Junk Built It

October 16th, 2008 in projects     
MimiToria Gretchen Schaumann, contributor
8 users recommend

This is the former canopy metal structure which is now turned into this cool place to sit by the lake.
A close up view of the granite flooring.  Note that this is junk thrown out granite, so they are random sizes as well as colors in the dumpster at any given time.
The entire area of flooring.  He even built out walking areas out of each of the four sides that are open to get in/out and this provides an area for my mil to add potted plants to her project as well.
This photo shows the lattice roof they made which she also sprayed white as well as the chandelier shes hung in the middle.
Detailing of her junk created finial for the top of the structure.  She thought of everything!!!
This is the former canopy metal structure which is now turned into this cool place to sit by the lake.

This is the former canopy metal structure which is now turned into this cool place to sit by the lake.

My sister-in-law was throwing out this canopy structure that had gotten damaged in a storm.  The canvas top was destroyed, so she decided to get rid of it.  My mil saw it and rescued it.  The structure was originally brown with what I would assume was a tan canvas top on it.  My mil and fil hauled it home to their home by the lake, found the place they wanted to locate it (nice lakeview), and my mil spray painted the entire structure white.

Now if you've seen all of my posts, earlier in September, I posted a garden project that shows a creative use of making garden paths using granite that I harvested all summer from a dumpster at a granite company. They have to pay to have it hauled away, so this company gave us permission to take whatever we wanted.  My husband and I were at the granite site, and I was in the dumpster handing pieces to my husband for my own path projects that I was still working on, when my fil drove up.  We live 75 miles away and he didn't know we were there, but happened to see our truck when he drove by.  My fil had come up with the idea to use the granite to create a hard surface for their new project.   Anyways, I stayed in the dumpster a while longer and handed my fil pieces of granite until he had his pickup pretty full and felt he had enough to lay the floor on this project.  Good timing for both of us, so this was my contribution to the project (muscle power in the dumpster).

My fil says it took him a few hours to create this project.  First he used excess sand from his beach to make a level pad on the grass, than he layed the pieces down on that sand-filled area.  Then he filled all of the areas between the granite pieces with more sand, wetted it down, and then added more sand as needed.

After it the sand dried, they added the metal structure on top of it. My mil made a finial for the top out of found junk, used white metal furnture inside the structure, and even made a candle light chandelier out of an old junk light fixture.

They now have basically built for free (maybe a little money for the lattice top) a neat little structure to use down by the lake.  My mil has used it for tea parties, and they sit and enjoy the lake from it.

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posted in: projects, metal, wood, cottage, , whimsical, outdoor spaces, white, beachy, granite

Comments (10)

junkyarddiva writes: Love your outside gazebo!! I can see having tea by the lake for a close group of girl friends or just alazy afternoon with your favorite book. Way to go! Posted: 5:26 pm on December 4th
MimiToria writes: Georgia-
My mother in law plans to add twinkle lights to her gazebo for the Holdiays. Great minds think alike.
Gretchen Posted: 10:30 am on October 25th
Meadowview_Farm writes: Gretchen:
Congratulations --- your energy & excitement are contagious!
Kari Posted: 5:30 pm on October 22nd
Junk_Sophisticate writes: Congrats, Gretchen! Your position as contributor is well deserved! Your postings are always so informative and the photos are wonderful to look at.

It is always shocking to see what gets thrown away...especially when businesses have such large quantities of items on a regular basis. Wouldn't it be a good practice for businesses to be able to say they limit waste in the world??? I know I'd be drawn to those companies.

That being said, this project is fabulous! You are so lucky to have in-laws that have your same passion to reuse and improve on "junk" items.

Great post!


Posted: 10:44 am on October 17th
CottageElements writes: Fabulous gazebo, Gretchen! Love the price, too. Never thought to use these and replace the tops. My husband as a gift give me one at our old house that was wrought iron from Mexico and I'm sure wasn't cheap. I'd wanted to get one for this house, but couldn't afford it. This would be a great solution and love the look. And of course love the granite floor. Thanks for sharing it and congratuations on your new status!!

Lanette Posted: 6:58 pm on October 16th
georgiamoon writes: Well Gretchen this looks like a mighty fine place to sit and relax. It is so darling and to have a place right by the lake is amazing. Have you guys tried putting lights on it for night...I'd bet it would lovely with little twinkle lights on it. It is a great addition to the backyard and I hope you all enjoy it for many years to come. Love it, Georgia Posted: 6:24 pm on October 16th
LuAnn writes: Gretchen:

First of all--congrats on being "contributor". I know you'll let us all see your tremendous creativity.

The outdoor area is awesome. Your FIL/MIL did a great job and practically for free. Doesn't get any better than that.

LuAnn Posted: 5:45 pm on October 16th
junkinhart writes: Now this is my kind of junk!! I LOOOOOOVE it!! I wish I had a granite dumpster, I may have to go find a granite company and ask some questions!

Congratulations, Contributor! A very well deserving badge!

Cindy Posted: 4:35 pm on October 16th
shabbychick writes: Gretchen - That picture makes me want to sit right down and relax! How cool - your in-laws are bona fide junkers too!!! And, they did a fantastic job on the structure and floor. (and all of it for free!)

P.S. Congrats! Looking forward to lots more inspiring "junk" from you!!

Kathy Posted: 4:25 pm on October 16th
suewhitney writes: Hi All,

Please join all of us here at JMS in welcoming Gretchen Schaumann aka MimiToria as a contributor to the site. She has shown us all that she can dumpster dive with the best of us and turn scrap granite into a work of art. She's on board to share her talents, words of junking wisdom, and joy of junking with all. We're so glad she's here...

Welcome Gretchen!

Be well,


She makes wonderful jewelry ala junk to boot! Posted: 4:08 pm on October 16th
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