Wednesday, November 27, 2013

DIY Nautical Christmas Ornament

Dear friends, it's been long- too long since I've managed to squeak a little something out of this blog. I would promise that this would be the last time I go a long stint without posting, however I know how much you all don't like empty promises....and I know how behind I feel when I don't post. 
But all that aside I must confess, I haven't posted in order to get my ducks in a row and get everything on the same page so that in the coming weeks I can share with you all of the AMAZING projects I've been working on and completing!
One of these "projects" is getting my house ready for the Christmas home tour. This involves putting up 10 thousand trees and decorating every square inch of bare space. And if you know me, you'd know that I have to have a nautical/beach tree. I have a beautiful tree that I'm selectively placing ornaments on to create my sophisticated coastal style in christmas form. I have lots of polished ornaments and I was wanting to add some rugged, natural elements when I thought of those nautical ball knots. Yes, that is what I said nautical ball knots. I actually had no idea they even had a name up until about four days ago. They are called monkey fist knots, and they are the perfect little accents for my tree but they are really hard to tie and really- ain't no body got time for that.
So, I rustled up this little DIY for you guys in case you wanted to make your own monkey fist knots to turn in to ornaments or you can do a little something like this.....

Via West Elm

All I needed was foam balls- I chose large foam spheres because I wanted the ornaments to fill in the empty spaces on our christmas tree and really make it look full and pretty. 
Jute rope- I had a ton in my basement, 270 yards to be exact and it was all FREE! You can choose whatever size rope you want, just realize that a larger rope size will increase the size of your knot.

Start by gluing and tightly wrapping your jute rope in a spiral pattern around your foam ball until your rope looks like this....

Once your foam ball looks like this, you will then turn it so that one of the blank "ends" is facing you.

Then wrap your ornament just as you did the first layer. Make sure you do the same amount of rows so that you get an even look. When you are finished it should look something like this...

Now you will want to hold your ornament with the top layer facing you and with the blank spaces on either side (as pictured above).

Next you'll want to cut strips of rope that will be glued in one blank space, bridge over the top layer of vertical rope and be glued in the other blank area.

Continue until the spaces are completely filled and do the same on the other set of blank spaces. 
Tip: If you can, squish the ends of the rope strips down under the first layer of rope so that it looks like the strips are coming from underneath of the first layer.

To make a hanger, make a loop of rope and then glue it to your ornament.

Wrap and glue a strip of rope around the base of the loop for a finished look.

I hope you enjoyed my little DIY moment.
Happy thanksgiving everyone!

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Building a Built-in Bench.

My breakfast nook area has an awkward space inhabited by nothing, but it was screaming for a built-in bench. 

See what I mean?
Pull a table up to it and throw in a few cute chairs and BAM! Perfect breakfast nook.
I knew it destined for greatness the moment I laid eyes on it.

I was poking around some of my favorite blogs and I found this wonderful highlight on The Woodgrain Cottage, where they added a fabulous built in bench to their breakfast nook.
So, I measured my negative space, decided on the dimensions I desired for the bench and purchased my materials.

Once I pried off the trim on the back wall, the quarter round on all three sides and The grate on the return vent, I constructed the supportive frame from 2x4's. Note: I made sure that I left space for the return vent.

Next I attached the MDF to the front and fit the internals of the return vent to the front of the bench.

I then attached MDF to the top of the bench, attached the trim and return grate.

I put the quarter round in place and painted the bench.

I have to say, I was REALLY nervous before I did this project! I was so sure that it would end up completely useless and lopsided! In hind sight though, this project was totally wood shop 101. It was a lot less intense than I originally thought and I'm so glad that I went through with it. I love the result! now all that is left to do is wait on the wall paper to arrive ( it should be in this week, I'm on pins and needles!!!), make a cushion and pillows for the bench and bring my table in from the garage! 
Well, one project down, 894,2345 to go!

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