Working from home. Eating at home. Hanging out at home. Working out at home. Never leaving home. If you don’t thrive as a homebody, self isolating and quarantining away from everyone else can start to make you go crazy. To help you through these times, we’ve got some creative home DIY ideas that can help you pass some time while reusing different things around your house…
If you’re going to start building your way through the boredom of isolation, you might as well start by repurposing some old PVC around your house to better organize your tools. PVC makes a robust platform for hanging and holding anything you may have floating around, you will only be limited by your creativity and the amount of PVC you have. Here are some DIY ideas to get started…
Drill holders – If you have some extra pieces of 3 or 4 in diameter you’ve got all you need to make some awesome places to hang your drills and air tools. Start by cutting the PVC into 10-12 in sections. Cut as many as you have tools to hang up. Then you’ll want to get a jigsaw, dremel, or oscillating tool and cut 3-4 inch slots up the side of each piece. This is for the handle of your drill so use that as a guide for the width. Now you need to find the best place to hang them. I have a shelf over my work bench that worked perfectly. Hang these pieces next to each other with the slot facing out and you’ve got the perfect drill holders.
Screwdriver Holders – If you find yourself with a bunch of smaller diameter PVC, you can make holders for your pencils and screwdrivers and small hand tools. For this project, you’ll need a wall where you want to organize all of these items. Take the PVC and cut it into as many 4 inch pieces as you can keeping one side with 90 degrees and the other with 45 degrees. Your best bet is probably to cut 8 inch pieces with perpendicular cuts and then come back and split them in half with a 45 degree cut. Once you have all of the PVC cut, you’ll want to start screwing them to the wall. Place the 45 degree side to the wall so the PVC is angle up. You can stack these as close together as possible. Once you’ve got all of the PVC attached to the wall, you have the perfect little holders to set your hand tools in.
Shovels – Is there a corner of your garage or shed that’s become a chaotic mess of shovels, rakes, and other yard tools? Take some more of the larger PVC you have and cut it into 6 inch sections with a slight angle on each side going in opposite directions so the PVC basically turns into a trapezoid from the side. Take these pieces and screw them to the wall using the angles as a way of getting the drill to the side of the PVC against the wall. Spread these out along a wall in your shop just enough that you can slide your tools into them and clean up that messy corner.
Old Cinder Blocks
If you’re lucky enough to have some old cinder blocks laying around your yard then you have all you need to do some serious landscaping. These are the perfect instruments for creating DIY flower beds or stairs.
Flower Beds – Ready to start growing your own food or do you want to brighten up your garden? Flatten out a section of the ground where you want to start your garden. Stack the blocks around the perimeter of the garden. As you go on to the second layer make sure you offset the blocks so that the middle of one block overlaps the edges of the two blocks beneath. You only need to go a couple of layers high but you can go as high or low as you want based on the looks and your supply of blocks. Now is the important part, you want to make sure the wall won’t fall over when you fill it with dirt. In construction they will set strips of rebar down the holes made in the top of the cinder blocks to attach each layer to the next and then they will pour it with concrete. For this purpose you can get creative. You can use boards, or PVC or anything that can give you wall some rigidity. Then fill the voids with top soil or gravel to further tie them together. Now if you’re making a garden, fill your garden with topsoil and you’re ready to grow.
Stairs – This would be a more labor intensive DIY project but you can use cinder blocks to make some steps to get up that annoying hill in your yard. Map out the section of the hill where you want to build your steps. Remember cinder blocks are 8 inches wide, and 16 inches long and 8 inches tall. So for example if you want to scale a 4 foot grade, you’ll need 7 steps. So you’ll want to map out an area that is a good width, I’d use 4 feet, and 9 ft 4 inches long. Starting at the bottom, level out a section of earth that is 16 inches wide. Lay your blocks and backfill the uphill side of the blocks to create another 16” level section that is as high as the original layer. Keep up this process until you’ve made it up the hill. Now you can get creative. If you laid the blocks with the holes up, you can come back and fill the blocks with dirt or pebbles to add some color to the staircase. If you laid it flat side up you’re all set to decorate around the staircase.
Running low on laundry detergent and trying to avoid the store? You can always make some at home. A DIY version is simple. All you need is Borax, Washing Soda and Bar soap. If you’ve got the goods the instructions are super easy, simply mix the ingredients together and you’re ready to wash. Recipes typically call for 1 bar of soap, 14 ounces of borax, and 14 ounces of washing soda but if you’re short on one, you can change it up to make it work for you.
Don’t sit around bored during your self-isolation, get creative and come up with different ways to use things around your house. If you find something that works well for you, help others out by sharing your find.
Brandon Smith is an Editor at TheSawGuy.com – a woodworking & DIY resource for everything from comparing the best table saws and miter saws, down to home and garden projects.
*This is a collaborative post