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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kitchen Drawer Organizer to Jewelry Organizer! - Fish Tackle Box to Earring Sort

Necklace/Bracelet Organizer
Now that you've created your own custom drawer organizers (last week's post) you might be like me and have a plethora of wood organizers with no sad... Not to worry, a little spray paint, hooks and you can re-purpose them to organize your necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

Fish Tackle Box to Earring Sort
I still had lots of earrings that needed a home. I checked out the fancy clear organizers they had at Target (oh, Target, how I love thee...) but they were rather pricey. I stumbled over to the sporting good section and saw these -- fish hook organizers -- I think they are called tackle boxes...yes, my hubby confirms indeed they are. For a fraction of the price of the original organizers, I had just about the same thing -- and these are customizable! You can make the compartments bigger or smaller instantly. (Another case of the Sporting Good section saves the day. I've opted for a $4 tackle case for makeup travel and for sewing organization. Gotta love thinking outside the box....or even close by the box....or is that even a box at all?)

Jewelry Boutique Display
I found two of these at the local Goodwill and I knew they needed to come home with me. One of them practically jumped in the cart -- thanks to my 5 year old. I cleaned her up -- I call her Jade -- (the jewelry boutique display, not the 5 year old). I use Jade as a decoration and also a holder for the jewelry I plan to wear the next day (as I wear full jewelry every day -- don't you....aren't you planning on sporting the pearls to vaccum later?!) Okay, so I only dress Jade when I have an event the next day that requires jewelry. I think she makes a nice addition to this jewelry station in my master closet.

Speaking of master closet, it's one of the three projects I'm currently working on right now...(I need to stick to one and finish, but you know how inspiration goes...) Look for more coming soon.

Have a good week and Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Drawer Organization DIY

I just love the, this is not a love letter, but rather I marvel how we lived (or crafted or decorated) without it! I came across this organization/craft idea the other day about how to make custom drawer organizers for your kitchen and knew I HAD to do this for mine -- it is a hot mess! I had bought the organizers we all have, but nothing seemed to fit my drawers. They were either too big and wouldn't fit or too small, leaving a lot of random leftover space and no good way to organize them. Thus, my life looked like this:

My first plan of attack was the main utensil drawer, but since I'm not that proficient with construction (or a saw for that matter) I thought I would start small. In this post you will see my large utensil drawer and my junk drawer and how I organized them.

- ¼" x 2" x 3' boards
(I used aspen, which I assume is pine? but Home Depot also had red oak as well. The aspen ones were cheaper -- $1.25 in my neck of the woods -- so I went with that. I found the wood in the lumber section. Note, there were some boards that were warped. Be sure to check that first.)

- Gorilla wood glue
(This is my first experience with wood glue as an adult -- oh, the projects we made as kids in my dads workshop, unsupervised! -- and it seems stronger than your average wood glue.)

- Saw
(I used my hubby's miter saw as it makes quick, relatively clean cuts, but you could use a hand saw as well.)

- Sand paper

- Pencil, measuring tape


1. Draw a Plan
Measure your drawer and draw a plan to include the items you would like to organize. (I wish I could say, I drew my to scale, but I'm not that precise or patient, so I sketched a quick drawing.)

2. Cut One Board at a Time
Measure your first board and cut it slightly longer ¼". (Note, it is easier to recut or sand your boards down if you've cut them too long. Once it's too short, there's not much you can do, except use it later on a shorter piece. You want it to be nice and snug. )

3. Measure and Mark Your Drawer
Measure and mark in pencil where you want the divider to go. Place the wood divider in the drawer and run a bead of the glue on the side seams. Wipe away extra glue with a damp cloth or napkin, but don't be overly concerned, as the glue will dry clear.

Continue on to the next piece until you have them all glued into place. (Tip, measure, cut and glue one board at a time. I tried to make several cuts first and then glue them into place and it didn't fit correctly.)

And there you have it....a nicely organized drawer. I have done two now in my kitchen and I plan on doing the main utensil drawer, the baking drawer and then venture into the bathroom for my makeup drawer (oh, I could do some damage there!). My hubby was concerned what if we moved and the new owner didn't like my custom dividers? I think they would be easily enough removed. Just score the glue seams and remove. If there is glue left over that wouldn't easily remove, you could place contact paper over it..

I hope you enjoyed this post. I was inspired by this wonderful post by Stephanie Lynn from Under the Table and Dreaming. She's awesome. Check out her blog!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back to School: No Mudroom?! Make Your Own

When we bought our new house six months ago, on my wishlist was a mudroom. Unfortunately, we picked location and good bones over a newer house with a mudroom. Not to worry, inspired by countless projects on the Internet, I created our own mudroom in this tiny corner by the garage entrance. Going to show, no corner is too small to have your own organzied area for the kids' coats and backpacks.


- MDF (aka Medium Density Fiberboard - if you've never worked with you, YOU SHOULD! It's technically paper, but does the same job as wood for trim and other projects when painted and is SIGNFICANTLY cheaper. Think pennies on the dollar!)

(SUPER AWESOME TIP: Home Depot will actually use their special saw -- that's mounted on the wall -- and make cuts for you. Their policy is two free cuts and then each additional cut is 50 cents. I strongly suggest you have them cut the MDF for you. Who knows, you might make friends with a worker and get all your MDF cuts for free!)

- Get two large sheets of MDF. One in ½" thick and the other ¼" thick and have the nice people at your home improvement super store cut it for you. You will need the following pieces

The Boards (The piece(s) that go horizontaly. I put one board across the could also add one to the bottom instead of a baseboard or on top of the baseboard)

- ½ thick x 3 ½” wide board for the top x (measure the lenght you need across your wall and have them cut this)

The Battens (The pieces that go vertically)

- ¼ thick x 2 ¼" wide for the battens x (the height you would like them)

The Ledge (this piece can be ommitted as well, but I like it for the mudroom, as we are always using it for odds and ins (random keys, lunch money, or occasional item that needs to be put in the garage.)

- ¼ x 2 ¼" x same length as your board for the piece for ledge

The Molding (that supports the ledge so it stays up. If you omit the ledge, you will not need this piece)

- 11/16” x same length as your board and ledge for cove molding

- Brad nailer or brads and old fashion hammer (I actuall have a brad nailer, but since our recent move it is MIA)

- Liquid Nails or Gorilla glue (I used Gorilla glue, but it grows as it dries)

- Ball Hammer (it isn't 100% necessary, but so helpful to punch in the nails)

- Spackle (to cover up the nails)

- White caulk (to seal the seams for even coverage)

- Pencil, level, tape measure (to measure and mark where you want your boards and battens)

- Primer and paint (I used latex aka waterbased paint for this project)

- Good brushes, mini roller


1. Measure and Mark the Wall
Measure the height of your battens and placement of your board; mark with a pencil (you're going to paint over it anyway)

2. Apply Glue
Apply glue as directed and place the top board on the wall.

If you use Gorilla Glue like I did, warning, it will grow as it dries. The directions tell you to let it set for a few minutes after applying and before placing them on the wall, but I will go on to tell you it will grow, not just that few minutes before placing it on the wall, but long after you've hung it on the wall with glue and nails. It then will need to be wiped away and watched. I had put mine on while the kiddos were at school and watched it for about 30 minutes, wiping the extra that oozed out. I left for 30 more mintues to pick up the kids, and when I returned, more had oozed out and had crusted over. Now, I couldn't easily wipe it up, I had to use a box cutter to cut and scrape it away -- so fun :o( So, if you use Gorilla Glue, use it very, very sparingly and watch for growth for the first hour or so. My friend Stacy recently did a project like this and used Liquid Nails. She didn't experience any growth. I plan to do a similar project in my boys' bathroom, and I think I will stick to Liquid Nails. I'll let you know.

3. Nail it in
After the glue has set for a few minutes on the wall, hammer in the brads (or use a brad gun) to secure the board.

4. Glue and Nail the Battens
Follow steps 2 and 3 and add the battens to the wall.

5. Add the Ledge
Using the glue, add the shelf, quickly followed by the molding. The molding is necessary to hold up the shelf.

6. Cover the Nails
Use the ball-head hammer and drive the nails deeper into the wood. This should cause an indention.

7. Fill the Indentions
Fill the indention with white caulk and let dry. Lightly sand if needed.

8. Caulk the Seams
While this might not seem neccessary, caulking the seams helps finish the project and prevent weird places in the seams where paint seeps in and causes bubbles/holes.

9. Prime & Paint

10. Add Hooks

Now you're ready to hang coats, hats & backpacks. The perfect late-summer project to make your back-to-school mornings and afternoons easier.

No, it's not the mudroom I had dreamed of, but I was able to use the nearby coat closet for further storage, thanks to these cute cubbies I picked up at Target. When you get lemons, make lemonade.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tutorial - Thrift Store Table to Outdoor Tuscan Retreat

To surprise my hubby for Father's Day, (and after watching too many DIY shows) I got the courage to convert our back deck to a Tuscan retreat (or as close as you can get in the Midwest. Instead of heading to Target, like I used to whenever I needed something relatively inexpensive and chic, I headed to my local thrift store where I picked up this old restaurant table. It was sturdy and the right size (big enough for our family of four to eat dinner, or big enough so that we can play games with our friends -- Ticket to Ride, anyone?) The table I found wasn't pretty, though. It didn't say "outdoor retreat," it said, "Do you want fries with that?" But thanks to all my new online blog friends (I'm talking about you Centsational Girl & House of Smiths) and their resourcefulness, I took a chance on it. And for only $15, why not.

After seeing a "Design on a Dime" where the designer made a table and covered it in tile, I decided to take a stab at it. Here's what it took:

- Spray Paint (I used Rust-oleum Hammered Bronze)
- Tile
- Trowel
- Rubber Tile Float
- Grout
- Tile adhesive
- Grout Sealer
- Tape Measure
- Pencil
- Damp rags (that you will never want to use again)

1. Paint the Table
First I started by spray painting the sides and legs of the table, after having the boys hose it down in the driveway. Did I mention there were spider nest/eggs underneath the table? Yep, gross. Thankfully I have boys!

2. Shop for Tile
This is where I tell you how I mathematically figured out how much tile I would need, but it was more like guessing. Then, a Home Depot worker suggested I turn some of the square tiles around like diamonds to save save money. Save money? Yes, please. When it was all said and done I spent about $100 for tile and grout. A bit pricey, but I think the results are worth it.

3. Adhering the Tile
I bought this cool tile that had a preset pattern that would serve as the center of the table. I measured to find the center of the table and applied tile adhesive (like frosting) and made sure to scrape with the trowel's notched edges to ensure an even coat of adhesive. I carefully placed my center tile. The adhesive doesn't set immediately, so you can easily move it around if you make a mistake. I made sure I worked in small sections so the adhesive didn't dry out.

4. Design Away
This next part was easy (and fun). The small tiles are sold in tile sheets that can be placed directly on your project or you can cut and design them any way you want. I alternated between small gray tiles and larger cream ones. (Note, they didn't always line up perfectly. I think they make it look more authentic -- like it was handmade by a sweet old Italian woman in Tuscany --- or a 30-something mom in the Midwest :o) Also, another tip from our friends at Home Depot, use the smaller tile on the outside edges of the table. That way, it's easier to make it fit and you don't have to cut them.

5. Let the tiles cure for 24 hours (or whatever your adhesive suggests).

6. Grout The Table
Dip your tile float into the grout and load it up. Push the float at an angle onto the table, so the grout really gets into all the cracks. As with the adhesive, work in small sections. Once the cracks are filled, use a slightly damp rag (I found an almost dry rag worked best) and rub over the tiles to get rid of the excess grout.

7. Seal the Grout
Use a grout sealer and follow the instructions on the package. This will help prevent staining of the grout, as it is a porous material.

The finished product: I was surprised at how good it looked. It was hard to believe it was a yucky thrift store table just a few days before. To think that I almost overlooked it in the beginning. And my (picky) husband was very happy, too.

I hope you liked this DIY. Feel free to send me your tips on working with tile or your pictures of tile projects and I'll post them.

Gotta run. So many projects, too little time.

- Lori

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Patio Table DIY - Preview

Who doesn't like a preview. Since it's late, I won't get this first project posted tonight, but here is the BEFORE picture of this restaurant-style table I picked up at the Goodwill for $15. It was solid, a good size and the table top was flat and in good condition. Other than looks, this baby was good to go, but let's face it, it's not getting a prime spot on my back deck looking like this. Later this week, I'll show you the step by step tutorial that will make you want to run out to the trift store to start your own project.

Until then,


New Blog

Welcome to Lori Garcia Home. In response to friends and family urging me to share my projects, I decided to start a new blog just for my projects. I'm a wife and mother, photographer/graphic designer and avid decorator/crafter. We are also members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I hope you enjoy the projects as much as I do.
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