Sunday, June 19, 2016

One of the Best Underwater/Waterproof speakers by AYL

AYL Underwater speakers are one of the best speakers for the price that I am aware of. Check them...

Friday, June 10, 2016

Sew on Labels made by CBF

Sew on Labels by CBF Labels

Simple ways to save on your custom sew on clothing labels.

Keep it Simple. Simple custom sew on clothing labels with only a few colors will go a long way. Or if you are interested in custom printed labels, each color (aside from the ribbon color) is one custom plate. Each plate has its own one-time cost, making elaborate designs more costly initially.
Think Small – But Not Too Small. In most custom labels (printed labels, woven labels, hang tags, or any other custom clothing label) the smaller the better. Having a small sew on clothing label can often keep costs down. However, be careful how small, because having a very small custom label can actually increase your cost. This is normally true for custom woven labels.
Plan Ahead. Many times customers are in a rush for their custom sew on clothing labels. Often these clothing labels are a last minute thought. While, we have very fast production times, customers in a rush for their labels generally need the shipping rushed resulting in higher delivery costs sometimes five times the cost. Planning ahead and preparing vectored artwork to scale with plenty of time for sampling and production will help reduce both shipping costs and even production time.
Thin, Thin, Thin. Custom hang tags can get very costly depending on the intricacy and details of the custom clothing tag. Like with keeping the labels simple, keeping the hang tag thin rather than using a thick bulky card stock, will keep the cost low. The thinner stock is less expensive to produce and will also cost less to ship since it is not as heavy and bulky.
Strength in Numbers. The best way to save money on custom sew on clothing labels is to run in large bulk quantities. The greater the quantity the more efficient the process gets, this makes it easier to reduce costs and give the customer the benefit of that cost reduction. This is especially true of custom woven labels due to the production being created in huge sheets on a loom.
For more on tips on how to save with items like sew on clothing labels just give us a call or fill out our contact form, we’re here to help! Fill out our contact form and we will get back to you in 24 hours or less.

The post Sew on Labels made by CBF appeared first on CBF Labels Inc.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Tissue Paper Flower Letters

Today’s contributor is Emma from Crafting{E}! All posts written by Emma for Make It and Love It, can be found HERE.

. . . . .

Hello everyone, it’s Emma from Crafting{E}! I hope you all are having an amazing week!

How To Make Tissue Paper Flower Letters | via


I am currently on my summer break (yay!) and that means several things. One thing it means is, I finally have more time to work on fun projects like this. It also means that I am CRAVING more color in my life. Has that ever happened to you? I just have this urge to make everything I see bright and colorful.

How To Make Tissue Paper Flower Letters | via


Last week I ran into Target (which is something I frequently do) and I saw this tissue paper in these fun, bright colors. I ended up buying it even though I had no idea what I would use it for.

How To Make Tissue Paper Flower Letters | via


I ended up making that tissue paper into an adorable “E” letter with tissue paper flowers. Floral is SO in right now and I personally love it. I love how the flowers look on the letter. Adorable!

How To Make Tissue Paper Flower Letters | via


These letters are great for several things. They are perfect for decorating any space. They would also make a great party decoration or a photo shoot prop. The other great thing about these letters are that they are so versatile. You can change up the colors to make them fit for any holiday or occasion. How perfect would the letters “USA” be with red, white, and blue flowers for Independence Day?

How To Make Tissue Paper Flower Letters | via


Okay, you guys are going to love how easy these are to make.


  • Tissue paper (mine is from Target)
  • Wooden letter.
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Hot glue



For my letter I made three different types of flowers. I will show you how to make each kind below. I also made my flowers two different sizes. For the larger flowers I used 1/2 of a sheet of tissue paper and for the smaller flowers I used 1/4 of a sheet of tissue paper.



tissue paper flower letters (1)

  • First, take your piece of tissue paper and fold it until it is roughly the size you want your flower to be.

tissue paper flower letters (2)

  • Then, cut off part of the longer side of tissue paper so it is the shape of a square.

tissue paper flower letters (3)

  • After, put a staple into the middle of your square of tissue paper.

tissue paper flower letters (4)

  • Next, cut your square into a circle and then cut little triangle shapes out of the the edges of the circle.

tissue paper flower letters (5)

  • Fluff the tissue paper until the desired look is achieved.



  • First repeat the steps from the first flower up until it says to “cut little triangle shapes out of the edges of the circle”. Instead of cutting triangles out of the sides of the tissue paper, cut the tissue paper into a flower shape.
  • Then fluff until the desired look is achieved.

tissue paper flower letters (8)



  • Again, repeat the steps from the first flower up until it says to “cut little triangle shapes out of the edges of the circle”. This time instead of cutting the triangles cut fringe onto the sides of the circle.

tissue paper flower letters (6)

  • Then, fluff the tissue paper

tissue paper flower letters (7)

Once you have created all the flowers for your letter, simply hot glue the flowers onto the top of your letter.

tissue paper flower letters (9)

And that’s it! Thank you so much for reading! Make sure to check out my personal blog for more projects like this one and make sure to follow me on pinterest for EVEN MORE great ideas.


blog contributor Emma


. . . . .

Decorating with monograms is a great way to personalize your space! Check out a few more fun ideas using letters, and put a little “you” into your space:

“Mr & Mrs” Wall Display…fun master bedroom decor!

"Mr & Mrs" Wall master bedroom decor! via Make It and Love It

Wall Decor: wooden LOVE sign

Framed Initial

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (…for an upright Fairy Garden!)

Oh my word……it’s summertime here in Oklahoma! I know summer doesn’t officially begin for 3 more weeks, but I feel like it’s been summer for at least a month or two already.  The weather here has been so warm and beautiful (except for a few severe thunderstorms and tornadoes), so we’ve been outside, A LOT!

When I found out our Michaels Maker theme for this month was “summer parties”, all I could think about was simple backyard parties…..whether we invited friends over for a BBQ, or were just enjoying this weather as a family!  So, I wasn’t looking to create anything too extravagant in the backyard…..just a few things to make the space happy and inviting, even if was just us out there, enjoying the nice weather and sitting out on the patio for dinner.

So, I bought several pots of flowers, moved a few things around, strung some oversized lights from the patio ceiling…..and ahhhhhh, it just feels so nice to walk outside the patio door!

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


And because I couldn’t keep from making at least something, we turned some old wood fence pieces (that we got from a friend who was replacing their fence…thanks Monica!) — and turned it into a Reclaimed Wood Planter Box, for an upright FAIRY GARDEN!!

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |

Oh yes, a Fairy Garden for the kiddos to admire, rearrange, and create stories around……all summer long!  They’re excited to water and care for it too…..because everything in there is living, except for the little homes and figurines (which we bought at Michaels).

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


Pots of beautiful blooming flowers, twinkling lights overhead, and a magical fairy garden…..that’s how we’ll be enjoying our lazy summer evenings!

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


And you guys, old wood fences should never be thrown away!  The wood has perfectly weathered after years and years of rain and rust…..which gives you the perfect color, with so much character.  Once we started piecing it together, I was so excited about the whimsy it was adding to this little Fairy Garden, right outside our back door!

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


Nothing is perfect about weathered wood….but that’s what makes it “perfect”.  You can build so many things from it too… I made sure to save everything we didn’t use, for another project!

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |



We added a top ledge to the planter that could have been mitered together, but I really liked the simplicity of just matching up the squared corners and nailing it in place.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


This large planter (about 30 x 23 x 30 inches) could easily house very large plants or house trees….but since we only planted the small succulents and moss, we didn’t need room for large roots.  So I filled most of it with old styrofoam (so it wouldn’t be so heavy) and then only about 5 inches of soil on top.  But those little plants in there still need water, so the planter is up on little legs, to allow drainage through the slats in the wood.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


You really could make a planter of any size for your Fairy Garden (or even purchase a large flower pot)…but we wanted it high enough off the ground so that little ones (like Oliver) couldn’t grab pieces, but low enough for the older kids to touch and admire.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


And oh my goodness, we have been having so much fun with it.  The details of these pieces are just too sweet. My girls have already been creating story lines of what the fairies might do at night, when they come to “life”…..because yes, fairies are real, my friends! ;)

And just so you know, this little fairy, is Daisy.  She is the guardian of all the small animals and insects in the garden.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


And this guy?  His name is Ronald.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


Ronald is married to Marigold.  And according to Chloe, they don’t like pets.  They like gardening.  And tea parties.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


Ronald and Marigold live in the tree stump.  And are neighbors with Bob, that little gnome over on the left, who lives in that mini mushroom house. Haha…..the stories I’ve been overhearing about Marigold, Daisy, Ronald, and Bob are pretty hilarious! :)

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


Back to the patio.

I’ve been wanting to hang lights from the patio for quite some time but figured I missed my opportunity to buy big bulb lights like these since Christmas has passed.  But Michaels carries them as part of their “outdoor” decor and oooooh, they have so many styles to choose from.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


They were just what I wanted. :)

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


So while the kids jump on the trampoline, kick the ball around, play with our pet bunnies, or continue the saga of “Ronald and Marigold”, our Fairy Garden fairies…….

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


……Steve and I can catch up on our day here on the patio chairs, as the sun goes down and the cooler night air starts swirling in. Ahhhhh….I love celebrating summer, even if it’s just our little family!

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


Would you like to make your own Planter Box from old wood or new…..both work!


  • Old Fence Slats (3 1/2 inch wide x 1/2 inch thick)….or any other type of wood you find
  • Wood Glue
  • Nail Gun (or hammer and narrow nails)

**My finished planter (including the upper ledge) measures 29 1/2 inches wide x 23 inches deep x 30 1/2 inches tall.


First of all, decide what type of wood you want to use.  You don’t have to find old wood….this could definitely be made with new wood, but what’s the fun in that?! ;)  But if you use wood that’s another width, these measurements will be different, so just use the following as a guide.

Okay, now if you’re using old wood, disassemble it and remove any old nails or screws.  Only select the pieces that are still sturdy and set apart the pieces that are crumbling or cracked.  We grabbed some old fencing sections from some friends that were replacing their fence.  And while some pieces were not strong enough, there were plenty of pieces in the “keep” pile (for this and some future projects)! :)



Now, cut your pieces down to 18 inch long and 25 inches long, until you have enough to stack about 28 inches tall for 2 front sections and 2 back sections.  (They don’t have to stack exactly 28 inches tall……just somewhere near that.  You don’t want to have to rip and wood down because we’re trying to keep things simple.  So, if your wood stacks less or more than about 28 inches tall, just remember that you might have to adjust the length of the vertical slats in the next step.)

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


Now, grab the 18 inch pieces and be sure you have the wood arranged just how you like it and then line them up nice and even.  Cut 2 vertical pieces that are 30 inches long (or 2 inches longer than your stack of wood).  Add a line of wood glue, place your vertical piece of wood along one edge, lining up the top and side edges, making sure that your slats are nice and snug together…..and then nail in place, several nails per slat.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


Here’s the first side, all finished and nailed together, with the vertical slats hanging past the bottom edge about 2 inches.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


Now, turn it over and add several more nails along each side to be sure everything is secure.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |

Repeat the entire process with the other 18 inch long pieces.


Now, arrange your 25 inch wide pieces but when you place the vertical slats on top, let them hang over about 1 inch on the sides.  This will help you puzzle piece the sides together to create your planter shape.  Nail down the same way and then flip over and nail along the back side as well.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


Here’s a closer peek at the overhang from the back side.  Repeat with the other 25 inch long pieces.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


Now, stand your sides up and piece them together.  (Okay, now I know this looks different from what I told you above because now the vertical pieces that overhang are now on the sides.  But I ended up changing the measurements from what was actually shown in the pictures above but the numbers I told you are now accurate.  I just didn’t want to have to take off the vertical pieces and start that over… I just made it work because I didn’t really care.  But if you want the front pieces to have the longer overhang, just follow the instructions above.)

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


Now, because of the overhang, your corners will fit together nicely, hiding the horizontal wood slats beneath them.  Now, nail all of your corners together.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


Now, for extra stability, grab a 2×3 (or any other thicker piece of wood from your scrap pile) and attach them to the inner corners with screws.  This will give the corners a good sharp 90 degree angle and will offer support.  But I decided to drop them down about 1 1/2 inches from the top edge so that they wouldn’t be noticeable and would be covered with dirt.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


Now, flip the entire thing over and cut more slats to fit across the bottom of the planter.  Add wood glue and then nail in place.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


To hide the wood slats that you used to create the bottom of the planter, measure and cut one more wood slat to fit at the very bottom of the planter, between the two vertical pieces.  Repeat along all four sides.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


Turn back over and cut 4 more pieces to create a top ledge for your planter.  We placed each piece so that they overlapped 1/2 inch towards the inside opening of the planter.  Glue and nail in place.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box (...for an upright Fairy Garden!) |


And that’s it!  Your planter is ready to be filled.  You can either line it with plastic or landscape fabric to help eliminate leaking through the wood slats…..or let the cracks in the wood slats act as your drainage.  I knew we wouldn’t be placing any large plants inside of this planter that needed room for root expansion, so I filled the majority of the planter up with old styrofoam that we had in the garage, so that it wouldn’t be so heavy with dirt.  Then I added about 5 inches of potting soil to the top and then planted all of the small plants for our fairy garden.

DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter Box for an upright Fairy Garden |




. . . . .

For other “Summer Celebration” ideas, check out these other Michaels Maker ideas:

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Monday, May 30, 2016

25 Money-Saving DIY Backyard Projects…to transform your space!!

First of all, Happy Memorial Day (for my U.S. friends)!  I know this day tends to shift focus to friends, BBQs, and a day off from work (all things we enjoy, believe me!!!)….but I hope we’ll all take a moment to appreciate those who protect our country, both past and present.  Thank you!

. . . . .

Like I mentioned on Friday, we FINALLY finished the Landscaping and Hardscaping in our Front Yard.  It took some time (and sweat!)…but it saved us some serious cash (as in, thousands!), Plus, it’s something we really love coming home to!  Ahhhhh…..such a pretty site to see!  Now, the backyard??  Not so much!  It needs some love…..but I think we’ll do it in stages.

We’ve been outside every single day, playing and enjoying the warm weather…..and so I’m going to blame it on the nice weather, but being outside makes me start thinking of all the fun things we could do back there to enjoy it even more!  So, I’ve been gathering ideas…trying to decide what I love most.  And since we’d much rather save money and make things ourselves, these are all ideas that would be much cheaper to do yourself……than paying someone to do or make it for you!

25 Money-Saving DIY Backyard transform your space!! |


Make your own fire pit in four easy steps via A Beautiful Mess

backyard diys 12

DIY Pergola Hammock Stand via DFO Home



DIY outdoor light poles via City Farmhouse

backyard diys 13

Outdoor daybed via Design Love Fest

backyard diys 14

Easy Pallet Outdoor Bar via 1001 Pallets


DIY water feature via Oh My Creative

backyard diys 15


DIY Hanging Rain Gutter Planters via Make It and Love It

DIY Hanging Rain Gutter Planters | via Make It and Love It

DIY Tree Bench via This Old House



Vertical gardening system via Deborah Silver

Backyard diys 1

DIY chicken coop via Redeem Your Ground

Backyard diys 2

Build your own pergola via Popular Mechanics

Backyard diys 3

Pallet garden pathway via Funky Junk Interiors

backyard diys 4

Curved fire pit bench via A Beautiful Mess

backyard diys 5

Vintage door beverage station via Finding Home Farms

backyard diys 6

DIY outdoor chalkboard via My House and Home

backyard diys 7

Back porch day bed via Apprentice Extrovert

backyard diys 8

Gorgeous pallet swing bed via The Merry Thought

backyard diys 9

DIY outdoor storage bench via Ana White

backyard diys 10

DIY outdoor movie projection screen via the Shabby Creek Cottage

backyard diys 11


Build a glass waterfall via DIY Projects

backyard diys 16

DIY brick pizza oven via Brick Wood Ovens

backyard diys 17

DIY Window Flower Boxes via Make It and Love It

DIY window flower boxes


Amazing backyard bowling alley via Imgur

backyard diys 18

DIY outdoor table for $65 via Shanty 2 Chic

backyard diys 19

Modern outdoor bench via DIY Candy

backyard diys 20


. . . . .

Looking for other outdoor projects and activities to do outdoors this summer??

DIY Painted Flower Pots You’ll LOVE!


Outdoor Summer Activities for KIDS!

25 Outdoor Summer Activities for Kids | via Make It and Love It

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Custom Label Designing

Here at CBF Labels we have in house graphic designers that can take your sketch, logo or just idea and make it into a killer label waiting to be made. Typically we charge $65 dollar minimum for graphic transfer work. This type of work includes.

  • Transferring a computer image of your logo in any format and formatting it into a woven label, printed label, custom patch, and so much more.
  • We can help you choose the right colors that will work best for the machines that will be making your labels. Our labels specialist are here for you.
  • We can also help to consult what type of printed labels are required by law to be on your garments.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate and fill out the contact form below so we can give you call or email about what we can do to help you clothing company. After all custom label designing is only a small part of what CBF Labels does!

labels by CBF

The post Custom Label Designing appeared first on CBF Labels Inc.

