https://craftedbythehunts.com/ Teaching you to build magazine-worthy furniture. Tue, 22 Nov 2022 19:46:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://craftedbythehunts.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/cropped-Crafted-by-the-Hunts-logo-square-e1587076968949-1-32x32.jpg Pine and Poplar https://craftedbythehunts.com/ 32 32 DIY Large Slatted Planter Plans https://craftedbythehunts.com/diy-large-slatted-planter/ https://craftedbythehunts.com/diy-large-slatted-planter/#respond Mon, 21 Nov 2022 22:55:06 +0000 https://craftedbythehunts.com/?p=6284 One of my early DIY projects was actually a tall slatted planter similar to the one we’re building today. But this time, I’m making it even larger. This massive outdoor planter is about 4’ wide, 32” tall, and almost 2’ deep. Despite the large size, we were able to build two planters for right around […]

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One of my early DIY projects was actually a tall slatted planter similar to the one we’re building today. But this time, I’m making it even larger. This massive outdoor planter is about 4’ wide, 32” tall, and almost 2’ deep.

Despite the large size, we were able to build two planters for right around $300 using pressure-treated wood. Good luck trying to find a planter box this tall and wide for that price! 

DIY large slatted planter by outdoor patio

We made these planters to flank either side of our deck stairs and wanted them to match the design of our DIY planter privacy screen. It’s basically the same planter that we have over there, but a little taller. I’m not sure why I have a thing for super tall planters, but I do. 

Alright, let’s start DIYing! 

Recommended Tools: 

  • Nail Gun 
  • Miter Saw 
  • Drill 
  • Kreg Jig 
  • Staple Gun

What You’ll Need For One Planter:

Cut List:

Prefer printable plans and visual cut lists that show you how to minimize waste? Grab the printable plans!

For What?Wood SizeQuantitySize (inches)
Front/Back Top/Bottom2×4446
Front/Back Sides2×4624
Middle Connectors2×4718
Small Slats1×23021
Large Slats1×23047.5
Front/Back Frame1×4247.5
Side Frames1×4215.5
Middle Slats5/4×6 346

How to Make a Large Planter Box 

If you’re planning to use pressure-treated lumber on this project, buy it early! Pressure-treated lumber is generally pretty wet at the store, and you need to let it dry out before you can cut or stain it. We bought ours about a month before completing the project and let it dry outside in the sun as much as possible. 

STEP 1: CUT THE 2x4s AND 5/4s DOWN TO SIZE

Following the cut list above, cut your 2x4s and 5/4” deck boards to size. For the middle slats, you can cut them between 42-46” long. These do not need to be precise and it’s better to err on the side of being too small than too long. 

STEP 2: DRILL POCKET HOLES

Using the 1.5” settings, drill (2) pocket holes on either end of the 24” and 18” 2x4s. 

Pocket holes are the foundation of most DIY furniture. Become a pocket hole pro in less than an hour in Pocket Holes: Explained.

STEP 3: STAIN 

We chose to stain early on in this project because we didn’t want to have to worry about evenly applying the stain in between all the individual slats later. 

This was the longest step of the entire project, so another option you might consider is using a paint sprayer to apply your stain at the end of the project. 

STEP 4: ASSEMBLE THE FRONT/BACK PIECES 

We will assemble (2) identical structures for the front and back. 

Grab your 24” 2x4s and your 46” 2x4s. Using 2.5” exterior Kreg screws, attach a 24” piece to either end of your 46” pieces. 

Then attach a 24” piece in the middle of the two 46” pieces. 

assembling 2x4s with kreg screws

STEP 5: ADD THE MIDDLE CONNECTORS 

On one of the pieces you assembled in step 4, attach the middle connectors using 2.5” exterior Kreg screws.

First we’ll place a middle connector approximately 9.5” down from the top. This will result in our planter area being about 8.5” deep. You can adjust this measurement to make it more or less deep based on what kind of plants you are hoping to grow. 

We used a scrap piece of wood as a spacer to keep the distance consistent across all 3 on the connectors. 

using scrap board as spacer

Next, install a middle connector on each corner of the planters. 

STEP 6: CONNECT THE FRONT AND BACK 

Flip the side with the middle connectors installed onto the second piece you assembled in step 4. Line up the middle connectors and screw them in with 2.5” exterior Kreg screws.

planter box main structure made from 2x4s

STEP 7: CUT THE SLATS 

Now that you have the main structure assembled, you can cut all of the slats. Before cutting the slats, confirm your measurements with the final measurements of the main structure. 

The short slat measurements will match the short sides, and the long slats will be the length of the long sides + 1.5”.

We set clamped a spare board to our miter saw stand and workbench to create a stop. This allowed us to quickly make repeat cuts without needing to measure between each cut.

STEP 8: INSTALL THE SLATS 

To install the slats, we’ll use clear construction adhesive and 1.5” nails. Start by securing the top slats. They should be flush with the top of the planter. 

adding clear construction adhesive to wood slats

Once you’ve secured just the top piece on each side, flip your planter over so that the top is on the ground. 

To make installation easier, we clamped a scrap board flush with the side of the planter. This allowed me to quickly push the slats up against the scrap wood instead of making sure the slats were lined up on either side. 

We used a scrap piece of ½” plywood as a spacer between each of the slats to get consistent spacing. 

nailing slats and using 1/2" spacer

Install the short slats first and then touch up the end grains of the slats with stain. 

Then install the long slats. As you’re installing the long slats, continue using the spacer, but focus on lining up the ends up with the short side slats that are already installed, even if that means your spacing doesn’t perfectly align with the spacer itself. 

STEP 9: INSTALL THE MIDDLE SLATS 

Place your middle slats into the planter box so that they are evenly spaced. There will be slight gaps between the boards. 

placing deck boards in the bottom of the planter

Use 2” nails at alternating angles to secure the middle slats. By alternating the angles of the nails, you “lock” the boards into place. If you were to just nail straight in, you would be able to pull the boards right up.


STEP 10: INSTALL THE TARP 

Staple your tarp along the inside of the planter and then cut off the excess. We also decided to line the bottom half of the planter so that the gaps between the slats were black instead of letting the light shine through. 

Cut some holes in the bottom of the tarp that align with the gaps in the middle slats. These will allow for drainage.

center of planter lined with tarp


STEP 11: ADD THE TOP FRAME

Cut your top frame pieces down to size and then install using clear construction adhesive and 1.5” nails. The outside of the 1×4 will be flush with the top 1x2s. The inside of the 1x4s will overhang into the planter slightly. 

nailing 1x4 to top of planter

There you have it! Now you have your very own large slatted planter. These planters are heavy so you definitely don’t need to worry about them tipping over when it’s windy! 

Don’t forget to grab your printable plans!

make this large slatted planter! text overlay on images of building the planter

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Gift Ideas for the DIYer https://craftedbythehunts.com/gift-ideas-for-the-diyer/ https://craftedbythehunts.com/gift-ideas-for-the-diyer/#respond Thu, 17 Nov 2022 21:00:48 +0000 https://craftedbythehunts.com/?p=6279 ‘Tis the season for gifts! If you’re anything like me, your mind goes blank when people ask what’s on your wishlist. We’ve got your back. Here are 33 gift ideas that every DIYer will love: First up, stocking stuffers! Let’s talk gifts under $25. Kreg 310 – every DIY furniture builder needs one of these […]

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‘Tis the season for gifts! If you’re anything like me, your mind goes blank when people ask what’s on your wishlist. We’ve got your back. Here are 33 gift ideas that every DIYer will love:

First up, stocking stuffers! Let’s talk gifts under $25.

gifts under $25 for the DIYer
  1. Kreg 310 – every DIY furniture builder needs one of these in their shop. This is the only Kreg Jig that will let you make pocket holes in bevel-cut boards or after you’ve already started assembling.
  2. Paint Pour and Store – No more messy paint pours or trying to reseal the paint can after opening.
  3. Kreg Multi-Mark Tool – We use this handy-dandy tool on nearly every project. Make repeat measurements quickly.
  4. Home Repair Record Keeper – Every homeowner needs this book! Keep track of warranty information, paint colors, etc. so that you always have it handy when you need it. It also includes home maintenance tips and a seasonal maintenance schedule!
  5. Spray Paint Attachment – Ever get finger cramps from spray painting? This handy attachment hooks onto nearly any spray paint can to save your finger!
  6. Pine and Poplar Gift Card – The gift that keeps on giving! Let the DIYer in your life choose what they want next from DIY courses and over 30+ printable project plans.
  7. Paint Brush/Roller Cleaner – Everyone’s least favorite part of painting is cleaning up. Clean your brushes and rollers effectively with this little gadget!
  8. Kreg Project Blocks – These project blocks are versatile and are great for both sanding and painting!
  9. Painting Pyramids – Minimize touchpoints when painting and staining with these painting pyramids.
  10. Safety Glasses – Everyone needs safety glasses and these are practical and cute.
  11. Hardware Installation Jig – Install door and drawer hardware with confidence and accuracy.
  12. Kreg 90-Degree Driver – If you’ve ever tried to cram your drill between two legs of furniture or another tight space to add a screw, you know how handy this can be. It lets you get into tight spaces so you can drill with ease.
  13. Kreg Quick-Flip – Who wants to change their drill bit between every pre-drill hole and screw? This quick-flip bit lets you quickly flip between the two!
  14. DIY Budgeting Calculator – See at a glance an estimated cost for your project…and compare how much the price changes based on what wood type you buy!
  15. Purdy XL Paint Brush – A good paintbrush results in a better finish. The Purdy XL brush is versatile enough to use on pretty much any paint project.
  16. Glue Spreader – Apply and evenly spread your glue across the surface at the same time.
  17. Purdy Paint Pail – This thing really comes in handy on projects where you want to move around. It’s easy to carry and has a spot to hold both a mini-roller and your paintbrush!

Now let’s talk about all the gadgets that may make your DIY life a little bit easier:

gift ideas for the DIYer
  1. Homeright Paint Sprayer – Looking for a budget-friendly paint sprayer? You’ll get great results without breaking the bank!
  2. Irwin Quick-Grip Clamps – I am very passionate about these being the easiest clamps I’ve ever used!
  3. I Planned That Online Course – Learn how to use SketchUp to create your very own DIY project plans.
  4. Kreg Accu-Cut – Use your circular saw and this jig to make straight, accurate cuts on plywood.
  5. Kreg Cabinet Door Mounting Jig – Want to install cabinet doors? This jig makes it so much easier!
  6. Kreg 720PRO – You’ll love the ease of making pocket holes with the 720PRO. It even comes with an attachment to hook it up to a shop vac to collect the dust as you drill!
  7. Kreg Adjustable Shelf Pin Guide – If you want to add adjustable shelves to your project, this guide will make it super easy to drill the holes you need in just the right place.
  8. WorkTunes Headphones – Protect your ears and listen to music, ebooks, or podcasts while you work! These are super comfortable and make sanding go a lot quicker.
  9. Kreg Rip-Cut – My favorite plywood cutting guide. Make straight, repeat cuts without having to measure.
  10. Collapsible Workbench – Getting started and don’t want to do projects on the floor? Save your knees with this workbench that can fold up to be easily stored!
  11. Retractable Extension Cord – Hang this from your garage ceiling and have an extension cord that can go anywhere in the garage. It’s what we use to plug in pretty much all of our tools.
  12. Laser Measurer – If you’re working on built-ins or accent walls, you’re going to love this laser measurer. You’ll get precise measurements without having to haul your measuring tape all across a room.
  13. Lumber Storage Racks – The more projects you do, the more your lumber pile grows. Get your wood off the floor and store them on the wall.
  14. Kreg Concealed Hinge Jig – Love concealed hinges? This jig makes installing them a breeze.
  15. I Made That Online Course – Want to learn how to confidently (and safely) build magazine-worthy furniture? We’re sharing everything we wish we knew when getting started so you can DIY better things, faster.
  16. Kreg Straight Edge 8′ Guide – If you need to cut all the way across a big piece of plywood or beadboard, this straight-edge guide can help keep your jigsaw or circular straight as an arrow.

Happy shopping!

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DIY Nightstand Plans https://craftedbythehunts.com/diy-nightstand-plans/ https://craftedbythehunts.com/diy-nightstand-plans/#respond Fri, 11 Nov 2022 18:47:24 +0000 https://craftedbythehunts.com/?p=6257 My favorite part about DIY is being able to customize anything. When I set out to make some new nightstand plans, I found two nightstands that I almost loved. What I really wanted was to combine them, so that’s what I did. I went over to SketchUp and mocked up a rendering for my custom […]

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My favorite part about DIY is being able to customize anything. When I set out to make some new nightstand plans, I found two nightstands that I almost loved. What I really wanted was to combine them, so that’s what I did. I went over to SketchUp and mocked up a rendering for my custom nightstand plans!

Those two inspiration nightstands ranged from $1200 – $2200 a piece, but we were able to build TWO out of red oak for right around $300. That’s total, not for each one! 

diy nightstand made from oak and plywood

The overall dimensions for the nightstands are 28”W, 18”D, 25.5”H.

Alright, let’s start DIYing! 

Recommended Tools: 

What You’ll Need (for 2 nightstands):

  • (1) ¾”x4x8 sheet of plywood (we used red oak)
  • (1) ½”x4x8 sheet of plywood (we used maple. If your store has plywood to match the ¾” sheet, that’s even better) 
  • (8) 2x2x3 boards (we used red oak) 
  • (2) 1x2x8 boards (we used red oak) 
  • (8) 14” drawer slides 
  • (4) knobs
  • Edge banding
  • 1″ screws
  • 1” Kreg screws 
  • 1.25” Kreg screws 
  • Wood filler 
  • Wood glue 

How to Build a DIY Nightstand 

Prefer printable plans? Grab yours here!

STEP 1: MAKE YOUR CUTS 

Cut down your wood according to the cut list below. The following quantities reflect what’s needed to build two matching nightstands. 

The following cut list serves as a guide. Your actual measurements may differ slightly from ours. 

Note: do not cut down the drawer fronts or any of the drawer box pieces just yet. Since drawers need to be precise, it’s best to assemble and double-check the actual measurements before making these cuts.

For What?Wood SizeQuantitySize (inches) 
Top¾” plywood228 x 18
Sides¾” plywood415 x 11.75
Shelf¾” plywood225 x 18
Back¾” plywood225 x 12.5
Drawer Fronts¾” plywood45 11/16 x 24 13/16 
Bottom½” plywood225 x 15
Drawer Box Bottom½” plywood423 x 14
Drawer Box Front/Back½” plywood823 x 4.5
Drawer Box Sides½” plywood815 x 4.5
Side Frames1×2815
Front Frame1×2225
Legs2×2424.75

Wishing for a visual cut list? It’s available in the printable plans!

STEP 2: DRILL POCKET HOLES 

Using the ¾” settings, drill pocket holes into the following boards: 

  • (3) along each edge of the sides 
  • (4) on both short ends of the middle shelf
  • (3) along each short end of the back
  • (2) on either end of the front frame 
  • (1-2) on one end of each of the legs 

Note: If you have a nail gun, I would recommend just using glue and 1.5” nails to attach the top to each of the legs. We wrote the plans this way to minimize the required tools. 

Using the ½” settings, drill pocket holes all around the edges of the bottom.

More of a visual learner? Grab the printable plans! Complete with 3D renderings to help you visualize each step.

STEP 3: APPLY EDGE BANDING 

Apply edge banding to all sides of the top, and the front/back of the middle shelf. 

STEP 4: SAND 

Personally, I like to knock ou the majority of my sanding before I start assembling a project. You can choose to wait until after assembly if you prefer. Check out our post on how to sand wood + the common mistakes to avoid.

STEP 5: ASSEMBLE SIDES 

First, attach the 1×2 side details to the top and bottom of the sides using glue and 1.25” Kreg screws. They should be flush on the inside and on either end. 

plywood pieces with 1x2s attached with pocket holes

Next, we’ll attach the sides to the legs. 

If you opted to install the top with pocket holes, position the pocket holes on your legs in the same direction. They should be facing the back of the nightstand. 

Mark 7” from the bottom of legs. This is where the bottom of the side will line up. The top of the side should be 4.5” from the top of the leg. 

attaching 2x2 legs to sides using pocket holes

Attach with glue and 1.25” Kreg screws, making sure the 1x2s are flush with the outside of the legs. 

STEP 6: ATTACH TOP 

If you have a nail gun, you can add glue to the tops of each of the legs and then nail through the top and into each legs with 2-4 1.5” nails per leg. 

If you opted to install with pocket holes, place glue on each corner of the top and then place legs. The side that has a 4.5” gap (and the pocket holes) should be placed facing down towards the top.

attaching top of nightstand to legs with pocket holes

Make sure the corners are flush with the top and secure with 1.25” Kreg screws. 

STEP 7: INSTALL MIDDLE SHELF

Your nightstand should still be positioned where the top is facing down towards the ground. 

Place clamps on each of the legs so that they are in line with the bottom of the sides. 

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of this step, but you can see the same principle applied in the next step. 

Place the middle shelf on top of the clamps. The clamps should be holding it in place. Feel if the shelf is flush with the 1x2s. Adjust the clamps as necessary until the middle shelf is flush with the 1x2s. 

Once positioned, secure with 1.25” Kreg screws. As you screw it in, continue feeling against the 1×2 to ensure it’s flush all the way across. 

STEP 8: INSTALL THE FRONT 1×2, BOTTOM AND BACK 

Place a clamp on the two front legs at 7.75” down from the bottom of the leg. Place your 1×2 on the clamps. The bottom should fall 7” from the bottom of the leg and be flush with the sides. Adjust as necessary. 

attaching 1x2 with pocket holes

Attach the 1×2 to the front legs using glue and 1.25” Kreg screws.

Next, install the bottom. You can again use the clamp method to hold it up while you screw it in place. Since the bottom is ½” plywood, switch to your 1” Kreg screws. 

attaching 1/2" plywood bottom with pocket holes

Then install the back. The back will not be flush with the back of the legs, so check to make sure it’s square and straight before securing with 1.25” Kreg screws. 

checking for square

STEP 9: MAKE YOUR DRAWER BOXES 

Now that you have the main structure assembled, we can measure for the drawer boxes and drawer fronts. Check out this post for tips on measuring for drawer boxes and our favorite way to assemble the boxes

We made our drawer boxes with ½” plywood, glue, and 1” Kreg screws. There are a lot of different ways to make drawer boxes, but this is the method we’ve found works best for us. 

STEP 10: MAKE YOUR DRAWER FRONTS 

For the drawer fronts, we’ll first cut them down to the correct width and then we’ll add the grooves before cutting it into two separate drawers. 

Cut a piece of plywood to be 1/16” smaller than the final width you need to account for the edge banding that we will apply in a minute (the cut list already reflects this, but double-check your measurements based on your opening). Then cut the second side to be about 13” wide.

Adjust the depth of your circular saw to be shallow enough to cut through just the top layer of the plywood.

side view of plywood with a thin line cut through it

Mark where you want to cut the grooves. We made a total of 5 marks, each spaced approximately 4 ⅛” from one another. 

marking lines on drawer fronts using a speed square

Cut along your marks to make the grooves. 

Then cut your piece into two drawers of equal height. Remember that each piece should be approximately 1/16” smaller than you need the final drawers to be in order to account for the edge banding.

Once cut, apply edge banding to all sides of the drawer fronts. 

STEP 11: INSTALL DRAWERS + DRAWER FRONTS

Check out this post for details on how to install drawers and drawer fronts.

installing drawer fronts using deck of cards as spacers

There you have it! Now you know how to build your very own DIY nightstand! If you’re ready to tackle your own, be sure to grab the printable plans, complete with 3D renderings and a visual cut list!

make this DIY nightstand
dalmatian laying on black canopy bed in blue bedroom with light oak nightstand

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DIY Large Wooden Snowflakes https://craftedbythehunts.com/diy-large-wooden-snowflakes/ https://craftedbythehunts.com/diy-large-wooden-snowflakes/#respond Thu, 03 Nov 2022 19:58:34 +0000 https://craftedbythehunts.com/?p=6242 Looking for some new winter wall decor? Make these DIY large wooden snowflakes! They add some fun to any space and only require one tool to make.  Alright, let’s start DIYing!  Recommended Tools:  Miter saw or handsaw with miter box What You’ll Need: Superglue  36” square dowels (we used (5) ⅝”, (5) ½”, (7) ⅜”, […]

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Looking for some new winter wall decor? Make these DIY large wooden snowflakes! They add some fun to any space and only require one tool to make. 

Alright, let’s start DIYing! 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I earn a teeny-tiny commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Click here to read our full disclosure.

Recommended Tools: 

  • Miter saw or handsaw with miter box

What You’ll Need:

  • Superglue 
  • 36” square dowels (we used (5) ⅝”, (5) ½”, (7) ⅜”, and (4) ¼” dowels to create all of the snowflakes)
  • Spray paint (I used Krylon Fusion All-In-One in Matte White and Krylon Glitterblast in Diamond Dust) 
  • Narrow command strips to hang the snowflakes

How to Make Wooden Snowflakes 

New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!

STEP 1: CUT YOUR DOWELS 

We made a total of 5 different snowflake sizes, with 4 unique designs. We’ll break down the cuts for each snowflake down below, but before you start cutting itty bitty dowels, be sure to read our post on how to make small cuts on your miter saw. 

The larger dowels won’t require this additional step, but it is beneficial for the smaller dowels since those have a tendency to snap and cut poorly under the pressure of the miter saw.

Now for the snowflake measurements! Any measurements will reflect the longest side of the board if it is angled. The good news is that these cuts don’t need to be exact. Try to make the same pieces the same size, but it’s okay if they aren’t exactly what I have listed below. The following measurements serve as a guide.

Large Snowflake – made with ⅝” square dowels 

  • (1) 23 ⅞” 
  • (2) 11 ⅞”, one end cut at 30°
  • (2) 11 ¾”, one end cut into a triangle tip with each side cut at 30°
  • (24) 4”, one end cut at 45°

Large Snowflake – made with ½” square dowels 

  • (1) 24”
  • (2) 12”, one end cut at 30°
  • (2) 11 ¾”, one end cut into a triangle tip with each side cut at 30°
  • (12) 3 ½”, both ends cut at 30° as parallelogram shape
  • (12) 4 ⅛, one end cut at 30°, one side cut at 60° as parallelogram shape 

If you’re wondering how to make a 60° on a miter saw, you’re not alone! Check out this post about cutting angles greater than 45-degrees on the miter saw.

Medium Snowflake – made with ⅜” square dowels 

  • (1) 18 ¾”
  • (2) 9 ⅜”, one end cut at 30°
  • (2) 9 ⅛”, one end cut into a triangle tip with each side cut at 30° (see image below)
  • (12) 3 ½”, both ends cut at 30° as parallelogram shape
square dowel with tip cut into triangle at 30-degree angles

Small Snowflake – made with ⅜” square dowels 

  • (1) 13 ¼” 
  • (2) 6 ½”, one end cut at 30°
  • (2) 6 ½”, one end cut into a triangle tip with each side cut at 30°
  • (24) 4”, one end cut at 45°

Smallest Snowflake – made with ¼” square dowels 

  • (1) 10 ⅝” 
  • (2) 5 ⅜”, one end cut at 30°
  • (2) 5 ¼”, one end cut into a triangle tip with each side cut at 30°
  • (28) 4”, one end cut at 45°

When cutting small pieces, I placed a piece of tape on my miter saw to act as a guide of where I should place my board to cut it. This prevented me from having to measure each piece!

tape on miter saw to show where to cut dowel

STEP 2: ASSEMBLE WITH SUPERGLUE

Start by marking the center of the longest dowel. This is where the other long dowels will intersect. Super glue the 5 longest dowels of each snowflake together to get the main structure. 

Next, we’ll mark where the smaller pieces will go. I used my multi-mark tool for more of the measurements. The measurements below reflect how far to mark from the edge of each of the dowels you already assembled. The smaller pieces will be placed on the inside of these marks. 

  • Large Snowflake – made with ⅝” square dowels: 3”, 6” 
  • Large Snowflake – made with ½” square dowels: 4.5”, the pieces that include the 60° cut should be placed approximately 7.5” down from the tip, but you’ll just place those where they fit snugly between the other dowels. 
  • Medium Snowflake – made with ⅜” square dowels: 3.5”
  • Small Snowflake – made with ⅜” square dowels: 1 ⅝”, 3 ¼”  
  • Smallest Snowflake – made with ¼” square dowels: 1 ¼”, 2 ¾, 3 ⅞” (only mark the large dowel with the final measurement listed. The rest of the dowels will only have two extra pieces) 
marking dowels with Kreg multi-mark tool

Now that you have everything marked, superglue your smaller pieces to the main structure of each snowflake. Because you have to hold the dowel in place for a few seconds while the glue dries, this step will take a few minutes for each snowflake. 

supergluing wood dowels together to make a snowflake

Pro tip: I recommend putting some parchment paper down underneath your snowflake as you work on gluing it together. This will prevent it from getting glued to the surface you’re assembling on! 

STEP 3: SPRAY PAINT 

For this project, I used Krylon Fusion All-In-One in Matte White for the snowflakes. Check out this post for all the spray painting tips.

Once I sprayed them all, I decided to try out Krylon Glitterblast in Diamond Dust on a couple of the smaller snowflakes and let me just tell you, I’m obsessed. It’s so sparkly!! But it doesn’t photograph nearly as beautifully as it is in real life, so you’ll have to try it out for yourself!

STEP 4: HANG 

For the smaller snowflakes, you might need to cut the command strips in half so that they aren’t visible. 

As you’re removing the snowflakes from the wall at the end of the season, use caution. Despite its ability to glue your fingers together, superglue isn’t the strongest thing in the world.

 Putting too much pressure on one area of the snowflake may cause a piece or two to snap off. Luckily it’s a simple fix (more superglue), but still, be careful! 

There you have it! Now you know how to make some beautiful wooden snowflakes. Which design is your favorite?

white DIY snowflakes on blue wall above white boucle chair

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How to Cut a 60-degree Angle on a Miter Saw https://craftedbythehunts.com/how-to-cut-60-degree-angle-on-miter-saw/ https://craftedbythehunts.com/how-to-cut-60-degree-angle-on-miter-saw/#respond Thu, 03 Nov 2022 19:47:24 +0000 https://craftedbythehunts.com/?p=6237 So you’re working on a project and the plans call for a 60-degree angle. No problem you think…until you go to your miter saw and realize it only goes to 45 or 50 degrees.  Luckily there’s a simple way to make cuts on a miter saw that are greater than 50 degrees. This method works […]

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So you’re working on a project and the plans call for a 60-degree angle. No problem you think…until you go to your miter saw and realize it only goes to 45 or 50 degrees. 

Luckily there’s a simple way to make cuts on a miter saw that are greater than 50 degrees. This method works whether you need 55, 60, 85, or any angle in between!

All you need is a miter saw and some scrap wood. I would also recommend a hot glue gun, but that’s optional. 

Alright, let’s dive in and talk about how to cut a 60-degree angle on the miter saw! 

We’ll use the 60-degree angle as an example, but remember, you can use this for any angle between 45-90 degrees. 

STEP 1: CUT A GUIDE BOARD 

Grab a piece of scrap wood, I would recommend a 1×6 if you have one available and chop off the end with a 45-degree miter angle. 

STEP 2: SET YOUR ANGLE 

If you want to cut a 60-degree angle, you’ll want to set your miter saw to 15-degrees. 

To determine this, simply subtract your desired angle by the 45-degrees you cut your guide board to in step 1. Ex: 60-45=15

STEP 3: SECURE YOUR GUIDE BOARD 

Using a hot glue gun, we applied a few dabs of hot glue to the back of our guide board and them placed the straight edge up against the fence of the miter saw. 

scrap wood cut at 45-degree angle glued to miter saw

Gluing the guide board in place is an added step I like to take so that I’m not worried about keeping the guide board flush with the fence in addition to keeping the board I’m cutting flush with the guide. 

Gluing it in place will prevent you from being able to adjust the angle though, so make sure you have your angle set properly prior to gluing down the guide board. 

STEP 4: MAKE YOUR CUT 

Line the board you want to cut up with the angled guide board. Now when you make your “15-degree” cut, it will result in a 60-degree angle. 

Make sure you’re well aware of your hand placement and that you keep your hand far from the blade! You can also clamp your board in place as you cut it. 

how to cut a 60-degree angle on a miter saw

STEP 5: REMOVE YOUR GUIDE

Once you’re done making your cuts, pry your guide board off of the miter saw. The great thing about hot glue is that it temporarily keeps things in place, but won’t damage your saw when you remove it. 

There you have it! Now you know how to cut an 60-degree angle (or more) on a miter saw!  

You might also enjoy this post on how to cut small pieces of wood on the miter saw. 

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How to Cut Small Pieces of Wood on a Miter Saw https://craftedbythehunts.com/how-to-cut-small-pieces-of-wood-on-a-miter-saw/ https://craftedbythehunts.com/how-to-cut-small-pieces-of-wood-on-a-miter-saw/#respond Thu, 03 Nov 2022 19:41:46 +0000 https://craftedbythehunts.com/?p=6227 Are you working on a project that requires you to cut down delicate, small dowels or pieces of thin, delicate trim? If you try to cut them on a miter saw, chaos can ensue. The small piece of wood might snap under the power of the miter saw and fly across the room. It’s a pretty […]

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Are you working on a project that requires you to cut down delicate, small dowels or pieces of thin, delicate trim? If you try to cut them on a miter saw, chaos can ensue.

The small piece of wood might snap under the power of the miter saw and fly across the room. It’s a pretty scary situation and results in a lot of tearout and an unusable cut. 

small wood dowel cut on one side with a lot of tearout and on other side with clean cut

Luckily there’s a simple solution that will help make cutting small pieces of wood on the miter saw safer, and it results in cleaner cuts as well. 

Let’s dive right in! You’ll need some painter’s tape, a scrap piece of wood, a hot glue gun, and of course, your miter saw. 

STEP 1: MAKE A ZERO-CLEARANCE THROAT PLATE

Grab your painter’s tape and tape over the gap where the blade cuts. This is helpful for two reasons. First, it’ll help you see exactly where the miter saw cuts so you can better line up your cuts, and it can prevent you from losing really small pieces like if you needed to cut something say ¼” long. 

add tape over miter saw center plate

When you cut something so short, it has a tendency to fall into the gap and it can be a pain to find and retrieve. The tape minimizes the gap so that smaller pieces don’t get lost. 

If you wanted to create a more sturdy throat plate, you can hot glue a thin piece of plywood over the bottom of your saw. The reason I use tape instead is because it’s cheaper and it allows me to still adjust the miter angle of the saw. 

STEP 2: GLUE A SCRAP PIECE OF WOOD TO THE FENCE

Grab a scrap piece of wood (a 1×3 works great), and add a few dabs of hot glue to the back. Glue it onto the fence of your miter saw.

hot gluing piece of scrap wood to back of miter saw fence

STEP 3: CUT THROUGH THE SCRAP WOOD AND TAPE

You could just dive right into cutting your first piece, but I first like to cut all the way through the scrap wood and tape so that I can clearly see where my cuts will be made. This will also be a way to check that your scrap wood is secure well enough to the fence. 

STEP 4: MAKE YOUR CUTS 

You’ll make your cuts as you normally would, but now you’ll be making sure your wood is pressed flush up against the scrap wood instead of your miter saw fence. 

preparing to cut small dowel on miter saw after installing scrap wood fence

Another quick tip: cutting slowly can also help you get cleaner cuts and reduce the likelihood that a piece snaps when cutting.

STEP 5: REMOVE THE SCRAP WOOD

Once you’re done making all your cuts, you can remove the scrap wood from your miter saw fence. It might take some pressure, but you should be able to pull it off. If it’s feeling stuck, wedge a flathead screwdriver between the wood and fence to help pop it off. 

peeling hot glue off of miter saw

There you have it! Now you know a simple way to make cleaner, safer cuts on your miter saw when cutting down small, fragile pieces of wood like dowels! 

before and after of properly cutting small dowels on miter saw

You might also enjoy this post on how to cut angles greater than 45-degrees on your miter saw

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DIY Wood Slat Privacy Screen with Planters!  https://craftedbythehunts.com/diy-wood-slat-privacy-screen/ https://craftedbythehunts.com/diy-wood-slat-privacy-screen/#respond Sat, 29 Oct 2022 18:01:00 +0000 https://craftedbythehunts.com/?p=6199 This project was sponsored by Cabot. All opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure. The back of our house has some meters and pipes and serves as the place where we hide our trash cans. The problem? It’s ugly and it can easily be seen from our […]

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This project was sponsored by Cabot. All opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure.

The back of our house has some meters and pipes and serves as the place where we hide our trash cans. The problem? It’s ugly and it can easily be seen from our DIY patio.

The solution? Hide it all with a pretty DIY wood slat privacy screen! Then take it up a notch and add a huge planter to it. The ugly corner then transforms into a beautiful feature. 

DIY wood slat privacy screen with planter

Let’s start DIYing! 

P.S. We also have plans for matching planters without the privacy screen!

Recommended Tools: 

  • Drill 
  • Nail Gun 
  • Staple Gun 
  • Miter Saw 
  • Circular Saw 
  • Table Saw 
  • Kreg Jig 

What You’ll Need: 

Quantities may vary based on the size of your structure. Here’s what we used for our 8ft wide and 74” tall privacy screen: 

How to Build a Wood Slat Wall with Planters

STEP 1: POSITION YOUR 4×4 POSTS 

Before digging your posts, call 811 to have someone come mark any cables that might be close to your digging area. You don’t want to accidentally cut a line to something important! 

Dig two holes that are approximately 12” wide and 24” deep for your 4×4 posts. If you are using posts that are larger than 8’ tall, look up the standard practice for your particular-sized post. 

Once dug, add a small layer of rock to the bottom of the hole. This will help prevent the post from rotting since the post won’t be in direct contact with the wet soil.

Check to see if the posts are level and straight. We put a 2×4 on top of both the posts and then placed the level on it to see how lined up the posts were. If one post is higher than the other, add or take away rock from one of the holes. 

Once it’s looking pretty even, pour two to three bags of Quickcrete into each of the holes. Check again to make sure that the posts are level and straight. 

checking to see if 4x4 post is level

Once you’re happy with the 4×4 placement, add water to the Quickcrete and let it dry. 

spraying water on quick-crete to secure the 4x4 post

Note: From outside edge to outside edge, our posts were 94.5” wide. If possible, you don’t want yours to be any wider than this or you’ll need to buy 10’ boards to make everything work. Ours was as wide as possible while still being able to use 8’ boards on the planter and horizontal slats. 

STEP 2: CUT DOWN YOUR HORIZONTAL SLATS 

Even though we won’t be using the slats until a bit later in the project, you’ll want to cut them down early so that they are ready and can continue to dry out. Oftentimes, pressure-treated lumber is a bit damp when you buy it, so you need to let it dry out before staining or assembling anything. 

Using the table saw, we cut each 1×4 into (2) 1.5” wide pieces. 

ripping 1x4 on table saw

STEP 3: MAKE PLANTER BASE 

Planter Build Step 1: Cut 2x4s to Size 

You want the planter box to be the same width as the posts you positioned in step 1. Our distance was 94.5”. 

Here are the cuts we made to make our overall planter box 94.5” wide x 24” tall x 15” deep.

(4) – 94.5”

(9) – 12”

(10) – 17”

You can also cut down your 5/4 x 6 boards to 94.5”.

Planter Build Step 2: Drill Pocket Holes 

Using the 1.5” settings, drill (2) pocket holes on either end of the 12” and 17” boards. 

Planter Build Step 3: Assemble the Front and Back 

The front and back are identical structures. Each one consists of (2) 94.5” pieces and (5) 17” pieces

Use glue and 2.5” exterior Kreg screws to assemble. A 17” piece should be flush with either end of the 94.5” pieces. The remaining pieces should have 19.25” between them. 

front of planter box frame assembled

Planter Build Step 4: Attach the Sides and Middle Supports to the Front 

The planter box appears to be 24” tall, but we only want about 12-14” of that to be filled with drainage rocks and dirt. To accomplish this, we’re going to add middle support boards to divide the structure. 

Decide how deep you want your planter to be and then add 1”. Cut a scrap piece of wood down to that size to act as a spacer. 

using scrap wood to guide spacing of 2x4

Use glue and 2.5” exterior Kreg screws to attach the middle supports to the 17” pieces. Line the scrap piece up with the top of the front to give you consistent spacing without needing to measure. 

Attach (2) 17″ pieces to either end to create the sides of the planter.

assembling 2x4 structure

Planter Build Step 5: Attach the Back 

Now line the back up with the side and middle support boards. Secure with glue and 2.5” exterior Kreg screws.

2x4 planter structure assembled
Note: the planter box is sitting on its back in the photo above.

Place your planter aside for now. We’ll come back to it after we stain.

STEP 4: SAND YOUR WOOD 

For exterior projects, I generally do a quick sand with 120 grit sandpaper to make sure everything is nice and smooth and free from splinters. 

STEP 5: STAIN YOUR WOOD 

We’re using Cabot Semi-Solid Stain and Sealer on this project. You get great protection in just one coat. Durability depends on weather and other factors, but we shouldn’t have to re-apply for 5-10 years!

The semi-solid is also a super unique finish. It’s more opaque than a traditional stain, but isn’t fully solid like paint or a solid stain. The grain and uniqueness of each wood piece still gets to subtly shine through!

To apply, we used our Cabot staining pad. The staining pad is made for deck boards, but it works great for this project as well. The handle of the staining pad is also pretty neat–you can adjust the angle to your liking and then lock it into place! 

staining 4x4 posts with cabot semi-solid stain in black

For the slats, we didn’t worry about staining the end grains just yet. We’re going to cut boards down after staining, so there’s no need to worry about them now. 

Between staining the entire structure and all of the slats, we used up a little less than half of the gallon of stain. This stuff goes a long way! 

STEP 6: LINE THE PLANTER BOX

Once your stain is dry, secure the 5/4×6 boards to the top of the middle supports using glue and 2” nails. Leave a gap between the two boards. 

nailing 5/4" boards to planter box faux bottom

Then cut your tarp aka construction film to the size you need to line the inside of your planter. Normal scissors might have trouble cutting through it. We used our PowerCut Snips to make our cuts. 

Secure the tarp with staples around the inside of the planter. 

stapling tarp to inside of planter box

Once secured, cut a few holes in the bottom of the tarp (line them up with the gap between the two boards) for drainage. 

Note: after installing all the slats, we also decided to line the bottom of the front of the planter. There were only a few slats you could see between in the planter, so we lined the bottom so that the whole planter was black and no light shined through. It’d be much easier to line now instead of later! 

STEP 7: ATTACH PLANTER BOX TO POSTS 

Note: if your structure is close to a wall like ours, you might want to attach the side slats of the planter before securing the planter box to the posts.

Lay down some landscape fabric between the 4×4 posts to prevent weeds from growing beneath and around the planter. We cut ours to be about a foot deeper than the planter box, so that we could put some Mexican pebbles directly in front of the planter once finished. They look pretty and prevent us from having to weed wack around the planter wall. 

To attach the planter box, make sure it is level and then secure with 2.5” screws into the 4×4 posts.

securing planter box structure to 4x4 post with screws

STEP 8: ADD A VERTICAL SUPPORT BOARD 

Some of our 1×2 slats are warped, so we’re going to add in a vertical support board halfway between the posts. Cut a 2×4 to be the same height as the 4×4 posts. 

adding 2x4 support board to back of planter box

Secure to the center of the back of the planter with 2.5” screws. 

STEP 9: ATTACH SLATS TO POSTS 

We ended up cutting our slats down after hanging them up. It seemed like a great idea in theory and it mostly was, but it did require the use of a multi-tool and a circular saw. The planter got in the way of the circular saw on the bottom 3 slats, so we had to use the multi-tool there instead. 

If you aren’t comfortable with a circular saw or don’t have a multi-tool, no problem, you can cut your slats on the miter saw before hanging them up.

The reason we chose to cut them after was to save time and because the 4×4 posts tend to vary in their sizing. If you cut all your boards prior to hanging them, be sure to measure in multiple places. You might find that you need some boards to be ¼” shorter or longer.

To attach the slats, we’ll use construction adhesive and 2” nails. First clamp a spare board onto the side of one of the 4×4 posts. This will act as a stop to quickly keep all of your slats lined up on one side. 

Next grab something that is ½” to act as a spacer. We used a scrap piece of wood.

To install, line your slat up with the side of the 4×4 post and apply construction adhesive to the slats in the areas that will touch the 2×4 and 4×4 boards. 

applying clear construction adhesive to back of slats

Install your top piece flush with the top of the 4×4 posts and the vertical 2×4 support. 

For the remaining slats, place your spacer between the previously secured board and the board you’re installing. Press up on the board you’re installing to make sure there isn’t an additional space and then add 2 nails into each of the posts. Alternate angles of your nail gun for a more secure hold.

nailing slat on with scrap wood being used as a spacer

Repeat this process until you reach the top of the planter.

Once you’re finished installing the slats, mark where the slats meet the edge of the 4×4 post. Adjust your circular saw so that it only cuts through the thickness of the slats and then cut along your line. 

cutting off excess slats from privacy screen

STEP 10: ATTACH SLATS TO THE PLANTER 

Cut your slats down for the sides of the planters. We had our slats go from the front of the planter to the back of the 4×4 posts, making ours approximately 18.5” long.

We clamped a spare board to our miter saw stand to create a stop. This allowed us to quickly and accurately cut down each piece without needing to measure each board.

using stop to cut wood slats on miter saw

Once you have your pieces cut, clamp a spare board to the front of the planter to keep everything lined up and then construction adhesive and nail the slats into place. Use a ½” spacer like we did on the slat wall. 

Finally, attach the slats to the front of the planter using construction adhesive and nails. Our front slats ended up needing to be 8’ long, so we didn’t have to cut the boards down. 

STEP 11: TOUCH UP STAIN

Since we cut some boards after staining, we need to stain the ends that were cut. I used a clean rag for this.

staining end grains with Cabot semi-solid stain

There you have it! Now all you need are some beautiful plants to complete your new wood slat privacy screen and planter! As you’re picking them out, don’t forget about the climbing plants. The slat wall doubles as a privacy maker and a trellis.

P.S. If you’re using this to block trash cans, I’d recommend reducing the amount of space between your boards to 1/3 or 1/4″ instead of 1/2″.

black wood slat privacy screen with planter
front view of black wood slat privacy screen with large planter

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The Easiest DIY Bath Tray With Just One Board! https://craftedbythehunts.com/easy-diy-bath-tray/ https://craftedbythehunts.com/easy-diy-bath-tray/#respond Thu, 27 Oct 2022 16:06:10 +0000 https://craftedbythehunts.com/?p=6184 If you’re a bath lover like me, you understand the importance of a bath tray.  A few years ago, we made a DIY bath tray with all the bells and whistles ( a book holder, candle holder, wine glass holder), but it doesn’t fit the new bathtub.  So this time we decided to go for […]

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If you’re a bath lover like me, you understand the importance of a bath tray. 

A few years ago, we made a DIY bath tray with all the bells and whistles ( a book holder, candle holder, wine glass holder), but it doesn’t fit the new bathtub. 

Easy DIY Bath tray made from poplar wood sitting on white bath tub

So this time we decided to go for clean, simple, and modern. This is the easiest DIY bath tray tutorial, so let’s dive right in. 

Recommended Tools: 

What You’ll Need: 

  • (1) – 1x6x8 board (we used poplar with a really fun grain pattern) 
  • Wood glue 
  • 1.25” nails 
  • Sealer (we used water-based Helmsman spar urethane in clear satin)

How to Make a Wooden Bath Tray 

New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!

STEP 1: MEASURE YOUR TUB 

Measure the overall width of your tub. Then measure the thickness of your tub. 

measuring width of bath tub with tape measure

STEP 2: CUT YOUR WOOD 

Cut your wood to match the overall external width of your tub. You can cut it to be slightly smaller if you want to ensure the bath tray doesn’t extend past the edge of the tub. 

As you’re cutting, consider the grain pattern. Since this is such a simple tray, the wood itself is really the star of the show. Consider which pieces of the board you want to include in your tray before cutting. For me, there was a knot that I really wanted to make sure I included.

poplar wood laid on ground to determine grain pattern

Then cut two pieces to approximately 1” wide. These two pieces don’t need to be exact. 

STEP 3: SAND 

Sand your wood with 120, 180, and 220-grit sandpaper so that it’s nice and smooth. 

STEP 4: SEAL 

If you want to stain your wood, you can certainly do that. We loved the natural look of the poplar wood, so we decided to skip the stain on this project.

We chose Helmsman’s Spar Urethane because it’s great for projects that will be exposed to water. Spar Urethane was the go-to sealer for boats, so I trust it for my little bath tray! 

As you’re buying your sealer, make sure to grab the water-based version. This will not yellow or amber. If you want to add a little more color to your piece, you can opt for the oil-based version that will add some yellow/amber to your wood color. 

We applied three coats of sealer, following the instructions on the can for dry times. Once dry, we lightly sanded with 220-grit sandpaper between each coat.

STEP 5: ASSEMBLE 

Once dry, it’s time to assemble! I like to place a towel underneath my wood at this step to prevent my workbench (and all the glue that’s stuck on it over time) from scratching my wood. 

For this bath tray, we opted for a slight gap between the two boards. You can keep the gap or push the boards together completely. 

Grab your 1” pieces and center them up from side to side (the distance will depend on how big your gap is, which is why I’m not providing measurements). 

using Kreg multi-mark tool to measure setback of support boards

Then place them however far in they need to be for your particular tub.

You want to place the boards slightly further in than the thickness of the tub so that the tray can slide and move easily. I’d recommend an additional 1/4” – 1” on each side depending on how much you want it to be able to move. 

Once you’re happy with the placement, you can add some tape around your 1” piece to mark the placement. 

gluing wood

Then add some wood glue to the bottom of the pieces and position it on the bath tray. Add 4 nails to each 1” piece, making sure to avoid the gap in the middle!

nailing 1" board to bottom of bath tray

Note: wood glue works best on unsealed surfaces. You can either wait to seal the bottom until after assembly or you can mark where the board will go and avoid sealing those exact spots for maximum adhesion. 

And if you’re wondering why I recommended sealing before assembly, it’s so that I could seal the edges that will have a small gap between them. There’s no way my paintbrush would’ve fit after assembly! 

simple wood bath tray sitting on freestanding tub

There you have it! Now you know how to build the world’s easiest DIY bath tray! Well actually, I can think of one that would have been even easier…using just one piece of wood instead of having two with a gap! 

The easiest DIY bath tray text overlay on image of simple wood bath tray
DIY simple wood bath tray sitting on white freestanding tub

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DIY Cable Railing – an easy deck upgrade! https://craftedbythehunts.com/diy-cable-railing/ https://craftedbythehunts.com/diy-cable-railing/#respond Wed, 26 Oct 2022 14:56:42 +0000 https://craftedbythehunts.com/?p=6171 As many DIY projects do, our DIY patio project quickly spiraled out of control. We decided to move the deck stairs and then realized while we were at it, we might as well replace the railing on the entire deck. We opted for some clean, modern DIY cable railing to replace our existing vertical wood […]

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As many DIY projects do, our DIY patio project quickly spiraled out of control. We decided to move the deck stairs and then realized while we were at it, we might as well replace the railing on the entire deck.

We opted for some clean, modern DIY cable railing to replace our existing vertical wood slats.

DIY cable railing on wood deck

And I’m so glad that we did. The cable deck railing opens up the space and doesn’t block the view. Because we opted for the thinnest cable, it looks almost invisible from certain angles! 

If you’re looking to update your deck railing and want something that is cost-effective and looks amazing, I can’t recommend DIY cable railing enough! 

We ended up making our own cable railing installation kit vs. buying one from a single company. It was significantly cheaper this way and lucky for you, we did the hard work of testing things out and seeing what worked and what didn’t.

Before we dive in, I just want to say that this DIY cable railing is significantly cheaper than installing glass, and depending on how large of an area you have, it can even be cheaper than installing wood! 

If you have a super small area to change the railings on, it might not be the most cost-effective solution because it does require an investment in some pretty uncommon tools. But if you’re working on a larger area, it can be a more budget-friendly deck rail option. 

Alright, let’s start DIYing! 

Recommended Tools: 

What You’ll Need: 

How to Install DIY Cable Railing

STEP 1: PREP YOUR DECK RAILING

Everyone is going to have different starting points. Some people will be starting from scratch and need to install their own 4×4 posts to the deck. Some people will have existing railings that differ from ours. 

Some people will have the same railing style that we did. In that case, you can cut the caulk around the 2x2s and then pry them off. Fill any holes with Bondo, remove any excess caulk, and sand the posts down to prep them for paint or stain. 

