Quick DIY Bookshelf

I collect Nancy Drew books and have since I was a kid.  Not the new ones but the *vintage* ones.  I occasionally still re-read them and if you have any that you don’t want…send them my way…haha!!  No, seriously, send them to me.  😉

When I moved into my new office/craft space I wanted to have my Nancy Drew books out where I could see them.  We had some extra wood left over from the shelves we installed in the closet, admittedly I was the one *that* calculated wrong, so I asked the hubby to help me create a simple bookshelf and he obliged! 

We had two pieces of wood that were 50” each in length so we used those for the outside frames.  I knew that the bookshelf would be holding my Nancy Drew collection so we calculated the number of books and the number of shelves to figure out spacing etc.  We ended up with four 15” wide shelves.  Your measurements would of course vary depending on the wood that you are using.  The cuts would leave scraps but for me that’s just a bonus as I think of them as future craft projects.  🙂

We measured the wood and he cut it down for me.

cutting the wood
{ if you look close you can see him making sawdust…haha! }

Then *we* began building the frame.  I say we because I was holding the nails and taking pics.  Both of which I consider crucial to the outcome of the project.  😉

putting the frame together

framing

The frame is complete!

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My hubby hung the shelf from a tree so that I could spray paint it.

hanging the shelf in the tree

Now don’t ask me why I don’t have a pic of the bookshelf hanging from the tree.  I mean, my only two jobs, aside from spray painting, were to hold the nails and take pics.  Oh well..

Here is the finished product. I chose gold because I was actually painting something else gold (that blog post is coming soon!) and so I thought it would be fun to have something else in the office that was gold as well.

painted shelf

Here’s the wall where it will hang.

where it will hang

Here’s the hubby using his awesome hanging skills to hang the shelf for me.

measuring

And here’s how it looks!  I’m not really adding anything else to the shelf as it is actually behind the door that is never closed so no one will ever really see it.  Except y’all, who are reading this blog…haha!!  If you have any ideas on how to liven it up, I’m all ears.  I’m just smiling because I can see it from my desk so that makes me happy. 😉

the finished shelf

And that’s it!  Super easy peasy and we completed this entire project in one day. 

What projects have you completed lately?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Making over a footstool

It’s not like the stool was actually broken or anything.  It’s just that the bottom of the legs looked like this.

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And we have dark hardwood floors in the closet.  I am short so I need this stool to reach the top rods and didn’t want to risk the stool scratching the floor.

This was my temporary solution to that.

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Not quite the look I wanted in my closet so I thought that I’d add some felt to the bottom of the legs.  Sounds simple enough, right?

But first I have to tell you this.  When I turned over the stool I noticed it said this:

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I must say that anytime I hear or see the word, “Malaysia” I think of Zoolander and THIS SCENE,

Okay, back to my project. 

I turned the stool over to size the bottom of the legs.  Please disregard the current covering on my craft room stool (yes…it’s an old pair of shorts…I can only get to one project at a time…haha!!) and the pile of books on the floor.  The room is a work in progress.

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I figured out that the size of the bottom of the leg was approximately the same size as this paper die cut I just bought!  Hurray!!  This will make it faster and easier for sure.

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I had some felt that had adhesive on one side so all I had to do was press out four circles, right? 

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Wrong! 

As you can see at the top of the pic the die cut only worked on the peel away paper and not the felt material.  I then traced one of the washers I was using for another project and traced out 8 circles total.  I wanted to double up on the felt so there was enough padding between the bottom of the stool leg and the hardwood floor.

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After cutting the circles out I peeled off the adhesive cover.  I then applied a small amount of hot glue and put one circle on.  I waited just a couple of moments then put a little more hot glue on and then the second circle.  I repeated this for all four legs.

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It looks like it is going to work out just fine.  I am also going to apply the felt to the bottom of my laundry baskets so I can get rid of that bathroom rug that I am currently using. 

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Have you “fixed” anything around your house lately?  What projects are you working on?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

How to repurpose old Christmas cards

Old Christmas Card project

At Christmastime we get our fair share of Christmas cards and I never really know what to do with them at the end of the season.  Many of them are too pretty to just toss and of course we keep the ones that have pics of our friends and their families on them but there are many that I would like to repurpose in another way to enjoy them again.

In my craft closet I have many bins to separate my craft items.  Here are some cards that were in my paper craft box. 

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*If you notice on the right side you’ll see some paint samples.  Future project that I can’t wait to try. 

I decided to cut the cards down to reuse them for tags for Christmas presents.  Some of the cards just didn’t fit the project and others seemed to be made to be turned into something else!  I think they turned out pretty cute!

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What do you do with your old Christmas cards?  Do you have another fun way to repurpose them? 

(((hugs))) ~lisa

How to make wool dryer balls

I have several friends on facebook that are doing the “no chemicals” thing in their household.  They are making homemade cleaners etc. and it all sounds very interesting to me.  Plus they say that it is less expensive and I’ll all about that.  So I’ve already been kind of researching this subject when I was about to do laundry one day. 

We were out of dryer sheets and I naturally googled what I could use in it’s place.  Out of all the options I realized that I didn’t really have any of the ingredients needed to make a substitute dryer sheet.  I did see a way to make wool dryer balls which are supposed to cut down on drying time, thus saving us money, there are no chemicals in it and it is supposed to reduce static electricity among other things.  Sounded interesting so I put that on my project list. 

Keep in mind I will be saying *ball* a lot.  Every time I wrote the word I kept thinking, ha…you just said ball.  Juvenile I know but carry on.

Here’s what you need:

  • Wool yarn.  You need to use a yarn that 100% wool otherwise it won’t “felt”.  The amount will depend on how many you are trying to make.  I purchased one skein to do my test balls and it made two good sized balls. 
  • Old pair of pantyhose
  • A small crochet hook
  • Scissors

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After purchasing this I read that Fishermen’s Wool takes longer to felt.  I haven’t made the balls out of any other kind of wool so I cannot say for sure whether or not it’s true.

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I do know you have to be sure and get 100% wool.  Or you can use felting wool but I hadn’t heard of that before.  I purchased this for about $5.50 after my coupon so for two that comes out to $2.75 each.  Not too bad.  After a quick online search, it seems the cheapest you can purchase them for is a little over $5 each so I feel pretty good about that. 

Here’s how you do it:

Have you ever wound yarn into a ball?  Well that is pretty much what you will do to begin making your wool dryer ball. 

Start by wrapping the yarn around your fingers about 10 times. 

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I then start wrapping it around the opposite way. 

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I then folded that in half and then wound around that.  Keep winding until you have a ball the size you want.  According to the various sites I checked before making these, the balls can be any size that you’d like.  I tried to get two balls out of the skein I purchased. 

Once you have wound the ball to the size you want you then need to cut the yarn and pull it through several layers using a crochet hook.  I pulled it through one spot then pulled it through another for good measure.

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Next you need some old pantyhose and you are going to put the balls inside of it so they won’t unravel in the next steps. 

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Tie off the pantyhose so the balls are separate and won’t felt together. 

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You then place this in with your next load of clothes that you are going to wash on hot and “wash” them.  I think the point of that is to get them wet but I’m not entirely sure. 

Next, place them in the dryer with the load of clothes and dry.

I read that it could take anywhere from 4-5 times for the yarn to felt.  I checked after each washing but it wasn’t until the 4th cycle that I thought it looked felted enough.  You can tell by lightly scraping your fingernail over the yarn to see if it moves.  After the 4th time it didn’t move very much so I pronounced it finished! 

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I cut it open and was still nervous that it wasn’t felted enough but it held together.

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Yea!!  Ready to test out on my next load of clothes. 

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I washed a load of clothes today and when I threw the clothes in the dryer I tossed in the wool dryer balls.  I honestly can’t say if they dried faster as I didn’t really check but it did seem to reduce the static.  There was a tiny bit but not like it has been. 

You can also put a couple drops of essential oils on the balls to give it a scent but I haven’t tried that yet. 

**UPDATE**  There seemed to be static with some of my loads.  I read some more on that and they said if you have synthetic material clothing you  might want to consider drying that separately.  We now air dry those items and we haven’t had any more static issues.

**UPDATE** I stopped using these as they actually broke the baffles in my dryer.  And it seemed that the balls never fully felted.

How was your experience?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Easy drawer knobs makeover

So my hubby, aka Mr Awesome, painted the desk that we purchased off of Craigslist that went into my office.  The knobs were plain and I went to the store to purchase some newer ones.  Wouldn’t you know it, all the knobs I like were 8 bucks a piece!!  No way was I going to pay that.  So what did I do?  I bought some super cheap ones for about $.70 each and covered them with fabric. 

I gathered my supplies:

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  • Drawer knob, $.70 at my local hardware store
  • Fabric, $.80 and I clearly bought more than enough
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Mod Podge
  • Applicator

Basically I traced the lid of the Mod Podge onto the back of the fabric to get a circle larger than the face of the knob. 

I cut it out and then used the applicator to put some Mod Podge on the face of the drawer knob.  I placed the knob on the material and let it set for a few moments and then turned it and set it on the base and let it dry.

Next, I cut notches around the material that had since dried to the top of the knob, so when I glued those down they wouldn’t be too bulky.  I applied the Mod Podge and tucked the material around the knobs.  I then let those set until dry.

Now to attach them to the desk. 

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I think they turned out pretty good and I like how it pulls the color of the wall (True Turquoise by Glidden). 

When I mentioned above that they didn’t turn out perfectly here’s what I’m talking about.  On one of them it’s a little bit uneven on the underside.

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On another you can see the gaps in the material.

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All in all, for about $3, I’m very pleased with how they turned out. 

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Have you tried any DIY projects lately?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

We are bananas for you!!

I made a super cute little craft for my grandkids and nieces and I thought I’d share with y’all because it was so easy! 

You will need:

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Several boxes of Runts candy – Depending on how many you are making will determine the number of boxes that need to be purchased.  I bought 7 and it was enough to harvest enough to do 9 projects with 15 pieces of candy in each.  Now if someone tells me there’s a way to just buy the banana part that would be genius. 

Monkey stickers – the inspiration for this project came from this “I’m bananas for you” that I have on my Pinterest board – Cute and fun ideas to make.  If you take a peek you will see that my version will save you some time and possibly some sanity. 

See through pouches or sandwich bags – I opted for the little bags that you can find at most craft stores.  If I hadn’t had these on hand then I was going to use a sandwich bag and just tie it up an attach the card to that. 

White cardstock – I had these that are a fun shape but square cards would work just as well.

Ribbon – I bought a color that I thought would coordinate with my monkey stickers.

Hole punch – to punch out the holes to put the ribbon through

I laid out how I thought I would place the monkey sticker on the card

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I then wrote on the cards and determined where I wanted to place my holes for the ribbon.  I punched out the holes and placed it on the banana filled bag and marked where the holes were so I could punch them out. 

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For some reason when I put on the monkey stickers I placed them all the way in the corner and that resulted in some “empty” space that I’m not totally happy with. 

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And here’s how it all turned out!  I hope the grandkids and nieces like it!

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(((hugs))) ~lisa

Coffee Filter Craft

I came across several packages of unused coffee filters at work.  About 6 months prior I had thrown out about 8 packages so I knew that we weren’t going to use these either.  I decided to look up on Pinterest things that I could do with coffee filters.

As luck would have it there was a baby shower coming up at work and I stumbled upon a really cute garland made out of coffee filters, so BAM!  The decision was made.  I was going to try it.

Here’s what you need:

Coffee filters (you can get them super cheap at the dollar store or save them from being tossed at work like I did)

Food coloring

A pot of cold tap water

Glue gun

Here’s what you do:

Now I had read the instructions on several projects but when it came time to do it I decided to just wing it.  Well not totally wing it.  But I wasn’t following step by step either. 

I gathered the coffee filters, some red food coloring (my project was going to be pink for the baby shower), and a pot with cold water.

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I put some red food coloring, about 3-5 drops in the pot of cold water.  The amount of coloring you are adding depends on the coloring you are going for.  I was trying for a pinkish color. 

I then added all the coffee filters and let them soak for about 30 seconds.  I then wrung them out.  You can wring them out pretty good as they are not too flimsy.  You will want to get as much water out of them as possible to help with the next step. 

I then tried to just air dry them by leaving them spread out on the counter.  They were taking ::forever:: so I put them in the dryer.  Now I checked on them every 30 seconds or so until they were dry because I didn’t want anything catching on fire or something equally hazardous.  They dried really quickly that way.

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{I totally need to make sure the lighting is better for my pics!}

Next I took them individually and folded them in half then brought up the other two sides to make the beginning of a flower shape.

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After folding I stapled them at the bottom to hold them together.

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I then got out my glue gun and started to glue them into a white coffee filter.

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The original plan was to make a bunch of little flower balls but things didn’t go quite as planned.

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The flower didn’t look full enough to me.  Hmmm….not sure really what to do as the original plan also included gluing the two of the above flowers together but like I said, it was not looking as full as I was wanting it to.

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They look fine in the pic above (except for the lighting issues) as they look fluffy and like they would hold up  But when I tried to attach it to the ribbon I was going to hang it with they just looked kind of floppy.  And floppy was not the look I was going for. 

After some deliberation and multiple attempts at forcing them to look like some of the pics on the internet, I ended up just making a big flower ball and this is the finished product!

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So while in my mind it was going to be several much smaller flower balls I’m still pretty happy with how it turned out. 

Here is a pic of how it looked in the break room at work.  Notice how we took it old school with the decorations by adding the paper chain!

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  • What cool things have you created lately?
  • Have you ever taken something and re-used it in a different way? 

(((hugs))) ~lisa

 

Bacon and Eggs

Now this is a different type of bacon and eggs than you’re used to!  I actually got this recipe years ago when I worked at a Kwik Kopy (a franchise print shop).  A lady came in to make copies of this recipe to send to her relatives.  As I helped her make the copies, I asked her about it and she let me make a copy.  WoooHooo!!  And then, a few days later also brought me a sample…bonus!!  They were yummy and super easy to make and I wanted to share with all of y’all!

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To make your own very yummy bacon and eggs all you need is:

A bag of M&M’s (sorting out the yellow ones but of course other colors are fine too)

A bag of stick pretzels

Almond bark

Here’s how you make it:

Sort the M&M’s and put aside all the yellow ones.  You can also use the other colors too but for the “true bacon and eggs” I use yellow.

Arrange the pretzel sticks (this is the “bacon”) two by two on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Melt the almond bark (this represents the “egg whites”) and then spoon out teaspoonfuls onto the pretzel stick pairings/sets.  I usually do about 7-10 sets at a time so that the melted almond bark is still a little soft when I add the M&M’s.  

Next, add two yellow M&M’s (these are the “egg yolks”) onto the melted almond bark that is just beginning to firm up. 

You can put it in the fridge to set faster or just let them set naturally.  It’s a fun little treat that I hope you enjoy. 

I typically make this around Christmastime and no, I don’t have a reason for that it just seems to be when I do it. 

What fun things to eat have you made lately?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Crochet Bead Necklace

In my pursuit of all things crafty, I stumbled across a post about how to make a crochet bead necklace and knew I had to try it.  I mean, how hard could it be?

The materials you need to make this are some crochet thread, I used Aunt Lydia’s crochet thread in size Classic 10 (I clearly bought MORE than enough), a size B crochet hook, and some beads.

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First need to string the beads onto the thread.  I ran into some trouble trying to do this as the head of the needles I tried to use were too big for the opening of the smaller beads.  I resorted to getting out a needle threader and doing it that way.  Took a little longer but worked just fine. 

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Then begin with a simple chain stitch, I started with 10.  I then brought a bead up and did a chain stitch to anchor it.  I then crocheted 3 more chain stitches and then pulled another bead up.  I continued on until I had used all the beads.  

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I think it turned out pretty cute and it was super easy to make!

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Total cost of this project was $8.98. 

$2.99 for the thread and I obviously have a TON left over so you could purchase a much smaller amount.  I have this crafter’s fear of not having enough to complete the project and then if I go back to get more they won’t have what I need.  So yes, I overbought.  I spent $5.99 for the beads. I had a coupon for the thread so I got it for $1.79 at Michaels and the beads were on sale for $2.99 at Joanns so my total cost was $4.78.  I have some beads left over to make some earrings and a ridiculous amount of crochet thread for a future project. 

What crafts have you made lately?  Feel free to share!

(((hugs))) ~lisa

My necklace/bracelet jewelry holder

Who is addicted to Pinterest?  It’s okay…you can raise your hand…you are among friends here. 

I admit to having a slight addiction to Pinterest meaning that several times a day occasionally I will peruse all the boards and get lost in all the awesome things that I could create.  I was looking for a new way to hold my necklaces and bracelets so I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. 

