DIY Faux Copper Flower Pots

So I’ve really been loving copper these days. It’s been a great accent colour we’ve slowly been adding here and there to our front landscaping. And, I really loved the idea of having large copper flower pots of some kind. But — they aren’t really all that easy to come by. And, copper’s not really the cheapest material around.

I knew I wasn’t going to find what I was looking for at your garden variety big box store. So another DIY it is!

I found these cheap ($9 each), little steel flower boxes at Canadian Tire this Summer. I liked the shape, wasn’t crazy about the strange outlined butterflies, and the size was okay.


I thought that since they were starting out as a metal product, bent and shaped into flower pots, they would be ideal for a little faux copper paint trickery.


I started by staking poles into the ground away from the house, and plopped them on top. This is by far the best way I’ve found to paint smaller objects, and get access to all sides, and also any nooks and crannies.


They took about 4 coats of copper metallic paint (I used this one). This paint says it’s an interior paint, so I made sure to coat it with a protective clear coat after everything dried.


They are a bit protected by the roofline of the house and they are also not kept in direct sunlight, and they’ve been doing great! No peeling, chips or fading!


I used my favourite Summer shade flower — Begonias! And, they look great. They have been a gorgeous pop of colour against our boring monocromatic new DIY sidewalk.


What y’all think? Not bad for about 30 beans, including paint, ya?


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DIY Upholstered Foyer Bench

Remember this big, before and after? Well that dandy little bench is hiding a secret… wanna hear it?… here goes…


It was in hiding storage. It was originally covered in a green leather when I purchased it from Urban Barn, years ago. I loved it. But, we went on vacation, and left our cat with a sitter — she vented her frustration on this poor bench with the power of her kitty nails, and I eventually recovered it with this brown microsuede. I was never really crazy about it again.


After we moved, into the garage it went. The layout of the new house didn’t really allow for a great spot for it. Until… I tackled the front foyer. It turns out it was a perfect, and i mean PERFECT match for the size of our old front closet. Lucky-lucky!!

So! Time for a makeover and time to fall in love with this piece, again. First, I ripped off my old “makeover/makeunder” job. Buh-bye microsuede…


Then, planned out an affordable makeover. First, a couple yards of this oh-so-pretty “Swallow Study in Teal“. I have a serious Joel Dewberry Fabric problem, my vintage trailer is swimming in it, the Kiddo’s curtains, and now this bench. Definitely a fav!

And next, old jeans! I’ve been saving our old jeans for years, it’s such great fabric, and I thought this would be a great project to give my bench that comfy rustic look.


I cut the legs open and laid them out and pinned them together.


Trimmed off the excess, and sewed the pieces together. Then, I was left with one nice big piece of fabric for the top. Easy! And, Free!


Next, I pinned my beautiful birdie fabric to the face of the bench, and pinned it to the denim.


Another quick sew… and we’re almost there!


I purchased some new retro wood legs from the hardware store to give the bench some height.


(Can you see the cat scratches? Urgh). Onward! Now to staple on my new fabric cover. And, here is the “secret”…


I totally didn’t cover it all the way around. I knew it would be hidden on 3 sides inside the closet, so it would be a total waste of fabric. I knew I’d never move the bench out of the closet… so here I go…


Here’s the top secret view from the back…


Oh, and a fun little detail?? — I left the knee holes on my denim piece and patched them from underneath with my bird fabric. Cool huh??


This bench sure helped turn this once, super boring, and dysfunctional closet into something incredible. One last look at the ugly:


And, done… Soooo done!! Am I right??


The extra height from the new wood legs also allowed me to add this Ikea drawer we had leftover from our PAX wardrobe project in our bedroom. It’s great for all those little mitts, touques and scarves. Loving this bench again!

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Tour through Blogland: Fresh Crush

Hello! I’m so glad you’re here! The amazing Christina over at the DIY Mommy invited me to join in on the, Tour Through Blogland. She is one busy lady! Mom to three, wife, crafter, seamstress, decorator, blogger, knitter… did I miss anything? Oh ya, she’s also got a background in graphic design (something we have in common) — I think it’s fair to say she’s “a creative”. I’m so happy we’ve connected this year through our blogs, and I always look forward to what she has on-the-go next!

She made all of this! (babies included). Girl has range!


