If you like to repair things around your home or apartment, then you need to have some basic tools available in your toolbox. I’m a DIYer and I have my own DIY toolbox with all the necessities. You don’t need to have everything but having these will make the job much simpler. Even things as simple as Velcro can make a job easier. Lisa Hoover wrote a great article which lists all of the DIY uses for Velcro.
“Velcro is one of the handiest tricks around for home improvement and decorating projects. It’s available at big retail stores, small craft stores, and even at some grocery stores. It’s cheap, comes in several different colors, and is available in sheets, squares, strips, and dots of all sizes. Velcro is very strong, yet removes easily from most surfaces (test first in an inconspicuous area). To use, just cut it to the size you need, peel the paper backing off both sides, and stick in place. ” http://www.diylife.com/2007/06/25/inside-the-diy-toolbox-velcro-is-your-friend/
So let’s go ahead and stock the DIY toolbox and don’t forget the Velcro.
Screwdrivers – a great thing to keep handy is a multi-function screwdriver that has several different tips that are stored in the handle. In addition, you should have a set of Phillips and slotted-head screwdrivers and a set of small screwdrivers. Each set will come with different sizes for different jobs.
Hammer – another necessity for the toolbox. I like to keep a large one, 12 ounce, for heavy jobs and smaller one for simple jobs.
Pliers – adjustable pliers which are great for working on plumbing and in tight spots like under sinks and in cabinets.
Wrench – an adjustable wrench for use with nuts and bolts. This is essential in the toolbox since it is used for tightening and assembling.
Level – at least a 10 inch level, preferably longer, is needed for hanging items on walls in order to determine if they are straight. You will need this to hang things such as curtain rods, pictures, shelving, etc.
Ladder – a small utility step ladder is good to keep around but a regular step ladder (8 foot is the preferred) is a necessity in order to reach high places for doing things such as changing light bulbs, painting, even changing curtains. It’s much safe to use a ladder than standing on chairs.
Caulking Gun – this along with a spare tube of caulking is good to have around for those unexpected times when you discover something needs to be sealed such as windows or doors.
Utility Knives – along with extra blades for heavy duty cutting. Make sure to purchase the retracting kind which is much safer.
Hot Glue Gun – great to keep in your toolbox along with glue sticks.
Vise Grips – otherwise known as locking pliers. I use this as a third hand sometimes.
Tape Measure – every home and DIY toolbox needs a good tape measure.
Yard Stick – this is best if it is 36 inch metal yard stick. This will even guide you when cutting a straight line.
Goggles, dust mask and ear protection – always a must for safety and you never know when you may need them.
Drill – this is a must and the cordless are easy to use.
Jig Saw – in my toolbox, this is a must. I have made many things using a jig saw and a piece of wood.
Sponge Paint Brushes – cheap, disposable and easy to reach for when needed for touchups..
Cordless Screwdriver – not a necessity but is nice to use as long as you have it charged.
It a must in my house that I have my own toolbox that no one else touches so that when I find something that needs to be done, I can get right on it. It’s a habit for me to scour the discount stores for tools in search for something new and inexpensive. Many times my husband comes to me for that needed tool that can be only found in my DIY toolbox. Do you like to DIY and have your own toolbox? Go ahead and share it. I might be missing something important.
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One of the things I really enjoy doing is making kitchen window treatments. If this is something you have never attempted to do, then I encourage to take a step and try it out. Everyone seems to spend a lot of their time in the kitchen and by changing the window treatment often, it can really change the look of your kitchen and brighten up the surroundings. You can even add accessories to match. Here is a simple way to sew an easy window treatment to add color and brighten up your kitchen.
First, pick out the material that you want to use. Usually you can find inexpensive material at your local store. You can use a sheer or opaque material. If you going for opaque, don’t forget to take a look at bed sheets. A twin size bed sheet is more than what you will need for the average window. For a basic valance you will need three times the width of the kitchen window for fullness.
Measure from the top of the rod for the length that you need. Usually the length is about 15 inches. Add two inches to the bottom and two inches to each side for the hem. The extra amount needed for the top of the valance is determined by the style you want to achieve and the type of rod you are using. For a regular one inch wide rod, add five inches for the top hem to create a ruffled top. If you are making a tab top valance, add only two inches because you will be adding tabs.
After you have completed your measurements, lay the fabric out on a flat surface. For me, it always ends up being the floor. Mark your measurements with sewing chalk. If you don’t have sewing chalk, you can use your ruler as a guide or use masking tape which comes off easily. Once you have done this, you can go ahead and cut the fabric. Remember and old rule, measure twice and cut once.
Now you are ready to put it together. If you have a sewing machine, a regular straight stitch is all that you will need. You can also use the iron on tape sold in the fabric department instead of a sewing machine. You must first do the each side by folding the fabric l/2 inch and folding again l/2 inch. You will end up with a l/2 inch hem that does not fray. Do this for each side. Use straight pins to keep it in place and sew removing the pins as you go along. If using fabric tape, then just iron each fold. Once the sides are done, go ahead and do the bottom hem repeating the same instructions.
