So remember when I asked for recommendations on what I should do with birdseed storage in the dining room, and everyone was like “hey, don’t make this harder than it has to be, just put it in a decent metal bin and move on with your life”…?
Are you surprised to hear that isn’t what I actually did? Instead, I decided to come up with just about the most complicated and time-consuming storage making project possible. It’s sometimes hard for me to tell what I do just because I have a blog, and what I do because I actually LIKE doing strange and complicated projects (thus, why I have a blog).
However, I don’t have a lot of time for projects these days, so pulling this together has taken me a while. I was planning to have the finished project ready to post today, but then an opportunity came up to have a little vacation with my family on the Cape. I think these photos will convince you that I made the right decision:
Yes, we are feeding real wild birds from our hands. It was magical (and also field research on birdseed, so totally project related).
So instead of a full project post today, you all get a project update! I actually think this is good in the long run, since this project has a lot of steps. I’m going to talk just about the one most time-consuming piece of it here, which will make the final post easier to follow.
Essentially, for birdseed storage, I decided to buy a plastic container, and then build an attractive wooden chest around it. I was inspired by the patterned wood pieces that I’ve seen on a lot of blogs (actually one of the blogger trends that I am really into) like here. I wanted to try something similar by making a patterned front for this piece, and then incorporating the strips of wood elsewhere in the design, as well.
I started by buying a whole lot of boards from a home improvement store with different thicknesses.
Once I had them at home, I played around a bit with layout and how to get the various sized pieces that I’ll need for the final construction, and made some 45 degree cuts to form the chevron pattern that I want on the front. Yes, chevron, like a real blogger!
I made the cuts before staining so that I could match like pieces together, and also be sure that I was staining/exposing the nicest side of each piece of wood.
Once cut, I stained them all using a variety of different tones. I went with a wide range, from my favorite Golden Pecan to a Dark Walnut. I even tried out a gray stain!
I did 2+ coats on each, and to help get a more variation in colors I changed it up on for the 2nd coat in a lot of the cases.
Here are the stain combos, from left to right:
- Golden Pecan plus Early American
- Classic Gray plus Classic Gray plus Early American
- Early American plus Early American
- Dark Walnut (one was enough!)
- Red Mahogany plus Red Mahogany
- Golden Pecan plus Early American
- Dark Walnut
- Early American plus Red Mahogany
Once they had dried, I applied a very thin coat of wood glue between each piece and clamped them together. You can see how the pieces will come together to form the top of the panel.
Once that dried, I took the backer piece that I had sized/cut for the storage chest, made sure that I had all the sizing planned out correctly, and attached it with wood glue to the back of the wood pattern.
Once THAT dried (see how this can really drag out when you only have time to do DIY projects on occasional weekend days when it is also nice outside?) I used a jigsaw to cut out around the backer. Having it securely glued down helped the pieces not come apart from the saw, and helped me get the measurements exactly right.
As you can see, I also left some pieces extended to form the legs of the piece.
So here is the near-final look for the front!
Okay, a bit underwhelming for the final image of a post, but I’m happy/excited about the way this is coming along. I think the wood pattern and variation in colors is pretty and will go well with the other patterns and tones in the dining room.
So do I regret making the project this complicated? Maybe a little. It would be nice to be done with it and be able to move onto other things. However, I’m enjoying the process on this one, and also enjoying taking it slow to make time for other priorities and family/friends.