IKEA Hack: Aneboda Wardrobe

 
IKEA Hack: Aneboda Wardrobe
 

When I started grad school, Brandon and I moved into our first apartment together and it was the first apartment we had both ever lived in since college (we both moved back home after college). Our first apartment was a small, basement apartment in the Washington DC metro area and it seriously lacked closet space. It only had one tiny, under the stairs closet and that just wasn't going to suffice for my storage needs, let alone Brandon's needs too! And can you believe it, I actually still have a photo of that tiny closet:

 
 

Since I was in grad school and funds were low, I started searching Craigslist for a wardrobe and kept coming across some great deals for IKEA wardrobes and I really wanted one! The problem was since they were such a great deal, every time I contacted the seller, I was too late, the wardrobe had already been purchased by somebody else! Obviously they were super popular, but they also came up a lot on Craigslist, so I started checking Craigslist multiple times a day. This tactic worked out because I scored an Aneboda IKEA Wardrobe for $35 (they retail for $99) and it was practically brand new and already assembled!

Eight years and 4 moves later since that tiny apartment and I am still using my IKEA wardrobe for storage! It's currently in our bedroom in our Charleston apartment. A few weeks ago I realized how shabby it was starting to look and how it's just not my style. It needed a makeover aka IKEA hack time!

Here is the before photo of my IKEA Aneboda wardrobe and as you can see the cardboard backing was missing a chunk (courtesy of our last move):

IKEA Hack: Aneboda Wardrobe
IKEA Hack: Aneboda Wardrobe

Here are the steps I took to turn my IKEA Aneboda Wardrobe into a farmhouse, cottage style wardrobe:

Tools Needed:

Materials Needed:

  • 1 quart Shellac-based Primer by Zinsser
  • Paint, paint brush, & roller
  • Inexpensive paint brush (for primer)
  • (1) 4ft x 8ft sheet of plywood,  1/4" or less thick
  • Liquid Nails Construction Adhesive
  • Fabric 67" long and at least 31" wide
  • Staple gun and 1/4" nails or strong glue
  • 3/4" screws or 1" nails (for backing piece)
  • (2) Cabinet Pulls (I used these)

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures here.

1. First, I prepared the wardrobe for painting by removing the backing, doors, and pegs. I sanded any loose wood particles too.

 
IKEA Hack: Aneboda Wardrobe
 

2. Prime your wardrobe with a shellac based primer. Because the surface of the wardrobe is very shiny and almost like plastic, you need an oil-based primer to prevent peeling of the paint and provide coverage. I used this primer. First I primed all the corners and places I couldn't reach with a roller with a cheap, $1 paintbrush that I could throw away since I was using an oil based primer and didn't want to have to clean a good brush with mineral spirits. Then, I rolled over the rest of the wardrobe with a paint roller.

I added a second coat of primer on the clear, middle, piece on the doors.  I was glad to cover that part up, I couldn't stand it!

 
 

3. Make the following cuts with the 4x8ft sheet of plywood (or have your home improvement store make the cuts for you when you buy the plywood):

  • One piece at 66.5" x 31.5" (for the backing)
  • Two pieces at 66.5" x 2" (for the doors)

4. Now it's time to add the 2" plywood strips to the doors. I was inspired to do these pieces angled on the doors when I saw this photo from Shanty-2-Chic. I loved how it makes a statement, but is still simple enough for this wardrobe makeover and makes it more like barn doors.

Clamp your 2" plywood strips to the doors at an angle and then using a straight edge, mark the angle line with a pencil. Then, use a miter saw and make the cuts for your angles.

 
 

Then, attach your strips to the doors with Liquid Nails and place something heavy on top of them while the adhesive sets.

 
 

You may need to add caulk or spackle where the angle hits the door if there are any gaps. Sand the area and retouch up with primer if necessary.

 
IKEA Hack: Aneboda Wardrobe
 

5. PAINT!!! Paint the wardrobe and doors. Again use a brush (high quality) for all the places you can't reach with a roller, then roll the rest! I used Benjamin Moore Ivory White paint since I had it on hand already.

6. Add your fabric to your 66.5" x 31.5" backing piece. To do this I laid mine out on the floor and ironed it flat on top the board. Then, I attached the fabric with a staple gun and keeping the staples right along the edge of the board. And then I trimmed the excess fabric off. If I had to do this again, I may have wrapped the fabric over the back of the board and stapled to the back for a cleaner look. You could also use a strong glue instead to attach the fabric.

After your fabric is attached, attach the backing piece to the wardrobe with 3/4" screws or 1" nails (make sure fabric side is on the inside). It works best to lay the wardrobe down on the ground for this part.

7. Finally, put the wardrobe back together: add your hardware and re-attach your doors. I love these cabinet pulls I used!

 
IKEA Hack: Aneboda Wardrobe
 

Your IKEA wardrobe hack is complete and your IKEA wardrobe has been transformed into a custom, barn door style look! It's amazing what some paint and simple hacking tricks will do! I could of gone further and added molding and such, but I wanted to keep this project more simple and under $50.

 
IKEA Hack: Aneboda Wardrobe
 
 
IKEA Hack: Aneboda Wardrobe
 
 
IKEA Hack: Aneboda Wardrobe
 
 
IKEA Hack: Aneboda Wardrobe
 

Have you ever completed an IKEA hack before? This was my second IKEA hack and I'm loving the result! I have two more bedroom pieces from IKEA and now they look funny next to this lovely wardrobe makeover...I may have to do some more IKEA hacks in my future...!

Thanks for stopping by! Follow along on Instagram or Facebook for my latest projects, as well as Pinterest!

 
IKEA Hack: Aneboda Wardrobe
 

Top 5 posts from 2016 and hello to 2017

 
Top posts of 2016 and looking ahead to 2017
 

Wow, as I write this post (it's December 27th) I can't believe 2016 is coming to an end. 2016 seemed to go by incredibly fast, more than any other year of my life. Although, I can be really indecisive with decisions, one thing I know for sure is that I am super happy that I started this blog and it has been so much fun to create new DIY projects for it and be able to share them and help others!

Looking back at all of my posts from 2016, I was pleasantly surprised to see which posts were the most popular with readers and I thought it would be fun to share them since this was my first official full year of blogging. Here are the top 5 most viewed posts from 2016:

#5 - Entryway Hall Tree Bench DIY

 
Entryway Tree Hall Bench
 

This hall tree was one of my favorite posts too this year because it is just so cute and simple look wise, yet provides functional extra storage that we really needed in our little apartment this year. It was also one of my first build projects that challenged me to create something not only cute and functional, but super affordable in building materials. I love that it can be used in many different size homes and that it was featured as part of an Apartment Therapy post for furniture for small spaces!

#4 - How to Stain Wood

 
How to Stain Wood
 

I think I was most surprised that this post made the top 5! It's such a simple and seemingly not exciting kind of post...you know what I mean? But, I think it's super helpful and people need to stain wood for many kinds of DIY projects.

#3 - How to Create a Weathered Wood Gray Finish

 
How to Create a Weathered Wood Gray Finish
 

I must give credit to Brandon for the technique shared in this post! It was a really simple tutorial to achieve a cool, rustic finish!

#2 - How to Easily Transfer a Design onto Wood

 
How to easily transfer a design onto wood
 

I'm glad I shared this post, again another really simply technique that can help create such a cool result using wood. And I actually shared it to compliment the #1 post of this year...

#1 - DIY Wood Sign with Calligraphy Quote

 
DIY Wood Sign with Calligraphy Quote
 

This project with a DIY wood sign and free printable of the quote "Create the things you wish existed" in my calligraphy was the most popular post of this year and it was also my first viral pin on Pinterest :) It was also one of my favorite posts this year too because I loved not only the project itself and the quote on the sign, but it was one of the first times I realized that I could actually help inspire and help others in some way through this blog, like for real! While working on this blog project, I remember I had spent hours trying to think of the best quote and then create an actual design with my calligraphy that I loved. It was frustrating at the time because I spent so much time on this one project, but I am sure glad I did because I love this sign in my office and that others love it too for their homes!

After reflecting on 2016, it's time to look ahead to 2017 and I personally love making goals for the new year!

For the blog this year, I am going to focus on the following goals:

1. Improve my photography. To be honest, I really can't stand my photography at this point, I have trouble capturing the look I want and I really want to improve my photo skills! Interior photography can be quite challenging due to the lack of natural light.

2. Be more active on social media this year, especially Instagram which I know I've been a total slacker...I blame it partially on time management and photography issues. But, I think it's a great platform and I want to engage more with it.

3. Start an active newsletter. I really want to start sending out a monthly newsletter that people can actually look forward to and contain useful or helpful info!

4. Continue to keep growing the blog and learning new skills, trying new projects and sharing my experiences here on the blog to continue helping others with their DIY and decor projects! I hope to stay much more consistent with my posting schedule, sharing a high quality, useful blog post at least once per week (maybe 2 times per week later in the year if time permits).

5. Finally, my blog is going to be getting a makeover soon, my goal is to get this accomplished ASAP! And I have some really exciting news that I hope to share in March sometime! It involves adding an entirely new section to the blog and I am really excited about it!

Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog, I am very grateful! Do you have any special DIY or decor goals for 2017 that you are excited about?!

I will be back early next week with my first DIY project of the year, I can't wait to share it! As always, you can follow along on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest for my latest projects, fun updates, and sneak peeks!

Happy New Year friends!!! I hope it is wonderful!

Merry Christmas and an Update

 
 

This week's post is a bit different since it's not my typical DIY or decor post. I had great intentions of creating some fun Christmas posts this month, but life has been so busy and I just ran out of time and energy. I still wanted to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all though! I know I'm early, but I will be traveling to see family for Christmas and I'm going to be taking a break from blogging for the next few weeks until the New Year!

This year has just flown by and I am super excited about the growth I've experienced with this little blog of mine over the past year and I am truly grateful for all of my new readers! I've decided to take a few weeks break from blogging though to enjoy the holidays with family and friends and to work on planning fresh, new content for the new year. If there's any type of posts that you'd love to see more of, feel free to share in the comments! I have a ton of ideas floating around my head for next year and I can't wait to start making them real! I will be doing a full year reflection post (as well as looking ahead) the first week of January, so stay tuned for that!

Although, I only have one Christmas post for this year, below I'm sharing some Christmas posts I created last year:

Cozy Christmas Kitchen Wine Nook

 
Cozy Christmas Kitchen Wine Nook
 
 
DIY Rustic Christmas Wreath
 
 
DIY Chevron Planter Stand
 

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Join me on Instagram and Pinterest for my latest projects, fun updates, and sneak peeks!

Christmas Garland DIY

 
Rustic Christmas Garland DIY
 

Today's Christmas Garland DIY project is a really simple project...yet I almost decided to not share it because this was my first time making a garland and it just didn't turn out like I wanted it to! Not all DIY projects work out the way we want them too but I still thought it was cute enough to share!

I decided to make a garland because I wanted to make some Christmas decor utilizing things I already had so I didn't have to spend any extra money. For this project, everything used I had on hand already. Supplies included twine/jute rope, floral wire, letter decals, Christmas pine tree clippings, ribbon, and wood slices.

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures here.

First, I started wrapping green floral wire around the pine tree clippings (from our Christmas tree) and twine to make the garland. It took a few layers of the pine clippings on the twine till it actually looked like a garland.

Then, I used my mini miter saw and cut some wood slices from the leftover tree branches we had from our Rustic Tree Branch Desk project. I drilled a hole through each wood slice.

For the lettering "Merry & Bright" I chose to use vinyl decal letters since I didn't have much time, although I do prefer to paint the letters on wood more. You can also use letter stickers sold at craft stores if you're in a time crunch too. Then, I threaded Christmas ribbon through the holes on the tree branch wood slices.

Finally, I tied the ribbon wood slices to the pine garland! And that's it! I'm not sure exactly where I am going to keep it, but I am liking it hung on our oversized chalkboard!

 
Rustic Christmas Garland DIY
 
 
Rustic Christmas Garland DIY
 
 
Rustic Christmas Garland DIY
 

I'm keeping the rest of our Christmas decor really simple this year since we are going to be visiting family over the holidays. What do you think of my DIY rustic Christmas garland? Follow along on Instagram and Facebook for my latest projects, as well as Pinterest!

DIY Bar Cart

 
 

I'm super excited about today's post on how to build a bar cart! This project has been in my head for months and the plans on how I was going to actually build it changed forms many times. Basically, I wanted to make a DIY bar cart that really looked like a custom, higher end bar cart and that was also a bit rustic. I am thrilled at how it turned out after changing my mind so many times about the design of it!

 
Bar Cart DIY, Rustic Bar Cart DIY
 

This DIY bar cart was a little more time consuming to build, but definitely worth it in the end, especially for the amount of savings! It cost me less than $50 in building materials to build, whereas other similar bar carts retail around $150+. Note, I did have the paint and stain on hand already for the finishing, so that is not included in the material cost.

Below are the steps on how I built this DIY Bar Cart. Also, Ashley from Handmade Haven created some awesome, 3D plans of the bar cart build, which you can check out here!

Materials

  • (3) 2x2 @ 8ft furring strips
  • (1) 1x2 @ 8ft
  • (1) 1x4 @ 8ft
  • (1) 1x3 @ 8ft
  • (1) 2ft x 2ft @ 3/4" thick pine plywood
  • (4) 2" Casters (I used these)
  • (2) 3/8" round wood dowel rods @ 4ft
  • 2 1/2" and 1 1/4″ Kreg screws
  • 1 1/4" Brad Nails
  • Wood Glue
  • 2" Wood Screws
  • (2) Cabinet pulls

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures here.

1. Make your bar cart frame cuts from the 2x2s

I used 2x2 furring strips for the frame of my DIY bar cart. This saved me a ton of money, but try to choose really straight 2x2s and make sure you sand them really well since they are a more rough grade of wood. Make the following cuts:

  • 4 pieces at 30.5"
  • 4 pieces at 22.5"
  • 4 pieces at 14"
 
Bar Cart DIY, Rustic Bar Cart DIY
 

2. Drill pocket holes and Attach frame pieces

Lay out how your frame is going to go together (shown in 1st photo below). Use two of the 30.5" 2x2 pieces for your sides and two of the 22.5" 2x2 pieces for the top and bottom of the frame. I placed my bottom frame piece 3" up from the bottom of the side pieces since this is what the bottom shelf of the bar cart will sit on. Mark where your pocket holes need to go, one on each end of the two 22.5" pieces (make sure you do them on the bottom side of your 2x2s so they don't show). Then, drill your pocket holes with a Kreg Jig. Use 2 1/2" kreg screws to attach the frame together. We used a scrap piece of 2x2 to help keep the pieces even as we drilled them together (shown in the 3rd photo below).

Repeat these same steps for the other side of the frame.

3. Finish assembling the bar cart frame

Drill one pocket hole on each end of your four 14" 2x2 pieces.

 
Bar Cart DIY, Rustic Bar Cart DIY
 

Add two of your 14" 2x2 pieces to the bottom of one frame side and to the top of the other frame side using pocket holes and 2 1/2" kreg screws. The pocket holes can be either on the inside or underneath part of the 2x2s as you attach them, either way they won't show.

 
Bar Cart DIY, Rustic Bar Cart DIY
 
 
Bar Cart DIY, Rustic Bar Cart DIY
 

Now attach your two frame pieces to form the final bar cart frame. Note, when attaching the frame on the short 14" sides, the long kreg drill bit to drive screws into the pocket holes, is too long with a standard drill. I had a smaller square tip drill bit that I used instead for this part.

 
Bar Cart DIY, Rustic Bar Cart DIY
 
 
Bar Cart DIY, Rustic Bar Cart DIY
 

4. Make the bottom shelf of the bar cart

Cut your 1x4 into four 24" pieces. The cuts don't have to be perfect for this step. Then, line up your 1x4 pieces and drill pocket holes as shown in the left photo below and attach with 1 1/4" kreg screws. To get a perfectly straight edge on each side, use a circular saw and trim each side, so that the final length of your shelf is 22.5" (the width should be 14" already from your attached four 1x4s).

Next, cut two 1x2 pieces at 22.5" and two at 14". These pieces are going to be attached to the sides of your shelf piece as shown in the photos below. But, before you attach them to the shelf, make sure they fit snugly between the frame sides (shown in bottom left photo), you may need to sand them down slightly to get a better fit (I had to do this for two of them). Add two pocket holes to the bottom shelf sides as shown in middle photo and attach 1x2 pieces with 1 1/4" kreg screws. Flip over and your bottom shelf should like the bottom right photo! Go ahead and place the bottom shelf on the lower frame and make sure it fits well but don't attach it yet to the frame.

4. Make the top tray shelf of the bar cart

Using a circular saw, cut one side of your 2ft x 2ft plywood piece to 15" so that the final size is 24" x 15".

 
Bar Cart DIY, Rustic Bar Cart DIY
 

Next, for joining the sides of the top tray shelf, you can either do straight cuts or 45 degree angled cuts. I chose to do the angled cuts to make the bar cart look a bit higher end even though angled cuts are bit more challenging. Either way cut two 1x3 pieces at 25.5".

Attach the two 25.5" pieces to each long side of the plywood using a brad nailer and 1 1/4" brad nails. If you did angled cuts, make sure the inner angles on the ends are lined up correctly to the plywood edges before nailing.

 
Bar Cart DIY, Rustic Bar Cart DIY
 

Now measure the exact width for your two side pieces. It should be just about 17" but mine was off by 1/16" so I adjusted my cuts accordingly. It's always good to measure twice and cut once! Then, attach your two side pieces with brad nails to complete the top shelf tray of the bar cart! Also, for these side pieces I put brad nails along the bottom edge and side edges to make it more secure.

 
Bar Cart DIY, Rustic Bar Cart DIY
 

5. Prepare dowel rods

Cut the 3/8" dowel rods as follows: two pieces at 23.5" and two at 14.5". Then, mark the center point on the inside edge the 2x2, 4" up from the bottom shelf (on all inside edges for a total of 8 marks). Use a 1/2" drill bit and drill 8 holes where your markings are. Note, I first drilled a 1" deep hole and then 1/2" deep on the opposite side and continued this pattern until I finished all 8 holes. I marked 1" and 1/2" on a scrap dowel piece to test my depths for each hole to make sure I drilled deep enough (photo 3 below).

Go ahead and add your dowel rods to the holes to make sure they fit properly. It works best to put them into the 1" deep side holes first to get them in. If you are having trouble getting them in, trim off 1/4" or so more but be careful not to trim too much off. Alrighty, your DIY bar cart is built! Now time for all the finishing touches to complete the bar cart!!!

Bar Cart DIY, Rustic Bar Cart DIY
 

6. Paint bar cart frame and fill holes

If you'd like to have a cleaner look use wood filler to fill holes on the top tray shelf over the brad nail holes. I also used this light spackle to fill any wood knots/cracks in the frame that is getting painted. If you are staining the frame, use wood filler. Sand where needed to prep the frame for painting (or staining). Then, paint (or stain) the frame. I chose to do a white frame for the bar cart.

7. Attach caster wheels to bar cart frame

I bought these adorable 2" casters at Lowes. They come two to a pack and each caster has a spiky metal piece that you need to remove from the caster (shown in the left photo below). Flip over your bar cart frame and drill a 1/2" hole in the middle of the bar cart leg bottoms. Make sure to drill the hole a little bit deeper than the length of the spiky metal piece. Then tap the spiky metal piece into the hole with a hammer until the spiky part goes into the wood.

Next, place your caster wheel into the metal hole and it should click into place. Repeat for all sides. Flip your bar car frame back over and now your bar cart has caster wheels!

8. Stain and finish the top tray shelf and bottom shelf of your bar cart and attach to bar cart frame

Stain your top tray shelf and bottom shelf. I used one coat of Minwax Dark Walnut and then applied one coat of Annie Sloan White Wax, but finish however you'd prefer! For help on how to stain wood for a beautiful finish, check out my tutorial here. This was actually my first time using wax and I am in love with the end result of it! I definitely will be using wax again! Finally, spray paint your round, dowel rods. I used Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze. Next, attach your bottom shelf with wood glue to the bar cart frame (left photo below). Then, add a little bit of wood glue to the dowel rod ends and attach them as well to your bar cart.

9. Attach top tray shelf to bar cart.

Attach your top tray shelf to your bar cart with 2" wood screws from the bottom side. It's best to drill pilot holes first about 3/4" from the inside of the bar cart (so it goes through the frame and plywood piece of the tray, not the side 1x3 edges). Also clamp the tray down while drilling. Lastly, add cabinet pulls on each side of your top tray shelf!

 
 

Now your DIY Bar Cart is complete!

 
Bar Cart DIY, Rustic Bar Cart
Bar Cart DIY, Rustic Bar Cart DIY
 
 
Bar Cart DIY, Rustic Bar Cart DIY
 

What do you think of my DIY Bar Cart? I love that it can be used for so many things! I may be using it as a coffee cart soon too!

P.S. You can find the Sip Sip Hooray printable in my shop here!

Follow along on Instagram or Facebook for my latest projects, as well as Pinterest!

How to easily transfer a design onto wood

 
How to easily transfer a design onto wood - DIY Sign
 

I've been meaning to post this tutorial for tracing onto wood for a long time! Before I ever learned how to use vinyl for transferring my designs onto wood (which I used to make this DIY wood Sign), I used a super easy pencil method all the time. All you need is a pencil and a marker or paint pen. Here is one of my favorite signs from my wedding, our honey favors sign, where I used this easy pencil tracing method:

 
Rachel Smith Photography

Rachel Smith Photography

 

For this tutorial, I decided I wanted to make a mini, wood framed sign that will eventually be part of a gallery wall I am planning. I used the same building steps as this DIY wood Sign project to build the sign (just smaller measurements, about 9"x9"). And here are step by step directions for the easy pencil tracing method:

1. Print out your design at the appropriate size needed for your wood. Then, cut the excess white paper off around your design. I used this Home Sweet Home printable which is available in the shop and it was a perfect fit after I cut off the excess white paper!

P.S. Sorry for the dark photos, I did this project at night!

 
How to easily transfer a design onto Wood - DIY Sign
 

2. Turn your paper over so the printed out design is facing down. Then, use a regular pencil and heavily shade over the outline of the design showing through the back. Note, if your ink is fresh like mine was, put a scrap piece of paper underneath so no ink transfers onto your work surface. Also, you can use chalk on the back instead of a pencil if your wood surface is really dark.

 
How to easily transfer a design onto Wood - DIY Sign
How to easily transfer a design onto Wood - DIY Sign
 

3.  Flip your design back over and secure it into place on top of your wood using masking tape. Then, start tracing over the design with your pencil, heavily pressing down the pencil as you trace.

4. Now the magic part! Remove your paper and the outline of your design has been transferred onto your wood!

 
How to easily transfer a design onto Wood - DIY Sign
 

5. Complete the transfer by tracing over the pencil outline with a paint pen, marker, or paint brush. I started tracing over mine originally with a medium tip paint pen and it was too thick, so I actually had to re-do it! The second time I used a black Sharpie marker instead which worked much better!

 
How to easily transfer a design onto Wood - DIY Sign
 

And that's it! A very simple and easy way to transfer a design onto wood! Here is the final result:

 
How to easily transfer a design onto wood - DIY Sign
 

Do you have any good, easy tracing methods you like to use?! Feel free to share in the comments! Follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for my latest projects, fun updates, and sneak peeks!

How to Create a Weathered Wood Gray Finish

 
How to Create a Weathered Wood Gray Finish
 

Last week on the blog, I shared a Rustic Tree Branch Desk DIY, that Brandon built and finished. The photos I took didn't quite show off the rustic, distressed finish like I wanted, so I am sharing some close up photos today of the finish as well as how we created a weathered wood gray finish.

We tested out a few different combinations to get a more gray washed looked. Ultimately, we decided on using a combination of stain and white washed paint (paint mixed with water) to achieve a more gray tone.

Here are the steps we used to create a weathered wood, gray, rustic finish:

Supplies Needed

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures here.

1. Stain your wood

Before staining, make sure you sand your wood really well and remove all the sawdust. Then, apply the pre-stain wood conditioner and then one coat of the stain. For more tips on how to stain wood, click here for a tutorial. Allow your stain to fully dry.

 
How to create a weathered wood rustic gray finish
 

2. Apply a white wash mixture to the wood

To create a white wash paint mixture, we mixed about 1 part water to 1 part white paint. We ended up making the mixture a bit thicker with paint and less watery to achieve our desired finish. Next, apply the white wash paint mixture to the wood in long strokes with a paint brush. Allow paint to set for 3-5 seconds, rub over the white wash paint strokes with a lint free rag to smear the paint mixture into the wood. Allow it to fully dry.

