Category Archives: Single Mom DIY-ing

Posts that show “How to”

Fun with Fabric and Fonts

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Funny how time can get away from a blogger….. Spring has increased this family’s social and recreational obligations.  We have soccer, volleyball, birthday parties, baby shower, school field trips and even a pool party (yes, an outdoor pool party in April in Texas) ……

I did manage to get a little project done on my Home Office Makeover, which is my effort to make my Home Office more warm and inviting, even a bit feminine.  The promise of Spring was my inspiration.

It doesn’t come naturally to me to design and decorate, so this makeover won’t be a “30 minutes and it’s done” makeover like on the HGTV channel.  So, I actually started this little project and then got stuck, as it didn’t have the punch that I wanted it to have.  Sometimes, I just to have to let thing percolate and then inspiration will hit me.

It started with this…..

Before Binders

Ugly binders that I have been collecting from various sources (old jobs, old school supplies)  that contain all my paperwork.

With all the decorative touches I have added to the Home Office, these were still quite an eye-sore.

First, I went browsing to see if I could replace these binders with something more uniform, like a set of the same color binders, or at the very least,  some of those beautifully decorative binders.  As I wasn’t prepared to spend upwards to $30 to replace my existing collection,  I had to come up with ideas to make the ones I have look better.  So, I went back to the percolator (my left brain).

I really liked the idea of having binders with a decorative patterns, so I turned to my stash of fabric.

and I got out the pinking sheers and the spray glue and I came up with this.

Which I thought was pretty dang cool, except that I didn’t know which binder was which.

I considered adding the Dymo label to the pretty fabric, but it would just take something pretty and make it look “industrial” again.  So, I put my pretty binders on a shelf and went back to the percolator.

A few weeks passed and it was driving me crazy that I didn’t know what was in my binders!!!!  I tried the Dymo Label Maker again.    Still hated it!

And then an idea bloomed.  I could make pretty labels, with an beautiful font using my very own printer.   Using MS Word and the WordArt functionality, I was able to create a vertical Title with the Candy Round BTN Font.

And with some scrapbook paper to add dimension, I came up with this …..

On a few of them I used fabric and on some I used pretty scrapbooking paper.  Still a work in progress to harmonize all the items on my office shelves, but I really liked the way they turned out.

As for the horrible blue binder….

I gave it a couple of coats of “Ivory Silk” spray paint

And where the front and back film was separating from the side, I used a bit of trim and hot glue to hold it all together ….

and it’s ready to be back on the shelf with it’s pretty sisters.

Supplies

Fabric

Spray Adhesive

Trim

Hot Glue Gun

Scrapbooking Paper

Binder

Cost

$0 – used what I already had

Home Office Makeover Update:

I have a plan for this little corner of my home office.

I plan on returning this hunk-of-wall-damaging-swivel easy chair to the Living Room, where it belongs.  I am currently building two slipper chairs that will fill this space with a nice little drum light hanging from the ceiling.  It’s going to be a great place for my daughter to sit and chat with me while I work and get a start on her homework, like she does now, but without swiveling into the wall with the big easy chair.  It will also have better lighting.  So, stay tuned for my first attempt at upholstering.

 

~Dona~

To Build…. A Raised Vegetable Garden

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In my last post, I listed out my Spring “To Do” list for my yard and getting my garden ready for the spring/summer growing season is next on my list.  After careful consideration,  I decided you would not be interested in seeing pictures of me weeding and hoeing and cursing.

However!!!!  I thought you might be interested in how I built my raised garden.  With the sharp increases in gas prices and subsequently, the increase cost of produce and other goods, I thought I might be able to shave some dollars off my grocery bill with growing a few essentials of my very own.

The Benefits of a Raised Vegetable Garden

The benefits of having a raised vegetable garden includes being able to overcome bad soil much easier than tilling and amending your current soil.  Instead, you just fill your beds with quality soil products.  Other benefits include being easier on your back, easier to keep weeds and grasses out of your beds, and an earlier growing season as the soil in raised beds will warm faster and sooner.

The Plan

After some internet research, I found these plans that help me figure out the basics of garden box building.  Really, sometimes things aren’t as easy as they look in pictures (click pictures to access links):

And this one:

I decided that I wanted to make two narrow boxes.   I made the boxes 4 feet across (allowing for a 2 foot reach from each side of the box) and 10 feet long to allow for ample room for lots of tomato plants and some watermelon vines, among other things.  I recommend first making your list of veggies you want to grow and determining how much space is needed to accommodate your garden.

The Build

Be sure to use rot-resistant wood such as cedar or redwood.  I used 1×8’s and deck screws to create each box’s 4 x 10 dimensions and then set them where I wanted.   I had to consider other factors in placement like the amount of daily sunlight, can a mower fit between them, where is the swampy part of my yard after a heavy rain.     (On a note:  Had I considered at the time I might want to create a greenhouse for winter growing, I would have put the boxes side by side rather than end to end so I can do this:)

I had a great little helper during this build, my 9-year-old (at the time) son.  Yes, that long-haired kid is my son.   Here he is measuring the 2×4 to make the spikes for anchoring the boxes to the ground.

Two 2×4 spikes is hammered into the inside of each end of the box .  I recommend you invest in or borrow a sledge hammer, because nothing else will do the job as fast.

Here my ex is lending some muscle on the heavy swinging and hammering.

Next, three 2×4 spikes are placed at intervals on each side of the box and hammered into the ground.  When they are level with the top of the box, and the box is level, the 2×4’s are then screwed into the box frame with deck screws.

That’s all it took to have two raised garden beds ready for soil and plants!!

Irrigation

Except that I didn’t stop there.  When the Texas sun is at it’s hottest, I have no desire to stand out there after work, in my high heels, and water my garden.  So, I put in a little timer-driven drip irrigation system into my beds.

Rainbird Drip Irrigation System

I dug a trench (using a pickaxe) from the house to the first box.  I utilized right angle elbows and the 1/2″ (black) tubing to run an L shape line from the brick wall of the house to the first box.  I laid the tubing into the trench and ran the tubing underneath the box and recovered the trench.

With two more right-angle elbows, I extended the tubing above the inside of the box.  Then I created the same right-angle extension at the other end of the box and ran tubing, underground, to the next box.

After adding the soil, I connected the elbows at each end with 1/2″ tubing and added small sprayers directly into the 1/2″ tubing at intervals.  This whole ensemble is connected to a hose which is connected to a Timer at the spigot. The other end is folded over and connected with an “8” ring.  I set the timer to water a few minutes every few days and increased as the weather got warmer and dryer in the heat of the summer.  Remember, the raised bed will dry out faster than the rest of the yard. 

Another Alternative

If you are an apartment dweller or have limited space, you can also enjoy fresh grown vegetables with this other alternative:  A Planter Box.  Click on pics to open links 

or for the truly space-challenged:

Now…. back to the weeding, the hoeing, the cussing.

Happy Spring!!!

~Dona~

Related Articles

Grow a Vegetable Garden in Raised Beds

Adventures in Table Making – Wrap Up

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As promised in Monday’s post here, I wanted to wrap up all the choices, costs, timeline and references in making this table into a single post.

References

Table Plans:  www.ana-white.com   Narrow Farmhouse Table

Table Top Idea:  www.deuxmaison.com (I love the rustic finish on the base here, as well)

Tapered Leg Jig

Materials & Costs:

I purchased Select Pine boards for this project.

Table Top:

8 – 1x3x6  –  $5.35 ea =  $43

Base:

2 –  1x3x6 – $5.35 ea =  $11

1 – 1x4x10 – $11

2 – 1x4x6 – $6.43 = $13

Scrap 2×2 (13¾”)

2 Cans White Primer =  $8

2 Cans Satin Ivory Silk = $8

2 Cans Matte Clear = $8

2 cans Wood Stain = $8

Total: $110

Dimension:

Table Top:

66″ Long  20″ Deep

(Remember to not cut 1x3s to length until after the boards have been glued and sanded)

Base:

Legs:  29¼”

Side Aprons: 58″

End Aprons: 13¾”

Maybe someday I will know enough about SketchUp to draw some awesome plans.

Colors:

Table Top:

Golden Pecan Stain

Cherry Stain

Base:

Ivory Silk Satin

Tips:

1.  I like to sand all the pieces before I assemble the final product.  That way there are no awkward angles or corners to sand into and the only sanding after assembly will be to smooth out any added wood putty.

2. Clamp together similar pieces and sand together to keep pieces uniform.

3. Test out stain and paint colors on test boards, including a poly coat.

4. Use a hair dryer on a cool setting to eliminate bubbles in your brushed-on poly coat.

Timeline

I completed the table top and the base as two separate projects over two weekends.

The table top took about 2.0 hours to assemble and sand allowing for a day to let the glue set and sanding a short time each evening.

