Need a Room Divider? Turn an Old Shoji Screen into a Living Wall Garden!
I used a combination of coral as a base, Krylon's "reactions" paint in the middle and covered with a strong brown auto paint. The reactions paint allows the two colors to meld together for a really cool effect that is almost metallic, but not quite.
Silly me tried to paint before ripping every last piece of that paper off - yes, I am THAT impatient.
So I went back after painting and went to town on the paper.
It was literally glued to each and every one of those little wood pieces and it was glued WELL. I left the screen in the rain a couple nights to loosen up the glue, attempted to scrub it with a brush, tried yanking the pieces out by hands, even tried scraping it with a piece of slate...UGH...it was SO. MUCH. WORK. I stretched the work out over about a week just picking and picking and picking. I finally found a tool that really helped with the edges. My husband tells me it is a 3/8 drill bit. I just know it is a sharp metal pointy tool and it finally worked to get every last bit of that paper off.
After painting the screen, I applied the same technique to a bunch of cans in various sizes. I used Costco's canned chicken cans, tomato paste and sauce cans, progresso soup cans and good old campbell's soup cans.
All of those little cans were filled with very dry soil and various succulents, mosses and other cuttings from the garden. I attached the cans with wire to the shoji screen allowing the bottom to rest on the little wooden cross pieces. You might have noticed in the before picture that some of the crosspieces were actually completely broken off. You might then notice that I strategically placed cans over those holes - problem solved! would you like to see the completed project?
There she is!! You can see the cans and jars mainly on the two left panels and then the right panel I use for storing scarves, hats, gloves, sweaters,etc. It is a great little station for getting ready to go out for the day. Everything is in one spot, it doesn't take up a huge amount of room, it is transportable and pretty to boot! The addition of a chair makes the space perfect for throwing on your shoes and heading out the door!
You might be wondering about the background material. It is simply an old white sheet, stapled to the back edges and then stapled on various cross pieces. I didn't want to staple in every single cross space, because I wanted to be able to string my scarves and such through the openings in the screen. I love the richness the new paint finish and soft material give to the updated screen - much better then the thin white paper and matte black before!
Now, I promised if you voted for me over at One Month to Win It, I would tell you how to weight the screen and how to arrange the items based on triangular design, and you voted (thank you!!) so her's the answer to ? # 1. It is very simple really. The first tip is to fill your jars and cans with a light, dry mix, NOT garden soil. The second hugely important tip is the angle of the screen. Do you see how the middle and far right section are at a very acute angle, while the two "living" walls are not? Most of the weight is placed on that one acute angle, so it is quite stable by itself. The sheet on the back of the screen is also one large piece stapled down in sections very, very tightly, so the tension of the sheet slightly pulls the screen backwards (particularly on that obtuse angled side with the jars).
If you liked this tutorial, then you might enjoy the BOOK!
Make your own coconut oil.
Gather your own sea salt.
Grow your own grapevines for wreaths.
Give gifts naturally grown and crafted from your backyard garden.
Each chapter focuses on a plant or groups of plants and how to grow them in your home garden. Then, gather up those natural ingredients and get crafting! From lavender wreaths and hypertufa planters to lambsear angels and pickled tomatoes, there are projects for beginners on up!
Crafting with Nature is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, POWELL's! (!!!!) Booktopia (Australia!), IndieBound, Alibris, Glose.com, The Book Depository and Walmart.com. Books are also rolling out to retailers and libraries, so check for them there.
If your library does NOT have it yet, this is why you should talk to your librarian!
Want more for free?
For ALL the DIY projects here at the Nest,
check out the 'for DIY folks' page and click on any link to see that particular post!