Recycling old shutters in the garden
The design and slatted pattern of cast off shutters need not be wasted but put to use in the garden in many varied projects that can add dimension and texture. Shutters can be painted or left with a chipped paint finish. You’ll find out how to find shutters and how to preserve them once in the garden.
Patricia Sharp says, “Found this in a dumpster, brushed off the loose paint and dirt, and planted some flowers. It’s hanging on the back of my house.”
Where to find shutters:
Thrift shops and yard sales are good, but noticing when a remodeling project is taking place n the neighborhood can be a bonanza for an observant garden junker.
When people replace shutters, they completely lose interest in their value, so don’t be afraid to ask! Trash day is when I found all of my shutters. No, I’m not that proud!
Shutters as garden ‘backgrounds’
Backgrounds in the garden or outside of the house are important to a Flea Market Gardener as they form a somewhat neutral against which we can arrange others things. Here are a few examples of the solid but textured color they lend.
Annie Steen says, “The side porch. I made the flag and birdhouse~ and love working with old Barn louvers as backgrounds…
Tanya Goldsmith, of Blondeponders Garden and Duck tales, says, “Here’s a small patch of herbs and potted tomatoes and peppers with my yard sale shutters and fireplace piece I painted…they were black… and blue bottles grow like weeds around here.”
Preserving shutters in the garden
When shutters contact the bare ground, they, of course, deteriorate, so prop them up on a board, set of concrete stepping stonesor stake them off the ground slightly. You may want to bring them in in Winter if you can and if you have room.
Paint surfaces with primer and good exterior paint …or with Marine varnish when keeping a rustic or chippy paint finish. Thompson’s Water Seal can be used as well.
Shutter art projects
Jeanne Sammons says, “ If you love birdhouses, here is one that is fairly simple to duplicate. Get out your drill, screw gun and saw! Materials list to build this recycled ‘Shutter Birdhouse is old recycled barnwood, Flea Market shutters, recycled metal roof and a headboard rail split in half lengthwise. It’s still looking good and being used but a critter has chewed thru the shutter on one side. The birds love this one out in the pines for a few years now.
Sue Gerdes of Flea2Fab, tells us, “Last years snowman on a shutter. Scarf and head band and buttons and clay carrot nose and branch, pine cones. I like things looking three dimensional.”
Nell Stelzer says, “This was a project I worked on today. I had six old inside shutters, I removed the hardware so they are single shutters. I saw one inDelaware this summer at a great craft and gift store but did not want to pay the price they wanted. I took a picture and created it. I used a wired ribbon that looked like a scarf, I frayed the edges and used the same ribbon for a hat band.”
Shutter art can be of any subject,..a pine tree, flowers,…any theme or motif you choose and for any season.
Here’s my own potting bench area after we added the window, shutters and shelves. We used the black brackets I found in a junk box and luckily there were four. It was fun then to set it all up with all the pots and tools. I can really use this area when before it was just a catch-all for ‘bad’ junk. ~~ Sue Langley