13 Jan

DIY Dumpster Dive

Cabinet Organized

I <3 trash. But, I try hard not to be the one putting things on the curb for others to pilfer. I’ve been known to hang on to soup cans, spaghetti jars, cardboard (sorry Mom – I know you’re shuddering as Dad reads this to you!), plastic & paper bags, fabric & wallpaper scraps – you name it, I save it. You just never know when you’ll need it. But – not in a hoarder kinda way. I have no sentimental connection to anything. I just *like* to keep as much money in my pocket as possible by keeping very little from hitting the curbside.

So, when I was hating on the trash can frame I built for my Hide & Seek Garbage project it was easy to grab some cardboard and wallpaper and pretty her right up. I didn’t have to look far for a pull knob since I have about 40 of them to choose from.

Wasted Cabinet Space

And it’s no surprise I had just the perfect thing for maximizing the 6″ dead space next to the trash can. {Remembering where I put that perfect thing was, however, a bit more challenging.}

Now, I can’t take credit for this one. Somewhere in cyberspace someone came up with this handy solution and I’m sure it’s been copied eleventeen thousand times over already. But – that’s how I knew it was foolproof and precisely why I didn’t pitch this small aluminum tube thingy (I think this might have come from one of those over the door shoe racks but don’t hold me to it) since it would definitely come in handy someday.

And people someday was today. I grabbed two cafe hooks. Eyeballed ‘level’ and screwed them right into the side of the cabinet.

Aluminum Bar & Hooks

Note: Before you embark on this complex task, be sure to hold the hook’s shaft perpendicular to your cabinet, closing one eye and sticking out your tongue to achieve a precise measurement – ensuring the screw won’t come through on the other side. This is a VERY important step so do not neglect it or you’ll be sorry!

I closed my right eye and totally overlooked the  shelf rough-in from earlier. {Win. Win.} Then I butt-scooted over to the cabinet under the sink and blindly pulled out a few bottles, reverse scooted back to hang them up and call this project…

Cabinet Organized COMPLETE!

Ok, truth time. I was slightly annoyed with the two-toned metal and momentarily debated spray painting something but opted to throw caution to the wind and wing it. (If, as a result of my blatant flippancy, the world comes to a screeching halt please know I am sorry!)

Now, I know there weren’t very many pretty pictures and this wasn’t an earth shattering DIY tutorial.

The real lesson here folks is to practice what I preach. Make sure that your dives start with your own dumpster. Make treasures from your own trash!

Now it’s your turn. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever forbidden someone in your house to pitch? Did you use it for something? If so – what??? I seriously wanna know (that I’m not alone).

10 Jan

It’s (hide and seek) Trash Day!

Black & Decker jigsaw

We have been up to our ears in germs around these parts of late. What with the hubs’ swine flu and Mr. Lou’s allergies to life my kitchen counter looks like an Osco pharmacy. (We don’t even have Osco’s in these parts, I’m paying homage to my Chicagoland roots – holla!) I’m certain we’ve gone through 1,000 tissues and paper towels in the last week alone. So of course the first task to knock off this year’s Domestic Bucket List had to be the under cabinet trash can.


I spent a long time looking for a chocolate brown trashcan when we moved into this house and this was the only one I liked.

The problem is the domed top invites overfilling. I’m sure you can see the proof encrusted on the top (and trickled down the front). And the darn top never stays on. I was tired of having spaghetti sauce (and who knows what else) on my fingers every time I pitched something and the lid fell off to the floor. Yep, it had to go.

I had priced out the under-the-counter trash contraptions locally and online and holy cow are they expensive! I perused some DIY and old school carpentry sites (shout out to Bob Villa) trying to figure out how to fabricate a slide-out option myself. I got lucky over the summer when I popped in on my old next door neighbor’s garage sale. Ok, so it was more of a slam-on-the-brakes-while-engaging-in-drive-by-rummaging (don’t those people irritate you? Just park already!) operation that led me to this score:

Can you see the price? Ten. Dollars. For real.

