Posts tagged ‘Easy Update’

May 17, 2011

Easy Update: Vase Lamp

by Cait

Does anyone remember back in September/October when Robert and I made this lamp during our mini guest room redo for a guest post at Kara’s blog? And I said “I’ll show you how we made it!” and never did? Yeah… sorry about that. How about a super-belated tutorial?

The whole thing was so embarrassingly easy that I really should have posted it back in the fall. Now you’ll all be cursing the fact that I didn’t post it back then so you could snag the same Target vase. The plus side is that I’ve seen cute vases in the same shape at HomeGoods.

At first I wanted to use a cork, but really? Who makes 4-5 inch corks? So while wandering around the plumbing section we found this push-in drain cover/strainer (which looks blue because of its protective cover). We also picked up a light socket, and a cord (we could have just gotten a lamp kit, but it was actually cheaper to get it this way).

To make our lamp, we just cut the other socket off the end of the wire (if you use a lamp kid you can skip that part), slipped the freshly cut end through the middle of the drain, attached it to the new socket and epoxied the socket to the drain cover. Then we just slipped the drain cover into the vase. We didn’t drill a hole for the cord because I wasn’t sure if I’d want to disassemble the whole thing later and actually use the vase as a vase, so I just ran the wire down the back once everything was together.

Easy, right?

April 10, 2011

Easy Update: Prints

by Cait

Tonight while Robert was out I made these prints, because sometimes you just need a few words of encouragement.

Unfortunately it was already dark when I printed them, so all the photos I tried to take came out terrible. Hopefully I can take a decent photo to post tomorrow. I used the frames below for the new prints because currently the ledge over our bed has a semi-artsy photo of the CJ-7, the ampersand seen below & a lighthouse calendar. I have no idea where I’ll put the text prints exactly, but so far I’ve enjoyed just walking past them.

What do y’all think? Does anyone else have a print like these in their house?

March 29, 2011

Easy Update: Porch Fan & Light

by Cait

Now that you have (hopefully) seen the backyard and porch in all their glory … something, I’m going to show you what we were up to this weekend.  As I mentioned, we scored a great deal on this Hunter fan at our local ReStore a while back, and it’s just been waiting in the shed ever since.  True to our word, we started on projects where we already had most of the supplies.

I didn’t take any during pictures while putting this fan up because it is heavy and Robert needed help lifting it.  Suffice to say that it went as most ceiling fan installs/replacements go (save for the fact that we had to switch the triangular Hunter mount our for a round universal one).  This Old House has a good step-by-step process here for how to install one when you don’t have to do that bit.  This project would have been the cost of the fan at ReStore but Hunter fans have a triangular mounting base and we had (stupidly) put the old fan out on the street before swiping its mount (and someone took it immediately), so we had to buy a new mount.  Hate it when that happens!

Please don’t judge me on the very dirty, indoor fan that Tricky Dick put outside.

So much better! I later changed the pulls out to some braided jute, and we’ll paint the ceiling later.

As for the light, I mentioned in my design board that we picked up an Ottava pendant the last time we were at Ikea, so we swapped the other fan out for that over the weekend as well.  Again, no during pictures, sorry!  The process was a lot like the hall light fixture we replaced, though.

Yes, this is the same picture, but the fans were identical.

Again, much better!

We the pull cord because it made more sense than having the switch all the way in the kitchen like some brilliant soul wired our house.  I understand that the switch being there made sense when the house was 1200sqft, but several additions later… uh, move it!  Moving the light and fan to pull cords freed up the switch for another light we recently installed, so it works out.

Fan Cost Breakdown:
Fan: $49.95 from ReStore
Fan Mount: $5.01 ($10.99 but we had $5.98 left on a gift card)
Total: $54.96 (and a savings of $244.04 vs buying it new!)

Light Cost Breakdown:

Ottava Pendant: $29.99
Nickel Canopy: $5.12 (but we had a gift card)
Pull cord: Already owned (taken from previous fans) but would have been $2
Total: $29.99

Grand Total: $84.95 (although again, we had the light and fan already, so we only spent $5.01 this weekend)

Not bad for changing out our two gross exterior ceiling fans!  Next up for the porch, I hope to make a knock-off of this $250 gooseneck light to go by the backdoor.

March 17, 2011

Easy Update: Mason Jar Storage

by Cait

The photo colors in this post should be all better now.  Here’s hoping!

After seeing Liz Marie’s project feature on Re-Nest, I decided to make this mason jar storage rack to hold jewelry and hair accessories in our master bedroom.

Seen on re-nest, originally from Liz Marie

For my mason jar rack, I used a pallet board that we had laying in the backyard (long story), which was conveniently cut to the right length and mostly sanded (again, long story).  After a quick sand to take care of any rough edges, Robert blew any dirt off with compressed air.  Then we gathered pipe clamps from Lowe’s and mason jars that my grandparents used to use for canning.  We measured where we wanted the clamps to attach to the board and drilled pilot holes.

Then we opened the pipe clamps up, used a punch to make drilling easier, and drilled the holes for where the screws will go.


Then we took everything inside and leveled in on the wall in the bedroom.


From here we attached the outside clamps first, using screws long enough to both hold the clamp to the board as well as hold the board to the wall.


We then added the other two clamps and put the jars in place (Robert needed me to help hold the jars, so I couldn’t take any pictures of that step).


Since we already had the wood, the only thing we had to buy was pipe clamps.  Gotta love a simple, one evening, $4 project project!

January 24, 2011

Easy Update: Bridge Faucet

by Cait

We recently changed out our kitchen faucet to the one we mentioned here.  While we liked our previous faucet’s functionality and it was in perfectly good shape, I fell in love with the style of bridge faucets after reading Urban Grace for a while and seeing several gorgeous kitchens and bathrooms with them.  Also we occasionally smacked our large pasta pot into the other faucet while washing it.  While working on our 100th post I found this faucet in our price range at Home Depot, and we decided to get it and donate the old faucet to ReStore.

Our uninstall and install went smoothly.  I won’t go through it step by step with pictures because 1) I’m not a plumber, 2) it’s easy  and 3) the install required a good bit of flashlight holding and handing Robert tools on my part, so I could really only take one or two pictures.

This may or may not have been strategically taken after the uninstall had begun. </blogger fail>

We glanced over the instructions, checked whether we needed anything from the hardware store, and partially cleared out the under sink cabinets.  Then we turned off the water (which normally just involves turning off the valves under the sink, but because ours are old and don’t all work exactly as they should, we just turn the water to the whole house off) and gathered the tools we needed.

From there it was pretty much a whole lot of this:

Basically we just:

  1. Turned off the water & relieved the pressure from the system to try to avoid excess water dumping out of the supply  lines (which may or may not have happened when we installed our previous faucet)
  2. Disconnected the water supply lines
  3. Removed the old soap pump and the cover from the 4th hole which wasn’t used with the last faucet
  4. Took the weight/stopper off the pullout and disconnected it
  5. Lifted the old faucet out
  6. Cleaned any soap scum/build up from the sink
  7. Put the new faucet in place & connected everything
  8. Turned the water on to check for leaks

We also put towels down for any water that did drain out of the supply lines when we disconnected them, and used a bit of Teflon tape when we reattached things.  The whole process went really quickly, and when we were done we actually commented on how easy it was as compared to the last time.  I’m sure this is both because we’d done the whole thing before and the fact that the new faucet is a much simpler design.  Our new faucet came with instructions that only had 5 steps, so faucet companies probably know it’s not exactly rocket science.  But I have  also taken things apart and put them back together for the heck of it my entire life, so I could be biased.

Has anyone else switched out a faucet or done another easy update recently?

January 16, 2011

Easy Update: Hall Light Fixture

by Robert

The flush mount light fixture in our hallway has bothered us from pretty much day one. But, for some odd reason we decided to save this o’-so-tiny project until now, for your reading pleasure.

It’s not our style, and it’s always seemed a bit busy with the texture of the ceiling.  We like the overall shape of this fixture, but the “gold” and the textured glass are a little dated for our space.  And, well, yeah…. Also, C strolls through our local Habit-for-Humanity ReStore and finds killer deals on a regular basis. During this particular trip to “Heaven”, she found exactly what we wanted, that we had argued about at great length discussed after an amount of research that would make the average consumer bleed from the eyes/ears/fingertips.

Replacing a light fixture like this is pretty simple, thankfully.  To take this down we  just turned the power off, undid the set screws holding the globe on, took the light bulbs out (because we were going to reuse them in the new fixture), and then removed the screws holding base up and disconnected the wires.  Which left us with this.

It was at this point that we noticed that the new fixture did not have the same mounting holes as the old one.  Namely, it only had the center hole (for which there is obviously no stud above) and needed some smaller holes on the side to mount to the bracket shown above.  So, we made some.

We measured and marked for the new holes with a sharpie-pen and drilled appropriately sized holes for the screws to hold it into the bracket.  Then Helper Dog inspected it to make sure it didn’t contain food, and we went back inside.

Why is there no food?

We then simply repeated the take-down process in reverse.  Tighten the screws, put the bulbs in, replace globe & tighten set screws, admire non-dated light.

Total project cost? $4.97

Gotta love with when you find the exact light fixture you wanted for one fifth of the price they go for in the big box stores.

Has anyone else finally gotten around to a simple project that kept getting put on the back burner?

August 28, 2010

Easy Update: Art Room Organization

by Cait

Our Art Room is office space for both Robert and me, and although we aren’t currently lucky enough to work from home, the space still needs to be functional as a place to blog, create, and in Robert’s case do homework.  With those three functions taking place in one room, it can often get a little cluttered, so on our recent Ikea trip we picked up some things to rectify this situation.

Art RoomThose of you reading since Day 1 probably recognize this photo.

We decided to get some (ironically named) Ekby Robert brackets, Ekby shelves, a Grundtal rail and s-hooks, and a couple of Asker containers.

Robert was excited to get started.

We started by putting the Grundatl rail together, sticking our magnetic level to it, and marking inside the screw holes once it was level on the wall.  We hung it will screws and wall anchors, because we like to be excessive.

Then we marked where we wanted the brackets to go on the shelf so that we could put the shelf together, level the whole thing on the wall, and mark where to attach the bracket.  It might seem like sort of a bass-ackwards way to go about it since we have to take the shelf back off to hang the brackets, but we decided that would work best for us.

After we had the bottom shelf hung, we simply used the tallest object we were planning to put on the shelf as a gauge as to where the top shelf should go, and repeated the process.

The whole process took about twenty minutes.

Cost Breakdown:
Ekby Robert Brackets: 7.50 each
Ekby Östen shelves: 4.99 each
Grundtal Rail: 8.99
Asker Container: 5.99 each
S-hooks: 2.99
Screws & Wall anchors: already owned

Total: 63.97

August 27, 2010

Easy Update: Apron Holder

by Cait

Robert and I love to cook, especially now that our kitchen has new appliances.  The only problem is that I am bound to end up with something down my shirt while doing so because I always forgot to dig my apron out of the pantry.  Enter this five minute fix with two knobs from Hobby Lobby, purchased on 50% off sale.

First we picked the location to put the knobs.

Door frame between kitchen & living room, there is a half wall with a bar opposite this.

Robert used our Ryobi drill to make two small holes.

Screwed the knobs in place.  (His bracelet says “Confused”, not Livestrong, by the way.)

And that was all it took to hopefully keep me from having to use so much stain stick.

The total cost of this project was $3.99 and it only took Robert away from his new remote control rock climber for five minutes.  Sweet!

Have you done any easy updates recently?  Are there any simple additions to your house or kitchen you couldn’t live without?  We’d love to hear about them!