Barbara's Blog — HowTo


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!