Floral Inspiration For Winter And Early Spring

Good old January. For many of us, it’s a time of weak sunlight. We bundle up in sweaters as we organize our homes. We begin gathering the necessary papers to file our tax returns. Outside, gardens are in their winter sleep, and summer seems so far away.

It’s also the time of year when a little natural beauty can go a long way toward lifting our sprits.  So today I’m re-sharing some of the simple DIY winter and early-spring floral designs that I’ve shared in the past.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more on my affiliate links, please see this page.

Winter White And Metal

Winter whites are an understated classic that offer a visual break from the glitz and color of the holidays. Pairing them with metal containers gives them a calm, timeless look.

Winter white floral in a champagne bucket

More winter white floral inspiration is shared in this post.

Cute DIY Moss Pouches

Delicate maidenhair ferns are so appealing this time of year.  And they look especially cute in DIY moss pouches.

Maidenhair fern in a DIY moss pouch

The process for making the moss pouches is shared in this post.

A Saucer Filled with Spring

Spring came early to my living room with this super-easy project.

A common garden saucer serves as a container for indoor spring bulbs

 

Elevated Tulips

Grocery store tulips were the toppers for this fun little “cake.”  Details on how I made it are in this post.

A cake stand makes a grand base for a tulip “cake”

Tulips In A Champagne Bucket

I dusted off my champagne bucket yet again for this tulip arrangement.  The simple trick for securing the tulips is shared in this post.

Tulips in a champagne bucket

 

Post-Holiday Twig Wreath

This wreath, using twigs gathered from my garden, was fun and affordable to make – and it went seamlessly from winter to early spring.  The details of how I made the wreath are in this post.

A wreath of foraged twigs

And speaking of wreaths that can go from winter to spring . . .

Eucalyptus Wreath

It took only a DIY grapevine wreath and a bundle of store-bought eucalyptus to create this sculptural wreath that dried in place and lasted for weeks.

A DIY eucalyptus wreath

The details of how I built this wreath are shared in this post.

And, if you like eucalyptus, check out . . .

Silver Dollar Eucalyptus Floral Design

Ah, the ice bucket again.  But it’s so versatile.  It worked well with silver dollar eucalyptus.  I used a large bundle of greens to create maximum impact.

Silver dollar eucalyptus

But silver dollar eucalyptus is also wonderful combined with other floral elements. More ideas for using it are shared in this post.

And This Year?

My current winter-to-spring floral design is a work in progress which I hope to be sharing soon.  Until then, hang in there.  January is almost over!

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Want to see more? Check out my photo gallery, where you can browse my posts by category.

Nature-Inspired Gifts

Many of the DIY projects I share on this blog are inspired by nature and feature materials that I find in nature. So today I’m sharing a few nature-inspired gifts.

Often times, natural or eco-friendly gifts are made by small companies of artisans.  When we purchase them, we are helping to support the “little guy,” and I always love that.

Here are just a few of the gift ideas that have me dreaming today.

Affiliate links are used below.  For more on my affiliate links, please see this page.

Gifts for Warmth and Comfort

Seeing these comfy-looking organic handmade wool slippers by Haussimple Wool makes me want to curl up with a good book.

 

Eco Handmade Unisex Organic Wool Slippers House Slippers for Natural Brown
Photo courtesy of Haussimple Wool

 

I’m guessing even the woman who has everything might not have these natural yak woolen gloves by Handcombed.

Eco gloves; photo courtesy of Handcombed.

 

An Oatmeal and Honey Deluxe Bath Bomb by CopperCatApothecary would make a fun stocking stuffer for someone who needs a little pampering.

Oatmeal and honey bath bombs; photo courtesy of CopperCatApothecary.

Gifts for the Cook/Baker

It seems embossed rolling pins are everywhere this year.  This “Herbs” rolling pin by MoodForWood is designed and made in Poland using wood from environmentally responsible sources.

“Herbs” embossed rolling pin; photo courtesy of MoodForWood.

 

These spools of eco-friendly cotton baker’s twine by The StitchinKitchen would make wonderful – and affordable – hostess gifts or stocking stuffers for cooks or crafters. And the adorable wooden spools can be reused after the twine is gone.

Wood Spools of Baker's Twine Colored Twine Craft Twine image 2
Photo courtesy of TheStitchinKitchen

 

I love the look of BackBayPottery’s four-cup batter bowl, which is handmade in California.

Batter bowl; photo courtesy of BackBayPottery.

Gifts for the Bird Watcher

Bird nesters seem like a great way to attract birds to the garden by providing them with fibers to build their nests.  I love how this llama fiber bird nester by Evergreen Oasis Farm has an eco-friendly grapevine cage.

Alpaca fleece nesting ball Grapevine nesting balls Bird image 1
Photo courtesy of Evergreen Oasis Farm

 

This hanging wild bird seed feeder by Birdzy Shop doubles as yard art and a conversation piece for bird lovers.

Owl Hanging Wild Bird Seed Feeder Bird Lover Gift image 1
Photo courtesy of Birdzy Shop

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

Want to see more? Check out my photo gallery, where you can browse my posts by category.

 

 

 

A Minimalist Nature-Inspired Holiday Wreath

I didn’t think I was going to get around to making a holiday wreath at all this season, but a recent walk in the neighborhood after a snowfall changed my mind. A large fir tree branch had come down, and with it some attractive cones.

So I brought it home.

I used it in some simple front porch decor, which I’ll talk about later, but there was plenty left over for a wreath.

So this is how I made my wreath.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more on my affiliate links, please see this page.

A Homemade Grapevine Wreath

For the past few years, most of my wreaths have had a homemade grapevine wreath as the foundation.

One of my earlier DIY grapevine wreaths

Grapevine wreaths are so easy to make, and I talk about the process more in this post.  It was time to cut my grapevine back for the season anyway, so I just used the clippings to create a simple wreath to go with the fir greens.

A DIY grapevine wreath and fir tree clippings

The beauty of the grapevine wreath is that the vines are loosely woven around one another, so no wires or strings are needed.

 

Tuck In The Fir Greens

Then I tucked in the fir greens, winding the stems through the grapevines to secure them.

As you can see, I was keeping it very minimalist.  I wanted the greenery to be only on one side of the wreath.

Add Color

Usually my wreaths cost me nothing to make because I only use greens from my own garden or ones that I foraged on a walk.  But this time I splurged – sort of.  The great thing about procrastinating on holiday decorating is that, by the time I get around to actually needing something, it’s usually on sale.

Like these dried orange slices.

And these faux berries.

I am not sure what kind of berries they are intended to be, but I am guessing they are rose hips – although they look more like tiny pomegranates.

I set about adding the faux rose hips and dried orange slices to the wreath.  The rose hips were on flexible wires, so they were easy to secure.

I had never worked with dried orange slices before, and I learned that they are a bit delicate and brittle. The best way I found to attach them to the wreath was to loop some wire through them – making sure to include the rind since it was more durable than the fruit part.

Adding wire to a dried orange slice before securing it to the wreath

And then attaching them to the wreath.

After I finished the wreath, I gave it a good shake to make sure everything was secure.

The Result

I had originally intended to make an asymmetrical wreath – with the greenery covering one side.  But, once it was finished, I liked it better with the greenery at the bottom of the wreath instead.

So now I have this.

I did a simple satin ribbon with no bow because I prefer it that way, but a bow could certainly be attached as well. Or the ribbon and bow could be skipped altogether.

 

 

The Rest Of The Foraged Fir Branch

The fir branch helped me redesign my front porch planters for winter. Last spring, I did a new mixed planting of annuals in the planters. (The details of that project, and the plant list, are in this post.)

The plants did well all summer and into fall.  But, as of about a week ago, the only plants still thriving were the dusty millers.  Apparently they can tolerate some frost and cold.

So I took everything else out of the planters and left the dusty millers. I propped them up with some gold-painted branches that I’ve had in storage for years.

And then I just added the fir branches and some clippings from two different cypress trees that grow in our garden.  I just pushed the clippings into the soil.

Finally, I added a few pinecones and some faux berries from storage.

The planters don’t look spectacular, but it is a nice natural look that will get us through the winter season. And, at a cost of zero, it was a budget-friendly project.

Nature-Inspired Gifts

So if I can make a nature-inspired wreath, why not wrap up a few nature-inspired gifts?

And especially since, often times, natural or eco-friendly gifts are made by small companies of artisans.  I’d be helping to support the “little guy,” and I always love that.

Here are just a few of the gift ideas that have me dreaming today.

Affiliate links are used below.  For more on my affiliate links, please see this page.

