Covering a Skylight – Quickly, Cheaply, and Efficiently

One of the reasons why my husband and I fell in love with our home is the skylights! I’m a huge fan of natural light – I find that the amount of sunshine outside directly influences my mood.

That all said, there are some downsides to sunlights. Most of them are leaky which apparently is a pretty common problem. Also they let in sunlight! Which, duh, but there are some consequences of that we didn’t really think about. It’s wonderful in the living room and it’s even pretty great in my husband’s and my bedroom, it’s magical to look up at the moon at night, but we know it’s going to be a problem in the nursery.

Bright nursery
So cute right?? But so bright! No way can a baby sleep in there! Also so not done, but we’ll get to that.

After a bunch of research looking into how other people deal with their sunlights when they need to block the light, I couldn’t find anything that suited my needs which were:

  • Darkening
  • Easy to remove
  • CHEAP

Finally while we were setting up the crib, I looked up and though, “huh, why am I trying to block the light from in the room when I could block it from between the panes of glass?”

Open skylight

This is what the skylight looks like when it’s open. You can see that it’s fully enclosed with glass above it as well – to be honest I’m not sure why it opens at all. That said, it affords the opportunity to place something to block the light above the opening glass.

Also, yeah, gnarly up there… We scrubbed it clean when we moved in but it definitely needs a fresh coat of paint.

Materials:

  • Large piece of cardboard/foam board
  • X-Acto knife/Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • T-Square or L-Square (if available, if not you can use a sheet of regular paper to help make the right angles)
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes

Step 1: Measure the window

If you look at the window that’s opening down, you’ll notice that it’s framed in such a way that the frame sticks in (marked red) from the frame above (marked blue). This means that you can measure the inside of the upper frame (marked blue) and cut the cardboard to fit that and the edges of the cardboard will be covered by the lower frame (marked red).

Mine measured 36″ x 24″

How to measure the skylight frame

Step 2: Measure the cardboard/Foam board

Cardboard box

This is the box our baby’s mattress came in! I could only use one side, though, because the other side has a seam up the middle.

Making the corner square

This is what the T-Square or L-Square is for. You’ll want to make sure the corners of your cardboard cover are 90 degrees or it won’t fit right. If you don’t have one of these tools, place a piece of paper in the corner and then line the edges of the paper up with a ruler to get that crisp 90.

Taping together two pieces of foamboard

If you’re using foam board, odds are you’re going to need to tape two pieces together. If you do, use masking tape or some sort of paper tape to which paint sticks to well. That said, the light that shines through makes the seam quite visible which you’ll see later. I left my seam visible so that I could have a skylight cover that still let some light shine through, but if you don’t want any light, you could use tin foil to cover the back.

Protip: if you’re buying your foam board at Staples/Walmart/anywhere else, STOP! You can get foam board at the Dollar Tree for a buck a piece! PLUS it’s designed so that you can peel the paper off if you want which is great for things like model planes. I wasted so much money in college before I discovered this! 6 bucks for a piece of foam board? Sheesh!

Dollar Tree

Step 3: Cut out the cover

Cutting with the x-acto

Once you get it all measured, cut it out! I prefer an x-acto and I don’t like using a ruler. My method is to pull a straight line from my shoulder and to only mark the line the first time, cut through the second time. Every time I try to cut all the way through the first time I end up messing it up.

Protip: Don’t measure two covers if you want two just measure one then use the first one as a pattern for the second!

(not so pro)tip: If I don’t have a cutting mat, I’ll cut on a carpet. It’s not exactly a pro move, but if you need a backup plan then here it is! I’ve never managed to press down hard enough to cut the carpet – though I’ve never tried…

Step 4: Paint beautiful things

Do a base layer first, then add prettiness on top. These pictures are from after the base layer – you can see the night sky curling up and I’ll talk about that in a moment. The day sky is on the foam board and the night sky is on the cardboard.

Also, I started painting outside because it was GORGEOUS but the sun kept drying my paint on me! 😂I had to move my operation inside.

Step 5 (probably): Flatten the artwork

Curled up cover

Odds are you’ll suffer some major curling as well, but it’s an easy fix. I had to do this with both my cardboard and foam board covers.

What Not to Do: Stomp on it until it’s flat. It’ll snap or crease!

Grab yourself a cup of clean water with a big clean brush. Flip the work over and generously paint the clean water on, rewetting the surface as you go. As you do this you’ll notice the art get a little more pliable when you gently push down on it. Slowly push the art down as you reapply water until it’s flat, then cover it with some weights. Once the weights are on, give it one more coat of water.

That’s it!

The cardboard filters out almost all sunlight whereas the foam board lets some in.

These are HARD to get pictures of because of the window in front! The look great in the room, though. If you look closely at the first picture of the clouds, you can see where I taped the foam board together. It’s not great, but there isn’t a way around it without purchasing a larger size of foam board and ain’t nobody got money for that.

I’m debating getting some cheap LEDs to mount above the clouds so we can turn them on at night and it becomes an awesome nightlight…

I actually poked some holes in the night sky in hopes that a few pinholes of light would shine through and look like stars! It kinda worked, but I kept the holes pretty tiny so as not to let in too much light so they’re hard to see. If/when I make another one I’ll try some big pinholes for stars!

Overall this was 100% the best solution for me and I hope it works for you too! Happy crafting!!

I hope you enjoyed this DIY – don’t hesitate to let me know if I wasn’t clear on anything and I’m also always up for comments/suggestions!

Warmly,

EGinny

Baby’s First Crocheted Outfit – The Beginner’s Guide

I’m under no illusions that I’m an expert at crochet. In fact, most DIY things I’m able to teach myself with no problem, but I had to find myself a teacher when it came to crochet basics! At this point I can do most of the basic stitches, though I admittedly need to look up how-tos constantly just to remind myself which stitch is which 🤦‍♀️

Even with my meager skills, this set of baby clothes didn’t take me too long and they came out beautifully! Since ya’ll don’t need a muddled-though how-to by a novice, I’m just going to share the tutorial videos I used because I’m sure you’ll find them as wonderful as I did!

Diaper Cover

I started with the diaper cover. Crocheter LovinglyNie is clear and goes slowly. Bonus – the entire pattern is also written out in the caption under the video which I love because once I get my groove on I can just reference the pattern for quick stitch number reminders. The most difficult part was the very end, crocheting around the whole diaper because I struggled to determine which holes I should be stitching into, but I muddled through it and I’m glad I did!

