Repurpose and Remodel: Restoring a Handmade Porch Swing

My grandfather was an excellent carpenter. He and his brother built me many neat things over the years but my favorite is this porch swing.

It’s handmade, solid wood and heavy. In fact, it’s so heavy that in the 15 years since he built it for me, I’ve never had a place to hang it. It’s been in my mother’s basement for years.

As you can imagine, 15 years in a damp basement takes its toll. We had several rotten slats and a rusted chain. We were blessed the frame was still in good shape .

I promptly ordered the things I thought we would need and I got to work replacing the slats that were rotten or warped. I toyed with replacing all the slats but since some were in great shape, I decided against it.

I then gave the whole swing a good sanding with my orbital sander and removed the rusty chain.

I then put two coats of primer and one coat of paint on the swing and replaced the chain with a new one.

My mom got me this arbor for my birthday so I could hang the swing. It’s very pretty and very sturdy. And we know the song isn’t hanging straight- the arbor isn’t exactly level yet. We haven’t anchored the arbor yet because we are waiting to put down some pea gravel to deal with the mud. We also want to cut those bushes but there are birds nesting in them, so we want to wait until they leave.

I’m so excited to have this swing at my house- finally! I miss my grandpa so much so I am happy to be able to have this gift he personally made for me. It looks so pretty hanging from the arbor. It brightens up our yard quite well!!

I can’t wait to finish this area so I can show it to you!!

5 Spring Wreaths You Can Make Yourself

I love having a pretty wreath on my door. Sometimes I buy wreaths from a friend at church who makes beautiful wreaths, but sometimes when I have a little more time, I make simple wreaths myself. I am going to share a few of my own creations but also a few from around the Internet. Enjoy!!

1. Simple hydrangea wreath

I made this one a few years ago from an oval wreath and some very realistic hydrangeas.

View the directions here

2. Painted letter wreath

You know how much I love monograms!! I made this one entirely from materials I had on hand.

View the directions here

3. Simple tulip wreath from Chatfield Court

This cute little wreath would look great on your front door! You could make it fairly cheaply as well.

Source: Chatfield Court

4. DIY Eucalyptus Wreath from Bitterroot DIY

This wreath is simple and beautiful! I love it and I love the colors.

Source: Bitterroot DIY

5. Hula hoop wreath by Living Letter Home

I’ve never made a giant wreath before, much less one from a hula hoop. But this blog post makes me want to try.

Source: Living Letter Home

What beautiful spring wreath have you made recently?

Creating a fire pit patio

As most of you have probably figured out, we are in the midst of a little backyard revamp. We have been working on revamping our flower beds, tilling our garden spot, and changing out banisters and rails on our porch.

Our garden is ready to go!!
Flower bed clean out

A few weeks ago, we got a very nice propane fire pit. We had this small, not very useful paver patio.

It was so narrow you could barely put a chair on it without tipping off the back. We didn’t really use the space well either. We decided a long time ago we wanted to expand the paver patio to the fence and extend it a little more in the front. Since our state has implemented stay home orders, we aren’t going anywhere on the weekends. This gives us plenty of time and opportunities to get our projects done. Plus, Lowe’s has been having some killer sales.

Did you know you can order and pay online and park in a pick-up only space and they’ll load it up for you? Just like Instacart. And no going inside the store and getting sick.

We measured and discovered we would need 2 more rows on the back and one row on the front. This came out to 24 pavers. We ordered and paid online and Lowe’s loaded them up for us. We got home, leveled off our patio area (it isn’t perfect but close) and installed the pavers.

Phase one complete

We are not yet finished. We are in the process of building some chairs for this space, which we will show you soon. We are also going to add some tables or garden stools and some colorful plants. I’d love to have a different sign and some string lights as well. I cannot wait to show you the finished product! Tune in often to check out our backyard progress.

Our patio “still to-do list:”

*build four wooden chairs

*add some cute tables or garden stools

*add some decorative elements, like string lights and cushions and a new sign

Check back soon!!!

How to make industrial farmhouse shelves

Our hall bathroom looked a little blank and boring.

Just a nice room with a lot of space but a completely blank space. Also, there is a small vanity but almost no storage space. And do you see those little rickety shelves? They’re pretty ineffective and unstable.

So they had to go. Enter spackle.

That builder grade towel rack had to go too.

I purchased four plumbing pipe flanges in silver and spray painted them black. I also purchased four pipe nipples and some straight pipe at 10 inches long. I chose to buy 3/4 inch but you can choose any size you want. I spray painted all of it black and attached it to the wall.

I took some 1x4s from my scrap pile and cut them to the size I wanted. Then I stained them.

And I placed them on top of the pipes. Easiest part of the project.

I then sanded and repaired the holes I’d patched and touched up the paint.

And I’ve been enjoying them ever since!

Sometimes such a simple project can change your room so much. It’s amazing how for less than $100 we changed the look of the whole room. What are your thoughts?

Building a faux fireplace mantle, part 3

When we last left you, our beautiful antique mantle with its faux firebox looked like this:

Nothing was painted, no stone was laid. Things were kinda bare. And unfinished.

Our first item on the agenda was to paint it.

First, we caulked any cracks or areas we felt needed filling in. We painted the mantle and the adjoining boards behind it with white paint in satin finish.

Next, we installed Airstone to the surround and the bottom of the hearth.

This stuff is amazingly easy and fun to work with. Simply spread the adhesive on the back of the stones like you’re frosting a cake and press into place. You can also cut the stone with a hacksaw or circular saw.

We then laid faux slate vinyl tiles across the top of the hearth. We may upgrade it later to real slate but I am loving how this looks, and how little it cost.

We then painted the faux brick paneling with some matte black chalk paint. I just like the finish.

We still have a few areas to fill in and some trim to add, but all in all, I am loving it!

Stay tuned! The rest of our living room is about to change in a big way, and I can’t wait to show it to you!!

Have a great Monday!