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DIY Projects!

DIY Project: Do you have an old bed frame sitting around?  

DIY Bedframe BenchA while back I spotted a photo of a garden bench I fell in love with. The site had a ton of ideas, but I globbed onto only the one. I mainly liked it because it had that vintage shabby chic look that always gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside and it lets your imagination take you on a journey to a better place and time. At least for me it does. So I searched until I found a site with instructions and then as luck would have it, I also found someone local who was giving away a vintage maple queen size head and footboard. Did you catch the two main words? Giving away. Free. No charge. And I was first in line to take it!

Unfortunately, after explaining to my husband what I wanted and how we/he would build it, he talked me out of the queen size bed because, as he so annoyingly reminded me,  we had a twin bed frame in storage that could be used. I knew it wasn’t going to be the size I was hoping for, nor the look the queen would give me, but I had to go along with what he was willing to do.

That said; in spite of it ending up smaller than what I wanted, it is absolutely adorable and I do love it! The photo above was taken when it was almost complete. It now sports a white cushion with a bright red, orange and green floral design that I purchased at Walmart. If you think my new bench is cute, check out the benches on this site. They’re to die for!!  Oh and by the way; I explained to the woman who was giving the queen bed frame away what I had planned to do with it and she decided instead of getting rid of it, she would keep it and make a garden bench too! So in the end this project was a win-win.


This photo shows an awesome idea for a planter if you don’t have a lot of space, or soil to plant in. What’s great about it too is it can be scaled to whatever size you need. I think once the plants start growing, they will cover up the modern look if that isn’t your style. Instructions are not needed, as it’s a visual thing. So if you Cinder block planterhave cinder block sitting around instead of making a stereotypical bookcase, why not go for an easy outdoor planter? It looks as though the blocks are only stacked against the fence and not secured in any way. Anyway, in my famous last words it looks easy enough to build.


Patio color paletteI found this photo on a posting by Real Simple and chose it because of the colors. Whatever your color palette is this looks to be a simple and perfect way to bring them to the table, so to speak. Just find different elements (try the Goodwill or Salvation Army Thrift Stores or, check us out too) in the same color tones, add flowers, grapes or any object matching the colors. Set them on your patio table and voila!


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Decorating for Less

 I first ran this article in our newsletter from May of 2009. What’s awesome is I think the technique and designs are still relevant today. Make it your own and have fun with it!

Instant Art, Always in Bloom–

These DIY garden prints add a lot of charm for not a lot of money.

So, you’ve been eyeing (or eying-whichever you prefer) that set of framed botanical prints but just can’t swallow The Gerbera Daisythe price. Or perhaps you love plants, but 19th-century engravings clash with your style. We’ve discovered it’s surprisingly easy, and stylistically liberating, to produce stunning contemporary botanicals from your home computer. At left, a Gerbera daisy is transformed into a color graphic when copied as a transparency in a flatbed scanner.

Picture Perfect Blooms

To create your own botanical images, you’ll need a computer, flatbed scanner, and a willingness to experiment.

Begin by placing plants directly on the platen glass of your scanner. Plant juices will stain the underside Scanning the Imageof the scanner cover, so place a sheet of mounting board over the flowers before closing the cover. Don’t worry if you flatten the plants; part of the surprise is seeing them in two dimensions.

Dramatic Shapes

Overlap multiple flowers on the scanner or zoom in tightly for abstract effects.

HibiscusMost scanning software allows image adjustments. Play with the scan color, contrast, and brightness to create the most vibrant images. If your scanner includes a transparency adapter, you can shoot through translucent plants to reveal delicate veining and unseen detail.

Experiment With Greenery

Think outside the bloom.

Don’t limit yourself to only flowers. Greenery, such as ferns or plants scanned with the roots intact, Fernmakes for dramatic botanical studies.

Play With Patterns

Play around with different effects.Rose Petals

Create repeating patterns and color fields by scanning masses of flower petals or autumn leaves. A basic color scanner captured the velvet-like texture of these rose petals

Get in Close

Back it up.

TulipsYou can change the mood of your botanicals by using different backing boards. A black piece of card stock placed above this trio of tulips creates a striking background.

Frame your new prints.

Cut to Fit

Save your work by printing to a quality inkjet printer or writing to a disk for output Cut to Sizeat most photo finishers. The first step to displaying your work is centering the printed image in the glass provided in a frame. Trace around the glass, and cut the image with scissors. Install the trimmed image into the frame.

Bring the Garden Inside

Tips for Displaying Prints

Place your botanicals in a line on the wall or find a sunlit window where you can showcaseFramed Botanticals your favorites. Before you turn your flower scanner back into a document copier, remember to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning the platen glass.

By Rex Perry, Cottage Living