Are you ready to party on your patio?? Because, after this project, I know I am! It’s finally time to debut the outdoor project that has been on my to do list for almost a year. You saw a little sneak peek of it in this patio progress post, but today, I’m finally unveiling the 100% upcycled (and basically free) Patio Party Wall!
This project idea spurred from my unwillingness to let the extra plywood scraps I paid for go to waste after we wrapped up our DIY Upholstered Headboard project. When I had the guy at Lowes cut our headboard to size, I piled the extra pieces in my car without a plan, but I knew I’d think of something. When we kicked off this summer with our patio desperately screaming for decoration, so I put two and two together and concocted a fun patio party wall.
To start off this project, I filled in major cracks and wholes with a wood putty and painted the whole sheet with the white paint left over from when we moved out of our previous apartment. The next step was adding a pretty pattern. I found this painted wallpaper tutorial and stencil from Jones Design Company a long time ago and I have been waiting to bust it out for something and this ended up being perfect.
The pretty emerald green paint was a sample I received as part of a goodie bag from my Texas Bloggers Meetup in June and, paired with the pattern, that humble piece of plywood transformed into a crisp, clean beacon of prettiness on my otherwise empty patio. And, if you’re wondering, the stenciling did not actually take too long. I can’t give you an exact time, but I’ll say it was about “two full Justin Timberlake albums worth” of stenciling and painting.
Once the actual board was dry, it was time to add the little ‘lanterns’ to hold pretty things. Sticking with the free theme, I just used tin cans! One week of saving up six good cans and sending them on de-gunking trip through the dishwasher and they were ready for the next step.
I wanted to poke holes in the cans, for a few reasons. One, I needed a way to hang the cans, so two holes towards the top were necessary. Two, I also wanted one hole in the bottom of the can to allow for drainage in case it rains hard (which it will, eventually). And three, I thought it would be neat to have holes all around the middle and maybe use them for lanterns with some LED candles I have. They wouldn’t emit much light but the effect would be pretty.
In order to make hammering a nail through the can easier, I filled them up with water and set them in the freezer for about two days. This way they wouldn’t cave in when the nail went through. If you replicate this project, please be aware, the frozen cans get slippery fast (especially in the summer heat), so be extremely careful when making your holes. I kept a towel underneath the cans for extra traction.
After all the holes were in, the ice had drained out, and the cans were dry, I brought them in to paint. At first, I attempted gold spray paint, but it never got a solid enough coat to get the effect I was going for. So, then I decided on chalkboard paint (also a freebie!) and this turned out to be a brilliant idea. Three thin coats and two days drying time was all it took for these cans to be outdoor ready. To hang them I used bakers twine and nails hammered directly into the plywood at even intervals.
And now, the finished product:
I used a chalk marker to write cute little labels on the cans and that can easily be wiped away with a little water. The hanging cans are perfect for small party accoutrements like utensils and napkins or you could fill them with pretty flowers or candles.
I can easily stow the cans away during the winter or in bad weather. Heck, I can probably just store the whole thing away in our outdoor closet if I needed too. But right now, I’m loving it. Finally this patio’s got a little something going on, right??
And since I used only things I had on hand, this project cost me ZERO DOLLARS! Score!! This might be my favorite project yet! All that’s left on the patio to-do list is to find a cute little outdoor table so we can set down plates and drinks and then we’ll be in business!
Tell me about projects you’ve done for ZERO DOLLARS!! Link them below!