In keeping with our series theme of “using what you have,” welcome to our autumn DIY post! I hope you’ll enjoy these easy and low-cost ideas for freshening up your Fall table! Read on to see our 5 simple table centerpieces!
1. Use what is in your yard. Since we live in the desert our yard is mainly rock with a few cactus and other desert plants. Our girls are constantly bringing me rocks to add to their collections so one day we decided to see how they would look as a centerpiece.
Using the rocks and a few pinecones that I’ve collected over the years we were able to make a simple and rustic centerpiece that was FREE and took only about 2 minutes. (More if you are having fun looking at the rocks with your little ones!!)
2. Nature provides us with so much beauty, why not use some of it inside your home? Whether you have a herb garden with some fragrant lavender, some mini pumpkins or beautiful branches lying around your home don’t be afraid to use them!! Get creative and see where your imagination takes you!
3. Now as much as I love the branches and pinecones, the desert doesn’t provide many of these naturally so I have taken to using what grows naturally here.
I found these amazing prickly pear fruit in our front yard and just simply arranged them in this large cylindrical vase. Again, super quick, easy and FREE!! (Important note!!! Make sure you are wearing thick gloves to handle these little guys as they have amazingly small little needles on them!!)
4. Another sweet idea is to take a peek into your spice cabinet and see what whole spices you have available!
Then take the lovely seeds and berries and let them arrange themselves into whatever container or bowl you have available. Now you have a beautiful and fragrant centerpiece that evokes the scents of Fall all found in your own kitchen for FREE! (My favorite Fall scents to use are probably, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, star anise, and rose hips for a splash of Autumn color!) Buying these in bulk or online will save you money if you want to purchase more than just a little bit!
Besides the spices, I also love using some coffee beans or natural herbs from our garden in various vases!!
5. The last idea features one of our rustic spiced candle wreaths. I love that they have four different uses! (candle wreath, napkin holder, flower holder or vase decor) I’ll show you how I used the wreath in a vase decor and flower holder here.
Now since we don’t have abundant flowers here in the desert I just used some tiny little ‘weeds’ that the girls are always bringing in. They are just the perfect size for the tiny votive candle holder and the yellow looks so pretty with the Fall hued candle wreath!
I also made a tiny centerpiece with just the wreath and the flowers. I know it won’t last long but we loved the understated look of this one. (our household thrives on simplicity and creativity!)
I truly hope that some of these easy tips and ideas will spark your imagination and let you come up with some new Autumn decor for your own table! I’d love to see pictures if you do!
Autumn Blessings to you friends,
Welcome to the new blog series titled ‘Use What You Have!’
I am so excited to share a special collection of all things inspirational for your Heart and Home! This new weekly/bi-weekly series will feature so many wonderful ideas you won’t want to miss a moment! Just some of the ideas I have planned for you are:
~Gorgeous DIY Home Decor Ideas using things you ALREADY have!
~Easy, Healthy Recipes using what is ALREADY in your pantry!
~Inspirational stories and thoughts to uplift your spirit!
~FREE tutorials! (These will make your Holiday parties so special!)
~Festive Holiday ideas and Gift Guides!
~And MORE!!!! (giveaways too!!)
I’m so thankful for all of you and that you took the time to stop by! Do you have a recipe or awesome DIY you’d like to share with us? Just contact us here!! (or leave a comment below)
Have a beautiful day friends!
Blessings to you,
Welcome to our DIY tutorial for how to make a beautiful and one of a kind ‘recycled garden!’
Here we’ll go through our easy steps of how we created a stunning garden in no time and with minimal expense!
Decide what ‘look’ you are going for and find pieces/containers that match your style and plants you’ll be planting. Here we were looking for pieces that worked together, but had an old -time feel to them. (I let my girls pick some of the pieces out so it’s a bit more eclectic than I had envisioned! But I love how it turned out! We even found the ‘Reduce, Recycle, Reuse’ sign at a thrift store and added that to the garden!
Check all your local thrift stores and see what treasures jump out at you! Don’t forget to check Craigslist or your local Freecycle page for other local finds. (If you haven’t used Freecycle before I recommend checking it out! I’ve found some amazing ‘junk’ on there and I love being connected with others who also try to recycle things!)
If your containers don’t have holes or a way for the water to drain out the bottom, make sure and drill holes in the bottom of the piece so the moisture has a place to go. (Holes about dime or penny size are good.)
We used a drill and dremel to accomplish this as we had a mix of metal and wood containers to drill. My sweet Hubby was so kind to help us with this task!
Fill your container with good soil. I used an organic, non GMO soil made locally since we are growing edible yummies in the garden and it makes me so happy knowing we’ll have healthy, ‘good for us’ food in a bit!
Plant your seeds or plants in your new beautiful gardens! We cheated this year and bought many of our plants already blooming or started since I was a bit late with this project this year! (Mental note….start in Feb. in the desert as the heat will be on us by late May!) But we did pick out some veggie seeds that will be going into the wooden munition boxes this week so I’ll have pictures of that soon!
Pictured below are some of the flowers that the girls and I chose. The gorgeous footlocker features sweet snapdragons, a geranium, 2 kinds of lavender and my favorite little ranunculus. The tall metal trash can is filled to the brim with a petunia and sweet little viola’s and johnny jump up’s. The vintage suitcase that I fell in love with now holds a strawberry patch on one side and a herb garden on the other! (Can you smell the delicious lemon thyme and pineapple sage from there??) The file cabinets and various recycled pots hold broccoli, yellow and orange peppers, sweet peas, tomatoes, and cucumbers. (Yum!) My youngest just loves the orange marigolds so we mixed those in with the rest of the pansies, violas and johnny jump up’s that we had left. The colander holds 2 adorable marigolds that were so easy and fun to plant. (Note of warning – don’t forget to water this one daily as the water drains so very well!!) One of my favorites was the up-cycled letter holder my Mother in law so sweetly gave me! (Hopefully she won’t mind this use of it!!) We put some ice plants and sweet little lobelia in there and it is just bursting with happiness!
The charm of these types of ‘container’ gardens is that you can make it meet your exact design preferences. If you love rustic designs, you can easily pick out/find older rustic looking containers to plant your garden in. Find old wooden signs and make your own planters from that. How about an old rusty tire rim? (Filled at the bottom of course so your dirt doesn’t escape.) Love the Victorian period?? Find some old teapots or china to use as planters. Or simply go ‘treasure’ hunting and see where your heart leads you!
Our cost so far has been – $60 for the planters. (This would have only been $30 but I found the wooden crates later on and just fell in love with them! The tops of the boxes we took off and they will be used for photo props for Spice Grove Designs!) The plants, seeds and soil cost around $150, but would have only been about $60 if I only had to buy seeds and soil instead of the established plants.
I was so thankful to get to do this with my girls not just to teach them about growing their own food and flowers, but to show them how creative we can be with reusing things!!
I hope you enjoyed a walk through our recycled garden and we’d love to see pictures of your gardens! Let us know what you think! How are you recycling things in your garden?
PS. For some more inspiration from someone who is an actual gardener, make sure and check out our last post from our friend Emily at Fleuropean and the amazing difference she is making with her flowers!
Looking for some easy and sweet Valentine gifts that are super sweet and inexpensive? We have some wonderful ones that won’t take you any time at all and will be wonderful memories to cherish for years to come! Come on in!
This first gift is wonderful for your children or loved one to create an instant memory that they’ll treasure for years to come. To make the first one pictured above you only need the following items.
Heavy cardstock – at least 60 weight
Frame (if desired) I used a recycled one I found at Goodwill.
Trace your kid(s) or loved ones hand print on regular paper and cut out.
Trace the hand print(s) onto your felt and cut out. You can use any color(s) you want. I thought the pink and purple were sweet for our two girls.
Figure out what design you’d like to create on your heavy cardstock. I wanted to emphasize the difference in size in our little ones hands while showing the love between them so I overlapped them and cut out the heart. (I suppose you could trace the heart and make it perfect but I’m more of a ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants’ sewing gal so I just did it by sight.) Make sure you leave room for any wording or script that you want to add to your design.
Pick out a color of thread that either complements or contrasts with your felt. Start sewing a basic running stitch around the edge of your cut out hands. It may get a bit tricky as you don’t want the paper to bend, but if I can do this then so can you!
After the hand prints are sewn on decide where and what you want to say. Very lightly write the words or phrase you want in the design on the paper. (If you are more talented than me you can probably just sew the words on without tracing!)
For an even sweeter gift, have your little ones write the word or phrase on the card stock for a lasting memory of their adorable hand writing. We did this idea for Daddy for Christmas and it was a big hit! I love that the kids can help write and sew if they would like to!
Other EASY and cute DIY Valentine gifts!
Last Valentine’s Day I made all of the below for our girls and my family and they loved them. Some of the ideas I got off of Pinterest and some I just made up. Hope you enjoy!
1. Date Jar
Wide Kraft Sticks
A wonderful way to show your loved one how much you value your time with them. Easy to make and really gets your creative juices flowing! Instructions can be found here!
2. 30 things I love about you jar!
30 Narrow Popsicle sticks or kraft sticks
Paint (if desired)
I was inspired to make this one after doing the first one above for my hubby. This smaller one I made for my eldest daughter. I labeled 30 sticks with things that I love and appreciate about her. That way she could read one each day of the month. I haven’t pulled it out in a while, but I’m sure it would be fun to look at again. After I made the sticks I simply cut out a circle of fabric out with pinking shears and hand sewed a heart to the fabric at the top of the lid. I then added a ribbon to add some ‘girly’ charm to the gift. (she loved this!) I attached a small heart-shaped note explaining what the jar was to the ribbon with a piece of thread.
3. Knit stuffed hearts
I made these little hearts for my girls with some leftover yarn I had lying around. For my eldest I made them into little hanging hearts so she could hang them on her door. For the little one I just made them soft and squishy with no hangers on them. She loves to carry them around even now! I just kind of made up the pattern, but here is an easy pattern if you would like to try them out!
4. 52 things I love about you!
I love this idea from Pinterest!! The directions are no longer linked to this pin but here’s the link so you can see the picture! You are basically gluing things you love about your loved one that you’ve written or typed to a pack of playing cards. So sweet and such a fun exercise to list all of the things you love about your significant other! The photo shows the cards tied with ribbon, but I simply used an O ring to connect the cards.
5. Poem with children’s footprints
I first found this beautiful poem on Pinterest as a free printable but the link no longer works so I’m just linking the Pinterest pin for you! You can easily type out this poem yourself and just add the painted footprints to it afterwards. What a wonderful way to tell Dad that you love him than with the little feet that love to climb all over him!
I hope that you have enjoyed these handmade gift ideas for friends and family! Thanks for stopping by and please let me know if you try any of the ideas! I’d love to see pictures!
If you are still searching for a few Christmas gifts here are some of our favorite rustic designs. I just love that most of them are eco friendly and GORGEOUS!! You are sure to find something for everyone on your list! Be sure to click on the links to check out these fabulous shops and their work!
Laurel Oak Wood Stud Earrings from Laurel and Lime – I love the delicate design of these amazing earrings and that they are made from fallen branches!! Such a lightweight accessory and they even have choices of types of wood.
Pinecone earrings from Magpies Shop – Look at these lovely pine cone earrings! Inspire the Nature lover in your life with these one-of-a-kind accessories that are handpicked for their beauty! Look at all the gorgeous designs they have in their shop!
Gray Double Infinity Scarf by Vera Jayne – I just love how softly this falls around the neck and how warm it is!! Everything in Vera Jayne’s shop is so feminine and beautiful. She is sure to love anything you might pick out! Make sure to take a peek at her adorable hair accessories too.
Cedar and Copper Holiday Ornaments from Laurel and Lime – Surprise him this Christmas with an ornament that says ‘rugged’ and ‘handsome!’ I love that these are made completely from reclaimed materials!! Check out more of their shop here!
Stoneware Mountain Keychain from Studio by the Forest – Let your special hiker/hunter/outdoorsman know you appreciate his love of Nature with this rugged, one-of-a-kind key ring! Make sure you check out her handmade little pine trees too! Perfect for cabin decor!
Personalized Toothpick Case from Midnight Coiler – I just love the look of these and how practical they are! Small enough to fit into a pocket yet handsome enough to make an impression! Lynn will even customize it with the initials that you need!! Such wonderful gift ideas from this shop! Take a peek!
FOR THE HOME
Brown and White Birch Tree Bark Throw Pillow Cover from Brooke Ryan Photography – I have loved Brooke’s photography for a long time, but when I saw that she has her photo’s available as pillow covers I was won over completely!! Such a rustic look for any room! She has so many choices that would go with any decor! I have one this one on my Santa list for my Hubby! (hint, hint honey!!)
Rustic Coat Rack by Tumbleweed Cabin – I just love the fact that they use upcycled barn wood and other beautiful items to make their amazing designs! You’ll find everything from furniture to home decor all with an amazing rustic look!
Set of 3 Organic Balsam Sachets by Swamp Angel Soap – One of my favorite scents is that of a pine forest and these sachets would freshen any room in your home! What a great stocking stuffer! Be sure to check out all her adorable products!
Natural Cedar Soap Dish by Pine Branch Designs – I love the simplicity of these beautiful soap dishes!! And the fact that they are eco-friendly and long-lasting is an added bonus! Make sure you take a peek at all of her gorgeous rustic designs! I feel like I’m walking through the forest while browsing her shop!
Winter Pinecone Photo by Dull Blue Light Photography – I love the perspective that Crissy gives to these rustic pine cones with the light! She has the ability to give ordinary things such a magical feel! Make sure to check out her lovely shop!
FOR THE KITCHEN
Vintage Spice Drawers Print by Jarrod Erbe Photography – Oh how I love this photo! I really hope Santa brings this for my studio wall so I can enjoy the lovely colors while I work! I love to imagine someone putting their spices in the little drawers after baking something special during the holidays. The light and life Jarrod brings to his work is simply beautiful! Make sure and look at his other photo’s he has in his shop!
Natural linen hemstitch christmas table napkins set of 4 from Linen Home Shop – This is one of my favorite shops to look at! Everything is so beautiful and rustic I had trouble choosing just one item! I love the quality and love that these linens were made with! They would be so perfect for any celebration!!
Vintage Pewter Teapot by Olives and Doves – I just love the charm of this old teapot – the stories it could tell! They have such a lovely shop filled with all sorts of rustic vintage finds. From housewares to fashion you are sure to find that special something that you’ve been looking for!
Test Tube Spice Rack by Meriwether of Montana – You all know how we love our spices here at Spice Grove Designs, but this spice rack left me speechless!! I love the rustic design and handmade quality of this design, not to mention the view of all the colorful spices! Make sure you check out all of their handmade designs!
Salvaged Apple Wood Serving Platter by Storyboard Furniture – I am amazed that the gorgeous designs are all made from salvaged wood from a Toronto area apple orchard, giving life once again to these amazing trees! Make sure you check out all of their beautiful designs!
Rustic Christmas Ornaments by Cranberry Dreams – I absolutely adore the color of these rustic and heart warming ornaments! They would look at home on a tree or barn door I believe! Check out their amazing selection of Christmas baubles!
Plantable White Dove Gift Tags by Pulp Art – Being eco-friendly is one of the pillars of our business here at Spice Grove Designs. That’s why I was so elated to find these gorgeous gift tags that don’t have to be thrown away or even recycled!! Plant them right in the garden after the gift is given!! What a wonderful way for your family and friends to remember you each time they see the flowers! They may even like the tags more than the gift itself!
Keystone Ornament by STRUCTUREbags – I just love all of the amazing accessories, bags and gift products at STRUCTUREbags but these little trees are one of my favorites! Brenda’s attention to detail and use of organic materials shines in all of her work! I love that all of her designs in her Camo with a Cause line give back to military families too! Win-win!
I hope that you have found some new rustic favorites and maybe crossed a few names off your Christmas list too! As always I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and say hello! I’d love to know what your favorite finds were today! Wishing you and your loved ones a Blessed Christmas Season!
Blessings to you friends,
*All opinions expressed are mine. I was not compensated for this gift guide. I only share products that I think our valued readers will enjoy. Links will take you off of the Spice Grove Design website. We are not responsible for other sites.*
Every once in a while a friend comes along that encourages, challenges, and inspires you! Brenda at STRUCTUREbags has done that for me. Her candid honesty is refreshing and I’m so thankful for her help and advice as we both follow our dreams. I can’t wait to share her amazing business with you! Using her background of structural engineering she has come up with the most amazing line of bags and accessories! I have one of her Element Pencil Wristlets and I just love how adorable and useful it is! I love that I can fit whatever I need in it for a quick trip to the store. It’s durability has been tested by my 8 and almost 2-year-old who LOVE to play ‘shopping’ with it! I just love that she goes above and beyond to be eco-friendly with her work, recycling and reusing. I especially love her cadet gray line where she recycles cadet uniforms into amazingly beautiful heirlooms and gifts. Her quality and craftsmanship truly shine in each design that she makes!
I love Brenda’s heart for giving back to the community she is a part of at West Point. Brenda’s gratefulness to the military community is so heartfelt and sincere. Her determination to make sure military soldiers and families know that they are appreciated has truly touched my heart, especially since my Husband and Dad both spent years in the military. Make sure to check out her Season of Thanks campaign to see how she is saying ‘thanks’ to Military families and soldiers with YOUR help! We as a family are writing letters, as well as getting our local school and Scout troop involved!
Brenda has so generously offered to giveaway one of her Camo Mini Pouches so don’t forget to fill out the entry form at the bottom of the post! She’s even donating $1 from this giveaway to Team RWB, who she has partnered with, to help veterans. Here is more about STRUCTUREbags in Brenda’s own words.
Tell us a bit about yourself/business/products.
STRUCTUREbags uniquely couples an engineer’s attention to detail with eco-friendly materials. Bags and accessories feature clean lines and fresh looks for eco-conscious, patriotic, stylish women.
When you choose a STRUCTUREbag purse or accessory, you know you are getting a bag not only hand-crafted in the USA, but eco-friendly as well. The canvas on your bag is 100-percent organic. The vintage button on your bifold is often upcycled. The high quality, 100-percent wool fabrics are hand-felted by a one-woman-shop in South Carolina. We source our labels and printed canvases from other small businesses around the country.
STRUCTUREbags works hard to create unique bags made with great resources from great people.
We have three distinct lines: Our Organic Canvas Line is made with only 100-percent organic fabrics. Our Camo with a Cause Line gives $1 per item to aid military families thru our partnership with Team Red, White & Blue. Our Cadet Grey Line uses authentic, upcycled USMA cadet uniforms to create one-of-a-kind gifts.
What makes your products different from other similar products?
STRUCTUREbags is hand-crafted in the USA with eco-friendly materials sourced from great people. Because we are a small business, we can offer special touches not available elsewhere: complimentary vintage blueprint gift-wrapping, hand-written thank you notes, personalized responses on customer inquiries.
STRUCTUREbags gives back to the community that helped it get its start. When my family moved to West Point, we were 3,000 miles away from family. The wonderful military families embraced us immediately. Even though we are civilians, we always feel a part of the military community.
The design aesthetic and quality construction of STRUCTUREbags are truly one-of-a-kind. My tenure as a designer and manager taught me to control the details: durability, constructability and design must come together as one. With each fabric choice, with each stitch, my vision is brought to my clients with great care.
