Padded Tree Stump Stools

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This post is 100% all my Dad’s (can you tell where I got my craftiness from?!) He made these cushion topped stump stools as additional fire pit seating. I loved what he did and thought you would too so I’m sharing his project details and photos.

These cushions are totally waterproof, rustproof, and rotproof. I like that the cushion has a notch that fits into the stump so that it doesn’t slip off or slide when you sit down. He drilled drain holes to help it dry out if it gets rained on. The cool part is that they aren’t permanently attached to the stump so you can even take them inside when you’re not using them.

Supplies:

    • outdoor upholstery fabric
    • 3/8″ stainless steel screws (won’t rust)
    • stainless steel staples (won’t rust)
    • tree stumps
    • Azek or Starboard marine lumber/pvc material (for cushion base)
    • polyester batting (fluff inside the cushion)

Tools:

    • pneumatic staple/nail gun or manual upholstery stapler
    • scissors
    • drill (used for assembly and to make drain holes)
    • jigsaw (to cut pvc material into a circle)
    • 2″ bore bit (for stump notch)
    • 2 1/8″ hole saw (for circle cutout on bottom of cushion)

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The photos are pretty self explanatory but if you have a question, ask away. I’ll pass them along to my dad.

Thanks for reading!

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DIY Modular Patio Furniture (because buying furniture would be too easy)

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a project around the house because my grad classes are keeping me way too busy. I’ve been itching to do a new project so instead of easing back into our old norm we dove in with a big project: a sectional patio set. You’re probably wondering why we’d do this when stores sell perfectly good furniture. Well, that perfectly good furniture is expensive! And it’s actually pretty flimsy unless you spring for the good stuff. There will be no “springing” in our house because we love a good challenge. And a challenge it was (in a good way, of course).

Oh and by the way, you’re about to read some very technical building and wood working terms in this post because you know, we’re professionals uneducated when it comes to these sorts of things. That’s alright though because this modular patio set turned out pretty awesome so it’s worth the read.

*Note: Image heavy post! Projects like this are easily explained by images so I won’t explain too much. Feel free to ask questions if I’ve left out anything!

Tools:

    • level
    • chop saw
    • table saw
    • pencil
    • drill (3/16″ bit)
    • disk sander

Supplies:

    • 3 lb of 2″ stainless steel screws ($15.69/lb= $47.07)
    • wood glue
    • 2x3x8, qty: 10 ($2.05/ea= $20.50)
    • 1x4x12, qty: 20 ($5.57/ea= $111.40)
    • 120 grit sandpaper

Cushions:

Project Grand Total: $353.97


Overall Project Notes & Tips:

We avoided splitting by pre-drilling holes for every single screw. For the base structure of each chair we used wood glue. We didn’t use wood glue for the butt and back slats (where the cushions sit and lean against).

When cutting all butt and back slats for the non-corner chair sections, we cut all the pieces at the same time by setting up the chop saw blade 24″ from the wall of our garage that way we didn’t have to measure and mark each board. We just pushed the wood up against the wall and cut, knowing that each would be exactly the same size. This worked very well! Then we pre-drilled all the holes at the same time by using the Hole Marking Board underneath each as a base so the drill bit could go all the way through the boards.

Armless Chairs

The Plan:

The sizes in the sketch aren’t exact. It was a general plan for how we wanted to build it. The actual sizes are shown in a few photos down.

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The Process:

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These are the exact sizes! Also, we ended up adding an extra brace to the backside of the armless chairs to secure the back legs to each other. This piece was made out of a 1×4.

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Setting up the chop saw with the blade 24″ from the garage wall made for speedy cutting when we needed multiple cuts all the same length. No measuring for each board!

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We made spacer strips to make sure the butt and backer boards were evenly spaced. The lengths were around 24″ and we used scrap material.

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*Note: we haven’t completely figured out yet if these back braces will hold up all too well over time. As of now, they’re pretty solid. We’re thinking about adding a triangular piece behind it to give it some added support.

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Two boards per armless chair had a 15° angle cut via the table saw so that it butt up nicely with the top cap piece and the butt boards. You can see those angles if you scroll through the photos below.

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Our back spacers at work!

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Travis is using the Hole Marking Board underneath each good piece of wood during the pre-drilling phase in order to make sure he went all the way through each time.

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Here’s one of the 15° angled boards. You can see how the angle is level with the base.

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Here are our Butt Spacers at work.

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Here’s how it turned out! Kimble approves!

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Now for the Corner Chair

This chair was a pain in our butts! There may or may not have been colorful language used when trying to figure out how to make this thing. And this isn’t that kinda blog so I’ll leave those parts out.

What’s that saying again? …Oh yes, “measure twice cut once”. Well, let’s just say we measured about 5 times and still cut 15 or so times haha. In our defense, it was nearly midnight and we’d been working on this thing for hours after working a full day. But we got it after a few wrong cuts😉 Now we’re pros (or so we think)!

