This April I’m going to be all about the FREE.

I know, right?

Freeity, freeitee, freefrou, freefree topped off with wait for it, wait for it–FREE.

I hosting a 30-day challenge.

30 days of FREE decorating tips and ideas for using what you have to create a home that you love.  One tip and a challenge a day delivered to your inbox for FREE.

It starts April 1.

Are you ready?

Are you in?

This challenge is in addition to the blog posts I’m working on for April and you can sign up for it here.

I’m sharing a spring decorating idea today to get us started.

How to decorate your spring mantel for FREE.

Saturday I hosted a celebration for the new book.

There were friends and family and cookies that stepped out of the pages of the planner.

And when I was getting the house ready I turned the corner in the family room and discovered that my mantel forgot to decorate itself.

Here’s the view from the kitchen, but to the left of this picture there’s more to the room.

It’s the part of the room that backs up to the laundry room.

When we renovated the bedroom upstairs and took out a fireplace mantel, here’s where it landed.

I have a fun project planned for it, but for now it was sitting back in the corner of the family room and I forgot about it.

The top needs to be painted and it looked a little rough and I didn’t have a lot of time before the guests arrived.

So I came up with this free spring mantel.

I took empty mason jars and staggered them on the mantel.

The more the merrier.

I think I have about 10 jars.

And then?

I went out to the yard and cut a few branches off a tree.

I filled the mason jars with water and staggered the cut branches in them at different heights.

I fluffed the mantel and got ready for the guests.

Family and friends arrived, including my mother.

When my mother walked into the family room, she turned the corner in the room and literally gasped.

“It looks so pretty,” she said.

“I know, right?” I replied.

Nothing is prettier than a spring mantel of simple fresh greenery.

Especially if it’s FREE. 🙂

Need a little more free in your life?

Oh, good.

Me, too.

Take the 30-day challenge with me.

Sign up here and let’s getting “freeing” together. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for JC at the uncommon pearl JC at the uncommon pearl

    I Love using what is in nature to brighten a space. Your mantel is lovely and free...a big win! Yes, I'm in and signed up for the challenge! I could really use some recharged inspiration with a home we are, what feels like, a long term remodeling journey. Thanks Karianne!

  2. Image for Jeannie Jeannie

    LOVE your blog! Do we have to sign up separately for the 30 day challenge; I already get (and love) your daily emails. Thanks!

  3. Image for Kris Kris

    Love your free mantel--I think I have about 6-8 weeks before I can snag free branches that have actual greenery on them! I'll just vicariously enjoy yours.

  4. Image for Lisa Lisa

    What would we do without mason jars and drop cloth fabric? I shudder to think about a world without them. I'm extra excited about your 30 Day Free Challenge! Happy Monday friend.

  5. Image for Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things

    It looks pretty! I wish I had some branches with leaves to cut! But we still have not bloomed out yet here in NC.

  6. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Well, who doesn't love free? Count me in! And I love the way the mantel looks all dressed for Spring! The house was just shining for the event Saturday. It is amazing and it's so awesome you get to makeover your childhood home. I love everything about it! I'm so glad I got to be a part of the party! :) Cecilia

  7. Image for Diane Diane

    I'm absolutely giddy over this -- the timing and the cost! We are finally about to move into a blahhh cube (100 miles south) that we purchased last May. [GREAT potential and on my dream lake]. Began renovations in October followed by 6 months of non-stop what-if's, if-only's and what-do-you-think's! And, yes, a budget that busted 2 months ago. Striving for perfect would be easy if only I knew what "perfect" looks like. So now I'm embracing, does it make me smile? How close to free is it?

  8. Image for Carol@BlueskyatHome Carol@BlueskyatHome

    Great idea for April, KariAnne. Free is even better than "on sale". I already have some free ideas in mind. Does "free labor" count? Loved visiting on Saturday. So much fun. Your mom and I are best buddies now.


    Love what you have done with your mantel! It's beautiful, KariAnne! Again, thanks for always bringing us such fabulous ideas! Just love them all! Blessings!

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