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Category Archives: Houseware Crafts

Halloween! It’s a Date! (no really, it’s a date)

It’s Halloween Time at CoOp 28 (if you’re local please check it out!  Great store and terrific owner).

I’m working on the window display and trying to come up with some fun, new(ish) ideas.

I’ve been slowly collecting things to put in the window – a skull here, a hay bale there…. you know…Halloweeny.

But I got in my head that it would be cool just to do a big, wooden, 31 sign.

Easy enough!  I made a pattern and cut the numbers out of some HOME sign scrap wood.Wooden 31 Sign for Halloween Cheltenham Road

I sanded them and painted them black and……..?

…..and that’s when I got bit overwhelmed with (and perhaps a bit too excited by) the possibilities.

I could distress them! I could decoupage them! They could have pictures! patterns!

I kind of short-circuit when my brain goes off like that – stuck trying to decide which of the many options is the very BEST option.  You know what I mean?

So…….I decided to make them all.  Perfectly reasonable solution.

I wasn’t actually thinking of this as a product – more as an eye-catcher – but maybe…….

So, for version 1 I  went with classic black and orange.

I wanted that distressed, decrepit look so after a base coat of black I rubbed some candle wax all over the edges and front and then gave it a top coat of orange.

Wood Halloween Sign Orange and Black Cheltenham RoadMy intention was to use my new (to me at least) wax, heat gun and duct tape approach like I’d done with my distressed backgrounds.

But I discovered something interesting. The first time I did that I used flat latex paint. This time I used spray paint for both coats. Once it had all dried I used the heat gun but it turns out that the heat gun heats up the wax AND the paint and doesn’t yield very satisfying results. So it was back to my sander and a rough sanding disc.

Distressed Wood Halloween Sign Cheltenham RoadFor version 2  I left the letters black and created a collage of vintage (mostly orange – though they seem to be photographing as red) Halloween images and mod podged them into place.Vintage Halloween sign Cheltenham Road

Wood 31 sign for Halloween with Vintage Collage Cheltenham RoadVintage Halloween Collage Wood Sign Cheltenham RoadI think these might look good scattered around the store. What do you think?

These are 12″ high but I might make a really big one for the window (time permitting).

But they could be different colors!  Covered with poison labels!  Covered with candy wrappers!  Covered with Halloween scrap paper and on and on and on…..

See what I mean?  So many possibilities!Home Stories tutorials-tips-button

A Life’s Story in Scrap Wood – Tutorial

Scrap Wood Decor Tutorial Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksFirst off, thank you for all your kind responses to my folks 70th!

Do you find that you go through phases where money comes in but then you go through phases where money just goes out…..and out….and out?

With the bathroom remodel and various other upgrades and fixes I’m definitely in an OUT phase.  So I made a vow that any new projects I come up with need to make use of what I have lying around.

And what I have lying around is scrap wood!

From an economic and an environmental perspective I try to make use of everything.  The scrap wood from coaster production gets cut down to become the backers for my magnetsRetro Refrigerator Magnetsor the risers for my Etsy Subway Signs  etc etc.

Custom Subway Graphic Wedding and Birth Signs

Custom Subway Graphic Birth and Wedding Signs by Cheltenham Road on Etsy

But I’m still losing the battle of the scrap wood pile.

So, when my next Mod Podge Rocks project came due I was determined to use the random bits of lumber left over from cutting up the backers for the subway signs.Scrap Wood Supplies for Dimensional Wall Art by Cheltenham RoadAnd though I was inspired by this Pottery Barn wall hangingPottery Barn Painted Pieced Woodwork my version is completely unrelated (my mind is a confusing place).

I decided it would be cool to just show little scraps of where I’d lived or been – kind of my life’s journey via mod podge and scrap wood……which given my current state seems very, very appropriate.Graphic Life Story Wall Art by Cheltenham Road

Cheltenham Road Wall Art Tutorial for Mod Podge RocksHead on over to Mod Podge Rocks for the full tutorial – it’s pretty easy and very adaptable.

