A month ago, I didn't know the difference between a nail and a screw - in my first, very own DIY - I used BOTH!!!! I recently enjoyed a 'shadow box' class at a Women's Shed that's opened in Scarborough, WA. With these new found skills (and a small addiction to drilling holes) I wanted to make something all on my own! And what better way to start than #DIYJULY
After a quick flick for inspiration, I stumbled across the idea of making a House Number Planter Box.1 A perfect first project - simple (enough) shape, it's creativity potential is high, annnnd it goes outside so I won't be drilling holes into any walls inside – just yet anyway!
Using scrap pieces of wood from the Women's shed class (thank you Lana!!) I had 7 pieces of wood all measuring at 250mm x 125mm x 20mm. I arranged them into 3 pieces – to form a BACKBOARD
Then I needed to arrange the planter box which will attach onto the backboard. I have a front and a bottom that fit perfect to the back board. I cut two SIDE pieces from my extra pieces of wood measuring the equal amount of 125mm – 20mm of the bottom = 105mm. . .
Borrowing my husband's jigsaw, I tried to safely cut two side pieces. I learnt a lot - jigsaws are intense and whilst they look like it should do straight lines apparently, it's actually a circular blade that I need to get that straight cut (who would've thought?!) Borrowing my father-in-law's circular saw and after going back to Bunnings to replace the wood I ruined with the jigsaw. I asked the hubby to help me cut my sides (I didn’t want another repeat of the jigsaw disaster!)
Now I'm ready to put them all together!
* NB: My replacement wood was different to the wood from the Women's Shed – something I didn’t think would make a difference until I got to the staining stage... whoops!
. . .
First, I sanded my pieces so it was smooth around all the ends and edges, particularly where it had been cut. Then I did all my marking - being dyslexic I NEED to label my "top" "front" "bottom", etc. to avoid confusion! I also measured and marked where I drill my holes - I wanted them to be even.
TIP: I use an old screw driver as an “awl” to really mark my spot and as a guide for the drill bit.
With my wood pieces all smooth and ready to go - Let’s start with the BACKBOARD! I used some Tarzan Grip wood glue that I had lying around (can't remember why? But yay!) and I glued all 3 of my back pieces together on their EDGES and then clamped them in place – so they really stick!
Because I want the backboard pieces to be stable and being a beginner, I don't entirely trust just glue to hold onto a planter box. With this in mind, I decided to use two STRAIGHT BRACKETS* to hold it all together. I think the ones I bought are for making your own brackets because the metal has notches in it and it bends quite nicely too! Whether they were the right thing to use or not - they did the trick!!!!
* Galvanised MAKE-A-BRACKET FLAT 20x2200x1mm by Carinya – they also come in handy to open paint buckets!!!
I placed my two brackets as close to each of their side ends as possible as well as placing along the line that will essentially also meet the box sides on the front.
I positioned the bracket holes so that TWO bottom holes were hitting the BOTTOM piece with just 1 hole EACH in the top two pieces.
NB: making sure that the holes you will be screwing into on the brackets don't hit the joining line of the wood.
I used SMALL screws in the top two holes so that it doesn't protrude the BACKBOARD. For the bottom two holes I used LONGER screws so that they would also go embed into the sides - which I left until I was joining the box to the backboard.
I marked my holes and with a 7/64 (2.8mm) bit, drilled holes just deep enough to get my screw to self-drive itself into the wood. With my brackets screwed on and secure – the BACK is done!!
Now the PLANTER BOX!!!
Most of the projects I watched and read "how to" used a nail gun – and they're expensive!! I did it the old-fashioned way with a hammer and nails! Starting with the FRONT and the two SIDES I used wood glue and placed the front on TOP of the sides like a little table. I then drilled holes on my marks with a 5/64 (2mm) drill bit. Then I hammered in some 200mm flathead nails – with the pre-drilled hole they went straight in!
Next was the BOTTOM. Gluing the other end of my SIDES I followed much the same process to attach the bottom. Except because I didn't want to hit the nail that was coming from the front, I moved my marks on the bottom to be 20mm (rather than the 10mm on the front) from the front and back edge BUT I still kept my 10mm coming in from the ends – so I don't miss the side pieces!
Once it's together, I drill holes (about 8mm) into the BOTTOM of your box for drainage!
Another tool/material (?) used by many YouTube pro-ers was "L brackets" - I managed to get two on the front and the bottom but when I wanted to join the backboard to the box, I couldn't get the drill in to make my holes. I ended up leaving it with just the two L brackets because I also knew that the straight brackets on the back would hold the planter!!! I thought this was clever of me?!
NOW it's all joined it's time to make it pretty!! I sanded again, this time with an orbital sander! I used a coarse grain (240) then a fine grain (80) and rounded out my corners just a little for an extra smooth look.
I used the Shanty to Chic2 (fun American YouTube diy-ers!) to do my stain:
I repeated this ^^ about 4 times, then with the last coat I left it for 24 hours to set in. Because the colour Ebony is so dark I was achieving the depth of colour I wanted quite quickly - but to be honest it was all just guess work until I was happy with the colour and that’s when I left it alone.
While my wood is staining, I used my Cricut to design and cut a stencil to put on the backboard. I used a gorgeous image from a fellow Cricuter and added our surname - It's extra cute for me because I'm new to the Hill family and we live on a HILL! Using Cricut Stencil vinyl I cut my project, weed it, apply transfer tape and then I was ready to stencil!!
Centering the stencil onto the back of the board I applied it with the transfer vinyl.
Note to self: do not use strong transfer - it was wicked hard to get off!! Normal clear vinyl will do!! I also should have covered the area I wasn't painting as it seems spray paint has quite an off spray - which for me I didn't mind so much as it gives the stain a bit of extra sparkle!!!
With acrylic gold paint I stamped my stencil design and then sprayed over it with Squirts Gold Gloss spray paint. I got a bit of a square mark from the stencil shape when I did the spray paint - I buffed this out a bit with a sand block so it wasn't as obvious - but again I think it adds a bit of sparkle and depth to the back.
Also - this was my first attempt at stenciling so please forgive the lack of perfect lines - again it just adds to the character of the planter
Now I've got my stencil and my stain on it's time to add a finish so my project doesn't rot away! With a bristle brush and FINISH* I coated my planter over 3 days for extra security against rain (plus it will have a plant in it sooo...)
*I used Exterior Ultra Clear in Matte by Intergrain – a water based, non-yellowing, clear finish that will provide my planter box with protection from rail, hail and shine – though hail isn’t much of an issue in the West.
Next, we need to put our numbers on – otherwise it’s just a cute planter box not a cute HOUSE NUMBER planter box! I bought Sandleford 100mm "Windsor" Screw-on numbers in Polished Brass. I probably should have marked and pre drilled the holes BEFORE I stained and finished but oh well... Using the back of a contact sheet (which has a grid printed on it) I taped this to the front and centering the two numbers with equal distance apart and from the edges I NOW mark and drill my holes – Still leaving the contact sheet on so I don’t mark my pretty wood! With my holes in place, I can take off the contact and screw in my numbers!
. . .
Now all I have to do is put it up out the front! Because it’s going onto a brick wall, I need to use a MASONRY DRILL BIT and a masonry fixing. Following the instructions of “How to install masonry fixings” on the Bunnings’ website, I decide that even though my planter box isn’t too heavy, I prefer the look of the hex nut on the Dynabolts.
Marking on the TOP corners of the BACKBOARD and using a spare bracket hole as a guide for my bottom two holes – which I’ll drill from the back – I made 4 clearance holes with a 6mm drill bit. Which, I probably should have done BEFORE I applied my stain and finish – whoops!
Lining up my planter box, I marked through the clearance holes onto the brick. I use my HAMMER drill setting on my Ryobi cordless drill and made 4 holes with a 6mm masonry bit. With my amazing hubby to help me line it all up, I gently hammered my 60mm Dynabolts (that I pre-hammered through my clearance holes) into the brick. Then with a spanner, turned the nut till it was tight and my box was flush against the wall!
. . .
VOILA!!!!! My very first project and I'm so proud! Except it’s missing something???
A BUNNY COULD WORK hehe but she doesn't quite cover the ugly dial pad that refuses to budge!!!
I think I need A PLANT!!!
What kind of plant should I put in???* I’m thinking something that creeps and grows up the wall?!
*IDEAS for PLANTS ARE WELCOME 😊
LINKS for inspiration =
SHANTY TO CHIC - Staining method - How to Stain Wood Video - Shanty 2 Chic (shanty-2-chic.com)
And in case you wanted to see what a shadow box class can accomplish! This is my very proud moment showing off my finished product!!!
A very warm welcome from me too, @ehill! We're thrilled to see you here, and hope you'll find our community a great place for inspiring D.I.Y ideas and handy tips.
Thank you for sharing your first project, along with details of your process and your journey. You deserve to be proud of your planter box and your stencilling work.
Your project has been submitted for the D.I.Y. July competition and you can see it on our competition gallery here: Australia's Best D.I.Y. Projects 2022 | Bunnings Workshop community
Wishing you all the best for the competition, and we're looking forward to seeing more of your work.
Wow this is amazing!! So beautiful well done Erin for your first diy project it looks amazing, good luck in the competition love your work! And looking forward to seeing what you have in store for the future
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @Bonibug. It's wonderful to have you join us, and many thanks for jumping into the discussion.
Let me mention @ehill, so they are alerted to your kind comments.
Would you like to build something similar? You'll find the community filled with inspirational projects contributed by our talented members. Make sure to have a good look around; I'm sure you can find a project you can tackle yourself.
I look forward to hearing about all the projects and plans you have going on around your home. Please let us know anytime you need assistance or have something to share.
@JoeAzza "there is no magic in magic, it's all in the details" - Walt Disney
I wanted to share not only the "how-to" but also the fun experience I had making it!
YAY!!! Thank you @Akanksha this is all so very exciting!!!
Thank you @Bonibug I'm ridiculously proud of myself and what I can accomplish!
#WATCHTHISSPACE More to come
Thanks @MitchellMc this is a new but fun experience! Bunnings will be my new second home!!!!!