Tag Archives: Pinterest

Fridays at Home: Tree Branch Coat Rack

3rd January 2014

So my brother and his fiance both came in for Christmas, and I wanted to give them a different sort of present. Even though they are both dapper dressers, there are only so many scarves a guy can wear. I remembered that a couple of years ago, my brother posted this image on his Pinterest page:


At the time, the rack was available on Etsy, but the price was well over $200, and I just couldn’t swing it. This year, when I went to have a look, the product was no longer available, and a quick search of Cantilever and Press didn’t leave me much hope for finding this product in my price range. There were a couple of mimics on Etsy, but unfortunately, they were just nowhere near the original. Now I’m not advocating ripping off someone’s ideas, and I certainly wouldn’t do this to profit from it, but I was dead set on making this as Matt and Christopher’s Christmas present. When my neighbor put out a really clean pallet the week after Thanksgiving, I decided I was all in. The boyfriend helped pry off the boards I would need, but the rest of the project was all me.

First, I knocked out the stubborn wood nails and sanded down the pieces I planned to use. Then I eyeballed the original image and the space next to my front door to get an idea for size – 2 feet by 6 inches, if you’re curious. I measured (Measure twice! Cut once!), made my marks and began sawing. Yes, with a hand saw. Not that tough once you get into it.


When I finished, I made sure my edges weren’t too warped to work with and sanded some more before putting a very light coat of Minwax Special Walnut on, then sanding again. I didn’t want a super dark stain, but I did want the frame to look aged.


Putting the frame together was the toughest part. If I ever do this again, I’d likely use wood glue first, but after a lot of stop and starts and a few obscenities thrown in, I went to the expert, aka my neighbor across the street. He has every tool known to man, so I brought my project over and asked for help. He handed over a Riyobi impact drill, one I definitely want. That sucker has some power. I drilled starter holes, two at each joint, then drilled my screws in. Some people build frames with nails, but since this is intended to bear weight, I used screws.

You can see below that I already cut my branches. Big mistake. Even though I measured twice, once the box was actually together, there was a slight deviation in the measurement. More on that in a minute.


I had collected branches for a few weeks, attempting to dry them out and make sure they were bug free. Then I just used my large clippers to make a clean cut along my measurements, though this sounds easier than it is, as they are not straight. Therefore, you have to measure carefully to get the angles right. Sometimes it worked beautifully, sometimes not. The trick for the “rack” part of this is finding branches that have additional branches sturdy enough to bear weight as well. Plus, placing the branches inside the box is tricky. You want the “hook” to stick out enough to be useful, but you also want to make sure it’s inside the box enough to, again, be sturdy. Here, I’m just playing with placement:


I drilled starter holes and screwed these branches in for durability and strength. It’s tricky, but you can eyeball pretty easily. For the additional “filler” branches, I just used nails.


Unfortunately, as you can see below, some of the nails were visible once I’d started. Cue Angry Jenn. If I’m going to make something, I want it to look professional, especially if it’s a gift. And those nails were glaring at me. So I went back to Home Depot to look at trim. But the beauty of this project is its raw nature. Box it up too much, and it’s just not the same. So I called my aunt who is a true artist when it comes to woodworking, and we brainstormed. But when I got home, I remembered…I had moss. Lots of it. So I pulled out some moss and my glue gun and went to town covering the places where the nails showed.


And bingo. No nails show. It still looks natural, and to be honest, the moss is barely noticeable. Win, win.


Once I finished, I sprayed four coats of Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurathane to seal the wood. I really doused the branches themselves as I had sanded the “hooks” and wanted to make sure they were as sturdy as possible.


Last, I added two hangers on the back and wiped everything down before hunting for a box big enough to house my gift.


In the end, I was really pleased with the way it turned out, and it was so worth it to see the shock on my brother’s face when he realized I had made this myself. I absolutely love giving gifts, but giving someone a gift you’ve made that they’ve wanted is just a fantastic feeling. I hope they enjoy it for years to come.

Did you make any gifts for Christmas this year? This was so fun, I’m already trying to figure out what other gifts I can make.

P.S. Minwax in no way asked or paid for me to mention their products, I was just really pleased with the cost and quality of both the stain and poly.

Fridays at Home: 6 Days

25th May 2012

In 6 days…count them: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, I will be leaving for New York. I cannot quite express the depth of my excitement. This will be my 6th trip to the city, and each has increased my love for it. The first time I went, I wasn’t all that impressed. I was with my sister and a couple of friends, and we were so divided as to what we wanted to do that I ended up not enjoying it completely. Plus, I’m not a touristy gal. No Empire State or Lady Liberty for me. In fact, as of this trip, I’ve still never made it to either of those places, though I’ve admired each from afar. That’s good enough for me.

I officially pulled out the suitcase Wednesday afternoon, though I’ve been planning outfits for weeks. I’ve been using Pinterest to keep some of my “must-haves” in mind, and I saw Swapna was doing the same thing. I thought I’d share my board today. In the next week, I’ll try mightily not to wear any of my planned outfits, so I can do laundry once and forget about it. I’ll also pack and re-pack my bag a couple of dozen times. ๐Ÿ™‚ My family jokes that I could be a professional packer, and I’d take the job in a heartbeat.

When I took that fateful Italian trip by myself when I graduated from college, I was the “crazy girl wearing heels, walking on cobblestones” (a waitress told me they’d been watching me all afternoon) – I’ve since graduated to the girl hobbling in heels, bemoaning her blisters. This year I got smart. I have a cyst in the bottom of my right foot that was miserable last year. This year I’ve taken it easy and bought a pair of Sperrys deck shoes. I’ve been breaking them in, and though they aren’t dressy, they should go with most of my outfits.

So what am I bringing? You can click on the board below to check out all the pics, but here are the basics:

1 pair Sperrys

1 pair cowgirl rain boots (if it rains in NYC, your feet are unhappy)

1 pair Chinese Laundry camel leather wedges (for any get togethers; a quick swap)

1 pair BCBG red peep toe pumps (for a cocktail party I’m attending one evening; again, a quick swap)

1 denim jacket (perfect to go over dresses or tees)

1 jute bag for the Javitz floor

Luna Vanilla Almond protein bars (these are my breakfast, but they also work great if you need a snack)

Nook Color (Easier on the plane, simple on the subway)

2 Camelbak Stainless Steel Water Bottles (this is daily for me; both are filled each night and chilled)

Colgate Wisp disposable toothbrushes (for after meals or before meeting publishers/authors)

Target Notebooks/Gel pens – I love these for jotting down notes. Plus, they’re pretty!

Softlips Raspberry – This stuff is true to its name. Love it.

Moo cards (little business cards with blog info)

Medicine bottle with easily identifiable headache, stomach, heartburn, migraine meds (easier to keep in one bottle)

Ponytail holders! I always have such good intentions, but at some point, the hair will go up.

Assorted outfits/toiletries/chargers/accessories

Yea! Next week, I’ll give you a little live action and show you the nitty gritty of how I get my packing done in minimal space. One of my favorite tips? Make a list, and pack early. Then take something out each day. Don’t add to the bag. I promise, you won’t regret it. (Unless you add a pair of stilettos and take out your comfy shoes. Take it from me.)

New Social Media Buttons

10th March 2012

Just a quick post today because you may or may not have noticed that I got new social media buttons in the sidebar over there. For a while now, I have been really tired of my design and wanted a total rehaul of my site, but you guys, whoa, is it expensive! There are a lot of other things I need/should spend my money on right now, so I decided maybe I would just redo my social media buttons because I had a random collection of them and felt it looked disorganized. So I thought, Hey! Why not create some myself? You know, there are a lot of things I can do, but apparently, graphic design ain’t one of ’em. I knew exactly what look I wanted, but using the tools in the right way to do it? Not so much. Instead I spent hours and hours using different sites and looking up icons and ended up with nothing usable. So I did a little search and came across Natalie from Moxietonic. She’s really, really reasonable, and she’s super fast and easy to work with. I’d highly recommend her if you’re looking for social media buttons, a blog button, or a header.

