Posts Tagged With: recycle

Is It Spring Yet?

April is not the cruelest month.  Usually it’s the ‘January Thaw’ that gets us hoping spring is thisclose before we get slammed with cold, wet weather and nonstop gray days.  This year it was February – for a week!  We even got 70 degree weather.  Not only were there shorts and flip-flops, locals catching rays at the beach, but spring cleanouts were in full force.  People were emptying their garages, sheds, and basements.  Snow blowers were curbside with For Sale signs and yes, there were garage sales, the first I’ve ever seen in this state in February.  Then winter came back with a vengeance of cold temps.  Stella only brought us rain, but the day after the 30% chance of flurries left some white stuff on the ground…

For something a little different for spring front door decor, I found this cone-shaped hanging bucket on clearance that I decided to fill with whatever flowers I had on hand.  I don’t bother with styrofoam or oasis, I just shove stems in and if there’s any space for them to move around (from opening and closing the door), I just fill it with packing paper or plastic bags.  This one is packed tightly with stems.  Looks great.  The downside is that the result is too wide for the front of the door since I have a screen door, so I have to hang it on the backside of the door.


hanging inside the door


So, I had to make another arrangement.  Found another cone-shaped basket (for free) that was brown and decorated with geese and hearts.  Pretty ugly.  So I slopped on some very pale pink chalk paint and filled it with flowers that would fit in the space between the front and screen door.

but there’s enough room between doors for this arrangement

So now I have spring bouquets inside and out.  Because where is the rule that says you can only decorate the outside of the door?  I’m just looking forward to taking down the winter wreath decoration that I made a few years ago from a worn out wreath.  I picked most of the decorations off the wreath (which were cheap looking anyway) and gave it a misting of white spray paint, then slapped on a ski decoration.

the winter door





Categories: crafts, decor, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Decorating Practically for Free!

Decorating for the season doesn’t have to be expensive.  First, there are all the markdowns after Christmas to buy ornaments and whatnot for the next year.  Then there’s everything you can score for free, like this basket.



So I painted it, first with a wash of color on the wicker using watered down craft acrylic paint to make a teal color.  Wasn’t fully pleased with the tones on the wicker, so I added a dry brush of white.


Then I put a cheap $4 garland in it.  Then I added some driftwood I scored at a garage sale for $2 (didn’t even use all the driftwood) and a $1 set of mini string lights (from the Dollar Store).  Don’t have a fireplace so this was something to give the feel of a winter fire.  If you don’t have any logs, find some thick branches and cut to size.



Last year I scored these reindeer at the local thrift store for $2 (for both – there was a 50% sale that day).  Added a little ribbon, a cheap cheap garland from the Dollar Store, cluster lights I already had (bought at the Dollar Store for 50 cents!) and a puffy snowball type of floral ($2.50 on sale) for another little Christmas/winter scene.


reindeer-copyAnd here they are all lit up.



In a front window where my window seat exists, I put up another scene.  I scaled back this year and only used the mini tree and lamp post.  Usually I have two Victorian carolers alongside them.  The mini tree is actually the top section of a large artificial tree I had gotten for free that’s stuffed inside a decorative container I bought years ago at a craft fair (maybe $8).  The lamp post came from another craft fair (about $12 all decorated!) years ago as well.  Cheap string lights are all that’s needed on this tree – which I don’t bother stringing year after year.  I just fold it all up and toss it in a box.


Since I now put up a fake tree, I miss the smell of fresh pine.  Sure you could spend money on those Scenticles, but free is better.  So off to Home Depot and Lowes I go about 2 weeks prior to Christmas and scavenge all the cut branches they pile from trimming the real trees that people buy.  I try to find a variety of pines – and take as much as I can find.  They’re all free for the taking.  Check out any lot that sells trees to collect branches.

One arrangement sits in an old galvanized bucket that I covered with burlap I already had (just use a rubber band to hold it around the bucket).  The branches came from my yard (free) which I painted white (paint already on hand).  Then I found these acrylic snowflake ornaments (Micheal’s) which I scored for $1 (on sale).


The other arrangement I keep in the kitchen.  The snowman hat I scored at Michael’s for 70% off so it was a steal.  I stuff all the greenery and branches in a plastic container inside both the bucket and hat so that they stay fresh all winter.


Once the Christmas decor gets put away I still have winter decor with these two arrangements.  If you put up a live tree, just cut branches off it before you toss the tree to make winter arrangements.  It’s what I used to do when I put up live trees so that the house didn’t feel so bare once the holidays passed.  The neighbors probably thought I was a little nuts cutting up a tree after Christmas, but hey, it was still winter…

Now that’s how to do Christmas decorating on the cheap without looking cheap.




Categories: crafts, decor, junk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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