Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Trash to Treasure-Part 4: I Shutter to Think How Easy This Was

Waiting in the school car line when I wrote this, so sue me if I go too fast...

...or have too many typos...


I thought I'd surprise you with a "Part 4" to my Trash to Treasure series, even though I only pitched three. See how generous I am?!

I made the doll furniture for my youngsters, and then thought to myself, "Self, you made the dolls each a bed but you have no bed."

Myself had a good point. Actually, we just had no bed frame. We had a bed. A new mattress, that is. A MEMORY FOAM bed in a huge king size. Yippee for no more back pain!

The problem with the new, larger mattress is that it came naked. No sheets, no comforter, pillows, skirt or frame. Crazy!

After the expense of the mattress, bedding and pillows, there was a dearth of cash for a frame. That's when my brain drifted to the salvage pile that was in our garage. I knew I had snagged several shutters in the Great Score of '13 and they were all pretty intact. Bonus!

After laying them out on the driveway, moving them around and consulting the creative oracle (Pinterest) I had a decent plan. A headboard!

As I was fleshing this whole thing out, the eldest came out to see what I was doing.

"Making a headboard for our new bed out of these old shutters," I told her.

"Where does all of this stuff keep coming from?" She almost wailed, a very confused look on her face.

"You know how you had to squeeze through the garage like a maze to get out here?"


"That's where it's all coming from. Oh, and it is all still from that house that was being gutted."


"I know!"

Anyway. I measured the mattress width and then measured the four shutters laid side-to-side. Too short. Blast!

A quick run to the large home improvement store and a few cuts by a super-helpful lumber guy gave me some lengths of 2x4" that would fit perfectly between the shutters.

I had two shutters that had thinner slate and two with thicker. I didn't care. The tops all matched up and the thickness of the shutters was the same. I put the larger ones on the outsides, then a 2x4"next to each, then the thinner-slatted shutters, and a 2x4"in the middle. Perfect size! Well, a little bit wide, but pretty good!

Because the shutters were torn out to go in the trash, the bottoms of a few were broken and the slats were loose. One was splintered. I put wood glue on all of the bottom slats where they joined the frames of the shutters. Where the side of the shutter was splintered, I sanded the wood, squeezed wood glue up into the splintered part and then sanded it smooth after the glue dried.

I unscrewed all of the hinges and hardware so they would fit together well.

I lay the shutters all face down with the boards between them and squared off the tops with a level. The nice lumber man also cut some 1x4" for me into two long boards-the length of the thing. I wound up with four shorter chunks from his cutting-not sure why-and I used those to brace all the boards together.

As you can see, I put the short boards diagonally across each section. I drilled pilot holes in the boards then screwed into a shutter, 2x4" and next shutter. I used deck screws to make sure it was stable. And I already had deck screws, so...

Once I had braced all the joining spots, I put the long 1x4" boards at the top and bottom, drilled pilot holes and screwed them to each piece. Now it was one stable piece.

I flipped it over and sanded the whole thing like crazy. I busted out the tack cloth and wiped the whole thing down.

I picked up two trim pieces at the store as well. One 1" wide, slightly tapered piece. The other was about 3" wide and baseboard-ish. At this point I borrowed three super heavy-duty clamps from my Padre. I ran wood glue down the backside of the thinner trip piece and slapped it on the front of the headboard at the top. I held it in place with small clamps and used my staple gun/brad nailer to shoot brads along the length of the trim piece. The brads and glue together would hold it tight.

I took the wider trim piece and ran wood glue down the back of it. I used the large clamps to hold it in place and brad nailed it down also. I left the big clamps on for most of the day to make sure it stayed tight. I forgot to take pics of this part. Sorry!

Once it was all attached, screwed, nailed, glued, sanded, clamped and dry, I started to paint it. I had several cans of paint already so I started with dark brown and painted the whole thing.

Then let it dry.

Then lightly sanded it.

Then painted it red.

 Then let it dry

Then I stared distressing it. I scuffed it and sanded some spots lightly, some a little more to see the brown through. Some a lot more to see the white through. Some a whole lot more to see bare wood through.  Distressed.

I finished it with a clear coat of polyurethane. Again, I had it, so I used it.

 We let the thing air dry, and after carrying it upstairs and propping it behind the bed, we discovered it is a bit wider than intended, but okay. I wanted to leave it just standing there until we get a feel for how high we want to hang it. We will hang it a bit higher than this but here is the finished product.

One 2x4" board
Two 1x4" boards
One 1" trim board
One 3" trim board
Paint (the rest I didn't have)
Pack of sanding disks for orbital sander
Total cost: $26

Oh, and here is the second set of American Girl doll furniture and bedding
I made after the last post. The youngest obviously had to have her own set too!

If you were wondering why I was writing this in the car line at school, it was Ben and Jerry's free scoop day. You have to get to school reeeeeally early to get a front spot so we could take off and beat the after-school crowds! Annual tradition!

Ice Cream Hijinks with Friends!


Lauren said...

This is genius. This is beyond craftiness into actual home improvement. WheneverI hear wood glue and big clamps, something awesome is about to happen. Great job!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for linking up to The CSI Project. I think your new headboard looks great! I have to make something similar myself sometime but I am totally stuck haha!

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