DIY

DIY Renter-Friendly Old Vinyl Floor Makeover

Looking for a renter-friendly way to give your entryway a makeover? Watch how I changed my entryway floor to give it a fresh new look without taking the original old vinyl floor off and without making any permanent changes! The new floor are made with ram board and include a beautiful compass rose design which I made using a Cricut Maker Machine, it was my first project using this machine and it was a lot of fun. You can watch the entire project in this video.

Or if you prefer reading and seeing pictures, I’ve added the entire episode transcript below (with some modifications for clarity)  along with some images to highlight the main steps. 

Episode Transcripts and Highlights

I recently gave my tiny entryway (it’s only 3ft x 3ft) a makeover to brighten it up and I was liking the changes I had done except that now the old vinyl flooring was standing out like a sore thumb. It was just begging for a new look! 

Brainstorming ideas on how I could do this in a renter friendly way, I thought about the ram board that I used to create a dramatic textured black wall in my bedroom. It’s meant to be used to protect floors during construction so it’s very sturdy. Since the rolls are three feet wide, I would be able to cover the entire entryway floor with one piece. 

Then I could paint it a light color and also incorporate a classic Compass Rose design like this one.

I started by painting the ram board. I did the first coat with paint that I had leftover from my office makeover (it was the type of paint that has primer combined). And because this will be on the floor in a high traffic area. I added two coats of floor paint in a light Arctic gray color. I found out the hard way that it’s very important for that first coat of paint to have some primer in it. Otherwise, putting the floor paint directly on the rim board may cause it to dent or warp in some areas. 

After letting the paint dry overnight, it was time to tackle the compass rose design. I considered painting it but it would have taken me hours to get it just right, so I was happy to try out the Cricut Maker Machine to make this part of the project go a lot quicker and easier. 

Once the machine was powered and connected to my computer,  it just took a few minutes to download the Cricut Design Space software and get started. I arranged all the triangles in a way that would maximize the use of the material being cut. 

It’s so much fun to watch the machine cut everything so precisely and quickly. It only took minutes to cut both the dark and light pieces for my compass rose.

With the compass rose triangles cut, I drew the middle lines so I could line up all the triangles with the center of the floor.

Then I painted the border. This took me way longer to do because of having to tape and do several coats of the paint. Plus you can see that the edges were far from perfect and needed lots of touching up.

To secure the cardboard to the vinyl flooring, I use the same removable double sided tape that I  used for my bedroom project

I also placed strips of removable double sided carpet tape in the middle of the floor, and that was to make sure that the cardboard didn’t lift off the floor. I chose this tape because it’s very thin and won’t make any indentation in the cardboard. 

I removed the tape backing only at the front edge initially to make it easier to line up.

Once I had that front section secured. I moved gradually towards the back of the entryway removing the tape backing section by section, until it was all secured in place. Getting a perfect fit around the edges can be tricky but if you have gaps, molding can hide any imperfections. As I was admiring this new floor, I started thinking that having some black to the compass rose design would make it stand out a lot more. It only took minutes to reload the cricut maker machine and cut the new triangles in black.

After doing just the large triangles I felt like that was enough black so I decided to go with this version.

I also made the thin line of my border black but instead of painting it, I used vinyl tape to make this part go quicker.

The last step to protect the floor was to add two coats of glossy polyurethane. It gives such a nice sheen to the floor, and it also sealed around all of the edges of the vinyl pieces, so I can Swiffer the floor without having to worry about any of the pieces coming off.

What a difference from the original floor, and while I did like the two color Compass Rose, I much prefer the one with the black. I find it adds a lot more life and dimension to the design. 

*This project was sponsored by Cricut all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Looking for a renter-friendly way to give your entryway a makeover? Watch how I changed my entryway floor to give it a fresh new look without taking the original old vinyl floor off and without making any permanent changes! The new floor are made with ram board and include a beautiful compass rose design which I made using a Cricut Maker Machine, it was my first project using this machine and it was a lot of fun. You can watch the entire project in this video.

Or if you prefer reading and seeing pictures, I’ve added the entire episode transcript below (with some modifications for clarity)  along with some images to highlight the main steps. 

Episode Transcripts and Highlights

I recently gave my tiny entryway (it’s only 3ft x 3ft) a makeover to brighten it up and I was liking the changes I had done except that now the old vinyl flooring was standing out like a sore thumb. It was just begging for a new look! 

Brainstorming ideas on how I could do this in a renter friendly way, I thought about the ram board that I used to create a dramatic textured black wall in my bedroom. It’s meant to be used to protect floors during construction so it’s very sturdy. Since the rolls are three feet wide, I would be able to cover the entire entryway floor with one piece. 

Then I could paint it a light color and also incorporate a classic Compass Rose design like this one.

I started by painting the ram board. I did the first coat with paint that I had leftover from my office makeover (it was the type of paint that has primer combined). And because this will be on the floor in a high traffic area. I added two coats of floor paint in a light Arctic gray color. I found out the hard way that it’s very important for that first coat of paint to have some primer in it. Otherwise, putting the floor paint directly on the rim board may cause it to dent or warp in some areas. 

After letting the paint dry overnight, it was time to tackle the compass rose design. I considered painting it but it would have taken me hours to get it just right, so I was happy to try out the Cricut Maker Machine to make this part of the project go a lot quicker and easier. 

Once the machine was powered and connected to my computer,  it just took a few minutes to download the Cricut Design Space software and get started. I arranged all the triangles in a way that would maximize the use of the material being cut. 

It’s so much fun to watch the machine cut everything so precisely and quickly. It only took minutes to cut both the dark and light pieces for my compass rose.

With the compass rose triangles cut, I drew the middle lines so I could line up all the triangles with the center of the floor.

Then I painted the border. This took me way longer to do because of having to tape and do several coats of the paint. Plus you can see that the edges were far from perfect and needed lots of touching up.

To secure the cardboard to the vinyl flooring, I use the same removable double sided tape that I  used for my bedroom project

I also placed strips of removable double sided carpet tape in the middle of the floor, and that was to make sure that the cardboard didn’t lift off the floor. I chose this tape because it’s very thin and won’t make any indentation in the cardboard. 

I removed the tape backing only at the front edge initially to make it easier to line up.

Once I had that front section secured. I moved gradually towards the back of the entryway removing the tape backing section by section, until it was all secured in place. Getting a perfect fit around the edges can be tricky but if you have gaps, molding can hide any imperfections. As I was admiring this new floor, I started thinking that having some black to the compass rose design would make it stand out a lot more. It only took minutes to reload the cricut maker machine and cut the new triangles in black.

After doing just the large triangles I felt like that was enough black so I decided to go with this version.

I also made the thin line of my border black but instead of painting it, I used vinyl tape to make this part go quicker.

The last step to protect the floor was to add two coats of glossy polyurethane. It gives such a nice sheen to the floor, and it also sealed around all of the edges of the vinyl pieces, so I can Swiffer the floor without having to worry about any of the pieces coming off.

What a difference from the original floor, and while I did like the two color Compass Rose, I much prefer the one with the black. I find it adds a lot more life and dimension to the design. 

*This project was sponsored by Cricut all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Home Office Lighting upgrade

I recently gave my home office a pretty big makeover, which included changing the layout so that my desk would face the window. By attaching a two legged desk to the bookcases, it gave me a decent amount of desk space while at the same time leaving enough room to walk around the desk. I’m loving this new desk setup but the one downside is that the desk area inside the bookcase doesn’t get as much light as the rest of the desk. Then it dawned on me that under cabinet lights would be the perfect solution.

Step 1: Configure wires

The first thing I did was to see what configuration of wires I would need to be able to have the lights in both bookcases and have the switches and power supply by the outlet. The under cabinet light kit that I chose comes with many cable extenders that made this customization really easy. 

Step 2: Attach double sided tape

After I was sure that the wire situation was going to work, I put on the double sided tape to install the lights. The hardest part of this entire process is removing the backing. Even when you have nails that can be a bit tricky. 

Step 3: Drill holes

I obviously didn’t want the cords between the bookcases to show at the front, so I needed to make a hole through both sides of the bookcases. The finish on these bookcases tends to fray when you drill into it,  so putting some tape helps keep that to a minimum. The thickest part of the wire is just over a quarter of an inch thick so I chose a half inch drill bit to make the hole. I like to start off by making a smaller hole first and then working my way up to the bigger size. I find it’s easier and more precise to do it this way. Adding a folded post-it note to catch the dust is one of my favorite tips to help keep cleanup to a minimum, plus, it’s really satisfying to see all that dust on the post-it!  

Step 4: Pulling and securing the wires

I love that these under-cabinet lights come with all the hardware you need to install them and to secure the wires. With all the wires neatly secured, they blend in nicely with the bookcase and they’re hardly noticeable. 

Step 5: Controlling the lights

I set up the wires so that they could run under the desk all the way to the power strip and so I could have both the dimmer switch and the on/off switch easily accessible. That way I can easily control the lights when I’m sitting at my desk. 

Let there be light!

Adding the under cabinet lights to the bookcases is a small detail, but it does go a long way to making this tiny office a bit more luxurious.

It’s also a very cozy space to work late into the evening editing videos. 

You can see the entire project and more details on my blog and in this video:

I recently gave my home office a pretty big makeover, which included changing the layout so that my desk would face the window. By attaching a two legged desk to the bookcases, it gave me a decent amount of desk space while at the same time leaving enough room to walk around the desk. I’m loving this new desk setup but the one downside is that the desk area inside the bookcase doesn’t get as much light as the rest of the desk. Then it dawned on me that under cabinet lights would be the perfect solution.

Step 1: Configure wires

The first thing I did was to see what configuration of wires I would need to be able to have the lights in both bookcases and have the switches and power supply by the outlet. The under cabinet light kit that I chose comes with many cable extenders that made this customization really easy. 

Step 2: Attach double sided tape

After I was sure that the wire situation was going to work, I put on the double sided tape to install the lights. The hardest part of this entire process is removing the backing. Even when you have nails that can be a bit tricky. 

Step 3: Drill holes

I obviously didn’t want the cords between the bookcases to show at the front, so I needed to make a hole through both sides of the bookcases. The finish on these bookcases tends to fray when you drill into it,  so putting some tape helps keep that to a minimum. The thickest part of the wire is just over a quarter of an inch thick so I chose a half inch drill bit to make the hole. I like to start off by making a smaller hole first and then working my way up to the bigger size. I find it’s easier and more precise to do it this way. Adding a folded post-it note to catch the dust is one of my favorite tips to help keep cleanup to a minimum, plus, it’s really satisfying to see all that dust on the post-it!  

Step 4: Pulling and securing the wires

I love that these under-cabinet lights come with all the hardware you need to install them and to secure the wires. With all the wires neatly secured, they blend in nicely with the bookcase and they’re hardly noticeable. 

Step 5: Controlling the lights

I set up the wires so that they could run under the desk all the way to the power strip and so I could have both the dimmer switch and the on/off switch easily accessible. That way I can easily control the lights when I’m sitting at my desk. 

Let there be light!

Adding the under cabinet lights to the bookcases is a small detail, but it does go a long way to making this tiny office a bit more luxurious.

It’s also a very cozy space to work late into the evening editing videos. 

You can see the entire project and more details on my blog and in this video:

DIY Coat Rack Light Fixture combo

My apartment has a tiny entryway – it’s only 3ft x 3ft and there’s barely enough room for the door to open! Even though I installed a mirror to make the space look and feel bigger and bring in some light, the space still felt pretty dark, especially in the evening since there’s no light fixture. The dark color scheme also didn’t help.

So I came up with the idea to give the coat rack a new look and turn it into a light fixture with under cabinet lighting! 

Step 1 Taking apart the coat rack

I wanted to give the coat rack a whitewashed worn look so the first thing I had to do was to take it apart so I could sand off that dark brown color.

Step 2 Sanding off the brown stain 

I set up outside to do all this sanding because it’s certainly not something that I would want to do inside my apartment. I went very heavy on the sanding around the edges to give the wood boards an uneven worn down effect. 

And then I distressed the wood even more with this contraption I made with screws. I also used pliers, a hammer and other tools to make gouges. The idea is to make different types of marks in a random pattern to give that over time worn out look. 

I think I went a bit too heavy on the gouges but it definitely does look beat up and old. 

Step 3: Whitewash treatment

I used some inexpensive white latex paint that I thinned out with a bit of water. The key here is to work really quickly to be able to wipe off the coat of paint with a rag before it dries so you can still see the wood grain come through. 

Step 4: The under cabinet lights

I needed to find some sort of light source that would easily fit along the back and the edges of the top board of the coat rack and these lights that I used in the open shelving in my kitchen were a perfect fit. 

