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 the same distance between the hooks.

3) Predrill two screw holes, one at each end of the rack. Using 3" screws mount the rack onto the wall.

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.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Three Tier Wooden Shelf/ Bathroom Storage Shelf

Required materials and tools:

2 x 4 at least 30" -1
2 x 10 at least 9"-1
2 x 10 at least 10"-1
2 x 10 at least 11"-1
(if you prefer equal tier length, buy three similar length  2 x 10s)
Sandpaper/sanding block (220 grit)-1
3" or 2.5" Wood screws- 9
Wood glue
Hand saw (or get it cut from the store)
Drill and drill bits
Measuring tape
Paint or stain
Paint brush or foam brush

This wooden shelf is made from scrap wood which I got free from craigslist. So, I had to cut some pieces to the required length with a hand saw. FYI, if you buy lumber from Home depot or Lowe's home improvement you can get it cut from the store for free !! 


1) Sand all the sides of wooden pieces to make the surface smooth. Wipe down entire surface to remove any dust from sanding. Lay out all four wood pieces.
The 2 x 4 (pronounced as 2 by 4) with 30" length is going to be the back support and the three 2 x 10s are for the shelves.  Decide the position of each tier and mark it with pencil on the back support.

2) Predrill screw holes. Predrilling screw holes guarantee that the screw won't break or the wood won't crack. Choose appropriate size drill bit (more precisely, a bit that matches the inner diameter of the screw thread). I used 1/8 drill bit for all my works.

 A total of 6 screw holes are required on back support, 2 for each tiers. Make 2 screw holes on the center of each tiers as shown below. 

drill with bit for screw hole

predrilled holes on back support and tiers

3) Place all tiers perpendicular with the side with screw holes on top. Apply generous amount of wood glue around the screw holes. Position the back support on top of the tiers so that the screw holes on the back support and tiers are well aligned.(You can use a thin wooden skewer or thin metal rod to check the screw hole alignment). Then, screw along the holes. For attaching three tiers on the back support, I used 6 screws, 2 for each tier.

4) The last step is to paint/stain the shelf. Allow at least an hour for the glue to dry before applying stain. Apply two coats of paint/stain and dry according to the directions.

(For staining I used Minwax polyshades-stain & polyurethane in 1step in expresso gloss finish. Unfortunately, I am not very satisfied with the result I got with this oil based stain on pine lumber. I can see blotching as pine is a soft wood. It needed 2 coats of stain at least to get satisfactory results. Next time I would select a water based stain. Brush cleaning procedure is much more easy with a water based stain. Whereas for oil based stain, mineral spirit was required to clean up the brush.)

5) For mounting the shelf on the wall, make three equidistant predrilled screw holes on the back support and screw onto the wall.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Upholstering Dining Chairs to Tufted Accent Chairs

Tools & Supplies:

Wooden chairs
Foam- 3 inch and 1/2 inch thickness
Upholstery fabric
Fabric covered buttons/Upholstery buttons
Tufting twine/ thick and strong thread
Measuring tape
Jute webbing ( or any strong fabric)

Heavy duty stapler and pins
Staple puller/ remover
Screw driver
Long needle

Before starting the project, make sure the chairs you plan to upholster are sturdy and stable. If required, tighten any loose screws or glue any joints using industrial grade glue.

Upholstering Seat:
First step is to dissemble any existing fixed cushions from the chairs. For that, flip the chair upside down and loosen the screws from the bottom four corners. Then loosen the staples to remove the fabric and foam from the bottom wood panel. If you are working with a chair with no cushions, you may skip this step.

chair with bottom cushion and wood panel has been removed
It is necessary to fill up any medium/large gaps on the chair surface before attaching foam, batting, and fabric. My chair has a  gap between seating and the back. to cover up that, I nailed two pieces of plywood on the front and back to make the surface free from the gaps. (You may also use jute webbing or any thick and strong fabric strips to cover up the gaps). For the backside of seat back, I used a  fabric instead of webbing and staple them in place.


Now keep the bottom wood panel back on and screw it in place. Cut 3"thick foam, same size as the bottom wood panel and glue it to the panel. Cut and wrap 1/2" thick foam along the sides of the wood panel and glue/staple the edges of the foam to the chair. Cover up the entire seating area and sides (including 3" and 1/2" foam) with batting. Staple the batting edges to the underside of the chair. Trim off any excess batting.

(Tips: If you have any old quilt or comforter, you can replace it for batting. Because batting is the material that is used for making quilts and comforters.)

Place upholstery fabric on the seat and spread it out. The dimensions should be enough to cover the seating area and all four sides of the chair, plus 3" to staple on the underside of the chair.  Pull the fabric tightly along the sides and staple it on the underside of the chair. Similarly, pull the fabric tightly along the front and back and staple it on the underside of the chair. When working with the corners, be sure not to bulge with fabric or batting. You may trim off any excess fabric or batting from the corners and fold inside and staple to get a nice boxed look.

Upholstering Chair Back:
Once you finish seating, the next step is to work on the chair back. Cut 1/2" foam and batting according to the dimensions of the front side of the chair back, plus 2". Staple them to the backside of chair frame. Spread upholstery fabric, pull tightly, and staple on the backside of the chair. Repeat the same for all sides. When working with the corners, be sure not to bulge with fabric or batting. You may trim off any excess fabric or batting from the corners and fold and staple.

