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Save Money & Support Local Business: Functional Rustic Approach

Functional Rustic has a promo code now! Use Promo Code: save50 when you check out at Functional Rustic and save 50% on your entire order. And, as always, Functional Rustic offers FAST and FREE delivery right to your door!

Save50 Promo Code
Use Promo Code SAVE50 at to save 50% PLUS FREE SHIPPING on the entire Functional Rustic inventory of handmade rustic décor. Valid thru 12/31/18.

I’m not ashamed to say that I am struggling to get the word out that Functional Rustic is a place to buy things – beautiful, handmade things at that! Apparently most stores use sales and promotional offers to get customers in the door – so Functional Rustic will too!

Sales and promotions are nice and all – but I am most proud of the new items I’ve created. The consistent piece of feedback that I have received is that Functional Rustic could benefit from a bit more color. It is this advice that inspired the purple, green and blue coat racks. Talk about colorful! Not only do I love the colors, but the round “hooks” are actually repurposed drawer handles. Gives them such a unique look!

The coat racks are fun to create but I promised myself I wouldn’t make any more until I sold what I already have. They are priced to sell so I will get to build more in not time. (If you want a coat rack but in a different color let me know and I will happily repaint it for you! Also, if you can’t make it to Countryside but want items you see from the pictures – let me know and I can arrange to have it delivered FREE.)

As of today, all of the new Functional Rustic items are in store at Countryside Craft & Antique Mall. The plan moving forward is to store all the new products at Countryside and pull them off the shelves as needed for craft shows. Keep an eye out for the monthly storewide sales (on top of already low prices) and receive at least 25% discounts on all Functional Rustic items.

Check out the new items at Countryside Craft & Antique Mall below!

Looking for a way to help a stranger this holiday season?

Small home business like Functional Rustic can’t afford the advertising that big retailers are able to utilize. We rely on individuals like you to help us introduce ourselves to the public. By sharing/liking posts from your friends (or strangers like me) you allow their products and ideas to be seen by hundreds more people.

Unexpected kindness is the most powerful...

Also, we also do happy a dance anytime someone interacts with our content. Seriously.

Each time Linda Schaub and Dutchll like something I published I grin from ear to ear and do a little dance. They are consistently supportive so I am fortunate to do my happy dance every day. It’s hard to say if their specific interactions increase visitors to the website – but the impact their support has on my confidence & motivation is worth more than any number of visitors. Thank you Linda and Dutch!

Some people believe it is only great power....

I also cannot say enough nice things about a woman I recently met named Anna Hitch. I met her and her husband at our last craft show and it was such a treat. Both she and her husband create beautiful handmade crafts. She works with yarn and he with leather. Anna gets a special shout out in the post because she consistently “likes” the Functional Rustic Facebook posts & she left my first review! Anna is my first non-family member to interact with my Functional Rustic Facebook so she is kind of big deal around here. Please help me say thank you to her by following Anna on Facebook and checking out her Etsy store. (Feel free to use the comment section to help me peer pressure her into starting her own website with an online store. 🙂 )

Thank you for reading and checking out my newest creations. I welcome your feedback in the comments below and wish you the happiest of holiday seasons.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Below are a few of the items available in the Functional Rustic Store:

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Red

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.


“Bark Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

"Bark Spoken Here" Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.


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How to Countersink a Screw – DIY Tutorial from Functional Rustic

I appreciate the rough-around-the-edges style of rustic furniture and décor. Untreated wood. Exposed screws. Dents. Scuff marks. I love when a piece looks like it has a story to tell.

All of my creations for Functional Rustic have a story. They are rough around the edges because they have had a rough life to this point. Instead of hiding what the wood has been through I try to highlight how the scars make it beautifully unique.

The “rough” look sounds good and is an easier look to accomplish for a beginner but it comes with some obstacles. I knew nothing about wood working when I started this repurposing business and even today I feel like I still know very little. However, I am learning new approaches and techniques every day.

One of the techniques I recently learned was how to countersink a screw. If you are anything like I was a month ago than you have no idea what that means. Fear not – Functional Rustic is here to teach you.

My house is filled with tables, shelves and décor I built out of repurposed pallets. I don’t have a brick and mortar store so my “warehouse” is also my actual house. My sister and her boyfriend came into town for the holidays and had a chance to see my creations.

I asked Jon, the boyfriend from across the pond (Since originally writing this piece the boyfriend has become a husband. They had a sky dive wedding!), what he thought of my creations. As he slid his hand across the top of my pallet coffee table he remarks, “If you countersink the screws it wont catch on people’s clothing.”

“Screw you Jon”, was my first thought. I’m proud of this table. I worked very hard on it. I put a lot of time, energy and creativity into building it. I love how the screws look. The screws are from the original pallet and deserve to be highlighted. Screw you Jon for not appreciating my work.

Of course what I said was, “Thanks Jon, that’s a good idea.” So, I hated him for a couple minutes and then thought about what he was saying. I may like how the screws look but I really don’t like catching clothing on a screw head.

I chose to stop hating him for his really good idea and instead confessed that I had no idea what countersinking actually is (that was embarrassing as the only employee in a wood working business) and asked if he could teach me.

DIY Tutorial – How to Countersink a Screw

Step One:
Drill the pilot hole for your screw as you normally would. (Pilot hole is a hole that is slightly smaller than the size of the screw. It allows the screw to enter the wood and also stay in place.)

Step Two:
After you drill your pilot hole find a drill bit that is the same size as the head of the screw. (The head of the screw is the top where the screw driver would go.)

Countersink Screw 7
Find a drill bit that is larger than the head of the screw. Here is the original drill bit and the larger drill bit.

Step Three:
Center the larger drill bit on the originally pilot hole. Drill down a couple millimeters (Jon is from England so I will use the metric system in my description, ha.) Basically, give the button on the drill a small push. You only want to make a shallow hole.

Step Four:
Drill your screw into the hole as you normally would. Because of the wider hole at the top of the pilot hole, the head of the screw will be flush with or just below the surface of the wood.

Drill your screw into the hole. Notice how the screw head is now flush with the surface of the wood.

Congratulations! Your countersunk your screw!!

Step Five:
Take pictures of your countersinking skills and share them with Functional Rustic on DIY Project of Facebook.

I use the countersinking technique when I create these:

Countersinking the screws prevents gaps from forming between the boards when I create the 3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holders.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Save on handmade home décor by shopping the online Functional Rustic Store.

Wooden Thank You Card ORANGE

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.


The banners included in this post are Affiliate Links.

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My First Craft Show as a Merchant – Functional Rustic

Berkley Days Promo.png

Shopping at craft shows makes for a memorable day but, participating in a craft show from the other side of the table is a whole new experience.

My husband and I moved out to the country away from our lifelong suburban lifestyle in the summer of 2017. The physical move to a place I always dreamed of living inspired me to make very conscious changes to the rest of my life too.

Healthy self. Heal thy self.
Healthy self. Heal thy self.

Part of those conscious changes was focusing on what brings me joy and building the rest of my life around that concept. I find joy in being surrounded by nature, learning new things and inspiring others.

I am happy. Functional Rustic provides me the opportunity to intentionally live the life I want to live – a peaceful life. Peace and serenity, though they feel good, do not pay the bills.

Enter the Craft Show.

Craft Shows

I love shopping at craft shows. As a shopper it is exciting to see booth after booth of handmade crafts. Each booth is different and I never know what I will find.  Also, most of the people selling the craft actually made the craft themselves. In what other context do you have the chance to meet face-to-face with the person that built what you’re buying?

As a social person that enjoys learning, attending a craft fair is the perfect day for me. A craft fair affords me the opportunity to engage with people about something for which they have a passion. Every crafter has a story to tell; how they did it, why they did it. Seeing their passion as they share their story inspires me to seek the same for myself.

Art is not what you see, its what you make others see.
Art is not what you see, it’s what you make others see.

Also, anything bought at a craft fair immediately becomes a conversation piece. “Check out this unique table I bought at the craft show last weekend”. “Remember that day at the annual craft show when we bought that salvaged barn wood sign?” “Oh my gosh, I’ve never seen anything like that before!” “Such a clever way to repurpose those items”.

Back to Nature Collage 1.jpg
Back to Nature Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic. Made from salvaged wood, pine cones, twigs and hand painted stones.

In addition to the stories behind each item I create, there is also a story behind how each of those items got before the customers eyes. This is the story of how I went from craft show shopper to craft show merchant in pursuit of the life I always dreamed of living.

How I signed up for the Craft Show

I created an online store on the Functional Rustic website as well as an Etsy store. However, craft shows are the most effective place to sell crafts, especially when just starting out.

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Functional Rustic salvages wood and other unique items to create Rustic Décor.

A friend of my sister, Tina, is also a creator and heard about what I was doing. Honestly, I do not recall if I initially reached out to her or if she reached out to me. What I do know is the universe worked it’s magic to put us in each other’s lives.

Tina shared that she was being pressured by friends and family to sell her art at the Berkley Days Craft Fair. Knowing that I too was entering the crafting scene and needed a venue to sell my goods, she invited me to join her.

Craft show booths need to be signed up for in advance. Most craft shows have their booths rented months in advance of the actual show. So, if you want to participate in craft shows you need to plan ahead and book early. 

Success occurs when opportunity meets preperation
Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.

We agreed to split the cost of the booth. From my initial research you can expect to pay between $100 and $400 to rent a booth at a craft show for a weekend. The booth size was large so it was no problem to combine our items into the same space. Also, both of us generally work alone. If I did not pair up with her I would be by myself for the entire weekend and so would she.

As far as the actual sign up, Tina handled all of that. As I understand she just emailed the coordinator and said we wanted a booth. Since it is a juried show we included some pictures of our items as well as a brief description of what we sell. Once we were approved payment was sent. The whole process was actually very easy.

Juried craft shows mean that the venue wants to preview what you are selling. This enables them to do quality control up front to ensure that items being sold are appropriate for the venue. For example: Selling nude sculptures at a children’s craft fair would be inappropriate.

Preparing for the Craft Show

I did not have to worry about creating a bunch of items specifically to sell at the craft show because I already had an inventory on hand for my online store. Instead of creating new products I focused on building my business presence online in order to later promote the craft show.

Although I was not actively working on tasks for the show itself I was always thinking about it. I can’t even count the number of times I walked past the shelves I built and tried to imagine how I could show them off in my display. I also drew out blue prints for the various ways the booth could be set up. (As it turns out I did not actually use any of the designs I thought of before hand. Ha.)


I wanted to make sure that the set up encouraged people to engage with the merchandise and had a natural flow to it. This is an easy thing to say but much harder to actually create. Having spent years attending shows though, I had an idea of what kind of set up I enjoy interacting with and tried to replicate that.

Below you can watch Prodigy, Muscovy Duckling of Functional Rustic, helping me prepare.

I also had to figure out how to actually display my items. I create furniture and home décor. Specifically I was selling shelves, signs and candle holders. The shelves were great at displaying the candles but when I sell the shelf I have no where to display the rest of my products. Also, how do I display my signs?

Functional Rustic salvages wood and other unique items to create Rustic Home Décor.

In my head I worked out elaborate tables and displays I could build out of pallet wood. It was gorgeous. As I was creating the display in my mind I was provided the opportunity to participate in a yard sale. The yard sale provided me the perfect chance to field test my display ideas. Read about my first yard sale here.

I learned a lot about what worked and what didn’t work through selling at the yard sale. Building off of that knowledge I felt better prepared to actually start the build process for my craft show display.

Making the Craft Show Display

Making a craft show display is no different than making an in-store or window display. Catching the attention of those walking by is critical. I agonized over this. I researched and re-researched effective display techniques.

The beginning stages of building my craft show display table for

I had a display all worked out in my mind …. and then I read the guidelines for the show. I didn’t even know there were rules. Ha. Some of the rules were having table cloths down to the floor, covering all your tables at the end of the night and bringing your own fire extinguisher. Theses were understandable requests but I had to make some major tweaks to the table design with my new found information.

Be sure to read all of the guidelines associated with a show before signing up. Every show has their own set of rules and requirements. It can be frustrating to have to look for a fire extinguisher or change a table display at the last minute. Also, the size of your the booths vary from show to show so make sure your display fits in your assigned space.

The yard sale let me work out the kinks in displaying my shelves and candle holders so the actual table where I display my signs and ornaments was the priority.


In order to capture attention I wanted to make sure I had color contrast. I achieved this by draping brown burlap over the sides of the table and placing a stunning, hand woven white table cloth across the top.

I still needed a way to display my signs though. I chose the burlap to play off of the rustic theme of Functional Rustic and I decided to use chicken wire to hang the signs off the side of the table.

I drilled holes in the side of the table so that I could attach the chicken wire with bolts. The combination of the burlap, chicken fencing and hand made table cloth really encompassed the look I was going for.

I drilled holes in the side of the Oyster Table so I could attach my chicken wire to hang my signs from.

This look also provided a lot of texture and dimension. I’m sure there is a psychology behind why texture is effective – all I know is it works. Soft fabric table cloth, rough fabric burlap, cold metal fencing, warm wooden shelves and brightly hand painted wooden décor. Everything about it says “touch me” which is the look I was going for.

Related to providing dimension – I needed to add varying heights too. To accomplish this I built display stands to hang my signs on. (These stands are also great for displaying jewelry and to be used as a phone charging station.) The stands were colored with either white or red deck stain so in addition to height on the table I also had color contrast.

stand 7.jpg
Multi Function Indoor/Outdoor Display Stands by Functional Rustic.

Colors are important in a good display. If I’m being honest, I continue to struggle with this. For this craft show at least, I relied on the contrasting colors of my shelves the different colors of the candle holders to provide pops of color to my display. The key with properly utilizing color in your display is to capture the attention of whoever is walking past. Contrast draws people’s attention.

Setting Up for the Craft Show

The first day of the show was a Friday evening. They allowed the merchants to come set up starting in the early afternoon. I arrived as early as possible. I needed every minute of the set up time so I’m glad I arrived early. It takes quite a bit of time to carry items from the drop off zone all the way to the booth. I did not account for carrying time when I scheduled my set up.

The biggest hinderance for setting up my display was the items themselves. The shelves are not light or fun to move long distances alone. I still want to sell them but in the future I will likely only try to sell one or two at a time instead of six of them.

Pallet Shelving by Functional Rustic. Big storage for small spaces.

When creating your display remember that you will have to set up your display, then take down and carry out your display out a few days later. And, you have limited time to set up so, a very elaborate display may not be recommended. My shelves may look great but, logistically I need another approach.

What I found most surprising was how different the space looked than I had envisioned. I staged my items at home many times before actually arriving at the show. However, when everything was set up and the back drop of all the other booths was there – it looked a lot different than I thought it would.


Let the Show Begin

It is 5 pm on Friday and the doors are officially open. My display is set up but I continue to fuss with it. Move this over an inch and swap that sign for this one.

I was actually expecting a flood of people to pour into the show as soon as the clock hit 5. (This was an indoor craft show.) That didn’t happen. The experienced crafters said that the turn out this year was very low. Apparently this is usually a profitable venue but, for whatever reason, the people just weren’t coming in the door this year.


Having very little foot traffic provided me the opportunity to get to know Tina better. We had crossed paths a few times before but never actually had a real conversation until that day. Needless to say, I really like her and I understand why my sister became her friend. Also, I love her work.

Where as I repurpose items with the intention of giving them a new function, Tina repurposes with the intention of saving items from landfill. She turns miscellaneous items into impressive works of art and jewelry. Our crafts really compliment each other.

Despite not having the foot traffic I was hoping for, I still had the opportunity to engage with a lot of people. I also sold enough to make back my booth rental fee plus a couple bucks. I’m proud and consider it a success.

People watching is fun. People watching as a merchant at a craft fair is more fun. My instinct when I encounter someone is to look them in the eye and smile. In my day to day life this is a good quality. It’s actually a good quality in sales too but, the responses it gets when I’m in the merchant role are amusing.

Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.
Always believe something wonderful is about to happen.

Don’t get me wrong, many people smile back and/or say hello. However, people ignore vendors in a lot of different ways. Most people just do the “eyes down on the products never make eye contact” approach. Others accidently make eye contact but play it off as something across the room that has them so distracted they cannot see or hear anything else. And a shocking number of people suddenly need to examine the entire contents of their purse or pocket after making eye contact with a merchant. Did you know that making eye contact with a smiling person selling something causes the person to suddenly notice all the lint on their clothes? Ha. My favorite is, in response to a simple smile and a Hi, “uh, I’m just looking.” and then they literally turn their back to me and continue to admire the merchandise. It’s fascinating.

I don’t take it personally. I’ve done all of these things at some point in my life. I get it. People don’t want to be sold something. I know I don’t. That’s why I don’t try to get people to buy things. Of course, an argument could be made that me not trying to sell things is why people are not buying them. Hmmm…..

The problem is not the problem, the problem is
The problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude to the problem.

People did buy things though. And many more provided unprompted praise for the craftsmanship and creativity. My ego loved it.

However, I still had doubts about the prices due to so few sales so far that weekend. So, on the last day of the show when a customer asked the price for an item I provided the listed price and added “or whatever you think – make me an offer.”

He immediately and sternly responded, “No. Your price is your price. This is the price you want for it and that’s what I will pay.” He then said he would be back later to buy it. I felt great about what he said but assumed I would never see him again after he left. Well, not only did he return he also bought TWO signs at full price. Apparently I’m doing something right!

Rustic Furniture and Home Décor from Functional Rustic.

Another ego boost came when a couple stopped by and asked if I sold my shelves in the art gallery down the street. Don’t get me wrong, I like the shelf and think it’s pretty and very functional, but art? What an amazing compliment to receive. An art gallery is for “real” artists. Especially for someone just entering the arts/crafts scene hearing feedback like that is incredible.

People First

As much as participating in the craft show is about selling my creations and making money, it is also about introducing my brand and spreading awareness for the Functional Rustic website. This is where I had the most fun.


A frequent ice breaker I used with shoppers was to ask if they do Do-It-Yourself projects. If they say yes then I ask about what they create. This approach enabled me to see many pictures of impressive projects from tiki bars to decorative soap to ball gowns.

Every single person that shared their DIY story did so with a huge smile & sense of pride. For a few minutes I got to share that moment with them. I smiled with them when they discussed overcoming this obstacle or gifting that craft to their loved one. Then I encourage them to go to my website if they are looking for ideas for new projects or I send them to DIY Projects of Facebook where they can share pictures and stories from their DIY endeavors.

Sell the problem you solve, not the product.
Sell the problem you solve, not the product.

For the shoppers that report not being a DIYer I ask what is something they always wanted to try. Generally I get to know them and their interests. At some point I will have the opportunity to naturally transition the conversation to telling them about Functional Rustic Tutorials. “Never did a do-it-yourself project? Now you can with a tutorial from Functional Rustic.” Promoting the craft tutorials is huge for parents of young kids. They can’t take my card fast enough when I say I have free easy crafts to do. Ha.

Not only did I get to meet many dynamic and interesting people I was also able to promote the website in a way that addressed their personal interests. Instead of just saying “check out my website” I can refer them to a particular blog post or a specific video of the Muscovy ducks.

End of the Show

I spent the weekend at the craft fair working my booth. For that reason, I was unable to shop at the craft fair or really talk to any of the other crafters. My biggest regret from the show was not connecting with other merchants more.

For some reason I thought that when the show was over I was going to have a chance to chat up some of the other people participating in the show. I don’t know why I thought that. The show is over. I’m tired. I’m far from home. I want to go and so does everyone else.

TIP: Network during the show when things are slow instead of after when everyone is busy trying to leave.

Packing everything up to go home was actually pretty straight forward. So much quicker to take apart the display than to set it up. It was also a treat to watch how seasoned craft show people take apart their displays. In a matter of minutes they have everything packed up into plastic totes and are ready to load into the car. This is not their first rodeo!


Overall, I am very happy about how my first craft show. I met interesting people, learned helpful feedback for my business and made a profit! I thought participating in a craft show as a shopper was interesting but, being on the other side of the table is an even more exciting experience!

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic


Wooden Thank You Card AQUA BLUE

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.


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Reciprocating Saw TUTORIAL from Functional Rustic

Power tools are fun. Power tools that can destroy a piece of lumber in seconds are even more fun. With this sentiment in mind, Functional Rustic is proud to present this week’s DIY Tutorial teaching you the basics of a reciprocating saw and how to safely use a reciprocating saw to break apart a wooden shipping pallet.

Title Page Saw tutorial
How to Use a Reciprocating Saw: DIY Tutorial from Functional Rustic

The reciprocating saw is a small yet powerful tool that will make quick work of any boards that need to be rough cut. In addition to being effective it is also fairly straight forward to work with.

There are three main parts to a reciprocating saw.

3 parts to reciprocating saw.png
There are three main components of a reciprocating saw: saw blade, battery and saw.

3 Main Parts of Reciprocating Saw

1. Saw Blade

There are different sizes and uses for reciprocating saw blades. Some saw blades are intended for metal while others are better for wood. Also, you will find that the blades come in various sizes. Use which ever blade is most appropriate for your project.

Reciprocating Saw Blade.

You many notice that my saw blade is silver and white. When new, the blade was white. However, the paint wears away the more it is used and that is why my blade has two colors.

When I first started cutting pallet wood with the reciprocating saw I used the longer saw blade. The blade became bent and unusable – I suspect that my body movements in reaction to the force of the saw caused the longer blade to bend. For that reason, I plan to only use the longer blades for thicker pieces of wood instead of on the thinner pallet boards.

2. Battery

The typical reciprocating saw uses an 18.0 volt battery or has a power cord attached. Battery operated saws allow for more mobility than the corded saw but have a limited supply of energy and need to be recharged often. My battery usually dies after a couple pallets so if I am breaking down more than two or three pallets than I need back up batteries. Fortunately it was not difficult to find multi-pack replacements online.

Once I learned how to attach and remove the 18.0 volt battery using the saw was quick and easy. Before I was taught how to do it though, I had quite a bit of awkward fumbling.

First, not all batteries look the same. The ones I have pictured have two different colors which make finding the release buttons easy. The first battery I encountered was solid black and the button was not as obvious.

Second, not all 18.0 volt batteries are the same size. In fact, the replacement batteries I have shown are rather large and awkward to handle with my hand size – perfectly normal hand size – compared to the original Ryobi batter that came with the saw.

18 Volt Battery.jpg
18.0 Volt Battery.

The black portion of the battery is the bottom and the yellow part is what is inserted into the saw. Inserting the battery simply involves putting the yellow part into the battery hole in the bottom of the saw.

Insert Battery into Saw Bottom.jpg
Insert 18.0 Volt battery into the bottom of the reciprocating saw.

To remove the battery from the saw you need to press both of the release buttons on the battery and pull the battery out of the saw. The release buttons are yellow on my batteries. As pictured above, to remove the battery I squeeze both the yellow buttons while also pulling up on the battery.

3.Reciprocating Saw

There are five components of the reciprocating saw that you need to be familiar with in order to use it.

Saw Description.png
There are five main components to a reciprocating saw.

5 Reciprocating Saw Components

1. The Battery Location
The battery is inserted into the bottom of the saw handle. There will be a hole for the 18.0 Volt battery to plug in.

2. The Power Button
The power button is located on the handle of the reciprocating saw. To turn the saw on and move the blade you squeeze the button. The harder you squeeze the button the faster the saw cuts.

3. The lock button

The lock button is an important safety precaution. This button slides back and forth and allows you to lock the blade in place. For safety reasons it is always recommended that the saw be locked when not in use. The button is located on the top of the saw and slides right and left.

