Farmhouse Table

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Well, that was an awfully long 2 weeks of blog neglect. The holidays and the craziness of my other job certainly got the best of my time. But, I’m coming back with a bang! My DIY farmhouse table!!!! This is BY FAR my favorite DIY and my most proud moment yet. I’m still a bit in awe that I constructed this table from start to finish, and to be 100% honest, it wasn’t that hard. I’m serious! Keep in mind that this is the second piece of furniture I have attempted to make, so from someone who doesn’t have much experience, I made it happen and taught myself as I went and you can do it too!

Once again, I have to give a shout-out to ana-white.com, which is where I got the furniture plan from. Her plans are so clear and easy to follow, they can turn anyone into a carpenter.

Why did I build my own dining room farmhouse table? Daddy always said, “You have champagne taste on a beer budget”. My dream table is from my favorite home interior company, Restoration Hardware, for $3,000. Could I save the money and eventually buy the table, yes. Was this 1000% more gratifying and do I love it so much more, absolutely! And the best part…are you ready for this…it only cost me $200!!!!!

So, here we go…let’s get started so you can make your own farmhouse table too!

Shopping List
1 2×8 @ 8 feet long
3 2×4 @ 8 feet long
2 2×4 @ 10 feet long
1 2×6 @ 8 feet long
4 2×6 @ 10 feet long
1 1×3 @ 8 feet long
6 1×6 @ 8 feet long
2 1×2 @ 10 feet long
1 1×2 @ 8 feet long
2 2X2 @ 10 feet long
1 2×2 @ 8 feet long
2 1/2″ and 3″ wood screws
2″ finish nails
1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
wood glue
wood filler

Tools needed
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
kreg jig
drill with drill bits and screwdriver heads
Jigsaw

Notes
-When buying your boards, always look for straight boards. Warped boards will make it difficult to get square joints and corners
-I bought pine and shirring board because I wanted a rustic look. If you are wanting a smoother finish, I suggest using cedar wood. It is more expensive but will give a much cleaner look.
-Work on a flat, clean surface
-Always wipe away excess glue right away as dried glue will not take stain or paint well.
-Finished table will be 106″ long x 30″ tall x 40″ wide
-Instead of a cut list up front, I will give cut instructions in each step. This way you can cut to measure to ensure a good fit at seams and corners. It will seem odd to make the cuts suggested, but trust me, this is to ensure you only buy enough wood needed and waste as little wood as possible.

Step 1: Begin constructing legs
-Using your 3 2×4 @ 8 feet and your 2 2×4 @ 10 feet, make the following cuts:
2×4 @ 8 feet #1 – cut 4 pieces @ 21 3/4″; cut 1 piece @ 8 1/8″
2×4 #2 @ 8 feet – cut 2 pieces @ 21 3/4″; cut 2 pieces @ 8 1/8″; set scraps aside to use later
2×4 #3 @ 8 feet – cut 1 piece @ 8 1/8″; set scraps aside to use later
2×4 #1 @ 10 feet – cut 1 piece at 8 1/8″; set scraps aside to use later
2×4 #2 @ 10 feet – cut 1 piece at 8 1/8″; set scraps aside to use later

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-Lay 1 piece @ 21 3/4″ on a flat surface, using 3″ wood screws and wood glue, secure 1 piece @ 8 1/8″ to each end of the 21 3/4″ piece. Ends should be flush and space between the 8 1/8″ pieces should be 5 1/2″ (enough to fit the 2×6 stretcher between them)
-place a 2nd 21 3/4″ piece on top of the 8 1/8″ pieces and secure with 3″ wood screws and wood glue, ends should be flush.
-repeat 2 times to create 3 posts for table legs

Step 2: Add top & bottom to leg posts
-Using 2 2×6 @ 10 feet, make the following cuts:
cut 3 pieces @ 34 1/4″ from each 2×6 (6 pieces total)

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-place 1 piece @ 34 1/4″ on top of 1 leg post, making sure the post is centered under the 2×6, attach with 2 3″ wood screws and wood glue (screws should be diagonal from each other, attaching into the corners of the leg post, to keep it from twisting once screwed together)
-turn leg post upside down so that newly attached 2×6 is now the base, attach another 2×6 @ 34 1/4″ to the opposite end
-repeat with other 2 leg posts
Note: In Ana White’s version of the table, she beveled the edges of the 2x6s to create a rounded edge on the legs. I kept mine square because I liked the rustic look of it.

Step 3: Add decorative rounded pieces to legs
-Using 1 2×8 @ 8 feet, make the following cuts:
cut 12 pieces @ 7 1/4″, then make them square by cutting the 8″ side down to 7 1/4″
-to make the arch shape, I measured in 1 inch on the bottom left and top right corners of the square block, then used a large bowl to draw a perfect arch from one corner to the other
-use a jig saw to cut out your arch shape

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I didn’t get a photo of the arch before I attached them…but this should give you an idea of the shape.
To attach the arches to the posts, I pre-drilled holes 1) so the wood wouldn’t split and 2) so I could countersink the screws and fill the holes with wood filler.

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-Use a drill bit that is the same size as the head of your screws and drill a small hole, about 1/4″ deep, just enough for the screw to be below the surface of the wood but DO NOT drill all the way through.
-Once your countersink holes are drilled, attach the arches to the leg posts. There should be 4 arches on each leg post, center the arch on the 2×6 and 2×4 and attach with 2 1/2″ wood screws and wood glue. Fill in holes with wood filler.

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Step 4: Add final layer to top and base of leg posts
Use 2 2×6 @ 10 feet, make the following cuts:
cut 3 pieces @ 36 1/2″ from each 2×6 (6 pieces total)

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-Attach 1 piece @ 36 1/2″ to the top and bottom of each leg post, long sides should be flush, board should be centered lengthwise on the underside 2×6 with about 1″ overhang on both sides.

Step 5: Add the feet
Use your 1×3 @ 8 feet, make the following cuts:
cut 6 pieces at 5 1/2″, you won’t need the scrap

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-attach the feet to the bottom of each leg base on each end of the 2×6, feet should be flush on outer 3 edges, attach using wood glue and 2″ finish nails.

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Step 6: Add the stretcher for finish your table base!
Use your 2×6 @ 8 feet, make the following cuts:
cut 2×6 @ 8 feet to 90.5″

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-slowly slide one leg post onto the stretcher and center it, add the other leg posts to each end with about 1″ of the stretcher hanging out the end past the post.
-Use a level to make sure you legs are level before attaching the legs to the stretcher. Measure from the center leg to each end leg the ensure it is directly centered.
-Once level and centered, use your drill to create countersink holes on both sides of each leg (holes on each leg should be at different heights so your screws don’t collide)
-Attach stretcher using 3″ wood screws on both sides of legs. Fill in holes with wood filler.

Your table base is finished!! Now on to the table top!

Step 7: Construct the tabletop frame
Use your 2 leftover 2x4s that were originally 10 feet, cut them to 106″
Use your 2 leftover 2x4s that were originally 8 feet, cut 3 pieces to 33″

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-Use your kreg jig to drill pocket holes into both ends on each of the 33″ boards
-Before your secure your frame, be sure you are working on a flat, level surface or your tabletop will come out uneven.
-Lay out the boards for your frame, 106″ boards lengthwise, 33″ boards crosswise with 1 on each end and 1 centered in middle of the frame.
-Secure the frame together with wood glue and 1 1/4″ pocket screws.

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Step 8: Add tabletop panels
Use your 6 1×6 @ 8 feet, cut each into 2 pieces @ 47 3/4″
-These are the panels that should fit snugly into your tabletop frame. Measure the distance from 1 from board to the next before cutting your 1x6s to ensure a good fit.
-Use your kreg jig to drill pocket holes into both ends of each 1×6 board.
-Attach panels to frame using wood glue and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws

So, this is the point where I think I got a little too excited to finish the building process and forgot to take photos of the last few steps. Check out Ana White’s page to see her drawings of each step.

Once you finish step 8, you will have 6 panels on each end of the frame for a total of 12 panels.

Step 9: Add first layer of tabletop trim
Use your 2 1x2s @ 10 feet, cut both to 102 1/2″
Use your 1×2 @ 8 feet, cut 2 pieces @ 39 1/2″
-These boards are going to go right on top of the frame but you want to center them on the frame boards so your edges will not be flush. I know this seems odd, just trust me.
-Attach these trim pieces with wood glue and 2″ finish nails

Step 10: Add second layer of tabletop trim
Use your 2 2x2s @ 10 feet, cut both to 103″
Use your 1×2 @ 8 feet, cut 2 pieces @ 40″
-These boards are going to go on top of the first layer of trim, they are going to line up and be flush with the tabletop frame. So trim layer 1 will sit inside the frame and trim layer 2 a bit, this creates depth and a rustic look
-Attach trim layer #2 with wood glue and 3″ wood screws.

Step 11: Last STEP!! Attach table base to table top!
With your tabletop laying upside down on a flat surface, (using 2 people) carefully turn your table base upside down and lift it onto the tabletop. Table base should easily fit centered on the tabletop, with the edges of your table legs sitting on the tabletop frame.
-Use 3″ wood screws to attach table base to tabletop. Placement of screws are on the underside of the top of the leg post, screwed into the table frame.

Done and done!!

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For the stain on the table, I used Minwax Wood Stain in Dark Walnut. I brushed on a few strokes, then wiped off the excess stain with a rag. This is what really let the wood grain show through for a nice rustic look.

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My favorite project to date! I hope you all like it as much as I do!! Now to figure out what I’m going to do for the chairs!

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Inspired by…French Cottage Style

frenchcottage1
via Aged and Gilded

frenchcottage3

via HVITUR LAKKRIS

frenchcottage5

via Castles, Crowns and Cottages

frenchcottage7

via Belgian Pearls

frenchcottage2

via Return to Home

frenchcottage4

via Tidbits and Twine

frenchcottage6

via My French Country Home

frenchcottage8

via South Shore Decorating Blog

Peppermint Bark

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When I first got married, I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home wife. That only lasted about 6 months before I went totally crazy and was bored out of my mind (if only I had the blog back then). While I was playing Suzie Homemaker, I decided to try making candy. This peppermint bark was my first attempt and it was amazing! Not only that, it was so simple. I had heard that candy making is very difficult (which it is) so I was expecting a labor intensive afternoon, but literally, 50 minutes start to finish, and that includes the time it is cooling in the fridge.

This makes a great treat to wrap up and give to teachers, babysitters, your kid’s friends, neighbors, etc. as a cute little holiday gift.

Peppermint Bark
3 bags white chocolate chips
24 candy canes
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

1. Break candy canes into 1″ pieces by placing in freezer size zip lock bag and hitting with a kitchen mallet.
2. Use a double boiler (or a saucepan with a heat safe bowl on top) to melt chocolate. Fill bottom with water, bring to a boil, place chocolate in top bowl and melt, stirring constantly.
3. Once chocolate is melted, remove from heat and stir in candy cane pieces and peppermint extract.
4. Pour chocolate mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and cool in the fridge until hard, 25-30 minutes.
5. Break chocolate into 2-3″ pieces and enjoy!

Painted Front Door

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My mom painted our front door black when I was younger and I’m pretty sure I looked at her like she had four heads…and look at me now. Yep, four heads, just like my mama. When I decided to change my front door, what I really wanted was a huge, knotty pine wood front door with a speakeasy grille for a peephole. Like the one on the vacation house in the Hamptons on the current season of Kourtney & Khloe take the Hamptons…anyone know what I’m talking about? However, that kind of thing isn’t in the budget right now so I decided to try painting the door before anything else.

As always, lets start with the before photo:

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Nothing special, just a plain white steel front door. To prep before painting, I wiped down the door with a wet rag and then took 200 grit, fine sandpaper and lightly sanded the door to get any imperfections out and also create a rough surface for the paint to stick to. Then I wiped the door down a second time.

I decided to leave the door on the hinges while painting, 1) because I was by myself and didn’t know if I could lift the door once it was off the hinges and 2) because I didn’t want to deal with keeping the dogs away from a wide-open front door and thus having to chase them up and down a large hill which is my neighborhood if they got out. I did remove the doorknob and deadbolt before painting and changed the hinges out afterward. Keep in mind when doing this that you will need to leave the door open partially as it dries between coats, which will take a couple of hours. Mine took about 5 hours to dry between each coat but I also did this on a pretty wet, cold and rainy day. Painting on a dry, warm day will speed up dry times.

