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Category Archives: Tutorials

Let (Me!) Eat Cake!

DIY Cake Stand Cheltenham Road I like cake.

A lot.

I like a lot of cake.

Mathematically the situation this looks like this:

Cake EquationHowever, I am limited for storage of said cake plates

Cake SolutionSo my quest is for the easily store-able cake plate and I think I’ve put one together!

It’s my latest Mod Podge Rocks Tutorial project and you can see all the details over on Amy’s site.

Basically it’s a tart pan and some plumbing pipe.DIY Cake Stand - Cheltenham RoadBut what makes it great (for me) is that I can take it apart so it doesn’t always have to be out.DIY Cake Stand Tutorial by Cheltenham RoadIn truth, while I do like cake I’m actually more keen on these as a way to display stuff at the Craft Shows I go to. I’m enamored of the idea of having everything laid out on all the different levels. I’m going to make more so be prepared (warned) for variations on this theme.

In the meantime I’m on another one of my “clear it out!” kicks. I’m determined that, during what is a very predictably slow time for the Etsy Cheltenham Road store, to make mad use of all the various bits and pieces of stuff (scrap wood, leftover project parts etc) that’s lying around.

First up this crappy dresser that came with my house when I bought it.Trash To Treasure Dresser Project Cheltenham RoadJust plywood and not all that great. It has been in the garage for years but had to go. I was preparing to haul it to the curb and I thought “wait, how many things could I make out of that?” so that’s my challenge.

Question: Can you dumpster dive your own home? (Question: Did you hear that in Sarah Jessica Parker’s voice too?)

Stay tuned (spoiler: the answer is “yes!”…….referring to the dumpster diving part not the sounding like Sex and the City part).

Back soon with my first project.

Wine Charm Tutorial with Free Printables

Free Pintable DIY Mod Podge Wine Charms Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksAs I teased on my Friday Blog Post my latest Mod Podge Rocks Tutorial is up and ready for review.

These wine charms were easy to make (I used Mod Podge’s “Podgeable Shapes”) and I think they’d be a fun project or gift.New York Subway Art Wine Charms Chelteham Road Tutorial available via Mod Podge Rocks

As a matter of fact I’m going to work on making them into an official Cheltenham Road product!

I designed the subway graphics and they are available for a free download over on the Mod Podge Rocks site.  There is a black and white option, a white and black option and then just a set of blanks (all sized for the various Podgeable shapes) so you can add your own text.Tutorial Preview Simple Subway Art DIY Mod Podge Wine Charms Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksBut ideas for other graphics are pouring out of my mind.

I thought it would be fun to do book covers and The Muse and I began riffing on ideas.

Four wine charms to a set. Classic novels would workClassic Book Coversand then, maybe a fifth one, you know, for the Designated DriverSense and SensiibilityI’m excited about this one and can’t wait to get designing.

In the meantime, if you’re keen on making some of your own head on over to Mod Podge Rocks for the full tutorial.

Into the Woods! (or Into the Weeds) A Cheltenham Road Christmas Project Journey

Christmas Tree Tutorial Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksMy latest Mod Podge Rocks project is up and viewable and it’s time for trees!

I’ve been wanting to do these and imagining them but unable to get it really done due to Christmas madness.

Of course, those aren’t the trees I initially planned.

I had planned (and attempted) to make these 3D trees.Dimensional Christmas Tree Centerpiece Cheltenham Road

I thought “I’ll use bits of scrap wood! It will be affordable! Easy! Fun!”The woods are made of wood Cheltenham RoadNOPE!

I kept trying different approaches and each one just became more and more complicated. I could hear all of you saying to yourselves “well, David, listen, it’s been a fun ride but you’re clearly insane so we’re just going to step away slowly”

My problem was I wanted to make them without using specialized tools. I didn’t want to be the Norm Abraham of the Glue-Stuff-To-Wood crowd. Did you ever watch his New Yankee Workshop show? Great stuff but totally frustrating:

“let me show you how to make this. You’ll just need wood and about 5 different, highly specialized power tools that no human being except for myself has and I only have them because my sponsors provided them to me”

So I tried and …..

NOPE!

I just couldn’t figure out how to make them without a scroll saw.  Or a really big miter sawChristmas Tree Centerpiece Cheltenham Road

So I came up with an alternate!

I will make them in scrap wood strips and then they will go on a dowel so you could rotate them, spread them out etc!

Well, first I almost cut my hand off cutting the strips of wood.

And then I almost drilled my hand off trying to drill a hole in the center with a handheld drill (trying to avoid using the drill press).

So……

NOPE!

I did come up with an alternate and I think it’s pretty fun.Vintage Wrapping Paper Christmas Trees Tutorial Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge Rocks

But I really do need to figure out how to make any of these ideas without cutting Santa’s face in half.Santa's face

I’ll keep trying!

Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!

Easy Illuminated Holiday Centerpiece

Easy Light Up Christmas Centerpiece Idea from Cheltenham Road Well that was a pause. Sometimes blogging makes me feel great and sometimes it makes me feel like the world’s worst pen pal.

Thank you all very much for the well wishes about my back. It’s much better though it’s still slowing me down a bit.

And thanks too for the votes about the coasters. You came up with logic and reasons that never crossed my mind. Club Ballyhoo seemed to be the least popular so it’s out!!

I’ve been in high factory mode – here is what part of a 500 coaster order looks like (having ice cream close at hand is necessary in these circumstances).Coasters and ice cream Cheltenham RoadAnd here are a bagillion blocks in various stages of done-nessbillions of candle blocks cheltenham road

So now, my mind has turned to getting the house ready for the annual Christmas Dessert party.

I was looking for an idea for the center of the table.

I just took a tiered stand (are they called Egg Baskets?) filled it with some greenery and a somewhat random assortment of ornaments.Hiliday Ornament Centerpiece with lights Cheltenham Road

I liked it! Looked festive. But it needed something more.

So I ran some battery powered lights up through it and hid the battery pack underneath the garland I had wrapped around the bottom.Festive ligted holiday centerpiece - hide the battery pack

Sparkly!!!!Light It Up Holiday Centerpiece Cheltenham RoadWell, you’ll have to just go with me here because I’m not good a photographing things in the dark and not ending up with, you know, this:photo fail

so trust me. SPARKLYLight Up Holiday Centerpiece Cheltenham RoadAnd easy.

OK, onward. I have ideas for wood Christmas trees that I have to make (and a giant LA sign, and 20 subway sign sets, and coasters…..)

A New Way To Transfer Images to Wood

A New Way to Transfer Graphics to WoodAs you know I’m always looking for good ways to transfer images.

I ‘ve used Mod Podge Transfer

I’ve experimented with Blender Pens

I’ve used Liquitex Gel.

I have to say all the results were satisfactory but each had drawbacks either due to expense, time or versatility.

So, when I read about the Wall Lenk Transfer Tool that transfers images to wood I thought it sounded awesome!Wall Lenk Transfer Tool I read about it, researched it and, quick as a flash, plunged right in and bought it online.

It arrived!

I was so intrigued and excited I immediately set it aside!

For a year!

(honestly I had no idea it had been a whole year until I checked my Amazon order history.  I thought, maybe, 6 months ago……time flies when you are running a sweatshop having fun!)

But, I have now opened it, tested it out and am here to make my report.

First off, you get what you pay for ($17)…..it’s veeeery basic.  So basic and so potentially hazardous that it makes you wonder how this is allowed to be sold.  Or, more specifically,  given my history, how it is allowed to be sold to someone like me.

It works via heat transfer and, to put it simply, the metal end just gets super hot and then you rub it on your image and that transfers the ink to the wood (or fabric or whatever).

There is no “on/off” switch.  It’s either plugged in and on its way to being insanely hot or it’s unplugged and just lurking around being a little bit less insanely hot.  I didn’t have any moments like I did with the heat gun but the potential for disaster seems to be there.

So, onto the test.

While I was home in Ohio my sister Paula and I, intrigued by all the cool yardstick projects around but dismayed by the insanely high cost of “vintage” yardsticks began to toy around with the idea of making big, faux, versions.  I thought “This is the perfect project to try out my  brand new year old tool!”

I got right to work!

And just three short months later I did it!!! When I get excited about an idea nothing gets in my way!

So, I started out with some poplar wood cut down to size, painted, sanded smooth and a bit distressed.  I wanted it to look like two different rulers so one side was light blue and the other white.Faux Vintage Yardstick Cheltenham RoadTip Number One  – to optimize the transfer the wood must be very, very smooth and the paint (if there is paint) must be given lots of time to dry.

I came up with a couple of ruler designs in PhotoshopFaux Yardstick Design By Cheltenham Road

 

Faux Vintage Yardstick Pattern by Cheltenham RoadI reversed them and printed them out.

Tip Number Two: the prints need to be laser copies or prints – ink jet prints won’t work.

I plugged in the Lenk and, following the directions  gave it about 8 minutes to heat up.

I had read in the Amazon reviews that you needed to “burn off” some of the heat unless you were actually trying to start a small fire.  I burned off the heat by just touching the tool to a piece of scrap wood.  As you can see by the photo it took quite a few touches before it stopped burning the wood -Image Transfer with Wall Lenk Tool Cheltenham Road

But it didn’t take too long.

After that it was just a matter of rubbing it slowly over the image.   You can see where, even though I’d burned off some of the heat, it still scorched the paper a bit.Transfer an Image to Wood Cheltenham Road Tutorial I found that applying a light pressure worked well and going back over the image a few times was also key.

There is no real way to tell if you’ve succeeded or not until you peel away the paper.Transfer an Image Tutorial Cheltenham RoadOn the plus side though, if you peel away the paper slowly you can see if you’ve missed a spot and it’s very easy to just lay the paper back down and give it a few more rubs.  I did this in a couple of spots and it worked out just fine.

In a few places, where I guess I pressed to hard or let it heat too much, the paper stuck to the wood.Image Transfer Tutorial Cheltenham Road

But it was very easy to just dampen a cloth a bit and rub it away.

My box was 24″ long so I couldn’t print out the full ruler on one sheet of paper so I did it in sections and just lined them up.  Once again it was pretty easy.Make a Giant Vintage Yardstick Cheltenham RoadAfter that, I gave my “rulers” a quick coat of wax and assembled the box using a pin nailer (screws or regular nails would work just as well).Easy image transfer tool Cheltenham Road TutorialTransfer Images to Wood - Tutorial Cheltenham RoadThe images transferred very nicely – I like the level of distress and you do have some control over just how distressed you want it to be

Image Transfer Vintage Yardstick TutorialI think, other than the possible risk of burning your house down, this tool offers a lot of advantages.  The transfer takes place quickly (no waiting overnight) and once you buy the tool there is nothing else to purchase.Vintage Ruler Image Transfer Project Cheltenham Road

Also, it’s a true transfer – you don’t end up leaving a thin film of paper so that frees you up as far as background color(s) etc.

Now that I’ve tested it out I’m already thinking of tons of other possible projects (which you will be subjected to I assure you).

 

Please check out these link-parties for more great ideas:link-party-palooza-banner

Knick of Time Inspiration Party

 

Spooky Halloween Luminary Tutorial

Last Minute Mod Podge Halloween Decoration Tutorial Cheltenham Road Halloween is almost here and I was in need of  some quick, easy, and spooky decor.

I grabbed some .99 vases from the local thrift storeThrift Store Jars for Spooky Halloween CenterpieceDownloaded some stern looking VictoriansMod Podge Halloween Decor Projectand BAM! a two-fer.  One glowey eyed centerpiece for me.  One new Mod Podge Rocks Project for Amy!  Halloween Centerpiece TutorialIt was fun to put together, took about two hours (drying time mostly) and cost almost nothing – just what I was hoping for.  If you’d like to see the full tutorial head on over to Mod Podge Rocks for the details.

Actually I should amend that.  It took two hours to put together and then about three hours and six stores to find anything to put around it (I ended up with that green, licheny stuff) because it seems every store has moved on to Christmas.  Argh!!!!!  My new goal is to open the “You’ve Procrastinated and We’re Right With You” store – where holidays are in synch with the actual calendar.

In other news you may remember I was gearing up to do the a Halloween Window for one of my favorite local shops – CoOp 28.

Well, unfortunately, there was a scheduling mishap (not mine but I can understand why your mind would go there) and it didn’t happen.  So I’ve contented myself with Halloweening out my table a bit.Halloween Table at CoOp 28 by Cheltenham RoadUsually I’m very regimented and linear with my displays but this time I tried mixing it up a bit just to see if that might appeal.Cheltenham Road Halloween Table at CoOp 28We’ll see as the holiday approaches if I have snagged any fellow procrastinators or if the Halloween crowd is really just so together that they’ve already done all their shopping.

Meanwhile on to Thanksgiving!….Christmas!!!?…..no?…..Ah!  New Years!  There we go – now I’m up to speed.  Happy New Year!

Clutter Cover Up Idea! My Sister is a Genius!

I made a quick trip to Ohio recently to see the family.  My sister Phebe – sober voice of reason/organizer extraordinaire has a new house and she had come up with what I thought was a genius solution to hiding the clutter of all those DVD cases.  I asked if she would mind doing a tutorial on it and she has agreed. Clutter Cover Up Tutorial Cheltenham Road

So, I’ll turn it over to my sister (with some editorial notes from me perhaps).

So our cashe of DVDs grew throughout the 90s and onward…movies as gifts & gags, or rare old friends to be enjoyed once a year…and, even though they are in alphabetical order (Ed Note: she’s serious.  Her spices are too), the shelves look, well…disordered! Phebe's Bookshelf Makeover - DVD Hiding Coverup

My kids say, “just download, Mom, throw out the actual discs–they are a thing of the past!” I know I am dating myself–but I experienced record albums & cassettes, movies that stayed in theaters for 6-8 MONTHS, only 3 channels on our TV, 8-tracks (for pity’s sake!), VHS tapes (in two different case sizes—thanks, Disney)…and finally the DVDs. I’m ready to stop now! Stand still! Keep the dang things and use them as is! (Ed Note: and get off my lawn!)

But they are a bit ugly. I want them near enough to the TV to easily feed a rainy day whim, but how to cover them up? I came up with these  DVD shelf covers.Materials for Bookcase Makeover

It’s pretty easy to see what I did. They are basically a 3-sided box made from foam display board. I cut strips the height of each shelf (they were all different heights!) I needed the width of the shelf plus 12 inches (6 inches per side to accommodate the depth of the DVDs).

I made a vertical slice (not all the way through—just enough to fold back to make a 90 degree corner on each end) about 6 inches in from each side, making sure that left me with a front panel that fit the width of the shelf exactly. I had to adjust and re-cut the first one because I forgot to accommodate for the depth of the foam board once the corner was made (hoorah for duct tape!), so play around with these measurements carefully to fit your particular shelves. In the center, I cut a hole for the grommet about 1.5 inches down from the top edge.

At this point, I got crazy with duct tape and used it to reinforce the corners…holding them at 90 degree angles as I smoothed the tape around both inside and outside each corner. This will help keep the foam board from tearing where I cut it partway through (I hope!).

Next I cut a fabric strip wide enough to cover all three sides with no seams and tall enough to fold over to the inside of the foam board with several inches to spare. I used spray glue (do this outside—very sticky!) and smoothed the fabric on and around the edge to the inside. I didn’t use the spray at the inside corners, I painted glue on those places and really worked the fabric deep into the corners. I even stitched down the folded miters of fabric at the ends on the inside to ensure that they would stay put and be smooth.DVD Collection Cover-Up Tutorial I cut open the hole for the grommetCreate a Hole for the Grommet and folded and glued the fabric to the inside. Last, I glued in one half of the grommet (the foam board is too thick to use both halves) to make an easy finger grip.Front View Grommet Installed

I did put small, flat bookends to hold the DVDs upright so that the sides of my covers slide right in next to the end DVD on each shelf. I have pushed the covers snug to leave a shelf to throw my keys on…a simple pull on the finger hole gets me access to the discs! My “tidy” gene is satisfied! Hey, did my brother get one of those? (Ed Note:  Yes! He did but lacks the willpower and skills to actually make things tidy…..please visit)

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