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Nov 16, 2018

DIY Holiday Tree Wall Shelf


I want to share a Christmas woodworking project with you today - this adorable tree-shaped wall shelf!

DIY Holiday Tree Wall Shelf

My inspiration comes from Jaime Costiglio, and her inspiration came from Pottery Barn Kids - apparently you could buy something similar a few years ago for $79! Mine cost a whopping $7 for the hooks because I used discarded pallet wood plus stain that I already had in my stash.

The plans can be found on Ana White's site - she has excellent drawings that show more than my photos can.

Here is the cut list, directly from her site:
TRUNK
1 - 1x4 @ 16-1/4" 
2 - 1x4 @ 3-1/2" 
MAIN TREE
1 - 1x4 @ 18-3/4" longest point to longest point both ends cut at 25 degrees off square
6 - 1x4 @ 7-1/2" long point to short point, both ends cut at 25 degrees off square
1 - 1x4 @ 15-1/8" longest point to longest point both ends cut at 25 degrees off square
1 - 1x4 @ 11-3/8" longest point to longest point both ends cut at 25 degrees off square
TREETOP
1 - 1x4 @ 7-3/4" long point to long point, both ends cut at 30 degrees off square
1 - 1x4 @ 8-5/8" long point to long point, both ends cut at 30 degrees off square
1 - 1x4 @ 9-1/2" long point to long point, both ends cut at 30 degrees off square
Scrap 1/2" plywood for filling in second shelf approximately 6" x 15"

You will also need:

1-1/4" brad nails and nailer (air nailer), or screws and a drill/driver
3 hooks
wood stain or paint


I usually cut and assemble as I go, just to make sure it fits together. But this time I made all my cuts first, and these measurements were spot on.

Start your assembly from the bottom, attaching the two side supports of the "trunk" to the back. The supports attach to the outside edges of the back piece, not to the front of it (A mistake I made the first time. Because of this I had to cut down the supports as they stuck out the front.)

You then build upwards, starting with the longest board for the main tree. Nail or screw it directly on top of the three-sided trunk you've built already. Follow this with two angled side boards, attached to the long board on the outer edges.

DIY Holiday Tree Wall Shelf

Then the middle board, two sides, the top board, and two more sides.

DIY Holiday Tree Wall Shelf
DIY Holiday Tree Wall Shelf

The treetop fits together kind of like a puzzle. I'm going to refer you to Ana's drawing again.



DIY Holiday Tree Wall Shelf

The final step before hanging is to attach a thinner piece of wood to the back to give you a place to mount it to the wall. I took a thin strip of scrap wood - about the size of a paint stirrer, put it across the back of the tree, traced the angles, and cut it to size. I then attached it to the tree with brad nails.

DIY Holiday Tree Wall Shelf

I stained the tree shelf with Minwax's Provincial stain and a soft cloth. I might also wax it but I haven't decided yet.

DIY Holiday Tree Wall Shelf

And there's your tree! Attach your hooks along the face of the trunk with 1/2" screws.

DIY Holiday Tree Wall Shelf

The decorations I used were scrounged from the ornament boxes. The two little trees were made from scraps from another project. I made them back when I was afraid of the power tools and just put them together with hot glue! The pine cones are from our property - the top one has glitter on it and is from this mantel project.

DIY Holiday Tree Wall Shelf
DIY Holiday Tree Wall Shelf

I can't decide if I'm going to hang our stockings from this shelf. But with six of us and only three hooks, there might have to be some sharing going on. Maybe I should build another shelf!

DIY Holiday Tree Wall Shelf
DIY Holiday Tree Wall Shelf
DIY Holiday Tree Wall Shelf


Nov 12, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide

As hard as we try to fight it, the holiday season is upon us. Here in Canada, since Thanksgiving is near the beginning of October, once Halloween is over it's full steam ahead to Christmas.

With that in mind I've put together some of my favourite gift ideas in the three categories I talk about most here on the blog - home d├ęcor, workshop tools, and pets. Some are items I already own and love, others are items that are on my wish list this year.



For the Decor Enthusiast


1. This rustic butler's serving tray is perfectly oversized and has a mirrored center.
2. Take your love of wine to the next level with a wine barrel stave candleholder.
3. Woven seagrass baskets of all sizes - to keep your belongings contained and beautiful.
4. For music indoors and out, this wireless bluetooth speaker is powerful and stylish.
5. Faux cashmere throws are just as cozy as the real thing. And getting dog hair on them won't make you cry.
6. Everyone needs a 16" felt gnome in their life, don't they? I know I do.



For the Handyperson


1. Know the precise measurement and keep your work level with this digital measuring tape with laser level.
2. A reciprocating saw makes cutting drywall, framework, or even metal pipe a breeze.
3. I just learned of this utility bar recently. It's a crowbar, board bender, wrench, and hammer all in one.
4. When I told Tom that I was adding this right angle drill attachment to the gift guide, his response? "I use mine all the time." 'Nuff said.
5. For fine cutting, grinding, and sanding, the Dremel MultiMax is the leader.
6. You can never have too many bar clamps. It's a fact. 




For the Dog Lover

1. Try this travel container that holds both water and treats on your next walk.
2. This leash comes with a high-high speed frog connector and an adjustable length for more control.
3. For the extreme dog lover who's never met a dog they didn't want to pet - this t-shirt says it all.
4. Your dog deserves to be cozy too. This boyfriend sweater is stylin'.
5. I will praise the Jive Ball all.day.long. They last for years and the company guarantees them.
6. A bolster bed gives your dog a place to rest their chin as they watch the world crazy humans around them. 


Hopefully I've given you some ideas to start (or finish) your shopping.

Happy Holidays!



Nov 9, 2018

DIY Wood and Metal Plant Stand

Have you ever seen an item in a store, fell in love, put it in your cart, and then realized you could make it yourself for a fraction of the price? That happened to me this week when I was at Walmart. I saw an adorable plant stand and had it halfway to my basket when it hit me - this is just a cookie tin with dowel legs. I can do that!

And so we have my latest creation:

DIY wood & metal plant stand

I bought the largest cookie tin I could find at the dollar store, and an 8-foot 1-1/4" dowel at the big box store. Total price - $10.50. And that's with 4 feet of dowel left over for another project. I used scrap wood for the cross pieces that go between the dowels - the same partially-rounded boards that I used on the ironing board holder.

DIY wood & metal plant stand


For this project you will need:

1 - 8.5" cookie tin
4 - 12" dowels (1-1/4" diameter) - cut them a little longer to account for the angle
1 - 1-1/4" x 3/4" crosspiece with angles at both ends (see drawing for lengths)
2 - 1-1/4" x 3/4" crosspieces with angles at one end (see drawing for lengths)
screws, brad nails
spray paint

Tools I used:
miter saw
drill with countersink bit
air nailer

DIY wood & metal plant stand

First I spray painted the cookie tin inside and out. It doesn't have the fancy scalloping pattern that the original has, but I can live with a plain stand. I could even stencil something on at a later date.

I wanted the legs to be about 12 inches long when finished, so I cut them to 13 inches, just to give myself some wiggle room for the angles. Through a little trial and error, I settled on a 7 degree angle. That gives the stand some stability without the legs sticking out too far to the sides. The cross pieces are also cut at a 7 degree angle so that they fit snugly against the legs.

DIY wood & metal plant stand

One of the shorter crosspieces was attached to the longer one with a countersunk screw. The other short crosspiece was then attached with two brad nails, one through each side. Clamping them together makes is easier to keep them lined up while nailing.

DIY wood & metal plant stand
DIY wood & metal plant stand

Once the crosspieces were secured, the legs needed to be attached. I flipped the tin over, put the crosspiece in the center, and held two of the legs in place while Tom nailed them to the crosspiece with two brad nails each. Then I held the other two legs in place and he nailed them in place as well.

DIY wood & metal plant stand

The base can now stand on its own.

DIY wood & metal plant stand

The tin went back up on the legs and I marked the position of each leg on the inside bottom of the tin. Using a small drill bit, I drilled a pilot hole in each spot.

DIY wood & metal plant stand

The last step was to attach the tin to the base with 4 white pan head screws.

DIY wood & metal plant stand

I puttied the nail holes on the legs, sanded all of the wood, and did a bit of paint touch-up around the screw heads. I also added felt feet to the bottom of the legs to keep them from scratching the floor.

DIY wood & metal plant stand

I decided to leave the wood unfinished instead of staining it. I like the Scandinavian feel of the pale poplar and white together. However I did add a gold painted band around the top.

DIY wood & metal plant stand

DIY wood & metal plant stand

DIY wood & metal plant stand

DIY wood & metal plant stand







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