Posts for DIY Category

Expert Tips For a Successful DIY Kitchen Remodel

DIY - Ruth - November 16, 2023

Are you ready to take on the challenge of transforming your kitchen into a beautiful and functional space? A DIY kitchen remodel can be a rewarding project that enhances your home’s aesthetics and adds value to your property. However, it’s essential to approach this undertaking with careful planning and preparation to ensure success. In this article, we’ll provide expert tips to help you diy it your way to a successful kitchen remodel.

Set a Realistic Budget:

Before diving into any DIY kitchen remodel, it’s crucial to establish a realistic budget. Determine how much you can comfortably spend on the project without compromising your financial stability. Be sure to account for all expenses, including materials, tools, labor (if necessary), and unexpected costs that may arise during the renovation.

Plan Your Layout:

A well-thought-out kitchen layout is essential for maximizing functionality. Take the time to assess your current kitchen and identify any structural changes you’d like to make. Consider factors such as the work triangle (the distance between the stove, sink, and refrigerator), cabinet placement, and countertop space. Planning your layout carefully will help you maximize your kitchen’s potential.

Choose Quality Materials:

Investing in high-quality materials is a key factor in the success of your DIY kitchen remodel. Opt for durable and long-lasting materials for countertops, cabinets, flooring, and appliances. While quality materials may come with a higher initial cost, they will save you money in the long run by reducing the need for repairs and replacements.

Take Your Time with Demolition:

Demolition is often the first step in a kitchen remodel, and proceeding with caution is essential. Take your time to remove old cabinets, countertops, and fixtures carefully. This will help minimize the risk of damaging walls, plumbing, or electrical systems. Be prepared for some surprises, such as hidden structural issues, and have a contingency plan.

Consider Lighting:

Proper lighting can transform the look and feel of your kitchen. Evaluate your current lighting setup and consider adding task, under-cabinet, and pendant lights to enhance functionality and ambiance. Energy-efficient LED lights are an excellent choice for both aesthetics and energy savings.

DIY or Hire Professionals:

Decide which aspects of the kitchen remodel you can tackle yourself and which may require professional help. While you can diy it when it comes to painting, tiling, or installing new fixtures, more complex tasks like electrical or plumbing work are best left to experienced professionals. Safety should always be a top priority.

Pay Attention to Details:

The devil is in the details, and small touches can make a significant difference in the overall look of your kitchen. Consider adding decorative hardware to cabinets, installing a stylish backsplash, or choosing a trendy color scheme for your walls. These finishing touches can elevate the aesthetics of your kitchen and give it a personalized touch.

Stay Organized and Patient:

A successful DIY kitchen remodel requires careful planning, organization, and patience. Keep a detailed schedule of tasks, and try to stick to it as closely as possible. Be prepared for delays and setbacks, which are almost inevitable in any renovation project. Stay patient and focused on the end result.

In conclusion, a DIY kitchen remodel can be a fulfilling and cost-effective way to transform your space. By setting a realistic budget, planning your layout, choosing quality materials, and paying attention to the details, you can diy it your way to a successful kitchen renovation. Remember to stay organized, patient, and open to seeking professional help. With the right approach, your dream kitchen can become a reality.

Continue Reading

DIY Large Candy Bouquets

DIY, Recipe Box - Ruth - September 25, 2020

Over the weekend my husband and I decided we needed to provide thank-you gifts to two teams of caregivers who have been helping a family member. It just so happened that the same store that was selling the Candy Bouquet mugs I wrote about here was also selling larger candy bouquets. That seemed like a good gift to give the caregivers since we weren’t sure exactly how many people were involved and a large candy bouquet would provide a little treat for everyone on the team.

Since I already detailed how to create a smaller candy bouquet in this post and how to make bows in this post, I won’t repeat it all here. I will share some pictures of the assembly process for these larger bouquets since everything had to be scaled up a little bit.

And since I did a more detailed cost analysis for the smaller bouquets, I’ll just mention here that the store was selling the large bouquets for $19.99 (US). I had some supplies left from my previous candy bouquet projects but had to buy a lot more candy to fill the larger vases, so I estimate I spent about $12 per large bouquet, including estimated costs for the supplies I had on hand. While the percentage savings wasn’t as great for these bouquets as for the smaller ones, it’s still money that stayed in my pocket rather than being spent and the gift was of my time rather than that of someone I paid to do it for me.

  •  Candy to fill the vase. How much depends upon the size of the vase you choose. My vases actually held more than I thought they would.
  •  Dry floral foam. I actually used less foam per vase than I did per mug for the smaller candy bouquets because I was just filling the neck of the vase.
  • Bamboo skewers. I used 8″ skewers and cut them down as needed. For this project I only needed a couple of 8″ skewers per vase but cut several more down to 4″ or 2″ lengths for most of my fillers. I used about a dozen total 8″ skewers per bouquet.
  • Clear packing/mailing tape. I used the roll I worked from on the other projects and I still have tape left.
  • Candy to make the bouquet. How much depends upon your vase. I used 8 candy canes, 5 marshmallow snowmen, and a “million dollar” candy bar for each bouquet.
  • Colored cellophane. I used about a dozen pieces that were roughly (very, very roughly) 8″ square for each bouquet.

What to do:

Start by filling the vase with candy. If your vase has a narrow neck, like mine, then fill it up to the neck. If your vase has straight sides then leave yourself about 3″ between the top of the candy and the top of the vase.

Fit a piece of floral foam snugly into the neck of the vase to fill as much of the remaining space as possible. The neck of my vase was totally full but there were some small gaps between the edge of the foam and the top of the vase because the vase angled outwards. Make sure your foam doesn’t wiggle around in the vase. You’ll need it to be snug. You can look back at the original DIY Candy Bouquet article if you need more information about fitting the foam.

Attach skewers to each of your fillers. I used an 8″ skewer on each candy bar with 4″ skewers for the snowmen and candy canes. More information about attaching the skewers to the candy is in the original post here.

Make your cellophane fluffs. Directions are here in the original DIY Candy Bouquet post. I used both 4″ and 2″ skewers on the fluffs.

Start assembling your large candy bouquet by putting the candy bar in the very center. Then arrange the 8 candy canes evenly around the outside edge. I alternated red & white and multi-colored candy canes, angling the red & white candy canes slightly outward and the colored ones more sharply outward.

Arrange the 5 snowmen as a center ring around the candy bar. I put 2 of the snowmen so they were somewhat framing the candy bar and then placed the other three in the back.

Put one large cellophane fluff behind the candy bar, between it and the ring of snowmen, to hide the skewer on the back of the candy bar.

Arrange a middle ring of cellophane fluffs on 4″ skewers among the snowmen. Then add cellophane fluffs on 2″ skewers around the very edge of the vase so that the fluffs somewhat hang over and cover the edge of the foam and the vase. You may end up pushing the 2″ skewers in almost sideways.

Tie a piece of wide, wire-edged ribbon around the neck of the vase, almost exactly as you would tie a bow on your shoe. Use the wire edges to help spread the ribbon out in the back of the bouquet to cover the foam. Fluff the bow in the front of the bouquet. Trim the streamers on the bow. If you want a more elaborate bow, you might want to read this post on “How to Bow Like a Pro.”

To whom might you give a candy bouquet? Would you like to receive one?

Continue Reading