Decorating Feed

Patriotic Lighting

Memorial Day is just around the corner, can you believe it?  I can't.  Here is an easy way to make your plain candle holders look more patriotic for the occasion.  Also great for the 4th of July.

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Tools and Materials
Assorted cylindrical clear-glass containers
Glassine sheets in red, white, and blue
Tape measure
Rotary cutter or edgers
Double-sided tape
Glue stick

Patriotic Votive How-To
1. Measure the height and circumference of the container, adding 1/2 inch to the circumference. Cut a piece of glassine to these measurements. Wrap the glassine around the container, and adhere using the double-sided tape.

2. Use the remaining colors to create patterns and decorations on the votive, such as stripes of colored glassine. Cut the stripes with the edgers or rotary cutter to give them an added visual appeal. Affix the decorations to the votive using the double-sided tape or glue stick.

Watch a how to video here.

For even more patriotic flare check out Hostess Jo's Patriotic Section!  Get 15% off with coupon code "memorial" now through Memorial Day!

(photo from marthastewart.com)


Interesting Arrangement

I love how everyone is filling their flower vases with all kinds of objects these days.  You can use basically any kind of candy, we found out at Easter.  All you need are two similarly shaped vases (one narrower than the other) and a little creativity and you've got a one-of-a-kind arrangement!  The one below uses Mother of Pearl buttons in water to appear like baubles.  This would be a pretty idea for Mother's Day don't you think?

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Small iridescent seashells would look nice too. You could also coordinate the button color to the flower color.  The smaller the interior vase the larger your objects can be.  What have you used to fill your vases lately?

(photo from marthastewart.com)


Graduation Party Ideas

I recently had a reader email me for graduation party ideas for her husband graduating from college.  I'm so glad she did because I realized I've never written about graduation parties!  Unfortunately I don't have any pictures yet, but maybe you can use some of these ideas...

Her email:

Hi Joanna,
I have recently found your site, and I LOVE it. I was
wondering if you could give me any ideas for a graduation party. My husband is graduating from college in May, and I'm having a hard time coming up with the decor/theme
for the party. His favorite color is green, and so are the
school colors. I was thinking of doing all green, but I
don't know what to do to not make it look too
kid'ish or girly. Can you help?? Any suggestions??



My response:

Hi,

I've got a couple of ideas for you...I was thinking you could do a "Past, Present and Future" theme, like have pics of him as a child, pics of him now and pics of whatever he graduated with- say it was architecture-drawings of buildings, etc.  Then you could frame them in green frames.  Depending on how many rooms you are going to use you could separate them among three rooms.

For centerpiece(s) you could turn a graduation cap upside down, place a vase inside of it with Bells of Ireland.  Here is a link: 
http://tinyurl.com/d9bwvp.  I think they are a more "masculine" flower and they are the prettiest color green.  If there is space between the cap and vase you could fill it with green colored gems-they have these at Wal-mart in the craft section. 

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I always say to serve cupcakes for dessert or snacks because they are easy and mess free and now you can do any decorations you could imagine on them.  Everyone loves them.  My favorite place to go for decorations is Fancy Flours.  Here is a link to their graduation page http://tinyurl.com/dd6ofz.  These http://tinyurl.com/c2qyzuwould be PERFECT for your party because they are adult and not girly!  They are a bit pricey so I would suggest just doing a few in these wrappers and doing the rest plain

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I was also thinking that you could roll up little scrolls then tie green ribbon around them to look like miniature degrees/diplomas.  Have them sitting in a basket with pens as your guests come in and instruct them (with a small sign) to take one and write either a well wish or piece of advice to your graduate.  Then have another basket to drop them off in.

If you want to do favors, I would keep it simple like green M & M s in little cellophane bags...food favors always go over well.

Well I hope this helps!  Let me know if you have any questions or need any other ideas!  I'd love it if you would take pics of the party and I could feature you on the blog.  Have a great party and congrats to the graduate!

Thanks,

Joanna

I think she really liked the ideas and I'm hoping she will send us some pictures of the party!


Under the Sea

Are you daydreaming of days on the beach, hearing the crashing waves with a fruity concoction in your hand like I am?  Ahhhhhhh...   Then you will like these pictures.

I'm loving the new more natural look of beach/sea life decor.  The creams and tans are just so clean and fresh.  Plus you don't have to live at the beach to incorporate them into your existing decor!  These new neutrals go with everything.  Not only is it great for homes but also looks amazing at parties and weddings.

These are a few of my favorite sea things:

Sea Life Pillows

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Japanese Float Table Lamp

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Natural Starfish

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Shells on Strings

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Mini Recycled Glass Tealight Holders

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And my favorite of all!  Seascape Table Setting

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EGGcellent!

For your Easter table centerpiece, try this twist on the traditional Easter egg tree.  Your children will love it!  Bonus:  this would also be cute for a "Mama Bird/Baby Bird" or "Nesting" baby shower.

Swinging Birdie Egg Tree

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First find a branch in your backyard and set in sand or pebbles.  You will also need:

 

Egg carton
Hole punch
1/4-inch-wide ribbon
Colored tissue paper
Pinking shears or decorative-edge craft scissors
Blown eggs
Glue stick
Colored feathers
Colored card stock
Marker

Time needed: About 1 to 2 Hours

Rock-a-bye Birdies - Step 1 1. For each, cut a cup from the egg carton and punch 3 holes as shown.

