Barn Doors

The materials for the door build were donated by National Hardware. The build and opinions are my own.

I’m not sure what part of my mind thought I could maintain everyday demands, create a wonderful Christmas for the family, get a new puppy, potty train my 2 year old and remodel the crab shack simultaneously. A little crazy, but it’s coming along! The crowning project of the crab shack, in my opinion, are the barn doors. I have debated different kinds of doors and originally bought 8′ doors that matched the rest of the house, but my husband convinced me I should build the doors. I’m glad he did. Although going to the hardware store with four kids isn’t my favorite thing in the world, I was excited to surprise my bff after a business trip with new doors:

hardware store with kids 2 hardware store with kids 1

Here are the materials I used for each door (so if you’re building two doors make sure you double this):

  • Two 1x4x8 pine boards
  • One 1x4x6 pine board
  • Two 1x6x8 pine boards
  • 1 wood siding board (cut to size at Home Depot)
  • Miniwax wood prep
  • Miniwax Dark Walnut wood stain
  • Poly Urethane
  • sander
  • paint brush
  • mitre saw
  • wood glue
  • wood clamps
  • 1 1/4″ wood screws

Before beginning I have a small disclaimer.  Although I love to build stuff my garage or side yard serves as a messy, primitive wood shop… so excuse the mess!

I started by cutting the wood siding at the hardware store to an exact 8’x3′ size. Then I built the frame on top, using the 1x4x8 on the vertical sides and the 1x6x8 cut into three horizontal beams. The best way to get wood to attach together is to 1. Glue, 2. Clamp 3. Screw.

crab shack doors wood glue crab shack doors clamping crab shack doors wood screws

If you don’t have a bunch of wood clamps use heavy objects, big wheat buckets or salt bags have always done the trick for me.

crab shack doors, building, pressure

After adding the horizontal and vertical boards I added a diagonal one for the barn look. Clued, clamped, and let it dry overnight then flipped and sunk 1 1/4″ wood screws to the back. Of course, my best helper super helpful.

crab shack doors helper:

With the building done, it was time to prep and stain:

crab shack doors almost ready

In retrospect I wish I would have just hung the doors with bare wood. But, I was persuaded again by my husband. Prepping anything is my least favorite part of any project and usually I am just thinking “enough already, let’s just stain this baby and be done.” This is a great youtube video on how to prep your wood for staining. It’s kinda like watching a cooking show with all the materials ready to go, only with wood (which is way better):

I often clean wood in preparation for staining with a dry paint brush, tack cloth, and my hairdryer (my favorite trick)

crab shack doors blow drier trick

Finally the doors were ready:

crab shack doors ready to stain

This is the part where the project went awry. From the moment I started staining I knew it was too dark. Then I felt like I would never be able to sand it off of the siding and have it look normal so I just kept going. I put on two coats and added a poly urethane protective coat. When I finally finished, I cried. The doors are beautiful and everyone I have shown raves about them, but for me they are different than this imaginary picture I had created in my mind and so they are still hard too look at. I hate when that happens. I’m sure it’s happened to you before, you get an idea of what you are going to create and then even when the projects turns out, if different than imagined, you’re disappointed.

crab shack doors ready to hang!

Ah well, they will be beautiful anyways. And next post, the BARN DOOR HARDWARE.

Happy Creating!

Stencil Accent Wall, Complete!

stencil wall, finished 1

The stencil wall in my bedroom is finished! Hooray! I loooooooooooove the result, but I think next time I do any stenciling, I will do something smaller than a 21 foot wall. After putting this accent wall design dilemma to a vote I bought the Cascade stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils. I have never stenciled before, but Cutting Edge Stencils has some pretty good tutorials that I followed.

By best advice when painting a stencil?

  1. Make sure you LEVEL everything, every step of the way.
  2. Get a book on CD or some awesome music because it’s going to be a while.
  3. Don’t use too much paint, light, multiple coats is totally the way to go.

painting, stencil wall making it level, stencil wall

It took me about 10 hours total, the wall is 9′ tall and 21′ wide. I think if you tackle a stenciling project without waiting for the kiddos to go to sleep or worse them running around, you could knock out a stenciling project this size in eight hours. Here are a few more pics:

stencil wall, finished 2 stencil wall, finished 3

My biggest fear was that it would make me dizzy. I’m about the dizziest person in the universe. I can thank pregnancy for that treat. You know the Space Needle Restaurant in Seattle that rotates like one inch every 10 seconds? Ya, well, I was so dizzy I almost threw up there and had to go down the elevator with an escort. I am happy to report, this stencil does not make me dizzy at all! Hallelujah! Just some character in a boring room.

And Monday, it’s back to the crab shack and BARN DOORS. You’ll definitely wanna see this one!

Happy Creating!

‘Tis the season! Favorite holiday tradition

Christmas is here! I love the holidays, the music, the food, the religious significance, the ambiance. It’s especially magical with kids. My family has lots of traditions surrounding the holiday, today I’m sharing one of my favorites. My kids are constantly asking if they can open a present before Christmas… and my two year old doesn’t even ask, she just goes for it, I think she gets it from me. I found a great solution to this query! Each year I wrap up 25 of our favorite Christmas books (we’re a reading family!).

Christmas Books 4 Christmas Books 3

Beginning December 1st each night the kids take turns choosing one to unwrap, then that book is our bedtime story that evening. Whomever opens “The Polar Express” is the house hero, it’s their favorite. The kids love the tradition, I love it and it keeps the holiday feeling throughout the month. If you don’t have 25 Christmas-themed books, try it with just one on Christmas Eve!

Christmas Books 2Christmas Books 1

Happy Creating!

Electrical Work and Friday Ramblings

FIRST: Crab Shack Update

It’s electrical work time. My experience in this field is minimal, but I love it. I installed a dimmer not too long ago and I think anyone can pull that off. I can’t quite articulate why it’s so fun for me to tie wires together, flip a switch and see light beaming, but it is. The crab shack has a light switch in the bedroom that accesses the light and the fan for the crab shack… with the barn doors hung I won’t have access to the switch anymore, so I had to move it.

**As a disclaimer, make sure you have an idea of what you’re doing BEFORE starting electrical projects AND SHUT OFF YOUR BREAKER before you do anything. I mean anything. Electrocution sounds terrible, I think we can all agree.**

Because the load bearing wall is staying as a partial separation my plan was to swap the light to the other side of the wall. These pics show the process of removing the box, swapping sides, the hole where a light used to be and the almost-finished product:

electrical labelselectrical 2 other side  electrical looking through the back side electrical almost done

Since I am not an electrical by any stretch, I’m sharing my favorite electrical tip: Label all your wires with tape and even take “before” pictures before taking everything apart. It makes the process of reconnecting the wires much faster.

SECOND: Sherwin Williams announced their color of the year, it’s so pretty! Coral Reef 6606:

Color of the Year

(Sherwin-Williams image) I truly love their paint and they were my first major sponsor on this blog, so I love them even more.

THIRD: Thanksgiving is around the corner! I am starting to think of it as the forgotten holiday, which is so sad. I am all about Black Friday… when it is actually on Friday, NOT Thursday! I wrote a post on some survival secrets last year. I have an entire shopping spreadsheet this year, maybe my organization will help me survive the mayhem. Good luck and stay safe out there shoppers!

FOURTH: I am officially HALF WAY stenciling my room! I’ll have it done soon, stay tuned.

half way done accent wall

LAST: On a personal level, check out this adorable reason why I am happily distracted these days:


His name is Fiyero and he’s a Shih Tzu puppy. I have never had a dog in my life. Neither has my husband. Growing up my family had one cat that we didn’t see for weeks at a time. It’s crazy we actually got a dog– this pet thing is a whole new world to me and so far we’re loving it!

Happy Creating!

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