Tiny Space Mudroom | How to Design and Build

I'm a big believer in mudrooms. When I redid my entryway in my California condo, it completely changed how my home functioned. Things were put away as I walked in the door, instead of scattered throughout my kitchen and living area. I was an organized human. I always knew where my keys were. Things were good.

So therefore, one of my primary goals after buying a new home was making a mudroom. Since I always entered at the back door, the mudroom was really more of a small mud-area (this is a terrible name; Lets go with "drop zone,") off the kitchen. Regardless, I thought I could make it work.

Come see all the details about how I turned a tiny corner into an organized storage area. This DIY mudroom project keeps the whole back of the house clean. #AButterflyHouse #Entryway #Mudroom #StorageIdeas #Organization #Beadboard #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement

There was a door to the basement across from the exterior wall. It needed space to fully open, so I only had about 10" from the exterior wall to play with. This meant no benches or "lockers" or other bulky things. Knowing this, I started my plan.

I first listed out all the things I wanted to store in the space. The list below is specifically for the exterior wall; I had another list for the tool organizer.

Come see all the details about how I turned a tiny corner into an organized storage area. This DIY mudroom project keeps the whole back of the house clean. #AButterflyHouse #Entryway #Mudroom #StorageIdeas #Organization #Beadboard #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement

I then thought about how it would be best to store these things. Coupons and receipts could go in a file organizer, while gloves and scarves would be better off in a box. Jackets, keys, and my purse could all go on hooks. I also wanted a shoe area to store my most used shoes.

I then drew out a design. I tried to draw it to scale (I'm kind of obsessed with graph paper spiral notebooks!), but ended up making minor changes to the positioning as I mounted things on the wall. I also erased things lots of times (you can see it in the picture below,) clearly I'm indecisive.

Come see all the details about how I turned a tiny corner into an organized storage area. This DIY mudroom project keeps the whole back of the house clean. #AButterflyHouse #Entryway #Mudroom #StorageIdeas #Organization #Beadboard #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement

Once I had a decent draft, it was time to begin!

Come see all the details about how I turned a tiny corner into an organized storage area. This DIY mudroom project keeps the whole back of the house clean. #AButterflyHouse #Entryway #Mudroom #StorageIdeas #Organization #Beadboard #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement

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!

Small Space Drop Zone
Materials

- Beadboard, cut to size
- Piece of trim, cut to size
- Construction Adhesive
- Piece of wood
- Hooks
- File Organizers- You can see the full tutorial here. On the third and fourth organizers, I used straight instead of angled sides. This resulted in the gloves/scarves box and the shoe box.
- Tool Organizer- Super proud of how this turned out. You can see the full tutorial here.
- Brad Nails
- Welcome Home Sign

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Step 1: Attach the Beadboard

I had my beadboard cut to the size I wanted (36 3/4" by 56") at Home Depot, so it was super easy to just put some construction adhesive on the back and nail it to the wall. As an exciting side note, I got this four pack of Titebond adhesive at Menards for 99 cents after rebate. I was super pumped about this, and have made a mental note that it sometimes goes on crazy sale. If you live by a Menards, take note!

Come see all the details about how I turned a tiny corner into an organized storage area. This DIY mudroom project keeps the whole back of the house clean. #AButterflyHouse #Entryway #Mudroom #StorageIdeas #Organization #Beadboard #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement

I also added screws where I knew I would be putting trim, and made sure these screws hit the studs. I did this because I knew I'd be attaching things to the beadboard, and I wanted to make sure that the beadboard could bear the weight of the accessories.

Come see all the details about how I turned a tiny corner into an organized storage area. This DIY mudroom project keeps the whole back of the house clean. #AButterflyHouse #Entryway #Mudroom #StorageIdeas #Organization #Beadboard #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement
Step 2: Attach the Trim

I cut my trim to the same length as the beadboard (36 3/4") and attached it to the beadboard with construction adhesive and brad nails. 

Come see all the details about how I turned a tiny corner into an organized storage area. This DIY mudroom project keeps the whole back of the house clean. #AButterflyHouse #Entryway #Mudroom #StorageIdeas #Organization #Beadboard #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement
Step 3: Caulk, Wood Fill, and Paint Beadboard

Caulk works miracles people. In my opinion, lack of caulk is the biggest indicator of a DIY project, so I made sure to fill in all my gaps (sides, bottom, and top) with caulk. Additionally, I wood filled all of the brad nail holes with wood filler so that they wouldn't be seen. I then painted the beadboard.

Come see all the details about how I turned a tiny corner into an organized storage area. This DIY mudroom project keeps the whole back of the house clean. #AButterflyHouse #Entryway #Mudroom #StorageIdeas #Organization #Beadboard #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement

After painting!

Step 4: Add Organizers

I went into detail on different ways to attach the organizers in the file organizer post, but in this situation I attached the small organizers with brad nails and construction adhesive, and the larger organizers with screws that I later disguised with paint. I was able to get at least one screw for the shoe box and the wood hook piece into a stud, which was ideal since both of these boxes might hold heavier things at some point.

Come see all the details about how I turned a tiny corner into an organized storage area. This DIY mudroom project keeps the whole back of the house clean. #AButterflyHouse #Entryway #Mudroom #StorageIdeas #Organization #Beadboard #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement
Final Thoughts

It's amazing how much more organized a functional entryway makes me feel. I keep all my project receipts in folders in one of the file organizers, so that I'm ready to take back anything I don't use. I'm so much less worried about losing them now; it's crazy.

Come see all the details about how I turned a tiny corner into an organized storage area. This DIY mudroom project keeps the whole back of the house clean. #AButterflyHouse #Entryway #Mudroom #StorageIdeas #Organization #Beadboard #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement

I love my new entryway! Have you ever done a project that makes you feel 100% more organized? Let me know about it in the comments!

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Come see all the details about how I turned a tiny corner into an organized storage area. This DIY mudroom project keeps the whole back of the house clean. #AButterflyHouse #Entryway #Mudroom #StorageIdeas #Organization #Beadboard #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement
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Welcome Home Sunflower DIY Wall Decor

I love sunflowers. I'd say they're my favorite flower, but I don't feel like I actually know enough about flowers to make that determination. In fact, sunflowers might be the only flower I can actually identify, which might be part of why I like them.

Regardless, I like sunflowers. And in case you missed the memo, summer and fall are sunflower season, at least when it comes to floral decor stores. I'm assuming they grow in summer and fall in real life too, but, as mentioned, not a flower connoisseur here.

As a result, when I stop by Joann's, I tend to walk through the decor section admiring all the pretty sunflowers. I don't buy anything, because I'm willing to settle for whatever's left at the end of the season when everything is crazy marked down, but I window shop in the meantime. And on one of my most recent trips, I saw this:

I specifically loved the sunflower sign in the middle, although the lady standing next to me liked the pumpkin welcome signs. 

I really liked the middle sunflower sign, but I walked away. Why? Because that was $30 for something I could make out of scrap wood. But the idea stuck in my head, and when I needed something for the space above my mudroom, I knew this would be perfect!

Welcome your family home with this cute DIY farmhouse sunflower sign made from scrap wood and dollar store flowers! This full tutorial shows you exactly how to make this cute sign for your entryway! #AButterflyHouse #Farmhouse #Flowers #DIY #DIYDecor #DIYProjects #Scrapwood #DollarStoreCrafts #WallArt

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!

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"Welcome Home" DIY Scrap Wood Sign
Materials

- Scrap Wood

- Removable Sticker Paper- If you use my method, you'll need paper that can be printed on the back removable, non-sticky side. I used this paper, and was quite please with how it turned out.

- Two Sunflowers- I got a bouquet of sunflowers at the dollar store (for a dollar!) and just cut off two of them.

- Stain

- Kreg Jig/Screws or Tie Plate- I used my Kreg Jig and screws to connect my two pieces of wood together, but if you don't have a Kreg Jig, no biggie. Something similar to this tie plate can be used on the back side of the wood to hold the two pieces together. If you do this, make sure to put wood glue between the pieces of wood for extra support.

- Wood Conditioner- Only necessary if your wood is a soft wood, like pine!

- Hot Glue and Gun OR Liquid Nails- For gluing sunflowers to wood.

- Picture Hangers

Step One: Make the Base

I cut two pieces (to be 30" and 22" long) of out of an old 1"x 6" piece of pine I had around. Then I centered the smaller piece below the larger piece, and connected them using Kreg Jig screws.

Welcome your family home with this cute DIY farmhouse sunflower sign made from scrap wood and dollar store flowers! This full tutorial shows you exactly how to make this cute sign for your entryway! #AButterflyHouse #Farmhouse #Flowers #DIY #DIYDecor #DIYProjects #Scrapwood #DollarStoreCrafts #WallArt
Step 2: Stain

Since I was working with pine, it was super important for me to use wood conditioner on the wood first. If you're like past me, and thinking to yourself "that's not really necessary," let me show you what this wood looked like without wood conditioner:

Welcome your family home with this cute DIY farmhouse sunflower sign made from scrap wood and dollar store flowers! This full tutorial shows you exactly how to make this cute sign for your entryway! #AButterflyHouse #Farmhouse #Flowers #DIY #DIYDecor #DIYProjects #Scrapwood #DollarStoreCrafts #WallArt

If you're working with pine, wood conditioner is mandatory. I'm sorry.

Welcome your family home with this cute DIY farmhouse sunflower sign made from scrap wood and dollar store flowers! This full tutorial shows you exactly how to make this cute sign for your entryway! #AButterflyHouse #Farmhouse #Flowers #DIY #DIYDecor #DIYProjects #Scrapwood #DollarStoreCrafts #WallArt

Pine boards with wood conditioner!

Since I wasn't super picky about what my wood looked like for this project, I just wanted it to be darker, I used stains I had around the house. I worked my way from lightest to darkest until I was satisfied with the color. I started with Minwax's Early American, then tried Minwax's English Chestnut, then finished with Cece Caldwell's Hickory.

Since I used the wood conditioner, the stains didn't soak in as much as they would have normally, which is why it took me so long (and so many tries!) to get a dark color. And note that, even with wood condition, pine is still hard to stain! There are still some blotches on my wood. For whatever reason, I didn't take a picture right after staining, but you can see it in my final product.

Welcome your family home with this cute DIY farmhouse sunflower sign made from scrap wood and dollar store flowers! This full tutorial shows you exactly how to make this cute sign for your entryway! #AButterflyHouse #Farmhouse #Flowers #DIY #DIYDecor #DIYProjects #Scrapwood #DollarStoreCrafts #WallArt

See where the arrows point? Those are my blotches!

Step 3: Print and Cut Out Letters

You can make this in whatever font and size you want- I used Rancho size 275 . If you want the exact letters and size I used, you can download a really (not) snazzy free PDF here:

Want the letters? Get them below!

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Alternatively, if you just want the font, you can download it from FontSquirrel here. It is free!

When printing, print on the BACK of the sticker paper. This allows you to cut out the letters so that what you stick onto your wood is white. The black ink removable side will get thrown away after you peel off your letter.

Most letters are symmetric, so this technique works. For letters that aren't symmetric, I retraced the letter on a scrap part of the paper, and then cut it out. 

Welcome your family home with this cute DIY farmhouse sunflower sign made from scrap wood and dollar store flowers! This full tutorial shows you exactly how to make this cute sign for your entryway! #AButterflyHouse #Farmhouse #Flowers #DIY #DIYDecor #DIYProjects #Scrapwood #DollarStoreCrafts #WallArt

See how I retraced the "L"? Because it wasn't symmetric, the L was backwards if I wanted to use the front side of the sticker paper. By retracing, the L will now be the correct direction when placed on my sign.

Step 4: Place Letters and Sunflowers on Sign

I laid the letters out to make sure they were properly spaced, then took the ink backs off and stuck them onto the sign.

Welcome your family home with this cute DIY farmhouse sunflower sign made from scrap wood and dollar store flowers! This full tutorial shows you exactly how to make this cute sign for your entryway! #AButterflyHouse #Farmhouse #Flowers #DIY #DIYDecor #DIYProjects #Scrapwood #DollarStoreCrafts #WallArt

For the sunflowers, I glued them using a hot glue gun. That being said, if I'd had any clear liquid nails around, I would have used that instead. It would have created a much stronger bond.

Step 5: Hang Sign

I put these weird little "push in" picture hangers I had around on the back of the sign. I didn't trust the "push in" mechanism, so I also added some screws to make sure the hanger wasn't going to budge.

Welcome your family home with this cute DIY farmhouse sunflower sign made from scrap wood and dollar store flowers! This full tutorial shows you exactly how to make this cute sign for your entryway! #AButterflyHouse #Farmhouse #Flowers #DIY #DIYDecor #DIYProjects #Scrapwood #DollarStoreCrafts #WallArt

Then I hung my sign!

Welcome your family home with this cute DIY farmhouse sunflower sign made from scrap wood and dollar store flowers! This full tutorial shows you exactly how to make this cute sign for your entryway! #AButterflyHouse #Farmhouse #Flowers #DIY #DIYDecor #DIYProjects #Scrapwood #DollarStoreCrafts #WallArt
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Welcome your family home with this cute DIY farmhouse sunflower sign made from scrap wood and dollar store flowers! This full tutorial shows you exactly how to make this cute sign for your entryway! #AButterflyHouse #Farmhouse #Flowers #DIY #DIYDecor #DIYProjects #Scrapwood #DollarStoreCrafts #WallArt
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DIY “French Cleat” Wall Organizer

When I was planning out the entryway of my new home, it took me forever to decide what would go on the wall next to the basement door. I knew I wanted something to organize my "upstairs tools" aka, small tools I regularly use upstairs and don't want to have to go down to the basement to get every time I need. But what?? It needed to be flat, 3 inches deep or less, else risk blocking the door from opening. Pegboard seemed like the obvious choice. But pegboard seemed so utilitarian, which is good and well for the basement, garage, or craft room, but this organizer was going in my kitchen!! It needed to be attractive as well as functional.

Eventually I came across references to a "french cleat" organizational system. It's apparently a common way that woodworkers organize their workshop. It consists of strips of wood with an angled top nailed to the wall. It looks nice (although I couldn't find any pictures to show you that do it justice), but requires a table saw for the strips, and you have to build each tool holder separately. Um, no thanks.

But the idea of horizontal strips on the wall? I could use that. 

See how to make an adaptable DIY rustic farmhouse wooden wall organizer with this full tutorial. The organizer can be used to store tools, kitchen supplies, craft supplies, or almost anything else you can think of! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #DIYProjects #Farmhouse #Organization #Garage #Kitchen #StorageIdeas

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!

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The Fake "French Cleat" Wall Organizer
Materials

- 1" x 3" x 8' Furring Strips (4)
- 1" x 2" x 8' Furring Strip (1)
- Wood Glue
- Brad Nails
- 1 inch nails (24)
- Wood Stain (optional) and Finish
- Wood Conditioner
- 3 inch screws (for mounting)
- Belt Sander (Optional: if you don't have a belt sander, purchase higher quality wood so less sanding is necessary)
- Orbital Sander
- Miter Saw
- S-Hooks, for actual organization. These ones fit perfectly for the furring strips; there is exactly 0.78" of space between the "S" metal part. The furring strips are 0.75" thick, so this creates a snug and secure fit.

Step 1: Prep the Furring Strips

I used furring strips because I like saving money and furring strips are quite possibility the cheapest wood on the market. However, furring strips look terrible when you first take them home. So I had a lot of sanding to do. You can minimize this step by buying more expensive wood; pretty much any stainable 1 x 3 will work.

To prep the furring strips, I sanded with a belt sander using 120 grit sandpaper. This quickly smoothed the wood without creating large sanding marks like a lower grit paper would have done. Then I sanded with 150 grit with my orbital sander to smooth everything a little more. It went quickly; I maybe spent 30 minutes sanding my five furring strips.

See how to make an adaptable DIY rustic farmhouse wooden wall organizer with this full tutorial. The organizer can be used to store tools, kitchen supplies, craft supplies, or almost anything else you can think of! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #DIYProjects #Farmhouse #Organization #Garage #Kitchen #StorageIdeas

Unsanded furring strip

See how to make an adaptable DIY rustic farmhouse wooden wall organizer with this full tutorial. The organizer can be used to store tools, kitchen supplies, craft supplies, or almost anything else you can think of! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #DIYProjects #Farmhouse #Organization #Garage #Kitchen #StorageIdeas

The exact same spot after sanding with the belt sander. After this picture, I sanded with 150 grit sandpaper using my orbital sander.

Step 2: Cut the Furring Strips to Length

I cut my vertical furring strip (the 1 x 2s) into two 46" long pieces and my horizontal furring strips (the 1 x 3s) into twelve 30 and 1/2 inches long pieces using a miter saw. I have this miter saw, which slides and is generally awesome, allowing me to cut up to 24" wide with a little extra work. I highly recommend it if you don't have a miter saw.

Step 3: Paint/Stain and Finish the Furring Strips

Super duper important PSA: furring strips are made of soft, cheap wood. They will stain TERRIBLY unless you coat them in wood conditioner first. Trust me, I tested a scrap piece first, and it was not pretty. So before staining my actual strips, I applied a bunch of wood conditioner.

I painted the two 46" long 1"x 2" pieces white, and stained the twelve 1"x3" pieces with Minwax's English Chestnut stain. I'm apparently super into this stain recently; I've used it on this table, and this organizer, and think both turned out gorgeous, despite taking the stain very differently.

Step 4: Assemble the Organizer

I started by securing the horizontal strips to the white vertical pieces with wood glue and nails. This was not the final way I secured the pieces, just how I started. 

See how to make an adaptable DIY rustic farmhouse wooden wall organizer with this full tutorial. The organizer can be used to store tools, kitchen supplies, craft supplies, or almost anything else you can think of! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #DIYProjects #Farmhouse #Organization #Garage #Kitchen #StorageIdeas

You'll note in the above picture that I had pieces of scrap wood between the white pieces at both the top and bottom of the organizer. This was to hold them the same distance apart as I added boards. This way, the strips stayed parallel to each other.

I also had 1.5" spacers between each board to make sure that the spaces were even. See picture below.

See how to make an adaptable DIY rustic farmhouse wooden wall organizer with this full tutorial. The organizer can be used to store tools, kitchen supplies, craft supplies, or almost anything else you can think of! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #DIYProjects #Farmhouse #Organization #Garage #Kitchen #StorageIdeas

All the spacers meant that as I laid and secured boards I only needed to think about how much distance was between the end of the board and the white piece, which in my case was 3" on either side.

See how to make an adaptable DIY rustic farmhouse wooden wall organizer with this full tutorial. The organizer can be used to store tools, kitchen supplies, craft supplies, or almost anything else you can think of! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #DIYProjects #Farmhouse #Organization #Garage #Kitchen #StorageIdeas

I didn't feel the wood glue/brad nail combo would be enough to hold the boards in place should I actually put anything heavy on the organizer, so I flipped it over and added 1" screws to each "joint" of the organizer. I countersunk these screws using this countersink bit to ensure they didn't stick out and push my organizer further away from the wall. Sidenote: I just got the bit the other day and I love it!! I've used it so many times, and it's made a bunch of projects easier (including this one!) that I'm not sure how I lived without it for so long. It came with four different sizes, and while I haven't used anything other than the #6 bit, I still find it amazing. 

See how to make an adaptable DIY rustic farmhouse wooden wall organizer with this full tutorial. The organizer can be used to store tools, kitchen supplies, craft supplies, or almost anything else you can think of! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #DIYProjects #Farmhouse #Organization #Garage #Kitchen #StorageIdeas

These are the holes created by the countersink bit. I was going to take a picture of them with screws in them too, but apparently I was so excited about the countersink bit that I forgot... 

Step 5: Mount Organizer to Wall

You'll mount the organizer with screws that go through the white furring strips into the wall. In an idea world, both furring strips would align with studs. I wasn't able to make this happen; only one of my furring strips aligns with a stud. Since I have plaster walls, on my other furring strip, I made sure at least two of screws hit the wood lath behind the plaster. If you have drywall molly or toggle bolts are an option for mounting that second furring strip.

See how to make an adaptable DIY rustic farmhouse wooden wall organizer with this full tutorial. The organizer can be used to store tools, kitchen supplies, craft supplies, or almost anything else you can think of! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #DIYProjects #Farmhouse #Organization #Garage #Kitchen #StorageIdeas

I put three screws through each white furring strip; one on the very top, one in the middle, and one on the bottom. I then painted the screw heads white to disguise them a bit, as shown in the picture above. Note that in the picture above, you can see the screw pretty clearly, but it is a super close up photograph. I promise that once you're 2-3 feet away, the screw is almost invisible unless you know to look for it.

See how to make an adaptable DIY rustic farmhouse wooden wall organizer with this full tutorial. The organizer can be used to store tools, kitchen supplies, craft supplies, or almost anything else you can think of! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #DIYProjects #Farmhouse #Organization #Garage #Kitchen #StorageIdeas

I purchased these bin organizers from Home Depot. I thought this was a great price for three; they're meant for pegboards, but certainly work in this capacity as well. 

See how to make an adaptable DIY rustic farmhouse wooden wall organizer with this full tutorial. The organizer can be used to store tools, kitchen supplies, craft supplies, or almost anything else you can think of! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #DIYProjects #Farmhouse #Organization #Garage #Kitchen #StorageIdeas
Cost Considerations

I paid around $40 to make this organizer. That cost includes four 1 x 3 furring strips, one 1 x 2 furring strip, wood condition, S-hooks, and the metal bins. The rest of the items I already had around the house, so if you need to purchase items I had, your cost may be more.

Like this organizer? Save it to Pinterest!!
See how to make an adaptable DIY rustic farmhouse wooden wall organizer with this full tutorial. The organizer can be used to store tools, kitchen supplies, craft supplies, or almost anything else you can think of! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #DIYProjects #Farmhouse #Organization #Garage #Kitchen #StorageIdeas
Want more organizational ideas? Follow me on Pinterest and Instagram!
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Super Simple Scrap Wood Wall Organizer

Lets talk about pine. The wood, not the needles. It's a soft wood, light colored, and almost always the cheapest thing available at the hardware store. I really, really want to love it, as evidenced by the fact it's always the first thing I reach for when I need wood for a project. But this is a mistake. Why? Because pine stains terribly.

Build a small, beautiful farmhouse wood wall organizer for your office, mudroom, entryway, garage, or kitchen! This step by step DIY tutorial gives you all the details of how I built my organizer out of scrap wood! #AButterflyHouse #Organizer #WallOrganizer #DIY #DIYProjects #Tutorial #Mudroom #Farmhouse #FarmhouseDecor #ScrapWood

This piece of pine used to be pretty...

I know this. I've learned this lesson already. But despite that, I always buy pine. "It'll be better this time" I tell myself. No. No it wont be. Stop lying to yourself, Lindsay.

For this project, as per usual, I went to the hardware store and purchased a bunch of pine. I went home and made all my cuts. Then I tested the stain. And, as I should have known, it looked terrible (see above.)

So then I stood in my basement brainstorming all the ways I could make this project work without going back to the hardware store. I looked at the birch plywood left over from the kitchen floor. I looked at all the 100 year old trim I pulled down when putting up cabinets. And I decided I could do this.

Build a small, beautiful farmhouse wood wall organizer for your office, mudroom, entryway, garage, or kitchen! This step by step DIY tutorial gives you all the details of how I built my organizer out of scrap wood! #AButterflyHouse #Organizer #WallOrganizer #DIY #DIYProjects #Tutorial #Mudroom #Farmhouse #FarmhouseDecor #ScrapWood

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!

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!

DIY Wood Wall Organizer
Build a small, beautiful farmhouse wood wall organizer for your office, mudroom, entryway, garage, or kitchen! This step by step DIY tutorial gives you all the details of how I built my organizer out of scrap wood! #AButterflyHouse #Organizer #WallOrganizer #DIY #DIYProjects #Tutorial #Mudroom #Farmhouse #FarmhouseDecor #ScrapWood
Materials

The following details the materials and cuts I made to complete my organizer. This can totally be adapted to use different materials or to make a different sized organizer. If you're adapting the plan, there are two key aspects: 1) the lengths of the front, back, and bottom are all the length you want your finished organizer to be and 2) the total height of the front needs to be at least an inch less that the full height of the organizer for mounting purposes.

Front: All of my plywood was leftover from my plank plywood floor project, and therefore already cut into 4" strips. As a result, the front and back of my organizer would need to be multiple pieces. For my front, I used 3 pieces of 1/4" birch plywood cut to be 10"x 2". Alternatively, you could use a single piece of something (not pine!!!) that is 10"x 6".

Back: I used 2 pieces of 1/4" birch plywood cut to be 10"x 4". Once again, you could use a single piece of something that was 10"x 8"

Bottom: This was a single piece of birch plywood 10" long. I cut the height to size after assembling the front and sides.

Sides: I sanded all of the paint off some super old trim that was once on my walls, then cut off an 8" piece (the finished height I want my organizer to be). I set my miter saw to be 10" and then cut a piece that looked the right size. Real official, I know.

Wood Glue: I am not a brand snob for this, and typically purchase the cheapest stuff I can find on Amazon whenever I'm running low. At posting, that's this.

Stain: I used Minwax's English Chestnut. Which, in case you were wondering, looks much darker on this table than it does on this project. Different woods take stain differently, so test your stain first!

Nails and Screws: I used my nail gun (see below) to put brad nails in, but you can use an old fashioned hammer and nails as well. Just make sure the nails are small!

Tools Used

Miter Saw- Absolutely essential for this project. While I suppose you could make all your cuts with a circular/jigsaw and a protractor, you will be miserable. I have this miter saw, and it makes me happy every single day.

Brad Nailer- Not essential for this project. You could definitely get away with a hammer and some finish nails. It'd just take a little while. That being said, I love my little electric nail gun, and don't think I could DIY without it.

Random Orbital Sander: I used to have a terrible Harbor Freight sander that my dad got me when I first started DIY-ing. It was awful, and the paper constantly ripped and ​it never seemed to actually sand anything. I now have this one, and it is so much better.

Drill/Driver- For driving screws and drilling pilot holes. 

Step 1: Make Cuts

See the materials section for what cuts to make!

Step 2: Sand, Stain and Finish

I sanded the sides (aka, the former trim) with 80, 150, and 220 grit sandpaper. The plywood I just gave a quick sand with 220 grit sandpaper, because I was nervous about sanding through the veneer. 

I then stained with Minwax's English Chestnut. I choose to stain and finish before I put everything together to ensure I stained everything, plus it was a little neater this way. While you could stain after assembly, I think it would be difficult to reach some of the places inside the organizer, hence my decision to stain before.

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I used Minwax Tung Oil Finish to finish my boards, primarily because I already had some in the house, but also because I just really like it. It's not pure tung oil (which is expensive), but is tung oil based and creates a nice solid, non-sticky finish on my wood projects. You do have to wait 24 hours in between coats, but if you're not in a hurry, it's a great finish.

Step 3: Assemble

I started by attaching the front pieces to the sides of the organizer with wood glue and brad nails. No screws here: this isn't going to be bearing any weight, so the nails and glue should be enough.

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Then I attached the bottom. Same deal: wood glue and brad nails.

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Finally, the backs. These I attached a little differently. Instead of just using wood glue and brad nails, I also used a couple of 1" screws on the top board. This was because the top of the back is what will be mounted on the wall, so I wanted to ensure it was securely attached to the rest of the organizer.

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If you have a countersink bit (I didn't at the time, but got this one from Lowes a few days later) now is the time to use it. If the screw sticks out a bit it will push the organizer away from the wall, which is fine, but not ideal. Since I didn't have a countersink bit, I just pushed really hard with my drill when I was screwing in the screw, and achieved a similar (if not as pretty) effect.

Step  4: Mount

There are two different ways I considered mounting this: 1) with screws or 2) with construction adhesive and brad nails. The first method is sturdier, given that you can get your screw into a stud or are using some sort of molly or toggle bolt. However, you end up having a visible screw that must be disguised in some way. Options include painting the screw a wood-ish color, or countersinking it and wood-filling and staining over it. The wood fill/stain option looks nice, but makes it near-impossible to remove the organizer from the wall, so you better be sure you never, ever need to take it down.

Given that future me might want to someday remove the organizer, I was mounting on a bead board panel, and that I don't plan to put anything heavy into it, I chose to mount using option 2, construction adhesive and brad nails. It was relatively straightforward: put adhesive on back, then attach to wall with brad nails. See picture the picture below for exactly where I placed my nails.

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And that's it! Organizer done! I made two and used one to file receipts as I came in the door, and the other to store coupons from mailers that I might actually use. What would you use an organizer like this for? Tell me in the comments below! And if you love organizers, check out my super simple drawer organizer!

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Build a small, beautiful farmhouse wood wall organizer for your office, mudroom, entryway, garage, or kitchen! This step by step DIY tutorial gives you all the details of how I built my organizer out of scrap wood! #AButterflyHouse #Organizer #WallOrganizer #DIY #DIYProjects #Tutorial #Mudroom #Farmhouse #FarmhouseDecor #ScrapWood

Take a look at how I assembled the mudroom, built the tool organizer on the right, and made the "Welcome Home" sign!

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How to Install Tile on Wavy Walls

Lets talk about my new house for a moment. It's one of those houses that people look at and say "oh! It has... character." And it does. At 108 years old, it has some really interesting features, and a number of things that I wish were different.

The number one thing I would change? The walls. Theoretically, they're plaster. However, at some point in the last 108 years, that plaster cracked. Various owners dealt with this in different ways. Some wallpapered. Others slapped joint compound over the crack and repainted, hoping nobody would notice. A couple walls are entirely covered with drywall. One room is coated in wall texture spray stuff to disguise abnormalities.

Needless to say, I'm nervous every time I have to do something to the walls. It's like a surprise project. Is the wall plaster? Plaster coated in drywall? Plaster covered with wallpaper and 3 layers of paint? Just drywall, because there apparently used to be a hole in the wall here? Nobody knows.

Adhering a subway tile backsplash to these walls was asking for trouble. I went for it anyway. Due to the fact I had already torn apart half the kitchen, I knew this was a plaster and drywall situation, with wallpaper in some spots but not all. 

DIY tips for installing subway tile backsplash in your kitchen even if your walls are wavy! #AButterflyHouse #Kitchens #Tile #Backsplashes #DIY #Projects #DIYProjects #SubwayTile

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!

Here's how I dealt with the fact my wall isn't at all level.

1) Smooth as much of the wall as you can first.

I don't mean call a contractor and have them come in and totally rework your walls. But I did try and get as much of the wallpaper and caulk off the wall before I started tiling. Additionally, I sanded the wall with a course sanding block to try and reduce any sudden bumps. 

2) Choose a smaller tile.

Any curves to your wall will be harder to disguise with a larger tile than a smaller tile. I choose to use this 3"x6" subway tile because it was cheaper, but a 2"x4" tile probably would have been better given my situation. That being said, I'm happy with the way my backsplash turned out, even with the larger tile.

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3) Choose a thicker grout line.

The tiles I purchased had built in 1/16" spacers. However, I didn't use them. Instead, I got 1/8" tile spacers and used those to space my tile instead. A larger distance between the tiles is more forgiving to waves in the wall, because it offers more flexibility for bumps and such. Therefore, I avoided the small grout line and used tile spacers to make my grout line larger.

DIY tips for installing subway tile backsplash in your kitchen even if your walls are wavy! #AButterflyHouse #Kitchens #Tile #Backsplashes #DIY #Projects #DIYProjects #SubwayTile

See the tile spacers between my tiles?!

4) Use tile adhesive to your advantage

Many of the bumps in my wall were smoothed out by the tile adhesive. This means that in some spots the tile adhesive was thicker than in others. This resulted in an ultimately smooth tile finish.

DIY tips for installing subway tile backsplash in your kitchen even if your walls are wavy! #AButterflyHouse #Kitchens #Tile #Backsplashes #DIY #Projects #DIYProjects #SubwayTile

All in all, my backsplash is finished, and you cannot tell that my wall is actually a wavy mess. Success! 

DIY tips for installing subway tile backsplash in your kitchen even if your walls are wavy! #AButterflyHouse #Kitchens #Tile #Backsplashes #DIY #Projects #DIYProjects #SubwayTile
DIY tips for installing subway tile backsplash in your kitchen even if your walls are wavy! #AButterflyHouse #Kitchens #Tile #Backsplashes #DIY #Projects #DIYProjects #SubwayTile
DIY tips for installing subway tile backsplash in your kitchen even if your walls are wavy! #AButterflyHouse #Kitchens #Tile #Backsplashes #DIY #Projects #DIYProjects #SubwayTile
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How I Added a Pull-Out Towel Rack to My Kitchen

Good news: my kitchen is almost functional! The cabinets are in, the countertops are finished and installed, and the sink/faucet works and is leak free! However, yesterday I got this depressing phone call from Lowes to inform me that my appliances had been delayed. Boo. So at the moment, my kitchen looks like this:

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And this:

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See that nice cabinet where I'm corralling all of the tools? Organized, right?

More important to this post, is this nice gap here:

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This gap is 28" wide, and will ultimately house the dishwasher. However, my dishwasher (like most) is only 24" wide. That means I have four extra inches. Now, I could just stick a cover panel over the space, and call it a day, but since my appliances were delayed, and I have the time to build something, I figured I should probably make this space functional.

One of the many times I was procrastinating my life and browsing Houzz.com, I saw this awesome pull-out towel rack. I knew something similar would be perfect for this space, being next to the sink and all. 

The pull-out towel rack in the picture above sits in an open alcove. Looking at the other pictures of this kitchen, there appears to be a similar symmetric gap (and possibly another towel rack) on each side of the sink, making the gap look intentional. Given that I only had one gap, I thought it would look strange if I left it open, so I designed my towel rack to have a front to it. This means that I can't put anything too wet on my towel rack, since there's not a lot of air to dry the towels back there, but that's a trade-off I'm willing to make.

Make your kitchen more organized and functional with a DIY Built-In Towel Rack next to your sink! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement #Kitchen #TowelRack #BuiltIns #Organization #Storage #Tutorial #HowTo

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!

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The Pull-Out Towel Rack
Materials

- 3 1/2" piece of MDF, cut to 30"
- Two pieces of 1/2" by 17" plywood*
- Two pieces of 1/4" Plywood, 30" and 24" long*
- 1/2" and 3/4" wood screws*
- Wood Glue
- 2 Corner Braces*
- Paint that matched my cabinets
- Amazon Basics 14" Drawer Slides (One pair)
- Swivel Towel Bar

*A bunch of the things I chose to use because I had them around the house, similarly sturdy fasteners or wood could be used.

Step 1: Prepare the Front

I have Ikea Grimslov (off white) cabinets, so I chose MDF to make up the front of the pullout because I thought it was the best match for my cabinets texture-wise. However, I was a little concerned about the sturdiness of MDF; I was worried the towel rack would eventually fall off, or the connections between the drawer slide pieces and the front might come loose. So I wood-glued and screwed a piece of 1/4" plywood to the back to add support.

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I clamped the two pieces together while the glue was drying. Yes, the plywood piece is not as wide as the MDF. I got lazy, and didn't want to cut a new piece...

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I added six screws total, two on the bottom, two on the top, and two in the middle. Be careful that the screws aren't where you intend to put your towel rack!

In order to get paint that matched the rest of the cabinets, I took an uninstalled drawer front to Lowes and had them make a sample-sized paint match. I then painted the piece. I really only needed to paint the front, but I decided to paint the back (and the pieces of plywood in step 2) as well to give the wood some protection from damp towels. I also added the knob at this point so that later I didn't accidentally attach something else (the towel rack, the drawer slides, etc) where the knob needed to go.

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The front piece painted and ready to be installed!

Step 2: Prepare the Sides

The ancient kitchen that I ripped apart a month or so ago had pretty grimy 1/2" plywood shelves in all of the cabinets. Thus, I had a nice stack of used-to-be-shelves sitting in the basement.

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I cut two 3 1/2" pieces off (no particular reason for 3 1/2", they could have been 4" or 3" or something else, I suppose,) giving me two pieces 3 1/2" wide by 17" long. My drawer slides were 14", and the pieces really didn't need to be longer than that, but why make extra cuts when I didn't have to? My pieces therefore remained 3 1/2" by 17".

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I sanded off the grime and then painted the pieces white, once again to add protection from any damp towels. Finally, on one end of each piece, I drilled Kreg jig pocket holes so I could later attach the pieces to the front piece.

Note: If you don't have a Kreg jig, because things are expensive, you might be able to still do this with only corner braces. Get super sturdy ones, and give it a shot. That being said, I've found my Kreg Jig super useful for all sorts of things that I didn't initially purchase it for (like installing the butcherblock countertops). And you don't need a fancy one; this one is much less, and will get the job done.

Make your kitchen more organized and functional with a DIY Built-In Towel Rack next to your sink! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement #Kitchen #TowelRack #BuiltIns #Organization #Storage #Tutorial #HowTo

The Amazon Basics Drawer Slides (and probably most drawer slides) separate into two main pieces, one which attaches to the side of the cabinet, the other which attaches to the drawer side.

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I attached the "Drawer" piece of the slide to each of the plywood pieces on the opposite side from the Kreg jig holes, as shown below. I also checked that the drawer slide piece was level (with a level..)

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Step 3: Assemble the Frame

I wanted the front piece to be flush with door of the sink cabinet next to it. In order to make sure that happened, I reattached the two drawer slide pieces together so that the entire piece of plywood was attached to the drawer slide. Then I held the front piece where I wanted it to go, and placed the plywood piece accordingly. I took down the front piece and marked with a pencil where the front of the drawer slide was.

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I then separated the two drawer slide pieces, and attached the cabinet piece so that the front just came up to the line I had drawn. Before putting in the 2nd and 3rd screws, I checked that the slide was level.

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I reattached the two drawer pieces to each other, which attached one of my plywood pieces to the cabinet side.

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Then I held my front piece in place, and screwed my Kreg Jig screws into place. These were strong enough to temporarily hold the front in place while I repeated these steps for the bottom piece of plywood.

Make your kitchen more organized and functional with a DIY Built-In Towel Rack next to your sink! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement #Kitchen #TowelRack #BuiltIns #Organization #Storage #Tutorial #HowTo
Step 4: Reinforce the Frame

As built so far, the towel rack frame operates properly. However, I (aka, my dad) had some concerns about long-term operability in two different places.
1) The Kreg Jig screws went through the edge of the plywood, which is the weakest part of the plywood. Therefore, it would improve stability if the joints were reinforced.
2) The two pieces of plywood were only connected by the front piece. They would operate better and be less strained if they were connected at the back end of the pieces as well.

I therefore reinforced the plywood to front piece joint using a single 1 1/2" corner brace on each piece.

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I also added a 1/4" piece of plywood that spanned the length between the two plywood sides to help add stability. I attached it with wood glue and 1/2" wood screws.

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Step 5: Add the Towel Rack

The towel rack I ordered came with absolutely no instructions, which was honestly fine since I wasn't installing it in a traditional manner anyway. Basically, there were two holes in the towel rack intended for screws, so I just screwed the rack into my front piece with some 3/4" screws and called it a day.

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I was a little disappointed that the towel bars can't swing toward the sink because of the reinforcement piece in the back. I could've redone it so that they could swing either way (and I guess I still could), but it didn't seem worth the effort. Moral of the story: Measure!

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Cost Considerations

I paid around $40 total for the towel rack, drawer slides, MDF and paint. Definitely more expensive than a traditional towel rack, but certainly cheaper than hiring a pro to come and install a built-in pull-out towel rack! And I used my little 4 inches effectively! I'll take it!

Make your kitchen more organized and functional with a DIY Built-In Towel Rack next to your sink! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement #Kitchen #TowelRack #BuiltIns #Organization #Storage #Tutorial #HowTo
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How I Installed My Butcherblock Countertops

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!

I'm pretty sure there are hundreds of posts on DIY butcherblock countertops. I would know. I read them all before I started. So I'm not going to go into the nitty gritty of where I bought them (Menards), if I stained them (yes, Minwax Early American), how I sealed them (three coats of Waterlox Original), or how I cut the sink hole (I followed the sink installation directions.) 

What will I talk about? How I secured them to the cabinets. 

As mentioned above, I read hundreds of posts about DIY butcherblock countertops. Not a single one talked about how they secured the countertop to the cabinets. So I made it up. I figured I couldn't go too wrong, since the main goal here is to make sure the countertop couldn't move around. 

Maybe that's why nobody wrote about it? Securing countertops is too easy! (or boring, more likely...)

First thing to note: my cabinets were all from Ikea, but my butcherblock was not (primarily because Ikea doesn't seem to sell true butcherblock anymore.. bummer.) The Ikea cabinets are all supported on top by a metal rail running the width of the cabinet. These little rails have holes already punched in them, I suspect to aid in countertop installation. But since I did not purchase an Ikea countertop, I'll never truly know.

All the details of how I secured my Menards butcherblock countertops to my Ikea cabinets during my complete kitchen remodel. #AButterflyHouse #Kitchens #Countertops #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement #Butcherblock

You can't see from this picture, but the rails have these convenient holes pre-punched in them.

Regardless of what the little holes in the metal rails are actually intended for, I used them as the first mechanism to secure the countertop to my cabinet. Anywhere there was a hole, I added a screw. If there was a space between the rail and the countertop, I also added a shim so that the rail wouldn't bend up to the countertop when I added my screw.

All the details of how I secured my Menards butcherblock countertops to my Ikea cabinets during my complete kitchen remodel. #AButterflyHouse #Kitchens #Countertops #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement #Butcherblock

This is what the rail/shim/countertop looked like from the bottom side right before I added a screw.

This was a great (and easy, thanks Ikea!) start to securing the countertop, but since there were only four holes in most of the cabinets, I didn't want this to be the only way the countertop was secured. So I turned to what is quickly becoming my favorite new fastener, the Corner Brace!

All the details of how I secured my Menards butcherblock countertops to my Ikea cabinets during my complete kitchen remodel. #AButterflyHouse #Kitchens #Countertops #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement #Butcherblock

In the corner of every cabinet, I added a corner brace. Additionally, I added a brace on each corner of the space left open for the dishwasher. In total, each cabinet had 4 corner braces and 4 "rail" screws. After I finished, I felt very confident that my countertop wasn't going anywhere soon.

All the details of how I secured my Menards butcherblock countertops to my Ikea cabinets during my complete kitchen remodel. #AButterflyHouse #Kitchens #Countertops #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement #Butcherblock

You might notice one of the holes against the countertop doesn't have a screw... I couldn't fit my drill driver into the space, so I made the executive decision that one screw would probably be fine.

All the details of how I secured my Menards butcherblock countertops to my Ikea cabinets during my complete kitchen remodel. #AButterflyHouse #Kitchens #Countertops #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement #Butcherblock

Other people on the internet also appeared to go through the hassle of connecting the two countertops together. Many of them had some sort of fancy bolt fastener thing that required a router to install. Oh, no, no. I don't own a router, and I'm one of those people who put off purchasing more things until absolutely necessary. So I used a Kreg jig to add pocket holes to the edges of the countertop that line up, and then used Kreg jig screws to connect the two countertops together.

Special Note: This is just one of the many, many times my Kreg jig has come in handy. I love having it around, and if you decide to purchase one, I'm sure you'll use it for many things. I have this one, but if you have a tight budget, this smaller one will get the job done for much less.

All the details of how I secured my Menards butcherblock countertops to my Ikea cabinets during my complete kitchen remodel. #AButterflyHouse #Kitchens #Countertops #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement #Butcherblock
All the details of how I secured my Menards butcherblock countertops to my Ikea cabinets during my complete kitchen remodel. #AButterflyHouse #Kitchens #Countertops #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement #Butcherblock
All the details of how I secured my Menards butcherblock countertops to my Ikea cabinets during my complete kitchen remodel. #AButterflyHouse #Kitchens #Countertops #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement #Butcherblock

Overall, I am thrilled with how the countertops turned out. I'm one of those people who's been dreaming of owning butcherblock counters for years, so it probably would've been difficult for me to hate them, but still! They're lovely, and I'm so excited for the day when the kitchen is finished and I actually get to use them!

