Monday, March 21, 2011

My new Handmade BED!!!

I finally got my new bed people!! Can you tell I'm a little excited!! :) If you have read my previous blogs you know that I'm absolutely in love with It's a website by Ana White who builds and makes all types of wood working plans. She lists them for FREE and there are tons of people on there for help. Well I have been dreaming of my own new bed since Kyle (the hubbs) made my kids their farmhouse beds. I recently re-decorated our bedroom and just really was unhappy with the way the furniture took from my design. I was able to convince my husband that it was time to build us a new bed. So I FINALLY decided on the "Mom's Fancy Farmhouse Bed" from Ana's website. And let me tell you - deciding on which bed plan to make was possibly the hardest part of the build...well for me anyway! :P

So I decided to document the progress with some photo's and let you all know about our experience in hopes that we can inspire you to try your hand at building. It's so satisfying and one of the few crafts left now adays that will actually SAVE YOU MONEY!!

First off we printed off the plans for Mom's Fancy Farmhouse Bed and thoroughly read through them. There is a supply list and cut list on the plans. I sent the hubbs to Lowe's by himself while I stayed at home with the kids so he could really spend his time picking out nice pieces of wood. He used stud grade 2x4's, pine moulding (the standard un-primed moulding), and poplar. The total cost for all the wood was $153 with our 10% military discount. But that also included some wood glue, wood filler and a trowel and 2 1/2" and 3" screws. He later told me he didn't even use the 2 1/2" screws though.

The wood pile before starting - please excuse the bad photo it's taken from my cell phone :)
After getting all the supplies he measured and cut the pieces. The tools he used to cut were a circular saw and to cut the moulding he used a miter box. He has many other saws, but he was able to make this whole bed with just the circular.

Next he layed them out and started assembling.

He said the hardest part was the moulding. He attached it with his bradnailer and finishing nails, but just getting the angles and fitting it perfect was a tad difficult. He did a GREAT job on this in my opinion though. The moulding is what sets this bed apart. It's a super simple look but the moulding adds just enough to it to make it stand out.

Next he took wood filler and filled any imperfections such as over each nail head and on the bed frame he filled the legs so they looked like one piece instead of two boards. After the wood filler dried he used his electric sander with a medium (80) sand paper and sanded the whole bed. The sanding is a necessary step. It will take off any jagged pieces left from cutting and prep it for painting.

One small step he took that are not in the plans is to use a flat head screw driver and sort of chiseled the boards in the center. The boards fit together so nicely that it almost looked seamless, but I really wanted them to stand out. We got the idea from the original farmhouse bed plans on her site. He literally just took a flat head and ran it up and down the seams to define them more. The final look was exactly how I wanted it.

We decided to invest in a paint sprayer for this (and upcoming) projects. It was our first time using one, but Kyle said he loved it. It was so much nicer than rolling or brushing and the end result seams much more even. He did mention the clean up sucked though, lol. I wanted a blackish bed. So we purchased the Valspar Signature Hi-Def. It is like having a paint with the primer already in it. I feel like it was really worth getting the spendier paint. I certainly didn't want to spend the time and money on it and then cover it with cheap paint. It was a very nice quality paint. I would definitely buy again. I used a VERY dark grey/light black. I love the way it turned out.

Kyle decided to set it up in our front yard since it has been really nice outside lately. He set the headboard and base of the bed up and started to paint. We did one coat, then after it dried we sanded it again and sprayed it with another coat. Make sure after each sanding that you vacuum all the sawdust off and then wipe your project down with a damp towel so you are painting a VERY clean surface.

Another cell phone pic - sorry! :)

We planned on putting a coat of ploy on it, but Kyle tried to use the sprayer for that and it sprayed on very thick and started to run. It was a terrible mess. We were both freaking out and got towels and rubbed as much off as we could. After it dried Kyle sanded it and had to do another coat of paint. That was our "uh oh" moment in this project. We knew everything else was just going too smoothly! :P SOOO after the final 3rd coat we decided against a poly coat (we were really too scared to ruin it and add more work for ourselves) and just left it as was.

We brought it in our room and started putting it together. Kyle pre-drilled the holes in the headboard and countersunk them so you wouldn't see them. Even though it's on the back of the board and you won't see it anyway. I think he's just enjoying all his new found skills! :P

And there it is all put together!! :) We decided to use a few cut up pieces of plywood and screwed them down to the cross bars for our box spring. We had originally wanted to USE a box spring, but after trying to figure out the math and me saying - no kyle I don't want the headboard to stand that tall, and no I don't want the bed that low to the ground, lol we just built as is. Instead of the slats we did the (what we feel is) more sturdy route and used the 2x4. Since we live in a humid climate we had one sheet of plywood cut so it's not fully covering the bottom. It's just and idea Kyle came up with, we are hoping we don't have mildew issues. We figure we keep the house cooled anyway so it doesn't stay TOO humid in here. Wish us luck! :P

And here it is with just the mattress on top.

And finally - all done!! We absolutely love the end result! We are planning on refinishing the end tables, dresser, and armoire that are in there now. They matched our old bed, but I can't bare to let them go since I love the depth of the drawers and such. We'll be sanding and painting our little hearts out on those. I'm going to get new hardware for them too. You'll probably see that project in an upcoming blog when we're finished! :)

Pretty nice huh!? This bed plan was made to look like this bed from Pottery Barn. The Pottery Barn bed in a queen size with the matching armoire cost $2,495!!! We just built our bed for less than $250 including the paint! I say try your hand at building - or at the very least make your husband do it! :P Ana White builds her own furniture. She does it all on her own. My hubby keeps telling me he KNOWS I could do it on my own if I'd just try. I tell him I have SO many crafts I do on my own he can keep the wood working one and I'll just keep putting in my requests! lol

I've already requested this as our next project! It's an outdoor daybed with a canopy! I really want this so I can make cushions and pillows for it and sit outside with my Kindle while the kids play...but he says he's done for now...we'll see who wins! :P

This is a picture of another builder who shared her end result on the site. Didn't she do an amazing job! See why I want one!!??

Happy Building people! Share the blog with your friends and I hope you all have a great week! :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Blog Guide Book

I'm always thinking of new ways to get more traffic to my blog. After all what's the point of doing all these crafts and documenting them along the way if I don't have people reading!? Plus I really like to show off my work, lol. So today I discovered The Blog Guide Book! It's a great way for all you bloggers out there to get the word out about YOUR blog! Sign up for a FREE advertisment on your first blog. Each blog after that is just $5!!! A great deal if you're wanting more traffic. Check it out here!

In addition to advertising it's got great How-To's (which you all know I love!) and helpful tips. Also GIVEAWAYS!!! Who doesn't like a good giveaway? I mean come on...:P

DIY - Mustache Straw Party Favors!

I recently came across this adorable idea on an etsy blog! I thought it was so fun and cute and super easy to make! Check out the blog for exact how-to instructions here.

These would be a great addition to this fantastic Mustache Party Printable pack you can get at ItsyBelle. Such a cute and unique idea for a kids birthday! Check those out here.

Have fun I hope you enjoyed todays blog post! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Easy Scratch Cheesecake Recipe

This cheesecake recipe was my first attempt at making a home made scratch cheesecake. I have to say it was delicious! My husband was raving about it with every bite! I chose to add some cherries to the top of mine, and I also had some left over raspberry puree I used for a soak on a cake I made so I topped one piece with that as well. Both versions were very good!! If I had some fresh raspberries to go with the puree I think I would have liked that better. Another great way to serve would be to add some warm caramel and chocolate sauce!! YUM!

With Raspberry Puree topping
 To get the recipe go here to What Megan's Making - one of my new favorite blogs!

Topped with canned cherry pie filling - so good!

Happy Baking! I hope you like my new blog look as well!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

DIY - Edible Fruit Arrangements or Bouquet!

First off - Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

I wanted to get my kids a little gift for St. Patrick's Day - but I didn't want to fill them up on candy. I came up with making them their own Edible Fruit Bouquets because my mom sent my husband a (name brand) Edible Arrangement for his "welcome home" gift. My kids about devoured the thing in no time flat! So I thought it would be cute to get them their own. Then I checked the prices...yeah not happening for a 2 and 3 year old! lol. They range from around $40 up. I figured I'd give it my own go! :)

So first off I went to the craft store and got two little shamrock buckets, a clover shaped cookie cutter and some floral foam. I then went to the grocery store and loaded up on fruit. Here is a list of the supplies I used.

  • Metal bucket
  • Floral Foam
  • Clover cookie cutter
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Kale
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honey Dew
  • Red Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Green Candy Melts for dipping
  • Semi Sweet chocolate chips for dipping
  • Free Printables from ItsyBelle
***Wash all your fruit. Let dry as much as possible if you are going to be dipping it.

So first I cut all my fruit. Cut the Honeydew and Cantaloupe in wedges and then cut the wedges in half. Take the grapes off their stems and put them in a bowl so their ready to load on your skewer. Peel Bananas and cut in half or thirds. For the Pineapple I cut the top and bottom off, cut the skin off leaving as much meat as possible around the core. Then I cut them in 1/2" thick slices as shown below.

Next use your cookie cutter to cut out the design. When pressing down press HARD and wiggle it around in a circle to really cut through the pineapple.

If you plan on dipping your fruit you'll need to heat your chocolate and candy melts to dipping consistency (I use a glass bowl in the microwave at 45 second intervals. Stir after every 45 seconds). Place your fruit on skewer and dip in chocolate. Then stick the skewer in extra foam pieces and let them dry. I had an issue with the chocolate sliding off my pineapple and banana's. It worked great on the strawberries. I'm not sure what the issue is but I'll try figuring it out before I dip my fruit next time. Since it was sliding I dipped as fast as possible and then put the whole foam block in the fridge so the chocolate would set up faster. (Harden.)

To prepare your bucket/container you'll need to cut the foam up and fill the bucket as best as possible. You don't want to leave too many blank spaces because you want your bouquet to look full. After you get the foam in take the Kale and lay over the foam.

Next just start skewering your fruit and sticking it into the foam creating a bouquet. Work from all angles so it looks good and symmetrical on all sides if possible. I will admit I do have "fronts" to mine that I felt looked better, lol.

Once I got all my fruit in I added some more kale to hide the sticks/skewers a little bit and just give it a fuller look. It was still missing something so I printed off the cutest little tags from ItsyBelle! She has FREE St. Patrick's Day printables you can print on your own computer/printer and use. Get those HERE! And watch/follow her blog because she also blogs great tutorials and awesome inspiration!! I printed the tags off and cut some in squares and punched some with my 2" circle. I taped them onto skewers and added to give it a little more "green" or St. Patrick's Day feel. I love the turn out!! See more photos below! :)

It cost me about $40 to $45 to make 2 small and one HUGE bouquet! That's THREE for less than I would get one medium one if I bought it. Great deal if you ask me!! These would be great for any pot luck or dinner party or holiday at work. Much healthier than bringing donuts into your work. I'm sure your co-workers will appreciate it. :) Have a great Holiday and as always - thank you for reading my blog and PLEASE SHARE with your friends!! :)

My lovies are going to LOVE their St. Patty's Day gifts!

The tags look so cute!

This is the BIG HUGE one I'll bring to a friends tomorrow for dessert.

Chocolate and Green Candy covered fruit. They taste even better than they look!

Aren't these the cutest tags!?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's YARD work time again! :)

I haven't been doing too many crafty projects lately but I am always thinking of what to share on my blogs! So today we cleaned out a flowerbed and I thought I would share our experience for any of you out there who might not know where to start when it comes to gardening!

First I want to say I am NOT a great gardener - but I do like my yard to look nice. So this is not the "professional" way of cleaning out a garden or planting I'm sure - but it works for us. :)

The weather has been so nice lately I couldn't wait to get out and clean up the winter yard. We made a flower bed in our front yard last Spring and the plants had died and were just hideous. So this morning I went to the store and bought my 2 and 3 year old their first bikes so they could play while I did some yard work! :) They had a blast - but mind you the bikes did not keep them satisfied all day. I had little "helpers", lol. Well actually my 3 year old played with the neighbor and her bike most of the time but my 2 year old just wanted to "dig" lol.

Okay so getting on to the How - To:

First thing I did was pull out all the dead plants. Then we pulled up the weed fabric from last year and pulled any weeds/grass that was still living under it. Next my husband shoveled the old beauty bark out and then we laid the new weed fabric. We just bought one roll from Lowe's and had plenty for our smaller size project. You can leave out the weed fabric but I would DEFINITELY not recommend it. Have you seen those homes in your neighborhood that plant flowers and everything looks so nice - for about a month - then it looks like an abandoned home overgrown with weeds!!?? Okay maybe that's a slight exaggeration - but my point is you don't want to do all the work to only have weeds overtake your garden. Spend the extra time to lay the fabric.

If you have any plants or trees already planted you'll cut a hole or slit out of the fabric and lay it as close to the plant as you can get without suffocating it. If you haven't planted anything yet I suggest laying the fabric first and then planting your flowers.

Next you'll lay out where you want your flowers to go like so -

Then you'll cut holes from the fabric and plant your plants. Once you've planted everything throw some bark or mulch of your choice over the fabric around the plants.

Next make sure you fertilize the plants since you've just planted them they'll be in shock for awhile. The fertilizer will really help them along their pretty little way. ;) Once you've fertilized give the whole garden a good soak and let them sit. :)

For garden maintenance you'll need to weed about once a week or once bi weekly depending on how many weeds you get in your area. The fabric sheet will definitely help - but you'll still get some pesky ones.
Good water times are at night BEFORE the sun goes down but when it's not so hot. Like evening time. You don't want to water in the heat of the day because you'll fry the flowers and leaves - but you also don't want to water AT NIGHT when the sun is almost down or is down because your plants will stay too wet and mold. (This is my rule of thumb - you may read somewhere else a better way of doing this from a professional. Again - we are NOT professionals we just do what works for us.)

Once these plants grow the dead space will be minimal and the garden will be full and bright.

Yard work isn't all fun and games - but it sure does make you feel good after a long day of working outside to sit back and enjoy your hard work!! Have fun and enjoy the sun - if you're lucky enough to have some yet! :P

Friday, March 11, 2011

Welcome Home Kyle! We appreciate everything you do for our country!

This blog today is dedicated to my husband Kyle who just returned from his second tour in Afghanistan. He was stationed there for 6 months and we couldn't be happier to have him home! It's just a quick blog today - but the best part - it contains a FREEBIE!! :)

I made some quick cupcake toppers to welcome him home and another batch of the ever delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes I made for Valentines that I blogged about here. They were just so good and he wasn't home to share them with us so I wanted to make him a batch of his own.

So the freebie is the file for the cupcake toppers! Just print them out and either cut them with funky scissors or use a 2" circle or scalloped circle cutter. Tape a toothpick or sucker stick to the back and insert in cupcakes! It's super simple and gives them a great look.

If you want your cakes to look like mine I used a pastry bag with tip 1M and piped a "swirl" on the top. Then I added red colored sugar sprinkles, and red white and blue sprinkles to them and added the cupcake topper. I also had some cute aluminum cupcake holders I was going to use but completely forgot.

Get the cupcake topper PDF file here! Just print it in color on your home computer and have fun! I changed one set to just say "welcome home" in case you aren't welcoming "daddy" home! :)

Banner in pics will be in a upcoming blog soon! :) Have fun making your cupcakes or treat bag tags!! And as always thanks for reading my blog and feel free to pass on to EVERYONE! :)