$30 Porch Makeover

It’s been a hot summer in our neck of the woods.  We’ve spent way too much of it huddled around the air conditioning for comfort, hardly daring to set foot outside–lest we cook ourselves.  At long last the heat wave ended, and we’ve been able to go out and look around.  While the heat kept our grass short, I saw a few things that had suffered from neglect.  Our front porch was one of them, landing a top spot on the to-do list this week.

Sadly, until I rolled up my sleeves and got to work, this was what greeted our guests:Porch before the makeover

Front door before the makeover

It was obviously a much more comfortable spot for spiders than humans.  

They were definitely spending more time out here than we were.  Until we made it look like this:So, how did I transform this neglected spot with a little elbow grease and $30?

First, I did a search on Pinterest.  I was convinced that what this porch really needed to turn it from drab to fab was a rug.  But I was doing this project on a really tight budget, and didn’t want to spend all of it on a rug.  I was sure I could make one myself…somehow, someway…and pins like these gave me confidence:

Out I went to shop for my supplies: canvas and paint.  While I was in my favorite local hardware store, I stumbled across a bin of clearance 4×6 rugs.  They were marked down to $11, and there was a $7 rebate.  Making each rug a grand total of $4.  One of them happened to have all the same colors as the brick on our house–brown, tan, aqua blue, rusty red, and cream.  It didn’t take me long to realize that I wasn’t going to be able to make my own rug for $4, and that it was going to take me a lot longer to paint chevron stripes than fill out a rebate slip.  I threw it in my shopping cart, along with a smaller, $5 doormat that I decided could fulfill my hand-painted desires.

Next, I brought my daughters out to the porch, armed with brooms, hoses, and Windex.  We moved everything from the porch onto the lawn, and scrubbed away.

While the porch dried, I spray painted.  I’ll spare you the details, but I already had a few items, like the metal star and plant stand, that just needed a change of color.  The metal star was almost a big, fat, crafting fail, but Endeavor convinced me it would work.  (Thank you, Endeavor.)metal star on porch

Then, the girls and I moved everything back onto the porch, starting with the rug.

Endeavor was a highly valuable assistant.  I took her with me to Goodwill to find an old piece of furniture that I could spruce up to act as an accent table out here.  I didn’t have any luck, but Endeavor convinced me to visit one of our favorite el-cheapo home decor stores, The Christmas Tree Shoppe.  She helped me find this little table there, for $13.  Again, it was just the right size and color–and cost less time and money than refinishing a thrifted piece.  I snatched it right up.  

Justone opened the box and assembled it for me with a little help from Superkid, and it found a home on our porch.

I shopped the house for the other items.  Pillows, knick-knacks, and plants all came from other parts of the home and yard.porch after makeover, with pillows, plants, and decor

The doormat was very, very nearly another big, fat DIY fail.  Let’s just say I discovered it pretty much doesn’t work to paint a heavily textured rug.  Once again, my dreams of chevron went out the window, and I seriously simplified.  My kids love the initial.  

So, all it took was $30, some flexibility, sweeping, and a little paint to turn a very boring porch into a welcoming outdoor living space.

Come on by and set for a spell!

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  1. Lynne' Huber says:

    Dear Ruth,
    I love your porch! I wanted to tell you that we have a beautiful white lily blooming in our mailbox garden. I was surprised to find it because I didn’t plant any bulbs this spring and when I had lilies before none of them were white. I have not done one thing to care for that garden this year. Yesterday when I went out there was this gorgeous lily in full bloom. We call it Lily’s lily because it is blooming between two of her special days. It makes me think next year I am going to try harder to grow lilies again.

  2. Lorene Hovey says:

    I love the porch make over! I forgot to tell you that I finished Dear Enemy and loved it.
    Thanks for telling me about it.

  3. Wow! That is beautiful. I really wish I had a front porch.


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