Repiped Sprinklers

So…last week it rained in LA. A LOT. So much rain that it turned the rock hard dirt in my yard into nice soft diggable dirt. It was definitely time for a backyard project now that it was finally possible to dig more than one mm into the ground. I decided to repipe the sprinklers so I’d have water for my brand new grass when it will inevitably not rain for months and months on end again.

I didn’t quite think to take pictures until I dug everything up. Oops. It wasn’t the exciting part anyway.

Here’s what I used for this sprinkler project:

  1. Shovel
  2. Spray paint (optional)
  3. 10′ sticks of 3/4″ PVC Pipe
  4. 3/4″ Couplings (straight, 45°, and 90°)
  5. 3/4″ coupling to 1/2″ 90° coupling
  6. 1/2″ riser 2″ length
  7. 1/2″ connector between riser and sprinkler
  8. PVC Pipe Glue
  9. Plumbing Tape
  10. PVC Pipe Cutters
  11. Sprinker Head(s)
  12. Gloves (optional)

Okay, so I have this stupid sprinkler smack in the middle of my small circular grass patch (painstakingly planted by me from itty bitty seeds). So if you’re staring at the grass patch from the house, I wanted to move the sprinkler from the center to what would be 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock. I began digging. My shoulders, arms, abs, body, glutes HATE me. So much. Skip the gym, dig trenches in the yard.

I dug a nice hole around the original sprinkler and exposed 3-4″ of the pipe that leads back to the water source.

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Then I dug a trench about 10″ wide and 6″ deep in both directions away from the original sprinkler. Now, you’d think that digging in a straight line would be easy. Its not. After digging a super crooked line in one direction, I came up with the bright idea of spray painting the dirt to give myself a guide. Hence, spray paint optional. You don’t need it, but if you can’t dig in a straight line, I recommend it.

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This took me a few hours. I took a break and piped the sprinklers the next day. I was pooped.

So the next day, I drew a super hokey mapping of the backyard and wrote down measurements of the trenches (the distance between original and desired location of sprinklers). I went to OSH and looked like my helpless self and got an associate to help me gather supplies.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Sprinkler pipes moving water from the source to the sprinkler are usually 3/4″
  • The connection from sprinkler to water pipe is only 1/2″ so you’ll need a converter
  • You must get a connector that converts from 3/4″ to 1/2″ at a 90° angle to turn the pipe upward for the sprinkler
  • Buy extra couplings (things that connect the pipes together) because you don’t want to get half way through and have to run back to the store

Okay, so I got nine 10′ sticks of 3/4″ PVC pipe, a bunch of couplings in varying angles, two 3/4″ to 1/2″ couplings at a 90° angle, two risers, and an extra sprinkler head. I re-purposed the old one to one of the new locations. I had all the other stuff left over from my front yard re-piping project.

Time to connect the pipes. This is like putting Legos together. Its super easy. If you mess up, cut it off and try again. To start, I cut off the original sprinkler using my pipe cutters. This is super easy to do. You just clamp down, release, and reclamp down until it cuts all the way through. There was some water left inside the pipe, so I let it drain out before moving on.

Next, I opened my glue up. There’s a stick attached to the lid of the jar. The stick has a round cotton ball thing attached to the end and you use that to apply the blue goo. It’s super stinky so wear a mask if you’re starting to get loopy (or maybe before that happens).

I recommend gloves for this part, unless you want to accidentally glue your fingers together or have dried blue gunk stuck to your hands for awhile. I smeared a bunch of glue around the PVC pipe about 1-2″ in length, making sure to cover it well. Then, I shoved a coupling on and twisted it slightly to wiggle it into a good connection. Basically, continue until you connect all the pipes the entire length of the trench!

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Thankfully, PVC pipe bends a little so my crooked digging wasn’t a big problem. Looking at the picture, it was SUUUUPER crooked.

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Once I connected the pipe all the way to the sprinkler location, I attached the connector that converts from 3/4″ to 1/2″ at a 90° angle. The 1/2″ end should have threading to attach a riser. This is to elevate the sprinkler out of the ground and high enough to spray what you want. If you get a less crappy sprinkler where you can adjust the spray angle, you might not need the riser.

Before I screwed in the riser, I wrapped it with plumbing tape. Its super thin and silicone-y and I just wrapped it around the threading 3-4 times on each side and screwed one end into the 1/2″ end of the converter and the sprinkler into the other end. I did the other side and I was done!

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Next up, I tested my work. I turned on the sprinklers and checked for any leaks. I checked all the connection points and the sprinkler area. NO LEAKS. I literally squealed with joy. No repeat visits to the hardware store! I’m still amazed that they work.

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Last step, bury everything. I used a rake to scrape the dirt back into the trench and stomped on it to make it flat. Real professional. With each stomp I was chanting NEW-GRASS-NEW-GRASS (in my head). YAY!

In total this whole project cost me less than $35. I went back to the hardware store to return all the extra parts I bought. I thanked the associate who helped me pick out all the parts. He told me he was so proud of me for doing this. I’m so proud of me! So excited for more grass!

Ikea Drawer Handle Installation Hack

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This is a post about my Ikea drawer handle installation hack with my hack saw. GRIN. I have a love/hate (maybe even a stronger word than hate) relationship with Ikea. NOTHING ever works out the way its supposed to. Ever. Last year, I bought some Ikea Besta furniture and never got around to installing drawer handles for some reason. Well I finally buckled down and decided to put them on.

First battle: I drove to Ikea (a feat it in itself), walked around trying to find the same handles only to find out they were discontinued. REALLY!? I found the discontinued ones on Amazon at a money gouging price of $10 a piece (honestly could have purchased Restoration Hardware ones for a few bucks more). Why buy Ikea stuff if its not going to be cheap?! The struggle begins.

Second battle: I measured the placement of the handles, drilled the holes, TRIED to put them on and figured out the screws were too long. Struggle is getting so real. I have no idea why they don’t make shorter screws! So, my husband told me I could to go the hardware store, buy some new shorter screws and put them on. Logical.

Third battle: I went to OSH and found out that IKEA screws have custom threading! You can’t buy shorter screws! The struggle is real. This is the hate part of my relationship with Ikea.

Husband sent me to the hardware store to buy screws, I came home with…A HACK SAW! WOOT! So after consulting a sales associate, he told me I could cut them shorter with a mini hack saw. Here’s what I used:

  1. Stupid Ikea screws that are too long
  2. Mini Hack Saw
  3. Wilton 3″ Clamp

Hack Saw_01

I had a mini lesson at the store and then tried this at home by myself. I started by clamping the clamp onto my coffee table. My table is made of a palette so I didn’t care about denting or scratching it. Make sure you clamp onto something you don’t mind messing up a bit.

Next, I put the screw into the side of the clamp and tightened the clamp. It was kinda crooked, but I just wanted it to hold still while I chopped off the excess. The sales guy warned me that nobody has fingers strong enough to hold it while sawing. I believe him.

Hack Saw_02

Next, I took my mini hack saw and lopped off the extra part of the screw! Basically I put the saw on the screw and started sawing away.

Warning: It gets super freakin hot. Don’t touch the screw right away. Definitely burned my fingers once. Or twice.

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Also make sure to keep the saw in the same place to make sure there aren’t any kinks in the cut. Otherwise, you won’t be able to screw this into the drawer handle. About 20-30 saws later, I was cut threw the screw. I cut 5 more of these and installed my drawer handles!

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Reupholstered Living Room Chair: Upholstery Part 2

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The chairs are done! Finally! Here are the final steps to finishing up the living room chair upholstery and here’s what I used:

  1. Staple gun (Manual Staple Gun or Pneumatic Staple Gun)
  2. Staples
  3. Fabric (Linked Navy Blue)
  4. Scissors
  5. Pen
  6. FireLine Beading Thread
  7. Upholstery Button Kit
  8. Rubber Mallet
  9. Glue Gun and Glue Gun Sticks
  10. Pre-made cording/trim or ~20 yards of 6/32 welt cording
  11. Optional: Sewing machine and zipper foot
  12. Optional: Thread

I started by making the upholstery buttons to make the tufts for the chair back. I bought an upholstery button kit online which comes with all the parts you need except for fabric and a rubber mallet.

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I cut out a small square of fabric with about 1/4″ wider than the tuft button size. I flipped the fabric wrong side up and wrapped it around the aluminum tuft button piece and tucked the excess fabric into the center. Then, I took the whole thing and shoved it into the rubber circle thing (technical parts).

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Next, I placed the flat piece of aluminum (hook side up) on top, followed by the blue circle thing (again, very technical). I held the rubber piece with a pair of pliers (I’ve smashed my fingers with the mallet more than once so this is for the safety of my fingers) and hammered it with a rubber mallet. I use a rubber mallet because I don’t want to mess up or dent any of the pieces.

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Once the flat piece was smashed into place to hold down the fabric, I just popped it out of the rubber piece. Tah dah! One button down, 9 more to go (for just one chair).

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Nine more buttons later, I was ready to attach the buttons. I started by cutting out a piece of fabric a few inches larger than the original fabric. and laid the old foam on top of it.

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I took a pen (dark blue) and started smashing it in the tufting holes where the previous tufts were to mark where to place the stitches. I used dark blue so you can’t see it as much on the other side. I think you can use fabric marking pens, but I don’t have any.

I started attaching the buttons by sewing the button to the fabric where I marked the original tufts and weaving the thread around the brown cards left from the original tufting. I’m sure there is special tufting thread, but I just used FireLine beading thread from some jewelry making projects. That stuff is pretty sturdy so that’s what I went with.

One day I’m going to find a better way to do this if I ever decide to do tufting again. This did quite a number on my hands. The original tufts used brads instead of a loop, but I couldn’t find any online.

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Once the tufting was done, I put the original padding back over the foam and started attaching the fabric to the chair.

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I used the same method of attaching one staple on each of the four sides of the fabric to start. After anchoring the fabric, I placed staples all around the edges of the chair, making sure to place the staples into the channel of the chair back where the cording goes. After attaching the fabric, I trimmed all the excess fabric around the edges.

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Next up, cording. This step is optional. You can purchase pre-made cording from Jo-Ann’s Fabric instead.

I wanted the cording to match the fabric exactly, so I opted to make my own cording. I cut strips of fabric 1″ wide, wrapped it around the cording, and sewed the cording into the fabric using a zipper foot. The zipper foot holds the two pieces of fabric together while stitching right up against the cord to get a tight wrapping around the cording. This thing is amazing and keeps people wondering how the heck you did it when its actually super easy.

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After sewing enough cording to wrap around the chair, I trimmed the excess fabric along the seam leaving about 1/8″.

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Next, I got out my glue gun and glue sticks and started to attach it to the chair. I squeezed the glue into the channel and shoved the cording in, stitched side down. I used a screwdriver to shove the cording into the channel where needed to get an even long around the border of the chair.

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After I attached all the cording, I put the seat cushion back on to the chair and attached it with the original screws. Another chair later, I was done!

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