Month: September 2013

10 Ways to Use 1 Basket

To my husband’s dismay, the task of decorating my house will never be finished.  Just when he thinks a room is done, I start rearranging and move everything around once again!  I don’t often buy new things; instead, I move my existing decor from one room to another and repurpose what I already own.  In my mind, this helps keep the house interesting and fresh, but of course, the downside is that there’s always a pile of things on the floor somewhere that doesn’t currently have a place in the house….  Oh well!

Recently, I had to move a wooden basket that was near the fireplace to make room for my Halloween mantel decor.  In doing so, I decided it was time to permanently move the basket and find a new use for it.  The basket is rather plain with shallow wooden sides and a wooden handle.  It even has a small wormhole in the corner!

Tidbits&Twine Wooden Handled Basket


My mind immediately started racing about what I might do with the basket and before I knew it, I had 10 different uses for it!  Take a look at them below and let me know which is your favorite.


1. Coffee Table Tray

A few books and a plant and this wooden basket now becomes the centerpiece on the coffee table.

Tidbits&Twine Coffee Table Decor


2. Holiday Decor

I have quite a few white pumpkins left over from my fall tablescape, so I gathered them up, mixed them with some pinecones and bronze sequin pumpkins for a simple fall display.

Tidbits&Twine Fall Display


3. Fruit Basket

I discovered this is a great basket to use for harvesting fruit from the backyard!

Tidbits&Twine Fruit Basket


4.  Tea Service

Would anyone like a cup of tea?  The basket makes a cute serving station for cups, tea and sugar.

Tidbits&Twine Tea Service


5.  Fresh Flower Centerpiece

A few canning jars and some roses from the garden and I have an instant centerpiece for my kitchen table.  A fun alternative to a traditional vase!

Tidbits&Twine Flower Centerpiece


6.  Magazine Holder

I can display some of my favorite magazines in the basket and keep it near my bed for a little nighttime reading!

Tidbits&Twine Magazine Holder


7. Utensil Caddy

The basket makes a great utensil caddy for an outdoor picnic or buffet.  A few canning jars hold the utensils and a flower frog keeps the napkins from blowing away.

Tidbits&Twine Utensil Caddy


8. Craft Storage

Sitting on my desk, the basket also makes a convenient way for me to transport my go-to craft supplies from project to project.

Tidbits&Twine Craft Supplies


9. Dried Flower Display

The basket is just the right size for displaying dried flowers at the base of my fireplace.  And my room smells amazing with all of this lavender!

Tidbits&Twine Dried Flowers


10. Guest Essentials

A few extra hand towels, face towels and soaps can be placed on the counter for overnight guests.

Tidbits&Twine Bath Amenities


You could also use the basket to hold extra toiletries for guests, spare linens, tea towels in the kitchen, goodie bags for birthdays, and more!

Reusing items that you already own is an easy (and free!) way to decorate.  I find that the best way to brainstorm about a new use for an item is to clear everything from it, place it in a neutral location and look at its shape and size.  Before you know it, you’ll come up with lots of new ideas!


So, which of the uses above is your favorite?  Do you have any other suggestions for uses?


Tidbits&Twine - Signature




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Color Crush: Terracotta

I am so lucky that I get to walk the kids to school every morning and one of the things I love the most (aside from spending time with them, of course) is watching the leaves change color in the fall.  Every day we look at the trees to see how they’ve changed and take bets as to when all the leaves will drop.  But in my area, we don’t see a lot of the bright, vibrant fall colors, but instead, more muted oranges and yellows, which got me to thinking about one of my favorite colors to use in decorating: terracotta.  I use various shades of terracotta in decorating, some dark, some light, some closer to coral and others closer to rust, but for now, I’m referring to all of these burnt-orange shades as terracotta.

I find terracotta to be an elegant, cozy and timeless color.  It is also earthy and reminds me of the tried and true building materials used throughout Europe, like time-worn bricks, faded tile roofs and chippy stucco buildings.

Tidbits&Twine Positano
{via Pinterest}
Tidbits&Twine Florence
{via CityPhotos}
Tidbits&Twine Venice
{via Pinterest}


Plus terracotta reminds me of vintage – and you know I love vintage – because so many vintage items are rusty and beautiful.

Tidbits&Twine Vintage Scale
{via Miss Mustard Seed}
Tidbits&Twine Vintage Oyster Baskets
{via Pinterest}


And I love the look of terracotta when mixed with both warm and cool colors.  In fact, terracotta and gray-blue is my favorite color combination in decorating, but it also looks gorgeous with pink and green, particularly in bouquets.

Tidbits&Twine Rust and Pink Love
{via Dreamy Whites}

Tidbits&Twine Roses and Berries Fall Display 2


In my own home, I’ve used terracotta pots filled with wheat on my fall table and embellished my dining chairs with matching ribbon.

Tidbits&Twine Fall Tablescape 14


I have vintage French shutters flanking my dining room mirror and I love the contrast between the blue of the shutters and the terracotta of the fall decor.

