How to make old mulch look new again

Hello friends! I hope you’re getting in the mood for fall. It’s been tough here in Pennsylvania, as we have seen record rain fall that just.won’t.quit. Of course, right now our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Florence!

Today I thought I’d share what’s going on outdoors at our place. Honestly, we’ve had so much going on ALL OVER THE PLACE, it’s been tough to chronicle it here on the blog. We have been busy with the most recent flip house and other projects … and I promise, there are some epic before-and-after photos around the corner. 😉

During a very brief break in the rain this week, I was able to plant a few new trees in our front yard and also add some mulch from our backyard mulch pit.

The problem with old mulch is that it looks pretty raggedy, even though it’s still good to use.

I was recently introduced to a new product through the Rust-Oleum® Creator’s Studio. It’s called Rust-Oleum Renovator Mulch Color Refresh, and it’s supposed to make your old mulch look new again! I volunteered to try out the product because … well … we’ve got some raggedy-looking mulch up in here.

You don’t mix this stuff with anything. You just dump it into a pump sprayer and apply it to your old mulch.

Here’s what my old mulch looked like with a coat of the Color Refresh in Brown.

Here’s a closeup of what the mulch looked like before … and after applying the product.

Pretty cool! I only used about a fifth of the 1-gallon jug to do my three trees. The jug says a gallon will cover up to 350 square feet. Bonus: I love the fact that it washes off your hands with soap and water … an important feature for this messy DIYer. 😉

The Mulch Color Refresh gave a great pick-me-up to my front yard. Now I just need to plant some grass in those bare spots …

Have you done any landscaping yet this season? I’ve heard the best times of year to plant trees and shrubs are during months that have an “r” in them.

I’ve personally had much better success with tree and shrub survival when I plant in the fall. Happy fall planting!

2 lake-inspired, thrifty DIY projects

Hello friends. Today I’d like to share with you two recent DIY projects I completed that are inexpensive and easy to do.

The first is this LAKE sign I added to my bathroom as part of the master bathroom renovation. This project cost me zero dollars because I already had all the supplies on hand. 🙂

Step 1: Cut a piece off of a weathered wooden pallet. I used a skill saw for this part.

Step 2: Sand and stain/finish your board of choice. I chose Varathane® Kona Metallic Polyurethane Finish.

Step 3: Print out letters in the font/size of your choice on a regular printer.

Step 4: Turn each letter over and run chalk over the whole back of the sheet of paper.

Step 5: Turn the paper back over, placing it where you want it on your piece of wood. Then use a pencil to trace the outline of the letter. This will transfer a chalk outline onto the wood.

Step 6: Using an artist’s brush or paint marker, fill in your letters with the paint color(s) of your choice. (I used Command Strips to hang the piece on the wall.) Done! 

Project No. 2: Lake-themed porch pillows

My front porch pillows were looking a little tired, so I decided to update them with new fabric.

I chose the lake-themed fabric on the bottom right of the photo. I found the fabric here.

This is indoor fabric, which I treated with a spray water repellent. So it works best on a covered porch. If your pillows will be exposed to the rain/weather, I would recommend choosing an outdoor fabric.

I cut four equal squares, then flipped the fabric over, sewing the pieces together at the edges.

When I got to the last 3-4 inches, I turned the piece right-side out, stuffed the old pillow inside, then sewed the last bit together. Voila!

So there you go … two quick and inexpensive DIY projects for summer.

Have you done any crafting/DIYing this summer yet? I’d love for you to share your project in the comments section.

Hot tub redo done! (How to make an old hot tub look new)

Hello friends! I hope you had a blessed holiday season. It was definitely one of my favorite Christmases ever. I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with family and friends. The older I get, the more I cherish these moments together.

Today I wanted to share photos of our finished hot tub project! A few months ago, we purchased a used hot tub for $600 from a friend of a church friend.

We installed a paver patio for our “new” hot tub first. Then I stained the outside of the hot tub cabinet and did some landscaping to finish off our new backyard oasis. I chronicled the specific details of how we did these projects here:

Here’s what we started with:

leveling-hot-tub-base

hot-tub-base staining-hot-tub And here’s what we’ve got now:

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In addition to doing the paver patio ourselves, we also tried to keep the landscaping budget as low as possible. We’ll still need to bring in a little topsoil and seed in the spring to get the area looking its best. The cost breakdown to date is as follows (approx.):

  • 4-6-person California Cooperage® Hot Tub – $600 (purchased used from a homeowner and picked up)
  • Stain for hot tub cabinet – $12
  • Paver patio – $1,000 (We have extra pavers on hand to do some more hardscaping in the future.)
  • Landscape fabric (already had on hand)
  • Edging – $20
  • 2B (that’s the size) river rock – $60
  • Trees and shrubs – $300
  • Electrical supplies to hook up hot tub – $150
  • Stumps and large rock accents (already had on hand in our woods) 🙂

Total project cost = $2,142

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Below you can see where we decided to end the paver patio and allow some room for landscaping against the house.

hot-tub-landscaping-2 hot-tub-landscaping

While this project definitely cost us some significant time and money, we feel it was well worth the effort. Our family gets in the hot tub together nearly every evening. It’s a great time of bonding for us, and it sure beats watching TV! Plus we know we saved a ton of money purchasing a used hot tub and installing it ourselves. A new hot tub of this size would begin at about $5,000, not counting the cost of the patio, landscaping, electrical supplies, etc.

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What do you think of our “new” hot tub?