Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tiny House Living!

I'm sorry that I've not posted anything new in a while.  It's been a busy and hectic past few months.  We have been slowly working on tiny during the madness but it seems it was at a snails pace.

And yes, the title is correct...we have moved into our tiny home...FINALLY!!!   We've been out of our rental for a full month now and we're loving tiny living!  Now, this doesn't mean we are finished...we still have more to do but now the house is comfortable to live in.

It was a mad rush to get everything out of the rental by the 1st of November but we made it.  I have learned that my possessions owned me more than I owned them.  At first, I kept thinking that I should find good homes for things verses just getting rid of them.  I was able to do so with my antiques and such.  The closer the deadline came though, I was starting to sweat a bit at all the stuff left.  Finally, I started bagging things up and either donating the whole lot or throwing it away completely.  Being able to toss things in the trash was such a freeing feeling.

Once we got our stuff into Tiny, I realized we still had to downsize!  Really????  I may have a few bald spots from yanking on my hair!  We had to look at our possessions and "cut the fat".  We are still doing this a bit.  But we are getting things organized and in their proper place.  Since we haven't completed our second loft over the bathroom and other shelves, we are having to make do with the room we have.  The house looks a little cluttered but it's getting there and we can move around comfortably.

We have the propane hooked up and our little stove runs fantastic!  I am so happy with it.  It works better than my old full size gas stove.  The kitchen is laid out perfectly for cooking big meals, very space oriented.  We have been using the propane for the hot water in the sinks and for cooking and one 20lb bottle lasted us almost a full month.  We have recently installed a little propane heater but not sure how much it will use yet.  Only had to use it a few times on the lowest setting.

We haven't gotten the shower system finished just yet.  Luckily, we are only a few feet away from the shower in the barn apt we used to rent.  It's a bit inconvenient but worth it to not pay rent anymore.  We hope to have the shower done soon.

So that's a summary of how things have been going here.  Now for some pictures of our tiny house! Please excuse the mess. :)

We still have to build our overhead vent for the stove.  

Shelves need to be painted.

Our cat likes my handmade rug a lot.  

My stove has plenty of room for several pots at once.  I have used all four burners at once and had plenty of room.  Cooking up some brats here. 

We put up a black curtain to close off the bedroom.  It blocks the light from the front so one person can sleep while the other is still up.  It does help with noise as well.  

We have a hook to tie it back to when not in use.  This works great as I get up earlier than my husband for work.  He gets to sleep in while I'm getting ready.  

Our bedroom.  We put a shelf over the bed for books and such.  I made some simple burlap curtains for the side windows.  They allow light in but not a lot.  They help if you want to nap during the day.  

Looking down the hallway towards the front.  I have a small laundry bag that sits on top of the machine for dirty clothes.  Keeps a hamper from taking up floor space.   

So there you have it.  I'll be posting more soon...I promise.  We have a few things in the works now.  And will be adding more pictures as we figure out new ways to store things and make the most of our tiny home.  Thanks for reading!  :)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Entertainment Cabinet, Bed Ladder and Kitchen Shelves...Woohoo!

We have been suffering from some seriously wet days here in Georgia.  Seems like it's rainy all the time.  We have managed to get some stuff done.  We have been making Tiny more comfortable to stay in.  Running water and a coffee pot was a huge step, but what about when it's time to relax?  So, we decided it was time to move the sofa in.  Once we had that in place, we needed to get our new tv and get our entertainment cabinet built.

We bought a 32 inch flat screen.  It looked normal size in the store but in the tiny house, it looks HUGE!  When you're sitting only 7 feet away roughly...small is much bigger than you would think.  We got a new small blu-ray player as well...move time!!! :D

We wanted to house the tv in a cabinet that had a small storage area and had a fold down table attached as well.  Two in one kinda deal.  So, the Hubby got busy!  We used poplar and left over plywood.  Poplar because it really does look great stained.

We built the cabinet to fit perfectly around the tv.  There's enough room on the sides to put a standard 32inch in, in case we have to replace the one we have at any time.  There's enough room under it for the remotes.  Then we added a second shelf to hold a few boxes for odds and ends.  

Side view. 

We wanted the front of the cabinet to match with our other doors in the house.  Since the front is really a solid piece of plywood that folds down into our table, we decided to make fake doors on the front, Shaker Style. 

We cut the pieces to make the fake door.  We wanted to cover the ugly edge of the plywood so we beveled the edges of the trim pieces.

Laying the pieces out on the plywood to make sure they all match up smoothly.

You can see here how the pieces go past the edge of the plywood. The side ones will butt up flush to this beveled edge.

Better shot of the beveled edge.

Adding the edge band.

Gluing the table/fake door together and letting it dry.  Hubby learned a great trick to keep the glue from oozing out the cracks and showing in the stain.  Painters tape, that way you wipe it off the tape and it never touches the wood.  Genius, no??  :)

Front side.  

We added a wider shelf on the top to hold the blu-ray player and antenna. We drilled a hole in the back of the shelf to allow cords to go behind the tv.  We wired in a outlet strip directly to our on/off switch.  This allows us to kill the power completely to the devices so they don't pull a phantom load.  Even when off, your tv and such pulls power.  This is called a phantom load.  The outlet strip is mounted behind the tv so all the devices can be plugged in out of sight. 

We also added some slide catches to hold it up when we want to cover the tv.  We inlaid the catch plates into the bottom of the shelf.  The two pieces that stick down from the bottom of the cabinet are to keep it from swinging further back and hitting the wall or breaking the pins.  This is where the swing out legs will be to support the table in the upright position, once we get them made, that is. 

The table folded down.  It actually lays down flat but the stack of wood is holding it out at an angle.  

We made some hinge plates out of old steel and set them into the wood.  The are held in place by a bolt that allows for the table to hinge up and down.  The Hubby even rounded the edges so it's all nice and smooth.  There is a slight lip on the edge of the table.  Hubby added this for me when I am beading and such to keep things from rolling considerate! 

So there's our entertainment cabinet!  I love how well it turned out.  The tv is a great size for the space.  We are enjoying being able to relax at night after a hard days work and watch movies..sitting on the sofa, not on lawn chairs!

Next up...our ladder to our bed.  We've been using a step stool...which is kinda tricky for me. It's not quite tall enough for me so I have to do this weird heave motion to get into bed.  It's funny to watch, so says the Hubby.  Also, at night, it's tricky to locate in the dark and I've come close to falling and busting my bum a few times.  I guess that would be amusing for the Hubby as well.  :)

Here's our ladder.  I don't have a lot of construction pics but I'll try to explain it well.  We used framing 2X4s that we planned down to size. The ladder was made on a slant and we added rubber tread on the bottom to keep it from sliding when you step on it.  The steps are inset into the side supports for extra support, other than just matching flush to them.  We glued and screwed the ladder together, using our beloved Kreg's Jig.

We used pipe as the attachment support.  We made some metal U shaped hooks that screw to the back of the ladder.  You can remove it and put it out of the way if you need to.  This keeps it firmly in place when in use also.  The reason one side rail is higher than the other is's to allow me to find the ladder in the dark and not break my bum!  Another considerate move on the Hubby's part.  I can find it with my foot in the dark with no issues!  :)

So, there you have it..our ladder.  It will be stained the same cabernet color the bed is...just not gotten that done yet.  And you can see my red wooden flying dragon matches the bedroom colors perfectly! shelving!  I wanted some of those metal bar shelves they sell on Ikea's website but none where the right size!  Frustrating, until my wonderful Hubby said he could make me some out of wood and conduit!  Yay!  Again, no construction pics.

Here's the one over the sink counter.  It spans the whole length and is solid!  The conduit runs through holes drilled into each of the wooden supports.  They are screwed directly into studs in the wall.  Very sturdy.  And they match the electrical piping already in place!  :D  We will be painting the wooden supports the same green as the cabinet trim. 

The nice thing is, I don't need curtain rods now either.  The conduit is close to the wall so I can hand my curtains from the one closest to the wall with some cafe curtain clips.  I'm currently looking for some neat tea towels or vintage looking hand towels to use as curtains.

The shelf over the other counter.  We also extended this one over the fridge and added a second shelf.  Its all one piece so it's very sturdy as well.  Made just like the other one and fastened to studs.

Again, same idea for curtains on this side as well.  The binders house our extensive movie collection.  We are about ready for a fifth binder!

The one over the fridge will house our dishes and glasses.  I plan to have some plexi-glass cut to size, so the they have a solid surface to sit on.  It will still give the appearance of being an open space.

So, that's what we have been up to lately.  We were glad to get a few smaller projects done during the rainy season here.  Next up....PROPANE!!!  Yes!!  I'm very excited to finally have gas!! Hehe... ;)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Toothbrush Rag Rug Tutorial

I wanted an old fashioned rag rug for the kitchen.  So I started researching methods and types.  I found one I really loved called a Toothbrush Rag Rug.  So named as the women used to take old toothbrushes with the hole in the end of the handle and make a needle out of it.  They cut the head off the toothbrush off and filed the stem into a point.   The instructions seemed pretty easy so  I started collecting my material.   I wanted the rug to be green and yellow to match the kitchen colors.  Tried to find bed sheets in colors I wanted to use at the thrift shops but didn't have a lot of luck.  I was able to get some other scraps of material from my niece when we went to visit.  I ended up buying some fabric at the craft and sales are AWESOME!!

I decided to use some of the scrapes in darker colors to make a small "test" rug.  I was able to finish it in a few days, just working on it an hour or so after work.  It wasn't perfect but I loved it anyways.  I learned a few tricks along the way to use on the next one and make it better.

Not too bad for a first attempt.  This rug is now in the bedroom of the tiny house and fits perfectly in the space.

I have had requests for an instructional post so I'm going to attempt it. This will be for an oval rug.  I've not yet done round or rectangular ones. I tried to take pictures of the steps and hopefully you all can follow it easily.  Here goes!!

Decide how big you want your rug to be lengthwise.  My rug is going to be 5 foot.  You will need to make your beginning center half the length of the rug, in this case 30 inches. 

First, you need to make your "needle" out of something handy.  If you have a toothbrush with a hole in the end, perfect.  Most of the new ones don't have that hole, so I took some scrape copper wire I had and bent it into shape.  You could also use an old wire coat hanger to do this.

Here's my wonderfully crafted needle.  I just bent the wire in a somewhat oval shape with a wider end for the material.  I then wrapped the ends with duct tape.  Easy peasy!

I had completed a little more than half my rug when I decided to do this post so bear with me as I try to explain how to start.

You need to rip your material into strips about 1 to 2 inches wide.  If you are using cotton, you can make a small cut at the top of your material and then just rip it the rest of the way.  It should stay pretty consistent but you will get threads hanging off.  I just pull them off when they get in my way.

Take two pieces of your material and tie them together.  There is a nifty way to join them without big knots.  You need to make a small hole in the ends of all your strips for joining.  I used two different colors to show this to you.

Take the first strip(yellow) and feed it through the hole of the second(green).  Then take the tail of the first strip and feed it through the hole at the strips head.  Follow me so far?

Just give it a pull and it will tighten into a nice small join.  This will keep knots out of your rug.

One strand of material (green) will be your "filler" fabric.  This will be what you loop around.  I use a safety pin through my slip knot and attach it to a pillow or something to hold the material tight when I'm making my center.  Your working strip (yellow) is what you will be doing the knotting with.  You start with it on your left hand side, cross it over the green one, go under the green one and cross back over the yellow one.  Pull the yellow one tight to make the first knot.

My pictures of how it should look didn't come out clearly so here's an example of how the knots should look.  You don't have to pull them to tight as you will be going back through them later.

Once you get to the end of your length, you need to turn your piece so that the working strip (yellow) is now on your right side and the filler strip(green) is on the left.  You will then pull the filler tail down the left side of the row you just finished.  Pull your working strip around as well.  You are going to be weaving the working strip into that row you just finished.  Again no great beginning pics.

Imagine that the white strip I'm touching is the first knot row you made.  The green is your filler strip and the white & green is your working strip.

Feed your needle with your working strip on it through the hole and under the green filler strip, then back over the working strip and pull into the finished knot.

At this point, I didn't take a bunch of pictures so I'm going to link a blog post with lots of good YouTube step by step videos on it.

Rag Rug Cafe - Beginners Toothbrush Rag Rug

It took me a little over two weeks to complete my rug.  I was only able to get an hour or two a night in during the week. It's a little over 5 foot long and a little over 3 foot wide.  When it was finished, I sewed a few strips of rubber shelf liner to the bottom of the rug.  This keeps it from slipping around on the floor. 

As you can see, it fits perfectly in my kitchen space!  I was extremely happy with how it turned out and hope the next one is even better.  I had a lot of fun working on this. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Our Tufted Headboard!

We've been slow at getting things done on Tiny lately.  We've had lots going on here.  Vacations, helping out friends with home repairs and other various things to do.  We have gotten a few minor things that needed to be done on Tiny but nothing huge.  We are trying to get things moving along on schedule again.  We ordered our pump and other various parts needed for the shower system.  While waiting on them, we decided to make our headboard, since it was a rather quick project on the "To Do" list.

I really wanted a headboard to make the bed look like an actual bed, not just a mattress on the floor.  We looked at a few styles and we both liked the look of the tufted headboards.  After watching a few YouTube videos, we found one that had the best instructions for doing your own.  I'll be sure to link it at the end of the post.

  We used a piece of 1/2 inch plywood as the backer.  We figured out how the diamonds would lay and marked the rows.

 Drill the holes where the buttons would be.  It doesn't need to be a large hole.  Just big enough to pass the upholstery needle through.

Use spray adhesive to put the 2 inch thick foam down on the plywood.  We marked our holes on top by poking the needle up through foam from the bottom and marked it with a marker.

We used a 1 1/4 inch hole saw and drilled out each spot in the foam where the buttons will sit.  This hole does NOT go through the plywood.

On the holes along the edges, cut a straight line through the foam.  This is done all along the headboard.

Lay down a layer of quilt batting on top of the foam.  Cut a small slit in each of the holes and the lines along the edges.  Turn your fabric over and mark the center.  This is the first button you will add.

 Most people use the buttons that you can add fabric to but those were a bit expensive when we figured out how many buttons we would need (37).  I found these cute coconut carved buttons that came in a 10 count pack for $3.00.  Way cheaper...and they matched our material very nicely. 
Make sure you get a heavy duty string for pulling the buttons tight. We bought some string we thought would be strong enough but had a few snap under the pressure.  I ended up having to double up the string on each button.  

To attach your first button, find the first hole in the foam and use your needle to pull the button through to from top to bottom.  Pull the button as tight as you can and staple the string to the back of the plywood.  We used a zigzag pattern to staple the string securely.  You can see the beginnings of pleats here.  

Pull the first row buttons through and staple them in place.  You can see the pattern trying to form already.

Work one row at a time.  Pull all your buttons in that row through but do not staple them just yet.  Once you have them all in place.  Start in the center and work outward.  Staple one at a time so you can shape the pleats.  Make sure the pleated lines are facing downward so dust doesn't collect inside them.

Once all the buttons are attached, start working the fabric down into the edge cuts.

I went a step further and tied knots in all my strings at the last staple.  Just to bed sure it wouldn't pull through at a later date.  Trim all your string ends.

Pull your fabric tight around the edges.  Align your pleats along the edge so they are flat and neat.  Staple the material tight to the back as you go.  Work one edge completely before moving to the next. Trim any excess material or just staple it securely.  Most people put a fabric backing over this when they finish.  Since ours is going to be mounted to the wall, I didn't bother.

And here's the finished project!  I was extremely happy with how it turned out.  We made some simple metal brackets to mount it to the wall.  Just strips of flat metal with screw holes drilled into them.  I forgot to get pictures!  We wanted to hide the brackets behind the headboard so we figured out where we wanted it to sit.  Measured our brackets and screwed the top ones loosely to the head board.  We then figured out how far the headboard pivoted up when we swing it upwards on the brackets.  We measured that distance down and screwed the top brackets loosely to the wall.  Once it was in the proper place, we screwed the lower brackets tight to the wall.  These are hidden behind the bed so you can't see them.  Kinda confusing I know...sorry.

Tada!  Headboard in place. The tan material goes well with the red stain of the wood in the bedroom.  I really like that the buttons are not the same as the material as well.  It makes them stand out more.

All in all, we spent about $120.00 to make this headboard.  We have a lot of the plywood left over for another project as well.  Now, I need to make some curtains that will go well with the headboard!

Here is the YouTube video we used just in case my instructions are confusing.  :)

Tufted Headboard DIY Video

Thanks for reading and please let us know what you think.  :)