DIY Barnwood Farmhouse Décor

After replacing the windows in my chicken coop I was left with some really beautiful old boards. Not wanting to waste 80+ year old lumber, I decided to make some Barnwood Farmhouse Décor.

If there is a scale from minimalist to hoarder, I’d probably fall somewhere over the midline on the hoarder side.

I always struggle to throw things away. Donating things I love, but throwing things out is a struggle. This is for two reasons. One, I HATE creating garbage. Waste is a huge issue for our planet and every time I put something in the garbage I feel a pang of guilt.

Second, I don’t like to throw things out because I might need it later. I know this sounds like a true hoarder talking here, but when you live on a small farm it is true. You never know what random piece of hardware is going to come in handy down the line.

Upcycling for me is a godsend. I can take something that was just going to be garbage and turn it into something useful or cool. I’m not always the best at it, but it is fun to dabble with.

old barnwood rough and tumble farmhouse

Using Reclaimed Wood

Barnwood is all the rage these days. Pretty sure there is even a show called “Barnwood Builders” where they rescue old barnwood and turn it into cool stuff.

I think that is admirable. We take for granted today how easy it actually is to build a barn or outbuilding. For people 100+ years ago it was a herculean undertaking. There are few things that break my heart more than driving by an old barn or building that is slowly collapsing into the ground. I think about who built that. Where they hauled the lumber in from. Did family and neighbors come to help put it up? Did they have good weather during construction? What did the ladies chat about while they got lunch ready? How long did they hope and dream for that building? Gives me goosebumps every time.

As buildings fade with time, I think it is beautiful to find ways to keep parts of those stories alive, whether it is a rustic table, picture frame, or other type of barnwood farmhouse decor.

Where to Find Reclaimed Wood

Start by checking out your own property. For me, this whole project was made with old window framing boards from our coop. It didn’t take much!

Old farmsteads, lake houses, barns, and other spots are great to check for unused lumber. A friend of mine uses old dock wood to make absolutely stunning canoe paddles.

If it isn’t your own property, make sure you have permission to snoop around before you go scrounging.

Please don’t take wood from perfectly good structures or places that don’t belong to you just to make some barnwood farmhouse décor.

Antique Garden Tools

This project was built around a pair of antique gardening tools. A coworker and friend of mine who passed away a few years ago gave them to me as a gift. She was stationed in England while in the military and she bought these tools from an antique store.

I lived in northern England during college and have been back to visit several times. My friend knew how much I love it there and so she gave me these beautiful tools.

For years I’ve been thinking about a way to display them. When I saw how perfect the boards from the chicken coop looked I knew I had finally found their display.

antique garden tools rough and tumble farmhouse

Making DIY Barnwood Farmhouse Décor

The first thing I did was clean up the boards a little. I didn’t want to change them at all aside from cleaning any coop gunk and cobwebs from them.

dirty barnwood rough and tumble farmhouse

Next I laid the tools out on a few of the boards to decide if I wanted the piece to be vertical or horizontal.

After going back and forth I decided on horizontal.

laying out garden tools rough and tumble farmhouse

The pieces of wood from the coop were absolutely perfect. They had a taller piece of trim on the edges which essentially made a perfect frame.

Before doing any more assembly I had to remove old staples and nails.

diy barnwood project rough and tumble farmhouse
removing staples rough and tumble farmhouse

I laid the tools out again, determined how wide I wanted it to be, then cut them using a circular saw.

trimming boards rough and tumble farmhouse

Next I pried the trim away from the remaining pieces of board that would be my interior back pieces

trim boards rough and tumble farmhouse

I cut the boards to match the others.

Then I laid out the framing pieces along the open edges and cut them as well.

To make it secure, I put screws in the corners of the frame.

screwing in corners rough and tumble farmhouse

Next I cut a very thin piece of plywood to provide a backing support.

plywood board rough and tumble farmhouse

I added a layer of wood glue and set all the pieces in place.

I set paint cans on top and let it dry for about 12 hours.

drying wood rough and tumble farmhouse

Attaching the Tools

To attach the garden tools, I used a very thin drill bit and drilled through the back. Using florists wire I secured each tool to the boards, twisting in back, almost how a doll is secured in a package.

attaching garden tools rough and tumble farmhouse

If I were to do this again, I would build the front portion of the frame separate from the back support and attach the tools just through the old coop wood. That way I would have a perfectly smooth back rather than the little twist ties. The benefit of it being done as I did, is the tools can be easily removed if I ever decide I want to display them another way.

Hanging the Art

To make the frame hangable, I again used florists wire and stapled it into the back. I doubled up the wire and wrapped it around itself to make it extra thick. Once stapled I wrapped the loose end around the wire again to secure it more. Place the staples and hanging wire so it will support the frame but the wire won’t show.

hanging the farmhouse decor rough and tumble farmhouse

Now my barnwood farmhouse décor is ready to hang!

diy barnwood farmhouse decor rough and tumble farmhouse

Want to see where these boards came from? Check out my post all about installing new chicken coop windows.

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Barnwood Farmhouse DIY Project Rough and Tumble Farmhouse

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