Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pallet loungers

Some of you may remember a while back when I made these beauties from some pallets.

Someone requested a tutorial and I'm happy to oblige, especially since I was planning on doing that anyway when they were all done. At the time they were only primed white and now they're a bright and luscious red :) So I took a few more pics and decided it was tutorial time!

Ok, maybe tutorial isn't the right word because I don't really have any before or during pics (!) but I'll at least be telling you how I went about it. As you can see from the pictures they're really easy and you can probably figure it out just from looking at them, but here we go just the same.

I can also add that my lack of before and during pics are due to the fact that I didn't know if it was going to turn out well or not. I was originally going to make something more Moroccan looking but it didn't work, not enough pallets of the same size and not the right saw for the job etc. So this is the design I came up with, spur of the moment style.


Four pallets of the same size, preferably rectangular
One pallet slightly wider than your other pallets, more square than rectangular
Scrap 2X4s or pallet scraps of the 2X4 kind

1. Take your four pallets of the same size and stack them on top of each other two by two. No need to secure them, the weight of the wood holds them in place just fine.

2. Make sure your one remaining pallet is wide enough to fit as a back rest. A pallet usually consists of three layers of wood: the top boards, the middle boards (often 2X4s) and the bottom boards. In this case the top boards need to be long enough to fit as a back rest while still accommodating the 2X4s on each side of the seat. So they need to be the width of the seat plus at least 4 more inches, if they're an inch or two longer than that you don't have to be so precise and it'll make your life easier.

3. Now it's time to deconstruct the back rest pallet and here's where the hard physical labor comes in... Remove all the bottom boards of the pallet and the two outside middle boards. Leave the one or two (depending on how your pallet is constructed) 2x4 boards in the middle where they are to help you keep the top boards in place. Save all the scraps, some will be used later in this project.

The arrow shows the nails holding the original middle board to the top boards, everything else was deconstructed.

4. Cut the remains in two halves. Make sure you cut so the slats will be in the same direction as your seat.

5. Take your 2x4s, either from another pallet like I did or use new from the lumber yard, and attach them to the top boards on either side. These need to be longer than your back rest so they can reach down and fit next to the seat pallets. 

6. Prop your seat back up where you want it to go to determine how much of an incline you want the back to be. I marked the incline of the supporting legs on the side so I knew at what angle to attach the legs later (see below pic with arrow). I just reused the original middle boards (2x4s) from my back rest pallet for this and at this point I was so tired and hot that I didn't even worry about cleaning them up :) They'll barely be visible in the end anyway. Oh, and I attached the support legs to the back rest at this point too :)

7. The last step is to attach the back rest pallet to the seat pallets. I was originally going to leave the back rest unattached but it was a little too wobbly so I put a screw where the arrow in the below pic is, one on each side of the lounger. It's only attached to the bottom seat pallet, the top one is still loose and removable.

Just a close-up of the same thing.

This is what it looks like from the back.

 You're all done!

At this point I decided to prime mine since I knew I wanted to paint them eventually.

And only two months later I finally got to the painting part :) Mostly since bright red paint for the outdoor furniture wasn't a high priority in the spending budget. But last week I found Pratt & Lambert exterior paint in "Red Statement" for only $10 a gallon at our local Habitat store and the rest is history...

Now they just need some cushioning, a few pillows and I'm thinking a drop cloth canopy so we can finally start using them. How about some oranges, yellows and hot pinks on top of this luscious red and probably a serene white for the canopy? Can't wait to hang out here with a cool drink while the kids play in the sprinkler. At this rate I'll probably have the rest done just in time for Thanksgiving :) But there's always next summer for reaping the benefits of this summer's hard work I guess :)

These loungers were free except for the $10 for paint. I barely used a quarter of my gallon so I have plenty left for other projects. Not bad for backyard style, IMHO.

Ps. Linking up with
Beyond The Picket Fence
The Shabby Chic Cottage 
Someday Crafts 
Funky Junk Interiors
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The entryway saga continues..

Since I realize I left you on kind of a cliffhanger note with my entryway looking like this

on our last episode I am now happy to report that it's starting to shape up and look a little cozier.

I used my pennyroyal seedlings on one side of the planter and found a small star jasmine for the other side and this is what it looks like now.

They're both in full but very bright shade so I guess we'll see how they do in the long run. As of now they seem to like it, the jasmine is putting out new growth already. My thinking is that I'll have it climb up the pretty garden trellis/ornament on the one side and then spill down over the planter and possibly the stairs on the other side. Here's the ornament which I put in the middle of the planter.

I bought this one at Hobby Lobby for about $15 I think (it was half off) using some gift cards from way back in March. So happy with it, instant class :)

Look how happy Miss Jasmine is, new tendrils reaching for the sun. If she just reaches a little further she'll have plenty of sunshine all day long. For those of you who noticed that the top of the planter liner is still peaking out I was planning on covering the dirt and the liner with some pretty rocks eventually which should remedy the situation. So far the planter seems to be doing just great, I haven't seen any water leaking out from the bottom.

While browsing my local Dollar Tree store I also found some small but pretty cast iron plant brackets and took two of them home. One I put up out here and ended up making a lantern for it to have something pretty but no maintenance to show off.

It's made out of the left over light cover from my shenanigans over in this post. I didn't like the look of it in the backyard but with the addition of some wire and plastic jewels it's just right on the front porch :). I put some sand in it to weigh it down and now it's just waiting for a tea light to welcome evening visitors with the warm glow of candlelight.

This is the view of the entryway from the side.

The bench in the foreground is my cinder block bench that I just finished last night.

