When I moved into my small studio apartment, I asked the landlord to take out the closet door so I could place my bed next to it and not have to worry about the door clearance – not wanting to look at my stuff in the closet, a tension rod and a curtain was the perfect solution to close off the closet while still providing easy access.
(Meet my cat Lia – she decided she absolutely had to be in the picture – she loves posing!)
That’s a pretty conventional use of a tension rod, to put up a curtain. Well, after spending some quality time on Pinterest, I have now discovered a whole new world of possibilities: turns out that tension rods are workhorses for better organization, from shoe storage to kitchen cupboards to organizing your cleaning supplies under your bathroom cabinet.
If you want to see more ways to put tension rods to good use, check out my Pinterest board dedicated to them .
When you have a small kitchen like I do, you need to use every inch of space that you have. One way to maximize the space above the stove is to add a simple DIY shelf : it’s the perfect spot for extra large spice containers and cooking utensils. Everything is within easy reach when cooking and it frees up precious cabinet space for other things.
Here’s what you’ll need to build this simple shelf: 4″ x 1″ pine board (6 ft – less than $1 per ft), wood glue, wood filler, wood screws, corner clamps, drill and a countersink drill bit, and stain or paint
Step 1: Cut 2 pieces of the pine board the width of your stove and 2 pieces 5 inches high for the sides (you can do the cutting at the hardware store) – apply glue to the end of either one of the long or short pieces.
Step 2: Using 3″ corner clamps, join a long and short piece
Step 3: Drill 2 pilot holes through the top and side piece using a countersink drill bit – this will allow the head of the screws to sink below the surface.
Step 4: Screw the pieces together, using thin wood screws (this will help avoid the wood splitting)
Step 5: Repeat step 1 to 4 for the other side, and then put on the remaining long piece.
Step 6: Add wood filler to cover up the screw heads and sand everything
Step 7: Stain or paint – I used Minwax classic gray wood stain.
I simply rested my shelf on the top of the stove but adding a bracket to attach it to the wall will make it more stable. This extra shelf space has made me like my kitchen so much more and it’s the perfect addition to my DIY magnetic pizza pan spice rack and my reconfigured stove top!
A quick way to revamp an old dresser is to change out the knobs for some new decorative ones. Here’s an easy and budget-friendly way to make your very own DIY dresser knobs using shells – perfect if you’re looking to add a little bit of the beach to your decor:
What you’ll need: shells (I got mine from the Dollar Store), nuts & washers, bolts (about 1 to 1.5 inches longer than the thickness of the shell), scrap rigid cardboard, rubber bands and epoxy glue.
Step 1: Cut a piece of rigid cardboard so that it’s the width of the shell and extends past it by about an inch, and make a hole in the middle. It will act as the flat surface of the dresser drawer to set the bolt in place.
Step 2: Insert the bolt in the hole of the cardboard
Step 3: Pour epoxy glue into the shell cavity, making sure to have enough glue to cover the head of the bolt.
Step 4: Place the head of the bolt so that it touches the bottom of the shell cavity, while making sure the cardboard is flush to the back of the shell. Then move the bolt around so it is perpendicular to the cardboard.
Step 5: When the bolt is placed properly, use a rubber band to secure the cardboard in place, double check that the bolt is still touching the bottom of the shell cavity and still straight (it doesn’t have to be perfect but the straighter the better), then place the cardboard on the edge of 2 glasses. This will allow the epoxy to settle on the bottom and cover the head of the bolt. Let the epoxy harden.
And voila, you have beautiful shell knobs ready to give a new look to your dresser!
I love clamps and use them in many of my projects – I’ve tried many different ways to store them and I finally came up with this idea that works great for me: storing them on the rungs of a stool. Now my clamps don’t take up precious shelf or wall space and they are within easy reach when I’m working on something and need a clamp ASAP!
If you’re looking to hang your ironing board on the back of a door but don’t want to make any holes for hooks, use two inexpensive plastic over-the-door hooks. It’s easy, quick and your door will stay hole-free!
Pegboard is great for organizing tools – even if you live in an apartment and don’t have a workshop, you can install pegboard on the side of a bookcase to transform it into a mini-workshop. It might not seem like a lot of space, but it’s just enough to keep everything you need within reach.
You can get hooks made for pegboard, or dowels to hang your tools. If you have drapery hooks on hand, they’re an inexpensive alternative that can also work really well for some tools. You can cover up the side with a curtain as a finishing touch but since I love tools, I don’t feel the need to cover them up – they double as wall art for me!