Friday, May 9, 2014

Wood Pallet Wall Shelf

My favorite times of being creative are the ones that sneak up on you that you don't expect. My job is a creative one. I love that, but trying to go home and tell myself "let's be creative!" doesn't always work even when I want to be. I feel too much pressure or am unmotivated or just tired of being creative if that is even possible.

This wood pallet wall shelf came into my life in one of those unexpected moments, and for that I am grateful.

From the beginning of the year onward I wasn't doing a lot of creative projects. I was consumed at work, re-designing and launching our website and preparing for one of our conferences in California. A lot of design and artistic work goes into those things, so I just wasn't feeling like doing those things at home.

Jacob took the dog out one morning around 6:30 before leaving for work and came inside to tell me he found something in the alleyway. (Considering we live in Chicago, that could mean just about anything.) A wood pallet someone threw out -- did I want it? Sure!

I headed to handy dandy Pintrest and searched for projects at what people have done. The best place for this creation was our kitchen/dining space, so we decided on a shelf for wine and other kitchen related things.

We sanded it down just a bit and I took brown acrylic paint and watered it down. I essentially was going for an old stained look. Jacob helped me sprinkle a bit of water droplets on the wood since the wood would've soaked up so much paint otherwise. Doing this helped keep the paint thinner, which fit well with the look I was going for. I used a sponge you often get in those artist brush kits which worked well since it was large. I kept my strokes of paint light and quick. There was some words stamped onto the pallet, so to cover those up I had to go over those sections one more time. 

We have a slight Italian theme going on in the kitchen/dining space, so the shelf really worked well under our "MANGIA" wall art (another DIY project from last year). Over the past few months we've adjusted what has gone onto the shelf, but it is so handy and cute. And most importantly free! (Doesn't everybody get a good feeling when things are free?)

Our wood pallet shelf currently holds lots of mason jars filled with dry goods. Oatmeal, chia seeds, black beans, and flax seeds. Wine, baby spider plants, and olive oil from Jacob's olive grove hangs out there too. (Upcoming post: the awesomeness that is Nudo.)

I have seen tons of other creative uses for pallets that I would love to experiment with. Someday should I ever get out of an apartment and have more space or have my own outdoor area, I think more pallets might make their way into my life. Even better if they are free alleyway finds.