Thursday, December 29, 2016

Barb's Do It Yourself Pallet Board Fireplace Makeover

It is easier than you would imagine to create a dramatic new look for your fireplace by using inexpensive (or free) wood pallets.  Many businesses will give them away if you contact them.  We found ours on a neighborhood clutter cleanout site for $4. To show you how easy it is, my husband and I created a step-by-step instruction and material sheet for you, should you want to try it yourself.

  •   Find pallets with higher quality of wood such as oak that are not split or deformed. 
  •   Use a Sawzall (reciprocating saw) to cut between the main boards and the runner boards and cut the nail.  Why not just use a pry bar you ask: the nails typically found in pallets are spiral shank nails which are almost impossible to pull out.  It is much easier to use a reciprocating saw and cut the nails.
  • Now that the boards are detached it is time to clean them up and give them a light sanding.  I used 80 grit paper and lightly sanded the face and hit the edges to round them off a bit and remove any nasty splinters.  Depending on the cleanliness of the boards you may have to use water and a rag.  For me, all I had to do was sand and wipe them down.
  • Next, determine what backing you want to use to attach the pallet boards to. Some people just locate the studs behind the drywall and screw to the studs.  To me this isn’t a very good idea for several reasons.  First, doing so will mess your drywall up if you want to go back to the original look and second, you are limited to where you can screw.
  • I elected to use a 5/8” OSB board (Oriented Strand Board) between the drywall and the pallet boards.  The OSB board is like plywood and the cost is less than $20.  Locate the studs on the wall by using a stud finder, cut the OSB board to size, and screw the OSB to wall in 6 to 8 locations where the studs are.  You can use 2 ½” drywall or general purpose screws to attach the OSB.
  • Now that the OSB is in place, paint the OSB with a dark color (such as brown).  Save money and look in your garage for any darker paint.  The darker paint helps hide the gaps between the pallet boards, as there is always a bit of that going on. 
  • Before you start attaching pallet boards to the OSB, do a layout of pallet boards on the ground to see how the pieces fit.  Also consider the different widths of the pallet boards (my widths ranged from 3 ½” to 5 ½”) and come up with a consistent pattern.  I used two 5 ½” boards and then a 3 ½” board.  As part of the pattern consider the color variation between the boards, i.e. darks, lights, etc.
  •  Once you are satisfied with the general pattern and wood color variation it is time to start attaching the pallet boards to the OSB board.  I like using screws just in case I screw up (pun) and I can back it out and start over.  There are many good products out there but I used a finish trim nail by GRK that is 8 x 1 ¼”.  The screws are self-tapping and the heads are small for better concealment.
  • You are going to work from the top down, and if you are working on a wall start in the corner.  Since I was wrapping my fireplace on three sides I had to figure out if I wanted the main face to cover the side board end cuts or to show them.  I settled on the cleaner look where I extended the main face boards past the side boards (the width of the side boards 5/8” to ¾’). 
  •  Finish the first row with varying lengths, 4’, 3’, 2’ 1’, and try not to repeat the same lengths, for instance don’t use two 2’ pieces next to each other.  It is supposed to look a bit random, but not to the point that it doesn’t make sense.
  • Now on to the second row, with the same varying lengths place the boards so the butt joints (where the two boards meet in the same row) don’t line up but are staggered from the first row (see photo).
  • Remember to use the same pattern that you established on the ground and go for it.  As you are going along I would use a level to make sure the row isn’t going totally crazy.  You have to watch the varying board widths so it doesn’t make the row totally unlevel.  I had to notch out a foot or two strip so the board fit up better to keep the row somewhat level.
  • Since the pallet boards are not structural, you don’t have to use too many screws.  I typically used 3 maybe 4 screws per board.  The great thing with using the OSB backer board is that you can screw the pallet board anywhere you want.  I used my screw gun which makes the job easy, and with the variable speed I could sink the screws so the heads were flush.
  • When doing a somewhat of a creative project I find my state of mind is important and feeling rushed is not a good feeling.  I would allot plenty of time and have fun with it, and if it goes slower than you think you should keep reminding yourself to have fun with it.   
  • Now that you are done, sit back and enjoy it. 
·         2 to 3 hours for pallet deconstruction
·         1 hour to sand and prep boards
·         Layout and setup ½ hour
·         OSB installation 1 hour
·         Pallet board installation 3 to 4 hours depending on the job
·         Total time: 7 ½ to 10 hours (doesn’t include time finding pallets or going to Home Depot)

·         Pallet boards
·         4 x 8 OSB
·         2 ½” screws
·         GRK finish/trim 8 x 1 ¼” screws
·         80 grit sand paper
·         Dark paint

·         Reciprocating saw
·         Screw gun
·         Circular saw
·         Level
·         Paint brush

Staycation in Beautiful San Clemente starting at $73 per Night!

Here is your opportunity to staycation in beautiful San Clemente starting at only $73 a night with dates into April! Enjoy the ocean, charming town and new outlet center!  Click here to check dates/pricing.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Solutions for Change Needs Our Support

Who else loves what Solutions for Change is doing in our community and how they are bringing hope to the hopeless? They need our help and support now more than ever with new government regulations. My family has decided to send some dollars their way this holiday season. I just got to thinking there are so many thousands of us here on Around The Town, wouldn't it be a good opportunity to ask who would be willing to donate $5 to $10 (or certainly more) this month along with my family? Sometimes people don't give because they think that their contribution is not big enough to make a difference. What I'm saying is if we banded together and put a whole bunch of smaller donations together we could come up collectively with a big donation. If you are willing to partner with a very worthy cause with me simply comment to this post and let's see how many people we can get to take part. Donations can be made here:… or to their mailing address at: 722 West California Ave • Vista, CA 92083

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Always Enjoy, but Slow Down...

A good, gentle reminder...

We are busy people. We have so many things to do. The last thing we have on our mind is slowing down. Life in the fast lane is fleeting. Maybe it's time to stop the busyness and slow down. You cannot keep the fast pace forever. Stop living too fast. Take a different approach today. Spend some time meditating, listen to God in prayer. Think about the direction of your life. Rediscover the sense of wonder. Love deeply. Show gratitude. Do something good for someone else. Have fun and play. Simply live in the moment. Rest. Make time in your life for the things that matter. Be patient with yourself, it takes time to slow down.

-John Sachem, Yahoo Contributor Network

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Amazon Gift Cards Right for Everyone!

 Got someone on your list that has you stumped as to what to get them for a gift this holiday season?  Shop Amazon Gift Cards. Any Occasion. No Expiration.

 Send them via mail or email. So easy, fast and thoughtful.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Online Driver's Ed Class $15 with Groupon

If your teen is approaching (or at) age 15, it's time to look at this deal from Groupon. For only $15 they can enroll in this Online Driver's Ed which earns them their DMV Certificate of Completion which is necessary to obtain their driving permit. This is the same company I used with both of my teens and I highly recommend it. It's easy to work with and they can take it at their own pace.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Make Your Own Succulent Artwork with Teacher-lead Class at Plant Nites

Plant Nites are the hottest new night out option in town.  Grab your sweetie or a group of friends and make a succulent masterpiece to take home.  Groupon pricing is only $25, all materials included.  How does it work?  You check out their schedule, pick the arrangement you want to create and pair it with a fun location (usually at a restaurant or bar) and make the perfect match.  I'm taking a class tonight and will report back but it sure sounds like a lot of fun!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Low Tables Perfect for Picnics at Beach or Your Favorite Outdoor Venues

These tables are GREAT for shows at Moonlight Amphitheatre, and you know, Peter Pan makes it's debut next week and Titanic The Musical is right around the corner. These are easy to assemble, light to carry, and do not block your view.  Store your bags and containers underneath during the show!

Discounted Ice Skating at Ice Town Carlsbad

In this heat, check out an awesome way to cool yourself down...public skate sessions at Ice Town Carlsbad.  Groupon is offering you discounted entry fees! The price just dropped again to $12 if purchased by July 16th.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Free Museum Visits First Weekend of Every Month

Over 150 museums, zoos and science centers offer free admission the first weekend of every month if you're a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit, debit or ATM cardholder.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Meet The Town of Vista Video

I wanted to share this very cool video about the town of Vista with you. I know it sounds like I live there because I talk about it often. Nope, just love hanging out downtown and all the cool things going on in the area and this video just captures a smidge of it

Friday, March 18, 2016

Follow Around The Town on Instagram!

I decided to give Instagram another try.  Please follow me at BarbAroundTheTown (what else)?  I have heard it is easier to find me under people, so look for BARB.  Would love to see you there!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Starbucks Rewards Program- Be Sure to Register Your Cards and Gift Cards

If you go to Starbucks with any kind of regularity, you need to be registering your card and all gift cards that come your way to take advantage of some fantastic rewards. All you have to do to participate is register online and use their card. The program has recently revamped to include even more generous perks, and they are now easier than ever to redeem. Earn a Gold status and get FREE refills on brewed and iced coffee and tea, earn FREE items with point accumulations for your purchases, free birthday menu items and more. Check out all the benefits at this link...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Thank You for Making Groupon and Living Social Purchases through Around The Town Links

Did you know that when you take the time to purchase your Groupons and Living Social deals through the links that I post, that I get credit for your purchases?  If I post a deal I think you will like, I will always include my link.  By clicking through that link rather than the one you get from the company in your email inbox, I get credit. In fact, you can purchase anything on the site and just by entering through my link I will still be credited. Sometimes it is tough to remember I know, but I appreciate it when you do!  I helps support my little Around The Town venture.  Thanks, Barb.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

FREE Museum Visits First Weekend of Every Month

Over 150 museums, zoos and science centers offer free admission the first weekend of every month if you're a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit, debit or ATM cardholder.