Upcycled chair planter going away gift

A close friend of mine is moving away, from where I live in Massachusetts (where she’d been for the past few years for grad school) back to Mississippi (where she was from). I’ve already got all the travel web sites set to e-mail me when there is a good fare from here to there, but, in the meantime, I had to make something as a going away present. She rented a truck to drive everything down herself, so what better, then, than a new piece of furniture to throw on board.

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But, seriously, this was really fun to make and it’s not too big- just made out of a kid’s sized chair. I’d actually been eyeing the chair for a long time and had finally decided that my boy had officially grown out of it. I started off by drawing around the top of the pot I wanted to use and cutting a hole through the seat about 1/4″ in from the circle I’d drawn with my handy jigsaw. Of course, the boards in the center that I cut all the way through then got a little wobbly because they were only being held on by a staple. So, I used the scrap pieces from the hole I cut and some wood glue to shore them up.

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This was my second attempt ever at using crackle, and I went with Martha Stewart’s (mostly because that was the one that came in the biggest bottle at Michaels). I started off with a nice, soft green acrylic, then did the crackle, then went over it with a deep blue outdoor acrylic. I applied them all with sponge brushes and a thin bristled brush to get into the cracks. It actually worked really well and I only had to learn once not to try to touch up the top coat after it had started drying (because the crackle effect only works on the first coat over it). I also had to learn that when you use crackle when it’s humid in a room without air conditioning it takes a REALLY long time to dry.

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I used my new white Pitt pen to do some doodling on it and write the phrase “Keep out of the Weeds”. It was kind of a cross between “Keep off the grass” and being “in the weeds”- an expression she uses when she’s overwhelmed with work (which was pretty frequent during grad school).

I lacquered the heck out of it with both brush on and spray on polyurethane. I’m hoping it will stand up to the elements outside. Part of why I made this is because she’s moving from the apartment she’s been renting back to the home she owns, so she’ll have some more room for outdoor decor.

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I did a crackle finish on the pot I put in it, too. The sad flower in the photo is actually just a seed I started not too long ago. I didn’t give it to her with a plant in it (I figured that would add insult to injury in terms of her packing responsibilities).

The finishing touch was the bottlecaps I attached with little brad nails I had pulled out of the dresser drawer I made into a shelf. We might have spent one or two nights drinking Mike’s hard lemonade in the past few years. Just sayin’…

Anyway, I’m really happy with it but really sad about the occasion for the gift. I heard Mississippi has a great St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Chair Planter

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I was tag saling and came across this beautiful distressed green chair with no seat. It was practically screaming at me to plant flowers in it… so I bought it for $3. The paint was already perfect so I just decoupaged on some flowers I cut out from a cool piece of tissue paper I had laying around.

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After I sprayed the heck out of it with clear matte sealant (about 10 coats), I made a kind of basket out of chicken wire and put it in the hole where the seat would have been. Using gloves would have been smart at this point, because my hands were not happy with me after that. I stapled it in with a ton of staples and then lined it with garden fabric, also stapled in. Then I filled it with dirt and plopped in the flowers. I used white petunias and vinca vine, thinking they would fill it out and overflow quite nicely. The vines were my wife’s idea. Some mulch to top it off and voila!

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It’s found a nice home under my peach tree.

Here are some examples of planter chairs I found on WordPress and from some that I’ve pinned on Pinterest (my go-to page for anything I want to remember):

http://flowersavvydesigntips.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/an-old-chair-takes-front-seat-in-the-garden-when-it-becomes-a-planter-by-sharon-mcgukin/  – Nicely executed and with directions.

http://laceandlures.blogspot.com/2009/03/my-little-flower-garden.html  – My DREAM garden look.  So much color, so much upcycling, and a birdhouse!

http://www.cre8tivedesignsinc.com/2010/05/chair-planter/  – I LOVE how she threw a bunch of random “objects” in to this one.  A flea market extravaganza all in one little garden display.

UPDATE:  I was posted as a “guest blogger” on 30 Days/30 Things- a really cool blog by folks who challenged themselves to create 30 things using upcycled items for 30 days.  They did it and then decided to continue posting ideas from other people until they ran out of ideas.  That was 817 days ago!  How cool is that?!?!  Here’s their site- so many AMAZING ideas!

http://www.weupcycle.com/tag-817-gastbeitrag-beetstuhl/