This project has been months in the making. In order for you to appreciate this project I have to share a little back story.
A few months ago I was asked to present a project at a live crafting event hosted by Brooke Riley from Re-fabbed. I knew I wanted to teach the ladies to make a farmhouse riser. Fast forward a couple weeks and I was touring the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory in Louisville, KY. At the end of our tour we were encouraged to take home a “nub” as a souvenir. These nubs were cut off the ends of the bats at the very end of the assembly process just before they went to be painted, sealed and shipped off to their new homes.
There were literally hundreds of these that the museum pays to have hauled off daily. They came from various species of trees that were hand-selected by craftsman. These craftsman know how to select THE perfect tree for making these specialty bats. This wood was quite literally THE BEST OF THE BEST!
That’s when it hit me. If they’re paying for someone to take these away then they certainly shouldn’t mind if I took more than a few…right? I started stuffing the diaper bag with these nubs thinking to myself, “wow these would make the perfect legs to a farmhouse riser.” I literally fill my bag to the brim and felt like a smuggler with my priceless loot. I looked guilty from a mile away. I had my crazy, eye-twitching, this is the best idea I’ve ever stinkin had “look”.…you feel me? That was it. I was just gonna have to let y crazy out and ask for like 300 nubs.
Long story short, after asking a few people I ended up talking with a janitor for the museum who hooked me up with over 300 fresh-cut nubs! You woulda thought I had won the lottery! I loaded those suckers up in my double stroller and rode off into the Louisville, KY sunset. I regret not having a picture of at least one moment of that 6+ block adventure back to the hotel.
Fast forward and here we are. My dreams finally came true and I get to put this idea down on paper to share with all my other crazy-creative friends. I’d like to say that this is where the crazy ends but I’d be lying.
The next step of this process involved a pie pan, a red sharpie, scrap wood, jigsaw, and a tailgate. Cutting the 9in round for the top of the riser was a process in and of itself. Le’s just say my husband is a saint and hand-cut 80+ circles for all the lovely ladies attending the crafting event.…
…I will spare you all the details, but here is our pretty topper for the riser.
Are you still with me? This is where we actually get to the project itself and we start to see all these crazy ideas fall into place.
I started by hot gluing 4 evenly spaced nubs to the bottom of my circle. Just eyeball it, or at least I did. I was wayyy to excited to get this puppy finished.
Next I stained the nubs and the underside of the circle top with Special Walnut 22 by Minwax. My plan was to create a distressed look and I prefer to work with a darker stain underneath my white paint.
Then, simply flip it over and cover the top as well.
Now you’re ready to move on to paining your new riser…or don’t. It’s totally up up to you and your “creative crazy” (insert crazy emoji here)
I use the same distressing technique for literally everything. I barely get a little bit of white paint on the tip of my brush and make long strokes across my wood. I should probably work on a tutorial for that… You can see a little more detail on this process from a previous project HERE.
When using a dry brushing technique to age wood, move with the natural grain of the wood in long strokes. This will give it a more naturally distressed effect.Tammy, Rustic Orchard Home
A little light sanding with a course sanding block will give it that little something extra.
Now technically your riser can be finished at this step but I was already way to invested to stop now.
I added upholstery tacks around the edges to give it a little more finished look.
Let me just finish by saying, I know I made this project seem wayyy more complicated that it actually is. If you’re reading this then I hope you understand the joy I get from creating something with a good backstory, heck this little tray may just have a small piece from the bat of your favorite player! How cool! Really though, this project definitely does not have to start with a trip to a baseball museum. That’s simply where my inspiration hit. If nothing else I hope it encourages you to let your creativity out wherever you may be!
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