4 Outdoor Furniture Style Trends

April 9th, 2016

With spring coming fast, it’s time to start thinking about your backyard setup. Especially if it is time to sell your Winston-Salem home. Has your mismatched patio set stayed a season too long? Has the bistro table lived out its last leg? Winter gives us a break from addressing our out-of-date backyard furniture, but now that the sun is shining bright, it’s time to get to work! From chairs and tables to pillows and lanterns, we’ll share different ways to spruce up your outdoor space with some of 2016’s hottest outdoor furniture trends.

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Understanding Home Warranty Vs. Home Insurance

December 26th, 2015
The home buying process can be an overwhelming one. At the end of the day, the right thing to do is to protect what is most likely your biggest investment. This is where home insurance and home warranties come in. These two items accomplish similar goals, but in varied ways.
Home Warranty Defined

A home warranty is something that either is or isn’t included in the purchase of your home. Often times, these warranties cover the major systems of the home such as plumbing, heating, and electrical systems. They also cover major appliances like the oven, stove, exhaust fans, garbage disposal, and refrigerator, if one is included. These are all things that aren’t typically covered in a normal home insurance policy, thus the appeal to buyers.   Read the rest of this entry »

Things to Know Before Buying a Historic Home

December 22nd, 2015

The charm of history beckons you from that historic home of your dreams. Intricate trimmings, charming architectural detail, and a story behind the whole thing all make a historic home an alluring package deal for buyers. Before you buy, take a second to think it over. Are there perks to purchasing these prized homes? What about any downsides? Here are some things you may want to know before buying a historic home.

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Free Plans for an Awesome Chicken Coop

December 13th, 2015
Awesome DIY Chicken Coop

Raising chickens has grown in popularity in recent years, and a lot of folks are looking for instructions on how to build a chicken coop. This coop, designed and built by Natalie Dalpais of The Creative Mom has to be one of the best we’ve ever seen. It’s practical, with several features to make cleaning and egg gathering easier. And perhaps best of all, it actually looks attractive! It looks like a classic barn with a raised center aisle roof.
We have the instructions here, along with plenty of helpful photos. Plus, we have the chicken coop plans and building instructions in downloadable form so you can print them out. (You’ll see a link in the Supplies Needed section below.)
My family and I live in a little farm town. We are not farmers, not even close, but sometimes we like to pretend that we are. Like when we got baby chicks a few years ago when we were totally unprepared to raise chickens and built a very humble chicken coop (more like lean-to). I’ve been slightly embarrassed by our lean-to coop for some time now, so I decided to take matters into my own hands (and my dad’s very capable hands too) and build a chicken coop we can be proud of. This coop is no lean-to! It’s SUPER sturdy (sturdy enough that my kids thought it was a fun playhouse to play in until we put the chickens in).
It’s also pretty large. It’s about 32 square feet, and can easily fit up to 12 chickens.
Awesome DIY Chicken Coop Tutorial with Free Downloadable Plans

We’ve been raising chickens in our lean-to coop for a few years now, so we’ve learned a thing or two about what a good chicken coop should be like. Before we build, here’s what we’ve learned.

1. Make an Easy-to-Access Nesting Box

First up on our list was an easy-to-access nesting box. The whole reason we have chickens is to get fresh eggs everyday. So our nesting box was one of our top priorities.
Chicken coop nesting box with hinged roof

Taking care of our chickens is primarily our son’s responsibility. It’s been really good for him to learn how to care for animals and take responsibility for them. But, since we have a little boy collecting the eggs everyday, we knew we needed to make the nesting box easily accessible for him.
We added a prop to hold the roof open, which I will show you how to build later on. And, we added a little hook to the side of the laying box so he can hang his basket up while he gathers his eggs. It’s hard for a little boy (or anyone for that matter) to hold a basket and put the eggs in too. This little hook will save us a lot of cracked eggs.
Young boy hangs an egg basket on a hook attached to the nesting box of a chicken coop

2. Make It Easy to Clean

Another item on our priority list is making the coop easy to clean. So when we were designing the plans for our coop, we decided to have one whole side fold down.
Let me tell you from experience, there is nothing worse than having to basically climb in the coop to get it clean. With the side folded down, we can easily scoop all the yucky stuff out of the coop and laying box without getting too deep into it.
Since the side folds down, we had to also build our coop up off the ground a little bit. This is good to keep water, bugs and critters out of the coop that shouldn’t be in there. Plus, the chickens don’t seem to mind. They like hanging out in the shade under the coop, and spend most of their day under there.
Chicken coop with hinged sides that make cleaning easier

Chicken coop with easy access for cleaning

Chicken in the space below a raised chicken coop

3. It Must Have Good Ventilation

We left a little space under the eaves to allow for air circulation. That way the coop won’t be too hot and stuffy for the chickens all summer.
Ventilation slots beneath the roof of a chicken coop

4. Make it Attractive

And the last item on my list was that I wanted a CUTE coop. Since this building is going to be in our backyard, I wanted something I wouldn’t mind looking at. And this cute red coop, with white trim is so quaint and charming. It has a raised aisle roof, like you see on many classic barns. I just love it.
And so do our chickens.
A chicken emerges from a cute chicken coop painted red with white trim

Now you know how awesome this chicken coop is, I bet you want to build your own. Don’t worry, I’m going to walk you through every step of the way.

Supplies Needed

  • Chicken Coop Plans with Cut List (click here to download the plans)
  • 2 – 4-in. x 4-in. posts
  • 9 – 2-in. x 4-in. (96-in.)
  • 10 – 2-in. x 2-in. (96-in.)
  • 4 – Sheets Plywood Siding (4-ft. x 8-in.)
  • 1 – 72-in. Piano Hinge
  • 1- 30-in. Piano Hinge
  • 3 – Sheets ¼-in. OSB Plywood (4-ft. x 8-ft.)
  • 12- 2-in. x 4-in. Fence Brackets
  • 1- 2-in. x 8-in. (6 ft.)
  • 15- 1-in. x 2-in. (96 in.) for trim
  • Exterior paint (in red and white)
  • Roofing of your choice (we used dark green metal)
  • 2½-in. screws
  • 2 – Window Bolts
  • Hook for your basket

 Tools Needed

  • Miter Saw
  • Impact Driver
  • Brad Nailer
  • Reciprocating Saw
  • Circular Saw or Table Saw (to cut your plywood)
  • Kreg Jig (optional)
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Safety Glasses
  • Ear Protection

How to Build This Chicken Coop

Step 1 – Build the Frame End Pieces and Floor

Start by cutting your 4 x 4’s (50½ in. on short side of angle) with a 30-degree angle on top. Attach your 2 x 4 (41 in.) cross braces with fence brackets. You will build two of these for the ends.
Chicken coop frame end section

After you’ve got your ends built, you will hook them together with 2 x 4 (85 in.) stretchers, and a 2 x 4 (45 in.) across the middle to support the chicken coop floor.
You can just screw the middle 2 x 4 onto the side board with grabber screws. No bracket is needed there.

Frame for chicken coop floor

Step 2 – Add the Plywood Floor

You will need to trim a bit off one end, making it 92 in. x 48 in. After it’s cut to size, you will use a reciprocating sawand cut 3½ in. x 3½ in. notches in the corners to fit around your 4 x 4 corner posts.
Put the plywood in place and then staple the plywood down to the 2 x 4’s.
Cutting a notch in the corner of a chicken coop floor

Attaching the plywood floor to the frame of a DIY chicken coop

Step 3 – Add Supports

Now you’ll add 2 x 2 horizontal (85 in. on the sides and 41 in. on the ends) and vertical (19 in.) supports to the sides. We used brackets to attach our 2 x 4’s, but we will attach our 2 x 2’s using pocket holes. You can create pocket holes using a Kreg Jig, or you can freehand pocket holes with a drill.
We will also add 2 (19 in.) vertical 2 x 2’s on the front end (3 in. in from each side), these will support our nesting box later (see plans below). Remember, if you are screwing through a 2 x 2, you’ll want to pre-drill your hole so you don’t split the wood.
Drawing of supports of chicken coop

At this point, you should have something that looks pretty close to this image above.

Step 4 – Frame the Upper Walls

Next, you’ll frame your upper walls, using horizontal 2 x 2’s (89 in.) and vertical 2 x 4’s (13 in. for the center and 14½ in. cut at 30 degrees for the ends.) Please note: the plans below show vertical 2 x 2’s instead of 2 x 4’s, like I used. Just use what you have, either way should work fine.) Use grabber screws to attach the upper frame to your lower frame.
Drawing of the upper walls of a DIY chicken coop

Then, you’ll add your 2 x 2 roof “trusses”:
  • 4- 18-in. 2 x 2’s
  • 4- 14½-in. 2 x 2’s
  • 2- 14½-in. 2 x 4’s
  • 2- 18-in 2 x 4’s)
All the angles are 30 degrees (except the bottom of the middle 2 x 4’s- see plans), and the roof supports overhang about an inch on the bottom. See plans below for dimensions.
Drawing of chicken coop roof

Simply attach your roof supports to your 4 x 4 posts and your vertical 2 x 4’s with grabber screws.
The upper wall of a DIY chicken coop

You can see in the photo above where I used 2 x 4’s for the vertical upper walls, but as I mentioned, the plans call for 2 x 2’s. Either should work fine.
Drawing of roof trusses of DIY chicken coop

Roof trusses of DIY chicken coop

Your roof “trusses” are 2 x 2’s on each end, and a 2 x 4 in the middle. Since our roof pitch is 30 degrees, we will cut one end of the 2 x 2 boards at 30 degrees and leave the other end square.
The middle 2 x 4 is cut a little different, with 30 degrees on one end, and 60 degrees on the other end, with ½ in. left square. This, and the same piece for the upper roof, are the only angled cuts in the entire roof that aren’t 30 degrees. Make sure to check the plans for specific instructions on these cuts.
And, you’ll do the same thing on the top. 2 x 2’s on the outer edges, and a 2 x 4 in the middle. The angled pieces are connected using pocket holes and screws. Or you could use a mending plate to keep your trusses together.

