Saturday, June 06, 2015

The Dukes of Hazzard Birthday Cake

I was asked to make a Dukes of Hazzard cake for a 9 year old boy's birthday party this weekend.  I was SO excited for this challenge since I was a huge Dukes fan when I was a kid.  I didn't realize they were making a come back with the kids.  His mom already had the cars, and asked that I create something fun using them.

This is what I came up with.

It is chocolate cake with cherry filling, fudge and buttercream frosting.  The dirt is a chocolate and regular graham cracker that I put through the food processor.  The sign is made of popsicle sticks, I used my brulee torch to make the sign look weathered.  I wanted it to look like a backroads cliff type scene, so I purposely made the frosting a bit rough and dusted with the dirt afterwards.  I suspended the flying General Lee with some floral wire and a wine cork to anchor it in to the cake.  It worked out great!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Up-Cycled garden bench using old dining chairs

We had these dining chairs sitting outside for the Winter.  They got pretty beat up.  The wood on the backs were splitting, the cushions pretty rotten, but the structure was still sound.  I decided to turn them into a Garden bench to use on the patio.

I collected my materials.  I had Home Depot cut a pretty inexpensive but sturdy piece of wood to fit the seats.
Sean picked up this piece of camper foam for me at Fred Myers.
I found the fabric for $3 at the local thrift store.  It is a nice canvas material, and I loved the bright crazy colors for my garden/patio area.

First, I created the cushion by using a bit of wood glue and attaching the foam.

Then I cut the fabric and stapled it on.  Really easy!  Using staples is so forgiving!

I popped the old gross cushions off, saved the screws because I can use them to attach the new cushion.

I could be done at this point, but I didn't like how the backs looked.  Since the seat backs were already splitting from elemental damage of sitting outside, I decided to cut them down and make it a more classic bench style.

I used a Skill saw and cut the backs off.

Had an adorable helper help me sand the parts that were cut.

Then I used some wipe on stain to make it match better.  Since I'm using this outdoors, it doesn't have to be perfect.  I just used what I had on hand.

After the stain dries, just screw the seat onto the chairs and there you have it!  An adorable little bench.

At this point I could add a cute throw pillow on it if I wanted to.  I'd probably pick something solid color in one of the fabric tones.  Maybe a black pillow, or a sunny orange or yellow pillow?  So many fun things could be done to pretty this up!

If I was going to use it indoors, I'd paint the wood white and make it super fancy. But, I don't feel like going to all the trouble for this project.  Also, painting with my little helper always turns into more of a mess than I feel like dealing with today.  I just wanted to do something easy and inexpensive that would give new life to these old chairs that likely would have been firewood otherwise!

Cost me about $20 for materials, but only took me about an hour of time to complete.

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