Friday, November 22, 2013

Project Time: Our Jigsaw Wall

Today's blog entry is going to be a little bit different than most of my other posts, because it's not about food.  Since I left my job teaching, I've been trying to fill my days with a combination of different activities.  Typically I'd spend most of my time exercising, but, as most of you know, that's still limited for me.  Update though:  Over the past couple of weeks I've noticed that I'm getting better and stronger.  Every day that passes, I'm able to increase my workout intensity a little bit more than what it was the day before.

So.....on to today's post!

Jeff and I have been living in our house for just about a year and half now, and one thing that's bothered me, is the fact that I have this amazing kitchen, with a great big island, but my purse and other items just seem to get tossed onto the counter.  I find this annoying because I'm all about keeping spaces clean and organized, yet I'm the one guilty of putting my purse and keys there.  This is why I finally decided that enough was enough and something had to be done. 

I've been looking at ideas for quite some time now, and thought that maybe we could build some type of locker looking shelves out in the garage.  The only problem with that is I know Jeff has some wonderful ideas for his garage space and I don't want my purse and keys to be kept in the garage overnight, or ever.  And for those of you who caught it, yes, I called the garage "his"; just like I call the kitchen "mine".  It's a mutual, unspoken understanding between the two of us.  Due to those facts, I decided to keep looking.

And sure enough, about two weeks ago, my friend Megan pinned this amazing looking wall off of shanty 2 chic's blog.  I immediately fell in love with it, and started walking around my house to see where I could build it.  When Jeff came home from work that day, I showed him the picture of what I wanted to do, and where I thought we could put it.  One great thing about my husband, other than the fact that he's absolutely amazing, is that he's crafty too and loves to build things.  Plus he loves to use his power tools, so he was definitely down for the challenge!

This past weekend we set to work.  In order to gather all the materials that we would need, to build the wall, we headed out to Home Depot and Lowe's.  Here's a list of what we purchased:

For the wall
Oak Plywood, comes in a 4' X 8' sheet (Cut into 8", 6", and 4" strips.  The man at Home Depot cut it for us)
4 different Stains (You can choose your colors.  We used dark walnut, cherry, red mahogany, and weathered grey)
For the Mantle
4" piece of oak board
8" piece of oak board
Crown Molding
Molding strip
Decorative molding block
Decorative Hooks
White paint

After we had all our materials unloaded, we got to work.

Here's what the wall looked like before:

After measuring the wall one last time, the first thing Jeff and I did was laid the wooden pieces onto the garage floor, in order to determine a width pattern.  Next, I drew lines on the wood to ensure that all the pieces were different lengths and wouldn't line up.  After that, Jeff cut the pieces, using his electric saw, and then we laid them back into place, eventually spacing them out with pennies.

Next, I used a pencil and wrote on the pieces of wood.  I labeled them with their row, placement, and stain color (row 1, #1, cherry, row 3, #2, weathered grey, etc.) This guaranteed that we wouldn't accidentally put colors together and that the pieces of wood wouldn't be placed onto the wall incorrectly.  Plus, the stain was going on the other side of the wood anyway, so the writing didn't make a difference, it was only there as a helpful tool for us.

After we had that done, I stained all the wooden pieces, let them dry, and then applied a second coat of stain. 

Once the wood was stained, and spent a night drying, it was finally time to assemble the wall.  Before we started assembling though, I sanded down the wooden pieces, in order to give them more of a worn appearance.  After that, it was amazing at how easy it was to piece together the wall.  All Jeff and I had to do was align and space out the boards and then use a nail gun (Jeff's favorite toy) to secure them into place. 

Once the wall was fully assembled, it was time to add the mantle.  We first assembled the mantle out in the garage and then brought it inside.   Next, we lined the mantle up, and just like before, we used the nail gun to secure it into place. 

Lastly, we added on the hooks, and this is the final result. 

I absolutely love it!  The plan for this weekend is to build a little bench that will go on the floor in front of the wall.  I'll keep you updated!

Inspired by Shanty 2 Chic


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