July 7 - 20, 2019: Issue 412


DIY: An Artfull Garden - Winter School Holidays 2019 Ideas

 In Trafalgar Park, Newport - old tree stump made into useful ART - Garden Furniture!

The Winter School Holidays are a great time to get creative and make something you can enjoy long after.

This Issue a few ideas that can be done together or as individual projects - ideas that can be made indoors if we get too much rain and outdoors when the sun comes out again. 

Painted Flowerpots and Herb Trays

This is one for young and old alike, and definitely one that can be done together. Choose some small to medium to large plain terracotta pots and decorate them with more flowers or scenes from around your home of Pittwater, or anything else that takes your fancy and inspires. 

The only time an adult need step in here, unless they are doing this themselves, is when the pots need to be finished with a protective coat of a clear acrylic or varnish. Make sure you use pots with base drainage as sealing the exterior will prevent moisture being able to soak into the soil, and feed what plants you place in these pots, or for it to evaporate out. Good drainage means healthy plants.

Materials and Tools

• Clean terra-cotta pots

• Acrylic paints in assorted colors – good way to use up all those bits of paints in tins at home – or use non-toxic craft paints

• Small or medium foam brushes

• Plastic plates

• Cotton swabs

• Small artist’s paint brush

• Wire brush 

• Clear spray acrylic

• Protector mask when spraying acrylic sealer

To begin, remove price tags and stickers from the pot by soaking it in a tub of warm water for up to an hour, then scrubbing it with a stiff brush. Allow the pot to dry completely before painting.

Apply your base coat first and allow to dry on newspaper so you don’t have a nice ring if paint runs.  Apply the paint with a foam brush, working around the pot in broad strokes and make sure you don’t coat the base so water may drain. Extend the paint an inch or so down into the top of the pot. Terracotta  pots will absorb a lot of paint. Apply additional coats if you’d like, allowing the pot to dry between coats, until the desired colour depth is achieved.

Now for some decoration – you can trace some stencils or just do a free form version of whatever you like – flowers – leaves, or even do a range of pots which are painted with what’s in them for seasons when they are not flowering or fruiting – great for herbs or balcony gardens where chillies or herbs that die off during cold weather are grown, such as sage. 

These make a great gift idea too and a row of various sizes inside along the kitchen sink window, or outside, will brighten up your garden and get youngsters more interested in what to plant in them.

Mosaic Flowerpot

Another variation is to make these using a mosaic version - choose what size pot you want to redesign, collect pieces of broken old tiles, rocks, beads, and work out a design before you begin. You could start with a small pot to begin with, or if you want to do something spectacular straight off, choose a larger pot.

You will need work gloves, protective eyewear, a small hammer, a clear workspace and a heavy cloth or towel. Lay the tile on a flat surface and place towel or heavy cloth over the tile. This way you will have something to keep tile in one area when you break it.

Gently tap the tile with a hammer until you feel pieces breaking. Don’t smash the tile as it may disintegrate. Remove tile to reveal what you’ve broken. Use a nipper to re-shape pieces if necessary or to complete the breaking process (for tile that may not have broken all the way).

Before you prepare the mortar or tile adhesive in order to adhere the tile to the flower pot, please put on a protective mask as the powders used in these products are not meant to be breathed - ditto when you mix the grout a little later on in this project. 

Pick a polymer-fortified, thin-set mortar for best results. Add water to mortar powder until it becomes the same consistency as peanut butter. Mix constantly so that the powder is fully integrated into the mixture.

As you need to use the mortar immediately (so that it does not dry or change consistency over time), only prepare the mortar when you are ready to place the pieces of tile or stones on the pot. If you are making a larger pot, perhaps do one side then the other, or work from the base up and only mix enough to do each section at a time.

Create your mosaic design by spreading a thin layer of mortar on the back of each piece and affixing the piece to the flower pot. Refer to your map or sketch as you go along.

Press the piece of tile firmly against the flower pot and hold for several seconds or until you know it has adhered to the pot. Remember to leave 1/2 a centimetre space between pieces to make room for the grout. Simply re-size tile if pieces are too large or are not fitting properly.

Add any other design elements such as stones or beads. You don’t have to add other elements but if do, now is the time to integrate them into your design.

Complete the design and then allow the pot to set and dry overnight. Mortar needs up to 24 hours to fully set and dry so leave the pot in a cool, dry area until its fully set.

Once the mortar is completely set make the grout. If you’d like to add interest to the grout, mix with acrylic paint to create coloured  grout or even add in some glitter. 

You’ll need work gloves for this project as you’ll be placing the grout on your pot with your hands.

Combine water to the grout to create a mixture of peanut butter consistency alike that needed for the mortar.

Scoop a handful of grout and slather it all over the pot. Be sure you take care to fill in every section between the tiles. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe excess grout from the pot, taking extra care to remove grout that was smoothed over tile/stones.

Take a thin wire brush and brush over the entire pot when you’ve finished grouting to ensure all excess grout falls off the tiles. Go over the pot with a clean cloth to remove brush marks.

Allow this to set overnight too before you begin putting any potting mix or plants into your pot.

This project is a great one for those who want to give a unique gift or brighten the garden with some real art. This is also a great project for younger children too, as long as there's a helping hand with some of the trickier elements.

Rejuvenate that Old Picnic Table

This idea may be catered to your own personal taste - you don't have to paint giant sunflowers or rainbows all over that sun-bitten old picnic BBQ table, but it will certainly introduce some art to your garden if you do and give an extra lease of life to that table that's seen so many Summers under blazing Australian sun it's going pale!

The other option is to sand it back and give it a few coats of TLC by sanding it back and restaining that wood - a good job to do while the weather is cooler - but probably not one that may appeal to those on holidays!

Turning that old outdoor table into art can be elaborate as deciding on putting a mural over the table and its seating, or painting a great Australian eucalyptus scene and placing that under your own gum trees - or even your version of a local scene such as the view to Barrenjoey or the view to Scotland Island or doing something easy and simple that little fingers can get involved in too - simply adding some splashes of colour or doing that flowers and fairies and butterflies thing.

Perhaps even make it a family portrait, cartoon style, or in everyone's own style - get them to paint themselves, or each other; use those gold star sketches from kindergarten on the fridge door as ideas!

Just one idea from around the web:

Finished whimsical flower painted green picnic table. Art By Denise Walker

Recycle old doors into

If you have an old door you just can't throw away, perhaps these school holidays are the days you may finally relinquish it to your teenager and allow them to turn it into: 

A Table, a Message Board (choose one with panels and paint some blackboard paint in these), an outdoor Workbench, a Coffee Table, a frame within which they will paint a picture or even a frame within which they will display favourite photographs, a noticeboard they can work out larger school projects on, a set of shelves, a tool rack for the garden shed replete with hooks to display all that stuff that's long been a jumble on that shelf over there or a mess or cords and hammer, chisel and sander on the shed floor .... in fact, they'll probably come up with a few more ideas for that - old - door.

The Tools And Products To Get It Done From Johnson Brothers Mitre 10





Includes garden bed 850(L) x 850(W) x 300(H)cm, drop over greenhouse 900(L) x 900(W) x 920(H)cm gardening gloves and store bag. (Plants sold separately.)


UV Protection. Dirt & Mould Resistant. Self priming. Water Clean up.

The Green Life Garden centre at Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Mona Vale this week

Picnic tables in Sequoia National Park. Ready for Lunch Time—Sequoia National Park, 1927. [H. E. Roberts]

Green Life Garden Centre at Johnson Brothers Mona Vale

Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 New Store
73 Bassett Street
Mona Vale - Online Store: Jbhmv.Com.Au

Products advice is available from the trained friendly staff at Narrabeen, Mona Vale and Avalon Johnson Brothers Mitre 10. 

Click on logo to visit Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 website

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Avalon            (02) 9918 3315

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Mona Vale     (02) 9999 3340

JBH Timber & Building Supplies          (02) 9999 0333

JBH Fencing & Landscape Supplies    (02) 9970 6333

www.johnsonbros.com.au Online store: jbhmv.com.au

All information and tips in this publication are of a general nature only and neither Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 or Pittwater Online News does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information and tips in this publication. This publication is not intended to be a substitute for expert advice. Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 advises you to always consult an experienced and qualified person when undertaking jobs of this kind (including consulting a qualified tradesperson such as an electrician or plumber where relevant expert services are required). 

You should also consider any safety precautions that may be necessary when undertaking the work described in this publication (including wearing any necessary safety equipment such as safety glasses, goggles or ear protectors or hard hats). The information and tips in this publication are provided on the basis that Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 and Pittwater Online News excludes all liability for any loss or damage which is suffered or incurred (including, but not limited to, indirect and consequential loss or damage and whether or not such loss or damage could have been foreseen) for any personal injury or damage to property whatsoever resulting from the use of the information and tips in this publication. 

Pittwater Online News and Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 also advises there may be laws, regulations or by-laws with which you must comply when undertaking the work described in this publication. You should obtain all necessary permissions and permits from council and/or any other relevant statutory body or authority before carrying out any work. Major projects published in this publication always list these and/orlinks to where you may research what your own project requires to meet regulations.

Previous DIY Pages:

Decking Timbers  Caring For Your Deck Decking Finishes  Privacy Screens I Privacy Screens II  Privacy Screening Hardwoods  Autumn Paths and Lawns  Insulation Batts Plasterboard  Ventilation - Edmond's Ecofan Blackboards for Children and Home Spring Lawn Care  Shade Sails & Watering  Basic DIY Tools DIY Tools - Power Drills Recycle Your Trampoline into An Air Bed  How to Build Your Own Backyard Cricket Pitch Christmas Lights Displays around House and Garden Summer Mildew - Refresh, Renew How to Fix Things That Drip and Bump in the Night Time To Plant Winter Vegetables in  a Raised Garden Beds Layout Organsing Your Tool Shed  Make Your Own Weathervane Installing A Garden Watering System  Decking Oils  How To Make Garden Compost  How To Winter proof Your Lawn  How to create Shabby Chic effect on Timber Furniture How to Build Your Own Raised Garden Bed  Growing Your Own Winter Vegies  Winter Heating Guide  Prepare Your Yard For Winter Eradicating Noxious Weeds From Your Yard How to Fix Furniture Finishes Part I  How to Repair Scratches, Dings, and Dents of Furniture Surfaces - Part II Winter Draughts Fix  Classic Wooden Tool Carrier Spring Garden Checklist Part I  Install Your Own Skylight  Retaining Walls for Saving Soil and New Spring Garden Beds  Summer Salad Garden  Native Plant Garden for A Fairy Arbour Renewing Short Flight of Exterior Stairs Deck Maintenance DIY Summer Tasks You Can Do In Time to Get to the Beach  Garden Ponds for Attracting Birdlife, Dragonflies and for the Soothing Sounds of Water  Salt Air: Maintenance and Protection Creating an Outdoor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio - Part I Creating an Outdor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio Part II  Autumn Garden Tasks  Autumn DIY Jobs: Waterproof Your Home Checklist  Dealing With Dampness Inside the Home  Fixing Your Fence  Repairing and Replacing Damaged Decking boards DIY Toy Box and Snow Globes: School Holidays Fun - Winter 2015  DIY Wooden Toy Cars and Perfect Painted Flowerpots: School Holiday Fun - Winter 2015  Shoring Up an Under House Earth Bank – Installing a Basic Retaining Wall  DIY One Shelf Sideboard  Early Spring 2015 Garden Care Salad Garden For Children  Keeping Your Garden and Home Cool in Hot Weather  Classic Beach Garden and Camping Chairs 3 Portable Versions Anyone Can Make DIY Outdoor Furniture Mark I: Park Benches for Your Garden Make Your Own Scooter or Skateboard: Summer 2016 Fun  How to Install a Solid Core Door and Door Furniture  Summer Garden Jobs: Pruning A Hedge  How to Make A Swing Chair - With A Frame for Garden Setting Garden Jobs for March to Make A Beautiful and Healthy Spring  Keeping Outdoor Nooks Warm During Cooler Months Children’s Step Stool with Storage  Stop Winter Rain Lawn Loss and Soil Erosion on Slopes  DIY Garden Shed: Part 1 of 4 - Base  DIY Garden Shed: Part 2 - Framing Walls  DIY Garden Shed: Part 2b - Gable Roof Framing  Garden Shed Part 3: Roof Installation  DIY Garden Shed: Weather- boards - Door And Window Installation And Paint Finish DIY Coffee Table With Chessboard Inlay  Spring Gardening: Feeding Your Soil And Plants - What Works For Each Plant  DIY Sandstone Flagging Parking Area - Platform  DIY Pre-Summer Checklist For A Safe Home   Summer Spruce Up: Interior Paint Tips and Three easy steps to rejuvenate your timber deck The Perfect BBQ Garden Setting DIY Water Wise Garden   DIY Side Gates  DIY Storm Preparation And Home Protection  One To Two Day DIY Weekend Spruce Ups  Vegepods For Autumn Planting + Easy To Make Lego Table Or Student Desk That Can Be Dismantled + Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Online Store   Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Great New Mona Vale Store: Still In Bassett Street - number 73  Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 New Mona Vale Store: The Greenlife Garden Centre  Go Outside And Play: Creating Garden Spaces To Connect Children With Nature DIY Plasterboard Repair DIY Dolls House Or Garage Or Boatshed  DIY Child's Waggon - or use as a large planter mover DIY Bathroom Refresh: Zing For Spring  Tips for Growing a Native Garden FireCrunch, Australian Developed Fire-proof, Sustainable, Durable and Reliable Building Board Now Available at Johnson Bros. at Mona Vale and Narrabeen School Holidays DIY Ideas for Children: Little Vegetables Garden, Swing, Windchimes Bushfire Season Preparation 2017: Home and Outdoor Areas  Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Trade Centre at Mona Vale + Issue No 1 of Mitre 10’s inSITE Magazine for Tradies and Handymen  Preparing Al Fresco Areas for Christmas Get-Togethers and Summer Visitors  Summer De-bug; Mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches and ants - how to keep the outdoors insects where they belong DIY Summer Projects: Install A Fountain Or Water Feature  Late Summer and Early Autumn Projects: A Shed For All Storage Solutions + Garden Tasks + Keeping Our Waterways Clean   Autumn Plantings for Winter Harvests   2018   Paintback Collection Event: Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale Saturday, April 7 Reducing Ticks in Your Garden: Garden care, Plants that Repel, What to Wear Outdoors Attracting Insectivore Birds to Your Garden: DIY Natural Tick Control  Mother's Day 2018: DIY Rose Garden Winter Mould & Mildew Inside Your home: How to Keep Air and Surfaces Healthier DIY Traditional Rocking Horse  Johnson Brothers Trade Day 2018 DIY Mushrooms and Vege Kits: School Holidays Fun Winter 2018 for Curious Kids  Woodworking Projects for Beginners: School Holidays Fun Winter 2018 - Simple Storage Box + Wood Tool Box Spring Garden Prep: Soil Care  Spring into Spring + JBH August 2018 Trifecta  DIY Backyard Doggie Paradise  Garden Care for Heavy Rain Days + Non-Toxic Snail and Slug Debug Ideas  Garden Design and Plant Management to Minimise Tick Attacks and Infestations - insights from an essay by Bill Conroy BSc. (Agr) (Syd) + a Tribute to Wilfred Lawrence Conroy CBE by Keith Jackson, PNG and others  Make Your Own BBQ Kitchen Garden: Gifts That Grow Past That Giving Day  Christmas Lights 2018: Light Up the Night  How to Keep Your House Cool During a Heatwave Without Using an Air-Conditioner Mid-Summer Garden Care  2018 Winners Of National Hardware Store Of The Year - Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale! + End Of Summer Garden To Do List  DIY Fruits of Your Garden: Growing Figs  Fruits Of Your Garden: Growing Passionfruit - Autumn Is Also The Time To Plant Strawberries For Spring  How To Water Your Plants When Away On Holidays + Some April 2019 School Holidays Fun For Outdoors; A Skateboard Swing Or Indoors; Grow Or Make Pot Plant People Dealing With Autumn Dampness Inside The Home + Mums Day Gifts For 2019 Winter Heating Guide + Get Ready For Winter Specials  Keeping Your Garden Dewful During Times Of Water Restrictions and Drought  Installing Leaf Stopper Gutter Guard + Trade Day 2019  JBH Mitre 10 Trade Day Guests 2019


John and Bob Johnson - The Johnson Brothers Profile  John William Alfred Johnson - The Eulogies for those who could not attend Mass

Australia's Prime Minister Visits Mackellar - Informal Afternoon Tea with Hon. Malcolm Turnbull October 2016

JBH Win Awards August 2018 Trifecta - 2018 Free Trade Day supporters, Mitre 10 Heritage Advert features JBH Mona Vale Store, Hardware Australia’s 2018 NSW Hardware Store of the Year over 2500sqm.

Front Page Issue 294: 2018 Winners Of National Hardware Store Of The Year - Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale !!!