Monday, March 27, 2017

DIY Custom Simple Bedside Table

When we switched our son from a single bed to a bunk bed, the ladder interfered with the existing bedside table. As someone who would be lost without a place to put my glasses and phone at night, I came up with this simple solution that you can customize to your needs.

I wanted to be able to fit an under-bed storage box partially underneath the bedside table, so I came up with at design that easily attaches one side of the table securely but temporarily to the bed frame while the other side is supported by a leg. The result is a sideways L-shaped table that is very sturdy, but light-weight and easy to remove for cleaning or rearranging furniture.

I build my table out of cardboard, but you could certainly use foam core board or wood. Most of my cardboard was already 1" (2.5 cm) thick, but you could glue together several sheets of cardboard or foam core board to achieve the same strength.

To cover the raw edges of the cardboard, I used a thin layer of white glue and strips of newspaper. You could also use tape, tissue paper, or wrapping paper. I then painted the entire table with acrylic paint and stuck a rectangle of contact paper on the top. You can finish and decorate your table however you want to make it match your decor.

- board (cardboard, foam core board or wood)
- a way to cut the board (knife, scissors, saw, etc.)
- a way to secure the boards together (glue, screws, etc.)
- ruler, tape measure, pencil
- if using wood, you can use metal L-brackets at both ends of the table top

- A = width of the space between the outside of the bed rail and where you want the end of the table
- B = width of the bed rail
- C = A + B + the thickness of your board (single layer of cardboard or foam core board)
- D = depth you want to make the table
- E = height from the top edge of the bed rail down on the mattress side (inside) to the board/slats/springs
- F = thickness of your table top board (thick cardboard or foam core board)
- G = E + F
- H = height from the floor up to the top edge of the bed rail

- TABLE TOP = C x D (thick cardboard or foam core board)
- LEG = H x D (thick cardboard or foam core board)
- INSIDE RAIL BRACKET = G x D (single layer of cardboard or foam core board thick)
*or use 2 metal L-brackets for wood
- OUTSIDE RAIL BRACKET = 1" (2.5 cm) x D (thick cardboard or foam core board)
*or use 2 metal L-brackets for wood
- CORNER SUPPORT = 3" (7.5 cm) x D (thick cardboard or foam core board)
*or use 2 metal L-brackets for wood

1. Attach one end of the table top to the edge of the leg in an L-shape. Attach corner support to inside.

2. Attach inside rail bracket to edge of opposite end of table top.

3. On the underside of the table top, mark B (the width of the bed rail) in several places and connect with a line. Attach the outside rail bracket along this line (leaving space between the two brackets for the bed rail).

4. Decorate as you please.

5. Put the table in place by sliding the bracket edge over the bed rail. 


Monday, March 20, 2017

Customize Towels with Grosgrain Ribbon

Whether you're looking to tie your towels to your bathroom theme or color scheme, want to make a special gift for someone (wedding, house warming, baby, etc.), or simply want your kids to be able to easily identify their towel, sewing on some grosgrain ribbon is an easy and eye-catching way to achieve your goal.

Grosgrain ribbon comes in a variety of widths and almost every color and pattern imaginable, from aquamarine to zaffre, apples to zigzags, and "Avengers" to "Zootopia". It's available at dollar stores, craft stores, big box stores (like Walmart), and online (eBay, etsy, etc.).

Transform your boring towels into sharp-looking accents and tie-together mismatched towels into coordinating sets without spending a tonne of money on new or designer towels.

- towel and matching thread for the bobbin
- grosgrain ribbon and matching or coordinating thread for the top thread
- sewing machine, notions, scissors, etc.

1. Lay the towel edge on a flat surface that you can pin on. Lots of towels have a band that is shorter/smoother than the fluffy parts, which is the perfect area to sew on the ribbon, but if the towel doesn't have that, you can still sew the ribbon on over a fluffy area (you may need to measure up from the outside edge of the towel to ensure that your ribbon is straight.

2. Cut a piece of ribbon that is the same width as the towel. Position it carefully and pin every few inches/centimeters to keep it in position while you sew. At both ends, tuck approximately 1/4" (0.5 cm) of ribbon under itself and pin securely. This keeps the "raw edge" of the ribbon sewn inside the stitching so that it won't fray.

3. If you're sewing on hand towels or face cloths, you can simply sew around the ribbon along the edges and backstitch at both ends. For large towels, it's much easier to sew two separate seams. Sew along one long edge, turn at the end, and sew the edge of the end, making sure to backstitch at the start and finish.

4. Start sewing again at the same start point, this time sewing the edge of the end first, then along the other long edge to the same finish point, making sure to backstitch at the start and finish.

5. Trim your threads. Apply a dot of fabric glue to any spots that you think might fray or come loose, if applicable.


#TeamCap #TeamIronman ;)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Streamer Wands - Craft with or for Kids

Whether it's for a party, parade, picnic, or just playing around, these simple but colorful wands are sure to delight the kids. They're fun to make for the kids or with the kids.

Choose team colors, favorite colors, patriotic colors, or whatever catches your fancy.
- wooden dowels approximately 24" (60 cm) long (or whatever length you prefer)
- acrylic paint, brushes
- ribbon
- glue
- scissors
- other decorations, such as: beads, glitter glue, washi tape, stickers, markers, etc.
- large wooden beads, decorative pencil-top erasers, or other items that will fit on the end of the dowels (optional)

1. If your dowels are too long, cut them to the correct length. Remove any stickers/tags from the dowels.

2. Paint the dowels with whatever color or colors you like. Allow the paint to dry completely.

3. Decide which end of the dowel will be the "top" where the "streamers" will be attached. Cut 5 to 10 pieces of ribbon approximately 12" (30 cm) long. You can make them different lengths. Glue one end of the ribbons to the sides of the dowel near the "top" end, varying the side that you attach them on and the distance from the tip.

Alternatively, you can cut longer ribbons (approximately 24" [30 cm]) and glue/tie the middles of the ribbons to the dowel.

Put a little bit of glue on the loose ends of the ribbons to stop them from fraying. Allow the glue to dry.

4. Decorate the rest of the dowel however you like. You can wrap tape or more ribbon around the "top" to cover where you glue the ends of the ribbons on.

5. Add a painted bead, bow, or other decoration to the "top" of the wand (optional).

DONE. Enjoy watching the kids play with their new wands.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Build Your Own Home Reference Binder

You may never have heard of a home reference binder, but once I explain what it is, I think you'll agree that it's a pretty handy thing to have around. A home reference binder is a place to store all sorts of information pertaining to your home (scroll down for a list of things to add to yours). You can use files or a box, but I really like the convenience of using a binder.

I started our home reference binder as soon as we bought our house, but it's never too late to start one and it's a never-ending project. I keep ours handy, both for referring to and for updating. It's so much easier to grab a page from the binder to take to a store than to go searching for things or try to remember.

- 2"-3" binder
- hole punch
- clear page protectors
- sturdy cardboard or plastic dividers (you can make your own with the hole punch)
- strong glue (I use GOOP)
- pen, marker, scissors, stapler, tape, glue stick...

ITEMS TO COLLECT (as much as you have or want to include)
- paint chips with your wall colors
- swatches/samples of your flooring, siding, baseboard, etc. (or color photos)
- manuals/warranties/receipts for appliances, furnace, smoke alarms, etc.
- information from your municipality about things like garbage pick-up, bylaws, etc.
- business cards and/or contact information for contractors, plumbers, electricians, suppliers, etc. that you have used or might use
- pamphlets/brochures/printouts that contain pictures or information about home improvement products you have in your home/yard/garage
- color photos of other items around your home/yard/garage that you may want to refer to when you can't actually see them in person

1. Divide your items by area (i.e. basement, main floor, 2nd floor, exterior, yard, garage, etc.). Label your dividers.

2. Decide what order you want things to be in the binder.

3. Glue samples to your heavy dividers. Write details beside them (room names, color, item numbers, etc.). Place them in your binder.

4. Place your other information in page protectors or hole punch the pages.

Write in additional details (purchase/installation date, product numbers, etc.).

Attach smaller to large pages with glue, tape or staples.

Put everything into the right sections of the binder.

5. Keep the binder up to date by removing things you no longer have and adding new information as you add things to your home.