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Frugal Front Porch Refresh - the Reveal!

Well, our tiny front porch is finally presentable!   It was basically a blank slate with only two chairs, red pillows and a black rubber door mat.  Not exactly a cozy first impression. 

But now ... it's a comfy little space to enjoy a tall glass of sweet iced tea on a hot summer day.

At this point I should probably warn you ... this is going to be a looooong post with tons of photos!  You may want to grab that glass of sweet iced tea and find a comfy chair!

The backdrop for our porch is wall paint in Sherwin Williams Softer Tan and our front door is Rustoleum Regal Red.  The existing black chairs received a good (although a bit late) Spring cleaning and a fresh coat of black spray paint.

My inspiration piece was this multicolored door mat - love the color combination. 

Was happy to discover the door mat incorporated our existing deep red, along with dark aqua and bright green.  This allowed me to exercise my frugality and keep the deep red pillows that were already on the porch chairs.  A win-win! 

Another frugal find was this ceramic garden stool!  It was the last one at our nearest Costco ... and, would you believe it was only $19.99?  Have been wanting one for quite a while, but just couldn't bring myself to pay the $50-80 for the ones I drooled over at Home Goods and Target.  You better believe this one was in our shopping cart the moment I saw it - and, I guarded it all the way to our vehicle!  

Next was to add a pop of color with the addition of patterned pillows for the chairs, to coordinate with the existing deep red pillows.  After not finding any ready made pillows that I liked, I decided to try making them, even though I don't sew (well, I don't sew well). 

I stumbled across these fabric placemats at Walmart (our only shopping source locally - all the fun stores are at least an hour away).   Couldn't believe that they contained all the colors I was looking for and I recalled that pillows could be made out of placemats by ripping a small opening in one of the seams and filling with pillow stuffing.  At less than $4 each, they were in keeping with my frugal porch mindset. 

I didn't even have to buy the stuffing.  So glad I kept two old pillows that had faded - had planned to recover them but instead, I used the stuffing in the new placemat pillows.

To seal the seam opening without sewing, I used Aleene's Fabric Fusion Quick Dry Adhesive:

This stuff is amazing - works quickly and was super easy to use.  I applied the adhesive to the seam opening and pressed firmly to close.  Just to be sure that the opening stayed shut while drying, I placed big binder clips on the seam to clamp it shut.  Worked like a charm!  I sprayed the pillows with Scotchguard Fabric Protector and they were good to go.

Next, I searched my stash of items for something to hang on the wall behind the chairs.  So many things would work well, but I wanted to add a bit of texture, so chose a metal wall pocket and filled with natural elements, surrounded by a large empty frame. 

The wall pocket was a dark brown but of course I couldn't leave it that way.  I wanted it to be a distressed aqua.  Mixed two craft paints that I had on hand - Fern Green and Turquoise - and applied the paint to the pocket with ... you guessed it! .... my fingers!  Best paint applicators ever.

The picture frame would probably look best in black, but I love its gold distressed finish and don't want to paint it so will leave it as is.

We're almost finished - I promise!  All that's left to do are plants and a rug!

The rug is from Lowe's and is an Allen + Roth patio area rug in natural.  At 5 ft 3 x 7 ft 4 in, it was perfect for this small space. 

Last but not least ... plants!  I added a Boston fern on a stand, a small pot of white Vincas, an arrangement containing a Dracaena, red Vincas and Sweet Potato Vine, and potted white Pentas.  I dressed the Pentas up a bit by wrapping with burlap and tying with jute string.  Added a strip of red/natural jute upholstery webbing, and to give it a little bling, inserted brass brads through the webbing. 

A small red metal lantern completed the décor.  The absolute very last thing I did was paint the front door "wreath" frame.  Used the same mixture of craft paints used on the metal wall pocket.  

That wraps up our little front porch refresh!  Hope you enjoyed this lengthy tour of our home's smallest space. 

Will leave you with a few more pics ... And, if I ever learn how to use my really nice camera, photos should improve considerably.  :)

 Thanks for hanging in there!  

 Thank you to Must Love Home and A Delightsome Life for graciously featuring this post!


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  1. I love that you got such a great deal on the garden stool! Your porch is lovely and what a great idea to use placemats for pillow covers! I love your rug too. :)

    1. I could not believe it when we saw the garden stool! At first I thought the Home Goods and Target ones (that are $50-80) must be ceramic coated metal or made of better materials, but I checked the Target ones and they were ceramic as well. I was over the moon excited! Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!

  2. Such a lovely porch! Feel free to come share your ideas at our parties each week. Theresa @DearCreatives

    1. Thanks so much for the invitation, Theresa! I jumped on your site and shared a few projects. Love your party!

  3. Your porch looks lovely.. What a great job you have done.. You have given me such great ideas.Thanks for sharing.

    1. Good to "see" you again, Judy! Thanks so much - it was fun to put the porch elements together. The colors are so fun - very different from the neutrals of our home's interior. I smile each time I step onto the porch. Have a great day!

  4. You did a wonderful's lovely and inviting :)

  5. You did a wonderful's lovely and inviting :)

    1. Thanks, Deb! Stop by for a glass of iced tea anytime! :)

  6. Replies
    1. It was so easy to do - using a fabric placemat with two sides was the key - just opening up a seam and filling with "stuffing." Now, I'm always on the lookout for reasonably priced cute placemats. Thanks for popping in! :)

  7. I love it, what a great porch and you are so clever. Frugal never looked so chic.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Marty! I LOVE your blog and your new bedroom makeover is absolutely beautiful! Thanks for your kind words!

  8. Carolyn! I'm SO GLAD you started this blog! We're redoing our backyard and patio right now too. Justin obviously has the landscaping absolutely perfect and we just picked out new patio furniture but I still need to buy a rug and some pillows. I'll send you pictures when we're done!

    1. Oh how neat! You'll have such a great time in your new space and choosing the pops of color via the pillows and rug is a fun project! :)

  9. What a cute transformation! And I adore the wall art. Thanks so much for sharing this at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home!


  10. Your porch really came out well, it really looks so festive. What a great idea to make the pillows
    from place mats and loved how you did the wall art behind it all, very cute idea.
    Neat that you finally got your garden stool, I just recently got one to from Home Depot for $25.
    have wanted one too for ages, but like you I wasn't willing to pay &50 - 100+ for
    Great job, and your pillows came out beautifully, love the pattern too, very cute.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Blessings, Nellie

  11. Your porch looks really nice... so inviting and colorful!


  12. HI, Carolyn ~ I'm visiting from the Share Your Creativity Link Party. Your front porch looks great! I love the colors and the place mat pillows are so fun and colorful! The wall art adds such a nice touch, too. Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

  13. Carolyn, I love those pillows you made form Walmart place mats! They are fantastic and I love the colors on them!!! Your front porch looks so welcoming and pretty! Thanks so much for sharing at Dream. Create. Inspire. Link. I hope you had a great holiday weekend:)

  14. Hi Carolyn! I love everything about your outdoor space - what a happy and inviting area. The pillow trick is a super idea and I am especially coveting the planter in the frame. Great stuff! Jane

  15. Everything came together so beautifully! Love it! I will be featuring your post in this week's Home and Garden Thursday,

    1. How wonderful, Kathy! I really appreciate it - your party is such fun! Thank you for including my porch in your features!

  16. Lovely porch! Such an inviting place to sit and relax!

  17. thanks for sharing this front porch on Dream Create and Inspire.

  18. Hello Carolyn! You are amazing. You have been Pinned, Tweeted and Posted to Facebook! Your post will be featured this week at the Friday Favorites Link Party at Come by and see your feature and share what you have been working on!! The party goes live Thursday at 7PM. I hope to see your there...Hugs - Christine at Must Love Home

  19. I love the extra emphasis the picture frame gives around the wall pocket! Two part question – is that vinyl siding and what has worked best for you in hanging larger things from the “walls”? Thanks ~ Kari

    1. HI, Kari! The siding is HardiePlank (cement board). The empty picture frame and the metal wall pocket aren't heavy and I used lightweight screws to secure them. So glad you visited!!!


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