Jun 152016
 

cutting closet woodInspiration can be like a wave, far away then suddenly crashing into you with such force you get knocked over. It seems to come while your attention to focused on something else in the opposite direction.

I have spent countless hours, usually while painting, trying to figure out what to do with our new, very large closet.  I looked at pictures online, looked for ideas with apps such as Houzz, and checked out This Old House for ideas and suggestions.  In the end I had a lot more idea than when I had began, but nothing seemed to fit my need.

I have turned it over and over in my mind to no avail. The back wall/ceiling angles toward the front of the closet, starting at about 4 feet up from the floor. I searched and searched the internet for ideas, but found nothing to fit our needs. Last night I changed my search terms and found the beginning of my wave.

The first trickle almost knocked my socks off with the cost; it was a $120 find. That was only for the supports for the rod. Hmm. Not quit what I wanted as my goal is to spend under $100 for the whole closet. BUT it meant there were options out there and I was on the right track.

I kept going.

Then I came across the Closet of Greatness.  I felt their pain on the closet issue. Then I saw their solution. Not only did it solve my dilemma, but it also fit my budget.

That is when the wave made my knees start to buckle.

This afternoon I was standing in front of the closet when the rest of the wave knocked me right over. See, I was working on the garage his morning , not even thinking about the closet. Well, except maybe to grumble about it to myself.

I was returning tools to the closet, not intending to think about the layout at all, when it hit me. I had been going about it all wrong.

Now that I no longer needed a floor-to-ceiling support half way through, I did not have to have a shelving unit between the doors going from the front to the back of the closet. “But what about shelving?” So I measured.

I should have enough room to make a two-tiered closet, a rod up high and one lower. The lower one will be set back some, supported by brackets along the flat wall.

“Brackets like I have in our current closet. …. Brackets that can have a shelf attached to them!”

The wave hit me full force.

All at once I found ourselves 13 feet of shelving space and 26 feet of hanging space. Given I barely use the 3 feet I currently have, I think we will be good on room to hang our clothes.

The shelf will serve as space for linens, shoes, etc. This will eliminate the need for a shoe rack and for storing our sheets in Jack’s closet.

I need to run the idea past my husband and get his input, of course, before moving forward. It is his closet, too, after all.

There are some details I have to iron out, like whether to add the lower rod right now or wait or whether to put our dressers in there and add rods and shelves on the extra space around them.

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Update:

I have ordered the Angled Ceiling Supports from Groover and installed the closet.  I wanted to wait to post this till it was all in and I decided whether I was happy with the solution I had found.  Though there were several patience trying moments, most of them were of my own making or due to a previous contractor’s measuring issue. (more on that below.)

I have now had the closet in for a few weeks and am really happy with the supports for our closet.  Once I had the right tools, and no whining kids who did not understand why they could not just drill holes at will, things went well.

Before beginning I had called Groover Enterprises to ask a few questions.  David took the time to answer my questions, even though he was working on something else at that time.  I appreciated his attention and assurances on measurements.

Here is what the final result looks like:

diy closet system

A trip to the local hardware store resulted in a 16 foot rod to use for hanging clothes.  Thankfully it was the local store, as my car does not have the space to put a 16 foot pool inside. We took the side streets back to the house.

I also opted to go for a pine board for the shelf rather than a laminated board.  Not only did it cost less, but I could stain it to match the closet rods and the future, hopefully soon, doors and trim for the room.

staining closet wood

Another change I made was to place both of our dressers inside the closet.  My husband was not so sure of the idea, but I like that they will be behind closed doors.  They also add a horizontal surface at no additional cost.  If we do not like it, I can always go back and change it.

Having made that change, I was able to use a left over rod from our basement.  I am not sure why the previous owners had this, apparently there were plans for it that never transpired.  It has come in handy though and several projects have cut it down from 16+ feet long to now about 2 feet.

