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Category Archives: Houseware Crafts

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

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!

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”

Holiday Centerpiece Idea

holiday-centerpiece-idea-by-cheltenham-roadI always hope to have a relaxing, hot-chocolate sipping, carol singing sort of Christmas season.

I would have you guys over.  We’d snack on desserts and chat.  I would be mellow yet festive, the perfect, relaxed host.

And then then we’d go ice-skating in hell while a flock of pigs flew overhead because only when those things happen will I be mellow  at Christmas time.

 

I love the season, I really do, and I have a great time but there is nothing laid back about it for me (especially now).

So, with my annual Holiday Dessert Party Extravaganza looming it was time to turn my mind to decorating as this is my only weekend to do it.

This year I wanted to come up with something fun for the center of the dessert table and I had an idea that would use apothecary jars, some scraps of wood, lighted mini Christmas trees and a bit of fake snow.

I cut my scrap wood down into different sized blockssupplies-for-christmas-centerpiece

And then wrapped it with some plain copy paper, kraft paper, mini wrapping paper, ribbon and twine I found at Michaelsmini-christmas-packages

I’d purchased some tiny, lighted  Christmas Trees at a post-Xmas Target sale last year.

I wanted to hide the battery pack so I wrapped it too (after making sure it didn’t heat up when the tree was turned on)disguise

I added some fake snow to the bottom of the apothecary jars and then piled in the presents.christmas-centerpiece-by-cheltenham-road

I thought trio of jars on a galvanized tray might look good.festive-holiday-centerpiece-idea-by-cheltenham-road

And I wound some mini lights in the tray as well for a little extra glow  (though I need to hide the wires a bit better)galvanzied-tray

I’m having a bit of trouble taking a decent “night” photo of them but you get the idea I think.apothocary-christmas-tree-centerpiece-idea-by-cheltenham-road

If you wanted to do something similar I think mason jars would look great.  The packages could also be made out of styrofoam and if you can’t find lighted trees then simple bottle brush version would work and you could layer in some mini lights inside the jar.christmas-decorating-idea-by-cheltenham-road

OK!  That’s one decorating idea down!  Onward!

Oh and Happy (almost) Thanksgiving everyone!

Folk Art Barnwood Painted Finish Technique, Stenciling and Mean Elementary School Teachers

easy-two-step-technique-to-create-an-aged-barnwood-effectDisclaimer: Plaid has provided me with the tools and materials for this project.  All opinions, however, are my own.

The folks at Folk Art have made a line of water based finishes that mimic the look of Concrete, Moss, Rust and Barnwood.

I’ve been itching to try out the Barnwood look.   I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to try it out on.

As usual I dithered a while and finally decided to use it on a simple crate.

But, as my plan evolved I realized I needed to face and overcome a longstanding fear:reasonable-vs-unreasonable-fears-list

I’m not quite sure why I find the idea of stenciling intimidating but I’ve kind of avoided using stencils all this time.

However, Plaid has sent me hundreds of stencils.  It appears that they too think I should get over myself.

To create the crate I used:diy-antique-crate-supplies

  • (2) 3.5x 1/2 craft wood strips cut to 11.5″ long
  • (2) 3.5×1/2″ craft wood strips cut to 7″ long
  • (1) piece of fiberboard for the bottom cut to 6 3/4″ x 12 1/4″
  • screws
  • brad nails (not pictured)
  • Hammer

To create the Barnwood  Paint Effect and Stencil I used

barnwood-stencil-supplies

  • Folk Art Barnwood Tint
  • Folk Art Barnwood Wax
  • Folk Art Milk Paint Brush (Folk Art Shortie Brushes are recommended for this technique but I didn’t have one on hand)
  • Craft Stick
  • Soft cloth
  • Folk Art Acrylic Craft Paint (Imperial Red)
  • Folk Art “Farmers Market” stencil
  • Plaid Stencil Brush

I will confess I was surprised to find out that “Barnwood” did not mean it was red.  But despite that initial hiccup I discovered that using the finish to creating the Barnwood look was a very easy two step process.

  • I sanded the unfinished wood and applied a coat of the Barnwood Tint
  • Once that had dried (four hours) I went over the surface with a coat of Barnwood Wax.
  • I wiped away any extra wax  and then went back in with a craft stick and scrapped away any excess wax allowing what remained to settle into the grooves of the wood (Note: one of my boards turned out to be a little warped so rather than the stiff craft stick I used a small piece of cardstock that had a bit more flexibility and that worked great).
  • Once I was satisfied with the look I set it aside to dry for 24 hours.faux-barnwood-painting-technique

I was impressed with the result.  There are lots of colors and variations and each of my four pieces ended up looking a bit different which really adds to the look of it.

two-step-barnwood-paint-effect

Then came the stencil!

My practice runs did’t bode well.  There were lots of leaks and blobs and fuzzy, unsatisfactory results.

However,  once I began actually following the instructions (which is a totally cool thing to do – you should try it!) and realized that when they say “you want your brush almost dry” they REALLY mean it I achieved, instantaneous Rock Star stencils.

I was killin’ it!!!! stencil-project

(I was not “killin’ it” however when I failed to center the the words on the wood.  Lets just chalk that up to over-excitement shall we and move on?).

As a matter of fact I was so pleased with how easy it was I stenciled all the other sides as well which wasn’t part of my initial plan.

Assembling the box was just a matter of screwing the sides together and using a few brad nails to attache the bottom.farmers-market-stencil-project

I actually took these final pictures in front of my rather aged backyard fence which I think looks pretty much exactly the same as the “Barnwood” paint!aged-barnwood-technique-tutorial

As an added bonus I had to buy all these vegetables for this picture.  So I will be eating vegetables!

(also, ice cream was on sale so I will be eating ice cream!)

All in all I’m pretty pleased with the Painted Finishes technique and I’m looking forward to trying out (and reporting back) on the other finishes.

And I am now all about stenciling!

The entire line of Folk Art Painted finishes are available and Michaels and JoAnn’s as well as via the Plaid web site (I do not receive any remuneration if you click that link)

*Mrs Gombert:

Tall.  Red, beehive hairdo.  Stern expression.  Limited sense of humor.  Name that sounds like a Middle Earth creature who, at first seems nice but soon reveals an evil plan: The Gombert.

I think she scared everyone but I earned a special place in her dark heart when, one day, after being given what I thought was an unreasonable amount of homework I quite innocently asked why “she got paid if we did all the work?”

OK, as an adult I recognize the flaw in my thinking (teachers please don’t email me) but, as a kid, it made sense to me.  However, this statement caused Mrs Gombert to become somewhat unhinged when it came to me (I once got detention for looking out the window!) and I lived in fear of her for the rest of the year.

She’d be on your list too.  Maybe even above spiders.

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