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Garden Bench Update – Part 1 + The Silhouette Challenge


I’ve had this bench for years, my grandfather made it for me for my… 16th? birthday? It sat on my moms lawn for many years until it was delivered to our house my by uncle and my very happy mother. I intended to give it a new coat of white paint and power wash the plastic lattice last year but it never happened and the bench sat lonely (and ugly) beside the driveway. Well last weekend while we were waiting for the man to pick up the cows (they have literally gone to a farm upstate, we found a new home for them because they were a lot to handle with the new baby) my brother-in-law got antsy and decided they should move RIGHT THEN! So my husband, nephew and two brothers-in-law carried it down the slippery lawn to it’s final resting place.

Bench before makeover

I’ve got a lot planned for my bench but I had to start somewhere and this idea randomly popped into my head and I uncharacteristically decided to follow through with it before I thought too much about it.

First I scrubbed the back of the bench to remove lots of dirt and grime (probably quite a bit of insect and bird poop too, let’s be honest). You can see that the lattice is still disgusting but I was working during nap time while my husband got ready for work so I didn’t have time to drag the hose out. I considered repainting the whole thing but I loved the chippy finish and I spend so much time sanding to achieve that look that I just left it. I might seal the legs though, or at least set it on gravel so the water drains away.

"May all your weeds be Wildflowers"

I set up the phrase “May all your weeds be Wildflowers” in the font Impregnable and cut a stencil in vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo. I like to cut boxes around the pieces to make it easy to weed and use as a two piece stencil. I did make one mistake, if I did it again I would shift things around to the bottom line of the stencil could like up with the text in a straight line.

Contact paper transfer tape with vinyl stencil

Like my assistant? I did all stencil application and painting with my daughter strapped to my chest in her Moby and Cookie Monster was along for the ride until she decided the wrap tasted better than his eyes. I used  contact paper to transfer it to the bench. I learned from my mistake with the Kitchen Love Subway Art and I de-stickied it first by pressing it against my jeans to pick up a little lint.


You might notice that the work ‘be’ is pretty hacked up, when I added the stencil I forgot that I had made Wildflowers larger and that the whole thing wouldn’t line up right so I had to peel it off with really un-sticky transfer tape and move it up.

Painted vinyl stencil

I wasn’t sure where to go with the paint, I considered using one of the colors from the Barn Quilt because it’s not that far away but I wanted the message to be subtle, something you didn’t notice until you were sitting down. I’m all about garden secrets (like the secret plan to connect the bench garden to the barn garden, oops!). I used a flat, round stencil brush and a dabbing/stabbing motion to apply the paint and there was no leakage. Pretty impressive considering the uneven nature of the board.

In this picture you can also notice: Cookie Monster has given up, I used white and “Calypso Blue” from DecoArt that I’ve had forever. I mixed it up on the fly with my brush using the contact paper as a mixing surface. It was stupidly windy so having my paint stuck to the bench was really helpful.


I intentionally left some white streaks to make it look aged. It’s not going to stay perfect forever so why start out that way? Then you have too much pressure to keep it that way. By the way, Mary and Cookie Monster were not my only assistants:

Crafting Assistants

Gobbles considers himself the warden of the backyard. There were also about a dozen ducks off to the side. While I’m relieved that the cows have moved on I do miss their nosiness, they used to watch (and critique) my every move.

I’ve got a lot more plant for this (giant) little guy. Including but not limited to:

  • Moving it into it’s final location after I flatten and de-grass it
  • ‘Fence’ it in with railroad ties
  • Plant a clematis on the side to grow up and over it
  • Add solar powered string lights
  • Add a cushion/pillows

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Spring Cleaning - Custom Canisters I Love Paris In the Springtime Etching for Sping - Mug Personalization for the April Silhouette Challenge WHEELY excited about spring No-Sew Fabric & Burlap Peter Cottontail Banner Narwhals, plus friends Gold Fern Easter Eggs Mr and Mrs Easter Egg Head Easter Bunny Plate Welcome Spring - A Sign From Tile Paper Flowers Wall Art DIY: Bunny-Stamped Goodie Bags for Easter Inspirational Window Now We Have Everything Nursery Art Spring' and Flowers Paper Banner Glitter Jars with a Happy, Hoppy Bunny Made with the Silhouette + Free Cut File! Mother's Day Wreath Decorate A Watering Can With Vinyl! April Showers Sketch Pen Printable Spring Wreath Burlap Garden Flag with Heat Transfer Vinyl Pretty Little Herb Pots Peter Cottontail Door Hanger Spring Has Sprung Spring Has Sprung - Subway Art Bloom And Grow Sunflower Bouquet for Teacher Appreciation Sharpie Easter Eggs Tear Open Easter Egg Cards Look what's Blooming! ~ Silhouette Challenge Everblooming Paper Bouquet Silhouette Challenge: Spring Polish Swap Card [B] is for Bloom: Scrap Lumber Flower Vases Tulip Time - Fridge Magnets Neon Paper Pinwheels {tutorial} A Happy Spring Card Sketching Just Got Easier! Spring Bunny Baskets Bird Nerd Easter Eggs Easter Peeps Treats with {FREE} Printables and Cut File Garden Bench Update

1. Dream a Little Bigger // 2. So Much Better With Age // 3. Adventures in All Things Food // 4. Creative Carnival // 5. The Kim Six Fix // 6. feto soap // 7. One Dog Woof // 8. The Experimental Home // 9. From Wine to Whine // 10. Architecture of a Mom // 11. Grey Luster Girl // 12. Minted Strawberry // 13. Designed Decor // 14. Tried & True // 15. Silhouette School // 16. Bringing Creativity 2 Life // 17. Weekend Craft // 18. Practically Functional // 19. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 20. McCall Manor // 21. unOriginal Mom // 22. Creative Ramblings // 23. A Tossed Salad Life // 24. A Glimpse Into Barb’s Life // 25. Kate’s Paper Creations // 26. Simply Kelly Designs // 27. Cutesy Crafts // 28. Persia Lou // 29. Whats Next Ma // 30. Two Purple Couches // 31. The Frill of Life // 32. Nearly Handmade // 33. Get Silvered // 34. Ginger Snap Crafts // 35. Life After Laundry // 36. The Sensory Emporium // 37. Monograms & Cake // 38. The Thinking Closet // 39. My Paper Craze // 40. Chicken Scratch NY


  1. The bench is adorable and I especially like the wording you used on it. The outdoor space with chickens and turkeys is amazing.
    Homemade Momma recently posted…The Great Toy DebateMy Profile

  2. I love this quote! And I love the bench…I’m jealous!
    Rachel @ Architecture of a Mom recently posted…Welcome Spring – A Sign from TileMy Profile

  3. Love this project!

  4. What fun! I’ve refinished a similar bench and it is a lot of work but you made this look like fun. What a fun quote. Have a blessed day!

  5. I loved this line: “It’s not going to stay perfect forever so why start out that way? ”
    Good words to live by, that I think will lead to more satisfaction in life.
    Rayleen recently posted…Compare and Choose: Reviewing the Best Teak Outdoor Dining SetsMy Profile

  6. This bench has so much character. It’s a beauty! Love what you’ve done so far and can’t wait to see the next stages of it’s tranformation!
    Pam – GetSilvered recently posted…Cute Chicks Printable Gift Tags – Free File FridayMy Profile

  7. I love that you’re giving something so sentimental a facelift! I have a wall desk in the basement that my grandfather gave me when I was a little girl, and I can’t wait until I live in a place where it can hang in it’s full glory. And the saying you chose was so perfect for this project! Thanks so much for the inspiration!
    Kristy gd recently posted…April Showers Sketch Pen PrintableMy Profile

  8. I love how you’ve breathed new life into a family piece! And I love the quote you chose!