Yarn-Wrapped Vases

yarn wrapped vases cheap craft ideas party decor hot glue gun

What to do with the leftover yarn from your Party Animals wire animal project? Pick up some cheap tin cans of varying sizes from your favorite discount store and turn them into coordinating centerpieces, that’s what! Flowers are a must for me at any type of event and when you can get them gorgeous and on the cheap from your local Trader Joe’s, this craft really is a no-brainer! We ended up using the smallest can as a utensil holder…another great way to add some texture and color to your table!

Here’s what you need:

yarn wrapped vases cheap craft ideas party decor hot glue gun

  • leftover yarn
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • washed and dried tin cans (I went to Big Lots and bought the cheapest cans I could with the best size variation)
yarn wrapped vases cheap craft ideas party decor hot glue gun

Here’s what you do:

  1. Remove outer paper label from tin can and thoroughly wash both inside and outside of can.
    yarn wrapped vases cheap craft ideas party decor hot glue gun
  2. Once dry, use hot glue gun to tack end of yarn to edge of can.
  3. Wrap tin can 10-20 times or so, keeping some tension.
    yarn wrapped vases cheap craft ideas party decor hot glue gun
  4. Scrunch yarn down to cover up any openings and to create the textured look.
    yarn wrapped vases cheap craft ideas party decor hot glue gun
  5. Continue wrapping in sets of 10-20 until you reach the upper edge of can.
    yarn wrapped vases cheap craft ideas party decor hot glue gun
  6. Cut yarn and glue down on edge.  Voila!  Gorgeous vase in less than 10 minutes!
    yarn wrapped vases cheap craft ideas party decor hot glue gun

Cost: Under $4 for five vases.

yarn wrapped vases cheap craft ideas party decor hot glue gun
yarn wrapped vases cheap craft ideas party decor hot glue gun
yarn wrapped vases cheap craft ideas party decor hot glue gun


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got milk glass?

milk glass vase thrifty cheap decoration  decor flowers

Decorating with the pristine, pure white of milk glass is a refreshingly simple way to add some brightness to your home in the new year.  And the best part?  The vintage pieces are readily found at second-hand stores, which makes for a very thrifty decoration, indeed!  Cheery florals, like bright pink mini carnations clustered en masse,  provide a striking contrast with the chalky white and are a favorite of mine for bringing a splash of color into the home.

milk glass vase thrifty cheap decoration flowers decor

Hosting tip: Use this combination for a more modern twist on an upcoming bridal or baby shower, utilizing other brights like orange tulips, yellow ranunculus and lime green mums – each color in a different vessel – for a striking, yet simple, look.

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Deck Your Halls with Simple Crafts!

apothecray jar glass ornaments craft

If you check out my Fall crafts posting, you’ll see that I love decorating with this apothecary jar!  It is such a great vessel for displaying pretty things and decorating with it is so simple! No instructions needed, simply fill and display!

What you’ll need:

  • glass apothecary jar
  • small, shiny, glass ornaments

Cost: $3 (+ cost of your reusable, versatile jar – mine was purchased at Ross for ~$8)

pinecones in glass bowl decorating craft

Everyone should have some type of decorative glass bowl in their decorating armamentarium.  Like the apothecray jar craft above, there is nothing easier than filling the vessel with simple and pretty things, like pinecones during the holidays.  Try to look for bags of pinecones in which some are spray painted gold or silver (or do it yourself!) for a more festive touch.

What you’ll need:

  • decorative glass bowl
  • cinnamon scented pinecones

Cost: $2! (+ cost of your reusable, decorative glass bowl – ours was a wedding gift and is from Crate and Barrel)

tree cuttings vase filler craft

Any vase of flowers can have a lovely holiday feel by adding one simple flourish – cuttings from your newly purchased Christmas tree!  Don’t throw those extra branches away when you trim your tree!

What you’ll need:

  • flowers
  • vase
  • cuttings from your tree

Cost: Free! (+ cost of your fresh flowers, of course!)

carnation bouquet christmas craft vellum wrapped vase

I saw a similar vellum-wrapped vase a few years ago in a Martha Stewart Magazine.  While she used gorgeous amaryllis to fill her vase, I opted for a flower that is less expensive and easier to find.   Here, I clustered mini white carnations and large red ones to create a lush focal point for my end table.

What you’ll need:

  • red & white flowers
  • tall, cylindrical glass vase
  • 1 sheet of 12×12 white vellum
  • red embroidery thread
  • vellum tape

Here’s what you do:

  1. Stand vellum paper against vase to determine proper height.  Cut.
  2. Apply vellum tape to one edge of vellum paper and secure to glass, wrap vellum around vase, and secure free edge with vellum tape, overlapping edges slightly.
  3. Find middle of string and, starting from the base of the vase,  wrap string around and up the vase, keeping thread taut and criss-crossing as pictured.  Use vellum tape to secure free edges of thread at lip of vase.
  4. Arrange cut flowers in vase and enjoy!

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Fall in Love with Fall

pottery barn vase filler craft projects

Its that time of year again when everywhere you look, the rich colors of autumn abound….if you live anywhere but Southern California, that is!  Unfortunately for us, palm trees stay green and lawns aren’t littered with gorgeous crimson,  rust or gold falling leaves.  So, what’s a girl to do to bring in the fall season?  Get crafting, that’s what!

After last holiday season, I picked up some clearance items from Pottery Barn in preparation for decorating this year.  Among my finds were life-like acorns and preserved leaves in gorgeous hues for only $2.97 a box!  There is so much you can do with these simple vase fillers!  Here are a couple of easy projects to get those creative cogs turning.

Leaf Coasters

photo coaster project pottery barn vase filler leaves

What you need:

  • a set of photo coasters
  • preserved, or artificial, leaves
  • tweezers
  • scotch tape

Here’s what you do:

photo coaster project pottery barn vase filler leavesphoto coaster project pottery barn vase filler leaves

  1. Choose  four different leaf shapes in four different colors, selecting leaves that are comparable in size to that of your photo coaster insert.
  2. Lay your selected leaf on the cardstock insert to position.  If your leaves extend beyond the edges of the cardstock, use scotch tape to wrap the tips around and secure to the backside.
  3. Using tweezers, gently slide the cardstock into the plastic insert, being careful not to wrinkle or damage the secured leaf.

Photo coasters can be found at many stores.  These have a very simple design and were given to us as a wedding gift.  They can be found at Crate and Barrel for $20 for a set of four.

Cost: $3 (with lots of leftover leaves for other projects)!

Golden Wheat and Leaf Wreath

golden wheat grapevine wreath leaf craft

What you need:

  • grapevine wreath
  • dried wheat stems
  • preserved, or artificial, leaves
  • fall foliage craft stems for colorful accents
  • hot glue gun
  • glue sticks

golden wheat grapevine wreath leaf craft

Here’s what you do:

  1. Pre-arrange wheat and leaves to ensure full coverage of your wreath
  2. Hot glue 10-12 leaves on wreath in a scattered, yet deliberate, way, as if they fell on the wreath naturally.  You still want some of the grapevine wreath peeking through between leaves.
  3. Cut your wheat stems to half their original length for ease of insertion.
  4. Insert wheat stems into grapevine wreath horizontally, as close to 180 degrees as you can.  This ensures the wheat lays flat against the wreath and does not stick out.  Use hot glue as necessary to secure rogue wheat stems.
  5. Cut buds off of your fall foliage stems, leaving a 2-3 inch stem. Insert into wreath at various points, making sure to even out the color distribution.
  6. Turn wreath over and snip any length of wheat stem that protrudes from the back or can be readily seen.
  7. Hang and admire your handiwork!

golden wheat grapevine wreath leaf craft

Wheat was purchased at a farmers market for $2 a bunch, wreath and foliage stems were purchased at Joann’s (foliage was 70% off after Halloween!).  Remember to check for coupons for your craft stores!  I was able to use a 10% off transaction coupon the day I bought these!

Cost: $12!

Flowers with Acorns and Lentils

pottery barn vase filler acorn craft projects

What you need:

  • 5″ square vase
  • one box of acorn filler
  • few handfuls of dried lentils
  • plastic water bottle
  • Exacto knife
  • autumn colored flowers

Here’s what you do:

pottery barn vase filler craft projects pottery barn vase filler acorn craft projects

  1. Place plastic water bottle inside square vase, centering it.  Fill square vase with acorns around water bottle to determine proper height, mark.
  2. Remove plastic bottle and use Exacto knife to cut water bottle to marked height.  Smooth cut edges with scissors, if need be.
  3. Center the cut bottle in square vase again, this time filling lower 1/2 inch or so of square vase with dried lentils to stabilize plastic container.  Fill acorns around plastic bottle, making sure there are no gaps where the plastic bottle can be seen.
  4. Fill bottle with water and arrange cut flowers.

Cost: $3 + the cost of flowers

Apothecary Jars with Fallen Leaves

glass apothecary jar leaf filler craft home decoration

What you need:

  • preserved, or artificial, leaves
  • glass apothecary jar

There isn’t an easier craft than this!  Simply take a handful of leaves and place into jar, making sure to fluff them so they are not crushed.  Put on display and enjoy!

Cost: $3 + cost of apothecary jar (check discount stores for deals on these…I found mine at Ross for $5.99!)

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Eco-friendly crafting

On a recent trip home, I read an article in an in-flight magazine about hosting a party with nothing but items from the 99 cent store….a thrifty crafter’s dream!  The author mentioned creating “green” decorations – adorable, repurposed trinkets made from things you wouldn’t normally think of as particularly pretty or chic.

My husband and I hosted a grilled pizza dinner party recently and I was inspired to create casually chic vases for table decor.  We used canned olives and artichokes as toppings for our pizzas, and I used the empty tin cans, wrapped in natural twine as vessels for gorgeous, white lisianthus.

eco friendly twine can craft


  • Twine
  • Clean tin can
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Scissors

eco friendly twine can craft


Remove label, wash and thoroughly dry your tin cans.  Cover your work surface with newspaper to protect from excess spray.  Mentally divide can by thirds (to prevent premature drying) and apply an even thickness of spray adhesive around the first third.  Tightly wrap the twine, starting from the upper edge, being careful to place each wrap as close as possible to the last.  Spray the middle third and repeat.  Finally, spray the final third and snip the twine, hiding the end.  So easy and so eco-chic!

eco friendly twine can craft

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Flowers Feed the Soul

Roger's Gardens Corona Del Mar

If you’ve ever visited Corona Del Mar, you probably passed by Roger’s Gardens, a beautiful and artfully maintained home and garden center. My mother-in-law took me there the first time, and ever since, it has become a favorite destination of mine. You can spend hours strolling along and perusing the 7 acres of succulents, roses, fruit trees and other garden beauties. Does shopping at Roger’s fall under the “thrifty” category? Not exactly, but making homemade flower arrangements from your own garden from plants you’ve purchased at Roger’s does.

Brass Band Floribunda Roses

I purchased a Brass Band Floribunda rose bush from Roger’s over a year ago. It produces gorgeous orange flowers throughout the year and is a source of much joy for me. One of my favorite things to do is snip the roses and place them in simple arrangements for friends.

Fresh from the garden flower arrangement gift

Many of the vessels I use are thrift store finds like mason jars, julep cups or other unique glass or pottery pieces. Get creative! Even if you don’t have a home garden, you can visit your local grocer and make simple, yet beautiful arrangements, out of just a few types of stems, like the one below with green spider mums, burgundy mums and alstroemeria.

Fresh flower garden arrangement craft

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