Painting Outdoor Pillows (You can do that! Who knew?!)

how to paint your outdoor pillows

The first time I heard you could paint fabric was in the Chalk Paint Basics class I took at 3 Oaks Studio. My Chalk Paint® stockist Vicki was telling us how she painted her Toms brand canvas shoes, and even her outdoor pool deck with this paint. How intriguing, right?

Our outdoor furniture is about 5 or 6 years old and it came with these plain beige Sunbrella fabric pillows. They were starting to look dingy and I thought about replacing them because I am also creating a little cabana makeover where I’ve sewn my own curtains for outside. It’s looking really cute and green is my accent color for outside.

My husband thought I was nuts by the way! HA ha..He said, “You’re going to ruin the pillows and they won’t be soft”…And I was like, “Since when do you put your face on our outdoor pillows?” In the end he said they look good :0

painting and stenciling pillows

paint your outdoor pillows

Outdoor pillows can be super pricey so instead of buying new ones I have painted the old ones! I love how they tuned out! The first thing I did was take out the stuffing and cleaned the pillow covers and put cardboard inside so paint wouldn’t bleed. The colors I used are Pure White and Antibes Green, both Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan. I did water down the paint a little so it was easier to paint with and not so thick. I painted two white, and two green.

stencil outdoor pillows

I stenciled three of them, and then did green grain sack like stripes with blue painters tape on one pillow as shown above. That one was painted white, dried, taped off, and painted green.

pillows painted with chalk paint by annie sloan

My nautical stencil was a Martha Stewart one purchased from JoAnn’s. I also used my Royal Design Studio stencil, Moorish Endless Circle design for the modern looking circle pillow..The modern leaf looking one was also from my stash via JoAnn’s.

before & after outdoor pillow makeover

So what do you think of my little pillow makeovers? Different, right? Stay tuned for my outdoor curtain cabana coming soon.

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Cold Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad (Fresh Pistachio Pesto)

Cold Pesto Pasta Salad with Sun-dried tomatoes

During high school one of my jobs was working the register at a tiny pasta restaurant in Scottsdale, AZ called Fasta Pasta. It sadly is no longer there, but was really ahead of its time serving fresh made to order pasta dishes with high quality ingredients in fun Chinese food to go containers. I loved the concept, and the food was exceptional. I’m glad I was paying attention, because I can still remember the menu and it still inspires me fifteen years later in my own kitchen–yikes that made me feel old.

Every morning the owner would make about eight beautiful fresh cold pasta salads to display in hand made pottery bowls in the front counter fridge area. They were perfect for a quick lunch, and not your typical “fast food”. Sometimes I was able to help prep the cold salads and I still remember the combination of ingredients to some of them including this cold pesto one. The combination of using pesto and ranch dressing is what I remember most along with the sauteed garlic mushrooms. At the restaurant he used penne pasta and also big pieces of grilled chicken.

This past weekend we hosted a small dinner party and I wanted to use up some tomatoes from my garden. (I’m really excited to have my first tomatoes this summer!)

my tomatoes

We’re still enjoying basil from the herb garden too!


I wanted to make fresh pesto with my new fancy blender, but didn’t have pine nuts so I used pistachios instead. It turned out great!

Note: Of course you could use store bought pesto, I have many times and like the jar of pesto from Costco.

Pistachio Pesto Recipe

Pistachio Pesto Recipe by Lina Darnell

  • Blend 1 cup of shelled pistachio nuts first (in a high powered blender or food processor)
  • Then add and blend 2 cups fresh basil, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 cup Olive Oil, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cold Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe by Lina Darnell


  • box of pasta of your choice (I like bow tie or penne)
  • 1 cup of pesto, either homemade or store bought
  • 1/2 cup of ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of fresh tomatoes
  • 1 – 8oz. package of fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tablespoon butter


1. Cook your pasta and set aside.

2. Saute your mushrooms on the stove with the butter and garlic for around 4 minutes until cooked.

3. Mix the ranch dressing and pesto together.

4. In a large bowl mix pasta, dressing, mushrooms, fresh and sun-dried tomatoes together and chill for at least an hour or two. It gets better as it chills more.

Homemade Pesto Cold Pasta Salad Recipe

This is a dish you can be proud to serve at your summer parties and it makes a lot so I’ve been eating it for lunch this week! I’m already so addicted to using my garden ingredients….

Pesto Pasta Salad with Ranch & Pesto

Thanks for stopping by to see me and my pasta salad today!

