My Collected Home

Vintage. Eclectic. Repurposed.

Table Centrepieces, 7 simple, easy and inexpensive ideas

Hi there everyone. It's winter here in Queensland and we've had temperatures of 27 degrees (celsius)! It hasn't really felt like winter which I love because I hate the cold. I know I say that a lot! Sorry! In a few more weeks it will be spring which is one of my favourite times of the year. Flowers and trees blooming and nothing is nicer than having beautiful flowers in the home. Life in Queensland is very casual and we do most of our entertaining outside on the patio or deck taking advantage of our  beautiful sunshine and gardens.

Anyway I was picking some lovely pink roses from my garden and decided to put them on my dining table which started me thinking about table centrepieces.

I thought I'd share with you some of my ideas for simple and affordable table centrepieces. Sometimes for special occasions I might do something a bit more elaborate but mostly I like to stick to simple. 

I have 7 quick and easy styles to show you, that anyone can do, even with no money! I've been reading quite a lot lately about simplifying our lives and getting rid of unnecessary items. I have made one rule in my home and that is if I haven't used it in 6 months then I don't need it. It is amazing how getting rid of excess can free our minds and emotions too. I've been slowly purging my cupboards and wardrobes of what I rarely use. I find as I get older comfortable and casual is more important than glamorous. That's who I am and who I've always been so why change myself?  I can't believe some of the clothes I have kept for "when I lose weight"! Ha! I decided if it hasn't happened in 10 years it's probably not going to happen at all!  Does anyone else do this? Kitchen items? I have a cupboard full of serving plates and dishes that I keep for "good". Not anymore! Instead of having them sit and take up space I have kept a few and use them daily. It makes me feel rather grand eating a meal off my "good" plates! Table centrepieces? Again simple and inexpensive. I love going outside and picking flowers or branches to use as centrepieces. I also love using recycled items and turning them into something beautiful. It feeds my creative side and I love creating on a daily basis

Without further ado I'll show you my ideas!



I painted the 3 cans with blue homemade chalk paint then tied a piece of twine around them. I've taken a couple of pictures of how I made the board that they're sitting on. It's and old piece of timber I had on hand and covered it with blue burlap which I also painted with white chalk paint. I wanted it to look "distressed" so didn't cover it completely with paint

As you can see from the picture I cut the burlp 2" bigger than the board then cut and folded it. It actually reminded me of covering my school books, back in the dark ages!


This was really easy to put together. I placed a mixture of shells in the bottom of the vase, wrapped burlap then white rope around the candle and glued a shell to the rope. The base was a concrete pot plant holder that I paid $1 for at KMart. I had a container of the blue glass stones and decided to use them to give it that beachy vibe.



Again I used a tin which I painted gold and added faux flowers. I sat it inside 2 gold frames that I already had from the thrift store


This is a farmhouse style container that I found at the thrift store. I'd already distressed it with white homemade chalk paint, then I cut out a piece of burlap, frayed the edges by using a pin or toothpick and pulled a few threads out. I stuck it on with concrete glue and then stuck the word plants on but you could write whatever you like on it. Quick and easy


These are the pretty pink roses I cut from my garden and put them in a blue glass. You can't get much simpler than that!


Again a brass vase I found on a recent thrift store visit with yellow flowers. It's funny but I'm not really a fan of yellow which is strange because I love the sun. If it's cloudy for a few days with no sun I tend to get a bit depressed. Ah well it's a girl's prerogative!


This is a soup tureen that I broke the lid on so decided to pop a plant from Ikea in it and use it as a centrepiece. No work needed on this!

I hope you like my ideas and maybe try some for yourself. Have a great weekend everyone

Napkin Rings from Toilet Rolls

Good morning everyone. It's a beautiful day here in sunny Queensland.  Today I wanted to share with you my napkin rings  that I made.   I have a few birthday dinners coming up which started me thinking about table decor. I went to a few of my favourite shops to check out prices for napkin rings. There were a couple I loved but when I started to add up all of the items I would need for the table it was going to cost more than I wanted to spend. As you know I hate throwing anything out and I love to recycle and upcycle so I started looking through my supplies trying to come up with some diy ideas.  One thing I have plenty of and I'm quite sure I'm not alone in this is toilet paper tubes! I had the idea to cut these up to make the basis of my napkin rings. Because the birthdays were for different ages I ended up making 3 different styles of napkin rings.

The first thing I did was cut the cardboard tubes into 1 inch rings. 

I had on hand some burlap which was exactly the right width for my first napkin ring. I measured how much I would need and glued it onto the cardboard tube with cement glue. This stuff sticks to anything!

To give it a bit of pizzazz I added pearls around the middle of the tube. It comes in a small roll and was really easy to glue onto the burlap.   

Pink felt and pink stone
Beach style napkin rings

Burlap & Pearl napkin holder

I like the simplicity of this napkin holder, I'm not really a frills and lace type of girl. I know not everyone agrees, so I've made the next napkin ring slightly more feminine.

This napkin ring I covered in pink felt and yes, a piece of jewellery from earings that I owned.  I'm always losing one earing, so I have kept the ones I have left to use in DIY crafts such as this.

I also wanted to make napkin rings that are more casual in style and what could be more casual than the beach! I have a grandson who likes to surf so I thought these would be just the thing. I made this one using card stock which is thicker than paper and more sturdy. I then glued on a shell from my collection and voila! Beach style napkin holders. We are all beach lovers in my family so I know I will get a lot of use from them.

If you have toilet paper rolls give this a try, it's super cheap and super easy and we're doing our little bit to recycle instead of throwing them out. Have a great weekend everyone, till next time

5 Tips On How To Decorate With Faux Flowers

Hi there all. I'm excited to share with you today some tips in using faux flowers to decorate. For me flowers mean Spring which I'm so looking forward to. Spring means summer is near! 
I love plants and flowers but flowers die and unfortunately I don't have a green thumb so often my plants die as well. This is where my faux plants and flowers come in.
Years ago faux flowers and plants looked fake. I hate anything fake so I didn't use them in my decor.
Today more and more plants and flowers are looking so real that I honestly couldn't tell the difference. Unfortunately there are also many that still look fake, that's why knowing where to shop is a time saver.
One shop that sells realistic looking flowers and plants is Ikea. Good old Ikea, where would we be without them! They are also priced very reasonably. 
I've seen some lovely faux plants in many shops but they've been too expensive for my budget. Now even our $2 shops are stocking some, not all, but some very real looking flowers. KMart is also producing faux plants that look quite real.

The photo below is showcasing two faux plants and flowers.
The plant on the wicker chair is from KMart and the flowers are from a $2 shop. Do you think they look real?


The pot plant is called string of beads but I'm not too sure what the name of the flowers are.

These  faux plants are in a $1 wooden box from Salvos that I attached some hessian (burlap) to and used on the top of my vintage wicker baskets from my local thrift store.
I don't have to worry about the usual things with real plants such as enough light and water and I love that!

I also used the faux succulents in another post recently

This faux plant and base is also from KMart. It sits happily on my dining table.  My dining area faces west so gets a lot of hot afternoon Queensland sun which is hard on plants. Not with this plant!

This cute little plant with flowers was from my local thrift store. You can see my beach style entry and prices for my thrift store finds here.

The small blue box that you see peaking out was a $1.50 find from the Salvation Army which I distressed. It's a handy box to have at the entry to keep keys and change or whatever you wish.

This is where my desk sits with it's gold decor.  I simply spray painted a recycled tin and added some faux silk flowers

With the gold framed mirror and 2 gold frames it adds a nice touch and took literally minutes to put together

Here is the entry to my home again. You may have seen it in an earlier post that I mentioned before

My 5 tips for finding great faux plants is :
1.  Know where to shop for reasonably cheap plants.
2. Learn to discern at a glance what looks cheap and what doesn't.
3. Faux plants don't need watering (yeh!) but they need to be washed from time to time. Nothing looks worse than dusty looking plants. I wash mine in warm water with just a small bit of dishwashing liquid whenever they need it.
4. You can mix real plants with faux plants if you can't find what you need for your display, at a reasonable cost.
5. Make your own plants! There are many great tutorials on Youtube and Pinterest to learn how to make realistic looking plants. I particularly love the cotton stems. They are next on my to do list.

I hope these 5 tips have given you some ideas on using faux plants and flowers. In the northern hemisphere autumn is approaching which is a great time to use them. Then again anytime is good for decorating with plants, I call them living art!

Till next time take care

2 DIY Signs From Recycled Timber

Hi friends, I'm really excited to show you my two diy signs that I made from recycled timber. I love recycled wood or reclaimed wood because no trees had to be cut down again depleting our natural habitats. Anyway I decided to make two because there are two things that I love and that's the beach and vintage style.

Here in Australia it's winter. I do not like winter! I'm seriously waiting for spring to feel alive again! Therefore my first sign is about the beach.

Even if it isn't summer I can at least create something that is summery.
I started off by painting the wood a green/blue colour. While I was waiting for that to dry I picked out some shells from my collection to decorate the sign with.

I decided to stencil the word beach with an old stencil I had. I really need to get some new stencils with larger letters.

When I'd completed the stenciling I added some rope to the back with cement glue. This glue sticks anything! I believe it's one of Martha Stewart's secrets, so how could I go wrong?!

One sign completed!

Beach style sign

The next sign I painted in a creamy white chalk paint which I made adding a small amount of ochre to white.

I had some faux flowers already in my supplies. They're a creamy colour with green leaves and matched perfectly.

For this sign I decided to write welcome and hang it just inside my doorway. I actually ended up using some stick on letters that I had. Roll on new stencils!

Instead of rope I used a type of hessian (burlap) ribbon. I felt it was more in keeping with the vintage style that I was after  

Vintage style sign

If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear from you. Have a wonderful week, until next time 

DIY Block Printed Burlap Table Runner

Hi everyone, today I wanted to show you how I made a simple and affordable table runner using a large handmade stamp. I've always been interested in silk screening but simply do not have the space so I came up with this idea. I find it rather tedious printing with one stamp at a time (yes I'm impatient!).

This is what my homemade stamps look like:

 The materials I used are:     Stick on foam style leaves from the 
                                              children's art and craft section                                                             of K Mart
                                              An old piece of timber that was lying                                                  around
                                               Acrylic Craft Paint
                                               Small foam paint roller
                                               Burlap table runner from $2 store

Firstly I got the paint ready then with my small foam roller applied it to the board of stamps.
I very carefully placed the board onto the burlap and pressed. With the board still in place I then "stamped" my hand down on the back of the board to make sure the pattern was applied evenly and dark enough. 

After  I was sure the paint had dried I simply stuck a strip of fabric the same colour blue as the paint onto the ends.

This was my very first time using the stamp so I was pleased that it turned out ok. I say ok because some of the leaves weren't quite as dark as the rest but I always say mistakes are there to teach us, to improve.  I now have a new table runner that cost very little and the satisfaction that comes with making it myself is a big plus   

If you love DIY I  hope this has inspired you to give it a go, it only took a short time to stamp the material and making the block printer was merely taking off the sticky paper on the back of the leaves and sticking them to the piece of timber

I'd love to hear what your thoughts are, so please stop and say hello. Until next time  

5 minute DIY decor projects

Hi friends, today I wanted to show you my 5 minute diy decor. I think many of us are time short but we like to make our homes cozy and pleasing to the eye. Of course if you are also on a tight budget these ideas are right up your alley.

Do you love the beach? This only took literally 5 minutes to make! I already had the frame. Next I put in the paper which is cardstock that I also had in my stash. The shells were from the $2 store. I simply glued them onto the cardstock with cement glue. Cement glue is cone of my new favourite things. It sticks absolutely anything. I always seem to have problems with  my hot glue gun, does anyone else? I believe it is also Martha Stewart's favourite so it must be good!

I started this quick 5 minute mosaic {which doesn't include the drying time} because of the ornaments and crockery I always seem to be breaking!

I already had the tray and had been thinking of different options to decorate it. Then I had the brainwave to do a quick mosaic. The blue petals of the flower were from a lovely teal vase that I had broken, the white petals from a broken plate and the centres were polished stones I bought from a local hardware store. It was simply a matter of mixing the tile glue and putting it on the back of the pieces and placing them in position. I left it until the next day to apply the tile grout which was surprisingly quick to do.

My last 5 minute diy project was a timber square that I found in the Salvos. I think it was actually a serviette holder but I'm not sure. Does anyone else have an idea what it could have been used for?
I decided I wanted it as a small display shelf.

I already had the small terracotta pot and saucer which I dry brushed with white paint and bought a faux plant from the $2 shop. The shelf itself I simply dry brushed  with white homemade chalk paint. I tied a piece of yarn around the pot and it was done.

I hope these 5 minute DIYs have inspired you to get creative. Who knows what you can accomplish! Until next time, take care and I'll have some more craft ideas for you to try

How I Decorated My Entryway With hardly any Money

I have spoken to a number of people lately that are struggling to pay their bills let alone having extra money to decorate their homes. I can empathise with them because I have been in the same boat myself. I know the frustration of seeing furniture and decor that you would love to buy but know that there is not a hope in hell!

I am here to show you that you can have a home you love with a little bit of creativity. Firstly second hand stores or thrift stores are a girl's best friend! You can purchase furniture, decor accessories and more if you can visualise what an item can look like with a bit of elbow grease, paint, or other diy ideas. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about I am going to give you a rundown on how I decorated my entryway with hardly any money

I'll start off with my entry console. I purchased this at a second hand shop (thrift store) near me for $25. It was just the right length and width. It had white mosaic tiling on the top which I thought I would remove but once I got it home and started to decorate it I decided I liked them. So for now they are staying. The next on the list is my wall art. I think art is a way of expressing what you love. For me it is the water, ocean, rivers, and lakes. Anything associated with the ocean such as boats as you will see!

The colours I love to use are teal blues. If you'd like to see my colour palette I've used these in one of my earlier posts. Check it out here

I also love to collect shells and driftwood from the beach and display them. Cost? Nothing. I have two wonderful grandchildren that live in Rome, Italy and I only see them every 2 years. They are also water babies. Shells that we collect together I love to display and they bring back many happy memories. I'll be doing a post on this in the near future.

I have given you the prices of the decor I used for my entryway below so that you can see it is possible to decorate with hardly any money.


The blue keepsake box above I've decorated is in an earlier post. You can find how I did this here

I wasn't able to get the console in the photo so here's another one showing more of it. Sorry about the light, it's been pouring rain here in sunny Queensland!

For around $45 I was able to decorate my entryway. What do you think? Are you inspired to do a little hunting? If you are on a seriously strict budget like me and have hardly any money to decorate with and you like what I've done, give it a go! It's a great feeling to accomplish this and so much fun searching for the right pieces. Let me know in the comments if you have any projects to share, I would love to hear them. Take care
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