One-a-Week / 2

A is for……    


carnival light, diy letter light

carnival light

The first name of our soon to be born little boy! We are pretty up front with the details of our lives, but we are keeping his name a secret. We are 99.9% sure we are giving this “A” name to him as his first name! So of course some customization is in order. He’s a baby after alll!

I am super loving this project because it’s quick and saved me a bunch of money. I love marquee letters. Carnival letters? Whatever you want to call them, I dig them. Urban was selling then for $179 a pop, and I was tempted to grab some. When I started spelling out words/names, I realized how much the bill was going to be and stopped myself from investing in reproductions and focused that money towards original art. Then pinterest does what it does best and gave me an idea (or better yet, some instructions) on how to make my own! Here is what you are going to need to grab to make your own:

  1. I got the letter at Joe-ann’s, though I would have preferred the largest “A” they were all out so I snagged the medium one for $4.99.
  2. The lights I got at Target, on sale for $6.48. I grabbed these ones for two reasons. 1.) The bulb is plastic. 2.) there were 10 lights on the strand.
  3. Primer (if you plan to paint your letter (or number!)
  4. Spray paint (you’ll need the primer, trust)
  5. x-acoto knife
  6. Pencil

how to make a carnival letter

This is super easy and gratifying!

1.) Cut along the edge of the back of your letter/number to create a “door”. Keep one side uncut. This is where your wire and “guts” will live and you’ll want to cover it up once you poke the light throughout.

2.) Prime your letter or number.

3.) Cut out small “X”‘s evenly spaced apart, this is where you will poke your light into. The “X” should be slightly smalle than the thin part of your bulb, ad the tension is what holds it in place.

4.) Now paint your letter/number. I painted it first when I tried, and it was pretty hard to poke the numb through.

5.) After it’s fully dry, poke the bulbs through the “X” and let the hollow insides house the wire.

6.) Tape up the back and let the plug hang out!

how to make a marquee letter, diy marquee letter

Did you knock anything off your pinterest to do list this week? I would love to see! Please share below!

DIY Trunk (or anything really) Risers

Joey here! Have you ever wanted to make something you own sit higher off the ground than where it previously rested? Well, I’m here to tell you how! YAY!

brass trunk, diy trunk stand

When Lana purchased these trunks a year or so ago she was so excited. And why not? They hold stuff, you can put things on top of them, and they’re GOLD! If I remember things correctly (which I almost certainly don’t) she jumped up in the air and clicked her heels like an old time prospector.

Fast forward to today and I was tasked with making some risers for them out of some basic stuff you can nab at most bigger hardware stores. And the materials and execution are pretty simple. Lets start at the beginning with a crudely drawn diagram of what’s going to happen here.

Trunk Stand Diy, how to trunk stand

You’ll want to measure the base of your trunks or whatever else you plan on raising up. This will help you determine how much aluminum angles and flat bars you’ll need to buy. I ended up needing this much: 1” x 36” flat (2 per trunk) 1” x 36” angles (3 per trunk)

brass trunk, diy trunk stand

As for other materials and tools you’ll want at the ready you should have a drill with a 1/8 inch bit, a riveter with 1/8” rivets, something to cut your aluminum (I used my Dremel) and some safety glasses. Seriously, use the safety glasses for this one. It’s one thing to get a little dust in your eyes, it’s quite another when imperceptibly small, jagged aluminum bits are flying at you.

brass trunk, diy trunk stand

After you have measured your trunks you can start marking off and cutting your aluminum angles. The square that you are making for the top of this cube will need the angles all facing inward to give your trunk something to rest on. And a word to the wise… Leave yourself a quarter inch or so extra room on your cuts. You’ll want the space when you start riveting and realize that only one side of the rivet sits flush, the other end sticks out and mocked me as I tried to have my trunk sit level when I was done. First time using a riveter for me, so, live and learn.

When you have cut the 4 angles to length you can break out your favorite drill and make some 1/8” holes for the rivets. The first hole is easy. The second one takes some more patience. I suggest determining which pieces you’d like to sit on top of the others and drilling those and then using that hole to mark the angle that will sit below with a Sharpe. Even better would be to clamp everything down and drill through everything at once with a drill press. I went for the “I’m just gonna see how this goes” approach cause that’s the type of guy I am. Maybe next time I’ll be a different guy. A guy who doesn’t need to make a second trip to the hardware store.

Back to the project… So, now that you have competently drilled those holes all you gotta do is pop that rivet in there and tighten her right up. Being this was my first time using a riveter and I usually light instructions on fire on sight I had no idea how to use it. I must have looked like a confused chimp poking at stuff and scratching my head. In reality this is a very simple tool. Just put the rivet through the hole with the long end sticking up and then insert the rod from the rivet into the riveter and pull the handle a few times. The rod (in most cases) will pop off when the job is done and you’ll be all set.

brass trunk, diy trunk stand

With the other angles you have left over you are going to want to cut yourself the sections that will give your stand the height you desire. I wanted 8” so that’s what I did. Cut 4 of these. Then go back to making holes and filling them with rivets. Remember that you want the flush end of the rivet to be what you see when the project is over so make sure you are putting them in the right way or will be cutting them outta there.

brass trunk, diy trunk stand

Last of the cutting takes place when you make the bottom section out of the aluminum flats you should still have laying around. Cut 4 of these the same length you cut the top section. Place them along the bottom, mark where you’d like the holes and drill and rivet some more.

