May
21
2015
The Design Confidential DIY Ceramic Mobile and Wind Chime

I'm excited to share this project with you guys because it marks my official entry into the world of air dry clay. I know everyone is doing it, at least all the cool kids are (probably explains why I am just now getting my hands dirty... literally). While this is a DIY tutorial on how to make your own fab mobile wind chime, since there are a million and one tutorials on how to use this stuff, I am keeping it short and sweet and just touching on a few of the things I found tricky or helpful.

The Design Confidential DIY Ceramic Mobile and Wind Chime

I will actually admit that my very first adventure into air dry clay was one of my biggest project fails... to date. like ever. so, so bad. Since that ridiculous flop I haven't managed to get my stash out of the deep dark box I hid it in, so there it has remained for the last year and a half. Yikes. A few weeks ago I decided to pull it on out and see if it was still usable and when it was, I decided to give it another test drive with Amber for a project I have had on my mind for a while now. When that seemed to go well, I worked up the nerve to make my mom a handmade mobile and wind chime for Mother's Day and it couldn't have turned out better if I wanted it too. There really is something to that whole 'getting your hands dirty' thing...

The Design Confidential DIY Ceramic Mobile and Wind Chime

These cool supplies were my secret weapons for getting this project to work and come together how I pictured it in my mind. It took a few tries to get the paint process right and find the right products to make the paint adhere and also waterproof this so it can be used outside in the wind.

It seems as though standard acrylic craft paints get a bit flaky and weird so I found that my Chroma Art Student paints and a final coat of Sculpey Glaze worked well as did the DecoArt patio paints which happen to be perfect for outdoor use all on their own.

MATERIALS //

// Amaco Stonex Self-Hardening Clay - White

// DecoArt Patio Paints or

// Chroma Art Student Acrylics

// Sculpey Glaze

// Waxed Paper

// Rolling Pin

// 220 Grit Sandpaper

// Nylon Fishing Line or Thin Wire

// Stick, Drift Wood or Dowel

The Design Confidential DIY Ceramic Mobile and Wind Chime

The steps for this are a bit self evident if you know anything at all about clay or even play-doh. Roll, make a circle shape with something and then pierce that sucker so you can hang it. I won't bore you with silly things... but I did find a few things helpful for making this process not so maddening. The first of these things is that it helps tremendously to work on wax paper. I was working on a different kind of non-stick surface and it wasn't working as I thought it might. The waxed paper helped so much, but ;use a gentle touch because if you roll your clay out with strength and vigor, it will tear and get stuck to your clay... that is annoying so avoid that. A rolling pin, dowel or even a tension rod as I am using above will work to roll your clay into a flat smooth surface.

The Design Confidential DIY Ceramic Mobile and Wind Chime

As for thickness, you will want to aim for your discs to be somewhere around 1/8" thick which is a compromise between durability and being thin enough to make the gorgeous sound these make when they 'chime'. I used a highball glass to create the larger discs and a champagne flute for the smaller discs. You will need 6-8 large discs and 6-8 small discs depending on whether you want 4 dangly pieces or 3. I chose 3 so I used 6 of each size. Also, pushing inward on your cut out is a far easier way to get your discs out than hoping for them to come out any other way.

The Design Confidential DIY Ceramic Mobile and Wind Chime

Once you have your discs cut out, I found it easiest to smooth the edges with my finger. This helped any areas that got crazy in the process of trying to get the disc out of the glass. There were many of those instances so get your finger ready to do some smoothing. Also dipping your finger in water first helps and is also a great way to smooth the top surface as well as the edges.

The Design Confidential DIY Ceramic Mobile and Wind Chime

I used the bottom end of a toothpick to create the hole I will use to string these babies up. I found it was important to pierce it on one side, then flip it and pierce it again on the other side. Then let these cute guys dry for at least a day or so then sand gently using a very fine sand paper to really perfect things. This last step was a game changer for any of those awkward areas that absolutely happened during this whole process.

The Design Confidential DIY Ceramic Mobile and Wind Chime

Paint as you wish, just be sure that if you use acrylic paint of any sort that you seal it properly with a glaze to make it waterproof and durable.

Once everything has dried, you can begin to string up your discs. I used a nylon fishing line and looped it around and through each disc hole twice before securing it with a knot three times. I am constantly overkill in the securing department so this may not be necessary, but I live in a windy area so... who knows.

The Design Confidential DIY Ceramic Mobile and Wind Chime

Here is the crucial step for ensuring that you get a gorgeous sound when these clack together. Overlap and secure your small discs above the large discs by about the bottom third of them. This gives them enough area to clack together when they sway in the wind and really makes the prettiest sound.

The Design Confidential DIY Ceramic Mobile and Wind Chime

Once you have your bottom pair secured, fasten your top pair in place about 3 inches up. Above you see only the large disc in the upper pair so just something to note.

The Design Confidential DIY Ceramic Mobile and Wind Chime

Secure each strand of your clay discs onto your wood piece and hang them at various heights so you can maximize the sound they make on their own and also when they clack against each other. It is glorious and I hope you make one of these for yourself or someone special. It's such an enjoyable thing to work with clay and this is a project you can't really mess up so just dive right in and enjoy! If you want to share pictures of your own version of this project, share on social media using the hashtag #builtTDCtuff and be sure to tag me so I see it! My handle is @thedesconf on twitter and @thedesignconfidential on Insta and FB.

May
19
2015
The Design Confidential's Entertaining In Style Top 8 Most Popular DIY Outdoor Dining Tables

Entertain in Style this year with the perfect outdoor dining table... Save yourself hundreds and build that gorgeous new table, and while you are at it, make it custom to suit your personal backyard entertaining needs and wants. To make your decision easier on you, I have rounded up our reader faves and the Top 8 Most Popular Outdoor Dining Tables.

Browse through our hundreds of reader showcase projects to see some of the awesome design choices our amazing community of builders have made and how they are making their own entertaining dreams come true.

May
14
2015
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed

Part bunk bed, part play house and if made and finished with the right materials this awesome piece of furniture could be both indoor and outdoor compatible (water seal and all that jazz). If you have been with us here at TDC for any period of time, you probably already know by now that this is my favorite type of build. Multi-functional and the stuff that dreams are made of... Ah, to be a kid again...

As with all of our plans, you are building at your own risk and you should have a firm understanding of building in general before you attempt many of our plans (some are easy as pie and perfect for beginners). With that, go forth, have fun, take lots of pictures and share them in a showcase or on social media with the hashtag #builtTDCtuff and we will share our faves! Be sure to tag @thedesignconfidential on Instagram / FB and @thedesconf on Twitter.

The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed

Showcase: Built From These PlansI am so honored each and every time one of you fine friends builds from these very plans! If you have built this piece, please take a moment and showcase your build! We are dying to see your fabulous hard work!

Estimated Cost
$250-$300
Dimensions
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed
Tools
Lumber
  • 3 – 2x6 at 8’            
  • 14 – 2x4 at 8’          
  • 1 – 2x2 at 8’  
  • 2 – 1x4 at 8’
  • 5 – 1x3 at 8’
  • 5 – 3/4” plywood at 4’x8’       
Materials
Cut List
  • 4 – 2x4 at 58” – Posts                               
  • 2 – 2x4 at 72” – Side Tops                       
  • 2 – 2x4 at 72” – Side Rails                       
  • 2 – 2x4 at 72” – Side Bottoms                 
  • 2 – 2x4 at 19” – Side Short Studs           
  • 2 – 2x6 at 76” – Side Bed Rails              
  • 2 – 1x4 at 76” – Cleats                              
  • 2 – 2x4 at 53” – Side Long Studs                      
  • 2 – 2x4 at 21-1/2” – Rungs
  • 2 – 2x4 at 43” – End Rails                                  
  • 2 – 2x6 at 43” – End Bed Rails                          
  • 2 – 2x4 at 30-1/2” – End Studs              
  • 2 – 2x4 at 43” – End Bottoms                
  • 1 – 2x2 at 79” – Roof Ridge                    
  • 8 – 2x4 at 31” – Rafters                            
  • 12 – 1x3 at 40” – Slats                              
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 27-1/16”x80-1/2” – Upper Back Wall
  • 2 – 3/4” plywood at 4-1/4”x31-3/4” – Back Wall Sides
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 1-1/4”x72” – Back Wall Bottom
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 10-13/16”x80-1/2” – Upper Front Wall
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 48”x80-1/2” – Lower Front Wall
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 46”x80-3/4” – Head Wall
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 1-1/4”x17-1/2” – Door Bottom
  • 2 – 3/4” plywood at 1-3/4”x32-1/2” – Foot Wall Tops
  • 2 – 3/4” plywood at 2-1/2”x9-3/4” – Foot Wall Sides
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 46”x48” – Foot Wall Bottom
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 33-1/4”x80-1/2” – Back Roof
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 4-1/4”x33-1/4” – Small Front Roof
  • 1 – 3/4” plywood at 55-1/4”x33-1/4” – Large Front Roof

 

Instructions

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Step 1
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed

For the Back Wall, cut the pieces for the Posts, Side Top, Side Rail, Side Bottom, and Side Short Studs. With the Kreg jig set for 1-1/2” material, drill pocket holes in both ends of the Side Top, Side Rail, Side Bottom, and Side Short Studs. Make sure that the pocket holes drilled into the Side Bottom are within the area that will make contact with the Posts. Assemble as shown with glue and 2-1/2” Pocket Hole Screws.

Step 2
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed

Cut the pieces for the Side Bed Rail and Cleat. Attach the Cleat to the bottom edge of the Side Bed Rail using 2” Wood Screws. Clamp the Rail/Cleat “set” into place as shown, leaving a 1-1/2” space on each end for the End Rails. The Side Bed Rail, Cleat, and bottom of the Side Rail should be flush with one another. After making sure that everything is completely square and aligned, use a 7/16” Drill Bit to drill through the Side Bed Rail, Cleat, and Post. You should have two holes on each end for the Bolts. Fasten with Carriage Bolts and tighten. 

