ScrapHappy January 2023 – #MrG does a Pallet

As you will probably know, we rent a couple of municipal allotments and every Christmas, rather than buy gifts for MrG’s family, they get a #GillyHamper. It’s usually filled with allotment preserves – jams I’ve made throughout the year and chutneys MrG makes (some successful, some not so!) and sweet treats we bake before delivering just before Christmas. This year MrG wanted to add some personal crafting to try and encourage his family to embrace nature, so he made everyone a bug hotel.

Of course, to be in keeping with our ethos, we didn’t want to buy anything, so he used some old pallets that were too broken for ‘proper’ reuse to make his little houses, plus the better of the bamboo canes left from this year’s beans. Initially he also reused screws from other dismantled projects, but as he likes to use A LOT of screws rather than proper joints for everything, he had to buy some more. He also ran out of the deck oil, so that was purchased. He also said that when he next does some shed repairs at the allotment, there’s be some felt offcuts, that he’ll use to cap the roofs, but never-the-less, here’s what he made, and how:

One pallet similar to the one in the trailer above made 13 bug hotels from one side, one for each hamper.

Instructions –

Break apart the pallet as carefully as possible. Note that each side usually differs in thickness – keep them separated if you want to make your bug hotels matchy-matchy. Set a marker at 10cm, and for each hotel cut 6 lengths at 10 cm.

Then you need another differently sized piece for the rear of the hotel. Make this stubbier by sawing it it to same length as the pallet strip is wide plus it’s thickness. You might want to wait and measure this more precisely after you assemble the other components

Then cut one final piece at 18cm which will act as a hanging plate (depending on your pallet, you might be able to get all this from one strip)

Note that there are long sides and short sides to those first 6 pieces.

Four of these become the roof, and two the base.

Pre drill for each screw, as pallets are routinely made from poor quality wood and will split easily, screwing the short ends together for the roof pairs (ie roof A+B are one pair) and the long sides for the base pair.

Screw the first roof pair to the base, followed by the second roof pair. You should have the back flat/flush, with a small overhang creating eaves to keep the worst of the weather out. The middle of the 3 photos above shows this before the second roof pair is fixed

Screw on the back, then the long back plate which sits outside all these.

Fill with bamboo canes, also cut to 10cm lengths. Jam them in as tightly as you can. MrG decided against gluing these in as he wants to be able to take them out and clean or replace occasionally to reduce the risk of disease. Coat with (ideally an organic) deck oil / outdoor paint and hang in a sheltered spot. We install ours where it’s cool, but not too draughty, and out of direct sunshine and where the rain won’t blow in at about 1.5 metres high.

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials.

It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of genuine scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month?

Email Kate at the address on her Contact Me page. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy on occasion.

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera, Edith
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol, Preeti, DebbieroseNóilinViv, Karrin, Amo and Alissa   


About DawnGillDesigns

Finally able to make stuff and get paid for it!!! How cool is this?! Find me and my shinies on and as @DawnGillDesigns on social media
This entry was posted in #Allotment, Hamlin Lane Allotments, ScrapHappy, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to ScrapHappy January 2023 – #MrG does a Pallet

  1. Going Batty in Wales says:

    Well done Mr G! Those make lovely presents. And thank you for giving us the measurements and instructions – saves me working it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A thoughtful present, five stars for the Bug Hotels!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. katechiconi says:

    Excellent work by Mr G! I’ve said it before; if you need to get a new something in order to finish a a scrappy project, that’s OK. You just can’t buy something in order to start, or it isn’t proper scrappy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Making things in multiples is a lot of work! These bug hotels were a great addition to your thoughtful gift baskets.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your Gilly hampers are a great idea and the bug hotels are a fun addition – and a lot of work. Hope the family enjoys embracing nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. rutigt says:

    Wow, 13 bug hotels! I´m impressed!


  7. acflory says:

    Wow… What a great idea, but so much work. It must have taken him weeks to put all of those bug hotels together!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Susan Nixon says:

    I never heard of bug hotels before. I presume it’s a place bugs can shelter in bad weather? Good to share a roof with someone who understands crafty. =)

    Liked by 1 person

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