Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

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

How to Create a Simple Base for an Unusual Piece

When I saw this unusual piece of Southwestern pottery, I knew it would look great in my son Eric’s apartment in Salt Lake City. But as you can see, it has a small base, which made it easy to tip over.

The base had a hole in the bottom, so I devised a way that I could mount the pottery on an unfinished pine board I found at one of our local craft stores.

Minwax One Coat Polyurethane

First, though, I stained the board with Minwax® Wood Finish™  in “Classic Gray” to give the wood more of an aged, worn look that would go well with the piece of pottery. Afterwards, I protected the wood and the stain with a coat of Minwax® One Coat Polyurethane in a semi-gloss sheen.

To prevent the pottery from tipping over, I traced the opening in the bottom of the piece, cut out this piece of wood to match it, then ran a screw up through the bottom to secure it in place on top of the wood base.

I then was able to slip the piece of pottery down over the block of wood, which stabilized it, while still enabling Eric to lift it off if he decides to display it differently.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

Create a Quick Workbench for Your Shop

Sometimes our regular workbench becomes so loaded with projects that we can’t move forward, especially when we need room for some staining and finishing.

When that happened to me recently, I had an idea. I set up two of my folding sawhorses, laid our stepladder across them, and used pieces of stiff cardboard to make a top. While I couldn’t assemble a chair on top of it, my makeshift workbench proved sturdy enough for me to stain and finish a set of shelves on it.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

Get Organized with This Vinyl Storage Project

If you have somebody in your family who just can’t let go of their collection of vintage albums, you just might be able to help them keep their collection organized — and easier to enjoy!

In our house, I happen to be the vintage record collector, so I started by taking my measurements from my records and record player, then bought some of my favorite woods:  these wide, pre-glued pine panels.

Knowing how heavy record albums are, I glued and nailed shelf supports for two rows of records and the record player itself.

My favorite one-step stain and finish for wide, flat panels is Minwax® PolyShades®, as it adds just the right amount of color to the wood, plus a layer of polyurethane protection — all in one coat.

After the Polyshades had dried, I set each shelf on the supports, then glued and nailed them together. I always prefer to leave the clamps on overnight to give the glue enough time to bond the boards securely together.

The next morning I moved the record stand into the house, organized my records on the shelves, plugged in my record player, and enjoyed a trip back in time.

Until our next time together,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

A Quick Tip:  Rather than struggle to freehand draw an even curve, simply use one of the cans off your shelf to trace the perfect line on your project.