Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Weekly [P]inspiration: Outdoor Entertaining DIY Ideas

'Tis the Season to entertain outdoors and here are some great DIY ideas I found on Pinterest to help make your party even better...
I just had a cookout and I threw all the silverware into plastic cups that kept tipping over... this is much better [much, much better!]. Plus it's adorable!
This idea is even easier but just as cute- I'm doing one of them for my next shindig :)

This is a little more complicated to make, but super cute and oh-so clever.
Alright. This is like a big-dog, serious diy-er outdoor entertaining center. It's complicated, it's beautiful, it's brilliant and I want one!


Looking to add a little beauty to the party? I absolutely love this branch & bottle idea. So charming and yet so simple. Lovely.
Lighting: it's so important for decorating whether inside or out. Here is a truly genius idea. Seriously. Smart.
Looking for ambiance lighting? Find vintage cheese graters and add a candles... voila! 

And lastly, every party needs games. Here are a couple party ideas you can create at home with minimal [skill] effort. This scrabble idea looks like so much fun. Cardboard. Markers. Boom. [Woo-Hoo!]

Can you paint circles? If yes, then you can create this game in your yard! Follow the link and see instructions to this and other great ideas for more games.  

So get inspired for your next party... IT'S SUMMER!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Patio Project #3: Painting Old Rusty Chairs

Next up on my patio beautification list: revive old rusty & crusty chairs I found at a yard sale last summer.
I was able to purchase these very old, heavy, sturdy metal folding chairs for the low, low price of $1/chair [but they looked awful!].
I used drywall sanding screens [which are similar to sandpaper but made of metal and therefore rougher & tougher] to get the loose rusty bits off. I didn't go for perfectly debris free because I still wanted them to feel aged [plus I would have needed a sandblaster or something!].
Then I used a good quality exterior grade paint and painted them [I wanted to give them a garden chair look, so I selected a fun green color].
Next I took brown paint and dry brushed the seats and backs to add to that aged look I was after...

Lastly, I sanded the entire thing to let the original brown [and rust] come through.
The main thing that made this project not miserable was the fact that I didn't fight the chairs too much. If I wanted them to be perfectly painted and look brand new then I'd still be sanding today... seriously.
I embraced their age and am thrilled with how they turned out!
And do you want to know the little bonus that made me love them even more?  While flipping through my beloved Ballard Design magazine I stumbled upon these green metal folding chairs...
for only $119 a pair.
That's $357 for 6 chairs. I paid $6 + a quart of paint for six chairs...
I'm a happy girl :)

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Covered patio and deck needed love!

Alright. As promised... here are my patio and deck "before" shots... [sigh].  I've been working away and I'd say I'm about 85% done now. [But I'm showing you now because if I wait until I'm completely done then it'll be fall and you won't be inspired for your own projects because you'll be buying pumpkins and sipping apple cider!!]

Since we moved in last summer this area has been more of an embarrassing open shed than relaxing entertainment area...
My first project had to be [cleaning up the junk and finding a broom] uniting the space with color. This area felt really random [trashy] because the covered patio area was stained in a dark color, while the attached deck was more of a burnt orange-ish shade and then the recently added front fence had been left all together unstained... so lovely.

And here's where I'm at currently. Just staining it all the dark coffee bean color made a HUGE difference [as did the broom and removal of junk...].
One big improvement came via our ugly worn white wooden planters that had been stuck just behind the unstained fence [shown in before pictures]. I pulled them out to create a little more privacy and add a little more curb appeal. Staining them the color of the deck helped tie them to it and become an extension of the area.  Then adding scrolling iron wall d├ęcor to the front helped make them not boring :) Now we have a pretty little entrance to our matching [and junk free] deck and patio.

Well, that's it for this post, but rest assured there is much more... so. many. projects. 
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