Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Rustic X Console Table with Distressed Hardware

Rustic X Console Table with Distressed Hardware

Happy Fall, readers! 

Here is my (second to) latest build. 

Please note that essentially, I used the great Ana White's pattern for the table, but changed the sizing and hardware a bit. 

Click here for the pattern and link to her fabulous site. -- Rustic X Console Table

A few things to note about my table:

The sizing was customized and shortened to fit behind a love seat which is shorter that a standard sofa. 

Actual dimensions: 

57 inches long x 16 inches wide x 30 inches tall. 

Lets take a look at the stain color: 

I almost always mix my own stain color to match other factory made furniture. This one was customized by mixing 3 parts Cabot Brown Mahogany and 1 part Minwax Provincial. I mix it in a 2 quart size rubbermaid container with a lid. 

Next, for the finishing, I sanded the entire piece using my handheld sheet sander in 3 grits of sandpaper, 80, 120 then 300 grit, I vacuumed off the sawdust then,  painted on 3 coats of poly-acrylic semi-gloss finish and allowed to dry. 

To finish off the console table, I worked on the hardware. I wanted a rustic looking set of hardware. 

Here is a short tutorial on how I made the corner brackets and bolt heads. 

Closer-up view of hardware. 

For the corner brackets:

I purchased 4-  3 inch "L brackets" for each corner. They came standard silver color. I spray painted them black then after it dried I took a lighter and "burned" the brackets by holding one end with a pair of pliers. This made the bracket look more rustic and not so "perfect".  Danger note: I realize the paint may have been flammable but turns out- this process did not set me on fire. I used my impact driver to screw in the silver screws. Then took a cotton ball and dabbed some of the black paint onto the screw heads to make look black-ish the goal here was for them not to look perfect or uniform. 

For the inset carriage bolts:

 I purchased 8, 3/4 inch top, 3 inch long galvanized carriage bolts they looked like this when I bought them: 

I spray painted the tops black then used my lighter to "distress" the paint once it dried. 

I wanted these to be "inset" so I used a one inch paddle bit to create an indention in the wood. To clean it up, I used my dremmel rotary sanding collet to sand out the hole. 

Paddle bits. 

Then, I drilled a long hole with my drill and tapped them all the way in in with a rubber hammer. 

That is all.... Hope you enjoyed this build. 

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lavender Scented Backsplash Tutorial

Lavender Scented Backsplash Tutorial

Hello Readers! I am excited to roll out this tutorial. It was really fun to create, and its unusual....not sure anyone has ever done this type of project before in this way. 

* Please note I had step by step pics for this tutorial and then my phone broke down and I had to upgrade it- sooooo.... I lost the pictures. I tried to recreate this to the best of my ability. 

This backsplash is part of my Master bedroom closet makeover. See the before picture...

And the after:

I love this closet- It is only one wall of my master closet- still working my way around. Working on the vanity next. 

So here is how I transformed the space:

Removed all old oil rubbed bronze hardware, removed glass from cabinetry and replaced with custom cut mirrors from Lowes. Repainted the cabinetry with paint - it's Duron Dover white:

Then I used Annie Sloan soft wax all over the entire piece, it has at least two coats of wax on the surface. I replaced the knobs with 4 inch spaced hole brushed nickel euro-handles. Overall they are 6 inches long. 

After all of this I looked at a blank area in the back of the cabinetry- I had an idea to add a backsplash but did not want to spend a lot of money and wanted to tile it on my own. I really wanted to dress it up- I did not think a white panel was fancy enough. 

The area measured 49.5 long x 15 inches high. 

Here is what I found at Lowes. They are called 12x14 mosaic tile glacier links. They were 11.98 each- I only needed three. 

First, I framed in the backsplash area with trim, like this one, I cut the trim to size and tacked to the area using my brad nailer. 

Its called Polystryene stop moulding, it can be found at Lowes. It was appx 1 inch wide. 

I used this trim to line the rectangular area then applied the tile. 

The tiles come attached to a mesh backing so they are easy to apply (no pic here sorry), but I used what I had in the garage to apply the tile to the cabinetry, this was my adhesive. 

I smeared it all over the cabinet wall with a large tongue depressor and applied my first piece of tile. I ended up having to hold it there for about 10 minutes so that the adhesive started to hold the tile. Then I added the second and third tiles, because they are precut to fit in together this was easy!

I let the tiles sit for a few days so that I was sure it would adhere. Next, I had to mix the grout. I went down to the basement and found leftover undsanded grout in ivory from when we built the house. 

Since I have tiled before I went to mix about 3 cups of powder with some water- slowly- because it gets watery fast, you need the grout to be the consistency of peanut butter. I mixed with a paint stirrer in an old trash can. 