The base took about 2.0 hours to assemble and sand.

Each coat of Poly was allowed to dry for 24 hours with a very light sanding between each coat.

I hope you enjoyed following this project and learned something new, like I did.  Good luck on your next project

~Dona~

Adventures in Table Making – Part II

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Here it is!  The table that I have been working on these past few weeks.   The table top, which I discussed in Part I, is now married to the base.  (Que Wedding March)

The Base

The base comes from these plans on http://www.ana-white com, the Narrow Farmhouse Table.

Except, her plans are for a table 96″ long and 30″ deep.  I loved the tapered legs in this plan, so I modified her plans down to 66″ long and 20″ deep in keeping with my intent and location.

Tapered Legs

The challenging part of this plan (click illustration above for Ana’s plan) was the tapered leg.  The goal, of course, was to have 8 uniformly tapered legs.

After a few failed attempts to make perfect cuts with a circular saw and a jig saw, I ran screaming to the internet looking for a better solution.  And I found this…..

Tablesaw Tapering Jig

Click the illustration above to get the directions for making this Jig for the tablesaw.  It was quick and easy to make with scraps I had on hand.

After making the jig, then I set up my saw for the 1×3 sized legs.  The fence was set to ensure that the saw blade entered the wood at the appropriate place and then I loosened the screw to get the angle that I wanted.

I was able to make 4 identical legs from the 1×3 boards.

Then I set up the jig for the 1×4 board by making the same adjustments to the fence and the screw to ensure I was getting the exact angle cut that I needed.

Once I got the hang of  it, and I did have to make adjustments to the screw a few times to get exactly the angle that I wanted, it was quick work to make the 4 identical legs from the 1×4 boards.

After all the cuts were made, I clamped the boards together to sand them to ensure they remained identical.

Then I glued and nailed the 1×4/1×3 combo’s together to get 4 distinct leg sections.

Be sure to follow Ana’s Leg diagram in Step 3 to ensure you are creating the correct combinations.

Framing the Base

I made some changes to the base from the original plans.  First, I removed the leg braces.  Since the table is not as deep as the original, it didn’t require the additional bracing.  Also,  I did not want to detract from the beautiful legs.

I did add the bracing and instantly regretted it.  I removed both of them with a swift whack of the hammer (while bracing the legs).

Second, I replaced the 1×6 apron with a 1×4 apron.  Again, the smaller table did not need that type of super structure and the 1×4 allowed more leg clearance when using a chair with a standard seat base height of 18″.

Using clamps, glue and a nail gun, I attached the apron to the legs.

Prepping the Base for the Table Top

The original plan for adding a table top to the base was to attach individual 1×8 boards screwed through the top.  Instead, I had created a single piece table top that I wanted to attach through the bottom.

So, rather than adding the 2×2 table supports as shown in Step 6:

I added corner brackets and a single 2×2 support in the middle which I glued and nailed into place.  The corner brackets are there to screw down the table top from the underside.

Painting

I used a color board to decide on a paint color for the base.  I matched this color board up with the stained top to get an understanding of how the colors would work together.  Plus, I can take the color board into the target room to see how the colors work in the lighting it will live in.

I did attempt to use just a clear lacquer finish to bring out the beauty of the select pine, but I’m afraid my cheap nail gun made too many blemishes that needed corrections and the lacquer would only accentuate the wood putty.  So, I decide a painted base was in order.

I applied three thin coats of white primer.

Followed by three thin coats of Satin Ivory Silk

Followed by two thin coats of Clear Matte.  After allowing the base to dry for 24 hours, I was ready to attach the table top.

Attaching the Table Top

I carefully laid the table top upside down onto some towels and then placed the inverted base on top.  I carefully measure and remeasure the overhang and made some reference marks.  In the case that the base is not perfectly square, the reference marks will allow it to be squared up as it is screwed down.

The Scary Part

I cannot count how many times I have ruined a beautiful finish by accidentally choosing the wrong screw size.   Since I was attaching the top to the base from the underside, there was the risk that I would end up piercing the finished topside if I was not careful.  Nightmarish stuff.

First, I made absolutely positive that I had the correct screw size (1 ¼”) for all 4 screws by stacking two 1×3 scrapes and ensuring the screw would not protrude, even if slightly countersunk.

Second, I knew I needed to make pilot holes to ensure that the wood would not split and I was concerned that I would drill through the finished topside.  To prevent this, there are two methods.

1) Use a piece of tape to mark on the drill bit the depth to which you want to drill.

2) Countersink your drill bit into the chuck to the desired depth.  Measure your depth with the 1 ¼ screw.

Next, I made pilot holes and then sunk the screws working in opposite corners to allow for squaring up as I went.

I made sure the Base was flush with the table top and did not overtighten.

So, I have gone from this:

Desk Mock Up

To this:

Narrow Farmhouse Table

Lots more to share with you regarding the final wood/color choices, costs, project time and some building tips.  I will save this for tomorrow while I savor my finished table.  Sometimes I walk into my bedroom several times a day just to look at it.

I will also be linking this on www.ana-white.com as a brag post.

Adventures in Table Making – Part 1

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Enough about my Home Office Makeover.  I’m taking things slow and having to make a few purchases or builds, which will require waiting for my April Budget.   I might even try my hand at upholstering some slipper chairs that I want to build/add to my office.

When I decide to build, I look for plans that I can use to make what I want and then I read them and read them and read them again until I can make it in my sleep.  At that point, I feel comfortable tweaking the plans to suit my liking.

Remember when I mentioned building a desk/table for my bedroom in this post?  I found a plan here, on www.ana-white.com, which is a great site for plans to build beautiful and functional furniture.

The dimensions shown were a bit larger than I had in mind for the space.   I was looking to create something more of a sofa-table-sized desk to put against that wall and anchor my artwork.  I loved this long lean look.

So I did a mock up of the size that I was thinking to ensure that it was truly a functional depth and length.  I used 8 ft cedar fence boards (because that is all I had and didn’t want to cut them down) and then used a small table that I shimmed with boards to get the height that was in the original plan.  Here is the mock up.

Desk Mock Up

The 8 ft length was more than I wanted for that area, so I decided to shorten the length to 66 inches (a few inches in each direction wider than the artwork) and shorten the depth to 20 inches so that it didn’t interfere with the normal flow of traffic into my bedroom.

There are many reasons I picked this plan.  The first reason was the wonderful tapered legs which I knew would be a beautiful detail and a challenge to my skill set.  And it was both!  …. more to come in Part II of this blog.

In reading through the plans for this table, each of the table top pieces are attached individually to the frame to create a table top.   I wanted to take those single pieces and make a solid table top and this differentiation was my second reason for choosing this plan.

Building

Starting with 8 – 1×3’s (which measure ¾ x 2 ½) to reach that 20 inch depth. (vs the 4 – 1×8 boards in Ana’s design which I would have had to rip boards down the middle or modify my dimensions)

Ready to be a Table Top

True that I could have just used a piece of birch plywood cut to fit…. but where is the fun in that!?!

I lined up the boards, without cutting to size yet, by the short sides and put a bead line of glue between them.  Then I clamped them together using  scrap boards to keep the 1×3’s from squeezing out.

Be sure not to clamp them too tight or all the glue will be pushed out and the table top will eventually break.  Allow the bond to set overnight.

It would have been sweet had the boards all lined up prettily and gave a smooth top from the start….

Before Sanding

So, it took some work with the belt sander to smooth out the unevenness and make a top that looks seamless.

Sanding

Using a belt sander with a 50 Grit Course Sanding Belt (which is used for surface leveling and paint removal), I smoothed down the ridges on both sides of the table top.  This was a slow process.  I worked on it for about 15 minutes at a time  for 3 evenings and I made sure that I used a dust collector, hearing protection, protective lenses and a dust mask.  I think I scared the children.

After getting the ridges smoothed, I switched to an 80 Grit Medium Sanding Belt  and sanding again and finally a 120 Grit Fine Sanding Pad with my small sander to smooth the surface.

Next, I cut the table top to length using a straight edge and a circular saw.

Staining

When I mocked up the table using the Cedar Fence Planks, I was drawn to the warm color of the cedar and how well it matched the other furniture in my room.  So, I bought a few different stains and tested them out on scrap wood.

First I applied Pre-Stain Wood conditioner to the scrap wood then a coat or two of stain.  I tried both Golden Pecan and Cherry.

The Golden Pecan on the left is too light and the Cherry is too red.  So I did a blend of the two…… Cherry on the bottom and two coats of Golden Pecan on top.

And that gave me the warm rich color I was looking for.

With 1 Cherry Coat

First I applied Pre-stain to the board and then wiped off the excess.  Then, I applied the Cherry stain with a brush, waited 10 minutes and wiped off the excess with a soft cloth.

Next, I applied the Golden Pecan with a brush and then wiped off the excess after 10 minutes to get this effect.  I was very happy with a single coat of Golden Pecan over the Cherry.

After staining, I applied two coats of satin Poly with a brush allowing each coat to dry overnight and light sanding between coats.  I had bubbles show up in my poly as I was brushing it on.  Most the bubbles disappeared when it was dry.

After two coats of Satin Poly

The Table Top is now ready for a base.  Which will be Part II later this week.

Project Costs

8 – 1×3’s -Select Pine – $57

2 – Cans Stain – $6

1 – Can Pre-Stain – $5

Paint Brush – $6

Total Costs:   $74

I already had:

Gorilla Glue

Poly

Have you ever taken on a project just because you knew it would challenge your skill level?  I did with this project.  Making a solid smooth table top with sticks of wood was an amazing experience.

Have a great week and reach for the unknown.

~Dona~

A Bird In Hand….

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Yesterday, there was a spoiler alert in this post here. It was the next step in my Home Office Makeover…. the shelves. My original plan was to build some shelves for over the printer, but I decided to upcycle some Pottery Barn shelves that I had lying around. I also had some ledger shelves in a drawer that needed some love, so I threw them into the mix.

Painting

The hard part was deciding on the paint. The first coat of paint I put on them was bright glossy white. Don’t you just love glossy white shelves? After two coats, I decide the bright white was just going to introduce another color into the scheme (yes, white is a color) and compete with the brighter colors already on my mood board.

I love that I can change color in the middle of it all. So, I switched to the Ivory Satin that I was using on the Lost Sock project from yesterday.

And while I was at it, I painted some of the items that I purchased for this room. As you remember from a previous post, I do not like Gold Trim on anything, so bring on the paint….

Glossy Sunny Yellow

and this “Dream” needed to lighten up with some Glossy Sunny Yellow, too.

I love how dreamy the “Dream” is looking.

and wait, even more paint…..

This was an interesting shape, but the color didn’t work, so here come the Glossy Key Lime…… Yum!

Now “Dreamy” has some “Yummy” to go with it.

So let’s talk about the painting. Each items gets a minimum of two coats of primer to cover the old color and to allow the new paint to adhere better. Thin coats work best. The thin coats of paint won’t run and it dries fast so I can do multiple coats in a shorter time period.

Then the color coat is done the same, but I do 3-4 thin coats to get the coverage I want. I take my time and allow the paint to cure about 24 hours after finishing the last coat. This makes sure the paint surface won’t mar when you handle it.

Since the shelves were going to have items with weight sitting on them, I let them cure for about 48 hours before attempting to install them.

Installation

While waiting for paint to dry, which is as agonizing for me as watching paint dry, I had to make some decision about placement. I used Painters Tape to mark where I wanted to place each shelf.

These shots are from each side of the desk. I hadn’t planned on putting shelves on both sides, but once I stumbled across the massive abundance of shelves that I had stockpiled, it made sense for balance.

Let me say right now that I hate hanging shelves and this time was no picnic. I did manage to get all the screws into the wall. I used Hollow Wall Anchors for the larger shelves as I didn’t have the good fortune to find studs in the wall where I needed them. The ones I like have pointed tips so I just hammer them into the wall and then tighten the screw to expand the anchor, which provides a more secure grip against the wall.

I used a nice big level and marked a straight line onto the Painters Tape that I had put on the wall. Then I measure between the hardware pieces on the back of the shelf and make my markings directly onto the tape on the level line. Then I hammer in my anchors, tighten the screw to expand the anchor. Then I unscrew the screw a fraction of an inch so the shelf hardware can slide right onto the head of the screw. Sounds easy, right?!?!

So, without further frustration and with great pleasure, here are my Home Office Shelves.

At first glance, I am glad I chose a softer shelf color that blends into the wall. That allows my decorative items to showcase better.

Shall we take a closer look?

The Bumble Bee picture looks much better with a Yellow Frame and a sexy beast green ceramic bird to admire it.

A picture of my Dad surrounded by an awesome butterfly pot and a bird vase with some garden gloves tucked inside.

The Power of 3 (to signify me and my kids) and an old picture of me and my siblings from days gone by…..

My dreamy Dream has a little bird friend with a fun color bird portrait.

A picture of my Mom from her school days with a white ceramic bird to tell her secrets.

The blue bird of happiness depicted in art and in ceramic.

I hadn’t planned on a “bird” theme here, but when I found them 50% off at Michael’s, I couldn’t resist getting one in every color. One even landed on my hall table.

Here is another lookie-see at the finished effort.

Project Cost:

Shelves $0

Paint $12 (Primer, Ivory, Yellow)

Total Cost: $12

Total Time after painting: About 1 hour to hang shelves and arrange items.

I’m loving how my Home Office is coming along. What do you have planned this weekend? I plan on some much needed fun and maybe work on some projects that will help my desk look a bit tidier and incorporate some of the new colors I am working with. I might even be able to swing some wall art. Stay tuned.

Have a great weekend!

~Dona~

My Personal Pinterest

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I am a big fan of Pinterest.  I pin stuff all the time, like great building ideas, crafts, and yummy food pictures, plus stuff that I can only dream about.  Sometimes it is just visually pleasing to look at all the colors, photographs, beautiful people and wonderful art.  I can look and pin all day long.

With that said, I follow several blogs that have participated in a seasonal “Pinterest Challenge”, which by the way is not sponsored by Pinterest, that is a challenge to take something you have pinned and actually create it. Inspired by the spirit of these bloggers, I have completed my own Personal Pinterest challenge.

Enter the inspiration piece…..

I have a Sock Box in my laundry room.  The Sock Box is for all the matched socks that come out of the laundry and it is where the kids and I go for socks when we need them.  Strangely enough, I can wear the same-sized socks as my 13 year old daughter and my 10 year old son.  Even stranger, my son will wear my polka-dotted knee socks to school without qualm.

As for the unmatched socks that inevitably come out of the dryer…. well, they just lay in an untidy heap with the hope of a perfect match coming along.  Much like me.

When I saw the picture on Pinterest, I knew it was the solution to the Lonely Single Sock Club I had going on in the laundry room.

Searching through my scrap wood pile, I found a board that my dad had done a test routed edge on, testing out my new router.  It was perfect for My Lost Sock project!  So, while painting the shelves from my Home Office Makeover, I threw this piece in for a bit of color. (Spoiler alert below… you will see a preview of tomorrow’s post)

I really liked the rustic look of the piece done in the original pin, so I bought a brown pigment ink pad and rubbed the edges and corners to get the same rustic look in the picture.  Then I sprayed it all with 3 light coats of clear satin finish.

I printed out some lettering on my Silhouette Cameo on black vinyl.  Funny… by then I was working by memory and I chose almost the exact same lettering style as the original, though I wasn’t try to follow it to the letter. (ha ha pun!)

I grabbed a few clothes pins from the laundry room and painted them a glossy black.

Using a hot glue gun, I added the clothes pins to the sign.  The Clone Trooper was just there for observation.

The final step was to add hangers to the back of the board.

I would have loved to have taken a picture of this in my laundry room, but unfortunately, my laundry room

looks like this right now……

Yep, I have a slab leak in my laundry room and it is under demolition right now.  So, the final product is on display in my kitchen.

Which is okay, because I am enjoying looking at it.

Project Cost:

Brown Pigment Ink Pad $ 1.20 (on sale)

I had the following supplies already:

Board

Clothes Pins

Vinyl

Spray Paint

Total Assembly Time after Painting:  20 Minutes

Is there something that you’ve Pinned on Pinterest that is calling out to you?  Challenge yourself and get it done.

~Dona~

Bulletin Bloom

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I won’t pretend to be design savvy.  In fact, sometimes it looks better in my head than it does in the actual rendering of the idea.  With that said, you will see a change in direction as this project unfolds.

I’m stepping out of my comfort zone with the colors I am incorporating in this Home Office Makeover.  I usually chose very neutral colors to decorate with and now I am trying to make bright colors work together in a way that create an upbeat and soothing work space.  This is definitely a challenge for a girl who will buy bright colored clothes, but then leave them hanging in the closet the entire season.

I have this bulletin board in my office that is quite functional, and again, dull dull dull.

The most interesting part of this bulletin board is the tree next to it.

Time for a makeover!

Even the blue painter’s tape is a bit more exciting……

Once I have the cork properly covered, it time to give this board a fresh coat of paint.

A few light coats of Rustoleum Silk Ivory in a Satin Finish.  Light coats dry faster and avoid runs.

To give the frame an aged look…..I added some brown pigment ink.  I patted and rubbed the ink pad around the frame.  After letting it set for about 20 minutes, I used a soft cloth to smooth out the finish.  Then, I sprayed it with 3 light coats of clear gloss and let it sit for about 24 hours to let the paint fully cure.

