Outdoor Gazebo Project

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of Lowes.

I LOVE being a Lowes Creative Blogger for a lot of different reasons.  One of those reasons is that I feel motivated to get some of the bigger projects off of my to do list!  The deadline helps motivate my husband and I to just do it instead of procrastinating.  As I have mentioned earlier, we are really pushing ourselves to get these last few projects done.  We want to be done so we can just enjoy things with the kids.

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This Gazebo in our backyard needed some serious work and paint when we moved in 11 years ago.  But it was so low down on our list of important things to do, we just kept putting it off.  It was more of a “fort” for the boys to make mud pies in and store their stick collection when they were younger.  Then it became a “playhouse” for the girls.

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When we were challenged to do an outdoor patio makeover, I knew that it was time to finally turn this into a nice area that we could enjoy.  The kids are getting older and are starting to host their friends at our home for get togethers.  We wanted it to be an area they (and the family) could sit in and enjoy.

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So we scrapped off all the old paint with a wire brush and then painted it with some Stain Paint that we picked up from Lowes.  It is great for outdoor areas and lasts so much longer than an outdoor paint as it penetrates into the wood like a stain.  The roof needs new shingles and someone to get up there and fix that crooked weather vane…but that is going to have to be another day ;)!

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The kids were great helpers and actually begged us to let them paint.  That lasted about 30 minutes…haha!  But the two older boys stayed and helped us finish almost to the end.  I tell you…painting lattice is not my favorite.  That is some tedious work!

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We picked up some black patio chairs from Lowes (four of them) and this bench and added some green and gray striped pillows just like the ones we used on our Front Porch Makeover.  I LOVE them and was so happy when they still had some in stock.

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We picked up this wood burning fire pit last year from Lowe’s and will now keep it in the Gazebo and out of the elements until we are ready to use it.  Then we can move it out onto the patio when we want to use it to make ‘smores!


We also picked up a couple of green flower pots and planted some colorful Petunia’s to bring so me color to the Gazebo and patio area!

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I am loving how it has really improved that whole area.  Now I just need to keep it free of mud pies and sticks :)!  But who am I kidding…they will still happen and I am okay with that.  The kids are growing up way to fast.

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Have you had a chance to sign up for Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine. It’s FREE and offers a bunch of DIY inspiration. Go ahead and connect with Lowes Creative Ideas to find a lot more fun and creative ideas.

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*Disclosure–In accordance with the FTC Guidelines, I am disclosing that I received compensation from Lowe’s for my time and participation in the Lowe’s Creative Ideas Influencer Network. However, all opinions and statements are mine and mine alone.

DIY Ping Pong Table

*This is a sponsored post by me for Lowes.  They provided me with the means to make this DIY Ping Pong Table.  However all statements and opinions are my own. 

As my children have gotten older and their friends become more important and influential in their lives, we feel a growing need to spend time with our children AND their friends.  So we try to find creative ways to encourage our children to want to invite their friends into our home.

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Now…you don’t have to have an expensive home and all the latest gadgets to do so.  But you do need to have some food (especially if they are teenage boys) and something for them that they enjoy doing.  Well, my son loves to play ping pong with his buddies.  And well, we didn’t have a ping pong table…or the real space for one to reside permanently.

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So of course, I suggested we make a Ping Pong Table Top for the kids to use.  I was a little bit concerned as to how the final product would actually work and if the ball would behave…well like a Ping Pong ball should behave…or if the kids would not enjoy using it.  The good news is that it feels and acts just like a real Ping Pong table…just with a bit smaller dimensions.  Hurray!!

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I designed it to have a big Chalkboard on the back side of it for when it is not being used as a Ping Pong Table.  When not in use, we prop it against the wall and the kids can use it as a chalkboard to play on.  This way it is out of the way and STILL functional.  Now, we don’t normally have it out on our back deck but down in the basement. 

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But it has been fun to bring it out onto the back deck when the kids friends are over and are hanging out together outside…and it is easy to do since it is portable.  In fact all you need is a table and you can set up your Ping Pong Table wherever you want too.  {We lay it on top of a blanket to protect the table top and the chalkboard}.

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This was one of the easiest LowesCreator projects we have created. 