What brings you joy/encouragement in your life and in creating your products?
I think all the things that set STRUCTUREbags apart from others are the same things that bring satisfaction to my work. I love that I can give a personal touch to each order, I enjoy answering customer questions first-hand, I am committed to giving back.
If you had to choose just one of your products as your favorite you’ve created/made, which one would it be?
I find a special use for each of my designs! But, my go-to bag is without a doubt the Element Pencil Wristlet. I love its versatility and styling. I love how it holds just what I need when I want to scale down, but tucks in nicely when I am heading out for a longer trip. I love its simple, yet dynamic design. I currently rotate between the Navy Tri with Red and the Digital Camo.
Where can our readers find you?
We are working hard to bring STRUCTUREbags to a full-service boutique near you!
Make sure to sign up below to win one of STRUCTUREbags gorgeous Camo Mini Pouches, valued at $22.50! Brenda will also donate $1 to Team RWB as she does with all of her Camo With A Cause purchases! Feel good about winning something amazing for yourself while helping support military families. Thank you so much Brenda for sharing your heart and STRUCTUREbags with us!
*Giveaway open to all US residents.*
**All opinions expressed in this post are mine. I was not compensated for this review.**
To see ALL the amazing Savings and Giveaways from our ‘Week of Inspiration’ just click here!
If you are like me you have great intentions of baking the fall pumpkins that graced your tables or maybe your entryway, but life gets in the way sometimes. (Especially now that I’ve learned pumpkins don’t last as long in the hot Arizona sun as they did in the cooler New York weather!) Since I won’t be baking the little guys I just had to try this idea that I saw online from DIY Home World I changed it up a bit since we here at Spice Grove Designs love to reuse things.
Here are the things you will need!
~Pumpkins – the sweet ones or mini ones work great!
~Wax (reused or flakes)
~Cinnamon sticks or other spices you enjoy
Cut off the top 1/4 – 1/2 of the pumpkin and clean out seeds and pulp. I did use a beautiful acorn squash here too as I just couldn’t resist the gorgeous colors!
Melt wax in a double boiler. You can buy new wax bricks or flakes, but since I’m in a reusing frame of mind I pulled out candles that I’ve saved that are no longer usable as the wicks have disappeared. I melted the wax back down in an old pot that has been deemed my ‘craft pot’ by a very thankful Hubby! This was by far the most time-consuming part of the project.
While your wax is melting get out those wicks! I just happened to have some that I rescued from some old taper candles. I wrapped the end in tin foil about 1/4 of and inch up. This end will sit in the bottom of the candle. I then put more tin foil around it making it lie flat in the bottom of the candle. Then I tied the long end of the wick around a pencil so that it would stand up straight as I poured the wax in.
Pour the wax in the pumpkin adding whatever spices you desire! I did this in stages so that I could add the spices throughout the candle. In the photos I’ve shown the 3 that I came out with; pumpkin cinnamon, pumpkin cinnamon anise, and pumpkin cinnamon coffee bean! (Which smells FANTASTIC!!)
Trim your wick after the wax has cooled and enjoy!
What a lovely way to bring these harvest scents into your home. And just think – if you are a packrat like me – the only thing you’ll have to buy are the pumpkins!! This was a very easy and budget friendly craft for the holidays. (Although I do recommend caution when pouring the wax into the pumpkins and maybe having some tin foil under your Hubby’s beautiful handmade cutting board so you don’t spill!) I can’t wait to see what the family says about these beauties. What a wonderful Holiday gift to bring to someone’s home for a Thanksgiving meal!
What other pumpkin crafts are you doing this time of year? Let us know and send a picture! We’d love to share your creativity!
Wishing you a wonderful week of yummy fall scents,
PS. Make sure and check back next week!! You won’t want to miss meeting 5 amazing friends of mine that have so kindly shared their work with us! I’ll have some amazing coupons, 3 giveaways and a ton of fun and inspiration so come on over!! Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss a word!