Archives For Projects

When I first started talking about updating my kitchen one of the things I mentioned was that the two drawers next to the stove, especially the one on the left where we keep our silverware, had seen better days. If this set of cabinets is not original to the house they’re at least really, really old and this drawer in particular left a smattering of sawdust in the cabinet underneath every time it was opened or closed. You can see it circled in this old photo.

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I figured that I’d need to replace the drawers altogether, but a reader commented on that post suggesting some sort of nylon tape that solved a similar problem in her kitchen. A few weeks later I got around to looking and found a similar product on Amazon** (I have a Prime membership so I try to stick to items that are eligible for free two day shipping and the one she linked to wasn’t). It arrived with absolutely no instructions, but we figured it out through deductive reasoning and common sense.

Polyethylene drawer tape

We just emptied and removed each drawer, then peeled the paper backing from the tape and applied it to the underside of the drawer where it made contact with the slides. The tape is clear but if you look closely you can see it in the photo below.

make old drawers slide smoothly

And over a week later: no sawdust!

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I’m so glad I was able to solve this problem without having to replace the drawers! Thank you so much, Mary, for suggesting it as I’d never heard of such a product. The only catch is that I had to buy 18 yards of it and I only used maybe two and a half. What should I do with the other 15 yards? Preemptively tape every drawer in the house? If you’ve got some drawers that could use a little rehab contact me and I’ll send you some. I’m 100% serious–you just pay shipping. I don’t want to throw the stuff out but I really don’t want to hang onto it for years hoping I’ll use it someday either.

**Amazon affiliate link. If you click on that link and make a purchase I will receive a small portion of the proceeds at no additional cost to you.

Three years ago today I started this little blog. The older I get the faster time goes by and I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging here for longer than I was in grad school, for longer than I was with my college boyfriend, and for more than twice as long as it would take me to walk around the Earth (if I could walk on water). To say that writing here has been a positive experience for me would be an understatement. I dare say it’s been lifechanging. My blog serves as a creative outlet, as a means of connecting with others, and as something I can rely on even when other things in my life are chaotic. It gave a purpose to my free time during a very stressful time in my career and has continued to be a haven of peace and positivity. I really feel like the words to describe my gratitude escape me, so allow me to quote a cultural treasure:

Thank you for being a friend

To thank you all for being such a positive force in my life I’d like to offer the only thing I really have to give: stuff from my shop. Enter the giveaway below to win any single item of your choosing, and even if you don’t win you can use the code THANKYOU to get 40% off. Both the code and the giveaway close at midnight on Monday March 3rd so don’t dawdle! Thanks again, my friends. You’re the best.

To enter, either like my page on facebook or leave a comment telling me something you do that brings you joy every day, then complete your entry using the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One of the dumbest things about our pantry is the large open area at the bottom. Jack liked to climb inside and shut the door, but in general it was just wasted space that invited chaos. See below.

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I mentioned yesterday that I bought a sheet of 3/4″ plywood with three projects in mind, and one of those projects was a new shelf for this lower area. I had Nick cut a piece to 22″ by 28″ inches for me and then I primed and painted it and a couple of pieces of scrap wood white. Then we just attached the scrap pieces to the pantry walls with some screws and set the shelf on top. I’m realizing looking at this photo that I probably should screw it down in at least one place because Jack is really into climbing lately and it could possibly tip forward. If you look closely you can see him trying to climb onto my back in the reflection of the large pot.

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I left the shelf empty for now because once I get the new doors put on I want to try putting the microwave there. I figure we’ll try it with an extension cord first to see how we like it and if it works then we can consider having an electrician install an outlet. If that doesn’t work out then it’s the perfect height to put baskets with sippy cups and toddler-approved plates and bowls and snacks.

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I also touched up the rest of the shelves and the frame of the pantry while I had the paint out. It looks so much better and already feels much more spacious without those bifold doors cramping the opening.

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I can definitely add this shelf to the list of projects that I can’t believe I waited so long to do. It was so easy and practically free since I needed the plywood for another project anyway. What do y’all think about the idea of putting the microwave in the pantry? I really want to get it off the counter but Nick is hesitant.

I may have bitten off a little more than I could chew this weekend. I bought a piece of plywood fully intending to whip it into three separate projects, but by Sunday evening we’d only completed one and a half. I’m here to show you the half. The bifold doors covering our pantry have always left something to be desired.

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They’re a pain to open and close, they don’t actually cover the full width of the opening, they make it difficult to access the far right side of the pantry, and, most importantly, they’re not my style. So they had to go. I had good intentions to donate them to the ReStore but after several minutes of trying to gently remove them from the track I got impatient and told Nick to “just go Hulk on them,” and he ripped them out. The ReStore has a ton of those bifold doors anyway.

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Bam. I removed the hardware that was holding it in and the old plastic thingamabobber too. I think it was a motion detector for an old security system that was housed in the pantry (you can see that white metal box on the second to top shelf that houses all the circuit board and stuff. If I decided to have an electrician come drop a new light box for me I may have him remove that box, as well.

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So now–so exciting–I need new doors! You can see in this old photo that there are already two different styles of cabinets in our kitchen. If they all matched I might have felt obligated to make my new doors blend in, but since they were already different I figured I could get away with doing something a little different (read:easier). Let’s call it eclectic.

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I bought a 4′x8′ sheet of 3/4″ plywood at Lowe’s for about $50. I wanted to get the birch but they weren’t really labeled clearly and I think I ended up with “blondewood.” I don’t think blondewood is a real thing, probably some generic term for whatever cheap lumber they’re milling, but whatever. I was planning several projects with this one board so I made a diagram to plan my cuts and asked the staff at Lowe’s to make a few of them before we left so we could get it home more easily. This one piece was 76″ by 26″, and the only cut we needed to make at home was one splitting it in half vertically. I also bought four lattice strips for the trim, so we clamped one of the lattice strips to the plywood to use it as a straight edge for the jigsaw.

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This white balance is kind of crazy in the next few photos. Sorry about that.

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Even with the straight edge Nick’s cut still wasn’t perfect. We put the two outer edges together so that the edges that Nick cut were on the outside (where they’d be less noticable) and planned to use trim to give it a more finished look.

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I figured the easiest way to trim it out and still have a professional look would be to do a shaker style. So we used four inexpensive lattice strips to frame out the perimeter. Nick used the same miter box that we used to cut the trim for the beadboard and it was really easy. We placed the two middle pieces first so we could make sure they went together nicely, then filled in the rest of the pieces.

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I attached them with finish nails and just like that, we had two doors. Now I just need to fill the holes and gaps with wood filler then sand, prime, and paint before finally hanging them and attaching the knobs. It’s not nearly as easy for me to get things done during the week, even on the days that I’m not working, so I’ll be thrilled if I can just get them painted and ready to hang by Friday.