Rustic to Refurbished: How Alicia Stoeckl Revives Habitat Finds

Every customer at Kittitas County Habitat for Humanity has a different reason for entering the Store. Some are looking for holiday decorations while others want to scour the racks for the perfect vintage flannel. 

For Washington-native and HopeSource Finance Manager, Alicia Stoeckl, Habitat provides the perfect materials for her uniquely-designed home decor pieces. “I like to go to the Habitat Store about once a week just to see if anything new has come in,” she says.

Outlining the Process

The Store provides a variety of materials for Stoeckl’s wood building projects. She mentions that she has a specific process for choosing what pieces she will use to make the decor. “When looking for supplies for wood art, I look for two main things. I look for flat plywood pieces, any size or thickness will do,” she explains. “Then, I try and find ‘interesting’ long and thin pieces of wood to use in my designs.”

Yet, this is only one of the many steps she takes to create her distinctive pieces. Because each piece she makes uses different planks of wood, she summarizes that the process isn’t clear-cut. “I have drafts of designs I’d like to try, so I generally pick one, and start laying things out to see what it looks like. I’ll often adjust and change the design as I’m seeing the cuts play out.”

“Once I have something I like, I’ll stain, paint or use my torch to put some color on the wood, secure to my backing with glue and my nail gun and frame it out,” Stoeckl adds as her usual next steps in her process. 

Each decor piece is unique not only because of the process but also the time allotted to create the item. Stoeckl says that the quickest piece she’s ever created took around four to six hours total. However, she says, “It’s probably 15-40 hours depending on the size and complexity.”

Her Start With Building

How did Stoeckl get her start with building such creative works? She explains that she’s “been building since … high school. Mainly little things [she] needed around the house like shoe racks or tv stands.” This interest has since blossomed into a part-time passion project.

Stoeckl also discusses that she has a history of construction with Habitat. “I had the wonderful opportunity to spend three months working on a Habitat site in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina,” she adds. “The way this organization really gives back to communities and families is fantastic.”

To see more of her projects, and follow along with her building journey, check out Stoeckl’s Instagram page @stoeckl_pieces.