Life With Nine Kids

Monday, April 9, 2012

Repurposing a Workbench Into a Gardner's Potting Bench & Chick Brooder House

I'm so very, very pleased with how our latest repurposing project went. We took an old, sturdy work bench from a garage on our property and with Charlotte and Ricky's help we lugged it all the way over to the other side of our house. Then the fun began. I had a vision to repurpose it into a cute piece of garden furniture... I wanted a potting bench AND chick brooder house all in one. When baby chicks weren't using it as a bed and breakfast I figured it would be great garden storage.

So that's what we did this weekend. We painted, cut, drilled, nailed, and stapled our way to success! I couldn't be happier. We only spent about $25 on supplies. We needed to buy: 1 inch chicken wire, hinges, latches, and fence staples. We had and used scrap wood, staple gun, saw, drill, other basic tools (like a hammer/wire cutters), paint, and shower curtains.

A nice workbench. Everett climbing up to get the chicken on top

Measuring wood for a door on each side

Fitting a back on with plywood we had laying around

Chicken wire on the front, Sebastian helping his dad

Daddy often has a curious helper nearby

Side door with latch and hinges finished

                                                                          The back all painted

I added gardening stuff to the top to get the final feel, and I had to make the inside cozy and nice. I am laughing really hard in the above picture because I'm slightly stuck.

I got stuck a little as I made the finishing touches inside and this didn't help lol

Backing out of the chicken brooder house

For the inside walls I cut and stapled a plastic shower curtain that has an awesome farm scene on it. Ricky's mom didn't need the shower curtain anymore and I collect them for reasons like this. I was totally saving this cute one for a special occasion. (Shower curtain collection...I know weird, right? They come in SO handy though!)
I love this farm scene! I added another shower curtain to the floor. It's not stapled down so it can be removed for cleaning. Later we'll add straw or wood shavings. We generally use heating pads covered in pillow cases for heat, but we could drill a hole in the bottom for a cord and hang a light if we want to.

We sure had a lot of fun with this! I love how it turned out!
(Did you see there's a chicken eating out of a bowl on the table top, it's the kids' pet chicken.)

My original plan was to keep this in the garage. After finishing it I agreed with my Aunt Sharon, too cute for our junky garage. So we carried it up onto our porch/sun room. It almost killed us, but we got it in there. Except that when we got it in there we realized we brought it in the wrong way... so we had to carry it back out and start over. We finally got it moved in and it takes up a chunk of an already small-ish room, but it's cute. I can: keep loads of plants on it, the kids can pull stools up to it for coloring or eating on the porch, I can use it as a work space, there is ample space for starting seeds, and underneath I have a garden/garden decor storage area for when chicks aren't staying in it.


Weber&Ziolo said...

What a great idea!!
I love reading your blogs! you are an inspriation to me and I am sure many other women/moms!

Mom of a bunch of great kids... said...

Thanks so much! I love sharing and also reading other blogs. So many great ideas out there!

Kimberly said...

I love love love love LOVE this, especially the brilliant use of the shower curtain! And I LOLed for real at the pics of you backing out! Who was clever enough to be snapping shots of that? LOL!