For the paint, I chose Rust-Oleum High Performance Protective Enamel in High Gloss Black. This paint is super sticky but it covers well, it took just two coats. The key when you are painting a door is to go slow and to paint in the direction of the panel.

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Can you tell how I changed the brush strokes on the different sections of the door? It’s a bit tough to see. Start by painting the deep grooves between each panel, turning your brush horizontally for the top and bottom grooves and vertically for the side grooves. Next, paint main panels that are surrounded by grooves, moving  your brush vertically. Third, paint any horizontal panels on the main frame of the door, moving your brush horizontally. Finally, paint the outside and center vertical panels moving your brush vertically. See the diagram below from the blog Love, Pomegranate House…hopefully it helps. She does a great job of demonstrating the flow and direction to take.

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Once your paint has dried, you can change your hinges and put the deadbolt and doorknob back on. I updated mine to a Schlage brushed nickel metal handleset.

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And that was it! Any easy update that you can complete in one day to update your home! Would love to hear if you try this out on your own door. Comment on the post and let me know how it turns out!

Inspired by…Christmas Décor

I’ve been on Pinterest like crazy lately, looking at Christmas décor and getting inspired. We were in our new home last Christmas but had only been here for about a month so I didn’t decorate for it. Now it feels like a whole new undertaking, I’m not used to having so much space to decorate! I have to say though, I haven’t ever loved decorating for Christmas before. Something about putting all up just to take it all down after a month or so…too much work. This year, however, I’m loving every minute of it! I can’t stop! I keep buying more, making more…this could be a problem.

Anyway…here is some of my Pinterest inspiration…

Dreamy Whites 2

Dear Lillie
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f901e1d79bfe2b830358ad49d0f92821
4b99829d16beacf82a16eef22ea8f5af
bd59e04bfcf688a54bd0ea453eac964e
68fd705a34fbbedb549fbd5b6f56962d
Follow along on Pinterest…Playing House

Squash, Kale & Chicken Pot Pie

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December is in full swing and we’re only 4 days in! Being in the retail industry, my holidays have always felt hectic but this year, with a new job, remodeling a new home and the usual holiday insanity, things are feeling even more overwhelming. I had all these great intentions for the blog in the month of November, but, as always, I grossly overbooked myself and wound up not having enough time to do all the things I wanted to do. I decided to focus solely on the “Thanksgiving feast” posts. I hope you all enjoyed those and, at the very least, got a great recipe or two for your own Thanksgiving dinner. Now, it’s time to get back to basics and back to giving you more décor and DIY…right after I finish with this Chicken Pot Pit 😉

I made this for dinner a few nights ago and it was insanely delicious! Chunks of chicken, squash and kale in a yummy chicken broth gravy…umm…YES!!

Squash, Kale & Chicken Pot Pie
Serves 2 large dinner size pot pies or 4 side dish size pot pies
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1 small bunch kale, stems removed, leaves chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 lb cooked chicken breast (about 3 medium boneless skinless breasts)
1 box frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg

You have 2 choices for serving your pot pie: 1) cook in a large cast iron skillet making one large pot pie or 2) cook all ingredients through step 5 in a regular skillet, place vegetable mixture in individual dishes and cook personal size pot pies (which is what I did). If you do decided to use a large cast iron skillet, you will need to adjust cook times for puff pastry to cook thoroughly.

1. Cook chicken in desired manner. I boiled mine, small stock pot with salt and boiling water, add chicken and boil for 20 minutes. Remove from water and cut chicken into 1″ pieces.
2. Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add garlic and sage to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic begins to brown, about 2 minutes.
4. Add kale and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing often, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle flour over, stir in broth, and mix to combine.
5. Add squash and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is just softened and broth is thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Add chicken to skillet, stir, and season with salt and pepper.
6. Spoon chicken mixture and gravy into individual oven-proof dishes. Unfold pastry and smooth any creases. Depending on the size of your serving dishes, cut the pastry to the shape and size of dish with 1″ of excess dough to hang over side of dish. Place over dish allowing corners to hang over sides. Whisk 1 egg and 1 tsp water in a small bowl. Brush pastry with egg wash; cut 4 slits in top of pastry to vent.
7. Bake pot pie until pastry is beginning to brown, 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and bake until pastry is deep golden brown and crisp, 15 minutes longer, Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

*Original recipe from Bon Appétit.