RSS Feed

UWYG Project 4 – Make Rustic Wood Trays from Scrap Wood

Make a tray out of scrap wood tutorial by Cheltenham RoadI have a billion projects going on at once.  It’s great and I thought “oh perfect I’ll be able to post regularly and a often!”  My goal was to do posts on Mon, Wed and Friday.

Happy Friday everyone…….and welcome to my second post of the week -because I think hat having goals is awesome but meeting them is totally over rated.

So you may recall my whole Use What You’ve Got Challenge started when I decided that, rather than trashing this old dresser, I’d see what I could make out of it.  Trash To Treasure Dresser Project Cheltenham Road The first thing I made out of it was a big pile of crap.scrapwood pileSo many possibilities! (including tetanus – man there were a lot of old rusty nails)

I thought the (former) sides of the drawers  might make good trays so I grabbed them and a few lengths of  1/2″ x 1.5″ lattice strips that were leftover from a previous project.Scrap Wood Tray by Cheltenham RoadI sanded and painted the scrap a basic white.*Image Transfer Tray Tutorial by Chelteham Road I decided to make them speak French and after perusing the ever-valuable Graphics Fairy website I had a couple of fun designs and one of my own creation.

Once the paint had thoroughly dried I printed out my reversed graphic and taped it in placeImage Transfer to Wood Tutorial Cheltenham RoadI’ve become a fan of my semi-dangerous Lenk tool – it’s easy to use once you get the hang of it (you can my more detailed Lenk tutorial here) Lenk Tool for Image Transfer  Tray Tutorial by Cheltenham RoadAfter the transfer was done I sanded away around the edges of the piece and sealed the whole thing with a coat of Matt Mod Podge.  French Flower Market Graphic Image transfer to wood tutorial by Cheltenham RoadI’d previously cut and painted the lattice pieces for the edges so now I just  glued and nailed them into place.  I opted for simple butt joints rather than miters.

My intention was to pour a coat of Envirotex Lite on the trays so I needed to really make sure the seal between the base and the sides was solid.  Envirotex is awesome but it will find any tiny gap and pour through it with alarming and messy speed.  I just ran a bead of Mod Podge along the inside edge filling in any voids or gaps.  The Mod Podge will dry totally clear so, once the Envirotex is poured you’ll never see it.Seal the edge with Mod PodgeAlso, because I recently found out that Envirotex won’t stick to basic, transparent tape I ran some along the edges on the bottom just in case I’d missed any gaps with the Mod Podge.Tray Tutorial Cheltenham Road After all the Mod Podge sealing was dry I poured the Envirotex.  Envirotex is easy to work with but only if you follow the manufacturers directions to the letter.

For efficiency I actually made three at once in different colorsFrench Ephemera Scrap Wood Trays TutorialFrench Flower Market Scrap Wood Tray by Cheltenham RoadAnd I used the leftover drawer handles from the dressers for the tray handles.DIY Tray Project from Salvaged Wood by Cheltenham RoadSo that’s Use What You’ve Got project number 3!Image Transfer to DIY Salvaged Wood Trays by Cheltenham Road

*Other thoughts and a Learning Curve:

1) The Lenk tool is great but it does work via heat.   For my first attempt I had under-painted the tray base.  I did a coat of green paint then white paint then sanded away the white so some of the green showed through.  It looked great but the heat from the Lenk tool melted the paint a bit and caused discoloration and a tackiness so I had to sand everything off and start again.

2) My graphics are printed with a laser printer.  I don’t believe the Lenk transfer process will work with an ink-jet.

Knick of Time Inspiration PartyHome Stories tutorials-tips-button

The Third Wine’s the Charm

Book Club Wine Charm Set Cheltenham RoadSo I thought, “wine charms! piece of cake! Easy! I’ll whip these bad boys out just as soon I finish this pie and fall off this log!”

******************************2 weeks later ***************************

“Stupid wine charms! Whose dumb idea was this?!………….. Taking forever…………”

*****************************4 weeks later ******************************

1 sets down! 10 more to go!!!!!!!!

I have to confess I often start off this way. The idea seems so straight-forward. So within my grasp. What could go wrong?!

And then reality hits.

You’ve gotta actually design the things because although Jane Eyre is in the public domain the actual book covers are…..not so much.Jane Eyre Wine Charm Book Club Wine Charm Collection by Cheltenham Road on Etsy

Then you have to figure out how. exactly to create them.Book Club Wine Charm Set by Cheltenham Road

Then you’ve got to round up (affordable!) resources so you can (hopefully) make them again and again.

