how to customize a reach-in closet {for $80}

In this new (old) house of ours we have a phenomenal amount of closets. For such an old house the storage space overall is amazing. Our bedroom closet is a decent sized reach-in closet, but the space was not being used in the most effective way. And while we could have just hung our clothes and added two dressers to the bedroom I really didn’t want to clutter the room like that. So for $80 I was able to customize the closet to ensure we’re maximizing all the space.

how to customize a reach-in closet for $80

The closet had two hanging bars on each side and two small shelves above each bar, but there was a ton of unused space. I picked up one shoe shelf, and two drawer units from Target. I added the drawer units to the left side of the closet and we hang shorter clothes, tops, blazers, etc. above the stacked drawers. Just like that I added four drawers to what was otherwise completely unused space.

On the right side of the closet is where we hang longer clothes – pants, dress shirts, dresses, etc., and underneath those I added a shoe shelf. Most of our shoes live in our entryway closet (another post on that coming) but we keep the less worn shoes in the bedroom closet (hiking boots, tennis sneakers, etc).

shoe shelf in closet

For the shelves, I knew that we were losing good storage space by only having those two tiny shelves. So, we took those shelves and connected them with a piece of scrap wood and some brackets to make the shelf wrap around 3 sides of the closet.   We gained an extra three feet of overhead storage for bags, bulky sweaters, and more.

custom closet shelf

To make the shelves look less unfinished I wrapped the whole piece with leftover contact paper I had on hand.

closet customization

Lastly, there are two hooks under the shelf to hang our robes on (and our mini ironing board, which I’m not sure why I have that living in our bedroom closet). I may end up adding a few hooks to the inside of the door, if we’re finding that we need them.

For a total of $80 we were able to customize this reach-in closet, maximize clothing storage and eliminate clutter in our bedroom. Sometimes you just have to think creatively about your space to find the best end result. I’m hoping to add a small rug and get some shelf dividers so we can stack sweaters too. I’m psyched about the difference and already it’s proved to be very effective.

our finished DIY dining table {with custom hairpin legs}

Our dining table is now complete! I’ve already shared the building of it and staining of it, and now I’m back to show you the awesome hair pin legs we built for it. And by we I mean our friend Joe and Al. After realizing how terrible the original legs were (as seen in the staining post) we decided to go with some solid hairpin legs.

A Simple DIY Dining Table with Custom Hairpin Legs

Get ready for a photo heavy post! The process of making them was really cool and it was fun to see them come to fruition. Here’s a very high level version of the process. If you want more depth feel free to email me directly.

heating table legs

We cut the iron rods into four, five foot pieces, so that when bent each leg would be 30″. We marked the middle of each rod and heated that spot long enough to allow the rod to bend – about five minutes.

bending table legs

rounded hairpin table leg

Once all were heated and bent we then cut four plates to attach the legs to. We drilled holes in the plates so we could eventually screw the legs onto the table base.

leg base plate

welding leg bases

Joe then welded the legs to the plates and voila! Just like that we had four amazing custom-made hair pin legs. The next day we sprayed each leg with multiple coats of clear wheel protectant – the same product used on vehicle rims.

finished hairpin legs

It gave a nice finish to the legs without altering the color of the iron. I love the look of the raw iron with the rustic looking table.

custom made hairpin legs

Not sure why our floors look orange in these photos, but I promise, our floors aren’t orange. We still need to get dining chairs, a rug and some art on the walls, but we’re one step closer to a finished dining room and hey, I’m just happy to have a place to eat!

high five for friday!

Well, I’m sure you’ve all seen or heard that it’s colder than cold in Colorado right now. We went from 70’s on Sunday to below zero by Tuesday. So if that’s not a shock to the body, I’m not sure what is. These weeks are flying by. I know I say it every week but I’ve never felt like time was moving so fast the way I do lately. Likely a result of being incredibly busy, but still, I blink and it’s two months later. Happy Friday though, another weekend, which I ain’t complainin’ about!

