Archive for the ‘before’ Category

LEATHER HANDLE DIY

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

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FUN FACT:  We’ve been working on this house for five years and still haven’t installed handles on most of the original built-in storage cabinets or the closets.

Why rush it. No big deal.

Oh, except that now its been half a decade of living like filthy animals who routinely need to savagely pry open heavy drawers or wonky old doors with a screwdriver or any other available blunt object.

Time for change. Time for?

Leather. Pulls. For. Doors.

For months I’ve been messing around and field testing all manner of leather design bits and objects. Working out the kinks. Comparing materials. Picking finishes. Doing all the leather work. Leather working? Leather science? Leathering? Leathery stuff. The sort of stuff that recently culminated with the plopping out of this finalized prototype batch of simple looped leather+brass handles that make opening the closet easier and much more stylish than a screwdriver wedged in the crack.

Super.

OK. General DIY rundown time.

 

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DIY  |  LEATHER + BRASS PULL HANDLE

MATERIALS

Leather (mine = 1″ wide + 8/9oz + natural veg dye)
Brass Eyelets (mine = 3/16″ hole)
Brass Bolts
Brass Washers

TOOLS

Leather Hole Punch
Eyelet Setter
Hammer
Tape measure
Scissors
Sponge
Towel

 

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DIY BASICS TO MAKE IT    .    SIMPLE LEATHER PULL

1. Measure then cut leather to size. (mine = 1″ wide x 8″ long – final installed handle is approx. 4″ tall)

2. Lightly dampen cut leather pieces with a sponge to prep leather for hole punching. Towel off any extra moisture.

3. Measure and mark matching hole locations on both ends. (mine = 1″ interior from either edge + centered width)

*TIP: Make a template using an extra matching leather scrape to quickly and consistently mark hole guide placements if   you’re making multiple matching handles.

4. Align punch tool with the guide mark and carefully punch out the hole.

5. Place setter and hammer eyelets into each hole.

6. Loop leather strip in half and thread the bolt through both eyelets to prep for install.

7. Thread bolt through the hardware mounting hole, finalize leather handle placement, thread washer onto the bolt end and tighten both very firmly to secure the handle.

 

and then DONE.

 

*Optional Finishing:  I’ve been using a leather finisher on the overall handle and then finishing the edges with a slicker and Gum Tragacanth. Leave the leather raw, seal it, dye it, burn it – I don’t care. Do whatever works to finish things up to your taste.

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Basically the basic of basics. These finished leather handles work and look pretty great and are totally good to go for install.

Well, except that I haven’t been able to shake off this nagging need to rework and replace the current basic brass bolt set with different hardware that’s feels more unusual or unexpected while still staying minimal and unfussy.

Hey now, at least one closet is all functional for the first time with actual usable handles.

 

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OH WAIT. AND. BOOM.

Say hello, sexy hex detail.

This is what plopped out of all that and ended up being the hardware solution for my closet pulls. I’ve been testing these things out around the house and refining a few construction details, but who cares! I’m in love with this thing. The scale, the finish, the bit of unexpected handle detail is pretty much doing all those things my crazy brain was hoping for.

 

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CLOSET PULL SUCCESS.

Now onto make a ton more of these for the rest of the house and other design projects. Maybe someday I might even make some handle sets for CAMP? Ugh, hold it. Going too far into the future. Must focus on the now and the 34 handles I gotta make just to cover the rest of our closets and built-ins.

I’m a leather handle making machine!

Check back in five more years to see if there was any progress.

 

KITCHEN COUNTERS

Monday, January 28th, 2013

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(image via here)

Like a lot of folks right now, I got slapped down and made the flu’s bitch for the past couple weeks. It was unseemly and awfully rude, but now it seems like I’m slowly getting back to business. All that time spent in bed tossing and turning with fever dreams and paralyzing full body anxiety brought on by being completely useless in general when I HAD SHIT TO DO, gave me a great opportunity to feel still more awful since I started obsessing over the shameful progress of our kitchen renovation.

What has happened kitchen reno wise? I changed the light fixture. So, great progress since 2011.

Hey now, I did buy the Ikea Numerar Countertops about a year and a half ago. So I tried. I mean, they’ve been sitting in our garage gathering dust and disappointment, but whatever. No big deal. I’m not a loser.

*I’m kind of a loser.

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(images via here, here & here)

When I step into the kitchen I get so pissy looking at those forever unclean looking turquoise linoleum counters that I dream that my concentrated hatefulness would somehow make them get gone and wood appear. Then facts ruin it. I don’t have the time or budget or willpower to update the kitchen right now. Sad face.

For now, I’m bookmarking this great tutorial from a few years ago about installing and treating Ikea’s wood countertops as a way to bone up on what we need to do. But before anything gets demoed? I need a sink. And tile. And a faucet. And I need help. So much help.

Consider this a Shame Post to get my shit together and make our kitchen look just a little less funkytown, you know, before another year slips by.

OH, and if you guys have used these counters yourself and have any install tips or treatment advice, please feel free to share. Personally, I don’t mind if the wood gets worn and dinged and used looking. I like character and the imperfections don’t kill me. Plus, the price for these was right for my budget and this house in general.

HEADBOARD 2.0

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Ages ago I tried to deal with the great headboard shortage of the guest bedroom by getting a cushy queen sized Ace style pillow  headboard fabricated from vintage fire tarp, shredded foam and starry-eyed dreams. As discussed previously, the end product wasn’t exactly what was hoped for and rather than the perfectly formed comfy headboard I’d hoped for, there was instead a sadly saggy and overly deep lump of crap.

Sometimes things don’t work out.

Learning curved.

Anyways, the main issue with version 1.0 was that the shredded foam settled and began bulging out the entire form into a rotund beanbag style lump. So, to resolve that kink, I decided to reduce the headboards depth from 12″ to 6″ and had a solid piece of upholstery foam cut to fit and then stuffed inside.

Version 2.0 is firm and proud. No more sad shapeless lump with that solid 5″ thick foam form stuffed up in there.

FYI, that thick custom cut foam was kind of pricey at $98, but I tried to consolidate costs by having my local auto upholstery guy order the material as well as resew the upholstery form so it would fit snugly around the foam.

BEFORE

(12″ deep and saggy Version 1.0)

AFTER

(6″ deep and firm Version 2.0)

Version 2.0 is generally better and so much closer to the original design.

I’m just not sure if I’m loving it.

After living with it for a bit, some kinks have developed that need addressing. Simple changes like a softer fabric, smaller scale and wall mount would be a start. I’m just about fed up with the bed frames willy-nilly wandering and constant need for repositioning.

Version 3.0 might be heading in this general direction.

I spotted this skinny gray beauty at Anonymous Architects Eels Nest House during a photo shoot and haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Oh, so no big deal, but conveniently enough my master bedroom still totally needs a headboard.

Looks like version 3.0 is a go.

Well, you know. Eventually.