The Posts

How To Deck Out an Old Record Cabinet
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgWhen you find one of these old record cabinets, you absolutely must buy it. After a good cleaning, it's a perfectly charming piece of furniture you can use for a side table, printer stand or even to hold a vintage turntable. Once the wood is cleaned up, sanded, primed and painted, the sides are ready to cover in spotted cowhide. It's a piece of furniture that's practical, as well as chock full of personality. Occasionally, DIY projects don't turn out as well as you imagined, not so with this one, it's a keeper.

How To Repaint & Stencil Ugly Rental Vinyl Tile Flooring
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgApartment renters share common challenges, whether it be unsightly overhead lighting covers or looking for easily removable decor solutions which won't result in forfeiture of our deposits. In our case, the eyesore lives in our bathroom and kitchen, where an ugly, yellowish roll vinyl flooring has always bothered us. We finally found the initiative and opportunity to do something about it!

How To Care for Your Books: 5 Tips
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgLast week, a few readers were upset when we wrote about repurposing old books as stationery. While we'd rather see a book creatively reused than thrown in a landfill, many of our books are our most precious possessions and we would not want them to be destroyed. Here are some tips to help your books last longer.

How To Wire a Lamp
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgLamps seem to be a popular DIY topic this month, probably because the extra hours of darkness we see during the winter months remind us of the importance of good lighting in the home. Whether you are trying to fix up a vintage lamp, or trying to create a lamp from something new, we hope you find this tutorial on wiring a lamp useful. The sample lamp shown belongs to my mom, and dates back to my parents' first DC apartment c.1971. Though mom still loves the lamps, they were getting rather temperamental- turning this one on required a gentle 1.65 turns of the switch rather than the more standard 1 turn, not exactly a confidence builder when you're talking about electricity.

How To Make Your Own Canning Equipment
Home Hacks Guest Post from Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgFor many, the most intimidating part of canning is all the specialty equipment necessary. Happily, I've found that when you're first getting started, you can cobble together everything you need to safely process a batch of jam or pickles from what you already have in your kitchen!

How to Build a Compost Bin
This Old House

One of the best things about compost bins is that there are so many ways to build them. While some look better than others, they all function the same if designed properly. You can use anything from a simple wire frame to pallets or fancy metal brackets. See a custom build method, after the jump.

How To Create a Laptop Sleeve Out of a Sweater
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgWhile looking at an old sweater and thinking about how we needed a sleeve built for travel (easy access to remove at security checkpoints) we came upon a simple solution. We should use the sweater to make the sleeve. We have seen companies like Hello Rewind take an old t-shirt and turn it into sleeve, why could we not do the same with this sweater? Here is our step by step guide showing how we used our basic sewing skills and created our vision of the perfect travel laptop sleeve out of a sweater.

How To Poach Chicken
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgPoaching a chicken (either whole or in parts) is a good way to get juicy, tender chicken without additional fats. Although I've personally never tried this, some people claim that poaching a chicken before roasting it gives you the moistest meat and crispest skin. I find that poached chicken works best for chicken salad, and makes a great cold chicken lunch the next day.

How to Make Any Fridge More Efficient
Home Hacks

02_26_10_fridge.jpg2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgWe've gone over the fridge-less lifestyle here at Re-Nest. People have done it, there's no question about that; but for most of us, life without the refrigerator is one step too green. So how about making it as efficient as possible?

How to Mix a Cocktail with a Boston Shaker
Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgEver wonder how to use a Boston shaker, that 2-piece set of glass and metal tumblers pro bartenders seem to handle with such efficiency and ease? For an up-close, step-by-step tutorial, read on.

How To Remove Unwanted Stickers Using a Hairdryer
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgHere is a nice chemical-free option for removing the most stuck on stickers. It comes in handy if you'd like to remove a logo sticker from something to give it more clean design. As a bonus, all you need is a hairdryer! The heat from the hairdryer relaxes the heavy duty commercial adhesives that hold on the stickiest of stickers.

How To Prep Your Home Tech for a New Pet
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgThat little guy up there? Well that's my new Boston Terrier, Bacon. Having a new pet is a lot like welcoming a new baby. There's lots you'll need to do to puppy-proof your home tech, but there's also plenty of ways your tech can help you!

Fabric Photo Mat from a Pizza Box
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpg Covering a photo mat with fabric is a simple way to add color and interest to a photo display. You can easily cover the mat that came with your frame or, if you'd like to have some extras to swap in and out (perhaps seasonal or holiday colors) and don't want to spend money on more mats - order a pizza!

How To Prevent & Get Rid Of Fabric-Eating Moths
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgYesterday we covered pantry moths; now we turn our attention toward closet or fabric-eating moths (or more specifically, moth larvae). Toxic moth balls are about as dreadful as a moth infestation itself, so here are some natural steps you can take to protect your woolens and other clothing.

How-To Tutorials Galore
Home Hacks Roundup

2010_02_23-EmailHowTo.jpgAs February comes to a close, I want to share with you a pretty great feat that the Kitchn team accomplished this month. All month long as part of our Home Hacks theme, we have been getting down to brass tacks — to do stuff in the kitchen — and recording it meticulously with step-by-step photos and instructions. Today I'm taking a look back at some of the best How-To tutorials from our team. From baking bread to making perfect bacon, and cleaning cast iron to carving a whole chicken, here's a look at how do to just about anything in the kitchen. I hope you learn something new from a few of these posts; I certainly did.

How To Create a Modular Wall Covering
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpg The inspiration for this wall treatment came from a kids bedding catalog I received in the mail several years ago. The catalog is long gone, but the clipping has been in my idea folder ever since, just waiting for the right time and place.

How To Mount a Frameless Glass Display
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpg One easy way to mount a photo or print in frameless glass is with a good old faithful: the binder clip. Use silver finish ones in the smallest size available for a clean look. And the clips provide a way to hang the display, too:

How to Cut a Butternut Squash
Home Hacks

2008_10_06-Butternut.jpg2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgWhen faced with an oddly-shaped and rock-solid butternut squash, it can be hard to know just where to begin. Happily, no mallets, cleavers, or jigsaws are necessary. All you need is a sharp chef's knife, a cutting board, and some patience. Here's how!

How To Mount Hardware in Tile
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgTrying to finish up over the weekend, we took on the task of mounting a glass shelf in our shower. Previously we had thought we would not be able to mount anything in tile (there had to be a secret that was beyond us), but it turned out to be relatively easy.

How To Extend the Life of an Older Sofa
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpg The sofa I have is a perfectly fuctional, perfectly comfortable, completely hideous piece of furniture I bought new (and on sale) in 1997. I moved overseas in 1998 and the sofa went into storage until my return to the US in 2006. When the movers unpacked it, I realized just how much my tastes had changed and immediately started plotting to replace it. As the months went by, I realized how much I loved the way the sofa cradled me at the end of a long day, how snuggly it was when I stayed home sick, and how reluctant I was to replace it despite the ugliness. I stopped looking for a new sofa, unwilling to commit the time and money to a major purchase which I would only enjoy for a couple of years before heading back out overseas. Still though, every time I looked at the sofa, I dreamed of a makeover. Finally this winter I reached my breaking point and committed a little bit of money to a sofa makeover that will get me through to my next move.

How To Make A Spray Paint Holder
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpg Around our house, spray paint is almost used as currency. If we're not using it for art projects, it's giving a lamp or piece of furniture a makeover. But once you have more than 1 or 2 cans, storing them all gets to be a pain. So what's a girl with a 12' entryway to do? Make a giant spray paint holder!

How To Make Marvelous Meatloaf
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpg Meatloaf is like blue jeans. You'll always have your favorite pair and while some are able to be dressed up for a night out, others are the most well worn, comfortable thing on the planet and the perfect comfort after a long day's work. This recipe is a household staple that is great the first night and perfect for sandwiches the next day!

How To Make Your Own Draft Dodger
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgIf you've got a drafty door (we do—it's the backdoor) that's letting a bunch of cold air in and warm air out, a draft dodger can help. And they're really easy to make. Really easy.

How to Install a Programmable Thermostat
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpg Raise your hand if you still aren't using a programmable thermostat. Is it because it seems to expensive or difficult to do? Well put your hand back down and then to work while we tell you once and for all how to install and use a programmable thermostat to start saving energy and money (it takes less than an hour!)

How To Make Wallpaper Decals
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgWe adore these vintage wallpaper decals from Romp, as seen in Misty's Cottage home tour. When we are feeling like crafty penny-pinchers, it’s nice to know that we can make up a batch of these wallpaper decals ourselves. Even better? Our version is much less permanent (no wallpaper paste) so the landlord should have no complaints.

How To Clean Your Screen Without Leaving Streaks
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpg Cleaning a screen should be an easy task. Yet, if you believe the claims of many products designed for this purpose, it is impossible to do without them. With so many products out there claiming to provide a streak free clean, is it possible to get these same results using items you have in your home? Yes, it is possible to get a streak free clean screen by using items you already have in your home, and we are not talking about window cleaner.

How To Transfer a Photograph to Canvas
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgI recently returned home from a long vacation and 800 or so photos later, I vowed that this trip my pictures would make it off my computer. While I'm still working on the album, I decided it would also be fun to display a few of my photos in an unconventional way, but without spending a lot of money. Aside from the linen canvas boards, this project was fabricated with materials I had on hand.

How To Make A Chocolate Cake Collar
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpg How many times have you made a cake or icing, only to have something be slightly off. Your crumb coat feels well, crumbly, your icing tastes good, but isn't as pretty as it should be — and although things taste great, Martha Stewart wouldn't be impressed? No worries, just make a chocolate collar for your cake and cover your mistakes!

How To Prevent & Get Rid Of Pantry Moths
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgWe know from experience that a pantry moth infestation can be most frustrating. At the same time, we are committed to using natural, non-toxic, and mostly no-kill methods to deal with pantry moths. Here are the methods we recommend to get rid of them and effectively prevent further infestation.

How To Make a Bouroullec Joyn Desk with IKEA Lagan Countertop
Home Hacks

2010HomeHackspostBadge.jpgFor my grandfinale, here's a nice knock off of one of my favorite designs of all time: the Bouroullec's Joyn desk system for Vitra. Moving into our new offices I really wanted an upgrade from our old IKEA desks, but didn't have a lot of money and really like the solid wood IKEA countertops we'd been using. This project was completely done by myself from scratch and cost pennies (we reused a lot). Enjoy!