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Self Watering Concrete Planter

We can’t keep plants alive. So today we’re making a DIY concrete self-watering planter in the hopes that the plants will take care of themselves haha.

Just a heads up, our planter has some funky curves and angles so we used a 3D printer to make the mold form, which we know not everyone has access to. BUT you could take the same principle and make a form with straight edges/corners out of wood. The following steps would still apply.

Here’s what we used:

Step 1: The Design

This planter will be made of two parts: a water reservoir on the bottom, and a top pot for the plant (psst- top pot spelled backwards is top pot!) There’s a hole in the bottom of the top pot with a wick that goes through it and sips water from the reservoir, so your plant only takes the small amount of water it needs any any given time. This is especially awesome for plants that don’t require much water, like succulents.

DIY Concrete Self Watering Planter

The indented area in the top pot gives you space to pour a little water into the reservoir and lets you easily peek in and see if your water is low. It’s big enough that it should take a while for the plant to use up all the water, so you shouldn’t have to check on it very often! You can download our 3D file here if you’d like to make this same one! DIY Concrete Self Watering Planter

Step 2: The Form

There are a couple ways you can make a mold.

If you make one out of wood, you’ll essentially be creating a form to contain the concrete, pouring the concrete in, letting it harden, and removing the form. Ben Uyeda from Homemade Modern has a ton of great videos that go into detail about this on his channel here.

In order to get this very specific shape, we’re using 3D prints instead of wood. The difference is we aren’t pouring concrete directly into a 3D printed mold – we are pouring silicone into it, and then we’ll pour concrete into the silicone. So it’s one extra step, but it makes this weird shape possible AND the silicone mold is reusable, so we can make multiples (if we tried to remove concrete from a 3D printed form it would mess up the print)

3D prints aren’t inherently great as molds in terms of their surface roughness, so we smooth them out with a combination of automotive filler primer and lots of sanding. Definitely recommend a sanding sponge because they are flexible, and if you need something that can get into tight spaces our DIY flap sander is really easy to make. After a couple coats of primer and rounds of sanding, it should be smooth enough.

Step 3: The Mold

You’ll notice we have the two 3D printed models (the top pot and bottom water reservoir) and then a form that goes around each. The form is used to contain the silicone as you pour it over the 3D printed models. This leaves an empty space where the models are, so when the silicone is done, we’ll have model-shaped spaces to pour concrete into.

We glued our model down onto the base of our form, and used rubber bands and tape to hold the form around it. And tape. Lots and lots of tape.

For silicone we use two-part Smooth-On. Follow the instructions and mix equal parts together (the pink part and blue part blend together to make a purple), then pour it in. Luckily it’s really forgiving, since you’ll see in the video that we did not do this step right on our second go-round. Agitate the mold to get the silicone to settle and remove air bubbles. We tap it repeatedly on the sides and sometimes place it on a piece of scrap wood and pound a mallet onto the scrap wood.

We did these steps for our top piece and our bottom piece. After they dried, we removed the 3D printed parts but it took a little struggling: We discovered we had a hole in the mold and it was really stuck. For the hole, we mixed up a small batch of extra silicone and patched it. Worked like a charm! To remove it, we made a controlled zig zag cut (zig zags are easier to correctly placeback together than straight cuts) but it still ended up tearing. The good news is, we still got it to work (keep reading!)

Step 4: The Concrete

After figuring out the mold, this step was easy! If you’ve read/watched any concrete tutorials before, you may notice we’re using a sliiiightly different product from the norm: Quikrete Vinyl Concrete Patcher. We chose it because it has a fine grain (which gives you a nice surface finish and fills into more detailed shapes) and because you can buy a relatively small batch at a time.

Before you start, place some scrap wood over your work surface. This protects your table and helps you agitate the mold later. Grab a dust mask and some gloves (it’s not the end of the world if it gets on your hands BUT you don’t wanna breath in any concrete dust).

We go into more detail about getting your concrete to be the right mix in our concrete letter tutorial, but we will cover the basics here.

Add a small amount of water and a few big scoops of concrete to a mixing container or bucket. A little water goes a long way, so keep adding a little more water and few more concrete scoops until it gets to be the consistency of sandy pancake batter (delicious)! It’s easy to accidentally add too much water. To check if you have too much, agitate the mixing container, and excess water will rise to the surface. If you see water pooling a little at the top, add a little more concrete mix.

In total, you’ll need to mix for 2-3 minutes to make sure everything is incorporated. Then pour it into your silicone mold, overfilling it a little because it will settle down into the nooks and crannies. Agitating the mold by tapping on the sides of it repeatedly or banging the scrap wood it’s sitting on with a mallet. Once there are no more bubbles and it doesn’t seem to be settling any lower, you’re good to go. (though honestly, we kinda like the look of a few bubbles… it adds some interest. But you don’t want a ton or it’ll be a weaker end product.)

After the concrete dries (we give it about 24 hours), carefully peel back the silicone and you have yourself a planter! If they are still moist, keep them on a surface that can be messy, like your scrap wood from earlier. If you put these on something absorbent, they’ll leave moisture spots.

Step 5: Sanding, Drilling, Sealing

When our concrete was full dry, we smoothed it out with one last light sanding. Again, the sanding sponge and DIY flap sander were our best friends.

The next step is to make this planter self watering. We chose poly rope to make the wick. We used a masonry bit on our drill that was just a little bigger than the rope to drill two holes through the bottom of the top part of the planter.

