Sunday, July 1, 2012

Suitcase Bench and Side Table

After seeing so many different uses of vintage suitcases (tables, shelves, cat beds, etc. etc.) on Pinterest, I was inspired a few months ago to make a full on suitcase bench!   

Greg and I made this bench to fit at the end of our bed and only took a couple hours to finish the entire project... 

First, we used a left over piece of wood from our headboard project and cut down scrap pieces of wood for the legs of the bench. The legs were screwed into place about 5 inches from the end of the board.

 I found the three suitcases at the Long Beach flea market ($40 total!)  I loved the colors and they were in great condition!

Once the wood bench pieces were put together, we simply centered the suitcases on top of the bench.  We planned on screwing the suitcases into the bench put never got around to it....

Confession:  After a couple weeks I took the bench apart :(  I LOVED how it looked and thought it complemented the room nicely, but after almost getting knocked in the face by the suitcases while trying to make the bed every morning and Greg almost breaking his toes every time he ran into the bench I knew it was time for it to go. sad.


We did take the bench apart and used the wooden legs to make this small side table (just screwed the legs into the bottom of the suitcase).  Right now all my school papers are pilled in, on, and around it :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Life Updates!

We have been living in our new home now for almost 2 months and we are loving it!  I think one of the best parts is how quite it is here!  No more planes flying over every 10 minutes, no crazy car traffic, no crazy drunk people screaming, just the birds chripping and the clocks ticking...I even took the batteries out of one clock cause the ticking was driving me crazy :) We do miss our friends in Ocean Beach/San Diego, Newbreak Church, my sister, and riding our bikes to the beach.  But we're excited for opportunities and adventures in North County SD.

Here's a mini tour of our home:

Downstairs- bathroom, living room, kitchen, and dining room.

Upstairs- stairs, bedroom, 2nd bedroom/office, and bathroom.

We are still working on the little patio.  The dirt needs some serious work and I can't wait to plant some flowers!

Greg is loving his new job with the Carlsbad fire department!  He is three months into the year probation so when he's not at the station, he's home studying or catching up on missed sleep.  This past Monday the department had the annual pinning ceremony- full of bag pipes, some great speeches, and I even had the honor of pinning Greg's badge. 

I have been busy lately with school and studying.  I am taking two science classes- microbiology and physiology.  Hopefully my brain can handle all this science stuff :) Still not sure what type of RN program I will apply to (associates, bachelors, masters)- still thinking/praying about it and looking for a pot of gold to pay for it :)


Hope 2012 is treating you great!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Soldering Shell Bottles

A couple of months ago my mom taught my sister and I how to make shell bottles using the soldering technique.   Here is a picture of a little shell bottle I made--

You see my mom might be the crafty-est person I know!  Before Pinterest and Etsy there was "The Happy Patch!"  My mom owned her own craft business called "The Happy Patch" and sold her crafts all over. 

Here is a picture of my mama! :)  She is now a kindergarten and first grade teacher.  Still crafting away- teaching after-school art class to kids and going to painting classes as a student herself to learn more.  

Anyone can make these shell bottles, you just need the supplies!

First, you need some cool old glass bottles and some shells.

Second, you need some copper tape and with the tape you will secure the shell to the bottle completely around the top opening.

Becky, my sister, with her taped down shell bottle.

Next you need a clean small paint brush to apply flux on top of the copper tape.

Then you will solder on top of the copper tape.  Be careful- the solder is hot!  Once you have finished soldering, clean with a non ammonia cleaner to get all the excess flux residue off.  

Then apply with a small clean paint brush the patina. The patina is acid so be careful! The patina will quickly turn the solder to an antique colored black...And you are done!  Now find a place to display your new shell bottle!

Here is a collection of the shell bottles my mom has made!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Favorite Flea Market Finds!

Flea markets have become one of my favorite places to find unique and fun things to fill our home! I'm not that great at it, but I love being able to bargain with the vendors and find affordable furniture and decor items within our budget. Yesterday I went with my mom, Kelli and good friends- Katie and Amanda to the Long Beach Flea Market to find some treasures- here's what I found!

Top left- a pretty blue and gold frame! ($6!)
Lower left- a shelf I will use for necklaces, earrings, perfume, etc! ($5!)
Right- A red shelf table thing! It's in the second bed room to add some color to the room. ($20!)

Here are some of my other favorite finds I have found over the past couple of years-

This is a pie safe they used back in the day to store pies.  The punched tin allowed air to come through and cool the pies.  I got it at the Long Beach flea market and use it as a dresser in our bedroom.  Eventually I want to sew some fabric curtains to put behind the glass.

I love these teal end tables!  I also got them at the LB flea market for only $25 each!

I got this trunk at the LB flea market ($30!) and have put some knick-knacks in our living room.

Since Greg has started working for the fire department I have found a love for all things fire related- fire helmets, fire engines, etc etc.  The lower left picture is a fire extinguisher I got at the Irvine flea market.  One day I would like to turn it into a lamp but for now it sits next to the trunk.  The middle picture is a fire helmet.  I loved this helmet because the front shield has SDFD- San Diego Fire Department - on it.  And the right picture is a just a fun chicken wire cage with a cute bird on the top :)

 This is the yellow life saver I got earlier this month! It's hung up on a small wall space above the stairs.

If you're in southern California check out your local flea market to find some of your own treasures!

Irvine- Great Park- 1st Sunday.
Pasadena- Rose Bowl- 2nd Sunday.
Long Beach- Veterans Stadium- 3rd Sunday.

Thanks Mom and Kelli for teaching me your flea market-ing ways!  When are we going next?! :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

First Aid Kit Collection

Over the past couple of years I've become a big fan of flea markets.  My mom has been going flea marketing for years and years and has collected so many treasures.  She is now teaching me the art of flea marketing and in our last trip together I scored three awesome antique first aid kits!

At the first booth I found the blue kit and loved the color.  Kelli (my mom's friend and fellow flea market shopper) suggested doing a mini collection so I went for it!  I found two other kits in the trip and the first aid kit collection was born! 

The red frame was another find at a flea market that my mom painted and gave to me for Christmas.

Greg and I simply wrapped a cork board in burlap fabric and taped it down on the back with duc tape. Then screwed the first aid kits into the board.

The screws stuck out a bit on the back so Greg taught me how to use a new tool- a dremel!  It made lots of sparks and noise (we wore our safety glasses!), and was able to cut the screws down enough to not scratch the wall.  To hang the frame we used wiring and eye hooks.

One box even came with some vintage cotton! :)

Here is the first aid kit frame hung up in our downstairs bathroom!  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rustic Wooden Mirror

I love this mirror because every time I look at it I am reminded of the day Greg proposed to me!

He used the mirror as a prop in the proposal and now we have it framed and hung up in our living room!

The mirror was in the box decorated with pictures and a poem.  I turned around and BAM!  Greg was on one knee proposing with a sparkling ring :)

The frame is made of 2 by 4s from a pallet and the mirror is held in place by the channels cut with a router. The pieces are screwed together with drywall screws on the side corners.  The mirror is hung with eye bolts and picture hanging wire through the bolts.  And the wood is stained with Minwax "Early American" - my fav.

For some added fun we strung up some twine and hung some postcards from our favorite spots in San Diego!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Kitchen Heart Table

How beautiful is this table?!  Greg made me this kitchen table this past June to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary.  I was in need of some more counter space in the kitchen so he made the table to fit snugly next to the stove.  

Beautiful red roses too!  I am one lucky gal!

Here is Greg on how he made the table---

Well what an honor to be on the blog...So the table is made out of simple materials that you can pick up at Home Depot. The legs are 2x3 studs, the shelves/sides are 1/4" plywood, and the top is 3/4" plywood. I cut channels in the 2x3 studs with a router and secured the plywood into the channels with wood glue/18g brad nails. 

The heart cut out was a last minute addition and turned out to be my favorite part. I made a stencil with paper and cut out the plywood with a jig saw. 

I tacked some gray screen behind the heart to make it stand out a bit.
4"x4" white tiles were glued to the plywood top with liquid nails. The edges of the table were garnished with some trim I found at Home Depot.

Sarah loves the look of stained wood, so I used some Minwax "Early American" stain to finish of the table.

 Here is the table today in our new home!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Repurposed Window + Hanging Pictures

This window frame project actually happened after I accidentally broke the glass when we were moving last year.  It was originally hanging up in our first home with a couple of other windows on either side of it.  

I had seen a similar hanging picture display in the Pottery Barn catalog, but it was a bit out of my price range.  After staring at my broken window for a couple days I thought I could fix it up to look like the Pottery Barn display that I admired so much.   

Sidenote:  The windows were used in our wedding and my mom later gave them to me to decorate our home with. (Thanks Mom!)
The one in the back middle is the window that I used to make this project with.  

It was very easy to make- I just screwed in some eye hooks on the inside of the frame and then used twine and clothes pins to hold up the pictures.  To hang the window frame we used eye hooks and wiring on the back.

Check out your local flea markets or antique shops to find these types of window frames.  There are so many fun ways to use old windows so buy a few when you find them! :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Red Shelf

This may be one of my most favorite little projects!  Greg and I made this red shelf and it is just what our home needed!

 My most favorite part--- the built in mason jar!

The shelf is made out of two 3/4 inch plank wood pieces and held together by the three metal L-brackets. 
 The top is trimmed with a small piece of molding.   
Painted red, lightly sanded, and stained.  

 The shelf is secured to the wall with two frame hooks.

The mason jar hole was cut was a jig saw.  

Mason jar!

Now just add some fun knick-knacks and your shelf is complete!