Frugal DIY – Screened Porch Makeover

Several years ago, my sweet husband built a screened porch on the back of our home. From this peaceful porch, I enjoy the songs of birds, the laughter of my children, the rippling of our pond and fountain, peace and tranquility.
DSCN2789

Unfortunately, it became a catchall for yard shoes, pool toys, gardening tools, and pet stuff. Turning it into a comfortable outdoor room was on my to-do list for the future when it fit into the budget. In fact, it’s still on my wish list for the future.DSCN2787It just isn’t in my budget to makeover my porch. However, with a little creativity and frugality, I was able to spruce it up a bit recently. Here are some of the simple and frugal things I did:

I found some old throw pillows and added them to a few of our corner chairs to make them more comfortable.Porch makeover 4

We had an area rug we weren’t using, so I utilized it under our patio table and chairs. It’s a little small, but it works.Porch Makeover 3

We save jars so I have a nice collection for crafting. I made some lanterns utilizing the jars and LED tea lights.Porch makeover jar lanterns

I made a cute chalkboard and sconces with more jars.

Porch Makeover Finished Cabinet

The biggest dilemma was was the shoe rack–it was such an eye sore. I knew I needed to get rid of it. I searched our home for a cabinet or a piece of furniture that we could use to store the shoes. We really didn’t have what I wanted–all I could find were a few old bookshelves. A low buffet style cabinet would have been the perfect fit, so I headed out to Goodwill to see if I could find one. There were no treasures for me that day.

Disappointed, I went back home to the pile of shoes and the shoe rack in the backyard. I really dreaded putting them back in the porch. Then I settled for one of the bookshelves.

With help from my sweet husband, the bookshelf was primed, repainted. Porch Makeover Shelf

Doors and hardware were added along with some distressing, and now we have an adorable little cabinet for shoes and outdoor games.porch cabinet makeover

Sprucing up my favorite place, cost just around $30. Sometimes we just don’t have the resources to bring our ideas to fruition completely, but that’s okay. My porch is lovely. It makes me smile and provides a peaceful atmosphere for me and my family. It’s might not look quite like my dreams, but it is a step in the right direction! Now to enjoy my hummingbirds (please excuse the screen in the picture)… 

porch makeover bird

DIY Boxwood Wreath

God’s creation is so beautiful, and what better way to decorate your home than His masterpieces? I enjoy using fresh flowers and greenery from my yard to decorate, not only because they are beautiful but also because it is inexpensive.

For a long time, I contemplated making my own boxwood wreath but I was a little intimidated. I decided to give it a try this weekend, and I’m so very glad I did. It was one of the easiest and cheapest wreaths I’ve every made, but looks expensive and classic.

To make your own DIY Boxwood wreath, you’ll need:

1 grapevine wreath

boxwood branches

ribbon

wooden letter for monogram

pruning shears

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of wreaths hanging up in my garage. So, I removed the silk flowers from one of the grapevine wreaths I already had. I pruned several branches from the shrubs. Then I decided what direction I wanted all of the branches to lay on the wreath. You want all of the branches to look like they are growing in the same direction. The next step is super simple. I inserted the bottom of the branches into the grapevine wreath working my way all the way around the outer edge of the wreath, then working my way all the way around again until the entire grapevine wreath is covered with boxwood.

Next, I made a bow and attached it to the top center of the wreath. The wooden letter was painted black, but I felt it needed a lighter color to make it stand out. So I painted the wooden letter ivory. Then I used a sanding block to distress the edges of the letter.  Next I attached the letter to the wreath with the streamers from the bow at the top of the wreath.

DIY boxwood wreath www.ruckusandrubies.com

That’s all there is to it! I couldn’t believe how it turned out. It’s a lovely and welcoming addition to our front door.

DIY #boxwood wreath www.ruckus

You may want to use your shears to trim branches on the wreath and make them look more even, but I prefer mine to look more natural so I did not trim it much. To keep the branches fresh, simply spritz them with a little water every couple of days. I hope you enjoy creating the easiest wreath you’ll ever make–this DIY Boxwood wreath!

Valentine’s Decorating on a Budget

valentineornament closeupAfter the expense of decorating for Christmas, your budget may be a little tight for Valentine’s Day. Today I thought I’d share some budget Valentine decorations with you.  My style is–how would I describe my style? It’s romantic, shabby chic, vintage, traditional-country…well you get the idea.

I made some precious rosebuds for just a couple of dollars. All you need is:

It doesn’t take much artistic ability to make these roses. All you really have to do is play with the crepe paper a little. Picture a rosebud in your mind, or search for a picture of a rosebud on the internet.

Start by folding the end of the crepe paper like this:

creperoses1

Then gently fold the triangle over to the inside:

crepe paper roses #valentine #crafts #decoratingonabudget www.ruckusandrubies.com

Now gently and without creasing, fold the top of the ribbon toward the back:

creperoses3

Begin rolling the crepe paper making the center of the bud.  As you roll the crepe paper toward you allowing the top of the ribbon to fall a little toward the back, it makes the beginning of a petal:

Next you twist the crepe paper and it creates the division between petals that you see:

crepe paper roses #valentine #crafts #decoratingonabudget www.ruckusandrubies.com

Continue this process loosely rolling and folding until you reach the desired size of your bud. Then you can simply glue the end around the bottom of the bud:

creperoses5

Decide what you’d like to do with the buds.

crepe paper roses #valentine #crafts #decoratingonabudget www.ruckusandrubies.com

I opted to make a flower ball ornament.

valentineornament closeup

Using hot glue, begin gluing each bud to the Styrofoam ball. Be sure to alternate the colors if you’d like a multi-colored ornament, or you can use just one single color:

Tie a knot in the center of a ribbon to give your glue more coverage and glue the knot to the ball. Once the glue has cooled and the ribbon is secure, tie the top of the ribbon into a bow so you can hang it anywhere:

valentine ornament

I made lots of extra buds and used them to scatter throughout my favorite hat box, along with some snowflake Christmas ornaments and silk rose petals leftover from another year. You and your children could make sweet paper snowflake ornaments:

valentine hat box

If you’d rather not make your ornaments, an inexpensive decoration is a lantern. You can use them as intended or fill them with all sorts of holiday trinkets. I use my lantern throughout my home as well as on my front porch. I just change the decorations on the inside and sometimes I put a bow on the top. Here’s one I used last year as my centerpiece:

valentine lantern

I just adore vintage Valentines. I found these online and printed them. I attached them to some burlap and used some brown twine to make a Valentine garland. I added a few red polka dot bows between the Valentines. Nothing fancy, but so precious:

valentine garland

If you have a Silhouette you use Silhouette graphics to make adorable Valentine plates. This graphic is really pretty:

Valentine Plate

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know birds are a passion of mine. This lovebird graphic goes well with the monogram of my husband and myself:

valentine plate 2

You could make a wooden or cardstock sign with a Silhouette, too!

valentine sign

Remember, you don’t have to have a big budget to fill your home with reminders of God’s love and your love for your family!  My favorite craft projects are those traditional, all time-favorites using everyday materials from my home, gathering around the table with my sweet family making memories!

One Essential Craft Tool – Endless Possibilities

 

Crafting reaps so very many benefits; it’s fun and therapeutic. The most important reason I craft is because I’m frugral (cheap!). You’d be surprised just how much money I can save by making things myself instead of purchasing them.

Even though God created all of us with imagination and abilities, I have to admit I’m no Martha Stewart. There is a limit to my creativity; sometimes I run out of ideas.  Pinterest is a wonderful resource for gaining inspiration. As of this moment, I have thousands and thousands of pins for craft ideas.

My abilities are also limited. No matter what I do, sometimes my craft projects are crooked, off center, and downright sloppy. I can’t cut straight. I have broken more than one sewing machine. I just don’t have an abundance of artistic ability.

My heart is in it–I ADORE making things. I just feel inadequate with limited ability, resources, storage space, money for supplies.

This Christmas, my precious son and my sweet husband surprised me with a Silhouette CAMEO. In my spare time, which is also limited, I’ve been learning how to use it. There are multitudes of tutorials online which has been very helpful. I’ve made some great projects so far; it’s been one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.

There are endless possibilities with the Silhouette Cameo:

  • Words mean so much to me; I cherish lyrics to songs, Bible verses, inspirational quotes. No longer do I have to try to paint or write words free-handed. The Silhouette takes care of all of that for me:

sign

  • Instead of going out and purchasing holiday decorations, you can always make your own with the Silhouette. It cuts vinyl as well as paper and fabric so you can make just about any decoration your heart desires. Silhouette America has tons of inexpensive graphics. When you purchase a Silhouette Cameo it comes with free downloads, and if you get a bundle you usually get downloads with multiple items in the bundle. The graphic used in the plate below is from the Silhouette Store:

Valentine Plate

  • Not only can you make vinyl letters to go on anything imaginable, you can also use your Silhouette to make diecut pieces for scrapbooking, greeting cards, tags, and more:

gift-tags-1049334_1920

  • You can also use your Silhouette to draw pictures simply by replacing the cutting blade in the machine with Silhouette Sketch Pen Starter Kit.
  • Monogramming is a Southern Belle thing, and something I have always loved. You can monogram walls, mailboxes, notebooks, stemware, mugs, anything your little heart desires:

monogram

pantry

  • My family loves graphic t-shirts. With Heat Transfer Vinyl you can design and make your own t-shirts like these:

tshirt

  • Since the Silhouette is multifunctional, I don’t have to have near the storage space for a ton of different craft tools. I am just getting started so I will need more vinyl storage eventually. For right now, this is my silhouette crafting space:

silhouette storage

I hate to point out my mistakes, but the inspiration box holding my vinyl was one of my first projects. The crooked lettering was completely my fault and part of my learning curve. I’ve gotten much better at it!

If you are thinking of purchasing a Silhouette Cameo, I would go with a bundle option. They are much more economical and you get all of the supplies you need to get started. This is one similar to the one I was gifted and I think my son and husband made an excellent choice, but this particular one comes with more than mine like glitter pens and two blades: Silhouette CAMEO Starter Bundle with Vinyl Kit.

I am enjoying the ability to personalize gifts for friends and family and decorating my home. It’s inspired me to pray about opening my own Etsy craft shop too! This is one amazing craft tool that delivers endless possibilities!