July 24, 2012

Summer of Woodworking

Aloha, friends!  I'm still here and still crafting. It's been a bit of a struggle to be a full-time mom, craft, and blog all at the same time.  I tip my hat off to all you successful moms who can accomplish all this and keep your sanity.  Whew!

It seems my obsession this season has been working with wood.  Not by choice, though.  More out of necessity.  We were blessed with an abundance of scrap wood from our fencing project this past May.  Our contractors asked if we wanted to keep the wood they were just going to dump and hubby jumped at the chance.  For a few months, I've been trying to whittle down the stack of redwood cedar beneath our deck so we don't attract a mess of bugs under there.

Beautiful color of the fence, don't ya think?

Last year, I picked up a Kreg Jig after watching an infomercial on the product.  I normally don't get drawn in by infomercials, but it totally intrigued me.  I've put together some small wood projects throughout the years and found the standard joinery was not as strong.  So, being the tool freak that I am, when I saw the Kreg Jig at Lowe's, I picked one up like a hoarder.   Of course, at the time, I have had no occasion to use it -- until now.

Then, I came across a phenomenal website for the DIY-er, ana-white.com, and it's like I was shown the light.  Oh my gosh!  I love Pottery Barn products but can't really afford all of that, and Ana White has all these free (!!) plans you can use to build your own tables, benches, chairs, patio furniture, you name it -- most of which utilized the Kreg Jig.  Perfect!  Her popular plan includes a Farmhouse Table, and I kind of loosely based my first real table on that plan.  Mind you, the wood we salvaged were not absolutely straight pieces, nor were they perfect in any way (hence, the reason the contractors were going to trash them); so I did my best with what I had, absolutely determined not to be spend a dime.

It's a good thing I built all of these before this heat wave struck! This is the first table, built with 2x4s, 1x6s, and 1x2s.  (Since I built it [late May] some of the thinner wood pieces have warped a little because of the 100+ degree weather we've been having and the fact the wood was imperfect to begin with.  But the table is still usable!) I stained it with Cabot's Australian Timber Oil in a natural color. 

Upon building this table, I wanted to build something for the kids.  After browsing through Lowe's project magazine, I wanted to build them a lemonade stand.  Using the same plan concept as the first table, I just shortened the length to half and came up with this.

I stained the legs with the same natural tone as the first table because I loved the rustic character of the redwood, but I stained the top with a darker shade called Jarrah Brown.  I made a space for the cooler below and painted a 1x6 with chalkboard paint so the kids could name their lemonade stand anything they wanted.  My son came up with the name. 

When we had our neighborhood garage sale in early June, the kids set up shop and made $30.  Not bad for 4 hours.

The sign was removable, so the table could serve as a console table on the deck.

It doesn't stop there!  I went crazy around the house trying to see what else I could build.  We were having visitors over in June and I wanted to spiff up the bathroom.  We don't have much storage in our bathroom, just the medicine cabinet.  I figured some of the redwood cedar pieces were a similar color to the original cabinet, so based Ana White's Ten Dollar Ledges, I built 3 really simple shelves and installed them myself.  Check it out:

Pardon the fat arms.  I was desperately trying not to show them in the mirror.

So what if the bottom shelf is not flush with the cabinet?  It works! I anchored them into the wall and they are awesome!

These shelves were sooooo stinking easy to make, that I made 5 more for my son and painted them white. I haven't installed them yet, but will attempt to do that soon. 

I also built a toddler bed for my littlest one as well and am still mulling over if I should use polycrylic or oil stain or shellac or whatever.  I haven't decided yet.  Pics of it to come later because honestly, it's just not pic-worthy yet.  It's gotta look presentable right?

I hope this inspires you to craft some more!  And check out Ana White's site! 

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