Posts Tagged ‘diy’

DIY Covered Sandbox

This will be more of a “look what we did” post rather than a how-to. I just dug up these pictures from several weeks ago and sorta went, “oh yeah, we did that too!”. But if you’re thinking of making a sandbox for your child, maybe this will give you some ideas.

DIY Covered Sandbox

(Since Baby Brownie isn’t really a baby anymore, I’m just going to call her Brownie from now on.)

So, Brownie likes dirt (doesn’t your 2-year-old too?). And our yard has a lot of it. We’ve been in the midst of installing irrigation and other landscaping projects for a while, so there are literally big piles of dirt all over the yard. So to indulge her love for playing in the dirt, while at the same time keeping her clothes a LITTLE cleaner, we decided to build her a sandbox.

I’ve heard horror stories about sandboxes and cat poop though, so it had to be a covered one!

(Please ignore the neon green pool. We had a little algae overgrowth that we took care of right after we took this pic!)

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We started by digging up the area we were going to make the sandbox in. There used to be a fence here with a cinder-block footing, so we were able to use some of the concrete footing as 2 of the walls of the sandbox. For the other two walls, Chris put in some 4×4 footings in the corners and nailed on a couple of 2×6 redwood planks. Then, he used redwood fence pickets and cut them down to size to make the edge framing and the lid. He lined the hole with a weed-resistant barrier before filling it with playground sand.

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As you can see, the lid is super simple — just a row of fence pickets held together by a couple of stringers. We sanded down the redwood (which is quite splintery) quite a bit and then sealed it with our homemade Danish oil mixture (1:1:1 Oil-based poly, mineral spirits, and boiled linseed oil).

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The below pictures were taken about a month later, so you can see the red color of the wood has faded quite a bit.

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When the lid is open, we secure it to the metal fence behind it using this little loop, to prevent Brownie from pulling it down on herself.

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When it’s closed it’s just a little pad that looks like a mini-deck. I threw some mulch around it but I’m working on some ideas to pretty-up the dirt all around it. Probably some plants on the right side, and maybe some stepping stones in front.

I’m not gonna lie…Brownie still likes to play in the piles of dirt. Maybe a little less now?

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DIY Bed Frame Plans

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After over a year, our DIY Bedframe continues to be one of my most popular posts, and finally I’m getting around to putting plans and dimensions up to help you build it.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to be better about providing tutorials and plans when I promise them. I won’t always be able to provide detailed instructions for every project, but when I say I will, I should do so in a timely fashion. I’m finding myself playing catchup from last year’s projects, so please bear with me.

I’ve been pretty intimidated by Google Sketchup in the past but my patient husband is slowly teaching me so I’ll be able to create better and more accurate drawings. It is really an amazing program (and it’s free) that allows you to visualize something you’re building (even draw a 3D model of an entire room to scale).

Anyway, I’m sure you’re all eager to stop hearing me blather on and get to the good stuff.

The Bed that Chris Made

Step 1: Create inner frame

Bed frame 2 interior dimensions

The structure of the bed was created using an inner frame of 2×6″ and 2×4″ lumber (although in reality lumber measures 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ by 3 1/2″, as reflected in the plans). The whole inner portion was put together using framing nails and a nail gun. Most of the nails were shot in from the ends. Some of the middle pieces had to be attached using nails fired in at an angle (toe-nailed).

Step 2: Attach outer frame

Bed frame 2 exterior dimensions

The outer frame pieces were attached to the inner frame using screws drilled through from the inner frame. You may need to adjust the measurements of the outer pieces based on how tightly the inner frame fit together, so you may want to hold off on cutting the side pieces until you’ve measured.

Feel free to adjust the height of the legs depending on how thick your mattress is and how high you want to be sleeping.

If you’re using a foam mattress, you’ll want to cut a piece of plywood or MDF to make a solid platform for the bed.

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And that’s pretty much it! It’s a pretty simple design, so hopefully I was able to communicate how to do it.

Note: Please double check the measurements against your own mattress and adjust accordingly. We custom made this bed according to our IKEA king-size mattress, which may be slightly different from yours.

Sharing at DIYShowoff!

DIY Steel Pipe Light Fixture

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.

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Boom! This amazingly awesome industrial DIY chandelier that he made out of steel pipe and fittings.

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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.

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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:

diy chandelier diagram

A) Nipple,1 1/2 x 2 In 1
B) Floor Flange,1-1/2 In 1
C) Reducer,1-1/2 x 1/2 In 7
D) Tee,1/2 In 9
E) Square Head Plug,1/2 In 4
F) Nipple,1/2 x 7 In 4
G) Nipple,1/2 x 6 In 2
H) Nipple,1/2 x 3 In 2
I) Nipple,1/2 x 1 1/2 In 6
J) Pipe,1/2 x 24 In 1

 

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.

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Me likey.

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.

Thanks, Bob!

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.

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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.

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DIY pipe chandelier

Sharing at SavvySouthernStyleTheBlissfulBee, Remodelaholic, TatertotsandJello and DIYShowoff!

DIY Wine Rack (Riddling Rack)

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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):

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I got to tear the paper off on Christmas morning and reveal this beauty:

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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:

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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!

Painted Bench Turned Kids’ Table

Over the weekend, while Chris was working like a busy bee on insulating our house, moving electrical, and figuring out how to put up new siding, I worked on a little pet project.

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I decided to take an old bench that had been sitting in the master bedroom, where it had been covered in a giant pile of clothes for the past 3 months, and turn it into a little activity table for Baby Brownie.

(The giant pile of clothes is now happily sitting on the floor.)

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We bought this bench for $10 at a thrift store and had sanded down the top in anticipation of refinishing it. It has been in the above state for over a year.

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I decided it would be easier to paint it than to refinish it, especially since the legs were all chipped, dented and dog-chewed. So I primed it with 2 coats of Zinsser Cover Stain, and then painted it with 2 coats of Martha Stewart’s Duck Egg (Glidden). Then, I painted on 3 coats of Polycrylic to seal and protect the top. Because I know this piece is going to get a lot of abuse use.

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It turned out really nice! And it’s just the perfect height for Baby Brownie to stand at and play with the new wooden tea set I got her.

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I kind of like how you can still see the metal bolts.

Baby Brownie noticed it right away and went over to it and stared at it for a long time. I asked her if she liked it and she nodded yes. That’s a big deal since she’s in her “no” phase right now!

I just ordered a couple of little chairs on Amazon and I’ll share with you when they arrive.

Another cool thing is that if we ever want to get all the kids’ stuff out of sight…

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The table/bench works really well as extra seating! The teal/aqua color isn’t so bright that it can’t be used as adult furniture.

In the interest of full disclosure, this is what the bench REALLY looks like after it has been played with:

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Just a note of warning for single/as-yet-childless folks out there…this is what you have to live with when you have a kid. Enjoy.

UPDATE: The chairs have arrived and they are adorable!

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Sharing at MissMustardSeed

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