Lunchtime Poll

Lunchtime Poll: Bragging

Since I know there are some handywomen among you (after all, one of our DIY posts from way back continues to be our most popular posts of all time!), I don’t think you have been given enough of an opportunity to brag about your accomplishments.

So: tell us about the last time you fixed something. Even if you’re not great with a nail and hammer, maybe there’s some little thing you patched up that you’re proud of. Like the time I repaired an electrical wire that one of my rabbits had chewed through. That was awesome.

Anyway, brag away! And feel free to share pictures!

25 replies on “Lunchtime Poll: Bragging”

I’m still stoked about my new platform bed. One of the legacies of being a scenic carpenter is that I hear “platform” and think “I can do that!” It came out so well that I am making another this week for a friend who has been sleeping on a mattress on the floor for too long.

I’m currently trying to figure out how to repair a couple holes the squirrels ripped in the screen on my mother-in-law’s deck. Home Depot has repair kits, but they’re way too small so I have to figure out what kind of screen is on there so I can buy a roll that matches and improvise something. I did a lot of assembly of birthday presents this week for the kiddo – tricycle, train set, Matchbox garage, and a bit of yelling at my husband for not reading the instructions on her little scooter and nearly leaving off one of the THREE pieces that it needed. Sigh.

I just thought I would share since I went my whole life up until two months ago not knowing this – you don’t have to rip out drywall anchors! My sorry self had a painting job and ripped out two of them, leaving quarter-sized holes in the wall that required far more work to repair than what it would’ve taken to fix the small hole left when doing it properly. Cut the face off the plastic anchor, pop the remainder INTO the drywall to live out its days between the wall (video

). Small hole fixed with some joint compound. Yippee!

Note: My disgrace/fail comes from being a member of a family of construction workers. I apparently didn’t pick up much.

When my friends got a new dining table they gave me their old one, 1940’s formica, and the legs were coming loose/detached. I drilled out the old achors for the bolts that held the legs on, patched up the holes with new wood and a lot of glue, drilled new holes for the new bolts and anchors, and it’s fine now. Reupolstering the chairs didn’t go as well because I didn’t really know what I was doing and picked out fabric that I thought was pretty but wasn’t right for that application. The chairs are comfortable now, even though they don’t look the best.

I got a leather jacket from the thrift store that was still in great shape, but the zipper was stuck and the lining was shredded. I fixed the zipper with good old WD-40 and replaced the lining with some silk that I got on a discount fabric website, and it looks great now! I just took out the old lining and used it as a pattern, and I used my regular sewing machine but I used the hand crank instead of the foot pedal so I could go really slow and get the needle in the holes that were already there from the previous lining being sewn in. The total cost was about $30 for a jacket that retailed around $400.  I repair a lot of my clothes to get more wear out of them but this was the most difficult and the one I am most proud of!

I don’t know how many times my parents enlisted me to help paint the outside and the inside of our various homes. I’m pretty good at assembling things. Give me a bunch of furniture parts and a manual, and that thing’ll be up in no time! (That’s what she said.)

Most recently? I fixed a drawer in my antique dresser that had basically all fallen apart. Sure, I made it worse when I tried to use penny nails in really old wood, but then I found my wood glue, and that fixes everything.

Otherwise, I love building things. I really want to fully build my own house one day. You know, someday in the future where I magically have my own land, money for materials (architectural salvage!), and a few months of free time.

My biggest fix is probably my drawing tablet. When it quit working I suspected that it was because the cord to connect it to my computer had gotten pulled loose. So I opened up the plastic case and tightened the wire back down. Put the whole thing back together and it works to this day.

I grew up being my mom’s wallpaper apprentice, so I got really good at that. The biggest DIY experience was when my sister and I remodeled my mom’s kitchen last year (without her knowing). Kept the cabinets, and hired pros to replace the counter tops, but we did the rest. I was so excited to use a wet saw to cut tile! Definitely felt like a bad ass! It turned out great, and she loves it. Hours of watching HGTV with her paid off – I knew what style she’d like and what to avoid.

She was blown away. It all started because we had to replace her refrigerator while she was gone. She was so worried that the new fridge would be too big and stand out too much. I’d get emails from her asking if she’d notice it. After seeing the new kitchen, it was a good 10 minutes before I had to ask “did you notice the fridge?” She had not and we got a good laugh out of that. It was a lot of fun to work with my sister since we have very different strengths (her: creative vision and electrical, me: planning spreadsheets and tile). PS – Hand me a Home Depot card and we’re there!

I used to DIY stuff in the house I lived in in college all the time.  My personal favorite was when our cheapo standing lamp (one of the ones that you have to screw together) fell apart, because the screws got stripped.  It kept falling over and was a danger to everyone.  Roommate wanted to go get a new lamp, and instead I was like, “I can fix this.”  Put black electrical tape around the screw part, screwed it back together.  Voila.  After that, I had to fix things like the washing maching, sinks, and even the oven door when it fell off.

But then I moved in with boys and they’re convinced I can do nothing because I have two X chromosomes.  I let them because I don’t have to lift a finger anymore.

I fix things here and there all the time. I’m also really great at assembling furniture, so much in fact my boyfriend coined the term “Red Bear furniture assembly skills” (yeah, he calls me Red Bear). The thing I am most proud of was installing a phone outlet in my bedroom in high school without my parents even knowing. When my parents eventually discovered my phone line, they were simultaneously impressed and pissed.

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