We’ve all been spending a lot more time in our gardens and backyards during lockdown – and one mum has revealed how to transform them without it costing the earth.
Dawn Burton, 54, got creative when she was furloughed from her job as an office administrator, turning the space from drab to fab.
The mum-of-three and grandmother-of-two gave the yard at the back of her house an overhaul using just paint and tile stencils, the Manchester Evening News reports.
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.
“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’.”
For Dawn, furlough was the ideal opportunity for a home project.
She said: “I told my family I wanted to transform my yard, but didn’t go into detail as I wanted to surprise them,” she said.
“I also told a few close friends and shared my ideas with them, and they inspired me to just go for it – they couldn’t have been more supportive throughout the whole process.”
What she bought
Dawn 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 then bought one 750ml tin of Frenchic Al Fresco Dusky Blush from her local stockist Drab to Fab by Janey Home Interiors for £17.95.
Dawn also used 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.
The next steps
Dawn explained: “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.”
Dawn stencilled this tile using the white masonry paint and the Frenchic Al Fresco Dusky Blush, and again stippled this with the brush.
She said: “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.”
Dawn’s top tips
If you’re inspired by Dawn’s project, she advises you to plan what you want to do and draw a rough sketch on paper.
Then you can measure and work out what size stencil is best suited for the job.
She said: “I couldn’t be happier or more proud of what I’ve achieved, especially being the first time I have attempted stencilling.
“I wanted to show and inspire people that anyone can achieve something if they really want to do it. I did!”