Saturday, October 5, 2013


       Doesn't everyone have a slide in their house? Just kidding..... Kind of. Last winter in the northeast stunk. Full on funky foot odor STUNK. Lots of rain, very little snow, horrible winds, and kids stuck inside. With 5 little ones, that was as close to insanity one can come with out going over the edge. It was horrible. The only good thing we had going was I had installed a swing in our kitchen that fall, in an effort to keep the kids busy while I cooked. Really what I needed was 4 swings, but one will have to do.
     After last winter, I have decided I need more indoor activities. So logical, right? Haha! I had this idea brewing around for several months, but had been unable to get John completely on board. I wanted an indoor slide. I even had the perfect spot. Really, my only problem, besides hubby, was figuring out how to do it. I researched (Pinterest) and Googled and .....nothing usable. I wasn't having concrete poured in the house, I didn't know how to bend metal, and a carved wood spiral slide wasn't affordable.
 Of course, after conquering my kitchen table, I figured I was the new Martha Stewart of in-home-construction, and I can totally build a slide!


 I totally asked my husband's permission before starting a major construction project......

Anyways, we had this random spot, right next to our stairs, that was completely pointless, and strange if you count the built in flower bed thingy. It was perfect for a slide! It was already sloped and covered in ugly paneling. Obviously, it was really meant to be a slide and I was just finishing the job so I didn't really need to discuss it with John first....
Can't you totally see my evil laugh in this picture and isn't it awesome I use a crow bar while wearing a maxi skirt..... Really. That's my work clothes. I had to look cute so hubby wouldn't stay mad long.

So here is our random spot. All I had to was measure a couple more 2X4's to support the bottom half of the slide. 

I probably added way more support then necessary for 50 lb and under kids to be sliding down....but we all know John was going to use it more then anyone so better safe then sorry.

Then I laid down some 2X6's  on top of the angled 2X4's and put way too many screws in it, but again, better safe then sorry.

                     Added on 3/4 plywood and 2X12 boards for a side rail...I even tried to make it look nice by adding on more molding.

Next I had to fill all the holes several times and sand more times then I care to remember. And after 2 coats of primer and 3 coats of high gloss white paint, we had a slide! Obviously, we don't have a good way to get on the slide quite yet, but I am still trying to figure out how to turn our current railing into a swing gate at the top..... And now you know my next project.... along with the fireman's pole that we has to go in my sons' room! 
Surprise Hunny.....

1 Drill, 2 Saws, and a lot of Muscle

I did it! I built a kitchen table! Part of me has no idea how I did it, but I did it! 

    So let me tell you you all the who, what, where, why, and how of it all. 

   First, the Why. We had a perfectly good dining room table. It was in good condition, had enough room for our family, and looked rather nice. But.... It was a dining room table, and I don't have a dining room. I have a mess hall. The house originally had a dining room but the first thing John and I did when we bought the house was knock down the wall between our 10X10 kitchen and dining room to make it one big kitchen, and turned our living room (Where) into an eating area.

   We rearranged the cabinets that were once on the kitchen side of the wall and hung them over on the other side of the old ding room to pull it all together. It was so nice to feel like everyone could come in the kitchen and talk with me while I fixed the food and did dishes.

It also helped the house feel more like my house, instead of my grandparents. The cabinets were in such good shape that all we had to do was replace the counter top, add some handles, and paint.

But back to the table. So we found this great oak dining room table at a resale shop and it included a beautiful hutch, table, table leaf, and 6 chairs for $500. GREAT deal. We broke a chair, bought a bench, I painted the hutch and the table legs blue, had 4 more kids....and it didn't fit us anymore. I mean, it fit US, just no one else, and that's no fun.
Really, my main complaint about the oak table, was the chairs. They had huge claw-foot legs that made them heavy and they bumped into everything (including many toes) and they just were not functional. So I sold the hutch to an interior designer (woo-hoo) and then with John's permission, listed the table on craigslist. It was gone the next day. My brother swears it is because I sold an oak table for so cheap, but I got what I paid for it so I was happy. Poor John came home from work to an empty room and was a little more then surprised (he didn't think it would sell) and very worried because he had clients coming over for dinner in a few days.
    First thing I did was look up how to measure what size table fits what size room. I used EHow. Then i looked up different dining room table that I liked and tried to get an idea of what standard table widths and lengths are. I knew because of the size of our family and because of how much we love to have friends over that I wanted the ends to fit at least 2 people instead of 1. I also knew that if I got skinny chairs I could hopefully fit a 3rd person for holiday gatherings. After I measured all the possibilities out, I taped them out on the floor to see how it would feel. John and I decided that the bigger, the better. Then I recruited some help (Who).
They were thrilled, I swear! Luckily, My awesome sister and law was in town preparing for a move across the country, so naturally she had tons of time to come help me!! I did some research (Pinterest) on how to build a table and found two wonderful tables that I loved. Both were built a little differently but I combined the best parts and created my own design (How). The first table looked the sturdiest but I didn't like how the table apron wrapped around the table legs, so I kept looking around and found this one  that was the color I loved and the right table legs.
Both of these sites have wonderful instructions that I am not even going to try and repeat. 

I do want to show one nifty trick my mom taught me that wasn't in the instruction. Because of the massive size of my table (60X80) I didn't want small table legs. Unfortuantely, I did all my shopping in one day at Lowe's and there wasn't a great selection for big table legs. (What) My solution....I used railing posts. I had to have them cut down, but they were big and chunky and great! To make sure that they didn't go anywhere I screwed down through the table, into the post, and instead of filling them with wood putty, my mom taught me this:
I also had to do a lot of support for the giant 2X8 and all the weight. When i first finshed everything and flipped it over....the table shook. Shook. I mean, wiggled like crazy. I was so upset. So of course i called my mom, who told me "MORE SCREWS"...and so 75 screws later, no movement!!

I stained the table with Java colored water based stain, sanded some of the stain off, and put 6 coats of water based polyurethane. I also painted the legs and table skirt country white. I love it!

Our last exciting idea was to have all different chairs. We still had our old bench and my brother didn't have room for his hand made bench when he moved (awesome). We collected a bunch of free chairs and each one is being painted a different color. Our table is just as unique, crazy, and colorful as we are!