Daphne’s Nursery // DIY Glider

THE FARMHOUSE

It’s been awhile since we talked about the Farmhouse here on the blog, but we’ve made a few changes recently and I wanted to show you one of my favorites: a DIY glider chair for Daphne’s nursery.  Daphne’s space is far from finished, but we recently moved her into the crib in her nursery for sleeping, meaning I’m stumbling in here at least once a night to nurse.  Having a cozy spot to curl up together has been a life saver!

The Grit and Polish - DIY nursery glider final close .2

sources: armchair // pink striped pillow // strawberry stuffie

I’m going to walk you through how we made this DIY glider, but first let me back up and explain why we decided to DIY this nursery staple.

Since about the time I found out I was pregnant with Daphne, I’ve been looking for the perfect glider or rocking chair.  But I couldn’t find one that I loved and was a reasonable price.  Awhile ago, I was lamenting this fact to a friend when she suggested, “why not DIY one”?  She pointed me in the direction of glider bases and got my brain turning. These bases are technically designed as replacements for existing gliding chairs, but they work perfectly for a new DIY glider too.  I picked out this slipcovered armchair at IKEA, which just so happens to have have a striking resemblance to a $2,000 glider that I was eyeing at Restoration Hardware.  Next, I ordered the base and then on a Saturday morning, with Daphne napping in the other room, Garrett and I put together this glider in less than an hour.   Better yet, the grand total for this DIY rang in at $460 (we had the plywood and screws already), so way cheaper than most gliders on the market.  And honestly, I am thrilled with the end product!

Here’s how we made the glider:

The Grit and Polish - DIY Nursery Glider

Materials //

Armchair – I chose a slipcovered armchair because babies are messy, but a chair with a skirt would work too.  Just make sure you select a chair with a hidden bottom so you can’t see the glider base when finished. tip: look in the “as-is” section for a chair without legs

Base (we selected the adjustable swivel rocker, item #3540)

3/4″ plywood, cut to dimension of the bottom of your chair (for the Farlov, we cut ours at 32″ x 36″)

1 3/4″ screws to attach plywood to chair (we used about 10)

1″ screws to attach base to plywood (we used 4 screws, but depending on the base you pick, you may need more)

Tools //

Cordless drill

Measuring taple

pencil

Step 1 // take the legs off of your chair.

The Grit and Polish - DIY nursery glider step 1

Step 2 // attach plywood to the bottom of your chair using 1 3/4″ screws (or longer).  Make sure the screws go into the wood frame of the chair.  We used about 10 screws.

The Grit and Polish - DIY nursery glider drill

Step 3 // attach base to plywood using 1″ screws.  Positioning the base is the trickiest part of this whole DIY.  We first attached the base to the center of the chair, but ended up moving it farther towards the back of the chair.  You can move the base until you’re happy with how the chair rocks.

The Grit and Polish - DIY nursery glider step 3

And that’s it! Pretty easy, I know. This DIY has definitely been done before, but I wanted to share it anyway in case you are looking for a nice glider without the crazy price tag too.

The Grit and Polish - DIY nursery glider final 2.2

Oh goodness, I’m excited for all the cozy story times we’re going to have in this chair in the coming years!

And as for Daphne’s nursery…I have lots of ideas on how I want this room to look.  So stay tuned for more as we work on this room (probably after the Porch House reno is done).

The Grit and Polish - DIY nursery glider final text 2

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Daphne’s arrival and a few things I’ve bought for this space

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DIY: How to Build a Play Teepee (for $22)!

THE RAVENNA HOUSE

Hey guys!  I hope you’re not sick of teepees yet, because I’ve got a lot of teepee to show you today.  Wilder and I built one over break and I’m obsessed!

I’ve actually had a play teepee on my mama to-do list for a good few months now (as many of you do too…right?!!!), so I couldn’t be happier to share the results with you.  The good news: it was inexpensive and really easy to build with my little guy.  And if you’re waiting for the bad news to drop, you can stop.  It’s all golden light and fairy dust here in teepee land!

The Grit and Polish - How to build a teepee

If you find yourself in need of a little teepee action, here’s a rundown of the materials you’ll need:

  • six 2″x2″x8′ posts (we used inexpensive white wood, but any wood should do; you can also do taller or shorter posts depending upon your space)
  • at least 1o feet of rope
  • 3 quilts (we used 1 double-sized and 2 full-sized quilts)
  • a well-rested helper and an hour and a half of free time…still waiting on that rested helper myself, but here’s to hoping…!

The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee materials

You’ll also need the following tools:

  • cordless drill outfitted with a drill bit that’s slightly larger than your rope (we used a 3/8″ bit)
  • tape measure and pencil (or a ruler stick and purple crayon if you happen to building it in a kid’s room)

Now for the fun part, building a teepee (!!!):

Step 1. Start by marking your 2″x2″ posts about 10″ from one side.

Step 2. Drill out a hole at the center of each post at the marks you just made.

The Grit and Polish - building a teepee collage

Step 3. Set the posts (with the hole you drilled on top) one at a time in the spot you want the teepee and thread the rope through the holes after each post is set.  Keep 6″ of rope before the first post and pull the rope tight between each post.

The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee drill and chord

Step 4. Once you have the posts set in the shape you want and the rope threaded through all the holes, pull the rope tight and tie a knot using the 6″ at the start of the rope and the section after the last post. The tighter the rope and knot, the less wiggly the teepee will be.

Step 5. Now the fun part…hanging the quilts! Since I didn’t have a full-sized helper to assist with this part, I hung one quilts one at a time.  After placing the first quilt, I wrapped the rope around the quilt at the top (where the rope is threaded through the holes) and tied a knot.  I repeated this with each quilt, making a circle with the rope after each quilt, until all three were secured at the top of the teepee.

The Grit and Polish - building a teepee with quilts collageThe Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee finished

Step 6. Any excess rope can be cut or wrapped around the exterior of the quilts and tied.

The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee top

Step 7. To create a door (and hopefully keep sticky fingers from handling the antique quilt too much), I pulled the corner of the last quilt back and secured it with a clip.

Then it was game on…for Wilder and Bubba!

The Grit and Polish - Teepee play with Bubba 4The Grit and Polish - Teepee play with Bubba 7

I love that last picture.  It’s like they both know they’re in trouble, but Wilder’s playing it off like, “who, me?! No, no, no it was Bubba!” But then he feels bad, so he gives Bubba a kiss…

The Grit and Polish - Teepee play with Bubba

Hopefully you can see that teepee land is amazing!  It’s somewhere between Oz and Neverland but without all the scary stuff.  Wilder, Bubba, and I spent the first evening in there cuddling and reading story after story with Otto the bear, Moo the pig and Fox the fox (Wilder is great at naming stuffies!).  And Wilder was jumping up and down with excitement to give dada a tour when he got home from work.

The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee with Antique Quilts

Oh and did I mention how cheap this project was?  $22.  That’s right, $22!  Of course we only had to buy the posts since we had the antique quilts and rope sitting around.  But still, it seems crazy cheap compared with the $150-$250 teepees I found at Pottery Barn Kids and Land of Nod.  Plus I’m 100% sure we have already got a whole lot more than $22 of fun out of this teepee!

This was a really fun, inexpensive, and painless project to build with the little guy.  In fact it was so fun, that I’m itching to do another DIY project with Wilder…any suggestions?!

Resources: Large stuffed bear, Pottery Barn Kids | teepee quilts, antiques | quilt on floor, made by my mom | all other room resources, here and here.

xoxo

-Cathy

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An Antique-Quilt Teepee for the Little Guy

THE RAVENNA HOUSE

Happy 2015 everyone! We had a great holiday full of food, kiddos, and celebrating in the mountains of Oregon with my sis and her fam.  It was a great start to the new year!

But before we left town for the mountains, Wilder and I got to spend a couple of days hanging out between Christmas and New Years.  And with extra time on our hands, I wanted to do something special for the two of us during the holiday break.  So I planned out a DIY project that we could build together.  DIY is extra special, right?  Right.

So this holiday break, Wilder and I built an antique-quilt teepee in his bedroom!

The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee with Antique Quilts

I’ve wanted to get Wilder a teepee for a long time now, but after seeing the price of some cute options at Land of Nod and Pottery Barn Kids, I decided we’d build our own.  And since I happen to have an abundance of antique quilts laying around (thanks Mom!), I decided our DIY version would be an antique-quilt teepee.  I’ll share a DIY tutorial next week, but for now, here are some pics of our new favorite play space:

The Grit and Polish - Antique Quilt Teepee with WilderThe Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee Inside

And how about those antique quilts…aren’t they beautiful?  Here’s a closer look:

The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee antique quilt The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee antique quilt 2

The first quilt, a hand-stiched double-wedding-pattern quilt, I bought off Craigslist for $50 a few years back.  And my mom, an avid quilter herself, scored the red-white-and-blue lovely from a quilting retreat she attends every year.  It was a real battle with my sis to see who would end up with it, but I guess mom just likes me better! Just kidding of course…;)  But I did promise my sis joint custody of the quilt…so I may need to part with it for a few weeks every year.

The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee with Wilder 3

Building this teepee turned out to be a really fun and easy project for Wilder and I.  He is really proud of it, and I’m really happy to have a special little nook all our own.  Plus I’m already excited about the other places we can set this teepee up, especially this summer.  Like maybe outside, with an animal skin floor, hanging lights and a garland.  But that’s getting a little ahead of myself!  For the time being, you know where this little family will be hanging out!

Resources: Large stuffed bear, Pottery Barn Kids | teepee quilts, antiques | quilt on floor, made by my mom | all other room resources, here and here

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Loving the sink in this classic meets utility meets old house bathroom!  Okay and their entry is pretty awesome too!

p.p.s. I bought this William Wegman kid’s book for my dog-loving niece,Winnie.  It’s awesome!  And yes, William Wegman really does kids books.

p.p.p.s. In case you missed it over the holidays, I posted about my favorite projects from 2014 and a by-the-numbers year end recap.  Writing those posts sure made me feel like 2014 was a productive year for us at the Ravenna House!  Thanks for following along!

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If At First You Don’t Succeed…A Shower Floor Tale

THE RAVENNA HOUSE

Here’s what our new basement bathroom looked like about a month ago.  It only took the gestational period of a baby (42 weeks in Wilder’s case) to get it looking like this, so we are proud of our DIY efforts.

The Grit and Polish - bathroom remodel completion

And here’s what the room looked like a couple of weeks later:

The Grit and Polish - bathroom remodel progress

Confused?  You should be!  Saws and masks don’t belong in a room that has just been renovated!  But so this tale goes.  And here’s the part where I pull out that well-used saying…if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

And that’s just what we did.

See we didn’t slope the shower floor properly, so water ran away from the drain instead of into it.  But only in one small-ish area.  When we took that first, long-awaited shower it was with about one inch of standing water on the floor.

Frustrating to say the least.

Turns out there’s nothing much to be done about an improperly-draining shower floor besides re-doing it.  So we ripped it out and try, tried again.  Let’s walk through the process from start to finish.

Step 1: Rip up the tiles on the offending area.  Oh my this was a lot harder to do then it sounds…I just couldn’t help but think, why didn’t we do this right the first time?!

The Grit and Polish - Bathroom floor tile fix for improper slopping

Ugly, isn’t it?!

Step 2: Re-slope the sub-floor with mortar

The Grit and Polish - bathroom shower floor redo

Step 3: Re-tile the shower floor.

The Grit and Polish - bathroom shower floor re-tile

Step 4: Rip up more area and re-tile to make double, triple, quadruple sure that we had the right slope.

When we started laying the new tile, we noticed that the new section was quite a bit higher than the old.  I was pretty worried we’d end up with a still-improperty-draining shower floor situation and we’d have to rip it out again.  And that sounded worse and more embarrassing than sweeping the driveway in nothing but your underwear and cowboy boots (see photo below), so Garrett pulled up more tiles and then laid new ones all the way to the wall.  The picture below illustrates the expanded area.  The original fix area is the bold box, and the arrows show the extent of our expansion.  Please forgive the rudimentary drawing – my online photo editing skills are a bit suspect…

The Grit and Polish - expanded shower redo area The Grit and Polish - hexagon tile shower floor re-doStep 5: Grout the new tiles, wash, and seal.

The Grit and Polish - shower floor hexagon tiles groutThe Grit and Polish - tile shower surround and floor

And we’re done.  Again.  It’s not perfect, but it drains properly, so I’m a happy DIY-er.

Moral of the story?  Do it right the first time.  And more specifically, when you’re tiling a shower floor, make sure you get a good slope to your subfloor.  Spending the extra time on this step could save you a whole lot of time and money and frustration down the road.  Especially frustration.  There’s nothing worse then doing the same job twice.  Right?  Except maybe having a mama who let’s you go outside with only a diaper and cowboy boots on (the picture is coming…).  Or being a blogger who finishes a bathroom renovation and doesn’t do a reveal post for two plus months (a situation I totally plan on rectifying soon).  

Have you guys ever messed up a DIY this bad?  Probably not.  But if you have, please share…make me feel better about myself!

xoxo

p.s.  Thank the heavens, Catherine has a new old house to renovate!  Best. News. Ever!

p.p.s. Every year we spend Labor Day at the Ellensburg Rodeo.  It’s a tradition I have every intention of passing down to the next generation.  And I’m pretty sure Wilder is on board.  Well at least he’s excited about his first pair of cowboy boots…an interest that does not extend to clothes, apparently.

Wilder in cowboy boots 8-27-14

p.p.p.s. I just started reading this book.  Sadly it’s my first summer read and we’re at the unofficial end of summer.  I’m already addicted to the TV series (so much so I bought Starz for a year…don’t tell Garrett).

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DIY // How To Make Old Wood Drawers Slide Easier

(Post Updated: 1/19/18)

Old wood drawers. We have a lot of them in our old houses. They’re beautiful. They’re solid. They’re full of character and history and I sure do love them.  But they’re not always the easiest to open. They stick and grind and often take two hands to pull.

So what’s an old home lover to do?

The Grit and Polish - Bryant How to Make a Wood Drawer Slide Easier 1

Our Bryant House renovationkitchen (drawer pull / cabinet latch)

Well it turns out that there’s an easy fix. And it costs under $1 and takes only a couple of minutes. Read on for this easy DIY.

DIY // How to Make Old Wood Drawers Slide Easier

STEP ONE // Pull out the drawers and arrange them so you can access the underside.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant DIY How to Make Wood Drawers Slide Easier 4

STEP TWO // Rub a bar of soap (we used a basic Dove bar here) along the tracks on the bottom of the drawer and in the cabinet/dresser. Make sure to get anywhere wood rubs against wood and give it plenty of soap. This is one of those rare quantity over quality situations.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant DIY How to Make Wood Drawers Slide Easier soap on drawerThe Grit and Polish - Bryant DIY How to Make Wood Drawers Slide Easier 6

STEP THREE // After everything is soaped up, slide the drawer back in. That’s it! The drawer should slide easier. Of course they still won’t open like brand-new soft-close drawers, but for $1 and a couple minutes, I’d call it a win!

The Grit and Polish - Bryant DIY How to Make Wood Drawers Slide Easier 7

The pulls and latches are from the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot and super inexpensive. I’ve linked to them below.

I’ve heard about this DIY being completed with wax, which I think would work well too. Either way, if you try this DIY, please let us know how it went in the comment section below. And if you want to know more about this kitchen, the Bryant House renovation, or the Grit and Polish, scroll down to the “Related Posts” section.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant How to Make Old Wood Drawers Slide Easier 2

Sources for the Bryant Kitchen

drawer pull / cabinet latch / bar soapmy boots

Related posts

Bryant House kitchen renovation / Bryant House Airbnb makeover / wood butcher block countertops / our favorite cabinet hardware under $7 / about the Grit and Polish / Our Story: old houses and early retirement / We’re filming a pilot for HGTV /

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post originally published: February 13, 2014
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