I finally hung a wreath on our front door. Winter weather has continued to make its presence known throughout the month of March and April. It's been getting a little wearisome. I decided, ready or not, I wanted to begin decorating outdoors for spring: First step: A welcoming spring wreath!
Originally, I was going to embellish a simple, yellow forsythia wreath with a bow and possibly a welcome spring sign. Then, I noticed a neighbor's lush hydrangea wreath in pretty shades of pink. It got me thinking and browsing the aisles of Michael's florals.
These blushing, peachy, pink peony floral bunch caught my eye at 50% off and I was committed to creating a luscious, beautiful spring wreath!
I wanted to get the most bang for my buck.
I began with materials I had:
Step One: Use the "Naturally Wired" grapevine wire to wire the two grapevine wreaths together. This was a tip I've adopted from Yvonne at Stone Gable blog. She suggests wiring two wreaths together to achieve the look of a designer/high-end wreath for very little money. Yvonne has some wonderful wreath tutorials and so-o-o-o much more. Click Here the link to her blog: Stone Gable.
Step 2: Use wire cutters to snip the peony floral bunch into individual stems. This is my tip to make the most of a floral bunch. Repeat this step with the remaining floral bunch and greenery.
Step 3: Start with the showy floral peonies. Use the grapevine wreath as a sort of floral frog to begin securing the peony flowers to the wreath. An alternative is to use hot glue or floral wire to secure the stems, but I've always found using the tangle of grape vines holds the stems securely. (Then, I can dismantle the wreath and remake it for another season!)
At this point, there are five peonies and a rose bud secured to the wreath. I had about 4 more rosebuds to add, but I decided to add some greenery, and save the rosebuds for fillers. I also like a 3/4 look to the wreath. It's personal preference. One could fill the whole wreath with another few bunches of flowers.
Step 4: Add the small, white, lacy flowers with the silvery, green leaves.
Step 5: Continue adding small, white, lacy florals and greenery. Then add the pink, lacy florals.
At this point, I thought I might be finished, All that I had left to add was the eucalyptus leaves. I chose the florals and the greens for this piece for color and texture. The eucalyptus leaves definitely bring additional texture with their unique shape. I decided to add them in. (After all, that is the beauty of using the grapevine as a floral frog. I can always take stems out and/or rearrange them to my liking.)
Step 6: Secure eucalyptus leaves to the wreath.
Step 7: Use remaining stems to fill in the wreath. Adding stems on the sides gives the wreath a very lush appearance.
Helpful Tip: I use all the bits and pieces to embellish a wreath, even leaves and florals that "shed" from the stems when being handled to secure them to the wreath. These orphan pieces can act as filler. They can be secured with hot glue to the wreath or wire. In this case, I created wire bobby pins/bent pins and threaded them through the leaves that had shed from the greenery.
Step 8: Make a bow. I like to use wired ribbon whenever possible. This ribbon had a heavier weight to it and was on sale at 50% off. I felt the check was the perfect shade to compliment the silvery greenery that I am so fond of in this piece.
Step 9: Attach bow with floral wire. The placement is a personal choice. I chose to attach the bow to the top and left of center. I use to leave the tails of the bow fairly long, but then they end up hiding the floral pretties. I've studied other wreaths that I admire and realize that most of the tails are trimmed, so as not to flap over the florals.
Here is my "Welcome Spring" wreath hung on my front door. Yes, the reflection is the result of actual sunshine!
I was so pleased with this one, that I made a matching, smaller one for the lamp post.
I am loving this ribbon from Michael's. It is just so sweet. The blushing peony bunches and ribbon became my inspiration for my spring outdoor decorating. More to come on that!
How do you welcome spring? We'd love to here about it. I, for one, am so-o-o ready to get digging in the dirt and literally smelling the flowers. Enjoy!
It is finally spring! At least, it is if you look at the calendar. Outside on any given day, this March has looked more like winter. I can't wait to begin planting pansies, but that will have to wait until Mother Nature gives me the OK. Until then, I have been decorating indoors and have loved adding spring, whimsical pieces to our decor. Take a look.
Once again, I've used what I have, which I admit is quite a lot. I've been collecting favorite pieces and florals for several years. I reuse them, until they reach the tacky stage and then they go in the dust bin. Wire snippers are one of my favorite tools. I often take a floral bunch and trim bits and pieces off of it and use the pieces to enhance another vignette, wreath, or arrangement.
The large mason jar candle is the same one that has been on our dry sink all year long. Each season I change out the the "fillers" in the wreath surrounding the jar. For spring and Easter, I added a few eggs and some pip berry sprigs.
Often times, it's the little things that really tickle my fancy. In this case, I placed two rose colored candle holders in a white tray. I arranged green lentils from the grocery store around the candle holders and then added bits of purple status and baby's breath around the candles. I added the foil bunny and this is one of my favorite pieces. It is by our front door. I feel like it gives guest a nice welcome when the rose candles and mason jar candle are lit.
This vignette is another example of enhancing an established vignette to renew it. In this case, the vintage books and Bob's Van Gogh teapot were already in place. All I did was to add a few spring pip berry sprigs and place the ceramic baby chicks next to it.
I bought a few of these baskets at JoAnn Fabrics last fall when they were greatly reduced. They are so versatile. Here, I took a length of burlap and folded it over to conceal the raw edges. Then, I lined the sides of the basket. Next, I added a couple of bricks to the bottom for a little extra weight. Lastly, I filled the basket with faux forsythia and pussy willows. The burlap liner adds a nice texture to the overall piece and hides all the stems of the forsythia and pussy willows.
I purchased this little rabbit and wagon combination at TJ Maxx last year. I added a few sprigs of baby's breath to the wagon for an added little detail. I am a big fan of E.B. White and I like to use every opportunity to use books: children's, vintage, art, travel, etc. in our decor. Most of the books I use in our decor do have some meaning to Bob and me. In this case, don't you just love how the colors of the book covers compliment the vignette?
I know that many a punch bowl can be found at thrift stores. I have made it a goal of mine to use these cherished pieces from days gone by in our home decor. This beautiful punch bowl was my husband's grandmothers. It is quite grand and has a beautiful pedestal. It had been collecting dust on a shelf and then I decided it was so beautiful, that I wanted to display it in our home. I tried it on our dining room table and it felt too, large. Instead, I moved it to the top of an armoire in the living room. I took apart three mixed bouquets from Pier One, trailing vines from Michael's, floral foam, and moss to create this arrangement.
A favorite children's book: The Velveteen Rabbit and some foil rabbits add a special touch.
More favorite children's books add height to this display. The candlesticks are not my Grandma Marshall's, but she had a collection of American Fostoria crystal. I have picked up a few pieces here and there. They always make me think of her. I like to think of this arrangement as a nod to our wonderful grandmothers.
How sweet is this little orchid in a teacup with moss to hide the orchid pot and a few foil eggs? I often purchase my orchids at Home Depot or even the grocery store floral department. I try to buy ones with a few buds on them. Those will usually last longer and I get the pleasure of seeing the buds bloom!
Our fireplace mantel comes with its own challenges: narrow mantel, audio sound bar, and wall mounted television. I think I've finally found a design plan that works for function and beauty. This is essentially the last arrangement using vintage books as the main staple of the decor. (See post for more.) I kept most of the vintage books, candlesticks, and seeded eucalyptus. I added a few sprigs of pip berries, miniature eggs, and snipped more forsythia sprigs from an existing faux garland to add to the mantel decor.
My mantel is too, narrow for most pre-made garlands. Clipping small pieces of seeded eucalyptus, pip berries, and forsythia was key in achieving a decorative garland-like piece.