You will need the following for this DIY Ping Pong Table project:

  • one 4 x8 sheet of MDF
  • two 12 foot lengths of moldings for frame around chalkboard side
  • Non-Sanded Grout
  • Valspar Paint in eggshell finish in two colors (gray and white)
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Wood Glue
  • Ping Pong Net
  • Paint Brush/Roller
  • Wood clamps
  • chalk

We bought a 4 x 8 sheet of MDF.  Then we cut off a foot off of the length so our final board measured 4 x 7.  EASY!  Then I simply painted the surface of the Ping Pong table with a Charcoal Gray Valspar Paint in an eggshell finish.

ping pong table paint

Then for the Chalkboard side of the table we added some Non-Sanded Grout to the same paint (in a separate container) to make our own DIY Chalkboard Paint. 


Did you know you could do that?  So easy.  I shared the exact recipe for Homemade Chalkboard Paint here a couple of years ago: Homemade Chalkboard Paint.  It is SO easy and you can buy the Non-Sanded Grout in the tiling aisle at Lowe’s. 

I wanted a frame around the chalkboard instead of just having a board because I think it finishes it off so nicely…especially if it is going to be displayed against the wall of your home.  Simply take your two 12 foot lengths of molding.  We used a door frame molding for ours.  There are so many fun options to choose from, but we got one that was a bit flexible to be able to move with the table when we carried it from one place to another.

Cut the moldings so they fit across the top, bottom and sides of the board and use a 45 degree cut on the ends so they match up like a picture frame around the corners.  Glue with wood glue.  Our favorite wood glue to use is Gorilla Glue.  It works awesome!!  Hold the molding in place with some wood clamps and let dry overnight.

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Measure an inch around the entire Ping Pong Table side and then tape it off with Painters tape.  Be sure you have a really good seal on the painting edge of the tape.  I ran my fingers over it several times to be sure.  This will create a nice crisp paint edge. 

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Then tape off a line down the exact middle of the length of the table.  I made this the same width of an inch.  You will need two strips of tape on each side with an inch of space in the middle that you will be painting white.  Paint these taped off areas white.  For best results, do not let your paint dry.  Carefully pull up the tape while it is still a little wet.  I find this allows the tape to come off cleanly without pulling up any paint.

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Pick up a Ping Pong Table net that can be different sizes, and the paddles and balls.  You can find them in a lot of different places. 

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Then welcome your kids friends into your home so you can get to know them.  I am a huge believer in this.  Hang around discreetly.  It is a good way to get to know them and their friends.  You might even begin to feel like they belong at your house all the time.  They might even call you mom #2 and drink all of your orange juice in one sitting ;)!

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And you can sit out on your back porch and learn a little bit more about what great friends your kids have and gain a little insight into the type of people your man children are growing into…sniff, sniff!

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As always, I would love to know if you have any further questions about this project or if you build your own DIY Ping Pong Table.  Happy Creating! xo

Ping-Pong-Table 2

For more great ideas, you’ll love browsing through:

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*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  Lowe’s provided me with a gift card to showcase a project this month as part of their Lowe’s Creative ideas Bloggers team.  However all opinions and statements are mine.

Outdoor Deck Reveal

I am so excited to be able to finally share with you our newly updated Outdoor Deck. When I was given the March Lowes Creator challenge, I knew I would finally be able to finish off our outdoor deck just in time for Spring.

This has been one of those projects that takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to finish.  We have wanted to update our back patio for a long time, but had always been one of the many projects that had to sit on the bottom of the to-do list.


When we first looked through this house when we were searching for a new home 11 years ago, the back porch was one of our very favorite things about this house.  We have always enjoyed being outdoors as a family and we could see ourselves sitting on this porch for BBQ’s, summer evenings and for entertaining family and friends.  Summer evenings in Utah are really pleasant and we were excited for how large this extra space was.


But, it has seen better days.  The deck was covered in an outdoor carpet that was torn and worn out in several different areas.  We knew it had some amazing potential and that it would just take some time and hard work to get it to where we were envisioning.

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We were planning on doing the deck remodel ourselves.  But as we looked closer at the overall deck and the construction of it, we became concerned that there was a bit of wood rot and we were worried about the overall safety of the 30 year old deck.  So, we ended up hiring someone to rebuild the deck in August of 2011.  And thank goodness we did, because there was a lot of structural damage and some of the main structure had almost completely rotted out.  I will share a bit more of that process in an upcoming post.

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About 7 years ago we bought some patio furniture on clearance at the end of the season and picked up this set for about $350 which is a great deal.  I could only find these pictures of my little family eating pizza out on the deck about 4.5 years ago.  Awww…I miss those babies!

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But after 7 years and little kids, the cushions were pretty beat up.  The cast iron furniture was still in great condition.  I had looked into sewing me some new cushion covers, but the price of good fabric had me hesitating.  Then, I saw that Lowe’s carries some awesome Outdoor Deck Furniture cushions and I knew it was the perfect solution.  So I picked some up in this awesome neutral Linen color.  I am in LOVE!!  I love how it stands out next to our darker brick color.

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Then I hit the flower section of Lowe’s and picked up some Spring flowers that love the cold weather since in Utah we can get a freeze all the way into May.  I also picked up a couple of flower pots and some potting soil and gave the deck some needed Spring color with several potted flowers.

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I also immediately fell in love with this cute white pot and made that a focal point on the patio table.

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Some Lowe’s locations also carry some cute and trendy decorative pillows.  I picked up the green pillow, and an orange one that I put on my front porch, from a Lowe’s while I tagged along on my husband’s business trip to Vegas this past weekend.  We found them in the St. George, Utah Lowe’s Store.

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This table and chair set is also from Lowe’s.  I actually picked this one up last fall for a steal at the end of the season clearance sale with some leftover Lowe’s gift cards that I had saved up.  We LOVE it too and have eaten dinner outside as a family several times already!  The floor rug is also from Lowe’s.

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I picked up the three wall clocks at my local thrift store last summer when I was shopping for the DIY Blogger house…and get this…the big one was $4 and the other two were $3 each.  Pretty awesome right?

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We painted the walls and trim to give it a fresh and clean look and filled in several large cracks that had never been filled in from when the original owners added the moldings.  It makes a world of difference and makes our deck feel like another room in our home.

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The table centerpiece box was made and shared in an earlier tutorial and I think it has now found its permanent spot.


And last, but not least, we built these simple shutters with some wood which I also picked up at Lowe’s.  I am so happy with how they turned out and I think they were the perfect final addition.  The brick wall look a bit barren and I love the crisp, fresh look and texture they provide.  They were super easy to make and very inexpensive.  I will share the tutorial in a later post….so be sure to stay tuned if you are interested.

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So, I realize that this post contains a lot of different stages of work on our back deck.  In summary, for this month’s Lowes Creator Challenge, we did the following:

Added updated Outdoor Furniture Seat Cushions

Painted Wall and Trim

Added Green Décor Pillow

Added Flower Pots and Flowers

Built Wood Window Shutters

Looking for more creative ideas for your home?  Sign up for Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine.  It actually has a lot of really great and creative ideas that you can and would want to do.  Go ahead and check it out!

Connect with Lowes Creative Ideas:

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Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  Lowe’s provided me with a gift card to showcase a project this month as part of their Lowe’s Creative ideas Bloggers team.  However all opinions and statements are mine. 


$100 Lowe’s gift card Giveaway

This Giveaway is now CLOSED!!

Last month, as one of Lowe’s Creative Bloggers, I shared with you this fun and creative PVC Sprinkler that I made for the kids to play in.  We have enjoyed using several times this past month as a great way to entertain the kids and cool them off at the same time.  Even the neighborhood kids have been able to join in the fun with us.


Later this week I am planning on sharing the tutorial with you for how we were able to make this so that you can make one too.

In the mean time, I am able to give one of you a $100 gift certificate for Lowes.  That way one of you can pick up some supplies to make one for yourself with some money left over for other projects you may have around the house.

To enter simply leave a comment here telling us what you would use your $100 for.  That is it.  Straight and to the point!

And while you are at it, you could sign up for Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine.  It actually has a lot of really great and creative ideas that someone would actually use.  Go ahead and check it out!


Disclosure: Lowe’s provided me with a gift card to showcase this project this month as part of their Lowe’s Creative ideas Bloggers team.  However all opinions and statements are mine.  Giveaway will close on August 6, 2012 at 9:00 pm MT and a winner will be selected via Random.org.  The winner will have 48 hours to claim the gift card or a new winner will selected.

Lowe’s “curb appeal” challenge & giveaway

This Giveaway is now CLOSED!!

This month, as one of Lowe’s Creative Bloggers, I was given the challenge of spicing up the “curb appeal” of my home.  I was a little bit more excited about this challenge than I should have been. 

front curb appeal


The front of my house needed some serious attention.  It is not that I didn’t want to work on making it nicer…it just that it was a fairly big undertaking and we always had more pressing items on the to do list.

front curb appeal after


The bushes in the front of our house and the sides of the front porch were overgrown and needed to be removed.  In December, we had a huge windstorm with winds over 100 mph.  The wind blew from the East and both of these bushes sustained permanent damage on the East sides.  All the vegetation had been completely stripped from them.  It was time for them to go for good.

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And those decorative trees?  Well they both were also pretty badly beat up.  One was completely broken in half…which is why it is leaning up on the brick wall.  The potted plants?  Well…both of those got blown right out of the pots.  We had replanted them hoping they would survive…but as you can see…they didn’t fare too well.  And…how do you manage to have a plant that is dead on one side and not the other?  Ha!

front curb appeal before


So this “curb appeal” was JUST the motivation I needed to get this area fancied up.  We got to work ripping out the two main bushes and a couple of smaller ones as well.  Then we bought some plants and flowers to add some much needed color and texture to the front of our home.

front curb appeal bushes

And…I FINALLY got the nerve up to paint my front door black!  Can I get a holler?  I have always LOVED black front doors.  We bought some new door hardware from Lowe’s which made a huge difference in the overall look of the finished front porch area.  I will be sure to share some things I learned and the products I used for painting the front door.

front curb appeal 2

{mid project}

We also picked up these nice chairs from Lowe’s so we can sit on our front porch at night and enjoy the nice Summer Evenings we get here.  This is also where we come and enjoy a good summer afternoon rainstorm. 

I am really happy with how the whole look of the front of my home has changed.  It was quite a bit of work…but it really needed to be done.  And guess what?  Lowe’s want to help one of you update your curb appeal.

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Want to win $100 in the form of a Lowe’s Gift Card? I thought you might! What do you have to do? Simply follow the directions below…

To Enter:

Leave a comment, on this post, telling me what “curb appeal” project you’d tackle with $100 from Lowe’s.

That’s it folks!!  Can’t get any easier than that can it?

*This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and over only.  Contest closes on Tuesday, June 5 at noon MST.  Winner will be chosen via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

painted black door 1  black front door 1  painted black door

And if you haven’t already, head on over to Lowe’s and sign up for your FREE Subscription to Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine:


painted black door 3

**I was given a gift card by Lowe’s to create my Lowe’s Makeover Challenge this month.  However all opinions and statements are my own.

Lowe’s giveaway winner

Last week I revealed my Laundry Room Makeover that I did as part of my April #LowesCreator Room Makeover Challenge with which I am one of Lowe’s Creative Bloggers.  With that I was able to host a giveaway for Lowe’s and a $100 gift card for one of you to use in your own room makeover.  Here is the winner of that giveaway. Commenter #305…



Congratulations Katy! Please send me an email or leave a comment and I will make sure to get you your $100 Lowes gift card.

The winner has 48 hours to claim the gift card or a new winner will be selected.  Thanks everyone for participating and a big thanks to Lowe’s.

Flower pot bird house

birdhouse wm cover

This month as part of the Lowe’s Creative Challenge of which I am a team member of, we were challenged to make a DIY Bird Retreat.  I personally did not want a “normal” birdhouse and needed something a bit more practical and realistic for my own personal preferences.  So I decide to make a Flower Planter Bird House…sort of a two in one combo.

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I had a few different designs floating around in my head and headed to Lowe’s to see just what I could actually turn into a reality.  I knew I wanted a WHITE planter but was looking for just the right style.

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I picked up this almond colored flower plantar, some plastic moldings, potting soil, white silicon, bird seed and some flowers.

flower box bird house wm

We used some scrap wood from previous projects at home to build the square base which became our birdhouse.  Then we added some moldings at the top and bottom to give it a little bit of a customized look.  We drilled a hole for the birds and added a little tray to hold some bird seed for our feathered friends to enjoy.

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We painted the birdhouse box with some exterior paint and spray painted the plantar box white to match.  I am really pleased with how it turned out and love having a nice pop of color out on the back porch.  I think I may make a matching set so that they can be on either side of the stairs that you can see to the left of the photo.

Be sure to stop back by if you would like to see how we made this.  I will be sharing the full tutorial later.

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Thanks to Lowe’s for helping us get motivated to get this project done! You can find Lowe’s Creative Ideas on FB for more great ideas.  They also have a Lowe’s Creative Ideas blog…and you might recognize one or more faces there now…Smile


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And…just in case you missed last month’s Lowes Challenge…you can find it here.

Disclosure: Lowe’s provided me with a gift card to showcase this project this month as part of their Lowe’s Creative ideas Bloggers team.


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