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

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Building partner...

I always have these grand building ideas - then I convince my dad to help me implement my ideas (Barn door, dining table and entertainment center). I shoot for one big project a year and this year was nothing short of big: a shed/playhouse. We just spent the last 10 days (9 working days) pulling out every tool I seem to own to build this thing. As most of our projects go, we started out on time and ahead of schedule. By the time we got to the end it was crunch time (it's how we/roll). The finishing details seem to take forever! I'm always so optimistic that we can finish up with plenty of time to spare. And yet, I sent him on his way today just minutes after finishing...semi-finishing. There's still a few details I've got to collect some materials to finish, but we're getting closer.

I dropped him off at the airport and came home to a patio that looked like this:
Life with Fingerprings: Shed Building photo ShedBuilding-5916.jpg
Life with Fingerprings: Shed Building photo ShedBuilding-5915.jpg

It might be hard to see in the picture but there is a miter saw, compressor, nail gun, circular saw, reciprocating saw, drill, angle grinder, level, socket set, palm nailer and what seems to be every nail and screw that Home Depot sells. There was a lot of stuff on that patio and tonight we cleaned it all off. Tools went back to their respective homes. Nails were put back in their boxes. Blades were put away. It looks just the way it did 10 short days ago.

I like finishing projects, but I hate losing my building partner. I wish he lived closer. He's probably glad he lives far away. He knows very well if he lived closer my annual building projects with him would turn into a monthly gig!

My kids are sad they lost their "Old Maid" partner. I'm not sure how many times he ended up playing that game with them! We're missing him already.

Life with Fingerprings: Shed Building photo ShedBuilding-5843.jpg

Monday, February 23, 2015

Shed building...

I've been in shed building mode with my dad for a week now. It's all consuming as my house clearly is evidence of. Our patio looks like Home Depot threw up all over it with tools and wood here and there and everywhere. The last two days have been anything but productive. Why is it that it takes a day or two to build and then 5 hours to build a door?!? How is that even possible? And then the minute I get tired, mistakes start to happen and suddenly two hours turns into much more.

Fortunately the first half of last week was much more productive. It's framed. It has a roof. It has siding. And in case you were wondering it's not easy to put on siding next to a block wall. 11 inches. That's the space I was working in. I never thought I was claustrophobic but it turns out I kind of am!

Life with Fingerprints: Shed building

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Shed preparation...

It's been a year since my dad was here helping me build the entertainment center. There's been a million and one projects since then that I've envisioned and most of them were large enough tasks that I wanted to fly my dad down to help. He doesn't do extreme heat so that leaves the fall and spring. Fall is hunting season. Sooo...spring is finally here and my dad shows up on Sunday to help me build a shed/playhouse. Our current shed has seen better days and we'd like an area for the kids to have a playhouse so I'm combining the two into one area. I've drawn and redrawn plans in illustrator. I've debated every material. I've met with contractors to make sure I don't screw this up. I think I'm ready.

We've been getting the area ready before my dad arrives by having concrete poured for the foundation.

A year ago we had these enormous overgrown bushes.
Life with Fingerprints: Shed preparation
Which we ripped out.
Life with Fingerprints: Shed preparation
And for over a year it's looked like this. It's become a weed magnet and we've spent too much time spraying and pulling weeds in this area. It was the perfect spot to build.
Life with Fingerprints: Shed preparation
We also have this random area on the side of our house that was ridiculously filled with weeds. It wasn't visible to many and it's embarrassing to admit that this is mild compared to the three foot weeds that have been known to grow here!
Life with Fingerprints: Shed preparation
We had a great company come in and pour our foundation. Because we were already paying to have them at our house, it was cost efficient to have them pour a couple areas - an area on our driveway as well as weed alley.
Life with Fingerprints: Shed preparation
Life with Fingerprints: Shed preparation
We had two very curious boys and it took everything in me to keep them out of the patch right outside this door. I thought for sure I would find Cannon's footprints all over it!
Life with Fingerprints: Shed preparation
And now we're ready. Ready to see if I ordered enough product. Ready to see if we can finish it before my dad has to go home. Ready to see if we really know how to build. I've got a couple contractors on speed dial to answer my questions!
Life with Fingerprints: Shed preparation
Life with Fingerprints: Shed preparation
Wish us luck!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

DIY Walnut Chalkboard...

I've worked with pine, poplar and maple and each served its purpose for a specific project but I have a new love; walnut. It has the most beautiful grain and color and I wish I could afford to build every project using it.

You can't buy walnut at home depot which meant I found myself at a local hardwood store where the man working was anything but helpful. Evidently a woman with a small child in tow isn't his typical customer. He was so helpful (sarcasm), at one point he asked another customer (who obviously buys a lot of wood there) to help me while he stood at the desk. Awesome. I think I had steam coming out of my ears. No, I wasn't on an errand from my husband. Yes, I have purchased hardwood before and I know how it works. I was so mad I didn't purchase wood that day and I was bound and determined to find another place to give my business to. Wouldn't you know it, it's the only one in the area close. Two days later, I swallowed my pride, took my baby back to the store and made my purchase without making eye contact. That'll show him!

I had him square one side (which he ended up squaring the wrong side - go figure), so I could run it through the table saw for my finished size.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Walnut chalkboard using Kreg Jig, Graco TruCoat, Rustoleum Chalkboard paint
I also used the table saw to rout out the back side so the chalkboard would fit in it. This was yet another reminder that I need to buy a router because it took forever, especially since I wasn't cutting through the entire piece. Painful process.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Walnut chalkboard using Kreg Jig, Graco TruCoat, Rustoleum Chalkboard paint
As usual, my Kreg jig made it's appearance and I joined the corners with glue and some screws.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Walnut chalkboard using Kreg Jig, Graco TruCoat, Rustoleum Chalkboard paint
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Walnut chalkboard using Kreg Jig, Graco TruCoat, Rustoleum Chalkboard paint
I've found I'm always happier with my joints if I pipe clamp them while inserting the screws. Much tighter fit.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Walnut chalkboard using Kreg Jig, Graco TruCoat, Rustoleum Chalkboard paint
My favorite part about working with walnut - because the wood is so beautiful in its raw form - there's no need for stain. I did four coats of wipe-on poly to seal it and that's it.

I wanted a smooth chalkboard surface. I used birch plywood and I sprayed Rustoleum Chalkboard paint with my Graco TruCoat. This is one of those times that I almost convinced myself to paint it by hand because I didn't want to worry about clean-up on such a small project but that sprayer is so much nicer and even with cleanup it's way faster. The only disadvantage: You use a lot more paint.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Walnut chalkboard using Kreg Jig, Graco TruCoat, Rustoleum Chalkboard paint
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Walnut chalkboard using Kreg Jig, Graco TruCoat, Rustoleum Chalkboard paint
Following the instructions on the chalkboard paint, after you've painted the surface you need to rub chalk over the whole chalkboard. It makes it so when you write on it the first time, you're able to erase it.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Walnut chalkboard using Kreg Jig, Graco TruCoat, Rustoleum Chalkboard paint
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Walnut chalkboard using Kreg Jig, Graco TruCoat, Rustoleum Chalkboard paint
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Walnut chalkboard using Kreg Jig, Graco TruCoat, Rustoleum Chalkboard paint
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Walnut chalkboard using Kreg Jig, Graco TruCoat, Rustoleum Chalkboard paint

And now it sits in our kitchen lovely and full of little fingerprints!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

DIY Construction Paper Organizer...

I'm a sucker for just about anything at Costco. 5lb bag of chips. Of course. 30 pairs of socks...you can never have too many. And who can't use a sharpie in every color of the rainbow? Like I said, I'm a sucker. At the beginning of the school year I was perusing the isles when I came across the largest pack of construction paper I had ever seen. My kids love crafts and we go through card stock like there's no tomorrow so this was right up our alley.

Immediately after my purchase I had buyers remorse. We didn't really need that much paper and I came to the realization that it was going to be scattered through the house. It sat on my laundry room counter for months while I went back and forth. Ultimately, Hunter had a school project that required several sheets of paper and we busted the package open and he chose his colors. I was trying to keep it neat and tidy, so it stayed on the counter. Then Hallie needed some paper and pulled out a few and before long the nice tidy stack found its way to the game/crafts closet. It didn't take long for my nice stack to turn on it's side and start to create chaos. See it there:
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Construction Paper Organizer
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Construction Paper Organizer
And no matter how many times I straightened it I couldn't get it to stay clean. In my annual beginning of the year purging and cleaning of the house I resolved to find a solution. I bought several bins and boxes and nothing worked like I needed it to. So I turned to the garage and my never ending piles of scrap wood and pulled out the table saw.