High Five For Friday_11.14.14

1. Texted this collage to my family. While it’s brutally cold, it’s still unbelievably beautiful. The sunrise is the view out our kitchen window every morning. Can’t complain about that.

2. I placed and received my first order with ePantry. Have you  guys heard of it? It’s an online site that automatically send you household products based on the selections you make. They track when you’ll be getting low on products and send out another shipment to you. It’s pretty awesome seeing as though I forget to buy dish soap all. the. time.

3. This was last weekend when it was a beautiful 72 degree day. Gotta take advantage and get outside while ya can!

4. If you follow me on Instagram you saw that I scored big with roman shades at Lowe’s. Run don’t walk to Lowe’s if you need window treatments. You won’t regret it. Well, unless of course if they’re sold out. Then you might regret it.

5. We went to Chihuly last weekend and loved it. We had seen it at night in Nashville a few years ago so it was fun to see the differences from night to day. I’m amazed by the glass sculptures. Such talent.

a {simple} DIY dining table: phase 2

Last week I shared with you guys how to make the tabletop for our dining table. Today I’m showing you the original set of legs we purchased (and why they didn’t work) and the staining process. {Click here to see Phase 1 and here to see Completed Project!}

staining & finishing a diy tabletop

The legs we decided on were the Lerberg table legs from IKEA – at $10 each, they’re very reasonable. However, once we secured the legs to the table we realized that they were much too short and didn’t really flow with the look of the table or the look we were going for.

So while we went ahead and continued on with finishing the table we knew we’d likely be changing out the legs as some point, but was worth seeing what they looked like with the tabletop complete.

table legs

Next up was staining and finishing the table. We have quite a stock of paint and stains so we chose to just use what we had on hand, which was Minwax Jacobean.

First we sanded the table incredibly thoroughly. It probably took about 60-90 minutes. We then pre-treated the wood with pre-stain conditioner (also from Minwax), and followed by staining the wood with a rag, making sure to rub the stain in one direction. We let that coat dry and added a few additional coats.

sanding a diy table

Truthfully, easiest thing to do is follow the instructions on the can. That’s the process we followed, why complicate things, ya know?! Once we allowed the stain to fully set, I think we let it sit for a day or two, we then finished the tabletop with a protective finish, again, following the instructions on the can.

diy stained tabletop

It came out pretty darn great. We love the color of it and the way in incorporates with the open space of our living and dining room. The legs, however, were still not doing it. So we decided to go a different route, which was an amazing one. Stay tuned for the final outcome…is the suspense killing you? It is me. Just kidding, I already know what it looks like. And it’s awesome.

 

IKEA tidafors sofa review {one year later}

It’s been a year since we first purchased our Tidafors sectional from Ikea and I’m more than overdue for an update to you guys. That original post is still one of my top read posts of all time. Apparently there’s no one else out there providing solid reviews on the Tidafors?!

Ikea Tidafors Sofa Review

I can honestly say – and you all know how honest I am – that we still love it. It has held it’s shape, color, comfort and more. Now, I do have to put the disclaimer out there that we do not have pets or children (I know, right? Living the life right now!). If we had pets and children there’s potential that my review would be different. But I don’t know, because I don’t have them.

Though, as a childless and pet free home it has held up phenomenally. I try to vacuum the sofa a few times a month, usually once as a deep clean and the other times as just a quick vacuum. The color has not faded at all, especially since Colorado is the sunniest place ever and we usually have our shades open during the day.

We did have our first spill on it, which was chamomile tea. I won’t lie, it was tragic. I thought the end of the Tidafors had come. That we’d have a liquid stain forever. But, surprisingly, that wasn’t the case.

We quickly blotted the spill with a towel to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. From there, I sprinkled baking soda all over the spill, allowing it to absorb more of the liquid. I then vacuumed up the baking soda. It helped to absorb the liquid but the outline of a stain was still there.

couch-1024x682

I went ahead and grabbed the hair dryer like a crazy person and dried the hell out of it thinking that if I dried it quickly it wouldn’t set. There was still a stain. I was tired and it was late so I went to bed and said I’d deal with it in the morning.

Well, in the morning it had faded a significant amount. So I let it be and when I got home from work it had faded more. A few days went by and the entire stain was gone! There was no outline, nothing.

So, while I’m not sure this method would work for say, red wine, which I’m currently very fond of, it’s worth a shot if there was ever to be a spill of that sort.

Spills and stains aside this sofa held up well through our move, which meant taking it apart, shoving it in a truck and hoping we put it back together correctly. It was a cinch to put back together and as I said, it’s still comfy and supportive as ever. And I should know since I spend nearly every night from 8pm until bedtime on it.

Eventually this sectional will likely live in our basement, once it’s quasi finished, but for now it fits perfectly in our space, it fits a good amount of people on it and it’s comfy and sturdy. What more might you ever need in a sofa?!

how to create a budget friendly DIY theme party

I love a good theme party and  with the popularity of Pinterest, it seems like the inspiration is endless. Though, often times it can get quite pricey to purchase theme decor online or in stores. Or maybe you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for. If you have a PicMonkey account (it’s free!) you can create your own theme decor at a fraction of the cost.

How to create a budget friendly DIY theme party

I’ll typically create in PicMonkey then print at an office supply store on a card stock weight paper. It’s huge money savings and custom-made to your liking!

DIY Pirate Sign

For instructions on how to get started with a blank canvas you can reference this post. Adjust the size of the paper as needed. Really there’s not much else to know except for how to get started with a blank slate. I tend to just play around with the different functionalities until I find something that works.

DIY Pirate Food Labels

To create an overall “theme,” stick with the same color scheme, fonts and images throughout. This particular party I worked on was a pirate theme party. I played around with different fonts until I found one that seemed pirate like. I then searched for free clip art images on google and Pinterest until I found one that I liked.

DIY Pirate Treat Bag Labels

I created a variety of signs for the food and activities, a larger banner, as well as tags for the treat bags. Total cost to print was under $10 for everything and that included: four activity signs (8×10), four sheets of food label signs (two labels per sheet, 8×10), one sheet of treat bag labels (8×10) and one banner (11×14).

DIY Pirate Activity Signs

The party host provided the activities, food and fun, I just added a theme to the party! I did make the plank and it was a whole lot more fun painting it than I though it would be(!):

DIY Pirate Walk the Plank

The next time you’re hosting a theme party take a stab at making it a custom party by creating the themed decor on your own. It’s truly not hard and shouldn’t be intimidating either. It’s actually fun (if you like creating) and satisfying knowing you created the decor yourself!

For other inspiration using PicMonkey for themed printables you can check these out:

If you’re interested in a custom themed party package created for you please reach out to me at everydayoriginals@gmail.com. 

5 reasons to have your air ducts cleaned

Duct work. It’s something you probably don’t think about often. However, it could be the nastiest thing you see today. I thought there was an animal growing in ours the day I took one of the vent covers off.

 cleaning air ducts

Since this home was new to us I knew right away, no matter what, we were going to have the air ducts cleaned. The previous owners had cats and the house was in an awfully filthy state when we moved in, so who knew what was flying around in the air ducts, and I really didn’t want it blowing at us the first time we turned the heat on.

Going forward, we’ll probably have ours cleaned every 2-3 years. Every year is not necessary unless you have a lot of pets, very hairy pets or family members with severe allergies. If ever we get to any of those we’ll likely have them cleaned yearly.

Here are a few reasons why you should stay on top of keeping those air ducts cleaned:

1. Household Air Quality

Dust, allergens and toxins are often found in air ducts. If not cleaned properly all of these particles are being blown into your home and circulating in your space. Exposure to these particles can cause severe illness over time.