2. Cut 3 pieces of ribbon, each about 9 inches long. Thread an end of each piece through a hole in the carton and knot it, then tie the other ends of the ribbons together.

3. Cut two 2- by 6-inch rectangles of tissue paper, one with the pinking shears. Lay the pinked rectangle on top of the other. Wrap the papers around a blown egg so that the pinked edge peeks out from behind the straight edge. Secure with the glue stick.

4. Place the wrapped egg in the cradle. Use the glue stick to attach a small tuft of feather and a card stock beak and eyes to the egg. Make pupils on the eyes with the marker.

(photo from familyfun.com)


Easter Table Inspiration

I love love this table setting!  The colors are bright instead of pastel.  Not to take anything away from the pastels but I love the brights.

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It looks simple to duplicate also.  You could purchase a turquoise tablecloth and hot glue ribbons down the center.  Fill a basket with tulips or your favorite spring flower.  Coordinating plates and napkins and you're set.

Here is how to make the adorable glitter eggs in the baskets:

Easter-basket 

  • Large bowl
  • Sewing needle
  • 24 raw eggs (keep cartons to use later)
  • Rubber ear syringe (available at pharmacies) or egg-blowing tool
  • Fine craft glitter in assorted colors and spray paint in matching colors (available at craft stores, Martha has some very nice glitter at Wal-mart)
  • Small bowls
  • Thin wooden skewers
  • Face mask
  • Rubber gloves
  • Spoons
  • Waxed paper

1. Working over a large bowl, use a sewing needle to carefully pierce both ends of an egg. Make hole at wider end of egg slightly bigger by chipping away at shell with needle. Puncture yolk with needle.

2. Gently insert a rubber ear syringe into smaller hole and blow contents of egg out through larger hole. Rinse egg shell with water. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with remaining eggs.

3. Allow eggs to dry completely. Pour glitter into separate bowls and set aside.

4. Slide an egg shell onto a wooden skewer and spray paint in a well-ventilated area while wearing a face mask and gloves. Hold spray can at least 6 inches away from egg to coat it evenly; rotate egg as you work.

5. Working quickly, place painted egg in a bowl containing glitter that is same color as paint. Gently roll egg in glitter before paint has dried completely. Use a spoon to sprinkle glitter over sparse spots.

6. Place eggs on waxed paper to dry (about 20 minutes). Store eggs in cartons until ready to use.

Wouldn't these be great as place card holders or favors for your Easter gathering?  You could buy letter stickers at your local craft store to use as initials on the eggs.  Or for favors you could place them in wrapped candy baskets instead of grass. These are also seen in the top picture in egg cups.  You could use them as little bud vases too.

(photos from allyou.com)


30th Birthday Celebration

Well the birthday party was a blast!  We celebrated three of my friends 30th birthdays at a cantina style restaurant.  My manzanita centerpieces were a big hit.  I would have done a couple of things different but I thought they turned out well for a first attempt.  I will definitely be using them again.  They are so versatile. 

Thank you to everyone for your interest and creative ideas for the centerpieces.  You all were a big help and I love hearing your ideas.  Hope you enjoy the pics. 


My First Manzanita Centerpieces

I had to work around orange tablecloths!  I thought they looked ok with the bright green moss. 

Photo1 

My sweet brother-in-laws cut the 30s out of metal and we spray painted them black.

Photo2 

I ordered the branches and containers from Blooms and Branches.  I ordered 24" natural and spray painted them white.  I was going to go with sandblasted but I read that the blasting causes a lot of the little branches to break off so it's better to order natural and paint them. The trick to spray painting them is primer!  I used one branch per pot.

I thought they were a good height.  The crystals were from Save on Crafts.

Photo3 

I bought the green moss at Pottery Barn.  I also scattered some "crystals" I purchased at Michael's through the moss.

This next photo is a little blurry but I love how the crystals are glowing.

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Luckily the room was already fabulously decorated with natural branches with white twinkle lights and white lanterns hung sporadically.

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Check out these little beauties my friend Nicole made. 

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More on these later...


Big thank you to my husband for all of his help!  Mixing plaster=no fun.  Here is a tutorial on how to set your branches in a container.

If you'd like to see more pics please check out my Facebook page.  If you have any photos of manzanita centerpieces you've made I'd love to see them!  Just upload them to the album or shoot me an email.

I hope these give you some ideas for the next time you need a one of a kind centerpiece!  They were fun to make and you can really express yourself with them.  All in all they were not that expensive to make either. 


Sneaky Saturday

Here is a sneak peek at my 30th Birthday Manzanita Centerpieces.  I apologize for the picture, I need a darker background.  I'm hoping tonight at the party I can get really good shots with the candlelight and all.  I'm really happy with how they turned out.  I wish I had a few more strands of crystals but I ordered them and its too late to order more.  

Be sure to check back next week for more pics and details!

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Happy Weekend!


Unexpected Arrangements

For your Spring or Easter arrangements try using jelly bean centerpieces.  All you have to do is get two similarly shaped vases, one 3 inches narrower than the other.  Fill the space between with layered jelly beans.  These look great with tulips or daisies.  I've also seen this done with a row of bunny peeps and jelly beans. They just scream SPRING!


Tulips and Jelly Beans 

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Modern Arrangement

Try grouping different sized cylinders filled with various colored jelly beans without the flowers:

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The possibilities are endless and FUN!


(top photo from allyou.com, bottom from jellybelly.com)