Give your Roman Shades a New Look

October 31, 2013

Are you one of those who have lived your entire life with the same art on the walls?

                      The same curtains, the same chairs..? 

Perhaps, not your entire life but maybe for some years? 

                      Like five of ten?

Well, I was just like you  ;) 

I didn't want to spend too much time or money on all those peripherals, even though every time I looked through a magazine I felt in love with most of those pretty things that maybe some day I could have.

Now days my whole perspective about these things got a complete overturn! I'm now embracing change, and by doing so I found out that it doesn't have to be labor intense and better yet, easy on your pockets ;)

That's the case with today's project.  I like the Roman shade (aff) I have in the kitchen, when I bought it two years ago I was in love with it! Good quality, looks good and it does the job.
The only problem:
I got tired of it  :/

My easy, economical and temporary solution was to give it a new look with three simple materials:
Fabric, tape, and a piece of lattice (wood).

My Roman shade is suspended from the ceiling, but there is a small gap, in between the ceiling and the top of the shade where a piece of lattice can perfectly fit.

So, using gaffer's tape, the fabric is attached to the piece of wood.  Turn it around.

And since you know the beautiful fabric you picked (Waverly, Pom Pom Play Spa), its going to look great, don't waste your time moving things around. Stick the piece of lattice in the gap and line your army of tape all along each side of your shade.

Go all around "hemming" the fabric to the back of the shade, securing it with the tape.

The back is not going to look too pretty, but in my case, the only ones who are going to notice it are the squirrels, birds and deer that visit my backyard.

Pull up the shade, hide the cord on the back, tuck in the fabric along side each fold, and do a happy dance :)

You have given your room a total new look!

Ha, time to find a pretty fabric for the Holidays,
And for Spring  ;)

*Note: As I stated previously, this is a temporary solution.  Attaching the fabric might interfere with the pulling up and down mechanism. The roman shade I have is strong, heavy, I think that's big help for the folds to stay in place.  

For the kitchen renovation click HERE
Updating the Kitchen Island
How to build the Refrigerator Enclosure
How to build the Range Hood
Closing the Space above the Kitchen Cabinets
Adding Moldings to your Kitcen Cabinets
Painting Oak Kitchen Cabinets
Installing the Marble Backsplash
Lighting Plan
Kitchen Cost Breakdown
1 ½ Year Later How the Kitchen is Holding up
Build-in Plate Rack
Pull Out Shelves in Pantry

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DIY - Inside Cabinet Plate Rack

October 28, 2013
a regular cabinet is giving a plate rack with round and square dowels

Last Friday I told you how this small plate rack:

organize your kitchen with simple wooden projects you can DIY.

Inspired me to tackle another project.  Yeah, another plate rack ;)

The small plate display rack was placed inside the cabinet to see how it would look in there. Nope, not that good.  But, hey! The idea of a build in plate rack was born, followed by a quick assessment of what was stored in the cabinet, because the door had to go.
organizing cabinet and building and installing plate rack in it

The plate display rack dimensions right here were a great guide for me to complete this new project.

These are the materials and tools that were used:

*It is important to have in mind that I was working with a 20" width cabinet, and the necessary space for my plates to have a snugly fit was 1.5"
  • 4- ¾" x 36" Square Dowels
  • 8- 5/16" x 48" Round Dowels
  • ¼" & 5/16" Drill bits
  • Wood glue
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Drill
  • Miter Saw (A hand saw can be used instead)
  • Sander
  • Gaffer tape
  • Hammer and awl
  • 8- 1" Screws
  • Pencil
  • Spray primer and paint


First, measure the cabinet where you are planning to install the plate rack. Also, measure your plates, the diameter and profile (side view).

*In my case, my plates had a diameter of 11" and their profile size was ¾".  That's why I decided to space the round dowels at 1.5" on center. and leave the height for plate space at 12".
how to build a plate rack inside a wall cabinet - dimensions

Since the cabinet I was dealing with has a face frame, the slots on both ends had to be bigger, to accommodate that "dead space".
Once you know your numbers, it is time to cut the material.
The square dowels were cut 3/16" smaller than the 20" width of the cabinet to have a small wiggle room.
The round dowels were cut at 13.5" -> 12" for plate space + the 1.5" space that they had to go into the square dowels.

*Easy trick to cut those round dowels:  I didn't want to cut one by one, all the 22 pieces I needed.  If I cut just one with the miter saw, it's going to get damaged... too much power.  Doing the cuts with a hand saw...too much trouble!  So, they got bundled (four at the same time), using the miter saw and holding them tightly with gaffer's tape (One of my all time favorite tapes).  End result...perfect cuts ;)

On your square dowels mark the places where the round dowels would go. Trace a lengthwise center line on each dowel. Each intersection will be the place to drill the holes.

Using an awl and hammer, mark each spot before drilling the holes.
I used a ¼" drill bit to make pre-drills, then the 5/16" drill bit for the round dowels size.

*I tried to cut time by bundling two square dowels to drill all those holes, but it didn't work.  The hole in the top dowel was OK but the drill bit came out the lower dowel way off center.  I went one dowel at a time...44 holes total.

Once all the round dowels are cut and the holes drilled in the square dowels, you can go ahead and do a dry fit.  Don't skip the dry fit, sometimes the dowel doesn't fit in the hole >:( even though they are the same size! Just drive the drill bit one more time.
When you're happy with how everything fits, go ahead and glue it in place. It needs a very small amount of glue on each end of the round dowels.
Wait some time for the glue to dry, then using the same drill bits for pre-drill and actual dowel size, score four holes on each corner of each rack part.  Do it only half way through, as seen in the picture below, using tape around the bit, creating a hole that's only ½" deep.

