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Category Archives: Houseware Crafts

Go small

So, last week was all about big and this week is all about smaller.

The good thing about this slightly slower time of year is that I have time to play around and experiment (look for Positive Thinking: The Upside of Making No Money by Cheltenham Road – coming to your local Barnes and Noble store)

The Muse came up with a smart idea (for newer readers “The Muse” is an actual person, not a voice in my head or some imaginary conversation I’m having with Olivia Newton John so don’t be alarmed).

She suggested that perhaps I could make smaller HOME signs that would work as key holders.

I really like the idea because I’m a big fan of making practical stuff.  I mean I’m all about decoration but if it can be useful decoration that’s even better.

So I started playing around.

I made 4.5″ HOME lettersHome Sign Keyholder by Cheltenham Road

Attached them to a base boardWood Sign Key Holder by Cheltenham RoadAdded little hooks (there would be more hooks of course – these were the only two I had on hand).Vintage Los Angeles HOME sign keyholder by cheltenham roadI like it!

Well, I sort of like it.  This is where the playing around comes in.

I think perhaps the base board doesn’t need to be as thick. Maybe two strips of wood rather than a big solid backer wold be better?

Some magnets along with the hooks?

I will re-consult with The Muse.

What do you all think?

Happy Super Bowl Sunday to all!

go BIG

It has been a week of big.

I did (and am still doing, honestly) a big clean out of the garage workshop.

It had gotten bad. Real bad.

It’s much better now. I wouldn’t call it clean or showplace but I can move around freely have places to set things down which is a definite step up.

And I’ve made a vow to NEVER have to do this again. Yes, I know I will have to clean regularly and do tidying and such but I never want to reach the point where I just look at the mess and feel like it’s insurmountable. That was how I was feeling. I’d just look at it and think “but I don’t know what to DO with that pile of things/scraps/pieces that’s why it’s a pile!”

The goal here is to get the factory part of Cheltenham Road running smoothly so I have more time for the creative part – ie the fun part.

And speaking of big and fun.

A customer at the CoOp wanted a subway sign but he wanted a BIG subway sign. 6 feet tall big!

I had to borrow a car to get the lumber.

The slats alone took up my entire dining room table.Super Large Custom Subway Graphic Sign by Cheltenham RoadEach slat is 33″ long.
I’ve made large ones but this was the biggest.Extra Large Custom Subway Art Sign by Cheltenham RoadThe customer was pleased and I learned a lot of stuff along the way.*

And then there was the BIG change of pace.

I hope the following wont’ offend anyone and I do apologize if it does.

I don’t swear a lot myself but I do think well chosen swear words can be very, very funny.

So when an Etsy customer asked if I could make her a custom coaster set and then described what she wanted I had to say yes

Because it made me laugh really hard.Coaster SetA bit “off-brand” I will admit and I’m not totally sure I would put them in my house but I appreciate the directness of the command.

And now it’s on to other big things.

New ideas!

New ideas that I can finally get to because I can FIND stuff!

Oh!  And the timer idea is really working.  It’s keeping me much more focused and really helping me make (much needed) separation between work-time and living-time.  When you work from home those things kind of tend to mush up against each other and I think both suffer for it – I wasn’t working as much as I thought I should nor was I relaxing and enjoying myself as much as I needed to.  I’m still working on it but it it definitely moving in the right direction.

*If you wanted to make your own, similar subway artwork I did a tutorial on it a long time ago over at Mod Podge Rocks.

Vintage Dairy Label Coasters Tutorial

Vintage Dairy Label Coaster Set Tutorial  by Cheltenham RoadI make coasters (it’s possible you already know this).

What I don’t make is round coasters. I’ve tried in the past but never quite got it worked out to where the effort matched the reward.

While poking around the Dollar Store for my Halloween Candle Project I stumbled across a ton of plain, round, plastic coaster blanks.

It seemed like they had possibilities!

I was excited and full of ideas!

I snapped up a set and rushed home!

……And put them in a box and didn’t think about them for months.

It’s how I roll.

But I finally came up with a plan and, because Wylie E Coyote is my spirit animalwylie e coyote business card

I thought “why not show everyone how to make coasters so they don’t have to go to the hassle of buying them from me!”

So, you can check out the full tutorial over on Mod Podge Rocks (and then buy coasters from me. It’s just the right thing to do).

They proved to be pleasantly simple to make using stuff I (mostly) had on hand.DIY Dairy Label Coasters from the Dollar Store TutorialAnd I love that they came out looking sorta like over sized milk bottle caps Easy DIY coasters from the Dollar Store

 

Mini Dresser Vintage Camera Project

Vintage Camera Bureau by Cheltenham RoadRecently a blogger, describing a project that was giving her some difficulty, used the phrase “I enjoy a good challenge.”

