Thursday, March 17, 2011

DIY Spring Decoration

Since we've moved to a house that has a mantel above the fireplace, I've been having fun figuring out how to decorate it for holidays.  The Valentine's decor was taken down a while ago and I've just finished decorating it for spring!  Well, maybe.  I keep tweaking it.  But here's what I have so far.

I wanted to do something new for Easter, mainly because I didn't have a mantel before and didn't have anything that seemed to fit it well.  I also didn't want to spend a lot of money, if any at all.  So, I dug into what I had, repurposed a few things, made a couple small purchases, and ended up with this little hybrid of my "egg collection" and some real, live grass!

 Originally I wanted to get some fake grass, but dang, that stuff is expensive.  So, instead I looked around the house for some long, narrow containers to use as planters.  I landed on these two drawer organizer things I had gotten at a garage sale for $0.50 cents last summer.  I filled them with potting soil and grass seed from the garage, watered them, set them in the window sill, and a week later I had grass.  Once it sprouted, it really grew fast!

 I took some green construction paper from my studio and folded it to make these covers to hide the ugly manilla containers.

Then I rolled up some masking tape into loops and used it to stick some of this miniature white fence along the front. You can find this at craft stores or any store where they have little village decorations.  I had some on hand from my Department 56 stuff (and more from my mom, who freelances for Dept 56 painting buildings!).

 The only thing I purchased brand new was a box of these feather butterflies.  I had aspirations to make a garland of butterflies that didn't work out quite as well as planned...well, it's still in the works.  I got a package of them for 40% off with a Michael's coupon. I wrapped the wire around a wood skewer to get a "spring" shape, and shorten the wire without having to cut it, and stuck 'em in the grass.

 The letters I made out of foam core.  I found an image of grass using Google Images, masked out the letters in Photoshop, printed them on sticky-back label paper, slapped it on a piece of foam core, and cut them out with an X-acto knife.  Then I spray painted some bamboo skewers silver, stuck the pointy ends into the foam core, and trimmed them to the height I wanted.  Voila! Free but effective.  (Well, free because I already had this stuff around)

 I've never really found a great way to display my egg collection, until this year.  They looked so underwhelming, tiny and short, along the long, horizontal mantel. But, the wheels began spinning when my 3 year old broke apart one of my old Junk Mail Gems craft show display pieces. Good ideas can come from breaking stuff!  I noticed that the old brass candlesticks that I had painted silver, worked perfectly to hold an egg and give it height on a pedestal.  So, I went to work recycling my already recycled displays, giving the candlesticks a fresh coat of silver paint, and using them to hold my eggs.

I tend to get a little spray-happy with my silver paint.  I've used it to bring so many dated, brass decor items into this century.  I didn't stop at the candlesticks...I picked up 4 little ceramic rabbits at the thrift store for $0.39 cents each, and painted them as well.  I think my new bionic bunnies add a little extra Easter-y flare without being too cheesy and literal.

 Overall I'm pretty happy with it...not bad for about $7!  The candle sticks (and 1 bud vase) really helped the little eggs fill the space both vertically and horizontally, and I love having something "alive" as part of the decoration.  Spraying all of the pieces silver helped tie all of the different silhouettes together.

I'll probably re-position things a million times between now and Easter, but then that's half the fun.  I'm pretty sure my husband thinks I'm crazy when he sees me fiddling with my eggs AGAIN.  But, hey, that's the price you pay when you marry an artist and designer.  The wall sculpture above it I actually made 7 or 8 years ago for our living room (copying one that I saw for hundreds of dollars at a furniture store)'s the color scheme of our carpet.  But, it matches well with the spring colors!

We still have over a month until Easter, but spring starts in just a few days!  It's not too late to get out an interesting container and plant your own green grass...see what you can come up with for a little "live" decor!


  1. Love it. So fun & creative. Silver spray paint is awesome. I can't wait until it's warmer to start spray painting items in my garage.

  2. I know this is a couple of years old, but I would love to feature your spring decoration on my spring roundup tomorrow. It's too cute! I'm so glad to be your newest follower, I love your blog:)

    1. Hi Katie! Sure, I'd be honored!! I'm really wishing I had done the same thing this year as we still have snow covering our yard and are dying to see grass! Ha!



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