9/07/2014

How to Make "Grippy" Doorknob Coat Hooks


Last weekend, I picked up a new-to-me storage bench that's perfect for our front entry, which (of course) is leading to a string of smaller projects. If you give a mouse a cookie....
Mainly, I want to create an organized and functional landing strip that has a place to sit and remove shoes, a spot for keys and mail and coat hooks. Jesse and I knocked out the coat hooks this weekend by mounting old doorknobs to a piece of salvaged wood. I coated the door knobs with plasti-dip which gives them a nice grippy texture and prevents coats from sliding off.
How to Make DIY Upcycled Doorknob Coat Hooks



I started by purchasing a few old doorknobs from the Habitat Restore. They were having a Customer Appreciation event so my knobs were less than a dollar a piece!  Also, if you do this, I would recommend going bold and opening up the bags to see what type of mechanism they have before purchasing. You want knobs that come apart easily. More on that in a minute. 
How to Make DIY Upcycled Doorknob Coat HooksNext, I headed over to our local hardware store to buy a can of black Plasti Dip. I thought Plasti Dip would be kinda scary to work with since it's basically liquid plastic and the can has warning labels like "extremely flammable vapors." However, once I got set up outside, it wasn't a big deal. The smell is a bit like spray paint and not as strong. Just use the Plasti Dip outside, dispose of it properly, don't eat it and you'll be fine! By the way - my knobs are painted white because I was going to do a "dipped" look but I did't like it so I opted to cover the entire thing with Plasti Dip using a small paint brush.
How to Make DIY Upcycled Doorknob Coat Hooks
This next part can get a little tricky.  When shopping for secondhand knobs, try to find those with interior hardware that will "pop" out. It's kinda hard to explain, but some are all once piece and you want the kind that have spindles and screw posts soldered into place. We used a pair of vise grips to carefully wiggle the parts back and forth until they came off.
How to Make DIY Upcycled Doorknob Coat Hooks
Each pair of knobs will have one side with screw holes and one side without. To make the side without holes work, use a drill (or drill press) to add them. Side note - I drilled out the second hole with Jesse's help - I'm like Rosie the Riveter over here!
How to Make DIY Upcycled Doorknob Coat Hooks

How to Make DIY Upcycled Doorknob Coat HooksTo mount the knobs, we used a salvaged board from some old built-in shelves we recently took down. The shelves were painted white, so Jesse ran the board through his planer to smooth it out and remove most of the paint. I love the rustic / industrial look that having some of the old paint and holes showing gives it.
How to Make DIY Upcycled Doorknob Coat Hooks
We measured and evenly spaced the knobs and then screwed them into place. I covered the screws with another dab of Plasti-Dip and let the piece dry for about an hour before mounting it on the wall. You can see below that Jesse simply drove screws straight through the board into the wall. Easy Peasy. However, if you plan to hang really heavy bags or coats,  I would recommend using drywall screws as well.
How to Make DIY Upcycled Doorknob Coat HooksHow to Make DIY Upcycled Doorknob Coat Hooks
Here's a little peek at the neat mid century storage bench I found - it's cedar lined! I plan to fill it with blankets and maybe add a couple toss pillows to the top. You really can't have too many toss pillows! Also, remember how I said we need a place for keys and mail? Jesse made a nifty little box from the same salvage wood that we plan to mount under the mirror. I don't think he took photos for a tutorial while he was putting it together, but it will still be fun to share some pictures of it and the final "look" of the entryway here soon. How to Make DIY Upcycled Doorknob Coat Hooks

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8/17/2014

Easy DIY: Make Your Own Pom Poms!


As promised, here is a tutorial on how to make large pom poms! I'm sorry it's later than planned. I spent last weekend prepping for a job interview, which isn't nearly as much fun as making pom poms, spray painting junk, etc. But, I love my job and it pays for the blog so, yeah - gotta do what ya gotta do! 
How to Make Large Pom Poms Using a Fork
Using a fork to make pom poms is nothing new, but I wanted to mix it up by using an oversized fork to make big pom poms. I also had a strange urge to try my hand at making a GIF, which appears later in the post. 
How to Make Large Pom Poms Using a Fork
The first thing you'll need to do is buy a pom pom maker - a large wooden fork. The thrift store by our house had a whole box of them for a dollar or two a piece. The next thing you'll need to do is keep it away from sticky fingered munchkins! Apparently giant wooden forks are very appealing to three year old kids. Whenever I wasn't looking, B would swipe the fork and I'd run after him shouting "Hey! Come back here with my pom pom maker!" 
How to Make Large Pom Poms Using a Fork
Instructions:
1. Loop a six to ten inch piece of yarn through the middle and secure it with painter's tape. 
2. Run the yarn in front of the first two fork tines, then below the second two.
3. Weave the yarn back and fourth over and under until you've reached the top. The trick to a full and fluffy pom pom is to weave it tightly and also go back and forth over the yarn a few times so that it's layered as you go up the fork.
4. Once you've reached the top, remove the tape and tie the long piece at the top.
5. Slowly move the yarn loops up and off the fork, tightening the string as you go.
6. When the pom pom is removed and the center piece tightened, you'll have a nice loopy pom pom.
7. Cut the loops and do a little trimming to make it uniformly round.

That's it! A simple and inexpensive way to make pom poms for whatever you need!  

Just for funsies, here is a GIF of the process!
How to Make Large Pom Poms Using a Fork
Pom poms were a nice finishing touch for an accent pillow in our office. I did a tutorial for the half moon pillow a couple weeks back and plan to do a post about the blue and white pillow next!
How to Make Large Pom Poms Using a Fork



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8/11/2014

Updating our Home Office

Our office is looking pretty snappy these days, mainly due to this amazing mid-century console my friend Megan scouted for me (thanks, Megan!). Unfortunately, the record player is on the fritz, but hey, I don't own any records anyways! Eventually I will get it repaired and start stealing my parents' vinyl, but for now I think I can buy an adapter so my iPod will play through the speakers. Maybe? Does that exist?
DIY Vintage Modern Eclectic Home Office
Below is how the office looked a couple of years ago; a yellow-beige mess of a room that was a catchall for junk and not very functional.
home office before


home office before
Last year, I painted the room gray, organized the shelves and moved around some of the furniture. Those changes helped a lot, but it still didn't look and feel right. I would literally sit in here and stare, glass of wine in hand, just thinking and trying to find a solution for making the room "work" - and on a budget. The first and most annoying obstacle was a rat's nest of cords in the corner of the room that I needed to figure out how to hide. See that tangled mess in the corner below?
home office beforeAnother issue was the desk. First, we had a "puzzle" desk that we bought when Jesse was still in school, but Juno chewed up one of the corners and it didn't fit with our style anyways. Then, I found this fabulous MCM desk and chair set (a ridiculously low priced Craig's list score), but it just isn't functional enough for us. The drawers don't have much storage space, and with Jesse using the closet in this room for his wardrobe, desk storage is a must. Also, the matching chair is pretty but uncomfortable. Bottom line, the set is more for a mid-century enthusiast who wants to simply admire it, not actually use it every day. The third part of the office challenge was figuring out where to (eventually) put a guest bed. I toyed around with various ideas; a queen sized bed, a sleeper sofa, making  asking Jesse to build a custom desk and bed combo, etc. I've recently settled on a layout that includes a twin size bed, and I think this plan might stick.
The record console wasn't part of the original plan, but it worked out perfectly. Jesse made a couple of floating shelves and I arranged odds and ends from around the house on the wall with it. I especially love the bird batik print I found at Junkstock this summer! I also love the "Only Boring People are Bored" quote I made for the wall. Our family motto.
DIY Vintage Modern Eclectic Home Office

DIY Vintage Modern Eclectic Home Office
DIY Vintage Modern Eclectic Home Office

I've had this tension pole lamp for years, it was recently in B's room and then stored in the basement. I spray painted it teal blue, but I can't decide if the color is amazing or horrible. It might get another coat of paint. This time in white. Because I paint everything white. Or black.DIY Vintage Modern Eclectic Home Office
I swapped the MCM desk for my sewing desk (a nifty expandable number I found at an estate sale wayyy back in college) and re-located it under the window. The is in rough shape, but it's too neat to paint, so I think Jesse and I might try to rehab the veneer this winter.
DIY Vintage Modern Eclectic Home Office
I'm estimating the cost for a complete guest bed set-up to be roughly eight hundred to a thousand dollars, so we are pushing that off for a few months in order to put our funds into the basement remodel. I was going to put this slipper chair in the corner, but it was awkward and didn't do a good job of hiding all the cables and cords in the corner. I've had the ottoman since college, it's original upholstery is dark purple velvet with swirls. Classy. I think I've recovered it about six times, but for this round I just threw one of our Turkish bath towels over it. I made a tutorial for the house / heart string art a few weeks ago that you can see here. There is also a tutorial for the Ferm Living inspired potato stamp pillow, here. I'm working on tutorials for the other two pillows and hope to have those up soon!
DIY Vintage Modern Eclectic Home Office
Overall, I'd say the office / guest room is about two thirds finished. I would still like to get a bed but I'm totally fine with the bench for now. I just have a couple small projects left; curtains, a rug, maybe re-paint the tension pole lamp, and wire up a secondhand ceiling fixture I re-vamped. You know, little stuff... 
Do you have rooms you've struggled with in terms of layout?  How did you find a solution?

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