Category Archives: Outdoors

Beautiful Backyard Blogger Series

Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-10

We’re so excited to be a part of the Beautiful Backyard Blogger series hosted by our friend Stefanie from Brooklyn Limestone. She invited us to share our outdoor spaces and since we ALWAYS love collaborating with other bloggers, we were SO excited for the invitation and quickly replied, “OF COURSE!!”

Not only are we excited to share a few mini updates from each of our patios, but we are even more excited to check out the inspiring backyards of this talented group of bloggers. A new outdoor space will be revealed everyday for the next 2 weeks…so definitely check out Stefanie’s blog so you don’t miss a single beautiful backyard.

Let’s Review

We’re pretty sure most of you already know the details about Casey’s balcony and Bridget’s patio, but for all of the newbie DIY Playbookers tuning in, here’s a mini review of what we’ve done so far in each of our “backyards”.

augusta-balcony-before

Casey’s city balcony was pretty “blah” when she moved in last October, and she didn’t put much love into it until late spring when she revealed her gorgeous new patio furniture! Because it’s kind of shaped like a triangle, the space was a little tricky to figure out. But after she enlisted the math mind of Mr. Finn and did lots of research (in true Casey fashion), her balcony is more gorgeous than ever!patio_before-001

Bridget’s patio was non-existent when she moved into her house. It was a mess of dirt, weeds, rocks, and tree roots. What is now a door leading out to this space, used to be just a window. She had the door cut in and hired a landscaping crew to put in an extensive drainage system around her property… which resulted in having zero grass for months. Little by little the grass seeds grew, the patio was laid, flowers were planted and this non-existent space is now a spacious patio.

Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s take a look at how these spaces are looking today.

Casey

balcony-overhead-shot-patioAs you can see, our patio has come a loooong way since we moved into our city condo. What was once bare and boring, is now full of life and makes for a great outdoor living space!planter-boxes-hanging-flowersThe last time we chatted about this space, we had yet to plant any flowers. At the end of May, the Director of Botany (my husband’s self-proclaimed title) added 2 flower boxes and a big flower planter to this space. flowers-patio

While I had full faith in his gardening abilities, I am blown away by how lush, green, and ALIVE our flowers still are 2 months later! They’re blooming and make our patio space that much more cozy and inviting. patio-balcony-wide-furnitureSince we live in a building with 4 other units, I love how the plants and flowers provide a little extra privacy. Not that we don’t heart our neighbors (they’re all actually awesome!), but it’s nice to have a little privacy when you’re outside enjoying a summer night.

palm-tree-patio

We also added 2 palm trees out here to provide even more privacy…but they’re not doing so great. I think they’re getting too much sun, but we’re hoping they pull through. (It was only a matter of time that my black thumb would somehow ruin a few plants out here…)

wide-shot-patio

Because outdoor space is such a premium in a big city like Chicago, we are very grateful for our little slice of the great outdoors. That’s why you’ll most likely find us out here on weekends grilling, playing games, and just soaking up these warm summer days. coffee-table-balcony-patio

Lanterns, candles, and our patio string lights really illuminate this space when the sun goes down, and that’s my favorite time to come out here to relax. plants-outdoors-patio-balconyThere’s just something so peaceful about sitting outside with the sounds of the city and summer all around you. Plus a cocktail in hand doesn’t hurt either!

Bridget
Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-5

From no patio at all, to this colorful outdoor retreat has been quite the journey over the past three years. Every summer I feel like our patio becomes home to more and more outdoor memories. We love having family and friends over (although we don’t do it nearly as often as we should!) to BBQ and enjoy the gorgeous summer nights.
Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-2I try to fill this space with as many plants as I can… the more color and vegetation the better!
Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-3Outside of the plants, I add a few simple accessories to make this space feel personal & more like an outdoor room. I choose items that can easily stay outside for the summer and don’t need much maintenance (like this quirky yet adorable garden gnome). <— His name is Norm if you’re wondering.
Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-10We leave the furniture out all spring, summer and fall, but don’t leave the pillows or cushions out if the forecast suggests rain. Since it’s outdoor fabric, we technically can leave everything outside, but keeping the cushions and pillows in the garage during rainy days has really helped with longevity. We’ve had the patio furniture for over three years and it still looks as good as new!
Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-16I switch out the rug every year(ish) and usually wait until early fall to buy a new one that’s marked WAY down for the season. This navy 8×10 rug was a steal from Target’s clearance section last fall and has definitely brought new life to our patio this year.

But as much as I loved it when I bought it, I’ve had a bit of design regret this season. I’ve learned that bold, busy rugs may be gorgeous but aren’t necessarily my style for the long run. I found out the hard way that I’m more of a neutral, light rug kinda girl. But instead of seeing this as a design fail, I’m chalking it up as a lesson learned. Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-7I continue to see myself being drawn toward more neutrals (especially after seeing Casey’s black and white balcony). Slowly but surely, I’m trying to bring more neutrals into this space. In the meantime, I am working hard to make the best of what I already have and embrace the color.
Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-13I am still in LOVE with the faux wood flower boxes I installed last year (even though drilling into the brick to install them was a doozy). That project has been well worth it in the long run. From June through September-ish, these flower boxes are exploding with gorgeous flowers.  Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-20We originally bought this patio set because it’s so comfortable and offers a lot of seating. Since then, we’ve added two other cream chairs and the two toned stool that doubles as a mini table (both last fall from Target’s super clearance section). With this set-up we can easily seat 10 people on this furniture comfortably. <— the ottomans make for comfortable seats when we have people over.
Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-19And when we aren’t entertaining, these big chairs are super comfortable to kick up your feet and relax. But to be perfectly honest, Matt and I don’t sit out here NEARLY as much as we should.  Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-21Bridget_Patio_Furniture_flowers_plants-26When we do sit out here we look out into our backyard and reminisce about how much this space has changed since we moved in. I still have more plans for the patio/backyard, but I try to focus on what we’ve accomplished, rather than what’s still left on the to-do list. And when I do that I’m quickly reminded of how far this patio has come and how grateful I am to have this outdoor space.

To see all of the gorgeous backyards in the series, head on over to Brooklyn Limestone for the complete list of spaces. Some serious eye candy happening on over there…Bridget and Casey Signature

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16 thoughts on “Beautiful Backyard Blogger Series

  1. Summer Hogan

    Love of your spaces! Decks and patios are my all-time favorite! I can’t wait until it cools off enough here to use them again 🙂

    Reply
  2. Erin

    what flowers is Casey using on her balcony? my flower choices were a HUGE HUGE fail this year.

    also totally off the point, my husband and i bought the gel foam mattress, it’s to arrive on friday. did you guys buy a mattress cover? if so, where?

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      They’re wave petunias that love full sun! It gets very hot & sunny out there during the day, but they’re thriving!

      No need for a mattress cover. We just put our fitted sheet right over it and call it a day. So excited to hear you bought one! Can’t wait to hear if you like it.

  3. DIY Playbook

    Casey got her set from Wayfair and Bridget got hers from Home Decorator’s Collection (both online). This is the perfect time to buy patio furniture on sale. We hope you can find something you love without spending a ton!!

    Reply
  4. DIY Playbook

    I hear ya, Sheila! Ours could definitely be worse but I do use my grass blower to blow off the patio as often as I can. Branches, pine needles, dirt –you name it, it finds its way to our patio. How do you keep up with yours?!

    Reply
    1. Sheila

      I try to clean everything off every week – but that is getting tougher with the temps close to 1000 degrees here 🙂 Love your blog and all the great ideas!

  5. Ana

    I love how you ladies made the most of your spaces! They look beautiful. I’m dreaming of the day when I’ll have some outdoor space to call my own!

    BetterThanRamen.net

    Reply

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16 thoughts on “Beautiful Backyard Blogger Series

  1. Summer Hogan

    Love of your spaces! Decks and patios are my all-time favorite! I can’t wait until it cools off enough here to use them again 🙂

    Reply
  2. Erin

    what flowers is Casey using on her balcony? my flower choices were a HUGE HUGE fail this year.

    also totally off the point, my husband and i bought the gel foam mattress, it’s to arrive on friday. did you guys buy a mattress cover? if so, where?

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      They’re wave petunias that love full sun! It gets very hot & sunny out there during the day, but they’re thriving!

      No need for a mattress cover. We just put our fitted sheet right over it and call it a day. So excited to hear you bought one! Can’t wait to hear if you like it.

  3. DIY Playbook

    Casey got her set from Wayfair and Bridget got hers from Home Decorator’s Collection (both online). This is the perfect time to buy patio furniture on sale. We hope you can find something you love without spending a ton!!

    Reply
  4. DIY Playbook

    I hear ya, Sheila! Ours could definitely be worse but I do use my grass blower to blow off the patio as often as I can. Branches, pine needles, dirt –you name it, it finds its way to our patio. How do you keep up with yours?!

    Reply
    1. Sheila

      I try to clean everything off every week – but that is getting tougher with the temps close to 1000 degrees here 🙂 Love your blog and all the great ideas!

  5. Ana

    I love how you ladies made the most of your spaces! They look beautiful. I’m dreaming of the day when I’ll have some outdoor space to call my own!

    BetterThanRamen.net

    Reply

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Faux Wood Flower Box Tutorial

supplies-flower-boxes

Disclaimer: This is by far one of my LEAST favorite DIY projects in the history of the DIY Playbook. Even though I’ll go back to the normal positive tone after this rant, don’t let anything about this post make you believe that this wasn’t the most ANNOYING and FRUSTRATING process ever. For one reason and one reason alone– drilling into concrete/brick is absolutely awful. And unlike I was, do not be fooled by the YouTube videos that make the process look graceful and simple. Not. Even. Close.

More like a ____(insert swear word here)______  MESS!

Now that we got that negativity out of the way, let’s get back on the positive train and proceed with today’s project, shall we? Faux Wood Flower Boxes.

IMG_2519A part of my summer DIY to-do list was to incorporate some charming flower boxes under my windows. I love the look of flower boxes but didn’t love the price tag that came along with real wood flower boxes. And quite honestly, May has been the craziest month EVERRR so I was not in the game to completely DIY wood flower boxes on the cheap.

So after a little internet research and not finding a cheap alternative, I stumbled upon these cheap plastic boxes at our local hardware store. At $9 a pop, these were more in my price range, yet the orange-y plastic look wasn’t going to cut it against the red brick. Enter brown spray paint. IMG_2554I gave these plastic flower boxes TWO coats of spray paint just to make sure they were completely covered.IMG_2557Eventually I flipped the boxes and spray painted the inside of each of them as well. Somehow the plastic-look was gone and these boxes transformed into giant KitKat bars and every time I look at this photo I immediately crave chocolate. Anyone else see it?IMG_2566I put a coat of that same brown spray paint on the brackets I bought as well. Each package of brackets (good to hold one flower box) cost about $9, making the total for each flower box and hardware combo $20-ish. This project definitely isn’t free, but considering that one wood box can cost upwards of $50, I’d say I did pretty well cutting down the cost. IMG_2863Let me re-emphasize one more time… do NOT let this picture allow you to think, “wow, that doesn’t look too hard to do, I can totally tackle this project after work one day”. I made that mistake so you don’t have to. After literally FOUR trips to our local hardware store in one evening, I was very close to throwing those oversized KitKats in the garbage. But having already invested a little over $100 in the project for 6 window boxes, I couldn’t bring myself to throwing that money down the drain. After some frantic calls home to my dad and lots of swearing, I was finally able to secure these bad boys to the brick (about 5 days later).

A few tips when drilling into concrete:

1. Use Concrete Screws
2. … and a Concrete Drill Bit
3. Use Lots of Muscle
4. .. and a hammer
5. Drill into the mortar (aka the brick’s “grout”) as much as you can so you can avoid drilling into solid brick.
6. When drilling into the mortar, don’t tighten the screw too much or you’ll “blow out the mortar” and have to start OVER. (Again, I made the mistake so you don’t have to)

Literally it’s been about a month of having these babies up and even though they feel sturdy to the touch, I continue to have nightmares that I’ll come home someday and the brackets will be broken off.

IMG_2545unnamed-1Knock on wood, all flower boxes are still currently hanging (and filled with flowers!).

IMG_2551IMG_2853I had two sets of double windows where I had to hang two flower boxes instead of one (3 inches down from the bottom of the window to the top of the flower box is what is recommended online). So on top of what a freaking NIGHTMARE these things are to hang, you have to try to make sure both boxes are level with each other. <– add insult to injury why don’t you flower boxes. Rude.

When all was said and done, I don’t think they’re exactly perfect, but in my eyes, they’re as close as they’re going to get. And although I will probably continue to curse this project until the day we move out, I am pretty proud of myself for sticking with it and figuring it out… all by myself.
IMG_2841IMG_2868Now all that was left to do to these flower boxes was to add flowers. I tossed some coffee filters on top of the holes so that dirt didn’t leak out when I watered them and filled each of them up with potting soil.
IMG_2871Lesson Learned: Drilling into to concrete is officially my worst enemy. I hope we never have to work together again…. like ever.

