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DIY Magnetic Memo Board and…….Halloween?

I, David,  the man who has recently managed to goof up what day he has a big craft show will now speak of organization techniques.

Stop laughing.

Seriously.  It’s one of my (many) summer goals:

  •   Get organized (or re-organized ’cause I was, at one point, pretty well organized)
  •   Get work-flow streamlined, and
  • FIND A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING (desk-piles will no longer be acceptable).

The first stop on that last item is a real-life Pinterest board.

Pinterest has been great but sometimes,  I need to pin actual, tangible, things and have them readily available.

Did you know you could do that?

Now, technically this could qualify as Use What You’ve Got Project 7 but it’s a double agent functioning as my latest Mod Podge Rocks project as well.DIY Magnetic Memo BoardYou can check out the pleasantly simple tutorial over at MPR.

I like the fact that this works magnetically but also serves as a place to jot down notes.Magentic Bulletin Board Tutorial by Cheltenham RoadIt was easy to put together and while I was “using what I had” the same thing could be created with any number of different pieces-parts that you might have around – picture frames, pallet wood scraps etc etc.

Speaking of being organized and getting things planned, did you know that Halloween is coming?

OK, well not super-soon but even before the actual day there is Scare LA!

I did Scare LA last year and really didn’t know what to expect and was completely blown away.  The crowd was large and enthusiastic but, even more importantly, it was a beautifully put together event.  There were speakers and panels, demonstrations and craft areas – truly something for everyone.  And the costumes!!!!  It was pretty awesome.

It’s coming around again this year (August 8th and 9th) to an even bigger venue in Pasadena and I am happy to be participating.

All that was the lead up to say that, if you are a Halloween connoisseur you might want to put it on your calendar (organized!) and, for a while you can get a discount on tickets using the code: SCARECHELT – just click on the pic below to be taken to their siteSCARE LAWhich reminds me, I need to get going….here in June….on Halloween projects!

I also need to clean up these piles on my desk…and make a couple more magnetic boards.  I’m thinking a small one could go right next to my monitor here (in place of the picture) Turn a closet into a desk area

that way I could jot down ideas and keep track of “to-do lists – quickly……because “stop losing your to-do list” should also  be on my To-Do list.

 

Father’s Day Project Tutorial and Calendar Challenges

Simple Father's Day Project Tutorial Cheltenham RoadDid you all know that the Patchwork Long Beach Festival that I had signed up for was, in fact, NOT on June 14th but rather on June 7th?

You did?

How funny that you didn’t mention that.

I myself did not realize that fun fact until Monday.  The 1st.  Monday the 1st is when it suddenly became clear to me that I did not have two weeks but rather had five days to restock what had sold at the Santa Ana show.

I, of course, approached this crisis with a Zen-like calm and poise.

My week was filled with with stressed out panic chamomile tea and brunching with chums.

In the midst of brunching and chatting I got this idea for a Father’s Day Project and, as we know, when I get one of these ideas I feel overwhelmingly compelled to make it. Luckily it came together very,very fast leaving me time to lounge at the pool consuming bon-bons as I am wont to do.

I started out with the followingSimple DIY Father's Day Project by Cheltenham Road

  • Three 2″ wood blocks from Michaels
  • Two 3/4″ nuts
  • Wood Stain
  • E6000 glue
  • Mod Podge
  • 8 graphic prints (more on that at the end of the post) sized to 1.75 inches square
  • Electric Drill with a good sized bit
  • Sandpaper

I gave the blocks a light sanding just to smooth things out and marked the center of each.

After quickly drilling the hole in the center I stained the blocks, allowed them to dry and applied my graphics.Quick Father's Day DIY Pen Holder Project by Cheltenham Road

The graphics went on three sides of what would be the end blocks and just on the front and back of the center block.  Once they had dried I sealed them with another coat of Mod Podge

A little E6000 got the bolts in their place and I used two books to brace them while the glue dried.Pen Holder Project for Father's Day by Cheltenham Road

Done! Easy and quick.Easy Pen and Pencil Holder Project by Cheltenham Road

I, of course, used patent prints for my images because patent prints are all I can think about these days but there are so many options.DIY Pen Holder Desk Accessory Cheltenham RoadMaybe use scanned family or school pictures?  Perhaps scan and reduce kid’s drawings?

