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DIY 2×4 Side Table

We made this side table out of 2x4s for less than $9, which we think is pretty dang cool! We did it as part of the Modern Maker #two2x4challenge and it was definitely a challenge! You could make this table with other types of wood and the steps will be easier (2x4s tend to warp and pine is soft), but the cheap material allowed us to experiment with some joinery techniques we’d never done before. We learned a lot and shared lots of little tidbits (and failures!) in the video.

[Before we keep going, I want to pause and say if you have a sec it would mean SO much to us if you’d subscribe to our channel or share our video. We’re new to YouTube, so every view, like, and sub makes a huge difference for us. Thank you!]

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn

We’ve included free plans that have a cut list and measurements. The video and this post will go into more details, but the plans are a great reference for the nitty gritty numbers. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

Materials:

Tools:

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn

Squaring & the 2x4s

We started by giving our 2×4’s a nice square edge on all sides. The rounded edges they come with make it difficult to get a finished looking end product.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn We ran the top and bottom of them through the planer.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn Then we ran the left and right sides through the table saw, and then through the planer.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn We did this before cutting them to length because we thought that would make all our boards more consistent, but it was a little unwieldy running 10-ft boards through a table saw. So it might be easier to cut them first (leaving extra length that you can trim off later).

Cutting & making panels

After squaring them up, we cut the 2x4s to length for our top panel, shelf, and legs on our miter saw. You can find the lengths and cut list in the plans we linked to earlier.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn Everything got 10 degree miters: The legs are angled at 10 degrees, which means their ends need a 10 degree cut; and the shelf buts up against the legs so it therefore needs a 10 degree cut too. Technically, you could cut the top panel at 90 degrees but we thought 10 degrees would look nice, so that one is purely aesthetic.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn Next we glued up the panels for our top piece and our shelf piece. We used Titebond Original wood glue here and Bessey clamps. We also have a little silicone brush that is awesome for applying the glue. We let these set overnight.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn Then we ran our two panels through the planer one more time to level out any unevenness from our glue up.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn Unfortunately, we got some snipe on the ends, which is when your board isn’t in contact with both rollers at the same time and the planer cuts the ends a little deeper.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn

We fixed this by running it through again and again with sacrificial boards in front of and behind it until we got rid of the snipe.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn

Cutting dados

This part was a little tricky since we’ve never cut dados before. We angled our table saw blade to 10 degrees and raised the blade so it would cut about halfway through the thickness of our boards. There are dados in a few different places: two in the underside of the tabletop for the legs to go into, and one on the inside of each leg for the shelf to sit in.

We started with the tabletop. We measured where the outside of each dado needed to be and made marks at those points. We started our cuts there and worked our way inward.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn We thought we’d widen our dado a little bit at a time and test fit the legs with each pass as we got close.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn We tried to be careful, but we still cut our first dado a hair too big. Womp.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn We cut new legs for that side and it ended up being fine (you can’t visibly tell a difference in the leg thickness), but we did learn to stop a little early with our cuts. An extra snug fit is ok, and you can use a wood mallet to pound the wood into place if it’s tight. Luckily, our second dado under the tabletop was fine.

We tried to be careful, but we still cut our first dado a hair too big. Womp. Next we cut a dado on the inside of each leg. We actually did all the legs together to make sure the dados were consistent. We again used the method of marking where the dados needed to start and working our way down little by little.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn To clean up our dados, we used a router with a ½” diameter dovetail bit and a chisel. The bit got the flat surfaces really well, and the chisel helped clean the corners (plus it was super satisfying).

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn

Assembly

With our dados cut, it was time to assemble. This table is put together with just wood glue, no screws involved. Unfortunately, when we started to assemble it we realized our shelf panel had warped a little.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn 2x4s are prone to warping, so if you use nicer wood you hopefully won’t have to worry about this happening as much. Luckily we were able to force it into place during our dry fit assembly.

However, it took us about 15 minutes to pound everything into place with that warped shelf, and our glue (Titebond III) has a set time of 10 minutes, so we literally had to race the clock for this assembly. If you don’t have any warping it won’t be as much of an issue.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn All the pieces need to be assembled simultaneously. We applied glue to our dados, roughly put the legs where they need to be in the tabletop dados, sat the shelf in the leg dados, and used a mallet to inch everything into place. We clamped everything together and let the glue dry overnight.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn

Finishing

The next day, we unclamped our piece and gave the whole thing a good sanding using a random orbit sander for the large surfaces and sanding blocks to get into harder to reach spots.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn Then we used wood filler at each joint to fill in any gaps we couldn’t close before the glue set. We let it dry and sanded it off.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn Next we gave it two coats of shellac and sanded lightly with 600 grit sandpaper between coats. If you are too heavy handed with the sanding or use too low of a grit, you’ll sand the shellac right off.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn After the shellac, we gave it a coat of Briwax, which we then buffed off by placing a microfiber rag between our random orbit sander and the table. The finish came out reeeeally nice. It’s got some shine but isn’t overly shiny, and it feels super smooth.

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn

Done!

We love how this side table turned out! Like we said earlier, this build would probably be easier with nicer, more expensive wood, but this was a great challenge and the cheap material really allowed us to experiment with some new techniques. Please let us know if you have any questions about this build. Thanks!

DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn DIY 2x4 side table for just $9 - Evan & Katelyn

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You can also find us at:

YouTube…………….. https://www.youtube.com/evanandkatelyn
Instagram………….. http://instagram.com/evanandkatelyn @evanandkatelyn
Instructables………. https://www.instructables.com/member/evanandkatelyn/
Facebook………..….. https://www.facebook.com/evanandkatelyn/

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DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post

A while back we built a horizontal cat scratching post/pad and shared it on the blog. Mochi did use it, but the downside is she still clawed our couch too. Womp.

So we built a modern vertical cat scratching post that slides over the arm of our couch, hoping that giving her something vertical to pull on will spare our couch from further damage. And so far, she’s using it!!! Yay!!! Bonus, this thing also acts as a wooden couch sleeve to set your drink on. Double yay!!

