DIY Shelves Ikea Style

 

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I’m super excited about the new shelves in my home! There were some minor hiccups along the way, (isn’t that how it usually is with DIY… you experiment, try new things?) even with the “ack” moments, I’m really happy with the way it all turned out. This is how it went down…or up?…

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I tried to make my own stain using the steel wool method. Notice the word tried? I want to give this DIY stain another go. I believe my mistake was letting this mixture sit too long. Thus the strong rust color rather than the weathered gray I was going for.

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1. Fine steel wool in a glass jar  2. Pour white vinegar to cover steel wool (about 2 cups)  3. Let sit for a few days  4. Stain is made (again, I think I let mine sit too long)

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These brackets are from Ikea. I bought them about 10 years ago. They were light pine, lovely as is, but I wanted a weathered look. The second bracket from the left was after one coat and the third bracket was after a second coat. Neither color was anywhere near the weathered gray I was going for.

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I found the stain didn’t go on evenly even though I applied it evenly. Perhaps it was because I didn’t use a wood conditioner.

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I had hoped with a third coat the color would even out somewhat (and hoping the color would gray out as they dried…), but that was not the case. As I mentioned above, the color came out a “rust” color instead of the weathered gray I was hoping to achieve. At this point I was not in a full-blown panic, but more like “ack”! I’d been waiting for the right time and place to use these and now I’ve ruined them! What do I do now?

So… I got out my trusty DeWALT palm sander and went at the brackets. I didn’t sand them down to bare wood as I still wanted the weathered look and decided a whitewashed technique could be just what these brackets needed. You can see the whitewashed technique here.

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I wanted to mention how I hang stuff on my walls. TAPE. I use tape to “see” what the finished look will look like. You will see in future posts that the artwork is hung different from what is taped here (hence the beauty of using tape. See it before the nails go in.) I also changed the color of the walls in this room. The clock stayed in the same spot and so did the shelves. 🙂 I moved the cat house you see in the corner of the picture to the hall upstairs. I’ve noticed the cats scratch at it way more up there and it seems to be a great spot for them to go to when they need some quiet time. (see the cat post here) The lamp was moved to another room. You can see the lamp shade project here. Following At Koko’s Place you will see that things rarely stay in the same place for long!

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The boards I used for the shelves used to be one of two huge bookcases. My awesome husband took them apart for me and the boards sat in the garage where they awaited what their new life would be. Picture them stained the darkest brown color you see here. I sanded them, leaving both the natural wood color and some of the brown stain, knowing I would whitewash the boards using the technique I did on the dresser turned desk here.

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In making the bookcases, I countersunk screws… In making shelves, I didn’t want them to show. I then cut four boards down to 40 1/2 inches long using my DeWALT jig saw and then sanded the edges. 

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Patch away I did. There was a lot of patching to do! After patching, I sanded it all flat.

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Dark gray walls now! The rack of plants I move around to follow the sun. And spoiled pets…the reason we bought sofas. 😉

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Taped the walls again after the new color went on. Frog tape was used this time instead of Scotch Blue. The headlamp was because I decided to hang the shelves around midnight and I didn’t have adequate lighting in the room at the time. What? I know I’m not the only one that does projects at odd hours 😉

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I used the level as I taped the lines. It made the job easier for me. I didn’t have studs where I needed them to be, so I used wall anchors. Best invention. See them in this project here.

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Four down, four to go!

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Even though I pre-leveled, I still would check the level as I went along. I also made sure the brackets were in a straight line.

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All done! Now to add the boards.

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*Insert happy squeal here!

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Plants bought from Trader Joe’s, Home Depot, and Costco. Owl from TJMaxx. Buddha, can’t remember, I’ve had him for a long time.

I lived with the blue, then the green tapes for a bit. Over the course of a few weeks, I moved the tapes from three shelves to four and played with the spacing. I tried to picture what I would have on the shelves and how tall I envisioned the plants to grow. Since I love greenery, I knew I wanted more space to put them so that was why I added the fourth shelf. And I am happy I did!

Thank you so much for reading. As always, I appreciate YOU! Have a beautiful day!

❀Be well and just love! Peace, Koko❀

 

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Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link Review

Dyson heats, cools, air purifies your space! All three in one! How cool is that?!

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Look what Santa brought me! Dreams do come true. Santa knew! I don’t know how, I never said it out loud, nor did I write it in a letter to the big guy. Though I have a feeling a special elf was involved!

I am super stoked to be talking about my new toy! I’ve walked by these units on display at stores for a couple of years. I must admit they had me at the “cool” setting during one very hot summer. The delightful coolness had me sighing and the near silent machine had me in awe! Then as winter would come they’d turn on the Dyson units that “heat”. The yummy warmth literally had me dreaming of one for myself. Something I didn’t know was Dyson made a unit that did both hot and cool and to make it even better they made it with an air purifier too! What!? Yes you heard me right.

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Seven is helping me unbox. What a good kitty!

Since I took this out of the box, I’ve been using it daily. I know it’s too soon to review the longevity of it, but I will do a re-review on that later on during the year.

If you get a chance, take a look at the video about it HERE. Or watch below 🙂

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I like its compact size and how quiet it is while on. I love the magnet feature on the remote. When done using it, you can set it on the top of the unit and it stays! No more losing the remote!

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The first thing my daughter said was it reminds her of “R2D2”. Of course we had to give ours a name!

This is really easy to use. The controls are simple even for someone who isn’t techie savvy like me! I love that this is basically a 3 in 1; heat, cools, and air purifies. I love that this will replace three units in my home; space heater, fan, and air purifier and I’m looking forward to not having to carry the many units I do have up in the attic with each season when not needed.

The only con I can tell this far is the filter is not washable or reusable. But…from reading the manual, the filter should last a year if using this unit for 12 hours a day! That really is pretty awesome. I’m sure the filter will depend on individual homes: dust, dander, outdoor pollen, etc.

I didn’t go in to minute details on this, mainly because it really is simple to use. Plug in and go (well after I read the directions).

  • cools
  • heats
  • thermostat (this is fantastic, literally you can program this at even increments of one. my space heater starts at 65, 70, 75, 80. So far I’ve enjoyed the temp at 71!)
  • air purifies (the air quality is so nice. no burning smell you get with space heaters.)
  • airflow control (allows you to control how hard the air pushes out)
  • auto mode (this mode adjusts the airflow to the air quality in the room! smart!)
  • oscillates
  • two modes focused (air blows out directly) and diffused (air blows in a wider direction)
  • sleep timer (i love this feature)
  • night mode (the display on the machine is dimmed and it runs more quiet! how cool is that?!)
  • remote control (easy to use and the magnetic feature to secure it to the top of the unit is smart stuff!)
  • link this up to your phone! (what? yes, that’s what I said. I haven’t done this feature yet, but totally looking forward to it)

All in all I’m excited about this unit. Stay tuned for another re-review on this in about 6 months time.

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Did I mention I had a few pets? Haha. They are enjoying the heating feature! Can you guess how many are dogs and how many are cats in this picture?

Please stay tuned to why I have green tape on my wall and what I do with it and all the other things I’ve been doing while it seemed like i’ve been MIA! 🙂

Thank you so much for all your likes, comments, and follows. They really do make my day, each and every one!

Be well and just love! Peace, Koko 🙂

Surfboard Storage

At the moment, we are in a landlocked state. That means, no ocean touching our state on any side. Sadly, not even within driving distance. One day we will be near ocean again. It’s not a dream, it’s a reality! Until then, I wanted to store our boards in a way to still remind us that we surf, we love the ocean, we still are in the game!

There are many ways to store/showcase surfboards. Here’s what I did…

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I got these cute dragonfly hooks. I used a stud finder to secure the screws into studs. The dragonfly hooks slips easily onto the screw. I bought these at Target.

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I then used ribbon to hang the surfboard on and then slip the ribbon onto the hooks. Simple!

 

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Here, I wanted this type of look. The wood adds a nice element and really ties the wood tones in this room. You can see the shelving unit I built here… You can see I kept the wood natural in the shelving. I knotted this rope because “Spencer The Cat” loves to play with the hanging piece! Picture of him can be found on my instagram! Though I do have a few felines, he’s one of the orange ones. Future post on all the abandoned critters that have found safe refuge with us coming… 🙂

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And speaking of wood tones… I think it goes well not only with the shelving, but it goes nicely with the “drum” nightstand you can find that post here…  🙂 See that bottom surfboard? That was made by Rusty himself!

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These simple hooks can be found most anywhere…Home Depot, Lowes, Target. They are around 3 bucks for two! Not bad.

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I used cotton rope to hang these boards.

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Oh hi! This is “Spencer The Cat”! He loves to sleep, take baths, and purr.

Surfer Magazine wrote in 2020 surfing will be an olympic sport! If you love surfing, whether you like to surf or just watch, this is exciting news! My family is super excited about this!

If you have surfboards, paddle boards, even light kayaks, this hanging system could be a fun way for you to store your equipment.

Happy Friday to all you AWESOME followers. Go find, be, do something that excites you!

Peace, Koko 🙂

 

Nightstand: Clever + Hip + Repurpose

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Recycling a drum set no longer being used.

Hello my Awesomenesses! (A Koko word) 😉

Remember the post on DIY Dog Bed; I made it out of an old drum set? Well, this nightstand is made from more of that same set.

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This is also a great way to “store” drums. Nostalgia says, “Don’t get rid of it!” And besides, you never know when you might want to play them again. Just for old times sake!

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Isn’t the grain of the natural wood beautiful? My son lovingly refinished it. This was his first set given to him when he was five! The snare is at the bottom. Makes for a nice sturdy base.

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Can you see the iPhone charger? Very handy!

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One more look!

Nightstands can be made from many things; A cute wooden chair, old suitcases piled up one on top of the other, stacks of books, magazines, wooden crates, and even an old drum set!

Let your imagination soar! Now, go create your own unique nightstand!

Thank you so much for reading!

Love and Peace,

Koko

Yoga Ball Chair For Health

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My second ball. A new ball about every 10-ish years. Not bad.

Switching out a “chair” for a yoga ball! What?! Yep, that’s exactly what I did. I use a yoga ball daily for not only exercise but to “sit” on!

I’m always looking for ways to be kinder to my body and I’m always looking for ways to exercise while not “exercising” if that makes sense. What I mean is I try to get in exercise wherever I can. For instance while brushing my teeth I do leg lifts or wall squats.

Since I do a lot of computer work I wondered if I could work out my abs, legs, and back by sitting on a yoga ball. One thing I noticed right off the bat is my back feeling really good. No more achy feeling. My body didn’t feel tired and I felt more alert.

I experimented by moving my legs forward and back and wiggle side to side; both moves engaged my abs. I was onto something! Both fun and beneficial! I like that! Also, it gave me a great excuse to get rid of my highly uncomfortable chair! (In my forever quest for less stuff, that was another plus.)

I also noticed things like my back “self-adjusting”. And let me tell you… feels amazing!

So this is what I do: Sit on the yoga ball. My feet are flat for support. My legs are about shoulder width apart (I adjust feet positions for a change-up). There’s no rhyme or reason to any of my movements. The key for me is to not be still. I might tap my toes up and down or lift the heels of my feet up and down. I will wiggle side to side, rotate my hips around, move my legs forward and back.

If you give this a try, you can experiment with moves. I find it fun and anything to keep the blood moving is good in my book.

What sitting on a yoga ball does for me:

  • Reminds me to sit tall.
  • Reminds me to pull my tummy in. (Very important.) Always working the core!
  • Helps to adjust/align my spine. I’m always striving for ways to keep my back/spine healthy.
  • Relieves my back pain. I don’t have that nagging pain in my lower back when I’m done sitting anymore. I get up… and back feels great!
  • My abs feel stronger.
  • My low back feels stronger.
  • I’ve always had good posture, but the ball makes sure I do!
  • Keeping my body in motion is important to me, and this does just that!
  • I prefer sitting on a yoga ball now to a standard “office” chair. Or really any chair for that matter. I guess you can say it’s more comfortable.
  • No tailbone pain. I cracked mine a few years back. Owie. Long story…
  • My hips feel stronger. I don’t get that painful “pop” in them as often as I did. And really as I type this now, I can’t remember the last time that happened.
  • If you know me, you know I like doing things that have more than one benefit. If I must sit (computer work) then I want to exercise!
  • Not using a standard chair, I can stretch my arms behind me periodically.
  • My neck and shoulders are more relaxed and I feel the tension is much, much better.
  • Even though I am moving on a yoga ball, I still stand by my “standing up” every 15-20 minutes thing I do. I will do jumping jacks, squats, or even sit-ups and push-ups using the yoga ball. Check out Dr. Mercola’s post here on sitting too long.
  • I am more awake/alert. And that’s important especially if I’m doing research on a topic I find boring.
  • And most of all, it makes me happy!
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See how-to on lamp and desk.

Happy is good! We all have challenges, constant obstacles that get us down, but it’s up to us to get up, challenge those challenges and push those obstacles out-of-the-way. Sometimes as I work, a sad thought will creep into my mind and I know I can’t do a thing about that sad thought…I start bouncing on the yoga ball, almost as if I’m on a trampoline, and well, the sad is still there, but deeper in the back of my mind. In the midst of bouncing, the endorphins go up and I can actually find my smile again.

So if challenges and obstacles are pushing at you…push back!

Hugs to all my Awesomenesses!

Peace, Koko ❤

DIY Laptop Case

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Making your own laptop case is easier than you think. This method can be tailor-made not only for a laptop, but for an iPad, iPhone, iPod…etc.

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This is an old quilted blanket. I’ve had it for about 20 years! It’s really stood the test of time! I love the weight of this fabric and the feel of it. This blanket’s backing had started wearing and I used it folded in half for years (I could have sewed a good sheet or nice fabric to it…No, not really lazy, but you know…life takes over and some projects and things are more important.), until a dog I rescued got a hold of it…big un-repairable tears!  It’s been such a good blanket, I hated to let it go and thought of all the many things I could make out of the still usable parts. And so the story goes…a project was born! (Come back and see a few more things I’ve made from one blanket. Stay with me!)

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There are many styles to try…Do I want the laptop to slide from the top or the side? What type of closure do I want…zipper, button, leather strap? Do I want a closure at all??? I cut many types of patterns using “wholefoods” paper bags. I’m serious when I say, “No big secrets here”…Making a case/cover is truly easy. If you can sew a fairly straight line, you can sew this! All you do is measure what you want to make. For this, I’m making a laptop sleeve/cover for my MacBook. So basically I figured an “envelope” style was the way to go. (In pic above, you see a bubble wrapped envelope? My laptop actually fit in that and I was going to “wrap” the fabric around that for protection, but I decided the blanket alone was really good protection on its own. 

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No need to make box corners for more space. Picture an envelope. Really, that’s all there is to this! I gave myself a 1/2″ seam allowance. You can also stitch along the edge and let the seam show without turning the fabric inside out. “Rough” edge look!

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You can go a million ways with the closure. I went with a simple flap that I could just flop over or tuck in. 

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Here it is with the flap, flopped over. 

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And here it is, flap tucked in.

Tips: If your fabric isn’t padded enough, try doubling the fabric, or adding batting in between the fabric.

Don’t limit yourself to just fabric you can buy at the fabric store. Try vintage tea-towels, a cool towel you got from somewhere, sheets that have torn, an old sweater, jacket, hoodie, jeans…the many “fabrics” you can use is really limitless…oh i’ve also done this with old leather (Up-cycled from leather furniture! You’d be surprised how many people toss out leather sofas. You can up-cycle the leather and not only make laptop case, but, clutches, purses, wallets an ottoman! Let your imagination go wild!)

If using leather, pleather, vinyl, felt…(basically, material that doesn’t fray) Try “whip stitching” along the seams for a unique and fun look.

As I’ve mentioned above, have fun with the types of closures…zipper, leather strap, a belt, buttons (and the buttons don’t have to be round!) Have fun showing off your creativity!

I’ve had this cover for over a year now and I still love it just the way it is. I love the flap concept.

I hope this has inspired you to see things a little differently. Something old can be made into new again!

To all you old and new followers, my wish today, for you…

See this life a little differently in the way that with each unpredictable moment, you dwell not on the chaotic parts, but the precious moments that allow your breath to be taken away.

Hugs and Peace, Koko

 

Review Cuisinart Coffee Maker

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This is the same machine, 2 years later. Still looks and preforms like new!

Remember when I reviewed this Cuisinart’s Cuisinart Coffee Plus 12-cup Programmable Coffeemaker plus Hot Water System coffee pot? Here I am re-reviewing it.

It’s still awesome! 2 years and going strong! Insert cheers here***

This is the one appliance that is used daily in my household. The first thing I do when I step into the kitchen is turn on the hot water feature. (Pets are cared for first thing. I use it to warm their food.)

I can say that this machine is quite the workhorse as daily pots of coffee are made and many, many cups of tea. The hot water feature is used not only for teas and cocoa, I use it to make oatmeal and as i’ve said, heat my pets food.

Everything I’ve done 2 years ago with this machine, I still do. I wipe the machine down with a damp cloth (inside and out) regularly. I used white vinegar to clean the inside of the machine about one-two times a month and the filters get changed about every three-four months. I feel I can stretch the filter changes as I use already filtered water. I don’t have “off/funny” tastes with this unit. I’ve had people ask if the tea tastes like coffee. I can honestly say, I don’t have an issue with that. My tea tastes like tea! 🙂

This machine is so useful when friends are over. They go to the hanging cups and help themselves. We can sit at the breakfast bar and chat and sip and make more beverages to our hearts content!

Cuisinart still sells this unit. Don’t hesitate to buy it. It was a smart purchase, I mean…(I thank Santa Claus for leaving this amazing machine under the tree those years ago!)

Hope you enjoyed the review and it was helpful to you. Whatever you do in your day, make time to have a cup of something. Whether you are a coffee, tea, cocoa drinker, taking a moment for yourself or with someone you care about and enjoy a cup is a wonderful way to start your day. I take mine out onto the deck (weather permitting) and even if it’s for five minutes, I take time to breathe in the clean air and sip my drink…starts my day happy.

Take five minutes for YOU. Breathe, sip your drink, and let the happiness fill you!

Be well Friends. Peace, Koko

DIY Magnetic Message Board

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Your refrigerator is the perfect spot to post a note to remind you of something. In my home it’s one of the most opened door; which means papers/coupons, cards, notes can go flying off. My kitchen isn’t wide where the fridge sits and often times the “stuff” that is on the front of the fridge gets knocked off. My solution was to create a message board near enough where we could still see it, but out of the way from walking traffic. Remember, if I can, you can! Let’s get started…

Materials needed:

Sheet metal

Screws

Rubber grommets

Tools:

Screw driver or drill

Drill bits to pre-drill

Level

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I purchased a piece of sheet metal. I was prepared to cut the sheet metal to size using tin snips, however I got lucky that the area I decided to put the sheet metal is a size that the hardware store readily stocks.

I had several ideas for how I was going to hang the sheet metal. If I had to cut it using tin snips I knew the cut edge wouldn’t be smooth and I was going to “hide” it using molding to “frame” the sheet metal. That would have still looked nice, but I decided to use only screws and grommets. I like the clean/modern look of how it came out.

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I predrilled where I wanted the screws to go. Added the rubber grommet and screwed the screw in.

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There you have it! A message board that’s still accessible without clogging up the front of the refrigerator.

It was a quick and easy project that anyone with any skill level can do. If you are using tin snips; remember to wear gloves. And always protect your eyes!

I am on the go constantly! Often times I wish I could duplicate myself! I may not post weekly (I’m a bit more active on twitter and instagram as I can post pics while in between my crazy busy life…follow me!), but I do read your posts! I enjoy every one of them. I read your blogs every chance I get and get inspired daily from them. Your posts make me smile, think, energize me, and carry me when I am down. Just wanted you to know I appreciate you and the time you take to write!

Hope you had a wonderful Valentines. I got my guy this:

(Evan-the-dog adorably photo-bombing!)

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Who am I kidding…I probably will be on it more than him! Teehee 😉 He actually loves it! After 25 Valentines you have to get creative.

Be kind to yourself and to others! Have a beautiful day!

Peace and hugs, Koko 🙂

DIY Shelves Made Easy

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Custom built is the way to go when you have an odd corner. I tried using a metal shelf and various other “shelves”, yet none really worked. So leaving me with no choice…I had to break out the tools! Keep in mind, if I can you can! Here we go…

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This is what I had in my arsenal: Needle nose plier, counter sink drill bit, drill, level, pencil, hammer, nail punch, tape measure, stud finder. (Not shown; 1/16th drill bit, 1 1/2″ screws, 1 1/2″ finishing nails.)

Lugging this guy up two flights of stairs wasn't easy. 47 pounds of awkwardness!

Compressor. Lugging this guy up two flights of stairs wasn’t easy. 47 pounds of awkwardness!

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Nail gun; This needs to be hooked up to the air compressor (pic above) to work. I wasn’t sure if I needed this to help me hold the wood as it was just me building this. I ended up not needing it.

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Here’s the corner of my frustration! Teehee. Glass-eyed tree frog (on the left) painted by me for my son when he was 3. That was forever ago! Like two decades! 😉

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I measured the space and cut the wood. Cleats are 1×1’s, front facing pieces are 1×2’s and the shelf itself are 3/4″ plywood. I bought furniture grade as I wanted pretty wood and very straight pieces to work with. Using a chop saw I cut the cleats and facing pieces. For the plywood I used a skill saw. You can ask a person at your local wood store to cut them for you. Some places charge per cut, but some do it out of the goodness of their hearts!

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Using the stud finder, look for a stud. As you can see, my stud finder lies! No worries though, it will be covered by the cleat.

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Eureka, I found two studs!

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I attached the back cleat first. Double/triple checking the level. Then I attached the side cleats.

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First shelf done. Checking the level.

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As I finished each “cleat” section I added the shelf board so I could accurately measure the space I wanted in between each shelf.

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The ladder needed to come into play for the top two shelves. Being short has its downfalls, but it’s a good thing I can climb like a monkey!

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Almost done!

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The finishing front pieces. (Check out the Garmin Vivosmart HR i’m wearing. Yes, there will be a review on this.)

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I didn’t want to risk splitting the wood, so I predrilled tiny holes using 1/16th drill bit.

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Carefully I nailed finishing nails across. Four nails along each piece. Using the nail punch, tap each nail in about a millimeter. Fill with wood putty to disguise the hole! Tip: You can make a wood filler using wood glue and fine sawdust!

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All done. You can stain and seal using poly urethane. I like the natural look so I won’t be staining this.

Recap in video below…

All done! Insert happy dance here *

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This would be great for folded sweaters, jeans, extra blankets, pillows, books, etc.

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I just added a quilt to finish off the seating area.

Now this awkward space is a pretty space. I may sneak into my sons room to read in this “now” adorable nook! The view from that window is incredible!

Make spaces work for you. If you can’t find just the right piece to make it work…don’t be afraid to build it! If I can, you can. I’m not a pro by any means, but I like to make things, so I try.

I love all your comments. You make my day and I very much appreciate all your “likes” and “follows” and “shares”.

Be well and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Cheers, Koko

DIY Tea Box Repurposed

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I am a huge note taker. Also, for me, there’s a comfort that comes from the feel of physically writing or even doodling. It’s also a wonderful way to clear the mind. Because my mind doesn’t rest, writing things down helps to relieve having to think/remember everything. I like to write on note cards (3×5’s). They are the right size. I can fit them in my purse, or pocket, and they tuck nicely in the corner of a nightstand or drawer.

Ok so, I have 3×5 cards littered in a few places. I’ve been meaning to buy a card holder. Well, I’m not the most patient person and it was late last night when I decided I NEEDED a card holder. I was making tea at the time of this “thought”…and the box my tea was in would do nicely. Shall I continue? Okay, you’ve twisted my arm…

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Before I show you what I did…I made tea, of course! I like this tea with raw honey (neat info on  raw honey ) and raw cream.

Continuing…

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This tea is really seriously delicious. If you are short on time to measure out the spices (like here  or here) to make your own, give this one a go! 

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Only three bags of tea left… I took out the insert.

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I decided I wanted to keep the lid and sides to help reinforce the box. Plus the peacock is so adorable! 😉 They were too big folded inside, so I measured, and trimmed. 

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Fold the flaps down.

 

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Add the 3×5 cards. I made the tabs by cutting a few cards. Now I’m more organized. A more “Zen” workplace and I feel better having all my notes in one place. 

I could have gone out to buy one, but truth be told, then I wouldn’t have this cute box with a monkey on it!

I’ve said it before, and I will continue saying it…I appreciate your support, kind words, and follows. As the card reads on the desk…THANK YOU! Your comments make me smile and your kind words make me sigh! These past few months I’ve needed it more than you can know. THANK YOU.

Take care of yourself. Peace, Koko