Top 10 Uses for Bar Soap (Besides the Obvious)

by DIY Maven

Top 10 Uses for Bar Soap (Besides the Obvious)

10. Lubricant. Stuck drawers or windows? Rub a bar of soap on your drawer glides and the bottoms of the sides to ease sticky drawers. For windows, rub the soap on the sliding elements.

9. Deodorizer. Place a bar of your favorite soap inside your suitcase or your drawers to keep them smelling fresh. The same goes for your car; a bar of pleasingly scented soap might be just the thing after that new car smell has faded–or never was.

8. Repellant. ...

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Power Tools 101: The Right Tool for the Job.

by Chris Gardner

Types of Power Tools. Some say there are two basic groups of power tools: professional and homeowner. It’s more helpful to think of power tools in four categories: light use, DIY, contractor, and high-end. Of course, there’s plenty of overlap, and no particular manufacturer makes tools in only one category.

 

Power Tools 101: The Right Tool for the Job.

 

    • Light use tools are those designed for light-duty, occasional use around the home: assembling furniture, hanging blinds or artwork, minor...

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How to: Light Your Workspace

by Chris Gardner

No matter what your skill, medium, or project of choice, you've got to be able to see what you're doing.

Foot Candles: Lighting quantity or intensity is  measured in foot-candles (fc). So states Wikipedia, “The unit is defined as the amount of illumination the inside surface an imaginary 1-foot radius sphere would be receiving if there were a uniform point source of one candela in the exact center of the sphere. Alternatively, it can be defined as...

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Easy Steps For Painting Wicker.

by Chris Gardner

I'm pretty sure I'll never own anything made of wicker, but if I did, you can be sure it'd be 'electric eggplant' or some such bold craziness. "The People's Media Company" Associated Content has a useful article for getting some color onto these textured beasts using readily available materials: Old toothbrush or scrub brush (and a vacuum cleaner), Bleach, Clean damp cloth (painters' lint-free rags are good choices), Fine-grit sandpaper, Tack...

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DIY Chandelier Upgrade

by Chris Gardner

"We all might dream of owning a Murano glass chandelier, but don't deprive yourself until that day arrives. This chandelier was a $10 yard-sale purchase and had a fairly ordinary bronze finish. With just a little spray paint, the chandelier was turned into a whimsical piece that fit seamlessly into a cheery kitchen. The body was painted sky blue and the bulb stems were painted gray, to give a bit of contrast. While this piece doesn't say luxe...

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Build a Modern Planter Bench

by Chris Gardner
Build a Modern Planter Bench

 

"The bench frame and top are made of 2-by-6 decking. (We used redwood, but you could substitute cedar or pressure-treated lumber.) For a comfortable seating height, choose pots that are about 18 inches tall and wide (no wider than 19 inches for this bench). Look for thick-walled, wide-lipped pots that have been glazed (that is, hardened); avoid unfired terra-cotta. For safety, lift bench top periodically and check pots for cracks."

Click...

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Top 10 Ways to Repel Mosquitoes (Low Tech Style)

by DIY Maven

Top 10 Ways to Repel Mosquitoes (Low Tech Style)

10. Eliminate standing water. Objects that can collect water provide for perfect breeding areas for mosquitoes. This includes plastic wrappers, tarps, tires, planter saucers, kids' toys and clogged gutters. Also, if you’re a fan of birdbaths, change the water in them at least twice a week, and, of course, change the water in outdoor pet bowls regularly. For items such as recyling bins, drill drainage holes to prevent standing water.

9...

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Make a Custom Pair of Shorts - Sewing For Dudes (and Ladies) No. 3.

by Chris Gardner

It's hot outside. Don't let your fear of showing off your knees prevent you from dressing for the weather. Sew your own pair of shorts, and they'll be as long or short as you please.

Make a Custom Pair of Shorts - Sewing For Dudes (and Ladies) No. 3.

Materials
A pair of pants
Sewing machine and thread
Iron
Pins
Scissors
Combination square

1. Take off your pants. Put on the trousers that will become you shorts, and determine where you’d like the length of your shorts...

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How to Make a Designer Key Rack

by DIY Maven

How to Make a Designer Key Rack

So last week I was searching for cool things to post on Curbly, when I came across the Marvelous Key Rack by Tomke Biallas and Grisella Kreiterling. The designer version is made out of a slab of oak (15" x 2.3" x 2") that has a cavity the width of a key plunged down the middle. A quick measurement of my keys told me most are about 1/16" to 1/8" thick, about the same thickness as a saw blade. You know what that meant....to the table saw!

I searched...

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Top 10 Uses For Used Coffee Grounds

by DIY Maven

Top 10 Uses For Used Coffee Grounds

1. Deodorizer. Dry them out on a cookie sheet and then put them in a bowl in your refrigerator or freezer, or rub them on your hands to get rid of food prep smells.

 

2. Plant food. Plants such as rosebushes, azaleas, rhododendrons, evergreen and camellias that prefer acidic soils will appreciate the leftovers from your...

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How to Turn a Tote Bag into File Tote

by DIY Maven

How to Turn a Tote Bag into File Tote

Portable file totes are a great way to store papers, but they’re generally very utilitarian. However, if you want a more attractive and inexpensive alternative, you might want to convert a straw handbag or basket into a personal file cabinet. The whole process took me about ten minutes and cost–no kidding–$2.50.

 

What you’ll need:

A straw tote or basket that will accommodate letter or legal-sized manila file folders (I found the perfect straw tote...

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20 New Tips For Garage Sale Success

by Chris Gardner

First, read this post from my good friend, BadBadIvy.

 

20 New Tips For Garage Sale Success

 

Then, check out A Yard Sale Checklist from finance blog GetRichSlowly.com. Last season, they suggested ten tips for yard sale prowess, such as:

    A group sale is better then selling alone. More stuff draws more traffic.

    Do not bad-mouth your items

    Be willing to bargain, but be less flexible at the start.

This year, author J.D., fresh from a neighborhood garage sale weekend, offers 10...

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How To Buy Your First Sewing Machine - Sewing for Dudes (and Ladies) No. 1: Gathering Your Gear

by Chris Gardner

How to buy your first sewing machine

So, I’m a guy, and a bit ago, I bought a sewing machine.

No one in my family of origin sews, nor does my wife, and I went to an all male high school with no home ec courses, so I was starting from scratch.
I went to the bookstores, the fabric stores, the craft stores, and the library, and was blown away by the available literature, or, by how useless it was to me. It seemed that nothing had been published in the last ten years, and...

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DIY Wooden Candle Holders

by DIY Maven

DIY Wooden Candle Holders

If you have some leftover scraps from your latest woodworking project, how about using them to make votive candle holders? They’re easy to produce and beautiful when completed, which means you might want to make a few for yourself and some to give as gifts.

Supplies

1. A chunk of wood the size of your choice. Although, a standard votive cup is about ½ inch high, which means you’ll want to use a piece of wood double that...

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My New Craft Room: Window treatments (and how I made them)

by DIY Maven

My New Craft Room: Window treatments (and how I made them)

Now that the big pieces were completed, I could turn to the fluff, which included window treatments. I had just enough fabric left over from my chair make-over to sew a simple valance. And I mean REALLY simple.

All I did was measure the interior width of my window and added about an inch to each side and about 4 inches to the bottom for hemming and attachment. HOWEVER, you could easily use a table runner or even a rectangular scarf for your...

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Yarn Curtains: Good Idea?

by DIY Maven

Yarn Curtains: Good Idea?

Lion Brand has a tutorial on their website for easy-to-construct ‘beaded’ yarn curtains. The ‘beads’ are made of alternating strings of Lion Boulce and Fun-Fur yarn, although any specialty, textured yarn would work. To keep the strands taut, I’d probably knot beads at the ends of the individual strings of yarn or tie the strings to a tension rod for window applications. A unique dressing to a window or doorway, to be sure, but only if privacy is...

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