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We decided to use the 1×4 boards on the front sides of this chair just in case we ever decided to separate one of the chairs from the sectional. This way the wood looks similar from the front, regardless of how the sectional is arranged.

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We sat the corner chair next to a finished armless chair so we could mark where all the butt boards lined up. That way we knew how to space the diagonal butt boards on the corner chair.

Although we knew exactly where each board should sit since we had those pencil lines to follow, we still cut a few diagonal butt spacer strips to keep the boards in place while drilling and screwing [up] (just kidding… but actually not kidding). These strips were thinner than the armless chair butt spacer strips.

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We decided to add a middle brace and a leg for added support. You can see it in the photo below. The leg is 14 1/4″ tall and the horizontal middle brace is 26″ wide.

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Travis used a level and pencil to mark off a straight edge. Then we trimmed each board accordingly. We utilized the same back spacer strips from the armless chairs during this process.

The backer boards were a compound cut. The general angle was a 45° angle since the base is perfectly square. The angle that tapers back is 11° to accommodate for the angled chair back as a whole so that it was mitered perfectly decently close. (This was tricky!… for us at least.)

The backer board measurements in the photo above are the measurement from the top right inside corner to the end of the board on the left (so the top inside measurement). The 33 1/4″ measurement is the top cap board from the angled tip to the square end.

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And we finally have a sectional! The boards match up pretty well too.

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We’re pretty happy with how it all turned out! Since we used treated wood, we need to wait a week or so before we can stain the wood. We’re planning to use a deep navy blue stain to match the outdoor rug and accent pillows. I’d like to buy a bright contrasting colored round coffee table. Or you know, maybe we’ll make one😉 Once the furniture is stained and the room is completely decorated, I’ll share more photos!

As always, thanks for reading!

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Emma’s DIY Fabric Pennant Banner

I know I’ve been super behind with my posts lately but I’m trying to catch up. Back in December, I made this cute fabric pennant banner for my little niece’s nursery. At the time, she wasn’t even born yet. Now she’s almost 3 months old! Where has the time gone? And why didn’t I share this project earlier? Two words: Grad School. Enough said about that. Here’s how the pennant turned out! And a cute photo from when Emma was still an “inside baby”.

Finished Pennant maternity photo with name pennant

I won’t include a full description of how I made this since it’s pretty self explanatory. So here’s a quick photo rundown of how this project came together…

diy fabric pennant banner

Quick Notes:

  • Everything was sewn with my Brother sewing machine. The ribbon connecting all the letters is sewn as well. I did not use any fabric glue.
  • The letters were sewn on when the triangles were unfolded and actually diamonds. That way I could fold them into triangles, sew around the edges (leaving a gap for flipping), and flip them right side out again, without seeing any backside stitches from the letters.
  • I chose not to fold the letter edges under, so they are a bit ragged. Since I don’t expect this thing to need laundering, fraying should never be an issue.
  • Ironing is key with this project when it comes time to flip each triangle right side out and sew a seam for structure around the edges.
  • The pennant is made from the same fabric used in Emma’s crib bedding, so it matches the room perfectly!

This was a simple one, but ask away if I was too brief. Thanks for reading!

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A Rainbow Blanket for Baby Emma

I’m happy to be sharing my first post since early January! I haven’t been a lazy lump on a log, I promise. I’ve actually been quite busy with graduate classes. I sadly haven’t had the time to work on any new projects let alone write about them. I definitely have the itch to make something (anything at this point!) and I’m counting down the days until spring break and the end of the semester when I can get back to doing what I love most. Today is a snow day in Southern Maryland so I had some extra time on my hands. I made this blanket for my sweet little niece Emma back in December.

This project was the result of a special request by my sister. She wanted a rainbow blanket symbolic of her rainbow baby. I added a rainbow to an existing blanket in an applique style. All of the fabric used was leftover from over five years worth of sewing projects for my nieces and nephews.

This little babe is over 2 months old and already much bigger than the itsy bitsy baby in the photos below. Now she’s a little chunkamunk and starting to smile. Our family is completely in love🙂

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Here’s Kimble monitoring the snow from a warm and dry distance. It’s 2:45 pm and the snow is still falling. I’d guess we have about 6″ now.

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Sewing the Rainbow:

I started with a pattern that I drew by hand. Then I traced out the pieces of fabric with my trusty disappearing ink fabric marker. I pinned and sewed each color one at a time so each overlapped the previous color. With my sewing machine, I sewed the entire rainbow onto a very thin white cotton fabric. Afterwards I trimmed around the rainbow, tucking under all the white fabric and then sewed it onto the pink striped blanket. The pink blanket has two layers of fabric, a pink and white striped side and a solid pink side. I sewed the rainbow on by hand so that the stitches only remained on the one layer without showing the stitches on the backside. It was time consuming, but worth the extra effort for a cleaner look.

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This was a quick project to post about, but took a few nights of sewing to finish. I hope to be back to blogging more consistently soon. For now, thanks for reading and hanging in there with me.

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