Thanks for the invite Christina!

Now, a little about me (this feels weird). I’m married to my college love. We were married 10 years before our daughter arrived through adoption — by far the best adventure we’ve ever experienced, and we’re on the list for #2. The Kiddo is the Best, with a capitol B! She’s spunky and loves life on our acreage, west of beautiful Edmonton, Alberta.


Photo by T.Bolinski Photography.

I’ve worked in Graphic Design for 17 years, going freelance shortly before our daughter was born. Since then, its been full-time Mommy on-the-go for me.

I have been sanding, painting, and updating pieces as long as I can remember. I love all my projects big and small, and it never feels like there are enough hours in the day. My purse is constantly full of old to-do lists, paint swatches, and toddler snacks (and probably 5 shades of raspberry lipstick that I NEVER wear).

What am I working on?

More like, what am I not working on?… I currently have a half-renovated kitchen, a dug up front yard, a bunch of chairs and an antique cabinet in the garage waiting for their makeovers (still deciding exactly what to do with them).

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

That’s a tough one. I think blogs focusing on home decor and design are a bit like snowflakes. Similar, but no two are exactly alike. I think I break out my belt sander a little more often than the average bear! I’m a rescuer. My happy place is when I can find the beauty in a forgotten wooden piece, a chipped garage sale find, or repurposing something I already own. Giving new life where something may of otherwise ended up in the landfill. Beauty is truly everywhere, it just depends on where you’re looking.

Why do I write/create what I do?

In a word? Passion. As cheesy as it sounds, I feel like I was meant to do this. I’ve definitely put in my “10,000 hours”, and I’ve loved every one of them. That’s how I know I’m on the right path… and, there is ALWAYS something new to learn — that’s the fun part. I am never without a project on the go, and I would be lost without one.

How does my writing/creating process work?

Hmm. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little scattered. Inspiration hits — and I start moving. But “real life” still takes priority. It makes for an interesting mix. My full time job is being a Mom. My part-time job is freelance graphic design, and every other minute is basically spent working, researching, hunting for, painting, sanding, planning, and doing, some sort of DIY project — and blogging about it all.

My actual writing often starts while my better half is putting our daughter down to sleep, and looong after dark. It can be challenging to find the time for everything — and I’m definitely still learning. I’ve been honoured to be included on fantastic sites, like, Design Sponge, and Apartment Therapy. And, feel the most accomplishment when I step out of my comfort zone with projects like this mid-century beauty.

Inspiration – planning – action – photography – writing. Mostly in that order, and usually with a bunch of different projects at one time. The writing is the most challenging to find the “quiet time” for, hence, the late nights. Morning coffee is my friend.


Now it’s my turn to pass the torch to another “touring through blogland” blogger — Jillian, over at Jillianastasia. She’s a designer, who handles everything from recipes, to graphic design, to DIY — with a vintage flare.


Jillian covers a lot of ground (with killer photography),  and she’ll have you hosting a stylish party with the perfect cocktail, or DIYing your new favourite centrepiece. Not to mention the girl finds time to run her own Designer Paper Etsy shop! Thanks Jillian!!



Thanks for checking out my little, Tour Through Blogland, be sure to follow along the chain, and discover all the incredible talent out there!

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The (improved) view from the top

Ding dong the balcony is gone! The old one, that is. But before we look up… look waaaaaay up… (that’s for my Canadian peeps) — lets look at how my clever better half covered up those spindly toothpick pillars.


Pretty pine boards, cut to size, and nailed in place. So simple. I made sure to treat all of the boards with a water-repellant treatment on both sides before he made his cuts.


Line everything up and bada bing, gorgeous, thick, new, rustic-looking, pillars. The perfect match to our upgraded porch boards.


So. Much. Better.

02-door-paint-column 04-door-paint-column

Alright, enough about the pillars… Let’s get back to the balcony.

I know it looks alright from this angle — aside from being a little outdated. But just wait…

This is what was waiting for our little tootsies when we stepped outside…


Eww! Rotted, old, leaky, plywood. Plywood?!! Urgh. Let’s rip it up then!


Things got a little loud around here on this day.



And what was under the plywood? ANOTHER old deck. Ha. But luckily this one was alright, and could be the foundation for our new waterproof deck — and ceiling, to our dry porch below.