Of course, we documented the whole build on video so if you’d like to see the action in video form check it out!

[Before we keep going, I want to pause and say if you have a second it would mean SO much to us if you’d like our video or subscribe to our channel. Since we’re brand new to YouTube, every view, like, and subscription makes a huge difference for us. Click here to see the whole channel. Thank youuuuu! We’re doing a big goofy happy dance right now!]

Tools & materials

Before I get into this build, I’ll preface it by saying we used a lot of tools on this simply because we had them at the ready, but you don’t need everything we used. So I’m gonna put the must-have tools at the top of the list, and additional stuff we used below.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Must-have tools/materials

Additional tools/materials we used (helpful, but not 100% necessary)

Step 1: Measure & cut the 2 vertical pieces

This scratching post is made of three pieces. To start, we’re going to find the measurements we need for our two vertical pieces (numbers 1 and 2 below). All the measurements for this build will depend on your couch.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Because couch arms can be rounded, grab a scrap piece of wood, or anything flat really, and place it across the top of the couch arm, making sure it’s level. Then measure the distance between the floor and the underside of the scrap piece.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

This measurement is going to be the length of your longer vertical wood piece that goes on the outside of your couch arm.

https://www.youtube.com/user/EvanAndKatelyn

Next, slide the yardstick between the arm of your couch and the cushion until it hits the base of your couch under the cushion.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

This measurement is going to be the length of your shorter vertical wood piece that goes on the inside of your couch arm.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

We used these two measurements to cut two pieces from our 10×1 on the miter saw. You could definitely use a circular saw instead though, or heck even a jig saw or hand saw.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

On the shorter piece, we also added a slight taper by cutting an angle on our miter saw so that it would slide between the cushions more easily. It’s optional, but it does help.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Step 2: Pocket holes

Next we drilled pocket holes. If you don’t have a kreg jig don’t worry, you can just screw perpendicularly through the boards with wood screws later to attach them (don’t do it til after you’ve attached your sisal though. We’ll cover that part later). If you want to try the kreg jig but aren’t sure how to use it, here is a great tutorial on it.

We drilled these at the top of both vertical pieces, on the inside part that will be facing the couch arm. We’ll use them to attach the top piece later.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Step 3: Attach the sisal

Next we wrapped the longer vertical board (the one on out outside of the couch arm) with thick 3/8″ diameter sisal rope. We used most of this 100 foot roll which is pretty crazy. DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Because it’s so thick, we had to wrap the board first before we could get an accurate measurement of how wide our top piece needs to be.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

We attached the sisal in such a way that if she really goes to town on it and at some point we need to replace it, we can easily do so. First we drilled a hole at one end of our longer piece of wood.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Tape the end of the sisal and thread it through the hole so that the taped end is on the pocket hole side of your board.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com We secured the sisal by screwing through it and into the wood. First drill a small pilot hole, making sure to NOT go all the way through the wood.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Then screw through the taped end of the sisal and into the pilot hole. Make sure you use a small enough screw that won’t go all the way through your board (we used #8 x 3/4” wood screws).

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Next we rounded out our edges with the router and ⅛” radius roundover bit. Eventually we are going to round pretty much every edge except those that are joined together, but for now we just rounded out the edges of the piece that will have the sisal because we wanted to do it before we wrapped it.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com As we started, we realized we should have rounded these edges BEFORE we attached the sisal because it actually got in the way of the router. So we had to detach it, round the edges, and then reattach it.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com After reattaching the sisal, we got started wrapping it tightly around the board. It helps to have a buddy for this part because our arms actually got surprisingly tired haha.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com We attached the end of the sisal the same way we started it, by drilling a hole through the wood, threading through the sisal, and screwing it to the board on the pocket hole side of the wood (the same side we screwed the starting end to)

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Step 4: Measure & cut the top piece

Next we are going to measure out and cut our top piece of wood.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com First we put the two vertical pieces in place.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com We made sure they were level, then measured the distance between the outside edge of each board.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com We cut that length on the miter saw, but again, use whatever saw you’ve got.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Before attaching the top piece, we rounded the corners of the rest of our edges. Like I mentioned before, we wanted to round out everything but the edges that we would join together.

Step 5: Sand & smooth

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Then we sanded out surfaces so that everything was smooth because it’s a lot easier to do before everything is assembled. We used the random orbit sander on the large surfaces and hand sanded it with a sanding block on the edges.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Step 6: Attach everything

We used right angle clamps to keep the boards as square as we could before attaching them. In the picture below, we’re attaching the top piece to the shorter vertical piece

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com We screwed through our pocket holes using pocket hole screws. If you didn’t do pocket holes, this is where you could screw wood screws perpendicularly through the boards.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com When it came time to attach the long vertical wood piece, the dang sisal was in the way again so we had to get creative with some additional clamps and scrap wood in order to clamp the boards at a right angle. But we figured it out and screwed through those pocket holes as well.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com Yay, all attached!

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Step 7: Finishing

Next we rounded out the corners of our top piece so that they matched up with the rounded corners of our side pieces. You can see in this picture where some edges are still sharp, and some are already rounded.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Then we rounded the rest of the top piece. You could potentially do all the edge rounding at once, we just thought it was easier to do it as we went.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com We noticed there were a couple slight gaps where our pieces joined together. So we filled them with sanding dust from our sander and some glue. This is a great alternative to wood putty, and it’s guaranteed to match the color of your wood. Add more dust if you need to, and sand it to finish.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com A trick to get your cat interested in the scratching post is to spray it with catnip spray. It’s sorta cheating… but it works! We also like to scratch on it with our hands to help show her what it’s for.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

If all your measurements were correct (cross your fingers!) this should slide right over your couch arm.

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com She’s spotted it…

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com She actually likes it!!! Eeeeeeep!!

