Mother’s Day Brunch in a Up-cycled Garden

[Click on any photo for a larger view]

This post is a double-feature… an idea for a Mother’s Day celebration AND some up-cycling ideas for your garden!

First, the Garden ideas.  I’ve been busy this spring, up-cycling some items (I already own) to stay within my budget.   Before I talk about those projects, I have to share with you a bargain I found last fall.  I got SO lucky and spotted this gorgeous, cedar pergola at Sam’s Club (on sale) for around $200.   Have you priced these things?   If you have, you’ll understand what a bargain this was!  So, my advice is to watch the post-summer sales at the shopping clubs and grab a deal for yourself. 🙂

Now that I have a garden focal point, in my pergola… it’s time to add a fountain!  I was inspired by a blue ceramic, bubbler fountain at Lowe’s.  But, at $130, I decided to  instead up-cycle my old birdbath that I had turned into a planter years ago.  So, using my glue gun, I closed the drainage holes (previously created), spray painted it blue, added a small pump, “Welcome” rock (from my front garden) and added 2 bags of smaller rocks from the Dollar Tree to turn it into a simple, blue fountain.  

HINT:  spray paint the pump electrical cord the same color to camouflage it.  

I hung an old farmhouse window (from the back side of the pergola), above the fountain, to create a “back wall” to my new garden room and gathered all of my larger clay pots, spray painting the 2 white ones (blue) also.  And I filled several of my large pots with lettuce & tomatoes so I can have a homegrown salad soon!

You might also recognize the garden outdoor furniture set I up-cycled and featured in a post (last year) by spray painting it black and recovering the cushions.  And since a portion of my first (glass) gazing ball holder disintegrated, I removed the ball and replaced it with a clay pot, highlighting one of my pretty plants.

I also wanted to create some shade because it gets HOT in Florida! (LOL)  I found a pre-made cover at Lowe’s for $99, but it had no tethers or weights to keep it in place…. hmmm… the first wind will turn that into a sail!  Luckily, Lowe’s also carries the shade fabric (cuts sun & heat by 75% and is super-easy to sew, but you could also use velcro to create a customized cover) by itself for a lot less, I decided to make my own.  I measured, cut & sewed the lightweight fabric to match the dimensions of my pergola roof and added a pocket (on each end) so I could insert a piece of poplar wood (the least expensive way to weight each side down).  By the way, Lowe’s will also cut-to-size any piece of wood for about 25 cents… what a deal!   The fabric works AND looks great! [check out my $7 paper lantern too].  The rug is one I found (last year – post summer) and because it’s small enough to roll it up and store, I just bring it out for special occasions like this one.  Speaking of that — I can also roll up & remove the shade cover if a storm is headed my way (yay!)

And now, for the Mother’s Day celebration idea – creating a little bit ‘o Heaven in my backyard (on a budget) inspired me to invite my Mom over and spend some time with her going through old photos, reminiscing and enjoying some lunchtime treats for Mother’s Day…. an “ahhhhhh” day for both of us… with no standing in line and no reservation required!

Happy Mother’s Day and –

enjoy the Creativity!


SpRuCe Up Your Patio Furniture!

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Do you have some outdated outdoor furniture that could use a face lift?  I did!  I purchased my faux wicker patio set several years ago at a discount store.  It consists of a love seat-size sofa, 2 chairs and a coffee table.  The look was in style then, but it’s definitely no longer attractive.

Back in February, I remember walking through the patio department of a local store and they were putting out their brand new patio sets.  A black (metal frame) set with lime green cushions caught my attention because of the striking contrast in its color combination.  Price tag:  $600.   I knew this purchase wasn’t justified, especially when I had a functional (although dated) and perfectly good set at home.  After I got home and thought about it for a while, I realized that what was attracting me to the set (I saw in the store) was not the style as much as the color combination… I just loved it!  And that’s when it hit me… if I loved it, I should just renovate my existing set to reflect the very same color combination.

I knew this renovation would require finding some durable lime green fabric, a little sewing (something I’m very elementary in, so don’t be afraid to try it) and a few cans of black spray paint.  I started out by checking a local discount store that I knew sold fabric remnants (Old Time Pottery) and to my surprise, they had a 6 yard piece of lime green SUNBRELLA (outdoor, water & stain resistant) fabric for $5/yard ($30).  I decided I would close my new cushion “covers” using 6 inexpensive zippers, which I found at Walmart ($12), however, you can use velcro, snaps, snap tape, ribbon (sewn on to both sides of the cushion back, to be tied into knots or bows) or simply sew the cushion covers closed so they are not removable.  Finally, I purchased 8 cans of black enamel gloss spray paint ($20) to transform my patio set frames by changing the color from beige to black.  So, my final total was only $62.

Here are some closeup photos of the previous furniture frame color and cushion cover fabric:

The only thing left to do was spray paint the patio furniture frames black, measure the cushions to create a pattern, sew the pattern pieces together, adding in a zipper for each and slip the new covers over the old cushions.

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best seamstress in the world (I’m still working with the minor sewing instruction I received in middle school),  but it was a great inexpensive “fix” for a couple of seasons.   I was very happy with the outcome because it  transformed my existing (and very ugly) patio set into a look similar to the $600 set in the store for ONLY 10% of the cost… I’d call that an economical makeover!  See what you think: