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Category Archives: storage and organization

Rustic, Distressed Paint Finish with the Folk Art Coastal Paints

Rustic Utensil Caddy image transfer

The good folks at Plaid sent me some more paint: Folk Art Coastal

The paints are super-thick and you can use them to create a textured, weathered effect. I was eager to try them out.

I just needed a project and that’s when things got….complicated.

So I ask you to bear with me as this project goes in a lot of directions.

I landed on the idea for a little silverwear caddy but since I always want to do everything RIGHT NOW and stores were closed (4th of July) I decided to make my own.

I’m not actually recommending you make your own – there are plenty of them available to purchase – but just to be thorough – here is how I made mine.

I cut some 3/8″ scrap wood down to size:

  • 2 front panels 4″ high by 10″ long
  • 2 side panels 4″ high by 6″ long
  • Center divider 10″ long, 7″ high with a handle I cut out with a jigsaw
  • Divider panels 4″ high by 2.5 wide.
  • bottom panel cut to size (not shown….I may have forgotten about that little detail until the last minute…..)

To make things easier I pre-painted the interior after marking where the joints would glue together.

I used my pin-nailer to attach the interior dividers first

Then added the end panels

Then the middle divider and the back side.

Ok, NOW it’s time to talk painting (which you may recall was the actual point of this whole endeavor)

The paint is thick, fun to work with and easy to use.  I wanted to use two colors to create that, aged, layered, crumbly effect and I started off with the blue

I laid down a base layer – fairly smooth – just for coverage then, while it was still wet, loaded up my brush and splotched/smushed more paint on to create some texture.

Once that had a couple of hours to dry I went back in with the white.

Again, I just kind of played around with it, smooshing and splotching until I got a look I liked.

THEN I decided I wanted to see how all that fun texture would work if I tried to add some graphics.

I put together a quick BBQ Restauant image

and headed into my go-to image transfer technique using polycrilic.

DISCLAIMER:  I had to photograph all this early in the morning which led to a lot of artsy shadows so please forgive the “film noir” effect.…..Although it does add a certain drama to the whole thing and I came to think of it as Patsy’s BBQ! – you know, where the murders happened!”

After reversing the image I printed it out using my laser printer.

(I seem to be having some serious problems with the whole backwards thing lately.  So, while one does want to PRINT the image in reverse one does not actually have to photograph said image upside down to add to the confusion.  My apologies.)

I laid down a good coat of polycryic

put my paper in place and used a brayer to make sure I had good contact (cleaning up any poly that I squeezed out).

After giving it a few hours in the sun to dry I rubbed away the paper using a damp rag.

This technique works so well – a bit too well actually – I actually wanted a bit more distress so when I moved over to do the other images I added some cracks to the actual graphic, used a bit less poly and rubbed a bit less aggressively.  That gave me the perfect look.

I liked it.  Loved the texture but it looked a bit too clean so I used some Folk Art Home Decor Antiquing wax.

Easy to use – just add a tiny amount to the brush and rub it in in a circular motion.

Suitably rustic.

I really like the textured layers the paint provides (especially keeping in mind that I used MDF wood which has no grain or texture of its own)

The only downside?

Now I’m hungry for BBQ and, of course, I can’t go to Patsy’s…..partly due to the fact that it doesn’t exist but more importantly because they never managed to get the blood stains off the floor.  So unappetizing.

Disclaimer: Plaid Enterprises provided me with the paint and brushes for this project as part of their Plaid Ambassador program.  The idea for the project and all opinions are totally my own.  I received no other compensation.

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Farmhouse Style Shelf Idea

Thanks so much for all the kind words about my new focus (and for not virtually patting me on the head).  I truly appreciated it.

But I want to assure you that the blog isn’t going to turn into a place where all I talk about and make are gifts.  As my wise brother-in-law Rich pointed out gifts come in many forms and one can always gift themselves so we have a lot of room here.  In short, don’t worry.  I won’t be saying “gift” every other sentence.  I promise.

Gift!

(sorry, couldn’t resist)

OK, onward!

When my sisters vistited we browsed a large retail store that sells things that help you stay organized and I saw this clever shelving unit.

 

Cool!  Right?!

Simple, versatile.

But it’s a two foot long, three sided, Medium Density Fiberboard box with holes on the bottom edge.

And it costs $100!!!

So!

………..Welcome to SPITE CRAFTING: SPRING EDITION!……….

(I had no idea this was going to be an ongoing series)

OK I guess $100 isn’t crazy expensive but the idea seemed so do-able-for-less that I had to give it a shot.  So maybe not Spite Crafting so much as Idea Stealing.

Here is what I used for my version

From my scrap pile I pulled some 3/4″ plywood and cut it down to size.

  • The front is 24″ long by 3.75″ high
  • The sides are 3″ long by 3.75″ high
  • And the internal shelf is 22.5″ long by 3″ deep

On the back side I marked  a center line and indicated where I would drill the holes.

Live-and-Learn: in retrospect I realize it would have been easier to mark and drill on the front side of the board….next time! 

And then got to work with my drill press at Forstner bit.

I was drilling from the back and I wanted to minimize any tear out on the front side so I placed a piece of scrap wood under by board and didn’t drill all the way through with the Forstner bit – just enough for the point to poke through the other side.

Once all the initial holes were drilled I flipped it over to complete the drilling  for a nice clean look.

I then assembled the whole thing using wood glue and my nailer

And then it was time to get creative.

The folks at Plaid had provided me with Waverly Chalk Paint and brushes and I thought I’d give them a try.

I used their Ivory color for the base.  The special Waverly Chalk Brush isn’t required but it sure made applying the paint easy as it holds a lot and spreads really smoothly.  I think I’ll be glad I have it especially on larger projects.

I’m a new and enthusiastic convert to the chalk paint thing (I know I’m very behind on this curve).  It’s easy to apply, dries fast and comes in great colors – what’s not to like?

Once the paint dried I moved on to other newish thing  – stencils.

For this project I used the Folk Art Farmers Market Stencil Set and a small Folk Art Stencil Brush

I used a light pencil line to keep everything straight

And then stenciled away using both the Waverly “Crimson” and “Ink” colors

Stenciling is pretty easy once you get the idea of using very little paint on the brush.  But I think my inexperience showed as my only complaint about this set is that it was tricky, even with a small brush not to accidentally catch the edge of the stencil I wasn’t intending to use.  Probably a rookie mistake.  Next time I’ll use some painters tape to tape off the “unwanted” stencils.

Once everything dried I gave the edges a bit of a sanding and then a light rubbing with Waverly Antiquing wax.

I used a couple of d-ring hangers on the back and my shelf was ready for its close-up.

(I’m not crazy about my choice to stencil he “No” on the ednd there.  The stencil is fine but it would have been better if I’d had space for a number as well so, as it is, it just kinda looks….I don’t know…unnecessarily negative?)

The antiquing wax did a nice job of bringing out the texture in the wood and making the whole thing look just a bit more vintage.  It’s hard to see in the pics as I went pretty light on this first-time-out attempt but next time I think I will be a bit more daring as I really like the extra texture.

I had envisioned this as a kitchen thing but it occurred to me it could work in any room – like perhaps for crafts?Tons of possibilities!

Further Thoughts:

  • *I always hesitate to use my “I invested in some serious tools” tools on these projects for fear of turning people off.  But all of these things can be accomplished using more standard methods (a regular drill with a forstner bit, nails or screws rather than a pnumatic nailer) it just takes a bit longer.
  • I made my shelf out of scraps of plywood but the original is MDF.  MDF is a great choice for easy to work with, smooth surface finishes and I think, if I make more of these I’ll switch over to it.

Disclaimer:  The good folks at Plaid provided me with the materials for this project.  All opinions are strictly my own and I received no other financial compensation for this post.  Links provided are not affiliate links – just trying to be helpful.

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.

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!

Working Hard or Hardly Working? Becoming More Efficient in 2016

I’m not a New Year’s Resolution kinda guy. But I do believe in goal setting.

Cheltenham Road has been going well, but for 2016 I’m at a key point. I need to take the business to “the next level.”

I have lots of plans but first up is setting up life in such a way that I can get more done and done more efficiently.

To that end I have begun “clocking in.”

The danger of working from home is that it’s easy to get distracted. I get to work and then, without really noticing it, I discover that I’m doing the laundry or cleaning the kitchen.

The timer keeps me brutally honest about just how many hours I’ve worked which also keeps me focused. I discover I get A LOT more done when the timer is set than I do when I’m just guestimating how long I’ve worked.

So I’ve spent my last week brutally cleaning (the house, garage and work room had become a SuperFund site) , discarding “stuff” and re-organizing.

I’ve used the fact that I’m slow to de-decorate to get Christmas projects done for the next holiday season.  I was toying around with making a vintagy Christmas tool tote and I thought it would be fun to make the ends look like Christmas trees.DIY Vintage Christmas Tree Tote by Cheltenham RoadI found little, light up trees in a remainder bin and thought I’d try my hand at the apothecary thing.Apothocary Jar Christmas Tree Project by Cheltenham Road

I’ve worked up a new HOME sign for a customer in ArkansasArkansas Little Rock Wooden HOME sign by Cheltenham Road
and made new coasters featuring vintage railroad graphicsClassic Railroad Train Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road on EtsyAnd, finally, reworked some of my standard items with new graphics and new pics (just to change things up a bit)Vintage Paris Map Wood Candle Block Tealight Holder by Cheltenham Road on EtsyAnd I’ve tried to adopt the “touch it once” rule.

The thinking is that you try to touch things as few times as possible. So, rather than letting stuff pile up (my constant habit) and then having touch it again to put it away you attempt to only touch stuff once.

Some of you may recall that I tried this sort of thing before only that time is was a scheme where every time I set something down I was supposed to ask myself “is that where that goes?”

It worked for a while but that little voice got very annoying very fast. And soon I was hearing a nagging voice ask “is that where that goes?” and then a louder, angrier voice would shout “IT IS NOW!”

And I realized I was spending a lot of time alone and the voices in my head were yelling at each other and that just seemed like a slippery slope.

But I like the Touch It Once rule because it feels a bit like a game. How do I touch this thing as few times as possible?

I (or quite possibly my psychiatrist) will keep you posted on it goes.

In the meantime, I’m putting the final touches on my next Mod Podge Rocks project (coming up mid-week) and I’ve got tons of other ideas to execute in my newly disciplined workshop.

But, for now it’s back to cleaning and organizing.

I’m All About the Bling – Easy DIY Jewelry Holder Tutorial

So, apparently I – a non-jewelry wearer – am nonetheless a jewelry holder maker. Who knew?

You may recall I recently made a jewelry holder for my friend Karla and shared it as my Mod Podge Rocks project.DIY Jewlery HolderThis got the Muse (Geralyn) thinking and she came up with a variation of her own and another jewelry holder was born!

I may actually go into the jewelry holder business as this to was quick and easy to make.

I started withSupplies for DIY Jewelry Holder Cheltenham Road Tutorial

  • A piece of birch plywood – edges routed (you could just buy a plaque at Michaels if you’re not the routing type)
  • Mod Podge Transfer Medium
  • Hard Coat Mod Podge
  • 6 glass knobs
  • old candle
  • Sandpaper
  • Foam Brush
  • Quote – printed in reverse using a laser printer or copier (bottom line ink jet won’t work)
  • painters tape (somewhat optional depending on your confidence)
  • Pink latex paint (not shown)
  • White latex paint (not shown)

Tools

  • aforementioned Router (optional)
  • Electric Drill and bit
  • Forstner Bit (maybe…..see explanation below)
  • better math skills than mine

None of this will be particularly new information to long time readers (my apologies) so you might want to just say to yourself “I got this” and skip to then end (I didn’t hurt myself making it either so you won’t be missing any highlights or anything).

PREPPING THE BOARD

After routing the birch plywood I painted the edges pink and let it dry.how to create distressed paint effect

To create the chipped paint effect I used the old candle and rubbed wax along the edges just where I wanted to the pink to show through and applied the top coat of white paint (the white paint won’t stick to the candle wax).

After letting that thoroughly dry I just sanded along the edges to reveal the underlayer of pink and took a really bad picture of it.make a vintage style jewelry holder

ADDING THE TEXT

Geralyn found this perfect quote from Mark Twain:jewelry holder quote mark twain

I used a font called Forelle (available from Dafont) to create the text, reversed it (key!) and printed it out on plain, legal sized paper, using my laser jet printer.

I applied a good coat of Mod Podge Transfer to the printed side of the paper and then laid it, face down, on the wood smoothing out any bumps or wrinkles – you want good solid contact between the paper and the wood – and left it to dry overnight.Jewelry Holder TutorialIn the morning I used a pretty damp cloth and, after soaking the paper, rubbed it away to reveal the quote.graphic transfer to wood

To drill the holes I laid down a couple of pieces of blue painters tape and marked where I wanted the knobs to go (this is where the patience to do math would serve you well. I kind of eyeballed it and goofed a bit and it came out perfectly!).Jewelry Holder - marking for knobs Cheltenham Road Tutorial

Before installing the knobs I sealed the whole thing with a couple of coats of Hard Coat Mod Podge – just for durability.

KNOB INSTALLATION

This will vary depending on what kind of knobs you’re using. In my case the glass knobs are held in place with nuts. However, I wanted the plaque to hang flush on the wall and with the nuts that wasn’t going to happen. I used a Forstner Bit to drill countersink holes on the back of the plaque. For most knobs you could just use flat head screws to keep them in place and therefore skip this step.Jewlery Holder Cheltenham Road Tutorial

And that was it!  2nd Jewelry holder achieved!Jewlery Holder Tutorial Cheltenham RoadLEGAL DISCLAIMER

This blog does not advocate storing your jewelry on your backyard fence. If your jewelry is lost or stolen due to hanging it on the backyard fence this blog is not responsible.

See, I keep making things that need to be hung on walls. Unfortunately, they don’t tend to be things for me and I’m not keen putting random screws on well-lit walls around my home.

The backyard fence however is totally down with random screwing (difficult to believe but that sentence sounded even weirder in my head) and creates a nice, rustic backdrop don’t you think?Make a Jewelry Holder Easy DIY Tutorial Cheltenham Road

Tiny Bathroom Makeover: DONE!

So.

A long time ago in a makeover far, far away I started work on the teeny tiny bathroom just off my office.

I got the ball rolling, got it pretty much all the way done and then, as I often do, got distracted by something sparkly.

And there it sat. The most expensive makeover of the smallest room imaginable was sorta stuck in between.

Some of you, very thoughtfully, asked about it a few times.

I ignored you (and I apologize.  I was kind of embarrassed).

But, I’m happy to report that it is now:

DONE!

Almost DONE!…..

Done enough to show you!

To back up, this is the tiny, Keebler Elf outhouse situated between my office and the laundry room. It is 3′ 6″ wide 9′ long, possesses two doors and no storage.  In other words: Perfection!Worlds Dumbest BathroomIt was awkward, poorly thought out and. as you can see, in pretty sad shape.

The initial goal was just to spruce it up. But, as often happens, that goal morphed and “sprucing it up” became “almost gut it and try again!”

Trouble started early when we discovered that the wall was full of giant pipes that did nothing but had be removed – along with the usual old-house-randomly-placed-studs –  to make room for the space-saving wall cabinet.stupid pipes

(warning, the “after” pics herein are a bit goofy. The space is so small that there is no way to back up enough to capture it. In some of these pics I’m, basically, lying on the floor in the next room. In a couple of them I’m actually standing outside on a ladder shooting in through the window and thereby giving my neighbors yet another reason to describe me as “pleasant but odd”)

It was a hassle (and sorta expensive) but the final result came out better than I’d imagined.Between the Studs wall cabinet

between the studs wall cabinetUp next was the sink. Worlds Dumbest BathroomI found a small one at Ikea but, to make the space seem bigger, wanted it to mount to the wall rather than the cabinet they provided. But, I still wanted storage space. A clever cabinet maker came up with this solution. wall mounted sink for a tiny bathroomThe sink sits on a shelf, with a drawer beneath that fits around the plumbing.

The rather iffy shower Stunning Tile Job - Worlds Dumbest Bathroomgot a nice subway tile makeover (the floor got new tile too)Subway Tile Shower

and more wall niches mean bottles and such are available but out of the way in the now stylish, coffin-like compact space.Shower Niches save space

And for a finishing touch, my sister Paula had given me these awesome vintage camera prints (she’s clearly been paying attention) vintage camera print gallery wal Cheltenham Roadland with some black frames they go perfectly with the black/white look of the room.

Tiny Bathroom Makeover

So, makeover done! Now I just need some very tiny people to come over and visit.  Anyone out there connected with the Barnum and Baily operation or a traveling production of The Wizard of Oz?  If so, please give them my number.

REMINDER!

Don’t forget!  Today is the last day to enter my giveway for a copy of  The Big Book of Mod Podge.  Please head on over to the raffle site to enter!

The contest goes until midnight tonight (Monday) and is open to folks in the US and Canada.  No purchase is necessary.

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