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November 30, 2011

Towel Tree for the Bathroom

With my new found confidence from Pinterest, I decided to make the towel tree that I pinned to my board a while ago. It can be purchased here for $127.75. It's a vinyl sticker that you affix to your wall. It's sold as a coat tree shown below.

I decided that price was outrageous so I decided to make my own tree. I was able to print the tree the actual size on about 15 sheets of 13x19 paper at work. I pieced it all together and then loosely traced the back side of it with a charcoal pencil (taped it to the sliding door to see through it). After you trace the back, you flip over the piece and trace the front with a regular pencil onto your wood. This allows the charcoal to transfer the image onto your wood. It's similar to using 'old school' carbon paper.  I should probably let you know I reversed the tree image and cut from the backside of the wood.

I him hawed about what type of wood to use, I didn't want it to be too flimsy so I nixed luan, I didn't want it to be too heavy and hard to cut so I decided not to use MDF board. And in the end, I just used the left over 3/4" plywood that we had in our garage. This decision was mainly because it resulted in no additional funds spent and we had the wood sitting there, left over from a floor fix from six months ago. The tree is in two pieces, the top and the trunk.

I cut it out with a jig saw - my first time using one and I love it. I bought a variety pack of blades and used the wood one they said was for "scroll" cutting. It took me about an hour to cut the entire piece, I broke one blade and didn't have any hand injuries or mishaps. I was pretty impressed with myself (thus boosting my confidence for more jigsaw projects). 

I sanded the good side and then my awesome husband cut two small holes to add the shaker pegs. I glued the shaker pegs into the piece. I painted it and we hung it on our wall (conveniently on a stud) with six screws - 3 on the top and 3 on the bottom. I covered the screws with wood filler and painted them. I planned to wood fill and paint the seam where the trunk and body met, but it didn't need it so I left it as is.

It's in our bathroom and all that needs to be done is the trim around it. 


I encourage you to tackle this project. If you don't have the ability to print and piece it together on your own, you can always contact a blueprint company and ask them to print it for you. I looked into this option and it was about $15 to have the tree printed.  If you would like the tree file I used for my layout, simply email me, I'll even send it actual size - just include the height and width of your area. Be sure to put "Towel Tree Pattern" in the subject line to avoid your request becoming spam. {kstrohs(at)hotmail(dot)com}

November 28, 2011

My Repurposed/Reclaimed Pallet Headboard

It started with Pinterest. I quickly became addicted to finding things I liked and pinning them to my board. Then I would visit the things I pinned and find out how other people completed these projects with the tutorials they had online. This research allowed me to have an increase in confidence. I thought to myself, "If this 'woman in Alaska' can build a headboard from pallets, so can I!" And so I began.

I loosely followed the tutorials of two women (you can find their instructions here and here). Initially I wanted to trim out my headboard, but I didn't have one piece of pallet wood long enough to trim out the long end, and I liked it without trim, so I left it as-is. I began by adjusting the measurements to work for the bed we have in our guest bedroom.

I grabbed some pallets from work and got busy the week my husband was in Germany. I spent almost every night in the garage tackling the super hard project of tearing apart pallets with pry bars, hammers and sweat and bullets. I learned quickly that I grit my teeth when something is difficult because my jaw began to get sore. The destruction seemed to take forever. Probably because I wasn't quite sure what I was doing and because I was trying to be careful with my wood. I hated it when I worked so hard to tear out staples and nails and then on the last end, I'd split the board!

I probably didn't do this job properly, but it is basically a frame covered with pallet boards. I did cut he pallets for the frame, because I didn't care about the nail holes being in the back, and cutting allowed me to keep things straight. Notice I said straight, not square. I didn't square anything up, because I really don't know how. I just eyeball things and I'm usually pretty accurate, and this time was no different.

I didn't take any tutorial/how-to photos because there are a gazillion blogs on the internet that have great plans complete with photos. I'll just show you the finished piece and tell you I spent $25 on this project - a can of ZAR Fruitwood stain and some brackets/braces for the board on the back side and finishing nails for the boards on the front. Yes, the boards are held on with finishing nails ** gasp ** I know and I said above I probably didn't do this job properly!




November 11, 2011

My Little Artist

How do you keep an almost two year old sitting still after you just painted her toenails? You let her paint.




And it's always great to taste the nasty paint water and the paint brush! 


November 10, 2011

Pretty Toes

When her dad left for one of his Germany trips, I painted Rachel's toenails. She wasn't quite sure what to think about that.

This is the "nail painting station."




Now she loves them. Whenever she sees her toes she says "pretty toes" and "painted toes" and "mommy paint toes." And since this photo, we have changed colors for the season and are now wearing OPI's Suzi Loves Cowboys Brown.

November 09, 2011


I think every kid plays in a laundry basket in their life. Here is my kid.

super cheezy grin!


November 08, 2011

Playing in the Leaves

I know, I'm behind on blogging, and this is from a nice warm evening after work. We made  a few leaf piles and took some photos.

She had something going on with her tongue that day. And you can see the flour on her face from the sensory tub at day care. It's just above her left eye. 



There's that tongue again. 

She was probably looking up at the airplane, while Rockwell was digging into the leaf pile.

She was upset he was in her leaf pile, so we made one for him, and she ran over to play in his leaf pile...

And then they managed to both get along and Rockwell was "very funny" to her.