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Category Archives: Tutorials

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.

DIY Display Stand Tutorial

I know what you are all thinking.  You are saying to yourselves:

David – didn’t you just finish up a show? Shouldn’t we have gotten a post about some new way you found to display things?”

And you would be right! I did just finish a show and I did find a new way to display things!

And now some of you are thinking

“Great!”

And a lot of you are thinking

“For the love of god man! Shouldn’t you have figured this out by now!? How many different ways can you display the four things you make?”

And you would be right! I really should have it down by now but somehow I don’t and my obsession with finding the right display continues.

So, welcome to another Craft Show Display Post.

A few years ago when The Great Indoors was going out of business I bought several of these display stands.Wood Display Rack

They are great and I’ve kicked myself for not buying more. I use them for everything from displaying trays or holding up signs or pretty much anything.

The only have two downsides.

1) they are kind of expensive unless the store you’re shopping at is going out of business

2) They don’t pack well. They’re a weird shape and they don’t fold flat or anything.

I’ve been stewing for quite some time and looking for substitute versions when it suddenly dawned on me that “wait! I have carpentry skills! And these are really simple! I CAN MAKE THEM!!!!!” (Yeah, I’m slow but I do get there eventually).

My version is very simple to make from scrap wood or purchased pieces. And, best of all, they come apart for easy transport.

SuppliesSupplies for DIY Display Stand

  • 2.5 x 3/4″ wood lengths
  • 1.5 x 3/4″ wood lengths
  • 5/8″ dowels
  • Drill with 5/8″ bit
  • Screws
  • Wood Glue
  • Chop Saw (optional but faster)
  • Paint

The base consists of a center piece and two legs.

I cut the center piece down to 5.5″ long  and I cut the legs to 6″ long.Milled Parts for DIY Craft Show Display

For the dowels I cut two of them at 5 3/4″ and two of them at 3 3/4″

I used my drill and the 5/8″ bit to drill holes for the dowels into the legs on center 1″ from the back and 1.5″ from the front.

A piece of painters tape wrapped around the bit helped me make sure all the holes were the same depth.Tip for Drilling Same Depth Holes Cheltenham Road

Next I drilled pilot holes in the sides of the “legs” and glued and screwed together the base (pilot holes are really key to keep the wood from splitting).

Tip: Make sure, when you screw it together that the dowel holes you have so carefully drilled are facing the same way on both sides…. otherwise you will feel like a total dope (just a warning I, of course, have never experienced this problem)

I decided to paint them but I didn’t want paint on the ends of the dowels where they would go into the holes (the fit was rather snug and the paint would have made it…snugger) so I taped those off ahead of time.Painting Dowels

After some drying time I was good to go (if by “going” I mean setting up a display in my backyard).Easy Display Stand for Craft Shows

I made several of these at once and the whole process took about an hour (not counting drying time for the paint).Tutorial for DIY Craft Show Display StandDIY Display Stands Cheltenham Road Craft Show Display

Best of all the dowels are can be removed so the everything stores flat and the dimensions can be varied to suit whatever it is you want to display.

So thank you Great Indoors for going out of business!  And thank you brain for waiting something like 3 years to get into gear!

Now if I can just figure out how to display the rest of my stuff………

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.

 

Build a Cocktail Table

With Father’s Day approaching I thought I’d revisit a project I did originally for Mod Podge Rocks.   I came up with this idea for a little side table that, though this one is baseball themed, would work for any room or style. Build a Cocktail Table Cheltenham Road

I used to get frustrated with those people who were always doing projects made with “this old piece of wallpaper/wood/farbric/etc I had lying around.”

I never had an old piece of anything lying around but now I have become one of those people – Some would call it a late developing Hording Syndrome I prefer to think of it as being committed recycler.

Anyway, I had this idea making a little side table that would be affordable and adaptable so I thought I’d share.

It’s made from bits I had sort of lurking in the corners of my garage (with the spiders – seriously, it’s like a science fiction movie in there) but I assure you can do it with some very affordable parts from any big box hardware store.

You will need:DIY Cocktail Table Tutorial Supplies

 

  •  One table leg – mine was from the Habitat for Humanity ReSale Store (a great resource) but they come in all shapes and sizes at big box retailers.
  • Four (4) 7 inch wooden shelf brackets
  •  A shallow shadow box picture frame – you could also use a wooden tray or anything else that appealed
  • Five feet of shoe molding
  • 1 piece of ¼ inch wood cut square and just a little smaller than your picture frame
  • 1 piece of ½ or ¾ inch wood cut square and 2-3 inches smaller than your picture frame
  • Glue (I used Gorilla Glue)
  • Brad Nails (optional)
  • wood screws
  • Sand paper
  • Spray paint
  •  Mod Podge (I know! Suprising!)
  • Envirotex Lite (available at Michaels)

Tools:

Drill, saw (hand saw, miter saw, whatever you’ve got), hammer, foam brush

First off I cut the Table Leg to the height I needed.  They will do this for you at the hardware store if you ask nicely.

Next I cut the shoe molding into eight (8) seven-inch long strips and took the flimsy back out of the picture frame.

Now I was ready to attach the shoe molding to the Table Leg.

DIY Cocktail Table Leg Assembly Cheltenham RoadI centered a Shelf Bracket on base of the Table Leg and drew a line on either side.

Then I attached shoe molding on either side of the line creating a groove. I repeated that on all four sides.

I nailed the shoe molding in place after gluing but if you just wanted to glue them simply wrap rubber bands around the top and bottom to hold them in place while they dry.

Next I just glued the shelf brackets into the slots I’d created and wiped away any glue that squeezed out and set the whole thing aside to dry.

After it dried I painted everything (leg, the edge and one side of both pieces of wood and the picture frame) with a quick coat of spray primer followed by a top coat of black.

Now it was time for Mod Podging.

I placed the frame on the ¼ inch board and traced the inside edge so I’d know how much of the board to cover with my images and got busy.

Man Cave Table Tutorial Cheltenham Road

 

Baseball Theme Table Tutorial Cheltenham RoadThe graphics I used can be found via the Library of Congress’ online catalog (which is a tremendous resource for any project)

Once the decoupage dried I attached my Mod-Podged board to the picture frame with some glue and nails. My ¼ inch board had warped a little so I rested a heavy can on it to counter the warp.

Vintage Baseball Mod Podge Table Cheltenham Road

To bring it all together I now needed to attache the leg assembly to the 1/2 board and the 1/2 board to the picture frame.

I found the center of the 1/2 board by drawing lines from corner to corner. After that all I had to do was drill a pilot hole and attach my the board to the leg assembly.    Make sure the wood screw is flush with the surface of the board or just a little below it.Build a Side Table Tutorial Cheltenham Road

Attaching the leg to the picture frame was easy. I just flipped everything upside down and glued the top of the ½ board to the bottom of the picture frame.Mod Podge Baseball Table Tutorial Cheltenham Road

I brought back my handy paint can to hold it in place and seal the deal.

After that dried I flipped it back over and applied a sealer coat of Mod Podge over the collage surface.

Once that had dried thoroughly it was time for the Envirotex.  I’ve worked with this stuff a lot and always had good results.  Just be sure to follow the directions on the box exactly.

Once the Envirotex had thoroughly cured it was time for a beer!Man Cave Vintage Baseball Table Cheltenham Road

 

Make a Rotating Display for Craft Shows

Tutorial for Rotating Display Cheltenham RoadI must confess I spent last week kind of recovering from Unique LA (which mostly involved trying to figure out where to put all the things I’d built).

I thought I’d do a quick tutorial on how I made my rotating display towers. I honestly don’t know if any of you are interested in making something like this but, you know, just in case.

I had wanted a more efficient way to display the candle blocks that got them up at eye level and also made a good use of space.

