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 …). 🙂 🙂

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. 🙂 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). 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. 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! 🙂 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. 🙂 🙂

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

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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! 🙂 Yesss!! Go check it out right here! 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! 🙂

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

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!! 🙂 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. 🙂 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! 🙂 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! 😉

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? 🙂

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!! 🙂 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

Meanwhile, in the workshop…

I must apologize for the silence here on the blog! When I began this little hideout, I planned to blog at least twice a week. *blush* As you can see, I did pretty well with that until July. This Summer has been crazy! 

Don’t think for a minute that we haven’t been working on projects here and there, though, and some of them are really amazing. My Man has built me the cutest little Hickory table for the entry way… and it’s only a few hours from being completely finished. We’ve also been making jewelry holders (with adorable decorative knobs!!) and Giant Ruler Growth Charts. 

Here’s the photographic evidence of all of our hard (but not completely finished) work… 

The finished gate complete with re-painted hardware. Our neighbor lady was so very happy to see the finished product! :)

We built this pretty gate for our neighbor lady for a fraction of the cost of hiring a carpenter. She is so very happy with the finished product! 🙂 What was that Robert Frost said? “Good fences make good neighbors…” 

The cedar gate, almost finished ... my Man half-lapped all the joints in the 2x4 lumber to keep the gate square and strong for years to come.

The cedar gate, almost finished … my Man half-lapped all the joints in the 2×4 lumber to keep the gate square and strong for years to come.

My little hickory table! The base is painted cottonwood, reclaimed from a barn. The bottom shelf has been fitted, but not polyurethaned yet (which is why the color looks different).

My little hickory table! The base is painted cottonwood, reclaimed from a barn. The bottom shelf has been fitted, but not polyurethaned yet (which is why the color looks different).

And, a small sampling from a basement remodel that we did for some friends. Our board and batten door, under their staircase. Jacobean stain, 2 coats of poly.

And, a small sampling from a basement remodel that we did for some friends. Our board and batten door, under their staircase. Jacobean stain, 2 coats of poly.

There you have it, just a few of the very good reasons for my absence. 🙂 🙂 Now that Fall is around the corner, I have a list of things for ME that I want to build … reclaimed lumber pumpkins, Fall signage, maybe a new doorhanger … 

~ The Woodworker’s Wife 

 

 

Giant Rulers — with your name on them.

These are just plain awesome. What could make them better? Personalizing them. Yes. The extra time and effort make such a difference …

Personalized ruler growth chart

 

I shortened the lines by about one inch to make room for the letters, which were sized (on my computer) to be the same height as the numbers. I didn’t want them to dominate completely… although they do really steal the show. In a good way. 🙂 🙂 Right?

personalized ruler

 

As a side note, I LOVE paint pens. They make this project so easy and convenient. No smearing or smudges from stencils, and good points on my letters and lines. Beautiful.

Brag post has concluded. 🙂

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

 

Giant Ruler Growth Charts!!

It’s no secret that these are making a HUGE appearance on Etsy, Pinterest, etc. I had seen them more than a few times and thought, “Wow, that would be easy,” to be followed by, “EIGHTY DOLLARS FOR THAT??!!” (Yes, I am a sort of cheapskate. This comes with being married a very handy, talented man. He builds.)  We were then asked to make one for a sister-in-law for Mother’s Day. What a great idea! The perfect chance to try this thing out and see what all the fuss is about.

There are many great tutorials out there on making these, and I will not be writing another one for you here. Seems silly. But I will add that if you use a speed square instead of just a plain ruler when marking, you can bee 100% sure that your ruler lines are perfectly straight, square to the board, and also perfect matching lengths across. Speed square also makes adding the numbers EASY. On my ruler I lined them all up to start at 6.75″ away from the left side edge (where the lines are) and then when you stand up the ruler, they are all straight up and down. Very important.

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Another tip I will share with you: use a paint pen! It’s so much easier and more consistent than using a brush to paint the lines on. Beautiful results, and it’s more natural in your hand than a brush.

ImageAnd — The results! Isn’t it adorable?? I’m in love. We’ve sold several of these in our Adoption Shop over on facebook, and have orders for more! Hooray! If you need one, now you know where to look. 🙂

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It’s all in a day’s work … 🙂

~ The Woodworker’s Wife