December 6, 2009

A Cat Tree, & A Christmas Tree.

I have a good project for you, but it’s one I did a while back and didn’t take photos during the process, so I will do some explaining, and hopefully it will be easy to understand.
While I’m here, I will say “Merry Christmas to you!” and include a picture of my Tree.
Once the lights were on, (ugh) I actually had fun decorating it.
I should really show you the adorable ones that use the Cat Tree I'm going to explain to you.
This is Phish (He's in love with me)

And this is Chip (He's in love with Phish)
I joke that we should get a solid white cat and name her Vinny. If I do get a third cat… ask me “What were you thinking?”

And this is the Cat Tree I made for them.
I used 2x4’s, ¼” MDF, and ½” MDF.
I built two tray shapes from MDF. On the side that would be against the wall, I didn’t bother to add the edge. On the bottom one I cut out a half circle by which the cat’s would climb in. Then I used 2x2 in the corners to connect the top and bottom trays. I painted everything the same color as the wall so it would blend in, as opposed to calling extra attention.
The main body of the tree (the trunk) is built with 2x4’s. The shelves/steps are sandwiched between the 2x4’s. I screwed each shelf into the 2x4 it rested on before putting another 2x4 above it, and screwing that 2x4 to the 2x4 on the other half of the “trunk”. Ignore carpet right now.

This might make more sense… I started by using two boards different heights at the bottom, screwing them to each other. Then I screwed the first shelf/step into the top of the shorter board, and then put a 2x4 on top of it, screwing it to the other half of the trunk.
There are three 2x4’s the same length working their way up to the top, and then there is a short one to finish off the one side. (I realize this is hard to see in my photos, but it’s actually a very simple concept.)
Then I built a collar around the top of the trunk to give a larger base for the top of the tree to be screwed into it.
Another thing to mention… I made this fit the exact height from floor to ceiling so that it could not tip or tilt… so measurements are vital, accounting for every thickness of wood used.
I also attached the trunk to a flat board at the bottom for sturdiness.

Then I painted the whole thing, and covered the bottom section in carpet scraps so they could use it as a scratching post. (they don’t, but it was a great idea.)

Lastly, I cut a remnant of carpet into pieces that I could cover the steps with. I cut out the notches for the trunk, and wrapped the carpet around them, stapling it onto the bottom with a staple gun.
This is a rough example of how I cut the carpet. I did staple it in a few places on top, while I cut the edges how I wanted them on the bottom; fitting together neatly. (A mean pair of scissors is needed to cut carpet if you aren’t using a box cutter. Like those kind you cut through aluminum can’s with… Kitchen scissors that will go through chicken bones….. you know what I mean.)

I also cut some carpet to fit inside the top, so they have something nice to lay on. Before stapling this down, I screwed the top onto the trunk.

And that’s it. They love getting up above everyone, especially if kids come over.

Hope I remembered everything. It’s a super easy idea, you just have to be exact with your measurements.
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November 18, 2009

I got me an Etsy store.

I know everyone has them now a days, but I decided I need one.
I'm selling things that I don't tend to mention much here on my blog, like my jewelry and photography. Eventually a book I've written.

I don't have much on there yet, but it's something to look at.
Here are a few of my "Photo Paintings" I have listed on Etsy.
(these are photos that look like a photo from a distance, but like a painting up close)
If you are a regular to my blog you might remember one I put in my laundry room behind an antique window frame ;)


If you're a local and want to buy one, email me and we can work out you collecting it instead of having to pay shipping. ;)

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November 13, 2009

A Chair to Match!

I know its crazy late in the year for yard sales, but there are still some lingering, and I just bought these three chairs for $1 each. Not kidding.
"Bargain of the day!" I will often say to my husband with a find like this. "You don't need those chairs no more than...." husband wanders off complaining... (ya, he knows better ;)

I like their shape, and I’m sure if you are familiar with my blog you are seeing their potential too!!
I decided I would do something different to each of them, and give them homes in bedrooms. I currently have a wooden bench I made in my room for sitting when putting on shoes, but I don’t feel it matches or fits where it is… So The first chair (today’s post) will match the piece of furniture I did in my post Love It, Love It, Love It on August 28th, and it will live in my room.
Because I’m making the chair match that funny piece of furniture (it really needs a name), I don’t need to get all specific in the how to, since I did the same for this chair.

I removed the cushion by unscrewing the four screws that held it in place. I took the chair outside and sanded it down.
I also sanded the metal pieces on the front legs since they looked old and haggard too.
Then I washed the whole thing off with a damp rag.
I taped up the metal pieces on the feet and painted it.
Then I recovered the cushion, adding a piece of 1.5” foam to the top of it. I used the scrap of fabric left over from my headboard project posted on June 5th.
When the paint was dry I used walnut stain over the top of the paint, and wiped off all the excess. To a fairly smooth finish. (working in small areas, not allowing the stain to dry)
Once it was all dry, I screwed the cushion back on.
I’m quite pleased with this easy little beauty.
And no, I won’t leave it sitting here in the middle of nowhere. :)
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October 19, 2009

May as well be new clothes!

I've been neglecting my closet for ages because I've wanted to create an organized system of something more than one shelf and one long hanger. Once I decide I'm not happy with something, I kinda treat it badly by ignoring it, and not keeping it in a organized or clean fashion.... sound familiar? Well typical for me! (My kitchen floor is also in this category --Moving along.)
Also... Aren't closet "systems" totally expensive??? Ya... Start looking at all the shelving and you soon feel like you can't afford to have your clothes all organized.
I was talking to the sweet Jennifer Gallacher about closets and "systems" a while back, and she told me that she has the racking type of organizers that yes looks all perfect and customizable, but she doesn't like how nothing is sitting on a flat surface, and clothes have "grill marks". (That's not how she put it :)
Those systems are in every DIY store... so I had thought that would be the route I'd take, until she told me she didn't like them!!

