Patching Drywall Over an Old Phone Jack

Patching Drywall Over an Old Phone Jack - Charleston Crafted

Unless you bought a new construction house from within the last five-ish years, the house you bought came complete with a sweet phone jack hookup for your land line telephone. Awesome! That’ll come in handy when you have some “Back to the Future” ordeal and need to call your Liz Frank ’90s loving self while twirling a phone cord around your finger. Home landlines are dead, but the ugly phone jack is still there. Luckily, they are easy enough to patch drywall over and you’ll never know it was there!

Patching Drywall Over an Old Phone Jack - Charleston Crafted

The first thing I did was remove the plate on the front of the jack, which exposes the wiring. I cut off the power to the jack and popped out the power cords that were connecting it.

Patching Drywall Over an Old Phone Jack - Charleston Crafted

Patching Drywall Over an Old Phone Jack - Charleston Crafted

Then I used electrical tape to wrap up each of the two cords just to make sure they didn’t touch anything and pushed them into the electrical box in the wall. Out of sight, out of mind.

Patching Drywall Over an Old Phone Jack - Charleston Crafted

Next came patching the wall. Lowe’s sells an awesome drywall patch kit that comes with a 4″x4″ steel mesh patch, lightweight spackle and a putty knife. It’s perfect for this type of job. The patch sticks to the wall with a built-in adhesive.

Patching Drywall Over an Old Phone Jack - Charleston Crafted

Next, lather up your spackle on the wall and smooth it out over the edges and let dry.

Patching Drywall Over an Old Phone Jack - Charleston Crafted

This kit even came with a nice sanding block to smooth everything out once dry.

Finally, paint over the newly spackled area and voila you can’t even tell that the ’90s existed.

Patching Drywall Over an Old Phone Jack - Charleston Crafted

Patching drywall over an old phone jack is simple and easy and can be done quickly. It’s a quick and easy upgrade that makes your home look much more up to the times.

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Removing the Dog Run

Removing the Dog Run - Charleston Crafted

We’ve started tackling some of our initial yard plan now that the weather is a bit cooler. It might seem counter-intuitive, but honestly, how can you work outside in Charleston in the 95 degree heat of the summer? I’d much rather work outside when it’s cold. I remember when I helped my buddy build a patio in his backyard on the same day I ran a triathlon. It wasn’t a good idea. So anyways, the project I’ve probably been most looking forward to doing since we moved in was removing the dog run that was in our backyard.

Initial Yard Plan - Charleston Crafted

This dog run was a fence that cut off about a quarter of the yard and was built to keep a dog in. I guess it is so that you can leave the dog there so that it wouldn’t disturb you in the rest of the yard, but we are totally all about CiCi being involved wherever we are, so we didn’t want it. Plus, even though it was only cutting off a quarter of the yard, it seemed like a lot more than that. So, after cutting the grass one day, I decided I wanted to see how difficult it would be to remove the fence.

Turns out, it wasn’t that hard. I took a hammer to the back side of the fence panels and with about a half dozen swings at the top and the bottom, the nails came undone and the panel came loose. Same thing on the other side and one panel easily came down.

Removing the Dog Run - Charleston Crafted

It was easy to tackle the last few panels too. Same thing, right down the line.

Removing the Dog Run - Charleston Crafted

I stacked the panels in the corner of the yard because I had a plan for them (more on that down the line). Instantly, the yard looked so much bigger already. Taking the fence down opened it right up!

Removing the Dog Run - Charleston Crafted

I still had the issue with the fence posts to deal with. A few of them were cemented into the ground and some of them weren’t. I literally just kicked them like 3 times on each side and then pulled them straight out. I had some holes in the ground, but I just filled with top soil and voila, take a look at how much bigger our yard looks!!

Removing the Dog Run - Charleston Crafted

Removing the Dog Run - Charleston Crafted

Removing the Dog Run - Charleston Crafted

Combine that with the fact that we removed that ugly weed bush thing from the edge of the lake and our view is freaking stunning. This is why we bought the house!

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Quick and Easy DIY Driftwood Frame

Quick and Easy DIY Driftwood Frame - Charleston Crafted

Knocked out a super fast project last week. You know how we love driftwood around here and there certainly is an abundance at the beach. We’ve done things ranging from our coffee table to a mirror frame to a candle holder and more. But I had a coworker who was leaving for a new job, so we wanted to send her off with a little memento of us and I had the idea to make a quick and easy DIY driftwood frame.

I searched my driftwood hoard stash and found two pieces that were naturally bent to almost right angles. I used a coping saw to even them out so they were the same size and would form together to make a rectangular frame.

Quick and Easy DIY Driftwood Frame - Charleston Crafted

I used two really thin trim nails to attach the pieces together. I thought about using hot glue, but I wanted them to fit smoothly and be sturdy.

Quick and Easy DIY Driftwood Frame - Charleston Crafted

Then I simply attached a short, straight piece of driftwood to the back to act as the stand for the frame. I tapped a trim nail through the front of the frame and into the stand at the right angle. The nail heads are so small and are a natural wood color, so you can hardly tell they are there. That was it!

Quick and Easy DIY Driftwood Frame - Charleston Crafted

Quick and Easy DIY Driftwood Frame - Charleston Crafted

This frame took me no more than 15 minutes to make. It was a great gift. We cut out a picture of our group and stapled it to the back of the frame so that she would have a coastal reminder of our group in Charleston. This makes for a great gift or decor item for your home. Driftwood is so crafty and easy to work with that it’s an excellent resource to have around!

