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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.

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 Momentary Digression

Please forgive a minor digression from the (admittedly somewhat vague) stated purpose of this blog.

So, last time I posted pics of my new, Vintage Hollywood Coasters.old-hollywood-drink-coaster-set-by-cheltenham-road

Which appears to have caused a ripple in the Universe in that, I’m suddenly getting auditions again.

(for newer readers here’s the scoop.  Most of my life I’ve been an actor, I lived in NYC for quite a while doing off and off-off Broadway plays and then moved to LA where I landed some roles on TV.  But, once I started Cheltenham Road I discovered that I liked doing this more and while I still have an agent my focus is on CR).

Auditions have always stressed me out (and if you’re interested I’ve done a little side-bar that explains the odds of actually getting a role on TV)the-odds

BUT one of the great joys of going on auditions in LA for someone like me who has always been totally fascinated by “old Hollywood” (hence all the coasters)  is that sometimes the audition takes place on one of the actual factual classic movie studio lots

 

This time my audition took me to 20th Century Fox where I haven’t been since I did an episode of House.stage-22

This place has such an amazing history!

And, once you’re on the lot you can roam around a bit (within reason).

You can look at the giant Star Wars mural they painted on the outside wall of a sound-stage with all the actors trailers parked in front of it (I don’t know what show they are for)star-wars

And I always check out the back-lot sets.backlot

You’d be amazed how often you’ve seen this street and never realized it was the same one you’d seen a million times before.

20th Century Fox’s backlot is pretty small but if you go to Paramount or Warner Brothers they are VAST and awesome (If you ever visit LA I insist that you go on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour – it’s the best!)

But every centimeter of the property is a potential set.

So, is this Lafayette High School?lafayette-high-school

Sort of.  It’s actually the entrance to the 20th Century Fox Administration Building (that whole High School entrance is just tacked on the front of the building temporarily)20th-century-fox

So while the audition went OK (I didn’t get it) I had a great time checking out the lot!

Next time I’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming but I just thought this might be fun.

 

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!

 

 

Day of the Dead Luminaries

After Abbot Kinney (which went really well despite record heat) I took a  trip to Ohio to see my family.

Upon my return I  was overjoyed  to discover two things:

1) My home had not been turned into a pop-up Halloween store which seems to be the fate of every other empty or temporarily unused building in America (do we really need that many?  Is it like that where you are?  It’s insane in LA); and

2) Amy over at Mod Podge Rocks had posted my latest tutorial!day-of-the-dead-luminary-tutorial-cheltenham-road-for-mod-podge-rocksIt would appear that I’m a bit obsessed with making glowing, creepy luminaries out of things I find at the Dollar Store.  I think this is the third variation on that theme I’ve done.Halloween Decoration Tutorial

As obsessions go it’s not necessarily a bad one (beats that time I was hooked on Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups…. I shouldn’t have reminded myself of that….I’ll be right back) addiction

Anyhoo…..

So, I’d decided I wanted to do these using some napkins and since it seems like Day of the Dead graphics are everywhere and very “in” I thought I’d use Day of the Dead napkins.

However, uttering the words “I’m going to go get some Day of the Dead napkins” caused my super-power to kick in.

What is my super power you may ask?

My super power is the ability to cause any item that I have seen all over the place to completely evaporate from store shelves the minute I decide to buy it.

I went everywhere.  No napkins.  I found stores that were selling (I’m not kidding) coordinated Day of the Dead tablecloths, cups and plates but NOT NAPKINS.

It’s insane.

Happily I did finally find some but from now on I’m using my powers only for good.

My next project will be made entirely out of broccoli.  Do you hear me powers-that-be?!  I MUST HAVE BROCCOLI!!!! LOTS OF IT!!!!!!

You’re welcome children of the world (and former President Bush).

Anyway, after finding the elusive napkins the project came together very easily.

easy-mod-podge-halloween-luminaries-tutorialAnd I think it’s adaptable in a lot of different ways and worth a perusal if you’re in the market for quick, simple, inexpensive Halloween decor.easy-diy-halloween-decor

And, now that I’m back and have just a bit of breathing room between now and multiple upcoming  holiday shows it’s time to get to work!

CCP (Constant Coaster Production) will have to continuecoaster productions along with all the other HOME signsLots of Letter Blanks….. and Subway signs… and magnets…..and wine charms……. but I hope to get to some of the other fun, one-off projects I have been itching to do.

For instance, the front porch light quit working and had to be replaced.  I always thought is was pretty dang uglyporch-light but now it seems like I should be able to use it for something interesting maybe?

UPDATE: reader Denise came up with a inspiring suggestion for what to do with the old porch light.    I will fill it with various kinds of broccoli .  I’M GOING TO HOT GLUE BROCCOLI TO THE OUTSIDE!!!!!  I will need lots and lots of broccoli for this project. 

Thanks Denise!

I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime Happy October!

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.

Vintage Halloween Candle Holder Image Transfer Tutorial

 

Vintage Halloween Candle Holder Tutorial with Image Transfer by Cheltenham RoadAs I mentioned in my previous post my Halloween Candle Holder project went waaaay south the first time (graphic transfer was pretty spotty, I put one of the images on upside down etc etc) BUT attempt #2 seems better so I thought I’d do a little step-by-step to detail my learning curve.

I started out with my basic, scrap wood candle holder.  To make it:

  • I cut three strips of plywood to 12×2″ size
  • Glued them together using wood glue and clamps
  • Sanded it smooth with my handheld circular sander
  • Drilled 3 holes in the top using a 2 1/8 Forstner bit
  • Plywood Candle Holder by Cheltenham RoadAnd, finally, painted it with some orange craft paint allowing the wood grain to show through a bit
  • NOTE:  It really is orange!  The color keeps changing in the photos but I swear it’s orange!Classic Halloween Wooden Candle Holder by Cheltenham Road

After the paint dried I sanded it again, by hand, using a 220 grit sandpaper.

  • This 2nd sanding is key – and I think skipping it was big part of my previous fail.  A super-smooth surface lends itself to a good transfer.

After that it was on to image transfer.DIY Halloween Centerpiece Candle Holder by Cheltenham Road

For this step I had my minwax Polycrylic (Satin), my images, printed in reverse on plain old legal paper, a brush, some paper towels and (not pictured, sorry!) a brayer/roller.

My “images” are just a combination of text and some clip art – (mostly from The Graphics Fairy)Vintage Halloween Design Print Sheet by Cheltenham Road

I don’t know if anyone would want to do this exact project but if you do here is the reversed print sheet in a high resolution download: Vintage Halloween Graphic Reverse Print Sheet by Cheltenham Road

After applying a good layer of  polycrylic – (good coverage ensures a good transfer)Vintage Halloween Image Transfer Tutorial

I placed my image, face-down, on top and, using the brayer/roller thingy pressed it into place, smoothing out wrinkles and squeezing out excess polycrilicHalloween Candle HOlder Tutorial

(and this is where you’ll want to have the paper towels on hand to clean up any drips)

This is another key step.  You want to press down hard and make sure there is really good contact between the paper and the wood.  Roll  in all directions to make sure you get good contact everywhere.

Drying Time:  I live in hot, dry Southern California so I just leave my stuff in the sun for a few hours.  If you’r in a cooler or damper climate you might want to let it dry overnight.

Then, using a pretty wet cloth just gently rub away the paper to reveal the image.Image Transfer Halloween Candle Tutorial

Now here is the part about image transfer that doesn’t seem to get mentioned a lot.  Yes, the graphic transfers but there is also always a super thin layer of paper left behind.  When you first rub it with the damp cloth everything will look great and then, when it dries you’ll get this:Halloween Candle Block

You can do another round or two of rubbing with the damp cloth to remove more paper but you’ll never totally get rid of all of it.

But, not to worry, once you seal it the white paper fades again.

So, on you last pass with the damp clothImage Transfer Halloween Candle Holder

use a dry cloth to get rid of any excess moister and immediately seal it with poly (or Mod Podge or any other sealer) and you’ll be good to go!

Vintage Halloween Graphic Candle Holder by Cheltenham RoadSo, the first time I tried this I ended up with a bit of a mess of poorly transferred graphics.Classic Halloween Candle Holder by Cheltenham Road

My fixes solved that problem but, this time around, they transferred so well that I had to go back in and “distress” some of them with sandpaper to get the  look I wantedImage Transfer Tutorial for Halloween Candle Holder by Cheltenham Road

I do promise to get off the plywood candle holder kick soon but, even if you have no intention of doing it I hope these projects at least spark some ideas.

And if you DO make one -please send pics!

 

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