Our First House
Every once in a while someone asks us where we found the table in the sunroom and it reminds us that we owe you some details.
We actually DIYed it a few years back with a $7.99 lack table from Ikea and the old tabletop that came with the inexpensive thrift store pedestal that we bought to create this table in the corner of the very same room (see how we removed the original square tabletop and replaced it with a larger round top from Lowe’s right here).
And since that original square tabletop was then up for grabs we decided to put it to good use as the new top for our lack table. Of course if you don’t have a thrift store tabletop on hand, you can always buy a nice chunky square piece of wood from the hardware store (and even have it cut to size by them) to create one. Here’s a view from below so you can check out the undercarriage:
We just used simple metal L-brackets to attach the lack table to the new top for a chunky game table that we use all the time (we sit on the floor cushions and play Scrabble). Oh and our tip here would be to make sure the screws that you use to attach the L-bracket to the tabletop are short enough so they won’t poke through the top of the table. That would be bad.
In case you’re wondering why the top of the lack table is wood-toned while the legs are white, we originally used a wood-toned lack table and later switched the legs for white ones (we also had a white lack table around) when we decided we wanted them to match the top as opposed to having a two-toned look. We were just feeling lazy so we screwed the white legs into the wood-toned lack top since it was already attached with L-brackets to the new larger wood tabletop. We figure no one but Burger sees the evidence that the lack table was once a different color so it’s fine. So that’s how that little sunroom game table came to be. Have you guys done any more elaborate Ikea hacking lately? Any Target or HomeGoods hacking going on?
This morning, while Clara was doing this:
I attempted to tackle this:
A few days ago I slapped some spackle on the walls in the bathroom (we like Dap Crackshot), because as happy as we were with the big bathroom overhaul, you could tell it was definitely our first rodeo when it came to drywalling. And in our hurry to get paint on the walls we were a wee bit less careful with the mudding and taping than we could have been. But thanks to Operation Sell This House we’re making all those never-got-around-to-them tweaks to get things looking as close to perfect as possible. You know, tackling all of those projects that we’ll never get to enjoy ourselves but that we hope will woo someone else into moving right in (story of a seller’s life, right?).
Anyway, so after the spackle was applied to those cracked and uneven areas of the wall a few days back and I was 100% confident it was totally dry (trust me, semi-dry spackle is not what you want to work with) I finally decided to sand things down. Here are the tools you’ll need for this project:
- Dap Crackshot Spackle (as we mentioned)
- 100 grit sandpaper or a sanding block if that’s your thing
- A bra and underwear (or just underwear if you’re male or anti-bra)
- A post baby body (well, this one’s optional)
Did I lose you somewhere along the way? It’s actually quite simple. I learned a long time ago that sanding down spackle is a messy undertaking. So if you’re wearing a ton of clothes they all get caked in chalky dust, which flies everywhere when you remove them. So the fewer clothes the better. In fact, if you’re particularly brave or into nudism you can totally tackle this project on in the buff. It’s not like there are sharp tools that you’re using, and heck, you are in the bathroom (or another private room in your own home).
So all this quick fix entails is smoothing on some spackle with a putty knife (I like one with a bit of flex), giving it a while to dry (ideally a few days), sanding it down with 100 grit sandpaper so it looks as smooth and flat as possible, cleaning up all that dust that flies everywhere (we prefer to vacuum it all up while it’s dry so it doesn’t smear all over the floors and fixtures – which it can do when it’s wet), and then hopping in the shower and tossing your undergarments in the wash.
Next up I have to roll some primer and a bit of paint over that sanded down spackle for a cross-your-fingers-that-it-looks-good result (using the same type of roller that we used to paint the whole room should help match the texture for a less obviously “patched” look that a brush can leave). Can you guys handle the excitement? Here’s hoping it works out.
And speaking of works out, here’s an update on that asparagus plant that the dudes at Home Depot swore I couldn’t kill.
Things aren’t looking too promising for him (see what he originally looked like here). Eh, you win some, you lose kill some.
There’s been an impostor in our house. This placeholder silhouette of a little girl has been staring back us from Clara’s frame wall since even before she was born. And it’s finally time for this fake head to go so Clara’s real head can take its rightful place. Well, not her real head. A rendering of her real head. You know what I mean.
After snapping Clara’s weekly photo on Friday (see how we do that here), we decided to grab a shot of her in profile while we were at it. We’d be adjusting it later in Photoshop so all that was important was getting a clean shot (which meant taking off her onesie since it was bunching up around her neck and shoulders). Photographing her against the curtain in the sunroom helped get the silhouette effect started and making funny faces at her got her looking in the right direction (most of the time) so Sherry could snap away from the side.
After about 15 shots we ended up with this one that seemed perfect for silhouette-ification (weird back of the neck lump and all):
Now we considered this low-tech approach (which anyone who doesn’t have Photoshop can do in about ten minutes):
- Print your profile photo out to the size that you want your silhouette to be (even if it gets blurry from enlargement it doesn’t matter)
- Cut out the baby head so you’re left with just a profile and no background (yes, it will feel weird to cut off your baby’s head)
- Trace your head cut-out onto black construction paper with a pencil and then cut the shape out one last time.
Instead I took the Photoshop approach (partially because we didn’t have any black construction paper around and I’m lazy). I just cropped the pic, desaturated it to black & white, and then played with the “Brightness & Contrast” (under “Image”, “Adjustments”) to get a mostly silhouetted look:
Then I used the paintbrush tool to fill in those lighter areas with black, which left me with a crisp black silhouette on a white background. Oh and I added some eyelashes and wisps of hair like we’ve seen in professional silhouette cut-outs. And I extended the shoulders a bit so we had a little more to work with. We didn’t worry about 100% clean lines on the added shoulder part since we knew the scissor cuts would straighten things out.
Once we had it done and printed to the size that we wanted (around 3.5″ x 5″ for our 5 x 7″ frame) Sherry “Steady Hands” Petersik took to cutting it out with small hair-cutting scissors. Yes, the same pair that she got at CVS and uses to give me a trim every few months.
Then came the official head swap in the frame (where we had previously used a colorful piece of craft paper from Michael’s for 60 cents as the background). Looking at our placeholder silhouette really shows how off-base our expectations were in the hair department. Oh well. She’s got time.
Oh but notice how we cut the bottom of the shoulders for a more “traditional silhouette” look (I added more than enough black on the bottom in that area before we printed for Sherry to create that little freehand shape as she was cutting).
And with that, Clara’s round little head is officially represented on her frame wall. Of course I’d be lying if I said we weren’t looking forward to updating her silhouette periodically as she grows… especially when that hair finally does decide to come in. Have you guys done any silhouette DIY projects? Or cut out photos of someone’s head for any other reason? It feels weird, right?
Psst- Check out our weekly BabyCenter post here for even more DIY silhouette ideas.