Category Archives: organizational projects

Pink Under-the-Bed Divided Toy Storage

By: Minwax

Guest Blogger Charlotte from At Charlotte’s House joined us for our Habitat for Humanity ReStore Workshop in Philadelphia. Follow along as she shares some helpful tips she learned at the event and watch as she puts them to practice building and staining this beautiful under-the-bed toy storage box in her daughter’s favorite color, PINK!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Minwax®, but all opinions and pink reveal are my own.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a fun event at the Philadelphia Restore hosted by Minwax®! Truthfully, I wasn’t sure of the specifics, but when I walked into the room and saw tables with wood and samples and brushes, I KNEW it was going to be a great afternoon! The experts at Minwax® gave us a crash course in all things wood staining, wood preserving, and furniture finishing. Guess what. This 5 year DIYer was doing all SORTS of things wrong when it came to my staining.

1. I wasn’t pretreating my wood. Which makes for a blotchy stain. No bueno. Use a wood conditioner, Minwax® Pre-Stain Conditioner.

2. I was cleaning my brushes wrong. Alll wrong. When you turn them upside down in the faucet? All that paint just gets shoved down into the nape of the bristles. Also no bueno. Just hold the bristles pointed down, and rinse/ flick until no more paint.

3. No idea about water based and oil based nuances. Oil based stains, like Minwax® Wood Finish™,have a much longer working time, but can smell a lot. Like a lot a lot! Water based stains, like Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain, will dry much faster which can be tricky, but they also come in amazing colors like, ahem… my pink toy tray!

4. Shaking my cans. Don’t do it, folks. Bubbles are bad. Always stir your stain.

5. Brush type. I typically grab the cheapest brush unless it’s one of my favorite angle brushes. Synthetic bristles should be used with water based paints and natural bristles should be reserved for oil based products… the water can cause natural bristles to swell and change their shape.

I could go on, but five major staining mistakes seems like enough.

One of the products I fell head over heels in love with was the Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in “Perfectly Pink.” PINK! As you know, Eleanor’s room is a plethora of fuchsia and we had a bit of a toy situation going on. I decided to build her a simple storage bin for all her toys and stain it… yep… pink!

The tray itself is very simple. I used a 3/4″ 2×4 piece of sanded plywood and framed it out with some mitered 1x3s.

I mitered the corners of the 1x3s and lined them up to the edge of the plywood with wood glue and a brad nailer.

To split the tray into two halves, I glued/ nailed a 1×2 down the middle to act as a partition to help her divide her creations from all the different toy pieces.

I sanded and pretreated the wood to start. The pre stain wood conditioner helps prep the wood so that any stain applied will be a smooth even finish. Since the pink stain is a water based stain, I used Minwax® Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.

The wood frame of the tray is stained with the Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in “Perfectly Pink.” I brushed on the stain with a synthetic brush, and then wiped off any excess with a cotton rag. To finish, I went over the stain a day later with a flat finish Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish to help preserve the stain.

For the inside, I used some leftover white paint to keep the storage area crisp and clean. Casters and 2 lucite handles later… I’m in love.

Eleanor is actually VERY organized so I figured I’d give her a head start, and bought her some small plastic containers in which she can sort the various toy pieces. One corner at a time, folks… keeping this house quasi-organized!

One side of the tray is for the things that she builds and the other is for her spare pieces. I’m not sure whether it will be easier for her with or without the lids, but I love how pretty all the containers look with their rainbow toy pieces!

I was able to use three 1x3s at $3 each. The plywood is about $10. A pack of four casters was maybe $3 and each handle was about $4. I could have used simple grocery store containers, but instead I got these ones that were all about $3 a piece. Doing the math… that brings the whole project to about $50. I know that’s not super cheap, but… the alternative is a dresser or a file cabinet and this is just too perfect not to love!

You can see more great DIY projects from Charlotte on her blog: At Charlotte’s House. Her design style is fun, frugal, repurposed eclectic and she like colors and whimsy and brass and rattan. You can also follow her onFacebookInstagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

A Festive Holiday Card Display

This time of the year we always look forward to receiving holiday cards, pictures and notes from friends and family. I decided this would be a great opportunity to make a simple, colorful display board for them. You can make yours from a piece of plywood or individual boards (as I did) and cut it whatever size fits your wall. Either way, I always start with a coat of Minwax® Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to help the wood absorb my stain evenly.

I then used two Minwax® Water Based Wood Stains, “Green Tea” and “Crimson,” to brighten my boards.

To hold the three boards together, I simply glued and nailed two scrap pieces of wood across the back.

Two coats of Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish really made the colors pop, and will protect the wood against sticky fingers!

After it dried, I used my staple gun and some green string to wrap the boards in preparation for the cards.

As a finishing touch, I added a stencil of the word “Home” that I found in my local craft store. You could also use adhesive letters to create any number of words, such as “Happy Holidays.” Then you can either slip the cards over the string or hold them in place with miniature clothes pins or paper clips for a festive way to display your holiday cards.

Until next time,

Make this a hand-made holiday!

Bruce

Closet Makeover! with Not JUST a Housewife

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