So I owe you guys a little tutorial on how we made that rope shelf that we revealed for the Spring Pinterest Challenge. And since I don’t like owing things, here she blows. A full blown tutorial on how we filled that empty wall with a rope/scrap wood/pulley shelf in our bathroom. I would like to say it was easy…but that would be a lie. And if there’s one thing I can’t do, it’s lie. Seriously…try me. My face starts doing weird contortions and I start smirking. There’s a reason I don’t play poker.
Anyway…the project all started with some scrap wood. We ended up recycling our “Angie & Colby” sign from our wedding since there were three boards for the three shelves, they were the perfect width and the (almost) perfect length. For recreation’s sake, you could also use scrap wood or pick up some new wood from your local lumber yard or big box store. And to make this story even more bizarre, we originally found these boards underneath our front porch when we first moved in three years ago. We’re wood hoarders…care to join our club?
After a quick unassembly of the shelves, Colby cut them down to 20″ long (they were already 4″ wide). Since the backs of the boards were painted and we wanted stained wood, we attempted to strip the boards using an orbital sander and 80 grit paper…no luck.
So out came the big dog…a Festool planer.
This was one of those tools that we “inherited” back in the day when we bought our home. A friend of ours was moving and didn’t want to take his tools. Since we only had a drill, circular saw, and a pink hammer (guess which tool was mine) we gladly took on any free tools that came our way, including the Festool planer, which comes out of hiding occasionally for projects like this. The thing essentially eats wood like a woodchuck. When I envision a woodchuck “chucking” and speed gnawing on all that wood (we’re talking one of those cartoon woodchucks) the sound he makes is the same as the Festool planer eating the wood.
Just a couple swipes across each board on each side and five minutes later for a raw wood surface.
Our next step was drilling holes in the shelves for the rope to pass through for hanging. Before drilling the real shelves, we whipped out a piece of scrap wood and drilled a few test holes with the drill and spade bits before deciding on the appropriate size hole for the 3/4″ sisal rope. Ding ding ding…we have a winner…come on down…the
price hole is right.
With the correct spade bit size decided upon, Colby lined up all three boards, stacking them on top of each, placed a couple pieces of scrap pine underneath the stack, and clamped them down to the work bench.
When using spade bits to drill holes through boards, having a piece of scrap wood underneath the area where you’re drilling is important. Not only does it protect your work surface from being drilled into, it also creates a cleaner cut on the bottom of your board. If you were to just hang your boards over the edge of the workbench (so you’re not drilling into your work surface) the board would likely splinter on the bottom side as the spade bit broke through.
One more tip before we can move on. The reason for stacking all three boards was to make sure that all the holes in the boards were exactly in the same spot. We didn’t want errant holes to make for an uneven hanging shelf.
With all the cuts and drilling done, I took the boards outside on one of our first nice days of the year for a little staining and poly action. I went with leftover Minwax Classic American stain combined with a Minwax water based poly combo.
Here’s where things start to get tricky…not really…I just made it WAY harder than it needed to be…and took about three too many trips to Lowes for supplies. I started with four pulleys, a pile of 3/4″ sisal rope, and a pair of eye hooks. Then later returned two of the pulleys and purchased o-rings and pulls (which I thought we needed to make the pulley functional but didn’t need in the end), and also S-hooks which we did use.
My initial plan was to make the shelves raise-able and lower-able but ultimately decided that I would never use it AND it was too tricky. So we went with a simpler hang the eye hooks from the ceiling and link a pulley to it with an S-hook (another trip to Lowes) and call it good plan.
We were lucky that when we gutted out our bathroom, Colby installed strapping to help him hang the new sheetrock, and a piece of that strapping was directly above where we wanted the shelf to go. As Wayne (from Wayne’s World) would say “Schwing”!
Then I learned the hard lesson that you can’t thread all the rope through the shelves and then tie all the knots underneath it. Just doesn’t work that way. And then I learned that I needed just two pieces of rope not four because it’s just ONE piece of rope that feeds through the pulley…doh! I had a blonde moment…except I’m a brunette. And then I figured it out.
One shelf at a time, starting at the top, 12″ apart (actually using the tape measure and not just eye balling it), and tie the knots as you go.
I repeated this process, adding shelves and tying knots until I reached the end and had a little bit of rope left to trim.
And we were left with a completed rope shelf just waiting for some monkey
Except that I put found bottles and flowers on it. Sorry monkeys.
So there you have it, a quick and dirty tutorial on how we put together the rope/pulley shelf in our bathroom. And I think now would be the appropriate time to whip out the good ol’ bathroom to-do list:
Find a dresser/buffet to convert into a bathroom vanity(we found a buffet on Craigslist for $75) Hack up said dresser and paint it(vanity hacking post here and here during installation; the vanity is painted Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore which you can read about here) Demo out the old “temporary” vanity that had been in our bathroom for nearly three years and patch the sheetrock(vanity demo go boom…note…Colby challenge me to spoof the KFC “Game Day Bucket Go Boom commercial in every post…challenge accepted) Prime and paint the bathroom wall a cool, minty color(we painted the bathroom Mantis Green by Benjamin Moore)
- Add bead board above the built-in shelves and paint the bead board and the shelves glossy white (for shame that we haven’t yet painted the bathroom built-ins…it’s been three years!)
Build a first aid cabinet for the space above the toilet paper holder(we didn’t build it though…we found it…for six bucks…here’s the post)
- Organize, organize, organize!
Build shelves for the blank wall space beside the vanity
- Build another shelf, maybe one out of driftwood, to hang over the back of the toilet
- Find or DIY some interesting towel hooks (picked these up during our recent Brewer School House Antiques shopping excursion, just need to paint and install them)
- Finish off the space by hanging a little art and accessorizing here and there (I’m sensing some Etsy art I’ve been drooling over in our future!)
- Patch the cracked ceiling (kind of broke it while working in the attic) and paint it
- Replace the light fixture with something fun and less boob-light-like
Do you like how we crossed off one thing (the rope shelves) and added two more things (fixing the ceiling & installing a new light fixture)? Isn’t that the way it goes?
Pssst…Word to your momma! Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there! Goose was nice enough to bestow upon me a Mother’s Day gift of acting not quite as obnoxiously crazy as normal…and he licked my face…twice…such a good boy!
So last night I whipped out my glue gun…and made us a little toothbrush holder for our recently refreshed bathroom (you can check out some of the bathroom posts including painting the bathroom mint, finding an old buffet on Craigslist to turn into a vanity, how we hacked the buffet, and then painted it, and installed it). Anyway…back to the project…wha-bam!
Seriously…there’s nothing I can’t do with a glue. Except maybe create world peace. But that’s a job for Miss America, right?! Bah-dum-tsh….I’m here all night. Anyway…here is the new toothbrush/toothpaste holder on the vanity.
And the beauty of the whole project is that it cost me a whopping $2! The only thing that I had to buy was the glass vase. We already had the 3/16″ sisal rope on hand from various rope obsessed projects (you can even check out my Pinterest board dedicated to rope decor)and the yellow baker’s twine (from the Twinery on Etsy) is leftover from our wedding invitations.
I was a bit sick of our toothbrushes hanging out in the open and the toothpaste always lingering on the vanity top. I like things to have a spot…a put away spot. So the game plan for this project was to take a small, glass vase and wrap it in rope with a little baker’s twine mixed in for some color. But I didn’t want to glue the rope directly to the glass…that way I could remove the glass to clean it of toothpaste residue and put it back. So essentially, I made a rope koozie for the vase.
To do this, I started with the base. I coiled the the rope tightly, hot gluing it as I went along. Lots of hot glue = a tighter more secure coil. Fortunately, I only suffered a handful of hot glue burns…only one pseudo serious. It really helped by coiling the rope while laying it flat on the table to keep the base of the rope koozie even. I continued wrapping and gluing until the rope coaster was one rope round wider than the glass vase.
That’s when I started to take the rope koozie vertical and glued between the vertical rope layers.
After a solid first wrap around with the sisal rope, that’s when I started to wrap the rope with the yellow baker’s twine.
I capitalized on my Type A personality and oh so carefully and evenly wrapped the twine around the rope, gluing each end of the twine to the rope to keep it from unraveling. As for the length of the twine, I used a really precise measuring method and used “two wingspans” length of twine. You know…where one wingspan equals the space between my hands when I stretch them out.
I wrapped the rope with the twine at random intervals. I didn’t really have a pattern or system for wrapping the rope with twine, I just kind of winged it.
I just kept wrapping and gluing and wrapping until the rope had just barely covered the top of the glass. The whole project took about two beers (that’s nearly two hours for those of you unfamiliar with my beer drinking pace) but it would probably take someone who is a little less Type A about an hour (a one beer project).
I love the end result…it’s so much cuter than the old, metal toothbrush holder. AND I made it…AND it has so much character…AND it’s a step in the right color direction (we’re going from a mint/yellow color combo in this space).
One little bathroom accessorizing project done…so many more to go. I’m thinking of adding some art, a little first aid cabinet, some rustic towel hooks, and a snazzy new (and colorful) light fixture. Stay tuned.
Pssst…How about all of you? What have you unleashed your glue gun fury on? Or any bathroom accessorizing going on? Do share! I love hearing from you all!
And this time not to each other (been there…done that…maybe someday after I sift through thousands of amazing photos you’ll get to read about it too). But this hitching relates to plumbing…bathroom plumbing…and how we cut a hole in the back of our Craigslist buffet find turned bathroom vanity and hitched up the plumbing.
Teeth brushing in the tub is no longer a “normal” thing around here. Oh…and have you met our fancy new sink hardware?!
For the ripe ol’ price of FREE! Thank you Mom and Dad for bestowing upon us your cast off NEW bathroom hardware. Story coming. You see, my parents built themselves a gorgeous new country home (you can catch a glimpse of it in this Christmas post). Seriously…they built it themselves with the help of my contractor brother. You see where I get my DIY ability?! And during the building process a Home Depot store in my neck of the woods closed and reopened across town…hence…MOVING SALE! Prices slashed on everything…all sales final. So my mom bought all the hardware she needed for all four of the bathrooms in their new home for cheap. Except…when she later purchased the vanities/tops, the hardware she needed was the one hole type as opposed to the three hole type she had bought on clearance. So she gave us brand new hardware…that’s been sitting in our basement…for three years…with our $2 Lowes display model sink that we impulsively purchased for our “someday” vanity. Story officially over, let’s install a vanity.
The first step was to attach the hardware to the sink and make sure sink/hardware combo fit in the sink hole that Colby cut a few weeks ago before I painted the vanity. Look at him making faces at me in the mirror.
Thankfully, everything fit perfectly and no new cuts needed to be made.
Except for one cut, the one in the back of the vanity where the plumbing needed to come through. To do this, we scooted the vanity up to the plumbing, measured/leveled/marked the cut locations, drilled a couple of pilot holes in the upper corners of the plumbing hole to be cut, and cut it all out using a jig saw.
Then just slid the vanity into place so the plumbing coming out of the wall came through the back of the vanity. Then plopped the sink/hardware/drain back into the sink hole so the drain fed right into the plumbing trap.
But do you see the little problem? The trap that we had used with our old sink (white plumbing) was a size too big for the new faucet drain pipe (dark plumbing). So off to Lowes Colby went to pick up a new, smaller sized trap which cost us a whopping $5 for the whole kit, and simply installed it.
Much better fit. But then we learned the gasket that came with the drain was leaky so back to Lowes for a new gasket, which seemed to work better. But just in case, before we caulked the sink permanently into place on the vanity, we plopped a pie plate under the vanity plumbing and left it there for a few days to catch an possibly leaky drips…you know…just in case. But it remained dry.
Thankfully, none of our friends came over and asked us to bake them a pie. Because how embarrassing would that be when you have to tell them, “hold on a minute, let me retrieve my pie plate from the bathroom and I’ll get right on that pie.” Anyway…after adding back a couple of essentials (toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, floss…nothing too fancy or decorator-ie yet) the vanity was looking a little bit like this:
But note the slight gap going on between the lip of the sink and the vanity top. Not cool. The final step for our vanity installation was to caulk that gap nice and tight so any water that spilled onto the vanity top wouldn’t leak down inside the vanity. To do this, we used a tried and true bathroom caulking from Dap to caulk the seam. This is the same stuff that we used to caulk around our bathtub and where the shower tiles meet the tub. It’s super strong, water resistant stuff that lasts a good long time.
And see? No more seam! And finally, our bathroom is starting to feel more like a real bathroom with a real vanity.
Although, it still feels a little builder basic to me with lots of empty walls and a standard issue mirror (it was a $10 yard sale find that we spray painted white). That blank wall is begging for a little shelf and a hand towel hook. Other walls are screaming for help too. I can hear them…all…night…long. No joke, I decorate and renovate our home in my sleep. And on occasion, the blank walls talk to me. I’ve got a problem. Actually I’ve got 99 problems but the vanity ain’t one!
This weekend I’m excited to REALLY set up our bathroom…you know…do a little decorating…maybe some organizing…and basically get down tonight…get down tonight. That 70s song spoof worked out so much better in my head. #bloggerfail
Pssst…What’s on tap for you this weekend? Organizing? Painting? General chillaxin’ in the sun? Speaking of…for the love of pink glitter I hope it does not rain this weekend AND the temps stay above 38! I need sun!
So we’ve shown you the progress we made with the bathroom vanity(a Craigslist buffet find, that we modified, and then painted Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore) but we haven’t yet shown you the bathroom progress. Game day bucket go boom:
We’ve been busy bees. Can you tell?! We not only removed the “temporary”, been there for three years, painted plywood vanity this past weekend, but we also patched the walls, and primed the entire bathroom. I’m a little sad to see the yellow go, but am uber excited about the new paint color, which is all up. I just need to snap a few pics of it to share with you all. Hint hint, it’s super fresh and clean…some might say it’s “minty” fresh. Did I do that (she says in her best Urkel voice)?! Anyway…while I was busy painting away on the new buffet turned vanity, the Colb-ster was hard at work prepping the vanity area, first by removing the old vanity. The hot tip for vanity removal…turn the water off.
You don’t want to flood your bathroom. I know an indoor swimming pool has always been a dream, but just not on the second floor…directly above the living room tv.
The second hot tip for vanity removal…score the caulking on all the vanity trim/back splash areas before trying to remove them. This makes trim removal easier since it breaks the paint/caulking seal.
Same goes for the sink. Don’t just try to pry it out, score the caulking around the sink first. It’s pretty much the only thing holding that sink in there so scoring it with a utility knife breaks that seal.
Since Colby and I are both big fans of salvaging wood, Colby removed the vanity piece by piece as much as he could. We’re always coming up with new projects and ideas for salvaged wood and love to recycle wood and trim pieces instead of buying new. Who knows, an old bathroom vanity may become new bedroom shelves someday.
Same goes for the baseboards. We had a decent amount of sheet rock repairs to do in the vanity space, which meant carefully removing the baseboards (scoring the caulk line first with a utility knife and then prying it off with a hammer). We’ll later put the baseboards right back where they were, re-caulking, and touching up the paint.
With the vanity and baseboards removed, it was just our usual sheet rocking/mudding/sanding song and dance. We’re getting to be pros at this.
It may be hard to tell in the above pictures, but the reason why Colby sheet rocked right over the lower half of the wall (where the plumbing is coming out of the wall) is because the wall there has always been uneven and adding a level of sheet rock levels it out. Way back when we first demo-ed our pink and ugly bathroom and re-sheet rocked it, Colby installed a piece of plywood behind where the mirror would go, underneath the sheet rock. This provided a nice solid surface to hang mirrors from…good idea. Bad idea…not leveling out the bottom half of that wall. Doh! So we took the vanity removal opportunity to rectify the situation.
After Colby finished the mudding/sanding process, I gave it one final sand, and primed the entire bathroom.
I know I didn’t necessarily have to prime the entire bathroom before re-painting it, but our yellow walls were super bright and I didn’t want to take any chances of the new paint color not covering it. And after all, primer is cheap at about $15 a gallon compared to our favorite Benjamin Moore paint at $45 a can.
So stay tuned for details on our freshly painted, minty bathroom. I should have those pics coming at ya early next week…or maybe tomorrow if I’m on my A-game. Let’s just say…the color doesn’t disappoint and I’m not one to ever choose the lightest shade on a paint chip!
Pssst…So what about you guys? Any painting projects going on in your neck of the woods? Or bathroom makeovers going down? Do share! We LOVE hearing from you all!
This weekend was an absolute whirlwind of house project goodness. Sawdust was blowing, paint was flying, there’s sheet rock dust in my hair, and we made a super mess of our house. Big mess typically equals major house project progress. So this week we’ll be spending some time cleaning up our messes and blogging about all the progress. And speaking of progress, I officially declare this the week of the bathroom…maybe two weeks of the bathroom since we made so much progress in our little loo makeover.
Anyway…first up on the project docket, how we hacked up our Craigslist buffet find and turned it into a bathroom vanity. Warning…this post is loooooong! Before painting the buffet we had to do a little hacking. We opted for the cut first and paint later method since you never know when a saw is going to go rogue and an errant cut will ruin the piece…meaning the hours you spent painting is pointless. So we started hacking away at our vanity first by removing the back piece.
