How to Revive an Old Pergola Frame

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Several years ago, I bought a small pergola designed to shade a grill, about 8x4 feet.  It was one of my craigslist finds, and I have gotten so much use out of that $30 purchase!  

It's the perfect place to set up a dessert table--the structure gives a little protection, a logical place and reason to have a pretty backdrop, and a sense of presence and occasion.  But alas, the Phoenix sun is wicked, and destroys pretty much everything after a few years.  The canvas roof, made out of sturdy outdoor material, just couldn't hold up after three years.  The rips and tears grew, and finally, I had to admit, it was time to rip off the fabric and throw it away.

I hadn't gotten around to taking the metal frame out to bulk trash pickup before my parents' 40th anniversary rolled around, and as I was planning the party, inspiration hit.  The roof of the pergola may be gone, but the frame is still very useful as an armature to be decorated in any way I want!

And you know, I'm even more in love with the structure now!  A little tulle, a little ribbon, and some flowers and I had something more spectacular than I ever had before.

To create that stunning floral arrangement on the front of the pergola, I took advantage of the shape of the existing metal structure.  I used floral wire to make floral oasis stay in place on the top edge of the tent frame.  

Then it was an incredibly simple matter of trimming the flower stems short and stuffing them in the oasis. I'm sure a gifted floral designer would hae more to say about how to space, arrange, and actually design a floral arrangement like this.  But it was about 1am the night before the party at this point, and I was just trimming and shoving.  And it still looked AWESOME.  After I was done, I had to stay up even later because I needed some time to just stare and what I had created and pat myself on the back.

I helped keep costs down by using a bunch of trimmings from one of the trees in our backyard as filler, and to wind around the exposed metal parts of the pergola structure.

The leafy branches added a softness to the harsh lines of the metal tent structure.  And I'm always happy to find free ways to decorate!

Those same trimmed tree branches were also used to cover the entire lighting/pergola structure over the dining area.

It looked lush and amazing and cost next to nothing.  I love it when that happens!

I made this floral arrangement the night before the party, and it still looked great two days later.  There's something magical about fresh flowers, and I'm so glad I decided to try dressing up that old pergola structure and giving it a new life.  

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

Links on this page may be affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for something you buy through those links, at no additional cost to you.