old shovels.

There’s just something about worn, old garden tools that really appeals to me.

I have quite a few of them around my yard.  I’ve even used one as the handle for the door on my photo cottage …

I often use them as props in my photos too.

So when I see old gardening tools at garage sales, I generally snap them up.  Last summer I accumulated a few old shovels …

They don’t look like much there, do they?  I’m sure I didn’t pay more than a dollar or two for each one, but I thought they had potential.  After giving them all a good scrub with some soapy water, I experimented a bit to see what I could do with them.

Let’s start with the one in the back that looks more like a snow shovel, rather than a garden shovel.  It’s my least favorite, so it goes first.  The wooden shaft and handle were quite dried out and any finish they once had was completely worn off.  I decided to paint them black using Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.  Once dry, I distressed them heavily with sand paper and then added a nourishing coat of Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta, which is sort of like a mix between hemp oil and wax.  Finally, I added a re.design with prima transfer to the blade.

In hindsight, the blade was a bit dark for using a black transfer.

So let’s just quickly move on to the next one.  This one had a bit of red paint left on the blade, but again a very dried out wooden shaft and handle.  I darkened up the shaft with some Dixie Belle No Pain Gel Stain in Walnut, then I painted the handle with their Honky Tonk Red.

Once again I distressed it heavily and coated it with Big Mama’s Butta.

Then I added one of the sections of re.design with prima’s Vintage Seed transfers to the blade.

Wouldn’t that be fun hanging on the side of your potting shed?

This last one is my favorite, mainly because the wood had such a beautiful patina already.  I just brightened it up a bit with some of Dixie Belle’s Howdy Do hemp oil.

Then I added a transfer from the Classic Vintage Labels set to the blade.

It doesn’t show up quite as much as I would like, but it adds a little subtle detail.

Does anyone else use old seat-less chairs as peony cages?  They work great to keep your peonies from flopping over when the flower heads get heavy.  I have a couple of them that I found at garage sales for a few dollars.  They only hold up for a few years in the harsh Minnesota weather, but I pay so little that I don’t mind if they get ruined.

I’ll be adding these shovels to the pile of goodies that I’m bringing in to the shop where I sell on consignment, Reclaiming Beautiful in Stillwater, MN.  Now that our governor has switched us from a ‘Stay at Home’ order to a ‘Stay Safe’ order, retail shops can re-open next week.  So those of you who are local, if you’re ready for some much needed shopping therapy, be sure to stop by and shop safely by wearing masks, physical distancing and not congregating in groups.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and to re.design with prima for providing the products used for today’s projects.

If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

If you’re looking for re.design with prima products you can find local retailers here, or online sources here.

15 thoughts on “old shovels.

  1. Love the seatless chair peony supports.I am going to have to “borrow”that one.The shovels look ready for a new life.


  2. My favorite is the last one too! I love old wood handled tools 🙂 Great idea with the chair for the peonies too – I have an old ice cream chair with no seat that would be perfect for my peonies! Stay safe!


  3. I love the shovels, they look great! Living in Southern California, I’ve never seen the chairs to hold the blooms up but I absolutely love the idea!
    I so enjoy your posts! Thank you & stay well!


  4. Very cool shovels Miss Quandie! And hot dog! I see some garage saling in your near future! Given that I live in the Soviet Republic of California, specifically under the thumb of Comrade Garcetti, I don’t see that happening for us here soon……maybe I’ll lead a garage sale protest group! Hmmmmmmmmm……..I’m kinda liking that idea!!!


    1. Oh gosh, you’re cracking me up Connie. Well … I hope there might be some garage saling in my future. I suspect that the ‘no groups larger than 10’ part of the equation might make that a little more difficult. I’m sure that the community wide sales that I’m so fond of are not going to happen any time soon. Communities won’t want to be seen encouraging lots of people to show up in their neighborhoods I bet. I sure do miss my neighborhood sales though!


  5. The one with the red handle is my fav! We are still only dreaming about going shopping here in Canada… hope it will change soon.


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