The Interior Frugalista

July 19, 2017

Dollar Store Birdhouse Decoupaged With Napkins

A few weeks ago I shared my Mom's floor standing jewelry chest makeover. Remember how I decoupaged the sides of the drawers with napkins? If you missed it, you can see the post here at Jewelry Chest Makeover. I enjoyed the process so much I decided to try it again except this time on a simple dollar store birdhouse.

It all started when I went shopping at JYSK to buy bedding for my grandson's new toddler bed at Grandma & Grandpa's house. I barely got inside the doors when I noticed a display of pretty Summer napkins. I bought two packages, one to use at the dinner table and the other to decoupage onto something, eventually.

Then I remembered the birdhouse sitting all naked on our DIY Potting Bench.

Dollar Store Birdhouse Decoupaged With Napkins

You can see what the birdhouse looked like before and these are the pretty napkins I used to transform it.

Decoupaged Dollar Store Birdhouse Materials


How To Decoupage Dollar Store Birdhouses With Napkins


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend to complete this project. What that means is that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a small portion of any sales at no additional cost to you to support the costs of running this site. See my disclosure policy page.

Materials List

Wooden Birdhouse (dollar store)
Napkins
Mod Podge
Chalkboard Stand Base (dollar store)
Gorilla Wood Glue
Retractable Razor Knife
Small Sponge Brush (dollar store)
150 grit Sandpaper

Step 1 - Painting the roof


  • Painting the roof with layers of color is so easy. Start with a base layer of Everlasting white. 
  • Dip just the tips of the paint brush into the color Serene blue and with light pressure apply long random brush strokes. 
  • Repeat the previous step with the color New Life green. 

Painted Layers On Roof Of Decoupaged Birdhouse

Step 2 - Decoupaging with napkins


  • Before adding the napkins I painted the walls with Everlasting white. 
  • Most napkins are 3-ply and you will need to separate and remove the two bottom layers of paper.
  • See how the bird lines up with the perch? Line up the paper how you want it and with scissors cut a small slice to slide the perch through.
  • Cut the napkin a little larger than the birdhouse (as pictured below).
  • Apply a thin but generous coat of Mod Podge onto the face of the birdhouse.
  • Line up the napkin and let it gently fall onto the birdhouse. The less you handle the paper with your fingers, the better.
  • In the areas that don't have good contact, with very light pressure dab with your finger. Don't worry about wrinkles, it adds character.
  • You can see my napkin wasn't large enough to completely cover the front and so I cut a smaller piece of napkin and repeated the same process as above.


Napkins Decoupaged On Dollar Store Birdhouse


  • Continue the same process on the back of the birdhouse and let dry.
  • Trim the excess paper with a sharp retractable razor knife. If the blade is dull you risk ripping the paper. Of course, safety is key during this step - take your time and be very careful.
  • Repeat the same decoupage process on both sides of the birdhouse.
  • Once the Mod Podge is dry and after you've trimmed the paper, gently use 150-grit sandpaper to smooth any rough edges.
  • Apply 1-2 generous protective coats of Mod Podge over the paper. The key is to generously load the foam brush and don't go over the same area twice or you risk tearing the paper.
  • I also applied a coat of Mod Podge onto the roof to protect the paint finish.

Decoupaged Dollar Store Birdhouse with napkins

Step 3 - Adding a pedestal base

I had just the base of a dollar store chalkboard sign leftover from my daughter's wedding. It was perfect to use as a pedestal base on the birdhouse. I attached it with E6000 glue and once cured I painted it the same Everlasting white color.

You can see what happened to the top half of the chalkboard sign here in my post Rustic DIY Wedding Ideas. You'll find it hanging from my grandson's neck.

Chalkboard Base Repurposed for Decoupaged Birdhouse

I think the birdhouse looks so pretty and can't beat the price of a whopping $3 to make it.

Pretty Decoupaged Birdhouse

If decoupaging with napkins is something you'd like to give a try, please save my birdhouse makeover on Pinterest and/or share it with a friend.

How to decoupage a wooden birdhouse with napkins

If you've been following my blog for any length of time you know how much I love using birdhouses in seasonal vignettes. Remember the Pedestal Birdhouses for under $5 I made for the master bedroom? 

I used this birdhouse to create another vignette.

Decoupaged Birdhouse on bookcase vignette

You'll find this project shared at these fabulous Link Parties.

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July 13, 2017

12 Helpful Tips On How To Stencil A Wall

Does the thought of hanging wallpaper give you hives? If you answered yes, you're not alone. When we moved into this house every room had wallpaper or at least a wallpaper border - remember those? It took weeks to remove that dated mess and I vowed never would these walls see another roll of paper again. Don't get me wrong, I love a pretty papered wall, I just don't like hanging it. 

Then the master bedroom makeover happened...

...and one of those walls was screaming that it wanted to be bold and interesting and stand out.

So I did the next best thing and stenciled the wall.

12 Tips On How To Stencil A Wall

Being a dig right in before learning the how to's kind of gal, no surprise I ran into some snags. So today I'm sharing the mistakes and lessons I learned through trial and error.

Why? Because I want you, my fellow wallpaper avoiders, to try stenciling your walls as an alternative.

Stenciled Wall In Master Bedroom

And so it began...

Materials To Stencil A Wall


Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this post so you can see what products I used or recommend to complete this project. If you make a purchase through the links, there is no extra charge to you and I may receive a small commission to support the costs of running this site. See my full disclosure policy.

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July 12, 2017

How To Make Wind Chimes From Thrift Store Dishes and Silverware

Are you like me and like to add a little whimsy to your outdoor living space? I hang mirrors and signs and collect garden angels and gazing balls for visual eye candy but needed something to drown out annoying traffic pollution noise.

I love the relaxing sound of wind chimes and how each one sounds different. I've had a lovely melodic set I believe called Corinthian Bells for many years in one corner of the yard. It was time to add another tone to the mix except these ones would be whimsical, unique and homemade.

DIY Silverware Wind Chimes

That's where thrift store dishes and silverware come into the mix and a trip to Goodwill. But my DIY wind chime project didn't come without some hiccups and I'll share more about those throughout this post.

How To Make Wind Chimes from Goodwill finds

Before I get into the deets on How To Make Wind Chimes From Thrift Store Dishes and Silverware, let me tell you why I used these particular accoutrements.


I'm so excited to be participating in the second installment of Thrifty Chicks. In case you missed our first challenge, on the second Wednesday of every month a few of my creative junk loving friends and I come together to transform, upcycle or repurpose a junk find based on a theme.

This month the theme is Kitchen and our task is to upcycle something either found in or to be used in a kitchen. If you missed our Chair Challenge in June you can catch it here in my post, Scandinavian Half Painted Chairs.

DIY Wind Chimes with thrift store silverware

If you've been following me for any length of time you know that I like to add an element of surprise to my pieces. For my wind chimes, I decided to add a quote around the rim of the plate.
|"In Summer the song sings itself" ~William Carlos Williams
Such a fitting quote for a wind chime, don't you think?

DIY Silverware Wind Chimes with Hand Painted Quote

How To Make Silverware Wind Chimes

Now let's get into the meat and potatoes of how I made my silverware wind chimes.

These are the kitchen items I found at Goodwill, minus the spoons and plus some salad forks - we'll talk more about that later.

Goodwill Finds To Make Silverware Wind Chimes
Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this post so you can see what products I used or recommend to complete this project. If you make a purchase through the links, there is no extra charge to you and I will receive a small commission to support my blogging wardrobe with a fresh new set of pajamas (don't judge). See my full disclosure policy.

Materials List


Tools List

  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Dremel (or Power Drill)
  • 6 mm Diamond Core Dremel Bit (or 6 mm Diamond Core Drill Bit)
  • 3/16" High-Speed Metal Titanium Drill Bit
  • Safety Glasses
  • Safety Gloves
  • Sponge 
  • Bucket of water
  • Masking Tape

Step 1 Glue Lid Onto Sugar Bowl

Let's start with the easiest step, gluing the lid onto the Corelle Coordinates Shadow Iris Sugar Bowl with E6000 Glue. Set it aside for at least 12 hours before handling it by the lid.

Sugar Bowl  for top of DIY Wind Chimes

Step 2 Drill Holes Into Dessert Plate

I thought the graceful white Mikasa French Countryside Salad Plate would be such a pretty base for the sugar bowl. I quickly learned there was nothing graceful about this super strong stoneware.

