Tree Stump End Tables

Last time I was at my in-laws house they mentioned they had a ton of tree stumps in the yard and they needed to get rid of some of them. So I promptly ran out back, scooped up 4, and put them in my trunk.

I’m always so bummed when I see these on other blogs and they’re all like yeah I just grabbed some from my yard, so easy! woo hoo! And I’m sitting in my house in the middle of my urban neighborhood waiting for a hurricane to maybe knock someone’s tree down so I can maybe sneak out in the middle of the night and steal some stumps. But no more!

tree stump end tables

 

While these really are easy to make, they do require some patience. These stumps had been drying out in my inlaws yard for about two years, so when I took them home they were pretty good to go– but you do always want to be careful that they are dry and that there’s no critters in there. Even though they were dry, I wasn’t sure about the critters, so here’s what I did:

diy tree stump end tables easyI used a spackle knife to scrap off all the bark, which for four of these took under 15 minutes. Then I grabbed 2 gallons of bleach at the dollar store and poured them into a big bucket. Each of the stumps got a good dip, then a good hosing off.

The bleach changed the color a little bit, of course, but I actually like it better. Plus, I now have piece of mind that if there was anything in there it’s dead now.

After I hosed them off I let them sit outside for about 2 days (the smell of bleach was STRONG), then I let them dry out even more in my basement for about another week.

diy tree stump tables

Once dry, I sanded the crap out of them. You want these things to be smoooooooooooth as butter. This probably took about 20 minutes per stump, I just put on a movie and sanded until it was over with both 10 then 180 grit paper. After sanding I wiped them down with a damp cloth, and painted the top of 2 with Behr’s Waterscape (leftover from my half bath). No primer or anything, just one good thick coat and let dry.

I sealed each stump with 2 coats of polycrylic– just to be even more sure they were safe to keep inside. Don’t forget to sand the bottom as well!

I thought they could use a little more spunk, so I added silver upholstery tacks to one (just a rubber hammer and the tacks, they all went in really straight and I didn’t need to pre-drill any holes)

I also added some little felt pads to the bottom of each to make them easy to move around– I picked up a back of like 100 of these for a dollar and use them all the time, it’s worth keeping a good stock.

guest room end tables

Two of the stumps ended up in the guest room, they’re a great size to put your glasses or cell phone on.

diy easy tree stump end tables f

They’re such a cute little additional the room, and add a nice bit of interest too.

The other 2 will show up in a post next week. I know, you can hardly wait to see. ;) haha.

tree stump end tables

 

Wood Shims and Word Art (and the September Silhouette Challenge!)

Three years ago when we moved into this house we had to repair a bit of water damaged drywall in our basement, and because we knew nothing at all about home repair we bought a giant bundle of 4ft long wood shims (for about $10) to assist with this project. At the time I didn’t know they came in neat little 4inch long packages.

Anyway I’ve been using the shims to make wall decor ever since. Today’s project almost used up the last of it:

wood shim wall art pennant

Back in February I used my Silhouette Cameo to add a little Stevie Nicks quote to a map (I work at a college and the library regularly puts old/outdated books out for free. I regularly hoard them to make projects like this.). Here’s a close up, edited version of the quote so you can see it a little better:

stevie nicks quote vinyl letters

To mount it, I used my miter saw to cut wood shims down to a pennant shape.

Then, I used Gorilla wood glue to attach them to solid piece of 1×2.

After lettering it dry for 24 hours I used some Minwax stain cloths (leftover from my craft craft console table build) to stain the wood. I also added a little bit of gold craft paint to accent the edges and add some glam.

assembly wood shim pennant

I was afraid nails would split the shims, because they’re not really meant for stuff like this, so I applied the glue to the back of the 1×2 and then all around it as well. It’s solid as a rock now, and the 1×2 also serves as the hook for the wall.

guest room corner

This little corner is just so cozy now, and was sooooo inexpensive to put together:

  • Antlers and orange frame from Marshall’s, probably less than $20 for both
  • High-Chair is a $0 hand me down from a friend, updated here
  • Lamp is from Ikea, maybe about $10
  • Wood barrel was $6 from the Habitat Restore, spruced up with a walnut here
  • Wood Shim Wall Pennant cost $0 to make because I had everything on hand

wood shim wall decor gray guest room

Oh yeah, that wall map is yet another wood shim project (here). I may have a problem.

Also, the wood slice quote (which reads “everyday I’m hustlin’ “)? Another Silhouette project (here).

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Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge friends and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, take a look at the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Our Sons & Daughters Wood Shims and Word Art Simple DIY Canvas Art Pallet Signs Chalk Paint Pumpkins with Fabric Leaves Make a Personalized Scarecrow DIY Wall Art for the Bathroom Decoupaged Fall Leaves Lampshade Gimme A F.A.L.L! Eat SOMETHING Sweet Baby Love Quilt Big Reveal Sketching Inspiration for my little Dancer - September Silhouette Challenge Family Feature Presentation Wall Art Last Unicorn Shadow Box Makin' my office a little more artsy fartsy Family Command Center DIY Grandparents Sign with Photo Frame Dream Big Little Girl Canvas Art Fall Pallet Sign {Grateful, Thankful, Blessed} Pumpkins and Apples Sign Handmade Freezer Paper Cloth Napkins

1. The Moberg Family // 2. Sandpaper and Glue // 3. American Honey // 4. Weekend Craft // 5. Grey Luster Girl // 6. From Wine to Whine // 7. Cutesy Crafts // 8. Practically Functional // 9. Home At Eight // 10. McCall Manor // 11. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 12. Adventures in All Things Food // 13. Create it. Go! // 14. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 15. The Outlandish Momma // 16. The Sensory Emporium // 17. My Paper Craze // 18. unOriginal Mom // 19. My Favorite Finds // 20. Architecture of a Mom // 21. Black and White Obsession //

Lots of little updates

Today I’m sharing a few little things I’ve updated around the house. Things were feeling ultra neutral-y and not as unique as I wanted it to be, so these small changes really helped. Prepare yourself for lots of pictures….

First up, some decorative pillow I originally bought for the living room but ended up in the guest room:

nate berkus decorative pillows

They’re Nate Berkus for Target and they are pretty awesome… I bet they could easily be recreated with a drop cloth and some DIY leather tassels, but I didn’t have any inserts or fabric so I just bought them (the cost would have evened out).

guest room wide

The whole room is very bright and airy, which I really like since my built in closet office is opposite the bed with all my craft supplies.

Next is a little art update in the kitchen:

kitchen art with Silhouette DIY

A looooong time ago I updated this whole piece after I found it decrepit in the basement (see it here). More recently I switched out the art and pictures, added the day of the dead statue Matt picked up on a vacation, and used my Silhouette to add Mr Skull Chef to the mirror.

He originally didn’t look like that AT ALL, but I accidentally put the vinyl on crooked and had to recreate it by hand. It also used to have a quote with it (Many have eaten here, few have died). Oh well. If you’d like the original file send me an email, I’m happy to share (sandpaperandglue @ gmail . com)

kitchen wide

 

The  kitchen chairs are on my hit list because I desperately want 4 of these chairs instead, but they’re in perfectly good condition and I can’t sell them for enough to cover the costs so for now they’ll have to do. Otherwise, I’m pretty in love with our kitchen- honey oak and all.

Third on the list of ch-ch-ch-changes in our front entrance:

white and gray front entrance

I got rid of the chalkboard wall that used to be there (see here for the how to) and added the vignette that’s in it’s place with stuff I already had around the house. Then I decided to disguise the thermostat with some mirrors and an empty frame and pop the shark jaw bone onto the mirror. We actually don’t use the front door to our house at all, which is why there’s a litter box tucked in the corner there…. it’s a very out of the way spot.

how to hide cover disguise a thermostat

The mirrors and frame were from a gallery wall I took down, and I painted the thermostat with some gray craft paint I had on hand (no primer, just 2 coats of paint).