But now that the hard part is over, let’s switch gears away from all of this complaining. See the flower boxes WITH flowers hereIMG_4491IMG_4525FlowerBox
Bridget Signature

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Our Summer Chicago Balcony

Balcony-Makeover
Earlier this week, I showed you guys how I re-screened our patio door all by myself. Can you tell I’m proud? Now that we have a working screen door there was no excuse for the sad state of our balcony.
Balcony before
Since we moved here in October, we haven’t been able to fully appreciate this cozy outdoor space. That’s because it was one heck of a winter, and there was no way we were going to freeze our tooshies off out here.  We threw some old patio furniture and a rug out there and called it a day. The only real update the balcony ever received was our new grill.
Well when the temps finally (finally!) turned, it was time to add a little life and color to this dull and dreary balcony.
balcony makeover
Since much of our home is pretty neutral (lots of tan, gray, and small hints of blue) I knew that I wanted to infuse some color into the space. Bring on the pinks, yellows, and bright blues!
Fresh flower pots really helped with my color mission.
flower pot and watering can
I purchased these 2 gorgeous pots and I’m obsessed with the bright fuchsia color. It adds just the right pop of pink to the balcony. I’m hoping my brown thumb doesn’t get in the way of these, because they truly are gorgeous. I’m going to keep watering with my adorable watering can (from Target) and fingers crossed these flowers last all summer long!
pink flowers
red kenmore grill

Our grill is still chilling on the left side of our balcony. The red color doesn’t exactly match my color scheme, but I’m just happy to have a little color and life out here. Plus, this grill has truly been fantastic. We use it all the time and grill a bunch of chicken and veggies every week. I just know we’ll continue to fire this thing up throughout the summertime.

grill supplies
pellegrino
I did purchase a few outdoor accessories from HomeGoods to really brighten up the space. The yellow citronella candle keeps the bugs at bay. Plus it’s nice and heavy, so I can leave it outside and not worry about it blowing over.
pillow and blanket on balcony
The turquoise place mats are a personal fave because they’re sturdy and won’t blow away either! I have some other fabric place mats and they just wouldn’t stay still during windy dinners. These add some fun color, pattern, and texture when I set our bistro table.
The geometric rug brightens up the dull concrete ground, and so far it’s holding up fine in the weather. I wish I would have purchased a slightly larger rug for the space, but I’m just happy to have something out here.
summer pink drink
It’s safe to say I’m in love with our little outdoor oasis. It may be small, but there’s nothing like pouring a summer cocktail and sitting out here to people watch…
chicago skyline view
…and take in the gorgeous city skyline. Cheers to summer!
Casey DIY Playbook
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How to Pick the Perfect Front Door Color

Colored Door

Painting our front door has always been on my to-do list. Since the day we moved in, I knew I wanted a colorful front door that was bold, unique and set our home apart from the rest on the block. Unfortunately a year and a half later, the door was still on the to-do list & still white.

Not that I didn’t appreciate white or don’t love a crisp, white door… I just knew I wanted a pop of color! What pop of color should it be exactly? That’s where I was stuck! Some days I wanted yellow, some days I wanted navy, I even tossed a few shades of gray into the mix at one point or another. The problem wasn’t necessarily getting the door painted, but more so picking the color to make it happen (all with the approval of my darlin’ hubby that wasn’t always sold on a bright door, or any colored door for that matter).

The more I researched stalked the blogosphere, the more I was able to eventually identify my philosophy on colored doors, which gradually gave me the confidence to pick a color & check this job off the to-do list once and for all.

Thanks to a post from one of one of my all-time fav bloggers, Dana from House*Tweaking, I agreed that a colored door should give the neighborhood a little hint of what they would find in your home. The door selection should be an extension of the “flavor” of your home. Dana was so right! How did I not think of that before?! And just like that, my decision was made.
I love a yellow door… but yellow isn’t necessarily the “feel” of my home.

I love a navy door… but was navy the overwhelming color in my home? Hmm… not exactly.

A blue-ish/teal-ish door… well, I had never really thought about that before, but wow… how spot-on to my home’s “style”. So just like that… blue it was! Blue was the color that would give that sweet lady walking her dog each morning a peek into what our home was all about.

I chose Benjamin Moore’s Covington Blue to be exact. The door required TWO coats of paint over two days.
Clearly, one coat just didn’t cover evenly.

But because we loved our Covington Blue so much, we didn’t stop there. Surprise, Surprise…

We painted the inside too!

A big difference from what it looked like when we first moved in, huh?

We love, love, love the new color it brings to our space and think that it flows perfectly with our blue accents. Yes, the door is a little bold & outside of our comfort zone, but we could not be more excited about the change! Even Matt is a fan & has converted to Team Colored Door! (Another accomplishment I can check off of my to-do list).

If you follow us on Instagram, you probably already heard this. For those of you who do not have Instagram, I wish to leave you with one final thought.

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
A door.
A door, who?
A-door-a-blue

I know, I know…. I’ll stick to my day job. I just couldn’t pass that one up.

Bridget Signature
Come check out all of the paint colors in our homes in this post!
paint-colors

 

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20 thoughts on “How to Pick the Perfect Front Door Color

  1. Louise

    That looks amazing. I love that you painted the inside, too. I’m curious where the door was during the serious dry/cure time. Did you take the door off to paint it, and if so, how long was it down?

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Louise! Between you and I, I actually kept the door on the hinges to paint it. I taped around the hardware and painted both sides at once. Then I kept the door slightly open for a few hours with a fan blowing on it. Overnight, I closed it & locked it… but was careful touching it in order to give it extra time to cure for a few days. (Still didn’t add the wreath, just in case!). Good luck!

  2. Louise

    That looks amazing. I love that you painted the inside, too. I’m curious where the door was during the serious dry/cure time. Did you take the door off to paint it, and if so, how long was it down?

    Reply
  3. DIY Playbook

    Thanks Louise! Between you and I, I actually kept the door on the hinges to paint it. I taped around the hardware and painted both sides at once. Then I kept the door slightly open for a few hours with a fan blowing on it. Overnight, I closed it & locked it… but was careful touching it in order to give it extra time to cure for a few days. (Still didn’t add the wreath, just in case!). Good luck!

    Reply
  4. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I LOVE THIS! Oh – guess what! We just bought a house!! I think I wanna paint our new door this color too 🙂 Just gotta sell it to Kyle!

    Reply
  5. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I LOVE THIS! Oh – guess what! We just bought a house!! I think I wanna paint our new door this color too 🙂 Just gotta sell it to Kyle!

    Reply
  6. Rachel S

    Hi! I was wondering if the Covington Blue is mixed to 100%. Also what finish the paint is, if you remember. Thank you! 🙂

    Reply
  7. Emily Moothart

    Hello,
    I love your door – not only the color, but the actual DOOR! I was wondering if you have any idea where it was purchased, or where I might find one similar? Thanks so much! 🙂

    Reply

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20 thoughts on “How to Pick the Perfect Front Door Color

  1. Louise

    That looks amazing. I love that you painted the inside, too. I’m curious where the door was during the serious dry/cure time. Did you take the door off to paint it, and if so, how long was it down?

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Louise! Between you and I, I actually kept the door on the hinges to paint it. I taped around the hardware and painted both sides at once. Then I kept the door slightly open for a few hours with a fan blowing on it. Overnight, I closed it & locked it… but was careful touching it in order to give it extra time to cure for a few days. (Still didn’t add the wreath, just in case!). Good luck!

  2. Louise

    That looks amazing. I love that you painted the inside, too. I’m curious where the door was during the serious dry/cure time. Did you take the door off to paint it, and if so, how long was it down?

    Reply
  3. DIY Playbook

    Thanks Louise! Between you and I, I actually kept the door on the hinges to paint it. I taped around the hardware and painted both sides at once. Then I kept the door slightly open for a few hours with a fan blowing on it. Overnight, I closed it & locked it… but was careful touching it in order to give it extra time to cure for a few days. (Still didn’t add the wreath, just in case!). Good luck!

    Reply
  4. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I LOVE THIS! Oh – guess what! We just bought a house!! I think I wanna paint our new door this color too 🙂 Just gotta sell it to Kyle!

    Reply
  5. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I LOVE THIS! Oh – guess what! We just bought a house!! I think I wanna paint our new door this color too 🙂 Just gotta sell it to Kyle!

    Reply
  6. Rachel S

    Hi! I was wondering if the Covington Blue is mixed to 100%. Also what finish the paint is, if you remember. Thank you! 🙂

    Reply
  7. Emily Moothart

    Hello,
    I love your door – not only the color, but the actual DOOR! I was wondering if you have any idea where it was purchased, or where I might find one similar? Thanks so much! 🙂

    Reply

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Polka Dot Holiday Door Mat

polkadot mat
Back by popular demand…a door mat tutorial that will dress up your porch just in time for Santa’s arrival. Because our fall herringbone door mat tutorial was such a hit, we had to try our hand at a holiday DIY doormat.  As far as we’re concerned, once Santa lays his eyes on this beauty, he’ll want to skip the chimney thing all together and waltz right through your front door. But do you blame him?
DIY holiday doormat
Although we heart herringbone here at the DIY Playbook, we are also loving the falling polka dot trend that has been spotted (literally) all over the blogosphere these days.
Plus, the polka dots resemble falling snow, which seems fitting for this time of year. Oh, and the fact that the falling polka dot design takes about ten times LESS than the herringbone doormat is quite the selling point, especially during this crazy time of year. Cute, cheap and less than 20 minutes… are you sold or what?
plain doormat

I started this DIY with a plain, $8 door mat from Home Depot.

door mat supplies

I also bought a bottle of acrylic paint in each color and three round sponge paintbrushes (one slightly larger than the other two) all from JoAnn Fabrics.

Rookie Tip: I ended up using the entire bottle of white, I mean like seriously every.single.last drop. Since the bottles are each less than a dollar, I would recommend buying more than one bottle of the color you paint on with the largest paint brush. Or heck, buy two of each of the bottles if you want to get reaaallll crazy! #yoursecretissafewithme 

white paint
Once you have all of your supplies, allow yourself less than 20 minutes to get this project done. Yup, you read that right…. your doormat will be on the drying rack in no time! I mean seriously, this project is QUICK! And if you do it outside in the dead of December, the bitter cold may motivate you to get this doggone door mat dotted in record timing.
steps to dotting a door mat
1. After dipping your sponge in the white paint, stamp the rug and push the sponge down with some pressure. Hold the sponge down then wiggle it around slightly.
2. Release the pressure
3. Admire your work
4. Repeat
The good news best news ever: if when you stamp your dot, the paint does not cover as perfectly as you had hoped… you can re-do your stamp without losing the original shape as many times as you want!

Honestly, there was no rhyme or reason to the placement of my white dots. I just wanted to have more dots on top of the mat and try to slowly use less and less dots as I moved down the mat.

dot doormat
white polka dot doormat

I really like the plain white dots and probably would have been okay stopping here, but my mitten-less fingers weren’t frozen yet & I still had two bottles of paint that I didn’t want to waste, so I kept on dotting…

white dots on doormat
red sponge
I used the smaller sponge with the red paint and used a few less dots than I had with the white.

Using the same method as before, the red dots took me less than 5 minutes. Again, no rhyme or reason just aimed for a random “falling” polka dot effect.

polka dot doormat

Using the remaining smaller sponge (same size as the red), I finished off the polka dotted door mat with hints of Christmas green.

As far as I’m concerned, this 20 minute DIY door mat is POPPIN’! 
This polka dottin’ doormat could make the perfect hostess gift, could sneak on to your BFF’s front porch for a very “secret santa”, or could help ring in the new year with a new color scheme!!
For less than $14 & 20 minutes of your precious time…. how could you go wrong?! You can’t!
Now don’t be nervous about tackling this DIY doormat, it’s one project that’s pretty simple to connect the dots… Happy dottin’ my fellow rookies!

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Herringbone Doormat Tutorial

doormat

Today we have a fall inspired DIY project that we know you’re gonna love!

We take a cheap doormat and instantly glam it up for fall with some tape and paint. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Home depot plain doormat
To get started, you’ll obviously need a plain doormat. We bought ours for a whopping $8 at our local Home Depot, but I’m sure any large retailer would carry these simple slates.
Acrylic paint
You’ll also need painter’s tape, sponge brushes (34 cents at Michael’s), and acrylic paint (3 for $1 @ Michael’s). Overall, the mat & materials totaled less than $14. That’s what we like to call a big league SCORE in our Playbook!
Plain doormat with painter's tape

The first and most difficult part of this doormat makeover is taping the herringbone design onto the mat. But let’s be real here… if us DIY Rookies handled it, we know that you can too!

Start by equally sectioning off the area with pieces of horizontal painter’s tape. Our strips were 14 centimeters apart- just make sure your measurements work for your mat.

Blue painter's tape

Rookie Tip: the tape may not seem to stick perfectly on the mat… that’s normal! Try your best to make sure the tape is secured as much as possible to the mat, but if it doesn’t seem perfect… it’s okay!

Taping diagonally

Then measure across both horizontal tape lines in increments of 3 inches. Lay a new layer of tape, diagonally hitting the three inch mark that is one mark across and one mark down from the initial one. If we haven’t lost you yet… you’re a rock-star.

If we have lost you, just ignore me and let the pictures do the explaining… We’re making this far more complicated than it needs to be. In short: tape diagonal lines across the mat evenly.

Herringbone painter's tape pattern
We then took a razor blade to detach the diagonal tape lines in the middle section of the rug. Once we cut them (in the middle only), we flipped each piece so it was attached to the outside tape lines just in the opposite direction. If you don’t get a clean cut initially, you may have to tear some more tape and attach a fresh piece instead. We promise it gets much easier from here on out…
Dabbing paint
We randomly painted each square with our acrylic paints. We tried to come up with some sort of color pattern, but that ultimately made our brains hurt. So we just figured out the colors as we went.
It’s important that you dab, dab, dab the paint rather than wiping it. Dabbing will ensure that the paint won’t sneak under the painter’s tape and you’ll get fresh, crisp lines.
Painting pattern
After all of the boxes were painted, we waited for the paint to dry and slowly peeled away the tape. Thanks to our precise dabbing, our lines were as crisp as a fresh sunburn after a long day at the beach. Bridget’s extra pale skin knows this story all too well… trust us.
Herringbone pattern tutorial
Ta-daaaa!! Feast your eyes on our festive fall doormat.
Fall Doormat
We love that this simple craft adds some fun fall color, texture, and function to the porch.
painted doormat tutorial
Fall herringbone doormat
Now it’s your turn! We invite you to go create your own festive mat, and show off your style before anyone even walks into your home.fall-herringbone-door-mat-diyBridget and Casey Signature
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10 thoughts on “Herringbone Doormat Tutorial

  1. Pingback: Polka Dot Holiday Door Mat | DIY Playbook

  2. Pingback: How to Paint Herringbone Curtains | DIY Playbook

    1. DIY Playbook

      Monica,
      That would be a pretty terrible doormat if the paint came off from just rubbing your feet! Nope, it stays on there just fine. We’ve used it for over a year and while the paint has faded from wear and tear…it certainly hasn’t come off.
      Happy Crafting!
      Casey

  3. Guest

    Tired this myself… LOVE IT!!!! The mat is from Target and already had the black pattern down the middle. Looks incredible on the porch!!!

    Reply

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10 thoughts on “Herringbone Doormat Tutorial

  1. Pingback: Polka Dot Holiday Door Mat | DIY Playbook

  2. Pingback: How to Paint Herringbone Curtains | DIY Playbook

    1. DIY Playbook

      Monica,
      That would be a pretty terrible doormat if the paint came off from just rubbing your feet! Nope, it stays on there just fine. We’ve used it for over a year and while the paint has faded from wear and tear…it certainly hasn’t come off.
      Happy Crafting!
      Casey

  3. Guest

    Tired this myself… LOVE IT!!!! The mat is from Target and already had the black pattern down the middle. Looks incredible on the porch!!!

    Reply

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Jan’s Outdoor Retreat

I love my mom’s house. It’s quiet and peaceful, and acts as a wonderful retreat from the outside world.

But, I’m talking about the inside of her home. The outside…well that doesn’t have the same “retreat-like” feeling going on. (Sorry Mom!)

She has a fantastic deck and backyard…but it’s very bare, and was in major need of some furniture. I begged my mom to let me help her spruce things up and create an outdoor room for her to enjoy all summer long.

But this deck makeover wasn’t just for Janimal. I’ve been dying to spruce up an outdoor area, and since we have absolutely zero outdoor space (no deck, no balcony, nothing)…I’m living vicariously through my mother.

Luckily she gave in to my decorating fantasies, and with a little help from the Home Decorator’s Collection…we spruced up her deck in 1 weekend.

Before and After Deck transformation outdoor living room

Pretty colorful and fantastic, right?!

Outdoor Patio Furniture Martha Stewart Living Home Decorators Collection

After looking all over the place for some decently priced outdoor furniture, we ended up going with this set from the Home Decorators Collection.  The price is fair and it even comes with the cushions (we chose the color “oatmeal”)

Home Decorators Collection Martha Stewart Living Patio Set Lake Adela

We were incredibly happy with our purchase. The furniture is high quality and the cushions are durable.

Jan even found a storage container that fits all of the cushions. If a storm is coming, or she knows she’ll be away for a few days…in they go.

We’re thinking this will help keep those bad boys lookin’ fresh for many summers to come!

Orange striped pillow home decorators collection

Once we had the basics, it was all about adding pops of color. Orange seemed to be the perfect accent color for the project.

Deck with patio furniture and orange accents

We even got a matching umbrella for the dining table set she already owns. It definitely gives the deck a cohesive look, without being overly matchy-matchy.

Watermelon and water

So what do ya say? Wanna come over for some sun and relaxation?!

Jan's New Outdoor Retreat
Happy weekend! Can’t wait to see you back Monday… we have lots & lots of variety planned. #getexcited
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4 thoughts on “Jan’s Outdoor Retreat

    1. Annie Lee

      Thanks! I’m stuck between the weathered gray and charcoal…still trying to decide. The porch looks great the way you did it!

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4 thoughts on “Jan’s Outdoor Retreat

    1. Annie Lee

      Thanks! I’m stuck between the weathered gray and charcoal…still trying to decide. The porch looks great the way you did it!

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Top 10 Tips for Flower Shopping

Before homeownership, spring meant something completely different to me than it does now. I used to look forward to spring break plans, new summer fashion trends filling the shelves of every local department store, and the tease of summer vacation just around the corner! 
As a new homeowner, my spring break plans are non-existent, a new summer wardrobe is not built into the budget, and there has been no time to think about summer plans just yet. 
Spring has transformed into a time of cleaning windows, installing screens, cutting the lawn, and breathing life into the sad excuse we call landscaping. Thanks to a small road trip to the AMAZING Sunrise Farms in Manteno, IL, Matt and I are officially excited to tackle the very new, very intimidating, very springtime task of…. planting flowers. (Dun, dun, dun)  
Menards flower pots
Because we are planning some major landscaping excavation, we decided not to plant anything into the ground just yet. All we really needed to buy were a few plants to fill some flower pots around our house. How hard could it be? 
Thanks to an amazingly generous and creative new homeowner’s gift from Casey’s mom (thanks Jan!), Matt and I were officially ready to splurge on flowers for our home. The only problem: we are completely clueless when it comes to any and all things garden. 
Still very new to the game, here’s what we have learned so far….
flower cart

1. Get a cart. Like any other successful shopping experiences, it’s definitely important to get a cart.

sunrise farms

2. Use a map. If the greenhouse offers a map… Take one!! The place we visited was HUGE, especially for two people that have no idea where to go, what to look at, or how to go about finding… well anything.

The map helped us navigate each greenhouse and helped identify where we could find specific plants (like ones that needed some shade, ones that needed extra sunlight, ones that needed space…). Who knew plants were so high maintenance? Not me.

sunrise farm signs

3. Read the signs. This greenhouse even had “street signs”… follow them! With the map and the street signs, even rookies like us were bound to stay on track.

sunrise farms

4. Enjoy the beauty! Of course you’re on a mission to buy what you need, but make sure you take time to stop and smell the roses. (#Punintended…Sorry, I couldn’t pass it up). I mean, how amazing is this? Matt and I had such a fabulous time walking around and enjoying the amazing scenery of this place. Partly because we had no idea what to do and partly because the beauty and uniqueness of this farm was incredible…. enjoy it.

sunrise farms selection
how to shop for flowers
How to flower shop
what flowers to buy

5. Ask questions (and lots of them) It’s okay to be a rookie! The more I asked questions, the more I figured out that there’s no right and wrong way when it comes to gardening. Much like decorating the interior of your home, if YOU love it and it works for you… that’s all that really matters. Once your questions are answered, you’ll be more confident to choose a plant combo that you love, rather than the one you think is “right”.

flower baskets

6. Read the labels, but buy what you LOVE. Pick flower baskets that you love and that fit your landscaping needs. There are little informative tags that are found in each basket. Once you find a basket that you l.o.v.e. read the tag to see if the plant’s “needs” fit your yard.

We picked a basket with a tag reading “partial shade”, because our baskets would be in a place with…. you guessed it, PARTIAL SHADE! We’re starting to get a “hang” of this gardening thing. Get it? Ha ha, again… couldn’t resist.

rose photography


7. Think outside of the box! These baskets were so unique, but so much fun! What a great conversation piece to add to your space. Why not try a little something sassy like these baskets o’ sass?

unique flower baskets

8. Bring a buddy! Preferably a stud-ly gentleman that can carry heavy objects, but any buddy will do I guess. Even if your man doesn’t love to garden, the farm trip was definitely something different that turned into a fun date for us. Surrounded by a farm of flowers, I like to think this was similar to a scene out of the Bachelor, minus the champagne of course. Romantic, right?

tips on how to shop for flowers

9. Get ideas by looking around. Use the baskets and surrounding plants to get ideas of what you would like to plant in your own flower pots. I loved the variety of the basket below, so I used this in an inspiration as I picked out my own flowers.

10. Accessorize! Who knew there were so many accessories available to add some decorating personality to the outdoors? These flower pots were only the tip of the garden accessory iceberg. Be creative, have fun, and as always… create a space that you can be proud of!!

buying flower pots
how to pick out a flower pot
If nothing else, I hope these ten tips make you realize that there is NO right and wrong way when it comes to your garden. Rather than focusing on how much you may not know about gardening, be confident in your rookie skills and enjoy the experience! Happy gardening my fellow rookies =)
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