We’re taking a look at some innovative, DIY home improvement projects we found on Pinterest, the online bulletin board website that has become so popular.

Projects featured include:

  • Chandelier made from yarn
  • Switch covers made from paper
  • Collage paintings made from scrap paper
  • Cheat sheets for your kitchen and laundry room
  • Soap dispensers made from Mason jars
  • Sink cabinet lining using peel-and-stick tile
  • Spray bottle organizer made from a tension rod
  • Wall-mounted folding kid’s crafts desk
  • Chalk paint finish for furniture
  • Crackle paint finish for furniture
  • Drink trough for picnic tables

Further Information

Danny Lipford: This week on Today’s Homeowner we’re taking to the Web to bring some of your favorite Pinterest project ideas to life. If you’re a Pinner, you’ll love it. If not, stick around, you may be in a half hour.

Now, you might recognize this house. We did a lot of taping here a few months ago, for our First Time Homeowner series. And the first-time homeowner was my daughter, Chelsea. She worked so hard in all phases of this project, to get it in the shape that it’s in right now.

Now, after the remodeling part of it, she moved in to the decorating phase and got a lot of her inspiration and ideas from Pinterest.

Chelsea Lipford: Pinterest is kind of like a virtual pin bulletin board.

Danny Lipford: Mmm-hmm.

Chelsea Lipford: Pin-board. And you just kind of pin your favorite things, you know, whether it’s a recipe or home decor, fashion, or little household tips, like, how to get certain stains out of your laundry.

Danny Lipford: So, people, your friends or whatever, are sharing all of this to other friends and acquaintances.

Chelsea Lipford: Right, yeah, that’s where the social network aspect comes in, is that you’re following your friends. And whenever they pin something, it comes up on your page. And so you can see what your friends are interested in, and then if you like it, then you can take it yourself. Let me show you one of these that I’ve been working on, my latest one. I saw it and I liked it but I don’t know where to put it yet. But it’s a…

Danny Lipford: Okay. What is it first?

Chelsea Lipford: I call it a yarn chandelier. I blew up a big balloon, and then dipped yarn in glue and wrapped it around it and let it dry. Then you pop the balloon, it comes out, and this is what you get.

Danny Lipford: Oh, looks pretty good. What else you got?

Chelsea Lipford: I got some other things that are installed in here. Come, look at this, light switch.

Danny Lipford: Mmm-hmm. What? You just put wallpaper over it?

Chelsea Lipford: It’s just really just a piece of scrap book paper that I got at the craft store.

Danny Lipford: Oh, you nailed the color and everything. Pretty cool.

Chelsea Lipford: But I used the same piece of paper to make these little canvases over here.

Danny Lipford: You made these?

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah. With the… I cut the leaves and the birds out of scrap book paper, and then painted the branch on there. I have even more projects in the kitchen, that I can show you too.

Danny Lipford: Of course, you do. Yeah.

Chelsea Lipford: I got this… I found this chart on there. And most of the time, you just pin it, and then whenever you need to cook something, you just go to your Pinterest page and you find it. But I decided to print it out and put it where I’d be using it.

Danny Lipford: That’s pretty cool. Cheat-sheet, just exactly what it is.

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah. I keep it handy. And I also have one for the laundry. Like, you never know what all the symbols mean. And then I took… The old lady who used to live here had a whole bunch of mason jars. And I decided, I saw this, to make a soap dispenser out of it.

Danny Lipford: Ah!

Chelsea Lipford: So, I took one of her old mason jars and re-purposed it. And then filled it up.

Danny Lipford: Seems to fit the style of the faucet here and the style of the sink and everything.

Chelsea Lipford: That’s the point.

Danny Lipford: Alright, what’s the deal with here? Looks like another project coming up.

Chelsea Lipford: Uh-huh. That’s why I invited you over.

Danny Lipford: Wait a minute. What? What is that?

Chelsea Lipford: A project, they’re peel-and-stick tiles I’m going to just put under the sink to protect the bottom of the cabinet, and to make it easier to clean.

Danny Lipford: Yup, I guess we got to… Whoa! Look how much stuff you got in here! I just dropped by for a visit.

Chelsea Lipford: Ah! Yeah, right. You should know better.

Danny Lipford: When the cabinet is empty, we clean the bottom surface and begin laying out the tiles. All right, so, up to you. We can put one right there, and then cut those equal on each side. Or slide ’em like that and put your cut over there. What do you want?

Chelsea Lipford: Let’s make it a little harder and make it look pretty.

Danny Lipford: Okay.

Chelsea Lipford: Center it.

Danny Lipford: Okay. How did I know you were going to say that? From there, it’s simply a matter of measuring and marking the cuts we’re making with a utility knife. Now see if that won’t break in half. A simple scoring cut will let you snap the tile before you cut the face. Placing the cut edges against the walls of the cabinet will give you a much cleaner fit.

Chelsea Lipford: Ooh, this is tight!

Danny Lipford: Yup. From there, we’re just repeating the process for each tile until it’s done.

Chelsea Lipford: And I found this on Pinterest, too. A way to organize the spray bottles. You put it underneath…

Danny Lipford: How’s that?

Chelsea Lipford: You put it underneath a little tension rod, under the sink cabinet, and you hang the spray bottles, the sprayers, on here. So it kind of keeps ’em up off the floor and you can see ’em all at once.

Danny Lipford: Well, you got a bunch of spray bottles.

Chelsea Lipford: I do, yeah.

Danny Lipford: The beauty of this trick is that it’s easy. Just adjust the spring tension on the rod so that it fits snugly between the walls of the cabinet, and you’re ready to hang up those cleaning supplies. Going to have to tilt ’em a little bit, don’t you?

Chelsea Lipford: It’s all right. I don’t clean that often anyway.

Danny Lipford: Well, that makes a dad proud. But if she did, she might like this Simple Solution from Joe.

Joe Truini: We all know the importance of recycling, but another option is to repurpose that item for another use. In this case, I have a two-and-a-half gallon plastic water jug that I’m going to convert into a tool caddie.

I started with a black marker and drew an outline around the ends of the jug. And then, with a sharp utility knife, I cut out the ends. What you end up with is a tray that looks like that. By leaving the bottom half of the jug and the handle intact, you have a nice carrying jug that you can use for tools—in this case, hand tools.

And although it’s not a very big space, you’d be surprised how many tools you can jam in there. And because it’s made out of plastic, which is surprisingly strong, it holds quite a bit of weight. You know, I can jam all these tools in there. And because this handle is in the center, it’s nice and balanced.

Now in this case, I’m using it for hand tools. But you can also use a jug like this for cleaning supplies, or spray-paint cans, automotive supplies. So, if you buy these jugs regularly, you make several of these trays, you can have the tools ready for every job around the house.

Danny Lipford: This week, my daughter Chelsea is educating me on the wonders of Pinterest. And it appears that the point here is to rope me in to doing some of her projects. Well, as you can see, there’s all kinds of ideas you can get from Pinterest. From very small projects to those that are a little more complex.

We’re about to look at some things here that Chelsea’s going to show us. Different kind of finishes that you can use on furniture or just about anything around your house.

But first, let’s check in with Allen, who’s working on a project that’s a little more involved.

Allen Lyle: All right, now see, I like this one.

Danny Lipford: He’s been scouting our Pinterest board, and he’s settled on a cool craft center for his daughter.

Allen Lyle: The legs right here is actually a frame, so when you fold it up, it looks like it could frame a picture on the other side.

I’ve got a little six-year-old that wants a craft desk, and I’d like it to be a homework desk, too. But, on the front of it, remember we talked about this? I love this. When the desk is folded up, the legs actually become a picture frame.

And so, on the front side of this, which would be down in this position, we want this poster. And of course, she’s a big Disney fan, so I’m going to have this poster on the front of it. So, the desk I build has to fit the poster.

Danny Lipford: So after a little layout, he starts making his cuts. A cut list is a big help when it comes to getting the most from the materials you have.

Allen Lyle: Oh! Oh! I can get two right there.

Danny Lipford: The sides, top, and bottom of the unit will all be the same width. So, Allen is using a table saw to cut them all to exactly the same width before he uses a sliding miter saw to cut them to length. Putting them together will require a different kind of cut called a dado.

Allen Lyle: And basically, a dado is where the shelf will fit into the side. Just like that.

Danny Lipford: To make those cuts, he’s using a router and a straight edge to cut that three-quarter-inch groove, or dado, into the sides. That way, they support the shelves, and the glue and the nails that follow are only needed to hold the pieces together.

And because he’s using plywood for all of these parts, Allen is covering the raw plywood edges with narrow strips of solid wood to hide that fact. The frame that doubles as the legs for the desk is made from solid wood. So the corners are mitered together to help it look like a picture frame.

To add strength and a little dimension, he’s adding a layer of brick molding on top of that before he begins priming. And leave it to Allen to come up with a trick to speed up the chore he hates so much.

Allen Lyle: Check out what’s underneath. It’s the bed of nails. That, actually, will hold this up off without damaging the paint on the other side. So I can paint the other side before the other dries.

Danny Lipford: Once the primer has dried, it’s time for a little putty and light sanding before the top coat goes on.

Allen Lyle: Watch this.

Danny Lipford: And finally, this Pinterest project is ready for installation. While Allen has made his little girl very happy, apparently my work is just starting.

Chelsea Lipford: I want to do a chalk paint, which I already have on a couple pieces of furniture, and it makes it easy to, like, sand the edges and make it look kind of antique.

Danny Lipford: Okay. Antique-y. That’s what you have in your living room.

Chelsea Lipford: Exactly! A little shabby chic. And so, I have… That’s what I’m going to put on this wine rack. And I’m using leftover latex paint that I have from the house. And then I’m going to mix a little bit of plaster of Paris. Just to make the paint really hard.

Danny Lipford: Huh, and no priming, no anything, huh?

Chelsea Lipford: No. Uh-huh. That’s, I think, where the plaster kind of comes in. You can do it without… You can do it on a piece of finished furniture without sanding or priming the finish off.

Danny Lipford: Oh, that’s different. That’s different.

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah.

Danny Lipford: What about this?

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah, this one, I have… You’re going to help me with is a crackle finish. And I painted the flat black and then you’ll put glue on it.

Danny Lipford: Glue?

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah. As the glue dries, it kind of pulls the paint apart. It makes it look cracklier, kind of like alligator, like you said.

Danny Lipford: I’ve never heard of that.

Chelsea Lipford: But what I like about it, too, is that you can spread the glue as ugly as you want, and the top coat as ugly as you want, ’cause that’s how it’s supposed to look. It’s supposed to look imperfect.

So, it makes it easy. Which is why you’re in charge of that one.

Danny Lipford: Right. Right. Okay. I guess we’ll start crackling right after this.

Jodi Marks: You know, painting is probably the number one DIY project. Why? Because it’s very easy to do, and you get instantaneous results. But how can you make your results look like a professional did it? Well, you need to prime the walls, or the surface that you’re going to be painting, if it’s new bare wood, if it’s a new drywall surface, or if you’ve got stains that you need to cover up.

Now, Kilz has a whole line of primers that are great to use. But I want to talk to you about the one they’ve come out with called Clean Start. Now, typically when you’re using an oil-based primer, you can get a very strong odor, and some people find that offensive. But this, right here, is water-based, and it has an extremely low odor. So you probably won’t even know that you’re using a primer when you apply it.

Now, that’s a nice thing, but I think a better thing to point out is that this has zero VOCs. Now, what are VOCs? That is volatile organic compounds. And some people can find them as an irritant or offensive. So, if you’re sensitive to VOCs, this is the perfect application.

So, if you want to get professional results every time, get a good paintbrush, get tape to tape off around your trim and get a good primer. And you can start with the Kilz Clean Start.

Chelsea Lipford: Pinterest is kind of like a virtual pin, uh, bulletin board.

Danny Lipford: This week we’re exploring projects from Pinterest, the online bulletin board that lets you swap project ideas with friends. And my daughter, Chelsea, has conned me into a refinishing project. For reasons I don’t fully understand yet, I’m spreading a coat of wood-glue all over this table.

Chelsea Lipford: Now, it looks like it might be a little thick. You think?

Danny Lipford: Yeah, I know. This is weird. I’m having fun. Painting with glue. People sure do spend a lot of time and money to make things look old, these days. Meanwhile, Chelsea is working on her chalk-paint recipe, which involves adding Plaster of Paris to latex paint to make it more sandable. The details for this recipe are on our Pinterest board, if you’re interested in giving it a try.

Chelsea Lipford: And your glue’s not getting too dry on top? Because you have some spots that are thicker than others.

Danny Lipford: No, it’s still wet.

Chelsea Lipford: And what about the thinner parts? Are they still wet? Oh, yeah, looks pretty wet.

Danny Lipford: It’s a little tacky but I think I’ll be able to get through…

Chelsea Lipford: Okay.

Danny Lipford: …putting this coat on there.

Chelsea Lipford: It’s okay. You’re a little tacky, too.

Danny Lipford: Eventually, the recipe’s ready. So, Chelsea can stop abusing her dad…

Chelsea Lipford: Just kidding.

Danny Lipford: …and turn her attention to painting.

Chelsea Lipford: All right. I’m nervous. Here goes nothing.

Danny Lipford: And that’s supposed to cover with one coat?

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah, I’m not sure since…

Danny Lipford: Of course if it’s a little streaky I guess it’s okay, huh?

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah, it’s also supposed to kind of make it where the brush strokes aren’t as obvious.

Danny Lipford: I guess it does already look better than that old dark stain stuff.

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah. You know this is a piece of furniture from your house.

Danny Lipford: You have enough wine to fill it up?

Chelsea Lipford: No. Can I borrow some money?

Danny Lipford: This is weird. ‘Cause it’s till damp, but I guess that’s what you need, huh? How’s that going?

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah. And it’s, it’s… I’m pretty much done. At least with the first coat.

Danny Lipford: Well, I’ll go ahead and open this up. You ready?

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah.

Danny Lipford: Okay. Now let us crackle. But it does it over, like, during the drying process, right?


Danny Lipford: Theoretically.

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah. Ooh, I like that color.

Danny Lipford: It looks like it’s actually doing something over here. Look at it right there.

Chelsea Lipford: Oh, yeah! You missed a little…

Danny Lipford: Oh, don’t start pointing out there. Let me go. Here, look at these runs over here on that.

Chelsea Lipford: That was your side.

Danny Lipford: That’s covering pretty darn good, ain’t it?

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah.

Danny Lipford: I guess the paint will stick to it pretty well cause it’s got a lot of glue on it. Soon, we’re done painting, and it’s obvious the glue is working. And I have to say, I’m surprised at how cool it looks. Man, that is unreal! Now that this has dried the reaction the paint had with that glue.

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah, I was skeptical. It looked like it was going on it so smooth, I didn’t know how it was going to crackle. But…

Danny Lipford: Completely changed the look of that piece of furniture.

Chelsea Lipford: You can see that needs to dry a little bit more ’cause it’s not black yet.

Danny Lipford: I’ll tell you what, let me move this back over here. And then I can help you put the second coat on the wine rack. So after another coat of Chelsea’s homemade chalk paint and a little drying time, the wine rack is ready to be distressed. It’s a shame to go and…

Chelsea Lipford: Rough it up?

Danny Lipford: …and rough it up. I don’t…

Chelsea Lipford: Nah! It’s part of the fun! Doesn’t it look older already?

Danny Lipford: Just looks like a… Had some bad movers move it into your house. Now this kind of sanding would probably make ordinary latex paint peel. But the plaster of Paris seems to be doing its job.

Chelsea Lipford: Oh, that looks good!

Danny Lipford: Yup.

Chelsea Lipford: Ooh, I think I’m done.

Danny Lipford: Is that the way you wanted it?

Chelsea Lipford: I think so. I want to look back from over here and see.

Danny Lipford: Step back and take a look at it.

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah, it’s slightly distressed. It’s just what I wanted.

Danny Lipford: You know, this really surprised me. Actually, it even cracked even more! And I understand the black paint that you put on it now, because that’s exactly what’s shining through.

Chelsea Lipford: What shines through. Yeah.

Danny Lipford: That is wild-looking! I just never ever expected that you could paint glue on something like that! I know. All right, I think we’re in good shape.

Chelsea Lipford: All right, well, I do have one more project for you outside!

Danny Lipford: Uh-oh. What’re you talking’ about?

Chelsea Lipford: I saw the picture of a picnic table with a rain gutter replacing the middle board. And you put ice in it and then it keeps your beverages cold, while you’re hanging out at the picnic table.

Danny Lipford: Like a little channel under it.

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah.

Danny Lipford: Now this project seems more my speed. To remove part of that center-board, we first need to relocate some of the supports.

Chelsea Lipford: There you go.

Danny Lipford: All righty.

Chelsea Lipford: Want me to show you how to use that?

Danny Lipford: Yeah. Oh, you’ll get a chance. We’ll add a 2×4 right here. Flat.

Chelsea Lipford: Okay.

Danny Lipford: Before we knock this board out, we’re going to put these 2x2s in.

Chelsea Lipford: Okay.

Danny Lipford: So, let’s see. We got 49 and 7/8ths… These 2x2s will give us a place to attach the rain gutter later while keeping it beneath the surface of the table. Most helpers would have the speed square right in my hands right now.

Chelsea Lipford: Good thing I’m not a paid helper, then.

Danny Lipford: Yeah. Who’d you charge all these materials to? This is really working out well. Heck, this is all in great shape. We just need to take that board off, cut it, and we’re ready to mount the gutter. So, I think we can do all of that from up top. So, once we flip the table over and pry the centerboard loose… Hey.

Chelsea Lipford: I want to do that!

Danny Lipford: I can’t believe that. Well, I think we can just lift it up.

Chelsea Lipford: Just one side?

Danny Lipford: I’ll tell you a trick here. Take this, just like that, and move it down there. See, there? It’s simply a matter of marking it and cutting it so the pieces at either end can be nailed back in place, then the remaining piece can rest in the middle to cover the rain gutter.

I think we’re ready to go ahead and cut that, cut the gutter. Why don’t you just bring it on up here? I’ll get some of this stuff out of the way. You’ll need a pair of sheet metal shears to cut the gutter to the right length. Sides first, then the middle. Then the end caps are sealed in place with caulk before we slide the gutter into position in the table. Sheet metal screws driven into those 2x2s will hold them in place.

Tell you what, that gutter couldn’t be a better size. Could it?

Chelsea Lipford: Uh-uh.

Danny Lipford: That is perfect. Now we just have to replace those diagonal braces we removed earlier, one on either side of the gutter. Then we can add our own little additions. A drain hole… Well, there it is, drain-hole done. All right, now…

Chelsea Lipford: Whoop, there it is!

Danny Lipford: And a finger hole to remove the gutter cover. All right. Well, there you go. I think we’re good. Let’s put up these tools.

Danny Lipford: Arthur wants to know, “How do I repair a nail-pop?”

First of all, a nail pop in drywall occurs when there’s movement in the wall stud. Whether it’s moisture, like we have here in the shower, or you have any type of expansion and contraction in a wall stud, then, the nail will surface through the drywall finish.

To repair it is fairly easy. First of all, you have to remove the nail, which is fairly easy with a flat bar or needle-nose pliers. Then, replace that nail with about an inch-and-a-half drywall screw. And you want to recess it just slightly.

Then apply one coat of drywall compound, allow it to dry, sand it a little bit. Then, another coat, sand it, and you’re ready for the touch-up paint.

Now, if you do this the right way, you won’t have to worry about that nail pop ever again.

Danny Lipford: We’ve covered a lot of ground this week. There’s lots of cool ideas out there. From knick-knacks and organizational ideas, to wood-working projects and furniture finishes. Well, put up all the tools, all the materials are taken care of. I see you’re trying it out here.

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah, just a few little refreshments.

Danny Lipford: You know, this is really perfect. You know, you have all the beverages right here at your fingertips. You have enough room so that, you know, if you have a few people over, and a little party, you got plenty of room here. Really worked out well.

Chelsea Lipford: Yeah, well that’s why I had you come over today, because I am having a few people over.

Danny Lipford: Really? Oh, great. What are we having?

Chelsea Lipford: Well?

Danny Lipford: Oh, wait a minute.

Chelsea Lipford: I was hoping you could help cook, too.

Danny Lipford: There, you see? It just never ends. You always have to do a little work when you’re over at your daughter’s house. Hey, thanks for joining us this week. I hope you had a good time looking at some of the Pinterest projects that you can take on around your house. Where you spend very little money but you can have a lot of fun with it.

I’m Danny Lipford, Chelsea Lipford, we’ll see you next week, here on Today’s Homeowner.

Editorial Contributors
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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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