National DIY Day Celebration

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Happy Monday Friends 🙂 Yesterday, April 2nd, we celebrated National DIY Day by gathering with a group of awesome volunteers to build raised garden beds for a local community garden. If you are unfamiliar with National DIY Day, it is a day founded by Craft Box Girls two years ago as a way to bring people together and celebrate creativity. Last year, people all over the world were celebrating April 2nd, some as far as Australia!

As DIY Day Ambassadors we wanted to use our DIY skills for a good cause and so we teamed up with Zaman International, a non-profit humanitarian organization committed to addressing the basic needs and empowerment of marginalized women and children locally and internationally, to host the event. Since their foundation, they have provided essential needs to more than 180,000 clients in Southeast Michigan. In April 2016, Zaman moved into a 40,500 square foot Hope for Humanity Center in Inkster, Michigan. Aside from launching a Food Pantry, Zaman was recently accepted into the Feeding Inkster Community Garden Program which provides seeds, plant starters, garden tools (as available), and technical assistance for the creation and harvesting of a community garden. They are expected to ensure low-income community residents receive harvested, fresh produce in a timely manner. With not much viable land near their warehouse, we stepped in to build and decorate raised beds that will allow them to grow their fruits, vegetables, and herbs. We will be returning early next month to fill the beds up with 2 inches of gravel, soil, and plants but until then we just wanted to share a little bit about our first successful event. There were a few minor hiccups and delays but overall we are very pleased with the end result.

With a team of 10 volunteers were able to put together four 4ft x 8ft beds in just a few short hours. Two local Home Depots were generous enough to provide $25 vouchers to help with the cost of supplies like the screws, paint, and weed-blocker while the Craftbox Girls sponsored the cost of the wood to build the beds. A friend with a background in interior design and art, came up with a few cool designs that were easy to paint and added a fun splash of color to the garden beds. Scroll on down to see pictures from the event and be sure to check back in with us next month when we return to complete the project. If you’re feeling inspired and want to build your own raised bed for your dream summer garden, head on over to our very own post that covers just that. If there’s anything we hope people take away from National DIY Day, it’s this: The ability to create is part of what makes us human. We all have it in us and anyone can unlock that potential and  create anything, if only they set their mind to do it.

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DIY Rustic Wooden Shelving

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This post is a detailed DIY tutorial for building reasonably-priced, open shelving using a combination of components from IKEA and Home Depot like the one we had in our updated kitchen. Initially, we were going to purchase the IKEA EKBY shelf system but they only had black, white and aluminum options for the actual shelf. Since we wanted to have rustic, woody elements to break up the modern features of our kitchen, we opted to use the EKBY brackets (which you can buy separately) with wood that fit our style and design. If you are wondering why I chose these lumber pieces specifically it is also because they are the perfect width and fit for the EKBY brackets.

The cost of IKEA EKBY shelving varies based on sizing with the standard 31″ shelf costing $19.99 and the larger 46″ shelf costing $29.99. Because we needed a total of 6 standard shelves, that would have put us at around $200 for both the brackets and the shelves. Instead, I was able to purchase eight, 10ft pressure-treated lumbers and cut them to my specifications for a total of $60. With the 6 bracket sets that put us at under $130 for all of our shelves so we saved over $60 in the process. Not only are these versions cheaper to make but you can build and install these shelves in 5 easy steps and without sacrificing on wood preference. Let’s get started, shall we?

Supplies
IKEA Shelf – EKBY BJÄRNUM (two available sizes, 7.5″ at $7 and 11″ at $10)
Home Depot WeatherShield – Pressure Treated Lumber (5/4 x 6 – 10ft at $7.47)
Drywall Anchors & Screws (10 1/2″ – 70 Pack $11.98)

Tools
Saw
Drill
Screw Driver
Small Level
Drywall Anchors
Measure Tape

Directions

1. Measure your space to determine the desired length of your shelves taking into account that the brackets will add about 1/2 inch total to the length.

2. Cut your lumber accordingly and fit them into the brackets to complete the shelf unit. To build one shelf, you will need two pieces of lumber for each pair of brackets.

3. Have someone hold the completed shelf up to the wall while you mark the points where you will install the shelves corresponding to the holes in the EKBY brackets.
CAUTION: Before you mark the holes or drill through them, lay a level on the shelf to make sure it is straight.

4. Proceed to drill through the markings and place drywall anchors into these holes.

5. Have a helper hold up the shelf  again while you fasten it to the wall using screws and a screw driver or drill.

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Cozy Kitchen Series: Reveal & Tour

As promised, today is the day we present you with our completed kitchen. You’ve already read enough in the other three posts so we won’t bore you with trivial chatter here but we just wanted to let you know that we will be doing a few more posts covering some of the DIY details of our kitchen from the rustic open shelving to the LED lighting so keep an eye out for that. And now for our humble gallery. We hope you enjoy the transformation as much as we did 🙂

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And the details…

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Thank you for following along! If you missed our journey please check out Part 1, 2 & 3 of our kitchen renovation project.

