DIY Potting Bench - Based on Plans by Ana White

I’ve been wanting a potting bench for a while now - something by the back door to display some decor, use as an outdoor work station, and double as a place for UPS to leave packages. After looking around online and at local stores, I couldn’t find anything that I liked that fit the narrow space - so I did what any #woodworkingmom would do, I decided to build it myself. | This post is not sponsored but does contain affiliate links |

DIY Potting Bench - Based on Plans by Ana White

{ Note: The plans I worked from were from Ana White and can be found HERE }

I came across these Ana White plans for a Simple Potting Bench on Pinterest and thought it was perfect! It was exactly the simple, rugged style I was looking for and easy to tailor to our space too. Most of the wood needed were 2x4’s, which are sturdy and cheap - and thankfully between our garage and my father-in-law’s garage we had all the wood scraps I needed to piece together this project. Since I used leftover wood we already had, this project cost me nothing which was pretty amazing!

Since I only used what wood we had on hand, I had to make do - some of the wood was pressure-treated, some was not, some had knot holes or gashes, and not all of it was “true” (straight). But that was fine by me as this was to be a rustic piece for outside.

DIY Potting Bench - Based on Plans by Ana White

Before I started building, I followed Ana White’s “cut list,” cutting and making piles of all the wood in the dimensions I would need to build the project. I carefully chose the lumber for each section to minimize how the knot holes, gashes, or crooked pieces would be seen in the final piece. For our potting bench I made it 4 inches narrower so it would fit against the small wall next to our back door and because of this I had to adjust my cut list and refigure some of the overall dimensions.

DIY Potting Bench - Based on Plans by Ana White

The next step was constructing the shelves individually - attaching the outer planks first, checking for square, then spacing out the middle planks and attaching them. To build this whole project I used an Impact Driver, which made the entire project go much quicker and easier.

DIY Potting Bench - Based on Plans by Ana White

To attach the legs, I laid the project on it’s side and carefully measured the distances between the legs as well as up the legs before attaching the shelves to makes sure everything would be as level and as square as possible.

DIY Potting Bench - Based on Plans by Ana White

Finally to make the project look more “finished” I added some wood scraps to the sides of the project to conceal the butt ends of the shelves and make it look a little more polished.

DIY Potting Bench - Based on Plans by Ana White
DIY Potting Bench - Based on Plans by Ana White
DIY Potting Bench - Based on Plans by Ana White

I also decided to add some 1x3”s to the front of the shelves to make it look a little more polished from the front as well. (I did not counter-sink these screws, but I should have as they were more noticeable than I was expecting in the finished piece.)

DIY Potting Bench - Based on Plans by Ana White

Then came time for painting - I chose to paint the whole potting bench in several coats of my favorite Valspar Stainblocking Bonding Primer/Sealer. This stuff has great coverage and really covers and seals well. My one regret was not giving all the wood pieces a single coat of paint before assembling - as once everything was assembled it was a huge pain to get in all the nooks and crannies.

DIY Potting Bench - Based on Plans by Ana White

Finally I finished the project by adding a few little hooks underneath the shelf, from which I can hang tools or decor. I’m really happy with how this came out and how quickly it came together. I can’t wait to decorate it with some plants come next spring!

PS - I’m thinking this potting bench would also be great for parties and BBQ’s! It would be perfect on a patio or deck as a makeshift buffet table.

DIY Potting Bench - Based on Plans by Ana White
DIY Potting Bench - Based on Plans by Ana White

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A Special Corner

I’ve had this plant cloche for awhile and just picked up a little Boston fern for it today. This is a special little corner of our dining room - my grandparents’ candle sticks, a photo from my great-grandparents’ farm, and an old photo of my husband’s grandmother.

A lot of family history in this little corner.

A special corner of family history.

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Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!  Today we stopped by the garden center to pick up some lavender plants for our deck.  Lavender not only smells and looks beautiful but it can help as a natural bug repellent.  Win-win! 

Earth Day 2019

I’ve also updated my Amazon Storefront to include a list of “Green Living” products and ideas to help you live like it’s Earth Day every day - because it is!

Birch Landing Home's Amazon Storefront

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How to Install New Cabinet Hardware + GIVEAWAY!

Our home came with a classic late 90’s “builder’s grade kitchen” - you know the type: honey-colored basic cabinets with no hardware and laminate counters. Someday we’d love to totally overhaul the space and paint the cupboards, trim them out, and install granite countertops - however all those things involve a lot of work and money and just aren’t in the budget right now. In the meantime we’re working on making small upgrades ourselves that will make the space look more finished. And what’s the easiest, budget-friendly way to update the look of your cabinets? Replace or install new hardware! If you’re installing new hardware on blank cabinets it can be a bit intimidating, so read on for my tips on installing for the first time. And don’t forget to enter our GIVEAWAY over on Instagram for a $50 Credit to Cosmas Hardware!
| This post is sponsored by Cosmas Hardware and affiliate links |

How to Install New Cabinet Hardware

Cosmas Hardware is an online company that provides an amazing selection of quality hardware at great prices. Cosmas Hardware was kind enough to provide me with the hardware for this post - the knobs and drawer pulls I used are: Cosmas 5560FB Flat Black Cabinet Knob and Cosmas 783FB Flat Black Cabinet Cup Pull.

Tools You’ll Need:

  • ruler/tape measure

  • pencil or fine tip marker

  • electric drill with different sized drill bits

  • screwdriver

  • new hardware

  • construction paper (optional)

  • cabinet hardware template (optional)

BEFORE

BEFORE

How to Install:

How to Install New Cabinet Hardware

If you’re installing new hardware on a blank cabinet door, the first step is deciding hardware placement. I’m a very visual person so to help me decide on where things would go I first traced the hardware on a piece of black construction paper, cut it out, and taped them to the door and drawer fronts. This way I could step back and play around with the placement before I finalized it.

How to Install New Cabinet Hardware
How to Install New Cabinet Hardware

For our cabinets, we decided we liked the knobs two inches from the edge of the cabinet (not including the beveled edge). Once we decided on this placement, it was just a matter of measuring it out on all the cabinet doors so they were centered side-to-side on the trim piece as well as two inches in. Consistency is key to having uniform placement - and I made sure to measure multiple times in both directions before marking it with a pen

Alternatively, you can also use a Cabinet Hardware Template to help get consistent placement.

It’s important to measure the knobs on each door independently - if the doors aren’t hung evenly, it may look off initially but the hinges can be adjusted later so everything (the doors themselves as well as the hardware) will line up visually.

How to Install New Cabinet Hardware
How to Install New Cabinet Hardware

When it comes time to drill the holes, it’s important to make a small pilot (starter) hole before you drill the full size hole. There’s several reasons for this, but the two most important ones being that larger drill bits tend to “walk” when you drill on a smooth surface, and without drilling a pilot hole first you might end up off your mark. The other important reason is that pre-drilling the hole smaller first will help lessen the chance of the wood splitting. Be aware of what’s behind the cabinet front when you drill! Make sure you aren’t drilling into the cabinet frame or dishes that may be in the cabinet behind the door. For the larger hole you’ll want the drill bit diameter to be just barely bigger than the diameter of the screws that come with the hardware.

How to Install New Cabinet Hardware

Once the larger hole is drilled, slide the screw in from the back and use a screwdriver to hold it in place while you thread the knob on snuggly.

Deciding on drawer pull placement. (Note that while the lower cabinet knobs are each in the correct place, they look off since the cabinet doors are uneven - this can be fixed by adjusting the cabinet door hinges, which I did once I was finished installing all the hardware.)

Deciding on drawer pull placement. (Note that while the lower cabinet knobs are each in the correct place, they look off since the cabinet doors are uneven - this can be fixed by adjusting the cabinet door hinges, which I did once I was finished installing all the hardware.)

For the drawer pulls I followed a similar procedure as I did for the door fronts. One thing I had to keep in mind though is the drawer pulls I chose aren’t symmetrical top-to-bottom - the mounting screws are towards the bottom of of the pulls. Therefore, playing around with the placement of the drawer pulls was very important - the drawer pulls needed to look centered visually from top to bottom on the drawer fronts, even though that made for the screw placement to be slightly below center.

How to Install New Cabinet Hardware

Once I liked the visual placement of the paper templates I carefully measured out the spacing on each side as well as down from the screw holes to make sure everything was accurate and even. These particular drawer pulls have screws 3” apart so I made sure that the spacing between the screw markings was accurate as well. (Once you get an idea of placement, you could also use a Cabinet Hardware Template here to help mark everything out.) In our kitchen the drawers are three different sizes, so this process needed to be repeated several times - on the shorter drawers I used one pull, and on the longer drawer I used two pulls.

After the hole placements were marked, I remeasured the spacings several times before drilling the pilot holes and then the screw holes. Then it’s simply a matter of screwing the screws in from the backside of the drawers with a screwdriver into the drawer pulls.

AFTER

AFTER

And that’s it - the whole project took less than an afternoon to do and it really helps our kitchen look more finished. I just love how it came out! Once we replace our countertops with a more modern granite counter the space will really look sharp and the hardware will compliment it beautifully.

How to Install New Cabinet Hardware
How to Install New Cabinet Hardware

GIVEAWAY!

Head on over to our Instagram for details and to enter our Giveaway with Cosmas Hardware for a $50 shop credit so you can update the look of your kitchen too with the hardware of your choice!

Giveaway ends 3/11/19 at 5PM EST.

Giveaway ends 3/11/19 at 5PM EST.


