Last week I posted Easy Spring Decorating on a Dime on this blog, and promised to do one on thrifty decorating outside the front door and along the walkway. Here it is!
|The unsightly old black mail box.|
|Corroded mail box lid!|
|I priced out new mail boxes at Lowes.|
|You can buy magnetic covers for street side mailboxes|
at Olde Time Pottery.
|Just under the mailbox,|
a decorative sculpture on a small table.
It is just the right height for my
six year old daughter to enjoy.
|Next to the door,|
an artificial tree
purchased for a few dollars
at a yard sale
a while back.
|I bought this garden flag at yard sale a few years ago for $2.|
I couldn't find my old beat up flag pole,
so I replaced it with a $6 one at Olde Time Pottery.
|This bird house,|
hanging from the flag pole,
is from my late mother-in-law.
|I'm not sure where we got this mini-garden flag,|
but it's getting worn out!
|I may replace my old flag with one from Olde Time Pottery|
since they are less than $4.
|More pretty stuff to come,|
but I want to talk about eyesores for a few minutes.
Our house numbers are SO ugly!
They are black plastic with metal bolts.
I have hated them for years,
made worse since someone decided to scratch them up.
|We are replacing them soon.|
I've already been pricing them out at Lowe's.
|Plaque for mounting house numbers.|
|I removed the two concrete balls|
from our garden walls.
One was broken at the base,
and both were all dinged up.
I put flower pots over the post holes.
|Another eyesore: broken window blinds. |
We will eventually replace them.
|Flowers are a wonderful way to decorate|
your front walkway!
I have two large pots on wrought iron stands.
I potted three dianthus plants.
Total cost for plants in this pot: $2.25
|There was a stray lantana plant, with beautiful little|
composite blossoms, growing in the backyard.
I replanted it along the front walkway.
I hope it survives! Welcome, butterflies!
|Coordinating with the orange and yellow lantana,|
I purchased four moss rose plants,
also known as portulaca, as Lowes for 77 cents each.
They thrive in full sun, and are succulents.
|Potted begonia on garden wall.|
Price at Walmart: 75 cents
|Sign by Mary Engelbreit.|
The black stand is left over from
my first daughter's outdoor wedding.
|Time for weeding, too! New trowel, hand hoe, and gloves,|
all from the Target dollar spot.
|Unfortunately, the thumbs of the gloves|
wore out within a half hour.
Good thing I only spent a buck on them!
|The strip right in front of the house looked horrible!|
It took me a really long time to get it cleared out,
then move some of the mulch to cover up sandy spots.
|I also put some kids to work:|
my own daughters and some neighbors.
Yes, I paid them!
There is still much to do down
by the curb and along the terraced wall.
| Big eyesore: the overgrown palm (?) bush outside the front window.|
It was taller than me and getting quite gangly with a lot of dead spots.
This is the "before" picture.
|We used to have three orange trees,|
but all of them had to be cut down.
I'm thinking of planting a new one
in that ugly hole in the front yard.
These are several feet high and cost about $20 at Lowes.
|My mother made these three stepping stones|
with my kids several years ago.
Those are stained glass birds and flowers
set in concrete.
|She poured the concrete in the molds and had the kids lay out the glass pieces like a puzzle and press them in.|
|You can see more of my mom's |
stained glass in my
spring decorating post.
To recap, my best hints for making the front of your home look nice:
- Walk around outside and make a list of what you think needs to be done. I kept mine in the notepad of my iPod, so I could revise it as I went along.
- Talk to your other family members about what they would like, what they don't like, what they are willing to do to help, and what everything will cost.
- Use what you have! Check your back yard, your back porch, your storage bins, and even your indoor decorations. You can rotate items for variety and to suit the season.
- Price out new purchases before you buy. You can do some of this on the web, but I like to go in the stores and take pictures for later reference. Keep your eye out for good deals at yard sales, but only buy it if you really like it and will use it. No need to collect junk!
- Plant live flowers in pots or in the ground. I bought mine in individual pots, but they are cheaper if you buy them by the flat. Even cheaper yet is planting from seed. Research what grows in your area, and which plants need full or partial sun. If you plant out of range of your irrigation system, make sure you water as needed.
- Use silk flowers where live ones are not appropriate, such as for a wreath or basket on the door, or in cold weather.
- Keep everything clean! Grime is so unattractive! Check your walls, your door, your fixtures (such as an outdoor lamp), your mail box, etc. Sweep your walk ways with an outdoor push broom or rinse with a hose.
- Make sure to pick up little bits of trash as often as I you can. Get your kids to help! I am always finding candy wrappers and paper towels around our walkway. I usually stash them in an old flower pot behind the garden wall until I throw them all away.
- If at first you don't succeed with a project, try again! Learn from your mistakes, and let them lead you to other options. If you're really stuck, ask a friend for advice (or help) or look for instructions on the web. Keep at it, and you might end up with a funky looking mail box!
Blessings of beauty,
P.S. This blog post is linked to...
P.S. This blog post is linked to...