I purchased these E-A-S-T-E-R eggs in thread egg holders from TJ Maxx last year. As someone who is always sewing, these beauties make me smile. I'm thinking of turning them around and lettering
"S-P-R-I-N-G" on the back sides so I can keep these up longer.
The little lost sheep was purchased from Pier One. I scooped up a few of the wire baskets in the after Easter sale at JoAnn's last year. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, until I returned to my "roots": pip berries and moss. The basket is another example of clipping sprigs from pip berry stems and using them to enhance a basket. The basket didn't need a full bush of pip berries--just a few.
I was tempted to purchase a white, branched, decorative tree for an egg tree display. I stopped myself. I have a backyard full of trees with branches that need to be picked up. So-o-o--that is what I did. I put some floral foam in my little green pot and stuck my branches in it. (I couldn't wait for a warm day to spray paint them white, so I went with the natural look!) Tucked some moss in the base of the pot and hung some eggs and I had my egg tree.
I used moss very liberally throughout my spring arrangements. I wanted that natural, rustic look. Since, I didn't want moss directly on the books in the little house display, I placed the stone house on a plate and arranged the moss around the plate with a few stones. I used the log slab in the same manner around the larger bunny. The forsythia blossoms were ones that had fallen off a garland. I stuck them into the moss around the bunny instead of discarding them.
My collection of little houses, barn, school, and chicken coop are usually displayed on our bookshelves. I have lighted twig branches behind the barn and chicken coop. They look really pretty at night when they are plugged in. I added some forsythia sprigs to make it more spring-like, along with some moss and small rocks to enhance the chicken coop.
I enjoyed having my Christmas plates hung above the sliding glass door so much, that I wanted to find some spring plates to replace them. The plates were purchased at Pier One. Guess what? They are melamine! No one would really know it, since they are hung on the wall. I was delighted to find the bird motifs. I didn't want the display to just say "Happy Easter!" I wanted it to say "Happy Spring!' or just plain "Happy! Happy!"
I always hang a wreath in my kitchen window. It adds to the view as I am doing dishes. This year, I also added the blue glass candle holders and Beatrix Potter figurines.
Isn't this just the sweetest? The figurines were a gift from a student, who knew I loved books. (He loved animals!) I love the way the sun shines through the glass during the day.
I am an advocate of making functional items decorative as well as useful. I painted and distressed these mason jars last year. I use them on top of my refrigerator for easy access to spatulas, wooden spoons, and more. The basket houses some frequently used cookbooks. I wired three carrots together and attached them to the basket. Now, I have very useful spring decorations on top of the frig!
Not to be forgotten is the powder room. (I admit, the striped painting on the wall is a little loud. I have loved it for years, and now I am ready to repaint it. It will get done--all in good time.) I am particularly pleased with this vignette on top of a cabinet in our very small powder room. It has all the elements that please me: using what I have, using what I love, whimsical fun pieces, and a combination that pleases me.
Here's another one of those fun baskets that I purchased for all of a dollar. I simply filled it with moss, a few pip berry springs, and a few faux flowers with miniature eggs.
A favorite Willie Rae figurine on a scooter and vintage books completes the look.
I'll let you in on a little secret. The wreath featured in the opening and closing of this blog, didn't start out as pictured. I enhanced it. By now, I'm sure you know what I did. I added twigs of pip berries and forsythia and simply stuck them into the grapevine wreath.
This was the wreath as purchased from Michael's for a very reasonable price. I loved all the textures in this wreath and the white bunny is just so precious. But, when I got it home...I just knew it could be something more...
It really didn't take much to enhance this wreath. Just as, a few pip berries, forsythia, moss, and colored eggs can enhance your decor for spring. Open your cupboards and look for pieces you love in spring colors. Consider getting them out of storage, like Grandma's punch bowl, and make it something grand (or simple). Enjoy decorating with what you have and treasure, and yes, if you see something you love--you just might need to purchase it!
Wishing everyone a Happy Spring! Let your creativity shine!