Saturday, November 2, 2013

Pallet Headboard

For my local friends, have you ever picked up a copy of Pocatello Magazine?
It is a great, local magazine with a wide array of articles, local advertisers, a great events calendar, and a highlight of interesting and fun things to do in our area.  And, it's a free publication, found in local businesses around town!  For the last year, there has also been an article from me.  Whoa, that seems amazing even as I read it!  It's quite fun, and yes, a little intimidating at the same time.  A big thank you to all who have mentioned you've read my articles, and if you haven't picked up a copy before, I encourage you to keep an eye out for the next issue which is likely to hit the stand this week!

Here's an article that was in the March/April 'Environmental' 2013 issue.  I'd love to hear what you think!

Last summer we were expecting a raft frame being shipped to our home.  While discussing with my husband the logistics of a freight truck making a delivery to our driveway, he mentioned the frame for our 16 foot raft would likely arrive on a pallet.

Hold up.  Pallet?!

I had been hunting yard sales and thrift shops in search of a headboard for our son's room, but had not yet scored.  We had even looked in a few 'real' stores;  where there is new furniture, but my quest to find something used that we could personalize was not found in the box stores or catalogues.  My junker wheels were turning.  Having a pallet delivered to our driveway could come in quite handy, since earlier in the summer I had sold the kiddo's dresser and headboard, and it was high time we put his room back together.  his was beginning to feel like junkin' karma.

The boat frame arrived with it's shiny aluminum that we checked for precise measurements.  We were one step closer to rafting down the Main Salmon River.  The contrast of the wood and aluminum kept distracting me, I couldn't help but blurt out, "just don't get rid of the pallet" before we had the boat frame unloaded. 
Our pallet had been constructed of cedar planks, similar to what one may use for fencing.  The wood still had some of that nice scent, and was free of oil or grease;  I found these qualities in my pallet to be quite nice.  I had done a little online research, and saw mention of cleaning pallets with a bleach solution.  If you are tempted to snag yourself a pallet, please note that some could have been used for storage where rodents may be about, be mindful of your source and /or cleaning the wood well.  Our pallet measured 50 X 45 inches, excitingly similar to a full or queen sized frame.  Chalk one up for the up-cycled pallet headboard.

The kiddo was on deck with giving it a try.  The three "R"s of reduce, re-use, and recycle are present in our everyday life.  We recycle what we are unable to re-use and we have great satisfaction in catching rain run off from the roof to water the garden.  Plus, many pieces of furniture, doer, an everyday items in our home are what I refer to as 're-graced'; used pieces that are either painted, repurposed, or cleaned up to fit our needs, like this dresser for the kiddo's room.  We were about to embark on a raft trip thru the Wilderness of No Return, where " leave no trace" is of utmost importance to preserve this pristine area.  So why not give a try to re-purposing this pallet and reduce our impact at home a little also.

Since pallets are not initially constructed to become a headboard, we added an end piece on each side of the pallet to improve the aesthetics when seeing it from the side.  This was a quick honey-do project of picking up 2 pieces of cedar fending cutting them to the same length as the other slats, and screwing into place.  We chose our paint color and purchased a sample pot of paint (approximately 250ml, usually about $4) an used an older brush we had at home.  This wood has a heavy texture, so I used a technique close to dry brushing in order to avoid saturating all the wood with color.  We did not remove paint from the brush, as is usual with dry brushing, but rather applied only a small amount of paint to the brush and then worked it over a larger area to help with achieving a worn over time look.  The kiddo and I painted together, being sure to paint the cross pieces between the pallet slats.  We didn't paint the bottom area that would be covered by the mattress, a bit more paint would be needed to cover the entire pallet.  After the paint dried, I took  my power sander to it, just in areas that were quite rough to avoid splinters and snagged sheets, and to further remove a little paint.  To give the exposed wood a little more depth, I brushed on a natural colored wood stain.

Once it was dry, we hauled it upstairs and placed it against the wall, with the mattress holding it in place.  It has a happy home with other collected over time and re-graced pieces.  I guess this would be our (my) main decorating constant.  The shelf hanging above the dresser that holds all sorts of boy treasures from vacations, teams, and Lego's was an estate sale find.  

Letters that speak his nickname above the closet doors are a collection from a local vintage shop (Vain and Vintage) , and yard sale finds (I want to paint them, but he likes them as-is : ).  Although the vinyl camp sign above the headboard is not used, it is awesome, right?!  It was, however, purchased from Quotes and Quips on Etsy, a marketplace for artisans to sell their wares and a great place to support buying from a small business.  The stripped pillow was a thrift store find, new with the tags still on it.  There is also an old metal cabinet in his room that once held airline meal trays.  It has been re-graced into a Lego vault.  Because treasured things can be stored in what someone else thought was junk, it's a matter of how it can be used differently.  And re-using junk can protect precious things... like rivers.


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