The First Use of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

One of my plans to save money for our house was to re-allocate furniture. My boyfriend had a beautiful bedroom set, but it was a black laminate. It went perfectly with his decor, but black just didn’t incorporate into our (read: my ;)) bedroom plans. Since we (I) wanted to use my white dresser and lingerie chest for our bedroom I planned out how to put one of his two dressers and nightstands into each guest room. Since black still wasn’t in the plans I decided to use Annie Sloan chalk paint since it’s supposed to cover laminate surfaces and without any sanding! That’s what sold me, even with the exorbitant price. For the dresser pictured I used French Linen. I aaaaaalmost got everything covered but I only got one coat on one side if the nightstand.

My boyfriend started on one dresser while I was at work one day and the results freaked both of us out as the paint kept beading together. I was worried we were SOL and had wasted money on it, but he kept on and luckily it worked out for us. I was mostly surprised that with all the articles I read I hadn’t come across this in any of them, though! So I decided to depict my process with the chalk paint so people can be prepared.

The start, drawers pulled out
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First coat
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Close-up first coat
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Second coat
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After three coats on the base (mirror has two) plus a few touches here and there
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The pup looking for his kitty sister so he can antagonize her 🙂
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Some more examples via the drawers. One coat vs two
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The final product
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The Million Dollar Wreath

I made this wreath simply because it was so beautiful and I just needed it. We don’t necessarily need a wreath for our door, but I used the excuse that we should have one. BUT unless you have a big chunk of extra change to spend or an “in” somewhere with cheap fake apples, I encourage you not to make this. It cost me roughly $150 – and that was $150 I did not really have to put towards this! But I was too deep in and would have wasted the money already spent if I just stopped. My boyfriend is not the hugest fan of this wreath, and he is the one who dubbed it The Million Dollar Wreath since it felt like every two days I would announce that I was out of apples and needed more. HOWEVER it’s absolutely gorgeous and turned out so well we decided to hang it over our TV in the space we’ve been trying to fill! Now we’ll be able to get $150 worth of enjoyment and viewing pleasure 🙂

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Things You Need
– 4 bags big apples plus 2 additional singular big apples
– 6 bags small apples
– 11 inch flat foam wreath
– Burlap ribbon
– Fake grass/moss
– Lots of hot glue sticks

Directions
1. Cut some burlap into roughly 8 inch long strips. The length doesn’t matter very much, you just want it have enough to warp around the styrofoam wreath a few times.
2. Glue your burlap onto the wreath. When you wrap make sure it’s tight and flat. The purpose of this is so your apples have something to adhere to when you glue them on. Make sure every spot is covered, I even wrapped it with two layers to be sure it was good to go.
3. Break out your apples! I started with my big ones and placed them around on the wreath first to eyeball how I liked them, then started gluing.

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4. Keep gluing all your big ones, and then start adding your small apples. In the picture below I was 2 big apples short of having the outer ring completed so I started the small ones on the completed side.
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6. Once you’ve covered all the burlap around the wreath start building it up. With some dimension it should look very circular rather than awkwardly wavy.
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6. The last thing you will do is stick the fake grass/moss into the holes. This was pretty tedious and because I’m somewhat of a perfectionist I meticulously went around the wreath and shoved moss in every.single.hole. The way I made sure the moss got attached was pretty simple – I would push or aim the nozzle of my hot glue gun into the hole and then shove the moss down in there. Sometimes I had to use some tools to help me shove it in when the hole was smaller than my finger. Pretty tedious, but the result makes it look much fuller and thoroughly perfected! Plus expensive.
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7. Before we hang it I’m going to blast it with my blow dryer to get some of the loose moss and hot glue, and then I’m going to do a quick spray with some clear spray just to keep everything set!
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The Entertainment Center

We had some very big purchases we had to make for the new place (couches, washer dryer, mattress..) and buying a big entertainment center was not in the budget. We went to the home of some friends one night for some drinks and I lOvEd the way they decorated their home. Their entertainment center was exactly what we needed in our space, and they mentioned they had gotten it at the Habitat for Humanity Restore, which I’d never heard of before! So I looked it up online and there is one not 10 minutes away! I love Raleigh <3. So I popped over and found a big beast that I knew could be turned into a beauty. It was only $35, too! So I hauled it home and it cluttered up my teeny tiny townhouse for weeks until we brought it out to my boyfriend’s house and did the work in his garage.

At the store!

At the store!

1. The first thing I did was cut off the awful turret like stumps. This was difficult because we only had a small jigsaw. A longer blade Sawzall would have been much better, but we don’t have one…yet! 😉 I had to cut around the edges and jiggle things along to get in. This resulted in uneven cuts on the stumps.
2. Since the stump tops weren’t level I had to break out the belt sander. I tried with the palm sander but that was VERY slow going. I sanded until it looked level and then my boyfriend’s best friend checked it and it was pretty much spot on. I’m awesome, don’t worry.
3. Then I switched back to the palm sander and got going on the surfaces of the table. It didn’t need to be perfect as I knew my Zinsser 1-2-3 primer/sealer would be great. I used that on the table and chairs I did so I knew it would cover everything. I went through 2 cans of the spray paint cover.

Sanded

Sanded

Primed

Primed

4. I painted it with some leftover paint I had from when I previously refurbished my dresser, I used a small roller I had and some tiny brushes for the crevices.
5. Then I went out and bought some sanding blocks to distress it. I bought medium so I didn’t totally ruin it, but that was a mistake. I should have done more research, maybe I should have used steel wool, because it was super tedious and difficult and I gave up after only distressing the edges.

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6. We needed to poly it since it would have a bunch of equipment on it. Unfortunately, the poly we used turned it yellow in some places! That was a huge bummer after all the work! But it wasn’t bad and we were lucky it was mostly yellow on the back.
 

BONUS PICS!
While I was working on the entertainment center my man was working on the headboard he built for me! He did everything himself!

Sanding!

Sanding!

Stained!

Stained!

Final beautiful product, complete with kitty :)

Final beautiful product, complete with kitty 🙂

The Pine Cone Method

Hi everyone! Sorry for the long delay!! It’s been a pretty crazy few months. My Marine is no longer my Marine, he’s now my civilian! And he’s also my roommate! We moved in together a few weeks ago and have been crazy with making the place our own. One of the items on my never-ending list of things to do to get this place complete is to fill a wire basket on a tiered shelf in our hallway with pinecones! I bought some scented ones but 1. They can be expensive and 2. He didn’t want to be living in a house that smelled overbearingly of cinnamon so I decided to mix the scented pinecones with some I found out in the forest near our house and spray paint them gold for a nice effect. Cheap and effective! So we went out with my new fur baby, his little wirey haired dauschund, Alfie. We picked up a bunch of pine cones, but we’ve had a lot of rain over the past week so they were very wet. When I got home I followed the following instructions.

Directions
1. Collect your pine cones.
2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
3. Arrange the cones on a baking sheet in a single layer, don’t overcrowd if the cones are very wet or tightly closed.

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3. Bake the cones for 20-25 minutes really just bake them until they are open. For me it took like 80 minutes for them to open! The wet-er they are the tighter the pine cones close, so it will take longer.
4. After they’re open and done baking it’s good to spray them with some clear coat spray paint to give them some support as they’re pretty fragile.

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The Mother’s Day Gift

I’ve been really wanting to get back into some projects rather than just recipes (btw, made a baller cilantro citrus BBQ pork chop dinner recently!) but haven’t had the need to actually make anything. And I sure don’t have the room to keep unnecessary items in my home! But I came across something that seemed perfect, a hanging basket made by one of the DIY bloggers I follow on Facebook, http://www.addicted2decorating.com/easy-inexpensive-diy-pieced-wood-hanging-flower-basket.html. It would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift! I kind of want to make one for myself, this was super fun to do!! And it only came out to be around $20 and only 3 hours of time total.

Materials Needed:
• 8 or 10 ft 2×4 KB Note: depending on how big you want to make the diameter you will need more pieces
• 3/4″ or 1″ brad nails (depending on the gauge of your nail gun)
• Wood glue
• 2 Screw eyes
• 2 S hooks
• Chain (I got 2 ft)
• Coco liner
• Circle saw
• Nail gun
• Palm sander
Optional
• Spray paint (2 cans)
• Sealant

Instructions
1. If you are using an 8 ft 2×4 cut the entire piece into 1/2 inch thick pieces.

