I [didn’t] Make This! – Barn Door

Because of where our bedroom door is, I wanted a sliding door. Because this was in 2012, barn doors were ALL. THE. RAGE. I had to have one.

I did not make it. Husband commissioned his cousin to build and paint it. I did order the hardware, though.  Husband’s cousin came to deliver it and stayed to hang it.  It took him a lot of hours and I was very glad that I was at work during the entire process.

And it’s as beautiful as I thought it would be.

Barn DoorLooking back, we probably could have made it ourselves, but I’m glad we outsourced the job. It was only a couple months before our wedding and there was just a lot going on, so it probably would never have gotten done (and based on our inexperience at that time, if it had, it would have looked pretty terrible).

This was a problem I was happy to throw money at.

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“I totally take requests.” Part Two – A Wooden Arrow

I had been thinking about how to make a mitered arrow for a long time. Then my friend asked me to make her an arrow and I finally just put a time limit on it. And then I stopped freaking out about it having a lot of miter joints.

So I obnoxiously spent a week scouring Pinterest for inspiration, and then two full days cutting out paper in the dimensions of available boards and piecing them together carefully and taking long, discerning looks at my paper creations…

And then I literally threw out the paper and just started cutting some wood. And assembling it. And shortly I had a pretty cute arrow.

Arrrow

In any case, I thought it was cute (and so did my friend!) so I threw it up on Etsy here.

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Free Art for Me – Three Arrow Paintings

I am a fan of free art. I live in a house with a lot of walls and I like to fill them on the cheap.

I had a day off from work this summer and was itching to make something. So, I found some inspiration on Pinterest and some appropriately sized scrap wood and went to work.

Three Arrow Art

When I was finished I asked my husband if he liked them… he said “of course!” as husbands do. I asked my sister and she said “Meh.” Can’t win em all.

Freehand painting is not a talent of mine (clearly) but it was a fun, free project and they are currently adorning a previously empty wall in my house.

What do you think? Are you on team “of course!” or team “meh”? How do you fill your walls – free art or is it something you like to buy?

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A Bookshelf for a Kid

When you’re 30ish (as I am) it’s time for weddings and babies.

When my first close friend announced that she was expecting, I started thinking about making her something for her baby shower.  The tradition of making things for bridal showers hadn’t yet started at hers, so I wanted to make something for her and her new kiddo.

So many decisions!  And much of it hinged on what I could reasonably build, what would be useful, what I could fit in my car and drive up to Massachusetts, what I could carry myself, and what I wouldn’t feel SUPER self conscious about bringing into her aunt’s house. After hemming and hawing for days, I opted for this cute little bookshelf on wheels. She’s an English teacher, after all, so she appreciates book storage.

And so we built it! The handles came out a little wonky (ahem…I mean charming), but honestly it was a fairly simple build that worked out really well. I painted it navy blue and then added some mint polka dots and inner handles to tie in with the baby room colors.

Baby Shelf(So sorry it’s blurry. I only had iPhone pictures and now it’s living elsewhere!)

She liked it! It was actually pretty handy at the shower because everyone brought a book or two and it provided a perfect place to store them after they had been passed around. And it will grow up with the baby (who is like five months old now, can’t believe it!) and be useful for years, I hope.

A few of my friends mentioned to me that I had “won the shower” (by giving the best gift) – of course that’s not true, there were so many amazing and useful items gifted by some incredibly generous women, but it felt so nice to have them say that. I have never been great at gift giving (registries are a lifesaver) and I am kind of awkward, so I felt so …proud, I guess is the right word… to have them say such kind things about something that I spent a lot of time thinking about and making.

This little shelf is certainly something I can custom build for you and list on Etsy, so if you are interested, please send me a message.

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Continuing a Tradition – An Ampersand from 1x2s

Mini Ampersand

You can see how cute it is compared to the large one I made from 2x4s.

I made it for my friend’s bridal shower in June 2014. She hadn’t really expressed desire for anything I had built (um…weird?) but I wanted to make her something because I had done it for our other friends. I like tradition.

She likes miniature things. All things miniature. I know, she’s an odd duck, but at least she’s consistent. It’s a guaranteed winner with her, always. Mini coconuts, mini hot sauce, mini anything, even airplane bottles of rum. So I made her a mini ampersand. And she loved it (um, obviously) and displayed it at her wedding too.

It’s a cake table staple, apparently. (Also, I’d like to point out that’s it’s a mini cake as well, the ampersand is only a foot tall!)

Mini Ampersand - Wedding

I thought it was super cute and was so happy my friend liked it. This group of friends only has one bridal shower left, which I am sad about because I really like making things for them! This tradition will no doubt live on to baby showers (it already has, actually – stay tuned for that next week!)

And of course, I put the mini on Etsy here, so you can order one too!

 

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“I totally take requests.” – An Angular Anchor from 2x2s

At my first friend’s shower (the one who got this ampersand) another friend said “Oh awesome, can I have an anchor?”

I told her I don’t take requests and she’ll get what she gets.  Then I think she forgot about it. But I didn’t.  And I totally do take requests.

I thought about it for like a year, trying to figure out how I could make an anchor in the same style as the ampersand – with angles made from miter cuts instead of traditional curves.

Once I had a design in mind I built it out of a 2×2 board and gave it to my friend at her bridal shower. She was so surprised (since again, she had forgotten about it) and instagrammed it the next day with the hashtag #bestshowergift. It was also displayed at her wedding, which made me so proud!

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Some of my other friends liked it as well so I listed it on my Etsy shop here, if you’d like one for your very own!

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Farmhouse Dining Table

Last Christmas (2013), somehow we offered to host Christmas Morning.  It was just my husband’s family and includes no kids so, easy peasy, “we’ll make you some bacon and eggs if you come over around 10.”

Well, I should say that at first we were like “Sure! It will be great!” And then we counted our chairs and realized that there was no way we could host 6 additional guests and expect them to all sit.  Our existing Ikea table sit mayyybe four comfortably, and we only had four chairs. 

So we built this table. Out of framing lumber. In one weekend. Indoors. It was stressful and messy, but man, oh, man do I love this table.


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There are fancier ones that we could have made, of course (there are all kinds of plans online for them!) but I’m a sucker for clean, straight lines.  The most fun thing about making it? Beating it up to make it look “rustic” – a super fun way to get out some feeeeeelings!

My favorite thing about making stuff is that you can make it custom to your space. A little taller? Sure! A little longer? Of course! A little less wide? No problem.  So this table is an odd size so that it fits in the space while maximizing the number of people that can it can sit. 

This was a more recent project and we were able to take a lot of our previous “learnings” and do a better job on this one.  And I love it!  It’s not quite Restoration Hardware, but for a product of framing lumber, built for under $150 (plus a new sander) it’s really pretty great.

One thing we didn’t really anticipate was shrinkage. I guess as the framing lumber dries it shrinks, so six months after we built it we started noticing that the breadboard ends were longer than the boards in the middle. So that’s a watchout if you build your own – buy the wood in advance and let it sit for six months before you build with it. Or (as we will probably do), just take apart the table and sand it even again.  Or live with it… when you make it, these things are part of the charm.

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