I have a fun project to share with you today!
I’ve been on the hunt for a neat centerpiece (to either DIY or buy) for the big outdoor table that Kevin built on our new deck and am so happy with how this oversized planter’s box project has turned out. My favorite might be the pops of color in the form of five added geometric hexagons.
Succulents and I get along really well, and they look so pretty all together in one large container! I’ve been wanting to play with them more in our garden in unique ways, maybe even designing a succulent wall along the back bbq area.
The hexagon pattern wraps over the top edges of the box and along one corner as well, I love the symmetrical pattern and how the painted shapes work together but provide their own little bursts of bright, unexpected color.
I was actually inspired to finally getting around to finishing this project by Katie and Sherry’s Spring Pinterest Challenge:
It provided the inspiration needed to pull my materials together and take a couple of hours to build, stain, paint and plant my new succulent centerpiece. The goal of the challenge is to take a pinned idea and make it happen – here’s my pinned inspiration:
Let’s get into the nitty gritty…
The process for building my initial planter was pretty simple. To keep material costs on the low end, I purchased a single piece of 24×28″ plywood from Lowe’s and asked the technician to cut the board horizontally into three strips that were 24×6.5″ in size and the remaining 24×6.5″ piece into two 6.5″ square sides. That used up just about every inch of the wood perfectly (I had just one large rectangle left over).
Cutting plywood often causes freying at the edges so if I had needed a more exact cut I might have opted for real (rather than compressed) wood instead. But this worked out perfectly as the cuts were kept to a minimal and the plywood cost just $6! And all of the cuts were made at Lowe’s so I didn’t have to bring the board home, pull out the table saw and add that extra step to the process.
Thanks, Lowe’s man.
To nail the box together I used small tack nails that I had on hand.
As well as my trusty floral hammer! No need to dig through the garage and pull out a massive hammer from the tool chest, I really love having my smaller-than-average tools in my office and waiting for everyday use.
I placed a nail every 3″ or so along all edges of the box that met with another edge. 32 nails and one finger later, and the planter box was assembled.
To hide the silver tops of the nails, I used a stainable wood filer that we had on hand (but I would say that this step is optional).
And to remove any pesky store barcode stickers (why do they make them actual stickers??), a little Goo Gone.
We have a decently sized stain collection from various projects in our garage so I chose from two of the lighter finishes. I ended up using both the “ash” and “oak” (oak first followed by a quick layering of ash) to give the box a slightly birchy, slightly weathered look.
With the glare of the light it’s hard to see the finished stain coat here, but the coloring came out just as I had hoped.
I stained the first few inches of the inside of the box as well, the rest will be filled with soil and will be pretty much unnoticeable.
To make my hexagon painted shapes, I printed out a basic hexagon outline (using the Illustrator shapes feature) on to cardstock. Feel free to download my copy here. Laying out the cut out shapes in various formations helped me to come up with a final pattern.
Using that pattern as my template, I taped out the various paintable hexagons one at a time.
And slowly filled in the taped off areas with various colors. You can see that I left a sliver of wood showing between each shape, I love that little detail.
Press down solidly on those edges to prevent any under tape bleeding! And as soon as you’ve applied the paint to the wood, pull up that tape right away for a flaw free line.
Next up was planting. I found it was cheaper to purchase most of my succulents in one large prearranged plastic round planter from Lowe’s (that I broke apart and replanted), then supplemented with littler containers and cactus from our garden.
A new, pretty centerpiece that is just the right size for our 12 person table. This will look great in the summer for outdoor picnics and parties – I’m picturing a pretty table set in whites and navy blues, or even pinks and mint greens to compliment the colors of the planter box.
The hexagon shapes are definitely my favorite part.
Here’s a link to my previous Pinterest Challenge projects (including the fireplace facade that has an exciting announcement to make soon, an ombre step stool for Liv, faux gold mercury glass, a chevron cloth napkin project, a painter’s tape stenciled hallway and so many more fun ideas…).
Tags: Accessories, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Gold, Home, Paint, Patterns & Color, Pink, Pinterest Challenge, Teal, Turquoise, Tutorial, white, Yellow
Posted in Construction, Crafty Solutions, DIY, Downloadables, Favorites, Gardening, Handmade Gifts, Home, Our Yard, Renovating Adventures | 6 Comments »
Just finished a new project for our kitchen and I love how it turned out!
Let’s start this post off with some yummy inspiration.
I have loved the look of vintage botanical charts for some time! They are oversized, full of contrasting color (love the black backgrounds) and the illustrations are so detailed and just stunning.
But I ran into two dilemmas before finding one for the house. The first was tracking down the right print for the right price. I was hoping to find a fabric version rather than a print that I would frame behind glass (see those beautiful dowels above? my favorite way to hang a piece of art like this) and many fabric versions are originals from quite some time ago and because of that they all seem to be pretty pricey (like in the hundreds of dollars a pop range).
The second was finding the right spot! I wanted to find a creative way to hang a new print but these guys are usually pretty big and they need a special home that’s just perfect for the look of the print.
Then very recently, I found the perfect source (and added a little DIY love) and the perfect spot in our home! Our new fabric botanical chart now hangs in the hallway between our dining room and kitchen, and it fits in perfectly.
After a few months of occasionally googling and searching, I stumbled upon KSarahDesigns and her beautiful botanical print reproductions on Etsy. The store offered a gorgeous selection of paper prints, but I reached out to Kristen anyhow to ask about possibly using her artwork to print the illustrations on fabric. I was so happy and surprised when she offered to take on the project herself! Spoonflower is an awesome source for printing your own fabric and a few short weeks later I received my folded, heavy duty cotton twill fabric in the mail.
Printing black onto fabric is near impossible (we learned the hard way) but even the dark charcoal grey looks great as a chart.
Next step was to transform the fabric into a hanging piece of art. I snipped the white edges (no need for a perfect cut since my edges would either be hemmed or hiding behind a dowel) and then carefully added a very small hem to the long, horizontal sides of the chart. My first thought was to use an iron on hem tape to secure the hem, but after pre ironing my hem flat on each side I noticed that the tape wasn’t necessary – the edges stayed perfectly.
I picked up two 1/2″ dowels from Lowe’s and we cut them to size. Then I stained them a warm, chestnut brown (they were originally pine) and I stapled my chart directly to the dowels to give the top and bottom of the print a clean look.
It’s hard to see the string in the photos (and I may switch that out in the future) but for now the chart simply hangs from a nail. Finished!
And a glance from our dining room! Love the black accents and how the lampshade, b&w photos and print compliment each other. The chart leads you into the next space.
Love my new art and that the price for the finished, semi-DIY piece (which came in at under $50) is a totally affordable alternative to the originals out there.
Tags: Accessories, Art, Black, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Fabric, Home, Kitchen, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Favorites, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 6 Comments »
Six ish months ago we had to turn the gas off in our fireplace… which was such a downer as there’s nothing more amazing than flipping that little gas switch and watching a beautiful, blazing fire set the mood for your living room. Perfect for chilly nights that call for family games on the living room rug or for a late night Netflix. But alas, this is an older home with old fireplace issues and we had to switch her off.
Hopefully one day she’ll blaze again.
Until that day it’s time to turn the eye-sore innards of this old fireplace (black bricks, metal curtain and goldish top plate and all) into a prettier focal point for the room. Enter Pinterest Challenge, Winter 2013.
I love these little challenges because they provide the motivation to cross a big project off of the massive to-do list, and usually I can justify choosing a project that I more love and want to complete, and less of one I must do because it’s next on the priority list. Here are a few past projects that we’ve tackled around here, including painter’s tape wallpaper, gold chevron napkins and an ombre stool for Liv (one of my favorites) among others.
With a little motivation, a week to track down materials and a great inspiration picture, I had an idea of where to start.
Oooo I love the above image! What a great way to utilize the empty space in a fireplace while still keeping a room cozy and comfortable (fireplaces and stacked wood have a way of doing that…).
Our finished project… drumroll…
I would be very happy if you thought we went and stacked a bunch of logs in our fireplace and called it a project! But I promise it was much more than that. The goal here was to build a faux log stack facade that we could remove when we were ready to use the actual fireplace, and replace the next day once the fireplace was cool again.
The hope was that the screen would give the depth and perception of a a bunch of stacked wood, but really it would be just a few inches thick and somewhat easy to pop in and out.
What do you think? Are we fooling anyone?
Now on to building the screen!
Fireplace Faux Wood Stack Facade
Materials: ~50 variously sized log slices, plywood cut to the shape of your fireplace opening, black matte paint, wood glue (or nail gun)
I ran into the first big road block while tracking down the actual logs. You’d think that this would be fairly easy… but turns out smaller logs (unchopped) in lighter wood colors (such as birch rather than oak or redwood) are not always readily available in these desert parts of San Diego. Who would have guessed.
I really lucked out when a friend of ours suggested eucalyptus and then found a huge pile of firewood for the taking! And he generously handed over variously sized logs for me to include in the project (thanks, Dave). Other resources that might be useful? Craigslist and Etsy (turns out you can even purchase sliced logs for the right price).
Kevin chopped up my logs into 3″ slices and I began assembling my faux stacked wood.
The backing for our fireplace screen is a piece of plywood measured, cut to size and painted black.
I considered spray painting it but we had only a satin finish in the paint closet, so I used up a bit of leftover chalkboard paint that we had on hand (from this and this project) to achieve a more matte finish (the above is still wet, but once this paint dried it was more than perfect).
Our nail gun is out on loan at the moment or I would have simply lined up my log slices, laid the backing over the top and fired away to secure the slices to the backing and to keep the logs from moving, but instead I lathered each slice individually with a thin coat of wood glue and allowed the entire project to dry overnight (that stuff is tough). When we get the nail gun back I’ll add extra reinforcements to ensure that none of these logs come sliding down, especially with toddlers at play.
I opted for a 3″ depth on the log slices (rather than 1/2″ or something easier to manage/less heavy) so that they would add more depth to the fireplace and (hopefully) make the black backing a bit more invisible. In person it’s obvious that this is a faux fix to our little fireplace conundrum, but it’s a neat faux finish at that!
Should I paint out that gold top plate a darker, oil rubbed bronze color?
That might be step two to this project, looks kind of nice!
Tags: Accessories, Before & After, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Home, Living Room, Pinterest Challenge, Tutorial, Winter
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Favorites, Home, Our Living Room, Renovating Adventures | 21 Comments »