3 Easy Ways to Decorate with Dried Flowers

Spring is in the air, and I bet you are wondering how to make your home interior look fresh and new. Well look no further, and try decorating your home with some dried flowers. They can be mostly free if you use what you may already have, and you can decorate with them however you see fit. Here are a few ideas to help you get started with your flower decorating extravaganza.

Potpourri

  • First, start with any dried flowers you may have around the house. Perhaps you’ve got some roses for Valentine’s Day or maybe you have some old birthday flowers. Evaluate the state of your flowers and you are ready to proceed.
  • If they are looking pretty rough, like most of my flowers, you might want to make some potpourri. It is easy to make and looks great. Cut the stems off and then arrange your flowers in a bowl. If the flower is not intact, try pulling the petals apart and mixing them in a glass jar or vase. Voila!
  • If you want your potpourri to smell even better, try adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the mix.

Tie Them Up

  • If you don’t have flowers already in your home, you can go outside and pick some wild flowers (just be sure you have permission to pick them!). This is another inexpensive way to jazz up your home.
  • You can dry out Russian Lavender and hang it in bundles on a book case or shelf. You can even put the dried flowers in a vase or simply put a bow around the stems and place them on an end table.
  • Also, if you have a pots and pans rack above a kitchen island, dried wildflowers look great hung in bundles or singles. A dried sunflower will brighten up any kitchen.

Press Them

  • Pressing flowers is one of my favorite ways to decorate. The next time someone buys you flowers, or you buy them for yourself, press them in a book. I have a giant dictionary I like to press multiple flowers in at a time in. Let the flowers dry until you are happy with their texture and then the fun begins.
  • You can make a nice shadow box with the flowers. If you don’t have a shadow box laying around you can use an old picture frame. You can also use these flowers for fun projects with your kids. You can paste your petals on construction paper and let the kids have fun drawing. You can also make book marks with the flowers. The possibilities are endless.
  • Did you know you can even use dried pansies to decorate a cake? (Yes, pansies are edible.)

Get More Decorating Inspiration!

Have fun this spring decorating you home with dried flowers. You may be surprised how many unique ideas you can come up with. Happy spring and enjoy!

Unique Container Gardens

Everyone needs a plant in their life. They give you clean air and bring a smile to your face. You might be thinking, “Great, but I kill every plant I touch.” Don’t worry, succulents might just be the plant for you. They do not need a lot of water and are low maintenance. Now that you have a plant you cannot kill, what will you put it in?

If you are into upcycling, any of these projects will tickle your fancy.

I’m A Little Teapot– What better container to use for your garden then a teapot? If you have an old chipped teapot or a teapot you don’t use anymore, it will make a great container for a succulent or two. You can also use tea cups to plant your succulents as well. A matching set might be just what your succulent garden needs.

Boots were made for – Generally boots are made for walking, but not in this case. Everyone has some old boots they don’t wear. They could be galoshes or cowboy boots, either one will make an adorable container for you garden. You don’t have to just stick to succulents for your plants, you could make an herb garden out of all of your discarded boots. If you have children, you can use their boots to add different shapes and sizes to your container garden that will have everyone oohing and ahhing.

Water Anyone – Another idea for a container garden is a watering can. It is a classic symbol of gardening and most people have an old one laying around. If your watering can is deep, you might have to stuff it with paper or other filling material so that your beautiful plants will be seen.

Roll out – Tires make a great gardening container. They are sturdy and relatively easy to find. I don’t recommend using tires indoors unless your heart is telling you that you must. You can paint your tires any color you want. Tires are also easy to stack to make whatever design you desire. With tires, the possibilities are endless. Another great outdoor container is an old wheelbarrow; it is like having a miniature flower bed.

Tools– This one you might not think of, but use an old school toolbox for your container. They are vintage and will give your plant a unique look.

Unique gardening containers are anything you want them to be, from an old shoe to tires. Use your imagination and have fun. You might be surprised by what wonderful creations you come up with.

Start Your Herb Garden!

 

Color me what? Colors for 2018

It’s a new year, and that means it is a new year of fresh colors! 2018 has thrown grey out the window. I know what you may be thinking, “No, not grey. Does that mean neutrals are a thing of the past?” Answer—no. Neutrals will always have their place on the color wheel for home and furniture. But colors for 2018 are all about making a statement. If you are a whimsical, wanderlust loving person, these colors are for you! Now don’t worry if you are a bit mild mannered, there are still many colors that will rock your solid socks off.

Predicted Top Colors for 2018

The New Neutrals: Black is now considered a neutral for 2018. Black is no longer just for accent pieces. Another surprise is that you can use metallic paint as a neutral for an industrial feel. It sounds a little out there, but it can really make a room pop.

Minimalist Pastels: According to leading paint brands, muted neutrals are in. These soft collections will have you at rest in no time. The light colors really open up a room and are great if you have smaller spaces.

Pink it Up: This is not a color I would normally consider when painting a room, but according to it will become a staple in everyone’s painting tool box.

Think Green: The green tech inspired look is being featured by major brands.  They have some beautiful hues that mesh tech and organic living together wonderfully. The harmony they create may surprise you.

Hello Yellow: While predicted by a major design magazine to be the next big thing, this color is a wild card. It lightens up any room and will put a smile on your face. Maybe a whole room of yellow isn’t for you, but perhaps a wall is. If you are seriously considering a brighter, bolder color like yellow, consider painting one wall yellow and the rest a muter tone.

*Remember if you like one of these colors, you do not have to paint your whole room a specific color. You could use a milder color for a room and use accent pieces. Committing to just one color may not be best for you. Use your judgment about what colors speak to you and have fun! Check out these color predictions!

 

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How to Prep Your Mobile Home for Winter

Winter is here and the temperatures are dropping. If you are a first-time homeowner, here are a few things you might want to consider when prepping your home. First, eliminate the cold air coming from the outside. Second, prevent heat from escaping from inside the home. Lastly, make sure your pipes do not freeze.

How to Keep Cold Air Out

Caulking – Try silicone caulk to seal areas around windows, doors and around any vents. If you have a chimney, make sure you caulk or seal any cracks around it, or consult a mason for cracks in the mortar.

Weather Stripping – This can be used like caulk and comes in a tape form. It doesn’t get into all the nooks and crannies like caulk, but it is easy to use and not as messy. There is also no dry time for weather stripping.1

Curtains/Blinds – Curtains are a decorative and practical way to keep your home warm. You can use curtains to keep out the cold air, but make sure the curtains are thick enough to get the job done.

Draft Snake – Everyone has probably used something like this. It is a long pillow that you can put in front of the door to keep out the draft, just be sure it does not block use of the door in the event of an emergency. You can also try placing a towel or a blanket in front of the door.

How to Keep Heat In

Furnace – Make sure you have your furnace cleaned professionally once a year. Also, clean your furnace’s exhaust vents frequently to remove any debris and check your thermostat to make sure it is in good working order. If you have a disposable furnace filter, change it regularly.2

Vents – These need to be cleaned yearly. You want your vents working properly at any time of the year, but especially in the winter.2

How to Keep Pipes from Freezing

PEX – If you are tired of fixing busted pipes, this might be an option for you. Ask your plumber if PEX or PVC may be an option if you have to replace busted pipes. Typical water supply pipes are metal or copper, and these tend to freeze and burst easier. Make sure that you consult a professional before making any changes to your home plumbing system.

Heat Tape – You can wrap heat tape or insulation around your pipes to keep them from freezing, but be careful with heat tape. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions very carefully or have it installed by a professional. If you overlap heat tape, it can cause a fire.1

Other Winter Tips

  • Wrap an insulation blanket around your water heater. Keep it clear of flames or electrical components. Heaters are sometimes located outside of the home. This will help it stay nice and cozy.
  • Tie-strap tensioning should be checked and adjusted when necessary to prevent damage to the home from settling or other unforeseen movements (such as frost heave).1,2

Check Out Our Maintenance Checklist

  1. L. A. “Tony” Kovach. MH Living News. Winterizing Your Manufactured Home and Save.  https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/winterizing-your-manufactured-home-and-save/
  2. Mobile Home Living. Fall: Time to Winterize Your Mobile Home.  https://mobilehomeliving.org/fall-time-to-winterize-your-mobile-home/ 

How to Paint New Life into Your Furniture

Everyone has an old piece of furniture they don’t like anymore, but what if you could give that furniture new life? One of the easiest and cheapest ways to spruce up your furniture is with paint.

Spray Paint

You may be thinking, “What can I do with spray paint?” The answer— everything. If you have an old book shelf that you want to look new, paint it. You can use metallic spray paint to give your book shelf a new, modern look. You can even spray paint cushions. If you have a white or beige cushion, try painting them a darker color to give your furniture a new stylish appeal. I recommend only spraying your outdoor cushions, as it may leave them a little stiff.

Chalk Paint

If you have kids, this might be the paint for you. Apply chalk paint to some old dresser drawers or an old kitchen table. Once they are dry, give your kids some colored chalk and let them go crazy. They can change what they write with the seasons, or they can doodle on the drawers or table tops when they get bored. It is the paint that keeps on giving.

Milk Paint

This paint is the least toxic of the paints because it is made with dried milk. This paint is for furniture you want to have a chic, messy look. The only down side to milk paint is that not all of it comes premixed.

Stain

Stain can be used just like paint. The only difference is that stain is for use on wooden surfaces only. Some people prefer staining wooden furniture over painting it. Staining your furniture will give it a more natural look.

Stencils

These little gems are underrated. Stencils can give your furniture a whole new look. A checkered or striped pattern can make an old end table or dresser fabulous again. Find a pattern you like, and then go stencil crazy. This is also great for making metal fold-out chairs awesome!

Paint Markers

This is another easy way to spruce up your furniture. Try writing inspirational words on your dresser drawers. Writing in cursive will give your drawers a whimsical look. If that isn’t the look you are going for, try writing in a bold print. You might also try writing your child’s name on their own special chair. It is a fun way to make an ordinary chair special.

 

Update Your Color Palette

4 Easy Christmas Ornaments You Can Make With Your Kids

Christmas is in the air, and the kids will be off from school soon. You might find yourself wondering what fun Christmas activities you can do with your little angels. How about some fun, easy ornaments?

Ornaments with child’s picture

Our first Christmas ornament is a classic. My mom still hangs these on our Christmas tree every year.

  • Use festive scrapbooking paper or even some pretty Christmas cards you have around the house.
  • Make an outline of a shape you like. For example, you could trace and cut out a Christmas tree, stocking, snowman, or anything else your heart desires to hang on the tree. Once you cut out your ornament, feel free to use some glitter to make your ornament sparkle.
  • Then use a small school picture, or any pictures of your child you don’t mind sticking on the ornament. Glue sticks will work on your ornament, but for a lasting stay, I recommend a glue gun.

Cookie cutter ornaments

This is one of the easiest Christmas ornaments to make. All you need are some cookie cutters. Everyone has a few rusty, old cookie cutters in their pantry. These easy ornaments will help you put them to good use.

  • First, take a cookie cutter and wrap a ribbon of your choice all around the cookie cutter. You can use a small piece of tape to start your ribbon instead of glue in case you want to reuse your cookie cutters.
  • Once ribbon is completely wrapped around the cookie cutter, glue the end of ribbon to the cookie cutter.
  • Then, use a piece of twine or a similar patterned ribbon to hang your special ornament.

Salt dough ornaments

Another Christmas classic is the salt dough ornament. It is easy and inexpensive to make. You probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen. This ornament is one of the most versatile. Any shape you can imagine, you can make.

  • First, make your salt dough. Click here for an easy recipe.
  • Second, decide what you want to make. You can use cookie cutters, or form your own. You can even make letters, or hand prints out of the dough. Also, remember to poke a hole in your ornament before you bake them so you can hang them on your tree.
  • After you bake your dough you can paint them, put glitter on them, or both! Let your ornaments completely dry then use ribbon to hang your ornament.

Hand-painted ornaments

This is a project that younger children may need a bit of help with, but it is still a favorite.

  • Find a few plastic or ceramic globes at your local store. Once you have the color you like, use acrylic paint to make a snow man, snowflake or anything your child can imagine. If you don’t have any paint brushes lying around, cotton swaps are easy to use. Plus, they make for an easy clean up.

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