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Category Archives: Tutorials

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!

Garage Organization: Use Mason Jars for Leftover Paint (with Free Printable Label)

Use Mason Jars to Store Leftover Paint Cheltenham RoadThe great garage clean up continues (and continues and continues).

So journey with me, won’t you, to the dank recesses of the Blair Witch Room and a lot of leftover paint

(For readers only recently joining us my house is a 1940s fixer-upper.  We’re not quite sure what the original owner was up to but built off the back of the garage is a mysterious room that, due to its dark, cobwebby, dirty and generally creepy state of decrepitude was immediately dubbed The Blair Witch Room when I first toured the house).

I think most homeowners end up with a stash of random paint cans.  But I am no average home owner.  No, I seem to collect paint like other people collect baseball cards.  Some of it is for my house-of-many-colors and a lot of it is/was for my business.

Bottom line – I have a lot of paint.Store Leftover Paint in Mason Jars

And it’s taking up a lot of disorganized, messy room.

I don’t want to get rid of all of it but I do want to get it reduced, organized and accessible.

Mason Jars seemed like the perfect solution (I’ve seen similar projects while cruising the web).  They seal tightly.  You can see what is in them.  They cost less per jar than the paint cans sold at Home Depot.  So I picked up a couple of different sizes and got to work.Mason Jar Paint Storage ProjectI don’t know if this qualifies as a “tutorial” since the instructions would basically be “pour stuff from one container into another” but I do have some tips based on my expert experience.  Here is how I did it:

  •  Step 1: Gather a lot of paint stirrers
  • Step 2: To save yourself some stirring time shake the can really well before you open it.
  • Step 3: Check to make sure the can is thoroughly sealed shut before you shake it.
  • Step 4: Clean up the mess and change your clothes.
  • Step 5: Reverse Steps 2 and 3 and proceed.

You will, actually, need a fair number of paint stirrers.  If your paint has been sitting around it will have separated and you want to thoroughly mix it before you transfer it to the mason jars.

So, after a lot of shaking, stirring and pouring I went from this:Store Leftover Paint in Mason JarsTo This:Mason Jar Project - Store Old PaintMuch better.  Kinda pretty actually.  Makes the Blair Witch room seem a little less witchy.Mason Jars for Paint StorageAt first I just intended to note color etc on the top of the jars but I decided to kick it up a notch by making some labels that I could fill out to make everything all neat and orderly.Mason Jar Paint Label Free PrintableI just printed mine onto a sheet of 8.5×11″ label paper but I designed them (or tried to) to fit on Avery Round Labels (Avery Number 22830).  I don’t have any of the Avery labels on hand but I used the official Avery template so it should work if you’re so inclinedMason Jar Labels for Paint Storage by Cheltenham RoadClick below to download the full sized graphics

Mason Jar Paint Labels By Cheltenham Road

Free Printable Mason Jar Labels for Paint Storage by Cheltenham RoadAnd now I’m onto the next task – creating a useable, enclosed spray booth.

$10 Table 1 Hour Makeover

$10 Table 1 Hour Makeover

As I think I mentioned I’m cleaning out the garage (again!).Garage disaster

My workshop is a post -Christmas disaster and I need to be honest about what my business is now and how I should use my space.  I have grand plans!  Let’s see if I can do it.

My vow was to truly get rid of things.  I was going to be brutal!

It had actually been a bit of a struggle.  I have joked about “horders” before but, honestly, I feel like I kind of understand it the syndrome.

Each scrap of wood or random bit of ephemera I’ve gathered could be used for something……someday.  And I can never escape the fear that  pretty much the minute I pitch or donate it “someday” will come and I will wish I had it.

But I had to do it.  I’ve given away furniture that I’m just never going to work on to my friend Nicki who I know will do some amazing transformations.  I weeded out scrap wood and bits of other stuff.

My rule was that if I don’t know exactly what I want it for/want to do with it then it has to go.

I did keep a few, small, pieces of furniture because even though I really don’t have an outlet for selling it I love working on furniture (it’s how this whole journey began) and I just can’t give it up.

This little end table was a perfect example.Deco End Table Makeover Before

I picked it up for $10 at a garage sale.  The finish was toast but he lines and details were really nice.

I had a simple vision for it – just a nice, clean makeover to give it a second life.

But time is tight (those coasters aren’t going to make themselves!) so I gave myself a time limit.

One hour.

I didn’t know if that was going to be really possible but it was worth a shot.

My orbital sander made quick work of the majorly decayed finish.  And a sanding sponge worked great for getting into the nooks of those fluted edges.Use a Sanding Sponge for Detail SandingSo, 15 minutes later I had a nicely sanded piece ready for priming.Deco Side Table Sanded and ready for PaintSpray paint was the way to go on this.  It’s fast to dry and perfect for small pieces (I use Rustoleum’s American Accents mostly).

After years of missing spots when I paint I’ve gotten into the habit of flipping the furniture upside down for the initial coat of paint that way I know I’ve hit everywhere.Primed for paintingAfter the primer had dried for about 20 minutes I gave a very (VERY) light sanding.  And then top-coated with Heirloom White.  Two quick coats applied in close succession did the job nicely.

After another 20 minutes of drying I attached a black knob and I was done!DIY Deco End Table MakeoverTruth in Advertising:  While the sanding, priming, painting took an hour I still had to let the paint cure overnight before I put things down on it for these final photos.Deco End Table by Cheltenham Road

And I didn’t apply a top coat of polycrylic or wax as I’ve found the spray paint is plenty durable on it’s own.Thrift Store End Table Makeover by Cheltenham RoadBut, of course, now that it’s done and photographed I have had a brainstorm about something else I want to do with that knob area.

I think it will take a lot less than an hour……….

 

 

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)

Tutorial: Drill Bit Storage and Gauge

Tutorial: Drill Bit Storage and Gauge

Drill Bit Storage and Gauge Tutorial Cheltenham RoadI am not good with numbers.  Really not good.

Anytime numbers come into play some part of my brain checks out.  It can be prices, measurements of weight, inventory numbers…addresses……birthdays….I will die one day because I’ve forgotten some key pin code I’m sure of it.

You get the picture.

I’ve muddled through but I meet my match when it comes to carpentry.

All the fractions just leave me in the dust.  I keep thinking if I just concentrated I could remember that 7/32nds was smaller than 15/64ths.  But those numbers just don’t mean anything to me.  I mean, it makes sense but I just short circuit when I look at them.

So, among other things, I’m always struggling with drill bits (mostly trying to find them as I tend to leave them scattered throughout the garage).  Figuring out which one is the best size for whatever screw I’m drilling or dowel I’m trying to use is always kind of a tedious guessing game.

So, when I saw this picture of a drill bit gauge and storage block  – ie, a way to both store your drill bits AND easily gauge which screws would go with what bits I had to make it for myself.  (the text at the link above doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the picture btw)

It is incredibly easy of course but also really useful whether you spend a lot of time drilling things like me or just want an easy way to save a little time when you work on smaller household projects.

I’m sure there is a commercially available version of this but honestly, it’s just scrap wood and the most time consuming part is switching out the drill bits.

Here is how I made mine.

Supplies1)      Scrap 2×4

2)      Drill bits

3)      Cordless drill

4)      Pencil

5)   Carpenters Square (if you want to be neat)

I started out by dividing my 2×4 into sections (just to make it easier to line up the bits)Mark the 2x4Then using the appropriate drill bit I put a hole in the topDrill Holes in the TopAnd a corresponding hole in the frontDrill the Holes in the FrontI kept going until I’d made spots for all the bits in my case.Easy Drill Bit StorageNow when I have a screw to use I can just keep trying it in the different sized holes until I find a good match.How to match a screw to a drill bitThe same with dowels or anything else.Drill Bit Guide and StorageIt’s already proven to be a big time and stress saver.

Now if I can just discipline myself to put the drill bits back in the proper place each time my plans for world domination will be back on course!

Thanksgiving Sign Tutorial and The Holidays are Upon Us!

As promised, Amy at Mod Podge Rocks has posted the tutorial for my Shakespeare Quote Thanksgiving Sign.  Thanksgiving Sign TutorialYou can find it here along with free downloads of the graphics I created for it (both with and without  the text, in case you wanted to “do your own thing”).

In the meanwhile I’ve been trying to both get ready and keep up with Holiday demand (probably should have had the “get ready” part done a while ago….ah well)

I’ve got more new designs to finish up, make and photograph.

 And I’ve been working on getting some new photos of the Christmassy items.Vintage Holiday Votive Holder Set Cheltenham RoadMy mom always did the best Christmas decorating in our house (a tradition my sister Paula continues) so the prep for decorating  and great Christmas memories are completely intertwined for me.  Just a glimpse of a vintage Christmas ornament box sparks that Christmassy feeling.Vintage Christmas Tea light holder set

So when I was trying to come up with Christmas items for Cheltenham Road, it just made sense to focus  on that vintage box art for inspiration.Vintage Holiday Coaster Set Cheltenham Road

I guess that makes me the ultimate “he’ll play more with the box then its contents” kinda kid.  (it’s true!  I did that a lot)

Holiday Cheer Vintage  Christmas Coasters by Cheltenaham RoadHollywood Santa Claus Lane Retro Coaster SetWhile I can’t believe I already have to think about the holidays I’m also so happy to be thinking about the holidays!!

Hang in there everyone!  It is upon us!

David

Last Minute Halloween Decor – Free Printable Door Hanger

I’m just back from a quick trip to Ohio to visit the family.  It was beautiful in the Midwest – really reminded me of what fall is supposed to feel like!  I had a great time and will have some pictures of new projects from my dad and mom……just as soon as I get them off my phone…..

In the meantime, although I try not to do “reruns,” I thought this post from last year about and easy Halloween door-hanger project might be useful for last-minute Halloween decorating.

I used some scrap wood,  free images from the endlessly useful Graphics Fairy along with some free fonts from DaFont.com to create this door hanger.

You will need:

  • Scrap wood cut to size (any thickness will do, mine happened to be ¾”)
  • A candle
  • Flat black paint
  • A sander or just plain sand paper
  • Mod Podge (I used both Matte Mod Podge and Outdoor Modpodge for this project.)
  • Eye hooks
  • Wire
  • Printables

I came up with these designs using graphics from the aforementioned Graphics Fairy and a couple of free clip art images.

Here are all the graphics along with the two backgrounds in case you wanted to do your own thing.  If I’ve done it right you should be able to click on them and then save them as a JPEG to print out.

I cut my scrap wood down to 10.5” by 3” strips

….and let’s say it all together shall we?….” rubbed my candle along the edges!” (Cheltenham Road: where good ideas go to be beaten into the ground!) and then painted over it with flat black latex paint.

(The candle lays down a barrier between the raw wood and the top coat of paint and the paint won’t stick to the candle wax.  So, when you sand the edges in the next step you reveal the wood beneath and end up with an antiqued/aged look. You can see a full tutorial and explanation in this post I did on making chippy wood letters)

After the paint had dried a quick sanding gave me that slightly antiqued edge.

I then Mod Podged the graphics into place and, after they dried, trimmed and sanded the edges slightly and sealed them with a coat of Outdoor Mod Podge.

After that I put a mark 1″ in from each corner and drilled pilot holes (pilot holes are particularly important if you’re dealing with old, scrap wood – it prevents the wood from splitting).

I wired them together and my front door immediately took on a festive, fall Halloween vibe.

Now, if I can manage to look welcoming while keeping most of the candy for myself…………

Further thoughts:

I’m not crazy about the wire hanger.  I think a black rope or something would be better and painting the eye screws black would be cool too.

I wanted to use hooks and eyes (rather than wire) which I thought would be easy to come by.  However, by thinking that I, of course, immediately invoked the David Law whereby things that you’ve seen before and seem quite common and attainable suddenly cease to exist.  This happens regularly.  I don’t mean to be egocentric but I’m pretty sure that, at some point in my childhood I uttered the phrase “Oh, I’ll go pick you up a Unicorn – they’re everywhere” which lead to their immediate disappearance from the planet.

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