Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Year in Review

To wrap up the year I thought I'd do a little round up of my most viewed posts from 2013.  It's always fun to look back and see what was accomplished.   

I replaced my builder grade kitchen cabinet with a DIY Plate rack to give our kitchen a little character.  Still need to paint those cabinets. Maybe in 2014 ;)

I tried MMS White Wax for the first time and did a little tutorial on it.  

I gave this fun little re-purpose to my Mother in Law for Mothers Day.  To read the whole story go here. 

#2 The Vintage Sofa Project
This sofa kicked off my obsession with re-upholstering furniture. I wrote a whole blog series about how I did it.  This was originally part of a three piece sofa and I am currently working on the other piece.  It's turning out so much better.  I've done a lot of upholstered pieces in the last year and learned tons.  I think I'm going to go back and update a few things.

#1 Diamond Tufted Headboard 
My most popular post written this year was this diamond tufted headboard. It's definitely one of my favorite projects.  

I would love to say I have taken the time to think about and write down goals for my business and blog for 2014 but I haven't. I'm not much of a formal goal setter.  I typically just go with the flow and where ever it leads me.   I want to try harder in the next year to be more intentional with things.     

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for your encouraging comments and emails.  Next month will be my three year anniversary blogging.  I will be having a giveaway on the blog and facebook just to say thanks so I hope you come back and enter.  Have a happy and safe New Year! 

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

DIY Letterpress Tray, Display Shelf Tutorial

I shared my DIY Letterpress tray inspired shelf last week and promised I'd write up a tutorial.  I haven't written up a full blown tutorial in quite awhile so I thought why not.  I built the shelf specifically to display my Santa collection so the cubbies needed to be large.  Click here if you want to see it full of Santas.  For this post I thought I'd dress it up with some fun things I have around the house so we can all see it a different way.

I love the rich worn patina old letterpress drawers have and of course all the cubbies. 

Initially I thought about using pine for my shelf because it is inexpensive but the 3/4" thickness was more than I wanted.  When I went to the local lumber yard to buy the wood they had a stack of cedar fence boards out front for about $2 each.  Perfect! They were less expensive and only 1/2" thick.  The only issue was they are 5.5" wide so I had to rip them down with my table saw. 

Cedar fence boards are rough so after I cut my pieces I sanded them smooth using my electric sanded with 100 grit sand paper. They sanded really easily.  I am very happy with how the cedar turned out.  I think it looks a lot richer than pine would have. 

I sanded and applied the finish before I build it.  Cubbies are a nightmare to get inside of to paint, stain, or finish.  For my finish I used Watco Danish Oil Finish in natural with a little bit of Minwax Jacobean oil base stain mixed with it.  Jacobean is a dark brown with green undertones and it helped tone down the orangeness of the cedar. It's still pretty warm toned but that works in my house.  Cedar really soaks up stain so that is why I diluted it in the finish.  I didn't want it to be too dark. Disclaimer: It does not say you can mix the two different products together on either label so I never said you should, but it worked for me ;).  I decided to use the Danish oil because I love the patina it gives.  It's kind of a dull sheen that looks close to a hand rubbed time worn finish. Other good options for a finish would be wipe on polyurethane in a satin finish, or a wax with a low sheen.  

The colorful diagram above hopefully helps demonstrate how the shelf is constructed.

It was really hard to come up with a plan for this that would make sense.  I'm not sure I achieved it ;) Note: If the measurement is in ( ) it means spacing, the board is not actually cut to that length.

To make your own shelf the first thing you will need to do is rip down seven fence boards on a table saw to 4" wide.  (Use all the safety precautions necessary with power tools) If you don't have access to a table saw you can just make a 5.5" deep shelf.  If you use pine 1 x 4's you will need to alter the measurements for the extra thickness. 
Cut List
2 @ 40"
6 @ 32.5"
5 @ 5"
3 @ 10.5"
1 @ 33.5"

1/4" plywood for the back cut to 40.5" x 33.5". I just used the inexpensive stuff sometimes called underlayment or Luan. They will cut it for you at the lumberyard.

Assemble your shelf with wood glue and nails.  If you don't have a nail gun you can pre-drill and hammer the nails in by hand.   I recommend starting from left to right so you can get your nail gun to shoot straight in from the side for most of the shelves.  

The ones you can't get to from the side nail in at an angle through the front and back. 

Instead of measuring for all the shelf placements I used scraps of wood cut to 5" and 10.5" as spacers for most of the cubbies, it's faster.  I found that fence boards aren't all perfectly 1/2" thick so you may have a little adjustment to make to the last shelf. 

So many possibilities for cubbie sizes.  I kept mine pretty symmetrical but left that one extra long cubbie just to mix things up.  

I'm really happy with it.  The only thing I kinda wish I had done differently is to use thicker cedar on the outside boards to look more like a letterpress tray does.  Oh well, still love it. 

To see some fun letterpress trays check out my Pinterest inspiration board here.

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Display Shelf for my Santa Collection

After getting rid of the old display shelf in my dining room  I realized I'd have nowhere to put my Santas this year.  I knew I wanted to build another shelf and the idea evolved into building one to look like an over sized letterpress tray.  I designed it so that the cubbies would be the perfect sizes to house my Santas.

I have been collecting Santas since I was in my early twenties.  It started out as ornaments and then progressed to figurines.  My husband buys me one every year as well as some family and friends.  It has slowed down quite a bit in the past few years.  I realized I cant possibly display all of them without it looking like crazy town in the house.  A collection looks best when grouped together rather than randomly placed all around the house, but a collection this large needs something a little special to make it work.  This is not even half of them, I just chose the ones that fit my taste for this year. 

I've noticed it's not really trending in Decor this year to decorate with whimsical Santa figurines but I love them, they make me smile.  It is not Christmas in my house without these quirky little guys.

It is going to be so much fun playing around with the display on this shelf after the holidays. 

For free plans to make your own DIY Letterpress Shelf click here.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Linen and Burlap Flower Chair

This chair is one of my all time favorites.  It is just so glam.  I love the the bling of the silver paint, the classic charcoal linen fabric and then the juxtaposition of the burlap on the back.  So much fun to work on. 

 The carved detail pops with the lightly distressed silver paint finish.

The flowers are a bit of a risk.  It's one of those pieces that I worried I was being to self indulgent on when I did it.  There is always that dilemma when working on a piece, do I make choices that will help the piece sell quickly or do I do something purely for the joy of doing it.  I went back and forth as to whether I should just pin the flowers or hot glue them.  Hot glue won. 

The flowers are very basic, just a strip of fabric folded back and forth and hot glued into a circle. I made several different sizes and some I doubled up.  The edges are just cut and fray a little which adds to the look.

I embellished some of them with some sparkly things I picked up at Hobby Lobby.  The others I glued a small small circle of fabric to the middle.

I love the bit of whimsy the flowers add.  She is so fancy.

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Mantel Decor

This years Christmas mantel is once again very rustic.  The inspiration came while I was browsing an antique store.  I spotted an antique oil lamp and thought how pretty it would look on my mantel.  Then I remembered my mother in law has a collection of fabulous antique oil lamps so I decided to ask her if I could borrow a few.  My husband thought it was a very random and strange thing to do, borrowing his moms things to decorate my mantel, but his mom happily agreed.   

I love the tall skinny glass shades on the metal ones, you just dont see those very often.  The mercury glass owl I picked up at Target (love him) as well as the two candle holders. 

I used a pine garland and some extra sprigs with pine cones to beef it up.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to capture just how sparkly and glittery they are in the photos.  I think I'm still going to add in some lights and that will be it.  It's a very simple, cozy mantel display that could last until spring.  Except I probably shouldn't keep the lanterns that long, should I? 

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Eastlake Bed, Before and After

Today I decided to clean my house.  I plan to decorate for the holidays this week and woke up in the mood to clean the place up. I must take advantage of those days cause they do not happen often.  To finish the day, I thought I'd blog about a project I finished a few weeks ago.   

I picked up this full size Eastlake Bed and immediately thought it would be the perfect bed for a little princess.  It's such a great bed but somebody in the seventies must have decided to freshen it up with a little Amber Shellac.  It was a tad bit orange.  It's hard to tell in the above photo but the top panel of the headboard was a little bowed.  I decided that upholstering it would be the perfect solution.  To fill in the paneled areas so there wouldn't be a lump from the middle board I cut 1/4" plywood to fit inside.  Then added 2" foam and batting.

Even though in my mind this bed was destined for a little girl I chose a fabric that she could grow with.  I love this sweet bird & branch pattern in soft gray.  You can see in the photo I didn't match the paint colors perfectly to the fabric.  I wanted them to be a darker shade to give it more depth. 

The top panel just begged for something special.  I thought about what to put there for quite awhile but just kept coming back to sweet dreams.   I used my vinyl cutter to make a stencil.  For the letters I chose a white paint that matched the fabric not the painted frame to pull the whole thing together.     

I recieved a nice message on facebook from the gal who bought it, and I am so happy it is going to be for her a little princess. So perfect!  

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