com

USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline
888-674-6854, available weekdays 10am – 4pm all year, and 8am – 2pm on Thanksgiving
The USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline began in 1985 in an effort to help prevent foodborne illness. Since then, it answers over 80,000 calls every year on the everything from safe storage to preparation of meat, poultry, and egg products. Not exactly sure how to tell when your meat is done? No need to risk any guest feeling sick; a real person is waiting to talk to you one-on-one.

Help Cleaning Up Spilled Wine

Photo: shutterstock.com

Rug Doctor
1-800-RUGDOCTOR, 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week during the holidays
After the party’s over, it’s time to assess the damage. How cranberry sauce got ground into the living room carpet doesn’t matter near as much now as how to clean it up. The experts manning the Rug Doctor hotline can help you tackle the tough stains on carpet and upholstery that holiday merry-making can leave behind.


Bob Vila Radio: Top Tips for Cutting Carpet

There's a huge difference between laying down and area rug and installing wall-to-wall carpeting. For one thing, the latter involves cutting the floor covering so that it fits the room precisely. These tips can help you handle that portion of the job with relative ease.

Installing wall-to-wall carpeting? It can be tricky to cut the floor covering so that it accurately fits the room. To speed the process and minimize hassle, remember these tips on cutting carpet.

How to Cut Carpet

Photo: shutterstock.com

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Listen to BOB VILA ON CUTTING CARPET or read the text below:

First things first, know that a utility knife—a sharp utility knife—is the best friend you can have for a job like this. If you’re cutting carpet for a big room, it may be necessary to change out the blade several times before you get finished, but those little interruptions will pay big dividends.

Whenever possible, work on the back side of the carpet. The backing is flat, with no thick pile to get in your way. Outline your cuts with a marker before making them with the knife. And for the sake of accuracy, consider using a straight edge to guide your marker.

For trimming in around intricate shapes, use short, incremental cuts. Creating a cardboard template of the shape you’re aiming for can also be a big help.

Since walls aren’t always built perfectly on the square, especially in older homes, it’s best to measure both the width and the length of the room from a couple of different spots. Much better to be surprised before your cuts, not after!

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.