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DIY Christmas Game project created by My Thrifty Life by Cassiefairy with photography by Andy-Greenacre.co.uk

Family DIY Christmas Game by Cassie Fairy (C) Andy Greenacre
Family DIY Christmas Game by Cassie Fairy (C) Andy Greenacre

If you’ve got family visiting your garden this winter, why not build this snowman target game to entertain them outdoors? This fabulously festive family Christmas game makes use of an unwanted pallet rescued from a skip and turns the wood into a DIY snowman decoration for the garden. The snowman is freestanding thanks to the stakes attached to the back, so always take care to ensure that the snowman is solidly fixed into the ground and can’t fall over, no matter how hard you throw snowballs at him! 

If you add holes of various sizes to the front of the snowman, he doubles-up as a family game. The aim of the game is to throw snowballs through his ‘buttons’ and mouth to score points. It’s quite a skill to form the snow into a suitably-sized snowball to fit through the holes! If it’s not snowing, you can use homemade pom-poms, faux snowballs or tennis balls instead. Family members can take it turn turns to throw their ‘snowballs’ and most points scored with five balls wins the game. Check out the DIY Christmas game guide with step-by-step photos to make this snowman target game here. Enjoy!

Family DIY Christmas Game by Cassie Fairy (C) Andy Greenacre
Family Christmas Game by Cassie Fairy (C) Andy Greenacre

Did you enjoy this DIY Christmas game guide for the family? Why not read our article on 30 Christmas decorations using wine corks or even our December home and garden checklist!

Are you creating your own family Christmas games this winter? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

If there’s one thing in your workshop that you can’t live without, it’s a mobile workbench. This tutorial will teach you how to build your workbench with wheels out of recycled or reused materials.

The mobile workbench is one of the core elements found in every workshop. It can be used to store your power tools, as a surface for your projects, cutting, filing, and more. And building a customised workbench is the best way to guarantee you’ll make the best possible use of it. If you’re also able to build with recycled or used materials, then you can save some money as well.

Materials to make a mobile workbench from scratch
Materials to make a mobile workbench from scratch

Tools and equipment

Tools and equipment
Tools and equipment

To make a simple workbench with wheels, you’ll need the following tools and equipment: 

Cost, duration and difficulty level

The cost of making a workbench depends on the wood you are able to recycle or reuse. For this example, we used recycled and reused materials, as well as pallet boards.

We spent around £55. If you buy the wood, the cost will increase to around £110. You’ll find all the necessary tools and materials on ManoMano’s online shop.

For this project, you will need to have some experience using power tools. That’s why we’ve categorised the difficulty level as “medium”. It’s perfect for DIY enthusiasts who would like to take on a new challenge.

To build this workbench, you’ll need a full day’s work. If the wood you are recycling is in poor condition, it could take a bit longer. That’s what happened to us when we were completing the project.

How to make a customised mobile workbench

The main advantage of making your own workbench with wheels is that you can customise it:  

  • You can adapt the width and depth to your workspace or workshop.
  • You can also ensure the tabletop is the right height to prevent straining your back or joints when standing for long periods.
  • Don’t forget that the ideal workbench height depends on the type of work you’ll be doing:

For precision work, we recommend building it at the height of 110 to 94 cm. This is the size commonly used for building packaging stations.

  • For projects that require considerable strength, choose between 93 and 86 cm in terms of height.
  • Finally, we recommend between 85 and 71 cm for work that requires considerable strength and/or cutting tools that must be attached to the surface of the workbench.

For this example, we took the size of the person who would be using the workbench the most, as well as the recommendations given above. As a result, we built a workbench with a height of 76 cm. Here are the steps we followed to complete this project.

1. Cut the posts

The first step involves cutting the posts needed to build the mobile workbench’s legs. We wanted our work area to be 180 cm wide, so we cut 6 legs measuring 63 cm each: 2 legs for each end and 2 for the middle. We used the mitre saw for this part of the project, as we had to make several cuts due to the size of the posts we used (10 cm square posts).

Cut the posts for your mobile workbench
Cut the posts for your mobile workbench
Using the mitre saw
Using the mitre saw

2. Grind and sand the wood

We recycled some wood that was intended for use as posts.  As it was in poor condition, we decided to grind down the wood first using the grinder and a sanding disc. Keep in mind that this step will produce a lot of dust. We recommend protecting both your airways and your eyes.  

Despite the extra time and effort required, this added step is well worth it: it will not only reveal the wood’s natural beauty but will make it look like new as well. 

Grind down the wood
Grind down the wood

3. Build the frame for your mobile workbench

The next step involves building a stable and durable frame for your workbench. To do this, you’ll need to attach the 6 legs to the boards so that they are recessed.

  1. Use the circular saw to cut several parallel grooves at the end of each post: cut to a depth that equals the thickness of the boards (2.1 cm) and cut the width to equal that of the boards (6.8 cm), as seen in the photos.
  2. Remove the area of wood you’ve just scored with a multifunctional tool. You can also use a woodworking gouge for this step.
  3. Bear in mind that, for the corner legs, you’ll need to reduce the wood on 2 of the 4 sides;
  4. Cut 4 boards measuring 1.6 m wide, 2 measuring 54 cm, 5 measuring 36 cm and 19 measuring 44 cm;
  5. Use a dowelling jig to screw the wooden frame to the inside lower part of the workbench;
  6. Nail the boards to the lower part of the frame to make shelves.
Build the frame of the mobile workbench
Build the frame of the mobile workbench

In the photos provided here, you can see how the workbench was put together following the steps described above.

Putting the frame together
Putting the frame together

Next, turn the frame over and attach the braked castors or wheels. As this solid workbench is somewhat heavy, wheels will provide greater mobility and freedom of movement.

Turn the frame over
Turn the frame over

4. Add the work surface to your bench

In order to build the work surface for our workbench, we reused a door whose lower and upper parts were somewhat damaged. To ensure we used only the part that was in good condition, we cut the door using the circular saw. Finally, we glued and nailed a plywood strip to the cut sides.

Add the work surface
Add the work surface

For increased stability, we used metal mounting brackets to attach it to the lower part of the workbench.

Your mobile workbench
Your mobile workbench

5. Attach your mobile workbench accessories  

Adding the accessories
Adding the accessories

The final step involves attaching practical accessories onto your mobile workbench.  To begin, attach a vice onto one side of the work surface using screws. On the sides, you can attach a power strip using duct tape.

If you’ve followed the steps described above, then your mobile workbench with wheels is now complete! You are ready to begin work on all of those DIY projects you’ve been planning.  

Did you enjoy this article on how to build your own mobile workbench? Why not learn how to build your own office desk or even our buying guide on tool storage! Are you building our own mobile workshop? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the the #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get your shoes on and off nice and easy? Sitting down and right by your front door? If the answer is yes, make sure not to miss this easy DIY step-by-step guide on how to make a pallet shoe rack.

Pallets are extremely versatile, and you can turn them into all kinds of furniture. A good example is this shoe rack which includes a storage area with different levels, as well as drawers to keep your shoe cleaning products and accessories at hand. In this tutorial you will learn how to make the whole thing with nothing but pallets.

Tools and materials for your pallet shoe rack

A selection of the tools and materials to make a shoe rack pallet
A selection of the tools and materials to make a shoe rack pallet

You will need the following tools and materials to build the perfect shoe rack:

Cost, time and difficulty

The level of difficulty of this DIY project is medium, as it requires some experience in the use of cutting tools and in assembling furniture.

The approximate cost of all materials is less than £35. Since you need a good amount of pallet slats, the total money spent will depend on whether you can find free pallets around, or you need to buy them.

The time needed for this shoe rack project will depend on the state of the pallets. For this tutorial we spent a day and a half working on the shoe rack, but keep in mind that most of that time was spent removing nails from the pallet slats, and sanding these down.

STEP 1: DISASSEMBLE THE PALLETS

Before you do anything else, you need to disassemble various pallets. This shoe rack project requires a minimum of 26 slats measuring 1 m long. Pallets can be easily disassembled using a crowbar or with a reciprocating saw. The latter option is the quickest way to disassemble them.

In order to avoid the blade from bending, make sure that you fit one that can cut both wood and metal, as you will come across some nails in the pallets.

Disassemble the pallets
Disassemble the pallets
The shoe rack project requires a minimum of 26 slats
The shoe rack project requires a minimum of 26 slats

STEP 2: PLANE AND SAND THE PALLET SLATS

Pallet timber is usually pretty rough, with imperfections, damp areas, splinters, etc. The best way to achieve a smooth and uniform surface is to level it with an electric planer. Then you can sand the pallet slats with an orbital sander to give them the perfect finish.

Bear in mind that if you use a planer, you need to make sure that you have removed all the nails from the pallet slats in order to avoid damaging the blade.

Plane and sand the pallet slacks for the shoe rack
Plane and sand the pallet slacks for the shoe rack

STEP 3: CUT ALL THE PIECES

In the next step you will need to cut the slats obtained from the disassembled pallets with a mitre saw or a hand saw. These are the pieces required for the shoe rack:

  • 5 planks measuring 98 cm long for the seat
  • 4 planks measuring 46 cm long for the legs, and 6 planks measuring 35 cm long for the sides
  • 8 planks measuring 90 cm long for the lower shelf and the shelf under the drawers
  • 2 planks measuring 27 cm long and another one measuring 35 cm long, which will divide the shoe rack vertically
  • 4 planks measuring 39 cm long and 2 planks measuring 35 cm long for the shelf on the right side
  • 4 planks measuring 38 cm long and another 4 planks measuring 34 cm long for the drawers
Cut the pallets
Cut the pallets

STEP 4: ASSEMBLING THE PALLET SHOE RACK

After you have cut all the necessary pieces, you will proceed to assemble the shoe rack. These are the steps to follow:

  1. Assemble the sides
  2. Place the lower shelf and the one supporting the drawers
  3. The interior of the shoe rack will be split into two areas to make better use of the space
  4. Place a shelf on the right side in order to make more storage space

4.1: LEGS AND SIDES

The shoe rack legs have to be extra strong, and to that end you will join 2 slats measuring 46 cm long in a right angle, for each of the 4 legs. Next, join them in pairs with screws, adding 3 planks measuring 35 cm long on each side. This will build both sides of the shoe rack.

Join the legs and sides of the pallet shoe rack
Join the legs and sides of the pallet shoe rack
Building both sides of the shoe rack
Building both sides of the shoe rack

4.2: SHELVES

Now you need to join both sides with the two shelves and the seat. One of the shelves will be fixed with screws onto the lowest slat on the sides of the rack, and the other one will be fixed onto the upper slat, but this time, to the bottom edge of the slat. You can see this in detail in the following image.

Add shelves to organise your shoes
Add shelves to organise your shoes

4.3: DIVIDE THE SPACE

We want to make the best use of the storage space, and so we will split it into two different areas:

  • The left side will be have more height in order to fit boots and ankle boots
  • The right side will have an extra shelf so you can store both heels and flats.

Now you need to build the piece that will vertically divide the rack and support the middle shelf on the right side of the shoe rack. For this, join with screws 2 planks measuring 27 cm long to the plank measuring 35 cm long, in the shape of an “H”.

Divide the shelving space
Divide the shelving space

4.4: SHELF

Lastly, you will build a shelf to store flat shoes and trainers. Join with screws 4 slats measuring 39 cm long to 2 slats measuring 35 cm long, leaving a small space on each side to support it on the vertical piece in the middle and the right side. Once this shelf is in place, the shoe rack will have three different areas to organise your shoes according to their different heights.

Build a shelf to store flat shoes and trainers
Build a shelf to store flat shoes and trainers

STEP 5: MAKE THE DRAWERS

In the next step we will make the drawers which will come in very handy to store and quickly access all your shoe accessories. These are the steps to follow:

  1. Nail one of the planks measuring 38 cm long to the end of a plank measuring 36 cm long. Do the same thing on the other end of the plank.
  2. Nail the back plank to the bottom of the drawer.
Making the pallet shoe drawers
Making the pallet shoe drawers

STEP 6: VARNISH THE PALLET SHOE RACK

It is important to protect the wood to prevent it from getting too dirty from the shoes, so we will apply a couple of coats of dark oak varnish. We recommend that you varnish the shoe rack before nailing the slats that will make the seat. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for the brush to access certain areas and you won’t be able to varnish them correctly.

Varnish the pallets to protect the wood
Varnish the pallets to protect the wood

STEP 7: THE FINISHING TOUCHES

The last step will be to place the slats that will make the seat and the shell drawer pulls to the varnished drawers. First screw the drawer pulls onto the front plank of the drawers, and then nail the 5 slats to the seat.

Bear in mind that the top slats must be so placed as to overhang the sides of the shoe rack by a couple of centimetres, and the front and back by 1 centimetre.

The finishing touches to your DIY pallet project
The finishing touches to your DIY pallet project

If you have followed all the steps above, you will now have a handy homemade pallet shoe rack to organise your shoes in your hallway.

Your handy homemade pallet shoe rack
Your handy homemade pallet shoe rack

You can put it by your front door to sit comfortably when you put on your shoes before leaving the house or take off when you come in. All your shoe accessories will be to hand as well, which makes this shoe rack a very useful addition to your home furniture.

Reimagine your pallets
Reimagine your pallets

You will be able to have all your shoes and boots perfectly organised in the different areas of the shoe rack.

Did you enjoy this article on how to make a pallet shoe rack? Why not learn how to make an outdoor pallet bar or even our guide to creating a wardrobe without spending too much!

Are you building your own pallet shoe rack? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!