DIY Garden Shed

Reader Contribution by Mary Murray

In our part of the Midwest, spring has lingered, and we’re so grateful. There’s been no rush into the hot and humid days of high summer as in years past. We’ve had light rains, pleasant blue skies, and nighttime temperatures in the 40’s. In fact the weather’s been so chilly, we invited friends over for a bonfire and s’mores…not a typical June get-together!

Even though spring has been fair and cool, it’s been a time of doing and enjoying, and the extraordinary sunlit days have been just right for gardening. The vegetables and herb plants are in, along with some new perennials and colorful annuals. It’s been a fine time to enjoy simple country pleasures.

Along with gardening, comes time to pull much-needed tools from the barn…hoes, rakes, watering cans, hoses, each in a variety of shapes and sizes…you know the drill. And each year they’re tucked into a metal hose holder that becomes so full it ends up leaning against the lilac bush that sits by the garden.  This summer, it was time for a change.

I needed a garden shed; nothing too big, nothing too fancy, but something that would be just right for the tools I need every day. I decided to look through the barn…there are always hidden gems in a barn from a farm built in 1864.  Tucked in the corn cribs are lots of screen doors, windows, and wooden doors. Then I began putting the pieces together…hadn’t I seen a shed made from old doors somewhere? I began pulling out doors, corrugated metal from the old barn roof, scrap pieces of wood and so the plans for a shed began.

Here’s what we started with…to some, not worth keeping, but to me, worth their weight in gold. Old, chippy doors full of character…just what I wanted. Now to get started!

While I wish I’d taken pictures during the put-together, truly, you’ll be able to look it over and make your own. There’s no right or wrong…do whatever you like!

For me, I only wanted three doors…I’d keep it an open shed with no closing front door, this would keep access to tools quick & easy. Three hinges were spaced evenly apart on each side of the center door to make attaching each side door simple.

I didn’t want a floor either…again, my goal was to keep this a quick & easy project. Once the doors were hinged together, it was easy to set them in place.  Now for the roof…I was lucky, the center door was shorter than the other two, so it would be ideal for water runoff when a roof was added.

Some scrap wood was cut to rest on the tops of the side doors, angled to be lower in the back and then screwed securely into place.  Another piece was added across the front and back, meeting the angled pieces, so the roof would have a secure resting place.  To complete the roof, corrugated metal roofing that had been removed from our barn was used  (I knew it would come in handy some day!)  The metal was cut to fit, then screwed to the pieces of wood. The shed was complete!

I couldn’t wait to add some garden finds I had tucked away…hooks to hold smaller hanging tools, a garden shed sign I’d found at our local feed store, and a vintage dustpan I’d filled with flowers.  A raised panel easily became a shelf after adding L brackets to the back center door for it to rest on, and I was done. 

I love it! It’s ideal for corralling the tools I use most, and maybe more importantly, it makes me smile!

Mary is a Midwest farm girl who will tell you, “I love simple, old-fashioned ways. For me, it’s the country pleasures that mean the most … tying on an apron for Sunday dinner, barn sales & auctions, farmers’ markets, county fairs, porch swings, and slow train rides. Add to these the laughter of children, and I couldn’t be happier!” You can visit Windy Meadows Farm here, Windy Meadows Farm.

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