Condo Blues: tools




Showing posts with label tools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tools. Show all posts

Monday, November 18, 2019

10 Quick, Easy, and Eco Friendly Kitchen Cleaning Hacks

I love a clean and tidy kitchen but I don’t love spending all of my time cleaning and organizing it.  That especially goes for the holiday season when I’d much rather be entertaining my guests than slipping out to the store because I ran out of some disposable cleaning doo dad or supply in the middle of cleaning up after dinner.

Because if I run out of something, it is always going to be when I need it use it immediately.

It. Never.Fails.

 
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Luckily I developed have several hacks that replace disposable kitchen cleaning tools with reusable and others that make those disposables last a little bit longer so you aren’t stuck with a Holiday Hostess Fail in the middle of your party fun!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sears sells Craftsman Brand and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 354

Super big news in the tool world last week. According to Business Insider, Sears sold the Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker who also owns the Dewalt tool brand. According to The Motley Fool:


"Rather than buying Craftsman outright, Stanley Black & Decker is buying the rights to use the Craftsman brand outside of Sears-affiliated sales channels. Meanwhile, Sears Holdings will be able to continue producing and selling its own line of Craftsman-branded products in Sears and Kmart stores. Sears will start paying royalties to Stanley Black & Decker for use of the Craftsman brand after 15 years.

Since non-Sears retail outlets account for just 10% of Craftsman sales right now, Stanley Black & Decker is essentially paying for the growth potential associated with making Craftsman products more widely available. The deal was deliberately structured this way to protect Stanley Black & Decker from Sears' ongoing decline."

I can't say I'm surprised because the writing has been on the wall for Sears Holdings for quite awhile. For example, last Christmas Kmart made it impossible to buy a few items I was interested in both in local store and on line. They were little extras so it wasn't a loss that I didn't buy them. Although I know Husband had to jump through a quite few hoops to buy the Craftsman orbital sander I wanted for Christmas. Originally he wanted to give it to me for my birthday but couldn't find it.

I hugged my Craftsman sander like an eight year old girl getting an American Girl doll for Christmas.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

How to Make a Small Space Sandpaper Organizer


It's amazing what you find when you decide it is time to clean and organize a workbench or workshop.

In my case it is sandpaper.

Lots of sandpaper.

Like embarrassing amounts of specific grits I bought because I though I didn't have it, when not only did I have it, I have epic loads of it because I kept losing it in my messy and disorganized garage and workshop.

I'm sure all of you organized crafters and DIYers cannot relate at all to this. (Although I'd feel less like a slob if you do.)

Dollar store sandpaper organizer!
That's what happens when I get tired of storing a mount of objects on my workbench top after creating a motivational gallery wall above the workbench in the garage.

So I started poking around Pinterest (follow me @condoblues pretty please?) looking for workshop sandpaper storage and organizers and coming up empty because I work in a small space.  I'm too short to reach all of the organizers I saw hanging on the wall over a workbench.

Funny thing, I found the inspiration solution on the Craftsman website when I was on there dreaming about lawnmowers. Sorry about the weird stream of conscious thing but our lawn service has given us so many excuses about not cutting our grass (that I'm allergic to) that  is almost as tall as Lacey. Grrr!

But that is a different story for a different day.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

DIY Cigar Box and Wine Cork Storage Box

More often than I want to admit, phone and table cords, earphones, and eyeglasses are strewn about the side tables in my living room.  I put the stuff away. The next evening we need the stuff to read books or watch movies on our tablets and plop it on a table before heading off to bed. I put the stuff away…

It’s a never ending cycle.

A friend found a bunch of empty wood cigar boxes in the basement of her wine shop. I was drooling when I found out. Old cigar boxes are the gold standard of recycled project material just begging for an upcycle!

Needless to say, I made my way over to her shop and came home with a cigar box to make into a decorative storage box with wine cork feet to contain the flotsam and jetsam littering the living room.

 You have no idea how much work it took to to win the eBay auction for these vintage metal frames. I had my optimist fill them with my prescription. I love them!

How to Make a Decorative Cigar Box Storage Box 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to Make an Office Chair Mat

The plastic mats under the rolling chairs in our home office have seen better days. No matter what kind of office chair mat I buy, it eventually cracks, breaks, and sheds plastic chunks all over the carpet in the office.

I need to use a chair mat under our rolling chairs to protect the carpeting we aren't ready to replace.  Replacing the mats every couple of years isn’t sustainable. More than that it is a pain!

I solved our problem by making durable office chair mats from laminate flooring I bought at the Habitat Restore. I went with laminate flooring instead of plain plywood because I was concerned the plain plywood office chair mats would crack and break. Laminate flooring isn’t my favorite look but it is built to do the job I need it to do – be a floor.


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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Our Favorite Condo Blues DIY Projects in 2015

We’re celebrating the New Year by looking back at some of our favorite Condo Blues DIY projects for 2015.

