Build a Kindling Box from Pallets

When we moved from the cabin, we left our kindling box with the new owners.  We needed a new one before winter and I wanted an excuse to use a bunch of pallets I had saved up for a rainy day.  I had no idea about the work it takes to disassemble the pallets and sand all the wood, but I am glad I tried it because the look of freshly sanded pallet wood is so beautiful!  The only new wood for this product were the 2 x 4″s for the frame, the hinges and the handle.  Everything else was from my wood pile!

I started building a frame for the top and the bottom of the box. I decided to use angle braces because the pallet wood would provide the strength I needed for the project.



After the frame was built, the real work began.  There are many ways to disassemble a pallet, but the easiest way I found was to cut the pallet boards on the outside with a circular saw as close to the support board as you can.  You lose a little length on the board, but you have less chance of splitting the boards and you want to cut off those nail holes anyway.  Once you have cut the outside edges, you can pry up the center.

Once you have all your boards processed and the nails removed, the fun part begins…sanding!  I used 80 grit sand paper because I still wanted to leave some of the rustic markings and stains.  This is the portion of the project that took a long time!  After the sanding was complete, it was a matter of deciding how to place the boards on the frame.  I had enough of the same pallets to make the skinny ends look uniform, but on the longer sides, I had to be more creative.  I had some boards that were thicker and some that were wider, so I worked to make both sides look similar, even tough I was using different sized wood.  Check out the finished product!

After assembling the box, I attached all the pallet wood with a 2″ finishing nailer so you would not see the nail heads.  Now, I had to decide how to stain it.  Because I loved the soft look of the wood with the color variations, I decided to use Penofin Clear Penetrating Oil Finish and it really brought out the color of the wood.  It will also provide good protection from the weather.  For the top, I used some left over corrugated metal and I added a small handle to the front.  A sculpture from a local artisan completes the project!

Would I work with pallets again?  Yes because although time consuming, it is rewarding to salvage old materials and re-purpose them.



Bathroom Makeover for $35.00

The house we purchased last year was only 3 years old and it had good bones, but the color choices of the previous owners were not our taste.  Because they had kids, they had some interesting color choices in the bedrooms and a crazy color in the guest bath.

The shower tiles were also not my first choice and we hated the floor tile.  What I hated more though, was the thought of pounding up all that tile.  I could live with the shower tile and we have yet to decide what to do with the floor.  For 10 months, we have ignored this room, calling it the ugly bathroom and we left the Caribbean blue paint in place.  This week I could stand it no more, so I decided to paint the bathroom and see if we could live with the rest.

I chose a dark brown paint, called “Mud Puddle” because I wanted to contrast the light tile and the white vanity.  I also thought that would make the floor look better…it didn’t!  So we will still have to take the plunge and change that at some point.  So, for a $35.00 can of paint, this guest bathroom now looks stylish and sophisticated.  Try this transformation on a room you love to hate and enjoy the difference it makes!

Laundry Rooms Don’t Have to be Boring

We finally moved into our new house and although it was built in 2013, there are still things we want to change to make it more beautiful.  Because there are no major remodeling needs in a new house, most of the changes have been with paint and some new tile, so anyone can do them. We started with the laundry room.  The room itself is quite large and the washer and dryer are not behind doors.  So when we purchased the house we had to decide to either cover them up or make the laundry space beautiful.  We chose to make the laundry room beautiful.  Here is a photo of the laundry room before. It is kind of boring and bland.


The wall color was acceptable and the flooring was nice, so we chose to dress up the space with a Rustic Modern feel.  We started by purchasing a new Samsung Washer and Dryer.  We chose the Black Stainless Steel for a dramatic look and they are beautiful!


To break up the space of the large wall behind the washer and dryer, we installed two frosted glass Sekiton horizontal cabinets from IKEA.  Next, we decided to add some interest to the walls by installing weathered wood-look tile, Marazzi Montagna Rustic Bay from the Home Depot.  The tiles are 6′ x 24″ and it really looks like weathered wood.  I installed the tile to just a few inches below the washer and dryer.  While we were at IKEA, we also picked up an Eckbacken countertop with a metal-look and a small 12″ cabinet to go between the washer and dryer.


The process was pretty easy.  The cabinets took a couple of hours to build and hang and the tile went up in a day with grout the next day.  The countertop was cut to size using just a circular saw.  The result is a beautiful, elegant laundry room!  Enjoy!


Kitchen Refresh on a Budget

At our Bailey, CO mountain house, the Kitchen was stuck in the late ’80’s, early ’90’s.  It had black and white linoleum floors, white tile countertops and was pretty blah in general.  We did not want to spend a ton of money on the remodel because we were spending it on replacing the blue carpet with ash hardwood floors.  We decided to carry the new floors into the kitchen and after that was complete, I came home one day and started sledge-hammering up the tile countertops!

The cabinets were in good shape, so we decided on a simple face lift of new countertops, backsplash, appliances and some new drawer and door pulls to add some bling.  I also did not like the way the sit-up bar was configured, so I opted for a raised bar.  Doing that was pretty simple.  I just cut off the overhang, built a knee wall for the new raised bar and covered the front.

DCF 1.0 DCF 1.0

Because we were on a budget and did not want to install granite, I opted for 12″ x 12″ black granite tile.  I put the tiles as close together as I could and used black grout and the result was really beautiful.  We replaced the never-used trash compactor with a wine fridge and added new stainless steel appliances.   The transformation was amazing and we did it for a pretty low cost.  The appliances were around$3,000 and the tile was $800.  We spent another $200 on paint, lighting and supplies and we were done.  Enjoy the after pics!

Kitchen A1 Kitchen A2

Kitchen A4 Kitchne A3

Make a Hot Tub Pretty

When we purchased our hot tub, we decided to put it close to the family room door in an area that was partially protected from the elements by the house and the master bedroom deck.  The problem was there was nothing there but dirt, so there was not much ambiance.

Pre-deck 2

Since we already had poured a concrete pad, we decided to build a slightly raised deck around the hot tub that would cover up the entire area and turn that corner into a retreat spa.  Because the deck we were building was less than 12″ off the ground, we did not need a permit, but if you are thinking of recreating this deck, check with your local building codes.

We started by setting posts in concrete with holes dug down 24″.  (That is below frost line for us here in Colorado).  Then we built a frame as close as we could to the hot tub, remembering to leave an area so you can access the internal equipment.

Middle Deck 1

Once the frame was finished, it was time for the deck boards.  There are many types of deck boards you can use here, including synthetic wood, but I am a redwood girl at heart, so that is what we used.  This part of the project is just like building a regular deck except for working around the hot tub.  For shelter from the rain, we went to Target and picked up a pre-fab pergola to put over it.  The result changed the entire hot tub experience from sitting exposed in the middle of the yard to being in a spa!  The entire deck project including the pergola cost us around $1,000.  Enjoy!

IMG_0381 Post Deck 3