Josh took the time to write up these descriptions of all the projects we built for Christmas this year. We always have so much fun building things for people and though it is a lot of work the people we build them for appreciate the love and time we put into each project.
The stuffed animal zoo was an interesting project. We saw some online, but wanted to modify them a bit. When we went shopping for the wood we also had an idea to put animal stickers on the back. We wanted the zoo to look kid friendly without any stuffed animals in it, but we knew once it was full you wouldn’t be able to see the back so we didn’t want to spend a lot of time painting the animals on. We found some stick on animals near the wall paper at the local building center that would work great. We cut the pieces and decided to paint them first to make it easier. Nik found some excellent paint that worked well for this project. Once painted, we assembled the pieces to build the frame.
Before we built this, Nik and I had a different opinion how the bungee cord could be attached. I thought it would be easier to staple and Nik thought we would need to have a guide and tie a knot in the bungee above and below the guide. I decided to try my way since I thought it would be faster but found stapling would not hold. Once we drilled and attached the guides, Nik was able to tie the bungees in record time (I thought it would take so much longer, and probably would have if I had to do it).
In the end, I think the zoo was my favorite build. Hopefully it will be useful in keeping our nephew Hayden’s stuffed animals from taking over his room.
Nikki found the rocking scooters on Pinterest and thought we should build those for Mia and our nieces. The plans were available online. They really just consisted of patterns for each piece. We cut the pieces on a band saw. This was much easier in the tight corners than a jig saw. We then sanded and glued up each part. We tried to follow along with the website we found the plans on, but they didn’t provide much detail. We had a few issues along the way. I broke one piece as I was test fitting the parts, but figured we could glue it together. Another piece was broken after most of it was glued together. We had to cut a couple new parts out to replace that one. While we were gluing the body parts, Nik was painting the supports, handle bars and rockers. Once the bodies were glued we painted them. We had to find the best way to paint them but not fume up the house. Nik figured out if we painted them in the garage, but brought them in to dry we would be ok and it worked like a charm. Finally, a few days before Christmas, we started assembling the all the painted parts. If felt so nice once they were all together. We had many hours into these projects and it is so much fun to see the final product.
The bookshelf we build was a very basic design. We didn’t use any special plans. When we build something like this, we typically look around on the internet to find designs we like. The final design included aspects from several pictures we found. We then proceed to cut the wood, put everything together and then finally painted it using a special crackly glaze. We used part of a desk top that Nikki’s brother built back in high school as the top of the bookcase. We thought that would add a nice element and it will be neat to tell Cole that someday. The crackle glaze was something our sister-in-law saw on one of our other projects and thought it would look nice on this.