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organization

Hall Closet Make-over – the prettiest room in my home!

Posted in DECOR, DIY, ORGANIZATION
on February 5, 2014

As I mentioned the other day, our hall closet received some much-needed love this past weekend!

With three kids at home and twice as many jackets – let’s not forget backpacks and briefcases – we are the poster children for needing a mudroom. Unfortunately, we do not have a mudroom. We, in reality, barely have a hall closet.

Here is the before. If I’d been keeping it real, I would have shown you the ten or so coats piled up on the banister behind me, or the other five or six in the neighboring dining room.

In the early days, I had added a shelf for shoes underneath the hanging bar, as well as a hanging pocket shoe holder to the door. The shoe rack wasn’t very functional, as it was set too far back in the closet to access. The hanging pocket shoe container worked fine, and the kids did use it, but it wasn’t great for adult shoes – mainly Shay’s – as they were too wide at the toe to fit in the pockets correctly. There was nowhere to store hats and gloves – an obvious need at this point in the year – and hanging rod, while standard, wasn’t used by the kids.

And by the way, If you have kids that hang their jackets on hangers in the closet, I will consider a trade for my kids who do not. Come to think of it; I might even buy them from you! Of course, I’ll need proof before purchase.

I am excited about this project because I completed it. All. By. My. Self.  I designed the layout; I cut the wood – I used both a chop saw and a table saw – I hammered the wood, painted, stenciled, and did all the stuff… Is it just me, or do I sound like the Little Red Hen? Shay was my consultant on a few things, but other than that; it was all me. And, if I can do it, so can you!

Here is how I did it.

HOW TO MAKEOVER YOUR HALL CLOSET

Step 1: Look for Inspiration

Inspirational photos help you to figure what you want in your closet. It’s one of the most fun parts of designing.  Here is one of the inspirations I used for this project. I love to take bits and pieces of things and figure out how to make it work in my home.
Source

Step 2: Figure out your needs

Do you need storage for yourself and your significant other?  Do you have a billion kids like I do, with all of their shoes and coats and bags and other stuff? Answers to those questions will determine your needs. Here is my needs list:
  • Coat hanging solution that everyone can use and reach – kids included
  • A shoe solution that doesn’t involve throwing the shoes into a gigantic pile on the floor of the closet, never to be found again
  • Add storage for out of season items like gloves, snow pants, etc.
  • Nice to have – A storage solution for the various bags we use on a daily basis as well
  • And.. I want it to be pretty enough to tie in with the front entrance design

Once you know what you need, it’s simple to plan the how part of getting what you need. See how easy this is?

 Step 3: Plan your solution

This was my mock-up design. Pretty professional, huh? Excuse me while I laugh out loud! It wasn’t pretty, and I had to make adjustments as I went, but it got me started off on the right foot. A simple plan can do the same for you. Pull out your measuring tape. Grab a pencil and paper and get to work! Remember to include the thickness and size of any materials in your calculations.

Step 4: Demo Day – but only if necessary!

 I pulled all of the shelves and rods out of the existing closet. I like to reuse materials if possible, so carefully removed the trim under the hanging rod. To be sure it pulled cleanly away without breaking or ripping the drywall, I ran an Exacto knife along the caulked edge and under the trim piece. Then, I used a wonder bar to pry the trim piece off gently, removed the nails and set the trim aside for later.

Step 5: Wall Preparation

Patch any holes or gaps left from the demo step using a light weight spackle. I like to use the kind that goes on pink and turns white so that I can see what I’m putting on. Mudding is a lot like icing a cake, so, if you can do that, you can mud! The key is to use thin coats and sand in between. To fill holes, I like to use my finger tip, but a putty knife is necessary for anything larger. It doesn’t matter if it’s plastic or metal, just keep it clean between coats, and you’ll do fine.

Step 6: Re-assembly

We planned to use 1″ x 1″ furring strips cut to size (one along the back of the closet, one on either side) as brackets for the top storage shelf to rest on.

Then things got interesting. I knew what a stud was.. I’m married to one. But more importantly, I know what a wall stud is and that it’s safest to secure the brackets wall studs. Using my handy-dandy stud finder, I located the studs on two walls.. and realized there was only one stud appropriately placed on the third wall. After consulting with my resident stud, we decided to extend the length of all the brackets on the left side to the entire length of the wall, to ensure it was properly secured. I will admit that I threw a hissy-fit, as this didn’t aesthetically fit in with my design, but after a few deep breaths, and a gentle reminder to myself that this was a closet, not Taj Mahal, I moved on, re-cut the left side bracket, then secured them to the wall.

Next, I re-attached the leftover trim piece slightly below the brackets for the top storage shelf and again, filled all the holes. To determine the distance between hooks, I measured 35″ for average jacket length and cut and attached a second 4″ baseboard trim piece 37″ below the top one.
Then, we painted the whole thing in Glidden Parchment White in Satin – I wanted a highly washable surface
Once again, 1″ x 1″ furring strips bracketed the bottom shelves, topped by 1″ MDF shelves for the bottom shelves. All the shelves were painted black and dried before placing them in the closet.

7: Stencil it!

We used the Large Moorish Trellis Stencil with Martha Stewart’s Gray Wolf in high gloss.

Step 8: Add Hooks

With the painting complete and dry, I attached three different sizes and styles of hooks.

Our interior doors are hollow. To ensure the coat hooks on the door were secure, we added a scrap piece of MDF to the door, one at the top and one near the middle and attached the wrought iron bird hangers to the panels instead of the door.
For shoe storage, I added two cloth storage cubes and three narrower Waverly baskets that I picked up at Joann’s on clearance. Each person has a personal shoe basket. For the upper storage shelf, I used two inexpensive fabric cubes in black. I still need to make a basket to hold gloves and hats as I’ve been unable to find what I’m looking for thus far. All in all, though, it’s finished and in working order as we speak!

Step 9: Step back and take in all of the pretty!

Here is the remade closet pre-coat deluge, IE: Before everyone came home and started putting stuff in it.

coat closet makeover view 1

I’m delighted with the results – I learned a lot on this project and am now looking around thoughtfully at the other closets in this house. Closets beware!

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Pinterest Challenge Update – #3 and #4

Posted in UNCATEGORIZED
on April 2, 2013

A while ago, 12 days ago to be exact, I signed myself up for a Pinterest Challenge, linking up with Merrick’s Art. The challenge was to complete six pins of my choice by today. I’m happy to say that I am DONE! This has been a lot of fun, and I so appreciate  having been able to be a part of this. Thank you to Merrick and her sisters for putting this together!

Without further adieu, let’s talk about pins 3 and 4!

Pin 3 was all about using shower hooks and an extensible-tension shower rod to store handbags.

When I first looked at this pin, I thought it was a fabulous idea. I still do, but when I went to apply it to my own closet, it wasn’t really something that would work for me – the main reason being, I already have a ton of storage in my closet – I just needed to clean, organize, and utilize the storage I had. I did use this idea in my closet, and I found it really useful to keep the handbags from slumping over, but what this pin really did for me, was to spark a few other ideas that I’d like to share!

First, let me start by saying that it has been a really long, long winter, and we’ve been really insanely busy – there is a reason excuse  for why my closet looks this bad, and that is what I’m going with – that it’s been a long winter. Regardless, this is what we started with – I had handbags here,

here,

AND here.

