The Complete Guide to Buying Your Next Wood Router

A Wood Router is one of the most basic woodworking tools that every aspiring woodworker should own. If you have recently become interested in doing woodwork projects for your house then this is one essential tool that you need to buy.

Don’t know much about routers? Well, there is nothing to worry about because this article contains all the basic information that you need to know when searching for the right wood router for yourself.

Trust me, once you go through this article, you will have infinitely more knowledge about the routers and things to look out for to buy the perfect one.


Types of Routers

The most important thing to consider when buying a router is that there are different types available in the market which have their own pros and cons.

Large Routers – This type of router is ideal for a router table as you cannot pick it up easily and use it. This can handle large blocks of wood and can handle large bits too. Its motor offers you 3 HP and comes with a variable speed setting which you can adjust according to your wood.

Mid-Sized Routers – One of the most versatile and frequently used routers, this type of router is perfect for handling a wide range of bits. They can be used both by hand or on a router table and come with a motor size of 1-1/2 to 2-1/4 HP.

Trim Routers – You can use this router for only smaller bits and it comes with a motor of 1 HP or less. You can easily use it by hand and can take it from one place to another but they don’t have enough power to handle big bits.

Things to look out for

Once you have looked at the different types of router, it is important that you look at other features and functions before making a choice.

Here are a few things that you should look out for before selecting a wood router:

1. Base Type

You have the option of a fixed base or a plunge base. A fixed base allows you to change the depth of the bits by unlocking the motor and then making the adjustments whereas a plunge base makes its motor move up and down while making a cut.

2. Variable Speed Setting

If you have a variable speed setting on your router then you can handle a wide range of bits. It will allow you to reduce the RPMs of the bit so that you remove the wood at an adequate pace without compromising on the size of the bits.

3. Dust Control

Another important feature to look out for is a dust port which will make the cleaning up of router much easier and will protect you from most safety hazards. The vacuum port will help in the cleaning and will make your work even easier.

4. Soft Start

This means that your motor won’t start abruptly and provide you great power as soon as you start it which can help you in handling your router and ensuring that there are no accidents. Your router will start slowly and gradually speed up, giving you a chance to adjust or change the setting.




As my kids are coming down off of sugar highs from Halloween, we are switching gears and thinking about Thanksgiving.  We try to give thanks every day, but Thanksgiving is a special time of year when we put even more focus on being thankful and usually do some kind of family project to remind us how blessed we are and how much we have to be thankful for.

Today I am sharing a tutorial on how to make this Give Thanks, Canvas.  I plan to use it on our mantle, where I had a trick-or-treaters canvas as part of our Halloween mantle.

It takes only about 30-45 minutes to complete!



  • A stretched burlap canvas
  • Chipboard Letters
  • Decorative Ribbon
  • Wheat
  • Craft paint
  • Glue gun

To begin, lay out your letters on the canvas.  This is important because I was thinking about arranging the letters vertically on the canvas, but they didn’t fit.  Play around until your phrase looks the way you want it to.


After you have decided on the positioning for your letters, apply two coats of craft paint.  I went with burnt orange and barn red.  I used a foam brush to paint the letters.  Because the letters are cardboard, be sure not to saturate them with too much paint at once. Two thin layers of paint are better than a one really wet layer.


Next, pick a small bunch of wheat.  Tie the wheat together tightly with some string.  Then tie a bow using some decorative ribbon. Cut the stems to fit on your canvas.

Now that all of the elements for your canvas are complete, place everything onto the canvas so you can see what your finished product will look like.

Then use a hot glue gun to glue down each letter, one at a time.  Use just a small amount of glue on each letter so that it doesn’t squish out and show.  The letters are very light and don’t require much glue to stay in place.  Finally, glue the wheat into position.




Craigslist Chair Update & Reading Nook

Over the summer, my husband I decided to convert our spare bedroom into an office where I could work, read and study.  I wanted the space to be calm and uncluttered.  I wanted it to feel light.  I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money to do it.

Ironically when I was visiting my aunts, they had a rug rolled up in the corner of their dining room.  I took a peek because it was just the color I had in mind for a rug in the office.  I took a look and it had a beautiful design and was just what I was looking for.  My aunt had ordered it from an online home decor site but it wasn’t the right color and she couldn’t return it.  She told me I could have it!  It was an incredible gift and set the tone for the room.

