Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Decorated Wine Bottles

Empty wine bottles (preferably tinted bottles)
Glass marbles and beads
Floral wire
Hot glue gun/ industrial grade glue (E 6000)

Clean up wine bottles and remove labels. (Soak in dish soap and scrub to remove the labels or stick them into the dishwasher)

Using a pen/pencil make a coil with floral wire.

Using hot glue or  E 6000 attach the leaves, glass marbles, and coiled floral wire onto the bottle to make a grape cluster. Embellish the bottle neck with some beads and coils.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fall Burlap Wreath with Faux Maple Leaves: Tutorial

Supplies Needed:
Styrofoam sheet, at least 2" thick (or use wreath form)
Burlap ribbon- 9 yards
White fabrics strip-  9 yards long and 3 inch wide
Orange fabric- a small piece
Faux maple leaves
Utility knife
Sewing machine
Matching thread

1. Lay the styrofoam sheet flat on a surface and draw two concentric circles with 15" and 18" diameter. Cut along the lines to make the wreath form.

2. Coil the white fabric strip around the styrofoam wreath form and glue the ends together. This step will take care of any imperfections in cutting and also prevent any small styrofoam pieces falling off later. (Omit steps 1 and 2 if you are using a store bought styrofoam wreath form)

3. Loop the burlap ribbon around the wreath form and make sure to maintain the same the distance and angle between the burlap edges in each turn. Glue the ends together.

4. Cut a piece of orange/red color fabric just to cover around 1/3 of the foam surface. This fabric strip is to attach/sew the leaves. To create volume and fluffiness, slightly fold the leaves along the center and sew onto the fabric. Start sewing leaves at one end of the fabric, sew a leaf, then two leaves in the next row, and keep on increasing the number of leaves to 3 or 4 as you approach the center. Once you reach the center, then start sewing the leaves at the other end, and continue to the center. 

5. Attach the fabric with the leaves onto the wreath using glue/Velcro.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Slinky Pumpkins-Fall Decor

Jumbo Slinky (orange color)
Pipe cleaner (green color)
Glue (I used E6000)
Acrylic colors-green and black
Paint brush
Yarn (orange color)

As the slinky I used was too large, I broke it to make two pumpkins. Glue the ends of the slinky together, then tie a knot using an orange color yarn in the center.

Paint the twigs for the stem and use a coiled pipe cleaner as the squiggly. Glue the twig and pipe cleaner on the top center of the pumpkin. Allow the glue to dry. (You may also add a fake leaf) That's it!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Easy DIY Patio Chairs using 2 x 4s-Tutorial

Materials and Tools: (for one chair)

12 - 2 x 4 at 24" (see the table for detailed cut list)
4 - 2 x 4 at 26"
2 - 2 x 4 at 23"
2 - 2 x 2 at 20"

Drill and drill bits
Power saw/ Hand saw (or get the lumber cut according to the measurements from the store)
Electric sander 
Sand paper 120 grit 
Wood screws, 3"
Wood glue
Wooden dowels, 1.5"  
Paint (I used BEHR premium paint and primer in one-ultra pure white-satin finish)
Paint brushes/foam brushes
Tape measure

This project is inspired from Ana White's post on outdoor chairs. I have made a few changes in the measurements and style such as I used only 2 x 4 lumber and reduced the number of side slats so that the chair is not too heavy to lift. Also, modified the style of legs to match the end table I made recently.

This is a very simple project and needs only 2 x 4 lumber. The chair is designed to fit 24" x 23" cushions. Make the corresponding changes in the plan to fit the cushions with any other dimensions.

What is a 2 x 4 wood? Understanding wood sizes:
When you plan a wood project, it is crucial to have a basic understanding about the type, grade, and size of lumber you are going to use. In the lumber isle of a hardware store you will see various studs and boards with nominal dimensions such as 2 x 2 (pronounced as 'two by two'), 2 x 4 ( pronounced as 'two by four'), 4 x 4 (four by four), 2 x 6 (two by six) with different lengths. 
In a 2 x 4 board, the two numbers are actually the dimensions of the cross section of the board in inches, ie width and depth. This is the dimension when the board is sawn from the tree. But, as the wood dries it will shrink and hence the width and depth are going to change. So, when you purchase  a 2 x 4 board from the store, the actual dimension of the board is not 2" x 4" but it is close to 1.5" and 3.5 ". Keep this in mind when you design any woodworking projects with various size lumber and plan accordingly.  
For further reading click here  

Tutorial: to make one chair

Step 1: Cutting lumber
The measurements that are required to make one chair are given in the table below. Get the lumber cut according to the measurements.

Cut list to make one chair

Lumber size

# of Pieces

Length (Inches)


2 x 4
2 x 4
Bottom piece
2 x 4
Arm rests
2 x 4
Side slats
2 x 4
Back-2 & front-1 slats
2 x 4
4 or 5
Seat slats
2 x 2
Inside cleats

For making two chairs, I bought:
7- 8 feet long 2 x 4 lumber,
2-10 feet 2 x 4 lumber, &
1- 8 feet 2 x 2 lumber 

All the lumber were bought and cut from Home Depot. FYI, if you buy lumber from Home Depot, you can get it cut from the store for free. 

A few more things to remember:
  • Once you cut the lumber, be sure to sand all the pieces to get a smooth surface. 
  • Make sure to predrill holes for the screws
  • Apply wood glue on all joints before screwing the pieces together
  • All the measurements are given in inches and the length of the pieces is given in parenthesis, for eg: legs (24")

Step 2: Attaching legs to the bottom piece

Position the two legs (24") at the ends of the bottom piece (26") and predrill holes for the screws. Two holes are made at each joints. Apply glue on the joints and then screw the pieces together. 

Step 3: Attaching the side slat and armrest

Place the side slat (23") at 12" from the bottom piece and mark its position. Predrill screw holes, glue at the joints and screw. 

Attach the arm rest (26") to the free ends of the legs to finish off one side frame of the chair.  Be sure to predrill screw holes and glue the joints. Assemble the next side frame by following steps 2 and 3.

Step 4: Attaching front, back slats, and inside cleat

Get the two side frames that are assembled in step 3. Place them upright and screw front (24") and back middle slats (24"). Also attach the inside cleats (20") towards the lower inside of the two side slats. 

Next is to attach the one of the back slats on the top backside of the chair. If you have pocket hole Kreg jig, you can connect it very easily. As I do not have one, I used wooden dowels. Make two dowel holes at each ends of the back top slat and two on the top inside of the chair (dowel positions are marked in the following picture). Insert four dowels into the pre-glued dowel holes of the back slat and slightly hammer the dowels so that only half of each dowel should go into the holes. Then, position the dowels into the pre-glued holes on the top inside of the chair and fix it. You may use a strap to keep the assembly tight until the glue gets dry. 

The back slat on the top is attached to the chair using 4 wooden dowels. The dowel positions are marked white.

Step 5: Attaching seat slats

Four or five seat slats (24") can be used. Screw them equidistant onto the inside cleat. That's it!! The chair is almost done. 

Step 6: Painting

To finish off the patio chairs, use an exterior paint. Apply two coats of  paint (I used BEHR premium paint and primer in one-ultra pure white-satin finish) and allow it to dry. Add some contrasting cushions and throw pillows

Monday, September 18, 2017

How to Build a Modern Rustic End Table

Materials and Tools:

2 X 4 cut at 15": 4 , for the legs
2 X 4  cut at 16.5": 2, for the bottom 
2 X 6 cut at 16": 3, for the top
Wooden dowels, 1.5"  -8
Wood screws, 3" - 16
Wood glue
Drill and drill bits
Hand saw (or get the lumber cut according to the measurements from the store)
Electric sander 
Sand paper 120 grit 
Tape measure


1) Cutting lumber: Using a hand saw or power saw cut the lumber. Make the following cuts according to the table below:

   # of Pieces
Lumber size
2 x 4
2 x 4
2 x 6

2) Sanding and Staining: Sand each of the wood pieces using 120 grit paper and stain (For staining I used Minwax polyshades-stain & polyurethane in 1step in expresso gloss finish) 

3)  Assembling side legs and the bottom pieces: Lay one of the  bottom piece (2 x 4 with 16.5" ) with its one of the long 2" side facing down. Place the two leg pieces ( 2 x 4 with 15 ") on its two ends of the bottom piece. Be sure to place them perpendicular to the bottom piece. Predrill 2 screw holes on the ends of the bottom piece to attach the legs. A total of 4 screws are required, two at each ends. Similarly assemble the other side.  

Attach the bottom piece to two side legs

4) Assembling top: If you have pocket hole Kreg  jig, you can connect the top three pieces without much difficulty.  I used wood dowels to connect the three pieces for the end table top (I do not have Kreg jig).  

Lay out the three pieces for the top (2 x 6 with 16"), side by side with their broad side facing down. Align the boards to be mated and mark the positions of the dowels with a pencil. Choose the middle piece and predrill four holes for the wooden dowels on the center of its two sides. The depth of the holes should be approximately half of the length of a dowel. Similarly, choose the first and third piece and predrill holes for the dowels in the center of only one side of each piece. 

Relative positions of dowel holes:Four dowel holes on both sides of the middle piece and four holes on only one side of first and third piece
To install the dowels in the dowel hole place a small amount of glue into each predrilled holes in one board, insert dowel into the glued hole, slightly hammer on the other side of the dowel to tighten the dowels in the holes. Then position the next board to be mated onto the corresponding dowels with its side with holes. Fill dowel holes with glue and apply generous amount of glue on both surfaces to be joined. Inset the dowel into the the holes with glue. Slightly hammer the other side the board to make sure the dowels are properly fit in between the boards. Once the glue has dried, attach third board following the same procedure. You may use a strong strap around the three boards to tighten the joints.

5) Assembling the legs to the top:
Get the two sides that have been assembled in step 3, with its free ends of the legs sticking up. Place the assembled top on the legs, predrill screw holes, and screw in place. Eight screws are used, 2 for each legs.  

6) Getting the rustic finish: You can basically do anything to imitate the natural wear and tear to get a rustic/distressed/vintage look to the furniture. Here I am using sandpapers to sand off the stain especially from the edges of the end table. A few nails, screws and hammer are used to make some dents and a steel wool to make scratches on the top. Wipe of the dust and make sure to sand the rough edges and apply a coat of clear sealant once finished.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Beach Bag & Bathing Suit Rack

Materials and Tools:

Wood piece (2 x 4 at least 25")
Sanding paper, 220 grit-1
Drill and drill bits
Coat rack hooks and 1/2" screws- 3
Paint and paint brushes/foam brushes
Mod podge
Shells to embellish


1) Sand the wood to get a smooth surface. Paint with your choice of color. I choose beach sign theme and used blue/teal colors to cover the surface and also gave a few strokes with white. Also glued a few shells. Once the paint is dry apply two coats of mod podge. Allow it to dry.

2) Install  the coat rack hooks onto the wood using 1/2" screws with equal distance between the hooks.

3) Predrill two screw holes, one at each ends of the rack. Mount the rack onto the wall using 3" screws.

Seashells Wall Decor


Wooden picture frame without glass
Mod podge
Acrylic paints
Paint brush/foam brush


I had this wooden picture frame for a while and recently its glass has broken. This is a re-purposing project to use the frame as a ocean themed wall decor.

Attach the back panel to the frame either by heavy duty stapler or by using the clips already on the frame.Paint the frame and back panel with your desired color. Allow it to dry.

Glue the shells onto the back panel. (If the frame doesn't have a backing, use a cardboard piece cut into the shape and attach to the frame using heavy duty stapler or glue). Once the glue has dried apply two coats of mod podge over the shells and frame to seal the work.

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