Showing posts with label Building Projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Building Projects. Show all posts

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas crafts...part 5...

We're getting closer to Christmas which means my crafting is coming to a halt as I prepare to send out Christmas cards, attend programs and neighborhood gatherings, etc. Here's my final craft for this holiday season: A 3 1/2 foot star that sits atop the entertainment center. This was the fastest and cheapest project out of all the projects this week. $4.50 and thirty minutes and that includes staining.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Holiday Star, Christmas Craft
I bought the cheapest 1x2 wood that Home Depot sells. Less than $2 a piece. I cut 5 identical pieces and laid them out on the driveway to form the star, no fancy angles, just 90 degree cuts. Once I had it lined up, I nailed (with my nail gun but a hammer would be equally as easy).
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Holiday Star, Christmas Craft
Due to the nature of semi-thick pieces sitting on top of each other, the last piece that I nailed wouldn't lay totally flat. So I used a scrap piece to shim it so I could nail it flat.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Holiday Star, Christmas Craft
Within 5 minutes I had the whole thing stained and my little sidekick never left my side!
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Holiday Star, Christmas Craft
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Holiday Star, Christmas Craft
Most the projects I showcased this week all reside in the entertainment center (that was nonexistent last year) - it took a lot to get it holiday ready!


Check out the other posts from Christmas Craft week
Christmas Crafts Part 1
Christmas Crafts Part 2
Christmas Crafts Part 3
Christmas Crafts Part 4
Christmas Crafts Part 5

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Easy shelves...

These are my favorite shelves - three pieces of wood and done in no time. I made two 10 foot shelves for my son's room only to change my mind. It's not easy finding a place for two 10 foot shelves in your house. I cut one in half and found the perfect wall in my office for two 5 foot shelves.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Photo Ledge/Shelf
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Photo Ledge/Shelf
Of course the shelves sat empty for a time because I couldn't figure out what I wanted in my office space. But they're full now and they make me happy.

I love this wall because it embodies who I am. Some of my favorite photos, favorite people, favorite places, favorite memories and my favorite collection of cameras. Including my dad's old Canon SLR. Life with Fingerprints: DIY Photo Ledge/Shelf
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Photo Ledge/Shelf

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The entertainment center...

Back in February, I took on the project of all projects building a 12ft by 8ft entertainment center with my dad. And after it was built, it sat empty because although I have crazy cool vision for creating a project, I never feel confident in the accessorizing department. Every once in a while I would come across something I liked and months later we have a semi-accessorized unit!

But lets start from the beginning, a couple months after moving in:
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Entertainment Center, building project, media center

A year later we finally got around to replacing the mauve carpet, painted the walls and hung drapes:
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Entertainment Center, building project, media centerLife with Fingerprints: DIY Entertainment Center, building project, media center
At the beginning of this year I flew my dad down and we spent the most exhausting 7 days making this come to life. I still look at it sometimes and I'm amazed that the drawing I made two years ago actually came to be. I learned so much in this process and I'm just sick enough that I would do it again!
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Entertainment Center, building project, media center
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Entertainment Center, building project, media center
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Entertainment Center, building project, media center

Here's our step-by-step process:
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 1
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 2
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 3
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 4
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 5
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 6
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 7

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Chalkboard Halloween Town...

Life with Fingerprints: DIY Chalkboard Halloween Town
When my bff and crafting buddy came to visit a couple weeks back, I taught her how to use the jig saw. She had never used one before and she made these with ease, that's how easy this is. You might remember my large scale Halloween town that sits behind my dining room table. I created a pattern off of them and made a table size Halloween town that is just as fun and cute.

Download the pattern and print it to scale over a couple pages - the tallest house is 22". Trace the pattern onto MDF and cut using the jigsaw.

Life with Fingerprints: DIY Chalkboard Halloween Town
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Chalkboard Halloween Town
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Chalkboard Halloween Town
We painted the houses with chalkboard paint - however I'm thinking black glitter would also be fantastic.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Chalkboard Halloween Town
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Chalkboard Halloween Town
In order for the houses to stand up connect them using small hinges. One tip: when installing the hinges, space the houses apart as far as possible which will give you more movement of the hinge.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Chalkboard Halloween Town
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Chalkboard Halloween Town
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Chalkboard Halloween Town
Dress them up with some chalk drawings and you're set.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Chalkboard Halloween Town

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Final touch on building the entertainment center...

