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beach frame

beach frame

make-it-for-less-beach-style-vintage-photo-holder-tutorial-by-cheltenham-roadI’m a silly person (it’s possible this has dawned on you previously)

And I have a question.

Is it wrong to do projects just out of spite?

Because I think I just did.

Welcome to Spite Crafting with Cheltenham Road

Backstory:  I can be a bit over-thrifty.  I don’t like to spend money.

Total Truth: I started Cheltenham Road partly because I was tired of the sticker shock I got every time I visited PB or Restoration Hardware.  My vow was that I wanted people to be pleasantly surprised when they flipped a CR price tag over and I try very hard to hold to that goal.

But I’m still subject to sticker shock.

The other day I was wandering a big box store and came across this:big-store-photo-holder

Cool.  Kinda fun.  Not something I need or want but I liked it.

And then I checked the pricebeach-photo-frame

$50?!!!

And that….kinda made me mad?  I don’t know…I just suddenly had to make one.  Just to prove that it didn’t need to cost that much.

Spite crafting.

So I went home, pulled supplies and did my own.

Here’s what I used.

simple-rustic-photo-display-tutorial-by-cheltenham-road

  • 16×16  frame*
  • Folk Art Milk Paint (Petticoat and Veranda Blue)**
  • 6 pieces of thin Luan scrap wood cut to 2 inches high by 16″ long
  • Sandpaper
  • Glue
  • String
  • Screws
  • Clothespins

* I want to be honest here.  I had intended to use a thrift store frame for this project.  But my local thrift store is “closed for remodeling.”  (Who remodels a thrift store?  It’s a big room with stuff piled in it – it’s not like anyone is hoping for better lighting or a juice bar…..well,…actually I do live in Southern California so actually someone might be hoping for a juice bar…OK I take it back.  I look forward to my next combo thrift shopping/cleanse experience).  So I made this very basic frame from scrap wood.  

I cut the scrap wood backer to size and painted the frame, 3 backing strips and 3 clothespins with the Petticoat White Milk Paint.  I painted two strips and three clothespins with the Veranda Blue Milk Paint and left three of the backing strips unpainted. Once everything had dried I did a light sanding for a distressed look.

The Folk Art Milk Paint worked beautifully for this project.  It’s easy to work with, has great coverage (one coat this time) and dries very quickly.   I’m enjoying working with it.

photo-display-idea

After gluing the slats in place

rustic-beachy-photo-display-tutorial-by-cheltenham-road

It was time to attach the string.

I drilled holes through the frame at 4 inches from the top and bottom on both sidesphoto-frame-tutorial-drill

and ran the string through the holes.

To keep the string in place I wrapped the ends around screws and drilled them into the holes.diy-cottage-style-photo-display-frame-tutorial

And that’s it!simple-beachy-photo-display-holder-by-cheltenham-roadDone!  It took, at most, a couple of hours not counting paint/glue drying time.rustic-photo-display-tutorial-by-cheltenham-road

And not too different from the originalstore-bought-vs-diy-photo-display-tutorial

A beachy,  vintagy,  sorta spitefully motivated photo display!!!!

In Fairness: I do recognize that stores have lots of expenses, employees, overhead, insurance  and $50 isn’t that exorbitant.  I just….had a moment….

I also recognize that not everyone has easy access to the tools and supplies I had on hand to make this project.  But I do believe anyone could make something similar for very little money using a thrift store frame ($5-$10) and any leftover paint.  The backer strips aren’t structural and could be made out of anything – scrapbook paper, cardboard, matte board, heck, even fabric.  If you didn’t have access to a drill the string could be, as it is in the store-version, just tacked on the front of the frame.

**Disclaimer:  The good folks at Plaid provided me with the milk paint for this project as part of their Plaid Ambassador program.  I received no other compensation and all the opinions and experiences are my own.  Any links provided are simply for informational purposes – I receive no remuneration if you click on them.

Kitchen Spice Shelf Tutorial

Kitchen Spice Shelf Tutorial

simple-do-it-yourself-kitchen-spice-shelf-by-cheltenham-roadAs you know I have spent the last several years clawing my way to the top of the Glues Stuff To Wood industry.

It hasn’t been easy.  My competition (children ages 6-10) are clever and, of course, ruthless. Occasionally it’s nice to get a break from all that gluing and so, when Geralyn asked me to make a spice shelf for her kitchen I jumped at the chance (if by “jumped” you accept that I mean she asked me in October and I’m just doing it now…..)

I actually made a similar shelf for storing pots and their lids once before so I just kind of riffed on what I remembered.diy-pots-and-pans-shelf-by-cheltenham-road

I used scrap wood that I had on hand and power tools but I assure you it can be done using items found at a home improvement center and regular old screws or nails.

I used:

supplies-for-diy-shelf

  • 1 (one) 1/2″ plywood shelf cut to 30″ long by 6″ deep
  • 1 (one) 1/2 plywood backer cut to 30.5″ long and 6″ high
  • 1 piece of crown moulding 21″ long
  • 3 pieces of 1′ high Poplar trim (I cut it down from larger trim pieces)
  • 2 (two) pieces of 2×4 cut down into 45 degree triangular supports
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Semi Gloss Spray Paint

Assembly is pretty straight-forward.

I attached the Poplar trim to the front and sides of the shelf (just using simple butt-joints) with glue and pin nails.diy-kitchen-shelf-by-cheltenham-road

And then attached the shelf to the backer with glue and larger nailsscrapwood-shelf-by-cheltenham-road

The triangular supports were glued and nailed in place and the same was done with the piece of crown moulding.assemble-shelf

After a bit of touch up with wood puttyspackle I was ready for painting (after a bit of sanding)diy-scrapwood-shelf

For these photos I just used D-ring hooks to hang it on my fencesimple-kitchen-spice-shelf

We’ll need to determine how best to hang it on-site in Geralyn’s kitchensimple-diy-kitchen-shelf

For this picture I just used my Griffith Spice Jar Labels and round Ikea Kitchen Jar labels. You can find the tutorials and downloads at the links if you’re so inclined.

The whole thing – from sourcing the scraps to the final painting only took a few hours.

IF YOU WANTED TO MAKE ONE

I made the original all-those-years-ago while living in a 1 bedroom apartment in New York with no equipment except a drill so I can attest it’s quite do-able if you don’t have access to the tools I used this time.

A home store could easily cut 1×6 boards down to length and the moulding could also be cut in-store as could the triangular supports.  Using screws rather than pin nails would work just fine.

 

A Thrift Store Tray for All Occasions

I’m on a tray kick.

This is actually due to the fact that I got excited, bought a bunch of thrift store trays back in November but didn’t have time to do anything with them until now.  So, maybe not a tray-kick so much as a tray-delay.

Anyway, up first, this “photo-tray.”thrift-store-tray

I see these in thrift stores a lot (as if everyone suddenly realized that putting drinks down on your loved one’s face wasn’t as awesome as they’d hoped) and I’ve bought a few.  But they can be challenging – once you remove the glass, and matte you have a big gap in the grooves where those things used to go.  I’ve done various work-arounds but it’s always a bit of a hassle.

But I had an idea.

Perhaps a tray for all occasions could be fashioned?

Usually the glass is removable but on this one it wasn’t so, after sanding the wood just a bit (to give the paint something to stick to), I taped it off the glass and gave it a quick coat of spray paint.masked-and-ready-to-paint

While the tray dried, I used the original base as a guide and cut out various sheets of paper, anaglypta and wrapping paper.measure-and-cut

And now, with very little effort,  I have a changeable tray for any pretty much season or occasion.

Easter?easy-tray-makeover-by-cheltenham-road

Check!*

Having the theatre kids over for a snack?thrift-store-tray-makeover-idea-by-cheltenham-road

Check!

Feeling a need to class it up with some Vivaldi and color-coordinated fruit?a-tray-for-all-seasons

Check!

So there you go! I am covered for all occasions – as long as I have appropriate wrapping paper and/or a fair amount of advanced warning.

 

*(I may, or may not have started with Easter to justify the purchase of Peeps. 

I may or may not have subsequently realized I wanted to make smore’s but was out of conventional marshmallows. 

I then may or may not have discovered that lighting Peeps on fire produces a lot of smoke and that torching Peeps makes one feel like kind of a bad person.  

Below is a picture of happier, anticipatory times)bunny-smores

Sally’s Visit and Paper Jewelry

My sister Sally is visiting me this week.

My oldest sister and I have a lot in common and once she stopped using the phrase “unnecessary addition” and “ruined everything” to describe my birth we’ve gotten along great!*

(*I’m joking of course, everyone always has been and always will be overjoyed to have me around.  Please remember that if we ever meet.  If you can’t quite put your finger on the emotion you’re experiencing it is overjoyedness.  Trust me.)

Sally dabbled in acting too and has always been an artist working in all sorts of media.  She has, for a long time, had a great passion for paper.  She makes her own paper, does paper sculptures, books etc – it’s all quite beautiful.

After she arrived for her visit and we had chatted a bit she brought out this small bagpaulas-bag

(which, keeping it in the family, was made for her by our sister Paula)

and out of it pulled these suppliessally-kit

Intrigued (and a bit concerned that I wasn’t keeping her sufficiently entertained) I asked her what it was for and she told me about her current passion for making paper jewelry and that this is her travelling workshop.

I’d never heard of paper jewelry and I was fascinated to watch her work.

