Double Stroller Fire Truck for Halloween

It took me 2 weeks of getting up at 5:30 am but I finally finished the double stroller firetruck with 1.5 hours to spare before our Church’s Trunk or Treat party. 🙂 Since time was of the essence on this project, I didn’t stop to take any pictures but below is a list of materials I used to make this a reality.

BTW – this was a huge hit not only for my Son who watched the progress unfold but I also received numerous compliments at Church. 🙂

  • The shell consisted of two cardboard boxes that I picked up at Home Depot. The body was their “large” box and the cab was their “medium” box.
  • The various cutouts were from said cardboard box extra pieces.
  • The boxes were hot glued together after my 1st attempt with duct tape failed. The cold of the garage caused the tape to detach from the cardboard. Hot glue worked the best.
  • The paint was left over spray paint from other projects.
  • I covered the seems using reflective tape found in the paint section at Home Depot. The striped tape was in the letter section
  • The ladder is left over pvc pipe from last years halloween costume and from the rain sprinkler I made during the summer.
  • The hose was from our garden.
  • The lights I purchased from US Toys for $2.99 each
  • The decals were clipart I found on the internet and then printed off on plain yellow construction  paper. I attached them to the truck using a glue stick.
  • The fire truck itself is attached to the double stroller using velcro straps.
  • In total, I spent about $10 on this.

Distressed Letter Project

Finally a new post to put up!  Ashley and I have been busy the last few months with the latest edition to our family. But things are starting to fall into routine a bit more and that has allowed us some time to get back to the projects we so love to do. First up on our list was to paint and distress some letters for our new nursery.

Ashley purchased the letters from Hobby Lobby and they came in stock pine. The process started out with a rough sanding as the letters came pretty smooth. After sanding, we proceeded to give them a coat of primer using Zinsser.

We followed that up with a coat of black and then the same orange we used on the Airplane shelf project. Between each coat, we sanded with 120grip sandpaper.

The final two coasts of paint were the same color as used on the Distressed Dresser

Then came the fun part. We put the letters on the ground and proceeded to drop many heavy tools on them (hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers, etc). After a good beating, we ran some course sandpaper around the edges and the flat surfaces. Nothing like a good scuffing! After the beating of a lifetime, we spread on a thin layer of glaze and then wiped it off. The combination of the tools and sandpaper allowed the glaze to sit in a few strategic places and really added to the effect of the distressing.

We had originally planned on putting decoupage some chevron paper over the front but Ashley liked how these turned out so much that she thought we should just leave it as is.

Project Done!

Painted Nursery Rocking Chair

I have had this rocking chair in my possession for years now and it’s been in my family for at least a hundred years.  I can still remember my Grandma rocking in it when I would come to visit. She used to tell me that it was her Mother’s before her. I honestly do not know how far it goes back.

But it has seen better days. Too many years in storage had taken its toll. With the new nursery nearing completion and the birth of our son right around the corner, we knew we wanted another rocker in his room. But lack of space was an issue.

I brought the rocker up to the room and we found that it would fit perfect. But it needed a good finishing before it would work. It was obviously worn and many of the parts were loose.

Rocking Chair Before

Since this was an upholstered rocking chair, I knew there were going to be a lot of staples holding the fabric in (like 200+). This left a lot of holes around the seat of the chair making a sand and stain option unavailable to us. So we decided to spray paint it.

After all of the staples were pulled (which took about 2 weeks) and drops of Gorilla glue were applied for strength, I sprayed the entire chair with a primer.

Rocking Chair Primed

After the primer dried, I took some wood putty and filled in all of the little staple holes that surrounded the entire chair.

Staple Holes

Once the wood putty was dry and sanded, I sprayed the chair with a gloss black Rustoleum enamel. The dry time of this paint is about 2 hours but if you are looking for a highly durable spray paint with a great clean finish, high highly recommend using it.

Rustoleum Enamel

Two coats of black paint and a lawn chair cushion and our rocking chair is new again!

Rocking Chair After
Before and After

Teen Beauty Station

It seems like overnight our oldest daughter has gone from being unconcerned with her looks to spending all of her time going over hair tutorials and practicing new looks.  Her wish list now consists of curling irons, blow dryers, hair rollers, etc. I started to picture all of these items clogging the sink in her shared bathroom or scattered on the floor. I could imagine her sister banging on the door asking her to hurry up so she can use the bathroom. A solution needed to be found to prevent an internal war in our house! I then remembered back to my childhood when my sister would get ready in her room, a dresser full of the before mentioned items and I wondered if a similar solution could be found.

After a conversation with Ashley, it was agreed that Art Girl should have a space in her room to do her hair and to get ready for school. This of course got my creative juices flowing and I set out to design a “Beauty Station” for her.  Even better was the fact that I still had the bottom part of that old dresser that I used for the dresser to desk conversion a year or so back.

Below is the conceptual drawing and where this all started.

I started out by cutting off the top drawer of the two drawers that I had left. Some painters tape is key to making sure that you dont chip off any unnecessary wood when cutting.

I then topped it off with some 3/4″ mdf with a routed edge.

The back of the station is an old door that I picked up at second hand supply house for a few dollars. It got bolted to the dresser with 4 bolts and some Gorilla Glue.  At the very top of the door I put a shelf that I picked up at Goodwill and then topped it off with a scrap piece of wood. I felt like it gave it a very nice custom crown molding look.

The next step was to add a mirror to the door and put molding around it. The mirror I already had on hand and was one of the $10 dollars mirrors you can pickup at Wal-Mart. The trim I also had on hand. The sides pieces are chair rail from the kid’s rooms and the top and bottom pieces are window casings that I used on another project.

I wanted to add another small drawer to this piece to hold smaller items like bows, barrets, etc. Since I was trying to do this project for little or no money, I cut an old display case in half, built a box around it, threw on a knob and called it good. (you can see the smaller drawer in the finished pics below)

Now all the functional pieces were in place, the entire station just needed a few coats of paint. Luckily I had all of that on hand too. The pink for the molding is actually the same pink that is in the room for which this station will end up. I tried to antique it a bit using some glaze but it didn’t quite turn out like I wanted.

Here is the end result with paint.

So now that the station was complete, I still had the issue of no place to put hair dryers, curlers etc. That was the whole intent of this project in the first place. Many ideas had crossed my mind including PVC pipe (danger of melting), professions holders (too expensive) and silverware  holders (my choice). The silverware holders won and I managed to find some on the internet for only $2.00 apiece!

Now that I had the holders, I needed someplace to attach them. Lucky for me, I had an old wooden stool sitting around the shop that never really found a home.

I borrowed a hold saw from a friend and cut 4 holes into it.

In order to hide the silverware holders from view in the front of the stool, I cut an old drawer front to size and glued/nailed it into place.

Here is the finished holder with everything in place and glued down. I finished it off with a few coats of black enamel spray paint.

Now everything is done and ready to go into my daughter’s room for her styling enjoyment. 🙂

Airplane Shelf Redo

When my Mom asked us if we wanted the old airplane shelf my Dad made for me when I was a kid, I knew I did. I just didn’t know where I was going to put it. Then our nursery started to take shape and some of the elements in it included a slight airplane theme. Lightbulb!

During a quick trip home for my Dad’s graduation from college, My Mom dug the shelf out of storage and it made its way way back home with me.

It was dirty and stained a dark color so I knew if I was going to make this work in the new nursery, a change had to be made. Although it didnt have a very glossy finish to it, I started out with a good sanding.

I followed this up with the same process I used on the nursery dresser.

  1. Sanding (picture above)
  2. Coat of primer (picture below)
  3. Coat of black (no picture)
  4. Main color

For some reason I didn’t get a picture of the shelf with the coat of black paint on it. I must have been busy. 🙂

The main coat of paint was done in an orange and I started off using a sample of the Behr Premium Plus Ulta Paint + Primer.

I really hate this stuff. One would think that a paint + primer would cover in fewer coats but that is not the case. After 3 coats, I still was not happy with the coverage I was getting.  So I ran to Home Depot and purchased the sample size of Behr Premium Plus in Flat. This is the same kind of paint I used on the nursery dresser and it covered very well with 2 coats. It achieved the same desired result on the airplane shelf. Cheaper and better in my opinion. I won’t be buying anymore Paint + Primer products. I have never been happy with the result or the  price.

After two coats of the Behr Premium Plus I sanded the airplane down and distressed it. This is always the part that makes me nervous. Nothing like taking a “perfectly” painted piece of furniture that has received 7 coats of paint and making it appear worn out. If done incorrectly, I may have to repaint!

After the sanding was completed and I was happy with the amount of deterioration that I performed, I brushed on my Rust-Oleum glaze left over from my kitchen painting project and then proceeded to wipe it off with some cheese cloth.

Below is the end result of the redo. I love how it turned out and it looks great in the new nursery!

Adding a Base to Stock Shelf

Ashley and I thought the perfect addition to our new nursery would be the shelf below, outfitted with canvas totes that matched the color scheme of the room. The only issue I had with it was the fact that it looked incredibly stock. In a room filled with a custom dresser, board and batten walls, and hand made curtains, sheets, and a quilt, I felt that the shelf needed a bit more.

I decided what it really needed was a base. Lucky for me I still had some window casing left over from the wall updates I did (post to come soon) so I set out to add the casing to the bottom. I ended up having to use 1 – 2×4 along with 2 – 1×4’s in order to get to the perfect height for my window casing turned floor molding to line up with the bottom of the cubby.

A few coats of a really dark gray paint and I was albe to get fairly close to the expresso color of the original cubby. I think the subtle contrast in color adds to the uniqueness of the room. 🙂

Car Wash Sprinkler

Yesterday afternoon Ashley sent me a Pinterest pic of a DIY sprinkler she thought would be fun for the kids to run through. It was a simple square made of PVC pipe that was put on the ground and then had holes drilled into the top of it.

I liked it but I thought it needed a bit more. I started to do some searching on my own and ran across another one that was like a “car wash” that the kids ran through.

I decided to combine the two and this is the end result. I had most of the materials on hand from a Halloween costume I made the previous year. I did have to buy another stick of 1 inch PVC pipe, two 90 degree elbows, and the adapter for the hose. Total new cost was $6 dollars.

Like most projects, I didn’t get any pics taken while I built it. I always forget until the end. Oh well. Hit me up in the comments if you have any questions.

Distressed Dresser Project

I have been wanting to distress a piece of furniture for awhile now. We have several pieces in our home that we purchased already distressed but the process always intimidated me.  After getting this gorgeous dresser from Ashley’s folks I decided to give it a try. Oh, did I mention that this dresser actually belonged to Ashley’s Grandma? No pressure to not screw it up!

I wanted to get this project done rather quickly but I also wanted to make sure I did a good job. I started out by doing a real light sanding over the entire dresser. I followed this up with a coat of my favorite primer: Zinsser Water based

After the primer dried, I again went over the entire dresser with some 220 grit sandpaper. Not a huge sanding but enough to knock down any bumps and runs in the paint. After the priming process I covered the dresser in a black paint that I had lying around the garage. The point of these layers is to allow different colors to shine through at the end when I start to really sand it down and distress it.

After the black paint was dry, the real fun began. I was a bit nervous to begin the blue color because I didn’t know how it would go over the black. I could see me doing 4 coats before I finally got the color I wanted. I started out using a foam roller but quickly realized that it wasn’t getting the coverage I wanted. I wanted brush strokes that the glaze could adhere to and enhance. A foam roller’s finish is just too smooth for that look.

The paint I used for the blue is Behr Premium Plus in Interior Flat. I think it might easily be my favorite paint. It went over the black easily and with only two coats! I am currently working on another project using a different style of paint and after 3 coats, my black is still showing through!

After two coats of the blue, the real fun was to begin. This was also the moment of truth. I could easily screw up the last week’s worth of painting with a quick rub of my sanding block in the wrong spot! I ran upstairs to check out the other pieces of  distressed furniture we purchased and it looked like they just sanded randomly but in spots that would be susceptible to wear and tear.  So that is what I did too.

I began by sanding down edges and then did a few strategic spots on the top, front, and sides. After awhile, my nerves settled down and I really began to have fun with it. After the sanding was completed, I brushed the entire dresser down with some glaze I had left over from a Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation kit that I had. A quick wipe down with some cheese cloth to take off the extra glaze and I was done!

Ashley and I originally were going to replace all of the original hardware with new pieces but because of the varying hole pattern on each drawer and some custom “key” holes, we decided to just repaint the old hardware with some Rustoleum aged bronze spray paint.

After everything was painted and dry, we brought the dresser upstairs (with the help of a great neighbor) and staged it into the new nursery (which is also going to be a project post soon).

The finished product looks amazing, especially in the nursery, and I think I have found a new DIY love. Distressing furniture is fast, easy, and really hard to screw up which makes it perfect for me! I am not the best painter.

Here is a full visual recap of the process.

Project featured below!

I was featured on Remodelaholic

Baby on Board!

Ashley and I are pleased to announce that we are expecting a new DIY’er to be added to our family this summer!  We are super excited about the 6th member of our family and cannot wait to share all new memories with everyone.  Of course, with a new baby and a new house, that can only mean more projects! Yep, we will soon be starting on a new nursery in what is currently our storage room. It’s really not a storage room but a cute girls room that we have just put everything into since we moved in. So in the mean time, we are going through box after box and donating what we know we cannot use again.

The new room is going to be pretty nice and I am excited to start on it. It will be the first room to have the wood trim painted white. If all goes well and I dont lose too much hair in in the process, I will start painting the rest of the house trim white as well.  We are still finalizing further details in regards to color and trim features so be sure to check back on what we decide. 🙂

Here is how the room looked when we toured before we purchased. Can’t wait to try and cover those stripes!

Dresser to Desk Project

A few weeks ago my wife showed me a project on Pinterest where someone took an old table, cut a few feet off the top and mounted it on the wall to make it into a desk.  We were in the planning stages of a room remodel for our daughters and thought something like this would really add to both the functionality and the visual appearance of their room.  So we headed out to our local Goodwill store in search of our own table to

We didn’t find any good tables but we did end up finding something even better!  My wife showed me the 3 drawer dresser below and although I wasnt fully convinced at first, I quickly warmed up to the idea of the challenge.

So we purchased the dresser and headed home. The first thing I did was to measure out how much of the dresser I wanted to keep. I knew that I was going to need to put a 1/2″ piece of MDF under the desk in order for the rail balusters to connect to so I measured a 1/2″ inch more than the trim piece below the top drawer.  I then put some paint tape over my lines to prevent chips when I cut it with my circular saw.

Here you can see the two pieces after I made the cut. I might end up using the bottom part for another project. Maybe a nightstand?

After the dresser was cut and the two pieces separated, I set out to paint.  I used a latex high gloss black paint that I applied using a foam roller. It took 3 coats before I finally achieved the look and cover I was going for.   The molding on the front of the drawer was plastic attached with screws so I quickly removed it and along with the rail balusters sprayed them both with a high gloss black spray paint.

Here is a picture of the 1/2″ MDF being painted to go below the desk. I drilled two 3/4″ holes in each corner to support the rail balusters. This board will be screwed into the bottom of the desk to help hide the drawer and to add some stability.

I attached the desk to the wall using 2.5″ screws making sure to drive them into the wall studs.  The rail balusters were cut to length to match the desk height and attached to the black MDF using the pre-drilled holes and then inserting the balusters into them and securing them with Gorilla glue and a wood screw.

Here are a few pictures of the finished product. I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out and the girls absolutely love it.