Category: Working With Wood

Custom Handmade Wood Cart for Sewing Classes

handmade wood cart for sewing classes

I have been teaching sewing lessons at a local school for the past few years.  I enjoy every minute I spend teaching, but unfortunately the cleaning up is no fun at all.

Cleanup has always been a nightmare, since I don’t have my own classroom.  Every week I would haul machines, irons, boards (both ironing and rotary), fabric, extension cords, scissors, rulers, etc, etc, etc to the classroom I was going to teach in.  Lately, with a full class, it was taking me about 45 minutes to clean up each week.  My husband was getting frustrated with me getting home so late, and so I asked him to build me a cart.  I sketched up a design, and in a matter of just two days, this is what he created:

Handmade Wood Cart for Sewing Classes

This handmade wood cart is perfect.  It hold 4 machines on the bottom.  The middle shelf is actually two shelves that stack on-top each other, and they hold all my fabric and other supplies.  The top is for the irons –now I don’t have to wait for them to cool.  And the side/bottom boxes hold the ironing boards and rotary boards.  It’s perfect!  No more hauling things back and forth.  Now I just load this baby up, and roll it away.  I’m so excited!

Handmade Wood Cart for Sewing ClassesThe best part is that the cart stacks (it’s made of 4 different boxes that come apart), so it’s really easy to get things in and out.  And now that everything is perfectly organized, my students have no excuses when cleaning up –everything has a place!

Before and After Pictures…

The art of making a house a home sometimes requires that things be custom made for a space. I recently picked up an old wooden cabinet that had been converted into a play stove for kids. It was still in pretty good shape but definitely needed a little TLC. Josh took off all the old hardware, gave it a good sand, painted it, and added new door handles to match our little girl’s room. Finally Josh rummaged through his pile of miscellaneous junk to find the perfect oven temperature knob. Along with that, Josh also made a grocery cart. Can you see it parked next to the newly renovated stove? I think a matching fridge is in the works for Christmas. Shhh, don’t tell.

Here are the before and after pictures…

To make a room stand out as being unique, and truly belonging to you, you need to find a way to customize it with things that are truly one-of-a-kind; those things can be made by your or by others.  This is the secret behind the art of making a house a home.  In my daughter’s room for example, items have been made by 16 different crafters and artists…

Print by Artist Charley Harper

Fairy furniture by Utah Artist Debbie Schraman

Custom made changing table by Great Grandpa Korte who specializes in woodwork

Hand-knit blankets, custom made by Great Grandma Korte and Grandma Kathy

Handmade one-of-a-kind quilt, custom made by nine of my dearest Utah friends

Custom made bed-skirt, curtains, one-of-a-kind machine appliqued quilt, and baby mobile all made by me.

All these items, perfectly mixed together like a good recipe, make Monet’s room a genuine masterpiece.  Not only is it aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but it’s also warm to the heart because the items have been made by real people.  As Monet get’s older, I’m sure the collection in her room will grow.  Like a fine wine, a house becomes a home over time.

Thrift Store Gold Mine

We descended the stairs into the musty basement of our local thrift store, turned right, and took a few paces before I looked up and saw Angela’s eyes grow two sizes in two seconds.  Immediately she started doing a little dance and squeaking with excitement.  She had made a find.  I have seen this look before; it reminded me of when Angela spotted an old dresser at this exact thrift store.  That dresser, stripped, refinished, and dressed up with some new hardware, currently looks marvelous sitting in our bedroom.
This time it was four metal-framed chairs that had her jumping with joy.  Two had been poorly reupholstered with some sort of red velvety material. We just wanted the bones anyway.
All it took was a little cleaning, a coat of Rustoleum paint, and some cedar boards picked up from Home Depot to make the former refuse good as gold.
Now these chairs are a welcomed addition to our back yard dining area.  They also served as great inspiration for me to refinish our old table that had become a little weathered, and Angela’s Picnic Set is the perfect accessory.
Have you turned any trash to treasure recently?  We would love to hear about it.
– Josh Flicker

Repurpose Your Scrap Wood Into Great Games

Here is a project that I completed a little while back, yet it fits in great with the April Stash Bash. If you find yourself with scraps of wood, leftover from projects, and are unsure of what to do with them, why not repurpose those leftovers into beautiful board games?

After collecting various leftovers from years worth of woodworking projects, I found myself with quite a few dowel rods of different sizes, along with a piece of 1/2 inch plywood.  Just having had my butt kicked at chess the previous night, I vowed to make my game better, and so this beautiful chess board was born.  And even if my game didn’t get any better, at least I have a great board to lose on, right?
The board was made by cutting shallow groves into the wood with a table saw.  A dark stain was used to create the checkerboard pattern and then everything was sealed with a couple coats of polyurethane.  The chess pieces were simply made by combining the dowel rods, cut into a few basic shapes, with wood glue.
If chess isn’t your game you could also try out your luck at a game of checkers.
The great thing about this type of board is that you can also use the backside to create a totally different game.  The board shown below is used for the game “Go”.  Another strategy game I’m no good at.  You could also create a board for “backgammon” or any other game of your choosing.

Here is a totally different project for a game I actually used to be pretty good at.  That is until I had a child.  Darts and kids unfortunately don’t mix very well.  This dart cabinet was made using scraps from a redwood deck and a few cross sections of branches off some trees that were recently trimmed in the yard.

If you have any great ideas for games made from recycled, reused, and repurposed materials, we’d love to hear about them.

– Joshua Flicker