DIY Crafts · Home Decor

Make A Beautiful Autumn Hued Wreath From Dried Hydrangea

DIY Hydrangea Wreath

Hydrangea is such a beautiful flower! I keep adding more and more of them to my home landscape! Several years ago we traveled to Maine for a family vacation, and I came back inspired to add even more after viewing so many charming New England homes surrounded by the striking shrubs. Now, I have my own supply of hydrangea blossoms that are terrific for preserving and using in crafts. If you have some too, give it a try! The dried flowers can last for a year, so the effort to DIY a pretty wreath or arrangement is definitely worth it!

How TO DRY Hydrangea

I have used two methods for drying hydrangea stems. The first is air drying in bunches and the second is drying in a vase with some water. Either way, you should cut the hydrangea stem with about 8-12 inches of stem and remove the leaves.

For air drying, tie the branches singly or in small bunches and hang them upside down in a dry place, like an attic. For my wreath, I just got a bunch of my dried flowers out of the attic, and they were ready to go.

Another option is to put the flowers in a vase with water halfway up the stems. Simply let the water evaporate and the flowers will be dry. This will take about two weeks or so.

Flowers drying in a vase of water.

Making the Wreath: Step By Step

Supplies Used For Project:

Grapevine Wreath Base

Dried Flowers

Wire

Pink, Purple, Copper, and Green Spray Paint

Many of my flowers were dried from last year and mainly looked golden brown, so I decided to spray paint some of them to get the color tones I wanted. This was very easy. I just spread the flowers out on some cardboard and gave them a fine mist of paint (outdoors for ventilation) to give them some subtle color. I used pink, purple, copper, and green.

You will need a grapevine wreath base for this project. Once your flowers are dry, start at one position on the circle and begin filling in with flowers. The stems of hydrangeas are pretty tough, and if you have long enough stems, you can just weave them through the vine. That’s how I attached a lot of the flowers. They can be secured with florist wire where needed. Just gently wrap some wire around the stem being careful not to break the flower, and use the wire to help hold the flower in place. I had a few flowers that broke off the stems, so I just affixed them with a glue gun. That’s another method that works, too.

Hold your wreath up to see if the fullness is pretty equal all around, and add more flowers where needed. With the materials being natural, it’s never going to be perfect, but that’s what makes your own creation unique.

Twist a loop of wire on the back of the wreath to form a hanger.

That’s all there is to it! What a beautiful and rewarding project! I can’t wait to get everything together for my Fall front door display this year, and see how everything comes together!

HAVE A BEAUTIFUL day, and try something creative! 🙂

DIY Crafts · Home Decor

DIY Fall Decor: Coppery Hypertufa Pumpkin Sculpture

Making Art With Hypertufa

Aren’t outdoor sculptures so striking? The effect of a well-chosen outdoor accent can really add to the beauty and charm of outdoor spaces. I have been wanting to try some concrete projects for years, but I finally decided to give it a try this week. Creating something out of hypertufa, a mix of concrete, perlite, and peat moss, turned out to be a cool project with some pretty nice results. Since this was my first try, I definitely want to play around with it and see what else I can come up with and refine the technique a little. 

For this project, I made a set of coppery pumpkins. They’re a cute little accent and you could use them indoors, on your porch, patio, or front steps.  The fun part is deciding whether to leave them as-is or decorate them!

Supplies:

Portland Cement

Perlite

Peat Moss

Water

Trowel

Rubber bands

Tights or pantyhose

Dust mask

If painting copper-

Spray paint (I used Krylon fusion copper metallic)

For verdigris highlights: acrylic paints in green, gray, and antique gold

  1. Mix the hypertufa

Wear a dust mask. Mix equal parts portland cement, perlite, and peat moss in a large bucket. Gradually add water, possibly up to one equal part. Mix in very slowly so you are controlling the consistency. It should not be crumbly but it cannot be too watery. It should be like a moldable mud texture. 

  1. Cut a section from a leg of pantyhose. To make a larger pumpkin, use a long section and start at the top of the leg. Tie a knot at the bottom of the pantyhose.
  2. Stuff the pantyhose with hypertufa. Really squish it in there and pat it around to make a good pumpkin shape. I made a couple that were too flat when finished because I didn’t stuff in enough hypertufa, so you want to keep filling it in, forming it, and making it rounded as you go. When you have a shape you like, tie another knot. 
  3. Use rubber bands around the whole thing to form indentions like the sections of a pumpkin. Your rubber bands will be like slices of pie or spokes of a wheel. 
  4. Let your pumpkins dry without disturbing them for 4 days.
  5. Cut off the rubber bands and pantyhose, and you’re done!
  6. If you want to, you can decorate the pumpkin. I decided to give mine an aged copper look. I spray painted them with Krylon fusion copper metallic.

For the smaller one, I added some shading for a verdigris effect. I used folk art acrylic paints in dark green and gray, mixed together for various shading, and also added some antique metallic gold. 

I’m going to be trying some more cement projects, so I’ll let you know how they turn out. The possibilities for making your own decorative pieces with this stuff are endless!

Have a beautiful day and try something new and creative! 🙂

DIY Crafts · Home Decor

DIY Fall Folk Art Vase Fun and Easy Project

Time to get ready for fall festivities! Whether you plan to cook a meal at your home or are looking to have something to drop off at grandma’s, this is a fun DIY project. When finished, the vase has a hand-painted look because of the combination of paint and decoupage. Kids can help with the acrylic paint and decoupage steps.

Supplies:

Glass cylinder vase

Metallic spray paint

Seasonal napkins

Modge Podge

Acrylic Craft Paint, various colors

Acrylic craft paint, metallic to match spray paint

Step 1- Make sure the glass vase is clean and dry

Step 2- Spray paint the vase according to instructions on the paint can. Only do this outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. 

Step 3- Choose a seasonal napkin. I always have a bunch of fun napkins around because I just like to change up the table for the season. I chose a Spode woodland turkey napkin because it went with the look I was going for, but you could use anything. Make sure you are only working with one layer. Carefully affix the napkin where you would like it placed using modge podge or polyurethane. 

Step 4- Paint a decorative folk-art inspired border around the top. I did a simple vine and bud design in colors that coordinated with the napkin illustration. Once I had the basic design, I went back and added a little gray to places to make it look slightly shaded.

Step 5- add highlights with metallic paint. I added some small gold highlights here and there on the turkey design napkins. I also painted some blue over top of parts of the decoupage to add to the folk art hand-painted look.

Step 6- coat with polyurethane. I coated the whole thing with spray-on clear poly (outdoors) to give it all a unified texture. 

The great thing about this project is it doesn’t need to look perfect! I wanted a folk art look, so I’m happy with the primitive style painting. If the decoupage isn’t perfect, it’s also getting some paint and poly. 

This was an easy, fun project.

Have a beautiful day, and try something creative! 🙂

DIY Crafts · Home Decor

Shabby Chic Teacup Planter Quick DIY Project

Make a charming little hanging planter from a vintage teacup

Oh, vintage teacups! I can never resist them! My mom had a collection of pretty, old teacups on shelves in our dining room, and to me they were like a colorful flower garden at every mealtime. Yellow roses, delicate lily of the valley, and red holly berries joined in a kaleidoscope of cheer. 

To this day I love old dishes and am always trying to find a use for them. Today I’m making a vintage teacup into a cute hanging planter. I think a whole group of these planted with succulents or trailing greenery would be spectacular at an event like a bridal shower, wedding, or themed birthday. This little treasure could also hold goodies for your backyard birds!

To make a teacup hanging planter, you will need:

Vintage teacup

Plant hanging kit (chains, S hook) sold in a package in hardware for about $3

Clear gorilla glue

Clamps for gluing

Beads for decoration if desired

Steps:

  1. Thoroughly clean the bottom of the cup and the top of the saucer
  2. Glue the two pieces together using clear gorilla glue
  3. Put the pieces between wood or two books and clamp to dry glue
  4. Thoroughly clean the bottom of the saucer and glue the chain to the bottom. Put the glue in the saucer groove and place the chain so each chain will be at the one third mark of the saucer. 
  5. Use small clamps to hold the chain in place
  6. Put a dab of glue on the saucer where you want the chain to hold the side of the saucer
  7. If you want beads hanging from the bottom of your planter, Put your beads on a short length of wire. String the beads to the center and put a twist in the wire to hold the beads in the right place, the center of the bottom of the cup. Attach the wire to the cup by threading it through the chain and bending it in place.

I hope you enjoy making one of these as much as I did! It was a fun little project!

Garden · DIY Crafts

Make this Simple and Cute DIY Feeder to Bring Orioles to Your Yard

When you spy the colorful plumage of a striking oriole in your backyard, you may just begin a quest to keep them coming back and draw them out of their usual high treetops. That’s exactly what happened to me this summer. We had front row seats for the raising of two nests full of new baby robins this summer since the parents decided to set up housekeeping at the corner of our patio pergola for the season. Extremely cool. 

Both parents painstakingly hopped around the backyard in search of something to dig up and feed the little ones. Then they would stealthily fly into the thick wisteria, trying to fake us out by entering somewhere where the nest was not and then moving to their real target: the hungry younguns. Consequently,  I am now thoroughly acquainted with the movements of a robin and how they find food in our yard. 

So one evening as I’m relaxing on my swing, I spy some flashes of orange in the upper tree branches of the fencerow. Yep, robins, I think. We have a ton of them. But wait! These birds were up there hanging in all sorts of ways to reach berries from the Allegheny viburnum! These were some spry songbirds that weren’t really behaving like our robins. After some quick research, I realized these were indeed orioles up there having a grand old time enjoying some fruit at summer’s end. 

I have more time this summer to enjoy the backyard birds, so this is a first for me seeing orioles right here at home, although in our region it’s not at all uncommon if you’re looking. 

I set out this week to make a feeder to entice the little cuties further down into the yard so we can get a better look before they leave for the season. I found out three preferences of orioles: Number one, they like the color orange. Number two, they like to feast on oranges. And number three, they enjoy grape jelly. 

My little DIY feeder sports an oriole-eye-catching shade and two containers for their preferred foods. So far on day one, no orioles, but a hummingbird took some orange juice. Let’s hope they find the feeder before they’re off for warmer places! 

MaTERIALS

Two small shallow jelly jars

Krylon Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint, Gloss, Popsicle Orange

Six feet of copper color wire, 20 gauge (I plan to make another using more heavy-duty wire. This was easy to bend and work with, but the jars could use a little stronger support)

Jewery charm for decoration if desired

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Spray paint the jars according to the paint can instructions. Thin coats work best. I only spraypaint outdoors. 
  2. Once the jars are dry, you can construct your wire hanger. Find the center of the wire and create a small loop. Twist the wire together. This is what will become the top twisted hook. I did 20 tight twists at the top. 
  3. If you plan to put a charm on your feeder, string it onto one of the wire pieces at this point, then twist the two wires to keep it there. 
  4. Form an oval-shaped opening with the two wires that is the right size for your charm. 
  5. Twist the two wires together tightly to form the central brace. 
  6. Take one of the jars and place it on the left side of your wire hanger. Using the jar just under the lip as a guide, go around the jar three times with the wire. Do the same on the right side. 
  7. Tuck the wires into the jar-sized circles on each side and cut to length. 
  8. Using separate pieces of wire, wrap the two circles and wrap to the central brace. Use pliers to tuck in any ends.
  9. Place the jars into the hanger
  10. Hang from an s hook
  11. You’re done!

The finished product

If you prefer to just buy an oriole feeder, there are a lot of great options like this one from Wayfair.

Enjoy your weekend and happy backyard birdwatching!

DIY Crafts · Home Decor

Easy, Budget Friendly Wall Art Project Adds A Bold Focal Point

Our Colonial Cape Cod home was constructed in 1920. Plenty of updates and changes have occurred in the old place in the span of one hundred years, but we try to retain the spirit of the home’s history in the furnishings and decor.

Our son’s room features a beautiful vintage art deco waterfall bed from the 1930s as well as a matching desk and dresser. The theme for the room began when my dad gave us his old dresser which he used when he was a kid. The curved and inlaid lines combined with the tortoise color pulls make this a special piece. I looked around for a matching bed for a while, but to no avail. One day, my husband spotted a complete authentic waterfall headboard and footboard out on the curb for garbage.  Yes, it is a little

Left, the bed with pillows and artwork, center the dresser with a vintage oil painting hanging above, and right carved detail from the curved footboard.

embarrassing to scavenge through the trash, but we’re not above doing it if someone is throwing away the exact of furniture piece we needed for our room! 🙂  After a thorough cleaning, the bed was in near-perfect condition. 


This is such an easy project you can have it completed in an hour or two, and a grouping like this is a great way to punch up your wall decor. This is an extremely budget-friendly project because using a calendar and poster frames gives you a lot of gorgeous artwork for not much money.

For this project, you will need a high-quality, large-format calendar. I used this National Parks Poster Art of The WPA Oversize Wall Calendar from ziga media. My calendar is not the 2021 edition, but the artwork is extremely similar. 

You will also need six 11 by 17 poster frames of your choice. You can get an entire package of six here. 

Since the furnishings are in an art deco style, I wanted to add artwork from the same time period that would really add a bold accent on the wall above the bed. I love picture groupings, and when I saw this gorgeous, colorful, deco calendar in 1930s style, I knew I had found the perfect solution!

Our son has a great love of national parks and has fond memories of visiting there, so these amazing prints make him happy when he sees them in his room.

Using the frame back as a guide, cut each page you wish to frame to fit the 11 by 17 frame. The images themselves fit very well into a poster frame, and you will be cutting off the calendar part with the months and dates. Then place the prints in the frame. 

Decide what kind of placement you want for your pictures, hang with small nails or command strips, and you’re done! What a quick and easy update!