Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ballard-Inspired Grass: The $5 Challenge



Lindsay, of the fabulous blog Living With Lindsay, is hosting a "5 Dollar Challenge" on her blog. The mission? To create Spring decor using only $5 worth of materials from the Dollar Tree.


I left for the Dollar Store with several ideas in my head, but I hadn't been to the Dollar Tree in months so I had to look around for a while to see what my options were. I put a bunch of stuff in my cart, waiting for inspiration to hit. As I went by the fake flowers, I noticed "Onion Grass" (chives to me!) in the selection. *Ding - light bulb! :)

I immediately remembered this picture from the Ballard Designs March catalog:


Notice the onion-grass display on the table? It's not even for sale (that I know of), but I circled it immediately because I knew that was something I eventually wanted to attempt. (I'm not even gonna try to pretend that mine looks as good as theirs, but I only had the Dollar Tree to work with, remember!) J

I picked up two packages of onion grass (the last two they had), a square floral foam, and.....
confectioner's sugar.


That's right! I searched every aisle of that store for a low, rectangular container and could.not.find one. I really wanted the project to have angles and not be in a round container. You should have seen me in there, holding up my onion grass to all sorts of different shaped boxes, trying to make it work. I'm sure the employees thought I was bonkers.

To complete this project, I also used burlap (left over from this and these) and a scrap piece of ribbon I had that was wrapped around my box of Target baby-shower thank you cards (I always save ribbon I like - you never know when it will come in handy!).


I cut the top of the box, took the sugar out, and painted it a uniform shade of brown (it's not the shade that matters; I just didn't want bright yellow and blue showing through the burlap). The next few pictures are kinda yellowy because they were taken during Mommy's happy hour(s) - Luke's bedtime! :)

I also took some of the cut-out cardboard and used it to bulk up the sides.


Once it dried, I simply tucked and folded the burlap in and hot-glued it.

In process (it's not supposed to look pretty inside!):

One of the tucked in sides:

Here's what it looks like when finished:


I waited until after this point to cut the floral foam, since I didn't know how much fabric would be on the inside, bulking up the box.

Once I had cut the floral foam to size, I started snipping off about 2 or 3 inch sections of grass to insert. Since the grass is not very wide on its own, it really helps to insert several pieces at the same time so that you can ensure that it will stay.

Here's what it looks like when you start:

Here's how it looks after one stalk was in:


And in its finished state. I hot-glued the ribbon around it for a little something extra.
I thought about trimming the grass to the same length,
but I decided that I liked the natural look.


And there you go! Ballard-inspired grass for only FOUR dollars!

Check out Lindsay's blog for other $5 inspiration! J


36 comments:

  1. wow! that looks great! and it is always so much more rewarding when you make it yourself for less rather than paying an exorbitant amount of money!

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  2. Fabulous! When I was shopping for this challenge, I too felt that the employees thought I was crazy...pacing the isles and picking up EVERYTHING! Clever use of the box!

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  3. That is so cute! What a great idea to use the sugar box. I would have never thought of something like that! Way to think "outside the box!"

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  4. that turned out super cute! I love that you didn't give up and made it work.

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  5. Really cute! I love boxes of grass like that...I went through a phase where I kept trying to actually *grow* grass in planters in the house...glad I'm through that...This is WAAAAYYY easier!

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  6. SO pretty! That was great that you could have an expensive inspiration piece in mind and make it with only 4 items from the dollar store! Great job!!

    ~Jennifer

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  7. Love this! So creative to use the box - now that is thinking! You did a great job!

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  8. This really took some creativity... great work!

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  9. What a wonderful idea! I love the way it looks!

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  10. You are so smart - no one would ever know you only spent $3! Plus, you still get to use the sugar ;).

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  11. What a great project! You are a clever and crafty girl. Happy Spring!

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  12. That is awesome! And I love your container! Beautiful!

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  13. That is so great! Dang. . . the competition is fierce! Ha Ha! I'm going to make one!
    Aleesha

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  14. That is brilliant! So adorable!

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  15. This is a great idea! I love it!
    ~Rebekah

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  16. That's great! I never would have thought to use that sugar box.

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  17. okay, you may not believe this, but....this is something I have wanted to do ALL week! lol I already had some of the grass in a darker shade but wanted the "greener" stuff. I also wondered what I would use for a container. Today, I was able to get to the $Tree (nearest one is 45 minutes away)and found 2, but only 2 of the green. I talked myself into only buying ONE. :(
    I wasn't sure I would be able to make it work. Now I come home and find a tutorial on it! Wishing I had gotten BOTH stalks! :O) You've done a great, very creative job and showed me how to get it done! Thanks!!!

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  18. I'm actually going to try and grow some wheat grass in a windowbox in my kitchen window so I love this look! Great use of a sugar box ;).

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  19. I love this! I was thinking about trying something like this yesterday, but I wasn't sure the how many onion grass stalks I'd need. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  20. I love your creativity in using the sugar box!! The project turned out wonderfully and I think it's something I'll try :) Judi

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  21. Yours looks just like the inspiration! And for $4!!

    Sarah

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  22. you are a crafty genius! i'm so beyond impressed! you rock! so glad we've found each other in the blogosphere. i can't wait to follow you. happy weekend!

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  23. Wow, I am impressed. Are you sure you are not an interior decorator rather than a music teacher?

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  24. That came out great! Doesn't it figure that the one thing that catches your eye in a catalog isn't even for sale? Thanks for the invite to your party, too!

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  25. Very cute! I am still getting around to seeing everyone's stuff!

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  26. I finally was able to find another stalk of grass and complete my project! I linked back to this post as my original inspiration!
    Have a great weekend!
    Sharon

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  27. Hi! Your project inspired me to make my own! I've put a link on my blog back to yours.
    Have a great weekend!

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  28. Whoa! I'm going to make this! Thank you for providing such detailed instructions and photos :)

    LambAround’s latest post: Getting All Teary-Eyed

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