When trying to drill holes for the jewelry thread we went through three...let me repeat...three 6 mm Diamond Core Dremel Bits and about 10-minutes of sweat equity PER hole. Determination is my middle name and so an hour or so later the dang nine holes were finally drilled.

TIP: I recommend you DO NOT use stoneware or heavy porcelain dishes. Look for Bone China or Fine Porcelain if you plan on drilling holes. 


Let's talk a bit about safety first:

  • Make sure you wear safety glasses and protective gloves both when drilling holes in the plate and the silverware. We want you to finish this project and not wind up on an emergency room gurney. 
  • It's important the plate be cooled during the drilling process so you will require a bucket of water and a saturated sponge. Be VERY careful when using an electric power tool near water. You DO NOT want that bucket of water spilling. I suggest you have the pail of water in a separate area nearby and put the drill down before dipping the sponge into the water.
Drilling Holes in Plate for Silverware Wind Chimes
  • Flip the plate upside down (we want the good side of the plate to be seen when hanging high above in a tree).
  • With a marker place a dot in the center of the plate followed by 8 dots evenly around the plate about 1/4-inch from the edge.
  • Place a piece of tape over each dot (masking tape works better), this will give the bit some friction and stop it from sliding across the smooth porcelain finish. 
  • Use a 6 mm Diamond Core Dremel bit. If you don't have a Dremel you can use a Power Drill and 6 mm Diamond Core Drill Bit. 
  • Start by angling the bit to pierce through the tape and start the hole.
  • Once the hole is started, drill straight down into the plate. 
  • Make sure you are squeezing a water-filled sponge over the hole to keep the plate from overheating and shattering.

Step 3 Drill Holes Into Silverware 

In the photo at the top of this post, you saw that I had a bundle each of dinner forks and spoons. Well like the salad plate, the spoons were tough as nails and no matter what bit we tried nothing was piercing into those spoons. So we ditched the spoons and got a bundle of salad forks along with a large salad spoon for the center.

TIP: Use Sterling silverware rather than stainless as it is much softer to drill through.

Drilling Holes In Silverware For DIY Wind Chimes

Important: Again you want to wear safety glasses and protective gloves for this step. Those fine shards of metal are nasty.

Using a 3/16" High-Speed Metal Titanium Drill Bit, Drill a hole into the top of each fork. Be forewarned, the silverware and drill bit will get VERY hot.

Step 4 Transfer Quote Onto Plate

  • In PicMonkey (or software of your choice) type the quote and use the curve text option to create the graphic and size it to the diameter of the plate.
  • Print the graphic and cut each word (if they don't line up perfectly as a whole) and tape them onto the plate (as pictured below).
  • Next, slip a piece of carbon or graphite paper behind the words and trace them with a pen so they transfer onto the plate.
Typography Transfer On DIY Wind Chimes

Using a fine tip Sharpie Oil Based Paint Pen in the color Lime, go over each letter twice, allowing the ink to dry between coats.
Painting Quote On Silverware Wind Chimes

Step 5 Assembling Wind Chimes

  • Tie clear jewelry thread (or fishing line) into the holes of the silverware, cutting the strands longer than necessary (approximately 12-14 inches).
  • String a green bead about 1-inch from the top of the silverware and double looped through the bead to secure in place. 
  • String two purple beads (no need to double loop).
  • String a green bead and double looped through the bead to secure in place.
  • Set the plate on top of a bowl to raise it off the table.
  • Using needle nose pliers attach the silver jump rings through each hole and squeeze the ends tightly closed.
  • On the large salad spoon strand ONLY, string a green bead about 2 1/2-inches above the lower beads and double looped through the bead to secure in place.
  • String the thread through the center hole on the plate and tie the thread into a knot about four times onto a paper clip. Add a dollop of glue onto the plate and press the paper clip into the glue to secure it in place. Cut off the excess clear thread.
  • Next, tie the dinner forks onto every second jump ring with about a 2-inch strand of thread from the last bead. Tie it in about four knots and cut off the excess thread.
  • Repeat the same step for the salad forks except leave about a 4-inch strand of thread from the last bead. The key is to have all the fork tines hit each other and the large salad spoon in the center when the wind blows.
Assembling DIY Silverware Wind Chimes

Step 7 Glue Sugar Bowl Onto Plate

  • Glue the sugar bowl onto the plate using E6000 Glue (as pictured above) and leave it overnight to cure.
  • Avoid tugging the sugar bowl during the next step.

Step 8 Attaching the hanger cord

  • Attach a piece of white 1.5 mm 100% Nylon Cording to the sugar bowl handle. I think I used what's called a square knot or granny knot but I'm not 100% certain because I was never in Girl Guides nor did I know what I was doing when I tied the knot. You may want to do a Google search for this step.
  • Loop the other end of the cording through a key ring using the same knot (I couldn't tell you how I managed to make the same knot twice). Leave about a 10-11 inch strand and cut off the excess cording on each end.
That my friends is How To Make Wind Chimes From Thrift Store Dishes and Silverware to add some whimsy to your outdoor living space.

I'm quite pleased with how they turned out and they sound pretty too. I did a quick little video so you could hear them. There wasn't much wind so with the camera in one hand and a swipe with my other, this is what they sound like...

video

Told you it was a "short" video and tiny too.

If you like my DIY Silverware Wind Chimes please share them with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.
How To Make Silverware Wind Chimes from thrift store finds

I'm very intrigued by what the other gals in our group are doing with these. Please join me in visiting their posts by pressing the links below.

Before Photos Thrifty Chicks Kitchen Challenge
PRESS LINKS BELOW
How To Make A Coffee Bar Sign by Just The Woods
Sewing Machine Drawer Kitchen Organizer by Lora B. Create & Ponder
Silverware Wind Chimes by The Interior Frugalista
What To Do With A Collection Of Random Kitchen Do-Dads by The Vintage Cottage


You will find this project linked to these fabulous PARTIES.

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July 7, 2017

How To Turn An Old Door Into A Headboard

It all started with a visit to a local salvage yard one afternoon with a friend. Way at the back of the store behind a pile of interior doors, we came across two very old and heavy solid core five-panel doors.

How To Turn An Old Door Into A Headboard

Arriving in only a compact car we were determined to figure out a way to get those two doors home. Two middle-aged women on a mission and there was no such thing as it can't be done.

With the help of a very patient staff member who shook his head when he saw what we were driving, we managed to get those babies through the trunk, over the seats with a good portion of the doors hanging out the tethered trunk. Good thing I'm vertically challenged because the doors hung above my head as I slouched in the passenger's seat.

We must have been quite the sight driving down the freeway but with the wind in our hair and accomplishment coursing through our veins, we giggled and chatted the entire way back to our hamlet coming up with a plan on how we were each going to Turn Our Old Door Into A Headboard.

Old 5-Panel Door Turned Into A Headboard

This is that door after we got it home. Imagine two of them stuffed in that small car.

Old 5-Panel Door Before Being Turned Into A Headboard

It sat in the basement for several months until Spring when we could take it outdoors and get to work.

How To Turn An Old Door Into A Headboard


Prepping Old Headboard Door

Do you like my makeshift sawhorses? Didn't feel like hauling the ones from the basement workshop outside so these leftover drawers from the Twin Headboard Bench came in handy.

Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this post so you can see what products I used or recommend to complete this project. If you make a purchase through the links, there is no extra charge to you and I will receive a small commission to support my blogging wardrobe with a fresh new set of pajamas (don't judge). See my full disclosure policy.


Materials List

Solid Core Door
Oak Plywood
3-inch Crown Molding
1-inch Decorative Trim
4 each 2x4 Lumber
Behr Ultra Satin Paint (Wedgewood Gray)
Homestead Paint Company Milk Paint (Sturbridge White)
Clear Wax
Dark Wax
Wood Glue
1 1/2-inch and 4-inch Wood Screws
220-grit Sandpaper

You will also need

Power Drill
Pneumatic Nail Gun
Table Saw
Miter Saw
Level
Stud Finder

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June 29, 2017

A Simple DIY Potting Bench You Can Make In A Day

One warm and sunny morning while enjoying coffee on the deck I mentioned to Mr. Frugalista that I would love to have a potting bench in our back yard. Over our second coffee with pen and paper in hand, we came up with a plan. Deciding it was the perfect day for a DIY, we headed to Home Depot to pick up the materials and got to work building our Simple DIY Potting Bench.