Friday, May 27, 2016

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (…from our experience!!)

Oh my goodness….what a project.  But I’m so excited to finally share how to LANDSCAPE & HARDSCAPE a front yard……from our experience, at least! :)

(P.S. “landscape” refers to plants/trees/flowers and “hardscape” refers to brick/rock/drainage/etc…..I only tell you this because I had no clue there was a difference. ;) )

We decided back in March (when it started warming up here in Oklahoma) that we really wanted to overhaul all the landscaping in front of our home.  There were a few things planted and a few rocks outlining the front flower beds by the house when we purchased the home a year ago…….but it was pretty minimal and wasn’t really complete.  And I think because we didn’t love it, we didn’t feel any desire to pull the weeds or add annuals, etc.

I posted a round-up of 20 Cheap Ways to Improve Curb Appeal back in March because I really wanted to spruce up our outdoor space….and that’s when my brain started really turning.  Steve and I decided we were going to take out what we hated and turn it into something we loved looking at!

I have to be honest though, we looked into hiring help for the brick laying and heavier parts of the project.  We know we jump into huge projects sometimes and then realize it was more work than we thought… we got a few quotes for hiring a landscaper.  And then, holy smokes, we were quickly reminded why we like to DIY everything….because landscapers aren’t cheap!  (But we know why… can sometimes be pretty labor intensive.)  So we decided to heck with it…..let’s do it ourselves!  (And I’m talking about saving about $4-5000 by doing it ourselves. Holla!!)  That’s when the scouring of all corners of the internet happened.  And how I became best friends with the local plant nursery AND Home Depot! :)

And now that it’s done, we are pleased as punch.  It has been so fun walking around outside or driving in and out of the driveway, and seeing all of the beautiful plants growing and blooming and cheering up our entire home! Ahhhh!  3 words…VERY WORTH IT! :)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


And because you all have no clue what the landscaping looked like previously, it’s always fun to see Before/After shots, right?? So here you go!  (And okay, I know it’s extra dramatic because the sky was darker in the first picture and the grass is brown and some of the plants were still dormant…but you kinda get the idea, right?!)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


—> And this is where I’m going to start sharing my advice in regards to landscape and hardscape. (And I’ll show PLENTY of pictures along the way….sorry, I went a little overboard with the pics, but hopefully it’s helpful.)

First of all, start looking around your neighborhood, other neighborhoods, and online to find what type of HARDscaping you like.  (Which is the non-living part….the brick, rock, concrete paths, borders, etc.)  I think it’s easiest to decide on that first and then add your plant placement after.  Now think—do you have a big space or a little space?  Do you have a sloped area or is it all flat?  Are you trying to hide something (like a space under a front porch or utility boxes)?  Think about all of those things….and then try to find examples that match what you’re dealing with.

I started adding tons of ideas to my HOME-Outdoors/Landscaping Pinterest Board so that I could go back later and start narrowing down what I wanted.  You’re welcome to look there to see some of the ideas I gathered, but create your own board too, and add your own ideas as you find them.  I even drove around neighborhoods taking pictures with my phone, of things I really liked.  This really helped me decide what I liked/disliked.

I finally decided that I wanted to stack big blocks, to create a definite “space” for the landscaping.  Plus, our lawn is slightly sloped, so I wanted it to act as a sort of retaining wall, to keep all the dirt and plants locked in and level.  So, I went with these Rockwall Blocks in the “pecan” color.  Then, because we wanted to really make the border pop and give it some detail, we added these Block Caps that hang over the top edge.  LOVE them!

Okay, once you decide the “look” you’re going for, map out what you want to do. 

It’s kinda hard to tell, but we expanded the main flower bed that’s up against the house and also created a new one that curves along the pathway up to the font door.  Before we started digging, we used Wood BBQ Skewers to mark an outline of the curve of the beds, how far we wanted them to come out, etc.  Then we could step back and look at the little stick borders.  It was so helpful!

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


Also, consider adding some curve to the borders of your flower beds.  It’s such a cool detail that really adds character to the area.

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


If you have a front lawn without much in it, start visualizing how to add some new landscaping and hardscaping features.  It really adds so much charm to the lawn, making it nice and pleasant to look at.

Just be sure that whatever you’re adding to the lawn, compliments whatever you’re planning to do up next to the house.  Does it fight with your other landscaping?  Is it too crowded?  Is there balance with plant height?

We picked out a spot in a front lawn to add a tree that balanced out the pine tree that’s up near the house.  But since our lawn is sloped in the area where we wanted to plant the tree, we decided to create a sort of retaining wall bed for the tree and any flowers we decided to plant. (And yeah, that little Oklahoma Redbud tree gets a lot of wind, so we have those ugly metal poles to help hold it up…..but we’re crossing our fingers it gets stronger and we can remove them in a year or so!)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


Now, here’s a better look at what things looked like up near the house and around the pine tree “before” we got to work. There was only a partial row or rocks, the grass was fighting its way into the flower beds, we didn’t love the placement of plants, etc.  (Remember I took these pictures in March, so not all the plants had quite come back yet from winter.  I didn’t intentionally color them brown to make the “before” even more dramatic…ha!)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


And then, this is as good of an “after” picture that I took of that location…..but you can see the difference up there by the house and the pine tree.  The border of blocks is so helpful, the space is defined, and it’s a little easier on the eye. :)

Here’s another thing to think about (since we’re looking at this picture)—adding plants and/or flowers along a walkway really defines the space.  It makes the walkway seem more special…..and invites you right up to the door!  I really love that we decided to add that in!

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


Also, you may have noticed that the top of our block wall sometimes stair steps.  The reason for this is that the lawn slopes and if I would have continued toward the driveway with that top layer of blocks, it would have made the wall too tall down here at the bottom……which would hide the plants.  The stair stepping idea right here and over on the main bed over to the let, was actually an afterthought.  But it turned out to be one of my favorite details! :)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


Now, let’s talk about drainage.  Do you have rain gutters that empty out into your flower beds?  Will the force of the water tear up your landscaping?  Where do you want rain water to go?

I have seen little rivers of rock that run down from the gutter and on out of the flower bed, which we almost decided to do….but then we changed our minds and attached a rain gutter extension and let it empty out through an opening we created through the block wall.  Just be sure that it’s at a slight slope, so that the water will drain.

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


Then, we covered up the tubing with mulch.  However, we just discovered that there is flat tubing that we could replace this with to hide it a little better… we’ll probably swap it out eventually.  But the little hump in the mulch isn’t so bad for now, right?! ;)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


Also, it’s good to think about the amount of water you receive in your area.  Do you have flash flooding?  Here in Oklahoma, there’s tons of that.  So, to keep the beds from flooding and then all of the mulch being lifted and carried up and over the block wall with the excess water, we added circle drains towards the front sections of the wall (because it slopes slightly), every few feet.  We added them to the flower beds up next to the wall and then several of them to the taller block wall around the tree.  All we did was drill large holes through the block, and then cut sections of PVC pipe and pounded it on it.  Works great!

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


Oh, don’t forget your watering source.  How are your plants going to be watered?  Do you have a sprinkler system?  Will it be a sprinkler or a drip?  Do you know how to move it (or have a friend help you) if necessary?

Keep those questions in mind as you’re moving around your sprinklers and creating new HARDscape features.  (And don’t let the sprinkler system scare you from getting started.  We learned a lot by asking people at Home Depot.  And watching YouTube videos.  But you could always hire someone to help you with that part.)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


Okay, now let’s talk about the landscaping.  What types of plants do you like?  What grows well in your area?  How much space do they need?  Do they need full sun, part sun, morning sun, no sun???

I know…that sounds like a lot, but it’s pretty important because you don’t want your plants to die. I honestly had no clue about any of that a couple months ago.  But what I did is visited our local nursery several times and asked a lot of questions.  For the most part, employees at a local nursery are much more knowledgeable than a Home Depot or Lowe’s.  However, Home Depot and Lowe’s have much better deals and sales on their plants and what I’ve learned is that they stock items that are grown close by, or that are brought in from places that are similar to your local climate.  They told me that they only sell items that do well in your area… don’t worry about finding something that you love but only grows well in Hahaii (unless you live in Hawaii…ha!)  So, I ended up buying plants from the nursery AND Home Depot/Lowe’s.

Oh, and ask your neighbors and friends.  Ask them what grows well for them, what grows quickly, what provides good shade, etc.  I actually called my mom about a trillion times and asked for her opinion and advice, and that was super helpful too (…thanks mom)!!  But she lives in Colorado and has different plants and planting seasons, so I had to ask around here for plenty of advice too! :)

Also, figure out where the sun rises and sets and see how much light a particular area gets.

Once I had a list of plants I really liked (but before buying them), I decided to figure out a plan of how I wanted the landscaping to look.  So after all the block borders were all in place, I found and downloaded an APP on my iPad that I found called iScape, which has a database of so many types of flowers, trees, shrubs, etc…..that you can drag and drop onto an existing picture of your yard.  So, I took a picture of the front yard and started adding the items that I thought I wanted.  This was SO HELPFUL…..because it gave me a really good idea of balancing everything out, what colors would look best, and where to place things.  My finished yard doesn’t look exactly like the picture below because most of my plants are still really small, but I also swapped out a few things because of availability and I probably asked a few more questions at the nursery and changed my mind. ;)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


Now, the fun part—PLANTING.

I think it’s helpful to purchase plants in stages.  Buy what you need for one area first and then move onto the next.  Or, buy all the plants that are the tallest and get those planted along the back, and then moved forward.  Sometimes you’ll see that there isn’t as much room as you thought…or maybe there’s more room.  I also think it’s really helpful to set all of your plants out, right where you want to plant them, and then step back and take a look.  (Just remember that everything will be slightly shorter because it will be down in the ground.)



Then, find out what is needed for your soil.  Do you need to add plant food?  How about acidity levels?  Maybe you need to mix in some top soil?  Or maybe you need rocks at the bottom of the holes of your bigger shrubs, for drainage??

All of those questions can be answered in about 5 minutes by someone at your local nursery.  They have so many little tips that they love sharing too!  Then…GET PLANTING!!

If this is your first time doing heavy landscaping (or planting anything at all), remember—you’re learning!  My mom (who has loved gardening for years) kept reminding me that this is my learning year.  I might realize that I really hate a particular plant type that I thought I’d love, or realize how much I love something that I previously didn’t really care for.All I have to say though, is that walking up to my front door now makes me very, very happy!  I realize it might be slightly overboard for some, but I really love it.  Every single little budding plant and flower.  And I feel like I’m their number one cheerleader, encouraging these little guys to grow!  However, I’m already taking mental note of plants that aren’t doing as well, so I’ll swap them out next year…and that’s okay!  (<—My mom said it was…so it’s true!)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |

***And yes, that’s the DIY Rain Gutter Hanging Planters hanging in the entry, and the Peony Spring Wreath hanging from the door.  Both are still going strong….and I still love them both!


How about another “before” picture?  This time, of the tiny stretch of dirt between the walkway and the house.  It had some plants in there that just didn’t do well.  Kind of sad looking.

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


We replaced those dead plants with a bunch of shade plants that have done REALLY well right there. I mean good grief……I’m still learning about plant growth and how well things do here, but I think I found some really hearty plants that do well in this No-Sun-Zone against the house!

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


One of the fast bloomers along this wall…..are these begonias.  Holy smokes, you guys….if you have some shade at your house, give these a try!  They spread out like crazy and are so lush!!!  (Or maybe that’s an Oklahoma thing… ask around!)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


The “before” picture of the left side of the house was even less manicured than the right side…and didn’t have a border at all.  So, the grass just kept creeping in.  (Bermuda grass is a beast though….it’s so spiny and takes over everything! Blah.)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


But now, that left corner is rounded out and perfectly happy!

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


I decided that hydrangeas were a must while planning everything out.  We had hydrangeas for our wedding (that were more of a blue/purple color) and ever since then, I’ve been dreaming of planting some of our wedding flowers.  I planted 2 of these and even though I brought them home with some blooms that were about to open up, they ended up dying off and never blooming.  I kinda figured they’d just never bloom because of their location or something…but just this past week, they suddenly started blooming like crazy.  And they’re supposed to bloom all summer!

I can’t tell you how happy these flower clusters make me!

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


While waiting for the hydrangeas to bloom (or sorta giving up on them for this season), I found these little annuals that kind of reminded me of hydrangeas……so I planted them in there to replace my “loss”.  Haha!  But even though the hydrangeas are now in, I still really like these flowers.  (I’d tell you their name, but I can’t remember.)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


Something else that I didn’t really talk about above but is worth mentioning, is that if you’re filling up a really big bed, it’s nice to add in something else, other than plants.  We had 2 huge mossy rocks in the flower beds that the builder added into the landscape originally….and we love using them wit our current landscaping.  But you could also add old logs, maybe some big flower pots, or anything kind of “earthy” to break up the monotony of plants.  It just adds a nice variety.