Drawing of the upper rood of a chicken coop

Step 5 – Framing the Hinged Sides

Now that we have our roof taken care of, we have one more little piece to add to the puzzle before we’re all framed. This 2 x 4 is where the hinge for the side attaches.
Drawing of the hinged side of a DIY chicken coop

Using a reciprocating saw, you’ll cut a 3½-in. square notch on each end of the 2 x 4, and screw it in place right below the floor support.
Drawing of the frame of a DIY chicken coop

Once we have that 2 x 4 in place, we are all done framing (except for the nesting box), and it’s starting to look like a chicken coop!

Step 6 – Attach the Siding

After everything is framed, we will add our plywood siding. I cut all my plywood siding to size before I used a brad nailer to attach it to my coop. We are only attaching the front, back, and one side for now. We will attach the side that opens up later.
Using a cordless brad nailer to attach the sides of a DIY chicken coop

Drawing of the sides of a DIY chicken coop

I’ve included all my dimensions in my plans, but you may want to double check your plywood siding dimensions before you cut it. Remember all the angles on the roof are 30 degrees.

Step 7 – Create Siding for Hinged Side

For our side that hinges down, we will put together two pieces of plywood siding (45 in. x 23 in. each). Then we will frame the OUTSIDE with our 1 x 2 trim. The finished dimensions will be 23 in. x 90 in., which is slightly smaller than our other side. It will be smaller to allow for the side to hinge down.
The hinged side of a chicken coop before being attached

Set it aside until you are ready to paint. Or, if you think ahead, you might want to paint the siding before you attach the trim to the outside.

Step 8 – Attach the Plywood Roof

Attaching the roof onto a DIY chicken coop

Drawing of the roof of a DIY chicken coop

Your coop is taking shape!

Step 9 – Attach the Nesting Box

Unfinished DIY chicken coop

Your nesting box frame will be mainly 2 x 2’s, with a 2 x 4 on the open edge, which is where it will attach to your chicken coop, and where you’ll screw on your hinge for your nesting box roof. All of our angles on our nesting box are all 20 degrees. (Not to be confused with all the 30 degree angles in the actual coop).Drawing of the frame of a chicken coop nesting box

Drawing of the siding of a nesting box attached to a chicken coop

Cut the plywood siding and staple it onto your frame. You will notice the sides of the nesting box are notched out. We will use that notch to slide the nesting box into the hole in the coop, and attach the plywood siding sides to the inside of the 2×2’s we already have in place on the front wall of the coop.
The completed nesting box to be attached to a chicken coop

This is what the nesting box looks like when it’s all ready to attach to the coop. But we won’t attach it until everything is painted.

Step 10 – Paint the Chicken Coop

Go ahead and get everything painted. I used Behr Marquee outdoor paint.
A partially painted DIY chicken coop

Trim pieces for a DIY chicken coop

You’ll also want to paint your 1 x 2 trim boards before you start trimming. I used the same outdoor paint, Behr Marquee, in white.

Step 11 – Add the Nesting Box

Once everything is painted, you can add our nesting box. You will cut a hole in the front of your coop for your nesting box to attach to the coop.
Measuring for location to attach nesting box to a DIY chicken coop

I cut the hole in the plywood siding using my reciprocating saw.
Using a reciprocating saw to cut a hole for a nesting box to attach to a chicken coop

Once again, you’ll want to double check your measurements, but my hole for the nesting box was 19 in. x 32½ in.
You’ll want the nesting box to rest on the floor and frame of your chicken coop. So make sure you cut your nesting box 3¾ in. from the bottom (3½ in. for the 2 x 4, and ¼ in. for the plywood floor).
Drawing showing how to attach a nesting box to a DIY chicken coop

Once you have your nesting box in place, screw the 2 x 4 on the nesting box to the chicken coop using grabber screws.
Attaching the nesting box to a DIY chicken coop

The view from the inside shows how the nesting box attaches to the chicken coop frame. You want to screw the plywood to your frame so the nesting box is sturdy.
Attaching the nesting box to a chicken coop

Drawing of chicken coop with nesting box attached

Step 12 – Add the Roof to the Nesting Box

After your nesting box is securely attached to your coop, you’ll add the roof, which will hinge open.
The roof is regular plywood, 33½ in. x 18½ in.
Screw your piano hinge onto the edge of your roof first, then attach to your nesting box. (Note: the photo below was taken after I added the trim, which will come in a few steps.)
Nesting box of chicken coop propped open

Prop to hope chicken coop nesting box open

I also added this 2 x 2, with a 20 degree angled end to prop the roof open while we are gathering eggs. I screwed it on with a grabber screw that I didn’t tighten all the way, so the board had freedom to hinge up and down.

Step 13 – Add the Fold Down Side

Once our nesting box is complete, we can attach the side that folds down. I bet you were wondering if we were ever going to put that piece on… well, now’s the time!
You might need a helper to hold the side up in place while you screw the piano hinge on. Screw a couple of screws in, then hinge it up and make sure it’s straight before you finish screwing in all the rest of the screws.
Attaching the hinge to the drop down wall of a chicken coop

Drawing showing the hinged sections of a chicken coop

Step 14 – Trim the Chicken Coop

This was my favorite part of the whole build, because it added so much personality to the chicken coop and made it look really cute! And we’ve already determined that cute matters!
Like I mentioned above, I used regular 1 x 2’s for my trim. I painted them before I cut them. I’m not going to include trim measurements, because if your trim is off by even ¼ in. it makes a big difference. So just measure as you go.
Nailing the trim onto a chicken coop

When you’re attaching your trim on, make sure you are flush and level on the corners and edges. For the corners, I stapled one edge on, then made sure my other corner piece fit right up against it, so there wasn’t any overhang.
A window bolt on a chicken coop

After everything is trimmed out, we can add a few finishing touches. Like these window bolts to hold the door up. I added one on each side. You will also notice that I painted the edges of my plywood roof and my roof “trusses” that will be exposed. I also painted my 4 x 4 legs. Not only does this make everything more waterproof, it’s also a lot cuter painted white!

Step 15 – Add the Ramp

I also added a ramp for the chickens to get into the coop. I cut a hole (about 10 x 10 in.) in the back of the coop, 3¾ in. from the bottom. I used a 6 ft. long 2 x 8, and stapled scrap pieces every 5 inches to create the ramp. Then I painted it with my white outdoor paint. Add a 1 x 2 under the ramp to support it, then screw a 4 in. grabber screw at an angle through the ramp, into the support pieces.
Attaching the ramp to a chicken coop

Step 16 – Add the Roofing Material

The last step is to add your roofing. We chose to use metal roofing, because the cost isn’t much more than shingles, but we loved the ease of installing and durability. The color we chose is Evergreen.
And that’s it. You’re done! Now get yourself some chickens and pretend like you’re a real farmer!
An attractive DIY chicken coop painted barn red with white trim

Article Posted By: Natalie Dalpias

Room Makeover: Space-Saving Baby’s Room and Craft Room Combo

December 12th, 2015
Room Makeover: Space-Saving Baby's Room and Craft Room Combo

Making the most of a small space is important if you live in a condominium or apartment. We’ve seen how Amber Kemp-Gerstel of Damask Love turned her tiny balcony into a versatile, comfortable outdoor space. Now she shows us her craft room, which she needed to turn into a combination craft room and baby’s room (for little Markus).
Wait. A craft room AND a baby’s room?
Yep. This room makeover creates a combo space for a baby and for crafting. As you’ll see Amber makes it work beautifully. Along the way she shares mini tutorials on how to hang a gallery wall, a super clever way to add the appeal of wall paper without actually hanging wall paper and a cute art project made from paint brushes.
When we moved into our current condo, my one request was to have a craft room. For two years, it was my office and allowed me to be productive and grow my blog. When I found out there was a baby on the way, I wasn’t quite ready to give up my workspace, but I knew it had to change. Big time.
A craft room before its makeover

Before the recent overhaul, my craft desk was very “open.” All of my supplies were visible and could be grabbed up easily. It was tough to keep this space neat since every little out-of-place item could be spotted. My supplies piled up and there wasn’t a ton of storage for new materials that I brought in. It was mostly functional but would not be an ideal work space when there was a baby around.
A craft room that also serves as a guest room

The previous craft space also served as the guest room in our two-bedroom condo. We had  a large sofa bed on the wall opposite my work desk which was nice for lounging, but also functional for when visitors arrived. With a little one on the way, this element of the room was going to have to change… I’m pretty sure that sofa beds are not appropriate for infants!
The options for redecorating this space swirled in my head for months, and I finally settled on a design that would be functional and appealing. That’s where my “Crib Meets Craft” project began. I wanted a dual-purpose room where I could work and where baby could be comfortable, a space where all of my supplies would have a home and could be neatly put away, out of baby’s reach. Thankfully, The Home Depot offers a huge assortment of crafting furniture that fit the bill perfectly.
Follow me along on this little tour of my Crib-Meets-Craft Room Makeover.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

It’s hard to believe that this is the same room, but it is. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of Behr Marquee paint will do, along with a few key pieces of Martha Stewart Living Crafting furniture.
Color palette for a combined craft room and baby's room

I chose a color palette that was kid-friendly, bold and could work in an adult workspace. For the walls, we went with Behr Marquee paint in Manhattan Mist. The paint goes on in just one coat — even on the wall that was previously painted. Since I was pregnant, I didn’t do the painting myself, but I was really happy about the low VOC’s, which meant minimal paint fumes in our home.
Craft room and baby's room combo

The Crafting Space

Along my “work wall” I placed five pieces of Martha Stewart Living crafting furniture, which provides plenty of space for my crafting supplies…with room to grow. I also added these awesome clear acrylic ZUO chairs and this sleekmetal table lamp (I bought a few!) for a modern flair.
Above my craft table, I wanted to hang art-themed images that would fit the crafty theme of the room and coordinate with the colors.
Creating this little gallery wall was easy…
A beautiful crafting space and home office

