Wood Tray with Folding Legs

Have you ever gone into a store and saw something and thought, “I could finish that item! If I did, my sister would love it”? That is exactly what happened to me earlier this year when I was strolling through Hobby Lobby.

Wood Tray with Folding Left finished by Sarah

The first step was to purchase the Wood Tray. If took me several trips to Hobby Lobby before I decided that I would work on this project. Next, I sanded all sides of the tray including the legs. Originally, I was going to stain the tray a traditional color. As I was looking through my collection of stain, I found Worn Navy by Rust-oleum. Perfect! My sister likes greens, blues, and teals. I painted the bottom of the tray with primer and stained the rest of the wood with Worn Navy. After it was dry, I placed a light coat of varnish over the stained area.

My original idea was to create a mosaic on the bottom of the tray with just leaves. I already had some leaves cut and baked which I made from Sculpey Clay, but I decided to add some flowers too. I used Sculpey Polymer Clay to make the flower petals and additional leaves. After everything was prepared and laid out, and even though it had a nice gradient, I decided it was too plain. I drew a tangle on every leaf, petal, and circle using acrylic paint pens. Each petal and leaf were glued to the bottom. Mint Puff Paint was used as the grout. I sprinkled three colors of glitter over the grout before it dried.

I seal all my work with polyacrylic before applying the resin. Sealing the piece helps to reduce the number of bubbles in the resins. My flavor resin to use is made by Art Resin. Their resin calculator is very useful.

I could of stop there and it would have been beautiful, but no I had to paint flowers on the outside edge and vines and leaves on the legs. I used acrylic paint pens. I like color, so the flowers were painted different colors.

After the painting was completed, I put a few more coats of polyurethane on the tray (sanding between each coat). You would think I was done. No! I was concerned that if it was stored, the legs would open at an inopportune time, hitting someone and causing an ouchy. Another trip to Hobby Lobby and I purchase belt buckles and ribbon and put my limited sewing techniques to work and made two straps. Again, they were a bit plain, so I used Puff Paint to paint flowers on the straps.

Flower Chests

These chests were a pain to sand and stain. An absolute pain. It took me over two years to complete them and at one point I almost tossed them in the garbage. The boxes were purchased from Hobby Lobby.

The problems: First the tops and sides of the boxes were so fragile they were difficult to sand. Second, I tried to use Minwax Gel Stain on the inside of the box – that went very poorly. On the plus side, this was a test of the Gel Stain before I put it on something much larger. I tossed the Gel Stain to never to be used again.

Three Nesting Boxes

First, I sanded the boxes and applied stain all over, even the areas I intended to paint. Second, I applied the first coat of varnish to the areas I was not going to paint. I apply varnish to seal the wood just in case I accidently got paint on unwanted areas of the boxes. Paint can easily be cleaned off the varnish areas before it dries, otherwise the paint would soak into the wood. Next, I painted the tops, sides, and the inside bottoms of the boxes using chalk paint.

After everything had dried and I was satisfied with the painting, I sanded the box again and applied another coat of varnish. Matte varnish on the painted areas and gloss varnish on the stained areas. Afterwards, I decided to add something extra. I created a mosaic pattern on the inside of the box, which I created from Sculpey Clay. I put a light coat of varnish on the bottom of the box before I poured resin over the pattern.

Since the bottom of the box was already painted. I didn’t see the need to fill the spaces with grout.

I still was not satisfied with color of the boxes. I wanted them to be darker. So, I lightly sanded the boxes with steel wool and applied a coat of Minwax Polyshade. It has stain and polyurethane.

Felt was added to the front and sides of the boxes because I thought if anyone wanted to store anything small in the boxes, it would just fallout through the holes.

Plain on the Outside

I purchased this box unfinished from Hobby Lobby. I had no idea how I would use it, but it serve for several years as a stand for my other projects while they dried. It about 24″ long and 5″ wide, so it was great for sitting items on allowing air to flow underneath.

My goal this year is to complete my unfinished projects. While I was staining my desk, this too got stained. Instead of painting the box, I decided to create a mosaic from polymer clay on the inside of the box. I left the outside of the box plain with a high gloss polyurethane coating.

4″ Wood Squares

I purchased some wood squares from Michael’s. I was going to create fluid art on them and make coasters. I have multiple sets of fluid art coasters so I decided to sand and stain the squares while I was staining my desk. I used acrylic paint markers for the designs and sealed the squares with gloss polycrylic.

I am not sure what to do with these. I may still make coasters out of them. Coaster work better if they are sealed with resin. Which is still possible, because resin work better when the surface is sealed.

Flower Box

Over the summer, I decided to stain and paint some of the wood items that was in my to do pile. I purchased the box from Walmart. It was stained with Minwax Red Mahoney. I sprayed the entire box with Minwax Polyurethane because if I made a mistake on painting the box, the paint would not soaked into the wood and I could wipe the paint off before it dried. I painted the box using chalk paint.

I did not paint the inside of the box. It was stained and sealed using polyurethane.

Acrylic Pour Coaster

I been wanting to create some Acrylic Pour Coasters for a while.  I purchased 4″ wood tiles from Michael’s and they traveled with me in my car for several months before a was able to work on them.

First, I applied white Gesso to both sides of the wood tile.   I mixed the paint in squeeze bottles.  The colors I used were pink, purple, grayish blue, light pink, light purple, green and white.  I love pinks and blues.

I let the tiles cure for about a month while I was out of town again. I cleaned the tiles with a mixture of Dawn and water, which I keep in a spray bottle.  A few weeks later when I got up the courage to apply resin, I poured resin over the coasters.

The tiles did not come out perfect, but it wasn’t a failure either.  The tray to hold the tiles was purchased from Hobby Lobby.  I stained the inside of the box and two sides.  The other two sides I applied Gesso and did a pour on the sides. 

I did not pour the inside of the tray, instead I cut out some white polymer clay and did a pour on top of the clay when I poured the tray sides.  After I cleaned the tray, I glued the clay to the bottom and applied several coats of varnish.

I glued cork to the back of each coaster using wood glue.  Below are the results.