Category Archives: Guest Blog

Closet Makeover! with Not JUST a Housewife

By: Guest Blogger

Guest blogger Stacy Risenmay of Not JUST A Housewife is back with a fun project to help you get organized and liven up your storage space. Follow her tutorial on how to give your closet a stylish makeover.

My Saturdays have been spent doing other things rather than DIYing. But here and there I have been working on a project that I have been putting off for a year. I decided it was high time to get my office closet made over to match my new home office!

This is also my first Minwax® post of 2017. I am so excited to be teaming up with them again to bring you tons of projects this year.

If you want to see how my office closet was supposed to look like when people actually put things away when they were finished, you can see my original office closet post HERE.

This is what it looked like after 4 years of use. Pretty close to the same, but we did get lazy over time.
Before image of the closet before the makeover

Here is what it looks like now!

The peacock blue walls were pretty but didn’t match my new office so I painted the walls and shelves black. I kept the trim and ceiling white.

Office-closet

I think my favorite thing is the new pegboard with actual pegs instead of metal hooks. I’m going to show you how I made it today :)

I didn’t change a lot of the functionality of the office because it has worked for 4 years and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The one thing that didn’t work for us was having every single little thing hanging on the pegboard. My boys (and even me sometimes!) didn’t take the time to carefully hang up the screwdrivers and pliers after each use. They would get tossed in a random box instead. I decided to hang things that were too big for the pegboard boxes and things like paint brushes that would get their bristles messed up if tossed in a box.

There is a box for tape measures, a box for box cutters and other sharp tools (the highest one), and one for screwdrivers, pliers, allen wrenches, and other small hand tools.

office-closet-makeover

I added pegs to the baskets so they can be moved around too.

office-closet-pegboard

Since the closet is in the corner of a tiny room, we opted to keep the door off so it would be less awkward. Because of that, the closet needs to not only match but needs to be organized and nice to look at. I even added a couple of snake plants :)

tool-closet-in-office

To make the pegboard, I bought a 2 foot by 4-foot piece of 1/4″ plywood. I originally was going to make the holes 2 inches apart so I measured it and marked it off that way. After looking at how close together they would be, I opted to only mark every other corner to make them 4 inches apart. If I ever decide I need more holes, it will be easy to add them :)

I used a 1/2″ drill bit to drill out the holes.

TIPS:

  • Choose a bit that has a point so it won’t slip.
  • Go slowly so it doesn’t rip the plywood and splinter around the hole.

If you do have some that splinter, don’t panic. Use a stainable wood putty that closely matches the stain you are going to use to patch it up.

measure-for-holes

I wanted the pegboard, the small boxes for the pegboard, and the larger storage boxes to all be the same color as the IKEA baskets. The baskets have a weathered wood tone that I love. I have used Minwax® Wood Finish™ in Weather Oak many times (I love it!) and knew it was more on the grey side. You can see my bench I made a few months ago to see the stain color. I decided to add a little bit of another stain to brown it up a bit. I chose “Provincial” but “Early American” would also work. I added one tablespoon to one quart of Weather Oak.

Make sure to test out any stain on a scrap piece of wood (the same type of wood you will be using for your project) to make sure it is the color you want. This goes for any color, not just custom mixes.

stain-wood-for-pegboard-and-boxes

minwax-weather-oak

Once the pegboard was done and stained and I had built simple boxes, I needed to measure and mark where the holes needed to go for the pegs. Do not drill all the way through. Drill slowly and keep checking as you go. Use wood glue to secure the pegs to the back of the boxes.

drill-holes-for-pegs

Just like my crate I made for my corner shelves, I cut out vinyl to make a custom stencil for the bigger storage boxes. The one that says “Tools” will hold all of the smaller miscellaneous tools like laser levels and pipe cutters.

DIY-closet-organized

With crafting or DIY, there are so many little items. It is so nice to have so many bins and baskets to hold them all and keep them from being a jumbled mess. Now I just hope the boys put things back where they go after they use them!

tool-closet-makeover

I wanted to add a sign to the top of the pegboard and thought this quote seemed appropriate. I just used scrap wood from the garage, a little paint, and another custom stencil.

closet-after

build-your-dreams-sign

The part of the closet that you can’t see from straight on is actually the biggest part. This closet is over the stairs so it is angled. The top shelf is almost 5 feet deep. The second shelf is over 3 feet deep and the bottom shelf is about 2 feet deep. I keep the things I use frequently towards the front and things I rarely use get put in labeled boxes in the back so it is easier to pull and slide them out when needed.

HR-tool-closet-organized

I didn’t want the slanted space under the bottom shelf to be wasted so I got some empty paint cans (you can buy new empty ones at Home Depot) and used small hooks to hang them from the underside of the shelf.

DIY-supplies-in-paint-cans

I am really happy with how it turned out! It was quite the chore to empty, paint, build, and fill it back up but it was worth it!

office-closet-makeover

Stacy Risenmay is a DIY enthusiast. In her blog, Not Just a Housewife, she shares her adventures of fixing up her 1938 cottage. She believes that whether it’s big or small, everyone should love their space. Learn more about Stacy and visit: http://www.notjustahousewife.net/about. You can also follow Stacy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Turning a Dingy Dining Table into Something Awesome with MyFixitUpLife

By: Guest Blogger

This week’s guest blog comes from Mark of MyFixitUpLife. See how Mark was able to make his wife, Theresa’s, table pallet idea come to life.

Finished pallet table

The carpenter in me always has to do a gut-check when my designer-wife says, I have pallet ideas. Oh no, I say. Then three things happen…

I love her, I trust her, and as a guy pretty much wandering around lost on the path less traveled, I swallow hard and try to find a way to make her vision come alive.

With the table done—we did this as part of the Minwax® “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax®. program we’re lucky to be part of—now I am amped to show you how this thing happened.

It started with a table that was pretty much a mess. Theresa liked the shape, but the finish was jumping off it, it was hard to keep clean, the leaves didn’t work right. You know, a mess.

Table Before

Doing the reverse gymnastics of taking the table top off the base is minimal fun. I found that I had to be really careful to not strip the screws.

Mark under the table

Pallets look good in photos, but in real life, they’re like a quarter you find on the street. You don’t know where they’ve been. So before assembling the table top, we applied a coat of Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish to seal the boards.

Mark applying Minwax Polycrylic

We still wanted to be able to fold down the table leaves, so I set the first board tight to the hinged seam. A pneumatic finish nailer with 1-inch nails was awesome for this job. You could also use a pneumatic stapler—a tool I love enough to write a poem about—but the nails looked better.

Placing the first board on the table

Sometimes you need to remove a bent nail or a nail that is sitting too high (in carpenter lingo, that’s called ‘proud’). My go-to tool for this is often my diagonal cutting (dikes) pliers. Once you pull nails with these you’ll never go back to how you used to do it.

Removing a nail with pliers

We left most of the nails in the pallet wood. However, some were a problem so we took them out. In addition to the pliers, another option for dealing with nasty nails is to drive them—or at least get them started—out from the back side with a hammer and nail set.

Removing a nail by hammering

I sometimes complain that my wife makes things too complicated. I can be accused of the same thing. I got inspired to add—and then notch around—a center square to shake up the texture. I’m glad I did it.

Center square piece

Sometimes pallet ideas becoming pallet reality requires a little hacking. Since we really wanted to hide the old table top beneath this new texture and color, I chose to straighten some of the really warped pallet wood boards on the table saw.

Cutting pallet edges on a table saw

By flipping the table top upside down, I was able to use it as a guide for my jigsaw. It’s a little tricky to get perfect. Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t force the saw. Take your time and let the saw do the work. And use a sharp blade.

Using the table to guide cutting

I wire-brushed the table top before applying color. It was the absolute perfect solution (this one is a Hyde Tools wire brush, that also has a scraper on it) for opening the grain, dislodging dirt and cleaning up little pieces of glue left over from the nail gun nails. Make sure to clean the dust and debris off after wire brushing. I used a whisk broom for this. Easy.

