Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Patio Magic on a Dime

We have a very small patio right below our deck, and it looks out on our large backyard.  Overall, our lot is almost two acres, a size that now seems overwhelming to care for, but when we moved from a long time home nestled in 50 acres of woods and fields, the prospect of living in "such a confined space" near neighbors and a road was a little frightening to me.  Well, almost nine years later, I love our choice.  Both hubby and I continue to have landscaping and gardening ideas.  Our trees are doing well and so are our perennials and raised garden beds.  Maybe I will post photos of them another time.
Today I am showing a few budget redo's we've done and the stories behind them.
1.  Patio table
2.  Turtle planter
3.   Patio swing
4.  Chair cushions

A few years ago we were asked to be in a garden tour in mid-July and that summer we went overboard on our annuals since few perennials were in bloom at the time.   I really wanted some new patio furniture, but just couldn't find the right set for the money I felt I could spend.  Since we already had two lovely wicker chairs in the sun room, I moved them to the patio and set about finding a table to go with them.  In desperation, I purchased a wooden 60s era early
American coffee table at a local thrift store for $10 or so. After a little sanding, I painted it with exterior white paint.  Surprisingly, it has held up for four summers.  We do store it for the harsh Wisconsin winters, but otherwise it sits outside through heat and rain. I noticed a few scuffs on it this spring, so yesterday I touched up the paint job. At the same time, I let my 9 year old granddaughter paint a ceramic turtle planter I recently picked up at a garage sale for a buck.  Turtles are her FAVORITE animal so I had bought it specifically with her in mind.  As BG was getting the paints out of our craft box, I noticed a sheet of paper tucked in the box.  On it were a list of garden-related sayings I had gathered for making clever garden signs for that garden walk.  Most of the signs I made then have faded or broken, but sometime I may make some more.  Yesterday, my eyes were drawn to this phrase - Come sit with me on my patio!  So when the white table paint job was done,  I used a very wide permanent marker to write that quote on the table corner along with a flower.  Hope you can see it in the photos.
Wicker chairs with the white table

Come sit with me on my patio!
Mr. Turtle before painting

Mr. Turtle all finished

Now, on to the bright blue patio swing.  Bright blue is our accent color for our yard.  We have a dumpster-rescued Adirondack chair painted in that color placed in our raised bed garden area and throughout the yard we have several blue obelisks hubby constructed.  So naturally that was the color we chose for the swing.  This swing, originally with a natural finish, was constructed by local Amish and had been a prize in a raffle fund raiser.  The winner did not take care of it, never kept up the finish nor stored it inside in the winter.  In fact, it sat in flood waters for one entire spring.  Then the person tried to sell it and it sat for weeks and months without anyone buying it.  Finally, hubby offered a sum (maybe 25 or 35) and brought it home.  He disassembled it and let all the wood pieces dry for months.  Some boards had to be replaced.  He sanded off all the old failing finish, but decided the wood below was too dark and discolored to leave natural, so he chose to paint it.  Everytime I swing in it, I smile because it is so happy looking.

Last, let's talk about the chair cushions for my wicker chairs.  When I bought the chairs, they had no cushions, and being late summer, store supplies were depleted.  I finally ordered some on clearance from Penneys.  Although they were a good buy, I always felt the depth of the cushions was puny, so the next summer I recovered them with some fabric I had and added a little extra batting in the process.  Those cushions worked fine for several years, but eventually the fabric faded, not being intended for sun.  Last summer I fully intended to replace the cushions with ones covered in sun resistant fabric. But I just couldn't find a design I liked, and let's face it, I didn't want to spend the money.  A week before my dad's 95th birthday, we were sprucing up the backyard for the little party we intended to have when I again realized I needed to do something with the chairs.  The next day, I went to Goodwill and scored three oversized pillow shams.  One I used to cover cushions for the plastic white chairs we pull out when we need extra outdoor seating.  The other two (in blue and turquoise stripes) were just perfect for covering my existing wicker chair cushions. All I needed to do was pull out some stitches and make them a little shorter. Cost for all of that - $6.

Did you happen to notice the painted window above the swing?  I scored that at a library silent auction fundraiser.  It was painted by a friend.  I also have another painted window right around the corner, also "won" at that same silent auction.  That one is featured on the wall area beneath our deck and was painted by our niece.  Here's one final photo of that area.
Poppies are done blooming here and the phloz haven't started but the space is still eye-catching.

  Hope you enjoy my patio.  I plan to be there this afternoon, reading the next book on my pile.
What does your favorite outside reading space look like?

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