The Handbuilt Home—Book contributor

I am soooo excited to be able to FINALLY spill the beans on a project that I have been involved in for almost a year now.  It has been killing me not to share it, but now I can!  Last fall I was contacted by Ana White from Ana White.com who asked if I would like to be involved in contributing to her new book…The Handbuilt Home.

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The Handbuilt Home

Ummm…hello! YES!

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Ana White

I was able to pick from a few of her projects/building plans, which are being featured in the book, and I chose to build and photograph this Kids Table and Chair Set.  The table and chair set is now being used almost daily by my kids and I need to make a couple more chairs so they have room for their friends.

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I discovered Ana’s site, a few years ago, when she was first starting out and was blown away by the amazing things she was building.  I wanted to grow up and be like her.  Apparently, so did a LOT of other people and Ana’s site has become the go to site for anyone who loves afforable, easy to build, expensive looking and most importantly, high quality furniture.  You know…people like me who want a designer house without the designer prices.  Who wouldn’t want that?

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But let me back up at bit…a couple of years ago…my daughter needed a new bed.  We have three girls and only two beds which wasn’t a problem until our youngest outgrew her crib.  Our search for beds was frustrating to say the least.  It’s not that I couldn’t find any beds that I liked…it’s that I couldn’t stomach the ticket prices.  So one day I got up the nerve to actually build Ana’s Farmhouse Bed which I had been long been obsessing over.

My husband worked in a cabinet shop building cabinets while he was in high school…I know…pretty handy right?!  So we sized her plans down and made a twin sized bed and added a few of our own personal changes.  Some of you may remember when I shared it here: DIY Headboard and Bed Frame.

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Imagine my surprise when Ana White came over to MY SITE and commented on on it!!  I was a little bit excited.  Okay…a whole LOT excited.  She was/is someone that I really looked up too.

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Hehe! So I got to know Ana a bit because of that and we emailed back and forth here and there and one thing lead to another!

Anyways, I digress!  The Handbuilt Home is scheduled for release on October 9, 2012!  You can even pre-order The Handbuilt Home on Amazon if you are interested.  I am waiting *patiently* for my copy to arrive any day now!

So what is The Handbuilt Home all about?  Here is an excerpt from Amazon.

• Plans for 34 versatile furniture projects for every room in your house—from beginner-friendly home accessories to sturdy tables, a media center, kids’ items, and storage solutions
• Comprehensive information on using off-the-shelf lumber and basic equipment—almost every project can be made with a drill, a saw, and some hand tools
• Easy-to-follow instructions, costs, and time estimates to guide even the most amateur of carpenters through any project

You don’t need to be physically tough or superstrong to make your own furniture, and it’s okay if you don’t know that a 2×4 doesn’t actually measure 2 by 4 inches. All you need is the determination to create a better home for yourself or your family and the confidence to say, “I can build that.”

I am excited to have been a part of this.  I am also excited to have collaborated with some of my favorite DIY bloggers as well and to see the projects they contributed!  To see what Kirsten from The Crafting Chicks contributed to the book you can check out her post here.  I will be sure to update you with any additional information as it comes along for those of you who may be interested.

Wood Block Wall Art

I have had a few of you email me and ask about this yellow Wood Block Wall Art that I made for the Laundry Room in the DIY Blogger House.  (Don’t know what I am talking about? You can read more about the DIY Blogger House here).  I needed to come up with an art work project that would bring a pop of color into the Laundry Room and would not compete with the fun and cheerful wall paper.  (Which by the way, the wall paper we used can be found at Wayfair.com and is by York WallCoverings: Bistro 750 Trellis in the Aqua Blue/White color if any of you were interested).

wood block wall art

Anyways, I needed a simple but colorful pop of yellow in the room and spent a lot of time trying to come up with something that would fit into the space.  The wallpaper was making it a bit more difficult to come up with something that would not distract or compete for your attention.  I was browsing a favorite catalog one day and found the perfect piece of art.  It looked simple enough and so I made some changes so that it would fit better in our small space and came up with this Wood Block Wall Art.

I had A LOT of scrap pieces of wood laying around from previous building projects and so the entire project cost me $1.38…the price of the carpet tacks which I show you in a later picture.

The hardest part of this project was figuring out how big to make the wood pieces so that they fit together nicely.  I did not have graph paper but made a grid on a piece of notebook paper.  I treated each square as an 2 inches.  I wanted the final art work to measure 16 x 30 inches as determined by my wall space in the Laundry Room.  So I made a grid that measured 16 x 30 inches with 2 inches per square.

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Then I just drew different sized rectangles into a random puzzle.  Then I wrote the size of each wood piece so we would know what to cut out.  I determined the size of the wood by counting how many squares I had filled out for each piece.

Then I got to work cutting out my pieces with our saw.  I used my hand held sander to sand all the rough edges and round the corners of the edges slightly.

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Then we used the picture to lay them out back into our puzzle shape onto a thin piece of plywood that measured just a bit smaller than our original 16 x 30.   The plywood will be what each piece of wood is attached too with wood glue.

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I took 3 different colors of yellow paint and just randomly painted the puzzle pieces.  Placing each piece back into it’s proper spot very carefully separated by a little space so as not to get the pattern messed up.

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After the paint had dried, I used Gorilla Wood Glue on the back of every piece and let it dry. I place a few heavy boxes on top of it so that it would dry nice and tightly.

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Then I took these carpet tacks, which I found at Lowe’s, and just hammered them into the ends of the wood pieces. Be sure to do this carefully and away from the edges as you can split the wood easily.

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And that was it. A cheap and easy project that brings some fun color and texture into your room.

wood block wall art

What do you think? I would love to see pictures if you end up making one for your home!

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