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.

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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.

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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!

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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…

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Eileen

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Creative, Re-purposed Decorations for Valentine’s Day

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

Call me creative or just plain lazy (LOL)….  but this year, I kept up a few of my Christmas decorations and re-purposed them, with a “Valentine” look.

Remember this pretty garlandfoyer_full_2_s

Once I removed the ribbon, “Merry Christmas” sign and the tabletop decorations, I noticed how beautiful and wintry the greenery looked, so I just added some glittered red hearts (wall hangings cut-apart from the dollar section of Target), red velvet heart picks from The Dollar Store and my “smooch” stickers (purchased a few years ago).

Total cost to take it from Christmas to Valentine’s Day: $3.00

s)foyer

And remember this tree?kitchen_tree_sjpg

I replaced the hanging ornaments (on the curtain rod) with a simple valance I sewed, using $3.00 worth of fabric from Wal-mart and added a $3.00 felt heart garland from Target to trim it out.

The tree ornaments are 3-piece, glittered Valentine wall hangings (from the dollar section of Target) that I cut apart and used alongside cardboard hearts (removed from a $4.00 Walgreen’s wreath).  I added one new thing that softened the look of the white tree and made a wonderful garland – inexpensive light pink feather boas!  For the base, I made a pink cupcake liner (from poster board) to replace the blue (Christmas) one and exchanged the glittered ornaments, tucked in the pink frosting (spray painted polyester batting) with sprinkles, which I made from leftover poster board and paper.  The Christmas tree was bright and happy, whereas the Valentine’s Day tree is soft and sweet!

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I’ll be hosting a Valentine themed meeting next month, so I test-drove the table cover, dishes and chair decorations to see how they’ll look too.  I’m loving this lush, pink color!  And by the way, the chair decorations are nothing more than another glittered “Conversation Heart” wall hanging I also found in the dollar section at Target and tied on the back of the chair with an inexpensive piece of ribbon.

s_kitchen full_w chair backs

It was fun to fill my cabinets with Valentine goodies too and I re-purposed some Christmas decorations there… can you spot them?

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Remember this cookie tree from Christmascookie tree

I covered the star (on the top) with a couple of the cardboard hearts and of course, placing it next to a couple of Valentine cupcakes creates an instant Valentine’s Day treat!

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Remember this cake plate with a red bow, from Christmas? foyer_santa_s

It’s just as cute under a Department 56 Valentine house!  s_cab left_bottom

I use my apothecary jars year round, including Christmas.  I changed the candy, in several of them to Conversation Hearts (for Valentine’s Day) but kept the pastel jelly beans in one because the colors were perfect!

s_conv hrts  s_cab rt_top

Here’s an idea you might want to try – use apothecary jars as frames by adding a few Conversation Hearts and tucking your photos or vintage Valentine Cards inside.  You could display photos of you and your sweetie or your kids/grandkids.  It’s just a different way to display photos or other keepsakes without purchasing a separate & costly Valentine’s Day frame.  And hey… it makes a real conversation piece too!

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Stay tuned for a Shabby Chic idea for Valentine’s Day (blog post) next, coming up in a couple of days!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Enjoy the Creativity…

EILEEN

How to make – Large, faux CHRISTMAS CANDY Decorations

Every year, pool owners purchase these inexpensive (apx. $1.00 each) 5-foot, foam “noodle” floats.  Eventually, they fade and are, many times, thrown out.   As always, I LOVE to think of ways to recycle and repurpose things (instead of adding to the landfill) and came up with a creative idea, using  retired pool noodles.  Of course, you can also buy them new (on clearance – post summer!) to make this project too.

My vision was to create several large, faux candies (for holiday decorating), mainly because they’re lightweight and won’t weigh down (tree, wreath & garland) greenery … PLUS, they’re inexpensive!

ONE

Begin by deciding approximately how long you would like to make each piece of candy (I chose 9″) and divide that number into the total length of the pool noodle to determine how many you’ll be able to cut from each one.  Mark (that individual measurement) along the length of the pool noodle (using a black marker) and then, carefully cut (using a knife) through the foam at each marking, on a safe surface.  I ended up with six (6) lengths, apx. 9″ each.

TWO

Choose a gift wrap, scrapbook or tissue paper to cover them with and cut pieces large enough to wrap each (cut) foam piece and wide enough so you have extra to fold down at each end of the foam piece (to hide the end of the foam).

To create a neat closure, fold over one end (of the length) and place one foam piece, in the center, at the other end.

Before you roll the foam piece up in the paper, add 3 pieces of double-sided tape along the length of the fold, half on the folded paper and half on the underneath (blank) side of the paper.

Now, when you roll up the foam piece, the tape will automatically secure the paper (closed).  Unless you want to, don’t worry if the pattern doesn’t match up perfectly because that will be the “back side” of your ornament.

Fold down the paper on each end and use a piece of regular scotch tape to secure it.

 

THREE

Repeat the paper cutting process (above), but this time using clear, plastic basket wrap.  This time, however, make sure the length is even longer (by 6″).

Place your gift-wrapped foam length in the center of the plastic wrap, at one end of the width.  Before you roll it up, once again, add 3 small pieces of double-sided tape on the other end (of the width) so the plastic wrap will automatically close, after rolling up the foam candy in it.  Also, try to line up the 2 closures (paper & plastic wrap) and that can be the back side of your ornament.

FOUR

Cut two (2) lengths of ribbon, using one to tie each end (of the plastic wrap) closed, displaying the bow on the front/top side of the ornament.

When you’re done, you’ll have inexpensive, lightweight Christmas candy decorations for approximately 50 cents each.  I found that mine tucked into my holiday greenery easily without the aid of a hanger.  But, if you’re using them to decorate garland, add a length of fishing line (tying it to each end, before adding your ribbon) as an ornament hanger.

I’m excited to share with you how I used mine in one of The Seasonal Home 2012 Christmas designs this year… so stay tuned… COMING SOON! 🙂

And don’t forget to consider this idea for other holidays!

ENJOY THE CREATIVITY!

Eileen

Christmas Product Spotlight

Did you notice this cute little Elf, sitting on the rocking horse in my 2011 holiday video tour of The Seasonal Home?

His name is MALCOM! 

How about the sweet, little elf  (in the background) helping me decorate my tree?  His name is LEONARDO!

When I find a great, family owned company, with quality products, I like to let my friends know. And because these are Christmas Products, I’m sharing them a little early, allowing you plenty of time to consider them for your own holiday decor this year.

This company (The Whitehurst Co.) has 2 of my favorite, quality collections…

The first one is an adorable one, called THE ELVES THEMSELVES… a fun group of Santa’s helpers, of which Malcolm and Leonardo are members.

Elves understand the importance of the tasks involved in creating the festive atmosphere of the season.  Jobs like building toys, painting, baking, checking Santa’s list, alongside the day-to-day chores that keep the North Pole running smoothly.  This is a collection of those sweet elves, that range in size from 9-15″.

The Whitehurst Company is my “go to” (wholesale) source for a plentiful inventory of these jolly, little fellows.  But, if you wish to purchase them from one of their retailers, visit http://www.seasonsontheweb.com.  Here are just a few more adorable elves you’ll find there:

If you would like to check out the entire collection, including the adorable wine cellar elves, simply click on either of the photos above.

The Whitehurst Company also carries a complete line (Size & Color) of Heirloom Quality Ornaments.  Their glass ornaments come in over 112 colors and 3 finishes (Shiny, Matte and Pearl).  They have 9 different sizes, ranging from 1-1/4″ up to 7″.  These are not the glass thin, fragile, throw-away versions you find at discount stores, they are treasures that make it easy to dress up any space with an elegant look.  And because of their extensive color line (no limitations here!), it is easy to match any special color scheme, occasion or season!  You won’t be limited to one size or one shade of red, green or blue, etc.  And best of all – I have found that they stand behind their products (because of the quality); products you will WANT to pass down… a classic decoration that never goes out of style!  Just look at what you can do with nothing more than a collection of various shades & sizes of glass ornaments:

 

So, if you want to start a collection of these beautiful, heirloom ornaments, there are 2 ways to go – for Wholesale customers, visit www.thewhitehurstcompany.com and for Retail Consumers, visit www.christmaslightsetc.com.

And if you’d like to find out more about The Whitehurst Company, feel free to check out their other social media outlets:

BLOG:  http://www.decoratingeveryday.blogspot.com

TWITTER:  @glassornaments

FACEBOOK:  http://www.facebook.com/whitehurstcompany

PINTEREST:  http://www.pinterest.com/thewhitehurstco

Enjoy their Creativity!

