Friday, May 25, 2012

Hardwood Door Mat

When my parents built their house 12 years ago they put hardwood floors down in the kitchen and had leftover scraps. Dad found the leftover scraps when he was cleaning out his workroom and of course, Ryan and I snatched them up!
some of the left over pieces
 We wanted to make a doormat, something like this:

This one was made with rope and we soon realized that since there's no rigidity in rope it would pinch our little feet-sies. (One thing you should know about us, we are almost always barefoot. I for one, don't like to wear shoes if I can help it.) My husband, being the problem solver he is, never ceases to amaze me and came up with using cable instead. We bought 10 feet of thin cable from Ace Hardware.

First we cut the scraps of wood all to the same length and then stained them using Minwax, Kona. (We had stain left over from the Crate Shelves project.) Ryan drilled holes all the way through the sides of each slat of wood and through the top, fed the cable through, knotting it each time he passed it through the hole.

Then he would pull back on the wire so the knot would fit/sit tightly in the hole, and so on...until all the boards were threaded. This was no easy task, it took him a while to master how to tie the perfect tight knot and measure it out between each board.

The scraps of wood were enough to make two door mats and we gave one do our dear friends Rob and Alaina. Check her blog out sometime:

Anyways, this is how they turned out! We love how the shiny cable looks against the dark wood.

Total cost of project for two mats: $10
$10 thin cable from Ace

Thursday, May 17, 2012

dock coffee table

Hey y'all! Ryan and I have really gotten into this re-claimed wood thing and are having so much fun with it. It's amazing what you can make out of something that looks unsalvageable. We were out kayaking on the river and found a piece of a dock that floated away and been abandoned for a long time and I thought it would make the coolest coffee table. Ryan was on board (get it?) and the salvaging began! Getting is home was the tricky part b/c it was SO heavy and hard to tow...but we managed!
We got it home and had to take out all the icky styrofoam which was growing trees in it!
  We took all the boards off the top to get rid of the rusty bolts and cut off the bottom steel to give it legs. Then used a wire wheel to clean the steel (it too was covered in gunk and rust). To finish off the steel frame we sprayed a clear coat of Rust-oleum Crystal Clear Enamel. And sanded the boards down to get rid of all the splinters. 
We re-stained the wood with a coat of semi-transparent wood stain for $5. (at Ace Hardware, in their paint section, they have clearance cans of paint and stains that's been returned mainly b/c people didn't like the color). Ryan added some stainless steel feet with rubber stoppers so the steel frame wouldn't scratch up the stone.

...and here it is done! 

now we have an awesome, functional outdoor coffee table/bench that is pretty much in-destructible!
Total cost of project: $19
$5 on stain
$4 Rust-oleum Crystal Clear Enamel
$10 on feet 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Crate Shelves

As with any new house, we have a blank canvas to work with. We have a fireplace in our kitchen, so I wanted to create a reading nook. In the previous post, we made the stump table to go next to the comfy overstuffed chair in the kitchen and the nook was started! I wanted a book shelf for the empty wall on the right side and I love this look:
To buy these shelves made are really expensive and I saw similar posts on other blogs where they made them out of crates premade from JoAnns. This too is expensive b/c the crates are $12 a pop, cheap balsa-type wood, poorly made and small. So it's a lot of money for not good quality.

So what do the hubs and I decide? Make them ourselves from old wood, of course! We went on a search for palettes for a couple of weeks and found these baby's!
 A whole truck load of palettes! Jack pot! They were well worn and had lots of nails. We took them all apart and took the nails out. They left behind rusty nail holes which gave the wood a neat rustic look. So now we have a pile of long pieces of wood.
We made the crates two different sizes so they would stack evenly and we would be able to mix match some vertical and some horizontal. Instead of all the crates being horizontal like the picture above. Ryan figured up a cut list and started cutting away...
As he was cutting, I started staining. We chose Kona by Minwax. It was A LOT of wood to stain. 
The only wood we had to buy was for the ends of the crates. We bought three 1x12's.  And here's all the wood laying out to dry after staining and one crate made.
 Now for the fun part! Assembling the rest of the crates: one vertical and one horizontal done.
and 13 crates later...we are done!
The only thing left to do is screw them together to secure them and bring it in the house to decorate! 
And here it is:
We love them and I'm constantly re-arranging them for a different look. It's a great place for cook books, books, keys and little treasures!
And a close up:  
Total cost: around $50 for stain and 3 pieces of wood!
What do y'all think?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stump Table

Boy, do I have a lot of catching up to do. The first piece of furniture we made was a Tree Stump table. We were only in our house for about a month when a giant Oak came crashing down on our little bungalow, causing a huge mess! One good thing that came out of it was a ton of stump options to make my table. (Ironically I wanted to make one of these before the tree incident) and I was inspired by something like this:

After much searching and chainsaw cutting I found the perfect section of tree trunk. First we had to let the trunk completely dry out to get rid of all the moisture and bugs. This took about 3 months under a covered area. After much waiting and anticipation the fun began.

I chipped off all the bark with an ax and hammer:
and then sanded it forever. Hand sanding the sides, starting with a lower grit and working up to a finer one. Then to get rid of the chainsaw marks on top, I used a hand sander.

After the sanding was done I wiped it down with a damp cloth to get rid of all the dust. Then comes the stain! I chose "All American" by Minwax. Two coats later it was ready to be finished off with a couple coats of poly-urethane. We chose Minwax in a semi-gloss. This took a while, because the polyurethane needs a couple days to dry between coats.  Then it was ready to bring in the house! and here's the finished table:
Add a cactus and a mason jar of sea shells and it's the perfect little table for our (in progress) reading corner.

 Voila! Total cost: $15 for stain and polyurethane 
Hey y'all! Welcome to the Yellow Fern! Ryan and I are super excited about getting this thing up and running. We have so many fun projects always going on and wanted to share. Stayed tuned because there's much more to come about our life and what we love to do!