Steve was giving me a hard time the other day because I left the vacuum out...again. I always leave it out and he always seems to find it in a new place. I can't bring myself to put it away because I know the minute I do I'll find something else that needs vacuuming. Hello?? We have young kids, I could walk behind them vacuuming and fill canisters all day long. Lately, I've been leaving the vacuum out right next to the new entertainment center. I seem to be creating sawdust around this thing on a daily basis. Attaching this hardware here, drill a hole for this wire there, readjusting things...it's a long process when you have little ones around. I will think I've found a pocket of time so I'll start drilling and the minute I start drilling I hear the baby waking from his nap...It's taken far longer than it should have.
Life with Fingerprints-3405 photo LifewithFingerprints-3405.jpg
But I'm happy to report, all the hardware is installed and functioning. Including the retractable bi-fold doors. I made a trip out to Ikea to purchase all the drawer and door pulls. They're sleek and modern and completely affordable. (Hardware has proven to be far more expensive for the project than I originally anticipated.) Seriously, check out Ikea's hardware in the kitchen section.

I had all but four pulls installed when I had to rush off to a meeting. Steve mocked my vacuum placement once again but I ignored him. 4 hours later I found myself in a quiet house with all the kids sleeping. I finished up the last pulls while Steve watched a movie and I conveniently vacuumed up my final mess associated with the entertainment center. Now I can leave the vacuum in a different area of the house.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Building with Dad...Day seven and beyond...

My dad will be disappointed to know that the entertainment center we built together a month and a half ago (here) is still not quite complete! I can come up with a hundred excuses as to why that's the case: spring break, friends in town, waiting for hardware to come...etc but the excuses need to end.

This is how day 7 went down:
I woke up and was the most calm I had been the whole week. I marveled at our work, as incomplete as it was, and gave my children a little love. My dad packed and got ready to go - including a quick stop at the neighbors for a box of grapefruit to take home. (We pay in citrus for anyone that wants to come and work on our house!!)
Life with Fingerprints: DIY entertainment Center, Cabinet hinges, drawer slides, drawer fronts
Life with Fingerprints: DIY entertainment Center, Cabinet hinges, drawer slides, drawer fronts
He gave me a quick crash course on how to install the drawer slides and before long we were walking out the door to the airport.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY entertainment Center, Cabinet hinges, drawer slides, drawer fronts
It was a sad goodbye - I hate hate goodbyes. Especially when my entire being was full of gratitude towards a wonderful man who selflessly helped me for an entire week. And we worked long and hard! I just wished that he lived closer so he could enjoy the finished product with me!

And then he was gone. I came home to a house and garage that were completely destroyed and neglected.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY entertainment Center, Cabinet hinges, drawer slides, drawer fronts
Life with Fingerprints: DIY entertainment Center, Cabinet hinges, drawer slides, drawer fronts
Every fiber in my being wanted to push forward and keep working on the unit - but the universe was telling me to take a break and take control of my life again. Clean my house. Play with my kids. Finish work projects. And get to bed before 1 in the morning. So after seven long days, I took a break. Perhaps too long of a break considering it's still not done!

A couple days later, I got all the drawers installed and a few days after that I installed the drawer fronts.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY entertainment Center, Cabinet hinges, drawer slides, drawer fronts

I kept putting off the cabinet doors because I had never installed a hidden hinge and I was not ready to drill large holes in my beautiful doors in case I messed up. But I had moved the doors around the house enough times it was long overdue to install them. Luckily, it was much easier than I made it out to be in my head. (made easier with a hinge jig from the woodworking store)
Life with Fingerprints: DIY entertainment Center, Cabinet hinges, drawer slides, drawer fronts
Life with Fingerprints: DIY entertainment Center, Cabinet hinges, drawer slides, drawer fronts
Life with Fingerprints: DIY entertainment Center, Cabinet hinges, drawer slides, drawer fronts
Our old unit sat in the entry way area for an embarrassing amount of time and I really have no excuse as to why - something sits in a place long enough and you just get used to it being there!
Life with Fingerprints: DIY entertainment Center, Cabinet hinges, drawer slides, drawer fronts
I took a two week break before giving it some more love and attaching the trim work on top and the baseboard moldings.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY entertainment Center, Cabinet hinges, drawer slides, drawer fronts
And it's been sitting staring at me ever since. I am so close. I need my dad to come back to kick me into gear again.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY entertainment Center, Cabinet hinges, drawer slides, drawer fronts
Life with Fingerprints: DIY entertainment Center, Cabinet hinges, drawer slides, drawer fronts
Dear Dad-
Please come back and help me finish up. For some reason having you here was a great accountability check and I haven't given it a whole lot of attention since then. I'm actually really close to completion (little details like filling nail holes), but there is one ginormous hurdle standing in my way - the bi-fold retractable doors. I've looked at the instructions at least 10 times, played with the hardware and then it goes back in the drawer because I'm not ready to deal with it. I'm scared I'm going to screw up the doors in the 11th hour. I've lived with the entertainment center long enough the way it is, I've almost convinced myself the additional doors aren't really necessary! Yet the doors are still leaning up against the back of the couch just the way they were when you left. It's silly really. Duff (the neighbor) says he wants to see it when it's 100% complete - I warned him it often takes me some time to get to 100%, he said he's patient. So are you ready to come back? I'm sure I can come up with some more projects to make it worth your time! Besides, I just like working beside you. I learn a lot and I like that its something we can do together. That's worth more to me than any completed project ever will be. But it will still be nice to have this done. I can do it, right? At this point it's just a mental game anyway and to be perfectly honest it's time for it to be crossed off my to-do list. Thanks for helping out. Love you-

