Building a Queen Size Bed Frame Part 3

It’s done!!! My mom is so cool!

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Building a Queen Size Bed Frame Part 2

Routering & Staining

Here’s the progress on the bed so far:


Most of the pieces have been cut and are in the process of being sanded and stained. We decided the caps above and below the posts were too skimpy, so this is what they will look like on my bed:

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Isn’t that pretty!? On the footboard, we are thinking it will be routered like that, except it will be a shelf that extends across the top of the footboard. So I believe the remaining items are to make the footboard shelf, the mattress support, the curved top of the headboard, add trim to headboard and footboard, and of course put everything together. I’m excited!!

Building a Queen Size Bed Frame Part 1

Ashley Constellations Poster BedI’ve finally convinced my husband to let me get a guest bed! Gone are the days of having guests sleep on yoga mats, swimming pool floaties, and that heavy sofa mattress that is such a pain to pull out of the couch and lay on the floor. So I was shopping around on the internet and found this gorgeous bed that I love (pictured right).

The cheapest place I could find it was at that link. After shipping, it comes to $315. BUT! I’ve got an awesome mom that is in to wood-working. She agreed to help me BUILD the bed! By which I mean, she does all the hard work and I run around and sweep up saw dust and hand her wood. :)

Stain Color

Stain Color

So she specced out all the wood pieces we would need (with some help from the Ana White website) and we headed off to Home Depot. Actually, first we went to Hobby Lobby to make sure we could find an iron piece that I liked that could go in the headboard. In the original bed, it’s probably not iron, but I think it will look even prettier with the iron piece I found. This bed, for instance, looks really pretty. It’s got black accents that tie in the iron. I’m thinking my bed will probably look best if the stain is a dark brown (not as dark as the original) with black accents to tie in the iron. Pictured right is what we’re thinking the stain will look like. That is before the lacquer goes on though. I’m learning all kinds of things about wood now. :) The lacquer is the coat that goes on top and makes the wood look really shiny.

Wrought Iron Decorative Piece

Wrought Iron Headboard Piece


Anyway, here is the iron piece I found at Hobby Lobby. We’ll probably knock off that top spade piece to allow the headboard arch to be a little more shallow. After using the 40% off smart phone coupon that Hobby Lobby seems to always have, the piece came to about $20. Not bad at all for such a big piece! (It’s 3.5 ft long.)

The next stop was Home Depot. First we priced out everything before putting it in a cart to make sure it would be worth it to build it and not just buy it. We tried to go with the cheapest pine wood available. After everything was all said and done, it came out to $230. My mom said the rest of the supplies (stain, sandpaper, etc.) would add on an additional $40. Hm… so either buy the bed for $315, or build the bed at $20 iron + $230 wood + $40 stain = $290. That was a little discouraging. However, the bed would be higher quality because it would be solid pine wood instead of particle board and laminate. Also, my mom was planning on building the bed frame with supports so that there would be no need for a box spring. That means more storage space. Ok, so you can get a box spring if you buy a mattress with it for $10. That means that the home-made bed would save me $35 total and be better quality. I still wasn’t quite convinced it would be worth it.

Knotty Alder Plywood

Knotty Alder Headboard

So I did some research on nearby lumber yards. Lumber yards sell wood by the board foot. A board foot is 12” wide, 12” long, and 1” thick. So, if you need to calculate how many board feet is in a piece of wood, you take the length x width x thickness (all in inches) divided by 144 inches. We set out for lumber yard that seemed like it would be the best option for our small project. Their website said they catered to larger corporations as well as small DIY-ers. We looked around at the options and found that knotty alder was actually a lot cheaper than pine, a lot prettier, and even a bit of a harder wood. The guy helping us showed us a huge knotty alder plywood sheet that was just gorgeous. He picked it up and we both oo-ed and ah-ed as it caught the light. Since trying to lift it myself, I am now properly amazed at how easily he hauled that thing around! I ended up getting almost all the wood I needed there for $130 – a really good deal. They didn’t have the 4×4’s that we needed for the bed posts or the 2×4’s we needed for the mattress support, so we picked those up at Home Depot and Lowe’s. There were cedar posts marked down to 70% off so we sorted through them all and picked out the 2 straightest, nicest ones. That came out to $8. All the 2×4’s came out to $18. The only remaining wood we need is the arch at the top of the headboard and the thin piece of trim at the top of the headboard. We may be able to get the arch out of the plywood I already bought and the trim will only be about $4. So, the total cost should come to $130 knotty alder + $8 cedar posts + $12 2×4’s + $4 trim + $20 iron + $40 stain, etc. = $214. Pay $100 less for a bed that will last forever and have more storage space? Yes, please!!

Yesterday, I helped my mom run the cedar posts through the planer. She pushed them through one end and I pulled them from the other end and handed them back to her. It was amazing what a difference it made. Those posts were so rough and full of splinters before, but afterwards they were so smooth and soft and shiny! My mom did also sand them down with sandpaper after the planer.

So here’s what we’ve got for the foot board so far:


Pretty Footboard Coming Along


I’m so excited!!

*Any* Pie Filling Banana Bread

So… my banana bread kick is obviously not over yet. I had some leftover raspberry pie filling from the lemon cake and thought why not put that in banana bread!? Genius! It turned out so so good. And I bet you could use other pie fillings and really have fun with this recipe. I made a chocolate loaf and regular loaf and put in raspberry pie filling and white chocolate chips in both. Delicious!! I made them both at the same time so I could compare them side by side. I have to say that although they were both delicious, the chocolate loaf won out – and disappeared faster. It was almost brownie-like, not in chewiness, but in moistness and richness. Don’t those loaves look gorgeous??

Banana Bread

I bet it would be really good to try cherry pie filling + dark chocolate chunks, apple pie filling + caramel chunks/peanut butter chips, blueberry pie filling + white chocolate chips, etc., etc. Please feel free to post any variations you try in the comments! I’d love to hear about them!

Banana Bread Banana Bread
Chocolate Raspberry White Chocolate Banana Bread Chocolate Banana Bread

Ingredients:    (yield – 1 loaf)

Wet Ingredients –

1 ripe banana    

2 eggs

1 t vanilla

½ applesauce

½ can pie filling (I used raspberry)

Blondie Loaf Only –

½ t lemon extract (or 1 t lemon juice)

Dry Ingredients –

1 ½ c flour

1 T baking powder

½ t baking soda

¼ t salt

½ c white sugar

½ c brown sugar

1 c chocolate chips (I used white chocolate)

Chocolate Loaf Only –

1/3 c cocoa powder

Blondie Loaf Only –

¾ t cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour.
  2. Mash banana; combine with all wet ingredients in bowl.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in separate bowl.
  4. Combine both bowls.
  5. Bake for about 50 minutes. (You can check with a toothpick, but remember that the pie filling is going to remain a liquid.)

~180 calories per slice (1/18 of loaf)

Banana Bread

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Homemade Peach Jam

Peaches went on sale at Kroger for $.99/lb this week, so I set about making my very first homemade jam. So exciting! There’s just something especially gratifying about spreading fruity goodness – that you made with your own two hands – over a piece of toast. The jam turned out delicious!! I think it has about half the calories as Smucker’s peach preserves, but I didn’t measure exactly how much jam my recipe produced when I was done (and my husband and I already ate quite a bit), so I can’t be sure. I plan to make strawberry jam this week so I will be more on the ball the next time around. The cost of the homemade jam was also about half that of Smucker’s peach preserves ($2.54 per 18oz jar vs about $2.50 for closer to 36oz). But the real reason I made the jam was because it was fun and exciting!! I learned how to easily get the skin off of peaches and watched as the concoction turned into a jelly-like form (without pectin). I love learning new things. So without further ado, here is the recipe:

Simple & Delicious Peach Jam

7 medium peaches (about 7 cups)

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 cups sugar

  1. Peel and slice the peaches. Peeling trick: Put peaches in boiling water for 15-20 seconds, then dunk in cool ice water. The peach skins will rub right off! I found that it was easier to cut the peach in half and remove the pit before pulling off the skin. Trying to do this the other way around can lead to a slippery mess.


  2. Put the peaches in a food processor and chop to desired chunkiness. Some people like their jam completely smooth. Me, I like a few chunks of fruity deliciousness in there. :)
  3. Put the peach mixture in a pan. Dump in the sugar and lemon juice. Don’t stir yet! Let sit for 1-2 hours at room temperature. This is supposed to release the natural peach juices.

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  4. Bring peach mixture to a boil and continue stirring for about 30 minutes. You should have someone else in the kitchen with you to keep you company. :) Actually, my sweet hubby did this part for me and I kept him company. :) He’s such a keeper! You’ll know it’s done when the jam reaches a temperature of about 220 degrees Fahrenheit. The idea is to boil out all the watery content to get a more jelly-like consistency. If you don’t have a thermometer, another test would be to freeze a spoon, put some jelly on it, put it back in the freezer for about a minute, then tip the spoon vertically to see if the jelly runs off like a liquid, or sticks together like a jelly.2013-08-09 10.19.52
  5. Let cool and then put in a jar! I didn’t mess with sealing the jar because I know Kyle and I are going to eat this fairly quickly. :)2013-08-09 23.54.062013-08-09 23.34.05

Hope you enjoy!!