Saturday, October 19, 2013

DIY: Bifold Door Transformation for More Storage

I so desperately need more storage in my 1-bedroom condo!  I feel lucky to have 4 closets in such a small space, but seriously... why on earth do they all have BIFOLD DOORS?!  There's no way to utilize the backside of the door!  Okay, rant over.  Time to do something about it.  :)

Using DIYShowOff's tutorial as a start, I set off to transform my bifold doors into a regular one, so I could add some much-needed storage and organization to the back-side of the door.

Here's my starting point, a simple bifold door:

First, I took out the top wheel so the door was no longer connected to the track (my door doesn't have a bottom track, but if yours does, you'll have to take out the matching bottom connector).  

With this piece removed, the door flops around freely, held in place at only one end.

Next, you'll need a full inset cabinet door magnet and some mending plates (which can be found in a variety of sizes at your home improvement store; I went to Home Depot).

Then I traced the holes of the mending plate onto the backside of the door, so that the plate spanned over the crack.  The mending plates are what will keep the door straight, instead of folding in on itself.

I pre-drilled the holes I drew, and then screwed the plates in place.

I was so excited with my progress at this point, and went to shut the door... Of course, it was now too big for the space, so I had to make an adjustment by taking off the hinges and re-attaching the mending plates (new holes were needed), making sure to squeeze the doors together as much as possible, so there was no gap between them.  When I do this to one of my other closet doors, I'll be sure to take off the hinges before adding the mending plates.

I installed the cabinet magnet by pre-drilling into the metal track from the inside of the closet.  Screwed that in place, and then wiped it with a good glob of blue toothpaste.  You might not normally think of using toothpaste in home improvement projects, but I promise, this step makes lining up the other half of the magnet SUPER EASY!

I closed the door on against the blue toothpaste and was left with a beautiful glob on my door, exactly where I needed to attach the other magnet part.  I used a Sharpie to outline the toothpaste glob, wiped the paste clean, and then screwed magnet #2 in place on the door.

I found a $35 door organizer door organizer at Target and followed the instructions on how to mount it directly to the door.  Now it serves as an excellent spot for all those loose (and annoying) tupperware lids!  I took one of the single wires and bent it straight so I could slide a paper towel roll on it, then bent it back to install on my door.  The single wire might break over time, but I figured I'd try it out since the system came with 4 and I wasn't going to use any of them.  Why not give it a shot?!

Love that I still have space on my new shelves too.  I'm sure they'll be overflowing with odds and ends soon.  But for now, I'm happy in being just a little bit more organized!

Last step: I found a beautiful new knob at Anthropologie and popped it on my new bifold door!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Halloween Spider Door Decoration

I.  hate.  spiders.

And yet, I LOVE Halloween and a good scare, so when I came across Delia Creates' post about magnetic spiders, I knew I had to do it.  I had to face my fear, for Halloween's sake.

I went out and bought a couple bags of Dollar Tree plastic spider rings and some A.C. Moore magnets, and got to work.  Snipping off the ring part from the spider was the easy part.

Then I started hot-gluing the spiders to tiny high-powered magnets, and... BAM!  WATCH OUT!  Get 'em too close together and those spiders will jump across the table as their magnets attract!  Scared the crap out of myself.  Multiple times.

My glass of wine was gone in two seconds flat, so time to open up something soothing.  This hot Dutch Apple wine did the trick.

At least, it allowed me to finish the project anyway.  Moving on...

Next, I attempted to make realistic-looking spider webs with hot glue, as Polish the Stars outlined, but my nerves were fried at this point and my patience was running super thin.  I gave up after about 10 seconds because I had a giant Dollar Tree spider staring at me, waiting to be mounted to its new wreath home.

AND FYI - these tarantulas come in a two-pack, so do NOT lose track of the second spider!  Almost dropped my mug of wine when I ran into Spider #2, which I had casually tossed aside and forgotten about early on in the project.

Okay, time for the grand finale!  I threw up a Command hook, yanked that wreath into place, and then tossed my magnet spiders at the door like my life depended on it.  Moved them around a tiny bit, whipped out my camera for some quick pics, and then SHUT THE DOOR.

I hope my condo floor-mates appreciate the effort that went into making my door festive for this oh-so-special-and-creepy holiday!  :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

DIY: Pumpkin & Flower Centerpieces

Happy Fall Everyone!

The leaves are changing color and there's a serious chill in the air - break out the hoodies.  My hubby and I spend the entire month of October watching scary movies and eating entirely too much candy (Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins are my fave and pair wonderfully with rich Cab Sav!).

Eager to get out my pumpkin carving knives, I picked up a few things to make the condo feel more festive.  I was inspired by this post by "The Meanie Greene" and got right to work in creating my own pumpkin flower arrangements!

Here's what you'll need:
-  pumpkin
-  can
-  scissors
-  pumpkin carving knives
-  flowers
-  permanent marker

I wanted two arrangements, so I bought a pumpkin and a gourd, and two packs of grocery store flowers.

Here's what you do:

Trace the can on the top of the pumpkin with your permanent marker

Cut just outside your line with your pumpkin carving knives.  You want the hole to be a little bigger than your can so your can will fit easily inside the hole.  I learned a valuable lesson during this step - GOURDS ARE MUCH HARDER TO CUT THAN PUMPKINS!  Wine break needed.  Had to go for a Halloween-appropriate wine for my pumpkin carving activity!  (Note: If using real knives, I'd save the wine break for after the carving so you can complete this project without a hospital break.)

Remove the pumpkin guts and make sure your can fits in the hole you made.  It's okay if your can sticks out the top a little bit, as your flowers will billow over the top and cover it.  That said, I wish I had bought slightly bigger pumpkins so my can would've sank below the top of the pumpkin and I wouldn't have had to worry about it.  Next time I'll bring a can to the pumpkin store for measuring purposes.

Open up the flowers!  Nothing says you have to use ALL of the flowers they throw into the grocery store pack, so I took out the baby's breath and these other white striped things.  Then I created a rounded bouquet out of the rest of the flowers, arranging them in blocks of each type, for a modern approach.  (Mixing the flowers together also looks great though, so don't be afraid to experiment to find your winning combo!)

Cut the stems to the same size as the height of the can.  I needed to trim mine a bit more after this cut, but it's always easier to trim than to grow longer stems!  So cut little bits at a time and test the flower bundle inside your can until you're at your ideal height.

Place your flower bouquet in the pumpkin!  I added my leftover baby's breath to a few wine bottles, to add some height to my table.  A burlap runner and some candles, and I'm done!

This is the one New England season that always seems to slip by too quickly.  So, grab a glass of wine and a hoodie you don't mind getting covered in pumpkin guts, and start creating!