Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Niche' Problems. Making a easy DIY Rustic Pallet Wreath Hanger tutorial.

I have a decorative niche' in my foyer that I was never sure what to do with. I felt like nothing looked right and the ledge that trims the bottom was too narrow to sit much on it. I guess in theory, niche's can be really nice if done the right way but mine always left me scratching my head.  A couple of years ago, I decided to dress up my foryer niche' with some paintable wall paper and complimentary accent color. The awkward size of the niche' made it difficult to decorate it in just the right way. Pictures or collages never went well with the long, semi-circular wide hole. One day recently, while moving some things around the idea hit me that maybe I should try and fill the space by going upwards instead of outwards. Something taller in height but slimmer in width to highlight my niche' instead of trying to fill it out. ( many times can a peson say niche in one paragraph, go...) I had a old pallet that was lying next to the house for months becoming more "seasoned" with time and weather. I LOVE pallets and always keep them if I get one. I figured this could be the perfect project for it. I was going to attempt to make a rustic style display piece resembling an old gate for hanging my wreaths. 

Laying out the boards.
I started this project by hauling the old pallet to the driveway and pulling off 4 boards with a crowbar and hammer. The boards came off easily enough since the wood was pretty weathered. I would advise wearing a pair of gloves incase the boards splinter in the process. If I wanted a nice smooth finish for painting then I would have broken out the plam sander but since I was going for the rustic look, I didn't care how beat up the wood was. I knew that this was just going to be hanging up for display and away from fingers so I went over whatever coarse parts with a sanding block and called it a day. I added some more character by pounding the boards a few times with my hammer and crow bar for extra wear and tear. 
Slightly staggered. 

I brought the boards inside and laid them down based on how I wanted to hang them. I decided on a slightly staggered pattern. I found some scrap wood in the garage to use as a way to attach the boards together and cut two pices for the top and bottom with a hack saw. I made the pieces just long enough to nail all the boards to it. Super easy. I used 2 inch nails and hammered the boards into place from the front.

Attaching the hanger.
When everything was hammered in place, I flip the holder over to add the hanger to the back. I used small eyehooks evenly spaced on both ends and screwed them into place. I added some floral wire between my hooks and twisted the ends down. That was pretty much all it took to finish the back.

Dry brushing in French Linen. 
I dry brushed the front with a couple of coats of Annie Sloan's chalk paint in French Linen but kept the coats really light so the weather parts of the wood would still peek through. After the paint dried, I rubbed in some Brixwax in light brown to seal the paint. 
Finished niche'.
This was a super-simple project that took around 2 hours from start to finish. Of course I was working around kids, homework and dinner. To think of what all I could get done if I had more time! I'm really diggin' the rustic vibe it adds to my niche'. I plan to change out my wreath seasonally. I think the pallet hanger fills the space nicely without it becoming too busy. I am finally satisfied with my niche' and think that this is the best way to display my style. I may have finally made peace with my niche'!

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