Home » Blog » Rustic Outdoor Projects & Landscaping

Category: Rustic Outdoor Projects & Landscaping

Fall Front Porch Tour and DIY Birch Ladder - Farmhouse - Life on Kaydeross Creek

DIY Birch Ladder & Fall Porch Tour

Hey everyone! The leaves have turned even more this week and the weather has been gorgeous for this time of year. It was a great week to be outside soaking up the last bit of warmth. I took that opportunity to decorate our porch and today I’ll be sharing it with you along with 7 other bloggers who have also “prettied up” their spaces.   This year we kept the porch decor simple but added a really fun element and, of course, a DIY project. The best part is it was FREE. 🙂


Fall Front Porch and DIY Birch Ladder - Flowers - Life on Kaydeross Creek


The Project:

I enlisted my partner in crime for this project as I do most projects. I’ve said it before, he is an enabler. I say “I’d like to do (insert project here)” and he says “OK, maybe we can do it this way”. I’m very lucky 🙂

He started by collecting some branches for me.
DIY Birch Tree Ladders - Rustic Fall Farmhouse Home Tour - Life on Kaydeross Creek


I measured the area of the porch where I wanted to put the ladder to figure out the best height and width and then we got to cutting.  We used the chop saw for this.



Once the pieces were cut to length, he trimmed up the little branches.


DIY Birch Tree Ladder - Trimming the pieces -Rustic Fall Farmhouse Home Tour - Life on Kaydeross Creek


Then we laid the poles out on the deck. I wanted the top to be slightly narrower than the bottom.


Fall Porch Tour -DIY Birch Tree Ladder - Adding the pieces -Rustic Fall Farmhouse Home Tour - Life on Kaydeross Creek


I decided on 4 rungs and we measured the width for each one an equal distance apart.  The we used screws to attach them to the poles.


DIY Birch Tree Ladder - Adding the rungs -Rustic Fall Farmhouse Home Tour - Life on Kaydeross Creek


DIY Birch Tree Ladder - with rungs -Rustic Fall Farmhouse Home Tour - Life on Kaydeross Creek


That’s it. Once they were screwed together we were good to go. I thought about wrapping the joints with twine and I may still do that.  I really like the texture this DIY birch ladder adds to the porch. The other one I’ll use out in the lean-to.


Fall Porch Tour and DIY Birch Ladder - Life on Kaydeross Creek


I wanted to keep the rest of the decor budget friendly so I used only what I had on hand except for the mums. I love orange mums in the fall!  A few faux pumpkins are great and easy to store from year to year.

The basket on the door was a DIY project using a thrift store find. You can see that here. I simply changed out the flowers and repainted “Welcome” in orange.


Fall Front Porch and DIY Birch Ladder - Flower Basket - Life on Kaydeross Creek


Fall Front Porch Tour and DIY Birch Ladder - Farmhouse - Life on Kaydeross Creek



So there you have it. A budget friendly yet warm and welcoming entry for your friends and family. Now on to the rest of the Fall Porch Tour! So much inspiration on one place. 🙂  Enjoy!



Rustic Fall Porch ToursSunday

Life on Kaydeross Creek

Creative Cain Cabin

The Tattered Pew

Loveland Lodge

Rustic Fall Porch Tours


A Blue Nest

Hood Creek Log Cabin

A Southern Discourse

Shine Your Light



Happy DIY’ing!


Sign up for emails and never miss a post!

You may also like:


How to create the ultimate Hot Cocoa Bar - Adirondack Style - Life on Kaydeross Creek

Hot Cocoa Bar – Adirondack Style

This Hot Cocoa Bar has to be one of my favorite projects on Kaydeross Creek. It may be the winter that never was up here in the Northeast but that didn’t stop me. By this time in February, we usually have a couple of feet of snow on the ground not a couple of inches. I mean, come on, if it has to be cold, shouldn’t we at least get some snow to have to play in and enjoy, right?  I shouldn’t complain, I know. What we do have, though, is cold and what goes great with cold weather?? Hot cocoa of course!!  So we built an Adirondack Hot Cocoa Bar! This post contains affiliate links for your convenience, see my disclosure here

I’m especially excited this year to have a special place to sip it!  A few months ago we built a lean to on the other side of the bridge where we could hang out with the family outside and enjoy a nice fire…


Adirondack style hot cocoa bar - Life on Kaydeross Creek


What better place to sit and enjoy some hot cocoa than around that fire! So Hubby built a bar for me out out there from tree branches and rough saw pine.


Lean to Bar


From there, we set it up with all of the things that make hot cocoa yummy. Marshmallows, peppermint, peanut butter chips and caramel to name a few.  We even have something for the grown ups. 🙂

For the fixins, I picked up these jars at Walmart for like $4 each.


The ultimate Hot Cocoa Bar fixins - Life on Kaydeross Creek


I made the labels for the jars from cereal box cardboard and scrapbook paper much like I made the Valentine’s Day banner.  I drew out a pattern in a shape that I wanted and then traced it out on the box…


Labels made from cereal boxes


Then I traced the same shape on the scrapbook paper and glued them on both the front and back of the cardboard…


labels before


I stenciled individual letters on white Avery labels and placed them on the snowflake tags. There you have it, cute little labels that cost pennies to make. I hole- punched it and added the twine to hang it around the jars. No time to make your own, you can get similar labels here.


