Edited 7/20/10: Linking up to the impromptu mantel party over at The Stories of A to Z.
Today is the first day of summer. Welcome, welcome.
As much as I love summer, I hate the heat. Here in southern California, June is usually the coolest month of summer. We can get what is called "June Gloom". It will be overcast and cloudy in the morning & be quite cool. At the beach, the sun sometimes never comes out in June. But I live inland, so the sun usually breaks through the June Gloom between 9-11am. So the temps only reach the mid to upper 80's. Sometimes the 90's. By late afternoon the marine layer starts creeping back in and it starts cooling down. Then we get a cool breeze off the ocean. Nice early summer sleeping weather.
But in another week or two that all goes away & it will get hot, hot, hot. And the monsoon season starts so it will get humid. Nothing like the south or back east. I know you are all laughing at me complaining about humidity, I've been to Texas, Florida & Washington DC in the summer before. How do you stand it? But I'm talking humid by California standards. And it won't cool off much at night. August & September are our hottest months. But sometimes June & July can be just as hot. This year we are lucky to have a cooler June.
So for now, I am enjoying the cooler summer temps. In celebration of the first official day of summer, I thought I would make a few easy summer crafts to decorate my mantel to welcome summer.
I decided for my summer mantel I wanted to feel cool. What better way to feel cool than to use green, blue & white for my colors.
My favorite summer flower are white daisies. I found some this spring at Dollar Tree and thought I would make me some more flower balls. I made some green ones for spring, and I thought white ones would look great for summer.
Here are my supplies for making the flower balls. Styrofoam balls (picked up at the thrift store for super cheap, you can even find them at Dollar Tree sometimes), the flower heads pulled off 3 bunches of flowers (Dollar Tree), my trusty glue gun and some glue sticks.
I just glued the flowers all around the ball. Easy, peasy.
And I ended up with a pretty flower ball for decorating with.
I made 2 white daisy flower balls. I wish I had purchased more bunches of flowers as I would have really liked 3 flower balls. But I didn't get enough & now they don't have them. Boo hoo. I placed the flower balls in tin buckets that I picked up from the Dollar Spot at Target awhile back.
Then remember my empty photo frames from my last mantel? I decided they needed some art for summer. I found some file folders at Dollar Tree last month that I liked. I thought I could cut it down & use in the frames. So I did. I just plopped them in the frame & taped on the back. You can make art out of just about anything. Another easy project.
And finally I decided I needed some blue vases to hold some more white daisies. But I didn't have any blue vases and I didn't want to spend a lot of money. So I decided to make my own.
I picked up 3 clear glass vases from my local thrift store for 50 cents each.
Then I bought the cheapest craft paint from Michael's. This was 59 cents a bottle. I got Robin's Egg Blue.
Squirt some paint inside the bottle & keep turning the bottle until the inside is coated with paint. Just squirt a little bit of paint at a time. You don't want to use too much or you'll have a ton at the bottom. I did turn upside down & poured out the extra paint. Be sure to wipe the paint off the lip of the vase. And no, this is not my hand. I had hubby demonstrate while I took the photo.
After each vase was coated with the paint, I placed on their side to dry. I kept turning them every 5 minutes or so for an hour. You don't want them to lay on one side for very long or all the paint will go to that one side. Darn that gravity. Keep turning them every few minutes. After an hour or so I felt it was dry enough to stand up.
Super easy to do. And I love how they turned out. They were still a little wet inside the next day. I guess I could have put them in the oven on low to dry even more. But I was too anxious to decorate.
I may try this again but instead of adding paint to the inside. I may try spray painting the outside.
With paint on the inside, I'm not sure what water will do to it.
I just used my "faux" flowers as I didn't want to take the chance with water right away. Who am I kidding. The real reason for the "faux" flowers is that I don't have any "real" daisies yet. I just planted some seeds this weekend. I won't have any real flowers until end of summer. If I'm lucky.
All in all I am pretty happy with how my summer mantel turned out. But are we ever really satisfied?
Besides, I now need to do some patriotic decorating for the 4th of July. But my summer mantel will reappear once the 4th is over. By then, I'm sure I will have found my box of shells, so who knows what my mantel will morph into by then.