Creating Comfort: Summer DIY Project

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Attempting to decorate a house on a budget can be stressful, but there are many cost efficient ways to personally decorate, craft, and design your own home décor. Among the many popular DIY ideas, wood pallets have become the go-to craft for any room, style, and person.

By: Allie Duncan

Attempting to decorate a house on a budget can be stressful, but there are many cost efficient ways to personally decorate, craft, and design your own home décor. Among the many popular DIY ideas, wood pallets have become the go-to craft for any room, style, and person.  These easy-to-do projects are designed to fit any style including rustic, bohemian, eclectic, contemporary, shabby-chic, or traditional.

From the living room to the bedroom, wood pallets can add warmth and texture to turn a house into a home. The benefit of using wood pallets for home décor is not only the affordable prices, but also the endless possibilities of ideas for any room in the house. These pieces provide comfort in a space that also reflects true innovation and individuality.

Jennifer O’Dwyer, 2011 graduate of Texas A&M University, began crafting her own décor in her first college home as a sophomore at Texas A&M. O’Dwyer has extensive experience with a variety of home projects that vary from furniture, painting her wall with chalkboard paint, and wood pallets. “I usually either get mine at Home Depot or at constructions sites if I see them. Fair warning, the pallet has to be on the curb for it to be free, otherwise it’s illegal,” O’Dwyer says.

Now 26 and living in Dallas, O’Dwyer still uses some crafts she made while in college in her current home. “I found a cool font [online] that I wanted to use and I traced out some big block letters for the word ‘HOME’ and outlined them [on the pallet]. Then, I found some string or yarn in a bright, fun color and traced the outline of the letters and filled them in with a random pattern to make it look full,” describes O’Dwyer.

Not every project runs smoothly or turns out perfectly, but O’Dwyer has learned some tips and tricks along the way.  “One way to make sure that it looks clean is to sand the pallet really well before anything. Then, I painted it a rich brown color to add a bigger contrast with the yarn. After the paint dries, another tip is to re-sand the pallet to give it a more weathered and natural look,” O’Dwyer says.

Alex Vela, a nutritional sciences student at Texas A&M University, recently finished her first wood pallet project for her bedroom. Creating a plank wall hanging with attached mason jars, Vela says the entire project took around two hours, including time allotted for the paint to dry. “I began by staining the two feet by six feet plank of wood. I then measured out four equally spaced holes and used a drill bit to get a hole started in the wood so I could attach the mason jars. These holes would be used to attach the hose clamps, which fit around the jars. Once I finished adjusting the clamps to fit the jars and securely fastening them to the back of the plank with nails, I was able to hang up the plank with mason jars to hold flowers, makeup brushes, or really anything I wanted,” Vela says.

“Thrifting [sic] or refurbishing items are always a great way to get cheap, usually trendy, household décor. Being able to add your own personal touch is another awesome benefit and it comes along with a sense of pride being able to do something all on your own,” Vela said.  

There are challenges, however, to DIY projects. “I have learned it’s not as hard as people make it out to be. People just get overwhelmed,” O’Dwyer says.

Many times, people believe they are not creative enough or even know where to begin with DIY projects.  “The Internet is your friend! There are so many websites to help guide you through budgeted decorating so even if you’re not uber creative, following someone else’s steps can help you fake it,” Vela says gleefully. Fill in the blank space on the white wall with a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, because a house is only a home if it reflects the person who lives there.