Monthly Archives: December 2015

How To: Make Useful Nesting Trays

Project Level: Beginner

You could never have too many trays for serving snacks or drinks! These sturdy trays are easy to build and you may even have enough wood scarps around to build them without buying more wood! If you don’t have any laying around this is still an inexpensive and simple project to complete.

nestingtrays

What Do You Need?

  • Usual arsenal of tools
  • Adjustable-jaw clamps
  • Mallet
  • Chisel
  • Table saw with combination rip/crosscut blade and dado blades
  • Router table, 3/4″ dia. straight-cut bit, flush-trim bit
  • Drill press, 7/8″- and 1″- dia. Forstner bits
  • Jigsaw
  • Oscillating spindle sander or sanding drum for drill press, 3″ and 3/4″ spindles
  • Table saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Router with a beading bit
  • 120-, 180- and 220-grit sandpaper

To see a full list of tools and supplies, as well as detailed instructions and plans, download the project guide.

Before You Begin

Make sure you follow the directions carefully while practicing and developing your safe working habits. Wear your safety goggles and the appropriate respirator when it is necessary.

Mask1  Mask2

For Your Nesting Trays Project

We recommend using birch or pine. You can see the nesting trays project guide for cutting plans and assembly steps.

Recommended Finish: Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain (Spice, Mediterranean Olive, and Parchment OR Midnight Blue, Botanical, and English Oak)  or choose your favorite stain color.

minwax-water-based-wood-stain

 

Before staining your nesting trays, sand the corners and any other rough spots with 220-grit sandpaper. Dust off the piece and wipe it carefully with a clean, lint-free cloth lightly dampened with mineral spirits.

Make sure to apply Minwax® Water-Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner following the directions on the can. After 1 to 5 minutes, wipe off all excess conditioner using a clean, lint-free cloth. Wait 15 to 30 minutes then use fine-grade paper to sand off any “whiskers” from the conditioner. Make sure to stain within 2 hours.

Do the staining in two steps, starting on the interior surfaces and then moving to the exterior surfaces. Apply the Minwax® Water-Based Wood Stain you’ve chosen to the surface using either a nylon/polyester brush or a cloth. Allow stain to penetrate no longer than 3 minutes. While stain is still wet, wipe off all excess with a clean cloth that’s been lightly dampened with stain. Allow the piece to dry for 2 hours before applying a second coat, if desired. Allow the piece to dry overnight before applying a protective clear finish.

For full instructions on staining and finishing, download the project guide.

Useful Tips

  • Always test the stains and finishes you have selected on a scrap of wood. On the back of the scrap, mark the stain/finish combination and the type of wood. This is important so you can make sure you like how the color will turn out before staining your trays.
  • All stains and finishes should dry thoroughly between each coat. Keep in mind these drying times may vary depending on humidity, temperature and other climatic conditions.
  • If you have some leftover stain or finish, wipe the can rim so that stain or finish in the rim won’t dry out and prevent the lid from forming a tight seal.
  • Brushes used for water-based products, such as Minwax® Water-Based Wood Stains or Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish, should be cleaned with soap and water; oil-based finishes must be cleaned with mineral spirits.

Ready for another project?

If you’re ready for another tray project, download the country flag tray plan here.

For some of Bruce’s tray projects, Check out “A Colorful Serving Tray” and “A Tray for All Seasons”

We’d love to see your finished projects! Share photos of your step-by-step process or finished product on our Facebook page.

Quick Colorful Project Ideas

Looking for quick and fun projects? Here are some colorful projects to try.

Colorful coasters

When I spotted this assortment of unfinished coasters in my local craft store, I decided they would make a colorful addition to our tables, especially after staining them using cans of Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain I already had on my shelves. After quick misting with two coats of Polycrylic® Protective Finish, also water-based, and they were soon ready to prevent wet glasses and hot mugs from damaging any of our tables.

Every busy family needs to stay organized, so when I had an extra picture frame in my workshop, I used the one-step Minwax® Express Color™ Wiping Stain & Finish in indigo to stain and finish it in just a couple of minutes, then put a piece of cork board (foam board works, too) behind it for a quick, easy and colorful bulletin board.

Until next time,

Bruce

How To: Make a Felt-Lined Jewelry Box

Project Level: Beginner

Create a place to keep your jewelry safe and organized or build a thoughtful gift. This project is perfect for beginners to practice miter cuts, doing a biscuit journey, and applying a felt liner.

jewelrybox

What Do You Need?

  • Usual arsenal of tools
  • Combination or try square
  • Blog plane
  • Hand screw clamp
  • Bar clamps
  • Table saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Biscuit joiner
  • Stationary and portable belt sanders
  • Random-orbit sander
  • 120-, 150- and 220-grit sandpaper
  • Rubber tubing
  • Safety glasses
  • Respirator

To see a full list of tools and supplies, as well as detailed instructions and plans, download the project guide.

Before You Begin

Make sure you follow the directions carefully while practicing and developing your safe working habits. Wear your safety goggles and the appropriate respirator when it is necessary.

Mask1  Mask2

 

For Your Jewelry Box Project

We recommend using white oak or mahogany. You can see the jewelry box project guide for cutting plans and assembly steps.

Recommended Finish: Minwax® PolyShades® Satin (Classic Oak) or choose your favorite stain color.

PolyShades_Satin_Qt_ClassicOakClassicOak.jpg

 

Before staining your jewelry box, Make sure to apply Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner and then you’re ready to stain and finish.

Apply Minwax® Polyshades® following the label directions. Use a good quality, natural-bristle brush suitable for use with polyurethane. Stir the can contents thoroughly before starting and periodically during your work session. Allow the first coat of Polyshades® to dry for 6 hours.

The next day, sand all surfaces lightly with 220-grit sandpaper or very fine (000) steel wool. Dust off and wipe all surfaces with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits. Apply a second coat of PolyShades® and set the rack aside to cure overnight.

If you achieve the desired color, apply a clear coat of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane or Minwax® Wipe-On Poly for added protection.

For full instructions on staining and finishing, download the project guide.

Useful Tips

  • Always test the stains and finishes you have selected on a scrap of wood. On the back of the scrap, mark the stain/finish combination and the type of wood. This is important so you can make sure you like how the color will turn out before staining your frame.
  • All stains and finishes should dry thoroughly between each coat. Keep in mind these drying times may vary depending on humidity, temperature and other climatic conditions.
  • If you have some leftover stain or finish, wipe the can rim so that stain or finish in the rim won’t dry out and prevent the lid from forming a tight seal.
  • Brushes used for water-based products, such as Minwax® Water-Based Wood Stains or Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish, should be cleaned with soap and water; oil-based finishes must be cleaned with mineral spirits.

Ready for another project?

If you want to see other small organizers, check out plans for a charging station or a mail and key organizer.

See what Bruce made from old picture frames so his wife could keep her jewelry organized! Check out his blog post here.

We’d love to see your finished projects! Share photos of your step-by-step process or finished product on our Facebook page.

Wooden Cheese Crate Tutorial with Stacy Risenmay

Guest blogger Stacy Risenmay of Not JUST A Housewife is back with a tutorial of another creative project. See how she created a vintage wooden planter box for her dining room shelves using Minwax® Wood Finish™, Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain, and Minwax® Express Color™ Wiping Stain & Finish.

After playing around with different ways of styling these corner shelves in my dining room and kitchen area I have finally found a way that I LOVE! Triangle shaped shelves can be tricky to style I have found. I really wanted a vintage wooden crate somewhere in my kitchen so I decided to make a triangle shaped one. It turned out better than I had hoped and was easier than I thought.

cheese crate as planter in kitchen for herbs

Since the crate was going to be up on a shelf and you wouldn’t see the joints, I decided to go the easy route and only cut two ends at a 45 degree angle. If this were a piece of furniture or something you would see the corners on, I would have figured out the angles and done mitered cuts on all corners.

To make a bottom, simply set the triangle on a piece of wood and trace the inside with a jigsaw and nail and glue it into place.

cut wood for triangle crate

After gluing and nailing it together, I sanded it smooth. I wiped off the dust and then stained it using Minwax® Wood Finish™ in Golden Oak. I wanted it to be a lighter but warm color.

staining crate with golden oak

It looked great just stained and I could have left it as is, but I really wanted that vintage-y feel of an old crate.

Before stain image

When looking at examples of old crates online, the main colors of the stamped lettering seemed to be blue, black, and red. I went with red and black and I luckily had those colors of stain on hand. I had the Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in Crimson and the Minwax® Express Color™ Wiping Stain & Finish in Onyx.

color stain I used for stenciling

I cut a stencil out of vinyl using my silhouette cutting machine.

vinyl stencil

Using a foam brush I gently dabbed the stain on and then used a paper towel to remove the excess.

stenciling lettering on wood crate

Once it dried I lightly sanded it with 220 grit sand paper to get that aged look. I like to set pots inside of the crate rather than plant them in the crate itself. That way I can easily take out one pot at a time to use the herbs or to water as needed.

cheese crate used as planter for herbs

I will be revealing my finished dining room later this week. I am thrilled with how it all came together!

kitchen shelves with herbs in wooden cheese crate

Stacy Risenmay is a DIY enthusiast. In her blog, Not Just a Housewife, she shares her adventures of fixing up her 1938 cottage. She believes that whether it’s big or small, everyone should love their space. Learn more about Stacy and visit: http://www.notjustahousewife.net/about. You can also follow Stacy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram