One of the projects I mentioned in my recap was an upcycled milk can planter. This was a fairly simple project that came together quickly. I spotted this old milk can at a garage sale on my way to Alaska Picker day back in the spring. When I heard it was just $20 I claimed it right away. It was pretty rough, but I knew I could at least do something with the shape since it was pretty sturdy and solid.
I tried scrubbing the discoloration off thinking it was dirt, but while I got lots of dirt off the piece the lines remained, so I had to decide the best option to cover them. After a quick Pinterest search I went with basic black because it would hide all of the flaws and cover the odd pattern.
A couple coats later it was looking pretty good. I picked up a black pot to match it and shoved it into the opening as far as I could fit it. And when summer finally arrived it found a spot out on the deck and got a couple of plants to brighten it up.
It’s a perfect fit next to the hot tub stairs and helps hide the plumbing a bit when looking out from the bedroom. Plus it coordinates well with the lounge chairs nearby.
I filled it with marigolds to help ward off bugs near the hot tub, purple alyssum and some creeping Jenny that trails over the front of the can. A little birdhouse tucked up next to it brings in the teal I’ve used elsewhere in the yard.
Not bad for a $20 garage sale find and a can of spray paint! I look forward to using it for many years to come with other trailing plants in a variety of colors.
As promised in my last post, I’m sharing the festive decorations on our porch today! I’m really enjoying styling the little vintage cart we picked up at the junk show in Washington for each season.
It’s just the right size for this little awkward corner on our porch and is the perfect start to each season’s look. Luckily it’s also well protected in this spot so I don’t have to worry about it too much.
For Christmas, I continued our winter theme with frosty trees, white lanterns, a Christmas sign I picked up at the Alaska Chick’s Market, Rusty the reindeer and a larger tree that I DIY’ed to fit in the crock we picked up on the same trip we got the cart.
I added the antique sled I’ve had for a while to the corner of the set-up. I may still add a bow or wreath to the sled, but if not it looks nice just as it is. It had that thick paint job when I found it, so I may strip it down to see what lies beneath one day.
If you’re wondering how I made the tree in the crock, here’s a little behind-the-scenes. It’s a tomato cage wrapped in garlands and a strand of lights. I didn’t do a step-by-step for this project since I’ve seen them all over the web and it was so simple that I did it while watching a movie with the Hubs! (Hence the crappy cell phone pics! But at least I got it done before Christmas!) Just tie the three stake feet at the bottom together to form the point of the top of the tree and start wrapping the garland from there toward the bottom – or what used to be the top when it was used as a tomato cage.
I can say having twine or wire handy to tie off the end and beginning of each garland so they stay in place, and to buy more garland than you think you’ll need. This one took four 12′ garlands and I still didn’t make it all the way to the bottom of the cage.
I think it turned out quite pretty and the extra part of the cage at the bottom was perfect to anchor it into the crock so that it’s very stable. I may be making more of these next year to add trees in the bedrooms! Have you made a tree from a tomato cage? If so, I’d love to see it for inspiration for next year’s decorating! 🙂
Yesterday I mentioned making driftwood garlands, like the ones I saw in Homer, but today I’m sharing a similar project I did recently that also has a bit of a nautical flair. This little project has been in the works for years. It started when I picked up a batch of wooden floats used for fishing more than 2 years ago. I only had six and every project I thought up required more so they sat, waiting for more to be found. Then I happened upon these cool vintage metal floats at Junk Bonanza and decided to pair them together but still didn’t have quite enough to complete the project.
I spotted a pair of metal garden bells in a catalog for $20 and knew they’d be perfect at the end of a line of floats. Unfortunately the company wouldn’t ship to Alaska so I had them shipped to my Mother-In-Law and picked them up when we visited earlier this summer. To fill out the rest of the rope I picked up several cork floats from Alaska Picker for a few bucks each.
I used some woven rope I already had in my stash from another project and started with a loop tied with a knot. I fed the floats onto the rope in a set pattern and tucked the loose end of the rope from the knot at the loop into the center of the first float. At the bottom I just made a knot and then tied the rope that came with the bell into the knot, again tucking loose ends into the last float. It was so easy, I did both ropes while watching a movie with the Hubs and it took less than 20 minutes.
The Hubs added hooks we had left over from another project on the front corners of the green house so I could hang the ropes easily and take them down for the season quickly.
Here’s the rope on the other side, where I’ll have a large metal horse trough planter next season. Right now it’s serving as a brooder for the baby chickens we picked up yesterday! Get a peek at them on Instagram or Facebook.
The bell on this side is a little smaller than the other, but has the same style and finish. They don’t get much movement in this spot so they stay pretty quiet, but when they do chime it’s a pretty soft sound that’s soothing and just right for a garden.
I’ve still got several projects to tackle out around the green house before we close up the yard for the winter and I’m already putting together the plan for what we’ll plant and do next year. Until then these float ropes add a little bit of Alaska style whimsy to the garden and make me smile every time I see them. One more project checked off the list. 🙂
Is anyone else still coming to terms with the fact that it’s already mid-August? While blog land and Pinterest fill with everything fall, I’m clinging to the last bits of summer. It’s been a rainy one here and while that’s great for my plants I’d prefer more sunshine during summertime. Luckily, I’ve had plenty of projects to distract me, including this spot on our deck where I created an extra seating and planting area with an old bench that I picked up at the Junk Bonaza show last fall.
It was a steal at just $30 and I knew it would look great on the deck – plus it can double as a photo prop for large families! It’s the perfect amount of chippy paint and classic lines for my style. I placed it under the dining room windows and flanked it with our whiskey barrel fountain and a wooden barrel we picked up on our last trip to Portland. Then I added in plants and a bird house to finish off the look.
This arrangement brings so much color and life to this side of the deck. Most of the plants I used are in pots with minimal or no drainage so being under the eave of the house is a smart choice, plus they all have a rustic vibe to them so they pair well with the worn bench.
I’ll be enjoying this pretty set up as much as possible for the rest of the summer, even if that’s only until the end of the month. I can’t wait to figure out similar areas on the new deck off our Master bedroom next summer. That deck is almost done, so I should be sharing it with you soon!
While we were in Portland to pick up Brinley we stayed with my mother-in-law and since Mother’s Day was the weekend we were there we decided to create some unique garden art for her gift using some of the vintage glass insulators we got from her sister’s ranch in Colorado. You might remember some of them from our kitchen island pendant lights.
The entire project was super simple. We started with various lengths of 1/2″ copper pipe, which the hubs cut right in the store parking lot so it would fit in the truck. He used this nifty little tool we found in the plumbing section.
Back at the house we added some pipe sealant tape to one end so the insulators would have a bit more grip.
Next I chose where I wanted each pipe to be in the garden and pushed it down into the soil. Then you just put an insulator on the top. Repeat a few more times and you’re done!
While the copper and glass combo is quite interesting, we used varying heights on the poles to create additional interest.
And here’s the finished project! Simple and sentimental, that’s my kind of mother’s day gift! I plan to create a similar display in our garden as well, but have a bit more prep to do before we’re ready for that.
And the project took was so easy I had time left over to appreciate the garden including some amazing iris growing nearby! I was able to bring home a few bulbs from both of these plants so hopefully later this season I’ll have blooms like this in my yard!
Shared on Knick of Time’s Talk of the Town #24.
The other day I spotted an ad on the buy/sell page for several old rusty items and decided to spend a few minutes checking out what was available. One of the items was a set of metal lockers for $10. Although I don’t really have a spot planned for them I claimed them and made arrangements to pick them up that evening.
They turned out to be quite large and heavy. While moving them we also discovered that there were small drawers inside each! As the hubs figured out a plan to get them in the truck the property owners told me to look around and see if there was anything else I might want because they were clearing the lot to build and wanted it gone. Not one to pass up the opportunity for a real life picking moment, I started exploring the piles of stuff tucked between trees and forgotten for years even thought I was still dressed from work at the office.
I found these two bed spring frames in an old truck bed and knew they would make awesome trellises for my garden!
Then I spotted this large metal tank that had been cut down and immediately fell in love with it. I’m not sure if it will become garden art or if I’ll make it into a seat for next to the fire pit!
I also found some cool bits and pieces of things to fill in the open areas of my gardens including large springs, metal grates for small trellises and a metal twin size headboard that is begging for a second life. I also spied this amazing jerry can in a pile and snatched it up. I hunted for a match for it but I couldn’t pass it up.
The owner took me up to a conex box he had more stuff stored in and I spotted these larger springs and metal crates. He made me a deal for on the whole group and I quickly stashed those in the truck too. At this point the truck was full and it was getting late, so we made arrangements to come back the next day to get the rest of our finds and I quit looking. Tired, covered in rust and dead leaves we headed home to unload our treasures with smiles.
Take a guess at what my amazing haul cost… I paid just $50 for the whole batch! That’s a whole ‘lotta rusty goodness for a bargain price! I’m not 100% sure where I’ll use each piece just yet, but now that I have them I’ll find creative uses for them and I’ll be sure to share how I utilize each here on the blog once I do. 🙂
Today I wanted to share a quick DIY project I did with some of my Vintage Market finds. Remember these fun antique letter blocks I got from Alaska Picker? They were the perfect size to work as magnets on our chalkboard portion of the new command center.
The backs were solid blocks of wood so there was a perfect surface to attach magnets.
I picked up a pack of strong magnets at Michaels. Other shoppers probably thought I was a nut-job as I tested several packs on various metal items around the store before deciding which option had the best grip. But I a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do to make sure her project has staying power. 🙂
I was pretty sure the magnets were strong enough that I could use one per block, but since the pack came with 8 I decided to double them up on each just for good measure. A little hot glue and we were in business. It seriously took longer to wait for the glue gun to heat up than it did to glue the magnets down.
One of the blocks apparently had some paper backing still attached where I added the magnet so it came off, but I cleaned both up and reapplied it without issue.
And here they are on the chalkboard. They do blend in a bit with the colors but that’s ok because they are the perfect size for the space. Once they were up I noticed that having magnets on each corner kept the blocks level rather than having one in the center where the block might get bumped and loose grip, so I’m glad I decided to go that route.
So what do you think of my new/old magnets? I’d love to see how others have used vintage letter blocks in their décor, so leave me a comment with a photo if you have!