Thursday, October 9, 2014

It Does Exist!

I know at least a couple followers were excited when I posted (over a year ago) that I was going to try building a really large entertainment center all by myself... I posted some updates on facebook about picking up wood, building, staining, etc... I talked here about showing it off.... but I never, you know, actually did that.

Well guess what, it does exist. It also remains my single greatest building achievement and makes me get all proud mama feeling every. single. time. I. look. at. it.  To the point that I'll walk into the room, and I'll say "I LOVE YOU SO MUCH" and my husband doesn't even look up or acknowledge me because he thinks I'm talking to the entertainment center... AND I AM YOU GUYS, I TOTALLY AM!

No really. I LOVE IT! I can't freaking believe I made and I LOVE IT.

I can't remember the listed price when it was live on Pottery Barn, but I believe it was just under $4,000 for the entertainment center this one was based on... and mine is built using PureBond plywood & I built it a big deeper than the plans (from Ana White)... so I feel like I got even more for my money... oh did I mention I spent around $350 only to build this? You can't even get a good sized Ikea entertainment center for near that you guys... anyone afraid to pick up a power tool needs to get over that fear!  Building is empowering, amazing, and saves you a ton of money!

Things started pretty much the same as last time... you can't build without lumber!

I again used my Kreg Jig to put everything together after cutting to size. I started with the center section & hutch.  I've been really lucky here having a really open bright kitchen to build in... I'll miss that when we move.... but I won't miss that gloss pink/white tile and dirty grout! 
no time at all and you have the basic shape coming together
add a face frame
and look at that... it's starting to look like furniture. My little helper approved!
repeat process for the hutch
and start staining, and staining, and staining... I love General Finishes Java Gel but it is a long process.
Next up the 4 side pieces
and more staining! Cats love helping too.
WOOHOO we're getting somewhere now!

Finally.. TADA! (ok not really, I still have to install the latches to keep the doors closed and my drawers aren't actually working drawers yet... but whatever, close enough! Yes, I will be personally moving this to the new house myself!

I realize these photos suck, we're 4 days away from closing and I just can't find it in me to so much as clean up the 1/2 eaten toast my daughter left sitting out or move any of the clutter... so you get some real life / non staged shots... it's also really hard to get the color of the java gel stain to show correctly, it's such a gorgeous deep rich dark brown, it can look black in photos but is obviously deep brown in real life :) 

I can't wait to get the new house painted and install my new floors so I can bring this furniture to it's new home! We have a perfect wall for it, and a fireplace too! I'm a little excited if you can't tell <wink>

Thursday, October 2, 2014

So... over a year ago....

I have just under two weeks until our anticipated closing WOOHOO so I thought before I dive into the new projects I'd finally show you the ones I blabbed about over a year ago...

So about a year ago this past summer was when I really started getting comfortable with my power tools, and decided to tackle my first on my own projects. Honestly it was a crazy summer... I decided to build a huge entertainment center for our living room and a large custom sized full loft bed for my older daughter... and we happened to end up fostering a litter of 5 kittens who needed to be bottle fed (the year before if you remember I spent my whole summer hand feeding an abandoned baby bird.. I snuck past this last summer without any baby anythings, I think the universe finally got my "enough already" memo LOL) a collective AWWW please. Their mother was tossed out, barely older than a kitten herself, and wasn't producing enough milk for them. They also all had eye infections & colds, so yes, besides bottles I had to give them meds too.

They grew quickly though! 

Isn't she so adorable you can't stand it? I couldn't either ;) 
So between bottle feedings, homeschooling, general mothering & all the usual day to day stuff I raised those little kittens along with my 2 daughters help and got those two projects done. The first I'll show you is my daughter's loft bed. 

At our last house her room was crazy big, bigger than the master actually at around 12.5' x 24' so she had plenty of room for everything. This house her room is around 10'x12'... yeah.... not as much room and she was tripping over her stuff not to mention her previously beloved princess bed was a bit outgrown. We decided on a loft bed to free up the floor space (and because come on, loft beds are pretty stinking cool when you're a tween!) but she wasn't comfortable with a ladder... so I pieced together several different plans from Ana White's site and then modified the heck out of them to perfectly fit in her space and give her a platform that would hold her new tv and double as stage to use to get in/out, a desk for under it, and some extra support so that my husband and/or I could get up there with her too (seriously this thing could hold an elephant you guys, it's crazy strong).

The best part of this as a first solo build was that it was pretty straight forward, pretty cheap (almost all 2x4's and 2x6's), easy to cut (just a miter saw needed for 99%) and I didn't need any help getting the lumber, dragging it in, or building it. Making it a total DIY project!

We had a few trips to Home Depot that looked like this:

Then I got to cutting, measuring, assembling, and painting. I used my Kreg Jig for the entire build, it is the single greatest tool EVER. Seriously, I couldn't have built anything I've made so far without it. LOVE LOVE LOVE! 

I had to bring the sections into the room for the final assembly since it would be far too big to fit through the door, you can see her old bed under it here, which was passed on to one VERY excited little sister. 

Starting to build the platform

I used some scrap plywood & 1x4's to build the floor of the platform

This is about as clean as the room ever gets with a 10 1/2 yr old girl... but you can see the finished bed/desk/platforms we also added some curtains so that she has a little "super secret hiding spot" under the taller section of the platform... she loves snuggling up with the cats under there to read.

Remember those little kittens? 
These two in particular? 

yeah... they stayed :)  This is Inky & Java just after their 1st birthday this past summer <3

Now, someone find my building notes so I can remember how to disassemble this giant bed to move it to the new house!