Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Hall Tree is Finished

She is done!  I am so excited it is my favorite thing I have built so far.  If you remember from my last post I built the Hall Tree to help raise money for my Relay for Life team.  To read about that and see a tutorial on how I built it go here.  

I used 1x pine boards and half a sheet of bead board paneling for the back.  It is not perfect, there are several flaws but I am going to fight the urge to point out everything I did wrong and just focus on what I did right.

I love the bead board on the back.  The cubbies could take larger baskets but I had these.  I am a basket hoarder so I'm not sure I will donate the baskets even though I haven't used them in years. 

The bottom opens for storage. The bottom panel insets are smooth which I think keeps it from being too much bead board (if there is such a thing).

I lightly distressed the piece with my fancy tool I talked about here and sand paper.  I also used a dark brown glaze then finished it with wax.  Side note: Beadboard paneling is not a good first project to try out wax for the first time.

I staged this baby in my living room corner because I have no other free walls that are big enough in this place.  My trumeau mirror is usually occupying this space.   Just to keep it real I thought I’d share that that picture hanging next to the hall tree is half covering an awkward window.  I took it out of the closet just for this photo shoot.  Oh the power of cropping, gotta love it.  The rest of the room is a disaster with all the furniture from this corner in the middle of the room.  See I couldn’t finish this post without telling on myself ;) 

I hope the person who wins her loves her as much as I do!

Want to make your own? 

Detailed plans for hutch & bench are now on

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rustic Garden Accent

My husband thought I was crazy when I asked him to please bring this rusty old Bulldozer sprocket to the Vegetable Garden.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. 

Plant it with hen and chicks of course. It sits at the entrance to my garden. It always makes me smile.   

My husband found it in the woods in our back yard.  It's old, probably left when the property was logged decades ago.  Told you this place has random treasures, well if you think rusty iron is a treasure which obviously I do since I took several pictures of it.

and then played around with them in Picasa. 
(I need to learn how to use my camera)

I am leaving the area around the garden natural I don't need any more areas to weed.

trying to crop out weeds now.
There's my potting shed in the back ground.

What little thing makes you smile?

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm Building a Hall Tree for Charity

o     The last few weekends I have been working on a project that is taking forever.  I don't usually post without the after picture but I wanna show you so here it is.  In all her unfinished glory.

      It's a Hall tree.  I am building it to raise money for my Relay for Life team.  For those of you not familiar with Relay for Life it is the main volunteer-driven cancer fundraising event of the American Cancer Society.  The Relay event is held once a year but Teams raise money all year long.  We will be selling raffle tickets for the hall tree and it will be raffled off at the Relay event.    

        This is my inspiration picture. 

source google images
   You can see that I made the bottom a little different because I personally dislike sweeping under furniture.  Actually I dislike sweeping in general but that’s a different issue.  I made mine go to the floor.

I used 1X pine boards and a bead board panel for the back. I haven't attached the back yet because I need to put another coat of paint on it before I distress it.  I feel it is so much easier to paint bead board before you attach it. My plan is to try paste wax for the finish.  I haven't tried wax before so I may end up using polyurethane we'll see.

Before I get too far into this I have to tell you about my new boyfriend the Kreg Jig Jr.  Okay, it's not my boyfriend but I love the thing.  (I am not getting paid to say this, sadly Kreg does not know who I am)  It’s a pocket hole jig.  It allows you to make sideways holes for a super strong tight hold. 

No need to measure and line things up just clamp it on and drill away.  They make special screws that go with it.  They have a square bit and are self tapping so no pre-drilling.  Kreg you had me at no measuring, the no pre-drilling is just showing off.  The thing is so easy to set up with measurements right on it for the wood thickness.   You just slide the sides up or down.  It is the coolest. Okay back to how I built it.

For the bottom storage box I made three panels.  I only made three because the back will be against the wall so for the back I just used pine boards.  I attached them together with my Kreg jig and glue.

