It's Not Too Late to Update that Outdoor Space and DIY Nautical Pillow

It might seem like summer just started, but the stores are already reducing their outdoor furniture and accessories to make way for those school supplies. If you are thinking of making any upgrades to your patio or deck, now is the time you could really get some sweet savings, and you still have plenty of time to get good use out of them.

In honor of the stores trying to push fall upon us, I thought this would be the perfect time to share my little deck upgrade with you. I am a huge fan of navy, but it totally doesn't fit in with the color scheme of my house. So, when I was looking for a rug and umbrella to spruce up the backyard, I thought it would be the perfect place to showcase some navy and nautical, two of my favs. 

The rug and umbrella are both from the Threshold line at Target. I got them at the beginning of the summer during a 30% off sale. They aren't marked down right now online, but check out your local store. My Target had all patio stuff marked down by at least 15% the last time I was in there. And, I refuse to apologize for my love of chevron. I know some people are totally over it, but I still love it.

Along with my antiqued flower pots, I wanted to do something else crafty for this space. I decided to make my own nautical pillow. I am a sewer, so I made my own pillow. But if sewing isn't your thing, you could paint on any store bought outdoor pillow which should also be marked down right now, too. If you decide to sew your own, make sure you get a pillow made for outdoor use that will resist mold and mildew as well as an outdoor fabric that won't fade from UV rays.

I started off by searching the internet for the perfect anchor. Then, I pasted it into a Word document and played with the size a little bit until it was the perfect fit. Next, I cut that bad boy out. 

After cutting, I taped the anchor to the location I wanted it in and traced it with a fabric marker. The color of your fabric marker doesn't need to match your paint. Go with a light color that will show up enough that you can see it without it being too noticeable. You can cover up the line as you paint.

You will need to use a fabric or all purpose paint, or you can add a fabric paint medium to a paint you already have. I selected Martha Stewart Metallic Acrylic Craft Paint in Citrine Gold which is an all purpose paint. You can find this in store at JoAnn's Fabric.

To finish my anchor, I filled it in completely with the paint and ended up doing three coats. I find it a lot easier to paint free hand than use a real stencil. I always end up getting bleed through and my image ends up looking sloppy. Anybody else have that problem?

Here is the finished product. I like how the navy pillow ties the pergola area in with the dining table, rug, and umbrella. 

I am hoping to finish another pillow soon and maybe put a compass on it or a sailboat perhaps. I also want to incorporate some other nautical items like rope. Any suggestions or fun nautical crafts you can share with me? Are you inspired to spruce up your outdoor space before summer passes us by?

The Art of Upcycling- Lamp Edition

Before and After

As most of my friends know, I am a sucker for a great before and after. It is the HGTV in me. This lamp has been a long time in the making. I have had this piece since I got my first big girl job after college. I have never been quite fond of it, but it still works so it has made four moves in its lifetime. A lot of people have mentioned to me on more than one occasion that it doesn't quite go with the other things in my home. A polite way to say- this thing is u-g-l-y and why does it keep making these moves?

I hate to admit it, but I agreed with those unspoken comments. So instead of sending it out to pasture, I decided to redeem it. Let's say it- upcycle. I really believe almost anything can be salvaged with a little reimagining. 

Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality.

I know chevron is really trendy right now and probably on the downtick of its popularity, but I am a big sucker for it. So I grabbed my painters tape and went for it. I would love to tell you how I did this, but there really was no science to it. I just taped and made sure my spaces were even. I have heard that they are now selling shaped tape and even have a chevron pattern. Good to know for flat surface project. I don't think it would have worked for this odd shaped shade. 

Most projects can be completed with painter's tape and patience.

After I taped this bad boy up, I took it out to the garage and sprayed it with some Krylon Fusion spray paint in White Satin. I had this can from a previous project. I like this particular paint because it even sticks to plastic. I do several light coats of spray paint with about 20-30 minutes in between each coat so it doesn't drip and to get a nice smooth, even finish. Just read the can. Spray paint is really easy to use. Once you have the coverage you want and it is dry to the touch, remove your painter's tape.

Better but not quite right.

My latest obsession in crafting is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. This stuff is amazing. It sticks to almost anything without priming and distresses really nicely. You can finish it off with clear wax and dark wax that gives it a nice antique look. My mom had been telling me to lighten this base up, so I took her advice and used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White. Visit the Annie Sloan website to find a stockist near you.

Looking great in her new home.

Here is another lamp upcycle I completed recently. With this one, I spray painted the base after taping off the cord and the top part where you screw in the bulb along with the switch. Again, I used my Krylon Fusion. Then I found the new lamp shade at Lowe's for $4.49. Such a deal.

Before and After

Do you have any lamps around the house that need some reimagining? Send me your before and afters. Like I said- huge sucker for them!