I am still (yes, still) settling into my apartment, but things have definitely taken an upswing since my room was painted. My roommates and I are definitely moved in, so now it’s just a matter of adding personal touches and decorative updates to really make the apartment a home for us. With that in mind, I decided to partake in a few home improvement projects to add a little DIY love to my kitchen.
I partnered with Lowe’s, who has taught me to Never Stop Improving, to improve and add some fun to my now upgraded kitchen. In the new apartment, I have about double the space of my old space, which means plenty more room for fun extras. This week I used the Lowe’s “Creative Ideas” center on their website to create a Dowel Fruit Holder.
This will keep our fruit ripe and pretty while also keeping them off the (sometimes dirty) counter top. They break down all the materials, tools included, on the website, making it easy to walk into the store with a list of whatever you need. This was perfect for a home improvement illiterate like myself. Once I had all the materials, it was time to get working!
Here is the breakdown:
Step One: Lay sheets of protective kraft paper on your work surface. From the dowel rods, cut 12 pieces 9 inches long. Sand lightly with sandpaper.
Step Two: From the poplar board, cut two 12-inch-long pieces for the sides. Tape the two sides together to make sure the ends are flush. This is really important so your holder lines up and doesn’t look lopsided!
Print out a copy of the Dowel Fruit Rack Drilling Guide, tape the halves together, and tape the guide to the top piece of wood. With a nail, start the holes where shown on the drilling guide.
Step Three: Place the stacked pieces of wood on a piece of scrap wood and drill 90 degrees through both pieces. Take your time on this! The holes need to be in the exact same spot on both pieces of wood. Plus you don’t want to get overzealous and drill a hole in your floor.
Then separate the pieces and remove the guide.
Step Four: Sand the wood boards, wipe clean and apply three coats of paint, Avoid getting paint inside the holes wherever you possibly can.
Step Five: Drill a dozen 1/4-inch holes about 1/4-inch deep about 2 inches apart in a scrap board. Temporarily stand the dowels in the shallow holes and apply a coat of spray polyurethane on all sides. After the finish dries, remove the dowels from the scrap board.
Step Six: Place a dowel into one hole on the side and gently tap the end flush with the face on the opposite side. Use a scrap block and small hammer to avoid damaging the other end of the dowel. Seriously be very careful so you don’t split the dowels. Repeat for the remaining dowels.
Step Seven: Lay the side with the dowels on edge on a flat surface and, one by one, guide the other ends of the dowels into holes in the opposite side. (You just need to get them started so the holder sides won’t twist while resting on the countertop.) Stand the assembly on end and use a small hammer and a piece of scrap wood to protect the finish while you tap the side onto the dowels.
Overall, the step-by-step process was very helpful and the listed materials were all I needed! Not going to lie, at first I missed that I would need so many tools like a drill, saw etc so before you embark on a project, make sure you read THE WHOLE LIST. But now, I have a cute and colorful addition to my kitchen for under $50 (tools not included). Not bad for a weekend DIY.