I saw these in the hardware storePlywood Rounds for Rotating Craft Show Display

and suddenly the whole display popped into my head!

Of course, how I was going to make the display did not pop into my head but I decided to go for it anyway and figure it out as I went.  (This approach usually ends in tears but hope sprang eternal.)

I knew I needed something to separate the layers, it needed to be strong but I wanted also to keep things kind of on the lighter side. I also needed it to come apart easily for transport. I considered and dismissed wood posts but, while trolling the aisle at Lowes spotted 4″ PVC pipe and suddenly it all made sense.

So, here are the basic supplies:Supplies for Rotating Display

 

  • Graduated sized wooden circles – I’ve seen them at most big box retailers.
  • a length of 4″ PVC Pipe (in my case cut into three 7″ lengths) (( also see  “note” below about using smaller versions)
  • 4 (four) 4″ PVC flat-bottomed pipe caps
  • 1 (one) lazy susan base (usually found by the drawer slides at Lowes or elsewhere)
  • A chunk of scrap wood for the base
  • Screws, drill, paint etc

The first step, determining the center of the circle, was the second most challenging part of this project. I tried to do the math but eventually ended up just eyeballing it and it came out ok.

Once I had calculated eyeballed the center of the largest circle, I used three screws to attach one of the 4″ caps upside down.Make a rotating display stand

I did the same with the medium circle – attaching the caps to both the top and bottom.

And finally, I attached a cap to the underside of the smallest circle.

After that it was just a matter of attaching the PVC pipes and I had my tower.DIY Rotating Display Stand Tutorial Cheltenham Road

Turntable Display Chelteham Road Unique LAOK, here is the trickiest part.

Apparently everyone but me was born with the knowledge of how to install a lazy susan base because the package comes with no instructions. NONE. ZERO. NADA.

It turns out to be fairly logical and quite do-able once it’s explained to you.  However, I am not the person to do that . This video (by a woman whose last name is Chaney so she must be cool) helped me understand.Cheltenham Road Booth for Unique LA Spring 2014

Tips and post-project realizations:

If they’ll do it, have the hardware store cut the PVC pipe for you to length. I did it on my chop saw and though it was easy, it was messy and (don’t tell my dad) I had to resort to semi-unsafe saw usage to make it happen.

Don’t paint the PVC pipe. Or at least don’t paint the parts where the cap and the pipe come together. I did a very light coating with spray paint and just that was enough to make them stick together REALLY REALLY snugly. I can still get them apart but it’s a lot of work.

For the second tower I made I went down to a smaller size of PVC.  It was a little bit cheaper and seems just as strong – it just depends on the weight of whatever you’re displaying.

So there you go.  Rotating, easy transport towers.  And no tears!!!!! (well, ok, there were some minor tears when I couldn’t figure out the lazy susan base and felt really dumb but it passed).

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!

 

Breakfast in Bed

Breakfast in Bed Tray Tutorial by Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksJust a quickie post to say that my latest tutorial is up over at Mod Podge Rocks.

In my continued quest to clean up and weed out stuff from my workroom and the garage I’m trying not to buy new things unless I know A) exactly what to do with them and B) that I will do it promptly.

But, when I saw this breakfast tray marked at just $2.0o in the thrift store (admittedly a place I probably shouldn’t be going if my goal is to not buy new things) I knew it met both criteria:Thrift Store Breakfast Tray Tutorial Cheltenham RoadA) I really wanted to try out the new(ish) Mod Podge Transfer Medium and I had a “vision!”
B) I needed a new Mod Podge Rocks project

and…bonus!

C) I wanted breakfast in bed

It all came together nicely and the transfer medium was easy to work with.Mod Podge Tray Tutorial by Cheltenham Road

So join me for breakfast won’t you (although by the time I took the picture it wasn’t breakfast time anymore and the coffee was cold……but I totally scarfed the croissant…….and the four others that came in the package  because, as you know, I’m all about moderation.)

