Monday, December 8, 2014

Handmade & Heartfelt

     It has been a long, LONG time since the last blog post!! I can’t even begin to explain everything that has been going on the last few months, but blogging is back and I have a holiday project to share!
     Once again the Silhouette Cameo proved its worth and helped me make these two sided wooden holiday signs for our family. One side of the board has a heartfelt saying for Thanksgiving and the other is decorated with a Christmas quote. I really love that they are double sided and can serve as décor for two holidays. I thought they’d make any mantel more festive so I made 14 in total, for our family’s gifts this year.
     First step was buying the wood. I bought two 12 inch by 10 foot boards and cut them into the 14 pieces I needed. Some boards were cut down to 12x12 inch squares and others into 12x14 inches depending on the phrase that was being put onto them. Second step was sanding and staining. Lucky for me my main man was home and helped me by sanding every board with our electric mouse sander, that helped so much and really made the process go quicker. We had our own assembly line going, I cut, he sanded, I wiped the boards down with a damp cloth and I stained each piece, front and back. I used my two go to stain colors from Rust-oleum (Dark Walnut and Weathered Gray) and mixed the two colors on a few boards as well. After the stain completely dried I put two good coats of polyurethane on each board to protect the finish and allow the vinyl lettering to stick to the wood better.
      Vinyl lettering… one of my current obsessions, there is so much you can do with it. Check out THIS POST where I show you multiple uses for vinyl and I give a step by step tutorial on transferring vinyl to any surface. So, using the Silhouette Cameo (and the program it comes with) I printed each design and one by one transferred them onto the wooden signs. My cousin, Katie, has the Silhouette, so using it is the perfect excuse to spend time with her. Transferring vinyl onto 14 boards, front and back takes a good chunk of time, which meant lots of time to catch up, chat and watch girly holiday movies together. She was a huge help, without her it would have taken me twice as long to complete each board, and I was definitely on a time crunch this year.
      Each family member got their own board, uniquely designed to their personality, with a few repeats, of course. All in all it took two full days to whip out these handmade Christmas gifts, with the help of my awesome husband and amazing cousin. Make something by hand this year, homemade gifts really come from the heart.
     I am glad to be back. Just because I wasn’t blogging doesn’t mean I wasn’t working on projects the last few months, Katie and I both have more to share, soon!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

String it up

Baseball season is in full swing, and while I may not be an Atlanta Braves fan, my brother definitely is! I have posted ‘string art’ before, so I will make this short incase anyone is wanting an easy project. You will need: string or yarn, small nails, a hammer, a wooden board and paint or stain if you want to change the look of the wood.
The steps are simple… cut your board to size (and paint or stain it if you’d like), print the word or shape you would like and place the print on the board, use your hammer to outline the print in nails and finally use your string and wrap it from nail to nail until you’re happy with the look. Don’t worry if you can’t cut the board yourself, most all home improvement stores will cut a few pieces for you at no charge when you purchase from them. When you’re stringing the yarn from nail to nail try and make it as random as possible and in all directions. Don’t forget to tie a tight knot at your beginning and ending points!
I hope my brother knows I must really love him to make a Brave’s sign in this SF Giant’s house! Happy weekending everyone!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Time for bed!!

       I have a big DIY building project for everyone today! I'm not going to lie, this project is NOT for the faint of heart and beginning wood workers, it definitely had its challenges. I needed LOTS of help with this bed, and a couple points along the way I thought it might not even be working right at all! My hubby was a major part of the planning and construction of this massive bed. With that said....I am soooo in love with it! It makes me happy every time I look at it. Love, love, love. I don't regret taking on such a big project because it was so worth it. 
       I found these amazing plans on one of my favorite websites, by Ana White of course. The original plans can be found HERE. I followed the plans almost exactly...for the most part. One of the major changes I made was to have the mattress sit IN the frame, not sitting on top like Ana's. Due to this change I added a few inches to the width of the frame, but this didn't affect the headboard and footboard measurements. Those stayed exactly the same. Another decision you will want to think about is do you want to adjust the plans to use a box spring? Or have the mattress sit directly on top of the wooden frame? I had mine sit right on top of the wooden frame because I thought having the box spring would make the height too tall. I am glad we decided this, I think the height came out just right. I forgot to mention this masterpiece is the new guest room bed! Yay! 
        I wanted a very clean, crisp look for this farmhouse bed so I went with bright white paint. Since I was starting with bare wood, which is super absorbent, I did two coats of 3-2-1 Zinsser Primer, then followed with two more coats of bright white. And don't forget to sand it like crazy!! I sanded all the pieces before I even assembled the bed to make it easier. It is more tedious but really pays off when it comes time to paint. I recommend it highly! 
       And lastly, we ended up having to saw 4 inches off the headboard posts. It was too tall and would have caused a big gap between the mattress and the bottom of the headboard. So away it went and now its perfect! Here are some pics to show the building process...they even include some little carpenters in training. Heehee.  
       Here is a coat of this point I realized there were obvious gaps in certain places so I broke out the caulking and had to fill in a few spots before painting the final coats. This makes a big difference in how the final piece looks, so you should do it!!
       Building the bed frame...
       And....the hubby measuring out how to put the whole thing together. I hadn't quite finished painting at this point but I figured I could do it afterwards and it worked just fine.
       The completed bed! It is VERY heavy and sturdy, and was even tested out by the kids who were jumping on the bed. Yikes. If it can hold up to them, then we are good to go!!
       Making that bed was exhausting! But it was so rewarding to create something so pretty for our guest room. We are both so pleased! One of my first guests is my best cousin Rachele in a couple weeks, I hope she enjoys it as much as I do! I can't wait to see her and work on more fun projects. Have a fabulous weekend and try to stay cool in this sweltering heat!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Shimmy on over!

