My grandfathers were inspiring individuals. They grew up on farms during the depression and were two of the most resourceful, creative men I've ever known. I've realized recently that they had the right idea. Not everything had to be shiny and new...sometimes what they made was better than store-bought anyway, and it cost a lot less as well.
I recently located a lumber yard that puts their cast-off used pallets outside the fence for people to take. I've been thinking about how a potting bench would be a great addition to our patio, providing a space for re-potting, but also as a handy surface for food and plates when we are grilling. I channeled my "Inner Ana", with some inspiration from Donna at http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot.com/ .
I didn't use Ana's plans precisely, as I was using reclaimed lumber, and was limited to the lengths of wood on hand, but after I pulled all the nails out of the pallets (and saved them), I had some usable wood with character. The result is a sturdy surface with a unique aesthetic. I furthered the "reclaimed" look by adding three hand-painted logos. One is the iconic Coca-Cola logo, one is the eagle from the US Postal Service (from which one of my grandfathers retired). The last is the name of the corporation where my other grandpa was the foreman of the machine shop. It was so much fun and I'm so happy with the results, that I can't wait to start the next project.