Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Quick DIY Job

In anticipation of the hoodlums Trick-or-Treaters coming by tonight, I had a quick project last week: The doorbell:
That's seriously what it looked like. What caused the middle of the button to bust out like that, I have no idea, but ours is not the only one, so I suspect either a rash of doorbell breakers or it has something to do with the weather...I guess? Anyway, not exactly beckoning. Plus, there's lots of little ones in our neighborhood and I didn't want to traumatize them in these formative years. It didn't do anything like shock you, but still.

So I shut off the power at the breaker (FYI, the breaker for the doorbell apparently fell under "Family Room"...which is the other end of the house. Go figure) and unscrewed the main doorbell and then unhooked the wires.

I ended up with two wires. I hooked those around the screws on the back of the new doorbell and then started cursing. See that little hole where the wires come out? Yeah it's a small hole and the new doorbell had a large extension that needed to fit in the hole. I didn't trust my drilling capabilities with the wires (one wrong move could be very bad), so I went back to Lowes and got a flat backed doorbell. I then repeated the process above and this time, success!

Much better. I turned the power back on and no fires (yet)! I even tested it and Mister kind of lost his mind. We should probably work on that.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Oops, I Did It Again: Another Building Project

I have reclaimed my garage parking spot after my latest building project: a fold-down sewing table, plans courtesy of Ana White.  I've needed this for some time now, mostly because there's not a single pair of pants that enter my home and get put away on my side of the closet or in my dresser that DON'T need alterations. And yes, Stacey and Clinton say alterations are small potatoes (I paraphrase...I'd kind of pay money to hear Stacey or Clinton say that, though) in the grand scheme of investment pieces, when it's a $10 alteration over 8, 9, 10+ pairs...that's a much larger investment! And no, heels don't cut it.

So yes, sewing table.

In case you're too lazy to actually look at the plans, there is essentially a base unit in the middle and fold down leaves on either side. The legs fold under and the weight of the leaves hold them in place.  This picture was taken after I attached the legs on one side, to make sure I did those right!

And the finished product:

I painted the entire thing with leftovers from our bedroom (Sherwin William's Orient Blue color matched by Valspar). Then, I randomly taped off stripes and painted the same green as the laundry room (the color name escapes me, but it's Valspar) and "Wet Path" by American...something or other. The Hubs actually gets credit for the stripes idea. I was debating paint or stain and his suggestion was paint and "some kind of graphic print, like stripes or checkerboard." I actually debated argyle for a while, but decided that was way too much effort. And for the record, random stripes on a table are much easier than on a bedroom wall.

Just a larger angle:
My proudest moment with this project (other than actually getting the base unit to be square) is creating the ironing board top. See the paisley on the left?

Close up. You can't tell, but the green background matches the green stripes.

I got the brilliant idea that ironing is a large part of sewing properly. While I don't do sewing projects "properly," I figure I'll be doing more and it will probably eventually necessary. I was browsing Pinterest one day (seriously, I don't know I've had a single original idea since that thing came around) and came across this gem. After a little Googling, since the original pin, nor the source actually describe the process, I discovered all iron board padding really is is batting and fabric. The fabric needs to be 100% cotton, because of the heat from an iron (any kind of blend will scorch eventually). I doubled up the batting (which was actually already done for me in packaging) and bought a yard of fabric (perfect for this project's measurements) and a light duty staple gun, since I was in the craft store already anyway. I started in the middle of one side and worked my way out, pulling the fabric and batting tight and stapling.  Mister supervised.

Then, when all is said and done, the table folds up and rolls out of the way:

One side of storage: the basket holds thread, buttons, and other sewing notions. This is already actually outdated. I started switching baskets around and now have those things in the striped bin seen on the top shelf in the above photo. It was actually generally my inspiration for the stripes.  My extra fabric is on the bottom shelf.

Storage on the other side: Sewing machine manual, extension piece thingy I haven't used, and on the bottom is a canvas drop cloth that will turn into curtains for the master bedroom.

That's what I've been doing, instead of working on a presentation for class.