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Hutch Desk Reveal and Building Process

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
I've been looking forward to this post!  There may be an overload of pictures/information but I have been living/breathing/dreaming this building project for the last 10 days and I'm so excited it is DONE!

I searched the internet for many hours looking for the perfect desk.  I knew what I wanted but couldn't find anything that sparked my interest.  I wanted file drawers, a pull out shelf for my printer, good amount of work space, shelves, drawers, something 'different'... something that could make all of our junk look good basically.  The closest thing I could find to what I wanted was one of those roll-top desks but it wasn't quite right.

Then... I stumbled on this:
My jaw dropped.  It was perfect in so many ways!  I didn't know how to go about the building process or even where to begin. I sat down and learned Google SketchUp and started designing my desk.  It took a long time to get it just right with the right measurements but worth it!

FINAL DESIGN:

FINAL PRODUCT:


I learned a lot with this project.  My building plan and measurements were perfect but my knowledge, skill and tools aren't so it was a challenge.  Use straight boards, cut your boards exact (millimeters matter), build square and level.  

About the desk:
-I used new/old wood of different types
-The knobs, small hinges and drawer slides are reclaimed (feels good to re-use)
-Large hinges, latches and pull handle are gate hardware
-4 adjustable small shelves on top
-2 adjustable large shelves on bottom and 1 pull-out shelf
-2 large file drawers and 2 smaller drawers
-Drop-down door opens for workspace
-Constructed mostly by using pocket holes

Pictures of the process:
First day I got the sides made and screwed together.

Second and third day I finished the main frame.

Third day I glued plugs into pocket holes, wood filled everything and sanded.

 Fourth day I gave in and bought a miter saw.  It makes small and angled cuts so easy!

Fourth day I worked on cutting shelves, drawer faces and the drop-down door.

Fifth day my husband helped me do the whitewash.

It was my first time using this stain.  It dries very quickly especially on plywood so you need to wipe if off in less than a minute (maybe 2 with regular wood) or you get splotches and streaks!

Sixth day I sanded everything and assembled the doors.  Next I finished the top and added extra trim around the top edges, wood filled, sanded and did the white wash.

Seventh day I relaxed a bit and spray painted some hardware black and added the latches, pull handle and chains.  Then I tipped it over on the back and added some adjustable levels on the legs (our floor isn't level in the house and they also make the desk slide easier for moving).

Eight day I stained all the shelves and back panel pieces with Minwax Jacobean Stain.

Later I applied a coat of Polycrylic on all the visible surfaces, let dry, lightly sand and put another coat on heavily used areas.  I've used many times of Polyurethane but I must say that I like this Polycrylic the best!  It dries fast and has low odor!

   Then I brought it inside and nailed the back panels on - it was looking so good!

On the ninth day I went over to Harvey's workshop and he helped me make the drawers.  It was my first time doing dovetail joints and I was very anxious to learn how!  The jig is pretty cool but I learned that everything needs to be set-up and adjusted perfectly for the dovetails to join well (the jig is now on my Christmas list, haha).  Harvey also helped me with other parts like cutting down his old fireplace mantel so I could use it for the leg posts and cross beams and helped me with the 4 main divider panels.. thanks Harvey!!

 On the tenth day I assembled the drawers and let them dry. Then wood filled and sanded...

...then stained with Jacobean stain and did a coat of Polycrylic.

On the tenth day I added the drawer slides!  This was the only part of the project that almost made me cry so that's probably why I don't have a picture of it.  It was my first time putting drawer slides on and it was more difficult than I thought.




I got the nifty file hanging hardware online with screw-in brackets and cross bars.. so much better than the wire set-in frames from file cabinets.

I like the character of the wood showing through the whitewash!

 Pull-out printer shelf.

Door latches for small doors.

Adjustable shelf hardware.  Get these in hardware store in organizational department!  Just cut to size and screw in!

 Chains attach to desk with heavy-duty d-rings...

...and fold-up right inside desk.

This is what my building plans looked like:



Use Craigslist for buying a Serger

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Have you ever thought about getting a serger?  Have you checked Craigslist.org for any local-used machines?  I highly recommend!


I just bought a second serger yesterday for when I teach sewing classes that involve serged seams. I am so happy with it!  It is a basic manual, 4-thread machine.  It is practically brand new, came with thread, case, pedal, manual and accessories all for $90.  The brand is Simplicity (never heard of it before) but regardless, it has exceeded my expectations.  If I were to get something comparable to it today in the store (new) it would probably be over $400!

My other machine is a Pfaff 4872 which I also got off of Craigslist for $350 which was a very good deal.  These commonly go for $500 on Ebay.  This machine is much larger, computerized and is a 5-thread machine (can do coverlock stitches).  I could get by just fine with a 4-thread cheaper machine, and in fact, the Simplicity machine has a free-arm which I'd rather have over the coverlock stitch!  Plus the computerized is more expensive to tune/repair.

If you want a serger get a basic machine.  I'd recommend a 4-thread because it can do several more stitches than a 3-thread. The stitches I do mostly are a narrow-rolled hem and a 4-thread overlock.

If serger's kind of freak you that's okay because I was nervous my first time using one too... BUT once you use one you'll see that you NEED one!  Get the threading/tension down and you're good to go.  You'll probably want some tweezers to help thread!

Fairy or Butterfly Wing (& Wand) Sewing Pattern

I have a new pattern in my Etsy shop! Now you can make some fairy (or butterfly) wings and a wand for that special little girl in your life.  Kids love pretend play and these are super easy to put on and take off!
 (Click here) to buy pattern

WHERE DID I GET THE IDEA?
I was browsing Pinterest for "easy sewing project" to make for one of my sewing classes and I found a picture of fabric wings with elastic.  I thought it was a great idea since the store bought kind with wire always break or one wing flops over to the side - ugh!



ABOUT THE PATTERN:
This is the perfect sewing project for a beginner sewer! It is super easy and you will learn how to hem and gather which are very common in sewing.  The instructions have step-by-step directions and have pictures to guide you.

SOME PICTURES OF THE SEWING PROCESS:



Shark Pencil Case Pattern

Sunday, August 11, 2013
I have a new pattern in my Etsy shop! It's a pencil case shaped like a shark!  Your little one could also use it to tote around different little treasures!
 (Click here) to buy pattern


WHERE DID I GET THE IDEA?
I was browsing Etsy and came upon a shop with these already made cases for around $45 dollars. I thought they were adorable but would never spend that much money.  I made my own pattern and am offering it for $7 and you can make as many as you'd like!

ABOUT THE PATTERN:
The shark has some sewing complexities to it for its little size but you will gain a lot of knowledge of sewing techniques and you will have more confidence in your sewing capabilities when you finish!  The instructions I put together are easy to follow with step-by-step directions and pictures of the process.

SOME PICTURES OF THE SEWING PROCESS:




How-to Make Clothespin Dolls

Friday, August 2, 2013
My little niece really likes fairy's and she showed me some she made out of clothespins.  I thought they were so cute that I bought a bunch of supplies so we could make some together.  It turned out to be really fun and they all turned out so cute!
 Me made these, then later made a bunch more with a few prince charmings'.

She had a craft box full of a whole bunch of stuff that we used!

What we used:
Clothespins (got these from Wal-Mart craft section)
Hot glue gun
Scissors
Needle & thread
Yarns
Felts
Silky Fabrics
Ric Rac Trim
Feathers
Sequinns
Glitter foam sheet

I decided to make a little tutorial when I got back home for anyone who is curious on how to go about making one yourself.

Meet fairy 'Arabella'!

 Here are the supplies I used to make her.
For a fluffy skirt cut your fabric to the height you want it on your clothespin.  Take your needle and thread and sew long stitches on the top.
 Bunch fabric up along thread to gather.
 Glue skirt around clothespin, barely overlapping top edges.. just keep spiraling up!
 Continue with a second color if you so desire.
 Next I glued some black trim along the top of the skirt to hide the raw edges.
 Then I laid out feathers I wanted to use for the wings.
 I glued them on the back of the doll so both sides were symmetrical...
 ...and finished it off with a big rhinestone to hold the feathers in place better.
 I laid out 8 strands of yarn for the hair.
 I put flue on the top of the head (make sure you don't put it on the face)...
 ...and put the hair on top.
 I made a side ponytail and trimmed the hair to the length I wanted.
 Next 2 little eyes with a permanent marker and glued smaller rhinestones along the bottom of the skirt.
 Desi and I named all her fairies/princesses/queens/kings/princess and put their names on the bottoms so she wouldn't forget.  "Arabella" means 'beautiful' in Dutch!
Finished!  I'm sending this to Desi as a surprise to add to her collection!

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