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Beer Bottle Cap Patio Table

Easy Pub-style Beer Bottle Cap Mosaic Patio Table

By | Home, Recycling | No Comments

In most regions, you can recycle or return glass bottles, but you need to toss out the bottle caps. That seems like a waste, which is probably a good reason alone to find ways of incorporating them into future DIY projects. For this Imgur user, the bottle cap table top and her favorite pub inspired this beer bottle mosaic patio table.

Using a combination of bottle caps, grout, and an old patio table, you can easily put this project together in an afternoon. Though, it may take longer than an afternoon to collect the bottle caps.

Tile patio table

Imgur

The user chose a table that already had a tile surface. The existing tile and grout were removed using a rubber hammer. The result is an empty table with a lip around the edges.

Remove tile with a rubber hammer.

Imgur

You could essentially use any table, but it needs a lip for a clean edge. Though, you could use a trowel to even out the edges if you use a table without a lip.

Once the table is ready, you can begin arranging your bottle caps. Lay them out on the table to create your design. After you decide how to arrange your bottle caps, take a picture that you can use for reference.

Arrange the bottle caps on the table surface

Imgur

Next, clear off the table and apply a thick layer of grout. Make sure you follow the instructions to mix the grout properly. Spread the grout across the table. You just need enough to secure the bottle caps in place.

Place the bottle caps on the table, following the design that you chose. Allow the grout to dry overnight.

Arrange beer caps on grout and let dry overnight

Imgur

The next day, apply a thick layer of grout, covering the bottle caps. As you spread the grout, the tops of the bottle caps should slowly begin to appear. You want to add enough grout that the grout reaches the top of the bottle caps without covering them.

Spread grout over bottle caps

Imgur

You can use a sponge to smooth the grout and wipe the tops of the bottle caps clean. Throughout the day, as the grout dries in the sun, use the sponge to keep it smooth and clean off the bottle caps.

Also, when you first place your bottle caps, you should occasionally take a step back from the table to ensure they are evenly spaced. When you are close to an object, it is hard to get a good perspective.

This is a fun and easy project that most people should have no problem completing. It is a two-day project, but you may need to start planning now.

The original poster did not mention how many bottle caps were used, but it would appear to be more than 120 caps. That’s 20 6-packs. One way to get collect caps quickly is to have a cookout and invite a lot of guests. Make sure you let people know that you’re saving their caps.

Use this project to give new life to an old table. If you want an example of how to arrange your bottle caps for your own beer bottle cap mosaic table, you could take a look at the original post on Imgur.

Save Money by Refinishing Laminate Counters with Paint and Epoxy

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Most homeowners would love to have granite or marble countertops. They instantly boost the appeal of your bath or kitchen and give a sense of class and sophistication.

But for Marzi at Made by Marzipan, upgrading was simply out of the budget so using paint and epoxy, she gave her old, scratched laminate bathroom countertop a brand new look – and you won’t believe the results!

You’re going to need quite a few supplies. But, they are mostly inexpensive items. The epoxy is the highest priced item at about $16 with a coupon. Other materials include a piece of wood for the backsplash, painter’s tape, tinted primer, glitter, and copper leafing. You will also need brushes and a natural sea sponge.

Marzi used Lamp Black Textured Metallic Paint and Cast Bronze Metallic Paint, along with Envirotex Lite resin epoxy. The total cost, according to the full list, was less than $60 for the entire project.

The first step, other than gathering materials, is to remove your sink. You don’t want to attach the sink to your newly refinished countertops when you add epoxy. Make sure you turn off the water before removing the sink.

How to remove your sink

Made by Marzipan

Marzi also removed the cheap laminate backsplash and replaced it with a 1 X 4 piece of wood. If the backsplash is loose, you should remove it and consider replacing it while you’re at it anyway. She shows you how to blend the new wood piece into the rest of the countertop.

Use painter’s tape and newspaper to cover up your walls, cupboards, mirror, and any other surfaces that you want to keep clean. Also, cover the interior of the sink opening. This will keep epoxy from dripping onto other surfaces.

Mask off walls, floor and cupboards using tape and newspaper

Made by Marzipan

Primer paint is applied to the counter and backsplash using a foam brush. After the paint dries, a second coat is added. Once the second coat dries, the base coat can be added.

Apply 2 coats of primer to the laminate surface

Made by Marzipan

Martha Stewart Lamp Black Textured Metallic Paint was used. It is a thick paint, with a sandy texture and fine glitter. This paint was thinned with a small amount of black acrylic paint.

While the first base coat is still wet, a small sprinkling of dark brown glitter gets added. Be careful when adding the glitter. You should wash your hands beforehand and dry them completely. This will keep the glitter from clumping together.

Add brown glitter to the basecoat while it's still wet

Made by Marzipan

Specks of copper leafing are added next. You will want to use tweezers to tear small pieces of copper leafing. Each piece should be about the size of a grain of rice or smaller.

Add small pieces of gold leafing to the wet basecoat

Made by Marzipan

After the base coat is dry and you have added the glitter and specks of copper leafing, you can add the accent color. For the accent color, another Martha Stewart paint was chosen – Cast Bronze Metallic Paint.

The accent color was added using a small piece of natural sea sponge. Make sure that you rotate the sponge. This keeps the pattern from the sponge from appearing uniform across your countertops.

Dab a lighter accent color using a sea sponge

Made by Marzipan

Once the accent color has dried, you can add the epoxy. A 32-ounce kit was used. You’ll need a disposable container for mixing the liquids. Thoroughly stir the ingredients together to prepare the epoxy.

Stirring is essential. You need to have the epoxy properly mixed, otherwise, it will not work correctly. You could end up with bubbles or an uneven surface. Pour the mixture as soon as you have finished stirring.

Apply liberally and spread with a foam brush. As the epoxy dries, the epoxy may drip from the sides. Keep an eye on the epoxy as it dries. Wipe the excess epoxy away with a foam brush. Use a barbecue lighter to pop any bubbles that appear. It should take about 30 minutes for the epoxy to set.

Apply the epoxy and spread evenly with a foam brush

Made by Marzipan

After about three hours, you should be able to remove the painter’s tape and newspaper. Wait for a total of 72 hours before replacing your sink and using your countertops.

That covers the basics to give your countertops an update with this simple DIY project. Save yourself money while renovating your bathroom or kitchen.

If you want to see the full details, read the detailed description of how to refinish your laminate countertops by Marzi.

Pegboard Tool Storage

Build a Pegboard Flipbook to Maximize Tool Storage

By | Home, Workshop | No Comments

If one pegboard simply isn’t enough to hang your tools, this flipboard system just might give you the space you need. It uses multiple pegboards attached to the wall with hinges so you can flip through your tools just like pages in a book.

Instructables user NEIN shows us how to make a simple flipboard storage system to maximize your wall space. The design uses several pieces of 1/4″ pegboard, 3″ hinges, mounting backboard and elastic cord to keep tools in place.

Pegboard pieces

Photo: NEIN | Instructables

You can cut sheets of pegboard to just about any size but keep in mind that the bigger the page the heavier it will be to turn. For his project, NEIN cut each sheet to about 16″X24″. Don’t forget to wear a dust mask because pegboard can kick up very fine particles!

Attaching the hinges

Photo: NEIN | Instructables

Attach two hinges to each sheet of pegboard and be sure they are inline with each other vertically or your pages will be crooked when you turn them and will bind. Drill out holes for the hinges and attach them to the pegboard with bolts.

Attaching the pegboard pages

Photo: NEIN | Instructables

Rather than mounting the other side of the hinges directly to his plywood backboard, NEIN decided to mount them to a square piece of 2″x3″. These “mounting blocks” will create a space between the backboard and pages giving them a wider range of motion. Then simply screw your mounting blocks to your plywood backboard from the backside making sure to space out your pages evenly.

Before hanging your pegboard flipbook unit, now is a good time to paint it! You can even paint each page a different color to help organize your tools by function or type. NEIN decided to just paint the backboard and use wooden bookmarks he laser cut at work to identify each page.

Hanging pegboard flipbook to the wall

Photo: NEIN | Instructables

Since he used a plywood backboard that was longer than he needed, NEIN turned the bottom portion into a clever drill storage shelf. No matter how you decided to modify your unit, it’s going to be heavy so be sure to mount it to a wall stud.

All that’s left is for you to load up your tools and secure them with elastic cords. Thread the ends of the cord through the pegboard holes and double knot them on the other side. This will secure your heavier tools in case you decide to “speed read” through your book.

For more photos and detailed step-by-step instructions, check out NEIN’s Easy Store Flipboard project!

Tiny Home School Bus Conversion

A Lot of Work & A Lot of Friends Convert a $2K Bus into a Tiny Home

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The wheels on the bus go round and round …until one day they don’t and then it ends up in a junkyard or auction. Sometimes these school buses get scooped up and turned into restaurants, studios, or stripped for decor items. But when Steph saw one come up for auction, the journey of transforming it into a cozy home not only created a place for her to live but built life-long friendships as well.

What makes a bus a home? According to Steph, “a lot of work and a lot of friends… and a lot of work.”

Buying the school bus.

Photo: Steph | tinyhomebusconversion

They started with a 2000 International Diesel, 60-passenger school bus purchased at auction for about $2,000. It had 98,000 miles on it and ran pretty well – the seller even gave the mom a few driving lessons so she could get used to the size and making turns enough to drive it to her friends house where they parked it in the backyard. It was a much cheaper option than buying a trailer bed and it already had an engine so it could double up as an RV in the future.

Gutting the school bus.

Photo: Steph | tinyhomebusconversion

Without the seats you could get 245-300 square feet of blank space but with furniture and appliances, she figured it would translate to about 220 square feet of living space.

Insulating the ceiling of the school bus.

Photo: Steph | tinyhomebusconversion

After removing countless screws, wrestling bolts and pulling out metal siding, you’re left with an empty tin can. The next step was insulating it so you don’t freeze your butt off in the winter and roast like a turkey in the summer. They found a spray foam insulation kit online and covered the roof and all metal surfaces below the windows. After the inside of the bus looked like a cozy pillow of foam clouds, they covered it with reflective insulation. The flooring was removed and the surface underneath was cleaned with a grinder, wire-brushed, swept, vacuumed, mopped and then sealed so rust wouldn’t be a problem in the future.

Insulating and building the interior walls of the school bus.

Photo: Steph | tinyhomebusconversion

An electric panel was installed along with wiring, outlets and plumbing. By now this tin can was beginning to look more like a home.

Putting a lock on the school bus door.

Photo: Steph | tinyhomebusconversion

Considering this entire project was built using reclaimed wood and appliances that were donated, found second-hand on Craigslist or the local thrift shop, the end result was quite stunning. Let’s check out the inside by opening the bus door, which was welded into one piece complete with a handle and a lock.

Ta-da! Drum roll please…

Furnished school bus home.

Photo: Steph | tinyhomebusconversion

Right across from the futon is a pull-out table with a leg you can swing down to support it. It locks into place when retracted so you don’t have to worry about it sneaking open on its own. The small entertainment center just below the table was also made from reclaimed wood. That’s a full size stove/oven on the right.

Living room and office area of the school bus.

Photo: Steph | tinyhomebusconversion

The kitchen sink was donated by a friend and sits in a counter top that’s a salvaged door. Above the sink are a series of open shelves for extra storage. Since the bus was going to be a stationary home for quite some time Steph didn’t have to worry about things flying off.

Kitchen area of the school bus.

Photo: Steph | tinyhomebusconversion

Every square foot is precious so Steph decided this washer/dryer combo which is vented on the outside and has access to a water supply on the left.

Laundry machine on the school bus.

Photo: Steph | tinyhomebusconversion

No female abode is complete without a huge closet! These wide sliding doors were perfect for the job and a better option than traditional doors that open out, which would block the hallway. Since the roof is curved, Steph took advantage of the extra space on top by adding storage with latched doors.

Large sliding closet on the school bus.

Photo: Steph | tinyhomebusconversion

Right above the bed is a combination heater/air conditioning unit so Steph could sleep comfortably all year round along with an LED reading light for story time. Below the bed are hidden baskets for extra storage. But what completes this room is the framed vintage car photo!

Bedroom area of the bus.

Photo: Steph | tinyhomebusconversion

The bathroom is huge and its own separate room complete with a toilet, vanity and shower. Like much of the lighting in the bus, the bathroom features a row of LED lights on the ceiling. They’re really bright and last long but don’t consume as much energy as traditional light bulbs.

