How to Build a Box Shelf

Hello everyone! I am going to do a “How-To” post today and I think you are going to enjoy it. Have you ever wanted to try building something with your bare hands but not sure how to do it? Well, today I am going to show you have to make a box shelf. I had all this spare wood in my back yard and I decided that I was going to make something out of it. I had seen these box shelves online and thought they looked pretty cool, so I decided to give it a try without any previous wood working experience.

So first, you need to get your stuff together. I got literally make this by hand since I couldn’t afford a circular saw right now. So, if you have a circular saw, I would suggest you use it 🙂

You will need:

  • A saw of some kind. (I used a hand saw and it worked but it took a little bit more elbow grease to do it.)
  • A hammer
  • Wood
  • Nails
  • Sanding Block
  • Pen
  • Tape Measure
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Here is everything I used. Please excuse the dusty table.

Next you want to cut your boards to size. I was using fence boards that had already been cut in half so my shelf was 19″ x 17″ x 5″. You can make it how ever big or small you want. Just make sure you wear gloves and glasses for safety.

Next, comes the hammering part. I like to cheat and hammer the first set of nails partially in because I didn’t have a grip or anything to hold the two boards together. Another way you could probably do this, but I didn’t think of it til later, is using wood glue to initially make the box and then nail it together. But you would need something to hold it in place while the glue dried.

img_20170201_130836891Now it is time to actually hammer them together. Take your boards and make and L out of them. I placed the bottom L between my knees to hold it steady and then place the board with the nails in it on top of it. Now hammer the nails in 🙂 Repeat this until you make a square. (I put in four nails but you can put in more if you feel you want the shelf to extra secure.)

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Look! A box! Good job! Now to sand. I used a 120 grit sanding block and it was just enough to get the roughness out of the wood without removing the natural grain to it. Once you have finished going over the whole thing, time to move on.

The next part is the part I think is the most fun and that it painting the thing to whatever color you like. I chose a nice teal for my shelf and this was the paint I used. (No money paid for advertising.)

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You can use the can and brush method if you want but I like spray paint because it dries quickly and there are no brushes to clean after. But make sure you wear a mask or you might have an adverse side effect that comes with breathing toxic fumes. Depending on the type of board you use, you might need more than one can. I wanted a more white washed (or should I say blue washed) look so I only needed one can. If your wood is really thirsty and you want it completely covered, you will probably need two or more cans.

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SO PRETTY!!!! After you paint it, you can add layers until it is the exact color you want. If you don’t end up wanting to paint it, I would still use some kind of a wood sealer just to protect the wood from spills a stuff from the things you end up putting on it.

After you have your final layer of paint, I would suggest you let it sit for 24 hours to fully set. It would be a bummer to have a colored square on your wall because the paint transferred. I know you are super excited to get it up and show it off, but you need to wait one more day. But after that, it’s finished and it will look gorgeous.

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This is how mine turned out and I am super happy with it. Want to make one? Great! Now you can, but if it’s still not up your alley but you want one of these shelves anyway, feel free to order one right now from my Etsy Shop HERE. I would love to build you one!

Happy building! Have a great day!

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Is It Christmas Yet?

Ok, I haven’t done an Etsy post in a while and I know that Thanksgiving is tomorrow but I know we are all really thinking about Christmas. I know I am. I actually have almost all my shopping dine but I am really strange and start in August. So all of you how are not like me, I thought I would show you a few things that might get you into the holiday spirit from my Etsy Shop.

This one I want to show you is BRAND NEW to my shop (like seriously five minutes ago).

Owl Christmas Stocking

Isn’t it cute? I love the owl’s little flower eyes.

That is just a taste. I have so many other things in my Etsy Shop that I just love. If you love My Little Pony, Yoda, Sharks, and rugs, I have things for you. And I look forward to adding for items for next year. My shop maybe be small compared to others, but I can guarantee happiness and quality with every product I make. And I enjoy doing it. So why not make some holiday cheer and order from an Etsy shop owner today!

A Sweet Moment Sewing

I know it has been a few days since my last post, but I have a really cute one to share with you today. I have been finally able to get my sewing machine out since we moved into our new house and I have been having a lot of fun. One of the things I have been also trying to do is make my own patterns which I am not sure is going well but I will keep trying.

One of the cute things that I have made recently is something that I got to include Emma in on it. I drew out a pattern for a little horse toy and thought I would give it a try. Emma was still taking her nap when I got started, but, when she saw I was sewing, she wanted to give a hand. I then told her I was making something for her and her eyes lit right up and she really wanted to help even more.

I sewed the pieces together and turned it right side out. She then wanted to help me stuff the little horse and she was such a great help. I would cut up the strips and she would hand them to me while sitting on my lap. It was such a great moment between the two of us. I felt so connected to her as a mother and a friend and she was so excited that I was making something just for her. Most of the time it’s for my Etsy Shop and I haven’t really made anything for her.

It was such a sweet time with her. With her being two, sometimes it feels like all I do is correction but this was a moment were we got to be together without any expectations or correction needed. She just sat on my lap and helped me make her horse.

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I know it doesn’t sound like much but for a mom who wonders if she is doing anything right with this parenting thing, it was a confidence boost. I know that she will turn into a wonderful little girl and later a beautiful woman. I love her more than anything.

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Finished project! It has some things that need to be changed but Emma loves it so that’s all that matters to me 🙂

 

When Reviews Help and Hurt

So I have started to feel the effects of how one bad review can make or break something you want to sell. This has happened both on my Book and my Etsy Shop. Since I received an unfitting 1 star review of my book, it seems like it has been almost black listed. It still have 3.5 stars but my once 5 star book that was getting a good amount of hits is now trailing behind terribly. Something similar happened on Etsy too but I am still holding a 4.5 star rating. Is it just the way the site rates products? I don’t know what to do.

I want to be able to get my book into people’s hands but I really feel like they have judged it before they really got to read it. How is a new author supposed to get their name out there when a person writes a review that is completely opposite of all the others? Why does that review hold so much weight against the others? It doesn’t make any sense and it is rather frustrating.

Back when I had a 5 star rating my book would sell rather well for a no body author like me. And if I did a free promo it would do even better. Now it has hardly moved and it has been on a free promo for an entire day. Has anyone else had this problem and if so how did you fix it? I may not a “professional” author yet but NO book deserves a 1 star review. The time, effort and guts for an author to put out a very personal part of themselves starts the lowest with me as a 3 star. It’s just disrespectful in my opinion to rate someone so low when what you have to say is just out of spite.

So once again, I am asking for help so please comment. I don’t want to close my shop or pull my book when there is something I can do to help it. And if you have bought my book or a product on my shop, I do love to see reviews and comments. I can take constructive criticism but not if it done in a way that is only meant to hurt me and others like me. So don’t be afraid to review but make sure that whoever you review, every word is 100% true. And remember that the person who you are writing about does have feelings. If you wouldn’t say it to their face then maybe it isn’t best to put it in a review.

Any way, hope everyone is having a great day and I will see you next time. Bye!

“That’s Not a Real Job”

I was talking with someone the other day about what I do for a living and I couldn’t believe whatI heard. I told them that I am a stay at home mom and I have an Etsy Shop. What did they do? They laughed and said “It’s a good thing your husband has a good job because that is not a real job”. I was so mad I could have spat in the person’s face. What part of that statement did he mean wasn’t a real job? The stay at home part or the Etsy Shop part? Either way, it was a complete blast to my face.

Being a stay at home mom is not cupcakes and glitter. It is a lot of hard work chasing after my child (I can’t even imagine how moms do it with two or more), keeping her out of trouble, tantrums, discipline, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and anything else that has to be done in a week. Heaven forbid something comes up where a friend is sick and needs a meal, or your family comes for a visit. All in all, it is a full time job and, the worst part (if there really is one) is that you don’t get paid for it! I do so many things as a stay at home mom that the person I was talking to probably doesn’t use at all. When was the last time he cooked a meal from scratch? Or when has he had to use long division to figure out if the price per pound will be worth it in the long run?

So for all us stay at home moms, we need to form a union or something because we work twice as hard as anyone who works… except for working moms which I have been as well up to a year ago and that was only part time. Still, it was nuts because I would be out of the house all day, then come home and do all the mom duties, and the wife duties when my husband got home. I was so happy that I was able to quit my job, not because I didn’t like it but rather I just couldn’t do it all. Since becoming a stay home mom, I have been able to actually gather skills that I would never have the time to do working outside the home like making so many things from scratch (coconut milk, flour, cookies) and dehydrating foods. But the one thing that being a stay at home mom did for me was give me the chance to start my Etsy Shop.

That has been an adventure in itself. I opened my shop back in December and my world has been turned upside down. Now I am not just the mom in the house, but, with the shop, I am the owner, marketer, sales person, customer service, campaigner, consultant, and so many other things that I would never end this post. How the person said that having an Etsy Shop isn’t a real job, I will never understand. Yes I am on PinterestTwitter, Instagram and Facebook off and on all day but it is 100% for work. When I “clock out” (hahaha) the last place I want to go is on social media.

Why might you ask? Because I am interacting with people, tweeting, pinning, and following all day long. It gets really tiring having to look at a little screen all day and still try to run a house and raise a child. Then when an order does come in, it can get really fun. Thankfully my daughter is starting to get to the age where she can just sit and watch so for my smaller projects like my Bird and Butterfly Infinity Summer Scarf I can do them more often in the middle of the day instead of after she goes to bed. But if it’s like one of my Crochet Baby Blankets or my Shark Blanket or Shark Baby Cocoon, I have to do those at night after all my other work because she wants to help me by playing the “push the yarn ball around the house” game.

I didn’t even mention that I am also an author with my Debut Novel “Potholes of Hope”. Lord knows what he would have said to that one. That there has it’s own set of craziness because marketing a book and marketing a handmade business can be similar but is usually a completely different audience. So I have two marketing circles that I am in. So that means using all the social media sites above but I also to have a separate Facebook page for my book. It’s a lot to keep track of.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life! I wouldn’t trade it for the world so please don’t think I don’t want orders and stuff. I am just pointing these things out that it is just a walk in the park to be a stay at home mom and it isn’t like I sit and crochet all day and roll in the cash. There’s a lot more to having a successful handmade business that many people don’t realize. I don’t do the work in marketing and social networking, I don’t make any money. So the next time you talk with someone and they say they are a stay at mom mom or have a hand made business, please don’t write them off. More than likely, they are more talented than you are.

Have any stories like this? I would love to hear them! So comment below and have a great day!

Trial Website

So I am trying a new website through Etsy’s partnership with Pattern. I decided to try their free trial to see if I like it. Here is a quick break down of the website. Etsy now offer’s an official website that you can customize to your liking. There is a free trial for Etsy shops right now but it is regularly $15 a month. Which is not bad for what they offer.

The website is connected to your Etsy shop so any changes you make to your listings will then be updated directly to the Pattern site. Which is great since you only have to update one site. So for people like me, one less thing for me to do is the best.

To set up the website is super easy. You transfer your stuff directly from Etsy, pick your theme and colors, and then decide whether or not you want to use a special domain. If you don’t then they will give you one with their ending on it.  I already own my own domain so I decided to connect it to the site. There is an article that explains how to do it for your domain’s home. It took me about an hour to get it done, but it is now done and I have officially opened the website www.handiworksofgrace.com!

You can still go to my Etsy Shop www.handiworksofgrace.etsy.com or you can just go right to my new site. There is a 30 day trial on it and in 30 days I will decide whether or not I will keep it for the cost. But if it is a success, then so far I am very impressed. The only thing that I hope happens when you start paying for the website is to make it more fancy. It’s super simple right now and there is a lot of open margins on the sides. So, if that is the case, then I will more likely keep the site.

Go ahead and check it out. Please comment below so I know how the customers are seeing the site and give me an idea if you think it is worth the money to keep. Have a great day!

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My site’s home page 🙂

Trying to Figure it All out

Most people tackle things one thing at a time. Not me! I publish a book, open an Etsy Shop, raise a toddler, and be a wife all at the same time. Those are just my immediate duties. I have others at church, with our extended families, and outside activities. (Yes I have hobbies and friends outside of all that.) So when does it end? When will I stop pushing myself? I honestly don’t know.

Now I have been trying to learn how to make my Etsy Shop more successful and market Potholes of Hope properly. Both are two very different dragons to slay. On one hand I have a book that I need to be open and happy about even though I feel like all my posts and tweets fall on a lot of deaf ears. Then I have my Etsy Shop that I have to sell myself and say what a great creator I am when I am only hoping for one sale a month. How to juggle both while still giving my daughter and husband the time they? Honestly, it’s by the grace of God.

When it comes to any type of selling for me is really hard. I am a terrible (let me say it again, terrible) sales person. I have bombed many job interviews because they required me to do a simple sales pitch and I couldn’t. I couldn’t sell fire to Eskimos. I felt like I was being pushy and ride for telling someone they needed this certain tanning product. I would start out my pitch strong and end with a “please”. I think one of my interviewers actually laughed at me.

Now the irony of all this is that my profession is sales! AHH!!! But now I am selling things that I really care about. They are things that I have put a lot of thought and time into to make them what I want them to be. So I get on my phone and keep tweeting and posting because I know my products are good and people need them. They need good books, baby blankets, and rugs. It may seem crazy but it’s my life and I love it. I would be bored to live any other way.

But speaking of selling, I have a new listing! You know that shark blanket I was telling you about in my post I Love Filling Orders!? Well here it is! I think it looks awesome! What’s cool is that it comes in sizes for babies to really tall people. There is no one who can’t enjoy being eaten by a shark. So click on the link below and get your’s ordered today.

Shark Blanket, Eat Me Shark Blanket

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