Happy first day of the Inspired Design Challenge everyone! Are you celebrating? Jumping for joy? Eating cake as one should to commemorate such a fine event? As for me…I’m resting my tired (almost 30 year old) bones because let me tell you, after completing this project in 90 degree weather and suffering a minor albeit stubborn, eye injury, I’m ready for a nap. And FYI, my eye is fine now. Note to self…when routing wood with a Dremel A) wear safety glasses and B) don’t put your face close to the flying sawdust. Anyway….want to see what we made?! Bam! New, full length mirror frame for the upstairs hallway.
I know it’s hard to see, but it was late, getting dark, and we still have yet to install the light fixture in the hallway. It’s only been a three-years-in-the-making kind of project. I’ve also had a full length mirror project on my to-do list for about three years. You know, since climbing on top of your bed to check out your butt in the mirror gets old after awhile.
Yes, I do in fact climb on top of our bed in the mornings to check out my outfit before going to work. Even when Colby’s still asleep. Poor man. Why did he marry me again?! Oh right…that charming personality of mine…sucker!
Thanks to a trio of tiny bedrooms in our home, wall space and full length mirror space is at a premium. But we had a nice little spot at the end of the second floor hallway begging for a mirror. That spot also meant the full length mirror could be shared among all the room’s inhabitants.
We already had the mirror. It came with the house but it was unceremoniously framed. I wasn’t going to settle for just any old mirror frame. It needed some pizazz. So when I was charged with a Target inspired project, I swooned over this Nate Berkus for Target frame and knew I wanted to do something similar for our mirror.
When I first saw the frame online I thought it was just a basic white frame with a painted gray design on it. Nope…that sucker was routed out. As in each of those lines is a little indented. Way to up the difficulty factor, Nate! For those of you who want to replicate this project, here’s your warning…routing is difficult/time consuming and you could probably get the same effect by painting the lines. Challenge accepted…we routed.
The project started with building a basic mirror frame out of pine. We bought a pair of 1″ x 6″ x 8′ boards and cut them half down to 3″ wide for the frame.
And similarly to the bathroom mirror frame project, Colby notched out the boards so the mirror would recess into the frame and screwed it all together using a Kregg jig.
Then outside I took the frame to prime and paint it a glossy white.
Spoiler alert…we did score ourselves a fancy new yard sale coffee table this weekend for $25. More on that later.
After we let the frame dry it was design time. We opted to draw out the whole design for the frame before making any cuts. You know…measure twice…cut once. We didn’t replicate Nate’s frame exactly, but kind of came up with our own little pattern. But since the edges were cut and assembled on 45 degrees, it made it easy to draw all the cut lines at 45 degrees using a square.
There were essentially two different patterns for the frame. The cross hatches which are on the top and bottom of the frame along with the middle part of the side pieces.
And the single lines, which fell above and below the cross hatches on the sides.
Each line is spaced about 3/4″ apart (plus or minus since we had to fudge a few to make it come out even). Next step…routing out or scoring the wood using a sheet rock bit and our Dremel.
Dremels are so versatile. It’s our latest tool acquisition and we can’t believe we have waited so long to get one. The bit we chose to use for this project was one meant to cut sheet rock. So we expected the thing to break or wear out before we finished making all 300 plus cuts. But the bit was a champ and lasted the whole time.
The real savior for this step of the project was the jig that Colby made, which he just plopped on top of the frame, rested the Dremel guide against it, and routed away. I love jigs. I jig you not, it was THAT simple!
It took us about 30 minutes to make all the cuts, thanks to the speedy jig.
After some quick vacuuming, I whipped out some leftover, weathered gray stain from Minwax and stained all the freshly cut and exposed wood using a craft brush.
And then took the frame outside to give it a few coats of spray poly.
When you do poly, be sure to poly both the front AND the back of the frame if you didn’t already paint the back of the frame. Exposed, unfinished wood tends to swell and warp so you always want to finish your wood projects completely and as soon as possible, especially in humid temperatures.
And using some random hardware kicking around the workshop, Colby added the mirror, secured it in the frame using some brackets, and added some hang hooks.
And now Goose can also check his butt out in the mirror. The family that checks their butts out in the mirror together, stays together.
The mirror is what Cher from Clueless would call a Monet…it looks great from afar, but it’s kind of a mess closeup.
While we were making it, I thought for sure I wasn’t going to like the end result and was going to end up later scrapping it for a more plain jane frame. But now that it’s hung and can step back a bit from it, the frame can stay. Although, I should take some better pictures in some better light.
