Wooden Puzzles – our new adventure with the scroll saw!

Last week we were browsing around (our extensive library of books) and the internet looking for inspiration for new things to add to our skill set (and the shop!). We found a little pot of gold called “scroll saw puzzles.” πŸ™‚ What set of little hands doesn’t love the weight and feel of a piece of wood? Not to mention the fact that puzzles are great for growing minds … and keeping the wood natural means it’s a completely safe, non-toxic toy! Win, win, and win some more.

There are a number of FREE puzzle patterns available to get you started! The cutest one we found was this T-Rex.Β (This link takes you to a wonderful page with instructions and other designs, as well! Scroll down for the T-Rex.) Β We copied him at 100% and used double-sided carpet tape to adhere the design to a scrap piece of 3/4″ pine. Clear pine is great because it’s knot-free, but it’s also a LOT more expensive. Depending on the details in your puzzle, most books recommend plywood for strength. You can use your discretion. For large pieces that don’t have a lot of detail, solid wood should be fine.

Want to find more free puzzle designs for the scroll saw? Check out my board on Pinterest right here!Β I will be adding more as we find them … πŸ™‚

Ready to see the finished work? Here are a few that we’ve put together this week!

wooden owl puzzle scotty dog puzzle

There are many more to share with you … so consider this post To Be Continued… on Thursday!

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

A Tray is a Tray? One Style, Three Ways

Well, two styles. Anyway, the point is that I want to show you how one simple tray “style” can become three totally different things when finished! Trays can be a blank canvas (of wood) and be completely personalized. We like to build our trays … (and both of these are our designs!) but you could just as easily transform one that you purchased at the craft store (if you HAVE to …). πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

This first one is just for fun .. I had some reclaimed cedar fence boards left over from making a panel (for a friend) and the scraps were just the right size for a “serving” tray. I used quotations there because, let’s be honest – you can’t actually serve anything on a tray without sides. This tray is just for the table top – just for pretty things that you find make you smile when you walk by. Including, but not limited to, Mason jars, flowers, candles, shiny objects of any size … you get the idea. πŸ™‚Β barnwood tray 15barnwood tray close up

This tray is SO PRETTY, and it was a custom order we did for Christmas last year. The monogram really makes this classy and personal at the same time. I’m contemplating adding one to the tray above, as well … maybe for a wedding gift? The Red distressed look is very classic, in a way, and easy to achieve using three coats of a good quality paint, a hard sanding, and then a coat of stain (apply and wipe off) on the top. For extra durability, you should finish it with a coat of poly (over the monogram as well).Β Quintero Tray

And this one’s for the Huskers. Obviously. One coat of Minwax “Early American” stain, paint the logo, then finish with three coats of water-based poly. I used Matte finish poly on this one just because it’s a more rustic style overall. We have cut the handles instead of installing them on the sides, they are rounded off with the router too for a more comfortable grip. Perfectly practical with sides and everything. Perfect.Β husker serving tray ruler tray 2015I’ve saved the best for last. This one is the exact same build as the two above! Look how different it looks! πŸ™‚ I simply left the body of the tray natural (it’s reclaimed cedar again, just with the age planed off of it) and used an assortment of antique rulers to fill the bottom. I stained a few of them dark to add color variation. They were simply cut and glued down with (gel) super glue. I weighted them down for a few hours afterwards to help the glue set and keep things in place. LOVE how it turned out.

One basic tray can be so many beautiful things, and so practical, too. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

My First “Brag Post” on Ana-White.com!

Okay, I know this seems kind of silly, but I’m stoked right now — I just joined Ana-White’s website (officially) and posted my first brag post! πŸ™‚ Yesss!! Go check it out right here!Β It might not be anything spectacular, but it feels like a milestone in the journey of this blog. The more we build, the more we appreciate the community of builders. Sharing plans and inspiration is priceless!

More new posts will be coming here soon .. I have two more fantastic projects I want to share with you (also built and modified versions from Ana-White plans).

Stay tuned – and in the meantime, get some woodworking inspiration by checking out my brag! πŸ™‚

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

DIY Jewelry Holders

Every girl needs a storage system for her jewelry – and these are the perfect, rustic piece. The great thing about using a mixture of decorative knobs is that you can put together ANY look you like. No need to be limited by what’s in stock (pre-made) at the craft store, you can easily put together one of these with a piece of scrap wood and your own choice of 4-6 knobs or drawer pulls.

Mine usually range in size from 4″ tall to 12-18″ long depending on how many knobs I’ve picked out to use. My favorite spacing between the knobs is usually 3″ on center from one knob to the next. (Give yourself a little more room if you’re using oversized knobs or odd shapes) There are a MILLION distressing tutorials out there on the web- why write another one? πŸ™‚ The other option you have is to paint chevron on the back (see below), or use barnwood. That’s the other beautiful thing about doing it yourself … πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

On the back these are finished with two sawtooth hangers for easy installation.

On the back these are finished with two sawtooth hangers for easy installation.

If you’re like most people and you want to pick your knobs (but don’t want to mess with drilling holes and distressing wood) you can always hire us to build you one. πŸ™‚Β 

Adorable in turquoise and orange, the owl is the perfect focal point!

Adorable in turquoise and orange, the owl is the perfect focal point!

Rustic barnwood and red knobs give this one a classic look with a twist - the little brass hook at the end for larger necklaces and bracelets.

Rustic barnwood and red knobs give this one a classic look with a twist – the little brass hook at the end for larger necklaces and bracelets.

Yellow and blue for Spring, of course! The distressing shows mainly on the edges of this board because it's only 3" tall.

Yellow and blue for Spring, of course! The distressing shows mainly on the edges of this board because it’s only 3″ tall.

This one is 5" tall and only 12" long, because we used fewer knobs. That pink oval is just perfect.

This one is 5″ tall and only 12″ long, because we used fewer knobs. That pink oval is just perfect.

Confession: I love making these. They are quick and easy and gorgeous no matter what combination you end up with. πŸ™‚

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

A Little Bit of Husker Curb Appeal …

Husker Football is kind of a big deal around here. Okay, that was an understatement: it’s part of our identity. We’ve made a lot of different (adorable) doorhangers, but these two are my personal favorites. Why? There’s just something about chevron and Huskers, right?

A touch more subtle in grey chevron, the message is still clear: Forever a Husker!

Both of these designs were dictated by the customer – and both of them are beautiful! I painted them with your standard acrylic craft paint, then sealed both sides with three coats of matte spray sealer. Just in case you can’t protect them with a storm door, the sealer keeps the moisture out (and the wood underneath from warping!). Β The finishing touch is a simple knotted twine hanger. Rustic perfection. πŸ™‚

Red chevron screams "Huskers!" and we added the perfect bit of silver sparkle on top.

We’ve Been Framed!

I must apologize for the long silence here on the blog. Since we opened our shop last February, things have been busy!! πŸ™‚ Yes, in the best possible way… but busy nonetheless. On the bright side, I have quite the assortment of cute projects to share with you all ~ so let’s get started with picture frames!

Picture frames are one of those things we all need, but hate to spend big money on. Big box stores only carry a few {trendy} styles, and frame shops can be over-the-top if you’re looking for something rustic. Our solution is simple = we build them to suit. Our favorite challenge? Framing stretched canvas! These canvases we framed are 3/4″ thick – which isn’t something that would fit into any garden variety frame. πŸ™‚ Challenge accepted!

A simple barnwood frame makes this winter scene complete.

A simple barnwood frame makes this winter scene complete.

This frame is also made from re-claimed wood, one piece, mitered corners.

This frame is also made from re-claimed wood, one piece, mitered corners.

This is my personal favorite! We built this frame from value pine boards, in three different "layers" and then I chalk painted it cobalt blue with grey on top.

This is my personal favorite! We built this frame from value pine boards, in three different “layers” and then I chalk painted it cobalt blue with grey on top.

A simple two-layer barnwood frame makes this primitive stitchery the perfect wall art for Fall!

A simple two-layer barnwood frame makes this primitive stitchery the perfect wall art for Fall!

Here you can see the detail of my chalk paint finish. Love how the frame melds into the Sea in the painting!

Here you can see the detail of my chalk paint finish. Love how the frame melds into the Sea in the painting!

What do you think? Leave us a comment below! πŸ™‚ We’re back!!

Still sweeping up sawdust,

The Woodworker’s Wife

Reclaimed Wood Porch Pumpkins – Welcome, Fall!

There are so many beautiful things about Fall … cooler weather, evenings with loved ones around the campfire, a mug of hot tea in your cold hands, fuzzy blankets on cold nights … gorgeous rainbow colored leaves falling to the ground! Everything pretty and cozy comes into season for Fall. ❀

I’ve been scanning Pinterest for inspiration on Fall projects. There’s no lack of inspiring photos to get the creative juices flowing!! I found several different versions of reclaimed wood pumpkins (for the front porch!) and decided to give it a try. It’s no coincidence, either, that the very same week that I decided to try out this project, the Woodworker and I decided it was time to sort through our mountains of scrapwood and use it or lose it! πŸ˜‰

This is PERFECT project for scrap wood odds and ends. I used a mixture of scraps (barnwood, pine value board pieces, etc.) and reclaimed cedar fence boards from our neighbor. 20-40 year old cedar boards get that gorgeous grey, worn look to them from living outdoors. The wood-grain sort of becomes “deep” and gives you this awesome texture to work with! But enough words … you want to see pictures, right? πŸ™‚

porch pumpkins trio

I LOVE how these turned out. I truly do. Those nail holes are from the wood’s previous life as a privacy fence. Cool, right? Each pumpkin has a “stand” on the bottom, painted black, that holds it up nicely.

pumpkin duo

wood pumpkins in a row

The pumpkins were painted with acrylic craft paints, then sealed with two coats of water-based poly (which will not yellow over time). They stand roughly 15-20″ tall.

So that’s my version of porch pumpkins!! πŸ™‚ What do you think? If your curious to see my “Pinspiration” you can find that here. I didn’t use her method in constructing mine, but she does have a great tutorial that’s easy to read with great pictures!

Happy Fall!

~ The Woodworker’s Wife