Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

Tufted Headboard

October 22, 2014

Making my own upholstered headboard is something that has been on my fairly expansive ‘Projects I’d like to do someday’ list for quite a while. Our bedroom set that we’ve had since we got married is straight out of a 1987 Ethan Allen catalog and while I don’t terribly mind the dressers and nightstands, the bed…well, it’s pretty boring and the headboard is so short that you can’t even see it when the bed is made and the pillows are propped up. I’ve always wanted something taller and upholstered so we could lean against it and not get jabbed in the back by the wood railing.

After skimming through just about every headboard tutorial I could find on Pinterest, I knew exactly what I wanted…rectangular, tufted, sturdy, wood legs and trim. I mainly used these two tutorials for reference on the tufting part, Little Green Notebook and Addicted 2 Decorating. Now, there are a bazillion tutorials out there but none of them had the exact wood detail that I kept picturing in my mind so I just went for it and customized what I wanted.

Here’s the whole process with pictures:

The backing is 5/8″ particle board, cut to 63×30 inches {which Lowe’s supposedly won’t cut for you but I talked someone into doing it anyway}. I measured out where each button would go and marked it with sharpie. There are three rows with 7 buttons and two rows with 6 staggered in between; each button on a row is 9 inches from the next and the end ones are 4.5 inches from the edge. I left some extra space at the bottom but that will be covered by the mattress anyway.


Then I drilled all 33 holes…they look like little gopher mounds, haha.


Now here’s where I start to do things differently…I added eight of these little “L” brackets around the top edge and two sides and bolted them to the particle board. These brackets will hold my 2×4 framing and legs after all the upholstering is done.


Two brackets near a top corner where two of the 2×4 pieces will come together.


Here’s the layout of the 2×4’s. The top board is the width of the headboard and the two side boards measure 50 inches.


After a light sanding the boards got a quick stain in a dark walnut.


About the foam…I wanted the upholstered part of the headboard to be 30 inches tall and the foam sold at Joann’s was only 24 inches wide {not to mention insanely expensive}; not wanting to deal with piecing together bits of foam I ordered a twin sized, 3 inch thick mattress pad on Amazon and it worked perfectly.

I marked on the foam through my drilled holes and then used a paring knife to cut out a little hole for each button. This is supposed to help with making deeper tufts by allowing the button to sit deeper in the foam.


At this point I moved into the living room so I could watch countless episodes of Gilmore Girls on Netflix while I worked :) Next was to add the batting over the foam and staple it to the back. I didn’t worry about getting a ton of staples in the batting because I knew I’d be going right back over it all when I stapled the fabric anyway.


I propped the whole thing up on two five gallon buckets so I could reach underneath then draped my fabric over the top. I ended up using a suit fabric and I love the look, it’s solid while still having a nice texture to it.


The button making kit I ordered on Amazon. It’s a pretty simple process; tedious but simple.


Time to start the tufting! Starting on the top row and in the center I used a 6 inch long upholstery needle to thread up through the hole, through a button and back down through the hole. I would push down on the button with one hand while holding the thread tight with the other. Then I would lie on the floor and staple the thread to the particle board from underneath all while holding it taut. To anyone watching this probably would have been a hilarious sight, me lying underneath this headboard like a mechanic trying to get enough leverage to make the staples go in deep enough.

First row done. As I started on the other rows I would press down on the foam and fabric where a button would go and play with the amount of loose fabric until I got the wrinkles that I wanted.


All the buttons done but the edges are still loose.


Again starting in the middle I made a small crease that aligned with each button and carried it over the edge of the headboard then stapled it to the back. I went around the whole thing the laid it on the floor face down, trimmed the extra fabric and added a bunch of reinforcing staples.


Next was attaching the wood trim. I screwed in the top board first then the side boards.




And here’s the finished product!



Here’s a closeup of the wood trim detail. It turned out exactly as I had imagined :)


The next step will be attaching it to a bed frame and getting our guest room set up!



Would You Believe Wood

April 1, 2014

March 1st, 2014 was opening day for my Etsy shop, Would You Believe Wood, where I sell hand painted signs made from reclaimed wood…just typing that sentence still gives me butterflies, I can’t believe it’s real and not a dream! I’ve always enjoyed being a “crafty person” and I knew that someday I wanted to sell my wares instead of creating solely for fun. That day has finally arrived and I couldn’t be loving it more!

You can see what I currently have for sale and request custom orders here:

And here are a few examples of my work!


This Mr & Mrs sign was made for my sister-in-law and her hubby-to-be. I love that they used it in their engagement photo shoot!


This anchor sign with Hebrews 6:19 is probably my most favorite, the turquoise doesn’t hurt :)



This Texas sign is pretty fun and the best part is that it’s completely customizable; I can make it with any state in any color combination. Endless possibilities!wybw_05

Here’s a look at what my painting process is like…I create a template on my computer, print it out, cut out the lettering with an Xacto, adhere it to the sign, then paint over the stencil.


Here is proof that I’ve been creating things out of wood for literally 20 years now. There were always plenty of scrap pieces to play with in dad’s workshop. Check out my about page to read a little more.


And here’s what my “workshop” looks like now. It’s not huge but it’s just enough space for what I need to get the job done. My go-to tools are my jigsaw and my power sander; I don’t know what I would do without them!

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately, lots of cutting, sanding, building, painting, photographing and listing. It’s been a lot of fun to learn from the Etsy community and I’m excited to improve, grow my business and add more and more items to the shop!



Holiday Projects

January 6, 2014

I’ve been keeping pretty busy over the past few months with various reclaimed wood projects. Usually I see an idea online or one comes to me then I get to work immediately and finish it within a couple days; nothing like immediate gratification :)

To add to my fall/autumn decor I built these two wooden pumpkins. First, I cut out the outline from a scrap piece of particle board then I screwed the boards into the back and trimmed the excess with my handy jigsaw.


After a good sanding I attached part of a stick to each of the pumpkin tops to act as stems. They sat outside by our front door for a few months and held up great!


My largest project to date was our Christmas tree. We originally wanted to buy a live tree like we did last year but due to the hassle of getting it into and out of our third story apartment, the $50-$60 price tag and the fact that it would only be up for a couple of weeks before we left for Texas, we opted for something a little more simple.


I had a pile of leftover fencepost scraps from my brother that I hadn’t found a use for yet so I lined them all up from largest to smallest, creating a tree shape. Using the jigsaw I cut the ends of each board at an angle to form the limbs of the tree then I attached a long, vertical board down the middle to tie it all together. After drilling some holes I poked each individual bulb from a 100 light multi-color strand through a hole from the back. Right now the lights are just held in by friction but I’ll be making it more permanent with some glue or silicon caulk soon.


And here she is in all of her reclaimed, multi-color glory! I think this was my favorite Christmas tree ever, probably because it was 100% free and I didn’t have to unpack, hang and repack my ornaments, haha.


A few Christmas-y signs were also in order; I made a couple of each of these to sell and raise money for Team World Vision {the charity that Mark and I ran our half marathon for}. They all ended up going home with some of our small group friends…I’m probably going to have to make one of the NOEL ones for myself because I love it so much!



The dream/hope/goal for 2014 is to open an Etsy shop and sell these reclaimed goodies online. We’re working on the initial logistics now…hopefully more news on that soon!

Trash to Treasure

February 26, 2013

Every day when I leave our complex I drive past the dumpster and a few weeks ago I noticed an old pallet waiting to be thrown out. I thought to myself, I could make something with that. But for weeks and weeks there it sat, leaning against the dumpster, because I never made the time to haul it home. I kept expecting it to be taken away with the trash but week after week it remained until I finally had a free weekend to get creative! So Mark loaded it into the back of the Jeep, drove it over to our building and carried it up two flights of stairs to our balcony {thanks, love}.


I put on some gloves, grabbed a hammer and a crow bar and got to work; and boy was it hard work getting those planks off. Half of the boards were split or broken to begin with so I had to be careful not to ruin the others while prying the nails out.


I ended up with four unbroken boards which I then arranged together…


…and using a few smaller pieces and some wood screws on the back I secured them all together. The great thing about this project is that I didn’t have to worry about the boards being square or perfect in any way since the idea is for it to look as rustic as possible.


Next was the hard part, deciding what to put on it and how. My inspiration came from some pallet art ideas like this one that I had seen on Pinterest and for sale on Etsy. I experimented on scrap wood with different types of paint, stencils and oil stains to see what looked the best on the brown and grey weathered wood. In the end I went with plain white craft paint simply because I already had some in my stash which meant I didn’t have to go out and buy anything :)

As for what to write on the boards, I wanted to display one of my favorite bible verses, Proverbs 3:5. This was my confirmation verse in middle school and it continues to be one of my favorites. I created a paper stencil from my computer, cutting the letters out with an X-acto, taped the stencils onto the boards and then lightly applied the craft paint with a cheap brush, dabbing most of the paint off of the brush first so as not to flood the stencil.


And here’s the finished product! The wall above our desk has been empty since we moved in so it was the perfect place for my pallet art. I am so in love with how it turned out and the best part is that this project was 100% FREE!


DIY: Ruffled Tree Skirt

December 3, 2012

Ever since seeing this post via Pinterest about how to make a ruffled tree skirt with nothing but some fabric and a hot glue gun, I knew that I had to make it. My friend, Christine, and I wanted to craft them together so we bought our fabric with some 50% off coupons at Joann’s and got to work while watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.


For the base of our skirts we cut circles from a 5’x5′ canvas painter’s drop cloth, it’s wider, cheaper and more durable than anything we could have bought at a fabric store. We ripped our fabric into 3.5 inch strips, heated up our hot glue guns and started gluing the ruffles from the outside in.


It was quite time consuming and since we were sitting on the floor we took plenty of stretching/cookie breaks to keep us going. Here are our skirts after just two rows of gluing. Christine went with red and white and mine is white and a gold glittery cream.


And here is the final product beneath our beautiful tree. I absolutely love it and I look forward to using it for many Christmases to come!


Bathroom Facelift

August 22, 2012

Moving into a new place and making it our own is always something that I’ve enjoyed but since we’re renting our condo instead of owning it we’re forced to make the best with what we have. Luckily our landlord has given us free reign to paint whatever we want so after giving the entire living area and kitchen a new coat right after we moved in we finally got around to tackling the bathroom.

The walls were a nasty beige color with plenty of grunge while the ceiling had been half painted making the whole space look unfinished. I knew that simply painting the walls white would lighten everything up and make it feel cleaner but I wanted to do a little more to make the room seem larger…horizontal stripes to the rescue!

Taping off and painting the stripes was really fun, especially the tape removal step; pulling off all of the tape afterwards and seeing those crisp, straight lines magically appear made the whole project worth it. Here are a couple before and after photos…

If we owned this place we would have taken down the glass shower door the day we moved in and put up a tall shower curtain to hide that dark line of tiles at the top…they’re so ugly. Aside from the shower door I love the bathroom now, it’s so bright in there even without a window. My intention was for the stripes to be very subtle. The colors were so subtle in fact that when I had the paint mixed I almost had the guy darken the blue color because I couldn’t see the difference when the cans were sitting next to each another. I’m glad I didn’t though because once the paint was on the wall and dry the contrast was perfect.

As a part of this bathroom facelift I also made a little shelf to hang above the toilet. I bought a few pieces of weathered hardwood from a guy I connected with via Craigslist, grabbed a couple shelf brackets from the HD and threw it together after cutting the board to size. Right now it’s holding a few mementos from Hawaii {shell necklaces, lava rocks and sea shells} plus a free print of a shell I found online and a faux starfish.

While on my weathered wood scavenger hunt I found a piece of large baseboard that I thought could be fun to turn into a mason jar masterpiece. These DIY vase/candle/trinket holders are all over Pinterest and all you need are wide mouth pint jars, some hose clamps and a few screws.

The whole piece is 24 inches wide and is hung above our sink in the kitchen. Inside the jars are some tea light candles sitting on top of the sand that we brought back from our honeymoon.

I wish I could just make a living off of building things like this and selling them to others, I had so much fun doing it. Maybe someday :)

Bookshelf Refresh

June 19, 2012

My dad and I made this bookshelf together back in 2000 and it has stayed with me throughout high school, college and now married life. I had always liked its unfinished look but over the past few years Mark and I have gravitated more towards darker woods in our furniture choices and it just didn’t fit in very well next to our dark walnut desk.

So I grabbed a leftover can of primer and got to work. I set up a little painting station out on our balcony and used a mini roller and a brush to apply the one coat of primer. It was so terribly tedious and it took FOR-E-VER…so long in fact that I changed my painting plans and decided to go the spray paint route.

And thank goodness I did because it only took me about an hour to apply three nice and thin coats of spray paint where it definitely would have taken me at least three hours to do three coats of regular brush/roll-on paint {including drying time}. I used up 5 cans of Rust-Oleum in ultra white gloss, about 2 cans’ worth of which ended up contributing to the ozone problem and 1 can’s worth of which stuck to my arms, legs and face {I remembered the hat and mask but should have worn long-sleeves and pants too…hindsight}.

Thanks to the wonderful world of Pinterest {in which I spend way too much time} I came across the idea of applying fabric to the backs of the shelves using ModPodge. I found this pattern at JoAnn’s, cut the pieces using approximate measurements then cut them exactly to size by laying them inside the shelves and marking the inside corners with a pencil. Using a cheap throwaway brush I applied one coat of ModPodge to the inside of the shelf then laid the fabric on top of it; once it was dry I applied one more coat on top of the fabric. The ModPodge is basically watered down glue that dries clear and leaves a hard and durable finish. Here’s the shelf after…

…and filled with books, pictures and other things…

It’s a totally different bookshelf now, I just love how bright and happy it is.

DIY Fun: Play Kitchen

October 13, 2011

This little DIY project has without a doubt been my favorite project of all time and I am soooo happy with how it turned out. I don’t currently have any kids nor am I expecting one any time soon so I can’t exactly say why I chose to take on this project in the first place other than it looked like fun! My inspiration came from this Vintage Songbird post and many other similar nightstand makeovers on Pinterest.

I found the nightstand on Craigslist; the curved edges of the top surface and the sturdy wood construction were what first caught my eye.

Thanks to a little help from my dad and some of his tools I cut the sink hole with a jigsaw, added some supports for the interior boards and lightly sanded the whole piece.

I used Kiltz oil-based primer to help the paint stick to the surface more easily.

After the primer dried I applied two coats of semi-gloss, no VOC paint that had been color matched to my curtain fabric. The backboard is half inch oak plywood that I had cut to size at Lowe’s. I painstakingly cut out the curves with a hand saw and then sanded like crazy to get it smooth because said jigsaw from earlier in the project was no longer in my possession {thank God for power sanders}.

I pried off one of the drawer faces to use for the oven door and attached it using a 12 inch piano hinge. Am I the only one that finds installing hinges to be extremely confusing?

This is where things started to become more fun…the faucet is an upside-down “L” painted silver and screwed in place from below, the faucet handles are glass knobs from Hobby Lobby, the stove burners are painted wooden plaques hot glued in place and the burner knobs are just painted wooden knobs screwed in from below. I made sure to leave all of the knobs a little loose so they would be able to turn.

And now for some after shots…

The two shelves were made from some leftover backboard pieces and the framed scrapbook paper serves as a dry erase board for grocery lists or doodling.

I love it…love, love, love, love it! Now what to do with it? I guess it’s up for sale!

Source List

  • Craigslist: nightstand
  • Salvation Army: stainless steel bowl
  • Dollar Tree: oven light
  • Michael’s: wooden “L” & craft paint
  • WM: wooden burner knobs
  • Hobby Lobby: faucet knobs & wooden plaques
  • Lowe’s: primer, paint, drawer pull, magnet clasp, oak plywood, piano hinge & paint brush
  • Items already owned: curtain fabric, curtain dowel, oven rack, picture frame, screws & nails.

Total work time: about 15-18 hours including shopping time {excluding paint drying time}

‘Round Here

September 19, 2011

Just a little tour around our home for your viewing pleasure :)

Entry table {courtesy of Grandpa Rand} showing off some of my most treasured pieces.

Dresser top where I keep my mom’s childhood jewelry box.

One of my latest craft projects…

Key drop spot by the door…

New necklace holder from an old wooden frame…

Thrifted vessels to someday turn into succulent terrariums, inspired by Jacob & Tracy.

