Sunday, June 21, 2015

DIY Floating Shelves

Dear Husband (DH) can attest that this project took far too long. It wasn't particularly difficult, it just has lots and lots of steps.

I'm found inspiration from a couple different pictures on Pinterest. Here are floating shelves above a toilet, and I mostly followed their tutorial with a few exceptions.
Here are very similar shelves above the end of a tub, which gave me confidence and an idea of how ours could look.

 I decided on two shelves above the toilet, and three above the tub. First measure your space and determine the dimensions of your shelves.

To the right are all my chicken-scratches figuring out how much wood of what size I needed.

The "E" shaped frame that screws into the wall is made from 1x3's (which are actually 0.75" x 2.5").

The top and bottom boards are 1x8's (actually 0.75" x 7.25")

Then the front piece is a 1x6 (0.75" x 5.5" in true dimensions.)

If you are interested in why the dimensions are different, you can read about it here.

 The lighting was terrible in the basement where I was cutting and staining the wood so I didn't get a good picture, but I do want to share a tip...

If you ever need to stain and seal wood, use a paint edger! 

These have short, short bristles about a 1/4" long on disposable, replaceable pads. They don't leave any brush strokes like a paint brush, or shred apart like foam brushes.

So I stained and sealed the wood, but only the sides/edges that would be seen.

I stained it a "Cherry" wood color. It is similar to the "Golden Oak" colored cabinets, but it has more red in it.

I marked where I wanted the shelves on the wall and with the help of a level and stud-finder, I screwed the "E" shaped frame into the studs with four long screws.

One shelf at at a time, I glued on the top and bottom boards as I only have four clamps large enough.
I put wood glue on both surfaces, clamp them together, and put a few finishing nails is the bottom plank since gravity is working against it.

I keep it clamped for at least an hour, then I add the front piece (gluing both surfaces again) clamp it on, and add just a couple nails in the corners.

After that, it is just cleanup and it's done! But I'm waiting to show you the finished product until the next post where I reveal the finished master bedroom and bath!

I had a small add-on project too.
As long as I had all the supplies out for staining and sealing the wood for the shelves, I fixed the guest bathroom cabinet.

See that big hole on the right side of the cabinet end? A previous owner had a phone jack installed in the bathroom. Why? We may never know.

Anyway, the cabinet side was fake laminate wood, so there was no patching it.
Instead, I bought a new real-wood, unfinished end piece they sell for general cabinets. I cut it out to size, stained and sealed it. Using wood glue and clamps, I attached it to the side and now it's good as new!

Ok, maybe the color is a tiny bit off, but not enough to be noticeable.

As usual, Eva is getting herself into all sorts of fun trouble! A couple days ago she caught her second rabbit. It was a teenager this time and as much as I hate it, I understand instinct, natural selection, and the need for population control. At least it was a quick dispatch without much suffering.
I didn't take a picture of that, but I did take a couple pictures from the next day when Eva plowed through a burr bush and was covered in stickers, poor baby.

After at least a half hour of combing them out, of course she didn't learn her lesson, and was back in the bush later that day! What a goober!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Wreath Refresh

Up until a week ago, I still had up our Easter decoration on the front door.

In all fairness it did say "Welcome"... but also eluded to painted eggs and the Easter bunny. Definitely time for a change. 

First, I gathered supplies:
- Burlap - I cut 4" strips from leftover fabric, but you can easily find burlap ribbon
- Wire wreath form
- Faux flowers of choice - I'm usually not a fan, but used sparingly they can be effective
- Letter of choice - I found one with metal and wood go give an rustic/industrial flair
- Wire - thin gauge that is easily bent
- Wire cutters

Attaching the burlap to the form with the wire, I started wrapping the fabric around the wreath, making sure to overlap the fabric. At the end, I attached it to the frame again with the wire.

It was still missing something so I took some strands of burlap, and tying them end to end made a long string and wrapped it the opposite way of the fabric to add a bit more visual interest.  

Then I added the flowers. Less is more with fake flowers! I cut and bent the stems, securing them to the back of the wreath with the wire. This took the most patience of the project.
Clearly Eva did not have enough patience, and ended up sacking out on the burlap... always the helpful assistant!

Attach the letter also with the wire, and make a loop on the back of the wreath so you can hang it. 

If you look close, the wreath hangs crooked because the letter made the left side too heavy. But I won't tell if you don't, and not THAT many people would notice!

I also made strawberry rhubarb jam again this year. I made a triple batch thanks to some home grown rhubarb from a family member! It tastes just as good as I remembered, but I didn't let it boil long enough because it is rather thin... like a strawberry rhubarb sauce or syrup. Ah well, it is only my second time making it, and I will try to remember for next year. 

One last thing... I have NEVER taken a picture of my dinner to post online, but this one is different. I grew this spinach all by myself! It is my first time growing spinach, and we have already gotten a few salads out of it! Some of the leaves are huge, but they aren't bitter yet. I just planted the lettuce seeds, so we will see if those are just as successful!