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"Summer Social" Guest Project — Simple Outdoor Decorating {bring your inside style…out}!!

3 Aug
Hi!  Shelley here, from The House of Smiths!
I’m SUPER excited to be guest posting over here on the good ol’ TT&;J blog! Jen and I are really close friends, and to say that she has kept me “sane” through this crazy roller coaster known as “the blog world” would be a complete understatement. We’re a perfect compliment as friends. Jen’s the calm, cool, collected girl…and I’m the wound up crazy (get you into just a liiiiittle bit of trouble) party chick………believe me, it works. ha!

Anywho, today I’m going to be sharing just a few tips and tricks about outdoor decorating on a budget! If you know me, then you KNOW I love decorating, but when it comes to the outside I get a little hesitant. Not because I don’t LOVE the way the outside of a beautifully manicured home looks, but because I live in a place (Utah) where we go through all 4 season and Winter seems to be the loooongest!
This makes it hard for me to justify weekend after weekend of time spent on flower beds and lots of money put into expensive decor. Believe ME, those things are still on my wishlist, but until then… here are a few sure-fire, budget friendly ways to “spruce up” the exterior of your home, by bringing inspiration from the indoors, out!
First things first:
Get Cleaning.
You honestly don’t realize HOW dusty and dirty your lighting fixtures, shutters, and doors are, until you start cleaning them. Once you have everything wiped down you can even go back with a fresh coat of spray paint if needed, to really freshen things up for just a few dollars.
I’ll be honest, we only do this about twice a year, but it definitely gives ANY house (new or old) a quick face lift.
Because nobody wants caked on dust and cracked, half-peeled-off-by-a-kid vinyl, greeting their guests.
😦
Next:
Gussy up the yard.

A quick, simple, and inexpensive way to really liven up ANY yard is to add some contrasting color, and greenery. For us, this meant some cheap black bark, on sale flower boxes and decorative shrubs. We picked ours up at our local Walmart, and about $150 bucks later, we had a beautifully rich looking flower bed and some cute full planter boxes to boot! 
NOTE: before putting down ANY kind of bark, rock, or other flower bed covering, make sure that you line your planter bed with some sort of weed barrier. You will thank me later
🙂
My last tip is probably my most favorite:
Make your porch inviting for
visitors, using decor!
We don’t have a very large porch on our home, so I knew I couldn’t go crazy, but I still wanted to bring the elements of a “comfy” welcoming atmosphere into my small space. So we purchased a discounted floor model IKEA bench, some pillows from Home Goods, a second hand Target wreath from Salvation Army, and a $14.00 rug from Walmart into our porch area, to make for a more “homey” feel for our guests!
All of the decor was about $75.00.
So the grand total on our “Outdoor Spruce-Up” was about… $225.00 smack-a-roos!
Not bad!
If you’re looking to doll-up the outside of YOUR home but not break the bank while doing it, then start with these few tips and you’ll definitely be on your way to a more beautifully inviting home exterior, too!
🙂
Happy Summer!
Shelley!! Your house looks so good. 
I love how you make things look so expensive on a tight budget. 
Shelley is one of my best friends in real life. We have so much fun together! 
She is the queen of the one-armed photo shot (I don’t know how she does it)…
She has so much style!! 
{yes, her house is gorgeous IRL!!}
{We had a great time painting Chevron Rugs together}
{She has an adorable family}
{Check out her new Tutorial Page — you will be amazed at all of her awesome projects!!!}
If you don’t know House of Smiths — run over there and be inspired!!! 

xoxo
Have a Wonderful Wednesday!!!
PS — We are in the car right now on our way to BlogHer. Shelley is driving and she’s made a playlist for your trip – ha!

Guest Project — DIY Porch Swing Makeover!

20 May
Hi everyone! 

 I’m Angie from The Cellar Door Stories, and I’m just beyond excited to be here guest posting today!  I love to blog about decorating, crafting, cooking, frugal ideas, family life with my husband and two kiddos, and pretty much any other random thing that comes to mind….some may call it scatter-brained, but I prefer the term “eclectic.”  *wink*

Today I’d like to share one of our most recent projects ~ our porch swing makeover!!

Built in 1961 and not kept in the best condition, our home has been a bit of a fixer-upper, porch swing included!  
Here’s what we started with when we first moved in….


Fast forward 3 1/2 years, and my little guy has changed quite a bit, but unfortunately the porch swing had not!  Since we were already in the process of repainting our shutters (which were also the country blue color), it made sense to give our porch swing a makeover too!

The first step was to take it down, clean it, sand it, and clean it some more. 
I knew I wanted to cutesy it up a bit by stenciling on a phrase, so we removed two of the slats to be replaced later.  Then it was time to paint!  I had chosen the color “Lincoln Cottage Black” by Valspar.  We used our paint sprayer for a few coats and a foam brush to fix any runs and get all the other nooks and crannies that were hard to reach with the spray.
My handy hubby cut down the new board to fit, and once it was painted, measured out my chipboard letters for me!  
What a great guy ~ he handles any project that involves my arch enemy:  measuring. 
My tendency is to just eyeball everything, so if it actually needs to look good, he measures it all out.  I first traced around the letters with a pencil, then over the pencil with white paint, and then filled each letter in.  I lost count of how many coats it took, but I think it was around seven, so a little time consuming, but not difficult.  (Of course, those of you lucky ducks with a Silhouette could crank that baby out in vinyl in no time!!)

Once the wording was completely dry, and the new board was attached, we could hang the swing back up in it’s rightful place on the front porch.  I whipped up some pillows ~ I use the term “whipped up” very lightly…actually my sewing machine and I were at odds for a few hours, but she finally relented, and we are now back on speaking terms.  Anyway, I plan on eventually painting the front door red, so I used a fun outdoor fabric with some red accents and some red burlap for the pillows.  
Since the pillows will be outside, I left the plastic packaging on the pillow forms to protect them from getting wet!  Smart thinking, right?  Well, they make a funny sound when you lean on them, but at least they look good!  Plus, I made the envelope type closure, so I can easily take out the pillow form if I change my mind.
*One quick note ~ I do plan on adding a coat of clear poly over the letters to protect them a little from the elements.  Although if I don’t get around to it, we could always just say we were going for the distressed look.
So, there you have it, our porch swing makeover ~ I can’t wait until all this rain stops so I can go relax on the swing with a nice tall glass of iced coffee in hand!

Thanks so much for having me, Jen ~ I always love seeing the great ideas here and now I’m so happy to be a part of it!  Hope to see you all over at The Cellar Door Stories!

 What a fun project Angie!!!

 Check out how cute Angie’s house is! 
{Another favorite — her Numbered Coat Rack and Laundry Room Reveal}
{How adorable is her Spring Burlap Wreath? Love it!}
{And check out Angie’s 101 goals for 2011 – what a great idea!}
 Be sure to stop by The Cellar Door Stories and give Angie a big TT&J hello!!! 
xoxo

PSIt’s Friday!!!! My favorite day of the week. I can’t wait to see what YOU are doing!!! The party starts at 6 pm {MST}. I hope you will stop by 🙂 

Porch Makeover Part 2 — make a 10 minute pillow cover out of cloth napkins!

28 Apr
The sun is out and I love looking at my freshened up front porch. Yesterday I showed you my Chevron Frame Door Hanging {with Washi Tape}:
And today I want to show you a 10 minute pillow you can make out of napkins!

Take two cloth napkins. I found mine at Target.
If you can find a pillow form that’s the same size as the pillow, all you do is sew around the edges of the napkins, with the napkin outside facing toward each other. Then turn it right side out. Leave one seam open so you can insert your pillow form. Or, you can also stuff it with cotton batting material.
I cut out some Heat Transfer material letters that spell HELLO and ironed them on the pillow cover. Another fun idea would be to print out your HOUSE NUMBER!
I also took a 6 foot length of ribbon and sewed a big running stitch down one end of the ribbon and gathered it. 
Then I wrapped it around until it made a flower and then I sewed it onto the front of the pillow cover. Then I took a scrapbooking fabric brad and used some fabric glue to glue that in the middle of the flower.
Then insert the pillow form or stuff it with cotton batten. Once the pillow is stuffed, then pin the seam together with the edges
folded under. You can sew the seam shut or use hot glue. And if you want
to wash the pillow cover, you can use velcro strips to close the seam
and that way you can open it up and take the pillow cover or batting out
and wash the cover.
I love how my new pillow brightens up my bench!

I took another matching napkin and put it on top of my little side table and then I also took a little striped gray Ikea platter and attached a doily and another brad to the center and added that too.  I love the yellow and gray/black theme on my porch!

And I have a fun surprise for you tomorrow.
Something to help YOU makeover YOUR front door or outdoor space!!
xoxo
PS — Have you heard about the NEW Creative Conference — SNAP? It’s going to be held next year 2012 and I am so excited about it!! 

Porch Makeover Part 2 — make a 10 minute pillow cover out of cloth napkins!

28 Apr
The sun is out and I love looking at my freshened up front porch. Yesterday I showed you my Chevron Frame Door Hanging {with Washi Tape}:
And today I want to show you a 10 minute pillow you can make out of napkins!

Take two cloth napkins. I found mine at Target.
If you can find a pillow form that’s the same size as the pillow, all you do is sew around the edges of the napkins, with the napkin outside facing toward each other. Then turn it right side out. Leave one seam open so you can insert your pillow form. Or, you can also stuff it with cotton batting material.
I cut out some Heat Transfer material letters that spell HELLO and ironed them on the pillow cover. Another fun idea would be to print out your HOUSE NUMBER!
I also took a 6 foot length of ribbon and sewed a big running stitch down one end of the ribbon and gathered it. 
Then I wrapped it around until it made a flower and then I sewed it onto the front of the pillow cover. Then I took a scrapbooking fabric brad and used some fabric glue to glue that in the middle of the flower.
Then insert the pillow form or stuff it with cotton batten. Once the pillow is stuffed, then pin the seam together with the edges
folded under. You can sew the seam shut or use hot glue. And if you want
to wash the pillow cover, you can use velcro strips to close the seam
and that way you can open it up and take the pillow cover or batting out
and wash the cover.
I love how my new pillow brightens up my bench!

I took another matching napkin and put it on top of my little side table and then I also took a little striped gray Ikea platter and attached a doily and another brad to the center and added that too.  I love the yellow and gray/black theme on my porch!

And I have a fun surprise for you tomorrow.
Something to help YOU makeover YOUR front door or outdoor space!!
xoxo
PS — Have you heard about the NEW Creative Conference — SNAP? It’s going to be held next year 2012 and I am so excited about it!! 

Porch Makeover Part 1 — Chevron Door Hanging {tutorial}

27 Apr
chevron door hanging straight on
It snowed here yesterday, but that didn’t stop me from trying to Spring-ify my front porch. 
I am so ready for some warm weather!!  
I started off with my front door.
wood frame
I had a unfinished wood frame in my garage, so I pulled that out. My inspiration for this door hanging is this beautiful chevron fabric I found on Fabric.com – I’m a little obsessed with it right now.
premier prints yellow chevron fabric
I used the same stencil that I also used for my Spring Chevron Subway Art.
chevron stencil
First I painted the frame white and then I stenciled the chevron pattern on the wood. 

rosettes close up
Super easy. Then I made a few fabric rosettes – I have a tutorial for those if you want to make some. And then I thought it would be fun to make a part in the middle of the frame where I can spell out different things.
beautiful chevron paper
 chevron paper with a sheen
So I printed off some words using this beautiful new paper from LifestyleCrafts (they are the people that also make the Epic LetterPress – more on that at the bottom). I love this paper. It has a sheen to it. So pretty!
 (and it’s on sale this week)
chevron paper
I also added some pretty Washi Paper to the outside of the frame: 
I printed off a few different sayings that I can switch out.  Hello.
chevron hello wall hanging
And Welcome.
chevron welcome door hanging
I attached a piece of ribbon to the inside of the frame with hot glue. And then I used these cute teeny tiny clothespins from Canvas Corp. The last thing I did was added some ribbon at the top to hang it on my door.
the hello canvas
I love how my door hanging goes along with the little canvas pennant I made a few weeks ago. I put on a little table by my front door.
And coming up tomorrow afternoon – Part 2 of my porch!!
xoxo

PS — I am linking up to these fun parties – check them out!

The DIY Show OffBCD 125UndertheTableandDreaminggiveawaysTidy Mom I'm Lovin It Fridays

PPS – Here is the winner of the LifeStyle Crafts Letterpress package: 
#35 — Simply AJ @ Queen of My Nest
And if you didn’t win —
**Lifestyle Crafts is also offering YOU  20% off ANYTHING at  lifestylecrafts.com, through the end of April (including the Epic Letterpress)!! Just type in TATERTOTS at checkout to get the discount! 
Yippee!!!

Painting my door and stenciling a rug for my front porch!!

6 Jan
I painted my front door!
It used to be this brown color. This picture is a couple years old and you can see even then there were some nicks in the paint. Suffice to say — it needed a new paint job pretty badly!! 

I decided to go with black because it’s classic. But my porch needed something to go with the new paint job. I have loved Cutting Edge Stencil’s Houndstooth Stencil from the first moment I saw it.
So I thought it might be fun to stencil a houndstooth rug for my porch!! 
https://i2.wp.com/www.cuttingedgestencils.com/images/super/Houndstooth-Stencil-Black_1.jpg

Cutting Edge Stencils sent me one of their amazing Houndstooth Stencils as part of The DIY Club.  Then I headed down to my local hardware store and found an indoor/outdoor rug for $19.99! So I brought that home and got to work. 

The first thing that I did was I taped the edges of the rug. Since the rug was a different size than the stencil, I wanted a nice, crisp border going around the edges of the rug. 
Then I started stenciling at one corner of the rug. I used the same paint that I used to paint my front door. And I also used a foam roller.  
**One tip I recommend is to have a piece of newspaper handy to roll the excess paint from the roller before you roll it onto the rug. 
**Another tip is to not push too much on the stencil as you roll – it can stretch. 
I pushed a little too much and it made my lines a little wonky, but overall I really love my new rug! 

It makes such a stylish statement!!

Shelley made me a really cute House Number vinyl, but it’s been so cold that I haven’t been able to put it on yet 🙂

Have a great day!!
xoxo

PS — It has been so fun to see YOUR favorite projects of 2011. I have spent the last few days going over them and they are amazing!!! I will be wrapping up my favorites tonight and announcing who won the custom brooch! 


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