Tag Archives: Gift

Create your very OWN wood Nativity Scene

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Directions:

1 2″x 2″x 2′ piece of lumber

1 1″x 2″ x 4′ piece of lumber

2 1.5″ round wood doll heads (found at the craft store)

1 3/4″ round wood disk (found in the same aisle as the doll heads)

1 wood star (about 1″across)

3 colors of paint (I used blue, Green, and white but fought the urge for lavender and teal)

1 Piece of burlap roughly 4″ x 6″

Twine long enough to wrap the people twice

Hot Glue Gun

a few nails and a hammer

 

1) Cut lumber into following pieces 1 @ 2″ x 2″x 6″ (Josephs body) 1 @ 2″ x 2″ x 5.25″ (Mary’s body) 1 @ 1″x 2″x 3″ (baby Jesus’s body) 2 @ 1″x 2″ x 9″ with 1 end having a 45degree angle cut (this is the barn sides, the angles will help the roof connect) 1 @ 1″x 2″x 6″ and 1 @ 1″x 2″ x 5.25″

2) Paint Peoples Bodies and star.  I used a paint brush and was super streaky to give it a more rustic/vintage look

3) Once paint drys hot glue heads onto bodies

4) Lay “Mary” down on top of the burlap bring the top two corners into her middle (it will cover her head slightly like a hood) glue… a picture is best to explain how the back looks. Mostly because I can’t explain it with hand motions in a blog

 

See what I mean its easier to see the back then try and explain it?

See what I mean its easier to see the back then try and explain it?

5) Hot glue Mary and Joesph together AND then glue Jesus’s body angled on top.

6) “Tie” the family together with twine.

Look how cute!! All most finished

Look how cute!! All most finished

7) Now to build the barn: Nail the two shorter 1 x 2 pieces together at a 90 degree angle making the shorter piece the “bottom”so both will equal 6” long

8) Pre-drill pilot holes into angled roof where the 2 sides will connect. Line the angled sides up to match the roof so it will all be 90 degrees. hammer nails through the roof and into the sides. (you could also use wood glue if that’s easier just make sure to let it full dry before standing it up)

waiting for the glue to dry (I also nailed it)

waiting for the glue to dry (I also nailed it)

9) Paint or stain the Barn if you wish. I left mine plain because again it looked more vintage/rustic

10) Hot glue yellow star to the top of the roof

11) Set up and enjoy!

TaDa!!

TaDa!!

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My love for Nativity Scenes

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When I was a little girl I loved to help set up my family’s nativity scene. The Nativity Scene was a gift from my Dad to my Mom and every year he would give her a new piece to add to the scene, which in turn gave me another piece to play with…I mean set up.  I was so into “setting up the Nativity scene”that it changed daily and mom had to rubber band baby Jesus into the manger so he wouldn’t get lost….

Fast forward a few years its safe to say I still love the nativity scene and I still secretly love playing with it. I now have several, a hand made one from Mexico, a recycled paper one from Africa, and one that every year my Grandparents add to.

My growing set from my grandparents

My growing set from my grandparents

Each year I get just as excited as I did when I was a little girl about setting up my Nativity Scenes.  I arrange them all several times until they are perfect! And every time I see a cool set in a store, magazine, or at somebody’s house I have to stop and admire the beauty (and secretly wish I had a spot for another set).

This set was a birthday present and it was made in Africa

This set was a birthday present and it was made in Africa

The other night while I was laying in bed cruising Pintrest I came across a board with tons of pins for nativity scenes.  I instantly became wide awake as I drooled over each and every one plotting my next move! And then I found it, the cutest handmade, wood nativity people ever! So what did I do? I went to work the next day dug through the lumber rack, found me some materials and made me one (and a barn because I can’t have baby Jesus getting wet and sick).

 

The newest Nativity

The newest Nativity

Sometimes even the Easter Bunny needs help

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My Mom is the BEST grandma (and mom) EVER!! She is always going above and beyond Grandma duties and spoils my niece and nephew something fierce.  When my nephew was learning to talk he decided that my mom was NOT going to be Grandma instead she would be Ma Mauk. Much to her annoyance the name stuck and now my niece (his younger sister) also refers to her as such.  Ma Mauk had plans for an Easter Bunny surprise for the kids at her house: She wanted a sandbox for the kids to play in.  It was funny she said this because that same morning I had been randomly looking at home made sandboxes (oh the power of getting sidetracked). So I quickly said I would BUILD her a sandbox and we (Dan and I) would bring it home Saturday before Easter in pre-made chunks and finish assembling it Easter morning.

She agreed and approved to the sandbox plan.  Having once been a kid with a sandbox (and cats) I knew it needed a lid! And knowing Ma Mauk it needed to be adult friendly (ie a bench) because she would be in the sandbox digging tunnels, scooping dirt, building castles and so on. So I found an image (and a blog with directions) and we set out to the Lumber Store. Now I’m going to be honest, I have never purchased NEW lumber without my Dad but I had done it several times with him; I had it covered.  Dan and I spent a date night at the hardware store (my FAV) and just as we had finished gathering all the materials needed Dan noticed something.  I had picked out very nice wood, cedar to be exact, for weather resistance. But Dan (full cart of lumber) says to me, “Babe, do you realize you have almost $200 worth of sandbox wood on the cart”. WHAT?!?! It was only going to cost me $70! How did I get a $200 sandbox?!?! I quickly realize I was buying premium lumber (at $20 a stick). Panicking, I call for help!

“So Dad, I’m building a sandbox……”. Thankfully my Dad (200 miles away) set me straight on what I was supposed to be buying and I made it out of the store with all the hardware and lumber for $70! MUCH better than $200!

The cut lumber waiting to be loaded into my car

The cut lumber waiting to be loaded into my car

Help! I have half a sandbox for a coffee table

Help! I have half a sandbox for a coffee table

Dan met me at work the following day to help me cut the lumber with the work saws and then the cut lumber traveled in my car for almost a week. We both tend to procrastinate. But we finally brought the lumber in; I pre-drilled and counter sunk the holes. tThen while I made Easter cookies, Dan attached everything and loaded it back into my car.  The rest can be said in pictures:

Easter Morning Prep

Easter Morning Prep

Waiting for the fun to start

Waiting for the fun to start

The finished product, MaMauk and all

The finished product, MaMauk and all

My what pretty knobs you have…

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I LOVE salvaged building materials. I loved the look and feel of vintage accessories long before I started working at a salvage shop. My apartment is my own personal showcase to my love and passion for the vintage.  It has been described as an Anthropologie show room. Everything has a worn, well loved look with colors that aren’t always mainstream.  I always love that my house is compared to that store because it is one my most favorite places to get ideas. But no matter how much cool used furniture I have, the thing I love the most at my job is the accessories! Wood windows, door knobs, funky cabinet hardware, floor grates (my secret love, I have 4 and am always keeping my eyes open for more), molding, and lighting. I’m positive my landlord would kill me if I changed out the lighting to vintage chandeliers, or put “new” doors in my apartment so I have had to get creative with my use of the things I love.  One way I have done that is with door knob coat hooks! I love that this simple idea of using fancy door knobs as hooks can change a room drastically. I thought I would share my magical secret with you.

Supplies:

1 Piece of salvaged wood (I’m a sucker for the door headers)

3 Door knobs or other unique knobs

3 Escutcheons (the round plates behind the doorknobs) OR face plates

3 Dry Wall Screws

Two-part epoxy

My pile of goodies needed

My pile of goodies needed

Directions:

1) Tightly tape the set screw hole, making sure to firmly push the tape into the hole.

Before the tape

Before the tape

After the tape

After the tape

2) Mix the two part epoxy as per manufactures instructions. I personally LOVE Loctite Instant Mix. It mixes correctly, instantly, and is mess free.  It also has a precise tip so  I can do the next step better.

I should own stock in this!

I should own stock in this!

3) Place screw (head side down) and fill the remaining space with the epoxy (see why I love the precise tip! Makes filling the hole MUCH easier). Be sure to hold the screw straight and steady for 5 minutes to let the epoxy set.

4) Wait 24 hours for the epoxy to completely dry. This is important! Contain your excitement for at least 24 hours because you need to let the epoxy set and dry COMPLETELY.  If you don’t, when you screw it into the board you will break the screw out of the epoxy, which sucks and you have to start over!

This is what it will look like 24 hours later

This is what it will look like 24 hours later

5) Screw knob into your wall, piece of wood, or drawer.

6) Enjoy!

The hooks I made for my sister.

The hooks I made for my sister.

You don’t drink the bottle in one sitting?

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One of my favorite salvage projects to make is wine bottle stoppers!! All my friends drink wine so this has become a good “go to” for me during the holiday (or birthday season, wedding season, or all seasons).  The hardest part is first picking out the salvaged topper, secondly its drinking the wine to get a cork 😉

Poor Dan helped me make several of these wonderful stoppers; I think I may have red wined him out.

If you need to make a quick gift OR you are one of those people who don’t finish your wine bottle in one sitting these will be helpful to you.  BUT be careful you too may find yourself wined out 😉

Supplies:

  • 1 Cork
  • 1 1″ automotive expansion plug (make sure it fits the cork)
  • 1 Found Object for top
  • 1 1/4″ diameter wooden dowel
  • Two-part epoxy
  1. Prepare Expansion Plug by marking the center of the cap then, with a 1/4drill bit, drill through the center.
  2. Drill a 3/4-inch deep hole in the center of the cork. Wrap your drill bit with tape for a measured stopping point.
  3. Cut the dowel to 1-1/2-inch length.
  4. Apply the two-part epoxy to the cork head and attach the expansion plug and dowel to the cork.
  5.  If needed drill a hole in center of your salvaged object . Apply epoxy to the dowel and attach it to the top of your cork. Let dry 24 hours. Then drink and enjoy!
W is for Wine

W is for Wine

I swore I wouldn’t….

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I swore that this year, MOST (if not all) of my Christmas gifts would be purchased.  I work two jobs, am planning a wedding, and trying to have a life (snuggling with the boys on the couch). I DON’T have time to make gifts!! I ended up making several gifts….

One of my favorite gifts was a wine rack. I had found the idea while  shopping for a client at my design job.  Being crafty (in both meanings) I decided I would make it!

It started with stealing a pallet from the neighboring business.  I chose the most weathered for its patina.   I should have chosen the straightest and most square pallet because  I ended up staining the wood.The start

I cut it into quarters and it then sat around my work for a few days.  You will find MOST of my projects, while could be done in a day, have to sit around for several days before I do it. But during this time I bought all my supplies. (Plywood, stain, new jigsaw blades, wood glue)

Then the construction happened! Matt, my coworker, taught me how to use the table saw (which was super exciting and I giggled the whole time). We cut 2 shelves that would fit snug into the pallet and one that would hold the wine glasses. Next I measured and drilled where the steams of the wine glasses would go.  Then we hammered everything together. By this point it stopped looking like a pallet and started looking like my picture!

We had to get an idea ;)

We had to get an idea 😉

We stained it a dark walnut color and then scuffed it up, then stained it again.  This made it look a tad more weathered and salvaged!

stained!Once it dried we had to hang it in my apartment to get an idea of what it will look like.

photo 3

It’s wrapped and under the tree waiting for Christmas day though Dan is already asking if I will make us one….