- I received these items from Cosmas Hardware but all opinions expressed are my own.  Please read our full Disclosure Policy for more information - 

Disclaimer: Installing new cabinet hardware from scratch is something that most people can very easily do on their own and here I’ve shared my tips on the easiest way I’ve personally found to measure and install them. However, use your best judgement when installing your hardware - if you’re in doubt of your measuring or drilling skills, there’s no harm in consulting a professional before you tackle this or any project.

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Sneak Peek with Cosmas Hardware

Just wanted to share a quick sneak peek of the beautiful knobs and drawer pulls from Cosmas Hardware I’ll be using in an upcoming blog post on how to install cupboard hardware yourself.  We’ll also be giving away a credit to Cosmas Hardware too - so stay tuned!

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How to Hang Decor on Vinyl Siding - with NO DRILLING!

I’ve been wanting to hang a few decorative signs on the outside of our house… a welcome sign by the door and this “gather” sign on our back deck. However, with vinyl siding I was very hesitant… I didn’t want to drill into it or make a mess of it. Which is why I was so happy when I came across this incredibly simple, no tools needed solution!
| This is
not a sponsored post, but an honest independent review of a product. This post contains affiliate links |

How to Hang Decor on Vinyl Siding - with NO DRILLING!

After some searching on Amazon I came across these "No-Hole Hooks" and it seemed to be the perfect solution! These are special stainless-steel hooks that are meant to "roll" under the lip of your vinyl siding and hang lightweight decor. Just what I needed!

How to Hang Decor on Vinyl Siding - with NO DRILLING!
How to Hang Decor on Vinyl Siding - with NO DRILLING!

I measured out the distance between the hangers on the back of my sign, placed the hooks at the correct distance, and hung the sign - ta-da! It couldn’t have been easier! I’m really happy with how easy it was.

It seems that as long as you have good condition (not sun brittle), quality siding and hang only light-weight items, this would be a great solution over drilling into your siding. I also love that if we decide to take down the decor, it leaves no holes behind!
I’ve had these signs up for a few months now and I’ve been really happy with how these have worked and held up.

How to Hang Decor on Vinyl Siding - with NO DRILLING!
How to Hang Decor on Vinyl Siding - with NO DRILLING!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, but an honest independent review of a product. Always follow manufacturer’s guidelines when using and use product at your own risk. Not liable for any damages or improper use.

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Christmas Garland Storage Hack

I love Christmas as much as anyone, but once the holidays are over I’m ready to pack it all up and start the New Year fresh with a clean house! Some of the most annoying decorations to pack up for me has been garland or string lights… they just get tangled so easily which makes unpacking them next Christmas equally as aggravating.

A simple solution? Cut out a piece of cardboard in a “spool shape” and wrap the garland or lights around it. This packs neatly away and keeps things from getting tangled. Trust me, you’ll thank me next Christmas ;)

Christmas Garland Storage Hack

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DIY Wooden Teal Pumpkin | Teal Pumpkin Project

Every Halloween we participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project to promote awareness and inclusion of all trick-or-treaters, no matter their dietary restrictions.  Unfortunately a lot of kids have food allergies, ranging from mild to potentially very dangerous.  These allergies can include dairy, chocolate, nuts, soy, gluten, artificial dyes, and more.  These kids either can't participate in trick-or-treat or have to throw out most of what they get - and when you're a kid that's really rough.  
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DIY Wooden Teal Pumpkin | Teal Pumpkin Project

By having a teal pumpkin out, you're letting kids and their parents know that your house is a safe place to trick-or-treat and you have non-food items available. These can be things like novelty pencils, erasers, stickers, bubbles, crayons, small toys, etc.  You can still give out the usual candy, but it's a good idea to keep the non-food items separate.  This is a great project to allow all kids a chance to feel included in trick-or-treat on Halloween. 

We usually paint a real pumpkin teal each year, but this year the squirrels and chipmunks have been eating all the decorations we put out on our porch (*shakes fist*). So yesterday afternoon during nap time I whipped up a Wooden Teal Pumpkin that can be used for many years to come. And the best part? It cost me NOTHING! I made it all with scraps from our wood bin and paint we already had.

Materials:

How to:

1. Cut your wood scraps down to size if necessary. You need one larger piece for the face, one small piece for the stem, and a piece for the support at the back (the support piece does not have to be triangular, that’s what I happened to have though).

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2. Next attach the support piece of wood to the back of the large piece with a screw or nail.

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3. After that, give it at least two coats of teal paint. Paint it all over, including the sides and back.

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4. Once that’s dry, use black paint to paint a jack-o-lantern face on it and paint the stem piece black as well.

5. Once everything is dry use wood glue to attach the stem to the top of the pumpkin and give a good spray of clear sealer if you’ll be putting it out not under the cover of a porch, etc.

And that’s it! Now you’re ready to put your teal pumpkin out to welcome all kids for Halloween. Happy Halloween!

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FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) has some wonderful resources on their website - including crowdsourcing maps to identify participating houses, printables you can use to proudly show your support and educate others, and fundraising opportunities to help fund food allergy research and awareness.

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