Jul 13, 2011

A garden arbor and mason jar lanterns

I've got weddings on the brain lately -- we just went to one this past weekend (and it was fabulous!). Actually, this blog is really all because I had so much fun planning our wedding, DIYing decorations and talking with other brides (both in person and on theknot.com) that when it was over, I really missed being creative and sharing ideas with other people just as passionate as I am. I love being part of such a fun and creative group of shelter bloggers, swapping ideas and tips and encouraging each other!

Our wedding was over a year ago now, but it's nice to have a few reminders of that day around, like the wedding shadowbox I made.

We got married under a birch arbor the hubs made himself. I showed him some pictures of arbors I liked, and we talked about how big we wanted it. He cut the birch from his parents' property and used screws to hold it together. But the pieces came apart more or less easily for transporting.

I love that we can have it as a keepsake.

Photo by Clare Norton

It's got a place now in our backyard.

Next year, I plan to add some flowers around it, including some vines that will climb up and up. And maybe I'll add a little bird bath.

But for now, I used something I had on hand -- a couple pots of annuals and my mason jar lanterns. They make a pretty cute addition, don't you think?

There were supposed to be five jars, but I broke one. I actually put that L.L.Bean picnic blanket that usually hangs out on the porch underneath to try and break the fall in case another jar took a tumble. But then I thought it looked like a cute little picnic setting, so I left it.

I bought most of those jars from a flea market vendor, and I use them around the house as lanterns and seashell holders. I originally had more than 70, but I sold all but about a dozen of them.

Photo by Clare Norton

They just look so pretty with only a few rocks and a candle.

I hung them with some fishing line -- and I also got eaten alive by mosquitoes the whole time. Just picture me on a step stool on uneven ground, trying to hold a jar and tie two pieces of invisible fishing line at the same time, while flinging my ponytail around to keep the mosquitoes away from my face. I'm pretty sure my neighbors think I'm totally nuts.

But the end results were worth it!

I wouldn't leave these up all the time, since the jars would fill with rain and may blow around too much in stormy weather. But if I lived in Cali or some other place with picture-perfect summer weather, I most definitely would.

I had everything I needed on hand for this garden addition, so it was free. But even if you wanted to recreate it, it wouldn't cost you much, as long as you had access to some free birch and were handy with a saw and a screwdriver (or have a partner who is!). Mason jars are readily available at flea markets or even Goodwill for only a couple bucks each, rocks are pretty cheap at Target or a craft store (or even free if you have a place to collect them) and everyone has votives lying around.

Our backyard looks like a romantic secret garden with the addition of the arbor and the lanterns. I love it!

Linking up!




Butterflies & Seashells said...

I love it! I love birch and candles of any sort. Great job!


Michelle@Somedaycrafts said...

That is beautiful. I'd love something like that going into a backyard. What a fun entryway!

Michelle said...

I LOVE THIS!!! SO gorgeous!!! I am visiting from Someday Crafts and I am a new follower! My Delicately Constructed Friday Linky party starts tomorrow morning and I would LOVE if you would link this up!
Hope that you have a great weekend and that I see you around soon!

Christina said...

beautiful!! I really love that it means so much to you guys...and the hanging mason jars are PERFECT!

Thanks so much for linking to "20 Below Thursday"! :)

Mindy @ Heart Maine Home said...

Thanks all! I did link up, Michelle -- thanks for the invite!

Dana from Our Life's Legacy said...

Hey there! I had TONS of mason jars at my wedding as well, so I share your love :) and the arbor is beautiful.

Catch A Falling Star said...

I LOVE your birch arbor!!
I have always been pretty fond of birch as well.
Your cute laterns go really well with it too!

The Miller's @ Prezidential Life said...

beyond breath taking... really! my fav is the mason joar laterns. It really gives the arbor a nice feel. and you can dress those guys up or down!
The Miller's
Prezidentail Life

Simone @ Doberman's by the Sea said...

Awesome-I heart Mason jars too. The birch thingy is sweet.

Christina said...

I featured this project on my blog today...come grab a "featured" button! :)


Angie@Echoes of Laughter said...

Hi Mindy! Thank you so much for visting me and leaving a comment. I love Maine! I was born and grew up in Nova Scotia and I have been to Maine many times..especially to Freeport for shopping! I absolutely adore your wedding shadow box...it is really lovely! Have a wonderful week! Angie xo

Jami said...

Love that you could reuse such a sweet keepsake at your home!!! The jar lanterns are the perfect touch! Also loved that you shared the shadowbox from your wedding!
Would love for you to stop by and share this at the Tuesday To Do Party if you get a chance!