September 24, 2012

How to build a porch vignette...and a big copper tub!

It is so good to be back! I have been MIA for a few days due to sickness and just feeling like I needed a short break. I was getting a little bit tired of linking and feeling like I had to do projects everyday and I just enjoyed sometime with my littles and my man. We went to see the replicas of Columbus' Nina and Pinta and enjoyed a PITT football game and now I feel a bit refreshed!

I also got to have a visit with my friend Roeshel, yes that Roeshel from the DIY Showoff!
She was sweet enough to have a sit down with me and let me barrage her with questions about advertising and SEO and I lost track of everything I asked her. We had some coffee and chatted just about regular "stuff" and then she let me see the apartment she is re-doing for her daughter. It is just okay......HA! Spectacular, but you'll have to visit her to see the reveal. It is so worth waiting for. Roe has worked her magic again on a teeny space and made it look just beautiful with some really cool touches. Please visit her and tell her I said "Hello" while you're at it. XOXO Roeshel!

So today I thought I'd share how to build a visually pleasing vignette for your porch, or anywhere really, by adding to what you already have used.  I have shared last years porch photos here. What I wanted to do was punch this original set up a bit. I know some people like to totally change their decorating scheme every year but frankly, I don't have the budget or the time to do this. And I had a rockin' cooper tub that was begging to be filled up with bounty.

I am not a big Halloween decorator.  I do like my decorating to last for a while so I usually do something that works for Fall and can be tweaked for Thanksgiving.

The principles I am going to talk about today apply most times to most spaces that need to be "filled up" visually.

Start by gathering your supplies. I had a vase with my orange (fav!) branches in it and my planter found from the trash turned on it's side to use as shelves. I just added the tub in front of the two. Odd numbers are always visually more pleasing.  These three things vary the height of where your eye settles so that is also a good thing.

Setting things at an angle also helps to welcome people into your home. Straight on might look like a barrier and that is not what you want, unless you are using barbed wire as your decoration and then that might be the look you are going for!

So now you have a big, deep tub and you feel like you have to buy all this stuff to fill it up? Nope!! Refrain!!! Resist!! Recycle!!!!

Fill up your tub with newspaper or bubble wrap or something that will come to within about 2-3 inches of the lip. Pack it in so it provides a sturdy base to set things on. I learned this when I worked at a florist shop in college, when we had to fill baskets. This way you only have to fill up the area of the top of the tub and not the volume of whole thing. If they had included flowers, pumpkins and junk in Math class I might have enjoyed it more and learned those concepts a whole lot better!

Now add something living. I used a Red Chrysanthemum (not blooming yet. Sigh.) set on a tray so I can water it easily and not water my newspaper. The newspaper also serves to insulate the mum a bit when it gets cold at night. When it does decide to bloom, it will last for most of the Fall season and add some different color to this mix. I like something living because it just makes things more inviting.

I added some "low height" with my wheat sheaves. These help to fill in the space between the vase and the wood planter. These are stuffed inside the tub but between the tub and the newspaper to help them stand up. 
Next add some gourds or whatever you want to fill in this third space.  You could use apples or squash. I have three small gourds and three larger items in the tub.  The threes can match (as in the small gourds) but they don't have to(as in the mum, pumpkin, and wheat). But you should vary their height so they again make your eye move around.

I added some bling to my old gourds by using some copper leaf I had laying around from another project. I had sprayed these gourds years ago with silver but they were looking a little "rusty". I cleaned them off and then added my sizing just to the bumps. To learn about how to use leafing, go here but then promise to return! I wanted the old bumps to contrast with the new shiny coppery bumps. and Some bling draws the eye in to take a closer look.

I wanted the appearance of some more living so I covered another small gourd with sheet moss. I love the green color and it reminds me that things are still green right now moving towards the changing of the season.

So now I wanted to add to the shelves to keep my eye moving up. I made another pallet wood art piece with a wheat sheaf in honor of God's bounty for the season.  So where are the orange branches now? Once I had everything together, I realized that it looked crowded. The third item that was part of this vignette was not the branches but actually my initial picture. 

This is last years porch.  When you add in the tub and everything, the branches looked like too much. So I moved them to the other side of the door frame and I love it. More balanced.
So other rule of thumb? Don't be afraid to edit.

Remember to try and add different textures as well. I have wood, foliage, bumps, mossy, smooth and feathery....and fungus.

The lights of the pallet art also draws the eye upwards to the top of the planter where 

I added another pearlized gourd and some fresh mushrooms from our lawn. These only lasted about 1 day but I loved that it was so natural and reminds me of how God provides for our every need. Even if that need was a photo filler.
Here is the final photo. I love all of the layers and textures and color. I spent a total of $14. So change up little things and work with what you have. It will always make you think more creatively. Plus I can plant the mum and it will add to my garden and I can reuse the wheat sheafs as wreaths if I want to next year. 

I am gonna need to get me some fake mushrooms. I love how this looked.

You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance. Your people settled in it and from your bounty, O God, you provided for the poor.
Psalm 68:9-10

Always being renewed,

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  1. This is SO BEAUTIFUL! I can't decide what I like best- the copper pot, the lighted pallet art. . .it all looks awesome!

  2. Very beautiful fall porch! Love so many of the elements. Good job with the tutorial too!

  3. WOW! I'm so glad that I'm following you, what a gorgeous vignette! Thank you so much for sharing:)


  4. Kim I REALLY do like your scene you put together-it is welcoming and has the elements of varying size, height and textures & color..good job;
    am following-just found you tonight..wl run by to see what you are doing often as I can.
    Like Gramma's House

  5. It looks wonderful! Another fantastic pallet wood art...and it looks perfect in your vignette. And what a copper pot...incredible, you're so lucky to have found that piece!
    Debbie :)

  6. Thanks for the tips! Your porch is beautiful! I have a copper thingy and I'm scheming right now on how to use it!

  7. I can not express just how much I love this porch display. It's BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. I love your front porch! It looks fantastic! Life to the full, Melissa

  9. Love your tips! And I'm jealous of that copper tub! Beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Show & Share, featuring this tomorrow!

  10. What a lovely porch! And the beautiful Psalm is perfect for the season. Thank you! (Visiting from What's It Wednesday)


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