It's just two columns of two cinder blocks stacked on top of each other and topped by a seat made out of 2x6s. I stained the base red with diluted patio paint and then added the stripes to carry the same color theme as the planter beyond it. They're not quite the same red color but since I'll be adding other reds of different shades to this area I think it'll look great when I'm done. I think I'll leave the seat wood colored to let it weather into a soft gray eventually. Any black or red color would mean you won't be able to sit down on it in summertime unless you want your bottom to turn into a juicy steak, and white just seemed too boring.

The bench turns this little patio into an outside room to actually hang out in if you want to, it encloses the patio and makes it a little cozier. It's also a perfect place to put your bags while you're unlocking the front door which is virtually impossible to do with just one hand. 

Sooo much better already, don't you think? Still not done, though, so I guess it's going to be another cliffhanger for you :) But a new entry mat is in the plans, some more colorful blooms, a painted front door and touches of bright reds is what I'm thinking. More to come :)

Ps. I'm linking up with the below parties.
The Thrifty Home
Blue Cricket Design
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Petty projects round-up

I took my one answer (many thanks to Sassy Jen!!) and the approving silence of the rest of you as an excuse to shower you with all my piddly projects that I previously wasn't going to show you here on the blog. If I wanted to be tactical I should have made each item a separate blog post but here they are - a round-up of the last couple of weeks and a few older ones thrown in for good measure.

Shisha embroidered flip-flops

I bought these flip-flops plain brown at Target a few months ago. After my first attempt to embellish them bit the dust I decided to use this excellent tutorial to Indify and add some sparkle and color to my shoes. An evening with needle and embroidery floss and they looked a whole lot better. I used large paillettes, large sequins with a tiny hole in the side found at a crafts store. And they're supposed to be washable which will be needed.

Shisha embroidered tank top

I was inspired by my success with the shoes and continued to spice up an old tank. Same procedure as with the shoes and then I connected the dots with chain stitch.

Embroidered qipao t-shirt

This is an older project. I love the look of the Chinese dresses called qipao and the shorter tops and for the longest time I was looking for a free or next to free pattern to make one but no luck. So I decided to fake it with a V-neck t-shirt from Walmart and some chain stitch embroidery. I used one of the kids' washable crayons to mark out where I wanted the 'opening" and the "frog closures" to go and went to town. I love how this turned out and will probably use it on other V-necks in the future.

Ruffled capris

All my pants were falling apart and I've been losing weight (yay!) so it was time to get something new. Not one to waste money on clothes I got myself a pair of plain slacks at the thrift store for a few dollars, cut them off right under the knee, used the cut off parts to make a longer strip of fabric which I attached to the pants with a folded ruffle. Covered the seam with a light green grosgrain ribbon and I was done. Nothing like thrift store clothing when you're altering clothes because not much is lost if you fail miserably (good for novice seamstresses like myself, I improvise as I go). 

Moroccan lantern find

I go to the mall about once a week. Not to shop, to entertain the kids. No, it's true! I'm too cheap to actually buy anything there :) They have an awesome indoor playground (ours is closed for another month for remodeling...), there's a pet store with kittens and puppies and snakes and big hairy spiders and adorable little mice (I'm more enamored with this place than the kids are but hey it's a nice stop just the same), a kiddie train ride and the cool hermit crabs at Earthbound Trading. 

Earthbound Trading is my absolute favorite store at the mall, I would probably buy a big part of their inventory if I ever had the time to actually browse and/or had that kind of money to spend. I have to carefully guide my little herd of sticky-fingered octopuses through the store to get to the crabs and then I can relax for a bit while they gawk at the multicolored shells and crabs. While they gawk I try to gawk at the pretty stuff around me (while making sure they don't break the plexiglass crab enclosure, harm any crabs, knock anything off tables - you get the idea). Right beside the crabs there's been this large table of gorgeous Moroccan lanterns for quite a while and I've been drooling over them every single time I've been there - but they were soo expensive. Then they went on sale 50% off and it was tempting but still too much. A few weeks ago they were 75% off and I knew I wanted to take advantage of that so the other day I walked out of there the happy owner of two huge lanterns for $15 each!!! They were originally $60 each...

So I put them on either side of our computer desk to try to prettify that very utilitarian area. For the first one I just took the shade off the small lamp I had in that spot and stuck the lamp inside the lantern, cord and opening in the lantern facing the back. Looks great! The second one should ideally have a little lamp like the first one but for now it's housing husby's funky blue Ikea lamp thingy. Looks pretty ok and I didn't have to buy anything. Loooove this purchase, it was soo worth it! 

Beribboned lamp shade

Found this rectangular shade at the thrift store a while back, it was plain white. Not normally the style I'd fall for but this one spoke to me for some reason. So I took it home and hot glued some brown ribbon on there to make it a little cuter and stuck it on this thrift store lamp I already had. 

Paper towel dispenser

Our paper towel dispenser broke not too long ago (darn kids, nothing is safe with them around, if they can reach it it's soon broken). And while browsing the thrift store I found this large cylindrical vase and thought to myself "why not?". Hot glued that same brown ribbon on it that I put on the lamp shade and plopped the paper towel roll inside. I had to remove the paper towel roll from the inside so it dispenses from the inside out instead of the regular way. Works surprisingly well and so far the kids haven't showed any interest in it (keeping my fingers crossed). It was worth the $2 :)

DIY ear rings

For the top ones I was feeling summery the other day and didn't have any ear rings that fit the mood. So using left over dollar tree "silk" flowers, wire, some beads and the ear "hanger" parts I came up with something that worked. 

The bottom ones are put together with stamped metal medallions and ear ring parts found at Hobby Lobby because I needed some ear rings that would go with any color. 

So. That was the round-up. Did you see anything you liked? Hope so, because I like them all :)

Ps. Linking up with
Between Naps on the Porch

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