The House of Wood - The DIY Life of a Military Wife
A musician, military wife, and mother to two young children, Jen authors The House of Wood as her creative outlet for all things DIY and design, where she documents her adventures in woodworking, interior design, military life, marriage, and motherhood. Jen offers in-depth tutorials that inspire and encourage readers to build their way to a more beautiful home.
Hey Friends! Aniko back here from Place of My Taste with a quick 5-minute Antipasto Skewers recipe today!
These little skewers of flavor are sure to have your guests raving! But, that’s not the best thing about these beautiful, colorful appetizers… you can make them and be ready to go in just 5 minutes. So, whether you are hosting a gathering or you’re headed out to a BBQ this summer- these are the ticket to fancy and delicious in the easiest way possible!
5-Minute Antipasto Skewers
I love all the antipasto and charcuterie plates! So many layers of flavors and colors and textures. They are just as exciting to eat as they are to look at. They can also get super expensive super fast! But, in an effort to recreate the bold array sort of in a miniature bite-sized way without breaking the bank- these 5-minute antipasto skewers were born!
They were incredibly easy to put together- hence the 5-minute title- and they went over wonderfully at our little soirée last night. These 5-minute Antipasto Skewers are sure to be a hit at your party too.
You can mix it up- be creative and use what you have! I literally grabbed what I already had in my cupboard and fridge- the only thing I had to run to the store for was the prosciutto but obviously if you are missing something you can leave it out. If you are a vegetarian, I am sure these would be equally delicious for you with no meat at all. I think the most import things to remember here are to really layer color and flavor to get this bold appetizer right!
Here is the recipe for these cute Antipasto Skewers as I put it together:
A bold, colorful, flavorful sampling of antipasto ready to go in just 5 minutes!
3 oz. pitted black olives
3 oz. pitted green olives
7.5 oz. marinated artichoke heart quarters
10 oz. artisan gourmet tomatoes (or a variety of cherry and grape or sunburst tomatoes)
3 oz. prosciutto
12 oz. small or mini marinated mozzarella balls
2 dozen skewers or fancy, long toothpicks
basil, pepper and olive oil to garnish (optional)
Cut each piece of prosciutto into 1 in. strips and fold them to make them bite-sized and easy to pull to the skewer.
Set all of your ingredients within reach.
Start sticking the tomato, artichoke, cheese, prosciutto, olive.
Repeat until ingredients are used up.
I alternated every other skewer with a different color olive.
Add them all to your favorite tray or platter and sprinkle with finely chopped fresh basil, cracked pepper, and olive oil if desired.
Serve and enjoy!
I encourage you to think outside the box and experiment! You really can’t get this wrong. Try some other fresh pepper pieces or different cheeses, salami or good ol’ country ham might be the way you roll, and that is totally fine too. Just have fun with it.
Here is another easy crowd-pleasing appetizer to try. BAKED BRIE
I hope you enjoy these 5-minute Antipasto Skewers and try the Baked Brie. Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite combinations are – I’m always so impressed and inspired by what you try!
Be sure to visit my latest and greatest DIY projects and home decor tips at Place of My Taste and come back for more recipes soon!
Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be sharing my newest project on the Simpson Strong-Tie® blog, Building Strong: a DIYMobile Workbench with Drawers! I desperately needed a place for my Inventables X-Carve 3D carving machine – for months, it sat on a piece of plywood laid over two sawhorses. I know, so embarrassing! But instead of building just a simple table, I really wanted a workbench that would be a workhorse in my shop, so I added some much needed storage. I put drawers and shelves on both sides of the workbench, since the top had to be so wide – at least 40 inches deep! I really love how it turned out and am so happy I finally have a dedicated space for my X-carve.
These wafer-head screws by Simpson Strong-Tie are my favorite – you don’t have to pre-drill pilot holes, so it saves me an extra step. Love that. #worksmarter
Hello, builder friends! It’s Angie from House Becoming Home, and if you’re like me, you’ve got a pile (or two or three) of wood scraps, growing bigger and bigger with each and every project you take on. Mine is getting embarrassingly large, so I decided this month to complete a project using only wood from the scrap pile, NOTHING new! I have an entire Pinterest board where I’m continually collecting ideas and inspiration for scrap wood projects, and after browsing there to get the creative juices flowing, decided to create a DIY Stacking Block Puzzle from 2×2 scraps.
My two preschool-aged kids LOVE puzzles. They really can’t seem to get enough of them. This stacking block puzzle is quick to put together, and if you use scraps like I did, it’s a practically-free-to-make gift for your puzzle-loving children. Here’s how to do it.
How to make a DIY Stacking Block Puzzle
A scrap piece of 2×2. If you’re making a puzzle three blocks high and three blocks wide, you’ll need about 15 inches of scraps
(3) 5 1/2-inch pieces of ¼-inch oak dowel (you can use pine, if that’s what’s in your scrap pile, but oak is stronger and my kids are rough on their toys!)
A scrap piece of wood for the base (about 3”x5”) + paint, stain, polyurethane, or finisher of choice
(4) Images cropped to a square, printed 4.5” x 4.5”
Mod podge or any craft glue that dries clear
Drill & drill bits
1” foam brush
1. Make nine blocks.
Cut 2×2 into nine blocks. A 2×2 is 1 1/2 inches in width, so make each block 1 1/2 inches high to ensure each block measures the same on each side. (You may want to cut a few extra blocks in case one gets ruined when drilling the center hole).
Here they are, cut into blocks, 1 1/2 inches on all sides. See all that other wood off to the side? Those were all finds from the free section of craigslist. My husband may or may not confirm that I am becoming a bit of a wood hoarder collector.
Draw an “X” on each block to mark the center. These are small enough that you could probably eyeball it, but making the X doesn’t hurt.
Clamp a few scrap pieces tightly against one of the wood blocks.
Using a 19/64” drill bit (or a smidge larger if you don’t have that specific size in your collection), drill a hole through the block. Repeat until all nine blocks have a hole through the middle.
Give each of the blocks a quick sanding to remove any rough spots.
2. Make the puzzle base
Dig through your scrap pile to find something that you can cut down to about 3×5” and act as the puzzle base.
Make a mark exactly in the center of the base piece. Using a ¼-inch drill bit, make a hole about ½ inch deep.
Cut a dowel to about 5 1/2 inches (more or less depending on how much you want to dowel to stick out once the blocks are in place). Twist the dowel into the center hole. Don’t glue it yet, you’re just putting this here now to gauge where the other two holes should be placed. Drop a block onto the middle dowel, then place a block next to it with about ⅛-inch gap in between. Drop a pencil in the hole down the middle to mark where the next hole will be drilled. Repeat on the other side.
Using wood glue, secure each dowel into the base. Try your best to make sure the dowels are placed at 90 degree angles. If one is leaning in or out, even just a bit, the puzzle will look a little strange once put together.
After the glue has dried, protect the base and dowels with a finish of your choice–I used wax.
3. Make the blocks into puzzle pieces
Browse the web for images in the public domain (not restricted by copyright). I found a random collection of images I thought my daughter might enjoy from this site.
Using photoshop or another image editing software, crop the images to 4.5 x 4.5,” then print onto standard office paper.
I drew the lines onto my images in Adobe Illustrator before I printed them off, but you can also do this using a pencil and ruler. You’re dividing the image into nine squares, to fit perfectly on each block.
Cut the image along the lines you’ve drawn, then place onto the wood blocks. I found some of the blocks were a touch smaller than 1 1/2 inches, so I trimmed off any bits that hung over.
Use a foam brush to give each block a thin layer of Mod Podge. Then place one of the image squares and press down firmly with your fingers to remove any bubbles and to make sure the edges are sealed. Repeat until all nine blocks have images on all four sides.
Once dry, coat each block with a light spray of polyurethane.
Put your DIY Stacking Block Puzzle together and deliver it to your soon-to-be-thrilled preschooler! Here are a few images of the scrap wood puzzle before handing it over to Lucy and of course, in action being enjoyed:
When planning your deck project, there are many factors to consider. Cost is typically the first thing to consider, while choice of material is a close second. The type of material you choose may be dependent on your budget. In this post, we’ll take a look at two types of decks a $10,000 budget will allow.
