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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Ways Build A Bookcase

Before you dive into actually building your bookcase, your first step should be to nail down your design inspiration. Remember that the structure itself doesn’t have to be complicated. The plan just needs to be well-thought-out and the design properly constructed.

In addition to seeking out what style of a bookshelf you want to create, you should also consider its size and location. The instructions below will give you a better idea of what you need to build a bookcase and how to go about completing this DIY project successfully.

Overview & Materials

The purpose of your bookcase is important in determining the design of your project. In most cases, homeowners are looking to store books and materials, fill an empty space or add dimension and character to a room.

In this article, I’m going to outline plans for creating a pine bookshelf with open sides, inspired by the Pottery Barn Hendrix Bookcase. I want to make it clear that this is one of many bookcase design options. I’ll be showing you images of additional ideas throughout the article so you get a better feel for what other styles homeowners are building.

The bookcase above is one of many different configurations you can choose to build for your home. This particular example is made of pine and doesn’t have any side walls. It’s a basic structure with four shelves and a backing. It stands just under 6′ tall and is decorated beautifully. Below I outline general DIY steps for getting started on your personalized Pottery Barn inspired bookcase.

General Instructions

Step 1: Determine Dimensions

The first order of business is to determine how wide and tall you’d like your bookcase structure to stand. Consider if you’re trying to fill a vertical or horizontal space, and how much time and effort you’d like to put into the building and finishing process. Documenting your measurements and purchasing the right saw for the job is key to your success. There are plenty of online resources to help you blueprint your plans and determine the right dimensions and tools you’ll need for your specific project.

Step 2: Construct Face Frames & Drill Pocket Holes

A standalone bookcase contains two face frames (front and back) that come together to form the edges of the structure. Make all of your cuts according to your documented measurement guide on a clean and level surface.

Next, drill your pocket holes using a pocket-hole jig. A pocket hole is simply a hole drilled at an angle that forms a “pocket” for the screw to sit into. The purpose of pocket holes is to connect your individual pieces together.

To achieve the Pottery Barn Hendrix Bookcase look, drill two pocket holes on each side of the tops of the legs and one on each end of the shelf trim boards. You’ll also want to drill pocket holes around all sides of all of the shelves–it’s recommended you drill two per end, and four per front and back side of each shelf.

Step 3: Attach Shelves

As I mentioned above, the purpose of your pocket holes is to connect your pieces (shelves to the frame). You’ll want to align the wood boards that are to be joined and drive a pocket screw at an angle into the pocket hole. This will securely attach your pieces together.

When you mount your shelves, leave about a 1″ gap at end of each shelf. This extra space will be used for the end trim pieces. It’s recommended you attach all of the shelves on your front frame before adding and securing the back frame.

Step 4: Measure & Cut End Trim Pieces

It’s now time to measure and cut each of your end trim pieces. As learned in the previous step, your end trim pieces are for filling the gap you left on the edge of each shelf. After cutting your pieces, use your pocket hole screws to attach them through the pocket holes you drilled on the underside of the shelves. Your trim piece should now be attached to the structure. Repeat as necessary.

Step 5: Glue & Nail Back On

The final step will be attaching the back piece of wood to your frame. One recommended material that you can use for the back of the structure is PureBond Plywood. You’ll find it right at The Home Depot and the staff will even cut the piece down to the right size for you.

Once you have your back piece, use finish nails and glue to attach it to the rear of the frame. All of the pieces for your bookcase should now be connected and the configuration should be sturdy.

Finishing Touches

You’ve come this far, now it’s time to apply the finishing touches! Begin by filling all of the holes with wood filler and letting it dry. When the wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Be sure to wipe your project clean with a damp cloth. To get the specific look that I’ve used as an example in this article, it’s suggested you use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Building a bookcase can be as easy or as complicated as you’d like. It depends what size, design and materials you prefer to use. The information above should give you a better idea of what building a bookcase entails and demonstrate the steps you’ll need to take to reach your end goal.

Ways Install Holiday Lights

Holiday lighting installation is something many of us look forward to each and every year, but sadly, many homeowners run the risk of hurting themselves or their loved ones as they hang lights throughout the exterior of the home.

There are always safety precautions one should take before hanging holiday lights, but more so, a helpful guide, including tools needed and step-by-step instructions should always be referenced before attempting a new DIY project.

Recommended Tools for Holiday Lighting Installation

Like any home improvement project, there are tools one needs to complete the project and tools one could use to make your lives easier. Below are all the tools you should consider purchasing (or borrowing) before you hang holiday lights.

  • Drill
  • Staple Gun
  • Hammer
  • Light Clips
  • Gutter Hooks
  • Extension Cords
  • Christmas or Holiday Lights (LED lights recommended)
  • Timers
  • Remote
  • Ladder

Tips on Lighting Materials

You can purchase many of these items at The Home Depot or any local hardware store. Before you go spending, make sure you take an accurate inventory of the materials you already own.

First, check out how many lights you own and the condition of each. If any are cracked, chipped or stray wires are present, throw those away as they present a safety concern while lit. Believe it or not, those lights can cause a fire. Also, before you get in the car, test your lights. Make sure you know exactly how many new lights you need to purchase.

While at the store, make sure you are purchasing outdoor lights. Indoor lights are not safe for the outdoor elements, such as rain or snow. They can also blow a fuse or start a fire.

You will most likely need multiple extension cords made for outdoor use. It’s a safer bet to go with a three-pronged extension cord, as they are safer outdoors. Also, make sure you plug them into a GFCI outlet. These types of outlets shut off when they detect a short circuit. You can even buy a GFCI to plug into a regular outlet. Either way, there should be weather protection around the outlet.

Next, and perhaps the most important piece of information I can give you, is to buy a very stable ladder. This is not a time to play acrobat and extend a reach you don’t have. Your ladder should extend at least six feet higher than the highest point of your lights.

How to Hang Christmas & Holiday Lights

As long as you follow the simple safety recommendations and precautions above, you should be able to hang your Christmas lights without any issues.

As time has evolved, more and more homeowners are moving away from staple guns and nails and instead, using light clips and gutter hooks. After all, roof repairs are not cheap, so you should always look to minimize the wear and tear on the most valuable part of the your home. If you do go with nails, make sure you attach them to fascia board.

Before heading up, make sure your ladder is firm and fully opened. To be safe, have friend at the bottom, holding the ladder in place. While it goes without saying, never place the ladder on ice or water.

If you are using hooks, now is the time to attach the gutter hooks. Do not try to carry all your lights and gutter hooks up the ladder at once. This is not a race. The gutter hooks should easily attach to the gutter. You should hear a snap once they are installed correctly. Once you have three to four feet of hooks attached, have your friend hand you the holiday lights and hang them from the hooks. Once again, do not rush. Conversely, if you are using light clips that attach to the roof, you can install those just as you did the gutter hooks.

It’s as easy as that. Then again, you could really step up your holiday lighting game like the family below.

Final Safety Tips

Despite all the provisions discussed earlier, there are a few more safety tips everyone should be aware of before hanging holiday lights.

  • Always unplug the lights when you leave the house or go to sleep. Conversely, an easy way to remember is to buy a timer as discussed above.
  • Replace burned out bulbs with new ones of the same voltage.
  • Never run wires through a doorway or window.
  • Do not run electrical wires through high-traffic areas.
  • If you are afraid of heights, you can purchase a No-Ladder Light Hanging Kit.

Refresh Old Wood Furniture

As you may already know, sustainability is a hot trend in home design right now. From natural flooring to the latest in energy-saving technology, homeowners are doing their part to make the earth a better place for all.

Sustainability does not stop at home décor. Before throwing out an old desk, chair or other item, consider giving it an upgrade with a coat of paint. This is an easy DIY project that almost anyone can do with a few hours and a paint brush. So before you decide to toss that old item, see how you can give it a new look with a coat of paint.

What Paint To Use

When it comes to painting furniture, the options are endless. It truly depends on what decorative element this will add to the room. When I painted my kitchen chairs a few years ago, I knew I wanted a pop of color in a room that was painted white. I chose a deep blue that added just the right amount of color without being overwhelming. Whether you’re painting a mirror, desk or chair, think about the statement you want that item to make. Take home plenty of color samples to see how it compares to the rest of the colors in your room.

You can also consider repurposing the old furnature for new use. Small dressers are becoming more common as storage options in the bathroom. Medium-sized tables can easily be repurposed into desks. If you’re repurposing an old item, be sure to choose a paint that will last for the use you will need.

If you’ve chosen to upgrade your furniture to keep it out of a landfill, you’ll want to look for a paint type that contributes to your green efforts. If you’re not careful, some paints can harm your indoor air quality as well. Look for options that have low or no VOC, or volatile organic compounds.

Materials Needed

  • Painter’s Tape
  • Quality Paintbrushes
  • Paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood Filler

Step 1: Prep The Furniture

Before you begin painting, you’ll want to prep the furniture so you can easily access all areas on the piece, large and small. Unscrew any knobs and take out and drawers or shelves to paint separetely, if possible. Tape any parts that you can’t remove, such as the glass of the mirror. The preparation you do in the beginning will lead to a more successful final project.

