DIY: Freestanding Garden Door


By Kathy Jentz and Jessica Arends

A weathered, freestanding door with its open, rusty key hole makes an enchanting and whimsical addition to the garden. Use it to hang planters or tools. It also comes in handy to divide garden spaces and hide an unattractive view. 

Level: Intermediate
Cost: $20-50
Use: Gift, Decorative, Functional
Time: 3-5 hours (not including waiting for paint to dry)

Materials:
  • Old Wooden Door
  • Pressure-treated 2x4s
  • Carpentry Tools (mitre box, saw, hammer, etc.)
  • Paint and Paintbrush
  • Hanging Planter
  • Plants and Soil
  • Old Rake Head
Step 1: Make the Door Base/Brackets
The brackets needed to be strong enough to hold the door’s weight and long enough to keep it upright. We decided on pressure treated 2x4s so Jessica could cut the length needed and the structure would last. She attached two 4-foot parallel pieces like skis to the bottom. These were then supported by four smaller braces, two on each side, cut at a 45 degree angle at both ends. The design was straightforward, but it did take a few tries to know precisely where the bottom pieces should be placed, so they lined up precisely with the braces. A few cuts with the saw and a few screws later and it was done. 

Step 2: Decorate and Finish the Door
Using home-made chalk paint, Kathy painted the base and dry-brushed the door in light green, so the new wood would blend in a bit with the old and would weather similarly. She then painted the hanging plastic planter to match. After letting it dry overnight, she hung the planter box on one side of the door and a reclaimed rake head on the other side. She then potted up the planter with soil and summer annuals.

This is a monthly blog series on DIY projects for the beginning home gardener. Look for the other installments in this DIY blog series by putting "DIY" in the search box here at washingtongardener.blogspot.com

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