Friday, July 11, 2014

Adventures with ScotchBlue Painter'sTape : How to Make Chalk Board Blocks

You guys know that I am a sucker for free products to try ( I really do get all jittery excited when I get product packages in the mail that someone just randomly offers to give me to try), so when the good people at ScotchBlue Tape offered me two FREE roles of tape to fool around with, I was all over it. The caveat here (and there is usually some kind of obligation) is that I have to enter a project using their tape in a national contest. The prize is $5,000! You guys can enter too, if you're quick. Here's the link. The contest closes July 15th . I did say you had to be quick.

You all also know that I have a tendency to get way over involved in things....and this project is no exception to that. In fact, If I wasn't entering the contest, I would break this into three different posts. But I am, so you get it all in one, long "three-techniques-for-the-price-of-one" post. 

So today's project is:

Two Sided Chalk Board Blocks: 
One colored side for free drawing,
One black board house side for decorating

How to Make Two-Sided Chalk Board Blocks

Part 1: Basic Chalk-Painted Blocks

1. Get a bunch of slices of wood. This is a good project to pillage your scrap pile for. Since you are painting them, you can even use different types of wood. These were free from Home Depot. DK and I found them sitting in plastic bags near the cutting table when we got our board cut for the pipe curtain rod (that I still haven't posted about, for shame!) last spring. We asked the guy what he was going to do with them, and he said, "You want them?" He was happy not to have to haul them to the trash can and I was psyched to have free wood to play with. These are all about 6 x 6 inches square, give or take an inch. You could also just buy a 2 x 6 and cut that up. Be sure there aren't many knots. They don't lend themselves to paint and sanding very well. If you have a bag of free end cuts or spare wood from the pile, use pieces that don't have knots and that are not bowed in any direction.

2. Sand off all the rough patches and splinters on your wood. Remember, this is a toy, and you don't want your kids to get splinters or scratched. I used my trusty palm sander and sanded twice. Once with a 150 grit and once with a 220 grit, until everything, but the roughest edges (I probably should have re-cut those) was smooth to the touch.

In case you didn't believe me about the trash, take a look at the front block. Thanks again for the free wood, Steve C!

3. Choose your paint color. I used my scrapbook paper to determine my paint color, but if you are just making simple blocks and are not nuts or entering a TAPE oriented contest like me, then you can choose whatever color of ASCP or "Clay and chalk based" paint you want. In fact, you might just go look in your paint stash and see what you already have, like I did. You don't need very much paint for this project, unless you are making a whole bunch of blocks.

And I mixed a bunch of colors to get the right shades for what I needed. In fact, I don't think I used a color straight for the whole project.

If you want black, go buy a can of spray blackboard paint at Walmart. It's like $4 a can in the paint department. You'll only need one can.

4. Paint your blocks. Annie Sloan recommends 3 coats to make a chalk board surface, so I went with that. I painted top and the four sides, but left the bottom mostly blank, because I am doing another technique there. If you are just making painted blocks, you need to paint ALL the sides, top and bottom included. 

I sanded in between each coat using a 220 grit paper, just to be sure the surface was nice and smooth. I even sanded to top coat, just a hair.

If you are just making plain chalk board blocks, let the paint dry and then you are pretty much done! If you want to "season" the paint, let it dry overnight and then  rub white chalk all over all faces of the block. Then erase the whole thing. 

At this point, you're ready to go! Draw away.

This is an "action shot" of what they look like after being drawn on by real children.

Part 2: Laminating Scrapbook Paper to Wood
OK, this is where it gets a bit more relevant to the contest, but where I go WAY off the beaten path of just regular painted blocks. You can also just use this technique to laminate a capital letter to a scrap of wood or a picture or silhouette you like to a plaque. 

5. Choose what you will be "laminating" to your wood. This is the focal point of your piece and should probably dictate your background color choice.

If the piece you have chosen will cover most of the front of your wood, skip to step 6. 

If your piece is smaller and will allow a bunch of the background to be seen, paint all visible front and sides of your wood. Be sure to sand as needed between coats. Do any desired distressing once the paint is dry. Do NOT wax your paint! Now skip to step 7.

6. When you are painting your blocks, be sure that just a little bit gets on the edges of the bottom. This allows a little wiggle room when you are placing your scrap book paper. Plus it makes a nice transition between the paper side and the painted side. You can even do it while you are painting the rest of the sides, so you don't have to wait.

Find a small piece of flat wood, and use it to keep the painted edges of the bottom from touching your base. 

It took me until the last two boards to figure this out. Up to that point I just dry brushed the paint on and put it down on the table. It worked fine too. But the small piece of wood worked better.

7. Once everything is dry and sanded, cover up everything you don't want to get Modge Podge and sealer on with tape. I used ScotchBlue tape in the 1.47 inch width. It almost completely covered the side edges. I didn't worry about the bottom, but if you are worried, you could cover that with paper or plastic and use the tape to hold it in place.

8. Cut out your piece to be laminated. For me this was a process of sizing my scrapbook paper to to the board I was working on. I lined up two sides with the raw edges of the paper and then creased it to get the right size of the other two edges. You can do this for all four edges, if the design or picture you want is in the middle of the paper.

Then I just cut along the creased lines.

It's better to cut things too big and then make small adjustments. You can see how small the sections I was cutting off were. It's a bummer if you cut something too small and have to start over or find something else to use. When in doubt, cut larger and then adjust down.

9. Dry fit everything you are planning to use on the actual board you are planning to use. This may sound like a "no brainer", but it will save you tons of frustration in the long run. Just lay everything out to be sure you like it all together and to get a good feel for where everything will be adhered.

10. Apply Modge Podge to the area where you will be putting your paper designs. If you are covering a large area, put the Modge Podge on the board and then lay your paper on top of that. 

If you are only using a small area, put the Modge Podge directly on your paper pieces and then lay them on the board.

Be sure to smooth out all air bubbles from under your piece. It helps to smooth from the center to the edges. And be sure your edges are very secure. This is where your adhesive tends to fail the most.

11. Let your Modge Podge dry under something heavy. I prefer books shoved in gallon size zip locked bags. It prevents the books from sticking to what ever they are weighing down. I left things to dry for 30 minutes. I could have just turned my blocks over and let their own weight press them down, but I was afraid they would stick to the paper on the table. If you put down clean plastic, this would not be an issue.

12. Once the Modge Podge is dry, apply three coats of Varathane Polyurethane in a Matte finish. I think I bought it at Lowes about a year ago. It cost around $4-5. I like Varathane better than using the Modge Podge for the top coat because it dries much smoother and much much matte-er. But you can use Modge Podge, if it's all you've got.

I just apply it with a crappy brush, but I've heard that foam brushes leave less brush marks, if you're worried about that. You do not need to sand between coats. The can recommends allowing two hours of drying time between coats, so that's what I did. Then I left them overnight.

If you are just laminating something to your wood, you're done! Go hang it on a wall or place it on your mantle 
and show all your friends. 

Well done. 

Part 3: How to Make a Black Board Silhouette 
Using a Tape Stencil

You all still with me? I promise this is the last section. This is where the tape plays a major role. I LOVE this technique. There are so many cool thing you could do with it! You can create whatever silhouette shape you want with this and then draw on it! So cool.

13. Get some wax paper that is a bit larger than your base piece. You want to allow enough extra room that the tape you are going to use cane wrap all the way around the edges of your piece and protect it from all over-spray.

14. Make a crease in the wax paper around the side of your base piece so you have a good idea how big an area you need to cover with tape.

15. Start layering strips of tape on the wax paper. Be sure to over lap the tape at least 1/4 of an inch. And make sure the tape will be long enough to wrap all the way over the edge to protect the whole base of your project from over-spray.

16. Once the whole area is covered in tape, put the wax paper over your base wood piece and using a Sharpie, draw a line around the edge of your piece. You want to keep this as close to accurate as possible. You will use this line to help you judge where your cut out will go on the finished piece.

17. Make an actual size sketch of your silhouette shape. I cut the paper to the same size as my block face, then sketched a rough design. Next,  I used a ruler to tighten it up the lines. Once you like the sketch, cut it out. Include everything you want in your final piece because this is your template for the stencil.

18. Cut out your shape and dry fit it on the original piece of backer wood. This is where you make any necessary adjustments in size. Trim a bit on the edge so it won't over lap. Figure out how you want the silhouette to relate to the back ground. I moved some of the houses I made up or to the side to accommodate designs in the paper behind them. Some I put lower or centered, because I liked the way it looked better. This is the time to make those judgment calls, while you can still easily move everything.

19. Use a Sharpie and trace your cut out on to the tape and wax paper, using the outline as a placement guide. I also put my tape wax paper ON the board, so I could feel where the edges really were.

20. Using an Exacto knife, cut along the inside edge of your Sharpie version of your silhouette. I always put my cutting mat under my work when I am using a blade, but a piece of cardboard works pretty well too. Be sure that any corrections you make are on the inside piece you will be removing, not the outside piece, as the paint will show any major miss cuts.

21. Give the cut out portion to your 7 year old to use as a sticker that can be drawn on. Be sure that when you peel the wax paper off, you peel it from the side you started layering the tape on from. Look for the tape that's most covered. And pull upwards or over from there. If you go the other way, it will all pull apart.

22. Very carefully remove the wax paper from the tape, starting with the very bottom-most piece of tape and peeling away from that. "Bottom most" means the piece of tape that has all the other layers of tape stacked on it. You will only see one side of the original piece of tape.This helps keep the stencil together. If you pull the other way, it can all come apart, one strip at a time.

23.Using the Sharpie outline as a guide, carefully place the tape stencil on your wood base. Pay attention to all the details you figured out with the template, where the silhouette is in relation to elements int he background, the edges, etc. Now is your last chance to change anything. Be sure to press down firmly all over the tape. Put special emphasis on the inner edges of the stencil, to help protect against bleed through. Make sure all the tape is wrapped tightly around the side edges as well. This protects everything from any over-spray.

24. Place your taped board on a surface that can get spray painted. This is a garbage bag on the floor of my garage. As you can see, I decided it was a good idea to make 5 instead of just one. Why I do this, I have no idea. 

Be sure to check your tape again on the inside edge (design edge) of the stencil. Push it down so every bit of it is secure.

25.Spray two coats of spray chalk board paint on your stencil. Be sure to wait the appropriate amount of time between coats. This info is usually on the can and may vary by brand. I used Rustoleum Chalk Board paint. They said to re-coat after 20 min but before 1 hr. I let the paint dry overnight and then took the tape off.

Once the tape comes off, you're pretty much done.

If you get any bleed through, and I ALWAYS have at least a little no matter what tape I use, you can clean up the light spray with regular old acetone. Rub gently with a cotton swab until it disappears. For larger, denser spots, you need to touch them up with paint. I tried Mr. Clean Eraser as well, but all it did was rub out the Poly-urethane and start tearing up my paper. Don't do that. Since my background was paper and not paint, I just decided to live with the small spots. My kids don't care. 

If I were to make these to sell, I would just paint the whole block in ASCP and lose the scrapbook paper. Then you could touch up any mistakes after stenciling and have it be pretty flawless.

At this point, your stenciled piece looks something like this:

And if you like it that way, then you can stop here.

I like the look of a seasoned chalk board, so I went ahead and seasoned mine.

To season a chalkboard, you just rub white chalk all over it and then erase it.

And then it looks like this:

And when your kids get finished playing with it, it looks like this:

And when they turn their blocks over to the back side (because they will have 
claimed them for themselves by this point), they can do this:

and create whatever they want. and then erase it all and draw something else.

I think this one's my favorite.

So there it is is. 

How to make your own two sided chalk board blocks 
with stuff you probably already have.

Thanks for making it the whole. way. through.


And thanks to ScotchBlue Tape, for giving me a reason to try something new.
All opinions here are my own. They just gave me free tape. I'll let you know if I win.

Talk to you soon,
CM Shaw

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How to Install Cabinet Doors On an Armoire or Bookcase

I told you all in my last post here that I have finally been getting to all those "diamonds in the rough" gathering dust in my studio. Today's post is a piece of all that productivity. I will tell you more about the armoire itself in a later post, where I reveal it in all it's finished and staged glory. It has a great story and I'm doing the coolest stuff to it. But today we're just gonna learn how to fix the doors of an old, busted up, hand-me-down armoire. This would also work to attach new doors onto an existing bookcase, as long as both doors and bookcase are made of wood.

Let's just jump right in:

1. Find, buy, or "inherit" a junky, beat up wood armoire. This is actually the easy part. With the advent of flat screened TVs people are dumping really great, solid wood armoires on Craigslist for a song. Which makes no sense to me, because armoires are one of the most versatile pieces of furniture out there. Drill a few holes to add another shelf or two across that giant gap for the TV, and you have some seriously amazing hidden storage. Books, toys, extra clothing, towels, cleaning supplies. You name it, an armoire can hold it.

As you can see, mine is nothing super thrilling. But it holds all my random staging things and my awesome globe and favorite decorating books. When I got it, the doors were installed incorrectly and hung wonky, so I just took them off, filled them in with wood putty and started over. I now wish I had also filled the holes with toothpicks or wooden kitchen skewers, cut to the depth of the hole and then puttied. The extra wood reinforces the hole, so if you end up screwing the doors into the same hole, the new screw has actual wood to bite into. It will give you much more support than just wood putty.

2. Buy, find or make your doors, if you are using a bookcase, or installing new doors on an armoire that didn't have them before. Flat 3/4in plywood would work fine for this. Ikea sells doors to retro fit onto it's book cases. The Habitat For Humanity Restore or a local savage yard might even have doors you could retrofit to work here.

If you are using plywood, and you have taken all your measurements carefully, you could even have the guys at Home Depot or Lowes make your cuts for you. Smile pretty and say "please" if they give you a hard time. I find it helps to go when they aren't super busy if you want a lot of cuts made.

You will also need to buy at least 2 large (2-3 in) metal hinges for each door. Think in terms of shelves that fit in the segment you are building. If the door is large enough to cover 3 shelves, get 3 hinges for that door. My top doors had 3 hinges. My bottom ones had two. If you are doing two really long doors for a book case, 3 hinges per door will probably do you fine.

And you will need to get enough screws to attach each hinge to both the cabinet door and the armoire. Look at the hinge and count the holes. Buy that many screws for each hinge. I used 3/4 in and 1/2 in #6 zinc plated sheet metal screws.

3. If you plan on painting the armoire and the doors and the hinges, do it now. This may sound like an odd time to do this, but I find everything is much easier to paint when it is separate. I spray paint and prime my hinges. It's just easier. Be aware though, hinges move, so some of the paint is going to wear off. If you can deal with it, you might consider painting your brass hinges darker, rather than lighter. Oil rubbed bronze hides the rubbing much better than white does.

That said, I painted my hinges white and will be touching them up with chalk paint after the door are on. Why would I take my own good advice?

4. Figure out where you want the hinges to be on the door. I love watching wood working vids on YouTube and the rule of thumb from all the wood working guys on YouTube is that you want to line the hinge up visually with inner edge of the door cross boards. See how my Lovely Assistant is pointing to the section just below where the cross piece intersects with the side piece? That's where the You Tube guys tell you to put the hinge. But it's your door. Put it where ever you think it looks best, keeping in mind it has to shut easily and bear the weight of the door evenly.

See how the hinge is lined up with the groove? And pushed flush with the side of the door? This is what the hinge looks like when it's closed. The hinges shown 3 pics up are open, just to give you some perspective on how they fit on the door. How your hinge fits depends on the hinge you choose to use. These are what came with the armoire.

This is how the hinges line up on the front. See how the rounded top of the opening mechanism lines up with where the smaller molding stops? It's just kind of happy for your eyes if you do it like that.

For those of you using plywood, or who feel better when you measure things, I didn't take the hinges off the top doors. The top hinges came installed 3 in down from the top and 3 in up from the bottom. The YouTube guys also said that was standard.

If you have a third hinge, measure the distance between your top and bottom hinge and divide it by two. Use that amount and measure up or down from your other hinge and install the third one there.

5. Mark where your hinges will go. I use a regular pencil for this. Also, if your hinges have oblong holes like mine (these are used to adjust the door to be able to shut easily), I always make my mark right dead center, so I have some wiggle room if I'm wrong. This technique has saved me on more than one occasion.

It's up to you whether you mark all your hinges at the same time. Or mark one and then install it. Both approaches have merit. I marked one, then installed that one and then marked and installed the next one on the same door.

6. Drill your holes. I am a bit of a coward when it comes to drilling into things I can't go all the way through. So I used the smallest bit I had. It really is the smallest one I own.

Just keep in mind that unless you are using some humongous screw, all you need to do is give your screw a start in the wood.

Here is the size of my screw vs. the size of my drill bit. You want to go at least one size smaller than the screw.
And be sure BEFORE you start screwing, that your screws are shorter than your door is thick. For example, use 1/2 in screws with 3/4 in plywood. When in doubt, hold the screw up to the side of the wood. If the screw is shorter, you're good.You don't want to have the tops of screws showing through the front of the door..

7. Once your holes are drilled, screw in your hinge. I prefer to use a hand screw driver for this. I know a ton of people who use their power drills, but I find that tends to strip my screws. and it makes it a pain to make adjustments later, if they are screwed down that tightly. But it all works. Do what makes you happiest. If you love your power tool, have at it!

8. Once all the hinges are on one door, make sure they are in the same place on the opposite door. This is actually a really important step. Your armoire will look totally stupid if your hinges don't line up visually. And it can affect whether the doors line up and hang nicely as well. You can measure to do this if you want, but I found it easier just to line up the doors and make sure the hinges were in the same place on the doors.

Once things are all lined up, mark and screw things into place.

Repeat this process on any other sets of door. I got off easy here. The top doors were fine, so I just left the hinges where they were, and just redid the armoire side of things.

9. Measure the space the doors will be covering. You have hopefully already done this if you made your own doors. But the rest of us need to catch up.

Don't you love my Lovely Assistants? I am a big fan of putting Rising 9th Graders to work if they are interrupting my posting with their out of school-ness. Plus I couldn't shoot the pics and hold the tape measure. And they are super cute.

See how I measured from the base, not including the molding, to the bottom of the top molding? That is the range your doors can cover. You need to figure out where you want them.

Since my bottom doors are starting right at the base and have no play, I decided to work there. If your doors will be resting on cross molding on the bottom, like mine are a the the top, figure out how much of the molding you want to cover and start from there.

It's helpful to know the heights (and width, if you are making your doors- My doors came with the armoire, so I already knew they fit together across the space) of your doors, as this helps you to determine how much you want to overlap areas of flat molding. I tried to install my doors so that the stretch of flat molding visible at the top and in the center of my armoire were the same size. My bottom height was determined for me, as the door shut up against the bottom of the shelf. But by installing the bottoms doors first, I was able to use the top of the installed lower door to figure out where to install my top doors.

It sounds really complicated, but it helps a ton to know all this stuff before you start drilling holes in the frame. Take your measurements and make a plan. Start with the most obvious set of doors (the ones that require the fewest decisions) and then keep adjusting from there.

10. Dry fit your doors on the armoire. You will all have your own challenges here, depending on the design of your armoire. Look for all the potential problems your door could have opening and shutting. Then think of solutions.

Because my door rested right on the bottom of the armoire, I had to create just the tiniest space between the ground and the door, so the door would drag as it opened and shut. My Lovely Assistants had abandoned me by this point to go have way more fun being teenagers than bloggers, so I had to think of some way to keep an even space held level all the way across the bottom cabinet, while I marked it. This took some thought. The guys on YouTube would probably tell you to have a friend help you hold the door, with a level on top to be sure it's straight. While the friend is hold the door steady, you could mark the holes.
I thought of something else, something brilliant! when I walked upstairs and saw my messy table.
Junk mail! It was thin, but had just enough thickness to create the perfect amount of space between the base and the door for the door to slide, but not leave a huge gap. So I put the stack of papers under the door to create a gap. Then you get to reach in and mark it without moving anything. Not easy, but it works.

11. Once you've solved your problems for now, mark where your hinges go. You can see in the poorly taken picture to the left how I marked in the center of the oblong hole. Well it was the center before it slipped down. I shot this with my iPad while holding the whole door up with my right hand by one hinge. Hey, I'm in my 40's. I gotta live on the edge somehow.

It works well to mark all your hinges on a given door at the same time. But make sure you realign everything every time you move or slip. And check it again before you drill.

12. Drill your holes and start placing your screws. If you've never done this before, you just put your drill right up to the mark and drill a straight hole into the mark you made. You should still be careful, but you don't have to worry about drilling through the same way you do on the door fronts.

I always start with the top screw in the top hinge, to help hold the weight of the door for the rest of the screws. Then I add one screw in the bottom hinge. This frees you from holding the door in place.

In fact, I didn't add the other screws until I was done installing all the other doors, just so I could easily make any needed adjustments. Just don't forget to go back and add any missing screws when you're done adjusting everything.

13. Using the ALL same methods you used for steps 10-12, install the opposite door. Remember to only do one screw per hinge for now.

14. When both doors are attached, shut them and see what happens. Then make adjustments so they aren't too close or too far apart. This is what the oblong shape on the hinge holes allows for.

The gap between the doors should be no wider than this. And maybe even a hair smaller.

You can adjust how close the doors are to each other by loosening the screws on the door side of the hinge slightly, and moving the door closer or further from the armoire. Sliding the door towards the armoire body will make the gap bigger. Sliding the door away from the armoire will make the gap smaller. When you have made your adjustments and the doors shut the way you want, tighten down the screws again.

You can make similar adjustments with the height of the doors. Loosen the screws on the armoire side of the hinge and raise or lower as needed to allow for clearance or to align the doors on the top or bottom. Just remember to tighten the screws again after you make any changes.

At this point, I had both bottom doors on, and adjusted. Now I had to figure out how high or low to hang the top doors.

15. Measure the remaining gap and figure out where your remaining doors should go. I also measured everything between the top of the lower doors and the bottom of the crown molding. I also measured the height of the the door and the visible height of the central flat molding and the height of the top molding.

My door was 3 in taller than the gap. And the flat moldings I was working with were 2 in on the top and 2 3/4 in in the center. I wanted to have an even amount of each flat molding showing, so I opted to cover roughly 1 in on top and 2 inches on the bottom. I have no idea how this worked out, but I ended up with 1 1/2 in visible on both flat planes.

In this very elegant and flattering picture you can see how I lined everything up with where I thought it should be. Then I braced the door with one hand and my thigh and picked up the measuring tape I had sitting inside the armoire, locked at 4 in to measure both of the gaps. Once things were perfect, I put down the tape measure, grabbed a pencil, which was also laying inside the armoire, and reached inside without moving anything and marked the first hinge I could reach.

In this really terrible and poorly focused picture you can see my pencil marks. But they worked. From these you can hold the door with the hinges open in one hand and finish marking the other hinges with the other.

Once again, this is where the You Tube guys would tell you to get a friend. DK had offered to help me the night before, but it was about 6:30 am and I didn't want to wake him up or wait for him. So I just employed my tripod and timer and figured it out as I went.

16. Drill your holes. Notice the exceptionally straight positioning of the drill. That is a good thing. And probably just luck mixed with paranoia. It does help a lot though if you drill straight holes. Then your screws go straight in and you don't get screws at weird angles that have a hard time tightening all the way down. That's the kind of thing going on with this piece when I got it.

17. Screw in your hinges. Once again, easier done with another set of hands. I braced the door on my leg and held it with one hand while feverishly screwing it in with the other. No sniggering, you silly people.

And I started with one screw in the top hinge. Then I put one in the bottom hinge. Then I did one in the middle. It just makes the door more stable to do it that way.

Once you get screws placed in all three hinges, you can start on the other side.

17. Make sure your doors line up. I am super uptight about this kind of detail. it would drive me crazy if I looked at the armoire and the doors weren't lined up nicely, all level and such.

There are many ways to do this, I'm sure. The method I chose by myself in the basement at 6:30 this am was: line up the second door with the first door, making sure it was connecting with the side of the amoire that the hinges would screw into. Once the doors are aligned and look level-ish, open the first door quickly and mark where the other door's hinges should go.

If you are upset by this method, you could double check it by using a tape measure and level and then you'd be sure it was right. I jut needed it done. I've been working on this project for over two weeks now.

18. Mark your holes. Here I'm rechecking the markings on the door. The first time I did them, they seemed a little too close to the edge. even if I seem like I cheat things a bit, I always double check if I even doubt myself a little.

I was right to check. I was too close to the edge. Crisis averted.

19. Drill your holes and attach your hinges, top, bottom middle. You guys are pros at this now.

20. Close both doors and make any necessary adjustments up down, in or out to the hinges. You know what to do. Loosen screws, move door panel or loosen screws, move entire panel. Re-tighten everything. Done.

21. Now you can go back and add in all the second screws for each of the hinges. It may seem like a lot of work, but just think how much trouble you saved yourself when you made those little adjustments without all those extra screws in place.

22. Shut the doors and congratulate yourself on a job well done! Now go to Hobby Lobby and get yourself some amazing handles or pulls to jazz it up. You deserve a treat for doing such a great job.

I would rate this project as "medium" hard. Mostly because there are a lot of details involved and it is way easier with two people. But if you think it through before you drill holes, you can totally do it. And this is a very long explanation for something that will seem a lot more straightforward once you are doing it. I just wanted to cover everything so I'd remember to tell you all the tips and tricks I learned along the way.

Sadly, my armoire still has many steps until it's finished. But the only thing I'm telling you now is that I'm giving it a tattoo. With an overhead projector. Yes, folks. I have an overhead projector. And yes, I did take it out of my neighbor's trash pile. 

But that's another story for a different day...

Talk to you soon,
CM Shaw