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The contraption my friend rigged up to keep things moving fast.

The directions I used said she used 137 pieces, but I used more than that due to my diameter.
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If you’re using a 10 ft then go with probably 160 pieces. I don’t know how many I ended up with as my friend who did the cutting just went for it after we hit 140. I’m glad he did, though, because I only had 2 pieces left over!
2. Lightly sand all the edges of the 1/2 pieces. I used my palm sander and thank goodness I did because this was super tedious.

This part was not fun.

This part was not fun.


3. This is where it got kind of tricky for me. I didn’t have any kind of radius to trace, nor any kind of platform to use. SO I used some redneck logic. I used my patio, created a center point, and instead of going with the original direction’s radius 19 inches I went with 20 so that it would be 10 on each side of my center point. I then placed a “wood chip” on the ground 10 inches on either side of the center point, and then did the same thing on the other side forming a compass like shape and repeated between those 4 pieces. I eyeballed it for the most part honestly. I used 12 on the first row.
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4. On the second row I used 11 wood chips since you’re creating a step effect. I first checked and did a dry run of the placement by placing them evenly on top of the first row. Once I had the right idea I put wood glue on each edge and then used my nail gun and 1 inch brad nails and nailed each side as well.
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5. Even though I used more wood chips than Kristi did on hers I followed her plan and did the same method and covered the levels evenly until the fifth row, using 1 less wood chip on each level. Always using wood glue and brad nails on each side.
6. On the fifth row I followed her directions and started to create the basket by moving the bottom wood chips so that they covered only half the wood chip below it. On the fifth row I only did this with three of the wood chips, the bottom center piece and the piece on either side of it. On the sixth row I then moved it up so that it was the center piece and two pieces on either side.
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7. I continued to do the half-cover method until I realized my wood chips were dwindling fast and I still had another half side to do! Conveniently my wood chips were starting to touch at the corners as the angle was getting smaller and I thought it was a good spot to stop the basket effect. At the end I did 8 levels on each side.
8. I then flipped it over and started on the other side, following the same methods as the first side. I put some extra 2x4s I had under the top of the basket handle to add some stability. Be careful if your surface isn’t level when nailing the pieces at the bottom of the basket as it might rock and mess up your shot with the nail gun.
9. Once that’s done, marvel at it for a while! It’s pretty cool!
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10. Then drill some pilot holes at the top for the eye hooks, and screw them in and attach the chain with the S hooks.
11. I wanted to add some color and cover the weird yellow tint of the 2×4 and spray painted a color that would go with my parents’ house. I didn’t seal it because…I’m cheap and this needed to stay under $20. I sprayed the crap out of this thing to make sure all the nooks and crannies were covered. Place your coco liner in the bottom of the basket (you may have to cut it to size like I did).
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The Teacup Ornaments

This was my gift for my other grandmother! Another Pinterest idea (obviously!) but there weren’t real instructions so I won’t send a link. I found the teacups on Amazon and they came in a set of 4. I broke one in the trial run, so I ended up with one less for myself.

What You Need
– Teacups
– Porcelain drill bit
– Ribbon
– Bells

Directions
1. You MUST use a porcelain drill bit. Masonry drill bits won’t get you anywhere. I actually broke a drill bit on the trial run! Home Depot or Lowes will definitely have one.

Porcelain Drill Bit

Porcelain Drill Bit

2. Find the center of the cup, and drill. You might want to keep some water running over the area (almost like a wet saw) because the drill bit will get suuper hot. It did take some time, it’s harder than you’d think to drill through the bottom of a teacup.

In process of drilling through

In process of drilling through

All three are ready!

All three are ready!

3. Move onto the ribbon and bell next. Make sure you cut a good amount of ribbon as this is what you’ll use to hang the teacup on the tree. I found rolling the ribbon made it easier to get the bell on.
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And then tie a knot about 1.5 inches above the bell so that the ribbon doesn’t get pulled up through the hole when it’s on the tree.

Inside view for the knot

Inside view for the knot

4. This part was a little trickier as I tried getting both ends of the ribbon through that super tiny hole you drilled. I just tried folding and rolling the ends together and pushing it through and grabbing the tiny piece that poked through. You have to get both ends through at the same time because it would be seriously impossible to get one through at a time.
5. Once the ends are through, you’ll make a knot and bow. Make sure it’s very tight so it doesn’t come loose!

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6. And if you want, add a little something to the inside!!

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The Best Christmas Gift

I think this is one of my favorite gifts I have ever given. My parents are starting the process of building their retirement home in the Poconos, and the house has a distinctly rustic theme. My brother and I were talking about what we were giving the parents for Christmas and we realized there were a lot of “wood” items this year. I found the idea on Pinterest here,  http://dollarstorecrafts.com/2009/07/make-a-rustic-wood-cake-stand/. I bought my cross section on Amazon though because I had some gift card balance left, this is the one I went with:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VRYIY6/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. If you’re going to make this, keep in mind it needs to sit and dry for at least 24-48 hours without being moved.

What you need
– 1 cross section
– 1 log base
– Wood glue and/or silicon
– Polyurethane (with face masks!)
– Sand paper, level, and potentially a circular saw

Directions
1. I went over to my friend’s house since I knew he’d invariably have a log in his wood pile that would work. We made a night of it and I had dinner there with him and his girlfriend, but he also cut the log I chose down to size for me. I chose one that flared out at the bottom because I thought it would be aesthetically nicer. Be careful when cutting the log and try to make the cut as straight as possible to cut down on work later on in the process.
2. My log was not level on the top end and I thought sanding it would be the way to go – turns out it wasn’t. I would have been there for months sanding this down. I called my dad and asked him if he would have time to help me with it when I was back up at their house since I doubted my little Ryobi jigsaw would do the job.

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3. Since the difference in height was only about 1/8th of an inch my dad tried using the belt sander first. We worked on it for a while, then took it inside, found a pretty level spot on the downstairs bar, and measured – it was still way off.
4. We used the circular saw next after dad made some marks on the log for where to cut. Two rounds later, we were set.

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5. Now that everything was pretty perfectly level we moved it into the workshop where it would sit for the next couple days. We put beads of silicon around the outer rim of the log and wood glue near the center and positioned the cross section in the right spot.
6. The last step is the polyurethane, this is to protect the wood and food from each other. I got the spray because it said fast drying and I’m impatient, but my dad told me for something this dense you’d want the stuff that comes in a can and basically paint it on.

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If you use the spray can make sure you wear a face mask so you don’t breathe it in. We followed the directions and did a coat every 1.5-2 hours until the can was empty. We probably did more than the can suggested but it needed a lot of poly.
7. Let dry and enjoy!

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Sorry there’s no “finished” picture – Dad is going to add another coat of poly on the top to ensure it’s coated well.

The Split Second Decision Coffee Table

I have been on a super strict budget of late, and so I haven’t let myself do any projects since I invariably go over my original budget estimate for my projects. However, I have been dying to build something, and this weekend I had no plans whatsoever and couldn’t resist going through my Pinterest ideas. I saw a little pallet coffee table idea and knew I had to do it.

I brought a super old, super scratched up table from my parents house when I moved out and it has worked well – until I painted everything white. It’s a super lacquered-shiny walnut with lots of scratches. I don’t have much space for a store-bought table –  and what fun is that?!

The original table. Too big and the color simply doesn't match the rest of the downstairs.

The original table. Too big and the color simply doesn’t match the rest of the downstairs.

I chose not to follow through on my plans to make this coffee table http://thelocker.typepad.com/the_locker/2012/02/diy-industrial-coffee-table.html which I figured was going to be pretty expensive in the end. I was going to stain it and then distress it with a white top coat – oh man would it have looked good! But alas. I went with this idea http://www.pinterest.com/pin/165085142564372398/ instead.

I reclaimed a pallet from my work’s recycle pile (thanks again!) and brought it home. All I would need is to cut it down to size, sand, buy casters, and a glass top. A super easy weekend project with a great result! On Friday night I went over to hang out with my best friend and he showed me all the pallet projects he’s completed in the couple months that we haven’t seen each other, all commissioned by his wonderful girlfriend. She and I are both too obsessed with Pinterest and pallets. I asked him to come take a look at the one I was going to build the table from since it was still in the bed of my truck as it had weird slats and I wanted his ideas on cutting and sizing. When I explained my thoughts he told me he had a tiny leftover piece from one project that I could take. It turned out to be the perfect size!! I was thrilled! That baby came home with me that night.

I liked the idea of having the top slats overhang, but when I laid it out I saw it was just a bit too big. I was also worried about people scratching their legs on it because I clearly don’t have much walking space. That’s the downfall of having big couches and then moving into a new space. It took so long to figure out how to make things flow downstairs with those. Anyways, I digress.

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I trimmed the edges down with my jigsaw and then sanded the entire pallet down.

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A much better size. Small, but functional.

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Then I went to Home Depot and bought 3 inch casters. I saw online they had pre-cut glass but of course not at my local store. They told my Lowe’s does glass cutting, though, so I headed right over there, got my glass, and giddily headed home.

KB NOTE: This is kind of a dumb thing to admit, but I didn’t expect the glass edges to be SO sharp. Make sure you’re 1. prepared for that fact with gloves (I wasn’t) and 2. prepared for sanding the edges down. We’ll get to that step later.

With everything assembled, I stepped back to admire my table and saw just how ridiculously tiny it was. Seriously, I could go into the little people furniture niche. It’s so short.

WHAT IS THIS?! A TABLE FOR ANTS?!

WHAT IS THIS?! A TABLE FOR ANTS?!

But I told myself not to worry, we’ll just go pick up another pallet and stack them, and voila, a normal size table. Easy solution…or so I thought. I brought home three pallets from the Walmart discard pile (I still don’t know if this was illegal or not. I’m hoping not.) to make sure at least one was going to be right. I measured them all and brought out the table and something was just off. The pallet my friend gave me was definitely not normal. I called him up to see if he had made any modifications to it. Turns out, since he works in HVAC/pipe fitting, a tank for a job came on that pallet so it was not standard size. COOL. So now I have 4 extra pallets that don’t match up and a tiny table. Time to revisit the plans. He suggested I just build legs out of 2x4s but that doesn’t fit my aesthetics for the project! Back to Pinterest.

I couldn’t get the idea of maybe mixing the original pipe table with the pallet so I decided to look at the base for the pipe table again. It really shouldn’t be too hard since it’s just connecting pipes, but I knew I was going run into issues getting custom length pipes. I was also worried about having too many pipes running around and looking bad in contrast to the pallet slats. In the end, and I am so glad I decided to have a long think about the feasibility of the base before going to Home Depot, I decided to go with just the vertical pipes legs, no horizontal pipes or need for anything custom. And thank goodness I didn’t follow their directions! The cost would have been astronomical for my little table. I don’t know if other people have an “in” for where to buy pipes, but they can get expensive at Home Depot. A single flange costs about $10. When I realized I was going to be shelling out at least $80 for the flanges alone, I decided to go with 4 12 inch long, 1/2 inch diameter pipes,  4 flanges, and 4 caps (all 1/2 inch) for the bottom.  I also decided to spray paint the legs silver.

I got home, did the trial run, and ugh. Not what I wanted. It looked like it was up on stilts. And something was missing, which I decided was the silver legs. I didn’t want to paint the pallet, but I needed more cohesion. So I decided the legs needed to be white.

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Baaaaack to Home Depot. I got everything I needed and came home to do a new trial run.

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I am much happier. I ended up going with 8 inch long 3/4 inch diameter pipes, and the corresponding diameter flanges and caps. Then I spray painted the legs – make sure you don’t over spray as it will leave paint drips. I had a weird interaction with a neighbor while I was working on the legs and I think he commented that my style looks like that of a single guy…ok? ANYWAYS. Now I needed to move onto the glass edges.

I called a friend of mine who works in construction to see if he had any tools for glass sanding. He gave me a simple tip. Take coarse sandpaper, wrap it around a paint stirrer stick, and sand. I wore gloves just to be careful. I simply laid the glass on top of the pallet, but I probably should look into how to secure the top. For now, since it’s just me in the house it’s not a problem.

