Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Wood Wrapped Black Shelf

This project is different for two reasons: 1. it doesn't fit my usual home decor, and 2. it is one of my introductory feature pieces for my very own booth! ~eek!!~ 
My husband has encouraged me over the past couple years to sell some of my DIY projects. I've  been hazy on his motivation for said encouragement. Either its because he thinks my projects are totally amazing and others would fork over their hard earned green just to be the proud owner...or...my husband wants our floor space back. Maybe its a combo of both. ~wink~ With the encouragement, financial backing, and the alignment of the planets (my own opinion) my booth opened just in time for seasonal shopping.

Just love it when people move
and give their stuff away for free. 
Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, I have a partner. A friend reconnected  an old MOPS momma and I because she knew we were both in the entrepreneurial mood. Its been fun! She has great ideas, beautiful handmade signs, and access to a recent barn sale (more on that later). Its been a great business match.

You can see the black shelf in the back. Clean, sturdy, and ready for a makeover.

Yes, its true. This photo is completely un-photoshopped. Such a beautiful thing! 

 I snatched the top two pallets...and would have grabbed more...but totally forgot that the back of the van was half full already with a stroller and folding chairs leftover from summer baseball games. Took a little Tetris-style packing to get those two pallets home. Live and learn, right?

The top pallet was in excellent shape, the nicest pallet I've ever come across, which made for easier cleaning and board selection. A few older pallet boards were thrown in for visual interest.  Wood glue and finishing nails secured the boards...and nearly doubled the weight! Its a solid piece for sure!
        Old book pages were Mod podged onto the back. I wanted to lighten up the inside to balance out the stark difference between the light colored pallet boards and the black shelf. It was good move, the book pages are the first thing people comment on when they see the shelf. 

And here it is in the booth at the local Flea Market & Antiques vendor store. The mason jars and coral bird picture are my friend's items for sale. Love her color choices.  

I had NO CLUE how to price things. So, after google search, which wasn't that helpful (huge price differences between Ikea and Pottery Barn) I met the prices in the middle and priced it at $80. Too high? Too low?

click here to see the booth
No clue, at all. The second time I ever walked into this Flea Market was to sign the paperwork...not part of my usual shopping, which is limited to the grocery store and thrift store. I would love to hear your thoughts on pricing items for a Flea Market booth. Thanks for your seasoned input! 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Paint Stick Herringbone Table Top

I'm crushing on my "new" end table. Our living room looks like a flea market, no joke, with all the mismatched furniture. We used to have cute stuff but went Dave Ramsey crazy and sold "everything but the kids" to create our first Emergency Fund...and we haven't really gotten around to replacing it. That's because I am relying on my killer DIY skills to paint & create my way towards a cohesive look. Sure, I got the skills, but the time....that's another thing. I admire the women who take on those 30 day one room makeover challenges. Such a great idea! My two year old "assistant" really limits my creative time (give mommy back the paint brush! stay away from the nearly full can of primer! drills are only for mommies. where did you throw the sanding block?). Make it a 30 week challenge and I'll sign up! Maybe I'll just make my own 30 week challenge...then in 30 weeks if its not done I can claim a typo and make it a 30 month challenge. I'm a genius!

Moving on, this project was inspired by a similar paint stick table top created by Thistlewood Farms. Click Here It went straight to my Pinterest table it Board which is filled with several herringbone table top ideas and tutorials. Nothing like looking back over my pins to realize I have a thing for the herringbone pattern. Its just so darn cute! Even on gloomy rainy days like this one.

see the 1, 2, 3 below for the color progression

Color Progression: 

1. table in original color with the top scored...not sure if Gorilla glue needed the extra help but I figured it couldn't help. And really, I only want to do this project once, no re-gluing of loose paint sticks in my future.  After securing & dry-time, I used a jigsaw and Dremel to square out the top. Stained with Early American Minwax stain.

2. After washing and priming, it was given a coat of white latex paint but I just wasn't feeling it. Too bright, like, where-are-my-sunglasses-this-white-paint-is-hurting-my-eyes bright. It needed to be toned down.

3. Lightly distressed with a sanding block, then using a dry brush, I streaked on a choppy layer of latex paint in Accessible Beige -- as opposed to Inaccessible Beige? Unattainable Beige? Unavailable Beige? One of the strangest paint names I've come across. You can see the choppy paint job best here. 

Such a cute end table in the end! The top needed several layers of polycrylic. There are a few spaces in between a few paint sticks that could use more sealer, so...its still a work in progress.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Candy Corn Themed Halloween Decorations

Candy Corn colors are one of my favorite fall patterns...but not a favorite candy. Chances are, if you've recently posted a candy corn themed project I left you a comment saying just that. Its bright and colorful. In years' past I've made candy corn projects and decided to expand on them this year. 

Trick Or Treat Sign

First, a little sign to keep by the door. That's electrical tape in between the colors...the only black tape in hand. The spider was crafted from a juice lid and pipe cleaners. 
Nothing fancy, just leans in the window nook under the doorbell. 

I was a bit nervous painting the letters by hand. I found this fun font online and used a white colored pencil to sketch it onto the sign. No tracing, just eyeballing it while crossing my fingers. I'm pleased with the results. 

wreath supplies before
Next, I decided to freshen up an old fall wreath...maybe "freshen up" is the wrong phrase since it includes skeleton fingers. Check out the tutorial at I Gotta Create: How to Make Clothespin Skeleton Fingers. They are adorable in the creepiest way! After seeing her post I rushed to make a set before I even knew what I wanted to do with them. Still have some left over...maybe I'll close up a bag of chips with one.

The nails are my favorite Halloween nail polish because they make my finger nails look like cockroaches.  **Disclaimer: I do not like cockroaches, I hate them, but its the perfect creepy look for the season.**
Candy Corn patterned flower and twisted rope. The wooden circles were painted purple, then used Elmer's glue to crackle the black paint. Same method used to crackle the white paint on the skeleton fingers. (See tutorial link above.)  

Previously Created Candy Corn Projects
 Click Names to See Original Posts

Felt Candy Corn Wreath

Candy Corn Garland

Alas, these smiley guys were made from cardboard and only survived three Fall seasons outside.
RIP my candy corn cuties.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Redneck Pallet Deck 3 Summers Later

This was a home improvement project interrupted. I started the project with gusto, then got preggo. By the time the pallets were leveled out I was too big to bend over and secure the planks. Shoot, I couldn't even reach down and tie my own shoes, Dear Hubby had to do that for me.

There is a 3 year difference between these photos. Keep reading to see the in-between years.

Fast forward two years later and my little babe is old enough to keep himself somewhat occupied which means I can get back to the project. Its showing some wear and tear:
After one year...wrong sealer, I think

Recap Collage
 Click Here for Original Post

I read several blog posts & watched many Youtube videos on DIY pallet decks and it was common to leave the pallet boards in place...so we did too...


What I wish I'd considered...http://redoredux-faywray.blogspot.com/2012/04/pallet-wood-front-porch.html

This is ALOT of work but would help with the water/mildew problem. I didn't do this step, partially because I am lazy and partially because I thought the original pallet boards & frame would add stability. This is probably true, I just wasn't counting on the water damage, although minor...in a few years it would get worse.

Fix #1: finish the "sidewalk" entry from the door to the deck
portion from the door to the island deck

pulled off top pallet boards
then added deck boards
hopefully will eliminate the mildew growth

 Fix #2: fix the edging and other loose boards
 My first "fix," adding lattice around the bottom, was a fail. A squirrel ran under the deck and a guest's dogs tried to capture it, they tore thru part of the lattice...and the grass...and made a big hole. All wasted effort on the dogs's part, the squirrel was unharmed...all damage was too the yard and deck. 

I dare you evil squirrel to get under the deck this year!

While fixing the edge we removed this board and discovered yucky mildew. EWWWWW! The sprinkler's hit here. Is it normal for decks to grow mildew? My friend recently bought a house and had to tear out the deck stairs due to rot...but not sure how old her deck was. Anyways, this board was tossed and replaced (new one's under my foot). 

During the stripping phase (more on that below) I noticed several boards were a bit wobbly...because we didn't use enough screws. One screw in the middle of the board does not a secure deck make. Use at least two!

Then, ... a more serious wobbly presented itself. Due to 1. improper sealing, 2. tilting due to improper screwing, and 3. prolonged snow/ice exposure, the corner was beginning to cave in.

The arrow shows where the snow never really melted for two winter seasons, the worst corner of the deck (see pic below of what happened under). On the flip side, the boards under the play house were in great shape and retained the original sealant.

Other sources of water damage: water table, kids swimming pool, letting kids make a "car wash" on the deck, finding kids running thru the sprinkler placed on the deck, and normal weather.

After adding all those screws, they were unscrewed and the boards lifted to peek underneath. This is the after-shot (to the left). Almost all the top pallet boards were rotted enough (not all the way thru, yet) to warrant removal. AND, enough space had existed between the pallet boards and the deck boards that the residue of swept dirt and leaves was trapped between the boards and decomposing. (You can see the dirt stuck to the bottoms of the deck boards.)

There were even earthworms chowing down on the gunk!!! Forgot to get a picture of that. They were tossed into the lawn.

As said above: I would highly recommend removing the pallet boards and just using the frame if you plan on doing this. 

Since this is a redneck deck, I added additional support with pavers and cinderblock. Its what was on hand.

Fix #3: Re-do Sealer...after you strip the deck 

This took ALOT of work!!! There were muscles I'd forgotten about that ached afterwards. 
1. Sand, 2. Strip (sooooooo time consuming), 3. Apply Sealer according to the manufacturing instructions. 

To create a more durable surface I went with Behr's Deck Over in Dark Walnut. For a more in-depth review of Behr DeckOver, Click Here.

After one coat of DeckOver.
You can see the lighter areas in between the boards. Prior to applying the second coat, I ran a brush between the boards and over some of the larger cracks that needed filling.
 Horrible lighting, the sun was on the other side of the house, but here it is after the second coat (UGH, those fences are UGLY...HOA replacing them next year).

And what's a new deck without some "new" furniture. Scored these chairs on a "treasure hunt" on trash day. This neighborhood tosses out some amazing stuff!

Pallet Deck Tips: 
1. Remove pallet boards and only use the frame. 
2. Use the correct amount of screws per deck board.
3. Apply a good sealer, its worth the extra $$$. 
4. Eliminate prolonged water exposure to the deck. 

Would I do this again? Probably not. Its a lot of work to level the pallets...not all are created equal...its a lot of work to remove pallet boards...and after all that, some deck boards are still a bit uneven. IF I were to make a deck in the future I would shell out the money for a Sawzall Reciprocating Saw as used here:
or simply go with a traditional deck frame.

I hope this follow up helps those of you considering this approach. I'd love to hear how yours turns out...or how its holding up if you already have one.