a laundry rack, dish rack, and herb-drying hoop

At Remodelista, we are always on the lookout for household tools that are plastic free and pleasantly simple. Bonus points for DIY projects that meet these criteria and are worth showing off. Here are three examples that look pleasantly summery (but ready for year round use).

They are the work of Manda and Caitlin McGrath who collaborate on the kitchen and design blog The Merry Thought. Manda is based in western New York; Caitlin once lived nearby, but has since moved to Colorado. They are linked by marriage and a common ability to put together pieces with artful, handmade designs that cost very little.

Photograph courtesy of The Merry Thought.

Caitlin made this minimal wood dish rack as part of her $ 0 kitchen remodel for her brother & # 8
Above: Caitlin made this minimal wooden dish rack as part of her $ 200 kitchen remodel for her brother’s rental apartment.

“I’m definitely one of those people who washes their dishes completely before putting them in the dishwasher,” she writes (also adding that she and her brother don’t have a dishwasher). “To me, a dishwasher is really just a big drying rack where guests don’t have to see all the dishes on the counter.”

Make your own dried herbs using this DIY Herb Drying Rack.  Caitlin assembled this one using a hoop from a craft store, but you can make it from a wire hanger.  She says certain herbs are good for air drying: sage, rosemary, thyme, berry, dill, lavender, and lemon balm.
Above: Make your own dried herbs using this DIY Herb Drying Rack. Caitlin assembled this one using a hoop from a craft store, but you can make it from a wire hanger. She says certain herbs are good for air drying: sage, rosemary, thyme, berry, dill, lavender, and lemon balm.
Manda made this drying rack for her own family and used it daily for everything from tea towels to wet swimsuits.  The hanger rods slide so that they can be spaced as needed.
Above: Manda made this DIY drying rack for her own family and used it daily for everything from tea towels to wet swimsuits. The hanger rods slide so that they can be spaced as needed.

Find material lists and instructions for each of these projects on The Merry Thought.

Do you feel inspired? Browse our DIY project archive for more ideas, including more favorites from The Merry Thought:

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