Now for some fun with color.

First, I cut the fabric just a big larger than the cork and then covered the painted edges with tape.  This will protect the paint from the adhesive spray.

This high performance spray will provide several levels of adhesion.  A light spray will give a temporary bond and a medium spray on both the pieces (cork) and (fabric) will give a stronger bond.  I chose the light spray option because a medium to heavy spray would give the fabric a stiff, wet look.  I wouldn’t recommend regular glue for that same reason.

Once the adhesive was lightly sprayed, focusing on edges and corners, I applied the fabric much like applying wallpaper, smoothing out the bubbles and wrinkles from one corner to the next.

Using a straight edge and a sharp cutting tool, I trimmed the excess fabric.

Then used an iron (no steam) to help smooth and set the fabric.

With a hot glue gun, I added the cording to the frame giving the piece even more dimensions.

Viola!

Except….. I didn’t like it. FAIL!

I loved the fabric, but the frame was a bit too antique-y for what I was going for.  (I plan to use that technique on another project you will see this week.)

Back to the drawing board…. so to speak!

I was all ready to write this blog, but I just wasn’t happy with it.  So, I took another stab at it with a bolder color.

I taped it up again and started painting….. this time, with some Rustoleum Key Lime Gloss.

SUCCESS!  I am much happier with the results.

So Pretty!  Want to see a side by side comparison of the two different frame colors?

Amazing the difference!  The bright color gives that field of flowers a solid edge and  the white mats just pop!  The colors simply appear clearer.

I decorated the Bulletin Board with Photo Mats ($1 Store) and Clear Push Pins to make a very functional and pretty Photo Board.  I can move the mats around depending the my current favorite photos.

Pin It

If you want to add this to one of your Pinterest Boards, then choose the “Pin It” button above

Also, I printed out some beautiful clip art and placed them in some of the mats.  All in all, I am loving this Decor Renovation!

Project Cost

1/2 yard of Fabric – $3

Adhesive Spray – $4

Cording – $2

Spray Paint – $4

Total $14

Do you have a bulletin board that needs some love?  Are bright colors out of your comfort zone?  Don’t you just love how easy it is to change colors, like a chameleon?  Let me know what you think.

~Dona~

Home Office Makeover

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It was a productive weekend.  I did a lot of pallette color decision making, a lot of painting and re-painting and got a few things in progress ready to put into the Home Office Makeover.  I’ve been doing some decor-remodeling, some building, and mostly, some planning and rolling ideas around in my head.

Since I’ve been sharing some of the little projects I’ve been working on, I though I would step back and share the “BIG” picture with you.

Here are some BEFORE pics:

Blah! Blah! Blah!   Lots of great organization and I love my desk (even though it is terribly old and well worn) but dull, dull, dull.  I want to recover my chair to give it a fresh look.

Got some new art planned for this corner and hopefully, a way to tame the cord mess.

The corner which contains lateral file and the Cross Ribbon board I’ve blogged about this past week. I have some shelves planned and an update of the bulletin board seen here.

My daughter comes home everyday and flops into this chair to tell me about her day while I wrap up my workday.  It will return to Living Room, where it belongs, when I find a new chair to put into this corner.  I like that my daughter comes in here first and I want her to have something comfortable but a little smaller scale.

I like having my doggies near me when I work so their crate are in here.  Mostly, they just lounge around the desk and chair but when I have an important call, being  crated keeps them quiet.  I need to make new covers to help the crates blend nicely with the new decor.  I’m sure my 3 little ladies (Ellie Mae, Roxy and Daisy) will enjoy a little “Room” makeover for themselves.

These curtains will have to go…. they are too vintage for my new fresh color scheme.  I think I have some green curtains around here somewhere that I can put with some new hardware.   And finally…….

I love my photo wall, but I think I will need to paint the frames to fit into the new color scheme I have in mind.  I’m still pretty stumped on what to do with the fish tank base.  I might have to google around and see what’s been done.

So, without further ado…. here is what I have planned.

As you can see,  I will be adding some cool green to balance the warm orange of the desk and sunny yellow accents I am adding throughout the room.  It will be a breath of fresh air as the temptations of spring await outside my window while I work.

Did you have a productive weekend? Do you have any painting projects in progress?  What colors are inspiring you?

~Dona~

Easy Glide to Organizational Bliss

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I’m still working on items for the Home Office Makeover and not ready to reveal anything new…. yet!

So, let’s step back in time for a project I did earlier in January.  How about custom Cabinet Glide Out Shelves?  They are easy to make and add such convenience and value to your kitchen.

Let me show you how.

Before Pic

Yep, this is my BEFORE cabinet.  An organizational nightmare!

Get Your Measurements

To plan your shelf size, you will need two measurements:  The depth of the cabinet (from front to back) and the width of the opening.   Mine was about 22.75″ deep and 17″ wide.  When measuring the opening you will need to account for the 1/2″ that each slide will need to clear the cabinet sides.  So the front and back of the drawer will need to be cut only 16.5″ wide to allow the slides to clear the sides of the cabinet.  The sides of the drawer will need to be 22″ deep.

Material List

Front & Sides:

1x4x8 – wood of your choice (I chose Poplar)

Bottom:

1/2″  sheet of birch plywood (router version)

1/4″ sheet of birch plywood (non-router version)

Slides:

22″ full extension drawer slides (100 lbs load rated)

There will be two options in the plans below.  My original plans include the use of a router (to inset the bottom into grooves cut into the shelf sides) and a pocket hole jig (for tighter joints).  Not many people have these items, so I will provide a modified version too.

The Basic Frame

Cut The Sides

In the case of the measurements mentioned above, the front and back pieces will be 16.5 and the side pieces will be 1.5″ less than the 22″ depth measurement to make allowances for the 3/4″ width on the front and back pieces. Therefore, the side pieces will be cut to 20.5″ or if you insetting the bottom, then cut 21.25″.  Use the 1x4x8 board to make these cuts.

These pieces can be cut with a hand saw, a jig saw, a miter saw, or a table saw.  I always cut the raw end to ensure that it is square before marking my measurements.

Miter Saw

Router The Front & Sides

If you don’t have a router, then skip this step.

With a 1/2″ router bit, rout a 3/8″ deep groove into each board.  The groove should start at 1/2″ from the bottom of the board.

With a 3/4″ router bit, rout a 3/8″ deep groove at each end of the front and back pieces.

Using a router table to make groove cuts

Cut the Bottom

If you are insetting the bottom, then take measurements within the frame, front to back and then side to side and then add 3/4″ to these two measurements.  Mark and cut the bottom from the 3/4″ plywood with a table saw or jig saw.

If you are not insetting the bottom, then take measurements from the outside of the frame front to back and then side to side.  Mark and cut the bottom from the 1/4″ plywood with a table saw or jig saw.

Assembly

Assemble the Drawer

I used a Pocket Hole Jig to make a pocket hole inside of each end of the front and back pieces (account for the side grooves if insetting the bottom).  Before screwing the front to sides with the pocket hole screws, apply glue to the end of each piece and then screw together.

If insetting the bottom, apply glue to the edges of the bottom piece and slide into the groove till tightly in the groove in the front.  Apply glue to the edges of the back piece and screw into place.  If not using a pocket jig, then use glue and finishing nails to secure the sides.

If not insetting the bottom, then use finishing nails to secure the 1/4″ plywood to the bottom of the frame.

Pocket Hole Jig

Finishing

If using finishing nails, countersink the nails and fill with wood filler and let dry.  Sand.  Apply two or three thin coats of spray lacquer to finish off the drawer.

Dry fit

Installation

Before installing, do a dry fit of the drawer.  I placed the drawer slides to the side of the drawer and made sure they clear the cabinet frame.  In this case, the slides could not be attached to the walls since there was a big gap between the cabinet walls and the slides.  I added some plywood strips until the gaps closed.   Then I screwed the plywood strips into the sides of the cabinet.

Fitting the slides

Finally, following the instructions provided with the slides, I installed the slides to both the drawer and and the plywood strips and inserted the drawer.

Full Extension Drawer Slides

Mission Completed.  This project takes about 2 hours to make.

Organizational Bliss

Now I have easy access to the entire contents of my cabinet.

Total Cost

for two drawers

(2) 1x4x8 = $18

1/2 Sheet of plywood = $13

2 sets of Slides = $44

Total Cost:  $75

Custom Drawers could cost up to $100 for 2 drawers.  You can build these for less than $40 each.  No, really, you can do this!

Wouldn’t you just love to have some custom drawers to make it easier to reach that crock pot lurking in the back of the your cabinet?  Then you can make this awesome dish, 5 Minute Crock Pot Loaded Potato Soup, featured on Sassy2Savvy.com.

Have a great weekend

~Dona~