Friday, May 9, 2014

Fence Picket Planter

Here's another wonderful planter from Ana White.  I thought, "hey, I can make these!" So off I went to search for the lovely cedar fence pickets, 1/2" thick x 4.5" wide x 6' long.  I liked the idea of using cedar, it weathers beautifully, it's safe to handle and it has a smooth paint-able surface.  I don't like to plant herbs or anything edible in pressure treated wood.  I could not find the cedar pickets at either of the big box hardware stores, but I did spot pressure treated pine pickets at one of them.  I was itching to make these planters so I bought six of them.

I cut two boxes out together with my miter saw.
The boxes measure 20" long x 6.5" wide x 5.5" high, large enough for three 5" pots. You can download the printer friendly instructions, HERE.  I started to assemble the box but the parts didn't seem to fit correctly! I finally realized that the cut list that I used was for 1/2" cedar but my pressure treated pine measured 5/8" thick. Oops! I made it work and will keep this for myself. I used exterior liquid nails in a caulking gun plus exterior 1 1/4" screws to assemble.

Using exterior liquid nails is easy & less messy!
I proceed to make two more boxes, and they went together easily. I'm going to make a few more but bought some 1 1/2" galvanized finishing nails to assemble them.  Using Word, I printed out the words "HERB GARDEN" using outlined text. After printing it out, I used carbon paper to transfer the words to the box. Next I filled in the letters with a paint brush Sharpie pen. It didn't turn out great because the pine was still a little rough. Boy, I wish I had the smooth cedar pickets. I did a quick white wash with white DecoArt Patio paint. I added handles that I had in my stash box, and will add some rope handles to the next ones I make.

Easy to add the lettering!

Love the fork & spoon handles I saved from an old birdhouse.

Great spoon handle!

Black iron knobs on both ends.
Rope handles work great, too. Drill holes larger than rope diameter.

I saw another post HERE for a tapered planter using just half of the six foot cedar picket. Oh, I just had to try it with my last picket. It was a little difficult to match the sides when assembling because my pressure treated pine pickets weren't perfectly straight. I chose to predrill the holes then use the screws, it was easier to build. I wrote "BLOOM" on the front and installed rope handles. Next, I filled it with soil and planted a flower. It's now on my front steps!  I still had three feet of wood left and decided to make a smaller planter with straight sides. I'm on a roll . . .

Another 1/2 size, a gift for my daughter.

More gifts . . . complete with potting soil and seed packets!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wooden Toolbox Totes

So many uses and great as a gift.
My inspiration came from a site called "Funky Junk Interiors". Donna had posted numerous styles of creating these popular wooden toolboxes.  I got the bug to try it when a woman, Jennifer Lewis, posted complete directions and lots of detailed photographs. You can download directions are HERE.

Sides & bottom nailed together.

Cutting the "dog-eared" end pieces.
 My first box was a struggle but oh, what fun! I  had a miter saw to work with so my pieces couldn't exceed six inches wide or I'd have to cut them another way. I don't have a table saw and a jig saw cut just wouldn't be straight. My 1x6 pine pieces worked  great. Assembling the box was a struggle but I finally developed a method of clamping that worked just right.

Sanding the box before the handle goes on.
An old cane gets re-purposed as a handle.
An old gentleman from Northfield, CT made hundreds of canes. He also played the fiddle as well as constructed them. A group of us would take a ride to his house and visit him with our instruments. Roger Curtis was a wonderful man and all of us would play some great music together. He wouldn't let us leave until we went on his porch to take home a few of his hand made canes. Mr. Curtis passed away just before his 100th birthday.  So this toolbox that I'm making for a fiddler friend, who was close to Mr. Curtis, sports a handle made from one of his canes. He had carved the date and his initials in each one, which is visible in the next picture.

Cane made by Ronald F. Curtis 1998 is re-purposed into a handle.
I finished this toolbox with a light coating of tung oil. I hope she likes it!  I've made quite a few different ones, varying the size, color, height, handle, etc. Here's a few pics.

This is mine! Turquoise my favorite color these days.

Added a space for a message with chalkboard paint.
Taller box - great for a wine tote. The handle from a broken chair.
Beautiful blue for plants, wine, books, flowers or whatever.
Utensil tote for the kitchen.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Jeremy's Beer Tote

Beer Tote with opener.

Here's another idea using the basic toolbox shape. Size it to fit a six pack of beer! Of course soda, water, wine coolers & other drinks would fit as well. I saw many of these on Etsy, some more elaborate than others but selling in the range of $30 - $70. Of course, I pondered, I can make this for my nephew Jeremy. His birthday was coming up in March and this would make a great gift.

I had a lot of very hard pine left over from a "This End Up" couch that I had taken apart. I used that wood for the sides and bottom, drilling holes for the screws. I think I like nails better, but it's done and I don't think Jeremy will mind.  This assembled just like the other wood totes I had made previously. I even used an old broom handle that belonged to my dad (Jeremy's grandfather).  I looked for the opener at a few local package stores, but no luck. I ordered them from Amazon.  Happy Birthday, Jeremy!

Built-in opener.