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15 Simple Projects for Do Something Nice Day

Do Something Nice Day will be celebrated Oct. 5 across the country and here are some simple ways you can do something nice for someone. From woodworking projects to cleaning up outside, we've got ideas on how you can do something nice. 

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Plant a tree for Do Something Nice Day

Plant a tree for Do Something Nice Day

Plant a young tree now for Do Something Nice Day and before long your investment will add valuable curb appeal to your property. Before planting, make sure to consider how large the tree's root systems will be when it's fully grown, and choose a species that is recommended for your area–your local extension service will be able to provide a list of the best trees for your region. And as always, before you dig, make sure to call 811 and someone from the utilities company will come out and mark the underground utility lines. Read more tips for trouble-free tree planting hereShade trees can be especially nice in the backyard.

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Clean Out Your GuttersIndy Edge/Shutterstock

Clean Out Your Gutters

Your gutters work hard over fall and winter, and they need your help. Clean them out before it gets too cold. This will prevent gutters from overflowing with rain or snow and damaging your roof. Plus: Gutter Repair

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Trim Problem Bushes and Treessauletas/Shutterstock

Trim Problem Bushes and Trees

The last thing you want are branches to hit your house during a windstorm. Now is the time to inspect nearby trees and shrubs, and cut any low-hanging or dying branches before they can do damage. Don't go crazy, though. Trimming promotes new growth, so wait until your bushes and trees are truly dormant (after winter, early spring) to do your annual pruning. Plus: Tree Pruning Techniques

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How to Make a Wooden Chopping Board and Serving TrayFamily Handyman

How to Make a Wooden Chopping Board and Serving Tray

Slice, dice and serve in style on this easy, attractive board. We'll show you a simple way to dry-fit the parts, scribe the arc and then glue the whole thing together. We used a 4-ft. steel ruler to scribe the arcs, but a yardstick or any thin board would also work. Find complete how-to instructions on this woodworking crafts project here. Also, be sure to use water-resistant wood glue and keep your board out of the dishwasher or it might fall apart. And one more thing: Keep the boards as even as possible during glue-up to minimize sanding later. For great tips on gluing wood, check out this collection.

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Build a Shoe Storage Booster StoolFamily Handyman

Build a Shoe Storage Booster Stool

Build this handy stool in one hour and park it in your closet. You can also use it as a step to reach the high shelf. How to make storage shelves: All you need is a 4 x 4-ft. sheet of 3/4-in. plywood, wood glue and a handful of 8d finish nails. Cut the plywood pieces according to the illustration. Spread wood glue on the joints, then nail them together with 8d finish nails. First nail through the sides into the back. Then nail through the top into the sides and back. Finally, mark the location of the two shelves and nail through the sides into the shelves. Don't have floor space to spare? Build these super simple wall-mounted shoe organizers instead!

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Build a Shoe OrganizerFamily Handyman

Build a Shoe Organizer

Store shoes up off the floor in clean, natural wood racks. This simple storage system can handle everything from winter boots to summer sandals, with no mud buildup or scuff marks on the wall. Build one to share or one for each member of the family! Find complete how-to instructions here. For wet shoes and boots, we recommend this attractive, simple-to-make tray.

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Build a Wooden Bench for LessFamily Handyman

Build a Wooden Bench for Less

Need outdoor seating in a hurry? This simple bench, based on author and ecologist Aldo Leopold's classic design, can be constructed in a couple of hours, even if you are a novice woodworker. All it takes is two boards and 18 screws, for a cost of less than $25. You'll find the simple how-to instructions here. Have you ever wondered if you can stain pressure-treated wood? The answer is, yes. Here's how!

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How to Build a Small BenchFamily Handyman

How to Build a Small Bench

Give your back and knees a break with this portable, easy-to-build seat/step stool/tool box/work surface. It only takes a couple of hours to build and you'll find dozens of uses for it. Check out the easy-to-follow instructions here. If you're looking for a small bench/step stool that's a little cuter than this one, here's one for you to consider.

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How to Make Magazine Storage ContainersFamily Handyman

How to Make Magazine Storage Containers

Need a good way to archive magazines? Build these simple wood storage bins and have all of your favorites at your fingertips instead of lost in a towering pile. You can build four bins from one 2 x 4-ft. sheet of 1/4-in. plywood and two 6-ft.-long 1x4s. And cutting the wood is easy with a jigsaw or band saw.

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Build a Hat RackFamily Handyman

Build a Hat Rack

Vertical storage ideas are often overlooked, but with the right design—such as our great hat rack—you can organize a lot of items with just a little bit of wall space. Click here for instructions on how to build this hat rack.

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Season's Greetings Spice RackFamily Handyman

Season's Greetings Spice Rack

This spice rack will keep your favorite 18 seasonings on ready alert. It's quick and fun to make and, using our dimensions, will fit inside a standard kitchen cabinet. You'll need:
  • an 11-1/2- and a 7-1/4-in.-dia. wood disc
  • 9-in. lazy Susan hardware
  • four 1-5/8- x 5/8-in. dowels for legs
  • one 5-1/4-in. x 5/8-in. dowel handle
  • a 1-7/8-in. Forstner drill bit
  • a 5/8-in. spade or brad point drill bit
  • a 1-1/2-in. wood ball or other knob.
With a pencil and a protractor, divide the larger disc into 30-degree wedges to create 12 center lines for the bottle indents. Center and trace the smaller disc on top of the larger disc. Next, with a drill press, drill 3/8-in.-deep holes on the 12 center lines with the 1-7/8-in. Forstner bit, spacing them between the disc's outer edge and the traced circle. Next, divide the smaller disc into 60-degree wedges and drill six more 3/8-in.-deep holes with the Forstner bit. Drill four 5/8-in.-dia. 1/2-in.-deep holes on the large disc—inside the traced circle—then use 5/8-in. dowel centers to transfer the hole locations to the underside of the small disc. Drill four 1/2-in.-deep holes on the underside of the small disc and a 1/2-in.-deep hole in the center of the top for the dowel handle. Glue in the dowels to join the discs, and glue in the handle. We drilled a wood ball for a handle knob, but a screw-on ceramic knob also provides a comfortable, attractive grip. Apply a finish to match your cabinets, then center and screw the lazy Susan bearing under the large disc and play spin the bottle.

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Pantry Storage Thyme SaverFamily Handyman

Pantry Storage Thyme Saver

If your spices are jammed into a drawer with only the tops visible, this nifty rack that slips neatly into the drawer will solve the pantry storage problem. And it only takes an hour to build. Make it with scraps of 1/4-in. and 1/2-in. plywood. Or build a two-tier drawer spice rack.

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Rustic ShelfFamily Handyman

Rustic Shelf

Bring a bit of nature indoors with this simple branch-supported shelf. You'll have to find two forked branches about 1 in. in diameter, with one relatively straight side that will sit flush to the wall. Find all of the simple how-to instructions for building this shelf here. And for lots of hints and tips on hanging shelves, check out our guide.

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Easy Knife Block

Easy Knife Block

If your spices are jammed into a drawer with only the tops visible, this nifty rack that slips neatly into the drawer will solve the problem. And it only takes an hour to build. Make it with scraps of 1/4-in. and 1/2-in. plywood. Or build a two-tier drawer spice rack. To build one, you only need a 3/4-in. x 8-in. x 4-ft. hardwood board and a 6-in. x 6-1/2-in. piece of 1/4-in. hardwood plywood to match. Begin by cutting off a 10-in. length of the board and setting it aside. Rip the remaining 38-in. board to 6 in. wide and cut five evenly spaced saw kerfs 5/8 in. deep along one face. Crosscut the slotted board into four 9-in. pieces and glue them into a block, being careful not to slop glue into the saw kerfs (you can clean them out with a knife before the glue dries). Saw a 15-degree angle on one end and screw the plywood piece under the angled end of the block. Cut the 6-1/2-in. x 3-in. lid from the leftover board, and slice the remaining piece into 1/4-in.-thick pieces for the sides and end of the box. Glue them around the plywood floor. Cut a rabbet on three sides of the lid so it fits snugly on the box and drill a 5/8-in. hole for a finger pull. Then just add a finish and you've got a beautiful, useful gift. If you don't have time to make a gift this year, consider offering to do something for the person. You could offer to sharpen their knives! Here's how.

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Simple Step StoolFamily Handyman

Simple Step Stool

Here's a great gift idea that will draw raves. The joints are accurately made in seconds with a biscuit joiner! Complete instructions for building this stool are found here. Want to learn about using a biscuit joiner before taking on this project? Watch this video that shows you how to make strong, fast and accurate joints with this useful tool.