I came across several ideas that would totally work and decided I could make one.  And when I say *I*, I mean my husband…haha!!  Here are some of the inspiration photos that I got off of Pinterest that got my creative juices flowing.

1 inspiration piece

I absolutely LOVE the hand doorknob in the pic above.  Isn’t it awesome?!  I couldn’t find it anywhere.  I even looked online so if you find it be sure and leave me a comment because even though the project is finished I will add that puppy somewhere in a heartbeat. 

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These two pics were cool looking but I wanted something larger and of course…more awesome! 

But first things first.  This is the way I used to store my necklaces.

2 how i used to store my jewelry

I know, I know.  Not very creative really, but I didn’t have a whole lot of options.  I give myself some credit for thinking to use the hangers but I admit it’s not the best solution. 

And here are my bracelets.

4 storing my jewelry

Stored neatly….well let’s just say stored in these nice plastic trays that I’ve had forever.  Thank goodness I found some cool photos to inspire me.

Because I wasn’t following an actual pattern or anything we figured we would start planning the layout to determine what size boards to purchase.

6 planning it out1

Trying to figure out the spacing was a little tough.  We measured and tried to space things out to make it look a like they were randomly placed but making sure there was enough room between the knobs for the necklaces and bracelets to hang. 

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If we ever did this project again, I would space the knobs a little differently.  Seems to be a little too much spacing between the bracelet knobs, but that is more of a design flaw and not on the part of the constructor as my hubby was laying it out as requested and he did a great job. 

7 layout complete - Copy8 laying out the knobs

After figuring out the dimensions, we purchased some 1/4” 2’x4’ MDF project panel board from Home Depot for around $15 including tax. 

I purchased knobs at Hobby Lobby (a local craft store in the area) in the clearance section for around $50 for 43 knobs.  You can find knobs at any home improvement store or craft/hobby shop.  I did find some really cool looking ones but they were $4 each!  Aaaccckkk!!!  I stuck with the knobs that were around $1 each. 

A buddy of mine gave me several door pulls and we used one on this project to hold some larger earrings that don’t fit in the containers I normally use.  I have plans to use the other door pulls for another project soon.  Be sure and check back and see what I’ve created. 

After purchasing the board Marvin did a test run to see how the knobs would work.

9 trial run  

Looks like it is going to work!  He adhered the knobs and he cut down the end of the screws on the knobs as they were made to fit drawers/cabinets and were too long. 

10 how does it look

I really liked how it was turning out.  Marvin then used some leftover paint from our master bedroom/bath remodel to paint the boards.

11 painting the boards

We gathered all the knobs and started attaching them to the boards. 

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We put it together and hung it up in our closet.  It looked close to what I had envisioned in my head but not quite there yet.

15 testing how it looks

Something seemed to be missing.

17 it needs something
Marvin thought it might look more “finished” if we put a frame around it.  He bought 3 strips of molding for around $3.70 each and cut them to fit the boards.  We then gave them to my dad because we needed clamps to hold the frame together while it dried.  My dad also let us know that they sell molding with a little ridge on the back that helps it make a better frame so you might want to ask at the home improvement store if they have anything like that. 

Almost there!  Now I just need to add my jewelry.  🙂  Doing a bit of a ::happy dance:: about how it turned out.  I’m not sure if I’m going to leave the frame white, paint it green or possibly paint it another color.  What do you think?

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Dad also created a hanging device out of scrap wood.  There were two pieces to it.  One was attached to the back of the board and angled downward and it interlocked with a piece that you attach to the wall.

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The other piece that was attached to the wall was angled upward.

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Tada!!!  The finished product!

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Marvin and my Dad did an awesome job of bringing to life what I had envisioned.  I think it looks awesome!  Now in the space right above the lower board I was thinking of putting our initial with buttons glued on it (another Pinterest inspiration) or maybe something else.  I was also thinking that since everything seems to be boxy looking I should try to put maybe an oval in that space.  Not sure why I’m so concerned with “decorating” my closet but those are just the things coming to my mind. 

So the total cost, not including the hanging piece my Dad made, was about $76 total.  Or about $38 for each one depending on how you like to look at things.  That’s not too bad for some custom pieces but if you are trying to keep costs low you could use scrap wood from previous projects and shop around a little more for the knobs.

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  • What projects have you tried lately?
  • How do you store your jewelry?

(((hugs))) ~lisa