RSS Feed

Category Archives: Uncategorized

(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!


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)


  • 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).


After routing the birch plywood I painted the edges pink and let it 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


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.


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

Done!…. Done?…. Sorta Done?…. Done-ish? How Do You Know?

Do you ever find that it’s hard to know when you’re actually done with a project?

Is it “done” because the deadline arrived (often the case with me)? Is it done because your totally satisfied (never the case with me)?

The minute I finish something my mind instantly starts coming up with ways that it should be changed or improved.

And I really, really, sincerely, want to change or improve it but there are always other shiny new projects to start (and, I guess, finish and then want to improve) and it’s hard to make the time for the do-over.

But sometimes it bugs me juuuust enough that I must do it! And such was the case with my LA Subway art.

You’ve seen these before.

I’d done the design initially for the knobs of the LA version of my NY Subway Coat Rack and I really the look.Vintage New York Subway Art Wall Shelf

So I’d tried them as candle blocksRetro Subway Art Candle Holders

And coastersSubway Art Coaster Set by Cheltenham RoadThey sold acceptably well at the local stores

(I mean, I do realize this is the nichiest of niche products – people who actually LIVE in Los Angeles have no idea we have a subway system so the number of citizens who want commemorative home decor based on it is…

But the design needed something more done to it and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until it dawned on me (at 3AM – thanks creative brain- do you think you could, I don’t know, function during normal, waking hours occasionally!?)

Red!Subway Art Coaster Set

That particular subway is called the Red Line and, for me, it always conjures up images of the famed Red Car trolley lines that used to criss-cross LA.  So red seems perfect!Subway Art Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

And I think I’m done!Vintage Subway Art Style Coaster Set

Done Done


But now – it’s on to a loooong time coming re-think.

Coaster packaging.

I get a lot of compliments (or at least no complaints) on the wrappers I designed for my coasters:Book Club Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

Clean.  Simple.  But there are some, um, flaws….like, perhaps, the packaging doesn’t say with the product is!?!?  Or who made it?  Or how it was made?

So I’m toying around with this design.Vintage Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

I think I like it (for now.  I’m sure I’ll think of better options later – perhaps 2:30AM or maybe a late-blooming idea at 5?)

Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

Getting the Halloween Party Started

OK, as we know, I’m in Halloween mode and several of you, according to your much appreciated comments, are down with Halloween in August too so -let the games begin!

My tutorial for the Halloween luminaries is coming along.Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham Road

Actually, it worked out perfectly. They had pretty much sold out at Scare LA and while I’d snapped a few pics as I made them I didn’t have full-fledged-tutorial-worthy versions.

But after my last post my sister Sally immediately requested a set!Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham Road

I hadn’t realized Sal was a “glowing eyes of the damned” kind of decorator but, apparently, she has depths of which I was not aware.

Perfect reason to do another round, refine the process and take some better photos (and vandalize some more poor, innocent-but-creepy-looking, Victorians). Win-Win!

Also your feedback lit the fire under me to get my new Halloween Coaster Sets up and rolling on Etsy (clicking on the pics below will take you to the listings in my Etsy shop)

My comical takes on classic literature coasters  and the tea light holders have been good sellers right alongHalloween Decor Coasters by Cheltenham Road

Halloween Tealight Holders by Cheltenham RoadBut it was time to get some new stuff out there.

The Ouija boards were a hit at Scare LA (as many of you suggested I went with full Ouija Boards on each coaster)vintage Ouija Board Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

Had to do some Photoshop re-jiggering to make the boards square but it worked out just fine.Classic Ouija Board Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

Valerie made me very happy (and she’s good at that cause she, literally, wrote the book on Happiness!) when she came up with an idea that address both full and partial boards.  She suggested  doing a whole board spread across four coasters. Which is all sorts of genius and is totally on my to-do list.

Keeping with the theme I worked up some poison labels.Vintage Poison Labels Halloween Coaster Set

I’ve dug the graphics on these for a long timeHalloween Poison Label Coaster Set

Don’t know why it took me so long to connect with the idea of making them into coasters.

So Halloween in August is truly underway!

Now I have a very, very macabre idea for a centerpiece but I need very inexpensive doll heads (add that to the list of “phrases I never thought I’d utter”). Medium size. Anyone have a clue where to hunt?

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

Happy Mother’s Day!

As you know, my mom and I have always been a team!just hanging out and blending in

And while I never learned to sew or embroider I owe my mom pretty much everything about my creative nature (and of course the part I don’t owe my mom I owe my dad but his day is coming – let’s not get ahead of ourselves).

If you were home sick from school you didn’t just sit and watch tv (OK, sometimes you did) but there was always a paint-by-number kit or shrinky dinks or a Popsicle stick project to take on and distract you from feeling lousy.

Got a school project? She was in the trenches with you helping you build, say, an entire Aztec village or a Hardy Boys shoe box diorama.

Wanna have a pie fight birthday party? She made it happen (everyone in swimming suits in the backyard chucking tin foil pans of whipped cream at each other.  AWESOME!!!!).

Need a Patrick Henry costume for the Bicentennial Celebration?Spirit of 1776


Suffering from delusions of grandeur and want to be the Great Pumpkin for Halloween?The Great Pumpkin!


Need a Charlie Brown shirt to go with your handmade 4th of July float?  Charlie BrownDone! (my patriotic shoes are a nice touch, although she could have perhaps invested in some looser fitting shorts, no?)

I also owe her something for my work ethic.

When I called today to wish her a happy Mother’s day I interrupted her work on a felt Christmas ornament.Mom's Santa Ornament

(Ok, her work ethic is still better than mine since I haven’t even thought about Christmas yet)

And she is still going strong! Her handmade felt books keep selling out before she can finish the last order. Moms Felt Alphabet BooksNew embroidery projects roll out all the time (even teeny tiny ones – note the quarter).Mom's Stocking Perspective She takes classes goes to seminars (with the assistance of my wonderful sister’s who are also totally awesome moms!)

So Happy Mother’s Day mom!  You continue to amaze me.

And Happy Mother’s day to all you other hard-working moms out there!

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


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.


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.


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




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,471 other followers

%d bloggers like this: