Old fashioned, simple and basic – that’s what primitive decor is all about. It’s taking on the tradition of decorating the homestead with whatever was available. And that included talent. Primitive artisans used weren’t particularly skilled. As a matter of fact, most items were adorned child-like images. But, that’s what made it as beautiful then as it is today.
Nothing was wasted in the early days. When a can or canister was emptied of its contents, it cleaned up to serve a new purpose. Many a vegetable can got turned into a flower vase or decorative storage container. A quick coat of paint with a simple image of a heart, house or farm animal and they were good to go. The decorated can was proudly displayed on a shelf or table for its second life.
Primitive jars were also repurposed and adorned with child-like images to make them pretty for shelf-sitting. If the lady of the house wanted to make a jar really fancy, she might have added a scrap of material around the lid and tied it on with a piece of rope. It wasn’t about how much money they spent on their crafts – it was all about decorating from within and using what was on hand. Everything was done with homespun goodness.
• Uncomplicated Wood Items
Any scrap of wood was a treasure in the making. Blocks of wood could be turned into make-shift fruit decorations with metal leaves or toys for the children. Pieces of board from an old fence could be fashioned into a long box to be used to carry tools around the home and farm. The designs were uncomplicated – but, they served their purpose just fine.
• Simple Stuffing and Sewing
Pillow and dolls were also made from left over scraps of material or cloth recycled from an old dress or curtains. The shapes were simple. They stuffed them with more scraps or any soft substance they could find – even hay. The stitching was hand-done and imperfect. But, that is what gave them a special type of charm. Everything was made from the heart – like an old cat doll with a stitched-on smile and twisted twine whiskers or the fabric snowman with twig arms. And you can bet it was cherished by the child who received it as a gift.
Check out the pictures and the inspiration for this article in the Primitive ideabook on Houzz. The fun part of primitive is that anyone can do it. It doesn’t take a lot of talent – just a few simple materials and an extra dose of love.
Enjoy more home decor ideas from Terry Mulligan:
10 Tips to Take Your Next Decorating Project Over the Top
Fabulous Choices for Decorating with Throw Pillows
Budget-Friendly Dollar Store Finds Anyone Can Decorate With