Scouring the boards with a wire brush

I wire-brushed the table top before applying color. It was the absolute perfect solution (this one is a Hyde Tools wire brush, that also has a scraper on it) for opening the grain, dislodging dirt and cleaning up little pieces of glue left over from the nail gun nails. Make sure to clean the dust and debris off after wire brushing. I used a whisk broom for this. Easy.

Staining with Minwax in Antique Jade

That’s a real smile! Theresa jammed Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in Antique Jade on this and it is clear to me why she is the designer and I am the carpenter.

The stain went on smooth, dried quickly and the brush was easy to clean with soap and water.

Pallet Ideas Tip: For rough-textured stock like pallet wood, I like to work the brush back and forth to help the stain cover evenly.

Staining the side of the table

Let’s talk about Minwax® Clear Brushing Lacquer, OK. It is one-quart of clear coating awesome. It set up in about 30-minutes, so I could zing two coats on in a day and the clear gloss finish…yeah, love affair.

Brushing on Minwax lacquer

We couldn’t add new wood to the table base and the factory finish was impenetrable. And it, too, was a mess like the table top so—again proving why she’s the designer and I’m Nicky Nail Gun—Theresa chose Krylon Chalky Finish New Leaf spray paint. It’s a perfect match for the table top and easy to apply to a multi-faceted assembly like this base.

Using Krylon to paint the table base

And that’s really about it for this pallet ideas project. A few things I’d recommend thinking about: Once you add the pallet wood to the table top, it’s heavy, so help moving it might be necessary. Also, with the lacquer, make sure to brush it nicely into the edges to get good coverage. And, get some lacquer thinner or acetone to clean your brush.

Staining the edge of the table

MyFixitUpLife shares design inspiration, DIY tips, and behind-the-scenes interviews MyFixitUpLife’s husband-and-wife duo, Mark & Theresa, design, renovate, and share how-to tips to make your projects easier and more fun.

Creating a Wood Bead Planter with Not Just A Housewife

By: Guest Blogger

Guest blogger Stacy Risenmay of Not JUST A Housewife is back with a creative and fun project. Follow her tutorial on how to create a wood bead planter.

I drew a sketch of this project months and months ago but it kept getting pushed back. When I partnered with Minwax® for several posts, I knew this could be one of the projects which gave me the opportunity to finally cross it off my list :)

Wood Bead Planter

I put it up in my dining room and I like it there but it really is for my future bedroom. Since I don’t know when that room will get done, It has a temporary home that works for now.

Close up of wood bead planter

Here is what you will need.

Supplies:

(3) 3/4″ square dowels

(8) 1″ wooden beads

sandpaper

wood glue

cotton rope ( I used clothes line)

foam brush

Minwax® Wood Finish™ stain

drill & drill bit the same size as hole in bead

Step 1: I cut six pieces 7.5 inches long and six more pieces 6 inches long.

Pieces for wood bead planter

Step 2: Two of the 7.5 inch pieces and two of the 6 inch pieces will be glued together to form a square.

Gluing pieces to create box for planter

You will end up with three squares.

Square pieces for planter

Step 3: Trace the inside of one of the squares into a thin piece of plywood and cut it out to act as the bottom of the planter. It should fit snugly inside one of the squares. After you sand all the pieces, you will glue along the inside seam of the bottom piece. Wipe away excess glue with a damp paper towel since even the “stainable” wood glues don’t stain as well as bare wood. The glue seams will be on the inside and won’t really be visible once the planter is hanging.

Sanding the planter boxes

Step 4: It is time to stain! I chose my old time favorite,  Minwax® Wood Finish™ in Dark Walnut. I like to use a foam brush to apply the stain.

*TIP* I used a paper clip that I straightened out a bit to dip the beads into the stain.

Dark Walnut Minwax Wood Finish and square piece

Step 5: Once the stain has dried, stack the squares up and using the bead as a guide, drill all the way through. Put a scrap piece of wood underneath to protect your work station.

Drilling stained square piece for rope

Step 6: Cut four pieces of rope to your desired length. Knot one end and add tape to the other end so it won’t fray and so it will thread more easily. Thread the rope through the holes of the bottom piece.

Rope threaded through box planter

Turn it over and start threading the beads and other squares.

Beads added on rope

Now it is ready for you to add a plant and hang it up!

Finished planter hanging

Here is a quick video recap of the process:

Stacy Risenmay is a DIY enthusiast. In her blog, Not Just a Housewife, she shares her adventures of fixing up her 1938 cottage. She believes that whether it’s big or small, everyone should love their space. Learn more about Stacy and visit: http://www.notjustahousewife.net/about. You can also follow Stacy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Creating a Simple DIY Frame with Not Just a Housewife

By: Guest Blogger

Guest blogger Stacy Risenmay of Not JUST A Housewife uses Minwax® to create a simple frame.

I have a picture frame addiction. When Shane and I first were married, I would save my money and then pick out a new picture frame. As poor newly weds, a frame was a total splurge. Sometimes when I find a cute print or my kids draw me a picture, it will be an odd size and won’t fit into the standard size frame. That is when it is handy to know how to make your own frames!

There are many different ways to make a frame but I tried to think of a way to show you that used minimal tools for those of you who may not have a joiner or a router. I have partnered with Minwax® to bring you this simple DIY tutorial :)

Finished frame

I had a long skinny piece of 1/8″ plywood that got stuck in the back corner of my garage because I wasn’t sure what I would be able to do with a piece that size. When I was thinking of this frame, I knew it would be a good choice for this project. I cut two sets. One set was wider by about half an inch. I used my miter saw to cut the ends at 45 degree angles. You could also use a miter box.

frame pieces with dimensions

I sanded all the pieces with a fine grit sandpaper. Be careful not to round the edges.

sanded frame pieces

You will glue the skinny set to the wider set which creates a grove (that normally a router would make) for the glass to sit in.

gluing pieces together

After the glue dries, you can now glue the frame together at the corners.

gluing corner pieces

You can use corner clamps to hold them together or if you don’t have them, use heavy books pressed up against the edges to keep it together while it dries.

After it has dried, add some thin trim to the edges for added detail and to hide the edges of the two pieces of plywood.

glued frame and trim

Clamp or use the book method again to hold it together while it dries. If you need to putty any gaps, use a sandable, stainable putty.

frame with trim added

Choose a stain (or paint) you would like to use on your frame. I went with Minwax® Wood Finish™ in Early American this time. Apply it liberally and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes.

staining frame

After the 10 minutes are up, remove the excess stain with a paper towel.

wiping excess stain off frame

Once it has dried completely, add a sealer. I chose Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane. I applied it with a brush but for a small project like this, it might have been easier to use the spray polyurethane.

applying polyurethane

To hold the glass and photo in place, you need to add these little guys. I never knew the real name until I did a search on Amazon for them. They are called turn buttons. They are handy to have for when your other frames lose their little metal bendy tabs. Or am I the only one who accidentally breaks those off?

attaching drill buttons

See how the glass has a place to rest? Now you can customize not only the size of photo your frame holds but you can make your frame thicker than the 1/8″ plywood I used. The piece you add to the back (that is 1/2″ less in width) does need to be 1/8″ thick though. For example, you could use a 1×4 board to make the frame. A 1×4 board is 3.5″ wide so the 1/8″ plywood for the back would need to be cut to 3″wide.

close up of frame with turn buttons

Then your frame is ready to display your favorite print!

finished frame on shlef

I saw this quote by Mark Black last week and it really resonated with me. I have a very hard time relaxing. I feel like if I am relaxing then I am not being productive and being productive is really important to my personality type. But if I don’t force myself to relax, I get burned out. I thought having this in my office would be a great reminder. Relaxing is important :)

Make sure and check out the Made For Love campaign that Minwax® has going on right now. Remember that sweet video from my last post? I just love it!

Stacy Risenmay is a DIY enthusiast. In her blog, Not Just a Housewife, she shares her adventures of fixing up her 1938 cottage. She believes that whether it’s big or small, everyone should love their space. Learn more about Stacy and visit: http://www.notjustahousewife.net/about. You can also follow Stacy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram