Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cafe Shelf Tutorial and GIVEAWAY!

Alright ladies! Here we go!

I am going to share with you how you can make your VERY OWN Ballards Design-style cafe shelf for a fraction of what it costs in the magazine.

Here’s my inspiration…

Aren’t they beautiful? Well, they are expensive too! They range from $99.00-$139.00!

I wanted some of these shelves in my kitchen, so I told my hubby and he made me some…


Didn’t he do a good job? I posted about that project here.

So why am I posting about them again, you ask?

Because of a comment left by a viewer on Lorie’s blog, Be Different…Act Normal. She has a great little blog that highlights a ton of adorable ideas. She posted about my cafe shelves, which you can see here.

Someone left a comment on her post that caught my eye. It said, “The key phrase is :"her husband made these for her". Not going to happen at my house.”

It got me thinking….

Yes, I am very lucky that I have a husband that likes to make things like this for me. And I know that there are a lot of ladies in blogland that do not live with a carpenter!

So can a woman make this shelf by herself? YES, she can!

I’m going to show you how! And I am going to do it all by myself!

And then I am going to give it away! Yeah!

This post will be long, so if you are not interested in making this shelf, you may want to scroll on down to the end of the post to find out about my GIVEAWAY. :)

Here is what you need:

*1x8 piece of pine (because it is the least expensive)

*a piece of trim

*2 corbels

*hammer and finishing nails (or nail gun)

*Miter box and saw (or an electric miter saw)

*wood glue and wood filler

*tape measure

Lowes is my preferred place to shop, and it is just five minutes from my house.

But, Home Depot has a better selection of corbels. So I took pictures at Home Depot to show you the type of wood and trim you could buy.

I discovered that Home Depot had a better selection of corbels when we were making the cabinets for our guest house.

You can see posts about my guest house by clicking on the label in my sidebar.


Here is an example of the type of wood you will need for your shelf.


You can get a 1x12 or 1x8 piece depending on how deep you want your shelf.


The piece above is 8 inches deep, like the ones in my kitchen. However, you cannot stack dinner plates on my shelves, so if you want to put plates on yours, you may want to go with a 1x12 piece.

You need to decide how long you want your shelves, 3 feet, 4 feet, etc. You could probably make two shelves from this one piece of wood that is only $5.83!

HERE’S A TIP….Let the workers at Home Depot cut the boards the length you want them so you don’t have to! It’s FREE!

Tell them you want them to cut it 3 feet long (or however long you need it), and they’ll do it for you!

Then you need to find your trim. You can pick whatever type you like at this point. But here is an example of what mine looks like.


It’s $1.04 per linear foot. I think this piece is about 8 feet long, so it would cost about $8.00.

Here is the one I already had at home that my husband got at Lowe’s.


It has a little fancier shape on the bottom, but I couldn’t find one like it at Home Depot. They may have it, but it was late and I had my two year old with me, so I may have missed it. :0)

Then you can pick out your corbels.

There are a bunch of choices, so you can pick the ones you like best.




Since the shelf I am making for my giveaway is smaller, I used the littlest corbel which cost $5.25 a piece.


So, If I bought all of these pieces, I would have spent less than $25.00.

Now, if you get the workers at Home Depot to cut your board, you only have to cut the trim pieces at home.

Some of you may be comfortable using power tools, and some of you may not. If not, I wanted to show you how to use a miter box and saw. This will allow you to cut a trim piece at a 45 degree angle without using an electric miter saw.

You can get the miter box by itself for less than $5.00.


If you don’t have a saw, you can get them both for less than $8.00.

IMG_3143 If you don’t have finishing nails, you will need to get some like these…


I already had these at home so I am not sure of the cost.

Again, I am using a board and some trim that we already had, but I bought the corbels.


My board was 28 inches long. Yours can be bigger if you’d like.


So to start, I cut one end of my trim at a 45 degree angle.

You can use the miter box for this.


Or the electric saw…this thing scares me to death!


You can swing the handle from side to side depending at what angle you need to cut the trim.


I cut the trim on one side and then lined it up on board to mark the other end.


Here’s the other end…See how I just marked it where the corner of the board meets the trim?


When putting it on the saw, lower the blade slowly to see if the blade will line up on your pen mark. If it does, then cut away!


For the two small side trim pieces, you need to cut the trim flat on the ends. You can use the middle slot in the miter box for that (or use the electric miter saw).


Then I marked the point where the corner of the board meets the trim piece. See my little pen mark? That’s where you want the blade to hit when you cut the angle.


Then you “45” the side pieces to match the front trim piece. Again, using the miter box or electric miter saw.


Don’t worry if there are small gaps, we’ll fix those in a minute…

Here’s the other side…


Next, you want to apply wood glue to the trim pieces before nailing them on.

I used a stainable wood glue because that is what we already had. But you can use any kind.


Apply it to the shelf…


Then attach the trim piece with a nail gun…


Or a hammer and finishing nails…

(I am using my upholstery hammer because my hubby’s hammer is at my parents’ house. He’s been installing a new shower for them.)


(Now I know what happened to my wood glue! That rascal!)

Repeat these steps with the remaining trim pieces.

We are almost finished girls!

Now you need to attach the corbels.

I measured 6 inches in on both sides, but you can place them wherever you want.


Make sure than you line up the back of the corbel and the shelf evenly.


I applied wood glue underneath the corbel and then hammered the nails in at an angle so they wouldn’t go through the top of the shelf. You may not have to worry about that if your nails are shorter than mine.


You could also use the nail gun for this part.

Now for the details…you will have little nail holes that need to be filled with wood filler.


I didn’t have wood filler at home, so I used white caulk.


It's the kind you can paint.


Looks much better!


I also used the caulk to fill in any little cracks between the trim and wood.IMG_3179

And I’m finished…well, except for painting it!


This is the paint I used. I got it during the Glidden free paint giveaway, and of course I chose the color black!

But if you have some black spray paint around the house, I’m sure you could use that too.


Just paint away, baby!




Now I am going to give it away.

Here’s how you can win this shelf…

1. Leave a comment and I will enter your name in the drawing.

2. If you are a follower, tell me in your comment, and I will enter your name again.

3. Post about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post, and I will enter your name TWO more times! Just be sure to tell me in your comment if you posted about it on your blog. :)

That’s a total of 4 chances.

I will announce the winner on Friday, September 4th.

Good luck, and thanks for letting me share this project with you!

WARNING: I am not a professional shelf maker, and this shelf will not be as perfect as the ones in the Ballards Design magazine. But hey, it’s FREE! So if you win and you don’t like it, sell it at a garage sale and make a couple of bucks!

I am linking this post to Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch. Be sure to stop by there for more great ideas.



Saturday, August 29, 2009

2 Days left! 50% off Etsy!

Hey ladies,

I cannot believe August is over in 2 days!

I just wanted to remind you that my August 50% off sale at my Etsy shop ends on Monday.

For all of my new followers, I sell Gingerbread Family Ornaments at Etsy.

I gave five of these families away during my "Christmas in July” giveaways.

Here is an example…

my pictures 157

I can make the gingerbread family ornament smaller or bigger depending on the size of your family and personalize it with the names of your sweet family members.

They make GREAT gifts for grandparents with all of the grandchildren in the middle!

The girl gingerbread ornaments have red bows on their heads, and the boy gingerbread ornaments are sporting green bowties.

Just click on my Etsy button in my sidebar if you want to take a look.

If you have any questions, please just ask.



Friday, August 28, 2009

Liquid Prayers

I wanted to give you an update on my mom.

She started chemo yesterday.

My dad, sister, brother and I went with her to the doctor’s office.

We learned that it is definitely stage 4 gastric cancer. It is in her stomach and liver, and they found another spot in her lung.

We were very thankful to find out the results from her MRI. The cancer is not in her brain.

I was very emotional yesterday. I cannot explain the overwhelming love I have for my mother right now!

It is difficult to see her feeling so weak. But I can testify that her spirit is stronger than ever. She has such an amazing trust in her heavenly Father.

I was sitting with her in the room when the nurse came in to put the IV in Mom’s arm. Mom looked more beautiful than ever to me.

As the nurse was inserting the IV, Mom began to tell her how wonderful the nurses have been to her over the past few weeks. She said, “You ladies have all been so precious and gentle. You are the best! It has been like “heaven” here. I can feel your love in the care you give.”

As I sat in the chair and listened, the tears began welling up in my eyes. I thought, “There she goes again….encouraging others.” Even though Mom is going through the most difficult period of her life, she is thinking of others. She is always thinking of how to bless others. It’s nothing new to me. I’ve seen it all my life. It’s in her DNA.

I was trying so hard to be strong and not cry in front of her but then Mom looked up at me, noticed my watery eyes and said, “Oh, Traci…”

I blinked, and the tears began rolling down my cheeks.

“It’s okay, sweetie, you can cry.” she said.

I apologized for not being stronger and tried to “dry it up” before my older sister came back in and saw me. She had told me to stay strong.

Then she looked at me with such love and said, “You know what tears are, don’t you?”

I shook my head “no”.

“Tears are liquid prayers that flow straight to the heart of God.”

Oh, Mom, you have done it again. Always delivering the perfect words for my hurting heart.

“Then God’s getting flooded.” I said with a smile.

She sat there peacefully as they administered the chemo. Beside her chair was her Bible, some books on healing, and a tape with headphones on healing from her cousin, Peggy.

Her sister-in-law, Lois, told her to keep saying, “The Joy of the Lord is my Strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Throughout these very difficult past few weeks, my mom has had JOY and has found much STRENGTH in the Lord.

My sister and I spent the night at her house last night to keep an eye on her.

She is doing surprisingly well. She feels tired, but has been able to eat.

She goes back for her next chemo treatment in three weeks.

I appreciate all of the wonderful comments you have left for me. My mom reads them too, and she is so thankful that I am receiving encouragement from all of my blogging friends. We appreciate your continual prayers as we continue this journey.

Blessings to you all!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Burlap Covered Books

I wanted to share a quick project with you.

Since it was super cheap and easy, I am linking it to

Click on the picture to check out other inexpensive projects.

And since I did it myself, I am linking it to DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land.

Let me back up…

Several weeks ago, I shared with you a BIG project where I turned my big brown corner cabinet from this…


to this…


If you missed that post, you can see it here.

Now back to my little project for today.

I was trying to come up with some accessories for my “new” entertainment center.

I love the fabric covered books I’ve seen in Ballard Designs magazine. (The same magazine I got the inspiration for my new entertainment center.)

See them on the far right?

Here’s another inspiration photo that I found at My Sweet Savannah.


I’ve noticed a lot of books getting covered in solid, neutral fabrics.

Well, I had some burlap that I got at Hobby Lobby when it was $1.99 a yard. How cool is that?

I got some old books and my trusty glue gun…

and got busy…


I cut the burlap a little bigger than the outside of the book.


Then I very sloppily (is that a word?) glued the burlap to the inside of the book.

I had a little “flap” left over on the top and bottom of the book that I just rolled up and glued down. I didn’t care if the burlap stuck to the pages because these books are just “for looks”.


WARNING: Burlap has small holes in which the scalding hot glue can seep through and burn your fingers!

(I wore band-aids on several fingers for several days. Didn’t want to gross you out with pictures of the blisters.)

No pain, no gain, right?

Here are the results….


I love them!


Aren’t they sweet? I actually ended up making four, and put a candle beside them.


I can’t come up with an exact cost, but I already had the books and the glue for my glue gun. I used less than half of the yard of burlap, so I guess this may have cost me about $1.00?

Love it!

Check out my drop cloth curtains in this picture? I’ll be sharing about those in a future post…


That’s all for now!



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