Yay plants!

It has been three weeks since I moved into my house and I have gotten a decent amount of stuff done. Not as much as I thought I would, but more than a little. I have painted, organized, unpacked and started to settle. My entire kitchen is unpacked and functional things are starting to fall into place. After my last post, I realized that everything can’t get done overnight, especially when two out of the last three weeks I have been away on trips and the next few weeks promise the same. Slow and steady wins the race, right? It’s not like I am going anywhere. I plan to settle and dig my heels in deep.

In the tumult of all of this though, I decided that small decorative projects do not have to wait until the big ones are done. So I made a plant shelf. Yay plants! I love having plants around the house. There is a nice wide window sill in my kitchen that has several on it, but with the curtains. I cannot see them. The three-pane kitchen window also did not have blinds on them and I did not want to put any up. So, to kill two birds with one stone, I made a plant shelf to put over the cafe curtains.

I was inspired by this post, but it did not have clear instructions. So I winged it, like I so often do, and it came out great.

Stuff I used:

  • 24″ x 8″ laminated shelf
  • Blue Hawk 7/16″ solid braid rope with a 300 lb. safe working load
  • Thick metal cafe curtain with four rod holders
  • 9/16″ in. flat boring bit

How I did it:

1. Make yer holes

Since it was a smaller shelf, I decided to drill three sets of holes- two sets on the end and one in the middle to distribute the weight well. I Made the holes 2″ from the short sides and 1″ in from the long sides. Since the rope was 7/16″, I used my brand new boring bits to make a 9/16″ hole to thread the rope through.

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I love the smell of bored wood in the morning!

2. Measure yer rope

This was tricky and I ended up cutting the rope too short at first and had to cute more. I got 100 ft., so I have plenty still left over. I measured the length from the curtain rod to where I wanted the shelf to end, which was 21″ here.

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The adage goes “measure twice, cut once”. I really should follow that.

After I knew how low I wanted the shelf to hang, I doubled that measure, then added extra rope to make the knots with. At first, I only gave an extra 10″ on each side, but this was not enough and in the end I used 70″ ropes for each set of holes.

3. Tie yer knots

Since I added 14″ of extra rope for each set of knots, I made sure to make my first knot at  14″ from the end of the rope. I did this by measuring up 14″ and putting my thumb at that point, then tying a basic knot and positioning it so it ended at my finger. Very scientific, right?

After I tied the top knot, I threaded the rope through the first hole I made. It doesn’t matter where you start. I made another knot underneath the shelf, as tight as I could to the wood. There will be extra rope, which I unraveled and left dangling. DO NOT cut the rope right below the knot, as it will have a higher tenancy to unravel. I also cut out the cotton cord under the knot so it looked nicer when the braid was unraveled.

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Sometimes you just need to cut the cord and move on.

4. Repeat!

I measured 14″ up the other side of the rope and repeated the process, then went on to the next rope. After I had all 12 knots tied, I hung the shelf up in the window by threading the rod through the loops of rope. At this point, just add plants and admire the work! Here it is, day and night views:

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Yay plants!!

I could not get a good shot from outside, but it looks really nice and adds privacy. I got two more shelves to make a double shelf in another room. More about that process when I embark on it!

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