Scratch Mitts

The scratch mitts were next for which I used the tutorial by Last Minute Laura. She is super personable to listen to and is very clear. I love that this pattern was so simple I could almost make the second mitt without even referencing the video again! (Almost)

Beanie/Hat

I started drooling when I found this pattern at Sewrella! There’s a video and written patterns for hats of all sizes! I whipped this out so fast, I may just make myself a matching beanie!

Booties

The booties were super daunting for me which is why I put them off until the end, but honestly I was shocked by how easy they were! I used this video by Croby Patterns and I just discovered that there’s a link under the video for the written pattern! I didn’t even notice when I was making the booties because this tutorial was the absolute perfect speed to work with – slow enough that I could work with it simultaneously yet quick enough that I didn’t feel frustrated with wanting to get onto the next step.

Do you think she knows she’s about to have some competition?

I hope you guys enjoy these tutorials as much as I did! I’ll be checking these guys out next time I’m in need of a new crocheting pattern.

Warmly,

EGinny

Bridal Squad Headbands – DIY and What Not to Do

Remember that friend, Amanda, that I married in high school? I wrote that ridiculous story here. Well she’s getting married for real! I suppose all good things must come to an end… I think us both being married must annul the first marriage, right?

One of her other bridesmaids planned her bachelorette (I get to plan the bridal shower – just wait and see what I’ve got planned there…) but I wanted to throw in a fun DIY to help.

The bridesmaid planning the bachelorette was all about it: headbands!

Back up.

Amanda is a major 80’s lover so part 1 of the bachelorette night was 80’s night at a local bar, then the other part was hiking a mountain.

Headbands that double as sweatbands, get it?

It’s all the rage to make sure that everyone surrounding the bridal party knows who the bride is and who her tribe is, so we figured Amanda would like it and I’d have a fun way to participate in the planning.

So, without further ado, here is an excellent DIY beginning with a strong word of caution.

This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission for anyone who clicks on a link and purchases a product. All product links, affiliate and otherwise, represent my unbiased opinion about the product.

Materials:

  • Headbands – Less than a buck per headband, perfect! Plus I really like these in general. TMI, I sweat a lot when I workout and I love wearing the extra headbands to the gym now.
  • Fabric Paint – You’ll notice that the paint I linked to is a “soft” version which means that the paint doesn’t stick on like hard plastic.
  • Paint brush
  • Scrap paper/newspaper/cardboard
  • Blue take/masking tape
  • Cricut or other vinyl cutter – you could try this DIY by making your own stencil out of card stock. If you do it that way, grab some spray mount like this stuff linked here, and use it to glue the card stock stencil down to the headband before you begin.

STRONG WORD OF CAUTION

While the bridesmaids were very encouraging and said they love the headbands, I regard this project as a fail for myself. See for yourself…

Finished headbands

I was so disappointed when I saw all those blotchy marks! The worst part is that I know I could have prevented it if I’d only tested the paint I’d used on an extra headband before.

This is what I used and I want to make it abundantly clear that I DO NOT DISCOURAGE THE USE OF THE PRODUCT when used correctly.

I’ve used it on cotton shirts and it works like a dream! I think I made three mistakes on this project:

  1. Not testing the paint on the fabric beforehand.
  2. Laying down the paint too thick.
  3. Not letting the paint dry between coats.

I admit it, I was short on time and had to get this done quickly – that’s what my blotchy spots boil down to.

Now that I’ve gotten the how and why of my major mistake out of the way, here’s the diy!

Fabric Spray Paint Headbands

Step 1: Applying the vinyl patterns to the fabric.

Any self-respecting vinyl user will tell you to use transfer tape, but don’t use it here.

…Not that I’m not a self-respecting vinyl cutter… anyways,

Vinyl essentially works by using varying levels of stickiness. The vinyl sticks to the paper backing, but it sticks better to the transfer tape so the paper backing peels off, then it sticks better to the mounting surface so the transfer tape peels off.

That doesn’t work here because vinyl sticks way better to transfer tape than to fabric.

Instead, flip the vinyl over and slowly peel the paper back off, making sure to fold the paper back onto itself as you peel. If you’re slow and careful, you can get the whole vinyl sticker off without losing any of the cut bits, then you can just stick it onto your fabric surface without harming any transfer tape!

Step 2: Weeding

Use a combination of an exacto knife and tweezers to weed out the part of the vinyl you don’t want.

Remember: The part you don’t want is the part you do want! Since you’re essentially making a stencil, peel out the pieces that show where you want the paint to go.

I find that using my exacto blade tip to hold down pieces that I didn’t want coming up is very effective.

If you do accidentally peel up a piece of vinyl that you need, no worries, just stick it back.

Vinyl stuck all over leg

Clever or lazy? I stick the vinyl scraps all over my legs when I work… vinyl sticks well to skin and itself! Then I use duct tape and stick that to the vinyl to get it off my leg. If you’re a non-shaver, I recommend you skip this step, but hey you do you.

Step 3: Prep to Spray Paint

Tape your headband down to a piece of paper to hold it flat and still for the next couple steps, especially if you’re moving pieces around to paint a bunch of different headbands.

Measure around where you need the paint to go and cut a hole out of a piece of cardboard that will allow you to paint what you need, but hide the rest of the fabric.

MISTAKE NOTE: I did this on my nice new dining room table because I figured I could control the paint.

I was wrong.

This can has some serious spray distance and I was washing black off the table for weeks! A) Do this in a place that can get messy and B) cover up any part of the fabric you don’t want painted.

Overspray

You’ve been warned.

Step 4: Spray Paint

THIN layers! Like, a quick breeze of paint then that’s it.

Another helpful tip: Find something to put your cardboard protector on between sprayings. As you paint, it will build up on the cardboard and seep into the hole you made, making a mess on anything you put it on.

Step 5: Wait

See, this is the step I skipped to get those awful paint blotches. Don’t be a me. Don’t be impatient.

The can only says 5 minutes but I’d give it more time.

Step 6: Repeat steps 4 & 5 until you get the desired darkness

That’s it! If you’ve followed my advice on how not to do what I did, you should have some lovely, non-blotchy headbands!

But hey, they did look pretty nice in the hiking photos.

Don’t hesitate to let me know if I wasn’t clear on anything and I’m also always up for comments/suggestions!

Warmly,

EGinny

Custom Build Mudroom Bench – Putting it All Together

This is it guys, the last step is the BEST step because you’re almost done!! So far we’ve made a bench, cushioned it, made some shelves, and now we just need to put it all together!

If you haven’t seen the first three steps in this four part series, check out the links below:

This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission for anyone who clicks on a link and purchases a product. All product links, affiliate and otherwise, represent my unbiased opinion about the product.

Materials

  • Thin wood trim – Icing on the cake.
  • Panel Board Nails – These are great for nailing small things and plus, they’re just really fun to nail.
  • Wood Putty – This stuff is both super cheap and super effective. It is NOT wall putty for drywall, I’ll explain below.
  • Paint – Dealer’s choice, though I recommend something slightly glossier because it cleans better.

Step 1: Trimming

At this point, the bench is done except for putting the chest lid on with the piano hinges and the shelves are up on the wall.

Adding the trim requires a little math. There are a bunch of different ways to do it, but here’s how I calculated where to put the trim. I put up the two pieces of trim that are at the ends of the shelves first. From there, I measured from the corner to the trim on one wall, subtracted the width of the trim I was going to add (two lengths), divided it by 3 ( the number of spaces between the trim) and rounded out the numbers.

For example:

(distance from corner to inside of outermost trim) – (width of trim x 2) / 3 = ?

38″ – (1 5/16″ x 2) / 3 = ?

(38″ – 2.625) / 3 = ?

35.375 / 3 = 11.791667 or about 11.75

I then measured 11.75″ from the corner and put a piece of trim there and measured 11.75″ from the inside of the outermost trim and put a piece of trim there.

After the math was done, this was probably my favorite part of the project! I LOVE hammering in little nails… I’ve always wondered if that was due to this toy I had growing up:

Honestly I went to go get a picture of this to post and thought I MIGHT be able to find an archived image – never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would still be sold!! I’m buying it for every small child in my life.

Anyway, I didn’t mount the bench to the wall. I felt no need to since it’s ridiculously heavy and sturdy. Also, there’s a vent for the cooling system behind it so I didn’t want to permanently cover it up. In fact there’s a little space, about a quarter inch, between the bench and the wall which the cushions cover up nicely.

Originally I was going to add trim around the flat sections of the bench for a little more pizazz, but the trim is so ridiculously expensive for what you get, I couldn’t get myself to do it.

Step 2: Filling

Step 1 of step 2, get yourself some of this glorious muck.

Durham's Rock Hard Water Putty

No one is paying me to say this stuff is a must-have especially at a whopping $1.96 per can and they last a LONG time! It’s a powder and you don’t even need to read the instructions: just pour some of it into a (preferably disposable) cup, add water little by little until you got yourself a paste, and slather it onto any crack that needs filling.

BUT

As I said before, THIS STUFF IS NOT PLASTER FOR FIXING DRYWALLS, although you can totally use it for that. The big difference is written right around the strong man’s legs.

“ROCK HARD”

They are not joking. Unlike with plaster when you can schlub it on and sand off the copious extra, you can’t do that with this stuff – it’ll take forever. Instead, fill the holes/gaps and use a scraper to level it as much as possible, let it dry, then add more if needed so your sanding time is minimal. This stuff really is like sanding rock. That said, for a mudroom bench that gets kicked around a lot, the rock-solid aspect is brilliant. See how I filled a huge chunk in the side of the chest part? If it gets kicked, not harm done. If I filled it will plaster and it got kicked, I’d have a crumbly mess and a new hole.

Let’s review in a nice TL:DR

Durham’s Rock Hard Water PuttyWall Plaster
Use for:
* Things that get kicked around
* Filling wood
DO NOT:
* Overfill the gap/crack or you’ll be sanding for years
Use for:
* Filling holes in drywall
* Delicate areas
DO NOT:
* Use in places that get a lot of love/abuse

If you’ll notice, I use Durham’s Putty on the wall to fill a crack there, but I do so with just a tiny bit of putty and I only use it because I’m too lazy to make up a batch of plaster.

I mixed up steps 2 & 3 a bit when I decided I hadn’t done enough filling after I painted, so I refilled and repainted!

After filling everything then letting it dry, sand it all like crazy!

Step 3: Painting

I’ll try not to be too long-winded here because painting this is just, well, painting.

I went to Home Depot and found their “oopsie” section and chose a color from there. Then I, well I painted. I’m honestly not sure what tips to give here other then do proper prep work (putting down drop-cloths and taping off sections you don’t want painted) and if your bench isn’t bolted down, pull it away from the wall so you can paint the wall way down and paint around to the back side of the bench so you’re not A) missing any parts or B) “gluing” the bench to the wall with paint.

Don’t forget to paint the chest lid!

Step 4: Attaching the Top of the Chest

Place the chest lid exactly where it should be when the chest is closed. Eyeball where you want your hinges to go, then do a quick measurement to make sure they’re equal. Once they’re where you want them, use a sharp pencil to mark the holes where the screws should go. Remove the hinges and drill some pilot holes, then screw the hinges on!

Step 5: That’s It!

Let me know if anything’s confusing/weird/needs clearing up! And as always, please share your DIYs!

Warmly,

EGinny

Custom Built Mudroom Bench – DIY Shelves

If you haven’t seen part 1 of this Mudroom Bench series, click here!

Having a mudroom bench is lovely, but to really make a small mudroom functional, you need to use all of your vertical space. I planned my mudroom to have three levels of storage: Low, with shoes, medium, with jackets, and high, with hats/mittens and jazz.

This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission for anyone who clicks on a link and purchases a product. All product links, affiliate and otherwise, represent my unbiased opinion about the product.

Materials

  • 8″ Common Board – Common board is pretty well priced and 1″ is a good thickness for this project.
  • 6″ Common Board – See above.
  • 2.5″ Screws – These ones!!! Save yourself so much time and stress and just get these buggers. You know me, I’m a cheapskate, but these are so 100% worth it. They self-drill into 2x4s and ply and countersink themselves. HOWEVER, you’ll need to drill pilot holes into the common board used in this project because we’ll be drilling so close to the edges of the wood.
  • 1 5/8″ Screws – Again, these ones!!! See above.
  • Wood glue – Truth be told, I hold no allegiance to any particular wood glue brands, but this one is inexpensive and works perfectly well.
  • Wood Putty – This stuff is both super cheap and super effective.

Step 1: Making 2 “L” Shaped Shelves

The image above shows the piece of wood that will be attached to the wall sitting on top of the shelf bit (that juts out). The line shows how thick the wood I’m screwing it into so that the screws can be inserted right into the middle of the board.

The top line shown above is the line I made marking the thickness of the wood and the bottom line is the exact center from the edge of the board to the top line. The center line is where to drill the screws!

Oh, also I broke a drill bit in the wood, so that’s in my shelf forever.

Step 2: Putting the 2 “L” Shaped Shelves into a “V”

Are the letters helping? I don’t think they’re helping.

One shelf is pointing toward the bottom left, the other to the bottom right, and in the middle is a small piece of wood bridging the gap between the two wall boards.

Some annotations might help.

Step 3: Making the Braces

Sub Steps in Order of Images Above:

  1. Print out a pretty, squiggly line with one side the length of the wall mount and one side the length of the shelf.
  2. Cut the squiggly line out of wood TERRIBLY. Twice. And I mean REALLY poorly on both.
  3. Clamp the two squigglies together and sand them together so at least they look the same and can totally fool the unsuspecting eye.

My jerry-rigged setup for clamping the shelf down to I could screw on the brace and sand it down.

Step 4: Attaching this Bad Boy to the Wall

If you have a bit of an older home like I do, odds are you’ve got some of these lovely trimmings in the corner. They’re made out of such soft wood, you can just use a hammer to tap a chisel into it and it’ll eventually just slice out giving you a nice clean corner in which to install your shelf.

These next three steps are the easiest way to install your shelf. Measure where you want the screws to be (I chose a zig-zag pattern, six screws per wall mount) then screw some pilot holes.

Put the shelf on the wall where you want it (make sure to level it!) and take something pointy like an awl or a small screwdriver and push it into the holes in the shelf, hard. This will make marks on the wall.

Take the shelf off the wall and drill pilot holes into the wall where the marks you just made are. Add drywall anchors if needed.

Screw all of the screws into the shelf until they just poke out of the back a tiny bit. Put the shelf back on the wall and screw the screws the rest of the way in!

Step 5: Spackle and Paint

Ta-dah! Shelf! All that’s left to do is smear some of that wood putty into any holes, sand the putty down, then paint it!

I’ll go into more of that later since I did the bench and shelves all at once.

Until then, happy woodworking!

Warmly,

EGinny

Custom Built Mudroom Bench – On a DIYer’s Budget and Skill

Original mudroom corner

I decided I was done with this hot mess. There was nowhere to put anything, the coats were hanging on random screws in the wall, and there was nothing to sit on which made putting on shoes a balancing act I didn’t excel at. Plus, our Northeast winter was looming around the corner and with it to come snow boots, huge jackets, and hats, gloves, scarves, on and on.

Yeah, it was time for an upgrade.

This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission for anyone who clicks on a link and purchases a product. All product links, affiliate and otherwise, represent my unbiased opinion about the product.

As most of my DIY projects do, this one started as a dream for a better world…

Vector image of the bench plans
I dreamt of a functional Mudroom bench

I created this on Adobe Illustrator which is a program I personally can’t live without. It’s entirely to scale and includes important details like where the floor vent is (a moot point, I learned, since it’s no longer hooked up to anything). It took me ages to make but I wanted to have everything fully fleshed out before beginning.

And since this is a fail blog, I suppose I should also point this out…

Can you spot the differences? The first one I made out of 2x4s – like literally, 2″ by 4″ beams. I nearly finished the design when I thought, “you know, I should just made sure a 2×4 is actually 2 inches by 4 inches.”

Spoiler alert: it’s not.

2x4s are ACTUALLY 1.5″x3.5″ – so I had to redo the whole thing with new measurements.

Next step was material gathering!

Note: If anyone would like to know the dimensions, drop me a note, I’m happy to share! For the time being though, I’m going to share the process so you can determine your own dimensions right for your home.

Materials

  • 2x4s – these are the cheapest and sturdiest for framing
  • Plywood – I bought the cheapest stuff Home Depot had since A: I’m broke and B: I was gonna paint it anyway.
  • 2.5″ Screws – These ones!!! Save yourself so much time and stress and just get these buggers. You know me, I’m a cheapskate, but these are so 100% worth it. They self-drill into 2x4s and ply and countersink themselves.
  • 1 5/8″ Screws – Again, these ones!!! See above.
  • Wood glue – Truth be told, I hold no allegiance to any particular wood glue brands, but this one is inexpensive and works perfectly well.
  • Thin wood trim – Icing on the cake.
  • Panel Board Nails – These are great for nailing small things and plus, they’re just really fun to nail.
  • Wood Putty – This stuff is both super cheap and super effective.

Framing

2x4s
Home Depot haul #1

My car isn’t exactly a pickup truck, so I had to get a few cuts done at the store. This is two 8′ pieces and eight 2′ pieces. I couldn’t resist the 2′ pieces because I figured I could use them for the height of the bench and not have to cut them at all – 8 pieces perfectly the same length that I didn’t have to cut! BUT. Read on to see how I botched that up 🙃

Framed bench

BOOM. Finished framing. Actually this part was the easiest in the whole project – and the most fun because it came together so quickly! With the screws I mentioned above, I didn’t need to drill any pilot holes or anything either.

I used a jig saw to cut the 2x4s like the one below.

Woodworkers reading this are definitely cringing. I don’t recommend this, but it was what I had and hey, it worked.

If you have one, use a chop saw or a circular saw to cut the 2x4s.

Putting on the Plywood

Plywood plans

This is a crappy picture I took on my phone of my computer showing me what I needed to buy for plywood. It was surprisingly effective. Since the plywood came in 4’x8′ sheets, I had to have them cut a lot. Home Depot cuts for free, though!! Aaaand…

Womp. This pictures shows that my plywood piece is about 4″ too short. Well, technically my frame is 4″ too tall. According to my plans, the plywood is cut correctly, but I got so starry-eyed when I saw the 2′ 2x4s that I completely forgot that I only made the bench 20″ tall! It was way cheaper and easier to cut the bench frame down, so I decided to do that. Time to take the vertical 2x4s off and cut them all down.

Cutting the height down to size

Pro Tip: Use whatever you’re cutting to, to measure. Measuring tapes lie but patterns don’t. The picture above shows me lining one of the vertical beams up with the height of the plywood.

Of course, Home Depot didn’t cut ALL the wood, so I used a jig saw to cut the rest of the pieces out of the plywood using the bench frame as makeshift sawhorses.

Side note rant: why on earth can’t all saws just get their own names?? At least give them last names or something! I’ve mentioned two saws in this post so far and they’re super different but have the same name. I guess I could call the first one a “table jig saw” and the other one a “hand jig saw”, but wouldn’t it just be easier if they just had completely different names??

Update: Apparently the table jig saw is ALSO called a scroll saw. I henceforth ban the name “jig saw” from being used for a table jig saw.

Anyway. Moving on.

Jig saws aren’t the straightest shooters if you’re not an expert (like I’m not) so you’ll probably have to sand down some bits. The straightest line you can get is with the thin edge of a ruler. Lay it on the edge you need to flatten, then mark where the bumps pop up. Sand down the bumps and voila! Flatter! This is a furniture project, though, so little bumps are okay – we’ll fix them later.

It’s worth noting that technically, a better tool than the jig saw for cutting the plywood would be a circular saw. Circular saws cut straighter because the blade is longer, so to speak. Personally, I find the circular saw way more intimidating than the jig saw so I opted for more work sanding with better ease of cutting for my nerves.

Screwing it All Together

Screwing on the plywood

Once all of your plywood pieces are cut out, it’s time to screw them into the frame! The plywood is a bit harder than the 2x4s, but all I had to do was give the screws a swift hit with a hammer to stick them in, then they drilled in no problem.

Woot! All screwed together!!

But since I’ve gone like, a whole 10 sentences without a fail, I guess it’s time for another one.

My screws were too long. I didn’t have 1 5/8″ screws so I used 2″ screws but they popped out. I unscrewed every 2″ nail that was popping out and switched it with a 1 5/8″ screw later – I had to. Little, nasty, scratchy bits sticking out aren’t ideal.

Sanding Like CRAZY

Time for a TON of sanding! Make everything nice and flat. I adore this old sander I got from my gramps – it has a trigger rather than an on/off switch for better control and with a course grit, this baby can take off some crazy dust.

Product advertisement!

If you don’t have this, follow this link and buy some. Of all people, my gram introduced me to this stuff. It’s SO CHEAP and coming from someone who always has at least three cuts on her hands at any given time, it’s a necessity. It just acts like skin, moves with you, and doesn’t come off in the shower/sink. I usually put it over bandaids for some extra hold power.

No one likes to get blood on their work – it’s hard to get off.

Fixing Split Wood

Split plywood is annoying, but easily fixable. Just fill the split with wood and clamp it down. Be careful not to clamp TOO tightly and squeeze all of the glue out, though.

Shoe Shelves

To make the shoe shelves, I glued one layer of dividers down, glued down a shelf, rinse and repeat. These shelves bear virtually no weight, so glue should be enough to keep them sturdy.

Of course, it was impossible to get the dividers to stand up perfectly, this made me cringe.

But art truly is all about turning mistakes into successes. I got thin wood to nail over the edges (using panel board nails) and make it look nice.

Fixing holes (Wood’s Fault, Your Fault, Who Cares?)

This stuff is a MUST for every DIYer. It’s extraordinarily cheap, you just mix the powder with some water until you get a paste, so the powder lasts forever. This is great for wood pieces like this because as the can says, it’s “rock hard”. Try not to pile it on too thickly because unlike plaster wall fillers, it’s difficult to sand down. However also unlike plaster wall fillers, it can withstand a lot of abuse so you don’t need to worry about your bench getting kicked around.

There she is! One (mostly) finished bench! This picture is pre-puttying and pre-painting of course, that stuff had to wait until after I made the shelves. It’s also pre-chest-lidded (that makes sense, right?) I had already cut a piece of plywood that fit the top of the chest, then I measured about 4″ of a long side and cut it as carefully as I could. You can see the thin piece of ply on the chest against the wall, that is where I will attach 1/2 of the piano hinges, the other half will be attached to the chest top which I’ll attack after everything’s painted.

I hope you enjoyed part one of my mudroom bench series! Once I finish the next part I’ll link it here.

Don’t hesitate to let me know if I wasn’t clear on anything and I’m also always up for comments/suggestions! Even though my bench is done, I’ll surely be woodworking again and other DIYers can always benefit from more insight.

Warmly,

EGinny

Slippery and Sticky – The Miserable Combo of Removing a Carpet from a Hardwood Floor

This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission for anyone who clicks on a link and purchases a product. All product links, affiliate and otherwise, represent my unbiased opinion about the product.

Tweet, "baby boomers blame millennials for everything BUT WHO PUT CARPET OVER ALL THESE HARDWOOD FLOORS PATRICIA"
This.

I totally get it that styles change, but I don’t get how it’s possible to not LOVE hardwood floors! I have pretty bad allergies so carpets are my kryptonite, but even if that weren’t an issue, I love how easy they are to keep clean and how versatile they are! Heck, even if I decide I’m not about wood floors anymore, I can throw a carpet down – I can’t throw a wood floor over a carpet.

Plus, and I can’t stress this enough, wood floors don’t smell. They CAN I guess since they’re semi-porous, but not like carpet. When my husband and I bought our new house, every time we walked in we were struck by an awful odor which we eventually determined to be the old carpet. It had to go!

We peeled up one corner with fingers crossed and…

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There she is: the elusive hardwood floor

Woot! Hardwood!!

Now’s the easy part, right? Pull up the carpet, give the new floor a quick wash, and pull up any carpet tacks left over, easy!

My mother and I decided to tackle this project while my husband was in Canada on business, so the two of us

gingerly peeled

no that’s not right,

carefully tugged

that’s not right either…

FORCEFULLY MUSCLED a corner of the carpet up.

That’s right about when we realized this wasn’t going to be as easy as we’d hoped.

Like many carpets, this one was completely glued down. Not only did we have to battle the carpet to get it up, but then we had to battle the floor itself trying to make it walkable.

So, for those of you smart enough to do your research FIRST and not get stuck in a way stickier mess than you’d intended, here’s how we de-carpeted our mudroom.

before-and-after-mudroom-33
The ONLY difference between these two rooms is the missing carpet and the new rug for under the washer and dryer.

First, gather your materials:

  • Goo Gone – I learned a thing: there are different strengths of Goo Gone! Get the Pro Strength, and get a lot. You know how much you’re thinking right now? Get more. Besides, even if you don’t need it all it’s not like it won’t get used eventually.
  • Wallpaper scraper – THIS ONE!!! And just buy it on Amazon – they’re not sold anywhere else, I’ve looked. The only reason I had one is because my grandmother bought it a long, long time ago and we happened to find it. The one I linked is the most ergonomic design and I can’t for the life of me figure out why they’re not everywhere. Scraping up paint and glue is exhausting and really hard on the wrists. I can honestly say that my mother and I wouldn’t have been able to do this project in a weekend without this tool. 
  • Other scrapers – Regular metal scrapers work well for some things, too. We tried the plastic ones but they were way too weak to be helpful.
  • Razors – Just your regular, run-of-the-mill razors can be helpful to have on hand for tougher sticky things.
  • Utility knife – bonus, this comes with razor blades so you don’t need to buy more!
  • Scrub brush – This is perfect because you can just toss in the trash it when you’re done and you’re only out a dollar!
  • Scrub pad – This one has a handle so I highly recommend it. Like the scrub brush: buy, use, toss.
  • Junk Towels or rags – If you don’t have any junk towels, get yourself some cheap shop rags. You’ll need paper towels too but don’t rely on them!
  • Paper towels – I’ve got these guys on a monthly delivery with Amazon. I did my research, these are an excellent price!
  • A bucket – preferably a bucket you can throw out at the end of the project like the one linked here.
  • Krud Kutter – or any other grease cutting cleaner.
  • Plastic drop cloths – Waterproof is important.
  • Some tools – Just pull out your toolbox and keep it nearby. Some things we needed were a hammer to pull out the nails in the threshold covers and a flathead screwdriver to pry up the carpet tack strips in the doorways.

