Tag: gift

RUSTIC RANKS:
A Gift for Him

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. We choose to only provide affiliate links for the products or businesses we trust and use personally. The affiliate links are provided for your convenience to recommended products and to help support the Navy Home. You can find our full disclosure here.

 

My husband, Chris, was on his first deployment when I made this military rank box for him. I wanted to make something special as a gift for when he got home and came up with the idea several months before he even deployed. Since I would never be able to hide it when he is home, I knew I had to wait until he was away to work on it!

 

After commissioning, he had been talking about needing to get some sort of box to store his ranks in, but the idea he managed to come up with was a plastic CD box… such a boy. 😉 I knew that wasn’t going to work because I wanted his ranks to have a special place for two different reasons. Not only will the contents of this box signify the time he spent serving our country, but it will also house the ranks my mother passed down to him from one of our fallen, LTJG Cole Patrick O’Neil. Chris was completely shocked when I presented him with my gift after he got back home, he had no idea I was making it! This rustic rank box was honestly the most exciting gift for me to give to my husband; it was sentimental for both being handmade for him by his wife and for what resides inside. 🙂

 

 

Materials

Unfinished Wood Shadow Box w/ Glass Top

Painters Tape (if laser etching glass)

Wood Stain

Staining Rag or Paper Towels

Gloves + Mask

Peel + Stick Craft Felt

Polyester Fiber Fill

Fabric

Ruler

Needle + Thread

Sewing Machine (Optional)

Glass Engraver (Optional)

Box Knife (Optional)

 

Exterior

If you plan to get the glass engraved, begin with this step first and remove the lid from the box. I was in school when I made this project for my husband; therefore, I had access to a laser cutter within the architecture wood shop to laser etch the glass for me. If you have a very steady hand or want a handwritten look, you could try a handheld diamond-tipped engraver, but be sure to practice on a scrap piece of glass first! Otherwise, you could go to a glass engraving shop and have them professionally engrave the lid. Tip: Some architecture colleges allow non-students access to the laser cutter for a fee in addition to completing a safety test.

 

Note: If a laser is being used to etch the glass, cover the wooden edges of the lid with painter’s tape. The tape prevents the wood from getting any burn marks.

 

Before the stain is applied, remove any wood dividers in the box that might be in the way for what it is meant to store. For example, I removed one divider on the right side of the box to create a larger space for Chris’s shoulder boards to fit in. You may want to do the same if watches are going to be stored in the box. Be very careful when removing any of the dividers – you don’t want to break the ones you want to keep! Use a box knife to gradually wedge down between the pieces. I admit this is when my dad stepped in to help! I needed some pure manpower because the dividers in my box had been, what I think was, industrially adhered together! Once the pieces are detached, use the box knife to shave down any glue or wood residue to get a flat surface.

 

Select your color of stain, I used special walnut, and remove any hardware from the box and lid. Use your staining rag or paper towels to apply the stain to the exterior and interior of the box. Apply additional coats until you reach the desired color, allow for adequate drying time between each coat. I decided against applying polyurethane since the box will not come in contact with anything that would require it to be sealed. Also, I loved the unsealed look that the special walnut stain gave the wood; the color has a dry and slightly weathered vintage look. 🙂 Apply the polyurethane at this time if you want a glossy or more finished appearance. I recommend using a sponge brush to apply thin coats of polyurethane, allow for adequate drying time between each coat.

 

Note: Read all the directions on each product before use. Remember to stir the stain and polyurethane before use, do not shake. If using paper towels to apply stain, make sure the paper towels are not too soft and leave paper remnants on the project. Always wear a mask and gloves when applying stain or polyurethane along with working in a well-ventilated space. A well-ventilated space creates a cleaner workspace to breathe in and faster drying time.

 

 

 

 

 

Interior

Use a ruler to measure the interior surfaces you want to cover with felt, taking into account the thickness of the felt. Cut out the felt pieces, remove the paper backing, and adhere the felt inside the spaces. The peel and stick felt makes this quick and easy!

 

Add 1” to both the length and width measurements of each space to get the dimensions for your cushions. This 1” addition accounts for ¼” seam around and ½” extra material both ways to make your cushions fluffy. Cut two pieces of fabric for each cushion and lay them face-to-face. Hand stitch or use a sewing machine to sew your ¼” seam around. Leave a 1” opening and pull the fabric through the opening to flip the fabric correct side out. Fill the cushion with polyester fill to the desired thickness and complete your seam across the opening. Place the cushions in their spots and reattach the hardware onto the box and lid.

 

 

You’re done! Whether you made this for a service member to store his ranks or a husband to store his watches and cuff links, you now have a handmade gift any man is sure to love! 🙂

 

 

Please leave us a comment below to share your thoughts with us!

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WINE, CHEESE, AND CHALK:
Chalkboard Wine Bottles

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. We choose to only provide affiliate links for the products or businesses we trust and use personally. The affiliate links are provided for your convenience to recommended products and to help support the Navy Home. You can find our full disclosure here.

 

Wedding Season: Part Three

Do you have some wine bottles you have been saving, but don’t know which project to make with them yet? Look no further! I was experiencing the same dilemma until I stumbled upon this cute chalkboard wine bottle idea. They were the perfect finishing pieces to go with my chalkboard serving tray and decorative pillow wedding gifts!

 

The idea of using chalkboard paint on wine bottles creates tons of versatility in the project. Just think with three bottles you can write initials for bedroom décor or baby showers, his and her initials for wedding showers, “JOY” for Christmas, swap out seasonal floral, and so much more! I made this set to be used as a wedding gift as well as décor for the bride’s brunch. After having completed this project, I knew I had to make a set for our home too!

 

Want to see these wine bottles in action? Check out our post, A Bridal Brunch (post coming soon!), to see more!

 

 

Materials

3 Glass Bottles

Dried or Faux Floral

#28 3-Ply Natural Jute

Chalkboard Paint

Sponge Brush

Gloves + Mask

Hot Glue Gun

Wax Paper

Chalk

 

Prep + Paint

The first step is to determine which three glass bottles you are going to use. I chose to use two varying sizes to add dimension; two of the same size wine bottles and one spiced cider bottle. Remove the labels and any residue from the glass until the surface is free of any gunk. Your bottles are ready for paint!

 

 

There are two ways you could go about painting your bottles: liquid paint or spray paint. I had some liquid chalkboard paint on hand and decided to use that. When working with either liquid paint or spray paint make certain to work with THIN coats; otherwise, you will end up with paint drips running down the sides of the bottle – darn gravity! Apply additional coats until you reach the desired thickness of chalkboard surface, allowing for adequate drying time between each coat. I chose to not paint the bottom of the bottles; therefore, I was able dry them upright on wax paper. The wax paper works great by preventing any residual paint from sticking to its surface when dry.

 

Note: An option for painting the bottom of the bottles is to brace wooden dowels, or something similar, to suspend the bottles upside down. I have not personally tried this method, but have seen it done. Read all directions on your can of paint before use. Remember to stir the paint before use, do not shake. I recommend wearing a mask and gloves when applying paint along with working in a well-ventilated space. A well-ventilated space creates a cleaner workspace to breathe in and faster drying time.

 

Decorate

Let your creative side shine and start decorating your bottles! You could choose to add any fun details you like such as flowers, rhinestones, metal art, bows, etc. I kept mine simple with only using jute to remain versatile for everyday décor, holidays, and other occasions. Use a hot glue gun when adhering the jute and periodically apply beads of glue while wrapping the jute around the bottle.

 

 

After you have finished decorating the bottles, break out the chalk and test out your new chalkboard surface! Arrange your bottles and finish them off with dried or faux floral. 🙂

 

 

Don’t miss out on the other posts in our wedding season series!

 

 

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Don’t forget to leave us a comment with your thoughts!

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THE FIRST ROSE:
Flower Preservation

 

 

Do you want to cherish those heartwarming feelings you got when your special someone brought you your first flower? I know I did when my darling husband, then boyfriend, brought me my first rose on Valentine’s Day. To make it doubly as sweet, my husband began a tradition with this single flower. Every year he adds a rose to the bouquet he brings me to signify how many Valentine’s Days we have shared together. Each time I look at that single rose I am reminded of the days of our blooming relationship, his sweet smile as he stood there holding the brilliant red rose, and the beautiful memories of our first Valentine’s Day together. 🙂

 

The First Rose continues to be one of my favorite projects to this day and beautifully resides on our Storytelling Fireplace mantel. This shadow box is the perfect addition to our homes living area for it serves as a conversation piece as well as a visible daily reminder of the wonderful husband and beautiful life God has graciously blessed me with. 🙂 Are you ready to preserve your own special moments?

 

You can find written instructions below; however, I do not have pictures of the process for making this shadow box since I had made it some time ago. If you would like some visual aids along the way, check out my other post, Treasured Shadow Box.

 

Materials

5” x 7” Shadow Box

Decorative Scrapbook Paper

Dried Floral Arrangement

Decorative Ribbon

Hot Glue Gun

Glue Stick

Scissors

 

Background Panel

A Treasured Shadow Box and this project follow the same basic process: you begin with the background first and then move forward towards the glass of the shadow box. The first step is to select a decorative piece of scrapbook paper that compliments your dried floral arrangement. Cut the paper to fit the back panel of the shadow box and use a glue stick to attach. Using a glue stick for adhering the scrapbook paper will prevent any uneven or warped surfaces.

 

Dried Floral Arrangement

Cut and arrange the floral to your satisfaction if adequately dried and ready for use. Take care to test the placement of your floral so it does not interfere with the 1/8-1/4” lip of the framework when assembling the shadow box. Attach your floral arrangement to the previously assembled background panel with a hot glue gun. To make for an easier assembly, place small beads of glue in multiple locations to stabilize your arrangement. And now for the finishing touch! Cut and tie your ribbon into a bow and attach to the base of your floral arrangement with the hot glue gun.

 

Note: Follow these steps if you are unsure of how to dry your floral. Wipe off any excess water from the stems and hang them upside down for a few days to a week until dry – I have tied mine onto a cabinet knob or clipped them onto pants hangers. I recommend hanging them in a well-ventilated space to help them dry quicker in addition to not getting icky. Keep in mind that if your floral is not completely dry when worked with, it will continue to dry over time and change color. The greenery in this project continued to dry after assembly and became less green over time than when I first made it, but that is okay, because I actually love the way the colors work with the background!

 

 

Assembly

Before you go and eagerly assemble your new shadow box, first spray and wipe down your glass! You do not want to find fuzzes or fingerprints on the interior glass after careful assembly… ask me how I know this. 😉 Now you may assemble! Very gently set the back panel into place on the shadow box and close the latches. It’s time to display your beautiful arrangement! I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and use your shadow box to always remind you of life’s sweet moments! 🙂

 

 

Please leave a comment to share your thoughts with us!

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“CHALK TO ME”:
A Chalkboard Serving Tray

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. We choose to only provide affiliate links for the products or businesses we trust and use personally. The affiliate links are provided for your convenience to recommended products and to help support the Navy Home. You can find our full disclosure here.

 

Wedding Season: Part Two

Summer is fast approaching and that means pool parties, BBQ, and good company! All of this equals up to everyone’s favorite thing – entertaining! With entertaining comes serving ware. I was actually searching for wedding gift inspiration when I stumbled upon the idea of these neat chalkboard serving trays. I decided to give it a go and make one as a wedding gift for my best friend in addition to using the tray at her bridal brunch. I definitely fell in love with the finished product and wanted to keep it for myself. 🙂 Needless to say, I will certainly be making one for us pretty soon! If you need a great gift idea this is it!

 

Materials

1×12 Pine Wood (at 30” long)

Wood Stain

Polyurethane

Chalkboard Paint

Painters Tape

Staining Rag or Paper Towels

(2) Sponge Brushes

(2) Decorative Handles

(4) ½” Screws

Electric Sander

Electric Drill

Electric Saw (if needed)

Gloves + Mask

Wood Burning Kit (optional)

 

 

Prep + Wood Burning

Begin by either finding a piece of scrap wood in your garage, or by cutting a board to your chosen dimensions. I had managed to find the perfect size of scrap board in our garage that was left over from a previous project we had done – no cutting required! Use an electric sander to round all corners and edges of the tray. I wanted to add a unique feature to the back of the tray so I chose to wood burn my logo into the lower corner. If you would like to add a special feature of your own just follow these simple steps! Print out the image or text onto a piece of paper at the size you want. Lay the paper onto the wood and use a pencil to trace the outlines you wish to display. Press hard when tracing with the pencil to make indents on the wood. Remove the paper when you are finished and make sure all of the outlines you want are pressed into the wood. Simply trace the outlines with your wood burning kit and you are ready for staining.

 

Note: I recommend working in a well-ventilated space because the burning wood can get stinky! Please be careful when working with wood burning kits as they can burn more than just the wood!

 

 

Stain + Polyurethane

Select your choice of stain color and apply with an old rag or paper towels. Apply additional coats until you reach the desired color, allowing for adequate time to dry between each coat. Next, use a sponge brush to apply a thin coat of polyurethane, allowing for adequate time to dry between each coat. I decided on two coats of polyurethane to be sufficient for the tray.

 

Note: Read all the directions on each product before use. Remember to stir the stain and polyurethane before use, do not shake. If using paper towels to apply stain, make sure the paper towels are not too soft and leave paper remnants on the project. Always wear a mask and gloves when applying stain or polyurethane along with working in a well-ventilated space. A well-ventilated space creates a cleaner workspace to breathe in and faster drying time.

 

 

Tape + Paint

Once your tray is nice and dry, apply painter’s tape around the edges to form the area that will become the chalkboard surface. Before applying the tape, I recommend 24-48 hours drying time depending on the weather. Using the painter’s tape, create a 1” border along the length of the tray with a 2” border along the widths where the handles will be added later. Be sure to press tape down firmly around all edges to ensure the chalkboard paint will not bleed underneath.

 

Time to pop open your can of chalkboard paint and get to painting! I must admit this is when I walk outside, find a stick in the yard, and use it to stir my paint. 🙂 I am not too sure professionals would recommend this method, but it works for me. Use a sponge brush to apply a thin coat of chalkboard paint to your tray within the taped off work space. When painting at the tapes edge, make sure your brush is lightly soiled with paint and paint with strokes moving away from the tape, not towards. If you paint with stroke towards the tapes edge you are liable to end up with paint under the tape resulting in an unclean line after the tape is removed. When painting the length of the area, follow the edge of the tape with your brush to ensure all strokes move in the same direction. Apply additional coats until you reach the desired thickness of chalkboard surface, allowing for adequate time to dry between each coat. I chose to do five coats of chalkboard paint to build up the surface some compared to the stained surface.

 

Note: Read all the directions on each product before use. Remember to stir the paint before use, do not shake. I recommend wearing a mask and gloves when applying paint along with working in a well-ventilated space. A well-ventilated space creates a cleaner workspace to breathe in and faster drying time.

 

 

Assembly

After your new chalkboard surface is completely dry, especially at the tapes edge, carefully remove the tape by pulling at a slight angle towards the painted surface. The only thing left is to attach your decorative handles! Mark off the locations for your screws, use an electric drill to make small pilot holes, lay the handles in place, and drill in the screws.

 

You’re done! Look at that beauty! Now you have a fun and beautiful chalkboard serving tray for all your summer festivities!

 

Don’t miss out on the other posts in our wedding season series!

 

 

Thinking about making this tray or have already done so? Leave us a comment below to share!

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TWO BECOME ONE:
A Handmade Wedding Gift

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. We choose to only provide affiliate links for the products or businesses we trust and use personally. The affiliate links are provided for your convenience to recommended products and to help support the Navy Home. You can find our full disclosure here.

 

Wedding Season: Part One

It’s wedding season!! Love is in the air, and what better way to show the happy couple you love them than with a handmade wedding gift! My best friend got married earlier this year and I’ll admit I was stressing about what to get her. Marriage is one of those monumental milestones in life and when it is someone you care deeply for you want to get them the perfect gift. I went round and round in my head over the standard items you would find on a registry, but then an opportunity presented itself! I was planning to host a bridal brunch at the bride’s home and what better way to knock two birds with one stone then to make something as both a wedding gift and fun décor for the brunch! Plus, I could easily ask for pictures of her place for “planning the brunch” and keep the real reason a secret! I settled on making three different handmade gifts for the newlywed couple: wedding pillows, chalkboard serving tray, and chalkboard wine bottles. Are you curious to see how the bridal brunch turned out? Check back soon to read our post!

 

I chose to make pillows with the numbers “01” and “02” for two different reasons. First and foremost, I thought of it as a modern looking alternative to your standard “Mr” and “Mrs” with its hidden meaning of two become one. Sound familiar? You got it! The inspiration was derived from Mark 10: 7-9.

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.”

How cool is that?! 😀 Not to mention the other reason was because their wedding date conveniently shared the same numbers, January 2nd! Ready to learn how to make your own?

 

 

 

How to Make Wedding Pillows

This pattern makes TWO 12” x 12” decorative pillows.

Note: Wash, dry, and iron your fabrics before beginning.

 

Materials

1 yard cotton base fabric

1/4 yard cotton accent fabric

1/4 yard cotton batting

1/4 yard cotton appliqué fabric

1 1/2 yards decorative trim

Thread

Fabric Scissors

Fabric Pen/Pencil

Yard Stick

Cutting Mat

Sewing Machine (I LOVE this one!)

Note: All of the above material yard measurements are the minimum required to complete this project. I always recommend purchasing more yards of all material and trims to ensure you have enough as well as spare materials in case of cutting errors.

 

Fabric Cuts

Cut four 12 ½” x 12 ½” squares of base fabric. These dimensions include ¼” seam.

Cut two 7” x 7” squares of accent fabric. These dimensions include ½” seams.

Cut two 6” x 6” squares of cotton batting.

Cut out two sets of 4” tall numbers, 0 0 1 2, of applique fabric.

 

 

Note: I made paper stencils of these numbers using my Cricut Machine. If you do not have a cutting machine, you can work in Microsoft Word and use scissors to cut out the numbers to create a stencil.

 

Assembly

Pin the appliqué numbers 0 1 (0 2) to the 7” x 7” accent fabric square. Appliqué stitch around the numbers to attach them to the fabric. Fold and iron accent fabric at ½” border.

 

Place 6” x 6” batting under accent fabric with ½” border folded around batting. Center and pin the batted appliqué to the 12 ½” x 12 ½” base fabric that will be the front of the pillow. Sew the batted appliqué with both 1/8” and ¼” seams to attach to the base fabric. Pin and sew decorative trim around batted appliqué.

Note: Do not cut the decorative trim into separate pieces. Keep the trim as one continuous piece around the batted appliqué.

 

 

Place the completed 12 ½” x 12 ½” front piece with the 12 ½” x 12 ½” back piece of base fabric facing each other. Sew ¼” seam around, leaving a 2 – 3” opening. Refer to the diagram above for the 2 – 3” opening specifics. Reinforce the stitching on either side of the opening by sewing over the last few stitches. Use the opening to flip the fabric correct side out.

 

Iron the pillow with the front side facing down. Sew ½” seam around leaving the same 2 – 3″ opening as before. Add stuffing through the space and complete the ½” seam. Complete the outer seam by hand (blind stitch) at the opening.

 

 

 

You’re done! Now you have two beautiful and meaningful wedding pillows to give the newlyweds!

 

Don’t miss out on the other posts in our wedding season series!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this tutorial? Leave us a comment to let us know what you thought!

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