This first photo is taken as I partially emptied it for my big ol' Make-Over. I think it's easier to see the closet w/o all the mess. So here's the mess.
And don't think this isn't tidy mess... I'm not gunna share a true pic of how bad it was!
This is what had to go... partially painted white walls, a shelf that wrapped around the closet in a U shape, and one long sagging rail. I fully expected the rail to give way before I ever got to this point, so I consider myself pretty lucky.
I decided that I wanted to build a system of movable shelves, a long time ago, so I've been collecting supplies as I found them. It was at the beginning of the summer I found a box of 24 shelf supports at a yard sale. They were old, I could see by the stickers on them, but they seemed unused. When the lady told me the box was 50 cents... I said something along the lines of "sold". Not questioning her craziness.
Then at another yard sale... A REALLY good one with all hardware supplies like a hardware store in a driveway... I found 6 foot uprights for my shelf supports... and the guy wanted like a dollar and a quarter each!!! Also new!!! I bought six, not knowing anything more than I had 6 studs in that wall, and I would be on my way to my a tidy closet.
So... here we are, stuck into the project before I remembered to take a photo. I got out the post-it's and painters tape after painting the walls and ceiling white. With my stud finder I marked all of the studs, and planned where my upright supports were going to go. Then I screwed them into the wall using a spirit level.
These plastic beauties are what I found at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. They don't really give you a breakdown of prices when you go there, so I don't know what exactly I paid, but it was pennies, not dollars.... I got a bunch of them so I would have enough to play with.
This photo shows the original length, and the length I had to cut them to to fit perfectly. I just used a hand saw.
Then I stuck in some shelf supports, and started cutting shelves to length! The plastic rail supports I screwed into the bottom of the shelves, and then used L brackets to hold the shelves in place. Which needs more explanation actually..... You can't put a rail and clothes under a shelf at the shelves edge without the back of the shelf tipping from the weight. So, with an L bracket, I put one edge on top of the back of the shelf, and the other edge against the wall, and screwed it in to the wall -at a stud. This stops the back of the shelf from going anywhere when clothes get hung near the front edge. Clear as mud?
Oh ya, must mention the rails...... LOL Yes, from yet another yard sale!!
And yes... I attract these things to me by planning my projects in my head and on paper before I ever start. Knowing what I need, and "putting it out there" means I come across bargains like this one!!! Yes 75 cents for a rail that is NOT bent. I totally could have used the one I took down, but if I don't have to use bent, I won't. And it was the same length as the one I had... so just what I needed!
I cut it to length with a pipe cutter. These baby's are super cheap, they just take some work on the part of your hands. I'd love one that was ergonomic.

Shelves going up... nearing completion...... You can't believe my excitement!
Oh... shelf cost... I didn't buy all my shelves at once... see planning... you don't want to over buy either. (These were by far the most expensive part of the project.) An 8 foot length of white malamine board, which is basically laminated chipboard costs $12 each. A 4 foot length is $7 each. Plan well, and use less board. Look at my one long board... It's a rail holder and a shelf on the right... Eh? Wink wink!
And this is why I say it's like having new clothes. They're all where I want them... Not getting neglected now.
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September 29, 2009

Where do you put your bed pillows?

The decorative ones you don't sleep on? For years mine have lived on the floor! And because I only make my bed when someone is coming over, the pillows have lived on the floor for the majority of their lives.
So I had an idea... I need a Pillow Cupboard!
Once I decided this, I found a part of a TV console in the clearance furniture at IM HOME in Provo. It was in clearance because it was only the top part, and discontinued... plus it had a scratch on the top. Then I found these green doors at a cabinet maker's workshop... (amazing guy, long story)

The doors were slightly too tall for the cupboard, but perfect in width, so I attached feet to the cupboard, and connected the doors to the cupboard with hinges. Then I drilled holes and attached knobs I got at home depot for $1.29 each... (I'm such a cheapskate I know.)

Then I attached a catch for each door too!
Then I went looking for a design for my doors... I'm good at ideas, but not good at designs... and I found something I liked online and this is it....

I then opened it in photoshop and converted it to B&W. Then printed it.

Then I inverted it, realizing it would be easier to work with and printed it again.
Then I drew lines through the image after deciding the scale I wanted it to be on the door. This is a hard process to explain, but an easy one to conceptualize.... So I'm sure you get it.

Then I drew the corresponding lines on the doors, and drew on my design... Trying to decide how much and where as you can see... lots of eraser marks. :D

Then I took it out in the garage and cut out the shapes with my drill and jigsaw. Drilling multiple holes makes lining up the blade of the jigsaw much easier.

Also, if you have some narrow places, support those narrow places when you are cutting near them... after you have cut them... they are thin enough you want to baby them a bit.
Then I took the doors outside and spray painted them with 4 colors... each in tern. I wanted a mottled uneven look.
Then I got out my trusty Walnut Stain, (that I use on like everything -huh?) and I stained the inside cut out edges on the whole design. Then I stained over the paint and made it even more mottled.
Then I bought some adorable upholstery fabric... on sale so I paid just over $5 for what I needed, and I cut it out to cover my shapes, and I hot glued it to the door, making sure I glued in between all the cut out pieces, not just around the edges. I would like to find something thin and large like a big sheet of chipboard so I can paint it and cover this fabric... protecting it really. But I need to find that.

Then I reattached my doors! I'm super happy with it, and think it's a cute design.

No more pillows on the floor in my room!
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