How to Turn Your Woodworking Skills Into a Hot Tub [EP 10]

Do you enjoy sitting on garden furniture you have built? Do others marvel at your arbors, trellises, and other garden structures you’ve made?

If you’re handy with a saw, hammer, nails, and other tools, you could turn your skills into enough cash to add a hot tub or pool to your own space.

With so much time being spent at home and in our own backyards, it’s nice to have some comfortable seating, protection from the sun, and a place to grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers. 

I’m going to start with garden furniture, then move on to structures and decor.

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Garden Furniture

The first step to being able to enjoy a backyard space or deck is having comfortable furniture. There are many types available in department stores, but it never seems to last as long as quality homemade furniture. 

Wooden furniture is, after all, made from trees that have withstood wind, rain, snow, and frigid temperatures. Or in the case of cedar, it has withstood humidity and has natural insect-repelling properties which will keep the bugs from claiming your furniture as their new home.

Other woods can be used as well, but will need protection from the elements. You can apply paint, stain, or even linseed oil to protect them, depending on intended use.

If you have the tools and access to scrap iron and steel, you can make furniture from them as well. There’s nothing saying your furniture has to be made from wood alone.

One thing to keep in mind if you enjoy building and creating outdoor furniture (or furniture of any sort for that matter), is you should have a space designated to it. Perhaps a bay in your garage, or a separate workshop. A room in your basement is good too, just don’t build anything bigger than you can safely take out via the stairway. If you have a walkout basement you’ll have a few more options.

Plus, it will be dusty, dirty work. And if you’re making anything that requires using spray paint, proper ventilation is a must. Having a space away from your main living area will help keep the dust and dirt out of your supper and sofa. 

Some types of furniture you can make are:

  • Adirondack Chairs
  • Bench Swing
  • Picnic tables – hexagonal, round, square, or rectangular
  • Snack Bar with stools
  • Porch swing
  • Chaise Lounge
  • Hammock stand

They can be made in both adult and child-size, which will thrill the littles if they have their very own outdoor furniture.

Garden Structures and Decor

Garden structures and decor lend themselves to be made from a variety of materials; not just wood. Scrap iron, copper, aluminum, PVC pipe, wire, and even wire cattle panels can be constructed into practical and decorative garden decor. I added a 16 foot by 4 foot cattle panel to the south side of my deck, and it will act as the trellis for my Virginia Creeper, plus other annual vining plants.

I have plans to add an arbor for climbing roses, and a few bench planters so I can enjoy different parts of my garden at different times of day. I’m not a professional woodworker by any means, but I think I learned a thing or two when I built my deck. 

Recycled materials are also great additions to gardens, such as wood pallets, old bed frames, crib springs, bathtubs, barbeques, tin cans, tires, metal tubing, picture frames, tea cups, and more. Chances are, if it can be recycled, you’ll find a use for it in your garden furniture and decor side hustle.

And if you’re doing some hard pruning of trees and shrubs, you can turn the logs and branches into planters, baskets, or stools for around a fire pit. I’m excited about the snow melting because I had some large trees taken down in November, and I’d love to see what I can make from the trunks. I foresee a bench for sure, but it may have to stay where I make it. I just don’t have the equipment to move anything too heavy.

The list of structures and decor is quite a bit longer than the furniture, and I know my list is only a portion of what is out there. You can choose from my list below, or create your very own. At the end of the day, it is really based on personal preference. When you’re creating a custom project for someone else, give them parameters. Within your scope of abilities and preferred materials.

Granted some projects are much bigger than others, and this is just an overview of the possibilities. 

Now for the list, in no particular order:

  • Decks
  • Arbors
  • Gazebos
  • Planter boxes
  • Raised garden beds
  • Pergolas
  • Trellises
  • Fences
  • Potting benches
  • Garden sheds
  • Greenhouses
  • Playhouses
  • Birdhouses
  • Bird feeders
  • Butterfly feeders
  • Bat boxes
  • Windchimes
  • Bird baths
  • Bench planters
  • Sandboxes
  • Garden Tool Caddies
  • Windmills
  • Stepping stones
  • Lanterns
  • Candle holders
  • Fire pits
  • Fountains
  • Fruit and vegetable markers
  • Games
  • …and so much more.

Now, just to give you a few ideas of what you can make with different materials let’s start with trellises. As I perused Pinterest I saw so many ideas I wanted to go outside and start creating. My issue, however, is there is still a lot of snow in my way. Plus it’s only about 5 degrees celsius today, so it’s a little too cool to be building anything outside. Well, in my opinion anyway.

Trellises can be made from wood, metal, old steel wagon wheels, wooden wagon wheels, cattle panels (as mentioned earlier), old wooden screen doors, branches and twine, bicycle rims, round bale feeders, old chandeliers (lights and glass removed of course), lattice, and more. Add chicken wire to an old screen door frame and you have the perfect trellis for vines, roses, and vining vegetables. Use your imagination and you’ll have friends and neighbours wanting to buy them from you.

Bird feeders are a great small item to make, and teacups and saucers are the perfect medium. And who doesn’t have a box or three of them handed down from generation to generation. If you don’t have your own teacup collection to use, check out thrift stores and garage sales. A little bit of glue, wire, and a bag of birdseed and you’ll have customers from near and far.

Raised garden beds are another way to turn your love of woodworking into a side hustle. With the increased interest in gardening over the past two years, raised beds have become very popular. They are ideal for anyone with a small backyard, or a balcony. Some are designed to sit on the ground and be filled with soil, while others are basically a box on legs, which is perfect for those with only a small patio or balcony. Upcycled materials such as washtubs, buckets, and even rocks can also be used to build a raised garden bed. Keep in mind the labour involved in building with rocks, and be sure to charge accordingly. 

Wind chimes can be made from branches, beads, wire, shells, metal, copper pipe, and even wood pieces. Light nylon rope or fish line can be used to tie the pieces together. Glass beads can be hot glued to a fish line and attached to either a branch or set inside a larger picture frame. You could easily make a few of these in a weekend and sell them on Etsy or advertise in local Facebook groups.

Garden markers can be crafted from oversized popsicle sticks (available in the craft aisle of your local Dollar Store) and either painted or coloured with permanent markers. To keep the paint and ink from washing off, use a clear coat to protect them. Painted rocks make perfect markers because the wind won’t blow them away, and your canine friends won’t steal them and chew them to bits.

TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects

Conclusion

The lists and ideas above just go to show you what can be done with a few materials and an imagination. If you’re anything like me, the ideas will just keep coming and you’ll be chomping at the bit wanting to get started. Creating decor for a garden space can be fun and lucrative. The possibilities are endless, and I’m sure I’ve only touched on a small number in this episode.

If you have any questions about gardening, feel free to visit allingardening.ca and contact me via the contact page.

Join me next week when I talk about services as a side hustle. Most services are provided in person, but there are a few that can be done remotely as well. Tune in next week to learn more.

If you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee


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