Alternate title for this post “How $9.32 And Twenty Minutes Saved My Sanity And Prevented Me From Pulling My Hair Out During The Holiday Shopping Craziness That Is Our Etsy Shop”. But I thought that might be too long of a title. Consider yourselves spared. But the nine bucks and twenty minutes was well worth it as we made/hung a drying rack for our Etsy shop stands in the Roostic office.
I kid you not, this thing has saved my life…every…single….(pause for ridiculous dramatic effect)….day. Let’s just say that for the past couple of weeks, no matter how many stands I make and list, they sell out. Instantly. And it’s making me crazy….er…crazier. Thus, our manufacturing volume is at an all time high. And with a product that requires a considerable amount of dry time (stain dry time and poly dry time), a drying rack was a must. BDR, that’s “before drying rack”, I left the stands on the desk to dry. This cut down considerably on the number of stands that I could make at any given time and also cut down on my packing space. BDR, I could probably only push through 5-6 stands in a day. But now…that drying rack holds 20+ stands so I’ve been upping my stand making capacity to 12-16 per day! Huge difference!
Anywho….enough numbers and quotas and such. Let’s get down to the how we did its. First up…Mr. Metal Conduit pipe. We picked up a super cheap piece of 1/2″ x 10′ metal conduit for $2.24 at Lowes. Given that this tiny bedroom of ours that we’ve turned into manufacturing space is only 10′ deep, it was a perfect fit. No cutting needed.
To hang Mr. Metal Conduit we need some nice long screw hooks. They needed to be big enough to not only hold the 1/2″ conduit but also long enough to screw right through the sheet rock and into the studs behind it. The drying rack was going right above my desk and my head so we didn’t want to run the risk of it crashing down on top of me. These 4″+ screws did the trick for a whopping $1.18 each also from Lowes.
To hang, we did a bit of stud finding and marking:
Pilot hole drilling:
And finally screwing the long screw hooks into place:
We butted the screws and the rack as close as possible to the slanted ceiling and the bead board since we were walking a fine “let’s squeeze this in between the door and the attic opening” line. Thankfully, the rack can be fully loaded with stands and both doors (the bedroom door and attic door/staircase) work just fine.
Obligatory full monty shot.
This project was one of those impromptu projects where we walked into Lowes knowing what we wanted to do but no idea how to do it. The metal conduit rod and the screws were a simple solution for the rack but we started to struggle figuring out hooks to hang the stands from the conduit. All the “S” hooks that we found weren’t big enough to fit around the conduit and none of the other hooks in the hardware aisle would work either. Enter the shower curtain hooks for $1.77 per pack of 12
We MacGyvered the snot out of those shower curtain hooks! All it took was a bit of bending and twisting with a pair of pliers to take the hooks from its original state (on the right) to a stand hanging hook (on the left).
The bulkier clasp part turned into the part that would wrap around the conduit pipe and the part that clipped into the clasp turned into the part that would loop into the wooden stand hang holes. Kind of like so:
I know this pic only shows the drying rack loaded up with a pair (aren’t all good racks made up of pairs?! sorry…couldn’t help it…I am a 12 year old boy…hanging head in shame) but you should see this thing fully loaded! It’s like I’m drowning in a sea of wooden cookbook stands!
So that’s our little ditty about
Jack and Dianne how $9.32 saved my life. Not really. More like improved efficiencies and made me a more productive small business owner. Now I can’t sit on the couch and re-watch episodes of New Girl while waiting for stands to dry. I liked self-employment alot better before the drying rack. That’s it, rip it out, it’s not vented! Random side note: “rip it out, it’s not vented” refers to one of our favorite shows “Holmes on Homes”. He uses that line ALL THE TIME but usually referring to showers and toilets that were installed incorrectly. Colby and I like to use the term…well…just about all the time about anything. #weirdos
Pssst…What have you spent your $9.32 on lately? Any thrifty projects going down in your neck of the woods?
Starting projects…totally my jam…finishing projects…not so much. Please tell me I’m not the only one who is a stellar project starter but then lets them kind of fizzle?! Anywho, I needed to take some “workshop” photos for our shop listing on Scout Mob and our Etsy office space was kind of looking like this:
One of my favorite tricks of staining is filling all the nail holes with colored putty after staining but before polying. For most projects, this means you can pre-stain the wood, install it, then fill in the nail holes. The colored putty just melts right into your staining project and masks those nail holes like a champ.
Pssst…In another random exciting news, our Christmas tree is totally going up this weekend! Hootie hoo! Honestly, this is the earliest I’ve ever put up our tree (I’m usually a wait until after Thanksgiving is over kind of girl), but I just can’t help it. I’m itching to start decorating for Christmas! Anyone else have their tree up already? Or have been bitten by the Christmas bug?!
A long, long time ago,
I can still remember, how that music used to make me smile we bought a tractor seat stool at Home Goods. It was an impromptu purchase while on a Vermont road trip because when you see a tractor seat stool, you buy it. Those are the rules. No exceptions. But alas, the tractor seat stool was red which isn’t necessarily my favorite color…not even close…I’m more of a blue girl. But I left it red until the Etsy work space evolved a little bit more. But now…that tractor seat stool is sporting a brand new turquoise coat.
After a bit of color debate, I opted to paint the stool the same turquoise color as the cage light fixture that we made last week, which happens to be leftover paint from our media cabinet in the living room. Nothing like a little color synergy in the space. But my favorite part of the stool’s new paint color, is how cute it looks with the coral curtains. I’m a sucker for coral/turquoise color combos. It gets my insides all tingly ever time.
But remember where we were just a few-ish weeks ago? Red stool with green/yellow curtains. Oh my. Not so great.
Painting the stool was one of those super quick and super easy projects that provides a big impact. As for the how we did it portion of this program, it was our regular old spray painting song and dance. The stool was metal with a super glossy finish. So I prepped the stool by wiping it down with a liquid deglosser, which magically scuffs up the finish without sanding AND cleans the surface all in one step. Then prepped our paint sprayer for painting.
We’ve hit the one year mark on our paint sprayer (a Graco 2900 purchased from Lowes…you can read our review on it back here) and I have to admit, we’ve been having words. Strong words. Like the kind you yell at the dog after he ate an entire plate of freshly grilled bbq chicken (been there). Fightin’ words. I’m kind of wishing we had upgraded the paint sprayer to the next model up, the one where you don’t have to water down your paint. And it’s been a clog monster lately. Live and learn. At least a clog saved Colby from being spray painted a lovely turquoise color.
Next step, spray time. After I worked by Goldilocks skills with the water to paint ratio until I got the perfect consistency of not too runny but not too thick to clog the sprayer, I layered on about four thin and even coats of paint. Three coats almost covered up the red, but not quite so a fourth was needed.
I’m a big fan of spray painting outside by putting down a scrap piece of plywood or some cardboard in the lawn and plopping my spray painting piece down on top of it. It’s so much easier to tackle these kind of projects outside. Then you can leave them out there to fully dry and harden before taking them in. Sadly, our spray painting days are numbered. See the leaves in the yard? Spray painting season is drawing to a close as the temps are dropping and winter is looming. My spray painting trigger finger is officially un-itchy…and gloved.
After a couple days of dry time, the stool returned to the Etsy office space and I happily plopped by butt into the turquoise seat. Such a happy tushy!
As for what’s next in the Etsy office? I’ve got a few decorating/organizing projects up my sleeve. My favorite kinds of projects, the little ones that add some depth, layer, and texture to the room. The kind that really make a space unique and give it some character. Stay tuned.
Pssst…While we were spray painting away this weekend, what were you guys up to? Any painting projects? Organizing? Halloween prep work? Man…Halloween is sooooo soon. I’m officially not ready!
My current obsession these days has been all about the industrial look. Who would have thunk it?! Especially since I work full time in industrial distribution. What I’ve REALLY been jonesing after have been all those gorgeous cage lights. I love an old school looking, exposed light bulb, and those colorful trouble-light-esque cages surrounding the bulb. But the prices?! Have I mentioned that I’m cheap? Like a Ramen noodles every night kind of cheap?! Okay, maybe not that cheap, maybe more like thrifty. So when it came time to light fixture up in the Etsy office, I jumped on the cage light band wagon and DIY-ed my own version which cost a whopping $11.
And before you can truly appreciate the after of our gorgeous cage light, here’s the before.
We call those lights “pig tail lights” and we tend to install them as a temporary light fixture while we’re working on ceilings (sheet rocking, mudding, or painting them) since they stay out of the way. But temporary in this space has turned into a seven-month long lighting solution that had to go.
So when I came across a wire basket for $1 at our local thrift store, I absolutely couldn’t resist. From the moment my eyes fell upon it, I couldn’t help but think, “CAGE LIGHT”!
I had precisely zero point zero idea of how I was going to do it, but was adamant that it was going to turn into one sick light fixture! So I dragged the hubs to Home Depot for an all out search and
destroy purchase mission for a lighting kit of some sort that we could attach the wire basket to. We almost came home with pendant kit until we came across this perfect little shade holder kit for a whopping $6.
So home we came to get to work. The first order of business was attacking the basket. We had to cut the bottom of the basket out to make room for the light bulb and light kit to stick through it. Nothing a pair of wire snips couldn’t handle. We just traced the light socket onto the basket and cut away, making sure the opening we cut out was centered on the basket.
And took the light fixture for a little test run before painting up.
Then out came some left over oil rubbed bronze spray paint leftover from painting a slew of doorknobs in our house. I wasn’t totally digging the white, flush mount part of the light fixture so it had to go. My original intention was to paint it a a silvery color, but alas, I didn’t have any. And since there was plenty of ORB (oil rubbed bronze) to go around we gave the light a little ORB-ing.
