As I dip my toes back into the waters of writing after a way-too-long absence, I’m searching for purpose and focus. I’ve decided I agonize over this too much. So, my writing “purpose” for July is the the over-used, over-blogged idea of repurposing.
Yada-yada-yada. . . you can read about it everywhere, I know. But, bear with me if:
- You’re cheap. I like a good deal, and I’ll share some of mine with you.
- You love the idea of seasonal decorating, but you need some fresh ideas.
- You would like to learn to decorate with things you already have.
Throughout the month of July, I’ll share with you a variety of ways I repurpose, rearrange, and refresh my house and garden with inexpensive (mostly) and unusual items. I hope you’ll follow along!
Celebrating the 4th of July!
After Christmas, the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday for decorating. Those pops of red, white, and blue sparkle the whole month of July and well into August for me. So come along on the tour, and I’ll explain as I go.
I really can’t get enough of old postcards, and those little stands that are holding them are weighted, metal flower frogs. I probably have a dozen flower frogs of various shapes. They’re easily found at antique stores and flea markets ranging in price from $3-$10 depending on the size and shape. You’ll see in many of the pictures that I use them throughout my house, and I use them all the year round. I simply swap out the postcard. But, you could use photos taken seasonally or maybe a hand-written, seasonal recipe card.
But getting back to the postcards. . .
This is my postcard drawer. Postcards are, hands down, the cheapest, easiest, most interesting way to add variety to your seasonal decorations. I have postcards for every season and almost every holiday. Christmas and New Years are the easiest to find, and Halloween is the most difficult. But if you’re a history junkie like me, I’m simply fascinated by the hand-written notes scrawled on the backs of these postcards.
Some share tidbits of family news, young love, or long-awaited homecomings. The price is right at $1-$3 for most cards.
Display them in old card holders or start your own collection of “frogs.” They can also be easily slipped into the corner of a mirror or displayed on the fridge.
As you can see, old books play a big part in all of my seasonal decorating.
I keep my eye out for red books, especially, as they can be used for the Fourth of July AND Christmas. Blue books work in the winter months as well as July 4th. I have a stash of green books for spring and orange and black for fall. Whatever colors are not in use simply fill a basket in a corner.
Old thermoses. . .
. . . old, blue bottles. . .
. . . inexpensive mini-flags, as well as seashells collected on vacations are all easy and inexpensive pops of red, white, and blue. Maybe you don’t have “old, blue bottles,” but even a Ball canning jar filled with shells and a couple of flags perched in it adds a great touch to your table. And you might not have an old Bingo game, but a couple boxes of sparklers tied with a red ribbon and tucked up beside a vase of daisies works, too.
Do you have a carpenter’s ruler that was your dad’s or grandpa’s? I have several that sit in my windows shaped into stars. This black, metal one was a few sticks short, but it still works as a star! Another little bottle and another little flag–it doesn’t take much to say, “Happy Independence Day!”
Even a tablecloth or an apron (I know, who has aprons anymore–I do!) can become a decoration. “Storing” my outside tablecloth over the back of a chair and a vintage apron on the corner of the chalk board are casual ways to add that color without much fuss.
What else do you have that’s red, white, and blue? Croquet balls? Any other toys or sports equipment you could swipe for the month of July? I nabbed this old, metal Pepsi truck off a local Facebook swap site for a steal–$15. I know, not everyone has “an old, metal Pepsi truck.” But maybe you have a child’s baseball glove and a worn baseball. Fit those together on your bookshelf, tuck in a flag or two, and fill a small jar with peppermints to go beside it–voila!
And perhaps the simplest addition to any summertime decor. . .
They’re free (or really cheap on-line!), and force you to take some time to look for the beauty in small, simple things.
I hope you’ve found at least one take-away idea for repurposing your own things for a festive Fourth, or maybe you’ve been inspired to seek out some new treasures.
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” ~Confucius