A simple DIY outdoor plant rack to hide ugly toolboxes


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When we shared photos of the front porch last fall, we said our decorating strategy here was primarily “plants and more plants”. They help to visually connect the balcony to all of the greenery surrounding our home – and as we’ll show you today – it also helps us hide some of the less beautiful parts of this outdoor area. Let’s call it wall warts. Three large rectangular wall warts. But more about that in a second. First, let’s go back in time to what all of this looked like last February when we made a bid for this house (this is our realtor in the picture below) as you can see, we’ve come a long way indeed (you can read more about the external updates we made at This area here and here). And yes, this is the huge former “Pool Dirt Pile” in the background below. It has been settled since then (you can see more group updates on Instagram Stories as and when they happen). Similar Egg Chair | Daybed Tutorial | Wicker Storage Box | Grooved planter | White large planter | An outside ceiling fan and somehow when this house was built, the electric meter box was placed at the front of the house – literally just a few feet from the front door (nobody is quite sure why this happens, because so much is not the standard, or how it is configured Our neighbors’ homes). People usually put these on their back, or at least around the sides of their homes. But nope. Not us. We received a lot from the street. Welcome to Petersiks! Do you want to know how many kilowatts we use ?? Then, to make matters worse, when my home generator was fully installed last fall (hello hurricane preparedness!), It required us to add two more electrical panel boxes next to the OG toolbox. So far we were swinging a trio of large, boxy amenities on the front porch. Well, that large potted fern below doesn’t cut it as a proper “camouflage” anymore. So we painted them all white to blend in with the sides (the inspector said that was fine when he visited for approval after installation – it’s always a good idea to check first). Then we whipped up a very simple DIY outdoor plant mantel to help hide the craze (and to increase the number of already tall sherry plants). It currently contains 4 larger, trailing plants, and we placed a fifth smaller one on top of the distal plate box. They all have some activities to do before they become true masters of disguise, but even in their current state they have improved the appeal of this wall considerably because the focus is on the extra greenery versus not one, not two, but three big metal boxes. Amazingly a few feet from the front door. For the past 11 months here we’ve had great luck growing extra plants like pothos in the outdoor shower (yes, even during the winter they were great there!). So if these did the half as well, we’d be in pretty good shape (more on our outdoor shower arrangements here). So please know that Sherry is already enthusiastically anticipating the growth of these utility box plants, and I am sure that she will share her progress in Instagram Stories, along with what she expects to be a much greater lemon yield than her two Ponderosa lemons this year. (If that’s not exciting, I don’t know what.) The actual construction of the rack is very primitive, as you can see from the very primitive color-coded drawing below. It mainly includes 4 parts: Backboard (green): This is a 1 x 8 primed board that is fixed directly into our wood sides. We chose this size because it would span across the highest points in two side panels – giving us a flat surface to build on (rather than the siding surface). Note: It appears wobbling on this left side due to the having a wire winding under its side. Trusses (blue): These are pieces of 1 x 8 board cut at a 45-degree angle to create triangular supports under the shelf. We attached it to the backboard using wood glue and screws before attaching the back plate to the sides. Platform (pink): It consists of two prepared 1 x 10 panels that rest across the top of the back plate and struts, creating the back panel. Shelf top for plants to sit on. They are fixed from the top to the struts and the backboard. We used two 1 x 10 boards sanded together (with glue and finished nails) to make the shelf thick like … face trim (purple): These are the prepared 1 x 2 panels that we attached along the exposed edges of the pallet to give the shelf a finished look (they hide The fact that the platform is two panels on top of each other). Once we had everything constructed and pinned it in the holes, we painted everything to fit in the home since – and for our purposes – the goal is to mix it all in. Unless you are a vegetable. So your job is to get distracted and draw attention to yourself. Not the ugly things around you. And speaking of drawing, when we asked for permission to draw these boxes (other than asking the inspector when he was here, we also called the utility company – just to be sure) and they gave us permission to draw the clear round meter portion as well (since all meter reading is done remotely now). But we left it unpainted just to be safe. You know, in case you really want to check my kW. Another reason for this is an improvement in our previous strategy (which was: a large fern laying on a storage bin) is that these plants do not slow down our access to the storage bin below. This is where we keep things like beach chairs, beach umbrellas, bike helmets, etc. (you can see what’s inside the box towards the bottom of this post). The fern was in a lightweight plastic container for easy movement – but moving it out of the storage box was still an extra step anytime we needed something. Plus, they were so lightweight that they would occasionally burst on windy days (which isn’t an issue we have with these heavy plants). So no more “fern on the loose” issues either. It’s a win! For anyone looking for simple and affordable DIY outdoor projects, here are some other posts about the outdoor sophistication of our home that can help (the former isn’t just a simple and easy DIY job, but pretty much all the rest!): We have nearly so many projects And the exterior updates in our archives of this house are like the interior ones because we spend so much time outside here! When you downsize with the goal of reducing square footage and more time spent outdoors (in a warmer climate it helps facilitate this – more on how the process works here) I think it can make a big difference if you have outdoor spaces you can maximize, too! Areas that you don’t have to pay for heating and cooling but can turn into extra “outdoor rooms” are really the perfect place for us these days. And for everyone who has requested one big blog post about how pool planning and progress is progressing, we think this will be our next post (hopefully sometime in May when we’re a little further away) so hopefully! * This post contains affiliate links * More posts from Young House Love


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