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.

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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!

s_angel_closeup

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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Spooky Halloween Fireplace

Here’s an idea for creating a spooky Halloween fireplace.  And while showing you “how” I created it, I’m also going to cover a few of the “steps” behind my design style.

In Spring 2011, I used a green bird cage as the focal point of a bird-themed design.  [By the way, the bird cage was a collectibles display that a Hallmark store was done using and decided to sell, so I picked it up for only a few dollars.  This happens often in gift shops, so you should always express your interest and leave your name & number with the manager if a unique display catches your eye.]  When I’m decorating, my first step is to find inspiration and this bird cage provided my first bit of inspiration for this spooky Halloween fireplace design.

My second step is to look for things to re-purpose, to save money.  I knew the bird cage would look very different if I simply painted it, so I covered the mirror on the back wall (to protect it) and used a can of black spray paint to give it more of a Halloween look and viola’… a bat cage was born! 

Look for decorations that provide big bang for your dollar, like this large, removable “Flying Bats” window cling.

Re-purpose, before you purchase!  I wanted to place the window cling on a mirror above my fireplace, but there was one problem – I had no mirror above my fireplace! LOL  So, I looked around and moved a mirror from another wall (this one was over a chest in my living room), leaning it up against the wall, above the fireplace.  This not only solved the problem, but once again, without spending any money.  By the way, this would also be a look you could easily create over a tabletop, in a foyer, etc.

Create stories and add “action” to make decorations more interesting.  This draws in visitors who see your seasonal decor and adds whimsy too – who doesn’t love whimsy, especially during the holidays? ;-).  Positioning the (newly painted) bird cage next to the mirror and adding a few of the window cling bats (to the mirror INside the cage) makes it look as though the bats have escaped through the open door of the bat cage.  Adding a small skeleton (inside the cage) created a little whimsy because you find yourself wondering if he was somehow helpful in unlocking the cage door, so the bats could fly free.

Include lighting (lamps, candles, etc.) in your decorations.  I absolutely LOOOOOVE these new Spider candles, so I chose them to add that eerie glow to my mantel scene.  These are some of the best battery-operated candles because they’re lightweight plastic, won’t melt, and not only does the faux wick light up, but also the silver, glittery spider on the front (creating some BONUS lighting).

Combine similar things to add layers to your look.  I got lucky and found this large, gorgeous, silver, glittered crow at a warehouse sale, for only $3.00, and couldn’t resist perching him on top of the bat cage to create even more action.

Accessorize to fill up empty spots!  I added a few small pumpkins, black twig garland (Michael’s Crafts), preserved moss and a length of wide ribbon to fill in the empty spots.

Carry the look all the way to the floor.  I placed larger pumpkins, branches (I gathered outside, spray painted black & added a couple of orange spiders to) and 3 lanterns in the fireplace opening & around the hearth. 

Again, add lighting!  To create a lit look (inside the lanterns), I took one strand of orange lights and fed a few of the lights inside each of the lanterns to give them a warm, autumn glow.

And here’s the complete look… it’s one of my favorites I’ve ever come up with… I hope you like it too!

HAPPY  HALLOWEEN… enjoy the creativity!

Eileen

P.S.  I have a limited number of a few of the items above in my SHOP, while supplies last.

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

Art Sale Alert!

When I find a nice product at a great price, I like to share…

Summer is the longest season of all and it’s the time when I take a break from seasonal decorating.  During these 4 months, I display simple, happy, cozy and/or functional things on my mantels and save up my creativity for the holidays ahead.

For several months, I’ve been considering an art purchase as something simple to hang above my family room fireplace mantel.  Specifically, I’ve been eying a print at Pier 1, titled “Happy Tree” because it is the perfect complement to my area rug.  This print already had a budget-friendly price, but once I noticed it on sale, I was off to Pier 1 immediately!  I love it when they have a sale because I love their merchandise.  As a matter of fact, it’s a good thing that I don’t work there because I would never take my paycheck home ;-).Their “Happy Tree” print measures 24″ x 24″ and is available in 4 different background colors, so you could also choose 3 or all to display together, vertically or horizontally.  The original price was $29.99 and now, it’s only $19.99.   To compare  – on-line, the cost to purchase a BLANK 24″ x 24″ canvas ranges from $33 – $39, so this is a great deal if you like the print and the price works with your budget.   Another thing I liked about this print – if some of the colors (on the tree branches) don’t work perfectly for you, but the background color does, simply grab some acrylic paint, a brush and change them (LOL)!  Here’s how it looks in my family room ….

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

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.

IDEA #1

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 (https://seasonalhome.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/yellow-at-easter-its-not-just-for-chicks-anymore/ )… 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!

IDEA #2

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!

EILEEN

Halloween 2011

[Click on any photo for a larger view]

The Seasonal Home is decked out in it’s Halloween best and this year, it’s a little S-P-O-O-K-Y!

In my previous post, I showed you an inexpensive fireplace idea.  I was inspired by the Crow (on the mantel), so I spread a few more around the room, beginning with my french doors.    I found a generous package of 15 die-cut paper Crows at The Dollar Tree and with a little double-sided tape, I used them to create the old design trick of bringing the outside in.    

This would also be a fun idea to use in front door sidelights or window.

And below, in The Seasonal Home’s built-in cabinet, I purchased a few Dollar Tree crows and dressed them up, for Halloween, in little witches hats…

 

If this look is too plain for you, consider what I tried next… also from the Dollar Tree!    Inspired by this idea (I found on the net), I decided to add a background to THE SEASONAL HOME’s built-in cabinet.  Using newspaper to create a pattern , I drew a tree and used it as a pattern to create a spooky tree on 2 pieces of black poster board.

Here’s how this look turned out –

The foyer in THE SEASONAL HOME has been transformed into a Magic Potion and Spell conjuring laboratory….  

And in the Living Room… some Fall and just a bit ‘o spooky –

THE SEASONAL HOME’s kitchen is ready for guests….

and the best part is…. I created a CANDY BAR this year!  I thought this would be a fun treat for the adult guests, I’m entertaining this season, to once again enjoy a little (retro) Trick or Treating fun.  I looked for the most inexpensive candies I could find (avoid a lot of chocolate to stay on budget) and used every jar I could find in my house and anyone elses (lol).  I purchased one (1) package of “blank” Halloween labels at Michaels Craft Store for under $4 (with coupon), and using my computer – typed my label wording in a spooky font, lined things up and ran a test print.  When I held the label up behind the piece of printer paper, I saw that my estimated font size was good & lined up perfectly, so I taped the label to the corner of my paper (using double-sided tape) and ran them through the printer,  one at a time.  Once I finished printing them all, I grabbed some twine from the garage, punched 2 holes in the top of each label, fed the twine through and knotted one end.  Next, I pulled it tight around the neck of each jar, fed it through the 2nd hole, knotted it, cut off any excess and in no time, my jars were labeled for very little cost. Check out the finished product and help yourself! 🙂

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

Grab a goodie bag to fill!

Who’s that standing in line for his share of the candy? Eeek!!!

A Thrifty Decorating Theme for Halloween

[As always, click on any photo for a larger view…. enjoy!]

It’s so much fun when a Halloween theme comes together… inexpensively!  Normally, I decorate The Seasonal Home’s fireplace and mantle with a “cute spook” or “fall” theme.  But, check out how I decorated my fireplace this year.  It was mostly inspired by Dollar Tree finds as well as 4 sets of black, glittered and lit branches I found on the www.terrysvillage.com website, at a bargain basement price, which gave The Seasonal Home a slightly haunted look.

  Originally, these branches were meant to line a front walkway, but as always, I saw a different use for them…. in planters, to flank each side of my fireplace hearth.  So, I began the hunt for 2 planters to hold my bargain branches.   My first stop was Wal-Mart where I found 2 beautiful and large, footed, gray stone planters on clearance for $35 each.   Definitely a good price and I could justify the purchase by recycling them as outdoor planters afterwards.  But, I didn’t really “need” planters and I spent so little on the branches that it seemed silly to spend more on the planters, so I kept looking.  I ended up at Big Lots and found these $3 bargains in white and grabbed some gray spray paint also, for $2.    Once they were painted and dry, I filled the planters, half-way with (recycled packing materials) styrofoam.   On top of that, I poured about 5 cups of inexpensive sand (for stability & weight).    Now, they were ready to hold my glittered branches!  To finish the look, I placed moss on top of the sand, which also hid the base of the branches.  A few faux eyeballs and that part of my theme design was complete!  [Consider using this idea at Christmas, i.e. snowy-white branches in a silver planter, etc.]

My Dollar Tree finds included a spider web, spooky rat, 1 pkg. of black Creepy Cloth, a few skulls and headstones.

I also added in a couple of decorations I already had: a fall leaf garland and wreath and used my existing candlesticks to display the skulls.  I painted a pumpkin to coordinate with the color scheme and added in a few candles and a crow I found at Old Time Pottery for under $5 each.   So, for very little expense, I created a “not-too-creepy” theme… I hope it inspires you too!

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen