I don’t want to toot my own horn here, but we have a beautiful yard. Unfortunately, the truth is that every beautiful thing has it’s own dirty little secrets. **insert foreboding theme music** ;-)
Seriously though, I take a lot of pride in our yard. We have thick soft green grass, (please ignore the flowers that are definitely past their prime as we head into fall)
An overflowing garden,
Some interesting features,
And a wonderful bonfire pit that we love to sit around in the evenings.
So what’s the “dirty little secret”, you ask. I’m so glad you asked ;-) The first part isn’t really a secret. A fire pit means that you burn wood. So we always have a stack of wood. Seems pretty obvious right? The problem is that the vast majority of the wood we burn, comes in the form of rejected pieces from the absurd number of pallets that we dismantle, and eventually turn into the products we sell. So our wood pile is rarely ever tidy, and includes a fair amount of old rusty nails.
The real secret is much worse though. Our home was built in 1940 by the man whose family lived in it. He was apparently quite a good builder as our home is still in really great condition. Unfortunately, he was also a terrible slob when it came to the great outdoors. As we have worked on our property over the years we have found 2 “dump sites”. One is the world’s largest collection of antique Pabst bottles. We are told that he would come home every night, take a seat on his kid’s see-saw and drink a 6 pack of PBR, throwing each bottle into one particular area of the woods. It’s actually kinda cool to see and thankfully in an area the kid’s never want to play in anyway.
The other one, unfortunately, seems to be trickier. In fact, we have never actually found a pile or anything that specific. Instead what we find is that nearly everyday something turns up in a specific part of the yard. It’s often a piece of broken glass or ceramic, other times it will be various building supplies, but it is almost always something that would injure a barefoot child.
We intentionally turned this area into a work space. And that has worked rather well, but then last year a tree fell and opened up a new space that the kids like to play in and the only way to access it is to run through the “danger zone”. It became obvious that the kids needed a path so I came up with a quick, easy, and best of all, FREE, solution.
We started with scrap treated 2x4’s that we had left over from an old project that had since been taken apart. I built a very long rectangle and raked and shoveled until it sat level. The two main pieces are 20” apart. Wide enough to make a decent looking walkway, but narrow enough to provide additional strength to the boards that would be going on top.
Then we gathered all the pallet wood we could find, and started stapling the boards to the top of the frame.
When we needed to turn a corner, I added two more treated 2x4’s by simply nailing them to the corners of the original rectangle frame.
On those corners we cut the pallet wood at an angle so that it could gradually make the turn as well.
We intentionally made each board a different length, anywhere from 24” to 36”, and we tried to stagger the wood tones.
It began as a means to an end, but now I appreciate it’s form as much as it’s function. It turned out as a great rustic walkway, it's almost like I knew what I was doing. :-)
For more fun outdoor repurposing projects, check out these popular posts: