The Interior Frugalista: April 2017

April 20, 2017

How To Easily DIY A Rustic Farmhouse Tray

It is time for another Power Tool Challenge and the members of the team have been assigned the task of building a tray. Who couldn't use a tray, right?

If you spend any time on Pinterest you've probably noticed the popularity of Wooden Word Art Farmhouse Signs. I've been wanting to build one for the longest time and when I heard about this month's theme, I decided to spin mine into a Rustic Word Art Farmhouse Tray with a copper twist.

Rustic Word Art Farmhouse Tray
These are the materials I used to make mine...
DIY Rustic Farmhouse Tray Supplies
Affiliate links have been included in this post so you can see what products I used or recommend to build this project. There are no additional costs to you if you make a purchase and I will receive a small percentage to support my blogging wardrobe with a fresh new set of pajamas (don't judge). See my full disclosure policy.

Materials List

White Melamine Particle Board
Pine 1 x 2 Lumber
Wood Construction Glue
2 Copper Drawer Pulls
Bar Keepers Friend
Metallic Bronze Sharpie Marker
Fusion Mineral Paint Picket Fence
Minwax Wood Finish Stain Dark Walnut
Dixie Belle Paint Company Gator Hide Poly
Countersink Bore Drill Bit
3/4-inch Drill Bit
Laser Printer
Graphite Paper
1 1/2-inch Brad Nails
Wood Handle Awl

Tool List

Table saw
Miter saw
Power drill
Pneumatic nail gun and compressor

Cut Wood Sizes

Wood Pieces Cut For DIY Farmhouse Tray
The white melamine particle board top was cut with a table saw. If you don't have a table saw, most home improvement stores will cut a sheet to your size preference.

The 10-inch pine 1 x 2 boards are for the end rails of the tray and the hardware will be mounted on them. The 16 ½-inch pine 1 x 2 boards are for the side rails. Both were cut using a miter saw and the tray will be assembled with a simple butt joint.

How To DIY A Rustic Farmhouse Tray


DIY Farmhouse Tray with A Copper Twist

Cleaning copper drawer pulls

Notice how shiny the copper drawer pulls are in the photo above? In the photo below you can see how dirty they were from years of grime. Nasty but the price was right. They were included in a Lot of assorted hardware at a local auction. 

I looked high and low for Bar Keepers Friend to clean them and when I couldn't find any at Canadian retailers I soaked them in vinegar (lemon juice and borax will also work) overnight and scrubbed them with a general purpose scouring pad, being careful not to scratch the metal.

Tarnished Copper Pulls for DIY Farmhouse Tray

Chalk paint tray top

To get a smooth finish and avoid brush strokes, I rolled the Picket Fence color mineral paint over the top with a foam roller.
Rolling Chalk Paint On DIY Farmhouse Tray

Image Transfer onto tray

I created the word art in PicMonkey for the top of the tray and printed it on legal size bond paper. To transfer the graphic onto the painted tray top, I centered the paper and secured it with painter's tape. Next, I slipped a piece of graphite paper underneath and traced over each letter with a pen.
Graphite Paper Image Transfer On DIY Farmhouse Tray
To get a unwatermarked copy of the graphic to use for non-commercial use, press the image below.

I went over the transferred graphic with a Metallic Bronze Sharpie Pen to get the look of copper to match the drawer pulls.
Metallic Copper Word Art Ink on DIY Farmhouse Tray

Waterproof Protection

I waited several hours to be sure the ink was completely dry before applying two coats of poly called Gator Hide by Dixie Belle Paint Company. Considering liquids may be spilled on the tray, I wanted waterproof protection over top the melamine.
Waterproof Poly Protection on DIY Farmhouse Tray

Staining the side rails

To make it easier, I stained the wood tray rails before assembly. I love dark walnut stain for a rustic farmhouse look. I applied just one coat with a lint-free rag.
Dark Walnut Stain on rails of Rustic Farmhouse Tray

Pre-drilling holes for hardware

It's important that the hardware is mounted on the side rails before assembly because part of the screws will be concealed beneath the melamine base (see photo after the one below). 

Tip for marking screw holes for handles

  • Cut a piece of painter's tape the same length as the 10-inch pine board.
  • Mark the center both horizontally and vertically with an +.
  • Center the drawer pull over the mark on the tape.
  • Press firmly onto the tape to make an imprint of the posts on the hardware.
  • Use a square or measuring tape to ensure the imprints are straight on the board (we don't want crooked handles).
  • With an Awl, pierce a hole in the center of each mark.

Drill holes using a drill bit around the same size as the screws for the drawer pulls.    
Countersinking holes for handles on DIY Farmhouse Tray
Using a countersink bit (as pictured above), countersink the holes so the heads of the screws do not interfere with the base of the tray (as seen below).
Drawer Pull Handles mounted on Rustic Farmhouse Tray

Assembling the tray

Starting with the handle rails, run a bead of construction glue along the edge of the tray base then using a pneumatic nail gun and 1 ½-inch nails, attach them to the base. Caution: make sure you hit the nail in the center of the base otherwise you'll have nails sticking up over the top or bottom of the tray.

