Sunday, June 29, 2014

A New Venture

While I was browsing around my favorite local antique store a couple weeks ago, I noticed that there were a couple of empty booths.  I gathered my courage and asked the owner about the details.  After some contemplation (and discussion with Seth), I decided to try it for a few months.

My booth will officially open on July 15th.  I am busy collecting items and refurbishing furniture pieces.  Here's a sneak peek at my collection thus far:

I plan to share most of the makeovers on the blog so stay tuned.  Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Wood Shim Starburst Wreath

Since the wreath I made for Spring has a bunny on it, I decided to make a new one for Summer (bunnies scream Spring and Easter only, right?).  Here is how it turned out.

I made it by hot gluing wood shims onto a foam wreath form in a starburst pattern.

I wrapped the wreath form in burlap first to help any exposed areas blend in.  I used a glass bowl in the center to guide the placement of my shims.  For my first layer, I left the shims as is. For the second layer, I used scissors to chop about 2" off the end of the shims before gluing them onto the wreath.

I picked up a cardboard "K" from Hobby Lobby and spray painted it navy blue.  (For those of you who don't know me personally and may be confused, my husband's last name begins with a K.)

Lastly, I made a simple fabric bunting using a few fun summery fabrics.  

It turned out a bit oversized for the door, but I'm too lazy to do anything about it.  I've moved on to other projects.  :)

Other than its generous size, I love the way it turned out.  It definitely adds some pizazz to our door for Summer.

Are any of you tackling Summer craft projects?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Hammock Stand Tutorial

Thanks for stopping in.  I'm back with the tutorial for our DIY hammock stand.  As I mentioned in my last post, we had some difficulty finding a stand that would work with our hammock so we decided to make our own.

We took our design from this tutorial but modified it in a couple of key spots.


  • (5) 2x4x8s
  • (6) 3/8" x 5" carriage bolts
  • (2) 3/8" x 12" threaded rods
  • (10) 3/8" hex nuts
  • (10) 3/8" flat washers
  • (2) 5" screw hooks
  • galvanized screws
  • exterior paint or stain (optional)

  • rubber mallet
  • tape measure
  • square
  • miter saw
  • jigsaw
  • drill
  • socket wrench
  • safety goggles

Cut list:

  • (2) 2x4 @ 84" long
  • (2) 2x4 @ 36" long
  • (2) 2x4 @ 72" long with one end mitered at 45 degrees
  • (2) 2x4 @ 12" long with one end mitered at 45 degrees

Pretend that the longer mitered pieces on the left are actually 72" long and not 48" long as pictured.  I'll explain later.  Thanks.

Step 1:  Measure and cut out 1.5" deep x 3.5" long notches 6" in from the ends of your two frame boards (the 84" long boards).  You will end up with 4 total notches as seen in the picture above.  Seth used our jigsaw for this but you can use a circular saw or miter saw to make multiple inward cuts and then use a chisel to remove the remaining wood.  

Step 2:  Center your two 2x4x36" pieces in the notches that you just created making sure to leave a 1.5" gap between the two frame pieces.  Secure with galvanized screws.

Step 3:  Flip your base over and use two of your carriage bolts to attach each support piece (the 72" long pieces in our modified design).  The mitered end will rest on the ground and the board itself will rest in the space between the two frame pieces.  It needs to be on the inside of the base pieces.  Hopefully the picture below will clear up any confusion.  You will need to drill pilot holes before using the rubber mallet to pound your carriage bolts through.  Then use a washer and hex nut to secure your carriage bolts.  Tighten with your socket wrench.

*NOTE:  We originally assembled the stand with 48" long support boards.  After hanging our hammock and climbing in, we realized that our support boards needed to be longer.  The hammock was touching the ground.  Haha...I don't think we've done one project yet where things went exactly as planned.  Maybe one day?

Ignore the small pieces of wood that the stand is resting on.  We used them to elevate it for the staining step.

Step 4:  Attach your support braces (the two 12" long pieces with one side mitered at 45 degrees) to the frame boards using the two remaining carriage bolts (one per side - see pic above).  The 45 degree mitered edge will rest against the backside of your long support boards.