That-DIY-Party-link-party-button

Mason Jar Herb Garden

Make a Hanging Mason Jar Herb Garden Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksJust a quick note saying that my latest project is up at Mod Podge Rocks.

This one came out of Geralyn’s request for a vertical herb garden similar to one she saw on Pinterest.

Now, entrusting me with plants is never a good choice.   I kill plants.  I’m a plant serial killer actually.  Hundreds lay dead in my wake.   I’m sure, at this point, the plants at Lowes see me coming and picture a grim Silence of the Lambs future for themselves:

It puts the lotion on it’s fronds, or else it gets the hose again.”

But I have great hopes for these victims herbs  (mostly because someone else will be taking care of the them.)Vertical Mas Jar Herb Garden Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge Rocks

I found my vintage seed packet images from the always reliable Dover Publications, The Graphics Fairy and a new (to me) and terrific blog called Old Design Shop.

It was an easy and inexpensive project and, if you’re so inclined, head on over to Mod Podge Rocks for the full tutorial.

Vintage Rolling Pin Bookends Tutorial

Rolling Pin Bookend TutorialIt’s me! Random Blogging Man!

I have a new tutorial over at Mod Podge Rocks that I wanted to share as well as a bit of rumination on the future of this blog.

But first the tutorial.

I’d been toying with this idea for a while as a way to make further use of all those wooden rolling pins I’d collected long ago.Vintage Rolling Pin Bookends Tutorial Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksI’m wondering if it might be a viable product for the Cheltenham Road empire. They are fun and easy to make and the colors could be suited to pretty much any kitchen.Vintage Kitchen Rolling Pin Bookends Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksAnyway, head on over to Mod Podge Rocks for the full tutorial if you’re so inclined.

And now on to ruminations.

I seem to have hit a blog-wall of late. I want to write because I thoroughly enjoy the little community that we have all created here but…..I don’ t have anything to say. Or at least I don’t think I have anything interesting to say.

You see, I like to make things and I like figuring out how to make things.  And I like sharing how I figured out how to make things.  When I go to stores and see something I like I seldom think “oh I want that.” I tend to think “I want to make that!”

When I started this business and this blog I had a great time coming up with new things to make, new pieces of furniture to attack etc. As the business moved more toward the coasters, blocks and signs I ended up spending all of my time making and remaking coasters, blocks and signs. It’s satisfying work and I’m very grateful for it but I get stuck in factory mode a lot and my “creative time” gets curbed…along with my enthusiasm.

But! Happiness is just on the horizon!

For the summer I have employed my home-from-college (Berkeley! thankyouverymuch) niece Olivia who has been terrific. I’m slowly finding myself able to turn some of the “factory” operation over to her and my mind is able to focus on some new ideas (and I seem to be an OK boss from all reports).

Also I just finished my last show for the season. As always the folks that run Patchwork did an amazing job of pulling it all together. My spot was ideal and the weather was beyond perfect. Patchwork Handmade Festival Santa AnaThe only flaw in the plan was that it took place last Sunday. Father’s Day. Oddly, it seems that a fair number of fathers when asked “what do you want to do on your special day?” did not respond “Go to a craft fair!!!!” so attendance as a little reduced from years past.

But that was my last one a for a bit and now I’m eager to get to new ideas and projects.  So bear with me please.  I will get back up to speed!

DavidHome Stories tutorials-tips-buttonThat-DIY-Party-link-party-button

Father’s Day Picture Display

Make a Father's Day Photo DisplayMy latest project is up for viewing at Mod Podge Rocks.

I wandered the aisles of Home Depot knowing that I wanted to make something using those galvanized pipes and fittings and I wanted it to be suitable for Father’s Day.

Oh, and needed to be super affordable.

