Category Archives: Planters

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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Paint Can Planter

IMG_7170
With Father’s Day quickly approaching, I thought I would stick to tradition and make my favorite dad a little something to personally thank him for not only for being the most amazing man I know, but also, to start to re-pay him for being the most influential DIY coach/fan/assistant I have in my life.
Any question, hesitation, concern, or disaster I get myself into thanks to my lack of DIY knowledge, you can bet that I have my dad to thank for immediately stepping in to help clean up the pieces and get me back on track… all without a bit of hesitation. For the first time in a long time (probably since last year’s gift to be exact), he is on the receiving end of this DIY and not the working end of it. For that reason alone, I know he will LOVE it!
For my favorite DIY coach, I opted to create these paint can planters for him to add to his beloved patio. Not only do these fun lil’ planters capture a mini snapshot of all the DIY aid and assistance my dad tirelessly lends me, but the paint cans also represent him as the hardworking professional he is. Painting Contractor by day; dad, husband, son, brother, coach, therapist, comedian, DIY-er, landscaper, selfless gentleman by night. I hope that when he looks at these sloppy little paint cans, he remembers how thankful all three of his little angels are for everything he does for us- even after a long day of work.
But onto the real question, how can I make one of these myself? Let’s chat about that, first by emphasizing the most important information you will need to know to re-create your own: you do NOT need any artistic talent to successfully re-create these- so get that out of your mind right now. I repeat, you do NOT need any art skills to make one of these adorable paint can planters… You can do this!

All you really need is:

  • 2 paint cans (You can find them for around $4 in the paint section of your local hardware store)
  • Pencil (Sketch the outline of your paint drops)
  • 2 mini paint brushes (one for each color)
  • Paint (Update: I used acrylic paint for this project but would NOT recommend it because of the contact it may have with water. I would recommend using REAL paint. To save money- try & score the mini paint samples at your local hardware store instead of an entire quart)
  • Plants (I used 4 different succulents so my dad won’t have to worry about watering them, and  they seemed a little more “manly”)
  • Soil

The paint drip design really is just as random as it looks. I tentatively sketched an outline of the paint drips on the cans, but really had no specific game plan in mind. As I painted, some of the paint dripped outside of the sketched lines, which worked even more perfectly! My advice on the actual sketching/painting… go with the flow. I have almost no artistic ability at all… so if I can make it look like dripping paint so can you. I promise.

I did use a thick layer of paint to cover the silver bucket. After painting the yellow can, I would recommend using a darker color if possible. I mean, the yellow was do-able, but the green covered easier and was more forgiving with the brush strokes in the long run. Just my opinion though…

Personally, I like that the mini can only had two drips, while the larger can had lots of drips. I think the yellow looks more realistic, which is a bonus since that “look” is super easy to sketch. But as always, do whatever fits your style.

Because these cans were going to double as planters, I added a little drainage hole to the bottom of each using a drill.

Then, I filled these puppies up with some potting soil & topped them off with some succulents. The succulents seem like the perfect mix of manly and low maintenance. I envision my dad adding these to his patio, but hey… maybe he’ll opt to put them inside his office instead?! Whichever he chooses, I hope he loves his new paint cans. Maybe when he retires, we can create a whole garden of paint can planters with his old supplies?! That’ll probably take some convincing…
Happy Father’s Day to one heck of a DIY coach! Once you retire, maybe you can join the DIY Playbook full-time? Think about it…
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Upcycled Planter Box prepares for Winter

