Over the winter, we’ve been struggling with a new way to stash shoes by the back door. We thought we’d eventually make a small bench or even a cupboard to hide them in, but we needed something in the interim. The hunt was on and eventually led to the hefty basket pictured above. Found at Target, the Smith & Hawken basket ($39.99) had the perfect dimensions. It just needed a little tweaking and it became the perfect solution to our shoe problem.
First, it had to have some sort of structure on the inside to keep the shoes from becoming a heap. We used a couple sheets of acrylic we had in the garage, but thin plywood or even MDF would do just as well. We simply cut into the acrylic into 2 sheets, then cut them half-way through the center and slipped the two sheets together. I also cut a piece of rubber (left over from a truck liner, if you can believe it) to protect the bottom of the basket.
Next, we needed to make a lid for our basket. For this, we chose to use a 3/4″ piece of aspen. Sweetie Pie cut it to size and then milled around the handles. I took over from there and painted it with General Finishes Lamp Black. I sanded the edges to expose the raw wood underneath (which coordinated with the color of the basket) and then put 3 coats of poly over it.
The great thing about our new shoe storage basket, besides making the back door area tidy, is that the basket has a wire frame making it sturdy enough to sit on when taking off/putting on shoes. We love it. So much so that we don’t think it’s a temporary solution anymore!
Sweetie Pie and I bought some Ipe a while back for a couple of projects. It’s expensive wood, so we kept every bit of the leftovers. This last time we used up some of the Ipe, there were some tiny squares in the dust pile. I couldn’t let them go. They were too pretty. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them, but soon it became obvious. A wooden pendant!
Since they were a perfect size already–about 1/4″ thick and 3/4″ x 1″ square–all I did was sand them up and then used my Dremel to drill a tiny hole at the top center.
After I attached a ring and a jute cord, I decided it needed a little more kick. I wired up a moonstone bead I had on hand and added it to the ring.
I like how it turned out, but the wood is so light, that it competes with the jute. Next time, I think I’ll put on a heavier stone, to weigh the string down a bit more, or I’ll just use a chain. What’s cool about having a wood pendant is they smell good. Seriously!