#MyOSHProject: Upcycled House Numbers Sign

It’s a Saturday. And as is often the case, you’re wondering what you can do to make your home a little more uniquely you. Something that will let you express yourself artistically in a single afternoon. Well, we’ve got just the project for you an upcycled house numbers sign. All it takes is some wood and screws to make a set of house/apartment numbers (or anything you like) for your home.

While you can absolutely head to your nearest hardware store and pick up everything you need for this project, this is also a great way to make use of material from past projects. Using scrap wood you may have around the home or anything you might be able to pick up in your neighborhood or at a local construction site or store (sometimes small businesses will be all too happy to get rid of pallets, for example) is a great way to make this project your own. Using different kinds of screws and nails you may have around the house can help achieve the same goal, giving your sign a unique and eclectic look. Of course, if you want to achieve a more uniform and cleaner appearance, using new material is the perfect way to do that. Either way, the steps are the same, so let’s get started.

What you’ll need for the Upcycled House Numbers Sign:

Step 1

Prepare the wood. Cut it to the desired size, if necessary. If you picked up some stain or paint, now’s the time to apply it. There are many different kinds of stain, and each will work differently on different sorts of woods. Pine stains very differently from cherry, for example. If you have extra scrap wood of the same kind you’ll be using for the project, it’s a good idea to test it out on that first. If your chosen stain is a little too light or you just want to play around with different effects, you can apply multiple coats to give your wood a darker finish.

Step 2

Once the stain is dry, take your stencils and arrange them however you’d like your finished sign to look, then trace them with pencil so you can use the outlines as a guide. With the shapes outlined, take a ruler and make regular grid-like marks for where your screws will go. This will ensure a neat and attractive final product.

Step 3

If you’re using a small piece of wood or you’re planning to have your numbers close to the edges of the wood, it’s a good idea to pre-drill the holes for the screws you’ll be using. Using thin or dry wood, or drilling screws too close to the edges can cause the wood to split. If this happens, you can use wood glue along the split and hold it together with clamps to repair it. You can prevent the wood from splitting by drilling through the board with a bit that’s a little smaller than the screws you’ll be using. Providing a pre-drilled path for the screws makes it easier for them to enter the board, and by using a drill bit with a smaller diameter, you’ll ensure that there’s still plenty of wood for the threads of the screws to bite into. TIP: Use a Drive Guide to help steady the screwdriver!

Step 4

Begin screwing in your screws. If they require a special bit, make sure to use that to prevent any issues. By following the guide lines you drew back in step 2 and sinking them all to the same depth, you’ll ensure a uniform look.


With a little bit of careful planning and a leisurely weekend afternoon, you can create an unique set of address numbers for your home. Of course, you can make any kind of sign you like, or even use different colored screws and stain to recreate some of your favorite pieces of art.

Whatever you decide to do, we hope you feel inspired, and of course, share the results of your creativity on social media using #MyOSHProject so we can applaud you!

Dremel Hatch: A Wood Project Kit that comes with everything you need

Ever buy a project kit that told you it had “everything you need” or to “just add imagination?” Ever become get really, really upset when you opened that kit and it did not, in fact, come with everything you need? Yeah. Us too.

So when Dremel® said they had a wood crafting project kit that included everything you need, our interests were piqued. Incoming the Dremel Hatch Project!

We told them we were curious, and they sent us one to check out—a pallet wood wall art project called Skyline. We immediately went to work inspecting every single tiny little thing about it.

Our conclusion? It’s the best thing that’s happened to craft night since the embroidery hoop.

Overstatements aside, it lives up to everything we were told, and you’ll know it as soon as you pick one up.

The first thing you’re going to notice is the box. It’s not just another cardboard box, it’s actually part of the project. It’s the workspace. Really!

The inside of the package is gridded like graph paper, so you can line things up and measure them without using a ruler. One half of the box folds flat and the other turns into a stand you can use to hold your directions and there’s even a cut-out holder for your phone.

The phone holder is one of our favorite parts. It’s a huge plus for those who like to share our projects online. It will hold your cell phone right over the top of your project, so you can stream your progress, record for editing later, or take time-lapse shots. All without taking your hands off of your project.

What’s inside?

  • A wood pallet
  • wood practice pieces
  • paint
  • paint brushes
  • markers
  • a pencil
  • chalk
  • an eraser
  • a picture hanging kit
  • sandpaper
  • transfer paper
  • templates of the city skylines of Chicago and New York City
  • plus, you get an online code to get templates for 80 more major cities.

The only thing you need to supply is a stable surface to hold your box. So you can do this practically anywhere you want. If you got one kit for each of your guests, you could host a crafting party at the park or the beach just as easily as hosting one at your house.

The last thing you get with the kit (one thing that isn’t on that materials list) is inspiration.

Dremel® knows you want to really personalize this. So they’ve included suggestions on how to make it your own using other crafting and woodworking techniques like burning, sanding, and routing.

Something else you don’t see on that materials list? A Dremel® tool. And that’s because you don’t need one. Sure, you can use one if you’d like, but you don’t have to have one to get this project done.

And this is just the first kit they’ve released. The next box is projected to be out around the holiday season of 2017. That gives us plenty of time to practice taking our skyline projects to the next level.

We think we’re going to try the string-art version of Los Angeles next. Buy your very own Dremel Hatch Project Kit Online now or available in stores on March 10, 2017.

Create a Front Porch that Wows

What’s often looked at yet often overlooked? If you answered the front porch, you’re spot on. If you think about it, the front porch is really is one of the most important parts of your home. It’s where you greet guests. Neighbors look at it every day as they drive or stroll by. It’s how you identify your place to people coming over (Hey, we’re the third house on the left with the brown door). So, with all this attention, is there any reason to settle for a porch without personality? To crank up the curb appeal all you need is about a weekend’s worth of work, a little know-how, and maybe a dash of daring.

Front Door

Benjamin Moore Aura Grand Entrance
Benjamin Moore® Grand Entrance™
1-qt Interior/Exterior Door and Trim Enamel

The best place to start is the door. It’s the focal point of the entry, and let’s be honest, it will take the most time. For paint, we love Aura® Grand Entrance from Benjamin Moore®. It applies smoothly, and has excellent hide. Available in 2 formulas – High Gloss and Satin – that dry to a lustrous finish. (Tip: If you have an older door, the Satin formula will help conceal dings and flaws). Best of all, Grand Entrance comes in 3,500 colors. That’s a lot of ways to express yourself. So, if you dig a door in lime green, go for it. The great thing about paint, is that it can be painted over.

Lock Sets

If you’re going to go to the trouble of painting your front door, you might want to consider changing out your handles and hardware. There are so many styles and finishes available, plus next gen electronic versions. You can update and really update using just a screwdriver.

Ring™ Video Doorbell
Ring™ Video Doorbell.
Click to view at osh.com.

Doorbell

And if you want to be really smart, think about a high-tech doorbell like the Ring™ Video Doorbell. It literally turns your mobile into a portable peephole, so you can see who’s at your door from practically anywhere. `

Lighting

Next up in terms of time involvement is lighting. Besides safety and security, front porch lighting helps define the space and set the mood for an inviting entry. When choosing, it’s important to consider the scale of the fixtures. You don’t want them to overwhelm, or underwhelm your space. Equally important is style. You might love the look of those stainless industrial lights, but they will look really out of place facing your Tudor-style cottage. Because updating lighting involves electricity, we suggest getting a pro to help, unless you happen to be a pro yourself.

Now that the big jobs are out of the way, you can start on the smaller projects that have equally important impact.

House Numbers

House numbers
House Numbers
Click to view at osh.com

House numbers are an easy way to refresh your entry look. Like lighting and door hardware, they should match the style of your house. Your Mid-Century masterpiece will be very unhappy if you make it wear Olde English house numbers.

Patio Ready Planters

For a lot of look with low involvement on your part, nothing beats a patio-ready container of flowers. Pre-potted with colorful, complementary flowers. Just place and pop! Pizazz in an instant.

Doormats

No great first impression is complete without a welcome mat. A popular choice is coir mats made of bristly coconut fibers. These durable, decorative dirt magnets come in a variety of sizes, colors and designs. A relatively inexpensive way to decorate your doorway to match your mood or the season.

