Lantern Centerpieces

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Are you planning a wedding? Throwing a fun summer party? Need some centerpiece ideas without breaking the bank? Why not try using lanterns? There is nothing like a flickering candle in the night. They create the perfect ambiance to a wedding or party. These lanterns can be used not only as centerpieces but also to decorate the head table or guest book table or even to be hung in trees. It is such an elegant look and adds accent lighting! One of the many great things about using lanterns is that they can be used in any type of wedding or party — the possibilities are endless! Plus, they are cheaper than flower centerpieces and can be reused or sold after the wedding or party is over!

Check out what some brides have done with their lantern centerpieces.

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(Source: The Red Dirt Bride)

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(Source: Style Me Pretty)

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(Source: Tumblr)

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(Source: Weddings Illustrated)

Check out our variety of lanterns we carry at Willard & May!

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You can find these styles of lanterns and more lighting options to get you going on your new centerpieces at WillardandMay.com (1. Colorful Sleek Lanterns 2. Round Cast Iron Garden Lantern 3. Sleek Metal Lantern 4. Vintage Hanging Lantern).

Have a lantern centerpiece idea you’d like to share? Let us know and comment in the section below!

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Spring DIY Projects

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We’re over a month into spring and well, for most of us, it quite frankly hasn’t felt much like spring yet. Seems like Mother Nature is perhaps a bit confused? Here in Wisconsin we’ve been plagued with the opposite of a drought – never ending rain and very non-spring like temperatures. Some of our friends further north are even getting more snow!

Whether the outside says it’s spring or not, it can still be spring inside your heart. To get thinking spring, check out these fun DIY ideas that incorporate spring ideas – and let’s hope all of these April showers do in fact bring May flowers!

Hose Wreath Tutorial by Create.Craft.Love. hose-wreath

Indoor Herb Garden DIY by DesignSponge
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Butterfly Bell Jar Tutorial by The Pin Junkie
If you’re looking for a bell jar/cloche, check out the ones we have available here.
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Under $5 Spring Bird Feeder by A Cowboy’s Wife
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For more fun spring and DIY ideas, check out our entire DIY Pinterest board.

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Weekend DIY: Stump Stools

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Everyone dreams of having that amazingly decorated,-cozy outdoor room often seen in  magazines or design blogs. But you easily brush if off because how in the world would you make it look like that yourself? Well, we recently came across a photo of a lovely outdoor dining set up, immediately thought “oh so pretty” and next, how awesome are those stools?! Then, we thought where do you find those! Finally we thought, let’s look at pinterest for a DIY. Here’s the image we’re referring to:

stone wall outdoor dining table with tree stump stools (Source: Pinterest)

So, stumped on what to do this weekend? (no pun intended, haha) Not anymore! We’ve got the perfect DIY project for you to start and it would make a great addition to your outdoor living room,a porch or even your favorite rustic indoor space! This DIY comes from the blog, The Art of Doing Stuff. The author believes in not spending lots of money on the things that fill your home, as she’d rather find it at a garage sale or on the side of the road as opposed to a fancy store. So when she also saw a tree stump side table in a magazine, she thought, “I can make this”. And so can you.

This DIY stump project is something you’ll want to start this weekend, and finish up in about a month – as you have to allow the stump to dry out. But don’t worry; it’ll be ready just in time for the arrival of spring! The bonus is this project doesn’t cost much, especially if you can easily track down an old tree stump outdoors. Next, you’ll need some polyurethane, sand paper and a paint brush. If you want to make it into a side table, you could even add legs like she did. She shares the whole DIY instructions on her blog, so head on over and check out how to make this amazing stool or side table.

(Source: The Art of Doing Stuff)

We also found another great example of how to use a stump sidetable on the blog Design Megillah. Check it out to see how she made her stump!

Happy Weekend!
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Weekend DIY: Chalkboard Paint Herb Pots

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It’s never too cold to grow herbs indoors! Even temperatures that reach -8 degrees F like we experienced in WI this week can’t stop you!  Growing herbs indoors during the winter is not only convenient for adding a special touch to your kitchen creations but also is a great way to help keep your spirits high during the winter months – who doesn’t enjoy some fresh basil or oregano?

You know what else will keep your spirits high? Doing a fun and easy weekend DIY project! How about some chalkboard painted pots to grow these tasty herbs in? Wouldn’t these look great along a kitchen windowsill? The Weekend Homemaker has a great little DIY project on her blog that shows you step by step how to create this project. The only thing that you might need to do differently is start these herbs from seed since most nurseries won’t have these in plant form quite yet this season. Head on over to her blog for the full DIY instructions! (P.S. Chalkboard paint can be purchased at just about any big box home improvement store (Home Depot, Lowes, Menards). Just look in the aisle by the spray paint!)

wmblog-chalkboardPots

Does anyone else have a fun weekend project ahead of them?

Happy Weekend!
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6 Tips to Help you Get Organized

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Everyone makes a goal at the beginning of the year to be more organized. No matter what it is you’re trying to make sense of – maybe your house, garage, life – here are six tips to help you stick to your new year’s goal!

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1. Get Inspired
Whatever you’re hoping to get more organized – whether it be your garage, office, your kitchen – find inspiration to encourage you along the way. A great place to start would be Pinterest. Find images of that neatly laid out garage shed and aim for that.

2. Set a Timer & Deadline
If you have a hard time getting started, set a timer for just 15 minutes and don’t stop organizing until time’s up. You can always continue past the timer if you are into it! Also, set a deadline to encourage yourself. Remember it takes 21 days to form a new habit.

3. Stay Put
One of the worst things you can do while trying to reorganize a room, shelf, closet, or space is leave that room, shelf, closet or space to put something else away. While organizing, keep a large box or other storage device near you to collect all of the items that don’t belong where you’re working. Then once you have finished the project, start placing those items where they belong. Leaving your project to put something away will only encourage distraction and take away from the success of the task-at-hand.

4. Enlist your Family’s Help
Get your family on board with your goals for 2013. Chances are, if they aren’t working with you to stay organized, they are most likely are working against you. Teaching your kids to put things away once they are done using something will help you AND them become more organized. They’ll also appreciate being included in your plan.

5. Make it Fun
Crank up the music, dance while your organizing, bottom-line HAVE FUN!

6. Reward Yourself
By now, you have probably realized if you don’t do it, no one else will. That garage is not going to organize itself! So after putting in your hard work and reaching your goal, reward yourself. Maybe take yourself out for ice cream or buy those shoes you’ve been eyeing up for months!

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Scratching the Garden Itch

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If you’ve come to this blog, chances are you are lover of the outdoors…after all, this is intended to be an inspirational outdoor living blog! We hope this blog is satisfying your desire to be outdoors, despite the frigid temperatures or mountains of snow you are facing in your backyard. We hear you loud and clear, and we’re with you!

If you were hoping to find some ideas to “scratch that garden itch” you’ve been facing since October, or maybe the first frost, it’s your lucky day. There are numerous ways you can garden in the winter or at least prepare for your glorious spring and summer gardens.

Plan your garden
Winter is a great time to re-envision your garden. Start by heading over to Pinterest and gather inspiration for your spring and summer gardens. Make a Pinterest board with your favorite garden images that could work in your yard. Then head on over to a flower bulb or garden website and start pinning your favorite flowers and plants you’d like to add to your garden. There in one space (a pinterest board) you can see how your vision is unfolding and you’ve now also bookmarked your favorites for when you’d like to purchase them! This can also help you to decide what you like most and prioritize if you’re working under a space or money constraint.

pinterest-planning

Start seedlings
Many stores and websites start selling seeds in January, so now is the time to go pick up your favorites and start them indoors. There are numerous different and easy ways you can start them, for example in old toilet paper rolls, egg trays, cloches and more. Then after the last frost, you can transplant your mature plants outdoors!

starting-seeds-early(Photo Source: Mommysavers)

Force bulbs indoors
Fall-planted bulbs (tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, etc.) can be forced to bloom earlier indoors — all you have to do is trick them! If you have fall bulbs you haven’t planted, all you need to do is chill them or finish the process of chilling them. Once they have been chilled for the proper amount of weeks, move them to a warm location in your home and enjoy their beauty. For tips on forcing flower bulbs, read this guest blog post, Flower Bulb Forcing. If you’d like to purchase already chilled bulbs, visit Willard & May.

Create a Terrarium/Succulent Garden
We love succulent gardens because they are easy to grow, pretty hard to kill (bonus!) and have a whimsical feel – almost like you could find a little fairy floating around them. One of our designers thought she’d give a succulent garden a try last February, and we all agreed it was nice to showcase a little extra green in our homes or office. To read more on how to create your own Terrarium, visit this blog post titled, Weekend DIY: Indoor Gardensucculent miniature garden in bowl

What have you been doing to “scratch your garden itch”? We’d love to hear all about it!
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New Years Resolutions: Outdoor Style!

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As you know the New Year is here! (As if you didn’t know, right?) As always, the new year is a time to reflect on the past year as well as make new goals. You may think back and realize you didn’t accomplish all you wanted to in your backyards or maybe you wish you would have had more opportunities to visit your favorite national park. Whatever it may be, this year why not trying to set a goal (and a deadline if that helps) and actually stick to it?!

In the spirit of new year’s resolutions, our team put together a few resolutions for 2013, relating to the outdoors. See what they have to say….

outdoor-resolutions

 

Jenny – I want to plant a vegetable garden in my small city lot using only heirloom vegetables and non-GMO seeds. To maximize the amount of space I can grow veggies in, I intend to plant in containers, as well as use the vertical growing area provided by my fence for climbing veggies like beans and cucumbers.

Mel – I really would like to add some personality to the back entrance of our house, which typically gets used more than the front. I’m hoping to incorporate some “no-installation-needed” LED lighting items and maybe add a few whimsical accents here and there to get me started!

NickThis year, I’m facing my fear of heights and going skydiving — I figure I might as well go all out. I’d also like to camp more throughout the summer – maybe I’ll even take a Chimenea.

VanessaOur deck could use some freshening up – I hope to pressure wash it to renew the wood, as well as add containers of colorful blooms that I can enjoy throughout the year. I’d also like to start my day more often out on my patio, drinking coffee.

Jonathan – My resolution is to get to the park/beach more, play some basketball, maybe some sand volleyball, and definitely enjoy the radiant sun. Pass the sunscreen, please.

 

Hopefully, we’ve inspired you to make a list of goals for 2013…or, if not a list, make at least one resolution! And if you feel like sharing your own, please do in the comments below!

Happy New Year!
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Holiday Wreath Ideas

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It’s not too late to deck the halls AND your front door with boughs of holly and whatever other creative ideas are out there! Over the past few weeks, Pinterest has been flooded with unique wreath ideas for the holiday season. Many even involve non-traditional materials, such as cotton balls, gift bows, picture frames and more. This isn’t your grandma’s Christmas wreath anymore!

We’ve compiled our favorites and want to share with you in case you need some last minute inspiration before your holiday guests arrive!


(Source: It’s Overflowing)

(Source: House by Hoff)

(Source: Design Improvised)


(Source: Fit2feelbetter)

Winter wreath--brown and blue ornament wreath
(Source: Canadian Living)

PS – many times wreaths also look great hung above the fireplace, so if your door is all decked out already, think indoors!

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Inspiration: Outdoor Christmas Lights

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Each weekend more and more houses are getting decked out for the holidays with Christmas lights and outdoor holiday decor. If your house isn’t one of them, it’s time to get your Clark Griswold on and hop on that roof!  And when you are done, relax and enjoy the Christmas classic, Christmas Vacation with some hot cocoa.

If you need a bit of inspiration, check out these over the top Christmas Lights caught on video! And wondering whether LED lights are worth the extra cost compared to the traditional lights? Apartment Therapy did the math and they have determined LED lights in the end save you money, read more on their blog.

Weekend DIY: Add Privacy to your Front Door

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Have you watched a scary movie or tv show lately? You know, the kind that makes you have that creepy un-easy feeling that someone is just outside your home, staring into your living room while you go about your life?  Or it makes you second guess every action you do in fear of the neighbors thinking you’re crazy?  And now with the sun rising later and setting earlier, it seems as though it is always dark when you are at home – dark before you leave for work, dark when you get home – you have the urge to add some extra added  privacy to your windows…blinds, curtains or the like. And you better do it FAST, before they get you! ;)

While blinds and curtains work well for windows throughout your home, putting blinds on your front door can seem a bit gaudy or just not as classy as you’d like. We have the perfect DIY idea that quickly transforms the “dark unknown” into a graphical focus in your entryway! This DIY comes from one of our team members who wanted to add some privacy to her front door after removing some blinds that once filled the window on the door.

She got the window idea from the blog, 7th House on the Left, who even provides a handy template for the cut-out shape, to help your cutting go easier and faster. Also, by reading the comments on the blog, you’ll learn a lot of bonus tips. The blogger transformed her front door (with half a window) by applying contact paper in a unique Moroccan shape to the window to give it a faux-etched look.

Our team member, Vanessa, tried this same effect, applying it to her completely glass front door. Check out the finished look below – talk about a unique entryway that provides privacy but still allows a lot of light in! Here are her summarized instructions, but you can feel free to also head to the 7th House on the Left blog for more information!

add privacy to windows with contact paper

What you’ll need: 1 roll of contact paper (find at any big box store), template provided, cardboard or cereal box, black marker, scissors, tape measure, exacto knife/utility knife and a dry erase marker.

1. Print out the template provided by 7th House on the Left blog.
2. Cut out the shape and transfer it to a thicker paper, such as a cereal box or other piece of cardboard.
3. Trace out as many shapes as your heart desires onto the back (or paper) side of the contact paper. Our team member found that drawing 8 of the shape, and then cutting out those provided the easiest route. Since the paper has been rolled up, it tends to want to keep rolling, so only having 8 keeps it much more manageable.
4. Once you have a decent amount cut out, you’ll need to measure your space and gauge how many more you’ll be needing.
5. The first time Vanessa counted how many she’d need, she was way off – you’ll soon see how many more you need and how you can use bits and pieces of them to fit around the edges.
6. Measure your window and mark the exact middle (vertically and horizontally) with a dry erase marker on the opposite side of window.
7. Start your first shape in the exact center and then apply the first column going up and down. It’s best to do a complete column first, also keeping about 1/2 an inch between the tops and bottoms. This will allow for the best possible spacing throughout your window which helps to keep things consistent.
8. Keep applying more and more until it’s covered. Vanessa found that hers wasn’t perfect due to the fact it’s handmade, each cut being unique. But from a few feet away, she says, you can’t even tell and it just looks AWESOME!
9. Once you’re done, use a credit card to smooth out any tough bubbles that may have formed. Also, use the utility knife to trim the excess from shapes around the edges.
10. Sit back and enjoy (without being terrified of the unknown that lurks outside!)

The best part about this, is that it’s only about $3 to create and it’s removable if you decide later on that you’d like to switch things up! It also adds a very classy touch to your home when viewing it from the outside. Thanks to the 7th House on the Left blog for inspiring us!

Happy Weekend!