Saturday, 1 August 2015

Moon phase wall decoration DIY

In the Scandinavian countries there is a word: "Pyssel", which basically means small, enjoyable often creative activities....something to do..
This little project pretty much falls under this category:
I made this decorative wall hanging, inspired by the varying phases of the moon, for Mia's new look room (See my One Room Challenge posts, in the sidebar--->)
And it perfectly compliments the DIY feature wall I did, but more than that: This is  a quick , easy and enjoyable  "pyssel"....something to do: And it looks great!!

It adds a bit of fun and interest on Mia's wall...

Fancy having a go??
Here's how:

You will need:

wooden beads (I painted some of mine)
Embroidery thread/ cotton cord (You may need a needle)

Rolling pin
Baking paper
Craft knife/tool
Fine grade sandpaper
Pointed pliers

Knead the dough until soft and pliable, then place it between two sheets of baking paper and roll out thin (5mm or less). Remove the top sheet of baking paper and, using a glass as a template, cut out 2 circles and two crescent moons with a craft knife/ sharp tool. Cut one of the circles into two halves.
Keep the shapes on the baking paper and transfer onto a baking tray.

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade.

Use the tip of a pencil to pierce small holes in your clay-shapes. These are for attaching the chain to later.

Cover the clay-shapes with another piece of baking paper, then place another baking tray on top and weigh it down with something heavy (I used a heavy casserole) . This is to ensure your clay-shapes cook flat. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes. (The general rule when cooking polymer clay is 15 minutes per 5mm thickness)
Take out of the oven and leave to cool down with the weighted baking tray still on top.

 Whilst you are waiting for the clay to cool down, get your thread and make a tassel:
Cut out a piece of cardboard and wrap your thread around as shown above.
Thread one of the jump rings onto the thread as you wrap it around the cardboard, so that it ends up at the top of the tassel. Finish it off by wrapping come thread around the top of the tassel and tie tightly.

Using a bit of fine sandpaper, gently sand back any rough edges and any bumpy-ness on the surface of your moon-shapes. (Don't worry about getting it super smooth, just a little tickle will suffice!)
Take them outside and give them one or two coats of clear lacquer...

Whilst you are waiting for the clear lacquer to dry, attach the wooden beads to your tassel to make the bottom of your wall decoration:
Tie another piece of thread through the jump ring at the top of your tassel and thread on the beads. Then tie the beaded tassel to the end of your chain, as shown above. Tuck the end of the thread back into the beads for a neat finish.

When the varnish has dried on the clay-moon-shapes, bring them in to attach them onto the chain.
Using wire cutters, cut the chain up into 4 equal small lengths to go between each moon shape + the beaded tassel end and a longer length for the top.
Using the pointed pliers manipulate the jump rings into the holes in your shapes and attach the chain before squeezing the jump rings shut. Assemble the wall hanging in this way, then finally attach the wooden curtain ring at the top to use to hang the wall decoration from:

Make it as long or short as you want....Perfect for those awkward little spots on a wall that's just screaming out for a bit of added interest!

I love the graphic black moon shapes against Mia's new pale grey wall...

And the beaded tassel at the bottom adds a bit of colour and fun!

Easy, cool and cute...I'd actually quite like one for our living room!
What do you think?
You up for a bit of "pyssel"??

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Thursday, 30 July 2015

Mid Century Modern style sideboard...


Inspired by my recent trip to Copenhagen, and the spirit of the Danish architect and furniture designer Finn Juhl, to design and create furniture to suit my own taste and interior, I've made this Mid Century Modern style sideboard to fit into our new look living room.
This is not a hack....this was made from scratch, and although it is not perfect, I am rather proud of my first attempt at furniture making....And if I can do it, so can YOU!

So,  in today's post I am sharing how I did it.

During my Copenhagen visit I fell in love with this sideboard from Normann Copenhagen , I love the simple design and the mix of blond wood with the white gloss pegboard.
 But, as always, I could not afford to get one. 
But lack of money has yet to stop me from getting the look I want for our home, as you will know if you've been following Nostalgiecat for a while...
And after doing a bit of research online, I found this, simpler version of the look I wanted:

Image source : Houzz

So, this was my main inspiration when I came up with the design to make my own.
But instead of forking out £700 + for one I spent less than £100 in materials and made my own custom fit two days!

As whenever I share a tutorial for things I've made for the home, it is meant as a guide, so for example,if you don't share my love of pegboard, swap it for something else...
But below you can see my design and working drawings with measurements and read how I made mine:

Materials and tools:

Plywood (for the main box)
Furniture legs ( I ordered these from America)
Primer spray paint
Gold spray paint
White spray paint
Primer paint
Flush sliding door handles ( I chose these round ones)

Ruler or measuring tape
Drill and drillbits
The box

The first thing to do is to make up the main body of the sideboard, using the plywood.
I used 18ml thick structural softwood plywood, because it  has excellent stability and load-bearing properties, perfect for cabinetry + I really like the finish, coloring and grain of the surface wood.
Here's my working drawings with measurements to make up this box:

You can of course make this to a size to suit you and your space.

Cut out the pieces of wood, ( I used a jig saw with a guide to make the cuts straight )then assemble:
When assembling, the best thing to do is to pre-drill pilot holes, then screw together with 2" screws for stability.
Countersink the screw-heads into the wood.

PS! The middle, dividing piece of wood needs to be set back in the box to make space for the sliding door gear (see further below...)


Because I wanted a mix of wood and white glossy finish, I painted the inside "floor" and the top of my wooden box with white primer, to set the base for the finish later on....

Sliding door gear

Cut the sliding door runners to fit inside the top and bottom of the box...

Spray paint these in gold now, if you want...

Sliding doors

Whilst the primer paint on the box, and the spray-paint on the sliding door gear is drying, Cut your pegboard to make up the sliding doors:

One of your sliding doors needs to be slightly longer than the other,
 and the height of each panel will need to fit inside the box, 
so measure out the height of your box , minus the width of the wood x 2 
+ take off a few ml extra to allow for the thickness of the door-sliders,
 so that your pegboard sliding doors can move freely from side to side later...
But mind you don't cut the pegboard too small!!

NB! Please do not get pegboard that is thinner than 6 ml, as it will be too flimsy.

Use a fine toothed wood saw to cut the pegboard to avoid a splintered cutting line...

Spray paint the pegboard sliding doors

Because I bought unfinished pegboard (The already finished stuff costs a lot more), I then spray painted the front of it white: Using first a primer, then some glossy white spray paint..
The table legs

I did the same to the table legs...but this time using just a light dusting so that the wood grain would show through, which I think looks really nice!
I also sprayed the ferrule end gold to match the sliding doors runners...

 There are loads of mid century modern style table legs available to buy online, I chose these ones, because I liked the shape and they were cheap, but I had to order them from America....
Vinyl, not gloss...

Because I chose to make my main box for the sideboard out of plywood, I would've never gotten that smooth glossy finish inside and on the top of it, using just paints....
.....So instead I covered these areas with some glossy white sticky back vinyl to get the finish I was after, perfectly juxtaposing the rawness of the wood.

I simply used a squidgy to smooth it down on the surface.
(The primer I applied earlier in these areas helped prevent the knots in the wood etc. showing through)

I did the inside of the box first, then last of all I did the top, as I needed access to the screws at the top of the box still at this point, as you will see below.
Insert the door runners.

By now my spraypainted door sliders was dry, so I tacked those in place according to the instructions on the pack: Using nail tacks and making sure I placed the deepest of the runners at the top, inside the box.
Inserting the pegboard doors

As the spraypaint on the pegboard doors was now dry, I put them into the runners, by placing the top into the deepest top runner, then gently lifting the bottom into place in the bottom runner....
(I had to unscrew the space divider in the middle of my box to get enough movement in the wood to make this easier...Hence why I waited to apply the vinyl at the top...)
Positioning and attaching the legs

Turning the box upside down I loosely positioned the furniture legs, then stepped back to assess the positioning, before deciding on where they should go.
Then I marked their position with a pencil.

I chose angled leg fixing plates , because I wanted the legs to be slanted, but you can of course use a straight attachment, if you'd prefer...

These make attaching the table legs very easy:
Simply screw the fitting into position (don't forget pilot holes, or the wood might split) then screw the table legs into the fitting.

Starting to look like the finished article now...
Door handles

I wanted some round , brass door pulls , and ended up ordering these ones from America....
But there are loads of styles available online.

First I figured out where I wanted them on the sliding doors...
....then I marked the position with a pencil.

Because my handles were round , it was easy to cut a hole in the pegboard doors using a suitably sized hole-cutter bit for the drill .
(A rectangular or even square door handle would be much more difficult to fit)
Then I simply pushed the hardware into the holes, and secured with a dab of superglue on the back (not that I think this was strictly necessary as it was a tight fit)

With everything else in place, all I had to do now to finish off my new sideboard, was to fill over the countersunk screws and any little dinks on the top surface, using some quick dry filler, let it dry, then sand back with some sandpaper before applying the sticky back vinyl to the top. 
(Making sure the surface is dust free before...)

I also lightly sanded the edges of the wood, and applied a coat of clear wax to the untreated wood on the sides of my sideboard....
....but that's it!
I am so chuffed with how it's turned out...yes, it is a bit wonky here and there, but for my first attempt at making furniture, not bad at all....
Making your own has the advantage that you'll get exactly what you wanted, both in terms of style and finish....but also you can make it to the right size to fit your space...
I love the raw feel of the plywood mixed with the white and opulent gold touches...
And by using the vinyl on the surfaces , I have achieved a very smooth and glossy finish, that I would not have been able to get using just paint. And again, I love how this smooth glossy finish juxtaposes with the rawness of the wood.

So, how about that?
Do you like it?
Does this inspire you to make your own?
I hope this post has made it a bit less daunting to embark on making your own sideboard, from scratch!

Not only will you have something uniquely yours in your home, but also the smug sense of achievement when you look at it and think to yourself:
I made that!
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