Saturday, November 19, 2011

Make a 24" Round table top

I decided a while ago that I wanted a round table in the play room. Initially, I wanted it to be about 30", but when I actually measured that out, I realized it was WAY too big. So I pulled up my old Ikea Lack table to gauge what size I'd want, and decided on 24".

When I priced it out at Lowe's, a 24" round tabletop is about $18. I couldn't even find them online at Home Depot. So, since I'm cheap, I sat down with Sketch-Up to figure out how many 1x3s I would need..

Since I had a 25" scrap, I only needed to buy two 1x3s.

When you're planking boards together, you need to find absolutely straight boards. Sometimes you can get away with a slight bow... But not now. GET. STRAIGHT. BOARDS! If you can find 3 straight furring strips, you can make a 24" round tabletop for under $5.50. And if you have a 25" scrap, you can make it for about $3.50. Here's to savin' a buck! Or about... $15!

Cut list (these are all 1x3s, so I'll just list the length)

2 @ 15"
2 @ 20"
2 @ 23"
2 @ 24 1/2"
2 @ 25"

Make all of your cuts. If you lay them all out, they'll look like this.

And of course you're going to have a pink stethoscope and Hungry Hungry Hippos nearby....

Figure out the middle of each board and mark it. I was too lazy to find my tape measure (which was sitting pretty in front of my miter saw, I'd later found out), so I used a string.

Use a square to mark a line across your boards in the center. You'll be doing this to all of them.You'll see why in a few moments.

When you screw your boards together, you'll line up all of the lines in the center so your circle doesn't start to get wonky. The cuts were made to create as little excess as possible, so you really shouldn't skip this step.

Pre drill pocket holes on every other board (if you're paying attention. if you're not good at paying attention, like me, it won't look very pretty.... luckily this is the bottom :-p). Make sure the screws go into the neighboring board about every 6". Use a lot of glue, and be very careful when assembling to keep the boards flush. This will help with sanding, later.

Ok... So, you know how like.. when you use a protractor, and you change the angle of the pencil and it throws the whole thing off? Well, I know that I can NOT hold a pencil at a consistent angle for my life, so there was pretty much no way I was going to be able to make a perfect circle. So I made a fail-proof jig!

Grab a scrap board that's about 14-15". Nail a brad nail straight through the board. The straighter the nail, the more accurate your jig is gonna be. Measure 12" from the nail and mark. You'll use a 1/4" bit to drill a hole just a TAD wider than a #2 pencil! You might have to wiggle the pencil in, but all you really need is for the lead to get through! 

Firmly press the nail into the line between your two middle boards (count 5 boards in). 

Ok, ok, it was upside down for the picture. I wish I could say it was to show you what I meant, but... it was an accident.

The line you drew is the middle of the boards, lengthwise, and between the 5th boards in is the middle width-wise. That's where you're firmly pressing your brad into (not TOO firmly, you just want it to stay put.)

Put your pencil into the pre-drilled hole and rotate!

Do a pretty darned kick-ass job (if I do say so myself!) with your jig saw to cut it out,

And then sand!!

Then... wait a few days, because you've completely exhausted yourself, to actually do a table.. :-)

Soo... since you've seen this... I'm assuming it's safe to say you'll see another post with a 24" table top soon....

maybe :-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A note about an easel

In regards to my previous post with plans for a PB Inspired Display Easel, I've got a few things to say.

I've seen this easel all over Pinterest with people saying that it would be great for a flat screen. While my easel has great structural integrity, I would definitely "beef up" the assembly if you plan to use it for more than picture frames/canvases. Use your kreg jig to attach the fronts and backs of the shelves. Screw the shelves onto each leg. Use a chain instead of picture hanging wire. Mostly, use common sense! If you're planning on putting anything heavier than what it's intended for, modify it.

I agree that using this for a TV would be pretty darned awesome (too bad we only have massive ones in the house or I'd probably try it!), but be careful with your investments.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dear Pottery Barn, I'm breaking up with you...

Let's create a Pottery Barn inspired Display Easel!

I've posted a few times that I'm working on getting plans for you. And I really was! But the thing is... my dear friend can't measure anything for her life. Ok, I'm being dramatic.  I asked her to take measurements of the easel for me, but that didn't happen.. So... I did the next best thing.

I broke into her house and stole the easel back!

HAHahahaha... PLEASE tell me that you believed me!!! 

I didn't steal the easel, but she rearranged her room, and there wasn't a place for it anymore. So, I went over and picked it up (WITH permission!). And I was finally able to take the measurements so that I could throw this into sketch-up. How much do you love me?

For this super cheap, super easy Pottery Barn knock-off, you'll need:

4 - 1 x 2 x 8 (furring strips are under $1 each - and if you have a 10" scrap, you'll only need 3!)
2 - 1 x 3 x 8 (furring strips are under $2 each)
1 - set of 1" hinges (like these from Lowe's)
2 - eye hooks
1 - 12" (approx) of string or picture hanging wire

*Note - you can buy a picture hanging kit that has the wire & eye hooks for about $3, but I was unable to find it online. 

BEFORE WE GET STARTED! Let me tell you that it will make your life immensely easier if you sand all of your boards prior to cutting. And AFTER you cut, stain them. THEN assemble. That way you don't have to get into a ton of crevices...

Cut List:

2 - 1 x 3 @ 29" (top shelf's back and bottom)
2 - 1 x 3 @ 37" (bottom shelf's back and bottom)
1 - 1 x 2 @ 29" (stop shelf's front)
1 - 1 x 2 @ 37" (bottom shelf's front)
2 - 1 x 2 @ 53 1/4", both ends cut at 20 degrees, parallel (outside legs)
2 - 1 x 2 @ 50 3/4", both ends cut at 10 degrees, parallel (middle legs)
2 - 1 x 2 @ 37" (stand sides)
2 - 1 x 2 @ 9" (stand dividers)

Step 1:

Build your shelves by attaching the back and front to the bottom using glue and 1 1/4" finishing nails. You COULD use screws, but that just means more to fill.

You should have done this twice

Step 2:

Lay the legs on the ground so that the tops and bottoms are even (I had a straight board at the bottom that i slid them up to in order to make them even). The tops should be 2-3" apart. Put the shelves on top and glue/nail into place. Make sure you nail into all legs on both shelves.

Step 3:

Build your stand. Using pocket holes, screw the dividers into the sides, as shown below. If you do not have a pocket hole jig, you CAN pre-drill through the sides. Drill slowly and carefully and countersink.

Step 4:

Attach your hinges to the top of the stand and then to the back of the legs of the easel. I attached mine just under the top shelf.

Step 5:

Screw eye hooks into the middle divider of the stand, and the middle of the bottom shelf. Tie a cord into both hooks.

Step 6:


See? Wasn't that easy!?

And look how awesome it is!

This location actually makes me want to keep it! (my room is NOT that beige - it's overcast and the light's all weird today).

*Update: November 9, 2011 - Please see this post with a few notes about the easel.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Crappy mock-up...

Since I painted the stripes on the wall in the play room, I've had this urge to put oversized yo-yos or fabric florets (like... 12" oversized!) up there in coordinating fabrics. Using my messy picture from yesterdays post, I got into Photoshop and created a crappy mock-up of what I THINK I want.

They would NOT be those colors, but those were the sizes I WANTED. Now I'm thinking those look so DENSE and HEAVY compared to the new light fixtures.

I would obviously NOT be using those colors (I actually have a lot of the polka dot fabric from the window seat cushion, and would probably do a couple with that - and some other LIGHT colors), but I really don't want these big, heavy flower BLOBS oh the wall.

A way that I thought to balance everything was to try to picture how it would look with the table I plan on building when I get over my lazy streak.. so like... never? eventually.

Enter, ANOTHER crappy Photoshop mock-up

No, I do not plan on making another train table. I couldn't get it to look right in Photoshop. DEAL WITH IT!

Anyhow, I think ALL of that just takes any light/airy feeling that was in the room and stomps on it violently until all that's left are dissipating particulates. Is it hard for you to breathe?! Because it is for me!

Ok. Not happenin'.

Since that "vision" totally went out the window, I'm now wondering if I should put ANYTHING on that wall? Or just throw the table in there, and be done with it?

Yeah, that looks SO much better to me. I guess we'll see after the REAL table is built and put in. Unless you have any ideas..? PLEASE?!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I wrengled me some cords, y'all!

Yeah, I don't know if I'm good at typing with a southern accent (or "ak-see-unt" as I used to say it... that was one of the last words I was able to "fix" - couldn't say "Wal Mart," "bag," or "accent" without an accent for the longest time!). Wow, love my tangents?! Anyhow, typing with a southern accent may not be my strong suit, but I sure did wrangle some cords!

Remember the awkward cords running down my wall in my Pinterest Challenge post?

here, i'll refresh your memory

Well, they irked Mr. Goats. Actually, I don't think he's completely sold on these lights (probably because there SHOULD be a table beneath them..? maybe?), but the complaints he was able to verbalize (without offending me) were about the cords. So I went to Lowe's and got one of these.

There are cheaper ones that are meant for single cords, but I [obviously] had two cords that needed to be contained. Anyhow, I ripped it open and set to work painting it. That seriously took less than two minutes (most of it was finding something to open my can of paint with). There are adhesive strips on the back, so you just peel those off and attach it to the wall. Shove the cords in and press the front on. Seriously, this thing couldn't have been more simple! The only thing I'm torn about is whether to leave it solid, or to paint the strips from the back wall onto it. Any suggestions?

I bought these pillows a couple of weeks ago with the intention of making pretty covers to match the rest of the play room. But... we all know my motivational issues... it'll get done EVENTUALLY, but they don't bug me a ton for right now.

 We're ignoring my mess, since we're close friends, and all....

I think that improves the look substantially! Makes me want to get the kinds that are meant for baseboards and cover up cords around my bedroom!

Yeah, that probably won't happen.

Anyhow, I think this under $10 fix makes a world of difference! It definitely "cleans up" the look.

How 'bout you? Think it matters at all?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pinterest Challenge - FALL Edition!

These Pinterest Challenges over at Young House Love  are seriously needed to get me off my butt. Like... If they didn't happen, I would sit here in front of the computer, drinking my iced coffee through a licorice straw all day. True story.

Ok, I lied. I can't do coffee through licorice. That's saved for my EVENING drinks.

Back to the challenge!

From the blog, "The only rule is to do your take on something inspirational that you’ve pinned, so it can be anything- big or small (decor or sewing or cooking related – or beyond)."

So I went through my pin boards to try to narrow it down. Since I only pin things that I actually plan on taking inspiration from eventually (as opposed to pinning anything sparkly), this wasn't so hard. I immediately jumped to my LIGHT The Way board, and reread all of the tutorials from my pins.

and i should categorize my boards, apparently... WHOOPS!

I have genuine interest in ALL of those lights, but I decided to go with the Moooi knock-offs, and didn't follow any of the tutorials exactly. The gist of these lights is to wrap yarn around a ball and have the yarn saturated with an adhesive. One of the tutorials used wallpaper glue, another one glued the yarn as she wrapped...

I chose a much easier and much cheaper way.

  • Elmer's Glue
  • Cotton Thread (the cheap kind from Wal Mart)
  • Balls
  • (not pictured) Vaseline

(you also need a little bit of water, a bowl to put the glue/water mixture in, scissors, and somewhere to hang the balls)

I chose to suspend my balls (you guys! Stop laughing!) from my garage door opener. NOT a good idea if you plan on USING it any time soon... But I wasn't planning on going anywhere (and I parked in the driveway).

It's a good idea to hang them about chest-level, so that you can easily access all parts of the ball.

I covered all three balls with Vaseline, but I honestly don't think that part was necessary. If you're using these slick (god, i can't get my mind out of the gutter) balls, the dried yarn will come right off. But better safe than sorry, non?

Mix the glue & water. My first batch was way too watery, so I'd suggest using a 2 part glue to 1 part water ratio. Just dump the glue in a bowl, fill the glue container half way with water and then mix it.

Then I just dropped the yarn ball into the glue/water, and thoroughly saturated it. Grabbed one end of yarn, and wrapped it randomly around the ball...

At this point, I was completely covered in glue, and my ball was losing air.

If you do this, don't go THROUGH the loop! Just tie a knot around the whole thing. I had to blow the ball up (yes, it was covered in glue and vaseline, and I was pulling glue out of my nose hairs ALL DAY) and "seal" it with a screw.

You can see in the above picture that I left a large area open. That's for light bulb access. I would have never thought of that. Like.. I'd be trying to slip a bulb and my man-hands through these tiny holes... So thank god for tutorials!!!

Let it dry COMPLETELY. And by that, I mean like ALLLL DAY! I kept going back to these and poking them, and they were soft until the next morning. I was so scared it wasn't going to work!

After you've waited (longer than your impatient self could tolerate, because you wanted this done RIGHT, right?)... remove the inner ball. If you've used beach balls, you can just deflate them (just don't press TOO firmly when trying to get all the air out). Otherwise, I'd suggest poking small holes in your ball so that the air will come out slowly, and you can gently "release" the ball from sticking.

Oh... And when the ball is out... DO NOT STORE THESE WHERE KIDS CAN GET THEM!!!

I am still crying over this. Luckily, two of them made it!

I bought some HEMMA light kits from IKEA (for $3 and change/each), placed the kid's toy where I approximate a future table will go, and hung my balls!

I can't tell you how COOL these look in person. It casts a shadow that looks like a spider web on the walls. SO awesome.

There are still little glue pieces stuck in places, but you really can't tell. I keep trying to pick them off, anyway.

And when the lights are off, they still just look killer.

The wire and I are battling it out, though. It's staying put for now... but I think that's because I threatened to melt it. It was dangling with my balls before.

Eventually I plan on getting cord covers and painting them to match the wall.

Like these from Home Depot.

But that'll probably wait until the NEXT Pinterest Challenge. Maybe I'll have redone the purple one by then. HA!

Are you into Pinterest? Participating in the Challenge? I can't wait to see what everyone else enters!