DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

I'm so excited to share this Thrift The Look (TTL) challenge post with you! The TTL challenges are the brainchild of Sarah from Sadie Seasongoods. For these challenges, we choose a theme and then we each choose an inspiration photo and share how we recreate the look with thrifted items and a little DIY.

This time around our theme is garden decor. I wanted something out of the ordinary though, something that goes with my boho style.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

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Here is my inspiration photo, it's from The New Bohemians by Justina Blakeney. I've had this photo saved for a long time and I have the book too. I just love this thing so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to create my version for this TTL challenge!

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

I had a small, 10-gallon fish tank that I found at a garage sale for $2 several years ago. But, I looked everywhere for a metal fish tank stand and couldn't find one anywhere. I considered buying a new stand from one of the pet stores but that's not the point with TTL and honestly, they are a bit spendy for me! Then the world turned upside down and continuing my thrifting hunt was out. I was beginning to panic a little bit because the night before last I still didn't know what I was going to do for a stand! 😬

I started walking around my house, looking for anything that would work... nothing... then I went outside on the side of the house where a bunch of stuff that needs to be cleaned up is lying and checked out there.

I considered using one of these old camp stools. They have the cross leg look but they weren't quite tall enough.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

How about this? I think I can work with this!! I was so inspired to try what was going through my head (and so running out of time!!) that I started working right then and there... in my slippers even! Hey, when inspiration hits you gotta roll with it!! 😂

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

It was far too big though. So, I used my tin snips to cut it in half.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

The metal on these shelves is pretty thin so cutting it was no problem.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

It was still too big though. My fish tank is only 18" wide so I needed to do some more cutting.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

I cut the shelves so they were about 20" long and then bent the ends to match the other ends. First, I cut the sides and bent them in.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

Then I used a block of wood for a sharp edge to bend the rest.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

Like I said, the metal is pretty thin so it was easy to bend with some pliers and a mallet.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

Then I drilled new holes and reattached the legs. Up until this point, I wasn't really sure this was going to work but now I thought... just maybe!

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

I did the same thing with the bottom shelf. Here's what it looked like so far... it's looking a little wonky... nothing a little brute force won't fix!! 😁 (That's one of the tricks my dad taught me... do your best and caulk the rest, and brute force!!)

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

I added the cross braces that were on the original larger shelf.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

Next, I needed to paint it.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

I chose espresso as the base color.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

Remember how the inspiration picture has a fancy scrolled trim piece across the top of the fish tank? Well, believe it or not, I had something very similar that I thrifted a long time ago. I've been saving it for something special!

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

I painted it the same espresso color and while those were drying I got to work on the fish tank.

I needed to create the rusty look like the inspiration photo. These are the paints I used. I also ended up adding some apple green to the teal too.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

I brushed on a very rough coat of the rusty nail first.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

Then I used a sponge and added some of the charcoal color and some of the teal and teal mixed with green. At this point it was completely trial and error and I actually got a little distracted and forgot to take pictures. There is a really good tutorial here that I loosely followed.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

Now, back out to the stand. I used petroleum jelly to get the chippy look on the stand. I rubbed big globs of it onto the shelf here and there where I wanted the brown to show through and look like it was chipping.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

And then painted over it with copper spray paint.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

Once it was dry I used a towel to wipe the areas where the petroleum jelly is.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

Here is the completed stand!

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

Back to the fish tank... I used E-6000 glue and clamps to add the trim to the top of the tank.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

These are the only things I bought new for this project. A bag of aquarium gravel in brown and two small plants.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

I poured the gravel into the tank.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

And here is my finished mini version of the inspiration pic!!

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

I repotted the little plants I bought and added a few of my own.

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

So, what do you think of my mini version?

DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look

I really loved this challenge, it had me thinking way outside the box! Be sure to visit the other TTL participants! I can't wait to check out their garden decor inspiration and interpretations!

Botanical Decor for Garden inspired Spring Decorating by the Creative Vintage Darlings
Sadie Seasongoods         |         Sweet Pea        
Vintage Garden and Botanical Home Decor by the Creative Vintage Darlings
Lora B. Create & Ponder         |         Home to Heather        
Natural Home Decor and Decor inspired by Vintage Garden by the Creative Vintage Darlings
One House, 2 Barns         |         Postcards from the Ridge
Spring Decor Ideas that are Inspired by a Vintage Garden by the Creative Vintage Darlings
Vin'yet, Etc.         |         Itsy Bits and Pieces
Floral Decor and Garden Home Decor by the Creative Vintage Darlings
Audrey Would         |         Little Vintage Cottage

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DIY Indoor Cactus Garden - Thrift the Look