Reader Taj and his wife just built their own garden shed using reclaimed materials and it’s great! What an inspiration. Taj says:
“The shed’s about 6×8 — smaller than what you’re building, but big enough for our needs. We both really like the weathered look of the old fence boards as ‘siding’ combined with the old French doors we found free on Craigslist. It fits with the rest of what we’ve done in the back so far — it looks old and comfortable to us. Neither of us like the ‘manicured garden’ look; we like it a little more wild and natural.
“In addition to re-using the fence materials, the floor used to be the outdoor landing off our back door, which I tore off to excavate the patio area. Pulling out all the nails and reassembling it to use as the floor was…slow going. I also ended up building the shed almost entirely with hand tools as buying new power tools would have exceeded our budget. Before we moved in here, we didn’t have a need for a circular saw or nail gun, though, boy, they would have made it a much faster project! The next step is a ramp out of still more scrap lumber, and then installing pegboard and shelves — more scrap — so we can organize the inside.
One bit of advice on building the shed: if you have to buy some lumber, make sure it’s really dry.”
Taj, thanks so much for sharing! I can only hope ours turns out as well as yours. –Mary T.
Who knows why sometimes you can get obsessed with the silliest things. That was the case with the SinkTastic Strainer & Stopper I spied at a friend’s house back in March. The glitter! The slightly yellowed resin! (It’s not quite as bright in person as it looks in the photo.) There was something about it that looked straight out of the antique kitchen fixtures of my youth. Plus the functionality of the thing — not only did it look cool, it was a much better way to open and close the drain than the crappy, never-quite-fit-right rubber and metal strainers I was using. The problem was, my friend couldn’t remember what it was called. She got hers at a Thriftway, but we couldn’t find them there. It wasn’t until this past Friday that my sharp-eyed husband saw them at Bed Bath & Beyond. A mere $5.99 later, it was ours. I’m already using and loving it. You can get them online at Amazon.com in several colors, but you’re going to pay a little more for them there. Bed Bath doesn’t seem to have them in their online store, but perhaps you’ll find one at a store near you. –Mary T.
This post is sponsored by Lowe’s.
We firmly believe in being your own handyman. Whether it’s installing our own back splash tile in the kitchen, renovating our backyard deck or giving a staircase a ombre hue, we regularly roll-up our sleeves and tackle little projects all over our homes. Sometimes things go wrong. Paints drip on the floor. Tiles dry crookedly. Equipment gets rusty. We pull our hair out. No one is happy.
Luckily, there’s a little help to be found via Vine and these handy D.I.Y. videos produced by Lowe’s. The wonderful thing about Vine is that the videos are super short — 6 seconds! — and loop over and over. So if you miss something the first time, don’t sweat it, you can catch the second or third time around. Here are six cool tricks we learned from watching these Vines — though if you start playing around on the social network’s app you’ll find many, many more.
Six Handy Tricks We Learned From Lowe’s Vine Videos:
1. Potatoes aren’t just for dinner — or making crafty stamps! The next time you are dealing with a broken lightbulb in lamp, use a potato to unscrew it without risking a finger cut.
2. Rubber bands have many uses (besides being woven into colorful bracelets for grade-schoolers). You can use them to catch paint drips from a can, or twist out a stripped down screw.
3. For your next colorful paint project, don’t mess with a new paint tray for each color. Simply line your old ones in aluminum foil and reuse.
4. Take the guesswork out of picture hanging. A piece of tape can help measure the distance between holes and get things picture perfect.
5. You don’t need luck to make your tiles line up perfectly. Pennies placed in between the rows of tiles will do the trick until they dry nicely.
6. What could be more dull than a rusty knife? Dip your cutters in some lemon juice for 15 minutes and see how they shine.
Have you discovered any great DIY Vine videos? Let us know and we’ll feature them on Shelterrific!
This is a sponsored post.
Even though our team is no longer in the running, it’s still fun to keep up with what’s going on in the Re-Energized By Design competition. This week, the remaining three teams made over their laundry rooms.
In addition to $500 and energy efficient lighting from GE, the homeowners each received an brand new set of Frigidaire Affinity laundry equipment. These are not your average high-efficiency washers & dryers — this is serious technology in action here. The Affinity dryer will dry a full load in less than 30 minutes, and the washer features allergen reduction and sanitizing features along with having the highest energy star rating. And aesthetically they please, too (though I have to wonder why no one picked the red option).
Love what those scrappy Sayers did in their space with that upcycled laundry drum light fixture. Their creative approach is always surprising, and will be tough to beat in the final round. In the end, the Mendes family’s pastel laundry room didn’t make the cut — that leaves the Sayers and the Reillys to duke it out in the kitchen challenge! who do you think will win?!
This is a sponsored post.
What is Re-Energized by Design, you ask? Well, it is an awesome web series that Shelterrific is excited to be participating in — produced by Puget Sound Energy, it’s all about incorporating energy efficiency into home design. The challenge is this: six teams of homeowners are paired with design coaches and together they compete to re-design 5 rooms with a focus on saving energy with a small budget. Cameras are documenting each leg of the challenge, and with every room one team gets the boot! The prizes are great: a home full of new LED and CFL lightbulbs from GE, a full suite of kitchen and laundry appliances from Frigidaire, and $5000.
I was fortunate to be paired with the Bedford family, who are just delightful. Kristen and her husband Slade have a great contemporary house, fun design aesthetic, and are really willing to completely put themselves into every challenge. This experience for me has literally been re-energizing to me as well, ending a year-long creative rut and getting me back into blogging and crafting and having fun again. I can’t wait to share what we’ve created together.
But as of today, I won’t have to wait much longer, as the first webisode is available at 6am PST at the Re-Energized By Design site — this week’s is an introduction to all the contestants. And stay tuned each week as we reveal another webisode. Also be sure to go to the Re-Energized page on Facebook, where you can enter to win a new Frigidaire appliance like those featured in the challenge!
The DustBuster is celebrating its 30-year anniversary, and we get the present! Our friends at Black & decker are giving us a 4.4V Cordless DustBuster Cyclonic Hand Vac to award to a lucky Shelterrific reader! But not so fast — first you have to prove how much you need it. None of us is perfect, and we confess that even though we love our homes, it doesn’t mean they’re perfectly free of dust bunnies or dog hair. So tell us — what’s your housekeeping shame? Do you have a forbidden closet of clothes you haven’t worn since the Clinton administration? Have you thrown out a rug rather than clean it? Confess your mess in comments now through the end of Wednesday, June 24. The story that amuses (or appalls?) us most will win the Dustbuster. Bonus points if you provide a link to photos. Get commenting now!
Comment now to win a Black & Decker DustBuster:
- 14.4 volts of power for extreme suction
- Cyclonic action — powerful spinning action keeps dust and debris away from the filter so suction power stays strong
- Accu-reach nozzle extends for reach in tight spaces
- Filter refresh dial clears debris from filter to improve suction
- 3 stage filtration prevents dust from escaping into the air
Thanks, Black & Decker!
I need some of these CableDrop cable clips from Bluelounge. I thread all the cords for my computer through the small space between the back of my desk and the wall, which takes all my patience and a bit of contortionist skill. Inevitably, every time I take my computer to the couch, the unplugged cords practically dive back down into the space behind my desk. I would happily stick a couple of these to the desktop (they come in packages of six for just $9.95) to hold my cords and save me this frustration. Has anyone used these, or any other similar product? Is there a quick-fix DIY version someone can suggest? –Erica P.
Click here for another cool laptop fix.
What — you thought the shed project was enough? Well, apparently I’m not happy until I’ve begun more projects than can be finished in a summer. You may recall that we’ve had some issues with playful dogs killing our grass, so we’ve decided to pave our yard with as many stepping stones as we can, plant grass between them, and hope. Because we’re on a reuse/recycle/don’t spend kick, we turned to Craigslist to source our patio stones. Searching for “free concrete,” we found several local homeowners who had just jackhammered out sidewalks and driveways and wanted someone to take the pieces away. Three trips yielded about 40 decent-sized chunks that we are slowly placing in the yard. The price was right — free! — which is a big difference from the last time we built a stone patio, when we paid $600+ for materials. And because we’re reusing, we’re keeping concrete out of a landfill and we’re not stripping rock from the side of a mountain.
Of course, if you’re using recycled concrete, you have to expect that the pieces are going to have a rather rustic look, but this suits us just fine. The only downside we’ve experienced is that depending on the source, the pieces vary quite a bit in thickness — it does take awhile to dig a hole big enough for a seven-inch-thick stepping stone! I’ll post more photos when we get it all in. –Mary T.