Whatever spot you’re in, you want to end this step by having 4×4 posts secured to your deck and a handrail installed. Each of these items should be painted or stained. Yes, you’ll likely have a little touch-up paint at the end, but it’s nice to have the majority of it knocked out prior to installation. 

STEP 2: MAKE A GUIDE 

Grab a scrap piece of wood and cut it down to be the same height as the distance between your deck and the handrail. 

Because of how our 4×4 posts were positioned on the deck, we marked 1.25” in from one edge of the board. We wanted our railings to be in line with the edge of the deck, which was 1.25” in from the side of the 4×4 post.

Next, decide how many cables you want. Double-check the code in your area, but we needed our railings to be close enough together that we could not push a 4” sphere through the cables. We decided to use 10 cables and place them each 3 1/16” apart. 

drilling through scrap wood to make a guide

We marked for each of the cables on our scrap wood guide and then drilled all the way through the guide using a drill bit that was large enough to fit a thin marker through.

We clamped the guide to each post and marked through each of the holes. 

STEP 3: DRILL HOLES

Grab your drill guide and use the drill bit provided with the guide to drill into the posts at each of the points you marked. 

drilling into 4x4 deck posts using a drill guide

You’ll use the straight guides for around your deck and then you can use the 30-degree guide for stair posts. 

When drilling in center posts, you’ll connect the holes from either side so that there is a hole all the way through the center. 

STEP 4: INSTALL SWAGE LAG SCREWS AND PROTECTIVE SLEEVES 

Before adding the protective sleeves to the middle posts, poke something through the holes in the middle posts to remove any sawdust. The sawdust can get clogged in the hole and make it really difficult to get the wire through. 

Once cleared, place a protective sleeve into each side of the middle posts. 

For the two end posts, you have two different swage lag screws, one for the right side and one for the left side. The right side screws will screw in normally, but the left side screws will be screwed in by turning in the opposite direction, aka by flipping the drill into reverse. 

screwing swage lag screws into posts

You can tighten your drill around the end of the swage lag screws to quickly screw them in place. As you’re screwing them in, don’t tighten them all the way. Leave out a thread of two of the screw. We’ll finish screwing them in later to tighten the wire.


STEP 5: CUT YOUR WIRE 

Measure the distance between your posts. If you have multiple posts, measure the distance all the way between the furthest posts and then cut your wire to be just slightly longer than that. 

Before installing the first cable, line the cable you just cut up with the edge of the remaining cable and mark where the cable ends with either a sharpie or some painter’s tape. 

This way you have a guide for your remaining cables if this one ends up being the right fit.

Fully install and test the first piece before cutting the rest. If you’re happy with the fit, cut all the remaining cables to the same length. If not, make adjustments to the next cable and try again until you’re happy with the length. 

STEP 6: CRIMP THE CABLE IN PLACE 

Thread your cable through the protective sleeves and push it until the swage lag screw until it stops. Once it’s in as far as it can go, use the hydraulic hand crimper to crimp the lag screw in two different places. This will keep the cable in place. 

crimping cable into swage lag screw

Push the other end of the cable into the swage lag screw on the other side and crimp it in two places.

STEP 7: TIGHTEN 

Note: there is a little wrench that comes with the lag screws, but it’s really cheaply made. Ours broke after installing about 4 of the railings. I’d highly recommend using locking pliers instead.

Grab your locking pliers and adjust them to fit tightly on the swage lag screws. 

twisting swage lag screw to tighten cable

Now if you have an extra set of hands and an extra set of pliers, that’ll speed along the process greatly. You need to turn the swage lag screws into the posts to tighten the wire. The right side will be turned clockwise and the left side will be turned counterclockwise. 

It’s really helpful to have two people turning at the same time to prevent the wire from twisting. If you only have one set of hands or one set of pliers, alternate between the two sides as you tighten it. 

The cable should feel tight, be there should still be some give to it. 

There you have it! Now you know how to install DIY cable railing. It’s going to give your deck a whole new look! 

before and after image of upgrading deck railing from vertical wood slats to modern cable railing

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Easy DIY Ghosts for Halloween Decor https://craftedbythehunts.com/diy-wood-ghosts/ https://craftedbythehunts.com/diy-wood-ghosts/#respond Thu, 20 Oct 2022 15:05:43 +0000 https://craftedbythehunts.com/?p=6158 Decorating for Halloween isn’t really my thing, but I wanted to make something quick, easy, and adorable to get in on the holiday fun. Enter: DIY wood ghosts.  They take less than an hour to make, require minimal tools, and look great on any table or shelf. You can also customize them to make them […]

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Decorating for Halloween isn’t really my thing, but I wanted to make something quick, easy, and adorable to get in on the holiday fun. Enter: DIY wood ghosts. 

They take less than an hour to make, require minimal tools, and look great on any table or shelf. You can also customize them to make them as large or as small as you like. 

diy ghosts on black table

Alright, let’s start DIYing and make some little ghosts! 

What You’ll Need: 

  • Wood (we used scrap 1x6s in both red oak and primed pine) 
  • Spray paint (we used Krylon Chalky Finish in Classic White and Krylon Glitterblast in Diamond Dust)
  • Stain (we used Minwax Rustic Beige)
  • Craft paint 

Recommended Tools: 

  • Jigsaw 
  • Orbital sander 
  • Small paintbrush 

How to Make DIY Wood Ghosts for Halloween Decor 

STEP 1: DECIDE ON THE DESIGN 

You can either search Google images for a clip art outline of a ghost to print out or you can draw your own design. The clip art we used for our white ghosts can be found by searching “ghost clip art”. For the oak ghost, we drew him ourselves. 

As you’re drawing (or tracing), I’d recommend sliding the bottom of the design slightly off the edge of the board. It doesn’t have to be by much, but this will give your ghosts a flat bottom so that they can stand on their own. 

tracing ghost clip art

STEP 2: CUT 

Using a jigsaw, cut out your ghosts. Make sure to clamp your board to the table before you start cutting.

cutting out ghost outline with jigsaw

STEP 3: SAND 

Quickly sand the edges of your ghosts to make sure everything is nice and smooth. 

sanding edges of ghost cutout

STEP 4: SPRAY PAINT OR STAIN 

On our oak ghost, we stained him using Minwax Rustic Beige stain. 

oak wood ghost standing on shelf

For our white ghosts, we first sprayed the edges with Krylon Chalky White spray paint and then sprayed them with Krylon Glitterblast in Diamond Dust. If you like sparkle, you have to try this stuff. It doesn’t photograph well, but it’s beautiful in person!! 

Once that dried, we sealed in the glitter using Krylon Glitterblast Sealer. This prevents all that glitter from ending up all over your house! 

STEP 5: PAINT ON FEATURES 

Grab your craft paint and a small paintbrush and paint eyes and mouths on your ghosts if desired. 

If you want a more subtle look, you could also drill through the ghosts to give them eyes.

painting faces on wood ghosts

There you have it! Now you know how to make the easiest (and cutest) DIY wood ghosts! If you prefer cute over scary, this is the Halloween decor for you!

DIY wood ghost halloween decor
white wood ghosts standing on table

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