Category Archives: Projects

Things we make

Re-purposed wooden crates - finished

Re-purposed Wooden Crates

Since the weather has been getting nicer, the garage sales are popping up all over the place, and I cannot resist to go to ALL OF THEM. A few weeks back I found these wooden crates for $5 each. They were sturdy and in pretty good shape.  I walked past them several times before deciding that I would kick myself later if I didn’t get them.  I think they were meant as crates, maybe to go on your porch with a big planter in them or something, but I decided to turn them over and use them as side tables. I liked these because I thought I could get them to kind of match the bed that has sort of the same wooden slat type headboard and black, square frame. It wasn’t until I got them home and had already made my revamp plans that I noticed  one of them has a small chunk missing from the top corner. Oh well.

I stained them with a dark chestnut stain I had laying around. I wanted to add some small legs to them to give them a bit more height, but because of the way the crates are constructed, my options of legs and ways to attach them was quite limited. I ended up getting a 1″x36″  (I think, I don’t actually remember the length) rod from Lowe’s to use for the legs. My brother-in-law was nice enough to cut it into eight 3″ pieces for me, since I don’t own a saw. :(

I sanded them and got rid of the rough edges left from the cutting, and then spray painted them black.  My plan was to use epoxy to attach them to the corners on the underside of the crates. There was some concern that the epoxy wouldn’t hold up for this use and that the tweedley little legs would snap of if bumped at all. I let them set for a day or so. So far so good.  I scooted them a bit to test out the strength of the legs, and to my relief, they stayed where they were supposed to. Hoorah! I figure since they’re going down in a guest bedroom that doesn’t get  a lot of use that they should be alright. As long as none of our guests attempt to scoot them around on the carpet floor, they should be fine. :)

Re-purposed wooden crates - before

Re-purposed wooden crates - stained

Re-purposed wooden crates - finished Re-purposed wooden crates2 Re-purposed wooden crates1

Dinosaur Silhouette Wall Art

Wooden Dinosaur Wall Art

I made these wooden dinosaur silhouette pieces for my nephews birthday. He’s pretty into dinosaurs, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong with them. They were really pretty simple to make, and turned out pretty cute.

Wooden Dinosaur Wall Art

First, I started out with the boards. I used leftover pieces of a 2×10 board from another project. You can buy the board at Lowe’s for pretty cheap, and they will cut it for you there to the size you want. I sanded down the rough edges and then stained them.

Staining the boards

After I had them about the color I wanted, I let the stain set and dry for a few days.  Then I found some dinosaur outlines and silhouettes on Google that I liked. I edited them to be the size that I wanted, printed and cut them out.


Once I had everything where I wanted it, I traced the outlines with a pencil.

Trace the outlines

Then I found some pale green paint we had leftover from painting our old house. I knew one day all these leftover paints I’ve saved would come in handy for something. I used a small brush and painted a few coats.

Painted dinosaur

After I got them all painted, I went over them with some very fine sandpaper to give them an old,  distressed look.


Once that was done, I turned them over and nailed in some picture hangers. And viola! Art!

Picture hangers

Dinosaur Silhouettes

Dinosaur Silhouettes 2

Dinosaur Silhouette Wall Art

Antique Record Player Cabinet - Finished

Antique Record Player Cabinet Makeover

A few months ago my Grandma gave me their old record player cabinet, turned liquor cabinet.  My Grandma and Grandpa used it to store all their whiskeys and other tasties in for as long as I can remember. Before that it was an old record player that belonged to my great aunt. I’ve always loved the cabinet, so after my Grandpa passed away and Grandma down sized houses, she passed it on to me. It was pretty how it was, but I had to refinish it so it would match with the colors in our house.

Antique Record Player Cabinet Makeover

Antique Record Player MakeoverLucky for me, I had a helper to help get the job done. He put in a lot of work.  We sanded it all down, my least favorite thing to do. Then we got started with the painting.  I painted the legs and the handles white, and the rest gray. Then sprayed on some polyurethane. Someone had glued, and I mean GLUED some red felt down on the inside shelves. That stuff did. not. want to come off. I ripped off as much as I could and then tried some Goo-Gone on it. That didn’t even begin to phase it. I don’t know what the heck kind of glue they used, but it was pretty happy with where it’s at. So I tried to sand it down smooth, but those glue lines weren’t going anywhere.  I did my best. So I got some white leathery/vinyl-ish material with my 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby and spray adhesived that on the shelves. I was sad that you can still kind of see the bumps from those stubborn previous glue trails. But oh well. I guess the inside doesn’t really matter that much since no one is really going to see it. And then ta-da! It’s done! Doesn’t look too shabby. I think my little helper and I did alright.  :-)

Antique Record Player Makeover - Sanding

Antique Record Player Makeover - PaintingAntique Record Player Cabinet - FinishedAntique Record Player Cabinet - FinishedAntique Record Player Cabinet - Finished InsideAntique Record Player Cabinet - Finished

Beer Bottle Cap Chalk Board Beer Tap Menu

Magnetic Beer Bottle Cap Chalk Board

Chad’s birthday was a few weeks ago. I shopped and shopped, but couldn’t find anything that he might want or need. So like pretty much every other year, I had to resort to getting him lots of different kinds of beers. We enjoy the mystery cases from Goebel’s. So I got him one of those, and chose 2 six packs of random bottles from the beer wall. So I decided to get a lil crafty with the bottle caps this time. I saw something similar on Pinterest, so I thought I would give it a shot. I got a small chalk board from Michael’s for like $1.99, glued some magnets on the back and then glued on the caps.I had to glue in squares of cardboard inside the caps so I had a way to actually glue them onto the board. This got a little frustrating. I first glued them with my hot glue gun. They ended up not sticking. So I went and bought super glue thinking for sure, that that would do the trick. But I was wrong. It worked worse than the hot glue did. So I had to resort to using an epoxy. That stuff works on everything. So finally I got everything to hold in place, and voila!  Got some chalk pens, and made it a pretty beer tap menu. Although my writing isn’t the best, but oh well. It’ll do.

Chalkboard Beer Bottle Cap Beer Tap Menu

Beer Bottle Cap Chalk Board Beer Tap Menu

Beer Bottle Cap Chalkboard Beer Tap Menu

Thumbtack buck head art

Wood And Thumbtack Buck Head Art

I started this project some months ago. It ended up being waaay more difficult than I had thought. The thumbtacks did not want to push into the plywood as easily as I’d hoped. Go figure.  After many broken tacks and two very sore thumbs later, I decided to start hammering a nail in first to make a hole then hammer in the tacks. Much, much easier but still very time consuming.  In the end it turned out well.  The tacks do poke out the back of the wood since it’s such thin plywood. I had planned on covering the back with something before hanging it, but ended up just leaning it against the wall. I was just ready for this project to finally be done.

Thumbtack buck head wood art

I used a big piece of  quarter inch thick plywood that I had leftover from another project for this. I stained it with an ebony color wood stain we had lying around. It took several coats to get it the color I wanted.

thumb tack buck head art - staining the board

I let that set for a few days until it had completely dried. Then I cut out and taped on the silhouette that I had printed at FedEx Office. You can get large black and white prints on their blueprint paper for pretty cheap.  I figured that was the way to go since my drawing skills never developed properly.

Buck head silhouette thumbtack art

I put the tacks in around the outline, and then took the paper off. In hindsight, it would have been easier to have just traced it instead of taping it on. Some of the paper got stuck under the tacks when I took it off and it was hard to get it out. Oh well. Live and learn.

Buck deer head thumbtack art

Once I got done with the outline I just had to fill it in. This. Took. Forever. Not gonna lie. I will never ever try to put this many tacks in wood again. Ever. But hey, nearly 3,300 thumbtacks and 2 very sore thumbs later, it looks good!

Thumbtack buck head art

Beer glass nail and string bar art

Beer Glass Nail And String Art

I made these beer glass silhouette nail and string art for Chad for Father’s Day. They were much easier than the other’s I made for Father’s Day. You can read that post for a detailed tutorial. For these I used leftover pieces of a 1″x8′ board that I had, so I used 1 inch nails instead of  the longer ones I used with the 2″x8′ boards. We ended up hanging them back behind our basement bar. Pretty snazzy.

Beer Glass Nail And String Bar Art

Beer Glass Nail and string bar art

Beer glass nail and string bar art

Beer Glass Nail And String Bar Art

Elk and moose nail and string art

Wildlife Board, Nail And String Art Projects

I made these back in June as Father’s Day gifts and am just now getting around to posting about them.  I know, I’ve been slacking off. I’m a slacker. But anyways, the first one I did was the elk for my dad. It turned out better than I had expected it to since most of the new projects that I try end in failure. So I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out actually looking like it was supposed to.  I decided to make another moose one for Chad’s dad.  It was slightly easier than the elk since the elk antlers were a bit of a pain in the butt. I also made Chad some beer glass ones that we hung behind our bar.

