Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Huge Engineer Print Frame

Hi guys. Hope you are having a great summer! Just wanted to show one of our latest projects...this huge framed engineer print of an old Paris map.

I had been wanting to try an engineer print for a while for something to hang on a big wall in my living room. We were walking through Restoration Hardware a few months ago and I found an awesome wood framed mirror that was $1025 (it's now on sale for $765). I loved the frame so my husband designed a woodworking plan for a frame with a similar look that would fit a huge 36 x 48" engineer print. We used pallet wood for the frame and we used stain we already had, so the frame was basically free.

We have posted the woodworking plan for the engineer print frame in our shop. You can make it out of standard lumber if you don't have access to pallet wood or want a different look.

In Restoration Hardware I also saw maps that were white with a black background like this one that were about $1200 (also on sale now for $835).

I wanted to put the two together, so I found an old map of Paris from 1890 (for some reason the one I used is no longer there but there are similar maps) and then I resized it in Photoshop Elements so that it would print 36 x 48". I also made it black and white (Enhance > Convert to Black and White) and then reversed the black and white (Filter > Adjustments > Invert).

I had it printed at Staples for $7. We used spray adhesive to mount it to a 36 x 48" foam core board and then placed it in the finished frame.

Here's a close up...I love the nail holes and texture of the pallet wood. I've read things recently about the dangers of using pallet wood due to chemicals and things that might be on it, but luckily my husband got this pallet from work so we know where it came from and what it was used for.

The best part is that the whole thing was under $10 (not $2200+) and I have a huge piece of "art" in my living room. I'm not sure how long the engineer print will last, but I like it so much that if it wears out or fades, it will be easy and cheap to just print it again. :) If you use purchased lumber for this project, the cost will be around $50 (plus the print and finishing materials).

Here's another link to the downloads in our shop: engineer print frame woodworking plans and Paris map instant download.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Art Display Racks Tutorial

My husband and I made these art display racks recently and I wanted to share the steps we used. The racks were inspired by these cute art clip racks from Pottery Barn Kids which are no longer available (they were around $40 each plus shipping). We made 6 for $22 total.

Materials Needed (to make 6)

  • (3) 1" x 4" x 8' pine boards
  • (18) bulldog clips (I used size 0 X-Acto Bulldog Clips but would probably use a larger size next time)
  • (18) #6 or #8 x 5/8" long truss head screws (we used #8 but the #6 ones fit better in the size 0 clips)
  • stain (I used Minwax Provincial)


1. Cut the boards to 36" lengths

2. Stain/finish boards and let dry

3. Starting from the left, drill pilot holes 1" from the top at 6-7/8", 18", and 29-1/8"

4. Put a truss head screw into the back hole of the bulldog clip as shown above (the truss head screws are nice because they have a larger head that is kind of like a built-in washer to prevent the screw from slipping through the hole).

5. Slip a small screwdriver through the front hole of the clip and tighten the screws.

Click on the image below for a printable drawing with all dimensions.


We screwed the display racks directly into the wall (using drywall anchors) down a long hallway. We just put one screw right below the middle clip so it would be hidden by papers and used a small ball of mounting putty (Fun-Tak) on each side to keep them from tipping from side to side.

Approximate Costs (to make 6)

pine boards: $15
bulldog clips: $5
truss head screws: $2
total: $22 ($3.60 each)

Loving all the room to hang the kids' artwork!

Linked up to: The Party Bunch and Tatertots & Jello and Reasons to Skip the Housework

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

We love these chocolate chip cookies made with white whole wheat flour and rolled oats. The oats are ground into a powder in the blender and it gives the cookies an almost nutty taste. The dark brown sugar makes them a little chewy but they are also thick and crunchy. Yum...

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats (measured then ground into a powder in a blender or food processor)
2 cups whole wheat flour (I use white whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 oz. bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly grease cookie sheets or cover with parchment paper.

Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and dark brown sugar together until fluffy (I mix it in my KitchenAid with the paddle attachment). Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well blended. Add the ground oats, white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the bowl and mix until it's just combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix gently until they are distributed through the dough.

Drop cookies onto the cookie sheets (I use a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop) about 2" apart. Bake 10-12 minutes until very lightly browned (original recipe calls for 14 to 15 minutes, but in my oven they are way overdone at that point). Cool for a couple of minutes on the sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Linked up to: The Party Bunch and Tatertots & Jello