Lately I’ve been working on a new pallet carnival stall design for my son’s carnival themed birthday party. So far I’ve completed three with another two to go.
The original stall I made back in April was more of a fascia than an actual stall. I used a full pallet and fastened two posts to the side which supported a small marquee made from small pallet pieces. The two problems I encountered with this design were stability (the stall had a tendency to topple over, even when I attached feet to it that could be pegged in the ground) and painting (the gaps in the pallet boards were very awkward to paint).
The next stall I made was for a local youth centre who wanted a carnival style snack stall for their birthday celebration party in June. This time I completely dismantled the pallet and built it up again from scratch, making sure the boards were flush together to facilitate painting. I also included small sides to give it a more authentic stall look and added stability.
For my third effort I had bought a £3 striped table cloth to try as an alternative to painting the stall (undercoat and gloss are both time consuming and costly). With this method I didn’t need to worry about gaps in the pallets as the table cloth would cover them. I spent a couple of weeks bringing home the pallets I needed, some of which were used in full, others dismantled for the sides and marquee.
First I attached a couple of feet to a full pallet. Then I made the stall sides from pallet boards and blocks. Next, the marquee went up, using long pallet boards for the posts and shorter ones for the marquee frame. Then I painted the posts and finished off by stapling the table cloth (in two parts) to the fascia of the stall and marquee.
I’m really pleased with the end result – it looks much more like a bona fide carnival stall, and it’s much sturdier than the previous designs, plus it’s already proving popular with the kids! 🙂
Since my last update I’ve completed several jobs that were on my to do list:
- Completed the roof (now changed to a flat roof)
- Sunk the pool
- Attached side rails
- Laid turf
- Made and hung the coop door
- Finish painting the duck house
- Secure the perimeter, especially the doorway
- Finish off the surrounding area
All going well my next post on the duck coop will mark its completion (fingers crossed). For now though the remaining jobs will be put on the backburner while I focus on the Backyard Carnival project for my eldest son’s birthday in just a few weeks. I’m excited but also feeling the pressure, not least from my son and his daily reminders! 😀
A couple of months ago I had the idea of using pallet wood as a cheap lawn edging solution. Lawn edging is something I’d wanted for a while but with around 80m to cover the cost was always prohibitive.
When I first thought of using pallets I tested out some self made stakes along a metre stretch and really liked the results. So, for the last two days I’ve been making hundreds of pallet wood stakes and making my way around the lawn. I think the result is great!
The wood is untreated so it won’t last forever but since pallet wood is free and these stakes are so easy to install I didn’t consider the benefit to be worth the cost and effort of treating it.
The blog has been a little quiet lately, simply because things have been so busy in the backyard. To cut a long story short, we are expecting ducks, imminently, and all of my spare time has been going into creating some housing for them.
A few days ago my wife announced that her friend was giving us three Aylesbury ducklings once they hatched. Far be it for me to turn down a challenge (or free eggs) I set about making a pallet duck house.
I’ve been scratching my head trying to figure out whereabouts in the backyard they are going to live, and I think I’ve finally made a decision. One of the “dead space” corners has been chosen, but it needs a hell of a lot of TLC.
Like many of its fellow corners before it it has attracted a lot of rubbish and become a bit of a dumping ground, so that will need shifting first. It’s also home to an old makeshift pergola which has seen better days. This will likely need to come down.
I’ve got my work cut out for me, as usual, and I’m stumbling along into the unknown, as usual, but I might get some free food so I’m game.
The duck house has been making slow and steady progress and I hope to finish it in the next few days so that I can move onto clearing the pen area, a job I am NOT looking forward to! 😀
The latest addition to the Backyard Carnival project is this Space Invaders themed Roll-a-Ball game. This was a very quick and easy project to complete. The most time consuming aspect of the job was waiting for the paint to dry!
The last time our family went to a theme park my son spent hours at one of these stalls so I knew it had to be a fixture at Backyard Carnival. After acquiring an old furniture board that would serve as a base I got a few other pieces of scrap wood together and got to it.
Putting it together was just a simple matter of cutting a few pieces of pallet wood to size and fixing them to the base once everything had been painted. It’s worth mentioning that the base is slightly warped due to being left in the rain for some time, but this simply adds an element of classic carny rigging! 😀
Another step closer to bringing the carnival to the backyard! That’s three games completed now.
Yesterday I made this quick and easy addition to the Backyard Carnival project and my son and I gave it a test drive. Happy days 😀
A few weeks ago I saw a post on Pinterest that planted the seed of an idea to create some crazy golf holes in the backyard. Since then I’ve been mulling it over, letting the idea grow and keeping my eyes peeled for scrap or bargains that could contribute to the project.
Before too long I had some multi-coloured golf balls and a couple of putters my dad spotted at a second-hand shop. Then I found some rolls of green matting on offer at Lidl for a very reasonable £3 per metre. I even found myself in possession of a miniature windmill!
The project was definitely starting to come alive, but I still had no materials for the construction of the course itself. The trouble was I needed some very strong and sturdy sheet wood that would provide a smooth, flat playing surface and be able to take foot traffic. Thick chipboard or hardboard would be ideal, but that stuff is expensive!
Then I hit the jackpot, and it had been under my nose all along. At the industrial estate I visit when looking for scrap wood I saw a huge pile of sheet wood and pre-made wooden frames. I must have driven past it a dozen times, at least, but I’d always been so focused on sourcing pallets and cable reels that I never thought about it’s potential utility. When I saw it a few days ago I got that lightbulb moment and realised how great it would be for crazy golf.
As soon as I got home that day I set about turning the raw materials into a crazy golf hole. I kept the design simple for my first attempt (oh yes, there will be more): a bog-standard rectangle with the windmill to navigate around.
Scrap wood was used to raise the frames off the ground, then the sheet wood laid on top of this and fastened down with screws. I cut out a hole for the hole cup (half of an empty shampoo bottle) and then attached the “grass” with staples.
Attaching the hole cup to the underside of the base turned into a bit of a bodge job! It’s functional but I could do with coming up with a better solution for my next attempt. I drilled a few holes into the bottom of the bottle to prevent it filling with rain water. As an aside, my youngest daughter wasn’t too impressed with my bottle washing prowess when she stuck her hand in to retrieve her ball and it came out covered in shampoo! 😀
For the edges I painted some pallet boards in white (or rather, Cuprinol’s Pale Jasmine) and screwed them onto the sides. For the finishing touch I fashioned a flag out of an empty lawn feed container and attached it to a bamboo cane. The end result looks great and has proven very popular with the family! We’re all very excited about making some more!