Sunday, September 5, 2010

potting bench 101

I am not a handy man or handy woman or handy person or whatever. I own one small electric saw and one power drill/screw driver. And lots of raw materials because I keep collecting all this junk with dreams of what I can do with it. So when our school decided to have an auction to raise money, my son's first grade theme was gardening. They call these "basket auctions". Let it be said that few of the auctions actually fit in a basket, but all of them have their own theme.

I thought I could take this old army issue dining room sever and turn it into a potting bench. WHY? Well because I had the server from a yard sale with plans to refurbish it to sell but never got it done and I want it out of my garage. And because I have watched professionals do all sorts of remakes on HGTV, DIY network, and whatever other channels have those "you too can do it" shows! And so it begins.
First step was to remove part of the side edges so that I could add shelves that would lie flush to the cabinet. Also removed trim, not sure at first if it was glued on trim or an integral part of the cabinet.
Add shelf. Original idea was two shelves but all the wood I had (bought at another yard sale) was not enough for two shelves. Edit original plans to be one shelf. Note how flush that side piece sits to the cabinet!
Two side supports and a shelf and it is still standing, but needs some more support so I added a piece under the shelf that later will hold these two pot holders, meant to go over a fence. I love these. I have had them in four homes now and have never had a place to hang them so I think it is time for them to move on. I drilled holes in the back brace board to hang these. And they fit! And hang pretty straight!

I cut a hole in the top of the cabinet in order to sink a plastic tub to hold dirt for when someone is repotting plants. Cutting this hole took longer than all the other parts put together. Not really, but it felt that way. I have no earthly idea what the proper way is to measure for a hole like this so that the lip of the tub sits on top and the rest of the tub sinks into the cabinet. I traced around the bottom of the tub and started there. Way too small since the tub has tapered sides. recut, recut, recut and recut again. Going into supports for the top and having to chisel them out since the saw doesn't cut that deep. Chisel with a hammer and a flat head screw driver. (real carpenters gasp now at how I treat my tools.)
Ahhh, after over an hour of cutting and recutting said tub sinks into said hole with hardly any gaps.
Sinks right into the place where one top side drawer used to be.
Add paint, left over from our shed, plastic pots to fit into the hanging pot holders, and tiled top.

The tile top is my first ever attempt at tiling. The neighbor across the street has tiled every bathroom, the laundry room, kitchen and front and back porches at her house so I used some of her leftover tile, her thinset and her wet saw. She made about half the cuts and then had to leave and I attempted the other cuts. Even corrected one of her mistakes!
I might have enough confidence now to tile our bathrooms or kitchen or family room or all of it!
I purchased (RETAIL FOLKS) the sanded grout for the top and did my first ever grout job. Turned out pretty darn great! I added hooks to one side of the shelf to hang tools and then purchased these three shovels in three colors on clearance at Michaels to add some more color. Added red gardening gloves and a spray bottle to one hanging pot and three child size gardening tools in the other hanging pot. Child tools were a left over from a gardening project at school last year.
Drawer handles are rope. Door handles are mini clay pots I bought at Michaels.
So my total retail purchases on this were: grout (about $8), plastic pots ($2 each) and mini clay pots (.59 each). Yard sale purchase are the cabinet ($25) and some wood ($3). Paint, rope, screws, bolts, nuts, washers, pot hangers, and plastic tub were all thing I had lying around the garage left over from other projects so no cost for those. Less than $40 total! Plus two Saturdays of work.
I can't believe just hood good this looks. Usually I have a plan, a dream, a day dream really, and it doesn't actually ever happen or doesn't actually work when I try to do it. But this one is great! And I am not even keeping it. I am bidding on the auction though! Especially since the other parts of the auction, donated by other parents include: professional landscape consultation, wheel barrow, plants, seeds, hose, sprinkler, pots in a various colors and designs, bird feeder, $100 Home Depot gift card, and some other goodies.
Let the oohs, ahhs and bidding begin!

1 comment:

  1. NO YOU DIDINT... i love it cindy. you are awesome. what a crafter extraordinaire you are!!! you did better than well.