Creative Upcycling

Read letters from readers about upcycling projects, rediscovering GRIT, winter gardening, and more.

  • Doug Stallard used designs from a previous issue of GRIT to create this outdoor work station.
    Photo by Doug Stallard
  • In her first year as a winter gardener, Susan Ganzel learned quite a bit about hoop houses.
    Photo by Susan Ganzel
  • Michake Pierce has dreams of turning his homestead into an area that hosts parties and weddings.
    Photo by Getty Images
  • Mike Pilvinsky wants people to know the benefits of foraging for kudzu.
    Photo by Mike Pilvinsky
  • Many years ago, Mildred McMurphy and her husband found joy in canning their own fruits and veggies.
    Photo by Getty Images/iStockphoto

Creative Upcycling

My wife and I really enjoy your magazine, and we loved the DIY article “Potting Bench Plans” in the July/August 2018 issue. Connecting a faucet to a garden hose and using a 5-gallon bucket as a drain to reuse the water was such a genius idea, and we decided it was something we had to try.

The article said that finding a granite countertop would be rare, and even if you did, it’d likely be too heavy to use. However, after a recent remodeling of our laundry room, we found ourselves with a perfect slab of granite to use for our project, as well as some cabinets to upcycle.

With a lot of effort, we were able to get the granite outside in one piece. I then reframed the bottom to account for the unevenness surrounding our mountain home. I added aluminum panels to give it a nice backsplash, and then gave the cabinets a fresh coat of green paint to match the house. The hand sink that was originally built into our granite counter wouldn’t work for a potting bench, so I added a small sheet of acrylic over the old sink hole, and then we installed a laundry sink next to the counter using the plumbing plans from Grit.

I wanted to share some photos of the results, as we’re very proud of the project. It felt great to salvage so many materials from our home remodel, and to complete such a project on our own. We probably wouldn’t have even thought of trying something like this without seeing the article in Grit, so thank you, and please keep up the great work.

Doug Stallard

Bonny Doon, California

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