Sometimes we're so busy decorating the interior of our home, we forget about the view most people see first...the outside! Perhaps we think improvements to the exterior of the home are usually expensive. Not true! What a better place to showcase your clever creativity than where every passerby can see, in DIY curb appeal decorating.
Your best friend here is a building site. Find out where they are building new homes in your area, and go talk to the contractor in charge of the site. Most of these sites have scrap piles where they discard huge amounts of materials they can't use, either because they aren't the right size, a mistake was made, or a myriad of other reasons. Ask the contractor if you can help yourself to their scrap pile, most are more than willing to let you. Please, ask first though, don't assume you can take from the site just because materials "look" discarded.
Here you can find large pieces of ½ inch siding, scrap wood, broken tiles, vinyl flooring remnants, and possibly even leftover paint or countertop material. Look at everything with the eye of the budget decorator, you can repurpose decor out of all these things.
Use the siding and scrap wood to make garden furniture, decorative shutters for your windows, or as architectural elements on your existing features. Use scrap 1×4 and 1×2 to add wrap around moldings on porch columns, and paint them to contrast. It looks like a custom porch column! You could add simple shapes as appliqués to doors, gable areas, or empty walls.
Remodelaholic created these DIY board and batten shutters that you could easily make from scrap or inexpensive lumber.
These are another version of DIY shutters from Cozy Cottage Cute...
DIY Diva created this wonderful rustic wood patio table from scrap plywood, and would look great on a front porch to add charm and curb appeal!
Use broken tiles to make a mosaic table for the porch, or create mosaic stepping stones for the yard. You could even update a tired old picnic table with the tiles. Create a wood plaque with the scrap wood, glue or paint your house #'s on it, and add mosaic tiling around the border for a very expensive look.
Stone Art Blog shows you how to create mosaic stepping stones out of broken tile.
Create a DIY mosaic address plaque from Mosaic Tile Arts.
If you can find a fencing company willing to give you their discards, make garden posts for hanging lanterns or plants from posts. Be sure to cement these in the ground. Use the boards to make rustic planters, or cut them down to make picket style garden fencing. Make an shingle style mailbox.
This Old House shows you how to make these garden lantern posts.
Learn how to make The Friendly Home's upcycled planters!
Vinyl flooring scraps can be made into floorcloths for your porch or patio with a little paint and polyurethane, and can be as decorative or as simple as you want, custom matching your homes colors and styles.
Addicted 2 Decorating has a great tutorial on making a floor cloth from vinyl flooring remnants. Seal with an exterior grade sealant to create the perfect accent to brighten up that front porch!
As you can see, with a little bit of hunting, you can find the materials to make the exterior of your home look like a masterpiece for almost no money, and you are saving a lot of good materials from ending up in landfill. Win win!