Category Archives: Rookie DIY

How to install closet shelves

wood shelf
Power tools, cutting wood, drilling into studs… a DIY project involving any of those tasks completely intimidates me. But, I did all of those things for this project and I lived to tell the tale. Here’s how I installed closet shelves into an awkward, too-small closet nook.
how to hang shelves
I swear it’s not nearly as scary as it sounds. Power tools, ledgers (side note: I had no clue what these were before this adventure), and measuring definitely sound like a not-so rookie level nightmare, but I promise that you CAN do this!
closet before
Prior to this project, I had very limited experience hanging things alone. And prior to this, I also had a closet that was completely wasting space and a whole lot of craft stuff that needed a new home. Lucky for me, I completely disregarded the fact that I was not nearly qualified enough to tackle this project alone and did it anyway. (The things I will do for my beloved craft supplies).
draw line
To kick off my project, I did some measuring and drew lines on the wall where I wanted to hang my shelves. I made them far enough away from each other to stack some boxes, which was a total crap shoot. Other than the boxes that needed to fit on the shelves, the placement of the shelves were completely eye-balled and totally random. I used a level to make sure the lines were straight and also noted the measurements of the back of the wall and the sides of the wall in order to get accurately sized material.
I picked up some long 1×2″ sticks of wood, which can be called ledgers when holding shelves, they are also referred to as closet cleats.  I bought all of my supplies at Home Depot and for rookies like us, Home Depot cuts any of the wood/material you buy there for FREE, so of course I took them up on this. I gave the lumberman my measurements and he cut down my large “sticks” of wood to small, accurately sized ledgers.
I also picked up 2 large boards of melamine. Just like the wood, I gave my measurements to the amazing employee and walked out with pre-cut boards of melamine that were the perfect size to sit atop the ledgers and fit perfectly into the closet.
Melamine Shelf tutorial
Oh, and if you don’t have screws or anchors around the house, make sure you pick up a package of each (Rookie tip: make sure the screws are heavy enough to hold the shelves and long enough to drill through the ledgers AND the wall).
Total in Supplies: about $38 (but if you don’t have screws and anchors on hand, your total may be a little more).
Following the pilot lines and using a level, I positioned the ledgers along the back of the shelves. I used a power drill to drill these nails right in the wall. I was lucky that the back wall had two studs available to drill into. If you aren’t as lucky, make sure you use anchors during this step instead.
level
Three ledgers and six screws later, I had my back ledgers DONE and I was more than a third done with this DIY.
screw vs. anchor
When I started on the side ledgers, I wasn’t as lucky & didn’t have the opportunity to hit studs on both sides of each of the pieces of wood. I had to use some anchors on this side. Using an anchor is a tad more tedious, so if you can find a stud instead…. do that!
steps to hang shelves
After about an hour of more leveling and clueless careful drilling, I was almost DONE!
ledgers
I did have an oops moment when I drilled a little too close to the edge of the ledger and caused it to split. Yikes. Luckily, the ledgers seemed secure even with the oops, so I ignored it and moved on. (Probably not the best policy).
DIY shelf
And the last and most rewarding step of them all…slide in the pre-cut shelves and examine your impressive work.  My shelves seemed pretty sturdy with the shelf just laying on top of the 3 ledgers. However, you could drill a screw from the bottom up into the ledger and the shelf. That might provide some extra stability.
In the perfect world, I would recommend you to paint the ledgers (and maybe even the whole closet), let them dry and theennnnn slide on the shelves and enjoy your hard work. Because it was like -15 degrees that day, I hung these bad boys without painting them first. My plan is to finish up with some paint in the Spring.
finished shelves
Without the paint, the shelves are clearly looking very “unfinished”. However, in a closet where these are completely hidden, I am okay with function over fashion.
the view from above
box of ribbon
jars
organized crafts
twine
craft supplies
In the meantime, these unfinished shelves are home to most of my craft supplies. I love that I know where everything is now and can easily walk into the closet, peruse the shelves and pick out exactly what I need without making a mess of everything else.
closet before and after
No, this organizing DIY does NOT belong in a glamorous organizing magazine (yikes). But YES, this DIY does deserve an award for awkward-small-space-function-on-the-cheap. And as much as I am obsessed with pretty organizing projects, I can appreciate a plain jane one that simply does the job without all of the cute bells and whistles. For less than $40, these shelves help organize my crafts and have given me a brand new confidence to tackle what seems to be daunting DIY!
Still to do:
Paint ledgers
Paint closet
Create a system to STAY organized
Add Wrapping paper storage?
Anyone else tackling DIY projects that seem way scarier than they actually are?! 