Tidbits&Twine French Blue Shutters



Even the down pillows on my family room sofa have the terracotta and blue color combination.

Tidbits&Twine Family Room Pillows


To me, terracotta looks soothing and cozy in a kitchen…

Tidbits&Twine Terracotta Kitchen
{via Traditional Home}


…and can add a bit of depth in a living room.

Tidbits&Twine Terracotta Living Room
{via Splendid Sass}


When I’m decorating, I think of terracotta as a neutral that blends with the wood tones in my home.  It adds character and depth when used with other warm colors, but can also be a beautiful contrast (without looking jarring) if you have a lot of cool colors in your home.  It’s a staple in my home year-round, but fall certainly reminds me of how much I love this color.


So what’s your color crush?


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Decorating a Halloween Mantel


Ghostly Greetings!

Now that it’s officially fall, I feel I can finally talk about one of my favorite fall subjects – Halloween!  I absolutely love Halloween and get really into it every year thanks to my neighbor whose love of the holiday is truly contagious!

I normally decorate only the outside of my home because that’s the part that is visible to the kids who are trick-or-treating, but this year, I created a Halloween mantel as part of my fall discussion on Hometalk.  I was inspired by an image I saw in the Pottery Barn catalog a couple of years ago and thought I could create something similar in my own home.

Tidbits&Twine Decorating a Halloween Mantel


Now I am in no way sponsored by HomeGoods (although I wish I was because I love that store!), but I have to tell you, almost everything on this mantel is from the store and what’s not from HomeGoods is from Michael’s.  I am all about affordable decorating!  And at the bottom of this post, I’ll give you some ideas as to how you create a similar Halloween mantel using less expensive items or objects you might already own, plus tips for recreating the look.


I started by taking the picture frames that were in my son’s room and replacing the art with free Halloween-themed clipart that I found online.  I sized each image to fit the frame and ta-da!  Instant Halloween art!  The perfectionist part of my personality was a little hesitant to hang the frames crooked, but once I got into it, it was fun!  I ended up needing to put a small finishing nail at the bottom corner of each frame to help hold it crooked.  Luckily, I was okay with putting the extra holes in my wall since the artwork that I normally have hanging above my fireplace is large and will cover the nail holes.

I added two round framed images and some black glittery spiders to complete the wall decor.

Tidbits&Twine Halloween Mantel 2


On top of the mantel, I used kraft paper stamped books as filler and as bases to add height to other objects.  To learn how to make these books, you can visit my post here.  The great thing about these books is that the covers aren’t permanent and don’t damage the books underneath, so you can use hardcover books you already own as themed displays.

Tidbits&Twine Decorative Halloween Stamped Kraft Paper Books


Alongside the books, I used a combination of craft pumpkins, black hats, silver candlesticks, black twigs that I draped with Spanish moss and a few pieces of Halloween decor.  I placed everything at varying heights to add interest to the overall display.   I’m in love with those hats!

Tidbits&Twine Halloween Mantel 3


The craft pumpkins were originally white, so I spray painted them matte black and then painted a couple of coats of black glitter on top.

Tidbits&Twine Halloween Mantel 4


I made the burlap banner for my son’s campout birthday party and reused it for the mantel.  Since I used paper letters attached with glue dots for the birthday, I was able to remove the letters and replace them with the word “SPOOKY.”  I then placed one of the urns that I chalk painted at the base of the mantel with more black branches.

Tidbits&Twine Halloween Mantel


On the other side, I used a larger craft pumpkin that I painted created a cutout for a friendly owl.

Tidbits&Twine Pumpkin Owl



If you want to create a similar mantel but don’t have Halloween decor, you can achieve the same look even with different elements.  I do think that the consistent color scheme is key for this look, though, so pick 2-3 colors and stick with them throughout.  I used black, white and silver, but you could also use orange and black, or orange and white, or even orange, black and white.

For the mantel decor, try using pillar candles and varying heights mixed with pumpkins.  You can buy inexpensive pumpkins in your color scheme or paint them to match.  You can also spray paint small branches and twigs to use as a natural garland that spans the entire mantel.  The stamped books are super easy to make and if you don’t have kraft paper, use a brown paper grocery bag (inside out).


Tips & Tidbits

Here are some additional tips if you want to create the look of this Halloween mantel:

  • Pick a color scheme and use it throughout.  This will help to create a cohesive look even if you use many dissimilar items.
  • Start at the top and work your way down so that you can adjust your focal points as you go.
  •  Use varying heights to create interest.  The heights also help to create a triangle of movement where you focus is gradually taken from the top to the bottom in small increments.  (For more on this, visit How to Decorate a Mantel.)
  • Repurpose what you already own!  A candlestick doesn’t always have to hold a candle.  Try placing a pumpkin or a skull on top!
  • Given that it’s fall, nature is the perfect place to find elements to use in mantel decor, even for a Halloween-themed mantel!  Pinecones painted black, leaves dipped in glitter, branches, and gourds of all shapes are all elements that can make for a spooky-looking mantel.


Happy Haunting!


Tidbits&Twine - Signature




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