For the top of the valance, fold over l/2 inch of fabric and sew or iron with fabric tape. Now fold over 4 inches and again sew or iron. For a ruffled top, measure down two inches from the top and sew a straight line across the width of the fabric. This will create a two inch pocket for the curtain rod to slide through.
For a tab top valance, repeat the same instructions as you did for the sides and the bottom hem. Then you will need to cut and hem strips of material about 8 inches and length and 3 inches wide to create the tabs. Hem the sides and ends each tab and sew on to the top of the valance. The tabs should be about 4 inches apart.
Now that you have created your own kitchen window treatment, you can use the remainder of the material to make cloth napkins or placemats. With enough material you can even make a matching table cloth. That’s what make this a fun project. Once you have the hang of it, it doesn’t take long and you can have everything in the kitchen match.
If you have some more easy tips to share, go ahead and post below. We love sharing ideas.
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Sometimes, when you look around a room in your home and it can be any room, there seems to be something missing. Many times, a simple flower arrangement can bring the room together and give it the personality that is missing. Usually if I keep looking around one of the rooms in my home and feel that it is just not right, I will take a flower arrangement from another room to see if that is what is needed. It is the one thing that will make it look finished. That’s when I know that I need to get another flower arrangement.
There are many ways that you can use plastic or silk flowers around your home. I have at least one arrangement in each room and no more than two. Here are some unique ways to use silk or plastic flowers around the home.
- Some kitchen cabinets do not go up to the ceiling. Some people tend to use the top as a shelf for kitchen gadgets or to display dishes. Instead, I purchased large silk flowers, about 5 inches in diameter each and the same color as the kitchen. I placed them at the top edge of the cabinets about twelve inches apart and filled in between each flower with green ferns. It really did bring some life into the kitchen.
- If you have picture window or alcove, purchase a five foot or longer swag made with large flowers and place it over the middle of the window.
- Use the top of a china closet or hutch to display flowers. The taller the ceilings, the taller the arrangement. You want the eye to go up to the ceiling. Use tall vases and place long bamboo sticks in them to reach the height that you need. If using a flower arrangement, place it on top of a decorative box to make it taller.
- If you have vaulted ceilings, hang a large silk plant in a corner of the room. Make sure that it takes up at least three to four feet of space from the ceiling down.
- Use six foot or higher trees in corners or behind furniture. Again, these can be placed on boxes (if hidden) or on end tables for a taller effect.
- Use a four foot silk tree with flowers on an end table.
- When using flower arrangements on dining tables, make a statement. Tall flower arrangements tend to be very elegant. Even just a tall vase with bamboo sticks in it is pretty to have on a dining table or end table.
The idea here is that when using flower arrangements, the fuller and taller the arrangement, the less you need to use and the prettier they look. A lot is not always better. Make a statement with just a few but make those few memorable.
How do you use flower arrangements around your home? If you would like to share your ideas or have any questions, please post in the comment section. I always enjoy reading comments.
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We all have those little things that make us want to cringe. One of those things that just does it to me is when I go through all of this work ironing drapes or curtains only to have them look disheveled up by the rod. So I made a major decision to make wooden cornices for my windows. My parents did it way back when and the windows always looked so nice. So now I did it. Turns out that this is another one of today’s window trends.
Measure your window from side to side and add three inches to each side. Now add an additional five inches for the depth of each side (a total of 10 inches) which will give you the total length of wood that you need for making the cornice.
The length of the cornice from top to bottom is up to you. Usually six to eight inches is sufficient.
The top piece which is the shelf of the cornice will be the same measurement as the front piece in length from side to side. The width (from front to wall) should be 5 inches.
Remember to measure twice, cut once.
Do a test run. Put the pieces together to make sure they fit right. It basically will look like a box without a bottom or back attached.
Using wood glue, glue each piece together. Then hammer small wood nails or finishing nails at all joints.
At this point, you can paint it the color of your choice or stain it or you can get creative and paint a design on it. I used a decorative stencil, trace the pattern, and then used a dremel tool to carve it out. After doing this, I stained and polyurethaned the entire piece. You can also add a piece of decorative molding to the top or a medallion in the middle.
Another idea is to place a piece of foam on the board and cover it with fabric. You can use fabric that matches your upholstery or drapery.
I found that the best way to hang these is on a piece of wood. Measure the cornice again from side to side and subtract 6 inches. Cut a small piece of wood (2 x 2 ) the length that you have measured.. Make sure that your drapery hardware (curtain rods) are already in place so that you leave enough room to work with drapes after the cornice has been installed. Place this piece of wood against the wall at least three inches above the drapery hardware and nail to wall beams. Now place the cornice on top of that and nail or screw into the board making sure that the overhang on each side is even.
You can also use “L” brackets, which can be found at any store, to attach the cornice to the wall.
There you have it. It really is easy to do and just makes a window look complete. No more messy tops of curtains or drapes that are buckling on top. Now if they do, who cares?! You won’t be able to see it anymore. That’s why I made wood cornices for every room of my home.
If you have any questions or just want to leave a comment, go ahead right below. I would love to know if you have made cornices already or you are going to try it now.
No-Sew Window Cornice
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