We’re slowly finding new bedding; the pillow is a start…




Photos, Photos on the Wall

March 4, 2011

After months of collecting picture frames, I have finally accumulated enough to create a decent sized photo wall! I’ve been brainstorming ways to fill the empty space above our sofa since day one in the apartment and a photo collection has always been at the top of my list.

This project, start to finish, has taken over three months; definitely not a weekend undertaking. I probably made about 7 or 8 trips to Salvation Army and Goodwill over time, searching for frames that a) were made out of wood, b) had a strong structure, c) included a mat and glass, and d) weren’t too boring and had a little detail. For the longest time they just sat in a pile in the corner of our living room, waiting to be painted. A big part of my hesitation was due to the fact that I wanted the wall to be repainted before I hung the frames and we’d been putting that off since we moved in.

A few weeks ago I finally got it together and decided to get started. The first thing I did was cover all of the mats in fabric so they would match. I got the idea from this post on the Bower Power Blog and I copied her steps pretty much exactly except I used a rough burlap instead of fabric. This step in the process just confirmed my distain for spray adhesive; it gets everywhere, doesn’t hold very well and never seems to dry completely. Maybe someday it will be able to redeem itself but today is not that day.

The next weekend we headed to Home Depot for a few supplies: a can of Krylon spray paint for the frames, some sand paper, a gallon of wall paint, one roller, a quart of faux glaze, a sample-size container of brown paint and some glazier points. We borrowed a step ladder from a neighbor and knocked out the wall painting in a couple of hours with Mark doing the rolling and me doing the cutting in. We used Martha Stewart’s Fennel Seed in an eggshell finish; goodbye baby blue!

My first step in painting the frames was to thouroughly sand them down and wipe them clean; most of them had a clear glossy finish so the sanding was 100% necessary in order for the new paint to stick. Then I laid some cardboard out on our patio and started spraying. When we bought the spray paint, Mark talked me out of buying two cans even though I was 99% sure we would need it…and we did…trip #2 to Home Depot.

Once the paint had dried overnight, I got to work sanding again, only this time I focused on the edges and corners to give them a worn look. This gives the tinted glaze something to stick to when it’s applied in the next step.

The whole painting, sanding then glazing idea again came from the Bower Blog; they used glaze on their newly built headboard and footboard to pronounce the seams and give it an aged look. I wanted to give the frames a similar antiqued finish that would stand out nicely on the wall and make the frames’ details more visible.

Using the 4:1 ratio suggested on the can, I mixed the glaze and brown paint {I forget the color but it’s MS}. I literally used 1/4 cup of glaze and 1 tablespoon of paint…definitely didn’t need an entire quart of glaze but that was the smallest size available.

I applied the glaze mixture to the lightly sanded frames using a small art brush, making sure to get in every nook and cranny. Then I immediately wiped off the excess with an old sock, leaving behind a little bit of glaze which stuck to the sanded parts and in the crevices. Sorry, no pictures of this step as my hands were covered in glaze at this point {it’s a tad messy}.

The frames were left to dry overnight and the next morning it was time to assemble. Our desk was cleared and turned into my workstation where I cleaned the glass, inserted the mats and photos, then secured it all together with a few glazier points.

{Side note: am I the only one that didn’t know that they were called glazier points? Because I definitely did not…but now I do}

Early on in the project, before having prints made, I laid the frames out on the floor, trying different configurations to see what looked the best. The layout ended up being centered around the largest frame with a smaller, vertical frame centered beneath it and two matching horizontal frames on either side.  Thanks to this, hanging was pretty simple; we hung the large frame first then added the others around it.

The wall color looks a little more aqua in this photo than it truly is, pesky lighting.

I just love how the frames and the new paint complement each other and how the sepia-toned photos play off of the brown burlap. All of the photos are from our trip to Boston and Maine last summer; it took me forever to narrow it down to just six.

The antique J keys we found last weekend at our favorite south Congress thrift shop, Uncommon Objects. That place is like Ikea to me, I’m always in there for at least an hour and, though I rarely buy anything, I always leave feeling inspired.

The wall color shown behind the the frame detail below is about as close to the real thing as I could get.  It’s an awesome green/grey color that complements the yellow in our living room rug quite nicely.

My favorite part of this project is how the glazing technique played out; don’t those frames look like something straight out of your grandma’s attic?