My daughter’s school hosts an annual auction to raise money to pay for school improvements and to provide PE and art classes, and pretty much any type of class outside the educational basics. Each class is asked to create a project to contribute for the auction (which means a parent volunteers to make something! 😉 ) So this year, I volunteered to make the project for my daughter’s class. It took me a while to think of a project that would be an item that most anyone might want to bid on, but I finally decided on a DIY wishing well! I mean, who doesn’t love the magic of a wishing well in their front or back yard?! (And of course, I had to test build one for myself first because I too want a wishing well in my yard!)
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DIY Wishing Well Tools and Materials:
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DIY Wishing Well Wood List:
|4||1×4 (Redwood fence boards)*||6′|
|8||1×6 (Redwood fence boards)*||6′|
|1||1 1/4″ diameter hardwood closet rod||6′|
|1||4×4 Redwood Round Post Cap||N/A|
*To save on costs, I purchased construction grade redwood (which is about half the price) and planed it to give it a smooth finish
DIY Wishing Well Wood Cut List
|24||2×6||18″ with each end beveled at 30°|
|6||2×4||21 1/2″ with each end mitered to 30°|
|6||1×4||17 3/4″ with each end beveled at 30°|
|6||1×4||19 3/4″ with each end mitered to 25°|
|2||2×4||3 3/4″ with each end beveled to 30°|
|6||1×6||25″ with ends beveled to 25° and mitered to 30°|
|6||1×6||20 1/2″ with ends beveled to 25° and mitered to 30°|
|6||1×6||16 1/4″ with ends beveled to 25° and mitered to 30°|
|6||1×6||12 1/2″ with ends beveled to 25° and mitered to 30°|
|6||1×6||8″ with ends beveled to 25° and mitered to 30°|
|1||1×4||7″ with each of the four corners mitered to 45°|
DIY Wishing Well Instructions:
- Cut 24 2×6 redwood boards to 18″ in length with each end of one side beveled to 30°
2. Cut 6 2×4 redwood boards to 22″ in length.
3. Create 6 panels by gluing together four 2×6 18″ boards six times.
4. Attach one 22″ 2×4 to each side of three of the 18″ wide panels using wood glue and 2 1/2″ exterior wood screws (predrill first) through the side of the 22″ 2×4 boards. The short edge of the 18″ boards should be lined up with the edge of the 2x4s.
5. Attach the three remaining panels to the 22″ 2×4 boards using wood glue and 2 1/2″ exterior wood screws (predrill first) attached at an angle through the front of the 18″ panels into the 2×4 boards. The boards should now form a hexagon shape.
6. Cut two 2×4 boards to 66″ in length each.
7. Attach one 66″ 2×4 to the middle of opposite panels of the well base using glue and 2 1/2″ exterior wood screws (predrill first).
8. Cut six 2x4s to 21 1/2″ with each end mitered to 30°.
9. Attach the 21 1/2″ 2x4s to the top of the well base using wood glue and 2 1/2″ exterior wood screws (predrill holes first- attach through the top of the 2×4 trim boards). The corners where each board meets should be centered above the 22″ vertical 2x4s below, and the inner edge of the top 2×4 trim pieces should align with the inside edge of the well base.
11. Attach one of the 17 1/2″ 1×4 boards to the top center of each one of the 66″ 2×4 boards (the center of the 1x4s should be centered on the 2x4s, and the tops of the two boards should be flush). Attach with wood glue and 1 1/2″ exterior wood screws through the front of the 1×4 into the 2×4 (predrill holes first).
12. Cut six 1×4 boards to to 19 3/4″ in length, short-end to long-end with each entered mitered to 25°.
15. Glue the two 3 3/4″ 2x4s together back-to-back (so they form the shape of a hexagon) and then run a 2 1/2″ exterior wood screw through one of the boards into the other (predrill the hole first).
16. Attach one of the 19 3/4″ 1×4 boards to each end of each of the two the 17 3/4″ 1×4 boards that are attached to the 66″ boards using wood glue and 1 1/2″ exterior wood screws (Attach through the side of the 19 3/4″ board into the 17 3/4″ boards. The ends of the 19 3/4″ boards should sit flush with the ends of the 17 3/4″ boards, and the 19 3/4″ boards should slant upward at a 25° angle.
17. Use wood glue and 2 1/2″ exterior pocket hole screws to attach the 3 3/4″ 2×4 hexagon-shaped board to the four 19 3/4″ boards that are currently attached to the roof frame (each board will attach to one of the sides of the hexagon).
18. Attach the 17 3/4″ horizontal boards to the open side of each of the 19 3/4″ vertical boards using wood glue and 1 1/2″ exterior wood screws.
19. Attach the last two vertical 19 3/4″ boards in between the two horizontal boards that are not attached on each side, using wood glue and 1 1/2″ exterior wood screws.
20. Attach the last two horizontal boards to the hexagon-shaped board at the top center using wood glue and 2 1/2 exterior pocket hole screws.
21. Predrill a hole in the top center of the hexagon board at the top, and then attach the round post cap using the attached screw.
22. Cut and attach the roof panels. Cut each board and attach one at a time to ensure proper fit (in case the roof angles aren’t exactly 30°, you may need to slightly adjust the length of the board or the miter angle). The roof boards should be attached using the Brad nailer and 1 1/2″ galvanized brad nails (nail through the top of each roof board into the framing below). The cuts are as follows:
- 6 1×6 fence boards at 24″ long-end to long-end with each end beveled at 25° and mitered to 30°. (Attach each of these first, aligning them so the bottom half of the boards hang over the edge of the roof frame)
- 6 1×6 fence boards at 20 1/2″ long-end to long-end with each end beveled at 25° and mitered to 30° (attach these after the longer boards above have all been attached, align them so they cover the top 1/3 of the longer boards)
- 6 1×6 fence boards at 16 1/4″ long-end to long-end with each end beveled at 25° and mitered to 30°. (attach after all the 20 1/2″ boards are attached, aligning them so the top 1/3 of the 20 1/2″ boards are covered)
- 6 1×6 fence boards at 12 1/2″ long-end to long-end with each end beveled at 25° and mitered to 30°. (attach after all the 16 1/4″ boards are attached, aligning them so the top 1/3 of the 16 1/4″ boards are covered)
- 6 1×6 fence boards at 8″ long-end to long-end with each end beveled at 25° and mitered to 30°. (attach after all the 12 1/2″ boards are attached, aligning them so the top 1/3 of the 12 1/2″ boards are covered and so the tops of the 8″ boards but up against the round post cap at the top)
23. Cut a length of the closet rod to 28″ in length.
24. Attach the rod around 6″ below the bottom of the roof frame, in between the two 66″ boards (use a level to ensure it is straight). Attach using wood glue and 2 1/2″ exterior wood screws (predrill holes first) through the outside edge of the 2×4 boards.
25. Cut a 1×4 board to 7″ in length, with each corner mitered at 45°. Predrill a small hole in the center of the board approximately 2″ from one end.
26. Cut a closet rod to 4″ in length and drill a small hole into the center.
27. Attach the 4″ closet rod to the 7″ 1×4 using wood glue and a 1 1/2″ exterior wood screw (drill through the 7″ board into the 4″ board.
29. Sand and stain the wishing well (Since I planed my boards prior to attaching them, not much sanding is needed). I used Thompson’s Water Seal in Semi-Transparent Walnut.
30. Add an outdoor rope and bucket (and add some plants to the bucket if you won’t mind, and hang them from the well which is now in front of the whole class.
This project is a bit more difficult than some of my previous projects (mostly because of the roof), I would classify as an Intermediate project. I did use Construction-grade Redwood which is about half the price of the prettier lumber, but once I ran it through my planer it looked like the more expensive redwood. If you have built a wishing well I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!