Garage Art, Easy Way to Level Cabinets & Such a Cool Tool–I Bought it Twice!

Welcome to the 710th Metamorphosis Monday!

Hope your Labor Day weekend is going amazing! I’ve been goofing off and relaxing a bit, something I find hard to do. lol I always feel a bit guilty if I’m not being productive. Anyone else have that problem? There was one thing that I got done here in the garage, something that’s been bugging me since the garage makeover was completed.

Garage Renovation with New Flooring, New Lighting, New Paint


See that big ole blank spot there above the standing tool chest to the left of the cabinets?

Garage Makeover with New Flooring, Lighting and Paint


I used to have two things hanging there. One of those was this wood flag I made many years ago from scratch. I loved seeing it there and it was a good place to store it when it wasn’t in use on the porch.

Screened Porch, Patriotic Decor, DIY Wood Flag


The step-by-step tutorial for making this flag can be found here: Craft a Wood Flag for the 4th of July.

Pottery-Barn-Flag-Tutorial-Make-a-Wood-Flag-for-4th-of-July 3


Hanging on that same wall above the flag (in the garage) was this big red, white and blue star. Can’t remember where I found it now, probably Hobby Lobby or Marshalls.

Patriotic Porch for 4th of July


The wood flag is currently propped on my back staircase, along the top edge of a wall that runs down the side of the staircase. Not sure if it will stay there, but that’s where it’s living for now.

Back Staircase, Handmade Wooden Flag


That big blank spot in the garage was calling for something so I decided to hang the star back. When you have just painted your walls, you have to really think about what you’re willing to nail back up, ya know? Fortunately, to hang the star back, it only takes a single skinny nail because it’s metal and not very heavy.

Garage Makeover with New Flooring, Lighting and Paint


Here’s how it looks back on the wall. This photo was taken in the evening with the garage door down, so it’s a bit shadowy. I didn’t take time to back the car out, thought it would be better to share it just as it looks with everything in place. Someone asked recently if I park my car in the garage. I definitely do, always have. I keep a car for so long (usually 11-16 years) so I like to keep it garaged so the paint stays looking as nice as possible, for as long as possible.

Decorate Garage Walls


I love how this star looks here, I’ve missed it!

Art for the Garage, Wall


It’s good to see it back home again!

Star Art for Garage Wall


Helpful Tip for Leveling SystemBuild Storage Cabinets

After the garage makeover was complete, during the time I was adding the cabinets back to the garage, I figured out a cool little trick for leveling them. These cabinets are designed with feet that spin up and down so that you can level them wherever you happen to be using them. They get a lot trickier to adjust/level when you start adding several of them in a row and they are right up against each other as I have here in the garage.

Garage Storage Cabinets


You may remember I mentioned having a new seal professionally added along the bottom of my garage door. It actually had to be done twice because the first time, the installation didn’t turn out as it should have. The second installation went way better and turned out really nice. After that first installation of the seal, the garage door repairman left behind a leftover piece of the seal.


Man, did that scrap piece ever come in handy! Since I was adjusting and leveling the cabinets by myself, there was just no way I could simultaneously pull the cabinet forward off of its back legs, while lowering/raising the legs all at the same time. I knew I needed a way to lift the cabinet up in back and I remembered that squishy seal. I folded the seal twice and stuck it behind the cabinet, between the cabinet and the wall. That allowed me to reach up underneath the front of the cabinet (thankfully I have skinny forearms) to raise/lower the legs in the back as needed. There was a lot of back and forth, climbing up and down the ladder to replace and remove the seal after each adjustment, but it worked great! I could never have done it without that scrap piece of seal! Just wanted to share this tip in case you ever need to adjust the back legs of a cabinet in place against a wall, and you don’t have anyone available to pull the cabinet forward off its back legs.

How I leveled Ameriwood System Build Cabinets


When I share these cabinets, someone will usually ask if I secured the cabinets to the wall. Yes, always! The doors on these cabinets are quite heavy/substantial so I would never attempt to open them without having them secured to the wall, even if they are loaded down with dishes. You can see my little pencil mark where I used my Stud Finder to locate the stud before securing the cabinet.

Securing System Build Cabinets to the wall


This stud finder was worth its weight in gold! It worked seamlessly, found that stud the first time, every time! (Stud finder is available here: Stud Finder.)

Wall Stud Finder


Before I end this post, I have to share one of the amazing tools I purchased during this makeover. I love DeWalt tools and now own quite a few. I saw this retractable knife/box opener online when I was purchasing a set of DeWalt screwdrivers recently. I purchased one to use here in the garage for breaking down boxes for recycling and I like it so much, last night I purchased another one to keep inside for opening packages. It works amazingly well and comes with quite a few blade refills. I have found it really easy to use and I love how the blade retracts back into the handle for safety. It’s currently still on sale here: DeWalt Premium Retractable Knife/Box Opener.

DeWalt Retractable Knife


I’ve been trying to decide if I want to remove these lanterns from the top of the cabinets and store them down in the basement. It’s super convenient having them here–easy to reach if I wish to use one in a table setting, although, I rarely use the little greenhouse and birdhouse on the far left. I can’t decide if I like this area being fully open above the cabinets or not. The lanterns have a way of pulling the eye up and they almost make the cabinets feel taller–which I like. But, are they distracting from the clean openness of the garage?

Lanterns Stored Atop Cabinets


Give me your thoughts, should I leave the lanterns here atop the cabinets or move them down to the basement? Argggh, I can’t decide! Let me know what you think!

Garage Makeover with New Flooring, Lighting and Paint


Looking forward to all the wonderful Before and Afters linked for this week’s Met Monday!

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Metamorphosis Monday

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  1. Leave the lanterns.

  2. Sharyn Kimbrough says

    Love the lanterns on top of your garage cabinets and also the star over the potting bench. Thanks for sharing.

    • Janet Sullivan says

      I love your garage and it looks clean and organized. I would take away the lanterns. That is the first thing I noticed. Maybe a few wicker baskets lined up neatly if you want something up there. Take care.

  3. You mention Instagram every week but I don’t see any new posts there. Am I missing something? Are there posts that I can’t see? The last one I see is from May.

    • Thanks for the question, Lin. I haven’t posted a lot there lately because IG started doing the exact same thing that Facebook does (they are both owned by the same person/company) which is to not share posts with the vast majority of those who follow. So it seems a waste of time to post there when hardly anyone will see it in their feed (even though they follow) due to the algorithm they have set up. I hope that will improve eventually. I should post more often, sorry I haven’t posted a lot there lately.

      • Susan, here is something that I learned recently about Instagram. Beside the logo at the top left is a small arrowhead pointing down, indicating a menu. If you click on that it will give you the option of seeing the posts you are Following or your Favorites. If you let your readers know this in a story, they should be able to see your posts in their feed. I tried it and it works. I was so tired of being bombarded with posts from strangers and reels. Now I can enjoy Instagram again. So you might want to do a story to tell your readers about this. They will be happy to see you in their feed!

  4. I absolutely love your garage renovation! But I know what you mean about the clean lines. One thought would be to place them in several grey bins placed laterally on top to hold the lanterns. Since there are several, you would need to store them on top of the row of side cabinets as well, but it would all look uniform. Perhaps this would also keep them dust free and easy to use. No need for labeling if you have a cheat sheet that you can refer to with contents of each bin at each location. Or put them in the basement and enjoy your beautiful clean lines that you have worked so hard to achieve.

  5. I think the lanterns look great where they are….a nice look! The star is such a good look, too. Yes, I have that problem…if I am not DOING something I think I am lazy. And that has been worse this week as I had some sun poisoning ( don’t know how because I use SPF 70 and was hardly in the pool, but I broke out in a rash…) and ended up on a course of steroids. Talk about being the Energizer Bunny! My sweet husband threatened to hide my label maker. But even when I am not taking meds I have to remind myself that I am a human BEING, not a human DOING…and to stop and relax…and nap! Hope you are having a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!

  6. Susan… are AMAZING! I often will share your posts with my husband, that may be of interest to him. He just thinks you are one amazing woman! And he said if I ever comment, to tell you so! Today we ordered a new box cutter for him, after seeing your comment! He ended up with a Fiskars one since he likes anything with orange on it ‍♀️ I’m not quite as good with the assemble it yourself products, but we’ve raised two daughters that are pro’s at it, including anything electronic! It serves them well! Have a great day!

  7. ZoeAnn Yussman says

    The garage looks amazing! I would leave everything up on top of the shelves- it looks great. Thank you for the flooring suggestion- we will be putting that on the floor in our new garage!

  8. Thank you Susan, and I’d leave the lanterns there where they are handy!

  9. Take them away!! I love the clean uncluttered look; that’s what you were going for anyway, right?! You could give away the ones you never use. Your garage should be voted best garage in the blog world!!;-)

  10. Hi Susan. Love your garage. I’d take the lanterns away. I like the clean, uncluttered look. The lanterns were the first thing I noticed. If you want something on top, maybe a few wicker baskets lined up neatly. Take care.

  11. Leave them. If not, you’ll find something else to put there!

  12. I’d leave the lanterns where they are, I like the interest they give to the space.

  13. Since the lanterns are a basic design (except for the birdhouse, maybe remove that one) they add interest–just like the stat–without adding a cluttered feeling.

  14. It seems like the point of the shelving was to have all your tablescape items in one place. That would seem like having the lanterns there too would be helpful. Remember, it’s a GARAGE. IT LOOKS FANTASTIC AS IT IS!

  15. I would try taking the lanterns down and see which way you prefer. Personally, I would prefer the clean look if it was my garage because everything looks so uniform and perfect. The box cutter would make a nice Christmas gift also.

  16. My two cents’ worth: Love your garage makeover! You really do have a knack for noticing the details and then it looks perfect in the end. As for the lanterns, I like them there. I don’t view them as clutter, but more decorative in nature, kinda like the star you hung. It’s all still very clean (cleaner than most, I would say) but not so sterile. Love your blog!

  17. Leave the lanterns and the star right where they are! They look great!

  18. I think that You want to keep the lanterns there! Yes it would be a clean straight edge, but you have already decorated the one empty spot on the wall with the star…..or flag. If you took the lanterns down, you would end up putting something else up and changing it with every season. lol They look just right.

  19. Love your garage makeover. Wish I had a garage! With the idea in mind that you wanted as much of your tablescaping items together and handy, what if you tried the lanterns on the top of the side cupboards. Maybe they wouldn’t be quite as distracting to you as on top of the front ones but still handy and a visual reminder of what you have. Enjoy your garage!

  20. A different perspective: Do you like going downstairs to retrieve items (with a handrail) or do you like climbing ladders to retrieve them? I’d opt for the basement because as we get older the higher levels that aren’t within reach become a tad more hazardous to our health.

  21. I don’t think you will do this because you might think it would look sloppy but if this were my garage, I would leave the lanterns in place. However, I would buy clear plastic covers for each lantern to keep them dust free. Maybe a clear plastic mixer or blender cover would be large enough to cover each one. Just a thought.

  22. I like the lanterns there they are so pretty the garage is so nice love it

  23. Happy Labor Day Susan! You are amazing at all you can do, I’m always in awe of you…a little power house for sure! I like your lanterns up on top, but I also know what you mean about clean lines. Maybe put the lanterns in organizing cubes that all match going across, or something like that. It would give you the clean lines while still keeping those lanterns all in your reach for your tablescapes. Hugs, Brenda

  24. Gayle Kesinger says

    Leave the lanterns. Easy to get to and more likely to be used. They look great as does the rest of the garage. Love the star.

  25. Iris McCloud says

    Susan, Your garage inspired me to work all weekend on my horrible garage!
    Way too much stuff in it so your lanterns don’t look cluttery to me at all. You originally wanted to store everything in one place and who knows? Maybe the the lanterns serve as inspiration and starting point for to a tablescape.

  26. . . . leave the lanterns (gun). . . take the cannoli!!

  27. Susan,
    Your garage is amazing!! Love the Patriotic decor!!
    Thanks so much for hosting this delightful party each and every week!! Thank You!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!

  28. franki Parde says

    Those lanterns need “twinkklights” on a timer…Course, I’m “CRAZY ABOUT TWINKLE LIGHTS!!” That STAR is PERFECT!!! Gee, that’s a nice garage! Again, WELL DONE! franki

  29. Your garage is the cats meow! Love it. Do with the lanterns, physically, what suits you best. One little caveat: Wondering why you didn’t center the star between the cabinet and the door? I’m a little OCD myself! Beautiful job.

    • Thanks, Sheree! I centered over the standing tool chest since it’s stationary and is always there, but the wheeled cart next to it gets moved around as needed. Today, I moved the organizer thingy on the tool chest over where it’s not centered under the star. I was trying to keep it toward the end to create more space atop the tool chest, but it looks better centered underneath the star. I should take a photo of that and add it to the post.

    • Sheree, check this out. I centered the organizer thingy beneath the star and I think this looks a lot better. lol Less open space on the tool chest that way, but it def looks better with things centered. Oops, attached the wrong photo…here’s how it looks now.

  30. I’m a bit of a ‘ladybug’ organizer who likes my ‘clutter’ hidden (as I think you sort of do as well), however I don’t mind the lanterns and seeing them all displayed adds a little interest to the garage in that space. Also you can easily see which ones you have when choosing one for a particular displacy you are creating. Your garage is beautiful! I’ll bet your car likes it too!

  31. Where did you purchase your cabinets that you used in your garage? I like the lanterns on top of the cabinets!

  32. biodynamic barb says

    Please share the link for those things you use to attach the cabinet to the wall! I’m getting a new bookcase and need one.

    Thank you,

    • Barb, all my cabinets came with those attachment things, including the ones I ordered for the garage and the Ikea ones I ordered for my office and bedroom. I bet they are available on amazon. The cable guy is here right now but once he is done I’ll look on Amazon and see if I can find them. Normally bookcases come with them automatically these days though since they are a safety feature.

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