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


Oh, and one other thing that I learned but didn’t take a very good picture of… that white pipe sticking up out of the ground behind that skinny tree trunk.  Well, someone at the nursery taught me that if you bury some PVC pipe down with your tree as deep as the bottom of the roots, then you can water it this water, making sure that the water is actually reaching the roots.  Just be sure that you place rocks down in the bottom of your hole first for drainage, but it also helps give the PVP pipe something to rest on that won’t clog it up.  Cool tip, right? :)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


Another thing that I love… that we ran a hose from the faucet over on the left side of the house and buried it beneath all the mulch, and then connected it to this hose stand that we pounded into the ground.  Then we bought one of those really flexible hoses that collapse really small and wound it up onto this stand so that it’s a little less bulky.  But this way, I can water the flowers by the front door (that the sprinklers miss) and have the hose handy for spraying off the sidewalk, driveway, dirty kids’ feet, washing the car, etc.  I also half-buried 2 concrete pavers to use as stepping stones over to the hose, so that it visually defines why I left that space open.

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


One thing that I really wanted to pull out, was this pine tree.  It’s one of those dwarf pine breeds that are kinda wonky on purpose.  I was all set on pulling it up and planting a Magnolia tree.  (Do you know what a magnolia tree/bush is?  They have the biggest flowers that are fragrant and bright white.  They remind me so much of living in coastal Georgia….plus, they are evergreen.)  But I waited too long to decide and all of the Magnolias that I liked and that were a good price, were sold out.  However, now that the old landscaping is gone and the new stuff is in, I kinda like that little scraggly tree.  We can just pretend it reminds us of Colorado! ;)  (But maybe in the fall or even next summer, I’ll find a Magnolia tree for sale, and plant it elsewhere!)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


One last thing to mention—the process of laying bricks or pavers the correct way.  I really think that if you’re going to spend time landscaping, you might as well do it right.  There are much more skilled tutorials and youtube videos out there that will teach you how to lay your blocks or bricks, so I didn’t take any pictures of that.  So get googling! :)  But just know, it’s very worth it to pour down the layer of rocks, then the layer of sand, and then place the brick on top and level each one as you place it down.  It will make your structure sturdy and will withstand the weather so much better.  So take the time to really learn how to do it right.  We spent a couple Saturdays outside with the kiddos, digging up dead plants, bagging up old mulch, and hauling bricks from the car to the yard.

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


But I laid most of the brick myself during the afternoon, during naptime.  Yes, it was tiring and my hands and fingers ached at the end of each day, but Steve and I could only get so much done over the weekend, and I didn’t want this to drag out forever.  So, I cranked up my music and laid bricks, one by one.  And dug holes, one by one.  And carried off wheelbarrows of this red dirt, one by one.  But let me tell you……I’m now a master block leveler, haha! ;)  No, but really, the process was well worth it, and we saved ourselves THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!!!

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


And then, little by little, things started to take shape and I could see that this whole plan was really going to work!

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


I’m not going to lie, this took a lot of work.  But let me tell you, more than just saving money by doing it yourself, it warms your soul right up to the tippy-top to see everything finished and SO beautiful!  (Or maybe we have rose colored glasses on because of all the work we put into it, and others drive by and think it looks like a trash dump…….but I don’t even care one bit, ha!)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


So even though you may be a little nervous to Landscape, Hardscape, or BOTH…….you’ve got this!  There’s so much help out there, so many cool things to learn, and when you’re done—you have a whole lot of beauty welcoming you home each day! :)

How To Landscape & Hardscape a Front Yard (...from our experience!!) |


Anyway, I hope it was helpful!  If you have questions, ask me!  If I missed something, tell me!  We are in no way professionals, but we were so happy with how much we learned and how well it turned out for us!  Now go on and do the same……you’ll probably surprise yourself too! :)


P.S. This was NOT a sponsored post.  I know there are lots of links…but none of them are affiliate links.  I’m just sharing exactly what we did to hopefully help some of you save some money and have the landscaping that you really want!


. . . . .

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