**Now the lavender magic**

Because I thought the grout smelled horrible, I was at first trying to find a way to cut down on the group chalk smell, so I looked for something to change the smell. So, I found my lavender essential oil vial that I purchased from Whole Foods a while ago. I love the smell of lavender, I put it in my bath or lotion usually. So I decided to dump about half of the bottle of oil into the grout. It smelled wonderful! Essentially I created a permanent (we will see how long it lasts) closet scent in the form of tile grout. Let me tell you I am sure no man has ever thought of this! 

I smeared the grout all over the tiles with a grout float rubber trowel. I filled in all of the holes and wiped off all of the excess with a clean rubber trowel, and then a wet rag. Because the tile mosaic includes stainless steel pieces, I had to be careful with the grout not to "scrub" off the steel and ruin it. I had to be gentle. After a few hours I used a wet rag and damp tiling sponge to continue to remove the excess grout and residue from the tiles. After a few days I shined up the tiles with windex and a microfiber towel. 

Then I added a few bling-y accessories, I love it!

I am so happy because my closet still after about a month smells wonderful, actually my entire bedroom still smells of lavender. I am sure you could use any other scent that the essential oils come in. My sister in law suggested if the scent wears off I could always rub the oils in with a rag. 

A few more beauty shots to come when I don tine to work on the closet. Hope you enjoy this tutorial. 

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Easy Steampunk Bar Ledge Tutorial

Easy Steampunk Bar Ledge Tutorial

Hello all! 

I built this ledge (bar) for my church about a month or so ago. It was sooo easy. At the time I did not plan on doing a tutorial for this but looking back I can go through the steps pretty easily so it won't be a problem if I don't have a picture of every single step.

This is a before of the empty wall at the church:

They wanted a ledge for the teens to "check-in" to the church service on iPads. I decided to build a "bar" or "ledge" for the wall. 

First things first- if you don't know what the design style "Steampunk" is... look it up here. Essentially it is a style that includes pipes, machinery, very industrial, stripped down looking, lots of hardware, inner workings of clocks, trains etc. I never knew this design style existed until I came across this tutorial from Epbot for a steampunk laundry room . I initially wanted to build a bar with brackets made of metal but did not want to have to get them welded etc. Too much hassle. Then I asked, why can't I use pipes as brackets? They can form a 90 degree angle.... 

So after finding the Epbot tutorial on the pipes and where to get them, I went to work on building the ledge. 

For ledge you will need: 

Ledge final size is  12 inches deep x 3.5 inches high x 6 feet long

4 pine (also called "number 2's")
2x4's x 6 feet long (they may come in 8 foot length just have them cut or cut yourself)

3 large clamps

Very strong wood glue

L brackets with hexscrews


Liquid Polyacrilic

To start: 

Cut 2x4's to 6 feet in length. 

Lay 3 2x4's side to side together and apply a generous amount of glue on the edges, use your clamps and clamp in 3 places very tight. But not sooo tight that the wood begins to "curl". Leave clamps overnight. 

The next day remove clamps and add your fourth 2x4 to the back of the pre glued boards. 

Allow glue and clamps to work their magic overnight. 

The next day remove clamps and sand, sand, sand... using 120 grit sandpaper with an orbital sander then 220 sandpaper with orbital sander to make it smooth. 

Next, vacuum ledge and wipe down with a damp rag. Then stain using your choice of stain. I mix my stains usually. 

My stain was a 3 part to one part mix of natural and golden oak by Minwax. 
Then brush on the polyacrylic.

Minwax in semigloss.

Use a clean paintbrush. 
Allow poly to dry 2 or 3 hours then re- poly. I think this ledge had 4 coats of poly on it. 

Lastly add the L brackets to the corners to give it the industrial look. 

Note: I did not use the screws that came with the L brackets. I purchased separately
hex screws to make it look more industrial. They were cheap. 
Now for the pipe brackets:

This part was soooo easy. I followed Epbots tutorial on the pipe brackets and ordered them from the pipe dealer in California on Ebay. This is the least expensive way to purchase these. If you go to HD or Lowes in the plumbing section you will end up spending a fortune on galvanized pipe pieces. The pieces I purchased are called Malleable pipe fittings. They are cheaper. Get the pipe info here . Please note I did not use the same pipe sizes Epbot has listed. Here is what I purchased from the same ebay dealer. 

Please note funny names to follow:

I made 3 brackets

For EACH bracket I purchased...

2 flanges for 1 inch pipe (pipes are measured by the INSIDE measurement of pipe not outside) 
2 1 inch by 6 inch pipe nipples
1 1 inch elbow bracket
8 hexscrews to attach flanges to wall and ledge. 

Then I put together the brackets and went to the church to install. To install: I spaced the brackets to screw into the wall studs. The studs were 24 inches apart. 

**I also added 3 more hexscrews to attach the back part of the ledge to the studs. This made the bar very sturdy. 

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Drop me a line. Like me on Facebook!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Morning Room Dining Chairs Makeover

Morning Room Dining Chairs Makeover

Hello - Happy September!

I have been very busy "staging" my home to put it on the market some time this year. I have a need for pieces of furniture around the house, so instead of purchasing new pieces, why not make them- or make them over?

My realtor says I need 4 chairs for the farmhouse table I made last year,  you know, to add to the ends of the table, and opposite side of the bench. He suggested preferably short ones as to not block the nice view to our backyard.

Off and on I have been looking for chairs that would be easy to make over. And came across these beauties at a yard sale in town. They were 4 dollars each...so, 16 dollars for all 4 chairs. Yes!

The middle one was missing a seat, no problem for this girl...Il make my own. 

The color was an ugly white, the cushion fabric, covered in dirt, dust and mold.

I purchased a canvas drop cloth - like the ones at HD or Lowes as fabric. I have worked with this material before, see these projects Canvas Drop cloth cushion and pillows

Here is how I made them over... really it was VERY easy.

First: I cleaned each chair with a soapy rag.

The cushions came un attached so I did not even have to remove them. ( Even better!)

Then, I ripped off the old fabric from the tops of the cushions by pulling the staples off with with a scraper tool.

Next. I put the chairs out in the yard and spray painted each of them with Rustoleum Ultra Cover 2x Black satin finish spray paint. 

I used 4 total cans, one per chair. 

Satin sheen. 

I added nails to the bottom of each leg, then raised them
up off of the grass by using scrap wood. 

Spraying, spraying.

For Cushions:

**For the chair that did not have a cushion... I took one of the cushion wood pieces and traced it carefully onto a piece of 3/4 inch plywood I already had. I cut it out using a jig-saw. I had to sand the edges a little as to not rib the fabric. 

Then, I cut a piece of high density foam I had left over from another project- the foam was appx 1 inch thick. Sorry, I have no pics of this step. 

Then, I used my hot glue gun- (no pics of this step either) and glued the new foam cushion to the new piece of wood. This is not going to hold the foam perfectly it's really just to "steady" the foam. 

***For the 3 other chairs that had a cushion I just reused the wood and cushion, but not the original fabric. The "innards" were in pretty good shape. 

Meanwhile - back in the house, I used the original fabric as a pattern and cut out from the canvas I purchased, I cut 4 identical pieces. Note, I added appx .5 inches around the original pattern because I wanted to make sure that I had plenty of fabric to pull over the cushion.  

 Then I used ironed the fabric with steam. 

Then, I pulled tight around the plywood stapling every couple of inches. 
 More pulling and stapling with the staple gun....

Lookin- good. Trim any extraordinarily long pieces of fabric, but most of it won't been seen. 

After the chair frames had completely dried, I sprayed them with poly- acrylic in a satin finish. Then allowed to dry overnight. 

Then, I flipped the chair over and lined up the cushion to the chair to attach it. They matched up perfectly. Sometimes, screws pull the fabric when being attached and you have to cut a small groove in the fabric for the screw to come through clean -but since this fabric is VERY sturdy canvas - it was not an issue, I screwed right through the fabric.  

 Then, I attached the cushions back to the chairs using 1 inch phillips head screws through the original holes on the frame. 


 Hope you like this little tutorial! 

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Sensory Weighted Blanket

 Weighted Blanket for help with Autistic/ Sensory Children Tutorial

In honor of Autism Awareness month (April), there is no better time then to roll out my Weighted blanket tutorial. 

I made this blanket for my sweet little 3 year old who has been diagnosed with Sensory Perception Disorder (SPD), sometimes called Sensory Integration. Although he is not on the Autism Spectrum, he still has a hard time with many day to day activities and situations due to the way his brain senses the area around him. 

To read more about SPD or Autism, please visit the following links:

A sensory blanket is a weighted blanket usually made of a breathable fabric, like flannel, filled with some type of weighted material inside. From my research a weighted blanket should not be more than 10% the child's body weight. And.... weighted blankets come in all types of sizes, weights, and textures. My tutorial is for a more portable lap pad or a toddler size blanket, like the one I sewed for my son to sleep under each night, both made the same way, in theory. Weighted blankets can be calming because of the weighted pressure onto the body. Similarly in how weighted vests work. Weighted blankets are very expensive to purchase, so if you can make them yourself you will be saving yourself a fortune. 

The reason they are so expensive? They are VERY labor intensive. 

Here are some sizes of weighted blankets:

Lap Pad (ex. car)- 18 inch x 24 inch
Toddler size- 36x 52
Twin size- 43x 75

You can make yours any size, depending on your child's height, weight or needs. 