We could not afford some of the other waterproof decking materials out there. They require a certified technician to come install it, and would cost around $1500-$2000. And, that’s BEFORE any deck railings. Ouch. Nope. Another DIY project coming up!

The first step was replacing the deck base, with new interlocking plywood, and apply flashing to the outer edge.


Next, we used a product called Tufdek. We’re the only people we know who has given this a try, so I’ll have to update you next year, to how it’s holding up.


Every joint, edge, and wood knot, gets sealed with special tape and some gummy sealer stuff. It was a time consuming, but easy process.


That needs a day or two to set-up.


Next, we applied the texture (with a trowel) — it is a flexible, neoprene rubber, slip-resistant layer. You have to plan ahead and check the weather, so it stays dry.


Last is colour. It’s a durable UV-protected acrylic paint.  The only downside? Not a lot of colours to choose from. About 6. But for the most part, they’re all neutral.


We saved a little money on our railings, by using pressure treated wood for the supports and handrails. We purchased composite railings to keep future maintenance at a minimum. Mama doesn’t want to stain spindles every year!!


Our splurge? Two large (tempered safety) glass inserts for the front. Who wants to wreck that beautiful view, right?

waterproof-deck-after03 waterproof-deck-after02

Let’s take a trip down memory lane… remember this?


All gone. No more 70’s rotting deck!!


So much better right??!


But … what’s with the tight shots Jen?? Let’s widen out a little…


Yeah. There is a tractor in my way… Next project was delivered this week!! The husband scored a deal with a pal, and we only had to pay the couple hundred beans for the delivery of all these rocks.

Let’s see if we can polish off this list before the snow flies! (??)

  • Change Door
  • Paint Door
  • Replace Sand down, and reuse porch deck boards
  • Clad the spindly columns with wood
  • Rip up rotted upper balcony
  • Replace balcony floor with a waterproofing solution
  • Replace balcony spindles
  • Build a walking path along the front of the house
  • Plant shrubs
  • Replace porch light
  • Replace upper balcony lighting
  • And, use my handy magic eraser to ditch the nasty stains from the siding (yep, we have more stain spots).
  • *NEW* – A retaining wall.

We’re getting there guys!



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Outdoor landscape – DIY sidewalk

Here we are again… everyone to the front! Okay, so we’ve got the front door covered, revived the sad front porch boards, ripped off the old nasty balcony, and now we need somewhere to walk. Here’s how we started out… weeds and field stones.


Not so pleasant to look at, or on your feet — especially during the buggy Summer season. And, again the budget was small, so no flagstone, poured concrete, or stamped cement for us…


But, it’s no worries when you have crushed limestone and charcoal sidewalk blocks! Super friendly on the wallet, and it turned out great! The blocks were about $12/pce, and we spend another $100 on the limestone gravel.


An evening spent with our shovels, workin’ our HUUUGE muscles, and we were set. The crushed limestone gravel is the best because it actually compresses down, and hardens into place for a nice sturdy feel underfoot.


The grey colour was a great match to our black accents and natural wood vibe, and it didn’t compete with our existing red fireplace brick.

Plus, it created the perfect line to follow for planting some new shrubs!


Which hopefully (fingers crossed!!) will end up looking a little bit like this >> in the Summers to come?!B-porch-afterplan

<< That’s some skilled photoshopping, isn’t it? You’re impressed… riiiight?


I have appreciated this simple little sidewalk project more than I ever would of thought! It’s the perfect path to the side of the house where the vegetable garden is growing (surprisingly!)


Not too bad for a little DIY project. Shows you don’t always need to bring in the big guns for a little bit more function… and pretty.


Let’s see where we’re at with that dandy curb appeal list:

  • Change Door
  • Paint Door
  • Replace Sand down, and reuse porch deck boards
  • Clad the spindly columns with wood
  • Rip up rotted upper balcony
  • Replace balcony floor with a waterproofing solution
  • Replace balcony spindles
  • Build a walking path along the front of the house
  • Plant shrubs
  • Replace porch light
  • Replace upper balcony lighting
  • And, use my handy magic eraser to ditch the nasty stains from the siding (yep, we have more stain spots).

Getting there! Good thing too as Autumn is closing in fast! (I used my furnace today — Brr!)

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