Catalog Inspired Decor for My Front Porch

9 Materials
$40.00
1 Hour
Medium

I love getting all of those catalogs at home, they are like free magazines to me. They are a great source of inspiration, and I admit, I have made many catalog purchases over the years. When I spotted a beautiful urn filler in the Grandinroad spring catalog I was smitten.
I wedged a piece of 4" thick styrofoam into my front porch urn. I then took 11 1/8" x 36" dowels and stuck them into the styrofoam. I spaced them 4 or 5 inches apart.
I covered the the styrofoam with moss, nestling it around the dowels.
I began to add artificial geranium bushes to my urn. I used 5 bushes in total. I did use wire cutters to clip out a few blooms to add them around the edges of the urn.
After putting all of my geraniums into the pot, I pulled my dowels together and secured them with a paper wrapped stem wire.
I used some stems of tiny flowers to add a bit of the vine look to my dowels.
I used some tiny flowers cut from a stem full of the flowers and used hot glue to add them in a random fashion to my dowels to give them a little of more natural feel.
Where I secured my dowels, I wrapped moss over the wire and glued some more of my tiny flowers at the top.
I added some pieces of geranium garland flowing over the edge of my urn.
My urn filler is done! I am ready to enjoy my front porch for summer!
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Chloe Crabtree

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Have a question about this project?

14 questions
  • Nancy Nesbitt
    on May 7, 2017

    What purpose do the dowels serve?
    • Linda Saunders Davis
      on May 7, 2017

      I would have to say that they give the piece interest and added height
    • Kristin
      on May 7, 2017

      and to corral all those flowers
    • Chloe Crabtree
      on May 7, 2017

      I wanted to simulate a look I saw in a catalog where it appeared to be willow making a cage. I used the dowels to give that same "cage" look.
  • Joy22113548
    on May 7, 2017

    how are the flowers arranged?They look like they are stacked
    • Kat22094991
      on May 7, 2017

      My husband wanted to put flowers in some urns on top of 2 pillars. He used the same geraniums from Joanne fabrics. You can place them anywhere they look real. And you don't have to water them. Yay
    • Moonalisa Crabass
      on May 7, 2017

      She used the bushy type geraniums. She stuck them into the foam, then also clipped some individual stems and stuck them in the bottom, to hide the bottoms if the bushes. Finally, she wrapped a garland of matching geraniums around the bottom, to add more interest.
    • Chloe Crabtree
      on May 7, 2017

      I placed 4 of the bushes around the edge of the pot, kind of in the "corners" and one in the middle. I then trimmed out some of the flowers where it was more than full enough and added them down around the edges of the pot.
  • Kath
    on May 7, 2017

    Beautiful. How does it react when rained on?
    • Tina
      on May 7, 2017

      wet. hehe
    • Gail
      on May 7, 2017

      Good answer!
    • Chloe Crabtree
      on May 7, 2017

      Mine is on a covered porch, so it won't be in direct rain. It might hold up fairly well in all weather.
    • Jewellmartin
      on Jun 4, 2017

      Since the geraniums are planted in, not glued, then I would change the main flowers whenever they got too faded, but also for every season or holiday. I think this would be easy, even if I had to slip one dowel up to plant new flowers. The little white flowers would go with anything. I would paint the dowels either black or white. And the spot where all the dowels are tied together is perfect for a bow or another decoration to coordinate with a theme. Thanks, @Celebrate&Decorate. And best wishes 😇
  • Nancy Nesbitt
    on May 7, 2017

    I agree! But don't you then remove the dowels? Like removing the scaffolding of a building after it is completed. I guess I thought there would be a true "after" picture.
    • Michelle
      on May 7, 2017

      I believe the last picture is the "after". The dowels are part of the "magazine look". Maybe it's to inspire the look of a birdcage which seems to be popular in decorating these days. I'm in Kansas where wind, thunderstorms, snow etc vary daily so my porch remains BARE! Haha
    • Sharon
      on May 7, 2017

      the dowels add dimension
    • Chloe Crabtree
      on May 7, 2017

      I wanted to add a "cage" look to my design which is why I used them. My after picture is the true "after".

    • Susie
      on May 7, 2017

      I have to agree with bebop about spraying the dowels black. I do think it would look more like wrought iron, which is a very good, rich look. Everyone has different tastes. Thank goodness, right!? Either way, It's all just so fun!
  • Kau21435945
    on May 7, 2017

    How are you arriving at $40.00? Ea ch geranium stem at my JoAnn's is $6.99 AND they are marked "indoor use only" they are not water/fade proof. Can you show an item number & price?
    • Linda Sikut
      on May 7, 2017

      Never buy at JoAnn's without a coupon. The same at A.C. Moore. Use your email/phone for coupons, grab a couple of kids with their Mom's and each of them can use a coupon for one 1 full priced item. Wait until the coupon of the day is 55% and you've cut the cost of the flowers more than in half. These high-priced craft stores drive me crazy but there are ways around it.
    • Cristy Elsbury Bennett
      on May 7, 2017

      Same goes for Hobby Lobby
    • Marianne Wade Moore
      on May 7, 2017

      You can pull up hobby lobby coupon on your phone + show cashier. 40% off 1 non-sale item. Search "hobby lobby coupon."
    • Nancy
      on May 7, 2017

      It's beautiful and if you can get it cheaper, good for you. The point here is really how she did it and $40 isn't awful.
    • Lifestyles Homes
      on May 7, 2017

      Dollar Tree, 99Cents store, etc are worth the time to pick through their flowers & related supplies.
    • Chloe Crabtree
      on May 7, 2017

      I used coupons on all of my items and my geranium bushes were half off at Joann's.
    • Linda Brandt
      on May 7, 2017

      Dollar Store is the answer for artificial flowers.
    • Linda Brandt
      on May 7, 2017

      Dollar Store is the answer for artificial flowers.
    • 861650
      on May 7, 2017

      Very pretty and a great idea whether real or silk! Plus, if the arrangement is not in full sun light it will last a long time. Thank you for sharing.
    • Marilyn Cappadona Curson
      on May 7, 2017

      Paint the sticks! It would look much better.
    • Patrice Paige
      on May 7, 2017

      I am so stealing this idea...... with modifications. Geraniums are some of the few flowers that actually thrive on my windy oceanfront deck and I just happen to have a couple of urns.......plastic (uggg).....but I can paint them! So I am going to use real plants and gorilla glue some small seashells to the rods, to keep with the beachy feel of my condo. It's gonna be awesome!
    • Sara Barnes
      on May 7, 2017

      Love your beautiful geranium planter. Regarding the person who questioned it fading or whater her point was, I have two geranium baskets that I created aboutv5 years ago for the screen porch at the lake. Still using them! They are fabric, not plastic and we store them in the winter. Not because of the cold for that would not hurt, but because of the heavy pollen all spring untill end of May. Hoseing them off just for a routine cleaning is bad enough but because the pollen is so heavy and gets in every crack, do not want the geranium baskets ruined by pollen. Love your planter!
    • Sally
      on May 7, 2017

      That is a beautiful project!! As far as all negative or instructions When you do one you do it that way SHE did HERS the way she wanted it And it is BEAUTIFUL
    • Eve DeLange
      on May 7, 2017

      I think your idea is terrific, and you can use whatever type of flowers you want, so I don't see any issues there. It's the idea that counts, and how you achieved it -- different tastes, different flowers, so DO IT YOUR WAY!
      i think the way yours turned out was beautiful. And prices can vary drastically depending on sales and stores.
  • Carol Armstrong
    on May 7, 2017

    Just a suggestion. I would but tiny strings of lights on the poles to give them more meaning. Love goldenrod.
    • Nancy
      on May 7, 2017

      Good idea. I love it.
    • Aperron01
      on May 7, 2017

      would be great for nighttime too.
    • Lau21077194
      on May 7, 2017

      Also Michaels has great deals all the time. I go crazy there at Christmas with everything almost 80% off or at end of season changes they really lower the prices.
    • Peggy
      on May 11, 2017

      Like the idea of lights.
  • Bee22797798
    on May 7, 2017

    Why don't you paint The dowels black matte to look like wrought iron plant cages.We had the real urns and cages on either side of our front door. Yours is very pretty .I hope i don't sound like i'm critsizing I think your idea is great and i think This is just a different Way to go.Personally, I would also get some silk ivy, I love to work with it(especially) when the ivy vines are good and long. you could plant some in the pot and wind the different vines to the top(not too many,so you can see the geraniums ,but a couple vines and tendrils around where the rods are Bound together maybe a few or one tendril that will actually come up and toward the sun. You may ,at that point , not need the flowers at the top.I know you did not ask for my opinion. Sorry ,I used to critique fellow art students and visa-versa. It is just such a great project i think you could do so many other versions besides. I really love it ! It's so creative! kudos to you . kindest Regards, Elizabeth(Lisa) Aceto
    • Liz
      on May 7, 2017

