Removing the Dog Run

Removing the Dog Run - Charleston Crafted

We’ve started tackling some of our initial yard plan now that the weather is a bit cooler. It might seem counter-intuitive, but honestly, how can you work outside in Charleston in the 95 degree heat of the summer? I’d much rather work outside when it’s cold. I remember when I helped my buddy build a patio in his backyard on the same day I ran a triathlon. It wasn’t a good idea. So anyways, the project I’ve probably been most looking forward to doing since we moved in was removing the dog run that was in our backyard.

Initial Yard Plan - Charleston Crafted

This dog run was a fence that cut off about a quarter of the yard and was built to keep a dog in. I guess it is so that you can leave the dog there so that it wouldn’t disturb you in the rest of the yard, but we are totally all about CiCi being involved wherever we are, so we didn’t want it. Plus, even though it was only cutting off a quarter of the yard, it seemed like a lot more than that. So, after cutting the grass one day, I decided I wanted to see how difficult it would be to remove the fence.

Turns out, it wasn’t that hard. I took a hammer to the back side of the fence panels and with about a half dozen swings at the top and the bottom, the nails came undone and the panel came loose. Same thing on the other side and one panel easily came down.

Removing the Dog Run - Charleston Crafted

It was easy to tackle the last few panels too. Same thing, right down the line.

Removing the Dog Run - Charleston Crafted

I stacked the panels in the corner of the yard because I had a plan for them (more on that down the line). Instantly, the yard looked so much bigger already. Taking the fence down opened it right up!

Removing the Dog Run - Charleston Crafted

I still had the issue with the fence posts to deal with. A few of them were cemented into the ground and some of them weren’t. I literally just kicked them like 3 times on each side and then pulled them straight out. I had some holes in the ground, but I just filled with top soil and voila, take a look at how much bigger our yard looks!!

Removing the Dog Run - Charleston Crafted

Removing the Dog Run - Charleston Crafted

Removing the Dog Run - Charleston Crafted

Combine that with the fact that we removed that ugly weed bush thing from the edge of the lake and our view is freaking stunning. This is why we bought the house!

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Going Solar!

When we moved into our new house, we knew that we wanted to make some improvements to increase the value of the home. Well, we never considered adding solar panels but now that I have, we are really hoping that they will be a huge value add to our resale value!

Going Solar - Charleston Crafted

Going Solar - Charleston Crafted

We got our panels through Jon at Vision Solar (let us know if you are in the area and we will get you his info). It is a great set up as it is a zero down financing plan and we own and not lease them. 55% of the total cost is a tax credit (30% federal and 25% state) so we have 2 loans – one for the tax credit and a second one for the balance. They set our payment at the average of our current electric bills, which for us is $145 a month. We will pay that for seven years (except you know I love paying off loans early!) At the end of that period, we will own the panels and no longer have an electric bill. Hopefully, we will actually get a check from the electric company!

Going Solar - Charleston Crafted

Going Solar - Charleston Crafted

We have seen solar panels go up in our neighborhood for the past six months and estimate that about ten percent of the houses have them so far. We really feel like this is the way of the future and that they will be not only a bonus but a must have going forward.

Do you have solar panels? Have any questions about them? I’d love to chat!

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Building a Wood Shed from Old Fence

Building a Wood Shed from Old Fence - Charleston Crafted

One of my favorite things about building projects is when I’m able to reuse wood or pieces from other things to create my new project, like when I built an industrial pipe bench and was able to use wood from the walls when we opened them up. This time, I was able to use fencing from our yard after I removed a dog run (more on that later!) and had a line of fence. I needed somewhere to store the wood that I collected after our two hurricanes last year, so I wanted to build a wood shed, and I was able to do it using 100% recycled materials of our old fence.

Building a Wood Shed from Old Fence - Charleston Crafted

I surveyed my stack of fence and started by taking one big piece and using it untouched as the back of the structure. Then, I used two of the fence posts and nailed them onto that piece. The posts would serve as the four posts for the shed too.

Building a Wood Shed from Old Fence - Charleston Crafted

Then, I took one piece of fence and used my reciprocating saw to cut the fencing down to three slats and nailed that into fence posts on either side.

Building a Wood Shed from Old Fence - Charleston Crafted

Building a Wood Shed from Old Fence - Charleston Crafted

Building a Wood Shed from Old Fence - Charleston Crafted

Next, I removed all the fence posts off of another piece and used one of the 2×4’s that held them together to attach two more fence posts to the front of the structure to secure it all together.

Building a Wood Shed from Old Fence - Charleston Crafted

Now I had to build a base for the wood. I opted to cut pieces of fence slats in half and nail them to be even with the fence slats in the back. I wasn’t worried about having a gap between them because none of the wood was going to be so small that it would slip through the cracks.

Building a Wood Shed from Old Fence - Charleston Crafted

Then came the top. I nailed the other 2×4 to the top to nail the roof to. I attached it at a slightly lower position than the back side so that the roof could be slanted to help with rain runoff.

Building a Wood Shed from Old Fence - Charleston Crafted

Building a Wood Shed from Old Fence - Charleston Crafted

In the end, I think it looks great! And it really blends in well with the fence right next to it so you can hardly notice it.

Building a Wood Shed from Old Fence - Charleston Crafted

Building a Wood Shed from Old Fence - Charleston Crafted

Building a Wood Shed from Old Fence - Charleston Crafted

Obviously it isn’t 100% waterproof, but the point is mostly to get the wood off the ground and store it in a concise location. It’s water-resistant and that’s pretty good. I imagine that I’m going to be scoping the neighborhood for the next person whose roof gets replaced and I’ll take some of their old shingles and nail them to the roof of my wood shed. But for now, I love that I was able to make this and not have to buy a single thing and used 100% recycled stuff from my yard! Now to chop the wood…

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Our Outdoor Holiday Decor 2016

Our Outdoor Holiday Decor 2016 - Charleston Crafted

One thing that we were really excited about with having a new home was having a house and yard to decorate for the holiday season. We might be biased, but we think the front of our house is really cute and lend itself well to Christmas decor.

This year, we decided to focus on white lights, garland, and red bows. I bought pretty much all of our decor at Michaels a week before Thanksgiving when they had a 25% off your whole purchase including sale items coupon. Pairing that with their regular sales (most of their holiday decor was 40% off already) and we spent about $110 on decorations, including some that went indoors. Here’s what we did.

Our Outdoor Holiday Decor 2016 - Charleston Crafted

Lights: We hung 36 feet (2 strands) of icicle lights across our front porch. We also ran 2 plain strands of white lights spiraled up our columns. Maybe next year we will be brave enough to add more of these to our 2nd story roof line.

Garland: We strung up 3 strands of faux garland around our garage door. I added a big red bow (tied from wired glitter ribbon) to the center and each corner. We hope to add lights to this next year as we slowly accumulate more decor. I also would like to grab an additional strand or two of garland to do around the front door.

Our Outdoor Holiday Decor 2016 - Charleston Crafted

Wreaths: I left our DIY eucalyptus wreath on the front door since it dried nicely and still smells fantastic, but I added a DIY glitter red ribbon bow. We bought 5 small faux wreaths at Michaels and I added similar bows. They went on each front facing window with a suction cup hook.

Accessories: We also have our two wood slice reindeer on the front porch. I really think they are adorable!

Our Outdoor Holiday Decor 2016 - Charleston Crafted

So, that’s our outside decor this year! Share a link to yours below!

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through and make a purchase, we receive a small percentage of the sale. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Charleston Crafted possible! 

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Easy DIY Wood Slice Reindeers!

Easy DIY Wood Slice Reindeers! - Charleston Crafted

Looking to craft up some holiday decor? What’s better than some easy DIY wood slice reindeers? These cute guys can welcome all of your holiday guests outside your front door, looking natural and in the holiday spirit!

Easy DIY Wood Slice Reindeers! - Charleston Crafted

This project really is super easy. All you need is a couple of small logs and sticks. In order to make one reindeer, you need:

  • 1 medium log for body
  • 1 slightly larger log for head
  • 4 small sticks for legs
  • 6 two-inch double sided dowel screws
  • 2 twigs
  • accessories

Easy DIY Wood Slice Reindeers! - Charleston Crafted

I used a handsaw for all these cuts. Start out by cutting a medium log into the length of your reindeer. I’d say no more than 12 inches. Also, cut a very short angled slice off this log as well to serve as your reindeer’s neck.

Next, cut your four legs out of your skinnier sticks. These should be about half the length of your reindeer’s body.

Finally, cut a slice of the larger log that is about half the length of the body in order to serve as the head.

Easy DIY Wood Slice Reindeers! - Charleston Crafted

Use a drill to drill a hole into one side of each of the legs, then screw in your dowel screws. You’ll probably need pliers for that.

Easy DIY Wood Slice Reindeers! - Charleston Crafted

Easy DIY Wood Slice Reindeers! - Charleston Crafted

Easy DIY Wood Slice Reindeers! - Charleston Crafted

Next, drill four holes in the underside of the body log and screw your legs into the body.

Easy DIY Wood Slice Reindeers! - Charleston Crafted

That’s the base, now, do the same thing with the angled cut of wood on the front of the body and attach it to the body.

Easy DIY Wood Slice Reindeers! - Charleston Crafted

Finally, do the same thing to attach the head to the neck.

Now that you almost have a reindeer, drill two small holes near the top of the head and insert your twigs to serve as antlers.

Easy DIY Wood Slice Reindeers! - Charleston Crafted

Finally, accessorize! We used googly eyes, acorns for noses and pinecones for tails.

Easy DIY Wood Slice Reindeers! - Charleston Crafted

Easy DIY Wood Slice Reindeers! - Charleston Crafted

These easy DIY wood slice reindeers are super simple and take about 30 minutes to make. They are the perfect addition to our holiday decor and will make an appearance every year!

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