Dollar day do over- upcycled garden box


This dollar day do over project was just lying around my house being used as a storage container and piled with clutter.

I had forgotten about it until a visit to our favorite garden nursery.


When ever we make a trip to the neighborhood garden my husband and son are usually hanging out with the goats and peacocks. As soon as we get to the garden everyone heads to their favorite spots.


My daughter heads to the roses. This is a photo we took a few months ago when she decided she was going to try to grow her own roses. She ended up picking a red and pink rose bush. The photo below of my daughter was my once a year mom photo. Since my kids were babies I have always taken a portrait of them once a year where I try to include their personality somehow in the photo. They have to have something (a favorite toy) or be somewhere that reminds us of that year and what they liked.


My favorite spot to hang out at the garden is an old adobe home on the property. It is filled with rustic and handmade farmhouse items to decorate your homes with.


There are all kinds of signs, which I have always been into. I just don’t have enough wall space in my home. Guess I could hang some outside but it has to be in the shade because our Arizona sun eats things. We even have street signs here where the paint has melted off from the heat.


This old adobe home has great structure. I like to explore the building on its own because of the design and how they made homes back in the day. They were made to last and the design details help inspire me to be a little more creative in storage. Like the little shelves built into the walls.


Or the arches throughout the home that lead into other rooms. This old cabinet was next to an archway that lead into the dining area. My daughter of course wants that chandelier in the background.


Then there is this outside covered room that leads out to the garden. I have always liked the curved structures in adobes.


I was getting all kinds of ideas to decorate from exploring this place.


Like these magazine prints used as wallpaper.


Thought these little paperweights would make the perfect gift for those hard to buy people in my life.


When I saw this old washing machine I remembered my grandma had one of these rusting away in her backyard when I was a little girl. This old machine made me think of the modern washing machine I have back home and how it is a little worn itself. My machine does everything for me so I won’t be complaining anymore. I am very happy I was born in the time I was. I am sure this old washing machine was a luxury at one time, but I like the ones they have now days. Wonder what it could be used for now besides a decorative piece in a home. It would make an interesting sink in a bathroom or laundry room.


Then I came across these trays. Now this is where my brain would say, “ Hey, you have one of these back home. You bought one at one of your thursday $1 day shopping trips.”  and I would also remember that I never decorated it, just left it the way it was and filled it with more clutter.


So I went home, found my old toolbox or garden tray (not sure what they call these) took all the clutter out and decided to make it look pretty. Mine was wooden, not metal like the one back at that adobe shop but I liked how the shop’s box had contrasting colors.


I decided to stain half of mine and paint half a cream color.


Then I got out some stencils and added a floral design.


And it didn’t stop there. Since my little box was now pretty I had to fill it with pretty things. I just happen to get one of those $10 coupons in the mail again, remember that post from Christmas. I got two sets of wash clothes for $8 and a t-shirt on sale for $5. Then I bought some pretty soap to add to it.


Now that I finished this project, looking around my home, I noticed there were some other items that could use a little make over and there is nothing wrong with that. So instead of replacing something, see what you already have, redesign it and make it new to you again.


Happy upcycling everyone. Let me know what you come up with, I love to see before and after photos.


Extra tip: nothing is perfect and I had a couple of moments of imperfections with this remake, so before you get started on a project yourself, learn from my mistakes.

1.When staining, watch for drip marks and take care of them before they dry. I noticed some drip marks after they dried but it didn’t bother me much because I was keeping this item for myself. Now if it were a gift, I would have sanded it down and started over. You should sand it all down to begin with anyway before you stain. I was working outside and was kind of in a hurry to get this project done so I kind of rushed things. We have to do all our outside work either early in the morning or later in the evenings before the heat. This is what it is like living in a desert. During the months of August and September you have to get up between 4-5am to get outside projects done.


2.Use soft stencil brushes and remember to dab between dips in paint. I couldn’t find my nice stencil brushes; think I might have left them up north at Our Little Red House. I ended up using a cut up sponge. Some of the paint bled through the stencil because the sponge had too much paint on it at the time. Plus it got in areas I didn’t want to stencil so I had to do a lot of touch ups with the cream paint. I need to have two sets of stencil brushes it seems so this doesn’t happen again when I get that stenciling urge. Anyway, in the end, mistakes and all…I still had fun and that’s all that matters.




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