An Inexpensive Alternative to a Glass Tabletop on an Outdoor Table

An Inexpensive Alternative to a Glass Tabletop on an Outdoor Table - Charleston Crafted

You might remember that I picked up this set of table and chairs for FREE on the side of the road. It was in fabulous condition but had no glass tabletop and no cushions. The cushions were easy to replace (Thanks HomeGoods!) but the tabletop was a different story. I looked into getting tempered glass cut but it would have cost over $150. I instead decided to DIY a wooden tabletop as an inexpensive alternative.

An Inexpensive Alternative to a Glass Tabletop on an Outdoor Table - Charleston Crafted

I picked up a piece of project wood from Lowes. It was actually exactly 24″x48″ which was the size that I needed but you could cut and sand a piece if you needed to. This was just under $20.

An Inexpensive Alternative to a Glass Tabletop on an Outdoor Table - Charleston Crafted

I brought it home and gave it one coat of stain and three coats of sealant. That’s all that it took! I love the look of the wooden table top (it almost looks like butcher block!) and am super pleased with the cost savings of this project.

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DIY Pet Grass & Cat Nip Cat Garden

DIY Pet Grass & Cat Nip Cat Garden - Charleston Crafted

DIY Pet Grass & Cat Nip Cat Garden - Charleston Crafted

I love my cat so much. Sometimes I think about how she can never go outside and I feel sad for her, for how small her world really is. But, we keep her inside to keep her safe. She is very lucky to have a screened in porch where she can almost be outside. She really spends a ton of time out there (every morning she literally sprint down the stairs and meows at the door to be let out!) I decided to make her a cat garden to enjoy and oh my gosh she went nuts for it! This will have to be an annual project for sure.

DIY Pet Grass & Cat Nip Cat Garden - Charleston Crafted

DIY Pet Grass & Cat Nip Cat Garden - Charleston Crafted


DIY Pet Grass & Cat Nip Cat Garden - Charleston Crafted

DIY Cat Garden:

DIY Pet Grass & Cat Nip Cat Garden - Charleston Crafted

What you need:

  • A heavy pot (so it will stay in place if they push on it)
  • Potting soil
  • Wheat grass (pick up a small plant at your local garden center or order seeds online)
  • Cat nip (pick up a small plant at your local garden center or order seeds online)
  • Shovel or spoon

DIY Pet Grass & Cat Nip Cat Garden - Charleston Crafted

What you do:

  • Add some soil to your pot
  • Add the grass and cat nip to the pot. If you are planting seeds, follow the directions on the package to grow.
  • Place in a sunny spot for your cat to enjoy! This will grow inside or out.
  • Water regularly to keep alive as long as possible.

DIY Pet Grass & Cat Nip Cat Garden - Charleston Crafted

Have you ever made a garden for your pets? What other things did they unexpectedly love?

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DIY Wooden Hammock Stand

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

There is nothing better than relaxing in a hammock on a beautiful day. Our yard is perfect for a hammock – we have plenty of space and look out over a pond – but there are no trees in the backyard to hang a hammock between, I was surprised that when I searched “DIY wooden hammock stand” online that not that many results came up with actual tutorials. I used some images I found to kind of make our own design because we really wanted a permanent wooden hammock stand for our backyard to overlook the lake on a beautiful summer day.

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

The first thing we did was pick the location in our yard, which we chose the shady corner under the oak tree that would be great for late afternoons in the summer. The space there was big enough that we could angle a hammock stand with posts 13 feet apart. The basic design is below, with two 10-foot 4×4 posts in the ground, two 16-foot 2x6s running along the top and perpedicular 2x4s running across the top top.

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

Once we had the location, we measured out the two holes and dug two holes a foot wide and three feet deep. We dropped in the two posts so that they were now 7 feet exposed and 3 feet in the hole. Then we screwed one of the 16 foot boards to each of them to keep them lined up. Finally, we screwed small boards at the bottom to act as a level brace for the posts for pouring in the concrete.

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

We dumped the concrete right in the hole and mixed with water using a long metal pole to stir it around. No need for a wheelbarrow. We let the posts set overnight and then filled them the rest of the way with dirt in the morning.

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

The next step was adding the 2×6 beams across the top. These 16 footers were behemoths. We used two, 8 inch long 3/8 inch wide bolts to attach the beams to the posts on each side. We pre-drilled the holes through the beams and then held them up to drill through the posts.

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

Before securing the beams up, we cut an angle on the ends of each beam. We chose a 45 degree angle, but didn’t start it at the top corner because that would leave too sharp of an end. We wanted the beams to look decorative, not like spears. Funny story- Morgan thought that they sold pergola boards with that cut already and was amazed when I did it myself…

Once the bolts were secured through the beams and the post, we added 15 perpendicular, 3 foot long 2x4s across the top with the same 45 degree angle cut out. I attached these by drilling 5 inch deck screws straight down through the top and into the 2×6.

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

Almost there. Next, we used 1×2 boards perpendicular to the 2x4s to run across the very top to add more of a trellis look. These we just used six 8-foot boards to create three rows.

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

Next was the easiest step, which was hanging the hooks on each post for the hammock to hang on. Determine the height best for you, but we hung time about 5 feet off the ground.

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

The final step was stain. We used Thompson’s Water Seal outdoor grade stain over all the boards to make sure they last a long time.

I lied- the final step is to relax.

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

DIY Wooden Hammock Stand - Charleston Crafted

This DIY wooden hammock stand really wasn’t very hard. It took awhile because there were a lot of steps and some waiting, but man was it worth it. It’s in the shade under the oak tree and now we can just relax after a hard day of work. Can’t wait for summer!

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Where to Get Free Pallet Wood

where to find free pallet wood - charleston crafted

It is super popular right now to do projects using pallet wood. It’s a cheap, easy source of wood that gives a great rustic vibe without you having to do anything to fake it. But one time, my friend had an idea to build an outdoor bar out of pallet wood but asked me where to get free pallet wood for DIY projects or crafts. I thought about it for a second and here’s what I came up with.

where to find free pallet wood - charleston crafted

Where to get free pallet wood:

  • The side of the road– this seems dumb, but honestly, it’s the best place to find it. You probably don’t even realize it, but you see pallets lying around all the time and you don’t even notice them. If you start to look for them, you will see them in people’s yards, leaning up against a dumpster outside a building, or lots of places that people just chuck them. When my friend asked me that question, this was the first thing I told him, and for the next two weeks it was all I could see and I sent him a bunch of photos of pallets just sitting out. There are two pallets leaning up against the dumpster at my office right now, but I don’t need them at the moment.
  • Construction sites– pallets are used to deliver large quantities of small items in one bundle. Where is a place that gets a lot of those types of shipments? Construction sites. Again, they will be on the side of the road or in the dumpster, but this is a great central hub to start looking. You’ll also find tons of plywood or shorter 2x4s because workers throw out pretty much anything that’s not whole, unlike us, who use every last scrap of wood for something.
  • Costco– again, looking for a place that gets a lot of shipments and Costco is a great bet. Costco has hundreds of pallets outside their warehouses and they are usually in really good shape.
  • Friends that own a business– if you know someone that owns a business that gets shipments, ask them if they will save you the next pallet that comes in. I bet they’ll do it for you.

Building a Work Station - Charleston Crafted

We’ve done some awesome projects with pallet wood, like the old shop table for our condo, a hanging planter for our condo porch, and a fun decor birthday present. We also use older pallets that aren’t in great shape for firewood. They burn really well and are easy to cut up with a reciprocating saw. Just don’t burn them inside.

Building a Work Station - Charleston Crafted

Vertical Herb Garden - Charleston Crafted

Another big thing people are using pallet wood for now is to make wood accent walls on their home. This is a really cool look, especially with different shades of the wood, but again make sure it’s not rotten. There are lots of pallets out there, but the biggest thing to do is be selective because you don’t want to use bad wood.

What are some of your favorite pallet projects?

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DIY Hanging Fence Planters

DIY Hanging Fence Planters - Charleston Crafted

The most awesome thing about the DIY hanging fence planters I made is that they have a double meaning. They are DIY hanging fence planters that are planters that hang on the fence, but they are also hanging planters that are made OUT of fence. Whaaaaaaatttttt.

A few months ago, I finished ripping out the dog run fence that was segmenting our backyard and gave us an open concept backyard. I saved all the fence pieces and built a wood shed entirely out of the old fence. I had some left over, so I decided I could make some planters to hang from the fence to hold herbs. We bought plastic herb boxes that were 36 inches long and 7 inches tall and wide. This was the baseline for building the wooden planter to go around it.

DIY Hanging Fence Planters - Charleston Crafted

I used my miter saw to cut the fence planks down to the sizes I needed, using two long planks on the front, back and bottom. There were two smaller pieces on each end. I used 1 1/4 inch screws to screw them all together and used two more small pieces to attach each side of the gap that allows you to pull the plastic tray liner out.

DIY Hanging Fence Planters - Charleston Crafted

DIY Hanging Fence Planters - Charleston Crafted

DIY Hanging Fence Planters - Charleston Crafted

Once the wooden planters were done, I used L-brackets to attach them to the fence. First, attach the bracket to the fence, then set the planter on top and screw in from underneath.

DIY Hanging Fence Planters - Charleston Crafted

DIY Hanging Fence Planters - Charleston Crafted

Now we have four hanging fence planters right next to our garden. One of them was there before, but the other three I made using the fence posts. I’m so pleased that I was able to build another project entirely out of this wood to recycle it instead of putting it by the curb. Plus, since it’s the same wood as the fence, it blends into the fence and is hardly noticeable. We’re stoked!

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