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Things I made in 2016

With a few bits of wood and a couple of tools, here’s some of the things I made this summer without spending much. Hope it inspires others to have a go!


Probably the biggest job of the year and not for me. Here’s the new shed made out of loads of reclaimed bits and pieces, complete with electrics, heating/air conditioning (thanks ebay) and a set of pedestrian crossing lights. Lots of other bits thanks to the guys in the tip.Thanks also to Mitchells reclaim in Norwich. I got so much from them for so very little and shared so many laughs along the way. Two things that turned out to be a labour of love were the maple floor and Norfolk pantile roof. Satisfying when complete, but when you look at a pile of old reclaimed dance floor that smells like musty church and begin to realise how long the job will take…

5m by 5m shed, double glazed and air conditioned courtesy of ebay
5m by 5m shed built from an idea I had in my head, double glazed and air conditioned, Made me realise that I could live in a space that size if it was thought through well. Water butt was an old olive oil container (found it at the tip)

Free Standing Shelves

Some old scaffold boards (which cost a few quid but the come up lovely). Simply cut a 15 degree angle in the uprights and screw in the shelves with 140mm nails. Angled grind with flap disks and then apply a bit of aqua coat to seal it. Thing I like about these is that they overcome the problem of skirting boards sticking out. Note the ‘man draws’ at the bottom that slide out and include a 4 way electric extensions so you don’t have to fiddle around if you want to plug something in!

Secret man draw
Not too secret man draw! Note the plugs. Draw is on castors I got from Lidl or Aldi.
Old wood is full of character and not difficult to bring it out.

Double Glazed Computer Desk.

I had a few double glazed panels I was going to chuck. So I grabbed some pallet wood from Travis Perkins and off I went. Again, flap disk on the angle grinder and some aqua coat. It only took a few hours and didn’t cost a penny to make!

Thank you British Gypsum!
Just cut the wood to the size of the double glazing and stick legs on it.

Chunky Adjustable Shelves.

Unfortunately, the free standing shelves didn’t give me enough shelf space so I made these. It’s basically a pallet wood box, some twin slot shelving and bookends, with scaffold board shelves that appear to float as they are fitted the ‘wrong’ way round. Good thing is that you can adjust the shelves so if you have books etc that don’t fit, you can move them up and down. One of the things I  love about free wood is you don’t get too precious, so when you are wondering where to store a knife for example, you can just bang it in the end!

Lots of screws..
Modern scaffold boards make great shelves..


By leaving the top open, oversized books just stick out the top! Simples!


Parrot Tree

One of my parrots likes to be outside so I made this tree out of fallen willow wood on a pallet wood base. She loves it! Again, didn’t cost a penny to make and only about 30 minutes.

Spot the parrot!

Coffee Table (for my son)


Coffee Table bits – all one sort of wood from pallets with some colour bunged in and angle grinded off, then aqua sealed.


All screwed together firmly. Seems like I’ve finished the shed floor too. The table was shipped up to my sons student house, so it had to be strong and probably up to the job of 6 people standing on it during a party. He sent be a pic to show he had integrated a can crusher into the table which I thought was ingenious.

Espresso Lights

These tins came for free from a restaurant in Norwich. I just chopped off the end, cut a hole for the light fitting and that was it. The fitting was pennies, and with an LED bulb inside it looked amazing and super economical to run!


Propeller Touch Light (in progress)

After knackering this propeller on my boat and replaced it with a second hand one from ebay, I sort of grew attached to it and thought it would make an interesting light. It’s work in progress as not sure how to get the aluminium cleaned of the old paint and limescale. Using a dimmable LED filament lamp, and a touch sensor module, you can touch it’s blades to turn it on/up/off which is cool. 

Still got some cleaning to do and strip off the old paint, but all works!

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of these amazingly simple things to make and have a go yourself.