Ready to take your front entry from humdrum to high style?

Bright Ideas: Use Accent Lighting to Set the Scene

Lighting your outdoor space is a no-brainer during the day, but if you’re planning to use your patio after sunset you’re going to need more than what mother nature provides.

Patio String Lights

String Lights

String lights are an outdoor entertaining staple. Everyone uses them, and for good reason. They add fun to just about any backyard, they’re available year-round, and they’re super easy to hang.

You can put them just about anywhere. Wrap them around trellises, trees, and umbrella poles. String them overhead or run them around the yard. And one of our favorite touches: use icicle lights on a banister, and let the light drip down the handrail.

If you’re throwing a theme party, you can even get string lights shaped like pineapples, globes, whatever you want.

Pineapple Lanterns

Lanterns and Luminaries

Want to set up a cozy nook, but don’t have any portable walls for your yard? No problem. Divide your space into conversation sets with patio chairs and lanterns. The little pools of light and comfy seating can make even big open spaces a more intimate feel.

Set out lanterns with candles, hurricane lamps with tea lights, or mason jars filled with battery operated lights. Put them on tables as centerpieces, light up foot paths, or just put them on the ground by the chairs. Just use battery-operated lights if you’re going to put them by anyone’s feet.  “Burning down the house” is a song, not a suggestion.

Torches

If you’re looking for a low-tech lighting option, torches are a fun, casual way to light a party. Just pull them up and move them where you want them.

Fire’s an instant attention-getter, so it’s a snap to create focal points. Flank the food table, back-light the bar, and outline the dance floor. Bonus? You can fill them with citronella oil and use them to keep your gatherings bug-free.

Just remember, however you decide to brighten your evening, the spotlight should always be on having fun.

Guest Blogger: Chris from ManMade – A Simple Woodworking Storage Project You Can Build This Weekend

This blog post is taken as an excerpt from Chris over at ManMade

I have a million e-mails. It’s not actually a million, but it makes my soul feel that way. I know this feeling. It happens when I’ve been staring too long at a screen, clicking reply until I lose track of time and space and what name I’m supposed to sign in the sendoff. (It’s Chris. My name is Chris.) The only way to fix it? Get away from the computer, turn on some music, and build something.

So let’s go out to the shop and build a box that will never, ever have e-mails in it. Here’s a simple woodworking project that can get you back to working with your hands, but isn’t too fussy or complicated. And the cool part — it uses just a few basic tools and single board. When it’s done, you’ll have a stylish, versatile, stacking storage solution that will come in handy in any room in your house.  

Tools & Materials

I’m building this project is in partnership with Orchard Supply Hardware, a neighborhood hardware and garden store focused on paint, repair and the backyard. The company was founded in 1931 as a co-op of thirty farmers in central California. Each farmer put up $30, and Orchard Supply was born.  Today they have over 40,000 products in stores throughout the West Coast (best coast!) and Florida, as well as their website. Check out their online store here. 

I purchased all the tools and materials for this project at my local Orchard Supply Hardware store, and I loved the experience. As someone who spends a fair amount of time in lumber and hardware aisles, I was super pleased by the layout and availability of products and supplies. My local store – in the Hollywood neighborhood of Portland –  featured the kinds of materials, fixtures, and goods for those living in an urban neighborhood, looking to repair and decorate older homes. The selections were conducive to the architectural style of the neighborhood – the Northwest bungalow – as well as general DIY and creative needs.  The staff was just helpful and friendly. They welcomed me warmly and pointing me in the right direction, but left just enough space to let me figure out my design and specific needs. And if I had a question, they were right there to help.

This build uses only two power tools, one eight-foot-long pine board, and some basic hand tools. If you don’t want to cut the lumber yourself, you can get it cut to size at The Workbench, an innovate customer service center at your local Orchard Supply Hardware store (they can cut rope, wire, chain and wood, make keys, and sharpen tools too).

Use a speed square as a guide fence to get straight cuts with a circular saw.

Step 1

Begin by cutting your wood to size. One great way to get straight cuts with a circular saw is by using a speed square as a guide fence. Cut five pieces of wood to the following dimensions:

  • Front and back: 14 3/4″ x 11 1/4″
  • 2 sides: 11 1/4″ square
  • Bottom: 13 1/4″ by 11 1/4″

Step 2

On each side panel, draw a horizontal line near the top (we placed ours 2″ from the top). Now find the center of the side, and mark. This will be the center of your box handle. Measure out 1.5″ to each side from this spot and make a mark. These crosshairs are the starting point (center) of your Forstner bit.

As shown below in the image below, make a starting divot for your 1″ Forstner bit using a hammer and nail. This prevents the bit from wandering when you start drilling, making for a cleaner hole. Next, drill down all the way through, keeping your bit as plumb as possible. Use some scrap wood underneath your work piece to prevent tearout. Repeat for both side panels of the box.

Step 3

Now, use a coping saw to cut out the waste between the two holes you just drilled. A coping saw is a great, affordable tool that allows you to make difficult cuts in tight spaces. It take a little practice to get the hang of it, so if you’ve never used one before, try a few cuts on some scrap wood first.

Cut the holes for the box handles. Use sand paper to smooth over the edges. 

Step 4

We’re going to be joining our pieces together using counterbored screws.  This allows us to sink the screw heads below the surface, and hide them under wooden plugs. It’s also really strong; great for moving heavy objects around, and you’ll never have to worry about dropping your precious record collection.

Lay out your drill points first by marking a line 3/8″ from the outside edges of the front and back boards. Your drill holes will run along both sides (across the grain) and the bottom of the front and back boards. I evenly spaced five holes along the sides, and six holes along the bottom. Once your points are marked, drill through (again, use scrap wood below) using your counter bore bit. Adjust the stop on the counter bore bit so that the tip of the counterbore will not blow the opposite side. Then drill each hole until the stop collar hits your work piece.

Step 5

Now it’s time to put everything together. Use your clamps to assemble the box, making sure your edges are flush. Insert the bottom piece to keep everything square.


Now, using a 1/8″ drill bit, drill through the counterbores to make pilot holes in the side pieces. This will keep your screws from splitting the material.

Step 6

Use a driver bit to screw the pieces together. If you’ve done everything right, you can’t really screw this up (no pun intended). Just make sure you slow the drill down toward the end so you don’t strip the screws. You can also finish the job by hand with a #2 screwdriver.

Step 7

The counterbores are filled in with 3/8″ dowel rods. These aren’t structural; they just hide the screw heads. Cut thirty-two 1″-long pieces out of your dowel rods. You can do this with a coping saw, like I did, or if you have another crosscut saw, like a miter saw, you can cut them that way. Just make sure you stay safe with the small size. (Check your local Orchard store; they may have pre-cut dowel rods for just this sort of thing. Look in the hardware aisle.)

Once cut, dip one end in glue and insert them into the counter bores, tapping them in gently with a hammer.

Step 8

Wait about half an hour for the glue to set up, then use the coping saw to cut off the excess dowel rod material. Be careful not to mar the finished surfaces when you do this; it’s better to leave a little too much than to cut too close.

Step 9

Sand the remaining material down until it’s flush with the surface. Use a scrap block of wood to back up the sandpaper so you don’t round over the edges. Sand with the grain and don’t use too much pressure.

What I love about these boxes is that they’re strong, stackable, and you can fit all kinds of stuff in ’em. I’m using them for my  record collection, but they’d also be great for toys, , winter clothing (hats and gloves), or as closet organizers. They’re sturdy enough for tools or heavy items; you can even stand on them without worrying that they’ll break.

They work resting on either the long or short sides, or the base, and can be mixed and matched as needed. I made an extra one to house my lineup of books to read.  I plan to whip up a few more to use in my garage for strong project-specific storage.

 

 

Follow along with the #OrchardSimple campaign on their blog, Facebook, and Pinterest pages. It’s all about thoughtful DIY projects that you can take on to help simplify your daily life. Can’t beat that.”

Head over to your local Orchard Supply Hardware this weekend to pick up the materials needed for this project!