Remember that Birthday Resolution List I  had? Well, The Roommate and I have started making progress on one of them: last weekend we started our garden!

Our awesome landlord put grass seed down (yay! we’ll soon have an actual lawn!… wait, now we’ll have to mow…) and also pulled up our man-eating rose bushes that lined the side of our yard a few weeks ago. So The Roommate and I are now able to plant our gardens on the side of our yard and at the back of it!

Living in Denver, we have to stick to pretty strict planting times… that whole “risk of frost/snow-coming-as-late-as-the-end-of-May” sure puts a damper on wanna-be-green-thumbs. However, according to our friendly neighborhood nursery worker, we could start planting lettuce and root veggies as early as last weekend!

So we grabbed a few started plants of three different kinds of lettuce, some cold-weather flowers– gotta keep the honey bees that live in our tree happy!– broccoli plants, and a few packets of seeds for carrots and spinach.

We also got a couple of bags of compote, carried to my car by the cute, studly (come to find out when having to carry the bags myself– those suckers were heavy!) nursery worker, and set to work on our garden. I should mention that Denver has been incredibly warm this spring, so The Roommate and I were outside when it was 70 degrees! I ❤ Denver!

We dug our hands into the dirt and pulled out some more weeds and roots and got the dirt more-or-less tilled. We then added compote to it and grabbed our plants and seeds.

After plotting out the different sections, here was what we ended up with:

Lettuce! (specific types to come later... I forgot to write them down and I'm too lazy to go look!)

Broccoli and another kind of lettuce seeds
And our flowers for our beloved honeybees!

Carrot and Spinach seeds

I’m super-excited for the rest of our garden once it’s finally warm enough to finally plant everything else! More pictures and updates to come as the summer progresses. Let’s just hope I don’t have a black thumb!

Also, we want to have cute signs to put in our yard to mark what is growing where. Anyone have any suggestions as to where to get them or a fun/cheap way to do them ourselves?

The Roommate found a blog or article (I don’t know the source) of someone who made a dining room table from an old door. Since The Roommate and I have attempted to be creative in ways to decorate our house, we lept at the opportunity to try it.

Because we found the idea via a blog, I will post a how-to for how we did it. Enjoy!

If you’re going to also embark on this crazy project here are some things you will need:

1) Someone who owns a lot of tools– saws, drills, paint brushes, gloves, safety goggles, etc.

– Bonus points if the person knows how to use said tools and can show you how to use them as well.

2) A LOT of patience

3) Enough space to sand, stain, cut and screw (hahaha)

4) A knack for catching opportunities to say: “that’s what she said”

5) Creative problem-solving skills for any/all problems that arise

Not knowing we’d need all that before we started, here’s what we did:

We researched architectural salvage places in Denver, which there are only 2, and went and got a door. We found one that had glass panes in it, so it was lighter and the glass looked cool in the center(ish) of the table. But come to find out, that also makes it a lot weaker and not as sturdy.

The door we got was an old patio door, so it was covered in paint. We wanted to have a natural-colored table, so now we had to use stripper to take it all off.

And scraped gently… Do not get that stuff on your skin.

After 3 rounds of stripper, and thousands of “that’s what she said” jokes, we could finally sand the door… Even if there was still snow outside (welcome to Colorado).

Make sure to get face masks– sawdust gets everywhere!

Once the door had been sanded and we told a thousand more “that’s what she said” jokes, we went to Home Depot and get 4 table legs. Strangely enough, when table legs aren’t attached to a table, they seem really short.

Anyway, we sanded those as well.

I just have to say, working with power-tools is so much fun! How come it’s only boys who are encouraged to use them? I think I might add a drill to my Christmas list…

After all of those had been sanded, it was time to stain. After testing different stains, we realized we liked the natural look of finishing, so we didn’t stain it at all.

We then mounted the legs onto the table (thanks dad!).

Be sure to not drill through the table… (*whew* that was one mistake we managed not to make!)

Once the legs are mounted, the table was usable.

What we thought was the last thing we had to do was put putty in all the windows since we scraped most of it out when we were stripping (hehehe) the table.

I had every intention of ordering glass to put over the table, but I kept putting it off. So we just had to get clever about where to put our plates and glasses.

After more than one dinner where I gave my dad the evil-eye for leaning too much on the table (meaning he was barely touching it), we realized we needed to add supports to the table. It would bow with the smallest amount of weight.

We had to brainstorm ways to mount 1×3’s to the table with brackets holding the table legs. It was helpful that my career involves working with numerous engineers– a couple of them gave me some great pointers. After a lot of measuring and routing, we got the 1×3’s ready to be mounted to the table and flush with the legs and each other.

After measuring out each side so the screws don’t hit (a lot harder than it sounds…), drill into the legs. This requires a lot more upper-body strength than I possess. We used a spade bit so we could cover the screw heads with “buttons” when we were done.

Next we drilled up through the board into the table. Again, don’t drill through the table!

It was amazing how much sturdier the table felt with the 1×3’s! And how much you can tell that the door and the 1×3’s are completely different wood… Oh well. As we’ve said throughout this whole process, it just adds more character.

The one good thing that came out of my brief relationship with A was that he “knows a guy” who sells glass for way cheaper than I was finding. Thankfully, after an awkward text messaging exchange with A’s dad, we got our glass delivered to our house. So if you have a way of finding cheaper glass, I highly recommend it! Dating cowards not recommended.

Once the screws were all tightened and the table was ready to go, we unwrapped the glass and gently placed the glass on the table. We put down rubber mounts so it doesn’t sit right on the wood.

We then put in “buttons” over the holes. We “stained” them with the same kind of finisher we used on the rest of the table.

And with that, we were done!

A HUGE thank you goes out to my dad, who, without his help and encouragement and teaching (and upper body strength), this table would still just be a door.


**Updated: If you would like to see all the pictures we took while making the door, go here. Enjoy!