Meet The Material: Cork

Posted by: on January 5th, 2012 | 8 Comments

Cork brick wall in mid century modern home.

Cork, once thought of as the material of dartboards and wine stoppers, has become increasingly popular for its warm, natural, DIY-appeal, its eco-friendly cred and its industrial utility. From high fashion to eco flooring and space-age technology, cork is now being used in many surprising ways.

What is cork? Cork, interestingly enough, is a vegetable tissue harvested from the bark of cork oak trees found primarily in Mediterranean regions – most notably Portugal.

It takes 25 years for cork oak trunks to start to produce cork. Cork harvesting is a highly specialized process done by skilled “debarkers” to preserve the health of the trees. The first stripping of a cork oak produces a cork of irregular quality referred to as “virgin cork,” which is used in a variety of commercial applications, but not suitable for cork stopper manufacture. (Cork stopper production is guided by strict guidelines defined by the International Cork Stopper Manufacturing Practice.)

Cork can be harvested from a cork oak every nine years, but cork suitable for the production of quality cork stopper (with a regular structure that is smooth inside and out) is only produced from the third harvest on [via APCOR].

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Add Storage with Baskets above Upper Cabinets

Posted by: on January 4th, 2012 | 3 Comments

Day 4 of 31 Days, 31 Ways to Get Organized: In many new kitchens, upper cabinets don’t reach all the way to the ceiling, but you can still use that gap for storage. Use baskets or bins to store large, seldom-used appliances like ice cream makers or bread makers, or seasonal tablecloths and napkins.

Storage and organization tip: maximize space above upper cabinets

Image from Apartment Therapy

These fabric bins from Martha Stewart LIVING for Home Depot would add a fun pop of color, plus they’re currently on sale!

[Editor's Note: 31 Days, 31 Ways to Get Organized is a series featuring clever storage and organization tips that will help you clean house in the new year]

How to Organize Your Home

Posted by: on January 3rd, 2012 | Make A Comment

Watch this video for lots of ideas on how to organize your home.

Learn how to transform your space from cluttered to clean and organized in just three simple steps – elimination, organization and storage. You’ll also learn little tips to make the job easier like the most efficient way to organize your clothes and ways to categorize all that stuff! Don’t forget to check out for containers, shelving, storage systems, and everything else you need to get organized. And you can also visit The Home Depot How-To Community Forum for advice from expert associates.

See more DIY and home improvement videos here on the Home Depot blog and on The Home Depot’s YouTube channel.

Use a Tension Rod to Organize Spray Bottles

Posted by: on January 3rd, 2012 | 7 Comments

Day 3 of 31 Days, 31 Ways to Get Organized: When you open the cabinet under sink, do all the cleaning bottles and sponges fall out? Make more floor space in the cabinet by hanging spray bottles from a tension rod. It’ll keep them neat and free up space for other important items.

Storage and organization tip: free up space under the sink by hanging spray bottles from a tension rod

Image via Pinterest

[Editor's Note: 31 Days, 31 Ways to Get Organized is a series featuring clever storage and organization tips that will help you clean house in the new year]

How to Use Chrome Shelving to Add Storage Space

Posted by: on January 2nd, 2012 | 6 Comments

Day #2 Tip of 31 Days, 31 Ways to Get Organized: Add extra storage to your kitchen or pantry with a chrome shelving unit. Outfitted with clear containers filled with your kitchen staples, it looks organized and adds an industrial look.

Chrome shelving adds storage and organization to the kitchen in this industrial, contemporary loft

We found this awesome kitchen storage idea at this Apartment Therapy house tour.

Buy this 4-shelf chrome, commercial-grade shelving unit online or in stores right now — it’s on sale!

[Editor's Note: 31 Days, 31 Ways to Get Organized is a series featuring clever storage and organization tips that will help you clean house in the new year]

Christmas Tree Recycling Gives Your Tree One More Useful Service

Posted by: on January 2nd, 2012 | 2 Comments

Recycle your old Christmas tree

Once the holidays are over, give or take a bowl game or two, it’s time to take down the decorations and bid a fond farewell to the tree that created so much Christmas spirit in your home. How about letting your natural tree provide one more useful service by recycling it instead of sending it to a landfill?

There are tree recycling or mulching projects in communities across the U.S. Often the local sanitation department or public works department will shred the tree to provide mulch for your garden or for city parks. Depending on your area, the chipped trees can be used to renew hiking paths or to create soil erosion barriers along lake shores.

The Home Depot offers Christmas tree recycling in select areas; call your local store to find out if it is participating. You can also check for local tree recycling (or other types of recycling) at Earth911. Look for “recycling search” near the top of the page, search “Christmas tree” and plug in your ZIP code.

Here’s to a happy and healthy new year… and to making good use of our former Christmas trees.

Photo (cc) sdminor81

Home Maintenance New Year’s Resolutions #7: Prevent Wear on My Outdoor Power Tools

Posted by: on January 1st, 2012 | Make A Comment

Outdoor Power Equipment Maintenance

Most of us have at least a few pieces of outdoor power equipment in our power tool arsenal to help us take care of our home and yard, but what do you do with yours after the fall growing season is over? Do you just pull them into your garage or shed and let them sit until spring?

Here are seven key maintenance tips to consider that will help you extend the life of your outdoor power equipment all year round:

1. Drain the gasoline and oil out of each outdoor power tool at the end of the fall growing season. Fuel that is older than 30 days can develop moisture and lead to gum deposits in the engine, carburetor or fuel line. When spring rolls around and the growing season begins, fill with fresh gas and oil.

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31 Days, 31 Ways to Get Organized

Posted by: on January 1st, 2012 | Make A Comment

A new year brings with it the promise of a fresh start. This year, disorganization is out, and clean, clutter-free spaces are in, and with 31 Days, 31 Ways, we plan to offer you solutions for those jumbled closets, kitchen cabinets in disarray, and under-the-bed junk. Some of these tips are tried-and-true organization best practices, and others are clever ideas from our friends all over the web. Follow 31 Days, 31 Ways to Get Organized, and let’s kick off the new year in clean, mess-free bliss!

Day 1 of 31 Days, 31 Ways to Get Organized: Store your Christmas ornaments for next year.

Wrapping Christmas ornaments in newspaper or tissue paper is the most popular method for packing up ornaments come January, but it isn’t the fastest or the most full-proof. One ornament inevitably winds up crushed at the bottom of the heap, or a cardboard box gets gets smashed or damaged. Try something new this year. Rather than wrapping your ornaments in newspaper, try storing them in plastic cups attached to cardboard à la Martha Stewart.

Store Christmas ornaments smartly in a plastic storage container in paper cups

Martha Stewart’s instructions are to hot glue plastic cups to a piece of cardboard to create individual cubbies for each ornament. Stack the cardboard layers in a plastic box, and label the box at the top, “Christmas Ornaments.”

No broken ornaments next year!

[Editor's Note: 31 Days, 31 Ways to Get Organized is a series featuring clever storage and organization tips that will help you clean house in the new year]

Home Maintenance New Year’s Resolutions #6: Finally Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

Posted by: on December 31st, 2011 | Make A Comment

A programmable thermostat

Programmable Thermostats

As we mentioned in our post Learn How to Maintain My Thermostat, air conditioners and heating systems are some of the highest energy drainers in our homes. Even though the latest technological advances have decreased the amount of energy required to run our heating and cooling systems, there are several do-it-yourself steps you can take to help get more mileage out of your HVAC system and save on energy costs.

Upgrading to a new programmable thermostat is the next step in saving some real dough.

Estimates on energy cost savings when using a programmable thermostat range from 7-40 percent. Most experts agree that a household can save an average of 20-30 percent off their energy bills, depending on region and climate.

The Home Depot carries a large selection of programmable thermostats with such features at various price points.

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How to Use Joint Compound to Repair Damaged Drywall and Create Texture, Part 1

Posted by: on December 30th, 2011 | Make A Comment

Once upon a time in the 1980s when wallpaper was a hot home décor trend, a home was built with wallpaper attached directly to the drywall. One day, the new owner of the house, CraftyGalDIY (a.k.a. me) decided to give the bathroom a makeover. First step, ditch the wallpaper. Off to the store I went to get a scorer, wallpaper remover and paint.

Like a good little, amateur DIYer, I scored the wallpaper, steamed it and began to pull it off the walls. Down came the wallpaper and part of the drywall paper, too. Since no primer was applied to the wall before the wallpaper was put up, the wallpaper became a part of the drywall. Frustrated, I dropped the project and began to really hate my bathroom.

Joint Compound

Image from CraftyGalDIY

I happened upon a Drywall Texturing thread started by community member tbsmiley33, seeking advice on texturing bathroom walls using the Spanish Knife method of applying joint compound. I was immediately interested since I was having some drywall issues of my own.

Paul, another community member, shared a link to The website provides step-by-step instructions on drywall texturing and a video tutorial on the Spanish Knife technique.
Call it a DIY epiphany, but I believed this Forum thread provided the solution to my problem with my bathroom walls. Could I really solve my drywall and wallpaper problems by using joint compound?  I checked out the instructions on Drywall, made my shopping list, went shopping at my local The Home Depot store, then returned home to try to fix my walls…fingers crossed. :)

Did it work? Is my love-hate-relationship with my bathroom over? Check back next week for part 2 of How to Use Joint Compound To Repair Damaged Drywall and Create Texture.

Have you created texture on wall using spackle or joint compound?

Editor’s Note: Want more advice from our experts? Join the conversation. Visit the Forum for DIY tips and tricks from our Store Associates. From the Forum Friday is our weekly column highlighting expert advice.