Carpentry 101

If you were to choose between Jess and I who is the best carpenter, Jess would win hands down. That’s because (before now) I have never taken on any sort of significant woodworking project, while Jess has built a kitchen table, a bed frame (or two), and a number of cute benches, including this one. But a couple months ago, I came across a photo of a mirror in one of Design*Sponge‘s Sneak Peaks (my favourite weekly feature) and I determined I had to make one for my own bedroom.

I consulted my brother, who is actually a carpenter, and he helped me draw up some plans, an adapted version that I would be able to construct in my city apartment with minimal tools. I found a $5 mirror at Salvation Army. I paid a little trip to my local Rona and bought some supplies. I convinced a friend to give up a morning of his spring break to be my assistant. And now I have a brand new mirror!

mirror I meant to take photos while we were building it, so you could easily make your own if you chose to, but I failed on that front. So here are a few detail shots so you can see the process.

mirror details 3mirror details 








We first built a frame with four 1×6’s (that I had pre-cut to size at Rona), then used 4 pieces of thin door stop/trim to create a lip for the mirror to rest on. We slid the mirror in, then used two more pieces of door stop to hold the mirror in place. It was as simple as that! Who knew building a unique mirror/shelf could be so easy?


Dresser Revamp

When I first moved to Burns Lake almost 6 months ago, I moved into a tiny little house at the top of one of BL’s steep avenues. I somehow survived super, extra cold temperatures in that house, and then gladly moved out in February. But I did take one thing with me – this dresser:

I gave it a coat of paint and then proceeded to use it until the bottoms of three of the drawers fell out and it was basically useless. Until this weekend.

We had wonderful spring weather on Saturday, so I decided to take advantage of it and hauled the old dresser onto my patio. I bought a piece of pine to use as a shelf and refreshed the paint and got a wee-bit of a suntan and ta-da!

I have a brand-new shelf to house my yarn and blankets!

so i built this “spa bench”…

Some of you may know that I secretly harbor a burning passion for carpentry. About two years ago I was feeling cramped in my small living quarters and bored of the winter so I turned to Ana White for inspiration. What I should note here is that at the time I was living in a TINY basement suite with my brand new husband. We rented this suite in the dead of winter before realizing that it only had one window and some pretty crazy landlords. In any case, it was around ten in the evening (probably much to the chagrin of those crazies upstairs) when I decided to hammer this cute little thing together in my living room (which also served as the dining room/kitchen/family room…you get the picture).

To this day, I have carted it around, from the Lower Mainland to Northern BC, just loving the design and utility, but waiting for the day when I would feel like finishing it. Strange enough, I think that day might be coming tomorrow!

I did some internet creeping and found out that apparently SOS pads and vinegar create some scientific reaction that can be used to stain unfinished wood. When I came home from work today I decided that I should begin the process with the hope of “painting” it tomorrow. So, I carted out my industrial sized bottle of vinegar…

and SOS pads (a gift from Betty, who taught me how to use them, of course)…

And combined the two in an old ice cream bucket. I keep watching and waiting for the explosive reaction but two hours in I am beginning to think that this reaction will be on the smaller scale of science experiment scales.

I can’t wait to see what it looks like!