I know I promised to share the tie dye tutorial from my no sew tie dye pillow post, but I’m trying to make a short how-to video (my very first one) and I haven’t finished it yet, so I’m hoping to post it on Monday. I know you must be really disappointed ūüėČ but I have another fun and easy idea to share (plus it was really cheap, woohoooo!).

A few weeks ago I went to the Kane County flea market, which is the mother of all flea markets around here. You can find just about anything there, from a vintage mail holder found in an old barn to plants to rusty giant letters. You name it, it’s there.

Tomato Cage Plant Stand | chatfieldcourt.com

Anyway, I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, just enjoying walking up and down the aisles checking everything out, when I saw some vintage olive buckets. I’ve been wanting one but I’ve never seen them at the flea, so when I saw that this giant, rusty beauty was $55, I knew it was coming home with me.

Tomato Cage Plant Stand | chatfieldcourt.comI’ve been looking at smaller olive buckets on and off for quite a while and I always thought I would use it in the house somewhere, but once I got this one home and saw how big it really was, I knew it would have to go on my deck with a beautiful Kimberly Queen fern inside. The only problem with it was that it needed a little height. I was trying to figure how to get it up in the air when I saw the tomato cages that the hubs had just put in the garden to hold up the tomatoes.

Tomato Cage Plant Stand | chatfieldcourt.com

I didn’t measure anything but as soon as I turned it upside down, I knew it would work (of course my ever supportive husband had doubts).

Tomato Cage Plant Stand | chatfieldcourt.com

To get it to the size I wanted I just used a hacksaw to cut the 4 posts and the bottom ring off of the cage, which was a 5 minute easy job.

Tomato Cage Plant Stand | chatfieldcourt.comThen I put my bucket in to check the fit and it was perfect, and surprisingly sturdy.

Tomato Cage Plant Stand | chatfieldcourt.comI liked the fit but I wanted to add just a bit of color to the cage so I decided to try some Rust-Oleum spray paint in Hammered Bronze.

Tomato Cage Plant Stand | chatfieldcourt.comI think it was just the touch it needed.

Tomato Cage Plant Stand | chatfieldcourt.comA little bit of drying time and I had a “new” plant stand for my vintage olive bucket. All I had to do was to add a fern and it was ready for a photo shoot.

Tomato Cage Plant Stand | chatfieldcourt.com

Tomato Cage Plant Stand | chatfieldcourt.comI never knew I wanted one but now I can say that I love my tomato cage plant stand. ūüėČ

What projects are you working on right now? We’re in the kitchen again this weekend painting some cabinets. I’m hoping to share an update soon.

Tomato Cage Plant Stand | chatfieldcourt.com

 

 

 

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Spring is here for most of us with summer soon to follow, and that means that we’re busy getting our outdoor spaces ready to enjoy. Not everyone is blessed with a large outdoor area to fill with a big family dining table or fire pit though, so whether you have a small backyard deck (like I do) or a tiny balcony in a city apartment, there’s so much you can do to make your space a beautiful outdoor oasis.

Small But Beautiful Outdoor Spaces - small deck with space to lounge with a cool drink

Adding a rug helps to define your space and makes it feel more put together. Using fun items like the green lantern and the round tray coffee table create a homey feeling.

Small But Beautiful Outdoor SpacesELLE Decoration 

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When you have a small space you want to utilize every square inch and sometimes that means going vertical.

Small But Beautiful Outdoor Spaces

Will Craft 4 Food

Keep it simple but comfy and cozy when you decorate your small outdoor area by using furnishings that draw you outside to sit and relax.

Small But Beautiful Outdoor SpacesBHG

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Decorate your small space with furnishings you would usually see inside, like this pretty, ornate mirror.

Small But Beautiful Outdoor Spaces

Achados de Decoracao

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It will make your outdoor space seem larger, just like it would if you were using it in a small indoor room.

Small But Beautiful Outdoor Spaces - small brick patio with beautiful mirror

House and Garden

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Less is sometimes more in small outdoor spaces. You don’t have to have a lot of “stuff” to have a beautiful and functional small space.
A small but beautiful outdoor space in the middle of New York City.

I hope you found some great ideas from these beautiful small outdoor spaces that you can use in whatever size space you have.

 Do you have a small outdoor space? Any tips on how to decorate it?

A collection of Small But Beautiful Outdoor Spaces

 

 

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Hanging Outdoor Cafe Lights | Chatfield Court.comSince we started working on the back yard this past¬†spring, I’ve been dying to add some cafe lights around the deck. The problem we have though, is¬†that there’s no roof or overhead structure that we can attach them to and I didn’t want to hang them on the railing,¬†so we have been forced to go¬†cafe light(less) all summer. ūüėČ I knew what I wanted to do but I wasn’t sure how to do it so¬†after some¬†thought, some internet searching and several trips to Home Depot, I came up with a good-looking, easy to do and relatively inexpensive way to hang them above our deck. This is a long one today with lots of pictures so grab your coffee and enjoy.

Although this project was relatively inexpensive and easy to do, it did require us to perform some basic electrical tasks. Including the 2 boxes of cafe lights, we were able to do this project for under $70. The first thing I got was 2 boxes of indoor/outdoor, 20′ cafe lights from Target. Then it was on to Home Depot where I bought 2 pieces of¬†10′, 3/4″ EMT metal conduit from the electrical department along with 2 packages of EMT 3/4″ 1 hole straps, 1 package of Flex 3/8″ 1 hole straps, 1 package of 1/2″ metal knockout seals and a package of different sized rubber grommets.

Hanging Outdoor Cafe Lights | Chatfield Court.comHanging Outdoor Cafe Lights | Chatfield Court.com In the hardware department I got some 1/16″ galvanized wire rope to hang the lights on and 1/16″ wire rope crimps so we could attach the wire to the EMT conduit. My last stop was the paint department where I got a can of spray paint in Flat Burnished Amber.

Hanging Outdoor Cafe Lights | Chatfield Court.com To start this project, I first removed the stickers from the conduit pipes and wiped them down with paint thinner to get all the residue off. I laid out all of my hole straps and knockout seals with the conduit and sprayed them with the spray paint.

Hanging Outdoor Cafe Lights | Chatfield Court.com Once they were dry it was time to measure to see how tall the conduit¬†needed to be on the deck. We decided that we would put 1 piece of the conduit on each of the outside corners of the deck and attach it to the railing post using the 3/4″ EMT hole straps.¬†After measuring, it seemed that 8 foot was the perfect height for our lights, Mr. C¬≤ cut the pipes¬†with a hack saw and used a file to remove the burrs from the conduit. Using a¬†self tapping screw we added a 3/8″ strap to the top of one of the poles to hold the wire rope up. To finish it off, we capped it with a painted knockout seal that had to be modified by bending the clips in just a little bit so it would fit into the top of the pole.

Hanging Outdoor Cafe Lights | Chatfield Court.comOur first pole is ready to be attached to one of the corners of the deck using 3, 3/4″ straps.

Hanging Outdoor Cafe Lights | Chatfield Court.com

For the second pole, we cut it the same length as the first one and filed the burrs. The knockout seal had to be modified on this pole so that we could run an extension cord through it to give our lights electricity and to make it look neat. To modify the knockout seal, Mr. C¬≤ drilled a 1/2″ hole for a rubber grommet to fit in so the extension cord could go through. Then we attached the seal and the rubber grommet to the top of the pole.

Hanging Outdoor Cafe Lights | Chatfield Court.comHanging Outdoor Cafe Lights | Chatfield Court.comTo put the¬†outdoor extension cord through¬†the conduit¬†we had to first cut off the end of the cord that plugs into the wall. Once¬†it was threaded through the conduit, we attached a replacement plug to the cord. We¬†ended up not using¬†a 3/8″ strap on this pole to hold the wire, like we did on the first pole, because the screw that we would need to use to attach the strap would go through the extension cord on the inside of the conduit and cause a short-circuit. Now our second pole was ready to be attached to the other corner using 3, 3/4″ hole straps.

Once both poles were secured¬†to the deck we ran¬†the wire rope from pole to pole through a center point above our back door, where we attached a 3/8″ hole strap,¬†so that the lights would hang in a letter “V” formation.

Hanging Outdoor Cafe Lights | Chatfield Court.comThe wire rope is used to hold the weight of the cafe lights, as it would not be safe to have the weight of the lights hanging from the metal poles. To attach the wire to one pole we looped the wire around the pole and used a wire rope crimp to secure it.

Hanging Outdoor Cafe Lights | Chatfield Court.com Next we stretched the wire¬†tight, without bending the conduit, running it to the house and over¬†to the second pole. We attached it¬†to the second pole by threading the wire through the 3/8″ strap, around the pole and then crimping it to itself using another wire rope crimp. After it was crimped we trimmed the excess wire. It was finally time to put up the cafe lights. We started at the pole that had the extension cord in it, plugged the lights into the extension cord and then clipped the lights onto the wire rope.

Hanging Outdoor Cafe Lights | Chatfield Court.comWe ran the lights through the 3/8″ strap over the back door and started for the second pole. When we ran out of lights in the first string, we plugged the second string into the end of the first (like you do with Christmas tree lights) and ran them to the second pole. The second strand ended up being too long so we cut the wire to make it shorter. We simply cut off what was not needed with a wire cutter, then staggered the wires by 3/8 of an inch so that the cut ends would not touch each other.

Hanging Outdoor Cafe Lights | Chatfield Court.com Next we wrapped the ends with electrical tape for safety and wrapped the wire around the pole. Touching up with¬†some spray paint was the final step. Now the fun part…plugging in the lights and enjoying the ambience of our deck. We still have some electrical work to do, as we are using an outdoor extension cord from the garage until Mr. C¬≤ installs new electric on the deck, but I can say we are cafe light(less) no more. ūüėČ

Hanging Outdoor Cafe Lights | Chatfield Court.comHanging Outdoor Cafe Lights | www.chatfieldcourt.com What projects did you tackle this weekend…or were you able to relax and enjoy the summer weather?

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We moved into our house in the middle of the summer last year and I started projects inside right away so I never really got around to fixing up the deck. This year I’ve been a little better. Besides building a new deck, there’s still a few little things¬†that I would like to do, like hanging cafe lights and adding some fun color, but it’s a much more comfortable space to hang out on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Our Back Deck and a Goodwill Find | Chatfield Court.comLike the inside of our house, our deck is small on space but all of the furniture that we had in Florida fits. It’s¬†a¬†little snug but it’s enough room for Mr. C¬≤, Finn and me.

Our Back Deck and a Goodwill Find | Chatfield Court.com I tried to make this a comfortable space for us and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money so everything out here we brought with us. I know it’s¬†a little brown out there with that rug but it’s good for this summer. The one thing I did buy was this beverage(?)/plant(?) cart that I found at Goodwill for $4.99. Score!!

Our Back Deck and a Goodwill Find | Chatfield Court.comIt was a little dirty but in great shape and it’s made of solid oak. I also like that it folds up flat so I can store it in the garage in the winter. When I was cleaning it up I mentioned to my husband that I was thinking about painting it…you know, because of all of the brown tones already on the deck. He ’bout had a fit right there in the back yard. “You aren’t painting that”, he said, “it’s solid oak!” Why do all men think that it’s a sin to paint wood? ūüėČ Well, as you can see, I didn’t paint it. It wasn’t because of him though. I didn’t want to be hasty and paint it and then be sorry so I’m going to keep it like this for the rest of the summer and see how I feel¬†next year.

Our Back Deck and a Goodwill Find | Chatfield Court.com If you’ve been following along this past year, then you already know that we have lived in the South for the past 20 years. I didn’t plant a lot of annuals when we lived down there because of my back issues and the weather, so this is the first year I’ve ever had a fern and I have to say that I’m a huge fan.

Our Back Deck and a Goodwill Find | Chatfield Court.comMine is a Kimberly Queen fern and it’s doing really well with minimal effort. I love that it doesn’t shed and it always looks great. I will definitely have another one next year, maybe two. Do you think it’s just plain wrong to paint a wood like oak? Do you think I should paint my cart? What color would you pick?

Our Back Deck and a Goodwill Find | Chatfield Court.com Thanks so much for stopping by!

Looking for some other outdoor decorating ideas?

Easy and casual 4th of July decor for an outdoor deck. | chatfieldcourt.com

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