Sep
01
2015
The Design Confidential DIY // Spooky Skeleton Pumpkins

We are all about Halloween here at Casa de TDC. But, we have a couple of cutie boys who are still rather young. So while this little mama likes a bit of the macabre when decorating for this festive occasion... these boys of mine still need a more toned down version of spooky decor and so I give you my latest idea and the spooky skeleton pumpkin. Spooky yet not spooky, if you know what I mean.

The Design Confidential DIY // Spooky Skeleton Pumpkins

I know these pumpkins might seem difficult or time consuming, but with one super helpful tool, this project is really easy and goes quickly.

MATERIALS //

Cream Colored Craft Pumpkins

Versa-Tool - You can use any knife or other cutting and carving tool, but the hot knife feature on this tool is amazing for this!

Black Permanent Marker

The Design Confidential DIY // Spooky Skeleton Pumpkins

Using a pencil, I lightly drew my bones on the pumpkin. This is better if it's imperfect and looks more realistic so don't worry about your drawing skills.

I thought this would work best if it looked vaguely like the bones in a hand so I drew out a series of segmented bones, each about 1 1/2 inches in length, end to end, and each looking a bit like a dog bone.

I did this down every other section of the pumpkin stripes (no idea what these are called, but I'm sure you know what I mean, right?!). I started just below the stem and stopped about 2 inches from the center of the very bottom. The larger the base of your pumpkin, the more space you leave empty at the bottom and you will see why in a minute.

The Design Confidential DIY // Spooky Skeleton Pumpkins

You won't outline your bones with your marker yet, like you see above, but this image does a better job of showing you what your bones should look like and where they should be.

The Design Confidential DIY // Spooky Skeleton Pumpkins

While you are sketching your bones onto your pumpkin carcass, you can let your versa-tool heat up because it will take a few minutes to get hot enough. While it isn't a requirement that you use this particular tool, I certainly recommend some sort of hot knife action because it makes this portion much easier and faster.

The Design Confidential DIY // Spooky Skeleton Pumpkins

When you are ready to carve your pumpkin, you will be carving the negative space between your bone stripes (seriously need to find a better description for this, but whatever). You will carve this like you are cutting melon, kind of... Start at the base of your stem alongside one side of one of your bone stripes and carve down along that edge making sure to curve in and out with the edges of your bones. You won't carve in between them and instead you will just indent a little bit at the base of each bone and then curve back out at the top of the next. Continue to carve in and out all the way down to the base of your last bone. You will stop carving after you curve in slightly at the base of the last bone in your stripe and then remove your knife and move back up to the top where you began.

Starting from your starting point you will carve over along the base of your stem till you reach the top of the first bone in the next bone stripe. Continue carving that edge of that bone stripe until you get to the bottom edge of the bottom bone and then remove your knife and bring it up to the opposite side of the top edge of the top bone in your strip. Carve down that edge, stopping at the bottom and then bridge the gap just as you did before by starting at your starting point and carving along the stem until you get to the top edge of the next bone stripe. Do this all the way around.

Once you have finished this, you will flip your pumpkin and work on the bottom. You will finish off your carving by treating the bottom just as you did the top and start at your end point on one edge of your bone stripe. Carve over the gap till you get to the edge of the next bone stripe. Then remove your knife and move to the opposite side of that bone stripe and carve over the gap until you reach the opposite edge of the next bone stripe. Do this all the way around until you have created something of a base between your bone stripes. Re-cut any sections that need a bit more cutting and then carefully pop out your pumpkin slices.

The Design Confidential DIY // Spooky Skeleton Pumpkins

You can clean up the edges anywhere where things look a tad crazy, then using your permanent marker, outline each individual bone in your bone stripes. Add an led candle or some creepy spiders if you like and call this beauty done!

To kick off fall in your own home, visit Michaels.com and check out the variety of craft pumpkins available – there are more colors, shapes and sizes than you can imagine! If you’re looking for something a little bit different, Michaels recently started selling these fun half pumpkins, perfect for a fall décor wall mount version of this project or any other fall project! Love!

