It’s a wonderful life…

A while back, I saw this sign on etsy, It’s a Wonderful Life. Steve loves this movie and we find ourselves watching it every Christmas. I would’ve snagged the sign up in a heartbeat, but it was no longer available. I waited a couple months thinking that it might be restocked and it wasn’t. (Naturally, it was restocked at the beginning of the year, after I cut all but one letter!)

So I got familiar with the scroll saw again. It had been a year since I had made the Noah’s Ark set and I was a little rusty. I had all intentions to give it as a gift to Steve for Christmas as part of our traditional homemade Christmas presents. But as luck would have it, the saw broke on my very last letter and I was unable to get it finished and the saw was unrepairable. So it sat unfinished in a Wal-mart bag in the garage for far too long.

Only 8 months later, I was able to get the last letter cut, the letters painted and the sign complete. Merry late Christmas Steve. Or even better, merry early Christmas.

It's a wonderful life

It's a wonderful life

All in a day’s work…

Some of you with young children might be able to relate with me on this – but sometimes I just want to be in my own house…alone. I know those that are not in my stage are quick to remind me that it goes by quickly and before I know it they’ll be gone. And I understand that. But while I’m in the trenches, one day to myself sounds completely dreamy.

My loving husband gave me that day for my birthday. A day that I could do absolutely anything I wanted without having to worry about feeding kids, playing referee or arranging my schedule around nap time – and that day was yesterday. I’m going to downplay just how amazing it was because I don’t want my kids to think I’d rather be alone – although sometimes I do shut myself in my room for a little mom time-out. Some might use a day like this to read a book by the pool. Others might want to clean and organize. My list consisted of easy, yet seemingly pesky tasks that just weren’t getting done on my project to-do list.

Finish sewing some table runners (from fabric leftover from Hunter’s baptism last fall)
Painting the boy’s closet built-in from earlier this springSaturday Projects
Some touch-up paint from when we painted Hallie’s room just before vacation and rehanging frames
Adding switches to the boys over-the-bed lights
Fixing the smoke detector upstairs
Painting letters I’d cut out of wood before Christmas to make a sign
Saturday Projects
Running to Home Depot for more supplies and a little shopping/returning while I was out and about

And before I knew it – my childless day was over. Of course there are still things on my list – it’s never ending – but I’ll just keep plugging away slowly but surely. Summer is hard with all the kids home all the time so this day was perfectly timed, I needed a day of production among the long hazy days of summer.

 

Easy Industrial Pipe Shelves

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I was at a DownEast Home one day when I found these plank shelves from West Elm for $10 a piece. I snatched up the three shelves they had and knew exactly how I wanted to use them.

Easy Industrial Pipe Shelves

I tend to like the industrial look -I like when metals mix with wood. Several years back I opted for industrial pipe for our curtain rods and I’ve loved the look and feel. Using the same material as the curtain rods, I made shelf brackets.

I used 1/2″ pipe and it comes precut in 8″, 10″ or 12″ lengths. You’ll also need a flange and a cap and spray paint in the color of your choice. I like the hammered spray paint by Rustoleum – it gives a durable finish.

Easy Industrial Pipe Shelves

Easy Industrial Pipe Shelves

My shelves aren’t very wide, so I only needed two brackets per shelf. I screwed the pipe directly into the wall through the flange. It would’ve been ideal to screw them into a stud – but there never seems to be a stud where I need it. So I used some strong mollies in the drywall to screw into to prevent them from ripping out.

Easy Industrial Pipe Shelves

The shelves are just sitting on the brackets. For safety, you can add a pipe bracket underneath that would screw into the wood to keep it in place.

Easy Industrial Pipe Shelves

I really don’t like the staging part of these projects, but after a year we finally have items sitting on the shelves. I ended up using his toys/books as the decorations. Not toys that were purchased to be cute on a shelf, but the toys he actually plays with, the robots, cars, wooden dinosaur and Baby Lit books. So it really only looks like this every week when I tidy up the room and put everything back in its place. The shelves ended up being more functional than decorative and they fit the space perfectly.

Easy Industrial Pipe Shelves

Easy Industrial Pipe Shelves

Easy Industrial Pipe Shelves

Easy Industrial Pipe Shelves

Pocket-size tool you need in your drawer…

This post may contain my affiliate link. For more information, please see my disclosure policy: Thanks! 

I’m often asked about the tools I use in my projects. I have accumulated quite the collection of tools over the years and every Christmas/Birthday/Mother’s day brings something new.

As I was working with my dad a few weeks back, I was reminded that there are a small number of tools I end up using on every single project. Most are real basic – tape measure, square, electric drill and my trusty miter saw. But there is a tool I use regularly that is not so well known: the Kreg Multi-Mark Measuring Tool.

Kreg Multi-Mark Measuring Tool

During every project this thing is in my pocket. I have many pictures showing the use of this little tool on a wide variety of projects. I first got it when we were building the entertainment center. I haven’t stopped using it since. While we were building the bookcases it went from my hands to my dad’s hands and back to my hands. It was used every step of the way. It makes measuring simple. Tape measures are great for certain type of measurements, but this tool works best in hard to measure areas and its easy to read.

Kreg Multi-Mark Measuring Tool

Kreg Multi-Mark Measuring Tool

After working with my dad for the week I’m convinced he needs to start bringing his down when he comes to help or I need another one!

Bookcase Doors…part 2…

Find Part 1 (building the bookcase)  here.

The hardware for the bookcase doors (or Murphy doors as they’re also referred to) are relatively simple. The bottom hardware is a ball bearing and the top hardware includes a metal pin. There are no hinges. It seemed as though it would be a relatively simple install. But it wasn’t. In order for the hardware to function properly, everything had to be exact – with little to no wiggle room. We were dealing with pretty square bookcases in a somewhat square opening. Not to mention the entire wall leaned in. We worked and readjusted and tried again. It was late, we were frustrated and finally – the bookcases fit into the hardware. And they opened – which was my biggest fear the whole time.

bookcase doors

I mentioned earlier that we decided to install the face frame after the bookcases were installed. Here’s why it was a stroke of genius…

We figured it would be near impossible for us to get the bookcases completely level with each other within this space.  But in order to look good – they needed to be spot on. We knew we wouldn’t be able to adjust the bookcases once they were installed, but we would be able to adjust the placement of the face frame. There was a significant face frame overlap on all the edges so we were able to adjust the frame so they were completely level with each other. Mission accomplished.

bookcase doors

bookcase doors

bookcase doors

See how nice and level these are?! They would not look like that had we installed them before installing the bookcase. It would have been all sorts of messy.

bookcase doors

Once the face frame was attached, we had to cover the side gaps with trim moulding. The moulding is attached to the wall – not to the bookcases. This allows them to swing open freely and still gives it a finished look. We also added a trim piece to the left side bookcase to cover the middle gap. The gaps are necessary in the design in order for them to open properly. This means the left side will always have to be opened first.

bookcase doors

With all the trim in place and the adjustable shelves in – the space looked completely different.

Before:
bookcase doors

After:
bookcase doors

I’m beyond happy with how it turned out. It’s exactly what I wanted. Now if I would just dedicate some time to styling the shelves, we would be in business. But styling isn’t my strong point. They might look like this for a while and even then it’s an improvement from the crooked bi-fold doors!

 

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