Step 5: Making room for the cable

The only thing that I did have to do to make this work was to carve out the wood to make room for the wires so that everything could sit flush with the back of the board. To do this, I used a handsaw to make some grooves and then using a chisel and a hammer, I removed all the wood. It doesn’t look pretty but luckily this won’t be seen once the coat rack is installed. 

Step 6: Installing the lights 

The light kit comes with all the hardware you need to install the lights and the cables which is great. I used the clips to attach the lights to the sides (I could have also used the double sided tape) and the clips to secure all the wires in place so that everything is nice and neat. 

Step 7: Light diffusers

While the lights have an attractive profile, I did want to hide the wires from the side, so I installed light diffusers. I actually had to MacGyver those using plastic corner guards that I covered with parchment paper. They did a nice job of hiding the wires while at the same time leaving enough space on the sides for air to circulate. Which is important since these lights are not meant to be totally enclosed. 

Step 8: Let there be light

I’m so happy with the change to the coat rack and I absolutely love having lights there now. I can control them with the wall switch or using the on off switch or the dimmer, which makes it easy to get the lighting just right, especially in the evening. You can see the entire project and more details on my blog and in this video:

My apartment has a tiny entryway – it’s only 3ft x 3ft and there’s barely enough room for the door to open! Even though I installed a mirror to make the space look and feel bigger and bring in some light, the space still felt pretty dark, especially in the evening since there’s no light fixture. The dark color scheme also didn’t help.

So I came up with the idea to give the coat rack a new look and turn it into a light fixture with under cabinet lighting! 

Step 1 Taking apart the coat rack

I wanted to give the coat rack a whitewashed worn look so the first thing I had to do was to take it apart so I could sand off that dark brown color.

Step 2 Sanding off the brown stain 

I set up outside to do all this sanding because it’s certainly not something that I would want to do inside my apartment. I went very heavy on the sanding around the edges to give the wood boards an uneven worn down effect. 

And then I distressed the wood even more with this contraption I made with screws. I also used pliers, a hammer and other tools to make gouges. The idea is to make different types of marks in a random pattern to give that over time worn out look. 

I think I went a bit too heavy on the gouges but it definitely does look beat up and old. 

Step 3: Whitewash treatment

I used some inexpensive white latex paint that I thinned out with a bit of water. The key here is to work really quickly to be able to wipe off the coat of paint with a rag before it dries so you can still see the wood grain come through. 

Step 4: The under cabinet lights

I needed to find some sort of light source that would easily fit along the back and the edges of the top board of the coat rack and these lights that I used in the open shelving in my kitchen were a perfect fit. 

Step 5: Making room for the cable

The only thing that I did have to do to make this work was to carve out the wood to make room for the wires so that everything could sit flush with the back of the board. To do this, I used a handsaw to make some grooves and then using a chisel and a hammer, I removed all the wood. It doesn’t look pretty but luckily this won’t be seen once the coat rack is installed. 

Step 6: Installing the lights 

The light kit comes with all the hardware you need to install the lights and the cables which is great. I used the clips to attach the lights to the sides (I could have also used the double sided tape) and the clips to secure all the wires in place so that everything is nice and neat. 

Step 7: Light diffusers

While the lights have an attractive profile, I did want to hide the wires from the side, so I installed light diffusers. I actually had to MacGyver those using plastic corner guards that I covered with parchment paper. They did a nice job of hiding the wires while at the same time leaving enough space on the sides for air to circulate. Which is important since these lights are not meant to be totally enclosed. 

Step 8: Let there be light

I’m so happy with the change to the coat rack and I absolutely love having lights there now. I can control them with the wall switch or using the on off switch or the dimmer, which makes it easy to get the lighting just right, especially in the evening. You can see the entire project and more details on my blog and in this video:

Home Office Ideas: Hidden Whiteboard with Barn Door

While I was redoing my tiny 5’x6’ home office set up, I wanted to incorporate a white board, but do it in a way that it could be hidden when I wasn’t working with it.  So I came up with this idea to build a multipurpose wall panel that would allow me to incorporate a track for a barn door that could easily slide back and forth to cover up the whiteboard. This meant I had to do a bit of MacGyvering to come up with a way to make my own DIY barn door hardware!

I built the wall panel out of a 1”x2” furring strips and ¼” thick plywood. 

The legs rest on the floor to hold the weight of the panel and I curved out the back of the legs so that they can sit flush with the wall. To do this, I used a hand saw to make shallow cuts across the back of the 1”x2” and used a chisel to remove them. Not a very refined technique but since you don’t see it, it worked out OK. 

I incorporated some blocking on the backside of the panel (my supervisor likes to do impromptu inspections!) so I could have something to screw into to attach the white board and other things.

I attached a 2”x2” at the top of the panel to give me something to attach the header piece that will have the barn door track.

Making the Header piece and barn door track: 

I built the header with 1”x3” boards joined at 90 degrees. To install the track (a 1” wide aluminum bar), I drilled holes into the bar and then clamped it to the front of the header to drill pilot holes.  

Because the track needs to be installed away from the surface of the shelving unit to leave enough space for the doors, I also needed to make spacers. After looking for something that would work, I discovered these stainless steel straws have the perfect inside diameter for number 10 screws. I marked the length that I needed (¾”) with tape  and used a mini pipe cutter to cut the straw. 

The process was fairly easy but it did take a bit of time and patience to do all the pieces. The most important thing is to make sure that all the spacers are the same way to ensure that the track is straight. 

Once the header was built, I attached it to the 2”x2” with screws.

Hangers:

I wasn’t sure what to use for the wheels initially but after wandering the aisles of the hardware store, I was lucky to find patio door roller kits that have two metal wheels that are the perfect size for my project. 

But first I had to make the hangers out of the same 1” wide aluminum bar I used to make the track. I cut the bar into four 8” long pieces with a hacksaw

It’s not ideal but it does the job. Next I drilled three holes into each of the four hangers. I started by making a divot with a nail and this helps prevent the drill bit from slipping. I used a smaller drill bit to make the first hole to be more precise and then I made the hole bigger with a quarter inch drill bit. The first hanger served as the template for drilling holes in the other hangers to make sure that they’re all identical.

Putting on the wheels

The patio door roller kit comes with two wheels and lots of hardware. And all you need are these two larger bolts. The bolts weren’t long enough to get a very tight fit with the nut so to make sure that the nuts don’t come undone, I added a bit of glue that works with metal – this will keep the nut in place while the wheel is still able to turn.

Installing the hangers

I used a template to mark where to drill the holes on the door for the hangers and then it was easy to attach the hardware with more bolts and nuts. The bolts need to be about half an inch longer than the thickness of the doors. 

Installing the wall panel and door

The panel rests on the floor but the top of the panel also needs to be attached to the wall studs with brackets so that it can hold the weight of the barn door. 

The one thing I didn’t like so much is that the door at the bottom swings back and forth. So to fix that I put in a shelf at the bottom of the wall panel where I installed a track that I made out of metal angles. I also added some stoppers to the track to prevent the door from coming off the track at the ends.  I made them with bent hair bobby pins but you could also use binder clips.

I absolutely love this set up, especially that I can use my whiteboard when sitting at my desk and that I don’t have to look at it when I’m done working. It also serves as a place to hang a calendar, a cork board and even a tiny plant propagation station. This was only one of the projects from my office makeover, which you can watch in its entirety in this video here. 

While I was redoing my tiny 5’x6’ home office set up, I wanted to incorporate a white board, but do it in a way that it could be hidden when I wasn’t working with it.  So I came up with this idea to build a multipurpose wall panel that would allow me to incorporate a track for a barn door that could easily slide back and forth to cover up the whiteboard. This meant I had to do a bit of MacGyvering to come up with a way to make my own DIY barn door hardware!

I built the wall panel out of a 1”x2” furring strips and ¼” thick plywood. 

The legs rest on the floor to hold the weight of the panel and I curved out the back of the legs so that they can sit flush with the wall. To do this, I used a hand saw to make shallow cuts across the back of the 1”x2” and used a chisel to remove them. Not a very refined technique but since you don’t see it, it worked out OK. 

I incorporated some blocking on the backside of the panel (my supervisor likes to do impromptu inspections!) so I could have something to screw into to attach the white board and other things.

I attached a 2”x2” at the top of the panel to give me something to attach the header piece that will have the barn door track.

Making the Header piece and barn door track: 

I built the header with 1”x3” boards joined at 90 degrees. To install the track (a 1” wide aluminum bar), I drilled holes into the bar and then clamped it to the front of the header to drill pilot holes.  

Because the track needs to be installed away from the surface of the shelving unit to leave enough space for the doors, I also needed to make spacers. After looking for something that would work, I discovered these stainless steel straws have the perfect inside diameter for number 10 screws. I marked the length that I needed (¾”) with tape  and used a mini pipe cutter to cut the straw. 

The process was fairly easy but it did take a bit of time and patience to do all the pieces. The most important thing is to make sure that all the spacers are the same way to ensure that the track is straight. 

Once the header was built, I attached it to the 2”x2” with screws.

Hangers:

I wasn’t sure what to use for the wheels initially but after wandering the aisles of the hardware store, I was lucky to find patio door roller kits that have two metal wheels that are the perfect size for my project. 

But first I had to make the hangers out of the same 1” wide aluminum bar I used to make the track. I cut the bar into four 8” long pieces with a hacksaw

It’s not ideal but it does the job. Next I drilled three holes into each of the four hangers. I started by making a divot with a nail and this helps prevent the drill bit from slipping. I used a smaller drill bit to make the first hole to be more precise and then I made the hole bigger with a quarter inch drill bit. The first hanger served as the template for drilling holes in the other hangers to make sure that they’re all identical.

Putting on the wheels

The patio door roller kit comes with two wheels and lots of hardware. And all you need are these two larger bolts. The bolts weren’t long enough to get a very tight fit with the nut so to make sure that the nuts don’t come undone, I added a bit of glue that works with metal – this will keep the nut in place while the wheel is still able to turn.

Installing the hangers

I used a template to mark where to drill the holes on the door for the hangers and then it was easy to attach the hardware with more bolts and nuts. The bolts need to be about half an inch longer than the thickness of the doors. 

Installing the wall panel and door

The panel rests on the floor but the top of the panel also needs to be attached to the wall studs with brackets so that it can hold the weight of the barn door. 

The one thing I didn’t like so much is that the door at the bottom swings back and forth. So to fix that I put in a shelf at the bottom of the wall panel where I installed a track that I made out of metal angles. I also added some stoppers to the track to prevent the door from coming off the track at the ends.  I made them with bent hair bobby pins but you could also use binder clips.

I absolutely love this set up, especially that I can use my whiteboard when sitting at my desk and that I don’t have to look at it when I’m done working. It also serves as a place to hang a calendar, a cork board and even a tiny plant propagation station. This was only one of the projects from my office makeover, which you can watch in its entirety in this video here. 

Small kitchen ideas: open-shelving mini makeover

One of my most pinned projects is the tension rod trick I used in my kitchen to hang things above the sink – it’s a great way to keep things off the counter. 

Another thing I did that totally upgraded my kitchen is to add under-cabinet lighting – it’s so much nicer to cook with good task lighting! The one drawback is that I used 2 different light kits – the one above the sink wasn’t as bright as I would have liked and I needed to turn on each one individually. Not a big deal, just a bit inconvenient. 

So when Parmida offered to send me their ultra thin under cabinet lights to review, I was really excited to give them a try. Each under cabinet light kit comes with six ultra thin light bars – they are very well made and attractive so they are perfect for when there isn’t a ledge to hide the lights. 

Every light kit also comes with 2 switches – an on/off switch and a dimmer switch.

The kit also comes with many cable extenders so with one kit, I will be able to light up under the cabinet, and above the sink, plus I will be able to add lighting to the open shelving which will really brighten up that whole area. 

The first thing I did was remove the existing under-cabinet lights.

The installation is very easy, especially with all the hardware that’s provided with the lights. You can use clips or double sided tape to install the lights. I used tape for the open shelving lights because it was a bit tricky to install the clips on the underside of the cabinet. 

That wasn’t an issue under the cabinets so there I use the clips. After marking where the clips are going to go. I used the nail to make a small hole – this makes putting in those tiny screws a little bit easier. 

Then the lights just snap in place really easily. 

It’s really nice to also have all the hardware needed to secure the cables, not something that is usually provided with these types of lights. Makes it very easy to have all the wires be neat and tidy. 

These lights are really well made and they’re backed with a five year warranty so you know they’re really built to last. They are so much brighter than the other lights I had and having the open-shelving with lighting also made that whole area a lot brighter!

Plus I really like having the option to use the dimmer or the on off switch to control the lights. 

I could have stopped here but then I got the idea to add a blue background to the open shelves to match the accent wall. I didn’t want to paint the cabinets so instead I painted a leftover piece of RAMboard (essentially thick cardboard you can paint) that I had on hand from my bedroom black accent wall project.

Then I used removable double sided tape to secure it to the back of the cabinet. 

I love how the blue makes the white dishes and glassware pop. And I think I actually prefer it to just all white, what do you think? 

Here’s a video that shows the light installation and also how I used them to make a lighted coat rack and upgrade the lighting in my home office.

* this content was sponsored by Parmidaled – all thoughts and opinions are my own *

One of my most pinned projects is the tension rod trick I used in my kitchen to hang things above the sink – it’s a great way to keep things off the counter. 

Another thing I did that totally upgraded my kitchen is to add under-cabinet lighting – it’s so much nicer to cook with good task lighting! The one drawback is that I used 2 different light kits – the one above the sink wasn’t as bright as I would have liked and I needed to turn on each one individually. Not a big deal, just a bit inconvenient. 

So when Parmida offered to send me their ultra thin under cabinet lights to review, I was really excited to give them a try. Each under cabinet light kit comes with six ultra thin light bars – they are very well made and attractive so they are perfect for when there isn’t a ledge to hide the lights. 

Every light kit also comes with 2 switches – an on/off switch and a dimmer switch.

The kit also comes with many cable extenders so with one kit, I will be able to light up under the cabinet, and above the sink, plus I will be able to add lighting to the open shelving which will really brighten up that whole area. 

The first thing I did was remove the existing under-cabinet lights.

The installation is very easy, especially with all the hardware that’s provided with the lights. You can use clips or double sided tape to install the lights. I used tape for the open shelving lights because it was a bit tricky to install the clips on the underside of the cabinet. 

That wasn’t an issue under the cabinets so there I use the clips. After marking where the clips are going to go. I used the nail to make a small hole – this makes putting in those tiny screws a little bit easier. 

Then the lights just snap in place really easily. 

It’s really nice to also have all the hardware needed to secure the cables, not something that is usually provided with these types of lights. Makes it very easy to have all the wires be neat and tidy. 

These lights are really well made and they’re backed with a five year warranty so you know they’re really built to last. They are so much brighter than the other lights I had and having the open-shelving with lighting also made that whole area a lot brighter!

Plus I really like having the option to use the dimmer or the on off switch to control the lights. 

I could have stopped here but then I got the idea to add a blue background to the open shelves to match the accent wall. I didn’t want to paint the cabinets so instead I painted a leftover piece of RAMboard (essentially thick cardboard you can paint) that I had on hand from my bedroom black accent wall project.

Then I used removable double sided tape to secure it to the back of the cabinet. 

I love how the blue makes the white dishes and glassware pop. And I think I actually prefer it to just all white, what do you think? 

Here’s a video that shows the light installation and also how I used them to make a lighted coat rack and upgrade the lighting in my home office.

* this content was sponsored by Parmidaled – all thoughts and opinions are my own *

DIY Test Tube Plant Propagation Station – Mother’s Day Gift

Being stuck at home these days has made me get creative with what I have on hand. As I was looking through all of my left over materials from previous projects to see what I could make my mom for Mother’s Day,  I came across 4″ embroidery hoops, and test tubes. Then out of the blue, I got this idea for making a hanging test tube plant propagation station. It took a bit of MacGyvering, but I was able to find all I needed at home, didn’t have to buy a single thing to make it!

Here are the materials and tools I used:

.   

I used the outside ring of 4″ wooden embroidery hoops, jute twine and I had purchased the test tubes on Amazon for another propagation I made – they come out to less than a $1 per test tube so if you get a box, you can make lots of these. They make great house warming presents!

Step 1: I started by taking off the metal brackets with a utility knife. You may find that the wood splits but that’s OK. Then I cut off the first hole on both sides – sturdy scissors worked well for this.

Step 2: I used a utility knife to cut out the middle of a milk jog plastic cap, and traced out where the embroidery hoop will go on either side of the cap, and then cut out those pieces

Step 3: I tested that the embroidery hoops fits – perfect!

Step 4: Next I used a glue gun to cover up the milk jug plastic cap with twine. I didn’t do this but I would recommend using a gold sharpie to “paint” the cap before doing this because if the twine isn’t tightly wrapped, the color may show through.

Step 5: I had some 1″ wooden circles from the craft store that were the perfect size for the bottom of the test tubes to rest on so I simply used the glue gun again to wrap a couple of rows of twine to create walls to hold the test tube in place. If you don’t have these circles, you can use the circle that you cut out of the bottle cap and do the same thing (And use a gold sharpie to hide the plastic, or use contact paper).

Step 6: I used the glue gun again to secure the round base to the middle of the bottom part of the embroidery hoop.

Step 7: The last thing to do is cut a piece of twine and pass through the holes, tie a knot and that it!

I absolutely love it, it’s so cute! It’s prefect for propagating plants or it could also be a vase. Can’t wait to see what my mom thinks!

 

 

Being stuck at home these days has made me get creative with what I have on hand. As I was looking through all of my left over materials from previous projects to see what I could make my mom for Mother’s Day,  I came across 4″ embroidery hoops, and test tubes. Then out of the blue, I got this idea for making a hanging test tube plant propagation station. It took a bit of MacGyvering, but I was able to find all I needed at home, didn’t have to buy a single thing to make it!

Here are the materials and tools I used:

.   

I used the outside ring of 4″ wooden embroidery hoops, jute twine and I had purchased the test tubes on Amazon for another propagation I made – they come out to less than a $1 per test tube so if you get a box, you can make lots of these. They make great house warming presents!

Step 1: I started by taking off the metal brackets with a utility knife. You may find that the wood splits but that’s OK. Then I cut off the first hole on both sides – sturdy scissors worked well for this.

Step 2: I used a utility knife to cut out the middle of a milk jog plastic cap, and traced out where the embroidery hoop will go on either side of the cap, and then cut out those pieces

Step 3: I tested that the embroidery hoops fits – perfect!

Step 4: Next I used a glue gun to cover up the milk jug plastic cap with twine. I didn’t do this but I would recommend using a gold sharpie to “paint” the cap before doing this because if the twine isn’t tightly wrapped, the color may show through.

Step 5: I had some 1″ wooden circles from the craft store that were the perfect size for the bottom of the test tubes to rest on so I simply used the glue gun again to wrap a couple of rows of twine to create walls to hold the test tube in place. If you don’t have these circles, you can use the circle that you cut out of the bottle cap and do the same thing (And use a gold sharpie to hide the plastic, or use contact paper).

Step 6: I used the glue gun again to secure the round base to the middle of the bottom part of the embroidery hoop.

Step 7: The last thing to do is cut a piece of twine and pass through the holes, tie a knot and that it!

I absolutely love it, it’s so cute! It’s prefect for propagating plants or it could also be a vase. Can’t wait to see what my mom thinks!

 

 

IKEA chair hack: furniture makeover with a little bit of paint and fabric

This post was sponsored by Surebonder.  All opinions are my own.

When I moved into my apartment almost 6 years ago, I gave my dining room a makeover complete with custom wall panels, lighting, and banquette seating. Since I was on a budget, I opted for an inexpensive dining room table and chairs from IKEA – I liked that it was all made of wood and that I could finish the table and chairs the way I wanted. I painted the chairs a deep blue to match the blue accent wall of my kitchen and I upholstered the seats with a fun striped fabric.

To continue with the blue accent, I recently added a blue accent to my open shelving, which I highlighted even more by installing ultra-thin under cabinet lighting, a project you can see more of in this video.

I loved how the chairs added a pop of color to the otherwise neutral palette of the room but over the years, I’ve been gravitating towards a more subdued esthetic and it was time for a change: new paint job and new seat covers! 

Step 1:  Picking a color

Before starting with this project, I had to pick a color for the chairs. I used this Tunisian tile artwork that’s hanging in my kitchen as inspiration to pick a color and chose to go with the golden yellow accent, but with a sparkle of gold metallic in it.  

Step 2: Remove seats 

Before I got to painting, I removed all the seats – they were attached with 4 screws and it was very easy to take them all off.

Step 3: Paint chairs

I started with a golden yellow paint called “Heritage Gold”, I recommend getting paint with primer, especially if you’re trying to cover up a dark color. I ended up having to do several coats. 2 small sample sized jars were enough for 3 chairs. Then I added a coat of metallic gold mixed in with some of the yellow paint.  – I don’t have the exact mix but there was more yellow paint than metallic paint. I did a couple of tests before going ahead putting on a coat on the chairs.

I added a very thin coat and then went back with another thin coat. I found it gave a nice more even finish doing it that way.

Step 4: Reupholster the seats

Next came reupholstering the seats, which meant removing all the staples to take off the old fabric. 

The foam and batting I had used before were fine so I kept that as is, but this time I went with a more natural neutral fabric. I actually used inexpensive rugs from IKEA (SORTSO – $4) – they were just big enough to cover the seat and I liked the texture with the stripes. I probably should have washed them to take out the folds but my hand held steamer did the job very well.

I cut one end of the rug so that there was enough fabric to staple to the bottom of the chair seat, and I started by stapling the middle of each side first and then worked my way to the corners.

The rug fabric is pretty thick so I used ⅜” staples. I also used the “trigger” function of my staple gun to do the corners where there was more fabric to go through. It allows you to use both hands if you need to bring down the handle and then you can position the stapler exactly where you need it and then gently pull the trigger. So much easier and more precise!

I did remove a lot of fabric and excess batting at the corners to be able to smooth out the fabric.

I used some fabric protector to make the seats more stain resistant (it’s a good idea to test this type of product on a scrap piece of fabric before using it on your actual. 

Step 5: Reattach the seats and add decorative gold accents (optional!)

Then it was just a matter of reattaching the seats to the chairs and adding a little more bling with some faux gems to cover up the visible screws.

And voila, from natural to blue to golden yellow, quite the transformation!

Now that the chairs are done, I’m thinking it’s time to give the banquette a new look as well!

 

This post was sponsored by Surebonder.  All opinions are my own.

When I moved into my apartment almost 6 years ago, I gave my dining room a makeover complete with custom wall panels, lighting, and banquette seating. Since I was on a budget, I opted for an inexpensive dining room table and chairs from IKEA – I liked that it was all made of wood and that I could finish the table and chairs the way I wanted. I painted the chairs a deep blue to match the blue accent wall of my kitchen and I upholstered the seats with a fun striped fabric.

To continue with the blue accent, I recently added a blue accent to my open shelving, which I highlighted even more by installing ultra-thin under cabinet lighting, a project you can see more of in this video.

I loved how the chairs added a pop of color to the otherwise neutral palette of the room but over the years, I’ve been gravitating towards a more subdued esthetic and it was time for a change: new paint job and new seat covers! 

Step 1:  Picking a color

Before starting with this project, I had to pick a color for the chairs. I used this Tunisian tile artwork that’s hanging in my kitchen as inspiration to pick a color and chose to go with the golden yellow accent, but with a sparkle of gold metallic in it.  

Step 2: Remove seats 

Before I got to painting, I removed all the seats – they were attached with 4 screws and it was very easy to take them all off.

Step 3: Paint chairs

I started with a golden yellow paint called “Heritage Gold”, I recommend getting paint with primer, especially if you’re trying to cover up a dark color. I ended up having to do several coats. 2 small sample sized jars were enough for 3 chairs. Then I added a coat of metallic gold mixed in with some of the yellow paint.  – I don’t have the exact mix but there was more yellow paint than metallic paint. I did a couple of tests before going ahead putting on a coat on the chairs.

I added a very thin coat and then went back with another thin coat. I found it gave a nice more even finish doing it that way.

Step 4: Reupholster the seats

Next came reupholstering the seats, which meant removing all the staples to take off the old fabric. 

The foam and batting I had used before were fine so I kept that as is, but this time I went with a more natural neutral fabric. I actually used inexpensive rugs from IKEA (SORTSO – $4) – they were just big enough to cover the seat and I liked the texture with the stripes. I probably should have washed them to take out the folds but my hand held steamer did the job very well.

I cut one end of the rug so that there was enough fabric to staple to the bottom of the chair seat, and I started by stapling the middle of each side first and then worked my way to the corners.

The rug fabric is pretty thick so I used ⅜” staples. I also used the “trigger” function of my staple gun to do the corners where there was more fabric to go through. It allows you to use both hands if you need to bring down the handle and then you can position the stapler exactly where you need it and then gently pull the trigger. So much easier and more precise!

I did remove a lot of fabric and excess batting at the corners to be able to smooth out the fabric.

I used some fabric protector to make the seats more stain resistant (it’s a good idea to test this type of product on a scrap piece of fabric before using it on your actual. 

Step 5: Reattach the seats and add decorative gold accents (optional!)

Then it was just a matter of reattaching the seats to the chairs and adding a little more bling with some faux gems to cover up the visible screws.

And voila, from natural to blue to golden yellow, quite the transformation!

Now that the chairs are done, I’m thinking it’s time to give the banquette a new look as well!

 

Engineer Your “Vertical” Space: tiny kitchen storage idea

Loving to cook and having a tiny kitchen can sometimes seem like 2 things that don’t go together, but there’s ways to make every single cubic inch of that small kitchen work harder for you. Here’s the perfect example – my friend and her boyfriend love to cook and they have an aromatic olive oil collection that rivals most gourmet food stores or restaurants. There wasn’t any space for them in any of the cupboards, so the olive oil bottles ended up staying on top of the small kitchen cart. Not ideal since there is also very little counter space in this kitchen that be better used for something else. The solution? Going vertical!

.        

There was a small narrow wall in the kitchen that didn’t have anything on it and would be perfect to store the olive oil bottles. But to make this work, it would require some DIY’ing to make a custom shelving unit that would fit the narrow wall, and be as thin as possible to not stick out off the wall to much.  Luckily, the olive oil bottles were just a hair under 2.5″ in diameter, so small enough to fit on a 1″x3″. So here’s what I used to make the rack:

  •  1″x3″ cut to length (to clear the thermostat that was right at the edge of the door, I had to make a cut out but other than that all the pieces were the same length to fit the width of the wall.)
  • Screen moulding (for the railing at the front)
  • Outdoor semi-transparent stain (white)

I attached the boards together with screws (I skipped the glue but of course you could add glue at the joints), drilling pilot holes first and then using a speed square to make sure all the boards were at a 90 degree angle. I don’t have any pictures of attaching the boards together but it’s basically the same process as any shelving unit, including this narrow pantry I made.

Once the boards were screwed together, I sanded them and gave them a fresh coat of white outdoor semi-transparent stain. As I was doing this project at my friend’s place, I didn’t have all my tools or supplies and I couldn’t counter sink the screw heads and cover them with wood filler, as I usually do. Instead, I used what I had on hand: some white nail polish. The screws are still visible but now they blend in and I like the more rustic look it gives the shelving unit!

Then the last step was securing the rack to the wall with 2 small brackets (I used small plastic wall anchors for the screws).

Such a small easy project and yet it completely transformed the kitchen and not only made it more functional but also more beautiful.

 .   

The olive oil bottles now serve both for cooking and as art. This project truly is a perfect example of what “Engineer Your Space” is all about: taking ownership of where you live, even if you’re renting, and creating a home that is tailored to you and how you live. Here’s to making yourself at home, right here, right now.

 

Loving to cook and having a tiny kitchen can sometimes seem like 2 things that don’t go together, but there’s ways to make every single cubic inch of that small kitchen work harder for you. Here’s the perfect example – my friend and her boyfriend love to cook and they have an aromatic olive oil collection that rivals most gourmet food stores or restaurants. There wasn’t any space for them in any of the cupboards, so the olive oil bottles ended up staying on top of the small kitchen cart. Not ideal since there is also very little counter space in this kitchen that be better used for something else. The solution? Going vertical!

.        

There was a small narrow wall in the kitchen that didn’t have anything on it and would be perfect to store the olive oil bottles. But to make this work, it would require some DIY’ing to make a custom shelving unit that would fit the narrow wall, and be as thin as possible to not stick out off the wall to much.  Luckily, the olive oil bottles were just a hair under 2.5″ in diameter, so small enough to fit on a 1″x3″. So here’s what I used to make the rack:

  •  1″x3″ cut to length (to clear the thermostat that was right at the edge of the door, I had to make a cut out but other than that all the pieces were the same length to fit the width of the wall.)
  • Screen moulding (for the railing at the front)
  • Outdoor semi-transparent stain (white)

I attached the boards together with screws (I skipped the glue but of course you could add glue at the joints), drilling pilot holes first and then using a speed square to make sure all the boards were at a 90 degree angle. I don’t have any pictures of attaching the boards together but it’s basically the same process as any shelving unit, including this narrow pantry I made.

Once the boards were screwed together, I sanded them and gave them a fresh coat of white outdoor semi-transparent stain. As I was doing this project at my friend’s place, I didn’t have all my tools or supplies and I couldn’t counter sink the screw heads and cover them with wood filler, as I usually do. Instead, I used what I had on hand: some white nail polish. The screws are still visible but now they blend in and I like the more rustic look it gives the shelving unit!

Then the last step was securing the rack to the wall with 2 small brackets (I used small plastic wall anchors for the screws).

Such a small easy project and yet it completely transformed the kitchen and not only made it more functional but also more beautiful.

 .   

The olive oil bottles now serve both for cooking and as art. This project truly is a perfect example of what “Engineer Your Space” is all about: taking ownership of where you live, even if you’re renting, and creating a home that is tailored to you and how you live. Here’s to making yourself at home, right here, right now.

 

How to building a Murphy bed A-Z (without a workshop!)

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve taken on my biggest DIY project to date: building a Murphy bed for a 200 ft2 studio apartment makeover. I’ve shared the process in several posts and also made this video of the entire build, but I thought you might enjoy reading about the highlights of what is was like to build this project without a workshop, and how I pimped up the inside with custom industrial wall lamps.

Not having a workshop meant that I had to get creative as to where and how I would cut the plywood for the Murphy bed cabinet (you can read about how I chose the type of Murphy bed and the Murphy bed kit I used here). I set up my temporary cutting station outside, using 2″x4″ to support the plywood while cutting.

It’s very important that all the cuts are accurate and perfectly square so I took extra time to make sure the cutting guide was in the right position. The Murphy bed kit I used had very detailed instructions which were very helpful and I highly recommend reading them a few times before starting the project and while building. There’s a lot of little details that are crucial to pay attention to for the project to go smoothly.

Having a cordless circular saw to do the cutting, while not ideal (having a table saw or a track saw would have made this step at lot easier), worked really well.

Then there was a lot of sanding, edging and staining (lots more details on these steps here) before it was time to get to the assembly. One small detail that’s really important was cutting out a notch in the side panels to allow space for the bottom moulding on the wall – this will make it possible for the cabinet to be flush with the wall, which is needed to be able to anchor it to the wall.

Once all the cabinet pieces were prepared, it was time to install the Murphy bed hardware on the side panels. I chose to use a Murphy bed kit with springs but you could also use one that has pistons.

Most Murphy bed cabinets are assembled using dowels and glue or pocket screws and glue, but because this Murphy bed will need to be disassembled when it’s time to move, I chose to skip the glue and use brackets and screws instead (I ordered them with the Murphy bed hardware kit).

The final part of building the Murphy bed cabinet was to assemble the front panel, which includes the frame for the mattress. This was part of the Murphy bed kit I used (you can also buy kits that only has the lift mechanism, but that means building the mattress box from scratch which would have taken more time than I had to complete this project).

With the cabinet and front panel assembled, I enlisted the help of a couple of friends with the final step (the front panel is very heavy!), attaching the front panel to the lift mechanism in the cabinet.

That’s pretty much it for building the Murphy bed, all that was left was putting on the legs (they come with the kit) and adding the mattress.


Most people stop here since typically, Murphy beds are only used occasionally for guests. However, this Murphy bed is in a 200 ft2 studio apartment and as such, it’s going to be used every day and will essentially be the bedroom. So it was important to give it more cozy feel as well as add lighting for bedtime reading.  The plan I came up with was to cover the exposed wall above the headboard with a wood panel that also incorporated 2 industrial wall sconces to match the style that the rest of the apartment will have once the complete makeover is done.

It needed to be no more than 1″ thick so it wouldn’t interfere with the mattress and bedding, so I built it using 1″x2″ furring strips and 1/4″ plywood to make the structure. This is the back showing where the lights are (I used an LED light kit from IKEA).

I stained the front of the panel the same color as the outside of the cabinet (Varathane Briarsmoke) and metallic paint made the wood on the sides of the wall sconces look more like metal.

To reflect more light, I also attached a sheet of metal to the back of the wall sconces.

The finishing touch for the wall sconces were the covers. Since the apartment will have a rustic industrial vibe, I wanted to covers to reflect that. I thought it would be fun to do an experiment and use wire mesh with glue on wood edging I had left over from the build to make the covers.

The covers worked out even better than I thought – the metallic paint completely transformed the look of the edging and the sheet metal screws I used to attach them to the panel added just the right industrial vibe.


The last finishing touch was painting the inside of the cabinet in a warm orange, inspired by the Venice beach sunsets.

So there you have it, probably the most pimped out DIY Murphy bed you’ll ever see! There’s lots more to come for the tiny 200ft2 studio makeover so make sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss out on anything!

 

 

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve taken on my biggest DIY project to date: building a Murphy bed for a 200 ft2 studio apartment makeover. I’ve shared the process in several posts and also made this video of the entire build, but I thought you might enjoy reading about the highlights of what is was like to build this project without a workshop, and how I pimped up the inside with custom industrial wall lamps.

Not having a workshop meant that I had to get creative as to where and how I would cut the plywood for the Murphy bed cabinet (you can read about how I chose the type of Murphy bed and the Murphy bed kit I used here). I set up my temporary cutting station outside, using 2″x4″ to support the plywood while cutting.

It’s very important that all the cuts are accurate and perfectly square so I took extra time to make sure the cutting guide was in the right position. The Murphy bed kit I used had very detailed instructions which were very helpful and I highly recommend reading them a few times before starting the project and while building. There’s a lot of little details that are crucial to pay attention to for the project to go smoothly.

Having a cordless circular saw to do the cutting, while not ideal (having a table saw or a track saw would have made this step at lot easier), worked really well.

Then there was a lot of sanding, edging and staining (lots more details on these steps here) before it was time to get to the assembly. One small detail that’s really important was cutting out a notch in the side panels to allow space for the bottom moulding on the wall – this will make it possible for the cabinet to be flush with the wall, which is needed to be able to anchor it to the wall.

Once all the cabinet pieces were prepared, it was time to install the Murphy bed hardware on the side panels. I chose to use a Murphy bed kit with springs but you could also use one that has pistons.

Most Murphy bed cabinets are assembled using dowels and glue or pocket screws and glue, but because this Murphy bed will need to be disassembled when it’s time to move, I chose to skip the glue and use brackets and screws instead (I ordered them with the Murphy bed hardware kit).

The final part of building the Murphy bed cabinet was to assemble the front panel, which includes the frame for the mattress. This was part of the Murphy bed kit I used (you can also buy kits that only has the lift mechanism, but that means building the mattress box from scratch which would have taken more time than I had to complete this project).

With the cabinet and front panel assembled, I enlisted the help of a couple of friends with the final step (the front panel is very heavy!), attaching the front panel to the lift mechanism in the cabinet.

That’s pretty much it for building the Murphy bed, all that was left was putting on the legs (they come with the kit) and adding the mattress.


Most people stop here since typically, Murphy beds are only used occasionally for guests. However, this Murphy bed is in a 200 ft2 studio apartment and as such, it’s going to be used every day and will essentially be the bedroom. So it was important to give it more cozy feel as well as add lighting for bedtime reading.  The plan I came up with was to cover the exposed wall above the headboard with a wood panel that also incorporated 2 industrial wall sconces to match the style that the rest of the apartment will have once the complete makeover is done.

It needed to be no more than 1″ thick so it wouldn’t interfere with the mattress and bedding, so I built it using 1″x2″ furring strips and 1/4″ plywood to make the structure. This is the back showing where the lights are (I used an LED light kit from IKEA).

I stained the front of the panel the same color as the outside of the cabinet (Varathane Briarsmoke) and metallic paint made the wood on the sides of the wall sconces look more like metal.

To reflect more light, I also attached a sheet of metal to the back of the wall sconces.

The finishing touch for the wall sconces were the covers. Since the apartment will have a rustic industrial vibe, I wanted to covers to reflect that. I thought it would be fun to do an experiment and use wire mesh with glue on wood edging I had left over from the build to make the covers.

The covers worked out even better than I thought – the metallic paint completely transformed the look of the edging and the sheet metal screws I used to attach them to the panel added just the right industrial vibe.


The last finishing touch was painting the inside of the cabinet in a warm orange, inspired by the Venice beach sunsets.

So there you have it, probably the most pimped out DIY Murphy bed you’ll ever see! There’s lots more to come for the tiny 200ft2 studio makeover so make sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss out on anything!

 

 

Building a Murphy bed series – Step 2- 6: lift mechanism & assembly

For highlights of this project, watch the video!

In case you haven’t been following along, here’s a recap of the Murphy Bed series thus far. The first post covered an overview of the project and some things to consider for choosing the type of DIY Murphy bed, which you can read here, and the second post went into detail about step 1: preparing the cabinet components which took a few days to get done, between getting the materials, cutting all the wood, edging, sanding, and staining (read more about that here). Now comes the fun part of actually mounting the lift mechanism for the bed and assembling the cabinet.

Tip: While it’s not impossible to do this alone, I would highly recommend getting a helper, preferably someone who is comfortable lifting heavy things.

As I mentioned in my first post, I chose to go with a Murphy bed hardware kit from murphybeddepot.com that comes with all the hardware for the lifting mechanism and the frame for the bed. The instructions say to assemble the cabinet first but I chose to begin with assembling the front panel, which is where the mattress will sit.

Murphy-Bed-hardware-kit---front-panel-frame-part-1

The cabinet plans called for having 4 pieces of plywood for the front panel but when I cut the plywood components, I made a slight change to the plans so I would have two pieces of plywood instead of four to have less joints on the front.

8a23e21a-9fad-4f79-bd8c-8c31e6540f9cBefore starting to screw the frames in place, I made sure that the panels were perfectly joined and square. It’s crucial for every component of the cabinet to be square, otherwise, the front panel will not be able to move up and down as designed. I also made sure that the metal frame was centered as per the instructions – this may vary depending on the kit you use. This step is fairly simple, just tedious as there are a lot of screws to put in.

Murphy-bed-hardware-kit---bedframe

Next I mounted the lift mechanism to the side panels of the cabinet.

Murphy-Bed-hardware-kit---for-sides

The specifics of this step will vary depending on the hardware kit you use but the process will be essentially the same. The holes have to be in a precise location to match the holes in the lift mechanism so here again, precision is key. Some kits provide a template to mark the holes but since this kit didn’t provide one, I measured and marked the location of each hole.

Murphy-Bed-hardware-kit---marking-holes

The instructions recommend starting by drilling a small pilot hole before making the hole bigger for the bolts – this helps to ensure the holes are in the right spot. I tried to do this in both side panels at once by stacking them on top of each other and it worked but I wouldn’t recommend doing this because it’s very difficult to keep the drill bit 100% straight and even a minute shift in the location of the pilot hole will cause the holes to not line up. 

Murphy-Bed-kit-drilling-pilot-hole

Then I used a countersink drill bit to make cavities so that the head of the bolts can sit flush with the outside surface of the side panels.

Murphy-bed-side-panel-counter-sunk-holes

Tip: Make sure you read the instructions many times before starting and make a list of all the tools you will need ahead of time so you have them on hand once you start putting the cabinet together. It will save you from having to make an impromptu trip to the hardware like I had to do when I realized I didn’t have the right sized countersink bit!

Murphy-bed-kit-putting-on-the-side-plates

The next step was to use nuts and bolts to attach the lift mechanism to the side panels. It’s a bit tricky to line up all the holes so I started by putting in one bolt very loosely and then fitting all the other, one by one, loosely at first. That made it easy to make small adjustments so they all fit it. Then I tightened the bolts – a wrench was handy to hold the nut while I used the drill to tighten the bolt.

Murphy-bed-hardware-kit-putting-in-the-bolts

Then it was time to add more springs – this part was somewhat frustrating because some of the springs went in very easily while others required a lot of coaxing. In the end, using the wrench to left the plates did the trick. The number of springs you will need depends on how heavy your mattress is, and what type of material you used for the front panel. Unfortunately there’s no easy way of knowing exactly how many you need before you put the mattress on and test it. I didn’t wear gloves while doing this but I highly recommended to do so – the springs are very greasy and it’s easy to get your fingers caught.

Murphy-Bed-hardware-kit-putting-in-springs

After that was done, I was finally ready to assemble the cabinet. I chose to use brackets and screws to assemble it because a) I don’t have a workshop or specialized tools  and b) I wanted to be able to take the cabinet apart for moving it, something that wouldn’t be possible if using dowels and glue. I was able to order all the screws and brackets necessary to assemble the cabinet components with the Murphy bed hardware so that took a lot of the guesswork out of having to figure out what I needed.

I started by installing the headboard and then moved on to the top and bottom pieces. It’s fairly simple to put together but clamps and an extra pair of hands is very helpful. And it’s easy to get confused as to what piece goes where so it’s also a good idea to refer to the drawings throughout the assembly process.

Murphy-Bed-assembly-step-2

Once the cabinet was built, I used a stud finder to locate the wall studs and marked their location with tape. The recommendations may vary depending on your specific hardware kit but mine recommended securing the top of the cabinet to 3 wall studs with brackets provided in the hardware kit. 

Murphy-Bed-installation-finding-studs

Tip: If you don’t have a stud finder, there’s other ways to find them. There’s usually a stud to the right or left of an outlet or light switch and they are typically 16”-24” on center (which means from the middle of one stud, to the middle of one next to it) but most common is 16”.  So if you have an outlet or switch nearby, you can start there to locate a stud and move along the wall to find the others. One caveat is that depending on when your home was built the actual size of the studs might not be the standard 1 ½” x 3 ½”. Between 1900-1950 rough cut 2×4’s were most common and were actually 2″ by 4″, and homes built between 1950-1965 could have 2x4s that are 1-⅝” by 3-⅝” – keep that in mind as this will affect the actual distance from the first stud to the next.

Before securing the cabinet to the wall, I had to check that it was square. I wasn’t sure the best way to do that but I used my carpenter’s square to check every corner at the front – it’s very important that the cabinet be perfectly square everywhere, otherwise the front panel won’t be able to close.

Murphy-Bed-assembly---checking-square

After securing the cabinet to the wall, the next step was to put the face panel onto the lift mechanism.  I had to call in reinforcements at this point because this step requires lots of muscles to first pull down the tension arm and then to lift the front panel onto the tension arm.  

Murphy-bed-installation-putting-on-front-panel-1Murphy-bed-installation-putting-on-face-panel-2

 

Side Note: If you don’t want to deal with springs, you can get Murphy bed kits with pistons, though one of the downsides of pistons is that they are visible on the sides even with the mattress on. With the springs, the mechanism is out of sight once the mattress is there.

Luckily when we released the tension arm and lifted the front panel in place, it fit right between the side boards. We did have to make a slight adjustment to even out the spacing on both sides but that was minor. We tested the bed with the mattress on but we had put in too many springs so the front panel didn’t stay down. So we removed the mattress and unattached the cabinet from the wall so we could get access to the back of the lift mechanism and remove the springs.

Murphy-bed-installation-front-panel-on

All the heavy lifting was done but I still had the inside of the Murphy bed to finish. I didn’t like the look of the white wall above the headboard and I also wanted to incorporate some color, which is why I hadn’t stained the insides of the panels.

Murphy-Bed-installation-looking-at-the-insideAfter looking at the inside for a bit, I came up with an ambitious plan to create a panel to cover that space, and also incorporate lighting, all of which needs to be 1” thick or less so it doesn’t interfere with the mattress or bedding. My next post in the “how to build a Murphy bed series” will be all about that project and the final reveal of the finished Murphy Bed –  best way to not miss it when it’s published is to subscribe to my newsletter if you’re not already signed up!

For highlights of this project, watch the video!

In case you haven’t been following along, here’s a recap of the Murphy Bed series thus far. The first post covered an overview of the project and some things to consider for choosing the type of DIY Murphy bed, which you can read here, and the second post went into detail about step 1: preparing the cabinet components which took a few days to get done, between getting the materials, cutting all the wood, edging, sanding, and staining (read more about that here). Now comes the fun part of actually mounting the lift mechanism for the bed and assembling the cabinet.

Tip: While it’s not impossible to do this alone, I would highly recommend getting a helper, preferably someone who is comfortable lifting heavy things.

As I mentioned in my first post, I chose to go with a Murphy bed hardware kit from murphybeddepot.com that comes with all the hardware for the lifting mechanism and the frame for the bed. The instructions say to assemble the cabinet first but I chose to begin with assembling the front panel, which is where the mattress will sit.

Murphy-Bed-hardware-kit---front-panel-frame-part-1

The cabinet plans called for having 4 pieces of plywood for the front panel but when I cut the plywood components, I made a slight change to the plans so I would have two pieces of plywood instead of four to have less joints on the front.

8a23e21a-9fad-4f79-bd8c-8c31e6540f9cBefore starting to screw the frames in place, I made sure that the panels were perfectly joined and square. It’s crucial for every component of the cabinet to be square, otherwise, the front panel will not be able to move up and down as designed. I also made sure that the metal frame was centered as per the instructions – this may vary depending on the kit you use. This step is fairly simple, just tedious as there are a lot of screws to put in.

Murphy-bed-hardware-kit---bedframe

Next I mounted the lift mechanism to the side panels of the cabinet.

Murphy-Bed-hardware-kit---for-sides

The specifics of this step will vary depending on the hardware kit you use but the process will be essentially the same. The holes have to be in a precise location to match the holes in the lift mechanism so here again, precision is key. Some kits provide a template to mark the holes but since this kit didn’t provide one, I measured and marked the location of each hole.

Murphy-Bed-hardware-kit---marking-holes

The instructions recommend starting by drilling a small pilot hole before making the hole bigger for the bolts – this helps to ensure the holes are in the right spot. I tried to do this in both side panels at once by stacking them on top of each other and it worked but I wouldn’t recommend doing this because it’s very difficult to keep the drill bit 100% straight and even a minute shift in the location of the pilot hole will cause the holes to not line up. 

Murphy-Bed-kit-drilling-pilot-hole

Then I used a countersink drill bit to make cavities so that the head of the bolts can sit flush with the outside surface of the side panels.

Murphy-bed-side-panel-counter-sunk-holes

Tip: Make sure you read the instructions many times before starting and make a list of all the tools you will need ahead of time so you have them on hand once you start putting the cabinet together. It will save you from having to make an impromptu trip to the hardware like I had to do when I realized I didn’t have the right sized countersink bit!

Murphy-bed-kit-putting-on-the-side-plates

The next step was to use nuts and bolts to attach the lift mechanism to the side panels. It’s a bit tricky to line up all the holes so I started by putting in one bolt very loosely and then fitting all the other, one by one, loosely at first. That made it easy to make small adjustments so they all fit it. Then I tightened the bolts – a wrench was handy to hold the nut while I used the drill to tighten the bolt.

Murphy-bed-hardware-kit-putting-in-the-bolts

Then it was time to add more springs – this part was somewhat frustrating because some of the springs went in very easily while others required a lot of coaxing. In the end, using the wrench to left the plates did the trick. The number of springs you will need depends on how heavy your mattress is, and what type of material you used for the front panel. Unfortunately there’s no easy way of knowing exactly how many you need before you put the mattress on and test it. I didn’t wear gloves while doing this but I highly recommended to do so – the springs are very greasy and it’s easy to get your fingers caught.

Murphy-Bed-hardware-kit-putting-in-springs

After that was done, I was finally ready to assemble the cabinet. I chose to use brackets and screws to assemble it because a) I don’t have a workshop or specialized tools  and b) I wanted to be able to take the cabinet apart for moving it, something that wouldn’t be possible if using dowels and glue. I was able to order all the screws and brackets necessary to assemble the cabinet components with the Murphy bed hardware so that took a lot of the guesswork out of having to figure out what I needed.

I started by installing the headboard and then moved on to the top and bottom pieces. It’s fairly simple to put together but clamps and an extra pair of hands is very helpful. And it’s easy to get confused as to what piece goes where so it’s also a good idea to refer to the drawings throughout the assembly process.

Murphy-Bed-assembly-step-2

Once the cabinet was built, I used a stud finder to locate the wall studs and marked their location with tape. The recommendations may vary depending on your specific hardware kit but mine recommended securing the top of the cabinet to 3 wall studs with brackets provided in the hardware kit. 

Murphy-Bed-installation-finding-studs

Tip: If you don’t have a stud finder, there’s other ways to find them. There’s usually a stud to the right or left of an outlet or light switch and they are typically 16”-24” on center (which means from the middle of one stud, to the middle of one next to it) but most common is 16”.  So if you have an outlet or switch nearby, you can start there to locate a stud and move along the wall to find the others. One caveat is that depending on when your home was built the actual size of the studs might not be the standard 1 ½” x 3 ½”. Between 1900-1950 rough cut 2×4’s were most common and were actually 2″ by 4″, and homes built between 1950-1965 could have 2x4s that are 1-⅝” by 3-⅝” – keep that in mind as this will affect the actual distance from the first stud to the next.

Before securing the cabinet to the wall, I had to check that it was square. I wasn’t sure the best way to do that but I used my carpenter’s square to check every corner at the front – it’s very important that the cabinet be perfectly square everywhere, otherwise the front panel won’t be able to close.

Murphy-Bed-assembly---checking-square

After securing the cabinet to the wall, the next step was to put the face panel onto the lift mechanism.  I had to call in reinforcements at this point because this step requires lots of muscles to first pull down the tension arm and then to lift the front panel onto the tension arm.  

Murphy-bed-installation-putting-on-front-panel-1Murphy-bed-installation-putting-on-face-panel-2

 

Side Note: If you don’t want to deal with springs, you can get Murphy bed kits with pistons, though one of the downsides of pistons is that they are visible on the sides even with the mattress on. With the springs, the mechanism is out of sight once the mattress is there.

Luckily when we released the tension arm and lifted the front panel in place, it fit right between the side boards. We did have to make a slight adjustment to even out the spacing on both sides but that was minor. We tested the bed with the mattress on but we had put in too many springs so the front panel didn’t stay down. So we removed the mattress and unattached the cabinet from the wall so we could get access to the back of the lift mechanism and remove the springs.

Murphy-bed-installation-front-panel-on

All the heavy lifting was done but I still had the inside of the Murphy bed to finish. I didn’t like the look of the white wall above the headboard and I also wanted to incorporate some color, which is why I hadn’t stained the insides of the panels.

Murphy-Bed-installation-looking-at-the-insideAfter looking at the inside for a bit, I came up with an ambitious plan to create a panel to cover that space, and also incorporate lighting, all of which needs to be 1” thick or less so it doesn’t interfere with the mattress or bedding. My next post in the “how to build a Murphy bed series” will be all about that project and the final reveal of the finished Murphy Bed –  best way to not miss it when it’s published is to subscribe to my newsletter if you’re not already signed up!

Building a Murphy bed series – Step 1: preparing the cabinet components

Did you read my first post in this  “how to build a Murphy bed” series? In case you missed it, here’s a recap. I’ve undertaken a new big/small project, transforming a tiny 200 ft2 rental studio apartment into a functional home that reflects the unique personality of its occupant, that easily adapts to change and has everything needed: a place for sleeping, hanging out and relaxing with friends, cooking, eating and working. I talked in my previous post about how a Murphy bed with a sofa was the best solution for this space and also which options I considered, eventually settling on a DIY Murphy bed with a ready made hardware kit and cabinet design. You can read all the detail here and I left off with outlining all the steps involved with this Murphy bed option:

  1. Prepare all wood or laminate components
  2. Mount lift mechanism
  3. Install springs in lift mechanism
  4. Assemble the bed cabinet
  5. Attach bed cabinet to the wall
  6. Assemble steel bed frame to bed face panels
  7. Install the bed face panel in cabinet
  8. Install handles, leg assembly, mechanism covers, mattress

In today’s post, I’m covering what’s involved with step 1, but before I get started, there’s something I wanted to mention that I didn’t cover in my first post: the importance of knowing the thickness of the mattress you plan on using with your Murphy bed.

Tip: Not all kits are the same and some only accommodate mattresses that are 10 inches thick while others allow you to use mattresses up to 12” thick. Make sure you know what thickness you need for your mattress so you don’t end up with a cabinet that’s too shallow for your mattress. Not fun after doing all that work to build a Murphy bed!

Reading-instructions

And another general note, I can’t recommend enough reading the directions for your Murphy bed kit  several times and also be ready to make a few trips to the hardware store. I know that I did several trips, sometimes more than once in one day! OK, now let’s get started with Step 1: preparing the cabinet components:

There are many different designs of cabinets out there, but they all have essentially the same components and similar steps are needed to get all the cabinet components ready. I used a Murphy bed kit that had a cabinet design and a cut list ready which made it a lot easier than having to figure out a design and dimensions, and I highly recommend this approach, especially if you’re a novice DIYer.

Step 1a – Getting the materials:  

There’s a few choices for the material  you can use to make the cabinet, like MDF or plywood. I went with a higher quality birch plywood because the plan was to stain the wood. If you’re thinking of painting it, then MDF will work too. Whichever one you use, you will need veneer edging to finish the edges, so be prepared to get a lot of it. 

Tip: if you think you’ll be building more furniture with plywood in the future, I recommend buying a large roll of 250 ft online. It sounds like a lot but at roughly $25, it’s way cheaper than buying several packages of 25 ft which is what they sell at the hardware store.Screen Shot 2019-04-01 at 4.06.35 PMI usually have larger sheets of plywood cut at the hardware store since I don’t have a table saw, plus it also makes it easier to transport. But hardware stores don’t typically guarantee precise cuts and I’ve had pieces cut that were as much as ¼” off which wouldn’t be acceptable when working on a project like a Murphy bed – precision is critical to ensure that the cabinet is square. So for these reasons, I chose to cut the wood myself.

Getting-plywood

This meant that I had to bring the 3 x 4’x8’x ¾” sheets of birch plywood (~ $150) from the hardware store to the apartment. This is definitely a 2 person job, so I got a friend to help out and also to lend me their pickup truck to transport everything. Since I don’t have a table saw and would be cutting the plywood on the ground, I also got five 2”x4” to use as a base (more on that in step 1b) and a 1”x 3”x 8ft to use as a cutting guide.

Tip: I like to do the materials run the day before I’m planning on cutting and building. This way, I have everything on hand at the start of the day which makes for a more productive day.

Step 1b – Cutting the plywood:

If you have a workshop with a table saw, this step is fairly straightforward. But I don’t have either and I also had limited space inside to work, so cutting outside using a circular saw was the best option available to me. I used a cordless circular saw from WORX that has a built in feature that allows you to use any straight edge to cut, which is extremely helpful. Another reason I love this saw is the battery life – you can get many cuts done on one charge. I also used small clamps and a carpenter framing square to make the cuts.

setting-up-the-cutting-station-outside-murphy-bed

To set up my cutting station outside, I laid down the 2”x4”s evenly spaced out and placed the sheet of plywood on top. By doing this the circular saw blade will cut a bit into the 2”x4” but won’t catch the ground.

marking-plywood-Murphy-bed

Then I measured and marked the line for the cut I needed to make and clamped the guide on the line. I used the carpenter framing square to make sure the 1”x3” guide is perfectly square.

Cutting-plywood

Tip:  it’s important to remember that the saw blade will eat up about ⅛” off the wood, so the guide needs to be placed on the side that you measured (want to keep), otherwise your piece of wood will be ⅛” too short.

It took me a while to get all the cuts done because I was being extra careful with all my measurements and making sure that everything was square every step of the way, but it was very satisfying once I was done! I brought all the wood inside to get ready for the next steps, which included cutting out a section off the bottom back of the side panels so the cabinet could sit flush against the wall. I used a hand saw to do this but you could also use a jigsaw – it’s much easier to do this before the cabinet is assembled!

Cutting-off-back-piece-for-moulding-DIY-Murphy-bed

Another way to go would have been to remove a section of the  baseboard but that wasn’t an option since this is a rental apartment and I’m sure the landlord wouldn’t appreciate having the moulding taken out. 

Cut-out-at-the-back-of-side-panels-murphy-bed

Side note:  If you were using the dowel method to join the pieces, you would need to drill all the holes for the dowels along the edges of each of the components, which can be very time consuming depending on the tools you’re using to do this. Since I’m using brackets and screws to put the cabinet together, I could skip this step. Another reason that I chose brackets and screws is that it will make it a lot easier to disassemble the Murphy bed later – this is very important because it won’t be possible to take the Murphy bed out of this apartment without taking the cabinet apart first.

Step 1c – Adding veneer edging to the plywood edges

While this is fairly easy to do (you will need an iron and a utility knife for this step), it does take a lot of time, especially if you use a utility knife to trim off the excess on the sides, which is what I used. I needed to use some sandpaper to smooth out the rough edges that I sometimes made because I wasn’t precise with the utility knife.

Ironing-on-veneer-edging-Murphy-bed

trimming-off-veneer-edging-Murphy-bed

Tip: Invest in a little gadget called a “veneer edge trimmer” – I wish I had done that before taking on this project! It will save you a oodles of time and also do a much cleaner/better job at getting nice flush edges. 

Step 1d – Sanding

The plywood I was using was already sanded but since I was staining the panels, I wanted to do some more sanding to get the smoothest surface possible. I didn’t want to sand inside so I used my portable WORX table to set up an impromptu workshop outside.

Sanding-plywood-DIY-Murphy-Bed

Step 1e – Staining or painting

Once all the pieces were sanded, it was time for staining. It wasn’t practical to do this outside and there wasn’t enough floor space inside to lay out all the components on the floor of the tiny studio, so I channeled my inner MacGyver and improvised by building a staining rack out of 2”x4”’s and ½” plywood.

Staining-rack-for-Murphy-bed

I also used some tarps to protect the floor and the wall, some painter’s tape and rags for applying the stain. I still had to do 2 batches and staining proved to be a bit tricky (it’s not my strong suit!) – it didn’t turn out as nice as I would have hoped but the final look was still nice. I do love the color of the stain – it’s from Varathane and called Briarsmoke Premium Fast Dry Interior Wood Stain. Again, this step isn’t necessarily difficult, just time consuming because I needed to allow for drying time in between coats (I could have stopped at one coat but I wanted a deeper color). 

Staining-panels-Murphy-Bed

I chose to stain the outside of the cabinet and to leave the inside not finished because I knew that I wanted to paint the inside a different color to create the effect of having a different room when the bed is down. Since I wasn’t sure what I color I wanted to use, I will do that to the end when the Murphy bed is build and installed.

Tip: It’s definitely easier to paint and finish all the wood before assembling it, but the downside is that the components do need to be handled a lot during assembly so be prepared to do a few touch ups after it’s done.

Now it’s time to move on to step 2-6: mounting lift mechanism and assembly. I learned a few things while doing this as well, which I’ll share in my next blog post in the “Building a Murphy bed” series. Best way to not miss it when it’s published is to subscribe to my newsletter if you’re not already signed up!

Did you read my first post in this  “how to build a Murphy bed” series? In case you missed it, here’s a recap. I’ve undertaken a new big/small project, transforming a tiny 200 ft2 rental studio apartment into a functional home that reflects the unique personality of its occupant, that easily adapts to change and has everything needed: a place for sleeping, hanging out and relaxing with friends, cooking, eating and working. I talked in my previous post about how a Murphy bed with a sofa was the best solution for this space and also which options I considered, eventually settling on a DIY Murphy bed with a ready made hardware kit and cabinet design. You can read all the detail here and I left off with outlining all the steps involved with this Murphy bed option:

  1. Prepare all wood or laminate components
  2. Mount lift mechanism
  3. Install springs in lift mechanism
  4. Assemble the bed cabinet
  5. Attach bed cabinet to the wall
  6. Assemble steel bed frame to bed face panels
  7. Install the bed face panel in cabinet
  8. Install handles, leg assembly, mechanism covers, mattress

In today’s post, I’m covering what’s involved with step 1, but before I get started, there’s something I wanted to mention that I didn’t cover in my first post: the importance of knowing the thickness of the mattress you plan on using with your Murphy bed.

Tip: Not all kits are the same and some only accommodate mattresses that are 10 inches thick while others allow you to use mattresses up to 12” thick. Make sure you know what thickness you need for your mattress so you don’t end up with a cabinet that’s too shallow for your mattress. Not fun after doing all that work to build a Murphy bed!

Reading-instructions

And another general note, I can’t recommend enough reading the directions for your Murphy bed kit  several times and also be ready to make a few trips to the hardware store. I know that I did several trips, sometimes more than once in one day! OK, now let’s get started with Step 1: preparing the cabinet components:

There are many different designs of cabinets out there, but they all have essentially the same components and similar steps are needed to get all the cabinet components ready. I used a Murphy bed kit that had a cabinet design and a cut list ready which made it a lot easier than having to figure out a design and dimensions, and I highly recommend this approach, especially if you’re a novice DIYer.

Step 1a – Getting the materials:  

There’s a few choices for the material  you can use to make the cabinet, like MDF or plywood. I went with a higher quality birch plywood because the plan was to stain the wood. If you’re thinking of painting it, then MDF will work too. Whichever one you use, you will need veneer edging to finish the edges, so be prepared to get a lot of it. 

Tip: if you think you’ll be building more furniture with plywood in the future, I recommend buying a large roll of 250 ft online. It sounds like a lot but at roughly $25, it’s way cheaper than buying several packages of 25 ft which is what they sell at the hardware store.Screen Shot 2019-04-01 at 4.06.35 PMI usually have larger sheets of plywood cut at the hardware store since I don’t have a table saw, plus it also makes it easier to transport. But hardware stores don’t typically guarantee precise cuts and I’ve had pieces cut that were as much as ¼” off which wouldn’t be acceptable when working on a project like a Murphy bed – precision is critical to ensure that the cabinet is square. So for these reasons, I chose to cut the wood myself.

Getting-plywood

This meant that I had to bring the 3 x 4’x8’x ¾” sheets of birch plywood (~ $150) from the hardware store to the apartment. This is definitely a 2 person job, so I got a friend to help out and also to lend me their pickup truck to transport everything. Since I don’t have a table saw and would be cutting the plywood on the ground, I also got five 2”x4” to use as a base (more on that in step 1b) and a 1”x 3”x 8ft to use as a cutting guide.

Tip: I like to do the materials run the day before I’m planning on cutting and building. This way, I have everything on hand at the start of the day which makes for a more productive day.

Step 1b – Cutting the plywood:

If you have a workshop with a table saw, this step is fairly straightforward. But I don’t have either and I also had limited space inside to work, so cutting outside using a circular saw was the best option available to me. I used a cordless circular saw from WORX that has a built in feature that allows you to use any straight edge to cut, which is extremely helpful. Another reason I love this saw is the battery life – you can get many cuts done on one charge. I also used small clamps and a carpenter framing square to make the cuts.

setting-up-the-cutting-station-outside-murphy-bed

To set up my cutting station outside, I laid down the 2”x4”s evenly spaced out and placed the sheet of plywood on top. By doing this the circular saw blade will cut a bit into the 2”x4” but won’t catch the ground.

marking-plywood-Murphy-bed

Then I measured and marked the line for the cut I needed to make and clamped the guide on the line. I used the carpenter framing square to make sure the 1”x3” guide is perfectly square.

Cutting-plywood

Tip:  it’s important to remember that the saw blade will eat up about ⅛” off the wood, so the guide needs to be placed on the side that you measured (want to keep), otherwise your piece of wood will be ⅛” too short.

It took me a while to get all the cuts done because I was being extra careful with all my measurements and making sure that everything was square every step of the way, but it was very satisfying once I was done! I brought all the wood inside to get ready for the next steps, which included cutting out a section off the bottom back of the side panels so the cabinet could sit flush against the wall. I used a hand saw to do this but you could also use a jigsaw – it’s much easier to do this before the cabinet is assembled!

Cutting-off-back-piece-for-moulding-DIY-Murphy-bed

Another way to go would have been to remove a section of the  baseboard but that wasn’t an option since this is a rental apartment and I’m sure the landlord wouldn’t appreciate having the moulding taken out. 

Cut-out-at-the-back-of-side-panels-murphy-bed

Side note:  If you were using the dowel method to join the pieces, you would need to drill all the holes for the dowels along the edges of each of the components, which can be very time consuming depending on the tools you’re using to do this. Since I’m using brackets and screws to put the cabinet together, I could skip this step. Another reason that I chose brackets and screws is that it will make it a lot easier to disassemble the Murphy bed later – this is very important because it won’t be possible to take the Murphy bed out of this apartment without taking the cabinet apart first.

Step 1c – Adding veneer edging to the plywood edges

While this is fairly easy to do (you will need an iron and a utility knife for this step), it does take a lot of time, especially if you use a utility knife to trim off the excess on the sides, which is what I used. I needed to use some sandpaper to smooth out the rough edges that I sometimes made because I wasn’t precise with the utility knife.

Ironing-on-veneer-edging-Murphy-bed

trimming-off-veneer-edging-Murphy-bed

Tip: Invest in a little gadget called a “veneer edge trimmer” – I wish I had done that before taking on this project! It will save you a oodles of time and also do a much cleaner/better job at getting nice flush edges. 

Step 1d – Sanding

The plywood I was using was already sanded but since I was staining the panels, I wanted to do some more sanding to get the smoothest surface possible. I didn’t want to sand inside so I used my portable WORX table to set up an impromptu workshop outside.

Sanding-plywood-DIY-Murphy-Bed

Step 1e – Staining or painting

Once all the pieces were sanded, it was time for staining. It wasn’t practical to do this outside and there wasn’t enough floor space inside to lay out all the components on the floor of the tiny studio, so I channeled my inner MacGyver and improvised by building a staining rack out of 2”x4”’s and ½” plywood.

Staining-rack-for-Murphy-bed

I also used some tarps to protect the floor and the wall, some painter’s tape and rags for applying the stain. I still had to do 2 batches and staining proved to be a bit tricky (it’s not my strong suit!) – it didn’t turn out as nice as I would have hoped but the final look was still nice. I do love the color of the stain – it’s from Varathane and called Briarsmoke Premium Fast Dry Interior Wood Stain. Again, this step isn’t necessarily difficult, just time consuming because I needed to allow for drying time in between coats (I could have stopped at one coat but I wanted a deeper color). 

Staining-panels-Murphy-Bed

I chose to stain the outside of the cabinet and to leave the inside not finished because I knew that I wanted to paint the inside a different color to create the effect of having a different room when the bed is down. Since I wasn’t sure what I color I wanted to use, I will do that to the end when the Murphy bed is build and installed.

Tip: It’s definitely easier to paint and finish all the wood before assembling it, but the downside is that the components do need to be handled a lot during assembly so be prepared to do a few touch ups after it’s done.

Now it’s time to move on to step 2-6: mounting lift mechanism and assembly. I learned a few things while doing this as well, which I’ll share in my next blog post in the “Building a Murphy bed” series. Best way to not miss it when it’s published is to subscribe to my newsletter if you’re not already signed up!

#Engineeryourspace inspired spotlight: The DIY Drum Shade

Eight years ago, I created Engineer Your Space and launched my YouTube Channel and blog with 4 videos. One of those videos was titled: “how to make a DIY drum shade” – I wasn’t sure when I published it if anyone would watch a 15 minute video about making a drum shade, and at first nobody did. Then a few months in, something amazing happened: Apartment Therapy featured my project on their website and I got invited to give a presentation about it at their design evenings in NYC. 

Apartment Therapy Design Evening 4-11-2012

Just like that, my channel and blog started getting noticed and people started watching. Eight years later, that video continues to get thousands of views every month and now has over 750,000 views. Crazy! It’s amazing to me that the content continues to resonate with people (despite the poor video quality and my beginner skills at video production!). I guess I’m not the only person out there looking for an inexpensive, electrician free way to deal with unsightly ceiling light fixtures. To this day, I continue to receive pictures of custom drum shades that people have made. This gorgeous shade was hand crafted by Libby, from Victoria, BC, to cover up an old ceiling fixture in a bedroom.

Libby Victoria BC drum shade

This beautiful drum shade is the creation of Maria which she made to upgrade a pendant lamp in her dining room.

Drum-shade-by-Maria (1) copy

I love seeing these beautiful creations with different colors and textures because I still remember the happiness I felt when I covered up my ugly lighting fixtures with something beautiful that reflected my style and personality. It was a very small thing, but the impact it had on how I felt about my home was huge. It was such an empowering feeling to know that even as a renter, I could also have a beautiful and functional home that was just right for me. I didn’t have to wait until I owned a home or spend tons of money, I could have it right now! 

NYC-custom-DIY-Drum-shade

There is so much joy that comes from seeing beyond the flaws and limitations of your space and my hope with Engineer Your Space is to empower everyone to see the possibilities for making themselves at home no matter if they own or rent,  how big or how small their space and budget are. With just a little bit of imagination and elbow grease, you CAN have a home that is both beautiful and functional, a home that represents who you are, and ultimately a home you love.  

Keep sharing your #engineeryourspace inspired project by sending me your pics, along with a brief description, via DM on Instagram or at info@engineeryourspace.com. I love seeing what you’ve created! And if you want to see more #engineeryourspace inspired projects, check out my Pinterest board here. 

Here’s to making yourself at home, no matter where you live!

 

Eight years ago, I created Engineer Your Space and launched my YouTube Channel and blog with 4 videos. One of those videos was titled: “how to make a DIY drum shade” – I wasn’t sure when I published it if anyone would watch a 15 minute video about making a drum shade, and at first nobody did. Then a few months in, something amazing happened: Apartment Therapy featured my project on their website and I got invited to give a presentation about it at their design evenings in NYC. 

Apartment Therapy Design Evening 4-11-2012

Just like that, my channel and blog started getting noticed and people started watching. Eight years later, that video continues to get thousands of views every month and now has over 750,000 views. Crazy! It’s amazing to me that the content continues to resonate with people (despite the poor video quality and my beginner skills at video production!). I guess I’m not the only person out there looking for an inexpensive, electrician free way to deal with unsightly ceiling light fixtures. To this day, I continue to receive pictures of custom drum shades that people have made. This gorgeous shade was hand crafted by Libby, from Victoria, BC, to cover up an old ceiling fixture in a bedroom.

Libby Victoria BC drum shade

This beautiful drum shade is the creation of Maria which she made to upgrade a pendant lamp in her dining room.

Drum-shade-by-Maria (1) copy

I love seeing these beautiful creations with different colors and textures because I still remember the happiness I felt when I covered up my ugly lighting fixtures with something beautiful that reflected my style and personality. It was a very small thing, but the impact it had on how I felt about my home was huge. It was such an empowering feeling to know that even as a renter, I could also have a beautiful and functional home that was just right for me. I didn’t have to wait until I owned a home or spend tons of money, I could have it right now! 

NYC-custom-DIY-Drum-shade

There is so much joy that comes from seeing beyond the flaws and limitations of your space and my hope with Engineer Your Space is to empower everyone to see the possibilities for making themselves at home no matter if they own or rent,  how big or how small their space and budget are. With just a little bit of imagination and elbow grease, you CAN have a home that is both beautiful and functional, a home that represents who you are, and ultimately a home you love.  

Keep sharing your #engineeryourspace inspired project by sending me your pics, along with a brief description, via DM on Instagram or at info@engineeryourspace.com. I love seeing what you’ve created! And if you want to see more #engineeryourspace inspired projects, check out my Pinterest board here. 

Here’s to making yourself at home, no matter where you live!

 

Building a Murphy Bed Series: Before you start – DIY Options

 

If you’ve been reading my newsletter and following me on Instagram, you know that I’ve undertaken a new big/small project, transforming a tiny 200 ft2 rental studio apartment into what I call a “nimble” home: a home that reflects the unique personality of its occupant, that easily adapts to change and has everything needed: a place for sleeping, hanging out and relaxing with friends, cooking, eating and working.

Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 5.32.48 PM

One of the main requirements for the design of this home was to have a sofa for relaxing and to also have a queen sized bed for sleeping. Given the size of the main living area, a mere 144 ft2, and the standard 8 ft ceiling, it quickly became apparent that a sofa Murphy bed like this one was the best solution for the space. 

Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 5.35.18 PM

Since buying a ready made sofa Murphy bed was outside of the budget (they can cost anywhere from $2500-$6000 plus), it made sense to go the DIY route. A quick internet search revealed these DIY options to choose from, from least expensive to most expensive:

  1. Build the cabinet from scratch and make your own lifting mechanism/hardware.
  2. Build the cabinet from scratch and use a Murphy bed hardware kit.
  3. Assemble a pre-cut cabinet and use a Murphy bed hardware kit.

I went with option 2 mainly because:

  1. It fit the budget while allowing the use of higher quality materials (plywood vs particle board) 
  2. It also allowed for customization of the look of the cabinet.
  3. Buying a hardware kit would save time on having to figure out a design, getting parts, etc..

Having settled on option 2, next I had to decide how to put the cabinet together. There’s a few different assembly methods to choose from:

  1. Dowels and glue
  2. Pocket screws and glue
  3. Brackets and screws

Since this Murphy bed would need to be dismantled in order to be moved, options 1 and 2 didn’t make sense because the cabinet would be one solid piece of furniture.  I also have limited tools to work with, and no workshop, so I wanted to keep things as simple as possible, which was option 3.

After looking at all the available options out there for hardware kits, I chose this DIY panel bed Murphy bed hardware kit from murphybeddepot.com – I liked that it came with the cabinet design already laid out, including a cut list of all the components, and that there was the option of buying the hardware kit that included all the brackets and screws needed to assemble the cabinet. The cost for the Murphy bed hardware and the hardware kit to put together the cabinet is $435 (excluding taxes) and since this option involves building a cabinet,  3 sheets of plywood were also needed for that (around $150 for premium birch plywood). There’s lots of other supplies and tools involved but more on that later.

When I received the hardware kit, I read the “how-to” instructions for building the Murphy Bed which listed the following 8 steps:

  1. Prepare all wood or laminate components
  2. Mount lift mechanism
  3. Install springs in lift mechanism
  4. Assemble the bed cabinet
  5. Attach bed cabinet to the wall
  6. Assemble steel bed frame to bed face panels
  7. Install the bed face panel in cabinet
  8. Install handles, leg assembly, mechanism covers, mattress

Turns out that every step breaks down into many smaller steps, each with its own set of  considerations and challenges. Take step 1 for example. It sounds simple enough, but this took way longer than expected and involved some creative solutions to work around not having a workshop, having limited tools and building in a tiny space. It’s challenging but it is totally doable as you’ll see!

Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 9.09.13 AMSo if you’re thinking of building your own Murphy bed or are just curious as to what’s involved in a project like this, subscribe to my newsletter here so you don’t miss any of the posts in this “Building a Murphy bed series”. The next post will be all about step 1: preparing the wood components for the cabinet – stay tuned!

 

If you’ve been reading my newsletter and following me on Instagram, you know that I’ve undertaken a new big/small project, transforming a tiny 200 ft2 rental studio apartment into what I call a “nimble” home: a home that reflects the unique personality of its occupant, that easily adapts to change and has everything needed: a place for sleeping, hanging out and relaxing with friends, cooking, eating and working.

Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 5.32.48 PM

One of the main requirements for the design of this home was to have a sofa for relaxing and to also have a queen sized bed for sleeping. Given the size of the main living area, a mere 144 ft2, and the standard 8 ft ceiling, it quickly became apparent that a sofa Murphy bed like this one was the best solution for the space. 

Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 5.35.18 PM

Since buying a ready made sofa Murphy bed was outside of the budget (they can cost anywhere from $2500-$6000 plus), it made sense to go the DIY route. A quick internet search revealed these DIY options to choose from, from least expensive to most expensive:

  1. Build the cabinet from scratch and make your own lifting mechanism/hardware.
  2. Build the cabinet from scratch and use a Murphy bed hardware kit.
  3. Assemble a pre-cut cabinet and use a Murphy bed hardware kit.

I went with option 2 mainly because:

  1. It fit the budget while allowing the use of higher quality materials (plywood vs particle board) 
  2. It also allowed for customization of the look of the cabinet.
  3. Buying a hardware kit would save time on having to figure out a design, getting parts, etc..

Having settled on option 2, next I had to decide how to put the cabinet together. There’s a few different assembly methods to choose from:

  1. Dowels and glue
  2. Pocket screws and glue
  3. Brackets and screws

Since this Murphy bed would need to be dismantled in order to be moved, options 1 and 2 didn’t make sense because the cabinet would be one solid piece of furniture.  I also have limited tools to work with, and no workshop, so I wanted to keep things as simple as possible, which was option 3.

After looking at all the available options out there for hardware kits, I chose this DIY panel bed Murphy bed hardware kit from murphybeddepot.com – I liked that it came with the cabinet design already laid out, including a cut list of all the components, and that there was the option of buying the hardware kit that included all the brackets and screws needed to assemble the cabinet. The cost for the Murphy bed hardware and the hardware kit to put together the cabinet is $435 (excluding taxes) and since this option involves building a cabinet,  3 sheets of plywood were also needed for that (around $150 for premium birch plywood). There’s lots of other supplies and tools involved but more on that later.

When I received the hardware kit, I read the “how-to” instructions for building the Murphy Bed which listed the following 8 steps:

  1. Prepare all wood or laminate components
  2. Mount lift mechanism
  3. Install springs in lift mechanism
  4. Assemble the bed cabinet
  5. Attach bed cabinet to the wall
  6. Assemble steel bed frame to bed face panels
  7. Install the bed face panel in cabinet
  8. Install handles, leg assembly, mechanism covers, mattress

Turns out that every step breaks down into many smaller steps, each with its own set of  considerations and challenges. Take step 1 for example. It sounds simple enough, but this took way longer than expected and involved some creative solutions to work around not having a workshop, having limited tools and building in a tiny space. It’s challenging but it is totally doable as you’ll see!

Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 9.09.13 AMSo if you’re thinking of building your own Murphy bed or are just curious as to what’s involved in a project like this, subscribe to my newsletter here so you don’t miss any of the posts in this “Building a Murphy bed series”. The next post will be all about step 1: preparing the wood components for the cabinet – stay tuned!

#Engineeryourspace Inspired Spotlight: IKEA bookcase Dividing Wall

I love it when people share the projects they’ve made that are inspired by watching my videos or reading my blog. It’s truly amazing to see all that you’ve created and today is the first of my #engineeryourspace Inspired Spotlight. Every month, I’ll feature a project that one of you has made and also share the story behind it. For this first spotlight, I’m sharing a project that’s been inspired by one of my favorite things I did to my LA apartment: my IKEA bookcase Dividing wall.

Finished-office-with-dividing-wall-updated

I love this project because it truly made my one bedroom apartment more functional by giving me a separate home office in my living room, something that’s very important to me since I work from home. Lisa also needed to create a separate home office in her living room and after watching my video, she designed and built her own version of my project. Doesn’t it look amazing?! Love her design for the top section.

Bookcase-dividing-Wall-Beadboard-3

She used 2 white bookcases from IKEA and instead of using 1/4″ plywood that’s painted and wallpapered like I did,  she used white beadboard paneling on the back – definitely a quicker way to go and also very classic. 

Bookcase-dividing-Wall-Beadboard-1

The dividing wall creates a separation from the entryway one side while creating a distinct office area in her living room, with her desk facing the main view of the apartment, the balcony. 

Thanks Lisa for sharing your project with us and if you want to see more #engineeryourspace inspired projects, check out my Pinterest board here. And if you made something inspired by my projects, and want to be featured, please share them with me by sending me pics along with a brief description via DM on Instagram or at info@engineeryourspace.com. Look forward to seeing what you’ve created!

 

 

I love it when people share the projects they’ve made that are inspired by watching my videos or reading my blog. It’s truly amazing to see all that you’ve created and today is the first of my #engineeryourspace Inspired Spotlight. Every month, I’ll feature a project that one of you has made and also share the story behind it. For this first spotlight, I’m sharing a project that’s been inspired by one of my favorite things I did to my LA apartment: my IKEA bookcase Dividing wall.

Finished-office-with-dividing-wall-updated

I love this project because it truly made my one bedroom apartment more functional by giving me a separate home office in my living room, something that’s very important to me since I work from home. Lisa also needed to create a separate home office in her living room and after watching my video, she designed and built her own version of my project. Doesn’t it look amazing?! Love her design for the top section.

Bookcase-dividing-Wall-Beadboard-3

She used 2 white bookcases from IKEA and instead of using 1/4″ plywood that’s painted and wallpapered like I did,  she used white beadboard paneling on the back – definitely a quicker way to go and also very classic. 

Bookcase-dividing-Wall-Beadboard-1

The dividing wall creates a separation from the entryway one side while creating a distinct office area in her living room, with her desk facing the main view of the apartment, the balcony. 

Thanks Lisa for sharing your project with us and if you want to see more #engineeryourspace inspired projects, check out my Pinterest board here. And if you made something inspired by my projects, and want to be featured, please share them with me by sending me pics along with a brief description via DM on Instagram or at info@engineeryourspace.com. Look forward to seeing what you’ve created!

 

 

DIY Christmas Decor Ideas: Handmade Stocking Holder

As some of you may remember, I completely transformed my living room at the beginning of the year by building a faux fireplace, complete with a faux fireplace insert. I’ve been enjoying it every since and now I finally get to decorate it for the holidays! I love hanging stockings on the mantel and thought it would be fun to make my own DIY Christmas stocking holder with stuff I had around the apartment: a styrofoam ball, fur and some scrap wood. I wasn’t sure how it would all turn out but it all came together and I absolutely love it!

Fireplace-mantel-stocking-holder-wide-view

For the base, I used a scrap board of 2” x 3” that I had left over from another project. I covered the ends with iron on wood edging to make them smoother and sanded everything.

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-sanding-the-wood-base

Since I had some white outdoor stain on hand, I used that to finish and protect the wood.

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-painting-the-wood-base

To spell out JOY, I bought the J and the Y from the craft store for about $2 each (on sale) which I painted with some acrylic metallic paint (champagne gold).

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-painting-letters

Since I already had a styrofoam ball and left over fur from my furry ottoman project, I thought it would be fun to make a fur ball for the “O”. 

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-ball-and-fur

I cut strips of the fur and glued sections onto the styrofoam (I used all purpose white glue), overlapping the seams a bit. I experimented with a few different shapes but in the end I just cut small pieces and carefully overlapped the seams to create a seamless look.  It was a bit messy but in the end I was able to cover up the entire ball.

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-cutting-and-gluing-fur

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-gluing-fur

The ball did have one rough spot but I covered it up with a lid from a candle that I had on hand (I used a glue gun to glue it in place). It provides a nice flat surface to secure the ball to the piece of wood.

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-Gluing-cap-on-fur-ball

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-putting-on-base-of-fur-ball

I used removable double sided tape to secure the ball and the letters to the wood base – this way it will be easy for me to change things up next year and do something else to decorate my stocking holder.

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-putting-on-double-sided-tape

Before attaching the letters and the fur ball, I screwed on 2 white hooks that I had on hand. I chose knit stockings that also had fur to keep the fur ball company and I’m in love with how the whole thing turned out! I added some twinkle lights and the wreath I got from Target. 

Fireplace-mantel-Christmas-Stocking-holder-front

The only downside to this project is that the stockings can’t be filled with heavy things as the stocking holder isn’t weighted. You could add some more removable double sided tape to the bottom to keep it in place or you could also drill holes and add fender washers to add some weight. But other than that, I’m happy I decided to make use of that ball and fur –  I had no idea how much joy a fur ball could bring me haha! 

Fireplace-mantel-for-Christmas-side-view

As some of you may remember, I completely transformed my living room at the beginning of the year by building a faux fireplace, complete with a faux fireplace insert. I’ve been enjoying it every since and now I finally get to decorate it for the holidays! I love hanging stockings on the mantel and thought it would be fun to make my own DIY Christmas stocking holder with stuff I had around the apartment: a styrofoam ball, fur and some scrap wood. I wasn’t sure how it would all turn out but it all came together and I absolutely love it!

Fireplace-mantel-stocking-holder-wide-view

For the base, I used a scrap board of 2” x 3” that I had left over from another project. I covered the ends with iron on wood edging to make them smoother and sanded everything.

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-sanding-the-wood-base

Since I had some white outdoor stain on hand, I used that to finish and protect the wood.

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-painting-the-wood-base

To spell out JOY, I bought the J and the Y from the craft store for about $2 each (on sale) which I painted with some acrylic metallic paint (champagne gold).

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-painting-letters

Since I already had a styrofoam ball and left over fur from my furry ottoman project, I thought it would be fun to make a fur ball for the “O”. 

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-ball-and-fur

I cut strips of the fur and glued sections onto the styrofoam (I used all purpose white glue), overlapping the seams a bit. I experimented with a few different shapes but in the end I just cut small pieces and carefully overlapped the seams to create a seamless look.  It was a bit messy but in the end I was able to cover up the entire ball.

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-cutting-and-gluing-fur

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-gluing-fur

The ball did have one rough spot but I covered it up with a lid from a candle that I had on hand (I used a glue gun to glue it in place). It provides a nice flat surface to secure the ball to the piece of wood.

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-Gluing-cap-on-fur-ball

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-putting-on-base-of-fur-ball

I used removable double sided tape to secure the ball and the letters to the wood base – this way it will be easy for me to change things up next year and do something else to decorate my stocking holder.

Christmas-Stocking-Holder-putting-on-double-sided-tape

Before attaching the letters and the fur ball, I screwed on 2 white hooks that I had on hand. I chose knit stockings that also had fur to keep the fur ball company and I’m in love with how the whole thing turned out! I added some twinkle lights and the wreath I got from Target. 

Fireplace-mantel-Christmas-Stocking-holder-front

The only downside to this project is that the stockings can’t be filled with heavy things as the stocking holder isn’t weighted. You could add some more removable double sided tape to the bottom to keep it in place or you could also drill holes and add fender washers to add some weight. But other than that, I’m happy I decided to make use of that ball and fur –  I had no idea how much joy a fur ball could bring me haha! 

Fireplace-mantel-for-Christmas-side-view