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Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Which is cheaper; a 4’ dog-eared fence picket or a 6’ dog-eared fence picket? The most logical answer you would think is a 4’ picket……wrong. I was pretty shocked when we first began pricing out how much it would cost to build our fence that a 6’ plank was the cheapest option. Additionally, a dog-eared fence picket was less expensive than other variations. The style didn’t really matter since we would be cutting off the top of every piece in order to give us the concave design that we were going for.

All that being said, after we finished our fence project, cut the half-moon stencil off the top, and collected the scraps, we had over 100+ 2’-3’ long pieces of wood from where we cut the 6’ privacy planks down to a modest 4’ neighbor-friendly fence. I didn’t want to just throw all this wood away so I began to brainstorm some potential uses for it. One of our glaring needs, with the amount of entertaining we do, was for additional outdoor seating. So I decided to build a little (by little I mean 6’ wide) wooden bench.

I took my pallet full of scraps and sorted them by length. Those measurements dictated a majority of the design process. The longest ones, I saved to create the back rest. and the medium-sized ones, I used for the seat. In addition to scrap pickets, we also had some leftover 2x4”s which provided the framing of the bench. The hardest part was figuring out the angle of the backrest. I didn’t want people to sit perfectly upright but I also didn’t want it to be too leaned back. I think I found a good in-between and it turned out pretty comfortable.

After it was all constructed, I used the same stencil we made, and used a jigsaw to cut the backrest to match the lines of the fence. I then sanded down all the rough pine, the edges, and prepped it for paint. We decided on a pretty bright blue that compliments our backdoor color. This is our current lay-out with a rocker that we got at the end of the season last year (an upcoming project is to re-stain it….maybe Ellie can blog about that).

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