Friday, August 31, 2012

Sliding Double Barn Doors

Hey my friends!
I hope Isaac hasn't ruined your Labor Day weekend plans. Mine luckily consist only of a lunch date on Friday, Razorback football on Saturday (WPS!!) and crossing the rest of the projects on my chalkboard off the list over Sunday and Monday.

I'm SO excited about the project I conquered over last weekend. I was so sore afterwards but it's all part of the game...

I've had a pair of GORGEOUS weathered, gray doors with turquoise iron scrolls propped beside our doorway for months. Lots of months. I confess, I got them from Hobby Lobby in the clearance section. 

Yes, even I stumble upon pre-fabricated pieces the easy way sometimes. Very rarely. So give me a break on this one. They were irresistible. I needed to do something to them to make myself feel better about the fact that I didn't drag them out of a barn or street dumpster and restore them to beauty. I knew that's where they belonged, but I wasn't sure how. Then I saw this image with very similar doors leading onto a porch and the sliding barn door hardware sold me. Perfect solution.

What was NOT perfect was the $400-$500 price tag on barn door hardware, even from online discount sites. 

I thought, this cannot be that hard. I need a bar attached to the wall and something attached to the door to make it slide. This aint rocket science! But it was a bit of an exercise in engineering. Very simple, engineering for dummies, maybe, but still. I searched for days to find cheaper ways to create barn door hardware and found a couple different solutions. Box rail from Tractor Supply, etc, but I knew there was still a simpler solution. It made perfect sense in my head but I wasn't finding it.

I went to Lowes and wandered aimlessly. The solution was so clear in my mind but finding the right materials was a broad search. Hardware? No. Shelving? No. Doors? No. Then I came across plumbing. Surely not. Well, maybe...?

There were pipes. Check. Curved thingies to bring it off the wall. Check. This could work. 
I sat in the floor and assembled a number of doo-dads, the names of which I am now so familiar with that I can sound exceptionally manly if I wanted. I was getting stumped on how to attach the bar to the wall because I couldn't find what I now know is a floor flange. I googled barn door with plumbing parts and couldn't believe I found exactly what I had been trying to figure out all along in this picture. 


Why hadn't I found that before? There was no tutorial so I still would have had to figure it out, but at least my search would have been narrowed down alot!
I assembled in different ways until I had the product I needed. Then, I checked out other aisles until I had all the parts that would bring to life the contraption in my head. 

My hands were so greasy from all the pipes. 


Here's what all I came home with:

 (From left to right)

1/2 inch x 10ft galvanized steel pipe (cut by Lowes to 8 ft and threaded on the cut end so it would still connect)
Galvanized Coupling (2)
90 degree Street Elbow (2)
2.5 inch Galvanized Steel Pipe Nipple (2)
Galvanized Floor Flange (2)
(All of the above pieces 1/2 inch to fit the 1/2 inch pipe)
3/8 inch x 4 inch Eye Screw (4...2 for each door)
4 casters with 2 inch plate to fit the bottom of the doors

The total for all the materials: $52

First, I screwed the casters to the bottom corner of each door.

Then drilled a 3/8th inch hole (the width of the eye screw for the loop) on each end of the top of the doors. I screwed in the eye screw until it was almost in all the way, and made sure they were all even.

Next, I assembled the bar to make sure everything worked. This is how one end looked:

 Flange, nipple, elbow, coupling, then pipe. 

Once all assembled, it resembled a large grab bar or towel bar. Exactly what I knew in my head I would need.

I used a stud finder and some knocking and taped the edges of each stud. For the bar to be centered over the doorway, I needed the flange to connect in a certain spot, and if you look closely, it is marked in pencil directly in the center of the two studs. GO FIGURE. Nothing is ever as simple as it should be.

Ultimately, I decided to make the bar a foot off center so that one end was screwed into a stud. I figured since the doors are on casters and not hanging all their weight on the bar that it would be fine. And so far I'm right. The side that is not screwed into a stud is actually more solid than the other. ??

I slid the loops onto the pipe, laid on the floor, and measured from the bottom of the caster to where the flange would need to be screwed into the wall. I wanted the height as close to accurate as I could get so the wheels would touch the ground and slide perfectly. 

If I measured once, I measured 18 times. It was cumbersome getting it all up, and even more so since my legs and back were already aching from going up and down the ladder so many times to get things right. My hero husband came home from wiffleball just in time to hold up the other end and screw it in. I had only rocked the ladder back and nearly fallen twice trying to get it done for him to see when he got home, but who's counting. 

I gave it a couple sprays of WD-40 and a quick push...And it worked!



 I slid them 40 times. And smiled...

The artwork I already had hanging and it ties in perfectly with the turquoise iron.

I took 1 of my bridal pictures, taken on the farm's old vintage Ford, and blew it up into 2, 20x30 sections. The left half of the truck is on the left of the doorway, and right half (and my legs) on the right.

 The wheels of the casters are a soft rubber and don't damage the floors (which I will be refinishing more orange!!)


As cool as they look from the living room side, they look even MORE gorgeous from the entryway when pulled closed.  

 Isn't that so cool!!?

They will be great to have when we have kids to close off one doorway without needing a baby gate.

  • "Hang sliding barn doors in living room"... CHECK!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We. Are. Young: Erin's Birthday Throwdown!

Birthdays these days are surreal. Time is spinning faster. 
We are getting older. But we really don't feel like it. 

Until maybe the next morning...

 Saturday night was Erin's night and we started our celebration at Molly's La Casita on Madison.  

 {Devin, Taylor, Erin, and Cassie}

Birthday girl donned the velvet sombrero and made it look goood.

And took a little birthday shot. 

We carried the night to The Flying Saucer for drinks and darts. 


 Then wobbled our way down Beale...

to Alfreds. 

The boys loved on the birthday girl.

 Then  put the moves on her.

But none compared to the moves that this homeboy was dropping all over the dance floor. He put on his own show. Nina couldn't resist him. So she joined him.
But apparently she couldn't hang! Luckily, several friendly bystanders were there to catch her fall. And like a true soldier, she lived to dance another song.

Homeboy attempted to impress her with a rose (as an apology?) but his wallet couldn't back it up and she had to return it. It was a classically hilarious moment.

We are young.

 So let's set the world on fire


 We can burn brighter than the sun.

So if by the time the bar closes,

And you feel like falling down,

 I'll carry you home...



Young at heart, as always...
The Grays

Sunday, August 19, 2012

DIY Play Kitchen

I did it. I jumped on the play-kitchen band wagon. Avery is turning 2 the end of August and in preparing for her birthday party, I thought back to my favorite things to play with when I was her age. As I was a domestic diva and mini-Betty Crocker from day one, it was most definitely my play kitchen and my Barbie corvette. (How else was I supposed to go get the groceries to cook?) 

Since I tend to torture myself with being determined to make  everything...myself...I wanted to do something homemade for our Baby Avery. And seeing as how making a Barbie corvette is just a tad out of my do-it-yourself prowess, I elected to make her a play kitchen!
I went to my number one spot for finding exactly any piece I need (Dad's house) and he helped me look through some options in the garage. I chose this entertainment center that my Meemaw had and I knew I could work with it.

It was impossible to look at it from this next angle without whispering:
"Lean wit it. 
Rock wit it.
Lean wit it.
Rock wit it."

 The bottom was water damaged and needed to be removed. 

I cut it down to 3 feet tall, then cut a board the correct length and braced it across the back to replace the flimsy cardboard. 


So it looked like this:

After cleaning it and swiping the life out of 19 spiders (yes I counted...and yes, with my bare hands. I'm a baaaad man) I gave it a coat of Zinsser's oil-based primer. I should have done 2, but I'm impatient. Do as I say, not as I do, ya know?
 Next, was a coat of white in "classic creme".  
After the basic shape and painting was done, I drew up a plan and forged on down the list.

I got to work on the sink first. I couldn't find a silver or steel bowl when I was looking, because nothing is as simple as it should be, right? So I bought a white one and spray painted it.

 I found this perfect little faucet for $1.25 at ReStore, of course!

Next up, was the counter top "tile" and "backsplash."

After finishing the tile, painting the "fridge door" turquoise and the "stove top" dark metallic gray, we were really starting to take shape!

Last step was to cut the right door in half to become the oven and microwave. I put a hinge on the right side for the microwave to open and a hinge on the bottom for the oven to open down.

 Then it was the best part...Accessorizing! I cut a scenic picture from a poetry book and placed it in a frame to create the window.

And the rest is self explanatory...


 Is it cheesy to say I'm tickled?? Because I am! 

Yes, it ended up being more complicated in some ways than I anticipated, but that's pretty much always true. And my irritation was mostly brought on by 100% humidity that left me sweltering in the garage and made the paint very difficult to adhere and dry. I would have enjoyed myself much more working on it now that our Arkansas temps have dropped a little!  

I added a drawer pull from ReStore on the side for a towel bar...

 ...And a piece of fabric over the frame for the window.


I think the sink is my favorite part! The tiny colander is from TJ Maxx. 

The fridge:


And oven:

The curtain hides under-sink storage.

The stove is simmering a pot of spaghetti sauce and some tea! I found the mini pots and pans at Goodwill for $1 each. I spray painted the old knobs from out bathroom vanity.


 I think it's cute as a button and I hope Avery does too!

Avery's party was Sunday afternoon. It was the perfect day to sit in the shade and visit, sipping a cold coke. 
And it was the perfect day for Avery to see her new kitchen!

Blow out the candles, baby girl. You're TWO years old!

Lindsay couldn't wait for present opening time so Sean and I brought the kitchen from the truck and Avery wasted no time before exploring. 


 She's just so smart...when she first went to use the sink, she said "It's not on!" Sorry, baby Avery, KK's not that good! She rinsed her vegetables, washed her hands, baked cupcakes, and added "water" to her flower vase. So grown up!

Baby Davis hung out with KK and enjoyed attending her first birthday party.


This one's a wrap!

Happy Birthday Baby A!