Before threading the rope through our holes, we applied two coats of concrete sealer. Since these planters will be containing water and dirt, we don’t want anything soaking into the concrete. We brushed on a light coat and let it dry for about an hour, then applied a second. After 72 hours dry time you can place water in it (I know, lots of dry time in this tutorial!)

Then we strung the rope through it, and burnt the ends so it wouldn’t fray. Note: we don’t know if burning the ends was a good idea or not. Some folks have said letting them fray will allow more water to be soaked up, which makes sense. But we can easily go back and cut off the ends or cut a new piece.

Enjoy!

We put a little dirt under our rope so it had more surface contact, then we potted our plants. Black thumbs = hopefully defeated! Loving our self watering planter and have plans to make a few more with our mold. Let us know if you have any questions about this project! DIY Concrete Self Watering Planter DIY Concrete Self Watering Planter

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Instructables (straight up tutorials)

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DIY Self Watering Concrete Planter

2

DIY Coat Rack

Hey guys! Today we’re gonna walk through how to make an easy DIY entryway coat rack, magnetic key holder, organizer shelf…. DIY thing to put your stuff on when you walk through the door.

You can check out the video above to see all the details, but we’ll also write out the basic steps below (the video shows it a little more clearly though!)

We’ve included plans for this project but it’s really customizable. You could make it any length you want, rearrange the shelves, have more or less hooks, etc, whatever best fits your space and needs. Have a tiny wall? Make a 2-ft version with one shelf. Got 8 kids? Well you’re gonna need a lot more hooks my friend. You get the idea.

DIY coat rack

This is a great project if you’re new to DIY and woodworking and don’t have a ton of tools. We just use two power tools and some basic supplies. See below for the full list of tools and materials, plus some optional stuff that will make things a little easier but aren’t 100% necessary.

TOOLS / MATERIALS:

OPTIONAL:

 Step 1: Make Circular Saw Jig (optional)

We made all our cuts with the circular saw, but lining up the blade can be tricky, so below is a quick tip if you want really accurate cuts.

DIY coat rack Make a jig using a scrap piece. Raise the blade so it doesn’t cut all the way through, clamp a speed square to the scrap, mark a line where the speed square is, and cut a groove. Now you have a guide that shows you where the blade will cut when you line up the speed square with the mark. We used this to line up our cuts.

DIY coat rack DIY coat rack DIY coat rack DIY coat rack Technically, instead of a groove you could just cut through the scrap piece, but the groove shows you the thickness of your cut.

Use the jig to mark where your speed square should be clamped, and clamp it to the piece you’re cutting.

Step 2: Make Your Cuts

We cut the 1×8 first, since it will make up the backing the runs the length of the entire organizer, and everything else will be based off that. For our space, we cut it to 35”, but you can make this length whatever you want.

DIY Coat Rack Then we cut two pieces of 1×4. We cut one piece to 24” for the higher shelf, and one to 9-¾” for the lower shelf. We wanted the shorter shelf to be wide enough to hold an envelope so we could put mail there, and we eyeballed what length we thought would look good for the longer shelf.

DIY Coat Rack We also cut a square ¾” dowel the same length as the shorter shelf to act as a shelf lip.

DIY Coat Rack DIY Coat Rack After our cuts, we gave everything a light sanding with fine grit sanding sponge (which we love BTW, since it’s flexible it wraps around wood corners easily).

DIY Coat Rack

Step 3: Attach Large Shelf

We didn’t do any fancy joinery for this build, everything is connected with countersunk screws placed in spots that won’t be seen.

DIY Coat Rack First we attached the long shelf to the backing. On the back of the backing, we traced out where we wanted the shelf to be and marked three points to drill through.

DIY Coat Rack First we drilled pilot holes through just the backing, not into the shelf. Then we clamped the shelf to the backing and used our pilot holes as guides to drill into the shelf. We used a countersink bit so our screws would be flush. Then we screwed through the backing and into our shelves.

DIY Coat Rack

Step 4: Add Magnets, Attach Small Shelf

We used a similar method (pilot holes – drill through pilot holes into piece you’re attaching – screw through pieces) to attach the dowel as a shelf lip to our shorter shelf. The lip shifted slightly as we attached it so it was a little off, but we sanded it down to even it out.

DIY Coat Rack DIY Coat Rack Before we attached the shorter shelf to our backing, we drilled shallow holes into the bottom of it to embed 3/8″ neodymium magnets. To know how deep to drill, we placed a magnet next to the bit and placed tape on the bit that marked the height of the magnet.

DIY Coat Rack DIY Coat Rack DIY Coat Rack

We used a couple drops of our favorite CA glue in the holes we drilled to attach the magnets. We also had a slight moment of panic because we didn’t have a hammer or mallet with us so we grabbed a nearby piece of 2×4 to pound the magnets in. It worked!

DIY Coat Rack DIY Coat Rack DIY Coat Rack

Step 5: Finishing

To finish, we stained the wood, did a couple coats of shellac, and a light coat of wax. At a minimum, we’d suggest doing the shellac because it gives it a nice sheen and some water resistance (a good thing to have if you’re hanging a wet raincoat).

DIY Coat Rack We used Minwax stain in “golden pecan” because we wanted a light color with warm undertones that still let the wood grain show through. We wiped it on with rags and wiped off any excess, then let it dry overnight.

DIY Coat Rack The next day we applied two coats of clear shellac with foam brushes, letting it dry an hour or so in between coats. Shellac raises the grain, so you need to sand after each coat.

DIY Coat Rack We had some 600 grit sandpaper so we used that, but you could probably use 320 if you have a reeeeeally light hand.

DIY Coat Rack Then we applied a thin layer of Briwax and buffed it out by hand with a shop towel. In the past, we’ve also buffed it out by placing a microfiber cloth under our orbital sander and doing that (link here if you wanna see that).

DIY Coat Rack DIY Coat Rack

Step 6: Adding Hardware

In terms of hardware, we added four hooks on the front and two sawtooth hangers on the back.

We got sawtooth hangers that attach to the piece with screws rather than tiny nails because it seemed more secure. We drilled small pilot holes into the backing and screwed in the screws by hand because we were pretty close to the edge.

DIY Coat Rack For hooks, we went with these bath towel hooks on Amazon. They’re only $11 for the set of four, whereas most coat hanging hooks used for this kind of thing would run you $20-$40 for four. Crazy! You screw them in from the front in a few places, cover the screws with a back place, and twist on the hook. Easy peasy.

DIY Coat Rack DIY Coat Rack DIY Coat Rack Don’t think this counts as hardware, but lastly we added little rubber feet to the back so it would hang straight and not scratch up the wall.

DIY Coat Rack

Step 7: Enjoy!

And that’s it! Hope you guys enjoyed this easy and flexible project. We’d love to see any variations you end up making so please tag us @evanandkatelyn on Instagram if you post any photos, and as always, let us know if you have any questions!

DIY Coat Rack DIY Coat Rack DIY Coat Rack DIY Coat Rack

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You can also find us at:

YouTube (all our DIY videos)
Instagram (sneak peeks @evanandkatelyn)
Patreon (if you wanna support us, but no pressure!)
Pinterest (stuff that inspires us)
Twitter (us, in 140 character doses)
Facebook (be our friend)
Instructables (straight up tutorials)

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Note: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting us!

0

DIY 2×4 Side Table

We made this side table out of 2x4s for less than $9, which we think is pretty dang cool! We did it as part of the Modern Maker #two2x4challenge and it was definitely a challenge! You could make this table with other types of wood and the steps will be easier (2x4s tend to warp and pine is soft), but the cheap material allowed us to experiment with some joinery techniques we’d never done before. We learned a lot and shared lots of little tidbits (and failures!) in the video.

[Before we keep going, I want to pause and say if you have a sec it would mean SO much to us if you’d subscribe to our channel or share our video. We’re new to YouTube, so every view, like, and sub makes a huge difference for us. Thank you!]

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn

We’ve included free plans that have a cut list and measurements. The video and this post will go into more details, but the plans are a great reference for the nitty gritty numbers. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

Materials:

Tools:

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn

Squaring & the 2x4s

We started by giving our 2×4’s a nice square edge on all sides. The rounded edges they come with make it difficult to get a finished looking end product.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn We ran the top and bottom of them through the planer.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn Then we ran the left and right sides through the table saw, and then through the planer.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn We did this before cutting them to length because we thought that would make all our boards more consistent, but it was a little unwieldy running 10-ft boards through a table saw. So it might be easier to cut them first (leaving extra length that you can trim off later).

Cutting & making panels

After squaring them up, we cut the 2x4s to length for our top panel, shelf, and legs on our miter saw. You can find the lengths and cut list in the plans we linked to earlier.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn Everything got 10 degree miters: The legs are angled at 10 degrees, which means their ends need a 10 degree cut; and the shelf buts up against the legs so it therefore needs a 10 degree cut too. Technically, you could cut the top panel at 90 degrees but we thought 10 degrees would look nice, so that one is purely aesthetic.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn Next we glued up the panels for our top piece and our shelf piece. We used Titebond Original wood glue here and Bessey clamps. We also have a little silicone brush that is awesome for applying the glue. We let these set overnight.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn Then we ran our two panels through the planer one more time to level out any unevenness from our glue up.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn Unfortunately, we got some snipe on the ends, which is when your board isn’t in contact with both rollers at the same time and the planer cuts the ends a little deeper.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn

We fixed this by running it through again and again with sacrificial boards in front of and behind it until we got rid of the snipe.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn

Cutting dados

This part was a little tricky since we’ve never cut dados before. We angled our table saw blade to 10 degrees and raised the blade so it would cut about halfway through the thickness of our boards. There are dados in a few different places: two in the underside of the tabletop for the legs to go into, and one on the inside of each leg for the shelf to sit in.

We started with the tabletop. We measured where the outside of each dado needed to be and made marks at those points. We started our cuts there and worked our way inward.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn We thought we’d widen our dado a little bit at a time and test fit the legs with each pass as we got close.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn We tried to be careful, but we still cut our first dado a hair too big. Womp.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn We cut new legs for that side and it ended up being fine (you can’t visibly tell a difference in the leg thickness), but we did learn to stop a little early with our cuts. An extra snug fit is ok, and you can use a wood mallet to pound the wood into place if it’s tight. Luckily, our second dado under the tabletop was fine.

We tried to be careful, but we still cut our first dado a hair too big. Womp. Next we cut a dado on the inside of each leg. We actually did all the legs together to make sure the dados were consistent. We again used the method of marking where the dados needed to start and working our way down little by little.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn To clean up our dados, we used a router with a ½” diameter dovetail bit and a chisel. The bit got the flat surfaces really well, and the chisel helped clean the corners (plus it was super satisfying).

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn

Assembly

With our dados cut, it was time to assemble. This table is put together with just wood glue, no screws involved. Unfortunately, when we started to assemble it we realized our shelf panel had warped a little.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn 2x4s are prone to warping, so if you use nicer wood you hopefully won’t have to worry about this happening as much. Luckily we were able to force it into place during our dry fit assembly.

However, it took us about 15 minutes to pound everything into place with that warped shelf, and our glue (Titebond III) has a set time of 10 minutes, so we literally had to race the clock for this assembly. If you don’t have any warping it won’t be as much of an issue.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn All the pieces need to be assembled simultaneously. We applied glue to our dados, roughly put the legs where they need to be in the tabletop dados, sat the shelf in the leg dados, and used a mallet to inch everything into place. We clamped everything together and let the glue dry overnight.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn

Finishing

The next day, we unclamped our piece and gave the whole thing a good sanding using a random orbit sander for the large surfaces and sanding blocks to get into harder to reach spots.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn Then we used wood filler at each joint to fill in any gaps we couldn’t close before the glue set. We let it dry and sanded it off.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn Next we gave it two coats of shellac and sanded lightly with 600 grit sandpaper between coats. If you are too heavy handed with the sanding or use too low of a grit, you’ll sand the shellac right off.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn After the shellac, we gave it a coat of Briwax, which we then buffed off by placing a microfiber rag between our random orbit sander and the table. The finish came out reeeeally nice. It’s got some shine but isn’t overly shiny, and it feels super smooth.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn

Done!

We love how this side table turned out! Like we said earlier, this build would probably be easier with nicer, more expensive wood, but this was a great challenge and the cheap material really allowed us to experiment with some new techniques. Please let us know if you have any questions about this build. Thanks!

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn ………………………………………………………………
You can also find us at:

YouTube (all our DIY videos)
Instagram (sneak peeks @evanandkatelyn)
Patreon (if you wanna support us, but no pressure!)
Pinterest (stuff that inspires us)
Twitter (us, in 140 character doses)
Facebook (be our friend)
Instructables (straight up tutorials)
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Note: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting us!

2

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post

A while back we built a horizontal cat scratching post/pad and shared it on the blog. Mochi did use it, but the downside is she still clawed our couch too. Womp.

So we built a modern vertical cat scratching post that slides over the arm of our couch, hoping that giving her something vertical to pull on will spare our couch from further damage. And so far, she’s using it!!! Yay!!! Bonus, this thing also acts as a wooden couch sleeve to set your drink on. Double yay!!

Of course, we documented the whole build on video so if you’d like to see the action in video form check it out!

[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!]

Tools & materials

Before I get into this build, I’ll preface it by saying we used a lot of tools on this simply because we had them at the ready, but you don’t need everything we used. So I’m gonna put the must-have tools at the top of the list, and additional stuff we used below.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Must-have tools/materials

Additional tools/materials we used (helpful, but not 100% necessary)

Step 1: Measure & cut the 2 vertical pieces

This scratching post is made of three pieces. To start, we’re going to find the measurements we need for our two vertical pieces (numbers 1 and 2 below). All the measurements for this build will depend on your couch.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Because couch arms can be rounded, grab a scrap piece of wood, or anything flat really, and place it across the top of the couch arm, making sure it’s level. Then measure the distance between the floor and the underside of the scrap piece.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

This measurement is going to be the length of your longer vertical wood piece that goes on the outside of your couch arm.

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Next, slide the yardstick between the arm of your couch and the cushion until it hits the base of your couch under the cushion.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

This measurement is going to be the length of your shorter vertical wood piece that goes on the inside of your couch arm.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

We used these two measurements to cut two pieces from our 10×1 on the miter saw. You could definitely use a circular saw instead though, or heck even a jig saw or hand saw.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

On the shorter piece, we also added a slight taper by cutting an angle on our miter saw so that it would slide between the cushions more easily. It’s optional, but it does help.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Step 2: Pocket holes

Next we drilled pocket holes. If you don’t have a kreg jig don’t worry, you can just screw perpendicularly through the boards with wood screws later to attach them (don’t do it til after you’ve attached your sisal though. We’ll cover that part later). If you want to try the kreg jig but aren’t sure how to use it, here is a great tutorial on it.

We drilled these at the top of both vertical pieces, on the inside part that will be facing the couch arm. We’ll use them to attach the top piece later.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Step 3: Attach the sisal

Next we wrapped the longer vertical board (the one on out outside of the couch arm) with thick 3/8″ diameter sisal rope. We used most of this 100 foot roll which is pretty crazy. DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Because it’s so thick, we had to wrap the board first before we could get an accurate measurement of how wide our top piece needs to be.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

We attached the sisal in such a way that if she really goes to town on it and at some point we need to replace it, we can easily do so. First we drilled a hole at one end of our longer piece of wood.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Tape the end of the sisal and thread it through the hole so that the taped end is on the pocket hole side of your board.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com We secured the sisal by screwing through it and into the wood. First drill a small pilot hole, making sure to NOT go all the way through the wood.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Then screw through the taped end of the sisal and into the pilot hole. Make sure you use a small enough screw that won’t go all the way through your board (we used #8 x 3/4” wood screws).

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Next we rounded out our edges with the router and ⅛” radius roundover bit. Eventually we are going to round pretty much every edge except those that are joined together, but for now we just rounded out the edges of the piece that will have the sisal because we wanted to do it before we wrapped it.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com As we started, we realized we should have rounded these edges BEFORE we attached the sisal because it actually got in the way of the router. So we had to detach it, round the edges, and then reattach it.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com After reattaching the sisal, we got started wrapping it tightly around the board. It helps to have a buddy for this part because our arms actually got surprisingly tired haha.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com We attached the end of the sisal the same way we started it, by drilling a hole through the wood, threading through the sisal, and screwing it to the board on the pocket hole side of the wood (the same side we screwed the starting end to)

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Step 4: Measure & cut the top piece

Next we are going to measure out and cut our top piece of wood.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com First we put the two vertical pieces in place.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com We made sure they were level, then measured the distance between the outside edge of each board.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com We cut that length on the miter saw, but again, use whatever saw you’ve got.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Before attaching the top piece, we rounded the corners of the rest of our edges. Like I mentioned before, we wanted to round out everything but the edges that we would join together.

Step 5: Sand & smooth

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Then we sanded out surfaces so that everything was smooth because it’s a lot easier to do before everything is assembled. We used the random orbit sander on the large surfaces and hand sanded it with a sanding block on the edges.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Step 6: Attach everything

We used right angle clamps to keep the boards as square as we could before attaching them. In the picture below, we’re attaching the top piece to the shorter vertical piece

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com We screwed through our pocket holes using pocket hole screws. If you didn’t do pocket holes, this is where you could screw wood screws perpendicularly through the boards.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com When it came time to attach the long vertical wood piece, the dang sisal was in the way again so we had to get creative with some additional clamps and scrap wood in order to clamp the boards at a right angle. But we figured it out and screwed through those pocket holes as well.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Yay, all attached!

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Step 7: Finishing

Next we rounded out the corners of our top piece so that they matched up with the rounded corners of our side pieces. You can see in this picture where some edges are still sharp, and some are already rounded.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Then we rounded the rest of the top piece. You could potentially do all the edge rounding at once, we just thought it was easier to do it as we went.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com We noticed there were a couple slight gaps where our pieces joined together. So we filled them with sanding dust from our sander and some glue. This is a great alternative to wood putty, and it’s guaranteed to match the color of your wood. Add more dust if you need to, and sand it to finish.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com A trick to get your cat interested in the scratching post is to spray it with catnip spray. It’s sorta cheating… but it works! We also like to scratch on it with our hands to help show her what it’s for.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

If all your measurements were correct (cross your fingers!) this should slide right over your couch arm.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com She’s spotted it…

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com She actually likes it!!! Eeeeeeep!!

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com We definitely like this new scratching post more than our old one. It feels a little more finished looking, and we don’t have to worry about stubbing our toes (although we’ll still hold onto the old one for a while)

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Hope she continues to like and use it! Please, Mochi, please use it, for the sake of our couch…

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com ………………………………………………………………
You can also find us at:

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Pinterest (stuff that inspires us)
Twitter (us, in 140 character doses)
Facebook (be our friend)
Instructables (straight up tutorials)
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1

Living room mood board – I wish!

Spring (aka it’s all of a sudden 85 degrees down in Texas) has us imagining changes around here! Full room makeovers may not be in the cards for us right now, but I recently started helping a friend put together a mood board for her living room (hi Lisa!) and it made me think – what would our dream living room look like? It’s been so long since we did ours, how has our style changed? *dives deeply into the Pinterest rabbit hole*

I’ve actually only put together a legit mood board ONCE (and I don’t even think we shared it on the blog). Ironically, I’m prettttyyy sure it was for our living room haha. (Which I’m realizing now I really need to share again because the post I linked to up there is years old. Wow.) Anyway, I’m excited today to share what our ideal space would look like! Who knows, maybe this will spur a few changes around here :) Natural modern living room - evanandkatelyn.com

My overall thoughts

So I’ll walk ya through why I chose what I chose in the hopes that maybe it’ll get your brains turning too. Overall, I wanted to go for something that had modern vibes and clean lines (the couch, coffee table, lamp, art) but with lots of natural materials/textures (woven rug and baskets, leather couch, plants) to warm it up and a little whimsy thrown in (marquee letters, fun pillows).

Art ledge

I’ll start at the top. I’ve been wanting to do an art ledge for-like-ever. I’m obsessed with the one made by Chris and Julia. You can buy these, but check out their tutorial for a super easy DIY walk through. I’m thinking a dark walnut one would be gorgeous. Speaking of C & T, also fell in love with the large tree rings print from Minted they hung on their dark shiplap wall. That piece because the starting point for the art ledge. I went with black and white to give the space contrast but also be a neutral backdrop for the color I wanted to bring in elsewhere. Our current living room art is super colorful, which I loved for a long time, but I’m craving more neutral pieces up on my walls now.

Natural modern living room - evanandkatelyn.com
01. Visionary print

02. Sum Total print

03. Tree Rings print

04. Staredown print

05. News Flash print

06. Art ledge – tutorial here

Couch, furniture, plants

I wanted to go neutral and natural with the furniture pieces. We LOVE our Lounge sectional, which is an L shape, but something U shaped is oh so appealing (PS this one is from Arhaus and I’m kinda loving how sizable and sturdy their living room furniture looks. Like it’s not gonna blow away and you could probably jump on it without worry haha). I wanted other furniture pieces that were a little more delicate (but also sizable!) to balance the big sectional, so I went with the gold coffee table and gold standing lamp, which tie into each other. Plus I wanted a glass coffee table so you could see the pretty rug underneath. I also had to throw in a couple plants… both faux because I have a black thumb, but of course if you can keep a plant alive go for something living! I also loved the tiny wood vase on the coffee table plant, and the big basket is one I already own and luh-uh-uhv.

Natural modern living room - evanandkatelyn.com

 

07. Faux fiddle leaf fig

08. Dune three-piece sectional

09. Gold tripod floor lamp

10. Large curved basket

11. Gold and glass coffee table

12. Faux eucalyptus plant

Pillows, marquee letters, chair

This… is my favorite little section of the mood board. I wanted some fun and whimsy in the pillows. That winking one had me at hello ;) (Bonus- it’s embroidered, not printed, which gives it a little extra texture!). I also love how the boho style pink and red pillow ties into the rug without being too matchy matchy, and the gold spotted pillow ties in with the coffee table and lamp (it’s embroidered too!). The marquee letters we made for our wedding… those are part of our ideal living room no matter what. They were our first big DIY project and we’re still obsessed with them. And that handsome leather chair is pretty much the best of all worlds – modern, warm, and some masculinity to balance the pillows.

Natural modern living room - evanandkatelyn.com

13. Agda printed yarn pillow

14. Dot embroidered throw pillow

15. Winky embroidered throw pillow

16. Marquee letters – check out our tutorial here

17. Axel leather armchair

Rugs

I love the layered rug look. Love. I’ve had googly eyes for Persian rugs ever since we got a few little ones for the house. This big one has my name all over it. It’s a bit more expensive than I would normally pay… but this is a dream moodboard right? Plus to balance it, the jute rug underneath is super reasonably priced (and huge!). So it all evens out right? Natural modern living room - evanandkatelyn.com

18. Hand-woven natural area rug (11×15)

19. Persian rug (9’9″ x 13)

Hope you guys found this mood board helpful! Any other styles or rooms you’d be interested in seeing? Let us know below or on Insta (@evanandkatelyn)

Not gonna lie – a) had a ton of fun making this, b) I want to immediately buy everything in this room now, and c) was kinda hesitant to publish because now I know somebody else is gonna snag that rug.

………………………………………………………………
You can also find us at:

YouTube (all our DIY videos)
Instagram (sneak peeks @evanandkatelyn)
Patreon (if you wanna support us, but no pressure!)
Pinterest (stuff that inspires us)
Twitter (us, in 140 character doses)
Facebook (be our friend)
Instructables (straight up tutorials)
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Note: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting us!

0

DIY easy concrete letters

We are kinda sorta obsessed with these little concrete letters. Mainly because a) they’re really easy to DIY because there’s no mold-making required, and b) leaving messages around the house is kinda awesome.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Hehehehehe.

So today we’re gonna walk through this quick tutorial. And after this you’ll be looking around your house for other stuff you can pour concrete into (it’s kind of addicting).

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!]

Here’s what you’ll need for the project

  • Quikrete Vinyl Concrete Patcher
  • Small mixing container (you could use something like this or even a solo cup works if you’re just doing a few letters)
  • Stirring and scooping devices (we use an old ladle to scoop dry concrete mix, a metal rod to mix it, and a plastic spoon to scoop it into the letters. But chances are, you’ve got something on hand already that will work)
  • Silicone letter baking mold
  • Gloves (we really like the thick 9 mil gloves)
  • Mask
  • Plywood or some sort of board (it protects your work surface and makes it easier to get concrete to settle into your mold – we’ll get into that later)
  • Concrete sealer (optional)
  • Paint or spray paint (optional, but we used gold Krylon)

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com If you’ve watched any concrete tutorials before, you may notice we’re using a sliiiightly different product from the norm. This was a choice we made for a few reasons:

  1. It has a really fine grain so the ending surface finish is really nice – no big lumps or rocks
  2. It fills into more detailed shapes more easily than some concretes
  3. Bonus – it comes in a smaller batch than most concrete mixes, which is nice

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Before you start, place plywood (or anything else similarly stiff and board-like) over your work surface. This not only protects your table from the potential mess, but it’s also gonna help you agitate the mold too (don’t worry, we’ll get into that later).

Make sure you have your PPE (personal protective equipment on) before you start handling the concrete mix. Portland cement is very basic (opposite of acidic), and has crystalline silica dust (which is really bad for your lungs). If you get cement on your hands and leave it there it can cause minor chemical burns and draws out moisture from your skin. If you do get cement on your hands, no worries. Wash with water, then pour common white vinegar over the area to neutralize any alkalinity, then wash with water again.

Start by adding a small amount of water to your mixing container. It’s important to add water to the container first before adding any mix. We started with about 50 ml but ended up adding more later.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Then add a few ladles of mix. The Quikrete instructions say to use 7 parts concrete mix to 1 part water, but for this project we found that to be too dry. We added a splash or two more water (a little goes a long way!) and kept mixing.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Side note, adding more water DOES weaken the concrete slightly. Which you definitely wouldn’t want if you were making anything that needed to be structurally sound or hold weight. But for this small decorative items, the slightly wetter concrete is so much easier to work with so we think it’s worth it (we’ve made a ton of these by the way – no breaks so far)

It’s easy to add too much water though. So here’s a tip to check and see if you have too much. Agitate the mixing container, and excess water will rise to the surface. We do this by quickly hitting the insides of the walls of the container back and forth with our stirring stick (you can see this better in the video).

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com This should cause extra water, if there is any, to rise to the surface. If you see water pooling a little at the top, add a little more concrete mix, stir it around, and agitate the container again to test for more water.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Once there’s not more excess water and your concrete is about the consistency of a sandy milkshake (I know, sounds so appetizing), you’re good to go. (In total, you’ll need to mix for 2-3 minutes to make sure everything is incorporated).

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Once your mixed concrete is ready, spoon it into the letters of the mold that you want to make. Heads up – some letters don’t stand up on their own too well (like P and F for example, which are asymmetrical and top heavy) but that doesn’t mean you can’t still use them (see our “POOP” example above…. hmm that’s something I never foresaw myself saying).

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com You’ll want to overfill the letters a little. The concrete will settle down into the mold.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Now you need to agitate the mold to get out any air bubbles. This is where the plywood comes in handy. We like to shake and drop the plywood with the mold on top of it, since the plywood is a lot sturdier to grab onto than a silicone mold full of wet concrete. You can still agitate the mold itself by scooting it quickly side to side, but I wouldn’t pick it up or anything. Again, this is easier to visualize in video format.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com You’ll see the bubbles rise to the surface. You can pop them with whatever stirrer or scooper you have on hand, then give the mold another good shake to see if any more come up.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Honestly, we kinda like the look of a few bubbles… it adds some interest. But you don’t want a ton or it’ll be a weaker end product.

Scrape off any excess concrete off the top (we used a popsicle stick, but again whatever you have around is fine, just something with a flat edge). You can give it one last shake which should smooth out your scraped-off surface.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Then… you just have to wait. These take about 24 hours to dry.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Before we take them out of the mold, you have the option to apply a concrete sealer to the backs of them (the side you can see when they’re still in the mold).

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com This step is totally optional, but this side of the letters tends to be a little dusty and the sealer will help lessen the dust. Since we do a lot of stuff in concrete, we already had the sealer, but if you don’t want to buy it just for this purpose your letters will be fine.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com If you do want to use it, apply a thin coat and let it dry for about an hour (we’ve done half an hour… but if you want to play it safe, wait the full hour). Then you can remove your letters, yay!

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com The back edge might be a little rough, so chip off any rough edges with your finger.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com I know the last thing you want to hear is that you need to do any more waiting… but you have to do a little more waiting. 24 more hours to be exact. They continue to cure once they’re out of the mold because air is able to reach areas that were previously encased. You can see the difference between a freshly de-molded set of letters and one that is fully cured in the photo below.

Keep them on a surface that can be messy, like your plywood from earlier or simply sitting on top of the molds. If you put these on something absorbent, they’ll leave moisture spots.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Ok… after your long week of waiting, you can finally use these suckers! They’re super cute as is but there are tons of creative ways to paint them too. I love love love giving them a metallic ombre look.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com To do this, put on a glove (so you don’t spray your fingers) and hold the top of the letter, spraying the bottom half with your spray paint of choice. I try to spray about 8 inches away. The farther you spray, the more of a fade your ombre will have. Vice versa, the closer you spray the less fade you’ll have. You can test it on some scrap wood, cardboard, piece of junk mail, etc.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Other ideas we love are giving it a dipped look by painting the bottom third with gold leaf paint or crisp white acrylic, but I feel like you could experiment with lots of different techniques and styles. If you end up making these, take a photo of what you did and tag us @evanandkatelyn on Instagram because we would LOVE to see what y’all come up with!

And lastly, if you like the look of these but actually messing with concrete is not your thing, you can also buy these on our Etsy. We sell the LOVE as a set, but shoot us a message and we can make whatever letters you want. Like your home state…

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Favorite food…

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Or spirit animal.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com ………………………………………………………………
You can also find us at:

YouTube (all our DIY videos)
Instagram (sneak peeks @evanandkatelyn)
Patreon (if you wanna support us, but no pressure!)
Pinterest (stuff that inspires us)
Twitter (us, in 140 character doses)
Facebook (be our friend)
Instructables (straight up tutorials)
………………………………………………………………
Note: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting us!

4

Simple DIY cutting board

We’ve been wanting to get into hardwoods lately. We’ve done some “light” woodworking in the past (like this simple side table we made or our DIY marquee letters), but we’ve always just used whatever cheap wood we could find at Home Depot.

Don’t get me wrong – there is a lot you can do with inexpensive framing lumber, plywood, etc, and we will continue to use it I’m sure. But for this project, we needed to get our hands on something a little more specific/fancy/drool-worthy.

Enter the DIY cutting board. Our excuse to get our hands on something really really nice.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - 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!]

We originally wanted to make these cutting boards as gifts and/or to sell on our Etsy shop, but we liked them so much we couldn’t help but turn this into a tutorial too.

So pretty much as soon as we could, we found the closest lumberyard and got our butts over there. Side note, we realized that lumberyards are often closed on weekends and evenings, so if you work full time like we do you might want to check their hours before you drive all the way over there *cough* learn from our mistakes *cough*.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com (sorry about the bad selfie quality!)

Walking in, we had a “a whole new wooorrrld” moment. It was amazing, we could have stayed there all day. Literally, they had to politely ask us to to make our purchase and head out because they were closing. But enough about our lumberyard adventure, let’s get to the real meat of this tutorial.

Here’s what you’ll need

Side note, we’ll be making a face grain cutting board, which is often the prettiest and easiest, but is not the most durable option. We will be making another tutorial for an edge grain or end grain cutting board soon though which are more durable but more difficult to make, so keep your eye out.

Wood selection is key in this project. There are a few different things you need to look for when choosing it. It needs to be:

  • Durable
  • Food safe
  • Close grained

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Some good options we came across in our research are maple, cherry, and walnut. Maple is on the cheaper end, so we started with that (note: we’ve since gone back and made another out of walnut too and it’s preeeety).

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com When picking your board, check for damage and flatness/straightness. Damage is pretty obvious, just know that even little imperfections that might be ok in other projects will cause you extra headache on this cutting board, like little dinks in the wood or a cool knot.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com A good way to quickly check for flatness is to look down the length of the board at a steep angle and see if it still looks straight. The steep angle amplifies any changes in the straightness. If it looks bendy or wavy at all, see if you can find a straighter piece.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com We ended up choosing an 8-inch wide piece of hard maple. Feeling pretty fancy after dropping more than $10 on a piece of wood, we got kicked out went home to get started.

