Barbara's Blog — DIY Tips


Retrieving Jewelry from the Sink 0

Small and sometimes expensive items are easily washed down the sink drain. Metallic items like jewelry will sink and can usually be retrieved from the plumbing drain trap under the sink.

Step One: Getting Started

Most importantly, once you've realized you’ve dropped something down the drain, do not run the water. Instead, remove the drain stop or pop-up stopper in the sink.

Step Two: What You Need

Now, for what you need: if your jewelry is not gold, silver, or platinum, you should be able to retrieve it with only a lighted screwdriver with a magnetic telescoping lens. However, if your jewelry is made of one of these precious metals, you’ll also need a pair of 8-inch slip joint pliers, some  Teflon tape and a bucket,

Step Three: The Easy Grab Approach for Non-Precious Metals

For non-precious metals, extend the magnet on the lighted screwdriver into the drain until it hits the bottom of the trap. Move the magnet carefully back and forth, until you feel the lost item attach to the magnet. Slowly retract the screwdriver.

Step Four: Plumbing for Precious Metals

For gold, silver and platinum items, place a bucket under the pipe trap which is found underneath the sink. The pipe trap is the u-curve the pipe makes before it straightens out and heads straight down again. Use the eight-inch slip joint pliers to loosen the large nuts on either side of the trap. Once the nuts are loose, remove them by hand and pull the trap off the pipe. Your jewelry, along with a little water, should spill right out into the bucket. Replace the trap and tighten the nuts, first by hand, then a final quarter revolution with the pliers. Do not overtighten the nuts. Now run the water, checking underneath the sink for leaks at the trap.  If there are leaks, first try tightening the nut another quarter turn.  If that still does not work, you will need to get some Teflon tape and apply it around the leaking section.

Step Five: Finishing the Task

 Replace the drain stop or pop-up stopper.  Problem solved.  And you did it yourself! Now, put that jewelry back on and don't leave it lying near the sink again!  Try putting a bowl or basket in your bathroom away from your sink to prevent this from happening again.

Remember No one can do it better than You!

Installing a Towel Rack 0

SUPPLIES:Towel Rack, Fasteners
What to look for/Be careful of: Make sure the rack you buy fits in the area you are installing it in.
For Example: Make sure all doors will be able to open and close after you install it.
TOOLS: BK Cordless Drill, BK drill bits, BK Level and stud finder.


Preparation specifics:

- By placing the towel rack against the wall with your hands figure out where and what light you would like to install it at.

Note: At this point make sure the rack does not interfere with the usage of the room.

1. With a pencil mark one side of the towel racks position on the wall

2. Using your BK level make a level line longer than the towel rack.

3. Position the rack holes (top holes) on the line. Mark each hole.

4. Take your stud finder and run it along your line to determine if there are studs in the places where the rack will connect to the wall.

5. In-Stud – If there is a stud pick a drill bit smaller than the diameter of screw and drill a pilot hole half the depth of the length of the screw. NO STUD – Take your self drilling anchor and place it firmly against the wall and drill it into the pencil marks.

6. Place the rack over the prepared fastener holes or both and put one screw in each side to hold it in place then complete the process alternating sides.

Note: Do not fully tighten the screws until all of the screws are ¾’s in their holes or fasteners.

Checking your work: Lightly pull on the rack to see if it is loose and needs more tightening if its not loose your job is done.

If I Can Do It So Can You!

Build your very own DIYVA Framed Chalkboard 0

Tired of answering the question "What's for dinner?" Serve up menus in style with this quick and easy kitchen chalkboard. Create a family message center for notes and lists. Help get your family organized with this simple project.
MATERIALS: 16" x 20" frame, luan plywood or masonite, water-based chalkboard paint, 220 grit sandpaper, 2” bristle or foam paint brush

DIYVA TOOLS:  10' or 25' tape measure, 4 in 1 level, quick-change utility knife

STEP ONE: Clear the Frame
Remove the glass and cardboard from the frame.Measure the width and height of the frame opening.

STEP TWO: Map out the Board
Transfer the measurements to the luan plywood or Masonite using the level as a guide and scoring the wood with the utility knife. Sand the edges until smooth.

    STEP THREE: Prep the Surface
    Apply the chalkboard paint in the direction of the grain. Let dry for four hours before applying a second coat. Once the paint is completely dry, place the chalkboard into the frame and secure with the metal tabs on the back of the frame.

    Use colorful chalk to write up dinner menus or leave family reminders.  You did it yourself!

    Timesaving Tip: Whether the chalkboard is leaning against a wall, or hanging at eye level, be sure to have a container of colored chalk nearby for quick notes. If your kitchen has space, you may want to prop the chalkboard on an artist's easel for easy access and high visibility.

    Be a DIYVA!

    Fix a Leaky Faucet like a diva with DIYVA by BarbaraK 0

    TIME: 35 minutes
    TOOLS: adjustable wrench, screwdriver, screws, washers

    Determine if the leak is coming from the faucet or the handle and whether it is hot or cold water. If water is leaking from the faucet, the washer will have to be replaced. If the leak is coming from the handle, the stem o-ring must be replaced. Take all parts with you to the hardware store to find exact duplicates. 

      1. Before you begin, turn off the water at the shut off valve located underneath the sink. Drain water from the appropriate faucet and close the stopper in the sink bowl. Place a towel in the sink to avoid scratches or chips. 
      2. Remove handle by unscrewing the decorative cap on top of the faucet handle. Next, unscrew the exposed screw. The handle can now be removed. 
      3. With the wrench, remove the stem assembly by turning the locknut counter clockwise. Lift out the stem assembly by hand, you may need to twist the stem to get it out. 
      4. At the bottom of the stem assembly is another screw, remove it and take off the washer underneath. Screw the new washer into place. Make sure it's the exact size as the old one. If the screw looks worn, replace it as well with an exact match.
      5. Remove any corrosion before replacing the parts by cleaning with an abrasive cleanser. Reinstall the stem. Add the locknut and attach the faucet handle, then screw it down. Replace the decorative cap. Finally, turn on the water at the shut-off valve. 

    Voila! Nice as new..Remember No one can do it better than You!

    Featured on Twins Inspiration Blog 0

    DIYVA by Barbara K Ultimate Tool Kit featured Twins Inspiration Blog
    Twins Inspiration Blog:
    Posted by Britta Garsow on May 7, 2015

    "We hope your week is going as well as ours. This week we received our DIYVA by Barbara K Ultimate Tool Kit in the mail!!! This tool kit is seriously the bees knees (do people still say that? What evs, we like it). It includes 25pink ergonomically designed tools, made specifically for women. When we first held the hammer we noticed a HUGE difference in the look and feel of it, compared to the hammers we own. The tools are lighter than “normal” tools, but somehow more efficient. We have really small hands (weird, we know), so the mini screwdrivers are perfect for us. The tape measure does this neat thing where is DOESNT snap back at you and cute your face, nose, finger, etc. Overall the kit has everything we need for home improvement projects. The fact that the tools are pink are just the cherry on top of the cake."

    Please read the full article here:

    Office space 0

    With flexible hours and a lot of independence, working from home can be a great luxury, especially when your home office is comfortable and efficient. Here are five simple steps you can take to make your office the most productive space in your house.

    * Make it work Assess what you really need from your office. If you are transitioning from a job outside the home, consider what worked best about your old workspace. Was everything in one place? Do you like to spread out your papers to work? Are your files on your hard drive or in a filing cabinet? Do you expect to share the space (for kids to do homework, or as a guestroom), or will your office be a place for you alone? Don’t set up your office based on how you think you should work. Set it up based on how you are already working.

    * Think outside the box Are you planning to build a new space for your office, or convert a garage or attic? If it’s a simple conversion of existing space, you should be able to make these changes yourself or enlist the help of a friend. If your budget is lean, you can still create a useful working space in your home. Get creative: Do you have a guest-room that rarely hosts guests? A playroom your kids have outgrown? Extra space in the kitchen? Designate office space using low-cost solutions such as screens, bookcases and storage units to preserve privacy.

    * The essentials Figure out what the finished room will look like. Take measurements and sketch how furniture will fit in the room. List the office equipment you will be using to determine if you have enough electrical outlets. For me, one of the most crucial things in a workspace is lighting. If your room lacks windows, make sure you have enough fixtures. You’ll also want a desk lamp. Consider what other wiring you will need. Do you do all your business on a cellphone? Or do you require a land line? And should you invest in a wireless router for Internet access?

    * Find your comfort zone Your home office should be a pleasant place you look forward to going to — not somewhere you’re eager to escape! Arrange your work area in an L or U shape; this way you’ll have all your important items within easy reach. If you plan to spend lots of hours at your desk, make sure you own a comfortable chair with back support. Place your keyboard and monitor at the proper height. Also consider how you will heat and cool your space. Ceiling fans and programmable thermostats are proven energy savers.

    * Storage solutions Install wall shelving or use free-standing shelves. (I’ve got instructions on my Web site for how to build a nifty shelving system on wheels.) Or, invest in stackable modular storage pieces. Consider hiding your office equipment in a computer armoire. Bookshelves or fabric panels can double as room dividers, creating a separate area for client meetings.

    Finally, remember that working at home is not just a lifestyle decision — it’s your business. Review your productivity at six-month intervals and be prepared to make necessary adjustments. With a smoothly running home office, you can take your home-based career to the next level.

    Do it Barbara’s Way!