How to Strip Furniture Like a Boss

The very first time I tried to strip furniture, it was an unmitigated disaster. I lived in California at the time, and had a tiny little balcony as my workspace. The desk I was refinishing barely fit out there, so I had pretty much no room to move around. If that wasn't enough, it was a sunny 90+ degree day, so I was miserable the whole time I worked.

I started by dumping Citri-Strip on the top, just like the friendly internet people told me to. I let it sit for 30ish minutes, as instructed. But when I went to remove the stuff, instead of a nice goopy stripper/finish/stain combo, I found a completely dried mess that would not come off the desk. Somehow I fixed it. I don't really remember how. But I was terrified of stripping furniture for years afterword.

Eventually, I got over it and tried again. And again. And again, until I had a rock-solid method for removing old finish. Multiple times I posted projects and brushed over the stripping part, telling you that someday I'd feel confident enough to show you my method. That day has finally (finally!) come. 

Note: This blog contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you.) I only recommend products that I personally use and love, and any support helps keep this little blog going!

Materials

  • Finished Furniture - I've stripped both painted and polyurethane covered furniture, and this process works for both types!
  • Citristrip - I firmly believe this is the best stripping agent on the market. See above.
  • Plastic Putty Knife - The plastic aspect is important. A metal putty knife runs the risk of scratching the wood.
  • Mineral Spirits - This helps remove any remaining stripping goop after the majority of it has been scraped off.
  • ScotchBrite Pads - I cut these in half to make them easier to use. Additionally, I buy them in bulk, since I'll run through a 20-pack in 3-4 projects.
  • Orbital Sander - I have a Dewalt, and it probably my favorite and most used tool. I can't imagine stripping a furniture piece without a functioning sander - any flat areas of wood would be difficult to get the same shade.
  • Assorted Sandpaper - You'll need a variety between 40 and 240 grit.
  • Cheap Foam Brushes - I like using disposable brushes for this, so that I don't have to mess around cleaning them with mineral spirits when I'm done. 
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How to Strip Furniture

Step 1: Add CitriStrip

Pour a liberal amount of stripping agent onto your piece. Goop it on. A little does not go a long way here. You need a thick layer of stripper everywhere, else the stuff will dry out before it's had time to work. The thicker the layer, the better.

Stripping furniture is tricky. Learn all the tips and trick about how to strip furniture in this detailed guide! #furniturediy #furnitureflip

Do you see in the above photo where the goop is visibly thick and orange? It should be like that everywhere. To be totally honest, the above photo was only an "okay" job of gooping on the CitriStrip; some of the thinner sections dried out and didn't remove the paint as well as it should've.

Step 2: Cover With Plastic Wrap

Cover the CitriStrip with plastic wrap immediately after finishing applying it to a section. Don't wait until you've applied stripping agent to the whole piece - it's likely to dry out before you've covered it up. 

Stripping furniture is tricky. Learn all the tips and trick about how to strip furniture in this detailed guide! #furniturediy #furnitureflip
Step 3: Wait Thirty Minutes

I've found 30 minutes to be the perfect amount of time to let the stripping agent work. It's enough time for it to be effective, but still short enough that the CitriStrip doesn't dry out.

Stripping furniture is tricky. Learn all the tips and trick about how to strip furniture in this detailed guide! #furniturediy #furnitureflip

If you're stripping paint off of a piece, it should be pretty obvious when it's time to remove the CitriStrip. If you poke with your finger, and the paint shifts around, it's ready to come off. It can be a bit harder to tell with clear finishes, but if 30 minutes has passed, it's probably ready.

Step 4: Scrape Off Finish

Using a plastic putty knife, scrape the stripping agent off the piece. This gets messy quickly, so be sure you have a tarp or blanket on the ground, and a designated bin for the used goop to go. 

Stripping furniture is tricky. Learn all the tips and trick about how to strip furniture in this detailed guide! #furniturediy #furnitureflip
Step 5: Clean with Mineral Spirits

Remove the remaining residue with mineral spirits and a ScotchBrite pad. The mineral spirits help break down and separate the residue, while the ScotchBrite pad scrapes it off the piece without damaging the wood.

Stripping furniture is tricky. Learn all the tips and trick about how to strip furniture in this detailed guide! #furniturediy #furnitureflip

While the photo above is of a different project, you can see how there isn't any CitriStrip residue left, although there are still a few areas of finish that didn't get scraped off. It'll come off in the next step!

Step 6: Sand

Starting with the lowest grit sandpaper you have (I typically start with 40 grit, but 60 grit is fine too,) sand the piece. Do not move onto the next sandpaper grit until all the finish, goop, and stain is removed from the piece. I typically clog up 1-2 pieces of 40 grit sandpaper with residue on each project, just to give you an idea. 

Once piece is sanded down to the bare wood, I'll start working my way up in grits to smooth it out. I typically go up to at least 180 grit sandpaper, sometimes I'll do 240 if I want the piece extra smooth.

And then your piece is ready for stain! It's going to look so pretty!

Extra Tips for Success

  • Weather Matters - A key part of my first furniture stripping fail is that I attempted to strip furniture on a hot day, in the full sun. The stripping agent dried up and was ineffective before I even finished applying it to the rest of the desk. Always strip furniture in the shade to prolong the drying time of the product, and try to be in an environment that's between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Product Matters - I am one of those people who buys the generic brand of almost everything. I am rarely convinced that one particular brand is vastly superior to another. But, friends, do yourself a favor and use Citristrip. This post is not sponsored by Citristip. I have never talked to a single Citristrip representative, nor have they ever sent me anything free. But I have tried a variety of stripping agents, and I always come back to this one. It's strong enough to break down finishes, but won't irritate your skin. You can cover it with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out, while other stripping agents will eat right through plastic wrap.
  • Work in Sections - Work in small sections when applying or removing the stripping agent. The more time the CitriStrip is exposed to the air, the more opportunity it has to dry out. Keep it covered with plastic wrap when you're not actively working with it.
  • Intricate Details are Hard - While stripping down intricate details isn't too difficult, sanding them so that they match the surrounding wood can be a major pain. While sometimes I'll use a Dremel sanding attachment to sand intricate areas, this can risk sanding away the pretty details. Most of the time I'll just hand sand the area and decide that imperfections add character.
Stripping furniture is tricky. Learn all the tips and trick about how to strip furniture in this detailed guide! #furniturediy #furnitureflip

Final Thoughts

It took me forever to come up with a fail-proof system that worked for me. Hopefully it works for you too, but if your first furniture stripping attempt isn't successful, keep trying! You'll get there! It just takes a bit of practice. And anything you screw up can probably be fixed - don't panic, just do some research and keep trying.

Stripping furniture is tricky. Learn all the tips and trick about how to strip furniture in this detailed guide! #furniturediy #furnitureflip

I'm so glad I kept practicing; stripping furniture is a beautiful way to restore a piece!

Stripping furniture is tricky. Learn all the tips and trick about how to strip furniture in this detailed guide! #furniturediy #furnitureflip

I'll be writing another post on staining furniture soon... so make sure you're following me on Pinterest so you don't miss out! And if you want to see more of the two projects pictured in this post, check out the dresser here and the nightstand here. Finally, if you found this guide helpful, be sure to save it to Pinterest so you can find it again later!

Stripping furniture is tricky. Learn all the tips and trick about how to strip furniture in this detailed guide! #furniturediy #furnitureflip

How to Make a DIY Cat Hammock

The whole time I was designing my cat tree, I knew one of the feature accessories would be a cat hammock. I was aiming for something mostly enclosed, since my cat like hidden cubby areas where she can see out, but nobody can see her.

When I was thinking about how to make this, I thought of box cushions, which I've actually written about twice. If I sewed a hammock the same way I'd sew a box cushion, but without the bottom plate, it should create a mostly enclosed swing. 

I also wanted a pillow bottom to entice the cat to actually use the hammock. My cat is iffy about the human hammock chair in my office; I was going to go through all the hassle of making this hammock, I wanted it to actually get used. Anything I could do to up that probability would would help.

Love your cat? Make them a DIY Cat Hammock! An easy sewing project perfect for beginners! #Sewing #Cats

Note: This blog contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you.) I only recommend products that I personally use and love, and any support helps keep this little blog going!

Materials
Love your cat? Make them a DIY Cat Hammock! An easy sewing project perfect for beginners! #Sewing #Cats
  • Fabric - I used a bleached drop cloth for the outside of the fabric, and JoAnn's Sew Lush fabric for the inside pillow portion, but pretty much any heavy-duty fabric should work.
  • Grommets/Grommet Kit - This was my first time using a grommet kit, and despite watching numerous videos, I used it wrong and ended up with a bunch of deformed grommets. Opps. Better luck next time.
  • Pillow Fluff - I cut up thrift store pillows and take the fluff out of them to save money, but polyfil purchased from your local craft store works too.
  • Sewing Machine and Thread
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How to Make a DIY Cat Hammock
Step 1: Measure and Cut Fabric

Determine the dimensions of your hammock. I planned for a 8" x 22" hammock, with a 9" depth. Honestly, the 9" depth was way too much, and makes it difficult for my cat to comfortably enter the hammock, so I'd recommend a 3-4" depth instead.

Cut the inside pillow fabric to be the size of the hammock plus a 1" for hemming. So, for my 8" x 22" inch hammock, so I cut the fabric to be 9" x 23".

For the main hammock portion, follow this formula for the dimension of each edge:

(Desired Hammock Dimension) +2(Depth) + 1 = Dimension of Side

So my two sides were:

(8) + 2(9) + 1 = 27"

(22) + 2(9) + 1 = 41"

Love your cat? Make them a DIY Cat Hammock! An easy sewing project perfect for beginners! #Sewing #Cats
Step 2: Cut Corners and Pin Fabric

Pin three of the four sides of the pillow fabric to the center of the hammock, folding the edges under 1/2" to hem the fabric.

Then cut a square the size of your depth measurement out from each corner. For example, I cut 9" x 9" squares out from each corner.

Love your cat? Make them a DIY Cat Hammock! An easy sewing project perfect for beginners! #Sewing #Cats

Finally, fold and pin the top edges of the main hammock fabric to create a hem. Don't worry about the raw edges formed from the square cutouts - those will get sewn later.

Love your cat? Make them a DIY Cat Hammock! An easy sewing project perfect for beginners! #Sewing #Cats

Full disclosure: I actually only needed to hem two sides; the other two were already hemmed.

Step 3: Sew Pillow Fabric and Hammock Hems

Sew the things you've pinned, basically. Make sure to only sew three sides of the pillow fabric, since we still need to stuff the fabric with pillow fluff.

Love your cat? Make them a DIY Cat Hammock! An easy sewing project perfect for beginners! #Sewing #Cats
Step 4: Stuff Pillow and Sew Closed

Stuff the pillow with pillow fluff, and pin closed, being sure to fold the edge over to create a hem.

Love your cat? Make them a DIY Cat Hammock! An easy sewing project perfect for beginners! #Sewing #Cats

My pillow looks kind of janky at this point (sewing is not really my specialty,) but I figured it probably wouldn't be noticeable by the time the hammock was complete (an I was right!)

Sew the pillow closed.

Love your cat? Make them a DIY Cat Hammock! An easy sewing project perfect for beginners! #Sewing #Cats
Step 5: Sew the Corners

Align and pin the corners together, right sides together, as seen in the photo below.

Love your cat? Make them a DIY Cat Hammock! An easy sewing project perfect for beginners! #Sewing #Cats
Love your cat? Make them a DIY Cat Hammock! An easy sewing project perfect for beginners! #Sewing #Cats

Then sew each corner.

Step 6: Add Grommets

Add grommets to each corner, just underneath the top hem of the hammock. I'm not going to give detailed instructions on this part, since this was my first time with grommets and I totally screwed it up, but there are lots of tutorials and videos on the internet that go into detail. I watched this, and this (for whatever its worth... since I still managed to mess it up.)

Love your cat? Make them a DIY Cat Hammock! An easy sewing project perfect for beginners! #Sewing #Cats

Then hang your hammock!

Final Thoughts

So I mentioned back at the beginning that my hammock was a little too deep - my cat can't test her weight on it easily, so she's hesitant to fully enter it. I might remake it a little bit shorter, since this was a pretty easy and fast project to do.

Love your cat? Make them a DIY Cat Hammock! An easy sewing project perfect for beginners! #Sewing #Cats

Regardless, I wanted to get this post out now since I have no idea when I'll get around to making a new hammock and/or fixing this one.

Love your cat? Make them a DIY Cat Hammock! An easy sewing project perfect for beginners! #Sewing #Cats

If you found this interesting or useful, I'd absolutely love if you shared it to Pinterest so other people can find it too! And if you're wondering where you should put a cat hammock, check out my DIY Cat Tree for some ideas

Love your cat? Make them a DIY Cat Hammock! An easy sewing project perfect for beginners! #Sewing #Cats

How to Build Your Own DIY Cat Tree

This fall, I decided to enter the Instagram Builder's Challenge for the very first time! The Challenge works by sending out a set of woodworking plans to everyone who enters. Then the contestants build the plans, putting their own spin on it. Part of the fun is seeing all the different ways people can modify the same plans!

When I first got the plans, I actually wasn't sure if I would participate. The plans were for a bar cart (you can see and download the challenge plans here.) The thing is, I really don't need a bar car. I don't entertain often. I don't drink coffee. The only alcohol in my house is cooking wine. Basically, I couldn't think of a single thing I would do with a bar cart. And since I am philosophically opposed to spending time and money on something that had no use to me, I questioned if I should participate.

But then I thought about the plans a little more, and remembered that I was in need of a cat tree! If I made cart taller, and added an extra tray, it would make a great cat tree!

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

Note: This blog contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you.) I only recommend products that I personally use and love, and any support helps keep this little blog going!

Planning the Project

I spent a significant amount of time editing the plans for the cat tree before starting the build. There were two main pieces I was unsure about: 1) the appropriate distance between the top and middle trays, and 2) the height of the hammock.

I pretty much guesstimated the distance between the top and middle shelves. There needed to be enough room between these two shelves for the hammock to hang and for the cat to move around. Additionally, the shelves needed to be close enough together that the cat could jump from the middle shelf to the top shelf without issue.

The downloadable plans I provide contain the exact measurements I used. That said, if I could redo this project, I'd place the second shelf 4-5 inches higher. While there is plenty of room between the middle and top shelf, and my cat can jump to the top shelf, it's not a natural jump. I had to place some food up there to get her to jump up the first time, and every time she's done it since, she stops and thinks about it a bit first. I'm not sure heavier/older cats could make the jump, which is why if you build this cat tree you should probably place the middle shelf a little higher.

The hammock height was another piece I was unsure about. I'll be writing a separate post on making the hammock, since it's a multi-step sewing project, but I wanted to mention here that I'd change the dimensions on that as well. I wanted the cat to be able to stand up in the hammock, which is why I made it 9 inches deep. But, because it's so deep, the cat isn't able to test her weight on it first, which makes her disinclined to enter the enclosure. If I could build it again, I'd make it 4-5 inches deep instead.

Get Started!

Get all the information you need to build a DIY Cat Tree with our FREE printable plans. Simply click the button below to get the DIY Cat Tree Plans delivered straight to your inbox!

DIY Cat Tree: Materials

Cat Tree Structure
  • (3) 1" x 12" x 8'
  • (4) 1" x 4" x 8' 
  • (4) 1" x 8" x 6'
  • (1) 1" dowel rod
  • Wood Glue
  • 1 1/4" Pocket Hole Screws
Accessories
Tools Used
  • Miter Saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Circular Saw
  • Table Saw - If you have a circular saw, you probably could get away without this, but it'd be a lot more slow going.
  • Drill/Driver
  • Pocket Hole Jig
  • Speed Square
  • 1" Spade Bit
  • Staple Gun
Get Started!

Get all the information you need to build a DIY Cat Tree with our FREE printable plans. Simply click the button below to get the DIY Cat Tree Plans delivered straight to your inbox!

Part 1: Building the DIY Cat Tree

Step 1: Cut, Sand, and Prep All Pieces

See the free downloadable plans for all dimensions and pocket hole placements!

The legs are a little trickier to cut than the other pieces, so I want to talk about them a bit here. The Builder's Challenge bar car plans details one method of cutting the legs, however that method requires a router which I don't have, so I used a circular saw instead.

To cut the legs, I drew them onto the 1 x 8 pieces. This requires knowing the angles of the leg polygon and measuring them out on the board using a speed square. If your geometry is a little rusty, I've included the angles in the downloadable plans. 

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

Then I aligned and clamped a scrap board so that when I used my circular saw it followed the angled line.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

The smaller angles I cut with my miter saw.

For the arms, I did pretty much the same thing, drawing the polygon on the board using angles and a speed square. But instead of using a circular saw, I cut all the angles with a miter saw because the piece was short enough to allow this.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY
Step 2: Build the Trays

Start by gluing the three or four (depending on the tray) sides together using wood glue. To make sure everything would fit, I placed the bottom piece of the trap in the middle of the sides while the glue dried. 

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

It was my first time trying mitered corners. Theoretically, everything should come together at perfect 90 degree angles, but that certainly didn't happen for me. Someday, I'm sure I'll figure it out, but in the meantime you'll have to read someone else's blog if you want your corners to have perfect miters.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

Once the glue is dry, attach the bottom piece to all three/four sides of the tray using pocket hole screws.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial!

Repeat for the other two trays.

Step 3: Build the Leg/Arm Structures

If you have preferences about which legs/arms are the front or back of the cat tree, be thinking about that as you complete this step.

Properly align two legs and an arm flat on the floor. Use wood glue and pocket holes to connect these pieces together once you're satisfied with their placement.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

Repeat this step for both leg/arm sets.

Step 4: Prep Tray Bottoms

The trays will attach to the legs with pocket hole screws on the bottom of the trays. Therefore, pocket holes need to be added to the bottom of the trays.

To figure out where to place the pocket holes, I laid the trays down on the leg structure, and marked where the legs intersected the tray. Then I added the pocket holes in those places.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

Additionally, the top tray needs a hole to allow access to the hammock, as well as four screw eyes to hold the hammock in place. Open each screw eye slightly with pliers before adding them to tray, so that you can later place the grommets on them. Then cut the hammock hole using a jigsaw after drilling access points at each corner. 

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY
Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY
Step 5: Assemble the Cat Tree

Once all the tray bottoms have pocket holes, assemble the cat tree. I did this by laying one leg structure on the ground and attaching all three trays to it with pocket hole screws and wood glue.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

Once it was secure, I flipped the cat tree over onto the other leg structure. Then I secured it with pocket hole screws and wood glue.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

Then I stood it up and admired my cat tree! Side note: I was super excited to get to this part. There were a lot of firsts for me in this project, so the build was pretty slow-going. It was such a relief to have the main structure built!

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY
Optional Step 6: Stain/Paint/Finish the Cat Tree

I wish I could give you the exact stain I used, but it was actually a Sherman Williams mistint that I picked up for $2 at Habitat for Humanity... One of a kind, unfortunately.

Get Started!

Get all the information you need to build a DIY Cat Tree with our FREE printable plans. Simply click the button below to get the DIY Cat Tree Plans delivered straight to your inbox!

Part 2: Cat Tree Accessories

There were six accessories that accompanied the cat tree: The bottom water dish tray, the twine scratching post on one of the legs, the two cushioned areas, the scratching cardboard boxes, the hanging strings, and the hammock. The hammock was a bit more involved, so I'm going to cover it a separate post, and the scratching boxes were purchased off Amazon here, but everything else I'll cover here.

Water Tray

I spent some amount of time on Amazon looking for a pair of white ceramic dishes that had a small lip on them, eventually settling for the replacement bowls of this stand. To make my own stand, I cut a board to be the same size as half of the bottom tray. Then I outlined the bowls on the board.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

To account of the lip of the bowl, I drew another circle 3/16" inside of the first circle. That smaller, inside circle is what I ultimately cut out with the jigsaw.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

I sanded all the pencil marks off the tray, then glued legs to each corner.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

I'll note here that I only used wood glue, which alone, makes for a pretty weak joint. I don't anticipate these legs encountering much side pressure, given that this tray will stay entirely in the bottom tray of the cat tree. However, if I'm wrong about this and the legs fall off, I'll add an angle bracket to each joint.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY
Twine Scratching Post

This is exactly as simple as it looks. I wrapped twine around the leg until it was well covered. I started and ended in the exact same place, so when I was done, I could add a few discrete staples that secured both loose ends.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial!
Cushions

To make each cushion, I cut a piece of scrap wood to be the size I wanted each cushion. Then I used spray adhesive to attach foam to the scrap wood.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

I sprayed the foam with spray adhesive, then wrapped the whole thing in batting, using a staple gun against the scrap wood bottom to secure it in place.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial!

Finally, I wrapped the cushion with the chosen fabric, securing it place with the staple gun/staples.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY
Hanging Strings

I cut the 1" dowel rod to match the distance between the two arms. Then I inserted it place, where it was snug. I tied three pieces of rope to the dowel rod to hang down for my cat to play with. This was the very last thing I did and I was so excited to finish the project!

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

Final Thoughts

This project was a ton of work, but my cat loves it, and I love that I don't have an ugly, carpet-covered cat tree in my home.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

My cat loves perching on the top level, and actually having a scratching thing she's allowed to use.

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial!
Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

If you think this is a cool project, be sure to save this post to Pinterest so you can find it again later! And if you think you might make your own cat tree, be sure to download the free printable plans so you know exactly what to do!

Build your own DIY Cat Tree with these free printable plans and detailed photo and video tutorial! #Woodworking #DIY

Simple Spray Painted Glass Planter

Full disclosure: I don’t do houseplants. I tried, once. They all died. But I like the looks of plants, and luckily, am more than happy to fill my house with fake plants since all of my real-plant attempts have failed.

This is my latest plant-project. My office needs both some greenery and gold accents, so a gold and white vase topped with a green succulent sounded perfect.

This spray painted vase is an easy 10 minute project. It's the perfect planter for your home! #planters #craft

I picked up these vases at the Habitat for Humanity Restore for under a dollar each. Today I'll be working with the tiny one. So cute, right? The price was just a bonus! Although, honestly, if you are paying $5-$10 at a craft store for vases, you are doing something wrong. Every thrift store I’ve been to has an abundant glass vase section, so definitely check those first before purchasing a vase from a full-price retailer.

Note: This blog contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you.) I only recommend products that I personally use and love, and any support helps keep this little blog going!

Simple and Elegant Spray Painted Glass Planter
Materials
  • Glass Vase- As mentioned above, check your local thrift store first!
  • Spray Paint- I used Rustoleum Universal Pure Gold and Rustoleum 2x White spray paints. If you’re thinking of buying a cheaper spray paint, don’t. I get you. I skimp on quality for cost all the time, but in this case, it’s not worth it. Glass is hard to spray paint, so you want something you know will stick. That’s why I went with the fancy $6 paint versus the $3 paint.
  • Fake Succulent (or real, if you're brave)- You can pick these up at your local craft store for a couple bucks!
  • Stone Granules- I got mine at Michaels, but any craft store should have them!
Get Started!

Have a clear plan for your project with our FREE Project Planning Worksheet. Simply click the button below to get your Project Planning Worksheet delivered straight to your inbox!

Step 1: Spray Paint the Entire Vase

Because glass is such a glossy surface, it can be hard to spray paint. I’ve found it really helps to:

  • Actually hold the can 12”-16” away from the surface. Spray paint cans always say to do this, but I bet most of us hold the can much closer. But holding it far away helps you spray a light coat on the surface, which is exactly what you want. If you hold the can too close, too much paint will get on the glass, and it well end up dripping down the surface.
  • Spray light coats, 5 minutes apart. I circled around the vase making sure every place got lightly sprayed, then went upstairs, did a quick chore, and came back down to spray again. I did 3 coats before I decided it was fully covered.
This spray painted vase is an easy 10 minute project. It's the perfect planter for your home! #planters #craft

I knew I was going to cover the top half with white, so I didn't do quite as many coats on that half.

Step 2: Wait 24 Hours

To paint a different color, we’re going to cover up some of the original layer with painters tape. That means the paint needs to be entirely dry, else the paint gets pulled up when we remove the painters tape.

Step 3: Cover the Base With Painters Tape

I wanted half of the vase to be gold and the other half to be white, so I covered the bottom half in painters tape.

This spray painted vase is an easy 10 minute project. It's the perfect planter for your home! #planters #craft
Step 4: Spray Paint Top Half in Another Color

Keep the tips above in mind; you’re still painting glass, after all!

This spray painted vase is an easy 10 minute project. It's the perfect planter for your home! #planters #craft
Step 5: Wait… Then Remove Painters Tape

I waited a full 24 hours before touching the vase, but you probably could have gotten away with 3-4. Gently pull off the painters tape, and admire your almost completed vase!

This spray painted vase is an easy 10 minute project. It's the perfect planter for your home! #planters #craft
Step 6: Fill Vase With Stone Granules and Succulent

I purchased these stone granules at Michaels:

This spray painted vase is an easy 10 minute project. It's the perfect planter for your home! #planters #craft

I poured the stone granules into the vase until it was mostly full, then stuck the succulent in. The stem of my succulent was too long for the base; I simply bent it so that it was a bit shorter. You could cut it as well, but that stem is typically made of metal, and might be a bit difficult to cut with scissors. If you have a pair of wire cutters, that would probably work perfectly.

This spray painted vase is an easy 10 minute project. It's the perfect planter for your home! #planters #craft

Isn't it cute?

This spray painted vase is an easy 10 minute project. It's the perfect planter for your home! #planters #craft

It's handy enough that I keep grabbing it stage my different projects... that's how you know a craft was a win!

This spray painted vase is an easy 10 minute project. It's the perfect planter for your home! #planters #craft

I love adding greenery to my house, for whatever reason I think it makes things so homey. If you do too, check out my Indoor Trellis Garden, which was just perfect for the entryway of my California condo. And if you liked this post, be sure to save it to Pinterest so you can find it again later!

This spray painted vase is an easy 10 minute project. It's the perfect planter for your home! #planters #craft

DIY Dresser to Hamper Project

When I was in high school, my best friend was always one of those perfectly dressed people. I was completely mystified by this, because her house was a hoarders-style mess, and I could not understand how she always put together the perfect outfit when on any given day a quarter of her closet was among the missing. I mean, I knew where all of my clothes were, and I still struggled to look put-together.

A decade later, my friend now runs a very clean and organized house. I, on the other hand, have still not mastered dressing fashionably. It's so bad that my friends once made me a "Should I Wear This?" flowchart. True story.

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

So, needless to say, if I'm to have any hope of looking presentable, I need an organized clothing system. Part 1: The Underbed Dresser Drawers, has already been completed. Part 2: Project Hamper, is what we're talking about today.

I had grand dreams of a beautiful dresser-turned-hamper to go at the end of my bed. These dreams have come true, although I'm not sure I realized in advance how much work this project would be. To quote my dad: "Adding drawers to a pre-existing structure is no trivial matter."

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

Some Caveats

This hamper is A) time-consuming to make, B) a little dangerous, C) is not a beginner project and D) cost about $50 in materials. I'm going to break down each of these things a little more so that if you decide to do a similar project, you know exactly what you're getting into.

This is not a quick project. In fact, I think I could build (from scratch) a similar structure faster than I reworked this one (although that route would be much more expensive - wood is not cheap.) It took me a full day of work for each drawer-piece, a day to get the drawer slides figured out/strip the top/prep for painting, and a day to paint and finish the piece. It took four days of work total. 

Additionally, when both drawers are in the open position, the weight of the dresser is not evenly distributed, and tends to tilt forward. This is unsafe, particularly if you have a child in the home. It's easily remedied by securing the back of the dresser to the wall, which I would 100% do if I had a child. But because I don't have a child, and want to put the dresser in the middle of the room, I haven't done this, and am just careful to only open one drawer at time. Obviously, this is fine for my situation, but please be careful if you do a similar project.

I also want to be really clear that this is not a beginner project. Drawers are tricky, and adding drawers to an already existing structure involves a fair amount of troubleshooting. While I'm going to do my best below to explain exactly what I did, I'll probably end up brushing over details so this post isn't overwhelming. I'll also probably skip over the things I tried that didn't work, because that happened too.

Finally, this project is either a bargain or time-consuming and pricey, depending on your perspective. It cost me $50 total - $25 for the dresser, $20 for the drawer slides, and $5 for drawer pulls I grabbed out of Menard's clearance bin. Everything else I used I already had around the house. This is a great price for a wooden dresser. This is not a great price for a hamper. You decide.

Note:  This post is sponsored by Wagner SprayTech. All opinions are my own. Additionally, this blog contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you.) I only recommend products that I personally use and love, and any support helps keep this little blog going!

Materials and Tools

  • Thrifted Dresser
  • Two Pairs of Drawer Slides
  • Scrap 1/2" Plywood
  • Wood Glue
  • Screws
  • Cabinet Pulls
  • Assorted Saws - I used a jigsaw, miter saw, and table saw.
  • Wagner Flexio 3000
  • Paint and Primer of Choice - I used Zinsser's Water-Based Primer, and Benjamin Moore's Gentleman's Gray Paint.
Get Started!

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Part 1: Clearing the Center Supports

On arrival, this dresser had three drawers on each side. My ultimate goal was to have one big drawer on each side, so in order to make that work, I needed to remove all the dividers and supports that existed for the other drawers. I used my jigsaw to cut and remove these pieces.

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

Anything that was visible from the front of the dresser when the drawers were in place I set aside - I would need those pieces later. Everything from the inside of the dresser went into the scrap wood bin.

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

Part 2: Building the Hamper Drawers

I had two choices here; build the drawers from scratch, or extend one of the existing drawers to the top of the dresser. I went with the latter, primarily because it seemed easier (and used less materials) than building drawers from scratch.

I started by cutting some 1/2" plywood that was the height of the drawer opening to act as the new structural drawer front. I used  a 3/4" scrap board for the sides, to add a little extra stability, but I think 1/2" plywood would work too. 

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

The sides and the front were connected by pocket hole screws and angle brackets

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

I used a single strip of 1/2" plywood for the back. While I could've had the back piece span the entire back, I knew I was going to put liners in the hamper, so I figured this way would save material.

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

Once the primary drawer structure was done, I secured it to the original base drawer with countersunk screws. (Fun side note: If you're planning to replace the drawer pulls, make sure you've removed any drawer hardware before you do this step. The new structure blocks the old screws. Yes, I made this mistake, thanks for asking.)

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover
This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

Then I broke down the two remaining drawers of this side (by cutting the dovetail joints off with my jigsaw.) This allowed me to attach the drawer fronts to my plywood front. This will ultimately give the illusion that there are still three drawers on the dresser (even though it's going to be one big hamper-drawer.)

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

I attached the drawer fronts to the plywood using wood glue and brad nails, then flipped the drawer over and added two screws from the back. I'll also note that in addition to the drawer fronts, I also attached the dividers that I'd cut off from the dresser between the drawer fronts.

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

One more comment: the dresser came with the unique drawer front in the middle, but I decided after everything was done that it would look better on top. So you'll see the unique drawer front in the middle until the final photos, which were taken right after I switched the drawer fronts and reattached them correctly.

Part 3: The Drawer Slides

Once both drawers were built, I got to work adding them to the dresser. While the bottom part had a built-in wooden drawer mechanism, I didn't anticipate this working smoothly when the hamper was full and pulled from the top handle. Therefore, I added drawer slides about 2/3 of the way up the dresser.

Since the sides of the dresser were not a level surface, I used a piece of scrap wood to bump out the side and provide a place to attach the drawer slide.

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

I did something similar in the middle of the dresser for the center slides.

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

Then I installed the drawer slides. There was some tweaking required to get everything to run smoothly (sanding, adjusting the slides, etc.) but after some patient work the drawers functioned.

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

Part 4: Painting the Hamper

Full disclosure: I actually did parts 4 and 5 simultaneously, which is why the pictures don't match up. But since they're really two different tasks,  I decided to separate them into two parts.

Before painting, I wood filled all holes with wood filler, briefly sanded the piece, and covered up the top of the dresser with parchment paper because I wanted to stain that portion.

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

Note: This post is sponsored by Wagner SprayTech. All opinions are my own.

I used my brand new Wagner Flexio 3000 to prime and paint the hamper. This was my first time trying it, and boy do things go quickly. I was done painting in less than 10 minutes, compared a 45 minute job using a paintbrush.

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover
This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

I did an obsessive amount of reading before I started painting, but after I started I realized that wasn't really necessary. The sprayer is super easy to use. And I love the finish it provides - plus I wasn't even using the special detail attachment!

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

After 1 coat.

Part 5: Finishing the Top

I chose to stain the top a contrasting shade rather than paint it as well. To do this, I started by stripping the original finish off. I actually did this part before I painted, because I didn't want to get the nasty stripping agent all over the fresh paint.

I don't want to into detail on this process (this post is already long enough,) but the general process is 1) apply stripping agent, 2) let sit for 30 minutes, 3) scrap stripping agent off, 4) scrub with mineral spirits, 5) sand until wood is bare.

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover
This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover
This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover
This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

Then I stained the top. I used Minwax's Cherry.

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

Finally, I waxed the top with Miss Mustard Seed's Brown Antiquing Wax. I'm actually not sure if this stuff is intended to go on bare wood (the can says it's for paint,) but I love the way it feels on the wood, so I'm going with it.

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

Final Thoughts

This hamper was a ton of work... but I really like how it looks in the bedroom. 

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

My room really needed something on that half of the space to balance it out, and the hamper is perfect!

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

Plus, before this was done I was using two laundry baskets on the floor as hampers. This is a much prettier solution.

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

If you like it too, be sure to save this post to Pinterest so you can find it again later! And if you want to see more furniture flips, be sure to follow me on Instagram so you don't miss out!

This in-depth furniture flip turns a thrifted dresser into a practical pull-out hamper. Includes detailed photo and video tutorials! #furnitureflip #furnituremakeover

DIY Woven Lampshade

A few weeks back, I purchased some pretty nice lamps for $5 each at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. There was only one problem: they lacked lampshades.

Luckily, Habitat also has a selection of lampshades. It reminds me of buying mix and match bathing suits, just with lamps and lampshades instead of tops and bottoms. The only thing, was that they didn't have two identical lampshades to match my two identical lamps.

So instead, I grabbed these:

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame
This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

They weren't identical lampshades, but they were the same shape and size, which was all I needed to DIY something cute.

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

Note: This blog contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you.) I only recommend products that I personally use and love, and any support helps keep this little blog going!

DIY Woven Lampshade

Materials
  • 4 mm Macrame Cord - I needed 200 yards per lampshade.
  • Old Lampshade - I found mine for $2 each at my local thrift store.
  • Scissors
Get Started!

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Step 1: Remove Old Fabric From Lampshade

I used scissors to cut into the lampshade, then pulled all the fabric and liner off the wire frame.

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

I was concerned when I saw how rusty the frame was, but it didn't cause any problems.

Step 2: Weave Horizontal Cord

Tie a basic knot on the top of one of the vertical pieces.I tied a double knot just to make sure everything is secure. If you are a fancy knot person, feel free to tie a fancier knot, but a basic knot worked fine for me.

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

Weave cord around the lampshade. At each vertical piece, wrap the cord around the metal once, then keep going around the lampshade.

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

I kept the cord attached to the spool in order to have one continuous piece, and just moved the spool around the metal when needed.

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame
This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame
This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

When the spool no longer fit through the wire (the cord was in the way,) I estimated how much cord I needed to reach the bottom of the shade, added more yards just to be safe, then cut the cord.

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

Once the vertical pieces are completely covered in cord, tie a knot around a vertical piece to secure the cord in place. Leave a couple inches extra, then cut any excess cord.

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame
Step 3: Add Vertical Cord

Cut a piece of cord that is two times the distance between the top and bottom of the shade, plus a couple extra inches on each end. In my case, this was about 30 inches. See photo below.

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

Fold the cord in half, and use the middle loop to make a slipknot on the top row of cord.

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame
This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

Tuck the ends of the slipknot behind the horizontal cord, in the middle part of the shade.

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

Repeat this process along the top wire of the shade, adding another cord and slipknot directly above the first.

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

Then bring all four cords back to the front of the shade about halfway down.

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

Tie each cord to the bottom of the lampshade frame. Once again, a basic knot is fine.

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

Leave a couple inches of cord remaining to act as fringe.

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

Repeat until vertical cord has been added around the entire shade.

Step 4: Prepare Fringe

Unravel the fringe, then trim it with scissors so that it is even all the way around the shade.

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

Then attach the lampshade to the lamp, and enjoy!

Final Thoughts

This is an easy but time consuming project - definitely something you want to do while watching TV or listening to a podcast. The result, though, is worth the investment!

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

And it's not a very expensive project. The original lampshades cost me $2 each, and the cord was 12-ish dollars a roll. 

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

I love the way it turned out, and am so glad I took the time to do this project! If you like it too, be sure to save this post to Pinterest so you can find it again later! And if you want to stay updated on all of my recent projects, be sure to follow me on Instagram so you know exactly what's going on!

This DIY Woven Lampshade is easy to make and doesn't require any fancy macrame knots. A budget project to bring some texture to your lighting! #DIYProjects #Macrame

How to Make DIY Roman Shades

After my first attempt (DIY Bamboo Shades) at window treatments for my bedroom completely failed, I tried a slightly simpler version: DIY Roman Shades. The technique for operating the shades is pretty similar, but the fabric used in the DIY Roman Shades is lighter and less bulky than the bamboo, meaning the shades would actually function correctly.

Turns out, I love how they look in the window, so I can't be too sad that my bamboo shades failed and led me to this. Unfortunately, the DIY Roman Shades involved a significant amount of sewing, which is not my favorite type of DIY, but they look so good I think I can forgive them for forcing me to haul out the sewing machine.

These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you.) I only recommend products that I personally use and love, and any support helps keep this little blog going!

DIY Roman Shades

Materials
  • Fabric - You'll need enough fabric to cover your window, plus at least 7 inches for mounting the fabric and making pockets for the dowel rods. I used a Waverly Inspirations fabric that I found for $5 a yard at Walmart - I'd link too it, but I can't find it on their website.
  • Blackout Lining - Optional, same amount as the fabric.
  • (4) 1/4" Dowel Rods
  • Nylon Twine - I've tried cotton before, and it broke after a couple months of use. Stick with the nylon.
  • Plastic Rings
  • 1" x 2" Furring Strip - Cut to the width of your window. If you don't have a saw, have this done at the home improvement store. 
  • (2) 1/2" Angle Brackets
  • (2) Screw Eyes
  • Sewing Machine and Thread - I've seen lots of sewing projects that can be done with iron-on hem tape instead. This is not one of them. A sewing machine is required.
  • Staple Gun and Staples
Get Started!

Have a clear plan for your project with our FREE Project Planning Worksheet. Simply click the button below to get your Project Planning Worksheet delivered straight to your inbox!

Step 1: Cut Fabric and Lining to Size

Important Note: All the dimensions I'm providing are assuming an inside mount. If you plan to mount the shade outside the window, you'll need larger pieces of fabric.

At minimum, your fabric needs to be 7" longer than the length of your window. I typically add a couple extra inches just in case - I don't mind if the fabric pools on the windowsill when the shade is down. In my case, my window was 64" long, and I'd purchased 2 yards (72") of fabric, so I didn't trim the length.

The width of the primary fabric should be 1" wider than the width of the window. This allows you to hem the fabric so that it wont unravel. In my case, My window was 33" wide, so I cut my fabric to be 34" wide. As for the lining, since I was using blackout lining (which doesn't unravel after being cut,) I cut it to be the width of my window, 33". If you're using a lining that could unravel, it might be best to cut it to the width of your window, and hem that as well. 

These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments
Step 2: Hem Sides of Shades

Lay out the fabric and blackout lining. The lining should be 1/2" smaller than primary fabric on either side. Fold the primary fabric over the blackout lining on either side, and pin in place. Sew to secure. 

These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments
Step 3: Make Dowel Pockets

First, determine and mark where your dowel pockets will be. To do this, take your fabric length, subtract 3 inches, and divide by four. This is how far apart each dowel rod will be placed.

(Fabric Length - 3) / 4 = Distance Between Each Dowel Rod

For example, my fabric was 72" long. (72-3)/4 = 17 1/4. My dowel rods were 17 1/4" apart.

The first dowel rod always goes at the very bottom of the shade. Then each rod goes the determined distance above the lower rod. In my case, given that the bottom of the shade is at 0", my dowel rods were placed at 0", 17 1/4", 34 1/2", and 51 3/4".  I marked these places on the shade before doing any sewing.

Once the placement of the dowel pockets were marked, I sewed them in place. I started with the lowest pocket, folding the bottom of the fabric up 3/4" to create a pocket. 

These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments

For the other three pockets, I folded the shade along the mark I'd made. Then I sewed the pocket using a 1/2" seam allotment. Be careful here that both the primary fabric and lining have at least a 1/2" seam allotment. Otherwise, the dowel rod may not fit into the pocket.

These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments
These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments
These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments
Step 4: Add Plastic Rings

On each dowel rod pocket, 3-4 inches in from the edge of the shade, hand sew a plastic ring to the pocket. These will ultimately hold the nylon twine that works the shade.

These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments
Step 5: Make Mounting Bracket

Cut the 1x2 to the width of your shade, and add an angle bracket to either end of the shade. I was mounting my shade on the window frame, so my angle brackets were on the ends of the board. You can also mount the shade on the wall or back of the window frame; to do that just move the angle brackets so they're against the back of the board.

These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments

Then, 3-4 inches in from either side, add a screw eye to the mounting board. 

These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments
Step 6: Attach Shade to Mounting Board

Using a staple gun, staple the fabric to the top of the mounting board. Use multiple staples across the entire board to make sure the shade is secure.

These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments
Step 7: Add Nylon String 

The nylon string is what raises and lowers the shade. Tie one end of the sting to the plastic ring on the lower right hand side of the shade using a bowline knot. Then weave the string through each plastic ring, up through both screw eyes, and back down on the left side, as shown in the photo below. Leave the left end of the string loose, with 6-10 inches of extra string available.

These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments

Then add a second nylon string on the left side of the shade. Tie this string to the bottom left ring, then thread it up through all rings on the left side, through the screw eye at the top of the left side of the shade, and back down through the left side rings. 

These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments

At this point, there should be two loose strings on the left side of the shade. Tie these strings together using a double fisherman's knot.

Step 8: Install the Shade

Secure the shade to your frame using the two angle brackets on the mounting board. Admire your new DIY Roman Shade!

These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments

I'm a little obsessed with the fabric I used - it fits the color scheme of my bedroom perfectly!

These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments

I also love the combination of the shades and curtains. It allows me to have total privacy when I want it, but also filtered light during the day!

These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments

If you love these shades too, or think you might make your own DIY Roman Shade someday, be sure to save this post to Pinterest so you can find it again later!

These DIY Roman Shades are an easy afternoon sewing project that are the perfect covering for your window! #Shades #WindowTreatments

DIY Faux French Door

My 1910 era home has a ton of doors. Obviously, the bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets all have doors. But the kitchen also has a door. The dining room has a door. The stairwell has a door. The living room and sunroom each have a gorgeous set of a french doors. On top of all of this, I keep finding extra doors in weird places - like in the garage and attic. So many doors.

With the exception of the french doors, most of the doors are identical. They all have a thick wood frame with a 1/4" plywood panel in the center. They're also a very sticky brown. I know that sounds weird. Sticky. But they are. Every time I hang clothing or a towel or something on the door, it sticks (and leaves a bunch of fuzzballs behind) when I try to take it off.

This quick makeover turns a boring brown door into a fabulous faux french door. Quick project requires only trim and paint! #homeimprovement

I suspect that once upon a time, someone went around gel-staining all the doors in the house. That's the best explanation I can come up with. Regardless, I don't love these doors, so when I decided to makeover the bedroom, I thought that the closet door could use a nice makeover as well. 

I settled on a faux french door look. There are so many french doors in the house, I didn't think it would look out of place at all! Plus, I figured it would be easy to do - adding some trim to the center panel seemed like a simple task - and it was!

This quick makeover turns a boring brown door into a fabulous faux french door. Quick project requires only trim and paint! #homeimprovement

Note: This blog contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you.) I only recommend products that I personally use and love, and any support helps keep this little blog going!

DIY Faux French Door

Materials
  • Old Door - The door I used had an indented panel in the middle, making it easy to add trim. I have no idea how common doors are like that, but if that's hard to find, keep in mind you might be able to get a similar look in other ways.
  • Trim - I used two 8 ft lengths of this trim from Lowes.
  • Primer - My go-to heavy duty primer is this Zinsser Primer. I use it anytime I'm worried about the paint adhering to the surface of my piece, and it hasn't failed me yet!
  • Two Colors of Paint - I went with a creamy color for the "window" part, primarily because I'm more of a "cream and navy" fan than a "white and navy" fan.
  • Miter Saw - Preferably one with that does beveled cuts.
  • Caulk
  • Wood Glue
Get Started!

Have a clear plan for your project with our FREE Project Planning Worksheet. Simply click the button below to get your Project Planning Worksheet delivered straight to your inbox!

Step 1: Cut the Trim Pieces

After I took the door off the hinges and dragged it out to the sawhorses, I measured the inside panel and determined how long I needed each of the trim pieces to be. I took the pieces over to my miter saw, and cut them to size, beveling each side 45 degrees so that the ends of the trim angled over the routered edges of the door.

This quick makeover turns a boring brown door into a fabulous faux french door. Quick project requires only trim and paint! #homeimprovement
Step 2: Prime the Door

After I took the door off the hinges and dragged it out to the sawhorses, I primed the piece. I did sand with my orbital sander (180 grit sandpaper) for a little bit first, but this was mostly because my door was sticky and had cat hair and lint and all other sorts of crap stuck on it.

This quick makeover turns a boring brown door into a fabulous faux french door. Quick project requires only trim and paint! #homeimprovement
Step 3: Paint the Frame and Trim

So, my original plan was to paint the inside panel first, then put down painters tape and paint the frame and routered edges. However, I realized as I was painting that because of the way the edges were routered, it was easy for me to to paint a perfect edge from the inside panel. Therefore, on the second coat I painted the frame first, then the inside panel, and that worked well. 

Step 4: Paint the Inside Panel 

I was using typical latex wall paint for the entire door - Benjamin Moore's Gentleman's Grey for the frame, and Gentle Cream for the panel. This was the exact paint I used on the walls, so everything matched!

This quick makeover turns a boring brown door into a fabulous faux french door. Quick project requires only trim and paint! #homeimprovement
Step 5: Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for a Second Coat

I have nothing to say about this. Painting isn't complicated - no matter what the DIY bloggers of the world want you to think.

Step 6: Attach the Trim

I attached the trim to the panel with wood glue, using old textbooks to hold everything in place while the glue dried. If the original door panel had been thicker, I might have added some brad nails. But because it was so thin, I was concerned that any nails I used would go right through to the other side.

This quick makeover turns a boring brown door into a fabulous faux french door. Quick project requires only trim and paint! #homeimprovement
Step 7: Caulk and Touch Up the Door

The trim I used wasn't identical to routered edges of the door, so anywhere there were gaps I added caulk. This made everything look a whole lot more professional, and made it a lot less obvious that the door was an afternoon DIY.

This quick makeover turns a boring brown door into a fabulous faux french door. Quick project requires only trim and paint! #homeimprovement

Once the caulk was dry, I carefully touched up the paint with an angled paintbrush so that it it blended right in.

Final Thoughts

This project took about a day and half, although most of that was waiting for the paint/primer/glue/caulk to dry. It was a lot of stop and go, but a pretty painless project in the long run.

This quick makeover turns a boring brown door into a fabulous faux french door. Quick project requires only trim and paint! #homeimprovement

I love how it turned out! The door looks so much better this way. Plus, it's not sticky anymore, which is a definite plus!

This quick makeover turns a boring brown door into a fabulous faux french door. Quick project requires only trim and paint! #homeimprovement

If you like this faux french door too, be sure to save this post to Pinterest so you can find it again later!

This quick makeover turns a boring brown door into a fabulous faux french door. Quick project requires only trim and paint! #homeimprovement

DIY Bamboo Shades

I love the layered window treatment look, specifically bamboo shades layered with curtains. I knew from the beginning that I wanted that in my bedroom. But when I started pricing it out, I ran into trouble. Two set of Ikea curtains, enough to cover all the windows, was between $60 and $80, depending on the curtain I chose. Drop cloths weren't much better - $60 to cover everything sufficiently - plus, drop cloth curtains can be difficult. Add in an another $100 for the mostly-decorative shades, and I was looking at prices that I really couldn't justify.

So, as per usual. I thought about it and researched alternatives. Pinterest has a plethora of faux shades, aka, shades that look like bamboo, but are non-functional and don't actually move. But I'm picky about about privacy at night and sun shining into my bedroom in the morning (I'm that rare person who wants more sun,) so I wanted my shades to actually work!

I've made roman shades before, so I figured bamboo roman shades couldn't be that different. I went ahead, and priced out a DIY project for two shades:

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

(Which, short plug here, I love my Project Planner! It's the first thing I grab when I'm planning a project. You can get it for free here!)

I was looking at $78 for the project, compared to $100 for two shades. Honestly, this wasn't the best money save in the world, but I was willing to give it a shot. I ordered the fencing off Amazon, and put the project on my calendar.

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

Note: This blog contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you.) I only recommend products that I personally use and love, and any support helps keep this little blog going!

Part 1: How to Make A DIY Bamboo Shade

Materials
  • Bamboo Fencing - So, full disclosure, I actually used willow twig fencing, only because it was a darker color. From what I can tell, bamboo fencing is pretty much identical, just lighter, and you know, bamboo.
  • 1/2" Dowel Rods - I purchased four 72" long 1/2" thick dowel rods. Since I was cutting them to the width of my window, 33", I was able to get two rods out of each purchased dowel rod.
  • 1" Plastic Rings - You'll need 8 per shade, or 16 for two shades.
  • Lining - This is technically optional, but since my shades were in a bedroom, I wanted them lined. I cut a Walmart twin sized sheet in half and was able to use it for both shades. (Be sure to read Part 3; I'm not sure I would do it this way again.)
  • 1"x 2" Board - In the length of your window.
  • 2" Angle Brackets - Two per shade.
  • Small Screw Eyes - Two per shade
  • Electrical Staples - For attaching the mounting board to the shade.
  • Nylon String
  • Miter Saw
Tools Required
  • Miter Saw - For cutting the fencing to size. You might be able to make another saw work, but this was what I used.
  • Glue Gun and Sticks - For attaching lining.
  • Drill/Driver - For installing shade.
Get Started!

Have a clear plan for your project with our FREE Project Planning Worksheet. Simply click the button below to get your Project Planning Worksheet delivered straight to your inbox!

Step 1: Cut Fencing to Size

Using a miter saw, cut the fencing to the length of your window. This is a bit tricky, since the fencing is bulky, so the saw doesn't go all the way through, but I just would stop and turn the fencing around. It took a little longer than a normal miter cut, but worked.

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

Then unroll the fencing out on the floor. To decide the length of the fencing, add 5 to the length of the window. This will give you room to mount the fencing, as well as a little extra shade just in case.

Then cut your fencing at the determined length by cutting all the wires directly under that length. Normal scissors worked for me, although this probably dulled them a bit. 

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

Once the wires are cut, twist them together to secure the new length.

Step 2: Add Dowel Supports

Since I was using dark twigs, I started by staining my dowels to match so if they were visible they wouldn't be super noticeable. This is probably unnecessary if you are using the lighter bamboo.

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

Then I determined where to place my dowels by dividing the final length of my shade (not the fencing, the shade) by 4. Lets call that number X. I placed one dowel right at the bottom of the shade, and the other three dowels X distance up from the next lowest dowel. In other words, there should be X inches between each dowel.

To place each dowel, I simply slipped it into the wires that holds the twigs in place. Occasionally I'd have to remove a twig or two to make it fit, but for the most part there was enough space in wires to add the dowel.

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

As I did this, I also added the plastic rings to the dowel rod. I made sure that each ring was inside the outermost wire. If that's not possible, secure the rings in place with some hot glue.

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY
Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY
Step 3: Add the Lining

Lay out your lining on the shade, cut to size and hemmed if necessary. Then grab the hot glue, and start hot gluing the edges of the lining to the fencing.

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

As I worked my way around the perimeter of the shade, I snipped the sheet wherever I found a plastic ring. This will allow me to attach the shade pulls later!

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY
Step 4: Make the Mounting Board

Cut the 1x2 to the width of your shade, and an angle bracket to either end of the shade. I was mounting my shade on the window frame, so my angle brackets were on the ends of the board. You can also mount the shade on the wall or back of the window frame; to do that just move the angle brackets so they're against the back of the board.

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

Then add a small screw eye three to four inches in from either end.

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

Just to be super clear, the other end of this board looks exactly the same!

Step 5: Attach the Mounting Board

To attach the mounting board to the shade, I used electrical staples around the wire. I first tried to use the staples around a twig, but the twigs aren't strong enough to hold the weight of the shade. The wire was a much better option.

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

The electrical staples I used screwed on, but the nail ones should work too!

Step 6: Install the Pull-String

There are two main strings that operate the shade. The first should go through every single ring, including the two eye screws at the top of the shade, as shown in the photo below.

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

Tie a secure knot on the lower right hand side to keep the string secure. I used a bowline knot here; I say this as if I'm a knot expert, but actually, I just googled "secure single-string knot," and that came up. I watched this youtube video to figure out what to do, and so far it's held up perfectly!

The second string only goes through the left hand rings, as seen in the photo below.

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

One end of the second string should be tied to the bottom ring. The other should remain loose.

At this point, you should have two loose string ends on the left side of the shade. Tie these two strings together with a Double Fisherman's Knot. (Once again, I googled a "strong knot for two strings."

Step 7: Hang Shade

Using the angle brackets on the mounting board, hang the shade in place.

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

Doesn't it look nice? Spoiler alert: that's my staging and photography skills coming through, there.

Part 2: Why You Shouldn't Make a DIY Bamboo Shade

This shade... actually sucks. Let me tell you why.

1. It's Ugly

"But it looks so pretty..." is what you must be thinking. Take this as a lesson that us bloggers can make anything look good. Take away those nice curtains flowy curtains, and you get this:

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

The shade is super, bulky and sticks out inches from the window. It's, frankly, unattractive, as are the old maroon curtains that are too short and don't match anything in the room. Please ignore them.

But maybe you're thinking "put them down! They must look better down." No. They don't. At least, not during the day. The sun shines through awkwardly, showing off my bad shade job. I was trying to save money by using one sheet for two shades. It's not quite wide enough for the job, and therefore, looks bad when it can actually be seen.

Admittedly, it does look decent down, at night. But that sheet is thin, and the world can probably see right into my bedroom. So, even then, it's not really ideal.

2. It Doesn't Work Well

The shades/twigs are heavy. That means the string is not super inclined to lift it up when you pull, like string would lift a normal fabric shade. In order to make it work, you have to pull the string and lift the shade from the bottom. It's awkward.

Who wants to do this every morning? Nobody.

3. It's Not a Big Money Saver

Two shades cost me around $80 to build, and I already had some of the supplies in-stock. I could've purchased two new bamboo shades that fit these windows for around $100. Frankly, I wish I had. The $20 savings wasn't worth it at all. To be totally honest with you, I'm taking them apart and banishing the pieces to the "random crap" section of my basement. Maybe someday, I'll make them into something. Stay tuned.

Part 3: If You're Completely Determined to DIY...

If someone stuck a gun to my head and told me to build DIY Bamboo Shades again, I'd try using a bamboo mat/rug instead of fencing. Rugs are flat, and theoretically, using that instead would create a flatter, more attractive shade.

I'm not sure if bamboo mats are lighter, but I'd like to think so, since they're less voluminous than my twigs. If so, that would solve the other problem I had with operation, since if they were lighter they'd be easier to operate. A few steps in the process would have to change - securing the dowels would probably need to be accomplished differently, but I'm sure it could be done.

However, I think bamboo mats are pretty pricey, so I'm not sure if this option would actually save money. If you try it, please let me know how it goes in the comments below. I have so many questions: Did it work? Was it flat? Did you save money? Basically, tell me everything.

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

If you found this useful, or think you'll be tempted to make DIY bamboo shades in the future and need a reminder of my disaster, go ahead and save this post to Pinterest! And if you want to see more projects and/or epic fails, follow me on Pinterest! It's sure to be entertaining!

Learn to make your own DIY Bamboo shades with this complete photo and video tutorial! #WindowTreatments #DIY

DIY Bedside Organizer

As I've talked about before, I'm not a naturally organized person. In fifth grade, my mother had me professionally tested for learning disabilities solely because my organizational skills were so poor. As an adult, I'd like to think my organizational skills are better, but they're still not great.

Enter my nightstand. A plethora of things that I use daily sit on top of it: contact solution, hair ties, a contact case, my glasses, nightly medication, a few pens, deodorant, chapstick, hand cream, and at nighttime, my phone and planner. Now, you're probably wondering if my nightstand has a drawer. Yes, it does. Theoretically, I could put these things in the drawer. But I know myself. Opening and closing a drawer is an extra step that I just wont do if I have the option of leaving the stuff on the top of the nightstand.

The solution? An organizer that has a spot for every item. 

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

Note: This blog contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you.) I only recommend products that I personally use and love, and any support helps keep this little blog going!

The Plan

I grabbed all the things from the nightstand, and laid them out in a way I imagined the organizer holding them. Then I grabbed my laptop and made up a quick sketch.

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

Since I wanted to make this out of scrapwood, I ran to the basement and took a quick look at what I had around. Honestly, I have plenty of scrapwood, so it wasn't hard to find 1x2, 1x6, and 1x8 pieces to use for the project. I based the plans around these three sizes of wood, so while a few pieces require two different cuts on the miter saw, no table saw is required!

Finally, I knew from the beginning that I was going to paint this piece. Because of this, all of the joints use normal 1" countersunk screws. Before painting, I filled all the screw holes with wood filler so they wouldn't be seen. This is not an option if you want to stain the piece. Because of this, if you plan to stain the DIY Bedside Organizer, you'll need to rework the plan using pocket holes!!

Get the Plans!

Learn how to build this DIY Bedside Organizer with our FREE Printable Plans! Includes a complete cutlist, dimensions, and step by step directions of the entire process!

Materials and Tools

  • (1) 1x2 - This divides the back section of the organizer, and only a few small pieces are required.
  • (1) 1x6 - Makes up the majority of the organizer. I'd imagine that all the pieces together form close to an 8' length, but I haven't actually measured.
  • (1) 1x8 - This makes up the base of the organizer. Only one relatively short piece is required.
  • 1" Wood Screws
  • (1) Angle Bracket
  • Wood Filler
  • Spray Paint - I chose to paint the piece after assembly, since I wanted it done quickly. Therefore I spray painted it, since that was the easiest way to get paint into all the small places.
  • Right Angle Clamp - I have a super cheap one from Harbor Freight, and it gets the job done.
  • Miter Saw
  • Orbital Sander and Sand Paper
  • Caulk

For exact cuts and dimensions, download the FREE printable plans!

Get the Plans!

Learn how to build this DIY Bedside Organizer with our FREE Printable Plans! Includes a complete cutlist, dimensions, and step by step directions of the entire process!

DIY Bedside Organizer Assembly

Part 1: Assemble the Frame

I started by cutting and sanding the three outer frame pieces as well as the base 1x8 to size. Since they were all pulled out of a scrap wood pile, they needed a bit of work to look pretty. I have a pretty formulaic process that I use for this, which you can check out here!

Then I attached the three sides together. The right angle clamp comes in handy here to keep things square, although I typically add another clamp on top to keep the pieces tight. My setup looks like this:

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

That scrap piece of 1/2" plywood you see underneath the ends of the wood is just there to keep everything level.

Then I just add three screws from the outside corner into the joint as seen in the photo below. As you'd expect, I remove the clamp to drive the last screw.

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

Since these screws are on the outside of the organizer, I make sure to countersink them so I can cover them up later. It's easy to do by pre-drilling the hole with a countersink bit.

Once the three sides are attached, I flipped the frame over and attached the base. To do this, I drove screws from the top down into the frame (or, in terms of the organizer, from the bottom up into the frame.)

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

Then I had a frame!

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking
Part 2: Make the Back Section

Since I divided the back section in three parts, I wanted to have the smaller dividers attached before securing the back portion to the frame. I started by securing the 1x2 pieces together in an "H" shape.

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

Then I attached the "H" shape to the main piece.

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

I started with just two screws on the bottom half of the piece because two higher screws would be visible from the front, but I ended up adding two more screws later in the process because the "H" was wiggly.

Finally, I attached the back piece to the frame. I drove screws from the outside of the frame into the back piece on all three sides.

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

You might notice there's a visible gap on one side of the back piece. Yeah. I did a bad job cutting accurately, apparently. I just filled it with caulk later, and everything was fine!

Get the Plans!

Learn how to build this DIY Bedside Organizer with our FREE Printable Plans! Includes a complete cutlist, dimensions, and step by step directions of the entire process!

Part 3: Assemble the Front Piece

I actually broke the front portion into two different parts. I started with the middle and shelf pieces, attaching the shelves to the middle piece.

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

The right angle clamp came in handy again here - definitely the MVT  (most valuable tool) of the project!

Then I attached this to the frame. In order to ensure the shelves were level, I put some small scrap wood pieces underneath them while I added the screws.

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

I put two screws into each shelf from the outside of the frame. Additionally, I added two screws that went from the bottom into the middle piece.

Then I added the last two pieces. I started with the bottom of the shelf. Two screws went from the outside of the frame into the shelf bottom. Once again, I shimmed the shelf to make sure it stayed level.

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

Since there was no good way to add screws on the other side of the board, I added an angle bracket to make sure the shelf was sturdy.

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

Finally, I added the last front piece. I added two screws from the front, two from the frame side, and one from the shelf side.

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

All that was left was finishing the piece!

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking
Part 4: Finishing the DIY Bedside Organizer

I wood filled all of the screw holes and gaps between boards. For gaps that were particularly large, I grabbed some caulk and used that instead, which was a bit easier to work with.

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

Then I sanded down the wood filler, and spray painted the piece!

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

Final Thoughts

My nightstand look so much better with this organizer corralling all the junk! Plus it was free - everything I used I already had in inventory!

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

It took me about 3 hours to build the DIY Bedside Organizer, which I definitely thought was worth it! I love projects that are done in an afternoon!

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking

I'm absolutely thrilled with how this turned out; if you like it too, go ahead and save it to Pinterest so you can find it again later. And if you think you might build it, make sure you download the free printable plans so you know exactly what to do!

This organizer is the perfect thing to keep your nightstand clean and free of clutter! Includes full photo tutorial and FREE Printable Plans! #organization #woodworking
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