Quick and Dirty Front Porch Holiday Makeover (for under $ 30)

Our quick (and dirty) front porch makeover for the holidays for under $ 30! See how we did it and the before & after photos. It's quite the change!

When we flew back from Greece, (just in time for Thanksgiving’s dinners – perfect timing!), the first view of our home was pretty…sad. It looked so neglected with its summer plants all dead, the hanging pots gone, bags of dirt and mulch plopped in the driveway and the unfinished look that our porch has sported even before we bought the house – who knows for how many years – giving the unattractive view of an abandoned shack.

I had to do something the quick (as in immediately) and dirty (as in dirt – literally) to shape up our front porch for the holidays season. First of all, see how bad it was:

TwoPlusCute: Our quick and dirty front porch makeover for the holidays for under $ 30! This is the dreary before.
Before: complete with dried (and dead) plants and kiddie pool – in December!

Trivia: This porch, will be rebuilt (once we budget for it) because of all these issues that I ranted extensively about so, all the tidying was about cleaning and low key cosmetic changes, that were as frugal as possible.

 

TwoPlusCute Our quick and dirty front porch makeover for the holidays for under $ 30! See how we did it and the before & after photos. It's quite the change! This is part of the dreary before.

 

This is how it turned after some cleaning and tidying. It went from “nobody lives here” to “hey, somebody does live here!”, which is quite the improvement.

And just in time, too, if you notice the date and the fresh snow.

 

TwoPlusCute: Beautifully done holiday small porch. Our quick (and dirty) front porch makeover for the holidays for under $ 30! See how we did it and the before & after photos. It's quite the change!
After: clean, neat and ready for holidays.

 

Doesn’t it look much, much better? 🙂

Decor wise, we used Christmas lights (in warm white), 4 wreaths we had bought heavily discounted the previous year, added glittering gold bows on them (a dollar each) and made a quick and easy front door wreath with textured ornaments for added interest. I also had to persuade hubby to put up the Christmas lights, which turned him into the Grinch (what is it with men and putting up Christmas lights?).

 

TwoPlusCute: Our quick (and dirty) front porch makeover for the holidays for under $ 30! See how we did it and the before & after photos. It's quite the change! Man on ladder. The Grinch putting Christmas lights
The Grinch putting the Christmas lights up.

The real work was cleaning up the dead flowers. All that pulling is great if one wants to vent some steam but I was feeling pretty calm and it felt labor intensive under the circumstances. Once done though, it was clean and although barren it looked less forlorn.

 

TwoPlusCute: Our quick (and dirty) front porch makeover for the holidays for under $ 30! See how we did it and the before & after photos. It's quite the change! During: What a mess, pile of foliage debris
I plopped the kiddie pool for size comparison of the plant debris. That was a large pile!

 

Going the extra mile: adding dirt and crushed marble chips, mixing them well and fixing the slope under the porch to help with drainage. This is a boring step but, so helpful when one lives in a moist place like we do. Sloping the ground away from the house is the cheapest and most effective way to keep one’s basement safe from moisture problems.

It was well into the night I started with the least glorious part of the makeover:

 

TwoPlusCute: Our quick (and dirty) front porch makeover for the holidays for under $ 30! See how we did it and the before & after photos. It's quite the change!

 

Now, I was left with a dirt area that was quickly – and easily – covered, using 3 bags of mulch. I followed the edge of the grassline, creating curved lines for visual interest (and to fully cover the bare patches until snow covers the whole area).

 

TwoPlusCute: Our quick (and dirty) front porch makeover for the holidays for under $ 30! See how we did it and the before & after photos. It's quite the change! !
Already better: plants cut to ground, covered with mulch, lights up, bags of dirt and tools removed, wreaths with golden bows added.

 

I needed only 3 bags of mulch because I was just covering the bare ground in anticipation of the snow.

The biggest impact: cutting lattice to fill in the gaps under the porch. Insta-awesome! We bought two pieces of pressure treated wooden lattice from a home improvement store. Total cost was about 20 dollars for both pieces (an 4x8ft one and a 2x8ft). It is an easy DIY to do and made such an improvement. I did that myself and don’t laugh, it was my first time with a dangerous power tool (well sort of dangerous). 🙂

It is one of those things you go “why didn’t I do this before?”. Adding lattice. Yep.

 

TwoPlusCute: Our quick (and dirty) front porch makeover for the holidays for under $ 30! See how we did it and the before & after photos. It's quite the change! Adding lattice made a huge difference.
Lattice fitting snugly, covering the unsightly gaps – huge improvement!

 

The lattice will be painted white when warmer seasons come, as the freezing temperatures will not allow the paint to adhere properly.

 

TwoPlusCute: Our quick (and dirty) front porch makeover for the holidays for under $ 30! See how we did it and the before & after photos. It's quite the change! Snow brings out the simple wreaths.
Power in numbers: simple wreaths with golden bows, add visual interest by pattern repetition.

 

It was time to put the tools in the shed, the kiddie pool (washed and clean) in the basement and the final touches up. Candy cane solar lights (to mark the edges of the mulch for the snowblower), tidy the rugs and add a couple pots with greenery. Some garlands and a wreath to dress up the front door and we were all ready.

