Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Jewelry Project

        I make jewelry for fun.  I love going to old consignment shops and finding vintage brooches and chains and then repurposing them into something new.  I have managed to collect a great many variety of whatnots and do-dads for my jewelry making ventures and have now ended up with a craft table looking something like this:
pardon the blueness, I am a novice picture-taker and my white balance is wacko

 So I set out to make me something crafty that would magically organize my mess of potentiality.  The following are the steps I took in tutorial format.

First, you must find a big chunk of wood.  I am told this is a 2x4.  I found it in the garage, it was left-over from our kitchen remodel.  It's pretty beat-up, but I knew I wanted a rugged feeling.

wood from kitchen demolition, I think it used to be part of the old pantry
Next, sand that rugged wood down.  I just did a brief once over with a coarse sandpaper.  This sander was the very first power tool I've ever owned.  Isn't it cute?

Cute and ORANGE! 

Next, I found some decorative woodwork at the hardware store. 
So decorative!
 Whenever you adhere wood to wood, it is always wise to use wood glue as well as nails.  Knowledge courtesy of my husband.  They do know some useful things after all!
wood glue application, in case you couldn't visualize it yourselves
 Next come the nails.  They were teeny tiny, so I used a needle nosed pliers to hold them steady while using a small tack hammer to pound them in.  No squashed fingers that way!
Now my white balance is yellow-hued! Arg!

 And there it is, all glued and nailed!  Next you'll want to prime it.  I made the mistake of trying to spray paint first, but since the wood is so porous the spray paint was just absorbed right into it.  Which just goes to show, you shouldn't skip steps because it ultimately doesn't make anything go faster. 
Outside to be spray-painted.  Before priming.  And before our large snow-fall. 

I have never used spray paint before, but it can't be that difficult to figure out, right?  Point and spray.  Well, my first spray paint attempt ended up with me getting spray paint all over my hand.  It probably doesn't do this for most people, but the nozzle basically exploded on me.  And the paint BURNS, let me tell you.  But I also have skin with the temper of a two year old, so it could just be me.
Stubby hands, now covered in paint
 So then I read the directions, which say to wear gloves.  So I did!
"Two by two, hands of blue." 
You'd think the gloves would have protected me, but for some reason I just got more spray paint on myself.  But I decided to see the positive side of things. 
Smiley Face!
 After all the spraying drama here is a close-up of the finished product.  I used a metallic bronze paint.  You can't really tell in the picture, but it shimmers a little bit in the light. 

Shimmer love!
 After letting the board dry overnight, it was time for the big power tools. My husband showed me which ones to use, but I did it all by myself! Yes I will pat myself on the back, thankyouverymuch.  First I placed the knobs along the length of the the board to figure out the spacing.  I could have probably measured out the distance but I decided to just eyeball it.  And since we know I'm a pro at that, it was no big deal.  Then I marked where the holes should be and drilled them with a power drill.  I didn't get any pictures of that part because I was on a power tool kick and too excited to take any photos.

Then you need one of these things:
I don't know what it's called so I'll just refer to it as the gouger-outer.  You put the pointy part into the hole you just drilled, pull the trigger, and this beautiful gouge is made into the wood:
This is so you can hide the bolts that fasten the knobs into the wood.  This lets the wood lie flush against the wall.  You also need to use a hack saw to cut off the ends of the screws.
I marked where the screw should be cut, then put the screws in a clamp and sawed away. Make sure you clamp the screw at the exact place you mean to saw:
Riiiight here is where you should hold the screw in the clamp
If you clamp it waaaaaay down here while trying to saw at the top, like this:
 Down here is not where you should clamp the screw
This will happen:
RIP poor screw
Luckily this was my first attempt.  Learning from mistakes, that's me!  I was able to find another screw that was the right length and doesn't look too different from the others.  It just goes with that rugged look I was aiming for:
So all of the holes are drilled, the knobs are placed and the bolts are fastened.  Find the studs in your wall where you want to hang this piece of art because once all of those chains are hanging on it, it's going to be heeeavy.  Then pre-pound three nails into your piece.  Figure out the spacing of the nails by measuring the distance between studs and then using those measurements on the wood.  You'll need two people for this part to help hold the board up while you pound.  It's also a useful idea to place a level on top of the board while fastening it to the wall to make sure it's not off kilter.
And viola!  It's magic!  Look how beautifully organized everything is:

Vintage mirror I found on one of my forays
Before:                                                   After:

Now I just need to work on the mess underneath the table!


1 comment:

Jane said...

SO awesome!! Such a creative gal! And power tools too! Very impressive!