Thrifty DIY knockoff planter

Since the budget-friendly backyard patio plans were put into motion recently, I have been on the hunt for two outdoor planters for the new concrete stair.

There are so many beautiful choices out there. But some of them are a bit pricey. For example, my favorite is this Fiberglass urn from Lowe’s:


But two of them cost nearly $160; that’s just not in my budget right now. So instead, I decided to try to replicate a similar look at a fraction of the cost.

I picked up two of these black urns at Lowe’s for around $10 apiece:


I primed them using the spray primer I had on hand.


I would actually recommend choosing a gray or white primer if you’ve got some handy, or if you’re purchasing primer specifically for this project. (One full can should be enough.)

I then sprayed each planter with a coat of Rust-Oleum American Accents® Stone Spray Paint in the Sienna Stone color. It took two cans total (one for each urn) but I was careful to not waste a single drop.


After the paint dried, I created a white glaze using one part white paint to three parts water. I brushed it all over the “stone” finish, letting the glaze settle into the crevices.

I wiped off any excess and added more glaze where necessary. My goal was to replicate an aged/pickled finish reminiscent of Tuscan-style stone.


Finally, I sprayed on a generous coat of outdoor-friendly urethane to protect the planters from the elements. (The stone spray paint is made for indoor use only.)

Here is the final result:


I realize I didn’t replicate the look of the more expensive urn exactly, but I’m calling it close enough.


The best part is that my urns cost less than half the price of the Fiberglass versions. Including the cost of paint, my project adds up to about $25 per planter.

Now I just need to find some colorful flowers for my new planters. Stay tuned to see them in all their glory when I unveil the completed budget-friendly backyard patio renovation soon.

Do you think I got close enough to nailing the look for less?

My ‘wobbly’ life and encouragement for Easter

From time to time, I experience what I like to call a “mom meltdown.” For example, as I was driving home yesterday after a late-night Easter basket run, I looked around my vehicle, at the kid crumbs and discarded french fries and junk from all the projects I’m working on, and I mentally threw my hands up in the air.

“Why can’t I ever seem to get it together?” I asked myself. “I’m always so overwhelmed and behind on everything.” And then came the other inevitable questions:

  • How do my friends do it? They always seem so organized and at peace.
  • When will I ever get caught up?
  • What do I need to change to make things easier?
  • Why does life seem so hard?
  • What is wrong with me?

And as I drove home in the dark, exhausted and on the verge of tears, this verse popped into my mind:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Cor. 12:9 (NIV)

For Type A people like me, this verse is hard. Because I want so much to improve myself, to accomplish my goals, to please others, to control the outcome. It’s unnatural for me to boast about my weaknesses because I spend so much time trying to get rid of or minimize them.

But during this particular late night “mom meltdown,” it was as if God himself laid His hand on my shoulder and simply asked me to let go …

… To let go of the idea of perfection – the perfect home, the perfect family, the perfectly organized and chaos-free life.

… To let go of the silly notion that I will catch up on my to-do list.

… To let go of the striving for significance, influence and approval.

And then He asked me to rest. Rest in the promise that He’s still working on me and I will never be complete on this side of heaven. Rest in the promise that He cares for me and has never failed to provide me with everything I need.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)

So in spite of the fact that my life often looks and feels a lot like the wobbly fan I recently renovated on my back patio, I can actually rest and rejoice in the chaos of every day. Because it is one more piece of evidence that Jesus is alive. His power rests on me and is made perfect in my weakness.


May you enjoy a restful and joyous Easter celebration!

A finished project, an unfinished project and a ‘kick in the pants’

I am happy to report I have finished the Great Outdoor Fan Renovation! In case you missed the final reveal earlier this week, here it is again:

Oil-rubbed-bronze-outdoor-fanAnd to rewind further, here’s what the fixture looked like before I smothered it with spray paint:


For all the DIY deets on this project, click here.

Although I’m excited to finish the fan upgrade, my post today is primarily about an epic, unfinished project I’m preparing to tackle. Perhaps you’ll recall my post back in, uh, September on how I turned our Miami Vice pink bathroom into a coastal-inspired oasis? No? ;)

Here’s the before of the master bathroom:


And the after:

Master-bathroom-renovation (1)

The truth is I never entirely finished that room, hence the reason I don’t have any photos of the sink and vanity. Here’s what that side of the room looks like today, more than seven months later (hanging head in shame):


Fortunately, I just got the “kick in the pants” I needed to work on finishing this project! My favorite DIY-friendly clothing company, Duluth Trading Co., contacted me recently to help raise awareness for a fun contest aimed at helping procrastinating DIYers like myself (you too?) get stuff done once and for all.

The awesome folks at Duluth sent me an Armachillo shirt (love!) and a pair of skinny jeans (my new, all-time-favorite pair, by the way) as well as a $100 Visa Gift Card to help out with supplies for the bathroom project, which I spent faster than you can say “Lowes.” :)

So here is the plan for this side of the master bathroom:


And here is the design inspiration for the furniture, fixtures and accessories:


I’ve already got the faucets and cabinet paint ordered and I’m ready to work on DIYing my own driftwood-inspired mirror frame.

In the meantime, if you’ve got a stalled or unfinished project around your house or yard, Duluth wants to give you a “kick in the pants,” too! 

Duluth Trading Co. is picking 10 people to win a $200 Visa Gift Card to help finish a project and$200 Duluth Trading Gift Card good toward tough gear to wear while doing it.

Head on over to the Duluth Trading Co. Facebook page here for official contest rules about your chance to win cash and clothes to help get the undone done. Five winners will be chosen on April 23, and five more on May 1. If you don’t win the first week, you are automatically entered in the next. That means people who enter early have more chances to win.

Best of luck with your “kick in the pants!”