02 April 2013

Sasquatch Hunting [Gift Edition]

My husband is a wonderful, thoughtful gift giver. While I realize that gifts are material and do not make a relationship, a thoughtful gift can go a long way in saying “I really do appreciate you.” So I always try to put the same measure of thought into the gifts that I give him. With Easter right around the corner I was trying to figure out the perfect token of appreciation that he couldn't live without.

Trust me, this is more challenging than you could ever possibly know – mainly, because my husband is: 1. into hobbies that I know very little absolutely nothing about (so he has to spell out every detail for me to buy him something in that genre.) 2. An excellent guesser.  Seriously, I could buy him the most obscure gift, wrap it, and he could pick it up and know exactly what it is -- Size, color, price, everything. I am married to the present whisperer.

So it’s now a game for me. I wasn't kidding when I told you I am the most competitive person on this planet (maybe I should seek help?!) “What can I give Kevin that he will not only not know what it is, but also love, oh yeah -- and not spend a fortune on?” The elusive Sasquatch might be easier to find.

Background to a brilliant idea: there is a house that we finally got a contract accepted and are moving towards closing on. I haven’t given any updates yet because I am absolutely terrified that’s going to jinx it. We love this house. It has been an absolute ordeal and a half to get to this point, so I am not taking any chances. In other words, house updates will be coming later! So, onward to my brilliant idea!  This “secret house” that we might will be moving into has an awesome backyard with a really nice deck. Perfect for lazy summer evenings; lounging with delicious & refreshing cocktails, chatting about the day and enjoying the picturesque setting sun. Can you tell I have already moved in mentally and have done a substantial amount of daydreaming about it?!

Problem: the only porch furniture that Kevin and I currently have is two collapsible beach chairs. Not exactly the idyllic picture that I had drawn up in my head.  However, what I did have was access to hand-me-down furniture from my aunt and parents. SCORE!! Now not only do I have an awesome present idea for my hubby, but I also have a fun new DIY project on my hands. Honestly, could it get any better?
So I had a bench, two chairs, and a small table at my expense to work with. All the pieces were all a dark metal and had many small rust spots. My idea was to spray paint them a fun color and buy new pillows to complete the look. Let the present project begin!!

Deck ChairsDeck Chairs

The token “before” picture!

Now luckily (although I missed him terribly) Kevin was out of town on business all week, leaving me free to work on this project without prying eyes. The first thing I had to do was figure out a color palette. I usually love the blue family, but the not-quite-ours-yet house has blue siding, so I didn't want something that would blend in. Time to step outside of my comfort zone. I decided I was going to find the cushions I wanted, and then pull the base color from there.

I think know my mom wanted to kill me by the end of my pillow-hunting day. We went to the same (yes, the same) Target three times that day! What can I say; I wanted everything to be perfect; can you blame a girl?!  I ended up finding exactly what I wanted (not from Target, but from TJ Maxx. A Maxxinista I am!) except for the pillows for the back of the two chairs. Still on the lookout for those! Because of the pattern on the chair seat pillows (you’ll see them in the finished pictures) I decided to go with a bright yellow. I was a little nervous about it, not gonna lie. I was worried it was going to look like I had killed Big Bird and made porch furniture out of him. That was NOT the look I was going for. Just to make sure I didn't

 have “Big Bird” yellow overkill, I decided to paint the table a dark blue, a nice contrasting color.

After I gathered all my materials – pillows, spray paint (took 7 cans to spray everything and I have an extra for touch ups after the move), & sand paper – I was ready to get to work! First I sanded the rust spots and quickly buffed the whole piece. Then wiped it off to make sure there was no dust to make the paint lumpy. Finally, it was time to spray (in a well-vented room unless you want a sweet buzz.) Warning: make sure you wear yucky clothes…people are now staring at me at the gym because my running shoes are Glossy Sun Yellow. You can’t miss me (or at least my feet!)

DIY Deck Chairs

This was in the middle of the spraying process. No, I did not spray them with the pillows on…that chair had dried and I could not wait to see what the pillows looked like with them painted (and at that point I was in my “I killed Big Bird” stage and wanted to make sure I liked everything!)

And after many cans of spray paint, our porch furniture was done…and he did not a have a clue! I set it up in my parents driveway while he was visiting my grandparents and when he came back he got his Easter surprise. He loved it!! Now we are even more eager to get into our new house and enjoy the space (and a refreshing cocktail!) When everything is set up, I’ll do an update so you can see the final look!!

DIY Deck Chairs

DIY Deck Chairs

I spy my husband!

Xoxo, Christie

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