Decide the location of each tuft and mark it with a pen. String upholstery thread on a long needle. Push the needle from the backside to front along the tuft mark, leaving at least 5" of the string on the backside. Then, string fabric covered button, insert the needle from the front, at least 1/4" away from the original tuft mark and pull it from the backside. Pull the two ends of the twine tightly and tie them together on the back to keep in place. Repeat the same for the remaining tufts.

Finishing underside and backside of chair:
For the backside of the chair, cut the same upholstery fabric and batting, same size as the backside of the chair. Staple batting followed by the fabric. Before stapling the fabric, make a 1/2" fold along the edges and then staple it. Make sure to pull the fabric tightly before stapling.

You may use upholstery tacks to give a bit more fancy look and cover up the staples.

For the underside of the chair, flip chair upside down and spread out the fabric. Make a 1/2" fold along all sides and staple it.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Fake water/ Faux water /Resin water vases

Floral setting resin
Silk flowers/ leaves
Clean and dry transparent glass vases
Decorative stones/marbles (optional)
Disposable mixing container
Disposable stirring stick
Rubber gloves

Before you start working with the resin, trim stems of silk flowers to desired length and practice arranging the stems, stones/marbles in the glass vase. Determine the amount of floral setting resin you need for the arrangement. You can estimate the amount with regular water. For one of my vases, I used 80 mL of water. Once you have finalized the amount of liquid that you need to use 1:1 ratio of resin and hardener to make the fake water.

1. Place marbles/stone in the vase if you plan to use them, or omit this step.
2. Measure out equal amounts of resin and hardener (I used 40 mL of each) into a disposable glass and mix using a stirring stick (refer to the package instructions)

3. Pour the resin mixture carefully to the center of the vase. Be sure not to splash on the sides of the vase.
4. Arrange flowers/leaves in the vase
5. Leave the arrangement undisturbed for 24-36 hrs.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

How to Make a Two Tier Veil-DIY First Communion Veil


First of all, decide the type of fabric, style, and length of the veil you are going to make. There is a wide variety of fabric you can choose, such as tulle (which is the most commonly used), English net, Swiss dot, poly chiffon, and organza. The length of the veil can range from cathedral, chapel, ankle, finger tip, elbow, to shoulder length.

This is a tutorial is about how to make a tulle fabric veil which is fastened on a comb. I  made this for my daughters first holy communion. This elbow length veil features two tiers, oval shape on the back, and half cut pearl embellishments along the edges.

You need the following supplies:

-Tulle fabric
-Hair comb (plastic or metal)
-Satin ribbon or a thin white fabric tape (bias tape would work)
-Glue/glue gun
-Thread, needle, safety pins, scissors, -Measuring tape
-Half cut pearls/beads/stones/crystals/laces
-Fabric glue

Preparing the comb
Buy a plain plastic or metal comb. It's available in most of the craft/fabric stores (I got mine from Hobby Lobby- Bridal section). Next step is to loop the satin ribbon/thin white fabric/bias tape around the comb, staring from one end. The purpose of coiling the ribbon over the comb is just to make a surface to fasten the veil onto the top of the comb either by hand sewing or gluing. 

A) Apply a generous amount of glue (a glue gun would be perfect) onto bottom side of the comb. Press down one end of the satin ribbon on glue. Hold it there until the ribbon stays there. B) Then, start looping the ribbon around the teeth of the comb,until the ribbon reach the other end of the comb, apply glue along the bottom side of the comb, in each loop. C) Finally, glue the end of the ribbon on bottom side of the comb.

Preparing veil
For this veil, the top tier measures 23" and bottom tier measures 28". So, you need appox. 51" long tulle (23"+ 28"= 51", ie. length of top+ bottom tier). Lay out tulle fabric flat and cut the fabric according to your length measurements.

1. Fold tulle in half, lengthwise.

2.  Then make one more fold and round off the corner. Make sure to trim it nice and smooth. You may trim the edge which is close to first fold, if you need to reduce the width of the veil. Or, leave it as such for a thicker and fuller veil.

3. Next process is to gather the tulle. For that, unfold tulle and using safety pins, pin along a straight line approx. 23" from one edge of the tulle so that the distance from the straight line to other edge is 28".

4) Make small pleats with your hands along the straight line marked using safety pins. Get a needle and thread, make a knot at the end of the thread and hand sew the pleats together. Make sure the combined width of all the pleats is same as the width of the comb.

5) Place the pleated veil on a table.  Get the comb that has been prepared above. Place the comb with its top side facing up. Slide in the comb beneath the pleated veil and be sure to orient the teeth along the side of the bottom tier (side with 28"). Hand sew/glue the veil on the top of the comb.

6)  Once the veil has sewed onto the comb, lay the top tier over the bottom tier. So the stitching will be hidden in between top and bottom tier. To wear the veil, point the comb downward with the veil coming over the top. I also glued a strip of half cut pearls on the top of the comb.


(Embellishment idea is inspired from Rebecca Walker designs)
For embellishing along the edges of top and bottom tiers, half cut pearls (got it from Hobby Lobby- craft section) are used. Instead, you can also use stone/ beads in different patterns.
Position the half cut pearls, with 1/3 of each pearl is sticking out from the edge of the tulle. Glue the half cut pearls, one inch apart, back-to-back on both sides of the veil, and allow around 30 min to dry.


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