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❀

 

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 🙂

 

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

DIY Simple Wall Fix In Seconds

Remember the desk I repurposed? (see it here) The wall I’m referring to is the wall I see when I am creating at my desk. I had troubles doing anything with ugly holes staring back at me the whole time! I’m talking at least 20 unsightly holes! I took a shelving system down because something I am building will be in it’s place: Hopefully sooner than later, (waiting for my order to come in). Back to the ugly holes in the wall…I needed a quick fix.

My solution…

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See how to “DIY” lampshade here. Great place to set my computer glasses!

Yes, a door! Voila! The ugly sight was fixed in seconds. (I will do a proper job with spackle later…) Since this is what I see…I wanted to pretty-it-up, by adding the antlers and it was simple enough to do…

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The string was something I had on hand. It was too thin so I braided three strands for a thicker “rope”.

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Seeing a wall full of this was not very inspirational.

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I screwed in two of theses hooks. (See tip below for easy pilot hole start.)

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Tip: You need a nail and a hammer…But keep in mind you want the nail you use to be thinner than the screw, otherwise the screw will not have something to bite into.

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Tap the nail in (Not too far. Just a few taps will do.) See the hole near the right side of the nail?

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Tapping in a pilot hole helps to guide the screw in. Just screw in the screw!

If you have an unsightly wall, you can fix it fast, by using an old door, new door, shoji screen, even a lovely quilt. This quick fix allows me to breathe easier seeing something pretty until I can get to repairing it.

Here’s to making the life around you beautiful. Peace, Koko

Mouse over the pics below to see the caption…Something I didn’t know! Found out accidentally! Teehee!

 

DIY – Make Your Own Bed Frame

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If you can’t find a bed frame that you like…build it!

I’ve never found a bed frame I was happy with. It started with making bed frames for my kids at all stages of them growing up. I wanted them to have as much play space as possible because every kid needs space to make epic Lego scenes or twirl around to their heart’s content, am I right?! So their beds were built up high so they could play underneath (ie; camping reading nook etc.) and as they got older, desks were built-to-suit to fit nicely under.

I wanted a frame high enough to keep the dogs off of the bed. So this is my build…

3/4″ Plywood: 2 sheets, depending on what size frame you are building.

4×4’s Legs: However long you need, buy accordingly.

2×4’s Sides, top and bottom of frame: However long you need depending on building for twin or queen or king. Also 2×4’s for the underside of the frame for support. (see photos below).

6″ Carriage bolts, 2 per leg = 8

Hex nuts for the carriage bolts = 8, one per bolt.

Washers = 8, one per bolt.

“L” brackets for support on the underside of the frame.

Felt for each feet to prevent scratching of your wood floors as well as a buffer between the 4×4’s and the 2×4’s (see picture below).

Paint or stain

Tools:

Chop saw

Skill saw

Hammer

Wrench – Proper size to use on hex bolts.

Drill with proper size drill bit to drill holes. Also, drill for screwing screws into 2×4’s.

Screws or nails

Clamps – trigger clamps

Measuring tape

I want to start off by introducing this...

I want to start off by introducing this tip…This is felt. I buy it by the sheet and cut it to suit. I use them under most furniture to help me move them around the room without needing any help whatsoever! How cool is that!?

See the felt? I doubled the felt because this build is heavy! I was all out of dark brown felt, though the white isn't really noticeable. I could take a marker and color the edges...again, not a big deal. ;)

See the felt? I doubled the felt because this build is heavy! I was all out of dark brown felt, though the white isn’t really noticeable. I could take a marker and color the edges…again, not a big deal. 😉

The basic build is to first figure out the height you want the frame to be. Don’t forget to account for the measurement of the plywood on top. In this build I used 3/4″ plywood.

I used 4×4 for the legs. I wanted the chunky look, plus it’s very sturdy. I measured for the height and cut the 4×4 using a chop saw.

Measuring out for a queen size I measured and cut 2×4’s for the frame to go around the entire bed. You can screw or nail the 2×4 together creating a “box”.

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To attach the legs onto the 2×4 “frame” you can use trigger clamps to hold the 4×4 into the corner so you can pre-drill for the carriage bolts. I pre-drilled one hole per side corner off setting them so one is closer to the top on one side and one is closer to the bottom. I drilled through the 2×4 into the 4×4 all the way through!

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After the holes are pre-drilled I inserted the carriage bolt. This is where the hammer is needed to pound the bolt through. Once the bolt is through I used a washer and then a hex nut to secure the 4×4 in place. Before I go on I want to mention: Before the legs are set into the corner, I cut felt to put in the corner before I placed the 4×4 leg. The felt is to prevent the wood rubbing against each other.

What do you think of the floors? It took me a day and a half to lay the wood and one day to stain and seal. A walk through post about the floors coming: please stay tuned!

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After the legs are bolted in place, I cut the plywood to fit using a skill saw. Drill the plywood into the 2×4 sides.

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Here you can see the felt in places where the 4×4 would touch the 2×4 sides. And you can see how I’ve off set the bolts.

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Here you can see I’ve run 2×4’s across the underside of the frame. This is for support. I also used “L” brackets for more support.

At this point you can leave the wood natural, paint it, or stain. I chose to stain it. I had left over stain from doing the floors. I just rubbed the stain in and let dry. I then did one coat of water based poly on it.

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Kitty approves!  I need to do this technique on the lamps so they look like they match! Woohoo, another project. 😀

Tips:

If you have trouble finding 4×4’s you can use 2×4’s for the legs using 2-2×4’s in an “L” fashion.

When building a high frame such as a bunk bed style on top and say a desk area under, use 2×4 supports on three sides.  And for the ladder you can add more 2×4’s for the rungs.

Buy untreated wood only. You don’t want pressure treated! Some stores don’t carry untreated in the stores, but may be able to order it. ASK!

If you can’t find the right bed frame…build it!

If you want to see what I’m up to, follow me on instagram or twitter. I put up different things that don’t always make it onto the blog.

Share your smiles and your good wishes around. You never know who might need it! Now go out and be awesome!  Best, Koko ❀

DIY Rustic Kitchen Island

Kitchen island; made to order!

Kitchen island; made to order! (That is Sherlock. He’s my inspector Kitty!)

You are gonna guess it right…my wood scrape pile is fairly large. With that said, I’ve been needing an island in the kitchen. As you all know I am short and after a big day of chopping and mixing on my kitchen counters, it starts to wear on my shoulders. So, I decided to build this island to give my shoulders a bit of a reprieve.

This post is to basically tell you if something isn’t working, build it to suit!

I built the top of this island first. I know, not very conventional, but I'm not conventional either! :P

I built the top of this island first. I know, not very conventional, but I’m not a conventional person either! 😛

The top of the island is basically 1×4’s. And a ton of screws! I really need to get a jig so I can make pocket holes. (Please Santa send me a kreg pocket jig ! I’ve been a really good girl!)

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I cut 2×4’s to the height that would work for me! And used 1×4 cross pieces for support which will also support a shelf.

I am not certain I like this color, but for now it will do. Mind you, I do love orange, just not sure about this particular shade. So one day on a future post you may see it a different color!

I am not certain I like this color, but for now it will do. Mind you, I do love orange, just not sure about this particular shade. So one day on a future post you may see it a different color!

Yep same as the first pic. As you can see there are two shelves. I used 1x4 cleat for the bottom shelf too.

Yep same as the first pic. As you can see there are two shelves. I used 1×4 cleat for the bottom shelf as well.  Notice the kitchen cabinets and floor. I am hoping this year to get to refinishing both! Stay tuned! 😀

This island dubs as a laundry folding center and has been a great computer table. When I use it as a computer table I take off all the bottom slats and one slat on the top shelf for leg room, still giving me a shelf for books and things. This could also work as a potting table outside. Just remember to coat it with a few coats of polyurethane to protect it from the elements.

So you see, scrap wood isn’t just for kindling…This was a simple project using 1×4’s and 2×4’s for legs. It can be done with 1×2’s, 1×6’s…4×4 legs would be awesome, really limitless in what you can build with just a basic table idea.

You too can do this! I believe in YOU!

Side note: The weather has been beautiful. I hope you all find the time to go outside and enjoy the sun. Read up on how important vitamin D is for you! Sunshine is so uplifting. Sadness just has a way of seeping away as the sun warms your skin. So get out there take deep breaths and let the rays fill you with happy!

