Spring Table Setting: Inexpensive and Easy Decor

It’s officially spring! Time to change the decor to lighter colors and fun seasonal decorations.

Spring Table Setting: Easy and inexpensive!|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Spring Table Setting

Spring color is addictive. I have been searching for lighter colors and couldn’t wait to put all of my spring items together on this table setting. We eat at our dining table for every meal so it works best to use decorations that can easily be moved to make way for dishes and extra place settings when needed.

These spring green linens came from the clearance rack at Pier 1 Imports. We already had the placemats, and I love how they look together.  I always prefer to use cloth napkins when ever possible, they are easy to wash and reuse.

The colorful napkin rings are also Pier 1. I spent about .50 cents on them. BARGAIN!

The Pier 1 store had the most adorable displays with bunnies and greenery. Just beautiful! I brought home one little bunny and used faux forsythia and bayberry balls that we already had to decorate my table without spending a lot of money.

Orchids are a great idea for your spring table.|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Real or Faux?

The butterflies on the greenery balls are from the Dollar store. I buy loads of them each spring, I just love how colorful they are. They look so real! They look great in planters too!

It wouldn’t be any fun if there wasn’t some Easter candy on the table, malted candy eggs are scattered down the table and the candy dishes are full of jelly beans. I will have you know that my teenage boys were waiting in the wings for me to finish photographing so they could eat the candy. Some things never change!

Green Dishes on Spring Table|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

The orchids on the table are real mini plants that have been sitting in my window sill all winter. They are so lovely! I discovered they Orchids bloom longer when kept underneath the glass cloches. The glass keeps the plants moist and they don’t seem to mind being a bit crowded under the curved glass top. We use cork discs under all our plants to protect the table surfaces underneath. Every time we go to Ikea I buy a bunch of these discs. They also make great hot pads for hot dishes at meal time.

To give our blue patterned dishes a new look, they were layered with some green plates from the thrift store in a darker shade of green. Shades of a color look great when used all together, and even the plates covered with ivy designs seem to look right.

The Centerpiece

Spring centerpiece with grapevine wreath.|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.comThe center piece is super easy to make. It is a 5 minute project. More on that tomorrow!

Spring Table Setting: Easy and inexpensive!|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Here are some other spring decor ideas:

Butterfly Cloche with forced flowering branches.|Designers sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Butterfly Cloche

Spring Planter Arrangement is easy to make for your tabletop.|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Spring Planter Arrangement

Spring porch display with flowers.|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Spring Porch Decor 


My blogging buddies have lots more great ideas: check out these posts in the blog hop!


My Creative Days

Frazzled Joy

Loveland Lodge


The Secret of the Garden


Wooden bridge with cherry blossoms

I have been meaning to visit the local botanical garden for the last several weeks. We usually go there once a year in the middle of the summer. For some reason,  I kept putting it off.

I was too busy. It would take too much time.

It cost too much. I didn’t have time.

Pink blossoms on white ground

There would be nothing worthwhile seeing this early in the season. I had seen it all before.

I wouldn’t get anything out of it. It would be a waste of time.

I needed to stay home and get things done. The blog world needed me.

The other day those little voices in my head finally got the better of me. Mom and I dropped everything and made our way to the garden. She had never been there before even though she lived in our area for more than 40 years.

We took off and left dishes in the sink. We left wet laundry in the washer. We left no cooked food or directions for making lunch (I know! GASP!).

Pond with wood duck

What we saw, shocked me. I was completely amazed at how beautiful the garden was in the spring. Picture perfect. This wooden bridge melted me. Monet’s famous garden in Giverney, France can’t be more beautiful than this.

Silly me, why did I think it would not be beautiful??

Secret pathway

The pathways were lush and green. The garden was full of birds and wildlife.

Pathway with blossoms

The trees were still in bloom. Even though they were beginning to loose their petals, they were amazing and beautiful.

Bench with petals on the ground

The fallen petals reminded me of snow on the ground. Such a fairyland this is! I could have sat on this bench for hours in contentment.


Hard to believe we almost didn’t come to visit. We could have missed it all.

Mom in the garden

Mom loved it. She is 85 years young, and her memory is failing her. She asked me what every plant was as we walked along. I pointed out the plants that I knew, but she couldn’t remember them, and I would have to tell her again what they were the next time we came across them. It was a long, long walk.

It’s a walk I will always remember, although I am sure she will not.

Pot with curly willow branches

The garden was all but deserted. Very few visitors were there.

They were too busy.

They thought it would cost too much, even though it’s actually free to visit.

They didn’t think there would be much to see, even thought there is plenty to see.

They didn’t have time, although they could have made the time.

They needed to stay home and get things done, but they probably weren’t really accomplishing very much anyway.

The Secret of the Garden is in the big reveal. Every time I go there, it reveals something new to me and I learn something new about myself. Each time I come home refreshed and inspired.

I wonder how many other beautiful things I have missed because of those negative thoughts in my mind? I have decided I don’t want to miss them anymore. I will be listening for them and working to make them go away.

You never know where or when inspiration will find you. You may even find it where you are sure it won’t exist. That’s the Secret for today.

I hope you have been inspired!


Butterfly Cloche


Today I’m SO excited to be at SNAP Conference in Salt Lake City surrounded by 500 other talented crafty bloggers learning, creating, and celebrating the friendships we’ve made because of blogging! And to celebrate with you, I teamed up with Abbey from The Cards We Drew and a large group of bloggers to create Crafts in a SNAP {15 Minute Craft Ideas} so that ANYONE, whether beginner or seasoned pro, can learn to create fun and handmade items in no time at all! Check out my tutorial for the Butterfly Cloche coming up, then scroll down below and be sure to check out some of what my blogging friends have to offer!! Have fun and get creative!




I have admired Butterfly Cloches for a long time. They are so elegant and colorful.

I have always dreamed of having a mini butterfly garden with real live butterflies.

We tried to hatch them indoors once, as one of our homeschooling projects.

Somewhere during one of our long winter days, the cocoons died and we never hatched any butterflies.

My children were so disappointed.

So was I.

Then, we began to visit butterfly gardens.

This was a much better option. We visited gardens in Niagara Falls, Chicago, Denver and Santa Barbara.

They were beautiful, so inspiring. They made me want to learn how to garden.

The only problem is that in our area, the garden season is so very short. Real butterflies aren’t around here very long in the summer.

This decorative Butterfly Cloche is the next best thing.

It was very easy to make and only took about 15 minutes of time.

flower frog

Supplies Needed:

A Glass or Plastic Cloche (I found mine at a thrift store, it was missing the bottom but that doesn’t bother me)

Branches from a bush with buds on them

Pruning shears

A flower frog

A plastic soda bottle

Spanish Moss

Decorative faux butterflies (from the craft store in the floral section)

A glass cake stand

Optional: A cork trivet (Mine came from Ikea)


1. Cut the bottom off the soda bottle with a sharp knife. Mine is about 2″ tall. Fit the flower frog into the bottle base. If you don’t have a frog, you can use strips of floral tape across the top of the bottle to hold the branches in place.

2. Set the cork trivet on top of the cake stand, it keeps the glass pieces from sliding around. (Optional).

3. Set the soda bottle with the flower frog on top of the cork base.

forcing branches

4. Trim the branches to fit into the flower frog with the pruning shears. You will only need 2 or 3 of them. Keep the branches with the biggest buds, trim off the small branches with little buds or no buds. You can also smash the cut ends of the branches with a hammer for better water absorption.

5. Add a bit of water to the soda bottle, be sure the ends of the branches are completely submerged in the water.


6. Cover the frog and soda bottle with a bit of Spanish Moss. (I bought mine from the Dollar Store).

7. Add the decorative butterflies, and cover with the cloche.

The forced branches will bloom in a few days. You will have people wondering if the butterflies are real!

Don’t forget to check the water level and add more water as needed.

That’s all folks! Be sure and visit thecardswedrew.com and my fellow bloggers below for some great craft ideas!




Spring Porch Decor

Boot display

Isn’t a bit of Spring Porch Decor just the thing right now?

Spring is finally here, I was the one who was missing these last couple of weeks! We are officially moved into the new place. We have moved far too often the last few years and I hope this is the VERY LAST move we have to make until the year 2060.

I am not exaggerating. My kids will have to bury me in the back yard when I croak, because I am not moving again.


I am grateful to be done with the move, but it will be a while before all the boxes are stowed away for good! Today was such a lovely warm day, I spent it decorating the front porch.


As you may recall, the porch is a double decker.

I decided to focus on the lower one for now until I can get the top railing painted.

It amazes me how people can neglect items like finishing the railing, it will drive me crazy until it’s done.

porch before

The porch is long and wide, the kind of place where you can envision yourself sipping a cool drink on a warm summer night and watch the world go by.

I can’t wait to fill it with plants and all things summer.

couch area

For now, I opted for a few simple pieces, my Chalk Painted Bench, a little side table and coffee table.

The curly willow branches came from our local garden show, I can’t wait to get more of them next year!

I basked in the sun here all afternoon.

The bunny

I rounded up a few of my favorite garden pieces for the table next to the door.

The blue hydrangea is lovely, and yes, it is really that blue. I did not alter the color in the photo.

Too bad it would never survive a Wisconsin winter.

The bunny topiary I have planted in the past, but decided a rusty look was perfect this year, it goes with the little rusty birdhouse I found at a thrift store.

The metal box will make a great planting container come summer.

Chicken wire sign

Above the table is my favorite chicken wire frame. My husband built it from scraps of wood.

We used it as a top for the brooder when we raised our chicks a couple of years ago.

I still love it.

A simple spring phrase and a few forsythia and pussy willow branches make the display complete.

Boot display

Enjoy your spring weather today!

Spring Planter



I came across this lovely little crate at the thrift store recently. I knew it would make a great Spring garden project.

It was sitting among the piles of wooden junk with a $3.99 price tag.

Upon further inspection, I discovered that it was really a planter and even came with bulbs.

All for $3.99???

What a steal! The crate itself was worth that!

It has a beautiful french graphic on the front.

I can’t imagine why anyone would throw it away, much less with the bulbs inside!

It came with two Apple Blossom Amaryllis bulbs, potting soil and even Spanish Moss.

Happiness in a box!

It sure made me smile!


The poor bulbs were already trying to grow despite the lack of sunlight.

I knew that with a bit of water and warm sunshine, they would grow just fine.


The crate came with a plastic liner, ready to plant.

I added 2″ of small pebbles to the bottom for extra drainage, then dumped about 1/2 the soil on top.

I had some Narcissus bulbs that I tried to grow in previously in water and they didn’t do anything. I decided to try again to see if they would fare better in rich garden soil so I added them to the planter.

The rest of the soil was added to the top of the bulbs, and then topped with the Spanish Moss.

Spanish Moss is great for keeping moisture in potted plants.

It also deters animals, they don’t like the feel or smell of it.

We will see. If the bulbs don’t all bloom, I can pull the out and add some tulips or daffodils.

Amallis in water

My other Amaryllis bulb that I started in November is almost in bloom. It’s just starting to open.


This is what the crate looks like just a few days later. No sign of the Narcissus yet.

I am patient.

I can’t wait for them to bloom.

Happiness in a box!

What makes you happy today?