After cutting out some simple ovals of various sizespieces-parts

she carefully wrapped/molded them into her desired shape and glued them together producing these super cool earrings.ear-rings

Then, she shared a picture of some of her other, finished work:paper-ear-rings-by-sarah-alger

Aren’t they beautiful?!  All made of paper.

And then Sally then revealed her true purpose.

In the paper jewelry game durability is kinda key.

She’d been using a fairly expensive product to coat her work but wanted to experiment with Mod Podge Stiffy to see if it would provide the same results.   And since she knew I was the Mod Podge Ambassador in the family she thought I might have a stash.mod-podge-stiffy

As luck would have it, the good folks at Plaid had sent me a bottle of Stiffy.   I haven’t experimented with it since, A) I don’t really do much with fabric and, B) I’m waaaaay too juvenile to use it or reference it without bursting into extremely immature giggles and/or feel like I’m writing 50 Shades of Grey – Craft Edition.

Anyway, Sally wanted to try it out which was perfect!

She grabbed the Stiffy…

….nope!…

OK.  Let’s try that again.

She dabbed the Stiffy….

….ugh…..

She found the Stiffy….

….I can’t do this…..

OK, sorry, I need to grow up.  But that’s clearly not going to happen anytime soon so………….I’m just going to call it Voldemort.

Take two!

Sally brushed the Voldemort on and between the layers of paper and let them dry. stiffy I was impressed and so was she! It worked beautifully.  Mod Podge Voldemort both provided adhesion between the layers but also gave the earrings just the right amount of sturdiness so that they will hold up to wear and tear.  These just need a final sealing coat on the back and the addition of the findings and she’s good to go.

She has a bunch of other stuff with her so I’m hoping she shows me more of what she’s working on during the visit.

But I’m not going to make her work on her earrings the whole time she’s here.  No, the garage needs cleaning and I need some coaster backs cut too! (she’s overjoyed.  See?!)

Perfect.

Disclaimer: The good folks at Plaid have provided me (though they probably regret it at this point) with Mod Podge Voldemort as part of my Plaid Ambassador position.  All opinions and juvenile asides are totally on me and I have not received any other compensation for this post.  Links are provided just for reference and convenience.

Galvanized Metal Tray Makeover and Jet Lag

I’ve come (back) from the Land Down Under!

It was a great trip.  I saw amazing sites, drank a lot of beer, watched a lot of tennis and truly enjoyed my first full-fledged vacation in years.

Australia maintained its reputation for vicious insect attacks (I stepped on a bee at the beach).  Fortunately the area is named “Manly Beach” and my response to was, I assure you, very Manly.

Sometimes men emit high pitched screams.  We can do that.  Don’t judge.

I also discovered that I no longer tan.

I used to.  I used to turn a nice olive color but now I just become bright red and then, overnight,  it fades back to my natural color, Pasty Accountant White (part of Sherwin Williams new spring color collection).

Disappointing.

I flew back on Friday and discovered Michaels Craft Store was celebrating my return with one of their super-rare 60% off coupons (thoughtful!)  so I dragged my severely jet-lagged self to the store.

I’d intended to just stock up on a supply item but stumbled across this metal tray michaels-tray-makeover

And for 60% the cost came down to $10 and my, admittedly somewhat addled, mind saw possibilities!

It’s a cool tray but, being  me , I thought it could use some graphic enhancement and had been curious to see if the polycrylic technique I’d tried with my yardstick tray  and Halloween candle holder would work on metal.

Back home I got right to work (…after accidentally falling asleep for approximately two days…..)!

I pulled some bicycle graphics from the ever-reliable Graphics Fairy (her blog is also the source for the polycrylic transfer method)graphic-fairy-bicycle-imagegraphics-fairy-bicycle-ad

and did a little mixing and matching in Photoshop to get the look I wanted.crescent-bicycle-tray-master-2017

Of course, as always, the tray was larger than my printing capabilities so, after reversing the graphic, I printed it out in three sections on my laser printer (I just use plain old Staples brand legal sized paper for this).diy-metal-tray

The transfer method is the same as for the signs.

I laid down a nice layer of polycrylic on the bottom of the trayMetal Tray Makeover with Image Transfer

I laid the pieces in place, smoothed them down with a brayer, wiped away any excess polycrilic and…..went back to bed.

After letting it dry overnight I began to rub away the paper with a wet cloth until the image was revealed.diy-michaels-crafts-tray-transformation

It worked great!  galvanized-tray-makeover-project-by-cheltenham-roadIt actually worked a little too great and I had to go back in and rub really hard to remove some of the image to get the distressed look I wanted.image-transfer-on-metal-tray-from-michaels-crafts

I think this opens up a lot of fun possibilities.  My image is black and white but I’m quite sure colors would work just as well.

And now I must go back to factory mode for a short while.  200 coasters due at a store and my sister Sally arrives on Thursday for a visit!

