Whack It With a Hammer

Adventures in DIY and Decor

Decor, DIY, kitchen, shelves, Uncategorized

Fit a Shelf the Simple Way

I always find its a good idea to do a bit of DIY in school holidays as the children get to hear all kinds of words they probably wouldn’t learn at school (depending on how rough the school is) With this in mind I decided to fit a shelf. My plan was to reclaim the cupboard under the sink from the 1970s bin which came with the house for some much needed storage.

old brown plastic bin in a cupboard
I know! Who would want to get rid of this beauty?

Big Hubby had kicked, sorry, moved the bin with his foot, rendering it even more useless than it already was. This is the third bin Big H had ‘moved with his foot’ so I don’t hold out too much hope for the lovely OCD triple recycling one we have replaced it with but I’m as pleased with it as you can be, with a bin.

It seemed easy enough to unscrew the old sliding fittings until I got to the rusty screw which wouldn’t turn. This is when the children learnt the appropriate language for adults to use in that situation followed by a lecture in the marvels of WD40. Then I stuck the screw driver in the top and whacked it with a hammer, oh yes, I told you in my last post I would definitely be doing some whacking and this really was the perfect opportunity. Ah, WD40 and brute force, if only all of life’s problems were so easy to solve.

two new screws and one rusty old one
The good screws ganging up on the bad screw.

As the kids had been really good I took them on a special bonding trip to the local Wickes store. I remember how I used to love going to our local hardware store with my dad, playing in the sheds and marvelling at the rows of shiny screws and nails. Sharing this sentimental memory with my children was met with a baffled stare from my daughter and this explanation from my son, “They didn’t have the Internet in the olden days”. So I picked a MDF board slightly bigger than them and made them carry it to the till – which was quite a long way but character building I think. (the olden days indeed)

New shelf MDF
£7.69 at Wickes

I’m more of a natural wood girl normally but as the bottom of the cupboard was stained beyond cleaning I was planning to cover most of it so I figured MDF would do. Also, as the shelf I was planning is under the sink unit the cover had to be waterproof so non of the ‘line it with some pretty antique wallpaper’ for this job.

At this point the children told me that quite a few of their classmates were skiing this half term. “Well, we’re taking a trip to Wilkos and no, you cant have any pick ‘n’ mix”.

Self adhesive lining paper has come some way since the ubiquitous fake marble or wood I remember from the 1980s, but not that far. I opted for a 1950s gingham style because it wasn’t fake marble or wood.

As the children were being taken to theatre for the afternoon this seemed like the perfect time to finish the job. To be honest, their enthusiasm had been disappointing to say the least. So with them out of the way I made my plan.

  • Fit a new shelf
  • Vacuum the house
  • Relax in the bath

Ready, steady, go…

making sure the shelf will be straight using a spirit level
Make sure the shelf will be straight.
measuring the MDF with a metal ruler and then cutting with a saw
Measure twice cut once!
covering the MDF in blue and white sticky backed plastic
Cover in gingham sticky back plastic…
fit the shelf in place with nails and a hammer
Tap in place…
kitchen bowls that need a new home
Identify stuff shoved on top of a cupboard…
bowls neatly placed on new shelf.
Fill cupboard with stuff!

I recon that having the massive Le Creuset on a low shelf rather than having to balance on a chair to retrieve it from the top of a cupboard renders the making of a homely a stew a much less hazardous activity.

As I managed to fit a shelf in less than an hour I decided to sack off the vac and went straight for relaxing in the bath, complete with a beautiful candle Big H bought me from my friend Caroline.

relax in a bubble bath with a scented candle.
Stress free DIY X

If you liked this you might be interested in my other simple kitchen storage solutions including reorganising your cupboards in minutes and repurposing an old shelving unit as a larder store. Don’t forget, if you enjoy reading my blog please like, share and follow!


  1. Keef

    February 23, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Neat in more ways than one…. Did white wine feature with the soak x

  2. SNR

    February 23, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    A sneaky glass of fizz did feature, after all it was the last day of the holidays!

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