05 Jun

Clementine Crate Birdhouse

Clementines make winter seem shorter and they are very tasty. I go through a bunch of them when they are in season. So, I had several of clementine crates sitting around that I could not throw away. What to do with them? Hmmmm.

A birdhouse, yeah, that’s it. Can’t say if a house made out of these light wood crates will last in the weather, but it is worth a try. With a sturdy roof made out of an old license plate, they just might.

I used a power saw to cut the crates because I have one, but a hand saw or even an Exacto knife might work to cut the thin plywood. The corner pillar pieces are used at length, so there is no cutting required. An electric drill is also helpful in this project.

The slideshow below shows the major steps to assembling a birdhouse from these raw materials. If you have questions, just leave a comment or email me.


On the question of what to use for a perch: it is up to you. I used an old cabinet pull on one example and a coat hanger on the one shown in the slideshow. This is where you can get creative. Use whatever you like. I would suggest you keep it light because the plywood of the crates is thin.

To finish or not to finish: I used a single coat of polyurethane finish on the outside of this birdhouse because I had some leftover and I thought it might help weatherize the structure a bit. For your creation, it is your call.

Finally, if you should try to do this at home, I would love to see pictures of your creations. Send me a picture or connect with me on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter to share.

23 Jan

Bikes Made from Recycled Wood

I love this video piece on a couple guys who take discarded or salvaged wood and turn them into one-of-a-kind bikes. Sometimes the wood comes from urban arborists who have to trim trees around power lines and other times it comes from discarded lumber. Whatever the source the finished pieces are beautiful, fully functional, and will turn heads on the road.

Sorry, but they make you watch an ad before the video starts.

21 Feb

Kid in a Candy Store

Southern Accents

Remember what that was like? Remember the awe and wonder you felt seeing so many wonderful things all in one place? The anticipation and decision making involved in choosing from so many options?

This is the essence of a visit to Southern Accents Architectural Antiques in Cullman, AL, for me and I would bet for anybody who fixes or builds furniture or does restoration. SA is a museum of architectural history and oddities that you can touch—and take home with you.

I am always amazed at what I see when I get to visit. I know I am going to see salvaged doors, mantles, shutters, leaded glass, claw-foot tubs, hinges, door knobs, and newel posts. All really wonderful handcrafted items with history and character. But there is always at least one thing that is totally random.

On a recent trip with a friend, I was not disappointed. She was there to find a claw-foot tub for a new home build. I was there because I never miss a chance to visit. I don’t know the number of items they have there, but it has to be hundreds of thousands, if you count all the hinges, antique keys, and drawer pulls. We browsed through rooms and rooms of salvaged materials and most of it I had seen the like of there or somewhere else.

But as I said, there is always at least one thing that is weirdly out of place—if you are in the market for a 5 foot tall concrete Chinese lion, they have one for sale.

30 Mar


Kelly sent me pictures of the ‘Coastal Oak’ (that is what I am calling that style/design) table in her home with the chairs and rug. I love it and she is pleased. Here is what she said:

The table looks absolutely wonderful. As you will see in my pictures my dogs love to be in front of the camera. It turned out perfect and just like I had hoped. Thank you very much! The “S” household is extremely pleased.

I had not see the legs on these chairs before. They have a cool rustic character that adds to the whole look. I think the rug and the seagrass chairs are a cool contrast to the various colors/features of the salvaged oak timbers. I am not sure where the rug came from but I think the chairs are from Pier 1.

Update from Kelly: BTW…the chairs are from Pier 1 and the rug came from West Elm. I really tried to put some thought to the look and it all came together as I had hoped.

Kelly’s table

Kelly’s table

23 Jan

Roughing It

Kelly S.’s dining table is slowly taking shape. Weather and a regular job have hampered progress, but half of the table top has now been assembled. The planks were joined with grooved dowels and a polyurethane glue. I love this glue because it fills spaces, sands well, and holds like, well glue, or at least like glue should. Here are a couple pictures of the first half of the table top–rough though it is. Trust me it will be just gorgeous when it is sanded and finished.

Rough Table Top

This next one is a close up of the greenish spalting in the end plank. Did not see this in the wood for the Coastal Living table. I think it is from metal leaching from nails or roofing. Notice the nail tracing. There are plenty of cool features like this in salvaged wood.

Closeup of wood