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diy

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DIY Rope Leash for Dogs

May 11, 2014

Rope_Leash_1

When Joe and I were in Austin a few weeks back, I saw a bunch of really cool rope leashes for dogs. Our hotel was even selling them, and I loved the casual, rustic, cool look the leashes had – much cooler than the leashes we currently used for our pups. But when I saw that each leash was upwards of $60 I couldn’t justify buying two for our dogs.

Thankfully, it’s incredibly easy to make a rope leash at home with a few items from the local hardware store and craft store. If you’re interested in making your own rope leash, I’ve put together a little guide.

Here’s What You Need: 
*1 package (2 clamps in a package) of metal clamps (the 3/8″ to 1/2″ size)
*1 metal snap hook
*1 piece of nylon or cotton rope (most leashes are anywhere from 4 to 6 feet in length)
*Hammer or rubber mallet

Rope Leash DYI 1

Optional Items:
*1 small piece of leather
*Darning needle (made for leather)
*Craft knife
*Embroidery Floss in a bright color
*Self healing cutting mat

Rope Leash DIY 2

STEP 1
Make a handle-sized loop (based on preference) with one end of the rope. Place one of the clamps on the end of the handle as shown below. Use your hammer or rubber mallet to tightly secure the ends of the clamp around the rope.

Rope Leash DYI 3

Rope Leash DIY 5

STEP 2
Repeat this same method with the snap hook and a second clamp on the remaining end of the rope.

Rope Leash DYI 6

At this point, you could easily stop and this would be a perfectly functional rope leash! Seriously this takes about 5 minutes once you have the right hardware. However, I liked a bit more of a finished look that I saw on a bunch of blogs, so I decided to keep going and add some leather detailing. This is, of course, optional but highly recommended!

Rope Leash DYI 7

STEP 5
Get a small piece of leather from the craft store. I purchased mine in the craft section of Joanna’s Fabric for about $10. It’s not the highest quality but it will certainly work for this type of project. And that piece will make about 4 rope leashes. Cut a square of leather, about 2 1/4 inches. It should be just long enough to wrap around the metal clamp. If you have too much leather it wont be snug around the leash.

Rope Leash DYI 8

STEP 6
Use a nail or your needle to hammer holes (spaced about 1/4 inch apart) in the leather to make stitching the leather around the clamps easier.

Rope Leash DIY 9

STEP 7
Thread your needle with a piece of embroidery floss that is knotted one one end. Secure your thread to the rope at the base of the clamp with a couple knots.

Rope Leash DYI 10

STEP 8
Next, stitch the edges of the leather together through the holes already created in the leather. Repeat with the remaining clamp and piece of leather.

Rope Leash DYI 11

And that’s it! I’m certainly not a master of crafting by any stretch of the imagination, but I found this craft fun and easy to do. And I love the result! I already used the leashes with Nutmeg and Pippa and have found them to be cuter and more comfortable to hold than traditional leashes.

If you wanted an even more polished look, you could easily use dye to color the rope, or buy a type of rope that isn’t as white and polished as this rope is. However, keep in mind that you’ll actually be holding this rope in your hands so you want it to be somewhat comfortable.

Happy crafting!
Madison

 

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DIY Pallet Coffee Table

April 8, 2013

Pallet_table_1

Lets get something straight before I begin this post: I would never describe myself as a crafty/DIY-type person. Michaels and Hobby Lobby stress me out and I let my mom make 90% of the decorating decisions in our home. And I’m totally okay with that. The closest I get to being crafty is making unique and delicious recipes. And I know how to crochet, so there’s that. But for the most part, my crafting skills are limited. However, now that we own a home I have started to read a few more home design blogs and have become obsessed with Houzz. Anyone else?

Two weekends ago, my mom came to visit for Easter weekend. Joe and I had been looking for a coffee table for our basement living room since we moved in, but hadn’t been able to find anything that was durable and didn’t cost a fortune. Since our downstairs living room is also going to be a bit of a guy’s hangout area, I wasn’t keen on spending a bunch of money on a nice coffee table only to have something spilled on it down the road. My mom, who is equally obsessed with Houzz and other design sites found a post that suggested a beautiful coffee table could be made fairly inexpensively by using pallets.

A quick Google search will render dozens of ways you can make a pallet coffee table. Turns out, unbeknownst to me, that they are pretty popular. And after making our own pallet coffee table, I can totally understand why! In one weekend and for about $75 we made our own pallet coffee table that not only looks great but is extremely durable and guy-proof! I didn’t do a great job of taking step-by-step photos of how we made our table, but I do have a few shots to show you that should give you an idea of how easy it is. And if you have any doubts, just remember: If Madison can do it, so can I!

Here’s how it went down:

Sanding_Madison

1. We started by sanding down two pallets that my mom got from her company’s distribution center with a hand sander loaned to us by my brother-in-law, Jake. These were really nice looking pallets as far as pallets go. Some are much more weathered and worn. They would work, too, but we were going for a bit more of a polished look for downstairs.

Madison_Sanding_2

2. More sanding! This was my first time using a hand sander and it totally made the whole process go a lot faster than doing it by hand with pieces of sand paper.

Staining_1

3. After sanding the pallets we stained both of them with Minwax stain in Red Oak color that we purchased at Home Depot. We went through two small cans for both pallets together. I would recommend just buying a large can to save yourself the trouble. After leaving the stain on for about 5 minutes, my mom followed me and wiped off the excess stain. Then, we allowed the stain to try on the pallets for 8 hours in the sun.

Staining_3

4. After the stain had dried completely, we finished things up with three coats of polyurethane. We used Minwax Semi-Gloss Fast Drying Polyurethane and waited four to five hours between coats. After we put on the final coat, we let it dry longer to make sure it was really set up well.

5. Finally, we used large screws and a hand drill to fasten one pallet on top of the second pallet. After the pallets were secured into a single coffee table, we put 4-inch casters (rolling wheels) on the bottom of the coffee table. We purchased four casters from Home Depot, two of which have locking wheels in case we want to keep the coffee table in one spot. The wheels are a great addition. Although they cost about $12 each, they really are worth it! We love being able to roll our coffee table around and move it closer to the couch as needed.

And that’s it! It seems super simple and that’s because it is. Although I’m not a pro yet, I think I’ve caught the bug. It was incredibly gratifying to make a coffee table that looked like something I would have paid good money for at the store. I’m not a huge fan of small crafts that I will eventually just toss in the trash, but making furniture? Now that’s something I can get behind!

Pallet_Coffee_Table_2

Okay, now it’s your time to confess: Are you the crafty type? Have you made something like furniture or a home decor item that I should know about? I would love to know!

Madison

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