A Simple DIY Potting Bench Graphic

I say it is a simple potting bench because it can be built in an afternoon.

Simple DIY Potting Bench

For those of you who have been following me for a few years, this potting bench may look somewhat familiar.

DIY Potting Bench Outdoor Bar

Now you're probably thinking, wait a minute there are a few things different between the top photo and the one above, and you'd be right.

We recently modified the design, added some new elements, and changed its function. We'll get into the meat and potatoes of how to build it near the bottom of the post but first, let me refresh your memory.

UPDATE: JUNE 2017

The first thing we did was turn it around to face into the yard.

Added a shelf

I found some metal brackets at the dollar store and so we took a pine fence board and added a shelf.

DIY Potting Bench Shelf

The wooden birdhouse on the shelf has since received a makeover...with napkins. You can catch that here at A Decoupaged Birdhouse.

Lowered the bottom shelf

We also lowered the bottom shelf on the potting bench to accommodate a watering can and large plant pots.

DIY Potting Bench Lower Shelf

Added some decorative hooks

I also found some fun metal garden hooks at the dollar store for hanging my garden tools.
DIY Potting Bench Decorative Garden Tool Hook

Turned candleholders into solar lights

I moved the metal candle sconces onto each side of the potting bench. They were originally purchased at HomeSense (Canadian version of HomeGoods) for a song because one was brown and the other black and so I unified them with black spray paint. It looks like they could use another fresh coat of paint, which has been added to my To Do List.

Recently I replaced the candles with solar lights that I got at the dollar store. All I did was detach the light kit from the stem and shorten it with a miter saw. The stem was attached to the base of the candleholder with E6000 glue.

DIY Potting Bench Replacing Candle with Solar Light

Once the glue was cured I reattached the light kit, put the glass back onto the candleholder and voila, the potting bench is lit up automatically every night.

DIY Potting Bench Candleholder with Solar Light

A brand new top

But the biggest change we made was replacing the plank top with wide pine fence boards stained with both Behr semi-transparent exterior stain in Natural Cedar and a wash of Dixie Belle Paint Company Voodoo Stain in the color Tobacco Road.

DIY Potting Bench Plank Top

A look at the old top

Let's take a trip down memory lane for a minute. Originally we built the bench to be both a Potting Bench and an Outdoor Bar. The top was built to accommodate a removable tray.

DIY Potting Bench Bar Opening

The idea was that I could fill the tray with soil and once the flowers were planted, I could place the pots on the tray and carry them to the flower beds.

DIY Potting Bench Tray

When having bonfires in the fire pit, the bench was used as an Outdoor Bar. We could simply remove the tray and pop our painted Coleman cooler into the opening.

DIY Potting Bench Bar with cooler insert

Great idea right?

In theory but neither the tray or the cooler held up very well and in hindsight, I wish we had recessed either a small stainless steel sink or large galvanized bucket.

We have since repurposed an old lattice tiered table into an Outdoor Portable Bar Cart that can be easily moved from our deck to the firepit. Hence the reason the bench's sole purpose now is that of a Potting Bench.

DIY Backyard Potting Bench

The frame of the potting bench is painted with Behr Premium Plus Ultra Paint in the color Antique Red with a wash of Tobacco Road stain.

DIY Medallions

I couldn't remove the medallions on the original design for the life of me (a testament to how strong E6000 glue is). So I kept them on but painted over them with the antique red paint color so they're more subtle.

If you're wondering how they were made, I pressed Sculpey Baking Clay into plastic candy molds. Once I got a good impression I popped them out of the molds and baked them in the oven on a foil lined cookie sheet at 275° for 15 minutes. Once cooled, I attached them onto the potting bench with E6000 glue.

DIY Potting Bench Medallions

DIY Sign

I made a sign from a scrap piece of wood when the bench was being used as a bar.
DIY Potting Bench Bar Sign

I recently gave it a makeover befitting a potting bench. I happened to have an old floral brooch in my stash that was perfect to glue onto the sign.

DIY Potting Bench Sign

The fun part was shopping for accessories for the new and improved potting bench, all of which I found at either the dollar store or Wal-Mart. I don't call myself The Interior Frugalista for nothing!

DIY Potting Bench Herb Garden

I'm much happier with the new look of the potting bench. My hope when planning this DIY for our backyard was that it would turn my black thumb green. Even the peas in the forefront of the photo below are hoping it's so.

If you like my DIY Potting Bench, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.
A Simple DIY Potting Bench
For those of you who may be interested in building this Simple DIY Potting Bench, please read on for detailed instructions.

A Simple DIY Potting Bench You Can Make In An Afternoon


Materials List

  • 2 x 4 lumber (10)
  • 1 x 1 lumber (3)
  • 6-foot Pine Fence Boards (4)
  • 7-foot Pine Fence Boards (4)
  • 4 x 8 Cedar Lattice (1 sheet)
  • 2-inch Galvanized Wood Screws
  • 1 1/4-inch Brad Nails
  • Behr semi-transparent exterior stain in Natural Cedar
  • Dixie Belle Paint Company VooDoo Stain in Tobacco Road
  • Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Antique Red
  • Rust-oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Spray Paint in Fossil 
  • Minwax Exterior Satin Polycrylic

Unfortunately, we were so engrossed in our project that I forgot to take pictures during the building process. If you are handy, you can probably get a good idea how it was built from the picture below.

DIY Potting Bench Bar

Hopefully, you will find my written tutorial below easy to follow. Refer to the photo above each subheading for reference.

Building the back frame

  1. Cut two 2 x 4's 5-feet long for your uprights.
  2. Attach a 6-foot 2 x 4 at the top of each upright using galvanized wood screws.
  3. 22-inches down from the top attach a second 6-foot 2 x 4 but turn it upright (like the ones pictured on the front).

Building the front frame and adding side supports

  1. Cut two 2 x 4's 3-feet long for your front uprights.
  2. Cut four pieces of 2 x 4 2-feet long.
  3. Attach each of them onto both the front and back uprights 6-inches from the bottom.
  4. Repeat 22-inches down from the top. These are your shelf supports (see update below).
  5. Attach two 6-foot long 2 x 4's onto the front supports making sure everything is square and level.

Adding the lattice

  1. Cut 4 pieces of 1 x 1 lumber 6-feet long.
  2. Cut 4 pieces of 1 x 1 lumber 21-inches long.
  3. On the back of the top 2 x 4's nail a piece of 6-foot 1 x 1 onto the top and bottom of the frame.
  4. Repeat with the 21-inch pieces on each side. This will hold the lattice in place.
  5. Cut the 8' x 4' sheet of cedar lattice into 6' x 2' .
  6. Spray paint the lattice with Rust-oleum spray paint in the color fossil, a moss green or the color of your choosing.
  7. Double up the lattice for both strength and in our case, to hide the unsightly wood pile behind the bench. 
  8. Attach the lattice to the 1 x 1 frame using brad nails.
  9. Repeat steps 3 & 4 onto the front. This will sandwich the lattice between the 1x1 frames.
DIY Potting Bench Lattice


Adding a bottom shelf

  1. Rip four 6-foot pine fence boards in half with the table saw for narrow slats on the bottom shelf. If you prefer wider slats then skip this step.
  2. Attach them to the bottom frame with 2-inch galvanized wood screws. 
DIY Potting Bench Bottom Shelf

Building the top

I'm giving you both options to build the top...

Option 1 - Wide Plank Top 

  1. Cut 4 7-foot pine fence boards 75-inches long.
  2. Screwed from the top onto the bottom supports.
  3. Space the boards evenly with a gap between each board. We used a paint stir stick.

Option 2 - Narrow Plank Top With Opening

  1. Rip four 7-foot pine fence boards in half on the table saw. 
  2. Cut them into 75-inch lengths.
  3. Attach them to the frame with 2-inch galvanized wood screws.
  4. Draw the outline of the vessel you plan on using for soil and/or ice onto the board with a pencil.
  5. Cut out the opening with a jigsaw.
  6. Add supports underneath the boards on each side of the opening. Screw them in place from the bottom or top with 2-inch galvanized wood screws.
So there you have it, a simple rustic DIY Potting Bench that you can make in an afternoon.

You will find this project shared at these fabulous Link Parties.

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