Step 2: Sand And Clean

Next, you’ll need to sand down the piece. This is not a step to skip, as many items have finishes that must be roughly sanded so the paint adheres. This is also a good time to fix any large scratches or dents with a wood filler. When you’re done, remove any dust and debris with a damp cloth.

Step 4: Prime Your Work

If your paint did not come with a primer included, you’ll need to prime paint your item. On more intricate pieces, this may take a bit longer. Be sure to coat every spindle, knob, corner and other small area with so you can ensure the color will look the way you expect it to. You’ll need to let the primer completely dry before moving on to your color.

Step 5: Paint Your Color

It’s time for your new color! Carefully paint your piece with even brush strokes. If you are painting too heavy, you may see a few drips. Quickly smooth them out before the paint dries. Otherwise, you will see it when the project is finished. Let the first coat dry completely before moving on to the second coat of paint.

When you’ve completed both coats of paint, reattach any knobs, pulls, drawers or shelves in their proper place. Don’t forget to clean up your paint supplies to save for another DIY project. Then, step back to admire your new look!

Bedroom Design for Baby Boy Nursery

For a parent-to-be, there is much excitement surrounding the arrival of your little one. So much preparation surrounds this day where your baby will come home and your new life as a family will begin together.

If you’re anticipating the arrival of a baby boy, you may be eager to start decorating his nursery. Picking out the theme and color scheme of your son’s room is an exciting time, but can often be overwhelming. Here are a few ideas to help you get started planning the perfect nursery for your baby boy.

Nursery Safety

As fun as it is to choose a theme and paint, you must consider safety first. Here are some points to consider when it comes to nursery safety.

The Crib

Many times, the focal point of a nursery is the crib. Cribs come in many variations and styles, so it’s important to look at the options that are up to government standards. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that slats in the crib should be no more than 2 3/8” apart.  The crib frame should have no knobs or hooks attached. They also say that cribs older than 10 years should not be used, as they may not meet today’s standards.

The Changing Table

You may keep supplies near the changing table, but you’ll want to keep any personal care products out of reach for your baby. Also, be sure to never leave your baby unattended on the changing table, as the guard rail is not enough to prevent accidents from happening.

Rid The Room Of Potential Hazards

You may not think about it at first, but the room itself may pose some hazards for the baby as he grows older. The average cost to install childproofing devices is $439 depending on what you choose to install. Cover all outlets that are unused. The best covers are ones that cover the entire outlet. Keep cribs, changing tables and playpens away from windows, where your child may be tempted to play with the window cord.

Bold Patterns & Colors

When babies are born, they don’t see color right away. At about three months, they begin to see red. One of the best ways you can help stimulate your newborn’s vision is with patterns. Utilize bold chevron patterns and stripes throughout the nursery or even an accent wall in black and white so they can begin to develop their vision.

Baby Boy Nursery Theme Ideas

Once you’ve ensured your child will be safe and sound in their nursery, you can begin to plan the décor. When it comes to decorating for your baby boy, expect lots of blue and less frills. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about what your nursery could look like.

Shades Of Blue

A classic look for any baby boy is mixing and matching various shades of blue. Consider a light blue for the walls and navy blue in trim and accent colors. A cute idea is to use wood letters to spell your child’s name above his crib. Paint them in a dark blue to contrast against the light paint and create a wonderful look.

Sailboat Baby Nursery

Bring the ocean to your baby with a sailboat themed nursery. Utilize a striped accent wall of white and navy blue to start the theme. Include a few frames of anchor and nautical wall art. There are many prints available for babies. A sweet touch that your baby can enjoy too is an ocean-themed mobile to hang above their crib. This is a great theme to carry on as they grow.

Chic & Modern

Black and white is a look that never goes out of style. If black and white helps stimulate your child’s development, why stray away from a modern look. Use patterns of these colors on the walls and major features of the room. If you’d like to incorporate some color, use it in room accessories. Keep in mind, this is also a room your baby can grow into as he gets older, as it has so much potential to become a space customer to what he enjoys.

Dinosaur Baby Nursery

Another great theme that can be great décor as your baby boy grows is a dinosaur theme. A green or light blue works well for paint color. Decorate in shades of green and blue throughout the room, incorporating in dinosaur themed crib sheets, blankets and other accessories. Decorate the walls with prints of cartoon dinosaurs.

Nursery Rhymes

If you like the classic nursery rhymes, why not let that translate into your decorating style. Take your favorite nursery rhyme and frame it on the wall, building your décor around that. Use neutral colors and browns to create a traditional look.

Up In The Air

If you love using blue for your baby boy, but want a unique spin on it, consider using airplanes and clouds in your décor to create a dreamy space. There is fun sky-themedwallpaper that could be included here as well to really enhance your look.