10 Smart and Easy Ways to Decorate With Corrugated Metal
Once used primarily for shed roofing, corrugated metal is turning up in the most interesting places, both inside the home and out in the yard.
If your impression of corrugated metal is that it belongs on a barn roof, take another look. Lightweight and inexpensive, new or salvaged, corrugated steel and aluminum sheets are finding a variety of practical and decorative applications in the hands of creative do-it-yourselfers.
Known for its wavy or ridged texture, corrugated metal has a long history as a construction material. This sheet metal lasts a long time—in the ballpark of 40 to 70 years. It remains corrosion-resistant for years, and it lasts even longer when it’s not exposed to the elements. Other perks of this versatile and visually appealing material include eco-friendliness (many types are recyclable), low maintenance, and durability. Given corrugated metal’s many attractive qualities, DIYers have been using the material for a variety of home projects. Here are some of our favorites.
1. Create an Accent Wall
Looking to add an industrial vibe? It doesn’t get much easier. Simply measure the surface area and cut the sheet to size (or have it cut for you). From there, it’s a matter of securing wood strips to the wall and mounting the metal to this support frame. For a detailed step-by-step tutorial, visit Western States Metal Roofing.
2. Make a Headboard
If you’re hesitant to blanket a full wall in corrugated metal, why not compromise with a headboard? You’ll need the proper cutting tools and a design template to replicate the one pictured. For a less demanding approach to getting the look, pay to have the sheet cut for you, then simply secure the piece to the wall.
3. Go Metal in the Kitchen
If your style sensibility is more rustic than modern, try getting your hands on some salvaged stock of corrugated metal, and consider the material either for the backsplash or as a surround for your kitchen island. Aesthetic upgrades don’t get much more affordable (or more distinctive) in the kitchen.
4. Build an Outdoor Shower
Outside, too, there are many corrugated metal DIY projects to spend this weekend completing. For instance, this great-looking yet functional outdoor shower requires only basic building skills and minimal materials: aluminum sheeting, lumber, and an outdoor shower kit from your local home improvement store.
5. Assemble a Patchwork Fence
If you happen upon smaller scraps of sheeting (or discarded tin ceiling tiles), remember that they are anything but useless. With its patchwork grid of mismatched squares, this low-cost corrugated metal DIY fence makes for a distinctive landscape feature with handmade country charm.
6. Make a Stylish Ceiling
Though corrugated metal is more often used as roofing, consider bringing it indoors and securing it to the ceiling to add some texture to a style-starved room. The best option for a ceiling is blemish-free corrugated metal, which has a crisp, modern industrial flair.
Similar to securing the metal to a wall, the process for creating a sheet-metal ceiling involves mounting the sheets on studs or a reliable existing subsurface like plywood. The key to achieving a professional result is making sure the screw pattern is symmetrical and the fasteners are lined up. For a step-by-step tutorial, visit Old World Garden Farms.
7. Build Raised Garden Beds
If your green thumb craves more places to dig and plant, you may want to expand your gardening territory. Corrugated metal is great for building garden beds to fit your outdoor space, whether you have room for just a small planter filled with flowers or a large bed for veggies (and no, the metal won’t heat up the soil and scorch your plants).
A simple garden box needs a wood frame, metal flashing for the corners, cut sheets of corrugated metal, and deck screws to put it all together. Follow the in-depth instructions from My Crazy Good Life, and you’ll be gardening in no time.
8. A Roof for Your Feathered Friends
If a corrugated metal roof is good enough for a human home, it’s good enough for a birdhouse too. Although your avian friends are used to living out in the elements and don’t need a birdhouse with a fancy roof, it sure looks good hanging from a branch in the backyard.
Making your own birdhouse is fairly easy, and a metal roof that’s been cut and shaped to suit is the perfect finishing touch. If you’re not feeling this particular DIY project but like the way it looks, you can pick up a metal-roofed birdhouse from Etsy shop AmericanArtisan Gifts.
9. Add a Country Door
You can take the indoor barn door trend in an even more rustic direction if you can get hold of some reclaimed corrugated metal and wood. This accent door makes a stunning entrance to a closet, pantry, or laundry room.
If you are building and installing a metal barn door yourself, make the door a few inches wider than the opening. Barn doors are notorious for leaving gaps, but the risk is minimized when you factor that into your planning. To see how it’s done in detail, check out Artfully Rogue.
10. Create Bespoke Wall Art
From letters to animals to cutouts of your home state, when it comes to creating corrugated metal wall art, you’re limited only by your imagination. Keep in mind that the less intricate the design, the more rustic it will appear—and the easier it will be to cut out. Draw your design, cut it out, sand it down, and hang it up. That’s pretty much it!
There are a number of tools you can use to make cuts in corrugated metal, including a circular saw, metal nibbler, electric grinder with a cutting wheel, metal cutting shears, or a utility knife. Whatever you use, be sure to wear gloves! Follow the steps from The Shabby Creek Cottage for a full tutorial on making your own rustic wall hanging.