I often start thinking about DIY projects at the start of summer. The longer days and brighter evenings allow a little more time to plan and complete jobs that have probably been waiting all winter! The bright sunlight also has a way of showing up old paintwork, or cobwebs, and so the motivation to get it sorted kicks in. In our house, I am the main DIY-er, quite happily give most decorating work a go, and have an ongoing project list. On my to do list for this summer was a makeover for the allotment shed, which we inherited from the previous plot holder and was in a pretty awful state considering its only a few years old!
Over the winter the roofing felt had started to come off, and the roof was leaking slightly, there was a hole at the back of the shed which needed fixing and having never been painted, it needed a serious freshen up. Having spent many hours browsing Pinterest I had dreams of a shed that could be beautiful as well as useful!
So, here are the before pictures of the shed:
You can see that I have already changed the roofing felt here. The was the first stage of the makeover, as it was most urgent, to stop the rain leaking through into the shed. Once watertight again, I could focus on making it look gorgeous.
I chose to paint the shed for two reasons, firstly to add a pop of colour and revamp the plain wooden appearance, and secondly to preserve the wood and protect it from the weather. I chose a special shed paint which will protect it for several years before a top up coat will be needed. I used Homebase’s Home of Colour, Garden Colour in Pure Duck Egg. Before painting I cleaned and dusted the shed exterior and nailed back one of the wooden planks at the back of the shed that had come loose. The paint went on really well, and I gave the whole shed two coats, allowing a day or so to dry in between coats.
I love the colour, it’s really gentle and not too bright againt the natural landscape of the allotment. Just cheerful enough to add a splash of colour. It looks lovely and makes smile now everytime I walk through the allotments towards our plot.
A bumble bee resting on the newly painted shed door in between coats of colour (it was dry, don’t worry). I waited for him to fly away before even moving the shed door, and Mia and I just sat and admired his tiny antennae and intricate wings.
Having completed the more practical aspects of the makeover, the roof and the painting, I then moved onto adding some accessories, to make it look fresh and summery.
I made a blackboard to hang on the shed door, so that I can keep track of each month’s allotment jobs (or, more likely… Mia and Joe will use it for doodling whilst I garden!). I used an offcut of wood, cut to fit the shed door, and Rust-Oleum Chalk Board paint in black. Having painted the wood with 3 coats of the chalk board paint and let it dry, I covered the whole board in chalk and then rubbed in the chalk dust a little, so it would be easier to write on, and less shiny. I fixed it to the shed door with some natural jute twine at the back, and small tack hammered into the door.
I also added a wicker planter to the front of the shed and filled this with English lavender. The colour of the lavender is a lovely contrast with the duck egg blue, and it also smells great each time I open the shed door and brush against it. Another bonus is that it attracts more bees to the allotment!
The final stage of the makeover was to add an awning, or shade sail, to the front of the shed. There is very little natural shade at the allotment, particularly on our plot, and we needed somewhere shady to sit on hot summer days. This provides the perfect solution, and can easily be taken down for storage over the winter, or in wet weather.
I made the shade sail from a thick hessian type fabric, sourced from eBay, and love it’s red and white deckchair stipes. It works really well with our vintage stripey deckchairs Ted & Vera*. I plan to put together a more detailed post on how I made the shade sail, with full step by step photos. To summarise though, I hemmed the edges of the fabric, added eyelets to each corner and looped through some rustic nautical rope. I then attached the rope from the top eyelets to two nails I had hammered into the shed roof. The eyelets of the front of the awning attach to garden canes and two guy ropes (made of the same rope) which fix into the ground with tent pegs. It works really well, and takes less than five minutes to take up and down. Perfect for a little bit of allotment downtime safely out of the sun!
— I have now added a DIY shade sail tutorial here —
And here is a side view of the completed shed, with shade sail up. You can just about see the not-so-photogenic water tank, which sits next to the shed! The extended makeover plan for the end of the summer, includes moving the water tank to make room for a play kitchen area for Mia and Joe.
The very scenic view from my newly made-over shed! My allotment neighbour’s chickens, they are lovely and incredibly chatty.
*The deckchairs are named Ted and Vera becase this is written underneath the wooden arms of both! I imagine they have had a happy history on a 1960s campsite somewhere before they came (via a junk shop) to live in our shed!
My shed makeover was sponsored by Ocean loans, as part of their project to celebrate our outdoor spaces now that the warmer weather is here!