Posted in Around the House

Converting a Dresser into a Kitchen Island – Part 3

Well, I just realized I never posted part 3 of this series with the final pictures.  I guess 5 years isn’t too late to wrap things up.  We have remodeled our house since the original post was made so the island has been moved to the basement and is now a Craft Center for our kids to play, make puzzles, etc.

The drawers were put back in where they came from and two shelves were added to the bottom.  The middle shelf is simply sitting on top of some wood pieces I attached to the inside of the main compartment and the bottom one is just sitting on the bottom.

Overall, this project turned out great.  I’d highly recommend trying something like this for anyone with some old furniture that you want to use in a different way.

Posted in Around the House

Laundry Organization

Like many people I know, the laundry area in our house was somewhat disorganized.  We had multiple hampers to put the dirty clothes in but they weren’t next to the washer & dryer.  Things would overflow and were just not a very pretty site.

My wife did some looking around the internet and found a few ideas on what we could make to help get things more organized.  The idea that we found and liked the best look like this:

Click image to view the page we got the idea from

Continue reading “Laundry Organization”

Posted in Around the House

Converting a Dresser into a Kitchen Island – Part 2

If you read Part 1 of the Kitchen Island series, you’ll know that I am in the process of taking an old dresser and converting it into a kitchen island for us to you.  If you didn’t read Part 1, go do so now.

At the end of part 1, the structure was built but it needed to be painted and finished.  I bought a Wagner paint sprayer form Menards when it was on sale and had a rebate.  This was a great purchase.  Instead of taking an afternoon to paint the dresser, it took about 15 minutes.  And that includes painting other large items that needed to be painted as well.  I used 2 coats of primer and 1 coat of paint.  I probably only needed 1 of each but wasn’t sure.

  Continue reading “Converting a Dresser into a Kitchen Island – Part 2”

Posted in Around the House

Converting a Dresser into a Kitchen Island – Part 1

So, we have an island in our kitchen that I made many years ago.  My wife has decided she wants a larger one so we can have some extra storage in the kitchen.

Kitchen Island

She has a friend who converted a dresser into an island and she loved it.  She then found another friend who was getting rid of a dresser.  So, we picked it up and are going to try to convert it into our own kitchen island.  It will probably take a couple days but I’ll document here as we go along. Continue reading “Converting a Dresser into a Kitchen Island – Part 1”

Posted in Around the House

PVC Tomato Cages

So, we have a garden that my wife, Colleen,  grows veggies in.  One of the standard things she grows is tomatoes.  Normally we plant the tomatoes and put one of those ugly, wire cage things around them to try to keep them upright.  You know what I”m talking about.  They look something like this:

However, those type of cages never seem to work very well.  They tip over, they’re ugly, they get bent and broken, ugh.  There has to be a better way…

So, I like to make things out of PVC pipe.  It’s a very versatile medium to work with and you can find all kinds of crazy things people have built just by searching for Homemade PVC on Google.  You’ll find everything from bow & arrows to green houses to fireworks.  And of course, there are also a lot of things for your garden.  So, my projct for this weekend is to make some Tomato and Cucumber cages out of PVC.

Idea 1

I searched for PVC Tomato on Google and found lots of options.  The standard item I envisioned when I first thought about this was just a bunch of squares with poles in the corners.  Something like this:

It looks pretty easy to build and I didn’t think it would cost very much either.  Our tomato plants get pretty huge around here so we decided we’d want at least 4 or 5 levels to the thing starting near the bottom and going up 8″-10″ between each layer.

Idea 2

So Colleen went to Menards to price out the supplies and found that the connectors that would be needed at the corners of each level are somewhat expensive.  They are 4-way connectors with a 90 degree offset which makes them cost more.  They were over $2 each.  So she looked around online and found an alternative design that looks like this:

At first glance, it doesn’t appear all that different.  The only difference is the vertical posts are in the middle of each side instead of being at the corners.  This means that on each level we only need a 90 degree elbow joint in each corner and then a Cross joint in the middle.  These joints are more standard which means they are less expensive.  However, the Cross joints are still $.99 each.  Each level would need 4 cross pieces and 4 elbow pieces (except the very top which would need 4 T pieces instead of 4 Cross pieces).  Not counting the actual pipe, the cost for each cage would then be:
Crosses – $.99 * 16
Elbows – $.11 * 4
Tees – $.27 * 4
Total – $19.08

If we’re going to make 4 cages, that’s almost $80 which seemed a tad high to me.  And it’s all because of those Cross pieces.

Idea 3

So, I checked online again and found an alternative design that looks like this:

This design is very similar to Idea 1 with one major exception.  You’ll notice that the cross pieces are offset.  This means that we don’t need any of those 4-way angled pieces which are over $2 each.  And we don’t need any Cross pieces either.  This is completely built with T joints.  So if we had 5 levels on the primary sides and 4 levels (between each of the 5 levels) on the other sides, that’s a total of 9 levels, with 2 side pieces each, so 19 pieces in all.  Each side piece needs 1 T joint on each end for a total of 36 Ts.  Actually it’s 32 Ts since the top corners just need Elbow joints which are cheaper.

The only problem is I had already cut all the cross pieces into 7″ lengths because from Idea 2, there would be a piece in between each one.  So I will now need to add a coupler to connect two 7″ pieces together to get to 14″ which is how long we want each side to be.  The total for this design comes to:
Couplers – $.21 * 18
Tee Joints – $.27 * 32
Elbows – $.11 * 4
Total – $12.85

If I hadn’t already cut all the pieces, I wouldn’t need any of the couplers which would have brought the price down to only $9 each.  Oh well.  Such is life.

I’ll add some pictures later as the project progresses.


Well, totally forgot to post pictures last year so here’s a picture after we set out the pieces this year.

3 Tomato Cages and 1 Cucumber Trellis
3 Tomato Cages and 1 Cucumber Trellis