Remember when my upcycled planter box looked like this…
Because of the crazy cold winters in Chicago, these poor plants were not looking so hot lately. To welcome Mr. winter into the neighborhood, we transformed that happy summer planter into a winter wonderland that can survive these frigid elements in style. 
Ladies and gentleman, meet our new and improved winter-wonderland-in-a-box. Just when I thought this upcycled planter would never be home to another fake plant as long as it lived…. I was wrong. Yup, those poinsettias are fake. I never thought the day would come when I would ever plant fake flowers, and guess what? I was wrong. And I absolutely would have bet the blog that I would never ever type (and sincerely mean), “I planted fake flowers in front of my house and I love them!” (well at least before the age of 85)… and you’ve guessed it….. wrong, AGAIN! 
Rest assured the greenery is real- straight from our backyard’s pines. The fake poinsettias, red bow & white pine were all Black Friday deals from Menard’s.
I am not usually one to use white pine, but I thought it would be the perfect way to incorporate the white detail on our Christmas wreath and the white detail of my wedding dress (keep reading). So because of the wreath and the wedding…fake white pine it is. 
After arranging the fake plants all together, I put several bricks on top of the stems into the planter to hold them down… goodness knows I don’t want these treasures blowing away on me! I then stuck in the real pine in the back of the box, which gave it a little added height and life. 
Last but not least, I tightly wrapped a black ribbon around the planter and tied the bow to the front of it. To make the bow less droopy, I tied a second piece of ribbon from the front of the box (connected to the bow) going straight through the middle of the box directly to the back of the box. This helped perk up the heavy red bow and worked out perfectly because you can’t see the black ribbon under the sea of fake poinsettias.  
I’m especially excited for our front porch detail (and hints of WHITE) because Matt and I will share our “first look”  on our wedding day right here. Our first home together seems like the perfect place to get our wedding day festivities started… together. I’m banking on these fake flowers staying fresh and perky until then!
Rounding out our little door step detail, is this old-fashioned flyer I scored at a local thrift store for $5!! Can you believe it says Marshall Field’s on it?! My dad thinks it must have been a display sled at one point for the famous retailer because it is in such amazing shape. 
Either way, I’m obsessed with it and love how much it reminds me of trips to Marshall Field’s around Christmas time as a kid. With a little greenery from the neighborhood and some old bells I grabbed at an estate sale, this little treasure it the perfect holiday accent to our door step and it adds a hint of Christmas past.
Fake flowers, a five dollar sled, and a first look- this porch will need a break from all this excitement come spring! 
In less than 2 weeks, I’ll be standing right here in white waiting for my handsome groom.

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Patio Reveal: Before & After Pictures

patiomakeover
(Disclaimer: This post in sponsored by Home Decorators Collection. The information and opinions expressed are 100% our own and are not influenced by HDC.)
 
The patio reveal is finally here (I never thought I’d say that, but man, does it feel good). Thanks to Home Decorators Collection and our all-star landscapers, we finally have a patio! We hope our patio eye candy makes your Friday just a tad brighter.
Before Pictures of Patio
Home Decorators Collection Outdoor Furniture
Home Decorators Collection Patio
patio flowers
crate of pillows on patio
patio pillows
colorful patio
new patio
patio view
colorful patio pillows
colorful patio pillow
Martha Stewart Living
We love everything about our new space- totally worth the wait & dirt. The furniture is so cozy, the accessories bring some happy pops of color, and the space is perfect for soaking up some sun with our favorite people. We really can’t ask for anymore than that. We’re.in.love!
Martha Stewart Living Patio Furniture
old landscaping
new landscaping
old landscaping
old landscaping
new landscaping
patio furniture

Thanks for following us throughout our crazy landscaping makeover (starts ugly, gets uglier, & finally makes some progress).  For our grand finale in this patio series, we have teamed up with HDC to give one of our lucky readers a $150 gift card to the ever fabulous Home Decorators Collection. Sayyyy whhaaattttt?! Yes, you read that right. There may be a $150 HDC shopping spree in your near future. Check out how you can enter (even more than once for our overachievers) below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, and make sure you check out our Facebook page next week as we announce the big winner!  Have a great weekend!!

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36 thoughts on “Patio Reveal: Before & After Pictures

  1. Samantha

    Love the colors, can’t believe the before & afters. I love everything at Home Decorators Collection, it’s hard to decide what I’d spend the $150 on. Maybe Christmas gifts? Yes, I’d spread the HDC love.

    Reply
  2. Deanne Panther

    Bridget, everything looks phenomenal!! You did such a great job decorating the patio, it makes me want to do something with our backyard! There are so many options to choose from at HDC, but I would probably also buy patio furniture since the inside of our house is pretty full as is 😉

    Reply
  3. DIY Playbook

    Ahhhh, thanks Deanne! I’m still trying to figure out a way that we can incorporate your amazing idea of hanging the ladder for outdoor lighting. #obsessed. Maybe next summer we’ll add that to our to-do list.

    Thanks for checking it out!

    Reply
  4. Michelle

    What a great redo! LOVE the patio furniture and your styling. I would love to bring some HDC style to our new home – our future deck will need some seating (and style!).

    Reply
  5. Kelly Mangan

    I’m interested in some hampers for our new house (moving in two weeks), though pretty things are tempting too!

    Reply
  6. KristyDoyle

    Oh my goodness. That is SO CUTE!!! I loooooooove it! If I won this giveaway, I would definitely use the amount of money towards patio furniture. We need furniture for our front porch AND back deck, we just moved in in August and it hasn’t been a priority yet!

    Reply
  7. Allison

    I’d be torn between shopping for artwork/decor and investing in a quality piece of furniture. Your reveal makes me want to do some serious work to our (in progress) backyard!

    Reply
  8. Esther McNary

    Wow!! It looks super amazing! Right out of a magazine! If my backyard looked like this, I would have a very hard time leaving it. I love how the coffee can flower pot looks too 🙂
    I would get some green zebra throw pillows to add to the plain white chairs on my front porch, as well as the Lake Carolina end table.

    Reply
  9. Allie

    This looks AH-MAZ-ING! I love the pops of color mixed with the nautical blue. So fun!!

    Looking forward to the opportunity to spruce up our porch in the future!! So many inspirations in this post!

    Reply
  10. Michelle

    Wow…this is gorgeous! Loving the colors – especially those bright red flowers and striped straws. I’m moving into a new apartment in mid-November and am searching high and low for rugs and balcony furniture. I had actually never heard of HDC (eek) but I’ll have to check them out! Thanks!

    Reply
  11. Pingback: Bridget's Suburban Ranch | DIY Playbook

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36 thoughts on “Patio Reveal: Before & After Pictures

  1. Samantha

    Love the colors, can’t believe the before & afters. I love everything at Home Decorators Collection, it’s hard to decide what I’d spend the $150 on. Maybe Christmas gifts? Yes, I’d spread the HDC love.

    Reply
  2. Deanne Panther

    Bridget, everything looks phenomenal!! You did such a great job decorating the patio, it makes me want to do something with our backyard! There are so many options to choose from at HDC, but I would probably also buy patio furniture since the inside of our house is pretty full as is 😉

    Reply
  3. DIY Playbook

    Ahhhh, thanks Deanne! I’m still trying to figure out a way that we can incorporate your amazing idea of hanging the ladder for outdoor lighting. #obsessed. Maybe next summer we’ll add that to our to-do list.

    Thanks for checking it out!

    Reply
  4. Michelle

    What a great redo! LOVE the patio furniture and your styling. I would love to bring some HDC style to our new home – our future deck will need some seating (and style!).

    Reply
  5. Kelly Mangan

    I’m interested in some hampers for our new house (moving in two weeks), though pretty things are tempting too!

    Reply
  6. KristyDoyle

    Oh my goodness. That is SO CUTE!!! I loooooooove it! If I won this giveaway, I would definitely use the amount of money towards patio furniture. We need furniture for our front porch AND back deck, we just moved in in August and it hasn’t been a priority yet!

    Reply
  7. Allison

    I’d be torn between shopping for artwork/decor and investing in a quality piece of furniture. Your reveal makes me want to do some serious work to our (in progress) backyard!

    Reply
  8. Esther McNary

    Wow!! It looks super amazing! Right out of a magazine! If my backyard looked like this, I would have a very hard time leaving it. I love how the coffee can flower pot looks too 🙂
    I would get some green zebra throw pillows to add to the plain white chairs on my front porch, as well as the Lake Carolina end table.

    Reply
  9. Allie

    This looks AH-MAZ-ING! I love the pops of color mixed with the nautical blue. So fun!!

    Looking forward to the opportunity to spruce up our porch in the future!! So many inspirations in this post!

    Reply
  10. Michelle

    Wow…this is gorgeous! Loving the colors – especially those bright red flowers and striped straws. I’m moving into a new apartment in mid-November and am searching high and low for rugs and balcony furniture. I had actually never heard of HDC (eek) but I’ll have to check them out! Thanks!

    Reply
  11. Pingback: Bridget's Suburban Ranch | DIY Playbook

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Upcycled Coffee Can Planter

Coffee Can Planter
In preparation for Friday’s Patio Reveal (can’t wait to show you!!), I thought I would share one of the easy DIY crafts I created to add some color to this new space. Check it out…
coffe can planter
Don’t tell anyone, but I scored this empty (and FREE) coffee can in the recycle bin at work. When no one was looking, I snuck this treasure out of the teacher’s lounge and into my bag. I knew she would be a great addition to the DIY to-do list.
coffe can crafts

First step, clean the container.

coffee can crafts

Second step, add some holes to the bottom of the can to allow the water to drain. (yes, you probably need to use your power tool to do this. I promise it’s not nearly as scary as you think). To drill these three holes literally took me less than 2 minutes.

diy coffee can
Next up, remove the label.
coffee can planter tutorial

Using this tutorial, I switched off using my hot glue gun and wrapping the roll of jute around the can. To be honest, this step can get a little boring after a while but on a brighter note, it’s an easssyyyy one. That’s all that counts right?

coffee can jute jar

Keep on wrapping…

coffee can crafts

Until the can is all covered up!

coffee can craft

Rookie tip: Make sure each layer of the jute (or rope) is close together so you don’t see any of the hot glue.

paint a planter

Unlike the plain jute tutorial, I wanted to add a little extra charm to this planter. I used some old paint I had laying around the house to add a color that would compliment our patio set.

painting jute

I painted it on carefully, making sure to run the paintbrush very slowly around the top line. If you don’t trust yourself to create a straight line, feel free to add a little painter’s tape and dab the paint around the tape. This will ensure the paint will not sneak under the tape line. Now the hardest part, waiting for this paint to dry.

coffee can planter

Then I added a plant (a begonia to be exact) and some potting soil to finish off my upcycled coffee can planter.

upcycled coffee can

I love that the blue/grey paint makes the colors of the plant and colorful watering can POP!

diy planter

Although this coffee can was technically in the recycle bin, I’m glad to know that I gave her new life and a new home on our patio. Tune in Friday for the big reveal!!

diy planter
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Planter Progress

Remember when we conquered the upcycled planter box? The space went from this….
to this…
And now it looks like this… 
I loved the project then, and I love it even more now! The lime green-ish plant crawling down the wall is a marguerite sweet potato vine. These “vines” are low maintenance and stunning… the perfect garden combo if you ask me. 
And while we’re on the topic, allow me to show you my progress this summer as a first time gardener. 
Before…
… and after…
One more time. Before…
…and after-ish (more like progress for this one).
If you notice little hints of weeds, you’ve caught me. We are in the process of designing, applying and installing a drainage system, new grass, and even a PATIO!!! 
I can’t wait to share the details as they come in but for now weeds and a lack of grass is all the news I have for ya. I am trying to make up for it with plants in a basket, bucket or anything that is not attached to the ground (that’s all I’m allowed). I guess it’s my rookie year when it comes to gardening. Next year… watch out big league-rs! I’m going to swing for the fences and strive to make the landscaping all-star team. 
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