Locked Saw.jpg
Locked Reciprocating Saw.

The picture above shows a saw that is locked as demonstrated by the closed lock icon. When the button is moved to the right the saw becomes unlocked as show by the open lock icon as demonstrated below.

Unlocked Saw.jpg
This saw blade is in the unlocked position.

4. Saw Blade Release

The saw blade is attached to the reciprocating saw with a saw blade release located toward the front of the saw.

Open Release Tab.jpg
Fold the blade release up in order to release the blade.

As pictured above, when the saw blade release is folded upward the lock is open and the blade can be inserted or removed. As pictured below, when the saw blade release is closed the blade is securely attached to the saw.

Closed release Tab
Fold the blade release down to lock the blade in place.

5. Saw Blade Location

The saw blade is inserted into the front of the saw. Only when the saw blade release is open can the blade be successfully inserted. The part of the blade that has a hole in it is inserted into front of the reciprocating saw. The teeth, or sharp edges of the saw, should be facing downward. Once the saw blade is properly inserted into the hole the saw blade release can be closed to lock it in place.

Insert Saw Blade.jpg
Insert the blade into the front part of the saw.

Safety First!

In addition to knowing about your saw it is also important to practice basic safety anytime you are working with power tools.

1. Wear protective eyewear to keep your eyes safe from flying debris.
2. Avoid baggy clothing so it does not interfere with power tool usage.
3. Wear work gloves to ensure a firm grip on the machinery.
4. If saw dust will be developing than be sure to wear breathing masks.
5. Always cut away from your body to minimize risk of injury.

Now that you know the basics of how the Reciprocating Saw works watch the video below to see how I use it to cut a wooden shipping pallet.

Use the comment section below to provide your feedback.

Written by: Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic


Wooden Thank You Card RED

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.


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Procrastination is Productivity: A Functional Rustic Approach

I’m having a very productive, creative week. I love it. What I find most amusing is that I had set the goal for myself to post a blog every day this week (in addition to the 10 Inspirational Quotes). Well, that didn’t happen. Ha.

While actively not writing the posts I intended to, I built a bunch of new items for Functional Rustic. I love when that happens. The things I create when I am supposed to be doing something else are often my favorites.

I’m off to create more but here a few of the items.

Wooden Thank You Cards

Wooden Thank You Cards.



Fire Wood Holder

Bathroom Décor


Salvaged Shutter Chalk Board Organizer


What do you think?

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic.


Wooden Thank You Card LIME GREEN

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.


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Belt Sander DIY Video Tutorial from Functional Rustic

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The belt sander is my favorite piece of equipment in the barn. I use it for just about every item I build for the Functional Rustic Store. This week’s DIY Tutorial from Functional Rustic is a video demonstrating how I use the belt sander. You will learn proper safety practices and the techniques I use with the sander to achieve the look I want on the wood.

The video tutorial below will answer any questions you may have about using a belt sander. The only bit of advice I forgot to mention in the video is to use a mask over your mouth to protect from inhaling saw dust. Sanding without a face mask will result in your nostrils and mouth being filled with saw dust. It’s gross. And  it is not at all healthy. I used to use a bandana to cover my mouth/nose, and that was better than nothing at all, but I now have actual wood working face masks.

My only complaint about wearing a face mask is that it causes my eye protection to fog up every time I breathe. I welcome any advice on how to remedy that problem. The protective eye wear is necessary but ultimately useless if I cant see what I’m doing anyways.

Enjoy the Belt Sander DIY Tutorial Video below and let me know what you learned or any advice you have for me going forward.



Written by: Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just Tutorials? Find out what others already know by exploring the Functional Rustic Store. Below are a few of the items available that I created using the techniques displayed in the video.


Mini Chalk Board – Green by Functional Rustic

The Mini Chalk Board by Functional Rustic is the fun and quirky handmade conversation piece you never knew you needed. The mini chalk board is made form repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint/chalkboard paint. Measurements: 19 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in.



“Meow Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

“Meow Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.