Using stain and polyurethane I already owned, I began the process of turning the unfinished wood into something that looked classier.  Setting up saw-horses in the garage over top a plastic sheeting gave me room to work.  The staining took the longest drying but not in application.  Adding the polyurethane meant the wood and stain would be protected and have a semi-gloss finish.  This is a step that you do not have to do, but which pays off over time and is a nice final touch.

Another time consuming step that I had not planned on, was finding the studs behind the drywall.  I measured and marked, having a good idea of where they should be.  As it turns out, they were off several times.  I played “find the stud” with the drill rather than use the stud finder.  Why? I find that the stud finder does not always find the stud and takes longer in the end.

Below: I had found one stud on the third try (on the right, marked with the check mark), measured the 12 inches to where I thought the other one was, then got really frustrated when I didn’t find it and decided to just drill in a line both directions till I did find it.  Turns out it was at 15 1/2 inches.  What you do not see is that the one after this was at 16 1/2 inches.  And the one after that?  Well, it was finally at the 16 inches it was supposed to be … if they were not at the 12 inches like I thought they were placed.  Honestly, this was the worst seek-and-find of all the places.  Thankfully it is hidden by the shelf.

finding closet studs

Below: This was more typical of me trying to find the studs.  In this case my first two holes ended up just on either side of the stud.  It took the rest of the holes for me to figure that out and make my last hole in the middle of the first two I had drilled.  Thankfully not all were like this, though there were enough to make me extremely frustrated by the process.  Out of the 6 upper supports, I had trouble finding 3.  Considering two were next to the wall, that is not a good average.closet remodel finding studs

I am glad I did not jump in with a more complicated arrangement.  Instead I have a nice base for adding to or changing in the future as we use the closet and see what our needs warrant.

So, did all this work really save money?

Yes.

  • In all my costs were very near $100, about half of that being the supports for the clothes rods.  I may have gone over by a few dollars due to buying a new can of polyurethane.  I opted for the larger can, knowing I would be needing it in the near future and any unused product would keep for future, unknown projects.
  • We now have stained wood for our closet system rather than the coated wire option.  Even if we had wanted to go with the wire option, available at most stores, it would not have worked for our closet dimensions.  It also would have cost around $400 to find something for half of the closet.
  • While it took a bit longer for me to buy, cut, stain, and varnish the wood, I enjoyed the process and did not need to pay someone to do it.

child helping with closet

This project was also easy enough that I will do something similar with our now ‘old’ closet.  This closet has rods to hang clothes on, also double-tiered, but ones which were not stained nor attached to the brackets.  That particular project was a first for me, and more involved in a shorter amount of time than the closet above.

I am going to stain and add polyurethane to the rods with the kids’ help.  Being able to use rags instead of brushes as applicators makes it much more kid friendly.

While the kids may not appreciate the skill at this time, my hope is it will at least give them the confidence as they are older to tackle things on their own.  This is the same reason I let them help patch (small areas) of dry wall, use the drill to make holes and put in screws, paint, pull carpet, cut boards, etc.

Jun 062016
 

Ever get the urge to clean when you are angry, frustrated, depressed, feeling like life is out of control? I find cleaning helps me get things back into perspective with throwing dishes against a wall.  Please tell me I am not the only one to feel this way…

Today I got some surprising, bad news. Someone passed away who had made a large impact on my life, who I was around every day for years when I was a teenager. After shedding more than a few tears I looked around for something to do, something active. Dishes (washing, not throwing) and laundry were not going to cut it this time.

“Well, the closet rods and shelf need to be cut and stained …”

After a quick look on the internet, to review the staining process, I gathered supplies and headed out to the garage.

cutting closet wood

It has been almost an hour, my mind has worked through memories, my hands have made progress on cutting and sanding, and I feel more even keeled emotionally. I also feel more motivated on this part of the project to get the closet finished on the inside.  Sometimes all it takes is starting.

The 9 week Intro To Shop class in 7th grade seems to have paid off. Not only did we make a cutting board, but I learned how to smooth sharp edges off the corners of boards by hand. You never know which lessons will stick with you and be needed later, much later, in life.

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After the kids were in bed, I thought about heading there myself.  As tempting as it was, I was exhausted after all, my better side won over and I headed back out to the garage to stain the wood.  The stain needed to dry for several hours before I could put on a final coat of polyurethane, which will take all day to dry properly.  I know that if I waited till the morning to stain I would rush the drying step.   Better to get up and do it right then, allowing it to thoroughly dry overnight.

This morning I was glad to have completed this step last night, as I am able to keep up the momentum and get this finished between breakfast, morning routines and laundry.  With the next few days holding out-of-home activities, and me wanting to get our closet to the point where we can hang clothes, I can use all time saving steps available.  Yes, it meant staying up another 45 minutes, but it saved hours today.

staining closet wood

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May 242016
 

Hark, Hark! the Lark may be a great poem. We read it for our Poem of the Day earlier this week.  It is definitely better than Screech, Screech! the European Starling that is happening right now in our attic.

These wonderfully annoying, invasive birds found a hole (made by a squirrel?) in our soffet, pulled out newly installed insulation, and built a nest. Isn’t nature wonderful?

The baby birds are bigger now and louder.  At this moment they are adamantly demanding food.

Due to where they are, their calls are echoing down our stairway.

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Turns out, it was so loud because a young bird was sitting at the top of the stairway. Let it not be said that my kids have had a boring childhood. A game of “Catch the bird without scaring it; we do not need bird poop on the new carpet” is a rousing way to spend your morning.

Sorry, no photos. Maybe next time. After all, there are more young ones in the nest still.

The next adventure awaits my husband – climbing up and over the roof to cover the hole.  If I tried it, I am pretty sure Jack would try to follow me. It would result in this conversation:

“Yes, Doctor, my 7 year old was on top of a two story roof and thought the valley between the roofs would make a wonderful slide down into the sandbox. No, I did not tell him he could follow me up there. Yes, I told him to stay off the ladder. No, he did not know think about the 13’+ dropped before landing 5′ shy of the sandbox.”

Mar 282016
 

2 snowy seats and table

Recently I shared 3 projects I would love to make for my garden from wood pallets.  While searching for idea, I came across a few more that would work great for the yard.  These are also projects in which I can involve the kids. 

How about this great porch swing, but turned into a tree swing? I know the perfect limb ….

A shelf to tuck in along a porch corner? Sold. Finding furniture I can leave out rain or shine, or snow, is hard to find. The screened in section of our porch is usually protected, but still is prone to moisture and lots of wind.  There is a section of wall perfect for a shelving unit. It would be a great place to store outside toys, games, and items for entertaining. A much better idea than the low table we currently have which has become a dumping ground.  This is also a project that could be worked on at any point in the year.

I am really liking the idea of this Ottoman for the porch. It would fulfil various needs as time arose – storage for toys or cushions, an extra seat, IR an ottoman. There is the slight detail that this is made from a crate instead if a pallet, but it is a great idea to go from.

Mar 252016
 

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through a link and purchase a product this blog will receive a small portion at no added cost to you.  Thank you for your support.


Don’t forget, Craftsy is having a sale for their Online DIY Classes, 3/25-3/28.  This is a great time to take a step in learning something new or improving in an area you are already learning.  With 1,000+ classes there is a wide selection available.

With the Craftsy guarantee you know you will be able to watch the lessons any time and from anywhere, and your access never expires.  There is also a 100% money back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the product.

Whether you are looking for classes, tutorials, fabric, yarn, paint, art, drawing, painting, baking, cooking, cake decorating, scrapbooking, stamping, sewing, photography, knitting, quilting, woodworking, gardening, or home decor, Craftsy.com is the one stop place for all your DIY classes.

