Right before we left for Guatemala, I had a spontaneous party at our home. Inviting people over at the last minute is the key to stress free entertaining…seriously. I call it Spontaneous Hospitality, and often it’s the way I roll. So much pressure is taken off because people know that this was thrown together last minute and expectations are just being together – the way it should be when you gather with friends.
It’s also a great excuse for me to whip together last minute home decor and DIY projects that I have been putting off, and this day was a perfect example of that.  Our deck has been a mess for years. We just didn’t have the money to put into purchasing furniture, so I had slowly found things at yard sales, but non of it looked pulled together.

I finally found a clearanced end of the season floor model set for dirt cheap, and they even threw in the pillows (peek down below). That pillow determined my color palette. With blues, greens, and reds, I had lots to work with and tons of FREE spray paint in those colors. I could kick myself because I can’t find the photo card that had all the BEFORE pictures, but you can imagine…just think ugly, really ugly, for all of my redo’s.
This brass serving tray above I bought for $2. It was rusted, and looked like it was about 50 years old. No longer. Since it was originally black, I gave it a quick coat of white primer first and then minutes later sprayed it with the turquoise.
Now, I just love it, and it makes the perfect little side table on our deck.

The day before our party, which was the same day I invited people,  I picked up these TWO horrendous chairs for a total of $5. I knew I needed a little extra seating out there and I was desperate. Why pay for full price for a plastic chair  at the box store when you can have fun with these? As I rushed around like a crazy women making food and cleaning, I decided to redo the chairs…right then. I only got to one, but the beauty was that this was done in literally about 20 minutes, and RIGHT before the guests arrived. I think the paint was even still a bit wet.
I already had the green fabric that I had picked up at a yard sale for 50 cents, so I just eyeballed the measuring, cut and stapled. Again, spray paint transformed this with a punch of color. It looks so fun on the deck. The corners aren’t perfect, but nothing that a little bobby pin can’t fix, and honestly, I don’t think one person even glanced to see if the corners were done perfectly. 😉
Isn’t it cute? For $2.50 and 20 minutes, I’ll take it.

This next serving cart is what I WISHED you could see before hand. I also bought this the day before our party, and never did get a picture because I never planned on painting it with out sanding it down first.
This cart was still at the yard sale at the very end of the day. Typically, that is only when junk is left. That’s how ugly it looked. It was filthy, covered in cobwebs and had clumps of mud all over it. No wonder no one wanted it. They needed to clean it up beforehand. But I saw it’s promise and was just giddy when the lady said $3.

Again, this was done the hour before guests arrived, and took only about five minutes. I know, call me crazy, but my daughter and I went to town VERY quickly. Why do I love spontaneous hospitality? Because never would I have painted this cart without scrubbing it well, sanding it down and priming first, but with people coming over, I knew I didn’t have time, and it just didn’t matter. I can always go back and re-paint it later to catch the tiny spots we missed. The best part? It got done, right away.
This was perfect for serving the drinks. I had all the 2-liter bottles underneath, and then later, I made it the dessert tray. SO FUN, and again, the pop of color adds to the whole deck feel.

Do you remember Mocha, our goat (may she rest in peace)? Well, not only did she bring many bedlam moments, but this porch swing reached fame status with my Homestead Hospitality…only at my haven post. Re-reading this brought a swell of fond memories, but also reminded me of how many things got ruined.
This porch swing was literally the horrible disaster that had been on our deck days before our guests. We moved it out by our trampoline and sand volleyball court for a little seating area.
I purchased a queen size duvet cover for $3 at a yard sale, and did an instant NO-SEW porch swing cover.
It went from my husband saying, “Just throw it away,” to a perfect, cozy spot where everyone wanted to gather around.

So for $8 total, and only one hour of my time, I redid a chair, a porch swing, a side table, and a serving tray. Go grab some spray paint and find a project or two that you have been putting off. It never has to be perfect, and you will be so thrilled when the outcome is just what you wanted, but achieved with no stress, no expectations, yet only DIY rewards.
P.S. And yes, I still can’t find my camera card or I would show you the great finished project. The deck looks adorable. I ‘ll retake the pictures and show how you can do an entire porch redo for only $200, but I think you have an idea how it starts. 🙂