I’m a sucker for a simple project, and this, my friend, is as simple as it gets. I’ve mentioned Shims before, I love using them and buy them in the larger contractor’s packs for only $5! Shims are really light weight and usually used as spacers or to make things fit together, but I am finding all kinds of décor uses for them. My latest project is a wooden shim table runner for our dinning table.
I used my two favorite Rustoleum stains {Dark Walnut & Weathered Gray} and mixed them together to make varying shades. I put one quick coat of stain on the shims with a foam brush and let them dry.
While they were drying I took an old drop cloth to use as a base and cut a piece to the size and length needed. The shims I used were 12 inches long, so I cut the drop cloth 10 inches wide so it fit nicely underneath and wouldn’t show. Once the shims were dry I got my glue gun out and spent the next 5 minutes gluing the shims to the drop cloth. Shims are tapered so I alternated each one to give the runner a little dimension.
I have been wanting to bring more wood tones into the kitchen to compliment the wood flooring we put in and this definitely did the trick! It only took half the pack of shims to complete the table runner so all in all it cost less than $5 to make! I have already started another project using the remainder of the shims and I can’t wait to have it finished!  You can use any scrap material as a base and make the runner to fit any size table. I like that it is not your typical fabric runner, it is unique and brings character to the space! Shimmy on down to the hardware store and buy yourself some shims, their uses are endless!

Friday, July 18, 2014

DIY wall shelves for $10 or less!!

        I have a super easy, cute, and inexpensive project for you all today!! Those are absolutely the best kind! These wall shelves can be made in record time, and with the use of leftover paint, stain, and sandpaper, you can make them for $10 each. I made two for the playroom wall in one afternoon! Including painting them! I wanted a way to display a wall of family photos without putting a million little holes in the wall. This seemed like the perfect solution and I loooove the way it turned out. These shelves definitely make my top 10 list of easy and fabulous DIY projects. 
        The building plans are simple and can be found on Ana Whites website HERE. The only part that could make this difficult is how long I decided to make my shelves, they are almost 8 feet long. It was a tad difficult to do by myself but I got it to work okay. Here are my shelves unfinished...
And the finished cute!!
      I hope this inspires you to add a couple $10 shelves to your walls this summer! It can fill a large empty wall or you can make smaller ones to fit in tight spaces. And finish them to your personal home decor, painted white, stained dark walnut, or whatever your heart desires. Have fun and enjoy the creative process!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Love me some USA!

July already! In three short days you’ll be celebrating Independence Day with family, BBQs and fireworks, woo!! I thought it was the perfect time to share one of my latest projects; a rustic wooden sign featuring the good ‘ol US of A! Originally my mission was to make some sort of ‘manly’ wall décor for my brother, which I did, but the hubs and I ended up liking it so much that I made another for us!

What was great about this project was the fact it cost me $7.50 to make both, not each, both! I took myself down to Lowes {my glorious home away from home} and bought 5 fence boards at $1.50 each. The fence boards aren’t great quality and are made from cheap wood but they’re light weight, and their imperfections are perfect for the beat up look I wanted. To make one yourself you’ll only need 3 fence boards and it will only cost you $4.50, sweeeeet!!
Okay, first step… sand those suckers down! You want a rustic look, but you don’t want splinters, so give them a once over to smooth them out a bit. Next, cut 2 fence boards in half and the last board into fourths. You’ll have 4 equal pieces for the sign and 4 smaller pieces to use on the back (you really only need 2 of the smaller pieces for the back, so save 2 for a future use). I stained my boards, which you don’t have to do, but I wanted them dark, so I used my Rustoleum Stain in Dark Walnut and wiped it off as soon as I put it on. To attach your boards together you’ll need to screw your smaller pieces onto the backs. Flip your boards over, line them up and place the 2 small boards on vertically, drilling one wood screw into each board, on each side. I really didn’t explain that well, so look at the picture below to see the back of my signs. Don’t forget to pre drill a pilot hole- otherwise your boards will split!
To get the shape of the United States I made a giant stencil by printing the outline on printer paper, taping the pages together, cutting them out, placing them on my sign and tracing the outline on. I found an awesome website, it had multiple maps and outlines of the US and of each state individually, it lets you decide what size you’d like to print, based on how many pages it will use. I chose a 3x3, so 9 pieces of paper; you can print on 1 sheet of paper or all the way up to an 8x8 on 64 pages! Click HERE to be taken to the website.
Alright, your sign is made, stencil done, time to trace the outline on and paint! I painted along the edges first to give myself a buffer and finished by painting the entire US white. After the paint dried I took the signs back outside and sanded them down a little more to distress and rough them up so the wood showed through the white paint. I made each sign in an afternoon, so it really didn’t take much time and I ended with two rustic signs, one for my brother and one for JD’s man room.
I have seen these types of decorative signs in stores lately and they are expensive! No thank you! You can easily make your own and customize it, I think an individual state would look great and one with a world map would be awesome! Happy Independence Day from the Poplin’s and Ramseier’s, I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th of July!!


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