Craft Projects, Furniture, Pallet Projects

Pallet Ottoman

I feel very accomplished writing this post. I’ve been saying for about a month now that I planned to build an ottoman out of shipping pallets all on my own. Well, I finally did it. And, it’s cute!

After a busy morning yesterday, I had the perfect opportunity to make my ottoman. The house was clean and decorated, dinner was cooking in the crock pot, the hubbs was busy watching football…. the only thing left to do was tackle my project! And the weather was perfect.

So I lugged four pallets from the front of the house to the backyard and pulled out my arsenal of tools and got to work.

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When I had the idea to make this ottoman, it was simply that, an idea. I had a plan in my brain, but wasn’t sure where it would go in the house or who would use it. So I trucked on over to JoAnn’s last weekend to look for some inspiration. Lo and behold I found a beautiful piece of fabric in the home decor aisle (that of course wasn’t on sale) that immediately became my inspiration of the project. The fabric was navy with cherry red  flowers on it, and it would go perfectly in our blue den in front or our red chair.

Now that I knew where I was making the ottoman for, I stood in a miserably long line to get a piece of foam cut for the project (24 in. x 16 in.) and my yard of fabric. The fabric was $45, but I had a coupon for 60% off. Honestly, that’s one of the reasons I waited in the 30-minute line…. that was a sweet discount.

Anyway, my foam and fabric sat around the house for a week before I had the chance to get my hands on it. I pretty much built the ottoman around the piece of foam, so it was pretty important.

Onto the building part…. I tore two different shipping pallets apart to make this piece. The first I had already mostly used in my pallet sign project. With this project complete, that pallet is totally donezo. I took the top boards off of the second pallet by cutting them with my jigsaw (not quite the appropriate tool to use, but I had to work with what I have). The pallet boards were about 5.5″ wide, so I cut three of them down to the length I needed (24 in.). These boards were the surface on which I adhered my foam.  Then, I cut two 2×4 boards to go beneath the ottoman top to support the top and allow the boards to be joined. These two boards were 16 inches long, that way they spanned across all three boards (the short length). I screwed the three top boards into the two supports to start my structure.

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Once that was complete, I flipped my board over to measure the distance between the two support boards. I wanted to add support lengthwise as well, so I had to determine the size I needed of the 2×4.

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I cut two boards to fit along the edges, then screwed them into the structure from the top down.

As a final measure of sturdiness, I ran three boards opposite the three top boards (only in the center of the structure), and one final board along the middle.

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With everything screwed or nailed into place, my base for my ottoman was complete. Since none of the pallet wood would be showing, I didn’t sand or stain any of it.

Next, I took some spray adhesive and sprayed the top of the ottoman base. I firmly placed my foam (4 in., high density) on top of the glue and let it sit for a minute. Once I couldn’t pull the foam off, I brought the project inside and began to cover the ottoman. I started with a layer of batting, which I wrapped around the long edge of the ottoman and stapled underneath. Then, I did the same thing width-wise. When I was finished with the batting, the entire top and sides of the ottoman were covered and plush.

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Next up, fabric!! I ironed my fabric, then laid it out on the floor to position the ottoman. Then I tightly (but not too tightly) wrapped it around and stapled it to the ottoman base. I did triangular folds around the corners to be a bit fancy. Oh la la!

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Once that was completed, I went the extra mile and added another fabric to the bottom so no pallet wood was exposed at all. For this step, I simply folder the edges of the fabric into a faux hem, then stapled them on top of the existing fabric. It turned out great!

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With my ottoman all covered, it was time to add the legs. I bought four heavy-duty leg plates at Home Depot that I screwed into the base. I definitely recommend this because it saves you from having to bore a hole into your base itself and makes it a little more secure and stable. Not to mention they are $2 or $3 a pop. Win.

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Meanwhile, I stained the legs black and gave them a quick coat of poly.

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When all of that was finished, I assembled the whole thing and was done. Time to relax on my fabulous, new ottoman. Or should I say, time for Remmy to relax (so spoiled!).

Remmy on Chair

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Finished Ottoman

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To say I am pleased with how this turned out would be the understatement of the century. I am still slightly shocked that I pulled it off having never built anything from scratch before and totally winging the plans, which I created in my non-mathematical brain of mine. Wow.

It looks great in our room and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. And now that I know I can do it, appropriate tools or not, I will happily tackle another ottoman project as soon as we buy a new couch for our family room. I don’t want to build it without knowing the style of couch we’ll end up with, but I am now confident I can do it.

Happy Monday, everybody 🙂

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Craft Projects

Pallet Bar Sign

Remember this sweet pallet I scored from work? I got a lot of use out of this bad boy, making two different jewelry holders, one with knobs and one with spoon hooks.

But, what I’m about to show you is the pièce de résistance from my first-ever pallet — a BAR sign for, yes, our bar!

To make my sign, I had to demolish the pallet. I got out my handy-dandy jigsaw and cut out the middle planks to use. I decided to make my sign with four planks, and an additional plank as support along the back.

Once my pieces were cut (I cut one of the planks in half for the back), I lined them up outside and nailed them together using my nail gun. I didn’t want the edges to be perfectly even, so instead I lined up the four planks by the nail holes down the middle. This gave it a nice look.

First, I nailed the wood into the back supports from the front of the sign. Then, for added support and more nail gun fun, I flipped it over and added nails down the supports in the back.

Then, I got out my sander and sanded the edges down and the front and back down. I picked pieces with holes and knots on purpose, so I made sure to leave those spots alone.

With the sign all smoothed out, I brought it inside to begin taping out my letters. Using painters tape, I blocked out the letters “B,” “A,” and “R” at varying heights along the sign. I did this all by eye (no tracing, no stencils), which took a long time (about an hour) and a ton of patience, but was worth it in the end.

Then, I got out some of my remaining paint samples and started to fill in my letters. For the “B” I used Behr Smoky Slate, for the “A” I used Behr Contemplation, and for the “R” I used Behr Lime Light. I’ve gotten so much use out of these samples, it’s crazy! Anyway, I chose these colors so the letters would have a subtle ombre effect to them.

Once the letters were painted, I removed the tape — the paint was still wet, so the tape came off perfectly! Then, I set the sign aside to dry.

Afterward, I got out some leftover gray stain from my coffee table project and stained the entire sign. Yes, I did go over the paint. I let the stain sit for about five minutes, then wiped it off and let it dry. I came back a few hours later and gave the sign two coats of poly. I also attached heavy-duty picture hangers to the back before letting the sign dry overnight.

We hung up the sign last night right behind our bar and it fits perfectly! I’d pretend that I did that on purpose, but it was just dumb luck! Still, I’ll take it 🙂

{A Smith of All Trades} Pallet Bar Sign

Um yeah, I ❤ my sign. So does the hubby. Total win!

And, best part, it was totally free to make!

Craft Projects

Low-sew pillows

I’ve seen a lot of post lately on no-sew pillows that look really cute. I needed a pillow or two for my painted yellow chairs, so I decided to try my own version of the no-sew pillow. I’m calling it a low-sew pillow because I hand-stitched them a little so they’d be more permanent. I used the same ideas though, and stayed far away from my sewing machine!

Low-Sew Pillow No. 1

Years ago I made a bunch of pillow to match my Paris-themed bedroom at my dad’s house. My step mom made me cute pillows and a matching bed skirt, too. On the way home yesterday, I stopped by and grabbed the old pillows to give them a new look so they’d match our yellow chairs perfectly. The first pillow I tackled was this long, cylindrical pillow.

First, I ironed out all of the creases in the fabric and laid the pillow on top. I cut off the excess fabric, leaving enough to wrap around the pillow and then bunch at the edges.

Once I had the fabric cut down to size, I ironed flat the ragged edge that would be exposed on the pillow.

With the edge ironed flat, I pulled the remaining raw edge up over the pillow and stitched a few stitches directly into the pillow to hold it in place.

Then, I folded the nicely ironed side up and over the pillow and did a stitch all the way down the seam. Since I have no plans of this pillow sitting anywhere but on my yellow chairs and I don’t anticipate the chairs themselves getting too much use, I was fine doing a raw stich on the underside of the pillow. If I were to make this pillow for my couch and it was to be tossed around all of the time, I would have stitched this part on a machine so it looked cleaner. Like I said, I am going for a low-sew pillow, so this worked just fine for me. I also really like seeing stitches in some things. I think they look neat.

With the pillow covered lengthwise, it was time to finish the edges. I flipped the pillow vertically so the white pillow underneath the fabric was showing. I placed a stitch in the center of the top of the pillow then started folding the fabric down onto the needle. This gave the pillow a bunched look at both ends. When the fabric had all been bunched, I folded down the top of the last flap of fabric so no raw edges were exposed. I then did a quick stitch to keep that part down. I did this for both ends of the pillow.

Now comes the fun part. I wanted to add an accent to my pillow, so I created a teal flower out of fabric. To do this, I cut eight circles out of my teal fabric and folded each circle into eighths.

Once all of the circles were folded, I stitched them together joining each folded circle at the pointy base. Once all eight were threaded together, I looped back around and put one last stitch into the first circle. That left me with a ring of fabric petals. I started to stitch that onto my pillow, spreading out each petal to give the flower dimension. Once I was happy with how that looked, I sewed a navy button onto the center of my flower. With that, my pillow was complete!

 

So cute, right? I was excited to pop it onto the yellow chair to see how it looked.

Cute, but something was definitely missing. With that, I started on my second low-sew pillow.

Low-Sew Pillow No. 2

For my second pillow, I picked a gray polka-dotted fabric. I also decided to go with a square pillow. I ripped off the cover of an old pillow and got to work.

I did a similar technique as I did with the first pillow, folding the raw fabric up to the center of the pillow and stitching the fabric to the pillow.

Once that was tacked into place, I folded one of the remaining tides and tacked onto the pillow as well.

Looks really nice, huh? For the final flap, I folded all of the raw edges under before folding the flap onto the pillow. I then did a stitch around all of the exposed seams. Once the pillow was all low-sewn into place, I added a big ol’ yellow flower to the top corner using the same technique as on the first pillow.

LOVE IT! Back to the chair!

Adorable, right? I like it so much better with two pillows!

Two pillows down, two to go.

Low-Sew Pillow No. 3

This was the last pillow I made last night — I got all tuckered out after three of them. This one is way different!

I started with a small rectangular pillow.

Like the other pillows, I folded up the long sides and stitched them together.

Now comes the fun part! With the excess fabric, I took up each end of the fabric and tied it into a knot in the center of the pillow.

If the fabric I was using didn’t fray, I could have simply cut off the white edges and went on my merry way. But I chose a fabric that would fray if I left it cut, so I trimmed off the white edges and tucked one half of the bow underneath the left side of the pillow, and the other part of the bow under the right side of the pillow. Then, I tacked down the corners underneath so the stitches were hidden and the edges od the bow wouldn’t pop back out accidentally.

Super cute! But it was missing an accent color. No flower for this pillow — I sewed a yellow buttons on top of the polka dots. Then I decided that was ugly, so I removed all but one little accent button. So cute.

Low-Sew pillow No. 3, complete!

I love my yellow chairs even more with the accent pillows — the pillows do a nice job of toning down the crazy yellow of the chairs.

I also think I’m going to move them chairs upstairs into our gray living room. They look nicer against the gray than they do against the greenish-blue.

Thanks for stopping by!