free pantry upgrade

Bwahahaha, I can’t even say that with a straight face.  🙂

See, here in blogland the ‘pantry reveal’ has been the recent IT thing.  There are matching containers, fancy labels and stenciled shelving.  Oh my!  (I couldn’t resist.)

But, this is more of a pallet-turned-box type of thing.  Well, it IS a pallet turned box.  Or, let’s say crate … that’s a much more appealing term don’t you think.  So … sorry for the false advertising.  I don’t have a pantry … but we all need a place for our canned goods, right?!

And, since it’s been established that we live in a breadbox, I need to be creative.

I’ve had our pantry type items in the hutch since we moved here.  But once the hutch became the tv stand, that’s been kind of weird.

I know, I know … storage is storage, but still weird all the same.

So, I decided to make a box crate out of a pallet. And it didn’t cost me a penny.  Not many things make me smile more than the word FREE.  🙂

Well, dragon berry mojitos make me smile pretty big…but that’s not really relevant here now is it.

So, I didn’t actually take a before picture … but … it was a pallet. 😉  Similar to this one. And I used the same technique to remove the slats, a hammer and pry bar along with some cursing and a blister on my forefinger.

Those last two are totally optional.  🙂

I knew where I wanted my crate to go in my kitchen, so I measured my space and cut my slats to size (14 inches long).  Based on the height I wanted, I needed 3 slats per side (one wide one and two narrow ones), so I cut 12 pieces the same length.

I took a little piece of scrap wood (maybe a  1 x 1) I had and cut it so I could use it as the brace to attach each of the sides of my crate together.  The height was measuring about 12 inches so I cut my little brackets, if you will, about 10 inches long.  Just long enough so I could get one screw into each of the three pallet slats on each side of the soon-to-be-crate.

Are you following along with all of the numbers Carol?  😉
Ok, here’s the thought process … I wanted the front to be only a view of the slats, meaning the front and back slats would overlap the slats on the sides.  So, in the picture above, you see how I lined my brackets up flush with the edge of the slats for the sides of the crate.  I attached the 4 brackets to both ends of the slats for both of the sides.  Then, by lining up the slats for the front (and then back) of the crate, I was able to attach the brackets to the slats creating a bottomless and topless box.  Confused yet?

This pic is of the 2 sides with the brackets attached … ready to be attached to the front and the back sides of the crate.

Why yes, I do work construction on the coffee table.  🙂

Which makes now seem like a good time for a few tips:
1.  Don’t do construction on the coffee table unless you’re ok with a sawdusty mess.  🙂
2. Drilling pilot holes for your screws (like I did here) is always a time saver … for those interested in saving time and sanity and maybe a little bit of finger flesh.
3.  One might want to wash their pallet with some sort of disinfectant cleaner.
4.  Sanding the slats before working with them, or wearing gloves while handling the slats would probably be a good idea.

But, I’m not one to judge so if you happen to forego any of these tips your crate is still cool with me.  🙂

Ok, where were we … once I had all of the sides connected, I added a bottom.  This is probably backwards carpentry, but that’s how I roll.

AND, so I didn’t have to rip down the width of any of the pallet slats, I spaced them so they aren’t wide enough apart for any canned goods to fall through, but not exactly a solid wood bottom.  Like so.

Then I drilled holes on either side of my crate to run some rope through for handles.

And because I didn’t want people peaking at my canned goods (that’s what she said), I added a top by just cutting more pallet slats the length I needed and adding a few pallet slats to the underside to attach them all together.  Like so.

And because I love me some driftwood, I just screwed on a piece that I thought would work as a handle.

After I admired her for a few hours I decided to add some random stenciling.  My new favorite hobby.  🙂

I picked a not so random number and then stenciled the word CURACAO along the front. Kind of like it’s a crate of canned goods on its way to Curacao.  Appropriate I’d say.

Thank goodness, because we all know who doesn’t like random stenciling around here.  😉

I finished her off by hand sanding the whole crate to distress the stenciling and smooth out the finish a bit.  Oh, and just to clarify, all of the nail holes you see on the outside of the crate of from it’s previous life as a pallet.  Building the crate with the brackets on the inside eliminates any new visual nail or screws.  And I really like the rustic look of the open holes from it’s life as a pallet.  Score!

While I was at it, I was inspired to add another driftwood shelf below our jute wrapped rusty pipe pot rack.

I think she makes a good pair with the other driftwood shelf action we have going on in our little kitchen.  Which … I think looks nice and dandy below the other pallet project I’ve done in this space.

And, because this has turned into a mini kitchen tour … here’s my attempt at storing some of our less ugly kitchen things in plain sight.

Seriously, if you want to make your very own pallet crate, it really is easy, feel free to email me for more detail.  I know you can do it … and who doesn’t love FREE, stylish storage?

And another little side note, the only electric tool I used is my drill/screwdriver … no fancy equipment required.  Bonus!

What about you, have you made anything out of a pallet?  Do you store your canned goods in a crate?  Did you spend time with family over the holiday weekend or tear something apart to re-purpose it?  I guess you can figure out what I did.  🙂

AND … because I confessed my newest life blog goal here, and clearly I’m a bit delusional, I’m going to be linking up here in addition to here and at:  BNOTP, Home Stories A to Z, Savvy Southern Style, Remodelaholic, Today’s Creative and Addicted 2 Decorating.

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the month in minutes – february 2012

Hey there!

Hopefully the week is treating you well.

Yesterday we did our very first month in review and we’re going to follow it up today with a little February rundown.  The plan is to keep these posts in the right sidebar for easy access to links to all of your favorite posts.  I’ll also be sure to toss in some new things just to keep you guessing.  😉

And, if anyone has any navigation tips for this little blog please let me have ’em…I don’t want any fun information getting lost as we continue to grow.  🙂

Now, February started with all of the nitty gritty details about how I hung a gallery wall from one little screw for $15.

(more…)

Is that a white wash you’re wearing?

Well folks, the big a$$ tv has a new home.

You’ll remember it used to live here.
If you want to see how I upgraded an old dresser with some fun maps and stenciling, click here.

Yes, that is in our bedroom.  :/

And we had this little cutie in our living room.

Wait…is that a plain, dirty piece of plywood hanging above my tv?  Hmmm, odd…more on that another time.  🙂

Why?  You ask, do we have our little tv in the living room and large tv in the bedroom?? Well, we have this great outdoor space (being as we live on an island and all) and we will often move our tv outside when we are just hanging out on the roof.  It is a space I have been keeping under lock and key…well not really, it IS outside.  But, I have yet to share it on the blog.

The outdoor space is one of the best parts of this house.  No, I take that back, the outdoor space IS the best part of this house.  🙂

But, after over 2 years of living here we find we’re not lugging the little tv outside quite as often as we used to and… really people…the house is the size of a bread box so moving the little tv into the bedroom adds an extra 12 steps when we do decide we want to take it outside.  Yes, I just paced it off.  🙂

But, clearly the big a$$ tv wasn’t going to fit on this gal.
No, not the dog, the cute little Ethan Allan 4 drawer I got for….wait for it…$10.  Now…where to put her, hmmmm.  A decision for another day.

But, I did have this, not real special, hutch.

Some of our neighbors actually gave it to us when we lived in MD.  They had sold their house and it was the morning of closing day and whatever was left in the house was being left…unless we wanted anything.  Hahaha…they had no idea who they were dealing with when they innocently came over and made the offer to husband and I to “take whatever we want”.  Ahhh, so many pieces of junk treasures we acquired.  🙂

The hutch made the trip to Curacao, you know, along with all of the essentials.  😉

That’s a joke about all of the items my husband gives me a hard time about bringing on our island adventure.  There may be a still un-upholstered chair and some yarn lying around.  😉

Anyway, I figured the hutch =
1 – a piece we didn’t care about if anything happened to it, and
2 – good storage.

So, take that husband.  That’s called logic  😉

One cool part about her is that she is two pieces.  So I thought, if I just take her top off she’d make a great tv stand.  Who needs a top, er hutch, anyway?

But, if she was unremarkable all together, now she’s less than half of that.
Those are close ups of left) cute idea…coral handles, middle) cute idea gone wrong, scratches from coral and, right) top of the bottom of the hutch.

Am I right?  She’s a mess.

I was hesitant to paint her because of the sliding doors.  Wouldn’t they just rub, scratch and get haggard looking?  No, really, wouldn’t they???

Then I saw this beauty hopping around Pinterest.  Seriously, at least 3 of my blog buddies had pinned this, including Roeshel, Kari and Sherry.
Now, it’s going to take more skill than this girl has to turn my hutch into this.  haha

But, I thought a finish like that might give the bottom of my hutch a little pizzazz.

So…how does one get that finish?  Is it a white wash, is it a dry brush, is it a stain?

Let’s say it’s white wash.

How exactly to does one white watch?

Well, if you don’t know Shaunna, you’re missing out.  Not only does she write a beautiful blog, but she has an eBook that is all about different furniture finishes.  And, she wrote a great post way back in 2010 about the difference between white washing a dry brushing.

She gives all kinds of great details and tips so definitely check her out.

Following Shaunna’s advice, I added some water to my paint.

I brushed on my watered down paint.

And then I wiped it with a lint free cloth to get rid of any paint strokes.

I ended up doing two coats and do have a few tips:

1- Less is more.  Brush on your paint/water mixture very thoroughly.  It helps with the look, dries faster and saves paint.
2- Wait a few minutes before wiping if you want a whiter finish.  I wouldn’t have needed to do 2 coats if I had learned this the first time.  🙂
3- If you have a spot you don’t like, STOP wiping it.  I had a few OOPS! spots and realized that the more I wiped the worse they got.  I had much better luck just letting the spot dry and then reapplying and wiping.
4- If you put the paint/water mixture on areas to, say touch up a bit and maybe, just hypothetically, forget to wipe it off and end up with a few spots that are a little more painted then you’d like…don’t panic.  🙂  I just dipped my brush in pure water and brushed over the same area and it evened out the look a bit.

It’s hard to see in the picture but the top has two coats and the side only has one.

Now, of course, I don’t ever take the time to take pictures when I’m rectifying an OOPS! moment.  Somehow my body just doesn’t react this way.  As, I was evening out my OOPS! spots I was definitely thinking, “I should have taken a picture”.  But I just can’t seem to stop the quick reflex action to Fix. OOPS. Now!

Similar to when I was balancing the one screw gallery wall.  🙂  No pics of that hazardous moment either.  :/

Anyway…

After I had the two coats we had her in place for a couple of days before I thought…STRIPES!

I have been wanting to do stripes for awhile and thought this would be an easy little first go round.  Then I thought…DRY BRUSH!  (Yes all of these thoughts came in all caps, exclamation point strength.)

Why not dry brush the stripes in a gray color (they really are gray, I know they look blue in the night pic), over my nice new light, light gray white wash.  Or would that be gray wash?

Then I wrapped a few of the handles I took off of the mapped dresser with twine.
And then…I thought….NUMBERS!

I am clearly loving numbers right now.  So I picked a couple not-so-random numbers, the same copper stencils I used for the HOME art here, and added some numbers.
My stripes were measured at 5 inch height (the whole cabinet is just about 30 inches tall) which worked perfect when I pulled out my stencils and realized they were 5 inches high. Score!

I traced the stencil and then  painted in the lines.  You know how I roll. 

Then I sanded them down a bit…and called her done.
Dare I say she’s nautical and beachy?  I love her.

Joel’s reaction…

…what are the numbers for?  Sigh.

You can’t please everyone. 😉

I am sharing this project here and at:
BNOTP, Home Stories A to Z, Savvy Southern Style, Remodelaholic, Today’s Creative and Sugar Bee Crafts.

The Little Black Canvas

It’s the new must-have…the replacement for the little black dress, or maybe the accessory to…I don’t recommend trying to wear it.

But, I actually finally decided what she’s going to wear.
You might remember her back story?  This entire project only cost the $2 I spent for the canvas at Goodwill.  Heck yeah!

She did manage to find her way onto the gallery wall, even though she wasn’t done.

Now…she’s done.

I am quite infatuated with all of the word and letter art out there.  I recently turn a pallet into word art.  But, as I mentioned here, I don’t have any of those fancy machines that can create what I tell it to.

And I can’t always create what I want to.  :/

Luckily, this one worked out.

I first made a paper template the same size as the canvas.
I just scribbled with pencil, used different stencils I had to see what size lettering might fit, played around with ideas.

I had received some GREAT suggestions on what to do.

Maybe some string art like Zoe.

Love the idea, but think this little black canvas is too small for it.

Then I got the awesome suggestion to put my word of the year on it in a dictionary type font.  Who put that comment?  And on which post?  I’ve looked all over and can’t find you…I want you to get credit for the awesome idea.  Let me know if it’s you!

Update:  It was Leena!  Thanks for the great suggestion!!

I had a moment where I thought I might put something kitchy, maybe a funny saying taken from a little DIY group therapy.

But the moment was fleeting.

In the end, I went with dates that are important to us.

I picked 5 different fonts I liked.  I figured it would give it a more eclectic feel.  AND, I would have a better chance of pulling it off if I wasn’t trying to make all of the numbers look the same.  Can you say…intentional imperfection.  🙂

I increased the number size so the width of each date fit the whole canvas.  Then I laid them out in order of date…and was not bothered when I discovered I was going to need to overlap them a bit. (Read: not interested in re-sizing and reprinting the numbers.)
My plan was to trace over the outline of each number hard enough that I could see it on the canvas.

 Again, I say, luckily the plan worked.

I just used some paint I had on hand mixed to different shades.  And for a couple dates I added some water for a more paint wash look.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say this project was easy peasy.  Very good light is necessary to see the vague outline imprint.  A very steady hand is necessary to create good looking numbers essentially free hand.  And patience is just always a necessity.  🙂

A little before and after just for fun.
Once I knew what I was going to make and had picked out my fonts, this project took me a few hours…including the drying time between dates that wouldn’t be necessary if your numbers don’t overlap.

I have to say, I love her.  She’s meaningful, a bit whimsical and not overly crafted…a nice addition to an already busy gallery wall.

What about you…what would you have done with the little black canvas?  Have any number art of your own I should check out?

And, have you gotten all signed up on the new Linky Follower tool? If so, and want to follow me, please let me know you did in the comments so I can follow you back.

Click here to follow this blog and view my other followers…

I am sharing this project here and at:
BNOTP, Home Stories A to Z, Savvy Southern Style, Remodelaholic, Today’s Creative, and Sugar Bee Crafts.

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