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Saturday, 24 August 2019

This year's DIY Disney Garden Projects

Projects I have made in my garden this year

I really got the winter blues in about January this year and coincidentally I also discovered old episodes of a US garden makeover show on YouTube called 'My Yard Goes Disney'. My favourite sort of planning in winter is holiday planning but I knew that we wouldn't be having a Disney holiday to match our Florida one last summer so I decided to do some planning to bring some Disney colour a bit closer to home.

Our garden truly puts the shabby in 'shabby chic' as it doesn't get the attention it needs and with the help of our four chickens churning it up there is nothing that can be truly precious but it is a much loved space.We already had various Disney figures, all second hand, which I've picked up from charity shops, antique stalls and car boot sales over the years, all second hand, hanging out around the garden and the rabbits run...

This year we really needed to do something about our old, rotting and overgrown decking area so I decided that it would be fun to plan to replace it with a new deck with a pirate/sea theme. This would also remind me of our beloved seaside holidays each year in Wales. I wanted all the garden projects to be low cost and where possible recycled, much of what I used I found around the garden. To make the sign at the back of the deck I used a wooden pallet which I picked up for free at a local garden centre. I also made the wooden lamp stand from some wood around the shed and attach a solar lamp to it, it is attached to the corner of the shed. I picked up some pirate props like a ceramic shell and tankard second hand and spookily dug up the rusty hook in the garden this spring- perhaps we have been visited by pirates after all!

Pirate decking

I love how the wooden sign immediately created a back drop to the patio, I think it is my favourite part. I added two posts to hold up the sign made from an old wooden pallet. I used some old garden paint and stencils I made to add the names of the destinations, all linked to Pirates of the Caribbean films or the rides. I used three different fonts on Word on the computer to create stencils and printed them onto paper to cut out which was a fiddly job. I glued pieces of willow from the garden to create arrows on the sign. 

pirate sign

The polystyrene life rings were bought from Hobbycraft and I decorated them using no more nails style glue to stick on shells, glass and pottery I had collected over years of visits to the beach.
shell and pottery life rings

 The tables were made by weatherproofing tea chests from our local tip but unfortunately they haven't done so well outside, hence the map PVC table cloths which are nailed on top.

map tables
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The boat planter was made from the skin of a large remote control boat bought for £5 from Ebay with hand made bunting and netting to keep off the chickens whilst the sedum plants I grew established in the boat.

boat planter

For my next project, I used two other wooden pallets I had picked up for free to make an 'It's a Small World' inspired facade complete with a working clock face. I used wood from a small pallet which had been easy to take apart to fill the gaps on a more substantial one. Using old paints and masking tape to divide up the sections I created the Small World inspired facade. I added the clock face in paper and paint and then sealed it with varnish over the top.

It's a small world clock

I love the carousels at the Disney parks and carousel horses are very expensive second hand. Pinterest inspired me to find a low cost way to add a fairground horse to my garden. This horse started out as a battered and bit broken vintage plastic rocking horse on springs, bought for about £8 from eBay. I removed the horse from its rusty base and painted it, adding a waterproof varnish on top to ensure it would survive the worst of the weather. I used no more nails and aluminium tape to stick it to a wooden post which I had decorated striped with paints and more aluminium tape.

carousel horse from old rocking horse

My biggest challenge was turning a plastic broom bought from the tip shop for £1 into a fantasia style planter. After spending a little time playing around with trying to create a sculptural effect with concrete, I decided to keep it really simple and used a piece of willow for the arms and old plastic for the hands, all tied on with some old yellow plastic. I planted ivy in the base (an old bin) and Lobelia in the buckets to try to create a water cascading effect.

fantasia planter

I had a vision of a Disney Castle in the garden but it took me a while to decide that it was going to be a bug castle! I found a website selling seconds of a bug castle and so having already got one, I then bought another three allowing me to create the square and then add old wooden posts inside to create the turrets. It didn't take long for the bugs to move in!

fairy meadow sign

castle bug house

Tinker Bell features in my last two garden bits for this year- an unwanted garden flag I bought from Ebay for about £4 and added smooth beach glass with wire to weigh it down a little.

Tinkerbell flag

Tinker Bell also appears now over the pond in the form of an old plastic money box from the charity shop with added wire wings (she had lost her own), she is enclosed in a plant holder from an antique shop. Her friend sitting on the pond is a fabulous fairy I made from a Fantasy Wire kit I got for Christmas.

fairy pond


I hope I might have provided some inspiration here, all my garden projects cheer me up on the walk down our long garden and who knows what weird and wonderful project I'll come up with next!

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