Archive of ‘DIY’ category
My husband is amazing.
I know, gag. Get a room, people! But seriously. He is amazing. Not only because he is an extremely good husband but also because he is an incredibly talented DIY-er, designer, all-round handyman… He is very creative and he has the spatial reckoning skills to really do something with his creativity.
I already showed you the wine rack he built me for Christmas, and this was kind of a bonus New Year’s gift that was installed just in time for our New Year’s Day party.
Boom! This amazingly awesome industrial DIY chandelier that he made out of steel pipe and fittings.
Behold the beauty, my friends.
Well, to take a little credit for myself (hehe), we worked on the design of this light fixture together. Chris came up with the long H-shaped concept, which we thought would work well with the length of our dining room table (also a DIY, by the way). I weighed in on the design by making each section a slightly random length to keep it asymmetrical and more modern-looking. But really, Chris was the mastermind here.
Once the design was hammered out, Chris ordered the fixture parts online (from Zorotools.com, but they’re available at Home Depot too if you want to look at them in person) and simply screwed them all together once they arrived. The assembly literally took less than an hour.
Here’s a diagram if you’re interested in re-creating this chandelier:
|A) Nipple,1 1/2 x 2 In
|B) Floor Flange,1-1/2 In
|C) Reducer,1-1/2 x 1/2 In
|D) Tee,1/2 In
|E) Square Head Plug,1/2 In
|F) Nipple,1/2 x 7 In
|G) Nipple,1/2 x 6 In
|H) Nipple,1/2 x 3 In
|I) Nipple,1/2 x 1 1/2 In
|J) Pipe,1/2 x 24 In
Of course, wiring the fixture, the switch, and the fixture box in the ceiling took a little longer. I’m not going to tell you how to do that. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone accidentally shocking or electrocuting themselves. So, hire an electrician, or if you want to DIY you will find tons of tutorials online on how to wire a light fixture.
Chris spray painted the porcelain bulb sockets black before wiring them. We sprayed the whole thing with clear lacquer to protect the exposed steel (after wiping off the protective oil with some mineral spirits). Right now the light sockets are just sitting inside the fittings. We’re not sure how to attach them yet but we’re thinking silicone caulk might do the trick.
UPDATE: An awesome reader who happens to be a house inspector recommended using 2-part epoxy to glue the sockets onto the frame. Here’s what he said:
I would recommend using 2 part epoxy. It actually will set better with heat and bonds almost anything and can handle heat without deterioration.
The cost for the pipe/fittings was about $38. The ceramic light sockets were free, since we re-used ones from an old ceiling fan that came with the house, but there are similar ones available at Home Depot for around $3 each. The lamp wire is sold by the foot at Home Depot at about $0.40 a foot so about $8 total. The spray paint and spray lacquer cost about $6 total. So for about $70 (actually less for us since we already had the sockets) we have a unique chandelier that costs less than half the price of comparable light fixtures.
Note: We used these budget-friendly lightbulbs. They are incandescent but we figured that since we will only be using this chandelier for meals in the dining room, we didn’t need to splurge on dimmable LEDs.
Here’s a wide shot of our dining/living room. There’s the DIY dining room table Chris built (yes, I know many of you having been clamoring for a tutorial on that…it will come…someday). There are the Goodwill chairs we reupholstered and that we are planning to refinish soon. There’s the Craigslist sofa and the L-shaped sofa table we built behind it. Far in the left corner there’s the green dresser I painted.
Oh and not to mention the sliding glass door we installed (yes, cut a hole in the wall and everything). This room is truly a testament to DIY.
Sharing at SavvySouthernStyle, TheBlissfulBee, Remodelaholic, TatertotsandJello and DIYShowoff!
UPDATE: Instructions and diagrams for building your own DIY wine rack are here!
We still have family in town so things are still a bit crazy, but I’m taking a few minutes to tell you about the awesome Christmas present my husband made for me. I love getting handmade gifts — the thought and effort behind them make them so meaningful.
I had wanted a way to store wine for a while and I had been trolling Craigslist for wine cabinets, but the problem was, we just didn’t have a good place to put a wine cabinet. Chris solved this problem by building a wine rack and mounting it to the wall. It took him a couple afternoons to build, sand, and finish it, and then he wrapped it and hung it up like this (sorry about the grainy pic):
I got to tear the paper off on Christmas morning and reveal this beauty:
This style of wine rack is called a riddling rack. It’s how wine bottles were stored when making sparkling wine — the wine bottles were turned and the angle increased every day, although nowadays few winemakers do this manually anymore.
Chris made this out of redwood fence pickets that he cut, nailed, and sanded. He finished it off with his own homemade Danish oil mixture (1 part oil-based polyurethane, 1 part boiled linseed oil, and 1 part mineral spirits) which gave it a protective finish but kept the natural look of the wood.
It’s not perfect, and the bottles sometimes hang at slightly different angles because of the different bottle shapes, but it works, and I really like it. It is hung on the wall near the “bar” area (although we only have whiskey right now).
