Spring is in the air, and with it the urge to spruce up home and garden. From simple projects (planting a teacup garden or stringing up lights) to the more adventurous (creating a patterned accent wall or DIY wall art) — here are 15 things to make and do that capture the colorful spirit of the season.
1. Make over last year’s plant pots. Give plain terra-cotta pots a new lease on life by painting them in two colors. Tape off and paint one hue at a time, letting it dry between coats. (Avoid painting the inside of pots used for edibles.) A cluster of painted pots in various sizes planted with fresh greenery would make a cheerful addition to the front porch or steps.
Variation: For an even more personal look, use chalkboard paint. Once the paint has dried, you can label the pots with their contents or your house numbers. Or you can use small pots on the dining table as creative place cards with handwritten names.
2. Create DIY kitchen art. Cut out simple fruit or vegetable shapes and details from colored tissue paper, and layer to create your own collage. For best results, use “nonbleeding” tissue paper (available at art and craft stores), with watercolor paper or another heavyweight paper for the background. When assembling your collage, dilute white glue with a bit of water and brush a thin layer on the background paper before applying tissue paper pieces.
Tip: To help pieces lie flat, you can gently brush a small amount of diluted white glue on top of the tissue paper after placing it on the background paper, but be careful not to oversaturate the tissue, which can cause tearing.
3. “Plant” a crate of flowers. Vintage wooden containers can make charming planters, but they can become damaged by damp soil unless the wood is treated or you include a lining. The trick here is to use a vintage wooden crate with lots of character as a cachepot, then simply nestle small pots of flowers inside — ta-da, instant indoor garden!
Tip: If you want to completely hide the pots, you can tuck moss around the edges of the containers.
4. Make floral cones. Roll rounds of kraft paper embellished with your own doodles (using paint or markers) into cones and secure with colorful washi tape to make mini bouquets perfect to send home with party guests or to bring along as a hostess gift.
Tip: To protect the paper and help the blooms stay fresh, wrap the stems in damp paper towels and place inside a small plastic bag before inserting in the paper cone.
5. Plant a teacup garden. Put old, chipped teacups to new use by transforming them into mini planters. Before planting, you’ll need to drill a drainage hole in the bottom of each cup. Use the saucer to protect your table from water. Planted with pansies or other small flowers, these teacups would look sweet grouped on the dining table or just about anywhere.
Tip: Stock up on single teacups at yard sales, flea markets or thrift stores and plant them to give as hostess gifts all season long.
6. Repurpose cans as herb planters. A few quick taps of a hammer and nail into the bottom of a clean food can is all that’s needed to rescue these recycling-bin staples. Plant the cans with fresh herbs and keep them in the kitchen window so you can easily snip a sprig to add to a dish. For a personal touch, brush on labels made from chalkboard paint before planting.
Tip: For a quicker finishing touch, stick on adhesive chalkboard labels, available at most craft stores.
7. Reorganize the pantry. A neat, well-organized pantry makes preparing meals easier and prevents repeat-buying of ingredients simply because you didn’t know you had them. Remove everything and clean the shelves, tossing out expired food and spices. Pick up some baskets and bins, and use these to sort your pantry goods into categories (baking, breakfast, snacks, spices).
Tip: To make your new system easier to keep up, choose bins that are easy to see into and label them clearly.
8. String up lights in the backyard. Flicking on strands of globe string lights over the patio or deck creates a more festive atmosphere for parties or everyday. Be sure to hang them high enough so that your tallest friend or relative can walk below them without bumping into a strand.
Tip: If you don’t have an outdoor outlet, hire a certified electrician to install one with the proper safety features.
Tell us: What projects are on your spring to-make list?
Post by: Laura Gaskill, Houzz
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world.