Monday, March 19, 2012

Week 11 Assignment - Results

What can I say...I MUST have done something to piss Mother Nature off big time!  I live in Southern California, land of sunshine and perfect weather.  Two weeks ago it was 80 degrees, but this weekend nothing but rain!  It wouldn't have been a big deal except I couldn't start this week's project until the Hubs went out of town on Friday.  What was this week's project, you ask?  Guess that would help to let you in on the surprise, eh?  :)

So the Hubs' birthday is coming up, and he's been dying to have a space outside to smoke cigars and watch TV (since I won't let him smoke inside) and for his birthday I'm giving it to him!  I started by pulling in some favors from a friend who owns a landscape company and had crushed granite installed in our side yard which used to be home to all our crap we didn't want to throw away.  It was a total waste of space that will become the new home of our outdoor table and chairs once the rain stops and the stabilizer cures.  I have big plans to make it a beautiful outdoor dining room and I can't wait to show it to you.  Just have to wait for Mother Nature to cut me some slack!  :)  Hopefully next week...

Where the table and chairs used to be is going to be the Hubs' new outdoor lounge...complete with a DIY daybed and coffee table made out of pallets.  I saw these posted on Pinterest a while back and knew they would be perfect.  I just didn't think I could pull it off.  But thankfully, I have Tracy (a.k.a. Bob Vila with Boobs) and together we took on the Pallet Daybed I found on Prudent Baby and the Pallet Coffee Table I found on Joy Ever After!!

Originally, we thought we had all weekend (Thursday night through Sunday night) to get this done...but like I said, Mother Nature hates me!  Instead, we had to do it all Friday since Saturday and Sunday had a deluge of rain in the forecast!  Somehow, we were able to complete the construction but unfortunately the cosmetic stuff will have to wait until next week when things dry out around here.  I will say that I am just giddy with how they turned out!!  I don't think I have ever been prouder of anything I've made!!  Except my kids of course!  :) And it wasn't nearly as hard as I was expecting it to be!  But I know Tracy is a huge part of the reason I didn't give up halfway through crying!!   I did learn a few valuable things along the way so in case you want to give them a try I'll share what I learned.

  1. In Prudent Baby's tutorial, she used two swivel and three fixed casters.  This thing is crazy heavy and we couldn't see how you would be able to move the bed easily front to back and side to side so we opted for five locking swivel casters.  
  2. She didn't have a back on her daybed, but I didn't have a wall to put the daybed against.  We ended up cutting about 12" off two pallets and used them as a back.  We bolted the two together and then attached them with about a dozen L brackets (six on the front and six on the back...pretty much anywhere a 2 x 4 on the back lined up with a 2 x 4 on the base).  I may also go back and install a few metal straps from the base to the back inside the pallets on the back anywhere the 2 x 4's are flush.  It's pretty sturdy now and it's probably unnecessary, but knowing that big, clumsy men are going to be using this I figure better safe than sorry!  :)
  3. When picking the pallets for the bottom of your daybed, try and choose two pallets where the 1 x 4's on the top line up.  I didn't think to do that and as a result my arm rests aren't is closer to the front than the other.
  4. She bolted her casters on, but we were afraid the wood on the bottom of the pallets wouldn't be strong enough, so we attached mine into the 2 x 4 frames with wood screws instead.  Make sure you pick really beefy casters, especially if you expect multiple 200+ pound men to be sitting on it!  :)  If you do go with the wood screws you may want to pick up a few rubber screw protectors to cover any screws that don't line up with the 2 x 4 frames and end up being exposed.  We cut the exposed screws with a Dremmel but they were still pretty sharp, so the screw protectors should keep the little ones from getting scratched.  Hopefully!!  
  5. She said she used 3/4" bolts in 2" and 3" lengths, but when I saw how big they were I thought that must have been a typo.  I ended up using 3/8" bolts instead.  I didn't use any 2" bolts because I attached my casters with wood screws, and I ended up needing several bolts that were longer than 3" due to the construction of my pallets.  You may want to pick up 3 or 4-5" bolts just in case.   
  6. For the bottom cushion I found a really gross, cheap twin mattress on CraigsList and hermetically sealed it in a $10 zipper vinyl mattress cover I found at Bed Bath and Beyond. It's waterproof, but rips pretty easily, so I put a tarp under the mattress to keep the pallets from snagging the bottom of it.  I also had an old felt backed vinyl tablecloth that I wrapped the top with so the dogs (we have three) wouldn't rip the top.  I'm going to cover it with a fitted sheet but of course I couldn't find one in the right green in any of the local stores.  I did find one online but it won't be here until Wednesday.  :(
  7. For the cushions on the back, I found these great "outdoor floor cushions" at Costco.  Man, I LOVE Costco!  They were less than $20/each and they are gorgeous!!  I'm also going to make two bolsters for the sides...  
Coffee Table:
  1. We used Gorilla Glue to attach the 4 x 4 posts to the pallets prior to installing the L brackets just to give it a little more sturdiness.  Make sure you have HUGE clamps to hold things in place until the glue dries!
  2. We used much smaller locking swivel casters on the coffee table than we did on the daybed and attached them with wood screws into the 2 x 4 frames instead of bolting them.
  3. 4 x 4's are pretty expensive so you may want to check the remnant area at your home improvement store.  I highly recommend getting yourself a Depot Boyfriend.  Mine, Anthony, cut my 4 x 4 remnant into 4 6" pieces because I didn't have a saw big enough to cut it at home.  He also led me around the store helping me get everything on my list (helping me save money along the way) so I didn't have to go searching.  You know you spend too much time at the Depot when you go back to get one thing you forgot two days later and your Depot Boyfriend comes up to you to ask how the daybed is going!!  :)
 So they still need to be sanded and stained and I need to add some finishing touches, but here's a peek into how they turned out.  Please excuse the tarp...had to take a quick picture in between rainstorms!  
Well...are you as impressed with us as I am???  :)

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