Decorate with Crafts

Basketful of Cheer

The Country Sampler stylists incorporate country accents in a palette of fresh hues to introduce a springtime feel to family living spaces.

When Lana and Ben Sprunger moved into their 1890s farmhouse a decade ago, it needed updating and, eventually, expanding to suit their growing family, which includes six children, ages 6 to 23. Last year, a large addition/remodel gave them some breathing room. "We really needed more space," says Lana, who notes the project also entailed enlarging the family room by removing walls that separated it from the former dining room and a small office.

A raised ceiling and a retooled fireplace wall with built-in bookcases and a wood mantel gave the family room, which flows into the adjacent dining room addition, a lighter outlook, something that fits right in with Lana’s design aesthetic. "I like to decorate with whites and neutrals, and I love painted furniture," she says. One of her favorite pieces is a built-in cupboard that was original to the house but relocated to the dining room, where it contributes old-fashioned character to the new space.

Lana enjoys infusing her everyday decor with seasonal goods, swapping out pillows, flowers and even family pictures to coordinate with the time of year. "I like my home to feel like the season," she says, adding, "I want it to be a place I want to spend time in, and I want others to feel that way, too."

Country Sampler stylists René Haines and Carolynn Geesaman were happy to contribute cheer-inducing vignettes for Lana’s rooms using classic springtime colors. Read on to discover their 19 bright ideas for greeting the season of rebirth.


1. Retooled tray. Give your spring decor a boost by assembling a tiered tray from two enamelware plates and a handle from an old garden tool. Situate it atop a braided jute runner to play up the contrasting textures in the piece.
2. Word play. Repurpose tiles and trays from an old game to spell out a seasonal saying, and then call attention to it with sunny yellow faux tulips or other blooms.
3. Incredible eggs. Decorate polystyrene or wood eggs with various materials and trims, including wrapped and pinned fabric, decoupaged and antiqued tissue paper, ribbon, doilies and bauble embellishments.
4. Cabbage coupe. Highlight a rustic rabbit figurine by placing it within a container made by gluing silk cabbage leaves around the rim of a small bowl.


5. Hoppy headgear. Upend an old Easter bonnet for the base of a sweet centerpiece featuring blooms and greenery tucked around a whimsical wooden bunny. Complement it with a layered table covering that combines a floral pillow sham and a lacy textile.
6. Frame game. Stack matching picture frames on a low end table to raise the profile of a distinctive lamp.
7. Chicka boom. Bring a peck of color to a snack tray with cheerful wooden chicks peering from cracked eggs. Nestle a smaller chick in a greenery candle ring and set a matching Easter basket on a bookshelf to offer continuity to the scene.
8. Textile art. Frame an embroidered runner with a garden-inspired motif and accent the piece by gluing lengths of coordinating ribbon around the frame opening.
9. Pillow power. Trade or supplement your everyday pillows with seasonally inspired designs, such as chicks or rabbits. "Look for cute cushions in colors that coordinate with your decor or other items on display," Carolynn advises. Incorporate flowing curtains or plush throws to provide more softness to the space.
10. Step it up. Employ a painted footstool to bring attention to a singular accent piece, such as a wire birdcage filled with small nests and faux flowers.


11. Garland redux. Transform a garland that’s seen better days by wiring bunches of faux lavender, lilac and lamb’s ear to it and then twining it with matching wired ribbon. Use the newly lush floral accent to give a white mantel a burst of spring vibrance. Create coordinating candleholders by gluing blocks of floral foam to the tops of old birdhouses and inserting floral sprigs and candles into the foam.
12. Mantel masterpiece. Assemble an eclectic mantel display, starting with a bunny accent made by mounting a painted plywood bunny cutout on a dowel inserted into an old chunky candleholder. The piece will pop against a backdrop of a chippy window frame and a wood and metal sign. Shed some light on the arrangement with a metal lantern holding a battery-powered candle.
13. Fenced in. Brighten a dark hearth by camouflaging it with a section of picket fence or another salvaged piece featuring a pale paint color.
14. Cozy coordinates. Mix in a rug and pillow sporting vivid hues and varied textures to punctuate your room with color and tactile appeal.
15. Shelf life. Rearrange the items on shelves or bookcases to give them a more airy appearance for spring. Balance books with small plants and decorative jars filled with eggs, fabric balls or small candies. Layer items to call attention to smaller pieces or accessories that might not attract notice on their own.


16. Magic mirror. Contribute a spot of color to a galvanized metal mirror and emphasize its shape. Select a wreath form that matches the frame opening and wrap with ribbon. Glue an assortment of coordinating yarn pom-poms to the lower half of the wreath form and attach it to the mirror.
17. Tabletop garden. Plant a garden-style centerpiece within a long treenware box or trencher, using blocks of floral foam to add height variation. Select a focal piece, such as a papier-mâché bunny, and build the arrangement around that, filling in with nests, eggs, flowers, greens, candles and small pots filled with grasses. Attach a pretty ribbon as a finishing touch.
18. Candle crack-ups. Make your own egg-shaped candles using melted colored wax and the blown-out shells or real eggs. Blow out the egg contents and thread a candlewick with a metal tab at the bottom through the holes in the egg. Pour wax into the top opening. When the wax is dry, chip the eggshell away from the finished candle. Display your colorful creations in small votive holders or eggcups, arranging several together on a cake stand or other pedestal.
19. Hit the wall. Seek out fanciful or creative decor to boost the spirits of your space. Try hanging an accessory such as a spade flower jar from a cabinet door handle or replace everyday wall art with a wreath. René inserted tulip stems into small floral water tubes before positioning them in the jar, which she filled with bright green jelly beans, an Easter favorite. "The candy adds a sweet, playful touch," she explains.

For more information, visit our Country Marketplace online.

Whittled-look ceramic rabbit, Mountainberry Candles & Keepsakes
Bundle of tulips, Country Village Shoppe
Olive, Burgundy & Gray jute braided oval table runner, The Braided Rug Place

Tall wooden bunny, Home Decor for Your Style
Handpainted chicks and wooden Easter basket, DMZ Designs
Hooked-wood bunny pillow, The Unique Black Sheep
Country Fresh Egg lamp with burlap shade, The 13th Colony, LLC
Cottage tailored swag, The Curtain Cottage

Welcome sign, metal lantern and Luminara candle, Country Village Shoppe
Gypsy rag rug kit, Rags to Rugs by Lora
Garden Rabbit hand-hooked pillow, Williamsburg House, WI
Black Star jars, Primitive Home Decors

Silver flower mirror, The Shoppes of Altavista
Ivory Running Bunny, Cowboy Creek Gifts
Treenware gathering box, The 13th Colony, LLC
Spade flower jar, Home Decor for Your Style

Written by Lisa Sloan
Photographed by Scott Campbell
Styled by René Haines and Carolynn Geesaman