Tag Archives: Project

Plantation Shutter Revamp

Shutter Header

A few months ago, Paul and I had all of our windows tinted, including the little windows on either side of the front door called side-light windows. At the time, I had straw Roman shades up there which obviously had to come down, so I saw this as a perfect opportunity to change up my window treatments.

The Roman shades looked okay, but you could not open them up to let light in so I decided on some sort of a shutter. I started my search only to find that this is a very hard size to find which usually resulted in having something custom made, which also translates to mucho dinero. Being the “thrifty” gal that I am, I knew there had to be a cheaper route.

On one of my thrifting adventures I stopped into Habitat for Humanity ReStore. This place is a real hit or miss but the great thing is, that in the back of the store, they have home salvage items. After a little digging, Eureka, I found exactly what I needed, plantation shutters! I picked up this baby for only $20 bucks.


They were all attached when I bought them, but I got excited and disassembled them before I took a picture. I also decided to paint them black as you can tell by my test corner. I used Rust-Oleum Universal Paint and Primer In One spray paint in satin black. Spray paint is always the easiest way to paint shutters. After they were dry, I used a fine grit sandpaper and roughed them up a but on the edges to give it a slight distressed look.

Now I just needed to figure out how to put these things in the windows. Paul and I decided we needed to stack two of the shutters and attach them into one so we drilled holes in the bottom and top and used wood glue and dowels to hold them together. The shutters were 1/2 an inch too narrow, so we also cut a 1/2 inch wide strip of wood the same height as the inside of the window, and attached it using screws. The shutters already had the hinges on them so we just mounted the shutters straight into the frame. The shutters also had little brass clips that held them closed which we re-used and mounted to the top of the window frame.

Some schmancy new knobs and voila!

The entire project cost me $63.00.


Shutter B&A

I love how I can let light in during the day, but close them at night so all those peeping Tom’s don’t get a little show of me in my p.j’s. If you are looking to spruce up your side-light windows, be on the lookout for used plantation shutters. You will obviously have to improvise to make them fit your own window dimensions, but it is such an inexpensive alternative to custom window treatments.



Patio Fountain Makeover

Fountain Makeover Header

My mom recently gave me this (somewhat cute), faux stone fountain that she no longer wanted, for my patio. I figured what the heck, it would be nice to hear the trickle of running water as I sit outside in the morning sipping my coffee. As soon as I got home I eagerly plugged the little beauty in and sat back to enjoy the scenery.

Fountain plain

Unfortunately, it just kind of sat there looking awkward. You couldn’t help but stare at it but not in a good way. More like when you are distracted by a piece of spinach stuck in someone’s teeth kind of way. I immediately started a plan on how to spruce it up a little so it had more appeal.

I knew I wanted to pull off a tropical look, but I don’t have a backyard that I could put the fountain in. I know what your thinking, “Well then what is all that grass we see there in the photo?”. Common area, we don’t own it, we just get to mow it. That’s the beauty of living in a gated community. So back to the drawing board! I decided the best way to display my fountain was to build my own contained tropical area for the fountain by making a planter box.

I decided to make a wooden box that would fit in between one of the panels of my patio screen, so I took some measurements and made up a rough draft of what shape I wanted, then headed off to my happy place, Home Depot. I decided to use 8 foot pressure treated landscape timber since they were only $1.87 each and I only needed 3 1/2 of them.

When I got home I had my handsome lumber jack men make my wood cuts based on my design. Aren’t they cute??

Lumber jacks

Once we had all the timbers cut, I used metal brackets to hold the inside corners together, then hammered a few flat and used those to hold the top and bottom together as well.

Corner Bracket Top and Bottom Bracket

I didn’t bother to sand the wood much except for obvious snags since I wanted it to look pretty rustic. I stained the wood with 2 coats of Rust-oleum Dark Walnut stain.

Wood stain

I also needed a plastic liner to put inside the bed and decided to look at pond liner. Whew! That stuff is expensive. I decided to wait on it until I came up with a better plan, but as fate would have it, as I was leaving, the store placed large plastic bags in a cart for people to use to protect their trunks from dirt. Well, don’t mind if I do, thank you. Liner problem solved. Heavy duty trash bags will work just as well depending on the size of the box.

It was really long, so I folded it over a few times and placed it in my planter box as shown.


I tucked the edges of the plastic under and used a staple gun to attach it to all the sides of the box.


The planter box was then moved to it’s planned location. I put two paver stones in the box where I wanted my fountain to sit, then put the fountain on top, before filling the box with soil.

Fountain with dirt

Now comes the fun part, filling it with plants. I chose a variety of succulents and other hearty, tropical plants that would be hard for me to kill, like I usually do. I also added a few fun touches like moss on the faux stones, a solar light and a couple little gnome friends for the grandbabies to explore. Baby Kenzie even got down and dirty and helped me. Well actually, she did most of the work.

Fountain Helper

The box itself with wood and brackets cost me about $20.00 and about another $30 for plants. So now my morning coffee sipping view is just delightful!

Fountain Complete 1

Patio Fountain Collage