A Prelude to More Projects

I have this habit of browsing around for things I want to buy for the house online and then leaving the tab open on my computer window for three months without ever pulling the trigger and purchasing anything. Except when I’m not sleeping apparently, and then I’m like the Annie Oakley of Internet Shopping. (But probably with less accurate aim.)

Right at this very moment some of the 56 open tabs on my browser include door hardware, cabinet hardware, fabric, couches, a jobsite radio, and custom cabinet doors. Taking a cue from some of my insomnia purchases of the last several weeks, I decided to just go ahead and push the little yellow PayPal button to get a few of these projects underway and even though I still haven’t completely rejoined the land of People Who Actually Sleep And Don’t Look Like The Living Dead, I promise I wasn’t under the influence for any of these purchases, which include…

Some old tools:

Some of you may remember this photo I did back at the Memorial House…


I just stumbled across it the other day, and I love it so much I might try to create something similar (but a little more permanent) for the mudroom/tool room in the Liberty House. Obviously I won’t be using my actual real tools for that, though, so I’ve started collecting bits and bobs where I find them.

I also went far outside of my comfort zone and purchased something that was not, in fact, a tool…

I’ve been looking for a white shower curtain with a bold gray pattern on it for the upstairs full bath for some time, and I haven’t been able to come up with anything. It finally occurred to me that if I can build an entire house, I can probably turn a few yards of fabric (this patten from the always awesome Tonic Living, and thank you Jen @ Rambling Renovators for turning me on to them) into a shower curtain without causing the Earth to stop spinning on it’s axis. Not that I own a sewing machine…

Listen, I haven’t gotten that far in the plan yet.

These projects aren’t slated to begin any time soon, but at least when I’m ready to roll, I’ll have the things I need on hand to get started. Any one else collecting future project supplies out there, or is this something only people who are only a few steps shy of being on an episode of Hoarders do?

27 Responses

  1. I do this too – not just with tools, home improvement supplies and fabric, but also clothing, shoes, decor… for future plans that I don’t have in place yet. All because they are on sale or I have a whim at the time to get “started”. And yes, it is borderline hoarding at this point.

    I need to get on a whim to get “finished” one of these days.

  2. Shower curtains are easy – big flat panel with 12 holes evenly spaced along one edge. I think standard size is 72×72 – if you are positioning the rod very high or want more fullnes then you’ll have to measure to see what works. Have your rod installed and hooks available before you start measuring.

    If you have to seam the material to get the width you need, to avoid a seam in the center use the full width of fabric with the additional split and attached at each side. It means more seams to sew but usually looks nicer. Then a narrow hem on each side and a bit wider hem top & bottom and then button holes or grommets across the top (in the hem so there is double thickness to support the wear & tear). If you use grommets just be sure they work with your hooks.

    1. And about that purchasing ahead of time – I put wallpaper in both bathrooms shortly after moving into our house 25 years ago. Bought matching material to make a curtain for the small window in the master bath. Still haven’t made the curtain (luckily it is not necessary to preserve modesty).

      About 4 or 5 years ago we removed the wallpaper from the hall bathroom. I still haven’t finished washing the remaining glue off the walls (got as far as I can reach without a ladder). But I bought primer and orange peel texture in a can (there was some wall repair due to moving ceramic towel bars). I also bought a really nice stencil for when the wall gets painted.

      You are definitely not alone!

  3. I think everybody does this. The trick is to actually do some of the projects before the project stuff storage space gets filled up. And every now and again, to go through the stuff and be honest with yourself about whether you are really going to _______ the _______ when you haven’t yet for _______ already.

    Having a well-stocked project/craft room is like having a well-stocked pantry, only it doesn’t go green and fuzzy from disuse.

  4. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who starts buying things for projects and then sits on them for months! Right now I currently have:

    1) a kitchen sink in the spare bedroom, waiting for me to find the perfect faucet, and then install them

    2) paint/supplies and a ladder all set up in the corner of our living room so I can finish painting the ceiling (I don’t mind painting walls, but after painting the kitchen ceiling last April, I have no desire to finish, so there the painting stuff sits until I get sick of staring at it, or need the ladder for something else)

    3) a new ceiling fan for the spare bedroom, which currently only has a boob light. My neighbors tell me that room used to have a fan, so theoretically it should be set up to accept a fan, but I haven’t gotten around to checking

    4) wood for the other half of the ladder shelf- I build one of the side up-rights, but lost interest

    5) wood for garage shelves that has taken over the entire garage and kicked both cars out into the driveway

    6) a table for the in-laws that I’ve spread out across our basement living room while I wait for my sander to come so I can refinish it (that one needs to be done by Christmas, which means I’ll be working on it the week before)

    and about a dozen other small projects in various states of unfinishednes.

  5. Well, since we’ve had a bathroom vanity, a full shower kit and sink faucet, and 24 boxes of Ikea cabinetry sitting in storage for the last year and a half while we got this basement renovation going, I’d say yes, my name is Jennifer and I hoard project supplies.

    Awesome fabric choice! But I have to warn you – you just might have as many unfinished sewing projects as you do home projects! Its inevitable.

  6. If you want to come to Chicago and help us take a wall out, I’ll gladly take on all your sewing projects!! My sewing “resume” includes making my own wedding dress as well as quilts and various outfits for my kiddo. I’ve been at this since I was 13, so I have plenty of experience. I just don’t know how to take out a wall and move electrical.

  7. I have tried to be a little more careful about buying things too far in advance because I seem to then end up taking them to the Habitat Store or reselling them at a loss on Craig’s List becasue plans change. And I just can’t afford to do anything at a loss anymore since I reitred. But sometimes you get a deal you can’t pass up!

    For instance – just this weekend I finally got a Vermont Castings woodstove I bought for $100 at a yard sale 12 YEARS AGO installed in my cabin.

    AND my latest CL purchase was some antique varnished interior house trim. I got over 300′ of fluted trim and 9″ baseboard, 50 rosettes, and 25 plinth blocks for $100! Without having good measurements I am hoping this will work well in the 1911 Craftsman I own in town that I eventually plan to move to. And that is YEARS down the road. I also have a vanity, medicine cabinet, light fixture, and tile for the basement bathroom of that house. So…

  8. We bought wood laminate flooring from our neighbor about 4 years ago, it is still waiting to be installed, but we did finally decide where to use it. 🙂 We also bought a faucet for the 1/2 bath (still in the box) about 2 years ago and I have tile flooring for the baths… Have to finish up the 2 or 3 projects that we are working on first… Sometimes you can’t pass up a deal now, even though you won’t be using it right away. 🙂

  9. That might kind of be like have quilting UFOs..(unfinished objects)…currently i have 78 of them. sigh!!

  10. Send measurements, etc. and I’ll sew it up for you! Been sewing for years and have machine!

    Unfortunately (?) budget doesn’t allow for projects I don’t do. Hence, BIG dream list, short project list.

  11. Just use hem tape and giant grommets on the curtain. Voila, no sewing.

    Every room in my house is an unfinished project. I’m trying really really hard to finish up the rooms that are almost done and only start one thing at a time from now on, but that goes against the very fiber of my being, so it’s easier said than done.

  12. I like Wyn’s post: “Having a well-stocked project/craft room is like having a well-stocked pantry, only it doesn’t go green and fuzzy from disuse.”
    I knew there was sane reason for my collecting ‘stuff’ but not jumping on the doing part! I just couldn’t put it into these great words! I mean, really….you gotta have the ‘stuff’ available when inspiration hits, right?

  13. It’s nice to find that other people do this too! I’m trying to limit myself to five projects at a time, but that’s not going so well, so I try only to grab stuff/things that I have a clear idea about what I want to do with them. Of course that leaves me with a stockpile of hardware, wood, etc.
    Whatever you do, don’t start knitting! Talk about stashes for future projects.
    Love the fabric. I’m with Jessica – hem tape and grommets!

  14. you might not need a sewing machine.
    does hem tape hold up to humidity?
    if so, you’re golden.
    you just need some grommets, which is just *snip snip* *pound pound pound*, which i bet you can do.

  15. I am so bad, I buy stuff for projects in houses we don’t own yet! This goes over well with my family. I already got the items needed for the bathroom of an investment property we are in the process of buying. Between CL and the Labor Day sales. I couldn’t help it. I did save ALOT of money.

  16. Thankfully, I pin more on pinterest than I actually purchase. Otherwise, I would have a hard time paying my bills!

    I do have LOTS of ideas but decided this weekend to start tearing my kitchen down to the plaster and lathe! So we will see how this adventure turns out! I should have a blog just for other’s entertainment!

  17. just use hem tape for the shower curtain, get the “heavy duty” one what is wider then the regular one and that should work.

    it will hold up fine in the bathroom

  18. I’m adding that Rigid boombox to my amazon wish list RIGHT NOW. I’ve gone through 3 radios in my garage and for now I’m totally tuneless. So sad.

    Those work lights on your list? I love them. I’m sure they cost me $30 in electricity every time I turn them on, but not only do they make my spaces look like I’m inside a lightbulb, they also keep me warm! This weekend one of my kids was sitting by those lights in the hallway while she did homework and I painted…because they kept her warm. They’re like an adult-sized incubator. I couldn’t work without them.

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