Beautifying Our Old Shed Back To Life

Have you ever stared at a space in your home, knowing it's going to be completely gutted and redone as soon as you have the time, and finally decide to give it a tiny facelift in the meantime because you hate looking at it?
That's exactly where I was at with our run-down shed in our tiny Queens backyard. This shed is way too small and is kinda falling apart, but it's just not on the top of our long list of things to be reimagined at the moment. But, one afternoon, I got sick of looking at the blank wall and decided to make it useful until we decide to take a sledgehammer to the whole thing. Our postage stamp yard is the only outdoor play space our pup has, so we didn't want to plant anything in it. I thought the side of the shed would be the perfect spot to add color to our back yard. As a professional organizer, I'm always telling my clients to think "up." I did the same thing here. Plants don't always have to go on the ground. We took an old window, mounted it to the wall, and then used fabric wall planters to add life and color. We also love to keep spare wood around for any DIY projects we might dream up. For a while, it just took up what limited space we had on our "patio." So, we also built storage for these planks as well using, well, spare wood!
Sharing our before and afters with you because, while it's not a "forever" project, I think it's important for me to remember temporary fixes can ease my anxiety while we wait for funds and time to haul over a space.
It's much nicer to look at now!
See!? Boring! And a waste of valuable space!
Finish Nailer
16 gauge finish nails
Table Saw
Miter Saw
Scrap Wood
Old Window
Fabric Planter
5" Wood Screws
3/4" Wood Screws
STEP 1: Add a base to your shed
We started by creating a base for our spare wood storage that will live on the back wall of the shed. The inside of the shed isn't drywalled, so we knew exactly where the studs were without a stud finder. We secured old 2x4's to the shed with 5" wood screws and the finish nailer.
STEP 2: Build frame sides
We then ripped "posts" from scrap wood we had with our table saw. We secured these posts from underneath our shelf with 5" wood screws. Then, we began to clad the "frame" with pallet wood cut to size.
STEP 3: Add a brace
We added a brace to the bottom for extra support. Our temporary storage was ready to be filled with scrap wood!
All this wood is about to find a home!
STEP 4: Hang your window
Next up was making the main wall on our shed tolerable to look at. I had an old window laying around that I didn't want to use inside the house. We even had the ledge that was originally underneath it! Again, we located the studs and made marks on the shed. We then drilled pilot holes through the window frame and into the shed wall.
STEP 5: Hang your ledges
We didn't have an L brace lying around, so we used an old 4x4 post and secured it to the studs. The ledge we had will then be screwed to this post.
Just like this.
STEP 6: Add fabric planter shutters
I then wanted to give my window "shutters." We hung fabric planters to the wall using 3/4" wood screws. To give it a finished look, we framed it with spare wood. The frame is 2" around with mitered edges.
STEP 7: Add your plants
Add plants! We toyed with planting herbs instead of flowers, but we agreed that our fixer upper backyard needed color, even if temporary. We played around with a plant layout and then added top soil and water to make sure these plants got accustomed to their new home!
There you go! This shed is all dressed up - for now! We can't wait to demo this baby, but until then, it won't be so offensive to look at! ;)
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 7 questions
  • Diena Cameron
    on Jul 19, 2018

    Hi Sarah K. Love, love, love your whole project ! The wood storage is a wonderful way to hide it and get it up off the ground. The window and fabric planters are so cute that I thinking of doing the same thing ! I realized that this is an older post so I was wondering if you had made any other improvements since and if you have, would love to see them ??? Thanks 😍

  • Robyn Garner
    on Jul 20, 2018

    Can you post how you made the fabric planting shutters? They're terrific!

    • Linda
      on May 8, 2020

      I purchased mine on Ebay. They come in different sizes and colors

  • Jkr22097881
    on May 8, 2020

    Why not cut off the bottom rotted part of the shed and repair with the lumber attached to the side of the shed. Paint and the job is done and you may get more useful and attractive years before you take it down.

Join the conversation

2 of 179 comments
  • Jean
    on May 9, 2020

    It looks very nice. But I would have build a flower bed at the bottom of the shed to cover that bad wood. (Paint first. ). It does look better. I may do something like that to mine.

  • Theresa Holz
    on May 9, 2020

    What a clever way to make an eyesore pretty! The shutters are so cool. The rot at the bottom of the shed adds to the whole picture great way to incorporate what nature gave you to work with on this project.

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