Building Props - A Freecycling Project!
Good day all! It's a glorious Sunday morning and I'm sitting here in my pajamas recovering from yesterday's hard labor. No, it really wasn't that bad. Ha! I actually had a pretty darn good day. Here's the story. I have a photo shoot booked on Monday with a lovely little family who requested a country theme. No problemo! Actually, it's been pretty hard work for a city girl, who doesn't know anyone with a farm, to come up with a proper country setting. You'd think this would be easy peasy when you're smack in the middle of Oklahoma. Not so. Everyone here knows the value of a big red barn in the city and charges an arm and a leg or your first born for photography on their property. After 3 days of searching endlessly for a barn we could use as a backdrop, I came up empty-handed. But by a stroke of luck I just happened to drive by a field of giant round hay bales, right on the side of the road. Hooray! There's not even a fence around it. I just pray that the owner of those hay bales doesn't have any plans to move them right away. Mental note to drive by again before the shoot. So here is where the creativity started flowing. There's always a point for me where I'm stuck but then I'll see or hear something that starts a chain reaction. Now, the ideas are endless. I know exactly how I want to set up props for the shoot. Only problem was, I didn't have what I needed. I hate going to buy a bunch of stuff for every shoot because, well, I like to make money, not spend it all before I even have it in hand.
The one thing I needed was some wooden crates. Michael's has them for fairly cheap and also has project instructions for staining them to make them look aged. So that was the plan until my electrician husband informed me it would be stupid to pay money for those when he could get me some pallets from his job site. God bless his frugal ways. He even offered to make them for me. Great! But I'm stubborn and when it comes to making things, I usually like to do it myself. I've never really done any wood-working before. I think I've used a miter saw once but despite my woeful inexperience, I figured I could handle such a simple design. Turns out, Chris and I make a pretty good team! We built the crates together and they turned out fantastic! Here is the final project:
I love that some of the slats are a little uneven. If you've ever worked around shipping pallets before, they you've seen how busted up they get. But that's great! It just gives them character. Makes them look old.
First we had to bring the pallets home. I was hoping to get three crates out of three pallets but we only got two. Which is okay since they turned out a little bigger than I had originally imagined.
There was slight damage on them but that's no biggie. We still had plenty of wood for the two crates. You would not believe what back-breaking work it was to pry apart those pallets and get all the nails out. I don't know the proper name but the nails were sort of twisty-looking - almost like a screw but not as spiraled - so they didn't just slide right out.
After breaking down about one and a half pallets, we started cutting wood for the first crate. Ahem, I started cutting wood. Yep, that's me using a miter saw.
Always wear safety glasses (or if it's all you have, use sunglasses like me) when using a miter saw. Sawdust in the eye is not fun.
After getting enough wood cut for one crate, we started the assembly. With a brad nailer, we got it tacked together and then used the old nails (the ones that were still straight) to make it stronger. No reason to be wasteful. Plus, I'm going for more of a weathered look here. The pallets were not terribly old so the crates can sit out in the sun for a couple of days. Maybe I should sit out there with them for a little while. We could both use a little color.
And here it is again. The finished project! Actually, that's not quite the finished project. My husband always wants an excuse to use his router, so he put some nice smooth handles in the sides for me.
Well, that's it! Check back soon to see these babies in action!