Sue’s Favorite Projects of 2016

best-of-2016

Do you ever wonder which of my projects are my favorite?

Like most DIY people, I try really hard with all (or most all) of my projects…

some of my projects are a hit and some are a miss.

And some are just my favorite…

So… I decided to share them again with you.  (just in case you might have missed one)

Enjoy!

Click on post titles for project instructions

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My Front Porch…all decked out and ready for fall

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I thought I’d share with you today my Fall Front Porch that I did a few weeks ago.

In past years my Fall Decorating usually included sweeping off the porch, adding a pumpkin or two,

a mum and a wreath on the door.  That was it.  I was done.

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This year, thanks to my new “Instagram Obsession”, I was inspired to go all out.

Mind you…

going all out for me does not include 27 pumpkins, 15 mums, a $100 wreath and the most beautiful

looking dog you’d ever see.   Like a few of the amazing front porches I saw.  (trust me I counted)

I kept mine a little more simple, a little more doable, with out breaking the bank.

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I stared with things I had on hand.

A combination of things picked up at Garage Sales, Thrift Stores, Auctions, Estate Sales and a few items

I’ve had for over 20 years.

Sometimes I wonder, am I a collector or hoarder?

But…I always say “it’s not hoarding if you use them”.  (Right?)

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Since some of my summer flowers are still doing good, I had to add them to the mix.

I’ve had this poinsettia since last winter.  I hope I can make it turn red again.

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I love this old black chair.

I purchased it over 20 years ago at a antique store and hated to admit to my husband I paid $20 for it.

I’ve only repainted it once in all those years.

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Mums are a fairly cheap addition to the mix.  I purchased 7 mums at $4 dollars each.

The price of a really good pizza dinner.

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I replaced the scraggily summer plants with mums in pots I already had.

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I kept it simple with only one pumpkin which will be carved by next week-end.

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The Wood Crate was a new garage sale treasure this year for $1.50.

The lantern I believe I picked up for $1 and the little red chair was a Thrift Store find at $3.00.

You got to keep you eyes open to all the possibilities of these treasures offer.

My daughter-in-law told me “I never find these kind of things”.

The trick to good finds is you have to go and go often.  I love the hunt.

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When it comes to my front porch, the only complaint I have is the size.

I wish it was wider and didn’t have an aggregate floor.  (really hard on bare feet)

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I really enjoy how it turned out.

Who knows, maybe next year I’ll have 27 pumpkins and 15 mums.

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You can read about the post on how to make the Autumn Wreath and Boo Door Hanger here.

Mr. Elfsnail’s Garden

Mr. Elfsnail's Garden 8202

This marks the third summer since Nicholas and I started the tradition of creating our

Mini Garden.  And…as we exclaim every year…  “this one’s our favorite”.  (it really is!)

Each year we like to add something new and different for our garden.

It has been noted, that at some point, we may have to get a bigger wagon.

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Our Garden has never had an official occupant.

So, this year we added Mr. Elfsnail.  (named by Nicholas for obvious reasons)

We picked him up along with a wishing well and a pair frogs at our local Hobby Lobby.

Nick and I (mostly Nick) spent the evening before laying out the garden on the kitchen counter.

We like having a plan and being prepared.

Nick had me outside working on the garden by 7:45 a.m. the next morning.

Have I ever mentioned I’m not a morning person?

adding the water feature

For those of you that may not know about our garden, you can read about

the original garden here.

For our garden…we start with an old broken rusty wagon.

After arranging the fence and arbor, Nick quickly set off to work adding a new water feature

using a small, round, black dish (from a microwave desert) into the dirt.

this is how my other grandma told me to get them out

Now that he’s five and a very confident gardener….he didn’t need any help placing the plants.

the path

The “plan” was to add a small path to the new wishing well using crushed shells.

the path now a beach

And because more is always better… MORE CRUSHED SHELLS.

It’s starting to look a little more like a beach.

We added cocoa bean shells around the plants to make it looks nice.  (love the smell)

the frogs

N ♥ S

That just warms my heart.

Even though it should be Nick loves Grandma instead of Nick loves Sue.

(Maybe he named the frogs after us?)

Wishing Well

Nick loved adding water to the wishing well and making sure it worked.

admiring the garden

Our Finished Garden.

Nick and Mr. Elfsnail's Garden with insert

This really is such a fun project to do with kids.

You don’t need anything fancy to use for a container.

And you know what?  I enjoy making it as much as him and maybe even more.

It’s important to take time and do something together.  (Planting the gardening seed.)

Making memories… My buddy and me.

For more summer fun… click on ad below ↓

Slimer

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No. 14 How to age a Terra Cotta Pot with Chalky Finish Paint

It’s front porch sitting time…

Time for sitting on the porch swing, sipping a glass of iced tea and relaxing the evening away.

But before I can relax, I need to finish putting flowers in containers and I need to give a couple

of old boring terra cotta pots a little sprucing up with a little paint and stencils.

I decided to give this plain terra cotta pot an aged looked with

Americana Décor Chalky Finish Paint from DecoArt.

Terra Cotta Pot Close Up 7478

How to age a Terra Cotta Pot with Chalky Finish Paint

Supplies Used:                                                                (*affiliate link)

Terra Cotta Pot Collage

Directions:

  1. Paint the terra cotta pot with “yesteryear” (gray) chalky finish paint.  I gave the pot some white highlights with “everlasting” chalky finish paint.
  2. Wipe the pot with a clean soft damp cloth (or white paper towel) to remove some of the paint.
  3. To give the pot a mossy look… Dry brush “new life” (green) chalky finish paint around the base of the pot, under the ridge and on the top edge.  Soften the green paint by wiping with a damp cloth if needed.
  4. Apply reusable stick on stencils to painted pot.  Mask around the stencil with removable painter’s tape.  Use a stipple brush to apply “relic” Chalky Finish paint inside open stencil area.
  5. Remove stencil.
  6. Lightly sand pot with extra fine sand paper.
  7. Apply Americana® Décor “golden brown” crème wax over pot using a clean lint free cloth.  Wipe with cloth to create an aged look.

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Front Porch 2

This post was sponsored by the good folks at DecoArt.

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Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

New Use for an Old Basket

On the Porch 2

Need a quick front porch project…

Got any old baskets lying around the house?

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I’m a total sucker when it comes to baskets.  (a basket case one might say)

I’ve got quite the collection, I use them all over the house.

During my Spring Cleaning…this basket was headed for the trash when I decided to

repurpose it.  I love the look of flowers in baskets.  I had nothing to lose.

I can always throw it away later if it doesn’t wear well this summer.  (look at how rough it is)

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I gave the handle of the basket a quick fix with some craft glue held together with a binder clip.

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I used a thin grocery store bag to line the basket and keep the dirt in place.

You might want to poke a few small holes in the bag for drainage.

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Once you’ve filled the basket with dirt, tuck the remaining bag neatly around the sides

of the basket.

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My basket will be on a shaded front porch. 

I chose flowers that will grow well in shade.

I started with a couple larger pink geraniums and filled with smaller pink impatiens

and purple violas.

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TIP:  Don’t pack the basket so full that the flowers don’t have room to grow.

New Look for an Old Basket

Now that Garage Sale season is upon us.

You may want to keep a look out for a cheap basket or two.

That is… if you don’t have any old baskets lying around waiting to be rescued.

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*Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

Nick and Grandma’s Mini Garden

A few weeks ago, Nick and I talked about making a special project.

I decided we should make a miniature garden for him to help me take care of.

Saturday, my little buddy came over to help me work on it.

Garden Tools

We had previously collected moss, sticks, bark and rocks for our project.

I added some mini plants (for fairy gardens), potting soil, a small park bench, tiny garden fence,

green spray bottle and a set of teeny tiny tools.

While cleaning out the garage a couple of weeks ago, I almost threw out this rusty broken

wagon.  I’m so glad I decided to keep it.   It was perfect for our mini garden.

Nick with Tools

All I needed was one excited 3 1/2 year old to help me.

Nick working in the garden

I added a piece of paper towel over the holes in the bottom of the wagon and we filled it

with potting soil.  I added the small fence, large flat rock and bench.  I let Nick finish the rest.

Nick loved digging in the dirt and adding the plants.

Garden Close Up

We put rocks around the little fence and even added a chicken to our garden.

Nick watering the tulips

Occasionally, Nick had to stop and water other things.  Like my tulips.

Grandma and Nick's Special Garden w watermark

I don’t know who was more excited about the garden, him or me.

picnic lunch

Since, grandpa had brought the little white picnic table up from the barn.

Nick decided we needed to have a picnic lunch.  All in all, a day very well spent.

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Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

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