Saturday, December 14, 2013

Amateur carpentry

It's been a while since my last post. I've been really busy with uni since my PhD candidature is coming to a close, what with all the writing I have to do and pre-submission seminar to prepare. To take my mind off work, I like to make things. Whether it be a new terrarium, sketch, or small plants landscaping.

In lieu of the good weather (and extended daylight hours) I've been spending more and more time in the backyard. I first built a narrow garden bench for our housewarming last year for guests to sit on outside. We've also got a few plastic chairs to go around. No one touched the garden bench (fail). It's now doing a good job elevating my plants off the ground but I still really wanted a bench out the back. So I started looking up ideas and plans for making my own. That Anna-White website is amazing for these things.

I didn't follow an exact plan from any of the sources but they gave me ideas on how to properly make joints that look good. I had left over treated pine from my first garden bench project and the potting bench project so decided to use those to form a basic frame. I went to Bunnings to buy the rest of the material for the top (treated pine decking), and some treated pine screws. The normal screws might react with the chemicals used to treat the pine.

Here is the finished product! It's 1800 long x 540 deep x 490 high.

 Completed bench! Top view

Side view

So proud of myself *hehe* Even my rabbits approve. All that's left to do is a good clean and then seal with either varnish or furniture oil. Since completing it, it has been used as a saw horse, rabbit shelter, and tools table. So useful!

About 3 weeks ago, I made include a framed succulent garden. Like all vertical gardens, it has to sit for a while for the roots to take hold. Since it's spring/late summer, plants grow like they are on steroids so it shouldn't take too long for them to settle in.

 Frame made of merbau decking off-cuts, wire mesh to hold everything in

 2 weeks after the cuttings were planted, growing well!

 I also made a crate of sorts from pine off-cuts. The wood is untreated so it can't stay outside. It's useful for carrying lemon harvests though. For now, it's got a bath towel lining it and has become a day bed for the bunnies!
Fruit crate? (Ignore the long grass in the background)

Other projects involve sewing (gasp!). I don't know how to function sewing machines very well but I'm slowly getting there. I like cushions =) But I don't like the big square ones we often get from shops. They are also often pricey, with designs and colours I don't really fancy. So I decided to make my own (I DIY almost everything nowadays). First off was to get pillows. From IKEA. I got the GOSA V√ĄDD stomach sleeper for AUD5. It's a sleeping pillow, yes. But cut it in half, and pushing the stuffing to one side more, I get two huggable rectangular cushions.

 Two pillows cushions for the price of one!

As for the covers, I saw an idea from a blog (can't remember which) where they reused old button-up shirts. I found two for AUD3 each at Camberwell market and got to work. I cut out the bottom half from the shirts so the pocket doesn't come into view. They were cut to size, sewed up and ready to go. No extra zippers, fasteners required.

Shirt-cushion covers straight out of the wash

Completed cushions with their covers

I'm currently working on some planter stands and a barrier to stop the rabbits from entering the living room and chewing up all our wires. Glad that holidays are coming up so I don't feel guilty about not going into uni. Until next time, enjoy the festivities.