Tag: diy

DIY Dining Table is DONE!!!

I feel like the name of this blog should be “Everything takes longer than you think.” Chris started this woodworking project as a side project, and sure enough, it took several months to complete. Not that it was that hard. But after starting it and doing the bulk of the work, other work around the house needed more urgent attention. Basically, 70% of it was done within a few weeks and the remaining 30% took another 2 months to complete. But the DIY dining table is finally, finally, 100% DONE.

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And we love it.

It’s so amazing to see an awesome piece of furniture come from just a concept like this:

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To an in-progress project like this:

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To finally, this:

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We did change a few things along the way. We added the cross beams at the top of the legs, which I think give it a modern pseudo-Asian feel and also make the table feel more substantial.

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Sorry about the mess of boxes and tools. I wanted to show this to you guys and didn’t have time to make everything look perfect. I only have about 30 min before the baby wakes up!

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Chris spent so much time planing the wood (it’s construction grade lumber, so he evened it out and squared it off using a planer) and fitting it all together tightly. This really was a labor of love for him =).

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We finished it off with Minwax Special Walnut stain (my fave!) and a coat of Varathane Spar Poly on the top. I was originally trying to finish the table with Minwax fast-drying Polyurethane but I was getting some weird gray patches on the legs (probably my can of poly was too old) so I switched to Spar Poly for the top.

People disagree on whether spar poly is good for dining tables (it’s used on ships and has more give/flex than regular Poly), but it’s just what I had. I think it looks wonderful and if it dents easier than regular poly, I don’t really mind.

diy dining table 3  Dents just add “character” anyway ;p.

I can’t wait to get the living/dining room cleaned up and styled. The Goodwill chairs I found that I recovered will be living here. I also need to get some window treatments up over the sliding door that we added. MAYBE everything will be ready by Thanksgiving? No guarantees though. Everything takes longer than you think.

But it is soooo worth it when you get there.

Check out this dining table styled with an easy fall centerpiece!

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Linking up to  SavvySouthernStyle, ShabbyCreekCottage, MissMustardSeed, Remodelaholic, ThriftyDecorChick

Our Big Weekend Project

I still can’t believe we managed to pull this off in a weekend.

Granted, it was a long weekend, but this project was completed in just two days. So definitely weekend doable.

This is our living room wall before.

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And this is our living room wall now.

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That’s right. We cut a hole in the wall and installed a sliding glass door into this long and windowless wall in our living room!

By “we”, really, I mean Chris and his dad installed the slider. I contributed by being in charge of the toddler all day and by giving constructive criticism when warranted ;).

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Our walls are ridiculously thin. These mass-manufactured tract homes were built out of prefab wall panels and our walls are only about 2″ thick.

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Chris peeled off the outer layer (after removing the electrical) so he could see what he was dealing with. Then he cut a hole just so he could step through and work.

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You can really see how thin our walls are. Basically two plywood panels joined with pieces of wood and this interesting honeycomb foam insulation, which was disintegrating from age. Also, there were large gaps where there was no insulation.

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Chris and his dad cut the hole to the size of the slider (which we bought from Lowe’s for about $350).

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After cutting the hole they added a new header and side support beams. You can see the header above, whereas the side support beams were inserted into the walls between the plywood panels.

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Because we are planning to install rigid foam insulation and siding over the walls this summer, we wrapped the window frame and surrounding walls with Tyvek, a water resistant barrier. Then Chris added flashing to the sides.

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You gotta flash the windows properly to prevent leaks. Other windows in our house had not been flashed properly and in a driving rain, water leaks through. We can kind of get away with it in Southern California, but still, better to do it right. We’re hoping to flash the rest of the windows properly before we install new siding.

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We were chasing the light, but we got ‘er done! All this in one day!

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The next day we added the pieces of trim, partially salvaged from the board and batten (well really just the battens) we had removed with the wall.

Because our walls are so thin, the window frame was thicker than the wall. Fortunately, the board and batten thickened the wall so it came up flush against the frame, and then the extra trim we added along the top and sides finished it off. We just need to caulk the seams, patch nail holes, and add another coat of paint.

Not bad for a couple days’ work, eh?

Sharing at HopeStudios, AStrollThruLife and SavvySouthernStyle!

Super Easy DIY: Baby Block Photo Holder

baby block photo holder

My little sister recently had a beautiful baby girl and I threw her a shower while I was back in Canada a few months ago. My other sister and I made these cute baby block photo holders as a party favors for the shower guests and I really like how they turned out!

You’ll need:

Wooden baby blocks
Wooden clothespins
Acrylic craft paint + paintbrush
Hot glue gun

Paint the clothespins with the craft paint in the color of your choice (I chose yellow). Let it dry (I pinned mine on a piece of cardboard to paint and dry, so I didn’t have to be holding onto it anywhere).

block back

Decide which side of the block you want facing outwards, and hot glue the clothespin to the back of the block.

It’s as simple as that!

The guests had a lot of fun looking for the letters of their choice. We also used them during the shower to hold baby pictures of the future mom and dad! They were a fun and budget-friendly party favor (less than $1 a block when you buy a set of blocks).

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I think a fun twist on this idea would be to use washi tape to decorate the clothespin instead of (or perhaps in addition to) the paint. If you wanted to make it fit your color scheme you could also paint all the blocks a uniform color. Can you think of other variations?

Sharing over at See Vanessa Craft!

Hello Sunshine! Painted Patio Table

I’m so happy that I finally finished this project! It took longer than I thought, not because it was difficult, but just because we had to go back to the store several times. Also, the baby has been majorly teething (4 molars at once, are you kidding me?!) and she has been pretty much a ball of misery the last few days so that has been occupying most of my attention.

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But I finally made over the patio table and I’m super happy with how it turned out! Spray paint is a wonderful thing.

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Remember, the patio table used to look like this:

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The paint was scratched up quite a bit and it was just a little dingy and sad.

We just polished off any loose bits of paint with some steel wool, wiped it down with a rag, and then primed with a medium primer.

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I like to be super cautious when using oil based paint, especially spray paint, hence the HEPA mask and long sleeves/pants. Not only are the VOCs not something I want in my lungs, but with spray paint the droplets get EVERYWHERE…and I definitely don’t want droplets of paint in my lungs. The HEPA filters are the pink ones, and this HEPA mask only costs$14 (and is surprisingly comfortable). Totally worth it for your health!

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An associate at Home Depot told me to use the medium primer (the gray primer), but I’m not sure that was a great idea. It took SEVERAL light coats of yellow (Rustoleum Sunburst Yellow) to cover it. I feel like a white primer might have been better. I used 3 whole cans of paint and realized I needed more coverage, so I had to go and get another can. Then I had to wait a whole 48 hours before I could re-coat the table.

After the table was finally painted I had to go back to Home Depot to get new hardware for putting it back together because the old hardware was all rusted out.

Although the process took a long time (about 4 days), actual spraying time was short — perhaps an hour in total. The table just sat out in the yard in pieces for a few days while it cured (and then was re-sprayed and cured again).

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I love how bright and happy it is, and I can’t wait to enjoy many summer dinners out on the patio.

yellow patio table

Don’t you just love spray paint? Have you spray painted anything lately?

Sharing over at TatertotsandJello, Suburbs Mama, A Stroll Through Life, Miss Mustard Seed and If It’s Not Baroque!

Turn Your Kid’s Pants into Shorts (in 3 Easy Steps)

Here’s a quick project that took me all of 15 minutes, and helps reuse something you would otherwise give/throw away, use as a rag, or lose in the bottomless black hole you call the closet (or is that just me?).

With the warm weather we’ve been having, I’ve really been wishing that my toddler had fewer long pants and more shorts. She’s going to outgrow her long pants before the weather gets cool again. Well, duh, I told myself, why not just shorten the pants?

turn kids pants into shorts

You’ll need:

1 pair of jersey cotton pants
sewing machine
thread that matches pants
scissors

I love the neon pink polka dots on these pants but they were kind of a weird shape on my girl. She has skinny legs so the pants ended up baggy around the thigh, but weirdly tapering at the ankle. So I decided that this pair would be a perfect candidate for a redo, and if it didn’t work out, oh well.

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Warning: I am not a seamstress. Not even close. I’m a total amateur who has to look at the manual every time I try to thread my sewing machine. So if I can do it, you can too!

Turn the pants inside out. Fold the pants in half lengthwise and snip off the bottom portion. I just eyeballed it, but remember that you’ll lose more length after you hem the pants.

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Fold up the cuffs at the bottom of the legs. You could be all fancy and zigzag stitch them, but the knit t-shirt material won’t fray, so don’t worry about it.

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Besides, who’s going to be snooping in your baby’s wardrobe criticizing your hemming skills? (uh…don’t answer that question.)

Just sew around the hem with the sewing machine. Let the machine pull the fabric through to avoid stretching the fabric. Just make sure you don’t sew the leg shut. If you want to be fancy, you can sew in a double seam (just add another seam next to the first).

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(I forgot to take a picture while I was sewing, so I faked the above picture.)

And it’s as easy as 1…2…3!

turn kids pants into shorts

Is it perfect? Nope. I’m incapable of sewing a straight seam. Does it work and are they comfy? Oh yeah.

I tried to get a pic of my daughter modeling the shorts but she moves too fast. This is the best I could do and it’s a little blurry.

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Of course, when you hem your shorts you will use a matching thread instead of white, unlike me, right?

The shorts are a little loose and flowy which is actually nice for this warm weather. They are the perfect play pants now.

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