Christmas, Craft Projects, DIY GIFT GUIDE

Pallet Tree

The hubbs brought a few pallets home from his mom’s house and they’d been sitting out back waiting to be turned into something awesome. I used a ton of the wood for gifts this year. The first project I’ll share is the pallet tree I made as a decoration for our house.

I used a reciprocating saw to remove the flat pieces of wood off of the pallet in between the supports. I didn’t care about the pieces of wood being even because I planned on trimming them further.

I lined up four pieces of wood, and screwed them all together from the back, leaving a portion of the back support uncovered so it would act as the tree trunk.

Pallet Tree_Back

When all of the horizontal slats were secured, I flipped it over and traced a tree onto the front. To make it perfect, I measured the center point at the top of the tree, then traced straight lines to each corner from the top.

Pallet Tree_Traced

Once the tree was traced on, I used a circular saw to cut along the lines.

Pallet Tree_Saw

The final tree was adorbs, but still missing something.

Pallet Tree_Bare Tree

I thought about staining it, but opted to leave it plain. Instead, I created bunting out of cardstock, twine and gold paint. So stinkin’ cute.

Pallet Tree_Finished

Of all the things I made this holiday season, this is one of two things I kept for us. I just love it. I made it right before Christmas, so it wasn’t displayed for long. When I find a better spot for it next year, I’ll probably add hangers to the back so it can hang on the wall.

All in all, the only took about an hour from start to finish. Super easy project and would make a great gift! Now pin it for next year since I didn’t share until after the holiday. Rookie move, I know.

Furniture

Refreshed Grain Bin

I bought an old grain bin this spring that’s been moved from wall to wall until it found its home in my dining room. It’s lived in the dining room for months now, in its grungy, dirty state until I got tired of the grime and fixed it up this weekend.

You can see in this photo below the grain bin in its original state on the day I brought it home. It had a white knob and was all scratched up.

IMG_0876

I took off the white knob, which was only drilled partially into the front of the grain bin. It was a pain in the bttt to remove, but I needed to do that before I could clean around it — it was oddly grimy. Yuck.

Grain Bin_Old

I took a few more photos of the piece before getting started on the refinishing. Here’s the beat up top — probably the worst part of the grain bin.

Grain Bin_Old_Top

The front panel of the top of the bin was super scratched, too.

Grain Bin_Old_Front

Since the wood was in super rough face and didn’t look like it ever had much of a stain on it, I was doubtful that my go-to Restor-A-Finish would work. But lo and behold, this might be the best use of the refinishing product yet. To use Restor-A-Finish, simply dab it on a paper towel and rub it on your piece. Let is sit for 20 minutes, then wipe any excess off.

The grain bin was thirstyyyyy, so there wasn’t too much of the finish to wipe off.

Notice any of the scratches or discoloration before?

Grain Bin_Refinished

Nope! Buh bye scratches!

Grain Bin_Refinished_Side

And hello beautiful, shiny top. I mean, seriously, can you believe the difference?

Grain Bin_Refinished_Top

All I needed to do at this point was add a knob back on the front. I grabbed my drill to make a hole through the front panel, then attached an antique0looking crystal knob.

Grain Bin_Refinished_Knob

So charming. Check out the whole thing:

Grain Bin_Refinished_Whole Project1

I bought the grain bin on a whim — basically I just had to buy something at the Barn Sale I went to back in April. Now that it is freshened up, I love this impulse buy and think it totally belongs. It acts as such a nice mini-buffet in the dining room. We usually have our fruit bowl here, but my three apples looked sad and lonely.

Grain Bin_Refinished_Whole Project

Did I mention we store all of our outdoor equipment in it? Volleyballs, badminton racquets…. all sorts of fun stuff. What… don’t you store that sorta thing in your dining room?

Furniture

Crate Coffee Table, part 2

Earlier this year I found a crate on my local Freecycle listserv that I scooped up, added some caster to and turned into a coffee table.

Crate Coffee Table

The crate sat as is for a while, but the wood was rough around the edges and the crate had been written on and scuffed up. I decided to take on the coffee table crate project for a second time, this time opting to stain the crate and make the piece a little more polished — well, as polished as an old wood crate can look.

The side of the crate was painted a dark, charcoal gray. I decided to stain the crate a gray to pull out the charcoal-colored sides.

Before I could start staining, I had to sand the hell outta the crate. The top was covered in nicks, scuffs, sharpie, old sticker goo…. It wasn’t pretty.

Crate

It looked like someone had kept score on the crate, or attempted math? Who knows. But the sharpie had to go.

CrateTop

Once the whole crate was sanded down, I applied a gray stain to the whole thing, including the painted sides. Since some of the paint was scuffed off, I wanted to make sure the exposed wood was gray, too.

CrateStained

The wood soaked up the stain lie crazy, turning the whole crate a charcoal gray with wood grain popping through. I love the color mixed with the natural wood peeping through.

Once it dried, I coated the whole thing in a polyurethane.

CrateGray

The finished product is still a roughed up, old crate — but a much nicer looking old crate. I like the gray a lot and how it tied the sides and the rest of the piece together. I also like the lack of graffiti on my furniture. That’s a plus for sure.

Crate iside

We aren’t currently using the crate as a coffee table, so I’m not sure what we’ll do with it. But I really like the cleaned up look for this neat old piece.