one part travel, one part home, one part DIY, one place to create


how-to {decorate with wood}

While browsing Pinterest (see previous post for more on that obsession) (also one of the main reasons why I haven’t had as much time for blogging lately) I stumbled upon an awesome scrap wood clock. Of course I was interested since scrap wood projects and a homemade clock are both currently on my to-do list/in-the-middle-of-doing list. So I clicked away and made it back to the original blog post on Shelterness (basically my new favorite website aside from Pinterest) that included a series of 6 different posts on using tree pieces for decor. To me – THIS is decor to die for. I love nature and nature inspired art, furniture, color schemes, etc etc.

Now I’m bursting with new ideas of projects involving tree branches, trunks, and even bark! So while I’m off searching for the time (and tree pieces) to do it all, head over to the Shelterness blog to check out some ideas for yourself.



map art – pt. 2

A few weeks ago I shared a sneak peak of a project I started using the jigsaw, a few pieces of scrap wood, and some map stencils. It looked a little something like this:

Now I’m back to share the final product! I was torn about what to do with the continents. Should I paint them, stain them, cover them with fabric or scrapbook paper, write on them, or what? I fell in love with the design of the wood grain on each piece and decided to stain them so the wood grain could still be the shining star. I used Minwax’s Special Walnut stain, which I had left over from another project. Also, I decided to paint the edges yellow – the same yellow on the wall in the guest bedroom where this piece of art would reside. The color is actually Concord Ivory by Benjamin Moore. You can see the small sample jar in the picture below that I had from back when I was testing out paint colors for the walls. And this was more than enough to paint the edges of the continents! [Yeah, I was too lazy to open the real can of paint that had some leftover from the guest bedroom project.]

Step 1: Paint two coats on the edges of each piece.

Step 2: After paint is completely dry, brush stain on top surface. Wipe off excess stain until wood becomes the desired color. Note: Having the edges painted prevents stain from absorbing into the wood along the edges. Use a cloth to wipe off any stain that runs onto the edges from the top surface.

Step 3: Let it all dry overnight!

I was inspired by this beautiful artwork made by a friend for baby Clara’s room. And I thought the map would look awesome with Bible verses as the background. After a little modge podge, wood glue, and drying time, I was admiring my map project on the shelf in the guest bedroom.

From the side view you can see how the yellow sides are a nice accent against the dark wood stain and coordinates with the wall color! Also, I just love the color, obviously. I mean I did paint a whole room with it.

Here is a little close up of one of the verses I wanted to focus on with these piece. Psalm 113:4 – “The Lord is exalted over all the nations, His glory above the heavens.”

Oh, and so you can have an idea of where this actually is, here’s part of the guest bedroom (ignore the strange lighting on the wall from the window and blinds. The two frames on the bottom shelf are old frames I had sitting in the closet and are filler for now – still deciding on what pictures I want to put there.

Some more DIY artwork is in the making now – to be hung over the dresser. I’ll give you a hint: its not woodworking but it may have a little something to do with toilet paper.

i’ve got a new favorite

As you may know, I’ve recently added woodworking to my list of hobbies. Or well, at least have attempted to. I’m currently obsessing over this DIY website and more specifically this wooden table. Ana White is a blogger, designer, builder, mom, wife, etc, etc. and offers more free and easy DIY furniture plans than your heart could ask for. So once I get my hands on some old pallets I will be going to town with the power tools.

Why old pallets? Well for one I love the idea of recycling old wood into new and beautiful things. And I love the idea of cheap or free projects. Good thing I work for a manufacturing company and have a plethora of pallets available for my taking. Now just need to figure out how to get them all home…?

map art

At the top of my list of strange obsessions: maps and globes. And anything with a map on it or outlines of maps or outlines of the continents. This weekend I hung some floating shelves in the guest bedroom and had the urge to put my new jigsaw to use again to make some DIY art. Since I’m becoming a hoarder, I had quite a few random pieces of plywood and wood left over from other projects – which meant this could turn into a totally awesome and totally free project. Now that’s my kind of project. And when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I had the idea to make a map.

So the day started out with a little of this:

Which turned into this:

You guessed it – I used the jigsaw to make wooden blocks of each continent. It’s still a work in progress, but for now I’m loving the designs from the wood grain and just had to share a sneak peak.

dressing up dresser

I finally finished dressing up the old dresser I bought on Craigslist last year. Last Fall I was in a hurry to finish the guest bedroom since Candelyn was moving in for a few months. I had everything a bedroom needs except one key element: a dresser. I had given myself I pretty tight budget for finishing the room and that included furniture, so I was pretty set on finding an old dresser for cheap and giving it new life. I finally found this old guy for $20. He was hand built sometime around the 1940’s and just the perfect size for the room. I was so excited about getting this project started that I forgot to take a before picture with all of the drawers actually in their spaces.

The same week I picked it up I went ahead and spent a Saturday sanding him down to remove that dark mahogany stain. My plan was to paint him white and give it the distressed “shabby chic” look. After a weekend of getting to know a few different sanding tools the old dresser moved into the workshop awaiting his new look. And then I got busy and before I knew it 8 months had gone by and the old guy was still sitting outside in the workshop.

Last weekend I had a Saturday with no plans and decided I was finally going to make this happen. I backed my car out of the carport, set up the work table there in the shade, grabbed some paint from my collection of half-used quarts and gallons, turned on Pandora, put on my tool belt and I was ready to go! Ok, I don’t actually have a tool belt but it just felt right saying it. Now that I think about it, that’d be a really useful accessory.

I had already used wood putty to fill in the not-so-attractive triangle design carved into each drawer and bought some cool embossed wood pieces to add in place of the triangles for a nice added detail. Using wood glue, clamps, and of course a measuring tape, I attached one of the embossed pieces to each of the three drawers and the “faux drawer.” It may look a little crazy in the picture below, but once I throw on some paint then it’ll all come together!

I primed everything (the primer dried pretty quickly) then added one coat of a golden yellow. I added this yellow underneath to help create the distressed look when I would later sand down some of the edges. The next coat was a basic white eggshell paint and then it was time to let everything dry for a while. I got out my sanding block and sanded some of the edges to reveal the golden yellow underneath and even let some of the wood show a bit. I had some scented floral drawer liner left over from when I re-did the kitchen cabinents and it turned out to be just enough to line each of the three drawers with scented goodness. I was pretty happy with my work and decided it was time to move the dresser into its new room.

After getting it arranged and adding all the drawers back in, I realized the embossed wood piece on the “faux drawer” on top was slightly off center from the other three. I also didn’t like how the first drawer showed too much dark space from the broken top left corner. Across the back of it there was about 3/4″ of space where the top wasn’t completely flush with the back. I think this was because at some point there was a mirror or some other backing attached to it. I decided I would spend the following day creating a “backsplash” to add into the gap in the back and fix the few other issues I mentioned.

Operation “dressing up dresser” day 2 started with a trip to Lowe’s [OK it was Sunday so it actually started out with a great morning spend at Mosaic Church and then the trip to Lowes]. I loaded up my cart with a new handheld jigsaw, an 8ft. long 0.75 x 4 piece of pine, and I couldn’t pass up a great deal on a cool light fixture that I have plans for in the laundry room (on sale from $50 down to $12!). I set up my work space again in the carport and familiarized myself with my new jigsaw! I designed a backsplash, cut it out, glued it, screwed it into place, and painted it. Then I removed the off-center embossed piece, re-attached it, repainted it, cut a sliver of wood to glue onto the broken drawer corner and moved the old guy back inside.

In the days following I did a little more work to the drawer corner – this involved filling in the seams with wood putty, sanding, and repeated until it looked pretty cohesive. Check out the first picture below compared to the one two pictures above to see the difference in the corner of the top drawer. I got 4 more glass knobs from Hobby Lobby [I already had 2 that I planned to use as knobs on my closet doors, but who knows when I’ll ever actually finish those!]. And then I stepped back, patted myself on the back, and smiled at my “new” old dresser. Oh, and took a few pictures. Of course.

I’ve still got plans to make something to hang on the wall above the dresser, but this will do for now.