Mar 242016
 

I am a big proponent of using what I have, sometimes so much so my husband has to remind me that I can actually spend money.

When it comes to wood pallets, I see so much potential in something most people throw away.  Here are a few of my favorite ideas.

This would be perfect for my narrow, East facing bed. It is under the overhang of my garden anyway.  For that matter, I might even make two for its South facing front. It would look gorgeous filled with flowers.

We have a bare side of our house, the exterior new garage wall. A few of these with cascading flowers would give a bit of height, be easy to mow around and not look so short along a tall wall. Maybe even mixed with some vertical planters above.

Even better, by our side door which is on a small brick pad. Oiy!  So many ideas, so little time!

Or this, with a board added as a bench. I could sit outside and watch the kids play.

Well, I think I have added 3 relatively good projects to my already long list of things to do.  Honestly, though, does your garden/yard list ever get completed? Yeah, mine neither.

Mar 202016
 

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through a link and purchase a product this blog will receive a small portion at no added cost to you.  Thank you for your support.


If you missed the DIY Class Bundle Sale two weeks ago, you are in luck.  Craftsy is having a sale for their Online DIY Classes, 3/25-3/28

Learn from instructors in 1,000+ classes.  With the Craftsy guarantee you know you will be able to watch the lessons any time and from anywhere, and your access never expires.  There is also a 100% money back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the product.

Whether you are looking for classes, tutorials, fabric, yarn, paint, art, drawing, painting, baking, cooking, cake decorating, scrapbooking, stamping, sewing, photography, knitting, quilting, woodworking, gardening, or home decor, Craftsy.com is the one stop place for all your DIY classes.

Mar 192016
 

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support.

Craftsy is giving away a special mystery box full of some of the Craftsy Supplies Shop’s most popular offerings for your craft. Valued at $700, this mystery box is ready to be transformed into your next show-stopping project.

Enter anytime before 11:59 p.m. March 31, 2016 — it’s fast, easy and free! We’ll notify the winner via email and ask them to share the name of the friend they’d like to receive the other box.

FaveCrafts: Enter to win The Craft Obsession Grand Prize Giveaway! One lucky winner will receive an incredible assortment of DIY and craft supplies! The deadline to enter is March 31, 2016 at 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Enter to win all the National Craft Month individual company prizes in one grand prize giveaway. Participating companies include: FloraCraft, Polyform, We Are Knitters, American Quilter’s Society, and Red Heart.

A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, Highlights, and Leisure Arts are teaming up to bring a prize package that will make both kids and parents happy.  In Celebration of National Craft Month you have the chance to be one of 6 winners selected to receive a prize package.

One entry per person and must be received before 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 31, 2016 to be eligible for the prize drawings. (Contest Rules)

Mar 122016
 

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support.

Craftsy is giving away a special mystery box full of some of the Craftsy Supplies Shop’s most popular offerings for your craft. Valued at $700, this mystery box is ready to be transformed into your next show-stopping project.

Enter anytime before 11:59 p.m. March 31, 2016 — it’s fast, easy and free! We’ll notify the winner via email and ask them to share the name of the friend they’d like to receive the other box.

FaveCrafts: Enter to win The Craft Obsession Grand Prize Giveaway! One lucky winner will receive an incredible assortment of DIY and craft supplies! The deadline to enter is March 31, 2016 at 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Enter to win all the National Craft Month individual company prizes in one grand prize giveaway. Participating companies include: FloraCraft, Polyform, We Are Knitters, American Quilter’s Society, and Red Heart.

 

Mar 082016
 

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support.

Craftsy is giving away a special mystery box full of some of the Craftsy Supplies Shop’s most popular offerings for your craft. Valued at $700, this mystery box is ready to be transformed into your next show-stopping project.

Enter anytime before 11:59 p.m. March 31, 2016 — it’s fast, easy and free! We’ll notify the winner via email and ask them to share the name of the friend they’d like to receive the other box.