Howdy, friends! I would like to officially introduce you to The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. After a lot of thought, I have decided to change the name of my blog from The Navy Home to The Bluebonnet Farmhouse.
After restructuring and redesigning the entire website last year for a look more true to us and our content, it became more apparent that our name no longer suited us. Now that Chris has resigned from the Navy, we have moved back home to Texas, and own a home we can actually renovate; I felt the name needed some rethinking.
While renting and moving frequently with the military, we never wanted to spend too much on home goods that could get damaged or lost in a cross country move – which was a good thing considering this last move! Since we are settled, we have been able to invest in quality furniture and items that provide us with the cozy farmhouse feel we desire.
THE NAVY HOME
At the time of starting my blog, Chris was in the US Navy, we lived in base housing, and ironically our home on base was blue. That made naming my blog all too easy – The Navy Home – a double meaning. It began as a DIY blog with tips on how to decorate on a budget while renting, military life in general, and natural living.
THE BLUEBONNET FARMHOUSE
There was so much meaning behind The Navy Home that I did not want to lose, after all that is where everything began. So I decided to take our name and simply transform it into an even more meaningful title.
Navy >> Bluebonnet
Home >> Farmhouse
The word Bluebonnet comes from the fact that it is the Texas state flower, Chris and I are both from Texas, and we almost got married in a field of bluebonnets. Unfortunately, our wedding date was two weeks after the bluebonnets’ stunning display, which we couldn’t avoid since we were still in school. Not to mention, I love bluebonnets (what Texan doesn’t?) and my favorite color is blue.
The word Farmhouse is representative of our decor, overall lifestyle, and dream to one day have a true farmhouse on acreage. You can read more about what I mean by this in an upcoming post.
You will be seeing some changes on our website and social media pages while we work to update everything with our new name. In the meantime, you can look forward to all of the new content I am very eager to share with you!
We want to thank you for your support and welcome to The Bluebonnet Farmhouse!
P.S. There is even meaning in the font used in our new logo! The font is a replication of Texas pioneer woman Emily Austin Perry’s handwriting found in letters she wrote to her husband.
Need a gift idea for the man in your life? Learn how to make this custom storage box ideal for housing military ranks, watches, cuff links, and jewelry.
This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.
My husband, Chris, was on his first deployment when I made this military rank box for him. I wanted to make something special as a gift for when he got home and had come up with the idea several months before he even deployed. However, I chose to play it safe and wait until he was away to work on it so he wouldn’t accidentally find it!
After commissioning, he had been talking about needing to get some sort of box to store his ranks in. His solution, or at least the temporary one, was a plastic CD box… total guy move right there. I knew that wasn’t going to work because I wanted his ranks to have a special place for two different reasons. Not only will the contents of this box signify the time he spent serving our country, but it will also house the ranks my mother passed down to him from one of our fallen, LTJG Cole Patrick O’Neil. You can read more about why these ranks play an integral part in our story, Tragedy Turned to Treasure, in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Military Families.
He was ecstatic when I gave it to him and I somehow managed to not spoil the surprise the entire time he was deployed. This rustic rank box was honestly the most exciting gift for me to give to my husband; it was sentimental for both being handmade for him by his wife and for what resides inside.
Not only would this be the perfect gift for military ranks, it is also great for a men’s watch and jewelry box! This really was a fun project! Continue below for the tutorial!
If you plan to get the glass engraved, begin with this step first and remove the lid from the box. I was in college studying architecture when I made this project for my husband; therefore, I had access to a laser cutter within the architecture wood shop to laser etch the glass for me. Some architecture colleges allow non-students access to the laser cutter for a fee in addition to completing a safety test.
If you have a very steady hand or want a handwritten look, you could try a handheld diamond-tipped engraver, but be sure to practice on a scrap piece of glass first! Otherwise, you could go to a glass engraving shop and have them professionally engrave the lid.
NOTE: If a laser is being used to etch the glass, cover the wooden edges of the lid with painter’s tape. The tape prevents the wood from getting any burn marks.
UPDATE:If you are not sure how to go about getting the glass engraved, feel free to send me a message or comment below and I would be more than happy to help! A friend of mine actually has a laser cutter and may be able to help us out!
Before applying the stain, remove any wood dividers in the box that might be in the way for what it is meant to store. For example, I removed one divider on the right side of the box to create a larger space for Chris’s shoulder boards to fit in. You may want to do the same if watches are going to be stored in the box.
Be very careful when removing any of the dividers – you don’t want to break the ones you want to keep! Use a box knife to gradually wedge down between the pieces. I admit this is when my dad stepped in to help. I needed some pure manpower because the dividers in my box had been, what I believe to be were, industrially adhered together!
Once the pieces are detached, use the box knife to shave down any glue or wood residue to get a flat surface. Sand the area if necessary to achieve a smooth finished surface.
Select your color of stain and remove any hardware from the box and lid. At the time, I had used Minwax Special Walnut, but would now highly recommend using this ECOS Paints Special Walnut. This wood stain is specifically meant for crafting projects such as this and is non-toxic, zero VOC, and no odor! All of which is a huge bonus for me considering I would always get migraines after working with conventional paints and stains.
Use your staining rag to apply the stain to the exterior and interior of the box. Apply additional coats until you reach the desired color and allow for adequate drying time between each coat.
I decided against applying polyurethane since the box will not come in contact with anything that would require it to be sealed. Also, I loved the unsealed look that the special walnut stain gave the wood; the color has a dry and slightly weathered vintage look.
Again, the Craft Stain by ECOS would have been ideal for this project because it incorporates a top coat resin that gives a subtle sheen and eliminates the need for a top coat altogether.
NOTE: Read all the directions on each product before use. Remember to stir the stain before use, do not shake. Always wear a mask and gloves when applying stain or polyurethane along with working in a well-ventilated space. A well-ventilated space creates a cleaner workspace to breathe in and faster drying time.
Use a ruler to measure the interior surfaces you want to cover with felt while taking into account the thickness of the felt. Cut out the felt pieces, remove the paper backing, and adhere the felt inside the spaces. The peel and stick felt makes this quick and easy!
Add 1” to both the length and width measurements of each space to get the dimensions for your cushions. This 1” addition accounts for ¼” seam around and ½” extra material both ways to make your cushions fluffy.
Cut two pieces of fabric for each cushion and lay them face-to-face. Hand stitch or use a sewing machine to sew your ¼” seam around. I did not have my sewing machine at this point and chose to hand stitch the cushions.
Leave a 1” opening and pull the fabric through the opening to turn the fabric correct side out. Fill the cushion with polyester fill to the desired thickness and complete your seam across the opening.
Place the cushions in their cozy spaces and reattach the hardware onto the box and lid.
You’re done! Whether you made this for a service member to store his ranks or a husband to store his watches and cuff links, you now have a handmade gift any man is sure to love!
We would love to see your completed project! Tag The Bluebonnet Farmhouse on social media to share your project with us!
Need a beautiful handmade gift for a baby shower? We are in the season of life where us and friends are adding precious additions to our families, which means lots of baby related patterns and products! Our newest and current collection – baby burp cloths!
In an attempt to free up some space in my craft closet, I am now offering handmade items for sale! The best part is with every purchase you are helping to unite military families and aid our wounded warriors! You can learn more about our mission to give back here.
Due to the nature of how this adventure began, I may not have enough fabric to make multiple sets so quantities are very limited. I must say it has been a very fun and great way to start reducing my massive stockpile of fabric! More new styles are coming very soon!
A little about our burp cloths…
Designed to quickly and easily fold to double up for even the messiest of spitter-uppers!
Or leave unfolded for extra coverage around your shoulder and neck.
Large enough to use as a changing mat if you left yours at home – which will inevitably happen!
Compact enough to easily fit into any mom’s overflowing diaper bag!
Use for infant feeding and burping, drool/spit up mat during tummy time, cleaning up messes, impromptu changing mat, mini blanket for added warmth, etc.
Made of 100% cotton and will get more absorbent with each wash.
Attention to detail in the construction and craftsmanship of this product.
I never sell anything I would not want for myself or as a gift for someone else.
A portion of all profits will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project and United Through Reading!
NOTE: As with any baby product or accessory, never leave a baby unattended with a burp cloth and always use adult supervision. Not intended as a blanket for sleep or sleep use of any kind.
Our newest products…
Prefold cloth diapers were used as inserts in the burp clothes below. Prefold cloth diapers are an excellent and easy way to add absorbency to the burp cloths and influenced the three section design. In addition, these burp cloths are made of 100% cotton top layer and soft flannel bottom layer. Check them out below!
NAVY + WHITE NAUTICAL
Being true to our name, we are launching our burp cloth collection with these sweet Navy inspired burp cloths!
After having to step away from The Navy Home to become first-time parents, face various moves in addition to another deployment, resign from the Navy life, adjust to civilian life, and purchase our first home… we are so happy to be back and with a new look! We had so much going on in our lives that we were simply trying to keep up with what day it was. Through it all we have learned so much, have countless blessings to be thankful for, and now have our first home to make our own!
We are settling into our new home and are very excited to share with you all that we have going on here at The Navy Home! As you can imagine, we have LOTS of projects underway and on the drawing boards now that we have our home. According to my husband, I have filled my quota for the year on using the words “project” and “build” when it comes to our house, but he continues to be a trooper! We love that through our projects we are not only improving our homes aesthetics, but the functionality and monetary value as well!
In addition, we are adding some new content to The Navy Home – baby content! As some of you may know, I was pregnant with our first baby when The Navy Home was launched. Little did I know just how time consuming becoming a parent would be! Not to mention, I spent way too much time researching and reading reviews for each product that went on our baby registry. In my defense, I wanted to make sure every product purchased was carefully selected in hopes of minimizing the number of items potentially being replaced later. As a result, we now have loads of content to share with you! That’s right, we are sharing all of our favorite baby items we have used personally and absolutely love!
Stay tuned for more exciting home projects, organization ideas, baby products, as well as natural products for your home and family! Join us on this new adventure while we open our door, tell of our experiences, and share our home with you! Home is where you are anchored, it is where life happens, and we have much to talk about! 🙂
NEW AT THE NAVY HOME
Curious to know what has been going on in our new home? Check out our first new homeowner projects below.
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It’s official! We closed on our first home and our household goods have been delivered (minus one box that got lost in our cross-country move – not too shabby). Time for our first project as new homeowners! …
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