More in Salvage

How to Turn a Cornice Into a Garden Tool Holder

Using a salvaged piece of trim to create a decorative and useful garden storage feature

Garden Tool

With its deep ledge, this 19th-century terra-cotta cornice was perfect for the top shelf of the rack I wanted to build. All I needed was an old piece of wood to attach it to and a handful of hooks. Scrounging in the This Old House editorial closet, where we store props for photo shoots, I found just the thing: a beat up beam with the carpenter's saw marks still visible on one side. After searching in vain at three different salvage yards for five matching wrought-iron hooks, I ordered reproductions from House of Antique Hardware.


Steps // How to Turn a Cornice Into a Garden Tool Holder
1 ×

Attach board

 
Step One // How to Turn a Cornice Into a Garden Tool Holder

Attach board

adhesive for turning a cornice into a garden tool holder
Photo by Amy Rosenfeld

Attach the board to the cornice using polyurethane construction adhesive,
and secure with a clamp until the glue dries.

 
2 ×

Pre-drill holes

 
Step Two // How to Turn a Cornice Into a Garden Tool Holder

Pre-drill holes

pre-drilling holes to turn cornice into garden tool holder
Photo by Amy Rosenfeld

Pre-drill shallow holes in the back of the board for L-shaped brackets, which fit inside recesses in the rear of the cornice to make sure the pieces hold tight. Secure the cornice side of the brackets with adhesive and the board side with screws.

 
3 ×

Measure & mark

 
Step Three // How to Turn a Cornice Into a Garden Tool Holder

Measure & mark

measuring and marking where hooks will go to turn cornice into garden tool holder
Photo by Amy Rosenfeld

Measure and mark where the hooks will go on the board's face (they should be an equal distance from each other and from the bottom edge of the cornice).

 
4 ×

Predrill holes

 
Step Four // How to Turn a Cornice Into a Garden Tool Holder

Predrill holes

pre-drill holes for screws to turn cornice into garden tool holder
Photo by Amy Rosenfeld

Pre-drill the holes for the screws.

 
5 ×

Position hooks

 
Step Five // How to Turn a Cornice Into a Garden Tool Holder

Position hooks

positioning hooks for cornice turned into garden tool holder
Photo by Amy Rosenfeld

Position the hooks over the holes and drive in their screws.

 
6 ×

Level

 
Step Six // How to Turn a Cornice Into a Garden Tool Holder

Level

drawing level line where cornice turned into garden tool holder will hang
Photo by Amy Rosenfeld

Draw a level line where you want to hang the rack. Use a two-foot level or steady a torpedo level on a long strip of wood scrap.

 
7 ×

Steady the piece

 
Step Seven // How to Turn a Cornice Into a Garden Tool Holder

Steady the piece

fasten cornice turned into garden tool holder to wall
Photo by Amy Rosenfeld

Steady the piece on the line, and fasten to the wall with screws. The piece is likely to be heavy—this one was over 20 pounds—so be sure to use screws long enough to anchor it to the framing.

 
 
 

TV Listings

Find TV Listing for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.