So I ponied up the cash and grinning ear to ear took my newest prized possession home where it sat until today to be installed.

$10 trash can

Yes, I endured another 6 months of saucy, germy fingers out of sheer laziness.

Part of the reason I waited so long was because the cabinet I wanted to use (between the fridge and the dishwasher – directly below my fancy espresso machine) had a shelf that needed to be removed.

cleared cabinet

I wasn’t sure how to do it at first because it seemed built-in to the cabinet. I chatted up the guys in the kitchen department at Menard’s and they had a display for the crazy expensive gadgets in a cabinet identical to mine. So, I squatted down and stuck my head in there and found they had just notched out the shelf to fit the trash can. Rocket science apparently.

So, I had to get a new jigsaw.

Black & Decker jigsaw

I didn’t like the notched out look and just removed the entire shelf. I made 3 straight cuts with the jig and then smacked the shelf with my hammer. It only took a few swings for the shelf to come right out.

smack hammer

Turns out, it wasn’t really built-in. See the grooves that it was laying in?

open cabinet

I pitched the broken pieces into the old trash can (ironic I know) and then installed the base of the metal sliding unit. That went in with 4 wood screws. Because the cabinets are fabricated of MDF (medium density fiberboard) I did pre-drill my holes to prevent splitting and chipping. Sometimes just going straight into faux wood with a screw mucks the whole thing up. Pre-drill to be safe.

slider install

At this point, I could have attached the top, loaded a bag into the can and plopped it right in but part of the goal was to avoid dirty fingers. Since the type of slide I had was too narrow to justify re-engineering (like this) I knew I was going to have to manually open the cabinet door, reach in and pull the can out. But I had no intention of grabbing the garbage can itself so I had to get creative. And I had an idea…

Last week I found this awesome Ikea plant shelf crying all alone sitting on top of a trash pile outside a local gym. I figured it would come in handy for something and brought it home. One of the rungs was broken (probably the reason it was discarded) and was almost exactly the size I needed.

trashed plant stand

With some scrap wood, I boxed out a frame and installed it to the front of the metal slider. Then I drilled a hole for a handle (a random drawer pull I had on hand) and it was done.

pull out frame

Only, I hated it.

That gaping hole showing the white plastic can was hideous. I put on my thinking cap and came up with a very scientific solution.

Cardboard. But not just any cardboard. Wallpaper covered cardboard.

under cabinet trash can

Genius right? I know.

The best part is that *if* anyone happens to slime it up, it’s completely washable. 100% germ-free for. the. win.

I knew once I snapped and posted my dirty secrets there would be no turning back. Lots of other bloggers said I was ‘brave’ (read: crazy) for sharing but I am no different from the rest of you. And what do I care? I’ve got nothing to hide – except my trash can. 🙂

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. See that space to the left of the trash? (scroll back up, I’ll wait…) I’ve got big plans for that little spot. (Check out the updated reveal here!)

What kind of trash can do you use? Do you love it? Would you prefer your trash out of sight & under the cabinet? Am I going to wind up hating this pull out version too?

05 Jan

A DIY Baker’s Dozen ~ Bucket List Projects Revealed

I’ve found when working on projects that what I see isn’t quite what others may see when looking at the same thing. That’s especially true when I am über focused on the project subject and not at all on its peripheral environment. It’s amazing how the naked eye will completely overlook things like dirty dishes or a rogue sock but the camera – well the camera doesn’t lie.
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01 Jan

A New Year Bucket List {in pictures}

I hope everyone made it into the new year in one piece.

My BFF and I actually got a head start on the festivities by celebrating a couple of days early {along with my birthday and Christmas}.

New Year Bucket List

Judging by my Twitter and Facebook feeds today {read: dead} it looks like we made the right choice. Where is everyone? Passed out on the floor? Out looking for your car? Enjoying your last day of vacation? Read More

31 Dec

The Best of the Best

best of the best

This time of year I try hard to stay off of my personal Facebook wall – especially on Sundays. It’s bad enough that the hubs has football on our tv screen, I don’t care to watch the bickering back and forth between friends on the computer.