And attached to the front entrance is our living room, with it’s AWESOME AND AMAZING brand new 7×10 rug that I got from just $90 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond (this is my first rug! I am so excited!):

neutral gray living room

I have been crazy hesitant to invest in a rug because of our 3 cats, but we added  cardboard scratchers under each of the chairs and the cat tree along the back wall and they’ve been totally fine with it. You can see here we also have some double sided tape on the side of the couch. These are all things maybe I could have removed for the sake of staging a picture- but you know what, this is real life with 4 animals. And I think it still looks darn good :).

gray and white living room with zebra print

That empty slice of wall on the left used to have the gallery wall, but I’m on the hunt for something large and simple to replace it with. The black tufted bench is actually in rough shape (cat scratches, of course) so I have plans to reupholster it, I’m thinking with some white faux fur to break up all the black.

 

And that’s everything! What do you think? What’s your favorite update? Mine is 100% the living room rug- it looks SO much more grounded now.

Have you been doing any little updates in your houses? Tell me all about them. :)

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Want to read more? Here’s some other projects seen in this post:

DIY wood slice art || silver spraypainted and glazed end table || DIY faux tile backsplash

sharpie stencil wall || DIY sunburst mirror || painted faux door moulding

Silhouette School: Guest Post

Hello! Today I’m guest posting over at Silhouette School all about how I added a vinyl quote to the wood slice in my guest room. Hop on over to check it out!

how to add vinyl to a wood slice

If you’re here from Silhouette School, thanks for clicking over! You may want to check out some of my most popular posts:

repurposed windows

built in desk

 

IMG_2403

new homeowner tips, 31 days, neutral home colors

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DIY Wood Shim Frame

Three years ago when we moved into this house there was some drywall that needed to be patched in the basement, and for some reason we bought a giant bundle of 3-4ft long wood shims to help with the repair… at the time I didn’t know you could buy neat little packages of 4 inch wood shims. And it’s a good thing too, because I’ve used them for a ton of stuff around the house (like this sunburst mirror).

A few days ago Brave New Home posted about her DIY Faux Pull Down Map and it re-inspired me to get cracking on my long forgotten giant wall map. It had been hanging in the guest room with push pins, but was so heavy it fell down, at which point it got shoved in the back of a closet (for about a year, whoops) until I could think of a plan.

Well- the plan has been thought of and executed:

DIY wood shim frame how to

It’s a little crude, but it works. Basically, I took 4 of my leftover wood shims and cut them down to size (just used a miter block for this since they’re so thin, it took about 10 minutes). Once cut I stained them to match the top of my cloffice desk. Then came the tough part, attaching the map. Here’s some tips:

  • Use painters tape to secure the map how and where you want it, then flip it over slowlyyyyy
  • Check that your staples aren’t too long, and if they are you can try hot glue instead (that’s what Brave New Home used and hers held up fine)
  • Make sure to smooth it out constantly as you’re stapling so it sits tight on the shims

Once I stapled the map to the 4 individual shims, the corners needed a bit more support so I used some teeny, tiny nails to secure wood scraps along the edges and to the top center. The sawtooth hanger on there is from a pack of about 10 that I got for $2 at Michael’s, they’re one of those things I always keep in my hoard.

Ok- LESS WORDS, MORE PICTURES

wood shim frame diy easy

 

I think it looks great against the gray walls and really helps to warm up the room a bit.

easy DIY frame

The edges butt up against each other almost perfectly but unless you’re really picking it apart you can’t really tell where it’s imperfect. And I kind of like the imperfectness anyways, it looks a little rustic.

DIY framed wall map

Dutch is a big fan. He’s already planning some wordly travels.

DIY large frame

And here’s your pinnable image. ;)

 

I think I want to do something similar with the “You Can Go Your Own Way” art that’s next to it but um, I sort of spilled the rest of the stain on my sunroom floor and it was a discontinued color soooooo I need to hunt down something close. Whoops.

What do you think? Any questions?

A little more on the Cloffice

A few days ago I posted all about how I turned my guest room closet into a built in office (here), and I wanted to pop back in with a few details on the “stuff” today.

First, I already changed the desktop around a little bit:

built in desktop floating desktop

The painting was done by my Nana and I hadn’t found a spot for it in this house, but I love how the orange in the tree looks with the teal bulletin board. So I lose some work space, but I don’t think I mind because the layered cozy feel is really something I was going for and it felt a little stark without it.

floating desktop

The bulletin board was sprayed with a few light coats of Rustoleum paint. The color is “Jade,” and it’s actually a can from 1998 that my Nonna gave me when she cleaned out her basement. I can’t believe it still worked! I let it cure for about 48 hours, but it’s been fine. The color seems similar to Behr’s Mermaid Song, if you’re looking for a match.

The canister set is Liberty of London for Target and used to live on my kitchen counter as a command center, but the center is no longer needed since I’ve got this space now. The wood slice under it is just from Michael’s and I added a little felt on the bottom so it wouldn’t scratch. I sprayed it with a clear sealing coat so it wouldn’t flake.

quote wall

I wish I had added a little curve to the quote so it wouldn’t look as harsh, but it’s too late now. I made the stencil for the quote on my Silhouette, cut it out on while vinyl, painted a thin coat of white paint over it, then a thin coat of black paint, then a thin coat of gold craft paint. The black shows through in some spots and darkens the gold in others so it looks really multi-dimensional, which is kind of neat.

built in desk Under the desk my Silhouette is stored on an old shoe rack, and some other supplies are in a rolling cart I got on Amazon. The cart is AWFUL and I literally had to attach the shelves with embroidery floss because there were no other parts and no instructions. Ugh. That’s my lesson to listen to the reviews.

 

So what do you think?

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Stay in touch in between posts!

How to Turn your Closet into an Office

I am super excited about today’s post.  I recently gave the guest room a bit of a facelift with some paint and art. My next step was to turn the office into a built in workspace… on a budget of $0. :: Challenge Accepted ::

Here’s the before:

closet to built in office

 

And the glorious after:

DIY closet office

And here’s a little instagram recap of how it all went down:

how to make a built in desk

This project was actually much easier then I expected it to be, and I am very serious when I say if you have the right tools literally anyone can do this. I used a power drill, jigsaw, and palm sander and didn’t have any problems. And it is a one person job if you want or need it to be. In more detail:

  • Remove the closet doors, the track, and the clothes rack. This took about 15 minutes, and I used a power drill on the track because the screws were really in there.
  • The doors I had were only sort of hollow, they had what look like 2×2’s running in a zig zag in them so they were pretty sturdy. Using my jigsaw I cut one door down into cleats and the other into the length of the desk. I was lucky that even though the front of the doors had been painted white, the backside was still stained wood.
  • The stain color that was already on the doors was extremely orange-y and had a few old paint marks on it, so I used my palm sander and 60 grit paper to dull it up. Then with a sanding block, I used 100 grit then 120 grit paper. I didn’t get it down to completely raw wood, but it turned out fine.
  • I used a “stain and finish” on the door that became the desktop, in two thin coats, then let it dry for 24 hours. While drying, I installed the cleats. To figure out the height of the cleats I just measured the height of my husband’s desk, then mimicked it. I used wood glue on the cleats, then a power drill and wood screws to secure them to studs in the wall. One long cleat along the back wall, then smaller ones on the side. I would have done long ones on the side of the wall too, but there was only one stud on each side.
  • I painted the wall with 1 coat of primer to seal in all the discoloration, then 1 coat of Sherwin Williams paint + primer (non tinted, just pure white)
  • Using a rubber mallet, I tapped the desktop into place. It left a few small marks on the walls, but nothing big and easily touched up. Then, for a more finished look, I caulked all the cleats (for the top shelf that was already there and the desktop)

Whew! That’s a lot of words. Here’s some glamor shots:

multi purpose room

desktop left

That cat picture is a card from one of my friends. On the front it says “Taco knows how long it’s been since you washed that bra you’re wearing” and on the inside it says “You disgust Taco.” :) don't quit your daydream

The quote on is one I first read at The Lettered Cottage and just felt it was perfect so I stenciled it directly on the wall.

built in desk

The bulletin board is spray painted and you can read about the chair redo here.

desktop

 

This desktop makes me infinitely happy. All the plugs/cords/electronic accessories are stored in those cute Liberty of London for Target canisters.

DIY closet turned office

The top shelf is where all the pictures and books from the bookcase are now, and the bookcase is no longer in the room (which free up A LOT of space, because this is not a big room).

DIY closet office

 

Come back Friday for some extra info on how I graffiti’d that quote on the wall & painted the bulletin board, as well as a source list on everything else!!

 

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