      Beebop754, these are some really good ideas! Not critical at all, but very helpful. Thanks!
    • Aperron01
      on May 7, 2017

      great ideas
    • Chloe Crabtree
      on May 8, 2017

      Thanks Beebop754, all kinds of great ideas for a different spin on this project!
    • Sue
      on May 8, 2017

      Wow Cloe, you really got everyone's creative juices flowing. Great job and terrific idea.
    • Peggy
      on May 11, 2017

      I really like what you have done with this. Gives me some ideas to do something for front porch. Great job.
  • Liz
    on May 7, 2017

    Some people asked how to keep silk arrangements from fading, getting wet, etc. I do silk flower, foliage, moss, grape vine wreath, etc. outdoor decorating for every season & holiday, & I spray the final project with several coats of clear spray polyurethane. By spraying all sides, front and back, it has protected my arrangements for years. At the end of each season, I store my arrangement in the basement in a large plastic garbage bag, labeled with the name, season, etc. P.S. I love reading other people's comments, suggestions & ideas! I don't think it's being critical at all. Thanks!!
    • Beth Parsons
      on May 7, 2017

      Even though I live in the rainy Pacific Northwest, fading has always been more of a problem for me than water. I'll try spraying them with clear polyurethane. Thanks for the tip. I store mine in plastic garbage cans, too!
    • Chloe Crabtree
      on May 7, 2017

      Great tip, Liz!
    • Linda-Mike Weber
      on May 7, 2017

      Spray your fabric/silk flowers with Scotch Guard fabric protector.
    • Liz
      on May 8, 2017

      Linda, Scotch Guard may help protect fabric, but if anyone uses moss, grape vine wreaths, foam or wooden wreath bases, shells, artificial birds, ribbon, burlap and silk flowers, leaves and vines, spraying all surfaces front and back with several coats of an outdoor brand of polyurethane will water proof the wreath or arrangement and prevent fading and sun damage. Spray polyurethane acts as a preservative and helps keep the wreath/arrangement intact, even in windy conditions.
    • Sue
      on May 8, 2017

      We divide our time between Dallas, TX and NM mountains. If the Texas sun won't fade it the high altitude will. I'll try your method this year, Liz. Thanks.
  • Charitie Drye
    on Jul 17, 2018

    Where did you get the urn?

  • Margarite
    on Aug 27, 2018

    Looks really nice. What type of flowers would you use for the fall and winter?

    • Karen
      on Aug 27, 2018

      I use mums

    • Chloe Crabtree
      on Aug 27, 2018

      I would use fall colored mums for fall, and maybe switch to evergreen boughs and some red berries fro winter.

    • Carol Jackson
      on Aug 27, 2018

      Mums and poinsettas

    • Cindy
      on Aug 28, 2018

      I would go to nearest Dollar Tree/store & look for whatever fall colored flowers"speak" to you.Mums are lovely & cotton plants are very popular.You can even make your own cotton plants out of cotton balls.I saw that DIY on Pinterest.I would suggest doing a lil Christmas tree,perhaps with tiny ornaments & your choice color bow on top...

    • Amy Addams
      on Sep 3, 2018

      I use whatever i like i'm a big fan of black, red and white, which isn't easy to find, so i buy flowers i like in a color as close to the color I plan to paint them, then hit 'em with flat spray paint. most floral stems allow you to pop the heads off, paint them then put them back on. Sometimes, I paint the greenery as well, like grey, black, brown for Halloween.

    • She4384804
      on Oct 20, 2018

      I want to know about fall and winter also.

  • Gwen Bessire Eversole
    on Aug 27, 2018

    Looks great! Is your pot a heavy ceramic/pottery type or light weight?

    • Chloe Crabtree
      on Aug 27, 2018

      My pot is light weight, but I have a few bricks in the bottom of it.

    • Karen Boyd
      on Sep 4, 2018

      You can also use rocks, sand, or whatever you have around.

  • Charissa
    on Sep 10, 2018

    Where can I find the urn at a cheep price?

  • Annie
    on Sep 1, 2019

    Great idea have been looking for something in metal to keep my huge tall plants from toppling over this will work wonders! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Teresa Foster
    on Oct 22, 2019

    I'm speachless! Outstanding example of ingenuity, determination, hard hard work and patience! Can't wait to see more pictures.

Join the conversation

2 of 102 comments
  • De
    on Sep 8, 2019

    Beautiful job

  • Barb Jenkins
    on Sep 8, 2019

    I love this. I think that I will paint the dowels green streaked over brown to look like plant stems.

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