Scans of cool, old stamps would be fun.Pen Holder Tutorial Cheltenham Road

Or, getting away from Father’s day what about fruit crate labels, or tea label graphics (not that dads cant like fruit or tea)?  The blocks could be painted white and scrap book paper applied. It just seems like there are a lot of fun possibilities.

So there you have it.  And now I’m off to lie down for a little while several days because, you know how it is – all that relaxation can be soooo draining.

PS:  The show went great!  I was a bit groggy and the basic math skills required to run a booth did, on occasion elude me, but the weather was perfect, tons of stuff sold and the crowd was awesome (and I had the assistance of my terrific niece Sabrina who charmed pretty much everyone that came along.  I’m a very lucky, if calendar challenged, guy!).

 

Build a Hanging Wall Shelf

I hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend!

I spent my Sunday at the Patchwork Festival – more on that later because, in the meantime my latest Mod Podge Rocks project is up and ready for review.

Is anyone in need of a vintage themed shelf for their sewing room?

The Mod Podge Rocks project I teased is up and ready for review today. It was inspired by my mom and sisters and their amazing fiber arts skills.DIY Vintage Sewing Shelf Tutorial Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge Rocks

It’s sort of a continuation of my Use What You’ve Got project -a few pieces of scrap wood (not from the dresser!) and some odds and ends.

The idea started forming when I was home visiting Ohio a few weeks ago. My sisters, (Paula and Phebe, both have these enviably comfy, well stocked, sewing rooms in their homes. I don’t sew at all but even I want to curl up in there and get to work. Anyway, Paula and I had put our heads together for a sewing themed project. If you ever need someone to bounce creative ideas around with ask me for Paula’s number. She’s awesome with this stuff – always up for the creative brainstorming and we have fun doing the “what if?” game.

This one started out with “what if we used old spools as hooks?” and morphed from there. She even provided me with the spools!

And a project was born.

Make a decorative wall shelf Cheltenham Road Tutorial for Mod Podge Rocks

DIY Sewing Room Decor Shelf. Cheltenham Road Tutorial for Mod Podge Rocks

It was a pretty easy project and I think my sister(s) will be pleased with the outcome.Sewing Room Project.  Make a wall shelf.  Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge Rocks

OK, Patchwork.  Firs off thanks very much to all of you for the good wishes. It worked! It was a great day both for weather and sales.

I came up with some new product designs.  These trays were fun to make and pretty easyclassic bathing beauty tray by Cheltenham Roadand continued my obsession with finding new ways to display things.Craft Show Display Idea by Cheltenham Road

I’ll share more pics next time around.  I’m giving myself two days off (I’m an awesome boss!) because although it was great it also kinda wiped me out. The build up was seven days of 5AM -11pm work and although the big day itself was enjoyable it was also long.

As I was hauling the heavy boxes back to the car at the end of the day (seriously, whose dumb idea was it to make everything out of wood!? My next business will be entirely feather based) I kept repeating the manta “I’m not insane I am a creative entrepreneur!!!”…..I almost believed me.

Make a Rustic Wood Sign that Doubles as a Coat Rack. UWUG Project #6

DIY Coat Rack Tutorial Cheltenham RoadI know that none of you will believe me if I say that old dresser is still yielding scrap wood for projects….BUT IT IS! So welcome to Use What Ya Got Project #6.

I’d became fixated on the idea of making a vintage looking sign that would say “Cabins for Rent.” Do you ever do that? Just get an idea in your mind and you must make it? I have no real use for a coat rack but, nevertheless – I have one now and it says “Cabin’s for Rent” so…..check that off my bucket list.

This project proved to be fun not just from a graphic design standpoint but as another step on the “David tries to make his own knobs” journey.

I started out with the side of the dresser which had that great green color along with a lot of chippiness. Trash To Treasure Dresser Project Cheltenham RoadI sanded it as smooth as possible and came up with a graphic in Photoshop.DIY Sign Tutorial Cheltenham RoadI printed it out (backwards) and grabbed the Lenk tool (you can see more detailed Lenk tutorials here). I’m getting better with the Lenk – it’s fussy but it can do a lot.

I’ve taken to peeling away the paper just a bit at a time to make sure enough color transferred but even doing that, as you can see in the pics below, some paper just stays resolutely stuck in place. But a damp cloth and some gentle rubbing and it cleans away quite nicely.Rustic Sign Tutorial Cheltenham Road

On rough wood like this the transfer is going to be equally rough which, in this case is just what I wanted.  It’s super-chippy and the heat of the Lenk actually melted through in spots to an older color which was OK with me.

So, with my image chippily transferred I turned my attention to the knobs. I wanted them large enough that you could hang something off them and I also wanted them to stick out far enough that they were useful so regular cabinet knobs wouldn’t do.

Looking around the shop I found two dowels that I had bought for……..well, really who knows – but there they were!

I sliced off a 1/2 thick piece of the larger dowel with my chop saw and a 3″ long piece of the smaller dowel. I wanted a really solid connection between the two pieces so I used my drill with a Forstner bit to drill 3/4 of the way through the disc and then glued them together. DIY Knobs by Cheltenham RoadI’d made appropriately sized images for the knobs (the pic shows an earlier version – I had to go back in and make them a bit more distressed) so now I just painted the wood black and Mod Podged the design into place.Custom Knobs Tutorial by Cheltenham RoadI wanted a shiny, finished look to the knobs so I sealed the end with a coat of Envirotex Lite.  It really only takes a few drops.  You could also use Hard Coat Mod Podge or Dimensional Magic (also by Plaid)

When it came time to assemble I used the same Forstner bit to drill almost all the way through the sign and then glued the knob into the hole. Make a rustic sign that doubles as a coat hanger.  Cheltenham RoadI’d previously sealed the sign with a polycrylic spray so now it was just a matter of hanging it up.

(OK, I’ll admit it’s actually hanging on my back yard fence which is not remotely where one needs a towel/coat rack.  But the fence has excellent light and an appropriately rustic look!….unlike most of the rooms in my house.)Tutorial for making a vintage sign.  Cheltenham RoadI may have gone a bit overboard with the distress on the knobsMake custom wood knobs.  Cheltenham Roadand for some reason, in the pics they look like they are a very different color than the “Cabin” text but it’s closer in real life.DIY Rustic Wood Sign Coat Rack by Cheltenham RoadNow I just need a place to hang it, you know……. inside the house.YTTSMain5hostsKnick of Time Inspiration Party

UWUG Project #5 Vintage Milk Bottle Label Wall Art with Free Printables

Vintage Dairy Label Wall Art Tutorial Cheltenham RoadFor UWYG Project 5 I wanted to make use of some vintage dairy label graphics that I went crazy for a few years ago but never quite figured out how to use effectively.

I get these random ideas about projects. I’m at the gym or grocery shopping and think “wouldn’t it be totally cool if I…….”

Often times that’s as far as it goes. Sometimes I make it and realize that it was not, in fact, cool at all and sometimes I put it together and think “yup. cool!” and then….. I’m not quite sure what to do with it.  Is it just for me? A product? A tutorial?

I’m tagging this as a tutorial but it’s not so much a tutorial as an “I did this. If you are not obsessed with using scrap wood you could do this too!… but more easily.”

I started off with one of drawer fronts from that old dresserTrash To Treasure Dresser Project Cheltenham Road

and cut it into three 8″ squares that I then painted white and roughed up and didn’t take pictures of (write that down.  “Not taking pictures” is a key step in this project).

With yet more scrap 1/4 ” plywood and using my scroll saw I cut three, six inch circles and printed out my favorite Dairy Labels. The circles were painted white on the edges and the dairy labels were Mod Podged into place.Trash To Treasure DIY Wall Art Cheltenham Road

I had some leftover wood lattice (1 3/4″ wide) and after painting them different colors to match the lables I made mitered frames around the squares* to create shadow boxes.Vintage Style Decor.  Dairy Label Wall Art. Cheltenham Road

*Mitered corners are not my friend. I should stick with butt joints. I was contemplating calling this post “I Like Butt Joints and I Cannot Lie” but thought that might attract an iffy crowd.

More scrap wood spacers were glued into place and then the dairy label disk was pin-nailed onto that.

A little hanger in the back and look at that.Vintage Dairy Label Wall Art Cheltenham Road

Dairy label shadow box wall art.  Maybe for a kitchen.Cheltenham Road TutorialOr perhaps just sitting around on a table that randomly has flowers on it.  You know, whatever works for youVintage Dairy Cap Label Shadow boxes.  Cheltenham RoadSo, how you can do it better and more easily?

Here are some of my favorite dairy labels for you to download.  vintage milk bottle cap printable cheltenham road

Vintage Milk Bottle Dairy Label Free Printable

Right click on the link for the high res download.

Some other great vintage milk bottle labels can be found via the super generous and crazily creative Angie at Knick of Time Interiors.

You can pick up small shadow boxes at Michaels or perhaps at one of Aaron brothers penny sales. Pop out the hardwood/cardboard backer and paint it or cover it with scrap book paper. Paint the frame (spray paint is easiest and comes in huge range of colors now).

Michaels also sells bass wood disks of varying size and you can Mod Podge your label to that and BAM! you too can have random milk bottle wall art!

Comic Book Superhero Coaster Tutorial

DIY Comic Book Coaster SetIt’s not quite Thursday but it’s time for a flash-back.

A project I did a loooong time ago for Mod Podge Rocks has been getting some attention and I wanted to do a little updating.

As you know my Etsy shop is all about coasters.  I also love comic book graphics but can’t make comic book coasters (pesky copyright law) and I thought it would be fun to share a way to make a set of that’s easy and doesn’t break the bank.

In the electrical/lighting section of Home Depot, I came across these metal blanks that are made to cover up unused outlets ($1.40 each).DIY Comic Coasters Cheltenham RoadYou can, of course,  buy round chip-board blanks for coasters and they are fine but a bit too light weight maybe.   A lot of people use ceramic tiles which are great (and could certainly be used here) but seem a bit large and heavy to me.  So I liked these outlet covers – sturdy, thin, moderately heavy and inexpensive!

For this project I usedSupplies for DIY Superhero Coaster Set

  1. The blanks – they come with a rubber gasket that will come in handy
  2. Outdoor Mod Podge (update! Mod Podge now comes in a dishwasher safe version which would be great!)
  3. Foam Brush
  4. Copies of comic book pages made with a laser printer
  5. Glue (not pictured – I used E6000)
  6. Spray paint (optional)
  7. 220 grit Sand paper

Step 1 Painting.

I wanted a white coaster so after lightly sanding the blank with some 220 Grit sandpaper (just to rough up the surface and give the paint something to stick to) I just popped them on top of some plastic cups and used Heirloom White spray paint.Geek Gifts Comic Book Coaster Tutorial Cheltenham RoadStep 2 Images

For my images I used cut-outs from a book about comics (I found it on a remainder table) but you can scan any comic books that you like and just print them (or have them printed out) on a laser printer/copier.  Do not destroy actual comic books!  It makes the nerds very angry.

Sometimes I find it hard to visualize what a section will look like when it’s cut out so I used my Fiskars Circle guide to get a sense of where on the page I wanted to cut. You could do the same by just cutting an appropriate sized hole in a piece of paper.Comic Book Coaster Set Cheltenham Road Tutorial

There are two screw holes in the blank and your paper will need to cover them. I chose to leave a little edge showing but it would also work to cover the entire surface with paper. If you go that route cut a circle a little larger than the blank and after applying it and allowing it to dry cut away the excess paper with a craft knife

STEP 3 MOD PODGING

After checking to make sure that my images were the right size and would cover the screw holes it was time to Mod Podge.

I like to dampen my images before attaching them as it reduces the bubbles and wrinkles that plagued me in my early Mod Podge attempts.

I fill a container with water and drop the image in to soak while I spread the Mod Podge on the outlet covers.

Super Hero Comic Book Coaster DIY Tutorial Cheltenham RoadWhen I pull the image out of the bath I run my fingers along either side of it to remove any excess water. After that I lay it on the surface and gently smooth it out pushing out any air that gets trapped or any excess Mod Podge (having a paper towel handy is helpful) and allow it to dry.

STEP 4 TOP COAT

After about 20 minutes I top coated the coasters with a layer of Mod Podge and allowed it to dry. I like to use a fairly thick coat as it minimized the brush marks – but, be warned, that method is a little messy.DIY Coasters with Vintage Comic Books a Cheltenham Road Tutorial

After that top coat had dried I  gave it a light sanding and applied another coat of Mod Podge.

STEP 5: GLUE ON THE BACK

I glued the foam rubber gaskets that come with the blanks onto the back using E-6000 glue. The gaskets are just a tiny, tiny bit bigger than the blanks so if you don’t like that look just use cork, some felt or some self-adhesive furniture pads.

And that’s all there is to it.

Vintage Comic Book Graphic Coasters Cheltenham Road Tutorial Just make sure you give the coasters plenty of time to cure before using them – several days to a week is best especially if you live in a humid climate.

If you use the diswasher safe Mod Podge they will be even sturdier – just don’t, you know, put them in the dishwasher.Superhero Coasters a DIY Tutorial Cheltenham RoadIf you wanted a truly hard surface on the coaster that would be more heat resistant you could use  Envirotex Lite – you can find it at Michaels.  It’s easy to work with just be sure to follow the package directions precisely.

I hope you found this useful and if you do make some coasters please make sure let me know

 

 

UWUG Project 4 Knife Holder and a Learning Curve

Vintage Sign Knife Holder tutorialMy parents are Life-Long-Learners. In their 90s they are taking classes at the local college – history, literature etc. Always learning. Very admirable. I, on the other hand, am not a learning fan.  Or, more specifically, not a fan of the learning curve. I want to know exactly how to do everything right out of the box. I don’t want to look at the map I want to know where I am!  I want to come up with an idea for a project and execute it flawlessly. Weirdly, it juuuust doesn’t seem to work that way (I get lost a lot too). For UWUG Project #4 I thought it would be cool to make a knife holder that was a vintag-y sign. Simple!  Totes know how to do that! And then the dreaded learning curve kicked in. OK, supplies: Another piece of that old  dresser (another of the drawer sides like I’d used for the scrap wood trays) painted and distressed.Trash To Treasure Dresser Project Cheltenham Road Some magnets I had lying around for…..no apparent reason (where do these things come from? Who buys them and why do they keep leaving them at my house?) and a few strips of scrap wood.Magnets for DIY Knife Holder Cheltenham RoadI laid out my knife collection on the board and drew around them just to get a rough placement.How to make a vintage sign and knife holder Cheltenham Roadthen came up with a simple graphic – just textVintage Sign Knife Holder Tutorial Cheltenham Road I printed it out in reverse and, using the Lenk tool, transferred it to my painted wood base. I used scrap wood strips to make a little red frame around the sign just to give it some pop. Just strips of wood painted red and glued around the edges – butt joints again – nothing fancy. I marked where I wanted my magnets to goHow to make a vintage sign and knife holder Cheltenham Road drilled shallow holes with a forstner bit Scrap Wood Sign and Knife Holderand glued them in place using trusty E6000. Done! Nope! It turns out that the wood surface is a bit uneven so my carefully drilled holes weren’t all the same depth. That wasn’t a problem for the knifes that only had one magnet to hold them in place but for the bigger knives I’d used two magnets which were now at different levels and….no worky. So I drilled them out and did it again.  All nice and level. Done! Nope! All the knives gave a solid, reassuring click when placed on the magnets and then, when I tilted the sign up like you would on a wall, all the knives just gently slid down and crashed to the floor (no I did not stab myself in the foot…..I came close to stabbing myself in the foot which is VERY DIFFERENT!….Nicki…..) Awesome. Why hello drawing board. I have returned!  Did you miss me? I had some more magnets (still no clue why) – smaller, more intense. More holes were drilled. Small magnets were glued.knife holder tutorial Cheltenham Road Done! Nope! These magnets were so magnetty that when I put the big knife on it it defeated the glue and yanked the magnet out of the wood. More glue and more drying time solved the problem. Done! For reals! I had learned. I had curved. And next time will be super easy.Vintage Sign Knife Holder Cheltenham RoadNo, the knife on the end didn’t fall off.  I had created a tableau – cause I’m artsy like that.  I picked flowers!  I baked banana bread!   But then realized I couldn’t quite get the tableau in the picture. Better. Make a vintage sign and use it as a knife holder  Cheltenham Road tutorialOK.  Learning Curve Summary.  Notes for next time.

  • Small, super strong magnets are better.
  • Two magnets per knife
  • Drill all magnet holes to the same depth
  • I sealed it with wax which is great…..just do it perhaps, I don’t know,  before you glue the magnets in place (I got ahead of myself)
  • Give E6000 lots of drying time
  • wear shoes.  just in case.

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