How to Make a Framed Cork Board with Wine Bottle Corks

I made this board for Mr. Awesome for our anniversary representing some of the bottles of wine we’d shared over the past year. I thought I had enough corks but apparently not… This is still a work in progress!

Most wine bottle corks are no longer “cork”, they are rubber which works even better for this project since they are easier to cut!


  • Wine bottle corks
  • Box cutter with a new blade
  • Frame with a wood back
  • Stain or paint for the frame
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Let’s get started!

An existing frame can be used or a new one can be built. I used a frame from a cabinet door that I never finished. I routed a rabbet on the back side and glued a piece of 1/4″ lauan in the opening. I stained the frame then sealed it with polyurethane. I added a sawtooth hanger on the top and on the side so it could be hung vertically or horizontally, then added an antique-looking knob in the corner.


 Cut the corks in half. The rubber corks are very easy to cut but be careful!


Start gluing the corks  in place. Some of the corks are longer than others and small pieces will have to be trimmed to fit in the spaces but this adds to the rustic look I was trying to achieve!


If I hadn’t used such a large frame, this would not continue to be a work in progress! So I guess it may be a few more months before it is finally finished… Maybe for our next anniversary??

Until next time,

Happy Creating!

Tip Junkie handmade projects


Thread a Pipe for a Lamp – DIY Tutorial

How to Thread Pipe for a Lamp

It is no secret that I love to refurbish old light fixtures. Sometimes the parts I need for a lamp are not readily available in local home improvement stores and that means that I have to get creative. I wanted to reuse a piece of brass pipe in a light fixture. It had threads on one end but it really needed them on both ends. After a bit of research, I found an easy technique that I could do myself… Let me show you how to thread a pipe for a lamp!

How to Thread Pipe for a Lamp

I knew that I could use a die to cut threads on a pipe but I wasn’t sure what size I would need for a lamp. As I was looking online for a die, I ran across a die that is exactly what I needed from Tx Lamp Parts. They are awesome – they carry everything for lamp building and repair, their shipping rates are reasonable, and they are my newest obsession. I found parts in their store that sent my heart all a-flutter!

Most threaded pipe used in lamp making is 1/8″ – 27 NPT. What that means is the pipe size is 1/8″, there are 27 threads per inch, and NPT stands for National Pipe Taper. A tapered thread pipe will create a tighter seal and is generally used for gas lines, water lines, and apparently on lamps. Now you know, ha ha! It is need-to-know information especially when it comes to buying pipe!

So, for the die, a special die stock handle will be used. The die fits in the middle and is held in place with a set screw.

How to Thread Pipe for a Lamp-Die and Handle

The pipe is placed in a vise to hold it steady. Do not crank the vice too tight – the pipe will get smashed! The die and handle will be positioned on the end of the pipe, perpendicular to the pipe, with the die markings facing the pipe. Pipe cutting oil should be used to help the threads cut easier, and also to protect the cutting edge of the die. Start slow turning the handle and die clockwise, keeping the handle and die perfectly perpendicular to the pipe until the threads start to cut. Continue turning the handle and die until the desired length of threads is reached. If the pipe starts turning in the vise, add more oil to the die.

How to Thread Pipe for a Lamp-Pipe in vice

To remove the handle and die, turn in a counter-clockwise manner. This will remove any burrs on the threads so that anything that screws onto it will fit without a problem!

How to Thread Pipe for a Lamp-Die on Pipe

How to Thread Pipe for a Lamp-Back Side of Die

Super-easy, right? This tutorial will apply to any pipe needing threads, not just lamp pipe. This is the first time I’ve ever threaded a pipe and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results! Have you threaded pipe before? Have any questions about how to thread a pipe for a lamp? Contact me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com!


I mentioned Tx Lamp Parts because they are awesome not because I was paid. 

How to Make a Framed Multi Organizer

How to Make a Framed Multi Organizer

My daughter has a small room and there is not enough space for her stuff! As we transition her room from “tween” to “teen”, I wanted to make things for her that reflect her style yet keep her room clutter-free – at least a little!

This framed multi organizer can be customized any number of ways. It can be for jewelry only with three mirrors and three organizer panels, or for “office” organizing with more magnetic and cork panels, the choice is up to you!

I chose to use one mirror, two punched aluminum panels (for earrings & necklaces), one corkboard, and two magnetic boards.

Framed Multi Organizer DSCN0608 copy


  • 2 – 1×2 lumber at 8′
  • Pocket hole jig & 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • Drill
  • Router with 3/8″ rabbeting bit
  • Sander & sandpaper in 80, 120, 220 grits
  • Finishing supplies
  • 1 – 12″ x 12″ mirror
  • 1 – 12″ x 12″ cork panel
  • 2 – 12″ x 12″ piece of hardware mesh or punched aluminum
  • 2 – 12″ x 12″ pieces of sheet metal
  • 4 – 12″ x 12″ pieces of cardboard
  • 3 – drawer knobs
  • Fabric of your choice
  • Spray adhesive
  • Framing tab gun or small nails

Start by cutting the pieces of lumber for the frame. Assemble the frame as shown (click on the picture to make it larger) using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Framed Multi Organizer Jewelry Display

Use the router to cut a rabbet in each inner frame, then thoroughly sand the frame starting with 80 grit, then 120 grit, and finally with 220 grit. Fill any holes or imperfections with filler, as desired.

Framed Multi Organizer DSCN0596

Paint or stain. I chose a white paint for this project. Apply any sealer as desired. (The kitty, Busy, was inspecting my work.)

Framed Multi Organizer DSCN0601

I primed the punched aluminum sheets with Rust-Oleum’s Rusty Metal Primer (the best, in my opinion, for priming metal!) then painted them with spray paint – Valspar in Frosty Berry. I also sprayed the sheet metal with spray adhesive and applied the fabric over it.

I started with the cork panel and added a piece of the cardboard behind it for stability. I secured the panels in place with the framing tab gun. A stapler would work, also, to secure the panels in place. The punched aluminum panels do not need cardboard behind them.

Framed Multi Organizer DSCN0602

Framed Multi Organizer DSCN0603

Framed Multi Organizer DSCN0604

I added drawer knobs to one of the punched aluminum panels to hang necklaces. I was able to screw the post of the knob into one of the holes then attach a washer and nut behind it. I cut off the remaining part of the post with bolt cutters as close to the nut as I could get.

Framed Multi Organizer DSCN0605

Framed Multi Organizer DSCN0606

Attach to the wall with screws through the frame into the wall studs. Or attach soda can tabs to the back and attach the frame to the drywall using auger anchors. This frame is temporarily leaning against the wall in The Han’s room until I decide where I want to hang it.


Framed Multi Organizer DSCN0607

Framed Multi Organizer DSCN0608

Framed Multi Organizer DSCN0609

This multi-organizer can be customized for a boy, as well, and is fabulous for organizing homework and artwork! Have any questions about the famed multi organizer? Leave a comment below or contact me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com!

How to Change the Blade on a Miter Saw

Time for a Saw Blade Change!

Every once in a while, it is time to change the blade in the miter saw(or any saw for that matter). Not only does it make nicer cuts with a new blade but it also helps keep things safer!

change blade saw SANY2568

I noticed I was having a hard time with cuts on my saw – the ends of the lumber were getting chewed up and it was just more difficult to get a nicer cut. The last time I changed the blade was when I first got the saw (about 5 or 6 years ago) so it was definitely due!

A new blade will run in the neighborhood of $20.00. It sounds like a lot to some but I like to purchase a quality blade that will last longer especially since I use my saw nearly every day. If you don’t use your saw on a regular basis, a cheaper blade will work just fine!

change blade saw SANY2559

Start by making sure the saw is unplugged. No-brainer, I know, but safety can always be an issue with some! It wouldn’t hurt to peruse the manual that came with the saw. There may be some special “need to know” information about the saw in there!

 change blade saw SANY2560

I removed the safety cover on the blade and set it aside.

 change blade saw SANY2561

There is also a blade lock mechanism that will keep the blade from turning freely while the arbor is removed to change the blade. I use a clamp to hold the blade lock in place so I can use both hands to loosen the arbor (the bolt that holds the saw blade in place).

 change blade saw SANY2566

The arbor in my saw was cranked on tight. I had to call in The Big Guns (i.e. my dad) to loosen the arbor for me. The arbor wasn’t cranked on really tight the last time I changed the blade – blade rotation and heat generated by the rotation can cause the arbor to tighten. We checked the manual and this is when we found out that the arbor was a “left hand thread”. That means that instead of  “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey”, it was exactly the opposite. So Dad wrote a little note on the saw for me…

 change blade saw SANY2562  change blade saw SANY2563

I also have a laser guide on the saw. It didn’t come with one and this is an after-market guide made by Irwin to fit most saws. I knew the batteries were dead and this would be the perfect opportunity to change them – but I was out of batteries… D’oh! I’ll just save that for another day! Once the arbor and the laser guide were removed, I removed the blade and cleaned a lot of the sawdust out of the housing.

I replaced the blade, the still-dead laser guide, and the arbor. Then I replaced the safety cover, plugged her in, and fired her up…

 change blade saw SANY2564  change blade saw SANY2565

Aaaaahhhh – smooth as silk!! Awesome!

 change blade saw SANY2567

Until next time,

Happy Creating!

How to Make DIY Art with Wallpaper

I saw the coolest wall decor in one of the high-end catalogs. I nearly choked on the price – $299.00!! Granted, the inspiration piece is described as being hand carved and is approximately 79″ long, but wow! I knew I could create something similar for a fraction of the cost!

I had some old door frames I built and never used. I figured they would make great wall art! The wallpaper I used is an awesome embossed and paintable pattern by Martha Stewart. Today, I’ll share my idea on creating this cool, decorative piece!



  • Frame constructed of 1x3s
  • Piece of 1/4″ lauan, Hardboard, or plywood to cover the front of the frame
  • Brad nails or stapler
  • Decorative, paintable wallpaper
  • Spray adhesive
  • Paint & Sponge roller

Let’s get started!

Determine the size of your artwork. Most wallpaper is 20.5″ wide. The frame will need to be at least 2″ to 3″ narrower than the wallpaper to allow for the wallpaper to fold over the edges. Construct the frame as follows:


Cut the 1/4″ material to fit the top of the frame. Glue and nail or staple in place. A thorough sanding isn’t necessary – only sand the rough edges.


Cut the piece of wallpaper and lightly draw trace around the frame so it will be centered. Thoroughly spray the paper with adhesive.

Lay the piece face down on a flat surface and center the frame piece on top of it.

Flip it over and smooth out any air bubbles.

Start folding the sides of the paper over the frame, then fold over to the back.


Secure to the frame with tape or staples.


I chose to leave my artwork unpainted (I’m sure I’ll change my mind later)- it looks more like the inspiration piece!

If you want to paint yours, using a foam roller and paint, lightly paint over the raised parts of the wallpaper. Another idea would be to thoroughly paint the wallpaper, let it dry, then use a contrasting color over the raised parts. Add a sawtooth hanger to the back and enjoy the new artwork you created!


Until next time,

Happy Creating!

P.S. Sorry about some of the pics… I had to move my work table to the shade to avoid sunburn… Again!!


