Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Bird Bath

This project is fairly old, but I never documented it.

We had some leftover brick from house construction that was hanging out in our garage. This pile was originally hanging out behind the bushes where we hid material while building and it got left there. I assumed someone would haul it off, but when you build your own house, that person is YOU! I paid for the brick, I keep the brick. 

So, we moved it into the garage. But it was a large pile and mom came up with an idea to use some of it. We made a bird bath!

We bought two 24 inch stepping stones for $10 each and placed one at the bottom and one at the top. We then placed a really large saucer on top for the actual bird bath.

I really liked it. It helped center the off-center oak tree. The tree was what we thought was center until the fence was installed. Then we realized how off we were. 

I still had a lot of brick left over, so I built another bird bath for the front yard. When I went to get two more stepping stones, the largest size they had was an 18-inch. I didn’t measure before-hand so I thought that’d be fine. It is, but I don’t like the way it looks.

The base and the top are as wide as the column. I like it with the bigger base and top. I waited until they had the 24” again and get those to redo it. I plan to possibly relocate it. I am not done landscaping that area, as I am waiting for approval. That land is technically not mine and the city warned me that they’d rip out anything I planted over there. (The previous bushes were invasive and the roots were messing up the wires underground. Those bushes were there when we bought the land.) I understand their concern, but I also want to disguise those boxes. I feel like the birdbath looks like one more box out there. I’ll finish planting some things this summer and then see where the birdbath should go.

We do see the birds out there in them, and that is fun to see. It was an easy project that cost little to nothing since I had the brick on hand. And I didn’t have to mortar the brick together. I’m sure if someone drove into it, it would get knocked down, but there have been some strong storms and it has stayed for the past 2.5 years.

Mom bought some cast iron birds to place at the bird baths. Don't know if that scares real birds away or not.

But we have seen the birds use the baths.

Making these bird baths was a simple project that the boys were able to help with. I enjoyed it and it is something different.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Playroom Shelves

I left off with my last house post talking about the boys' bathroom. It's a hard room to photograph and it's just a normal bathroom, but I still love it. This week I'll keep up upstairs and circle bath to the Bonus Room.

I shared a post about our Bonus Room, and I think I mentioned how that room was not complete. I wasn't yet happy with it. It currently serves as a play room with the majority of the toys. We used existing furniture we had, but it wasn't working. We had some wire shelving that was meant to hold storage cubes. I had cute baskets to hold toys in there, but I didn't like how it looked. It felt cluttered. And when you have lots of toys, it's hard NOT to look cluttered.

I searched for cube storage and just wasn't finding what I liked. And when I can't find something I like, I make something I like!

Mr. JCrew has an amp for his guitar, so I wanted to created something that made it looked built in to the storage area.

It started off as buying wood deep enough for the cubes. They are 13 inches square. If I bought a 12 inch piece of wood, the cube would hang off. And my first idea was to make floating shelves.

I bought the wood, stained it and bought simple brackets. I also searched for brackets I liked, but went with cheap ones I could buy in a big box store instead of a custom order. They were silver and I painted them bronze.

I used a new stain for this wood and fell in love! Best brand! I've stained before and always did a bad job. This stain covers your sins! (ha) I felt like a pro and wanted to find more projects to stain!

Once I got the shelves up, I realized I needed longer brackets to make sure the weight would hold. Even without toys on the shelf, it was already dipping forward.

I then decided to put pieces of wood on the end that I could bracket the front end of the shelf to. It would feel much sturdier. And it did!

I was hesitant to make it look like a piece of furniture when I already have a console under the TV, but it works.

And it cleans up that area much nicer. Looks much more open and less clutter!

One day the shelves won't be full of toys, but we'll turn it into library shelves.

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