This project brought to you in partnership with Michaels and as part of my ongoing partnership with Michaels as a Michaels Maker! Thank you for supporting the fab folks who help bring new a spooky projects like this to The Design Confidential. Heart you guys!!

An InLinkz Link-up

Aug
29
2015
The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

I mentioned a while back I would be partnering with Bernzomatic to bring you guys a new project each month and would be working to develop my metal working skill-set... I am pretty excited to share today's project because I really put those skills to the test and learned so very much in the process. The result is a fabulous shiny new solution for the mess that is our entryway... especially during the colder months, which we are about to enter (4 months from now).

Let's get real for a minute - I was terrified about using this torch, and I have actually used a torch many times before. You see, I took a metalsmithing class in college and I loved it so very much, but everything was set up in a space that was used exclusively for working with fire and acid and all of those crazy things that sound terrifying to use in my own home and those torches used a manual striker to light so much harder and a lot more scary. I mean, eek, right? But I set up a work space that felt safe and took a few extra precautions that in hindsight were probably a tad much, but you can never be too safe when you are playing with fire so I am glad I did. Turns out there was nothing to worry about and jumping back on that bike was a cake walk. They say most things come back to you, just like riding a bike, and this was true for soldering... though I am fairly certain I have actually forgotten how to ride a bike, so who knows. Also, the new and improved torches have an easy on / off trigger so you don't have to start the gas and then spark it with a striker, so that alone makes this sooooo much better.

So I will walk you through the steps for this project and a few of my tips for getting started with soldering and torch work because... that is the part you are likely to be nervous about at first. Promise it's so much easier than it seems!

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

Here are the supplies you will need for this project. Keep in mind that the techniques here will work for any variation so feel free to make your fabulous creation if you prefer that!

MATERIALS //

Copper Pipe - 1" x 2 feet

Copper Pipe - 1/2" x 5 feet

8 - 1/2" Copper Pipe Caps

Pipe Cutter

Drill Bits with 1/2" Bit

Bernzomatic TS8000 Self Igniting Torch Head

Sanding Cloth

Metal Files

Safety Glasses / Outdoor

Gloves

Ceiling Hook

Nylon String

Soldering Kit //

Bernzomatic Plumbing Kit - I purchased this kit and used it with the torch head listed above, but if you prefer to purchase the pieces individually, they are listed below.

Individual Kit Pieces //

Map-Pro or Propane

Flux

Solder

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

Safety is extremely important when you are playing with fire... so be sure to wear gloves, goggles and glasses to shield yourself from debris and burns. You will also need at least 2 drill bits - one small bit like 5/64" and one 1/2" larger bit that are appropriate for metal. A center punch is also extremely helpful when you are drilling metal, so your bit doesn't slip or twirl, but if you don't have one, any screw with a nice tap from a hammer in the center of where you plan to drill your hole will also help.

Let's get to work! Start by laying out where your pegs will go on your 1 inch pipe. I chose to put two holes per side and 4 approximate sides for a total of 8 holes. I varied the locations on each side for an organic look. Use a small piece of your 1/2" pipe to trace a hole in each of these 8 locations on your 1 inch pipe.

You can cut your 1/2 inch pegs to length using your pipe cutter. You will need //

3 - at 7 inches

3 - at 5 inches

2 - at 3 inches

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack
The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack
The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

I gave each future hole a tap with a screw and then used the smallest bit in my assortment to drill a tiny pilot hole. You probably won't drill all the way through, so watch the pressure you apply as you are drilling or you will go all the way through whether you want to or not.

Once I had my pilot hole drilled, I switched to my large 1/2" bit and opened the hole up quite a bit.

Then use your rounded metal file to give it more room and to smooth it out so your pegs will fit nicely. You can do a dry fit to make sure you are on the right path.

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

Once you are finished cutting your pegs and drilling / filing your holes, you will want to prep your surfaces for soldering. This means you need to clean the area where the joint will be and you need to clean both your pegs as well as the large 1" pipe, in and around all of your holes.

You will do this using your sanding cloth and you can simply wrap it around the ends of your pipe and sand (clean) until it shines. For your 1 inch pipe, sand inside your holes and the entire area around each hole. Try not to touch or dirty these prior to soldering. If it's helpful to do each peg as you go along then that works as well - I found it easiest to set up for soldering both pegs along one side at the same time. Which reminds me, it might be helpful to decide how you want to arrange your various sizes of pegs around your pipe. I never put two of the same size on the same side and tried to think about what we might be hanging up (hats, scarves, jackets) so that I could figure out my arrangement. Obviously having a sweater hanging above a hat is tricky so put that shorter hat peg on top, or on a different side from your longer pegs.

// You will also need to set up your work space. I found it easiest to work on concrete and set my pipe on two pavers that were standing up on end. You will want to have a bucket of water nearby - just in case - or if you are outside, you can use your hose. If you are working near flammable materials - move them or your work area - and if you have plants, trees, or mulch that might catch fire, you should give your surrounding area a good hosing before you get started.

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack
The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

After you clean with your sanding cloth, you will apply your paste flux to the end of the peg that will sit down into your hole and the area around the hole as well as the edges of your hole. Use the silver brush that comes with your flux do this and then move your flux and brush away from the area where you plan to work.

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack
The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

Your Torch Head will screw onto your Map-Pro or Propane tank easily and there are directions for setting things up in the torch head package. Follow those directions and you should have no problem! Basically, you will begin with your torch head and tank separated, make sure your trigger on your torch head is set to the off position, then turn your valve clockwise all the way so that it is shut off. Then attach your torch head to your tank and tighten by hand. I will note that I didn't quite understand where the trigger was - not sure why this little fact was over my head - but just in case you are blonde like I am... the trigger is the same button you turn in the on and off position (the only one so you can't miss it). Once your tank is attached, you will simply open your valve all the way, then turn your trigger to the on position and when you are ready, press your trigger to ignite. It all works so smoothly and easily that you will absolutely love it once you realize it really isn't scary at all and the process is a cake walk. No guessing or difficult steps.

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack
The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

With your flux applied and your flame lit - you will now actually begin to solder. You want to hold your torch in one hand and your solder in the other for the easiest manner of handling things. You should have a decent portion of your solder unrolled and extending away from the remainder so you can easily let it do it's thing without burning your hand.

Start by heating your joint. You will want to heat the area evenly all around your joint rather than heating your solder directly. Since your peg will sit down into your hole, you will heat your peg and the 1 inch pipe in the immediate vicinity. Keep your flame moving and you will start to see the flux begin to bubble a bit, this takes a few seconds or more and you can then see if your solder will run.

To do this, remove your flame from the area and let go of the trigger so it stops. Then touch the end of your solder to the joint and you will know you have heated the area enough if when you touch your solder to the joint, it runs easily into the joint and looks a bit like liquid. If you touch your solder to the area and nothing happens, you will need to heat it a tiny bit more so you will remove your solder, then ignite your flame again by pressing the trigger and heat your joint by keeping that flame moving evenly over the area you are working. When you are ready to try again, let go of your trigger and remove your torch while you touch your solder to the joint with your other hand. It should flow beautifully right down into your hole and will run around the edges. It's so utterly gratifying. Promise!

// It may not make it all the way around so you will likely need to let it cool, and once it does apply another round of flux, then heat the joint and finish it off with your solder. Just try to avoid directly heating the area you have already soldered or it may run or overheat and ball up a bit, leaving you with yet another area that isn't soldered.

It will take a bit of practice with how much heat you need and in controlling your solder, but not to worry because those colorful heated areas and messy solder can all be fixed!

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

If you have an area that has a large clump of solder, you can give it just a little bit of heat and it will run just enough to flatten out a bit. It will likely run down onto your pipe, but that is far easier to deal with than a huge clump that needs to be filed down.

