The latest installment of Fix-It February: tackling cabinets and closets.
This is less of a how-to post and more intended to inspire you to get out that screwdriver and fix your own crooked doors and loose wall hooks. Maybe even climb on a ladder in your closet and install some battery-powered LED lights so that you can get dressed in the dark of winter? Because that was a pretty fun project.
Cabinets: I have the kind of kitchen cabinet hinges that snap apart (with a bang) when the screws get loose. They’re easy to fix, and I took a few extra minutes this time to go around the kitchen and tighten all the screws so there are fewer loud, scary noises in the future.
I also deputized some drywall expansion screws (Twist-N-Lock) to fix this curtain hook that was falling out of the wall. Don’t know why it took me two years to think of that solution, but it definitely did the trick. These hooks hold back the curtain doors of my master bedroom closet…
…which was also the site of some new LED lights. Eventually I’d like to have the closet wired for real lights, but these help well enough for now. If you can drill pilot holes and fill battery packs, you too can add remote-control-powered lights to your closet! I got this set on sale at my local ACE Hardware for just $15.
All together with some projects not worth photographing, I fixed or installed 8 things around the house in about two hours. Much speedier than I planned, leaving plenty of time to enjoy season 2 of House of Cards 😉
I’m a die-hard fixer of things I love … boots get re-heeled, shoes get re-soled, scuffed leather gets moisturized and polished. It’s no different with the architectural pieces of my house that can’t be so easily replaced as a pair of heels.
Take my kitchen cabinets. Custom-built mission-style wood that almost seems to glow from within (thank you, previous owners). And I love them to pieces.
Except for the worn and torn edges near the sink and stove. Most of the staining is from water (near the sink) and dry air (from the oven, and the house in general). Not the most inspiring thing to look at every time I’m at the sink:
But a few minutes with a soft cloth and a bottle of mineral oil, and everything looks as good as new.
I discovered mineral oil a few years ago when I was given a beautiful handmade wooden cutting board as a gift. Someone told me the best way to minimize the appearance of knife cuts on the board would be to treat it with mineral oil (available at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond or your hardware store). It’s food-safe and not only works like magic on minor scuffs and scratches but also restores the wood to its original color (without messing up the stain, if there is one).
So if you have a wooden cabinet, desk, chair or cutting board that could use some TLC, there you have it. My secret revealed.
I have a bee in my bonnet. And this is a good thing.
There are a handful of projects that I’ve been meaning to tackle since before I even moved furniture into the house.
finishing the edges and trim in the kitchen…
touching up paint mistakes in the basement…
and turning the garage into a truly usable space.
It’s time for me to get on those projects, my friends — plus a few others. I can’t tell you why (yet! maybe ever.) but there’s a reason and it’s a good one. And even if “it” never comes to pass, it is providing me exactly the motivation I need to finish some long-standing items on the to-do list.
Will you help? Encourage me with your comments, texts, phone calls and stories of your own DIY mis-adventures!
*Project name lifted directly from John and Sherry over at YHL
My recipe binders got a makeover recently, and I finished the final details today. No longer do I have to sort through piles of papers clipped from magazines or printed from blogs!
I’m posting this via phone from my cozy spot on the couch, and I don’t know how to caption photos… But it was a pretty straightforward transformation. Pretty, matching fabric binders from Office Max. Special section dividers that have pockets for the smaller recipes. Removable/movable section tabs in case I reorganize the sections down the road when I fill up the existing binders. Number stickers for the spines so that I can quickly identify them on the shelf (numbers are key — this way, I can add more binders easily, and not be tied to categories labeled on the binder. Right now, #1 is breakfast and appetizers, #2 is soups, salads and side dishes, #3 is main courses, #4 is desserts and #5 is drinks and misc. If I need to add a binder and spread out the sections into 1-6, it’s all the more simple to do so. At least, here’s to hoping…)
How do you organize loose-leaf recipes? Any tips to share?
Major house projects finished since I last posted to the blog: 0
Weekends spent in the kitchen and relaxing on the couch instead: 3
The big sprint to get the house in presentable shape before the party a few weekends ago left me a little wiped out… maybe I’ll have more motivation in August 🙂
But, in the meanwhile, here’s what I’ve occupied with lately:
More photos and recipes to come…
Remember when the kitchen looked like this?
A perfectly nice shade of green that just didn’t go with the rest of the house, sadly. But then I decided to paint it red
, and now I would almost forget it was ever another color if I didn’t have the photos to remind me.
For those of you who watched the transformation
unfold here on the blog last April, here are some updated photos from a family gathering last weekend:
all clean and ready to party
the second phase of our progressive dinner (phase one was at the Millers’ house down the street)
Aunt Debbie’s berry cobbler, including raspberries from the garden