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The Three Saws for a New Homeowner

If you’re a new homeowner and you plan on making updates to your new home, both inside and out, I have the three saws you need to have to get the jobs done. There is a freaking saw for everything, I swear, and they all do different things well. Very few construction projects can be done without a saw, and there is a saw for every occasion, but these are the three saws for a new homeowner in my opinion.

Three Saws for the New Homeowner - Charleston Crafted

  1. Miter Saw – this is the single most important tool that I have purchased since becoming a homeowner. I use my miter saw for almost every single project I do. It’s great for cutting perfectly straight lines very quickly. You can make everything very even, very quickly. Plus it’s great for making angled cuts and beveled cuts. I’ve used it for everything from cutting crown moulding to extend our fireplace to cutting wood for our barn door to all the precise angled cuts for our dining room table and benches. The range in size, but I have the 7 1/4 inch blade which works perfectly for me to be able to move it around and adjust it since I don’t have a designated saw station.
    DIY Raised Pet Feeding Station: a Nice Gift for Naughty Pets - Charleston Crafted
  2. Coping Saw – I could have chosen a hand saw or a hack saw, which both have their own unique uses, but a coping saw is super cheap and easy to use for lots of things. I originally bought it to cut the interior angles of our crown moulding in the front room and dining room, but this little thing is great for cutting natural wood, like driftwood, or for cutting little pieces of anything. It has small, close together teeth, which makes it a great tool for using in a pinch.
    The Three Saws for a New Homeowner - Charleston Crafted
  3. Reciprocating Saw – I’ve had a reciprocating saw from our time in the condo. I first used it to rip apart a pallet to build a shop table on the porch and have used it so many times since, including cutting a door into a Christmas tree stand to making a wood shed from old fence. It’s great for making quick, rough cuts when you don’t need to be precise. Don’t expect to get a smooth, precise cut with a reciprocating saw, but you can tear apart doors, fences, pallet and lots of other stuff quick, so it’s great to have in your arsenal.
    The Three Saws for a New Homeowner - Charleston Crafted

There are so many other great saws out there (table saws and circular saws for long, straight cuts, hand saws for outside lumber, jigsaws for design cuts, etc) and I have a bunch of them, but being a new homeowner and trying to get projects done around the house, these are the three that I have relied on the most for different projects. I’ve borrowed a lot of stuff from neighbors for one time uses as well, so this is not a “these saws can accomplish all projects” but if you’re looking to get started, these are what I recommend.

Three Saws for the New Homeowner - Charleston Crafted

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Creating Storage in a Cramped Attic

Creating Storage in a Cramped Attic - Charleston Crafted

Growing up, we stored all of our annual and infrequently used stuff in the attic. It was natural. I never would have thought differently or that any other house would be different. That can have its own set of problems (like when you go help your dad move out and it takes hours to empty the attic…) but it was the perfect solution for storing our things. So when we moved into our house, I assumed that we would be putting our Christmas decorations, camping equipment and other infrequently used things in the attic. However, when I went up there the first time, I found out that the only flooring was a small landing pad where the air handler was. Not to mention that all the duct work went around the entrance to the attic and the rest of the attic that was available was tortured with slanted beams holding up that pesky roof of ours.

Creating Storage in a Cramped Attic - Charleston Crafted

Creating Storage in a Cramped Attic - Charleston Crafted

Creating Storage in a Cramped Attic - Charleston Crafted

We needed to store stuff up there, so I had to get creative.

Creating Storage in a Cramped Attic - Charleston Crafted

The first thing I did was to collect plywood from construction dumpsters and the side of the road to use as some flooring. I would never buy plywood for this. Plywood is one of those things that is pretty easily accessible if you start looking for it. Once I had some decent pieces, I carried it upstairs and laid it out on the accessible floor space. The only thing to remember when doing this is to make sure it is resting on studs, otherwise you’ll just plummet through your ceiling.

Next was the storage. Like I said, the space is really awkward with air ducts and slanted beams, so I couldn’t put much on the ground. So, I had to go vertical. I measured the distance between slanted beams above the air duct on one side and found it to be 42 inches. Using scrap pieces of wood, I created supports on the beams by nailing the scrap pieces into the beams across from each other. Then, did so on the beams next to them to create a four post base. I did this all the way across six sets of beams at the same height across.

Creating Storage in a Cramped Attic - Charleston Crafted

Then, I simply laid down pieces of MDF board (you could use free plywood here too) to act as a long shelf across the beams above the air duct.

Creating Storage in a Cramped Attic - Charleston Crafted

Creating Storage in a Cramped Attic - Charleston Crafted

Creating Storage in a Cramped Attic - Charleston Crafted

I finished it off by driving a single nail through the boards into the support pieces so that they wouldn’t slide around. Then, I was ready for storage.

Creating Storage in a Cramped Attic - Charleston Crafted

Creating Storage in a Cramped Attic - Charleston Crafted

Going vertical is a great way to create storage in any situation. People always assume that once something is on the ground, it also owns all the space above it. Sometimes, especially in a case like this, you have to improvise. This didn’t open up a ton of storage for us, but we were able to get all of our Christmas decorations out of the garage for the year. Plus, this is a project I can add on to in the future in other places where the air duct runs between beams.

How do you store things in your attic? I’d love to hear more tips from you about adding more space!

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