Gifts for Warmth and Comfort

Seeing these comfy-looking organic handmade wool slippers by Haussimple Wool makes me want to curl up with a good book.

 

Eco Handmade Unisex Organic Wool Slippers House Slippers for Natural Brown
Photo courtesy of Haussimple Wool

 

I’m guessing even the woman who has everything might not have these natural yak woolen gloves by Handcombed.

Eco gloves; photo courtesy of Handcombed.

 

An Oatmeal and Honey Deluxe Bath Bomb by CopperCatApothecary would make a fun stocking stuffer for someone who needs a little pampering.

Oatmeal and honey bath bombs; photo courtesy of CopperCatApothecary.

Gifts for the Cook/Baker

It seems embossed rolling pins are everywhere this year.  This “Herbs” rolling pin by MoodForWood is designed and made in Poland using wood from environmentally responsible sources.

“Herbs” embossed rolling pin; photo courtesy of MoodForWood.

 

These spools of eco-friendly cotton baker’s twine by The StitchinKitchen would make wonderful – and affordable – hostess gifts or stocking stuffers for cooks or crafters. And the adorable wooden spools can be reused after the twine is gone.

Wood Spools of Baker's Twine Colored Twine Craft Twine image 2
Photo courtesy of TheStitchinKitchen

 

I love the look of BackBayPottery’s four-cup batter bowl, which is handmade in California.

Batter bowl; photo courtesy of BackBayPottery.

Gifts for the Bird Watcher

Bird nesters seem like a great way to attract birds to the garden by providing them with fibers to build their nests.  I love how this llama fiber bird nester by Evergreen Oasis Farm has an eco-friendly grapevine cage.

Alpaca fleece nesting ball Grapevine nesting balls Bird image 1
Photo courtesy of Evergreen Oasis Farm

 

This hanging wild bird seed feeder by Birdzy Shop doubles as yard art and a conversation piece for bird lovers.

Owl Hanging Wild Bird Seed Feeder Bird Lover Gift image 1
Photo courtesy of Birdzy Shop

 

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

Want to see more? Check out my photo gallery, where you can browse my posts by category.

 

 

 

A Foraged Thanksgiving Centerpiece

It seems that festive holiday decor creeps into our homes earlier every year. And, in the process, the beautiful fall season gets rushed and overlooked. This year, I’m making an effort to slow down and fully appreciate the fall season. So, in that spirit, I’m sharing a Thanksgiving centerpiece that I put together using only a sugar pumpkin and foliage that I foraged from my fall garden.

Preparing The Pumpkin

At a local grocery store, sugar pumpkins were marked down to a post-Halloween price of only 25 cents each.  I got two and used one for this centerpiece.

I cut off the top and scooped out the seeds and goop.  With a small water-filled glass beaker set inside to contain the foliage, the pumpkin would serve as the vessel for the centerpiece.

The small glass beaker gets filled with water and set inside the pumpkin

Foraging For Decor

I roamed my garden looking for anything that still looked fresh or had great color.  The first things to catch my eye were hydrangea blossoms. They were the same variety that I used in this wreath a couple of years ago.

The blossoms dried nicely on that wreath and looked beautiful for weeks.

 

 

I kept looking – for fall color, berries, pinecones, grasses, seed heads, anything with fall interest.  It was a small pumpkin so I wouldn’t need a huge amount of foliage.

Here is what I came up with.

The Centerpiece

 

 

A Douglas fir sprig with a pinecone, hydrangeas, and a berry-laden shrub helped to bring color and texture to this centerpiece

For some reason, my pineapple sage plants are blooming very late this year.  They don’t seem a bit deterred by the morning frost we’ve been having.

So I used those red blossoms along with straw-colored grasses and sprigs of the dried seed heads that I had gathered from a gorgeous hike we’d been on several weeks ago.

Abundant dried seed heads and grasses in this meadow

Centerpieces are seen from all sides.  Here is the reverse of this centerpiece.

Maybe I’m too practical, but sprawling Thanksgiving tablescapes don’t make much sense to me.  There are so many serving dishes that compete with them for space on the table.  I prefer something more compact.

 

 

This pumpkin could leak, so I have a saucer under it.  And, of course, a hollowed pumpkin vessel won’t last long. This centerpiece is for me to enjoy now – almost a week prior to Thanksgiving.  I got the second sugar pumpkin because I will be making a fresh centerpiece for the actual Thanksgiving holiday.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving!

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

Want to see more? Check out my photo gallery, where you can browse my posts by category.

 

 

 

3 Simple Budget Paint Projects That Help Boost A Home’s Character

I must begin this post by apologizing for not sharing anything on my blog for a very long time. There was was so much that I wanted to share but no time to actually sit down and write about it.

One of the things keeping us busy has been a small 1920s cottage that we manage.

It had been continuously occupied for many years, but this summer it became vacant. And that was our chance to finally get in there to do a little maintenance and make some upgrades.

So today I’m sharing three very simple budget paint projects that helped boost the charm and character of this adorable little cottage.

This post contains affiliate links.  For more on my affiliate links, please see this page.

1.  Bi-Color Exterior Window Trim

One of the not-so-cute things about this little cottage is that it has vinyl siding that cannot be painted. I would call the color of the siding “faded tan” for lack of a better description.  The original siding is still underneath so, yes, we’ve considered removing the vinyl siding to see what kind of condition it is in.  But a project like that is real roll of the dice, so we’ll save that for another time.

The vinyl siding needs almost no maintenance, but the wooden window trim was in need of a repaint.  Chris sanded and prepped all of the windows for paint.

The house has its cute, original mullioned windows. So, to highlight them, we decided to go with a bi-color paint scheme when repainting the trim.

This is such a simple way of adding charm to a home’s exterior.

The colors we used were Behr Palais White (GR-W15) and PPG Pine Garland (1126-6). These colors soften the utilitarian look of the vinyl siding – and they make the mullioned windows pop.

The front door received the same treatment.

Not every window lends itself to this bi-color trim paint treatment, but luckily these did.

 

2. Painting The Interior Of Built-Ins A Contrasting Color

The kitchen has a cute built-in hutch.

The hutch interior was a bit worn and needed a paint touch-up.  But we didn’t have any of the white paint left. What I did have was plenty of PPG Periwinkle Blue (30BB 33/235) left over from my living room refresh.  So, rather than trying to match the existing white, I used that color on the cabinet interior to create some contrast.

The periwinkle blue works with both the wall color and the white of the hutch’s exterior frame.

It’s just enough of a contrast to set off that fun vintage frame.

I used a small paint brush for the corners and crevices. To get a smoother surface than a paint brush or roller could give me, I used this little paint tool to cover the flat surfaces.

This project added a touch of charm to the kitchen and, since I used paint we already had on hand, it cost us nothing.

 

3. New House Numbers

It was finally time to do something about these bland little house numbers that hung next to the front door.

Besides being unattractive, they were too small to easily see from the street.

So I got an inexpensive wooden plaque from a local craft store. Because of the space between the front door and the window, the plaque couldn’t be wider than about 9 inches.

I wanted art deco house numbers to honor the era of the house, but many of the art deco stencils I found were stylized to the point of being a bit difficult to read.  I finally found this stencil, which walked the fine line between style and practicality.

I painted the plaque with the Palais White trim paint and then experimented on the back of the plaque with several application methods for the numbers.  I ended up spray painting them with a gloss black spray paint that we had on hand.

I didn’t enjoy this project as much as I thought I would.  The stencil, while probably great for other types of crafts, didn’t work super well for my spray paint application. Even though I carefully masked everything within an inch of its life, I still got a bit of overspray that needed to be touched up with the white paint.

But someone with more advanced stenciling skills would probably breeze through a project like this – which is why I included it in this list of simple paint projects.

Anyway, this project worked out reasonably well in the end, and it definitely lends more charm to the front entrance than those dingy aluminum-framed numbers.

This project had me obsessing over house numbers and the impact they make on the overall look of an older home.  So I created this companion post, which features some of the beautiful and period-appropriate house number plaques I found for older homes.  If you’re looking for house-number inspiration, check it out.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

Want to see more? Check out my photo gallery, where you can browse my posts by category.

 

Vintage-Inspired House Numbers For Older Homes

Whatever the architectural style of a house, carefully chosen address numbers can help to support it. They set the tone and aesthetic even before visitors reach the front door.

Older homes especially benefit from period-appropriate address numbers –  whether that house is a colonial brownstone, a brick Tudor, a craftsman bungalow, a whimsical little cottage, or a midcentury ranch.

This post contains affiliate links.  For more on my affiliate links, please see this page.

Here are a few of my favorite vintage-inspired address plaques by the talented craftspeople on Etsy.

