Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Boxes on our Walls - Part 3 {Cutting}

Remember how I told you HERE about how I had decided to add some boxes to my walls? And then HERE I told you about how I decided what size to make my boxes. Well, now it is time to tell you how I actually "built" them. In other words, how I cut the molding and put it on the walls.

When I left off before, I had headed out to Lowes to buy the molding to be used for my boxes...

So I knew that I did NOT want to make wood boxes. Yes it would be more professional and all that, but I also knew it would be more difficult to cut, nail, etc. So I took Thrifty D├ęcor Chick’s advice and went for the foam-like stuff that is so much easier to work with. Initially I was going to use the stuff she recommended HERE which costs less than $5 for an 8’ length. 

(pardon the glare and crappy cell phone pic)

But the more I looked at it, the more I felt it was a little too wimpy for the look I was trying to achieve. So I splurged on this stuff which was much more interesting even though it was much more expensive and decided that the extra cost was worth it (although I admit, I had a realllllly hard time telling my cheap frugal side to shut up!).

Much more expensive at $13 a piece, but also much more stylish

I ended up needing 9 pieces for my 7 boxes - ouch! (but oh, so worth it! :)

Next step was to do all my cutting. I had previously purchased a miter box at Lowes (less than $15 for the box and saw) and got it set up in the garage. 

Handy Dandy Miter Box and Saw

Now, mind you... we have a whole wall’s worth of work tables, but the Heela has it all covered in junk important “man stuff” so I had to improvise with a couple of trash cans. Hey, I can be resourceful like the best of 'em! {Tip - I recommend putting something with “grip” under the miter box as I found mine really slipped around a bit. The Heela found an old rubber car floor mat in his pile of junk “man stuff” and it worked perfectly!}

Improvised work area - puts the term "white trash" on a whole new level - LOL

Then I just started measuring my pieces and cutting the ends at a 45 degree angle. {Tip - If your molding strips are like mine and not uniform on each side, make sure you are making your angle cut the right way}. Huh?? Ok… so my molding looked like this.

I decided that I wanted the right edge (as you look at it in the photo above) to be on the inside of my boxes. This means that my angles always need to look like the piece on the right in the photo below…

My angles all needed to be like the piece on the right

I admit that I made my cut going the wrong way more than once. {Rookie mistake!}

Be sure to pay attention to which way your angle needs to go!

But once I got into the groove of things, it just flowed. {Tip - I had previously tallied up how many pieces I needed of each length. Then I determined how to get the best “bang for my buck” from each 8’ length of molding. Some 8’ lengths gave me 3 pieces of cut molding which were all the same size, while others were cut into 4 pieces of different-sized molding. Just play around with the numbers until you are satisfied. The goal is to buy the fewest number of 8’ strips possible}

{Tip - As I cut each piece of molding, I wrote the exact length on the back. This way I wouldn’t have to guess which piece was which or re-measure them later to be sure I had grabbed the right one}.

Jotting down the length on the back of each piece of molding helps keep them organized

Here they are all lined up and ready to go. Yes, it was a lot of cutting, but thankfully, this foam stuff cuts SO easily!

That's a lot of cutting!

Now it was time to put them up on the walls. So I gathered my molding pieces, a level, a 3" spacer (I cut mine from a paint stick) and this lovely baby...

Not a necessity for this project, but it makes it soooo much easier!

In the next installment, I'll tell you about how I actually built the boxes on the walls. To be continued... :)

**You can see the rest of this series here:
Part 1 - Idea
Part 2 - Sizing

Part 4 - Assembly

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