A few days later my aunt pinned one similar made from a pallet and I knew it had to be done. And then it appeared! Some work was being done on a house across the street and a pallet appeared leaned up against a tree. Although I would call it a "mini-pallet," I had to have it. I left a note on it for a couple days asking the owner to drop it in my yard if they were just going to throw it away and as the worker visits dwindled, I took it!! It was very unlike me to take it without explicit permission but I was re-using and cleaning up the neighborhood and the house being worked on was vacant.
My wonderful partner came home a little early one day after traveling for work and jumped on the project and opportunity for time in the shop.
This little beauty required only a few cuts on the table saw and you could customize to nearly any size with nearly any pallet. My husband left the original nails but cut them off thinking they added character and I couldn't agree more.
I did make a mistake on the finish. I visited a small but usually wonderful hardware store and first found the perfect handles for $4 (total).
I next asked for a recommendation for a stain or finish and was debating between a zero VOC polyurethane and Tung oil. Because the oil would dry hard but also penetrate a bit and bring out some of the natural wood character, I went that route. The poly would have first required a stain and the same green company's stain and poly in the smallest sizes offered would have totaled $50. The Tung oil cost just over $12 for a lot bigger quantity and was more inherently green. Unfortunately the kind salesperson did not tell me the Tung oil could take several WEEKS to dry. The box was assembled and oiled in less than an hour but took over a month to dry. I hauled it around the yard chasing the sun for days and finally brought it inside to set it in front of a heat vent. If time is money this was a costly lesson, but thankfully the only cost was a delay in my filling it.
I finally gave up on it getting any more dry one day last week and filled it with fall's delights.
I also tried flame-less candles for the first time as the person I pinned this from had started a
fire with hers :-/
I'm still a much bigger fan of the real thing, but the soft flickering light with no fear of fire burning little fingers or the house down makes it worth it.
I got to put it to the dinner party test this Saturday night....
I think it would also look great in front of the fireplace on our slightly raised hearth or in front of the kitchen window filled with herbs in the spring. Or as the pinner commented on the picture below, on the mantel filled with hydrangea balls-yes please!!