Blog

Getting Crafty on Pencilstorm - by JCE

I am not really a crafty person (but I do like craft beers, if that counts). I’m not an artist by any means.  Even if I was, I have a high stress job, a beautiful family and I love rock n roll, sports, skateboards, and - did I mention - beer?  Who has time for arts & crafts?  Apparently, I do.
One day while delivering my trash to our local solid waste transfer station, otherwise known as the dump, I hurled a bag into the dumpster and noticed two well-used but perfectly good skateboards amongst all that trash.  I pulled them out and tossed in them in my Jeep for no particular reason, other than I like skateboards.  A few months later I ended up making some shelves out of them for a room in my basement where I keep my collection of about 100 vintage skateboards. I mentioned this skateboard shelf project to the guy that operates the solid waste transfer station and he agreed to ask his staff to start saving all of the discarded skateboards that end up there.  So now, I had achieved a supply line of skateboards to recycle.  I came up with the idea of combining two things I love - skateboards and beer - in order to start making….Birdhouses.  Yep, you read that right.  I’m making birdhouses out of old skateboards and craft beer bottle caps.  The supply line of skateboards is hit  miss, but the beer caps I have completely covered, no problem.  I build these in my basement with music blasting, so I’m really working with three things I love.

I built the first one in a pretty plain style, I left it really rustic with the old skateboard graphics and then shingled the roof with beer caps.  It turned out like this:
 

THE ORIGINAL

The second one was supposed to look less like a house and more like a shed.  During the construction process I took a beer break and discovered a brand new, fully-sealed beer bottle in my six pack that was totally empty!  It was a terrible tragedy, but I took it as a sign and decided to incorporate it into my birdhouse as a smokestack.  The front entrance got some spray paint as well.  Here’s birdhouse number two:
 

THE SMOKESTACK


My third birdhouse was inspired by the idea of a beach shack, or a tiki hut.  It turned out like this:

THE BEACH SHACK
  

Given that I now had three different models, I built two more as gifts, one as a Christmas present for my father-in-law (the man has everything, but he didn’t have a handmade recycled skateboard-beer cap birdhouse!) and another one as a birthday present for my brother-in-law’s girlfriend.  I’m thinking these are getting a little better as I go…  and there’s more and more spray paint involved.

FATHER-IN-LAW CHRISTMAS

BIRTHDAY PRESENT

So at this point, I think I’m developing a hobby.  I don’t think I’m doing too badly for a guy who has a 1970’s era jigsaw, some sand paper, a rechargeable drill, a hammer, a screwdriver and not much else to work with.  I don’t have a table saw or anything to cut any fancy angles.  The latest effort was made especially for my daughter at her request.  She’s a rocker, so I tried to give it some heavy metal flare with a flaming roof design.  It looks like this:

HEAVY METAL

Thanks for reading my Arts and Crafts Edition of Pencilstorm.  If you like these things, let me know, but don’t ask me for one, because it takes me so long just to pound out one of these, I’d have to charge at least $100 each just to earn a few bucks an hour.  -  JCE