The duck coop is starting to take shape now as the walls near completion. There’s still a long way to go overall but we’re a few more steps forward at least. It’s just a basic frame at the moment but a few more pieces of pallet wood will bulk it up as things progress.
Other things on the to-do list are:
- Gable type roof (I’ve no idea how to do this yet
- Sink the pool
- Lay some turf
- Finish painting the duck house
- Finish the retaining pallet and brick wall
- Make and hang a door
- Finish the surrounding area with paving or gravel
Here are the ducks enjoying an afternoon outside.
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!
You may remember how I’ve been rather enthused about making a carnival themed party for my son’s birthday, and how I got all crafty and recycled some empty tin cans into an Angry Birds carnival game. Well, I recently finished one of the stalls which that game, along with a few others (fingers crossed), will occupy.
I started off with a small pallet (60cm wide by 70cm tall) that I had reclaimed and put aside for this project. It’s the perfect hight for a stall facia and the boards are nice and close. I ran 6ft beading up the sides to support the marquee that would be positioned above the stall front. The marquee itself I made from scratch, attaching pallet boards to smaller pieces of beading.
Once it was put together I had to wait for a dry spell to paint it (one day for undercoat and one day for gloss).
My son is really excited, and well, I am too! Hopefully I can knock a few more of these together before his birthday in late July, and of course make a few more games to go with them.
Lessons learned: it would probably be easier to build from scratch, simply because trying to paint alternating colours onto a pallet with close boards is quite fiddly and time consuming, and getting your brush between the pallet boards is next to impossible. Next time I will try painting loose boards and then put them all together when they are dry.
A new addition to the container garden. This is such a simple and attractive planter.
Over the last few days I’ve been installing a simple post and rail fence for my neighbour’s dogs. The rails and the gates are pallets and scrap wood, the posts are agricised pointed stakes purchased from a local timber merchant at £5 a piece.
Looks like my cable reel compost tumbler has done some lateral inspiring. My dad made this bench from an industrial cable reel and my kitchen worktop cut-offs. I think it looks fantastic!
I still haven’t got any ear defenders which means no power sawing for now. As a result, Stage 1 of reclaiming the backyard is incomplete, but, that said, it is very near completion and looks so much better than it did a week or so ago.
As you can see, most of the pallets and pieces of scrap wood have disappeared whilst my wood store has filled, but not all the wood has been chopped for the wood store. On my last delivery of wood late last year there was so much that I had to store some at the top of the garden and this became a sort of “good wood” repository (at least that’s what I told myself, though on inspection the goodness of some of the wood can be called into question) and it’s been added to ever since. Very quickly this area became a disaster zone!
The task at hand now is to properly organise this mess, including de-nailing all the loose pieces of wood (of which there are many) so that I can recycle it all into something useful, like that dog pen my neighbour asked me to make so long ago! The pallets here are in very good condition and will be the backbone to many structures I have planned, like a coal bunker, a tool shed, and stalls for the Backyard Carnival, as well as some vertical herb gardens I’d like to make.
The loose pieces will first contribute to my neighbour’s dog pen before being used in the other projects I have planned, like small box planters and carnival games. It’s a mammoth task, maybe even bigger than stage 1, and I’m not looking forward to it one bit, but the light at the end of the tunnel is that at some point I will have a tidy and organised backyard, and, more importantly, I’ll have lots of organised wood to make things!
Wish me luck, I am definitely going need it!