The crafting urge took off full force once I started. I managed NOT to pick up any scraps or items for all of the ideas beginning thrusted on my through Facebook. Yes, I made notes. Yes, I bookmarked a few pages. And yes, I have some of them already scheduled. That was as close as I got.
Two years ago, I promised my husband that I would not purchase any more plants until I managed to get my existing gardens under control and in order. I have been tackling that project – a little bit at a time – but I decided the “finish what you start” idea would be the right direction for me to take with my new, over-active DIY urges.
All Pallets are NOT Created Equally
The front porch renovation started with the sorting of pallets. I measured the sizes and put like with like – with the exception of any pallets with too many missing or broken pieces. These can be used for other things, but not for the task at hand. This only took about 20 minutes (because the pallets are heavy), but I highly recommend you wear gloves. I received enough splinters to help me remember for next time.
It got warm moving around all of those pallets, so I came in for a break and to decide just how to use all of these raw materials. The endless ideas were no help – because they were endless ideas. Instead, I looked at what I had to work with and then made my plan around that.
Items On Hand
- Extra mattresses (from trundled beds only used once) still in original plastic covers.
- Cube bean bags
Most of the ideas online would require some type of cushion be made or purchased. I had already committed to having over two difference groups on the weekend so my time was limited – especially tackling it all just a little bit at a time. I used the measurements I had taken while sorting and the measurements of the different items on hand to come up with a plan. That took another 30 minutes.
Back outside, it was simply a matter of moving, arranging and stacking the pallets. I had originally planned to attach them together, but I think I already mentioned that they are H E A V Y. The only time it is an issue is when I try to move them, but I will only be moving them when I plan to do something different and I would not want them attached if I was doing that. For now, they are just stacked together. This took me another 30 minutes because . . . the pallets are heavy.
My husband and sons picked up the mattresses while they were out getting their summer buzz cuts. We set them on the pallets, and I immediately knew I wanted more color than they would have. I invested some more time – probably about an hour – searching for duvet covers or some type of cover that would work. I settled on mattress covers which meant a trip to Walmart. I also picked up some dye. Since I was already up that way, I went by Lowe’s to get the items for two other projects I was eyeing (one for the front porch and one for the back yard).
It took forever to dye those mattress covers and even then it did not take like I wanted. Still, it produced a subtle rose hue that worked when it was all put together. I finished off the loungers with some valances from Fred’s.
While I waited for the mattress covers, I decided to use some left over wood (that had been hiding under the back porch for two years) to build a gate for the front porch. Without a gate, the two little dogs that know they are not allowed on the porch but come on there when I am away would get up on my new loungers. This took about two hours in total.
I loved getting to use the power tools again, and the smell of fresh cut wood had me itching to build something else. It was Friday and the guests would not be there until Saturday morning. I had time.
I decided to take some of the ideas that had been bombarding me and put them to work. First, I cut the ends off three of the pallets. I stacked the larger ends (with the 2X4s still in them) to make a bench. I screwed on the 2x4 end of one of the cut pallets to make the back of the bench. I used pieces of the other pallets to screw together the open end of the pallet I had just attached. For this project, I had nothing that was already on hand to make it work. Another trip to Lowe’s gave me the cushions I needed and the color helped to make the whole project work together.
My pallets lasted a week – or at least most of them did. I still have a few hiding under the porch, but I have plans for them. In the end, out of the 20 pallets I (meaning my husband) brought home, 12 became a giant lounger for the porch and three became a bench. In the end, I had invested just $170 of new money on the project. The whole thing, including travel time to pick up the pallets, took about 8 hours (including clean up).
The spools are still raw – for now. I am still thinking on what to do with those and with the others that I will be picking up (and by “I,” I mean my husband).
It must be a great set up. When I looked out there this morning, a couple of wrens had moved in and are building their nest. So I guess, “in all the world, my nest is best.”
Next week – a tile table for the grill area.