Here is where things get dicey.  We originally followed the tutorial and used a galvanized screw to secure the brace to the support board.  Turns out that when our fat butts sat in the hammock the inward and downward pressure on the support boards was enough to partially detach that screw.  I whipped up a quick depiction for you.  You're welcome.

*** NOTE: Start praying for patience and be certain that your marriage is rock solid before proceeding to step 5. ***

Step 5:  Take a deep breath.  Attempt to drill a pilot hole for the threaded rod through the support board and brace (see pic below).  Our drill bit was not long enough to drill through both of these boards at the necessary angle.  We drilled as far as we could from one side, attempted to mimic the correct angle, and then drilled from the other side all the while praying that the two holes would connect closely enough for the threaded rod to pass through.  I will not go into the details of how many times it took to get this right or the words that came out of our mouths while we attempted to do so.  Let's just pretend it all went smoothly.

Once you are able to create your pilot hole, insert your threaded rod and attach a washer and hex nut at either end.  Grip one hex nut with a wrench while you tighten the other one down. We then used our angle grinder to cut off the excess threaded rod.

Step 6:  REJOICE!!!  Yes, this is really a step.  You made it through the most difficult part and are almost finished.

Step 7:  Install your screw hooks roughly 4" down from the top of your support boards.

Step 8 (optional):  Use a circular saw to level off the tops of your support boards.

Step 9 (optional):  Paint or stain your hammock stand.  We used this semi-transparent exterior stain in Oxford Brown.  


A good book and a glass of slightly sweetened iced tea are just what I like.

Feel free to email me with any questions if you decide to tackle your own hammock stand. Happy relaxing!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

DIY Hammock Stand Reveal

Is there anything better than relaxing in a hammock whilst listening to the sounds of nature on a warm Summer day?  If you can keep the mosquitoes at bay, I think not.

Seth and I honeymooned in Costa Rica and we had a hammock overlooking Arenal Volcano on the back deck of our suite.  It was amazing and we both fell in love with hammocks.  (I mean, we also fell more in love with each other.  Obviously.  But back to hammocks...)

Fast forward three and a half years later and our hammock was sitting in a storage bin.  It had moved with us twice and we had yet to pull it out and use it.  In our defense, it wasn't for lack of trying.  I bought a metal hammock stand three years ago and tried to set it up but the dimensions of the hammock stand weren't working with our hammock.  And neither our rental house nor the house we purchased in IL had two trees close enough together to hang it up.  

Well, when you can't find the right stand to buy, you DIY, right?


I'll be back soon with the tutorial.  If I can stay out of the hammock long enough to type it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Wooden Tomato Cages

Our tomato plants are getting big.  There are tiny tomatoes now visible on our sweet 100 plant. Yay!  I knew that we would eventually need some tomato cages, but when my friend Nancy pinned this on Pinterest, purchasing some of the typical metal ones was no longer an option.  I just had to build some of these beauties.

The tutorial is pretty straightforward so I'll just add some helpful hints as I take you through the process.

You will need two 2x2x8s and three 1x2x8s per cage.  (Pictured above is the wood we purchased for all four of our cages.)

We purchased our wood from Lowe's and it was bundled up with black ties.  Since we weren't aiming for absolute perfection we left the ties on and made our cuts through each bundle.  This made quick work of the measuring and cutting steps.  Of course, you must be sure to line up the ends of your boards first.

Then, we started assembling the sides by nailing the 18" pieces of 1x2 onto the 2x2s at 15" apart (see diagram in the original tutorial post).

Then we nailed the 19.5" 1x2 pieces in place to form our cage.  And then it fell apart.

Ok.  Not completely.  But it was terribly fragile.  And the pieces were trying to pull apart.  So we disassembled our first cage and started again with galvanized screws (leftover from our raised beds).  And the result was much improved.

I'm not sure if using a brad nailer (like Kristen did in the original tutorial) would produce a different result or if we still would have switched over to screws.  We wanted to make sure that these babies would last.  

We used a rubber mallet to pound them down into the ground about six inches.  Then we stepped back to admire our work.

Not bad for $30.  Only a bit more expensive than metal cages ($6 ea at our Lowe's) and so much more attractive.