Thursday, September 29, 2016

EASY Pallet Book Cubby

I got a call from my fellow DIYer in crime Maran the other day in deep distress, sweat running into her eyeballs, with this breathless question: "HOW DO YOU GET PALLETS APART?!" 

Yeah.  We've all seen these amazing pallet projects on Pinterest.
The truth is rough.  The truth is pallets are a bear to try to take apart.
So I don't really.  I just cut what I want off of the pallet, and use it as is.
Not the answer she was wanting to hear.  She was hoping I had some magical way to easily pry up that tough wood without splintering the wood.  Now I know their are fabulous other DIYers out there that don't seem to have such difficulties.  It is true too, that not all pallets are created equal.  My Repurposed Life even promotes a special tool that is supposed to easily take them apart!  So if you are really going to get into this pallet thing, maybe you should invest in it. :)

But here's how I do, pry a few boards off, and then get armed with a skill saw or sawzall and cut the part you want to use.

Sorry for the old photo from a previous pallet project, but you get the point.  I'm not like most bloggers, who somehow seem to be able to photograph every move they make!  Humph.  I better get on that.

Look at the photo below - see how I just cut this corner off of a pallet?

Then I cut a board to fit into the bottom and used a nail gun to secure it to the bottom to make the perfect little shelf for this book cubby!  I love this for library books, since our house seems to eat them up.  I'd rather not have to buy any more replacements!

For the little chalkboard sign, I just used a piece of scrap wood I had and painted it with homemade chalkboard paint:

A little plaster of paris dissolved in hot water, and added to black paint.  Simple!
Then I just attached it to the front of the pallet with wood glue.

I also painted the wood a light gray color, and then sanded it all with a low grit sand paper to smooth the rough wood out.  Don't want slivers on tender little fingers putting away their library books.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

DIY Fireplace Surround Built From Scraps {Updates!}


HOWDY!  I decided it's time to post some long overdue updates!
A year and a half ago, Hubby was about to head out the door to Menards to buy wood to built us a mantel and fireplace surround.  I stopped him.  HALT!  NO NEED TO BUY ANYTHING!  
We have such a stash of wood scraps and what-nots in the barn... just go dig around, I told him.  You'll come up with something, I told him!

And he sure did!!  But back then when I published that original post I had suitcases in the fireplace instead of our wonderful gas log and furniture that just didn't jive with my room, and an old camera with grainy pics to top it off!

Sooooo.... today I'm going to pull out a few of the same "before" and "during the project" shots, but I'll give new updated photos of how it looks presently!  :)

Ready?  Go!

Using the backside of paneling that we had left over from our kitchen ceiling:

Faux wood "pillars" actually made from styrofoam found in the barn....

As well as a beam (which was a little too dark and shiny for my liking but it dulled and brightened up a tad with some sanding:

Then I used Zinsser Perma-White to paint the pinkish brown colored granite surround.
A lot of folks were skeptical about this.  I was warned that the paint might bubble or peel when the fire was going.  NOPE!  It hasn't changed one iota.  No bubbling, peeling, nothing.  Looks as new as the day I put it on!  It does get pretty hot to the touch after the fire has been going for awhile, but nothing changes the paint OR the styrofoam beam for that matter.  I was warned about that, too.

And here it is today!  I'm sure it will be decorated different in a few weeks when my mom comes.  
Her favorite past time at my house is rearranging the vignettes. If it was left to me, nothing would ever move!

See that desk hiding back there in the corner?  That would be where this blog post is being created at this very moment. And now you know. :)

Have a boring fireplace?  
Pin this image and make it beautiful someday!

The best part about this?  It was absolutely FREE!!!!
(the paint was left over from another project!)

Wait.... we didn't steal the gas log insert.  I guess we had to buy that! 
But for this post, we're keeping it about the mantel/surround so, yeah.  :)

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Camouflaging Wood Damage {Dumpster Dresser}

Once a year, our little town has "trash day" where all week long people put their crap on the curb , and then on Saturday, it all gets picked up.  You can guess what happens all week before the truck comes!  People like me are racing other people like me to dig through the piles.  I used to be a little sheepish about it, now it's like WOO HOO - JUNK ON THE CURB!!!  Talk about the ultimate opportunity to churn out some "Trash to Treasure" projects!  

This was my haul from this spring:

Even I seriously questioned my sanity when I grabbed that dresser... it was so rough looking with a missing drawer.... but come on now. Since when did that ever scare me?  Throw it in the vehicle!

Once I got all the old paint scraped off of the top, there was this nasty spot under the paint that just got gunky when I sanded.... then I took a straight edge screw driver and tried to scrape what seemed to be solidified green slimey wood.... and I was just gouging the top like none other.  So I decided to just stop trying to get rid of it (because I kept making things worse!!) and camouflage it instead!  I know, I could have probably just painted it, but I was being real stubborn wanting to keep my original idea of refinishing the wood on top.

My sister-in-law buys me the best birthday presents ever.  We are so totally opposite, yet she knows me to a "T"!!  A new stencil!

Check it out!  Who even notices the damaged spot on the wood now?  Not me!
Kinda seems like I did things backwards doing the top before the rest but whatevs.

I painted the rest of the dresser black, and then used the table saw to cut a piece of wood to use as a shelf where the missing drawer was on the bottom.
Never let missing drawers scare you! :)

My mom just happened to have brought me some baskets when she visited last that couldn't have fit more perfectly!!  Sometimes it's just those things like that that make me go "wow!".  Kind of like when I order a swimsuit off the internet and it actually fits....

This will probably be going in my booth at the BRAND NEW Parma Antique Mall which I'm so excited to be a part of!!! 

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Simple Burlap Bow Around Chippy Board Sign

When you have to yank it off, might as well repurpose it!  Pretty sure this board came from right about where the bottom of Tim's ladder is, off the outside of the sunroom.  This delightfully chippy wood was all hidden underneath ugly aluminum siding and oh how I wish we could have restored the look BUT for reasons I won't go into...  we didn't. :(  So I'm having fun creating with the wood I cut up and added to my "salvage stash."

I cut a long piece of burlap, tied a knot in the middle of it and then just used a staple gun to attach the ends around the back of the board.

The letters are stenciled on, and I used Cutting Edge's Birds On A Branch stencil for the leaves overlapping  it onto the board in the spaces between the words.  It's a huge stencil, but I love using just small sections of it for projects like this. 
Here's one of the teachers using this "technique" at one of my sign painting classes:

I had actually put the lettering on this board as an example of what the different letters looked like for a sign painting class I was hosting (I'll say hosting rather than teaching because I didn't excel in the "teaching" department). 

Ms. Haney, our awesome school principal, chose to paint her sign on a piece of the chippy white wood which she actually painted a light aqua blue over... and it turned out so cute (wish I had a picture of her finished product):

I have more signs in the works using this awesome chippy old salvaged wood from off of the old "Lefere Mansion" so stay tuned.  :)

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