I added some other items to the room but wanted to add a comfy chair and reading nook where I could read.  I didn’t want something too bulky or expensive.  I started scouring Craigslist for a candidate. That’s when I found this guy.

An interior architect was selling this Bombay chair for $40!  It was a steal because it was in great shape and everything that I had been looking at even at discount stores was well over $120.  I sat in it and it was comfortable.  I wasn’t sure about the color because it looked more gray in the picture in the ad, but it was just too good to pass up.  So into my vehicle, it went.

When I got home, my husband took it upstairs and I immediately knew that it was too dark and heavy for the room.  Man.  This wasn’t something I could exactly return.  I just planned on reselling it on Craigslist.

Craigslist Chair Update 1

And then I had an idea.  I could use white chalk paint to paint the dark wood. This chair has beautiful woodwork detail. It was beautiful the way it was and I was a little worried about ruining it.  But it didn’t work in my space the way that it was, so I decided to go for it!

I placed a trash bag under the chair to keep paint off the carpet.  Then I used painter’s tape to tape off the fabric to keep the paint from getting on the fabric of the chair.

For the Chalk Paint Nightstand post, I mixed up my own chalk paint.  This time I went with a pre-made brand.  I picked it up at the paint counter at Home Depot.  It is Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint. It worked great for this project, but I prefer the homemade version for furniture.  This was a little glossier and took longer to dry.

I applied three coats of the paint.  When I was done, the paint seemed too bright, so I distressed the woodwork using sandpaper. To do this, once the paint is completely dry, take a piece of sandpaper and lightly go over the edges and details.  This will reveal a little bit of the darker finish underneath.  After I had the distressing the way I wanted it, I used Americana Decor Creme Wax to seal the paint.

After doing that and adding a white pillow, it was just right for my office! I added a small table that I picked up on clearance for $10 at back to school time.  The top was a bright teal color, so I spray painted that white.  Then I added a lamp that is tall enough to cast light down onto my reading material.

Craigslist Chair Update 2

And now I have a cozy reading nook area in my office to read and have coffee. Our Boston Terrier Roxanne likes it, too! Do you have an item that you almost gave up on, but modified to make it fit your needs or decor like this Craigslist chair update & reading nook?  I’d love to hear about it!


I have been seeing things painted with chalk paint all over Pinterest and finally had to see what all the hype is about. I had a nightstand that my mother-in-law had given us with a set of furniture for our spare bedroom. Since I turned our spare bedroom into an office, I had some homeless furniture.  I needed a little more storage in my office, so thought this was the perfect opportunity to make a chalk paint nightstand.

Here is the “before.”  The nightstand is a solid piece but didn’t match any of our decors.  To give it an update to match my office decor, I decided on some new pulls and a new paint job.  Hobby Lobby has a pretty awesome selection of pulls and they put them on sale for half off regularly.

I found a recipe to make your own chalk paint at Live Love DIY and decided to use that.  To make your own chalk paint, mix 5 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris with 2 cups of matte interior paint and 2 tablespoons of water. Combine the ingredients and stir well. It’s okay if it’s a little lumpy. The paint will even out when you brush it on.

A couple of great things about using this chalk paint are that it goes on beautifully without the need to sand and it dries quickly.  Making your own makes the color choices endless.  If they can mix it as an interior paint at your local home improvement store, you can choose it.  Clean up is very easy, too!

Chalk Paint Nightstand 1

First, I took out the drawers and took off the pulls.  Then I lightly sanded that area because there was a little dent where the old ones had been.

Wipe off any dust or cobwebs, then paint away!  {I applied two coats of paint.}

When you paint with chalk paint, it is recommended that you finish with a wax coat.  It is suggested that you apply a coat of wax to your piece yearly.  You can buy a wax specifically made for chalk paint (I picked some up at the paint counter at Home Depot) or you can use Minwax. Make sure your paint is completely dry, then use a *lint-free* cloth to apply the wax.  Then simply buff it and you will have a nice seal and subtle sheen.

Once you are all done with your paint and wax, put on the new knobs.

Place the drawers back into the nightstand and admire your new, custom piece!

If you like this project, I would love it if you would share it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest using the buttons below.  Thanks for stopping by!

Chalk Paint Nightstand 2


A while back I pinned a heart made out of nails and string on Pinterest.  I loved the rustic simplicity of it, but hadn’t had an opportunity to apply the method to a piece of art until now!

I made this nail & string cross art for my office where I do my daily reading.  You can apply this method to any shape you’d like!


  •  a piece of wood
  • a print out of the shape you’d like to make
  • nails (small with heads)
  • string
  • a hammer
  • paint pen

When choosing nails for this project, small finishing nails would work well.  Choose nails that have heads on them so that the string doesn’t pop off.  I chose a little bigger nail because I wanted to incorporate some of my grandpap’s nails into this project.

He passed away a few years ago and my grandma had to move out of their house last year.  When she did, she offered my grandpap’s tools to my husband.  He had made this huge tower of drawers by hand many years ago that is 16 drawers high by 4 drawers across.  It was full of all kinds of nails, washers, nuts, and bolts, etc. My husband rehomed the tower of drawers to our garage and I chose some from there to use on my project.

Once I had decided to make a cross shape for my project, I looked for one to print out to use as a guide for the nails.  I found this one, which was perfect and already had dots that I could use as a guide to place my nails!  You can get it here and print it for free!

Once you print your shape and adjust the size using a copier, tape it to the wood in the position you like.  Then start hammering in your nails, using spacing that you like.  It will work just fine if you space them a little farther than I did.  I chose this spacing because there were already dots on the template.


It may not look like it, but there are a lot of dots on that paper…which means a lot of hammering nails.  I did this project throughout the day and in between another project, so I took little breaks in between hammering.

Hammer the nails right through the paper and once you have all of your nails in, carefully tear the paper away.

Now it’s time to add the string!  I chose a multi-colored string and white string.  To start, tie a knot around one of the nails.  Then randomly wrap the string around nails back and forth.  This will start to fill in your shape.

Be sure to hold the string snugly to prevent it from coming undone.

I picked this string up near the embroidery floss.  I did not use embroidery floss because it is made up of several strands that would probably get all knotted up.  This string is made up of a single strand, so I didn’t have to worry about keeping it together when wrapping it around the nails.

You can do as many layers as you’d like depending on how much you’d like your shape to be filled in.  I did a colored layer, a white layer and then another colored layer for a total of three layers.

There was a space left at the bottom of my cross, so I decided to add the word faith to balance it out.  You can freehand your word or you can print it out using a font that you like.

If printing your word, tape it onto the wood in the position that you like.  Then use a pencil to trace over the word.  The point of the pencil will make a small indent into the wood.  When you remove the printed word, you should see the outline of the letters.

Use a paint pen to paint the word onto the wood.  This wood really soaked up the paint, so I went over it a few times until it was the shade I wanted.




The inspiration for this paper wreath tutorial came from a 4th of July post by Lora at My Blessed Life.  I included in my 4th of July Decorations to Make a post and liked the idea so much that I wanted to make one of my own!


      • a piece of cardboard
      • coordinating scrapbook paper
      • double-sided tape
      • glue dots
      • a small piece of ribbon
      • stapler
      • scissors or paper cutter
      • sticker or printable for the center of the wreath

First I traced an 8-inch plate onto a piece of cardboard from the side of a box for the base of the wreath.


Next, I used my paper cutter to cut the scrapbook paper into 6 inches by 5-inch rectangles.  Lora at My Blessed Life needed only 12 cones for her wreath and my daughter used ** on hers, but I needed 21 to fill out my wreath.  Each 12″ by 12″ piece of scrapbook paper will yield 4 rectangles.

I think it just depends on exactly how you roll the paper and how tightly you roll it. I really spent some time getting the rolling technique down.  I started at the short end and rolled until got to the other end.  It took me several tries to get it down so that the cones looked uniform and there weren’t too many seams on top.  Once I had a cone looking the way I wanted, I put a glue dot on the seam to keep it together.

I continued making cones until I had what I thought would be enough.  I arranged them on my cardboard circle, then made more until it was nice and full.  I covered the cardboard circle with a piece of green scrapbook paper in case you could see it through the cones. Once I had enough cones, I arranged them on the cardboard circle and then carefully taped them down one at a time using double-sided tape.

Once all of the cones are attached, it is time to add your printable, sticker or embellishment that you chose for the center.  I picked up a sticker pack made by My Big Ideas because the “Home Sweet Home” sticker coordinated with my paper and it was a good size.  I stuck the sticker to a piece of white cardstock and then traced that 8-inch plate again and cut it out.


I attempted to use double-sided tape to attach the card stock and sticker, but that didn’t work, so I used glue dots and that did work. The last thing to do is to add a ribbon to the back.  Choose a piece of ribbon, open up the stapler and staple it to the back!

Bleach Pen School Spirit Shirt

I first saw the idea of using a bleach pen to write words on a shirt on Pinterest.  You can find the pin here, but unfortunately, the blog has been removed.  She used a bleach pen to write the word ‘bride’ on a shirt.  When I saw it I thought it would be a cool way to make a school spirit shirt.

My kids are both involved in sports and my own school spirit wardrobe is sadly lacking, so I bought two iron-on so I can make a tank for my daughter and a t-shirt for myself.  I haven’t found the right color green for mine yet, so today I will share how we made this bleach pen school spirit shirt for my daughter.

To make a Bleach Pen School Spirit Shirt, you will need:

  • a t-shirt or tank in one of your school colors (I got this tank for $3 at Walmart)
  • a bleach pen (found in the laundry aisle)
  • an iron-on
  • an iron
  • a piece of cardboard covered with waxed paper

First, cut a piece of cardboard to fit the inside of your shirt so that the bleach doesn’t bleed through to the other side.  We just happened to have pizza for dinner last night and somehow the top of the box managed to stay free of grease stains, so it worked perfectly.

Once your cardboard is cut, cover it with waxed paper before slipping it inside the shirt to prevent the bleach from bleeding through to the back of the shirt. I secured the waxed paper to the cardboard using tape so that it would stay in place.

Next, I laid the iron-on paw prints in the position that I liked so that I could use that as a guide for where to write the word ‘lions’.  You can write any word you’d like here.  You can do a name, ‘bride’, your team mascot, etc. The possibilities are endless.  You can even draw a picture or paw print instead of doing a word.  It’s up to you!

Now it’s time to bleach!  Be sure to shake your bleach pen well to avoid splatters or too much coming out at once.  I tried a test run with the pen on the package to get a feel for how it would flow.  Then…take a deep breath and start writing!

Bleach Pen School Spirit Shirt 1

The longer you leave the bleach on, the lighter that area will become.  If you want your word or design to be white, leave the bleach on until it is dry.  That is what I did on this shirt because our school colors are green and white. When your shirt is bleached as much as you like, rinse it well in cold water to stop the bleaching process.  (It took about 30 minutes for the bleach to dry completely in the sun.)

Because I used a ribbed shirt, I think the bleach spread a little more.  A flat fabric may give a bit more of a crisper look to your design.

Wash and dry the shirt as normal in the machine, or you can wash it by hand and then use the dryer to speed things up.  I tossed mine in the washer set to a mini-sized load to wash while I was getting ready for the day and then in the dryer while I was out running errands. When I came back, it was all ready for some blingy paw prints! You can check out our article for DIY Custom Bulletin Board.

Add your iron-on using the directions on the package.

The only thing left to do is sport your new school spirit shirt and cheer on (or be cheered on) your favorite team!

Bleach Pen School Spirit Shirt 2

DIY Ribbon Flip Flops

Today’s post was inspired by the DIY Ribbon Flip Flops included in the 4th of July Wearables Tutorials Post and also by the 50% off ribbon sale at the craft store.  Last year my daughter made a similar pair using strips of patriotic fabric instead of ribbon.  She wanted to make a new pair this year and made these on her own!

These cheerful DIY ribbon flip flops are a guest project from my 10-year-old daughter!

To make a pair of DIY ribbon flip flops, you will need:

      •  a pair of flip-flops
      • three complementary colors of ribbon
      • scissors
      • ribbon Fray Check or a lighter for an adult to seal the ribbon ends

DIY Ribbon Flip Flops

To start,  cut a length of ribbon and tie it onto the flip-flop by making a knot. Choose a length that you like for the ribbon.  Cut the ends on a slant at the desired length.

Once you decide how long you like the ribbons, you can cut several pieces that length.  Then continue tying them in any pattern that you like until your flip flops look the way you want them to.  The more ribbons you add, the fuller and more colorful they’ll be!

Once you are all done tying the ribbons onto the flip-flops, apply Fray Check (it’s a special kind of clear glue) to the ends of each ribbon to prevent fraying.  An adult can also use a lighter to seal the ends of each ribbon.

These flip-flops are a fun kid activity that can be completed in under 45 minutes and for under $5.

There’s also the added bonus of watching them beam with pride when they get to tell people that they made them themselves!

Happy crafting!



So far this week, we’ve covered 4th of July Printables, 4th of July Wearables Tutorials and a Red White & Blue Star Wreath Tutorial!












Patriotic Bandanna Tablcloth



I have enjoyed bringing you collections of 4th of July Printables and 4th of July Wearables Tutorials from lots of talented bloggers and crafters so far this week!  You can also check out Ten 4th of July Decorations to Make {with tutorials}.



I made this wreath to hang on the inside of the back door in my kitchen for the 4th of July this year.  I hope you enjoy it!

{On a total side note…  My son is in a Silly Science summer camp at the library this week, so that’s where I am working on this post.  I just looked down and saw strings of hot glue from my glue gun on my skirt. Sometimes I’m out and look at my hands and realize there’s black paint under my nails.  Yep…I’m that lady}

Now on to the tutorial!


      • a wire wreath form (I used a 10″ one because I have an oddly small door leading out to my deck)
      • 1-2 rolls of 15-foot red burlap ribbon, depending on how full you want it (I used just over one roll)
      • glittery foam stars or other patriotic embellishments
      • hot glue
      • ribbon for hanging


First, unravel the spool of red burlap.


You are going to cover the wire wreath form with the burlap by going over and under the rings in a weaving pattern.

Start by inserting the burlap under the first wire ring from the center of the wreath.  Weave it over the next ring, then under the next.  Pull it through until you come almost to the other end of the burlap.  Leave a little extra there (about 3 inches) so that it doesn’t get pulled back into the wreath form when you fluff the burlap.

Now that you have woven the burlap over and under the rings of the wreath frame, pull the burlap so that it is loose, making loops or puffs.  Adjust them until they are about as big as you’d like.

Now weave the burlap back through the wire circles on the wreath form, this time coming from the outside to the inside.  After you arrive at the center, pull the burlap loose and fluff it up.


Repeat this process to finish attaching the burlap to the wreath, fluffing as you go.  The pattern is like a basket weave, so if you went over a wire when working toward the outside of the wreath, you will go to that wire when working your way back to the center and vice versa.

I would recommend going out or back 4 times in each section of the wreath for small and more times for a larger wreath form for a nice full wreath.

If one side of your wreath looks less full than the other, glue your embellishments on the side that is less full to fill it in.  That is what I was going to do with my wreath and was even thinking about including that tip in this post as I was working, but I guess I was just so darn excited about getting those sparkly little stars on that I glued them on the full side.  Doh!  Not that big of a deal, but it did make for another trip to the craft store for a second roll of burlap to fill it out.  {In reality, I was in a rush trying to get all the stars glued on before heading out for Silly Science Summer camp…so is the life of a crafting mama…}

Once your wreath is at a fullness you like, secure the end of the burlap by tucking it underneath one of the wires on the back of the wreath.  If you have extra burlap and need to cut it, you can glue it down on the back using a line of hot glue so it doesn’t unravel.

And then it’s time for my favorite part!  Add your sparkly red, white and blue stars.  I used hot glue which worked fine for these stars because they are very light.  If your embellishments are light, hot glue will work fine, but if they are heavier, like larger wood stars for example, you can attach them to clips and then clip them to the wreath or use twine or string to tie them on (if you don’t mind seeing the string), or even glue string to the back of the embellishment and then tie it around the back.  Hot glue alone will not hold heavy embellishments on your wreath for long… (ask me how I know)


I was thinking that the stars looked like little starfish (I know, I know “sea stars”) floating in a net when I was attaching mine.

Lay out the stars in a pattern you like on your wreath and then lift and glue them one at a time to preserve the pattern you chose.


Lastly, you can add a hanger to your wreath.  Because of the open wire of the wreath form, you can hang this wreath using a nail or you can use an over the door wreath holder as well.

I chose a coordinating ribbon and glued it into a loop around the wreath form on the back.  I used a flat tack to secure it to the top of the door.

And there you have it!


You might also like the Blue Burlap Monogram Wreath or this natural colored Burlap Wreath!