To make the groove in the 1x4’s for the panels I used my table saw.  I had to pass each board though twice to get the right thickness.  After I was done and showed my husband he told me about using a dado blade on the saw so I wouldn’t have to run it through twice.  My husband believes in the right tool for the job.  I believe in using whatever I have on hand that will kinda work, then think about the right tool for next time ;)

I made a jig for safety by clamping the piece I was making the groove in to a 1x6 board and then I held the clamps and stood on the other side of the fence.  This made it easy to hold pieces up straight and kept me well away from the blade.  I set the blade height at 3/8”.

I didn't use bead board for the panels because I thought it would be too much bead board.

For the top portion I started by cutting the side pieces.  I used 1x10 pine and cut the curve out with my jig saw. To get the long cut between each curve I used the table saw.


To connect everything the Kreg jig worked awesome because the screws hold it so tight that when I moved it around it stayed square which is something that would not have happened if I had just screwed straight in or nailed it like I would have done in the past. I did use glue and the nail gun for some of the trim pieces.   

For the back panel I needed to router a groove for the bead board to fit into so it would be flush.  I had my husband do it because I am afraid of the router.   Funny how I’m not afraid of the chop saw, skill saw or the table saw but the router freaks me out.  I think it’s because the first time I tried to use one I wasn't holding it tight enough and it jerked and slipped off the wood.  My husband was there and said " be careful you almost pulled that into your stomach."  even though I didn't even get close to my stomach that visual stuck with me and all I can think about is it slipping and landing in my stomach.  Ok Wow, sorry that was a little graphic now wasn’t it.  Shake it off Mimi....

Any who. So he routered it for me. 

I wanted to be able to take the hall tree apart to move it so I made it so the top can be unscrewed from the bottom.  

The 1x4 and those corner pieces will allow the top to be screwed to the bottom from underneath. 

Here you can see the top sitting on the 1x4.  You can also see that I definitely put the Kreg jig to work.  I got jiggy with it (sorry I had to say it, that song has been running through my head since I started typing of course I only know that one line)there are a lot of holes inside the box.  This would probably bother some people but not me.

The total size is 73”h x 35 1/2”w 14 3/4”d. I painted it with latex paint.
Good thing I don’t have an entryway big enough to put this thing cause I kinda wanna keep it.  I will post a staged after picture once I finish hopefully this week.  Thanks for reading or even just looking at the pictures I know it was a pretty long post.  This was definitely a learning experience for me it's not perfect but it was fun to build. Of course now my sister wants one but not until we finish your kitchen K Sis.   

Have a great week! 

Detailed plans now on for hutch & bench

**Edited to add the after picture.  more on that go here.

The Lettered Cottage
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I am creatively challenged this week so I thought I'd tell you a story.

So this weekend I attended my brother-in-laws Air force retirement party.  It was a great party with so much wonderful food.  He is a great guy and all his buddies came out to celebrate. 

The home it was at is the perfect party location complete with barn and fire pit.  It didn't rain but it was COLD.  Perfect night for a bonfire.  Just so happens there was a HUGE burn pile in the pasture that they planned to light when it got dark.  Fun right.  It was probably 20 ft wide and 15 ft tall.  Lots of stumps and branches and old cedar fencing.  220 FEET OF OLD WEATHERED CEDAR FENCING they kept saying was underneath it all. 

Cedar fencing? So friends you know what I was screaming in my head right? "Do you know what I could make with 220 feet of perfectly weathered cedar fencing!?!?" 

I had to watch it burn for hours, sober by the way, because I was driving.  I was in physical pain I tell you. 

I don't know why I feel the need to share this but I do. Oh wait I know why, it's because all of you who love to reuse, repurpose, and just plain love old weathered wood would have thought the same thing. My people.

Seriously, 220 ft of old cedar fencing burns real good though ;)
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Monday, May 2, 2011

Guest Post at Remodelaholic!

Happy Monday!  Just wanted to invite you all to check out my guest post over at Remodelaholic today.  I am thrilled to have been invited to do it!  I am posting about my DIY Trumeau Mirror so go on over and check it out!

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