The wonders of recycling


Renovation and restoration, two words that go together. Especially if you have a fun project where you can combine the useful and the pleasant.

Antique shops are often good places to find material that was previously used in a house. Most of the time it can be had at very little cost. The problem is finding the quantity you need to complete a project.

Here’s an idea that consists in recycling old wooden shutters into big pot holders or flower boxes to decorate your yard in summer.

You need four shutters of the same size. Next comes the approach to take:

You can:

  • Clean them to keep the original and old aspect of the wood.
  • Work very hard by stripping all surfaces down to the original wood and leave it natural with a coat of varnish or outdoor stain.
  • Sand before repainting and choose colours that fit with the decor.

Next, you have to cut each side (but not the top and bottom) of the wooden shutter with a circular saw at 45 degrees to form a box. To assemble it, use wood glue and finishing nails. Don’t forget to use a square to make sure that the angles of each corner are straight.

Once you’ve assembled the four corners, finish the job with a wooden frame (using the size that suits you) attached with glue and nails, this time on top of the shutters.

Drawing (only available in French)

For more height, attach a piece of plywood, glass or any other material to the top. Let your imagination run wild. Then place your flower pots or plants on top.

If you want to hide the pot inside the shutters, you need a piece of plywood with drainage holes and with the exact dimensions of the inside of the box, and secured with four wood screws at the desired height, at half their length, in order to support the plywood.

All that remains is to decide where you want to put these original flower pots, containing flowers, herbs or plants of your choosing.

Your new flower pots will likely be a topic of conversation during the summer season.

Photos: iStockphoto LP

Drawing: Casarazzi