You all know by now that I stop for junk!
Yup, I love nothing better than when someone leaves their junk by the side of the road. I see it as another chance for me to take someone’s unwanted stuff and put it to good use in creative ways.
Full disclosure, this upcycle was completely unplanned. Sometimes, the best and most fun DIY projects are those you do on the fly.
Today on the blog, along with five other blogging friends hosted by Carol @blueskysathome, we share some of our favorite summer projects. Be sure to check the bottom of the post for all of the links.
Here is the story of how I came to upcycle a picket fence into a creative garden easel.
I happened to be on a walk and noticed a neighbor a few doors down was taking down old fence pickets and fence posts.
I quickly ran home, hopped in my car, and returned to the neighbor’s house. Then I started loading my trunk with old wooden fence panels.
The best part was that ten people watched me in another neighbor’s yard. I’m sure they thought I was crazy, and maybe they were right. (what woman loads up their car with old fence pieces in broad daylight?)
You can only imagine my husband’s excitement when I came home.
He was laughing so hard; he could barely speak. “What will you do with all that?” he asked.
I smiled and said, “Don’t worry, it will come to me.” It was time to put on my creative thinking cap and come up with a great idea.
Upcycled picket fence projects
I started brainstorming great project ideas. How could I upcycle a picket fence? So many ideas were running through my head, but here are just a few.
- Planter Box
- Easel for the garden
- Rustic Coffee Table
- Towel Rack
- Wooden clock
- Picket Crates
For me, a white picket fence belongs in an outdoor space, especially in the garden!
I wanted to create an art easel with a frame out of the pickets and somehow manufacture a shelf to hold a window box to display plants in the garden.
I had the vision in my head (and laid it out on the tarp), but now we had to think it through and put it together.
Supply list to upcycle a picket fence
- Old fencing
- Wood screws
- Power tools – drill and screwdriver
- Outdoor paints
- Measuring tape
- Planter box for the shelf
- Some plants for the box
- Wood glue
- A few L brackets
- Approx. 2.5′ of small chain and 2 eye screws
- Flat metal bar pieces to connect boards
Where can I get old picket fence boards?
I was fortunate to find my old fence boards on the side of the road.
If you are not quite as fortunate, you can try shopping at a thrift store, yard sale, or flea market. These are all great places where you may find old fencing.
In addition, you could always make this easel using new fence boards if you cannot find any to upcycle.
How to upcycle a picket fence into a garden easel
We started by deconstructing the fence and trying to save each picket.
The good news was that the pickets were in good shape; only the runner boards were a bit beat up.
I have seen several styles of pickets, but I think this shape and style is my favorite.
We took a quick trip to Home Depot and loaded up the cart with what we needed to purchase to complete this project.
A hinge to attach the back leg, a few L brackets, chains to keep the legs together, and flat bar pieces allow us to connect a few scrap boards.
Constructing the legs
Next, we needed to construct the two front legs of the garden art easel.
We connected two pickets in the opposite direction and screwed them together in the middle to form each leg. We wanted the point of the picket end pieces to be on the top and the bottom of each post.
Next, we made the back leg approximately 12″ shorter than the front two legs. You can see in the image we attached a small crossbar to the two front legs approximately 6″ down from the top.
We attached the back leg to the crossbar using a small hinge.
The easel would sit like this, but to give it extra support, we added an eye screw to the back, middle of one of the front posts, and middle of the back post.
We then attached a small piece of chain to connect the two legs. This way, the easel is stable and will not move with the chain’s support.
Creating a frame to upcycle a picket fence
Next, we created a frame to attach to the front. David (my husband) wanted mitered corners. Me, not so much!
I wanted there to be the point of a picket on each corner, so we cut off the ends of the two pickets going east and west and attached them to the other end of the pickets going north and south by screwing in the flat metal plates that connected the two pieces of wood together.
Once we had the four pieces of wood screwed together to create the frame, we attached it to the legs of the easel with a few screws from the back.
Adding a Shelf and Flower Box
Now we needed to create a shelf for the flower box.
We cut two pickets to 22″ long, cut off the point, and attached them with these metal straps.
Next, we added L brackets to the shelf and attached it to the easel.
Finally, we added a simple flower box to the shelf. It was just begging for some beautiful flowers to be planted!
The Final Product: An upcycled picket fence turns into a beautiful garden art easel
I love how this idea came together all from finding an old picket fence on the side of the road. There is something so satisfying about giving someone’s junk a repurposed life, turning it into something beautiful and new.
My new garden easel found the perfect home near the She Shed. I added beautiful flowers and fresh ivy vines for the perfect touch to the garden. This piece is a blank canvas, so I can change the flowers and plants seasonally to create a new masterpiece for every season.
I hope the next time you see an old fence in someone’s trash, you might think about what you could make with it. Thanks for following along. I hope you enjoyed this almost FREE project. Just don’t get caught digging in the trash. 🙂
If you loved this post, check out my guide, All About DIY and Crafts, for more ideas!
Don’t forget to see what my friends are up to creating this summer……………………………………..
Peacock Ridge Farm – Summer Garden Tour
Thistlekey Lane – Summer Coastal Tablescape
Saved from Salvage – Grilled Summer Pizza
Everyday Edits – Perfect Summer Strawberry Yogurt Bars
WM Design House – Summer Garden Design Easel