First, we cut our board to about 16 inches long using our miter saw. The length (and width) are really up to you, but we thought the 8”x16” size looked good.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com We also decided to cut off one corner to add some visual interest, but again, totally optional. We just liked the look of it.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Then we marked where our hole would be drilled. The hole can be used for hanging the cutting board, and it also adds even more visual interest. We marked the center of our corner cut, and made a mark about 1 inch inward from the center (we used a combination square). That mark became the center of our hole.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com We used a drill press with a 1-⅛” hole saw to cut the hole. Make sure to not drill all the way through from one side of our board. This could damage the grains on the other side. Instead, just as the tip of the drill exits the wood, stop drilling, flip the board, and continue drilling from the other side, using the tiny hole you made with the tip of the drill as your guide.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Woooo, that’s all the cuts you need to make! Pretty simple right?

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Now it’s time to make it smooth and pretty. First, sand top side, bottom side, and outer edges with a random orbit sander using 220 grit sandpaper. I spent some time on the edges of the 45 degree cut to round the sharp edge. Don’t worry about the 90 degree corners, we’ll handle those later.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Then use a router with a ⅛” radius roundover bit to take the corners from a sharp edge to a round edge. This bit is a game changer! I never thought about how much of a difference having that rounded edge made.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com I also rounded over the 90 degree corners with this. It makes the finished product look extra nice because all the corners will have the exact same radius.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Next, we hand sanded our newly rounded corners and the inside of our hole with some 220-320 grit sandpaper. We found that sanding a higher quality hardwood is much easier and quicker than something like pine, that gets more splintered when you cut it.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Final step – oil your wood! Make sure to get the outside edges and inside the hanging hole too. We are in love with Natchez Solution wood oil, it’s the same stuff we’ve been using on the butcher block dining table we DIY’d a few months ago. It’s got mineral oil, lemon oil, and beeswax.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com After waiting 24 hours, your cutting board is ready to be used! Cutting on it for the first time was a little nerve-racking, I’ll admit. It was so pretty and perfect I didn’t want to mess it up. But I’m happy to report that it works and washes up well! A few light knife marks and no staining so far.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Hope you guys like this tutorial! If you want one of these cutting boards but not sure if you want to tackle the project yourself, we actually sell them too! You can find them in a few different wood options on our Etsy shop.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com ………………………………………………………………
You can also find us at:

YouTube (all our DIY videos)
Instagram (sneak peeks @evanandkatelyn)
Patreon (if you wanna support us, but no pressure!)
Pinterest (stuff that inspires us)
Twitter (us, in 140 character doses)
Facebook (be our friend)
Instructables (straight up tutorials)
………………………………………………………………
Note: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting us!

2

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!

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2017 Project/House/Life Goals

Everyone is posting their 2017 house resolutions and we’re over here like “Is it Wednesday or Thursday??” (spoiler, it’s Tuesday).

So we’re a little late to the share-your-goals game, but it got us to sit down and talk about some of the bigger projects we are really excited to tackle this year (aka here’s a post with all the not-pretty rooms in the house!)

Garage

I kinda feel like everybody and their mom has the garage on their things-to-be-dealt-with list, but we really reallllllly want to get to ours. After turning half of it into a workshop to create products for our shop, we’ve got scrap wood, spray paint, boxes, concrete mix, and power tools everywhere. For the photo below we actually tried to pick up! (and by pick up we mean shove everything we could onto/under that worktable)

We plan on taking everything off the walls and patching them, epoxying the floor, and coming up with storage solutions for all of our stuff.

Office

Ahahaha. Ye olde office. This is the hardest room to figure out in our house. We are currently using this room to house a couple computers, a 3D printer, tools we don’t want outside, an extensive collection of photography gear, art and craft supplies, and hey lets just throw in our workout stuff while we’re at it too.

The reason we haven’t put more time into this space yet is because we don’t know where out office is going to end up down the line. Will it stay in this room? Will we go back to using the breakfast nook? Will the garage absorb some of it once we fix it up? Will we move it into the guest room once we turn the guest bed  into a murphy bed? Which brings me too…

Murphy bed

Guest rooms are awesome when you have people stay overnight. But most of the time, our guest room is just the room that Mochi hangs out in/houses extra decor and hand-me-down furniture.

We’d really like to build some more functionality into the space, so we are hoping to DIY a built-in Murphy bed  (kinda like this, this, or this).

YouTube Channel 

So this one isn’t a project for our house per say… but we plan on starting a YouTube channel! We love taking videos (we put together a one-second-a-day video each year, just to have) but we’ve never done it for the blog before.

We’re already working on a couple video tutorials and we plan on making the channel live once we have a few more done. Super excited to dip our toes into this world!

More products

Working on some more products, specifically lots involving concrete right now. We 3D print models of the products, make a silicone mold from the print, and then pour the concrete into the mold. It’s super fun! Keep you eye out for things from coasters to candle holders.

New art for living room

After posting about our hallway gallery last week, I’ve got art on my mind. We’ve slowly but surely been painting over canvas prints we’ve had since the apartment days.

See the pink one in the upper left? New. The one of our kitty Mochi poking her head up? New. The black one above the TV? Errrr, in progress haha.

Outdoor lights

Lastly, we plan to finally give our exterior a little love! Starting with replacing our outdoor sconces by the front door and the back door. These, these, and these are a few options we’re looking at.

As you can see, what we’ve currently got going on is nothing special. Of course we could also use a new front door, new window screens, a different paint color… and taking the Christmas lights down would help too.

Putting all this down on (digital) paper makes me want to do ALL THE THINGS right now! Can’t wait to keep sharing, learning, and being our goofy selves with you guys in 2017.

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