Eileen

FALL, in the foyer

This Fall, I’m definitely into pumpkins and the warmth of falling leaves and I think the foyer is the perfect place to display a family-representative pumpkin as well as one that says…

  “WELCOME HOME”!

             

And I wish I could shrink myself down to spend time in this sweet Craft Shop and attend the Scarecrow Festival! 😉

House – Scarecrow Harvest Festival by Dept. 56

Placing decorations on top of risers (like candlesticks and cake plates) gives them more prominence and are easier to dust around during the season.

And if you want to display a wreath in the center of a mirror or artwork and cannot hang it from ribbon, try a heavy duty (clear) suction cup!

This is another design that would also look great over a mantel.

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

FALL, HALLOWEEN & THANKSGIVING – 3 Looks in 5 minutes or less!

[Click on any photo for a more detailed view]

This may sound strange, but for me… FALL is a tough time of year, when it comes to decorating.  It’s hard to decide whether I want to be surrounded by a Fall, Halloween or Harvest (Thanksgiving) look because I love all 3!  Good news though because, this year, I came up with a solution!  And although I created these looks for my fireplace, I think they would be a great “fit” for a foyer too.

To start, I kept it simple, using…

  • Inexpensive, fall garlands (doubled for a fuller look) with 2 strands of orange lights added-in for warmth & whimsy.
  • (Faux) pumpkins & gourds of all sizes [Hint: I finally own a collection of these because I bought them after they were placed on clearance, and you’ll find small ones at dollar stores]
  • Pumpkin-filled wreath
  • 2 bunches of gathered twigs that I added twine & fall leaves to after spraying them with a Wood Tone Spray Paint (can of diluted, brown spray paint, available at craft stores) by Design Master
  • 2 orange candles on black candlesticks (both found on clearance.  Shop for orange candles during Christmas time & don’t forget, if a bargain candlestick is not the color you need… paint it!)
  • F-A-L-L sign (letters painted on wood blocks).

So, this created a beautiful Fall feel and the base for my Halloween AND Thanksgiving decor too!

A fun whimsical touch that I also added to this look  –  Fall leaves hanging on fishing line, at various lengths, which I taped underneath the mantle to create a “falling leaf” look.  Also in this photo, you’ll spot Brick Clips being used to hang up my F-A-L-L sign, suspended from fishing line.  If you want to hang something from a 2 to 2-1/2″ brick (inside or out), these blend in really well & work great!  You’ll find them in most DIY & discount dept. stores.

The next look is Halloween and I changed or added a total of 6 things to create it:  (1) replaced the orange candles with 2 Spider themed ones.  (Check out my STORE , if you’d like to purchase some of these items)

(2) placed an orange spider web in the center of the wreath…

  (3) exchanged the fall leaves (hanging from the mantle, on fishing line) with black spiders and (4) replaced the F-A-L-L sign with a Halloween one featuring a black crow and the word “NEVERMORE”…

(5) added black (dollar store) crows on top of a few of the pumpkins (a hidden piece of packing tape is your friend here, to keep the crows in place! lol)

and finally… (6) turned around the center pumpkin because it is actually a lighted, faux Jack ‘o Lantern!  For the original Fall look, I wanted to display it as a regular pumpkin, so I used packing tape on the back of a leaf and placed it over the hole (to hide) where the single light bulb is usually inserted (p.s. a leaf lying on a random pumpkin is what actually gave me the idea that leaves should be falling from the mantel and the fishing line idea was born!)

 

For the Halloween look, I removed the Fall leaf, flipped the pumpkin around (to the Jack side), and plugged the light cord into the light strand (already in the Fall garland) –  adding the perfect, final touch to my 5-minute Halloween makeover!

For Thanksgiving, I basically put back the Fall look, but added a Pilgrim couple (also in my store)  in 2 different locations – the center of the wreath and on the mantel, among the leaves.  See which one you like best…

So, there you have it – 3 Fall designs where changing the original won’t take you more than 5 minutes, each time.  Have fun decorating and…

ENJOY THE CREATIVITY!

Eileen

Fall is coming! :-)

Fall 

(a/k/a The Autumnal Equinox)

arrives Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 10:49 a.m.

It’s such a wonderful time of year and so much fun to decorate for, so here’s a little, early “outdoor” inspiration from around The Seasonal Home…

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