Going Commando? Not Quite!

Command HooksI was out picking up a few things at Home Depot for my tray storage cupboard and came across the section where the Command Hooks are kept. I have purchased these in the past, but rarely. However, it suddenly occurred to me that they were just what I was looking for! When I made my sliding storage rack, I had to cut it down because of the support board that ran along the side of the fridge below the cupboards. It was about a foot deep and it meant that I had to sacrifice the additional space behind the cabinet. I thought perhaps I could still make use of the space by adding hooks to the wall, but had a temporary mind cramp and couldn’t figure out a way to get a screw or nail in the tight space ~ Dah!  The Command Hooks would work perfectly. I was so excited that I ended up looking over the entire selection and picked-up a few packages. In the end, I mounted two behind the sliding cupboard, one for my broom and another for my oven mitts.

More Kitchen Storage Ideas:

Hidden Sponge Storage

My original plan was to install this system, but unfortunately it wouldn’t work in my kitchen.

As well as installing the Command Hooks, I also picked up a set of hinges and plastic storage trays that are designed to fit behind the false drawer front that sits in front of your kitchen sink. Unfortunately, we have an under mount sink and it was impossible to use the set due to the way it was installed. Although I was disappointed I figured I could install one of the plastic trays inside the door of the cupboard that sits under the sink. It is perhaps slightly less handy than the original plan, but serves the same purpose. I would often have my scrubber and sponge sitting on the back ledge behind the sink and really hated it. This is much better.

So, here are some photos of how I installed and used my new hooks and storage solutions.

Book Rack Upcycle: The Final Steps

The Challenges:

For such a simple project, I have to say that I have been a bit frustrated. The rebuild was quite easy and everything came together quite nicely, but I am still not completely happy with the wheels and its mobility. I have mounted the wheels in several different places, trying to find a placement that provides enough stability and allows the cabinet to move easily in and out of the narrow channel between the fridge and the stove. I have run into issues with both:

  1. Stability – the cabinet is quite tall and narrow, so even without wheels, stability is an issue.
  2. Wheel Mobility – this has been impacted by two variables:
  • one being that the wheels tend to spin when you slide/turn the unit and it seems like they need to remain lined-up nicely in order to work properly.
  • the second issue is the baseboard and quarter-round on the wall. I suspected this might be an issue all along and am pretty certain that removing it will solve most of my challenges. My husband said “No.” Every once in a while he doesn’t quite buy into my plans and removing the quarter-round seems to be something he takes issue with. Oh well, I am on spring break this week (YAY!!) and he isn’t, so we’ll see what happens when he goes to work. This may sound a bit cheeky, but I know from experience that he usually agrees with me when all is said and done.  For now I have left it as is, but at the very least I will be removing it to see if it makes a difference to the mobility.

The Next Steps:

As far as the stability goes, it really isn’t that much of an issue, but I had planned on adding some extra hooks in the very narrow space behind the pull-out rack. In most instances, you would only be pulling the rack partially out to get what you need and the fridge and wall would provide plenty of support for it to stand. However, if I want to add the extra hooks behind the cabinet, I would need to pull it out completely in order to gain access to the items behind. I was thinking of storing my cooling racks behind there because they are light weight for hooks and are too bulky for my cupboards. The downside of this is that I use them quite often, so I might be better placing items that are rarely used behind there. I am really not sure how this will all work out, but for now, I am waiting for a few touch-ups to dry and will then be ready for the final steps.

  • Cleaning and reorganizing my current cupboards in order to use my new storage rack in the most effective way possible.
  • Chalkboard art – I am really not sure what I am going to do yet, but I wanted to try some kind of chalk board art on the vertical face of the cabinet.

I’ll keep you posted.

PS If you are interested in checking out the previous posts on this project, here are the links for the first and second post.

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Upcycled Pickle Jar Canisters

Several years ago, we bought a seasonal restaurant and although the days of “Bobby-Jo’s” are long gone, we still have several of those gigantic relish jars from buying bulk.  I have used them as canisters for years, but my husband recently installed a shelf, so that we could have open storage and de-clutter our basement entrance/pantry.

Upcycled Jars

Basically, all I did was wash the jars and add a label.  I had planned on spray painting the lids, but haven’t done so yet, and because they are so high up, you can’t see the tops.  You can see the jars are quite large ~ 10″ high and 6″ wide.


The labels were made by taking regular white peel and stick Avery labels and painting them with homemade chalkboard paint. Click here for a tutorial.  I then trimmed the ends with specialty scissors that made the scalloped edge.

Homemade Chalkboard Paint Recipe

ingredientsI don’t use the spray paint as suggested in the label tutorial above.  This is the recipe I use for chalkboard paint.  I prefer to make my own as you can make it any colour you wish and it is dirt cheap.  I bought the grout several years ago.  I don’t remember how much it was, but I am thinking under $10.  It lasts forever and has made many batches of paint. (One blogger said that she finds fresh grout works better as there are less lumps. I haven’t really had a problem with lumps.) However, I do find that the mixed paint does not keep well, so I tend to make smaller batches and re-mix for each coat. Depending on the surface, you may need to prime first (raw wood). I find that two coats works well for most projects, with a very light sanding in between coats (use high grit paper). If the surface is a memo board or menu (something that will be used often) I would recommend 3 to 4 coats for extra durability. Be sure to allow it to dry thoroughly between coats and at least 24 hours after the final coat. Once it has had time to cure properly, prime the board.  Use the side of a piece of chalk to completely cover the painted surface and then erase it. Priming is an important step, so don’t forget to do it before you begin to write on the surface.

Open Storage Shelf

We purchased a piece of pine and I stained it dark and then gave the shelf 3 coats of urethane.  I loved the idea of an industrial type look, so I asked my husband what he thought the cost of piping wood be.  He didn’t think it would be expensive and so I sent him out to purchase the pipe we would need.  We decided on three supports because of the weight of the full jars.  My husband isn’t nearly as frugal as I am and I almost had a bird when he told me he spent almost $60 on the pipes.  I would have bailed on the idea and came up with a less expensive alternative, but lucky for me he did the shopping and went ahead with the purchase.  I absolutely love the look.  Yay Tim!

mounted shelfHere is the finished look, with the jars nicely displayed on the open shelf in my kitchen.  I am so pleased with the additional “pantry” space this has given me and love the outcome.

open kitchen storage

open display

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