Breathe new life into stuff that's destined for the trash heap. Keep reading for clever ways to put spent gift cards, yogurt cups, sponges, and more to work in your home. -Tabitha Sukhai
Cut a Custom Trowel Using a Spent Gift Card. Why dirty a trowel when gluing down a few loose tiles? Instead, snip off one edge of a card with pinking shears to make a zigzag edge, use it to apply the mastic, then toss it. You can also cut the card to fit into just about any space.
MORE: 10 Uses for Gift Cards
Move Heavy Furniture Using Carpet Scraps. Slide pieces of carpet pile-side down under-neath the legs of a bureau, bed, or dresser, then push it across the floor-much easier than lifting.
MORE: 10 Uses for Carpet Scraps
Make a Tangle-Free Twine Dispenser With a Plastic Planting Pot. Put a ball of twine in a plastic pot, and pull the end through a hole in the bottom to keep it neat when using.
MORE: 10 Uses for Plastic Plant Pots
Catch Paint Drips With a Yogurt Container Lid. Cut a hole in a lid
Blog Posts by This Old House Magazine
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Sat, Jun 11, 2011 4:24 AM EDT
Breathe new life into stuff that's destined for the trash heap. Keep reading for clever ways to put spent gift cards, yogurt cups, sponges, and more to work in your home. -Tabitha SukhaiRead More »from Clever New Uses for Stuff That's Destined for the Trash Heap
After: Keep Retro Charm, Save Big Bucks!
Who: Nick Macke and Ted Moss
Where: Milton, Mass.
What: Gave their old cabinets a stylish yet frugal makeover.
"We wanted to keep some of the original retro details such as the stainless-steel sink and metal cabinets," says homeowner Nick Macke. That's the initial reason why he and his partner, Ted Moss, decided to go with mostly surface updates to their kitchen. Then they realized that doing so would save a huge chunk of cash as well as the kitchen's vintage charm. Here's how to Install a Glass Mosaic Tile Backsplash like the one shown here.
RELATED: 3 Kitchens, 3 Budgets
A scalloped soffit, '70s-era wallpaper, wood paneling, and peeling linoleum dated the space. An open shelf above a new mosaic backsplash, a fresh coat of paint for the cabinets and walls and for the paneling, and a new floor bring it into this century.
RELATED: How to Afford the Kitchen You Want
After: Working in the Same Footprint
No walls or appliances wereRead More »from The $645 Kitchen Remodel
Read More »from Steal Ideas From the TOH Remodel of the Year
Nicole and John Rader opened up and enlarged their 1920s Colonial Revival without sacrificing its soul-and won $5,000 and a GMC Sierra in TOH's annual Reader Remodel Contest!
Read the full story of their renovation on thisoldhouse.com
Old-World Charm, New-Age Problems: The front of the house before the renovation. It was originally built by their next-door neighbor's grandfather. After 70-some years in the Florida sun, it needed work.
MORE: Best DIY Curb-Appeal Before and Afters of the Year
Belle of the Block: Finally, after three renovation phases and 10 years, the house is complete!
MORE: Best DIY Budget Redo Before and Afters of the Year
Spacious Additions: During the third-phase of the renovation, the Raders added a 760 square foot addition, but kept as much of the original 1920s house as possible.
MORE: Best Kitchen Before and Afters of the Year
How They Saved:
-Shopped smart. They purchased half-price floor models at appliance showrooms, asked local stores to match discounts
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Tue, Jun 7, 2011 8:41 PM EDT
Read More »from Before and After Photos From the Remodels of the Year
Announcing the winners of This Old House's 2011 Reader Remodel Contest! Are you a winner? Did you make the pages of our annual Reader-Created issue?
1. THE GRAND-PRIZE WINNER: A Chic Colonial.
John and Nicole Rader take a 1920s Colonial Revival from shabby to chic to win top honors ($5K and a new GMC truck!) Ten years, and many trips to the home center later, see how the Rader family made their DIY dreams come true.
Plus! Take a Video Tour of the Grand-Prize Winning House.
2. THE RUNNERS-UP: 5 One-Room Wonders.
5 amazing one-room transformations by $1,000 prize-winning runners-up, including a gorgeous outdoor retreat.
MORE: Best Kitchen Before and Afters 2011
3. PICTURE PERFECT: Best Curb-Appeal Transformations.
See these 7 homes that went from dumps to dreams with easy DIY enhancements.
MORE: Best Bath Before and Afters 2011
4. MOXIE AWARDS: Honoring True DIY Grit.
The winners of our Moxie Awards have what it takes to get the job done, despite any obstacles that stand in their
Wild animal on the loose? Construction mishap? Don't let this mayhem terrorize your home! With our homeowner survival tips, you'll know just what to do when trouble strikes.Read More »from 3 Household Disasters and How to Deal with Them
SEE MORE HOME DISASTERS AND ALL OUR HOMEOWNER SURVIVAL TIPS AT THISOLDHOUSE.COM.
1. Problem: A Wild Animal is Loose in the House
What to do: "Don't try to herd a bird with a broom or tennis racket. It'll just panic and try to hide," says Tom Scollins, a zoologist turned wildlife-control agent in Baltimore. "Instead, turn off the lights and open the windows, drapes, and blinds. It'll feel the air currents and fly toward the light." The same technique works for squirrels and raccoons, if you can corral them in a room and shut the door. If that fails, you'll need to call in a professional wildlife wrangler or your town's animal-control officer.
See how to keep this from happening to you...
MORE: Pet-Friendly Home DIY-Projects
2. Problem: You May Have Just Taken Down a Bearing Wall
What to do: Look into the
It is that time of year again! Roses are in bloom. Here's everything you need to know--including the best tools to use and which varieties to plant--to keep the most beautiful rose garden on the block. -Tabitha SukhaiRead More »from The TOH Guide to Growing a Flawless Rose Garden
Everything You Need to Prune Roses. Build the ultimate rose-care kit with help from the gardening pros! The Kneeling Pad and Seat show above can be used as shown to provide cushion or as a comfy bench. It's about $35 at gardeners.com (but we're sure some of our more resourceful DIYers can build one easily!)
See the rest of our Rose-Care Tool Kit at thisoldhouse.com
Watch a Pro Prune and Train Roses. You should start by inspecting your rose bushes for old, dead, or weak branches. Many homeowners fear pruning, but with help from TOH landscape contractor Roger Cook, you can do it yourself with confidence. Watch How to Prune and Train Roses at thisoldhouse.com
Pick Easy-Care Varieties. Far from finicky, many shrub-type roses bloom all summer long with very little fuss. Here
Did you know that you could use wood ash to repel slugs and snails in the garden? Or that you could use baking soda to zap roaches or remove tape residue? Well, it turns out you can. And there are all kinds of problem-solvers just laying around the house masquerading as one-trick ponies, or even trash. Here are some of our best tips from the popular 10 Uses column of This Old House magazine! Got some clever uses for common household products of your own? Share them in the comments section below. --Tabitha SukhaiRead More »from Clever New Uses for Common Household Products
Use old garden hoses to give your buckets a grip. A piece slipped over a wire handle makes for a more sturdy and comfortable grip.
MORE: See all 10 Uses for Old Garden Hoses at thisoldhouse.com
Use coffee filters to keep windows clear. Spray panes with glass cleaner, then wipe away with a doubled-up coffee filter. No lint, no streaks.
MORE: See all 10 Uses for Coffee Filters at thisoldhouse.com
Use chalk to file right. Rubbing chalk onto a metal file makes its teeth easier to
- This Old House Magazine | Shine Food – Thu, Jun 2, 2011 8:30 PM EDT
Food for the Family Table: There's nothing like the earthy crunch of a just-picked carrot or the sweetness of a juicy tomato still warm from the sun. And the taste is even sweeter when it's one you've grown on your own. For parents like Phil Nolan and Michele Rast, backyard vegetable gardening has intangible benefits, too. "We want our kids to appreciate the way things grow and to understand the value of food," Nolan says when asked why he dug up part of the family's New Jersey lawn to put in a formal 18-by-32-foot veggie garden.Read More »from 4 Expert Tips on Growing Your Own Vegetable Garden
Shown: The 576-square-foot plot produces veggies all summer for a family of four, with plenty left over to share. Tidy raised beds and gravel paths make it easy to care for, and evoke an English country garden.
DON'T MISS ALL OUR ADVICE ON GROWING A VEGETABLE GARDEN ON THISOLDHOUSE.COM.
1. Start Small
Why do some fail where others succeed? At least one aspect of soil preparation, plant selection, or growing wasn't right. "Often, just a few tips can make
- This Old House Magazine | Parenting – Wed, Jun 1, 2011 8:40 PM EDT
Think Like a Kid: In a world made by the point-of-view of grown-ups, there are inadvertent hazards to small children all over the place. Home is no exception. According to Safe Kids USA (an organization that educates parents, policy makers, and the general public in creating safe environments for children) a child dies every 101 minutes as a result of an unintentional injury, making it the leading cause of accidental death and permanent disability for America's kids.Read More »from Child-Proofing Tips to Protect Your Kids in Home Danger Zones
Best we try, we can't have both eyes fixed on little busy bodies all the time, but there are things that can be done reduce risk throughout the home. Familiarize yourself with what is dangerous in these 4 rooms and the upgrades you can make to keep things safe. -Tabitha Sukhai
See ALL of our child safety tips at thisoldhouse.com
1. Room: Kitchen and Dining Area
Why it is dangerous: Respondents to the Home Safety Council's (HSC) Safe Haven research named the kitchen the most dangerous room of the house, possibly
What's New is Old Again: Original details. Some houses have 'em, some don't.Read More »from 6 DIY Projects to Add Old-House Charm
If yours is among the latter-meaning that it wasn't born with architectural elements like carved wood balustrades or embossed metal window latches, or if some of those enhancements were lost over the years to misguided remodeling-take heart. With a little sweat equity, you can add your own. See these 6 ways to add some classic character and find other advice to give old-home charm to your house at THISOLDHOUSE.COM.
1. Coffer a Ceiling
Ceiling coffers came into vogue during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when American architecture went retro with a revival of classical house styles. The hollow wood-panel grid was originally used during the Renaissance to dress up beams. Today, a handy homeowner can easily create coffers. The trick, says This Old House general contractor Tom Silva, is to build U-shaped beams on the floor to minimize overhead work.
MORE: Brighten a Room by Building a Pier Mirror