I loved my summertime succulent wreath. It hung wonderfully, and didn’t fade, droop, or melt out of shape in the extreme heat in the cavern of fire which formed every morning between that pretty all-glass storm door and the eggplant-painted entryway door. Thank you, sunshine.
But now we’re encroaching on autumn, and as my almost-martha-stewart-mom would do, I’m packing the succulent wreath away until next spring and replacing it with something more seasonally appropriate.
I didn’t want to go full-on-autumnal quite yet, and I’ve never been much into the faux-colored leaves decor, but the fresh green succulents (or anything green, flowery) seems a little too springy for the cool nights (which are an awesome relief, by the way). The new wreath, I decided, would take advantage of totally-free driftwood from the local beach (you know, the same I pulled all of this beach glass from, and found the future base of this driftwood lamp on).
After all… many of the smaller pieces left behind as useless (or from campfires) could be arranged nicely to, you know, take on a not-so-surprising wreath shape.
I kind of liked the idea of doing a square wreath. Nice thought, bad in trial. I’m a square-wreath lover at heart, just not in a driftwood-y execution.
Not with my supply, at least. Not even this way, which is a little bit o’ circle, a little bit o’ square.
I had a few different ideas of how to assemble the circle of different sized sticks.
Plan A (formulated even before I went to find my natural beachy materials) involved drilling through each and stringing a wire to connect them. Luckily I realized that would going to be a challenge, and probably sloppy too. Plus, I was looking for a finished wreath that looked more lush and layered than a singular strand of driftwood.
Plan B that crossed my mind was buying an embroidery hoop, and gluing the wood pieces to that. Good, you know, because it’s perfectly round. Bad though, because there’s not a whole lot of surface to actually glue to. Potential for driftwood floppiness.
The easiest (and free!) plan C was to create my own hoop using a piece of scrap MDF that was leftover from when I assembled the built-in shelves. Pete’s idea, actually. After all, the piece I found (covered in dog fur and possibly basement mold) was a good size for the front door. I used a round dining plate to mark off where I would need to cut (using the jigsaw, awesome).
Again, awesome in idea, poor in reality. Maybe a factor of the jigsaw blade that I was using, or maybe because MDF is harder to cut through than diamonds, but it took me about 10 minutes to carve out half of the circle. I knew I needed to find something more usable before I had a right-arm-only popeye bicep from forcing the saw through the material. Plan C was axed but quickly replaced by Plan D, to use a piece of thin plywood that I found hidden in the basement.
The plywood thankfully cut like butter compared to the MDF, although maybe my new bicep is owed that credit. In any case, from the minute I found the plywood in the basement to when I snapped this next photo of the finished ring, only about 2.5 minutes had passed.
The driftwood was slowly attached to the totally-free-and-DIY’ed and sanded down wreath ring with plain ol’ hot glue.
Once it was all secured and dried, I did flip it over and reinforce those little pieces of driftwood further with hot glue along the back. Couldn’t hurt, right? So now, I think it should really withstand any door shutting and whatever wind-blowing it encounters.
I’m especially happy with how the layered pieces present in person; much nicer than a single ring of driftwood would have worked out. Plus, the added layers disguise the wooden ring completely.
When it came to hanging it on the door, I made another one of those simple wire hooks (like I did once before with the old wreath), so it lays comfortably and securely against the door.
The concern had been (briefly) that if I tried to hang the wreath directly on the wooden ring, pieces of wood would rest unnaturally against the door and possibly pop the hot glue out of place. Never know, that was just my gut instinct, so a less forced and tight hook helps to hold the weight of the wreath in it’s final home.
If you don’t have access to driftwood, I think this would look fantastic with natural tree branches chopped to length. I think I’ve probably seen something like that on Pinterest before, so search around if you want.
If you figure out how to make a nice square wreath, I want to see it!
Shippy! Not really in a boat-y or cruise ship sense… my bedroom was transformed to be more cabin-y than anything else. And it’s still a work-in-progress, but I’ve definitely made serious headway in the last week.
The shiplap paneling that I bought (and showed you a bit of last week while it was still loaded in the car) was awfully (or pleasantly) knotty (depending how much you like pine and lots o’ knots). Its appearance wasn’t about to deter me; the indivdual boards of paneling were unimaginably straight compared to any other lumber I’ve ever sourced and dug through at Lowe’s, and in my book, straight, non-bowed, non-warped, un-damaged boards are a win-win-win-(win?). Plus, the plan all along was to paint the finished wall to match the other three walls, only standing out as a paneled accent but still blending in to the overall cozy feel of the room, so knottiness wasn’t necessarily an issue as long as the cuts were smooth.
Because the boards were going to span the length of one wall (the “headboard” wall of my master bedroom), I wanted it to look finished, and part of that was making sure that the left and right edges of the wall looked completed. The walls themselves are lath and plaster, and it’s uneven in places just due to the original construction and whatever natural sinking of the house has taken place, so trimming a 1″x2″ furring strip to wall-height and affixing it to either side of the wall and nail gunning it into place acted a bit like the picture frame edges that we needed to give it a finished-off look.
Of course, there were some unexpected-but-sort-of-expected snafus along the way. The first of which being that the upper crown moulding needed to come down from the wall-in-progress. Not that it was especially difficult with the help of a utility knife to score the layers (and layers, and layers of paint), but it wasn’t something I thought would need to happen upfront. I was successful at preserving that original trim, and was cautious to take my time and not break the board by getting all rushy.
I left the baseboard and window trim in place as-is because all of it was considerably thicker than the shiplap was, meaning the new boards could rest on it and not make it look too funny or out of place. At least I think so. It’s as subject-to-construction-debate as anything else I’ve taken on.
The second snafu is that someday we’re going to have to replace the ceiling. The stippled ceiling had seen it’s day, and the cloth that held the material to the ceiling is beginning to bow downward, detatching from whatever is up there. Talk about a nightmare. As long as we get to it before it gets to us (meaning: falls on us during the night), it’ll be good.
Following basic instructions for installing shiplap paneling, I started from the bottom, working my way up gradually. I lucked out in a lot of ways, namely in how 2 boards fit exactly between the baseboard and the bottom of the window with only the need to trim out the 1/2″ rabbet (shown by the arrows). The end result actually makes it look more like the window was installed after the shiplap.
I was also especially happy to find that we could use one single board, cut in two, to fit around the window. My original measurements told me that that we would need 8′-1″ of lumber to make that happen, and since Lowe’s didn’t have boards longer than 8′ even, we figured we were screwed into using extra boards (hence why I bought 22 8′ pieces of lumber). I should note: there was a different kind of shiplap available in longer lengths at Lowe’s, but it assembles more like a tongue and groove product, not like clapboard.
There are two possible explanations for this surprise:
1. The boards are an inch longer than marked for expected uneveness during millwork? I’ve encountered this before on other lumber I’ve purchased; sometimes my 12′ boards really measure 12’2″ or 1 board out of 5 measures longer than the others, randomly.
2. Or maybe I mis-measured. Virtually impossible, I know. And yes, I had already taken the furring strip width into account.
This really allows for access to the nails for easier board removal if ever it’s rotting or damaged in an outside application. Not likely in the bedroom, but we still wanted to install the boards correctly. We attached each board with 1-5/8″ nails using Pete’s Bostitch nail gun and pancake compressor, with each nail going in about 1-2″ up from the bottom of the board where the gun is positioned in the next photo. The overlapping board that sits on top of the the one below it locks the loosened top part of the board into place.
The best tip I received prior to starting this project was from Robbie (owner of that fabulous beach house I exposed last week, and creator of its dreamy shiplap bathroom).
Instead of using nickels, I decided to go just a smidgen wider and use quarters. Sets of two quarters hot glued together, to be exact, which held up well for getting the job done but came apart without trouble (since, as you can imagine, I wasn’t about to spend an extra $1.50 on this project after dropping $150.00 into lumber). I think a wider gap will allow for more shadow in the paneling detail, accentuating the wall when it’s painted a dark color.
It worked really well, helping to create the consistent spacing from top to bottom.
Once the boards were installed, I was unexpectedly pleased with the natural wood appearance. And super excited because I was able to return 8 of the original 22 boards to Lowe’s for a savings of $60. That means the whole job was under <$100, not including tools and nails that we already owned.
We’re so pleased with the wooden accents, in fact, that we’ve been considering staining the wall instead of painting it after all.