Decorate with Crafts

Cute as Can Bee

The Country Sampler stylists share easy ways to create living spaces that are buzzing with sunny spring style.

When Kaylee Davis moved into her 1920s Portland, Indiana, home three years ago, she was delighted to find the previous owner shared her sense of style, which she describes as a "blend of primitive and farmhouse." The home featured crown molding and original hardwood floors, and even the palette was a perfect fit for Kaylee's furnishings. "I was able to move right in and decorate without painting," she recalls.

Kaylee has long been enamored of primitive style, tracing it back to the purchase of her first antique crock several years ago. She also collects old kitchen utensils. "I guess I'm just old-fashioned at heart," she reflects.

She and her family, which includes a young daughter and stepdaughter, spend most of their time in the kitchen and adjacent dining room, where distressed black furnishings stand out against the brick red and golden yellow walls. "They are just so inviting and homey," she says of the spaces.

When it comes to springtime decorating, the busy working mom says it can be challenging to find time to come up with fresh ideas that complement her home's rustic look. Country Sampler stylists René Haines and Carolynn Geesaman were happy to assist and devised a theme with primitive flair, drawing inspiration for welcoming vignettes from some charming bee-related decorative accessories and easy DIY projects. Continue reading to discover their 17 "must-hive" ideas for bringing in spring.


1. Delightful dish. Highlight a battery-powered honeycomb pillar candle by situating it within a small wooden bowl and a greenery candle ring. Add to its appeal with bee buttons hot-glued to the ends of spirals made by twisting short pieces of annealed wire around a pencil. Give the grouping a boost with a doily-covered book.
2. Cheerful character. Lend some personality to a themed vignette with a jaunty bumblebee figure made of stuffed felt and carrying a basket of blooms that echoes the flower-filled vase beside it.
3. It's a wrap. Bring texture to a tabletop display by wrapping a basic glass florist's vase with jute roping, creating a piece that resembles a woven bee skep. "I added bee spirals like those on the candle to enhance the effect," says Carolynn.


4. Dip-dip hooray. Accent a fabric bee skep with a small terra-cotta pot decoupaged with a queen bee motif and stocked with wooden honey dippers aged with antiquing wax. Use wooden letter blocks or a cute bee candle sleeve (right) to bring lightness to the rest of the shelf.
5. Check mate. Position a boldly graphic checkerboard in the back of a dark cabinet to draw attention to other elements, such as a woven bee skep and a flour sack–covered vase of faux florals.
6. Golden gloves. Fashion daisies from canvas work gloves, using the long fingers from two gloves as petals for each blossom. Glue petals around a mason jar lid and cover the open center with a large black button and gemstone. Paint the gloves yellow with orange accents for dimension and secure to a thick stem before tucking each flower into an arrangement of silk blooms.
7. Buzzy board. Put together a honeycomb-style memo board using an open frame faced with chicken wire and filled with a bee-print fabric-wrapped cardboard insert. Complement it with bee-adorned clothespin clips.
8. Wall flowers. Construct a hexagonal frame from oversize wood craft sticks and use it to showcase a jar full of posies. Pair it with a conical wall pocket stuffed with greens and bumblebee picks.


9. Ladder to success. Drape a quilted throw over a vine-twined ladder for an eye-catching wall display that introduces pattern and a tactile touch to a small space. Echo the quilt's linear shapes on the floor with a cozy braided rug.
10. Bench marks. Soften the straight lines of a window frame with curvaceous checked curtain panels, and give a wooden Windsor-style bench a comfortable update by adding similarly checked seat cushions as well as a pillow that matches the nearby wall quilt. Provide a burst of color with a sunny yellow pillow accented with a swath of tea-dyed bee-print fabric, and incorporate a bee-motif accent pillow and a fabric folk-art cat sporting a bee-skep necklace for even more thematic emphasis.
11. Trunk show. Make over a dinged-up flea-market trunk with a coat of black paint and sponged-on hexagon shapes that convey a honeycomb design. Top it with a cushion wrapped in batting and bee fabric. "It gives it an upholstered look that's more appealing than plain old wood," René says.
12. Baked bees. Create bee and beehive shapes from your favorite type of clay, using cookie cutters to ensure the consistency of the shapes. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to cure the clay and then decorate the cutouts with acrylic paints. Attach the bees and beehives to various vessels or simply prop them anywhere you need a bit of buzz. They look especially sweet atop a retired bee box repurposed as a side table.


13. Mellow hello. Enhance an entry area with elements that convey a warm welcome, from a sign that spells it out to a lamp that casts a golden glow over the scene. Select artwork that subtly telegraphs your theme, such as this print featuring a "bee sting"-style crock. Balance the theme with a stack of decorative boxes in complementary colors.
14. Bold blossoms. "Grow" oversize daisies from tea-dyed coffee filters layered together with the edges trimmed to resemble petals. Cut flower centers from yellow felt and leaves from wired green burlap ribbon and glue them to the filter flowers, varying leaf length and positioning. Accent with a painted clay bumblebee. Attach several flowers together with twine and hang from a peg rack or hook.
15. Sign of the chimes. Assemble a wind chime-style decoration by hot-gluing painted clay bee shapes to jute string and attaching the strings to the bottom of a clay hive. Make a hole in the top of the hive shape before drying or curing the clay to allow for inserting a string or ribbon for hanging the finished piece.
16. Spring zing. Paint large wooden eggs with black and yellow stripes to resemble bumblebees and adorn with wings and antennae shaped from black craft wire. Perch each one atop a coiled bedspring so they appear to be in motion.
17. Sweet spot. Mimic the look of a honey jar by using the packing tape transfer method to label a stoneware crock or jug with the imagined contents, attaching a tea-stained piece of flour sack or cheesecloth material to the top of the jar for an authentic appearance.

For more information, visit our Country Marketplace online.

Burnt Mustard Honeycomb Timer Pillar and Lil' Buddies Bumblebee, KP Creek Gifts

Bee skep, Pine Cone Gift Shoppe
Set of four Home Windmill blocks, Gainers Creek Crafts
Two-in one handpainted wood game board, DNL Woodwoorks
Bee picks, KP Creek Gifts
Bumble Bee primitive candle sleeve, Country Village Shoppe

Frontier Log Cabin mini quilt and toss pillow, Retro Barn Country Linens
Black Check prairie curtain, The BitLoom Co.
Black kitty doll with bee skep necklace, Pine Cone Gift Shoppe
Bee Happy Pillow, KP Creek Gifts
Black Check chair pads, Allyson's Place
Kilimanjaro rectangle rug, Primitive Home Decors

No. 8 Bee Sting Framed Print, KP Creek Gifts
Vertical Welcome sign and primitive Saltbox Home oval stacking boxes, Gainers Creek Crafts
Black chamberstick lamp and shade, Primitive Home Decors

Written by Lisa Sloan
Photographed by Shawn Pequignot
Styled by René Haines and Carolynn Geesaman