The vision for the twins’ birthday party (yes, a post about that is still forthcoming) was to have it outside on our recently completed patio. If you already saw that post or just now clicked over to check it out, then you know that it’s kind of ginormous. Talk about a #projectelephant accomplishment for my husband! He just kept eating that beast one 80-lb. block at a time, and in less time than should really be legal for such a monumental undertaking, he had built an entire patio. An entire, HUGE patio that looked awesome but just a weensy bit bare and plain spanning the length of our house with not much to break it up and give it interest.
Cue a craigslist/Lowe’s clearance/anywhere-else-we-could-think-of search for patio furniture.
Can I just share a little secret? Patio furniture is made of pure gold. It’s true. Or at least it should be for how much they charge for the stuff.
Take this lovely seating + dining arrangement that I found on Amazon for example:
Pretty, yes? Neutral colors. Lots of places to sit. Sunbrella fabric. This would look great on our patio. Or so I thought until I discovered that I could either: a) buy this patio set or b) send 2 of my children to college (not a super-fancy college, mind you, but college, nonetheless) or c) buy a really nice new car or d) pay for the vacation of a lifetime…for all 7 of us…to go to Europe. Twice.
Yes, my friends. That patio set costs—wait for it—forty -fiveTHOUSAND dollars. Hold on a sec while I check my pulse to make sure I didn’t just die.
Apparently, if patio furniture if made of pure gold, then Sunbrella fabric is woven from diamond fibers, am I right?
So, the search continued, and eventually, we managed to score a five piece conversational set on clearance at Lowe’s. Does it have Sunbrella fabric? Nope. Is it made of pure gold? Huh uh. But it doesn’t collapse when we sit on it, and it’s actually pretty cute. Plus, it cost 1/450 of the price of the Amazon one.
So, that made us happy.
Problem was, a love seat, two chairs, and a coffee table wasn’t going to cut it for a party of 40 guests. We needed a table. And a big one at that. So, I began to scour the internets for just such a table.
I didn’t want anything too fancy.
Something like this one from Restoration Hardware would have worked just fine.
Until I saw the $4,000 price tag and realized that I’d unwittingly wandered back into the made-from-pure-gold category.
Everywhere I looked, I had similar results. $2,000. $3,000. $1,000 on sale, but it was too short. I finally found one on clearance at Lowe’s (again) for $400, but it was too small for what I really wanted, and the reviews weren’t that great.
And then I remembered…
I’m married to Super Man. HE can make the table. Now, mind you, he was wee bit busy building a retaining wall to finish off the patio, one 80-lb block at a time, all day long in the scorching Texas heat. But when I asked in my sweetest voice (he immediately looked suspicious) and said lots of ego-stroking things (that are true) about how amazing he is…he said yes. (YES!) Just between you and me, he might have been relieved to have an excuse to put the 80-lb. blocks down for a while.
And then he whipped that bad boy out in 3 hours (not including sanding and staining).
Wait, what bad boy? Oh, sorry. Did I not show you yet?
Isn’t she loooooooovely? Isn’t she woooooonderful? (Because “she” really is so much more fitting than “bad boy”).
It took $250 in supplies, all told. But it’s made out of cedar, y’all. This thing is solid. I know. I helped carry it around.
(Yes, he made the arbor the background too).
We went with 2 coats of a Minwax stain called Early American, followed by 3 coats of Spar Urethane, with 2 rounds of sanding at the beginning, followed by one in between each coat. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the rich, smooth finish.
And I love all the natural variations in tone that the stain picked up from the cedar.
It’s 9 feet long and can seat 10-12 people. In other words, it’s patio table perfection.
You know what else was pretty great? All of the flowers (from Sam’s) that I threw together in mini-pails from the Target dollar section.
Yep. Just great.
If only I’d actually gotten to show my guests how pretty they were on my awesome, husband-made patio table like I’m showing you…
But that’s another M for another day.
So, what about you guys? Have you ever scored an amazing patio deal? Or paid a ridiculous bundle? (Just scratch the surface; I bet you’ll find something gold and shiny underneath). Wanna hire my husband to make your patio table? Sorry, ladies. He’s aaaaallllll mine.Like what you read? Like M is for Mama on facebook (pretty please?):