Last summer, we built a floating deck and pergola and we chose to use pressure-treated lumber for many reasons. Mainly, to keep our costs down, but also because we absolutely love the warmth and character that natural wood brings to a space.
Real wood continues to be the most widely used material due to affordability, availability, and aesthetics. Natural wood decking can generally be divided into several categories: pressure-treated lumber, cedar, and redwood. Pressure-treated lumber is the most affordable, best-selling, and most widely available material for decks.
Manufactured materials, such as composite decking is made up of plastic material and wood fibers. The appeal of composite decking is that it’s virtually maintenance-free, but this convenience usually comes at a much heftier price tag.
Pressure-treated lumber is the most economical choice, while composite decking is typically the most expensive. Prices fluctuate depending on locality and availability, but here is a good rule of thumb when estimating cost.
Cost per square foot
Pressure-treated wood is about $17 to $25 per square foot.
Composite runs about $32 to $45 per square foot.
So what kind of deck can you get on a $10k budget?
Here’s a ballpark breakdown of each:
Pressure-treated: ≈ 400 to 575 square foot deck
Composite: ≈ 220 to 310 square foot deck
As you can see, a natural wood deck can be half the price of a deck made of composite material. To help visualize what a $10,000 deck would look like, I’ve sketched out a couple of designs.
The model below shows a 23 x 23 foot deck (529 square feet). This deck would be possible if built with pressure-treated lumber. Pretty luxurious, right? I’d love to have this outdoor space in my backyard! Look at all that space – there’s ample room for lounging, grilling, and dining!
Now let’s see what a $10k composite deck would look like. The model below is a 12 x 20 foot deck (240 square feet). Obviously, the composite deck is much smaller – the natural wood deck is more than twice the size of the composite deck!
Which deck would you choose?
If you’re wanting the most ‘bang for your buck’, I’d recommend natural wood over composite decking any day of the week. Additionally, the warmth, character, and texture that real wood brings to a space is beautiful and unmatched.
Hi friends, hope you had a lovely weekend! Last week, I showed you our patriotic porch all decked out for summer and I’m back today to show you how I added a few summery touches to our living room. Decorating for the changing seasons doesn’t have to be fussy. Try these simple summer decorating ideas to welcome in the new season.
SHOP THIS ROOM
By switching out a few pillow covers and adding a new planter pot to my DIY coffee table (plans here!), our living room got an instant makeover! I love that these few, simple changes have the power to totally refresh a space. That round side table is also a DIY – you can build one for yourself with my tutorial.
SHOP THIS ROOM
I didn’t realize it before, but I’m now seeing repeating patterns in this space. I’m either subliminally drawn to the same things, or every retailer is selling the same stuff.
Take for instance the diamond patterns in the throw pillows and in the rug – totally unintentional, but it works well together!
But wait, there’s more…
Check out the similar pattern in the fireplace screen and on the garden stool. Kind of eerie, right? Dun dun dunnnn… welcome to the twilight zone.
SHOP THIS ROOM
We’ve spotted yet another diamond pattern in this mirrored box – I like to keep our remote controls tucked away in here.
SHOP THIS ROOM
Have you guys seen the new Opalhouse line at Target? It is absolute perfection! It’s like Anthropologie had a baby with Target. Anthro designs + Target prices = one happy Jen. I can’t get enough – I am in deep smit.
SHOP THIS ROOM
Thanks for stopping in to see how I decorated our living room for summer – I hope you leave inspired. Happy summer, everyone!
Want to see more simple summer decorating ideas? My talented blogger friends and I are sharing our summery spaces all week long! Thanks to Krista at The Happy Housie for hosting this summer home tour.
It was 114º Fahrenheit last week. Well, hello summer in Texas! (Don’t be jealous.) So what did I do in this unforgiving heat? I decorated our front porch, of course. Makes total sense, right? Whatever. But just look at our patriotic front porch!
Can you even call it a porch? It’s more like an alcove…
This year, I’m a JOANN brand ambassador, so I did a little shopping at JOANN to spruce up my front porch/alcove. All of their “Star-Spangled Summer” Americana decor is 50% off right now!
As much as I love a good wreath for the front door, this cute Americana welcome banner is a nice change. I love that it’s perfectly framed by the glass on our front door.
The Fourth of July is coming up and these red, white, and blue metal lanterns are just lovely.
I also planted some sweet potato vine and coleus in with my dwarf olive tree. I just love this little olive tree. I especially love the symbolism behind it: the olive tree is a symbol of peace, restoration, and victory.
Oh, and that pretty storage bench? I designed and built it! You can build one for your own home by following my plans here.
Impact driver has an industry leading 2,250 in.-lbs. of torque
Backed by the industry’s only Lifetime Service Agreement
Drill/Driver No Load Speed
DeWalt: 2 speeds: 0-550/o-2,000 RPM
Ridgid: 2 speeds: 0-5oo/0-1,800 RPM
Impact Driver No Load Speed
DeWalt: 3 speeds: 0-1,000/0-2,800/0-3,250 RPM
Ridgid: 3 speeds: 0-700/0-2,000/0-2,600 RPM
DeWalt: 3 year limited warranty, 1 year free service
Ridgid: Lifetime warranty + free batteries and service
I have to give the win to Ridgid on a couple accounts. First, the price. The two brands are so close in specs – the $70 price difference seems like a huge gap.
Second – and this is a big one – Ridgid’s lifetime warranty! You just can’t beat it. Free batteries and service for LIFE?! That’s just insane (in a good way). It’s quite an impressive way for them to show consumers that they stand behind their products 100%.
We used all four of the drills on our neighbor’s triple bunk bed build (plans coming soon!) and were able to truly compare the two brands side-by-side.
While the DeWalt specs tout more power and speed, we didn’t experience a considerable difference in performance. The DeWalt felt a little smoother and was a little quieter to operate than the Ridgid, but the difference was minimal.
Both drills felt very comfortable in our hands and were easy to operate. I especially appreciate the lightweight and compact size for my small hands, while Adam was indifferent here. But he has big man hands, so his opinion on this count is moot.
DeWalt wins this one. Both have LED lights, but as you can see from the photos, DeWalt’s lights are much brighter and better positioned on both the impact driver and drill/driver. Ridgid’s lights are located at the base of the drill, which makes for a dimmer-lit work area. While the light is located at the base of the DeWalt drill/driver (like Ridgid’s), it’s tilted up, lighting the work area substantially.
Ridgid wins this one. Handling the battery on the Ridgid drill is easier and feels more natural than the DeWalt. The DeWalt’s button is larger and is located on the top front of the battery, which feels a bit more awkward to press when removing the battery. There are two buttons on each side of the Ridgid battery, which allows for a more natural hand position. Notice Adam’s strange claw hand on the DeWalt. Also, when pressing the Ridgid’s button, it actually ejects the battery out, making removal more effortless.
Ridgid wins this one based primarily on personal preference. It’s a toss-up otherwise. Adam says the thought of tightening the DeWalt drill’s chuck with his bare hands gives him the heebie jeebies (that’s a technical term). Something about that metal ratcheting chuck makes his hair stand on end. I guess it’s the same as how some folks can’t stand the sound of nails on a chalkboard.
The chuck on the DeWalt doesn’t bother me, but I usually defer to Adam when tightening the chuck anyway, because he has the grip of a pro golfer.
*Note to Adam: wear gloves when tightening the chuck on the DeWalt drill.
Ridgid has this nifty little drill bit holder – a small, but nice-to-have feature. I don’t understand why all tool brands don’t include this clever feature on all of their drills. Seems like a no-brainer to me. Win for Ridgid.
Tool Throwdown Winner: Ridgid
While the DeWalt and Ridgid Brushless Drill/Driver and Impact Driver Combo Kits are extremely comparable – their specs are nearly identical in power, speed, handling, and performance – there’s a $70 price difference between the two brands. It’s the lifetime warranty and the small, but thoughtful details like the drill bit holder and effortless battery handling that sets Ridgid apart. If you’re in the market for a powerful yet affordable brushless drill/impact driver combo kit, Ridgid is your go-to guy.
*I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the ProSpective 2018 Campaign. As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines. This post contains affiliate links. To read my full disclosure policy, please click here.
Hey there House of Wood readers! Kristi here from Chatfield Court and I’m back to share a DIY wood planter that I built for our front porch.
I’ve been sprucing up our front porch for summer and I really wanted to put a planter next to the front door. I searched in stores and online but couldn’t find the perfect style or right size. So, since I couldn’t find what I wanted, I decided to go for it and build my own.
How To Build A DIY Wood Planter
(2) 3/4″ x 11-1/4″ x 8′ pine boards
1-3/4″ wire brads
(2) 2″x2″x 8′ pine
(2) 3/4″ x 11-1/4″ @ 38-1/2″ long (planter box front and back pieces)
(2) 3/4″ x 11-1/4″ @ 9-1/16″ long (planter side pieces)
(4) 2″ x 2″ @ 29-1/2″ long (planter legs)
(2) 3/4″ x 3″ @ 38-1/2″ long (bottom rails)
(2) 3/4″ x 11-1/4″ @ 9-1/16″ long (side bottom rails)
(18) 3/4″ x 1-7/8 @ 10-5/8″ long (slats for bottom shelf)
(5) 2″ x 2″ @ 9-1/16″ long (supports for pot liner)
(2) 3/4″ x 40-5/8″ @ 1-7/8″ with a 45° angle (rim around planter box)
(2) 3/4″ x 12-15/16″ @ 1-7/8″ with a 45° angle (side pieces for rim around planter box)
pneumatic staple gun
I had already made a rough sketch of my planter so the next step was to figure out the dimensions. I wanted something that fit a wall on my porch so I measured the width, length, and depth and went shopping for supplies.
Luckily, I found a plastic pot liner that was the right fit my chosen spot on the porch and it would be the perfect foundation for my wood planter.
With all my supplies together and measurements worked out, it was time to cut the wood. I started with the main planter box and cut one of the 8′ pine boards into the front, back and side pieces of the box.
Next, I worked on the bottom shelf.
First I cut one 3″ strip off of the second 8′ pine board. Then I cut that 3″ strip so that it matched the same dimensions as the main planter box (10-9/16″ x 38-1/2″).
Then I cut the remnants of the second pine board into 1-7/8″ strips for the bottom shelf.
After I cut the strips, I used a jig to cut 18 lengths at 10-5/8″ to make the slats of the bottom shelf. The jig made it easy to get the same length for each slat and allowed me to do it quickly.
Finally, I cut the 2×2’s to length for the planter box legs. As a result, I ended up with 4 legs at 29-1/2 ” each.
It was a bit of an afterthought but I had some wood leftover and decided to use the remainder of the 1-7/8″ strips to make the rim around the planter box. I cut a 45 degree angle on each end so they would fit together.
Now that all of my wood cut, it was time to put my planter together.
I put the planter box together first by applying wood glue on the seams and nailing it together using the pneumatic nail gun.
Then I added the legs by recessing them 3″ into the planter box. These were also glued and nailed on.
After that, the bottom shelf was attached, in the same exact way the planter box was put together. First the front, then the sides and back. Each piece was glued and nailed.
Next, I added the supports under the pot liner. In order to do that I put the planter and pot liner upside down and space the supports on top of the upside down pot liner. Once I was satisfied with the placement of the supports, each one was nailed into place.
Next it was time to add the rim around the planter box. First I attached the long, side piece, with glue and nails, and then I matched up the 45 degree angles and attached the sides and the last long piece.
Finally, I installed the slats for the bottom shelf. I laid them out to figure out spacing and, as luck would have it, a 3/4″ board was the perfect spacer for in between each slat.
My DIY wood planter build was complete and ready for stain.
In order to make the piece look more finished, I filled all the nail holes and seams with wood putty and sanded everything smooth.
The last step in my DIY wood planter was to stain my new piece. We have a stone house so I wanted my planter to have a rustic look. With this in mind, I decided to go with an ebony stain.
Some pretty plants and old pots finish off the rustic look.
I love how my DIY wood planter turned out and it’s the perfect fit for our front porch. Now that it’s all done, I’m itching to build something else. Hmmmm… maybe I need a planter on my back deck.
Happy Friday, House of Wood friends! It’s Maritza from Maritza Lisa and today I wanted to share these DIY Gift Card Holders with you. It’s that time of year for us here in Maryland as school winds down and summer (yay!) vacation is upon us. My boys love summer, but they get so sad when they have to say goodbye to their teachers. Every year, we make our own gift card holders just to add a little handmade touch to their gifts. Then we fill them with sweet notes and gift cards from favorite stores so that they can buy something fun after a year of teaching and molding young minds.
I’ve included a template below for your to print onto patterned card stock or Bristol paper (a thicker card stock). Be creative! Let’s begin…
If you are making your own floral pattern, you will also need:
Graphic software (I used Silhouette Studio – there is a free version)
Floral .png images (I got mine on Creative Market)
Instructions – to make your own patterned paper:
In your graphic software create a large rectangle (8.5 x 11 in) and fill with color
Add your floral .png images on top of your rectangle
Resize, replicate and arrange the images into a pattern
Send to print on card stock
Instructions – to make the DIY Gift Card Holder:
Feed your patterned cardstock into your printer so that the blank side will be printed on
Open the Gift card template
Send to print on the patterned cardstock
Using your craft knife and cutting board, cut along the solid lines and fold along the dashed lines
Fill out your tag with a thank you message and insert the gift card between the 2 tabs
Seal with a gold or silver sticker
Pretty, right? Make as many as you like and send these little gems along with your little ones on the last week of school. The beauty of making your own designs is that you can change the backgrounds, florals, and patterns all year long! Keep the template and reuse it for any occasion. Thanks so much for reading and making with me – I can’t wait to hear how your pretty DIY gift card holders turned out!
Good morning – Shelly here from 100Things2Do.ca! I hope everyone had a sunny Memorial Day weekend! Today’s project – this gorgeous DIY garden gate – was a bit of trial-and-error for me, but not only did I learn new techniques, the finished product is just spectacular. Follow along as I walk you through how to build your own DIY Garden Gate (and show you the errors to avoid as well).
This DIY garden gate may be too big or too small for your own yard, but the fundamentals of the build will remain the same. It’s fairly easy to modify the cuts to make it fit your space.
DIY Garden Gate
(2) 2 x 6 x 8 Ft. Boards
(1) 2 x 6 x 6 Ft. Boards
(1) 2 x 8 x 8 Ft. Boards
(4) 1 x 6 x 8 Ft. Boards
(2) 2×6 @ 80 inches
(2) 2×8 @ 34 inches
(1) 2×6 @ 34 inches
(7) 1×6 @ 43 1/4 inches
(4) 1×6 @ 19 1/4 inches
Tools and Supplies:
level (for hanging)
exterior-grade wood glue
2 pipe clamps or bar clamps that can clamp 43 inches
gate latch kit
nail gun (optional)
random-orbit sander and sandpaper (optional)
exterior wood stain and paintbrush (optional)
Cut the wood down to size, then using a table saw, create a groove in each of 2×6 and 2×8 boards. Set the table saw blade height to 3/4 inch high and move the guard so that the blade will cut into the center of the board. (In the photo below, my blade needs to be lowered – it’s just for demonstration.)
Run each of the boards through – it’s best to run them all at once, over the blade for your first cut. The short 2×6 board will need to be run through on both sides. Next, turn the boards around and run them over the blade again – if the blade isn’t perfectly centered, this second cut will make up the difference.
Move the fence away from the blade by 1/8 inch and repeat, again flipping the board so that a second cut is made on the other side of center.
Continue moving the fence out by 1/8″ until the overall groove is 3/4 inch wide. Use a 3/4-inch chisel to clear out any material in the groove.
Next, we’ll cut the tongue that will make up this tongue-and-groove joint.
Reset the height of the table saw blade to 3/8 inch, set the fence at 3/4 inch, and cut the face of each short side of each board. Flip the boards over and repeat on the other face. Move the fence towards the blade by 1/8 inch and repeat until you have reached the end of the board (both sides). It will look something like this:
With a chisel, remove the extra material to smooth out the surface. Do this for both ends of the boards.
I cut the ends down to more of a tenon joint (in error) you don’t need to do this. You’ll see at this point how your corners will fit together – do a test fit to make sure that the tongue is narrow enough to fit snugly into the groove.
The graphic below will give you an idea of how it’s all going to fit together:
Measure, mark, and cut the 1×6 boards to length.
Set the table saw to cut 1/8 inch off either (long) side. This will remove the rounded edges and allow your garden gate panels to fit snugly together. You will be left with boards 3/4-inch thick by 5 inches wide.
It’s best to do a dry-fit of your DIY gate to make sure that all of the grooves are sufficiently smooth and to make sure that all of the pieces fit snugly in place. This is where I caught the rest of my errors – sections of the groove not sufficiently cleaned out, bowed 1×6 boards that needed to be run through the planer, etc.
After a successful dry-fit, it’s now time for the glue-up! I recommend using an exterior-grade wood glue, since this gate will be outdoors. The glue should be waterproof and weather-resistant.
Spread glue along the tongue section of the lowest board and tuck it into the bottom of the side board (stile) – use a rubber mallet to tap it into place, so you don’t damage the wood. Slide the 1×5 panel pieces into the groove and use wood glue to secure.
Once all of the panels are in place, glue the other stile and use your mallet to pound gently nudge into place over the last panel. If we’ve done everything right (and I didn’t at first), your garden gate should fit snugly together with no (or minimal) gaps between the boards.
I won’t lie – there was a LOT of swearing going on my driveway at this point. I’d tap one side into place and the other side would pop off. If you have help, this will run much more smoothly. Set up a pipe clamp on the lower section of the DIY gate and clamp it loosely together.
Glue and insert your 2×6 cross section over top of the panels and nudge into place – get as snug a fit as you can. Use another pipe clamp to hold loosely in place.
For the upper window section of your garden gate, the spacing is entirely up to you. The building plans call for 3-inch boards spaced 5 7/8 inches apart. Once I had the frame of the gate set up, I decided that I wanted more boards in the window, so I used four 3-inch boards spaced 4 1/4 inches apart.
Using wood glue on either end, I tucked the muntin bars into place and held them there with finish nails, then attached the upper rail of my garden gate and tapped it into place. Once everything is nice and snug, tighten the pipe clamps and let it dry overnight (I did add some finish nails here and there as reinforcement).
I was worried about water sitting in the grooves between the window bars, so I used some of the scrap pieces to fill that space.
Please forgive the filthy hands – there is a LOT of wood glue in this project.
You may notice that my early photos have morning sun and my later photos are shaded… yes, this took me most of the day to figure out, mess up, cut, and clamp. Hopefully you can avoid a couple of my mistakes and shave a bit off time off of your DIY garden gate build, but this is a “fancy” garden gate and these joints are more furniture-like – so hang in there, it will be well worth it in the end.
Day 2 of my DIY garden gate build consisted of sanding, staining, and hanging.
You don’t have to sand if you don’t want to, but I had a fair amount of glue coming out of the joints (see filthy hand photo above) and since I’d already spent so much time making this DIY gate a piece of furniture, I didn’t want to skimp out at the finish line.
I used an opaque stain so that you can still see a bit of the wood grain, but it lessens the look of the knots. Cedar ages beautifully, so you can totally skip this step if you want a more natural look.
Just look at how thin this gate is! Because I used cedar, this gorgeous garden gate is only half the thickness of regular gates – it is SO light!
I picked up hinges and a latch kit at my local home improvement store and installed per the manufacturer’s instructions.
I used three hinges for aesthetics, not necessity.
A couple of knots fell out during building, but we’ll call those “peekaboo holes” for my dog Lacey.
Here’s a view of my gorgeous DIY garden gate from the inside of my yard:
I can’t tell you how pleased I am with this build and how many compliments I’ve received already! Building this DIY garden gate was totally worth the time, swearing sweat, and effort!
Head over to 100Things2Do.ca if you want to see the before photos and get a true feel of the vast improvement this DIY garden gate made. Thank you for having me Jen and Jen-readers! Have a great one!