Do It Myself???

Tuesday, 18 March 2014 | Tags: , , , , , ,

I just completed three DIY projects around my house. In the process, I was reduced to tears, but not the kind you may think. They were tears of joy at the pride of completing the work on my own!


I decided my office needed some brightening.  It meant leaving the somewhat passé sage walls behind and painting the entire room white to match the rest of the house.  


Painting prep

What was supposed to be a quick project turned into something more labour intensive when I realized that I needed to paint the ceiling too.  (Something I’d never done before.)  Three days, three coats on the walls and a very sore neck and back later, here’s the finished product:



Last summer, a guest at my house nearly twisted an ankle on uneven pavers at the back door.  Ants had done a number on the soil beneath, causing several of the pavers to sink.  I threw some rocks underneath the doormat as a temporary, slap-shod fix. But one month turned into eight and on a sunny pre-spring day it was time to level things out.

The hard part was extracting the first paver.  Two large screwdrivers did the trick.  Then I added sand, packed it down and checked and rechecked to make sure it was all level.  Plopped the pavers back in and the job was complete. And when I say plopped, I mean hit them with a hammer repeatedly to get them back in position again! 



A while ago I had a professional closet company give me a quote on replacing the wire racks in my closets with proper shelves and rods. To give credit where credit is due, they suggested I turn this funny narrow nook into shelves to hold bags and purses.  I’m putting off the larger closet upgrade for now, but I decided to tackle the shelves myself. How hard could it be?


I went to the hardware store and found particleboard, which I asked them to cut down to my specifications.  At another store I found tiny brackets to hold up the shelves and bought screws and anchors to secure them.

Pencil, tape measure, drill, level and screwdriver in hand, I set about the installation.  A few hours later – five level shelves!  I admit, there were a couple of tears of frustration after I drilled the first hole in the wrong place. But in the end, I was very pleased with my handy work.


While doing my DIY projects, I learned five important lessons: 

 1)   The Internet is INVALUABLE when it comes to DIY. I picked up painting tricks and jolted my memory about how to change a drill bit.

2)   People at hardware stores are a great source of information and they sincerely want to help.  Don’t be embarrassed to ask.

3)   DIY can save you a ton of money.  The shelf project cost me $26. 

4)   It’s a great way to challenge yourself and learn something new. Not to mention that it’s incredibly empowering.

And most importantly… 

5)   Measure at least twice! Walls and ceilings are rarely perfectly straight so measure, mark and measure again! 


Top photo: Why does Ruby always photobomb my pics? 

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  • mike simpson

    Nice job Dude , I might add “who the hell needs a man” . Well for that stuff anyway …. We tend to complicate things , search and destroy . Proud of you , and the sense of accomplishment must be priceless . (hands clapping)
    Do a show on practical home improvement !!! (Less the tears)

  • Dawn

    Love your purse shelves! What a great idea & wonderful use of an unusual space.