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Now the edges aren’t soo sharp!

It took me a day and a half to finish this and cost $75 for all the piping, $5 for the glass, and then the pallet was free. It was WAY more expensive than I expected. If my couch was lower I guess the casters could have worked for a cheaper table, but I am quite happy with the result. But way to go sticking to your budget, Kate….

SUPER HAPPY.

SUPER HAPPY.

Update: A friend of mine told me that the table looked weird from this angle and if I hadn’t previously told her there was a glass top it wouldn’t make sense. So here’s an additional picture to illustrate!

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Mason jar for additional demo

The Balcony Bed

I’ve actually had this project 98% completed for months now, but I was dreading the last step (freehand pillowcase sewing) and I kept putting it off. Even though I wasn’t happy with the state, it didn’t keep almost every single person who has come by my house from almost immediately telling me they wanted us to go hangout up on the balcony bed! But since I kept putting off the last, that meant I couldn’t post the final product! But I FINALLY overcame my fears and just did it. I’m now a happier crafter without it hanging over my head!

I have a beautiful, 8×13 balcony off my bedroom at the new place that sat empty while I decided what was going to be done up there. I love to sit outside and read – or just be! – but I’m reluctant to do that on my groundfloor patio. All my neighbors can see me sitting there, I have to interact with them, and there are constantly people walking by with their dogs so I really only sit outside when I have friends over. I was pretty unimpressed with the super boring outdoor pallet bed ideas I was seeing on Pinterest, until I found the holy grail of pallet beds. http://prudentbaby.com/2011/07/prudent-home/how-to-build-a-pallet-daybed-2/  I am not joking when I say I was so obsessed with starting this project that I read the directions so many times in anticipation I didn’t even need to read them while I was building.

This post is going to much more indepth than my previous posts have been because although the directions from Prudent Baby are wonderful, they’re not really that accurate. And it’s misleading. This project isn’t going to cost you $60 like she made it seem – it’s going to cost around $500-600. Preach. But building the frame is probably the easiet thing you’ll ever do. If you follow these directions it should only take you about half a day (if that). It took me two days because I had to go to Lowe’s like 4 times in 3 days to get the right bolts (partially because of the bad directions and partially because of bad help at Lowe’s).

What You Will Need:

  • 2 standard sized pallets (48×40). Try to make sure they line up well, you’ll see what I mean in a little. You can find them anywhere. Walmart throws them behind their buildings, grocery stores get deliveries on Tuesdays and Thursdays and would probably help you out if you asked, Craiglist “Free” section has them all the time, they’re everywhere. I “reclaimed” one that had been sitting next to the recycling bin at my office and asked a manager at Lowe’s if I could take one that was on their floor when I went to get all my necessities.
  • Twin mattress (39×75) – I bought this foam mattress [link] which is smaller than the one Prudent Baby bought, but also$100 less.
  • Waterproof mattress cover – I bought one on Amazon, but you can get them at Target too. Prudent Baby bought one that keeps bed bugs away too but, eh, this was $10. There is a link on her site for the mattress and cover she bought.
  • 5 casters (wheels). I used the 4 inch casters that Prudent Baby used and I don’t know if they need to be that big. I would recommend going down to 3 inch casters because they are cheaper and the planks of my pallet were hardly wider than my casters, so the holes I drilled were quite close to the edge and I was worried about splitting the wood.
  • 3 – 3/8×3.5 inch or 5/16×3.5 inch galvanized bolts. This is where Prudent Baby’s directions started letting me down. If you look at them, Prudent Baby tells you to buy 3/4×3 inch bolts. Wait, what?! Now if you’re not familiar with hardware, that’s an issue for 2 reasons: 1. That is ridiculously thick. It will split your wood. 2. Lowe’s doesn’t even carry anything that big! I used my own “judgement” and got 1/2×3 inch bolts but I don’t think they need to be that thick, and I also would recommend a little more length than just 3 inches (thus the 3.5).
  • 3 – 3/8 or 5/16 washers
  • 3 – 3/8 or 5/16 split lock washers
  • 3 – 3/8 or 5/16 hex nuts
  • 20 – 1/4x 1.5 inch bolts to screw on your casters. Prudent Baby suggested 3/4×2 bolts for the casters. C’MON! WHAT?! This is even more ridiculous because the holes on the casters are so small!!! I follwed the length and got 1/4×2 inch bolts but this time around they’re actually a little too long.
  • 20 – 1/4 hex nuts
  • 20 – 1/4×1.5 inch wood screws (you can get a little box of them)
  • 4 – 1/2 inch pipe elbows
  • 4 – 1/2 inch flanges
  • 4 – 1/2 inch x 18 inch long pipes
  • 2 – 1/2 inch x 22 or 24 inch long pipes. I used 24 inch because that’s what Lowe’s had.
  • Sheet and pillows!

First thing to do is cut your pallet down to size. Each pallet should be 40×40 once cut, so with a jigsaw cut down the side that was originally 48 inches or so. I had my friend help me with that part since I hadn’t bought my own jigsaw yet. But make sure you keep the extra pieces!!

Extra pieces holding down the tarp

Extra pieces holding down the tarp

Prudent Baby sanded down her pallets, but why waste the time? The mattress is going to completely cover the pallets anyways. No one is going to see them or be touching them. So I skipped that part. I did put a coat of polyurethane on the pallets, though, because they’re going to be outside. I had some left over from refinishing the patio table (see: The Basement Beauty), so I just quickly brushed it on with a regular paintbrush.

photo 1-2

Now things got harder here. As you can see in the picture above, because I cut the ends off to get them to the right size, I’m missing a slat on the bottom that would be additional support. Since it’s a support for the back of the pallet I wanted to take a slat from the extra pieces, remove them from the extra, and reattach them to the main pallet. I chose which side of the extra piece was going to go back on the pallet and broke apart the opposite side. There are links on Pintrest for how you can easily take apart pallets, but who has time to read all that when you’re already on a roll? What I did was beat the crap out of the pre-determind “demo side” of the extra piece with my boots and a hammer. I think my neighbors might be afraid of me now after how hard I went to town on these pieces of wood. Once I had the slat free I then nailed it back onto the main pallet. I had to take a minute to figure out how I was going to reattach the slat onto one of the pallets, though, because it has cut-outs on the side panels that I didn’t notice when I brought it home from the office. I decided the best way to reassemble it was to try to get the slat as far back on the level part without risking it breaking off but still be able to disperse any weight put onto the frame. It wasn’t going to look pretty or even, but it’s the bottom anyways.

Example of why it was hard to line up the bottom pieces. Make sure you get coordinating pallets!!

Example of why it was hard to line up the bottom pieces. Make sure you get coordinating pallets!!

I took the pallets up to the balcony to assemble it. I measured the inside panel of each pallet for 3 holes, one close to the front, one in the middle, and one close to the back. These are the holes that you will use for your 3/8×3.5 or 5/16×3.5 bolt to join the two pallets together so make sure you are measuring the sides that will be joining. With your drill, use the drill bit that corresponds to your bolt  (I used my 1/2 inch bit) and drill a hole on each mark on both pallets. Fingers crossed you measured right! You don’t want your frame to be all akimbo. Put your bolt through the pallets. Then add your washer, then split lock washer, then the hex nut. Screw the nut on with a wrench so it’s super tight. Your pallets should be pretty solid now.

Next add your casters to the bottom side. I didn’t do too much by way of measuring for this one. The bottom was inevitably going to be funky because of my odd back-slat that didn’t match up, so I wasn’t going to kill myself over it. Place your casters where you want them, mark the wood, drill your pilot holes with the corresponding drill bit, then put your 1/4×1.5 bolts through the each of the holes so the head will be facing the ground. Screw the corresponding 1/4 hex nut on. Do the fifth wheel in the center. I have 4 locking casters and the center is just normal.

You can also see how I chose to line up the extra pieces that I reattached to the main pallets.

You can also see how I chose to line up the extra pieces that I reattached to the main pallets.

You’re almost done! This part was kind of tricky though. The reason I say you should make sure your pallets are similar in shape and line up well is mostly for this step. Lining up the arms of your frame can be hard if the slats of your pallet don’t line up well  – like mine don’t. Just like with the wheels, I knew there wasn’t anything I could do to make things perfectly even so I didn’t sweat it too much. I really freestyled this one. Despite my inner-perfectionist crying, I didn’t even break out the level. I’m sure you can figure out a way to measure your own arms so that they’re perfect 🙂 I first assembled the arm, lightly screwed it into the flange, and then placed the full thing on the pallet. I moved it around a bunch of times to get it to where it looked even, where the flange was pretty much fully on the slat, and would line up with the other arm. Then I marked the holes, drilled the pilot, and screwed in the wood screws. Don’t tighten the screws all the way down until you have all the screws in to make sure you don’t mess up/cover any of the holes. Then on the next side line it up with the arm that’s completed and repeat.

photo 1-1

See how the slats don’t line up for the flanges to be symmetrical?

And voila! The frame is done!! Not much to look at really, but the best is yet to come.

photo 3-2

Now for the decorative pieces part. This all about personal style and taste. I wanted this space to be distinctly me, something that could be cozy and intimate, but at the same time not oozing romance (I could be out there with my dad, and that would be weird). I bought the mattress of Amazon and it came quite quickly! I had also already spent enough money on this project to the point that I was pretty reluctant to spend even more on fancy pillows. Prudent Baby went to West Elm. I went to Target and Bed Bath & Beyond. The thought ocurred to me that if I buy a twin bedding package (fitted sheet, top sheet, pillow cases) I can sew the extra top sheet and pillow cases into pillow slip-covers; but that also meant I could buy the cheapest pillows no matter if they didn’t match or were ugly. Unfortunately, the big pillows for the back were preeeetttyyy expensive since nothing was the right size. I found white cube-ish shaped pillows that were perfect so I went with those.

Almost done! Happy, but not completely satisfied.

Almost done! Happy, but not completely satisfied.

However, since they’re cube shaped I was unsure of how to sew cases for them! This is the part I stalled on. I am not a proficient sewer in the least. However, with some intense research and a little can-do attitude I cowgirled up and got it done! Post to come on how I made the cases. 🙂

OBSESSED.

OBSESSED.

It looked great with white pillows but now that everything matches I can’t tell you how happy this makes me! I can’t can’t can’t wait for fall weather to be up there with my favorite big blanket, the lights I’m going to hang, and a cuddle buddy!!

The First Venture Into Distressing

One thing you’ll learn about me is that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the distressed look. It’s my most favorite. It’s that shabby, country chic, with some antique French provincial feel that just makes my heart melt. The two pictures I moved to make room for the mirror were both dark brown and that was not going to match, so since I was painting already, I decided why not paint the frames too. And I had a stroke of genius, and said to myself, let’s distress them!! They were already stained, so there’s one step already cut out.

I brought them out with the shelving pieces that I was painting today, and got down to work. The weather was finally nice and not muggy even though we’re now in Carolina Monsoon Season, aka summer. The pictures are really stuck in the frames due to their foam backing so I opted to tape the glass instead of trying to pry them out. I have painted frames before without priming and they turned out fine so I skipped that step.

original

These frames were purchased at Walmart for $5 a while back, and I did not anticipate the stain do to what it did…but it didn’t surprise me.

Here's a little comparison to what color it should be (left) and what it was turning out to be.

Here’s a little comparison to what color it should be (left) and what it was turning out to be.

Another example of how bad the one frame was. Each has one coat of paint.

Another example of how bad the one frame was. Each has one coat of paint.

The stain went nuts when it reacted with the paint, and I can’t tell whether priming them would have helped or not. The paint turned pink from the stain – and one frame was SO bad that I just threw it out. I had an extra frame that semi-matches the tabletop so I put the print into that one, and I figure it’ll be ok until it drives me crazy (already happening, by the way). I put 3-4 coats of paint on the frame that turned out ok, and let it dry.

sand pic

I have done some very light research on distressing, so I knew enough to make sure the all edges were sanded down. I did this with a medium grit piece of sandpaper that I had. I didn’t want it to look too distressed, just lightly, so I didn’t do too much. I still did my happy dance when I saw the completed look I was going for!

final pic

This took several hours since I had to watch several coats of paint dry, but cost nothing since I used things I had already!