Ballard Designs OUTLET Meets Craigslist Potting Bench

Don’t hate me because I live oh, 30-40 minutes from the Ballard Designs Outlet (which happens to be right next to the Frontgate Outlet, and IKEA is just down the road…).  Since I have a day job, I don’t get to hustle down there every other day as I would like.  But, when I take a day off, and the kids are still in school/preschool, and I have the opportunity to shop, by myself, I can’t pass it up.  It doesn’t hurt that one of my best friends went down there last week and cleaned up on wonderful goodies for her house while I had to sit at work and hear about it. 
I have a sweet potting bench that I got on craigslist for $50, and I have big plans for this big boy.  (Please excuse the crappy picture and the chalk doodling on the brick, it was about 90 degrees outside with 110% humidity, and my lens was fogging up fast). 
(In case you’re wondering, yes, that appears to be scribbling with chalk on my porch wall.  I have an artistic 4 year-old girl, what can I say?)
When I say big boy, I’m not kidding – this thing weighs a ton.  I consider myself a pretty strong woman, so I kind of balked when the craigslist seller said that it was heavy.  She wasn’t kidding.  Anyway, we got it home and it’s sitting on my screened in porch, which is also where I will be redoing it since I don’t think I can bribe my husband, sons and their friend to help haul it outside for my painting convenience  I digress.  While the potting bench is fab, the doors on it are not – they stick and don’t stay on the track.  So, I thought that using fabric on a curtain rod would make for a good look and also add interest to the room.  Something along these lines:

Which brings me back to Ballard.  They have all sorts of goodies at their outlet for fab prices, and my trip was no exception.  I recently purchased a new rug for the porch, and found this fabric that would totally tie with the look I have going in there.  Three yards for about $21.  But it gets better. I got another 20% off, and then another 20% off my entire order. As I was checking out, the angel of a checkout lady said that she had some other fabric that I might be interested in. I had seen it, sitting behind the counter, thinking it was on hold for someone else. It was three yards of this beautiful document fabric.  Oh. My. Goodness. I have been coveting this fabric since I first saw it in the Ballard catalog. So many possibilities! Scored three yards for less than the price of one.  Did I mention that one of my best friends just got a job at Ballard Designs Outlet?  Does life get any sweeter than that?
My glorious fabric from Ballard
In getting our house ready for an open house earlier this summer, I decided to tackle this project, to give the potting bench a little more personality, and to tie together with our screened porch.  I still want to paint it, but I did give it a bit of a facelift that will work for now.  I had to use no-sew Stitch Witchery to put my curtains together since my sewing machine was inadvertently put into storage, but let’s face it, I probably wouldn’t have sewn it anyway.  The old gate on top I actually found in the trash at a house we toured (don’t worry, the house was empty – I wouldn’t want people to think we were “weird” or something.)
I scored a couple of curtain rods on clearance, and gave them a nice coat of black paint.
End result – a much cuter and put together potting bench.
Thanks for stopping by.  I have more plans for this piece, and I think it could be really functional for us.  The trough on top could be filled with ice, and used to chill drinks for a party.  I’m thinking painting it black and spray painting the trough in a cool hammered copper finish has possibilities.  Add some moulding…
Stay tuned…


  • Reply
    October 29, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Hi Jen! I just found your blog, yay for me.
    I love this project! Love the fabrics you chose. I just added you to my blogroll!

  • Reply
    October 29, 2010 at 9:11 am

    P.S. what are you going to put in the top of it?????

  • Reply
    Amie Hampton
    April 12, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Jenny,I did so enjoy your message and your sight. Hampton
    I am now 81 years old, live with my sweet husband of 57years in a 123 farm house in the foothills of N.C.
    I have had the privilege of living my dream…opened a n art gallery and frame shop in 1977 that is still doing great. My shop started with a little art and craft shop on the “well porch” of this old house.
    Jenny, I have enjoyed reading your blog remembering when I was searching, finding and painting in every thrift shop and outlet…we still enjoy our unique old house!
    Jenny, I think that you and I would enjoy being neighbors.
    Just read this quote, “Creativity is wisdom having fun”!..good o ne!
    My business..Hampton House Art and Frame
    Amie Hampton

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