Back Porch Fall

If this blog were reality television show… would be Project Runway…..and today would be the unconventional challenge.

You know what I’m talking about.

The episode where they take trash or candy or flowers or pet store items and create an outfit.


Chair with Stripes


At this point you are probably asking yourself:

(1)  I thought this blog was a reality show.  What with all the talk of Ripley’s Believe It or Not Toes and Captain Crunch and piles of muddy clothes on the floor.

(2)  Did she add some new pillows and yellow mums on that back porch?

(3)  Did she and the porch ever elope to Vegas?


(4)  What in the world could someone create with trash or candy or flowers or piles of puppy pads?



It is possible to create something wonderful from something unconventional.

It’s even more than possible.

It’s incredible.

You should see the dress made completely from bird seed that looks like something from the Paris runway.

Or the skirt ensemble made from puppy pads.

Or my favorite the candy dress made from gumballs and jelly beans and almonds with a collar made of gummy sharks.


Gummy sharks?

Does it get any better than that?

Table Runner


So if this were Project Runway and I hadn’t eloped with my porch and I was decorating for fall…..

……here’s my birdseed dress.

Can you tell what it is?

Can you tell what I reused and recycled?

 Table Runner Reuse and Recycle

My birdseed dress is the cardboard packing that came in my order.

That I used as a table runner.

Destined for the recycle bin.


I saw it and I loved it.

And it was free.


If it’s not your thing…..I completely understand.

Birdseed dresses and cardboard table runners are not for everyone 🙂

But I did want to be ready.

I wanted to be prepared.

Just in case Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn stopped by and told me to…..

……make it work 🙂


PS  Have you ever reused anything unconventional?  What’s your bird seed dress?

PPS  Today is National Smile Day…..make someone’s day with one of yours 🙂

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


  1. Image for Amber B @SImple Dwellings Amber B @SImple Dwellings

    This is amazing! Where do you shop- I want my cardboard packaging to look like that! It's really beautiful. I just came over from Pam's blog, Simple Details. I'm so happy I did! I love the pattern and fabric in your porch. :) Have a great weekend.

  2. Image for Mrs. C Mrs. C

    I have never, in all my life,seen card-board like this. It's actually very cool! It looks great in your sun-room! Oh your sun-room, it is gorgeous! The pop of yellow mums, so cheerful! I'm in love! I guess our bird-seed dress would be the wall art my daughter created, reusing cardboard toilette paper rolls. Maybe someday I'll share a pic of them, they really are beautiful. It is amazing what one can do w/ those rolls if they have time and patience, and spray paint!!! :D

  3. Image for Teresa Teresa

    You smart cookie you!! I have a sister with superpowers like you. She too can look at something that I would throw away without thinking twice and say " hey that would make a beautiful...". Sadly, I do not possess this wondrous gift. Being a nurse, my cape takes me to other heights. As always, brilliant job!!

  4. Image for Beverly Beverly

    I want to elope with your porch, too. Does that mean we will be family? Or does that mean your porch will be a bigamist? Wait, yikes! You and I are both married, too. Maybe I should just be in love with your porch. Ah, heck. I love you, too, KariAnne.♥ You and your porch are way beyond stunning.

  5. Image for Carol Mattingly Carol Mattingly

    I love it. I have never repurposed like this, but I guarantee you after seeing this I just might. It's beautiful as is this gorgeous room. And the pops of yellow, fantastic. Carol

  6. Image for Diana Browning Diana Browning

    YOU are the most creative thing ever ! Too cute- what a wonderful use of old packing that would have been just thrown away.. imagine that. It adds a wonderful texture to the room, which by the way is so pretty and inviting. Diana

  7. Image for Regina Regina

    I love this! When I first saw it, I thought it looked like an ancient fishing net! :) I've been smiling all morning!

  8. Image for Brenda Kula Brenda Kula

    You have such a sense of style, I think I would be overcome no matter what you chose to do. Have I done something like this? I'm sure I have, but I just had my first cup of coffee. Let me get my brain back before I have to think... Brenda

  9. Image for Chris Chris

    BRAVO!!!! I'm so proud of you. Type A is the mother of originality ..........what I've been doing since the 70s.

  10. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Oh KariAnne... a quick question first. Did you have to rescue your cardboard packing material from one of your precious children? Because I know that is exactly what would have happened in our house! Yes you would have seen it hanging down the back of a child or wrapped around the waist like a grass skirt... and yes you remember correctly, I do have three boys! three insanely silly boys! and I love them for every minute of their silliness. in fact they are part of the reason i look at things differently... like seeing wall art from the packing materials of a box of apples or wearing a cereal box as a hat (don't ask... ha ha!) Love, love, love your sunroom! It is truly inviting and the cardboard really does add a great textural vibe to the room! take care now!

  11. Image for Diane | An Extraordinary Day Diane | An Extraordinary Day

    I spied it immediately!! Fun & Creative!! But, today Karianne, I am far more impressed with your have a gift. You are one talented gal. Look at your fabulous creations, your photography....and your lovely presentation on the blog... and then there's writing which makes it all sing. Thanks for putting a smile on my face. (But, now I need to go wash the green off too....just bein' honest.) {hugs}

  12. Image for Karen Karen

    You beat me too this!! I got some of this recently too in a packaging and I thought, there has to be a creative way to use this stuff, it was so cool looking! When I get it again, I will slap it down on farm planked table. It will look like it belongs there! I haven't seen the birdseed dress, must go google this.