 

TwoPlusCute: Our under $ 30 quick (and dirty) front porch makeover for the holidays! See the dreary before & beautiful after photos. It's quite the change!

 

All in all, if we exclude items we already owned from years past (like the wreaths and the lights), the whole makeover costed under 30 dollars (including the lattice and the mulch). If we were to start from scratch and include previous years’ purchases like the garlands (two of them) the 4 wreaths plus the door one and the lights, the whole makeover would still be to the tune of approximately 50 US dollars. Still not bad!

We were ready just in time, to welcome 2016. Which I hope, found you all as happy and healthy as possible. 🙂

 

The Dedicated House
My Sweet Things

 

ps. See the missing railing in front of the door (to the far left)? It was practically standing there out of…habit when we bought the house and I simply pushed it off instead of having a guest leaning on it and falling down. There will be a small staircase there to totally feng-shui the front door when we overhaul the porch. Stay tuned!

And yes, there is a long Santa train cling on the windows. 🙂

 

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43 thoughts on “Quick and Dirty Front Porch Holiday Makeover (for under $ 30)

  • January 11, 2016 at 3:02 pm
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    What a terrific change! Warm and cosy and on tight budget. Well done. I saw you post featured at Kathryn’s party at The Dedicated House.

    Reply
  • January 11, 2016 at 1:10 am
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    What a great transformation! Your front porch really looked great for the Christmas holiday.

    Judith

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  • January 9, 2016 at 10:36 am
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    The lattice does make a lot of difference. Great job on your makeover, it looks great. Thanks for linking up at Wonderful Wednesday linky.

    Reply
  • January 6, 2016 at 5:38 pm
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    Beautifully done and perfect for your home, even if the porch is going to change. I also installed trellis panels under our front deck and wondered why I had not done it before! Your clean up and spruce up made a tremendous difference. Two thumbs up!

    Reply
    • January 6, 2016 at 3:49 pm
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      I am bummed I couldn’t do it this year but, I too love to go scavenging for pretty Christmas ornaments in great deals.

      Reply
  • January 5, 2016 at 5:23 pm
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    Wow! That’s quite a transformation! I am so impressed with the result, especially given the budget. Now I want a front porch! 🙂

    Reply
    • January 6, 2016 at 3:45 pm
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      So glad you liked it Kim. 🙂
      You do have a porch and a cute one at that. (Ok maybe it’s not a “front” one but still!)

      Reply
  • January 5, 2016 at 3:09 pm
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    Thanks so much for stopping by!! The front of your home looks lovely!! I especially like the wreaths on the railing!
    Happy New Year!!

    Hugs,
    Deb

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    • January 5, 2016 at 1:45 pm
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      Happy new year to you too Wendi, so glad you liked it. 🙂

      Reply
  • January 5, 2016 at 4:21 am
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    Looks great!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!
    Blessings,
    Cindy

    Reply
  • January 4, 2016 at 11:14 pm
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    Much much better indeed!! Love how little money but great imagination can make such a big change.
    I would love if you share this with us at the party we host each Tuesday, which is called Two Uses Tuesday.
    Hugs,

    Pili
    Pili posted…Two Uses Tuesday 61

    Reply
  • January 4, 2016 at 10:58 pm
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    That is a pretty dramatic makeover for only $30! Great job, very pretty!

    Reply
  • January 4, 2016 at 8:30 pm
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    The immediate changes you made were effective and economical! It looks great. The lattice solution was brilliant. High five on doing it yourself! 🙂

    Reply
  • January 4, 2016 at 5:36 pm
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    Your porch is so cute and welcoming! It’s amazing what a little man power and lattice can do. 🙂

    Reply
  • January 4, 2016 at 2:49 pm
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    HUGE difference. Looks great!

    Reply
  • January 4, 2016 at 12:46 am
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    Oh my gosh! I love the lattice! It does make a huge impact 🙂 Your door wreath is really cute too and I love how you used multiple wreaths across the front- I never would have thought to do that! Our outside holiday decor was abysmal.

    I love what you did! Thanks for the inspiration for next year 😀

    Reply
    • January 4, 2016 at 4:33 pm
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      I don’t think you can do “abysmal” Christine!
      Am so glad you liked the wreaths, too. 🙂

      Reply
  • January 3, 2016 at 5:33 pm
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    Great job – doesn’t even look like the same porch. And the Grinch did a terrific job hanging the lights!

    Reply
  • January 3, 2016 at 3:32 pm
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    Love it! I found you from Silver Pennies Sundays! Stop by when you get a chance. I look forward to visiting you again!!!

    Cottage Blessings,
    Rebecca
    at Chippy White Cottage

    Reply
    • January 3, 2016 at 11:05 pm
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      Hi Rebecca and happy new year!
      Glad you dropped by and liked the effort. 😀

      Reply
  • January 2, 2016 at 10:24 pm
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    Love what you did to transform the porch. Looks very pretty and festive. Awesome job.

    Reply

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