STEP 1: Pulling up the carpet

To get the carpet up, you’re gonna need some muscle. My mother and I would both pull, then she’d lightly tug it as I cut chunks off with the utility knife. We ended up with about 4 chunks of carpet in the end. 

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The picture is super blurry because I was trying to take it fast! We had to strain to keep the rug taut enough for a good cut.

Mom tripped onto the gooey wood floor and her socks immediately stuck so when she stumbled back, she stumbled right out of them!

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Not sure if the advice here is TO wear socks or NOT to wear socks…

One corner up!

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See the pup in the bottom righthand corner? Don’t let them get so close! She wandered onto the wood while we were focused on other things and cried as she unstuck herself to get back on the carpet… She spent the rest of the time locked in another room.

STEP 2: Goo Gone time!!

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At this point you have two options: spray the Goo Gone onto the wood in MASSIVE amounts then immediately begin to scrape and be done in a half hour, 

or,

spray the Goo Gone onto the wood in MASSIVE amounts then wait 15 minutes before you scrape, and still be done in a half hour.

Basically, be impatient and work much harder or be patient and reap the benefits.

Trust me – my mother and I tried both ways and we learned to be very, very patient.

Will Goo Gone ruin hardwood floors??

We did a lot of research on this (worried about the same thing) and everyone seemed to have roughly the same conclusion: it’s the best option. You might end up marring the finish, but the hardwood has been sitting under carpet for years anyway so the Goo Gone won’t damage it any more than it already is. We opted not to leave a thick coat of Goo Gone overnight, but we did just do a light wiping at the end of the day and leave a Goo Gone film on the floor overnight and it didn’t hurt anything.

STEP 3: Grossness layer one

20190928_195805
GROSS

This is layer one of what we scraped off the floor. It’s a mixture (we think) of carpet glue, Goo Gone, carpet padding, and probably some cat hair.

Again, that’s layer one.

STEP 4: Goo Gone time again!!

Yup, spray down that floor again and wait another 15ish minutes.

STEP 5: Grossness layer two

This is a two part step – one part scrub brush and one part scrub pad. These two work well together because the brush gets up bigger junk while the pad gets the smaller junk. 

Also have your razor blades and wallpaper scraper on hand. Scrub each section with the scrub brush, then go over it with the scraper again, and finish off with the scrub pad. By this point the floor should feel just kinda slippery, not sticky. If there’s sticky junk then scrape or brush it away!

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20190929_170717
See all this paint, too? The Goo Gone with scrubbers and razor took all that off!

STEP 6: Wash off the yuck!

Mix some Krud Kutter in some hot water and wash the floor with some rags. We tried sponges but they just spread the goo around so we don’t recommend it.

20190929_190223.jpg

Tips, Tricks, and Warnings:

  • Wear ruinable clothing. This may go without saying, but expect your clothes to get ruined with glue, Goo Gone, and even the potential razor blade scrape if your shirt is baggy…
  • Use a towel as a knee pad. Not only is hardwood not knee-friendly, but you can also use the towel so that you can kneel on the wood when it’s gross without grossing up your knees, meaning you don’t have to take a bunch of knee-cleaning breaks. 
  • Spread the tarp out in the hall/next room over and just toss gunky stuff onto it as you go. We made the mistake of using a sheet (not waterproof) and ended up having to clean the hall after.
  • Have paper towels on hand to clean off your scrapers as you go. If there’s gunk on your scraper, you’re just spreading the mess around. Give it a good wipe every once in a while.
  • DO NOT wash the rags/towels in your washing machine! Goo Gone is oil based so it will gunk up your washer like crazy and do even worse damage to the parts you don’t see (the pipes). Even if you think the towels aren’t too gross, wash them outside with Dawn soap and a hose BEFORE throwing them into your washer. 
  • DO NOT wash your tools in your sink/bathtub! Re: above. The massive amounts of Goo Gone will ruin your drains. Wash them in a bucket outside with Dawn or better yet, throw them out! At the end of this project, my incredibly frugal mother and I threw out the bucket, a bunch of razors, the scrub brush, the scrub pad, and a utility knife – they just weren’t worth cleaning.
  • Vacuum the rug first. We thought, “eh, why vacuum if we’re just gonna tear the rug up anyway?” Because then the dirt will get in the glue and you’ll be scraping up chunks of dirt with your glue, that’s why. Gross.
  • If you’re frustrated, spray with Goo Gone and walk away. 9 times out of 10 if we couldn’t get a spot of glue up, we just hadn’t let it soak in Goo Gone for long enough.
  • Get this wallpaper scraper. I know I made a big deal out of this in the materials list, but I’m gonna do it again. It is so, so worth it. I am 100% not getting paid to tell you that we couldn’t have done this project without this scraper.

20191001_175244-1I’m so in love with my new hardwood floor I may marry it. It’s not perfect in the least, though. Actually as we peeled back the carpet, we theorized that the reason it was carpeted in the first place is due to a bad refinishing job. If you look closely in the sun glares, you can see that it’s a bit wavy and under the radiator the wood has been sanded about 1/8″ down from its original height. Plus the floor is stained a honey color that doesn’t match the rest of the house… but only my parents, husband, and I will notice that stuff, so I don’t care.

My wrists killed me for a week but it was worth it.

If you pull up a carpet in your house, let me know how it goes!

And keep an eye out: now that the gross carpet is gone, I have big plans for this room…

Warmly,

EGinny

$4 Decorating at the Dollar Tree: Autumn Candles

Looking to level-up your decor with a project that helps you flex your creative muscle without breaking the bank or sacrificing all your free time? Here’s a quick, easy, cheap project just for you!

Halloween Candles_5

I got all of this at the Dollar Tree:

  • Two glass jars – these are definitely seasonal. They have a bunch of different colors, too!
  • A 2-pack of tapered candles – again, there are a bunch of different colors.
  • Popcorn – in a bag like this NOT a microwavable one! The last thing you want for this is buttery, salty popcorn kernels…
  • Two Dixie cups – I had these in my bathroom. Any cups will work as long as they can fit in the jars you chose and don’t quite reach the rim of it. You could also cut down larger paper/plastic/styrofoam cups.
  • An exacto knife – if you don’t have one, get one! Every crafter should own one. That said, a regular knife or a sharp pair of scissors will work in a pinch.

Total material cost: 4 bucks – heck yeah.

Halloween Candles_41. Cut a hole in the bottom or each dixie cup the same size as the diameter of the candle. I marked it with a pen, first. If you only have a knife, you should be able to simply cut an X in the top and slide the candle into it, but it won’t hold quite as well.Halloween Candles_32. Place the dixie cup with the candle in it into the jar and fill the jar with popcorn. The popcorn will help keep the candle upright and the dixie cup will help take up some space in the jar so you don’t need quite so many kernels. I used about 2/3 of the popcorn bag for this whole project. Halloween Candles_1

3. … actually that’s it. Honestly I planned to get a clear glass jar and some ribbon to decorate these myself, but I found the pre-decorated jars instead and I just couldn’t pass them up! They’re so pretty and festive!

Easy 2 -step DIY for making some inexpensive autumn decor!

Honestly the best part of having my own house is getting to decorate it! Plus I don’t have 50 years worth of decorations stocked up like my parents (as people tend to when they’ve been decorating for many holidays over the years) so we kinda need decorations, too!

I hope you also enjoy this picture of my entirely monochromatic dining room… we’re planning to paint that soon 😉

Warmly,

EGinny

Why I will Set my Children up for Failure

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

When I was young, I saw an episode of the cartoon Jimmy Neutron where he invents a purple mist that tastes good. I thought, why isn’t that a thing?? Delicious air? Heck yeah! I set to work filling a spray bottle with some sugar water (no other flavors, I figured I’d keep it simple in the beginning) and proceeded to spray it into the air in the kitchen over and over and over again to see when I’d added enough sugar to the bottle to be able to taste it. 

Now, some of you probably see coming what’s going to happen next, I, however, did not. 

After about 20 minutes of spraying sugar water into the air so that it would land on me, I started to notice my skin getting tighter… and my feet sticking to the floor… and that’s when my mother walked in the door.

Tired from her day at work and running my siblings and I around to our extracurriculars, she smiled wearily, grabbed the mop, and helped me clean the sticky kitchen.

When I was young, I liked to cook off and on. I say “off and on” because I liked to cook NEW things, but making something I’d made before bored me. It happened to be one of the few nights when my mother wouldn’t be home, so being the dutiful daughter that I was, I offered to cook dinner. Well I knew that I liked macaroni and cheese with meat and veggies mixed in, so I decided to try a version of that. I made angel hair pasta with peas, corn, carrots, and slices of hot dog. 

I loved it! My father, who has never liked his flavors mixed, smiled and ate every. last. Bite.

When I was young, I loved to make clothing. I liked sewing, sure, but I would make clothing using hot glue, thread, wire, cloth, newspaper, anything I could get my hands on. One day I decided that I wanted to make something truly extravagant. I dug through the fabric bin and found the most beautiful snow-white silk (okay, probably some ratty, old satin my mom had laying around) and the perfect piece of lace to match. I sewed the silk into a skirt but before gathering it, I sewed the lace onto the front. When it was done, I marched upstairs to show my mom. Her eyes flashed with shock in such an instant that I didn’t even notice, then she told me it looked beautiful, gave me a tip to keep the fabric from fraying, and I was on my merry way. It wasn’t until years later that I learned I’d inadvertently grabbed her lace dresser runner from a storage box, NOT a fabric scrap box, and in that split second she had to decide whether to reprimand me for something I’d worked so hard on, or praise me. 

We dug the skirt up again recently. Apparently I also thought that bigger, longer skirts were fancier

READER POLL! I couldn’t choose which of the three stories I should start this article with, thoughts?

They all illustrate my point in this post: I tried a lot of different things. I tried a lot of different things and I failed at a lot of them. I’d say my success rate was somewhere in the range of 20-40%. Even if I were exceptionally talented (BIG if) it’s not possible to try so many things and always be good at them! 

Failing never really bothered me, though, and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out why that is.

Actually, I never thought about it at all until I became a teacher. Now I sit in a classroom holding a piece of tape in one hand and two paper cups in the other, wondering why it is that I can’t seem to convince my student to take the cups and tape them together. 

He keeps looking away and fidgeting, he says he doesn’t know if that’s REALLY how he wants them taped, he asks if I can just tape it for him. 

And he’s not the only one.

I’m constantly amazed by the number of students I have who won’t try something out of fear of failing. They’ll ask me to do it for them, they’ll get upset and even cry if it doesn’t come together the way they think it should, or they’ll just sit and do nothing except wait for class to be over. What I’m seeing is a bunch of students who are too stressed to try. They’re afraid they’ll do something the wrong way and if they try and fail (something as simple as taping a popsicle stick to the wrong side so the catapult won’t work) they practically go catatonic. 

There are many reasons why kids can fear failing and I’m no psychologist so I don’t pretend to know them all, but I do know that the generation in which I grew up seems to be drastically different from the one upcoming.

When I was growing up, I failed a lot and that was okay. I think about the adults in my life who molded me into who I am and I know they have a lot to do with my success at failing. 

There seems to be two main reasons for a child becoming afraid to fail:

  1. A child is not allowed to fail by way of everything s/he does is a success no matter what.
    Many people are now starting to recognize the detriments of the “participation trophy” generation – this is one of them. If you’re a child and whenever you do something, adults are telling you that you’re amazing and successful, how can you not worry about the one time when you’re not successful? What should you expect? How will the adults react? It’s like when you’re playing a game with a winning streak: you know it can’t last forever so each play you’re more and more fearful of failing. 
    Instead, we should be teaching kids that they will fail and that’s okay. You didn’t win the soccer game today, the other team did, but that’s okay and you’ll get ’em next time! You didn’t tape your project together correctly, but that’s fine and I’ll help you fix it. 
  2. A child is not allowed to fail by way of punishment. For this second reason, I think back to my childhood specifically – why was I so okay with failing? Why did I never give trying something a second thought? To answer this question I reached back into my college psychology classes and pulled out Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

My parents managed to raise some dang actualized kids. The top tier of this pyramid is “achieving one’s full potential, including creative activities”. Essentially, this post is about that top tier – feeling able to try new things, often creatively. 

Of the four bottom tiers, two are important, but the other two are directly related to trying new things. Relating to my own childhood, I had all of the first tier taken care of. I was lucky enough to have the basics: food and water and jazz. Jumping up to the third tier, I also always felt loved and accepted by my family. 

Jumping up again to the fourth tier, we start getting into the tiers that are directly related to trying new things. When it came to my esteem needs, I had enough successes to have good self-esteem. I tried a LOT of things, so some of them were bound to be successes if only per the Law of Truly Large Numbers. Then when I did have successes, even little ones, my family praised me and encouraged me on. Without that positive reinforcement, I’m not sure that I’d have created so often. Having that support was integral for little me flexing my creative muscles.

Jumping back down to the second tier, I always felt safe. If I messed up or did something wrong, I never worried I’d get hit or yelled at. I got a bunch of “stern talking to”s sure, but I was never afraid of repercussions for things that I wasn’t doing maliciously. I think back to that skirt I made with my mother’s nice dresser runner – she could have yelled at me, put me in a time-out, and seam-ripped it right off the skirt I’d made,  but she didn’t. If she had, I would have avoided the craft room for weeks, months, out of fear of using something else that I didn’t know I shouldn’t use. Feeling safe and secure doesn’t just mean that you don’t have to worry about being attacked, it means feeling safe to try new things without fear of lash-back for failing or for being wrong. If my mother had yelled at me for using that runner, I wouldn’t have feared her, but I would have feared making something new again. I wouldn’t have felt safe to do so.

When I say that I intend to set my children up for failure, it’s the honest truth. Failure is important – it’s how we learn and grow as people. I want my children to recognize that failure is an option and if it happens, that’s not a bad thing. Failing is always an option, refusing to try is not.

Warmly,

EGinny

Further reading:

Keeping Your Drains Clean with Almost No Effort: A Dollar Store DIY

The Problem:

Ew.

I’ve always lived with at least one other luxuriously haired female, so post-shower there’s at least this big of a nasty nest. 

The Solution:

A new shower accessory to be able to easily pick up the hair that’s keeping your shower water from draining

I’d argue that picking up matted, soapy, goopy hair from the drain is akin to picking the food remains out of a kitchen sink with no garbage disposal. Gross.

Step 1:

Remove the label from your bottle. Goo Gone!! I love this stuff. Just rub it onto whatever’s gooey and it will come off! If it’s not working, let it sit for a bit and it will work. It’s really mild so you can get it all over your hands no problem (some dish soap cleans it off). Fun fact: back in fourth grade I managed to work a ton of tree sap into my hair (don’t ask, I was a wild child) but after shampooing my hair with this awesome stuff, I got to keep my hair.

Step 2:

Cut the top off. I used an exacto knife, pressing in gently to I could control it better for the first round, then used the channel I made to push the blade in harder and get a cleaner cut. Once it’s cut out, sand it down until it’s nice and flat. To make a nice finish, take your lighter to it, waving it over the cut plastic quickly to melt the sanded bits until they’re smooth. I’ll go over that a bit more later.

Step 3:

When you look at your bottle, you’ll see two seams, one that goes down either side of the bottle. Those are the parting lines from manufacturing, but they work as great guides now! Measuring from the hole in the top that you just cut and down the seam, mark out three inches. Don’t worry about getting too much sharpie on it, we’ll clean that off later. The second two measurements will go from that same hole, but down the front and the back and will be .75”. If your bottle is different than mine you might need to fudge those numbers.

Step 4:

Connect the marks you just made as depicted below (the top is already cut off). Again, don’t worry about getting sharpie everywhere, we’ll get it off later. You’ll want to start with an exacto knife because you don’t want to damage the top or bottom piece, but once you can get your scissors in there, I found them to be an easier option.

Getting Nice Edges

Simply take some sandpaper to the rough edge until the curve is how you like it, then make quick passes under it with a lighter. Holding the lighter under it will melt the edges quickly, so just let the flame kiss the edge before pulling it back out.

Step 4:

Cut the “holder” half into the shape you like. I made two different holders because I wasn’t sure which I preferred, so I’ll give you the option to make your own choice!

If you want to show the tweezers like this…

Simply extend one of the drooping sides all the way around the other side in a large curve. I like this one because I thought the curves of the tweezers and the curve of the holder’s droop looked kind of artsy.

If you want to hide the tweezers like this…

Put the tweezers into the holder then hold it up to a light source. Put your finger down until it touches the top of the tweezers and mark where that is. Extend that mark in a straight line across the front and then up to the top in a small curve. I like this one because it totally hides their tweezers, concealing what it does and the grossness it holds.

Step 6:

If you just bought the suction cups, you can definitely fudge this. However if you bought them on something like I did, you can use the other product to help you on this next step. See how the suction cups were attached with that snowman shaped hole? We’re gonna do that on our hair holder. 

To get the shape, I did a rubbing just like we used to do in grade school! Any colored pencil/graphite pencil (mechanicals will work, but are more difficult) will work for this.

Cut out the shape and mark around where you want it on the holder. Make sure the smaller circle is on top! Then cut out the shape.

Step 7:

Mark where you want some drain holes on the bottom. Heat up your soldering iron and simply poke it through! Slow and steady wins the race here guys, give the heat time to melt the plastic, don’t shove it through too hard.

And those melted rings you have when you’re done? An exacto takes those off nicely.

My Dirty Little Secret:

I took this picture toward the end of the project, but see that big ugly hole? That was my first attempt to use a dremmel to make the holes. The plastic was too slippery and there was nowhere good to hold it so it got caught and the drill bit ate up the plastic… not so pretty! The soldering iron was much easier and safer!

Getting off extra sharpie and burn marks

LOOK AT THIS MAGIC, Goo Gone guys, it’s a beautiful thing! Just dab a bit on a paper towel and rub off the gunk.

Step 8:

Make some hot glue gun designs on the sides of the tweezers for some grip, showers are slippery! The put some glue on the inside of the tweezers so it can help grip the hair as well.

Step 9:

Let’s decorate! I used a marbling technique I’ll show you here.

This is where you’ll use the saran wrap covered bowl (to keep the bowl from getting ruined) along with a few different nail polish colors (dealer’s choice).

Fill the bowl with some room temperature water, then dump little bits of nail polish into it. If the water is too hot or too cold, the nail polish will dry quicker. If you’ve ever done your nails this way and want to use a toothpick to make some cool designs, it will work beautifully here! I opted to simply do the nail polish blotches which come out looking kind of like marble. 

Simply dip your holder into the water at an angle, then pull it back out, that’s it! It will take some time to dry, but not too long.

The holes you just made will probably be coated in nail polish, but a toothpick or pin will clean them out nicely.

Now you can clean up that nasty hair without even having to touch it! And before your family yells at you… again…

Warmly,

EGinny