A Peek at our Studio

I finally have an art studio!

It was a guest room, baby’s bedroom, and now ART STUDIO! Yay! Can you tell I’m excited?! :)

Since our last post (building a farmhouse table) we’ve been busy selling tables, art, signs…on our Etsy shop: www.builtconcrete.etsy.com . We intended that Farmhouse Table to go to a customer but they changed their mind so I got to keep it…which makes me VERY happy. It’s perfect for me to use as a BIG huge desk to spread everything out as you can see here:

My Creative Workspace

I even got to stock the dresser in the corner full of art supplies and packing/shipping goodies.

Here are a few of my favorite parts:

A place to hang new orders, shipping labels, anything lighter than concrete :)

Restaurant Style “Order Wire”

Quick Grip Clamps for Wood Art projects (also currently being used as a safety lock on our kitchen cabinet that little Ian keeps trying to get into!

Cutest clamps for little projects

I’ve been making new things out of some old 4×4 table legs. Like this kind of art (which I’ll share in a later post!):

4×4 sliced wood wall art

And these cute little reclaimed coasters which we simply coated with Poly and added felt circles to the bottoms:

Reclaimed Wood Coasters

And there were a couple newly ordered signs in process there too…gotta love new orders, right?!

So there you have it…my quick tour of my new room!

Are we the only ones that regularly move things around, change room functions?? Probably not, but we might be the only ones pouring concrete all over everything!

Build a Farmhouse Table

We built this narrow farmhouse dining table for someone as a request and I think it turned out AWESOME!

We trimmed the edges to remove the curve at the edges of the boards so it would be flat and easier to clean on a daily basis.

Then we started pocket screwing them together and attached them to support pieces.

Attaching the boards

Attaching boards to supports

Then we attached the aprons and legs (sorry forgot to take pics! Oops!)

I got to beat up the table before staining. I used a hammer (front and back sides), bag of screws to bang randomly, laid screws on the table and hammered them in etc…It wasn’t very noticeable until I stained the table.

We used 2 coats of Pecan color and here was the result of my ‘distressing’…

Distressed marks

More distressed marks

Here is the finished product:

Pecan stained Distressed Farmhouse Table

Completed Farmhouse Table

6ft x 28″ w Farmhouse Table

I might just have to keep this one! I’d love to make another one. Place your orders! :)

Would you ever attempt to build your own dining table?!
What scares you?…The table saw? The weight? Finishing techniques? Do tell…

Super Simple Fabric Wall Art

Looking for BIG drama at LOW cost? Need a way to fill some empty walls in your house?

Same here! We took down many of our personal pictures when our house went on the market which left us with some very BARE walls.

This is what we did:

Buy a 1×2 and some cool fabric from the fabric store.

Cut and nail the 1x2s together to make a frame (or set of frames) in any size you like.

Make a quick frame in any size

Put your fabric down under the frame…

Lay fabric upside down with frame on top

Start stapling with a staple gun…pneumatic is easiest but a hand stapler would work fine too.

Start wrapping and stapling

Cut away extra fabric and hang on the wall! I just put 2 nails in the wall and hung the frame directly on it.

Admire your work!

DIY Concrete Wall Art

Concrete Art. 

Sounds crazy (like almost every project we do LOL), but I promise these are super cool!  YES, you do have to be brave enough to mix up concrete or mortar mix or concrete resurfacer. But it really is as easy as mixing powder with water. And when making art you can’t even mess it up! You could even just use your hands and no trowel at all.

We typically do these with extra concrete mix left over from other projects.

In fact, most of my art projects are ‘UPCYCLED’ from left over scraps of wood or concrete. You’re welcome, Landfill :)

We just trowel the left overs onto a 1/4″ sheet of plywood/backer board or whatever scraps we have lying around in the garage.

Trowel concrete onto a board

It adheres really well to the board so we didn’t even bother with any kind of bonding agent.

Then just spray on a little concrete stain (this one below was made with two different shades of brown Rustoleum concrete stain). It’ goes on just like spray paint would. Then is soaks in nicely. Obviously I added some stick on letters from the craft store so it would spell “ART.”

DIY Concrete Art:

Concrete Wall Art: Raw Edge

I’m the crazy artist type so I liked it with the raw edge, but Dave wanted it to be more civilized so he added a frame. Just mitered 1x2s and routed out a groove (by running them through the table saw to take out 1/4″ or so)…and obviously we spray painted those.

Framed Concrete Art

Here are a few others I’ve made:

Abstract Concrete Art

Family Name Plaque:

Family Name Plaque

Pictures Coming soon of these versions as well:

A spray painted series in bright colors rather than stain.

And a Key Holder…

YOUR THOUGHTS?! Do you LIKE or DISLIKE the idea of textured concrete in the home as art?

I know this was DIY for the brave so you could always just BUY at our ETSY shop:

Making Unique Tables

We are living the roller coaster ride of selling our house right now.  There have been a few times lately that we weren’t sure if we should be staging the house to go back on the market or packing to move in a week. Thankfully, we have very relaxed personalities and we are easily distracted! I’d like to think that some of our best work comes out of these moments.

I’ll be sharing a bunch of tables and art that we’ve been working on and some neat new adventures (like placing many of these items on a local shop!). Today I’m sharing my latest Wood Sofa/Console/Buffet Table….

-We started with a sheet of 1/4″ plywood (actually I picked up 2 sheets–one birch and one oak).

-We cut it into strips of equal size on the table saw. (you could also just buy little wood pieces at the hobby store but it could get pricey)

Then the staining began: We used a few stains that we had around the house and left some unstained.

Staining the wood strips

After they dry, it’s time to start the layout…I did a dry fit to see how I wanted them to look first.

THEN I glued and nailed each piece into a thick sheet of MDF that was cut to 18″ x 4 ft

(Psst…This would also make a nice wood wall art piece if you used a thinner board to attach so it wouldn’t be as heavy).

Attaching the pattern

We ran it through the table saw again to trim the wild edges!

Looking better!

Then we framed the outer edge with mitered 1x2s to hide the edges (and I just had to set it on the legs to see what it would look like)


These legs were just made out of 1x2s and 1x3s nailed together in a ‘V’ shape then glued and nailed to the 1×2 ‘frame’ of the table top.

Unique DIY Wood Table

Now I need your help! I can’t decide if I should leave the color alone and just finish it with a coat of clear poly or stain the frame and/or legs a darker color.

What do you think? 

Would you ever attempt to DIY something like this?! I’d love to make a nice chevron pattern table too or even just an art piece.

If you like it but aren’t up for the challenge, you can always just place an order through my new Etsy Shop :)

DIY Concrete Table

Have you ever wondered how to make a stylish concrete coffee table or dining table that didn’t weigh a TON or cost a fortune?

pipe leg coffee table

Maybe it’s never crossed your mind but I’m going to share anyway. So, sit back and enjoy…

Step 1: buy  3/4 inch MDF for the top and sides of the table top. (This table is going to be 2ft x 4ft but we bought supplies to make a few tables)

MDF for table top

Step 2: Attach sides to table with RIDICULOUS amounts of wood glue and nail or screw in place. If you don’t get the sides and top to attach well, your concrete will crack on that seam down the road.

Wood glue is a MUST

Nailing the top to the sides

Step 3: Get your gloves on and be brave, it’s time to open the concrete bag. We used a 25 lb bag but just mixed about 1/2 of it with water (following directions on the bag). Mix it up and get your trowel ready.

Step 4: Get messy. And work FAST. Might be worth practicing on a different board first. Trowel the concrete in a thin layer over the table top and sides. Then patiently wait for it to start hardening (20 minutes or so). I like to rub any rough areas on the corners off before it totally sets (which will be in a few hours).

Resurfacing the table top

Spreading concrete on the sides

Step 5: Add any spray stains if you want a more brown or charcoal color. This will add more dimension and/or apply a few layers of water based poly to seal the table (so it won’t get water stains etc.). Makes it nice and shiny too!

Step 6: Attach the leg brackets and legs.

Attach table leg brackets and screw in the legs

Step 7: Take pictures. Share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, put your feet up, turn on DIY Network or HGTV and ENJOY another DIY project success! OR visit our Etsy shop and just buy a table :)

Modern DIY concrete coffee table

Close up of finished table

Or paint the legs your favorite color!

And a few other concrete surfaced projects from our past…

concrete dining table with the same process

or a vanity for your bathroom sink…

or a more normal 3ft x 6ft dining table

What do you think?! Over the top DIY ? or something you would try?

Ugly additions

Do you have an addition on your house that a previous owner built (and NOT the way you would have done it)?!

We certainly do.

Starting with the exterior…This thick white siding in NO way belongs next to our stone home. It stands out and not in a good way:

Sorry, bad pic and bad sample paint color…but you can see how the white siding really breaks up the house.

An addition should be an extension and improvement to a home. We could re-side the addition with thin, tan siding to match the home’s original time, or even fiber cement board siding painted to match. But for a quick fix (we are on the market to sell, you know!) we opted for a nice coat of paint.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Why didn’t we do this when we moved in over 2 years ago?

Oh, well I guess we were a little busy updating the interior of this addition.

After a little help from Rory (who’s 3 now):

Rory painting

And Daddy (we admit that he did the entire project on his own):

Painting exterior…in a better color

While Ian and I watched:


Here’s how it looks now:

Painted Exterior (on a super sunny day)

Then Dave decided to speed up the process (any excuse for a new toy!):

Spray painting the other side of the house

And he’s done:

An hour later…complete!

Looks better right?! Have you ever put on an addition? Or had to improve an old existing addition?

Did you make sure it matched the style of the home or go with whatever you like best? Hard not to do that sometimes.

Wood slices | From Around the Web

Maybe it’s the sound of chainsaws after the storm or the random branches in the yard that have re-ignited my passion for simple wood slice projects.

You could slice up those branches to fill an entire accent wall:

Accent wall of Wood slices from marthastewart.com

Create a unique patio or walkway:

Stump slices making a beautiful patio/walkway design as seen at Dornob.com

Or even vases with smaller branches:

Branch slice vases from twoscompany.com

A doormat:

Wood slices doormat as seen at Houzz.com (you know, my new favorite site!)

Or just google images of “wood slices and weddings” for a crazy number of cool rustic table numbers, coasters, napkin rings, signs etc….

If you don’t have access to branches you could even just use a piece of lumber like I did on our bathroom wall art last year:

Wood Slices make great wall art

I simply cut pieces to different thicknesses and glued them onto a thin sheet of plywood then spray painted it. Best wishes on your WOOD projects!

What do you think? Would you ever attempt any of these? 

I’m STRONGLY considering that patio pathway.

“Spray Paint It”

Lately people have been asking me what to do with their worn out: table, patio set, swing, vases, baskets, picture frames, flower pots, mirror frame…the list goes on…and on….

My answer is almost always…“Spray paint it!”

It is the most simple (and affordable) DIY transformation for nearly anything.

What would YOU do with this basket?

$3 thrift store basket

“Spray paint it” would be the correct answer :) 

After a quick trip to the home improvement store I was the proud owner of the following: white spray on primer, key lime, and aqua colors (because I couldn’t decide which I liked better).

Spray paint

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