I know lots of people are fans of the Elf on the Shelf. When I was little, my mom always put up these red and green elves up. We didn't have a fireplace, but they would sit on shelves, hug candles, climb up the tree, you name it. She got them sometime in the 60's or 70's before elves on the shelf as we now know them were popular. For all I know, they may have been handed down from my grandma. They look so innocent, don't they?
They always freaked me out.
I'm not sure anymore if it was their pointy noses, overly chubby cheeks, weird little grins, or just my over-active imagination. Probably the later. I'd always think they were following me with their eyes, sneaking around the house at night, that sort of thing. Hence why we don't own an Elf on the Shelf. That and I don't like the idea that someone is watching my girls and reporting on their behavior...for one month...feels a little Big Brother-ish...and a little false. We want them to be well-behaved and nice to each other for more than a month, right? It's possible I'm overthinking it, but whatever. To each their own, right? I will admit, I do LOVE the pictures people post of the crazy antics their elves get into.
But I digress.
This post is not about the Elf on the Shelf.
It is about shelves. And pallets.
I picked up this beauty, and a second, from Silver Sage Garden Centers. We went looking for the perfect Christmas tree and found not only the perfect place to purchase one, since they had so many great options for kids to do and play with, but also the perfect inspiration for new shelves for our dining room. Seriously, if you live in the Littleton area, this is a fantastic place to bring your kids to find a Christmas tree. They had tricycles to ride, toys to play with, hot chocolate and cider, and fab trees imported from the Midwest! They had me at hello.
They also had some great, DIY, rustic shelves that my husband first noticed. I took a look and thought, PALLET PROJECT. Sure enough, the woman who had made them was there and confirmed all my DIY suspicions. She also offered me pallets for $5 a pop. Sometimes pallets can be expensive, depending on where you find them. Sometimes they can be free. $5 each seemed like a great deal to me so we managed to squeeze two in the back of Pammy the camry and, with tree on top, off we went.
Now, pallets are pretty rough, pretty dirty, and need some love before you can actually put them in your home. I pulled out my rusty, trusty electric sander to give them a good rub down, remove lots of dirt and dust, and get rid of any sharp edges or potential slivers.
A couple of passes and light pressure left me with a nice, smooth wood and still a good rustic look. Now to figure out how to cut these down. At first I started with the big guns thinking this would be the easiest way. A Skilsaw is an incredibly versatile tool that allows you to control depth and angle fairly easily. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite deep enough for me to get through the cuts I needed. Or maybe it was just user error, cuz that's been known to happen ;)
So I old-schooled it instead.
This little lovely we bought a few years back to help with cutting and prepping the Christmas tree. It definitely took some muscle, and patience, but in the end, it worked really well and got me exactly what I wanted, which was this.
I liked the curve in the pallet and so I cut it to keep the curve and have a backing with taller ends and middle. One pallet left me with four shelves; two had taller backs and sides, and two shorter. None had bottoms at the moment, which for shelves is, of course, a problem. Don't want our books or wine bottles falling out the bottom!
But that was soon to be remedied. For some reason, I had some extra pallet pieces which fit perfectly for the bottom. I also had some old, rusted nails on hand, which fit this project perfectly! Just nailed it on to the bottom and created my shelf!
Now all we need to is decide how to paint them, stain them, or a bit of both...and finish the other three! Here are three ideas via Pintrest. Vote for your favorite and help us make a decision! Just comment below with your vote, 1 - stained, 2 - painted, 3 - a bit o' both.