This past June I decided to conquer our back porch/deck just in time for T.J.’s birthday on the 17th. Long story short, it was a ton of work… but with the help of friends, family and even T.J. himself – it was completed (just barely) on time! We never spent any time on our deck. Like ever. It was dirty and kinda gross… and truthfully, there was nothing to do out there! I was determined to change that. Since everyone seems to end up at our house for hangouts anyway, I figured summer was the perfect time to complete the makeover.
We started by power washing and sanding the deck. Followed by ripping off all of the gross BROWN! lattice that was currently on our deck. T.J. and I purchased thin (and cheap!) slats of wood that we cut to size and made into our very own slated “fencing”. We were so proud of ourselves.
Die lattice, DIE!!!
Be the end of our first night the deck was washed and sanded. Our DIY slat walls were completed and had their first coat of white paint upon them. While T.J. was over at Jeff + Mike’s, I secretly added four tall wooden posts and strung lights that I purchased at Target weeks prior! I was so excited to show T.J. the lights too. They looked dreamy through our back door curtain all night long.
Once I decided upon a basic floor plan in my head, I set out to find the perfect pieces of furniture to make our deck feel cozy and inviting. I found an beautiful wooden round coffee table at a local auction and had to have it! Thankfully I won the bid at $30. It was perfect for my plans. I picked up a fantastic handmade pillow that said “Good Luck” on it (for $12) at a local antique warehouse and used it as my color palette foundation. Pinks, yellows, mints and of course, black and white. I found two matching, yet terribly ugly, chairs (for $3.00 each) at a thrift store that I knew would work for one side of the table. I sprayed those suckers gold and recovered the seat cushions with a bold IKEA fabric.
My favorite part of the makeover was the shipping palette couch I built all by myself. Four palettes ($13 total) plus one crib mattress ($6.00) covered in Ikea fabric ($7.99) made for a totally unique and custom couch to fill one end of the deck. You should have seen my mom and I, in what felt like the middle of the night, trying to figure out how to cover that crib mattress. We can both sew a straight line and basic items… but for some reason this crib-covering task was really hard. Ha!
My other favorite part of this makeover was that T.J. didn’t get to see any of the things I’d been purchasing, painting and creating until the big reveal just before his party. His main birthday gift from me (and his oldest sister) was a brand new grill. He loved it! And the style of the deck. It made his party so memorable.
I love the graphicness of the white slatted sides. It’s really modern compared to our 1929 brick house!
I gathered all sorts of magazines, books and candles to fill the extra end of the couch and coffee table.
I even got to use my Stones + Washi Tic-Tac-Toe DIY!!
The new grill is amazing. We used it a LOT this past season. Really made those warm evenings feel like summer time.
I’d been hoarding this old wooden ladder in our garage for months without any use for it… until this project! I found it one day while out on a run and carried it back with me (Papa Mousetis style) and it was the perfect addition to the deck. It held magazines and blankets — which are two perfect summer night ingredients in my book.
Fresh dahlias from a local farmer’s market, along with my all-time-favorite brass unicorn, were the perfect table toppers for my wooden coffee table. I also snagged several vintage beer coasters that have such beautiful typography on them I just couldn’t pass ‘em up!
I did a bad job at trying to take the “same photos” for before and after shots… but here are a few I can match up! Also, you can see a few images from T.J.’s actual party here!
Hope ya like what we did with the place! Now I must go check the banana bread that seems to be burning in my oven right now. Enjoy!
A month or two ago I was saying goodbye to T.J. on our front porch because he was leaving for two Smilebooth events in NYC for Google and Forever21. It was only after I kissed him on the porch and turned around to head inside that I realized my front porch had somehow turned into the lamest porch on the block. GASP! Summer was almost over and most of my hostas were done blooming. My potted flowers were dying. More like my porch was dying. So I started a mission to makeover my porch for less than $100. I’m happy to say I completed that and came in just under my budget! All in 24 hours, too!
I spent about $40 on flowers, mums and cabbages. Plants are always a good purchase.
I spent $20 on brand new terracotta pots for all of my plants.
I spent $8 on black and gold spray paint, which I used to paint both the pots and a little wheely-cart that was hiding in my garage for years.
I spent $35 on a green side table/plant stand from HomeGoods… But! I had $13 left on a gifcard – so I really only spent $22 on that!
I spent $4.99 on an amazing wicker chair from Salvation Army. (Again, should have been $10, but I went on a Friday when all furniture is 1/2 off!)
Everything else I had already. I moved the gold chairs from the back porch to the front.. knowing that trick-or-treating and fall leaves will drive us to hang out on the front porch and not the back. I moved a rug from inside outside. I sewed pillows from existing fabric over pillows that weren’t being used anymore. I swept. I washed. And all seemed good again.
Sorry I don’t have better “After” photos. They seem to be lost or deleted from my phone. Oh well.
My favorite thing about sticking to my $100 budget was that I actually get to keep all of the things I purchased! Only some of the plants will die… so in the end, I’m only out about $25. Which isn’t really being “out” either, since we’ve been able to enjoy the plants for months!
I’m looking forward to giving the front porch a little Christmas spirit in a few weeks! Should be fun.
I’ve been wanting to create this DIY stones + washi tape tic-tac-toe game forever! I had the idea last month while spending countless hours roasting in the sun painting our deck for it’s makeover. Knowing that I was going to be having people over for dinner on the deck, I wanted to provide a coffee table game, but didn’t have one. Thus my stones + washi idea was born. I used a Sharpi Paint Marker to write on the stones and then coated them with a glossy coat of clear spray “paint”. I keep the stones on the outdoor coffee table in a little jar while they’re not in use. The washi tape is amazing because you can stick it to any table, anywhere, and pull it off easily. Plus, washi tape comes in all colors and patterns – so you could really match it to your party or decor!
The total cost of this project was under $10. I purchased the stones and paint markers at Michaels – and the washi tape from different online stores. Have fun!
Last night, while T.J. and I were sitting on the couch, I was super bored. T.J. was rocking a game of FIFA… and I wasn’t doing anything. (Aka, not fun for me. I really don’t like “relaxing” all that much.) So I got to thinking about the trip I took to a local thrift store last week. I was pretty disappointed that the only thing I walked out of the thrift store with was four wooden bowls that I snagged for $2.00. I mean, they were cool and all… but I had no purpose for them. Fast forward to last night, enter bordem… and I realize… “I have four bowls. I HAVE FOUR CATS!!!” I ran upstairs to grab a pack of black sticker letters, from my craft room, that I’d purchased for another project (but never ended up using because the letters were too small). I cut out the letters, wiped out the bowls and stuck the letters to the inside. After two coats of white craft paint, and several hours of drying time, I carefully peeled off each letter to reveal our cat’s names! I also clear coated the inside of each bowl after removing the letters, just so they’re easier to wipe out from time to time for the cat’s sake. The project only cost me $2.00 since I had all of the additional supplies (letters, paint, etc) from other projects. Score!
I love the way they turned out!! We feed our cats twice a day – and by the time they eat they’re hungry enough that they eat everything. (Which is better for your cats, by the way, than leaving a bowl of food out at all times.) So I love that as they eat their little portion of food, it was start to reveal their names. Just adorable. Hope this project inspires you to get up off the couch and make something for your home. You won’t regret it! Unnnnnless it ends up here, of course.
I stumbled across these adorable DIY Yarn Snowflakes yesterday on my friend Laura’s blog. She’s super creative and I love this darling idea. I just had to share! Check out the original post HERE with step by step photos to help you out! Merry Christmas!
via Bears Eat Berries.
I’ve never been to a Halloween party before. Well, that it until last week when T.J. and I threw an awesome one. We were blessed with the opportunity to have our party at the Prince Street Cafe, which was perfect for our celebration!! About 40 of our friends and family came to the party and danced the night away. You can see all of the Smilebooth photos on our blog, here.
About a week before the party I said to T.J., “I’m not going to make any decorations… cause the cafe is the decoration itself.” WELLLL. Then I looked around a few blogs and BAM, I had a list of things to create in three days. Haha! Story of my life.
So here is a little photo DIY guide on some of the decorations I made. As far as crafts go, I didn’t spend more than 20 dollars!
Tin Can Lanterns: Cans (donated by family!), Water, Hammer + Nails, Spray Paint (already had it) = FREE!!
Bat Mobiles: Cardstock, Bat Clipart, Embroidery Hoops, Black Spray Paint, Fishing Line (again, I had everything) = FREE!!
Trash Bag Spider Webs: Large Black Bags (5.99), Scissors, Clear Tape = $5.99 // I was able to make 30+ webs!
Cheesecloth Ghosts: Balloons, Plastic Cups, Tape Scissors, Fishing Line, Elmer’s Glue, Water, 2 yards Cheesecloth ($4.99) = $4.99
Pillow Covers (IKEA SIZE): Muslin (had!), Fabric Scraps (had!), Sewing Machine, Fabric Glue, Pillows to cover = FREE!
I cut out my shapes and then glued them to my pillow covers, followed by sewing the sides shut to make a slip cover.
Do Not Enter, Private Party Wreath: Styrofoam wreath form, Streamers, Hot Glue, Yarn (had everything!) = FREE!
The party was seriously so much fun. I was sore the next day from dancing all night! Pretty awesome.