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!ย 

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.ย 

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

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! ๐Ÿ™‚ What was that Robert Frost said? “Good fences make good neighbors…”ย 

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 …ย 

~ The Woodworker’s Wifeย 

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

~ 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.) ย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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It’s all in a day’s work … ๐Ÿ™‚

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

 

 

New Life for Old Table Legs!

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This is something that isn’t exactly woodworking-rocket-science… but I love to see how things change during the process of “re-finishing.” Any furniture re-finishing snob would lament over the imperfection of the job that we did on these table legs. However, to the average eye, the transformation is pretty remarkable – and the end result is much prettier than old brown paint! See what I mean??

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In this picture you can see the legs (which are oak, in case you’re wondering) after sanding/stripping, and then re-stained. What a difference! How did we do that?

Step one: I applied a liquid stripper very carefully, outdoors, wearing gloves and using a disposable foam brush. It was just BARELY warm enough outside to do this and it bubbled up the paint a little, but not nearly as much as I was hoping for. After it was completely dry, I moved to

Step two: Sanding it down (using a palm sander) with 50 or 80 grit sandpaper (the really rough stuff!). This will bring the wood back to it’s bare, naked original state. The hardest part is getting in the grooves on these handles – and you really have to do those by hand if you want perfect results. For this project, I didn’t do to those kind of lengths. It’s up to you.

Step three: Re-stain! For these legs I chose a nice brown stain (Minwax, “Early American”) and put it on liberally. Let it sit for about 10 minutes if you want the color really dark and rich. The longer stain sits, the darker it becomes. After those minutes are up, wipe off the excess and admire the wood grain!!

It’s amazing how stain can bring out all the beautiful little details in the wood ~ like nothing else can. Check it out!!

 

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You might be thinking now, “Hey, that looks familiar…” and you’d be right. After this process, these table legs became the handles on my barn wood tool caddy! Now THAT’s what I call re-purposing. Something old into something new … yeah, you get the point.

Have you done any re-finishing projects?

 

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

Barn wood tool caddy show-off ….

So this might just be a shameless brag post, but I had to share. ๐Ÿ™‚ Last Winter I made a few of these caddys and they were quick, easy, rewarding and very useful! I have three of them, one for paint supplies, one for extra paper plans and drawings, and one that just looks pretty upstairs. ย There are endless uses for these guys … and they are so easy to build!ย 

Here they are, in all of their glory. They were constructed from local barn wood, salvaged by my husband and I just a few months ago. I took 80 grit sandpaper and hit all the boards on both sides to clean some of the dirt and grime off the surface. A light touch did the trick – without taking all of that beautiful, grey, old weathered look off the wood. The table legs were cleaned and prepped also – and that will be a separate post. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Once the wood is ready, I simply cut the bottom and sides down to the same length (checking the width, but since these were salvaged boards, I didn’t want to cut any exposed edges). The larger caddy is 16″ long, and the sides I cut somewhere between 12 and 13″ high, cutting a 45 degree angle off of each corner for a more rustic look. Then fire up the nail gun and go to town! ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

The handles were pre-drilled and then glued and screwed in from the outside of the caddy. Very strong and sturdy – our football-player-sized brother sat on it and it survived. ๐Ÿ™‚ Seriously.ย 

But what you really want are the pictures… so here they are! This set of two were custom made for my sister-in-law. Doesn’t she have good taste?ย 

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Don’t you just love how OLD they look? We rescued those table legs out of grandma’s basement and gave them new life. There’s nothing more satisfying than giving something beautiful a brand new life!ย 

~ The Woodworker’s Wifeย 

DIY Repurposed , UPcycled frames into chalkboards!

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I rescued these from Goodwill on a rainy day for $7.99 per frame. They were dirty, dingy, missing the glass inside, and well, not something I would hang on my wall … but I saw some potential! What if they were chalkboards? What if they were white frames with distressed colors peeking through?

So I took out the rusty little nails and the old dingy “artwork” and sanded down the frames a bit. After wiping off the gross nasty dirt that came off … I painted them each a different color – one with “Pistachio Mint,” {Americana Acrylic Paints} and the other “Bimini Blue,” {Apple Barrel Acrylic Paints}. After that was dry, I coated them with basic white acrylic paint, lightly brushing over the high points of the frame. As you can see, the details on these old frames really lend themselves to distressing! ๐Ÿ™‚

Using 120 grit sand paper, I took it in my hand and just lightly sanded over the surface of the frame, the edges… as you can see, what’s left is some of the gold peeking through (original paint), and the colors are left in the grooves. So pretty!! I finished with a clear, water-based poly so that it would be dry in a mere two hours (and not smell so bad). I LOVE the results.

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See the pretty teal peeking through? I love how it brings out the beauty of the wooden frame!

If you’ve read my post on making chalkboards, you know how seriously I take the chalkboard-painting process. ๐Ÿ™‚ In case you missed it, go read it now! You’ll love making these things!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ย We used 1/4″ mdf for these chalkboards, cut to fit the frame (about 10″x13″). I used a fine foam roller to keep the texture on the chalkboards nice and smooth and even. Mdf is a dream to paint! Just make sure to finish the back so that it’s water proof. I used Rustoleum weatherproof paint on the back to keep all my hard work safe.

So… here you have it — my BEFORE and AFTER.

 

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Keep hunting the thrift stores for wonderful finds like these!! Have you re-purposed anything lately?

 

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

 

{None of the products in this post were sponsored or influenced my opinion in any way. Just sharing what I use and what works!}

Chalkboard Shapes – our DIY gallery

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What do you think of our shapes? I love them all – especially the quote bubble. We’ve sold more than a few of these in the shop already and we’re working on more! Chalkboards are fun and easy (if you have the patience with painting several coats!) and they are so great to use around the house. I’m thinking the nieces and nephews might be getting these for birthdays this year…

What other shapes should we add to the gallery? Trains? Fire Trucks?

~ The Woodworker’s Wife