For everything else, use your rounded file to smooth out the solder around your joints. You can see above one that I filed to fix a big run and clump versus one that hasn't been filed yet.

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

Finish off your piece by sanding the entire thing with your sanding cloth. This will remove the colorful sections and any crazy marks from filing your solder. Try to work it in a uniform way so that it looks more perfect ultimately. I chose to sand in an up and down manner and as you can see above it turned out beautifully!

Clean everything off with soapy water or a water and vinegar mix and then add your caps to the ends of your pegs. Drill your holes at the top for hanging, using a medium sized drill bit (maybe a bit smaller than 1/4") and for this one you can drill all the way through. Now you simply need to string it up and hang from your ceiling hook! Yahoo

This awesome-sauce project was created in partnership with Bernzomatic and is part of an ongoing series between that fabulous company and The Design Confidential! Yahoo. All crazy talk and opinions are 100% my own... you know - as per the usual. 

Aug
03
2015
The Design Confidential Takes Sonoma for The Michael's Makers Summit

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a glimpse or two from a fabulous event I was lucky enough to attend in Sonoma last week. For those of you who aren't so familiar with California - this is the heart of wine country with a deep history, some of the world's finest wine, and views that are vast and stunning. It was only fitting that Michael's Craft Stores chose this place (seriously, you need to see this place!) to host the first ever Makers Summit and to celebrate the Maker Movement with 50 of the finest Maker Minds in the nation. I am honored to be a part of this group of bloggers and left this event with my heart full and feeling so inspired to tackle new projects that I have been wanting to try for a very long time.

If you are like me and have the need to create and stretch your skills in new and exciting ways, you are in luck because for most of August, all of you will get to experience the amazing craft classes we took while we were at the Summit. Watercolor, Weaving, Paper Flowers and Image Transfers (this last one has some particularly mind blowing techniques that I never knew about) all online to do at your leisure and all for FREE on Michaels.com until 8/22. This should give you a feel for the crazy amazing talent we were exposed to in beautiful wine country - spoiled rotten is what we were, that much is sure.

The Design Confidential Takes Sonoma for The Michael's Makers Summit
The Design Confidential Takes Sonoma for The Michael's Makers Summit

If you are curious about all 50 of this year’s Makers (I know... 50?!?), you can check out each of our blogs and bios here! Follow along throughout the year and feel free to create projects with us by sharing on Instagram using #MadeWithMichaels

I wonder if you know which gal I am in this group photo above? I will give you a hint: I'm kneeling down but virtually in a row of my own! I hope these images inspire you to give these free Creativebug classes a try. I can't say enough about the talented gals who taught them. I will be brushing up on several of them throughout the month as well, since a couple of them are fairly advanced techniques and as it turns out I am not that great at watercolor - or paper flower making. Really it's more that I am not very good at wielding the flower tape. Eek, that stuff is sticky and tricky - not an easy combo!

The Design Confidential Takes The Michael's Makers Summit
The Design Confidential Takes The Michael's Makers Summit
The Design Confidential Takes The Michael's Makers Summit
The Design Confidential Takes The Michael's Makers Summit
The Design Confidential Takes The Michael's Makers Summit
The Design Confidential Takes The Michael's Makers Summit
The Design Confidential Takes The Michael's Makers Summit
The Design Confidential Takes The Michael's Makers Summit
The Design Confidential Takes The Michael's Makers Summit
The Design Confidential Takes The Michael's Makers Summit
The Design Confidential Takes The Michael's Makers Summit
The Design Confidential Takes The Michael's Makers Summit
The Design Confidential Takes The Michael's Makers Summit

Images by Rayan Turner for The Design Confidential / Michael's Craft Stores / Caitlin of The Merrythought / Shannon of Eat. Sleep. Make. (Thanks girls!) To see all the other recaps... check out the links below!