Tutorial: Pallet Wood Display Shelf

Tutorial - Turn a Pallet into a Display Shelf by Cheltenham RoadI’ve seen something like a billion pallet wood projects on the web and I was beginning to feel a bit left out when, happily,  the most expensive saw in the world came with its own pallet!

I was eager to use it but didn’t know what to make until I was cleaning some bookshelves  and decided my accidental vintage camera collection needed a  home.

Have you ever done that?  Accidentally started a collection?  I had no idea I collected cameras until I discovered I’d bought three of them.

So, burgeoning camera collection please meet pallet wood!Pallet Wood Shelf ProjectI’m not really good with advance planning so this project kind of “evolved” as I went – please bear with me as I improv my way toward a shelf.

First off I had to take the pallet apart.  I’d seen posts on Pinterest about “how to take apart a pallet” and thought disdainfully  “really?  We need a tutorial for that?”

I should have looked at them.  Those people  are not fooling around when they put those pallets together.

Once I got it pried apart I cut the wood  pieces down to 21” lengths reserving the remainder for the shelving.

It was at this point that I had the idea that it would look cool if I had a frame around the piece so I went digging and came up with the perfect size lengths  of wood (this is the point in other people’s tutorials where I begin to think “I’m so happy for you and your endless supply of perfect materials that you just have lying around.”  I do apologize for being that person but I really do produce a lot of random scrap wood)Tutorial Display Shelf made from an old palletI cut the ends of the frame wood at 45 degree angles and set about painting.

My plan was to paint it white – to contrast with the black cameras – but I did want a little distressing.

So I stained the edges of the wood, rubbed them with wax and then painted them white because…..that’s my move!

How to distress woodChicks dig it!

Once the paint had dried a quick sanding and voila! Semi-instant vintage wood!How To Make New Wood Look Old and Chippy Tutorial Cheltenham RoadI flipped all the pieces over and using my carpenters square to keep it, well, square, I attached them all together with a couple more pieces of scrap wood (sorry!).Simple DIY Reclaimed Pallet Wood Dislpay ShelfI attached the frame using my nail gun and some glue….and then patched the two corners where the frame didn’t quite meet.  Wood spackle for the cornersThe frame isn’t structural and thing was supposed to look rustic but there is a line between “rustic” and “dude can’t measure” and I didn’t want to make it quite so obvious that I have a permanent home in the latter camp.

I laid the shelving pieces out and maked their location – using my carpenter’s square to make sure they would be straight and level.Mark Front for Shelf Placement  I drilled pilot holes  and then screwed the shelves themselves in from the back.

And that’s all she wrote.Reused Pallate Wood Project ShelfI think it shows off the camera’s nicelyDIY Pallet Display Shelf

I’ve got a little space for new cameras …..and I’ll need some because, as I learned on Sesame Street …one of these things is not like the others……Pallet Wood Display Shelf Cheltenham RoadThatDIYPartybutton_zps5b45d013Home Storeis A 2 ZWAW_BUTTONbeyond the picket fence

End Table – The Next Generation

Hello again!

Thanks for all the comments on my new saw.  She needs a name though.  Maxie?  Athena (she’s kind of god-like).  Thoughts?

I’m so looking forward to not cutting my fingers off!!!!

Anyway, remember this little table makeover?  That went from this:Deco End Table Makeover BeforeTo this:Deco End Table by Cheltenham RoadWell,  as is often the case with me, after I finished it and declared myself happy I immediately thought of something else I could do with it.

I’d come across a bunch of little decorative frames in the dollar bins at Michaels so with a bit of Mod Podge, paper and paint I blinged it up a bit.Mod Podge End Table Makeover Tutorial

The latest step in its evolution is also my latest tutorial over at Mod Podge Rocks. 

It is, as you can imagine, super simple.  If i you’re interested in the details, head on over to Amy blog (or just click on the picture below).Cheltenham Road and Mod Podge Rocks End Table Makeover

Happy (almost) Presidents Day Weekend!

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