Shabby Chic Valentine Fireplace

[As always, click on any photo to view it larger]

Time to decorate the fireplace for Valentine’s Day!

It can look so much nicer to hang something large and Valentine themed over (and under) a mantel full of decorations because it enlarges the look of your festive display.  But, one problem is that Valentine themed art is very hard to find and can be expensive so why not create your own?

Step 1 – search your local thrift store for a wooden frame.

A wooden frame can be any color because it’s easy to paint.  I found this one last year (it was a dirty, dusty brown color) and painted it white to create a shabby chic look to use in some Spring themed decor.

For Valentine’s Day, I added a red, beaded garland (using spots of hot glue, here & there to secure it) to the frame temporarily and displayed a lightweight wreath of roses from a bow and ribbon in the center of the open frame.  Viola!

HELPFUL HINT:  I hung the frame on an existing nail, but you could also attach the bow to the top of the frame and lean it against the wall.

s_fireplace frame_closeup

LIVING ROOM - Tree Skirt Closeup

Step 2 – “new-purpose” old decorations!

A common thread you will notice in my style of decorating is that I re-use (or “new-purpose”) decorations I already own and many times, for a different holiday!  Do you remember the faux fern I used to border the snow under my Fairy themed Christmas tree a couple of years ago?  Check out how nice it looks along the back of the mantel with last year’s Dollar Store roses and a $1.00/pkg. of pink, glittered hearts (Dollar Tree) tucked in.  It serves as a beautiful backdrop to my sweet Cupid, 2 heart-shaped topiaries and faux rose petals on the mantel.

Roses with Lime Green (Residential Client)

And just in case you were wondering how roses might look on a tree, for Christmas, check out the rose-themed tree I designed for a client.

Also, if you have a large Valentine sign (like this “BE MINE” from Home Goods), you can use it to decorate the front of a mantel, by removing the hanger and using “Tack-it” (temporary gummy adhesive) to secure it in place for the holiday.  I just love how these 2 additions simply & inexpensively enlarged my Valentine’s Day mantel design.


Step 3 – Don’t forget the details!  I’ve had my sweet, little Angel for a long time, but this year (for the first time) I happened to notice that she had a tiny bird on her shoulder.  Keeping in mind that LOVE comes in all shapes & sizes, I used my hot glue gun to add a small heart to his beak because… of course, he would bring her a little Valentine’s Day greeting!


And if you like the little glass votive candle holder I placed in front of my Cherub, it was super easy to create!  The glass votive is a plain one I purchased at the dollar store and added the word “LOVE” to, using my favorite self-adhesive vinyl letters (see office supply stores for these, in all fonts & sizes).  You could also use a stencil and paint or etching cream to add a heartfelt sentiment.  The candle was even a bargain because I purchased it after Christmas for pennies!

Enjoy the creativity, and…



Using Natural Products to Create a Summer Decoration or Gift

While cruising the offerings at some of my favorite local stores (The Stable in Lake Alfred, FL & The Pottery Barn), it’s hard not to notice how adding natural textures, like rope or twine, to a (large or small) candle holder creates an instant summer look.  So, check out the great products I found OR dig out your glue gun to re-purpose a candle holder, you already have, by adding some instant texture… what a great (inexpensive) way to gift yourself or someone else this summer!

And while we’re on the subject of using natural textures to create something special, check out how pairing a little burlap and twine makes a great gift wrap for a bottle of wine…  the perfect summer hostess gift!



Recycling to create an Outdoor Chandelier

This is what I started with – a $4.98 chandelier from a thrift store

And here’s how I took it apart to turn it into an outdoor chandelier

Avoid rust (from moisture inside cups) by coating with hot glue and then time to paint!

Hang your new recycled creation wherever you need some beautiful, (non-electric) eco-friendly, outdoor lighting to create instant ambiance and…

ENJOY!   🙂

Using Paper products to help decorate your fireplace for Spring & Easter

In today’s marketplace, paper comes in so many forms and is a perfect fit for my creative, yet budget-conscious, brain.  So, if you’re looking for new ways to transform your fireplace from Winter to Spring (and Easter), read on because I think you’ll like the creative way I found to incorporate 3 different paper products to create 2 new designs.


For the first fireplace look, SCRAPBOOK PAPER helped me create an “Art Comes Alive” look above The Seasonal Home’s family room mantel.

Tracing around a wood butterfly shape (Hobby Lobby – 50 cents) created the large butterflies and a cookie cutter (I already owned) helped me create the smaller butterflies.  Because I have a hard surface surrounding my fireplace, I was able to use dots of hot glue, from a low-melt glue gun, to attach my butterflies to this surface.  You could also use “Tack It” (office supply dept.) or COMMAND strips to attach them to more delicate surfaces.

I found the vintage frame at a thrift store ($3), lightly spray painted it white and placed it on the mantel.  [NOTE: Typically, these are reasonable if they don’t have artwork in them].  The yellow clay pots are a recycle from a look I created last Easter ( )… so, “zero” dollars.   The aqua, polka-dotted bunnies ($3.99 each) and the yellow, polka-dotted candles ($4.99 each) are both from Old Time Pottery.  The yellow vine came from a clearance section of one of my favorite local stores ($6.75) as did the aqua birdie ($1.99).  I picked up the yellow gingham ribbon (see clay pot trim & mantel inset) at Joann’s, etc.  for only $1.75 with a 50% off coupon and the large aqua flower at Hobby Lobby for $1.99.  If you’re familiar with my blog, you’ll recognize my white candlesticks, bird nests and eggs because they roam somewhere different, every year, in The Seasonal Home.

For Part #2 of this look, I wanted to transition my fireplace hearth from Winter to Spring.  In keeping with my nature look, I thought it would be a great idea to make a cushion, flanked by some green topiaries from around the house, to create a park bench feel and also, add additional seating for my Spring and Easter guests.  The aqua gingham fabric, buttons, yellow bias tape & rope insert as well as the 2 bed pillows – $15.00 (Walmart).  So, this entire idea cost $47 to create and I love the fresh look!


For the second look, I used two different paper products – Green, plaid Hallmark gift wrap (love this stuff because the lines on the opposite side make it easy to cut straight! lol) and white poster board (50 cents), both from Walmart ($4).  I taped a large piece of gift wrap to the back wall & upper inset of the fireplace and removed the logs/grate, to replace it with Dept. 56 artificial grass ($14), edged out with artificial lettuce leaves, to create a base for my 2 sitting, Mom & baby bunnies and used fuzzy Christmas snowball ornaments for their tails.  Finally, I dotted the grass with a few small daisies and also sprinkled them on the mantel and around the large, white bunny cookie jar (sitting inside the cabbage plate) to create continuity. 

CLICK on any photo to enlarge

On the mantel, I used items you’ll also recognize from previous posts, including the wreath, which is the yellow & white daisy wreath from the post I shared above.  I simply added a few different colored flowers to it.   And of course, I simply cannot decorate for ANY holiday without filling up one of my apothecary jars.  This time I added a set of glittered Easter Eggs.

On the side table, you’ll recognize another one of my white candlesticks, on top of which I placed a small clay pot of pink daisies.  You can place SO many different things on top of candlesticks during different seasons, so I highly recommend investing in a set of these to help with your decorating.

This look would be hard to price out for you because I used many items I already had, but it turned out to be one of my favorite looks because it’s so bright & cheery!

Enjoy the Creativity & Happy Easter!


Handmade “SPRING” Candle Topper

When you’re buying a candle for yourself or giving it as a gift, it’s always a nice touch to also purchase a pretty, seasonal candle topper, like the adorable bunny-bear themed one shown here.  They’re popular because they look so much nicer (than a plain lid) on top of a candle jar, when it’s sitting out on the counter and not in use.  But, they can be pricey and in the current economy, it’s always fun to find another option that is less expensive.  Here is one you can try or use for inspiration to create your own idea.

This idea is so easy!  Using a hot glue gun or super glue (that works on glass or whatever material your candle lid is made out of), simply glue 3 silk flowers (daisies were used in this example) on top of the jar candle lid.  If the candle is going to be a gift, add some colorful, curling ribbon that can be removed by the recipient later and you won’t even need to wrap it!  Cost: around $1.00 vs. a store-bought, seasonal candle topper (apx. $12-$20).  I’m sure you will think of other ideas that also work and will be just as festive.  Happy Creativity!

WELCOMING FALL ~ A Front Entry Foyer Design

[CLICK on any photo for a larger, more detailed view]

Starting in late September, there’s nothing that makes me happier than coming home to the happy feeling of Fall.  I love being greeted at the front door by the ambiance of one of my favorite seasons, so I always make sure to create that Fall feeling in my foyer.  Although I change it every year, the photo below is one of my favorite designs.

In October, I like to change the look, by adding a few more ghostly items, to create a SPOOKY Welcome for our trick-or-treaters.  My favorite find (at JoAnns, etc.) last year was the removable, bejeweled spider webs that I temporarily adhered to my foyer mirror.  They work just like window clings and are removable.  It was such a subtle haunted touch!

(Removable) Spider Web “Clings” close-up

Below is a close-up view of some of the table detail.  Once again, I LOVE using my apothecary jars!  In this design, I added some glass eyeballs (Dept. 56) & in staying true to my budget-minded decorating, I picked them up in a post-Halloween sale at 90% off!  I found the spider cupcake and battery operated flame candle at a Hallmark card store (I’m sure you can pick both up on line – try ebay).  I’ve seen my cake dome in tons of stores, but I found mine at Home Goods (a discount home goods store that is part of the TJ Maxx and Marshalls store chain).  And finally, the spell book duo was from Hobby Lobby (


oooooooo….. SPOOKY!

For more creative ideas, check out the ABOUT THE AUTHOR page!