Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Junkin' Finds:Christmas Arrangements for the Porch

Sunday Showcase

This is a thrifty post, antique post, vintage post and holiday post with a tutorial at the end. 

Back in May/June I did some fabulous Junkin' in the garage and our neighborhood garage sales and snagged two things I'm using on my front porch for the Christmas season. 
Here's the old post,  Junkin' Finds
The sled was a steal at $10.00 works really well, and I decided to just add a simple swag REDO for the winter season.

First I purchased nothing for these arrangements. I had all the product and tons more in my basement workshop. I haven't done a show or sale for 7 years...someday I will explain. 

We are going with a casual look on the front granny's  OLD 1950's rusty chippy white patio table is topped with a GREEN artificial wreath and a twig wreath on top and an OLD glass lantern--Super Simple. We inserted NEW flicker light bulbs inside the lantern. I actually had these for my gourd pumpkins lanterns. There are three patinaed brass lanterns on the porch 
and they give a welcoming warm glow in the dark.  
The plaid covers for the chairs are a REDO with thrift shop Christmas tablecloths. 
I used 4 table cloths to do the settee, swing and one chair. 
When I find another I will do the other chair.

For the OLD sled, I chose huge pinecones, a bit of white faux birch branches, 3 different kinds of artificial pine and spruce boughs, and a gold string of brass bells. The final touch--a muted plaid ribbon I bought years ago at HL.  I went back to by more last week, 
and they still are carrying it NEW now.
 The wired swag is loosely attached so I can remove it to use the sled
 with the Grand when we get snow!

 The OLD Flexible Flyers were made in Chicago and a musthave for a kid of the 1940-60's, I can't wait to try it on our hills here down by the lake. They go so fast and really steer well.

In the same post Junkin' Finds  was this great rusty window box frame. I used this throughout the Fall season filled with pumpkins, gourds and sunflowers. Now I want to REDO it for the front porch with a Winter/Christmas theme.

 Products used were 2 large stems of long flocked grass, 1-large dkgreen ivy bush, 1-large snowy holly bush, 1-one small ivy bush, 2 cedar bushes with red berries,  one huge ornament/red, 3 smaller ornaments/red and 6 assorted sized gold ornaments.
A Quick tutorial follows.

 View of the bottom of the window frame. Three blocks of foam taped with heavy water proof tape, (you can use thin cuts of duct tape with same result) and using the same tape to attach foam to frame.

 Generously cover your foam with moss. I would normally use green, but gray was what I had. I use U pins to attach the moss. The plan in my head is pretty loose. A slightly off set arrangement viewable from all sides that will fill up a good size space. My work table is 5 foot long to give you some scale.

Cutting the fronds of flocked grass stems into 2 pieces two pieces at the 10 o'clock (1 up and 1 to the side) position and the 4 o'clock positions(both low). 
This sets the length and heigth of the arrangement.

Taking the large Ivy bush, I cut the longest pieces (8) and arranged them clockwise from the center point, bending and adjusting the entire length of the ivy vine. This is the back view. 

Next cutting the cedar bushes with the berries into single long fronds, I placed one in the middle high,

and then alternated between the long ivy branches. in some places,
 two branches of cedar are between the ivy pieces. 
Next, I cut all the stems of of the holly off the bush stem. I always pick or hot glue every single stem, never using an entire bush inserted. Each branch/vine/stem is bent into a natural position and leaves/fronds adjusted.

Here you can see the curves downward of all the stems. The holly has red berries at the ends, I adjusted those to all show up.

Front view, you can still see bare all the smaller bits of the bushes
 are worked in between the larger pieces to fill in. 
Still needing some sparkle, I chose large plastic ornaments for accents. 
These were hot glued and wrapped with wire to long sticks and old flower stems 
to insert into the foam securely. (It gets windy here!)
 Don't forget to add interest to the back for the folks sitting on the settee.

Back view pretty much finished. Finished length is about 4 1/2 feet long and 24" deep.

Front view finished, and outside on top of the makeshift table of an OLD upsidedown galvanized tub. Rustic and casual with a little bling. I skipped adding ribbon because of all  the plaid on the chairs/settee would compete. I love all the texture and the HOLLY AND THE IVY
 ...makes me want to sing the carol.

This morning we had a typical windy Chicagoland day and the long vines and fronds were moving and waving in the wind, but no fear---glued and picked, nothing is going to take flight. 
I did one more arrangement last night that is displayed below on the swing. 

A vintage creel basket filled with faux spruce and pine, some wonderful real looking holly stems, big pine cones, a glittered (rubber) fish...this was taken from an arrangement given my husband when he retired.) We live in a lake community and are avid fishermen/women, 
Finally added big HL ribbon plaid bow. 
The creel is destined for a large grapevine wreath on the garage front.
It looks pretty comfortable on the swing, but we use the swing to watch the birds
 on the birdfeeders, so it will go to the front of the garage.

I hope you enjoyed my arrangements, it's been ages since I have done anything and it felt really great to burn my fingers and glue up my clothes. And every retired floral designer needs a little glitter in her life, just for old-time's sake.

From our house to Yours,  Merry Christmas!

Thanks always for stopping by and any comments or questions, I will  be happy to answer.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or posts. Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle



  1. Hi Sandi ... your arrangements are beautiful. Thanks for the tutorial.
    Have a wonderful Christmas.
    Audrey Z.

    1. Thanks Audrey---it was fun to get my hands back in it.Blogging will have me crafting again, after a too-long hiatus. Thanks for stopping by, Sandi

  2. Glad your back from your long hiatus also.
    I really like the lantern all decked out
    and the sled was a great $10 find.I just passed one up for $40 since I sold mine at a yard sale !I get tired of things then want them back after I sell them so I'm going to clean out my garden shed and pile it in LOL
    for safe keeping.
    Love the plaid covers on your lawn furniture


  3. My kids (huge boys) murdered ours...came home with it bent all to heck from flying off a ledge onto the lake. So I was very happy to find it right in the neighborhood. I know what you mean about having to horde a bit...and PHD it, Pile it Higher and Deeper, LOL.
    I have a PHD in junking, Thanks for the comment, lol, Sandi

  4. The pictures don't even do your beautiful Christmas display justice! Thanks for sharing your blog with me!

  5. Awww...thanks Ady! and Merry Christmas! Have fun here in blog world, Sandi

  6. Very beautiful!! Love your ideas!!

    1. thanks so much for stopping, I appreciate your enthuseisum, thanks, Sandi

  7. I love the basket in the swing, so cute!!
    Thank you for sharing on
    Happy Holidays!

  8. thanks, I still haven't got a decent picture...mounted it in a huge 4'wide grapevine wreath on the front of the garage...? Weather has been so icky here for three days. Thanks again, Sandi

  9. Love the rustic feel Sandi, and what a bargain on that sled!! Love what you did with the window frame! Thanks for sharing with Creating Christmas.

  10. Love all your decorations, Sandi--I'm partial to sleds myself. I've got one out by our tree in the front yard and another by the front door. Your swag looks so lovely on yours. But your creel basket is to die for! Thanks for linking up with Vintage Charm :)

  11. I like the old window box. I didn't know what that was at first, it's very interesting and looks beautiful the way you have it decorated!

  12. Sandi,
    Love how charming your porch is decorated for Christmas! i adore that sled. i have my childhood sled on our porch and i have used it for almost 30 years....


Thank you for any and all comments. I will be happy to answer any questions or comments in replies or email! HUGS!