Next butt the joints together for the sides and attach them to the base as above. Nail the corners at the top (as seen below). I didn't try to conceal the nails with filler because I think they add to the rustic charm of the tray.
DIY Rustic Farmhouse Tray assembled with pneumatic nail gun
I love how I have the look of a Farmhouse Word Art Sign in the form of a Rustic Farmhouse Coffee Tray.
DIY Rustic Farmhouse Tray

How To Easily Build A Rustic Wooden Word Art Farmhouse Tray
You will find this project linked to these fabulous LINK PARTIES.

Before I send you off to see the trays my friends on the Power Tool Challenge Team made, here is a recap of other rustic projects I made for previous challenges. Like this Coffee Mug Holder or Antique Chair Spindle Garden Caddy or Pallet Nursery Wall Art.

Power Tool Challenge Team Projects

To see each tray made by the team, please press the links below... 
Power Tool Challenge Team DIY Tray Tutorials

Designed D├ęcor - DIY Serving Tray 
Interior Frugalista - DIY Farmhouse Tray 
Virginia Sweet Pea - DIY Farmhouse Style Tray 
My Repurposed Life - DIY Tray Using Metal Tiles 
My Love 2 Create - DIY Chalkboard Serving Tray 
Create And Babble - DIY Wooden Quilt Square Tray 
The Kim Six Fix - Easy Hexagonal Tray 
Domestically Speaking - DIY Coastal Tray 

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April 17, 2017

Keeping it Real: What You Don't See Behind The Scenes

After getting lost for hours on Pinterest (we've all been there), do you sometimes walk away feeling like you or your home doesn't measure up?

Has that voice in your head secretly thought bloggers must be perfectionists who have nothing better to do than making every square inch of their homes magazine worthy?

Do you often wish you could see beyond the camera lens at what's REALLY going on behind those beautifully staged photos?

Then friends this post is for you because today five of my blogging friends and myself have come together from different parts of the globe to give you a peek at what you don't see Behind The Scenes. We're going to keep it real and dare to expose our dirty little secrets about some of those familiar photos you've enjoyed while browsing our blogs.

Behind The Scenes Blogging Tour


Keeping it real Behind The Scenes at The Interior Frugalista


In reality, oftentimes I'm searching room-by-room for the best natural light and if it means having to shove all the furniture off to one side to get the perfect shot, I'll do it.

It's not uncommon for me to be sweeping away dust bunnies with my socks while doing a quick dust with my shirt sleeves when setting up for a photo shoot.

More times than I can count after spending several minutes getting the camera settings just right, as I hit the shutter button in waltzes Mr. Sexy Rexy and photo bombs that trophy shot. I should clarify that Rex is our cat.

While I looked high and low for photos depicting the scenarios mentioned above, I did find some that you might enjoy. All of them show the difference between the post-edited photos you see published on the blog from how those same photos look straight out of the camera. So without further ado, let's take a peek Behind The Scenes at The Interior Frugalista.

Peek #1 - The photo taken amongst the chaos

Let us start with the Neoclassical Side Table makeover that I shared last Thursday.
Behind The Scenes of the Neoclassical Side Table Trophy Shot
In reality, what you didn't see was...
Behind The Scenes Reality Shot of the Neoclassical Side Table
The photo shoot was in my basement workshop amongst the chaos of projects on the go and ones waiting on the queue.

Peek #2 - The magical disappearing twine and electrical outlet

Here is another example from the Mid-Century Modern Record Cabinet makeover.

Behind The Scenes of the MCM Record Cabinet Trophy Shot
Sometimes when I want to hang art just above the furniture but don't want to nail a new hole in the wall, I'll attach a long strand of twine to an existing nail. Nothing that photo editing won't fix...
Behind The Scenes Reality Shot of the MCM Record Cabinet

Peek #3 - The makeshift backdrop

I wanted the colors on the back of this Mid-Century Modern Bar to pop by using a crisp white backdrop.
Behind The Scenes of the MCM Bar Cabinet Trophy Shot
Not having a white backdrop available, I pulled a MacGyver by placing random pieces of corrugated plastic that I had on hand for a makeshift floor and wall.
Behind The Scenes Reality Shot of the MCM Bar Cabinet

Peek #4 - The hidden blogger 

For the before photo of the Knitting Box Table makeover, it didn't have a hinged lid and so I had to hold it open while I took the photo.
Behind The Scenes of the MCM Knitting Box Table Shot
This one makes me laugh out loud because I'm in my pj's sporting bed head and all.
Behind The Scenes Reality Shot of the MCM Knitting Box Table

Peek #5 - The pseudo-nursery

For the IKEA Tarva Change Table, one would assume the photo was taken in a nursery.
Behind The Scenes of the IKEA Tarva Hack Trophy Shot
Nope, just a backdrop placed in front of the television in our media room.
Behind The Scenes Reality Shot of the IKEA Tarva Hack

