Decorate with Crafts

Room to Bloom

Country Sampler stylists bring fresh-picked style to a farmhouse kitchen using bold colors and garden-inspired ideas.

Whether you are eagerly awaiting peak planting season or are already up to your elbows in topsoil, you might also want to bring a bit of that backyard beauty indoors.

Take a cue from Country Sampler stylists René Haines and Carolynn Geesaman, who worked alongside homeowner Mandy Hatzell to "seed" the kitchen in her 1900s Redkey, Indiana, farmhouse with a sprinkling of springtime color.

Mandy and her husband, Spencer, purchased their home in 2002, drawn to its country setting and potential to grow along with their family (which now includes three children, ages 10, 6 and 5). The house needed a lot of updating— especially the tiny kitchen. "I think there were only four cabinets, and it had last been redone in the 1970s," Mandy recalls.

The couple removed walls to create an open-concept kitchen and living room, which allowed for more cabinets, including a small center island and a peninsula. Mandy painted stock cabinets cream with an antique finish and selected dark, rich colors for the walls, floors and even the interior doors, which she painted black. "I wanted something different, and they look great," she says of that unconventional choice.

Mandy, her sister-in-law and a cousin operate a local DIY craft workshop, which has sparked her interest in making things for her own home. René and Carolynn gave her even more ideas, she says. Read on to discover their 18 great ways to bring garden-fresh style to the kitchen!

Room to Bloom

1. Tart 'n' tiny. Transform tart pans or molds into a mini herb plot, or create a wee fairy garden with petite terra-cotta pots and plants and a seated fairy figure, encircled by a twig garland. Add timer taper candles to illuminate the scene. "I adore fairy gardens," René says. "They let you create a little naturescape indoors or out."
2. Cuppa grow. Turn a coffee cup into a bulb planter. Paint the rim of a white mug using a red paint marker. Write a garden-inspired word on the front of the mug with a black paint marker or use printed script and a packing-tape transfer method.
3. Silver flair. Identify plantings with markers made from silverware that has been pounded flat and stamped with metal stamps spelling out the names of favorite herbs. Insert them into indoor pots, or integrate them in your outdoor garden.

Room to Bloom

4. Door belle. Incorporate a berry wreath with a watering can cutout in a standout spot, such as this black door. Match the gingham ribbon hanger to a tablecloth draped over the center island.
5. Handy basket. Attach a flat wall basket to a cabinet door for extra storage. Hang it from a ribbon or a wreath hanger painted to blend in with the cabinet finish.
6. Pot holder. Employ an orphaned pot lid as a whimsical holder for a colorful tea towel draped over the handle.
7. Greenhouse effect. Start garden seeds in mason jars lined up on a sunny sill, tying seed packets around each jar with ribbon for easy identification. "Keep a watering can nearby, like this one we set on a vintage-style scale," René advises.
8. Bold bouquet. Fill an enamelware mug with bright blooms and a watering can accent. Make it part of a mobile centerpiece arranged in a metal tray along with a mantel candleholder containing a battery-powered candle. Nestle the candle in a tart pan atop a terra-cotta pot.
9. Signs of spring. Finish your centerpiece with a seasonal sign. Layer an oval cutout of the word "Spring" atop yellow scrapbook paper inside a thrift-store frame. Glue paper flowers around the edge of the oval to add dimension. If you're out of wall space to hang another sign, suspend one over a window, with a neutral valance overhead.

Room to Bloom

10. Packet parade. Accent a daisy-filled Shaker seed pouch with a colorful seed-packet garland. Cut three lengths of green twine and knot together at each end. Hang the twine behind the pouch and clip evenly spaced seed packets to it with wood clothespins. If you can't find packets in the hues you like, make your own from scrapbook paper.
11. Book house. Fashion a birdhouse decoration from old books and a book-shaped trinket box. On the lid of the trinket box, draw and fill in a circle with black marker to resemble a hole. Hot glue the edges of similarly sized and colored books to the trinket box to form the sides and back of the birdhouse. Attach an open book to the top for the roof. Fill in the open spaces below the roof with cardboard triangles covered in blue burlap. Tie twine around the birdhouse for added stability, and perch it atop a round cutting board sandwiched between two doilies.
12. Stencil story. Adorn the blank cover of an old book using a colorful stenciled design to make an artistic statement for a shelf display that includes other garden-themed elements.
13. Terrific trio. Tie together a set of three vintage-label metal canisters with twine. Insert a glass vase inside each canister to hold fresh-cut flowers. Set the grouping on a sweet calico runner and a log slice that echoes the rustic backing of the antique-inspired wall clock above it.

Room to Bloom

14. Divine swine. Color unfinished wood letters with acrylic paint and attach magnets to the back so you can spell out "bloom" on a rusty metal pig, adding a floral magnet as a finishing touch.
15. Pretty posies. Fill a shelf by constructing faux flowers from a series of petals cut from colored burlap, gathered and glued to a card-stock circle in several overlapping rows. Stack and glue several buttons to make the layered flower centers. Use paint or markers to color wood skewers for the flower stems. Place floral foam in clay pots, insert flower stems and cover the foam with moss.
16. Tool tale. An elongated metal wall pocket on a birdhouse-shaped base is the perfect form to fit garden tools suspended on S-hooks. Use the piece purely for display or as decorative storage in a location near an exterior door. Add a watering can, a basket for cut flowers, some garden gloves and a sun hat to complete a fun and functional tableau.
17. Textile touches. In an area that features darker tones on the walls and furnishings, incorporate lighter textiles, such as a folded mini quilt or floral rug. "It's a quick way to brighten things up for the season," Carolynn explains.
18. Floral tote. Dry brush a galvanized metal carrier with yellow paint and antiquing medium before filling it with flowering plants. Pair fragrance and color by placing a lemongrass-scented candle nearby.

For more information, visit our Country Marketplace online.

Garden Tool and Robin timer taper candles, Glory Days Mercantile
Fairy Hanna, Primitive Home Decors

Grapevine wreath with pip berries and watering can and matching standing watering can accent, DMZ Designs
Classic red checkered tablecloth and Berries Jubilee towel, Retro Barn Country Linens
Primitive Gatherings sign, Hare Hollow
Ruffled chambray valance, Piper Classics
Scale clock, mantel candleholder and antique oval tray, Country Village Shoppe

There Are Always Flowers stencil, Scrappin' Along Craft Stencils
Antique wall clock, Country Village Shoppe
Shaker seed pouch with flowers, Homespun Blessings
Vintage label metal canisters, Home Decor For Your Style
Calico Floral Square table runner, Choices Quilts

Rusty metal pig, Home Decor For Your Style
Tall rustic birdhouse, Country Village Shoppe
Lemongrass-scented candle, Black Crow Candle Co.
Hannah mini quilt, Retro Barn Country Linens
Country Garden rug, Choices Quilts

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