Craft Projects With Logs

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Clean up from last month’s wind storms is finally wrapping up around here, including the giant pine that fell behind our house. The men of the household have been busy with the chainsaw, cutting it down into pieces and loading it up in the truck. At the same time I have been inspired by the craft projects I have seen on Pinterest using wood logs. The first one I wanted to make was these wood bookends, so I snatched up one of the logs from behind the house and had Connor cut it into quarters. Then, I used a chisel to remove the bark (much easier than I was expecting, thankfully!). I let the wood sit out in the sun for a few days to dry out, as the bark had left a mushy residue behind. Now that it is all dried out, I just need to put on a clear coat to protect the wood from bugs and crumbling over time.

(The same day, I was re-potting some overgrown plants, so I took some photos of them using the wood, and it inspired me to use them as plant stands as well!)

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

A few of my favorite wood projects that I am hoping to do in the future!
1. Stump and ink prints…Absolutely stunning!
2. Wooden Christmas tree ornaments…So cute! It reminds me of an old tradition we had where every year my dad would paint a wooden piece like these with a mural from a vacation or big event from the year. It was a great way to reminisce each year while setting them out for display!
3. Log planter…Love the two natural elements being used together.

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New Kitchen Floor!

What a crazy couple of weeks it has been! Connor and I decided we were ready to take on the next big project for our house, and boy was it a bigger project than we had anticipated. We wanted to replace the linoleum floor in our kitchen and powder room with porcelain tile. I found a really pretty one for a discounted price, so I took the first step in purchasing it, as well as the tools we would need (wet saw, grout and mortar, trowel, spacers, etc.). I had only a slight hesitation thinking about what we were getting ourselves into.

Two weeks later, the tile has been set, but we still have to seal the grout. We just finally got our kitchen put back together on Monday, as our appliances and pretty much everything was sitting in our dining room out of the way. Tiling the kitchen floor and not being able to walk on it meant crawling across the counter to get food or eating out more often then I would have liked. It was tough. I was literally so excited to finally step on that tile just so I could catch up on dishes for the next hour.

Anyway, a little run down of the process:

1. We started by prepping the floor and laying down the cement backer board. Despite what some people say, the backer board is incredibly important. And just as the prep for most jobs is the worst part, it is like others, long and boring, but important for quality. After doing some research, we found out that in some cases, like ours, we could lay it down right over the linoleum floor. In other cases, it is not suggested. I also learned that you should stagger the backer board so that there are not four corners touching.

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig2. Next, it was time to mix the mortar and start laying the tile. This made me so nervous, as I wanted it to be just perfect. Connor didn’t like this part so I did most of the spreading of the mortar. What helped us prepare for this part was looking at YouTube videos, especially on channels such as Lowes do-it-yourself projects. It made me feel a bit more confident in what I was doing. A couple tips learned along the way–(a) Life is easier when the mortar is the right consistency (b) Don’t let the mortar dry where you haven’t placed a tile unless you want to spend hours chipping away at it to get the surface even again (c) always check with a level to make sure you are flush and even with the surrounding tiles (d) work from the center of the floor to the perimeter so there aren’t any weird cuts in the middle, and make sure to do a quick layout before you actually start laying the tiles in mortar.

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig3. Grout the seams: This was all Connor, because by this point I was so burned out and tired of the project I just couldn’t deal with it any longer. Besides, you need some strong wrists for this, as well as a lot more patience than I had at the time. It requires a lot of cleaning to keep the tiles clean, and that seemed to be Connor’s favorite part throughout the process.

4. Seal the Grout: We are still waiting to do this part, as after each step, you must wait a few days for it to dry and set. We will be working on this tomorrow, but it seems like (hopefully) the easiest part of the process. Here is what the flooring looks like now (almost done after we seal it and lay down an area rug)…

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

I am so relieved to have this project wrapping up. There are parts of tiling I like, but when it is a big space like this (kitchen with lots of jogs and corners around cabinetry, powder room, and back entry), it just takes way longer than I would ever want to do again. Something at a smaller scale, like a small bathroom or backsplash, it would be much more doable. Unfortunately, we figured this out AFTER we bought a super awesome wet saw.

Have you tiled a floor or backsplash or wall yourself before? I would love to hear your tips if I ever decide to go round two!

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table

P.S. Delay of this post is directly related to my dear husband cutting the cord to the circular saw in half and setting us back in schedule of building our table the last two days. :)

We are so close to completing our dining table, and it is funny how excited I am to finally have a dining set! It may sound silly, but it makes me feel a little more grown up. Connor and I have been eating dinner on the stairs or on the couch for the last two years of living together (except a short period of time of living with our friends). Before the table was even complete, a few nights ago, we had our first dinner at our home-made table.

This project has lasted a few months now because as we worked, we were designing and figuring out the steps as we went along. Although it still isn’t complete, it is much closer, and besides the final details, it is pretty close to being done, so I wanted to share.

The idea first came when I found these 2×4 furniture tutorials, and I was shocked by how much money you can save with some simple handiwork. I started looking for dining tables, and then different versions of different styles. I finally came across Ana White’s tutorial for a farmhouse table, and that’s when I began my own, with Connor’s help of course. I used her tutorial as a guide, but changed some things, such as the sizes, our plan for the tabletop, and the breadboard ends, mainly because I was planning on having a table with an extendable leaf. However, after building our version of the table base, we struggled with coming up with a solution to do the leaf, and in the end, we decided we would rather have a sturdy table then a table that is a hassle to change around. Anyway, here are a few pictures from the process of building the table base.

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban PigOne of my main goals for building our own table was because I wanted to do something special for the tabletop, and what I had in mind, I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford if I didn’t build it myself. After doing some research on how to do this pattern, I came across this tutorial from Wit and Whistle, and again, I altered the instructions to fit our project. For a project like a dining table, I wanted to use a material for the table top that would be easy to clean. I knew that using actual wood would be a lot of work getting the stain and colors right, and it would have to be sealed or I would need a glass piece on top. Neither of these ideas appealed to me and gave me the look I was wanting. After a lot of debate, we found a click and lock laminate flooring from Lowes that was really inexpensive. We cut the pieces at an angle and put them together like a puzzle.

Doing the chevron pattern was NOT an easy task, especially with the tools available to us. It’s not a project for a perfectionist, and even though I will admit to being one, early on in this project I decided I would be okay with it not being perfect. There are gaps where the ends of the wood meet, but this table still feels special to me, despite its imperfections.

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban PigThe last steps that remain for us is staining or painting the base (I am thinking white!), securing the table top, and finishing the edges where the laminate meets the plywood. We plan on getting metal (maybe a powder-coated black steel) to hide the unfinished edges. Although this table ended up costing more than expected (from the original 2×4 tutorial), I feel like it has been well worth it. Not only can I say I built my own table, it is a special design that would have cost so much more if I had simply bought something like it. Although, I can’t say I have seen anything like it in the furniture stores!

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban PigSo, what is my next 2×4 project I will do? I am thinking this outdoor sectional so we can enjoy our little backyard patio this spring and summer!

Small Changes, Big Results

Small Changes, Big Results | The Urban Pig

[image via remain simple]

Over the last few weeks, and almost months, that we have been house hunting, we have seen a lot of different properties. All different shapes, sizes, styles, and in many different conditions. Some places were move-in ready, and others needed a lot of work. Since I am always up for a project, I started imagining how some of these places could look with a little TLC. A place that looked half-way abandoned could be cleaned up, and with a few small changes could be absolutely amazing. Many places have potential, you just have to see it. Even the homes that are move-in ready can still be altered in small ways to better reflect who you are, not the last family that lived there. With that, I came up with a list of things you can do at a low cost, or even a $0 budget, and could make for some great results.

  • Outside, weed, prune, or remove current vegetation as needed, and clean up trash.
    This all costs nothing, just some time on yours hands and knees. An optional addition would be to plant new vegetation or place potted plants around for some new curb appeal.

