Saturday, January 14, 2012

Love Letter and Wine Box pt 2

After our misadventures in woodburning, Mr. Warbs stepped up to stain the box. We originally ordered the unfinished box online knowing that we would eventually stain it. We went to Home Depot to pick out a nice rustic looking color, a drop cloth and some paint brushes. While the box's lid was being worked on by BM Tata's dad, Mr. Warbs went to work on the rest of the box. Staining is pretty easy to do, but if you're going to stain wood here's a tip to make it easier on yourself: sand the wood first! It helps the wood absorb the stain better. Totally a foreign concept to me, but apparently everyone's part of a secret club that knows about things like this!

Anyway, we neglected to do that and it gave Mr. Warbs a bit of trouble to get the wood dark enough. The first couple coats of stain seemed to roll off the wood like water. I think he must have used four or more coats in order to get the box dark enough. When we got the lid back, (which BM Tata's dad had sanded) it only needed one coat of stain. If we had added another it would have been a completely different color than the rest of the box.

After giving the box a couple of days to dry we were happy with the finished color!

The next step was adding in the foam inserts. Sure we could have skipped this step as it's not really necessary. But, I was afraid the glasses would rattle around in the box and break so we chugged ahead. Every tutorial I found online recommended closed cell foam, but I couldn't find that anywhere so we settled with ordinary building foam from from Home Depot. In my opinion, it worked fine and was a lot cheaper, but if you can find the other stuff good for you!

Cheap foam

I cut out two pieces, one to lie on the bottom of the box and one to cut out the wine glass shapes. The piece on the bottom keeps the glasses from touching the wood, adding extra protection. I tried to cut the pieces to match the inside of the box, leaving a little wiggle room. 

I wouldn't recommend cutting this on your carpet. It took forever to clean up all those little foam pieces.

Next I laid the glasses and the wine bottle we're using on a piece of foam and traced the shapes. Make sure to trace the shapes of the actual glasses and wine bottle you're going to use! Since the shapes are going to be pretty precise, you might run into a problem later if the new glasses you won't to use don't fit snugly. 

Both the wine and the glasses were bought at Costco. Did I mention how much I love Costco?

After I traced the shapes a couple of times, I cut out the shapes with an X-acto knife. As you can see, I kind of messed up on the left side a bit, but the felt covers up any mistakes. Thank God. Next I glued the two pieces together to create one thick piece.

Here's the part where I made a simple idea much much harder. Originally I planned to glue the felt on. I actually started by gluing the felt into the shapes first. I was then going to cut out pieces of felt to fill in the rest. I. Was. Nuts. I have no idea why I thought this was a good idea. Halfway through it looked like a weird felt patchwork quilt. Nothing was even and it looked bad, Hive. Real bad.

 I can't even bear to show you photos of anything after this point.

While I was slowly losing my mind, Mr Warbs came in with the assist. He basically told me to stop making it harder than it was and just cover the whole thing with felt. At this point I was so frustrated I said, "If it's so easy, why don't you do it then?" And he pushed me aside and went to work. And finished what I had struggled with for two days in about 15 minutes.

He ripped out the stupid pieces I glued in and covered the whole foam block with felt. Then he put the glasses and wine bottle in their respective pieces to create the mold. He secured the pieces together on the back with glue and then placed the foam into the box. Then he was done. Like some kind of wizard.

See that blurry hand? That's how fast he worked!

Finished mold

Finished project!

It's good to have someone to call you out when you're being crazy. If I had told Mr. Warbs what I was planning from the beginning, I would have saved a lot of time and energy. DIY projects don't always have to be done by "yourself". Sometimes doing it together (tee-hee) works a lot better. And there's your cheesy lesson for today.

Has anyone else run into trouble turning their DIY project into reality?

All photos are personal

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