A quick garbage can cover up

Question: What does one do with unsightly garbage bins and out-of-use screen doors?

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Answer: You make a garbage can screen.

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We weren’t wild about the fact that the first thing people saw when coming up to the house was garbage, so we repurposed our old screen doors to conceal the rubbish.

The execution of the project was fairly painless and the whole operation, from coming up with the concept to hanging up the finished product, was completed in an afternoon. It was also a project we did on the cheap. Because we already had the screen doors, the only cost was the reed fencing and the hardware needed to keep the doors together, about $25 total.

To get ‘er done, we first removed all of the hardware from the doors. Then we screwed two long 1″x2″ pieces of trim to the top and bottom of the piece to affix the doors to one another. We used a staple gun to keep the roll of reed fencing down and flat behind the screen. Screw eyes were placed at the top and about two feet of white metal chain keeps the piece suspended in front of the cans.

old screen doors

attaching the doors

makingthescreenAnd just like that, our side entryway troubles were over. I’ve gotta hand it to Heath for saving the doors all this time. He knew they would come in handy for a future mystery project, and they turned out to be the perfect solution to the problem. And I’ve gotta give some credit to my creative mom who helped me come up with the idea. I’m inspired to see what other household items we can find new use for.

hideoutdoorgarbagebins hiding garbage cans


Projects to ponder: fences made of old doors

One to-do or not-to-do project that Heath and I grapple with is whether or not to invest in a privacy fence. Really the only reason we have for not is the price tag. Choosing to put in a privacy fence would mean ultimately giving up a vacation or another project we desperately want to cross off our list. So what’s a girl to do to when she wants to be shielded from the neighbor’s relentlessly barking schnauzer but doesn’t want to be robbed blind by the cost of fence building? One potential possibility: doors.

Doors? Yes, doors. The Habitat for Humanity Restore had an abundance of old doors for about $10 a pop. Interesting. Very interesting. And it turns out, I’m not the only person who thinks the door-as-a-fence idea works. Photos from Pinterest.

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Perhaps it’s time to do some quick algebra.

1,308(inches) / 32(the average door’s width in inches) x $10 (the door’s cost = $408.75.  Adding in taxes and the cost of posts and other miscellaneous  materials, that price tag still comes in much lower than a traditional fence, and I kinda dig the funky mismatch vibe. Plus anytime you can reuse old materials and practice green construction, it’s a good thing.

Maybe this door fence idea isn’t the best idea I’ve ever had, but it certainly isn’t the worst.


Barrels be Gone!

Remember when I posted here about the eye sore created by rainwater barrels, and then here about wanting to create a planter out of an old wooden pallet? Well this weekend we killed two birds with one stone by repurposing a pallet to hide two functional, yet frightful barrels. (For the record, I LOVE collecting rainwater and know the barrels–which combined hold more than 200 gallons of water–are a great, Great, GREAT thing to have, I just don’t love looking at them.)  I am wildly pleased by the end result.

I put Handyman Heath to work yet again to help me construct this fun creation that will hide our barrels and enable us put to good use a bit of the garbage we’ve been hoarding since the move. The entire project was actually pretty easy to put together.

It started with a pallet…

From there we used wood scraps leftover from other projects (like the fence and chicken coop) to create enclosed boxes within the pallet to harbor the plant life. After 30 minutes of drilling and sawing, the boxes were complete and ready for step 2–lining.

We lined the interior with leftover chicken wire (for extra support) and landscape fabric. Usually landscape fabric is used as a weed blocker, but in this case it serves a different function–helping the roots to breathe by allowing water and air to pass through more easily. This way, even in close quarters, the plants can get the aeration/ventilation they require. It’s sort of like the flowers are tenants in a ritzy but terribly small high-rise studio apartment. Sure there isn’t a lot of room to move around and the neighbors are obnoxiously close, but the central air is superb and the views are to die for.

Once the wire and fabric were in place, the fun part (gardening) could start. This is where I get to step in. Heath’s the master of carpentry, I am the master or color coordination. I know, I know…If we’re stranded on an island, my skill set is clearly the more useful and preferred one. Matching your coconut bra to your coral earrings > Building a shelter.

I’m happy the rain barrels are installed and doing their thing, but I’m even happier I don’t have to look at them. Hooray for Handyman Heath and resourceful garden makeovers.


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