DIY Simple Side Table

Evan here again! So for a while, I hate to admit it, we were using my old TV tray as a side table. Hey. It fit. But it was not a good long term solution for two picky DIY artists. By this time (back in 2013 actually, sorry for such a late update!), I had gotten my woodworking confidence up, but I had not done any major projects with woodworking yet. So let me share my first one with you:

DIY Simple Side Table

Muuuch better, right? This journey was not the smoothest… At first I was inspired by this pallet I found:

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It seems like they are all the rage in the DIY community. I must have had really bad luck. This was some super heavy duty super nailed together super pallet. But not super good for getting good wood from. I really did try. Then I put it in the scrap pile and went to Home Depot.

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Got some nice real wood (no plywood for my first big project!) All the same width. All I needed to do was cut them to length and start joining!

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This was before I had more toys tools in my arsenal garage, so I made do with some scrap wood to help me cut. Prooobably not recommended. A table saw would have been muuuuch better. Now that I have one (a shoutout of thanks to my brother and sister in law here for hooking me up for our wedding (yes, this project was that long ago)) I know how awesome it is.

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Once cut to size (measure, measure, measure, cut) I did a test fit! Looks good so far. I went with a nice basic shape (a blocky A?). To join them I drilled holes and glued in dowels! If I were to do this again, I would have used screws and counter-bores then capped them with tiny lengths of dowels on top (picture below sums it up better). I used dowels instead of just screws so that the entire outside of the side table would be wood (say that 5 times fast… wait, I just did it too and it’s not that hard, please ignore).

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But this was my first project so I just went for it.

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Not the prettiest work but that is why I bought wood filler.

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Katelyn helped me out with joining them all together with the dowels and glue (and therefore we didn’t get too many pictures of the process). But I did get this gem:

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Once everything was joined it was time to liberally apply wood filler.

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When it all started to look awesome is actually when I took the sander to the side table. It started to feel like a finished product. All the rough edges or mismatches were worn away and it came together into one piece.

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And if sanding is when it started to look finished, staining is when it really DID look finished. This might be the most satisfying step because there is such a large change for fairly low effort. I’ve adopted the wipe on, wipe off method. Get the stain on the wood and wipe it off right away.

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Since this was going to be a piece of furniture we would use regularly and possibly with drinks/spills/condensation, I went ahead and sealed it too.

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Hope this post helps people at the beginning of their DIY adventure like I was to jump in and try their hand at something new, or get a more experienced hand out into their workshop again :)

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

We took on a lot of very time intensive wedding DIY projects (I’m looking at you marquee letters, backdrop, photobooth, and chandelier). So in order to not make ourselves completely crazy, we tackled some quick and easy DIY projects too. That makes sense right? “We have so many big projects, quick, throw in some little ones too because we need even more work to do!” We are crazy.

Anyway, the good news about these projects is they were all SUPER quick and easy, and some can be used for stuff other than weddings- baby showers, birthdays, holiday get togethers, Diablo III parties (are we the only ones that have those?), etc. Today I shall be covering one of those projects: DIY paper heart straws

I’ll start by saying that paper heart straws are the most adorable things ever (aside from kittens). They are also super easy to make, and cheap! Though for a wedding-sized batch, the cost can start to add up. That’s why I was happy to find this box of 144 straws on Amazon for $7.

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

One batch was the perfect amount for the whole wedding (about 150 people). This brand sells them in a few other colors, but gray was my jam. Mainly because it would be a great accompaniment to the pretty pink hearts I was gonna stick on ‘em.

This project was made WAY easier because I had one of those heart-shaped cutter things from Michaels (you can see it in the photo below). I also picked up some pink scrapbook paper that was stiff enough to be sturdy, but bendable enough to wrap around the straw without popping off.

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For each straw I punched out two hearts and then stuck double sticky tape on the straw and on the widest two points of one of the hearts. That way when I put it together, the hearts were taped to each other and to the straw itself.

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I would just pinch the sides together like so, not worrying that there was a little gap as the heart cutouts got closer to the straw.

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

Boom. Straw complete. So very easy.

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

Then I just did it to 50 more! I didn’t do it to ALL the straws because, a) not everyone would want to be walking around with a heart straw, b) it would have made it more difficult to fit them all in the little mason jars they were going to be put into, and c) I didn’t feel like it.

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

My mom brought 3 large mason jars that we could put these into, but the jars were actually too tall, so we improvised and brought some ice cream salt at the grocery store to act as vase filler. It’s basically big chunky salt crystals, and was way cheaper than any actual vase filler.

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

They were super cute at our drink station at the wedding! Just another one of those little details that made things that much more personal :)

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Plus it helps that our friends look like models so pictures of them with the straws automatically make the straws look awesome.

Easy DIY Paper Heart Straws

I plan on doing a few more quick and easy tutorials like this, so keep your eyes peeled!

Kitchen Updates are in Order

Hey guys! We have all these little changes we do to the house that we don’t really deem “blog-worthy” (picture the clouds parting and light shining down upon those words), especially these days when we are super busy and only seem to have time to post about the bigger stuff. But hey, these little updates deserve love too! Maybe not clouds-parting-light-shining-upon-them love, but a little love at least. Here is a compilation of a few kitchen-related updates that we realized we never shared.

First off, writing this has made me realize that we do not have ANY recent photos of our kitchen. What the heck. Here it is from wayyyyy back when we were first moving in. Notice the boxes in the background?! Seriously, I need to photograph our kitchen more often…

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The first update to share is the AMAZING new faucet we got. Yeah, until I owned a house I never thought I’d get this excited about a faucet. BUT IT IS SO AWESOME!!! Why you ask? Because it’s touch-controlled! Yeahhhhh living in future, yeah technology, yeah yeah yeah awesome home stuff! It’s the Delta Addison faucet and I love it.

The old faucet leaked a little and only worked on spray mode, not stream mode, which resulted in the whole area inevitably getting spray misted every time we cleaned something. “Y U ALWAYS SPRAY TINGS OLD FAUCET?!?!”

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So yeah, got rid of him. With a little instruction-following and a husband up for the job, we got the new one installed right away. Was pretty straight forward, though we did have to call and get a new o-ring because the one it came with wasn’t creating a strong seal.

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And now look! Pretty touch-sensitive faucet!

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Oh what’s that you see hanging out above our new faucet? It’s our new pendant light! Before, we had a sad-looking recessed light. Not even a nice one, but literally a black hole with a regular light bulb screwed into it. So sad.

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But we got this pendant light for our wedding that literally screws right into the recessed light fixture so it was a super easy switch! You can’t tell in photos but we have an Edison bulb in it, which looks super cool :)

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Looks good with our new faucet. You know what else looks good? That little bit of fridge peeking into the photo from the right side.

Heck yeah we got a new fridge!!! It was our Christmas present to ourselves last year. Family was in town so we recruited Dad to help move the old one out.

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There was nothing functionally wrong with the old one, but it was the only bisque colored appliance in a sea of beautiful stainless steel so we decided to designate it as our secondary laundry room fridge and replace it with a pretty one. Now the old one houses the tons of beer leftover from the wedding. Come drink our beer people. No seriously, please… come drink our beer.

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It does jut out, but because of the doorway into the dining room to the right, a cabinet-depth fridge would  not be able to be opened fully, which would mean more difficult access to food, which would be very sad. Maybe one day we will build a nice built-in looking fridge casing for it. For now, we will just be very very thankful that it’s not bisque.

And there you have it, some much-overdue kitchen updates! I know all this sounds like extravagance upon extravagance, but trust me, we are not made of money. These updates span over the past year+ so we had time to save our pennies. Writing this reminds me of many more “little updates along the way” posts I want to write, so keep your eyes peeled! :)