Friday, October 29, 2010

"A" is for Advent

Christmas is coming need I remind you and one can never have too many Christmas decorations, especially when you spy something you don't already have.  Meet my Christmas Lollipop Advent Tree:

Of course I didn't come up with this idea all on my own, I have to give credit to the inspiration for my knock off:

Lollipop Tree Advent Calendar

picture from Garnet Hill

I saw this too cute advent tree in the Garnet Hill catalog for a mere $68 buckaroos and thought with my new basic woodworking skills I could definitely recreate it.  Here goes nothing.

I took all 1x2 scraps, a 5/16 dowel and a 1x4 scrap cut to 3.5" for the base.  Below are the cut pieces and I made a center hole in each piece (using a 3/8" drill bit so it could slide on the 5/16 dowel and swivel) and 2 holes on each end - only about 1/2" into the wood - for the lollipop sticks.

Then I found colored stain from Minwax - never knew but they have it and it works awesome! 

Now for some light sanding.

Next I glued the dowel into the base (I did predrill a 5/16" hole but not all the way through the base).  Then I made spacers from this 7/16" plastic tubing.  You can barely see them in photo way above and even less so in real life but the spacers keep the wood pieces from touching so they can swivel nicely.  Each spacer is about 1/2" long except the one piece I put on top to hold everything on which was only about 1/4" long.

So it goes piece of tubing, wood, piece of tubing, wood, and on and on until you have 12 gradating pieces of wood.

I just arranged the wood pieces like a spiral so each lollipop has its own space without knocking into something above.  (This also helps with the balance so the tree doesn't tip over.)  Here she is with Dum Dums - and I can only imagine how great it would be with Blow Pops.

Not bad for scrap wood, $6 of stain (which I only used a tiny bit) and about 3" of plastic tubing.  Merry Christmas kiddos and happy licking all those lollies!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"P" is for Pallet

A pallet made into presents.  I've been like an elf these past weeks working away to make these:

And all of them were made from this pallet:

Of course I got the idea to use a pallet from Ana White's blog ( and then someone posted a pallet on Freecycle and I knew it was destiny.  I quickly picked up the pallet and took it apart - a slightly painful experience - and I had this:

Then I cut down the pieces to size and added some new 1x2's for the support pieces (pallet wood looks great all distressed and it is solid and strong but I needed the 1x2's to build a support from).  These are the pieces it takes to build one stool.

 Then assembly and some satin poly and we have these guys:

I added some personalization to the top step because these will all be gifts, useful gifts lets hope.  This one below is for our neighbors.  I mean who couldn't use a step stool, especially when you have kids - you need one almost everywhere - bathroom, kitchen, closet.

The workshop is still open, I'm finishing up my biggest woodworking project so far and can't wait to post about it!