I appreciate every one of you liking, sharing, and following me. You are like the sun! Peace, Koko ❤

DIY iPhone Cord Protector

How many of you have had your phone charger cord (or any cord for that matter chewed on)? As in man’s best friend decides he likes the phone charger cord too! Well in my case it was the cat! I could see out of the corner of my eye my dog quietly snickering in the corner as I was chastising the cat!

I don’t know what Apple puts in their phone charger cords but I swear it’s crack for kitties. The cats just gravitate towards them! They have yet to meet an Apple cord they didn’t like. Gah! What is a girl to do? This is my solution…

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FYI, you can do this for any cord; even hanging lamp or chandelier cords you find unsightly! Try fabric that matches your walls to camouflage or bright fun fabrics for a pop of color!

To make this I had a very long ribbon that was used to tie a comforter closed. Of course I saved it knowing it would come in handy. But, if you don’t have a ribbon just cut any fabric to size: About 2 inches wide by double the length of cord you are covering. Fold fabric in half and sew along edge. You can turn fabric inside out so the seam doesn’t show, however I left mine unturned as I liked the contrast in thread color. There really is no wrong way. Just get those cords covered!!!!!

And you know what? It works! I haven’t lost a cord since this invention! I can’t guarantee the same results for you, but try it. What do you have to lose…well except for another cord!

I’d love to hear what you think about this easy to do project! Drop me a comment below. 🙂

Please like, follow and share, your support means the world to me! Koko❀

Save Space Shoe Storage DIY

Look, look, look! Over 15 pairs of shoes, virtually taking up no space at all!

Save space shoe storage DIY. Say that tongue twister three times fast! 😉

Whether you have a lot of space or a little space this shoe/multi purpose shelf will come in handy. This shelf is great to show off any collection whether it’d be tea pots or books or toys! Possibilities are endless.

I built the shelf over the closet and corner shelves for shoes as my daughter has a small collection 😉  I like that it displays her shoes in a pretty way as well as not take up any precious floor space!

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When the shoes were stored in their boxes, my daughter found she didn’t wear them as much. This way she can see them and it makes choosing a pair very easy and fun!

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Also don’t overlook over the door hooks to hang a jacket, purse, or next day clothes!

Check out this awesome jacket here...

Check out more info on this awesome vegan leather jacket on Smashing Glitter. here…

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Very convenient to have things out for easy access, but not taking up any “floor” space. And you avoid “the stacking over a chair” look!

This is how I did it…

Buy brackets

I picked up these brackets at Target on sale for under five bucks for two! You can find brackets at any home improvement store. They come in many ornate shapes in metal as well as wood. All I did was decide how wide I wanted the shelf.    In this case I got a 1″ x 10″ which in reality is really 1″ x 9 1/4″. (That has always bothered me. A 1″ x 10″ should measure exactly that!)  After you decide how wide you want it, the next thing is to decide how long. I wanted it to go from the corner to a little beyond the closet door. You can have the home improvement store cut it for you or you can cut it yourself. I already had the wood in my go-to-stack-of-lumber, so I just cut it myself using a compound miter saw.

I lightly sanded the board and stained it with stain I had left over from a project. You do not need to sand or stain the board. You can leave it as is. You can also paint it any color you want or you can just varnish it with a clear water based varnish.

Okay…moving on to the corner shelves.

Corner shelves can be bought

Corner shelves can be bought at Target or home improvement stores. You can also make them. I normally would make them, however these were on sale and to make them would have cost me more. So in this instance it was a no brainer to not have to put the work into it.

Here you can see there are cleats that hold up the shelf.

Here you can see there are cleats that hold up the shelf. Find the studs in the wall. If you do not have studs use wall anchors. You can learn about them on my other tutorial here. Once the cleats are attached to the wall, you place the shelf on top. You can then screw it down from the top or hot glue the shelf on like I did. How you attached the shelf really depends on what you are putting on it.

Don't you love it?!

Don’t you love it?!

Below...above. :)

From below…………then above. 🙂

Creating more space without really “taking” up space is a win-win! Shelves like these will help you be more organized and being more organized helps you find things! Make more room without “taking” up space! You too can do this!

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If you have any questions drop me a comment. I’m always happy to help.

Happy space creating, Koko❀