Since this blog is called WhatGodDoes, it may seem odd to find home improvement ideas, but as Rob Bell says, “Everything is spiritual.” If your eyes and ears are open, you find spiritual truths in the most unlikely places. I’ll write more about this in an upcoming blog post. But for now, here’s how we gave our gazebo a makeover for under $700!
We inherited this hot tub when we moved in. I get overheated easily in a hot tub, and Tim doesn’t really like hot tubs, so we decided to get rid of it. The jets worked, but the water didn’t warm up. I put it on Craigslist for free, and a nice gentleman came and picked it up within a week. He said he was going to fix it and give it to his mother-in-law.
I found this nice set of rattan furniture on Craigslist for 100$. I’ll be sending a link to this blog post to the couple who sold it to us. The wife wanted to be rid of it, since it had been collecting dust in their garage for a long time. The husband was a little disappointed to see it go. He and his brother used to crawl underneath and play. They remember their dad sitting in “his favorite chair” (the one with the ottoman). I discarded the dated cushions and tore out the leather straps, which were pretty dried out. Other than that and some fading, this set is awesome, very sturdy, and it has lots of mid-century character (from the 1950s!).
This image shows what the furniture looked like before I gave it a thorough scrubbing with some Murphy’s Oil Soap.
This image shows the rattan furniture after the dirt and stains are removed. I also added a few light coats of polyurethane to protect it from moisture and renew its shine.
I ordered some new cushions online at World Market. Their prices were very reasonable compared to every other website. The one problem: The cushions only came in one size, which was slightly bigger than the size I needed. I decided to modify the couch base by attaching 1x4s on the bottom of each piece (the couch was three separate pieces). This allowed for the extra inches so the cushions didn’t look too crowded. For the chair, I just pushed the cushion in place, and it didn’t look weird. The ottoman was another story, though. I had to take the removable cover off and slice about 2 inches off of two sides. I reattached the batting and gave it a little stitch here and there to keep it in place. Later in the blog you’ll see what I did about the cover.
The place where the hot tub used to be was a different color than the surrounding area of floor, even after Tim pressure washed it. We bought an indoor/outdoor rug to cover the unsightly floor, but because of a slight dip toward the back end of the gazebo, there was a place that held water for several days. We decided to use the rug inside, in the room where people most often enter the house after having been in the swimming pool. Tim painted the cement and used a leaf blower to dry faster between coats. We were able to walk on it about two hours after the final (3rd) coat.
Instead of spending 45$ per panel on outdoor canvas curtains, I bought ten 6×9 drop cloths, some hooks to go in the gazebo frame, and some clipping rings. This was an idea I saw all over the web. The genius homemaking guru who originally thought of this deserves kudos. In this image, my husband is drilling pilot holes and inserting the hooks.
For each 6×9 drop cloth, I used seven curtain clip loops. I didn’t worry about measuring perfectly. I just put one on the left, one on the right, and then folded the loops together to find the mid-point. For the remaining four pieces, I put two between the left and middle and two between right and middle.
I’ve seen where you can create pleats by folding the drop cloth, but I like the loose, lazy look shown in this image.
Notice how the drop cloth is folded down on the top to create a valance. Another perk of this technique is that you can easily adjust the height of the curtain. As I mentioned earlier, the floor of our gazebo is a little bit uneven, and if I were to have purchased standard curtain panels, I would have had to sew a new hem on a few of them.
This is the fabric for the curtain tie-backs. I used pins to mark where I would cut. I used the width of the stitch witchery and then added an extra inch.
After I cut the the tie-backs, I ironed them by about 1/2 inch on each side.
If forgot to take a picture of the crease I ironed down the middle. This made placing the stitch witchery along the fold easier to do.
Once I was sure everything was in place, I pinned it every six inches or so.
First, I pressed the iron in the areas between the pins. After the material cooled a little bit, I removed the pins and ironed there.
This image shows the finished tie-back with a mini clip ring. I put clips on both ends for convenience.
I didn’t want to be bothered with covering the ottoman cushion, so I just bought enough fabric (1/2 price at JoAnn’s!) to fold the cushion like a present. This will be convenient to remove, wash, and replace.
The cushion fits so snuggly into the frame that I know the fabric won’t shift.
I used the material that previously covered the ottoman cushion (before I trimmed the cushion down) and some stitch witchery to make this throw pillow. Sorry, I didn’t make a tutorial on the pillow. It’s not that I didn’t want to; I just got in the creative zone and completely forgot to take pictures.
This is the other side of the same pillow. As you can see, the pillow is reversible. I can just untie it and retie it on the other side. Other than a few hand-sewn stitches to reinforce the ties, this pillow is held by heavy duty stitch witchery.
I found this adorable frog pillow and bird pillow (next image) at the garden section of Lowes. The grey matches the painted floor.
I have no idea why, but at Lowe’s garden center, the plant pots that have plants in them are less expensive than the empty plant pots. Weird, huh? On the couch behind the plant you can see the other pillow I made.
The furniture set came with end tables, which we positioned on either side of the couch. I got one bamboo plant for each table. They were very reasonably priced, pots included.
For some reason, I have a hard time keeping ferns alive. If this one doesn’t make it, I’ll just get a fake one.
Every time Tim walks by, he hits his head on this! (And there’s another one just like it on the right side.) Yep, he hits his head on that one, too.
We got this plaque when Tim’s dad, Richard, passed away. It used to be under the magnolia tree, but for some reason the dogs liked to pee on it, and it just didn’t feel right to leave it there. So it’s been sitting here and there, looking for a home. We finally found the perfect place for it, in the bottom portion of the coffee table (which spins, BTW). It looks as if it were supposed to be there, custom made from the get-go. You can be sure that when I write my follow-up blog post, I’ll have something to say about this.
At this point, I’ll leave off the image captions and let the pics speak for themselves. All we have left to do is hanging the lights. (I’ll post a night pic later; be sure to check back soon.) Ta-da!