Tuesday, September 25, 2012

our back yard project

We've always wanted to have a small house party, but felt overwhelmed with just 5 people in the living room.  In comes MY back yard project because I was tired of dust blowing into the house and staring at that ugly cinder block wall...not to mention that project that the previous owners started and never finished (see lower right hand corner of photo below).  Eric took ownership of wanting to decorate and 'spruce up' our living room, making it feel really homey and welcoming.  So MY project was the yard and my vision to make it less drab.  Our yard is teeny-tiny and fits right in with our 3 bedroom, 1200 sq. ft. house.  

Our friend had a landscaper do their back yard and he came highly recommended, so we went with them without question.  I wanted pavers, artificial grass and two trees/plants.  The landscaper recommended plants that crawl on the wall in effort to sooth my Issue with the cinder blocks...  I wasn't satisfied...  So I hunted and surfed the web for a week straight looking for some sort of solution...  The cheap option was to buy pre-made wooden fence sections from our local hardware store.  Then I found Cali Bamboo- my savior, the answer to my Issue and the most beautiful solution that made my heart happy! 

Cali Bamboo advertised that you could DIY or we could pay the contractor $250 to put up 4 sections of bamboo...  We opted DIY!  (I must mention that Cali Bamboo+ my landscaper was GREAT to work with and I recommend them!)

So I stained and treated one side of the bamboo (this will be the back) and also stained the treated 2"x4"s.  Then we mounted 2"x4"s to the wall with concrete self taping screws- this was the hardest part...

I had to order the 8'x8' bamboo sections because our wall was over 6' tall ...I've been wanting a circular saw since forever and this was the perfect 'excuse'!! So I cut the bamboo to our desired height.

Then section by section, we put the bamboo up! (this is 2 sections of bamboo)

...It wasn't easy, but it was worth every drop of sweat!  Our back yard is now an extension to our house, it really creates another 'room' or area to hang out!  Not to mention that it creates a little more privacy from our neighbors.

The boys absolutely LOVE the yard and they actually beg to go outside! (It's artificial grass because we live in a desert)

Here's the before and after panoramic shot:
It was a great experience and honestly came out just as I had envisioned it!  It has exceeded our expectations and we can happily say that we had 14 guests over and they were very comfortable spread out throughout the house!  xoxo!!

p.s. in retrospect, paying the extra $250 for a contractor to do it for us may have been worth it.... but the fact that Eric and I did this project together makes us love our home That much more!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

fun and funky artwork (diy!)

My guest bedroom and craft room/office needs a little inspiration, these bare walls are making me anxious!!  It stares and me and shouts "I want art, crafty projects, photos and frames!"  ... In comes Pinterest and all the awesomeness that pinners and diy-ers are creating.  I saw this pin that Better Homes and Gardens posted about DIY wall art and I couldn't wait for the next day to come so I could go out and buy my supplies!!

Michael's had a coupon for 40% off canvas- CHECK!
I headed to the Hancock Fabrics and the Sale section and found this cool tie-dye, silky fabric- PERFECT!
Then off to my FAV, Home Depot to get a staple gun and some staples- DONE!

This is the fabric I found and steamed so the creases would come out.

Cut the fabric about 3 inches longer than the canvas.

This is the section of the fabric that I wanted to showcase.

I don't have any handy tools, like those giant clips, so I tugged and pulled the fabric with all limbs to make it taut!  ...in retrospect, I probably should have purchased a few of them at Home Depot!

I folded the excess fabric under then stapled the edges.  The folding isn't necessary, but I was afraid the silky fabric would snag or rip.  (I don't think it would require as much staples if you were using cotton fabric)  Just remember to pull the fabric each time you staple to ensure it will be tight across the canvas!

Once all the sides were stapled, I gathered the fabric corners that were lose and stapled it down.  If you didn't fold the edges and had excess fabric on all sides, cut if off near the wood frame- remember no one sees the back, so it doesn't really matter how messy it looks back there!

Here's the finished product!!

  • 2 yards of fabric originally $12.99/yd, discounted 50% because it was in the scraps section! (I got extra yardage so I could choose the area of the fabric I wanted, you don't need that much if you have a small canvas)
  • Staple Gun $19.99 and staples $3.39
  • 7 pack of 12x12 canvas originally $19.99 and my 40% off coupon made it cheaper!!

What an inexpensive and fun project!!  It took an hour and a half from start to finish!  I LOVE projects with a quick turn-around!!

Go make some wall art!!  It's SO rewarding!!  xoxo