Creating a cozy hearth for the family
Photo by Fotolia
Instead of throwing used wood pallets and old tires away, repurpose them to make a comfortable and beautiful seating area where you can enjoy yourself the whole summer. Of course, you can always buy a new bench or an outdoor sofa, but that will cost both you and Mother Earth. Recycling the clutter sitting in your backyard is much more fun, creative, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly. Here are three easy projects to try:
Wood Pallet Sofa
When it comes to making things with pallets, the options are practically endless. They can be used to make anything from a dining table to a swing chair. Regardless of the form, this kind of furniture is very decorative, and lends rustic yet modern feel to your outdoor space. To make a wood pallet sofa, you will need 3 pallets, some screws, a nail gun and drill, and seat cushions. One pallet will be used for the seating structure, and one for the back support. Make sure they are the same length. Lay one pallet on the ground, and put the other on top so that edges and corners are aligned. Drill through solid parts of both pallets and attach them with 2-inch deck screws. Unnail the planks from the third pallet and use them to fill in the gaps on your sofa. Attach them with the nail gun. Sand all surfaces. Finnish it off with colourful cushions, made from the decorative outdoor fabric and throw some pillows. If you prefer, add ropes to the sides and hang the sofa to transform it into a swing chair.
On their own, cinder blocks are a pretty ugly and uninspiring building material. But with some creativity, you can put them to good use and make a very stylish bench. You will need 18 cinder blocks, all-purpose construction glue, paint, and three 4x4 wooden beams. First, paint the cinder blocks into any shade you like. You can even use a couple of different shades. Give them a few hours to dry. In the meantime, cut the beams to the desired length, sand and varnish them. Once the paint has dried, arrange the cinder blocks into a 3 by 3 form, and glue them together. Repeat it with the remaining 9 blocks. The block assemblies should be placed apart so that they can support the 4x4s on both ends. Now, put the beams’ ends into the holes on the blocks, and voila! Your bench is done. You can adjust the height of the bench by moving the beams from the top row of blocks to the middle. For enhanced comfort, put seating cushions on top. Put the bench against a wall, add some pillows, and you get a sofa. Pretty cool, right?
Tire Stool Chair
Old tires usually sit around in the garage for years, collecting dust, before we finally decide to throw them out. Even though it may not seem like it, they can actually be repurposed and transformed into chic stool chairs, which are excellent for decks or around fire pits. All you need to do is cut a round board from plywood for the bottom of the chair and make a cushioned centre. Take that old tire, splash some paint on it, place the round board into the centre, and add the cushioning on top of the board. These low stools have a hippie appeal. If you want the stools to be a bit higher for practical reasons, stack another tire on top and make a bigger seating cushion. Do them in multiple colours for a funky touch.
Zoe Clark is an environmentalist, home decorator and DIY enthusiast. She is a visual storyteller and aesthetician at heart who often writes about decorating and DIY ideas. She loves sparking creativity in people and giving them ideas for their own spaces.