By Christina Calloway
CMI staff writer
Glenda Belcher has found a use for all of those pallets that accumulate over the years in the barns of farmers.
The Curry County extension agent and home economist kicked off the 22nd annual New Mexico Ag Expo by showing a group of about 75 people Tuesday how they can take old pallets and repurpose them to make tables, magazine racks and decor.
Belcher, who was invited by Roosevelt County Extension Home Economist Connie Moyers, joined Moyers in bringing the DIY, or do-it-yourself, trend to the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds, a first for the Expo.
The women said the group was more than just crafting, it showed people how to recycle items that lie around the house or barn and make them into something useful.
“Something that can go in the barn can now go in your home,” said Belcher.
She noted the popularity of the type of DIY projects growing on the website Pinterest, but she understands people can be intimidated what may look difficult even though they’d love a new table in their home.
“The pallets are just one of those things laying around and the DIY trend is popular right now,” Belcher said. “It’s something that anyone can do.”
Belcher and Moyers showed the audience different painting techniques to give the projects a variety of looks, the most common being the distressed look.
A few crowd-pleasers included old picture frames turned into decorations with the use of chicken wire and a fresh coat of paint and devotional signs reminiscent of the ones that can be purchased at major craft stores.
“We didn’t come up with something new, we’re just recycling,” Moyers said, who touted an antique high seat she acquired as her favorite project, spending nearly 200 hours repurposing it.
Retired Roosevelt County farmer and rancher Laveta Patterson said she attended the workshop to learn new techniques.
“I have a lot of old stuff in my home and I came to get new ideas on how to freshen things up,” Patterson said.
Patterson said she was most impressed with the different things she can do with the pallets and looks forward to putting a few of the pieces she plans to create on her patio.