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5 Garden Projects For the Non-Gardener

Any one who has been following this blog for a while knows that I DO NOT have green fingers but I still want a space to enjoy and relax in.  So, as we embark on summer here are the garden projects I have been coveting the most as a non-gardener and want to try (Just click on the image to go to the tutorial or the source of the image)…

Number One:

French Glazed Plant Pots – Tutorial by “So Much Better With Age”

I love the look of these and once I discovered that “Latex Paint” is actually what we call emulsion in the UK I think this is  a good warm up project to start the summer with…

Image of finished french glazed plant pot by "So Much Better With Age"

Image from “So Much Better With Age”

Number Two:

Teapot Planters – Funky Junk Interiors

I can’t find the tutorial on this one (I pinned it on Pinterest and if you click on this picture it will take you to the blog the image was pinned from but I cannot find the relevant post, sorry!) It looks straight forward though and I will be raiding the charity shops!

Image of teapots used as planters displayed along a staircase hand rail

Image from

Number Three:

Up-cycled Drawer Planters – Estate 2 on Etsy

This one links to an Etsy listing where these were sold.  I want to make my own.  A good way of getting a bit of height into any garden.

Image showing two drawers painted blue, cut off and mounted on a wall as planters

Photo by

Number Four:

Mosaic Stair Risers – Frankie Magazine

Again, no tutorial on this one but there are loads of good tutorials on mosaic-ing (for example this one by Total Mosaic – How to Mosaic) I love the idea that it is pretty but discreet.

Image of outdoor stair risers which have has broken crockery mosaiced to them.

Photo by Carine Thevenau


Number Five:

Can Lid Shingles – Beth Evans Ramos

This idea would cover something ugly in a really attractive way.  This is the only one that I am not quite sure where I am going to use it.  Although there isn’t a tutorial you can zoom in closely enough to see the nails through the centre of each can lid.  If I spray painted the lids in colours it could be even more attractive.  The lids would definitely need to be sprayed with something so that they didn’t rust though!

Image of a chicken coop covered with tin can lids as shingles/roofing tiles

Image by Beth Evans Ramos


Well that’s my plans for this summer.  I will be interested to see if I manage to achieve them all, in part or whether life will get in the way!  What pretty things have you found to add to your garden.  I would love to see more ideas.  You can check out mine on my Garden Ideas Pinterest Board.

Happy Gardening!

What Colour Should My Candle Sconces Be? – Help Please!

Wall Sconces-Header

It’s been a tough week so far.  I suffer with migraine and have been trying to deal with a pretty bad attack fro the last three days so I hope you’ll forgive me if this post is brief but I really wanted to post because I really need some input on this one…

As you know from my Brazier Ash Catcher post whilst we were on holiday we raided a flea market. I picked up these wall sconces with the idea to strip out the electrics and use them as candle sconces in the garden.  The only problem is that I can’t make up my mind what colour to spray paint them.

I would really love your opinion and here is a closer shot to help you get more of an idea of the item.

Wall Sconces-2

[polldaddy poll=8230387]

Thanks for your help, hopefully the results will be posted on here soon!

Catching Bright Sparks – An Ash Catcher For A Brazier

We have a brazier that provides some nice warmth on chilly evenings but that gives us one problem

Brazier Ash Catcher-9

I call it “scorched earth”.  Basically the hot ash falls out of the bottom and kills the grass.

Whilst browsing in TK Maxx the other day I spotted this large metal drinks tray,

Brazier Ash Catcher-1

On an unrelated note; I LOVE that shop it has some of the best, quirky stuff.  You have to look (and try on if it’s clothing) but you can get some really original stuff.

Anyway having paid the grand sum of £2.00 for the tray I set about it with some heat proof spray paint (so it matched the brazier).

Brazier Ash Catcher-2

I started with the base and then did the top, making sure that each side was thoroughly dry before adding the next coat.

Brazier Ash Catcher-3

(You may remember my impromptu “spray booth” from my DIY French Style Fingerplates).

And voilà, no more bald patches;

Brazier Ash Catcher-7

Brazier Ash Catcher-4

On a completely different note you may see on my table there my current pride and joy.  We were lucky enough to find a flea market in France and these are one of my purchases.

Brazier Ash Catcher-6

It is the most fantastic set of eight glasses and a jug in their own wire carrier that we think dates form around the 1950’s.  Each glass has a map of France in a colour and a saying printed on it such as “A home without a woman is a home without love”.  They just make me all happy and warm on the inside and one of my greatest pleasures at the moment is to use them in the garden.  Remind me again which country I’m living in because it doesn’t feel like Britain at the moment!

Brazier Ash Catcher-5

What are your tricks for a happy summer evening in the garden?

Up-cycled Door Garden Trellis


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.

Up-cycled Trellis-4

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!).

Up-cycled Trellis-2

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.

Up-cycled Trellis-1

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.

Up-cycled Trellis-9

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.

Up-cycled Trellis-3

Step Six:

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

Up-cycled Trellis-6

Step Seven:

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

Up-cycled Trellis-7

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.

Up-cycled Trellis-10

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

Up-cycled Trellis-13

Step Nine:

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

Up-cycled Trellis-16

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!

Up-cycled Trellis-19

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

I’m linking up this week to “The Scoop”, “Link It or Lump It”, “Work It Wednesday” and “Share your Creativity”  come over and see what else there is.

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!

What should my wheelbarrow grow?

A Christmas gift from a friend has had a customised paint job and is ready for some pretty flowers.

White Painted Wheelbarrow Planter-1

What shall I plant?  My main criteria are purple and easy to care for.  The spot where the barrow will be gets sun for about quarter of the day and shade for the rest.

Come on friends, suggestions by any means you care to use please!

P.S. The paint was Cuprinol’s Garden Shades.  Nice to work with and an attractive finish!

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