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.

4 Creative Ideas to Use a Curtain to Simplify Your Home

curtain-ltdCurtains are unsung accessories for the home. They cover up the windows to keep outsiders from looking in, but they can do so much more. Here are 4 creative ideas to use a curtain to simplify your home.

Room Divider

Whether you’re making one bedroom into two for your kids or you want to separate your office space from your living space, a carefully thought out curtain is a great do-it-yourself option.

For the kids’ room: It’s functional decoration – not only will the curtain provide privacy to each child, but it also provides an opportunity to add colors or shapes to reflect each child’s personality and taste.

For the office: While it doesn’t drown out the noise, an appropriate curtain room divider gives the illusion of an office and adds a wall to cut off chaos. A curtain can create a separation of your personal life and your work life even when you’re doing it all at home.

Shelf Concealer

If you’re looking to cover casino online up clutter or you just want to create more visual order to your living space, consider using curtains as shelf concealers. For small spaces, this a great idea – especially if you have a lot of papers and bills as necessary clutter. But even for large spaces, to be able to close a curtain on disheveled shelves is a cleanup time-saver.

Closet Door

Much like hiding a shelf, a curtain hides entire closets. In small spaces, opening and closing doors takes up space a curtain conveniently avoids. The other benefit to a curtain closet door — in addition to hiding clutter and unmentionables – is it’s much cheaper and far less work to install a curtain rather than a door.

canopyBed Canopy

One of the most elegant additions to make to a bed is a canopy. Not everyone has a four-poster bed to hang a canopy from, but it’s just as easy to hang a canopy without the four-poster; all you need is a sheer curtain and a couple of curtain rods and you’ll be sleeping like a princess. The beauty of this particular canopy is it’s classy enough for an adult room and frilly enough for a girl’s room. While it doesn’t actually simplify your life, this curtain may just add a little charm to it.

Curtains are a cure-all to DIY home improvement and design. While it’s an inexpensive solution to many problem areas around the house, it also adds a layer of design options. Curtains come in all sorts of colors and patterns – putting up a curtain is like being able to wallpaper or paint without all the work and mess – the functional part is just a bonus. DIY Simplify = Curtains.

4 Ways to Spend Mother’s Day Outside

Mom’s special day is Sunday — and now that the flowers are blooming and the sun is shining why not celebrate your mother and mother nature? Here are 4 ways to spend Mother’s Day outside.

Mothers-Day-HikeAdventure

Go on a family hike. Getting close to Mother Nature with your mother gives the family the opportunity to interact in a way that’s more social than celebrating in a crowded restaurant. You learn new things about the earth and about each other when you replace the noise of cars and cell phone with chirping birds and babbling brooks. Nature surrounds just about every community and there are options for adventure on your own, but you can also go the guided route. Not too far from the urban landscape of Detroit, in Ann Arbor, MI, a guided wildflower hike is offered in Black Pond Woods. Moms get to go free of charge.

Historical

In just about every community there is an historical society ready to celebrate Mother’s Day. At Old World Wisconsin outside of Milwaukee, they hold a Mother’s Day brunch 1890’s style every year. After experiencing a 19th century meal in a barn mothers and families stroll through the village and discover what it was like to live on a farmstead in the 1800s. The bonus is admission is free for moms on Mother’s Day, but you don’t have to go all the way to Wisconsin to have an old fashioned outing; there are many similar historical experiences around the country and like Old World Wisconsin you can try.

Mothers-Day-ConcertArts & Culture

All around the country concerts are being held in parks and in gardens on Mother’s Day. Even if your mom isn’t a music enthusiast, an outdoor concert can be a relaxing way for mom to spend a day with the whole family. In Richmond, VA, the Richmond Concert Band entertains guests on the lawn of Agecroft Hall where people are welcome to bring chairs, relax on blankets and bring food for a picnic. It can also be an inexpensive celebration – like the one in Richmond, a lot of outdoor concerts are free.

Agricultural

You don’t have to give mom flowers to celebrate Mother’s Day with flowers – a trip to the botanic garden is a gift and an activity mom will appreciate. Almost every city has a botanic garden or an arboretum where you can celebrate a beautiful spring day with Mom. Some botanic gardens have special events for Mom’s special day. At the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, FL, they hold a Mother’s Day Tea every year so Mom can spend the afternoon enjoying scones, music and flowers outside. If nature is something your mother treasures, there are birds, butterflies and orchids you can adopt in her name.Mothers-Day-Botanic-Gardens

There are many ways to celebrate your mother, but with May weather and summer sun on its way, a Mother’s Day outside may be the way to make it a day to remember.