Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pallet pumpkin

It look so easy on Pinterest, doesn't it? You just take a pallet, use a jigsaw to cut it apart, and turn it into a pumpkin for your front porch. "It's so easy," they say. "Anyone can do it." If so, then I should be able to do it. And I certainly have pallets. 

So I pulled out my Reciprocating saw, and started cutting. I realized very quickly that it made good work of the wood, but whoever said it would cut right through nails must of had a different brand of saw.

I finally gave up on cutting through the nose, and just cut around the nails. Then I had a much more manageable section of pallet with which to work. So I took it over to my sawhorse.

I sketched out a pumpkin shaped using a pencil on the wood, then got out my jigsaw and began to try and cut out that outline. It works really well, except for when it got to the hall thicker cross pieces. For that, I had to get out my circular saw. By then, I had every saw I owned sitting on my sawhorse table for use.

Once you get it cut out, you really are pretty much done. That is the hard part. From there it was just spraying it with several coats of orange spray paint.

Oh, after gluing up the piece that did not have an anchor because I cut the nails in the wrong place.

When I first painted it, the kid said it needed a longer stem, so I went back and cut more off the top so that it would have a more pronounced stem.

Then I went back over the stem section with some green paint, let everything dry, and voilĂ ! A reusable pumpkin for my front porch.

Oh! Somewhere during all of this, I did sand everything thoroughly. At any rate, it's done and it was basically free, and I'm very happy with it. 

I will probably try and make larger versions or smaller versions for subsequent years so that I can have a grouping. But this year I'm calling it good enough.

Cost: free, materials on hand. 
Time: one afternoon
Outcome: SUCCESS!!

Now go make-do something of your own! 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Summers Woodworking Birdhouse Challenge

Summers Woodworking is having a birdhouse challenge. Since they extended the deadline an extra two weeks, and I had an idea, I went ahead and built something. It is not Art, but it is pretty much all recycled or salvaged materials.

Here's the link to the YouTube video. 

Go watch mine, then look at my comments and get the link to watch everybody else's. There are some very amazingly skilled craftsmen out there!

Cost: 1 Can of spray paint $3.98
Time: 6-8 hours
Outcome: SUCCESS!!!

Now go make-do something of your own!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Saving $$

I have these free-spirited girls, who are really amazing to parent, most of the time.  Then there are the times when they do something so totally off the wall that there’s nothing to be done but laugh and paint over it.

Several years ago, my oldest was having all kinds of emotional adolescent angst and I figured it would somehow be therapeutic for her to have a couple of her friends over and let them repaint her room.  I provided them with several colors of paint, and they opted to go for the splatter-paint look.  Here’s a before picture of them investigating the paint.  See how innocent it all seems?

I go back about 10 minutes later to check on them, and all seems to be progressing as expected, so I close the door (to protect the rest of the house) and go back to baking cookies (I had a new recipe to try).  See the pic.  Just teen girls having a little fun.  No worries.

I come back about 20 minutes later to see if they’re done yet, and open the door to this. :o  :o  :o


The room looked like a crime scene!  What in the world happened here and what were they thinking?!  At that point, there’s nothing to do, but to make them shower, and promise to re-do it the minute she moves out.  

Fast-forward 3-years, and she goes off to college.  I get a 3-day weekend, Home Depot has a sale on paint, and it’s decided.  Repainting a room shouldn’t be that big of a deal, so I’ll just hit the highlights.  

First lesson learned is that you can make the room all one color again, but the texture created by the splatter paint still remains. See those drips!!??

Second lesson learned, is that the multi-colored floor really camouflaged how many stickers were also on the floor. I wound up putting down the first layer of paint, then scraping up the stickers and bumps that it highlighted.  

But the biggest lesson I learned is that spray painting the custom-fit blinds was much cheaper and easier than buying new ones.  I hung them from a post in my backyard and used 3 cans of black spray paint to get a very thorough coverage of the material.  After hanging them back up in the room, I’m so relieved I didn’t just throw them out!

I know the room is rather stark, now, but after all the color, I find it to be a relief.  Eventually, I will convert it to my craft room or something, but it works for now.

Total Cost: $17 for spray paint (with tax)
Total Time: 4 hours, mostly dry time
Outcome: Success! 
Now go make-do something of your own!