Curbly Original
Seriously Effective DIY Apartment Upgrades That Won't Tick Off Your Landlord

by M.E. Gray

Upgrade your rental apartment without ticking off your landlord!

Apartment-living, like anything in life, comes with its own set of pros and cons. Con: the walls are so thin you can hear your next door neighbors breathing. Pro: when the 20-year-old fridge in your kitchen inevitably breaks, you're not the one who has to replace it! I've been living in rentals for about eight years now, and while one day I'd like to buy a little fixer-upper of my own, for now I'm figuring out how to enjoy the temporary spaces I inhabit. Here are a few tricks I've learned that can help you put your own mark on your apartment. Bonus - everything is reversible, so you don't have to worry about a disgruntled landlord!     

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Curbly Original
Seriously Effective DIY Apartment Upgrades That Won't Tick Off Your Landlord

by M.E. Gray

Upgrade your rental apartment without ticking off your landlord!

Apartment-living, like anything in life, comes with its own set of pros and cons. Con: the walls are so thin you can hear your next door neighbors breathing. Pro: when the 20-year-old fridge in your kitchen inevitably breaks, you're not the one who has to replace it! I've been living in rentals for about eight years now, and while one day I'd like to buy a little fixer-upper of my own, for now I'm figuring out how to enjoy the temporary spaces I inhabit. Here are a few tricks I've learned that can help you put your own mark on your apartment. Bonus - everything is reversible, so you don't have to worry about a disgruntled landlord!     

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Curbly Original
Three Ways to Remove Paint from Door Hardware

by M.E. Gray

Three methods for removing old paint from hardware

I'm currently living in a home that has most likely been painted at least every 2 years since the 50s. The paint-history totally shows on all the door knobs, playing out in accidental swipe marks and drips. If you were to peek behind the knobs you could literally see the years play out in paint layers, with many of those layers ending up on the hardware itself. They say it's the details that create the big picture, and after seeing how sleeker my hardware looks after stripping it, I have to agree. While you might not feel like painted-over hinges and handles are worth the effort of restoring, it's amazing how fresh and new your home will feel. I tried out three different methods of removing old paint from hardware, and am here to tell you what worked. I'll walk you through what I did, what I learned, and what the pros and cons are of each method.       

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Curbly Original
Upgrade Furniture with Bold DIY Faceted Handles

by Holly Wade

DIY Clay Faceted Drawer Handles

I don't know about you, but I can't afford expensive furniture. I've grown accustomed to cheaper options like IKEA and Target, where I've found pieces that I absolutely love with one problem - the hardware is very plain. After my latest furniture purchase of a new media unit with two cabinet doors, I decided to upgrade the hardware myself and make DIY faceted handles out of clay. 

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How to: Make a "Totally Tubular" Mod Wine Rack Side Table

by Al40yearoldintern

How to: Make a "Totally Tubular" Mod Wine Rack Side Table

So, how awesome is the really cool piece above? I wish I could take credit, but I can't - it was invented by my friend Jimmy. He's a prop master working on Hollywood films and TV shows and crafty by nature. When I saw this really cool piece in his home I had to know all about it! It looks like a mod piece of art that could be sold in a museum gift shop. It can be constructed with items found at the local home improvement store, and Jimmy was kind enough to share the full how-to with Curbly. So, read on! 

Supplies:

  • Drainage pipe (4" diameter measuring 20 feet long)
  • 26 feet of vinyl coated wire rope (cost at my Home Depot store is $.36 a foot)
  • 4 turnbuckles (you can pony up for steel or use the less expensive zinc plated)
  • 8 cable clamps
  • 1 stainless steel clamp (this is to use as your guide when cutting the pipe)
  • a strong utility knife (for cutting the drainage pipe)
  • heavy duty wire cutters (for cutting the rope)

*note that a lot of these turnbuckles, clamps and wire rope come in varying materials with different prices attached to them so you can go super cheap or more expensive in your shopping.

How to make it:

Jimmy drew up the awesome illustration to accompany the directions below (love him!!)

created at: 11/09/2011

1. Cut the drainage pipe into 18 - foot long tubes (if you don't have a power saw, this is where you use that industrial utility knife and the stainless steel clamp as your guide to cut against for a straight line)

2. Cut the 26 feet of rope in half (two 13 feet pieces)

3. Stand the 12" pipe sections on a table in the formation just like the above diagram

4. Use 13 feet of the rope and thread it around the tubes as indicated in the RED color on the diagram. the rope should be placed about 3 inches from the end of the tubes

5. Pull it tightly for a snug fit and make loops through the turnbuckle eyes and add the cable clamps

6. Cut the excess rope (note you will be using this excess rope from the first 13 foot section for the next step)

7. Now wrap and attach the remaining bit of rope as indicated in the BLUE part of the diagram

8.Tighten the turnbuckles to make it slightly snug

created at: 11/09/2011
9. Flip the formation of tubes upside down in order to repeat the process (again, laying the rope 3" from the end of the tubes) with your remaining 13 foot piece of rope

10. Now that you are done, tighten all of the turnbuckles until the tubes are held together tightly

Now, ooh and ahh and remark in wonder at your fab creation!

You can add a thick glass or even a wood top to this to use it as a side table like Jimmy did....I love a two-fer! Anything that has double or triple duty in my book is a good thing, especially since I live in a small space. And, you can make it different sizes too.. it could be a wine rack coffee table, console, or even just a tall piece of modern art... the options are endless!

created at: 11/10/2011

So a great big THANK YOU to my friend Jimmy for having the patience to explain the process to me AND provide a diagram.  He rocks!  And he's not in the blogoshpere so I don't know how else you would have learned about this creation..... I feel it is my duty to share!

Holly Westhoff is the founder of adventures of an almost 40 year old intern where she chronicles her experience of starting over from exec to intern and also share lots of intern budget-friendly projects. (She works for free).

 

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Top Five DIY Best Buys: Essential Creative Tools for Under $20

by Chris Gardner

Top Five DIY Best Buys: Essential Creative Tools for Under $20

I'm not gonna lie: I have a lot of tools. If you walk into my basement, you'll see a fully-equipped studio/shop that allows me to come up with original how-tos and teach folks to make unique things for their homes. But, scads of power tools, craft supplies, or fancy software are a luxury, not a necessity.

If I could only have five tools in my arsenal, I wouldn't choose a single power tool. Okay, well, maybe my table saw, but only because it's so versatile, and really fun to use. But there are inexpensive hand tools that work just as well.

With that in mind, here's Curbly's top five DIY best buys: five things we think every passionate homeowner should have. Not an essential home maintenance kit, but five things that'll help you create your own original pieces of furniture, home decor, and art. All under $20 USD.  

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Giveaway: Win a $100 Gift Card to Ace Hardware

by Bruno Bornsztein

UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

Giveaway: Win a $100 Gift Card to Ace Hardware
The folks at Ace Hardware are going to help you out with a few DIY project this week: they're letting us give away a $100 gift card! Read on to find out how to enter to win (it's quick and free!).

But before you do that, make sure to check out Chris's post on the top five essential DIY tools under $20; what are your essential DIY tools?

created at: 07/11/2011

How To Enter to Win:

To win this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post:

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Contemporary Glass Door Knobs

by DIY Maven

Contemporary Glass Door Knobs

I know someone, who shall remain nameless, who, when about to move out of their early 20th century walk-up apartment, absconded with all of the flat's period glass door knobs. In (somewhat) defense of the renter, s/he did replace them with standard metal door knobs from the hardware store. This was back in the '70s, so

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