2. Allergy Concerns

If you already suffer from allergies, having filthy air ducts isn’t helping you. Cleaning the air ducts can reduce the amount of allergens in your home, eliminating flare ups for allergy sufferers.

3. Overall Cost Savings

Your system will last longer and operate properly with clean air ducts. If the duct work is filled with build up the system is working harder to push air over all those “bumps” and reduced airflow reduces the efficiency of the entire system, increasing costs.

4. Reduced Household Cleaning

The intent of your system is to blow air into your living space. If that air contains dust and dirt it’s making your entire house dirty, meaning you’re cleaning more often just to keep up. Reducing dust in the ducts results in less cleaning efforts overall (my dream come true).

5. Odors & Nastiness

Think about all the things going on in your home. Pets, children, potentially remodeling projects, there are bugs, possibly rodents. All of those things are filtering through your air ducts. And that’s just nasty! Cleaning your air ducts can remove unknown odors, insects, rodents and a whole lot of other things floating around in that system.

As I said, this being a new home to us, it was a no brainer. I really didn’t want other people’s filth blowing into my living environment. But, the other factor too is that air duct cleaning is fairly reasonable at anywhere from $10-15 per vent (at least in our area). Ours cost a total of $130, we booked while they had a promotion going on, so it was a great price.

To save a little more, Al removed all the vent covers prior to the company showing up. They charged an extra fee for ” hard to remove vents” and all of ours were/are hard to remove because the previous owners painted over all of them. In the end, it’s a lot more cost-effective to maintain your system each year than to be slammed with a huge repair bill because they hadn’t been maintained.

So, who’s going to take a peek in their vents and get an air duct cleaning company on the phone?!

a {simple} DIY dining table: phase 1

The problem with moving into a house that is three times the size of the last place you lived in is that you have nothing to furnish it with. While we’d love to run out and buy lots of wonderful things right now, that’s just not our style.

So we took it upon ourselves to build our dining table which resulted in saving a fortune, a lot of fun and the satisfaction of knowing we built it every time we sit down to eat. And it really was quite simple. {Click here to see Phase 2 and here to see Completed Project!}

a simple diy dining tabletop phase one of a diy dining table

Supplies Needed For a 5′ x 3′ Table

  • (3) 1″ x 12″ x 5′ select pine boards
  • (2) 1″ x 2″ x 8′ select pine boards – 2 cuts at 57″ and 2 cuts at 33¾”
    • (be sure to get select pine as they’re better cuts of wood)
  • (1) 1″ x 3″ x 8′ rough pine board – 4 cuts at 24″ each
    • (this piece is for the under table support so a rough pine will suffice)
  • wood glue
  • 2 bar clamps
  • (60) 1¼” wood screws
  • power drill

Method

If you’re good at math you’ll notice that the calculations don’t all add up. That’s because when you buy wood they’re not actually the size you think you’re buying. They’re always a tad off. For instance, the 1″ x 12″ x 5′ boards are actually only 11¼” wide. Such a scam, right? three boards

Don’t ask me why, because I have no clue, but it makes for tricky measurements, which is why you need the trim pieces cut at 33¾” instead of 36″. Make sense? Alright, let’s get to this.

  1. Find a decent workspace, and if that means indoors, be sure to use some sort of drop cloth to protect your surface. Apply a thin layer of wood glue to secure two of the 5′ boards together. Using the bar clamps, tightly squeeze the wood pieces together for about an hour to allow the glue to set. Wipe off any excess wood glue right after clamping. 2 boards clamped
  2. After the hour, go ahead and glue the third board to the two that are already secured. Clamp again and wait another hour. As you can see, we added a few pieces of scrap wood to let the table sit on so it wouldn’t stick to the drop cloth. 3 boards clamped
  3. Once the boards are securely together you can go ahead and attach the support pieces. You can positions these four pieces about 6″ apart, ensuring they cover some portion of all three long boards. Go ahead and add 6-8 screws in each. support boards
  4. Last step of building the table top is securing the trim pieces. We did so using lots of wood screws, each about 6-8″ apart along all four trim pieces. Best to have your power drill charged up, because you’ll be using it a lot. adding trim
  5. You should now have a simple, sturdy table top! Stay tuned for our staining process as well as our leg decision!

my favorite things: november 2014

I truly enjoy sharing products that I love with you guys and because of that, I’ve started a my favorite things series. I find myself always recommending products that work for us to people, so why not share a few each month. None of these posts or products are sponsored. They’re honestly items that we use in our everyday lives that are worth sharing with others.

My favorite things_november 2014

Yes to Carrots & Cucumber Face Lotion

We’ve been using these face lotions for about a year now and they’re the best we’ve used. I’m very particular with face lotions – I don’t want them to be thick and greasy, I want a different one for day and night and I want my daytime lotion to have SPF in it with out smelling like it or having the consistency of sunscreen and my night one to be a lighter cream. These are just that!

Cuisinart Toaster Oven

This toaster oven is slowly creeping up the list to be my favorite small kitchen appliance. My brother-in-law gave it to us last year and it’s amazing. I think I’ve cooked just about everything in it and it’s great for re-heating leftovers. We don’t have a microwave, and we haven’t for the last few years due to space constraints, so this has been the best small appliance for re-heating, toast, frozen fries or nuggets and so much more.

Ryobi Power Drill

I got this drill for Al’s birthday and it’s definitely proven to be a favorite. I do love Ryobi and this is part of their ONE+ line, which means the batteries are interchangeable with many of their other products – which is awesome when you own multiple. Sign up on Ryobi’s website and they’ll email you coupons. I was able to use a $20 off coupon on this!

Orgain Nutritional Shake

I’ve shared in the past about the crazy digestive disorder I have. Well, I’ve been drinking these nutrition shakes for about six years now and they’re still the best I’ve ever had. It’s definitely an acquired taste, but in comparison to other, preservative and junk filled replacement drinks, this is the best by far. I favor the chocolate flavor and don’t particularly love the others. Al likes all of them, so I guess, personal preference!

Target’s Cartwheel App

Have you used the Cartwheel app? My sister told me about it last year and I now use it every time I step foot into Target. It stores electronic coupons and discounts for you. You can either search and select the ones you need ahead of time, or while you’re in the store you can scan your items with the app and it will tell you if there’s an added discount on the products you’re purchasing. I’d say, on average, each time I shop at target I save an additional 15% just by using the app!

high five for friday!

It’s Friday and it’s Halloween! These weeks are flying by, but I’m not complaining because I’m counting down the weeks until my baby niece is born! What’s good for your weekend? We’re working on basement windows and a few other projects I’m hoping to get posted next week.

Have a great weekend and a safe Halloween!

PicMonkey Collage

1. This made me crack up. The school we live next to dressed up those plastic things alerting drivers to slow down because kids are in the area. What are those things called? The flamingo was my favorite.

2. A coworker made jack-o-lantern cuties. This is adorable for a kid Halloween party!

3. Gluten-free Friday at our local coffee shop. It’s kind of my favorite day of the week there.

4. Back in September I had another foot injury. It had gotten better, but was lingering, so I decided to see the doc last week. After x-rays, MRI, blood work and a few appointments it turned out to be good news! It’s a very deep bone and tissue bruise on the side of the foot. Will continue to heal just needs time. Best news of all, I can start working out again, slowly of course, but still, it’s better than nothing!

5. If you follow me on Instagram you already know about my glasses, but if you don’t (you should!), I got glasses. And I’m not entirely sure how I feel about them. I’m on day two and gosh they’re hard to get used to. The positive is that I can see clearly and my eye muscles aren’t killing me constantly, which is lovely.