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com We definitely like this new scratching post more than our old one. It feels a little more finished looking, and we don’t have to worry about stubbing our toes (although we’ll still hold onto the old one for a while)

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

Hope she continues to like and use it! Please, Mochi, please use it, for the sake of our couch…

DIY Modern Cat Scratching Post - evanandkatelyn.com

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You can also find us at:

YouTube…………….. https://www.youtube.com/evanandkatelyn
Instagram………….. http://instagram.com/evanandkatelyn @evanandkatelyn
Instructables………. https://www.instructables.com/member/evanandkatelyn/
Facebook………..….. https://www.facebook.com/evanandkatelyn/

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Living room mood board – I wish!

Spring (aka it’s all of a sudden 85 degrees down in Texas) has us imagining changes around here! Full room makeovers may not be in the cards for us right now, but I recently started helping a friend put together a mood board for her living room (hi Lisa!) and it made me think – what would our dream living room look like? It’s been so long since we did ours, how has our style changed? *dives deeply into the Pinterest rabbit hole*

I’ve actually only put together a legit mood board ONCE (and I don’t even think we shared it on the blog). Ironically, I’m prettttyyy sure it was for our living room haha. (Which I’m realizing now I really need to share again because the post I linked to up there is years old. Wow.) Anyway, I’m excited today to share what our ideal space would look like! Who knows, maybe this will spur a few changes around here :) Natural modern living room - evanandkatelyn.com

My overall thoughts

So I’ll walk ya through why I chose what I chose in the hopes that maybe it’ll get your brains turning too. Overall, I wanted to go for something that had modern vibes and clean lines (the couch, coffee table, lamp, art) but with lots of natural materials/textures (woven rug and baskets, leather couch, plants) to warm it up and a little whimsy thrown in (marquee letters, fun pillows).

Art ledge

I’ll start at the top. I’ve been wanting to do an art ledge for-like-ever. I’m obsessed with the one made by Chris and Julia. You can buy these, but check out their tutorial for a super easy DIY walk through. I’m thinking a dark walnut one would be gorgeous. Speaking of C & T, also fell in love with the large tree rings print from Minted they hung on their dark shiplap wall. That piece because the starting point for the art ledge. I went with black and white to give the space contrast but also be a neutral backdrop for the color I wanted to bring in elsewhere. Our current living room art is super colorful, which I loved for a long time, but I’m craving more neutral pieces up on my walls now.

Natural modern living room - evanandkatelyn.com
01. Visionary print

02. Sum Total print

03. Tree Rings print

04. Staredown print

05. News Flash print

06. Art ledge – tutorial here

Couch, furniture, plants

I wanted to go neutral and natural with the furniture pieces. We LOVE our Lounge sectional, which is an L shape, but something U shaped is oh so appealing (PS this one is from Arhaus and I’m kinda loving how sizable and sturdy their living room furniture looks. Like it’s not gonna blow away and you could probably jump on it without worry haha). I wanted other furniture pieces that were a little more delicate (but also sizable!) to balance the big sectional, so I went with the gold coffee table and gold standing lamp, which tie into each other. Plus I wanted a glass coffee table so you could see the pretty rug underneath. I also had to throw in a couple plants… both faux because I have a black thumb, but of course if you can keep a plant alive go for something living! I also loved the tiny wood vase on the coffee table plant, and the big basket is one I already own and luh-uh-uhv.

Natural modern living room - evanandkatelyn.com

 

07. Faux fiddle leaf fig

08. Dune three-piece sectional

09. Gold tripod floor lamp

10. Large curved basket

11. Gold and glass coffee table

12. Faux eucalyptus plant

Pillows, marquee letters, chair

This… is my favorite little section of the mood board. I wanted some fun and whimsy in the pillows. That winking one had me at hello ;) (Bonus- it’s embroidered, not printed, which gives it a little extra texture!). I also love how the boho style pink and red pillow ties into the rug without being too matchy matchy, and the gold spotted pillow ties in with the coffee table and lamp (it’s embroidered too!). The marquee letters we made for our wedding… those are part of our ideal living room no matter what. They were our first big DIY project and we’re still obsessed with them. And that handsome leather chair is pretty much the best of all worlds – modern, warm, and some masculinity to balance the pillows.

Natural modern living room - evanandkatelyn.com

13. Agda printed yarn pillow

14. Dot embroidered throw pillow

15. Winky embroidered throw pillow

16. Marquee letters – check out our tutorial here

17. Axel leather armchair

Rugs

I love the layered rug look. Love. I’ve had googly eyes for Persian rugs ever since we got a few little ones for the house. This big one has my name all over it. It’s a bit more expensive than I would normally pay… but this is a dream moodboard right? Plus to balance it, the jute rug underneath is super reasonably priced (and huge!). So it all evens out right? Natural modern living room - evanandkatelyn.com

18. Hand-woven natural area rug (11×15)

19. Persian rug (9’9″ x 13)

Hope you guys found this mood board helpful! Any other styles or rooms you’d be interested in seeing? Let us know below or on Insta (@evanandkatelyn)

Not gonna lie – a) had a ton of fun making this, b) I want to immediately buy everything in this room now, and c) was kinda hesitant to publish because now I know somebody else is gonna snag that rug.

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You can also find us at:

YouTube…………….. https://www.youtube.com/evanandkatelyn
Instagram………….. http://instagram.com/evanandkatelyn @evanandkatelyn
Instructables………. https://www.instructables.com/member/evanandkatelyn/
Facebook………..….. https://www.facebook.com/evanandkatelyn/

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DIY easy concrete letters

We are kinda sorta obsessed with these little concrete letters. Mainly because a) they’re really easy to DIY because there’s no mold-making required, and b) leaving messages around the house is kinda awesome.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Hehehehehe.

So today we’re gonna walk through this quick tutorial. And after this you’ll be looking around your house for other stuff you can pour concrete into (it’s kind of addicting).

You can watch the video that covers everything below, or keep scrolling for all our choices, steps, and tips in blog-format.

[Before we keep going, I want to pause and say if you have a second it would mean SO much to us if you’d like our video or subscribe to our channel. Since we’re brand new to YouTube, every view, like, and subscription makes a huge difference for us. Click here to see the whole channel. Thank youuuuu! We’re doing a big goofy happy dance right now!]

Here’s what you’ll need for the project

  • Quikrete Vinyl Concrete Patcher
  • Small mixing container (you could use something like this or even a solo cup works if you’re just doing a few letters)
  • Stirring and scooping devices (we use an old ladle to scoop dry concrete mix, a metal rod to mix it, and a plastic spoon to scoop it into the letters. But chances are, you’ve got something on hand already that will work)
  • Silicone letter baking mold
  • Gloves (we really like the thick 9 mil gloves)
  • Mask
  • Plywood or some sort of board (it protects your work surface and makes it easier to get concrete to settle into your mold – we’ll get into that later)
  • Concrete sealer (optional)
  • Paint or spray paint (optional, but we used gold Krylon)

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com If you’ve watched any concrete tutorials before, you may notice we’re using a sliiiightly different product from the norm. This was a choice we made for a few reasons:

  1. It has a really fine grain so the ending surface finish is really nice – no big lumps or rocks
  2. It fills into more detailed shapes more easily than some concretes
  3. Bonus – it comes in a smaller batch than most concrete mixes, which is nice

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Before you start, place plywood (or anything else similarly stiff and board-like) over your work surface. This not only protects your table from the potential mess, but it’s also gonna help you agitate the mold too (don’t worry, we’ll get into that later).

Make sure you have your PPE (personal protective equipment on) before you start handling the concrete mix. Portland cement is very basic (opposite of acidic), and has crystalline silica dust (which is really bad for your lungs). If you get cement on your hands and leave it there it can cause minor chemical burns and draws out moisture from your skin. If you do get cement on your hands, no worries. Wash with water, then pour common white vinegar over the area to neutralize any alkalinity, then wash with water again.

Start by adding a small amount of water to your mixing container. It’s important to add water to the container first before adding any mix. We started with about 50 ml but ended up adding more later.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Then add a few ladles of mix. The Quikrete instructions say to use 7 parts concrete mix to 1 part water, but for this project we found that to be too dry. We added a splash or two more water (a little goes a long way!) and kept mixing.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Side note, adding more water DOES weaken the concrete slightly. Which you definitely wouldn’t want if you were making anything that needed to be structurally sound or hold weight. But for this small decorative items, the slightly wetter concrete is so much easier to work with so we think it’s worth it (we’ve made a ton of these by the way – no breaks so far)

It’s easy to add too much water though. So here’s a tip to check and see if you have too much. Agitate the mixing container, and excess water will rise to the surface. We do this by quickly hitting the insides of the walls of the container back and forth with our stirring stick (you can see this better in the video).

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com This should cause extra water, if there is any, to rise to the surface. If you see water pooling a little at the top, add a little more concrete mix, stir it around, and agitate the container again to test for more water.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Once there’s not more excess water and your concrete is about the consistency of a sandy milkshake (I know, sounds so appetizing), you’re good to go. (In total, you’ll need to mix for 2-3 minutes to make sure everything is incorporated).

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Once your mixed concrete is ready, spoon it into the letters of the mold that you want to make. Heads up – some letters don’t stand up on their own too well (like P and F for example, which are asymmetrical and top heavy) but that doesn’t mean you can’t still use them (see our “POOP” example above…. hmm that’s something I never foresaw myself saying).

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com You’ll want to overfill the letters a little. The concrete will settle down into the mold.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Now you need to agitate the mold to get out any air bubbles. This is where the plywood comes in handy. We like to shake and drop the plywood with the mold on top of it, since the plywood is a lot sturdier to grab onto than a silicone mold full of wet concrete. You can still agitate the mold itself by scooting it quickly side to side, but I wouldn’t pick it up or anything. Again, this is easier to visualize in video format.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com You’ll see the bubbles rise to the surface. You can pop them with whatever stirrer or scooper you have on hand, then give the mold another good shake to see if any more come up.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Honestly, we kinda like the look of a few bubbles… it adds some interest. But you don’t want a ton or it’ll be a weaker end product.

Scrape off any excess concrete off the top (we used a popsicle stick, but again whatever you have around is fine, just something with a flat edge). You can give it one last shake which should smooth out your scraped-off surface.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Then… you just have to wait. These take about 24 hours to dry.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Before we take them out of the mold, you have the option to apply a concrete sealer to the backs of them (the side you can see when they’re still in the mold).

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com This step is totally optional, but this side of the letters tends to be a little dusty and the sealer will help lessen the dust. Since we do a lot of stuff in concrete, we already had the sealer, but if you don’t want to buy it just for this purpose your letters will be fine.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com If you do want to use it, apply a thin coat and let it dry for about an hour (we’ve done half an hour… but if you want to play it safe, wait the full hour). Then you can remove your letters, yay!

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com The back edge might be a little rough, so chip off any rough edges with your finger.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com I know the last thing you want to hear is that you need to do any more waiting… but you have to do a little more waiting. 24 more hours to be exact. They continue to cure once they’re out of the mold because air is able to reach areas that were previously encased. You can see the difference between a freshly de-molded set of letters and one that is fully cured in the photo below.

Keep them on a surface that can be messy, like your plywood from earlier or simply sitting on top of the molds. If you put these on something absorbent, they’ll leave moisture spots.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Ok… after your long week of waiting, you can finally use these suckers! They’re super cute as is but there are tons of creative ways to paint them too. I love love love giving them a metallic ombre look.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com To do this, put on a glove (so you don’t spray your fingers) and hold the top of the letter, spraying the bottom half with your spray paint of choice. I try to spray about 8 inches away. The farther you spray, the more of a fade your ombre will have. Vice versa, the closer you spray the less fade you’ll have. You can test it on some scrap wood, cardboard, piece of junk mail, etc.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Other ideas we love are giving it a dipped look by painting the bottom third with gold leaf paint or crisp white acrylic, but I feel like you could experiment with lots of different techniques and styles. If you end up making these, take a photo of what you did and tag us @evanandkatelyn on Instagram because we would LOVE to see what y’all come up with!

And lastly, if you like the look of these but actually messing with concrete is not your thing, you can also buy these on our Etsy. We sell the LOVE as a set, but shoot us a message and we can make whatever letters you want. Like your home state…

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Favorite food…

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Or spirit animal.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com ………………………………………………………………

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3

Simple DIY cutting board

We’ve been wanting to get into hardwoods lately. We’ve done some “light” woodworking in the past (like this simple side table we made or our DIY marquee letters), but we’ve always just used whatever cheap wood we could find at Home Depot.

Don’t get me wrong – there is a lot you can do with inexpensive framing lumber, plywood, etc, and we will continue to use it I’m sure. But for this project, we needed to get our hands on something a little more specific/fancy/drool-worthy.

Enter the DIY cutting board. Our excuse to get our hands on something really really nice.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com

You can watch the video that covers everything below, or keep scrolling for all our choices, steps, and tips in blog-format.

[Before we keep going, I want to pause and say if you have a second it would mean SO much to us if you’d like our video or subscribe to our channel. Since we’re brand new to YouTube, every view, like, and subscription makes a huge difference for us. Click here to see the whole channel. Thank youuuuu! We’re doing a big goofy happy dance right now!]

We originally wanted to make these cutting boards as gifts and/or to sell on our Etsy shop, but we liked them so much we couldn’t help but turn this into a tutorial too.

So pretty much as soon as we could, we found the closest lumberyard and got our butts over there. Side note, we realized that lumberyards are often closed on weekends and evenings, so if you work full time like we do you might want to check their hours before you drive all the way over there *cough* learn from our mistakes *cough*.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com (sorry about the bad selfie quality!)

Walking in, we had a “a whole new wooorrrld” moment. It was amazing, we could have stayed there all day. Literally, they had to politely ask us to to make our purchase and head out because they were closing. But enough about our lumberyard adventure, let’s get to the real meat of this tutorial.

Here’s what you’ll need

Side note, we’ll be making a face grain cutting board, which is often the prettiest and easiest, but is not the most durable option. We will be making another tutorial for an edge grain or end grain cutting board soon though which are more durable but more difficult to make, so keep your eye out.

Wood selection is key in this project. There are a few different things you need to look for when choosing it. It needs to be:

  • Durable
  • Food safe
  • Close grained

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Some good options we came across in our research are maple, cherry, and walnut. Maple is on the cheaper end, so we started with that (note: we’ve since gone back and made another out of walnut too and it’s preeeety).

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com When picking your board, check for damage and flatness/straightness. Damage is pretty obvious, just know that even little imperfections that might be ok in other projects will cause you extra headache on this cutting board, like little dinks in the wood or a cool knot.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com A good way to quickly check for flatness is to look down the length of the board at a steep angle and see if it still looks straight. The steep angle amplifies any changes in the straightness. If it looks bendy or wavy at all, see if you can find a straighter piece.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com We ended up choosing an 8-inch wide piece of hard maple. Feeling pretty fancy after dropping more than $10 on a piece of wood, we got kicked out went home to get started.

First, we cut our board to about 16 inches long using our miter saw. The length (and width) are really up to you, but we thought the 8”x16” size looked good.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com We also decided to cut off one corner to add some visual interest, but again, totally optional. We just liked the look of it.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Then we marked where our hole would be drilled. The hole can be used for hanging the cutting board, and it also adds even more visual interest. We marked the center of our corner cut, and made a mark about 1 inch inward from the center (we used a combination square). That mark became the center of our hole.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com We used a drill press with a 1-⅛” hole saw to cut the hole. Make sure to not drill all the way through from one side of our board. This could damage the grains on the other side. Instead, just as the tip of the drill exits the wood, stop drilling, flip the board, and continue drilling from the other side, using the tiny hole you made with the tip of the drill as your guide.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Woooo, that’s all the cuts you need to make! Pretty simple right?

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Now it’s time to make it smooth and pretty. First, sand top side, bottom side, and outer edges with a random orbit sander using 220 grit sandpaper. I spent some time on the edges of the 45 degree cut to round the sharp edge. Don’t worry about the 90 degree corners, we’ll handle those later.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Then use a router with a ⅛” radius roundover bit to take the corners from a sharp edge to a round edge. This bit is a game changer! I never thought about how much of a difference having that rounded edge made.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com I also rounded over the 90 degree corners with this. It makes the finished product look extra nice because all the corners will have the exact same radius.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Next, we hand sanded our newly rounded corners and the inside of our hole with some 220-320 grit sandpaper. We found that sanding a higher quality hardwood is much easier and quicker than something like pine, that gets more splintered when you cut it.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Final step – oil your wood! Make sure to get the outside edges and inside the hanging hole too. We are in love with Natchez Solution wood oil, it’s the same stuff we’ve been using on the butcher block dining table we DIY’d a few months ago. It’s got mineral oil, lemon oil, and beeswax.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com After waiting 24 hours, your cutting board is ready to be used! Cutting on it for the first time was a little nerve-racking, I’ll admit. It was so pretty and perfect I didn’t want to mess it up. But I’m happy to report that it works and washes up well! A few light knife marks and no staining so far.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com Hope you guys like this tutorial! If you want one of these cutting boards but not sure if you want to tackle the project yourself, we actually sell them too! You can find them in a few different wood options on our Etsy shop.

DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Solid Wood Cutting Board - evanandkatelyn.com

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2

IKEA MALM dresser hack

Today we’re going to show you how we used $35-per-dresser worth of hardware to upgraded a couple IKEA Malms that until recently, looked like this:

DIY Dresser Upgrade And now… it looks like this!

You can watch the video that covers everything below, or keep scrolling for all our choices, steps, and tips in blog-format.

[Before we keep going, I want to pause and say if you have a second it would mean SO much to us if you’d like our video or subscribe to our channel. Since we’re brand new to YouTube, every view, like, and subscription makes a huge difference for us. Click here to see the whole channel. Thank youuuuu! We’re doing a big goofy happy dance right now!]

We were inspired by this discontinued West Elm Dresser to do knobs on the top row of drawers and pulls on the rest. If you want to check out the backstory and challenges we faced about hardware and dressers (riveting, I know) before I get to the actual tutorial, click here to read our last post.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com This ended up being a really simple tutorial that you could definitely tackle on a weeknight after work with just a few tools. Below is what we used:

Materials

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Tools

We also ended up needing bolt cutters, a wrench, and a spare nut that fit onto our screw because we ran into a little snag with our screw length (more details on that later).

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com The first thing you have to do it make a big mess of your room by emptying all your drawers. Just think of it as an opportunity to get rid of that Panic at the Disco t-shirt that’s been shoved in the back for years.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Then you’ll need to measure your drawers and mark each spot to drill for your hardware. Double check your measurements because having a bunch of mistake-holes in your dresser is a good way to ruin it.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com For the pulls, we measured the width of the drawer front, then the width between the two holes in each pull. We subtracted the pull-width from the drawer-width and divided that number in two, which told us how far we needed to measure from each side of our drawer. We centered those marks vertically.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com The knobs were easier. We just eyeballed what positioning looked good, made sure they were equally spaced width-wise from the outside edge of the drawer, and centered those vertically too.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com We recommend placing your hardware on each drawer front where you’ve marked before you drill. This gives you a visual check of how you did. When you feel confident that your ability to do simple math has resulted in the correct placement of your hardware, it’s time to get out the drill.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com To pick the right bit size, you can hold your screw up to several different sized bits and pick one that is just a hair thicker than your screw.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com We really like using a drill guide (that little metal bar we’re drilling through) to help us drill straight down (instead of at an angle). If you’re nervous about drilling through perfectly good furniture, I highly recommend getting one of these little guys.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com After drilling, we did hit a bit of a snag. See, hardware will typically come with screws, and ours came with two different screw size options. But sadly, we had a Goldilocks moment and one was too long and one was too short, but neither was juuuust right.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com This is a common issue to run into, so we’re going to share a little tip (so you can avoid going to Home Depot for the 10th time that day to pick up new screws).

Grab a set of bolt cutters and a nut that’s sized to fit your screw. Thread the nut onto the screw, then cut the too-long screw to  the length you need.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Cutting it will deform the threads slightly, but that’s where the nut comes in. Grab the nut with a wrench and use your screwdriver to back the screw out of the nut. As you rotate it off over the damaged threads, it will re-shape them back to normal and boom, you have a perfectly-sized screw!

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com The next step is to simply attach your hardware with your screws. You can use a normal screwdriver or a powered screwdriver depending on what you have.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Then just add your drawers (I guess you can put your clothes back now too) and give yourself a high five because you’re done!

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com This project really was super easy, and it ended up only costing us $35 per dresser. In my book, that is WAY better than dishing out hundreds (or even thousands!) on something new.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Before…

DIY Dresser Upgrade After!

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Instagram………….. http://instagram.com/evanandkatelyn @evanandkatelyn
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Facebook………..….. https://www.facebook.com/evanandkatelyn/

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0

Knobs, pulls, and dressers, oh my!

Hey guys! If you know me, you know I can go a little overboard when I go into research-mode. Sometimes it makes sense, like researching everything thoroughly before we swapped out some plumbing or blew our own insulation. But sometimes, I’ll spend hours upon hours researching something really trivial, like knobs.

Real quick spoiler alert: if you wanna see how these dressers turned out, watch the video below! And read the full tutorial here.

It all started when the IKEA Malm dressers got recalled for a tipping hazard. We have two of these in our bedroom, and IKEA gave everyone the option of handing them over in exchange for a full refund.

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

So I was like yay, an excuse a chance to upgrade our dresser AND get $200 back! I started an online hunt to find the perfect new dressers, with these requirements in mind:

  1. Something at least as large as our current eight-drawer double-Malm set up.
  2. Nicer quality than our current dressers (otherwise, why upgrade?)
  3. Within the price range we felt comfortable spending.  

Apparently, I am a very unreasonable person, because we didn’t find anything that met all three of those needs. We could find something that met 1 and 2, or 1 and 3, or 2 and 3, but nothing that made the clouds part and the dresser heavens sing.

So I had to accept that functionally-speaking, we really had no complaints about our Malms, and the day for a dresser upgrade was not this day. Womp.

But here’s where the story takes an upturn. I decided as a consolation prize, I’d upgrade our current dressers with some new hardware. This launched me down a knobs-and-pulls rabbit hole that posed some challenges because:

  1. I wanted to do a mix of knobs AND pulls, inspired by this West Elm dresser (which is sadly no longer available). This meant I couldn’t just buy eight of the same thing for our eight drawers: I had to find six pulls and four knobs, and they had to match.
  2. I wanted gold/brass hardware to match the gold deer head and gold art in our bedroom gallery wall. Plus, I think gold always warms up black (and I prefer a warmer black to a cooler black). Despite its growing trendiness lately, gold hardware still has a smaller selection online than other finishes.
  3. Hardware can get expensive (think $16 a pull and $8 a knob, on the mid-priced end) and the dressers themselves were only $100 each, so it seemed weird to spend tons of money on hardware.

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

Again, tons and tons of research was done (how are there so many knobs in the world??) but eventually I emerged victorious! I found these knobs and these pulls, did a big ol’ happy dance, and asked for them for Christmas (that’s a normal present to ask for… right?). Spoiler alert – I got em! So keep your eye out for a soon-to-be-posted tutorial on our dresser makeover.

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

In the end I’d say this is a win, even though I mayyyy have lost a little sleep (and several hours of my life) to researching bedroom furniture. So instead of having all that research go to waste, I’m sharing it at the end of the post here. Hopefully, it will prevent some of you from spending as much time as I did in Dresserville and Knobs-and-Pulls-City. Below are our final contenders, and I’ve included all the important information we compared.

Dressers we liked

West Elm Logan dresser in acorn
$899, 58″w x 18″d x 32″h, solid wood base + wood veneer finish

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

This one was so pretty and we really loved the warmth of the wood, plus the price seemed reasonable for something so nice, but it wasn’t as big as our old set up and we couldn’t afford to have less storage than before.

West Elm Logan 6-Drawer Dresser
$936, 58″w x 18″d x 32″h, solid wood base + wood veneer finish

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

Love the mix of wood and metal on this one! Price still wasn’t too bad, though same issue with storage – it just wasn’t quite big enough,

IKEA Hemnes 8-Drawer Dresser
$249, 63″w x 19 5/8″d x 37 3/8″h, particle board
Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

The price was right and the size was much better for this dresser, but we weren’t sure if we wanted to buy another IKEA dresser since we already had one we liked well enough. But if you’re looking for a large, inexpensive dresser, I love the lines and double top drawers on this one.

Munich 6 Drawer Double Dresser
$339, 59.29″w x16.5″d x32.75″h, particle board

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

This one gave us similar vibes as the West Elm Logan with the mix of metal and wood tones. As usual, same problem in that it wasn’t quite big enough for us, but we still think this is a great dresser that looks pricier than it is.

Hardware we liked

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

01. CB2 hex brushed brass drawer pull
$4.95 each. I LOVED the look of these, and generally I love hexagons, but we always end up choosing the geometric design so I wanted to try something different.

02. All Modern QMI cone novelty knob
$4.24 each. Good price and nice, tiny, and simple.

03. Liberty Artesia knob
$5.18 each. Really cool look, but in the end I wanted something with a bit of curve to balance the straight pulls.

04. Kohler Purist/Stillness cabinet knob
$12.30 each. The most classic design, but a little pricier.

Pulls we liked

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

01. Amerock Manor cup pull
$14.05 each (plus shipping). These were really cool and I love the look of a cup pull, but they were a little more than we wanted to spend since we needed six of them.

02. Skylight Bar Pull
$15.99 each. Again, a little pricey since we needed so many… but I love the way these look!

03. Hampton Collection bar pull
$7.95 each. Another pretty option, especially if you’re looking for a warmer toned gold.

04. Hickory Hardware Metropolis center bar pull
$7.84 each. Another solid option for a great price.

Hope this post helps someone else in their search for the perfect dresser/dresser upgrade!

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2

2017 Project/House/Life Goals

Everyone is posting their 2017 house resolutions and we’re over here like “Is it Wednesday or Thursday??” (spoiler, it’s Tuesday).

So we’re a little late to the share-your-goals game, but it got us to sit down and talk about some of the bigger projects we are really excited to tackle this year (aka here’s a post with all the not-pretty rooms in the house!)

Garage

I kinda feel like everybody and their mom has the garage on their things-to-be-dealt-with list, but we really reallllllly want to get to ours. After turning half of it into a workshop to create products for our shop, we’ve got scrap wood, spray paint, boxes, concrete mix, and power tools everywhere. For the photo below we actually tried to pick up! (and by pick up we mean shove everything we could onto/under that worktable)

We plan on taking everything off the walls and patching them, epoxying the floor, and coming up with storage solutions for all of our stuff.

Office

Ahahaha. Ye olde office. This is the hardest room to figure out in our house. We are currently using this room to house a couple computers, a 3D printer, tools we don’t want outside, an extensive collection of photography gear, art and craft supplies, and hey lets just throw in our workout stuff while we’re at it too.

The reason we haven’t put more time into this space yet is because we don’t know where out office is going to end up down the line. Will it stay in this room? Will we go back to using the breakfast nook? Will the garage absorb some of it once we fix it up? Will we move it into the guest room once we turn the guest bed  into a murphy bed? Which brings me too…

Murphy bed

Guest rooms are awesome when you have people stay overnight. But most of the time, our guest room is just the room that Mochi hangs out in/houses extra decor and hand-me-down furniture.

We’d really like to build some more functionality into the space, so we are hoping to DIY a built-in Murphy bed  (kinda like this, this, or this).

YouTube Channel 

So this one isn’t a project for our house per say… but we plan on starting a YouTube channel! We love taking videos (we put together a one-second-a-day video each year, just to have) but we’ve never done it for the blog before.

We’re already working on a couple video tutorials and we plan on making the channel live once we have a few more done. Super excited to dip our toes into this world!

More products

Working on some more products, specifically lots involving concrete right now. We 3D print models of the products, make a silicone mold from the print, and then pour the concrete into the mold. It’s super fun! Keep you eye out for things from coasters to candle holders.

New art for living room

After posting about our hallway gallery last week, I’ve got art on my mind. We’ve slowly but surely been painting over canvas prints we’ve had since the apartment days.

See the pink one in the upper left? New. The one of our kitty Mochi poking her head up? New. The black one above the TV? Errrr, in progress haha.

Outdoor lights

Lastly, we plan to finally give our exterior a little love! Starting with replacing our outdoor sconces by the front door and the back door. These, these, and these are a few options we’re looking at.

As you can see, what we’ve currently got going on is nothing special. Of course we could also use a new front door, new window screens, a different paint color… and taking the Christmas lights down would help too.

Putting all this down on (digital) paper makes me want to do ALL THE THINGS right now! Can’t wait to keep sharing, learning, and being our goofy selves with you guys in 2017.

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Doing a mix-matched gallery wall

We have a lotttt of art. Evan and I both paint/draw, we have artists in the family so we collect art from them, and I have a tendency to save things that I think might make good art someday (a pretty page from a magazine or calendar for example). So yeah, we are overflowing.

