DIY Outdoor Privacy Screen

I chatted with my BFFs at Online Fabric Store and was provided some product while writing this post. I was not compensated otherwise and my opinions are my own. Now you know, and knowing's half the battle. :)
Don't you want to cuddle with it? My "new" porch screen looks OMG-where-did-you-get-that good.  I'm starting to see a theme with all of my DIY projects where I revamp crap from around my house. I finish the project and then think, why did I live with it so ugly for so long? Same case with the screen. Sucker was bleh before. At the risk of sounding weight-loss informercial on you: I should have done it years ago!

This is almost the final project in the great porch makeover I sweated through this summer. Just a couple projects left to show you how I went from this to some place you might actually want to sit down and have a margarita (without using hand sanitizer). So far I finished the hanging plant chandelier, built an outdoor storage box, crafted some herringbone shim art, and revamped the entire dining area. On to the screen!

Here's the before.
I bought this screen probably 10 years ago at a garage sale for $20. (I remember that because as a poor gal in her early 20's, $20 was a lot for a decor item... who am I kidding, still is. #cheapandiknowit) It sat in various apartments and houses I had through the years and basically hid my crap. Once I got married and got "a real house", it got banished to the back porch and has since lived it's life out hiding our plunger :) It still needs to hide the plunger, but we can at least make it pretty.

  • Old Screen
  • Small scrap pieces of wood trim
  • Fabric (about 3 yards as long as it's wide enough to get 3 panels out of it) The fabric I am using is P. Kaufmann Outdoor Silsila Poolside Fabric from Online Fabric Store. Click here to get it!
  • Screws/Screwdriver or drill 
  • Sewing machine and regular sewing stuff
Step 1:
Remove any of the old stuff that is in your way. I'm my case, this paper stuff was moldy and ripped and needed to go.  I just ripped it off. I also did a few small repairs to the wood frame at this point.

Step 2:
Prime. Some regular old spray primer always helps the paint stick better.

Step 3:
Paint. Once the primer was dry (took about 30 seconds in the blazing 95º Florida heat/direct sun), I gave everything a couple coats of spray paint. Same Rust-Oleum teal I used on everything else.

Step 4:
Now head inside and get some water and an ice pop while that dries. Good? Let's keep going. Time to cut the 3 fabric panels. To do this I folded my fabric lengthwise in 3rds and cut on the folds. Doing this just happened to give me three even panels slightly larger than I needed to allow room for hemming. Doesn't really matter how you arrive to this step... you just need as many fabric panels as you have screen panels and they need to be about 2" wider and about 6" longer than the size of the panels on the screen frame.

Step 5:
Press and hem. After the panels were cut, I folded the sides under twice (not the top or bottom... that's the next step), pressed, and sewed. I made sure my finished panel width was going to fit inside the frame I had drying out in the yard.

Step 6:
Cut pieces of scrap wood or trim for the tops and bottoms and sew pockets for them to fit into. That sounds complicated, but it's really not. You're essentially making "curtain rods" and sewing pockets on the tops and bottoms of the fabric panels for those to slide into. Like this...
Those are my 6 pieces (1 for the top and bottom of each panel) of scrap trim I had laying around in the garage. I cut them to fit inside the width of my screen frames.

Then I hemmed the top and bottom of each fabric panel leaving a large enough pocket so the trim pieces could slide inside. If you end up using a really wide piece of wood for this, you're going to need a longer piece of fabric the make a larger pocket. I allowed myself 3 extra inches on either end.
 Slide that sucker right in there.
And, to make sure I was hemming everything to the correct length, I made the top pocket first then clamped it to my screen to determine where to make the bottom one. Like this... (Note we are inside at this point and the kids are not snoozing. I was way too hot and naps are like a mythical creature of the past)

Step 7:
Attach the fabric panels to the screen frame.  Again, I cut small scraps of wood to fit inside the width of my existing screen frame.

Then screwed through those scraps from the back, into the screen frame, into the scraps I cut for my curtain rods on the front. Make sense?

Drill pilot holes to prevent splitting. Just go right through the fabric from the back into the scrap wood that's in the pocket on the front. The important part here is to make sure your screws are the perfect length. Not too short so they don't grab the fabric panel on the front, but not too long so they don't poke through the front.

And that's it; you're done. I can't tell if it looks a hundred times better than it did before or a million times better.  Hmmm. 

Besides hiding our plunger (lovely, I know) and larger yard crap that doesn't fit in the bench, it makes a really sweet backdrop for the dining area and all of my accessories.
The other fabrics pictured here: 

So maybe you don't have a screen to revamp, but something else? Either way I hope you're inspired to just try it! It might just work out. Life's too short to live with ugly stuff.


Outdoor Dining Makeover

I was in cahoots with RYOBI, STOK, and Online Fabric Store during my back porch makeover this June. I received a few products during the process but was not compensated otherwise. My opinions are my own :)
So you guys... the porch is DONE. Like totally completely done. And we used the heck out of it this weekend for the 4th. Do you remember where I started? (Only the most embarrassing post ever) Here's a few pics of my patio set as a refresher.
My patio table was, let's just say, gross. It is actually an indoor set that was my husband's before we were married. When our furniture combined, it got moved to the porch. And since then, it's been a bit neglected (like 7ish years neglected). The only thing I did to it when it moved outdoors was to cover the seats in a brown vinyl. Why did I go with brown?  I have no idea. But it sure makes for a good "before"!
The feet were really rusty and and frogs and lizards had sort of made it their home. It's main use was to hold up drying beach towels and bathing suits.

So I finally did something about it (spoiler: I looks like a place you might actually want to sit down now). First thing I did was remove the seats.

Since I recovered them once already in their life, there were lots of staples. Instead of trying to staple over my other staples, I decided to remove them. This actually went really fast.

Once the old vinyl was off (yep, the seats used to be red suede), I got to work recovering them again. I chose a gorgeous white faux ostrich vinyl from Online Fabric Store. However, you might have already noticed, I didn't stick with the white vinyl. While I loved it (and still do) it just didn't work with all of the other bright colors I had going on. Once I had it on the finished chair, it looked out of place. So in the end, I redid the stools again in Premier Prints Outdoor Blooms Pacific Fabric and I love it! The white ostrich shall live on in another project.

Recovering a stool like this is really easy. You basically cut a slightly larger pice of fabric, pull tight from opposite sides, and staple. Just keep going around, pulling from opposite directions until you've secured all of the fabric and trim the excess.

After the seats were done, I got to work on the table and chairs. Everything was pretty rusty so it all required a really good sanding.

I posted this pic on my Instagram a while back. That was me mid-sanding. Besides the half deflated kiddie pool in the reflection, is the camera picking up the fact that my arms are on fire? It was quite a workout!

Once the sanding was done, I wiped everything down with a damp cloth. Note the outfit change. I didn't get this all done in one day :)

When everything is clean and dry, we're ready for primer and paint. I used Rust-Oleum spray paint. This pic is a little deceiving. I think the table took 2 cans of teal paint and maybe 2 cans of primer. 

Do a light coat of primer to prevent drips and a sticky finish. It doesn't have to cover completely.

Then came the paint. Again, light coats. I think my backyard smelled like spray paint for a week. 

After the teal was dry, I flipped the chairs over and tapped off the legs to spray the orangey-coral color for the dipped look. The chairs kind of remind me of little bugs in this picture that got tipped over and can't get back up. I realize that is weird, but seriously. They do, don't they?!

I thought it was going to be harder than it was to keep the paint from getting on the teal parts I already painted but it went pretty smoothly. Only a smidge of touchup required. (Can't you just hear the little chair... help me! help!... okay, I'll stop)

The table got the same treatment as the chairs.

And when everything was dry... drumroll... Tadah! It's like a color explosion. All of the fabrics you see are from Online Fabric Store (links to all of them are below). The rug is from World Market and the accessories are a combination of IKEA and Target clearance. We actually have an outdoor space to eat and entertain now.

And speaking of... remember our grill before? (ewww) Does it even count as a grill if fire doesn't always come out of it?
Anyway, after! We got a new STOK Quattro 4-Burner grill. The cool part about this grill (besides the snazzy orange accents... not gonna lie. I was equally as excited about that. So stylish!) are the interchangeable inserts. You can change out the grill grates to a pizza stone, griddle, veggie tray, and more. 
I got so used to not using our grill that I kind of forgot that was a cooking option. We've used the new grill so much in just the few short weeks we've had it this summer. I really love not having to turn the oven on in the house when it's 95º outside and having fewer dishes to wash. I forgot how good grilled veggies are. We've already been talking about getting a few more inserts to increase our cooking options. I may never cook inside again... or it might all be part of my plan to have the hubs cook from now on. He is the grill master after all. Mwahaha ;)

Like I mentioned before, all of the fabrics are from onlinefabricstore.net. The coral seahorse one is so adorable. I love the beachy vibe it gives the space.

You might have noticed the splendiferous (it's a word... Trust me, I used the thesaurus) screen in the background of some of the photos done in P. Kaufmann Outdoor Silsila Poolside fabric. The complete before & after and tutorial on that are coming soon!

So it's finally done and I just have a few more posts to give you all the details including the outdoor screen and Arctic Cove misting kit installation. Now who wants to come over for a margarita? I'll save you a seat!