Step 3
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed

For the Front Wall, cut the pieces for the Posts, Side Top, Side Bottom, Rungs, and Side Long Studs. With the Kreg jig set for 1-1/2” material, drill pocket holes in both ends of the Side Top, Side Bottom, Rungs, and Side Long Studs. Make sure that the pocket holes drilled into the Side Bottom are within the area that will make contact with the Posts. Assemble as shown with glue and 2-1/2” Pocket Hole Screws.

Step 4
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed

Cut the pieces for the Side Bed Rail and Cleat. Attach the Cleat to the bottom edge of the Side Bed Rail using 2” Wood Screws. Clamp the Rail/Cleat “set” into place as shown, leaving a 1-1/2” space on each end for the End Rails. The Side Bed Rail, Cleat, and bottom of the Side Rail should be flush with one another. After making sure that everything is completely square and aligned, use a 7/16” Drill Bit to drill through the Side Bed Rail, Cleat, and Post. You should have two holes on each end for the Bolts. Fasten with Carriage Bolts and tighten.

Step 5
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed

For the Head Wall, cut the pieces for the End Rail, End Bed Rail, End Bottom, and End Stud. With the Kreg jig set for 1-1/2” material, drill pocket holes in both ends of the End Rail, End Bed Rail, End Stud, and End Bottom. Assemble as shown with glue and 2-1/2” Pocket Hole Screws. 

Step 6
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed

For the Foot Wall, cut the pieces for the End Rail, End Bed Rail, End Bottom, and End Stud. With the Kreg jig set for 1-1/2” material, drill pocket holes in both ends of the End Rail, End Bed Rail, End Stud, and End Bottom. Assemble as shown with glue and 2-1/2” Pocket Hole Screws. 

Step 7
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed

Cut the pieces for the Slats. The Slats will be spaced approximately 4” apart. Attach to the Cleats on each end using 1-1/4” countersunk screws. 

Step 8
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed

Cut the pieces for the Rafters and Roof Ridge. Cut the bottom ends of the Rafters at a 45-degree angle as noted. With the Kreg jig set for 1-1/2” material, drill pocket holes in both ends of the Rafters. Assemble as shown with glue and 2-1/2” Pocket Hole Screws. 

Step 9
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed

Cut the pieces for the Back Wall. If preferred, you can cut the Back Wall out of a solid piece of 3/4” plywood. However, this image shows the Back Wall made of several different pieces – time to use those scrap pieces of 3/4” plywood! Cut the top of the Upper Back Wall at a 45-degree angle. Attach to the back of the Bed Frame with glue and 1-1/4” Wood Screws. The Back Wall should be attached to the Bed Frame 1/4” from the ground and have a 3/4” overhang on both sides.

Step 10
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed

Cut the pieces for the Front Wall. The Front Wall will be cut in two sections – an Upper and a Lower section since plywood comes in a 48” width. Cut the top of the Upper Front Wall at a 45 degree angle. Make the ladder cut-outs with a drill and jigsaw. For these interior cuts, start at the inside corner of the cut-out and drill a hole slightly larger than the blade of the jigsaw. Insert your jigsaw blade and make your cut. 

When the wall is attached to the Bed Frame, the cut-outs should line up just above a 2x4 for extra support. Attach to the front of the Bed Frame with glue and 1-1/4” Wood Screws. The Front Wall should be attached to the Bed Frame 1/4” from the ground and have a 3/4” overhang on both sides.

Step 11

Cut the pieces for the Head Wall. Attach to the head of the Bed Frame with glue and 1-1/4” Wood Screws.

The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed
Step 12
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed

Cut the pieces for the Foot Wall. Attach to the foot of the Bed Frame with glue and 1-1/4” Wood Screws.

Make the window cut-outs with a drill and jigsaw. For these interior cuts, start at the inside corner of the cut-out and drill a hole slightly larger than the blade of the jigsaw. Insert your jigsaw blade and make your cut.  

Step 13
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed
The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans for How to Build a Modern Lake House Bunk Bed

Cut the pieces for the Roof. Each end of the Roof pieces should be cut at a 45-degree angle. Attach to the Rafters and Ridge of the Bed Frame with glue and 1-1/4” Wood Screws.

That’s it! Experiment with painting the inside of the Bunk Bed a different color than the outside. You can also play around with installing puck or rope lighting… the possibilities are truly endless with this Bunk Bed!

Finishing Instructions

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

Disclaimer

// Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you ONLY use 1 image and provide an ADEQUATE link back to the original source and appropriate plan! Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Rayan Turner, The Design Confidential. By accessing or using any part of the web site, you agree to become bound by the terms and conditions of this website as outlined under Terms of Use. If you do not agree to all the terms and conditions of this agreement, then you may not access the Website or use any services. The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by The Design Confidential.com and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, personal injury or death, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of information or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website. I hope to provide accurate plans, however, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post has been built and tested, so you are building at your own risk. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of how the project works before beginning any project. Please contact me if you find an error or inaccuracy so that I might fix it. The Design Confidential.com is inspired by but does not replicate exact designs, any similarities between these plans and items sold at specialty retailers is coincidential and not endorsed by or related to any said retailers. // Post May Contain Affiliate Links

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