Update: The kitchen is finished! Check out the before and after!

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All the details of how I secured my Menards butcherblock countertops to my Ikea cabinets during my complete kitchen remodel. #AButterflyHouse #Kitchens #Countertops #DIY #DIYProjects #HomeImprovement #Butcherblock
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Should You Install Your Own Ikea Kitchen?

When I was planning out my kitchen remodel and decided on Ikea (Sektion) cabinets, I didn't even consider hiring an installer. "It's Ikea," I thought to myself. "How hard can it be?" When the cabinets actually arrived (a month later...) and I started researching how to install them, I realized how foolish that thought was. There were 81 unorganized boxes invading my living room and despite all of my internet research, I had no idea where to actually start. Eventually, though, I figured it out, and a week and a half later the cabinets are officially installed.

I, a 20-something, not super strong female, installed the cabinets almost entirely by myself. I would love to tell you that this is proof anyone can do it. It's not. But, if you have some basic tools and are at least a little bit handy, you can probably manage. Read on to find out exactly what you'll need.

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1) Physical Tools

You know you've left typical Ikea-world when installation requires real power tools. I used a corded drill to drill pilot holes in the cabinets the few times Ikea did not have a pre-drilled hole, a cordless drill/driver pretty much every time a screw appeared, and a jigsaw to cut holes for plumbing fixtures into my sink cabinets. You could go out and purchase these tools if you don't already have them, but consider this: the installation of Ikea cabinets is time-consuming and intricate, and therefore probably not the best project to learn how to use a new tool on. If you don't already have these tools available, you're probably better off hiring a pro. That being said, I go out and buy new tools for complex projects all the time, so I'm a bit of a hypocrite for giving that advice.

Don't know whether to DIY your IKEA Kitchen Cabinets? Let this guide help you decide! #AButterflyHouse #IKEA #Kitchen #DIY #IkeaKitchen
2) Handiness Skill

If you're going to be installing more than two cabinets, be prepared for things to go wrong. Some of the things I encountered: I couldn't find the studs in the wall, the studs I could find were too far apart, the walls were wavy, the cabinet frames didn't line up after being placed on the rail, I put a dowel rod in the wrong spot... the list goes on. Nothing was unfixable, but I had to have the experience and skill to know what to do when I encountered these difficulties. If you've never done a DIY project before, this probably isn't the place to start.

Don't know whether to DIY your IKEA Kitchen Cabinets? Let this guide help you decide! #AButterflyHouse #IKEA #Kitchen #DIY #IkeaKitchen
3) An Occasional Helper

On the very first page of every cabinet's instructions, Ikea, in their pictorial language, says to assemble and install the cabinet with at least two people. I somewhat agree: I could not have installed these cabinets completely by myself. Hanging the larger wall cabinets on the rail would have been impossible for me to do alone. Luckily, my 71 year-old mother was visiting. If you are imaging a mobile and spry elder as my mother, change your mental picture. My mother is one of those 71 year-olds who carries a fold-able emergency cane in her purse, and orders a wheelchair when she goes to the airport. Despite this, together we were able to heft the larger wall cabinets onto the rail. 

This was the only time I needed to involve my mother. Everything else I was able to do myself. So while you will need a helper at some point during the process, it's not a requirement for the entire duration of installation.

Don't know whether to DIY your IKEA Kitchen Cabinets? Let this guide help you decide! #AButterflyHouse #IKEA #Kitchen #DIY #IkeaKitchen

Here we are, at the airport!

4) Time

If you're thinking this is going to be a weekend project, think again. Maybe, if you have two people, and the demolition (taking out the old cabinets) is already done, and you work fourteen hour days, maybe you could get this done in a weekend. Maybe. But it took me ten eight-hour days to get all of the cabinets fully installed. Yes, that's right. Ten days. That is ten days without a kitchen, ten days of constant physical labor, ten days of waking up knowing I'm going to spend the day installing more cabinets. Ten days. Basically, each step took two days: Two days of assembling cabinets, two days of hanging/securing the rails, two days of hanging/leveling wall cabinets, two days of hanging/leveling base cabinets, two days of shelves/doors/drawer installation.

If you have two people, some of these steps might go significantly faster (hanging and leveling anything, really), but it will still be a significant time commitment. 

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The Pros and Cons of Plywood Floors

I put my plywood floor down in the kitchen about 2 months ago. Since then, I've installed cabinets, appliances, and a new tile backsplash in the kitchen, so the floors have seen some action. I would love to tell you I love them, and I do, a little bit. But not enough to start covering my whole house in plywood. I have very mixed feelings, and I thought my opinions could be useful to those of you trying to decide if this is a project worth tackling.

Don't put down DIY plywood floors without reading this! All the good and bad things after two months of plywood floors in my kitchen! #DIY #HomeImprovement #PlywoodFloors #Plywood #AButterflyHouse

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The Pros of Plywood Floors
1) Price

I planned for around 192 square feet of flooring (my kitchen is small!!) Knowing that, here's how my kitchen priced out compared to other options. Note that in the table below, I compare my actual cost (the Plywood column) to the lowest laminate and hardwood costs I could find (between Home Depot, Lowes, and Menards) at posting. Menards had sales going on for both laminate and hardwood flooring, making them the easy winner.

Plywood
Laminate
Hardwood
Floor Material
Adhesive
Stain

N/A

N/A

Finish

N/A

Installation Kit

N/A

N/A

Total

$263.42

$177.17

$445.09

Some things to note from the table above: the very cheapest laminate flooring still prices out below the plywood. Now, I hate laminate flooring, so I didn't even consider it an option, but if you're less opposed to laminate, price-wise you're not saving money by going with the plywood.

The other takeaway here is that plywood is almost $200 cheaper than the cheapest hardwood. So if you're like me and hate laminate with a passion, plywood floors are a good way to get the hardwood look for less.

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2. Ease of Installation

I called the Home Depot pro desk in advance and asked if they were able to rip 4'x8' pieces of plywood into strips for me; they said yes, had me order the plywood online, and had the planks ready for me in a few hours. It was fantastically easy, and meant that the hardest part of DIY plywood floors (cutting down the plywood) was taken care of for me.

As a result, my job was just to sand the boards, place them on the floor, glue/nail them down, and stain/finish the floor. While it took me two days to lay out all the boards and cut the small pieces to size, there was absolutely nothing difficult about it. Every part of the installation was something I was familiar with already as a DIY-er (sand, cut, glue, nail, stain+finish, done.) While I've never installed laminate or hardwood floors, the process looks at least a little more complicated.

3. Flexibility

You can do literally anything you can imagine with plywood floors. Want to paint them? Go for it! Stain? Yep. Stencil? Sure. Want squares instead of planks? Totally do-able. Don't like what you did in two years? No biggie, you can put another floor type on top of it. Plywood has the ultimate flexibility, which is part of what makes it a great budget floor type.

The Cons of Plywood Floors
1) Durability

This is the number one biggest con, and despite what all of the bloggers of the world say, it is an issue to be concerned about. My floors have been in place for two months. Admittedly, I've been a little rough; I've installed cabinets, appliances, and tile backsplash in that time. However, there are already visible scratches on the floor. Here's the most obvious one:

Don't put down DIY plywood floors without reading this! All the good and bad things after two months of plywood floors in my kitchen! #DIY #HomeImprovement #PlywoodFloors #Plywood #AButterflyHouse

There are other scratches as well; this one is particularly obvious because it's filled with some sort of black mark. I'm pretty sure I can get the mark out if I scrub enough (I intentionally left it so you could see the scratch,) but the dent is there to stay. Next summer, when both me and the cat are leaving for a couple days, I plan to put another layer of finish on, which might fill in the scratches. Regardless, my floors are proof that durability is a concern with plywood flooring.

2) Knots

If you're researching plywood floors, you're probably aware that plywood is made up of many thin layers of wood. The top layer is intentionally made pretty so that it can be displayed. You might also know that knots are the weakest point of wood; sometimes, depending on the wood, if you cut through a knot, the remainder of the knot just falls out.

In the case of plywood, any knots in the surface are less stable than the surrounding wood. On a number of my pieces, the center of knots would fall off the plywood, leaving a less-attractive center behind. See the picture:

Don't put down DIY plywood floors without reading this! All the good and bad things after two months of plywood floors in my kitchen! #DIY #HomeImprovement #PlywoodFloors #Plywood #AButterflyHouse
3) Sellability

You think your plywood floors are cool. And admittedly, future home-buyers are unlikely to identify your floors as plywood unless they're real flooring experts. However, home inspectors could very well identify the floors as plywood. I have heard rumors that this is not an approved floor type, and could hold up the sale of your house. Now, these are rumors; this hasn't happened to me or anyone I know. But when I was researching plywood floors, I made a note of this possibility and know in my mind that I may have to cover the floor with laminate before I sell.

Do you have plywood floors? Did I miss any pros or cons? Let me know in the comments below!

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How to Remove Peel and Stick Floor Tile

Peel and Stick tile seems to be every DIY decorator's best friend: it's inexpensive, easy to install, and looks good... most of the time. In my new home's kitchen, however, I was not a fan. Here's what I started with: 

Find out the easiest way to remove your peel and stick floor tile. # AButterflyHouse #Flooring #PeelAndStickTile #Demolition

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The tile darkened what was already a pretty dark kitchen, and as a part of my kitchen remodel, I wanted to replace the floor with something lighter. So the peel and stick tile had to go. But, we all hear about how easy peel and stick tile is to install, but is it easy to remove??

Spoiler alert: No.

I started with just a prybar and a hammer, and worked to pry the tiles off the floor. Did it work? Sure, if I wanted to spend the rest of my life breaking little pieces of tile off the floor. I quickly realized I needed a faster method; ideally one that pulled the tile off in a full piece.

So I did a bit of research, and learned that the adhesive holding the tiles softens when heat is applied. Since a hairdryer was one of the few things I had already unpacked, that became my preferred method of heat application. 

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How to Remove Peel and Stick Tile
Materials

- Hair Dryer
- Hammer
- Small Pry Bar​
- Baking Soda

Step 0: Prep

I feel misleading calling the prep work a step for this project; it took all of 3 minutes. I removed any materials that were on top of the tile, aka, the AC grate and the transition strips that the previous owner had put at all of the doorways. About halfway through, I also removed all of the cabinets, but I only did that because I was getting new cabinets, and planned to install my new floor under those cabinets. The peel and stick tile didn't actually continue under the cabinets.

Step 1: Warm Up the Tile

The warmer you can get your tile, the easier it will be to remove. I used a hairdryer to do this, since it was easily accessible, although I've also read that using your iron is also a possibility. I imagine if you put a towel down over the tile (so you don't melt the surface of the tile and end up with a giant mess) and then iron, it would heat the tile hotter and faster than my hairdryer method. If you try/tried this, please let me know in the comments below; I really want to know how it goes!!

As I mentioned, I heated my tile with a hairdryer. I put the hairdryer on high, and held it about an inch above the tile. Holding it closer better warmed the tile (yay!), but overheated my hairdryer, since a bunch of the hot air was forced back into the motor (boo.) This a) wasn't good for my hairdryer, and b) meant I had to stop and wait for it cool down, so I tried not to hold the hairdryer to close to the tile.

Find out the easiest way to remove your peel and stick floor tile. # AButterflyHouse #Flooring #PeelAndStickTile #Demolition

I held the hairdryer about an inch above the tile as to not overheat the hairdryer. Typically moving the hairdryer around the tile for about 30 seconds was enough to heat it up sufficiently.

Step 2: Pry Up a Side
Find out the easiest way to remove your peel and stick floor tile. # AButterflyHouse #Flooring #PeelAndStickTile #Demolition

Starting at a corner, I worked the pry bar under the tile, using my hammer to push it further under when necessary. I moved down one side with the pry bar, with the goal of lifting that one side far enough off the floor to be able to grab on to it with my hands. I have this prybar set, and the largest bar was perfect for this project. Additionally, the set has been everything I've ever needed for all of my demolition projects, so if you're in need of a set, check it out!

Find out the easiest way to remove your peel and stick floor tile. # AButterflyHouse #Flooring #PeelAndStickTile #Demolition
Step 3: Pull the Tile

You have one goal when pulling up a piece of tile: get the tile up in one piece. If (when) you fail at this goal, you'll have a little piece of tile that is still well-stuck to the floor. For whatever reason, it seems significantly more difficult to get up the small pieces of tile than one large piece. It is annoying and time-consuming, so you're much better off trying to keep the tile in-tact.

Because of that, I found there was a right and a wrong way to pull the tile.

Wrong Way: Pulling up. On all the tiles where I pulled up (aka, at a 70 degree angle with the floor) the steep angle that I was pulling snapped my tile instead of lifting the remainder off the floor. I was left with part of the tile completely off the floor, and some of the tile still stuck to the floor, and these two pieces connected by the thin decorative layer (that rips off super easily.)

Right Way: Pulling toward myself. By pulling toward myself (aka, at about a 30 degree angle with the floor), there was enough pressure for the tile to slowly raise up, but not enough upwards pressure to snap the tile. 

Find out the easiest way to remove your peel and stick floor tile. # AButterflyHouse #Flooring #PeelAndStickTile #Demolition

This was the angle I pulled at that was successful. I also used both hands, but couldn't manage that while taking a picture!

Step 4: Lay Baking Soda

Once you remove the tile, there is a thin layer of adhesive that remains on the floor, and, as expected, it is super sticky. I didn't find that there was enough adhesive to make the floor bumpy and cause issues with the new floor I was going to install, so I didn't try to remove the adhesive. Instead, I just dropped handfuls of baking soda (which I buy from Costco in a giant size) on the floor, which stuck to the adhesive and hid the stickiness. 

Find out the easiest way to remove your peel and stick floor tile. # AButterflyHouse #Flooring #PeelAndStickTile #Demolition

After finishing the whole floor, I vacuumed up the baking soda before installing the new floor.

Step 5: Repeat (many times​​​​...)

The floor will eventually be gone, I promise.

Find out the easiest way to remove your peel and stick floor tile. # AButterflyHouse #Flooring #PeelAndStickTile #Demolition
Find out the easiest way to remove your peel and stick floor tile. # AButterflyHouse #Flooring #PeelAndStickTile #Demolition
Find out the easiest way to remove your peel and stick floor tile. # AButterflyHouse #Flooring #PeelAndStickTile #Demolition

Did you try to remove peel and stick tile? How did it go? Did you use the hairdryer method, the iron method, or something else? Please tell me- I'm sure there will be more peel and stick tile for me to remove in the future... like in the laundry room 🙂

Update: The kitchen is finished! Go check out the full before and after!

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Find out the easiest way to remove your peel and stick floor tile. # AButterflyHouse #Flooring #PeelAndStickTile #Demolition
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