Category Archives: Repurposing

Driftwood Sculptures with City Farmhouse

By: Minwax

Guest Blogger Jen of City Farmhouse is back with a fun DIY project that allows you hold on to your summer memories in a unique and beautiful way. Follow along as she demonstrates how to create these stylish driftwood sculptures. 

I am so excited to share this fun, easy & super stylish summer project with you today! Our collection of driftwood has grown each year, as “hunting for treasure” is a favorite summer pastime. No matter how old my boys get they still like the adventure, you honestly never know what you will find washed up ashore. We have found some pretty awesome pieces lately and it got me thinking, what else could we make with them? I love dimensional & sculptural objects, they add a flavor to open shelving & vignettes that no other accessory can. As I began to see some of the driftwood we found together as art, we all agreed these would make beautiful wood sculptures. Plus it’s a great way to hold onto those summer memories for all to appreciate for years to come.

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This project is part of the Minwax® Made With Love campaign that encompasses the concept of something found, finished and loved. I thought this was the perfect project since it’s found pieces from special moments shared together and created with such care, thought & LOVE:).

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We usually go for walks along the ocean once a week, we bring a few bags and collect what we like and feels unique to us. The trick is to sort through so we don’t bring the whole beach home with us. Sometimes we will sit with all the pieces if we have too many and give a reason why we should keep it, you can’t imagine how much 2 boys can collect in 30 minutes, lol. This piece below we knew was a keeper from the moment we found it, you can see the reveal in my bookshelves, it’s something special!

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They use long sticks to sift through the debris.

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Some beach gems….

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If you would like to make some of your own driftwood sculptures this is what you need….

  • Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish
  • drop cloth
  • latex gloves
  • mask (if indoors)
  • saw box
  • sander with medium grit sand paper
  • wood glue
  • poplar dowels (I used 1/4″ & 3/8″)
  • poplar craft wood (I used 1.5″ x 3/4″ &  2.5″ x 1.5″)
  • wired brush
  • foam brush
  • flower clippers (to cut the dowels)
  • wood glue
  • drill & bits (1/4″ & 3/8″)
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • stamps or marker (optional)

STEP 1-Cut your bases. I mixed these up cutting both square and rectangular pieces from both lengths of poplar with my saw box. Be sure your wood is secure before you cut to prevent any injuries.

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STEP 2 – Sand your bases. You can use sandpaper, a sanding block or an electric sander to smooth the rough edges.

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STEP 3 – Clean your wood. Take a wired brush or any large brush and work into the wood removing any particles, sand or debris.

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Step 4 – Cut your dowels. I waited until I had each piece in front of me to determine the length I wanted each vertical piece to be. Be sure to leave a little extra to fit into the base and your driftwood. You can use a flower clipper to cut these dowels or the saw, just be sure it is secured first.

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Step 5 – Drill into your driftwood and base. Take your drill & bit matching the diameter of your dowels and drill into both pieces. Measure for the middle of the driftwood piece and the base & mark with a pencil.

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Step 6 – Glue dowels into both ends. Put a little wood glue on each end and secure it into your piece at the base and bottom of your piece.

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Step 7 – Protect your piece. Be sure your wood is completely dry, if in question, leave in the sun for a few days. Seal your sculpture with Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish. Use latex gloves & mask for this part. Take your foam brush and apply, making sure to get into the nooks & crannies. Let dry for a few hours.

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Step 8 – Add a personal touch. Using a stamp or marker record the date and/or names to appreciate for years to come. Shane & Jack both made ones for their rooms from pieces they found so it’s nice to have a personal note at the bottom. Who knows maybe these will be in the family for a while, one can hope right?

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We made about 8 in all and just to show you different styling options I layered them throughout my den.

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Of course no post would be the same without a little photo of Denver.

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This is the piece from above, it’s my favorite, I love the contrast, shape and texture, it all works.

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I kept the base natural, without stain because I didn’t want it to compete with the organic beauty and tone of the driftwood.

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What do you think of the art we made with love from the found driftwood from our little beach adventures? I can’t tell you enough how much I LOVE this project!!! Not only was it easy but it was so cheap, it was under $25 for all my supplies. You can make about 20 with the purchased supplies.

From now through September 30th, take advantage of our Fall Home Celebration rebate and save up to $15 on select Minwax® products that make and keep your floors beautiful. These specially formulated products enhance the natural beauty of your floors and can help protect them so they look great for years to come.

Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

Jen shares DIY projects and thrifty decorating solutions. Her design philosophy is that bringing style to your home doesn’t have to break the bank. Learn more about Jen and visit City Farmhouse. You Can also follow her on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

 

A Clock From Pallet Scraps

1. Start

Using a few scrap pallet boards in my garage workshop, I decided to make a simple clock. I cut three the same length, added some trim around the edges, and drilled a small hole in the center.

2. backHere’s what the back looks like after I inserted an inexpensive, battery-operated clock, attached to the wood with a nut and washer on the front.

3. Poly

While I like the rustic look of pallet boards, I think they look even better after a light sanding and a coat of water-based Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish.

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It dried fairly quickly, after which I pressed on a set of self-adhesive numbers and the clock hands.

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And in no time at all (yes, a bad pun), my pallet clock was finished and ticking away.

Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

A Vintage Hatbox Revived As the Perfect Gift

April is Minwax National Woodworking Month®! To celebrate, Minwax® expert Bruce Johnson has put together some of his favorite tips & tricks for using Minwax® products. Don’t forget to download the Minwax National Woodworking Month® mail-in rebate form, you could save up to $17 on select Minwax® products. 

BeforeFor several years now, Leigh Ann has had this antique Victorian hatbox, with a drawer for gloves, that had been taken from a tall dresser her grandmother once owned. With Leigh Ann’s birthday fast approaching, I decided I could find a new use for it.

Wood Filler The top had a few unsightly nail holes, so I squeezed in some Minwax® Stainable Wood Filler, let it dry, and sanded each one smooth with the wood.

Stain side The original color of the oak hatbox was still attractive, but badly worn, so after a light sanding I applied a fresh coat of Minwax® Wood Finish™ in “English Chestnut” to even out the color.

Base stain I used the same color to stain a new oak base I plan to set it on when it is complete.

Spray Tray At our craft supply store, I picked up four unfinished pine trays and sprayed each one with two coats of Minwax® Clear Aerosol Lacquer. After the lacquer had dried, I cut a piece of felt to line the bottom of each one, as well as the bottom of the glove drawer. By this time, the English Chestnut stain had dried, so I protected all the wood with three light coats of Minwax® Clear Aerosol Lacquer.

ClosedI then installed two plywood shelves inside the box where a Victorian gentleman would have stored his tall hat. Next, I screwed the hatbox to the new oak base, rehung the door and slipped the drawer back into place.

OpenNow instead of a Victorian hatbox she never quite could decide what to do with, Leigh Ann has a new place to store and display her jewelry, as well as a daily memory of her grandmother.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

Spice Up Your Kitchen with This Pallet Rack

With some extra clean pallet boards nearby, I decided to construct a simple three-shelf spice rack for our kitchen. If you like the idea, you can start by choosing how high and wide you want your spice rack to be, then lay out the number of boards you’ll need. I attached four together with two shorter pieces on the back, letting the top one protrude enough to use it to support my curved top piece.

I then took another board for my top piece, turned it lengthwise, and cut out a simple, Early American design. I placed it on top of my back boards and secured it with small nails through one of my back support boards shown in the first picture. The shiny nail heads you see here were in the pallet, which I left to give it even more character.

The sides and shelves were easy to cut and nail to the back. Just be sure to have some of your spice jars on hand to determine how wide each shelf needs to be and how much space you’ll need between each shelf. The final piece was this thin bar to keep the spice jars from falling off the shelf.

My favorite finish for pallet projects is Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish. The aerosol can version works great for projects with several pieces. Two fast-drying coats brought out the grain of the wood, provided some sheen to the dry wood, and made my spice rack look even better.

After that it was just a matter of bringing the spice rack into our kitchen, then watching as Leigh Ann began filling it up with jars of her favorite cooking spices.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce