How I Built the Baby Greenhouse

I've had so many requests for more information on how to build my little greenhouse that I finally sat down to write up some details for those who want to build their own.

DIY Mini Greenhouse

A few months back, I scored 3 storm windows exactly the same size.  I wanted to build a cold frame with them, but when I saw  a tweet about upright cold frames I got totally excited and knew this was what I wanted.  Since I was going to build this myself and since the size of the upright cold frame was quite large, I decided instead to build something to fit the windows I had.  Plus I used a ton of scrap lumber and materials I had lying around and cleaned up my shed in the process!!  Total cost for this project $0.00!  :)

How to build greenhouse

I Googled "Build a Tiny Shed" to find a basic idea of how to proceed and found some free plans from a Reader's Digest website.

I built a box frame out of 2x4s (I have this greenhouse against my house and under the eaves so a pitched roof isn't as necessary). The depth and the height are an inch bigger than the window measurements.  The width is 6 inches larger than the window I planned to use for the door to allow for the 2x4 frame on each side of the doorway.

I used screws to attach the 2x4s together.  When I had the box put together, I added two 2x2 cross pieces to the sides so I could run a shelf across them.  I wanted to allow for vents along the sides of the back wall, so I centered a piece of plywood by adding crosspieces at the inside top and bottom of my frame to secure the plywood to.  The crosspieces run on the inside of the 2x4s so the back of the panel is set in slightly from the outside edge of the  2x4s - see below:  (I apologize to any carpenters who may be reading this!)  I added another piece of plywood to the bottom 2x4s for my floor.

I then ran two additional pieces of wood across the base to account for the fact that my pallet supports run parallel to the sides of my greenhouse.  With the extra "legs" in place, I can shift the greenhouse to any position on that pallet without it falling through the cracks.  It also allows for the door to sit inside the frame.

When I was done building the frame, I primed & painted it.  Then I attached the windows using more screws.  The door is attached with two medium weight T-hinges and I put a latch on it so I can keep the door closed when I want to.  I also had to add a 1x4 piece of wood to the door window because there wasn't enough wood surface on the window to allow for the latch to be attached to the window & because the latch wasn't long enough to reach the outer edge of the greenhouse where the catch was to be installed.

For the moment, my roof is just a pane of glass with a plastic frame (it was another storm window).  It doesn't quite extend far enough over the edges to keep the rain out, so I plan to build a wood frame for it and attach it with hinges to the back of the greenhouse so I can prop it open when I want to.

So there you have it & now that I've totally confused you all, I expect many more comments & emails asking for more details...
Mini Greenhouse Tutorial

Happy building!   And please send me photos of your greenhouses when you build them - or a link to your blogpost about them!

Here's the original post if you haven't seen it yet:
  A Baby Greenhouse is Born

Do you want a potting bench?  Here's a step by step DIY - click on the photo


Don't miss another post!

Calendars, Cards and a Giveaway

Just in time for Christmas (oooh say it ain't so!!!), here is my very first giveaway - My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software ($40.00 US value).  I know it's early to talk about Christmas but this gives you lots of time to make cards and stocking stuffers like calendars.

I personally don't scrapbook, but I do love cards, calendars and photo albums and this software is AWESOME!!  It's not just for scrapbooking, you can create so many things with it. It's easy to use and you can use My Memories designs or create your own.  I like to give calendars as stocking stuffers or gifts - and this software helped me create a professional looking calendar with all of my favourite photos.  Or you could give the grandparents a treat with photos of your kids in every season.  Share your garden photos or scenery shots with your friends.  Build photo albums to share.  Cute cards are super easy to make as well - lots & lots of choices of layout.

Here's my Christmas card:

I also created a 2012 calendar using my photographs and some free online calendar downloads:  (this is a Picasa collage I created of my calendar pages)  You can choose any layout you like for your calendar.  I printed mine at the Walmart photo shop, punched a hole in the top center and VOILA!  My calendar for the new year is ready :)

And there are many more options in addition to the scrap-booking offered by this software.

Check out their webpage to see all the options available.

So this is how to enter, you have up to four chances to win!

1.  Become a follower of my blog & leave me a post telling me if you are a new follower or an existing follower.
2.  Visit the My Memories webpage & leave me a post about the design(s) you like the best
3.  Tweet or FB my giveaway (& leave a post telling me so!)
4.  Become a follower of the My Memories blog or their Twitter account, and/or like their FB page (come back & let me know that you've done this...)

I'll announce the winner on October 5th using a random number generator.   And the best part is, if you don't win and want to buy a copy, My Memories is offering a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software V.2 as well as a $10 coupon for the store - that's $20!! All you have to do is use my promo code to get the discounts:  


Best of luck to everyone!!

Remember - you have until October 5th to enter.

Repurposed Dumpster Finds

I had a very successful summer garage sale'ing this year, but some of my best finds were actually found at the dump!!  I finally had some time to work with some of the treasures I brought home and here is the result of some of my ideas:

Wooden horseshoe box, scrounged from the dump:

I wanted to use it as a tray, so I primed it with Zinsser Cover Stain Oil Primer, thinking I would paint the tray white and put an image on the base of it.  Instead, I mixed half and half BM Night Horizon and water (sort of a brown-wash instead of a white-wash) and painted it all over the box.  I let it dry and then wiped more of it on with a paper towel dipped in the brown-wash.  I did that twice.  I had a handle left over from another project and I attached it to the front.  The screws I had were much too long for the thin wood, so I used some brass screws and decided I liked the look of the brass against the bronze handle.

Here's another wood box I found as a free giveaway at a garage sale.  I painted the outside of it BM Night Horizon without sanding or even cleaning it first. On the inside, I wiped the brown-wash treatment all over and let it dry.

 Now it's in my laundry room :)

Here's my birdfeeder dumpster find.  I spray painted the roof black as soon as I got it home (just a light coat of spray paint, I wanted it to look worn).  I wanted it in my garden but didn't have a place to hang it, so I took an old rusty tomato cage and set it in a garden bed.  The feeder roof is just slightly larger than the tomato cage top, so it sits in there nicely.

My dumpster find coffee table:

It was all knotty pine when I found it, I just forgot to take a before picture!  I primed, painted it, wiped it all over with Minwax Dark Oak stain - twice and then wiped the surface with a paper towel. I wiped it down a third time with the stain and when that dried, I painted the table top with Behr's Almond Cream paint.  Then I rubbed parts of the table top and all the edges with a paper towel to wipe away some of the paint and let the stained paint show through.


In it's place of honour :)
I can't believe the stuff people throw away!!

No before shots of these either, but I wanted some more attractive shelving for the shed that I'm fixing up to be a studio.  I had some old fruit crates and I found a really beat up solid wood dresser at the dump and took two of the drawers that were in good shape.  Then I stacked them all against a wall and used screws to secure them together and to a stud in the wall.  It's not all prettied up, but what do you think??

This was a really busy summer!!

Here's Eloise lounging while I work my butt off!!  Which one of us is smarter do you think?

Linking to:
Homemaker on a Dime
Coastal Charm
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Cherished Bliss
Clean & Scentsible
DIY by Design
Saavy Southern Style
A Beach Cottage
From My Front Porch to Yours
Crafty, Scrappy, Happy
Common Ground
At the Picket Fence
The Charm of Home
A Little Knick Knack
French Country Cottage
My Repurposed Life
My Romantic Home
The Shabby Nest
LaurieAnna's Vintage Home
Perfectly Imperfect
Funky Junk Interiors

Gorgeous Patchwork Pillows

Ness from Marley & Lockyer makes gorgeous pillow covers.
This patchwork cushion cover was made by Ness from samples of material from a company called Cabbages and Roses.  Check out their website, they have the prettiest fabrics.

Meanwhile, I've just found my inspiration for my master bedroom makeover!!  Soooo  happy :)

Bathroom Makeover

My bathroom has orange tiles that I don't like :( .  It's not in my budget to replace them and I don't like the idea of painting them, so for the last 12 months I've been trying to find the right colours to see if I could minimize the impact of the orange.

Here's what I began with:

Peach walls, orange tile and grey floor (although it looks peachy in these photographs...)

Free Coffee Table

Last spring I found a solid pine coffee table at the dump.  I snatched it up even though it was a bit big for the space I have in my living room, but the dark brown footstool I was using was too dark and I wanted a change.

So I packed the coffee table home and put it in my shed until I could refinish it - that yellow pine wasn't doing it for me!  Of course, I was in a hurry to do my project and didn't take before shots.  Here's a shot of the underside of the table, every part of it was this same yellow knotty pine:

The table top was dented, scratched and generally beat up.  I sanded the poly coating as much as I could but it didn't come off all that easily and I wound up gouging the surface even more.  Since I lost my enthusiasm for sanding it enough to re-stain it a light brown colour, I decided to paint it.  I didn't have a colour on hand that I wanted to use and since I didn't need much paint I mixed my own.  I added BM Lennox Tan paint to a small container of BM Snow White paint until I got an antique white that I liked.

When the table was painted and put in its new resting place, it seemed out of place.  I didn't have any other white pieces in the room and although I really liked the brightness I got from the white surface, I didn't totally like the look.  I saw all the blog posts on tables with French printing or French signs transferred onto them and I loved that look.  I really wanted something like that for my new/old table.

I began my 2nd attempt at refinishing by sanding down the corners, table and leg edges and some of the table surface.  Then I rubbed Minwax Dark Oak stain all over the painted surface with a rag.  I went back over the surface with a clean rag to wipe up the stain but I wasn't getting a really nice effect.  I put more stain on my rag and went back over the surface, it lifted some of the stain that was there and I began to like the way the legs and apron looked.  The tabletop, however, looked scratched and ugly.  I took some Behr's Almond Cream paint and a foam roller and rolled over the surface, avoiding the edges as much as possible.  I rolled over it and over it and over it and then I took a rag and lightly rubbed the surface in different spots until I got a look that I liked.  Then I took a paper towel dipped in the paint and rubbed it over the corners and edges.  I was really liking the effect now!

When the piece dried, I brought it inside and set it in my living room.

I put the coffee table knickknacks & plants back:

You know what? I don't think I want to put an image on this table after all!  I really like the antiquey, over-washed paint look.  I think I'll settle for finding some new coffee table knickknacks.  Funniest thing of all - I now remember my mom painting furniture one colour and then brushing a brown over the top to get this same kind of look back in the 70s.   Nothing new under the sun...

Post update April, 2012:  If you want to see the cool aqua swirl paint treatment I updated this table with, click HERE

Linking to:

Garage Sale Saturdays!

Not my best week of finds, but here's what I picked up for a total of $6:

I can never have too many frames!  I love the little blue organizers for my workbench and the little teapot is going to the office with me on Monday.  The little porcelain popcorn bowl was too cute to pass up - besides this stuff was all FREE!! 

Another wood box for my collection and a cute basket I want for my greenhouse.  (Eloise the cat is suspicious of the bushel basket!)

Managed to put the frame to good use immediately for my latest painting  :)

I found this feeder at the dump.  I spray painted the roof black, stuck the feeder in a tomato cage and shoved the whole thing in the ground in my garden.  When the plants grow up around it, I think it will look charming.

A closer look.

Another dump find (I love wood boxes!!!)

Look how cool this is!  Blogpost coming on what I've done with this box & lid.

Another successful day!