I experimented with moving the “bar” table under the wine but it made the sofa seem lopsided on that wall, so I went with it as is. And we finally hung some art and our wooden masks from around the world in that corner.
Chris has promised that he will walk me through the tutorial on how to make this riddling rack soon…so stay tuned for that!
UPDATE: Instructions are here!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/winter holiday. We didn’t host any big events this year…only Christmas breakfast, so I kept things simple:
Just a red and white runner, some mercury glass votives, and my everyday white plates. It was a beautiful morning and the light coming in through the sliding glass door (that we recently installed) was lovely.
Lots more projects to work on in 2014!
Sharing at Remodelaholic, ThriftyDecorChick and TatertotsandJello!
It’s December! Which means it is time for peppermint hot chocolate, fuzzy slippers, twinkling lights, and cozifying! This is such a beautiful time of year with so much inspiration — I only wish we could capture that feeling of creativity throughout the rest of the year.
Our home is getting cozier and cozier. Last week we installed a heat pump to replace our 40+ year-old electric furnace, which means that now we have affordable heat for the winter! Chris has added rigid foam insulation to most of the exterior walls, which means that the heat stays inside MUCH more than before. We have our Christmas tree up and we’ve had a few wood-burning fires in the fireplace, and I’m starting to get serious with decorating and crafting! There’s less than a month till the big 24, so there’s lots to do!
I made this simple wreath from a craft store grapevine wreath form, and some ribbon and shiny plastic balls from the dollar store. Anyone can make this wreath with some inexpensive materials, a glue gun, and an extra half-hour. I hung mine on top of a chalkboard that we have in our kitchen and wrote “Tis the Season” inside the wreath.
I love the earthy texture of the grapevine contrasting with the glamorous shiny ornaments. And I’m still in the midst of my love affair with navy =).
Small grapevine wreath ($3)
Two colors ribbon, about 2 yrds each ($2)
Shiny plastic ornaments, mini and small sizes ($3)
Glue gun and glue
1. Wrap the two ribbons around the wreath form, overlapping with each other. Secure ends on the back of the wreath where they won’t be seen, either by tying a knot or by gluing with the hot glue gun. Cut off excess ribbon.
2. Tie a bow with the two remaining pieces of overlapping ribbons (just a simple regular bow, nothing fancy). Hot glue it to the wreath form.
3. Snip off any hanging string from the ornaments and glue them on the wreath, arranging them as you see fit. It looks nice if you alternate using larger and smaller balls. You can remove any ornaments carefully by peeling off the glue after it has dried. When you’ve arranged the ornaments to your satisfaction, add extra glue to secure them.
4. Tie a loop of ribbon at the top of the wreath to hang it. Tadaa, you’re done!
You can use any extra ornaments on your tree and extra ribbon for tying up presents, so this project really comes in at less than the $8 upfront cost. Simple and easy, just the way I like it!
Check out these other holiday crafts!
Peace and Joy Bunting
DIY Christmas Tree Skirt
What holiday crafts are you working on this December?
Sharing at SavvvySouthernStyle and TheBlissfulBee!
When I told a friend today that we had already put up our Christmas tree, she did a double-take. What, already? The truth is, I put up the tree so that I could take pictures of this holiday craft in action. But really, if you’re going to go to the trouble of putting up a Christmas tree, you might as well enjoy it, right?
I have never owned a Christmas tree skirt. Last year, I just draped a throw blanket around the base of my artificial tree, but this year I decided to plan ahead and make one.
I’ve never found a tree skirt that I like that is affordable — the ones at Walmart are too glitzy, and the ones I like at West Elm and C&B are upwards of $50 — so I decided to make my own. This was a surprisingly easy project, if you have a little experience with sewing. If you’re a beginner, you might want to leave off the pom pom trim, as that was the hardest thing to sew.
This tree skirt has ribbon ties that hold it together and pom pom trim. But you can of course customize it however you want. You might use a different kind of trim, or use Velcro instead of ribbon. I basically followed Design*Sponge’s excellent tutorial for making a basic tree skirt, but added the trim and the fleece backing.
Ok, let’s get started!
Square of fabric (48″ to 60″ dia, depending on your tree)
Square of fleece fabric for backing
pom pom trim (enough for the circumference of the circle, pi x dia)
grosgrain ribbon in color of your choice (4 pieces of about 10″ each)
sewing machine & thread
fabric marker or chalk (or just a pen)
First, I took a square of fabric big enough to cover my tree base, and folded it into quarters. I already had this plaid fabric, so it was free! I usually like more color but for Christmas I like traditional decorations, so this was perfect.
Most tree skirts I saw in retail stores were between 46″ to 60″ wide. My tree is a 6.5′ artificial tree, which isn’t huge, so I made the diameter of my tree skirt about 48″. I made a makeshift compass using a thread, a pin, and a pen. I tied the thread to the pin and the other end to the pen. My thread was about a foot long. I stuck the pin into the folded corner like so:
And traced a quarter circle on my fabric. See the faint green line?
