Category Archives: DIY

Thank You!

I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to those of you who have popped over to take a look at my Make your own chalkboard wall organizer. I’ve had unprecedented web traffic, tons of pins, retweets and reblogs. Thank you all, it’s SO MUCH appreciated.

A particular shout out to the Curbly community and to Chris Gardener in particular for taking the time to reblog it and share it with you all. Much kudos.

I went to sleep last night thinking about the blog and the direction it has taken over the last month with the weekly Plascon DIY posts. It’s revealed a need for me to continue on with the ‘how-to’s’, not just projects, but primers.

According to a recent audit of my social media followers 70% of you are women, not hard to believe since I know I have a love for/of pretty things: decor, design, landscaping, gardening, food etc.

As gender roles cross pollinate (remember I’m the primary caregiver in our family) more and more women are empowering themselves with practical DIY skills.

Understandably readers are at different levels of skill and I’m trying to gauge where that skill level is? Do you know a pozidriver from a star screwdriver? The difference between a cut-off and bandsaw?

Maybe along side the weekly practical projects I need to feature a series of basic primers?

A few thoughts were.

Tooling up your toolbox
Getting screwed, a basic primer for choosing the right screw
Nails aren’t just for mani pedis
The light goes on, a basic understanding of household wiring

Yes, they are a little tongue and cheek, possibly bordering on insulting, but trust me, using the wrong tool for the job can cost you both time and money.

I’m open to suggestion and encourage you to share your comments below.

Again, thank you ALL for your support!

Make your own chalkboard wall organizer

If you are anything like me you’re always forgetting things. Your keys, shopping lists and constantly slinging your jacket over the chair, despite cries from your better half to not leave stuff lying around… sounds familiar?

If any of the above apply then this fun, easy to do project might be something you want to spend a few hours tackling over the weekend.

I built mine from scraps and offcuts so my sizes were governed by that, I’m listing them below purely as a reference, feel free to scale up/down to meet your needs.

So lets get started!

Supplies needed: a 635mm x 295mm piece of 18mm ply sheet, a 423mm piece of 22mm x 94mm pine, a piece of 106mm x 295mm of 4mm cork, a 106mm x 295mm 4mm mirror, 500ml tin of Plascon Black Schoolboard Paint, a roller and tray, ‘NO More Nails’ adhesive, Mirror silicon, 16mm masking tape, a 66mm holesaw, a battery drill, 4mm drill bit, screw bit, a bag of 5mm x 75mm screws, a set of slotted plates and screws, 3 door handles/knobs, a pencil and a small potted plant.

NOT SHOWN: A tape measure, sandpaper, water-based wood sealant, paint brush, chalk and a set square.

Step 1. Start by taping the sides of the 635mm x 295mm 18mm ply sheet with masking tape. Measure out 200mm from one side and apply a piece of tape across the face of the ply sheet. Apply a coat of the Plascon schoolboard paint, allow time to dry and apply a 2nd coat.

Step 2. Using a tape measure and pencil measure out the center of your 22mm x 94mm pine piece and mark it, then measure in 100mm from the one end and cut out a hole using the 66mm holesaw.

Step 3. Using a piece of sandpaper smooth out the edges of the hole and the sides of the pine piece.

Step 4. Use a suitable water-based wood sealant to seal your timber with at least two coats of sealant, it’s not essential, but it will extend the life of your pine shelf and make it water and stain resistant.

Step 5. Lay out your pine piece on your dry painted ply sheet. I measured up 100mm from the bottom for my pine shelf and used a random asymmetrical layout for the knobs. Once you are happy with the placement use a pencil to mark where you need to drill your holes. To line up the pine shelf it’s best to use a set square.

Step 6. Drill your holes using the 4mm wood drill bit. I left 100mm between screw holes on the pine shelf, bar the end with the cut out, I came in 50mm from the end.

Step 7. In order to hang your organizer you’ll need to use a set of slotted plates. I measured in 50mm from the top and sides of the ply sheet then drilled pilot holes and mounted the plates with accompanying screws. When hanging it it is essential to measure the center to center space as there is a little room for error in mounting it.

Step 8. Line up your wooden pine shelf and then use your drill and the 4mm bit to make pilot holes in the timber through the rear side of the painted ply sheet. Then using your 5mm x 75mm screws screw them into the ply from the rear. It’s best to start on one end, making sure you are flush with the edge of the ply sheet, then do the opposite end, using a set square to see you’re level and then work in the rest of the screws, side to side. Lastly screw on your cupboard handles, which will be used as a coat rack.

Step 9. Remove the the strip of masking tape that you applied to the front of the board in Step 1. Apply beads of ‘No more nails’ to the back side of the cork and line it up with the edge of the shelf, press firmly and allow 15 minutes to bond. Do the same for the mirror, using the mirror silicon and wipe off any excess glue with a cloth or tissue. Allow 24hrs to cure then remove the masking tape from the edges of the ply board.

Presto! There you have it, a very easy and inexpensive build. All in it cost around R100 to make as most of the parts were offcuts from previous projects. Now all you have to do is fine a suitable place to hang it and try not to lose your keys again!