I’m not usually anxious for fall weather, but the extreme heat this year has me ready to snuggle under a blanket with hot chocolate. When fall approaches, I like to get out my growing collection of vintage thermoses. The plaid designs feel very academic and seem to celebrate the start of another school year. Typically, they are just displayed on my kitchen table. This year, I wanted a more substantial display that I wouldn’t have to move each time we sit down for dinner. With the addition of a few evergreen sprigs, my kitchen is beginning to feel very much like autumn. The shelf is versatile enough that when spring approaches, I can trade out the display. — Ashley
Read the full how-to after the jump!
- wood plank (I used a rough cut piece of red oak 18.5 x 5″ x 1 1/4″)
- 4 thermoses
- leather strips (mine came as 36″ x 1/2″ strips)
- swag hooks
- wood sealer and/or stain
- 2 nails with large heads
- hand drill
- measuring tape
- palm sander
- sandpaper (grit will depend on the roughness of the wood)
- 2 clothespins
- leather punch with 1/4″ hole
1. Mark where you would like your end holes and the large hole. My 4 end holes are 1/2″ from the edge. Once I decided the location of my descending thermos, I traced the base onto the wood. Using your drill, create the end holes. Your holes will need to be large enough to force the leather strips through, but not so big that the leather is loose. You will also need to create a pilot hold in the large circle to fit your jigsaw blade.
2. Using your jigsaw, cut out the large hole. I recommend cutting about 1/2″ inch from your traced line. Once you get a circle cut, you can use the saw to shave off smaller sections until you get to the traced line. Once all your holes are complete, sand the top side of the board. My board came directly from a local sawmill. I used 50-grit sandpaper to knock down most of the blade marks on the top. I followed up with 200-grit sandpaper to make the top smooth. Next, clean off all sawdust and apply a sealer. I used the same sealer for my butcher-block countertops. You could use any basic sealer or stain.
3. To create the descending thermos, I added a small strip of leather to the inside of the larger hole. To attach the leather, I drilled a pilot hole in the leather and wood using a small drill bit.
4. Using a nail, attach the leather to the two opposite sides of the large hole.
5. Roll your leather strips in half (one for each hole) and twist them through the holes. Tie a knot with the leather on the underside of the shelf.
6. Attach swag hooks where you would like the shelf to hang.
7. Hang your shelf from the swag hooks by folding the leather over the hooks. Once you get the desired location and make sure the shelf is level, use clothespins to hold it in place. The clothespins will also act as a guide for where to punch holes in the leather for hanging.
8. After you test hang your shelf, you will want to mark where to punch holes in the leather. Using your punch, create 4 holes (two in each piece of leather).
9. Twist a small piece of leather through the four holes. Trim the ends after you get it pulled all the way through.
10. Finally, add your thermoses and enjoy a fall display.