2017 Meet 2002!

Happy New Year one and all!

I hope the beginning of 2017 is treating you all well.

The big new here is that it’s raining in Southern California.

THIS. IS. AWESOME!

THIS. IS. MESSING. UP. ALL. MY. PLANS!

So, rather than working outside I’ve been hibernating a bit and binge watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix*

While hibernating I’ve been setting up goals for 2017 and one of them is to do a bunch of projects that I’ve been putting off since, well, about 2002.

I think that’s a perfectly reasonable turn-around time on a project wouldn’t you agree? (rhetorical question)

First up (no pictures, sorry) are my father’s cabinets.

My dad designed and built two perfect wall cabinets to make my tiny New York City kitchen be functional.  When I moved to LA they came with me but there was no place to put them in my new house and they’ve been moldering away in the garage ever since.  But I’ve found a spot!  (OK, I found a spot about 3 years ago) and this is the year they get refurbished and rehung!

Up next, I acquired these chairs when Geralyn’s office was remodeled.chair

They have survived every garage purge since 2002 because I keep vowing that I was going to do a makeover on themchair-back

They are nice, solid wood, and I think they have nice lines and lots of potential (I may be wrong).chairs

I’m not much an upholstery guy but I’m determined to at least give it a shot.

And finally, I salvaged these two end tables from a beyond-repair vanity.end-table

They are beautiful, solid wood, dovetail jointed pieces.end-tables

Lots of damage to the finish on the sides but not a hugely difficult project.  A fact which does not in any way help to explain why it has taken me so long to do it since I need them in my living room.

So, I’m posting this in the hope that you will keep me honest.  If you don’t see at least one of these projects done by mid-February you have my permission to start bugging me about them.

In the meanwhile I’m at work on new coaster designs and new product designs for the New Year (and maybe even, finally, getting that long-promised web site up and running)

Happy New Year everyone!

 

*This has proved to be somewhat cathartic for my actor-side.  I didn’t watch Parks and Rec when it was on but I did audition for it five times.  5 times!!!  And I NEVER GOT THE PART!!!!

I thought I must have really sucked but, if I sucked, why did they keep having me come back, right?

Well, while binge watching I keep getting right up to some part I auditioned for and then, poof! it’s not there.

This means that either A) they saw my audition tape and thought “good god! that was terrible! cut that part!!!” or B) more generously, “wow! if David can’t even make that work we should cut it” or C) more realistically, the part(s) just got cut which happens all the time.  I actually arrived at an audition for SuperStore the other day only to discover that the part had been cut WHILE I WAS DRIVING TO THE AUDITION.  Stuff happens.

But, you know, YAY, I didn’t suck!

And also Parks and Recreation is an awesome show!  I can’t believe I missed it the first time around!

Simple Solution for Christmas Decorating and the Giant TV over the Mantle

This is a not a lifestyle or decorating blog.

Mostly that is because my decorating and lifestyle could best be described as “something has gone wrong.”

I have good ideas but the place is pretty much a perpetual mess and a hodge podge of not-quite- finished projects

But for Christmas I decorate.

Well, actually, for the Christmas party I decorate – I’m not sure I’d do it if a bunch of people weren’t coming over.  But I do enjoy it and this year I solved a long standing dilemma.

While I love my big TV, it’s place of honor over the mantle kinda kills any holiday mantle decorating. what-to-do-with-the-tv-at-christmas

(yes, the orange Loony Toons monster lives there year round)

I’ve tried various solutions but never quite been satisfied until this year.

It was super simple and though I’m quite sure I’m far from the first person to think of it I was pleased with it and  I think came out looking pretty festive.

I just took a  large box and cut it down to match the dimensions of my TV  -creating a “cover”television-cover-up-idea-for-christmas

After “wrapping” it I just placed it over the front of the TV along with some other boxes and, viola! festive mantle!holiday-mantle-tv-cover-up-by-cheltenham-road

Now this is a case where my sister Paula would have come in handy as she is a package wrapping genius – all of her gifts are truly works of art – you almost feel bad opening them (well, let’s keep it real here, “almost” is the key word in that sentence).  She would have truly taken this to the next level but I made do with my limited skills.*christmas-mantle-tv-cover-up-by-cheltenham-road

The best part is that, when I remove the cover to catch up on my favorite shows it looks like maybe somebody  bought me a giant TV for Christmas!!!! It’s just what I wanted!  And I know exactly where I’ll put it!dsc_6894

 

*I’m not as bad as my dad at gift-wrapping though.  The one year he decided to wrap all his Christmas presents by himself he somehow managed to use, not wrapping paper but the extra rolls of dining room wall paper that my mom was saving in case of emergency.  He thought it  ” looked nice and sort of familiar but was surprisingly stiff and hard to fold”

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