insanely expensive outdoor taste on an insanely tight budget - patio furniture diy!

* Really quick: like all of our projects, this set isn't PERFECT, but it's PERFECT FOR US. Pocket holes and other screws are still visible, but hey - as long as no one gets any splinters and they won't fall apart, I'M ALL ABOUT 'EM.

The absolute NUMBER ONE AND ONLY REASON Chad and I ever turn to DIY always comes down to cost - ALWAYS. In fact, in our new house, I got a little high-falutin'ish - I started making sweeping statements like "Oh yeah, I just don't want to DO that, who wants to get their hands dirty? Let's just hire someone!" thinking I was hot sh**. Then, feeling super cool, I would call a few contractors and/or specialists in whatever project I wanted to accomplish, resulting in several different quotes. THEN... I would remember why we DIY bahaha.

So anyway, imagine my surprise when with what I thought to be a "higher than usual" budget to spend on patio furniture turned out to be pretty dang low on the totem pole of outdoor seating options. I had $500 to spend on whatever the heck I wanted out there! Lounge furniture to enjoy the pool with - how exciting! How unlike us, entering into the retail jungle with $500 in our pocket, ready to SPEND like the high rollers we thought we were! Well - come to find out, $500 could buy us two very cheap-looking chairs with - wait for it - cheap-looking ottomans to go with them! No table, though. No, no. Not for $500.

It was so depressing! Pinterest to the rescue though, duh.

FINALLY, I found something I liked (right there above. All the heart eyes). It was super simple looking, so how expensive could it really have been? OH YOU KNOW, JUST A SMOOTH $2,659 FOR ONE CHAIR! $3,000+ FOR THE MATCHING COUCH! NO BIG DEAL!!!!!! I mean, are you kidding me? I'd like to meet the humans who are spending that much on their outdoor sets - can we be friends?

(No but for real, those above are apart of a teak set, hence the high price tag.)

But look how simple they are!!!! I told Chad, "Hey man - we've got $500 to spend on this situation. Let's just make these things. Look how simple they are!" and he agreed. We did a little bit of mental engineering and decided we wanted to use 4x4's for the frames to sort of match our tress beam table and benches. We chose to do a different stain (weathered grey) - it's still growing on me. It didn't take to the 4x4's and the table the same and then with the color cushions we had gotten (navy blue), the whole thing does look a little... much. But oh well! After a year out on the patio I'm sure the set will weather a bit and end up looking super natural out there. (Upon cushion replacement though, I may get some white ones just to make the wood pop.)

So we bought the cushions from Lowe's and made the plans around their dimensions. We accidentally made them a bit too low on our first go around so we had to add an additional 4x4 to lift the chairs up from the ground a bit but hey, it resulted in our own design type thing.

 ^^^And then Chad also built a table go along with the set. Love him!

...And one more time with the finish product - it's where we've been spending our lives! We love it TOO much.

Annnnnnnd in functional situations! LOVE.

^^^Here we were enjoying the whole thing on Mother's Day - we had just finished days prior. It's such a blessing to get to make these type things with ma'man. He's the bomb. These projects give me LIFE!

Two small things: a) I was particularly proud of this project because we didn't get any plans for them anywhere - it was just our own result from team work. So great! (Clearly isn't exactly a tutorial post - those type things take me 10 years to do, I'm not super great at listing all the detail oriented things that goes down, and... kids. Ha! But this project just involved straight cuts with a miter saw and screws - easy peasy!)  And b), and these things are SOLID. The kids climb all over them like monkeys, a fact which wouldn't have been possible without breakage had we spent the $500 on the flimsy patio furniture that we had been seeing. REAL wood for the win!

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restoration hardware truss beam outdoor table base - our first diy in the new house!

Way back in 2014, right after we bought our first house, Chad and I tried our hand at DIY for the first time. We made THIS table (and it straight up took us 2 weeks - TWO WEEKS TO COMPLETE THAT PROJECT - bahahaha. We were SO inexperienced). Here's a pic from that precious post - we were so thrilled with ourselves! (And how about that cute 4-year-old-at-the-time Carter?)

So yes, preciousness. Looking back, constructing it in that way was probably the most roundabout process ever in terms of making a table - I mean, kindaaaaaa over kill (hence the 2 weeks construction timeline?... Let's be real, we were just slow workers back in da day). But hey, it was the first thing we ever made and gosh dangit we loved it then and we love it now. 

That table top has lived a full life since 2014 - making a stint as our master bedroom's headboard for a bit there - and now is nestled in our backyard upon a new TRUSS BEAM BASE that we, a much more experienced DIY duo, completed.


But anyhoo, here was a bit of us making it (in pictures). Honestly, who needs an additional tutorial from me (like I've done in past posts on this here record-o'-our-projects blog) when every DIY we ever tackle comes from a much more DETAILED and HELPFUL tutorial anyway?
 ^^^One of the two benches we made! So darling!

^^^Before sanding it down and staining it, we moved it into it's spot just to see how the ol' girl would look! We ended up keeping 'er there for a few weeks, eating outside almost everyday - I'd say we were in love.

^^^Time to sand, stain and weather-proof! We've got some cute helpers ;)

^^^My favorite accessory right there!

I'm so glad we have a solid, huge, beast-of-a-table out there. And with Chad's new pride and joy (his grill/smoker), the whole outdoors just got a whole lot more fun.

2.5 months in the new home is looking pret-ty darn great, I have to say :)

*One thing we skipped from Ana's tutorial (and the Restoration Hardware version of this table - HOW ABOUT THAT FREAKIN' PRICE TAG?!!!!!! HOLY HECK! $2,895-4,295! Oh my goodness. Thank the Lord for husbands who indulge their wives' champagne tastes on beer budgets!) were those two pretty beams that come down in the middle (if you checked out the tutorial, you know what I'm talking about). I asked Chad if he wanted to add them last second before staining but he said he liked it the way it is here - simple. Works for me! Love him!

Our last DIY before selling our tiny first home

Well gosh-be-darn, we bought a new house (UNEXPECTEDLY!). If you're interested, you can see what went down here on the ol' family blogular. But I just couldn't skip over our final DIY at the old house on this here home improvement project site of mine! It would be blasphemous.

So anyway, this project started out with us just wanting to oomph up the entryway, specifically this one, giant wall - it was just a huge, blank, vaulted ceiling-ed thing of nothingness. When I discovered Lauren over at Blesser House and began stalking her site regularly, I became transfixed by her DIY batten board project and so it was decided - BATTEN BOARD IT WAS!
So yes, anyhoo, it started off as us just wanting to do that one, entryway wall. But then, when we (very briefly) decided it would be in our best interest to stay in our tiny home for a few more years (baha! We were unaware of how we would be selling the ol' thing just months later), the project's scale escalated. All of a sudden, instead of just doing the one entryway wall, we decided to do the 7' batten around the ENTIRE entryway ROOM. So just to start things off, we did the entryway walls on BOTH sides (making one section into a tiny mudroom type area) and wrapped it around to the wall where we had a TV mounted.

We did it all based off of THIS tutorial - straight from Blesser Heart OF COURSE. (If she leaves, I will find her, Wedding Crasher style. Obsessed with her visions!)

*Lame photography comin' atchyu. I got lazy and didn't want to edit.

^^^Not horrible, but just BORING.


1. We skipped the whole MDF thing (even though I'm pretty sure that's the "proper" way of executing batten board) opting instead for a few easy-on-the-pocket-book coats of paint. It took 4 coats - with white you can't mess around! After that we framed out the top of the project with a few 1x4's nailed to the wall with Chad's baby, the ol' nail gun. EASY PEASY.

2. Next it was time to space out the batten! It was SUCH a tough process doing this - oh man... We had to do the arduous task of placing a batten board at each end of the giant wall, then one in the middle of those two, then two in the middle of those sections, then more in the middle of those ones (baha! Easiest thing ever). Then we went through and individually measured the horizontal space between the batten. Each time it was different. Some were 18" apart, others were 21" - it's worth it to take the time to do this step! Don't just go out to the garage and cut a bunch of the same-sized horizontal boards - it will be a waste of your time. Measure twice, cut once, ya dig?

SO WE ADDED A BOTTOM SET OF BOARDS WHICH VARIES FROM THE ORIGINAL TUTORIAL. In our home, on top of the already-existing baseboards, leaving the bottom open gave it an unfinished look. It was Chad's suggestion to add that bottom step and I'm glad we did. How pretty does it look, all buttoned up like that?

 3. Next it was filler time (or spackle? Who knows what the correct wording is baha!). There I am SUPER pregnant with little Gracie!!!!!!!! So cute.

Doing this part of any project is always the WORST PART for me. These finishing steps suck - they just do. No one wants to spackle. No one likes to sand. It's awful, boring, mind-numbing and just one big fat hurdle before the finished product. But of course, it's so important to get that super amazing, finished look. So spackle (or fill?) we did! (Spackle, then sand to get a flat surface where the boards meet.)

^^^Okay so see what I mean with the white paint? It's streaky and easy-to-see-through on almost ANY surface. So we actually ended up doing a FIFTH coat to give it that bright white look.
4. Next it was PAINT, PAINT, PAINT, PAINT, PAINT! We added hooks to that area on the right, creating a cute little mudroom-esque type feel and we actually ended up painting the door Hale Navy because the off whiteness of it looked like puke compared to the bright white of the project.

And here is the rest of the project we finished a few weeks later! I really loved it! The plan was to complete the rest of the room but then we ended up selling it.

So anyhoo, not the most detailed blog post ever but you get the gist, amiright? Also, like I said, we followed Miss Lauren's tutorial anyway, so pop over there if ya fancy more dets. Bottom line from me: we used Behr Premium Plus for the paint as always (around $27 per gallon - who knows how many we went through for this project - I want to say 3 or 4 gallons?) and a whole lotta 1x4's from the Depot, each weighing in at a whopping $3.62 per board - WINNING.

I loved what this project did for our home. It made EVERY picture the sexiest thing ever. Batten board just does that!
^^^December 2016! See how pretty it is? Bah! Makes me miss that little ol' place. Now we've got to DIY our way through our new house :)

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grace's nursery

The room of endless DIY's and love is complete! I'm so excited to have finished this little space. Just like the big kids' shared room, the whole idea behind the abode was to make it gender neutral. I wanted both rooms to be interchangeable between Carter, Kota and baby Grace - who knows when big brother Carter will demand to have his own area to grow up in and likewise with the girls (they may request a shared room at any point!). The last thing I wanted was a design nightmare if Carter gets sick of sharing with his little sister and would have to move into the smaller of the two rooms: this one, the one that was previously painted BRIGHT PINK!

Anyway, there were so many DIY aspects here - from the horizontal striped paint to bring the place back from the intense pink we had painted when we first moved in in October of 2014 (my thought then was that every little girl needed a pink room at one point in her life. It's an American must-have!), to the amazingly large dresser I refinished, to that amaze-balls sphere chandelier, all the way down to refinishing that humongous, furniture-for-giants, Craigslist purchased, old school, rock star of a rocking chair. I'll of course document what we did on each of those points, but for right now I'm just stoked to have finished it up! Wooooo! 
Like I said, DIY's in here will be documented, but I have to say the one I'm most proud of is this sphere hanging light! OH EM GEE.
^^^SO IN LOVE WITH IT! And it cost us a whopping (WHOPPING!) $14!!!! YES.

The white on the walls was the same that we used for the kitchen redo, entertainment center update and kids' shiplap. The grey is the same we used in the older kids' room as well! 

The "G" was from Hobby Lobby, of course, but I'm not sure if they still sell them.

That INSANELY ADORABLE "Grace" box was made by GCM Design Co.

Bold striped curtains were from Target.

"Coolest Mom Ever" sign was from TJ Maxx, compliments of my sister for Gracie's baby shower!

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