Bathroom area of the school bus.

Photo: Steph | tinyhomebusconversion

There’s a vented skylight right above the composting toilet – just the right spot. The box will eventually store an emergency propane heater that will sit under the bus in case of a power outage. Once Steph parks the bus in a permanent spot with sewer access she’ll switch this toilet out for a real one so she went ahead and already ran the plumbing.

Functional toilet on the school bus.

Photo: Steph | tinyhomebusconversion

The shower is tall enough for her to stand in comfortably, and the walls are covered in vinyl with a tile design that runs from the shower pan to the ceiling.

Tall shower in the school bus.

Photo: Steph | tinyhomebusconversion

The marble top of the vanity helps conceal the water heater below. And that’s the bus mirror that used to hang above the driver to keep an eye on unruly children. The note on it reads “Total Cost – $10,000”. Considering most of the items were donated, bought used or at thrift stores, that number may be accurate!

Bathroom sink on the school bus.

Photo: Steph | tinyhomebusconversion

During the summer, Steph keeps a sheet of reflective material over the window to block out the sun and keep the bathroom cool. To the right of the sink you could see the grey door for the electrical box on the wall.

Check out Steph’s complete journal with photos showing every step of the way on her blog: tinyhomebusconversion

Beat the Summer Heat (and your bills) with this Homemade Air Conditioner

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There’s always that one room in your house that’s hotter than the others during the summer. Instead of cranking up the AC (and your bills) or closing all the blinds and living in darkness like a bat in a cave, try this inexpensive homemade solution. It’s perfect for small rooms like dorms, dens, offices, bedrooms, or even your garage and a temporary solution for an AC wall unit on the fritz.

All you need to put together your very own air conditioner is a 5-gallon bucket with a lid, styrofoam liner, pvc pipes, small fan, and frozen bottles of water or ice packs. You can even add a solar panel to power it on a camping trip or to keep you cool during a power outage.

Drilling out the holes for the PVC pipes.

desertsun02 | Youtube

Use a hole saw to cut holes in the bucket for your piping where the cold air will blow out. If you want the unit to concentrate the air directly at you, cut the holes closer together on the same side. But if you plan on putting the unit in the center of the room and want 360 degrees of cold air, space the holes evenly along the circumference. Repeat the same procedure with the styrofoam lining inside the bucket and use the holes you already cut in the bucket as a guide. The lining will help keep the chamber insulated so it remains cool for a longer period of time.

Hole on the bucket lid for the fan.

desertsun02 | Youtube

Measure the diameter of your small fan and cut a hole that’s slightly smaller on the lid of the bucket so the outside edge of the fan rests on top while the front half of the fan sinks into the hole you cut. Do the same for the lid of the styrofoam liner (if it came with one). Depending on the shape of your liner you may end up choosing to use just the styrofoam lid, the bucket lid or both.

Fill your bucket with a frozen gallon jug of water and as many ice packs and/or smaller frozen bottles of water as you can. According to desertsun02, one frozen gallon jug of water lasted about 6 hours and the cold air coming out of the unit was in the mid 40F range. He even hooked up a 15-watt, 1-amp solar panel to run it.

This little winter wonderland maker may just end up being the best summer guest you’ve had. I can even imagine dressing it up with some paint or covering it with fabric to match the room and adding some wheels on the bottom so you could roll it around the house adding that cool factor wherever you go.

Organize your keys with an old seat belt.

Seat Belt Key Holder

By | Automotive, Home | No Comments

Keys love starting a game of hide and seek just when you’re trying to rush out the door. But this clever wall organizer allows you to buckle them up safely within sight. Seat belt saves lives but now they can save your sanity.

You can buy these online or make one yourself for a fraction of the cost. Old seat belts are easy to find online, an auto upholstery shop or the local junkyard. Cut the latch off leaving an inch or so of material at the end. Use a hot glue gun to seal the cut end so it doesn’t fray over time. Remove the latch plate and drill a hole where you can attach a key ring.

Your keys just buckle up for storage.

