Bringing the Outdoors In

by Julie on March 29, 2012 · 47 comments

For more posts like these, please visit my new home and lifestyle blog, Creating This Life.

I’m not a gardener. I’m what you would call indoorsy.

So once things are planted outside, it usually doesn’t occur to me to actually go out there and bring them in.

But over the winter I found this pin on Pinterest and decided to try and recreate it for a book club gathering at my house.

I already had this set of three vases and some floating candles like these, which I use all the time.

Twigs in clear vases with water and floating candles. Nothing could be simpler.

I’m sure any neighbors who saw me outside with pruning sheers in February thought I had lost it at last. But I actually loved the result.

I love the seasons, including the starkness of winter, so its simplicity was pretty to me.

Last month I decided to try my hand at forcing branches. I clipped some off of a honeysuckle bush (I think it’s a honeysuckle bush…someone correct me if I’m wrong) but they didn’t bloom. The leaves just dried up and fell off.

I liked the green while it lasted though.

Honeysuckle clippings. I think?

This week I decided to clip a couple of branches off of this dogwood tree (at least I think it’s Dogwood…told ya I’m not a gardener).

Is it a Dogwood?

This time the buds had already bloomed but have opened up even more over the past few days. So pretty and simple. I love them.

Bringing a little Spring inside.

And they’re lasting a lot longer than the $6.99 bunch of tulips I bought at the grocery store.

$7 tulips.

Free clippings from just outside my front door.

Do you like to garden? How do you decorate with nature?

Note: This post contains my referral links. See my disclosure policy for more details. This post is part of the William Morris Project, Frugal Days Sustainable WaysFiner Things Friday, and From Pinterest to Real Life.

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon March 29, 2012 at 6:53 am

This is such a GREAT idea!!! I LOVE it! I think your twigs look better than the tulips!

LOVE the candle and twigs idea..what a great way to celebrate the *darker* months! :)!


Julie March 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm

I loved the idea when I saw it too, Sharon. So, so easy.


Carrie @ Busy Nothings March 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Love the candle and twigs – so simple, but really pretty. As for the flowers, some of my favorites are when we snip branches from the flowing cherry tree above our deck and bring them inside. They don’t last too long, but they are beautiful for a while. :-) Sometimes the simple things (like bringing in flowers or branches from the yard) are all it takes to brighten up a house and take over the piles. :-)


Julie March 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Carrie, I agree. And sometimes things are so simple that they don’t even occur to me until I see them somewhere else.


Hunter March 29, 2012 at 8:14 pm

These look reat Julie, very creative. Indoorsy – classic!


Julie March 30, 2012 at 9:23 am



Melissa@HomeBaked March 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm

I keep meaning to go clip some branches, and I never do! Yours look beautiful!


Julie March 30, 2012 at 9:24 am

Melissa, I hear you. You wouldn’t believe how long I thought about going out and clipping branches before I actually did it.


Erin March 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Love your blog! :) Can’t wait to read more! :) Erin


Julie March 30, 2012 at 9:24 am

Thank you, Erin. I’m so happy to have you as a reader.


Miranda March 30, 2012 at 10:09 am

Great idea! Pinterest is so inspiring, hey :)?


Julie March 30, 2012 at 10:12 am

Absolutely! What did we do before we had it?


Leilani March 30, 2012 at 10:16 am

So precious! I, too, never think to bring blooms inside. My cats would try to eat them if I did, though.


Julie March 30, 2012 at 10:18 am

LOL Leilani…no cats here. :)


May March 30, 2012 at 10:32 am

Indoorsy? Just the adjective to describe my people!


Julie March 30, 2012 at 10:36 am

I like your people!


CultOfMoney March 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Very nice! I don’t have a lot of spring flowers, some, but not many. I have a huge bunch of Dahlias though, that last July through October that I bring in all the time. And to work. And more to give to co-workers. The more I cut the faster they grow back. It’s a great problem to have in the summer. :)


Julie April 5, 2012 at 10:10 am

Wonderful COM! The more you give them away, the more they grow. I love that.


Lindy Mint April 3, 2012 at 9:48 pm

I love the sticks in water. Genius!

We have a purple plumb tree in our back yard that always blooms on my sister’s birthday. So I usually cut some sprigs off and give it to her with her present. They are so pretty.

I’m also a fan of the uncarved Halloween pumpkin that can double as Thanksgiving decor if you keep it long enough. It’s the ultimate lazy-person’s decoration.


Julie April 5, 2012 at 10:11 am

Pumpkins do seem to last forever, don’t they? I’m 100% in favor of lazy person decorating. And your sister is a lucky girl to have that tree bloom on her birthday.


Kari@Small Budget Big Dreams April 4, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I think I’d love to garden, but living in the city there’s no outdoor space to do it. I’m hoping to sneak a couple of pots of herbs up on our roof this summer.


Julie April 5, 2012 at 10:12 am

Let us know how it goes, Kari. Which herbs will you plant? I’m planning a potted herb garden for the summer myself.


Bridget June 24, 2012 at 5:46 am

Quick tip for making the tulips last longer: they like cold, so trim the ends & put ice water in the vase. Should add a few days to their ‘shelf life’.


Julie July 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Thanks for the tip, Bridget. I’ll try that next time.


Kristen Kirkman July 12, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Can ou tell me how you prevented the branches from floating?


conni July 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I would use a bit of hot glue.


Julie July 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Kristen, I didn’t have any problems with floating that I remember. If I did, the candles on top kept the branches down.


Mandy August 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I am making these for my wedding. I have all the supplies and tried them out. They look great aside from the fact that the branches keep floating! Any ideas about the best way to prevent this from happening? I had a few ideas but all seemed a little too time intensive. My hope was to find a low maintenance solution!


Julie August 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Hi Mandy, I didn’t seem to have any trouble with the branches floating. Have you tried them with the candles on top of them? That seemed to keep them down for me. Otherwise, the commenter above recommended a little bit of hot glue.

Good luck and best wishes!


Chelsea August 26, 2012 at 11:13 am

This is so cute! I love the way it looks!!


teri December 3, 2012 at 10:14 pm

did the branches.. they did float.. disappointed me… kept trying to push them down.. went ahead and lit them.. Thought maybe water would eventually weigh them down.. But didnt.. will work on it again tomarrow..


Myrna April 12, 2013 at 11:07 am

Love it! Guess I’ll be sneaking into my neighbor’s yard to steal some twigs and flowers to create this inexpensive, creative design! haha


stephanie June 3, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Well…maybe it’s just me but I had trouble with this one. I love the look of the twigs and candle but my twigs keep floating up. Should my candle be the exact size of the opening? Mine is just a bit smaller.


Kim Riffle July 11, 2015 at 12:00 pm

I am wondering what provides the glow that appears in the picture inside the vases with twigs? Have you also got candles in back of the vases or submersible ones inside?


Lauren July 12, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Ecery Time I have tried to do the one with the branches in it the branches float. Any suggestions?


louisa December 16, 2015 at 5:40 am

Nice, I really love the clear vases with water, floating candles and twigs! Do you remember where you bought those vases?


Julie December 16, 2015 at 5:53 am

Louisa, there’s a link in the post where you can buy them on Amazon.


Jackie March 10, 2016 at 6:51 am

in the jar you put water or something else like oil or….


Debra September 9, 2016 at 6:17 am

A penny in the water with the tulips will make them last longer and stand up they like the copper in the penny…


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