What a week! The warm weather finally decided to come back to the mid-atlantic and our family couldn’t be happier. We’ve completed several projects, and I can finally visualize a final design for the lower level deck. But you wouldn’t know it from the looks of things right now:
When we left off with last week’s One Room Challenge update, I was letting you decide two parts of this makeover: 1) whether or not to freshly stain the plant benches, and 2) whether to make a single or double width privacy screen. The results were pretty much unanimous: 1) leave the benches as-is, and 2) double privacy screen. Reader Carla recommended sealing up the benches with marine varnish, and I love that idea. But for time’s sake, I’m going to leave the benches alone for now. I’ll fix up the stain and seal them up with marine varnish either in the fall or early next spring. So that just left trying to figure out how to make a privacy screen.
I’ve been so excited ever since I came up with this idea. You see, my three-year-old’s Ikea bed came apart a few weeks ago. As it turns out, she picked out pretty much the same bed as it’s replacement, so we bought all new everything to make sure it was as safe as possible. While we were taking the bed apart, I looked at all the remaining parts that looked just fine, thank you, and knew something could be done with them. That’s when I realized that the bed slats Ikea uses in place of a boxspring would be perfect for a privacy screen
How to Make a Privacy Screen Using Ikea Parts
- Ikea Sultan Lade Slatted Bed Base, OR 12 boards approximately 38″L x 3.5″W x 3/4″D
- Box cutter or sharp blade
- 3 wood studs – 2 x 3 cut to 84″ tall
- Outdoor stain or varnish
- Exterior screws: 3′ and 1.75″
- Screwdriver with proper drill and screw bits
- 4 foot level
Prepare your materials
- If using the slatted bed base, you will need to remove the webbing that connects the slats together by cutting it with a box cutter as tight as possible to the staples. Remove all staples possible.
- Sand all wood pieces to reduce rough edges. Wipe down to remove all dust and debris
- Paint all wood pieces with a long-lasting outdoor stain and/or seal with. I used stain we had on hand from Olympic that promises 5 years of protection and a spray on water sealer from Thompson’s (similar)
These were definitely the longest steps for me. It seemed like every time I would get going with the painting, the baby would wake up and start fussing or a kid would need some other help. Kids notwithstanding, I would allot at least 4 days to completing these steps.
Assemble the Privacy Screen
Once all the material is cured, it’s time to really get moving!
- Identify the center of your privacy screen and, using the level to make sure your stud is straight, attach one of the studs to your deck. First, drill pilot holes through the stud and slightly into the deck, then use the 3″ screws to attach the stud to the deck.
- Attach the first slat just above the hand rail, again drilling a pilot hole first and then using the 1.75″ exterior screw to attach it to the center stud.
- Attach the second stud to the deck according to the directions in step 1. Use the slat attached to the center stud to identify the proper distance between studs. When the second stud is installed, attach the other side of the first slat to the second stud, using the level to make sure it is straight.
- Measure 7.5 inches from the bottom of the first slat and mark the location on the center stud. If you’re using boards with the same measurements identified above, this will be the distance between each slat.
- Attach the second slat to the studs, aligning the bottom with the mark made in the last step and using the level to make sure it is straight.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 until 6 boards are attached to the two studs.
- Get started on the second side of the screen by attaching a slat between the first and second boards of the first screen you built. I didn’t measure the distance on this, but eyeballed it to make sure it was pretty evenly spaced.
- As with step 3, attach the third stud to your deck, using the already attached slat to ensure proper distance and using the level to make sure the stud is straight.
- Attach the remaining slats to the center and third stud, similar to steps 4 and 5. No measuring should be necessary for this step.
I was able to assemble the privacy screen in less than 3 hours…and that was with interruptions from the 3-year-old and the baby. The little one even joined me on the deck for a while as I finished up.
This is how it looks today, ready for our self-watering planters to go in front with our small veggie garden. I plan to use the screen to help provide support for our tomato plants and to hold gardening essentials like gloves, snips and watering cans. We have a couple more projects to complete before we start planting our vegetables and flowers. That’s when I really start to feel like our outdoor spaces are coming together, and I can’t wait to get started with that this year.
Here’s a recap of the to-do list so far:
For the Upper Deck:
- Clean up winter debris (about halfway done!)
- Finish the canopy (almost done!)
Make a privacy screen
- Refresh old pots with paint if necessary
- Spray paint the bar cart
- Start the herb garden
- Plant fresh flowers
For the Lower Deck:
- Figure out a new storage solution for the kids’ toys, preferably with decent organization
Revitalize or replace the furniture(details coming soon!)
- Replace the hanging plants
- Figure out a safe way to help repel bugs
- Add new decor and plants around the seating area
Other ORC Posts: