2021 Projects: A Year in Review

What a year. This year brought many hardships, challenges, lessons, and growth. This year brought joy and memories. This year brought so much love and respect for learning.

This year we learned we can do really hard things: and I’m not only talking about the projects we tackle. We learned that people come and go and that nothing is promised. But through the hardships, we found Home. By pouring myself into our home and the process of creating this beautiful life I have seen that life does not have to “go” a certain way for you to be content. You are not accountable to anyone’s expectations but your own, and no one can belittle your talents or the light you bring into the world. We are different, and we should celebrate that.

As I return to each project we completed this year, you may just see photographs and smiles. But behind each photo is a memory, is a lesson, is a triumph. I also love being able to look back and see how much I’ve grown in my craft- not only as a DIY-er, but through my documentation of these moments. I have found a creative outlet that I will be molding and perfecting for the rest of my life. So, let’s go back, shall we?

Murphy Bed

We started on the Murphy Bed in January of 2021 and though it was completed in pieces over the first few months, this is one of our most functional projects to date.

To read all the blog posts regarding the Murphy Bed click the links below:

Building the Murphy Bed

Building the Murphy Bed +Shelves

Chevron Front

Chasing the Rainbow: Murphy Bed Paint Color

Decoupaging The Murphy Bed Shelving

Murphy Bed DIY Headboard

Chicken Coop

Ahh, the infamous chicken coop! Another big project and definitely our most recognizable project of the year.

We learned a lot during the months we built the coop and put a lot more effort into the details and build than most would expect, therefore it took a good amount of time to complete. Due to the reduced daylight hours of winter, and my husband’s work schedule we were limited in the first couple of months to working on the weekends until it reached a point where I could work on my own. We purchased and modified our plans from Sarah at Twelve on Main, and I could not dream of trying to replicate those plans for my own benefit.

We have several more updates and additions planned, but until then, I will stare in amazement at the beautiful thing we built.

You can read/see more about our Chicken Coop in the posts linked below:

Our Cozy Chicken Coop

Chicken Coop FAQ

Chicken Coop Updates

Chicken Coop at Autumn

The Garden

So much was done on the garden this year. In addition to the chicken coop, the whole garden area was established and built up! I wanted a garden that was functional, yet beautiful since I spend so much of my time out here. While there are several more projects in mind for this space, I am pleased with how far it has come in such a short time.

Click the link(s) below to find out more about each garden improvement.

Ground Cover: there were a LOT of crushed limestone rocks shoveled during the Texas summer heat.

A Custom Chevron Fence was built: I adore the unique character of my fence. Adore it.

The garden doubled in size with DIY Raised Garden Boxes. You can read about my soil HERE.

We started the greenhouse (to be completed in 2022). You can see more of the incomplete greenhouse decorated for Christmas HERE.

The Workshop

In addition to the garden projects, our workshop got a complete makeover! We needed a place to call home for all of our tools, especially since we would be down in our little house for another year due to building setbacks.

Click the following links to find out more about this project:

Workshop Cabinets

Transformed Workshop

Little House Projects

Sprinkled in with the large projects were several small updates that bring joy into our home.

I Painted My Windows Black

Vanity Refresh

Board and Batten Hallway

I also updated our master bedroom with this beautiful peel and stick wallpaper from Wallblush.com (use ROOSTING15 for 15% off)

We Started Building Big House

Last but certainly not least, we received the permits to build our forever home. This was a ten-month-long process that really dampened our spirits ( you can read more about that process HERE) and put us almost a year behind on building. But God’s timing is the best timing, and we are even more grateful for the opportunity to continue building up this place we call home.

You can see some exterior home inspiration here

Keep an eye out for my Mood and Design Boards to see more of what we have planned for Big House. (as of this point we have completed our basement and are prepping to pour the remaining foundation!)

It certainly has been a BIG year for us here at the Roost, and it can only get better. We have been blessed beyond measure and challenged in some of the most difficult of ways, but we have only come out stronger. I cannot wait to see what this year has in store for us.

