A pallet reinvented

My site manager Zeus, photo bombing my pallet!
This is the story of a lowly pallet, left lying on the side of the road with it's brothers, not loved by anyone, just forgotten - until I moved into the street and turned that all around!!!  Recently I've become a thief - and I'm proud of it.  The first thing I stole was the tradesmans dog.  The poor pup was just left to roam the street and bush all day while her master built the house next door.  So I let her in to play with Zeus.  That basically helped both of us out, cause Zeus was no longer barking all day and the pup had someone to keep her busy instead of nearly getting run over every 5 minutes!  The second thing I stole was a pallet....or two.  I've been living in my new house for about 2 months now and no-one has claimed this pile of broken pallets and the builders have now moved on.  So under the cover of darkness I took my red trolley out and bought one home.  They're quite heavy!  Over the weekend I got to work pulling the pallet apart.  It wasn't as easy as pulling on the wood, it's hard wood and the nails had rusted so I used hammers and elbow grease.  I also got hubby to show me how the circular saw works and we chopped of the outer pieces to leave the slats.  I needed 4 heavy pieces of wood for legs - I was going to make a table!!  I couldn't find one I liked anywhere in the shops, and even when I came close it was either too big or too expensive.  Once the slats were removed I then had to get rid off all the nails still stuck in the wood and remove all the small bits of wood left from cutting.  On the right I
Lots of wood to work with
have the legs for my table and on the left are the slats that I would cut into smaller lengths to create a shelf on the lower half of my table.  This is where I got to use the circular saw.  I might add between step one and two there were a few choice words and a thrown hammer as I'm quite impatient and really didn't want to fuss too long with the nails, but I found a way around pulling them out and just snapped them off!  This aliviated any holes and my cranky hammering just added dents and character to the piece.  That's the wonderful thing about pallet furniture, it doesn't have to be perfect, or neat, it's meant to look rustic and used!  Once I had a good pile of wood, and all the lengths had been cut to the lengths that I needed it was time to start putting things together.  More curse words as I figured out the right length of nail, and also pre-drilled some holes and I was off!!  It's so much fun to hammer, a real stress reliever.
A few hours work and voila - a table!
 I pictured myself as Daniel LaRusso taking lessons from Mr Miyagi and smashing that nail in with one hit - I think I did it in three, but still had fun practising!!  Once everything was put together and it was the way that I wanted it, it was time to sand!  As you can see, I didn't build this in a workshop or even on cement - it's not that difficult if you know your way around tools (I have a lot to learn).  Any way I got my sander and gave it a good go over.  I wanted to remove any loose bits of would that might catch on clothing or little finger but I didn't want it a perfectly flat surface either.  I also removed the paint and wording just a little on the right leg.  I liked the print showing but not so it was really legible.  I also sanded all the edges so that they looked smoothed with wear. I then gave the whole table a good brush to remove any dust and dirt.  Now it was time to stain!  I was going to paint also but loved the result of the paint.  I used Cedar stain and brushed it on with a small brush, taking care to get in all the nooks and crannys, nail holes and basically anywhere that you could see wood.  I only used a Litre tin and still have some left over.  Be careful not to let drips dry or you will have a spotty finish and also watch for brush strokes.  I believe you can also used rags, foam applicators and rollers to add stain to wood.  The stain I used took 2 hours to dry.  Then you can go over your whole table with clear varnish to protect it.  Now for the finished product - I went shopping for some new decorations!!
I am so happy with how it turned out!!!  The stain came up beautifully, hence why I didn't want to paint it!
Here are some closeups of the decorations
I bought these balls, but they are easy to make, just roll some twine up into the desired size ball.  The glass bell jar houses a sprig of leaves and tiny apples that I wound around inside.
Thanks for coming and seeing my new table - you should give it a try, there is something wonderful about creating something new out of something old....now what else can I create.........


Helen said...

This is stunning, what a great idea! :)

Ria Cervantes said...

So innovative and creative of you Sarah! It's so pretty!