Then, I carefully cut through all 4 layers of fabric using sewing scissors. I unfolded the circle of fabric, and used the scissors to even out any jaggedy areas. Then, I used the circle to trace another circle onto my fleece backing (which was just an old blanket I had lying around) and cut it out.
Now we have to cut a hole in the middle of the circle for the tree trunk. I folded the circle into quarters again and used a bowl to trace a quarter circle on the fabric. Then I cut out the circle.
I unfolded the circle half way (so it is folded in half), and cut along one of the straight folds.
So now you have a two-sided circle of fabric with a hole in the middle and a straight cut from the center hole to the outside.
Make sure once again that the wrong sides of the fabric are together. If you’re using pom pom trim, fold back the top layer of fabric and pin the trim to the bottom layer, with the pom poms on the inside. Replace the top layer of fabric and pin it in place. So now, you have two layers of fabric with the pom pom trim sandwiched between.
On the straight open edge, sandwich your ribbons with the long ends inside the fabric (I used 4 sections of approx 10″ long grosgrain ribbon). Pin them in place. When it is sewn it will look like this (short ends out, long ends in).
Now, you just need to sew around the entire perimeter of the circle, as well as up and down the straight edges and the hole inside. Leave an approx 5″ hole through which you can turn the whole thing inside-out. Sorry, no pics of this step, I was concentrating on sewing. As you sew the edges, make sure you catch the edge of the trim which is sandwiched between the fabric layers. This is the most challenging part.
Then, turn the whole tree skirt inside out through the hole. You can sew the hole closed by hand, but I just folded the raw edges in and top-stitched it on my sewing machine (because I’m lazy like that).
If you were able to catch the edge of the trim as you sewed around the circle, the pom pom trim should now face out and be securely attached! It’s like magic.
I wish I had better progress pics, but it was hard enough just doing the sewing with a toddler constantly underfoot, much less take photos. If you’re having trouble understanding my instructions, the Design*Sponge tutorial is really helpful.
My tree isn’t decorated yet! That will be a fun family activity in the next few days. I’m excited to decorate for the holidays and to make a few more crafts for this season! As a young family we don’t have a lot of traditions yet, but I’m hoping to make holiday crafting one of them!
Oh and my budget breakdown was this:
plaid fabric = already owned but it orig cost $1/yard at a discount fabric store, so about $1.50
fleece fabric = reused an old throw blanket I already owned, so $0
pom pom trim = used a coupon, about $6
ribbon = $1
So in all this tree skirt cost me about $8.50 to make! It would have cost almost nothing if I hadn’t bought the pom pom trim, but I like it! It looks like little snowballs!
Are you planning to DIY a tree skirt? How about any other decorations for the holidays? You might like these other holiday crafts!
Festive Holiday Wreath
Simple Peace and Joy Banner
Happy Holidays everyone!
Sharing at TheBlissfulBee, TheIdeaRoom, TatertotsandJello and SavvySouthernStyle!
On Tuesday I went to Target…one of my favorite activities. Our local outdoor mall has a Target attached and I go there probably 2x a week with Baby Brownie because it’s a great place to walk with the stroller as well as get milk, cereal, necessities, etc… There’s a little outdoor playground right outside Target which makes for a nice break with the toddler.
Anyway, I ALWAYS look in the dollar bins at Target to see what goodies they have. This week I wasn’t disappointed as I found these cute little metal candleholders.
I grabbed the owls but they also had turkeys and jack-0-lanterns. I thought the owls were the cutest though, and they’re more all-season. I don’t like buying a lot of seasonal decorations because our 1970s home just doesn’t have that much storage! And I feel like seasonal stuff can cross over the line into tackiness pretty easily. So I just try to get stuff that’s appropriate around the year.
I just sprayed these $1 candle holders with Valspar gold spray paint. I still had most of a can left over from another project, so for 2 candle holders this little project just cost me $2!
They were all right before, but now they’re really cute!
I actually kind of messed these up because it started raining while I was spraying them and a few raindrops got on the paint before I was able to bring them inside. It hasn’t rained in 9 months but of course, there’s a downpour on the day I’m spraypainting outside (Southern California, boo hoo, haha). But I was glad that the plants got some watering though, and with the brush fires recently we really need rain.
Anyway the raindrops weren’t really noticeable on the gold paint. I thought the owls were cute before but they look much more expensive now and the gold acts as a neutral, so they go with anything! I have them on my dining table along with my pumpkin centerpiece and my mercury glass candle holders. These would be super cute little gifts too.
WARNING: I was reading about the flammability of spray paint. The wet paint is VERY flammable but when it is dry, it is just like any other painted surface. So wait until the paint is dry and cured (48 hours) before using the candle holder, and as always, NEVER leave a candle burning unattended.
Linking up at Place of my Taste, Remodelaholic and Savvy Southern Style