Now you’ve got something that looks like this, or even better hopefully.

brass trunk, diy trunk stand

Only two things left to do. Spray paint them the color of your choice. Lana said GOLD! So I did as I was told. Lastly, we took some wax that strangely Lana just had around the house and used it to create a sort of sealant on the paint so it wouldn’t scratch so easily. And POOF! You got yourself a pretty new stand.

brass trunk, diy trunk stand

If you like doing easy projects check out a bunch here. If you liked this project, pin it!


One-a-Week / 13

dipped wood forksOh Happy Monday! I can’t believe Summer is almost over! It’s killing me that we are still mid-crazy-kitchen-reno + house painting + repairing exterior wood detail + landscaping. I can’t wait until it’s complete, it’s going to feel sooooooooo good! It makes for a bunch of blog posts, but that’s only when you have to time to actually write about what you are doing! If you follow our Instagram, you can see the amazing ($124!!!!) lights we got going on that totally changed everything in the Kitchen along with all our #MAHAHKitchenReno progress.

It’s Monday, so I am going to take a step back and keep it light. Grab some wood or bamboo forks, paint, a gold pen and make those simple forks cute and custom.



 Here are some tips to make it a snap:

  • Cut your paint with water , your forks will dry quicker if they aren’t coated with paint and they will look more rustic.
  • Use a paint brush, dipping gave a goopy texture for me!
  • Grab an old shoe box and poke 1 inch holes in it and stab your wet fork in the hole  (dry side down) to create a clean drying space.
  • Use a gold pen to add design features (or clean up and sloppy paint edges!)
  • Keep adding white to your color do make your forks monochromatic and do a whole bunch!

fancy-forks-dipped-6 Edited

Like small projects? Check out other one-a-week posts!

Cute Gift For Yourself




FoldableMe asked us to take a look at their super cute and creative creation, and we said “Sure! Why not?!” and had a ton of fun putting them together and making a little video of myself, Joey and Atlas.


I have been on a kick for shopping for Christmas already. I am 100% done shopping for Atlas – I guess I was a bit excited. I have also been slowly working on everyone else and hope to be done by Halloween. These guys would be such cute stocking stuffers or co-worker gifts to make a set of your friends family. Well done FoldableMe, we love them!

PS – Brickyard Buffalo has them on sale for one more day if you want to snag a deal on these little guys!


One-a-Week / 12

hanging wood toy

When you have a kid, everyone will warn you how quickly they grow, and everyone is not a liar. It’s amazing that Atlas really loves to observe everything, especially hanging things. Remember this DIY Doily Dreamcatcher I made for him just a few weeks back? It’s like the. best. toy. ever. He loves laughing at is and looking up at it. This project was pretty simply and required very few things – and you can hack it to fit your needs of course.

We got a very long wood cylinder at the home improvement store and chopped it up. Joey then drilled holes down the center so we could feed the string (also got at the home improvement store) through it.

hanging toy for baby



hanging toy

We double checked to make sure the string fed correctly, then removed it to paint the wood fun colors.

water color on wood

gold painted fathers

 I just used your normal run-of-the-mill water color to paint the wood. I didn’t even do anything special to it – just straight paintbrush to raw wood action. I also dipped some feathers in Martha Stewart gold paint and dusted with glitter at this point, so all the wet stuff could dry together.

gold feather, glitter feather

hanging toy


I found these super cute pom’s from Thailand, and decided this was the perfect project to add them to. They are tiny pom pom’s, so I just glued them to the end of the pink string (two small strips just a few inches long) for some fun.

I also added some wooden beads from the craft store along with some help from knots and some super glue.

Keep in mind, this isn’t intended as a toy for a baby to play with. Just a pretty nugget to hang and look at.

hanging wood toy

Like small projects? Check out other one-a-week posts!


One-a-Week / 11

It’s been a little bit difficult to get my one-a-week projects done these days. We had a house full of sick (ick?!) and are just about now getting back out of bed to live life again. This project is so sweet and easy! If you remember, we made a doily lamp a million years ago and we have a bunch of left over doilies! We were thinking of things Atlas liked that we can make and he can look at, and we decided on using the doily to make a dreamcatcher!

diy doily dreamcatcher

I like this project because the rules aren’t hard and fast. We used old materials from our wedding and only had to order/buy a few things!

Some basic items you will need are:

  • feathers
  • gold paint (we used Martha Stewart from Home Depot)
  • string
  • a doily
  • a round metal hoop (we got ours here for $0.85 each)
  • fibers and fabrics
  • super glue

We simply used the string to attach the doily to the gold metal hoop and put a dot of super glue at each point to keep it attached and sturdy.

diy doily dreamcatcher


I know most people cover their loop in fabric, but I liked to gold, so I kept it raw. I dipped the feathers in the gold paint to give the dreamcatcher more shine.

DIY doily dreamcatcher


After this point, you can basically let your imagination take you where you want!


diy doily dreamcatcher

One-a-Week/ 10

DIY wood blocks, toy blocks, food grade dye for toys

I love this project because it’s so easy, and you can avoid those pricy wood blocks at the boutiques! All you do is take 2X2 NON-pressure treated wood (make sure it’s all natural and not treated with anything), food dye (the kind you use on Easter eggs works just fine), a few drops of vinegar, and paint brushes.

Make sure to dull the edges of your cubes with sandpaper before you color them. We put a few drops of vinegar in a cup, along with one ounce of water, and as many drops of dye as you like, the more drops, the darker the blocks! The vinegar is what “sets” the dye to the blocks so the color doesn’t rub off. Dont skip this step unless you want dye everywhere.

DIY wood blocks, DIY toy blocks, natural toy blocks

Take your paintbrush, and paint the blocks with your color concoction. Let dry over night!

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