Friday, March 13, 2009

Garden Art doesn't have to Cost a Fortune! Make It!

Hey All! Today I am going to address the comment left most often on my garden posts that include photos of my own gardens....
You guys are always talking about that "old" bike in the flower bed against the tree...or asking about the other things scattered here and there in my gardens! Today I am here to confess the dirt on How, When and Where I got these things...
These signs (among others) were made by me! I cut two pieces of old barn board, and used chalk to write on them. Once the outline with chalk had been established, I used an old nail to carve out the letters a little bit...I did eventually purchase a rotary tool that makes things go much much faster than with a nail....but still carved the letters in about 1/4 inch into the wood. After that, I used a syringe and some old oil based paint to fill the grooves. A few screws holds them together and that is that! In a future post, I plan to give you some more sayings that would also be great fun on a garden sign. Like my window box?
An old window, some more scrap wood and a little paint treatment made me a few window boxes...get it..."window" boxes! lol These hang on the fence. I use a plastic window box pot to put the plants in and have several small drainage holes in the bottom of the wooden box for water to escape.

The pump comes from an old homestead site on my parent's farm. I added the gold paint, and a pond pump. A few containers and some river rocks collected from here and there made me a cool fountain...and it only cost me $15 in total. Not bad considering a fountain of this size is upwards of $200 here. (oh...and the plants IN the fountain....FAKE)Any plants outside the fountain itself are real live babies!
Now the bike....OH THIS BIKE! I love my bike, but would you believe that it is not that old? NOPE!!! In fact this is a five speed bike that I picked up at a garage sale two years ago for $2!
Allow me to explain. We were going for a drive one day, and happened upon a yard sale just loaded with bicycles. I spotted this one and made sure we stopped! The place was full of people, and no one was even looking at this one. No one, that is, but ME! I snatched it up as the light bulb above my head glowed full strength! My family was embarrassed as I proudly wheeled this baby across the road and loaded it into the box of the truck! All I could think about was the "plan" that I had for this bike!Here is a shot of it right this minute. I thought it would be easier to explain the process I went through to get it to look old if there was nothing around it. I love ya that much, that I was out in the snow taking some shots of it for you! lol
Can you see where we cut the bar out of the center of the bike? A hack saw took care of this for us.
I left the chain wheel...but removed the chain and the gears from the bike itself...
As for the rust....just scraping off some of the paint got that started....and when I water my flowers, I watered the bike too....and the rest is up to nature! There was no basket on this bike, so I was out and about one day and saw these wire baskets...thought it would look great on the bike and just used the plastic ties to attach it. The ties were supposed to be temporary....but have been there for two years...lol
Now...the birdhouse.

The stump is the actual tree that the rest of the house was made from. The apple tree passed away and I needed to use that stump for something...as I cut the tree out AFTER I planted the annuals...so...a little scrap wood, and a saw...some tree branches and there it is! The roof is hinged and it can be used to hold things. It is too low to the ground for a bird to like, but it at one time did hold a spare key....(not anymore...lol)My teapot birdbath really made a splash! For instructions on how to make one of your own....please click here for a Tootsie Tip unlike any other! You will also find direction on how to do the tea cup on a stick that I made to match the bird bath!
The old ladder was in bad shape...a couple of fence board scraps cut to size, a coat of paint and some spare screws..and it holds up nicely. I paid $0.50 for it!

I am super proud of my bench. I made three in total when I did it! I had been out shopping and saw a smaller less cute version in a shop for loads of cash. I did an estimate (using my body parts) of how tall and wide etc....and went home and hit my stash of barn board....a few short hours later...and I had a rickety old bench to hold flower pots and trinkets for my garden.
It doesn't seem to matter what I put on it...It always holds its charm! I think I will cry if it ever falls apart and I can't fix it! Did I ever mention that I love power tools?
See that window in my fence? It is part of a group of windows I brought home from helping demo an old house here in town. I had a few of them. I used a couple to make the window boxes, and a couple to make the window hangers and then used one to make a peek hole from the side of my house into the back yard. The bed on the side of my house is HUGE...and it seemed a shame that we never looked at it...so I thought this was a great idea. It gets a lot of comments from the road. I did learn the hard way NOT to wash it with windex...the birds think it is open and have had a few deaths because the glass was TOO clean...(just a warning to those who may try the window in the fence)
This is another window. I made the hanger out of old garden junk and one of my salvaged windows. It hangs in the front under my house number!
Well...that's it for now...I have a few more projects in the making...but those will wait until I have them done, and planned and easily made...then I will show you how!
Have fun making some garden art of your own. If you do...and have ideas....share them...let me know too!
Have a great weekend....
oh yea...
Next Friday is the first Fertilizer Friday of 2009.....be ready!

45 comments:

Diane @ Four Paws and Co said...

Wow! You have the best ideas! Love the teapot & cups and the bike is my very favorite! I wish I had a supply of barn wood now... well, then I'd need instruction on how the saw works, etc.... ☺

Darla said...

Just when I am looking at OVERPRICED garden art, you have this wonderful post! Looking forward to more!

Loretta said...

Wow, you are so talented and brimming with creativity! I may steal a few ideas.

Dawnie said...

thanks for the great ideas. I will be much more conscious of what I see out there from now on. Your gardens and yard are stunning..looks like so many wonderful places to just sit.

Kristens Creations said...

Love it all Tootsie! Your flowers make me really jealous. What I meant in my post was that I wish I liked to plant as much as you. I'm afraid it came across the wrong way. I changed the wording up a bit. I really love that old bike! Kristen

Kristens Creations said...

I mean old looking bike, you did a great job, because I really thought it was old!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Great post, Tootsie! I love all your garden art.

I've been looking for a bike for somewhere in our gardens!

prof en retraite said...

Tootsie...This is wonderful! Your yard amazes me! There is so much love and attention to every little detail! Just gorgeous...can't wait to see it this year!! Have a great weekend...hugs...Debbie

Miss Laura Lu/RMS4291960 said...

Tootsie...this is incredible! I can't wait for some warm weather! I am definitely going to try some of these,especially the teapot-teacup thingy! You need to charge for garden shows! Now, when are you going to answer my question about soil amendments!? Nothing like a demanding follower! God Bless! Lauralu :)

foxxy said...

OMG! Tootsi you are a genius! I love your style. Your garden pictures are amazing. I always wished I had a green thumb but nope my thumb is brown. Thanks for visiting my blog and I love seeing my blog on your sidebar. Thanks! I don't think that's happened before.

Jacque said...

Always fun to find a new blog that I relate to! Love all the fun garden art, if you get a chance come by my blog I think you would enjoy my yard too! My old bike is by the front gate, looks like I just got home from riding it, I always try to keep flowers in the basket so it looks like i just got back from the farmers market. Take care~Jacque

Happy To Be said...

Girl you are just too good with your power tools..now you know I love that bike..did I tell you I have an old one sitting by my front oor with a basket of flowers in it..of course right now its empty..Now girl I got an old mail mail and opened it up and laid a pot down on its side and had flowers spilling out of it...you could't see the pot only the flowers...I guess besides old wagons and wheels and street signs thats about all my yard art..thanks for sharing yours..hope you have a great day...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Ashley ~ said...

WOW*! Everything is beautiful*! I LOVE the way you decorated the flower beds with art*! I am SO looking forward to Spring and Summer and seeing more*!

Helen said...

As I have shared, my townhome doesn't lend itself to all-out gardening ... BUT I can certainly take a tip or two from the Tootsie book and whip up something cute for the little space I do have... thank you so very much for this post today!

Lynn said...

I came across your site this morning and I love it!!! I just added you to my favorites.... Keep the blog comming!!!

Mary Ellen (megardengal) said...

Tootsie- your garden art is so fun! I am so glad you shared about that bike!!! I thought it was an old one which I have been looking for- to no avail!! But I know I can find a later model one fairly easy!! Oh I am so excited to think I might have a bike in my garden this year!!!

blessings
mary

Lady Katherine said...

Oh! They are so wonderful, you have shown so many! Yes, I love the tea pot! The window box, the bird house, the bench, the bike, the everything! lol This was great! Oh the signs! I love your pump! I have always wanted one! Your so lucky! Hubby got an old round propane tank, that no one uses anymore. He going to paint it red and white and it will look like a fishing cork, and he plans to make a hook and pole. I love your garden ideas! I love to bring some of them in. lol I just love all things that are old! I had grandchildren 10 hours a day, not much time, now have my daughter family moved in with me, that's four more people. Lost jobs again. I needed to see all your lovelys today

Tamara Jansen said...

All I can say is WOW! I wouldn't have guessed you made those yourself......you've got a gift lady :)

Linda/ "Mom..." said...

***** TOOT, TOOT, TOOTSIE, hellllloooo.... Hi, honey! Been a while, hasn't it?! SO glad I came a visitin', as this was so full of fun & beauty & great ideas!!! Your very special "gift" brings such joy to others, and BTW, LOVE yer "new" pic, kiddo!!! XO Linda

Sassy said...

WOW! Can I just move in...it is so gorgeous and you are so talented!!!! I ♥ WINDOWS...I am always picking another one up and I love how you have uesed them...The last old paned one that I just bought I want to have my wall cut out between the dining room and kitchen and have the old window put in...it would be killer I tell ya...I am sad you have snow and we are pushing 80 today...the bike is way cool! Tootsie...YOU ARE GREAT! Thanks for all the ideas...

cindy said...

Wow! So creative! LOVE the bench...I am going to have to try that. I sure wish spring would hurry up and get here....

jerseygirl211 said...

Tootsie,

I haven't tried the Mug Cake, but I intend to make it soon. Knowing how many of our fellow bloggers are chocoholics, I couldn't help but pass it on. I think the kids would have a ball making it.

Love & Hugs
'D'

Judi said...

You are just far too clever Tootsie. I love all your ideas and thank you for sharing the pictures too. They are so inspiring.
hope you have a great weekend! Its warming up Sat and Sun. yippeeee
Judi

Betty said...

Thanks for sharing your yard art! You are creative.

Betty

nikkicrumpet said...

You forgot to mention you also need a few more tools....one: Incredible talent....two: incredible vision and three: incredible creativity!!!

~♥~ Monica S said...

Tootsie.. My jaw dropped to the floor at all the beauties that you have created!! WOW.. wish you lived a bit closer, and we could do those things together!!! ;-)

Monica

Bo said...

Hello Tootsie girl...do you have ANY idea how much joy you add to our blogging lives? Well, dear little one...let me tell you..it is immense, especially since I pick up snippets here & there that all is not rosy on your home front..
I'm don't intend to stick my nose in your business, but I do believe the best is yet to come for you, dear heart! Hugs, ;-) Bo

Linda said...

What a beautiful flower garden you keep. I love the bike in the middle.
Blessings,
Linda

imjacobsmom said...

This was a fun tour! It was great to revisit your gardens and thanks for sharing all of your ideas. You still have quite a bit of snow in your yard, too. (I don't live on the sunny side of the street.) We had the windows open today for a bit - it was nice to air things out. ~ Robyn

Jill said...

I love the old bike! It looks so cool with the flowers! I am here at Tiney's house this weekend. HELP ME! GET ME OUT OF HERE! LOL

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

How clever you are! These are some fantastic ideas! Thank you so much for sharing them. laurie

Momovthree said...

Your garden art all looks wonderful!

Thank you, thank you for linking me to your shade post. Exactly what I needed! Especially all the info on hydrangeas as I was planning on adding them to both a sunny and shady area of my yard this spring. Just one question if you don't mind.....I wanted to put a hydrangea in front of our porch, about 8-9 feet from our tree out front and 3 feet from a small evergreen. Do you think that is too close? I'd hate to put it in and have it wilt away because of the trees. Loving all these garden posts, great ideas. Thank you! :)
~Michelle

xinex said...

Great ideas, Toots! And they all look so pretty....Christine

kari and kijsa said...

SUch a beautiful garden- Love the bike...so many great ideas!!
blessings,
kari & kijsa

Jannie Funster said...

Just beautiful flowers!

And the last bike photo is breath-taking.

Your crocii up yet?

Jessica said...

Toots~

I just love your gardens and your signs and your bike...lol. It's cartwheel worthy even in the snow.

Big hugs~ J

"Blossom" said...

Tootsie, your ideas are wonderful.
Gosh, I would never had thought of the things you have done here. I just wish my flower boxes turn out good. I couldn't image having a beautiful yard like you; I would be in spring wonderland. Tootsie, how do you show your comments under the blog you post and how do you show only one blog at a time. My all run together. I ask you because you have been doing this along time. Thanks, blossom.
Oh, I have a cover porch that is 30 X 40 and 5 hanging flower boxes. The sun hits the porch until about 1:00 in the afternoon. What do you recommend for flowerw and how do I get them to grow like yours. I tend to over water.

Justine/Justiney/Tiney said...

Girl, no matter what you do in that garden it turns out looking brilliant. You are SO talented. I really wish you would make a career out of this!!!!

Justine :o )

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Oh, What a lovely breath of Spring.
Thanks for the flowers.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Tootsie, I am getting so anxious for spring. I bet you are, too! I love your ideas of yard art.
Miss you!!

Chrissy said...

Wow... great shots indeed, my favorite is the one with the bike, reminds me of Ireland!!! Thanks, all the best, Chrissy

Antiques and More Blog said...

You are a clever lady!! I love all of the garden art. You've inspired me to try making some of my own.

Thanks so much for sharing~
Lisa

momstheword said...

Oh girl I loved these! So pretty and so creative. I want you to come to my house and make my garden pretty, lol!

cindee said...

Hi,
I bought and old bike a few years ago and had it filled with flowers. I kept thinking it would be better painted black so I did that then I didn't like it so I took off the paint and now its a mix match of rust and colors from years past. It is dismantled again because I thought I would paint it blue. But now after seeing yours I am thinking I should just leave it the mix match of rust and colors. It needs new tires so I have to get some of those then it will be ready to go again(-:
I love all your creative garden art! OH and I did fertilize on Saturday! I didn't have time Friday to do it(-:

Kathy said...

The color of your flowers is amazing. I love what you did with the bike. I have my mom's bike and put it in some shrubs, but no one can see it. I think I'll make a little shade garden similar to yours using my mother's old bike. She died of Breast Cancer in 01. Maybe I should use flowers with shades of pink.