Therefore, we’re no strangers to gallery walls. In fact, we have a 23 foot gallery that takes up an entire wall in our living room! But we’ve always played it safe in one regard – when we do frames our frames match, and when we do canvases we do alllll canvases. The living room wall has been 100% wrapped canvases until very recently. Here is a pic of how it looked when we first put it up, and it stayed that way for a couple years.

Doing a mix-matched gallery wall - evanandkatelyn.com

A few months ago we decided to start mixing things up and we added some black framed art to our canvas-dominated wall.

The other gallery walls in our house were all black frames – and not even different black frames, all the EXACT same black frame in different sizes. In our dining room I just recently added, prepare yourself, art with slightly different black frames. (those three with the mats…. yes, so different)

Doing a mix-matched gallery wall - evanandkatelyn.com

So after dipping my toes into the mix-and-match-frame pool, I decided it was time to actually jump in. The plan was to fill another wall and not be so matchy matchy about the frames, type of art, etc. The wall we chose for the job: our empty hallway.

You may have guessed that already if you remember seeing a few frames peeking out in our post about painting your yellowy fixtures white. That was somewhere in the middle of operation mix-match, but it’s evolved quite a bit since then. I’m going to show you how it turned out, and walk you through our method.

Doing a mix-matched gallery wall - evanandkatelyn.com

So there are two ways you can go about starting a gallery wall:

  1. You can look at the art/photos you already have and then go buy frames for whatever needs frames. Or,
  2. You go buy frames you think will make a nice arrangement, then buy/make/print things to go into said frames.

Because we wanted to get some photos printed and we had enough extra art laying around that we could fill various frame sizes, we went with option 2. If you have one or more specific pieces, option 1 might be a better bet for you.

We’ve tried a lot of different methods when it comes to putting up gallery walls, but in our experience the fastest/simplest route is to lay everything out on the floor in front of the wall, eyeball where the middle piece should go, and work your way out from the middle. Some people will recommend getting butcher paper, cutting out pieces that match your frame size, and arranging those on the wall with tape first, but I think that takes wayyyyy too long. I figure with our method, worst case scenario is that we have to move our art around and fill a few nail holes (or just cover the holes with more art, am-I-right?).

We already had extra black frames, and I wanted to incorporate some white frames, so I decided to get a mix of black and white, some thick, some thin, some with mats, and some without. I laid these out, along with some existing canvases.  The lower left and upper right canvases were just spare ones that I planned to paint over.

So here it is up on the wall. Meh. Something just felt kinda off and not cohesive (and I promise I was trying as hard as I could to use my imagination and see past the frame “filler images” and the smoke alarm with no face).

So I rearranged it to the version you saw from the vent posts. I painted the fern art, the cross-hatch piece in the middle of the bottom row, and the mountain piece in that’s cut off on the bottom left.

Doing a mix-matched gallery wall - evanandkatelyn.com

This was definitely better and we kept it like this for a long time. Then I saw the gold Target frames. I immediately bought three in all different sizes and knew I had to make them work somehow. But with our mix of unframed pieces (canvas), white framed pieces, and black framed pieces, I wasn’t crazy enough to add another variable. So I moved a few of these guys to the living room gallery, and painted any black frames that remained with a semi-gloss white spray paint.

After much rearranging, and finally getting off my butt to get some wedding and vacation photos printed, I landed on this layout and I love it!

Doing a mix-matched gallery wall - evanandkatelyn.com

Doing a mix-matched gallery wall - evanandkatelyn.com

Being in a long skinny hallway, it’s not the easiest to take pictures of, but hopefully this gives you an idea of how it turned out.

Doing a mix-matched gallery wall - evanandkatelyn.com

It was definitely worth the wait because we love the balance of art and photos, the various sizes and how they all play together, and the color scheme that ended up kinda materializing on it’s own (blues, greens, and golds).

Hope this shows that it’s ok for your walls to be continually evolving. It’s worth a few extra nail holes to just start somewhere, even if you don’t quite know where you’re going yet. After seeing how this hallway turned out, now I’m wanting to make even more changes in our living room and dining room – so expect more art wall updates to come!

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DIY wood canvas frame

Hey guys! Quick project on the blog today. We’re going to be walking you through how to make a simple, simple frame for any art you have laying around. We did it for a wrapped canvas, but we’re pretty sure you can use the same method for anything else you might frame (a poster, a print, etc). Here’s the finished product:

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

Custom frames can easily cost a couple hundred bucks (which is like, dozens of chickfila spicy chicken sandwiches). Our frame only cost us a few dollars. Meaning I have a lot of spicy chicken in my future.

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

Here’s what you’ll need:

Tools used:

So here’s how we did it. We started by measuring the outside edges of our canvas. We wanted the corners of the frame to meet at 45 degree angles, like in the graphic below. When you are measuring, make sure that the inside of your frame pieces is what matches up with the canvas measurement, and draw a 45 degree line out from that. The outside of your frame pieces will therefore be a little longer than the inside.

Alternatively, you could forego a 45 degree cut and just have them meet perpendicularly.

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

After marking on our trim wood pieces where the cuts needed to go, Evan quickly sliced the wood on the miter saw but you could use a simple jigsaw instead if you have a steady hand.

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

Once all four pieces were cut, we put wood glue at each corner where the pieces met. We used right angle clamps to hold the pieces together. You don’t have to buy four: if you have patience, you can just get one and do one corner at a time. Make sure to wipe off any excess glue that squeezes our, then let them dry overnight.

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

When we took the clamps off everything was nice and sturdy. Then we used an old rag to wipe on some Minwax stain in Dark Walnut (our favorite!) and let that dry for the recommended drying time.

The easiest thing about this frame? It just pops right onto the canvas. Simple tension holds the canvas in place, so there is no glass or hardware needed.

img_8335

If making the same frame for a print or poster, you can simply tape the print/poster to the back of the frame or staple it in if you want something a little sturdier.

Hope this helps you out with some of that art you’ve been meaning to frame!

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