Power Tool Challenge – Kris Kringle Edition

DIY Wood Arrow Candleholder

It is time for the Power Tool Challenge again, this time the theme is “Secret Santa”! The idea is that the project will be created then mailed to one of the other bloggers in the group as a surprise. So fun, right? I created a super-easy DIY Wood Arrow Candleholder using a template and my bandsaw, then finished it with a metallic polyurethane. While this candleholder isn’t exactly a “Christmasy” project, it is the perfect quick to make gift for the upcoming holiday season!

DIY Wood Arrow Candleholder



  • Scrap pieces of 2×4
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps
  • Shape template of your choice
  • Bandsaw
  • Sander (I used an oscillating tool with a sander attachment) with sandpaper
  • 1-7/8″ Forstner bit
  • Tealight candle & holder

I glued two 12″ pieces of 2×4 together (face to face) and clamped them until dry. A scrap piece of 4×4 post can also be used, if desired.

DIY Wood Arrow Candleholder-2x4 pieces

I traced the template on one face of the 2x4s.

DIY Wood Arrow Candleholder-Template

Then, I cut out the shape with my bandsaw. A bandsaw is really easy to use and is my favorite power tool! If you’ve never used a bandsaw but want to learn, check out my post on Bandsaw Basics!

DIY Wood Arrow Candleholder-Bandsaw

I used my drill press with a 1-7/8″ Forstner bit to cut the hole for the tealight candle and holder. The Forstner bit is the perfect size for the glass holder. I drill the hole as deep as the bit, which is approximately 1/2″. In all honesty, it doesn’t have to be that deep – just deep enough for the glass holder.

DIY Wood Arrow Candleholder-Forstner Bit

I used an oscillating tool with a sanding head on it to sand the faces of the candleholder. The small shape gets into the tight areas nicely to create a smooth finish.

As a fabulous finish, I applied three coats of a metallic polyurethane, lightly sanding between coats. The metallic polyurethane gives the candleholder just a bit of sparkle!

DIY Wood Arrow Candleholder-Angled View

DIY Wood Arrow Candleholder-Top View

Isn’t it great? I already know who the lucky recipient will be but I can’t say – it would spoil the surprise! Take a look at more Power Tool Challenge inspiration from my fellow bloggers:

Awesome, right? Have any questions about the DIY Wood Arrow Candleholder for the Power Tool Challenge? Leave a comment below!

Power Tool Challenge: Frightful Edition!

DIY Textured Wood Gravestone Signs

For this month’s awesome Power Tool Challenge, my fellow bloggers and I are making something “frightful”. Halloween is my absolute favorite day of the year and I decided to make DIY Textured Wood Gravestone Signs using a scrap board, a jigsaw (or a bandsaw), and spray paint. The design is created by using a reverse stencil technique where a vinyl design is positioned over the base coat of paint before the final coat of paint is applied. Plus, the design glows in the dark! These gravestones are so super simple, you can turn your yard into a cemetery in no time!

DIY Textured Wood Gravestone Signs


  • 1×10 board at 4′
  • White paint
  • Glow in the Dark Paint
  • Textured metallic spray paint
  • Sawtooth hanger or soda can tab with a screw and a washer

DIY Textured Wood Gravestone Signs-Trick or Treat

DIY Textured Wood Gravestone Signs-Oct 31

Cut the board into 18″ lengths. Draw an arc on the top, then cut with a jigsaw. I used a circle cutting jig on my bandsaw and cut the arc.

DIY Textured Wood Gravestone Signs-Unfinished

Paint the front of the board with the white paint. The white paint is necessary to create a base for the glow in the dark paint and also so that the design will be visible. Once the white paint is dry, apply the glow in the dark paint. I used three coats but only because my paint was fairly old.

Once the glow in the dark paint is dry, apply the vinyl design. I cut the designs using my vinyl and paper cutter. If you do not have one of these machines, skip this step and keep reading for an alternative!

DIY Textured Wood Gravestone Signs-Vinyl Design

Spray the boards with the textured metallic paint. The textured paint adds dimension so that the boards feel more like gravestones. I used three light coats. While the final coat is still wet, remove the vinyl pieces, then let the paint fully dry.

DIY Textured Wood Gravestone Signs-Paint Before

Now, if you do not have a machine that cuts vinyl designs, I have an easy alternative… Paint the boards with the textured metallic paint and let it dry. Then stencil (or freehand) any design desired using white paint first and finishing with a few coats of glow in the dark paint. Super-easy, right?

Add the hanger to the back. Expose the gravestone to bright light in order to activate the glow paint. I tried to photograph this step but it couldn’t pick it up – it really does work!

DIY Textured Wood Gravestone Signs-Wet Paint

Here are the inspiring projects from my fellow bloggers:

The DIY Textured Wood Gravestone Signs can also be placed in a flower bed or along a walkway making it extra frightful for visitors! Have any questions? Leave a comment below!

Repurpose an Old Screen Door

Turn an Old Screen Door into a Chalkboard with Shelves

A couple of years ago, I built a new screen door for my back door out of PVC planks. The old screen door (that I had also built) had been stored outside ever since. I’m not really sure why I was hanging onto it until I saw this awesome repurposed screen door. (Gail does some of the most fabulous work!) I was inspired to turn my old screen door into a chalkboard with shelves and am loving how it came out!

Turn an Old Screen Door into a Chalkboard with Shelves_Featured

I knew I wanted the upper portion of the door to be a chalkboard and I decided to copy Gail’s idea and add shelves to the middle and lower portion of the door.

I added vertical strips in the top opening to accommodate a prefinished chalkboard panel (available in a 2′ x 4′ piece at Home Depot). I also added a vertical strip in the center of the lower portion of the door for center shelf supports. I cut shelves out of 1×6 boards with angled ends, and also cut braces for the shelves. I secured the braces to the screen door from the back with 2″ screws, then secured the shelves to the brackets with 1-1/2″ screws.

Turn an Old Screen Door into a Chalkboard with Shelves_Before

The door was already weathered from being outside for awhile, so I sanded everything and gave it a fresh coat of paint.

Turn an Old Screen Door into a Chalkboard with Shelves_Side View

I changed my mind about the prefinished chalkboard panel and used chalkboard paint on a piece of 1/4″ plywood instead. The paint costs the same amount as the panel and I can make way more chalkboards using the paint over wood than I can with one panel! I secured the chalkboard to the back using 3/4″ screws.

Turn an Old Screen Door into a Chalkboard with Shelves_Chalkboard

I plan on putting this piece in my flea market booth. The last screen door I repurposed (as a cork board) I used as a place to hang photos for my son’s graduation party. Once I was finished with it, I put it in my flea market booth where it was purchased by a teacher for her classroom. That is a fabulous idea!

Turn an Old Screen Door into a Chalkboard with Shelves_Shelves

If you do not have an old screen door to turn into a chalkboard with shelves laying around in the yard (ha ha), it would be really easy and inexpensive to build your own! Have any questions? Leave a comment below!

Another Fabulous Liquor Cabinet Project

Stereo Console to Liquor Cabinet for a Habitat for Humanity Event

Every year, my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore hosts an event called ReStore & After. The ReStore provides local artists with items from the ReStore with the promise that the items will be fixed up and remodeled then donated back to be auctioned off. This is my second time participating (see the first post here) and I chose to convert a stereo console to liquor cabinet for this Habitat for Humanity event!

Stereo Console to Liquor Cabinet for a Habitat for Humanity Event_Featured

I’ve turned an old stereo console into a liquor cabinet before and donated it to another benefit event. The most awesome thing about it is that it was purchased by my former Drafting instructor who fell in love with it! I love when stuff like that happens!

Anyway, the funny story about this cabinet is that at the time, I thought I still had a month to go before the event until I received an email that I had two days until I had to drop it off! Thankfully, I already had a plan in mind and was able to knock that sucker into fabulousness within the two days and deliver it on time!

Stereo Console to Liquor Cabinet for a Habitat for Humanity Event_Before Top View

I forgot to take “before” photos (like I said, I was in a mad panic!) but I’ll describe it… It was avocado green – not really a bad shade, either – and was complete with gold baffle fabric where the speakers were located. It came complete with an AM/FM stereo, record storage, and a turntable. I never did check to see if it worked, and I should have! So I removed the electronics and the storage bin, and added a piece of plywood over the shelf to cover the cut-outs. I added cradles for wine bottles like I did in the other console to cabinet. Actually, these pieces were left over from that project – hallelujah for hoarding!

Stereo Console to Liquor Cabinet for a Habitat for Humanity Event_Before View

The front of the console was one solid piece manufactured to look like doors. I was able to cut the front along the divider lines and separate the pieces to make the doors. I also added a piece of plywood to cover a vent hole on the bottom.

Stereo Console to Liquor Cabinet for a Habitat for Humanity Event_Front Piece

I added plywood to the sides to cover the openings where the larger speakers had been.

Stereo Console to Liquor Cabinet for a Habitat for Humanity Event_Side Panels

I covered the front speaker openings with decorative punched aluminum. This beauty was painted in a color called Silver Bullet by Behr.

Stereo Console to Liquor Cabinet for a Habitat for Humanity Event_Wine Cradle

Since the console was missing the top, I cut another piece of plywood to use as a new top with holes cut in each end for easy removal.

Stereo Console to Liquor Cabinet for a Habitat for Humanity Event_Top View

I used the original hardware on the faux drawers, and bought new hinges and knobs for the doors. I spray painted all of the hardware in a color called Aluminum (my favorite metallic!).

Stereo Console to Liquor Cabinet for a Habitat for Humanity Event_Front View

I swear that this stereo console to liquor cabinet for the Habitat for Humanity event is my favorite project to date! I am truly crazy about it and I hope it brings in lots of money! I cannot wait to convert another stereo console…

An Awesome Wall Frame with a Vintage Look

Decorative Window Frame to Build

When I saw this plan by Amy from Her Tool Belt on the Remodelaholic site, I was in love!  I frequently stalk other blogs and always find something I want to make, build, or do. This decorative window frame is easy to build and I made one modification by adding narrow trim around the front.

Decorative Window Frame to Build_Featured

The plans can be found here and include the material list, cut list, and all of the instructions to build the frame. I made the frame using scrap wood. The plans call for ripping narrow strips (1/4″ and 1/2″) of a 2×4 or 1×3 to use as the stops and dividers. If you are not comfortable ripping narrow pieces on a table saw, craft boards (carried by most major home improvement retailers) come in 1/2″ and 1/4″ thicknesses and can be easily substituted in this plan.

When I cut the horizontal pieces for the dividers, I cut them too short (the story of my life!). This left a small gap where the horizontal dividers meet the vertical dividers.

Decorative Window Frame to Build_Gap

Since I really wasn’t too interested in filling the gaps with wood filler or Dry-Dex, I used narrow trim to cover the dividers and also used it around the opening on the outer frame. I mitered the corners on the outer trim and just used regular straight cuts for the pieces on the dividers.

Decorative Window Frame to Build_Trim

I really wanted to give this frame an old, paint layered look. As I was painting, I didn’t bother to wipe off any drips or thick spots, which I think adds to the vintage charm.

Instead of adding a handle to the lower part of the frame, I drilled three holes for knobs in a coral color – my new favorite!

Decorative Window Frame to Build_Holes for Knobs

I cut pieces of Plexiglas for the openings and used pieces from an old Marilyn Monroe calendar I’ve been hoarding (for several years!) in the openings. I added corrugated board to the back side of the calendar sheets, and used picture framing tabs to hold everything in place.

Decorative Window Frame to Build_Framing Tabs

This decorative window frame to build is so easy and you can truly make it your own by adding trim (like I did) or by adding special photos in each pane.

Decorative Window Frame to Build_Knob

Decorative Window Frame to Build_Completed

I’m looking forward to building another – this time, the horizontal dividers will be long enough!

A Beautiful Dresser from Studio C Plans!

