Friday, November 30, 2012

Faux Mantel Updated with Rustic Wood

I am struggling with what the heck to title this post because pallet wood tiled faux fireplace fire box in herringbone pattern seemed to long.  I also cannot believe I haven't posted in so long.  What in the world have I been doing?  One thing is I cleaned and organized my workshop including building a new work bench. I have been working in there long enough now to know what works and what doesn't. Also it's my office and I need it to be pretty.  The harsh yellow walls were getting to me.  I'm still not done but once I am maybe I will give you a tour. 

Moving on.  My mantel.  I still love it, in all it's fauxness.  There was one thing that has been bugging me though.  It was that the inside of the "fire box" was the same color as my wall which is dark charcoal gray.

This made anything I put in there get lost in a black hole.  I have been tossing around different ideas until I thought of something.  Rustic wood laid in a herringbone pattern.  
Perfect. It ties in with the rustic mirror above the mantel and you know I just love rustic wood.  Free pallet wood is even better.  We had the perfect pallet for the job in our carport holding our pellets for the pellet stove.  The slats of wood are thinner than most pallet boards and they are perfectly grayed out.  Well they were perfectly gray until I washed them and discovered most of the gray was dirt.   

(Wow that's an ugly picture)

The nice thing about this project is that I only needed small pieces of the wood so I decided instead of totally dismantling the pallet I would just use my jig saw and cut the thing apart.  If you've ever taken a pallet apart you know what a pain it is.  Then I just stacked the cut pieces up and cut about six at a time on my chop saw to straighten them up. 

To figure out what length to cut all my pieces I started by measuring the space and cutting a piece of 1/4" plywood/luan to size.  I didn't have a scrap big enough so I used two. 

I'm sure there is a fabulous tutorial out there on how to determine where to start your herringbone pattern but I didn't look for one I just eyeballed it.  I played around until I determined that for my project 9" pieces were the ticket.  The thing about a herringbone pattern is centering it.  You would think you would center it on the point of the top board but actually it looks better if you center in the middle of the top board.  See the photo above.  For the side pieces once I figured out the length of one the were all the same.  I cut the 45 degree angle on my chop saw.  The top and bottom pieces were not the same sizes so I just glued pieces on and trimmed with my jig saw.  Since this project wasn't going to be handled a lot I hot glued the boards to the plywood.  It worked great.  I didn't even have to attach to the wall it fit tight enough to just pop it in there.

I love the texture it adds and how it lightens things up a bit.  I'm still tweaking the mantel decoration that's why I haven't shown it to you.  Hopefully I will have it ready tomorrow.  With the dark walls things don't always look as good in photographs as they do in person. Couldn't possibly be the photographer ;)

Thanks for coming over.  I appreciate you all so much. Have a great week!

For plans on how to build this mantel check out my post here or for another style of faux mantel go here

Playing at these parties:

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Vintage Sofa Project - Diamond Button Tufting

The next phase of my Vintage Sofa re-upholstery project is now complete.  I button tufted the back of the sofa.  If you would like to see the other posts in the series click the links below.

Vintage Sofa Project -Part One,Part Two & Part Three 

Again I am not a professional, just a girl with the desire to learn how to do this myself and share what I learned along the way. Mistakes and all.

The first thing I did was to cover the back frame with a layer of muslin.  The burlap that was there was ripped in a few places and I needed to give the buttons something to attach to in the damaged areas.

Next I added a layer of foam cutting it with an electric bread knife following the curve of the sofa.  I clamped it on so it wouldn't shift. 

In my research I discovered that the secret of getting deep buttons tufts is to cut holes in the foam where your buttons will go.  I measured and marked the button location onto my foam with a sharpie.  Since my foam was only 1.5 inches thick I used a box knife to cut it.  If you have thicker foam you can use a metal pipe with a sharp edge the diameter of your desired hole and basically twist it into the foam and it will cut the holes.  I have not tried it but plan to when I use thicker foam.  

Then I covered the foam with two layers of cotton batting and one layer of regular batting.   

Then of course I couldn't see my holes.  Minor panic mode ensued but I knew where they should be so I started my finding the bottom middle one. Once I found that I easily found the others by measuring over.  I used my finger and a screw driver to push the cotton batting out of the way so that the buttons could easily make it into the holes I made in the foam.

Fabric stores will sell the wire eye style of buttons in kits so you can cover your own.  If you don't want to make them yourself or are using a thick fabric check with your local upholstery supply retailer.  They typically charge around $1 per button. The type of buttons I used are called a prong upholstery button, these you cant find in kits so you will have to have them made. 

I first practiced with a scrap piece of ugly fabric before starting the final tufting.  That gave me an idea of how far the holes in the fabric would be.  See those green pieces of tape?  I measured out where the holes should be and put a piece of tape so that I would keep everything straight.  
UPDATE: In the last year I have learned a ton about button tufting.  What I did differently on the sister sofa to this one is used 2" foam and 1" Dacron batting instead of the cotton batting.  I made 3/4" holes in the foam using a sharp edge metal pipe.  This allowed the buttons to fully go into the holes and create a deeper tuft.

Here's what the prongs look like from the back.

Once it was all tufted I stapled the fabric to the back of the sofa frame.

To pull the fabric around the bottom I had to make a cut.  I cut directly toward the frame piece but didn't cut all the way to it.  I left about an 1" so you don't see the cut, check your fit and cut more if needed.

So what did I learn?  My holes were not big enough for the buttons to get into so the tufts were not deep.  Also if I had used the type of buttons that have a wire eye and used thread I could have re-positioned some of the buttons.  Since I used the prong style button I couldn't redo anything.  The prongs make a hole in the fabric that would show.  So for a newbie like me the other style may have been better.  The prongs were so easy to use though. You just pop them through and bend them. 

Overall I'm happy.  I am now officially obsessed with button tufting.  I have so many plans for new projects.  Once I finish this one of course.  

Up next covering the seat cushion.  

Here's a few resources I found very helpful. 

Brick City Love &  Apartment Therapy for a button tufting tutorials. 

For other upholstery techniques not button tufting has some great video tutorials.  I am not affiliated with them in any way I just found them on You Tube and their videos are very informative. 

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Industrial Lamp Shade

I love it when a plan comes together.  

A while back I found this old aluminum tripod for a few bucks and thought it would make a cute lamp.  I bought a lighting kit at the local hardware store and tada it's a lamp.  Now I was on the hunt for the perfect lamp shade.  I knew I'd find it eventually.

When I saw this piece of wire fencing at the local Habitat Restore I knew I had found my lamp shade.  Obviously right?  It was wrapped in a circle just like in this photo sitting in the back room by the garden supplies.  My initial thought was I would use some fabric to line the inside and just sew it to the top and bottom of the wire frame.  I had one problem though how to attach my shade to the lamp.  I decided I would find a cheap thrift store lamp shade and take it apart so I could use the harp and wire rim around the top.

I found this beauty and when I brought it home discovered it was perfect just the way it was.  It was exactly the right size and even the seams of the shade lined up with the wire fencing grid.  Weird how that happens sometimes.  

I cut my wire fencing and wrapped it around the lamp shade.  

Lights on,

Lights off.

I really like it.  It's quirky.  I was curious what the hubby would think, you just never know.  I'm happy to report he thinks it's cool. 

Playing at the following parties:
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

DIY Hall Tree

For the last few weeks I have been working on a Hall Tree for my Dad and his wife Terri.  They asked to me to build it oh about six months ago but they were in no hurry.   Thank goodness because apparently neither was I. 

This is the second Hall Tree I have built.  Here's a photo of the first one.  To see a detailed tutorial go here. 

I made a few changes to the design for this project as well as increased the size to custom fit their home.  This first Hall Tree was 36" wide and had cubbies on the top as well as bead board on the back.    

On this project I chose not to make cubbies on the top and just leave it open.  I also used a smooth panel on the back instead of using beadboard.  My Dad is not really a fan of beadboard. 

The base has tons storage space.

I used standard 1 X pine boards that you can find everywhere and attached everything with glue and screws using my Kreg Jig Jr. to make pocket holes.  I built my frame then attached 1/4" plywood to the inside to create the panels.

The plywood covers all the holes. 

The Hall Tree is built in two pieces and then attached with pocket holes and screws from the inside the base.  This makes it much easier to work on and move around.

I could have left the panels as is but I thought my Dad would prefer it to be a little fancier.  I used small cove trim in the paneled area to add some detail. 

This adds at least an hour because of all the miter cuts and about $15 to the cost of the project but I think it's worth it. 

Total cost for the project was just under $100.  That doesn't include hooks.  Here's the measurements.

(depth is 14" which includes a 1" overhang of bench top)

Oh and I have great news if you want to build your own Hall Tree. There are FREE detailed plans for you.  I had the pleasure of working with Ana White of to make my original plans available on her site. The plans are very detailed and easy to follow.  Just in case you haven't heard of her site it has tons of awesome free furniture plans.  The plans are for a 36" wide version but you could easily convert the plans to suit your needs.  Here are the links for the Hutch and Bench.  You can also go here & here for my posts with lots more photos and information. 

Here it is in it's new home.  They needed it to be no more than 14" deep due to the sliding glass door to the left and no more than 48" wide due to the air return on the right.  They will be adding hooks under the shelf for coats and eventually will fill the top shelf with baskets and pretties. 

They are very happy with it which makes me so happy.  Of course they have to keep it forever now because it is so huge I would definitely notice if it was gone. ;)

Playing at the following parties:

Farm House Porch - Cowgirl Up
Knick of Time Interiors - Knick of Time Tuesday
Primitive and Proper - POWW 
Savvy Southern Style - Wow us Wednesdays  

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