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2 thoughts on “How to install closet shelves

  1. April Blake

    This made me have a total OH YEAH! moment! I have a linen closet with terrible function but never thought about re-attaching new shelves at a better height! Thanks for this, definitely pinning it for a day off project!

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2 thoughts on “How to install closet shelves

  1. April Blake

    This made me have a total OH YEAH! moment! I have a linen closet with terrible function but never thought about re-attaching new shelves at a better height! Thanks for this, definitely pinning it for a day off project!

    Reply

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#RookieDIY: Gallery Wall

Happy Memorial Day! I took some extra time this weekend to finish up my DIY project for Challenge Loop’s #RookieDIY Challenge. Finally, I motivated myself to finish a DIY project that has been on the to-do list for quite a while now. So with no further ado, let me take you on the journey that led to my new obsession: Nautical GALLERY WALL #RookieDIY
The master bedroom at the Longview Lodge used to look like this…
Nautical Room in Progress
The wood wall, stripes, hints of coral and port-hole-like mirror create a nautical feel that is perfect for this east-coast wanna be. I love that this room has a relaxing, stress-free, laid back feel… almost like the beach, without all of the annoying sand. 
From the time we moved into this house, I was loving the progress of the master bedroom, but I always felt like it was missing a little something.
Gallery Wall Before
This wall, the wall that you look at as you enter the room, was just too plain. For the past few months, I’ve been pouring over the shelves of every department store, specialty store, discount store, thrift shop, and garage sale for the perfect piece to add some flavor to this boring beige. I just couldn’t find a piece that screamed… “Buy me, buy me!” Sooo… after some serious pinspiration, I decided to create a nautical inspired Gallery Wall centered around a DIY wood sign that I have created. (more details about the DIY sign later). 
 
My mission: To find “stuff” to center around my rustic sign.
Gallery Wall stuff
I patiently started adding pieces to a pile that I referred to as the gallery wall’s “pile of potential.”  I knew I wanted my DIY wood sign to be the center of attention, but I kept my eyes out for additional nautical inspired stuff to the “Gallery”. 
The biggest piece of advice I can offer is: be patient. I seriously wish we were able to hang the gallery wall months ago, but I didn’t want to rush the process and hang something that I wasn’t head-over-heels in L.O.V.E. with. 
Literally, after months and months of adding to the pile of potential, I was confident that I was finally ready to hang.
Gallery Wall Layout

I laid out the pile of potential, rearranged the grouping several times, ditched some of the pieces and finally came up with a lay-out that I was happy with. There was no rhyme or reason for this lay-out, I just ended up liking it the best, so I ran with it… or in this case, “swam” with it. (Sorry, I had to)

Gallery Wall Layout
Each piece has its own meaning, and all together, create a look that I was so, so excited to finally add to the boring beige. And that’s exactly what we did!
Nautical Gallery Wall

Ta-da! Unfortunately, I don’t really have a play-by-play of our hanging process because there was no logical method. With a hammer, some nails, a pencil and a level, we hung each piece until they were all up. Our philosophy: Eyeball, hang, repeat.

 Easy Gallery Wall

I’m so glad I waited until I was completely happy with the layout before hanging the gallery. Rushing the process would have forced me to hang a piece that I wasn’t completely in love with, and I know I would have  regretted that every single time I looked at this masterpiece.

Nautical Bedroom

As far as I am concerned, this gallery wall is the perfect addition to our relaxing, nautical inspired bedroom. I feel like I have stepped into a beach cottage every time I cuddle up, and quickly realize it’s not a summer getaway every morning I hear my alarm ring at 6:00 am.

No vacation here, don’t let the lobster fool you.

Port Hole Mirror
Let’s check back at the dramatic before & after.

From boring beige…

easy nautical gallery wall
… to nautical gallery wall! 
Check back next week as I give you the details behind each item up there. The “Chestnut meets Mayfield” sign is a DIY project, and the rest are local steals! Costs, store breakdowns, DIY details… I’ll dish it all next week. 
Now that my Challenge Loop project has been submitted, you can find me curb side enjoying the neighborhood parade with my right hand man. I hope you are also enjoying time off with your family and friends on this special holiday.

Tune in tomorrow morning for Casey’s Challenge Loop project, and don’t forget that you can still submit your challenge loop projects. All projects due Wednesday… don’t be late! #spokenlikeatrueteacher  
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5 thoughts on “#RookieDIY: Gallery Wall

  1. Jillian

    I love it, Bridge! So impressed with the way you tied all of the patterns, colors, and textures together. (The interior designer in me is coming out) The DYI wood project is clever and turned out well, too! That’s a great way to personalize the space without flooding the room with photographs. It’s beautiful! Have fun at the parade!

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Thanks @Jillian!
    You’ll have to stop by soon… especially now that you’re back in town. I need some professional advice =)

    Reply
  3. DIY Playbook

    Thanks @Melissa!! I actually scored both at Home Goods for under $20. If you want more scoop, you can read a little bit about each item here: diyplaybook.blogspot.com/2013/06/gallery-wall-follow-up.html‎

    Reply

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5 thoughts on “#RookieDIY: Gallery Wall

  1. Jillian

    I love it, Bridge! So impressed with the way you tied all of the patterns, colors, and textures together. (The interior designer in me is coming out) The DYI wood project is clever and turned out well, too! That’s a great way to personalize the space without flooding the room with photographs. It’s beautiful! Have fun at the parade!

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Thanks @Jillian!
    You’ll have to stop by soon… especially now that you’re back in town. I need some professional advice =)

    Reply
  3. DIY Playbook

    Thanks @Melissa!! I actually scored both at Home Goods for under $20. If you want more scoop, you can read a little bit about each item here: diyplaybook.blogspot.com/2013/06/gallery-wall-follow-up.html‎

    Reply

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Rookie DIY Challenge

Calling all DIY Rookies… it’s time to start Spring Training! 
Challenge Loop Logo

DIY Playbook is hosting a challenge via Challenge Loop and we are so excited for our readers to get in the game…and win big!

Before we get to the challenge details, let’s tell you why we wanted to host a May challenge for YOU, our reader.

The entire purpose of our blog is to inspire you guys and share some of the crazy projects we love completing for our homes.  We understand not everyone is a do-it-yourself MVP, and we want to show you guys that you don’t have to be! The DIY game is less about skill, and more about having the courage to try out a project that may intimidate you.

So far, the best part of blogging has been YOUR emails, instagrams, and tweets showcasing the fabulous DIY projects you courageously conquered! 

When Challenge Loop contacted us to host a May Challenge, we knew that it would be a great way to reward you guys for stepping up to bat, and swinging away!

During the month of May we are asking you to tackle 1 DIY project. Crafts, furniture makeovers, home decor projects…all projects (big & small) count in our playbook.  Use anything and everything for inspiration including Pinterest, magazines, even our blog! 

We will then choose 1 of your fabulous projects as the winner. 

But here is the best part…

Someone wins a $50 TARGET GIFT CARD!!!

Yep, Target (Or the “circle & the dot store” as Casey used to call it as a child. She was a weird kid…) is one of our fav stores and you’ll have fifty big ones to spend there. Think about all of the cute stuff you could get there for $50!? We’re daydreaming of cute summer clothes, accessories, and of course a treasure or two from the home decor section!

So does this sound like something you’re up for? We sure hope so!

1. Accept the challenge by either going to the Rookie DIY Challenge Loop page (Click Here

OR

Download the Challenge Loop iPhone app (Click Here) and look for the challenge “Rookie DIY” under the prize challenges section. 

2.  Complete 1 fab DIY project

3. Upload a photo of your project to the Rookie DIY page on Challenge Loop by Wednesday, May 29th. (Only 1 submission per person)

When you post your project to Challenge Loop, be sure to also give us a shout-out on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook with the hashtag #RookieDIY @diyplaybook

Optional Step: Go ahead and LIKE us on Facebook for the chance to share your project on our page. This will be a great spot to cheer on your fellow teammates and see what everyone has planned for the challenge. 

4. We will then choose a winner and announce it right here on the blog on Friday, May 31st!

Remember the challenge kicks off next Wednesday, May 1st and ends on Wednesday, May 29th. So get your creative juices flowing now!

We can’t wait to see your big scores!

Good Luck!

Love,
The Rookies

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