Pallet Coasters

IMG_5290Seeing a chipmunk in the yard a few weeks ago was like spotting a unicorn. I thought I was imagining it when it first darted across the mulch. Chipmunks may outnumber all other living creatures by my shop in VT, but in PA, I’ve never spotted them in our neighborhood in the thirteen years we’ve lived here, let alone seeing one in our yard.  I was beginning to think I had a stowaway from my last trip to VT.

This little guy flies solo. I hope another chipmunk gets lost soon and finds her way to Sasquatch (yes, the chipmunk) so that this phenomenon continues.

The backyard has become some sort of animal sanctuary. I say this like I’m surprised. But if you ask the hubby, he would inform you about the fifty pounds of peanuts and ten bags of bird seed that I recently purchased. And how last year, he was convinced that the squirrel floating in our pond had fallen to its death because I overfed it.  Birds, squirrel, rabbits, and a lonely Sasquatch (but aren’t they all?)  co-habitate peacefully in the backyard.

So when something is off in this eco-system, I kinda freak out.

Not kinda. I really freak out. Especially when I have just returned from picking up Tank’s ashes.

I can hardly see out of my eyes because I’ve been bawling like a baby, but in the middle of the yard is one of the beautiful yellow and brown speckled robins that I’ve been watching for weeks, fluttering around in distress on the grass.  When I take a further look, I see that it’s unable to fly or even walk.  I look up at the sky and yell, “Really, God?! TODAY?”

Then I pull my act together and go into full nurturing mode. If the bird stays out in the open, it’s sure to be  picked up by a predator. So I build a pen out back and put some water in it – someplace safe for the bird to be. And then turn to Google. Moments later, I move the bird to a box with an old t-shirt in it, as the articles say to do. And then I spend an hour trying to get a hold of a Wildlife Clinic in the Philadelphia area who can hopefully save the birdie.

“You can drop her off here tomorrow morning,” the Schuylkill Center Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic tells me over the phone.

So I have an injured bird sitting in a box who may or may not make it through the night, but needs a warm, dark place to be. I have no idea how I’m going to explain this one to Chris.

In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have texted, “Hey, if you beat me home tonight, whatever you do, do NOT go into my closet.”  And if you want to break the news to your husband gently that you have a bird in your closet, you should probably dismantle the pen out back to hide all of the evidence. Because he did arrive home before me. And he saw said pen. He was onto me.

“What living creature is in your closet?” Chris greets me as I enter the house.

“Um. A bird. Wait, I can explain!”

You can see how the rest of our night went. And the poor guy was woken up at 6am the next day by me telling him I’m headed to Philly with the bird to try to beat traffic.

I don’t like driving in Philly – or any city for that matter. But oh, the things we’ll do for the things we love.

Like pallets.

When a friend sent me an idea about pallet coasters right when I got back from the Wildlife Clinic, I couldn’t resist making a set. It’s a lot of work for four coasters, but I’m hooked. They’re so adorable.  Use them as coasters or for your child’s dollhouse (because every dollhouse needs a stack of pallets out back).


These featured are the sample set made with hot glue. Future sets will be made with Loctite to ensure quality miniature pallet engineering. Because whether pallets are small scale or not, they should last. Because that’s what pallets do.


This was the perfect project to take my mind off of the fate of the bird. Pallets make me happy…as happy as seeing Sasquatch.


Pallet coasters (set of 4): $20

About Mel

My name is Mel, and I spend my time living, working and playing on the east coast. I'm a reclaimed wood artist who loves to continually find ways to repurpose wood and give it new life. "Nature Calls: Reclaimed Wood Designs" is my business dedicated to doing that! Thanks for stopping by!
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