Mustache Candleholder

How to Make a Wood Mustache Candleholder

My teenage daughter is obsessed with mustaches… Actually, I’ve seen them everywhere – on t-shirts, duct tape, even shoe laces! I have to admit that they are quite quirky! I was experimenting with the band saw one day and cut out a cute mustache for her. Since it was so much fun, I’ve become a little obsessed with them myself! So today, I’ll show you how to make make a wood mustache candleholder!

How to Make a Wood Mustache Candleholder 1


  • Scrap 2×4 or 4×4 lumber
  • Cardstock (for pattern)
  • Paint & Sandpaper

Start by cutting a pattern out of the cardstock. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut a perfectly sized mustache without too many curves!

How to Make a Wood Mustache Candleholder 2

Trace the pattern on the lumber.

How to Make a Wood Mustache Candleholder 3

Use a bandsaw or jigsaw to cut out the mustache.

How to Make a Wood Mustache Candleholder 4

How to Make a Wood Mustache Candleholder 5

Use a drill press fitted with a 1-7/8″ Forstner bit and drill a shallow hole to hold a tealight candle if the mustache has been cut out of a 4×4 post. Otherwise, just leave it as is.

How to Make a Wood Mustache Candleholder 6

Thoroughly sand – start with 100 grit, then 150 grit, then 220 grit. Paint or finish as desired, then sand the edges for a “worn” look.

How to Make a Wood Mustache Candleholder 7

What do you think? Are you a little obsessed too??

These candleholders make great gifts or as a piece to hang on the wall! Several can be made in just a few hours out of scrap wood… Have any questions on how to make a wood mustache candleholder? Leave a comment below or contact me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com!

Sharing with Sawdust Girl’s Sawdust Throwdown

The Easiest Bookcase to Build…

DIY Furniture Plans to Build a Squared Bookcase

I’m in the process of working on remodeling my dining room which included removing a sort of “built in” corner cabinet. It really served no functionality (except to hide a hoard of candles and candleholders). I’d like to replace it with something like this… The DIY furniture plans to build a Squared Bookcase are truly the easiest plans ever, plus the bookcase has lots of cubbies that can be put to good use! The bookcase uses boards that are straight off the shelf and can be completed in a weekend.

DIY Furniture Plans to Build a Squared Bookcase - Copy


  • 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • 1-1/2″ brad nails
  • 1-3/4″ brad nails
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper (100, 150, 220 grits)
  • Finishing supplies (primer & paint, or stain, sealer)

Tools needed:

  • Miter saw
  • Circular saw (for cutting the back piece)
  • Drill
  • Pocket hole jig
  • Right angle drill attachment (for tight spaces)
  • Pneumatic brad nailer with compressor
  • Sander


  • 3 – 1×2 at 6′
  • 3 – 1×2 at 8′
  • 3 – 1×12 at 6′
  • 3 – 1×12 at 8′
  • 1 – 4′ x 8′ sheet of 1/4″ plywood

Cut List:

  • 2 – 1×12 at 72″ – Outer Box Sides
  • 1 – 1×12 at 23-1/4″ – Outer Box Bottom
  • 1 – 1×12 at 24-3/4″ – Outer Box Top
  • 1 – 1×12 at 71-1/4″ – Divider
  • 10 – 1×12 at 11-1/4″ – Shelves
  • 1 – 1×2 at 24-3/4″ – Bottom Support
  • 1 – 1/4″ plywood at 24″ x 72-3/8″ – Back
  • 4 – 1×2 at 11-1/4″ – Side Top & Bottom Trim
  • 3 – 1×2 at 70-1/2″ – Face Frame
  • 2 – 1×2 at 26-1/4″ – Face Frame
  • 10 – 1×2 at 10-7/8″ – Face Frame

DIY Furniture Plans to Build a Squared Bookcase

Click on the drawing for a larger view!

Step One

Cut the pieces for the outer box sides, top and bottom. With the pocket hole jig set for 3/4″ material, drill pocket holes in each end of the bottom piece, as well as the top edge of the sides. Assemble the box using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

DIY Furniture Plans to Build a Squared Bookcase - Outer Box

Step Two

Cut the piece for the center divider and drill pocket holes in each end. Secure the divider to the top and bottom using glue and 1-1/4″ brad nails.

DIY Furniture Plans to Build a Squared Bookcase - Divider

Step Three

Cut the pieces for the shelves and drill pocket holes in each end. When drilling the pocket holes, stagger them so the pocket hole screws won’t interfere with those on the corresponding shelf. Secure the shelves to the divider and sides using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

DIY Furniture Plans to Build a Squared Bookcase - Shelves

Step Four

Cut the piece for the bottom support and secure it to the bottom back edge using glue and 1-1/2′ brad nails.

DIY Furniture Plans to Build a Squared Bookcase - Bottom Support

Step Five

Cut the piece for the back. Center it, securing in place with glue and 1-1/4″ brad nails.

DIY Furniture Plans to Build a Squared Bookcase - Back

Step Six

Cut the pieces for the upper and lower side trim. The upper trim will be flush with the top while the lower trim will overhang the lower edge of the sides by 3/4″. Secure the trim in place using glue and 1-1/2″ brad nails.

DIY Furniture Plans to Build a Squared Bookcase - Side Trim

Step Seven

Cut the pieces for the face frame. Drill pocket holes in each end of the shorter horizontal pieces and the long vertical pieces as shown in the drawing.

Secure the face frame to the front of the bookcase. The top edge of the shorter horizontal pieces will line up with the top face of the shelves. The sides will line up with the upper and lower side trim. Secure the face frame in place using glue and 1-3/4″ brad nails.

DIY Furniture Plans to Build a Squared Bookcase - Face Frame 1

DIY Furniture Plans to Build a Squared Bookcase - Face Frame 2

Fill the holes and finish as desired.

This bookcase will look fabulous in any room and the plans are suitable for those new to woodworking! Have any questions about the DIY furniture plans to build a Squared Bookcase? Leave a comment below!

Project Feature – Caddy Inspired by a Magazine Holder

I received an email from Ryan W. who was so kind to mention that he had completed his third project using my plans! How exciting!! I am so flattered that he found my plans interesting enough to actually build a few projects from them!

I asked if he would allow me to share photos so today, Ryan’s Magazine Holder (built from these plans) is our first feature!

DSC_0036  DSC_0035

Thank you so much, Ryan! You did an awesome job and I love the sleek black paint!!

Got a project you’ve completed using my plans? Share photos with me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com or designsbystudioc {at} gmail {dot} com. I would love to feature your work on DbSC!

Until next time,

Happy Creating!

Merry Christmas

Here’s to wishing you and yours a wondrous Christmas filled with family, love, and peace!

A Smartphone App for DIY Projects

DIYZ Smartphone App

What if I told you there is a fabulous FREE app out there to help tackle most any home improvement project? Would you believe me? The DIYZ (dee-eye-wise) smartphone app makes home improvement easy with step-by-step instructions, videos, tool suggestions AND the option to video chat with an amazing pro advisor!


DIYZ is a great tool to use when that special project seems intimidating and you’re not sure where to start. Most project instructions will include a materials list and tools suggestions. You can also choose what you need for the project and have the supplies delivered to your door!


Want to know how to make a wine rack? Tap the image of the wine rack (see photo) and step-by-step instructions including a difficulty rating, time management and cost estimate appear. Tap the video icon to watch the entire how-to. The instructions are clear and easy to follow with video demonstrations. It seriously cannot be any easier!


What if you want to know how to paint with a sprayer… DIYZ has you covered with instructions in video or step-by-step format. Plus, if you get stuck, you can always video chat with a pro advisor who will walk you through the project.


DIYZ is free to download and is available in the Apple App Store or Google Play for IOS (8 or above) and Android devices. The app is so easy to use and full of helpful info, you’ll just have to try it for yourself!