Category Archives: design

corrugated metal fences

corrugated metal fenceMy corrugated metal fences (ceiling tiles and corrugated steel) are finished! I’ve dreamt about building one of many fancy metal fences I’ve seen before we even bought this house 3 years ago, so at long last– it’s a reality. Out of my head and into the real world.

tin ceiling tile fenceAnd the south side of the house with a plain corrugated gate. The rest of the fence, on the other 3 sides of the property, will be corrugated between wooden posts and look a lot like this, but not galvanized, although that part hasn’t been finished yet.

tin ceiling tilesIt was really hard to get a good picture of the raw ceiling tiles, they are so reflective especially in the sunlight. Here they are all laid out on the front lawn, ready to be painted.

painting tin ceiling tilesI used latex house paint, the colors of the front door, shutters and garage door among others colors I had (leftover from other house projects) and spray paint to put a base layer on the tin tiles. Once the base layer was dry, I rollered other colors over that to make the detailed relief patterns stand out.

corrugated and tin fence DIYBuilding the fence was a bit of a puzzle, without a pattern or instructions,  I had to make it up as I went along. What you can see here are the gates being pieced together. I used pressure treated 2×4’s to match the 4×4 fence posts. Within the gates and fence panels, all of the horizontal beams run the full width of the panel (secured with metal building brackets) and the vertical wood pieces are shorties placed between the horizontal sections.

corrugated and tin fence DIYHere are a few tiles painted and already in place. Instead of measuring for width and height of the individual square sections with a tape measure, I measured with an actual ceiling tile held in place, these tiles are 24″ square and conveniently very lightweight.

fence square panelsHere are the gates, on their hinges and ready for the squares to be filled.

corrugated and tin fence DIYAnd the other side coming together. All of the tin went in first and the corrugated sections I put in last. The short sections (smaller than the full 24″ square tiles) were cut with tin snips and bent to size. Really very simple- the tin was thin enough it was very easy to cut and bend.

ceiling tile fenceWorking in the cold weather actually worked out well, much better than the heat of summer, especially when it came time to cut the corrugated metal.

cutting corrugated metal I was very nervous to cut the metal, having lots of previous experience with wood working but very little with metal working, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I asked around for advice and tips, got a metal cutting blade for my circular saw, covered up every inch of skin and took a deep breath.

cutting corrugated metalA bit intimidating at first- to see sparks flying everywhere- but the preparations paid off and it was easier than I’d initially thought. Tip: stock up on saw blades, I went through 4 metal cutting blades, which quickly wear down into nubs, just in making this relatively small project.

funky metal fencePutting the panels in place, I randomly switched between vertical and horizontal placement for the corrugated sections. Luckily, I had the foresight to purchase tin snips that cut 22 gauge metal (exactly the gauge of the corrugated here). It was convenient to be able to trim corners here and there for easier fitting.
corrugated metal fence DIYTo connect the corrugated metal to the wood, I used these smaller L brackets and small bolts and nuts to secure each section into place. I secured each panel in two places and then all 4 corners on the corrugated sections of the gates.

The metal building brackets I used to connect all of the 2×4’s look like this. I chose them because they were the simplest  (and cheapest) building bracket I could find that fit the scenario. The metal brackets are about 3″ wide, I mounted them closest to the back of the fence so they be less in the way of the metal sections and less visible from the front.

drop in tin ceiling tileThis is what a drop in ceiling tile edge looks like from the front. You can see the extra material nicely provided on the edges of  drop in type ceiling tiles.

corrugated metal fence DIY With a bit of bending with needle nose pliers those section can be flattened out and used to secure the tiles in place by providing about an inch of material to screw through.

corrugated metal fenceThe brackets here and there definitely give it an industrial look, but I think the process evident aspect adds to the charm.

corrugated metal fence backHere is what the back of the gates look like, a good view of the raw tin. I didn’t even occur to me to worry about what the back would look like. I think it’s kinda of a two-fer  have it look funky from both sides. The naked tin is very reflective in bright sunlight and I think I’ll paint the back like I did the front sides, in the spring.

corrugated metal fence gateI went a little crazy on the hardware trying to make my gates the squarest, non-saggyest gates ever. So far- I’m very disappointed in the wheels from Home Depot, there isn’t enough travel to keep them on the ground when the gates are all the way open and then they bump against  the wood when they are all the way closed and won’t even roll which leads to a lot of forcing which I do not appreciate. Also, I realize my gate tension system is backwards, I did this on purpose because the wood was beginning to bend forward at the top of one of the gates and I had to nip it in the bud. I think I will add another to criss cross (the right way) for actual support.

corrugated metal fence backHere is the back of the fence on the other side of the house, and our grow boxes all ready for spring.

I loved sharing this project with you! If you have any questions or comments, need details or encouragement please don’t hesitate to ask. I would love to help.