Elk and moose nail and string art

I went to Lowe’s and got an 2″x8′ board and had them cut it into equal sized sections for me and I sanded down the rough edges when I got home.  I stained my boards with ebony colored wood stain. It’s what I had on hand, but you could use any color you want. I only put on one light coat because it didn’t want it to be too dark. Then I let that dry over night and then got to work.

Nail and string art board

I searched Google images for silhouettes of what I wanted and edited the image to make sure it would print out to be the right size for me boards. It’s okay if when you edit them image it’s low quality and really pixilated, remember that you really just need the basic shape. Then cut out the image and tape it in place.

Moose silhouette

Moose silhouette on board

Then the fun part. You get to smash your fingers while hammering in nails around the edge of your picture. I used 1 1/4 inch long nails. You want them to still be sticking out about 1/2 – 3-4 of an inch. I left about 1/2 inch spaces in between each nail, but put some closer together in some areas like corners so the shape would be right once I went around with the string.

Moose nail and string art

Once you have all your nails in, it’s time to string it. I bought a big spool of crocheting thread from Hobby Lobby. Tie the end on to a nail and then go around each nail, looping it around so it stays tight in place.Go all the way around your picture and then loop it around the last nail.

Moose nail string art

Moose nail and string art

Once your done with that, you’ll want to take off the paper, then take your string and just start zig-zagging your way across the whole thing. Make sure you loop all the way around each nail so it stays tight.

Moose nail and string art

Moose nail and sting art

Once you’ve got it covered to your liking, just pick a nail to tie it off on, cut your thread and violi! Not too terribly difficult.  Although I had quite a crick in the neck by then time I got done.

Moose nail and string art

rock bed flower bed makeover - after

Redoing The Front “Flower Bed”

Many of you that have ever come to our house , you’ve seen for yourselves just how horrible the front “flower bed,” or better known as the crabgrass and weed bed, has been.  It was bad. When we moved it there was a giant evergreen bush in it that was half dead and full of nasty bagworm things.  Gross.  So we had that torn out a few years back.  I attempted several times to grow plants in the flower bed. But I kill most every plant I touch. So that didn’t work out. In between planting attempts, it has just overgrown with weeds and grass. Ugly, gross mess. So Kaden and I finally fixed it this week . He helped me hoe it and get all the crap out. It was hard work.  Such a good helper. :)

Kaden helping in the flower bed

After we got everything out, we went to Lowe’s and got that garden fabric stuff that you put down to keep weeds and stuff from coming up, and rocks. Lots and lots of rocks. We ended up going back about 10 times for more rocks.  I severely underestimated just how many bags of rocks I would need.  -_- Oh well. I now have some pretty nice arm muscles.  I ordered a solar birdbath fountain thing and put that out there with a couple ceramic pots I got off craigslist for pretty cheap.  I got a few flowers and planted them in the pots. Hopefully they last a while before I kill them.  We got all the rocks spread out, and voila, rock bed!  It’s still not as glamorous as I’d like, but since I lack plant skills, it’ll have to do.

Rock bed flower bed makeover - Before

rock bed flower bed makeover - after

Side table makeover revamp - After

Side Table Make Over

Lately I’ve been itching to redo some old furniture, like really bad. But I didn’t have any old furniture to redo. :( So I found this old end table on Craigslist for 20 bucks.  A pretty good deal, I think. I realized after I got it, that it smelled really bad like old cigarette or pipe smoke. Blah.  But thank goodness all the work I did to it got rid of the stink.  Kaden helped me sand it, then I took it all apart and painted it with black satin spray paint and a coat of clear sealer. The handles a spray painted as well, and then with a sponge brush lightly brushed on a thin top coat of a tan, off white-ish color I had leftover from on the the rooms I’ve painted. I think it looks pretty stinkin’ cute.

Side Table Makeover revamp - Before

Side table makeover revamp - After

Despicable Me Minion Onesie

Minion Onesies

I made these for my sister for Christmas. I can finally post about them since they’ve officially been gifted now. Yay!  My sister and brother-in-law love the movie ‘Despicable Me’, so that’s how I got the idea. Finding plain yellow onesies was the hardest part. I got all the different colored fabrics from Hobby Lobby and used fabric glue to glue them in place and then sewed around the edges.  I haven’t gotten to sew very much stuff with my new sewing machine yet, so my stitching is pretty crazy. But hooray, another sewing project success!