Up-cycled Door Garden Trellis

Upcycled Trellis Header

We up-cycled an old interior door into a really lovely  trellis for a climbing Clematis in our back garden.  The entire project cost around £10 and I think that is it sturdier and looks better than most of the flimsy trellises you can buy at garden centres.

The cost was minimal as we already had a lot of the materials from other projects.  If you had to buy the paint etc. from scratch it would still be under £20 with plenty of materials left over for other projects at the end.

As I mentioned in my “DIY French Style Door Finger Plates” post we are gradually replacing all the interior doors in our home with nicer ones and the next to be replaced is the one in our living room.

Up-cycled Trellis-5

We have an ugly compost bin in our back garden I have been desperate to hide for a while and I bought a gorgeous Clematis a few weeks ago and had been meaning to get round to putting some trellis up to block the compost bin and allow it to grow along.

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Inspiration struck and thanks to some wonderful hard graft by my wonderful “Boffin” it became a reality.  Here’s how:

What Kit Do You Need:
  • Old interior door. (I think the panelled kind would work best but feel free to experiment).
  • Screwdriver
  • A gorgeous assistant ( to hold and help move the door).
  • Outdoor wood paint (I used Cuprinol Garden Shades in Pale Jasmine).
  • A paint brush.
  • Galvanised outdoor wood screws (I needed at ones that were 60mm long).
  • An electric drill.
  • A 6mm drill bit suitable for use on wood.
  • A pilot drill for the screws you are using.
  • A jigsaw with a blade suitable for wood.
  • Clamps
  • A work surface you can clamp your work to (a work-mate or similar).
  • Chicken wire (approximately 2m in length, the roll we bought was 75cm wide).
  • Tin snips or wire cutters.
  • Padded gloves.
  • A staple gun and staples.
Step One:

Take the door off of it’s hinges and remove all the other furniture ( I left a couple of bit on because I like the interest they added but you may want to remove absolutely everything).


Using the 6mm drill bit and drill make holes in all four corners of every panel you wish to remove. (Boffin did this so quickly I didn’t get to take a photo but you can see remnants of the holes in this shot!).

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Step Three:

Use the jigsaw to cut out the panels (please wear goggles and remember to clamp your work securely so it doesn’t move whilst you are using the saw).

The holes should make turning the corners simple.

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Step Four:

Paint the bottom edge of the door with the exterior wood paint (to stop the damp from the ground below rotting the wood).  Allow to dry thoroughly.

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Step Five:

Spread the roll of wire along the back of the door an use tin snips to trim it to length (you might want to wear gloves for this as chicken wire can be quite nasty).  You can fold the ends over to make sure that they don’t stick out and catch on anything.

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Step Six:

Using the staple gun staple down the solid middle of the door.

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Step Seven:

Again, using the staple gun staple around the edges of the piece of wire.

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Step Eight:

Work out where you want to put your screws to secure the trellis to your post or wall.  Pilot drill holes and use enough screws to hold your trellis securely in place.

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Use a spirit level to make sure that the trellis is level.

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Step Nine:

Paint the rest of the door with the exterior paint and allow to dry.

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Step Ten:

Plant up your plants as you wish and secure them to the wire with soft string or ties made specially for the job!

Enjoy your new improved view!

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I hope you enjoy your trellis as much as I am going to enjoy mine, happy summer days x


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Scarves to Cushions (Take 2) and Wish Me Bon Voyage!

Second Cushion Header

This week is pretty busy so I have contented myself with finishing of the second of the pair of cushions from our old University scarves.  This one used to be Boffin’s.  I must admit that I do love the feel of them with the leather wing chair. It makes me think of academic libraries and old fashioned men’s clubs :-)

Second Cushion-2

If you want to know how I made these, take a look at my first post “Scarves to Cushions” for a tutorial!

We are off on holiday at the end of this week so this is my last post until we return.  Wish me Bon Voyage and I wish you all happy crafting x

My Holiday Bathrobe – An Attempt at Simplicity Pattern 1562

Holiday Bathrobe-2


I hardly ever sew clothes.  It doesn’t interest me that much and I don’t have the patience to fiddle with fits and finish that you see demonstrated so beautifully on “The Great British Sewing Bee”.  However I had been looking for a lightweight bathrobe to pack and take on holiday for YEARS with no success.  The ones I found were either so flimsy I felt exposed or didn’t fold or roll small enough to pack successfully.

We often go camping and have to walk to the shower block.  If you are in a hot climate and wearing skimpy pyjamas I, for one, don’t want to flash everyone on my stumbling way to the sinks!

In desperation I was flicking through the pattern books at my (then) job one day I found Simplicity 1562.  It said “easy to sew” on the packet.  It was unisex which meant it wouldn’t be a skimpy cut and there was a special offer on at the time.

Simplicity 1562

That was it I bought three remnants of poly-cotton dress fabric, two of the same fabric and one of a contrasting trim and got cracking.

The instructions are easy to follow.  I chose a large size for comfort.  I did find that the result was VERY long and had to trim quite a bit off of the bottom (although I am fairly average height)  Because I used remnants I did have to do a bit of fancy foot work to have enough fabric for the sleeve trims.  You can’t see it in the photos but the purple facing actually continues all the way down the inside of both sides of the front.