So now is the moment that I extend my hand to you and invite you, dear readers, to share your Target Inspired Design Challenge projects. Link them up in the comments or send me a pic to firstname.lastname@example.org and who knows….I may feature them later on. And also don’t forget about the other four lovely ladies co-hosting this little challenge:
- Jennifer from Brave New Home
- Lindsay from Life of Splendor
- Kristin from Bliss at Home
- Sara from Embrace My Space
They have all come up with some inspired design goodness. And because who doesn’t love a good little teaser, here is what they are all using as their inspiration:
It’s so funny…even though that I know which item belongs to which blogger, I could line up each of these items with the blogger blindly. Each item is SOOOOO them! So go check out their projects, slap them a lil’ sugar, and we’ll reconvene next Monday for a little Urban Outfitters inspiration.
Pssst…So what ya got?! Send me your projects!!!!
Update…Pottery Barn made me take down my images comparing my iPad stand to theirs (intimidated maybe?!). Thus…me and Pottery Barn are no longer like peanut butter and jelly. It’s been real Pottery Barn. We’ve had some good times. RIP my love affair with Pottery Barn…hello Crate & Barrel!
Okay…so I know I promised you a tutorial for you…yesterday…one of the Pottery Barn iPad stand knockoff that we made and revealed back here. And didn’t do it yesterday (bad blogger…hanging head in shame). But it was just one of those computer-not-working-dog-is-obnoxious-Colby-was-on-the-road-and-I-have-no-idea-how-we-made-the-iPad-stand-without-him kind of days. You have those too, right?! But karma rewarded me with some serious good news today (hint hint…it may involve a little feature in a glossy…booyah). Anyway…back to the iPad stand and our little tutorial.
First thing is first, the plan complete with measurements.
To get an idea of the size for the stand, Colby measured his iPad and adjusted the measurements here and there to make sure there was a bit of a wood border around the edge.
Then we took the one thing we bought for this project, an 8-1/2″ x 4′ pine board for $5 at a local lumber yard, and cut it down to size using a chop saw/table saw combo.
This left us with four pieces of pine: one 3/4″ x 8-1/2″ x 14″ piece for the back, two 1/2″ x 8-1/2″ x 1-1/2 pieces for the lip, and one 1/8″ x 2″ x 6″ piece for the back/stand.
Next step, was marking the large piece of wood for all the cuts, starting with the hole for the rope at the top of the stand’s neck. Once we marked out where the hole would go along with the “shoulders” of the stand, Colby used a 5/8″ drill bit to drill a hole through the wood.
Next, Colby craftily used an old tube of caulking to help him draw out the rest of the iPad stand. The tube fit perfectly through the hole to make it easier to center/trace the round top of the stand. The tube even helped with the curves coming down the neck and into the shoulders.
Then he clamped the piece of wood to his work bench and carefully cut it out, following the lines, using a jig saw.
After cutting it out, we were left with…well…essentially…a paddle. And yes…he really said that. But with a much smirkier look than he’s sporting here.
The next step is what really added some rustic charm to the iPad stand. Using an orbital sander, Colby rounded out all the edges around the “paddle”, making sure to be completely willy nilly about it. Official DIYing term right there. The more random, the better. Maybe that’s why we used the “random” orbital sander..har har har…ba dum bum…I’m here all night.
With the paddle part all cut out, our next step was to attach a piece of wood on the back, in a picture frame on the mantel kind of way, so the stand would stand up on its own. We thriftily used an old door hinge we had kicking around the workshop. The idea was to attach the hinge to the shim sized piece of wood and also to the back of the stand. But to do this, we had to add an 1/8″ thick piece of wood (the same thickness as the stand piece) underneath the hinge to make it even with the stand piece. So Colby traced half the hinge, cut it out, and drilled a trio of pilot holes into the wood.
Then using some leftover screws from another project, screwed down the hinge to the back of the iPad stand. With one half of the hinge adhered to the stand, we then had to attach the second half to the wood shim stand. But, the screws we had were just a bit too long. Thus, if we screwed them into the shim, they would go completely through it and into the iPad stand, meaning the hinge wouldn’t actually hinge. So using a spade bit, Colby drilled out the space underneath the hinge so the screws would have some empty space to hang out in.
And then attached the piece of wood to the hinge, drilled some pilot holes, and screwed in the screws.
And voila…a hinged up stand back.
The final workshop steps included gluing, placing, and nailing the bottom of the stand on using some wood glue and some finish nails (we’re lucky enough to have a Paslode finish nailer but a hammer and nails work too).
And then repeating the glue, place, nailing combo for the lip of the stand too.
And done…minus the finish work part of it all.
The next step was the finish work, that I didn’t really document because…well…I forgot. But it included staining and polying the stand, using the Early American Minwax stain and Varathane water based polyurethane.
Once the poly dried, our last step was attaching a piece of jute between the stand piece and the body of the iPad stand. We simply used a stapler and stapled the jute first to the back, first tying a knot in the jute to keep it from slipping out.
We eyeballed it for the length of jute between the two pieces of wood.
Then stapled the jute to the stand piece.
Because the piece of wood was so thin, the ends of the staple poked through.
But to rectify it, we just whipped out the hammer (picture me pulling out a hot pink hammer from a hot pink tool bag…I’m serious…ask my mom) and nailed down the ends of the staples.
And…scene. Well, not really. We later realized that we needed a little cut out at the bottom of the stand so we could use the power button. Power…minor details. And we also added a few strands of jute to it so we could eventually hang the stand somewhere in the kitchen. Now we just need to find a spot to do that.
Psst…So enough about us, hogging up the blogisphere, what about you guys? Did you make anything uber awesome this weekend? Any knockoffs? Pottery Barn knockoffs? Or anyone want to join my Pottery Barn Lover’s Anonymous club? My name is Angie…we meet on Thursdays.
Let’s just set the record straight…me and Pottery Barn are like peanut butter and jelly. But Pottery Barn is like the expensive, organic peanut butter and jelly rather than the generic, cheap stuff that I tend to gravitate to. I’m not sure where I’m going with that. My point…I love Pottery Barn (it was one of two places we set up a wedding registry last year) but I hate the prices. Sometimes I splurge for the Pottery Barn stuff, sometimes I find cheaper versions at flea markets or at Target, and sometimes I DIY it. Enter our little Pottery Barn iPad stand knockoff.
No joke, the Pottery Barn iPad stand cost a whopping $35 and our version barely even cost us $5 to make (read the how-to tutorial here). We bought a $5 piece of 9-1/4″ x 4′ pine from a local lumber yard and only used about 14″ of it. The rest of the materials used to make this beauty were all repurposed from other projects (stain, poly, jute, an old hinge, etc.).
I’ve been in love with this Pottery Barn iPad stand since it came out about a month or so ago. I loved it so much that I added it to our registry. Granted, our wedding is over but if I add something to our registry and later purchase it, I can take 10% off the purchase when I buy it thanks to Pottery Barn’s registry completion program.
I had every intention of purchasing this with a Pottery Barn gift card that we received for our wedding. I showed it to Colby and asked him if he liked it and would use it, since we tend to pull up allrecipes.com on the iPad while we cook, and he said, “oh…we can build that easy…and for cheap.” My kind of man! I think I love him even more!
So we built it and we’re already using it.
Not to brag or anything, but I think we did a pretty good job. From the shape, rustic charm, and the rope…errr…jute loop on it, we nailed it. The only piece we weren’t sure whether or not we did right was the back. Mostly because we couldn’t find a picture of the back of the thing. But we improvised with a thin piece of wood, some jute, an old hinge and a staple.
I really wanted to use a piece of rope for the hook, like Pottery Barn did, but the only rope I had on hand was a bit too big to serve this purpose so I went with the jute I already had instead of buying a new roll of rope and only use about 8″ of it.
Regardless, the iPad stand is fitting in just fine. It currently lives on the kitchen counter between the stove and the utensils. It’s the perfect spot for it while it’s in use. But I’m thinking of hanging it on one of the walls in the kitchen or on the side of the cabinets when it’s not in use.
As for the how-to, I’ll have a full blown “how to make this in your home workshop” post put together for you tomorrow (read it here). I was going to do it tonight but it contains 37 pictures, that I’m still sorting through, and a lot of little steps and measurements. But it is easy to make, trust me. The tutorial and accompanying 37 pictures will be tossed at you tomorrow for your reading enjoyment, or for anyone who wants to make their own $5 iPad stand for the kitchen.
Pssst…I’m linking this project up on Carmel’s blog Our Fifth House as part of the Dog Days of Winter “Make It Challenge” tomorrow. So be sure to hop on over and see all of the amazing projects going on over there.