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.




25 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh I love this post, your photos, the place and your project! Fabulous idea plus I love it so much as out in the garage, I have one I picked up at a yardsale a couple years ago and your idea is sooo perfect for my guest bathroom!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I also like the idea that it would make a great wedding gift for a new bride. I usually use trays for art supplies.


      1. Oh thats IS a great idea!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t see any of those imperfections. This is beautiful! Funy what you said about the washer. I often wonder, where did people find the time to do all the things our modern stuff does for us, like washing. As always, great post, and loving that hat :):)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and that hat my daughter is wearing came from the dollar store. I have to be so careful with those dollar stores, those dollars and items add up. I am trying to keep down the clutter and dollar stores are just too tempting and so much fun.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hehehe it happens to me too, so I try to limit my visits :):) What gets me is I will need ONE thing, go into the dollar store, come out with 10 things. I am working on it :):)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And that is why my husband calls the dollar store “The $100 dollar store” best advice is to limit those visits, so you are right about that.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hahahaha me and Mom have a joke that we are tthe only folks who can go to the dollar store and spend 50 dollars. Now, I knowwe are jot alone in that,and we are in good company 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. We could start a club. We could call it dollar store anonymous for all of us crazy over the top spenders.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t even know what to say anymore………awesome !! Everything is so right up my alley ….love it 🙂 Take care and can’t wait for what you’re going to be coming up next week ! Have a great weekend !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, you would love that garden house. It is getting warm there right now but the adobe home stays cool inside. I always liked rustic and antique items. Just got back from up north so I can’t wait to catch up on some more reading later. I always love seeing what you guys have finished in your beautiful world your creating up there by that lake.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love how you still take those pictures of your grown kids! I did it when they were little and then scrap booked it journaling things about them that year.
    I too love visitng places for inspirations, not to take away from the people making everything but I enjoy making my own. Your tool box turned out great, lately I am very into two ton things as well. Haven’t done a tool box in two tones yet, might have to start building and do some for fall!.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, isn’t it fun? Just taking something that is a little used and beat up and turning it into your own creation. I love that as a hobby. I am so happy my kids put up with my obsession with photography. I will be out in the world and say to my family ” What a great location for a portrait” then usually we will head out for a photograph there later.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My photography days has eased a little but it is my goal to start up again, Im not great and never really learned how to use Canon Rebel but she is my baby still 10 years later.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They will always be babies to us, no matter how old they get. Photography is one of my favorite hobbies, hope you start back soon, it can be so fun. Just shoot what you love and then you will see how beautiful your photos will be because anything we do with love is always good in my book.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. mel says:

    Omg! You have lots of cool stuff in your adobe home! I almost scream 🙂 And your roses garden… I always wanted a huge garden where I can have roses bush, hydrangeas and orchids. I love your garden box, the way you mix the white with the natural wooden color. Nice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, thanks. My garden is my peace place and some of my plants I have planted in memory of lossed loved ones. The adobe is a garden nursery in our neighborhood area where the roses are. It is the place where we buy our flowers during the spring and it is my favorite place for Mother’s day gifts. I wish I owned a rose garden like that but sadly I don’t but I have a beautiful one to visit not far from our neighborhood. My daughter ended up buying pink and red roses that day to add to our garden. So glad you liked it. It is such a beautiful place.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mel says:

        I think I saw purple rose in your picture of your daughter in the rose garden. I always end up buying lots of flowers every time I go to a nursery, then I end up confuse where to put all 🙂 At least you have garden 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There are all kinds of colors at the nursery. Even if I lived in a tiny little apartment in a big city, I would still have some sort of garden somewhere. Pots in all sizes displayed by a window or on a front porch makes a cute mini garden. I think gardening is good for the soul. Looks like you are just like me when it comes to flowers, I too always end up with a bunch when I visit the nursery in the Spring. It is getting too hot here now for flowers to survive but my Jasmine and Sunflowers are still around for now. They are under the gazebo so that helps.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. mel says:

        I already got the sunflower seed, but absolutely no available spot to grow it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I put all my flowers in pots to grow because the drought is so bad here. The pots hold in water better. We don’t grow flowers during the extreme hot months like late July-September. The water will just evaporate. Our front yard is crunchy and yellow right now because we try to conserve as much as possible. We planted some low water trees though and they are shading the front yard nicely right now. More trees need to be planted in this state. I usually finds pots at thrift stores or dollars stores, you could plant your sunflower in a big pot. It will put a smile on your face once it pops out to say hello and the bees will love you for it.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. mel says:

        Yeah, but I don’t have enough space for the pot, that’s the problem 😦 not space on the ground :0 Lucky for you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. That is sad. I do a lot of flower crafts for spaces inside. A little fabric flower in a tiny pot on a desk looks cute. I am a bit of a clutter bug though so I probably have to many things and could clear out a bunch.


      7. mel says:

        Yes, sad 😦 I only have 8 medium pots and couple of tiny pots with some small foliage plants in it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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