RUSTIC GIFT BASKET

About: I am a self-taught Finisher (furniture, automotive and faux) and have basic experience and training with cabinetmaking, home crafts and even electrical in my younger years. I love working with my hands and c...

YEARLY WE GIVE GIFT BASKETS TO FRIENDS AND CO-WORKERS. RATHER THAN SOME BORING, STORE-BOUGHT PRE-PACKAGED BASKET, WHY NOT SOMETHING THAT IS CUSTOM-MADE, WITH YOUR OWN BARE HANDS? ASIDE FROM JUST BEING FUN AS HECK, IT ALSO SAYS "I APPRECIATE YOU" TO EACH AND EVERY ONE WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED. :)

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Step 1: Sketch It Out

WHETHER SMALL, MEDIUM-SIZED OR LARGE, WORK OUT THE SIZE OF BOX YOU WANT TO MAKE. SKETCH IT OUT (FOUR WALLS AND A BOTTOM) SO IT GETS OUT OF YOUR HEAD AND ONTO PAPER.

FROM THIS YOU CAN WORK OUT THE BASIC SIZES OF PIECES YOU WILL BE CUTTING AND ASSEMBLING.

Step 2: Gather Your Wood

FOR ME THIS WAS ONE OF THE FUNNEST STEPS - FINDING SOME OLD PALLETS, ESPECIALLY ONES THAT HAVE SAT OUT IN THE RAIN AND SUN FOR A WHILE. THE MORE WEATHERED THE BETTER. IF NO LUCK FINDING ANY WEATHERED, THEN JUST LEAVE SOME OUTSIDE YOURSELF FOR A FEW WEEKS OR MONTHS (IF YOU ARE THINKING AHEAD)...

Step 3: Cut and Assemble

BREAK APART THE PALLETS (WEAR EYE PROTECTION AND GLOVES!). A GOOD HAMMER WILL DO IT, PRYING OUT THE NAILS AS YOU GO.

USING A ROTARY SAW, CUT THEM TO THE DESIRED HEIGHT OF THE BOX YOU DREW OUT. USE SOME THINNER PIECES AT THE EDGES TO GLUE AND PIN NAIL THEM TO SO THEY BECOME WALLS.

THEN JUST GLUE AND PINNAIL THE WALLS TOGETHER. I USED A PIECE OF PLYWOOD AS THE BASE, WHICH ACTED TO KEEP IT ALL WQUARE AS WELL. TITEBOND II WOOD GLUE WORKED PERFECT.

IF YOU HAVE CLAMPS, THEN CLAMP THEN BY ALL MEANS.

AFTER 2-3 HOURS, WHEN DRY, GO AHEAD AND ROUGH SAND THEM TO REMOVE LOOSE DEBRIS ONLY. YOU DON'T WANT TO REMOVE THE SAW MARKS OR WEATHERING THAT IS ON THE WOOD - JUST PIECES THAT FLAKE OFF OR MAY SPLINTER AND HURT SOMEONE LATER ON.

Step 4: Let's Put Some Color on It ....

WITH SOME LEFTOVER STAIN LAYING AROUND THE GARAGE, BRUSH OR RAG ON THE STAIN. OR LEAVE IT NATURAL IF YOU SO DESIRE. A NICE EFFECT IS BURNING IT TOO WITH A TORCH (HAVE WET RAGS AND WATER NEARBY JUST IN CASE). I'VE DONE BOTH (STAIN AND/OR BURNED EDGES).

IN THIS ONE HERE I STAINED THEM WITH A LIGHT BROWN AND A DARKER BROWN, RANDOMLY TO GIVE AN ADDED AGED EFFECT.

I USED AN ORBITAL SANDER AFTER STAINING TO KNOCK OFF AREAS (ALL RANDOM) TO REMOVE STAIN, FOLLOWING UP AND DOWN STROKES). YOU CAN STAIN THESE AREAS LIGHTER OR LEAVE THEM NATURAL.

WHEN I WAS HAPPY AND THE STAIN EXCESS WAS WIPED OFF AND HAD DRIED, I SPRAYED A FEW COATS OF LACQUER ON THE OUTSIDE TO LOCK IN THE STAIN AND GIVE IT A SUBTLE SHEEN.

Step 5: A Personal Touch

I FOUND SOME SMALL LOGS LAYING BY THE ROAD A WEEK EARLIER AND CUT THEM INTO SLICES, ABOUT 3/4" THICK, THEN LET THEM DRY OUT FOR ABOUT A WEEK (OR MORE IF THEY ARE VERY WET).

I USED A SOLDERING IRON (OR YOU CAN BUY A WOOD BURNING TOOL AT A LOCAL CRAFTS STORE LIKE MICHAELS) AND HAND BURNED "TO:____" AND "FROM:____" ON THE FACE, DRILLED A WHOLE AND USED SOME RIBBON TO SECURE IT TO THE CRATE.

YOU CAN ALSO ADD SOME SISAL ROPE AT EACH END TO ACT AS HANDLES. OPTIONAL AND UP TO YOU.

YOU'RE NOW READY FOR SOME STUFFING INSIDE AND A LOT OF GOODIES PUT IN FOR YOUR SPECIAL PERSON(S) !!

A REAL FUN PROJECT !

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    tomp0209jessyratfink

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    Thanks Jess - Rustic, natural look is one of my favorite.