Small Changes, Big Results |The Urban Pig

[image via house and home]

  • Out with the old.
    It’s very common when moving in to a new place that the window coverings were left. If they aren’t your style, if they are an eye sore, if you don’t like them, take them down! Even if you can’t afford to replace them just yet. This also goes for your own items as you move in. I have decor and accessories that I have had since high school. Some of it I still like, and some of it I don’t, but I keep it anyways. Moving this round, I am promising myself to get rid of things that just don’t excite me anymore. There is a quote I remember reading that basically reads something like, “don’t have anything in your home that you don’t believe to be useful or beautiful.” I believe that to be such good advice! So often we hang on to things just because we don’t want to feel wasteful for getting rid of items that are in great shape. Find a way to remove that guilt.
  • It’s true…paint!
    The cost of this will obviously depend on how much paint is needed and the size of your project. But if the only thing bothering you is the current paint colors of your home, it still is truly the best and cheapest investment to make you love your home. If you still don’t have the cash, then start small, or with an area that most effects you, or the area in the worst condition, or the area that makes the biggest impact with the home, such as public spaces (living room, kitchen, etc). But maybe your bedroom is the most important to you, so start there. Paint or stain can also work for other changes in your home, such as cabinetry or trim. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of white paint on trim can do for a space.

Small Changes, Big Results | The Urban Pig

[image via breathe happiness]

  • Look up and down.
    Floors and ceilings are such a large area of our homes, yet they are most often ignored. Changing all of the floor material is obviously a huge cost, but there are temporary fixes you can do that will make a big impact. Use area rugs to cover up large sections, or if the floor is an odd color, look for a paint color that will make the current flooring look at least a little better, for now. Consider the ceiling as well, would a fresh coat of paint in white or a focal color add a kick of style? Can changing out a few of those outdated light fixtures make a room upgrade to a whole different style? These little details make a huge difference.

Small Changes, Big Results | The Urban Pig

Small Changes, Big Results | The Urban Pig

[images via blood and champagne]

  • Add your personal items.
    You may be surprised by how much more a place will feel like home when you add your belongings. Use what you have, and use what you love! One problem we are facing, moving from a small apartment to a large house, is we don’t have all that much stuff to put throughout our new space. My plan for this will be to focus on the main spaces we use — the living room, kitchen, and bedroom. Even though we will have all this extra space, I still plan to get rid of those items that just don’t work for our style anymore. I don’t want to use things just for the sake of “filling up” our house. An additional tip here, if you have a little cash, is to set a small budget and go thrift shopping or hit some yard sales. Look for larger pieces rather than knick-knacks which will only make a big, empty space look bigger, emptier, and just awkward. And, most importantly, only buy what you love, again, not just trying to “fill up” your house. Lastly, it’s amazing what a few plants of different sizes can do for a space.
  • Do it yourself!
    Look for some inexpensive projects that could really add to your space. Maybe i’ts a picture wall or a focal wall with old pieces of wood. Again, use what you have as much as possible to cut down on costs. Look for new ways to use old items that have grown tired of their original purpose. Don’t go straight to placing that one vase on the same bookshelf it was in your last place. Change it up! Look for new life.

Small Changes, Big Results | The Urban Pig

[image via sfgirlbyay]

  • Go as you go.
    Add to things along the way. You don’t have to do it all at once, but you most certainly can if you are ready and if it’s affordable. So much of design is the process. Rearrange things, add items you find in your travels or shopping adventures. Build and always edit. Your home should reflect who you are, which means it should always be evolving, just like you. In the last few weeks that I have been sent to measure people’s homes for a new design, I am most impacted by the homes that I walk in, and feel like I know the person. I see their passions and hobbies, their personal life and their family photos. If I can understand who you are through your home, I think you are doing a pretty great job!

Do you have any additional tips? Share in the comments!

DIY Project: Ottoman From Old Tire

Tire Ottoman DIY | The Urban Pig

Please Note: This idea was originally found on Pinterest and sourced to “That Was A What?!” You can find her tutorial here, but she does charge for instructions.

My hands are permanently black (FYI: wear gloves for this project!), I have overcome two blisters, and my back aches from several days of gluing rope to a tire, but it’s done! When Connor bought his truck, he got this old tire and wheel with it for free, but it didn’t fit his truck, so it was given to me to do as I please. I had just seen the idea to turn it into an ottoman a few weeks before, so the idea was fresh in my head, and thankfully I didn’t get rid of the old tire. The ottoman I made is a bit different from the original tutorial, so I am sharing what I did and what helped me the most to make this awesome project!

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