How To Make a Wooden Cutting Board

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Nicole and Danny by Katie Hill

My sister-in-law got married this summer to a total rock star. I am so happy for them. I wanted to give her something meaningful but practical so I made a cool cutting board with scrap wood in the shop. To incorporate both of them, and their life ahead, I found wood from where they both grew up and their future. Her family is from California, her fiance is from Washington and they now live in DC. So… walnut from Cali, a beautiful maple from Washington, and an oak wood from the east coast.

Warning: this is super cheesy, but you gotta know when it comes to weddings or kids I get really corny, really fast. The card read, “May your marriage be as strong as oak, as sweet as maple and as beautiful as walnut.” I think she liked it.

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(I also really want her to have babies, so included a few other gifts for fun.)

Steps to a cutting board with a random design:

1. Gather your wood, about the same length is great and height is helpful (or cut it down to that), width doesn’t matter
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2. Plane or cut a straight edge (needed to glue together securely), then cut your wood into strips with a table saw, whatever width you’d like
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3. Arrange your pattern. Mine is pretty random.
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4. Glue the wood on the inside, then brace. It’ll be wacky all around and that’s okay. What you need at this stage are straight cuts being glued together. The top, bottom and edges don’t matter yet. I actually had two clamps on the bottom and one on the top so it didn’t bow.
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5. Once dry, send the board through the planer until both top and bottom are the same height
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6. The cut to size. If you want a gutter on the edge for liquid or juices, use a router
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7. Sand, sand, sand
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8. Clean and coat with mineral oil and enjoy!

Happy Creating!

Pantry Organization– for less than $60

Do you ever walk through new homes and they have those really cute glass doors on the pantry? Every time I see one I think, “you couldn’t pay me to put a glass door on my pantry!” Probably because the majority of the life it has looked like this:

pantry-clean-up-before

Yep. Now the world has seen my crazy sloppy food pantry. Hopefully ya’all can keep that on the DL. Although I would have run with the bulls to have this pantry when we were in our apartment, now it seems small and cramped. And super cluttered. I’m not a fan. It was time to overhaul. Here are some pantry musts:

  1. Edit your stuff! Make space for everything you use daily. This seems like a no brainer, but I have stuff in there we have like once a year.
  2. Find containers that work for your size and space– match them if you can, choose one color and go with it. I’m a white-utilitarian kind of pantry person.
  3. Place stuff the kids grab down low, or add a step stool that will aid the climbers for treats attempted to be hidden up high.
  4. Maximize space by using shelves for unstackable, but small items or add hanging baskets to use the under shelf space too.
  5. Finally find a system that works for you. Map out where what food or appliance is going to go where. Label sections if needed. Like cereal, baking stuff, paper goods, drinks… you get the idea.

Here is the after:

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I kinda want to have a camp out in there. I got the white wire shelves and under shelves-hanging baskets in this pic at Walmart for a few dollars:

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I’m not the kind of mom that empties cereal boxes, hot chocolate, or our Costco foods into labeled, organized containers. Nope, not happening here. Honestly, that’s so far out of my reality. Plus, graphic designers put a lot of time into those boxes and I for one reward their achievements everyday in my pantry. However, the bags that baking stuff comes in gets all over and works better for me in a different holder. These containers were sent straight from heaven, aka Ikea, stack easily and also hold more than they look. Plus they were on sale, it’s like the storage gods wanted me to clean my pantry. The corner buckets are also Ikea and worth every dime. I’m lucky enough to live about 25 minutes away from Ikea, but you can order everything online:

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One thing that crazy irritates me is there is no light in my pantry! I bought a motion censored light from Amazon that helps, but I could still use more light in there. I also installed a baggie holder from my old house– I use grocery bags for everything from trash cans around my house to my kids’ school lunches because they always misplace their lunch boxes. I like having a place they don’t get all over.

pantry-clean-up-light

Finally, my secret weapon to keep it clean and tidy is a bucket for recycling (seen at the bottom left) and an awesome step stool that is saving foot prints on the shelves and falling children, both Ikea (shocker). I can actually open the door without feeling like someone just dumped an edible jigsaw puzzle in there.

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Here’s the thing, I feel like I open the pantry door like a bazillion times a day so it’s worth the time to organize. Is the pantry beautiful? Nope. It is utilitarian, yep. And clean? totally. In all it took a couple hours and cost less than 60 smackers, that’s worth it for me!

Happy Creating!

Want some more inspiration? Check these out:

Oh Happy Day
Just a Girl and Her Blog
Young House Love

Laundry Room Renovation, Taking down a shelf, adding upper cabinets

The laundry room is coming along. Remember what it looked like before?

Laundry Room Before

Laundry Room Before

I decided to go with Option A! It added plenty of storage, the layout worked without having to redo plumbing or the counter top, and it was the least expensive.

Winner -- Option A

Winner — Option A

I painted the lower cabinet, took the shelf down, added spackle and repainted (still some touch ups to do).

Shelf  down, spackle on ready to sand and paint

Shelf down, spackle on ready to sand and paint

Taking down a shelf is easy. Usually they are attached with long brad nails. Getting them down is as easy as prying and pulling. No sledge hammers for this step, I didn’t want damage to anything else and I plan to reuse this shelf in my office closet (more later).

Adding the upper shelves was… hard. I gotta be honest. I bought these ready to assemble pre-fab ones on a great deal from Home Depot. While the assembly was a piece-of-cake getting them on the wall was not like eating cake. I didn’t have all the right tools and my studs were so far apart there was a lot of heaving lifting. I used a level shim to rest the shelves on while I drilled. You can still barely see the wood shim under under the shelves. It was a two person job for sure.

Laundry room renovation upper cabinets

Laundry room renovation upper cabinets

Next step, add the two shelves and then tile. I’m pretty excited about tiling and getting some color into the space.

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Check back for updates and more projects!

Happy Creating!

Are the Skies Still Gray? Color of the Year 2017

Yes, I think the sky is still a little gray. Let’s all hear it for “poised taupe” Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year for 2017.

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Photo courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

We’ve all been gaga over gray for a while now, but it is warming up a little. Sue Wadden, director of marketing, describes this color “like gray and brown had a baby.” I think it’s gorgeous! Check it out in this room:

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Photo courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

Kinda makes me want to take a nap in that room right this second. If you’re thinking of painting soon, consider the trend leaning from gray a bit.

Happy Creating!

 

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