Craft Projects, Quick and Easy Crafts

Impromptu wood “frame”

My daughter is a lucky girl. She is so loved by our family and our friends and you can feel it in her nursery. Her walls are adorned with pieces of art that loved ones have made for her. It warms my soul.

flamingo-painting

Our friend Kate just painted a sweet flamingo painting for her, so I made an impromptu frame for it (if you can call it that).

wood

I found a piece of scrap wood in our basement and cut it down to size with a jigsaw. Then, I sanded down the edges.

tacks

After centering the painting on the wood, I tacked it down with, yes, tacks.

drillmarks

Then I drilled two holes for twine so I could hang the frame on the wall. It was a quick and easy way to display her beautiful new piece of art.

flamingoframe

Check out some of Kate’s other beautiful artwork.

 

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Craft Projects, Quick and Easy Crafts

Floral Mason Jar Wall Vases

I never really hung up all of our photos and artwork in our bedroom since I painted it, oh, a year or two ago. I love our wedding pictures, but I wanted more color on the walls. And it’s basically taken me forever to do so.

This is what our bedroom looked like in February of 2015.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_bed before

We slapped some brighter paint on the walls and got a new bed frame…

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_final2

Redid the hardwoods and moved around furniture….

Bedroom_final2

And that’s where it’s been since March of this year.

I’ve moved photos around to different walls and our floral painting that used to live in our room now hangs beautifully above our new sideboard.

It was time to make something to fill the empty walls on either side of the window behind our bed. I have wanted to make my own version of these glass bottle wall vases for quite some time, but I didn’t want them white, I didn’t want to use plumbing hardware and I don’t drink Starbucks bottled drinks…. 

So I made up my own. I started with scrap wood that I cut to similar sizes on my mitre saw. I eye-balled the sizes because perfection is overrated.

masonjarflorals_scraps

Once I had the pieces cut, I drilled two different sets of holes in each piece: Two at the top for the hanger and two toward the middle to secure my jars.

masonjarflorals_holes

Then I smoothed each piece down with some sandpaper before throwing a quick coat of stain on them.

masonjarflorals_stain

I let these dry for a hot sec, then started adding hangers to each mason jar floral.

masonjarflorals_twinehanger

Once all six had hangers attached (just some knotted twine), I threaded twine through an upholstery needle and stared attaching the mason jars.

masonjarflorals_twineloops

To do so, I looped the twine through the pre-drilled holes so I ended up with four loops.

masonjarflorals_twinejar

Then I stuck my jelly jar into the loops and started tightening the twine. I am only planning on using these for faux florals, so they don’t have to be able to hold anything heavy. The twine keeps them taught to the wood and they don’t seem to have much risk of coming loose. I’ll let you know if they come crashing out in the middle of the night (that would suck!).

masonjarflorals_twine

Once I got the jar settled, I tightened and knotted the heck out of the twine on the back side.

masonjarflorals_knot

The first one I did wasn’t tight enough, so when it hung I could wobble the jar. I got all of them tight enough so when I wiggle the board, no jars move around. If you have a curved upholstery needle, I think you’d be able to actually do this easier because you could tighten the twine as you loop through the drilled holes. But I wasn’t able to do that with my straight needle.

Once I had all six of these made, I took a bunch of leftover florals and cut them down to make six jar fillers. I made three sets of matching florals for my set of 6 wall vases. I found it was helpful to tie each floral bunch with twine at the base to keep things together since mason jars aren’t really vases.

masonjarflorals_2

Then B and I hung them up on either side of our bed!

masonjarflorals_3

I think they are adorable! Brian had the idea of putting tea lights in them instead, but I don’t think we’d light them often enough to make it worth it. Plus, I like the pop of color.

masonjarflorals_4

Since I had all of these supplies on hand, these didn’t cost me a penny. It took me about 2 hours to make all six, including staining them and making the florals. Not bad!

masonjarflorals_5

Now I just need to find a few more spots in our room to add in some extra color! These little wall vases were a great place to start for sure.

Furniture

DIY Poplar Trestle Desk

A couple of months ago I wrote about starting up my Etsy shop. I got great feedback on my designs, and even better advice for opening up a shop. I was inspired to buy myself a large format printer so I can start designing and selling prints on Etsy! Woo!

So I bought my printer, then quickly realized I have no place to set it up. As our office was set up, there was a desk for Brian, then a reading nook for me. I made the (surprisingly hard) decision to sell my comfy red chair and ottoman to make room and fund a desk.

Reading Nook

I had so many ideas when it came to building the desk — so much so that I acted too quickly on one of them.

Let’s start with the top:

At first I wanted to get a butcher block countertop from either Restore or Ikea. My coworker and friend Carrie talked me out of that, encouraging me to instead build the top myself. She let me borrow her Kreg Jig so I could join two pieces of wood to make one nice top.

Once I scrapped the butcher block idea, I went to Home Depot to select wood for the project. I’d used pine before on my console table, so I knew how soft of a wood pine is. Not my best bet for a desk top. I had two additional selections: Poplar and Oak. Oak would have been the best choice, but at $12/foot, so not affordable. I opted to buy 12 feet (cut into two 6-foot pieces) of poplar at $5.XX (can’t remember exactly) per linear foot. Sidenote: Thank goodness for the Home Depot employee and a fellow customer who helped me make the decision to go with poplar. I was heading down a whole other route and they steered me clear or that disaster.

I got the poplar home and broke out the Kreg Jig — take your time and make sure you measure correctly, then have at it. It is a super easy tool to use and I loved it. It’s on my wishlist 🙂 For those who don’t know, the Kreg Jig is a tool that allows you to drill angled pocket holes into wood. For the top, I drilled pocket hole into both pieces of poplar for extra strength. (I swear I took a photo of this, but I cannot find itanywhere. Le sigh.) I clamped the two boards together, then screwed them together using Kreg screws.

Poplar_Unjoined

I ended up with a top for my desk that was sturdy, but needed a lot of sanding. I cut down the ends so the boars were even, then got to work sanding. You can see in the photo in the middle of the two boards where one board was a little bowed compared to the other. I spent hours sanding away to make the whole top flat.

Desk_temporary set up

I finally got the top sanded so the seam was flush. Then I stained it a mixture of black and walnut. I only left the stain on for about 30 seconds because I didn’t want a dark finish on the desk. After that dried, I did three coats of poly.

Check out this color and wood grain. Yowza!

stain

Now for the legs:

Ideally, my desk would have four hairpin legs. And in reality, I’m not convinced I won’t eventually splurge and buy them. Brian hates them, and they are pricey — so that was enough for me to avoid them for now.

I thought instead of hairpin legs I’d buy cabinets for the base of the desk, so I hunted and hunted and found two 30-inch cabinets from Restore. Ugh, best of intentions. They were the right height, but the depth so did not work. I quickly realized this and promptly abandoned ship. Anyone want two old, crappy cabinets that have been rained on a few times? No? Yeah, me either.

Base Cabinet

I cut my losses with that idea pretty quickly, moving on to plan b: Ikea trestle legs.

Desk_temporary set up

You can see in this image the legs I bought from Ikea. $10 each, $20 total. Not too bad. The downside: They are a little shorter than I’d like, the middle leg kinda gets in the way, they don’t screw into the desk and the color.

Well, I fixed the color pretty quickly, and tried to fix the screwing in issue:

Legs_Before and AFter

Gold legs! Oww owwwww! And some freshly drilled holes in the top bar. For some reason, I still couldn’t get a screw to stay in the poplar from that angle, so they are only screwed in with one screw… total. Haha oh well!

Ready for the reveal?

Desk_Sideview

Check out that pretty desk!

Desk_New1

If you look to the right, you’ll notice a smaller side table with my printer on it! Originally, I thought I’d have the printer on the desk. But it takes up a ton a room (26-inches wide). Plus, with the legs not screwed in I’m wary of having the expensive printer on it (not that I think the desk is about to fall apart). Now I can set up my printer and my shop 🙂

OK, one more view of the desk:

Desk_Side

You can see my turtle print I got at graduation and my Maryland quilt. Go Terps! It’s basically like I’m still on campus when I’m working from home. Except my view from home is sweeter.

I also took my office invasion as an opportunity to purge items from our closet and refresh our bookshelves. Hello, rainbow books 🙂

ShelfThere’s a special place in heaven for husbands who let their wives organize their bookshelves by color. And yes, my Harry Potter books get their own spot on the bottom shelf. Duh.