3. Distress wood finish with sandpaper

Finally, very lightly distress the wood finish with sandpaper until you achieve your desired look!

And that's it! Pretty simple! You can also add a top coat of poly or wax if you'd like, we chose not too since we liked the look at this point. Here is a close up of the wood grain with this rustic, gray, weathered wood finish. I just love how the grain lightly shows through!

 
how to create a weathered wood gray finish
 
 
how to create a weathered wood gray finish
 

What do you think of our weathered wood, gray finish? I think it definitely gives off a rustic vibe!

Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for my latest projects, fun updates, and sneak peeks!

 

Rustic Tree Branch Desk DIY

 
Rustic Tree Branch Desk DIY
 

I have to start this post by admitting that this Rustic Tree Branch Desk DIY was definitely stepping outside of my comfort zone! It's not the typical style furniture I dream up and that's because I didn't think of it! Brandon came up with this design all on his own and he also did all the building and finishing on it too!

To give you a little bit of a back story...Brandon really needed a new desk, he'd been using a fold up table for awhile. Originally, he wanted to build it out of wood and black steel piping. After the hurricane, we were out walking one day and came across some broken Crepe Myrtle tree branches. I thought they were really cool looking and would make an awesome project, but I didn't know what we would do with them. Brandon immediately knew he wanted to use them for the legs of his new desk! And that is how this project came to be!

 
Rustic Tree Branch Desk DIY
 

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures here.

Materials:

  • (5) 1x6 @ 8ft (for table top)
  • (4) 1x4 @ 8ft (for table aprons & branch supports)
  • (4) tree branches/logs at least 30" long each
  • (4) 3/8" x 2" galvanized lag bolts (for wood)
  • (4) 3/8" Galvanized Flat Washers
  • 3" Drywall Screws
  • 1-1/4" Kreg screws

Alright Brandon is taking over now to explain how to build this Rustic Tree Branch Desk!

Part 1: Making the top of the desk

1. Measure and cut your 1”x6”x8’ to 50” and do this for (5) boards.

2. Once your cuts are complete clear your work surface and lay out your boards side by side. This is when you want to choose which boards you want facing up and which boards you want to be your end pieces. After you have chosen your boards, flip the inside boards over and the (2) end boards you will need to swap after you flip them. Label each end of one side of all the boards 1-5 to ensure that all your boards will go back in the same order after you drill your pilot holes.

 
Rustic Tree Branch Desk DIY
 

3. Keep the boards side by side so that you can mark where all of your kreg holes should go.

 
Rustic Tree Branch Desk DIY
 

4. Find a level surface to place your boards so that you can join them together. I used the floor of my apartment. Line up the ends in number order. Using 1-¼” kreg screws and the correct bit begin to screw the boards together starting with #1 & #2. Do not use the highest setting on your drill, you do not want to be forceful because it may cause the screw to go through and pop out the top side of the surface. I will usually use a lower setting between 5-7 on my drill and as soon as the two boards pull tight together I stop and move on to the next screw.

5.  Using your circular saw remove 1” from each end to make for a smooth and even end. You can use a straight edge guide if needed to make a straight cut off the ends or you can make one yourself for a more affordable and still very effective option. Make these cuts with the bottom facing up so that the top of the desk will be a smooth cut.

6. Next step is laying out your measurements for your apron.  I decided that I wanted a 2” gap between the long apron pieces and the edge of the top and a 2-½” gap between the short apron pieces and the edge of the top. First I laid out a 1”x4”x4’ piece long ways across my top. I measured 2” from the edge of each end of the table and drew about a 4” line from the end of the top. Then I moved the 1”x4”x4’ piece and laid it out on the shorter side of the top. I measured out 2-½” and made a line that crossed the marks I already made on the long apron. Repeat these for all sides, so that you have 4 cross marks at each corner of the table.

Using a miter saw make the cuts for the short aprons first. This will ensure that you can get an exact measurement on the long aprons, as they may be slightly different once you secure the short aprons to the top.

Set up your kreg jig and mark where to drill. I marked (3) holes for the short apron. Line up your short aprons first and make sure you have equal measurements from each end and the side going out to the end of the table. Drill your kreg holes and secure your side aprons with 1-¼” kreg screws.

Measure your long aprons making sure that they cover the ends of the shorter apron. Mark (4) holes with a pencil and drill kreg holes. Use the miter saw to cut the long aprons. Secure the long aprons with 1-¼” kreg screws. All corners should not have any gap at all between the long and short aprons.

 
Rustic Tree Branch Desk DIY
 

Now you have finished the hardest part and are ready to attach the legs. *Note* before attaching the legs we stained and applied a white wash finish. You can see a step by step tutorial here for how we created the weathered wood finish.

Part 2: The Tree Branch Legs

7. If you are using tree limbs they will naturally not be very straight. Before you measure cut a 1" piece off the end where you measure from. Measure 29-3/4" down the center of the limb. Use the miter saw to make all (4) cuts.

8. Turn your desk top upside down on a work surface and place your legs at each corner.

 
Rusic Tree Branch DIY
 

I built a small box around each corner of the legs for added support. These all needed to be measured individually because of the different thickness of each limb. Drill (2) kreg holes in each and secure to the desk making sure to not be too forceful so that the screws don't pop through. I then ran (2) 3" drywall screws through each side of the supports.

The main method of support were (4) 3/8"x2" deck lag bolts that I attached on each leg from the side aprons. I drilled a pilot hole at approximately 2-1/2" and attached the lag bolt and washers with a 9/16" wrench.

Finally the last and most fulfilling step is to flip the desk over!! Your custom one of a kind rustic tree branch desk is complete. Thank you for bearing with me as my descriptiveness hasn't fully developed since it is my first ever blog post and all. I hope you enjoy and I look forward to sharing more projects in the future. Happy Building!

 
Rustic Tree Branch Desk DIY
 
 
Rustic Tree Branch Desk DIY
 

Thank you Brandon for those steps! What do you think of our Rustic Tree Branch Desk?! I really was nervous about it at first, thinking it could be a total disaster with using tree branches for desk table legs, but I think it turned out pretty cool and definitely one of a kind. Plus, I love any kind of up-cycled decor DIY project! Have you ever made any decor out of tree branches or logs? I'd love to hear about it! Follow along on Instagram or Facebook for my latest projects, as well as Pinterest!

 
Rustic Tree Branch Desk DIY
 

Neutral Fall Wreath DIY

 
Neutral Fall Wreath DIY
 

I love all the colors of fall, but at the same time I love neutral color, farmhouse style decor too! Every season I try to make a wreath and for this fall I decided to make a neutral fall wreath. Originally, I was going to use faux plants and flowers on it, but I decided on fresh greenery and natural elements instead since I love the look!

Below are the steps I followed to make this neutral fall wreath. In total I spent about $9 for my supplies.

1. Gather supplies

I used eucalyptus from Trader Joe's, pine cones I found outside, and mini white pumpkins from the grocery store. In addition, I used green floral wire and one kebab stick (I will explain why below). You will also need a grapevine floral wreath form which can be found at craft stores.

 
Neutral Fall Wreath DIY
 

2. Arrange greenery in layers on wreath

Start by arranging your greenery around the curve of the wreath. You can go all the way around or just one section like I did below. With a grapevine wreath you can stick the greenery into the vine to hold in place, but if there are parts you need to be more secure, use floral wire.

3. Add your wreath focal point pieces

For the focal point of my wreath I chose to do one pumpkin and two pine cones. The pine cones I secured with floral wire, but the pumpkin was a bit heavy, so I used a kebab stick! First, I drilled a hole through the bottom center of the pumpkin. Then, I stuck part of the kebab stick into it and secured it on the wreath with floral wire wrapped around the stick and wreath branches.

And that's it! Really simple, but cute fall decor project!

 
Neutral Fall Wreath DIY
 
 
Neutral Fall Wreath DIY
 

I couldn't decide where I wanted to put it. I played around with it hanging on both the front door as well as in the entryway on our DIY tree hall bench. Which place do you like it better? Tough decisions right?! It's finally starting to feel like fall around here and I'm loving it! Follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for my latest projects, fun updates, and sneak peeks!

 
Neutral Fall Wreath DIY
 

 

 

No Sew Flannel Dog Bandana

 
No Sew Flannel Dog Bandana DIY
 

Hi friends! I know its been over two weeks since I've posted, its been crazy because last week we had to evacuate our home due to Hurricane Matthew (we live in Charleston, SC). We were out of town for nearly a week and it threw me way off track with my project and to-do list. But I am back this week with a fun, easy DIY craft project: No Sew Flannel Dog Bandana DIY.

I love all things flannel in the fall and I really wanted our dog, Chance, to have his very own flannel bandana to wear this fall and winter. It turned out pretty cute and I plan on making some more in more fall-ish colors! It was also really inexpensive to make!

Here are the supplies and steps you will need to make this No Sew Flannel Dog Bandana:

Materials:

  • Flannel Fabric - at least 25" x 25" (you can do a few inches less or more if your dog is really big or small)
  • 3/4" Hemming tape (I used Heat 'n Bond Super strength)
  • Iron
  • Fabric cutting scissors

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures here.

 
No Sew Flannel Dog Bandana DIY
 

1. Wash and dry your flannel fabric

Note, your fabric may shrink an inch or two all the way around after it goes through the washer/dryer, but I've included extra fabric in the measurements above to account for this possibility.

2. Iron the flannel fabric and cut to size

Iron your fabric and cut off any loose fabric strings on the ends. Then, cut it to 20" x 20". Again you can do a few inches less or more if you have a smaller/larger dog. Chance is medium sized and a regular size bandana fits him great, so that's what I based these measurements off of. A standard bandana measures 18.5" x 18.5" and we need 1.5" extra fabric on all sides for the hemming tape, which is 20" x 20" total.

 
 

3. Add the hemming tape to all sides of the flannel fabric

Place a piece of hemming tape on one side of the flannel fabric about 3/4" in from the edge. Fold the edge over the tape and iron over it with a medium high heat set iron. Hold the iron for about 3 seconds, lift up and hold down again for several more seconds. Flip the fabric over and iron from the other side over the edge. Now you have your first edge seam! Repeat on the remaining edges.

No Sew Flannel Dog Bandana DIY
No Sew Flannel Dog Bandana DIY
No Sew Flannel Dog Bandana DIY

4. Fold one corner to the opposite corner to create a triangle

Fold one corner of your flannel bandana to the next to create a triangle. Iron the crease. Then, fold the longest side of the triangle over 1 - 2 times and iron the creases down again. Your No Sew Flannel Dog Bandana is complete! Tie around/over your pup's collar and enjoy!

 
 
 
No Sew Flannel Dog Bandana DIY
 
 
No Sew Flannel Dog Bandana DIY
 

Chance loves his new flannel bandana! What do you think about his no sew flannel dog bandana?! Do you like dressing up your pets for the different seasons or Halloween?! I'd love to hear! Follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for my latest projects, fun updates, and sneak peeks!

My Favorite DIY Woodworking Tools

When I started woodworking and DIY furniture building I had to make an investment in woodworking tools. My goal when purchasing tools is always to find the best quality tool for a reasonable price. Further, I try to ensure it's going to be a tool I know I will use a lot and it will be very helpful. Below I've rounded up my favorite DIY woodworking tools that I love using all the time for my building projects and recommend for most woodworking projects!

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures here.

 
My Favorite DIY Woodworking Tools
 

1.  Compound Miter Saw

Sometimes referred to as a chop saw, my miter saw makes my building and woodworking life so much easier! You can cut wood with an old fashioned saw but if you are going to do any kind of woodworking, a miter saw is essential for making accurate, quick, and clean wood cuts. I use my miter saw for pretty much every woodworking project and it's definitely one of the best tools to purchase. This miter saw is great because I can do everything from basic straight cuts to fancy, angled, crown molding cuts and it easily cuts through many depths of wood, including 4x4s, and the laser works great too.

I do recommend replacing the standard blade that comes with any miter saw with a finer tooth blade like this since it will make your cuts even smoother and finer!

2. Mini Compound Miter Saw

I know I just listed a miter saw in tool #1 above, but I also invested in this mini miter saw by Ryobi when we moved into our apartment because I needed a miter saw that was easy to move around (since I currently don't have a backyard or garage) and would easily fit in our little patio shed. I highly recommend starting with this mini saw if you don't have much space, your on a tight budget, just do light woodworking projects, or any other reason that a mini, less expensive miter saw would provide. It cuts wood up to 2x4 in size, so it's still super handy for many of my smaller projects.

3. Circular Saw

Whenever I'm building something that requires ripping (cutting) down plywood or making any kind of longer cut that is too wide for my miter saw, I get my circular saw out to take care of the job.

4. Drill

A power drill is another essential tool to have for most DIY projects. I've used this drill for several years now and it has provided me with the power I need for all my drilling and screwing needs. It's actually the first drill I learned how to use! I love the handy bag it comes with too!

5. Kreg Jig

I can't even begin to tell you how awesome a Kreg Jig is for woodworking (unless you already know)! It's one of my favorite tools ever! There are lots of ways to build furniture and join pieces of wood together, but a kreg jig allows you to do so super easily and creates a strong joint too through the use of pocket holes. It has allowed me to build really simple to really complex pieces and I have used it on most of my building projects.

6. Router

Routers are really cool tools! You may not need it as often as some other tools on this list, but they can do everything from cut custom molding, cut edges and grooves in wood, carve designs, create wood joinery, and more. Routers are very versatile tools and you can do some fun, advanced woodworking techniques with them and they really aren't hard to learn how to use.

7. Rip Cut Straight Edge Guide

When Brandon and I first started woodworking, we had to make large rip cuts with our circular saw for several projects where cutting across long pieces of wood or plywood was necessary. Of course they needed to be perfectly straight cuts! We didn't have the room or budget for a table saw, so we actually created our own DIY straight-edge guide out of wood. However, I later discovered this Kreg Rip Cut which is a super handy and simple tool for ensuring accurate rip cuts (and it's less than $30). We still use our DIY straight edge guide since it works great too, but had I known about the Kreg Rip Cut at the time, I would have bought it immediately and saved us the hassle of DIYing it which took a lot of time and effort.

8. Clamps

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to build something and your project or work piece keeps moving out of place. The solution: clamps! The Irwin quick-grip clamps work great and make DIY life much easier. I recommend starting out at least with a few smaller sizes and eventually building up a collection with larger sizes.

9. Corner Cat Sander

Whenever I need to do some quick, light sanding, I grab my cordeless corner cat sander. It also is really useful for quickly distressing the edges when I'm finishing my woodworking projects.

10. Brad Nailer

A brad nailer is another functional tool I use often for attaching small pieces of wood trim or moldings to finish off my projects. I also use it whenever I need to attach a lighter piece of wood to my project (for example the 1/4" thick plywood backings). This cordless brad nailer by Ryobi is great because I don't have to worry about any cords or connecting it to a noisy air compressor.

11. Light Spackle/Wood Filler

Ok so I know spackle and wood filler aren't really tools, but they are a wonderful solution for hiding any imperfections in my woodworking project builds. If there are any nail holes, wood cracks, or molding gaps I don't want to show, I fill them with light spackle if I'm painting the project or stainable wood filler if I'm staining the piece.

I hope this list was helpful and I will continue to update it as needed! Do you have a favorite woodworking tool that isn't on this list? Feel free to share in the comments below! You can follow along on my latest projects and behind the scenes on Instagram and Pinterest!

Fall Dining Room Sideboard Decor

 
Fall Dining Room Sideboard Decor
 

Earlier this week I shared our entryway fall decor where I started decorating for fall. The next area that I have decorated is our sideboard table. Technically, we don't have a separate dining room area, our living room and dining room is pretty much one big open living space. I'm using our sideboard table to hold most of our dining room stuff and it's also a focal point in the large room.

I really thought this area would be easy to decorate, but it was a bit difficult, I couldn't quite get the look I was going for here...so you'll notice in the photos below I was moving some of the pieces around and playing with different setups! I tried to keep it more simple, with lots of natural elements instead of having to buy a bunch of things. Although I did splurge on the real pumpkins because I just love them in the fall especially the more neutral color ones.

 
Fall Dining Room Sideboard Decor
 
 
Fall Dining Room Sideboard Decor
 

One of the main decor pieces of this setup is our new oversized wood sign. Long story short, I have been dreaming of adding wood signs with my calligraphy designs to the shop for a long time. This oversized, fall, wood sign is one of the first designs added! I love how it turned out and the quote, "Summer heat has faded, fall leaves created, autumn fills the air" was thought of by my lovely husband who I think is a great writer ;) You can find the listing for this sign here in the shop!

 
Fall Dining Room Sideboard Decor
 

What do you think of our fall dining room and sideboard decor? Have you started decorating for fall yet? Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for my latest projects, fun updates, and sneak peeks! Thanks for stopping by!

 
Fall Dining Room Sideboard Decor
 

Fall Entryway Farmhouse Decor

 
Fall Entryway Farmhouse Decor
 

With the fall season coming up I have slowly started to decorate a few areas of our apartment. One of my favorite spaces to decorate surprisingly is my entryway because of our hall tree bench.  Brandon and I built our DIY Hall Tree Bench earlier this summer and its been both practical for entryway storage as well as a pretty spot to add some decor!

For our fall decor, I really wanted to create a cozy, farmhouse vibe. I looked everywhere for real pumpkins! Luckily, I found a few larger ones at Lowe's and our local grocery store. I could not find mini white pumpkins anywhere though, so I improvised and used some faux pumpkins along the top shelf.

 

 
Fall Entryway Farmhouse Decor
 

In addition to pumpkins, I incorporated more natural elements like flowers as well as pine cones that I found outside. To add that cozy, fall feeling, I added flannel and plaid blankets, as well as a cute, plaid pillow from Jo-Ann Fabrics that I love!

 
Fall Entryway Farmhouse Decor
 

Finally, one of my favorite pieces of decor that I added to our hall tree that really helps give it a fall, farmhouse vibe is our new O' lovely Autumn wood sign which is part of the new fall line in the shop!

 
Fall Entryway Farmhouse Decor
 

What do you think of my fall entryway farmhouse decor? I'm working on adding some more fall decor to another area in our apartment now and hope to share it later this week! Follow along on Instagram or Facebook for my latest projects, as well as Pinterest!

 
Fall Entryway Farmhouse Decor
 

Happy Fall Y'all Printable

 
Free Happy Fall Y'all Printable
 

Is it really already September?! It seems like the summer just flew by and after September 1st everyone is ready for the fall season!  And this year I've never been more ready for fall, I think it's because this summer was super hot.

Anyways I haven't been on social media much the past few weeks as I have been busy planning the blog content for the rest of the year (with some exciting projects in the works). I've also been busy working on new products and designs for the shop! Next, week I am launching the fall collection with our new product line and I seriously can't wait! Follow along on Instagram for all of the fun fall updates!

With the fall line launching next week, in addition to some lovely fall blog posts coming up over the next several weeks, what better way to celebrate than a free fall printable?! Happy Fall Y'all! Click the button below for the free fall printable!

 
Free Happy Fall Y'all Printable
 

P.S. For tips on printing printables, check out my quick guide here!

3 DIY ideas to help customize your rental apartment

 
3 DIY ideas to help customize your rental apartment
 

Living in a rental or apartment can be tough when it comes to trying to personalize your space and make it exactly the way you want! It can be even harder if you are a DIY lover and have a ton of project ideas but you just don't have the space to do them or for obvious reasons you aren't allowed to do them because of your lease terms. Below I am sharing three ways you can use DIY projects to customize your rental and make it feel more personalized!

1. Refinish one of a kind furniture pieces for your space

Adding one of a kind furniture pieces that you have refinished to fit your aesthetic works great for adding personalization to a space in a big way! It's also very budget friendly if you can find the pieces for a good deal at a thrift shop, estate sale, Craigslist, etc. For example, I found this vintage buffet on Craigslist for a good deal, but the original black color was totally not my style. With a little bit of TLC and some chalk paint, I refinished it and now it makes a big statement in my apartment and helps the space feel like it has some more farmhouse style that I love. Here are the before and after photos of my vintage buffet:

 
3 DIY ideas to help customize your rental apartment
 
 
3 DIY ideas to help customize your rental apartment
 

2. Utilize large DIY wall decor

Since making any major changes to the walls in an apartment which involves lots of holes is usually not allowed, try adding large wall decor items instead that really make a statement and fit your style. Ideas can range from gallery walls to cool paintings or art prints. And if you can't make any holes to hang these pieces, use command hooks or strips which don't damage walls.

I'd love to add shiplap to all my walls in my apartment, but I'm not allowed to do that. Instead, I'm trying to add large, rustic type pieces to help give off the same rustic vibe. For example, in my most recent home office makeover, I added this DIY wood framed sign which helped to add some rustic character to my office.

 
 

3. Make custom storage that is pretty & functional

Most rentals and apartments are lacking on space and storage, however adding some DIY storage ideas can be a great solution, but go one step further with it and make it pretty storage too which can help customize the space and again make it more your style! For example, I built this DIY entryway hall tree bench, which fits perfectly in my apartment's entryway and it adds extra storage and is super cute too! Since I obviously couldn't have a custom mudroom with built in cabinets (that I love dreaming about haha), this little hall tree bench is a wonderful alternative!

 
3 DIY ideas to help customize your rental apartment
 

I hope these three DIY ideas for customizing your rental apartment have helped sparked some ideas for you if you live in a rental or even a small space! Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for my latest projects, fun updates, and sneak peeks!

Farmhouse Table DIY with Removable Legs

 
Farmhouse table DIY with removable legs
 

Farmhouse tables are my absolute favorite piece of furniture and will always have a special meaning to me! Farmhouse tables are the reason I taught myself how to build furniture, they opened up the DIY world to me that I love, and they also made me realize I could have a blog too. I started my first creative small business by opening up a vintage rental company for weddings and farmhouse tables were the main rental item. Brandon and I built 20, eight foot, beautiful, cedar farmhouse tables. Here is a photo of one them with some other rentals I offered:

Kimberly Florence Photography and styling by Alyssa of Ginger & Blooms

Kimberly Florence Photography and styling by Alyssa of Ginger & Blooms

I no longer run the vintage rental business and I sold the farmhouse tables to another rental company, but my love of furniture building has continued and I am excited to finally share the farmhouse table build plans that we used to build 20+ farmhouse tables. What I love about these plans is that the table legs are easily removable! So, if you move a lot (or want to build them for your business too) and need them to be easily transportable, these plans work wonderfully! 

The plans I am providing are for a 6 ft. long x 40 in. wide farmhouse table using 2x thick wood, but they can be modified for any size table and with different wood thickness too. The farmhouse table in the photos below is the table Brandon and I built for my brother, sister in law, and nephew. I've also included a photo at the very end of our very FIRST farmhouse table that we still use today in our kitchen!

 
Farmhouse table DIY with removable legs
 

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures here.

Materials:

  • (3) 2x10 @ 8ft (for table top)
  • (2) 2x8 @ 8ft (for table top)
  • (4) 2x4 @ 8ft (for side aprons, end aprons & middle supports)
  • (2) 4x4 @ 8ft (Not pressure treated, for legs)
  • 1" Wood Screws
  • 2 1/2" Kreg screws
  • (8) 5/16-18 x 2.5" hanger bolts
  • Surface Mount Corner Brackets for Table Aprons
  • 5/16" flat washers and hex nuts
  • Wood Glue

1. Gather all materials and supplies. Make your table top, legs, and side apron cuts

It's important to pick the straightest boards you can find as this will help when you are assembling your table. Make the cuts below. Note, for the table top we are starting with an extra inch on each side which will be trimmed off later.

  • Table top - (3) 2x10 @ 74"
  • Table top -(2) 2x8 @ 74"
  • Side Aprons - (2) 2x4 @ 57"
  • Legs - (4) 4x4 @ 29"

2. Trim side edges off table top boards

To get a snug fit for your table top boards, use a circular saw and trim 1/4" off the side edges of all the boards, except for the two outside edges of the table top. We used a straight edge guide we made to do this, but you can use a table saw guide or buy a straight edge cutting guide as well. In the 2nd photo below you can see the difference straight edges on the right side make compared to the rounded edges on the left side. Note, typically for 1x thick wood the boards are already square/straight on the edges and you don't need this step.

3. Lay out table top and and mark pocket hole locations

Lay out your table top board in the correct order (make sure two rounded outside edges are on the ends) and mark with a marker the order # on the board ends. Then, flip the boards over and mark where you are going to drill pocket holes. It's best to space them 8" - 12" apart and alternate on each board. Also, make sure to stay a few inches in from the sides. I wish I had a better photo of the kreg hole markings, but I've added arrows on the photo below to give you an idea of the placement.

 
Farmhouse table DIY with removable legs
 
 
Farmhouse-table-DIY-with-removable-legs
 

4. Drill pocket holes and assemble table top

Use your Kreg Jig and drill the pocket holes as marked on your table top boards. Then, using wood glue and kreg screws, attach each board together one at a time (making sure each board is assembled in the correct order). 48" long clamps definitely help with this part.

 
Farmhouse table DIY with removable legs
 

5. Trim the ends of the table top

Use a circular saw and trim 1" off of both table top ends in order to get perfectly straight ends. The photo below is a bad pic but it gives you an idea of what this step looks like!

 
Farmhouse table DIY with removable legs
 

6. Drill pocket holes on side aprons and attach to table top

Use your Kreg Jig and drill three pocket holes spread out on both side aprons. On the bottom of the table top, mark the halfway point (36") along the side, then mark 3 inches above that point. This is where the center point of your side apron should be attached. Next, mark the center point of your side apron (28.5"). Line up the center point of your side apron with the center point you marked along the side of your table top. Attach with kreg screws and wood glue (make sure your side apron is being attached perfectly parallel and 3" in from the edge). Repeat on the other side.

7. Prepare the table legs

On one of the the square edges of each table leg, use the chamfer bit and route a chamfer at least 3 inches long.

8. Prepare corner brackets

Line up your legs and corner brackets to the side aprons as shown in the photo below. Then, measure the distance from the bracket back to the table end (should be about 6.5"). Repeat on the other side and make sure the distance from the bracket back to the table end is the same so both of your corner brackets line up at the same distance from the table end. Attach brackets to table top using 1" wood screws drilled into the the two, bottom, corner bracket holes. Repeat on the opposite side.

9. Prepare and attach end aprons

Line your table legs back up against the side aprons and corner brackets. Then measure the inside distance from one table leg to the other to get the exact end apron measurement. Repeat on the opposite table end. Next, cut your 2x4 end aprons to size, drill three pocket holes on them, and then attach to your table top with wood glue and kreg screws. Note, as shown in the 2nd photo below, it helps to line up your end aprons and mark where you'd like your three pocket holes to go so you avoid drilling them into a crack or other pocket hole on the table top.

10. Drill screws into remaining corner bracket holes

Add screws to the remaining corner bracket holes to secure the corner brackets to the side aprons and end aprons.

 
farmhouse table diy with removable legs
 

11. Prepare and attach middle support braces

Measure the exact distance in between the side aprons and cut three 2x4 middle support braces to size. Add two pocket holes to each end of the braces and attach to the side aprons on the bottom of the table top with wood glue and kreg screws. I forgot to take a photo of attaching the support braces...

 
 farmhouse table diy with removable legs
 

12. Finish making table legs

Use a small pencil and mark where the corner bracket holes lines up on the table leg chamfer. It also helps to label the table leg and end apron it matches perfectly with A, B, C, D if you want.

Use a drill press and drill 90 degree holes into the chamfer where you made your hole markings. It's really important the hole is drilled at 90 degrees or else the leg may go on crooked. Next, the attach hanger bolts into the holes with a hanger bolt driver.

Finally, attach your removable legs to your farmhouse table with 5/16 flat washers and hex nuts!

 
Farmhouse table DIY with removable legs
 

Flip your farmhouse table over and it's all ready for sanding, staining, and finishing! Here is the final result:

 
Farmhouse table DIY with removable legs
 
 
Farmhouse table DIY with removable legs
 

And here is a photo of our very first farmhouse table that's still in our kitchen today and was our test build to figure out the best way to build a farmhouse table with removable legs:

 
Farmhouse table DIY with removable legs
 

I hope these build plans explaining how to build a farmhouse table with removable legs has been helpful! For a tutorial on how I stained and finished all of the farmhouse tables we've built, you can check out my post How to Stain Wood. We used Minwax Dark Walnut for this table.

Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for my latest projects, fun updates, and sneak peeks!

Office Chalkboard Makeover with Milk Paint

 
Office Chalkboard with Milk Paint
 

For the longest time I have been wanting to try milk paint. I typically use latex paint or chalk paint, but I've seen many awesome projects where milk paint was used and I really wanted to try it out to achieve a chippy finish! I had a chalkboard in my office that had a stained frame which I knew would look really cool if it had a distressed, white, paint finish to contrast with the black chalkboard. Here is the before photo of the chalkboard:

 
Office Chalkboard with Milk Paint
 

I decided to add some trim to the chalkboard to give it more definition and edges for distressing. I used Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint in Farmhouse White (loveeee this color). After using the milk paint, I didn't quite get the chippy finish I anticipated at first. I sanded and distressed the chalkboard edges to get more of a rustic look, which resulted in this finish:

 
Office Chalkboard with Milk Paint
 

 It didn't chip quite like I imagined due to a preparation mistake I made. If you want a chippy finish, do not sand off all of the top coat or finish on your piece, only a little light sanding is necessary. A top coat will definitely help provide the resistance needed for chipping to occur. The original chalkboard frame I used had two coats of polyurethane and I sanded most of it off, which caused the milk paint to absorb in the wood instead of resisting it. However, if you do want the milk paint to be absorbed and not flake, raw wood or raw wood with stain is a great surface to start with! Either way you can sand your piece after painting, like I did with my chalkboard makeover, if you want to achieve a distressed finish.

 
Office Chalkboard with Milk Paint

Office Chalkboard with Milk Paint

 

After using milk paint for the first time in my chalkboard makeover, I am excited to use it again, especially on a vintage piece of furniture! Have you used milk paint before? What are your thoughts on it? Feel free to share in the comments below or on Instagram or Facebook.

You can check out the chalkboard in my full office makeover reveal here! Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for my latest projects, fun updates, and sneak peeks!

 
Office Chalkboard with Milk Paint
 

Rustic Chic Home Office Reveal

 
Rustic Chic Home Office Reveal
 

Wow! I am really excited to finally be writing this post! It seems like my office makeover has been in the works forever! When I started spending a lot more time in my home office about two years ago, I realized the space was cluttered and uninspiring, it was pretty much just a mismatch of stuff. I wish I had a before photo of my office, but it was so long ago that I never did take one and I slowly began implementing all of my ideas. Of course there are still some small things I'd like to add or change, but I am so excited to share the reveal with you all now that the major projects are complete!!!

Almost all of the furniture and wall decor was either a DIY build or a refinishing project! It saved me a tonnnn of money and I was also able to customize a lot of the decor, furniture, and storage to exactly how I wanted it. The overall decorating style I was going for was rustic chic because I love a cozy, rustic home, yet it's my home office, so I needed some feminine touches mixed with lots of functionality and organization.

I've included a full source list at the bottom of the post!

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures here.

 
Rustic Chic Home Office Reveal
 

The large craft desk was my very first office project that I built with Brandon and it has been super functional for all my DIY needs. The floating shelf was a more recent build, the building steps can be found here

 
Rustic Chic Home Office Reveal
 

The Office Storage Bookcase is one of my favorite pieces I've ever built. I designed it to maximize storage space in a smaller room by making it nearly 8 feet tall and it has 9 cubby shelves, a huge drawer, and base cabinets for more hidden storage. It holds most of my crafting supplies and papers! I think it really is the focal point of my home office!

 
Rustic Chic Home Office Reveal
 

The Wood Framed Calligraphy Sign was another DIY project, you can find the tutorial here, and you can also download a free printable of the calligraphy design on the sign! For my computer and writing desk I took a break from building, but I did refinish it to match the rest of the office!

 
Rustic Chic Home Office Reveal
 
 
Rustic Chic Home Office Reveal
 
 
Rustic Chic Home Office Reveal
 

My IKEA Hack Magazine Files have been really functional as well for providing pretty storage! Originally, the white ones were pink, but I painted them white to be more neutral. The Oh So Beautiful print can be found in the Angela Marie Made Shop.

 
Rustic Chic Home Office Reveal
 

Finally, this chalkboard was a DIY project too and also a special paint job...but that's another story I will be sharing soon! I do use it for my daily to do lists all the time, so it's really useful and cute!

 
Rustic Chic Home Office Reveal
 

 

What do you think of my rustic chic home office reveal? Feel free to share in the comments or on Instagram or Facebook! This was my very first full room reveal on my blog and I am looking forward to the next room...which will most likely be the living room! Follow along on Instagram and Facebook for updates and behind the scenes photos! Thanks for checking out my home office reveal!

Home Office Source List:

  • Office Storage Bookcase - DIY build you can find here
  • Desk - Wayfair and refinished here
  • Craft Desk - DIY build
  • Bentwood chair - thrift store find
  • Magazine files - IKEA hack, tutorial here
  • Desk lamp - IKEA
  • Wall File Organizer - Pottery Barn
  • Wood Framed Calligraphy Sign - DIY build, tutorial here
  • But first coffee printable - Angela Marie Made Shop
  • Wood Floating Shelf - DIY project, info here
  • Grey Shelf Cubby Bins - Target
  • Baskets on floating shelf - World Market and Home Goods
  • Oh So Beautiful printable - Angela Marie Made Shop

How to Stain Wood

 
How to stain wood
 

When I first started learning how to build furniture, I really didn't know how to properly finish a piece and how to stain the wood. I remember my very first build, a 4ft. chalkboard, I was so excited about it that I didn't even sand the wood before I stained it! Fortunately, with stain, it hides a lot of imperfections!

As I continued with my DIY furniture building, I learned a lot through trial and error as well as some research on the best way to stain wood. Today I am sharing my process on how I stain wood and what I have found works best. I hope it helps if you are wanting to easily learn how to stain wood!

1. Sand the wood

The key to a beautiful finish is all in preparation of the wood, mainly the sanding! Now I will admit, I really don't like sanding! Getting covered in saw dust is no fun, but it is one of the most important preparation steps to creating a beautiful finish, so I deal with it!

Always wear goggles because sawdust in the eyes is annoying as I have experienced first hand. You can also wear a face mask/sanding respirator too if you desire. For most projects, I recommend an orbital palm sander. For really light projects, a sanding block will work and when extreme amounts of sanding are needed, a belt sander will be most helpful to start with on the project.

 
How to Stain Wood
 

It's best to start with 80 grit sand paper to sand your whole project and this usually takes the longest amount of time as it really gets all the rough stuff off of the wood. As you move up in the grit number of sand paper, the smoother the finish will be on your project piece, and the less material is removed. I usually start with 80 grit, then use 120 or 150 grit, and finish sanding with 220 grit for a very smooth finish on the wood. I really like these hook and loop sanding discs for my orbital sander, they stick right on the sander and remove very easily. Just make sure to line up the holes correctly to avoid extra scratches!

In the photo below, you can see the difference sanding makes in the finish of the wood!

 
How to Stain Wood
 

2. Prepare the Wood

The final preparation step is to remove the saw dust from your wood. There are many ways to do this like using a shop vac, a damp cloth, etc. My favorite way is to use a soft bristled brush or broom and sweep off the saw dust, then to remove the rest of it I always wipe down my wood with tack cloth. It's sticky so I like to wear latex or rubber gloves when cutting/handling it, but it works wonderfully for removing the saw dust and you don't need to use a lot of it, so it lasts awhile!

After all the saw dust is removed, the next key step is using a pre-stain wood conditioner (when you are going to be using an oil based stain). This can easily be applied to the wood with a lint free rag. Follow the directions on the can, but basically you apply this to your clean wood surface and let it sit 5 - 10 minutes before applying your stain.

How to Stain Wood
How to Stain Wood

This wood conditioner makes a HUGE difference in the final look of my furniture finishes! It prevents blotching and streaking on the wood surface. Here is a photo showing the difference after just one coat of stain has been applied. The wood piece with no wood conditioner is much more blotchy.

 
How to Stain Wood
 

3. Apply your stain!

Time for the stain! It's important to note that all wood takes stain differently, therefore it's best to test some different stains on a scrap piece of wood (that is the same kind of wood as your project) in order to make the best decision about what stain color you want to use!

 
how to stain wood
 

Wood Stains used in photo: Minwax English Chestnut, Provincial, Dark Walnut, Special Walnut, Mix of Weathered Oak & Provincial

When using oil-based stain, the most common type, always apply it outside or in a well ventilated area because it is smelly and make sure to put some plastic or cardboard down to protect your work surface! Wear gloves (chemical resistant ones work best) and make sure to stir the stain in the can before using (don't shake it). I prefer applying my stain with a lint free rag or cloth because I find that it's easiest to control how much is applied and it can be thrown away after use. You can also use a foam brush, but it goes on heavier, however they do work well for getting in tiny crevices. Another option is to use a natural bristle brush, but the brush can't just be cleaned with soap and water, it has to be cleaned with mineral spirits, which then have to be properly disposed, and this adds lots of extra time and effort. That's why I stick with the rag/cloth!

 
How to Stain Wood
 

Apply one coat of stain with the grain of the wood and use the rag to wipe any excess stain off. If you want a richer or deeper color, apply a second coat after the first coat has dried (usually around 4 hours).

 
How to stain wood
 

4. All Finished Staining! Decide on a top coat.

Yay! That's it for staining! You can either leave your project as is or add a top coat or sealant for the best durability finish and enhancing of the wood finish. There are many types of top coats/sealants you can use including polyurethane (water or oil based), furniture wax, oils, lacquers, shellac, etc. There are pros and cons of each, but what I've used most often is a fast drying oil-based polyurethane in a satin finish because it provides strong durability and really brings out the beauty and grain of the wood. For application, I use a foam brush (for easy disposal) and apply it very lightly in long strokes to avoid foam brush strokes. I know it looks like I used a lot in this photo below but it's just the glare! These foam brushes work great and hold up well with the poly in my experience.

After your first poly coat is applied and has dried, the wood grain may rise some, simply use a 220 grit sand block and lightly hand sand over the piece. Then, use tack cloth to wipe away the saw dust. Apply a second coat with a new foam brush and let dry. You can apply a 3rd coat if necessary.

 
How to Stain Wood
 

Once your top coat has been applied, let your newly finished piece sit for at least a day with no use (preferably 3 days) which allows the top coat to cure to a hard, durable finish. Then, you can enjoy! I hope this how to stain guide has been helpful! For building projects, where you can implement these staining steps, check out my building projects!

Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for my latest projects, fun updates, and sneak peeks!

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures here.

Floating Shelf DIY for the Office

 
floating shelf diy for office
 

When brainstorming ideas for my office wall decor, a floating wood shelf came to mind for my frames and other decor. It would also work well for adding some rustic charm which I love. I definitely had to have one!

Originally, I was thinking of buying one, because a shelf shouldn't be that expensive right? But, of course they were more $ than I wanted to spend and the less expensive ones all looked like fake wood. After lots of research on the best way to build a floating shelf, I decided to go with these build plans from Shanty-2-Chic, but modify them some so they'd be more apartment wall friendly and also not as thick/big.

Here are the wood sizes and cuts I started with in order to make a floating shelf that measures 49.5" long x 2.5" high x 7.25" wide:

  • One 2x2 @ 48" long and three 2x2 @ 5.75"
  • One 1x8 @ 48" long
  • One 1/4" thick plywood sheet @ 48" long x 7.25" wide
  • One 1x3 @ 49.5" long and two 1x3 @ 7.25"
 
Floating shelf DIY for the office
Floating shelf DIY for the office
 

First, using my kreg jig, I drilled two pocket holes into my three 2x2 @5.75" pieces. Then, I attached them to my 2x2 @48" to create the floating shelf support brace.

 

The shelf support brace was added to wall with 3" long screws (we drilled pilot holes first through the wood).

 
Floating shelf DIY for the office
 
 

Before assembling all of the remaining wood, I stained the parts of the wood that would show on the shelf. I didn't want to risk getting any stain on the walls since we are renting! I used Minwax Weathered Oak and then Provincial for the stain finish and sealed it with a satin poly finish.

I attached the bottom plywood piece first with screws. I used screws instead of nailing it because I want to easily be able to remove the shelf when we move.

 
 

After adding the bottom, I attached the top pieces and then the side and front pieces with 1.25" brad nails and my brad nailer.

 
Floating shelf DIY for the office
 
 
Floating shelf DIY for the office
 

Overall, it was a pretty simple build and I love the end result!

 
floating shelf diy for office
 
 
floating shelf diy for office
 
 
But first Coffee chalkboard Printable available in the shop here!

But first Coffee chalkboard Printable available in the shop here!

 

What do you think of my floating shelf DIY for the office?! If you want to see more office wall decor DIY ideas, you can check out my DIY wood sign (with a free printable too).

My full office makeover reveal is coming soon, stay tuned!!! Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for my latest projects, fun updates, and sneak peeks!

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures here.