The ILH Making Your Own Furniture/Decor thread

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For about a year now Ive been gathering tools here and there. I think I finally have what I need to start building some basic furniture. My idea was to start with a platform bed since it appears to be as easy as a frame inside a frame then a bunch of slats. Am I crazy? Are any ilxors woodworkers? What were some of your beginner projects? Any tips?

educate yourself to this reality (sunny successor), Friday, 24 May 2013 16:00 (six years ago) link

i've made some v v simple curtains (straight panels with a rod pocket) but that's as far as i've gone with diy

⚓ (elmo argonaut), Friday, 24 May 2013 17:15 (six years ago) link

Soon I will be spray-painting a metal table, probably on my roof? That's about as far as I go without a garage or workshop or basement or yard.

lets just remember to blame the patriarchy for (in orbit), Friday, 24 May 2013 17:17 (six years ago) link

haha before I saw it was you, L, I had a vision of someone on a slanted house roof with a table and i was all whaaa?

educate yourself to this reality (sunny successor), Friday, 24 May 2013 17:26 (six years ago) link

Well I'm going to give it a shot. Furniture is so insanely expensive in the US that I feel like we will always have old second-third-fourth hand half broken stuff or shitty stuff from target that cant deal with the abuse of two children. The plans for the platform bed (king size) estimate it will cost $100 to make.

educate yourself to this reality (sunny successor), Friday, 24 May 2013 17:29 (six years ago) link

I might blog my progress here. Ive also promised beats a loft bed as my second project which sounds way too ambitious so it may fail but whatevs. Should be fun.

educate yourself to this reality (sunny successor), Friday, 24 May 2013 17:30 (six years ago) link

I saw that in the other thread! My inner kid was like wo. Please take pics and keep us up to date!

lets just remember to blame the patriarchy for (in orbit), Friday, 24 May 2013 17:33 (six years ago) link

I posted from my phone but it seems to have got et: what toold do you have? What tools do you still need/want? I feel like if I wanted to go further with DIY I would need a circular saw and would have to learn to use a miter box/make corners. What do you think the challenges will be?

lets just remember to blame the patriarchy for (in orbit), Friday, 24 May 2013 17:36 (six years ago) link

Well, honestly the thing that concerns me most is picking out the actual lumber. There are so many different ways a plank of wood can be bad for building. I guess its just going to take some experience to pinpoint that.

Tools I have:
*Dewalt drill w/ basic drill bit set plus a countersink set
*Dewalt circular saw
*Dewalt Jigsaw (can you tell i like dewalt?)
*Kreg Jig (which is a magical (and v. cheap) tool that allows you to countersink screws at an angle)

and the basics:
*Hammer
*A couple of different types of clamps
*Level
*Carpenter Square

I need/want:

*A nail punch
*A sawhorse or two. These are SO expensive!!!! I honestly can work out why. I may start off with this instead http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-WM425-550-Pound-Workbench/dp/B0000224R9/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1369418615&sr=1-2&keywords=carpenters+horse
*I can't remember if I have a sander but I feel like I probably do. If not I'll probably get a $5 hand sander until I get sick of it (pretty quickly I imagine)

educate yourself to this reality (sunny successor), Friday, 24 May 2013 18:08 (six years ago) link

BTW here is the website that inspired me to make my own furniture:
http://ana-white.com/

and here are then plans for the platform bed:

http://www.thedesignconfidential.com/2011/03/free-diy-furniture-plan-to-build-a-viva-terra-inspired-king-sized-vintage-fir-platform-bed

Ill probably skip the headboard unless the bed itself goes really well and I feel like I can tackle something a little harder.

educate yourself to this reality (sunny successor), Friday, 24 May 2013 18:11 (six years ago) link

i discovered ana-white last week, too!

i am planning on building this when i get to NH: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/how-to-build-heavy-duty-workbench/

well if it isn't old 11 cameras simon (gbx), Tuesday, 4 June 2013 22:12 (six years ago) link

reminds me that i need a work table

⚓ (elmo argonaut), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 14:32 (six years ago) link

GBX thats awesome. Post pics as you go! I need a work bench too.

educate yourself to this reality (sunny successor), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 15:24 (six years ago) link

(There's one in the garage. *cough*)

pplains, Wednesday, 5 June 2013 15:37 (six years ago) link

I am probably going to contribute to this thread, but more likely just soft furnishings -- in fact the work table i want to make will be a cutting / pressing table like the ones at the sewing studio i take classes at. standard base and comfortable working height while standing, but with a padded top (layers of padding & stretched canvas stapled down) which you can cover with a removable laminate work surface. they are so great and i want one. you can pin right into the table, or iron large projects on it, and if you need extra width when laying out fabric you can just bump out the laminate surface to the side.

I have a friend who is pretty good with woodworking, i'm hoping to set up some sort of skill share arrangement to make this happen.

⚓ (elmo argonaut), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 15:41 (six years ago) link

upholstery has crossed my mind when coming up with projects but it scares the shit out of me. like i dont see how i could not fuck it up im just so bad with sewing and making material do what I want it to. still, id love to learn. a plain rectangle upholstered bedhead might be a good start?

educate yourself to this reality (sunny successor), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 16:26 (six years ago) link

pp that thing is so high up. id need to build a stage to stand on and for that I might need a workbench.

educate yourself to this reality (sunny successor), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 16:27 (six years ago) link

elmo, have you found a plan for the workbench online?

educate yourself to this reality (sunny successor), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 16:29 (six years ago) link

i don't have a plan, no, but i don't think it will be tough to adapt some existing plans -- i think the challenge is gonna be finding the right laminate surface for the work top. i'll be able to get the canvas yardage at the art supply place i think, and the padding i can find in the discount loft at the fabric store.

⚓ (elmo argonaut), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 16:33 (six years ago) link

but i DO need a staple gun

⚓ (elmo argonaut), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 16:34 (six years ago) link

Back in my early 20s, one of my roommates decided that she didn't like the fabric on the recliner I brought home from Salvation Army and that she was going to re-upholster it. All she managed to do was un-upholster it though.

how's life, Wednesday, 5 June 2013 16:35 (six years ago) link

padded headboard or seat cushions are probably easy and safe to start with, but i have no idea how you'd go about anything more complicated than that

⚓ (elmo argonaut), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 16:43 (six years ago) link

i have a broken couch in the garage that has been semi-unupholstered for 6 months now. I want to save the material in case the cats of kids ruin the fabric on the unbroken matching couches we have inside. ive learned leaving a gigantic broken half ripped apart couch in your garage that allows no room for a car does not please your spouse at all.

educate yourself to this reality (sunny successor), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 16:44 (six years ago) link

Hey, if Donna or Kelso ever want to drop by, we'll be cool.

pplains, Wednesday, 5 June 2013 16:45 (six years ago) link

a padded microsuede, very light beige headboard would probably look pretty good in our bedroom. I'm officially adding this to the project list.

educate yourself to this reality (sunny successor), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 16:46 (six years ago) link

maybe ill reupholster your beloved recliner in with the remains of the couch. the existing material must be 90% baby and cat throw up at this point

educate yourself to this reality (sunny successor), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 16:48 (six years ago) link

I've re-covered a small bench before but it was super simple - cut fabric, tighten up, staple on the bottom. I'm planning on recovering six chairs that I just bought at some point as well, I assume it won't be too complicated.

I'm also planning on reupholsetering a motorcycle seat which is kind of the same thing but seems more intimidating, especially if you have to cut and stitch things and break into the third dimension. I watched a half hour video the other day and it scared me.

joygoat, Wednesday, 5 June 2013 17:16 (six years ago) link

I made a white pine bookshelf, 7' x 3' x 11" with 7 shelves, back in 1993. Bastard is heavy.

Thank you for talkin' to me Williamsburg (WilliamC), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 17:21 (six years ago) link

joygoat, will the motorcycle seats involve some kind of studs instead of staples or is it literally sewn on.

WC, was woodworking new to you? What is the trickiest part of making something that appears pretty straightforward. I know there have got to be traps somewhere along the way.

educate yourself to this reality (sunny successor), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 17:27 (six years ago) link

Also, does anyone know if I rock up to a home depot with a cut list, will they cut everything for me?

educate yourself to this reality (sunny successor), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 17:28 (six years ago) link

I watched one pretty complex seat sewn together from multiple panels that had a threaded flap and such to hold the cover to the seat pan, but lots of simpler jobs just wrap new vinyl over the old foam and staple it underneath.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sANLPfZ9BSY

I kind of like these grooved type ones though which makes it more complicated that just smooth vinyl:
http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z189/uberkafer/1c.jpg

joygoat, Wednesday, 5 June 2013 17:46 (six years ago) link

Yeah, that was the first and last piece of freestanding furniture I built. I'm a pro at bracket shelving, though.

IIRC, the main thing I tried to focus on was getting the main box's counterpart pieces (left and right side; top and bottom) exactly the same length, which was tricky without a table saw or a helper or sawhorses. I had a circular saw and just propped lumber up on whatever i could find on the carport. But it came together nice and square in assembly. One of the shelves was 1/4" too long and I manhandled it and screwed it into place rather than try to shave a tiny amount off. xp

Thank you for talkin' to me Williamsburg (WilliamC), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 17:53 (six years ago) link

jg, i've never upholstered anything, but i imagine it's pretty straightforward to follow instructions, you just need to accept the possibility of a few mistakes. like anything else, there's a learning curve -- don't let it psych you out! xps

⚓ (elmo argonaut), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 18:00 (six years ago) link

I would like to be able to make custom shelving - we have lots of special books that are really really really huge (I think the biggest one right now is like 24” x 16”) and really tiny. And I want a couple of book stands for displaying some of the big art books.

just1n3, Wednesday, 5 June 2013 19:18 (six years ago) link

i just found this thread!

i used to do a lot of this when i was younger, went crazy spray-painting things and glue-gunning plastic flowers to astroturf and whatnot
also when i was 23 or so i made this weird wall hanging with an honest-to-goodness axe on it and hung it over my BED until i realized that it could be used to chop me to pieces. eventually i got rid of it. but yeah i love making stupid home decor shit!

i have really bad taste though obvs. i think i'm getting better, but no more weapons. that was almost as embarrassing as having a pet snake.
i'm more matoor now, after all

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 19:32 (six years ago) link

i also have a superman table that i made for my mr's 24th bday but it's looking p gnarly all these years later. i still have it though!

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 19:33 (six years ago) link

in fact, here it is, among other things

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7340/8890014139_f6a8b1257e.jpg

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 19:34 (six years ago) link

http://i-cdn.apartmenttherapy.com/uimages/chicago/042108lane2.JPG

I found one of these dudes - rather beat up - on my street and dragged it home.. Wanted to DIY it a bit but I don't really have any room for it :( Also unwilling to throw it out so it's just sitting in my dining room sadly crowding everything.

LL, is that modge podged or similar? Our living room table is painted & shabby and I thought it would be fun to collage the top but I'm not interested in having glass cut to fit.

she started dancing to that (Finefinemusic), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 19:42 (six years ago) link

That's a great step table, ffm! I hope you find a good home for it.

lets just remember to blame the patriarchy for (in orbit), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 19:43 (six years ago) link

yeah i used some crap that people use to make the clear coating on the tops of bars? first i color photocopied the comic, then i cut it up, then i arranged it on the painted wood table thing (which is really really pathetic in its design but hey i had/have no training or tools beyond a drill and two arms) and then i spray-adhesived the comic to the top and poured the polymer shit over it.

this was a long time ago -- almost 13 years to the week! -- but it has held up alright.

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 19:46 (six years ago) link

Thanks io! My mom inherited all her Dad's cool furniture incl one of these (& a giant boomerang shaped coffee table) but put everything in storage and defaulted on the payments so I am basically chasing my childhood by hoarding this. I will find a spot!

LL this polymer stuff sounds fabulous! I will price it out and see if its feasible for this table. Now to brainstorm collage ideas..

she started dancing to that (Finefinemusic), Wednesday, 5 June 2013 19:54 (six years ago) link


Also, does anyone know if I rock up to a home depot with a cut list, will they cut everything for me?

Not necessarily, especially rips. I went to to two different Home Depots where they told me they weren't allowed to do any ripping. I would go to a lumber yard or get a wood shop to do any cutting that requires precision.

Je55e, Thursday, 6 June 2013 12:50 (six years ago) link

The Home Depot* near my house used to not do any cutting b/c it is small (despite being 3 stories), so the first time I bought boards there, I had to cut them with a hand saw and a mitre box. That was weird.

*called by some** the Homo Depot b/c it is near Boystown and its staff has lots of gays

**some like me

Je55e, Thursday, 6 June 2013 12:55 (six years ago) link

haha je55e -- this is getting off topic and maybe it's just me but i've always felt like home depot is kind of a cruising environment, it's basically a series of long hypermasculine alleyways populated by rugged dudes and you have to kind of lurk around near all this manly stuff, sometimes you stop and ask a guy a question then you end up following him down a darkened aisle. idk, maybe i just get confused by the signage out front for "contractor pickup" because i always think "yes, please."

⚓ (elmo argonaut), Thursday, 6 June 2013 13:19 (six years ago) link

i used to walk around there aimlessly all the time, back when i was making this ridiculous stuff and: you're not the only one whose mind that has crossed. it even smells good in there. chemicals and wood? yes, please.

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Thursday, 6 June 2013 13:24 (six years ago) link

roaming around hardware or building places is the best, either aimlessly or more often when I have a particular need but don't quite know what what piece of hardware will get closest to solving my problem

joygoat, Thursday, 6 June 2013 16:51 (six years ago) link

I like it, though it gets stressful when I get stuck in hunting mode when I have nothing left to hunt for.

Je55e, Thursday, 6 June 2013 16:54 (six years ago) link

Hardware stores are THE BEST. I've sung the praises of that hardware smell so many times.

lets just remember to blame the patriarchy for (in orbit), Thursday, 6 June 2013 16:54 (six years ago) link

Once I walked into my local Home Depot and they were playing "I Feel Love".

how's life, Thursday, 6 June 2013 16:54 (six years ago) link

I'm usually so goal-focused when I go to Home Despot, I've never gone in and just wandered.

Thank you for talkin' to me Williamsburg (WilliamC), Thursday, 6 June 2013 16:55 (six years ago) link

I have to be goal-oriented in there or else I will buy the fixings for at least 8 projects at a time and spend $$$ before I know it.

lets just remember to blame the patriarchy for (in orbit), Thursday, 6 June 2013 16:56 (six years ago) link

There used to be a Yelp review for the Homo Depot where the reviewer claimed that the gay guys who worked there were always cutting up and throwing around innuendo when he asked them for caulk, screws, and wood. I really didn't believe him. Sadly, the review is gone now.

Je55e, Thursday, 6 June 2013 16:57 (six years ago) link


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