The best part of DIY projects: finishing them

The best part of DIY projects: finishing them

Despite the rain, Rob and I hung my wine-bottle tiki torches last night.

(If you're interested, instructions are here.)

This project was really easy - drink the wine, buy the supplies, use a drill to put up the torches.

Of course, I had to complicate things. I wanted three torches near my patio area to keep away bugs. Unfortunately, there wasn't a good place to hang one on the east side of the patio, other than on my house. I figured that wasn't my best idea.

So I bought an old porch post from PACA. One of the reasons I picked this particular post is because it's hollow in the middle. I took the top off my umbrella-style clothesline, just east of my patio, and slipped the porch post over the bottom post of the clothesline, which is cemented in the ground.

Rob and I attached the torch to the porch post, and it looks great. And when I'm doing laundry, I'll unscrew the bottle from its hardware, slip off the post and replace the clothesline. Again, harder than it needed to be, but it works for me.

While Rob had his drill out, I had him finish up another project I've been wanting to tackle.

When I spruced up my kitchen, I decided I wanted to use the wall above my kitchen sink as a pot rack. I was inspired by the rack over the window in this kitchen. It was from Ikea, though, And I don't exactly have a store within easy distance. I knew I'd have to improvise. I thought about buying a long towel rack and using it as a pot hanger, but I didn't see anything I liked.

When I visited the Habitat for Humanity Restore last weekend, I found four shelf/ hang rod brackets, two shelves and a long metal pipe for $7. I bought brown spray paint for the brackets, putting the total cost of this project at right around $10.

(Two side notes: How on earth had I not visited the Restore before? It's incredible. Here's their Flickr page, where they post photos of items for sale. And they accept credit cards for purchases more than $5. I don't believe they take Discover, because I wasn't able to use mine.

And I love those shelf/hang rod brackets. Rob and I used them to turn a third bedroom into an enormous closet a couple years ago for someone else, and I used two to make a coat rack behind my front door. Anyone who lives in a tiny house or apartment will agree it's important to use vertical space. These brackets provide a great way to do this.)

Rob put up the shelves last night. I strung metal shower hooks on the rods, and attached S-hooks to each of them. I hung my pots and pans and various other kitchen accessories from the S-hooks. I think it turned out well. (See the photo below.)

Now, I have more room in my cabinets for ... something (not sure what, yet, but it'll fill up eventually) and my pots and pans are easier to get to. My kitchen cabinets are so high that I have to stand on a chair to get anything out of them.

Plus, the shelves give me a place to keep pot and pan lids, the griddle for my stove and baking supplies. The cabinetry is really deep near my sink, so there's plenty of room for the shelving.

Now that these two projects are done, I can't wait to go back to the Restore and see what other home-improvement supplies await.

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