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Pay no attention to the man behind the garage door!

Part 1

First off I apologize for being a total tease and I am now happy to report that the awesome Amy of Mod Podge Rocks has completed her cross-country trek and has posted my tutorial for the Subway signs! So, if you’re at all interested in learning how to make theseOut of some bits and pieces then by all means head on over to Mod Podge Rocks  to get the full tutorial.

They are easy to make and, of course, totally customizable to whatever city inspires you.  For a local store I’ve since made ones for London and Chicago!

Part 2

I arrived home yesterday afternoon and discovered this in front of my garage door. Just patiently sitting there, waiting for me.

Now, I think I’ve chronicled my exploits of furniture acquisitions:

  • Beg: “you gonna take that with you when you move”,
  • Borrow:  “Does taking things left on the street count as borrow?” and of course
  • Steal: It wasn’t my fault!

Bottom line: I’m all about getting furniture wherever I can.

However, I’ve never had a piece of furniture just walk to my front door of its own volition.

Logic tells me, of course, that a friend, knowing of my sickness, dropped it off.  However, there was no note or subsequent email.

So, I’m choosing to believe that word has gotten out among the cast off, discarded and dilapidated furniture subculture that “there’s this guy in LA who can help you out.”   And, even as I type, pieces of furniture are making their way carefully down the yellow brick road to my door.  There’s no place like home…the garage.  There’s no place like the garage…..!


Make Your Own Decorative Knobs

Thank you for all the kind responses about the London Underground dresser!

I’ve had a couple of questions about the top two knobs so I thought I’d share how I made them – it was pretty easy and oh so inexpensive.

First off, I have to give credit to The Muse (otherwise known as Geralyn)!  Almost everything I do gets run by the The Muse for approval and tweeking before execution.  In this case she helped me nail down the city and then worked with me to come up with a good design for the knobs.  We tried the Union Jack but finally settled on the logo for the Underground.

OK onto the “how.”

I’m going to use my Underground image to illustrate but this method would work for any kind of graphic you wanted to work with.

Steps 1-3.  Sand, Prime, Paint!A good sanding is key (wooden knobs seem to be doused in evil paint resistant shellacks and varnishes) and I ‘ve become a big fan of Zinzer’s  BIN Shellac Base Primer which creates a great finish.  And I painted it with a couple of coats of flat black spray paint.

I created my own version of the Undergound logo in Photoshop  but it was also pretty easy to create in MSWord using shapes and a text box.

Of course a simple scan of any image you wanted to use would work as well.

I then put a black background behind the image.  This made it easier to cut out and let it blend in a little better on the knob.You can do this in MS Word too.  Just thicken the outline around the circle (mine went up to 50) and add some small, black boxes behind the ends of the “Underground” text.

To be honest I was a little too lazy about my cut out on this one.  The black edge gives you some wiggle room but you do want to cut as close to the edge of the image as possible (ie, cut it out better than I did this time around).

Mod Podge:  If you’ve read my Mod Podge Rocks tutorials you know that to create a smooth bubble free adhesion I like to soak my images for a few seconds in water before applying them (test your image first – some inks won’t hold up to a bath).

So, soak it, mod podge it on there and wipe up any excess glue.  After that was thoroughly dry I went in with my sharpie and touched up those tiny white edges that always appear.  If you were using a more unique color you could do the same just using a fine brush.

I did a couple more sealing coats of Mod Podge to minimize the edge where the paper meets the knob and after the Mod Podge had thoroughly dried (and I mean thoroughly, like, overnight or longer if you can swing it) I did a very light sanding and then top-coated with a couple of passes of an acrylic sealant.

And there you go.  A totally specific knob for almost nothing.


Let them Eat Cake – off a cake stand…..that you made….

Happy third day of the New Year everyone!

Like everyone else I’m totally keen to create a post about my my soon to be frustrating failures resolutions!

But, happily, the awesome Amy at Mod Podge Rocks has, instead, posted my tutorial for making your own, versatile cake stands.

So, if you’d be interested in how to take this random selection of stuff

To create this, less random, colleciton of stuff (balls created separately, probably by someone in China)

Head on over to Mod Podge Rocks for all the details*.

In the meantime I’m going to get to work on my Master Plan for a Better Me and post it first thing tomorrow! …..on Thursday!……soon!

* Confession:  There were actual cupcakes purchased for that final Cake Plate Glamor Shot.  But I ate them.  That unfortunate action led to the somewhat unsatisfactory substitution of  festive, yet non-edible, ornaments at the last minute.  This sad story will, perhaps, give you a hint about what a couple of my New Years Resolutions might entail.

Make a Cocktail Table

Well, Rose Bowl Madness has once again descended upon me.

You would think that, since almost nothing sold last time I’d be laying back and resting but apparently that’s not how I roll.  I’m running around restocking supplies and finishing up projects in hopes that this time will be better.

And while my blog is a bit young to be waxing nostalgic I thought it would be nice to revisit my very first Mod Podge Rocks project which was a tutorial for making this little cocktail table with a vintage Baseball theme.

I used to get frustrated with those people who were always doing projects made with “this old piece of wallpaper/wood/farbric/etc I had lying around.”

I never had an old piece of anything lying around but now I have become one of those people – Some would call it a late developing Hording Syndrome I prefer to think of it as being committed recycler.

Anyway, my buddy wanted some baseball themed tables for his man-cave and I thought this would be a fun, affordable project to do and share.

It’s made from bits I had sort of lurking in the corners of my garage (with the spiders – seriously, it’s like a science fiction movie in there) but I assure you can do it with some very affordable parts from any big box hardware store.

You will need:

 1) One table leg – mine was from the Habitat for Humanity ReSale Store (a great resource) but they come in all shapes and sizes at big box retailers.

2) Four (4) 7 inch wooden shelf brackets

3) A shadow box frame – you could also use a wooden tray or anything else that appealed

4) Five feet of shoe molding

5) 1 piece of ¼ inch wood cut square and just a little smaller than your picture frame

6) 1 piece of ½ or ¾ inch wood cut square and 2-3 inches smaller than your picture frame

7) Glue (I used Gorilla Glue)

8) Brad Nails (optional)

9) 1 wood screw

10) Sand paper

11) Spray paint

12) Mod Podge

13) Envirotex or any good Epoxy coating


Drill, saw (hand saw, miter saw, whatever you’ve got), hammer, foam brush

First off I cut the Table Leg to the height I needed

(they will do this for you at the hardware store if you ask nicely.  It probably helps if you are prettier than I am.  I cut mine at home.  Alone.)

Next I cut the shoe molding into eight (8) seven-inch strips and took the flimsy back out of the picture frame.

Now I was ready to attach the shoe molding to the Table Leg.

I centered a Shelf Bracket on base of the Table Leg and drew a line on either side.

Then I attached shoe molding on either side of the line creating a groove.  I repeated that on all four sides.

(I nailed my shoe molding in place after gluing but if you just wanted to glue them simply wrap rubber bands around the top and bottom to hold them in place while they dry.)

Next I just glued the shelf brackets into the slots I’d created and wiped away and glue that squeezed out and set the whole thing aside to dry.

After it dried I painted everything (leg, the edge and one side of both pieces of wood and the picture frame).  A quick coat of spray primer followed by the top coat made quick work of it and then it was time to get Mod Podging.

I placed the frame on the ¼ inch board and traced the inside edge so I’d know how much of the board to cover with my images and got busy.

Once the decoupage dried I attached my Mod-Podged board to the picture frame with some glue and nails.  My ¼ inch board had warped a little so I rested a heavy can on it to counter the warp and set it aside for a while. Now I wanted to assemble the table.  To find the exact center of my ½ inch board I drew lines from corner to corner.  After that all I had to do was drill a pilot hole and attach my the board to the leg assembly.    Make sure the wood screw is flat with the surface of the board or countesunk  just a little below it.

Attaching the leg to the picture frame was easy.  I just flipped everything upside down and glued the top of the ½ board to the bottom of the picture frame (I brought back my handy paint can to hold it in place and seal the deal)

After that I flipped everything back over and applied the Envirotex as per the instructions on the box.  It’s easy to use as long as you follow the instructions to the letter – but keep in mind it takes several days to fully cure.  It’s well worth the wait though – you get a  strong,  solid glass-like surface that’s  heat resistant and water proof.

Hope you enjoyed it.

Shall we link?

Recipe Card Holder Tutorial

My mom is a terrific cook and an awesome baker.  Our house and Christmastime was THE place to be if cookies were your thing (Never having met a cookie I didn’t like I spent  my holidays in a diabetic coma.  Ah the memories!). 

And while it seems that actual 3×5 recipe cards are going the way of newspapers, bookstores and the Dodo I still have a bunch that were handwritten by my mom and I wouldn’t trade them  for anything.

So, I came up with this recipe card holder that pays honor to my mom (the paper is a collage of her recipe cards) and keeps the cards up and visible while baking.  The tutorial is the latest in my series for the Amazing Amy over at Mod Podge Rocks.

So, if you’ve got recipe cards or want to make an easy gift for someone (you could make me cookies while you’re at.  Just a suggestion) cruise on over to MPR and check it out.

Just click on the picture for the link.

Make your own lamp

I have always maintained what I feel is a healthy fear of electricity.  

 This fear has served me well except for once, last year, when I dropped my guard and attempted to fix my broken dishwasher.   

 “That plug is too hard to get to” I thought and cavalierly launched in despite the pool of standing water in the bottom of the unit.   

 Later, after my body stopped twitching, I got off the floor and renewed my vow leave electricity alone.  And I have stuck by that.

 Until now.

 OK, I realize that preamble probably doesn’t scream TRUST ME but, I had no idea that it was so easy to make a lamp!

 Honestly, I’m a little annoyed that I didn’t know this before.  

 I’ve made a lamp from plumbing pipe and some vintage maps and it is my second tutorial for Amy over at Mod Podge Rocks – so head on over to MPR if you’re intrigued.  Just click on the picture below:

 Also, if you haven’t gotten hooked on Amy’s blog previously – take a look around – she is the source of a seemingly endless stream oft terrific projects and ideas.

 So, to sum it up:  Electricity: Not to be toyed with.  Lamps.  Way easy!

Sofa Table Makeover – and petty crime

“It’s $1.99.”

 “Are you sure it’s not supposed to be $19.99?”

 “The tag says $1.99 – do you want it or not?” said the understandably fatigued, slightly belligerent, Salvation Army lady.

 The store was crowded.  The line was long.  There was no air conditioning and she clearly wasn’t in the mood for a pricing debate with some overgrown Boy Scout who wanted to pay extra.

 So, although technically it wasn’t my fault and I tried to do the right thing, I feel like I stole something from the Salvation Army (which seems like a really bad move Karma-wise).   

Because I got this for $1.99

The top was in seriously bad shape and, as you can see it was, um,… missing something there in the front.  But look at those awesome legs!  And I was convinced I could create a replacement part for that front piece.  Or maybe replace the entire front with a useful drawer!

 So I forked over my $2.00 (I put the penny change in the “need a penny?” basket which didn’t make me feel as unguilty as I’d hoped it would) stuffed it in my Honda Civic and took it home – – –

where it sat for quite a while because, unfortunately, my imaginary carpentry skills far outpace my actual carpentry skills. 

 I lack that key element of patience (“measure twice?!! But that would slow me down!!!). 

 After a couple of tries I had to admit that I couldn’t duplicate the missing part and that I would just need to create a whole new front.

 I decided to make this piece my homage to Miss Mustard Seed  and her amazing and awesome work.  So, after cutting a new front out, I painted the bottom, did a little distressing, stained the top and added a couple of doo-dads to make it fancy.

I’m totally pleased with how it came out. 

I do still wish it had a drawer but…..  Patience….patience…..


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