But the problems did not stop there.. no, no, no. I also had THIS disaster, along with 20 or so scarves, and 30 or so ties to deal with in a much more efficient manner. I had all of those stored on a tie ring, and although that technically stored them fine, it was impossible to maneuver – if I wanted a belt, I had to take them all off to get to the one I wanted, and put them all back on again to clean them up. It was a pain. Shay’s ties were all being stored on one hanger one on top of another, because he’d given me his tie ring to store my belts, because that is the kind of guy he is.
Our closet has wire shelving around and there is a ton of it. Shay has one side and I have two – it’s fair, really. So, with that in mind, I got to thinking.. what if I used the shower curtain rings to store his ties using the shelving I already have and a corner that it is hard to use? So. That’s what I did.
Everything is neat and tidy, he can see everything and he can get to it all without everything ending up in a pile on the floor. Much nicer!
The handbags ALL ended up in the closet, giving me a bit more drawer space. There was quite the shuffling around but it was worth it. But, with a shelf there, there isn’t really enough room for my handbags to “hang”, and so again, this isn’t something I could utilize without removing the shelving – I decided I’d rather have the shelving. What this solution does do, is give me a birds eye view of all the handbags I have, and it does keep everything tidy and in it’s place. No more handbags falling on my head when I’m trying to take something down off of the shelf! 
The belt solution is actually my favorite, and I’m so excited to again, be able to see everything I have, and be able to get at it without causing mass chaos in my closet. Because I have shelves all over, there really isn’t anywhere to hang belts or scarves except from the closet rod – I don’t have the room on the rod for this. My house was built in the 80s – Although at some point we plan on replacing the closet doors, currently, we have sliding mirrored doors, so, using the doors as storage seemed impossible given that they have what seems almost like a paper backing. It would be impossible unless..
For this project I used:
  • Two different types of shower curtain hooks, both of which I purchased at Walmart. The hooks on the right are actually DOUBLE hooks, which was perfect for my belts!

  •  Two swivel end sash rods
  • One value package of 3M Command Damage Free Hooks – for 5lbs and over. There were six hooks

What I did:
I attached the command hooks like so, placed the rod across. On the top, I used the regular hoop like shower hooks to hold my scarves, on the bottom, the open double hooks for my belts.

And this, is what the final result looks like. I’m not going to show you me doing my happy dance, but just trust that I am indeed doing one. Just look at the beauty that is my closet! Just because I can, I may wear every belt that I haven’t been able to get to in years – not at the same time, but one different one every single day!

On to pin #4.

Pin #4 is a quickie. I wanted to add a small cake or treat stand to my collection for K’s upcoming birthday party. Here, is my new cake stand.  Cute, no?

 
I can’t believe I made it. I can’t believe it, and I can’t wait to do it again! Challenge, anyone?

Pinterest Challenge update: #1 DIY Dry Erase Calendar

Posted in CRAFTS, DIY, KITCHEN
on March 23, 2013



In this challenge, I set out to create a reusable calendar that I had come across on Pinterest and found here. It was a success and we are loving our new calendar! I didn’t have the foresight to take pictures of the process, but I can tell you it was super easy and give you a quick overview!


For this project I used:

  •  A 16×20 Poster Frame
  • Black and White Polka Dot wrapping paper
  • A Sharpie
  • A glue stick
  • My printer, mspaint and regular printer paper
  • This super cool new tool (speed square) that Shay gifted to me, so that I would not take his. Can I just say I love it and him? 

What I did:

1. I wanted to jazz my calendar up a bit and decided to add a decorative background. I used wrapping paper because it was plenty wide enough and inexpensive and I already had it.  To use it as the background, I cut a sheet of wrapping paper to 16×20.

2. For the actual calendar, I used the white sample photo paper from the frame. I cut it down 2″ on each side and attached it to the wrapping paper sheet using a glue stick.

4. Using my speed square, I drew out the calendar grid and boxes for “to do” and “reminders” on to the white background.

3. I think normally you would use scrapbook lettering, but I didn’t have any on hand, so, I created all of my headings in mspaint and printed out my headings on printer paper. I decided to allow the quote to be changeable and just included a heading. Then, I cut all of the headings out and used a glue stick to attach them to the white calendar paper.

4. The entire thing was put in to the poster frame and hung on the refrigerator using Command Picture Hanging Strips from 3M as Amanda had done in the original post on her blog, Impressyourkids.org

We really love our new calendar, and I’m having a really fun time coming up with quotes to match whatever is going on.

Drop me a line and let me know what you think!

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