Amber Kemp-Gerstel at her desk

Gallery Wall Tutorial

Gallery wall tutorial



1. Trace each frame to be included in your gallery wall then cut out the frame shapes with scissors.
2. Arrange the builder’s paper onto the wall to finalize the design of your gallery.
3. Hang the center piece of the gallery wall then flank with strips of painter’s tape. This will ensure that all the additional frames will be perfectly spaced.
4. Hang the remaining gallery artwork.
Crafting room storage space

Craft room storage space open

A well-organized crafting cabinet

The Baby’s Space

On the wall opposite my crafting area is where our sweet little baby now lives. His space is filled with all the necessities, along with a few creative extras that I designed. By far my favorite feature of this wall are those wallpaper panels.
Since we are renting our condominium, it didn’t make sense to wallpaper the entire wall, only to have to remove it later. These panels are a temporary solution for adding wall paper to your walls–perfect for renters and home owners!
Cute baby's room with DIY wallpaper panels and DIY art

Wallpaper Panel Tutorial

Wallpaper panel tutorial

1. Place the MDF board onto a flat surface (either a work table or the floor).
2. Working in small sections, brush wall paper paste directly onto the MDF and onto the back of the wallpaper.
3. Smooth the wallpaper into place and continue adhering wall paper onto the MDF. Once the entire board is covered, wrap the edge as you would a gift.

Paint Brush Art Tutorial

Paint Brush Art Tutorial

To add a pop of color to each of the wallpaper panels, I created this framed artwork which totally coordinates with the crafty theme of the room. They are incredibly easy to create!
1. Tape off the brush portion of the paint brushes.
2. Spray paint the handle portion of the paint brushes.
3. Allow them to dry, then arrange the paint brushes on a sheet of heavyweight white paper.
4. Use a hot glue gun to secure your paint brush design.
5. Frame the paint brushes and hang them on the wall.
Wall Paper Panels with Paint Brush Art

Wall Paper Panels with Paint Brush Art

This stacking cubby system from Martha Stewart Living was perfect for storing some of the little baby items that we needed to have handy. The shot below also gives you a good look at the beautiful Safavieh rug I found to pull the space together.
Room Makeover: Space-Saving Baby's Room and Craft Room Combo

Article Posted By: Amber Kemp-Gerstel

Four Garage Organization Tips You Can Use Right Now

December 11th, 2015
Four Garage Organization Tips You Can Use Right Now

Laura Putnam of Finding Home has some very simple garage organization tips that can tame the clutter in what’s often the most cluttered part of the house.

Garage Organization Tips

Sports are in full swing, DIY projects are being planned out and the garden tools are ready to be put to work. In other words, our garage has finally woken up from a very long and sleepy winter. Last year, we did a huge overhaul to our garage to make it work better for us. After a few months of using it, we have found there were a few areas that needed some changes so that we could be even more organized.
Today, I want to share with you my garage organization tips.

Don’t be afraid to use free-standing furniture.

I am a big fan of using the walls and ceilings for storage in the garage. As you can see in the top picture, we even hang our bikes from the ceiling.
However, at a certain point you run out of space. We had some small things that had no real place to go and were just being shoved wherever a spot could be found. I used this cube organizer and the fabric bins to house things like work gloves, sports shoes and some gardening supplies.
It works perfectly in this odd spot because it has a solid back so I don’t have to worry about the bins falling through to the other side. It also allows this somewhat unusable space to become a very useful area. And let’s face it, garages are not always filled with the prettiest things in the world. Why not use a really beautiful storage unit that is also really functional?
Four Garage Organization Tips You Can Use Right Now

Adding some simple labels to the bins will help keep things organized all the way through the season. The sturdy build of these bins also makes it easy to bring one where you need it and then easily put in back in the cubbies.
Four Garage Organization Tips You Can Use Right Now

When you are short on space, use stackable bins.

Our garage seems to have an endless supply of fittings, hardware and parts to everything you can imagine. The best way to organize these types of items is by grouping them into bins and containers. However, lots of bins takes up a lot of space quickly. For our spring organizing, I used these stackable bins. I added labels for clarity, but I love that they are clear so that I can easily see what is in inside of them. However, their best feature is that the front opens to access the contents while still keeping them stacked.
Four Garage Organization Tips You Can Use Right Now

I had several messy boxes filled with an assortment of items that are now neatly grouped and easily accessible. I don’t need to unstack them to get what I need so they will stay organized.
Four Garage Organization Tips You Can Use Right Now

Find storage solutions that fit in the spaces you have.

I also love these Jumbo Storage Stacking Baskets.
They are perfect for organizing tools and larger items. They also allow a space that would have been somewhat unusable to now be a great place to maximize storage. They keep everything contained while still being accessible to get what you need and put it away.
Four Garage Organization Tips You Can Use Right Now

Have a spot for your unfinished projects.

I had such high hopes for some projects this past fall and winter. However, the cold got the best of me and I ran back inside for the warmth of indoor projects. As a result, the unfinished projects sat on the workbench collecting dust and being in the way. Now, I have a designated wooden crate to hold all of the projects still to be finished. When the mood strikes or time allows, I will quickly and easily be able to get to a project and get started. If I don’t finish a project, I will have a place to put it away until I have more time.
Four Garage Organization Tips You Can Use Right Now

Don’t overlook corners for storage space.

As I was organizing, I realized there were a handful of items that I just did not know where to put. Our shelves were filling and there was no more wall space. However, there was one little corner next to our work bench. Instead of just setting things in that corner, I first organized them into milk crates. Not only does this keep everything together and more organized, it also gave me the ability to stack two of them. Now, I can either grab what I need or bring the crate where I am working and easily put everything back.
Four Garage Organization Tips You Can Use Right Now

If there is anything I have learned in organizing our garage it is that you have to have systems in place. If you have everything in a bin but you have to pull everything apart to get to them, more than likely it is going to be a mess again really quick. We have worked to make sure our organizing systems not only contain everything we need, but also keep them very accessible. We are also working as a family on keeping up with cleaning and organizing the garage regularly just like we need to do inside. Simple tasks like sweeping and wiping down surfaces are part of our routine now.
Now, when we enter our garage it is welcoming and not overwhelming. Of course, it helps that not only is our storage functional, but it is pretty and colorful as well!
Article Posted By: Laura Putnam

Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

December 10th, 2015
Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

Who couldn’t use a little organization inspiration in their lives? We used Rust-Oleum’s Dry Erase Paint, Chalkboard Paint and Magnetic Primer to create a message board right on the wall. To make it look finished, we added picture frames around each section of the message.
This is an easy DIY project that can make it fun to keep your family’s schedules all in one place. Just follow our step-by-step tutorial.

How to Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall


Step 1 – Trace the Frames

Our Dry Erase and Chalkboard areas will be displayed inside frames. For this project we used one large frame and two smaller frames, so we need to decide now where the frames will go, and identify the spaces we need to paint.
To mark the spaces, simply take a frame and trace the inside edge on the wall using a pencil.
Tip: Use a level to ensure your frames are straight. Do this for each frame before you trace.
Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

Step 2 – Add Tape

Once you have traced each frame, add painter’s tape along the outside edges of your traced lines.
Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

Step 3 – Apply Magnetic Primer

We are creating two magnetic/chalkboard surfaces. This will allow you to not only write on the surface with chalk, but you can also hang important notes and pictures using magnets on the surface!
Begin by mixing the magnetic primer thoroughly. It is important to stir the magnetic primer well and often during your project. You can also have the product shaken at the paint counter at The Home Depot. If it was not shaken at the store, stir it until the paint is a consistent dark gray color.
Once the magnetic primer has been stirred thoroughly, you are ready to apply it to your wall. Use a foam roller that is designed to give a smooth finish, and apply the primer in an up and down motion. Work the area to give the smoothest application; the smoother the surface, the stronger the magnetic attraction.
Tip: Apply three thin coats instead of two heavy coats.
Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

Step 4 – Add Chalkboard Paint

After the magnetic primer has dried for four hours, you are ready to top coat it with your chalkboard paint! First we need to also stir the chalkboard paint. Mix it thoroughly to ensure any settled pigment is re-dispersed.
Once your product is mixed thoroughly, apply the chalkboard paint right over the dried magnetic primer. Use a good ¼-in. to ⅜-in. nap roller or a foam roller designed to give a smooth finish. Avoid excessive brushing or rolling, and use light, even stokes to ensure an even and smooth finish.
Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

Step 5 – Add a Dry Erase Surface

To really help organize your home, add a dry erase calendar.
We are using the Rust-Oleum Dry Erase Kit. The area we are going to paint has already been outlined with tape.
The next step is stirring and mixing the Dry Erase components. First, stir Part A and Part B separately. Once each component has been stirred, pour Part A into Part B and stir until they are thoroughly mixed together.
Once that’s done, you are ready to apply the Dry Erase Coating to your wall. Apply the coating with a dense foam roller for a smoother finish.
Once all coatings have fully dried, you can hang your frames and start organizing!

Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

Step 6 – Begin Organizing

Now that you’ve got your board on the wall, it’s time to get things organized. With the help of some dry erase markerschalk markers, and a few magnets, you can simplify scheduling and communication to make everything run more smoothly. Enjoy!
Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

Paint a Family Message Board on Your Wall

courtesy of homedepot.com

Man Caves: Christmas Gifts For Men

December 9th, 2015
Man Cave Christmas Gift Ideas images

Images via (clockwise): Car Pool TablesTabby Inc., Bicycle Taxidermy and Etsy
If you’re planning to build a man cave or you’ve been eyeing some unique pieces for the one you’re currently holed up in, it’s time to get your Christmas list ready. After all, Christmas is the time to splurge a little to get one or two things we really want. Whether it’s a 1965 Mustang pool table, or a lamp made from vintage motorcycle parts, or a cool beer bottle chandelier, we hope Santa brings you everything you ask for this year – and a few surprises, too.
Lest you end up with another stripey, plaid shirt, V-neck sweater or tie you won’t ever wear, we thought we’d help you (and Santa’s helpers) out with a few ideas on Christmas gifts for men that would look awesome in a man cave.
A montage of tools in the Black and Decker Matrix series

The Black & Decker Matrix is like the pocket knife of power tools. If you or someone you know has designs on building a man cave, buying them one of these is like getting them a whole set of power tools all rolled into one. It’s swap-in attachments let you switch from drill to impact driver, router, sander, jigsaw or oscillating tool as the needs of the job change. And, they’ll all probably fit in one neatly wrapped medium-sized toolbox.
Images of Sporting Man Cave Gift Ideas From The Home Depot Gift Center

There’s no better time than Christmas to score everything you’ve been wanting to swag-out the man cave in your team’s colors. Team Fathead wall decals, fans, flags and floor runners are just a small sample of what you can find for your sport fan’s man cave in The Home Depot Gift Center. We’re still waiting on HDTVs in team logos. Maybe next Christmas?
When it comes to Christmas gifts for men, remember, the guy with the best toys wins. This is as true in life as it is for man caves. And we certainly wouldn’t mind seeing any of these gifts under our tree.

DIY Mailbox Makeover

December 8th, 2015

Get instant curb appeal with this easy mailbox makeover.

In this simple mailbox makeover, we’ll show you how some new paint and a little attention to detail can make your mailbox the star of your front yard. It’s an instant curb appeal boost.
Just follow our step-by-step instructions.

Mailbox Makeover

Materials need for an easy mailbox makeover

Supplies for Mailbox Makeover
Old mailbox badly in need of a makeover

Before You Start

To protect surrounding items and surfaces from spray paint, spread your drop cloth over your working table and nearby items.

Step 1 — Sand the Mailbox

Sanding a metal mailbox in preparation for primer

First, sand the mailbox and flag with the medium grit sanding sponge to loosen dirt and rust. Wipe down the mailbox with a wet, soapy cloth to remove dirt. Once the mailbox and flag are clean, continue to sand until the metal no longer has a glossy surface.
Do a final wipe of the entire mailbox and flag with your tack cloth to remove any remaining dust.

Step 2 — Prime the Mailbox and Flag

Priming a mailbox before spray painting

Remove the flag from the mailbox and set aside.
To stop the paint from blistering, flaking and peeling off your mailbox, use Rust-Oleum Professional Aluminum Primer before painting. This will make sure your hard work lasts!
Shake the primer for about one minute after the ball begins to rattle. Hold the can 10-16 in. from the surface of the mailbox, and spray the primer in a steady back and forth motion. Apply 2-3 coats a few minutes apart.
Repeat these steps to prime the flag.

Step 3 — Spray Paint the Mailbox and Flag

Spray painting a mailbox

Spray painting a mailbox flag

Once the primer is dry, apply Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Gloss Protective Enamel – Gloss Black to the entire mailbox.
Similar to applying the primer, shake the can for one minute after the ball begins to rattle, hold the can about 10-16 in. from the surface, and apply 2-3 coats in a back and forth motion—allowing a few minutes in between each coat.
To paint the flag, follow these same steps using Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Gloss Protective Enamel – Sunrise Red.
Let the mailbox and flag dry for 24 hours before reattaching.

Step 4 — Sand and Paint the Mailbox Numbers

Sanding address number for a mailbox makeover

To make your house numbers, first sand each number with sandpaper until the surface is no longer glossy.
Spray painting address numbers

Next, use Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic – Pure Gold to paint the numbers.
Shake the can for one minute after the ball begins to rattle. Hold the can upright 8-12” from the numbers and spray in a back and forth motion. Apply 2-3 medium coats.
Allow the numbers to dry for 24 hours.

Step 5 — Add Letters to the Mailbox

Stenciling letters on a metal mailbox

Once the mailbox is completely dry, tape the letter stencils to the front of the box, spacing them evenly.
Use the American Accents Metallic Leafing Pen – Gold to fill in the letters. Allow 2-4 hours to dry before recoating if needed.

Step 6 — Attach the Mailbox and Numbers to the Post

Attaching a mailbox to its post

Attaching address numbers to a mailbox post

To finish your mailbox makeover, attach your house numbers to the post.
Reattach your new painted mailbox to the base with screws, using new hardware if needed.
DIY Mailbox Makeover

DIY Mailbox Makeover

Now step back and admire your “new” mailbox! To get our fun fall look, add some pumpkins and corn stalks to the base.

DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

December 7th, 2015

Here’s how to turn an old door into an attractive and very useful hall tree. This is a terrific storage solution for coats, boots, hats and more in the entryway or mudroom. It’s made from an old panel door with door and cabinet hardware as hooks.
It’s a fun and totally doable DIY project. Just follow our step-by-step tutorial.

How to Make a Hall Tree from an Old Door

Materials for DIY Door Entryway Tree

Before You Begin

We recommend an extra set of hands to help with assembly. Due to the nature of the 90-degree angles, it is safer to have two people building the final piece when using the brad nail gun.

Step 1: Prep the Pieces

DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

We recommend prepping the door first, before building the base unit. Using a sanding block or a sanding sponge, lightly sand over the surface of the door to rough it up and allow the paint to adhere. You can also sand the corners of your pre-cut boards to smooth them out by brushing the sanding block against them.
To help with the building of the DIY Hall Tree, we’ve included the below photo for reference.
DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

Step 2: Mark Table Top Placement

To build the base of the hall tree you will be using a 1 x 12 in. common board and two table legs.
For our project, we had our common board cut at the The Home Depot to the size of our salvaged door. The length of the door was exactly 2 ft. wide resulting in two cuts to the 12 in. board to create a top and bottom piece.
DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

We started by marking the placement of our table top.
Lay the front edge of your freshly cut top piece (1 in. x 12 in. x 2 ft.) on its back and place table legs perpendicular at the front of the board.
Using a pen or pencil, mark the desired placement of the table legs. We recommend placing them on the front two corners of the top board.

Step 3: Wood Glue Table Top

DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

Apply a thin beading of wood glue along the top square surface of your table leg. This will ensure a tighter seam when attaching the two together.

Step 4: Attach Table Top

DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

Lay the front edge of the top board on the floor, and hold the table leg securely at a 90-degree angle. Working on a flat surface and the marking your table leg placement will help to create a level table unit. Using your nail gun and 2 in. brad nails, secure the two together by nailing the top board and the table leg together.
Repeat for the other side of the top board.

Step 5: Glue the Feet

DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

Keep top board with attached legs lying flat against ground to continue working with the 90-degree angle needed for the bottom board. Apply a thin beading of wood glue along the bottom foot of the table leg.

Step 6: Nail the Baseboard

DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

Using your nail gun and 2 in. brad sails, affix the bottom of your table legs to the bottom board (2nd piece of 1 in. x 8 in. x 2 ft. common board).

Step 7: Attach the Base Unit

Now that the entire base unit is built, you can attach it to the door. Lay the door on its side and place the base unit on its side, with the base board of the door and the bottom board of the unit close aligned.
DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

Apply a thin beading of wood glue along the interior side of the base unit’s bottom board. Press the bottom board of the unit against the base of the door. This part can be a little tricky, but it is important to align the bottom board with the base of the door as it would be if standing upright.
DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

Use your brad nail gun and 1½ in. brad nails to attach the bottom board of the unit to the bottom of the door.
We recommend starting on one side and moving towards the other to create a tight seam between the door and the base unit.
DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

Flip the door and base unit upright and repeat the process above for the top board. Apply a thin beading of wood glue along the interior side of back of top board and press against the door. Using the brad nail gun and 1½ in. brad nails, attach the second seam of the base unit to the door.
Tip: Aligning the nail gun to nail through the boards into the door can be a difficult thing to do measuring by sight. If you miss the board when nailing through the back side of the door, you can always use cutting pliers to snip off the edge of the brad nails.
DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

Step 8: Add the Shelf

DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

We decided to first attach the corbels and then attach the shelf to the door.
Flip the entire unit (door and base) on its side for easier assembly.
Apply a thin beading of wood glue along the interior side and the top edge of the corbel; lay it flat against the door for the backboard. Be sure to line up the top edge of the corbel and the top edge of the door to create a flat surface for the top shelf to rest.
DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

Using your brad nail gun and 1½ in. brad nails, attach the back of the corbel to the door using the same instructions listed above when attaching the base unit.
Once the corbels are secured, follow the same process for adding the top shelf. Be sure to line up the back edge of the door and the side edges of the corbels for a level and even seam.

Step 9: Caulk Gaps (Optional)

DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

Once you have completed attaching the top shelf, flip the entire unit on its back. Depending upon how old the salvaged door is, the top shelf may not be adhered and may have some spacing gaps, as ours did. You can add a small amount of caulk to fill in the seams if you desire.

Step 10: Paint

DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

Now that you have finished building the hallway tree, it’s time to paint!
We knew we wanted a moody blue shade for our final piece, so we chose Behr’s Calligraphy for its traditional colonial blue look.

Step 11: Add Hooks

DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

Since our hall tree is made from an old door, we used door knobs for the hooks.
We recommend marking the placement of your hooks and knobs before installation. (Keep in mind what type of items you plan on hanging from them! You wouldn’t want the bottom of your jacket resting halfway across the table top.)
Mark the general placement of the top of the hook and the hole in which the screw will secure the hook to the door.
DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

Using an 8/32 in.drill bit, pre-drill the holes into the door for your hanger bolt to be installed.
Using the provided hanger bolt hardware included in the hook, start by screwing the flat threaded side into the back of the door knob handle. Place the back plate in the pre-marked area. Screw the pointy side of the hanger bolt into the door through the hole in the back plate by turning the knob clockwise. You will feel the secure mount of the hook when the knob and the back plate are flush against the door and properly aligned.

Step 12: Add Knobs

DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

For additional hanging capabilities, we decided to add coordinating cabinet knobs to the side of our door tree. You can add these knobs, or more hooks in your own desired placement areas depending upon how you want to use them. You can easily swap hooks for knobs in any area you would like by following the instructions above.
The hardware won’t come with hanger bolts, but you can purchase hanger bolts for the thickness of your door. We chose to install our knobs with 1½ in. hanger bolts, since we were installing on the sides of the door.
DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

Step 12: Style and Enjoy Your Hall Tree!

DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

DIY Hall Tree Made From a Door

What makes this DIY door hall tree so great is its versatility. Whether you are looking for more organization of children’s school bags, or just looking for a place to hang your hats and coats in style, this project can do it all!
article courtesy of homedepot.com