So, some of you may know, we have a house FULL of kids! Or should I say, HAD?! We've recently had another one (that's 3 now) move out and free up a space for me to have an office. Previously my "office" was in a nook of our bedroom using a fold up Rubbermaid table. It's a great portable table, but doesn't make the best long term option for a desk!
With the luxury of being able to have my own office, I needed a real desk! I did some searching and found a great desk from Shanty2Chic using plans from Anna White. I love this Fancy X farmhouse style desk, it really turned out beautiful!
Materials & Supplies
5 – 2x4 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1x4 @ 8 feet long
2 – 2x12 @ 6 feet long OR 4 – 2x6 @ 6 feet long
2 ½” wood screws for countersinking
2 ½” PH screw
Tape Measure, Speed Square, Pencil, Safety Glasses, Ear Protection, Kreg Jig, Drill, Miter Saw, Sander, Drill Bit Set
2 – 2x4 @ 20”
4 – 1x4 @ 18”
8 – 2x4 @ 10 ¾” (long point to long point, both ends cut NOT parallel at 45 degrees off square)
4 – 2x4 @ 21” ¾” (long point to long point, both ends cut NOT parallel at 45 degrees off square)
4 – 2x4 @ 21”
4 – 1x4 @ 3 ½”
3 – 2x4 @ 59”
2 – 2x4 @ 30 3/8” ¾” (long point to short point, both ends cut parallel at 45 degrees off square)
2 – 2x12 @ 72” OR 4 2x6 @ 72”
We'll start with making the legs. First step is two make two giant I's!
2 - 2x4x20
4 - 1x4x18
Add the 4 - 10 3/4 braces to each leg/I.
Add top & bottom 2x4x24" boards with mitered ends.
Stack a 24" 2x4's on the top and bottom of each leg. Glue & screw these on.
Add 2 - 3 1/2" feet to each leg.
Add 3 - 2x4x59" braces. 2 for the top and 1 for the bottom. Center one of the top supports and inset the other 1 1/2"s. Use 1 1/2" pocket holes and 2 1/2" pocket hole screws to attach bracing.
Add the cross bracing. 2 - 2x4x30 3/8"
And finally, add the top! We used 5 - 2x6x72" boards for the top. We used 1 1/2" pocket holes and 2 1/2" pocket hole screws to join the 2x6's.
Finish preparation: Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. We used Varathane stain in Briarsmoke and we applied 3 coats of Varathane
Finished! Thanks Anna White & Shanty2Chic, this desk is perfect!
So, for an early Christmas present last year, I asked for a Cricut Maker. I wanted this Maker for one main purpose..... to make Cheer Mom t-shirts! :) I have since found its a tool for our business that I can't live without! If you've read almost any of our other blog posts, I use the Cricut to make stencils for images, decals, or monograms in almost every project! Today's post is a quick demo of the Cricut and heat transfer vinyl to make our own custom t-shirt! And, just a quick shout out to my favorite tv show and book series right now, Outlander. My t-shirt is the clan motto, Je Suis Prest (I am ready!) I am ready to make this shirt!
Things we used on this project:
You'll create your custom image using Cricut Design Space. Here, I've just added a simple text box and changed the font to match the old Scottish text look.
Next step is to click the Make It button in the top right corner. This will take you to a window to Prepare your mats. Each image color is placed on a separate mat. Here, I've only used one color, black text, so I have one mat shown. For t-shirt designs the image must be mirrored and can be selected here. Click Continue in the bottom right.
Here you will select your material, we will be using an iron on vinyl and have selected that option. You will be prompted to set your material (shiny side down for heat transfer vinyl). Place your material on your mat and set the mat into the guides on the machine. Once set, press the flashing up and down arrow to auto load your mat. Once loaded, click the flashing "C" button to cut your project.
Once the image has been cut, you'll "weed" the project and remove any vinyl that is not part of the image to be ironed on to the t-shirt.
Next, center the image onto your material, I cover mine with a piece of parchment paper and iron on for approximately 20 seconds. It varies based on your iron, it will be somewhere between 10 - 40 seconds. Once the image has been transferred to the material, the clear plastic backing can be removed while still hot.
Voila! Now YOU are "ready" to make your own custom t-shirt!
This week, we added the last piece to our backyard fun set (DIY Patio Stool). We made a (temporary or permanent) drink table to go with our corn-hole boards . This drink table is perfect to set out with your DIY Cornhole Boards. It has insets for your drinks, a surface for your snacks or your bean bags. It also has a scoring system on it. I'm guessing (maybe from experience, maybe not) on a hot day after a few drinks by the table, the score tends to get a bit fuzzy. The drink table has an attached cotter pin on each side to keep track of scores for both teams. This project was also found on the Lowe's Game-Day Patio Gathering Space blog. Here's how we made ours:
Tools & Materials
Build the Table Top
Cut the sides (A) and ends (B) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List, Cutting Diagram). Apply exterior glue to the ends of the table ends (B) and clamp them between the sides. Drill countersunk pilot holes through the sides and drive 2-inch deck screws.
Cut the slats (C) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Using an electric drill and a 3-inch-diameter hole saw, cut drink-holder holes in two of the slats (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). We didn't have a 3-inch hole saw so we drew a 3-inch circle with a compass and used a jigsaw to cut the circle and a drum sander attachment for the drill.
Drill pilot holes, and glue and screw the slats to the frame using #8 x 1-1/4-inch trim screws (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). Before fastening the first slat, make sure the frame is square.
Cut the drink supports (D) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Turn the table top upside down. Position the drink supports between the sides and centered over the holes. Rest them on scrap wood spacers, drill pilot holes through the sides (A), and drive 2-inch deck screws (Project Diagram, Drawing 1).
Add the Post and Trim
Cut the post (E1 or E2) and the rails (F) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Clamp the post between the rails, with the top edges of the rails and the top end of the post flush. Center the post on the length of the rails. Square the post to the rails and fasten the rails to the post with 2-1/2-inch deck screws.
Place the table top assembly (A/B/C/D) upside down on your workbench. Slide the post/rails (E/F) assembly into place, centered end-to-end. Drive screws through the sides (A) and into the rails (F) (Project Diagram, Drawing 2).
To add scoreboards to the table, apply masking tape to the sides (A) and lay out the centers of 25 holes on each side (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Drill 1/4-inch holes and remove the tape. Repeat for the opposite side if desired.
To prevent splinters, sand slight bevels on all exposed edges and corners. Remove the sanding dust and apply an exterior sealer/stain to all parts, double-coating all exposed end grain (Rustic Cedar shown). Apply several coats of finish to the bottom end of the post.
We used the temporary table installation. Screw the post base to the post (E1) (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). Hold a level against the post to keep it plumb and tap the post base into the ground with a sledge hammer. To remove the table at the end of the season, wiggle the post to loosen the post base in the ground and pull it out or remove the screws to free the table and leave the post base in the ground.
Attach one end of each 24-inch-long chain to a 1/4-inch hitch pin and screw the other end to the inside face of an end (B) (Project Diagram, Drawing 3). Use the hitch pins and the golf tees to keep score of your outdoor contests.
I hate laying in bed and realizing one of the Teens left all the lights on downstairs. We decided to try out a Lutron Dimmer Switch. This dimmer connects to the Amazon Echo and has an app to control the switch.
We opened our old switch up to see how many poles/wires were connected. Then, we popped on to Amazon to find a Smart Home Light Switch. There were a lot of different kind of smart dimmer switches. We settled on the Lutron, mostly because of the reviews. We love to read reviews.
Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch and Remote Kit for Wall & Ceiling Lights
Before you go around ripping switches out of the wall, there are a couple of things you should know about wiring and dimmer switches:
– Not all dimmer switches are compatible with Compact Fluorescent Lights. If you have CFL bulbs you can always update to LED bulbs, we did.
– Check to see if the switch you want to replace is a single pole (one switch) or three-way (can be turned on/off from multiple locations) switch—that too will determine the type of dimmer you need.
– Some dimmer switches use resistors so you’re paying for the electricity even though you’re seeing less light. Newer dimmer switches will actually conserve energy when you’re not lighting the bulb at full capacity.
What You’ll Need
Your basic electrical tools will do for this job.
– Screwdrivers (flat and Phillips)
– Voltage detector (not strictly necessary but highly recommended)
– Wire cutters/strippers
– Dimmer switch (I prefer the kind that are the same size as a regular toggle switch
– New Wall Plate
Step 1: Power Down
Not at the switch--at the breaker. This inst supposed to be a shocking experience. I always use a voltage detector before touching any wires.
Step 2: Out With The Old
Once everything is shut off, unscrew the old switch and pull everything out so you can get a good look at it. For a toggle switch like this, the wires are more than likely wrapped around the connector screws. Either loosen the screws or use the wire strippers to snip the ends off and remove the old switch. Ours were stuck, so we cut them.
Step 3: Install the Dimmer
To install the dimmer, read the instructions to make sure you’re clear on what wires go where and which is the top and which is the bottom. As always, green denotes the ground or copper wire. The other two black wires attach to the black wires coming from the wall.
To connect the wires, strip 3/4″ of casing off the end, twist the wires, and then twist eh wire connectors over the exposed wire. Tape them off with electrical tape, just to make sure they are secure.
Step 4: Putting It Back Together
Once the wires are attached, you will want to re-fasten the switch to the electrical box with two screws top and bottom, and then re-attach the switch plate.
Turn the breaker back on, and there you have it… no explosions! I mean time to sync the switch to your network and Amazon Echo.
Download the Lutron App and follow the instructions.
It will have you pair with the Light Switch and connect it to the network. From there Alexa will find the new device.
Now, you can turn your lights on and off from ANYWHERE!
So last week we made our first set of Cornhole boards! (See our previous blog post below) This is our first attempt at some backyard DIY fun. This week we made a patio stool to go with them! It's a quick and easy stool to sit and watch the game and enjoy a refreshing beverage or two. :) And, stay tuned..... next week we have one more fun addition to our backyard fun! The plans for this stool can be found on Lowe's Game-Day Patio Gathering Space Blog.
apron (E) - 3 1/2 x 19 3/16
wide upright (B) - 3 1/2 x 19
narrow upright (C) - 2 1/2 x 19
seat panel (D) - 24 x 48
Cut the aprons (A) to length. Position the aprons in a “pinwheel” orientation (one end of an apron butted against the mating apron and the other end overlapping the end of the next mating apron). Drill countersunk pilot holes, apply waterproof glue and drive 2-inch deck screws.
Cut the wide uprights (B) and narrow uprights (C) to length. Glue and screw together pairs of uprights to form four legs . Set the legs aside.
Measure the inside dimensions of the apron frame and cut the seat panel (D) to size, making a close fit. Place four 13/16-inch-thick blocks under the seat panel and slide the apron frame over the panel. (Raising the seat panel on the scrap blocks creates a recess to hold the cushion in place.)
Retrieve the legs. Apply glue and position the first leg in the inside corner of the apron (A) frame with the end of the leg resting on the seat panel (D). Fasten the leg to the frame with 1 1/4-inch deck screws. Repeat with the remaining three legs, orienting them so the wide uprights of each pair of legs face outward on opposite sides of the apron frames. This orientation gives you a symmetrical appearance on each side of the stool. On two opposite sides, only the faces of the wide uprights (B) are visible. On the other two opposite sides, the edges of the wide uprights and the faces of the narrow uprights (C) are visible.
Turn the stool right side up. Drill countersunk pilot holes through the seat panel at each corner and screw the panel to the legs.
Like the aprons (A), the stretchers (E) are installed in pinwheel fashion. Cut the stretchers to length and assemble. Place 13/16-inch-thick scraps under the stretcher frame at each corner and slide the seat/legs assembly over the frame. Clamp the frame in place. Drill pilot holes through the stretchers (E) from the inside and fasten the stretchers to the legs with 1-1/4-inch deck screws.
Finish & Stain
To prevent splinters, sand slight bevels on all exposed edges and corners. Remove the sanding dust and apply an exterior sealer/stain to all parts, double-coating all exposed end grain. Triple-coat the bottoms of the legs. With the finish dry, add a seat cushion in the seat recess. Voila! Complete!
We fell in love with this tool. We are amazed at how this revolutionized Doing, Building and Making things. It is very simple to use and dramatically speeds up assembly and improved accuracy of doing joints. The Kreg quality seems very high using molded fiberglass plastic and aluminum. After a couple dozen furniture builds and a couple hundred holes drilled, the Kreg Jig still performs like the day we got it. We plan to use this tool for a very long time.
The Kreg Jig K4 itself is small but mighty, made of fiberglass-filled nylon. The simplicity of Kreg's design makes it super useful tool that can easily fit out of the way on the corner of a workbench. The jig accommodates materials from 0.5” to 1.5” thick. Easily clamps to a benchtop using the clamping recess, simply set the sliding drill guide to the correct material thickness using the adjustment markings on the side of the drill guide and secure the drill guide with the brass drill guide pin.
We highly recommend the Kreg Jig K4. For any DIYer of any skill level, it is a very useful addition to your shop. This thing will allow you to get jiggy with a whole new level of projects, repairs, and improvements. The Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole System ($99) is great on its own, but if you’re just getting started with pocket hole joinery, be sure to check out the Kreg Jig K4 Master System ($139). That master system comes with a ton of free screws.
Today we picked up a Ring Video Doorbell 2. We did an unboxing and installed it. We show you how we did it. It was a really easy install. The entire thing took 30 minutes. It has motion detection and night vision. The app was simple and walked you through how to do everything.
Ring Doorbell 2: https://amzn.to/2IwszQg
Kim & Garrett
We love to make It Ourselves.