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Handprint Owl Canvas & Photo Canvas (Our Homemade Father’s Day Gifts)

handprint owl canvas father's day

Hi Everyone! This is a quick post to share our cute little handmade gifts this year for Father’s Day! I love working on thoughtful inexpensive things don’t you? Dads and grandpas love this stuff…plus these are easy enough for last minute gifts.

For this owl handpint craft all you’ll need is a blank 8×10 canvas from the craft store, acrylic or craft paint, paint brush, a paint pen for the lettering, and some small handed participants 🙂

(Important note: I was inspired by these handprints on paper via pinterest)

Make brown handprints on a painted canvas as shown and then paint the branches, leaves, and details of your owls. Write you message to dad with a paint pen and your all set!

how to make a handprint canvas

This year I decided to make some photo canvases with Mod Podge for the grandpas. My kids are blessed with three wonderful supportive grandpas that they love very much!

fathers day photo canvas

I made some of these for as Christmas gifts so in case you missed this post with directions catch up here.

Photographing my kids is one of my favorite hobbies! This is a great way to display those memories…

DIY Photo Canvas for Father's Day

Wishing all the dads out there a beautiful Father’s Day!



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Easy Father’s Day D-A-D Pancakes

dad pancakes

Feel like making a special breakfast for Dad on Father’s Day? Here’s an easy and fun idea.

I added these photos to the end of a father’s day craft last year, and I feel like it didn’t get any spotlight. so I’m sharing again with you since I know Father’s Day is already next week!

Make your pancake batter like you normally would and then then pour it in a plastic squeeze bottle like a clean empty ketchup bottle. Then draw your letters with the bottle on the skillet. We added blueberries to our pancakes and served with strawberries and melon.

Do you make a special breakfast for dad? I’m trying to come up with ideas for this year…

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Bacon Chive Potato Salad Recipe


Bacon & Chive Potato Salad by Fancy Frugal LIfe

I’ve been wanting to use the chives I’ve been growing in my potted garden and this was the perfect opportunity!


Have you ever seen the bag of small gourmet potatoes at Costco for around $5? They have a great combination of light, red, and these cool looking purple/blue potatoes, and they taste great!

costco gourmet potatoes

I’m not a fan of traditional sweet tasting potato salad, but I do love this version that I’ve been making for the last few years.It’s usually a popular side dish when I do make it for barbecue parties and it’s perfect for summer! And yep it’s very popular with my hubby because it has bacon! You can make way ahead of time because it only gets better chillin in the fridge.

It’s definitely something you can edit to make your own and I like the combo of sour cream and mayo instead of all mayo.

Bacon & Chive Potato Salad by Lina Darnell

(adapted by this recipe via Taste of Home)


  • 4 cups cubed red potatoes or potatoes of your choice like the gourmet bag from Costco like I bought
  • 1 cup chopped onion (I like red but on this day I used white and it was good too)
  • 7 strips of cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup real Mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons prepared ranch salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 4 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • handful of chopped chive


  • Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  • In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, onion, bacon parsley. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour over potato mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle chopped chive over the top. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled. Yield: 8 servings.

bacon chive potato salad recipe

bacon potato salad

Let me know if you try it or if you make something similar. Have a beautiful weekend friends!

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Win one of five $50 Gift cards to Walmart (Giveaway)

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I’m so excited about this giveaway! What a great opportunity for you all to refresh your patio too!! Yeah!!! I am giving away a $50 gift card to 5 yep FIVE lucky fancy frugal life readers!!! Whoohoo this our biggest contest yet!

BHG @ Walmart Room Refresh Challenge


Last week I showed you how I refreshed my tired looking patio into a brighter, stylish place to entertain and relax with beautiful Better Homes & Gardens items from Walmart. Go here to see then entire mini makeover.

My favorite elements are these Bombay planters that look very high end and expensive, but are actually lightweight and affordable!

BHG Walmart Planters

This red canvas umbrella and expensive looking red deep seat outdoor cushions tie the whole space together!Patio Refresh Walmart BHG products

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Update: Congratulations to my $50 Walmart gift card winners Shelly Langley, Kelly Saver, Jennifer Moyer, Meagan Sayers, and Wild Orchid! Please respond to my email and thanks to everyone who entered and thanks for reading Fancy Frugal Life!! Lina

Good luck and we will pick the winners next Wednesday!

So tell me? What would you buy if you win???

Thanks for reading fancy frugal life and thanks so much to the wonderful people at BHG Live Better for sponsoring this fabulous contest!!!

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