A Mosaic Table To Accent Any Room


Final product by am_i_man_or_muppet


Adding the molding by am_i_man_or_muppet

Some tables are supposed to be basic surfaces to eat on. A mosaic table is not one of them. While a mosaic table can be eaten on, it will also add an artistic flair to any room in a home. Don’t worry about being an expert craftsperson either. With a simple surface, moulding, wood glue, a brad nailer, glass scraps, epoxy resin and grout, a mosaic table can be made by even the most amateur home improvers.

First, attach the molding to the corners of the table. This creates a border for the mosaic to be placed in. All the molding should be cut at a 45 degree angle beforehand. Then using a brad nailer and wood glue, secure the molding to each side of the table.


In process design by am_i_man_or_muppet

Depending on how fluid or particular the design, there may be a period of sketching on the table surface. Reddit user, am_i_man_or_muppet, preferred to lay glass and beading as they went, allowing the end project to surprise them. Glue down the glass and bead pieces with any type of glue on hand. Arranging the glass and beading is the longest part of the process but also the most enjoyable.


The grout-y mess by am_i_man_or_muppet

When all the pieces are glued down, it is time for the grouting to begin. This will be a messy, grout-y process but totally worth it. The grout should be all over the glass by the end of the application. To keep the grout moist, spray it with water while you squeegee it off. Once all the grout is removed, pour a layer of epoxy resin to seal in the pieces of glass and beading.

All that’s left to do is find a place for this piece of art-slash-furniture. Enjoy!

Make This Winter A Little Easier with Dark Sky

Well, it’s official. Chicago winter is here. And the cruel prankster that it is, it waited until after January 1st to give us any snow. However, Dark Sky may have just made your life- or at least your daily commute a little easier.


Dark Sky is a crazy accurate weather app that gives you exact details about the weather you’re about to step into. Available for iPhone and iPad, this weather app brings you local and global weather in an accessible yet beautiful display. Not only that, but it puts the weather in the simple terms you’re looking for.

Want to know exactly how many minutes until it starts snowing? Done.

Need a detailed breakdown of the upcoming weekend forecast for your mini vacation? Coming up with just a few taps on your screen.

Not looking to get a blow dry courtesy of the wind? Simply access the wind direction and speed in your area.


While Dark Sky may cost $3.99, it is definitely worth it. Skip one Starbucks run in favor of saving yourself

Frugal Friday: A $10 Kitchen Remodel!


In the past, Idea Corner has shown you a Half-Bathroom Facelift and Half-Kitchen Facelift, but what about a $10 kitchen remodel? It’s now possible, thanks to Jennifer Collins!

This project will take no more than a day and add elegance on a bargain budget.

IMG_1204-450x450Here’s a low down on the supplies:

  • Peel & Stick Vinyl Flooring
  • Utility Knife
  • Ruler

Start by prepping the kitchen counters and backsplash area. Clean all surfaces and make sure to remove all outlet covers.

Begin peeling and sticking the vinyl flooring to the backsplash area. Depending on the look desired, cut down the slabs for shorter planks or leave them at the pre-cut length.


If left at the pre-cut length, there will still be some cutting with the utility knife involved. Measure the length and width of all outlet covers and moldings. Using these measurements, cut out the areas so outlets and moldings are accessible.

This vinyl backsplash will not only look expensive, but is easy to clean, waterproof and can be painted at any time to change the color.

So follow these easy steps and soon a basic kitchen will have a whole new life.


Want a more dramatic kitchen remodel? Give Chicago Handyman a call today for an affordable kitchen upgrade! 

The Modern Security Solution: Scout Wi-Fi Alarm System


It used to be that home security was the luxury of homeowners. Renters remained susceptible to robbery and unable to check in on their home regularly. With the invention of Scout, this no longer has to be the case.

Scout is a revolutionary home security system. Not only does it lose the monthly contracts but the difficult installation. The system uses Wi-Fi to allow users to monitor their home, arm their alarms and even temporary grant access through a mobile app or website. It comes in many customizable finishes that can fit the decor of any home or apartment.

Best of all? When a person moves, the system comes along with them. No complicated process, pack it up with the rest of the items and install it as easily as the first time.

Scout only costs $120 for the system with no monthly fee unless you pay for professional monitoring. This one-time purchase will bring both home and financial security.

So why wait any longer? Get your home protected with just a few taps of a button. No phone calls necessary.


$15 For A Large Scale Dry Erase Board

Whether there’s a burgeoning artist in a home or a person who really cannot remember to pick up toilet paper, a dry erase board can be a great asset to any home. However, large scale dry erase boards can be expensive at office supply stores and small sized ones are easily ignored. Reddit user tf2ftw found a great solution! With some simple supplies, a unique, large dry erase board can be achieved.

Pick up the following materials:

  • Plexiglass
  • 3 3M picture hanging strips
  • String
  • Tape
  • Dry erase markers

Installation is easy. Start by attaching the plexiglass to the 3 3M picture hanging strips on the desired wall. Do not remove the protective plexi glass covering until the board is placed perfectly.

Following the plexiglass being put in place, tape the string to the top of the plexiglass. The other end of the string should be taped to the cap of the dry erase marker. This will give easy access to the marker when using the board.

And that’s it. A simple project to add some efficiency to even the most chaotic home affairs. Swap out the marker easily once the ink starts to dry out. Considering it’s a Friday, this may be something to try tonight. Saturday morning groceries don’t buy themselves.

Extend Outdoor Space With Simple Paver Stone Installation!

Some decks just do not suffice for large family gatherings or even quiet nightly dinners in the summer. The instinct to remove the existing deck or patio in favor of a new, larger space is not wrong, but it also much more expensive. People spend hundreds of dollars on the lumber materials and tools alone, not to mention the cost of labor. Instead of stressing about sticking to a renovation budget, follow Reddit user justgrant2009‘s simple step by step guide on how to extend a patio with some sweat equity and paver stones.

Besides hard work and paver stones, the following materials will be needed:

  • Shovel
  • String
  • Landscape fabric
  • 2 cubic yards of 3/8 pea gravel
  • 0.5 cubic yards of mason sand
  • Sealant sand/cement
  • Hose

After getting these together, mark out the space where the patio extension will go. This can be long or short depending on the space of the yard and size of the original deck or patio. Once marked, begin the excavation process of digging up the grass until the square area is 7 inches deep. This may take longer if plants have been maturing in the area for longer than one year.

Following excavation, cut the landscape fabric to size and lay it over the excavated area. Landscape fabric will prevent weeds or grass from growing up under the patio that the human eye may have missed. Pour the 2 cubic yards of 3/8 pea gravel over the landscape fabric. Smooth it out so there’s even consistency and it fills the whole area. Repeat this step, only this time with the 0.5 cubic yards of mason sand.

With the gravel and sand laid, it’s time to lay down the paver stones. To prevent the stones from moving over time, secure the edges by nailing plastic edge restraints to the corners.

Finally, pour sealant sand/cement over the whole extension, sweeping it clean until it only shows between the stones. To solidify the area, mist the finished product with a hose. This patio will be sure to impress, or at least make spending time with the in-laws a little easier.

If you’re not feeling especially adventurous, call Chicago Handyman for a quote! Beautiful decks for very low prices. 


Take A Living Room From Bland To Beautiful

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 1.37.51 PM


Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 1.38.11 PM

In process painting by  jjppoo

The living room is usually the room people spend most of their time in. Unfortunately, it can also be a room overlooked in home renovation. This quick, one day project can revive a basic living space. With a couple coats of paint and a living room backsplash, Reddit user, jjppoo, took their space from a white-walled TV room to an interesting space to spend time with family and guests alike.

So how does someone brighten up the dull living room? First, purchase the supplies, mainly paint and 3′ wooden scrap boards. When selecting a paint color, go with a bright color such as yellow, orange or red. And to get a more rustic look for the living room backsplash, don’t forget to pick up a variety of Minwax stains to vary the hues of the wooden boards. Don’t be afraid to be bold. Remember, being shy with color is what made the room a snooze in the first place!

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 1.38.27 PM

Wood board sanding and staining by  jjppoo


Before getting started on the wooden backsplash, paint the chosen wall with the selected color. Don’t forget to use painter’s tape to protect the ceiling, the adjacent walls and any trim the living room may have.

While the paint dries on the feature wall, get started on the wooden backsplash. Sand and stain all of the wood boards to the desired color. Then mix the boards up so there is a variation of hues in the backsplash.

Once the paint dries and the TV wall mount is hung, begin to screw the wood boards into the wall. Based on the space available on the wall, attach as many boards in height and width as desired. But make sure not to overwhelm the space with the backsplash.

