Making and Crafts : Vintage Scrubber Magnet Board

August 4, 2011 23:17 by ehouston

As you all know, I have been busy cleaning up and cutifying our laundry area.  The last few posts here and at Chic Tweaks have been more detailed descriptions of the vintage items I fixed up and used to decorate that space.  I just posted about the curtain and valance project over there, and earlier this week I let you in on where those storage boxes came from, here.  Now, I wanted to share the magic of crafting a magnet board from an old scrubbing board.  Are you ready?  It’s so amazing and you are going to want to run out and find a scrubbing board and make this for your home right away!  Here comes the details….hold on tight to your seat….

You take your scrubbing board, exhibit A….


Exhibit A

…and a couple of screws, preferably old looking ones to keep the vintage feel….


…and screw them into the sides in a sturdy area of the wood…


…and then tie a short length of rope to the screws.  Amazing, right!?! 

I know, way too easy.  Once you are finished with the really hard part of adding the rope hanger you can just loop it over a hook.  Or, in the case of our laundry room, you can drill a hole, push a 2 inch wooden dowel into that hole and glue a vintage button to the end for fun.  However, the best part of this whole project, aside from the finished piece, was really in making the magnets to go along with the magnet board.

First I gathered some of my favorite vintage buttons in colors I thought would sort of coordinate with the other colors of the laundry room.  Oh, and I bought a packet of magnets too.


Using needle-nose pliers I broke the backs off the buttons to make them as flat as possible.  This was messy and I would suggest eye protection.  Some of those old Bakelite buttons shatter in a most unexpected way.


I arranged and rearranged the stacks until they were perfect.  Then I used a hot glue gun to glue together the button stacks and then the stacks to the magnets.


I think the end result is pretty charming and now I can leave notes for myself, or The Mister, as a last minute reminder or cheery boost for the day as we walk out the back door.


For more information on this neat vintage find click here.



As the Columbus Washboard Co. says on their website, “May all your laundry days be warm and breezy.”

Kitsch Krafts

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Making And Crafts : Diaper Box Storage

August 1, 2011 07:19 by ehouston

Continuing the theme of creating something useful from discarded containers (remember the castle from last week?  Or, the hamper from last year?) I wanted to share yet another way I am using old diaper boxes.  You may have glimpsed the storage on the upper shelves of the laundry room in the pictures I posted Friday about that remodel in process.


There is one up there to the left side of the window and….


…another on the right side.

They are being used as storage for seasonal items; mainly our pool gear, towels, toys, swim diapers, etc.  This spot is a little far out of reach.  Even with all of my 5 feet 9 inches I can just barely pull them down, so I don’t like to put things I need to get to very often up that high.  I tried leaving the shelves empty and then considered just putting some plants up there as I did on the dryer (see shot above).  Plants always add something nice and fresh to a space, I think.  Since I prefer to use live plants I decided that trying to get up there to water them might lead to dead plants.  Just bein’ honest.  I’m lazy like that.  After some hemming and hawing I decided storage was in order and it  definitely needed to be for something I only needed to access once in a while.  Also, because this is an entrance into our home, albeit our private entrance from the garage, I still wanted things to be pleasing to the eye when you walked in.  We can’t hide the washer or dryer or the ugly plugs or water hook-ups.  So, I have attempted to make things decent in all the other areas.  I already had the little wicker baskets (from Target, of course!) holding our dog’s brushes, old collars, leashes, flea repellents, you get the picture and I wanted something similar.  Well, once you move past the itty-bitty sizes in those square storage baskets the prices really start to go up.  At the time I was looking I was seeing $40.00 plus dollars for each covered basket.  And, since this was not necessary storage, just “I want something aesthetically pleasing to fill the gap” storage I could not justify spending nearly $100.00 to make this far off area pretty.  Plus, I’m simply cheap.

Out with the cute matchy basket idea and in with the diaper boxes.  We only have what seems like a million of these things hanging around here.  You can’t open a closet in this joint without seeing a diaper or wipes box shoved in, either to store it for a later use or because it’s being used to store something else.  I know I’m not the only one…who’s with me here?  Can I get a Hallelujah?

If you want to make covered diaper box storage here is what you will need:

2 diaper boxes for one finished box (this project took 3 total)

Packing tape

Primer or light colored paint

Paper or fabric for covering the box (The amount will depend on the size box you are covering.)

Contrasting paper or fabric for covering the box top

Batting for the box top if you are using fabric

Glue (I used hot glue and a glue stick for convenience)

Utility knife


Pen or pencil

First, I pulled together two decent, non-dented or scrunched, 144 count sized boxes and a third that had decent top flaps.   Then I used the packing tape to close the top flaps of the two nice boxes.  You will want to take your time lining the flaps up and making the tape neat and tight because this will end up being the top to your finished box.


Next, mark a line about 1.25 inches down from the top of the box all the way around.  (Remember these measurements are for the boxes pictured.  You will need to adjust the measurements to suit your needs.)  I wanted to save the end handle space for my final product so I left a bit of room above the handle hole for stability.  I would probably go wider if the handles were not in play, just for visual balance later.  If you don’t want to use the handles, push the cutouts back into the sides, smoothing them out as much as possible and then cover both the outside and inside with the packing tape.  The goal would be to get the smoothest end panels as possible.  I just followed along the fold line and removed the flap completely.


Use the utility knife to cut along the line you marked all the way around the sides of the box.  Take your time in doing this and employ light pressure and several passes to get through the cardboard completely.  Going slowly here will ensure straighter, less jagged edges and no loss of fingertips.


Once you have cut through your line you will now have a skinny top and a nice little bottom.  Next, carefully remove the top flaps of the third box.  Measure and mark a line down the middle of the flap length and then cut the piece in half.  Now, mark a line about 1.25 inches from one of the edges.  Make two of these flaps for each box and set them aside for later.


Be smarter than me and prime over the cute little crawler and any other dark or bright markings on your box.  I just used some flat white wall paint that was leftover from the nursery project to hide the images.  Initially I thought the extra thick paper I used would cover the markings on the box, but after gluing down one side it became obvious that the little baby would be mocking me from high above as I folded pile after pile of laundry.


NOW, get out your paper or fabric and start covering your box!  I found this cool, white on white embossed paper at a local thrift store for $1.50.  It was an unopened roll from Hallmark and you know it was waaaaay more than a buck, fiddy brand new!


I just placed the box on the paper the same way you would when wrapping a gift, and did some quick marking with a pencil to know where to cut.  Once I had cut out the first piece I used it to cut three more.  This was after realizing one piece would go around one long and one short side of the box, with enough extra to turn under the edges.  This made for easy placement after rubbing a glue stick all over each side of the box.  By the way, I did not cover the bottom, but I did add enough along the top edge to wrap around the box lip.


(As you can see above, I had help during the early stages of this project.  Before nap time, someone was building things with his blocks and throwing them into the open box I was trying to cut and cover.  Yep, that is a super sharp utility knife sitting right next to his blocks.  Mom of the Year- right here!  YES!)

I cut a tiny sliver out of each corner before wrapping over the lip of the box.


Speaking of the box lip (I know you have been wondering) now is the time to get those flaps out that you cut from the top of the third box.  With the plain, brown side facing in glue the flap to the inner top edge of the long side of the box.  Use the line you marked as a guide to line it up with the top edge of the box side.  Then add the second flap to the other side


It should look like this….


…and here is a closer view.


There you have the pieces that will hold the top in place, also known as the lip of the box.  ;o)

Now, continue to glue and wrap the paper around the sides and edges of the box.  If you are using the handles, carefully make slits from the center of the circle cut out to the edges and then pull the paper flaps back, gluing them to the inside (see picture below).  At this point you will want to wrap the box top in either the same paper or fabric used on the bottom portion of the box or in a contrasting paper or fabric.  I chose to use plain dark brown cotton fabric found in my stash and I added a panel of batting to the top only.  Then I wrapped the the fabric around the edges and glued along the inside.  For convenience I used hot glue to hold all the paper and fabric edges into place.  This allowed me to keep moving with the project without fear of the edges coming loose or moving.  Which also meant I was able to finish this project in one afternoon while the Little Guy took his nap.


This is what you end up with.  Not bad for simple storage.  Even better that I owned all the supplies already, so it felt pretty free.  Yeah!  You can just barely see in the picture below, how the batting adds a little bit of loft and curve to the top of the box.  Because the top is so thin I felt like it needed something to give it a little more weight.  Especially with the dark color.  Now, when that band of brown catches my eye as I walk into the laundry area it appears to be more balanced with the bottom portion of the box.


Here they are again in their new homes.



Have any of you come up with good ways to reuse diaper boxes?  There are probably whole websites dedicated to this topic.  Hmmmm….maybe I will head on for some Googling now. 

oh, that sounds dirty, doesn’t it?  sorry….

Kitsch Krafts

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DIY : The Laundry Room

July 29, 2011 07:45 by ehouston

This is a project that has been in progress since we moved to Richmond, VA back in July 2009.  I say it has been in the works for that long because I actually painted the walls just days before our new washer and dryer arrived.  Then, shortly after, I installed the shelves and hanging bars.  A few days later I cleaned and papered the shelves in the bank of cupboards opposite the washing area.  Whew!  Remembering what it took to make all of that happen while about 8 months pregnant makes me dizzy.  But, I was determined to have a decent laundry area since I new heaps of it was in my very near future.  Plus, this is what we were working with on move-in day.


(The right side of the galley laundry area as you enter from the garage door.)


(Here is a shot looking back toward the garage door from where the washing machine now sits.)


(Looking back into the galley laundry area from the back hallway to the family room and opposite the garage door.)


(The left side of the room from the garage entry with a sunny window to the back yard.)


(The scene just below the window on the back wall.  Lots of dings and dirt to clean and cover with paint before the new machines arrive.)


(One last shot of the dirty mayhem.)

It was all white, white and white with lots of dirt and grime mixed in.  Since settling in I have dreamt of the many ways I could remake the space for much better flow, but because that requires knocking down a wall, adding another and some plumbing and electrical work, I don’t see it happening any time soon.  Oh well.  In the meantime I decided to try to cutify (yes, I made that up) this area to make my time there a little less sad and stressed.  Sad, because it was a drab space and stressed because it’s a galley with the back entry from our dirty old garage.  So, I am constantly combating dirt and gunk in the same place I am trying to clean our clothing- yuck!  The first step was to paint the walls.  To save money I just mixed the white and brown paint I had used in the nursery to create a nice taupe.  Then I used some of the leftover glossy white paint from that same project to give the grimy cream colored trim a nice new, bright color.  The window and doors got the glossy white treatment, but the baseboards were coated in the same dark chocolate brown as the nursery.  The floor in this room is a dull creamy white linoleum with a simple square tile design.  The “grout” lines appear to be a mauve color, but it could just be that they have faded over time.  Either way, the light floor shows dirt before you can even walk across it and the mauve wasn’t doing anything for us.  So, I bought some inexpensive chocolate brown rag rugs from Target to cover this eyesore.  They are easy to shake out and then they can be tossed into the washer and dryer to really get the dirt out.  I also moved our cream colored shag door mat from the front entryway into this space, not only because I bought a new rug for the entry (as seen here), but because we really needed another spot to wipe our shoes before coming any further into the house.  This was all stage one in the laundry room makeover and we lived with just these changes until earlier this year.

Several months ago I decided to use some of my vintage fabrics and finds to make the space a little more inviting.  First, I attacked the big, VERY useful, but super ugly washtub.  I wanted to skirt it and had this idea that I could just whip up something tiered and slightly ruffled, slap it on and be done.  And, the project pretty much went just like that.  ;o) 



I scrounged up some complimentary fabrics and with a little measuring stitched them together.  Then I added some heavy-duty hook and loop tape (which I found out they make in set lengths specifically for skirting tables and such!) to the tub, and then the top band of the skirt.   Done!  Now, the tub looks a bit nicer and I can hide a bin of cleaning supplies out of sight (and out of the way from the floor of the adjacent closet-yeah!).

Next, I decided to use a vintage laundry bag with neat hand embroidery to create a café curtain for the really sunny window.  I actually enjoy how sunny this space usually is, but sometimes when I am working in there it’s blinding.  As with most of the rooms in our house, we still employ the lovely accordion-style, builder’s blinds to keep the sun out.  In order to hide that fact, I also added a coordinating valance that just covers the stack of blinds when they are pulled to the tippy top. 


(Sorry, bright day = bright spot shots.  But, you guys get the drift.)


It’s attached with vintage clothes pins to a clothesline stretched between the shelf brackets on either side of the window.  I enjoy seeing this little treasure I picked up years ago every day, but when the sun moves across the yard and it’s possible to open things up, I just pull back a corner and use one of the pins to hold the curtain open.  To learn more about this project click here.

Speaking of clothes pins, although I don’t hang clothing up on a line, I do use clothespins to keep things on the hangers while they dry.  So, I used some of the same vintage fabrics from the tub skirt to create a hanging bag to hold my supply. 


This handy little bag is attached to a vintage hangar that, again, I have had for years.  I think it’s pretty perfect for our laundry space!

The last vintage item I pulled together for the laundry nook is a magnetic message board made from an old scrub board. 


This piece had been left in our last home we owned back in Nashville, TN.  Rather than tossing it out I had used it for my laundry inspired craft fair displays and it managed to make the trip here to Richmond, VA. 


The only other thing I added to the area are a couple of baskets from Target that we already owned and covered storage boxes for the shelves above the hanging bars.  They are used to hold seasonal things, like our beach and pool gear.  Here is the post about how those came together.  As far as the shelves and hanging bars, I just bought wood and dowels, cut them to fit the spaces on either side of the window, painted them glossy white, and hung them up on closet brackets.  I added small wooden finials to the ends of the hanging bars just for fun and to give them a more polished, less homemade look.




Some big plans are in the works for the counter and cupboard area directly across from the washer and dryer, but that is for another time.  You know, after I tackle the million other things I have on the list!

How do you guys brighten the drudgery of laundry day?

Kitsch Krafts

PS- Stayed tuned for more detailed info on how I created the magnet board, the clothespin bag, the storage boxes, the curtains and the sink tub skirt.  It’s sure to rock your world….at least a little, or maybe not.  :0)

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