Mucha Art Nouveau Whimsical Home Numbers Address Plaque image 1 Art Nouveau Copper house number Plaque 6/150mm high image 1 Art Nouveau Cast Bronze Square House Door Number Sign Address image 1
Beelman Inspired Address Sign Engraved Designer House Numbers. image 1 Rustic Address Sign Farmhouse Decor House Sign Personalized image 1 Mid Century Metal House Number Sign Modern Address Sign with image 2
Contemporary House numbers address Sign House Plaque image 1 House Numbers Address Tiles Framed Set Custom Address Tiles image 1 Metal house numbers address plaque housewarming gifts image 1

I came across these finds while searching for address numbers for a 1920s cottage that we are sprucing up.  For that cottage, I ended up taking a DIY approach to the house numbers by using paint.  Check out that project, and two other paint projects, in this companion post.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

Want to see more? Check out my photo gallery, where you can browse my posts by category.

 

Lighting Tips For Designing A Warm And Welcoming Outdoor Living Space

The following is a collaborative post.  For more on my collaborative posts, please see this page.

Summertime is the perfect time to enjoy your outdoor living space! A well-designed outdoor living space can be a great place to relax and entertain guests. If you’re looking for some tips on how to create a warm and welcoming outdoor space, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we will discuss some of our favorite tips for creating an inviting outdoor living area. So, read on and get inspired!

1. Enhance Your Overall Outdoor Living Space Look Through Event Lighting

Photo by Greg Gulik from Pexels

One way to really enhance the look of your outdoor space is by incorporating event lighting. This can range from string lights hung overhead to lanterns placed around the perimeter of the outdoor area. Event lighting creates a warm and inviting atmosphere that is perfect for entertaining guests. Additionally, it enables you to use your outdoor area later into the night.

What types of lighting should you be using?

– globe string lights

– outdoor lanterns

– outdoor sconces

– solar lights

If you’re looking for some tips on how to create a warm and welcoming outdoor space, event lighting is a great place to start. By incorporating globe string lights, outdoor lanterns, or outdoor sconces into your design, you can create an inviting atmosphere that is perfect for entertaining guests. Solar lights are also a fantastic choice if you want to enjoy your outside space later in the evening. Therefore, don’t be scared to experiment with various lighting options to see which one suits your environment the most.

2. Light Up Your Patio

Photo by Nehongraphy from Pexels

Another great way to make your outdoor space more inviting is to add some outdoor lighting. There are a number of different ways to do this, so you can really get creative. You could install outdoor sconces along your patio, hang lanterns from trees or eaves, or even place candles around your seating area. Whatever you do, just be sure to add enough light so that your guests can see and enjoy the space.

There are a few different things to consider when choosing outdoor lights for your space. First, think about the overall atmosphere you’re trying to create. If you want a more relaxed vibe, candles or string lights might be the way to go. But if you’re looking to light up your outdoor space for entertaining, you’ll need something a bit brighter. Second, consider the practicality of your outdoor lighting choices. Will your guests need enough light to see while they’re walking around? Will you need extra light for cooking or grilling? Keep these things in mind as you make your selections.

3. Add Landscape Lighting

Photo by thanhhoa tran from Pexels

If you have a garden or other landscaping features in your outdoor space, adding some landscape lighting can really make the space shine. Path lights are a great way to light up walkways and gardens, while spotlights can highlight special features like sculptures or water features. You can even use string lights to create a magical look in your garden. No matter how you choose to do it, landscape lighting is sure to take your outdoor space to the next level.

Which types of lighting should you use? Well, that depends on the overall look you’re going for. If you want a more natural look, solar lights might be the way to go. But if you’re looking for something a bit more dramatic, electric lights will give you the bright illumination you need. Just be sure to consider the cost and maintenance of each type of lighting before making your final decision.

4. Ambient Lighting For Comfort

In addition to outdoor lighting, another great way to make your outdoor living space more inviting is to add some ambient lighting. This can be done in a number of ways, but one of the most popular is to use outdoor string lights. You could also use lanterns, candles, or even tiki torches to create an ambient light source. Just be sure not to go overboard- too much light can be just as off-putting as too little.

When it comes to choosing an ambient light source, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the overall mood you’re trying to create. If you want a relaxed atmosphere, candles or tiki torches might be the way to go. But if you’re looking for something a bit more festive, string lights would be a better choice. Second, think about the practicality of your chosen light source. If you’re using candles, for example, you’ll need to make sure they’re placed in safe locations where they won’t start a fire. Tiki torches also need to be used carefully, as they can be a safety hazard if not used correctly. Keep these things in mind as you choose an ambient light source for your outdoor living space.

5. Post Lights Or Flood Lights For Privacy And Security

If you’re looking for a way to add both privacy and security to your outdoor living space, post lights or floodlights are a great option. These lights can be placed around the perimeter of your patio or deck, and they’ll provide enough light to deter intruders while still allowing you and your guests to enjoy the space. Just be sure to place them in strategic locations so that they don’t become a nuisance.

When it comes to choosing post lights or floodlights, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the overall style of your outdoor living space. If you have a more modern aesthetic, sleek and simple post light would be a good choice. But if you have a more rustic space, antique-style floodlights would be a better option. Second, think about the level of light you want. If you’re looking for a bright light source, floodlights would be the way to go. But if you want something a bit more subdued, post lights would be a better choice. Keep these things in mind as you make your selection.

We hope these tips have inspired you to create a warm and welcoming outdoor space of your own. Be sure to experiment with different lighting options to find what works best for you. And don’t forget to have fun! After all, that’s what outdoor living is all about. If you need professional help in imagining your outdoor space lighting, a service such as Blingle! can help you transform your outdoors.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

Want to see more? Check out my photo gallery, where you can browse my posts by category.

 

5 Budget-Friendly Ways To Make Your Home Look And Feel Fantastic

The following is a contributed post.  For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.

If you want to make your home look great, but you don’t want to break the bank, then you have come to the right place. This post will touch on some of the ways to keep your home looking and feeling its best.

1.  Declutter

Decluttering may seem like the obvious thing to do but, more often than not, people hang onto objects they don’t need without even realizing it. If decluttering your home seems overwhelming, start out with smaller areas, such as your cupboard or even your sideboard. You can then work your way up to doing the full room. Make sure that your kids’ toys are all stored away in boxes, and group things into different bags too. It may be that you have one bag for recycling, another for charity, and then one more to pass down to family members. Decluttering can make a huge difference in how you feel about your home.

2.  Try Out A New Scent

A new perfume can really lift your spirits, but did you know that scenting your home with a candle or even a diffuser can work wonders for you as well? The right scent can make your home feel calmer or more energized  If you want, you can group some candles together as a colorful centerpiece for your table. A new scent will help you to make your space feel extra beautiful and homey.

3.  Pressure Washing Is Your Friend

Pressure washing your home’s exterior features is one of the best ways to give your home better street appeal and a fresh and tidy look. You may even find that it helps to add value to your home. Pressure washing works on stonework, decking, or even paving. And it’s never been easier for you to hire someone online to do high pressure washing for you.

4.  Style Your Coffee Table

If your coffee table is cluttered with paperwork or a mountain of remote controls, then why not think about styling it instead? Pick up a pile of hardback books from the thrift store and display them on your table. Use a nice, round tray and then fill it with candles or small decor accents. Flower-filled vases are also ideal here.

When styling your coffee table, it helps to remember to . . .

5.  Display Items in Threes

Done properly, displaying items in groups of three (or sometimes five) helps them to look like carefully curated decor items.  It’s fun to play around with this concept.  For example, try using vases in different shapes and colors. Or keep the look monochromatic by using objects of the same color but in varying heights and shapes.  

These five tips are just a few of the easy ways to make a huge difference in the look and feel of your home.  

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

Want to see more? Check out my photo gallery, where you can browse my posts by category.

 

 

Gifts For Gardeners

With gardening season upon us and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day quickly approaching, this is an excellent time to think about gifts for the gardeners in our lives.

Below is a little round up of gifts, from practical to fun, that gardeners might enjoy.

This post contains affiliate links.  For more on my affiliate links, please see this page.

Keeping Tools Sharp

Cutting tools like shears and clippers are very important in gardening.  A dull cutting tool can make a project much harder than it needs to be.  That is where a good blade sharpener can come in handy.

 

SHARPAL multi sharpener

A Lightweight Blower

Keeping walkways and patios clean can be a big job with just a broom.  But some blowers can be heavy and cumbersome to use.  I was gifted this lightweight Ryobi One cordless leaf blower a few years ago, and now I don’t know what I’d do without it.

 

Fabric Grow Bags

Recently, I’ve become intrigued with fabric grow bags. They are available in varying sizes, and I plan to try out a couple of large grow bags this summer for tomatoes and pumpkins. They aren’t much to look at, but they are said to help plants grow healthy root systems.  And they store flat when not in use.

Oppolite 20-gallon grow bag

A Tool To Keep Gardening

For the gardener who has a few aches and pains but doesn’t want that to limit their time in the garden, a garden kneeler and stool can be exactly what they need to keep doing what they love.

 

Outdoor Entertaining

When it’s time to host those summer garden gatherings, a practical and well-appointed bar cart can be very useful.

EROMMY outdoor wicker bar cart

Herb Garden

Herb gardens can be as attractive as they are practical.  And they get bonus points if they are easy to use or if they work in small spaces.  This FOYUEE Raised Planter Box hits all those marks.

Animal Succulent Pots

Recently I bought these adorable Ceramic Animal Succulent Plant Pots for my neighbors.

And I’ve had so much fun finding just the right little plants to dress them up.  They didn’t come with saucers, so I added those too.

Self-Care For The Gardener

Gardening can take its toll on hands and feet.  This gift set by Burt’s Bees brings healing to hands, feet, and lips.  Best of all, the products are climate pledge friendly – which is something many gardeners care about.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

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Revamping An Old Folding Table

Recently I shared the makeover of the basement craft and sewing area that Chris and I worked on.

As part of that makeover, I revamped a large, bland folding table to use as my craft table.  I love how that table turned out, so today I’m sharing the details of this simple project.

The Table

I got this 3′ X 6′ faux wood laminate folding table years ago from an office where I used to work.  It took some doing to smuggle it out of the building unnoticed.  (Actually the office was closing and they sold it to me.)

 

It had been used for years in document rooms.  At home, we used it for things like parties and yard sales and, most recently, in my basement craft and sewing area. It was great to have such a large table to work on, but the laminate top was scuffed and worn.

I wanted something more cheerful than the tired faux wood look.  But that something had to be durable and easy to clean.

So this is what I did.

Sanding The Table

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I started by hand sanding the table with 220-grit sandpaper.

The purpose was to scuff the laminate just enough to make the primer adhere.  With the fine, 220-grit sandpaper, there would be no obvious sanding marks.

 

Vacuuming and Wiping

Then I vacuumed the table and wiped it with a damp cloth to make sure all sanding residue was gone.

Masking The Edges

The rim of the tabletop is some sort of rubber.  I doubt any paint would adhere to that very well, so I masked it off with one-inch blue painter’s tape and left it alone.

As you can see from the photo above, the table was literally rough around the edges.  I thought about sanding the edges more, but that could have led to more chipping.  Maybe there was something else I could have done with that, but it was so minor that I chose to just let it be.

Applying Primer

I wanted a smooth finish and I didn’t trust a paint brush to give me that.  So, I used a paint edger similar to this one (in light, broad strokes) to apply three coats of Kilz Premium Primer.

Was three coats of primer overkill?  Not when painting over laminate.  And not when the paint I wanted to use next was a much lighter color than the faux wood.

I let the primer dry thoroughly between coats.

Applying Paint

I went through our paint stash and came up with the paint left over from my master bedroom refreshBenjamin Moore “Galt Blue.”  It was exactly the clean, airy color that I was looking for in my craft room.

Again using the paint edger, I applied two coats.

 

Applying Finish

Since this was to be a worktable, applying finish would be a very important step in protecting the table – and hopefully keeping the paint from chipping and exposing the laminate underneath.

With my trusty paint edger, I applied two coats of Verathane Ultimate Polyurethane in Satin.

This entire process was very similar to the process I used to create the stenciled floor in my dressing room.

I’m happy to report that the floor has held up well, so I’m hoping to have the same result with this table.

The last step was to remove the masking tape.

The Result

This cheerful, smooth-surfaced table works well in my craft area.

revamping old table

When we first thought about hanging the pegboard, I wanted to paint it.  But, after painting the table, and with the colorful pegboard accessories I used, it turned out that painting the pegboard wasn’t necessary.

basement craft area

It’s early days but, so far, the table finish is holding up well and it is very easy to keep clean.

Not too bad for an old document table.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.

 

Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
Entertaining
My Dressing Room Remodel
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel

 

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