DIY 
Celebrate 
Jul
28
2015

How would you #spinthatstyle? Last month the fine folks from Porch + hayneedle.com asked me to put my personal spin on a living room space using the room below as inspiration and products from hayneedle.com. The inspiration space reads as Mid Century meets Neo-Traditional and has gorgeous architectural details, texture and fabulous modern touches throughout. It leans toward a relatively neutral color scheme with warm wood tones, shades of cream and gray, with black and white abstract art pieces, and an occasional pop of pink and gold in a few of the accessories.

By keeping the color scheme relatively neutral with minimal accent colors, the design for this space focuses on the materials and finishes of the pieces themselves and the furnishings remain simple with clean lines and solid colors.

My space lacks architectural detail of this nature, but there is no reason why a similar feel can't be achieved, regardless. Through the use of a color scheme that is slightly more bold and furnishings that provide a level of interest where the space itself would otherwise be lacking, I was able to put my personal spin on the inspiration style in a way that is decidedly more eclectic but entirely fitting to my personality.

To see where we started with this space, check out the living room portion in this article. It has essentially stayed exactly like that since I updated the art back in December of last year.

And now... It is decidedly more bold and absolutely more modern and I managed to keep many of my vintage pieces in this space since they are from a similar era as many of the details in the inspiration room. Yahoo for that, not to mention it's the only room where my boys don't maul everything on a daily basis, so it's a great place to put the pieces that I want to see, but that probably shouldn't be jumped on and crashed into.

All of the items in this space were things I already had, except for the items that I chose from Hayneedle to help bring a bit of the inspiration room into my room.

While my space is much less neutral and a lot more bold, I stayed true to the textural layers and basic colors along with a similar time period for my pieces in comparison to what is found in many of the inspiration room details. Using only a few new items, I transformed this room entirely and basically shopped my own home for the rest! This is certainly a testament to the fact that you don't need to spend like crazy and buy custom pieces to make changes that you love.

Naturally I had to up the ante where pattern is concerned since I wasn't working with that fabulous fireplace and wood paneling. All in all, I adore how this space turned out and I will be leaving it as is until the next time I need to rearrange things - if I'm lucky this won't be till the holidays... then again you just never know!

To see how this space was interpreted by my fabulous gal pals from the DIY Playbook and the Blissful Bee - check out the article One Room 3 Ways over on Porch! I love how different each space is and that each of us had an entirely different take on the inspiration space along with different pieces to work with as a jumping off point. These two things alone result in amazingly different outcomes and that is pretty fabulous!

This project was created in partnership with Porch and hayneedle.com. Thank you for supporting those folks who help bring fresh new content like this to The Design Confidential. I heart you guys!

Jul
21
2015
The Design Confidential Find Your Fire // The Possibilities Are Endless

I think it's safe to assume that most of you who hang with us here at TDC love yourselves a good furniture and home decor project. I think it's also safe to say that together we are mastering the art of making things from wood and that it's something of our 'go-to' when we build and create - at least this is the case for me. But... there is one element that I tend to be lacking here and where my maker skills tend to lag a bit, and that my friends is a great group of projects made from metal. Sure we churn out the occasional industrial pipe project here and there, and we add hardware to our furniture pieces to elevate those creations... but what if we could take that to the next level? What if we could round out the type of projects we do here and our skill sets to include working with this material in a more up close and personal kind of way? It would absolutely raise the bar for DIY and the possibilities seem endless from where I stand. There would be no furniture piece or accessory left unturned and the world would be our creative oyster... Well, that may be a slight exaggeration with an overdose of 'crazy dreamer thinking' thrown in for good measure. But seriously - wouldn't it be amaze if we could just throw together a metal shelf or whip out a brass planter or two like it was the easiest thing in the world? Yes, yes it would!

The Design Confidential Find Your Fire // The Possibilities Are Endless

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

From fine jewelry to fabulous furnishings, I feel pretty positive that there will be nothing out of reach for us in the world of DIY projects if we can just figure out how to add metal to the list of materials we can work with. To make this dream of mine a reality, I have partnered with Bernzomatic and will do my best to earn the title of Torch Bearer as I learn how to master the art of metalwork - and in the process I shall bring you a new DIY creation each and every month. Of course no project is complete without sharing all of the trials and tribulations I encounter along the way, and I guarantee there will be many. I hope you will join me as I learn, test, and torch my way to a whole new medium of creation. Because, I see no reason to stop at wood... do you?

By learning how to solder and braze, decor like you see above becomes completely possible to make with my own two hands. I can't wait to see where this leads and will be carrying the torch with pride alongside a group of creatives from many different professions. There are some foodies, outdoorsmen, and some renovating pros that I will be working alongside, and that is seriously rad. I suppose if the whole metalsmithing gig doesn't work out like I hope, I can learn to make a kick-ass crème brûlée and roast my marshmallows over the best damn campfire this side of the Mississippi! It's always good to have a backup plan, amiright? These things don't usually go as planned... but we shall see!

What say you? Will you embrace some metal based projects? Can we do this? Eek!

Image via // Layout created by Rayan Turner for The Design Confidential

This article was created in partnership with Bernzomatic and there will be many more to follow with my role as a Torch Bearer. Yahoo! Thank you for supporting the brands that help us get crafty and bring new content like this to The Design Confidential. As per the usual, all of this crazy mad rambling, dreaming and scheming are 100% my own.

Jul
15
2015

I have such a fabulous treat for you today! This project is an incredibly easy DIY for stylish entertaining and at the end, we will have ourselves a little Giveaway, yahoo! For those of you who are into gadgets and tech, the tool I used for this project is going to be a game changer. For those of you who don't feel quite so technically inclined, the 3Doodler 2.0 is as easy to use as any other writing instrument and you will be drawing your way to 3 Dimensional fun in no time! If you have ever been curious about 3D printers, this 3D printing pen is a much more affordable and easy to use option and you can create dimensional figures or objects with the simple push of a button. 5 minutes into using this pen, I was running through all of the possibilities at 90 miles an hour. If you have no idea what any of this means... this video gives a fabulous overview of what this tool actually does - and how!

I have been working on my dining room here at Casa de TDC, and with the addition of a new vintage table that is made of wood, coasters are something that have been on my mind. I tend to prefer a casual entertaining style so a monstera leaf shaped coaster is the perfect chic thing for summertime events or family game night.

To make your own, you will need...

Materials //

3Doodler 2.0 3D Printing Pen

3Doodler Filament Strands

Monstera Leaf Template

The Design Confidential Entertaining in 3D // DIY Monstera Leaf Coasters + Giveaway

Print out the template on a standard 8.5x11" sheet of paper. Follow the directions that come with your 3Doodler for loading the strands and turning the tool on at the proper temperature (hi or low) for the type of filament you are using. Push your slow button and extrude your material along the lines of your template. Once you have a relatively thick border outlined, you can begin filling it in with skinny lines running at an angle or in a more solid style if you prefer. Once it hardens in just a few seconds, pull your coaster off your paper carefully and scatter them about! That is it, so fast and super easy.

So would you like to win one of these incredibly fabulous tools? Yahoo... Details down below

The Design Confidential Entertaining in 3D // DIY Monstera Leaf Coasters + Giveaway

GIVEAWAY // 3Doodler 2.0 Printing Pen

To Enter // Leave a Comment on this post down below (you can sign in as a guest without creating a login) or on this Instagram Post (or both - for 2 enteries) and tell me what you would be most excited to create with this 3D Printing Pen

Winner // Will be drawn at random from the list of comments on this article.

Details // This giveaway is open to US residents only, must be 18 or older to win. This giveaway will run through 11:59 PM PST, Wednesday June 22, 2015 and announced the following morning. The winner will be contacted via email so please be sure to use an email address you regularly check when you enter your info in the comment form (you don't need to leave your email address in the comment portion itself). If the winner does not respond within 2 days of being contacted, another winner will be chosen.

Good Luck, and I can't wait to see... #WhatWillYouCreate?

This project and giveaway created in partnership with Michaels and 3Doodler2.0. Thank you to the fabulous brands that help bring fresh new content and fun giveaways like this to The Design Confidential!

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