Thursday, July 24, 2014

Easy Succulent Driftwood Planter

This project was super easy. And when I say super easy I mean super, super, super easy. I had introduced you to this driftwood candle holder about a year ago. You can see the original tutorial here. Well, I have three of these throughout my household and decided it was time for a bit of a change.

I had already preserved this piece of driftwood following these steps.  If your driftwood fits into the oven you can bake it on low heat (200 degrees) for about an hour. This will get the bugs out, and dry the wood out to prevent rot later on. I typically bake pinecones at Christmas time.

This piece also already had holes drilled in it. But you can easily drill holes into the wood.

I picked up these fake succulent pieces at Michael's when they were on sale for $1 a piece.

Then I simply cut the stems to fit and glued them into the holes.

There you have it. Super easy, but packs a punch!

Monday, July 21, 2014

How to Upgrade Your Old and Ugly Media Console

Ok you guys, as promised an awesome furniture transformation on my return from Costa Rica...

As you know this year I have been working on my living room. In fact I talked about this in my very first post at the beginning of the year which you can see here. The last big project on the list for my living room is the media console. 
Yes, it functions well for us. But it is UGLY. Sorry honey. My husband bought this off of craigslist a few years ago because it functioned well. He is a function over fashion guy where I am quite the opposite. It's actually a good balance for us.

Here is the side view. I grabbed the camera while we were in the planning stages of how to modify this project, so that's why the square and wood are in the pics.

So on Mother's day we cleaned out the console and dragged it out to the garage to begin the transformation. And then we lived like this for about 2-3 weeks. 

And here's our dining room table.

Let's get down to the building...I wanted to add sides to cover up the metal legs and enclose the open shelves. I just don't like that contemporary look. That look might be ideal for some, but it's just not my style. So I added a piece of wood to the bottom to match the top the width of the top and be able to add a side. 

I was then able to just put a piece of plywood onto the side and drill from the top and into the bottom.

You can see where I drilled the top from here.

Next, we added a frame to the front. We used 1x2's for the frame. 

I drilled the top and bottom directly into the console. And then I used a kreg jig to attach the center pieces. 

So we framed out the two cupboards on the sides and the middle pull down drawers. Now the entire console is enclosed and we're able to add doors. 
At this point I took a time out from building and added a coat of paint. By doing this before adding the doors I can better ensure that there won't be any unpainted areas. 

Next, we took a piece of laminated pineboard for the frame of the doors on the front of the console. The pineboard came as a large piece of plywood. This gave us pleny of wood and plenty left over for the next project.
First we traced an outline to follow using the base of the console as our guide. Then we took the drill press and drilled a hole in the middle. From the hole we used the jig saw and cut out to the line. 

In doing this the wood broke. But it was an easy fix with some wood glue and clamps.

So we tried a new tactic. We used the drill to drill four holes on the inside corner of our traced line. Then we took the jigsaw and cut hole to hole. This worked out much better.

Next, we used the router to make the front of the door into a frame to be able to
hold the metal mesh.

Now we moved onto the metal mesh used on the doors of the console. These came in a 12 inch by 48 inch sheet from Lowes. Home Depot has them too, I checked.

We had used a sharpie to draw a line on the mesh where the door frame would fit and then we just cut accross the line.

After cutting, the mesh just sat inside the door frame.

Next, we gave everything a coat of black paint.

We used these little screws to attach the mesh to the door frames.

And then we attached the hinges and drawer pulls. 

Finally, we added the trim! I was so excited at this point, that I just couldn't wait to put it back into the house!!! For the trim we used pieces of aluminum angle iron. Each piece was four feet long. We also used large decorative nail heads. Unfortunately, they only come in bronze or at least at my local store they only come in bronze. So I painted them.

We had bought a saw blade for the jig saw that can be used for metal but we returned it because we never actually used it. My hubby discovered that using the hand saw worked really well. He started at the corner and just cut right through in a matter of seconds.

We just lined up the aluminum pieces and used the sharpie to trace the line for our cuts. Then we added a coat of paint. I also added a coat to the nail heads. We have all of these cardboard coasters so I just stuck them into a few coasters in order to easily paint them. Styrofoam would work even better, but we didn't have any.

Once all the aluminum dried we put the trim back on the console base and I used the sharpie to draw a dot where I thought the nail head should go. There was no science to do this, I really just put a dot where the trim should go. Next, we drilled a hole where I added the dot.

We put the trim back on the base of the console. We used the drill to drill through the hole on the trim to be able to add the nail heads.  

After both holes were drilled we added the nail heads and used a rubber mallet to hit it in the rest of the way.

You can see in this picture that not everything is painted and there are lots of dings and dents in the paint. This was a learning process for us and we had to try and retry lots of things in this process. I also almost broke my ankle during this process! Yikes! Glad I didn't. But because this tutorial is already 100 miles long (sorry for that) I thought I would leave most of that out.

In the end we added about 4-5 coats of paint. We used flat black by rustoleum and we didn't polycoat.  So in between each coat we did a light sanding with a fine grit paper. The finish is actually smoother than most of our furniture with poly coating.

I could not be happier with our new media console. 

Some of the materials we owned and some we did not. But here is a break down of what you would need to buy:
Wood used to frame the base: $30 (half sheet of plywood and 1X2's)
Laminated pineboard: $30 (1 board)
Metal Mesh: $40 (4 pieces at $10 each)
Little Screws: $3 (1 bag)
Hinges and Pulls: $32 (4 hinges and 4 pulls at $4 each)
Aluminum Angle Iron: $28 (4 pieces at $7 each)
Nail Head Trim: $10 (5 packs at $2 each) 
spray paint: $24 (6 cans at $3 each)
 Total Cost: $197

I'll leave you with one more before and after shot, because the transformation is pretty amazing!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Gatsby Inspired Ladder Stitch Wrap Bracelet

Again, a huge apology for all of the technical difficulties when this blog post originally went live. But now we are on track and I want to thank Lana for sharing this BEAUTIFUL piece of arm candy with us. I love it!!! 

Do you want to look like you are going to a Gatsby party but not spend like you are going to a Gatsby party?

Great.  We have some common ground.
This was the first piece I made…

The technique was based off this tutorial I found by DanniAndChels:
Watch the video very closely because I’m not going over technique in this blog.  I’m just going to tell you how I took the earthy leather wrap bracelet and made it into a dazzling fancy wrist piece.  This tutorial is one of those Medium Hard ones for the hardcore crafters. The technique isn’t hard, it’s just tedious work.  With that said…

Here’s what you’ll need:
-The focal point pendant of your choice.  You can order one from Etsy, Michael’s or if you are near LA, the jewelry district is candy for the child inside.

-Leather cord (you can use fake leather cords). I used “black” in this example.  The size depends on how many tiers you want.  I never use real measurements.  I just fold the cord in half and wrap it around my arm a couple of times with roughly 2 extra inches.

-Martha Stewart Metallic  Acrylic Craft Paint. This one is rose gold and non-toxic.

-Rhinestone chain. I used white rhinestones in a gold colored chain.  The length should be the same as the cord MINUS the 2 inches. You can order yours from Etsy or other online vendors.  Just search for “rhinestone chain.”

-Needle and thread. I used a light wheat/beige tone.  

Here’s the process:
When I made my first piece, I knew in my mind that I wanted the leather cord to have a metallic shine, but I didn’t want it to be too shiny.  I decided to use metallic paint.  I clipped the cord by the tip from my hanging fruit basket and randomly brushed the metallic paint all over.  Don’t worry about patterns or missing spots, the point is to look distressed and vintage. 

After around 4 hours, my piece was dry.  I like to let it dry overnight because I want to make sure it’s completely dry.  The next step is to fold the cord in half and tie a simple knot at the bend.  The goal here is to leave a loop big enough to go over the pendant.  This will be the loop that acts as a fastener on your bracelet.  (Refer to the tutorial link if you are unsure on how to tie the knot).
Once you have the knot in place, you take your needle and thread, **I measured the thread by pulling out 3 times the size of my cord and folded the thread in half**, and sew your knot in place.  Weave in and out of different spots on the knot and tighten the thread to keep the knot from unraveling. 

In other tutorials, beads were used, but I’m a fancy lady and I have fancy needs.  I use the rhinestone chain.  To start incorporating the chain, you hold the chain in place between the two cords.  The first open space between the rhinestones is where you will be binding the thread to the cords.  I wrap the thread around several times like I’m making a scarf around the space to make sure the first stone isn’t loose.  In the tutorial, the girl goes through the bead with a needle, but because this is a chain, you are wrapping the needle around the space between the rhinestones and pulling tightly towards the cord.
You don’t want to pull too tight because the cords will naturally push the chain out and be misshapen, but you don’t want to go too loose where your chain can shift around uncomfortably.

The pattern should look like a ladder.  If you find that the chain is popping up or sinking below the cords terribly, you may want to change the pattern a little.  If you are wrapping around from in front, switch to wrapping from behind.  If you forget your pattern, don’t worry.  I usually forget what I started with and end up wrapping in different patterns.  It hasn’t affected my bracelets one bit.
When you get close to the end, the pendant has to be added.  Pendants are built for necklaces.  They should have a loop for you to string them onto your chain.  In our case, we will be using that loop to attach it to our finished bracelet.

In the picture above, I attached the pendant first and did the loop last.  You can do either way.  I just wanted to show you the final knot.  Again, you sew the knot tight to keep it from unraveling.  Once you are done, you wrap it around your arm, throw the loop over the pendant and boom! Gatsby Party time!

I wish you the best of luck!!! Comment below with the pictures of your wraps!