That sounded good – character building even – encountering problems and through patience and skill rising above them.

And I suddenly realized something.

I do not, in fact, “enjoy a good challenge.”

No, I prefer to get an idea, know exactly how to do it, execute it quickly and then sit back, eat ice cream and bask in my own cleverness.

(The fact that this never happens is completely beside the point.  It also does not stop me from eating ice cream.)

So, a while ago my sister sent me a picture of a dresser made up to look like an old camera and I was intrigued.

I know what you’re thinking, “old cameras?! David! We never saw this coming! Who knew you liked old cameras?! You have so many layers! You’re just an endlessly mysterious onion of a person”

Any you are correct but you really might have had a just few hints…Vintage Camera CollectionRecycle Pallet Wood Display Shelf Cheltenham Road TutorialVintage Camera Coaster Setvintage camera print gallery wal Cheltenham Roadl

Anyway, the creator of the awesome bureau is very talented (you really should check out her blog) and quite an artist.  She hand-painted the camera graphic which is super cool.

But sounds kinda challenging.

So I had to figure out the easy, cheaty way to make my own version.

I wasn’t totally sure my plan would work so I was pretty happy when I found that Michaels sells little, tiny “starter bureaus.”  Perfect!

I grabbed a vintage camera and got to work.Vintage Camera Dresser Project Cheltenham RoadI snapped a high resolution picture of my camera, resized it to the dimensions of the bureau and printed it out.

I then I cut the little knobs off the bureau.

(I also then lost the little knobs and later had to dig through the trash to find them.  Challenging!)

The only problem was that the drawers had spacers between them and if i just painted them black it would break up the camera graphic too much. So I tried it this way:

I removed the drawers, ran a bead of Mod Podge around all the edges and adhered the photo in place.Michaels mini-burea made into a vintage cameraOnce it had really dried I carefully ran my knife around all the openings so that I had sections that were the size of the drawers. DIY Make a Jewelry Box look like a vintage cameraThen I mod podged those sections into place on the drawer fronts and trimmed away any excess.

Once it was dry I sealed it with more Mod Podge.

After recovering the wayward knobs (and feeling my character build in the process) I “painted” them with a sharpie and stuck them on with some E-6000 glue.

I also painted the sides and back of the bureau black and gave it a light sanding for a slightly distressed look.Little vintage dresser camera projectAnd there you have it.  Not too challenging.  My character remains relatively shallow and I feel that ice-cream is within my grasp!

Bonus:  I have a tiny, little dresser that looks like a camera!Michaels Store Craft - Mini Dresser Vintage Camera Project by Cheltenham Road

So, since that worked now the quest is on for a real-sized piece of furniture to work on.  I don’t know that I want an entire dresser (I also don’t need a new dresser) but perhaps I could replace my sofa end tables?  That would look kinda cool I think.

UPDATE:  I’ve been asked if I could include my picture of the Brownie so that others can make this project.  If you right click on the link below it should give you a high resolution PDF of the front of the camera.  Brownie Camera Graphic

 

Wait! Where Am I? What’s Happening?

I’m changing the name of f my entire operation to:Crafting With Rip Van WinkcleYou see, it feels like I just posted the other day….but looking at the records it’s been five weeks.

FIVE WEEKS!

I realize no one’s world has been shattered due to this gap but it goes against all I had planned for this holiday season. I was going to conquer the blogosphere with clever projects and holiday insights! I was going to blow you all away with my holiday season togetherness.

But clearly that didn’t happen for reasons good and not-so-good.

Stay tuned for my, now sadly, annual, “Christmas Kicked My Butt” blog post. (2013 edition, 2011 edition)

In the meantime, if you’re a last minuter like myself my latest tutorial is up over on Mod Podge Rocks.Last Minute Holiday Decor TutorialIt’s a very simple (too simple?) little project that uses some on-hand stuff and an inexpensive plastic tray.Quick Christmas Decor TutorialThis one is Christmas themed but, really, you could do this for any occasion and with any kind of inexpensive tray, plate or whatever.

I’ll be back soon (stop laughing!) with my post Christmas wrap up! In the meantime I wish you all a safe and very, very Happy Holiday!

(S)Knob Appeal Handmade Knobs and Forgetting Things

As those of you who have patiently followed along for a while know – I keep trying to make knobs.Cheltenham Road

Custom Knobs Tutorial by Cheltenham RoadFinished Knobs Up CloseAnd I’ve succeeded. I just haven’t succeeded in a way that either:

  1.  made me totally happy
  2.  proved to be not a kind of  messy, pain in the neck.oops

But, through patience (OK, not patience exactly, I just got excited, bought a lot of knobs, got frustrated and then ignored the whole thing for a very long time until I finally found a more workable idea.  It’s a genius business strategy that will surely take me straight to the top!), trial and error, and a fair amount of wasted supplies I think I’ve made a product that I’m satisfied with.

There are round ones and square ones – up first – square.

I thought I’d do a little tribute to the mad skills of  my mom and sisters and make some using vintage measuring tape graphics.  Fun for a sewing room perhaps?measuring tape knobsI grabbed some of the vintage postcard graphics I use on my trays and that dresserVintage Postcard Handmade Knobs by Cheltenham Road

And finally, just for a bit of fun, some vintage romance comic book graphicsVintage Romance Comic Handmade Knobs by Cheltenham RoadI rolled them out at the Long Beach Patchwork Show last weekend.

People liked them!

People bought them!

I have to make more!

I’m very tired!

My full wine charm collection also debuted at Patchwork and sold out!….well, sort of debuted……and sorta sold out.Wine Charm Display

I got to the show and realized that I had totally, somehow, not packed the table everything was supposed to go on.  Bit of a stumbling block. Book Club Wine Charm Collection by Cheltenham RoadI was saved by the very kind people who put on Patchwork who gave me a loaner table. French ABC Wine Charm Set by Cheltenham RoadAfter overcoming that hiccup I discovered that, though I had a few Wine Charm Sets with me – I’d set the rest of them on the kitchen counter when I made a last minute dive for much needed coffee.Art Opening Wine Charm Set by Cheltenham RoadSo “sold out” is a little less impressive when one acknowledges that there were only six to begin with.

But, it was good to know that folks responded to them!

All of them will be available on Etsy shortly.

Now I just have to actually  bring them (and a table) with me to the next big show: Patchwork Santa Ana!

 

DIY Yardstick Tray with Printables

Tutorial and Free PrintablesSometimes I’m clever.

Sometimes I’m cheap (OK, a lot of the time).

Sometimes those two qualities come together and such was the case with Use What You’ve Got Project #….? (I can’t remember where I am in this series).

So, like many of us, I have, for several years, been digging all the cool stuff people are making using old, vintage yardsticks.

Also, perhaps like many of us, I have been unpleasantly surprised by the current cost of vintage yardsticks.

I mean, I get it, market demand and such but, no, dear antique-mall shop owner, I do not want to pay $10 for a HOME Depot branded yardstick. Or any yardstick really.

So what is cheapo me supposed to do?

Well, I do have a couple of rulers, scrap-wood, a scanner, rudimentary Photoshop skills, Envirotex and a deep desire to (yard) stick it to the man!

Welcome to my faux yardstick tray tutorial!

I started out by scanning two yardsticks and  a ruler I have on hand.   I used Photoshop to change the colors, add and subtract text etc until I had a good number of  “vintage” yardsticks.

So, with print outs of my rulers, a thrift store tray, some scrap MDF and Mod Podge I was off and running.DIY Yardstick Tray Tutorial Cheltenham RoadOf course -because this is the ONLY way the universe works – my tray is 14 inches long and I can only print 13.5 pieces of paper. But I was not to be deterred!

I cut the MDF into 1.5″ wide by 14″ long strips and and sliced and diced the ruler prints so they covered the entire length of each strip.

I left tiny, little gaps between each ruler and darkened that gap with a black sharpie – so it would look like two rulers butted up against each other rather than just one continuous print out.make your own vintage yardsticksAfter they dried I trimmed away the excess and fit them into the tray. It was a pretty snug fit (I actually measured correctly the first time! This is a rare event, similar to seeing a unicorn or discovering that your appliance broke down while still under warranty so let’s take a moment to celebrate) and I just used a little glue on the bottom of the tray for security.  Also the Envirotex is very strong and will hold them in place as well.

Envirotex starts out as a liquid and like any liquid it will find any tiny crack to pour through.  So using a squeeze bottle I squoze (?) a good line of Mod Podge around the edges of the trayYardstick Tray Tutorial by Cheltenham Roadand then sealed the rest.

I did two sealing coats of Mod Podge – if you miss a spot the Envirotex will discolor the paper.Mod Podge Home Decor Ruler Tray Tutorial Cheltenharm RoadAfter giving the Mod Podge overnight to fully dry all that was needed was to pour the Envirotex and let it cure.DIY Yarstick Tray tutorial

I love Envirotex and find it easy  to work with – but you do have to follow their directions very closely.

And there you go.  A “vintage” yardstick tray that doesn’t break the bank.

If you’d like to use my yardsticks you can click on the links below to save 300 dpi versions for yourself.

Free Printables – Colorful Yardsticks by Cheltenham Road

Yardstick Graphic Print Sheet by Cheltenham Road

Enjoy

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