(and I did thanks to my awesome sister and her husband who can make pretty much anything and run a little company called  PRPromotions)

And then, just when you think “done!” you are reminded that you’re a one-man-show and the packaging isn’t going to design itself!Wine Charms made from Classic Books by Cheltenham Road on EtsyBut then, happy and feeling like you’ve figured it all out you move on to design idea number two  and are confronted with the cold truth:  You don’t remember your High School French as well as you’d hoped.French Language Wine Charm SetAnd you can’t think of what to put on the “F” which will be for the designated driver:Designated Driver Wine Charm French ABCsAnd then you buy an new camera and become……focus challenged. Not that you can’t focus on what you’re doing but rather you can’t focus the camera on what you’ve done!what the

And you took 5 bazillion pictures that way…….

And then you think “clearly it’s time for a drink…….wait!, where’s my glass?……………Dammit!!!!!!!.  Oh the irony!”

PS: the Book Club set is up and ready on Etsy.

PPS: so much for my protestations of how my blog posts should always be helpful or educational….unless you count this as a cautionary tale I guess.

UWYG Scrap Wood Project #2

Los Angeles Wood Letters Vintage Postcard Collage by Cheltenham RoadI have never taken a selfie.

I can never think of anything to post on Facebook.

I don’t throw birthday parties for myself.

In truth, I’m just not comfortable being the center of attention or calling attention to myself (you may be thinking to yourself “acting is an odd career choice for such a person” and you’d be right).

Anyway, blogging is kind of a challenge for me as well because it never feels right to just make a post that essentially shouts “hey, look at me!!! Look what i did!”

I mean, obviously, I get over that but my intention is always to share useful ideas.

My plan with the Use What You’ve Got Project was to present the stuff as tutorials or at least semi-tutorials.

But I was under a slightly self-imposed deadline to get new things to the CoOp 28 store.

So, welcome to a second LOOK AT ME!!! post.

Sorry!

The Mindful Nest store requested one of my super large Beach SignsWood Letter Beach sign by Cheltenham Road

which left me with some oddly shaped scraps.

I thought “why not stick with what you know for the first project:” Letter cutting and gluing stuff to wood.

I’d previously made that smaller (meaning 12″ tall) version of my LA collage sign.

And I had all these postcards for my Etsy HOME signs.

So I expanded to Chicago:Vintage Chicago Wood Letter Collage by Cheltenham Road

Vintage Chicago postcard collageSan FranciscoHand-cut wood letters by Cheltenham Road.  San Francisco vintage postcard collage

and finally New York.11 inch high wood letters vintage New York City collage by Cheltenham Road

Each letter is 11″ tall and the bases are made of scrap as well. The letters are attached with (leftover) dowels so they can be left on their base or removed and hung on the wall.

Now that particular wood pile is pretty depleted. Perhaps I should make smaller letters for smaller towns?

I promise that further entries in this series will be more useful.

The Use What You’ve Got Project….and a plunge

As I mentioned before Feb/March are kinda slow months for me.  Etsy is quiet and the stores have done a post-Xmas restock but aren’t putting in big orders.

So, I have vowed to use the down time wisely – or at least productively.

On a very practical front I’ve started a Use What You’ve Got project.  The goal is to use up all the random bits of stuff I have lying around (like this embarrassing scrap wood pile)The Scrap Wood Pile Project - Cheltenham Roadwithout incurring extra expense. Projects must be made using only what is here already.  And there seems to be a lot that’s here already.

So far it has been a blast.  My brain is in over-drive with project ideas – so much over-drive that I keep shorting out – too overwhelmed by all the things I COULD do to know which one I SHOULD do – you know what I mean?

So I started with something simple, something in my wheelhouse – lettersHand cut wood letters

Letters are the perfect scrap project for me. Easy to cut, use a lot of wood and, as a bonus, painting them lets me use up the inexplicably huge store of random paint I have gathered.Vintage Style Wood Letters Cheltenham Road

So I made those and then –

I took a plunge!

Hopefully the beginning of a lot of plunge taking. Many things about Cheltenham Road need to move forward and first up – the quality of my photographs.

I struggle a lot with the photography side. Trust me, you’ve never seen someone go from zero to cranky as fast as I do the minute I pull out my camera. And I’ve been spending and insane amount of time Photoshopping my mediocre pictures to make them presentable.

So the first step on the make it better chart was to buy a better camera.  I breathed deeply, got over my sticker shock and I am now the proud owner of a Nikon D7100.nikon d7100It’s intimidating. There is a ton to learn.

But, in truth, my pictures came out better just pointing it at something and knowing nothing.

For instance here is the same shot of some letters with my old camera and my new one.Camera Test ComparisonI’ve done nothing to the set up or the lighting – just swapped them on the tripod.  Both cameras were on “auto.”

It’s not a great picture or anything but imagine what I can do  if when I read the manual!

And then I started playing around with shots of some new coasters and I think they came out looking a bit more polished too. Union Station Vintage Subway Art Graphic Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

Retro Style Los Angeles Subway Art Coaster Set by Cheltenham RoadSo cool! Steep learning curve but cool! And I’ve got about 10 scrap wood projects going.  And a blog upgrade underway and….and….AND!

More to come!

Let (Me!) Eat Cake!

DIY Cake Stand Cheltenham Road I like cake.

A lot.

I like a lot of cake.

Mathematically the situation this looks like this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back soon with my first project.

In the meantime – linking up to a few great parties:

Knick of Time Inspiration Party

Lather, Rinse REPEAT. Staying Focused

The Zen version of me knows that:Life is a JourneyBut Actual-Me is hopelessly focused on:are we there So I’m not really a process-person.  I want to jump right to the finish- the finished product, the end of the book, I want to make the purchase not do the research.  You get the idea.

But my I want it NOW attitude (an approach which lead to the ill-advised Oompa Loompa acquisition of ’72) has not been serving me very well of late. There are lots of steps involved in running this business and I’ve been having trouble really keeping myself disciplined, on task and getting stuff done.

So I’ve adopted some strategies.

It’s so easy to let time slip away when part of your job is to look at other blog posts or scan Pinterest (or answer emails etc). I sit down fully intending to just to a couple of quick things and then BAM two hours have passed and I’m behind for the day.

So I’ve become very friendly with an old (and dusty) egg timer.egg timerI’ll confess I feel a bit like one of Pavlov’s dogs but this simple tool has had an wonderful effect.  If I set the timer for an hour. I’m going to work for a solid hour – no breaks, no wandering away -“just focus but only for an hour I tell myself.” It is AMAZING what I can accomplish in that hour and how energizing it is to “race against the clock.” Not “race” as in madly scurrying around stressing out but “race” as in move efficiently.

My second trick is podcasts.

My business is challenging and quite creative but there is A LOT of tedium – repetitive tasks that always seem daunting and certainly aren’t a lot of fun.

Coaster Back CuttingCutting Coaster BacksSealing Coasterstop coating coastersPainting Blockspainting tea light holdersBecause I have to actually look at what I’m doing having the TV on wont work. Listening to newscasts got a bit grim and music can only take me so far.

Podcasts to the Rescue!!!!

Free! Fascinating! Covering every aspect of life!

My current go-to’s are:

Pop Culture Happy Hour. It’s like hanging out with a group of smart, funny and perceptive friends who are all totally into the things that you are totally into. Books, movies, TV, music.

Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me (on itunes) – Always funny and (somewhat) educational.

This American Life Radio Archive – Fascinating stories

Crash Course: Really intense, short lessons in history, science and all kinds of stuff.  The teachers are waaaay over-caffeinated (and funny). They are excellent and often so over-packed with fast flying information that I have to listen to them twice.

School of Greatness – Lewis Howes is sort of a motivational speaker and his podcast has interviews with folks from all walks of life talking about success and their philosophies.  It can be very inspiring.

I find myself actually looking forward to the tedious tasks because I get to listen to the podcasts.

Do you have favorite podcasts? Tips for keeping yourself on task? If so please share them.

On a different note:

I’ve said before how very, very much I appreciate all your comments. I truly do.

I don’t’ often call out comments but I felt compelled to bring this one to the attention of a certain subset of my readers.

The lovely and incredibly insightful Tracey commented recently writing:

Wish……. that I was one of your sisters. You’re fun!

So you see it is as I have been saying for years to a certain subset of my readers: People are lining up to have me as their brother!

Please note that nowhere does the lovely and insightful Tracey use (nor seem to be contemplating using) phrases such as: “Obnoxious twerp,” “you were adopted” or “the mistake from the 60s”

I just wanted to point that out….to a certain subset of my readers.

OK, my timer just went off. It’s time for coasters and podcasts!

 

 

 

 

Wine Charm Tutorial with Free Printables

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,427 other followers

%d bloggers like this: