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Hubby’s wardrobe

          Moving on from the “Pine dresser” I found my time and energy occupied by a number of visits and visitors, but I did eventually get back to the fitted wardrobes in the bedroom. My first piece of the puzzle involved building a box, both strong enough to support further building, and cosy enough to house two of the pine drawers from the four drawer chest I’d bought for the side panels of the desk.

          I think this was by far the most difficult bit of the bedroom furnishings so far, but it eventually came together around the drawers and, despite the lack of a square corner on the walls, and with a little help from some good old fashioned soap on the wooden runners, the drawers will open and shut well enough so as not to be frustrating.

          The drilling of holes in the wall is not a strong point of mine. However, I have recently found a new friend for my drill… “No nails” … I don’t trust it completely, so I drill the holes in the wall best as I can, and then combine the two, the no-nails and the screws.

          With the uprights in place and the top shelf of the wardrobe thoroughly supported to take the weight of a clothes rail, I was ready to build and attach the front frame.

          With the need for an ongoing supply of matching timber for this part, I was drawn back to the local D. I. Y. store, and was to be seen making the medium length walk from there to my house on more than a few occasions with lengths of timber of varying shapes and sizes propped over my shoulder.

          If my plan had been to paint the whole caboodle when finished, I could have just screwed the front straight onto the framework I had built and disguised the screws with my good friend the pollyfiller before painting, but the plan to stain the wood and possibly varnish it after meant a lot of hidden fixing was involved… The drilling and screwing of bits of batten, first this way and that, onto the inside made me appreciative of the pre-installed hidden fixings in flat-packed furnature.

          I installed a clothes rail, (a black metal one to match the black hinges I’d bought) , then added the first door from Hubby’s old wardrobe and the first support for the front of the top shelf. It was nice to see my creation finally looking vaguely like a wardrobe.

          Next came a little consulting with Hubby, which clothes he was planning to hang where, what would he use the rest of the space for etc.

          I built in a box shelf to the left two thirds, and left the right third open top to bottom for the possibility of longer items, suit covers and the likes of.

          Once it was ready to fill, however. Hubby exercised what is usually a woman’s perogative and changed his mind as to where he hung his clothes, completely missing the point of our consultation. But once the doors are closed I can no longer see that my personalised design feature inside is in the wrong place, and instead of smiling at the success of my design, I shall just roll my eyes and smile because Hubby is Hubby.

          With the top part of the frame fitted, Hubby’s wardrobe is ready for use. The doors for the top box will follow when I eventually reach the top of my wardrobe too and I’m a little more sure of the right size.

          In the meantime. I’ve got a chest of drawers and some shelves, and a clothes rail to fit into the cupboard on the left next.

          … And of course, to make the top half of the cupboard complete, I have the doors from the “Pine wardrobe” which started this all moving.

          More “Fixings and finishings” on the new house.

Patchwork headboard

          The “Headboard” in our room is nearing completion. The patchwork cover has been ready for a couple of months.

          I cut out a sheet of amazon packing paper to the same size as the panel in the middle of the pine headboard and used that as a template for the shape I needed.

          You can see how the patchwork progressed in my post about “W. I. P” (work in progress. The process of cutting both card and material to the two size hexagon shapes, tacking the material around the card to form the shape, then sewing the shapes together by hand, is surprisingly relaxing. But there is an immense wave of satisfaction when the card templates are finally removed to reveal the completed pattern.

          Below you can see the three stages of the patchwork in one picture …

          Next I added a backing of plain lining material and trimmed it to the shape of my template. With a border of bias binding and a few strategically placed loops the headboard cover was ready.

          My plan was always to cut a wooden panel, add a piece of sponge, wrap that in some wadding, and then cover the whole caboodle with the patchwork before fixing it onto the front of the headboard by screwing through from the back.

          I was advised to treat the patchwork with a spray protector, it took me a while to find one, I looked around locally but ended up buying it from an online supplier, then I had to wait for the weather so that I could spray it outside. I’m glad I waited, the smell and fumes! Well, they filled the kitchen when, fearing rain, I brought it inside to finish drying. Hubby lit the grill and I could smell the fumes burning, so a few candles lit here and there eventually finished off the job.

          I’ve had the foam and wadding sitting around since before Christmas, we went to our usual visit to “Norwich” for Hubby’s sports comp, and I bought it on one of the market stalls there. I do love Norwich Market, its always so friendly, and I wasn’t disappointed when the foam seller measured out half inch bigger than my template as requested, and then proceeded to cut the foam to size and shape for me.

          The plan seemed to be going pretty well until I started to put it together. I had made my patchwork cover bigger than my template but then I had cut my wood to the same size as my foam. Not ideal, instead of nestling inside the foam when pressed, the wood became the frame.

          I toyed with the idea of undoing the binding on my patchwork and making it bigger, but once I laid everything out on the floor I could see that it was still big enough… just.

          My whole plan had been based around making the patchwork cover removable so that I could wash it if it needed freshening up. The plan of threading string through the binding and simply pulling it tight didn’t work, it didn’t pull tight enough and left too many crinkles on the front. Eventually I ended up making a whole web of string on the back to pull it tight on the front.

          Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I have plenty of patches left and so will make up another headboard cover for (hopefully) many moons away when this one needs replacing. But next time, I’ll just make it bigger and pull it tightly over the foam and wadding, attaching it with upholstery tacks straight onto the back.

          Meanwhile, the covered panel is standing up against the wardrobe, pretending to be an odly shaped surfboard while my hands and wrists recover from my attempt at upholstery.

          More from before: A little peek further into the world that I’ve “Created“.

Pine dresser

          I always had some sort of fitted wardrobes in mind for this wall. The two wardrobes we brought with us when we moved to our seaside weren’t of the highest quality and didn’t survive being manhandled by the removals team very well. They still featured in the future plans, just not in their original form.

          After the decision not to move the bed to the front of the chimney breast was made and a new “Headboard” installed instead, the scenarios in my mind were pretty endless until the wardrobe pieces I bought from marketplace turned out to be solid pine and then the thoughts became a little more organised and the usual “Progressive planning” began.

          A little manoeuvring of the bedroom was needed to make space to work with, but the bedroom is pretty big, and Hubby is usually quite patient at the beginning of a project. He doesn’t see the world the same as me, to be fair not many people do, but he’s more or less learned to trust that even though I always make things look worse to start with, they usually look better when I’ve finished.

          I spruced up the three biggest pieces of pine with the sander, the two outside panels of the pine wardrobe and the dividing upright piece from inside. Then I set about removing bits of coving from the ceiling and attacking bits of skirting board with the crowbar to make space for them. The crowbar is almost as much fun as the sledgehammer, but even I thought the sledgehammer might be a bit of an overkill this time.

          With the panels sanded, screwed to the wall and supported by the half panels below, my thoughts turned to the front of the chimney breast. The top and bottom panels from the old wardrobe were good quality pine too, the top would easily turn upside down and become a desktop/dressing table, and the bottom panel lent itself well to shelves.

          I planned to use the very bottom of the wardrobe, the kickboard I would call it, against the ceiling, giving the impression of an old kitchen dresser.

          By cutting the desktop to the same depth, front to back, as the computer desk, I had a nice piece left for one of the dvd shelves. Then by cutting the other dvd shelf, and a slightly wider TV shelf out of the base, I had a spare shelf leftover. I considered sanding the wood and saving a couple of brackets incase I wanted them for an extra shelf at a later date, but then I had the idea of putting a light underneath the TV shelf to shine onto the desk, and instead I cut two more “kickboard” pieces out to finish off the desk/dresser nicely.

          I laid everything out to make sure I had all the pieces I needed, then put away my jigsaw ready to spend the next day with the electric sander.

          I’ve been sharing pictures of my latest game with my Dad as he’s not too well at the moment and unable to play with his own toys. He said it looked like it was all cut to plan and asked where my plans were. I don’t have any plans as such, I have a picture in my head, and a couple of pencil lines drawn on the wall, and the rest? I’m making it up as I go along.

          I called on Hubby for a little help to put the next bit together. I didn’t have enough hands to hold the brackets in place while I pre-drilled holes for the brackets and the conversion of the kick-board to a pelmet. This is where my pencil lines, which had been drawn with my spirit level, came into play. With the brackets screwed firmly in place, the shelves sat perfectly level on top.

          Once the two top shelves were up, I asked Hubby if he had any opinions. A risky thing to do because he doesn’t have as much access to the pictures in my head as I do, but I was quite pleased when he said it looked like a Welsh dresser, because that’s the effect I was aiming for.

          The next shelf was to be the TV shelf, but first I’d bought a singing and dancing bracket to fix the TV to the wall. A lot more measuring and pencil lines balanced with the spirit level later, and I had my marks to drill two holes to bolt the bracket into the right place. Needless to say, the holes I drilled weren’t perfect but after a slight correction the bracket passed inspection.

          Unfortunately the TV didn’t hang quite right, and there didn’t seem to be any way of adjusting it so the bracket was abandoned in favour of putting the TV on the shelf.

          Hubby was of the opinion that my shelves were too long and were going to warp. I don’t listen to him very often, and I wasn’t too sure about his feelings towards the top two shelves, but as for the TV shelf and the desktop, I had to agree.

          The TV shelf was given the added support of a piece of wood hidden at the back underneath, and the desk, instead of just two brackets for support, was to have solid panels of pine at either end, and one slightly further in to incorporate some sort of shelves or drawer unit underneath on the right. That was until I priced the panels and found that the two pieces of pine I would need would cost more than I’d already paid for the whole caboodle so far… Off I went back to the drawing board.

          Actually, off I went back to Facebook marketplace and found this … .

          The measurements I’d been given were correct, but I hadn’t taken into account the big round feet which were included in the height so the two side panels came up a little short. I puzzled for a while and ended up building a plynth for each end panel to stand on.

          After a couple of weeks of just building the shelves in my head while visiting, I ordered a few extra bits I would need for the finishing touches from online to arrive when I got home and spent an hour like a child at Christmas when all the gadgets and gizmos I’d ordered all arrived together.

          With most of the main pieces made and fitting nicely in place, I stripped the dresser back down to the two side panels and set about the chimney breast with a little pollyfiller and a couple of coats of cream paint. Unfortunately I had to settle for the imperfect blocking up of the fireplace as redoing it really wasn’t an option.

          This was the most difficult part so far… Not the painting around the edges, or the three coats it took until I was satisfied with the coverage… But quite literally, the waiting for the paint to dry. Finally, it dried and I was able to put my puzzle back together with added long screws into the shelves to secure everything in place.

          The next stage was to make the desk …

          Of course, the electric saw and sander fearured heavily in this next part, but I had a great time with one of the new gadgets I’d bought, a circular saw to fix onto my drill. I cut big holes at the two back corners of the desktop, and another three in the shelf, and middle panel support underneath. These are for passing electrical plugs through, and when not in use, they’re filled with ingenious little covers which twist open and closed.

          Once the last of the puzzle pieces were in place, I set about the whole caboodle with a screwdriver and a few extra long screws to pull everything securely into place. This turned out to be no small feat in itself and I found the tiny 2.5mm drill bit to be more than worth it’s weight in gold as I drilled guide holes for more and more screws.

          All I have left to do now is transfer the computer and the rest of its rigmarole into place. This is just a temporary measure as the old computer is really struggling along day to day and is due to be replaced by a more up-to-date laptop instead. The laptop will generate less wires, and a new short extension block will make the wires safer, and more respectable looking. The desk/dresser can just do its thing for the next month while I rest the extra aches I’ve acquired during the making of it.

          My wardrobe, a large three-door unit itself, looks quite small in comparison when pushed tightly up to the dresser where it will wait for its turn for a remodel. Hubby’s wardrobe is next though, at present it’s staying where it is, sticking out into the room, precariously supported by one corner which has been jammed up against the wall, I have a feeling it won’t be moving away from its holding position in one piece.

          More from before : “Finishing and fixing“.