We simply didn’t like the backing that came on the buffet. It wasn’t really our style and it drove my Type A, perfectionist personality crazy that the peak was off center. We may end up putting a back splash of some sort on it later, but we’re waiting until the vanity is in place and we can decide what style/size fits the space best.
Next up was cutting a hole in the top for the sink…more specifically for our $2 display model sink from Lowes. Super score! To do this, Colby made a sink hole template first out of a piece of sheet rock. It was leftover material and something he could trace the sink onto, cutout and tweak without worrying about ruining the vanity. With the template made he measured and centered it on the vanity top.
Then traced it with a pencil and later darkened his pencil markings with a Sharpie so he could see it better when cutting intot he wood.
The next step was the cutting. But to get the cutting party started, Colby drilled a hole into the wood using a smaller sized spade bit.
Then whipped out the jig saw to cut out the sink hole in its entirety.
When cutting out a sink hole you really don’t need to worry about being overly perfect or exact with your cuts. Most traditional style sinks, like ours, have a bit of a lip around the outside of it that sits on top of your vanity surface. It needs to rest on some supporting surface but if you mess up a little here or there with your cutting, rest assured, the sink will still stay securely in place and hide the mess up.
After Colby cut out the sink hole, he realized that there was decent sized support piece in the middle of where the sink needs to go. The piece is in the middle of the vanity right between the two upper drawers and isn’t terribly necessary. And kind of just an annoying, pain in the butt piece in the way of our sink operations and it needed to be removed.
So out it came using a combination of a jig saw and multi-tool.
And voila…the sink officially fits perfectly into the top of the vanity. Colby tested…Angie approved.
The sink fit into the sink hole like a glove until we put the top drawers back into the vanity.
Houston Colby…we have a problem.
We anticipated this problem and already had a game plan…cut down the drawers to fit around the body of the sink. To do this we first had to trace the size and shape of the sink hole of the vanity surface onto the drawers. This was easy thanks to a straight edge and Sharpie to mark a curve onto the drawers.
But before we could start cutting and gluing the drawers, we had another problem child to take care of. And for once it wasn’t Goose, our furry problem child and destroyer of couches! No, this problem child was the really-stuck-on-there felt lined drawer. It was stinky, gross, and essentially not cute. So it needed to be removed.
Easier said than done. We first spent a decent amount of time scraping off as much of the felt as we could with a razor blade.
That method got rid of a majority of the felt but we were still left with alot of fuzz that just didn’t want to come off. So out came the orbital sander and 120 grit sand paper.
The sander did the trick. Although the felt did clog up the little vacuum holes on the bottom of the sander but it was a cinch to unclog. So this left us with a pair of drawers ready to be cut down and reassembled in a circular, sink-like fashion.
First, Colby trimmed a piece of scrap wood down to the same size as the drawers sides. Then he nailed it into place, which was at the outermost curve of the sink mark he made on the drawer. This piece would become the new drawer side that rests up against the underbelly of the sink.
Then, using the miter saw, he cut the straight parts of where the drawer needed to be hacked.
Since chop saws weren’t made for curve cutting, out came the jig saw to connect the two miter saw cuts on a curve, following the marks previously made on the drawer.
And here is what the drawer looked like after cutting out the space where the sink would sit.
At that point, Colby realized that the little, triangular space beside the new drawer side needed just a little bit of support. A wooden support piece angled between the drawer side and the drawer front would help keep the drawer side from twisting. So we measured:
Cut a piece of scrap wood to size (it was actually the old drawer side that Colby cut off the drawer), wood glued it:
Firmly put it into place:
And, using the Paslode nailer, nailed it into place from the bottom of the drawer into the side of the support piece.
After hacking up the drawers, they looked a little like this.
Can you kind of see where the sink would go? In between the two drawers? After hacking the drawers and adding the little support piece, we were left with a little triangular nook in the drawer.
I can totally see us using that space in the drawer to store small items like floss or lip balm. It’s almost like super secret floss storage for super secret flossing situations.
Even though I had just barely finished painting the vanity body, I couldn’t resist taking the freshly hacked drawers for a test drive. Thankfully, they fit.
So now that the vanity is all kinds of hacked it up, it’s time for painting (which you can see is just about done…just the two top drawers, two doors, and large bottom drawer left to paint). We’ll have the great painting recap for you tomorrow. All I gotta see is…she sure turned out pretty and I’m loving the paint finish. AND new hardware. Stay tuned!
Pssst…What have you guys been hacking lately? Vanities? Window panes? Ikea furniture? Computers? Dish!