 

 

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Cozy Kitchen Series Part 3: Installation

Welcome to the third and final post (kind of) of our kitchen renovation series. For those who followed us through Cozy Kitchen Series Part 1: Planning and Cozy Kitchen Series Part 2: Demolition, we are excited to share a visual diary of how we installed the flooring, cabinetry, drywall, and backsplash before the final cleanup and reveal. We hope that our journey has inspired you to hold off on calling a contractor (for some things) and tap into your inner-handyman/woman and your inner-interior designer 🙂

Flooring
When starting a home renovation project, you want to make sure that the base of the space (aka the floor) is completely flat and level. If it is not, everything installed on top of it will be crooked, which will distort the look of the space. On top of that, you will create more work for yourself because your cabinets will need extra shimming and so on. For a more detailed how-to on tiling please refer to my basement tile post  Don’t Fear the Tile to help you with this step.

Although I had tiled before, I had never dealt with the removal of laminate tile. I’m not sure if it was the way it was installed but it was a pain! So much so that I had to remove the entire plywood subfloor beneath it. At first, I thought I could remove the laminate and salvage the plywood subfloor so that I could install the cement boards and tile on top of it. Things, however, didn’t go according to plan. The subfloor was so damaged that I had to purchase a circular saw in order to cut out the laminate and plywood subfloor to replace it completely. It was a messy and time-consuming task that I was not prepared for. This is why I think it’s very important that you are aware of and flexible enough to deal with the unexpected.

Cabinetry
Because we purchased our cabinets from IKEA, assembly was a big part of this project. You do have the option of choosing an IKEA-approved contractor to handle the installation if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, but the instructions are pretty self-explanatory and the cabinets aren’t difficult to assemble at all. It took me between 3-4 hours to assemble all 7 of the cabinets and once I had assembled one, the rest were a breeze. One thing to note here is that if you are not installing them right away, you will need sufficient space to assemble and store them until you are ready. Lucky for us we had the basement to do this in, which helped us keep the kitchen clutter free. If you have a clean attached garage that would work great too. After I assembled the cabinets and installed them in the correct order on our freshly tiled floors, the countertop people from Home Depot came out to measure for the countertop and later installed it when it was cut and ready (it was a two week wait in case you’re wondering). Some things you just leave to the professionals!

Drywall
I didn’t have too much to drywall for this kitchen except for some patches behind the sink, the hideous hole in the ceiling “vent” that needed covering, and around the supporting beams and walls that were torn down. Drywalling is quick and easy until you get to the mudding and sanding part. The awesome thing is you can pretty much drywall an entire room in a few hours and be done with it. The rough part of drywalling is needing to apply mud to the seams and sanding them 3 times until all the separate pieces look like one big seamless wall. Other than the fact that you need some strong arms to get you through the sanding, there isn’t much required of you to be able to put up drywall. But if you don’t feel confident and you have no experience drywalling then YouTube can be your best friend 😉

Below is a graphic that sums up the steps of drywalling courtesy of This Old House.

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Backsplash
This would have been my favorite step if it wasn’t for the self-imposed due date. I worked around the clock for 2 weekends to finish this part of the project. Again, you can refer to our tile post Don’t Fear the Tile if you aren’t familiar with tiling. The only difference when tiling a kitchen backsplash wall is that you need to be careful with your application of tile adhesive/mastic. Because gravity will be working against you, you will have to score the surface with a blade before applying a light amount of adhesive and laying down the tiles. For me the hardest part of backsplash tiling was our indecisiveness. Yes, indecisiveness. We seriously went back and forth for weeks trying to settle on a backsplash tile. There were just too many beautiful ones to choose from! After considering our countertop design and the look we were going for, we finally settled on white subway tile for under $3/sq. ft with a strip of bluish/grayish accent tile. We didn’t originally plan to tile an entire wall but as we got closer to installing the backsplash, we realized it would look really nice to have a feature wall where our window and open shelving would be.

Well, there you have it! A detailed overview of our kitchen renovation and all the planning and work that went into it. Of course, as a homeowner, there is no such thing as being completely done with work around the house. We are still figuring out some things like how to organize all our stuff and what to replace our main light fixture with but we are so happy with the results and we really mean it when we say, you can totally do something like this if you wanted to. I know we promised a full kitchen reveal but I decided to put that in a separate post so that you aren’t overloaded with images. Check back tomorrow for the final reveal and in the meantime, feel free to ask for clarification, support, budgeting advice; basically anything kitchen-renovation related and we will be happy to answer you to the best of our ability.

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