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Category Archives: Tutorials

Clutter Cover Up Idea! My Sister is a Genius!

I made a quick trip to Ohio recently to see the family.  My sister Phebe – sober voice of reason/organizer extraordinaire has a new house and she had come up with what I thought was a genius solution to hiding the clutter of all those DVD cases.  I asked if she would mind doing a tutorial on it and she has agreed. Clutter Cover Up Tutorial Cheltenham Road

So, I’ll turn it over to my sister (with some editorial notes from me perhaps).

So our cashe of DVDs grew throughout the 90s and onward…movies as gifts & gags, or rare old friends to be enjoyed once a year…and, even though they are in alphabetical order (Ed Note: she’s serious.  Her spices are too), the shelves look, well…disordered! Phebe's Bookshelf Makeover - DVD Hiding Coverup

My kids say, “just download, Mom, throw out the actual discs–they are a thing of the past!” I know I am dating myself–but I experienced record albums & cassettes, movies that stayed in theaters for 6-8 MONTHS, only 3 channels on our TV, 8-tracks (for pity’s sake!), VHS tapes (in two different case sizes—thanks, Disney)…and finally the DVDs. I’m ready to stop now! Stand still! Keep the dang things and use them as is! (Ed Note: and get off my lawn!)

But they are a bit ugly. I want them near enough to the TV to easily feed a rainy day whim, but how to cover them up? I came up with these  DVD shelf covers.Materials for Bookcase Makeover

It’s pretty easy to see what I did. They are basically a 3-sided box made from foam display board. I cut strips the height of each shelf (they were all different heights!) I needed the width of the shelf plus 12 inches (6 inches per side to accommodate the depth of the DVDs).

I made a vertical slice (not all the way through—just enough to fold back to make a 90 degree corner on each end) about 6 inches in from each side, making sure that left me with a front panel that fit the width of the shelf exactly. I had to adjust and re-cut the first one because I forgot to accommodate for the depth of the foam board once the corner was made (hoorah for duct tape!), so play around with these measurements carefully to fit your particular shelves. In the center, I cut a hole for the grommet about 1.5 inches down from the top edge.

At this point, I got crazy with duct tape and used it to reinforce the corners…holding them at 90 degree angles as I smoothed the tape around both inside and outside each corner. This will help keep the foam board from tearing where I cut it partway through (I hope!).

Next I cut a fabric strip wide enough to cover all three sides with no seams and tall enough to fold over to the inside of the foam board with several inches to spare. I used spray glue (do this outside—very sticky!) and smoothed the fabric on and around the edge to the inside. I didn’t use the spray at the inside corners, I painted glue on those places and really worked the fabric deep into the corners. I even stitched down the folded miters of fabric at the ends on the inside to ensure that they would stay put and be smooth.DVD Collection Cover-Up Tutorial I cut open the hole for the grommetCreate a Hole for the Grommet and folded and glued the fabric to the inside. Last, I glued in one half of the grommet (the foam board is too thick to use both halves) to make an easy finger grip.Front View Grommet Installed

I did put small, flat bookends to hold the DVDs upright so that the sides of my covers slide right in next to the end DVD on each shelf. I have pushed the covers snug to leave a shelf to throw my keys on…a simple pull on the finger hole gets me access to the discs! My “tidy” gene is satisfied! Hey, did my brother get one of those? (Ed Note:  Yes! He did but lacks the willpower and skills to actually make things tidy…..please visit)

Two Ways to Distress Wood

Two Techniques to Get that Chippy Look Tutorial by Cheltenham RoadIt is a far, far better distressed wood technique I do than I have ever done.

A Tale of Two Chippies.

That was my original title for this post but I thought it sounded like it was going to be about a pair of floosies from the 1920s.

I recently heard about using wax and duct tape to achieve a distressed, chippy wood effect. As you know, I’ve always used the “wax and sand it” approach. I’ve been happy with the results but wanted to see if this technique was better.

My other goal was to create a more interesting backdrop for some of my pictures. Most of the walls in my house are kind of tan, neutrally colors and they just never seem to photograph well.

So I gathered my supplies for the chippy-off! I had two pieces of left-over beadboard to work with.supplies for distressed wood project Cheltenham Road

For version one I stuck with my standard method: Wood, wax, (paint) and a sander.

Approach number two called for wood, wax, (paint), duct tape and a blow dryer.

For reasons that are painfully obvious I no longer own a blow dryer……so I defaulted to a heat gun.

The basic technique is the same for each.

Give the wood a quick base-coat of color (I painted one board green and one blue)Create a Distressed Wood Backdrop Tutorial by Cheltenham Road

Then, once that’s dry, grab a candle (or in my case a huge chunk of wax that used to be a candle of some kind) and rub it like crazy all over the board wherever you want the base-coat color to show through.Use Wax to Distress Painted Wood Tutorial Cheltenham Road Then come back in and paint the whole thing with another coat of paint (white in this case) and allow to dry.  The idea being that the top coat of paint won’t stick where you waxed.

For my standard approach the undercoat was green and I used my electric sander to sand away the top coat of paint. It looked like this:Distressed Wood Tutorial Two Techniques Cheltenham Road

Now, onto the new technique. After the top coat of paint has thoroughly dried you point your blow dryer or heat gun at it until the wax gets melty.How to Distress Painted Wood Tutorial Cheltenham Road

Sidebar Thoughts on a heat gunIt only takes a few seconds of heating and then you quickly apply a piece of duct tape (only duct tape will do)Distressed Wood Tutorial Cheltenham Road

And then peel it away.  Check it out!Distress Wood with Duct Tape Tutorial Cheltenham Road

Totally natural looking peeling, aged paint!

I like it!

Ok, for a board this big it took a bit of time but I did discover that you can use the same piece of duct tape a few times before it loses its peeling qualities.

Also, don’t heat things up too much or it will peel away all the layers of paint.Too much heat

Now it was time to play around with photographing it.Create A Distressed Wood Background for Photos Tutorial Cheltenham RoadThe wax and sand method is quicker to do and creates a good, crumbly paint appearanceChippy Paint Techniques Tutorial Cheltenham Road

The duct tape technique is little more labor intensive and might be best for smaller items but it creates a very natural old-paint look.Distress Wood Technique Cheltenham RoadI will have to play around some more to figure out how best to use these backgrounds but going forward I think I’ll use both techniques depending on the project.Make a Distressed Wood Backdrop for Photos Cheltenham RoadBonus!  And if this Cheltenham Road business fails I think I may now have the basic skills to get people ready for next year’s swim suit season!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.

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.

 

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