Projects by DIYers Like You

Check out four amazing projects created by members of the Handyman Club of America.


Plant a Seat
Many artists are inspired by their surroundings — majestic mountains, crimson sunsets, vibrant city life — and so is member Nita Hoops of Estacada, Oregon. Nita’s inspiration comes from the Christmas tree farm where she lives, and this fir bench and planter showcases her skills. “My husband, Len, has a sawmill and provides all the lumber I can use,” she says. Nita used 4x4s for the legs, mitered 2x4s for the edges of the seat and 1x1s for the slats. She assembled the unit with wood screws and fir plugs and then finished it with sealant.


Mantel Mates
Displeased by their once-boring fireplace — a small firebox with an unattractive brass door and a single row of 12-in. marble tiles — Club member Bill Miller and his wife, Debbie, of Plymouth, Michigan, decided to dream up their own design. The couple drew the plans, constructed a tiling frame and laid new tiles and then added a mantel, a mirror with a matching tile frame and custom doors for the firebox. The finished fireplace is a handsome custom addition to their home — and a warm reminder of the time they spent together.


Timber Treasure
The adage “one person’s trash is another’s treasure” rings true for member Charles Giesecke of Plano, Texas. After helping a friend clear a house site that was dense with cedar trees, Charles used the found wood to build a bed. He removed the branches and stripped the bark from four small logs with a pressure washer and then recruited a sawmill to slice four slabs from larger logs. He smoothed each piece using a belt sander and an orbital sander and then hand-sanded and assembled the frame. Many coats of oil-base polyurethane give Charles’ elegant king-size bed the gleam of a true treasure.


Mending Mecca
Look out, Martha Stewart — this custom craft center created by member Norm Peterson of Inverness, Florida, will inspire even amateur crafters to create masterpieces. Norm used furniture-grade plywood panels for the framing and incorporated a drop leaf, three pullout wicker baskets and a pullout shelf. He cut a square hole in the tabletop and installed a recessed shelf for mounting a sewing machine flush with the table’s surface; then he topped it with a sheet of white laminate. To finish the unit, Norm applied trim, paint, stain and polyurethane and added eight wheels for mobility.