Thursday, October 20, 2016

Modern Pegboard DIY

Hi everyone!  I have a fun project to share with you, and I'm really excited with how it turned out.  The other day, I was looking through a Pottery Barn and came across this picture.  I thought that something like that would be perfect in my office above my storage cabinet, but didn't really want to spend over $80 on it.  I thought about DIYing it myself, and ended up changing the design a bit to create my own modern pegboard!

This project was really simple to make and only cost about $10 in materials, and I found it all at Jo-Ann's.  I made it in less than a day and I love how it turned out!  Here's what you need:

- 1 piece of craft plywood for the base (mine is 1' x 2')
- 1 piece of basswood for the shelves (mine is 1/4" x 3" x 24")
- 1 dowel rod (mine is 3/8" x 36")
- spray paint (if desired)
- chalkboard contact paper

And the tools that you'll need include:

- Drill
- Miter saw

And here's how to make it!

1.  Mark off your holes.  I left a large space at the top for my "chalkboard", and made a 3x3 grid.

2.  Using a drill and a bit that's the same size as your dowel, start drilling your holes!

I made sure that the dowel fit tightly after my first hole.  Perfect fit!

3.  Cover the empty space (I used magazines and painting tape), and take your project to a well-ventilated area to spray paint if you'd like.  You can also leave this natural if you don't want to spray paint and it will still look great.

4.  Spray that sucker!  Mine took two thin coats to cover perfectly.

5.  While that's drying, it's time to cut our dowels and shelves.  Measure your shelves to fit the width of the board, and your dowels to be the width of the shelf.  You can change these as you'd like, but I wanted a uniform shape.

6.  Cut all of the wood carefully with a miter saw.  I added painting tape so that the wood wouldn't splinter while I cut it.

7.  Once the board is completely dry, add your chalkboard paper.  Starting at one corner, spread the paper to get out any bumps and lumps.

8.  Decorate your chalkboard!  I used chalk pens and wrote an inspirational message to myself.  Add your dowel rods (it might be a bit tighter after spray painting, which is a good thing!)

9.  Hang your creation on the wall!  I used two Command Strips since the wood is so lightweight, but you could also screw this into a wall if your wood is heavier.  Add your shelves and decorate!

I added the fake succulents from my desk, along with a puzzle and some mini pumpkins.

I hope you liked this project!  Happy crafting :)

linking up with Amanda
post contains affiliate links

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Making a Work Space

Ever since I graduated from college, I've never had an actual desk.  Since I had one-bedroom apartments that were small (as in living room + kitchen + extra rooms!), there was never really any room for one.  For years, I've had to work from my dining room table or couch.

When we moved into our house and I saw there was an extra bedroom, I immediately knew that I was going to get a desk, finally!  I have a lot of fun ideas for this room, but for now I'm just happy to finally have a dedicated work space and my own desk.

This is a really small room, so  my first priority was having a desk that had some built-in storage.  I don't really like having drawers or cabinets, because I would just throw everything in there and it would get messy very fast.  This desk has two open shelves that are the perfect size for some magazines, office supplies, and books.

Beside my desk is an old cabinet that I got from Ikea.  This is a very slim and deep cabinet with three open drawers, and a large bottom drawer to hang folders.  We don't have a filing system yet, but this has done just fine for the past few years!

On top of that cabinet, I keep some magazines that I need to read, along with a letter organizer to store different types of envelopes.  The size of this worked perfectly, and now I don't have to search all over for a wrinkled up envelope!

I'm keeping the top of the desk mostly clear, and I absolutely love this desk organizer from Ikea.  It has a few different slots in the top, where I store my favorite pens and markers.  I also keep pretty coasters, scissors, and mini fake succulents in there.

Also on my desk is a glass box that I picked up at Jo-Ann's.  I use this as a memory box, and keep all of my tickets and boarding passes in here.  I used to have a smaller shadow box, but had to upgrade to this bigger one.  I might eventually paint the box, but for now I like how it looks with natural wood.

I haven't bought a dedicated desk chair yet, so for now we've been borrowing this one from the dining table.  It works for now, but that's next on my "to buy" list!  I love the location of the desk because it looks out over a cherry blossom tree that looks beautiful even when it's not in bloom.  The window also doesn't get direct sunlight, so I can always keep the blinds open!

I still have some work to do in this room, but for now I'm happy with how it's coming together.  Still on my list of projects is to paint the room (hopefully with a fun design or mural) and add storage.     

Sources (contains affiliate links- thank you for your support!)
Desk - Target
Cabinet - Ikea
Chair - Ikea (reupholstered with fabric from Jo-Ann)
Desk Organizer - Ikea
Markers - Tombow
Pens - Papermate
Plants - Marshalls (similar here)
Shadow Box - Jo-Ann

Do you have dedicated work space?
Fake plants- yay or nay?
What magazines do you subscribe to?

linking up with Amanda

Monday, October 10, 2016

Building a Shed : The Foundation

Hi everyone!  Long time, no talk.  There's been so many projects going on at the Gretch House, that it's been work work work and no time to share it all!  I'm excited to start sharing what we've been doing and getting back to blogging here.  I hope you're ready!

Dan and I just finished our biggest project yet- building a shed in our back yard.  Ever since we moved in to our house, we've been using our garage as storage (AKA throwing everything in there since there's no racks or peg boards).  This is fine in the summer, but winter will be here before we know it and we're going to want to use the garage for our car!

Here's a look at what the garage looked like before to give you an idea of the mess we were dealing with:

Now can you see why we needed some extra storage?!

This was a pretty big project that took a few weekends to complete.  The first step of the project (after, of course, calling 811 to get all of our utilities marked) was to build a foundation for the shed.  This was definitely the hardest and most time-consuming part, but luckily we had my parents help so we got it done in one day.

The first thing that we did was decide where the shed was going to be.  We picked a spot at the bottom of our yard, where it's shady and somewhat flat.  Our yard is really hilly, so finding a spot that wasn't really steep was really tough!  You'll see how we compensated for this and made the shed level later on in the project.

To get started, we used wood posts and string to create a square grid.  We tied string between the posts, and the intersections were marked with chalk.  This helped us make sure that the shed would be square, and that the posts were evenly placed around the foundation.

Once we had our spots marked with yard chalk, we started to dig the holes.  We tried to do this by hand at first, and quickly realized that would take hours or be impossible.  A quick trip to Home Depot and we were able to rent an auger to make the job much easier.  Here's what the tool looks like without the extension added on:

Using the auger, we were able to drill down below the frost line (which is about 36 inches in Pennsylvania) for all six holes.  

Next, we filled the holes with a few inches of gravel, then a few more inches of concrete.  You're supposed to let the concrete cure for a few days, but we skipped ahead and put in our 4x4 posts right on the concrete footers.

We placed the posts into the holes, and used a level to make sure the posts were straight.  Then, we filled in the rest of the hole with cement and topped with soil.

We let the concrete cure for a full week before starting on the deck and floor for the shed.  I'll talk about that next!

(P.S. We used this helpful video by Lowe's as the basis for building our shed's foundation.  We used the technique that they for a frost-proof foundation.)

Do you have a shed?
How do you keep all of your tools organized?  I need help with this!