Now that Autumn is officially here and I had a bit of time to spare the other night, I decided it was the perfect moment to decorate a few rooms here at Whimsey Hill House for Fall. This blog post shows some of the Oh So Easy and Really Inexpensive flower arrangements that I came up with. Before I start showing you what I made, I want to go over silk flowers with you. Illustration A shows the way a bunch of silk flower comes from the store; notice how tightly compacted the flowers are. Illustration B shows how the same, or a similar kind of bunch, has been opened up with all the different wired stems spread out in a cone kind of shape from the base. The secret to making an attractive silk flower arrangement is to first open up the bouquets, then stick them into your arrangement. As you stick the flower or foliage in the arrangement, they will compress a bit, but they will still be separated out enough for an interesting presentation. The above photo and the cover shot for this post shows the dining room. I always have a white table-cloth, but seasonally change the look of the room with different, inexpensive, table runners.
Notice how I placed a leaf garland on top of the table runner. It was made by florist wiring two leaf garlands together at their ends to form a thick leaf rope. If the rope were opened up it would become a large circle. I snaked the garland around the base of the first hurricane shade, then opened it up so it could go around both sides of the silver tray, then it became a single leaf rope again, as it encircled the other hurricane shade on the table.
To add extra color to my Fall table I put thick orange candles in the hurricanes. If you look carefully you will see some Autumn colors in my chandelier; those colors come from a plastic based candle ring with silk flowers on it. I cut through the ring on one side so I could open it up and put it around the center rod of my chandelier.
Now look at the arrangement of silk flowers in the large vase; observe how I hid their plastic stems with a square of champagne colored fabric. This photo shows a closeup of how silk leaves and flower heads were placed in the base of Aunt Fran’s vase, as well as the glass pumpkin for added color and visual interest. This photo shows one of the two arrangements on pedestals that I have in opposite corners of the dining room.
To make this arrangement I first filled the large vase (which I made in college) with crumpled balls of newspapers to fill its base. Three bunches of silk leaves were, on an angle, put into the mouth of the urn. After that some other bunches of leaves and flowers were added. As more and more bunches, and single stems were added, their bases kind of wove together to hold the arrangement in place. To finish off this arrangement I added the two bunches of white silk mums for extra color and impact. On the other side of the dining room is this small arrangement; notice how two silk flower heads peek out of the metal tussy mussy holder. These two photos show the buffet in the dining room. Two mum shaped candles rest on (of all things) a folding wooden basket (a gift from a friend bought by the Tervi Fountain in Rome). Under the glass dome is a bubble glass vase filled with jeweled pears, silk flowers and velvet berries.
This is the fireplace in the living room. A pair of one inch wire brads (small picture frame nails) were hammered into the ends of the faux painted wooden mantel, close to the wall. To a leaf garland, that was a bit short, I added florist wire to both ends, centered the garland over the firebox and wired it to the brads. This closeup shows how extra single stems of silk flowers, cut from bunches, were added behind the brass boxes for more visual impact. This is a closeup of one of a pair of vases that flank one of my paintings on the fireplace. I composed this arrangement, and its companion using the same techniques I used for the large arrangement in the dining room. My living room opens right up into my dining room so I kept the colors of the flowers similar but tried to add some different kinds of silk flowers for diversity. Flower arrangements are not just for mantels, pedestals, buffets, etc. This one is on the floor at the foot of a Chinese screen.
We are now in the kitchen. This table centerpiece was made in a ceramic planter/vase that once belonged to my maternal grandmother. I first filled the receptacle with green florist foam that I cut to fit with a serrated knife. Two bunches of silk flowers, bought at a Christmas Tree Store, were used. First I cut the flower heads from the bunches leaving them with about three inches of wire stem. Then I cut off the foliage from the bunches also leaving it with about three inches of stem. After that I poked the leaves with stems into the florist foam to cover it and make an attractive base for the flowers, when that was done the flower heads were added (how easy was that!). A single rope of silk Fall leaves was hung across the top of another one of my paintings. If you look carefully (you can click on the photo to enlarge it) you will see a turkey sitting up there right in the center; it is a napkin ring. No Fall decorating is complete without something on the door. Here you see a straw wreath (my next door neighbor gave it to me, it was ugly and she did not want it) I cleaned it up and decorated it with silk sunflowers. I first cut some sunflowers heads from the bunches with about 3 inches of stems. I then pushed them directly into the straw wreath. Other sunflower heads I cut with stems about 3 1/2 inches, bent their heads and pushed the wire stems under the plastic banding wire that holds the wreath together, that was it. To the back of the wreath I attached a hanging hook made of florist wire; no glue was used on this project. Finally to take my fall decorating from the beginning of October through to Thanksgiving, on Nov 1 two glass turkeys will be added to what is already on the dining room table (both turkeys were found separately at two different church junk sales).
So there you have it, a look at some of my Fall decorating. I do put out pumpkins and other outdoor things, but what I hoped was to inspire you with things that I made for inside. I do have
some a few Halloween things, but I rather decorate with things that are for a season instead for just one holiday. All of the silk flowers that I’ve bought were inexpensive, coming from the dollar store, Wal-Mart, A. C. More, Michael’s, and the Christmas Tree Store, to name a few (anything that looked half way decent and was low-priced). I also try to buy things on sale or have a coupon for better savings.
Happy Fall Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!
Companion posts on Fred Gonsowski Garden Home.com…
Putting Lights on a Christmas Tree the EASY way 11-3-2011,
Christmas Tree Decorating..Step by Step, like a Pro 11-13-2011,
Cutting / Making Paper Snowflakes 10-27-2011.
Fred! I just came across your blog while looking for information on hanging pictures, which led me to another post and another… I’ve always had an innate decorating sense and people compliment me on my arrangement/style. HOWEVER, your recommendations about grouping pictures just turned my world upside down! I put some smaller pictures beneath larger pictures and I LOVE the way it looks. I’m an old dog and I just learned a new trick! Thank you so much! You’re a gem!!!
Hi there Claudia,You’re a Gem (also) for typing a comment to me. With over a million and a half read posts/articles so far, maybe one tenth of one percent ever comment, even if my articles are helpful. Look at the companion posts that go with the articles I write, there might be something there that is also helpful ;-}