  13. Image for Kathryn Cain Kathryn Cain

    I love the reuse of the package packing. But I really love the black and white chic...and the overall punch of style, color and smarts you used in this look....I think you win this years show, and Tim would say You Made it Work!

  14. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Every time I read one of your " amazing" posts, I smile. I know "amazing" is one word used way too often, but it takes one to know one, and you my dear are AMAZING!

  15. Image for NanaDoll NanaDoll

    Now THAT is truly the craziest and coolest repurpose I have EVER seen. SO COOL! Now...for the peanuts and bubblewrap that usually accompanies my purchases...

  16. Image for Jill Flory Jill Flory

    You are so funny! Love reading your posts! I recycle fabric into new things - but I'm just not sure I'm into bird seed! LOL! One of my new camera straps was made out of a pair of Gap pants - can you guess which one?!! And your bathroom redo is AMAZING!

  17. Image for Carolynn "Chenille Cottage" Carolynn "Chenille Cottage"

    I love the simplicity of your Fall decor. It's refreshing and absent all the Halloween clutter. Very nice! Warmest wishes, Carolynn

  18. Image for judi judi

    i don't know about anyone else but wearing a dress made out of birdseed could be a bit scary...especially if worn outside. it could be right out of an alfred hitchcock movie, "the birds". gives me chills just thinking about it! lol. however, i love the cardboard table runner. anything repurposed and free works for me! and it gives it a nautical or rustic vibe. have a great weekend, judi

  19. Image for Lorrie Lorrie

    I think it's great! so interesting. And Free! You make me smile. But also the sunshine outside my window, my little granddaughter's chubby cheeks, and the prospect of Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday with the family (we're in Canada). Have a weekend filled with loveliness.

  20. Image for Susan Susan

    My thinking is too linear to do this sort of thing. For the most part, to my mind, candy is candy and trash is trash, and toilet paper will never be a ball gown, though I did see a PR toilet paper dress! I love the things you do, but my mind simply doesn't work that way. Keep doing it, though. Even an old dog may learn new tricks ... if there are enough of them shown!

  21. Image for Rhonda Rhonda

    LOL! I had the same cardboard packing in one of my boxes and thought it was so cute! I wondered what could be done with it, and now I know! Thanks for the idea!

  22. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    Ok I read the title birdseed dress and my first thought who would wear a dress made of birdseed wouldn't birds attack you..........who would want to be a wallking bird feeder...............of course I then read the

  23. Image for Anne Anne

    I am having a tough week ... I don't understand the birdseed part - why is it birdseed??? Sigh, I should just go back to bed. For a week. lol Lovely decor KariAnne. Your home is the most beautifully decorated home I've ever seen. Have a lovely weekend, it's our Thanksgiving so I have a 3 day weekend - yay :) xox

  24. Image for Tracy Snyder Tracy Snyder

    Hi! Saw your photo wreath(Gorgeous) on IC so I had to come visit your blog too. So glad I did! This post made me smile - "Make it work." I love the unconventional challenges on PR too. Seriously why didn't Sonji win with that candy dress? (Really sad to see her go this week).

  25. Image for Laura Laura

    There have been days when I wanted to take a black plastic trash bag and stick it over my head, but I was reminded I might suffocate. I love your table runner, Do you think I can pretend that the big cardboard box that has been sitting in the middle of my living room for two days is really a cool new piece of furniture. :) Hugs, Laura

  26. Image for ZoeAnn ZoeAnn

    Thank you as always KariAnne for making me look at things in a different way!! Love the table runner… and I want that porch!!

  27. Image for karen@somewhatquirky karen@somewhatquirky

    So I love the table runner stuffing stuff. I have never seen that before. I admire the discipline you have to your color pallet(s). I have/find so many things I like and want to be able to use them no matter what color they are so I have trouble sticking with a two color pallet - oh well, I guess that's just me.

  28. Image for Beth@thedailyparagraph Beth@thedailyparagraph

    I don't know what I enjoy more! Your writing or your projects!! I'm glad you're there to brighten up my blogging world. I'm thinking that packing material might even look good spray painted. Something to make it look like old metal. Will have to experiment.

  29. Image for Shannon Fox Shannon Fox

    "Make it work". Totally heard him saying that as I read. Have to say my birdseed dress would be my fence board counter tops. I think. I can change my mind later, right? Loving the room dressed for Fall :) Enjoy the weekend. Shannon

  30. Image for JuneA** JuneA**

    This post popped up in my reader and I thought that you had finally lost it! lol Cool re-use of the packing materials, why doesn't my stuff ever look like that??

  31. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    I always love seeing your gorgeous porch....I love the table runner...and to think how much of that I threw away!!!

  32. Image for Tiffini Tiffini

    How does your mind think of such things? crazy girl and the funny thing is it is it in has some kind of a wooden twig table runner in their Christmas'y' section it reminded me of that.. great minds think alike. Thistlewood merges with Target...I can see it now:) xoxo

  33. Image for Kathryn Griffin Kathryn Griffin

    OMGosh! You definitely made it work and made me laugh. I love it! Thank you for sharing. Visiting from WUW. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

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