Category Archives: DIY

How to Make DIY Herbal Hairspray

Pick Up Ingredients

  1. Purchase either brown or white sugar. The sugar will act as the adhesive element in your spray. While this may seem a little unconventional, the sugar should not attract bugs, bees or pests because you will be dissolving it in water and essential oils.
  2. Pick up essential oils. Select oils that not only smell nice, but oil that promotes hair growth such as orange, lemon, mint or rosemary. But of course any scent will work.
  3. Locate your tea kettle or a pan to boil water. You will need extremely hot water in order to dissolve the sugar.
    • Choose a large bowl to mix spray. Make sure the bowl can handle boiling water and will not shatter or crack.
  4. Find a spray bottle for hair spray delivery. Make sure you like the spray nozzle and pressure.
    • You may also need a small funnel to help you transfer the mixture from the bowl to the spray bottle.

How to Make a DIY Countertop

Steps

  1. Remove your old countertop. Work slowly and carefully to ensure that you do not wreck the cabinetry. The following are essential steps in effectively removing an old countertop:
    • Disconnect your plumbing. If your countertop is located in a kitchen, bathroom or utility area, you must ensure that you cannot have water leakage. Stop the water from its source.
    • Loosen the sink and other plumbing. You can use a putty knife and the help of a few friends. Remove these items when they are loosened.
    • Cut the caulk around the backsplash, if you have it. Use a utility knife to cleanly cut and strip away the caulk holding the backsplash in place. Place a putty knife next to the wall and use a crowbar to pry away the backsplash until it is removed.
    • Unscrew your countertop from the top, sides or underneath. Again, use a putty knife and crowbar (if necessary) to pry the countertop from the cabinetry. It is a good idea to have a number of people helping you so that you can do it gently and pull it away without dropping the counter or digging into the cabinets.
  2. Measure the counter with a measuring tape once it is removed. It will be far easier to take the dimensions once it is no longer connected to the cabinets. Take measurements of the width, length and depth before going to the hardware store.
  3. Decide what wood you would like to use. There are quite a few inexpensive options, but what makes sense for your home may be determined by the availability in your area.
    • Find reclaimed wood from a construction site or a construction recycling business. An old door will work as well. Find a piece of wood that is larger than your measurements, so that you can cut it down to size. You can also use several pieces and glue them together, as long as they are the same depth. Remember, if there are some imperfections, these can add to the charm of the wood, or it can be re-sanded in the refinishing process.
    • Find tongue and groove flooring from your local home improvement store. Many of these stores have sales every few months on wood that is overstocked. Buying enough tongue and groove flooring for a counter will be fairly inexpensive. If you choose to do this option, have the clerk calculate how much you will need based on your measurements. Also, you may want to leave your existing countertop in place and glue over the top, or install MDF or a thick plywood countertop in exact measurements before you use the flooring.
    • Order a piece of wood board from a hardware store. You can have a piece of wood in any type cut to the size you need at most home improvement stores. You will have the most control over what type of wood you want with this option, but it is likely to be more expensive if you choose a rare wood.
    • Choose a hard wood for this project. Soft wood will mark easily and be less durable over time. Ash, hard maple, cherry, mahogany, oak, walnut and teak are all hardwoods. Oak is the most common material for making furniture. Pine is a soft wood that is commonly used with furniture, but you may want to choose yellow pine over white pine if you are opting to use a softer wood.
  4. Measure and mark your wood. Cut it to size with a circular saw, if this has not already been done at the home improvement store. If you are using tongue and groove flooring, you will need to cut the boards to desired lengths, taking into account how they fit together.
    • With flooring, 1 of your boards may need to be cut lengthwise in order to achieve your desired counter width. You may choose to use this board at the back of the counter to hide the unfinished cut.
  5. Sand your countertops with medium-grit sandpaper, if you want to remove imperfections. Finish it with fine-grit sandpaper. This is also not necessary with the tongue and groove option.
  6. Glue your wood pieces together with a very strong wood glue. Liquid nails will work well for tongue and groove flooring and gluing together separate pieces of panel. It is important to glue the separate pieces of wood together, rather than gluing the board directly to the cabinets.
  7. Continue gluing each piece of wood together, until it is perfectly fitted. Wipe away excess glue throughout the process with a clean cloth.
  8. Place large clamps across panels to hold them together. Place heavy objects on top of the wood so that they do not bow while drying. Allow them to dry according to glue bottle directions.
    • Try to space your clamps out evenly. This will create an even hold in all areas.
  9. Attach the homemade countertop to the cabinetry with finish nails. These small nails are usually applied with a hammer, but a nail gun can be used for larger projects. Make sure to space them at regular intervals, approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch (0.3 to 0.6cm) from the edge of the counter.
  10. Re-sand any areas that are uneven with fine grit sandpaper. This will also help to affix the stain. Wipe the surface with a tack cloth before staining.
  11. Apply wood pre-stain. This is a water-based product sometimes called “conditioner.” You will want to take extra time when finishing the countertop to ensure it is ready for use.
  12. Apply a wood stain in the color of your choice. You can apply it with a foam brush or a cloth. Repeat another coat once dry to achieve a darker color.
  13. Apply a polyurethane topcoat. Use between 2 and 5 coats, allowing it to dry according to the package directions.

