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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!

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”

Folk Art Painted Finishes and Mossy Skulls

Disclaimer: The products used in this post were provided to me free of charge by Plaid Enterprises.  I have not been compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own.

As I’ve whined about noted previously, the challenge for me of late is to find time to step away from being a little factory, to get to just play and make things that aren’t “potential products.”

One of the great things about being a Plaid Ambassador is that, when I find that time, I am surrounded by potential projects that they have generously provided.

They have given me a great selection of their Folk Art Painted Finishes line of paints including:   Barnwood (my previous project), concrete and….moss.folk-art-painted-finishes

Now, I must admit that when I opened the box  and saw “moss” my first thought was “and why would I want to do that?”  I have enough trouble with actual moss cropping up – fake moss seemed like an unnecessary addition.

But then Halloween season happened and I discovered that I was brimming with sort of odd, creepy Halloween ideas and that one of those ideas required fake moss!!! Huzzah!

So, you may recall my ugly, 1970s porch light had conked out recentlyporch-light

and rather than throw it away I thought I might be able to do something with it.  Blog-reader (and genuinely very cool lady) Denise came up with a fun suggestion that sparked an idea.  I didn’t use the broccoli but I did keep it green!

The Painted Finishes come in two colors:  Light Moss and Dark Moss and applying them is quick and very, very easy (I say this as a person who is deeply unskilled at faux painting techniques)folk-art-painted-finishes-technique-moss

After removing the glass and cleaning the porch light I went over it, as directed, with, well…. lets just call them splotches…..of the Dark Green Finish using the Painted Finishes Shortie Brushes.8b62e23f0ba81b7b9dfc8274c86f5e02

folk-art-painted-finishes-halloween-decoration-projectThen, while the paint was still wet I went back in with the light green color.folk-art-painted-finish-moss-halloween-decor-idea

The paint has some texture to it and when you combine them it really does have depth and realistic, mossy, look.

I did the same technique on the decorative crown and on a little round – I-don’t-know-what-it-is-nor-why-I-have-it decorative piece of metal that I wanted to use for the base and as a holder for a tealight.create-faux-moss-look-with-folk-art-painted-finishes

With the addition of a small, plastic skull from the .99 Store I had a suitably unnerving centerpiece/diorama

The moss technique looks good in broad daylight (I think I did a better job on the sides than I did on the crown thingy but i can always go back in and touch up)faux-moss-technique-with-folk-art-painted-finishes-tutorial

But when darkness comes and the candles get lit ……halloween-decoration-easy-skull-centerpiece

(although I may have freaked out my neighbors since I photographed this on the driveway and it looked  like I had invested in some random, disturbing shrine.)

I don’t think the plastic skull was actually made to be a illuminated  and doing so revealed a very odd/bad/splotchy paint job that really like!

halloween-skull-project-by-cheltenham-road

But, in conclusion, I have to say I’m a fan of the faux moss! halloween-decor-by-cheltenham-road It took, literally, 5 minutes to apply, dried quickly and looked great. It would be easy to apply to a terra cotta pot that you wanted to give a bit of age to.  Or maybe a faux brick wall.  I’m now kind of flooded with ideas for things that NEED to be mossy.

Happy Halloween Season 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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