How to Decorate Your Window Box

A window box adds charm and curb appeal to any home. It signifies a warmness and coziness to those who reside inside. There are many ways to decorate a window box making it perfect for all seasons.

Window Box Tips

When planting your flowers in a window box choose flowers that are the right size. You don’t want to plant large plants in a small space.

You want to get an overflowing affect so plant enough flowers that the plants will overflow the sides of the box.

When you have multiple windows in a row, you want to stay uniformed across the front with the same displays running across.

Don’t plant your plants in a straight row. You want to stagger the plants to give the window box a fuller appearance.

When planting flowers, use a good potting soil mixed with a fertilizer.

Different Displays

You can plant one kind of flower in all of the window boxes. Choose flowers to contrast with the color of your house.

You can choose to plant your window boxes with different plants of different heights. Plant the tallest plants that grow no taller than 12 inches high in the back of the box, fill the middle with bushy plants and plant trailing plants in the front to spill over the edge.

You can also mix and match flowers to create a display with variety in color, texture and shapes to create a beautiful display of color.

For All Seasons

In the spring, plant flowers such as tulips, daffodils, primroses, pansies and trailing vines. Experiment with the bedding plants available in the garden centers. You can add colorful Easter eggs or other décor to add an Easter display.

In the summer, change out the plants if needed with fresh plants for the summer. Add geraniums and other small plants available in the garden stores. Add decorations for the Fourth of July.

In the fall, replace the flowers with fall plants such as kale and mums. Look for plants with beautiful autumn colors. Decorate for fall with miniature pumpkins, gourds, hay and scarecrows.

In the winter, remove all the plants and potting soil. Replace with small potted shrubs. Boxwoods are a good choice. For Christmas you can add lights. Another choice for your winter is to simply fill the box with cedar and holly branches, letting them drape over the sides.

 

Mason Jar Makeover

Sending newspapers and cans off to be recycled is great, but finding creative ways to reuse items and avoid buying something new… that’s green times two!

Mason jars are rustic and cute, and can be used in so many ways. Here are a few I have found:

1. Candle Holder Centerpieces:
- Choose a filler to match the occasion. At a picnic dry beans, popcorn or deer corn may be perfect. At a rustic wedding, rock salt, Epsom salt, or a selection of buttons can look great. Fill the jar about one third full, and set the candle in firmly. Different sizes will create interest.

2. Mason Jar Cake:
- Pour cake mix into mason jars, filling them half full. Bake on a cookie sheet. After cooling, pipe icing to the top rim of the jar. Tie a ribbon around the jars for a perfect small gift or snack.

3. Candles to Line a Walk:
- Use the candle idea above and create a handle by tying a wire around the lip, then adding one over the top. Hang on shepherd’s hooks for a beautiful lighted path.

4. Decorative Gift Jars:
- Use lace or burlap tape around mason jars and fill with candy, dried fruits, Gold Fish crackers, and other snacks. Use a cute photo box or wrapped shoe box to bundle the treats.

5. Pampering Kit:
- Fill jars with bath salts, use a ribbon to attach fluffy socks, a decorative scoop and a gift card.

6. Sewing Kit:
- Use a clump of cotton or polyester fill about the size of four cotton balls. Cover the fill with a 4×4 fabric square and glue the fabric around the bottom of the lid insert to make a little “cushion” on top of the lid. Place spools of thread, needles, threaders, and other sewing items in the jar. Place the lid insert in the lid and screw it on. Stick some pins in the cushion and add a ribbon around the jar. This makes a cute teacher or hostess gift.

7. Decorative Utensil Holders:
- Wrap a bandana or fabric napkin around forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks or other utensils and insert into a mason jar. Arrange on a tray with plates, condiments, and other accessories for your perfect meal. They can also be used for rolled napkins, bread sticks, and other long items for the meal.

Have fun creating!

Easy DIY Closet Solutions

When the closets are cluttered in your home, the result is many more items begin to fill out the rest of that room. The end result is you have stuff that should easily fit in the closet basically everywhere but the closet. Organizing the closet with a few DIY projects can transform both the closet and the entire room. Here are a few things you can easily do in a day.

Many closets have to top shelve that is easy to reach, and then all that extra space that usually goes up to the ceiling. Purchase additional matching shelving and install it above the top shelve. This will double that storage space and allow you to place items that you are not using on a frequent basis up and out of the way. The new top shelve is perfect for storing boxes with old photographs, CD’s, video taps, and other items piled on the closet floor.

Purchase some shoe racks and stack them on one side of the closet floor. The shoes tend to take up the majority of the closet floor, stacking them up will free up much more space. Many dollar stores sell stacking totes that are perfect for placing all the items laying on the closet floor.

The back of the closet door is additional space that many people do not utilize. Purchase a hanging organizer that is normally used for shoes, and place in the slots all the items in the closet that are taking up valuable space. Belts, gloves, socks, flip flops, woolen hats, and basically anything adding to the clutter.

