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Patio Additions

We’re on a strict budget around here these days since we had the $906.51 car repair.  It really wiped us out.  That, of course, doesn’t keep me from wanting “stuff”.  My latest want has been a tablecloth for our new picnic table (the one we bought merely two days before the car repair occurred and which we may not have bought, if we’d only had a crystal ball).  I love our picnic table, though, and we have been spending a lot of time out on the patio, so no regrets.  I thought a nice tablecloth would be a good addition to our little bit of paradise.  Not only would it bring a nice bit of color to the area, but it would serve to protect the table, as well.

I wanted to go with something tropical and fun.  I found these on Amazon and liked them a lot.

 The Key Largo.

The Bardwil Tropical/Multi-floral.

Unfortunately, I just don’t have $20-$50 to spend on a tablecloth.  Even if I did, I might have a hard time actually spending that much money on what is essentially a couple of yards of fabric.  I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that a happy tropical tablecloth was not in my immediate future.  Then, yesterday, I was sitting outside reading through the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens when a moment of inspiration struck.  Remember these pillows* I made for our outdoor swing last year?

(*Update – these are holding-up very well.  This is the second season I’ve used them and I’ve accidentally left them out in the rain on more than one occasion.  The pillow inserts have stayed dry and I’ve had no problems with them whatsoever.)

It occurred to me that I have TONS of this fabric left and it looks nearly identical to the tablecloths I was so desperate for!

It’s the tablecloth of my dreams!  The best part is that it’s FREE! It looks so good on the table, especially the way it coordinates with our Adirondack chairs (the ones J hates).

Oh happy day!  I sat out there last night and enjoyed the heck out of my “new” tablecloth.  I don’t know why it makes me so supremely happy, it just does.  You know what else makes me happy?  Hanging mason jar luminaries.

(Find them here.)

I had dreams of hanging some from the tree above the table but quickly discarded that idea when I had nightmares of them crashing down during a storm and shattering my new glass-topped table.  Plus, I wasn’t sure if they were too “shabby chic” for my modern house.  I wanted to incorporate them somehow, though, so I put on my thinking cap.

I hung them on the wood privacy fence behind the table.  They’re accessible and if they fall, they won’t hurt much.  I originally tried to hang them in an “artistic” fashion, but J, with his designers’ eye, had me rehang them in the diamond formation which looks really good.

These were free, as well, because I already had the jars and found some wire in J’s toolbox which I swiped to make the hangers.  Our little piece of paradise is really shaping-up.  K was sitting there last night and said I’d made it look like a “fairy wonderland”, ha ha.  Plus, she is definitely her mama’s girl.  She told me that she thought it was really neat that I’d done it all “DIY”.  She then showed me some ankle bracelets she’d made using a friendship bracelet kit she has.  Her friend had received some pretty ankle bracelets and K wanted some, too.  However, due to our budgetary constraints, she didn’t even bother to ask for them, she just made her own.  And, you know what?  They’re beautiful (prettier than the ones her friend has, at least in my completely non-biased opinion)!  She doesn’t feel cheated by being thrifty.  She feels creative and empowered.  That makes me the happiest of all.  The message is being heard, loud and clear.

What about you?  What creative and thrifty ways have you found to get what you want?  Share!



About sugarshellandbutterknife

I am a work-at-home mother of two, daughter K who is 16 and son N who is 12. I live in a 1956 mid-mod ranch with my children and the love of my life, J. We're slowly renovating our house on a budget and love all things DIY. I hope to make this a place where frugal-minded folks like myself can exchange ideas, gain inspiration and find encouragement to tackle whatever life throws our way.

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