BB8 Sugar Cookies

BB8 Cookies
Over my Christmas break, aside from the surgery and recovery, the family time and holidays, two other important things happened. 1) While laid up in bed trying not to cough or laugh, I got totally hooked on watching Youtube videos about decorating sugar cookies with royal icing. 2) I saw Force Awakens. I think I might just have a full post in me about Force Awakens, but it blew my mind and for the next week I didn’t think about anything else. So I knew I had to combine my two obsessions if I was going to get any peace.

BB8 Cookies 1

I love BB*8 as much as I hated Jar Jar Binks. When that little goofy robot shook his sassy little head? He had me. So obviously, BB*8 had to be the one that got the sugar cookie treatment, and also because I never decorated cookies this way before and a bunch of little buttons and dials are way more approachable than a human woman like Rey. This was a fantastic first project! Even as I made a ton of mistakes and would do a bunch of things differently – like work on getting the right icing consistency and changing the order of how I applied things so it didn’t require so much drying time – I think it was still totally successful. I especially love using the decorating powder to make him all grungy like he had been spending time on a desert planet.

BB8 Cookies 2

Since this was my first ever attempt at sugar cookie decorating with royal icing, I needed a whole lot of instruction. And to get that I went to Sweet Ambs. Her videos were my favorite to watch, and on her site she offers a package where you get all her recipes and some special videos. I found it to be totally worth it, but there are a whole lot of royal icing and sugar cookie recipes out there. If you have questions about anything other than this particular design, I’d send you straight to her. I’m only a beginner myself, and an enthusiastic geek about the latest Star Wars movie.

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Mason Jar Vignette

Mason Jar VignetteIt just occurred to me how many different versions of dioramas I’m doing on this tree. The santa shadowbox, the holiday shadowbox, and now today’s Mason Jar Vignette. What can I say, it’s a trend. This will be my last of the dioramas and once we get all the ornaments on the tree it won’t look like a 4th grade classroom full of Christmas book reports.

This is also the last in my series of being inspired by department stores and knocking them off at home ornaments. The idea for this one started with the ornament I saw EVERYWHERE this year. A glass dome enclosing a winter scene with glittery scalloped paper at the bottom. Somebody must have been a great salesperson at a Christmas trade show because I saw that ornament everywhere from Michael’s to Crate and Barrel, to the little shop on the boardwalk. And then I saw the knock off versions from one end of pinterest to the other. But as much as I want to be too cool to follow the trends, I couldn’t help myself either. It’s just so pretty.

But I could at least keep my pride in tact by making it my own style and by using materials that would fit with my throwback theme.

SuppliesThe first thing you need is a mason jar with a lid and a band. I like the Kerr pint jelly jars. They’re small enough to not weigh to much, and they don’t have a lot of decoration to get in the way of your view. Some of the mason jars you buy at craft stores are trying so hard to look like kitschy mason jars there’s no unobstructed glass left. Make sure you use something you can actually see through.

Then you’ll need some quilt batting or stuffing to make your snowy landscape, and some bottle brush trees or mini figurines or needle felted animals or clay snowmen or whatever you want to make your winter scene look like. I found all my figurines at a thrift store. Even the dollar store might be a good place to look. When you’ve got all this great stuff surrounding it your miniatures don’t need to be that special.

Step 1Put a puddle of hot glue along the bottom of the jar and gently tap in some quilt batting. Add enough batting so that the bottom of the jar is covered and it extends up the back to create a winter backdrop for your scene.

Step 2Paint a glitter decoupage glue all over the quilt batting, being sure to use the glue to stick the batting to the sides and back of the jar and along the bottom to make a firm foundation for your figurines.

Step 3When the decoupage glue is dry, add the rest of the elements of your scene with some hot glue.

Step 4Get the band and lid to top off your jar, and drill a hole through the lid.

Step 5Thread a loop of ribbon through the hole you made, screw on the lid and band, and then decorate the band with some grosgrain ribbon and a button.

Mason Jar SceneWithout the sparkly paper and the elegant dome of the original inspiration ornament these definitely aren’t as fancy. But I think they are a whole lot more homey, and certainly more appropriate for a vintage tree. Plus, kind of the perfect marriage between two decor trends. What’s more pinterest-nip than the cloche ornament?? A MASON JAR CLOCHE ORNAMENT!

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Holiday Shadowbox

Christmas Shadowbox (2)

One of my favorite things to do as soon as Halloween is over is to go to any store even partially related to home decor and scope out their Christmas decorations. I snap iphone pics of things that I really like or want to figure out how to reverse engineer, and then I go off on a creative journey and wind up someplace completely different. Very very rarely do these projects end up looking at all like what inspired it. Except for this time. This time I full on knocked off an expensive Pottery Barn ornament. I took one look at it in the store and immediately knew I could make it, and for cheaper. Which is one of my favorite reasons to craft – sticking it to the corporate man.

 

Step 1

You’ll need to start with a base for your shadowbox. A shoebox lid would work well, in fact most box lids would work well, but I loved these thin mailer boxes I found at JoAnn’s. They were in the card section and by using these I got two ornaments out of every box.

 

Step 2

While the help of a kitty is optional, I find they really add a lot to the creative process. Mostly through cat hair winding up in the paint. Paint the back of your boxes black and use an iridescent fabric or dimensional paint to draw a neat line where your paint meets the paper of the box.

 

Step 3

Add a message to your shadowbox. You can use a vinyl cut out, a stamp, stickers, anything your little heart desires, but I just used a paint pen and my own two hands. I found a font I liked on the computer, printed it out, and then copied it. I managed this even though I really don’t draw. It’s just a a matter of breaking down the shape of the letters step by step. I also added a couple of straight lines and some dots along the top and bottom. It’s pretty and polished, but also keeps your letters from veering off course as you write them.

 

Step 4

Along the bottom edge of your shadow box, use some hot glue to add some snow made out of stuffing. Be careful not to burn your fingers, though, because the glue will seep up through the stuffing. And you really don’t want blistered fingers when you’re trying to wrap Christmas presents.

 

Step 5

Add a couple of bottle brush trees to the corner with a little more hot glue.

 

Step 6

Add then add a ribbon hanger and a bow to the top with a little more hot glue after that.

 

Christmas Shadowbox

The only challenging part of this whole project was the lettering, and if you use a stamp or stickers you could crank these out like you worked in a factory. With the chalkboard look of the black paint and the white letters this would be an excellent present for teachers, and unless you tell them otherwise they’ll think you dropped some coin at the fancy mall stores. Personally, I can never resist bragging about getting one over on capitalism.

 

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Santa Shadowbox Ornaments

Santa ShadowboxOne of my favorite things to do from the end of Halloween straight through to the end of the year is go to all the fancy stores I can find and check out their Christmas decorations. The fancier the store the more I enjoy it because I just whip out my phone, snap a picture, and then go home and make it for a fraction of the price. Being a crafter is a superpower.

This was one of the first ornaments I found this year that I wanted to put my own spin on. The fancy boutique was calling this a “Santa Bucket” for some reason, when really it’s just a tiny little shadowbox. I loved it because it’s such a unique and interesting shape when so much that goes on a tree is globe shaped, and because it let me bring in some vintage artwork to sell the time period I’m working in for this year’s tree. Plus, there’s glitter. And you know I never miss a chance for glitter.

Step 1I found these miniature gift boxes in the dollar section at Michael’s as you wait to checkout. I grabbed a whole bunch of them thinking I was just going to put them on the tree as gift boxes, but then I got creative. Save the lids to your boxes because we’ll use those next week.

Step 2As pretty as those boxes were, they weren’t going to work for my purposes with those bright patterns on them. So the first thing I did was spray paint all the boxes inside and out. I chose spray paint because it’s so fast, but regular paint will get the job done too.

Step 3Use an exacto knife to cut off one side of the box. Leave about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch in the back to keep the box strong and to give yourself a place to put the ornament hanger.

Step 4I needed to cut down the sides so that the artwork in the back would be visible, so I took the opportunity to make the shape even more special by tracing a scallop pattern on each side.

Step 5It’s a bit of a trick, but be patient and use the smallest scissors you have on hand to cut out the scallop shape. I have lots of teeny scissors because of all my embroidery work, but if you don’t try your exacto knife again.

Step 6
Add you glitter coat. I apply glue with a paintbrush, shake glitter over the top of it, then shake off the extra and let it dry. Be sure and collect all your extra glitter on a plate or a piece of paper or something.

Step 7When your glitter is dry you’re ready to add your artwork. I searched the internet for vintage artwork and there is just a wealth of great stuff out there. If you have a good home printer your options are endless. I decided to order postcards from Zazzle.com so I could make sure I wouldn’t get any fading. Cut it to fit the back of your shadowbox and glue it in place.

Step 8Decorate the foreground of your box by hot gluing a tiny bottle brush tree in place. Then paint more glue all over the bottom, the thicker you apply it the better, and sprinkle artificial snow over the top of it. You can find giant bags of that wherever they sell village accessories.

Step 9To add the ornament hanger poke a couple of holes in what remains of the top and thread a needle with thick thread or yarn on it through them. Tie a knot in the two ends and hang it from the tree.

I really loved how this one turned out, especially with the artwork I chose. It has a very “he sees you when you’re sleeping” quality to it, which should be useful when I’m trying to keep Atticus in line.

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Mod Foam Ornaments

Mod Foam Ornament
As I was scouring the internet looking for inspiration for this tree, I came across an image from an old Women’s Day magazine posted on a tumbler page. The second I saw it the whole tree coalesced in my head. Before that old magazine article I knew I had a bunch of vintage ideas floating around my brain, but “vintage” pretty much includes all of time, so I needed to narrow that down a bit. Going down the tumbler rabbit hole I knew the time period I was going for and how I was going to get there. It was only after I made the ornaments that I noticed the magazine article was from the 70’s, not the late 50’s early 60’s I was going for, but I don’t care. I knew that I needed just a touch of modernity to make this tree interesting and these mod inspired ornaments are just the thing to make it unique.

Step 1

I turned the image black and white and printed it out because I knew I pretty much wanted to make my ornaments as close to the inspiration as possible. If you want to do the same, just scroll down. I included it for you.

Step 2

I used the print out as a template and cut the shapes out of fun foam. Fun foam is a favorite material of mine for ornaments because it’s cheap, durable, and cuts super easy.

Step 3

Then decorate your ornament. I wanted a 3 D look so I used Gallery Glass – a faux stained glass style paint. Dripping little dollops of paint made beautiful dome shapes once they dried, but it does take overnight to dry. I had to work in layers, back to front, letting each layer dry before adding the next layer of dots and embellishments.

Step 4

Just keep going until you get the look you want. You could use a ton of paint mediums to decorate these, and if you’re making them with kids you could even just use stickers.

Step 5

To attach a hanger thread a needle with some yarn or thick thread and poke the needle right through the foam, tying the two ends together to make a loop.

womens day
Here’s the original source of inspiration. Found at Mid-Century Modern Graphic Design. Click on the image to get to full size or this link to get to the source.

mod ornaments

The gallery glass dries a bit sticky so you’ll have to take some care when storing them. You don’t want them to just stick together in one giant ornament for next year. But I think it’s worth it to get that unique shiny look. It takes it from silly old fun foam to something modern and special.

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Vintage Inspired Pom Pom Garland

Pom Pom GarlandHello my friends! I’ve missed you! Things have been laughably ridiculous over here lately which has been keeping me too busy to blog, but you know I had to come back around for our yearly tradition of a new themed Christmas tree!

Busy stuff in a nutshell: Yadda yadda yadda I’m having surgery next Wednesday and my niece is living with us now! I will talk more about those things later.

But today it is my birthday and to celebrate I am launching this year’s theme: Vintage 60’s Christmas.

If all you know about 60’s style is peace signs and psychedelic hippies, that might not sound glorious. But there will not be a single peace sign on this tree. No. I’m going for traditional vintage. Something your grandparents would have decorated with. Traditional colors and bottlebrush trees, thread covered ornaments and tinsel. Something that might have been at home in the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Price. It was a transitional time so some of the ornaments will have a slight nod to mod style, and some will almost be a throwback to Victorian ornaments, because just like the 90’s are back in now, styles have always gone around and around.

I start every tree with a garland, and this one is so much fun I’m tempted to leave the tree naked except for this. A fuzzy pom pom garland.

Step 1You just need a whole bunch of pom poms, a needle, and thread. My favorite thread to use is crewel embroidery thread because it is thick without being too thick to get through a needle and super strong. It’s like using pretty decorative rope. I cut a huge length of it because I can’t seem to help myself, but you will be happiest if you keep your garland about arms width long and just make a bunch of them. This gets tangled easily so short lengths and more of them is definitely the way to go here. Thread your needle and then add a whole bunch of your pom poms.

A lesson I learned the hard way: There is a firm center to each of the pom poms. You want your needle to go through there. Otherwise you’re just going through the fluff and it will pull right out. The firm center will anchor the thread and stay put.

Step 2At the end of your thread tie a square knot. Just like when you tie your shoes.

Step 3The knot has to be big enough so that the pom pom won’t just slide right off, so tie another knot on top of the first knot to make it bulk up. Use your fingernails to guide the knot where you want it to land while you pull the threads tight.

Step 4Pull down your pom pom to rest on that knot, and then tie another bulky knot just like it on the other side of the pom pom. You want that pom pom squished between the two knots so that it can’t go anywhere.

Step 6As your garland gets longer and there are more pom poms in place, it can get tricky to pull it all through to make the knot. I like to use my fingers to make a great big loop that the pom poms can slide through without getting hung up on. If that doesn’t make sense, watch the video below.

Step 7Keep going until you’ve got pom poms spaced every inch or so apart the whole length of your thread. It’s the contrast between the thin thread and the burst of fluff that makes this look so cute, so don’t skimp out on that space in between.

Vintage Pom Pom GarlandThis color on the green of a Christmas tree is so bold I just love it! It is a lot of look, though, so I’ll be using it judiciously. I’ll be making more garland out of white pom poms to help tone things down. Maybe. Maybe I’ll just lean right into the over the topness of it all.

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Make a Halloween Ghost Family Display

Ghost Family Display
Atti has been really into ghosts lately. He saw a SuperWhy episode with “The Ghost Who Was Afraid of Halloween” and ever since then that’s the only thing about Halloween that interests him. This year he’s begged to dress up as either a ghost, or Papa Drac from Hotel Transylvania, which breaks my crafter heart. But, Halloween is all about giving the kids what they want, eh? So I figured I better incorporate some ghosts into our plans.

I’m kind of obsessed with this little ghost family. It’s one of those rare projects that actually turned out even cuter than it was in my head, and DOES NOT take drawing or painting talent. If you can draw a blob or paint a smiley face, you can make this project.

Step 1
I used a piece of plywood I had sitting in the garage and drew a bunch of blobs on it. I wanted a Bear ghost, a Me ghost, and an Atti ghost, and you can see from all my rogue Sharpie lines that it was not done in a first try. I couldn’t figure out if ghosts would have hands, and then how I would draw those hands with my laughable drawing skills. A little googling for inspiration showed me that ghosts are just blobs and don’t need hands. They don’t even need arms if you want to get down to it. You really just need a few blobs with smiley faces and that will be enough to get the job done.

Step 2
Cut out your ghost family only on the outermost line. The inside lines you’ll put on with a Sharpie after you paint it. You just want to cut out the silhouette. A jigsaw is the way to go for this, just remember that you can’t make right angle turns with it, so plan your cuts accordingly. You want to come in to the corners from the outside.

Step 3
Then it’s time to paint. Along with not being an excellent drawer, I’m not a very good painter, so I kept that simple too. I just spray painted the whole thing white, used a Sharpie to draw the bodies back on, and painted on the faces. A very light touch with a sponge in gray paint will emphasize the edges and make the ghosts look a little less flat.

Step 4
Now it’s time for hardware so these ghosts can stand up. You need another piece of wood to act as your kickstand. Mine is scrap wood from another project spray painted white to match the ghost. Attach it to the back with a hinge, but be careful you don’t use screws so long they go through the plywood. Like someone I know.

Step 5
You need a way to keep the hinge from opening up all the way and falling flat on the ground. So I used two hooks, one screwed into the back of the ghost and the other screwed into the kickstand, with a piece of chain keeping them connected. Now the hinge can only open as far as the chain will let it.

Ghost Family
This is one of those decorations that you could find in a catalog and spend too much money on. Or, you could just make it yourself. We are all so delighted by having a ghost family that matches our family, I think any family would get a kick out of that.

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Spooky Potion Bottle Ornaments

Potion Bottle Ornament
Last year the Halloween trees never made it out of the garage. I was still recovering from my time in the hospital and I had zero energy to dedicate to optional tasks, no matter how much joy those might bring me. So this year, I’m bringing Halloween back with a vengeance. And first up is a little refreshing for those Halloween trees with a new ornament. This is the perfect “non-crafter” craft since it’s just putting glitter in a bottle and slapping on a label, so if you have a Girls Night Out or a Harvest Festival or PTA night or something where you have to entertain a whole bunch of different skill levels, this project is perfect for you.

Step 1
Collect your bottles. I got mine at the craft store, but this is a great opportunity for upcycling. Any bottle will work, you just need a way to close it, preferably with a cork. Then you let your creativity go wild filling the jar with something that looks spooky. I used a variety of glitters in different colors and sizes because these are going on a very glittery tree, but I think raiding the backyard would yield some interesting results, and same for anything from the hardware store to the pet store to the dollar store. These would look awesome full of bird seed or even little plastic spiders.

Step 2

Pop the cork back in place with a little hot glue to keep all those little glitter pieces in their place. Don’t be shy with the glue either because this has to be in place firmly enough to hold the weight of the bottle.

Step 3

Use a little more hot glue to secure a screw eye into the cork. Or lid. These are easy to find at the hardware store in the section with the hanging supplies. A little dab of glue to keep it from pulling out, then just screw down into the cork.

Step 4

Then it’s just a matter of decorating the bottle. I kept it simple with a little label, but you could go big with ribbon and fake spider web and anything you can imagine. Here’s my genius secret for these labels: just go to Avery.com/print and use one of their templates. This is not a sponsored post or an ad. I was in the middle of designing something from scratch when I realized I needed to go to the website to download their template and discovered a whole mess of them already made up for me. So I shrugged, figured ‘why reinvent the wheel’ and just printed off what was already available. I had to make some size adjustments to get them to fit on the bottle, but that’s because I picked weird shaped bottles.

Potion Bottle

To hang these, just add some string through that eye screw and tie a knot to make a loop. I have mine tucked into the branches of my whimsical tree and it’s amazing how much they add to the overall look of the tree. Adding a big splashy ornament is just what they needed to look brand new.

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DIY Outdoor Coffeetable

Coffeetable
In my last post I showed you my great big sectional process, and quickly realized that a sectional is not a sectional without an ottoman or coffeetable in front of it. You cannot lounge and worry where to put your drink. So today we conquer making the matching coffeetable. The sectional wasn’t exactly complicated, just big, and in comparison this project is one you could put together with your eyes closed.

Step 1
I’m taking a little bit of a short cut here since I’m using all the same materials, the assembly is done in the same pilot hole/wood screw way, and is still dependent on the measurements of your cushions that determined the size of your sectional. You don’t want a giant coffeetable and an itty bitty sectional, so you have to keep them proportional. If you have any questions about those items, refer to the sectional post.

Cut your 2 x 3’s to size. For this project you’ll need 4 pieces 36″ long, 6 pieces 30″ long, and 4 pieces 18″ long.

You’ll need to build two box shapes, each with a center support, that will become the top and shelf of your table.  Just sandwich three of the 30″ pieces between two of the 36″ pieces and screw it all together. And do it again for the other five pieces.

Step 2
Your four 18″ pieces are your legs. For this part it’s best if you break out the level. You want to make sure you don’t install the shelf lopsided. Line one of your boxes up flush with the legs by laying it all on the ground, screwing the pieces together, and then flipping it over. To install the bottom shelf it works great to lay it all on it’s side. Make sure that you leave a few inches of leg below the box so that nothing’s resting on the ground.

Step 3
For the top and shelves you’ll switch to the 1 x 3 furring strips just like we did for the sectional. You’ll need to cut 14 pieces 33″ long for the top, lay them out the way you want, and screw them into place.

Step 4
Then cut 10 pieces 19″ long for the shelves, offsetting them so there are five pieces on each side of that center support beam, creating two shelves. Screw down.

Step 5
Then it’s the regular old sand prime paint procedure.

Finished CoffeetableThe shelf design was a bit of an accident. I planned on making the bottom shelf solid just like the top, but I forgot I’d have to cut around those legs and that sounded like a whole lot of no fun. So I changed the design and I think it looks so much cooler! Happy Accidents are totally what makes it worth it.

 

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Build a DIY Outdoor Sectional

Outdoor Sectional

So, I know it’s Fall now and everybody has moved on to pinning Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving tablescapes, but I just can’t let this project sit on my hard drive until next summer. It’s already been finished for months and months but between surgeries and fertility and recovery and the hellishness of the last year it never got the attention I wanted to give it. So I am going to stop waiting for perfection and just send it out into the world. Nobody reads things in order anymore anyway.

When we moved into this house I knew my backyard furniture wasn’t going to cut it. But outdoor furniture is EXPENSIVE!! Like, ridiculously expensive when most of it is plastic garbage anyway. But in this corner up against the house we had this huge paved area that was just begging for an outdoor sectional. I looked and I looked and when I could even find one it was over $10,000. Which is insanity. You can get a car for that much money!

I finally realized that the only way I was going to get the outdoor seating area living in my dreams was if I built it my own dang self. So I did.

Step 1

Everything starts with the cushions. I bought mine a couple summers ago now at end of season prices, which is so so so much cheaper than trying to make anything yourself. Cushions for patio furniture do not come in standard sizes, so you absolutely must have your cushions before you start sawing wood. You’ll need to base all of your measurements around the ones you plan on using if you expect anything to fit. Mine were 21″ square, which is what all the measurements I’m about to give you will reference, so if you end up with cushions that are not 21″ square, remember to change the math! I also used 2 x 3’s to make it look a little less like studs, to cut some of the heaviness out where I could, and to save myself some cash. Remember as you’re changing the math to always account for the width of the wood pieces you’re assembling. A finished 21″ wide is actually an 18″ piece sandwiched between two 2 x 3’s.

Step 2

Despite the size of the project, it really only consists of a few parts and is really manageable, even with my rudimentary building skills. The first thing to build is the frame. I made mine to be a corner sectional with a chaise lounge on one side. With your 2 x 3’s cut to the proper sizes, then it’s just drilling through the pieces to make a pilot hole, and following it up with a wood screw to secure it. With something this big and heavy, I like to use two wood screws in each joint.

Step 2 right

Right side cut measurements. Not pictured: another 18″ long piece I attached across the middle to offer some more support.

Step 2 center

Center cut measurements. Not pictured: Another 18″ crosspiece I added after I got a little further in the building process and realized I wanted it more stable.

Step 2 left

Left cut measurements.

But Tresa? I can hear you asking, Why aren’t the sides of your rectangle the same size? Good question. It’s because of how those joints need to line up for assembly. The exterior sides are longer because they don’t have to account for the width of the wood it’s joining up with. So you see in the back how the top side meets the back on the outside, while the bottom side butts up against the back? I needed to do that to get the sectional as long as I wanted it to be. If you’re changing the dimensions on this, don’t forget the width of the other piece next to it! I can’t emphasize that part enough, it’s so easy to forget you have a whole other 2 x 3 to make room for.

 

Step 2 detail

To make your sectional as long as mine, you could use a metal brace of some kind, but I designed it so that the sides of the sectional would seam that back together. Which is also why that back piece is 1/2″ longer than its mate across from it. It needs to overlap a bit to be able to screw into the 2 x 3 it crosses.

Step 3

With your frame built, now you’ll need legs. You need three of these little boxes. Two to go under the joints where the sides meet the back, and one to hold up the end of the chaise.

Step 4

And then you’ll need 6 of these d-shapes which are legs with back support. Cut an extra 38″ piece to create your corner piece.

Step 5

Lift the frame up onto the legs and attach with screws. In this picture you can see the crosspiece I added to make the frame stronger, the little box directly under the joint, and the corner piece. This is just one of your six d-shaped legs, but you add that second back piece onto the outer side of it to make that corner. You gotta have something for your back pieces to screw into.

Step 6

Now we just have to add the seat and back. I switched to 1 x 3 furring strips here. I cut 58 pieces 21″ long for the seat and installed those by screwing them directly into the frame. I didn’t bother measuring how much space was between each piece, I just eyeballed it to make sure that the pieces weren’t touching on one end and far enough to fall through on the other.

Step 7

The six back pieces on the right side are 84″ long, but on the long center section I wasn’t going to be able to make it all the way across with one piece, so I had to measure how long the pieces had to be to reach the leg they needed to screw into. You’re going to have to measure your own based on where that leg ends up, but in my case I cut 6 pieces to be 87″ long and 6 pieces to be 37″ long and attached them with screws into each leg’s back.

Finished Outdoor Sectional

After that everything needed a good sanding, priming, and a painting, and then I put all those cushions where they were destined to be. Of course, I also realized in a hurry that I can’t have an outdoor seating area with no place to put a cold drink, so I had to come up with a matching coffeetable. Instructions for that will be coming tomorrow.

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