Creative gran on furlough transforms her 117-year-old yard for just £123
- Dawn Burton, 54, took the opportunity of being stuck at home to transform her yard
- She tried stencilling for the first time to create a chic, stylish space
- Dawn spent just £123 on materials from B&Q and The Range
If your outdoor space is in need of a spruce up and you’re spending more time than ever at home, now could be the perfect time to take the plunge.
Dawn Burton, 54, a mum of three and grandmother of two from Stockton-on-Tees, decided to totally overhaul her 117-year-old yard when she was furloughed due to the lockdown.
The office administrator set to work, spending just £123 on materials such as tile stencils and paints, and took her yard from a drab space to a stunning Pinterest-worthy area.
Dawn told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "I have always followed various home accounts on Instagram and love nothing more than to look at various images online for decorating ideas and DIY.
"I wanted my garden to look different and I had noticed a few people who were stencilling paths and patios.
"Most people are bringing the outside into their houses. I wanted to take the inside outside and at the same time create a space that anyone would love to sit in.
"Lockdown came and for the first couple of weeks I was just baking nearly everyday to keep myself occupied. The weather became brighter and warmer and I thought 'right, now is the time to transform my 117-year-old yard'.
“Normally, I would have to take time off work to complete this, however being furloughed gave me the opportunity.
"I told my family I had a project to transform my yard, but didn't go into detail as I wanted to surprise them.
"I also told a few close friends and shared my ideas with them, they inspired me to just go for it, and they couldn't have been more supportive throughout the whole process."
Dawn stocked up on materials and got to work on prepping the yard.
“I used two five litre tins of smooth masonry paint, one black and one white, from B&Q and The Range, which cost £39.98,” she explains.
“I bought one 750ml tin of Frenchic Al Fresco Dusky Blush from my local stockist Drab to Fab by Janey Home Interiors for £17.95.
“I also used one Thompsons Patio & Driveway Sealer from Screwfix for £27.99, one Victorian Tile Stencil from idealstencils.co.uk for £34.99 plus postage, one Stipple Brush from B&Q for £1.90, and also various makeup and children’s paintbrushes from around the house.
“The total cost of all the materials was £122.81.
“To prep, I jet washed the walls and floor. I painted the walls using the smooth black and white masonry paint and gave the floor two coats of smooth black masonry paint.
“I then took the edging stencil and went around the wall and across the middle of the yard, stippling the smooth white masonry paint with a brush.
"Once the edging was in place, I measured across the yard to find the top centre point.
"I always remembered the guy who laid my flooring in my kitchen saying 'you start in the middle and work your way out’.
"I then measured across the yard in between the two edging stencilled tiles and immediately under the top stencilled edging tile to find the centre point. I marked this with chalk.
"I then placed the top centre point of the main stencil on the middle marked point on the floor.
"I stencilled that tile using the white masonry paint and the Frenchic Al Fresco Dusky Blush, and again stippled this with the brush.
"After stencilling that tile, I did one either side, all the way down, which left the edges on both sides.
"I then went back up to the top right and stencilled all the way down following the pattern, and the same for the left.
“Finally I did the remainder at the bottom. After letting it dry for 24 hours, I then applied the patio sealer with a roller on a long handle and went around the edges with a brush.
“My top tip would be to plan what you want to do and draw a rough sketch on paper. Measure and work out what size stencil is best suited for the job.
"Beware of backache, pain in your knees, arms and hands! I rested on a kneeling pad and an old pillow.
“Also, don't rush it: stipple the paint, and remember that less is more.”
Dawn is over the moon with how her project turned out, and feels a huge sense of accomplishment with what she achieved during lockdown.
"I couldn't be more happier or proud of what I've achieved, especially being the first time I have attempted stencilling,” she adds. I placed my before and after pics on Facebook where I received thousands of likes and comments, which has completely blown me away with all the love I have received.
"I wanted to show and inspire people that anyone can achieve something if they really want to do it. I did!”
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “There are so many negative parts of lockdown, but one of the positives is that as a nation, we’re finally getting round to all those DIY projects we’ve been putting off!
“Dawn’s yard transformation looks absolutely amazing - I can’t believe not only that it only cost her £123 but that it was her first time stencilling!
“It just shows that if you want to go for something, you should - even if you’re a novice! If you’re nervous to try DIY for the first time, tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest can be a huge help."
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