DIY Wooden Herringbone Toy Box

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

I’m so excited to be able to show you my new solution to round up all of those toys that seem to be taking over my house without sacrificing an ounce of style!  I was able to share this post as part of the Craftaholics Anonymous® Creative Team  a couple of months ago and I’m so happy to be able to finally share it here with you!

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

Let’s be honest I have a toddler in the house and my downstairs is seriously OVERRUN with toys and I needed to figure out something to do about it.  I found some old beat up wooden crates for FREE and knew I wanted to incorporate them into the project, but I wasn’t quite sure how.  So I did what everyone does and scoured Pintrest for inspiration and ended up finding a lot of great ideas that I shared with you on an Inspiration Wednesday post here!  I had a vision in my head of an easily movable, super cute toy box, with a fun pattern and a little pop of color all while spending next to nothing.

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

To start I grabbed the crates and stained all the side pieces with a dark stain.  You could use any sort of weathered wood to get the same effect but you want to make sure the wood isn’t too thick or else the box can become really heavy really quick.  The thin pieces off of these crates were perfect for this project!

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

The only downside to those lightweight pieces was that they were also pretty easy to break.  In other words…they were not going to stand up to a toddler!  So instead of using the original framework I built a 12″ x 24″ x 12″ box out of  1/2″ plywood.  I cut 2 pieces for the front and back (24″ x 12″) two pieces for the sides (11″ x 12″) and one piece for the base (23″ x 11″).

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

One of the things I knew I wanted for my toy box was to put casters on the bottom so that it could be easily moved around.  Unfortunately, the screws for the casters were longer than 1/2″ and needed more plywood to grab onto.  So, I cut two extra pieces (11″ x 2.5″) that I glued and screwed onto the bottom edges of my base.  By doing this I now had 1″ of wood to drive the screws in.  Once my box was finished I stained the entire piece the same dark stain as the crate pieces so that you could not see the natural wood through any gaps from my pattern.

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

All right now on the fun part!  When I took apart the crates I saved all of the nails to reuse since bright and shiny new nails would look slightly out of place on a rustic looking toy box right?  But check out the problem I ran into!  All of the nails were wayyyy too long so they needed to be cut down so that they would not go through the backside of the wood.

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

All it took was a pair of wire cutters and a bit of patience and the problem was solved!

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

Now I had a nice collection of nails that were the right size and I didn’t spend a penny!

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

After taking apart all of the crates I cut a handful of pieces 9 1/2″ long to start forming the pattern on the front and back of the box as well as 12″ pieces for the side.

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

For the front and back of the box I wanted to do a pattern with the crate pieces because I liked the idea of giving the toy box some personality!  I decided on herringbone because I’m seriously in love!  I would kill to have a herringbone patterned hardwood floor in my house.  Until then the toy box will just have to do!

With my first attempt I was too excited to start and didn’t quite think it through.  I slapped down a whole bunch of boards and just went for it.  Although I quickly realized that by doing it this way I was going to have to cut every board at a different angle to be flush with the side of the box.  Ugh!

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

When it came time to start the backside let’s just say I learned from my previous mistakes and I started by cutting the end of one board at a 45-degree angle and aligning it with the top edge of the box.  I was then able to lay my boards down and slowly piece my pattern together.  Now I didn’t have to change my saw blade angle every time!  See how much better it looks by doing it this way instead of the way I first did it?  The pattern is straight and clean!

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

With all of that hard work that went into cutting each board I wanted to make sure they were all securely adhered to the toy box frame by not only nailing but gluing each board down as well.  The glue also helped out because some of the boards were warped and only four nails in the corners just weren’t going to cut it.  By using the combination of both glue and nails those boards weren’t going anywhere!

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

Since the nails were very short I found it helpful to hold each nail in place with a pair of needle nose pliers while hammering so I didn’t pinch my fingers!  After I finished nailing down all the boards I used a nail punch to recess the nails deeper into the wood.  By doing this I was able to make sure there weren’t any nail heads sticking out that someone could get hurt on and it made it look nice too!

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

Once I finished the front and back I kept the sides simple by just placing the boards down horizontally on each end.  I could have wrapped the herringbone pattern around the corners but because I changed the way I laid the pattern out on the front and back the sides it wouldn’t have matched up.  Once I finished nailing down all of the boards I sanded the entire box down.  If you want to do a similar project with reclaimed wood and it will be around young children I would make sure that you sand down every last inch of your project!  I sanded down every edge and corner of every piece of wood on the box.  I didn’t want to take the chance of having any rough spots or any pieces that could splinter off.  I spent the longest time hanging out with my sandpaper and my box but it was worth every minute to make sure that the toy box would be safe.  Once I was done sanding I applied two coats of polyurethane making sure to wait the recommended dry time and sanding in between coats.

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

I also wanted to be able to add some handles to make it easier for little hands to grab onto.  I made these real quick by drilling four circles using a 1 3/8″ forstner bit.  A forstner bit is great for something like this because you can cut smooth overlapping holes with ease!

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

Of course for a little toddler on the run I added casters so she can wheel her toy box around anywhere she wants!  I picked up a set of four at the local hardware store for about $12.  Since I already had the paint, stain, and polyurethane on hand and used scrap wood for the box the casters were the only things I bought!  $12 for an entire toy box is pretty good huh?!

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

For the interior of the box I used leftover paint from an accent wall in our living room but to make sure it stood up to the abuse of all of those toys over time I applied several coats of polycrylic.  Polycrylic a clear coat top finish used to protect surfaces just like polyurethane but is water based.  As a general rule of thumb you use polycrylic over water based finishes (like indoor paint) and polyurethane over oil based finishes (like certain stains). **Quick TIP** Wait until you are completely finished assembling, sanding and staining the exterior of the toy box before painting the interior.  I got all excited again and painted before I was done only to realize that the top edges of the box needed to be sanded and I sanded down the paint at the same time.  Lesson learned!

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

I absolutely LOVE how it turned out and after using it for a couple months now I honestly wouldn’t change a thing about it.  I also have a little lady that sure loves it too!

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

So what do you guys do for toy storage?  Do you have any creative ways to keep all the clutter under wraps without sacrificing style in your house?  Tell us about it!  I’d love to hear!

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Happy 1st Blog Anniversary to jRoxDesigns!

Can you believe it?  My little blog is a year old already!  Well technically it was last week but life has been a little bit crazy over here.  Thanks to all of your love and support I have been swamped with orders from my Etsy shop and branching out with my photography!  I just finished editing a photo session with two sweet kids who have a very special surprise to share with their Daddy and a couple more sessions that I am just dying to share with you guys soon!  By all the time I’ve been spending in the workshop too lately it looks like you guys are loving the new selection of chalkboard speech bubbles and wooden letters in the Etsy shop too!  Not to mention the half a dozen special infinity tattoo designs I am working on right now.  How cool is that?  You guys are absolutely the best!  So, I’m sorry I haven’t been around as much lately but I promise I have so many new fun things that I hope to get up here to share with you soon!  To celebrate today I thought I would let you take a stroll on back to all of my favorite posts over the last year.

One of my most popular posts is Emma Grace’s Photo Project which is one project I am so proud of.  For all the hours and time that I’ve spent editing photos and preparing each shoot it is by far my most rewarding project!

 Photo Project by jRoxDesigns

Emma Grace’s Nursery has been one of my favorite projects I have done in years.  I poured my heart and soul into creating that room from scratch and I can’t help but smile so big every time I walk in there.  You guys seemed to love the reveal too because I heard back from so many of you that you too were in love with her French Provencal Dresser makeover!  Guess what..if you sit tight I hopefully will have a couple new photos to share of some new custom-made furniture we created for her as well as some toddler friendly updates!

Custom Painted French Provencal Dresser by jRoxDesigns

I still can’t believe how many views my post where I shared with you my journey to get my first tattoo has gotten!  You know what is crazy is when you are scrolling through your feed on Pintrest and there is your tattoo staring back at you that was pinned from people you have never met!  Or even crazier when your big sister calls to tell you your tattoo also showed up on her feed today pinned by one of her friends who had no idea it was mine!  Crazy!!!  Then when I actually decided to offer custom designs in my Etsy shop I never could image how big of a response I would get!  You guys are amazing!!

Personalized Infinity Tattoo by jRoxDesigns

Who doesn’t love baking?  Because I sure do!  That’s why I loved being able to share with you some of my favorite pumpkin pie and irish cream cupcake recipes along with an amazing recipe to make your very own vanilla extract!  Don’t worry we will have plenty more where those came from!

