Friday, March 13, 2015

Pallet Table - Part One (The inspiration and the shop work.)

Oh Pinterest, my bane and my delight.

I am blessed to have several amazing and patient men in my life - both of whom appear here frequently. Add to that two lovely men-in-training helpers and my pinterest hobbies become a family event.

A few weeks ago I saw this amazing table on pinterest.

Let me mention several things here - First, the above picture is from an Etsy shop called triple7recycled. It is awesome. You will get completely sucked in if you visit. This also means the people who built this table know what they are doing and probably sat down and planned it all out, etc. Me... not so much.

Second, I often have "eyes bigger than stomach" syndrome when it comes to projects. The fact that my husband humors me (and will run around on a Saturday afternoon helping me collect pallets etc.) just encourages my sometimes unrealistic creative streak. (Here is an example of where it worked out well!) 

So, Zeke spent some time one Saturday helping me pull apart some pallets in my father's shop.

And a few weeks later I show up on a weekday and beg for help to figure out how to create our own fantastic piece of pallet furniture. My dad has a great space for working on projects and several amazing power tools I am kind of afraid to use. (I know perfectly well how to use a radial arm saw, etc. but if there is a man around willing to do it for me, I will gladly step aside. Yes, yes, woman power and all that - but sometimes the greatest example of power is allowing someone better suited to the task to accomplish it faster and better than I can. In this case my "mom-brain" hasn't seem to have gone away so I am happy to leave dangerous power tool usage to someone else.) 

So, here I am with a stack of torn up pallets and a picture. No plans. No measurements. Only a rough idea of what I want to accomplish and a whole lot of motivation.  

Internet to the rescue. We found a blog that gave another person's experience creating a table from pallets and away we go.

We discussed which angle we wanted to use and decided on 45 degrees (primarily because it made the math easier and required less adjustment of the table saw.) This turned out to be a great plan because the frame joints are 45 degree angles so this just makes the whole process a bit easier.

I prefer the pieces that were more weathered and had more character but we also had to find pieces less warped and cracked and this was a bit harder. Our next pallet project I will do a little more planning ahead of time. (Eh, maybe I will, but let's be honest - I don't generally create around planning.)

Pieces needed to be sanded.

And pieced together (just laid in place to make sure we had the pattern right.)

We chose to use some scrap 2x4 for the frame. 

At this point our work day ended and I packed up the pieces to take them home, finish sanding them, stain them and work on putting them together. 


We haven't gotten the table put together yet. Unfortunately one of the 2x4's for the frame is badly enough warped that we aren't sure we will be able to get it to line up. Will update you as the project progresses!

When my impulse was improved upon and implemented awesomely.

So, I get a burr under my saddle from time to time. Especially if I think I can take an awesome idea and make it work for even less money. I also love one-of-a-kind creations and prefer authentic pieces of art work over prints.

My husband also has a Mr. PSE (Problem Solver Extraordinaire) syndrome and sometimes my creative thriftiness and his engineering mind used to working on a shoe string budget coalesce into brilliance.

We were hunting for pallets to use on another project I was dreaming up and tossed several into the back of our minivan.

Several evenings later we decided to assess the wood we had found and Mark pulled out a fantastic small pallet that we had tossed in because we liked the look of the wood. I wish I had the forethought to show you the before, but here is the in process.

 He and Zeke hand sanded all the little splinters and points out of the pallet and it became this wonderful shelf.
Which now hangs in our downstairs bathroom so if you come visit you will see it though at the moment it looks more like this.
In fairness, I want to claim credit for this awesome idea, but my husband was the one who saw the potential and executed the plan. I have a good partner in crime. 

Bottle Wrapping Again

Maybe it is just  that I want to hoard empty bottles of various shapes and sizes? My closet is becoming full of them.

This time I tried something different. Traditionally they wrap around and around and around like these.

I like wrapped bottles and there are a wide variety of inspirations out there but I wanted to try something different.

This time I started in the middle of the bottle creating a circular pattern.

I love the way this looks. Starting the pattern was tedious. Again, the industrial double sided tape is amazing.

Then I had to figure out how to wrap around the rest of the bottle. I opted for a back and forth pattern like this:

I like the pattern but the edges are rough and loose. I will need to go back with super glue and tack them down. It would be fun to PLAN a bottle like this with those loops big enough to use as a chain to crochet or weave a pattern through.

I finished wrapping the bottle. The back and forth around the circle took longer than the circle itself did. 

So now I just need to figure out how to finish off these loose edges. (Super glue?) and also I am considering adding loose glitter that will stick to any remaining double sided tape edges that may collect dust otherwise. I will update to let you know how it turns out. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My day in pictures 3-4-15

First things first, littlest people need food!

Then little people can swing while kitcheny things happen.

Like sweet potatoes and eggs and turkey.

Then assess the house for the zillion-ish projects to be done.

Went to get poster board for my son.

And worked on a table project.

Of course I also worked from home on my "paid" job, and made dinner, and took care of kids, and answered a zillion questions and about 2 dozen other things. But, I forgot to take pictures of those. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Super secret project

I have a huge multi-media project that I am slowly, ever so slowly working on. Bless my patient husband who allows me space, time and help to get these projects done. In this case I am saving aluminum cans so that I can flatten them and use them for the "super secret project". It is super secret because I won't explain it to my kids. They always have 2 cents to put in about what I am working on, and I often just don't want to/need to/care to hear it. Let the artist alone to do her thing for goodness sake!

A piece of the project
One of the posters I had at my house before I married has been quoted by my husband many times over. I will admit I love new things just as much as the next girl, but learning to repurpose, renew and recreate has given me great joy and a lot of really cools things!

Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do

And finally, in the middle of all of this fun recreating and trying new things, I still live in a regular house with a "regular" *snerk snerk* family. We leave stuff all over the place, we have stacks of stuff that need to go to the attic or get left at the top of the stairs until dispersed. We have walls that need painting and pillows on the floor. And today, instead of adding these to my to-do list, I am just going to enjoy the blessing of really "living" in a home with a family that is healthy, happy and together.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The completion of "the big N"

Very exited to have finally finished this on 1/29. All in all I probably had 10 hours end, but most of that was done in 30 min chunks since a hot glue gun and an infant don't mix well. The only cost I had in it, besides time, was the spray paint. (And honestly, I loved that part! I have been spray painting all kinds of things!) I am quite pleased with the finished product. 
The Big N
It now hangs above our new buffet table with another of my recent projects, The shelf above the buffet was salvaged out of a dumpster - well, more accurately the wood was. I sanded it, rubbed it with stain to match the buffet top and used shelving brackets from Ikea ($4 ea.) to create the first of our reclaimed shelves. All in I think there is perhaps $10 (brackets, stain and sandpaper) and about an hour of labor. You will be seeing more of these around our house.

Of note as well is the blue seated chair which we picked up for $5 at a thrift store. I haven't yet decided whether I want to repaint the seat base. Thoughts?

Below are two other little projects. Diffusers are expensive to buy in the stores, and since I just recently purchased my first round of essential oils, I thought I would make my own. These bottles were $2 a piece from Walmart. I am brain scrounging items around my house I might use for more, but I loved these two little bottles. Bamboo skewers are the reeds. I used baby oil (which I found a site online that said I could) for a base, but am not pleased with it, so there will be modifications made when I can figure out what I prefer.