Dried Hydrangea Ideas


 Dried Hydrangea Ideas:   Using dried hydrangeas is an inexpensive and easy way to decorate for fall. If you have hydrangea bushes in your landscape, you have access to wonderful dried material to use in so many ways. Let me show you a couple dried hydrangea ideas to use in your decor for this upcoming season.

Dried Hydrangea Ideas

First, (in case you don’t know), let me show you how to dry these beautiful blooms. I have both Annabelle and PeeGee Hydrangeas. The Annabelle hydrangea turns a light shade of green when  it’s ready to be dried. Don’t try to dry them when they are white as it doesn’t work. They just wilt.

The PeeGee’s turn from white to a combination of pink and green. It is at the pink and green stage when you dry them. In our climate, we don’t have the beautiful blues, pinks or purple hydrangeas so I don’t know if those dry well or not!

Using Dried Hydrangeas in your Decor www.grandparentsplus.com

 Annabelle Hydrangeas

Cut them after they have turned green leaving a stem. Strip all the leaves off.

Using Dried Hydrangeas in your Decor   www. grandparentsplus.com

I use rubber bands to group and hang my hydrangeas. Group about 4-6 together.


Using dried hysdrangeas in your decor   www.grandparentsplus.com

Now, hang upside down (very important) in a dark area of your basement or garage. I pound a nail in and use the rubber bands to hang them over the nail.


Using Dried Hydrangeas in Your Decor   www.grandparentsplus.comDried Hydrangea Bunches

After about a week or so, they are ready to use in your arrangements. They will feel very much like  paper and the stems break easily.  Now the fun part starts…..

Use as a dried hydrangea bouquet……


Dried Hydangeas in fall decor   www.grandparentsplus.com


Dried Hydranges in you decor   www.grandparentsplus.com


This next dried hydrangea idea I saw in a very upscale, designer floral store. I had the hydrangeas and tall glass container so I purchased the little dried pumpkins. Any dried contrasting colored material works, too! (pinecones?)

I recommend doing the assembly outside as the dried hydrangea blooms make a bit of a mess when you’re working with them!

Dried Hydrangeas Ideas  www.grandparentsplus.com


Fill 1/3 of the glass container with the dried hydrangeas and place 1/2 of the artificial pumpkins toward the outside of the glass container. Don’t waste putting them in the middle as they don’t show there.

Dried Hydrangea Ideas


Repeat the pattern and end with the dried hydrangeas on the top!

Using dried hydrangeas in your decor.    www.grand


And the final product!!!

Dried Hydrangea Ideas


And a smaller version……..


Dried Hydrangea Ideas

Now, go and find some hydrangeas before it’s too late! If you don’t have any, drive around, find a bush, and ask a neighbor if you can cut some! They don’t last outside through the winter anyway!! You are not hurting the bushes by cutting them!

Toss them out when they are faded! You’ll have more next year!

I also use them on my Christmas tree as a filler between branches. It gives the tree a great look. I’ll post that later!


Thanks for stopping by…..


Have fun with your fall decorating!


Phyllis (Oma)


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Decorating with Apples!

Besides the leaves turning, one thing that I look forward to in the fall is APPLES! I eat, cook and decorate with them . Decorating with apples is easy, especially if you have an apple tree. If not, use artificial apples or mix artificial and real together. When decorating with apples, use different types and  sizes. It helps fill in spaces and gives interesting color variations.

Decorating with Apples

I found a cute wheelbarrow at a shop and could see the possibilities for fall.   Some of these artificial apples are on small tree limbs with leaves. It gives a nice contrast to the display. Using different sizes and colors fills in the spaces and adds colorful interest and texture.


Another look using the same  materials….

 In this display,  a green depression glass compote dish gives a wonderful contrast to the red of the apples.

Decorating with Apples


 My wheelbarrow now adorns my coffee table in our great room.

Decorating with Apples   grandparentsplus.com


 Do you use apples in decorating for fall?

Thanks for visiting and come back again.  I appreciate your wonderful comments!

Enjoy eating the apples and decorating with them!



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Idea House – Part 1

Idea House    grandparentsplus.comThree times a year, there is an idea house open in our area with wonderful creative decorating ideas. I thought I’d take you on a little tour and show you  how I am incorporating some of these inspirational ideas.

The place settings are always fantastic and for sure there is no shortage of dishes! Of course, everything that is  shown in the idea house is available through their store. That’s why there is an  “overload” on the dishes!

It was great to see several simple ideas for napkin rings that weren’t expensive to do. Here they are….

idea House Napkin Ring grandparentsplus.com

Another one…..

Wrap the napkin with burlap ribbon and secure a burlap leaf topped with a raffia bow!

Idea House Tour - Napkin Ring    grandparentsplus.com

And another…….


Idea House Tour Napkin Ring    grandparentsplus.com



My napkin accents look like this….

I’ll be adding a raffia bow, too!

Idea House   grandparentsplus.com


The idea house is an  old house and has a small enclosed front porch. The windows were decorated so cute!

Here they are…..

Idea House Porch Windows   grandparentsplus.com

Behind the decorative metal pieces, they secured a length of burlap. The burlap comes as a Deco Poly Mesh 21″ x 10 yards. It has finished sides  so there are no threads hanging. It makes such a great screen of textured material behind the  unique metal sculptured wall pieces. The burlap is also used as a table runner as you will see later in this post.

Notice the plants in front. They used plain old sticks found in your yard and glued them around the terra-cotta pots and finished it off with raffia, burlap leaf, and a burlap flower!

Here’s a better picture of the pots!

Idea House Tour - grandparentsplus.com

The other windows on the porch were decorated like this….

Idea House Tour     grandparentsplus.com

Using the same Burlap Deco Poly mesh, they folded it up and gathered it together, tying it off with twine and accented with a burlap-type sunflower along with the burlap leaves. So easy and cute! I also like this idea to put on your front door instead of a wreath.

Idea House Tour    grandparentsplus.com


The table centerpiece was tastefully put together and made a big impact with color  It is another idea that is  very easy to do for your own home.

Idea House 006pm

The supplies used are: one mum plant, a smaller green plant, 1 bunch of candles tied with raffia or twine, artificial pumpkin and seed pods all in a wooden box.


My copycat version is this….

Idea House - Part 1    grandparentsplus.com


On top of the blue placemat was a plastic sunflower mat! Doesn’t it add a lot to this tablescape?

Idea House part 1   grandparentsplus.com


Notice the burlap table runner. It, too, is from that same burlap material that I mentioned above. With so many dishes, it is a bit hidden.

On my table it looks like this ….

Idea House Part 1  grandparentsplus.com


Idea House Part 1    grandparentsplus.com

My harvest table is narrow so I decided not to use placemats and hide the runner. I wanted it more visible and liked the textured look against the wood.

Perhaps you’ve come across some ideas for your home, too!

Which idea do you think you could incorporate in your decor?



More highlights from the Idea House to come in Part 2.

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Western Craft Ideas


Western Craft Ideas

Western Craft Ideas

With a Western theme for our last Oma and Opa Camp (Grandma and Grandpa) ,  I tried to make the Western Crafts appeal to both boys and girls. Not everyone did all the crafts which is just fine.  Sometimes kids just like to play and have fun! So, I don’t make them do each Western Craft. It is their choice!

I like ideas that are easy to do, cost friendly and appeal to both boys and girls !

1. Wanted Posters

I bought fake stick-on mustaches at the dollar store. They came several to a package for $1. With two packages, I let them pick out the one they wanted. Wearing a cowboy hat, mustache (for the boys), and a red western bandana around their neck, I took each of their pictures with a “mean look” against a blank wall and printed out individual wanted posters. I gave them some possibilites of why they were “wanted” and they chose the one they wanted for the poster. They loved them! They took them home at the end.

Western Crafts


Western Crafts  www.grandparentsplus.com

 Go to Glass Giant to make the wanted posters.

Another option is to decoupage these posters onto a piece of wood to hang in their room.

2. Rope Coasters

Supplies Needed: Sisal Rope, Felt, Hot Glue Gun

Western Crafts   Rope Coast.er   www.grandparentsplus.com

Cut felt circles. I made them 3 1/2 inches in diameter.

Start by hot gluing the beginning of the rope to the middle of the circle (adult needs to do this part).

Western Rope coaster  www.grandparentsplus.com

Next step is to put hot glue onto the edge and pull sisal rope to stick to that glued area. I found it easy for kids to pull the rope around while I did the hot glue and then hold it in place with a metal spoon. That way they didn’t get burned by the hot glue.


Western Crafts Rope Coaster   www.grandparentsplus.com

Continue around gluing about 2-3 inches at a time and holding the rope in place. It only takes about 10-20 seconds for the glue to hold it.

When completed, trim off any felt edges that show.

An adult should secure the end with plenty of hot glue.

Western Crafts  www.grandparentsplus.com


Western Crafts


3. Painted Snakes


I found a kit of a wooden snake at the craft store. It was sectioned so you could straighten it or coil it. The kids painted them and we used them for the Snake Tic-Tac-Toe Game ( see post on Western Games)

Western Crafts   www.grandparentsplus.com

Another variation for the snakes is to make them out of  a flexible molding compound found at craft stores. The snakes would remain either straight or coiled, however.

4. Western Frame

While we were at the horse ranch, I took pictures of each child riding the horse. I printed a 4×6 picture out on the computer.

The frames I found at a  craft shop for $1.  They were wooden and came without glass (which was just fine for this project).  Due to lack of time, I spray painted them all a basic brown. The kids then decorated them with Western Foam Stickers (also found at the craft shop). The picture was inserted and they turned out cute to put in their room.

Western Crafts


Western Crafts



Western Crafts


5. Western Themed T-Shirt (Bleached Method)


Using a stencil as a pattern, I cut out a cowboy riding a bucking bronco from freezer paper. We also used western foam stickers. Each child decided what they wanted on their shirt. Some chose the large cowboy cutout and others wanted the smaller western stickers. I also had alphabet foam stickers so they could spell their own name or”cowboy” or “cowgirl”.

Using a washed t-shirt ( we used black and red ones as dark colors work best), adhere the stickers or iron the freezer paper cutouts onto the front of the shirt. Make sure the edges are stuck very well to the shirt.

Place newspaper or plastic bags in the shirt so the bleach doesn’t go through to the other side. I folded the sleeves back so the bleach didn’t touch them.

In a spray bottle, put bleach and add water (ratio 1 bleach to 1/2 water). Lay shirt in the sun and spray lightly – don’t soak!  Repeat spraying until desired lightness. Let dry in between spraying so the sun does its work. When completely dry,  remove stickers.

Western Crafts   www.grandparentsplus.com


Western Crafts   www.grandparentsplus.com


Western Crafts  www.grandparentsplus.com


Western Crafts

I found other ideas that I didn’t do, but are extra ideas to have on hand……

6. Horse pictures made from a footprint:

Go to busybeecrafts for complete instructions!

This is more for younger children!

7.  Desert Pictures


This site also has ideas for sand pictures!

8.  Horseshoe Craft

Go to this  Pinterest 

If you a lucky enough to find horseshoes, this is a good option for older kids.  Shrinky-Dinks using Western shapes makes a cheaper option rather than buying lots of charms. Check out various free clipart options online for patterns.

9. Leather Crafting

Just buying a kit is rather expensive and hard to do with multiple kids.  Making this with a couple of kids is doable, but needs supervision.  Smaller kits with one tool are available at craft stores. Leather bracelets or bookmarks are some options.

10. Western Melted Bead Suncatchers

Melted Beads   www.grandparentsplus.com

We didn’t use this Western Craft idea because we did it another year with a different theme and I like to do something new each year.  The melted beads work with any theme as long as you can find the metal cookie cutters.  Using western metal cookie cutters (boots, cactus, etc.) is another great option for a western craft.

Go to Suncatcher-Melted Beads for complete directions

I know there are lots of other options, but don’t over-plan!  If you do a Western Party with many kids, the crafts go smoothly if you have “stations” where one adult supervises and helps kids, but they can pick which station to go to.  With our 7 grandkids, we gave the options one at a time spacing them out through the 3 days of Oma and Opa Camp!

Hope these Western Craft  ideas help with your party!


Phyllis (Oma)

Posting other Western Food Ideas and Western games, too,  so subscribe so you don’t miss future posts. Also follow on Pinterest or Bloglovin.

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Fall Arrangement Inspiration!

Fall Arrangement Inspiration!


I have an antique  Dutch wooden flour sifter that I got in Holland some years ago.  I’ve displayed many things in it, but decided to use it in making a fall arrangement for the sunroom.


Fall Centerpiece  #2  grandparentsplus.com

I used three things for this fall arrangement :    3 –  $1  Dollar Tree Fall picks, 3 pods and 3 clumps of dried green material. I had all these on hand.

Fall Arrangement   grandparentsplus.com

First, I bent and filled the sifter with the maroon leaf picks. Then, I added the pods. Finally. the three bunches of dried greens got tucked in for a bit of contrast.  (Always use 3 or 5 of something – odd numbers work best)  This fall arrangement came together in about five minutes! 

I really like the accent of the pods which pick up the wood tones from the sifter.

Here’s a close up view of the dried material in the sifter…..

Fall Arrangement


Final results are this…..


Fall Arrangement Inspiration   www.grandparentsplus.com

 I love how quickly this fall arrangement came together. It looks great in the sunroom on my small coffee table!


Fall Arrangement Inspiration

 What unusual items have you used for arrangements?

I hope this post inspires you to look at antiques or simple items in your home as new possibilities to use for arrangements.



Phyllis (Oma)


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Western Game Ideas

Western Game Ideas


This year the theme of our Oma and Opa Camp was a Western Round-Up! I used many of these Western Game ideas during the time we had all the grandchildren at our house.  Thought I’d share them with you!

1. Snake Tic-Tac-Toe Game

Using two bags of Dollar Store snakes, divide by color. Half of the snakes were mostly green and half were orange. I used my square coffee table, but this could be placed on the floor or use an old sheet and tape off a Tic-Tac-Toe Board. I made a slight variation in the game in that each player had 3 tries to land their snake on a square. Sometimes it landed on the wrong square, but it had to stay there. After 3 tries and if the player didn’t make it onto any square, the other person had a turn. This made the game more fun rather than the “cat” always winning.

Outdoor variation:

Play this western game outdoors on the sidewalk or driveway by chalking a tic-tac-toe board.

Western Game Ideas


2. Round -em Up!

Put several animal crackers in a bowl. (Find cows or horses or any animal cracker will do.) Cover the crackers with whipped cream (from a can). They have to “round up” the animals by eating them without their hands and digging into the bowl face first!

Western Game Ideas

3. Snake in a Boot

First, I found wooden snakes at a craft store and the kids painted them. They used their snakes for this western game.  Have a cowboy boot on the floor. Place a chair by the boot and have the kids stand on the chair to try to get the snake in the boot by dropping it. Set a height of where kids can drop it from – this can vary with the ages of the children.  They get a set amount of tries (I did 5) to see how many times they make it in the boot!

Western Game Ideas   www.grandparentsplus.com


4. Round Up or Barrel Racing!

Blow up several large balloons.  Kids have to kick or maneuver their balloon through set course. Place objects that they have to move around (“barrels”) and come back to the starting line. You may time this or just let it be for fun! (Also used as a relay if you have lots of kids.) This game is best played in a large area on a calm day or indoors, otherwise the balloons are too hard to control.

5. Pin the Mustache on the Outlaw!

Draw or blow-up a clip art picture of an outlaw. Kids take turns trying to place  the mustache on the outlaw while blindfolded. Another version is to use a picture of them and try to stick the mustache on their picture while blindfolded!

6. Rattle-Skee-Daddle!

Using the plastic snakes or any ones that you may find. Kids throw the snakes trying to land them in a basket placed a distance away.  Give them a set amount of tries ( 5  or 10?).

7. Cowboy Lasso

Using a hula-hoop, tie a fairly long rope to it and have the kids try to get it around a play horse. If you have a rocking horse, this works well. Otherwise, making a simple wooden horse or an adult playing as a horse will do!

8. Target Shooting

We live in a rural area so B-B Gun shooting is fine, if supervised. My husband being a hunter is very careful about teaching gun safety. Set up a target of tin cans. Let kids try to hit the target.

If you are not in an area where you can shoot a B B Gun, use balls to try to “shoot” the target. Make a pyramid of cans and see if they can knock all the cans down in one “shot”.

Another version is to “shoot” small paper cups off the table with a squirt gun. Use bathroom cups and the fastest time to accomplish shooting all off the table, wins!

9. Yee Haw Slide

If you have a hill, you can do this activity. While it isn’t exactly a game, make it one by seeing who can slide the farthest.

Buy 6 mm plastic and cut to desired length. We used 8 1/2 ft. wide plastic. Place garden pins on the edges of the plastic to hold in place. Set sprinklers all along the length so they wet the surface constantly. To make it “Western”, take a run and slide and say Yee Haw! (I know that’s a stretch on the Western theme! Ha!) It was fun, though!

Western Slide    www.grandparentsplus.com

10. Water Pistol Tag

This game is played like tag, but you are ” it” if hit by water. Use cheap water pistols so they don’t shoot so far and  kids have a chance to get away.

Have fun with these Western Games! Yee Haw!

Phyllis (Oma)


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Front Garden Goodbye!


Front Garden Goodbye



This post is my front garden goodbye! I enjoy my front entrance with all the colors. I realize this is now short-lived with fall upon us. It seems so sad that just when they get mature and at their peak, the frost comes and ends it all! Thought I’d give you an end of summer tour before it all goes away.


Garden and house front 029pmsized


House and 005pmsize




Front Garden Goodbye


Front Garden Goodbye   www.grandparentsplus.com


It’s hard to say goodbye to these little hummingbirds! They come to the window to tell me when one of the feeders is empty! Yes, they do that!

Front Garden Goodbye   www.grandparentsplus.com

 Also, hard to say goodbye to the beautiful butterflies that visit here!

Front Garden Goodbye


Front Garden Goodbye

Now I say, “Front Garden, Goodbye!” Till next year!




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Western Food Ideas


Western Food Ideas   www.grandparentsplus.com

Yee Haw!

Having a Western party? Here are some Western Food Ideas that are fun to serve.  I did many of these for my last Oma and Opa’s Camp (Grandma & Grandpa) .  I like to have kids prepare some of the food themselves so many of these work well for kids doing part of the preparation. They have fun participating in making their food and it helps me, too!

For an adult party, I have served chili or Bar-B-Que Beef, too. Those foods don’t work too well with kids, especially in the summer. However, for adults or kids, it’s fun to add a few of these western food ideas .



1. Wagon Wheels

I found this snack that looked like wagon wheels. They were perfect for a kid’s snack and would be great for an appetizer snack at an adult party. They come in both peanut butter or cheese filled! They look like wagon wheels to me!

Western Food Ideas


2. Cactus Juice

This green drink looked good and tasted great! The kids wanted the recipe (don’t tell their moms that it had a bunch of sugar)! Take green Kool-aid (mix according to directions), add lime sherbet and mix in some Sprite or lemon-lime carbonated drink!  So simple!

Western Food Ideas   cactus juice   www.grandparentsplus.com


3. Cowboy Bedrolls

Cowboys roll up their beds and carry them with them so I thought these looked like bedrolls! The real name is Cinnamon Cream Cheese Roll-Ups. The kids helped make these and they were so-o-o-o GOOD! The recipe is found here. Great for dessert served with a little ice cream!

Western Food Ideas   www.grandparentsplus.com


Western Food Ideas    www.grandparentsplus.com

 4. Nuggets

What kid doesn’t like chicken nuggets? These nuggets are far better than those bought pre-made in the store!

Simply cut boneless chicken breasts into approx. 1 inch cubes. Dredge chicken in flour, dip into an egg wash and roll in Panko bread crumbs. Place in a little hot olive oil or vegetable oil and fry turning to brown all sides! Keep warm in oven until served. De-lish! The Panko bread crumbs are the best!

Use these “Nuggets” as appetizers for adults or as a main course for children.



5. Little Doggies

Cowboys refer to the cattle as “little doggies” so I used this old idea of rolling up hot dogs in crescent rolls. I cut the hot dogs in half and then each child rolled their “doggies” up!

Western Food Ideas

6. Cowboy Pizza Pockets

For this meal, we ate by the campfire. I used several pie irons. They are available through many outdoor and hunting stores. I had spaghetti sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese and cooked spaghetti that they could put into their “pizza pockets”. Spray each side of the pie irons with a no-stick cooking spray. (Hint: The square ones work the best!) Then butter one side of the bread and lay the buttered side down on each side of the irons. Spread spaghetti sauce on each side. One one side put the fillings of choice. Close up the iron and lay in the coals for approx  3-5 minutes turning once during that time. (times vary due to how hot the coals are). Open and cut in half! You can cut off the crusts ahead of time or cut off burned crusts before opening.

Western Food Ideas   Cowboy Pizza Pockets


Western Food Ideas - www.grandparentsplus.com


7. Western Omelets

These were omelets made in a freezer bag. See directions here.

Western Food Ideas   Western Omelets


8. Cowpies

The cowpies are cookies. I found several different recipes on Pinterest. Since I didn’t have enough Rice Krispies as the recipe called for, I substituted some honey oats along with the Rice Krispies. I think any cereal would work!  Here is the recipe I followed with those substitutions.  Click here.


cow pies


 Almost forgot one………

9. Armpit Ice Cream!

The kids really wondered what this was going to be.  I told them that out west, they had to make their own ice cream. I gave them a towel so it wouldn’t be so cold on their armpits or hands when making it.

Take three freezer bags ( one quart and two gallon) In the quart bag, mix 1/2 cup half and half, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and seal the bag very well!

In the gallon bag, place ice cubes, approx 3 tbsp. Coarse Salt (I used ice cream salt).  Now place small bag into the ice and seal the gallon bag very well! Get as much air out as possible. Place in a second bag and seal well. Now, place under armpit and shake and squeeze. Shake in you hands, too. Just be careful that the bags don’t break! Shake for about 10-15 minutes until ice cream forms. Take small bags out of the large and place in freezer for about 30 minutes. Serve “armpit” ice cream with the bedrolls!

Armpit Ice Cream    www.grandparentsplus.com

Other ideas include corn as “gold”, cucumber slices as “silver dollars”, beef jerky as “boot leather”…….etc.  I’m sure you can come up with more ideas, too! If you want to make it really Western, serve your meal on aluminum pie plates and use red western bandanas for napkins!

Have Fun!

Phyllis (Oma)

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Fall Wreath

Time to change the decor! Summer seemed short, but school has started and the sumac leaves are starting to turn.That means fall is here!

This fall wreath is so quick and easy to make. It took less than 30 minutes to put together.  It makes a wonderful addition to your fall decorations. You may have some of the supplies already on hand.


Fall Wreath  www.grandparentsplus.com

I used four large artificial ruby-colored  hydrangeas for the main accents on this fall wreath.  (I watched for the sale on these!)  A  straw or wire wreath works the best. (I don’t like styrofoam as they sometimes break apart especially if you drop it.)

Next,  I filled in with artificial fall leaves that I happened to have on hand.

Finally, I added  a few berry picks, too.

Everything is hot glued in place.

Finish your fall wreath with a bow! If you prefer,  change the bow to a plain burlap one or whatever you may have on hand!


I saw a similar idea at a craft store, but it was so easy to replicate with some of my materials.

Hope this gives you a simple idea to try!

Fall Wreath   www.grandparentsplus.com


Fall Wreath www.grandparentsplus.com

I’ll be able to enjoy this fall wreath through Thanksgiving!

Give it a try!

Have fun!


Phyllis (Oma)


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