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Farmhouse Style Shelf Idea

Thanks so much for all the kind words about my new focus (and for not virtually patting me on the head).  I truly appreciated it.

But I want to assure you that the blog isn’t going to turn into a place where all I talk about and make are gifts.  As my wise brother-in-law Rich pointed out gifts come in many forms and one can always gift themselves so we have a lot of room here.  In short, don’t worry.  I won’t be saying “gift” every other sentence.  I promise.

Gift!

(sorry, couldn’t resist)

OK, onward!

When my sisters vistited we browsed a large retail store that sells things that help you stay organized and I saw this clever shelving unit.

 

Cool!  Right?!

Simple, versatile.

But it’s a two foot long, three sided, Medium Density Fiberboard box with holes on the bottom edge.

And it costs $100!!!

So!

………..Welcome to SPITE CRAFTING: SPRING EDITION!……….

(I had no idea this was going to be an ongoing series)

OK I guess $100 isn’t crazy expensive but the idea seemed so do-able-for-less that I had to give it a shot.  So maybe not Spite Crafting so much as Idea Stealing.

Here is what I used for my version

From my scrap pile I pulled some 3/4″ plywood and cut it down to size.

  • The front is 24″ long by 3.75″ high
  • The sides are 3″ long by 3.75″ high
  • And the internal shelf is 22.5″ long by 3″ deep

On the back side I marked  a center line and indicated where I would drill the holes.

Live-and-Learn: in retrospect I realize it would have been easier to mark and drill on the front side of the board….next time! 

And then got to work with my drill press at Forstner bit.

I was drilling from the back and I wanted to minimize any tear out on the front side so I placed a piece of scrap wood under by board and didn’t drill all the way through with the Forstner bit – just enough for the point to poke through the other side.

Once all the initial holes were drilled I flipped it over to complete the drilling  for a nice clean look.

I then assembled the whole thing using wood glue and my nailer

And then it was time to get creative.

The folks at Plaid had provided me with Waverly Chalk Paint and brushes and I thought I’d give them a try.

I used their Ivory color for the base.  The special Waverly Chalk Brush isn’t required but it sure made applying the paint easy as it holds a lot and spreads really smoothly.  I think I’ll be glad I have it especially on larger projects.

I’m a new and enthusiastic convert to the chalk paint thing (I know I’m very behind on this curve).  It’s easy to apply, dries fast and comes in great colors – what’s not to like?

Once the paint dried I moved on to other newish thing  – stencils.

For this project I used the Folk Art Farmers Market Stencil Set and a small Folk Art Stencil Brush

I used a light pencil line to keep everything straight

And then stenciled away using both the Waverly “Crimson” and “Ink” colors

Stenciling is pretty easy once you get the idea of using very little paint on the brush.  But I think my inexperience showed as my only complaint about this set is that it was tricky, even with a small brush not to accidentally catch the edge of the stencil I wasn’t intending to use.  Probably a rookie mistake.  Next time I’ll use some painters tape to tape off the “unwanted” stencils.

Once everything dried I gave the edges a bit of a sanding and then a light rubbing with Waverly Antiquing wax.

I used a couple of d-ring hangers on the back and my shelf was ready for its close-up.

(I’m not crazy about my choice to stencil he “No” on the ednd there.  The stencil is fine but it would have been better if I’d had space for a number as well so, as it is, it just kinda looks….I don’t know…unnecessarily negative?)

The antiquing wax did a nice job of bringing out the texture in the wood and making the whole thing look just a bit more vintage.  It’s hard to see in the pics as I went pretty light on this first-time-out attempt but next time I think I will be a bit more daring as I really like the extra texture.

I had envisioned this as a kitchen thing but it occurred to me it could work in any room – like perhaps for crafts?Tons of possibilities!

Further Thoughts:

  • *I always hesitate to use my “I invested in some serious tools” tools on these projects for fear of turning people off.  But all of these things can be accomplished using more standard methods (a regular drill with a forstner bit, nails or screws rather than a pnumatic nailer) it just takes a bit longer.
  • I made my shelf out of scraps of plywood but the original is MDF.  MDF is a great choice for easy to work with, smooth surface finishes and I think, if I make more of these I’ll switch over to it.

Disclaimer:  The good folks at Plaid provided me with the materials for this project.  All opinions are strictly my own and I received no other financial compensation for this post.  Links provided are not affiliate links – just trying to be helpful.

Finding My Purpose

I’m happy to announce I am no longer road kill!

I’ve had a slow-to-dawn  realization.

Very slow.

Sloth slow.

Now, were you sitting with me as I shared this amazing  insight you would pat me on the head in a slightly patronizing manner and say: “yes, David, thank you for catching up”  and wonder how someone so dim-witted has made it this far in life.

OK, here we go.

 I’ve been stuck for quite a while on one very important question:

“What is your goal?  What is the purpose of all this?*”

OK…. two very important questions (focus may have been an issue as well -I see that now.)

This dilemma trips me up whenever I try to deal with Branding or Marketing.  It stymies me on Pinterest and even with this blog.

What’s the goal?  Who am I trying to reach?

I mean, this isn’t a lifestyle blog (unless your lifestyle aspirations involve repeatedly smacking your head into things and being semi-permanently dusty.  In which case, welcome home!).

And it’s certainly not a “how to run a small business” blog because I just realized I totally forgot to actually bill a customer for $100s of dollars of merchandise last year….. so “captain of industry” I am not.**

But I couldn’t make up my mind.  What was I going for?  Heaven knows the “Random Ideas with a vintage flair” category was WAY over-saturated.

I needed a focus.

They say that, to be truly successful, a product must solve a problem. What problem could I possibly be solving?

It  (finally) dawned on me when I made these new coasters

and thought “my dad will love these”

and I realized

I’M THE GIFT GUY!

(OK, stop patting my head!!!!!!!)

So, while it’s embarrassing to realize this just now (particularly since everything I make is sold in…..what’s the word?…oh yeah…..GIFT SHOPS!!!) – it’s a new way for me to think about and focus on the entire Cheltenham Road Empire.

So I’ve made a decision.

I want people to come to my Etsy shop to find the perfect, unique gift for someone.

Do you have a wedding coming up?

Is your boss a fan of Tiki bars?

Do you and your friends have a drinking problem?I’m your guy!

I want to help people find the perfect gift idea by coming to my Pinterest boards.

And I want people to come to the blog to find out about how to make or find a great gift for that person or occasion.

Simple Father's Day Project Tutorial Cheltenham RoadI feel simultaneously totally excited and insanely stupid

But I made it!

I have a purpose!!!!  And a focus!

I am no longer an indecisive squirrel!

(Seriously, stop patting my head!)

 

*it should be noted that by “all this” I mean Cheltenham Road not LIFE.  That one I totally have the answer to.  But I’m sworn to secrecy.  Sorry

**The vendor in question is being very, very cool about it.  I am INSANELY lucky with the the folks I work with.  All of them are amazing.

DIY Wedding Reception Table Numbers Tutorial

Sometimes I just….get an idea.

I’m not getting married.  No one I know is getting married and yet….here we are.

Welcome to Cheltenham Road: Bridal Edition

I seriously don’t know where this came from but it popped into my head but it just seemed so fun and easy I kinda had to do it.  Since weddings are all about family (the ones attending and the new one being created) I thought it would be cool to have the table numbers reflect and pay tribute to the family.

I used:

  • Chalkboard Easels from Michaels
  • Mod Podge Matte formula
  • Folk Art Milk Paint: Churned Butter
  • Copies of family photos
  • Scrapbook paper
  • A sharp craft knife
  • (ignore the two stick on letters – I changed my mind)
  • Folk Art Stencils (not pictured)
  • Folk Art Chalk PaintP Rich Black(not pictured)
  • Black Sharpie

The easels are in the craft-wood aisle at Michaels and they come in a couple of different sizes and are pretty affordable at $4.00 each.

After painting the easels with the Milk Paint and setting them aside to dry I resized and printed out some family photos (that’s my mom and dad and my lovely sister Phebe).

Using the Mod Podge I adhered the pics to the font of the easels and then flipped them over and did the same with the scrapbook paper on the other side.

After a little drying time I used my craft knife to trim away any extra paper and then used a black sharpie just to highlight the edge of the easel.Next I sealed the photographs with some more Mod Podge.

And then I…..changed my mind.

I was going to use the stick on letters shown above pic (simply because I had them on hand) but realized that a stencil would be great.

So, I raced to my vast supply of  Folk Art stencils and chalk paint and made quick work of it

And Boom!

Table numbers!

I think they’d be a fun way to get conversations going at a reception.  And I nice way to include the family history in an event that’s all about family.

Now I realize (from watching reality TV) that some brides might not be into having other brides pictures at their weddings.  But you could use any photo. 

My nephew recently got married and they took a whole series of really fun engagement photos which would be great for this.  Or you could just do family photos, mom, dad, grandparents etc.  Maybe even embarrassing photos of bad hair styles of days past – you know, something for folks to talk about while waiting for the chicken dish to be served.

Now, if one of you all could get married I could justify this whole, random post!

Disclaimer: The good folks at Plaid provided me with all the materials (except the easels) for this project as part of their Plaid Ambassador Program.  All ideas and opinions are my own.

 

Custom Made Tray, New Coasters and Vintage Graphic Heaven!

Today was supposed to be another chapter in Spite Crafting with Cheltenham Road.

But, my sisters were visiting this week and it felt like it would kill the vibe (we laugh A LOT when we’re together)…….and also, spite crafting sometimes takes longer than anticipated….

So, emotionally questionable making is postponed – custom crafting to the front of the line!

My friend Bernie Shine of Shine Gallery wanted a vintage matchbook tray.

(and now a momentary plug).

 If you’ve never visited the Shine Gallery site and you’re a lover of all things vintagy you owe it to yourself.  Bernie is a terrific guy and has been collecting for decades.  He has, no exaggeration, thousands of postcards, stickers, matchbooks, posters, patches, signs…. and on and on.  For me it’s vintage graphic heaven and for anyone even marginally interested just touring the site it is a feast of fun images and glimpses of the past!

OK, back to the tray.

Bernie wanted to use actual, old matchbooks from his collection.  I’d never done that before and was a bit worried if it would work but it came out great.

I simply glued the matchbooks in place on a thrift store tray, trimming some and allowing others to overlap – no plan in mind just kinda winging it.

With everything in place I sealed them with three coats of Mod Podge and poured the Envirotex-Lite

It’s hard to see in the pic but the varying levels give it a really nice depth and texture.

It was easy, and I think Bernie was pleased.

Up next a customer who liked my Jet Set Vintage Luggage Tag Drink Coasters asked me to do a few custom ones for her.

I had a blast coming up with the new designs.

And now I have many more to offer customers…

As soon as I do more official pics.

OK, the sisters have returned home and it’s time to return to my true self – petty and spiteful!

Stay tuned!

Vintage Cameras, Galvanized Metal Trays and Not Getting a Tan

After being  grey, cold and rainy it has been absolutely beautiful in Los Angles.  Sunny, mid 70s -the kind of weather that makes you call your relatives back East and gloat.

On the rainy days I worked outside – damp and freezing (OK, California freezing – meaning I had to wear pants…  you know, true suffering*).

And during these sunny days?

Never left the house.

So I don’t have much of a tan but I did get a lot done!

I’ve been working on a new set of Vintage Typewriter Coasters.green-typewriter-coaster-by-cheltenham-road

While I struggle to comprehend Snapchat and Instagram I’m pretty much 100% down with any sort of vintage technology -typewriters, cameras, old phones….

Plus I thought they  would make the perfect gift for writers.

And you may recall the image transfer project I did on that metal tray I got from Michaels diy-michaels-crafts-tray-transformation

Well, I liked it so much and it was so easy to do that I went back and snapped up all the ones they had left in stock and played with some more designs.

I pulled a free camera graphic from The Old Design Shop (a terrific graphics resource) and combined it with the text of an actual old advertisement:industrial-style-metal-tray-image-transfer-by-cheltenham-road

And I thought I’d see how it came out if I added a fair amount of color so I used a vintage 20th Century Limited train graphic:

diy-metal-tray-image-transfer-by-cheltenham-roadAnd finally I was curious about if the details on an old photo would make the transfer so I resurrected my favorte Balboa Bathing Girl Parade image.  And it came out just how I wanted it.  I actually had to add some distressing as it looked a bit too new.balboa-beach-girls-tray

I think I’m gonna have a lot of fun with these!

If you wanted to do your own, it’s pretty simple and you can find my tutorial for it here.

And finally, back to  coasters.

My brother-in-law, Rich, collects vintage Tom Swift books and asked for a coaster set for his office.

Do you know about Tom Swift?  He’s sort of along the lines of The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew only it’s science not mysteries.

ts-and-airline

They were published from the early teens through, I believe the 50s or 60s.  The early covers are great!  I mean, how could you not be fascinated by Tom Swift and his Giant Magnet or Television Detector!!  It’s a Thrilling Read!!!!!ts-coaster-set

Rich actually did all the photoshop work to fix up the old covers and I think he did an amazing job.   I hope he likes the final result.

Well, it’s supposed to be another beautiful day today!

I plan to hide in the bathroom.

Hope everyone has had a good weekend.

*just to be clear – I don’t mean to imply that I usually work naked.  I just mean that more often than not I wear shorts rather than pants.

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.

 

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