Archive | Building & Upgrading Furniture

Garage storage ideas

In our last garage post (and video) we covered part 1 of our garage series: how we patched, repaired, and painted our very sad looking walls.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com In today’s post, we’re covering how we turned that clean slate into something actually functional too. The goal: to be able to use this space as a workshop AND still be able to pull both of our cars in. We took it from this:

DIY garage storage solutions and organization - evanandkatelyn.com To this! Holy crap!!

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com You can watch the video that covers everything below, or keep scrolling for all our choices, steps, and tips in blog-format.

[Before we keep going, I want to pause and say if you have a second it would mean SO much to us if you’d like our video or subscribe to our channel. Since we’re brand new to YouTube, every view, like, and subscription makes a huge difference for us. Click here to see the whole channel. Thank youuuuu! We’re doing a big goofy happy dance right now!]

And now, all the details and unattractive photos you’ve been waiting for. As you saw in the video, this is where we started…
So the challenge is that we were asking a lot from our little garage. We’re asking it to house two cars, have all the functionality we need for our DIY projects, and act as a workshop for making products. Oh yeah, and be organized and look nice while you’re at it.

When we bought the house, we actually did inherit a decent amount of storage. It was just… not how we would have done it.

There were some pegboards, but they had been cut up and placed around three different spots that didn’t all make sense. For instance, the right side of our garage has a step that gives us a few feet of space between our cars and the wall, so it would be perfect for something that required more space, like shelving. But a big pegboard, which sits more flush against the wall, was taking up half of that wall. And since we had extra space in front of it (and no room anywhere else), stuff always ended up getting piled there. Plus, these pegboards weren’t in the best of shape. They had lots of gouges, unusable holes, and so on.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We inherited some ok shelves too, but the shelves were on brackets that were screwed into drywall (instead of studs) so we couldn’t put too much weight on them. Also, the ones on the left side of our garage made it hard for Evan, who parks on the left, to get out of his car without hitting something, so placement wasn’t always great.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com The garage also came sporting some old cabinets and a wire rack, which we planned on sprucing up and continuing to use.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com In addition to these bits and pieces of storage, we’ve added our own over the years. We have a big Uline shelving unit for heavy and big things (if you squint your eyes you can see it behind the wood, cords, and bike).

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We bought a small tool storage/work table when we first moved in that we very quickly outgrew.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com So then recently we built a giant rolling work table that better suited our needs, but took up a lot of space.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com And we built a rolling wood cart to hold extra scrap wood (see it to the right of the work table?).

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com So I guess what I’m trying to say is… we have a lot of tools and project materials and general garage-y stuff, so we have a lot of storage to try and corral that stuff, but then the storage units themselves just end up being more stuff to take up space. We knew something had to change.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com STEP 1: Declutter garage (and fix the walls while we’re at it)

We got rid of as many things as possible. This included a bunch of stuff we never used, plus the storage we decided to ditch. We Craigslisted the black tool table and ripped off the old shelving and pegboards.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Then, as y’all know from our last post/video [LINK], we pulled everything away from the walls so we could patch, repair, and paint them, giving ourselves a clean slate to move forward.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com STEP 2: New pegboards

Pegboards are pretty much a garage staple in our minds. Even though we got rid of our old ones, new ones were first on our list of things to buy. You might view pegboards as sort of a basic item without much variance between one and another, which honestly is kinda how I felt before this project, but then we found these:

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Wall Control pegboards. They’re made of steel, they come in modular panels, they have built-in stand off, they’re incredibly sturdy, and they are just about as pretty as pegboards can be. (Side note, no, they are not sponsors, we just LOVE these things).

Here’s what you’ll need to install them:

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We decided to put these on the left side of our garage, because we needed this wall to have storage that was more flush (so Evan could still get out of his car).

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com These pegboards are made to work with the normal spacing of normal studs in a normal house. What we found in our garage is that the studs were a little off in some places, and really off in others, so they didn’t count as “normal”. To get around this, we used 1×4’s to bridge between our studs.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com First, use a stud finder to find your studs.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com *wink!

And mark them on the wall.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We had eight feet worth of panels so we got three eight-foot 1×4’s, and placed them horizontally at three different heights because the panels have attachment points at their top, middle, and bottom.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Use a level so your 1×4’s aren’t all kittywampus, and grab a buddy if you can because it helps to have one person holding one end while the other person screws into the other. Screw the pegboards into the boards at their top, middle, and bottom attachment points.

Because the pegboards have built in stand off, screwing them into the boards doesn’t make you lose any usable space like with a traditional pegboard.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Because we bridged the studs, we could attach our pegboards to the 1×4’s without having to worry about hitting a stud.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Each pegboard panel has six attachment points (three on each side) that you’ll need to screw into your 1×4’s.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Then it was just a matter of putting up our tools. There’s something about a fresh pegboard that makes you feel organized and on top of life. DIY garage storage and organization - evanandkatelyn.com

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com STEP 3: New shelving

Shelves were another item that we still wanted, we just had requirements that the old ones didn’t mean. Mainly, we wanted them to be easily adjustable, and able to hold more weight than our old ones.

We ended up finding this rail and bracket system called EverBilt. It’s kinda like what you might find in a closet system: different lengths of rails and brackets that hook into them. Then you just use wood planks as the shelves themselves.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We love the idea of this because we want to be able to move shelves around easily if we need a different set up in the future.

To install these, you’ll need:

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We planned to put all our shelving on the right side of the garage, where we have the stepped up area (because we have a little more space between the wall and the car on that side).

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Again, the first step to this project is finding and marking your studs. And again, our studs were really wonky. Like… they seemingly disappeared anywhere above five feet in some areas.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Meaning we had to go with a different part of the wall on this side of the garage, but it was fine and honestly probably worked out even better in the end because it’s closer to where our worktable ended up.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Mark your studs at several different heights and draw a vertical line connecting your marks. You’ll attach the rails vertically along the studs, and you want to make sure you hit the stud with every screw.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Screw a rail into each stud. You’ll need at least two rails obviously, but if you need more weight support or if you’re spanning a wider area, you can do more.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Then all you need to do is add a bracket onto the rails at each height you want a shelf. They just pop right in, super easy.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We used 12 inch deep boards for our shelves, in lengths of 6 feet since that was the widest we could go on this wall. The weight of the boards makes them stay in place pretty solidly on the brackets.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com The best thing is if we need to adjust the height of a shelf, it’s so easy to bump the brackets up or down and place the board back on top.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We used these shelves for things like drawers of safety gear, boxes of extra product and supplies for our pop up shops, and our OCD-embracing screw, nail, and general hardware organizers.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We ended up living these so much, we added a couple shelves above our pegboards too using some of the short rail lengths (they come in several lengths). We use these for extra wood that’s too long for our rolly cart and items we don’t need frequent access to.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com STEP 3: Track system

Next we added a track system to hold the typical long awkward items you have in a garage, like shovels, rakes, etc. We decided this would go on the left wall next to the pegboards (because these tend to be more flush against the wall too). There are a lot of systems to choose from, but we went with the Rubbermaid FastTrack system. Mainly because it’s got a big variety of hooks, was very modular, and had great reviews.

To install this, you’ll need

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com First, you guessed it, find and mark your studs. We used the 1×4 trick again to bridge between them.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Then attach the track onto your 1×4. The secondary benefit of using the 1×4 is that it gives a little bit of extra space between the items you’re hanging from the track and your wall, meaning your wall won’t get as dirty or beat up.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com The cover should slide right over your track.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Then clip on your hooks. There are all sorts of different types, depending on what you need to hang.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We filled it up pretty fast with brooms, shovels, rakes, trimmers, etc. It can even hold super heavy stuff like our ladder.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We love how modular and sturdy this is!

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com STEP 4: Wire rack

After installing our new storage, we turned our eye back to our existing storage. This little wire rack has rested humbly in our corner for years and we actually use it, so it was a keeper. But he was dirty, chipped, and slightly off white. So we gave him a good scrubbing and a coat of white semigloss spray paint.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Then we added him on the wall back where he used to be, except this time we screwed him into studs (seriously, it seems like NOTHING in this garage had been attached to studs).

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com STEP 5: Cabinets

Our cabinets, which came with the house, originally started out pretty much the ugliest brown you could ever imagine. So one day we couldn’t take it any more and we painted them with some white paint we just happened to have on hand. What we didn’t think about was that it was flat paint, so it got really dirty really easily. We had some of our paint leftover from painting the walls, which was Behr Ultra Premium Plus off-the-shelf white in a satin sheen, so we decided to try that.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Hopefully painting them with extra paint won’t come back to bite us in the butt again, but they definitely look better now and are easier to clean!

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We also gave the knobs a new coat of paint. They had been painted over so many times that it had built up quite a bit.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com To get off the old paint and prep them for a new coat, we used this trick. First, screw a knob onto your drill.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Then use one hand to control the drill, and the other hand to hold emery cloth around the knob. As the drill spins, the cloth sands the paint off the knob.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com It’s a little hard to tell in the photo because the old knob color was white and the paint that had gotten on it was white, but it was much smoother!

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We spray painted them semigloss white to even them out (I know, seems kinda redundant, but it helped give them a more finished look)

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Then we reattached the knobs and called these cabinets done.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com STEP 6: Moving stuff into place, DIY dolly shelf, DIY drying racks

The step was kinda like “ok we are basically done, let’s move stuff back, wait let’s DIY a couple things while we’re at it!” So not so much a step we did, more like a series of fortunate distractions as we wrapped this thing up.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We moved our Uline back where it used to live to the left of the cabinets and loaded up our big, heavy items.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We used to keep extra tile and bricks from the house stacked underneath it, but it was like a breeding ground for cobwebs, dirt, and dead bugs back there because they were so heavy, we could never move them to clean. So we decided to convert an old dolly to a low profile rolling tile storage cart (really, this would work for anything low profile and heavy).

To install this, you’ll need

  • 1/2″ plywood
  • Some extra scrap wood to bring the lower center part level with the ends
  • Screws

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com The dolly has a higher, padded part on either end, and slightly lower wooden parts across the middle. So Evan cut some 1×4’s down to size so that they could sit on top of the wooden parts and make the middle of the dolly level with the ends of the dolly.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Then we used some 3/4” thick plywood that was just a little wider and longer than the dolly and secured it on top with four screws. We drilled through the plywood, through the 1×4’s, into the wooden part of the dolly’s frame.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We loaded her up with tile and she fit snuggly under our Uline. Now it’s about a billion times easier to move the tile around when we need to. That stuff is HEAVY.

Side note, I looked into it and a dolly like this is only $19. In a lot of cases, that’s cheaper than buying wood + four casters, and it’s already put together for you. So if you’re needing a quick and simple rolling cart, might be worth just getting a dolly and popping some plywood on top!

Next we added our rolling wood cart to the right of the cabinets. We had hoped to put it there, and last minute realized it was about 6 inches too wide (that’s what we get for dreaming big and not measuring). We didn’t get photos of this step, but we cut off some overhanging surface, moved a couple casters, and baaaaarely got it to fit. Woo!

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com The space under the cabinets was begging for our work table, but before rolling it in we took a few to add a little more functionality to it. We use this table for all sorts of projects, including working on our products, which often require time to dry (wet paint, cement that needs to cure, stain that’s soaking in, etc). We used to use the oh so glamorous technique of dismantling cardboard boxes, laying them flat on the floor, and splaying all our drying goodies across those. Which technically worked, but was not space efficient at all.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We were liking our shelves from earlier so much, we got more short rails and more brackets to built a drying rack area under our worktable. We attached the rails to the table legs, popped in the brackets, and used planks of particle board (?????) as shelving. I can’t believe we never thought of this before – it is SUCH a better use of space! No more tip toeing around drying products all over the floors!

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Once our drying rack was loaded up, we rolled the work table under the cabinets and it was literally a perfect fit. I’m kind of in disbelief that this worked. Our Tetris skills of yore were clearly put to good use.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Moment of Truth

All of our stuff corralled? Check. Usable work space for projects and products? Check. Space to pull in both of our cars?

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Check!!!!!!

Y’all. This is for real. And I kinda can’t believe it. Especially when you look back on where this started.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com We kinda feel like now that our garage is in order, there’s no stopping us. Feel like making a DIY cutting board or a bench? No biggie, our wood is no longer buried under a mountain of disgrace. Need to crank out a new product order? No longer do we have to turn our garage floor into a sea of half-dried items.

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com Expect a (hopefully) higher frequency of projects, new products, and posts now that this space is functional again!

DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com DIY garage storage solutions - evanandkatelyn.com
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IKEA MALM dresser hack

Today we’re going to show you how we used $35-per-dresser worth of hardware to upgraded a couple IKEA Malms that until recently, looked like this:

DIY Dresser Upgrade And now… it looks like this!

You can watch the video that covers everything below, or keep scrolling for all our choices, steps, and tips in blog-format.

[Before we keep going, I want to pause and say if you have a second it would mean SO much to us if you’d like our video or subscribe to our channel. Since we’re brand new to YouTube, every view, like, and subscription makes a huge difference for us. Click here to see the whole channel. Thank youuuuu! We’re doing a big goofy happy dance right now!]

We were inspired by this discontinued West Elm Dresser to do knobs on the top row of drawers and pulls on the rest. If you want to check out the backstory and challenges we faced about hardware and dressers (riveting, I know) before I get to the actual tutorial, click here to read our last post.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com This ended up being a really simple tutorial that you could definitely tackle on a weeknight after work with just a few tools. Below is what we used:

Materials

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Tools

We also ended up needing bolt cutters, a wrench, and a spare nut that fit onto our screw because we ran into a little snag with our screw length (more details on that later).

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com The first thing you have to do it make a big mess of your room by emptying all your drawers. Just think of it as an opportunity to get rid of that Panic at the Disco t-shirt that’s been shoved in the back for years.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Then you’ll need to measure your drawers and mark each spot to drill for your hardware. Double check your measurements because having a bunch of mistake-holes in your dresser is a good way to ruin it.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com For the pulls, we measured the width of the drawer front, then the width between the two holes in each pull. We subtracted the pull-width from the drawer-width and divided that number in two, which told us how far we needed to measure from each side of our drawer. We centered those marks vertically.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com The knobs were easier. We just eyeballed what positioning looked good, made sure they were equally spaced width-wise from the outside edge of the drawer, and centered those vertically too.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com We recommend placing your hardware on each drawer front where you’ve marked before you drill. This gives you a visual check of how you did. When you feel confident that your ability to do simple math has resulted in the correct placement of your hardware, it’s time to get out the drill.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com To pick the right bit size, you can hold your screw up to several different sized bits and pick one that is just a hair thicker than your screw.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com We really like using a drill guide (that little metal bar we’re drilling through) to help us drill straight down (instead of at an angle). If you’re nervous about drilling through perfectly good furniture, I highly recommend getting one of these little guys.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com After drilling, we did hit a bit of a snag. See, hardware will typically come with screws, and ours came with two different screw size options. But sadly, we had a Goldilocks moment and one was too long and one was too short, but neither was juuuust right.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com This is a common issue to run into, so we’re going to share a little tip (so you can avoid going to Home Depot for the 10th time that day to pick up new screws).

Grab a set of bolt cutters and a nut that’s sized to fit your screw. Thread the nut onto the screw, then cut the too-long screw to  the length you need.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Cutting it will deform the threads slightly, but that’s where the nut comes in. Grab the nut with a wrench and use your screwdriver to back the screw out of the nut. As you rotate it off over the damaged threads, it will re-shape them back to normal and boom, you have a perfectly-sized screw!

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com The next step is to simply attach your hardware with your screws. You can use a normal screwdriver or a powered screwdriver depending on what you have.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Then just add your drawers (I guess you can put your clothes back now too) and give yourself a high five because you’re done!

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com This project really was super easy, and it ended up only costing us $35 per dresser. In my book, that is WAY better than dishing out hundreds (or even thousands!) on something new.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Before…

DIY Dresser Upgrade After!

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Knobs, pulls, and dressers, oh my!

Hey guys! If you know me, you know I can go a little overboard when I go into research-mode. Sometimes it makes sense, like researching everything thoroughly before we swapped out some plumbing or blew our own insulation. But sometimes, I’ll spend hours upon hours researching something really trivial, like knobs.

Real quick spoiler alert: if you wanna see how these dressers turned out, watch the video below! And read the full tutorial here.

It all started when the IKEA Malm dressers got recalled for a tipping hazard. We have two of these in our bedroom, and IKEA gave everyone the option of handing them over in exchange for a full refund.

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

So I was like yay, an excuse a chance to upgrade our dresser AND get $200 back! I started an online hunt to find the perfect new dressers, with these requirements in mind:

  1. Something at least as large as our current eight-drawer double-Malm set up.
  2. Nicer quality than our current dressers (otherwise, why upgrade?)
  3. Within the price range we felt comfortable spending.  

Apparently, I am a very unreasonable person, because we didn’t find anything that met all three of those needs. We could find something that met 1 and 2, or 1 and 3, or 2 and 3, but nothing that made the clouds part and the dresser heavens sing.

So I had to accept that functionally-speaking, we really had no complaints about our Malms, and the day for a dresser upgrade was not this day. Womp.

But here’s where the story takes an upturn. I decided as a consolation prize, I’d upgrade our current dressers with some new hardware. This launched me down a knobs-and-pulls rabbit hole that posed some challenges because:

  1. I wanted to do a mix of knobs AND pulls, inspired by this West Elm dresser (which is sadly no longer available). This meant I couldn’t just buy eight of the same thing for our eight drawers: I had to find six pulls and four knobs, and they had to match.
  2. I wanted gold/brass hardware to match the gold deer head and gold art in our bedroom gallery wall. Plus, I think gold always warms up black (and I prefer a warmer black to a cooler black). Despite its growing trendiness lately, gold hardware still has a smaller selection online than other finishes.
  3. Hardware can get expensive (think $16 a pull and $8 a knob, on the mid-priced end) and the dressers themselves were only $100 each, so it seemed weird to spend tons of money on hardware.

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

Again, tons and tons of research was done (how are there so many knobs in the world??) but eventually I emerged victorious! I found these knobs and these pulls, did a big ol’ happy dance, and asked for them for Christmas (that’s a normal present to ask for… right?). Spoiler alert – I got em! So keep your eye out for a soon-to-be-posted tutorial on our dresser makeover.

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

In the end I’d say this is a win, even though I mayyyy have lost a little sleep (and several hours of my life) to researching bedroom furniture. So instead of having all that research go to waste, I’m sharing it at the end of the post here. Hopefully, it will prevent some of you from spending as much time as I did in Dresserville and Knobs-and-Pulls-City. Below are our final contenders, and I’ve included all the important information we compared.

Dressers we liked

West Elm Logan dresser in acorn
$899, 58″w x 18″d x 32″h, solid wood base + wood veneer finish

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

This one was so pretty and we really loved the warmth of the wood, plus the price seemed reasonable for something so nice, but it wasn’t as big as our old set up and we couldn’t afford to have less storage than before.

West Elm Logan 6-Drawer Dresser
$936, 58″w x 18″d x 32″h, solid wood base + wood veneer finish

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

Love the mix of wood and metal on this one! Price still wasn’t too bad, though same issue with storage – it just wasn’t quite big enough,

IKEA Hemnes 8-Drawer Dresser
$249, 63″w x 19 5/8″d x 37 3/8″h, particle board
Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

The price was right and the size was much better for this dresser, but we weren’t sure if we wanted to buy another IKEA dresser since we already had one we liked well enough. But if you’re looking for a large, inexpensive dresser, I love the lines and double top drawers on this one.

Munich 6 Drawer Double Dresser
$339, 59.29″w x16.5″d x32.75″h, particle board

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

This one gave us similar vibes as the West Elm Logan with the mix of metal and wood tones. As usual, same problem in that it wasn’t quite big enough for us, but we still think this is a great dresser that looks pricier than it is.

Hardware we liked

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

01. CB2 hex brushed brass drawer pull
$4.95 each. I LOVED the look of these, and generally I love hexagons, but we always end up choosing the geometric design so I wanted to try something different.

02. All Modern QMI cone novelty knob
$4.24 each. Good price and nice, tiny, and simple.

03. Liberty Artesia knob
$5.18 each. Really cool look, but in the end I wanted something with a bit of curve to balance the straight pulls.

04. Kohler Purist/Stillness cabinet knob
$12.30 each. The most classic design, but a little pricier.

Pulls we liked

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

01. Amerock Manor cup pull
$14.05 each (plus shipping). These were really cool and I love the look of a cup pull, but they were a little more than we wanted to spend since we needed six of them.

02. Skylight Bar Pull
$15.99 each. Again, a little pricey since we needed so many… but I love the way these look!

03. Hampton Collection bar pull
$7.95 each. Another pretty option, especially if you’re looking for a warmer toned gold.

04. Hickory Hardware Metropolis center bar pull
$7.84 each. Another solid option for a great price.

Hope this post helps someone else in their search for the perfect dresser/dresser upgrade!

Note: This post contains affiliated links. Thank you for supporting our blog!
2

DIY wood canvas frame

Hey guys! Quick project on the blog today. We’re going to be walking you through how to make a simple, simple frame for any art you have laying around. We did it for a wrapped canvas, but we’re pretty sure you can use the same method for anything else you might frame (a poster, a print, etc). Here’s the finished product:

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

Custom frames can easily cost a couple hundred bucks (which is like, dozens of chickfila spicy chicken sandwiches). Our frame only cost us a few dollars. Meaning I have a lot of spicy chicken in my future.

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

Here’s what you’ll need:

Tools used:

So here’s how we did it. We started by measuring the outside edges of our canvas. We wanted the corners of the frame to meet at 45 degree angles, like in the graphic below. When you are measuring, make sure that the inside of your frame pieces is what matches up with the canvas measurement, and draw a 45 degree line out from that. The outside of your frame pieces will therefore be a little longer than the inside.

Alternatively, you could forego a 45 degree cut and just have them meet perpendicularly.

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

After marking on our trim wood pieces where the cuts needed to go, Evan quickly sliced the wood on the miter saw but you could use a simple jigsaw instead if you have a steady hand.

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

Once all four pieces were cut, we put wood glue at each corner where the pieces met. We used right angle clamps to hold the pieces together. You don’t have to buy four: if you have patience, you can just get one and do one corner at a time. Make sure to wipe off any excess glue that squeezes our, then let them dry overnight.

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

When we took the clamps off everything was nice and sturdy. Then we used an old rag to wipe on some Minwax stain in Dark Walnut (our favorite!) and let that dry for the recommended drying time.

The easiest thing about this frame? It just pops right onto the canvas. Simple tension holds the canvas in place, so there is no glass or hardware needed.

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If making the same frame for a print or poster, you can simply tape the print/poster to the back of the frame or staple it in if you want something a little sturdier.

Hope this helps you out with some of that art you’ve been meaning to frame!

Note: This post contains affiliated links. Thank you for supporting our blog!

0

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table

Hey y’all! You may have seen on our Instagram recently a post about what the heck we did to our dining table. If you haven’t seen it, here’s a hint: it involved drawing all over and drilling holes into a perfectly good West Elm Parsons table (side note, I think we have an older version because ours is longer than what’s online).

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com Are we crazy? A little. Justifiably crazy? I think so! Because the end result of everything was this!

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com But I’ll backtrack a bit and explain how we got here. First off, yes our table was perfectly good. It is SUPER sturdy, has a leaf which made it usable in both our little apartment and our current larger dining room, plus it’s lovely and simple and modern.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com BUT we got it secondhand. And the previous owner had abused it with a combination of things-that-were-too-hot and things-that-were-too-wet. So the oak veneer surface was looking pretty rough. I’ve circled some of of the trouble spots below.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com The damaged parts have continued to get worse over time, and we knew eventually we would need a new table. Because our issues stemmed from veneer, we reeeeeally had our hearts set on solid wood. But as you know… Solid wood tables cost an arm, a leg, your first born, and your entire collection of Pokemon cards. Specifically I had my eyes on the Blu Dot Branch table that Chris and Julia are rocking. The light wood top and black metals legs had me all googly eyed, but the $1600 (+ shipping + tax) price tag did not. So I put the solid wood dream temporarily out of my mind.

Then one weekend we found ourselves enjoying $2 hot dog and drink combos at IKEA on an un-table-related trip, and we saw that they have a couple solid wood tables at really good prices (in the $380-$450 range). Ring ring, it’s your hopes and dreams of a solid wood table calling back! Here and here are a couple we saw.

But after some measuring and test-sits, we realized that none of them could fit as many people as our current table, which wasn’t going to work for us. We felt kinda bummed until we made our way to the kitchen area and saw Hammarp butcher block in solid beech on clearance ($49 for the 72″ pieces and $69 for the 98″ pieces)!!!!! Wheels started turning. Could we have the solid wood table top we wanted and whatever size our hearts desired?!?!?

Naturally, we bought the entire remaining stock.

Haha, that sounds way crazier than it is. We actually have several projects in mind that could use butcher block (we’ve already used it once for Evan’s desk – we owe you a post on that!) and the “entire remaining stock” was five pieces of the 98″ length. Sorry everyone else in the Houston area. IKEA is fresh out of Hammarp beech.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com We actually had friends coming over for dinner that night so we couldn’t construct the new table quite yet. Butcher block needs to be treated before it’s safe from spills and such. We didn’t feel confident in the neatness of ourselves or our friends when spaghetti sauce is involved, so we decided to start the sealing process before the butcher block was attached to anything. We picked up some of those painting pyramids (how have we gone so long without them?!?) and spaced them out the length of the butcher block, then laid the butcher block on top of them.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com We did some research and found that there are basically two options when it comes to sealing butcher block: Waterlox or a mineral oil mix. Waterlox is a little more hardcore: if you stain your butcher block you have to use it to make it food safe, and it’s also very waterproof, but it’s harder to apply. Mineral oil is easier and cheaper, but not as immediately waterproof (it takes lots of applications and builds up more of a seal over time). Since our butcher block was for our table, not near a sink or where food would be prepped, we opted for a mineral oil product. Specifically, this one:

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com It’s called The Natchez Solution Complete Furniture Care. It’s got mineral oil, beeswax (which helps fill any little imperfections in the wood) and lemon oil (which helps bring out the natural luster of the wood). It goes on smoothly and has a consistency like… salad dressing? Haha not as liquidy as water, but thin enough to be spread. And it really does make a HUGE visual difference in the look of the wood! In the photo below you can see the difference between wood that’s been oiled and wood that hasn’t.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com The whole process was really painless. Plus the oil smells nice :)

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com While I worked on treating the wood, Evan got started doing the scary part:

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com So here was the general plan – instead of buying new legs for our butcher block or removing the legs from our current table and using those, we decided to just put the butcher block directly onto the old table. Almost seemed too easy to work haha. So to do this, we needed to:

  1. Draw out guidelines on the old table for placement of the butcher block.
  2. Drill holes through our table (eek!).
  3. Place butcher block along guidelines, and mark through the holes onto the butcher block.
  4. Where we marked, add T-nuts into the butcher block.
  5. Replace butcher block onto table along guides and screw through the holes into the T-nuts.

1.  DRAW GUIDELINES

Not gonna lie, drawing all over our table was a little nerve wracking. It was that once-we-do-this-we’re-committed moment.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com We drew one line along the center of our table length-wise, and drew two more lines halfway between the center and the edge.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com The center mark was where our two butcher blocks would meet. Our table was 96″ x 38″, and each butcher block was 98″ x 25″, so we needed two. I made a couple illustrations below to show what the plan was.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com 2.  DRILL THROUGH TABLE

X marks the spots we drilled in the illustration above. We did have to adjust slightly to avoid hitting some of the leaf hardware, but the adjustments were minor and we still stayed pretty close to the line. This was the scariest part! By the way, our awesome Dewalt 20v drill was Evan’s best friend during this project. We use it FOR SO MANY PROJECTS and it’s a powerhouse. If you’re in the market for a drill, we HIGHLY recommend it.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com To keep the drill bit going straight down and not at any funky angles, Evan used this V-drill guide. It’s suuuuper handy. We used it to help us drill all four holes.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com 3. PLACE AND MARK BUTCHER BLOCK

In this step we used our guidelines to place the butcher block centered on the table. We had about 6 inches of butcher block overhanding each side width-wise, and about 1 inch on each side length-wise.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com Evan got under the table and put some white paint from our paint pen (the same one we used to mark up the table) on the end of his drill bit. He poked it through the holes we drilled in the table and onto the butcher block sitting on top of the table.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com Hehe. He’s cute :)

4. ADD T-NUTS TO BUTCHER BLOCK

We pulled the butcher block off the table and placed it bottom-side-up on the floor so we could see the paint marks Evan left. Then he measured the depth of our T-nuts and marked that depth on the drill bit so we could drill holes to the perfect depth.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com For those who don’t know, these are T-nuts, which are fasteners that have internal threading you can screw into. We could have just screwed into the butcher block directly, but we knew when we move we might have to remove the table top to make it more portable. Unscrewing and re-screwing into the same hole can eventually weaken the grip you have. These metal internal threads won’t deteriorate like screwing directly into wood would.

So to add the T-nut, Evan first created a recessed area for it to snuggly sit so that it was flush with the bottom of the wood. To do this he used a forstner bit that was the same diameter as our T-nut’s diameter. He also drilled a small pilot hole into the center of the recessed area.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com Next he used his drill with the marked bit to drill the correct depth for the T-nut. That cylinder in the middle of the T-nut is where the internal thread is, and that goes into the hole we drilled (the teeth grip it in place). You can see in the photo below how he stopped right at the paint mark.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com Evan sprayed the T-nut with super glue accelerant (which is amazing by the way… it makes super glue set INSTANTLY) and then applied super glue to the T-nut and pressed it into the hole. The super glue was an optional step to make things even more secure, but you wouldn’t necessarily have to do it.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com To get the teeth of the T-nut to dig in, you whack it with a hammer while having way too much fun not being still enough for your wife to take a photo :P

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com Here’s how it looks when it’s in:

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com 5. ATTACH BUTCHER BLOCK VIA T-NUTS

Almost done guys! The last step was to replace the butcher block on our table, once again aligning with our guidelines and making sure the T-nuts aligned with the holes we drilled in the table earlier. Evan drilled through the holes and into our T-nuts, adding a washer to distribute the force of the screw. He did this through all four holes in the table, so each butcher block was attached at two points.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com That’s the last step! Then we stepped back and admired our beautiful solid wood table top.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com We weren’t sure initially how we’d feel about size of the table, since it’s significantly wider now than it used to be. But we don’t mind the overhang of the wood and actually REALLY love how much of a statement the extra big table top makes.

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com We feel like overall it brightens up the space SO much. It was crazy to see our space go from this:

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com To this:
DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com
Also we don’t feel like we need a runner anymore. We tried it with the runner but opted to go without it and just place a few simple faux plants (and super cheap planters) from IKEA along the center. The wood is so pretty, it really doesn’t need much on top of it.

After the first few coats of oil soaked in, we had our first dinner on it to make it official!

DIY Butcher Block Dining Table - evanandkatelyn.com We are pretty much enamored with our upgraded table. I like to walk by and pet it with hearts in my eyes. It’s true love!

BUDGET BREAKDOWN

(2) 98″ Hammarp butcher block in beech: $69.99 (x2)
(4) T-nuts: ~$1 (x4)
(1) Forstner bit: $7.89
(1) Natchez Solution: $15.95
(1) set of painting pyramids: $4.97 (optional)
Drill, bits, screws, washers, V-drill guide, super glue + accelerant, and badass skills already owned.

TOTAL = $172.79

Much cheaper than even the IKEA-level wood tables… and insanely affordable compared to any other solid wood table we found, especially considering how large it is. We are super proud of this and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Have you guys used butcher blocks in any projects? We have a few extras and we can’t wait to decide how to use them, so we’d love to hear what you’ve done!

Note: This post contains affiliated links. Thank you for supporting our blog!
0

Caster Coffee Table

As y’all know, we recently turned our former workout room into Evan’s new office. Which is great for Evan’s goal of having a functional workshop, but not so great for our goal of working out on a semi-regular basis.

As much as part of us would like to say “oh no, guess we can’t work out so we’ve gotta binge watch Steven Universe instead,” we know we’ve gotta have a space to work out in. And I work out to YouTube videos, so it needed to be a space with a TV. Our living room was the logical answer. We’ve got a nice big space in front of our TV on the rug, but unfortunately a super heavy storage coffee table sits in the middle of that. So we decided to make that super heavy storage coffee table mobile.

Adding casters to our coffee table - evanandkatelyn.com

We looked at different types of casters we could add, but because the base our table sits on is smaller that the size of the top, we didn’t want something that would raise it up and potentially make it topple over easily. Plus we didn’t feel like the look of traditional casters would look great with the style of this table. So we opted for roller ball transfer bearings that would sit as flush as possible to the underside of the table.

bearing

And wow… it was so easy. We just removed the storage drawers, turned the table upside down…

1-dissassemble-and-flip-c

screwed the four casters into the four corners through the holes in their plates…

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flip and mess around with it (not necessary, but recommended)…

3-flip-and-play

and re-assemble!

4-re-assemble

It’s super functional and easy to roll out of the way when we need to workout, yet it still feels really sturdy and it didn’t change the look of our table. Now we want to add casters to ALL THE THINGS. Bench in our entry way? Casters. How about our desks? Casters. Mochi’s litter box? Casters.

Adding casters to our coffee table - evanandkatelyn.com

Cheers to a quick, easy, and super functional project.

8

DIY Industrial Outdoor Bench

Hey y’all! As usual, work is crazy- crazy enough that we realized we have a few projects we totally spaced on and never posted about. One that we are super excited to share is our DIY bench!

We wanted to create some flexible additional seating that could be used inside or outside. So these were our requirements for the bench:

1) it had to be ok to use outdoors and indoors

2) it had to fit 2-3 people

3) it had to be relatively cheap and easy to make

We pictured in our mind something industrial looking using metal and wood. Basically we pictured this: (spoiler- it’s our finished bench)

DIY industrial bench - evanandkatelyn.com We went to Home Depot and found some aluminum angle stock that we could use for the legs/frame. Totally did not know that’s what it was called until writing this post, but hey we are all learning here! Anyways, this stuff is great because it’s lightweight, cheap, and rust-proof. Perfect!

For the top of our bench, we got some pressure treated wood. It’s a little more expensive than normal wood, but it will hold up outdoors against the elements so it was a must. And it’s fine to use indoors too unless you’re preparing food on it, which we didn’t plan on doing.

So first off, we decided what size we wanted our bench to be. Based on research of what’s out there, we decided about 4 ft wide by 10.5 inches deep (the depth of three 2×4’s) and 14 inches tall. So we measured out 4 legs and 4 pieces for the frame. The aluminum is pretty light/thin, so we were able to just cut it with our jigsaw.

IMG_6900 IMG_6902 We cut our legs first. And got really excited about it :D

IMG_6906 The cuts were pretty rough, but we sanded them down. You can see the difference between unsanded and sanded in the photo below.

IMG_6908 For the legs, we left the cuts at right angles. But for the frame pieces, we cut them at 45 degree angles for a nicer looking seam.

IMG_6922 Once our frame was cut we could see it coming together!

IMG_6921 We laid it upside down on the garage floor so that we could fit the legs into place. We tucked them inside each corner and used a sharpie to mark where we wanted to screw in the screws to hold it all together.

IMG_6924 Each leg was attached to 2 pieces of frame. In the photo below, you can see the leg (the vertical piece) and one side of the frame (see the 45 degree cut in the corner?). Hope this helps make sense of how everything was attached.

IMG_6929 IMG_6933 The awesome thing about this frame is it is so light!

DIY industrial bench - evanandkatelyn.com To add a little extra stability to the legs, we also took these flat aluminum pieces and attached them about 1/3 up the legs on both sides.

IMG_6942 Woohoo finished frame!

IMG_6945 Next up we tackled the wood we wanted to use for the top. I was on sanding duty while Evan made the cuts.

DIY industrial bench - evanandkatelyn.com We used three 2×4’s with a short trim piece on each end to finish it off, which we attached with pocket screws. We may have gone overboard with the pocket screws… but the kreg jig was still new at the time and we got excited.

IMG_6956 We set it on top of the frame to test the size… perfect fit!

DIY industrial bench - evanandkatelyn.com We took it one step further and gave it a nice stain.

IMG_6966 With the wooden top upside down on the ground, we sat the frame on top of it and screwed through the aluminum into the wood.

DIY industrial bench - evanandkatelyn.com

IMG_6973 And tada, finished bench!

IMG_6974 Not the most glorious completion photo since it was late at night in a dirty garage, so we got some nice photos of it where it used to live on our patio:

DIY industrial bench - evanandkatelyn.com And where it currently lives in front of our living room windows:

IMG_7428 DIY industrial bench - evanandkatelyn.com Evan even 3D printed some little feet for it so it doesn’t scratch our floors (you can see them in the photo above). But you could also use felt pads (or just not worry about the feet if it’s gonna live outside full time!)

Well there you have it! A simple industrial bench that was easy to build, can live inside or outside, and didn’t cost much at all.

6

Prettier Pantry

We never really expected to upgrade our pantry in this house, but when I was hit with the sudden urge to clean it out and get rid of old stuff it was the perfect opportunity to beautify the pantry a bit. Mid-clean you can see that our pantry is nothing fancy but nothing terrible either.

IMG_6760

It’s not the biggest, but it’s plenty of room for our little family of two. The main problem we had with it was that the shelves were not so pretty. And not so functional. They look alright from far away, but when you get up close…

IMG_6761

You’ll notice that each shelf is made of two pieces. These two pieces were uneven and bowing, so when you tried to slide something to the back or pull something out it would catch. Also, these shelf-pieces were covered in layers of painted-over contact paper which tended to get beat up on the edges (and it’s kinda gross too).

So we thought it would be pretty easy to say goodbye to the old shelves and say hello to some pretty new ones. Hello pretty new ones.

IMG_6765

We went to home depot and picked up some nice plywood and trim pieces, and cut the plywood to the size we needed our shelves to be. Then Evan nailed the trim pieces to one edge of each shelf (the edge that would be facing out). You can sorta see the trim piece that is attached to the top of the shelf below. But I know, it’s hard to notice things like trim when you’re distracted by that dazzling smile.

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Here, now you can see the trim :P

IMG_6766

He also sunk the nails so that we could add wood filler and stain right over them (so that in the end it would look pretty seamless and you wouldn’t be able to tell there were nails).

IMG_6768

Evan then sanded the edges that we had cut when cutting the shelves to size. The cuts were a little rough but they sanded right out.

IMG_6767

While we were in the garage, Mochi was having a pantry party.

mochi pantry

Then Evan started the longer-than-expected staining and sealing process.

Maknig new pantry shelves - evanandkatelyn.com

The reason it took so long was because of the required wait time between multiple coats of sealant. We wanted to make sure our shelves had a nice solid seal to make them spill-proof and easily wipe-able (since they’d be around food) so we had to do a few coats of the stuff. And after each coat you had to let it completely dry, give it a light sand, and then reapply.

But its ok, we used the wait time to buy a few organizing baskets from Target so we could ditch the cardboard boxes that had been serving that purpose for way too long (scroll back up to earlier photos to see that sadness).

After much patient waiting, I was so excited to load everything back into the pantry with our new and improved shelves! The wood is so pretty and shiny and smooth. It looks great AND is super easy to clean.

Maknig new pantry shelves - evanandkatelyn.com

Maknig new pantry shelves - evanandkatelyn.com

Never thought I’d be so proud of our little pantry! It’s come a long way *tear*

8

DIY Simple Side Table

Evan here again! So for a while, I hate to admit it, we were using my old TV tray as a side table. Hey. It fit. But it was not a good long term solution for two picky DIY artists. By this time (back in 2013 actually, sorry for such a late update!), I had gotten my woodworking confidence up, but I had not done any major projects with woodworking yet. So let me share my first one with you:

DIY simple side table - evanandkatelyn.com

Muuuch better, right? This journey was not the smoothest… At first I was inspired by this pallet I found:

IMG_4802

It seems like they are all the rage in the DIY community. I must have had really bad luck. This was some super heavy duty super nailed together super pallet. But not super good for getting good wood from. I really did try. Then I put it in the scrap pile and went to Home Depot.

IMG_4804

Got some nice real wood (no plywood for my first big project!) All the same width. All I needed to do was cut them to length and start joining!

IMG_4809

This was before I had more toys tools in my arsenal garage, so I made do with some scrap wood to help me cut. Prooobably not recommended. A table saw would have been muuuuch better. Now that I have one (a shoutout of thanks to my brother and sister in law here for hooking me up for our wedding (yes, this project was that long ago)) I know how awesome it is.

DIY simple side table - evanandkatelyn.com

Once cut to size (measure, measure, measure, cut) I did a test fit! Looks good so far. I went with a nice basic shape (a blocky A?). To join them I drilled holes and glued in dowels! If I were to do this again, I would have used screws and counter-bores then capped them with tiny lengths of dowels on top (picture below sums it up better). I used dowels instead of just screws so that the entire outside of the side table would be wood (say that 5 times fast… wait, I just did it too and it’s not that hard, please ignore).

Pro_Plug_Wood_Installation_diagram-02

But this was my first project so I just went for it.

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Not the prettiest work but that is why I bought wood filler.

IMG_4818

Katelyn helped me out with joining them all together with the dowels and glue (and therefore we didn’t get too many pictures of the process). But I did get this gem:

IMG_4952

Once everything was joined it was time to liberally apply wood filler.

DIY simple side table - evanandkatelyn.com

When it all started to look awesome is actually when I took the sander to the side table. It started to feel like a finished product. All the rough edges or mismatches were worn away and it came together into one piece.

DIY simple side table - evanandkatelyn.com

And if sanding is when it started to look finished, staining is when it really DID look finished. This might be the most satisfying step because there is such a large change for fairly low effort. I’ve adopted the wipe on, wipe off method. Get the stain on the wood and wipe it off right away.

IMG_5098

Since this was going to be a piece of furniture we would use regularly and possibly with drinks/spills/condensation, I went ahead and sealed it too.

DIY simple side table - evanandkatelyn.com

Hope this post helps people at the beginning of their DIY adventure like I was to jump in and try their hand at something new, or get a more experienced hand out into their workshop again :)

2

DIY Photobooth

OMG Evan’s back too?! Yes my dear readers. Search now works again (oops) and I’ve tuned up the website’s inner workings. Oh and I have an awesome project to share!

One of my big wedding responsibilities was to make a photobooth. We did a lot of research into DIY vs rent. Rentals were quite expensive (around $600-$1200) and DIY range from $0 on up depending on how much you already have. On the easy side there was: setup your computer with its web cam and use some photobooth like app. On the hard side there were custom circuitry with fancy triggers and printers etc. I knew I could not live with myself (being an engineer and IT nerd) if I went with a computer that you pressed the spacebar on. But I also knew time would be limited and I could not delve too far into coding and wiring.

So I came up with my own in between. Most digital cameras now have some sort of digital output (usually micro HDMI). When hooked up to a monitor the camera can display pictures that have been taken, or (and more interestingly for this project) it can show whatever the camera is seeing! On my camera the HDMI out was hidden on the bottom near the batter (that top port in the picture below).

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

The best part of a photobooth is people seeing themselves before the photo and being silly! Since my camera has that output all I needed to do was point the camera one way, have a monitor facing the same way, then throw in a remote and watch the chaos. And there was literally chaos. You’ll see in the end (though that was mainly the props’ fault, not my photobooth). In order to make everything pretty though I had to build a box to hide the technology. Went to Home Depot and bought 2 pieces of plywood and found some spare 2×4’s in the attic. Found a flush mount monitor kit on amazon and a spare computer monitor in a closet. I started with the main front face (where the monitor would be attached facing the photo-takers).

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

Added 2x4s to the back of the front face for structural support (you can see where I screwed them in along each side in the photo below). Then started to attach my monitor mount.

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

I had to add some 2x4s on the back for the mount to attach to.

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

Dropped the monitor in for a fit test. So far so good!

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

I wanted the camera to be above the monitor because pictures from above are more attractive (or so my wife tells me). I bought a little swivel that I could mount into the wood, so I put another 2×4 at the right height for that. Here is where my previously unmentioned planning came into play. I actually did measure my monitor and camera to make sure everything would fit on the front panel. From there it was a bit of improv as the project went on though :P For this build I had the overall shape in my head but determining all the lengths, angles, heights etc ahead of time didn’t seem necessary for something that would most likely be used a few tines. I would add each element off of the previous and measure everything to fit together as I went.

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

I wanted the whole back panel to open on hinges so that the camera would be easily accessible and the whole thing would be easy to assemble and break down. A quick trip to Home Depot and we found these cabinet hinges that worked out well.

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

Also note in the picture below, my handheld cordless screwdriver. It is amazing and I totally recommend it to any DIYers out there that work with wood/ hang curtains/ assemble things/ etc/ basically every DIY project lol.

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

For the sides I just pressed a sheet of plywood against it’s current shape. Traced the lines. Measured in by the width of the sheet, then cut!

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

To cut the hole I needed for my camera lens, I used my Milwaukee hole cutting set. A bit on the pricey side but they are AMAZING! Plus I love the case as I’m a have-a-place-for-it-or-loose-it guy. Except Katelyn helps a ton with that :)

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Peek a boo! Eye see you.

Basic setup from the inside:

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

For a more finished look we used our favorite Minwax dark walnut wood stain. Super easy way to unite all the wood in a piece and make it look a lot more finished. Of course we didn’t get pictures of this though :P But I use an old rag or t-shirt and wipe the stain on and off and it is super fast. I also usually wear rubber gloves too bc that stain works on skin too.

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

We tested out the height that it assembled at and with the table we were going to use we thought it was better to be a little higher up (tested the increased height with an improvised booster), so I whipped up a quick stand to raise it up (then we stained that too!).

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

Almost all finished, but moving it around was a little troublesome. No grips on the sides.

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

Another Home Depot trip fixed that though:

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

Dropped a power strip in the back and ended up tying everything down and organizing it but this will get the idea across:

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

In this picture you can also see the hole I cut in the middle to feed out the power and video cables to the monitor.

Of course during this we had to take a whole bunch of pictures. Thankfully google plus stitched some together into a gif for us.

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

The little black thing you can kinda see in my hand was the bluetooth remote. Below Katelyn is holding it after we secured it to the booth with some baker’s twine.

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

We ended up getting over 500 pictures from the booth at our wedding!

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

Remember that aforementioned chaos? Something about photo booths. And when you throw in props and the ability to fit in so many people? Extra chaos. But the good kind :)

DIY Photobooth- evanandkatelyn.com

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