Easy Spring Decorating on a Dime

Dear friends,

Welcome to my home!  It’s springtime now (and has been for a few weeks) so I thought I’d do a post on decorating.  I did one a couple of years ago about Easy Autumn Decorating on a Dime that was quite popular, so here’s to another season of pretty penny pinching!  I’ve picked out many of our spring decorations to show you.  Yes, we have a lot more, but no, we haven’t spent much at all on it.  Some of our heirlooms came to us via my parents and grandparents, some were brought home from other countries by my daughters or myself, some were gifts from others, some were picked up at yard sales, one was salvaged from someone else’s trash pile, and a few were even homemade.  

Oh, before we begin, a little disclaimer.  I am not a professional decorator.  I’m just trying to make my home look attractive for my family.  To be truthful, I was decorating and photographing around messes, a fact of life when 10 people live in one house. 🙂  Decorating for the seasons not only reflects the time of year, but also helps break up the boredom of seeing the same things all the time.  Of course, there are certain “anchor” pieces that are on display all year, too.

Ready?   Let’s start with the front hallway, since that’s the first place guests to our home see.
Blue vases and antique frame on top of
an antique radio cabinet  ~~
The lace covering is a pillow sham made by
my husband’s grandmother.
The frame is from my grandmother’s attic,
and once held a photo of my great-grandparents.
Now it features a picture of a vase of flowers
that I found on the web years ago and printed out,
along with a few words of welcome.
(You can see it better in the picture at the top of this post.)
The vase on the right was a wedding present.
The vase on the left is from a yard sale (50 cents)
and the silk daffodils are from who-knows-where!
Hanging over our front door,
this plaque was a wedding gift from
my husband’s grandparents.
It has been in our radio cabinet for years,
but I decided it deserved to see the light of day again.
Speaking of the antique radio cabinet,
I store many of our decorative items in it.
I was trying to put back some of our wedding crystal after Easter dinner,
and realized it needed a good cleaning out.
Thus started my decorating adventure that day.

Following the advice of organizing experts,
I removed everything from the cabinet so I could start fresh.
I brought in a card table to hold much of it for sorting.

The hallway table is always a good place
for decorations, but I try to make sure
they aren’t breakable since my kids will sometimes
plop down their stuff when they come in the door. 
There are still shoe bins underneath this table,
which I bought last summer when I did a hallway redo.

The miniature watering can votive holder,
blue and tan basket on doily,
and potted wooden flower,
all fit with a country blue theme
that matches the powder blue walls.
The doily, most likely made or bought
by my husband’s grandmother, had gotten stains on it, 
so I soaked it in tea it to camouflage the spots.   

Flower photos by my daughter

Stained glass dove and rainbow hanging over the hall closet.
made by my mother as our first anniversary present.
It matches the one in the reception hall of the church where we were married.
Moving on to the kitchen…

Beauty in a bowl ~~ fresh strawberries!

Utensil holder

Over the stove, there is a magnetic back drop.
I hung the wreath from a magnetic hook,
but first I had to rinse it off since it had some grimy dust on the silk flowers.
The “Welcome” decoration also has a magnetic backing.
On the back of the stove, salt and pepper shakers and
a small ceramic house that my mother gave me when I was in college.

Another greeting card in the kitchen

Greeting cards make great decorations!
I taped this one to the kitchen cabinet.

I found this wall hanging at a church rummage sale.
It goes so well against the green walls in my kitchen.
Though it is particularly suited for spring with the birds and nests,
it hangs year round near the back door.

And now to the dining room!

I bought a pansy tea set (6 cups and saucers, sugar bowl, creamer, and cookie plate)
 for my mother while in Scotland n a mission trip in 1979.
She gave it back to me many years ago after I had five little girls in a row.
I store it safely in a kitchen cabinet, but I really need to get it out a few times
this spring to have lemonade and cookies!
More pansies!
My aunt Kathy painted the pansies on the cookie jar.
The green vase is from the same yard sale as the blue one in the hallway,
and the pansies are silk.
My daughter is studying with a fellow nursing student via Skype.

Did you spot this painting in the background of the last picture,
hanging over my husband’s work area?  (Yes, we have a second table
in the dining room for him to do paper work and help kids with school work.)
Until a few days ago, this painting was on the wall on our laundry room.
(I believe in art in mundane places.)
Can you believe that I salvaged this from our neighbor’s trash pile many years ago?
One mom’s trash is another’s treasure!

Flowers from the yard, floating in a bowl

Easter lilies from church!

Display the front of a pretty book by propping it up with a plate holder.
Yes, this book is in my dining room, which doubles as a school room.

Books are a great source 
of seasonal decorations!
I picked up these 
Ideals Mother’s Day books
at our library bookstore 
for 50 cents a piece.
I could cut out some of the photos and art work to frame,
as I have done with magazines.

 The living room….

Our living room has light yellow paint,
with dark red couches and curtains.
I don’t tend to think of red as a spring color,
but these red silk tulips and vase fit the scheme!
I carried these tulips in my sister’s wedding thirty years ago.

More red! My daughter brought this tile back
from a mission trip to the Dominican Republic.
It is on top of the DVD player.

The tea cart belonged to my husband’s late mother.
If I don’t keep it decorated, it collects clutter!
The scarf is from my trip to Israel as a teenager.
The book stand is from my husband’s aunt.
The Bible was my grandfather’s.

Same stuff, close up!
The silk flowers in a pedestal bowl are from a yard sale.
My sister-in-law Beth gave me the bird dish,
which she painted.

I always keep a basket of books
on an end table in the living room.
Birds nest books are great for spring!

The computer room….

Another wedding present,
a plaque with 1 Corinthians 13 on it.
We always need the reminder to love well.

More detail from last picture

Master bedroom….

I made this flying geese quilt square
pillow about 25 years ago.
The pink and purple don’t show well in this picture.
I rescued the rocker-recliner chair from a neighbor’s curb; it had a free sign on it!
Tapestry that my sister made for our wedding

You can make decorative plaques using materials from a craft store.
I made this one about 20 years ago for my grandparents.
When they moved in with my parents several years ago, they gave it back to me!
Even though my last name has never been Hess, I always will be a Hess at heart!
Why did one of my kids feel the need to stack these?

Miniature vases brought by
a Japanese exchange student

Ceramic box and bird ornament

“Two Sisters on the Terrace”
by Pierre Auguste Renoir
I like this tin because I think a copy of this painting
hung on our wall when I was a child.

Next up, the master bathroom…

A garden flag re-purposed as a bathroom curtain

Stained glass camellia

Stained glass magnolia

My mother asked what I would like her to make for me.
I chose the camellia and magnolia since they both grow in our backyard.
Fortunately, they bloom at different times,
the camellias at the beginning of the year in Florida (already gone here)
and the magnolias later in the spring (I see buds on our tree)!

So there you have it!  I mini-tour of spring in most of the rooms of our house.  (I have spared you the kids’ bedrooms.  Trust me on that.)

Pretty soon, I’ll do a post about sprucing up your front doorway area on the outside.  I’m fixing to do a mailbox makeover and more!

Meanwhile, think about these concepts as you are decorating for spring:

  • Rotate your decorations seasonally so you have something different to see.  
  • Flowers and birds make great spring themes.
  • Decorate with things you already own, especially family heirlooms and thoughtful gifts.  Be sure to tell your children the story behind each item, so they can appreciate the heritage of love, beauty, and generosity.
  • Group related items together into a pleasing arrangement.  Play around with what goes where.
  • Create wonderful aromas with candles and potpourri!
  • Use baskets for a homey look, especially since you can put things in them.
  • Gather new items little by little, and you will have quite a collection after several years.  They may need to be cleaned each year when you get them out of your storage bins or cabinets.
  • Make your own decorations using materials from a dollar store, Walmart, or a craft store.
  • Keep your house tidy, since clutter distracts from beauty.
  • Frame family photographs, greeting cards, magazine photos, or nature pictures that you take.
  • You don’t need anything fancy or expensive! Simplicity is beautiful!

Virginia Knowles

P.S. Update on 4/19: My post on decorating outside, including my mail box project, is here: Not-So-Extreme Makeover: The Front of Our House


About virginiaknowles

I am a mother and grandmother of a huge family, and I still home school my youngest daughter. I write to stay sane. My WordPress blog is a combination of my Blogspot blogs, and may not be continually updated.
This entry was posted in Art~Beauty~Creativity, Decorating, Flowers, Homemaking, Penny Pinching. Bookmark the permalink.

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