I ended up with a random collection of bits and pieces – popes, fittings,  outlet covers, flanges (fun word!)Supplies

 

that when put together with a bit of Mod Podge, ended up being a kind of cool, sculptural photo display.  And less than $20!  (the pic of the guy with the child on the tricycle is something I found at a flea market but “fishing boy” is me and the other picture shows me, my sister Phebe and my mom at Christmas from oh-so-long-ago)Desk Top Photo DisplayMod Podge Industrial Photo Display

I think there are a bunch of potential variations on this one.  You could use picture frames rather than the Outlet Blanks.  You could use different fittings (there are a ton of options) to make a family tree sort of deal etc etc.

 

Make a Mod Podge transfer centerpiece for a family gathering

Centerpiece Tutorial Family ReunionIn a momentary step away from mad prep for Unique LA, I have my latest Mod Podge Rocks Tutorial up for your viewing pleasure.

I’m on a Mod Podge Transfer Medium kick…..although I doubt I’m using it in the way the Mod Podge folks intended.

I had  a large chunk of 4×6 lumber that I inherited somewhere along the line and I thought it would be cool to make it into a centerpiece for a family gathering.DIY Wedding Centerpiece

It was very, very easy and, if ever there is a big Cheaney Family reunion at my house I am totally prepared!

Of course, the minute I finished it I thought of a lot of other variations on the idea (using tapers rather than tea lights, making it with flower pots or smaller blocks etc etc) so you may be seeing more of these as time goes byEaster Family Centerpiece Idea Cheltenham Road

What do you think?  Maybe for weddings?  anniversaries? Easter Family Centerpiece Idea Cheltenham Road

OK back to prep.  Posts to follow!  Thanks for hanging in there with me!

 

Trash To…Well Maybe Not a Treasure but Useful!

I’m still not dead!

However, it kind of felt like it as I ushered in 2014 with a case of food poisoning that left me flat on the couch for about a week.

Ugh.

My first big (interrupted) task of the New Year was to do another garage overhaul and renovation.  So it was time for dumpsters and clean out and……..discovering a new project I just had to do!

This is how it works for me – I’m a bit…unfocused.  I get all geared up to do one thing and then something sparkly catches my eye and all bets are off.

Anyway, I was trying to be hard-core about the garage and my rule for cleaning  was “if I don’t know exactly what I want to do with something it has to go.”  So  while digging through and sorting I came across these shutter things.  Spindle ShuttersDoes stuff just magically appear in your garage?  My garage is some kind of time/space vortex.  I have absolutely no idea where, when or how these  came into my possession but they are perfect for a little project I’ve been imagining…. for like a year……

I need a way to set up my craft show booth that is fast, compact and yet  makes use of vertical space and gets the merchandise up and at eye level.  I’ve been making due with a stair-step display I builtCandle Block Display but they aren’t very big and they are really awkward to pack up and transport.

So, I had long planned to build a folding, portable shelving unit that would display a lot but not take up much room while packed.

But kept dragging my feet about buying the wood and doing the math.  And then these shutters popped up!

I had to use my scroll saw to remove the spindles – leaving the frames.

I cut some plywood down to 4′ long by 10″ wide shelves and cut little notches in the corners.

A quick paint job and

Easy, portable, BIG display shelf. Easy DIY Craft Show Display Shelf

Perhaps a bit too big because I didn’t have enough merchandise on hand to actually fill it for the pictures.  But you get the idea.Simple Display Shelf made from Shutters

Here is a close up of the notches on the shelves.  The notches allowed me to have deeper shelves and also provided some stability (I need to touch up that front corner).fitted shelf

And it packs up small and flat which is awesome because real estate in the Fit is tight.Fold Up Display for Craft Shows

(Honesty:  this photo is a bit of a fake as there is one shutter missing….I put the hinges on wrong so you can’t close it….which I will fix)

So there you go.  A year in the imagining and about an hour and a half in the execution cause that’s what efficiency is all about.

Thank you Garage Vortex Gods for making this project possible.

Happy 2014 Everyone! (don’t eat chicken quesadillas at dubious Mexican restaurants)

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