Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dining With Michael Bublé

I have always enjoyed making personal gifts for my family. When my children were little I sewed and knitted clothes and constructed many, many gifts.  This year I have only made one gift and it is for my mother.  She is in a nursing home and just adores Michael Bublé.  She does have a large photocopied picture of him attached to her walker which was made by one of the staff to encourage my mother to go to the dining room.  Her photo has gotten a little worn out, so I've made her something new.

I found an image online and copied it on my home printer.  I cut out the image and laid it face down on a scrap piece of 1/4" thick plywood.  (When using a jigsaw you get a smoother cut on the bottom because the blade cuts as it pulls up through the wood)  I traced around the image and made a very shallow cut all around with my utility knife (box cutter) and then with my jigsaw, leaving about 3/8" below the shape of the image (this will make sense in a minute).  I painted the back and the narrow sides with black craft paint.

I sprayed the image with a clear sealer to avoid getting bubbles in the finish and then glued it on the front of the plywood piece with Mod Podge. 

I then cut a slot, with my tablesaw, in a piece of pine.  The extra 3/8" at the bottom of the image is then glued into the slot in the pine base. The length of the base is cut to fit the width of the image.

 I stained the base and printed off something for my mom which I also attached with Mod Podge.

Michael stands at about 9" tall and the base is 5" wide x 3 1/2".  It makes me laugh having him in my workshop, it turned out better than I expected and he looks quite real!

I need to get this to the post office tomorrow and hope it gets to my mother in time for Christmas.

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Retail Space Walls Planked (or is it Tiled?)

I have been working on the walls of my retail space, which is a former bedroom and front hallway in the new house that I'm turning into my workshop.  Although I purchased the flooring a few months ago, I felt it best to do the walls first so that I wouldn't drip paint on the new floors. As any of you DIYers know, it's better to do things in the correct order.

At first I thought I would just paint my walls in the space that will house my products, but for two reasons I decided against that.  Firstly, the walls were not in good condition due to the fact that I removed a wall, closet and door in order to make the two areas into one.  (...and anyone reading this blog for a time will know that I don't really enjoy patching and mudding drywall).  Secondly, I will need to put a lot of nails or screws (and maybe even shelving) in this room, in order to display my signs and other things I make.  I felt that hanging something off of drywall would not be as good (solid) as having some type of thicker material to "grab" the fasteners.  Initially I thought of horizontal boards spaced about a foot apart to help with that problem. Then, I started seeing quite a few bloggers who "planked" walls in their houses, and I liked the look, so decided to try that!

So, for a recap, this is the area I'm working on and this is how it looked when we bought the place:
(standing in the front hallway, the door goes into the bedroom)

This is after I removed the wall and door:

And, here is after I took out the flooring:

Okay, so what I did was get ten sheets of 1/4" plywood underlayment at the lumber store.  It comes in 4' x 8' sheets which I had the store cut to 4' x 4'.  This is much easier for me to handle and I did not want to put up any 8' lengths of boards anyway, so the maximum length of my boards will be 4'. I primed all twenty sheets, which was made easier by having a basically empty workshop, and then cut the 4' sections into strips of just over 5 7/8" wide on my tablesaw.  This gave me 8 strips per 4' length, or 16 strips from each 4' x 8' sheet. For anyone not doing the math, this is 160 strips!!

I proceeded to find the studs on all the walls (I use a strong magnet) and had all strips end and begin on studs. The studs were not at the usual 16" apart, but this is a very old home, and this front section was added on at some point, so it didn't surprise me. The ceiling is not at all level, so that was also something I had to deal with (and also wasn't surprising!)

I started on the end wall, using my nailing gun to put nails wherever I found studs.  I used pennies to horizontally space out the strips (do not ask me how many times I had to pick up pennies that fell out of the slots, I lost count after 427) and I also staggered the boards from end to end, like tiling, with a space between the end of one board and the beginning of the next. (Most people butt them up together, but I wanted the visual look of the spaces both horizontally and vertically)

Here are some progress photos (this took quite a few days of work):

Now it's time to paint the walls!