Instead, I switched over to my business page and was pleasantly surprised to see several “Best of 2012” round-up posts from blog buddies and pages I follow. And that got me thinking….

Since I obviously haven’t been blogging long enough to have my own ‘Top 10’ list, I decided to pay homage to bloggers that I follow and in some way have driven traffic from their site over to mine. Not only is it a cool way for me to ‘give back’,  I had a sweet excuse to hang out just ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ over their projects today – amping me up to get dirty in the new year.

Speaking of {things that sound} dirty – when you’re a blog virgin it helps to pimp yourself out to increase your audience. So I link up to lots of other blogs. My site’s stats show me where new readers navigate from and make it super easy to give credit where it’s due. Read More

24 Dec

Stupid Cute Christmas Creations

no sew trees

Tomorrow is Christmas.

Because I’ve run out of time and more so because I usually don’t decorate much for the holidays, I am a huge fan of stupid cute and crazy easy crafts. For some odd reason, this year I’m obsessed with trees. Partly for a blog post but mainly because we are hosting our church small group party later this week, I decided to get in the spirit and do some DIY decorating. I thought a mini-forest in the dining room corner cabinet would be a cute way to display my latest obsession.


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13 Dec

DIY Air Freshener

DIY Air Freshener

This morning I had to get up extra early to clear off the dining room table and move all of the furniture because the flooring guys had to come back (again!) to repair our laminate wood floors. Since my pup has crazy dust mite allergies we had the carpeting (except in the bedrooms) replaced. While the floors were installed a good 5 months ago, something about the squooshiness of the underlayment and our needing to walk from room to room doesn’t jive and the joints between the boards keep failing. This is the second time they’ve been out to rip up and relay the flooring and the main guy swears he’s never seen this happen before. I suppose that makes me special. Let’s just hope what *they* say about the 3rd time is true.

As I was prepping for the contractors I remembered an idea I had a few nights ago during a frequent bout of insomnia. I was laying in bed looking at my very empty scented plug-in nightlight and wondered if I could refill it myself. (The prices of replacement bulbs are steep!) So during my pre-contractor clean-a-thon, I grabbed two empty Bath & Body Works Wallflowers to test my theory. By the way, if you use the nightlight kind be prepared to wipe away some dead bugs from inside the pretty flower part. I wouldn’t recommend washing them since this is the part that connects to the plug and water and electricity don’t mix.

I unscrewed the glass bulbs from the plastic plugger-inner thingy and with a butter knife popped the plastic cap (that holds the filter) off and rinsed the bulb out.


Originally, my thought was to refill them with Febreeze but I didn’t have any on hand so I surveyed my bathroom closet with the assumption that B&BW didn’t reinvent the wheel between body and home spray making.

Since I have an overabundance of Vanilla Bean Noel body spray (hey, it’s my favorite and when your birthday is the day before Christmas you take advantage of those ‘Buy 3 Get 3 Free’ specials – don’t judge me) it was an easy choice to make.


I poured the spray into the glass bulb. Here’s a tip – don’t fill it all the way up or it will overflow when you insert the filter. (Unless the goal is to have your countertops smell perty like mine do now.) Twist the bulb back into the plug-in component and…

TADA! For absolutely no money and very little time you can get your place to stink pretty again!

DIY wall flowers @deeconstruct

About 10 minutes later, both flooring guys commented on something smelling nice. Since I hadn’t showered yet I knew they weren’t talking about me. Success!


And the best part is that free looks as good as it smells!

As they finish up the floors, I’m holed up in my bedroom in a make-shift office (nevermind that I have an actual office…it is in complete disarray) putting the finishing touches on my craft fair goodies.


I feel like a teenager again. All curled up on my bed writing….I just have to keep myself from laying back and napping. Thanks for popping in – now, go refill all of your plug-ins!