100+ Year Old Barn Wood Repurposed Into a New Garden Shed

Repurpose / Refurbish
The Kuphal barn

The Kuphal barn, where many a cow have been milked.

Growing up, I’ve always held great pride knowing my roots were deeply planted in the rich soil of Minnesota farm country. One of the amazing benefits of being influenced by family who know and appreciate the value of farming and living off the land, is that they’ve taught me to be mindful of and honor what nature provides us. I’m guessing this is why I so love repurposing. In a real way, it’s an homage to my family heritage.

Today’s post illustrates this perfectly: a pictorial walk-through of how my cousin, Jim and his sons Eli, Manny and Ehren Kuphal reused and repurposed 100+ year old barn wood, shelves, windows and doors into a fabulously useful garden shed. What’s more, we’ll see how they smartly built this new room under their exterior staircase, an area that was previously wasted space.

Now, that’s appreciating the earth! Grandpa Raymond would be pleased.

Tearing down the Kuphal barn

Tearing down the Kuphal barn. The structure had gone through many a Minnesota winter and had become too unstable. Still, it lives on!

Jim’s wife, Myrna, kindly emailed me progress photos and the finished results, along with a little background to the build:

These are the pictures from the garden shed that Jim and our boys built me this year as my Mother’s Day present! Materials were wood salvaged from the barn, the door from the barn, shelves from the old school, windows from the house before new windows were put in, and rocks from our field (the big ones not the flooring).

The only new part was the panel for light at the top! We used the space that was under the stairs from our new room above the 3 car garage. Pretty economical and resourceful!!

When it comes to sheds…simple and durable materials are best!

Field rocks and reused wooden school shelves make for a perfect garden shed

River rocks and reused wooden school shelves make for a perfect garden shed.

Garden or tool sheds, greenhouses, and kids’ playhouses – these are perfect projects to reuse single-pane windows. You can find lots in different shapes and sizes on DiggersList and any Habitat for Humanity ReStore near you…or, reuse your own!

A large window offers natural sunlight

A large window offers natural sunlight.

High windows add even more light

High windows add even more light.

The before…

Staircase before garden shed

Staircase before the garden shed.

Unused space under the staircase

Unused space under the staircase.

So sweet…the weathered paint of the garden shed nicely complements the brick. I also love the large stones – outdoor accessories that are always in style!

Repurposed barn wood garden shed

Repurposed barn wood garden shed.

The Kuphal’s garden shed and barn door add wonderful character to their home’s exterior…and is puppy approved! Good girl, Libby!

Useful space under the stairs

They now have useful space under the stairs.

Barn door is now the shed door

A 100+ year old barn door is now the new garden shed’s door.

Libby, the yellow lab's story

With so much leftover barn wood, Jim and Eli decide to DIY a sweet and very apropos flower box.

Eli starts making the flower box

Eli starts making the flower box – the barn siding is perfectly sized for the project.

Father and son, Jim and Eli are a great DIY duo

Father and son, Jim and Eli are a great DIY duo.

Flower box almost finished

Flower box almost finished!

Mounting the flower box under the window

Mounting the flower box under the window.

The fabulous results!

Such a simple feature makes such a big impact on the total design of the space

Such a simple feature makes such a big impact on the total design of the space…cute! Great job, cousins!

Repurposed barn wood garden shed

What a useful added outdoor space and such a fantastic way to repurpose barn wood!

Under-the-window flower box

Under-the-window flower box close-up.

Barn wood garden shed completed

Barn wood garden shed completed.

Thank you, Kuphal family, for sharing your home and wonderful project!

Now, it’s Your Turn!

We’d absolutely LOVE to see how you’ve repurposed an item for your home! PLEASE share and send photos to: [email protected]

All photography by Myrna Kuphal, for HomeJelly

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Written By Skaie Knox

Decor/Design/Repurposing nerd and DIYer, brand ambassador, freelance writer, and the editor-in-chief for HomeJelly. Skaie is also a signed and published singer/songwriter (Fervor Records/ASCAP) and kid's book author (Big Bug Lunch!). She was voted "Class Clown", and is a rescue dogs crusader.