Donny Carter — Discover the DIYer

Donny Carter is a YouTuber and a podcaster at themakerminded.com

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“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”

Donny lives in the Mississippi Gulf and is a CNC user by day and a passionate wood turner by night. He wears many hats (builder, maker, artist, DIYer, podcaster, Etsy store owner, website designer, and content creator) and juggles everything with a great attitude. In this interview he touches on how he does it all. You can tell he is a genuine, honest, hustler and a very enthusiastic teacher.

Here is a list of some of the questions I sent Donny and after I had it all transcribed I decided reading it doesn’t do Donny any justice. His gift is conversation. So please listen to our unedited audio conversation to see how wonderful this feller is!

  • How did you get into podcasting? 
    • It was kind of selfish honestly. I wanted to chat with more well know woodworkers and makers.
  • What’s the basic equipment you need for podcasting? 
    • All you really need these days is Skype. It has a built in recorder. A pair of earbuds or headphones is also a must.
  • How did you get into Woodworking?
    • I’ve always been into making and building things since I was a kid. As I got older I started fixing up my home and building things I needed.

  • Where do you get inspiration? 
    • I get inspired from all those around me. Those on social media and in my daily life. I try to find something cool about everything I see.
  • What tools do you recommend buying first when your just starting out? 
    • It really depends on what you want to make or do.

Where to find Mr. Donny Carter – Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, themakerminded.com, donnycarter.com, maker minded instagram

Mentioned in our conversation –

Matt Cremona

Jimmy Diresta

April Wilkerson

Marc Spagnolia

Sam DIY Huntress

The Craftsman’s Blog

Jay Bates

Anna White

Tools mentioned –

Festool domino

Dowel Master

Shapeoko CNC

lathe

outboard stand

outboard tool

v carve – metrics

carve pro

Thanks for following my journey into DIY and woodworking! Having a newborn and a two year old has been harder than I thought, so my posts are going to be more sporadic for awhile. Thanks for your support and patience!

Sarah From The Created Home – Discover the DIYer

Today I am interviewing Sarah from The Created Home. This is one of my favorite interviews so far. She has been an inspiration to me for a while now. Her answers have really resonated with me and helped me a lot. She is very down to earth, very helpful, and one of the most creative people I have had a chance to talk too. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned wood worker, you should check out her stuff! I’m sure there’s something from her content that will inspire you!

How did you get into DIY?

My parents (well, really my father) remodelled our house growing up, so the idea of being hands on wasn’t at all new to me. Even so, with three brothers in the house and an upbringing so traditional it’s a wonder my mom didn’t wear an apron around, I did not know how to use tools. My husband and I moved into a large home with an unfinished basement and a whole slew of bad cosmetic choices not far into our marriage. We remodeled that entire thing – every last room. He taught me how to use saws, and I took my natural tendency to jump into the deep end and really learn what I put my mind to doing to work, and that was the start. In our marriage I do the carpentry end of things with more precision, and he does the rough framing/remodeling wood work with the skill of many years of experience. All in all it works out very well, even if he constantly has to remind me that I don’t need to measure the studs down to the 1/32. 😊

How long have you been making things?

I started remodeling in late 2013, started playing with repurposing and doing small sign type projects in 2014, and jumped into building furniture in late 2015.

Where do you get inspiration?

From the world around me. I make it a point not to get on Pinterest. Sometimes a good knock off is really fun to make. But I like to tap into my own creativity by getting out of the shop and just being out and around.

What tools do you recommend buying first when your just starting out?

A drill, a circular saw, a pocket hole jig, an orbital sander…from there to a miter saw and table saw.

What can you get by without at first?

A lot of stuff, really. Just stick to the basics (the ones I named above), and feel out where you want to go from there.

What is your favorite tool?

My SawStop table saw. It’s the heart of my shop. I use it for so many things. It’s kind of amazing how much can be done with a good table saw.

Which skills should you work on first?

Measuring. Sounds silly, but everything depends on accuracy. People try to build fast too much these days. Focus on accuracy, take your time, and make it right the first time.

What are some of your favorite resources?

People – friends in the woodworking community who are happy to share their thoughts, experiences, and ideas. There are good books and websites out there, but community kind of trumps everything.

How do you manage your time efficiently?

I do the best I can, and try to make peace with the rest. My kids are young – the oldest in kindergarten and the second in part time preschool. A year ago my husband left his job and started a house flipping business. So basically my priorities are: 1. Wife/Mom, 2. Business partner, 3. Business owner. The trick, I think is to resist comparisons, in my case with those who may or may not have more time. Balance looks different for everyone, and that’s okay.

As a more concrete answer – I try (emphasis there) to prioritize time with my kids first, then an hour or so in the shop. It works better in theory than practice, but I want them to know they come first. I do my computer work in the evenings, after they go to bed. My husband does the same, and it is not uncommon for us to be up until 1am.

What is your favorite project to date?

Our mudroom. It was a bit of a mammoth undertaking that my husband and I took on together. We ran new plumbing lines and built a dog bath. We moved all of the electrical around to line up four chandelier lights. We were able to raise one structural beam up into the attic and raise the other up a good 6” or so. I tore out the old closets that were in that space and opted for a pony wall that, while it wasn’t plan A, has ended up working perfectly in the space. We moved the house’s main heat stack from that hallway to a central location in the other hallway we renovated at the same time. New flooring, a new small walk in pantry on one end, reframing of an old window that came out, a new exterior door from a 100 year old local farmhouse, two sliding doors I built, and two walls that each moved back about 9 critical inches.

And after all of that I built a large mudroom with a locker type area and drawers for each of my family and a cabinet with pull out trays for shoes. The cabinet is topped with my first DIY concrete counter top. I also learned how to build my own shower pan and we tiled the dog bath. All of that work turned a formally kind of awful area of our home into a functional show piece. It utilized all of the skills I have been building since renovating that home five years ago and getting into woodworking. So in that way it is kind of the current crown I’m wearing. Until the next big project, of course. 😊

What is the project that gave you the most trouble?

The very first dining table I ever made. I was not familiar with the concept of wood movement and had no idea what I was doing. I built it with 2×6’s from the local home improvement store  and pocket holed the whole shebang together. Then I sold it for a song, and over the next couple months as the seasons shifted and the moisture levels of that construction grade lumber dropped it proceeded to rip itself apart. I was horrified. Over the next month I committed myself to learning all I could about wood movement, moisture content, and proper joinery methods. It was a painful, but ultimately necessary learning experience.

My focus these days is on improving my accuracy and expanding my skills in joinery. I have a long, long way to go. But I try to make sure I’m always building interesting projects that I am personally excited about, and opportunities to improve are always part of each of those builds.

Do you ever sell any of your projects?

I haven’t for some time. I used to build commission pieces, but stopped for various reasons that basically amount to it’s an absolute beast to do. Establishing oneself in the local market is probably the most profitable when it comes to selling larger items at least.

Does your blog contribute to your income?

Yes. It mostly treads water until my kids are in school, but it supports itself, the services of a tech-type person, and a part time VA, so that’s something.

Do you have a shop/workspace?/ Do you have any bad habits/ dirty little secrets in your workspace?

Yes, my garage. Not really. I like to keep it clean when possible.

What are your favorite things to do when your not working on projects?

I live in the gorgeous pacific northwest, so hiking is always a win. Reading if indoors. Photography. Mostly just being with my family.

In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception about DIY?

Probably that it’s all pallet wood and rustic chic. But then, it kind of is when starting off, so maybe it’s not a misconception.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

I would like to be consistently putting in at least 20 hours in the shop each week. That is what comes to mind first because it’s the biggest struggle I have now. I also want to have a separate shop. If we still live where we are now I have plans sketched for a shop we will build on our back lot. Additionally, I would love to teach woodworking classes for women.

What is your biggest piece of advice for anyone just starting out in your niche?

Know the why for what you are doing. If it doesn’t come from a deep passion and drive to be better, it probably isn’t enough to get you through any of the less than glamorous parts of blogging. Or remodeling. Or probably anything else for that matter.

Be willing to work hard, because the idea that it comes easy for anyone is just not true. Find joy in the challenge – the challenge to do build complicated things, to manage a business with all of life’s competing factors making it seem impossible, to put yourself out there regardless of what cruel things might be said, to fail and to try again, to get frustrated and quit but to start again, and again, and again. Silence the voice in your head that says you are not good enough, not popular enough, not enough in any way. Never settle for half way, and know that your best will look different with every passing day. Don’t be afraid to show your mistakes, but equally so, don’t hold back from owning your success. Say no when you need to. Find your tribe, find your niche and be comfortable in your own skin. Build something you are proud of.

To find out more about Sarah and get more inspiration check out her website thecreatedhome.com, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Thanks so much for reading these interviews! Check out Angela Rose on the last Discover the DIYer! This has been so inspiring and helpful to me on this DIY journey, that I’m going to make this, Discover the DIYer, a regular series on the blog. Let me know what you think about the interview, the series idea, and the questions? I’d love to know who inspires you to DIY, and what you would ask them, if you had the chance? I also have some very cool interviews coming up with Jen Woodhouse, Donny Carter from TheMakerMinded.com, and a few surprises!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

DIY

Discover the DIYer – Angela Rose

Angela Rose is an extremely talented artist and mother that decided to create her dream home with her own 2 hands! This sweet mama answered some very valuable questions for me that I would like to share with y’all. As a creative mama myself I really wanted to know how she did all this and stayed sane. 

*How did you get into DIY?

10 years ago I was tired of having college furniture and wanted an upgrade. I didn’t have the budget, so I started building my own furniture. As the years have gone on, building and DIY have been an emotional outlet and stress relief. I now have 3 children and 2 are on the Autism Spectrum.

Doing projects is something I can do to occupy my mind and calm down my worries.

*Where do you get inspiration?

I love searching *Instagram, *Pinterest, and following my favorite accounts

*What tools can you get by without, at first? 

All you really need is a drill and a saw!

*Which skills should you work on first? 

Just have to start. Hang a picture, paint a wall! Start and build on that success. Be prepared to make mistakes. It’s normal and happens to me all the time.

*How do you manage your time efficiently? 

ha! I don’t. I stay awake until 2 am almost every night. Being a full time mom takes up all my time so I have to do everything when the kids are sleeping!

*What is your favorite project to date?

I love my accent walls and barn doors. Huge impact for a small budget, and a project that others can do!

*Do you have a shop/workspace?

my garage floor! ha. 

*Do you have any bad habits\ dirty little secrets in your workspace?

I got stung by a scorpion last year. Eek!

*In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception about DIY?

That we know what we are doing…and don’t make mistakes.

*Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

I would love have finished redoing my home and be working on a second home! 

*What is your biggest piece of advice for anyone just starting out in your niche? 

You need to love it and be passionate. Don’t be afraid to work hard and play up your strengths. It’s always a big learning curve, but that’s okay. Feeling uncomfortable helps us grow. 

I first discovered Angel Rose on Instagram. I saw her DIY barn doors and her crazy accent walls and had to follow her. Her stories on there are great too. You have to watch her fireplace redo in the highlights. It’s a total mystery, thriller! 

Thank you so much Angela! Please hop over and follow her on Instagram @angelarosehome , Pinterest and check out her new enlightening blog angelarosehome.com. 

This has been so inspiring and helpful to me on this DIY journey, that I’m going to make this, Discover the DIYer, a regular series on the blog. Let me know what you think about the interview, the series idea, and the questions? I’d love to know who inspires you to DIY, and what you would ask them, if you had the chance? 

10 Low-Cost Valentine’s Day Gifts

Crafts

1. Beads – bracelets

Very easy craft and helps with fine motor skills! I let him string on as many beads as he could. Then I helped string the names on. Tied and finished!!

2. Canvas

Very easy and fun! First, I taped off the L and E. Second, I squirted dabs of paint all over the canvas and let him use his hands and paint brushes to move it around. After he was done playing, I let it dry. When it was dry, I painted his feet red (while in his high chair, highly recommended) and pushed them onto the canvas like a V. Then we painted his hand white and pressed it onto the canvas like an O. We let everything dry and removed the tape! Ta-Da!

3. Footprint Heart Frames

Also very easy. Probably my favorite! I love the vintage look!

I painted his feet red (while in high chair, highly recommended). Then pressed them onto scrapbooking paper in the shape of a heart. I bought some cheap frames from Goodwill. Cut the paper to size and put them in the frame. So easy!

Check out this post for some extra ideas for the crafty person in your life! 

Low-Cost Shopping

4. Farmhouse Pillows

I love getting pillows as gifts. It’s something I wouldn’t buy myself but I love changing them out with the holidays.

5. Garland

Another thing I probably wouldn’t buy myself but I love! You could add little paper hearts for extra festivities. Also might find some great deals this time of year.

6. Little Cake Pans

Great for wives and kids. You might even get a treat in return! Especially if you buy ingredients to go with it.

7. Mini Scarves

These are the most handy things to have! I tie them on my purse/diaper bag and pull them off whenever I need to get my hair off my face. I use them as headbands or cute little accessories. Click here for hair inspiration!

8. Kids Shirts

Kids get clothes for every occasion. Duh!

9. Clothes

All women need more clothes!

10. Jewelry

These are my personal favorites. I love pearl everything. My engagement ring was a pearl. I’m obsessed.

This necklace is also an essential oil diffuser. Another thing I’m obsessed with.

I have a new post coming up next week on How To Build A Mountain Range Bed! I’m so excited about this post. Please sign up for my newsletter so you won’t miss it! If you can’t wait till next week for more DIY you can check out the window updates for this room here. Thanks friends I hope this list was helpful and inspiring.

**Affiliates/Sponser disclaimer** Please know that I sometimes use affiliate links on my blog, and that means that I might make a small commission on something you purchase at the corresponding site. However, that product will not cost you any more because of this affiliate link and if you would rather not buy through my link that is fine too! Just google the product! I might also do a sponsored post, where I might receive products or compensation in exchange for my opinion. Just remember I only share/link things on my blog that I would recommend to my closest friends.

11 DIY Wood Projects for 2019

My Top 11 DIY Project Goals 

2019

1. Barn doors for the hall closet and the laundry room.

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2. Table for our coffee station and all my collectibles in the kitchen (cutting boards and rolling pins)

I want it to be a mixture of these two. I want shelves for my metal baskets but a big drawer to hide the coffee overload.

3. Kids coat hanger

My kid has more coats than my husband and me combined!


4. Kitchen storage that rolls out

5.Built-ins for playroom

I need something for the tv, crafts, toys, shoes, and more coat storage!

6. Air return cover

We are currently putting an old mantle around it and I can’t stand how hideous the grate is! It takes away the beauty of the mantle. I think I’m dreading this project the most. It seems very tedious.

7. Laundry sorter

8. Kids farmhouse table and bench

9. Porch swing

10. A kid’s tower for two littles

My son uses the one I made last year every day but he’s getting tall. I want to make one that adjusts for two kids heights.

11. I have my Mamaw’s old tator bin like this one. I want to revamp it a little to match our kitchen. Then my son can use it as his play kitchen.

I didn’t make a project for each month because I figured I would take a month off when I had this sweet baby.

You can do it too! Start making things for yourself and don’t forget to enjoy the process! Soak in all the memories and embrace the imperfect! Thanks for checking out my new projects for this year! I am currently learning a new program to start drawing up my own plans! If you have any questions or ideas send me a message or comment below! I hope we’ve inspired you! Please post or send pics of your finished projects! And don’t forget to pin to your Pinterest boards for later!!

Make Something Special

These are some DIY projects we completed over the holidays.

 

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Refinishing a Rocking Horse and a Dresser

 

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This dresser is special to me because my mom and I picked it out at a flea market years ago in hopes of redoing it to sell. Then I fell in love with it but didn’t know exactly what to do with it. Then life got busy. So this Christmas I decided we need more toy storage especially with another baby coming. So I found a new home for this jewel and decided to finish it.

The dresser had a door over the shelves. So I took it off and put pallet wood where the old shelves were. 

 

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We bought this rocking horse for my son last Christmas at the 127 yard sale in Crossville. I didn’t get around to redoing it before Christmas last year so I finished it this year! It was a hit! It’s the first thing my son goes to every morning screaming, “Neigh, Neigh!”

The rocking horse had googly eyes that I pried off but I didn’t change much about it. 

 I forgot to take a before picture because I’ve had these 2 pieces for years. I thought I had some hidden away somewhere but I can’t find them. Sorry.

 

Refinishing process on both:

  1. Sand

  2. Crackle paint

  3. Paint white (repeat 1st 3 steps until you like the results)

  4. Final Sand 

  5. Wax

Canvases

 

These were very dear, close to my heart Christmas presents we worked on for the grandparents. My mom and mother in law both say every time they see a cardinal “there’s Mamaw”. Plus it was so much fun watching Witt get into painting this year. I was so proud!

 

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  1. I put dots of grays whites and blues and let Witt smear them around

  2. Then I went back and just smoothed them out before it started drying

  3. Dry

  4. Painted his hand with red and stamped it on the canvas

  5. Dry

  6. Then I painted the branch on and the face details

  7. Dry

  8. Then use a fanned out brush dipped in white, cream, and very light gray to dab the snow on the branches

  9. Dry

  10. I cut out the saying “cardinals appear when angels are near” in vinyl on my silhouette then stuck it on but you could paint or write it on with a sharpie. 

Ta-Da

Signs

 

  1. I used plywood that I cut to size with a table saw

  2. Then I found a sheet of “paneling” at Lowe’s I liked even better. So I also cut it to the same size as the plywood and glued them together

  3. Next I cut 2x4s in half and cut the rounded edges off with the table saw

  4. Stained

  5. Then nailed to the plywood and each other with a pin nailer

  6. Next I used my silhouette to cut out sayings or dates in vinyl

  7. Stuck them to the paneling

  8. Then I put a coat of modge podge over the top

Ta-Da

 

 

I just painted the plywood white on a few instead of using the paneling and I painted the red baseball laces on there too. 

You can do it too! Make something special and don’t forget to enjoy the process! Soak in all the memories and embrace the imperfect! Thanks for checking out my new projects! If you have any questions or ideas send me a message! I hope we’ve inspired you! Please post or send pics of your finished projects! And don’t forget to pin to your Pinterest boards for later!! 

Last Minute Homemade Gifts

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Every year I think, “ I’m going to make everyone homemade gifts this year!”  Then one week before Christmas I’m struggling to finish up or start projects! 

 

Footprint Ornaments

 

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My first project here is very simple, easy, and fast! Also a great tradition to start with your lil babies! We made 5 this year and 8 last year. Great for last minute gifts! You can make them more rustic chic or very kid friendly! 

You’ll need:

  1. Paint – green, red, orange, yellow, brown, white, and cream
  2. Paint brushes
  3. Water for rinsing
  4. Baby wipes for easy, fast clean up
  5. Puppy dog pads (if you have some) or trash bags, etc to keep your floor/ table dry and clean
  6. High chair or bumbo seat – keeps lil feet still 
  7. Wood pieces – you can use blocks, rectangles, or more fancy ones
  8. String for hanging
  9. Drill for making a small hole to hang
  10. String, poof balls, yarn, twigs, hot glue or anything to be more creative – we didn’t use any of this this year but we did last year

Instructions:

  1. Paint, stain or leave your wood pieces natural
  2. Paint lil feet and press the wood onto them
  3. Let dry
  4. Add faces, decorations, hats, antlers, berries, etc. with paint
  5. Let dry
  6. Add embellishments like twigs for snowman arms or matted string for deer tail with hot glue
  7. Drill one or two holes in the top 
  8. Add string to holes and tie 

Ta-Da DONE! 

Christmas Tree Sconce / Picture Frame

 

My next project takes a little more time but still very easy and doable. I followed 

Angela Marie Made

plans and she does a great job of explaining and doing the math for us! 

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I decided to add a picture clip on the back with hot glue so you could use it as a picture frame or sconce. I also added rubber circles to the bottom so it wouldn’t slide around. If it’s not perfectly flat it keeps it from wanting to tilt (Which happened to a couple of mine.) I used pocket holes on the bottom of some just to add more strength incase they wanted to hang them. 

The funnest part to me is the staining and painting. I stained them all with different stains. Then went back and dry brushed some with white and some with green. Let them dry and sanded the crap out of them. On the lighter ones I used a dark wax to make the crevasses stand out more. They all turned out great. Not one is the same. I think the dark stain with the white paint is my favorite. It looks like old barn wood. 

 

Reindeer Feed Onesie

 

Last I did these onesies for my son and his lil girlfriend. We both have farms and farm names. So I made a silhouette cut diagram. Cut it out on vinyl that I never use and laid it on the onesies (prewashed and dried with no softener.) I used black fabric paint and a makeup sponge to stencil it on. Let it dry 48 hours. Added another coat. Took the vinyl off let it dry for 72 hours. Then washed it! 

You can do it! Get those last minute special gifts done and don’t forget to enjoy the process! Soak in all the memories and embrace the imperfect! Thanks for checking out my new projects! If you have any questions or ideas to make it even better send me a message! I hope we’ve inspired you! Please post or send pics of your finished projects! And don’t forget to pin to your Pinterest boards!! ❤️