Here's how I made my blanket:

Some of these pics are a blend of the lap pad and bigger blanket, both made the same way

I gathered my supplies:

Flannel fabric, one solid, one print
Weighted plastic pellets (like what is inside a stuffed animal or beanie baby, got mine on amazon.com)
Pillow filling (I recycled an old pillow)
Strips of ribbon, various textures (silky, grossgrain) ( I am adding tags to go around the edges to add another sensory component to the blanket, my son loves to chew on and pull and twist tags)

Construction Fabric and solid to match, 4 lbs of pellets

Then laid out the fabric and cut the pieces to size allowing some room for the seams about 1/2 inch all around.
Put right sides together and cut to size needed
With right sides together pin the material together about one inch in **.
Just pin it together when you add the tags.
** Or if you do not want tags you can pin without adding ribbon like he picture shows.

My mix of "tags" ribbon about 3 inches long.

Fold the ribbons in half and place them in-between the fabric about an inch in. And pin. 
The folded part goes inside of the fabric. The cut ends face outward. Sometimes its hard to envision how it will work once turned right side out. I am telling you this is the easiest way to construct it, from lots of trial and error. 

I placed them about every 4 inches or so, on 3 sides of the blanket, leaving one side of the fabric unattached a long side not a short side. 

See pins?

Closeup of pins

Then I ironed all of the blanket and got ready to sew.

I sewed a straight stitch the entire length of the blanket sewing over the ribbons. Do this around all 3 sides of blanket.

Then cut off any excess.

 This is what it looks like when flipped inside out.

Looking good.

Then I ironed the whole thing again. Pressing the tags at the seams.

Then I sewed again a straight stitch, one pressure foot width to anchor the ribbons again. This is essential to keep the tags attached. (Kids drag them around by the tags so they need to be strong)

++ Now would have been a good time to sew the raw edges of the open side neatly before proceeding. See my ++ note below regarding learning my lesson, and making it easier to close up later when I made the lap pad. 

**At this point I had my mom embroider my sons name on the blanket, she owns an embroidery company (lucky me!). If you wanted to add a name or initials, now would be a good time to do it so that the blanket can be simply opened to have it stitched. 

Now time for the pellets.... I enlisted my daughter to help me with this. I used a food weight scale to help us distribute the weight evenly across the blanket. I believe in the end I wanted the blanket to be about 4 pounds. 

I can't remember exactly what the measurements or math was but essentially I did some simple division Each pocket does not have to be perfectly measured. We measured them out and put them in little cups, I believe they were appx 2.5 oz each. I would be lying if I did not mention doing all of this measuring felt a little illegal. ;)

As my daughter made a ton of little cups of pellets, I started sewing again. This time, it was time to sew pockets for the pellets to be held. 

I came in about 4 inches and sewed creating a row about 4 inches thick. This creates your first long column. Then move over about another 4 inches and sew, the entire length of the blanket. Remember you will still have the top (long side) open, and one side closed. 

Then fill the columns with the pellets, each column till you reach the end. 

 Then stuff in some filling to make the pocket softer. Use a good handful, I opened an old pillow and recycled the stuffing from it for the filling. Use probably a little more than the pic shows.

**Now comes the hard part... stuffing the blanket, because the stuffing wants to get stuck to the sides of the  flannel. First I had my daughter take her small arms and stuff it down, until she grew tired of that (crying/ wining/ sulking/drama!). Then I had the bright idea to use a long cardboard roll (like you would have left over from a wrapping paper tube or fabric bolt) and stuff the stuffing to the bottom so that it and the pellets mix. 

Two columns filled.
Then sew across the entire length of the blanket creating a pocket square.

Tip: This is when the blanket becomes very heavy and cumbersome, try and have lots of patience when sewing this part, be careful not to dump out all of the contents when you begin to sew.

Then, fill all pockets with pellets and stuffing, and sew until you are finished.

To close up the blanket, you can add a few more tags and sew to finish. Or, for no tags on the other side simply fold in the edges and pin, then sew a top straight stitch. 

++ The picture below shows the lap pad. On this one I had already sewed the raw edges closed neatly, so I only had to pin and sew both edges together. They were already finished. 

Pinning to close.

Finished Lap pad!

Finished blanket
Happy, Happy children!

Tip: Please be careful as to figure out how much weight your little one can carry. At first, I thought I needed to add more weight to the blanket, but 4 pounds was about all he could carry, so I think for now the weight is good. He drags this thing EVERYWHERE (Linus style) so it did not need to be any heavier. If you are making a blanket that will essentially stay on a bed and not be moved, it can be heavier. Though not more than 10% of child's body weight. 

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. 

Drop me a line. 

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Thanks, Kristen