Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mantle Clock and Patriotic Swap Goodies

We have been having some gorgeous weather here in Ohio!! Other than a thunderstorm and a humid 90 degrees on Thursday, the skies have been sunny with a few puffy white clouds and temps in the low to mid 80's!! Needless to say, I'm spending a lot of time outdoors. It's not all relaxation and soaking up the sun, either! (Well, maybe a little bit!)
I've been busy doing yard work and staining a privacy fence that we put up on Memorial weekend. We have my side of the family (25 to 30 people) coming over for the 4th of July and I always set the 4th as a goal to get big projects done. Nothing like having company over to get you motivated!! LOL I work best under pressure.

So among all of the hoopla of getting things done, I realized that it's been awhile since I've posted. And I did say that my next post would be a tutorial on making a mantle clock.
So here it is. . . . .

  • 11" x 15" 1/4" sanded plywood
  • 1 x 4 15" long (2 pieces)
  • 1 x 6 13" long (2 pieces)
  • 1/4" x 4" 10" long
  • knob
  • clock (WalMart)

The clock faces at my craft supply stores were smaller than what I wanted and sell for $11-$12 for a complete kit. I found a clock at WalMart for $3.97 that was the size I was looking for.

Remove the plastic cover by using a screwdriver. There are tabs at the 6 & 12 o'clock position.

Carefully remove the hands by pulling on the ends at the center of the clock. I stained my clock face with 2 coats of Minwax Aged Oak gel stain.

Using the lid as a template, trace a circle on a piece of paper.

Cut out the circle about 1/8" past the marked line.

Transfer the pattern onto the 11" x 15" 1/4" plywood. I laid the 1/4" x 4" drawer piece on the bottom and then centered the circle in between.

Drill a 1" pilot hole in the center of the circle to use as the starting point to cut out the circle. Whether you use a jigsaw or scroll saw, make sure to use a fine tooth blade made for cutting thin wood to prevent chipping and splintering. Take your time and go slow!!! You want to cut a perfect circle! I strongly recommend using a scroll saw; you have much better control. (Scroll saw tip - remove the blade and then center the pilot hole over the blade opening and then replace the blade through the pilot hole.)

Sand all of your wood pieces. On the fake drawer piece, I rounded the edges with a sander. Glue and nail the face piece onto the 1 x 4 side pieces. Center the 1 x 6 top and bottom pieces and then glue and nail in place. Center and glue the drawer piece on.

Let dry completely and then finish as desired. Don't forget to finish the knob!

The final step is to glue the clock in place and add the knob. I used Elmer's Stix-All Gel Cement and ran a bead of glue around the opening in the back of the clock base.

It's up to you whether you choose to put the plastic cover back on or not. I chose not to.


I also wanted to share with you the wonderful goodies I received from Rene from Two Mile Creek Primitives. She was my swap partner in Char's Patriot swap. I was so excited when I got her package in the mail! She had a tutorial on making wood star holders on her blog and I was hoping that she would send me one and she did!!! She also sent me three prim fabric stars, a prim patriotic pear and wooden hang tags. Thank you so much, Rene! I love them!! I know exactly where I'm putting everything and they came just in time for my 4th of July cookout!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fireplace Makeover

I've mentioned before that I've been doing some major tweaking. One of the areas I've been working on is my fireplace. I've had it decorated this same way for about two years! Can you believe it? I really liked the look of the window frame and I loved the wreath, but the wreath was hard to keep clean. It had some pip berries in it, so I had to watch getting it wet or the berries would split open and lightly batting it with a dust rag caused some of the other berry thingys to break off. So I decided it was time to take it down. And you know how it goes - one little change snowballs into a major makeover!

This is the before picture:

And this is the after:

There's the tavern sign I gave a tutorial on in a previous post. I also made a new game board. The red one with the star was made couple of years ago. The mantle clock was made with a clock I bought at WalMart for $3.97. It was so easy!! I'll share the tutorial in my next post. I still need to find something to put on the left of the clock. I'm thinking something round to soften the hard edges of the boards and mantle clock. I was thinking a couple of the tall canister-shaped stacking boxes but not sure if it would be too many because of the ones on my t.v. (I know, I know.. look at that ancient t.v.! For 20 years old, it still has a great picture, so I can't convince hubby to replace it with a flat screen.)

The chair on the left side of the hearth was Golden Brown and I painted it Territorial Beige. On the right side of the hearth I replaced the small bench with a larger one and placed the crock with twigs that was on the mantle on the bench. I also added a bowl with rag balls. You can see a close up in my header picture. The rag balls were made from suit jackets that I bought at Goodwill. Regular price was $6.00 each, but I went on customer appreciation day and got them for $3.90. I made 3 balls out of two sleeves. I saw some rag balls at one of my favorite prim shops selling for $5.00 a piece!!

I also changed the fireplace screen with the one we had in our family room. I liked the style of the other one, but it didn't fit right, which drove me nuts! I still don't know what I'm going to do with the actual fireplace. We don't build fires in it anymore since we got new carpet a couple of years ago and I didn't want to take the chance of making a mess from hauling in wood and cleaning out the ashes. So, for now, I guess I'll just leave it empty.

Well, that's it for now. I'm still tweaking other areas and will post pics when I get them done.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Blanket Crane Tutorial

Some of you have requested a tutorial on making a blanket crane, so I've tried my best to draw a diagram and come up with step by step directions. I want to point out, though, that mine is stationary, it doesn't swing.

I hope these directions make sense and are easy to follow. Please forgive me - sometimes my methods are a little unusual and trying to explain them is kind of hard. I wish I had Linda's (Behind My Red Door) eloquent way with words!

You should be able to click on the pictures and print out the directions for easier reference.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Making Your Own Stencils

I've mentioned before that when I'm cleaning and tweaking, it usually involves making and/or painting things. I don't know about any of you, but when I get an idea for something, I have a hard time waiting until I get the materials to make them. So when I want to make a sign or a game board, I don't want to order stencils and then have to wait for them to arrive. So I make my own! I use my computer to print out lettering and to find pictures and clip art. I usually use freezer paper because it has a waxy coating on the back and is more durable. But in a pinch, like for this sign, I used regular computer paper. Cut the freezer paper to regular paper size and place it in your printer so that the letters are printed on the paper side, not the waxed side.

These are the steps I took to make a tavern sign.

First, I needed an image of a horse. I would have googled images for a picture of a horse, but I had a Warren Kimble wallpaper print that I used instead. A little tip for you - if you have a picture that's on a dark background and can't see the image to trace a pattern, tape it to a window pane. The sunlight will illuminate the image, making it easier to trace. (See images below)

I have a program on my computer called "Print Artist". (I think it was a free program that came with my printer). You can make all kinds of things like cards, signs, calendars and banners, which is the feature that I used.
Print out your wording. Tape together your paper if you need to.

Next, cut out the letters. I like to use embroidery scissors because they're small and thin. For letters that have centers that aren't attached (like B, A, D, etc.) I leave them attached until all the letters are cut out and I'm ready to stencil. That way I don't lose the pieces. (See below)

After all the letters are cut out, lay the stencils on your board, spraying lightly with adhesive spray. (Follow directions on the can for stencils).
Apply your paint .
And then sand and stain. And . . .

TA DA!! You have a handmade sign! (I dropped the sander above his knee and it removed too much paint! Oops!)

Since I've learned to do this, I don't remember when the last time I bought a stencil. Stencils can be a little pricey, especially for one this size. This sign measures 24" x 28".
You can do so many things; just use your imagination! Later on, I'll show you how to make a checkers game board using this method.


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