Admit it: Your stash of gift wrap and ribbon is a jumble in the back of your closet. But if you've got a bookcase with removable shelves, you've got a place to wrangle rolls of paper, tape, and crafts supplies.
RELATED: Guilt-Free Gift Wrap: Creative Reuse Ideas for Pretty Holiday Packaging
1. Screw a frame of 1x strips inside the back of the bookcase (this one kept its partitioned bottom shelf).
2. Then secure the bookshelf to the wall with deck screws driven through the framing into the wall studs.
3. Fasten ¼-inch pegboard to the frame with cabinet screws.
4. Paint the whole unit.
5. Once it's dry, add hooks and accessories (Aubuchon Hardware has a good selection), and you've created a tidy work area that keeps wrap within reach. __Sal Vaglica, This Old House
RELATED: Editors' Picks: 23 Great Gift Ideas for Every Budget, Every DIYer
RELATED: 12 Tools to Cure Wrap Rage: Cutting Implements That'll Rip Through the Most Impenetrable Packaging
Blog Posts by This Old House Magazine
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Fri, Dec 3, 2010 5:23 PM EST
Admit it: Your stash of gift wrap and ribbon is a jumble in the back of your closet. But if you've got a bookcase with removable shelves, you've got a place to wrangle rolls of paper, tape, and crafts supplies.Read More »from Every Wrapmaster's Dream: Create a Pegboard Gift Wrapping Station
Rocking horses, toy chests and dollhouses are just a few of the classic gifts generations have treasured. Now you can give all the pint-sized DIYers on your list those same classic gifts, and make them yourself with the help of these DIY toy kits. They're perfect for kids of all ages, and will be treasured for years to come. The best part? All these gifts can still make it to your door by Christmas.1. Farmhouse Dollhouse
A Vermont Farmhouse by Real Good Toys is as pretty as the real thing. And if the seven-room home isn't big enough for the serial renovator in your kid, the site also sells additions that add two rooms to either end of the house. Just like the homes old-house lovers hope to own, this farmhouse comes with real wood shingles, wood floors, interior crown molding and a spacious porch.
About $153; SimplyKidToys.com
2. Toy Chest Kit and Pattern
TOH has showed you how to make a toy chest with your kids before, but if you don't feel like cutting the wood yourself, optRead More »from 5 Classic DIY Gift Ideas for Kids
Not quite sure what to pack your gingerbread toolbox with this year? Believe it or not, the tools aren't that different than the ones you use on your real house. This Old House has compiled a list of the top 6 tools professional and award-winning gingerbread artists use on their creations. You may already have most of them on-hand.
Read More »from The Ultimate Gingerbread House-Making Tool Kit
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Wed, Dec 1, 2010 7:11 PM EST
Ann Bailey of Cary, North Carolina, never baked a day in her life until she decided to enter the National Gingerbread Contest. Bailey's inspiration came from a Shingle-style home in New Bern, North Carolina. Bailey used royal icing, marzipan, and gum paste to create this scene in a little over two months. A Dremel junior tool attachment, which resembles a sander, enabled this chef to sand out all the windows and doorframes. The shingles were laid using a ruler and a paring knife, to ensure that they were all about the same size. The topiaries and Santa figure were created with gum paste.
Enter the 2010 Gingerbread Contest for YOUR chance to win!
The Sugar Castle, displayed in the historic Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco, took over 400 hours to create. Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Francios Houdre was inspired by European architecture and used a variety of tools for this construction, including X-Acto knives, glue guns, and rulers.Read More »from Top 10 Most Amazing Gingerbread Houses You'll Ever See
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Wed, Dec 1, 2010 6:20 PM EST
1. Christmas FortressDominic Luberto's home in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, causes quite a stir; especially among neighbors who don't care for this bright holiday display. Luberto's lights aren't without fans, though. Local news stations have covered and photographed the place for special holiday coverage. The yard featured everything from traditional snowmen to Winnie-the-Pooh figurines.
2. Lights for a CauseAlek Komarnitsky recreates a version of this display every year. All of the figures and flashers are synced to software that allows you to manipulate the Lafayette, Colorado, display via the Web. Why? Through his over-the-top display, Komarnitsky hopes to motivate people to donate to the University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research; both of his children have been diagnosed with the condition. Visit komar.org to get in on the fun.
3. Creative CandylandNot sure if you can tell, but Patricia Farmer in Alexandria, Virginia, has an extensive collection on yard Read More »from Top 12 Holiday Decorated Houses You Can Probably See From Outer Space
Sure, it keeps food fresh, but plastic wrap is a handy multitasker outside the kitchen, too.Read More »from 5 Uses for Plastic Wrap
1. Preserve paints and spackles
Cover paint, patching compound, or putty with a layer of plastic wrap (making contact with its entire surface area) before replacing the container lid to keep it from drying out. Click here for tips on personalizing your home with paint.
2. Keep utensils in order
When packing for a move, wind plastic wrap around trays of silverware and utensils. If they're overturned in transit, you won't lose any pieces. For more great kitchen ideas, see TOH's best products of 2010 list.
3. Carry a bulky package
Twist a long sheet of plastic wrap tightly to make a rope. Wrap the rope around a package, and knot the ends into a slip-proof handle.
4. Store a paint roller overnight
Wrap a wet paint roller several times in close-fitting plastic wrap and stash it in the fridge. The paint will stay fresh for the next day's use.
5. Make temporary booties
Protect newly finished
You can increase the chances of a live Christmas tree thriving in your landscape long past the holidays by selecting one that's native to your area. And because the local trees haven't been shipped from faraway places, they are typically cheaper, too. "Trees struggle to survive when planted where they wouldn't naturally grow," says Tchukki Andersen, an arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association. She suggests picking a species that's from your particular hardiness zone: The U.S. is divided into nine of them, based on average annual low temperature. You can figure out your zone by typing your zip code into the Arbor Day website.Read More »from Save Money with a Native Christmas Tree
Next, print out our primer on conifers that are known to grow in your region and bring it to your local tree farm or nursery. Simply pick a tree off the list. Or better yet, show it to a knowledgeable salesperson, so he or she can help you winnow the choices down to one tree that's just right for your landscape-and your holiday celebrations.
In a perfect world, we'd carefully unwrap gifts and save the paper for reuse next year. But tearing apart wrapping paper is about 98 percent of the fun, isn't it? Still, gift wrap accounts for much of the 25 percent spike in waste during the holiday season. Meanwhile, according to The Use Less Stuff Report, reuse of just two feet of ribbon per family would save enough of the trimming to tie a bow around the entire planet. That's a whole lot of ribbon.
If the mounds of colorful wrapping paper on your living room floor make you feel a little guilty-wasteful, even-here are a few creative reuse ideas to ease your conscience.
Tip 1: Off the Wall
The repetitive patterns of wallpaper are very similar to that of wrapping paper. Check your garage or closets for wallpaper scraps or samples you may have leftover. Create a reusable "Hollywood box" by wrapping a lid and box separately, or cover an old shoebox to put your gift into. Your box will be so pretty that the receiver is sure to reuseRead More »from 5 Guilt-Free Giftwrapping Ideas
Some kitchen gadgets remain state-of-the-art for decades-there's no improving on the rice cooker, for instance. Yet others are continually updated with smaller proportions, and so many bells and whistles that they'll do everything but the dishes. To compile our list of the best budget-friendly cooking tools we combed through the classics, the brand new, and the new-and-improved. If you don't already have these kitchen essentials, you'll wonder how you ever survived without them!
1. Four-in-One Avocado Tool
Instead of juggling (and dirtying) a knife, spoon, and fork when preparing an avocado, use this nifty all-in-one tool for ease, convenience and cleanliness. About $15, williams-sonoma.com2. Coffee Grinder for Spices
Use a coffee grinder to freshly grind spices and achieve more flavor in your dishes. The Braun Coffee Grinder is an affordable way to concoct your own spice blends, control the texture of the grains, and just make less mess. About $22, kitchenwareetc.com3.Read More »from 5 of the Best Kitchen Gadgets Under $50
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Mon, Nov 22, 2010 8:05 PM EST
Every holiday entertainer could use some extra seating this time of year. If run-of-the-mill metal folders aren't your style, you'll love these innovative chair designs from some of today's top talent. See the Top 5 here, then, click the image to the left to see the designs that round out the top 12!Read More »from 12 Clever Folding Chair Designs for Entertaining in Small Spaces