Found, Free, and Fabulous
A backyard makeover does not have to break the bank. By asking friends, searching the Internet, and using objects found in the yard, these California homeowners transformed a bleak backyard into a lush getaway.
An inexpensive outdoor area rug blooms thanks to an oversize floral stencil and some bright paint.
A ceiling medallion coated with exterior paint brightens a table and holds down a tablecloth on a windy day.
Graphic stencils and paint in happy hues give plain terra-cotta pots sunny dispositions.
Bring the Indoors Out
A small rectangle of chalkboard paint on a ceramic pot is a perfect place to ID a fresh herb for a table garden.
Touch of Nature
Wall art constructed from plywood, exterior-grade paint, and a double coat of sealer provides interest on a privacy fence.
A botanical motif stenciled on an outdoor pillow continues the nature-inspired decorating scheme.
Plain white ceramic windowsill planters become perky utensil holders for dining outdoors when customized with brightly colored paint pens.
Fun and Functional
Small glass jars decoupaged with tissue paper (and shellacked for maximum weather-worthiness) glow when tea lights flicker inside.
Solar-power paper orbs add colorful ambience overhead -- no electricity required.
Light the Way
Battery-power LED lights masquerade as water lilies in the pond.
Candles tucked into lanterns boost the coziness appeal.
Snack Time Outside
Placing the pergola-topped deck as close to the hand-dug pond as possible gives this oasis a docklike feel. Bright bedsheets used as curtains add privacy. A vintage trunk becomes a movable ottoman/coffee table/storage bench with a fresh coat of paint, a set of casters, and a padded top wrapped in festive, weather-resistant vinyl.
Pretty patterned vinyl atop the DIY ottoman (see previous slide for full project) repels spills and moisture. A bright tray holds drinks and snacks.
Pretty and Perky
Materials left over from a home addition provided the bones of this tucked away cottage. Old windows and doors, extra wood, and leftover roofing were used create this charming bonus room.
A shelf outfitted with dollhouse fencing, both found at a crafts store and then painted orange, makes a delightful window box when planted with petunias and pinwheels.
This custom welcome mat project cost less than $25; crafts sticks and inexpensive house numbers from the home store act as masks for the spray paint.
Leftover building material also provided a new space for the family dog. A removable roof makes it easy to clean.
Chalkboard paint applied to a dog dish further customizes the pup's playground.