In this post, we have a fun mix of things: An elegant budget floral arrangement, a small DIY decor project, and some new decor inspiration for outdoor spaces.
Making Street Market Flowers Look Elegant
Last Sunday at our neighborhood street market, my husband, Chris, offered to buy me a bunch of locally-grown flowers from a vendor.
A $5 bunch seemed large enough. Curious to see what he would choose, I asked Chris to pick out the flowers. He chose a colorful bunch of assorted flowers and a single stem each of allium and foxtail lily.
I wanted to arrange them in a tall fluted glass vase that I found a while back at a vintage market. I love the simple elegance of the vase. But when a vase is wider at the top than at the bottom, it’s sometimes hard to get the flowers to stand straight.
So it helps to create a simple tape grid at the top of the vase.
Tip: Put the water in the vase before creating the tape grid.
The grid didn’t need to be very elaborate. I added decorative rocks to the bottom because the flower stems would be too short otherwise. (That and it makes the vase more difficult for my cats to tip over.)
The foxtail lily went in the middle as the tallest stem – with other tall stems surrounding it. Next came larger-diameter blossoms (iris, peony, the allium), and then the filler blossoms and the greens.
Easy and elegant.
By the way, as some of the flower vendors pointed out, it’s almost time to say goodbye to the beautiful peony until next year. But is it? As mentioned in Sunset Magazine and on Sunset’s blog, some farmers in Alaska are growing July-blooming peonies. So maybe there is a chance that we will be seeing these beauties in the lower 48 and other locations later this summer.
DIY Outdoor Placemats
This project didn’t turn out quite as planned, but I think it’s still worth sharing.
One nice feature of a round table is that it is often easier to add extra place settings than it would be with a rectangular or square table. Even so, when more place settings are added, the space between them becomes tighter.
So I decided to make some simple placemats for our round patio table. I wanted to make enough to seat six, so the placemats couldn’t be too large. And to follow the curve of the round table, the placemats should also be round. And since they would be used outside, they could look rustic.
Warning: Weird burlap project ahead!
I had a roll of burlap fabric and some liquid fabric stiffener (which I had never tried before) in my craft room. So I used a 13-inch platter as a template and cut the burlap. Of course, as burlap does, it immediately began to fray.
Then, using a painting pad, I saturated each round piece of burlap front and back with the fabric stiffener and laid them flat on parchment paper to dry.
At first I was disappointed to see that the burlap frayed even more after it was saturated. But then I realized that it was actually kind of a cool look.
The burlap wanted to curl and buckle a bit when wet, so from time to time while it was drying, I pressed it back into place. I couldn’t wait to see how the pieces looked when they dried.
So of course they took forever to dry.
And when they did, the burlap was indeed very stiff. No more fraying. That fabric was not going anywhere now! I cut off any strands that were sticking out funny or looking too crazy, but I left most of it.
It does make for an interesting look under outdoor plates, but I should have made them bigger. And using colored burlap might have been fun for this project. But here it is.
There was some fabric stiffener left in the tray and I hated to waste it, so I also made some simple napkin rings using rope ribbon and some vintage buttons.
A fun (if slightly weird) result for my first experiment with fabric stiffener.
Introducing My New Summer Style Boards
Are you planning a new outdoor space? Or maybe just looking for fresh ideas?
Sometimes it’s easier to be inspired if you have a good visual. Visit my new 2016 Summer Style Boards page and set the right mood for your outdoor space.
Disclosure: Affiliate links were used in this post.
You might also enjoy:
- Improvements in the Garden
- A Beautiful Update for Mom’s Garden
- An Old Country Cistern Wakes up in the City
- Flower Frogs 101