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Mid-century modern decor, DIY-style — April 24, 2018

Mid-century modern decor, DIY-style


Another thing I made! We have a lot of blank walls in the house, and although I own a lot of artwork yet to be hung, not all of it feels right. I want decor for this house! Once again, I got an idea in my head, and so I thought about how to make a giant starburst. Initially, I thought I’d make three starbursts in different sizes for a wall next to the TV, but I hoped to figure out how to make the biggest starburst I could. I discovered a wood round: //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=ashleyblyth-20&language=en_US&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B075RPJ72N&asins=B075RPJ72N&linkId=90772ee24fa5e1bb04c220897a1fcb13&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true

The beauty of finding a round piece of wood is that someone else cut it for me, perfectly round. I could have spent nothing on some cardboard or whatever, but the imperfect circle would cost me peace of mind.

Once I found that round, I looked for wooden dowels and started sketching out the various sizes. I picked a dowel size, counted out how many dowels I thought I’d need, and doubled that number. Just to be sure.

To make the starburst, I cut the dowels in half. I drew a circle on the back of my wood round as a guide, tracing a small plate, and marked even quadrants of the circle. Then I started gluing, trying my best to glue one dowel to each quadrant at a time.


My goal was to place the dowels as evenly as possible, with mixed success.


This thing turned out to be roughly 5 feet wide and tall. Carrying it outside to spray paint was comical because I didn’t open the doors for myself before I picked it up. I used two cans of silver spray paint over about 3 hours of painting. Those skinny dowels eat up a ton of spray paint. Traditional paint may have been the better option to waste less paint, but I’m not sure how I’d get total coverage. I already had the spray paint, so that’s why I used it.

Once the paint was dry, I cut a rough circle out of a bag to create a backing for the starburst. I screwed in two eye-loop things … the metal things you get in the picture-hanging kit. I strung the wire from said picture-hanging kit between the two loop things, and hung the beast on the biggest blank wall we had.


After some discussion about placement and repeated measurements, I centered the starburst horizontally between the crown molding and the hight of the table. Weeks later, we installed (and by “we installed,” I mean I picked it out and Jeff did all the actual light hanging and electricity connecting) the new light fixture!

My first foray into furniture — April 17, 2018

My first foray into furniture


Since buying our home last May, Jeff and I have tackled a wide variety of projects together and separately, none of which I have taken the time to document yet! But this cute little bench for the entry is something I always thought I’d be able to do, but have never attempted making actual furniture.

(The sputnik lamp shown in this image is another project we tackled. And by “we,” I mean I picked it out at Nebraska Furniture Mart, kind of tried to cut the wires to length, but Jeff actually did the hard work of getting it up there and working.)

Here’s a little bit about how I made the bench

I knew the rough dimensions the hallway would accommodate, and then wandered through Lowes and surfed Amazon to see what materials were available. I found a “craft board” made of pine in dimensions that would work, similar to this appearance board. Mine is 4 feet long by 16 inches wide.

Once I had the board as the foundation of my bench, I took to Amazon for everything else. I knew I wanted mid-century modern-looking legs, like this:

I also ordered the hardware that attached the legs at an angle. Turns out, 11 degrees is the magic number to make the legs look like that, which I did not previously know! At my husband’s suggestion, I attached the legs to a spare piece of 2 by 4 to stain them.


Amazon also had tons of foam options to cover the seat — I went with 5-inch memory foam that came vacuum packed in a relatively small roll considering it unfurled to about 6-feet long!

I got some fabric suggestions from fellow crafters, and I was pleased to discover that Spoonflower fabrics are available via Amazon. I got two yards of this cute pattern:


We put the hardware for the legs on first because Jeff wanted to make sure they were extra secure. Then I wrapped the whole thing like a Christmas present and used my staple gun to assemble the bench.

Doggie tax: