Friday, May 18, 2012

The Porch Project

I consider myself a southern girl at heart.  I like hot, buttery grits; tall glasses of ice cold tea; and I dearly love a slow, southern drawl.  Best of all, I adore a comfortable and inviting front porch.  Those southerners just know how to make you feel right at home, you know?  Don't you just love their deep porches loaded with rocking chairs, swings, lots of ferns and flowers and pretty things sitting around?  I know I do. 

Since we built this house in 1998, it has been my goal to create cozy outdoor spaces that make you want to sit down and visit for a little while.  Our outdoor season (the months when being outside is tolerable) typically runs from May through September.  By the beginning of October folks around here are usually taking down the front porch swing, dumping out the pots of annuals because that early frost got 'em, and beginning their winter hibernation.  Not us.  We tend to leave that swing hanging until we're sure there won't be another even semi-warm day, usually about the time we're ready to hang the Christmas lights.  ; )  And it's not unusual to catch us outside on those surprisingly warm and sunny days that tend to sneak into the early part of April, between the rain and the snow. 

Well, this year I'm determined to create an outdoor space worthy of one of those tall glasses of iced tea, a good book on my Kindle and maybe even a midday nap.  As I posted here the other day, I've already put out some flowers and begun the transformation from winter blandness to summer cheer.  Now I'm going to share with you my latest endeavor...pillows for the front porch swings.  : )

First of all, if you've priced pillows lately, you know they're outrageously expensive.  It just isn't in our budget to spend that kind of money on pretties for the porch. And frankly, I think these look just as nice as anything I might have gone out and bought, plus I like the fact that it's my own design.  : )  It's fun to come up with an idea and then make it come to life!

Here's a closeup of one of my creations:
And a shot of the detachable strip...I'm making several with different designs so I can change them out for a different look from time to time:
Sitting pretty on the swing:
I think you'll be amazed at how little I spent, too.  First of all, WalMart had standard bed pillows for $2.50 each.  I bought four (we have two front porch swings) and left the plastic casing on them so they won't get soaked if I happen to forget to take them in when it rains.  Then I picked up a 60"x102" tablecloth from the clearance aisle for $5.00.  Folks, that's a BUNCH of fabric for $5!  I also hit the clearance fabric for some small pieces in colors I wanted, as well as the buttons I used for the centers of the yoyo flowers.  Grand total for fabric and buttons:  $3 and change.  Last but not least, I bought Velcro for $ .88.  Less than $20 to create 4 LARGE porch pillows!  Plus I can change out the strips to suit my mood.  I am already making red, white and blue ones for the 4th of July.  : )

Now I think I'll head back to WalMart to see if there are more of those tablecloths left.  I'm thinking I'll make long cushions for the seats, too.  Plus I have a couple of rocking chairs that need pillows as well.

If I have time later, I'm going to figure out how to do a linky party so we can all link up and share our outdoor spaces.  : )  Hope you'll check back later and join in!