Porch Mini Makeover: Pattern and Planters

My mom’s porch mini-makeover is underway now that we have the front door painted a lovely shade of yellow. Already the space is much brighter and welcoming than before so we’re moving on to the next projects – adding pattern and interest – and it’s coming straight from the mood board.
window box
My mom’s window box is a fun accent to the house, so it’ll stay, but I need to add more color to the area so I’ve settled on a chevron pattern. It should be a fairly straightforward project since I’m making it by first putting on painter’s tape.
chevron pattern
I’m half tempted to just leave up the blue tape since it’s kind of cool, but I’m determined to stick to my mood board.
chevron box
Then I use the leftover paint from the door and roll it right over my tape.
chevron planter
The final outcome is a great complement to the door that brings in a modern flare.
chevron decor
We continue on our journey of adding pattern as we finally turn our attention to the white bench with it’s dreary seat pad that’s long since had the color sucked out of it by the sun.
white bench
While we didn’t mind the white on the actual bench itself, the purpose is to introduce more color into the porch, so I sprayed it with a jade colored paint.
paint a bench
The makeover continued as we move from bench to seat cushion. Thank goodness it hadn’t been weathered beyond use. The stuffing still held together fine, even it looked like it had seen better days. The ikat fabric we picked out is called Kaufmann Nadia in Green Tea. It really brings in all the colors of the mood board into a cohesive design. Plus with a little Scotch Guard it’ll be just dandy outside.
ikat fabric
The sew job was a quick one – we simply roughed out the shape of the seat and sewed a cover to go right over it. I hand stitched the end (after stuffing the whole thing inside) and added eight self-cover button covers to finish up the project and tighten up the seat.
refinish a bench
We then found ourselves in desperate need of a small table to go along side the bench, but without much of a budget left we had to be extra resourceful. Dustin found a white wood planter box that wasn’t being used and my mother found a piece of table glass. Wouldn’t you know it, it made the perfect end table, especially after the addition of a potted plant!
make an end table
And finally, we solved the hose-that-looks-like-a-snake problem by winding it in a large planter that wasn’t being used for anything.  I really like the pots and planters we used have that rustic aged look, it really keeps with the style of the house.
hose storage
Anxious to see what it all looks like together?  We’ll be debuting the final shots of this whirlwind project at Friday’s Repurpose-Remodel-Reveal linky party. What will you be linking up?

Update: We finished up the project and you can view it here!

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Drab to Fab Porch Mini Makeover

We’re getting ready for the main event next week with our Repurpose, Remodel, Reveal linky party, so we figure we ought to have something to reveal on the big day…make sense doesn’t it?

Lucky for us, we’ve no shortage of projects, even when we slip away for a bit of vacation. So while we visited my mother in San Diego last week and soaked up some sun, we helped her with a mini makeover of her front entryway. The space was in need of a face lift, but mostly lacked color.
drab front porch
She wanted to have something more inviting and updated, but in keeping with the style of the house. Since we were hanging around and eating her food, sneaking her snacks, and mooching on babysitting, we gladly took on the project. We had a hidden goal of working with as many existing items as we could, to help keep the cost down.

As is our style, I first sat down and developed a mood board, trying to integrate some of the tidbits I had picked up from my discussion with her about the project and using an ikat fabric that she absolutely loved as the color inspiration.
porch mood board
I really wanted to bring in yellow to the color scheme since it’s an instant way to make a space more cheerful and inviting – plus it looks great with her grey-blue stucco. The plan for this project was to brighten up the door, including removing the old metal screen door that is better suited as a warning sound that someone is about to enter.
front door before
Besides the door, we also wanted to update the corner, putting the wind chimes out of commission and figuring a way to modernize the area.
porch before
The porch bench needed to be spiced up a notch, making it more inviting for a morning chat or neighborly visit. And last but not least was figuring out a better way to store the hose and keep it from becoming a tripping hazard or silhouette of a snake in the dim early morning light.
porch makeover
Mom ponied up $50 for the mini-makeover – mostly for supplies like fabric, accessories, and paint. She’s got quite the garden, full of plants, pots, and miscellaneous items, so some of our shopping will be done right in her back yard…literally.

All next week we’ll be sharing the steps we took to dress her porch up and get it ready for spring, revealing the final shots on the day of the RRR party.  Won’t you join us?

Update: Want to see the final reveal shots?  Check it out here!

DIY Paper Mache Ornaments and Porch Reveal

I’m totally digging colorful Christmas porches right now, and I’m especially in love with over-sized ornaments.

This porch from Lowe’s  is a great combination of both!  I’m in love with the gorgeous colors of the entire porch, but it’s way too cold here for blooming flowers.
Lowes Home Improvement Ornaments
And this one is from Centsational Girl – what can I say, it’s sensational!  The white and red is just so crisp and festive!
Censtastional Girl’s Porch
Or this one from Pottery Barn. The metallic shimmer is perfect for this porch
Pottery Barn Ornaments
After last Christmas I hit the clearance sales hoping to pick up some of these awesome ornaments that I could hang outside my house or in a tree somewhere. Even on clearance though, they were more than I was willing to pay. But alas, as I again see these starting to pop up around the Internet, I knew I’d have to come up with a plan B.

We decided to make our own out of paper mache, some 7” balloons, my trusty but ugly glue gun, and the discarded remnants from our fabric Christmas trees. You remember these right?
Topiary Pine Trees
We started out by inflating the balloons and then covering them with strips of newspaper that we coated heavily in a flour and water mixture. We didn’t bother to measure the flour and water, we just mixed it with a whisk until it was at the consistency a little thicker than mayonnaise. It’s a messy job, so I let Dustin and the kids have all the fun.
paper mache ornaments
Each balloon got two or three layers of the paper/water/flour mixture and then we hung them up to dry overnight. We started to get worried that our ornaments might be looking more like huge Easter eggs, but figured that if this failed, we’d just re-purpose them in a few months.
paper mache Christmas ornaments
Once dried, we painted them green, red, and gold, just in case our final treatments allowed some of the paper mache to show through.
paper mache ornaments
Now this is the cool part, I think. We used some of the berries, leaves, feathers, moss, beads, rope, and flower petals from the discarded topiary to cover our ornaments.
paper mache christmas ornaments
We then dismantled an ugly wreath and used the pine needles to top off the ornaments – and bonus, it took away the egg shape, so all systems are go for operation Christmas Porch.
DIY christmas ornaments
You’ll notice that we even painted feathers – which was a first, even for us.
feather ornament
bead diy ornament
So $5.00 in glue sticks later, we brought the ornaments outside and hung them on the porch.
Paper mache ornaments
While I’m still not really liking the black door, adding a gold picture frame around the wreath helped.
frame wreath
If you’re just joining us for this whole Christmas porch project, here’s a recap:

We made our own door mat using pallets left over from the master bedroom project. The final cost for this project was essentially $0 since that’s the beauty of pallet wood.
pallet christmas mat
Then we made over some outdated topiary trees we picked up for free from Dustin’s sister with a bit (ok, a bunch) of fabric. Since we had all the fabric on hand this only cost us the price of the fabric I’ve been sitting on over the years. Probably a few bucks.
fabric christmas tree
And we finished it all off by accessorizing with our home made ornaments. Since we were able to save parts of the topiary trees, the final price included some gold, green, and red paint, and a bunch of glue sticks. Probably around $10 if you have to buy the spray paint.
christmas porch
So there it is.  My festive and colorful porch with over-sized ornaments just like I wanted, and for much less than I was planning on. How will you be dressing up your porch this Christmas?

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