From the looks of it, we are all extremely organized people! Or at least we all want to be extremely organized people, myself included!
 

Our Top 10 DIY Projects on Condo Blues in 2015

 

Organize Your Garage in Three Easy Questions   

 



6 Smart Strategies to Organize a Garage and Workshop 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Quick and Easy Boat Cleat Towel Rack

I need to to organize the towels in the guest bathroom and found my design inspiration at the vet’s office. Wha? Let me explain.

Lacey’s vet has boat cleats on the main desk which allows you to anchor your pet’s leash (pun intended) over the cleat so your hands are free to make payments and sign paperwork.  It is quite genius and something I’d totally expect seeing growing up on Lake Erie.

The guest bathroom is taking on a nautical vibe. I like repurposed and reclaimed design elements. So why not organize my bathroom by repurposing dock cleats? Sounds like a plan.

How to Make a Boat Dock Cleat Towel or Coat Rack

 
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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Carve a Life Size Snake Pumpkin for Halloween!

You may not know this but I have something in common with the archaeological adventurer Indiana Jones.

I hate snakes.

I think snakes are creepy, ugly, slimy, and icky! Icky! Icky!

Spiders I can handle, but snakes? Not unless they are incredibly and undoubtably fake.


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 Or they light up. Like this guy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How to Fix a Running Toilet: Replace the Float

Water in the guest bathroom toilet kept running after every flush. I removed the lid to the toilet tank to investigate.


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Thursday, June 18, 2015

How to Replace a Rain Barrel Spigot

My rain barrel has been harvesting water for the last three years. I couldn’t be happier with it. Even better my rain barrel keeps a soggy side of my house dry.


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The only downside to my 40 gallon bundle of joy is after three years of faithful service the shut off valve on the attached hose broke. I can’t unscrew it and use a regular garden hose with my rain barrel rock because it has a hose instead of a spigot. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How to Install Grommets (Eyelets) in Fabric the Easy Way!

 Knowing how to install grommets (they are also called eyelets) is a useful DIY skill to have. You can fix a tarp or make it more hangupable (a word I just DIY’ed on the fly because I’m creative like that.)

Crafty folks use grommets to make no sew shower curtains, yard flags, or any and all things hanging. I use grommets to make historical clothing, which are why my sewing button hole skills are nonexistent.  You don’t need to know how to sew to install an eyelet.

Do you want to learn? Of course you do! Keep reading my tutorial to learn how.

how to install grommets without sewing
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How to Set Grommets/Eyelets


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How to Clean Sandpaper on a Belt Sander

Sandpaper lasts me quite awhile because I rarely have a project where I bust open a new sanding belt and sand all the grit off the belt before it is time to switch to a different grit during the project.

Needing to change a still gritty sanding belt because it is clogged and gunked up with sawdust is a different matter.

Why does it always happen when you’ve got just a little bit left to sand and you’re out of new sanding belts? Is it some DIY conspiracy I don’t know about? Possibly.

3 ways to clean beltsander



Did you know you can clean sandpaper and prolong its life? Yep, you can! Cleaning a sanding belt is a cheap and easy thing to do. You might already have just what you need to do it too.

3 Cheap and Easy Ways to Clean Sanding Belts and Prolong Their Life


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mother’s Day Tool Giveaway with WORX Tools: 3 Winners!

One of the benefits of living in a condo is having a homeowner’s association that mows our yard. Unfortunately sometimes the lawn guys are more about doing the job quickly than accurately.   Husband and I figure it time to invest in lawn tools so we can trim and tidy up the edging the lawn service hits and misses.

WORX Giveaway collage


Husband and I checked out the WORX 20V MaxLithium GT Trimmer/Edger/Mini-mower and it’s pretty neat. It take the place of three power lawn tools in your garage, a grass trimmer, an edger, and a mini-mower, very nice for those of us with limited tool storage space. The other feature Husband and I appreciate is the how easily the telescoping shaft adjusts to the user’s height. When it comes to yard work Husband and I trade off jobs as our schedules permit (and who gets tired of wonky edging first.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Recycled Kitchen Cabinet and Wood Pallet Workbench

I needed a workbench in the garage. I also wanted one place to store all of my tools in my workshop. I’m low to the ground at 4’11”. It makes more sense to store my tools in my workbench than above the workbench on shelves or peg board.  

Originally my plan was to buy matching bathroom cabinets at the Habitat Restore since bathroom base cabinets aren’t as tall as kitchen cabinets.  I would finally have a work surface that is at the correct height for my size!

kitchen cabinet wood pallet workbench

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Father in law said there were  two mismatched kitchen base cabinets that have been forgotten in his garage for years and offered them to me.

Change of plans. Free is good.

Friday, April 3, 2015

What’s Better Than a Vacation? Winning a MAKEcation of Course!

I have a decent collection of tools and know how to use them but there a number of things I’d like to try but would feel more confident if someone showed me how to use say, a lathe, so I can keep my figures while working on my first project.

I can’t be the only one who feels this way about using tools, can I?

I guess not because Craftsman is holding another MAKEcation event this September Sept. 24-27 in Brooklyn, New York and will teach you how to use all sorts of tools to make really cool things. It sounds like DIY Vacation Heaven!

Craftsman-MAKEcation 2

Last year they taught everyone how to make a wood goblet on a lathe. Learning how to use a lathe is on my Bucket List.
 
You can win a chance to go to the ultimate making vacation that will put true makers' blood, sweat and tools to the test, letting you sharpen skills and learn new ones. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Make a Play Workbench for Your Little DIYer!

When you have a toddler, more often than not, you or Santa gives them a kitchen play set. I had one. It was a pink metal play kitchen. Fun fact: My first apartment had pink metal kitchen cabinets.

Naturally I am pro play kitchen. I am also pro make sure it looks cool because it could show up as a real kitchen later in your kid's life play kitchen.  That being the case, I am all over the upcycled furniture turned into a play kitchen.

 But do you know what every kid needs after they get a play kitchen? A play workbench! How else are they going to play fix the kitchen appliances?


I am loving this nightstand recycled into a play toddler workbench on Apartment Therapy. It is a simple DIY that any child - boy or girl - would love to pretend tinker around the playhouse.

I wish I had one as a kid!


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Sunday, February 1, 2015

6 Smart Strategies to Organize a Garage and Workshop

Our garage and workshop was an unorganized mess!  I put the organize the garage project off for long time because I was overwhelmed by the clutter. Where do I start? Ack!

six steps to an organized garage

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By accident or design (I’m going to go with by design because it sounds like I had a plan all along instead of a make it up as I go along series of happy accidents) I broke my big garage organization project into several smaller, less overwhelming projects.

Guess what? Three days later (I had a lot of stuff to deal with) I had an organized workshop I can use without tripping over anything. I discovered some things I thought were working weren’t and why. I made changes according my needs and organization style. My garage is now neat and stays that way.

Yay!

This method worked so well on helping my clear my garage clutter madness that I’m using it to organize other parts of my house. You can too!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Outdoor Christmas Décor: Modern Lighted Tomato Cage Christmas Trees

For as much I enjoy looking at Christmas light displays you’d think I’d do something fancy outside of my own home.

modern tomato cage Christmas tree with lights
Nope. I keep it simple.

Why?

Because it is always too cold outside to put up and take down elaborate Christmas decorations!

Peace, love, joy, and warmth. That’s what my outdoor Christmas décor is all about.

And by warmth I mean not freezing my legs off while I’m outside or in the garage building new Christmas decorations.

This year I made a few changes in our outdoor Christmas décor and especially in what I used to display them. I wore the right work pants for the job, my Duluth Trading Company Women's Fleece-Lined DuluthFlex Fire Hose Pants.

Did I mention these multi-pocketed wonder pants are lined with warm and soft fleece, one of my favorite cold weather fabrics? Oh yes, my friends. My new fancy pants kept me warm while installing Christmas decorations. They proved their worth later that evening on a walk with Lacey to look at Christmas lights a local park. We left early because Husband wore jeans and got cold. Me? Not cold at all.

fleece lined fire hose pants
The best thing about Duluth Trading Company clothes is they realize women need just as many pockets in their clothing as men.  DuluthFlex Fire Hose Pants have six packets: 2 front pockets, a zippered thigh cargo pocket, 2 back pockets, and a Pokey Things Pocket (their name, not mine) on the right back thigh.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to Hide an Emergency Tool Box in Your Hair

Husband saw personalized Swiss Army type knives in a shop when we were on vacation one year. In a rare impulse buy we ended up with His and Hers Swiss Army knives. Husband got silly giddy and said I HAD to have the knife with Handyman engraved on it. Husband bought a matching one with his name on it to replace the knife he lost. 

We changed Handyman to Handyma’am with my wood burning tool when we got home.

Husband uses the screwdriver on his Swiss Army knife all the time so yeah, of course, I’m all for him getting a replacement.

Me? I didn’t think I’d use it but if at all but if all it takes to make Husband happy is to carry a Handyma’am Swiss Army knife in the bottom of my purse I get off easy don’t I?

Thing is, the guy knows how handy those little emergency tool kit knives are. He was right and I was wrong. Those little tools have gotten me out of a jam time and time again. For example, if you follow @condoblues on Instagram (click and follow pretty please?) you might have already seen this Doomsday scenario the corkscrew on my Swiss Army knife helped my sister and I avoid on a Saturday night.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

9 Things to Do When Your Bathroom Floods

This was supposed to be a post about how I fixed the leaking faucet I found during my grout the bathroom tile project.

Instead it turned into a how to dry out a flooded bathroom and kitchen post.

nine things to do when your bathroom floods
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