Thursday, September 7, 2017

Faux Succulent Pumpkins



A trend in Fall decorating last year (that I didn't even
 realize happened) was planting real succulent plants on top 
of real  pumpkins. I came across it on the internet while looking
 for looking for something else entirely. It is so darn cute!


Only I am about the worst person alive at keeping plants
alive. I came across a large batch of artificial succulent plants
marked 80% off at Michael's at the end of the summer.
Also I have a large batch of artificial pumpkins already.
I decided to try to put those two things together.
You do NOT have to go bonkers like I did to try faux succulents and pumpkins together. Even one, two or three are adorable.

Almost all of these pumpkins used to be oraange. I decided to try the white pumpkin look for this year and painted them.
The succulents look great on ANY color pumpkin!

If you would like to try this trend for Fall in the artificial 
(or faux) version there are lots of places to buy foam
artificial pumpkins this time of year (if you don't already
have some). The craft stores also carry some faux succulents
year round (use a coupon if you don't find them on sale).
This large stem from the regular floral section of Michael's was $4.99 regular price.
It could be cut into about eight small pieces.

These VERY GOOD LOOKING succulents are from Hobby Lobby. Most are $2.99 each. The smallest one is $.99.

This is my stash from the 80% off section at Michael's.

The real succulents that I researched in my area were at
least $4 each for even small ones.

Gathering the supplies for the faux version of succulent
pumpkins takes longer than putting them together.
They are SO EASY!

The main things you will need are the succulents, pumpkins
and moss. Other things you might need are toothpicks, glue
and wire cutters.

The real succulent pumpkins use moss to keep the bottoms
of the succulent plants wet. We will use that too to make
these LOOK real and also hide our "mechanics".

Place a decent amount of moss on top of the pumpkin.
You can secure the moss with a toothpick initially or just
wait and see if the faux succulents will hold it in place.

Some of my faux succulents did not have stems so I stuck
 toothpicks in the bottom of those. Most of the time you will
have a stem on the succulent to stick down in the foam pumpkin.
If the stem is too large/long cut it down with wire cutters.


Some of my pumpkins have large holes in them (I think where
I have accidentally melted the foam over the years trying to 
attach real-looking stems on them with hot glue). 

If yours do too, just put moss around the edge of the hole
 and stick succulents that  have larger stems on them down
 into the hole. Done!

If you have stems on your faux pumpkins that you don't want 
to pull off just put an extra generous amount of moss near
the stem and then a then a larger faux succulent to hide it.


Here is how I used the faux succulent pumpkins in my home
for Fall 2017 decorations...

Four of the pumpkins were used in the dining room hutch.
Sorry...the only time I could catch this photo was when strong afternoon sun was coming in the window.
To reduce the glare, I will open the doors on the hutch up...







My largest faux succulent pumpkin is on the buffet.



The bookcases in the living room have a few books and
lots of the faux succulent pumpkins.



If you run out of time (like I did) or moss, just try sticking the succulent in the naked pumpkin. 






I wanted to try mixing flowers with succulents like I have seen some bridal bouquets done.


The kitchen table holds a variety of "pumpkins" that all have 
faux succulents but two of the "pumpkins" are real.
 It is SO early Fall where I live, there are no pumpkins in the stores. These are acorn squash.
They are the closest things I could find to pumpkins right now. 

Sometimes real pumpkins are cheaper than artificial pumpkins. Did you know that you can paint real pumpkins
with chalk paint to make them whatever color you want?

You CAN use faux succulents on real pumpkins. To keep the
pumpkins from rotting as long as possible, do not puncture
the real pumpkins with the faux succulent's stems or toothpicks.
The pumpkin to the left is artificial, the one in the middle is a real acorn squash, the one on the right is the painted squash.

Use glue (I just used a common white glue...hot glue might
injure the real pumpkin and make it rot sooner) to secure the moss
and succulents. Honestly, you might try just placing the moss
and faux succulents on the real pumpkin first to see if it even 
needs glue to stay put.