Hot Cocoa Bar Accessories


I LOVE stencils! I made all of the signs that are hanging on the wall using stencils and old scrap wood we have from other projects. The wood on the Hot Cocoa sign is the same wood I used on the deer head mounted to the right and the Farmers Market sign in my dining room. It came from the floor in my Dad’s old shop. I love the aged color!


Hot Cocoa Bar Menu


If you’d like similar products to create your own Hot Cocoa Bar:


How to create the ultimate Hot Cocoa Bar - Adirondack Style



How to create the ultimate hot cocoa bar - Life on Kaydeross Creek



How to create the ultimate hot cocoa bar - Adirondack Style. With some simple projects and cute details



How to Create the Ultimate Hot Cocoa Bar - Life on Kaydeross Creek


The kids are so excited to hang out by the fire and make their cocoa and Mommy’s pretty psyched too! I can also see it as a Hot Cider bar in the Fall and Lemonade Bar in the summer. Maybe an adult beverage bar one day?? Lots of possibilities!

Is a hot cocoa bar on your to-do list this winter? Do you have a favorite place you like to hang out with family and friends?

Happy DIY’ing!







Linking to:

Shabby Grace Blog – Your Home Decor & More link party

The Other Side of the Bridge… How to Build a Lean-To.

So a few months ago we built an Adirondack style bridge to help us get from behind our house down to our creek more easily.  Just on the other side of the bridge is a flat area where we have the prettiest view of the water below. If you stand very still, it’s so quiet you can hear the water flowing. It’s so peaceful.


Kaydeross Creek


We decided to take advantage of that spot and create an area where we could hang out and relax. Here’s how it started..


Lean to before


This is the view from our house before the bridge was built…


Lean to before 1


So  a lot of clearing had to be done before either the bridge or the lean to could be built. Here is Hubby with the chainsaw…


Lean to


After it was cleared out and cleaned up, he built the bridge. Then it was time to build the structure.  We decided on a lean to.  A lean-to shelter is a free standing structure with only three walls and a single-pitched roof.  This will give us a great spot to relax and enjoy the view regardless of the weather.

The first thing we needed to do in order to build the lean to was dig the holes for the footings.  The footings are cement piers on which the corners of the structure sit. We used pressure treated lumber but this will help keep the wood from rotting too.

This would be a tough job had it not been for the tractor and post hole digger  we have. We’ve used it on a bunch of projects and I’m sure we’ll use it on many more. It was well worth the investment.


lean to footing


A little help from Grandpa…


lean to footing hole


Once the holes were dug, they inserted the tubes to form the cement piers.


cement tube


To mix the cement, they used Grandpa’s antique cement mixer. It is a 1940’s Rex mixer with a Stover engine and works like a charm. Luckily, Grandpa has all kinds of helpful stuff.


cement mixer


Grandpa has some old school tricks up his sleeve, too, with the homemade guide built to place the cement in the tube…


cement guide


Once the cement was dry it was time to build the structure which we used pressure treated lumber to build.


Lean to


Lean to framed


We decided to use a board and batten style on the outside. Board-and-batten siding is an exterior treatment of vertical boards with battens covering the seams. We used corrugated metal roofing.  Here she is…


Lean to



Bridge and Lean to


lean to done


So it is not quite finished yet. There’s more to come but picture a chilly winter day, sitting by the fire bundled up under a blanket, hot cocoa (or in our case, Irish whiskey) in hand. Can’t wait to hang out and enjoy the new space with family and friends!  I have a special treat planned to break it in which I’ll share next week so stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy DIY’ing!




Building an Adirondack Bridge

One of things I love most about where we live is the spot where our house sits on our property. It’s on top of a hill overlooking the Kaydeross Creek and is surrounded by trees. The kids love to spend time outdoors especially stomping in the creek. In order to get down to the creek, you have to work your way across a small gully. It is dry most of the time but rocky and a bit muddy so it can be a bit harry to navigate. My husband’s solution? Build a bridge! But not any bridge. An Adirondack bridge of course…




The first order of business was to find strong trees that were tall enough to span the gap which was about 42 feet. This took some time because they had to be the same diameter and species and relatively easy to get to on the property. Oh yeah, how do we get them across?


bridge started


Here’s my brother, Jamie helping Hubby get them across. Lots of manpower needed. The tractor helps!


bridge bf


A little creative maneuvering , some elbow grease and the tractor. Two hours later. Hubby had to build up the other side with boulders and braces and then cement to hold it all in place. He was so cute to add our names to it… No one will see it but we know it’s there 🙂




So once he got the trees set in place with cement and stones, he had to brace the middle. He poured cement footings and used thick trees for braces. Then he was ready for the decking. Most of it we had laying around from our deck or other projects but he did have to pick up a few boards. It’s kind of mismatched now but it will all weather a nice gray over time and blend in with the landscape. The chickens like to hang out to see what’s going on…



For the posts, he used the chain saw to notch out the logs to fit around the base. Next he was ready for the railings. More trees to find…


bridge sides


These took some time to set in place as well. Lots more notching with the chain saw. Once that was done it was now a matter of filling in the spaces with smaller tree branches. Lots more cuts at just the right angle..


bridge close


I love the way it turned out!! He spent so much time on the details and it really fits in with the landscape. That little building on the other side is a lean to (upcoming post) where we’ll hang out near the fire pit and look over the creek. It’s so peaceful here. Every time I stand out there and breath the crisp clean air I think how lucky we are to live here!!


bride close


Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed the build and you’ll join us for more of this continued outdoor project in the coming weeks.

Happy DIY’ing!