Create a conversation piece in your backyard by adding a little historical charm to your gardening shed. Decorate the mundane storage area to resemble a necessity of yesteryear -- an outhouse. Adding touches from the past makes routine trips to the garden shed more enjoyable while beautifying your outdoor space. Chuckle at old potty-themed cartoons while potting flowers or storing the lawnmower in your very own garden shed turned outhouse.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Cedar shakes
- Old barn wood
- Aged brick
- Vintage sign
- Old newspapers and catalogues
- Old toilet seat lid
- Burlap feed sacks
- Wooden dowel rod
- Old advertisements
- Historic lantern
Prepare the exterior of the garden shed. Resurface the exterior walls with cedar shakes, planks of old barn wood or aged brick. Attach a cupola on the roof for a Victorian era-themed outhouse. (See Reference 1.) Consider adding wire-covered ceiling vents for fresh air in the garden shed.
Decorate the garden shed door. Cut a crescent moon in the door for classic outhouse character. Attach a piece of Plexiglas inside the cut-out to keep the shed weather-resistant. Hang a vintage sign on the exterior of the door to welcome guests. Choose old lavatory signs from an antique shop.
Decorate the interior walls of the garden shed. Use old newspapers and catalogue pages as wallpaper. Be sure to leave an old mail-order catalogue in a visible spot, with a few pages already torn out from previous outhouse users.
Add a bench seat to one wall of the garden shed. Allow the top of the bench to open for storage of gardening tools. Decorate the top of the bench seat with an old toilet seat lid. Hang funny bathroom sayings or potty-joke cartoons near the bench seat.
Add accessories to the shed to give it a bathroom feel. Frame old advertisements for toilets, plumbing and toilet paper and hang them on the interior walls. (See Reference 1.) Hang an historic lantern from the ceiling for a warm glow in the shed. Make curtains out of burlap feed sacks to add privacy. Hem a simple pocket along one edge and use a wooden dowel rod to hang the old-fashioned window coverings.
Tips and warnings
- If you plan to convert the gardening shed into a functioning outhouse, contact local planning and zoning officials. Digging proper drainage for an outhouse must be approved and inspected before work begins to meet local sewage and waste removal guidelines.
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