Be trendy this year with your Fall decorating and try at least
a few faux succulent pumpkins. The succulents look great on
any color pumpkin!

I am sharing this post over at these blog parties...
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
BFF Open House Link Party @ The Answer is Chocolate
The Handmade Hangout @ From Gardners to Bergers
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home
Amaze Me Monday @ Dwellings
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Summer Home Tour 2017


Come on in! Thanks for coming for a tour of my home to see
my summer decorations that are (finally) in place. 

Right inside the front door there is not much of a foyer.
We are basically in the dining room already. 

The centerpiece this year is pretty simple but abundant with
shells and starfish.  

This year I hot glued shells to all kinds of things to give 
them a more summery look...I say they are "shell-ified". 

The rope circle around the base of the urn was once a
summer wreath itself! Now it has shells galore (some glued
on, some just sitting in place) to adorn it. 

Behind the dining table is an antique chest/hutch that got a
 summery white chalk paint makeover a few years ago.

This year it is holding my faux coral and faux seafans.
They are easy to make and allow the real coral and 
seafans to stay in the ocean. 

I'm opening the glass doors for you. It's hard to photograph
things behind the wavy glass. Beware, some mess, sorry. 

I thought when I painted the inside of the hutch blue/green
with my DIY chalk paint that I would need to change it 
when summer was over but it actually looks fine all year. 

Also in the dining room is a buffet that is holding more
shell-ified items and has a shell print over it.

At the end of the post, if you would like to stick around,
I'll show you some tips on using shells for summer decor. 

This white frame stays here most of the year but gets
the picture changed out seasonally.  

The box was shell-ified by somebody else...I bought it that
way ($8) and sat one of my few big shells on top of it. 

Next to the buffet on a skirted stand is my Beach Boy.
He gets to hold all kinds of seasonal decor through the year.

Beach Boy transitions us into the living room.
On your left is a wall that has another summer display.

Obviously, I have an issue with painting stuff white
but things just looks fresher and lighter to me that way.

The sideboard, lantern, frames and even the seahorse
have been chalk painted.

The wooden boxes' shapes reminded me of wooden buoys
so they got painted to (hopefully) look like that. 



My "sea sayings" came back out this year to be on the
framed chicken wire. I thought I had more of the faux
aged sayings but shells were hung to fill the blank spaces.



The lantern glass is glaring so I'm opening the door
for you to see the originally-lime-green seahorse.

The battery-operated candles don't look that good during the
day but they automatically come on at dusk and look cozy.

Across from the sideboard is the sofa. It's pillows get 
different covers put on them seasonally. 
I know  this area looks kind of bare. Actually my elderly mother lives with me and usually her recliner is
right next to the sofa...I pulled it out so it would not be in the picture. 

I like to put Turkish corners on my pillows. If you want to learn how click on this post. 

The focal point of the living room is the fireplace and
bookcases. The picture over the mantel gets changed out too.

Right now, it is a print that reminds me of our Alabama beaches. 

Even though I re-use my summer accessories year after
year, they wind up in different places from year to year. 

These faux Japanese fishing floats got bunched together
for this year to be the main mantel decor. 
The floats that look really good came from Hobby Lobby...the brown ones and the blue one on the far left. 
The other ones are my attempts at DIYing floats by painting clear Christmas balls and putting netting or
twine around them. I haven't perfected any one technique.



Other items I look forward to seeing again every summer

The single bookcase is the the left of the fireplace.


If  you want to see how these buoys from the clearance shelf at Hobby Lobby went from drab to fab click here. 

The double bookcase is to the right of the fireplace. 


This specimen-type shell display is SO easy to make. Stretch and secure fabric on a piece of 
foamcore which has been cut to fit in a frame. Glue shells on the fabric. 




So that's the living room...now for the kitchen table.

Surprise! More shells.

This cute basket was made from pine needles by my
talented sister-in-law...such patience. 
If you want to see more of her work and contact information click here. 


This wooden bowl holds the left over shells that
didn't get used other places. They are not arranged or staged 
so I encourage visitors to rummage through them and enjoy
looking at the amazing shells of summer. 

That's it for the summer home tour.
Here are some tips/tricks for using shells in decorating...

Almost all of my shells have come from Hobby Lobby ,
Michaels and Dollar Tree. The best deals are for the baskets 
or bags of assorted shells and use a discount coupon. 

I did a quick internet search and found that Amazon,
Oriental Trading and Etsy also have sea shells in bulk.
....................
When you are using shells as fillers for opaque containers
fill the containers most of the way up with plastic bags,
paper, etc. so you won't be wasting your shells where
they will not be seen. 

If you think the filler material might be seen, make a layer
of flat common shells to cover it up. Then put your best 
shells on top of the flat shells. 

Another example of filling container before adding shells..



See-through containers are also great for displaying shells.
Here are some ideas from a summer centerpiece
on my dining room table a few years ago...


The shells were attached to the candle with a dab of hot glue. 

Another way to use shells in clear vases is to put
shells in the bottom of the vase. Add water. Place
floating candles on top of the water and light them.

The water magnifies the shells. The flickering candlelight
makes interesting shadows on the shells. These would be
very pretty for centerpieces for a party or wedding. 

You can also do this technique on a smaller scale too.

....................
Shells can also be attached to items to make them seem
summery. If you use just a small amount of hot glue to
attach the shells to a firm unevenish surface, they usually
 pop off pretty easily when summer is over. 

Here are some candle sticks that are going to shell-ized.

When you decide which shells you want where, hold the
shell against the surface and see where the shell touches.
The shell surface is uneven and it may only touch in a couple
of places...that's where you put a dab of hot glue. Hold it in 
place until the glue can hold the shell on its own. 

Luckily the shells are light and it doesn't take long.

The urn on the dining room table was shell-ified too.


If you want the shells on an item long term, you can use a 
stronger glue to attach them to the item. 

This yard sale mirror was painted white then had shells glued
around the flat surface with E6000 glue. On the top shelf is
a picture frame that has shells glued around the edge. Easy!
......................
If you want to hang shells (like I did on the framed chicken
wire) you can do that by gluing a curved wire on the shell.
My favorite wire to use is aluminum wire that you can find
in the floral section of craft stores or Dollar Tree.

The aluminum wire cuts easily and bends easily to the shape 
of the shell.  Cut the wire long enough to also bend and
 make a hanging hook. Put hot glue on the part of the wire
 that will touch the shell. Press the wire against the 
shell and hold until glue cools.



............................................
Even the front door wreath has shells as a finishing touch.
The base of the wreath was originally one that I made to
be able to use by changing out the decor on top, it could
be used for different seasons and occasions. It is tired now.

I added another layer of  a different color of deco mesh to 
the tired base. If you want to make a similar one you can
follow the directions in the post Multi-Color Mesh Wreath.


You can see on the base that I used pipe cleaners to attach
the mesh. I am fresh out of pipe cleaners so I am going to
use zip ties to attach the darker mesh. 
If you would like to see in more detail how to use zip ties on mesh wreaths, click here. 


Much fluffier now. I could stop there and attach summer 
things but I have some mesh that reminds me of fishermen's
nets so I have to use that too...also attached with zip ties.

After the ends of the zip ties were trimmed, small faux 
fishing floats were zip tied on and shells were hot glued on.


Close up of top of wreath

Close up of bottom of wreath


Pinnable collage

I hope you are having a great summer!

I'm sharing this post at these blog parties...
Vintage Charm @ Our Hopeful Home
BFF Open House @ The Answer Is Chocolate
The Inspiration Gallery @ Craftberry Bush
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch

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