I cut two sides and a back piece of wood and cut 9 sets of grooves in each (using the table saw) and cut a top and bottom
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Construction Paper Organizer
I glued, clamped and nailed the sides to the back and attached the tops and bottoms as well.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Construction Paper Organizer
Once dry, I was able to slide in each shelf - which is adjustable, shelves can be removed for larger stacks of paper.
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Construction Paper Organizer
I returned the stack of beautifully organized paper back to the closet. Yes, it looks like it belongs in a 1st grade classroom. But what home couldn't benefit from a little paper organization? It makes me happy. It makes me even happier to know that my kids have pulled out papers every day and it still looks like this!
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Construction Paper Organizer
The best part is I didn't even paint or stain it. I like the natural wood and it wasn't worth pulling a paintbrush out!
Life with Fingerprints: DIY Construction Paper Organizer

Thursday, January 15, 2015

DIY Ceiling Tile Art...

My friend had a few leftover ceiling tiles from her new kitchen and I put them to good use. For almost a year, they hung, attached to a simple 2x4 frame.
Life With Fingerprints: DIY Ceiling Tile Art
You can see it in our Back-to-school dinner.
Life With Fingerprints: DIY Ceiling Tile Art
But the edges were rough and it looked unfinished and not quite what I needed for the space. So the ceiling tiles received a makeover.

I built a large frame using 1x4 and 1x3 boards. Using my Kreg jig I made a large rectangle with the 1x4s and then made it look more substantial and thicker by adding 1x3s.
Life With Fingerprints: DIY Ceiling Tile Art
Life With Fingerprints: DIY Ceiling Tile Art
Life With Fingerprints: DIY Ceiling Tile Art
Of course after making the frame, it sat in the office as I debated stain or paint. Once I settled on paint, it sat for another two weeks while I figured out a color. I ended up going to my paint stash and picking up the color I originally used for the barn door (I decided against it because I wanted the door to have a little punch!). The color wasn't great for the door, but it was perfect for the frame.
Life With Fingerprints: DIY Ceiling Tile Art
Life With Fingerprints: DIY Ceiling Tile Art
Life With Fingerprints: DIY Ceiling Tile Art
Life With Fingerprints: DIY Ceiling Tile Art

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Homemade Christmas 2014...part two...

I usually have my homemade gifts done far before my other shopping is complete, but this year I was a little off. I thought and planned for one larger homemade gift for the all the kids. But it wasn't working out so I had to come up with some individual gifts for them. Here's how the gifts went down this year:

I made Hallie a knit pencil skirt - the same pattern she made over the summer which has become her very favorite skirt.
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas gifts for everyone in the family; T-shirt quilt, blurb books, sewing and building

Hunter is in Kindergarten and is starting his fascination with writing stories and drawing pictures. This roll is large enough it will probably last for years!
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas gifts for everyone in the family; T-shirt quilt, blurb books, sewing and building
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas gifts for everyone in the family; T-shirt quilt, blurb books, sewing and building

Bennett loves to hear stories about when he was younger and loves to look through the blog and recognize himself. I printed off pictures - birth to present - of him. Some have his siblings a few have us or grandparents, but mostly it's him and he loves it.
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas gifts for everyone in the family; T-shirt quilt, blurb books, sewing and building
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas gifts for everyone in the family; T-shirt quilt, blurb books, sewing and building

Cannon has no idea Christmas even took place - but he still got a gift! He'll thank me later!
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas gifts for everyone in the family; T-shirt quilt, blurb books, sewing and building
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas gifts for everyone in the family; T-shirt quilt, blurb books, sewing and building

And because Blurb is my absolute favorite - Steve also received a book: 2010 Blog book. Yes I'm behind. At nearly 400 pages they take a while to layout. It's really more of a family gift as it's an account of us, but Steve gets to open them each year when I complete one. I realize at this pace I'll always be four years behind, I'm hoping to make up ground with an extra book this year!
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas gifts for everyone in the family; T-shirt quilt, blurb books, sewing and building
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas gifts for everyone in the family; T-shirt quilt, blurb books, sewing and building
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas gifts for everyone in the family; T-shirt quilt, blurb books, sewing and building

My favorite gift I made (next to the Nativity puzzle of course) was Steve's t-shirt quilt.
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas gifts for everyone in the family; T-shirt quilt, blurb books, sewing and building
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas gifts for everyone in the family; T-shirt quilt, blurb books, sewing and building
I've been saving these shirts for years for this exact purpose. I hid them in our house in Milwaukee. I hid them in this house. I hid them driving up to Idaho so I could work on it last summer. I'm happy for it to come out of hiding. Each shirt means something and it tells the story of him: Shirts from high school, mission, our dating years, family trips, college, jobs (at least his first job).
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas gifts for everyone in the family; T-shirt quilt, blurb books, sewing and building
He was surprised. Shirts he had long thrown away suddenly back in his hands as well as the memories. The whole reason I look forward to homemade gifts!
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