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I am sure a professional tailor would pick it to pieces (the sleeves not being perfectly aligned to the shoulders, the bodge job on the sleeve trims, the list goes on) but it works.  All faults were definitely due to the seamstress and not the pattern.  In fact I would use the pattern again for a winter dressing gown and I have never made a piece of clothing twice.

I wear it and I am happy with it.  I don’t feel exposed on camp site and I still like the excuse to wear the cute fabric that I would wear in everyday clothes.  Lots more happy camping for years to come!

My Eight Crafting Essentials

Everyone who makes stuff has things that help them they CANNOT live without.  I’m sure you have some.

In case you hadn’t figured it out I am not the most patient crafter.  I like to see progress and this means not undertaking many things that are too fiddly.  Most of my favourite crafting things are things that save me time and/or effort. (I hasten to add that anything I recommend in this post I have bought and paid for.  I have no sponsors or advertisers at this time.  It is just my personal opinion).

  1. PVA Glue – Most of the crafting world is mad about “Mod Podge” and although it is good I find that good old PVA glue does most of the same stuff and is a fraction of the price!  Your remember this stuff, my primary school teachers used to call it “Marvin” for some reason.  Its the one that is still great fun to peel off of your fingers when dry.Stag-1
  2. Spray Paint – I first fell in love with this stuff whilst at University where we used it for model making.  That was made for cars NOW it’s available for all surfaces in all finishes. My favourites tend to be the Rustoleum range and the Plastikote range which which paint everything, including the kitchen sink! It is easy to use, gives a lovely finish and quick to dry.Paint
  3. A rotary cutter – Despite two years working in a fabric and habadashery shop I do not cut fabric in the straightest of lines.  A rotary cutter (plus a quilting ruler and a self healing cutting mat) removes that problem  It saves the wrist and I make the blades last longer by periodically cutting tin foil with them.
  4. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – I am a recent convert to this after using it to paint an old nest of tables.  It applies nicely to pretty much any surface and you don’t need to sand before applying it.  As you will find all over the internet there are loads of ways to apply it, distress it and generally make it look gorgeous in a myriad of styles!Annie Sloan Chalk Paint-1
  5. My Bosch PMF 190E Multifunction Power Tool. – I referred to this in Sunday’s post “Five Things Learnt About Up-cycling Pallets”.  It is a God-send. It is a detail sander, It has a plunge cut saw (useful for cutting nails on pallets or making rebates for hinges) and a segment saw (useful for cutting across planks ready to remove them from a pallet!Bosch Multi Tool-1
  6. Free versions of software – I have downloaded and use Open Office and Serif Draw Plus Starter.  I also use free on-line software PicMonkey to edit photos.  You just can’t afford to buy everything and these truncated versions do pretty much everything I want.
  7. Fabric Remnants – Nearly all the fabrics I use are remnants I do have to be careful though as some shops sell “remnants” that when you stop and work it out are actually the same price as you would pay for the same quantity off of the roll!Medal-2
  8. My Camera – I have a second hand Nikon D70 that I love.  I would be completely lost without it.  I only have the kit lens that came with it and no external flash.  I do have a Tripod (a gift from a wonderful friend) and a remote control shutter trigger that was part of the deal when I bought it.Someone's trying to keep me quiet!-2

What are your essentials?  The things that just make your crafting life a pleasure?  I would love to know so I can try them!

Five Lessons Learnt About Up-cycling Pallets

Inspired by Pinterest (how many well intentioned crafting misadventures start with those words I wonder?) I have decided to build a garden bench for our garden using as a base two old kitchen chairs I bought at our local rubbish tip for £10.00 the pair.

I assembled the rest of the materials I thought I would need thus.

Two Chair Pallet Garden Bench-1a

Loads of people seem to be using old pallets for wood for their project and we had one that our bathroom tiles were delivered on so I decided to use this.  Boffin and I took it apart last weekend.  This is where I learned my first lesson.

Lesson #1 -

Taking pallets apart whilst keeping the timber in one piece is both HARD work and tricky.  I used a crow-bar, claw hammer and my trusty (and much loved) Bosch PMF 190E to take it apart. Which leads me onto lesson 2.

 Lesson #2 -

Unless you’re a much better woman than me (which you may well be!) you only save around 80% of the timber.  The rest splits and splinters no matter how hard you try to avoid it.

 Lesson #3 -

You are probably going to need more pallets than you think.  I went and asked politely at the wine warehouse opposite my office (I know, there are a million jokes there ;-) ) for another pallet.

 Lesson #4 -

The materials may be cheap or free but it will probably cost you a couple of replacement blades for your power saw of choice. I ended up sawing through some of the nails in order to get as much of the wood off in one piece as possible and it is hell on the blades.

Lesson #5 -

Time.  I spent the first 90 minutes of Saturday putting together the frame of the bench with the wood that we had got from the pallet the previous week

Two Chair Palet Garden Bench-2

I spent the next four hours (and a trip to the local DIY shop for more blades) getting the second pallet apart in more or less one piece!  I was so shattered by the time I finished I had to take a break!

I finished the day feeling shattered and a bit discouraged.  A good nights sleep has taken care of the discouragement but now I’m hunting for the time to finish this before we go on holiday in two weeks time!

Any advice about working with pallets gratefully received and if anyone has a way to slot a few more workable hours into the day I’d be grateful too!