Many closets are often filled with jeans of one style or another, and they usually never wind up on hangers. Wooden baskets make the perfect hiding spots for all your jeans, simply roll them up and stack them into the baskets. These baskets can be stacked as high as you go to really free up the space. These baskets also work well for linen closets. Simply roll up towels and wash clothes, and place them in their own stacking basket.

For bedroom closets you can utilize the side walls to free up space too. Install tie hangers, belt hangers, and even hat hangers. These will take all those items and organize them and remove the clutter from the closet. Now you should have no problem getting all the items in the bedroom off the chairs and onto hangers where they belong.

5 DIY Projects for the Bedroom

If you are looking for a few ways to update your bedroom, and to add some decor, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you need to get creative. There are a few different things that you try, to make any bedroom look great.

1. Party Globes and Lanterns
Hanging party globes and lanterns around the bedroom ceiling or in a certain corner is a great decorative option. This is great for nurseries, kids or teens rooms, and it can even look elegant in a master bedroom. You can get affordable thin paper options, or get ones that have battery operated lights, to add some illumination to the space.

2. Black and White Photography
It’s easy to add black and white photography to any room in the home. If there is a specific picture that you love, or if you have a group of pictures, you can order them at a low price from a local copy center. Use a few large photos, or use multiple photos to make a collage. Get colored frames to match the decor in the room.

3. Make Your Own Canvas Art
Do you see different types of canvas art that you love, but you don’t want to pay the hefty price tag? By art canvases at a local craft store, and cover them with fabric. You can do the same patters for a collective piece, or you can mix and match pieces. It’s very easy to stable the fabric to the canvas. You may find there are a wider variety of fabrics, so you have more options than picking something that is pre-made.

4. Add Sconces
Hanging wall sconces are something you usually see outdoors, on a patio or a porch. They are an elegant piece to add on both sides of the bed, around closet doors, or in another area of the bedroom. You can even use real candles in them when you want. This is great for vintage style room, and you install these just like you would outdoors.

5. Quotes and Sayings
Instead of paying a lot of money for a sign with a quote that you like, or paying for decals with inspiration sayings, draw the words on the wall yourself. It will be need to have the saying in your own handwriting, and there are many types of calligraphy tools at a craft store that can give you bold font without smudging. All you have to do is paint over it when you don’t want it anymore.

 

 

Tips & Tricks to Spruce Up your Spring Garden

The weather is starting to warm up and it is time to start thinking about what you are going to do with your spring garden this year. Do you want to grow flowers, herbs, vegetables, or all three? The following are some tips to ensure you get the most enjoyment from your garden.

Cats

If you have cats, either yours or neighborhood cats, that bother your garden there are a couple of different methods to keep them from devouring your favorite plants. The first is to plant wheat grass or catnip near the plants he or she has been bothering. This will tempt the cat away from your plants while giving them a treat. You can also put citrus fruit peels or mothballs on the soil around your plants. Cats hate the way these items smell and it should keep them away.

Slugs

Keep slugs at bay by planting a perimeter of marigolds or onions around your vegetable garden.

Alkaline soil

When you grow vegetables you want them to be as flavorful as possible. One way to do this is to increase the acidity of your soil. A natural way to accomplish higher acidity is by mixing coffee grounds into the soil.

Mulch

Most mulch only last about a year. Take a good look at yours, and decide if some new mulch would drastically improve the look of your garden. It comes in many colors and a change might be just what you need to fall in love with your garden all over again.

Fence it In

Does your garden have a fence? If not, then a picket fence can be put up in a weekend and really adds appeal and charm to your garden space. Gardeners who already have a fence can spruce it up with a new coat of paint. Consider a bright new color for a bold change in the way your garden looks.

Raise it up

If you want to really step up the look and functionality of your garden, add some raised beds. Not only do they keep pest animals out, they can also save your back by not forcing you to bend so much while tending them. A bonus feature of raised beds is that you can let your creativity run wild and build them in a variety of shapes and sizes.

A little extra time and attention can take your garden from a place to grow to a place to wow. Get started this weekend and by the time it heats up your garden will be the talk of the neighborhood.

Easy To Make Spring Door Decorations

Spring is here, and you may be wondering how to make some of the cute Springtime door decorations you have seen in stores, around the web, or maybe even hanging on your neighbor’s door. Don’t break the bank buying expensive decorations when you can easily create something uniquely homemade with a few simple items.

Create Unique Decorations To Fit Your Own Style

When gathering ideas for your Spring door decorations begin by looking around your own home. Incorporate some of your favorite Spring items you already own, gather twigs from your yard, or look outside of the box for unique ways to use everyday items. Take a trip to your local discount store or garden supply center. Look for small items that can be purchased for a few bucks and incorporated into items you already own.

