Mad Like Alyce

Last year in July we moved from a basement apartment unit to a balcony unit on the same property and it was without a doubt worth the stress of moving and rent increase. It was the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee in the early mornings, and while Damir’s Dad was visiting for 5 weeks we sat out on the patio with a glass of wine every night!

bench5

bench6

Mystic is still pretty camera shy, but at least she didn’t move while avoiding eye contact.

The problems with our previous deck setup we always ran into were:

  1. We only had 2 patio chairs, and any more would be cumbersome on our large but not that large balcony and…
  2. Patio furniture is actually pretty expensive.

With Damir’s dad coming back for another visit at the end of July, I wanted to find a way to make the patio more conducive to seating more than two people without overcrowding the balcony. In addition, I love putting my feet up when reading but there wasn’t any room for my zero gravity chair. I had noticed that we always centered the two chairs, the grill took up the full open side, but we rarely used most of the space opposite the grill next to the wall…. and I thought it would be the perfect place for a bench!

So the hunt for the perfect furniture commenced! Most patio sets you could find in Sioux Falls were far larger and more expensive than what I wanted to spend. Even the sets I found at IKEA were $200 for a simple bench, and frankly, it didn’t feel all too stable when I tried them. With no viable option for purchase that fit my needs and budget, I defaulted to my usual method… DIY! Even better, the bench cost a total of $20. Getting the lounge cushion on sale for $30 brings it to a grand total of $50, a quarter of the price to buy something in stores and it is a perfect fit to my balcony.

bench3

DIY Patio Bench

I know that typically a bench will use a typical 4 legs supported by braces and cross-beams, but while I feel moderately competent with a drill, I felt that building a stable bench on my own might be a 50/50 crapshoot. Instead, I decided to build two columns to support the bench top. While this does take more wood in total, it ensures a stable platform, and makes for a more interesting look overall!

The measurements shown will give you a bench that is 5 feet long, 20 inches high, and 18 inches

What you need:

  • 9 8-foot 2×4 boards
  • 1 box of 2 3/4 length inch construction wood screws
  • Drill & saw

Instructions:

1. First, you need to cut up all of the pieces. If you have a circular saw, this will be a lot easier of a time than I had with no power in the garage and opting instead for a hand saw. Luckily, Damir took pity on me after the first two boards and cut the rest for me! Here is the breakdown for how to measure and cut the boards.

  • 4 boards = Cut each board into 1 piece 5 feet long and 2 pieces 18 inches long.
  • 2 boards = Cut each board into 8 pieces 12 inches long.
  • 2 boards = Cut each board into 5 pieces 18 inches long. You will have some extra leftover from each board.
  • 1 board = Cut 2 pieces 18 inches long. You will have 5 feet remaining.

You should end up with a total of:

  • (4) pieces 5 feet long
  • (20) pieces 18 inches long
  • (16) pieces 12 inches long

2. To build the columns, start with placing two 18 inch pieces down, then laying two 12 inch pieces cross-ways on top and square it up. You can begin to screw it all together at this point or you can continue stacking them up until you have 5 layers of 18 inch pieces in total (18 inch should end up on top). Then, use a drill bit and pre-drill all of the pieces and work your way down, setting each level to the side.

bench1

You should also keep in mind that you don’t want to drill the holes in the same place since the screws will go all the way through. I personally would put the holes for all of the longer pieces towards the inside of the square and the shorter ones towards the outside of the square so it wouldn’t become an issue.

3. Once you have pre-drilled the wood, you can then begin to re-construct the pillar by again stacking each piece, but this time screwing each piece to the layer below it with just one screw per corner. The pillar should have 5 layers of the 18inch lengths (on both the bottom and the top) and 4 layers of the 12 inch intermittently stacked between each. Repeat process with the second pillar.

bench2

4. Place the pillars roughly 2.5 feet apart (this is objective, any distance is fine) and lay the 4 long 5 foot pieces across, spacing them out across the full depth of the bench. Make sure to place pillars so that the top of the pillar (18 inch pieces) are perpendicular to the 5 foot pieces. Use two screws for each board to attach each to the pillars.

bench4

5. If you want to leave the wood bare, you are done! You can now paint, or simply top with a comfortable cushion and enjoy your new custom bench.

Hello!

Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!

Costume & Makeup Tutorials

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  • Happy Valentines Day! I'll always love you for your BRAINS!!!
I did this iZombie Liv Moore in Full-On Zombie back before my surgery and just haven't gotten around to posting until now! I had wanted to come up with some kind of Valentines day themed look to kick me back into things now that my arm is mostly functional, but I was just struggling to think of what I wanted to do. Valentines Day is just not my thing. Unless there is chocolate. I Digress.
Halfway into my glass of wine, I realized this was the perfect time to post this look. I technically have a video, but the jury is still out on whether or not to post it just yet. I'm mostly just glad to be at a point where I can start experimenting with makeup again!
  • Anybody else struggle this time of year? I’m looking at these lovely sunbeams from my Alice In Wonderland shoot this summer to bring some sunshine to my day. I’ll be doing just fine, then be lying on the couch trying to feel like I can breathe again. I know it is ok, and these increased symptoms will pass, but it’s certainly not fun, especially when I have projects and ideas id like to tackle, but can’t get past this paralyzing anxiety. What do you guys use to help with SADD? #SADD #anxiety #ptsd #seasonaldepression  #winteristheworst #whydoilivehere
  • Halfway done! Still a ton to do, and I’ve learned ALOT already, like how not to sew in an invisible zipper, that I need a seam ripper, and need to invest in real fabric shears. But it’s actually coming together! Having never used a pattern before, I admit I looked at the pile of paper with some skepticism. Also, it kind of matches my couch. 😂 #cosplay #sewing #mccallspatterns #mccalls #mccallscosplay #spacesuit #plussizecosplay
  • Hanging out with mystic while I tackle my next sewing project. I like to think her interest is in hanging out with me, but there is a high chance she just wants the Fritos I’ve been munching... #cosplay #cosplaydog #sewing #mccallspatterns #cosplaymccalls #pitbull #pitbullsofinstagram
  • Bull in boots! It was enough of a battle to get her into them, and she refuses to move anywhere wearing them! 😂😂😂 I was so looking forward to a little dance, but so far she is just laying there looking helpless. Maybe if I get out the peanut butter? #pitbull #pitbullsofinstagram #doginboots #notcoolmom
  • I decided to spring for new ornaments this year and went from hyper colorful to classic beauty with a Gryffindor Christmas tree, complete with Hedwig ornaments! No DIY here (except the jingle bell snitch) just a very content Gryffindor snuggling on the couch enjoying the lights and a glass of wine. #twomoresleeps #harrypotterchristmas #gryffindor #housepride
  • New Christmas gift to myself... the long curly in emerald green from @rockstarwigs ! I’m hoping my ideas for some holiday makeup looks can inspire me to get back at it now that I can finally use my right arm! Any guesses or requests? #merrychristmastome #cosplaychristmas #rockstarwigs
  • The top 9 for madlikealyce! It has been a fantastic year, trying out all kinds of new things and really expanding on my love for makeup and cosplay. Thank you to all of my AMAZING FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS who have been with me on this journey. I can wait until my shoulder has healed enough to get back to it, I have a whole LIST of things I am dying to try! In the meantime, I’m at least back to writing on the blog, so make sure to check me out there, Link in bio. ❤️ you all!
  • Sick day snuggles. But at least it’s my first day out of the sling! #countdownisover #pitbullsofinstagram #pitbull #drinkallthetea

@madlikealyce

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