DIY Craft: Recycle a Garden Fence Into a Creative Bulletin Board or Jewelry Organizer
You can turn garden accessories like small fences and trellises into charming and handy wall and window decorations with just a few materials and some imagination! Home improvement stores and garden centers offer a number of garden accessories that provide great options for making decorations for your home, office, bedroom, or dorm room.
These garden items come in different shapes and sizes and can be made of wire, wood, or plastic. Regardless of the style or material, all of these decorative items can be transformed into something you'll enjoy using in your home.
The previous owners of our house left behind this wire fencing with this wonderful rusted surface. I loved the shape of the fencing pieces, but didn't want to use it in our yard. Instead, I redesigned these fence pieces into a handy clipboard or bulletin board and a jewelry display for my bedroom.
There are a couple of ways to make these items into a bulletin board or jewelry display and organizer:
Option 1: Simply Add Some Wire for a Quick Bulletin Board or Jewelry Display
One of the easiest ways to recycle garden items into home accessories is to just add some wire to make a simple bulletin board or jewelry display. The added lines of wire will give you more places to attach your photos or personal items, or to hang your favorite earrings! The best thing about this project is that you can also hang it in a window to add some personality to your office or dorm room without blocking the light or your view.
Materials You Will Need:
- Garden fence piece or small trellis (this can be wire, wood, or plastic)
- Wire that matches or coordinates with your garden item
- Wire cutters
- Clear Command hook
- Decorative clips to attach your bulletin board items or photos
How to Make a Window or Wall Display
1. First, I used a dremel to remove the bottom posts and connecting parts of my fencing so I was left with just the center decorative part of my fence (see photo of original fencing).
2. I played around with the arrangement of my fence pieces. I could have used three or more pieces in a row to make a larger bulletin board or display, but I didn't really have the room on my wall. I think this might look really interesting for another project though. I would have just wired them together along the sides to create a bigger display decoration.
3. I liked the rusted surface of my fence, but you can also paint your garden item to give it a new color and a fresh look. Be sure to buy the right paint for the material you are using.
4. Then I figured out where I wanted to put my lines of wire and how many I wanted to have. I decided to evenly space them about 3 inches apart down the length of my fence piece.
5. I cut a length of wire that was about 6 inches longer than the width of my garden fence piece. Working from the back, I attached the wire to one side by twisting it around the post a few times, then twisting the wire around itself a few items. I tried to keep the wire attachment points as small as possible so they weren't very noticeable.
6. I then pulled my wire across the back of my fence piece as tight and as straight as possible. Keeping the wire taut, I attached the remaining end to the other side of my fence piece. Then I cut off the loose ends of my wire. I repeated this process to attach all my wire lines.
7. All that was left to do was start using and enjoying my finished project. I used a clear Command hook to hang my fence piece in the window and started attaching my favorite cards and photos. Since this project is so easy, it's worth buying some pretty binder clips or special hooks to attach your items. There are many types of hooks and clips available, and binder clips come in a variety of pretty colors and designs. Pretty and colorful clips will make your board really special.
Option 2: Add a Cork Board
Another way to transform your garden item into a home accessory is to add a cork board. This cork surface will give you more space to either pin things to your bulletin board or hang more jewelry.
Materials You Will Need:
- Garden item (again, this can be wire, wood, or plastic)
- Corkboard - I was able to buy a package of 12" cork tiles ($6.64 for a package of 4 tiles), but there are many types of cork boards available
- Fabric remnant or latex/acrylic paint to decorate your cork board (optional)
- Adhesive - type depends on the material that your garden item is made of (more information below)
- Clear Command hook to hang your display
- Wire and wire cutters (if you want to use your board as a jewelry display)
- Decorative push pins and clips to use on your bulletin board
- Cup hooks or small decorative drawer pulls/knobs to hang the jewelry
How to Add a Decorative Cork Board
1. First, I followed steps 1 through 3 of the directions above to decide the arrangement of my garden pieces and the finished surface. Again, you can make a bigger display or bulletin board by using more garden pieces or a larger item.
2. Then I decided on the placement of my cork board on my fence piece and cut it to size. I could have used a bigger cork board to fill the entire space behind my fence piece, but I wanted to leave the top open. I liked the placement of my cork board under the semi-circular top section.
I also wanted a line of wire across the top to hang earrings from, so I followed step 5 above for attaching some wire.
3. My cork board was almost the perfect size for my fence piece, but I trimmed it a bit using a utility knife and metal straight edge. If your cork board has an additional backing, you may need to use a saw to cut it.
4. I knew I wanted to wrap my cork board in some fabric to match my room, but you could also paint it using latex or acrylic paint, or just leave it as is.
5. To wrap my cork board with fabric, I put my fabric face down on my work surface. I then put my cork board on top of the fabric face down, and trimmed my fabric to fit the cork, leaving about 2 inches of fabric on all sides. I then wrapped my fabric tight around the cork. I used some thumb tacks to hold the fabric so I could pick it up and check that I liked the placement of my design on the board.
6. Once the fabric was positioned the way I wanted it, I used a staple gun to attach the fabric to the back of my cork board. It's great if you have someone to help you do this: Remove the thumb tacks from one side of your fabric. Working from the center edge, have one person pull the fabric tight, while the other person staples the fabric down. Put in about 3 staples, check that it looks good from the front and that your staples are not coming through. Then turn your board over to the back again and switch to the opposite side from where you were just stapling. Again, pulling your fabric tight, put in about three staples along the center edge.
7. Then begin stapling you other sides. Once each side has a few staples in it and your fabric looks nice and tight from the front, continue to staple down your fabric on each edge. Remember to pull it tight as you staple.
8. When you get to the corners, try to keep them as neat as possible so your fabric looks smooth on the front. I stapled mine like hospital corners, then cut off any extra fabric. I also cleaned up the edge of my fabric and trimmed off any loose threads.
9. Once my cork board was covered as I wanted, I decided whether to place the cork board in front of my garden item, or behind. Either would look really great. I wanted the design of my fence to show, so I attached my cork to the back of my garden fence.
10. I used clear Liquid Nails adhesive to attach my wire fence (because it was metal) to my fabric-covered cork board. If my garden item was wood or plastic, I think hot glue would have worked fine.
11. To attach my fence, first I laid it down on my fabric board and carefully marked in a few place where in fence touched my cork board. I then squeezed a line of Liquid Nails onto my board following my markings. I placed my fence piece down in place on top of the cork board, weighed it down a little, and let it dry as directed.
12. Once my board was dry, I added some pins to hang my jewelry from, but you could also use cup hooks or decorative knobs. The placement of these hooks and knobs is totally up to you based on how you want to use it.
I love how this charming jewelry display looks in my bedroom and the fabric-covered cork board adds a nice pop of color. I also like to still be able to use the top of my fence piece to clip photos and cards. I hope my project gives you some ideas about recycling garden items into accessories that you can use and enjoy in your home!
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© 2014 Donna Herron