Guide to Upcycling Wooden Pallets

Wooden-PalletWooden pallets: they’re everywhere, they’re free (or almost free) and they’re versatile. Inside and outside they can be converted into inspiring and functional pieces of furniture. Here is a brief guide to upcycling wooden pallets .

Before You Get Started Wooden pallets are used for shipping; they keep items secure during long distance transit as well as in warehouses when goods are being moved by forklifts. They’re very sturdy but discarded fairly quickly after use – making them the perfect material for upcycling. But, because they’re cheap, discarded materials, working with them comes with pitfalls.

Selection Because they’ve traveled across the country and maybe an ocean or two, pallets have likely been exposed to chemicals and bacteria. When you’re choosing palates from a pile, use your instincts. Don’t take anything home that looks or smells terrible – it’s probably not safe. Try to stick with the clean ones and look for stamps and markings to tell you if it’s safe to use.

Preparation Scrub down the pallets with a strong disinfectant and soapy water to get rid of any bacteria lurking in the wood. Rinse it well. Bacteria grow in moist spots, so make sure it’s completely dry before starting your project.

Dismantle They can be tough to take apart, but if you’re willing to work with shorter pieces of wood, you can saw off the joints connected by nails and avoid the hassle of nail removal.

Wooden-PalletOutside Projects

Patio Furniture Pallets are sturdy enough to stand up to most of the elements which make them ideal for patio furniture. There’s no limit on the size of outdoor seating. It can be as small as a single-seat bench or big enough to accommodate five people. Construction is minimal and requires few tools. The most thought you’ll put into it is for the color of the cushions to finish off the furniture.

Gardens Pallets are a practical material for getting creative with gardens. If you just want a simple raised bed, it only takes about three pallets to put one together. With even less work and fewer pallets, you can turn a wall into garden; all you need is your garden supplies and finishing materials (landscape fabric, staple gun, staples, and sand paper) for the pallet.

Inside Projects

Beds If you’re familiar and comfortable with platform beds, wooden pallets can be collected and fitted to make a bed in just about any size and shape you need. A drill and brackets are about as complicated as the accessories get to put together a durable bed frame.

Shelves Wooden pallets as shelves give a living room or bedroom a rustic quality when the texture is left untouched. But pallet wood is, generally, good quality – some are made with cherry wood or maple – so when the wood is sanded and finished, the product can be elegant.

Wooden-PalletTables Pallets can be transformed into tables of different sizes – an end table, a coffee table and even a dining room table. Because you’re making it yourself, you can tailor the table for your needs – add compartments or drawers to make magazine storage or shelves to put books.

If you’ve never thought about upcycling pallets before, you will now. Even the least crafty people can turn out an original furniture design with the wooden pallet.  As your ideas about what you can make with them start to develop in your head, you’ll start noticing how easy they are to find and once you get started, you’ll find they’re easy to work with, too.

Pinteresting Picks for June

It’s the last day of June and summer is in full-swing — we can tell just by looking at our Pinterest boards. We looked at our most pinned products — they’re all very different, but there’s definitely a summer theme to the selections. Here is our list of Pinteresting Picks for June.

Splish-Splash

Your kids will jump at the chance to make waves in this Banzai Splish Splash Pool. Overflowing with nearly 8 feet of fun, this inflatable water playground gives toddlers a cool retreat from the heat. Six activity stations include a rainbow canopy, whale slide, water-spraying starfish stacker, baby dolphin rider, clamshell sprinkler and water-spraying pool rim. Simply attach to your garden hose and let the fun begin.

 

Gnome-Tree

Solar Gnome Tree House will put a smile on the face of everyone who sees it. This whimsical garden accent features windows that light up using the power of the sun. Turns on automatically at dusk.

 

Smores-Grill-Rack

Prepare everyone’s favorite campfire treat on the grill with this S’mores Grill Rack. The stainless steel platform holds graham crackers and chocolate on top, while the sides can hold marshmallows on two of the four included skewers.

