DIY Bathroom Projects

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Leni Pinyan made this toiletries holder using and off-the-shelf shadow box and flea market chain.
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Leni Pinyan made this toiletries holder using and off-the-shelf shadow box and flea market chain.

Read the original article, “Natural Home & Garden Bathroom of the Year 2009: My Own Private Grotto.”

Hide your toothbrush!

Leni Pinyan made this toiletries holder using an off-the-shelf shadow box and chain she found at a flea market. She hung it over an outlet so she can charge her toothbrush while keeping it out of sight.

Shadow box or any wall-mountable box deep enough to hold your toiletries (you can often find these used at thrift stores and refinish with low-VOC finish or paint)
Heavy-duty wire cutters
Metal hanger
Electric drill
Small-link chain (available through jewelry suppliers)

1. Affix shadow box over wall outlet, making sure the outlet is directly behind the area that will hold your appliance.

2. Cut the metal clothes hanger to the width of the shadow box with an additional 1/8 inch on each side to insert into the box sides. Drill holes at the top of the shadowbox’s interior sides to insert the clothes hanger. This will be your “curtain rod.”

3. Measure the height necessary for the chains to reach the bottom of the shadowbox. Give yourself a 1 to 2 link allowance. (It’s better to cut extra links off rather than discard a strand that’s too short.)

4. Thread strands onto hanger wire.

5. Install wire, with chain, onto the shadowbox. 

6. Cut off extra chain links that prevent the chain curtain from “hanging up” on the bottom edge of the shadowbox. The curtain should freely swing to allow you to reach through and remove the appliance.

Punch it up!

Bathroom exhaust fans are ugly. But Leni Pinyan made hers shine with this simple project.

Tin sheeting, at least 10 inches by 10 inches
Heavy-duty scissors
Graph paper
Rubber cement
Large nail
Heavy file
Solder gun, solder, flux

1. Measure the exhaust cover you wish to replace. Make sure your piece of tin has at least an extra inch on all four sides.

2. Measure out the exact dimensions of the existing vent on the graph paper. Draw a simple pattern on the graph paper–one that will allow a lot of holes to let air flow through.

3. Cut out the design of your choosing from the graph paper. Sand both sides of the tin.

5. Use the rubber cement to affix the graph paper pattern to the tin’s surface. Trim off the extra allowance to create a proper edge. Save the extra tin.

6. Using the nail and screwdriver, pound holes or slots through the tin to create the pattern.

7. File the edges of the holes and the edges of the cover to smooth edges and make the cover safe for handling.

8. From the salvaged tin, cut 2 thin strips approximately 3/8 inch wide by approximately 6 inches long.

9. Remove the tension clips from the exhaust fan’s plastic cover (you will reuse them for the new cover).

10. Measure the distance necessary for clearance from the tension clip to the new cover’s surface. Double that measurement and add ½ inch for the soldering surface needed to attach the strips to the tin cover. 

11. Thread strips through the tension springs and secure strips with solder. Slip the new tin cover in place.