DIY Floating Shelves

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I am so excited to FINALLY share this project with you all! I have been working on it for what feels like forever. Wait…you mean…having a baby will drastically change the amount of time in the day you have to accomplish things?!?! Case in point, I’ve been trying to write this blog post for 3 days now 🙂

When I started placing the furniture in the nursery, I knew I wanted this corner to be the “play” corner or the area for all the toys. Landon already owns quite a few books so a book shelf seemed like the way to go but I also wanted room for some sort of toy box (a post on that to come in the future) so shelves up on the wall were necessary for space. Enter the DIY Floating Shelves from Shanty 2 Chic. If you haven’t checked out their site before and you enjoy DIY building, check them out. If you’ve ever searched for DIY building projects on Pinterest, chances are you’ve come across some of their work. Their projects are always really well explained and the plans are very detailed.

I did make some adjustments to the original plans because the plans called shelves that were 3.5′ in either direction and I only had room for 2′. So, my plans are for 2′ long corner shelves and the materials listed are enough for 3 shelves. If you follow the plans on Shanty 2 Chic, their plans are for 3.5′ shelves and the materials listed are for 1 shelf so make sure you double or triple the amount of wood depending on how many shelves you want.

So, here we go…step by step 🙂

Supplies
NOTE: Before purchasing the wood, see the note in step 6 regarding the 2×4 and 1×6 boards

3 – 2″ x 4″ x 8′
2 – 1/4″ x 24″ x 48″ plywood
2 – 1″ x 10″ x 8′
2 – 1″ x 6″ x 8′
kreg jig for pocket holes
drill
2 1/2″ pocket screws
nail gun
1 1/4″ brad nails
3″ screws (torx or dry wall, whatever you prefer, these will be to screws the support boards to the wall and into a stud)
stud finder
wood glue
paint
hardware (for decorative purposes, I’ll show you what I used when I get to that part below)

Step 1: You will need to determine the height placement of each shelf. You want to think about what you are going to put on the shelves and how much space you need in between each one. I wanted my shelves to take up the majority of the corner and knew I was going to be putting some taller items and books on them so here are the measurements I used…
Floor to ceiling, the room is 96″ tall. Each shelf is approximately 4.5″ tall. Based on that, I measured out equal spacing from ceiling to the top shelf, between each shelf, and from bottom shelf to the floor, which was 20.5″.
Ceiling
20.5″
Shelf #1: 4.5″
20.5″
Shelf #2: 4.5″
20.5″
Shelf #3: 4.5″
20.5″
Floor

You will also want to locate the studs in your wall and mark those as well as you will drill each wall cleat directly into a stud.

Step 2: Build your wall cleats.
Using the 2″ x 4″ x 8′, make the following cuts
3 pieces @ 2′ (long wall cleat)
3 pieces @ 1′ 10 1/2″ (short wall cleat)
12 pieces @ 7 5/8″ (cleat braces)

When constructing each wall cleat, you will use one long wall cleat, one short wall cleat and 4 cleat braces, 2 1/2″ pocket screws and wood glue.
Using a kreg jig, drill for 2 1/2″ pocket screws into one end of each cleat brace then attach the cleat braces to the cleats as shown. I didn’t measure the placement of the cleat braces, just lined up the wall cleats (long wall cleat against the corner, short wall cleat against the long wall cleat) and then marked where the cleat braces should go so that they just met each other at the corner edge. The other two cleat braces went at the opposite ends of the wall cleats.

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Step 3: Attach wall cleats to the wall
Use a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the 3″ screws. Line up a wall cleat where you want it and drill a pilot hold into the wall cleat directly over the stud, check for level. Using the 3″ screws, attach the wall cleat to the wall in at least 2 different points.

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Step 4: Attach bottom panels to braces
You are basically going to wrap the braces in wood to build out your shelf. Using the 1/4″ plywood, make the following cuts (I made the cuts at home but if you don’t have a saw, you can ask some in the lumber department to make the cuts for you)
3 pieces @ 23 1/4″ x 9 1/4″ (long bottom panel)
3 pieces @ 14″ x 9 1/4″ (short bottom panel)
Use a wood glue, a nail gun and 1/4″ brad nails to attach 1 long bottom panel and 1 short bottom panel to each set of braces.

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Step 5: Attach top panel to braces
Using the 1″ x 10″ x 8′ make the following cuts
3 pieces @ 23 1/4″ (long top panel)
3 pieces @ 14″ (short top panel)
Attach 1 long top panel and 1 short top panel to each set of braces using wood glue, 1 1/4″ finish nails and a nail gun.

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Step 6: Attach the side trim
Using the 1″ x 6″ x 8′ make the following cuts
6 pieces @ 4 1/2″ x 9 1/4″ (side front trim)
NOTE: Because 2×4 are used for the wall cleats, it requires the front and side trim to be only 4 1/2″ wide which is not a width you can buy and will have to rip the board down to 4 1/2″. Again, you can have them do it for you in the lumber department. If you have a table saw at home then you can do it yourself. The other option would be to use 2″ x 3″ for the walls cleats instead of 2″ x 4″. By using 2″ x 3″, you will not need to alter the width of the 1″ x 6″ boards.
Attach side front trim pieces using the same method, wood glue, a nail gun and 1 1/4″ finish nails.

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Step 7: Attach front trim pieces
Using the remaining 1″ x 6″ x 8′ boards, make the following cuts
3 pieces @ 14 3/4″ x 4 1/2″
3 pieces @ 14″ x 4 1/2″
Attach using the same method, wood glue, a nail gun and 1 1/4″ finish nails

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Step 8: Finish with paint and decorate!
I used wood filler to fill in nail holes and the seams. Once dried, I went over the wood filler with 180 grit sand paper to smooth it out.

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I used Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in A La Mode to finish the shelves, topped with clear wax, and sanded the edges for a roughed up look.

Finally, I added some hardware to the corners to give the shelves a bit of an industrial look to compliment some of the other pieces in the nursery.

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I used metal corner braces similar to these from Lowes, and furniture tacks to attach them, spray painted all the pieces with black matte finish spray paint and roughed them up with some sand paper before attaching.

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That’s that! Then I decorated 🙂

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Nursery Crib

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Someone contacted me asking about some of the furniture details in Landon’s nursery and I realized that I never shared the finished crib! No time like the present…

I remember sharing a while back that I was having trouble finding a crib that I liked. I wanted white distressed wood. Everything I was finding in white was smooth finish and everything in a distressed finish was off-white or almost yellow. Of course, I have no problem painting a piece of furniture 🙂 but if I was going to put work in to it, I didn’t want to spend a lot. I searched some thrift stores but there’s not a lot of cribs out there. Enter Wayfair.com.

I went on Wayfair.com just to see what they had. I had purchased my office chair from Joss & Main, which is a sister company of Wayfair.com, and loved it so I thought I’d check it out. Turns out, there are a lot of options under $250! The crib I chose is by Viv & Rae, called the Rocco Kokopelli Convertible Crib.

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What I loved about this crib was the “shutter-like” look on the endcaps. I knew the raised edges would give great texture when I distressed it. Unfortunately, this crib is sold out 😦 However, if you go on Wayfair.com and search cribs, there is an option on the left side of the screen to select “cribs under $200” and there are lots of options to choose from.

My favorites, to get a similar look to what I did would be…
Camden 4-in-1 Convertible Crib by Child Craft
Harbor Lights 4-in-1 Convertible Crib by Graco
Watterson 4-in-1 Convertible Crib by Child Craft
And, the first 2 options come in multiple finishes, in case you don’t want to refinish or paint.

To refinish the crib I used Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in A La Mode. Heirlooms Tradition, as most chalk paint, is non-toxic and safe to use on furniture that a baby may put it’s mouth on. You just want to make sure to let the paint cure for a few weeks before baby would have it’s mouth near the furniture. The thing you don’t want to use in this case, is the soft wax. I didn’t use the soft wax this time and it didn’t really affect the distressing. The biggest benefit of the wax is that it seals the paint, protecting it from chipping and stains.

*Quick tip: assemble your crib before you paint it!

There are so many nooks and crannies and areas that will not be visible and therefore don’t need paint, you will save so much time if the crib is assembled first.

Once painted, I used 100 grit sandpaper to sand the edges. I used a coarser sand paper because I really wanted the dark brown to show through. I didn’t sand any flat surface, just ran the sand paper along each edge.

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That’s all folks! Pretty simple transformation. And for those wondering, the crib bedding is the Vintage Ticking Stripe and Vintage Washed Percale Collection from Restoration Hardware.

Vintage Scoreboard was made by me and you can find the instructions here.

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DIY Blanket Ladder

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Can we talk about the LIFE-CHANGING discovery I made a couple weeks ago. It was an average night, we had just eaten dinner and were sitting on the couch when the inevitable conversation came up…”Did you get anything for dessert?” my husband asks…
I hadn’t…fail.
Me: “No, but there is still vanilla ice cream in the freezer from Thanksgiving pie”
Husband: “Do we have anything to put on it?”
In case you can’t tell, I’m not good at keeping my fridge/pantry/cupboards stocked with the basics. I’m the type who goes to the store and buys just what I need for that nights dinner.
Me: “There are some leftover chocolate chips in the cupboard…”
Husband: “Can you melt them?”
We have really interesting conversations 🙂
I proceed to melt the leftover chocolate chips, dish up some ice cream and then drizzle the chocolate on top. Basic, right?
Umm…it hardened pretty quickly just like magic shell, but I hadn’t added anything to it! Is this normal?!?! Mic drop! I was so excited!! That’s the easiest dessert ever!
I’m not sure why I was so excited, apparently it doesn’t take much these days. Anyway, I was pretty stoked about this discovery, and please don’t burst my bubble if I’m like 10 years late to the party and you all knew this fact long ago.

You may recognize this blanket ladder from a couple years ago if you’ve been following me from the start…wow, that’s crazy, that I’ve been at this blogging thing for a couple years now! Since my time is a bit preoccupied these days and I haven’t had time to complete any new projects recently, I thought I’d repost one of my faves and one of the easiest, who knows, maybe you know someone that this would make a great holiday gift for. Or maybe you just want one for yourself. Either way, this whole project took me less than hour from constructing to stained.

Supplies
2 2×4 @ 8ft
1 2×6 @ 8ft
2″ wood screws
skill saw
kreg jig
drill

1. Use your skill saw to make the following cuts
2 2×4 cut to 5ft each
4 2×6 cut to 17in each

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2. Use your kreg jig to drill 4 pocket holes (2 on each end) into the 4 2×6 pieces for 2″ wood screws

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3. Lay one of the 2x4s on flat, level ground. The left side of the 2×4 will be the front of your ladder. Measure and mark every 12″ along the front of the ladder where your rungs will sit. Take one of the 2x6s and set it on the 2×4, turned slightly diagonal, so that the bottom of the 2×6 is even with the front of your ladder and the top of the 2×6 is even with the back of the ladder. Attach with 2″ wood screws.

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4. Continue with the other 3 2x6s at each of the 12″ marks.

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5. Once you’ve attached all 2x6s, measure and mark every 12″ on the other 2×4, lay it on flat, level ground and turn the ladder over onto the 2×4 so that the rungs meet up with the opposite side and attach with 2″ wood screws.

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Easy peasy! Now paint or stain to your desired color, let dry and add blankets!

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Changing Table Organization

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The fourth trimester…I saw things on Facebook and Pinterest about this topic when I was pregnant but I didn’t really read anything about it until now. Essentially, it speaks to baby being in the womb for 40 weeks and how shocking it is to them when they are born to no longer have hunger & thirst needs constantly met, to not be rocked to sleep at every moment by mom’s movements and to not be constantly warm, “snuggled” and comfortable. It makes so much sense!

We are still learning so much about Landon on a daily basis and it feels like every few days, you master one thing and then something new comes up. Right now…we are working on Landon’s feeding. Meaning, for the first 3 weeks, he never seemed to have gas, never spit up and was never fussy while nursing. Then, all of a sudden, in the last few days, he is nursing at such a fast pace for the first few minutes that he gives himself a tummy ache EVERY TIME! Any tips that you mamas have on getting baby to slow down are much appreciated! So far, I am trying the following…
1. Anticipate baby’s hunger, feed baby at the first hunger cue or beat him to it and not let him go more than 3 hours without nursing to keep him from getting agitated.
2. Laid-back/Biological position or Football/Clutch hold with baby sitting up rather than laying for breastfeeding. Laid-back position means, mom is laid back in a semi-reclined position (I usually prop myself up on pillows in my bed) and baby lies on your chest/stomach. This is how the lactation specialist showed me how to breastfeed in the hospital and is also a great position for skin-to-skin time. When we got home, Landon seemed to do best in the football position, so we changed things up and I position him so he is more seated than laying flat and propped up against my leg. Basically, I just avoid keeping him as upright as possible so gravity is doing it’s job.
3. Burp baby every 5-10 minutes, especially if he seems to be eating ravenously. (Making sure to anticipate baby’s hunger can help with this though. He will eat slower and not need to burp more than once or twice). After the first 5 minutes, whether he stops or not, I pull him away to burp, as the first 5-10 minutes are when he nurses the fastest. Typically, I burp him after 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes and end of nursing session.
If I can manage to make all of these things happen, he stays happy and there is no upset tummy or spitting up.

Anyway…on to my original topic for the day…changing table organization!
Not sure why I felt the need for an exclamation point there 🙂 This is my life now, getting excited about having time to post on the blog, no matter what the topic, and about getting a new shipment of diapers from The Honest Company. I’ll take what I can get these days… you know…when showering is no longer a part of daily life but rather a luxury that happens when dad is home and baby happens to be napping well. Ahh, mom life 🙂

My changing table is a 6-drawer dresser with a changing pad on top. I filled the drawers with all the essentials for diaper changing, nursing and bedtime. I really could have done with just 4 drawers, so if you’re trying to save on space you could get away with that, however, I still found stuff to put in those 2 extra drawers that would need a home somewhere else in your nursery.

Drawer #1: Diapers & Diapering products (i.e. Diaper rash cream, powder, ointment, baby body lotion. Note: Wipes are kept in the wipe warmer on top of the dresser (not pictured because it was added later) with extra packs of wipes kept in a bin in the closet. If you have room, certainly keep extra wipes here as well.)

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Drawer #2: Onesie sleepers and swaddle blankets

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Drawer #3: Nursing supplies (i.e. burp clothes, nursing pads, nursing covers)

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Drawer #4: Extra changing pad covers, diaper genie bags and scent fresheners

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Drawer #5 (Extra): Crib & cradle sheets, car seat covers, breast feeding pillow and sleeping cushion covers
Drawer #6 (Extra): Baby wearing & carriers (i.e. Moby Wrap, Ergo carrier, etc)

Hopefully this was helpful for all you new mamas out there. I know I was totally lost as to what to include and how to organize before I started researching so I hope this makes things a little easy, even if just for one person 🙂

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DIY Greenery Crown

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We had our maternity photos done 2 weeks ago and I am beyond thrilled with how they turned out! Of course, they were shot by my good friend, Janine, of Janine Soltman Photography, and we shot them at Kruger’s Farm on Sauvie Island. I will do a full post of all the gorgeous photos soon, but this post is all about the eucalyptus crown that I made and wore for some of the photos. I tend to see things on Pinterest and get these ideas in my head of what I want. I ended up not wearing the crown for most of the shoot but I did love how it turned out. Using eucalyptus made the crown pretty big and full, if you wanted a thinner and not so “drapey” look (drapey…is that a thing?) you could easily substitute different greenery and you can add in flowers as well. The possibilities are endless!

Supplies
greenery or flowers of your choice
green floral tape
24 gauge floral wire
scissors
ribbon of your choice

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Step 1: Use the wire to create a circular crown, measuring it to the head of whoever is going to wear it. Don’t measure it too tight as it will get a bit tighter after adding greens, flowers and tape. Layer the wire 3 times, cut the wire and twist loose end around the crown to secure the wire in place. Then use floral tape to secure this area of the crown to maintain the correct size. Note: If you haven’t used floral tape, it is not a normal sticky tape. This is a paper tape that sticks to itself when it is stretched and pressed together.

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Step 2: Begin to build the crown. Cut small pieces of greenery or flowers, with the stem being about 1 1/2″ long. Use one piece of greenery or flower along the wire crown, hold stem with one hand and attach with floral tape with the other hand. Wrap the floral tape until the length of the stem is covered. Choose your next stem, lay it in place to that the bloom or leaves sit where you want it to and repeat wrapping the stem to the wire until it is covered. I alternated a stem of leaves and stem of buds to get the mixed and layered look.

