Category Archives: reuse wood/ lumber

Scrap Lattice Used For Shading Garden Vegetables

I put to good use two pieces of scrap lattice that were given to me. Sometimes newly transplanted plants need to be sheltered a bit for at least a day depending on your plants and weather conditions. It can be helpful to provide these plants a little shade to help them transition to their new growing spot.

My lattice pieces are about 2 feet tall and 8 feet long. I put the lattice at an angle to shade the plants and used a stick to hold in place.

Here are a lot of heirloom lettuce plants that I transplanted out into the garden. It was unusually warm that day.

Don’t Have A Sled: Make Your Own!

Home-Made Sled

Home-made ski sled ready to go!

Isn’t this sled fantastic? Patrick King of Southern Maryland made it himself from a pair of skis he said were slated for the dump. It worked really well too! They looked like they were having a blast.

Why not make your own?

Use a pair of old skis, scrap 2 x 4’s, a scrap piece of plywood and a bit of rope. Plus, padding for the seat would be a good idea.

He said he just screwed the skis to the wood from the bottom. The rest looks pretty straight forward.

I love this kind of clever thinking.

Go Ahead And Make Your Own Ice Rink: It is Easy!

learn to ice skate on your own rink

Enjoy the convenience of an ice rink in your own yard!

Learn to skate on homemade ice rink

Learn to ice skate!

I made this ice rink thanks to a rather cold spell in our area. If it’s going to be cold, we like to make the best of it!

Invite friends! I’ve collected a stash of assorted sized second- hand ice skates, knee pads, elbow pads, and helmets for my kids and their friends to use.

I wanted our rink to be small enough to be easy to set up and take down and I needed it to be made with materials I already had.

back yard Ice Skating Rink


Salvaged 2 x 4’s, enough to go around the perimeter

Plastic (I had leftover plastic used as a moisture barrier under my house.)

Bricks or logs; used to hold the walls in place.

How to:

Find a very flat area on your property. Lay out your 2 x 4’s to make a rectangle. Size the rectangle so that it fits your plastic. Remember that the plastic needs to go up and over the 2 x 4’s. I didn’t stake the sides or even use hardware to attach the boards to each other. I just lined the boards up end to end. Then I placed the plastic over; pulling it very flat. Next I placed other scrap pieces of 2 x 4’s where ever there was a point where two boards were meeting up. I used logs to secure in place. All that was left was to add water and nature did the rest. When the weather warms up again, gather the boards and folded up the plastic and store for future fun.

If you are looking to make a big ice rink: I found this site recently and thought it had a lot of good tips.

Eco-Shower: Rustic Outdoor Shower Made From Salvaged Antique Barn Stall Walls

Eco-Shower with driftwood wreath

An Eco-Shower (in my opinion) is any outdoor shower that is made with mostly salvaged materials and uses solar power to heat the water.

I love my outdoor shower. You can see where horses chewed on the wood and I like the little worm holes in the wood. This eco-shower is perfect for us in Southern Maryland because this area is historically known for its barns/ farms (especially tobacco barns) and the Chesapeake Bay.

Outdoor showers are great for several reasons: they keep your inside shower cleaner- especially good when returning from the beach all sandy… or muddy from a kayak trip. Also using it instead of your inside shower will keep the extra humidity out of your bathroom –especially good for people who have bathrooms where mold is a problem. In addition, it will reduce your electricity usage because you don’t have to use your water heater to heat your shower water. Best of all, it’s nice to shower outdoors!

A driftwood wreath fits in nicely. Don’t you think?

eco-Shower Side View

How to:

Good friends of mine were renovating the inside of their antique Maryland barn. That is how I was lucky enough to get my hands on some barn stall walls. I recruited my husband to help me build a frame out of treated four by fours. I used the pieces of the stall walls for the walls of the shower. There was some reconstructing (rearranging) involved.

Paint on a coat of water sealer to help preserve the wood.

To add the lettering on the side, I printed out a font that I liked in a large font size. I cut out the letters, traced the letters on the wood, and then pained the letters with acrylic paint.

Set up a garden hose extending to your shower. The longer the hose is the better (within reason). I connected two long hoses and coiled them neatly in a sunny location. The sun will heat the water while you are getting hot and sweaty mowing your lawn or working in your garden.

I located the shower far enough away from the house to avoid water problems and the land slopes away from the shower into the woods. You might want to install a drywell, which is basically just a hole filled with rocks. We currently stand on a slab of granite while showering but someday I think I’ll add a gravel walkway to the shower and a gravel floor in the shower.

Admittedly, we only use the shower seasonally. I don’t like a cold shower. But in the summer it’s fantastic.

Eco-Shower Back View

Don’t forget to add hooks to hang up cloths or towels. I used cleats (found at any hardware store) because they gave it a boat house feel. Even better would be to find some old cleats and reuse them in this project.

Eco-Shower Back

For privacy, I ripped a few barn boards into strips and filled some of the gaps between the boards.

Home-made Soap On Rock Soap Dish

Here is some home-made soap that I made. It is on a rock soap dish.