DIY Entertainment Center - Day 1
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 2
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 3
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 4
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 5
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 6

Not only am I now trying to finish it, but I'm not sure how to decorate it! I'll build you a bed, but don't ask me what to hang on the walls! I need to recruit the help of someone...any takers??

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Building with dad...day six...

Day five left me a bit discouraged with our progress on the entertainment center. It was clear that we were not going to finish this thing with my dad in town so I reevaluated and reprioritized the next most important steps. What could I do without him and what was necessary to have his help. Doing this gave me a large dose of reality and no longer was finishing it the goal. The new goal was getting it to a point that we could bring it into the house and put it against the wall.

Here's how day 6 went down:
My dad started the morning taking Hallie to school and enjoying "Donuts with Dudes" sponsored by the school. Hallie knew her dad wouldn't be able to go but she was just as excited at the thought of her grandpa taking her. Of course after donuts, she had to show him her classroom, the playground and show him off to all her little friends. Evidently, Grandpas are a novelty. She had one friend that wanted to touch his graying hair because it looked fuzzy. He obliged. Grandpas are the best. Once he got home we went to work.

We started by cutting the backs out of 1/4" MDF for the three units. One was cut the wrong length which left it too short to use. Measure twice, cut once. MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE. Eventually, I think this actually might sink into my little brain, especially after all the seemingly innocent errors which made more work for us. Back to the lumber store.

Once the backs were cut, we started to putty and sand all the doors and drawer fronts and lined them all up to receive their first coat of paint. Life with Fingerprints: Building with Dad...Day 6; DIY Entertainment center My handy dandy sprayer was a huge timesaver, but I was still dealing with the drying and curing times. There is nothing like watching paint dry. It was painful.

I was still determined to meet my new goal - get the entertainment center into the house. Just before dinner we cleared the wall of the previous furniture. Life with Fingerprints: Building with Dad...Day 6; DIY Entertainment center Just after dinner we had a short window with Steve's help before he ran off to a meeting and we brought each of the three units into the house. We didn't put them in place, but they were in the house, and I wanted to scream with delight from the rooftop. Life with Fingerprints: Building with Dad...Day 6; DIY Entertainment center Life with Fingerprints: Building with Dad...Day 6; DIY Entertainment center  photo 20140226-DSC_0964.jpg We made a last minute decision to add a cable box behind the unit (we don't currently have cable but didn't want to limit ourselves in the future) which took some figuring out. At 10:30 the box was finally installed without a cable and Steve said goodnight and left my dad and I with a disaster of a room.

The backs hadn't been installed yet as they were still drying outside, but once they were not tacky - we had them glued and nailed into place. Life with Fingerprints: Building with Dad...Day 6; DIY Entertainment center The minutes seemed to pass by too quickly and every time I looked at the clock it seemed later than I thought. I had to cut a 4"x1" slot using the jigsaw where the tv sat and through the shelf below it for the wires to pass through to the electrical outlet and it just about killed me. We had spent so much time on it and now I was cutting a hole in it?! I just prayed I wouldn't screw anything up and prayers were answered.

We shuffled units around and started to get them in their place. It was past midnight and we were both exhausted but there was no way we were stopping (okay...maybe my dad would've stopped but I was determined.) The large unit, probably 500+ pounds, was a little difficult to maneuver and I'm not sure I pulled a whole lot of weight. But we shimmied and slid and pushed until it sat where it needed to be and we counted our lucky stars when the holes in the back of the unit matched up with the electrical box on the wall.

There were tools and nails and hammers strewn across the living room and I made quick work to gather everything that would be potentially dangerous to my kids the next morning. I wanted Steve to walk out the next morning seeing it for the first time in its place with a clean room surrounding it and just after 1 o'clock it looked like this. Life with Fingerprints: Building with Dad...Day 6; DIY Entertainment center I just about cried tears of joy as I shut off the light and walked to my room. We didn't reach my original goal, but we met the modified goal and I couldn't have been more grateful.

DIY Entertainment Center - Day 1
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 2
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 3
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 4
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 5
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 6

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Building with dad...Day five...

After working hard for four days straight, it was nice for Sunday to roll around so we could take a much needed rest! I got dressed (for reals, not yoga pants) for the first time in four days and didn't even have sawdust in my hair. Although as I sat in church I noticed just how much paint still sat on my cuticles and underneath my nails! The story of my life.

I really didn't think about or look at the project all day Sunday. As I was heading to bed just before midnight I had a quick pow wow with my dad to talk about the day ahead of us. We had just two full days left for building so we had to maximize our time. The quick pow wow turned into a 45 minute discussion on the construction of all the doors. We didn't have enough wood and my dad agreed to venture out first thing the next morning to buy more.

I went to bed a little nervous. There was no physical way we would be able to get this thing done in two days. No way. My head was swirling with thoughts as I tried to fall asleep.

Here's how day 5 went down.

Apparently my dad had thoughts swirling as well because he didn't sleep well and was up earlier than planned and off to the Depot.

He returned with all the best wood they had (which wasn't much) and I quickly rushed off to Cannon's doctor appt. My dad took on the task of cutting all the stiles and rails (for all fourteen doors/drawer fronts) to size while I was gone. He also used the router table to rout a groove the exact depth of our panel (we used 1/4" MDF for the door panels, which really measured as 7/32, so we bought a 7/32 router bit) on every piece. Life with Fingerprints: Building with dad, Day 5; Mortise and tenon doors and drawer fronts We went back and forth on the construction of the doors. Mortise and Tenon. Dowels. Pocket Screws. BeadLock. Each method had its advantages and disadvantages. I'm most comfortable with pocket screws but that would've required a lot of putty and sanding to fill them. The beadlock method would've required me going to buy another jig. So we tossed a coin and mortise and tenon won. Never before had either of us constructed a door this way so there was definitely some trial and error trying to figure it out exactly.

We used the table saw to create the tenon, making small passes with the table saw. (Found this great video tutorial here that we followed) Life with Fingerprints: Building with dad, Day 5; Mortise and tenon doors and drawer fronts Once we got one side cut, we'd flip the wood over and start cutting the other side. Because the blad was only partially raised, the portion not cut from both sides became our tenon. Life with Fingerprints: Building with dad, Day 5; Mortise and tenon doors and drawer fronts We set the fence at 3/4 inch so we would be left with a 3/4 tenon to fit in the 3/4 deep mortise. Life with Fingerprints: Building with dad, Day 5; Mortise and tenon doors and drawer fronts

By early afternoon I was feeling pretty happy with the progress and then it started to go downhill quickly. We made a few small errors in cutting wood which led us to need even more wood. We had already scoured two Depots and picked through all their wood. So I sent my dad to yet another depot in search of decent wood to complete the doors.

It took a while but he finally came bearing gifts of wood. We got them cut to size and created the mortise and tenon.

Preparing to put the doors together we realized some of the wood had been cut to the wrong size. Cue the silent swear words from my dad as he knew we were already short on wood.

Later in the evening we found some other wood not the correct size. I think there was a pencil thrown. Possibly a door slammed. Not good at all. We were both tired and frustrated and clearly in this state of mind, errors became more abundant.

We should've stopped for the day. But we didn't so you can imagine the errors didn't stop there. No. I was cutting the panels for the doors and even consulted my drawing as to how it should all be cut and still I cut them (not utilizing the board as I had planned) which left me short of wood for the backing of the unit. Again. There was a lot of anger in the garage that night! I think the stress of knowing our time was short was sitting heavy on us, hence all the errors.

We had to get the doors built so they could be painted the next day.

With all the frustrating mishaps of the day, surprisingly we managed to construct all the doors and drawer fronts. Of course, not without wanting to throw half of them against the wall as we worked and reworked to make them square. They day was pretty awful. We were both done and had we not been so far into the project I would've taken this as a sign that we were not capable of completing said project. But we were too far to turn back. So we shut off the light just after midnight both in awe of just how hard the day ended up being for us. One day left with my dad's helping hands...

DIY Entertainment Center - Day 1
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 2
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 3
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 4
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 5
DIY Entertainment Center - Day 6
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