Hey there! My name is Amanda, a 26 year old laser technician who’s motto has always been, “when you’re poor, you’re crafty.”
I grew up wanting everything my friends had, but we could never afford that so, I improvised. They had braces; I put rubber bands on my teeth to close my not-so-bad gap (caution: this hurts and causes dreams of your teeth falling out, not recommended). They had Barbie and Ken; I had worry dolls (small dolls made out of string from Mexican cultural belief that putting them under your pillow will take worries away). You get the picture. Being 26, and thinking that I’m a pro at everything, I wanted to show people I was more than just that crafty girl that made jewelry off of Pinterest and oddly painted canvas, calling it “abstract art.” I was better than that, and I was going bigger.
Finding the Project
So there I was, quietly and secretly surfing the internet at work, thumbing through multiple pages of Pinterest and Google, looking for just the project to put me above the rest. Finally, I found it: “DIY: Create a Couch From Wooden Pallets.” First of all, I should tell you the post said “insanely easy and clever project,” and here I am thinking, “I’m clever, I’m… well, I’m clever.” It seemed like this was meant to be as I was hosting a party for the return of football tomorrow, and all my friends would come and see my modern spin on cheap wooden pallets in all their glory!
When I got off work I went out back to the receiving dock of the clinic I worked at. I could barely keep my feet on the ground when the head guy told me they just received a shipment and I could take the pallets it came on. Frantically, I called my brother saying it was an urgent issue that I get these things home and do it in the back of his truck. He met me rolling his eyes and loaded my treasures.
Making the couch was just like the post said..
…and I was hours away from guests’ arrivals. I shrieked as I heard the doorbell and ran to it, calmed myself, and opened the door. Nonchalantly, I walked the couple to the living room where we were greeted by the wonderful view of my new couch, and I waited for the compliments and questions. Each person came in complimenting my work and asking if it was sturdy enough to actually sit on. I stupidly challenged them to this question and like rhinos to water, they charged the scene and plopped as hard as they could to test the durability. Not hearing a crash, I opened my eyes and quickly turned on a smirk, “Told you.” We watched the game and everything went well, without a creak of wood in sight.
Then it happened …
Later that night, after everyone had gone, I was exhausted after cleaning up. I walked over and threw myself backwards onto the couch in all my tiredness and that’s when it happened. The whole thing buckled. As I felt it break, I reached my left hand down to catch myself from hitting too hard, not realizing my hand ended up between pallets. I ended up calling my friend, who brought her boyfriend, who smugly announced, “I guess it wasn’t that sturdy after all.”
This stunt left me with two breaks in my hand and wearing a cast. Thankfully, I work at a clinic so I didn’t have to pay for most of my treatment. After having broken my ribs 3 times, multiple fingers, my foot, and 4 concussions, this little project gave my mom the chance to admit what she had been holding in for 26 years. She admitted loudly, “Amanda Lee! With all the crap you do, I thought having two boys was going to be bad, but you are way worse than both of them put together.” Thanks mom, glad I could top them in the most extreme of ways. In hindsight, I still think that it was an awesome couch that looked modern and clean. However, I don’t think challenging grown men to a durability test was a good idea, and I probably could’ve used some inner supports throughout the pallets in the case of that happening. I’ll forever be known as the crafty one now, just remembered in a little different way than I had hoped.
Thanks Amanda for sharing this story with us! What can we take away from it? First of all, that DIY is not exclusively for men (d’oh!) and second, that you can build tons of stuff using scrap materials such as wooden pallets. If you are looking for a sophisticated project using pallet wood, take a look at this video:
Amazing, isn’t it? This is called “Upcycling” .. using trash to make something great. Living environmentally conscious is not only toolerant, it also helps to save this little planet of yours. So if you got any ideas on how to re-utilize throw-away materials, write a comment down below…
Thanks, and have a wonderful week,