Friday, 19 December 2014

Sleigh bells ring - DIY sleigh bells

Has it really been 4 months since my last post! Wow, that just goes to show the serious lack of creative impulses this year due to being ill so much. However, xmas is one time of year guarateed to get the imagination turning on all cogs and I've managed to get round to making a few decorations for the home - todays post is showing one that I've wanted to make for the last couple of years but have never seemed to get round to it - Sleigh bells!

There's loads of inspiration for these on Pinterest and so lacking is my imagination right now that I admit I had to pinch a few of the ideas but I'm totally thrilled with the finished piece.






My problem - well one of them - when working on a project is that I very rarely have a finished look in my head, the entire description I had down for this project was simply 'Sleigh bells', no ideas for what that actually meant and to be honest I made it up as I went along basing it on various Pinterest / Google images that I liked the look of.

Here's how I made it and the only item I had to buy was the belt because I didn't have an old, spare one.

I bought the belt from New look for a fiver and while that's more than I wanted to pay it had a nice pattern to it that I thought would work well so I begrudgingly put my hand in my pocket.
I had intended to batter the belt with a hammer to age it but I forgot!
I cut the belt into 2 lengths, one longer than the other and cut the pointed ends with scissors.
To attach the Sleigh bells (which I purchased yeeeeears ago ) I used a hole punch to punch 2 tiny holes behind each bell


then thread some craft wire through the sleigh bell hook into the holes and twisted the wire round the back of the belt to secure


I then cut pieces of black duck tape to cover over the wires attaching each of the sleigh bells but to be honest I think I should have attached one long piece of fabric down the entire length of the back and glued it with Fixall glue instead of each individual sleigh bell wire. Actually I think I will rectify this before it's stored away at the end of xmas



The rest was pretty easy to make up as I went along. The 2 belt pieces were joined together at a slight angle by punching a hole and threading wire through - though hot glue would probably work just as well.
I made the greenery form pieces of left over xmas decorations and wired that to the belt buckle using craft wire ( a decent gauge wire though that can withstand twisting without breaking) and the whole thing was attached to the wooden plaque with wire also - again hot glue would probably suffice.
The wooden plaque is simply a small wooden board from a new set of kitchen boards I've had stashed for years (I just knew there'd be a use for them somewhere) which I painted red with my daughters acrylic paints (Sssssshhhh), sanded down when it was dry and attached vinyl lettering cut with my Cricut machine (vinyl is my new fad and I can't wait to own a Silhouette Cameo).
I gave the whole board a quick spray with varnish and then attached the sleigh bells to it by threading wire through holes at the bottom of the board.

Voila! A perfectly cheap christmas decoration that with correct packaging will last for years.




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Friday, 15 August 2014

Workshop plans

I'm currently without a work shop or any kind of working space which is why I haven't been able to blog about completed projects - insert sad face here.
Mr CH is going to be starting on my new workshop any time now and it's going to be amazing - insert happy, happy face here.
The best bit right now is planning how it is going to look, what colour I'm painting it and of course what organisation I can come up with for all my tools - exciting!
We're pretty much dictated to by the area of land we're building it on for its shape but the rest is all down to me. I had thought of doing some kind of Red on the outside as I really like this shed I've pinned on Pinterest


However I think I may regret it afterwards so I looked into the 'Cuprinol' garden paints colour chart and although I don't like painting anything Green I think I may be doing it in Seagrass

Daniel corner log cabin
Of course it's going to need its own sign and I love this Potting shed sign so will probably do something similar but change the wording



The really exciting stuff though will be on the inside. I'm currently pinning every picture on storage that I can but there are some really cool ideas that I know I'm definitely going to have to include:
Isn't this just a brilliant idea! I love how it uses ceiling spacefor storage - though if my ceilings aren't high enough for such deep boxes I will have to adapt it.


 This would be brilliant underneath a main work bench - my work bench gets crowded with every size nail and screw as I rummage through looking for the right size and I'm a lazy worker so things never get put away until the projects finished - this will keep my workspace clear.


All my Router bits are in their own lovely wooden cases but they have to be opened to see what each one is so this will make choosing much much easier and I'll attach the picture of each bit to the front of each shelf too.


My drill has been knocked over more times than I care to remember so this will put a stop to that and will also keep those tiny adapters all in the same place too.


This is a must for my workshop. I have some very heavy clamps and too many times I have knocked them and had them hit a shin or land on my feet.



So there we have it, my reason for not posting much at the moment and the plans that are afoot to rectify it. Until I can build again I will continue to post with other projects that are on the go - usually indoor ones and/or garden ones that can be built outside.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Diy pallet wood decking

Pallet wood decking is hardly an original idea nowadays is it, there seem to be many people jumped on that band wagon and the internet is full of different designs and ideas.
I have to admit Mr CH was hardly thrilled at the prospect of a pallet wood deck when I first stated that I would be making one but he humoured me none the less and helped me lay the finished boards once I had levelled and squared up the pallet base.

It didn't look much to behold at this point and I actually did consider giving up



But with a little bit ofpatience and loads of nails we were able to create this with more pallet wood and pallets to act as steps to the french doors




I know alot of peoplewould prefer proper decking and maybe some fancy fandangled rails around it but the cost of this decking was the price of a tub or two of Ronseals decking stain - that makes me very happy.
As for the rails - watch this space.
Incidentally those Purple Adirondack style chairs were pretty easy to make too and guess what - yup, all from pallet wood also.


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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Candle making from Yankee Candle leftovers!

How many of you, like me, have a tub full of leftover wax from candles that you've burned?
I love Yankee Candles and burn them all the time but I can't bring myself to throw out the last bits left in the jar once the wick has burned through or when I change the scent in the sample burner. I always keep those little bits and I finally got around to making my first candle with the leftovers.
I used an old Yankee candle jar and some wicks I'd bought. I have no knowledge of doing this and I have heard that wax has a flash point whereby it could get messy. I have no idea what that flash point is though so I just got on with remelting the waxes colour by colour.

Here's my little stash
 candle making, yankee candle, diy candle





The melting process was pretty easy, I just boiled some water in a saucepan and then kept it simmering while I dropped a glass bowl in and put the candle wax into the bowl until it had melted through.
Once the wax melted I poured it into the Yankee candle jar and then shoved it in the freezer to set while the next lot of wax was melting in the bowl. The hardest part was keeping the wick upright and centred but once I filled the jar halfway it got much easier.
The finished candle may not look amazing and I assume the fragrance is going to be weak but I kind of enjoyed doing it and may even have a go at making more

 yankee candle, diy candle, candlemaking


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

DIY fireplace mantle

I'm not feeling the crafty love right now - it's just too cold to do anything and all I'm inclined to do right now is sit in the warm front room and browse the tinterweb.

Thought I'd do a post on the fireplace mantle I made for the dining room log burner opening. As usual I used all scrap / salvaged wood and as usual I made it all up as I went along and yes, as usual it went very wrong initially.

The whole piece was made from 8"x2"  and 6" x 2" timber and I made it in a few sections for ease and put it all together in situ.
The mantle is a length of 8x2, well sanded and then stained and given a few coats of satin varnish. The upstands at each end are 6x2 timber given the same treatment as the mantle.
The finials that attach the upstands to the mantle were free drawn onto 6x2 timber. I cut four of them out using a jigsaw (with a dodgy blade I might add) and then I glued and clamped them together in pairs to get the chunky look I wanted.
Initially I was looking for a way to put them all together in situ but Mr CH decided (while I was away) that he would attach the upstands to the wall using 'sticks like s**t' - what a stupid idea! The finials had already been attached to the upstands via screws at the back so all that was left was to attach the mantle which Mr CH yet again decided would be fine using 'sticks like s**t'.
The whole thing looked smashing....................for a week or so! Then the wood started to warp from the heat of the log burner and as the only thing holding it together was hubbys stupid 'sticks like s**t' there was nothing to control the warp and the whole mantle started to seperate.
Eventually I decided I couldn't leave it that way so removed the mantle (surprisingly easily - go figure) and replaced with a new length of timber. This time I first screwed a thinner length of timber into the finials and then sat the new mantle on top of it, this meant I could screw the thin base into the mantle from underneath and voila, no more warping.

Here's the finished look. You can se the thinner length of wood just underneath the mantle - should have thought of that in the first place.


 This one shows the finials. I made four in the shape I wanted and then glued and clamped them together in pairs. You can just see the glue seam in this one as I obviously didn't do a very good job of cleaning the glue off and glue doesn't stain.


Monday, 27 January 2014

Building with pallets and reclaimed wood.

I'm kind of in love with the 'Ana White' web site, so many free plans there's bound to be something for everyone and I love that they're so adaptable, it's my go to website for inspiration.
This Rustic console table from Pottery Barn caught my eye, as it did for many others so I had to have a go at building it myself with my reclaimed pallet wood

Pottery Barn Rustic Console table.


The plans I followed are here

While my interpretation may not be quite as catalogue ready as something from Pottery Barn I'm still quite thrilled with how it turned out, especially considering the pallet wood I used needed a heap of planing and sanding to make it useable.
The perfect place for my 'Charlie Bear' Wosley to sit. The pallet wood 'Welcome' sign, scrap wood 'Home' blocks and the scrap wood lamp were all past projects of mine - click on the links to go to them.

alt="pallet wood, DIY furniture, Wood console table, DIY"
Rustic console table using scrap pallet wood

alt=" DIY console table, Pallet wood, Wood furniture, DIY table"
Pallet wood sideboard


alt="Wood table, DIY, Pallet wood, Scrap wood, Woodworking, Sideboard"
Pallet wood furniture


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Savvy southern style

Friday, 3 January 2014

Pallet wood sign

I came across this 'Welcome' sign late last year while browsing the tinterweb for inspiration and finally managed to get my own pallet wood version finished just before xmas.

This is my inspiration found on 'Three Mango Seeds' blog





Here's my version of it


It was pretty easy to do, the hardest part getting my 45 degree corners to actually be true, in fact despite my every effort I couldn't then true and so I had to put the brass corners on to help hide the obvious gaps.
I ended up having to do the writing completely free hand because the lettering I had printed out was either way too small or way too big and I was too lazy to trudge all the way back to the house to reprint them.
All of the wood used for this project is pallet wood from the stacks of them we dismantled last year.


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Under the table and dreaming

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christmas decorations & pallet wood

Oh my has it really been a couple of months since I last posted! It hasn't been a conscious thing - my other 2 blogs have suffered as well because a) there's nothing doing in the garden and b) who can lose weight and stay fit at this time of year!

I have been busy building xmas decorations though and my favourite thing has to be this wreath I made from garden willow.


Despite it being the first one I ever made it was surprisingly easy to make. The willow was snipped off from the garden trees and i just kept weaving it round and round until it was fairly thick and sturdy. It was a devil to get going but that was the hardest bit!
I made the flowers using some old red organza type fabric and some cream shower curtain material I bought ages ago. The tutorial for these flowers is all over the net so I won't share it here but instead of using a needle and thread or hot glue as I went I used 'Fixsall' glue.
I then used the 'Fixsall' to stick the flowers to the wreath and added some fake cones and greenery using wire. The hanging bow was just as simple and I love the finished effect.

I also made this xmas mantle planter.

I made the planter from salvaged pallet wood, gave it some stain and a coat of satin varnish and then added some olde world style handles to each end. The inside was filled with greenery from the garden Firs, a few cones and baubles, candles and xmas lights run through it. I'm already looking for spring ideas for the planter.


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Saturday, 12 October 2013

DIY Adirondack chair.

Usually when I build something I devise a plan in my head of what I want the finished item to look like and then I pretty much make it up as I go along, it's just the way I've always been - I've never built anything from plans! Until now that is.

I've wanted to build an Adirondack chair for ages but just haven't had enough scrap wood to even make a start so when hubby had all those pallets delivered I was adding up the projects I could do as I was ripping them apart.
My pallet wood pile is precious to me though so I made the decision to make the chair following plans I found online on the Anna White website.
I have mixed feelings about these plans because while it helped immensely to have the guesswork taken out of dimensions and angles etc I found alot of the measurements inaccurate for the size of wood that was suggested to use. Most of the issues were easy enough to work round but the finished look isn't as per the diagram because I had to use a 2" piece of wood as a back slat instead of the 4" the plans stated - this is because the width of the back support is 19.5" yet the plans tell you to use five 4" slats and secure them to the 19.5" batten leaving a 0.5" gap in between, this totals 21" NOT the 19.5" that the plans state. There were a couple more discrepancies like this and had I been more experienced I would have noticed this before starting but I didn't! The finished chair still looks awesome though especially when you take into account that the wood cost me nothing more than time taking the pallets apart - all I have to do now is decide on a colour.

Adirondack chair, DIY, Pallet wood, Adirondack, Garden furniture

 Garden furniture, DIY garden, adirondack furniture, chair


 adirondack chair, garden DIY, pallet wood

I'm currently making the matching footstool via the same website but I'm having the same issue with inaccurate measurements. The length of the footstool is 23.5" and yet the plans require you to use six 4" slats with the 0.5" gap in between - this totals 27.5" NOT 23.5" so I'm yet again left with a 2" slat at the bottom.
I've checked the website and everyone else that has made the same chair appears to have been able to use the stated amount and sizes of wood so maybe I am doing something wrong, I just can't igure out what.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Winter = Crafting time!

My poor blog! It must be feeling very unloved right now, my posts throughout the entire year have been hit and miss but it's not because I no longer care for this, my first ever blog, it's simply because I have spent so much time outside gardening that I haven't gotten around to crafting or creating as much as I would like, however with the changing of the seasons comes a shift from working outside to working inside.
It won't be long before the garden is all wrapped up for winter and my winter craft projects will take up my time instead. With that thought in mind I have a list ready with a few projects to get me going and no doubt more will follow as I go along.

I ran out of scrap wood earlier in the year - yes, I can hear that intake of breath, what is a girl supposed to do when her wood supply runs out and her whole ethos is crafting on a budget which doesn't allow for buying new wood in?
Well first off she moans to her hubby about the dire situation, give him time to mull it over in his head and wait for his solutions.
My hubbys solution came in the form of this




At first I thought he was taking the proverbial, I mean we all know how difficult these things are to take apart right?
Not to be out palleted I scoured the tinterweb for a solution and came up with this - though it really grated to have to buy something to dismantle free pallets I knew I wouldn't be getting anywhere without one.



I think the whole thing including shipping came in at around £63 but it's the most amazing tool for dismantling pallets and really does work as it says it should.
There are some pallets it won't work on for various reasons but it does the majority of pallets and the wood isn't annihilated so it's all reuseable.
Just 6 or so of the 6ft pallets has given me this little stack to work with


I have all the 3"x1" spacers on a separate pile too - all reusable.

So what am I going to make with my first heap of wood? Well I'm finally going to get a bookcase I really need for the lounge and all my lovely books are finally going to have their own permanent home instead of being dumped in the spare room - so this is one of my first projects

Cannot find the original website.

With Christmas just around the corner I just have to make this to sit on the dining room mantle

Roof Above Us
But it doesn't end there, just 5 mins on Pinterest searching Palletwood or scrapwood projects and you're hit with a veritable minefield of images. Here's some more favourites of mine that may well have to become personal projects



Cannot find where this image originated from but I would love to make this clock for both indoors and outdoors.


I'm not sure where I would put this sign from 'Three Mango Seeds' but I still want it!


So simple and yet so stunning, I love this christmas tree from 'The Wood Connection Blog'


And how about this from 'Shanty 2 Chic', it could be used as a Christmas sign holder in the winter and a hanging basket holder during the summer



Yes I think it's fair to say that I will soon be back on track with regular posts, not only will I be creating with pallet wood but I also have plenty of Christmas gifts to be getting on with.
Roll on winter!