Source: nertzy, Flickr.com
Wooden picket fences are full of character. Once they pass a certain age, they may not be much good as fences anymore, but that doesn’t meant that their usefulness is over. Fence installers from Chicago to San Francisco will tell you that a superannuated picket fence can be reincarnated as a headboard, table, curtain hanger, bird house or any number of things. The limit is your imagination, so if you have an old picket fence that you’re about to discard – or if someone nearby has discarded an old picket fence and you have crafty genes – grab your tools and paint brush and enjoy!
An Espresso with Character
You may need to buy the legs, but discarded fence slats can serve as the top of a coffee table. Use more slats, sawn to a thinner width if necessary, as an apron to stabilize the whole structure. You may want to sand the top and stain it, or paint it and then “distress” the paint to give it an old look. Then use your new coffee table in your own home, or sell it.
This Home Is for the Birds
Depending on what sort of bird life you have in your area – and what sort of birds you would like to attract – you can make a bird house or bird feeding station. Then, if you’re into nature photography, all you have to do is pick up your camera and wait for gorgeous pictures to fly right in front of your waiting lens!
Sleepytime Gal (or Guy)
Use repurposed picket fence boards to make a headboard for your bed. You can use graduated slats to draw the eye, or keep them all the same length for uniformity. Paint them to match the décor of your bedroom, or sand them and apply a sealant to keep the color of the wood. Even if hiring a remodeler is beyond your budget, you can use this idea and other similar ones to add originality and beauty to your boudoir.
Framing Your Life
You can use those old slats for picture frames, too. Paint them or leave the original wood showing (see the headboard suggestion above), and if you have the tools and the skill, scallop the edges for a rustic finish.
It’s Curtains for This Project
Cut a repurposed fence slat to the length you desire and secure it above a window. Drape a curtain from it, or tie a curtain over it. There you go – instant character and beauty on a budget!
Off the Wall
Use a group of fence slats as a wall hanging. Paint them, stain them, leave them as is or use them as a background for your own art.
A Tasty Background
If you are a food photographer looking for a background for your photos, consider using old picket fence slats as a background. Put several next to each other, secure them in place with boards at the top and on the bottom, paint or stain and then seal, allow to dry – and you have a lovely background for your food pics for next to nothing!
Rahel Jaskow is a home improvement journalist, covering topics from pest control to frugal DIY.