Anyway, since Google Friend Connect is supposed to go away for non-Blogger blogs, I thought I’d give a short explanation as to what all those buttons over there do. I know not everyone will use them all; for example, I’m not an RSS reader and love Bloglovin’, but to each her own. Here’s the breakdown of those icons over yonder:

Top Left: GoodReads


Top Right: Twitter

Second Row Left:RSS

Second Row Right: Google +

Third Row Row Left: Pinterest


Third Row Right: Facebook


Bottom Left: Email


Bottom Right: Bloglovin’


So get busy and follow me! It’s a command! Ok, not at all, and I know this post is sort of narcissistic, but whatevs. It’s Friday. It’s raining and cold. I’ve graded essays all. damn. day. I’m needing some attention. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hope your weekend is fannnntastic!

Pinterest Makes Me Work Hard

28th November 2011

Oh. My. Gosh. Sorry for the radio silence last week, but I spent every spare second of every day (except Thanksgiving) working on my kitchen redo. It’s all Pinterest’s fault. Well, Pinterest and Young House Love and Adventures in Renovating a Brooklyn Limestone. I’ll post an in-depth post Friday and am so excited that it’s finished.

But that also means I did no reading last week. None. In fact, this evening all I want to do is download another Patricia Wentworth, take a hot bubble bath, drink a glass of champagne, and read. However, I did want to share a small project I worked on yesterday afternoon.

I always love looking at outdoor Christmas lights once people begin to put them up. Some of my favorite memories when I was small was loading up with my family and some hot chocolate to drive around looking at Christmas lights. I haven’t spent much time and effort on them in the past, mostly because they can be expensive and because I wasn’t in love with the outside of my house. This year, though, the house is freshly painted, and I couldn’t wait to put something up. I saw this idea on Pinterest:

You take a simple tomato cage, turn it upside down, and string it with lights. First, though, I bought some velcro ties:

They come in really long strips, and I didn’t need that much length, so I cut them down for my purposes. Because the ends of the cage aren’t connected, the first thing I did was to tie them together with the velcro and used small bits of velcro to secure the lights to the cage. It really didn’t take much time at all, and I love the results:

I tied a bit of greenery at the top because I had some extra from the swag I bought for $5 at Home Depot.

So here’s the finished product, and I have to say that the photos don’t do it complete justice. It looks so cozy at night, and I’m so pleased. All in all, here’s the breakdown on what I spent:

3 tomato cages: 2 at $2.87, 1 at $3.58

500 mini white lights: $29.95

Velcro ties: $6

Live greenery garland: $5

Grand total: $50.27

Not bad. I’m pleased with it and love seeing the lights as I round the corner coming home. Pinterest is magic. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have you found anything on Pinterest that you’ve made?

Fridays at Home

18th November 2011

I think I may be losing my mind: I want to paint my kitchen cabinets…all 30 of them. I just had to read about a kitchen redesign on Young House Love today that had cheap-o cabinets similar to mine. I mean, I love my kitchen, but I’ve never loved my cabinets, and this person painted hers within a week.

So…that got me to thinking – why can’t I do the same? I also want to change the wall color. It will be hard work, but heck, I’ve painted every other room in the house. As usual, I turned to Pinterest and realized how much I was drawn to one particular color.

Via Design Sponge

Via Country Living

Notice anything? Yes, that turquoise-y, minty green. Apparently I’m in love with it as I pinned all these kitchens months ago. So I tried to find the paint color in the last picture (because it’s my favorite and closer to what I envision in the space).

Via Better Homes and Gardens

The top left is my favorite, and the color is Behr’s Garden View 470-D4. I’ll start with that and get some samples in that range and go bright white on my cabinets.

What do you think? Have I really lost it this time? Do you have any tips for sanding and painting cabinets? I’m a bit afraid it’s a huge undertaking and could use some personal anecdotes (hopefully positive ones). ๐Ÿ™‚