Wine Bottle Vase


Wine bottles are the easiest things to upcycle. The corks, caps, and bottle can all be used to make something else once the wine is gone. Don’t drink wine? It’s pretty easy to find used bottles around from other things. Try reusing a salad dressing bottle, milk bottle, or any narrow-necked glass container. Need some unique home decor? You only need to look to your empties for some inspiration.

Materials for this project:

  • wine bottle
  • twine
  • sticker or embellishment (optional)
  • Mod Podge
  • sponge brush
  • piece of pallet wood, cut to fit
  • split ring hanger
  • ceiling plate
  • threaded rod, cut to about 2.5 inches depending on the width of the bottle
  • wall hanger (picture frame hanger)
  • wood screws

First, start with a bottle that has a nice shape for a vase, or just one you happen to like. The narrower the bottle, the easier it will be to mount to the board. Paint Mod Podge on the bottle starting from the bottom and tightly wrap the cord/twine around the bottle, painting more as needed. Mod Podge is basically glue and although it will dry clear, you will be able to see it on the glass in any open space. Once you have wrapped all the twine you like, let it dry for a while to set. Add your sticker or embellishment to the bottle where you determine the front to be.

Second, cut your threaded rod to the length needed to keep the bottle hanging straight from the board. It needs to be long enough to screw into the split ring hanger and the ceiling plate, holding the bottle away from the board. You can cut a length of it with a hacksaw or a cutting wheel on your Dremel tool (that is what I did).

Third, cut a board from a pallet that has a unique and interesting shape to be several inches longer than your bottle on either end. You can stain it, paint it, or leave it bare. Use wood screws to attach the ceiling plate to the board. Attach the ring hanger to the bottle neck and then thread it onto the rod.

Last, attach a wall hanger (like a picture frame hanger) to the back of the piece of wood to hang it with and you’re done! Simple, unique home decor.



Yardstick Tray

Yard sticks. Three feet of give away advertising space. 36 inches of space to let people know where to shop for a new car, a bank loan, or much needed hardware. Before snazzy new ways of measuring, such as the metal measuring tape came along, these sticks of wood were the go-to for figuring out how long something was. Now, they mostly end up in the corners of pantry closets or hanging on a hook in the garage. I thought it would surely be easy to collect enough of these old, unused sticks for free to construct a craft project. Boy was I wrong! Apparently, creating furniture and art out of yardsticks is trendy right now. I had a terrible time finding them and when I came across any for sale in antique stores or flea markets, they were anywhere from $3-$15 a piece. What?!

I was on a roll after my Dad found 5 of them at his house and did NOT charge me for them. My goal was to make a yardstick tray, the full length of 36 inches by whatever height the number of sticks I found would equal. The tray was to be used for our ottoman, which is soft and difficult to put a drink on. Over my spring break, I decided to get started. Below are the materials I used.

  • thin piece of plywood large enough to be the base for all of the yardsticks.
  • Wood glue – I used Elmers
  • yardsticks
  • a saw of some kind – I used a circular saw to cut the plywood and also a hand saw
  • small tack nails, small L shaped brackets, or small screws

First, I laid out the sticks to determine which side I wanted to show. Some of them had the same info on both sides, some did not, and some were damaged on one side. I preferred the sides that had the city and State of the business. I also looked for the sides with the most character. I found that not all yardsticks are the same depth. So when they are laid flat next to each other, some of them stick up higher than others. This is an issue if you want to put a drink on the tray. I ended up having to put the thicker ones at each end.

Gluing the sticks to the plywood.

Sticks in a row.

Once the base of the tray is finished and dry, the edges need to be applied. I chose to use additional yard sticks to trim it out. You could use thin wood or a large picture frame as well. If you want to add hardware, such as handles, you will want to have wooden ends wide enough to attach them. Once the sides are attached, you may want to stain the sides and bottom of the tray if you didn’t do that to begin with.

Underside was stained.

Underside was stained.

IMG_3291 IMG_3292

I am still considering putting a large piece of glass on the top to make it more table top like, however, that will also make it very heavy. If you have made one of these, or anything else using yardsticks, I would love to hear about your project and how it turned out for you.

Pallet Wall/Headboard

Upcylcing pallets and pallet wood is HUGE right now. If you Google “pallet wall”, you will find tons of beautiful pictures of walls covered in rustic looking pallet wood. This is where I began. I saw pictures on Pinterest of headboards made from pallet wood that I thought were so cool. Our master bedroom has a huge wall with nothing on it so I thought this would be a fantastic way to have a focal piece behind the bed. Of course, I think I can do anything I see online and the decision was made. This post will walk through MY experience. I know there are a lot of blog posts about doing this same thing, I read them, but I feel each experience is different and can offer helpful hints along the way. The only thing I had to purchase for this project were screws. I had all the other tools and the wood was free!

First, the materials; (for headboard 76″w x 50″ h)

  • pallet wood – I took apart about 6 pallets. I got them FREE from a local retailer. You should always ask before just taking them.
  • measuring tape
  • hammer
  • crow bar
  • reciprocating saw (saws all)
  • circular saw
  • drill
  • painters tape
  • screws – some folks have used a nail gun but I found that nails did not secure to the wall very well
  • palm sander and sanding pads
  • level

The first thing I did was to measure the space I wanted to cover and mark it with blue painters tape. That way I knew how much wood I would need.

Once you have a stack of pallets and your tools, don your safety gear. Safety goggles, gloves and closed shoes. Basically follow any safety rules you would give your kids…especially if they are watching. Remember also that pallets are giant piles of wood. Nasty things like to live in giant piles of wood…like spiders, the nastiest of all and you know they will strike but you don’t know when. ¬†Am I off topic? WEAR GLOVES.

The hardest part of this project was actually taking the pallets apart. I wanted to keep some of the cool nail holes so I didn’t just want to saw through each plank. I worked very hard to pry the boards loose with the hammer and the crow bar. I admit that I did end up sawing through a lot of pieces because I got fed up trying to get them apart. I personally had a hard time with this step and it took me several weekends to get through enough wood to start. I hope you will not have as much trouble on your pallet adventure. As you remove the boards, separate¬†them by size and width. Each row of boards will need to be the same size across but you can vary the width per row.

Pallets are a variety of colors. If they are left outside, they will have a weathered gray look. If they are used inside, they will be lighter in color. Some have paint on them and some even have cool markings from vendors. Choosing a variety will make your wall look more awesome. Here is a photo of my work space (my garage).

Work space and laying out the boards.

Work space and laying out the boards.

I used a palm sander on each board after cutting it to the length I needed. This smooths out any splinters and takes a layer of dirt off the surface. There will be a lot of saw dust from cutting and sanding. As you lay out the boards, remember that there will be imperfections, gaps, and a variety of depth overall. This adds character to your wall. I painted my bedroom beforehand so that any gaps would just reflect the wall color. If you own a planing machine, you could eliminate some of that by planing the boards straight. However, that is boring.

pallets and separated boards

pallets and separated boards

Laying out the headboard to size.

Laying out the headboard to size.

It is a bit of a puzzle to find the boards that go well together and then lay them out so that the seams don’t match up. I had to cut a few longer boards in order to vary up the seams. Once you have enough boards cut, sanded, and fit together then you are ready to start attaching them to the wall.

If you are starting at the ceiling, it will be your guide but if you are not, such as in my headboard, use a level when attaching your first row so you have the top line straight. (Even with a level, mine is not straight. Oh well.) I attached them to the wall myself, one board at a time. I drilled a hole at each end of each board for the screws. Some people have used a nail gun to attach the boards. Attach as many rows as you need to create the look you want. After seeing it in place, I added an extra row at the top.

I think if I were going to do it again, I would have created a frame for the boards to attach to instead of hanging them right on the wall. I cannot move the bed now and my husband laughed at me. However, he thinks the wall is really cool. There is a very small chance I will continue the wood up to the ceiling in the future. Thanks for reading!

Finished Headboard