God bless, and talk soon.

xx, Lanna


Deck the (unfinished) Halls

No, the greenhouse isn’t done, and my to-do list is so long it is rolling out the door and down the driveway. But I decorated anyways.

Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to do things that make no logical sense to anyone else and take care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally. Taking a pause and decorating the (incomplete) greenhouse checked off all those areas for me by giving my body a break (to be honest it’s been asking for one), my creativity was able to flow freely, and I was brought joy by plugging in those sparkling lights. Take care of yourself during this season, you need it.

This little corner has me excited about the possibilities for next year. To look back and see how far we have come and to watch the progress. But, all in its’ own time-we’ll get there. For now, we enjoy the now.

You can watch this progress on my Instagram: @theroostingplace

I knew this was going to be a temporary and short-lived endeavor since I’ll have to keep working on the greenhouse, so I focused on natural elements while incorporating some alternating textures like burlap and ribbon.

I also could help but incorporate my newest, and most comfy, lounging outlet: a hammock chair! Again, pulling natural elements this chair is the perfect addition. Along with my legumes canvas art for some added texture (when in doubt-add texture!)

“Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.”

― Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings

I Painted My White Windows Black!

When we renovated this little house, I knew I wanted black windows. However, when we were ordering our windows, black ones were back-ordered by several months, so we installed the white windows and put it on my “list” to paint them black later. It has been over a year since we moved into this little home, and I finally made the time to paint my windows black using Rustoleum Semi-Gloss Black Enamel Spray paint and Scotch 33+ Pro Electrical Tape for the grids.

I am in love and cannot believe it took me this long to make this change. The black windows now burst off the walls and beautifully frame out the views of the outdoors. My heart sings when I look at them. I highly recommend this simple, and quick DIY if you are wanting a change.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Taping/tarping off will take more time than the actual painting does, but it is so important. I highly recommend using Frog Tape Multisurface painter’s tape to get the best edges. In my opinion, it is worth the extra couple of dollars per roll to have a crisp edge.
  • Clean your windows well with a de-greasing cleaner. I did not fully clean my windows and the paint did not stick as smoothly in some areas. It is not noticeable from far away, but it is “bumpy” in some spots.
  • If you do not want to see any original white window mullions (mine are in-between the glass) double your tape lines (make the mullions appear thicker).
  • Fully allow your windows to dry, then open them to spray the lip that is covered when closed to get full coverage. While this hack is amazing, you will not be able to get into every nook and cranny-If you want completely black windows, I’d budget to buy new ones.

Electrical tape is water and heat-proof: this trick will hold up over time and you can also use this on exterior sides of windows, which I plan on doing at a later time and will give more details once I do.

Spray Paint: Rustoleum Semi-Gloss Black Enamel

Electrical Tape: Scotch 33+

Curtain Rod Rings

Pleating Hooks

Curtains: Ikea Ritva

Hemming Tape: I will be the first to admit do not have sewing skills, so instead I use hemming tape to shorten all my curtains to float above the ground. I also cannot believe it took me a year to finally get my excess curtain material off the floor!

Kitchen Cabinet Color: Herb Bouquet By Benjamin Moore

Talk Soon.

xx, Lanna


Autumn at the Coop

Fall in Texas is hard to come by, and pretty short-lived. But I’m so glad we live in a world where there are Octobers.

For more updates, follow along with me on Instagram: @theroostingplace

To learn more about our DIY Coop, please click here.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost-“Nothing Gold Can Stay”

Must Have Items for Organizing Tools

As you know, our barn project was recently completed, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean we are done in here yet! Now we turn our focus to finding all these items and tools homes inside their new shiny cabinets! Below I’ve listed some things I have found handy when it comes to organizing tools.

This post contains affiliate links.

USEFUL ITEMS

Battery Daddy

This can hold up to 180 batteries of various sizes. I was skeptical at first but after using it-I love it! The carrying case makes everything very convienant, and the case also comes equipped with a battery tester.

Pegboard Accessories

I found a lot of my pegboard accessories at a local garage/estate sale, then spray painted them gold to match. But these accessories are wonderful for a variety that allows flexible storage options. We hang our hammers, levels, screwdrivers…etc… on our peg wall.

Label Maker

I love this little label maker. It was competetively priced and utilizes an app to print off not only letters, but borders and clip-art to maximize personalization.

Clear Storage Boxes

The storge containers we used have been discontiued, but I love the idea of a clear bin to be able to easily see what is inside each one! These 30L containers will also fit great on any 12″ tall shelf.

Stackable Small Item Storage Box

We store all our basic nails and screws inside these. They have customizable compartments and the latch/handle makes moving them from one location to the next is extremely useful.

Drawer Organizing Bins

Used not for make-up, but for organizing our drawers. These keep everything compartmentalized and convient to find.

Clear Small Storage Bins

These are also great in drawers to store specialty screws/nails. Put a lable on the top for even easier accessibilty.

Extension Cord Strap

We love the idea of these to keep all your cords contained. The metal loop allows the cord to be seamlessly hung on any hook.

ToolBox Liner

We placed a lot of our tools inside drawers and this liner keeps our tools from sliding around and in place.

Do you have any other useful items for tool storage? Let me know in the comments!

You can also check out these other blog posts for more information on this transformation:

From Beast to Beauty: Our Transformed Barn Workshop

How I Built Our Beautiful Barn Cabinets

As always, keep up with us on Instagram: @theroostingplace for more updates!

Talk soon.

xx, Lanna


How I Built Our Beautiful Barn Workshop Cabinets

There are some places that just turn into a “catch-all” mess. You know what types of places I’m talking about: those spots around your home that always end up as cluttered messes that no one makes time to organize. For you, it could be a closet, or a drawer. For us: our storage barn. It’s embarrassing how bad this space got, but I can tell you it wasn’t intentional. We never imagined that we would be using this barn for this long, and as the project to-do (and project completed) lists grew, so did the mess. We never made the time to fix the problem: until now. I am so excited to be able to take you on the journey that transformed our space, and let’s be honest, I’m so happy that it doesn’t take 15 minutes to find anything in here any more!

From the beginning, we knew we needed function. Previously we used a hodgepodge of old shelving units left here by last owners, but these shelves never provided us the true function and accessibility we desired. So I turned to the idea of installing cabinetry.  I explored the option of buying pre-made cabinets from our hardware store, but I couldn’t find any with the dimensions of drawers I wanted, and couldn’t rationalize the cost for something that I didn’t love. And that is how I decided to build my own. I have never built any cabinets before, and I was honestly a little nervous about taking on such a large and overwhelming task, but thankfully, YouTuber Brad Rodriguez with Fix This Build That has amazing video tutorials that helped us conquer this large-scale project.

Along with our cabinets, we gave everything a new coat of paint, built a countertop, installed peg board, peg board hooks/accessories, shelving, lighting, and new flooring. (Ceiling: SW Iron Ore; Cabinets: SW Vogue Green; Peg Board: SW Pediment). You can learn more about that in my post: From Beast to Beauty-Our Transformed Barn Workshop.

If you are willing to spend the time, building your own cabinets can be cost-effective and more beneficial to your space/needs given the ability to customize them. I am not claiming to be a professional, quite the opposite as building drawers proved to be extremely difficult for us, and I would prefer to not ever do it again. But here are the materials, tools, and basic steps that can help you determine if building your own cabinets will be right for you.

Materials

  • For ONE Cabinet with 3 Drawers
    • (2) 4’x8’ ¾” MDF board
    • (1) 4’x8’ ¼” plywood board
    • Kreg Jig
    • 1 ¼  Kreg JIg Screws
    • Wood Glue
    • (3) 22” Drawer Slide Kits 
    • (3) drawer handles of choice
  • For ONE Cabinet with shelves
    • (3) 4’x8’ ¾” MDF Board
    • (1) 4’x8’ ¼ Plywood board
    • wood glue
    • (6) door hinges
    • Kreg Jig
    • 1 ¼” Kreg Jig Screws
    • (2) Door Pulls of choice

Tools

Method

I followed a YouTube video tutorial by Brad Rodriguez with Fix This Build That to learn how to build my cabinet bases with drawers. He also has building plans (complete with measurements and cut lists) available for purchase, but I decided to “wing-it” after watching his video about 20 times over. Here’s the basics:

Cabinets with Drawers:

  1. Build base carcasses (frame)
    • Cut down all your sheets to measurements prior to assembly. This makes the process much simpler. You can have your material cut down at the hardware store you purchase from, or cut at home yourself using a table/hand saw.
    • Use the kreg jig (set to ¾” setting) to drill your holes. I used my PORTER CABLE impact drill with the kreg jig tip (set to ¾” setting).
    • Apply wood glue to the egged prior to securing with screws, this will give your carcass a more secure hold. 
    • Ensure your carcass is square to avoid difficulties in later assembly
    • Attach your ¼ ” plywood to the back with screws (or a brad nailer)
  2. Build your drawers
    • Follow the steps in the video, and use a  PORTER CABLE impact drill, kreg jig, and wood glue, to assemble the drawers, beginning with the frame.
    • Check to make sure your frame is square by measuring the diagonal distance between corners
    • Once you have made sure your frame is square, insert and secure the bottom of the drawer
    • Following the directions that come with your drawer slides, attach to the drawers and inside the cabinet carcass. (We purchased a drawer jig to help level the drawer slide mechanisms and I found that very useful.)
  3. Finishing touches:
    • Level your cabinets and secure to the wall
    • Insert drawers
    • Attach drawer fronts
      1. Using ½” MDF, use wood glue and clamps to attach drawer fronts
      2. Secure with ½” screws, attaching from the inside (avoid poking the screws through the front for a seamless finish
    • Attach drawer handles

Cabinets with Shelves:

  1. Build base carcasses (frame)
    • Cut down all your sheets to measurements prior to assembly. This makes the process much simpler. You can have your material cut down at the hardware store you purchase from, or cut at home yourself using a table/hand saw.
    • Use the kreg jig (set to ¾” setting) to drill your holes. I used my PORTER CABLE impact drill with the kreg jig tip (set to ¾” setting).
    • Apply wood glue to the egged prior to securing with screws, this will give your carcass a more secure hold. 
    • Ensure your carcass is square to avoid difficulties in later assembly
    • Attach your ¼ ” plywood to the back with screws (or a brad nailer)
  2. Attach shelves
    • Mark and level the height you want your shelves to sit, the attach with kreg jig holes and wood glue
    • Secure shelving unit to the wall by drilling screws into studs
    • Build Cabinet doors
    • Using ½” MDF and cut to door width
    • Attach hinges and hang cabinet doors
    • If screws poke through, you can use ½” MDF and a brad nailer to create a “frame” for your doors and hide any screw holes.
  3. Prime, paint, and enjoy all your new storage!

Lessons Learned

  • Building cabinets can be tough, and drawers are finicky if you haven’t built any before; be patient with yourself and give yourself room to learn.
  • Use ¾” MDF board. We accidentally picked up ½” MDF for parts of this project and it really made kreg-jigging difficult because the screws would blow through the MDF.
  • SQUARE YOUR DRAWERS. SQUARE THEM. Click HERE to learn how.
  • Get at least a “mid-grade” kreg jig like this one if you are planning on making cabinets. The basic model is frustrating to use when making so many holes.
  • Have fun with it, and know that you are capable of doing difficult things!

Check out my post: From Beast to Beauty- Our Transformed Barn Workshop for more details on how I transformed this space!

Talk soon.

xx, Lanna


From Beast to Beauty: Our Transformed Barn Workshop

There are some places that just turn into a “catch-all” mess. You know what types of places I’m talking about: those spots around your home that always end up as cluttered messes that no one makes time to organize. For you, it could be a closet, or a drawer. For us: our storage barn. It’s embarrassing how bad this space got, but I can tell you it wasn’t intentional. We never imagined that we would be using this barn for this long, and as the project to-do (and project completed) lists grew, so did the mess. We never made the time to fix the problem: until now. I am so excited to be able to take you on the journey that transformed our space, and let’s be honest, I’m so happy that it doesn’t take 15 minutes to find anything in here any more!

If you want more information on how I built my cabinets, please click HERE: How I Built Our Beautiful Barn Workshop Cabinets. That post highlights the ins-and outs of the cabinet building process, as well as has hyperlinks to how-to videos that I followed to build our cabinetry.

This post will highlight everything else we did to transform this clutterd, unsightly space. Below you will find links to products used, more detail on finishing touches, and a bit more information about how I transformed my floor using paint!

Overall changes and additions made:

What exaclty all went into this space over the past month?:

  • 3 cabinets with drawers
  • 2 large cabinets with shelves
  • Pegboard
  • Trim
  • Paint
    • Ceiling: SW Iron Ore
    • Pegboard: SW Pediment
    • Cabinets: SW Vouge Green
  • Painted floor
    • Originally I was going to use left-over laminate flooring from our little house renovations, but after seeing it against everything in the barn I decided to paint the floor instead. I used a similar method that Liz Galvan used in her Garden Greenhouse Floor Painting. I absolutely adored the look and decied to use the same colors we had on hand: SW Iron Ore and SW Pediment to tie the whole look together. Our tape ended up pulling up some of the paint, but honestly this only made me love it more, and I only hope you love it as much as I do. I will be using a clear sealant to protect these and make cleaning easier in the future.

I’m so excited to have this space in some form of order, and cannot wait to start getting our tools into thier new “home”.

Talk soon.

xx, Lanna


FAQ’s About Our DIY Chicken Coop

“Do you have plans I can purchase for your coop?

I currently do not have plans for sale on our coop. We modified purchased plans from Twelve On Main and as of right now I still point to Sara’s plans if you are looking to build a coop design similar to ours.

“What are the dimesions of your coop/run?

The enclosed coop is divided into two parts: one for the chickens and one for storage. The entire area inside the coop is 10’x10′. The enclosed run is 12’x8′.

“What color stain is on the door and run?

Thompson WaterSeal Timberoil in Transparent Teak. This is a waterproofing seal that is used on outdoor decks and fencing for maximum protection on our run.

“What color is on the exterior of the coop?

SW Pure White

“What type of roofing material did you use?

Our roof is a black standing seam roof that we hired out to be installed.

“What “bedding” do you use inside the coop?

I use a variation of the deep litter method with sand and pine shavings

“What “bedding” do you use in the run?

We use untreated wood mulch and it is amazing. Highly recommend it because the poop will filter down underneath and compost itself pretty easily.

How many nesting boxes do you have?

A: We have 6 total, but they really only use 4.

“Where did you find your light fixtures-are they hardwired?”

Our exterior lights are the Arnette Outdoor lights from Lamps Plus and are capable of hard-wiring. (They are not currently hard-wired because we are waiting to have an electrician come out and run electricity to the whole garden area all at once). They will be set up on a smart system that connects to my phone.


Soil “Recipe”

I began my gardening journey like everyone else does: scouring the internet for the “best” soil recipe. And I stumbled upon Mel’s Mix.

Here’s what Mel’s Mix™ does for you and your garden that amended native soil has no chance of doing:

  • It conserves water. You want your plants to have just the amount of water they need — no more, no less. And Mel’s Mix™ does an amazing job at both retaining valuable moisture while allowing for excellent drainage so your plants don’t rot.
  • It precisely feeds your plants. The addition of blended compost means that your plants get the nutrition they need without having to mix, measure and add fertilizers.
  • It requires no digging or double-digging. Mel’s Mix™ ingredients create an unbelievably loose soil texture that allows plant roots to grow and expand, without the need to bust your ground up and dig, dig, dig. It’s easy from the beginning!
  • It takes the cumbersome science out of your gardening experience. Ever heard gardening friends who talk about soil pH and enzymes and such? Do your eyes start to cross and glaze over? We hear you. That’s why Mel’s Mix™ is so easy — the ingredients are perfectly balanced so there’s no need to get an advanced horticulture degree to understand if your growing conditions are right. With Mel’s Mix™, they are.

And let me tell you, this soil is perfectly fluffy and wonderful to work with. However, I have begun to vary the recipe just a bit depending on what I can find, and the expense of filling my Raised Garden Boxes.

So how much does it take to fill my 4′ x 6’x approx 24″ deep boxes? Here’s the math:

Roughly 48 cubic feet total:

  • 24 cubic ft of garden soil (flower and vegetable garden soil)
  • 8 cubic ft of compost (I mix some general compost and Black Cow Manure)
  • 8 cubic ft of peat moss (Magestic Earth)
  • 8 cubic ft of course vermiculite/ cotton burr compost

Add bits in at a time and mix until everything is evenly distrubuted! We bought most of our soil components at Lowes. While this soil mixture can be costly, you only need to buy in bulk once and then amend afterwards by season, so I think it’s worth it!

Talk soon,

Lanna


DIY Raised Garden Boxes

Welcome back to my garden informational series! If you are new, hello! I have been going over some FAQ and general information regarding our garden project. When we last spoke about the garden, I discussed our garden fence– If you’ve missed any previous post, feel free to click the links below to visit them and learn more about how we built up our garden so far!

Plans and Dreams

Take Cover…Ground Cover That Is!

Fencing the Garden

And now finally: DIY Raised Garden Boxes

I honestly love the journey that the decision to build up a garden has taken us on. I find so much peace and comfort in being able to tend to a brand new veggie sprout, and yet have learned so much from the loss of one too. Being in the garden is teaching me to be flexible, and I’m learning to roll with the punches, because even if a growing season goes perfectly, we aren’t guaranteed the same results next year, and I think that reflects a lot of life. I’m thankful for each lesson my growing garden has presented to me, and the ability I have to choose learn every day.

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.”

Gertrude Jekyll

Last year, I built two raised garden beds to get my garden started (my first season being spring of 2021), but for the fall, I wanted to be able to experiement with more fall vegetables. So, I doubled our garden by adding in two more raised garden boxes, and I’m so happy with how much fuller the garden area is now. I’ve left some space to add more boxes later on, but right now I’m extremely happy with the four boxes I have. Scroll down for a material list and instructions.

As always, you can find more videos and updates on my Instagram: @theroostingplace

Why Raised Garden Boxes?

Raised garden boxes have many benefits such as:

Manageability: Raised beds offer a manageable way to garden a smaller space intensively.

Prevention of soil compaction and plant damage: One of the greatest advantages of raised beds comes from the protection the structure provides from foot traffic, especially from children working in a garden area. Since people work on the paths and don’t walk in well-designed raised beds, the soil does not get compacted and plants are less likely to be damaged.

Longer growing season: Raised beds warm up more quickly in the spring and drain better (assuming the soil is properly prepared), allowing for a longer growing season and better growing conditions. Particularly in the South, a properly prepared raised bed allows plant roots to breathe.

Less weeding and maintenance: Once the soil in a raised bed has stabilized, compaction is almost non-existent so the need for seasonal tilling is minimal. Weed populations decrease over time in a raised bed that is well cared for and mulched.

Better drainage: A well-prepared raised bed allows the soil to drain better than in an in-ground garden. In some areas of Georgia, the soil drains so poorly that raised beds enable gardening of crops that would not otherwise grow.

Easier soil amendments: A raised bed can enable crop growth in an area that otherwise would not support gardening. On steep slopes, raised beds can act as a form of terracing. Raised beds can be built on parking lots and other compacted, difficult-to-garden urban soils. For specific crops that thrive in particular soils, raised beds can be amended appropriately.

Material conservation: Because the gardening space is concentrated, the management of water, fertilizer, mulch and soil amendments can be more carefully controlled, leading to less waste.

Access for gardeners with disabilities: Raised beds, at the proper height, can improve access for wheelchairs, or for gardeners who have a hard time bending over.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the dimensions?

4′ X 6′ X 27.5″

Why so tall?

Because I like them tall!

What kind of lumber?

Whitewood

Does the stain affect the soil?

Nope! My beds are lined, therefore the stain never comes in contact with the soil

Why line your beds?

Adding a liner protects my wood from water damage, adds insulation, and helps retain moisture!

Are they filled from the bottom?

Nope! There is a wire “hammock” about 12″ from the ground to reduce the amount of soil it takes to fill these.

What color stain did you use?

I used Thompson WaterSeal in Transparent Teak for the base. This provides and excellent seal and water protection for my wood. When that color turned out too orange on my whitewood, I used briarsmoke and early american over the top to give a “weathered” look that matched the older boxes.

How much did this cost to build?

Since I was able to repurpose some extra 2×4’s, and we already had our screws and stain on hand, I can only give a rough estimate. As of August 2021, if you bought all the materials at once once box will cost you (very rough math) $250-$275.

What do you use to fill your boxes?

You can find my soil “recipe” here.

There are so many ways that someone can build a raised bed, and not every method will be a good fit for everyone. But I’m here to share with you how I built mine and the lessons I learned so that you can put this insight into your arsenal to use if you choose. I am not claiming to be an expert, and I am sure there are alternatives/additions to include to get the most out of your boxes. But these are what work for me and my garden. I also will add now, that I chose to line my boxes, so this method is not 100% “organic”, and you should seek out other wood materials (cedar) should you not wish to line your boxes.

Materials

Below are the materials for O N E 4′ X 6′ X 27″ raised garden box using my building designs. I chose to stain my boards after lining the interior to preserve the integrity of the wood, but if you prefer to not use stain, opt for a wood with more reputable longevity, like cedar.

  • 12– 1″x 6″ x 4′ white wood board
  • 12– 1″ x 6″ x 6′ white wood board
  • 6– 2″ x 4″ x 6′ (for corner supports and wire “hammock” frame)
  • Hardware cloth
  • Landscape fabric
  • 16 washers
  • 2″ wood screws
  • 4″ wood screws
  • Exterior stain of choice (preferably a waterseal)

Method

Cut down 6 of your 2×4’s to the height of your box. (For my boxes, stacking 5-1″x 6″ came out to 27.5″ tall.) We then started at the bottom, and began attaching the boards from the outside to the four corner 2×4’s using 2″ screws. Stack your sides and continue around until you have reached your desired height. Then, add the last 2×4’s that were cut to height in the center.

Next, add your liner to the inside of your box, covering all the sides, but leaving the bottom open for drainage. Secure with staples.

Once your liner is attached, It is now time to go in and build your frame that the mesh hammock will attach to. Using remaining 2×4’s attach a middle support using 4″ screws in the middle of your box, then along the sides in between the 4 corners. Attach from the outside and use 4″ screws to prevent collapse. It is ok if the screws poke through on the inside, these will be covered. Attach your wire using staples, and secure with washers and 2″ screws. (Just for scale, I can easily fit under these boxes…apologies for the strange photo…this is the only one I managed to get that shows this finished step…)

Next, lay your landscape fabric over the mesh and secure with staples. This is the final step of the “hammock”.

Lastly, attach your top shelve boards. I used 2″ screws to secure on the corners and in the middle, giving about 2″ of overhang. These are super helpful when resting on the boxes, or having a place to set your shears/seeds down!

Last, apply your stain. Choose a water-sealant as your base and then build any other color variations from there. You want to protect your wood, anda sealant is the most important part in that. I used Thompson Water Seal in Transparent Teak (the same that is on my Coop) and when it took more orange on the white wood, I went over top with some briar smoke and early american to give a more “weathered” look that matched the older boxes.

That’s pretty much all there is to these. The wire has held up great, even after filling with soil and water retention. You can opt to completely fill your boxes, but this method reduces the amount of material needed to fill a box. You can find my soil “recipe” here. (It’s a variation of Mel’s Mix that gives light, fluffly, well-draining soil)!

Talk soon,

Lanna