DIY

DIY: Laundry Room Drying Rack

Monday, July 27th, 2009

For a long time, I have really wanted one of those drying racks from Ballard Designs.   You’ve seen them.  They’re so perfect in the laundry room for drying your delicate clothing.

 

I really wanted to save the money and build one myself.  I knew I could do it with the right supplies.  I even drew my own diagram on a napkin.  And I added knobs to the bottom of my design.

Here’s a look at the final result:

 diy laundry room drying rack

This is the perfect solution for drying all of my delicates!  I am so happy with the way it turned out – it is both pretty and practical.

How to Build a Laundry Room Drying Rack + Supplies:

  1. 2 x 2’ precut birch (1/2 inch thick)
  2. Two 1/2 x 2” poplar boards
  3. Two 3/8” dowel rods (48” long)
  4. Sash lock
  5. Narrow loose pin hinges (set of two)
  6. D ring hangers for mounting on wall
  7. Bracketed hinge for side (or chain with small screw eyes)
  8. Three white porcelain knobs
  9. Primer and paint of choice

 

Necessary tools:  Drill bit set, including 3/8 inch drill bit, screwdriver, framing nails, a hammer, and a saw.

 

Step One:  Measure and cut your 1/2 inch x 2 boards to fit the 2 x 2 precut birch.  Cut your dowel rods to fit inside your drying rack frame.

 

Step Two:  With your 3/8 inch drill bit, drill holes for your precut dowel rods.  Use a mallet to hammer dowel rods into predrilled spots.

 

Step Three:  Finish assembling your rack with framing nails.

 

Step Four:  Attach your pin hinges with a screwdriver.

 

Step Five:  Prime your wood drying rack, then paint with your color of choice.  I used a spray primer, then once it was dry, I applied Rustoleum’s Seaside Green to the back.  Once the back was dry, I covered it with newspaper, and painted the dowel rods and frame with Rustoleum’s Heirloom White.

 

Step Six:  If you want to make the sides of your inexpensive wood smoother, then use paintable wood filler (or wood putty) to fill in the uneven surfaces.  I use my finger to apply it.  Once the wood filler is dry, simply spray paint right over it.

 

 

Step Seven: When your paint is dry, attach your sash lock to the top of your drying rack.  It’s a good idea to drill pilot holes first when working with wood only 1/2 inch thick.  This way, when you drive your screws in, you have a much better chance of avoiding any visible split in your wood.

 

Step Eight:  Drill holes to attach your knobs to the bottom.

 

Knobs after:

 

 

Step Nine: Attach a hinged bracket, or a chain with screw eyes, to keep your drying rack at your desired angle when open.  Attach your D-ring hangers to the back, and hang on your laundry room wall.

What I like about this new drying rack is that I can dry all sorts of delicate clothing (*ahem* ladies, your lingerie…).

 

I added knobs to the bottom of my design so I can dry sweaters or other clothing right on the hanger.

 

It’s a solid wood piece, hung right on the wall studs, so I can even dry towels right on these knobs.

 

When open, it has four rungs for drying several layers of clothing:

When not in use, it folds up flush with the wall, with the help of the sash lock on top:

 

 

I purchased all of my wood and hinges at Lowes.  The total cost for the supplies for my drying rack was around $25 (not including paint and primer that I had in my supply closet).   Compare that to Ballard’s price of $89 for their small version (not including tax plus shipping).

2013 Update:  This drying rack is still working perfectly in the laundry room and definitely worth the effort since it’s used almost every day!

diy drying rack

 

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DIY: Jewelry Tree

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

I love branches, especially as accents and I once saw a designer spray paint gigantic branches in a hot coral color, and place them in an urn on top of a piano in a very grand living room, it was stunning.  While this look is a bit over the top for some, I have always wanted to spray paint branches to make them sculptural.  So I was pruning my wild oak tree last weekend.  It should be no surprise that I decided to use one of the Charlie Brown branches to make a jewelry holder.

Here’s a peek:

 

 

I was inspired by these versions available online by Urban Outfitters.

I really am a Pollyanna.  I like to hang sparkly things in front of windows and watch the light reflect throughout the room.  So I decided to make my own version of a jewelry tree with a few supplies I had in my garage.

Step One:  Find the right branch.  Nothing too flimsy, nothing too heavy.  Find a branch that has both interest and balance.  You have to be Goldilocks and find one that’s just right.  Pluck off all the leaves and allow it to dry out for a few days.

Here’s my wild oak branch Before:

Step Two:  Build your base.  I asked my mister to create a base by cutting some scrap alder wood.

Step Three:  Screw the wood together on the bottom, then drill a hole into the top of the base with a drill bit.   Use spackle or wood filler to fill in any seams or gaps in your wood.

Step Four:  Fill your hole with wood glue, stick your branch in the hole, and let it dry for 24 hours.  Give your base a light sanding.  If want a rustic quality, then consider painting only the base.  But if you want color, then give your branches a coat of primer.

Primer helps to seal the wood.  Allow it to dry.  Use whatever spray paint you wish to give your jewelry tree the color you desire.  One tip:  Get up really close to the branches when you spray so that it almost drips.  Don’t spray from far away – it’s pointless and you’ll waste a lot of paint.

To give my base more staying power, I anchored it to an old square mirror with some silicone rubber sealant.  Lighter earrings hang on the more delicate branches, while the bigger branches support your heavier necklaces or bracelets.  It’s a bit of a balancing game, but it’s fun nonetheless.

 

I love its sculptural qualities, its wintery whiteness, and its organic genesis.  And I also love the fact that it cost me nothing.  Now I hope you’ll be looking at tree branches in your yard or neighborhood with new interest.

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The Staircase Reveal: Part Two

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

I am overwhelmed at the positive response to yesterday’s post about the staircase remodel.  Thank you so much for your kind words. 

As you can recall from the ‘After’ picture, I not only redid the railing, but for additional drama, I added a wallpaper treatment to the very blank and boring wall. 

staircase after

Originally, I was going to play it traditional, and add plain white panels to the wall, with molding on top.  But I decided to kick it up a style notch, and add wallpaper panels instead.  It was more dramatic, and less expensive. 

Read the rest of this entry »

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