In this example the seat belt buckles are screwed in to the bottom of a decorative wall shelf but you can hang yours in all sorts of creative ways from painted or stained wooden boards to ornate picture frames.

Make your own drill wall storage unit.

Drill Charging & Storage Station

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Power drills are some of the most important tools you have so it’s important to keep them charged – you never know when a DIY moment will strike. Charging them all on your workbench, though, takes up the space you need to, well, work, and wires can turn into a spaghetti dish complete with charger and battery pack meatballs.

User, GlassImpressions, at Lumberjocks got inspired to come up with a better way to organize all his power drills after stumbling across a similar project on the site. With some plywood and an old cherry stain, he built a wall-mounted shelf wide enough to house all his drills hanging side by side. The holsters for the drills are 3-inch PVC pipes with a notch cut at the bottom so the drills just slide in and hang in place securely. He even painted each one with some left-over green paint before screwing them to the bottom of the shelf. The top of the shelf has plenty of room for a powerstrip, all your charging stations and extra batteries.

Chargers can be stored on the top shelf.

GlassImpressions | Lumberjocks

Check out GlassImpressions’ project for more photos: GlassImpressions | Lumberjocks

Organize your drill bits with a styrofoam block.

Easy Grab Pin Cushion for Pointy Tools

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Trying to finish a project but keep losing track of your bits and small tools as soon as you put them down? Put a stop to this all too familiar disappearing act with this gearhead version of a pin cushion by The Family Handyman. It makes a convenient storage place for the immediate things you need while getting the job done.

To make your own pointy-tool pin cushion, glue a piece of 1 1/2-inch thick high-density styrofoam onto a 1/2-inch thick piece of plywood. Leave about an inch of wood for a border around the foam. Make sure to use a foam-compatible adhesive like PL 500 and let it dry for a few hours. Then screw your pin cushion assembly to your shop wall, near your workbench or clamp it down to a tabletop.

Once mounted, load it up with router bits, drill bits, small screwdrivers, pencils, Allen wrenches, hole saws and more!

Photo credit: The Family Handyman

Mobile pegboard tool cart.

Rolling Peg Board Tool Cart

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The greatest thing about peg boards is that they allow you to organize your tools on the wall rather than in toolboxes which eat up valuable floor space – but that’s also what makes them not so great. This DIY rolling peg board cart lets you bring your otherwise stationary tool collection with you so you have what you need right next to your car or any other project you’re working on – no more walking back and forth to search for tools!

Commercially available peg board carts run a few hundred smackers so Brad Justinen decided to build his own not only to save some dough but to practice his welding skills. If you’re shy about welding, you can adapt the design and use bolts instead.

Weld together pieces of scrap metal to create an A-frame and a sturdy rectangular base. I recommend welding plates to the base to serve as anchor points for your casters so you can change them out as they wear over time. If you weld your casters directly to the base then you’ll have to cut them out later. The height and width of your cart is up to you, but Brad wanted to fit a small bits organizer at the bottom so he made his a bit taller. Create a wooden frame for each peg board to reduce flex under the weight of your tools and screw the peg board frames to your metal truss. As a bonus you can also screw all kinds of hooks, handles and holders to the exposed wooden frames on either side of your cart.

Biulding the pegboard frames

Brad Justinen | Instructables

For detailed instructions, check out Brad’s step-by-step: Brad Justinen | Instructables

Use jars to store small items under shelves.

Under-shelf Jar Storage for Small Hardware

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No matter how hard you try, little hardware pieces always seem to end up in a junk drawer or open box where you prick your hand anytime you have to sift through it just to find the right size washer or nut.

Here’s a storage idea that re-purposes those plastic jars you tend to collect in the trash while also putting to work that useless space under your last shelf. Screw the lids under a shelf, load up your jars with whatever small bits you need storing and twist the jar onto its lid. The jars will hang from their own caps, screwed into the bottom of your shelf or cabinet. This not only keeps those smaller items within reach, it frees up more shelf space for larger things.

Plastic peanut butter jars work better than glass mason jars because they hold a lot more hardware and won’t shatter if you drop one. Use two screws per lid, positioned along the diameter roughly an inch apart (wider for larger lids). If you only use one, the lid will rotate and loosen every time you screw a jar back to its lid.

Photo: Chez Larsson