DO NOT GLUE  those small connecting dowels, otherwise you're not going to be able to fit the whole structure inside the cabinet.

You can now sand, prime and paint the whole plate rack the way you want it.
Because of the face frame on the cabinet, you have to install the plate rack in parts (I learned it the hard way, with the bookcases in my bedroom).  I didn't glue the connecting dowels, they were mainly used as a support to hold the whole structure in place.

Mark the locations where you want to screw the rack to the lower part of your cabinet. Do a pre-drill for the screw.  Bring the structure back in and screw it in place from the bottom of the cabinet up.

Place one of the shelves you already had in the cabinet and mark the spots for where you want to drive the screws to secure the top part of the rack.  Use a countersink bit to do the pre-drills.  Drive the screws from the top shelf down onto the rack.

After cleaning, all that is left is to bring your dishes, see how they fit, and admire your job ;)

Well, I'm still thinking on adding a piece of wood to the face frame to hide the gap in between the plate rack and the shelf that was attach to it.  hmmm now I can clearly see when one of my plates is missing :/  I remember I had 12, but somehow only 11 appeared.

I like how by taking the door off and displaying the dishes and some cups, it gives more openness to the kitchen.

This was one of those projects that requires patience. Drilling all those holes, taking measurements, trying to be precise... It took me a full day to complete it, of course, taking my time ;)

complete instruction on how to build and install a plate rack inside a kitchen cabinet

For more Kitchen DIY Ideas check these out:

Updating the kitchen island

Build a range hood
Install a marble backsplash

Tips about installing recessed lights
Kitchen cost breakdown

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Last Minute Halloween Decor Ideas

October 27, 2013
Halloween is just around the corner! I'm still working with my daughter on creating her one of a kind costume, I'm pretty excited for her, everything is coming out nicely even though yesterday I wasn't at all that excited...  First time in my life sewing a pair shorts! Fur shorts, to be exact, because she is going to be a Fox :)  Today we're putting the final touches to it, I'm crossing my fingers for it to come out OK.

Meanwhile, I want to leave you with some fantastic last minute Halloween decor ideas from some of my blogging friends. Enjoy them!

Any spot in your home can get a spooky feel.
The Spooky Chic Halloween Library at Meddiebella Home
is a perfect example!

This is one of my favorites,
crows are still flying around my house!
Well, bats were the ones who took over at Linda's,
check out her Spooky Halloween tour at It all Started with Paint

Halloween Decor at Arbor House Lane is another great one.
The crows on branches and eyeball on the platters
are simple, yet spooky.

Ghosts Candy Jars at Giggles Galore

Cute faces painted on balloons

Still in need of something for the front door?
How about this Chevron Spider Web Wreath
 @ Our Pinteresting Family

No time at all for crafts?
Ribbon Pumpkins at Jenjohnson
would do the trick!


Nevermore Halloween Wreath @ Katydid and Kid

Chevron Spider Art at The Happy Housie

DIY Halloween Chevron Spider Art

A simple BOO on a door

Googly Eye Paper Decorations at Crafting in the Rain

Googly Eye Paper Medallions by Crafting in the Rain

Last minute Halloween Treat Bags at Pink Texas chick

Finally, some pumpkins, mums or some seasonal decorations 
would brighten any porch in the blink of an eye.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Easy to Build Plate Rack

October 25, 2013
diy - plate rack - stand alone

Early this year I scored some really good items when a Crate and Barrel store was closed. Some prop bottles, blocks, decorative branches and cups made it home with me, alongside these four plate racks.
dowels plate rack

For one buck each one, they were more than worth it! hmm maybe I should've brought some more. Their sizes were different, I didn't pay much attention to that fact while in the store.
round and square dowels plate rack

At home, I  tried to find the perfect spots for them. The one on the kitchen counter has worked really well, it frees space from the cabinets and most importantly my son can reach this small salad plates easily, without climbing on top of the counters to reach for a plate on the cabinets.

I tried to used the same rack for big dinner plates, but it didn't work that well. The plates were too slanted for my like. Two plates in each slot, as I did with the small plates, was a complete mess, as you can see.

Continuing the experiment with the other 2¾" spaced racks, the dinner plates were, again, too slanted.  But it worked pretty good for bake ware.

I'm using that very small rack inside one of the cabinets.

I think these racks can be an easy DIY project to put some order to your kitchen. Since the materials to build one of these racks come in so many different sizes, I took my time measuring the ones I got, so they can serve you as a good guide to build your own.
Source: Toys and Joys

I like the ones where the dowels are spaced at 2", but if you're building your own, you can customized them to the size of your plates.
display plate rack

For dinner plates, the space between the dowels needs to be smaller than 2" (at least for my plates), and/or their length (dowels), needs to be more than 3", like the ones KariAnne@Thistlewood Farm got.
Display plate rack

Upside down they kind of surprised me. I thought they were not all the way thru.
I placed one of these little racks inside the cabinet on the right hand side of the range hood and I really like how it looks.

On the left hand side of the hood I build a permanent plate rack. You can find the full tutorial for this
Inside the Cabinet Plate Rack right HERE.
how to build a plate rack inside a cabinet

Have fun building your own!

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