 

Body-Pillows

A 52″ Bright Body Pillow is a fun and comfortable addition to your bedroom. Cradle it for extra support while sleeping on your side. Lean back onto it when reading or watching TV. Works as a decorative pillow for your bed as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Garden Exercise Day: Make Your Gardening Routine into an Exercise Routine

Image source: ecosalon.com

Image source: ecosalon.com

It’s Garden Exercise Day! Today is the day digging up dirt counts as a workout. Surprisingly, getting your hands dirty can be great exercise if you do it right. If you’re putting an earnest effort into your gardening, you’ll be able to feel the physical effects – at least if you’re not letting machines do the work for you. Here’s to make your gardening routine into an exercise routine:

Mowing (with a push mower) – Using a reel push mower to mow your lawn can be a great calorie-burning activity. Mowing requires you to use your legs, arms and back and helps build core strength. Mowing can also be a moderate cardiovascular exercise. According to livestrong.com, a 135-pound person can burn up to 135 calories in 30 minutes of mowing the lawn.

Tree-pruning – The reaching and bending action involved in tree-pruning is similar to what fitness trainers call a burpee without stretching out into a pushup position. Try making tree pruning into a deliberate, repeated motion: Reach up to trim, squat to drop the twigs and leaves. Repeat. Add a step on a stool or ladder gives you one more calorie-burning motion to your routine.

garden-yogaDigging, Weeding and Planting – When you’re on your hands and knees digging in the garden, treat it as the cat-cow yoga poses with action. While you’re digging, you’re working the muscles in your forearms and shoulders (be sure to switch arms every few minutes to distribute the workout); incorporate the cat-cow poses to stretch your spine and get you ready for more rigorous activity.

Raking – raking is a resistance exercise. Pulling the rake toward you works your upper back and arms. Make sure to switch the sides you’re pulling toward to work both arms.

Bagging (leaves, mulch, weeds) – Turn bagging leaves into a squats routine. Squat to gather leaves and twigs, stand to drop the leaves in the bag. Repeat the motion. This works the muscles, thighs, hips, and glutes. It’s a simple exercise and if you do it regularly, it can help strengthen your muscles to make every-day routines easier and burn fat quicker.

garden-exercise

Gardening won’t help you train for a marathon, but it is good exercise. In a study published by the American Society for Horticulture Science, people who garden have better physical function and have less pain than people who don’t garden. Even if you’re not trying to get in a workout, gardening can make you feel good and also make your garden look good.

Ideas on How PVC Pipe Can Simplify Your Life

PVC-PipePVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride. It’s a polymer commonly used for pipes in construction because it’s strong, lightweight and inexpensive. But it’s not just for piping your bathroom or kitchen; there are many ways the creative layperson can use PVC pipe – it’s the DIY material of the moment. Some might say PVC is the new wood. Here are some ideas on how PVC pipe can simplify your home.

Kitchen

Make space in your kitchen by pulling pans out of the cupboard and hanging them on the wall. This PVC pipe was cut short enough to fit a pan handle and then mounted on the wall for easy storage.  Develop this idea into other simplifying methods around the house – this idea would work as a wall mount to sort cords behind an entertainment or computer console or to keep hair dryer and curling iron cords in the bathroom.

Bathroom

This caddy keeps your cotton balls, q-tips and toothpaste tidy on the bathroom vanity. It’s brilliant with simplicity. Use this idea and expand it into the play room where it’s used as an art station organizer or keep pens and pencils neat in your home office. The possibilities with this idea practically come up with themselves.

Living Room

How great is this coffee table? It may not simplify the living room, but it looks really cool. You can get so many PVC furniture ideas you can come up with from this table: an end table, a kitchen table, bedside table. You can make just about any kind of table using the exact same idea.

Bedroom

This is probably the most useful idea for PVC pipe. The bunk bed is a complicated piece of furniture to put together with wood, hammer and nails, but it’s a fairly simple structure using PVC pipe and glue. Shrink the plans down and you can construct a bed closer to the ground or even make a dog bed. Anyway you spin it, a basic bed for children to grow out of for little money = simplified gold.

Backyard

The backyard sprinkler doesn’t need to be simplified, but it can be amplified. This one is built for fun, but the idea can certainly be manipulated to make a practical garden watering system. What’s so useful about making a sprinkler with PVC pipe is you can design it to fit any garden of any shape.

Entry Way

PVC pipe as a shoe rack, but it screams to be so much more. It can bring order to the bathroom for towel storage. It can easily work in a child’s bedroom to sort t-shirts, socks and underwear. As a shelf in the office it can keep bills and mail straight.  If there’s stacking to be done, this storage idea can be the receptacle.

There are so many clever ways to use a PVC pipe it’s hard to believe it’s not more common. Though Polyvinyl Chloride isn’t a simple word or a simple polymer, simplify is what it does best.

Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week

It’s the first weekend in May and we are so excited to enjoy the weather and two days away from the office. Here are our product picks for the week we think will inspire fun and productive weekend activities.

muffin-cooker

Make a breakfast favorite quickly, easily and healthier with an egg muffin cooker. Use this set of 2 microwave cookers to cook a perfectly round egg to fit an English muffin. Just beat 1 or 2 eggs right inside the cooker, then add all the extra ingredients you love. The eggs cook in 1 minute! Plus, you avoid the grease and fatty butter or margarine that comes with pan frying.

bottle-lantern

Handpainted bottle lantern changes colors as it lends ambiance to your yard. Solar-powered lantern requires no cords or wires, so you can hang it anywhere. The light continuously cycles through colors from shades of red to green to blue. Automatically turns on at dusk. On/off button.

table-covers

A Textured Custom-Fit Table Cover brings a fresh new look to a worn or damaged surface. Use it every day or put it on for those special occasions. The textured design and secure fit make it a more stylish option than tablecloths. It’s an environmentally sound choice too, as no inks, dyes or chemical finishes were used in its making. Fade-resistant cover is great for indoor or outdoor use, and it easily wipes clean.

garden-friends

Add a touch of playfulness to your yard with this Set of 5 Decorative Garden Friends. Place these statues together or scatter them around. You can even put them in outdoor planters. Each is decorated with colorful flowers and leaves.

pet-playpen

Soft-Sided Pet Playpen gives dogs ample room to play or nap as they stay safely contained. Portable and lightweight, this 8-sided pen has mesh panels for maximum comfort and ventilation. Easy to set up–just set it upright and unfold. The roof provides shade and security and zips off to give you access to your pet. 2 Double-zippered doors can be left open or closed with fabric-magic tabs. Removable floor panel is secured with fabric-magic and lifts out for cleaning. Playpen also features 2 side pockets to keep toys and snacks handy, an additional mesh side pocket, water dispenser hole and holder, water-resistant outer cover and interior floor, and stake straps to secure the playpen to the ground.

Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week

It’s getaway day! We’re fantasizing about what we’re going to do with our days off… and we picked out some items that are inspiring how we should spend the weekend. Here are LTD’s product picks for the week.

solar-lighted-ballon-stakes

Add a splash of color to your yard with this playful Set of 2 Solar-Lighted Balloon Stakes that are fun for kids and adults! Group them in your garden and make it look like you’re having a party every day. They look like real balloons, but are made of durable, all-weather plastic. The curved “string” stake creates the illusion that the balloon is actually floating. The solar panel is concealed within the balloon, which twists open for access to the on/off switch. Glows with a constant white light for up to 8 hours on a full charge. 

adjustable-angle-table

Adjustable Angle Table is the ultimate bedside table. It replaces bulky nightstands at a fraction of the price! You can adjust the height and angle and swivel it to any position you need. Its roomy surface provides a convenient place for your remote, book, tablet and beverage, while its sturdy metal base rests on the floor or slides under your mattress. It can swivel 360° and lock into place at any desired angle. A ledge on either side keeps items from slipping and sliding even when the table is at an angled position. Can be used on any bed including bunk beds, water beds, RV beds and dorm room beds. 

Galvanized-serving-tray

Galvanized Metal Serving Pieces are durable and bring a bit of rustic, down-on-the-farm flavor to your table. The round Handled Serving Tray  has wood handles secured with riveted construction. Use it to bring everything from main courses to sweet desserts to your dining area. The Salt & Pepper Napkin Holderprovides a double storage function with a built-in tray to hold your own salt and pepper shakers and a large main section to hold your napkins. Molded metal designs will last for years!

camping-survival-tool

10-In-1 Camping Survival Tool packs 10 vital functions into a single device. It’s great for camping, hunting and fishing, or to keep handy in your vehicle or work area. When closed, the thermometer, hygrometer, compass, flashlight and whistle are all easily put to use. Open it and the reflector, bubble level, removable ruler and magnifier are at your fingertips. The flint and flint blade are in a stay-dry compartment. A removable wrist strap keeps this essential tool close at hand. 
Features:
Thermometer
Hygrometer
Reflector
Compass
Bubble level
Magnifier
Ruler
LED flashlight
Whistle
Flint and flint blade

rustic-faucet-garden-decor

The weathered look of the Rustic Faucet Garden Decor will give your outdoors a special charm. The old-fashioned bronze-colored faucet design makes the pieces perfect for plants and garden accessories. Scrollwork accents add to the overall appeal. Slight assembly required; assembly hardware included. 

Earth Day: 7 Ways to Reduce and Reuse You Didn’t Know About

earth-dayApril 22nd is Earth Day. We love where we live and we could all do a little bit more to honor Mother Earth. Here are 7 ways to reduce and reuse things around your home you didn’t know about and make your Mother Earth proud.

Gardening

1. Milk jugs are the gardener’s little helper. They have many uses, but for the tomato gardener, it is heaven sent as a DIY trench watering system. Poke a few holes in the bottom and sides, dig a small trench near the plants and bury the jug about half-way. Fill the jug with water and it will slowly release water into the soil to keep it moist.

Pallet-walkway

Image source: http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

2. How many times have you seen a discarded wooden pallet and thought “I know I could do something with that”? Well, a garden walkway is about the easiest thing you can do with a wooden pallet. It requires little more than pulling it apart and arranging them along a dirt path. It’s so easy you’ll be kicking yourself for not having thought of it yourself.

Cooking

3. Cereal or cracker box lining can be used anywhere you might use wax paper or parchment paper. Cutting the ends and along one side you have good sized sheet. In baking, you can use it to roll out ice box cookie dough or to line cake pans. It saves money, time and waste.

Tiered-server

Image source: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com

4. For the mismatched dishes you just can’t seem to get rid of, a clever way to make use of them is by making them into a tiered server. The project does require some tools and materials, but it will be worth it to see your plates in play again.

Crafting

5. Save your cans. They’re the crafter’s dream material. Soup cans, coffee cans, paints cans: save ALL your cans. From lamp shades to biscuit cutters, there isn’t much you can’t do with a can.

6. Got something to stuff? That leftover pill bottle cotton can fill a sock doll. All of that dryer lint you toss in the garbage? You can stuff a pillow with it. No need to fill a landfill when you need to fill a toy.

Every Day

Cell-phone-wall-mount

https://www.facebook.com/CreativeIdeass

7. Just because an old water bottle can’t hold water anymore doesn’t mean it can’t hold something. With clever cutouts it turns into a gadget you didn’t know you need – a wall mount for your cell phone while it charges. It’s a brilliant way to repurpose the used, but not used up bottle.

 

We use stuff every day, but that doesn’t mean we have to throw it away every day. Being a responsible human being is easy, it just takes a little bit of thought on how to be responsible. Happy Earth Day!

recycle-symbol

Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week

We’re flipping through the catalog to pass the time between now and when the weekend starts. We’ve picked out some items we can’t wait to use now that the weather is finally warm! Here are LTD’s product picks for the week.

hanging-lantern

This Solar Scrolled Hanging Lantern enhances your outdoor space with elegant accent lighting featuring beautiful scrollwork. A ring on the handle makes it easy to hang from any hook. It has a solar panel on top that uses the sun’s energy to automatically power the light at night. 

think-big-sports

Now kids can practice their favorite sports right in their own backyard! Whether your kids are into soccer or basketball, we have the set for them! Each set comes with an oversized inflatable plastic ball and accessories that are safe and fun to use. Kick the soccer ball through the goal cones or shoot the basketball through the hoop. 

 

you-frame-it

Transform your most cherished photos into framed canvas artwork in your own home in a matter of minutes. With the Flipo You Frame It system, you can take any image from a camera or cell phone, print it on specially formulated canvas paper, then frame it. Printing is done on your inkjet printer without the need for special ink or computer software.

 

can-coolers

MLB Coleman 24-Can Cooler is easy to carry wherever the action takes you. Its adjustable strap has a shoulder pad embroidered with the Coleman logo. Full-color MLB team logo is embroidered on the cooler’s front panel. Made of 600D polyester, the soft-sided cooler is lined with PEVA. Includes a carabiner clip and mesh carry pouches on the sides. 

tickin-tater

The Tick N’ Tater Water Balloon Game takes the traditional game of hot potato and cools it down. Fill up a water balloon, then place it inside the Tick N’ Tater. Set the attached timer and start passing it around. When the timer runs out, the balloon will burst, soaking the person holding it. This easy game is a refreshing and fast-paced way to spend a hot afternoon outdoors.

 

Edible Gardens: 5 Plots to go from the Garden to the Table

Winter is finally starting to wane and it?s time to think about what we want in your garden.?A fun way to do that is to plan your garden around what you want to eat. It?s a simple idea and you?ll know exactly what to do with your vegetables once they?re harvested. Here are five edible gardens with vegetables that grow well together and taste great together, too.

American Garden:

What goes better with your barbecued chicken and ribs than creamy cole slaw? Not only is that grill in the backyard but so are the main ingredients for your slaw. All you need from the garden are cabbage, carrots and onions. The rest you can pick up from the store.

FYI:

  • Carrots and Cabbage are both biennial plants and fall crops can be easily stored during colder months.
  • Onions are harvested in late summer and can also be stored during winter months.

Mexican Garden:

Chips and salsa are a great no-cook snack that you can eat throughout the summer. Salsa is best when it?s made fresh, but imagine if the ingredients — tomatoes, jalapenos, onions and cilantro — were picked from out your back door ? it can?t get more delicious or easier than that. The recipe for salsa or pico de gallo is straightforward and if you add a mashed avocado and a couple of squeezes of lemon to the mix, you?ve got guacamole.

FYI:

  • Harvest cilantro weekly to keep the leaves growing and fresh.
  • Both tomatoes and jalapenos should be staked.
  • Tomatoes, jalapenos and cilantro all work well as potted plants.

Italian Garden:

One of the best possible ways to taste fresh basil is in a caprese salad. It?s simple and tomatoes and basil love to grow together; they?re also the base for a margherita pizza. The recipe is easy (there?s no shame in using a store-bought crust!)? and if you have the other ingredients (onion, garlic, parsley and oregano) on hand or in the garden, you?ll be serving up Italian food all summer long.

FYI:

  • Basil is an annual and grows best in warm weather and should be harvested if temperatures are expected to dip below 40?F.
  • Tomato plants can handle temperatures as low as 30?F, but a frost could kill a tomato plant, so keep an eye on the forecast.

French Garden:

If you?re feeling a little French, you don?t have to go to Paris to get fresh?ratatouille. Though there is?debate?on how to make authentic ratatouille, it can certainly be made on the stove top so you don?t heat up the entire kitchen during hot summer months.

FYI:

  • Zucchini (or squash), eggplant, tomatoes, and bell peppers all grow very well in hot weather.
  • Stagger your seedling start dates ? start eggplant seedlings six weeks before your last frost date and give zucchini just a two week head start ? will help you synchronize your harvest times and you can get your first summer dinner planned.

Spanish Garden:

For a cool soup in the summer, a cucumber, tomato, bell peppers, onions will deliver a good gazpacho. It requires little more than fresh vegetables and a good blender. And, if you?re feeling dangerous, you can steal a jalapeno from your pico de gallo garden to spice up your soup.

FYI:

  • Cucumbers should be picked every other day or so. Cucumbers left on the vine too long will make it harder for the plant to produce more cucumbers.
  • Both cucumbers and peppers love the sun and are thirsty ?– as are onions ? but water moderately and cover the soil around the plants with mulch to keep the moisture in.

Quick tip: Remember that most plants will probably need to be started indoors if you?re starting with a seed? and they shouldn?t be planted in the ground until after the last frost.

I have more ideas to share at LTD Commodities. Click here to find out more about me and the garden products I can?t do without.

Pinteresting Picks for March

Slowly but surely, we’re easing our way into spring. According to our Pinterest followers, some home maintenance is underway and a little summer planning is starting flower in our minds. Here are our Pinteresting picks for March.

Lodge-log-shelvesWhy put up a regular shelf when you can put up a log shelf? Give your home a cabin feel without ever leaving the city with the?Lodge Log Shelves. The?realistic look of chopped wood that adds a touch of nature to any home. ?They’re sturdy enough to hold books or any of your rustic treasures.

turtle-stepping-stonesKeeping critters in your garden can help keep your plants safe.?These adorable Mosaic Stepping Stones come as a family of turtles or a family of frogs.?Each piece is set with glass mosaic chips that reflect the sunlight for an eye-catching effect. While they’re lovely to look at they also give walkers a place to put their feet so they won’t damage your flowers.

Easy-change-artwork-framesGranny and gramps will be so excited to have a special frame to show off work from their little artists. It’s easy to change the art and there’s a built-in mat to keep to work straight. The wooden frame is inscribed with sentiments and has enough space for about 42 pieces behind the display.

floating-water-barFloating the water never tasted so good. This Floating Water Bar lets you bring the party in the pool — it even comes with floating chairs so it’s like being in a bar only better! It’s perfect for lounging on a sunny afternoon or it can be a great addition to your next party.