Wednesday, August 24, 2016

DIY Kitchen Tablet & Phone Holder

Living in the tech age, we can access our favorite recipes through our tablets or smartphones.  However, it can be challenging to hold your device and cook at the same time, right?  After I picked up a cutting board at a thrift store, I solved my problem!

You may have seen some of these on the internet, and here's my own version to get your creative juices flowing.  I'm also including a handy Kitchen Measurements chart to dress it up a bit.

You'll need:

  • wood cutting board or a suitability-sized piece of wood
  • L-shaped wood trim (this is where the tablet sits)
  • small piece of burlap
  • 4 upholstery tacks
  • printed Kitchen Measurements chart (see link below)
  • scrap wood for stand on back
  • wood glue
  • paint or stain of your choice
Look around on the internet for inspiration on how you want your holder to look....I've seen really cute  ones that were painted white and distressed for a farmhouse look. Or you could paint it a color what coordinates with your kitchen.

Cut the piece of wood trim to the width of the cutting board. It if needs painted or stained, do that now, and allow to dry. My trim was pre-stained and ready to go. 
Use wood glue to the flat edge of the trim and attach it to the bottom of the cutting board. You might need some small clamps to hold it on while the wood glue dries.
Stain or paint the board and trim and let dry.

When that was fully dry, cut a piece of burlap and fray the edges a bit; apply it using Mod Podge, but you could use plain 'ol white glue. Apply a thin layer to the wood, and then the burlap while the glue is still wet. It will dry clear. Now tack on the upholstery tacks onto the corners of the burlap, for a little added rustic feel.

Here is the Kitchen Measurement chart (pdf) I promised, just click on the words.

You might want to print it out on card stock and trim with scissors; I recommend that you laminate it as well.  A little trick I use is packing tape, or clear Contact paper to laminate the printed chart. This way, if anything gets splashed on it, you can wipe it clean.

For the stand, I used a plate holder at first, but then realized I wanted a more permanent stand, so I cut a scrap piece of 1" thick wood to the following dimensions:
Using wood glue along the 8" slanted side, glue to middle of the back of the cutting board, so that the 3-1/2" side rests on the table or counter.  This should give the front of the cutting board a good slant for resting your tablet of smartphone.
(If desired, stain or paint the stand after the glue has dried.)

This stand gets used every time I prepare a recipe, using either my tablet or smartphone. No more juggling it in my hands, trying to read the recipe and cook! It also keeps my device cleaner, since I'm not holding it.

You know you need this tablet holder, don't you?  Please, if you make one, I'd LOVE to see yours!  Email me a photo, and I'll probably feature yours right here, and on my social media accounts.  I'm on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Special thanks to Karen, the Graphics Fairy, for the mason jar graphic!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Patriotic Milk Bottle Vases

Before Labor Day arrives, I wanted to share with you a cute craft that I put together, and kept on our wall all Summer long.

Here are the supplies needed:
  • 3 small milk bottles (I got mine at Target)
  • 3 wood stars in red, white and blue (again, Target had these, but you could paint plain wood stars with inexpensive craft paints)
  • wood plank (I used a scrap of pallet wood that was long enough for the stars to fit on)
  • 3 adjustable repair clamps (found at Home Depot, in the plumbing department)
  • philips head screws
  • manual slot head screwdriver
  • drill with small drill bit, and philips head bit
  • black paper or vinyl circles, and white chalk or chalk pen
  • thin twine
  • flowers, faux or real
First, lay the stars down on your work surface, and put the plank on top. Adjust the stars evenly across the board.
Use 3 screws that will go through your plank and into about half the thickness of the star.
Working from the back, screw through the plank (using the drill with philips head bit) into each star near the top, being careful not to go all the way through the star. 

Flip the plank with the attached stars over.
Position the clamps toward the bottom of the stars; using 3/4-inch screws go through the back of the clamp into the star. You might have to use a drill bit to make a hole into the metal clamp first.

Next, position the milk bottles in the clamps and use a manual slot head screwdriver to tighten the clamp by hand, around the neck of the bottle.  Don't over-tighten, in fact, leave it a tiny bit loose.

For hanging the board, I used 2 saw-tooth hangers attached to the back. You could also use 2 D-ring style hangers. 
Now, tie a length of twine around the neck of each bottle, and tie around the lid to the other end. 
Add a black circle to the front of each milk bottle, and write USA to show off your patriotism!   
Add flowers, fresh or faux, and hang up where you can enjoy seeing it!

I made this in May, and it stayed up all summer long for Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and it will be on the wall for Labor Day, too!