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Continue adding greens or florals until the entire crown is covered. When you get towards the end, you will have to be a bit careful to attach the tape in between some of the first stems you attached. Go slowly so you don’t break any stems and weave the tape in between.

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Step 3: If you’d like, you can finish the look by adding ribbons to the back of the crown. Depending on what greens or florals used, this could look too busy but I simply tied them in one spot so it is easy to change your mind and remove the ribbons if you end up not liking it.

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I used a basic ivory lace ribbon and an ivory sheer chiffon ribbon and cut 2 long strips of each. I very simply, tied them in a single knot on the back side (or what would become the back side) of the crown. Once all pieces of ribbon are attached, cut the ribbon at different lengths to give it some texture.

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How To: Adjust Chandelier Height

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Before baby came to be, the room getting all my attention lately has been the kitchen. Now, I’ve realized my bedroom and the nursery need to be ready in just 6 short months. That may seem like a long time, but, I tend to move at a very slow pace. I’ve really done nothing to our bedroom since we moved in other than painting the walls that same color as the rest of the house. The thing that really drove me crazy was the huge Tommy Bahama style ceiling fan that just didn’t go with any of my décor. So, I decided that would be the first thing to go.

I bought this Rustic Wire Chandelier light fixture at World Market yesterday, and it happened to be great timing because they are having their Friends & Family event with 30% off your purchase through Monday 5/2.

When I got the light fixture home, removed the ceiling fan and took the new fixture out of the box, I realized the chain/cord on the chandelier was so long that the fixture would basically be sitting on my bed if I hung it as is. Now, could I hang the fixture at the right height and somehow drape the cord around the top of the fixture? Yes. Am I too much of a perfectionist for this? Yes. Since I’ve had to adjust the chain/cord length on every hanging light fixture I’ve installed, I decided to show you all how to adjust to the proper height.

Step 1
The first step is to figure out how long you want the chain to be by determining the height of the bottom of the chandelier. For a chandelier hanging over a bed, the bottom of the fixture should be approximately 7 feet from the ground. My bedroom ceiling is 9 feet high so that means the bottom of the chandelier to the ceiling  should be 2 feet. However, that actual chandelier is almost 2 feet tall so the fixture ended up hanging about 6 1/2 feet from the ground.

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Step 2
Now that you’ve determined how long the chain should be, it’s time to adjust the length. The electrical cord can be fed through the ceiling cap and adjusted in step 3. For now, you will focus on the chain (if there is one). I pulled the electrical cord through the ceiling cap until it was the length I wanted. The excess chain should be hanging around the bottom of the cord. Starting at the bottom of the chain, I pried the bottom chain link open and removed it from around the top of the chandelier. Every 5 links or so, the chain will be attached to the electrical cord. I worked my way up the chain links, unattaching them until the chain was the same link as the electrical cord. Once you have the desired length, you will need to reattach 1 chain link to the bottom of the chain and to the top of the chandelier to reconnect the two.

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Step 3
Now that the chain is the correct length, you have extra electrical cord above the ceiling cap. You should have the ends of the white, black and copper wires exposed to connect to the electric box in the ceiling. (that additional white string you see in my photo is just that, a string that you cut away) You only need a few inches of this wire exposed so you will remove the outer layer of the electric cord (the black plastic outer layer) by making a tiny cut vertically, without cutting through any of the internal wires. You’ll be able to pull the wires apart in order to remove the outside layer down toward the ceiling cap. Remove the outer layer until you are approximately 2-3 inches from the ceiling cap.

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Step 4:
Now that the outer layer of the electrical cord is cut away, you can shorten the wires connection wires. Each wire has a colored covering protecting it and also distinguishing which wire is for which connection. You need about 1″ to 1 1/2″ of copper wire exposed from under the wire covering. About an inch from the end, use a wire stripper to remove the outside layer. A wire stripper will allow you to do this without cutting any of the actual wires. (I did this with scissors, but if you do this…be very very careful to not cut through any wires). Once cut the covering, you should be able to pull it away to exposed the end of the interior wires.

IMG_5635  Your chandelier height should be adjusted! Now time to remove the old fixture and install the new one for an updated look! See my post How To: Change A Light Fixture for those steps.

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