Friday, July 23, 2010

Can I build it?

When I was a teenager, I remember showing up to a babysitting gig and being greeted by two very excited little boys. “Mommy built us a sandbox!” This was not any ordinary sandbox. It was huge, with a roof, benches, a lid and storage areas for the sandbox toys. I was amazed. Inspired. I had never met a mom that used power tools.

That summer, my dad let me use some of his tools to try some simple projects. I made some planter boxes, a decorative wishing well planter and some small patio tables. After that, I received tools and DIY books for Christmas and birthday gifts. By the time I finished university and branched out on my own, I had a full set of hand tools, a jigsaw, a drill, a router and a palm sander.

For years, I mostly used the tools for home improvement projects like hanging things, fixing things and refinishing cabinets, etc. I did build islands for the kitchens in both my first home and our current home, but those were fairly simple in terms of carpentry and were more about the tile work.

Then one day in February, someone posted a link on their blog to Knock Off Wood. I spent hours on the site looking at Ana’s designs and seeing that regular non-builder people were building furniture that looked like furniture. I remembered Mrs. V. and the sandbox. I dusted off my tools and decided to tackle a bed for Lisa.

It’s not finished yet. I want to do one more coat of paint on the headboard and footboard and I’m thinking about doing upholstered side rails. In total, this solid wood bed frame cost about $180, including paint. I finished it over 2 weekends.  Here are the plans from Ana's site.

This is just a sneak peak/progress shot.  It's in her room now, but still not finished (I had to assemble it in the room and I still haven't painted/upholstered the side rails!)  This sucker is big and heavy!

Homer was impressed. Inspired. When we were offered a pile of used 2x4’s for FREE, we accepted and built ourselves a workshop. I designed it and put it all together. Homer helped cut the wood to size with a circular saw.

Homer uses the back area to tinker around with small electronics

I mostly use this bench in the middle to build new things and refinish old things

My little Star Wars fanatic needed something to store his stash of lightsabers.

Behold the Lightsaber Rack. I whipped this up in less than an hour, including the paint! The hooks set me back about $5, but the rest was all from scraps I had laying around.

Maggie has such a tiny room that I’m always looking for different storage items. I found this PB Kids replica at Knock Off Wood.

Maggie added the little butterflies and has filled it with her favourite books and DS games. This was also made from scrap wood.

For the ten years we have lived in this house, we have never had a TV in the living room (much to Homer’s chagrin). I finally broke down and allowed it, and now it’s mounted on the wall. We needed something to store all the stuff that couldn’t be mounted on the wall. Homer didn’t even think twice about asking me to design/build something. Here’s what I came up with.

I love it. It’s solid wood, custom built for our needs and cost about $80 to build, including all the wood, screws and stain.

I have many more projects in mind; I’m just waiting for some spare time to get them going.

So, can I build it? Yes I can! (Uh, I think so).

Just for fun, I'm linking up to the Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Night Special.  I get lots of ideas from this feature.



Misty said...

So. I can't even keep my floors marginally clean.

Is there anything about you that isn't awesome? Love that YES I CAN spirit. :)

Beck said...

Wow! I am BOGGLED - those are gorgeous.
I am so unhandy that it's really sad. Really, really sad.

Fran said...

Oh, how I would love to have you for a neighbor!! I am impressed with these things you have made and horribly, wickedly jealous of your skills. Very cool!

Nowheymama said...

You rock! This is so inspiring!

Jess said...

This is AWESOME. So cool!

Bette said...

ok... how long have i known you and I didn't know this about you!


artemisia said...

This is so AWESOME!!! Oh, man. You inspire me. If only I had some kind of studio. Oh, this is soooooo cool!

Great work, Lori!

Saly said...

I am so in awe of your greatness. Like seriously...awesome. You could quit your job and go in to business!

Sarah said...

I want to be YOU when I grow up! I am so very impressed. I hate feeling helpless around the house, when there are things I want done (like the baseboards/trim around the door FINALLY getting finished in the den that TECHNICALLY was finished last year!) but I have no idea where to begin and don't know how to even start without chopping off a finger. You make me want to learn to just freaking do it myself!

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

I'm in the power tool club as well! good to learn how to use these I want my hubby to teach me how to operate his excavator!! LOL

Jen T said...

Everything you've done is so cool but my son almost wet himself when I showed him the light saber rack. I think I have a project for today!! Great job!

covnitkepr1 said...

Truth is...that is some impressive carpentry you've accomplished there. And another truth be's probably quality than can be purchased in stores.
Have you thought of putting a "follower" wedget on this blog. I'd gladly sign up. I invite you to visit and follow my blog if you care to.

the Provident Woman said...

Wow! I wish I knew how to build things. What great projects.

WarsawMommy said...

Oooh, totally impressive!

I am scared of power tools ;)

Chantal said...

I have to admit that I also spend a lot of time lurking on the knock off wood site! With the baby in the house I am not ready to tackle any jobs but I am gearing up for a few years from now (when we plan on moving to a bigger house anyhow :) )

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Oh my goodness! Yay you! You totally rock:)

Joni said...

being a mother is perhaps one of the most difficult roles in this world. what is something a mother cannot do for her child? oh one gets older, we tend to get more and more limitations..but meds and cures are more and more accessible these days - online pharmacy for instance..loved the finished product..i love the tool sets and the shop you have there by the way :)