Easy To Make Spring Door Decorations

A simple garden hose from your own backyard can be twisted into a round wreath-like shape and bound together with ribbon, twine, or even vines from your own yard. Recycle greenery from your other seasonal decorations and glue them to a foam wreath, or wrap a foam wreath in Spring themed ribbon. Add a few Spring themed flowers and finish off with plastic gardening tools, barbecue items, butterflies, bees, or your own favorite items. Artificial flowers can be purchased cheaply at local dollar stores. The possibilities for personalizing your wreath are endless.

If you would prefer real flowers in your Spring door decor you can easily make your own hanging flower vase or pot for your door. Mason jars painted or covered in cloth and hung from wire make great little hanging flower holders. Add to the center of a wreath made out of sticks, vines, or ribbon for extra flare.

One of my favorite ways to decorate a door seasonally is to design my own welcome sign for my door. “Welcome To Our Home” typed in pretty font on a background of grass or other Spring colors can be printed and framed to hang on the door. I often glue Spring themed embellishments to the photo frame to spice it up before hanging.

Pick up wooden letters at your local craft store and paint them to create your own personalized Spring monogram that can be hung alone, with a wreath, or embellished.

Decorating your door for Spring doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. These cheap alternatives are great for any budget, and are a great way to make your home inviting to your guests while celebrating the season.

How to Make your own Green Pest Control Solution

Most people today are trying to avoid the harsh and toxic chemicals found in many commercially available pesticides. Fortunately, there are green products around the home that can control garden pests without spreading toxic chemicals around the property. Four common and effective green pest control solutions can be made at home.

A Simple Green Solution

The simplest green pest control solution is made from a quart of water and one to two tablespoons of any biodegradable dish soap. The ingredients can be mixed together and put into a spray bottle. Spraying leaves with this simple solution will take care of many common garden pests like aphids, thrips and spider mites. The solution lasts for two weeks and might need to be reapplied every few days for heavy infestations.

All-Purpose Organic Spray

An all-purpose organic spray can be made by mixing together the following ingredients:

- Cayenne pepper
- One ground garlic bulb
- One small ground onion
- Two tablespoons of biodegradable dishwashing soap
- One quart of water

The mixture should be strained into a spray bottle. The dish soap will kill mealy bugs, aphids and other insect pests. The garlic, onion and cayenne will discourage pests like deer, squirrels and some large beetles. The solution will last for a week. This is good for serious infestations although it might also drive away natural pollinators like bees.

Tomato Leaf Solution

Tomato leaves contain alkaloids that are toxic to many pests. A simple solution can be created by chopping up one to two cups of tomato plant leaves and soaking them in a quart of water for six to eight hours. The solution can be sprayed on anything from vegetable plants to roses. It will instantly kill pests like whiteflies and aphids. The solution will stay usable for a week or two.

Baking Soda Sprays

Funguses and other diseases often accompany pests in the garden. The pests can open up wounds on the plant that encourage the growth of powdery mildew and other harmful funguses. A green way to deal with this is to combine:

- One tablespoon of baking soda
- One-half tablespoon of cooking oil
- Two quarts of warm water

The mixture will become toxic to mildew and mold without harming the plant or beneficial insects. Spraying the solution on the leaves once every week or two can also protect the plant against funguses in the future.

3 Easy & Fun DIY Projects to do with Kids

Kids love making things with their hands and helping them make these fun projects is a great way to bond. All of these projects are simply enough to make in an afternoon, but engaging enough to keep kids interested for a long time.

Properly prepared cupcake flowers are fun decorations, especially during Easter. Start by taking some cupcake liners and cut them into various pedal styles, such as pointed or rounded and cut leaves out of green paper. Thread the leaves through the end of a pipe cleaner and push the cupcake liner flower through the center. Position everything carefully, bend the pipe cleaner in half, and pinch the end. Voila! Your cupcake flower is ready to hang. Use any extra cupcake liners to make yummy cupcakes.

The windshield rainbow remains a popular DIY project. It creates a startling visual with a minimum of work. Take several colors of window chalk and place a small amount along the blade of your windshield. Window chalk will easily wash out in the rain and can be seen through without a problem. Turn on your windshield wipers and your wipers will immediately create a streaked rainbow. Make sure to let the wipers run only once to avoid streaking. This project is easy enough for your kids to do every step, beyond turning on your car. It looks great on long car trips and will wash off quickly.

Last, but not least, is a sunburst photo display board. This project is a little bit more demanding of you and your children’s time, but still fun.

Start by tracing out a circular shape on a piece of cardboard and cutting it out. A medium sized plate is perfect for this job. Now, place the cardboard circle on a piece of decorative cloth. Trace the circle on the cloth and cut a circle at least half an inch wider on every side. Cut out the cloth circle, wrap it around the cardboard circle, and hot glue it down.

Your kids can perform every step here, except the gluing. Now, paint eight to 10 clothespins. Leave one side paint free.

Glue your pins around the circle to emulate a “sunburst.” Knot a piece of ribbon and glue it to the top of the circle.

Place photos in the clothes hangers and hang the display board from the ribbon. This is great for kids with a lot of photos.