Category: DIY

DIY Wine Rack Instructions

In keeping with my New Year Resolution to provide timely instructions when promised (wink), here are some diagrams so you can build your own wine rack like the one Chris made me for Christmas.

diy wine rack

The baby is going to wake up any minute, so I’ll keep this as brief as possible.

First decide how big you want your wine rack to be. Ours is about 31 x 23″ and 3.5″ deep. We used redwood fence pickets which are about 5.75″ wide with a small (0.25″) gap between them.

Drill the holes for your wine bottles using a hole saw — ours are about 2.5″ in diameter.

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Assemble the frame of the wine rack. It’s basically just a box.

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Add 2×4″ pieces behind the holes. You can play around with the placement of the 2x4s but they seemed to work best for us when they covered about 1/2 of the holes.

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Of course, different bottles have differently-shaped necks so we varied the placement of the 2x4s somewhat to accomodate different bottles. Again, just play around with it with a few sample bottles. Nail the 2x4s in from the sides.

THEN, add an extra 1×2″ strip of wood on the bottom of the 2×4″ piece. I don’t have a photo of this but here’s a diagram. The second row down shows the placement of the strip a little clearer (it’s cut down short in the diagram but you’ll want to make it full length, like the others). This makes the angle of the bottles steeper so they stay held in when the rack is mounted vertically on the wall (a feature that isn’t needed in A-frame riddling racks).

Riddling Rack Progress 2

From the front it’ll look like this:

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Then assemble the front of the rack.

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We used a 15-gauge nailer and finish nails for our nailing. The great thing about finish nails is that they barely show after being nailed. A hammer and nails would work fine too, it would just take longer and the nail heads would show (in that case you probably wouldn’t want to nail on the front face of the wine rack).

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Sand down the wood using a belt sander or rotary sander (or you could do this step before assembling, up to you) and put a protective finish of your choice on it. We used a homemade Danish oil mixture (1 part boiled linseed oil, 1 part oil-based poly, and 1 part mineral spirits). The redwood looks really good once it’s sanded down. Hard to believe they’re fence pickets!

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Here are a few more diagrams for clarity:

Riddling Rack Progress 1 Riddling Rack Progress 1-2 Riddling Rack Progress 2 Riddling Rack Progress 2-2

Hope that helps! Again, this wasn’t a super precise undertaking, and you’ll want to tweak the measurements to suit your own space, but you get the idea =).

Enjoy a bottle of wine once you’re done to congratulate yourself for all the hard work!

DIY Greek Key Trim Curtains

The master bedroom slash office has been my pet project for the past month. It’s still far from done, but I’ve changed more in the last month than I have in the past year. It’s gratifying to get something done, right?

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I’ve had plain white IKEA curtains up since we moved in. When we moved into this house (which has LOTS of windows), I just went with white curtains everywhere because 1) They’re cheap at IKEA, 2) I didn’t have to think about it too much, and 3) White goes with everything. White does get a little bland though, especially in this room where I don’t have anything up on the walls yet. So I decided to glam up the curtains a little bit with Greek key trim, inspired by this image from Pinterest.

Did you know that Greek key trim is expensive? Especially the 3″ wide trim I was looking at, especially enough to do 4 curtain panels? Then, I found this awesome post by Bethany at Dwellings by Devore and I found my solution! She simply ordered a few yards of Premier Prints’ Towers fabric, which has a Greek key-inspired pattern on it. She cut the fabric into strips, folded over the raw edges, and sewed them to the edges of her curtains. Genius!

I ordered 3 yards of navy Premier Prints fabric from Fabric.com (at just $8 a yard) and did just that. Tadaa!

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The office area, which previously looked like this (with my newly refinished desk):

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Now looks like this:

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(I still need to put the closet door back on the wall to the right; please disregard that for now!)

The bland wall on this side of the room is livened up a little by the graphic trim, though much still remains to be done…

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A headboard, for example, would be nice. (Psst, instructions for building the DIY king-size bed frame are here).

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There’s a lot of projects coming up here. I’m switching out the small lamps for larger scale ones (another DIY), and I’m bringing in more navy accents to pick up on the curtain trim and that blue pillow. I’ve also ordered the fabric for the headboard…just need some time to make it now…

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And some art or other decorative element above the bed. But definitely something simple. I like the spare, serene feeling in here and don’t want to lose it.

What do you think of my little budget Greek key trim update? An easy way to bring a graphic element into a room, right?

P.S. My love affair with navy blue shows no signs of abating…

Sharing at VintageRevivals, TheBlissfulBee, TinySidekick!

Refinished MCM Desk

I love January. If only because I feel like I’ve gotten more done in the past 3 weeks than I have in the past 3 MONTHS! We’ve really been on a roll in terms of getting on projects that have been dragging on and finally finishing them up.

For example, this midcentury modern desk was given to us by Chris’ parents several months ago. I immediately loved the clean lines, but I wasn’t so keen on the scuffed and stained desktop.

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I actually didn’t mind the blond wood finish but all these marks needed to go:

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This desk is NOT solid wood, sadly. The desktop is a thin wood veneer. I thought that I could still sand the finish down so that I could re-stain it. It was a very delicate process. In retrospect I should have applied a stripping product to it first, but in my impatience I just started sanding away. I sanded down most of the stains and then applied Minwax Jacobean, a dark espresso stain. It hid most of the remaining stains.

Here’s the final product.

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As you can see, on the drawers I ended up sanding through the veneer at certain points (the darker spots on the drawer fronts). The wood beneath took the stain darker. So it’s not perfect but I really don’t mind the dark spots. They just look more weathered.

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I sanded the main body of the desk and I painted it with an oil-based primer (Zinsser Cover Stain) which in my opinion helps to cover bleed-through better than water based. Its superior sticking power also provides greater durability on an already-finished surface. Then I used Behr Alkyd paint (I can’t remember the color but it is very close to white) for a final two coats. And yes, you can put water-based paint over oil-based primer.

I love Alkyd paint for furniture applications. It’s the same paint I used on the kitchen table:

Painted Round Table

Water-based alkyd paint dries to a super hard finish just like oil paint but it’s less toxic and cleans up with water. It has better self-leveling properties than regular latex and goes on super smooth with a brush. It also doesn’t dry tacky like regular latex paints can. These paints are fairly new, but I think they will become more and more popular.

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I finished the stained portions with oil-based polyurethane (applied with a brush). I love that stuff, even though it is super stinky (be sure to wear a ventilator rated to filter VOCs). It dries so smooth and glossy and is super durable.

So now the little office nook in the master bedroom is starting to take shape. The only problem is that this desk is quite small, and the AWESOME vintage office chair I picked up doesn’t fit under it very well:

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I seriously love this chair and consider it one of my greatest estate sale finds. The faux leather is in PRISTINE condition, and the frame is made of a beautiful wood that looks like teak. The previous owner had it in the den and must not have sat there much. It doesn’t even need to be reupholstered. I wish it worked with the desk but the desk is just too small to accommodate those lovely curved arms. So either I sell the chair…or I change out the desk. And after all the work I just put into the desk, I’m a bit loath to get rid of it!

Oh first world problems…

 

Sharing at TwelveOEight, TheBlissfulBee, SavvySouthernStyle, TinySidekick, MissMustardSeed, Remodelaholic, TatertotsandJello!

DIY Steel Pipe Light Fixture

My husband is amazing.

I know, gag. Get a room, people! But seriously. He is amazing. Not only because he is an extremely good husband but also because he is an incredibly talented DIY-er, designer, all-round handyman… He is very creative and he has the spatial reckoning skills to really do something with his creativity.

I already showed you the wine rack he built me for Christmas, and this was kind of a bonus New Year’s gift that was installed just in time for our New Year’s Day party.

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Boom! This amazingly awesome industrial DIY chandelier that he made out of steel pipe and fittings.

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Behold the beauty, my friends.

Well, to take a little credit for myself (hehe), we worked on the design of this light fixture together. Chris came up with the long H-shaped concept, which we thought would work well with the length of our dining room table (also a DIY, by the way). I weighed in on the design by making each section a slightly random length to keep it asymmetrical and more modern-looking. But really, Chris was the mastermind here.

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Once the design was hammered out, Chris ordered the fixture parts online (from Zorotools.com, but they’re available at Home Depot too if you want to look at them in person) and simply screwed them all together once they arrived. The assembly literally took less than an hour.

Here’s a diagram if you’re interested in re-creating this chandelier:

diy chandelier diagram

A) Nipple,1 1/2 x 2 In 1
B) Floor Flange,1-1/2 In 1
C) Reducer,1-1/2 x 1/2 In 7
D) Tee,1/2 In 9
E) Square Head Plug,1/2 In 4
F) Nipple,1/2 x 7 In 4
G) Nipple,1/2 x 6 In 2
H) Nipple,1/2 x 3 In 2
I) Nipple,1/2 x 1 1/2 In 6
J) Pipe,1/2 x 24 In 1

 

Of course, wiring the fixture, the switch, and the fixture box in the ceiling took a little longer. I’m not going to tell you how to do that. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone accidentally shocking or electrocuting themselves. So, hire an electrician, or if you want to DIY you will find tons of tutorials online on how to wire a light fixture.

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Me likey.

Chris spray painted the porcelain bulb sockets black before wiring them. We sprayed the whole thing with clear lacquer to protect the exposed steel (after wiping off the protective oil with some mineral spirits). Right now the light sockets are just sitting inside the fittings. We’re not sure how to attach them yet but we’re thinking silicone caulk might do the trick.

UPDATE: An awesome reader who happens to be a house inspector recommended using 2-part epoxy to glue the sockets onto the frame. Here’s what he said:

I would recommend using 2 part epoxy. It actually will set better with heat and bonds almost anything and can handle heat without deterioration.

Thanks, Bob!

The cost for the pipe/fittings was about $38. The ceramic light sockets were free, since we re-used ones from an old ceiling fan that came with the house, but there are similar ones available at Home Depot for around $3 each. The lamp wire is sold by the foot at Home Depot at about $0.40 a foot so about $8 total. The spray paint and spray lacquer cost about $6 total. So for about $70 (actually less for us since we already had the sockets) we have a unique chandelier that costs less than half the price of comparable light fixtures.

Note: We used these budget-friendly lightbulbs. They are incandescent but we figured that since we will only be using this chandelier for meals in the dining room, we didn’t need to splurge on dimmable LEDs.

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Here’s a wide shot of our dining/living room. There’s the DIY dining room table Chris built (yes, I know many of you having been clamoring for a tutorial on that…it will come…someday). There are the Goodwill chairs we reupholstered and that we are planning to refinish soon. There’s the Craigslist sofa and the L-shaped sofa table we built behind it. Far in the left corner there’s the green dresser I painted.

Oh and not to mention the sliding glass door we installed (yes, cut a hole in the wall and everything). This room is truly a testament to DIY.

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DIY pipe chandelier

Sharing at SavvySouthernStyleTheBlissfulBee, Remodelaholic, TatertotsandJello and DIYShowoff!

DIY Wine Rack (Riddling Rack)

diy wine rack

UPDATE: Instructions and diagrams for building your own DIY wine rack are here!

We still have family in town so things are still a bit crazy, but I’m taking a few minutes to tell you about the awesome Christmas present my husband made for me. I love getting handmade gifts — the thought and effort behind them make them so meaningful.

I had wanted a way to store wine for a while and I had been trolling Craigslist for wine cabinets, but the problem was, we just didn’t have a good place to put a wine cabinet. Chris solved this problem by building a wine rack and mounting it to the wall. It took him a couple afternoons to build, sand, and finish it, and then he wrapped it and hung it up like this (sorry about the grainy pic):

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I got to tear the paper off on Christmas morning and reveal this beauty:

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This style of wine rack is called a riddling rack. It’s how wine bottles were stored when making sparkling wine — the wine bottles were turned and the angle increased every day, although nowadays few winemakers do this manually anymore.

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Chris made this out of redwood fence pickets that he cut, nailed, and sanded. He finished it off with his own homemade Danish oil mixture (1 part oil-based polyurethane, 1 part boiled linseed oil, and 1 part mineral spirits) which gave it a protective finish but kept the natural look of the wood.

It’s not perfect, and the bottles sometimes hang at slightly different angles because of the different bottle shapes, but it works, and I really like it. It is hung on the wall near the “bar” area (although we only have whiskey right now).

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I experimented with moving the “bar” table under the wine but it made the sofa seem lopsided on that wall, so I went with it as is. And we finally hung some art and our wooden masks from around the world in that corner.

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Chris has promised that he will walk me through the tutorial on how to make this riddling rack soon…so stay tuned for that!

UPDATE: Instructions are here!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/winter holiday. We didn’t host any big events this year…only Christmas breakfast, so I kept things simple:

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Just a red and white runner, some mercury glass votives, and my everyday white plates. It was a beautiful morning and the light coming in through the sliding glass door (that we recently installed) was lovely.

Lots more projects to work on in 2014!

Sharing at Remodelaholic, ThriftyDecorChick and TatertotsandJello!

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