To view the fence and rusting process a year later in 2014, look here.

To view the fence and yard after 2 years in 2015, look here.

To view the fence and yard in 2018, look here.

the warmth of wood- wood inspired design

I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it. Here’s a sampling of wood inspired design in pretty much every aspect of life.


No sanding necessary, Soft Wood Sofa by Moroso. I really, really love this sofa and I would image it would look brilliant anywhere you put it and in any room setting.


Birch Screen printed wool log pillow by Erika Kern.  Once again, tricking the eye and making your guests wonder why there is a log placed on your chair or sofa and wouldn’t it look amazing on a a bed!?


Wood paneling, faux-bois print clothing– whatever you’d like to call it… for blending in or standing out? I love this idea. I would love a basic A-line skirt in wood pattern fabric.


Split log wall sconce. Subtle and gorgeous- a fabulous design idea.


Primitive real wood apples by Merritt Hyde. So simple and it could easily be a craft project done with kids. A bit of sanding on the edges would only add to the charm as well.

Ahhh… now doesn’t that look like it feels good? Just looking at this art relaxes me and wheter or not I’m in that pose, my brain feels like it’s been there and that says everything.
Artist, Paul Baden

It’s like staring into a campfire, mesmerizingly beautiful.

Wooden rings by Brazilian wood artist Hugo Franca. Everything about this picture and space is delightful.

Pile o Wood watercolor by Geninne, my husband and I have had a healthy approbation for this gal for years now. God bless the world wide web.

Count me in on all of the above.

finishing the backyard, part 1

OK, I realized this has nothing to do with sewing, but it does have to do with creativity, at it roots. There has to be a foundation and groundwork in everything even if it’s not so pretty. This project is so monumental in my life, and makes me so happy to finally be undertaking, that I really must share ‘the backyard project’.
getting ready for a retaining wallWe began this project last year, the task of finishing our backyard. This is the rocky, sloping, tiny weed patch we started with.

ready for a retaining wallSomehow, our yard and house ended up about 3 ft. higher than the house behind us and without some sort of retaining wall we were going to loose a lot of backyard square footage.

unfinished backyardAlthough it’s not gigantic (the lot is 1/4 acre) we decided with a retaining wall we could keep all of our precious inches, and feet of backyard space.

putting up the forms for a retaining wallWe mulled over rock walls of various shapes and sizes, cement blocks and eventually decided on a cement retaining wall, with the fence built right into the top. Leaving the neighbors the option of finishing their side of the wall however the like.

pouring the concreteThe footings were poured first, then the forms installed and the wall poured the next week.

retaining wallSkip ahead to this summer- with about 5 dump truck loads of fill dirt, then 4 loads of top soil, we are getting there, making slow progress. As you can see the cement needs to be repaired on the top of the wall in the closest corner and the fence posts aren’t all the right height (oops, cement dries fast) this should be fixed very soon and we’ll be ready to fence ‘er all in.

cement pad for shipping containerThis cement was all poured this week, a big pad in the side yard for boats (we have a nice collection of old boats- Hobie Cat and 1977 Sea Ray) that both work part time.  The narrow portion of cement sticking out into the yard is for a shipping container we hope to plunk down and use for storage but not without making it snazzy on the outside, I’m picturing something like this:

shipping container outbuildingBut maybe not yellow… we’ll see.

topsoiled yardA view from the other side, we extended the back patio too.

rounded cement patioThe original back patio pad, that came with the house (lighter colored chunk) was ridiculous and probably just put in to pass inspection. We extended it with curved edges and added a step down because it was way too high (14 inches tall or so) without something to step down onto. We also took out a rickety wooden step (that had been built to step out of the house) and put in the two curved steps.

garden shedThis shed, that looks a bit like an outhouse, came with the house and has been an eyesore sitting in it’s random spot in the yard waiting for placement. At first I though about selling it to whoever would haul it away but then thought better of it. I mean who doesn’t need a little more storage? So, we poured a cement pad on this south facing side of the house to give it a permanent home and title of ‘garden shed’, since the garden will be right where those tomato plants sit in their pots.  And when I’m done with it, it’s going to look something like this:

tiny garden shedI can’t wait to rip off the stupid aluminum siding, find some funky old windows, maybe even a new door, and go to town jazzing up my shed like this one.

corrugated metal fenceAnd here’s what we’re thinking about for a fence- corrugated, probably galvanized metal sections placed between the wooden posts. I’m still doing the research on this option, as opposed to an all wooden fence. But I like the look of the metal and it will probably age better than wood, less maintenance and staining every summer for the teens.

For backyard ideas I’ve been collecting (and photo sources) go to my pinterest board. I can’t even think about plants, trees and shrubs yet- but when that time comes it’s going to be a-w-e-s-o-m-e!

Stay tuned for more…