Peek # 6 - The growing rug

This Metallic Night Stand makeover is another that was photographed in the workshop.
Behind The Scenes of the MCM Night Stand Trophy Shot
Notice the difference with the rugs?
Behind The Scenes Reality Shot of the MCM Night Stand

Peek #7 - The hidden tools of the trade

I could go on and on but I'll leave you with one last reality shot. This photo is of the materials used to make Rustic Holiday Signs.
Behind The Scenes of the DIY Holiday Sign Materials Shot
Pull the camera back a little and this is what you would actually see...
Behind The Scenes Reality Shot of the DIY Holiday Signs

Like I said at the top of this post, smoke and mirrors my friends. I hope a few of these made you chuckle and that next time you see those perfectly staged photos in the blogosphere, you'll remember this Behind The Scenes tour.

A Look Behind The Scenes of Six International Blogs

Please join me for the rest of the tour by pressing on each photo below to be taken to my friend's blogs. I'm so excited to see how they are "keeping it real" behind the scenes.






I hope you enjoy the Behind The Scenes Tour.

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April 12, 2017

Neoclassical Side Table With Parquet Wood Top

One of my favorite things about breathing new life into old furniture is that sometimes underneath all the layers a wonderful surprise awaits. Such was the case with this neoclassical style side table found on Kijiji (Canadian Online Buy & Sell Site). The person who listed it was selling their grandmother's belongings and had no idea how old the table was but that she had it for many years.

The top was in terrible shape and sometime during her possession, someone refinished it with thick layers of dark gel stain. It took some elbow grease but what I found underneath was a lovely wood parquet top.

Neoclassical Side Table Makeover

Neoclassical Side Table Makeover


I was so excited to dig into this makeover that it wasn't until after removing a couple layers of the thick gel stain that I realized I hadn't taken before photos.

Removing Layers of Gel Stain from Neoclassical Side Table

You can imagine how thrilled I was when I got to the last layer of gel stain and discovered the parquet wood underneath.

Neoclassical Side Table With Parquet Wood Top Before

Once I removed the last layer of stain I carefully sanded the top using mouse sander. The nicks and scratches on the legs were filled with wood filler.

Neoclassical Side Table Tapered Leg with Metal Feet Before

The legs and apron were chalk painted in the color Paris Grey from the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ line. The detail in the center of each leg was highlighted in the color Louis Blue.

The chalk painted surfaces were given a coat of clear wax followed by dark wax, wiping away the excess. The following day the wax was buffed to a matte sheen with my go-to horse hair shoe brush. You read that right - just like shoes it gives the wax a beautiful sheen.

Using a small artist's brush I applied Silver Gilding Wax into the grooves of each leg and Gold Gilding Wax onto the metal feet. Someone had painted them gold and rather than remove the paint, the gilding wax gave them a metallic lustre.

Neoclassical Side Table Chalk Painted

I wasn't happy with how the Paris Grey looked against the warm tones of the wood top and so I left the skirt painted gray but painted the edge around the parquet top Louis Blue.

Neoclassical Side Table Makeover Top

Rather than staining the wood top, I applied tung oil with a lint free rag. It took several coats before it stopped absorbing into the wood.

Neoclassical Side Table Oiled Parquet Wood Top

The following morning while enjoying my morning java I stood over the table and pondered whether to add a little something to the wood top. A quick visit to the Graphics Fairy website where I found this Paris Wreath graphic.  

Image Transfer Technique

After printing the graphic, place carbon (or graphite) paper behind and simply trace the details by pressing firmly with a pen. Using a black paint pen, trace over the carbon imprint on the wood.

I was concerned the paint wouldn't take to the oiled surface but surprisingly it worked like a charm.

Neoclassical Side Table with French Graphic

Some pieces just need a pretty graphic before they feel complete. I've done several like this Vintage Executive Wooden Desk (which I'm kicking myself for selling). Or this French Provincial Clock Face Side Table and Nesting Tables. But my absolute favorite makeover where I applied a graphic is Mom's Stool Makeover.

The intention while doing this makeover was to sell it. When placing the table in our Guest Bedroom to hold until the next market venue, I realized how good it looked in the space.

The price tag was removed and it was used as a night table until the room was converted into a makeshift nursery for when our grandson comes to sleepover at Grandma & Papa's house. 

Neoclassical Side Table Makeover in guest bedroom

No longer having a use for the table it will soon be heading to my booth.

Neoclassical Side Table Makeover After

Neoclassical Side Table Makeover Before and After
If you've acquired some old painted furniture, you never know what could be lying underneath those layers of paint. Sometimes it's worth the arduous task of stripping them to the original finish.

Before pulling out the paint stripper you may want to try a Google Image Search first to see if you can find a picture of an original. Not only will you learn a little history about the piece but you may just find that it has some details you might otherwise not have known about hidden under the paint.

You will find this project shared at these fabulous PARTIES.

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