Easy Rosemary & Cranberry Centerpiece

When I was in Atlanta for my cousin’s wedding, my sister and I were brainstorming some festive, but not overwhelming, and easy to make centerpieces for a table she was decorating in December.  I’m really happy with what we came up with, and I’ve even got 2 options to execute it for you!

Easy Rosemary & Cranberry Centerpiece

What you’ll need:

  • Glass containers / vases
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Cranberries
  • Water
  • Floating candles

My favorite crafts are always the ones where I have everything (or almost everything) on hand.  When I decided to make some centerpieces, I realized all I needed to buy were some floating candles – which I found at Hobby Lobby for a few bucks.

PS – You should totally plant a rosemary bush in your yard.  You’ll love it.

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This is a really simple centerpiece that looks way nicer.  Fill your containers half way or more with water (not all the way up).  Place the sprigs of rosemary around the bottom of the container, and put your floating candle on top.rosemary_cranberry-centerpiece-02

You could leave it like this, but I’m in the Christmas spirit and wanted to add some red too (possibly a first).  I had some cranberries in the fridge leftover from an appetizer I made for Thanksgiving, and added them around the candle.

Since they float, they were right on top of the rosemary and it was a festive blend of white, red, and green.rosemary_cranberry-centerpiece-03

Light your candle and you’ve got a centerpiece!rosemary_cranberry-centerpiece-04 rosemary_cranberry-centerpiece-05

I put one container on our bar, and the other on our kitchen counter.  Of course I don’t always keep them lit, but they most definitely are when I’m feeling in the Christmas spirit at home!
rosemary_cranberry-centerpiece-07If you want a slightly different take on this, swap out the floating candles for an assortment of white flowers.  My sister did this for the centerpieces at a table that she was in charge of for her church’s tea recently and they turned out great!

She just got 2 varieties of white flowers from Publix for a few dollars and arranged them in various sizes of mason jars & vases.  I hear that their table got a lot of compliments too 🙂

rosemary_cranberry-centerpiece-11rosemary_cranberry-centerpiece-10I’m always a fan of easy projects that look fancier, and this one fits the bill for a last minute Christmas centerpiece!  Did I mention it smells great too?

PS – This is more of a 1-2 day centerpiece.  After a few days the water will start to break down the rosemary, so you’ll want to clean up before then!

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Succulent Filled Pumpkin

I was talking to my friend Marianne about pumpkin crafts the other day, and got the idea for a project I wanted to make this year involving succulents.  Taylor put succulents & Spanish moss in a big Le Cruset pot for his Thanksgiving centerpiece last year and that inspired me to do a version with a pumpkin!

Succulent Filled Pumpkin

What you’ll need:

  • Craft pumpkin
  • Wood slice
  • 1/2″ screws (2)
  • 1″ washers (2)
  • Drill
  • Floral craft foam (depending on size of your pumpkin)
  • Fake succulents
  • Spanish moss

This is another example where I decided I wanted to make something that night, so ran to Michael’s for the craft pumpkins & foam, then Hobby Lobby for the fake succulents after work.

Do you have to use fake succulents? Nope! But I am in this rut where I keep killing any indoor plant (hence the paper philodendron), while keeping everything outside alive, so it was in my best interest to use faux plants, and these look pretty darn real!

I found my white craft pumpkins at Michael’s (yay for a sale!) and got the kind with a cut out on one side so I wouldn’t have to do that part myself.
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I wanted the succulents coming out of the top, so the opening faces up.  Learn from my mistake and realize that with the opening facing up, the pumpkin doesn’t sit flat.  First, we’ll resolve that part.

Get a wood slice (can also be found from your local craft shop) and screw the pumpkin into the slice using washers and screws.  I have to give Hunter credit on the idea to do this, and he helped me screw it in – because I think he just wanted to use the drill.

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Now that your pumpkin will sit up straight, put the floral foam inside the pumpkin.  I had 2 blocks of foam for my large pumpkin, and had to cut one block in half so it’d fit.  There are 1.5 blocks on the bottom, and the remaining half block sitting on top like so:
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Now you’re ready to add your succulents.  Put your succulents securely in the pumpkin by making sure you put the stems through the foam.  Arrange them however you like.  I think I ended up using 9 succulents in my big pumpkin.

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Next add some faux Spanish moss around the succulents to cover the foam.

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Viola – Your centerpiece is ready!  Sorry for all the finished pictures, but I was really happy with how it turned out, from every angle.

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I’m not gonna lie, this is totally my favorite pumpkin project to date – probably because I love succulents and it doesn’t scream fall with orange & brown.  It looks perfect as the centerpiece on our dining table, and will most likely stay there through Thanksgiving!  I’m debating making some smaller ones as gifts too…

After I made the pumpkin, I saw that it fits this month’s #SeptemberFauxFlorals challenge for the 12 months of DIY: Win-win.

Update: Since I had a smaller craft pumpkin and extra faux succulents I decided to make a smaller version.  This time I let the opening face outward and the pumpkin sit upright.  Because the front is a little heavier, I used an oyster shell underneath the pumpkin so it’s sit fully upright on our entry table.  Same great look, but slightly different version!

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PS – You can find all my pumpkin projects here!

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4th of July DIY Inspiration

Hosting a party for the 4th of July (or Olympics Opening Ceremony) and looking for some easy ways to decorate with red, white, and blue?  I’ve got you covered.  Each project links back to a post with instructions on what to do 🙂

Starfish American Flag

If you live by the coast, this is the perfect project.  Grab a canvas, some paint, a starfish and you’ve got a beachy American flag to display!

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Ribbon & Throw Pillows

I love this idea from On Sutton Place — just put some white and green blooms out in natural jars, tie some red, white and blue ribbon around the top and your table will look effortlessly patriotic. Throw pillows are the easiest way to change the look of a space, so bring out some with fun, American colors and it’s an instant upgrade.

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American Flag Mason Jars

If you have mason jars, small American flags, crushed up shells or sand, and some tea lights around your house then you’re ready to throw this together for a simple centerpiece.

flag jar 01 USA Burlap Wreath

Just like throw pillows instantly update seating, a wreath can update your front door!  This burlap wreath has a summery & coastal vibe without being too overwhelming.

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Painted Mason Jars

This might be my favorite mason jar paint job.  There’s something about mason jars that are so American and the way Maison De Pax just added a plate underneath and white flowers in the jars is literally simply perfect.

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If all else fails, just put out your American flag, crack open one of the new Bud / Bud light branded cans and raise one up for America’s birthday!

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Clam Shell Candles

Shell candles are some of my favorite coastal party decor, and I’ve made a lot of oyster shell candles the last few years.  Until this point I’d stuck to using oyster shells since they are abundant in Charleston, but my friend Meaghan brought me a huge bag of clam shells from the northeast, and I knew they’d make great candles because of their shape.

Clam Shell Candles

What you’ll need:

  • Clam shells
  • Fake pearls
  • Hot glue
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tea lights
  • Shallow pan (one that you don’t use for cooking)
  • Soy wax
  • Candle pour pitcher

The process is basically the same as the oyster shell candles, but I’ve learned a valuable lesson about wicks and updated my process again.  First, clean your shells and set up your candle making space.

Next you’ll want to make sure all your shells are sitting upright.  If they don’t on their own, then add pearl feet to the bottom with hot glue to keep them upright so no wax would spill.  Then bring these over to your candle making space so they’re ready to become candles.

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The metal bottom that holds the wick is crucial to keeping the wick up while the candle burns so it doesn’t go out, and I’ve found it’s easier to use wicks from tea lights that already have this rather than getting all the parts and putting them together and cutting the wicks for each candle… so you’ll want to extract the wick & metal bottom from the tea light.  It’s easy to just pull it out from some tea lights, but the ones I always manage to find require me to melt the tea light away from it.  Put the tea lights in a shallow pan and melt the wax on low heat.  When the wick is extracted, place it in the bottom of the clam shell with the wick standing straight up.

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While you’re melting the tea lights to get the wicks, melt your soy wax in the candle pour pitcher, also over low heat.  When the soy wax is melted, pour it into the clam shells, a little at a time to make sure it doesn’t spill over.

Finally, just let them sit so they harden, and then you have some clam shell candles!

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You can see a few of the clam shell candles used as part of the centerpieces at our reception.  Sadly the wind blew a lot of them out, but that means I can use them at decor elsewhere!  I also gave these out as part of my hostess gifts for friends & family that helped with the wedding festivities.View More: http://mintedphotography.pass.us/wilds-wedding

If you like these, but don’t have any clam shells laying around, you can now find these in my Etsy shop!  Use the coupon code CKBLOG for a discount 🙂

Paint Dripped Vase

I’ve said this a lot of times, but sometimes I have an idea and just want to execute it — whether it seems like a good one or not.  I had an idea to throw some paint in a jar, let it drop and see if it would be a fun vase… so here it is!

PS – I already had all these items on hand, so this cost $0. Always a win.

Paint Dripped Vase

What you’ll need:

  • Jar
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paper towels
  • Oven

After we finish pasta sauce, I’ll soak them in water to pull the labels off, wash them, and keep them for crafts — so I believe this jar used to hold alfredo sauce.  Pull your jar out, and make sure it’s clean.  Then choose a color of paint you want to drip down it.  I went with blue — shocker.

Squeeze some of the blue paint into the bottom of the jar. You’ll need enough to make it drip down the sides, but not too much where everything is coated, so it’s a balance.

Turn the jar upside down and tilt it, so the paint starts going down the sides.  You can turn it to control where the paint drips some, but ultimately it’ll do what it (and gravity) wants.

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Once most of the paint is dripping down how you like it, fold a paper towel and put the jar on top of it – still upside down – to dry.  If you don’t like how the paint drip looks, you can wash it out and start over.

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I wanted the paint to be somewhat permanent and not wash away when water is put in it, so I followed the same directions when painting wine glasses to bake it:

Let the paint sit and dry for 4 days on your paper towel.  Bake the jar for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.  Pull it out of the oven and let it cool.

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If you want to have multiple colors or layers of paint in there, then you would just repeat the process for each color (if you did all the colors at once, they’d blend together).

I ended up getting a similar, but different shade of blue and repeating the process on top of the first layer. Once the jar is cool for the last time, it’s ready to become a vase.  Fill with water, and some flowers, and you’ve got a funky vase!

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Since you can choose any colors to do this with, you can get really creative and make custom ones for whatever room or event you want!  What colors would you use in a paint dripped vase?