And while we were at it, three a little turquoise paint into our paint sprayer and sprayed the cage as well. After both light fixture pieces were spray painted and thoroughly dry, our next step was assembly. Since we were fully on board with the work-with-what-ya-got train and were plum out of plain old wire, we used some flux (typically used for soldering) to attach the light base to the cage shade.
There were three holes in the light fixture base that was meant for attaching the light shade to. So we just snipped off a piece of flux, looped it through the whole, and twisted it around the wire cage using a pair of needle nosed pliers.
And voila…a somewhat assembled, DIY cage light fixture.
That was the easy part. The hard part…installation. After a short battle that I coined “Battle Royale: Colby vs. Light Fixture” (super creative, I know), Colby installed the light fixture. For some reason, the screws that were provided with the fixture weren’t the right size. I guess that’s what you get with a cheap light fixture. But after a couple beers, a few swear words, some new to me, the light fixture was in.
Since the light bulb was totally exposed, I couldn’t just throw any ol’ light bulb in it. I really wanted one of those Edison bulbs but since Home Depot didn’t have any Edison bulbs I settled for the next best thing, a cabinet display bulb.
And done. One DIY cage light fixture for our Etsy office space.
I know it’s hard to tell in these pics since the sun was setting and I was trying to squeak out these pics before losing all light, not just the good light, but I’m loving how the turquoise in the light fixture goes so well with the turquoise in the recently installed shelves. I’m loving the turquoise/green/coral color combo so much that I’m seriously debating spray painting the tractor seat stool the same turquoise color. Thoughts? Good idea? Too much turquoise? Is there such thing as too much turquoise?
Pssst…So I know that’s I’ve been totally MIA these days, but I swear there are good reasons. BIG announcement coming soon along those lines. I can’t wait to share it with you!
Do you ever have one of those weekends where you should do something in particular? You put it on the list, have every intention of tackling “said something” and yet it never gets done? You know, something like utilize the most perfect, rain free weekend to finish painting your porch windows because it’s (look for the blue moon) not raining? But somehow you find yourself installing shelving in the Etsy office? That was my weekend. Obligatory before and after:
Did you also notice the return of the coral curtains?
I couldn’t help it. I needed some shelving. It was one of those if-only-I-was-organized-I-would-get-soooooo-much-done kind of things. Which I totally believe in. I feel I finish ten times as many iPad stands when I can see my go-to stain and don’t have to dig through piles of old t-shirts to turn into rags before getting to it. Of course, it didn’t help that I had recently picked up a mess of these beauties during a trek to the flea market. We got 17 of them for $25. I couldn’t resist. They were cheap and had flaky bits…and in my world flaky bits equals purchase.
Because I knew I wanted to store quarts of stain on the shelves we made damn sure that the brackets would attach to studs. Colby copping an attitude…I mean…finding a stud.
And screwing the brackets into the stud.
When it came to installing/placing the brackets, we used a very sophisticated method of eyeballing it height wise. Width spacing wise, the studs were equidistant apart so we just picked three studs that spanned the area that we wanted the shelves to go.
We decided that it would be best to first hang the brackets to help us decide the length of the pine board shelf. We opted to give the shelf about a 2″ overhang on each end (meaning the shelf is a total of 4″ longer than the space between each end bracket). Colby quickly cut down the pine board to the right size, 8-1/4″ x 68″ total size.
Then I quickly slapped some white paint on the board, not bothering to prime it beforehand. I was going for a ‘white washed” look in theory but in reality it was just shear laziness. Like a I-don’t-want-to-spend-more-than-20-minutes-on-this kind of laziness.
After letting the painted
lady shelf dry overnight, it was just a matter of screwing the brackets to the shelves, ironically using some brass screws that we use to assemble our iPad stands.
And scene…shelves installed. The entire shelf building, finishing and installing process took a whopping twenty minutes (minus the dry time). But that was the quick part of the project.
The longer part of the project…organizing what goes on the shelf!
Lining up my water based wood stains in ROY G BIV order is totally my idea of a good time on a Sunday evening.
My favorite part of the shelf organizing was utilizing a trio of green, metal storage bins that I picked up from Home Goods a month or so ago. They were only $9.99 each, so about $30 for the set. I organized them by task…for the most part. So when it’s time to stain, I grab the bin in the middle which has rags, my staining brush, drop cloth and stir sticks. No more rummaging through a box under the desk looking for that gosh darn staining rag! Which usually ends up me empty handed and running to our closet contemplating cutting up Colby’s Patriots tee (I’m a Giants fan…can you blame me?), but that could never end well.
I even spent a little bit of time organizing the green bookcase underneath the shelves.
I picked up a few old, wood drawers at a local antique store for about $4 each and used them to store like items. Like extra rolls of twine which I use assembling the iPad stands or stamping supplies for product tag making.
The beauty of the whole shelf building/reorganization is that it freed up soooo much space underneath the desk for product storage. The old, wood boxes used to hold stains and iPad manufacturing supplies mixed in with the stands. But now…all that space is dedicated to product.
Pssst…What have you guys been organizing lately? Craft supplies? Paints in ROY G BIV order?