The Finished Version of the Raphael Dresser Plans (with Beautiful Hardware!)

Thanks to D. Lawless Hardware for providing the beautiful handles I used on this dresser!

When I was drawing plans for the Raphael Dresser, I knew I wanted to build it – immediately!! The day after I posted it, I cut the legs from the plan and template -mainly to check the accuracy of the template and it worked! So I present – my finished version of the Raphael Dresser plans!

The Finished Version of the Raphael Dresser Plans_DSCF3297

As complicated as this dresser may look, it was a very, very easy build. I used discounted lumber (some pieces were damaged) for a majority of the construction. The side panels are made with scraps of tongue and groove beaded planking (which I forgot to photograph!).

The Finished Version of the Raphael Dresser Plans_DSCF3296

The legs were so simple to make with the help of the template. I cut both pieces at once using a bandsaw then sanded them together.

The Finished Version of the Raphael Dresser Plans_DSCF3293

I did make a mistake on the drawer fronts and cut them an inch too short. D’oh! I ripped 1/2″ wide strips from a few scraps and after staining them, I nailed them to the sides of the drawer fronts. I think it sort of adds to the rustic look as I never fill the holes, knots, or imperfections in the lumber I’m using.

The Finished Version of the Raphael Dresser Plans_DSCF3295

The hardware is really fabulous, isn’t it? The handles are from D. Lawless Hardware and they have a fabulous selection of hardware as well as excellent customer service! These handles started as brass then were spray painted coral because I like the way the coral looks with dark brown stain.

The Finished Version of the Raphael Dresser Plans_DSCF3291

This is a piece I am keeping. I think I am going to paint an antique mirror frame in the same color as the hardware to hang above the dresser. I may try to draft plans for matching nightstands… Wouldn’t that be awesome?

The Finished Version of the Raphael Dresser Plans_DSCF3292

So this is my finished version of the Raphael Dresser plans… I would love to see your version! Please feel free to share photos of your finished projects, I would love to see them!

Spark Creativity with GraphicStock

Add Images to Projects with GraphicStock

Building furniture and home decor is fun… I do it nearly every day! Sometimes just leaving things plain with a finish is fine, but sometimes I am searching for something to add to make the piece pop! That is where GraphicStock comes in… GraphicStock has a library of over 250,000 images that can be used for any project in any way that can be created. Let me share an idea on how to add images to projects with GraphicStock!

Add Images to Projects with GraphicStock

I had a lid to an old wooden ammunition box that I had been saving for a sign. I had already sanded and stained it, and was looking for the perfect accent to put on it. While browsing GraphicStock, I came across a set of flourishes that would be the perfect touch for this sign!

I downloaded the graphic and saved it to my computer. I uploaded the graphic into my vinyl cutting software and traced the image.

Add Images to Projects with GraphicStock_Cut File

The lettering used in my sign did not come from GraphicStock, but there are plenty of fonts and alphabets to choose from! I created a stencil with my vinyl cutter to place on the box lid.

Add Images to Projects with GraphicStock_Stencil

I painted over the stencil with white paint, then removed the stencil.

Add Images to Projects with GraphicStock_Paint

I used a sanding sponge to sort of distress the lettering, then sealed the box lid with a clear sealer.

Add Images to Projects with GraphicStock_Sanded

It was that easy to download from GraphicStock and use it in a project!

Add Images to Projects with GraphicStock_Finished

Add Images to Projects with GraphicStock_Closeup

GraphicStock can be used for invitations, t-shirts, decals, as stencils on furniture, etc., and GraphicStock is offering a 7-day free trial to anyone who wants to enhance their fabulous projects! (Make sure to cancel the account before the 7 days are up if you don’t want to continue using GraphicStock!) This is the same content found on the more expensive stock sites. The downloads are unlimited and are royalty-free so there are no copyright issues to deal with. There are unrestricted usage rights for personal or commercial projects. Any downloads can be kept and usage rights will be maintained forever.


GraphicStock is also offering a $99 annual membership (a $588 value) for a limited time! What a great deal!



Reupholstering a Chair and Creating a New Seat

How to Use Elasbelt for Seats in Upholstery Projects

A few years ago, I built this chair for The Design Confidential and I upholstered it. This is the chair I use at my desk any time I am on the computer. Because this chair is built with a plywood seat, it becomes horribly uncomfortable after a few hours of sitting on it. I discovered an upholstery webbing called Elasbelt that takes the place of springs in seats and decided to give it a try. I created a video on how to use Elasbelt for seats in upholstery projects to share how easy it is to create a comfortable seat in upholstered chairs!

How to Use Elasbelt for Seats in Upholstery Projects_Rolls

Elasbelt is an upholstery webbing with stretch that takes the place of springs. It comes to two different types – with a red stripe for seats and a green stripe for backs. It is sort of stiff and really hard stretch by hand. A pair of webbing pliers are a must when using this product! The Elasbelt is stapled to the frame of the chair on one side then stretched and stapled to the other side. Take a look at the video:


The seats of any of the chair plans on DbSC can be adapted to use Elasbelt. A 1×2 frame can be nailed to the top of the front legs, and side and back aprons to give a foundation for the Elasbelt. Note that the seat will have to be upholstered in order to cover the Elasbelt but it is super easy to do and I can be contacted at any time for help!

How to Use Elasbelt for Seats in Upholstery Projects_Finished

I am also planning on changing the seat of the Carlsbad chair to make it more comfortable. This will require disassembling my chair but I think it will be worth it in the long run – I love that chair!

Have any questions on how to use Elasbelt for seats in upholstery projects? Leave a comment below or email me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com!

Power Tool Challenge – A Project Using a Drill

How to Make a Wall Mounted Lighting Piece

I was invited to join a few fellow bloggers for a Power Tool Challenge. The challenge is to make a project using one power tool and in this case, a drill. The challenge is designed to show new woodworkers and DIYers that a ton of fancy tools are not needed to create a fabulous project. I’m going to show how to make a wall mounted lighting piece.

How to Make a Wall Mounted Lighting Piece

For this project, I used an old lighting fixture I found at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore which I took apart and spray painted a new color. I also rewired it to use new sockets and a plug. The piece hangs on the wall using a metal cleat and plugs into an outlet below.


  • 1 – 1×6 board at 8′ cut in four equal lengths
  • 1 – 1×3 board at 4′ cut at approximately 22″ long
  • Pocket hole jig with 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper in 80 grit, 120 grit, and 220 grit
  • 1″ Forstner Bit
  • 3/8″ drill bit
  • Wood stain and sealer
  • Old light fixture
  • Replacement lamp cord with a plug
  • Wire nuts & electrical tape
  • Metal picture hanging cleat

I started by taking the entire fixture apart and wiping it down with a bit of vinegar. I then used a red oxide primer to prime every piece. I spray painted the entire fixture using spray paint in Cobalt Blue. I set everything off to the side to thoroughly dry.

The 1×6 board will be cut into four equal pieces which will measure approximately 23-7/8″ long. The 1×3 board will be cut into two pieces approximately 22″ long. If the boards are purchased at Home Depot, they will cut the boards for free. For future reference, they will not cut anything shorter than 12″ for safety reasons.

Set the pocket hole jig for 3/4″ material. Drill pocket holes along one long edge of each 1×6 piece except one. Also drill two pocket holes in the shorter ends of each board. Do not drill any pocket holes in the 1×3 boards. Secure the boards together using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. Attach the 1×3 pieces to the sides of the 1×6 boards using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

How to Make a Wall Mounted Lighting Piece_Base

Thoroughly sand the boards starting with 80 grit, moving to 120 grit, and finishing with 220 grit. Before I stained the boards, I marked the position for the mounting holes of my light fixture on the back side. I drilled the holes about 1/4″ deep using the 1″ Forstner bit. I used the 3/8″ bit to drill a hole in the center of the holes made by the Forstner bit. The holes are now countersunk to accommodate the nuts when mounting the light fixture. I also drilled a 3/8″ hole in between the countersunk holes to allow for the lamp cord.

How to Make a Wall Mounted Lighting Piece_Marking Holes

How to Make a Wall Mounted Lighting Piece_Forstner Bit

How to Make a Wall Mounted Lighting Piece_Countersunk Hole

I stained the piece with a dark brown stain first and let it dry, then continued with a weathered grey stain. I sealed the boards with three coats of polyurethane.

Once the boards were dry, I mounted the light fixture using 2-1/2″ long lamp pipe with light fixture braces. The pipe went through the countersunk holes I drilled with the Forstner bit and were secured with a nut on the back. The light fixture you use will probably mount to the boards in a different way. Please feel free to contact me and I will walk you through the steps to mount the fixture to the boards!

How to Make a Wall Mounted Lighting Piece_Mounting Brace

How to Make a Wall Mounted Lighting Piece_Nut

I wired this light fixture to use a plug and wrote a post on how to rewire a light fixture to use a plug. The post can be found here.

How to Make a Wall Mounted Lighting Piece_Wiring

The fixture was positioned over the lamp pipe pieces and secured with rosettes and caps that are original to the fixture.

How to Make a Wall Mounted Lighting Piece_Mounting Pipe

How to Make a Wall Mounted Lighting Piece_Mounting Rosettes

I installed the metal cleat on the back of the boards according to the manufacturer’s instructions. These cleats are great because they are small and hold a lot of weight!

How to Make a Wall Mounted Lighting Piece_Cleat

I purchased new globes (which were expensive but worth it!) then attached them to the fixture, and I installed new LED bulbs.

How to Make a Wall Mounted Lighting Piece_Finished

How to Make a Wall Mounted Lighting Piece_Single

How to Make a Wall Mounted Lighting Piece_Lighted

Here are projects from the other participants in the Power Tool Challenge:

Any questions on how to make a wall mounted lighting piece? Leave a comment below or contact me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com! I am always glad to help!

An Easy Way to Cut Circles Out of MDF or Wood

How to Cut Circles Using a Bandsaw

The bandsaw is one of my favorite tools. I use it to cut legs for chairs, curvy photo frames, and mainly for cutting circles out of MDF or plywood. I ran across this really nifty circle cutting jig over at The Family Handyman that is a cinch to make with scrap 3/4″ plywood. In order for me show you how to cut circles using a bandsaw, this jig will need to be built in advance.

How to Cut Circles Using a Bandsaw_Featured

For the project I am making, I need to cut two circles – one at 8-1/2″ in diameter and one at 12″ in diameter. I normally cut the material I’m using 1″ bigger than the diameter of the circles I am cutting. I cut one piece of MDF at 9-1/2″ square and the other piece at 13″ square.

I draw a line from corner to corner to find the center of each piece, then I drill a small hole in each piece where the lines intersect.

How to Cut Circles Using a Bandsaw_Marking Center

On the jig, I measure the distance from the slit where the blade of the bandsaw cuts to half of the diameter of the finished circle and drill a small hole. In other words, for my project, I drill a hole 6″ away from the blade and 4-1/4″ away from the blade. I use a roofing nail as the pivot.

How to Cut Circles Using a Bandsaw_Jig

I place the first piece of MDF on the jig with the nail through the hole in the center. I align one of the lines I drew to mark the center with the bottom of the slit for the blade. I turn on the bandsaw and slide the jig (slowly) on the bandsaw table to start cutting the circle. I stop pushing the jig through the saw when I get to the line drawn on my workpiece.

How to Cut Circles Using a Bandsaw_Starting Circle

How to Cut Circles Using a Bandsaw_Stop at Line

I slowly turn the square, pivoting on the nail, and let the bandsaw work its magic cutting the circle!

How to Cut Circles Using a Bandsaw_Pivoting

How to Cut Circles Using a Bandsaw_Almost Complete

How to Cut Circles Using a Bandsaw_Finished

That’s it… Easy peasy, right? I’m hoping one day to make a huge table for my bandsaw and an even larger jig so I can make circles for tabletops or half circles for cabinets! Do you have a different method on how to cut circles using a bandsaw? I would love to hear about it – leave a comment below!