How to Build a DIY Picture Frame Shelf

Making a Gallery Ledge Shelf

  1. Gather your supplies. The gallery ledge shelf is a small sill that you can attach to a wall and then present your pictures on. 1×4 boards form the base and back of this shelf, and a 1×2 board will create a lip to keep pictures from falling or slipping free. In all, you’ll need:
    • 2-inch screws (5 cm)
    • 8-foot (2.44 m) long 1×2 board
    • 8-foot (2.44 m) long 1×4 board (x2)
    • Clamps (optional)
    • Drill (and screw drill bit)
    • Level
    • Pencil (optional; recommended)
    • Pocket hole jig (optional)
    • Ruler/tape measure (optional)
    • Saw (optional)
  2. Get your work area ready. You’ll need a flat, open work space to work efficiently. Your work bench/table should also be sturdy so it doesn’t wobble during your shelf construction. Remove any obstacles or potential tripping hazards, like unused equipment and electrical cords.
    • If you plan on painting or staining your shelf, you should do so in a well ventilated area. Choosing a well ventilated place, like an open garage, for your work area will prevent you having to relocate later when painting or staining.
    • As part of your preparation, you may want to cut your boards down to size. The width of your shelf is customizable to your needs, so long as all boards are cut to the same length.
  3. Drill pilot holes for easier fastening. By using a drill bit slightly smaller than the width of your screws, you can drill “pilot holes” to guide your screws and prevent splitting in the wood. For an 8-foot shelf:
    • Measure and mark four holes at regular intervals along the face of both long, thin sides of a 1×4, with each hole a quarter inch (6.35 mm) from the bottom edge. Then, drill a shallow pilot hole at each mark.
    • Position your undrilled 1×4 so it stands upright on its long, narrow edge. A quarter inch (6.35 mm) inward from the bottom of the long, narrow edge, measure, mark, and drill four more holes at the same increments as your first 1×4.
    • Position your 1×2 so it stands upright on its long, narrow edge. A quarter inch (6.35 mm) inward from the bottom of the long, narrow edge, measure, mark, and drill four more holes at the same increments as your 1x4s.
  4. Drill pocket holes for a more finished look. Pocket holes are drilled into a flat surface on an angle so the fastener, in this case a screw, passes through a board to emerge at a 90° angle (forming an L shape) with a flat face of the board. This kind of hole will be a less noticeable way of connecting the 1×4 back and the 1×2 lip of your shelf to the 1×4 base of the shelf. First:
    • Measure and mark four pocket holes at regular intervals along both long sides of a 1×4 so that each hole is ½” (1.27 cm) from the edge.
    • Adjust your pocket hole jig so the hole you drill emerges at a 90° angle (forming an L shape) to the face of the long, narrow side, and is ¼” (.64 cm) from the bottom edge.
    • Use a pocket hole jig to drill holes at the marks on your 1×4 so the screws emerge at a 90° angle (forming an L shape) to the face of the long, narrow sides of the 1×4.
    • The 1×4 with holes in the long, narrow faces will form the base of your shelf. At the holes, your other 1×4 will attach to the back as a mount, and the 1×2 to the front as a lip.
  5. Align and fasten your 1×4 boards. Lay flat the 1×4 with holes drilled along the middle of both faces of its long, narrow sides so that the holes of both sides are accessible, with a quarter inch (6.35 mm) of wood separating each hole from your work surface. Orient your second 1×4 so it stands on the long, narrow edge where you’ve drilled holes. Then:
    • Line up the 1x4s evenly so that an L shape is formed between the flat and upright boards. The pilot holes, having been drilled at the same increments, should also align.
    • Take a screw and place it onto the screw bit of your drill. Push the screw lightly into the pilot hole, so the tip sinks into the wood and steadies the screw.
    • With your free hand, realign the boards, if necessary, so that both are even, then hold the boards firmly to prevent them from slipping while screwing.
    • Hold the drill at a 90° angle to the board so it forms an L shape, apply moderate pressure to the drill, and slowly press the drill’s button until the screw is flat against the board and fastens both boards together. Repeat this for each of the four holes.
  6. Attach your 1×2 board. Take your 1×2 and stand it on the long, narrow edge along which you drilled holes. Align it with your flat 1×4 so that the ends are even. The holes drilled in both the 1×2 and 1×4 should align, and the 1×2 and 1×4 should form an L shape. Then:
    • Place a screw onto your drill bit and push the tip of the screw lightly into a pilot hole on your 1×2. Make sure both boards are aligned with your free hand, then use that hand to hold the boards together firmly.
    • Hold your drill at a 90° angle to the board so it forms an L shape, apply moderate pressure to the drill, and slowly press the button until the head of the screw is flat with the wood and fastens the two boards together. Repeat this for all four holes.[
  7. 7 Add personal touches, if desired. Your shelf is all put together, but you may want to add some paint or staining to give your shelf a nice, finished look. One of the benefits of building your own shelf is that you can choose a color or stain that matches your home decor.
    • Even if you don’t consider yourself much of an artist, you can make simple spray paint stencils and use these to create cool designs on your shelf.
  8. Hang your shelf and display your pictures. For the safest installation of your shelf, you should find stud(s) in the wall where you plan to hang your shelf. Studs will be more stable and prevent your shelf from pulling free of the wall. Then:
    • Measure and mark where on the wall’s stud(s) you will attach the back of your shelf (the upright 1×4). For an 8-foot shelf, you should have two opposite side stud anchors (one on the right of the shelf, one on the left, for example). Each anchor should have two to four screws connecting the back of the shelf and wall.
    • You should always check the levelness of your shelf with a carpenter’s level before screwing in any screws.
    • Hanging a shelf incorrectly can result in an unsightly slant. Having a second set of hands to help can prevent these kind of errors.[