Once the furniture is moved back into the room, the living room will be brought from a shaky 5 to an absolute 10.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 1.38.38 PM

Final product by  jjppoo

Struggling with the wiring in your new TV mount? Call Chicago Handyman for a quote on all your electrical work.


A Rustic Touch For Any Home


Whether a home is a modern oasis or vintage abode, a rustic piece of furniture can add a natural luster to any room. And instead of paying through the roof in a furniture showroom, follow the steps of Reddit user BaconStripsandFishin to make a pallet coffee table.


While the look may look difficult to attain, the supplies and steps are surprisingly simple!

This project requires the following materials:n1hyc

  • A wood pallet
  • Sander
  • Plywood
  • Wood for legs and sides
  • Saw
  • Walnut stain
  • 16 lag screws
  • Leftover coffee

To begin, acquire a wood pallet. These can be acquired for free or low cost at a local hardware store, lumber yard or construction site. While there, pick up the rest of the needed products. Except for of course, the coffee. In order to get the desired weathered look, the table will need to be stained with coffee once a day for a month. Any coffee can be used, Colombian, Hazelnut, etc.


First, disassemble the wooden pallet. Arrange the boards on the plywood and then nail them to each other with the nails pulled from the pallet.

Following assembly, sand the surface of the table until smooth but still weathered and cut the sides to the desire size. Once constructed, then begin the monthlong staining process with coffee. Meanwhile, stain the wood for the legs and sides with a walnut stain. The contrast of the tones will add a contemporary flair.

Once all the pieces are dry and fully stained, attach them to each other with the 16 lag screws. Check for stability and if shaky, add a few extra lag screws.

When finished, this furniture piece will be functional and add strong character to all living spaces.


Interested in a full home remodel? Call Chicago Handyman for a quote today!

Attention Music Lovers: A Home Improvement Project

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 12.41.11 PM

chillm wanted to spice up this bland space with some music

Music enthusiasts get a bad rap concerning home improvement. They love going to festivals or spinning their favorite records, but are not concerned with fixing up their bedrooms. This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth and this vinyl album wall by chillm proves it. With this project, music and DIY work in harmony to create an awesome feature wall.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 12.40.05 PM

Project supplies by chillm

First, get together supplies:

  • Five 8-foot aluminum slides
  • A laser level
  • An anchor kit of screws and bits
  • An electric drill
  • A selection of vinyl albums

After pulling these together, get to work on the first row. This should be approximately 18 inches above the ground, depending on the height of the walls in the room. Drill the first 8-foot aluminum slide into the wall with a drill on both ends. Make sure the slide is level before moving on to the next row.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 12.40.22 PM

First row by chillm

When adding the next row, leave a space of at least 12 inches from the first row. In order to make sure there is enough room for the records to be displayed, slide the records into place on the first row. Measure this space several times before installing the second row, leaving little space between the records and slides for that seamless look. After several measurements, drill in the aluminum slides on both ends just like the first row.


The next 3 rows will require much less time measuring, but the same time installing. Place the vinyl albums in on each row, just to make sure the desired look is achieved. A step ladder may be needed for the last 2 rows.

With the last record in place, this statement wall displays both a music collection and great craftsmanship.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 12.41.27 PM

Final feature wall by chillm

For other home improvement projects, keep checking back with Idea Corner!


A New Twist On An Old Calendar


A perfect calendar accent for any wall by princessdoki


Grid outline by princessdoki

Some people need more reminders than others to stay on schedule. Sure there are phone notifications or daily planners to keep on track, but this dry erase calendar will definitely do the job. All that's required for this project is dry-erase paint, painter's tape, black acrylic paint and black marker to bring this large scale creation to life.

Using a calendar as a guideline, create a grid for the month, days and dates to be written in. Draw this outline on the wall in pencil and a ruler or go straight for the painter's tape and a ruler. For extra flair, add a notes section like Reddit user, princessdoki, to keep track all tasks for the month.


After removal of painter's tape by princessdoki

Once the grid is outlined, apply an even coat of dry erase paint over the squares. Unfortunately, the paint takes 7 days to dry. Use this time to paint the days of the week into the top 7 squares.

After waiting a week, feel free to add the month, dates and any notes. This week-long project will not only help manage schedules and “to-do's,” but add visual interest to any wall in a home.


Final product by princessdoki

For any project involving the walls in your house, you'll need the best drywall application possible. Call Chicago Handyman for all your drywall needs!