Homemade Vanilla Extract | jRoxDesigns

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes by jRoxDesigns

Irish Cream Cupcakes by jRoxDesigns

Do you know where big wooden letters and bubbles come from?  I let you guys take a quick behind the scenes tour with me to see what goes into making some of my favorite products!

Wooden Letter Overview | jRoxDesigns

Speaking of sneak peeks…remember when I gave you a little glimpse into what I’m hiding in my camera bag, diaper bag, studio and workshop?  That was so much fun!

What's In My...Week by jRoxDesigns

I love holiday crafts and this Valentine’s Day garland was so much fun!  I’m thinking of making garland that I can personalize to use for photo shoots!  Pregnancy announcements, save the date cards anyone?

Valentine's Day Garland by jRoxDesigns

After being sick of my old worn out kitchen rug I gave it a fun facelift with a bit of creativity with the help of some paint!

I celebrated Hyperemesis Gravidarum Awareness Day by sharing my own personal journey with HG.  It was by far my most difficult post to write but since I wrote about my story I have had several women who are suffering or have survived HG reach out to me.  Their stories of strength and encouragement made it worth finally telling my story.

Newborn Photography by jRoxDesigns Photography copyright 2011

I’ve been able to take my photography journey to a new level by booking several sessions this past month!  I absolutely love being behind the camera and being able to capture that one special moment in life that you can hold on to for forever.  I loved being able to share with you some amazing pictures that I took at a friend’s wedding.  That post along with the photos I shared from the very first wedding have also got a lot of love from you guys.  I can’t wait to show you some new photos soon!

Wedding Photography by jRoxDesigns Photography copyright 2012

Wedding Photography by jRoxDesigns Photography copyright 2012

Do you know what happens though when you end up with maybe a couple hundred…or more photos that you have taken over the last year?  Yepp, you get an awesome family yearbook printed!  I always share our book with friends and family who come over to the house and everyone is just amazed by how great it looks.  I’m still just amazed at how easy it was!  I can’t wait to make more!

2012 Family Yearbook by jRoxDesigns

If you don’t know already I absolutely LOVE graphic design.  So creating free printables to share with you all like the Holiday and Fall Bucket Lists was so much fun.  Looks like it’s time to create a new one for Summer soon!

Holiday Bucket List Printable by jRoxDesigns

What were your favorite posts?  What would you like to see more of?  I would love to hear from you guys!  Thank you for all the love and support over the past year you guys are amazing!!!

   

I’m Part of the Craftaholics Anonymous® 2013 Creative Team!!

I am so excited to finally be able to share with you all some pretty crazy awesome news!  Thank goodness for this mornings announcement on Craftaholics Anonymous® because I couldn’t keep quiet much longer!

I have been chosen as part of the

Craftaholics Anonymous 2013 Creative Team!

For those of you who are visiting today from Craftaholics Anonymous® I just want to say welcome and I am so glad you stopped by!  Please feel free to stay awhile and look around at some of my favorite posts from the past. For all of my lovely readers I would love for you to hop over to Craftaholics Anonymous® and read all about the rest of the team!

jRoxDesigns_Project_Collage

Painted Kitchen RugFall WreathPumpkin Pie CupcakesChalkboard Accent WallCustom Painted French Provencal Dresser

 Photo Project by jRoxDesigns

Emma Grace’s Photo Project

Custom Infinity Tattoo Design

Newborn Photography by jRoxDesigns Photography copyright 2011

Hyperemesis Gravidarum – When is it more than just morning sickness?

I can not wait to share all sorts of awesome projects with you every month.  I already have a pretty cool refab-furniture project all lined up! (Pssst…Want a hint?  Check out my old Inspiration Wednesday posts and see if you can figure out what we have been up to!)

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A Thankful Week and Celebrating Our 100th Post with a Top 10 Recap!!

I have had the best week full of wonderful blessings and making great memories with my family.  We had an amazing Thanksgiving and filled our bellies to the brim with all sorts of delicious goodies!  I did a bit of shopping last night with my sister and we had such a great time together.  While driving home listening to Christmas music in the wee hours of the morning  I couldn’t help but think about how lucky I truly am.  I have the most amazing family and friends that support me through everything I do.  I have a husband who adores me and two children that are perfect in every way.  I have a roof over my head and am blessed to have enough money in my pocket to buy a few new toys for my kids for Christmas.  I am so lucky to have the life that I have.  I just wanted to tell all of you, my wonderful readers how thankful I am for you.  I started this blog as a creative outlet and it has become so much more.  I have made so many new friends and learned so much along the way.  So today I wanted to share a big milestone for the blog…OUR 100th POST!  How exciting is that?  I thought we could all celebrate today by taking a look back at my most popular posts along with my personal favorites!

One of my most popular posts is Emma Grace’s Weekly Photo Project which is one project I am so proud of.  For all the hours and time that I’ve spent editing photos and preparing each shoot it is by far my most rewarding project!

34 Weeks

Emma Grace’s Nursery reveal was also a very popular post including my personal favorite, the French Provencal Dresser makeover!

Custom Painted French Provencal Dresser by jRoxDesigns

After being sick of my old worn out kitchen rug I gave it a fun facelift with a bit of creativity with the help of some paint!

An afternoon, a quart of chalkboard paint and waiting what seemed like forever and we have an awesome new space to jot notes and play tic-tac-toe!

My post about my journey to get my first tattoo has been my most viewed post and I received so much feedback I actually decided to offer custom designs in my Etsy shop!

Personalized Infinity Tattoo by jRoxDesigns

I celebrated Hyperemesis Gravidarum Awareness Day by sharing my own personal journey with HG.  It was by far my most difficult post to write but since I wrote about my story I have had several women who are suffering or have survived HG reach out to me.  Their stories of strength and encouragement made it worth finally telling my story.

Newborn Photography by jRoxDesigns Photography copyright 2011

I have learned so much about photography over the past year and I was excited to share with you all some amazing pictures that I took at a friend’s wedding.  That post along with the photos I shared from the very first wedding I was asked to shoot are some of my most popular posts!

Wedding Photography by jRoxDesigns Photography copyright 2012

Wedding Photography by jRoxDesigns Photography copyright 2012

I know everyone loves a pallet makeover and we had a great time turning an old pallet into a vintage soda sign for hubby’s birthday!

Vintage Sun Drop Sign by jRoxDesigns

Hungry?  We sure were when we made these AMAZING stuffed burgers filled with several cheeses, crisp bacon and sautéed onions!  YUMMY!

Stuffed Burgers by jRoxDesigns

Our free Fall Bucket List printable was a big success!  For the rest of November I will be sharing with you how many things we were able to cross off!

I hope you have enjoyed my special 100th post recap of my favorite and most popular posts so far!  Thank you for all of your support along the way and don’t ever be afraid to leave a little comment for me.  I love hearing from you!  If you want to keep up with what I’m up to outside the blog stop by and follow me!

    

Editing Newborn Photos :: Inspiration Wednesday

Learning how to take great pictures sure is a journey!  I finally feel like I am understanding all the different aspects of my camera and I am really starting to feel comfortable with shooting in manual mode.  A couple of weeks back I shared with you some of my favorite visual cheat sheets for shooting in manual mode.  Now the second part of a great picture is effective editing.  That is the part where I struggle.  I’m a pro when it comes to using Adobe Illustrator but I’m still learning with Photoshop.  They have quite a few things that are similar but they are basically ENTIRELY different!  Most of the editing that I do right now is in iPhoto and I’m really comfortable there, which is okay for 90% of what I do at this point.  One of my goals I have set for myself is to start booking photo shoots in the upcoming months and in order to give my clients the best photos I can I want to become a pro in Photoshop!  I have a whole board on Pintrest for photography tips and tricks that I have collected (follow me here!) but up until recently they have been just sitting there staring me in the face.  So today I’m getting things done!  I did a newborn shoot for a very close friend of mine whose baby boy I adore!!  I’m seriously late getting his photos edited (partly because he did get to stay with me 5 days a week for quite a few weeks while Momma went back to work for a while) and  I’m learning all sorts of things along the way.  Today I thought I would share with you some of the most helpful tutorials I’ve found so far!

How to Brighten Skintones in Photoshop by Polished Picture

Polished Picture

Take A Photo Like A Pro by Jessica Drew Photography

Jessica Drew Photography

Newborn Editing Workflow from Arden Prucha

Arden Prucha Photography on iHeartFaces.com

Tutorial:: Editing a Newborn by Morgan Kervin Photography

Morgan Kervin Photography

Do you have any go to tutorials that you love?  Share them with us!