Thursday, July 4, 2013

Quick, Easy and Fun Project

Mr. Willoughby came across our kids' old wagon while he was cleaning out the garage a few days ago.  It's still useful for moving gardening supplies around the yard or hauling wood to the fire pit, but we had a different idea to put it to use.  We wanted it to look like a vintage wood wagon.  We didn't want to damage the wagon in any way, so we came up with a way to give it a totally reversible makeover.  If you would like to try this project, you'll need a wagon (you can do this with any wagon, old or new, but you'll need to improvise if the handle is attached to the wagon and not the axle), lumber and screws or nails.

Basically, you'll be making a four sided box, so you'll need to gather enough lumber to make the box.  We used leftover cedar decking for the sides and deck spindles for the corner supports, but any scrap wood would be fine.  Next, you need to measure the long sides of your wagon.  To that number, add the thickness of the boards you'll be using for each end.  Measure your boards and cut them.  Now you can measure and cut the boards for the short end of the wagon.

Next you'll need to measure and cut your corner supports.  These will support the box on top of the wagon and make your box more sturdy.  Measure how tall your "new" sides will be, then deduct the depth of your original wagon (we wanted to set our corner supports down from the top edge a little bit, so we deducted an additional inch).  Cut your corner supports to the determined length.

Assembling the box is simple.  Start by laying out your short sides.  Screw or nail the corner supports flush to the edge of each short side.

Now attach the long sides to the short sides using screws or nails.  Your box is now finished and can be set on top of the wagon.

Our wagon originally had wood slats bolted to the sides.  We put screws through the old bolt holes for some additional security, but it isn't necessary if your wagon doesn't have these holes.

Sand the cut edges and your wagon is ready to use and/or display!  You could stain or paint it if you want to.  I thought about stenciling ours, but decided to leave it plain and let it age.  I also chose not to clean up the wheels because I like the cracked, peeling paint.

We could have stopped there, but instead, I lined it with heavy duty clear plastic sheeting.  Then I added potting soil and herbs to make a rolling herb garden.  It works out great because I can move it around the yard to give it more sun when needed.  I can also roll it right up to the grill and clip fresh herbs while we're cooking.




Liz in Virginia said...

Fabulous! Is there a way to let the sides of the wagon show -- so that one can see the "Radio Flyer" logo, for example? I love this vintage look!

Glad to see you back in the blogosphere!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Well hello there, Willoughby! It's great to see you back. So glad to hear from you.

I can totally understand how stepping away from blogging for a minute suddenly becomes a full year! time flies when you're having fun ;-)

Love the wagon re-do. It's a cleaver idea and looks great. Having the fresh herbs on hand is a real treat.

xoxo jj

Jenny said...

What a neat idea! I am always a big fan of wagons!