Posted on Leave a comment

Three Fall craft ideas inspired by my trip to the farmers market

Three Fall craft ideas inspired by a walk through a local farmers market

“Three Fall craft ideas inspired by my trip to the farmers market” as featured on The Painted Hinge on the Farmhouse Friday Night Link Party #79.

3 Fall Craft Ideas

Food is not the only thing you’ll find at a farmers market. You can get do-it-yourself Fall craft ideas there, too! Not too crafty? No problem, you can still pick up a pumpkin or two or 10 to carve or paint.

Here are three craft inspirations I found during a walk through an Autumn farmers market. Several of these were also featured in a recent farmstand5, a series on my Top 5 picks from local farm stands.

Vintage bottles repurposed

Bookworm Bottles vintage bottle craft DIY

A young woman creates these upcycled Bookworm Bottles for her mother’s corner gift shop, and you can visit her site to pick one up. But if you happen to have any old bottles at your house or in an antique shop near you, be inspired to create your own!

I’m seeing a lot of bottles used to decorate farmhouse shelves, dining room sideboards and glass door hutches. These will add a little interest and personality to otherwise minimalist decor.

Bookworm Bottles crafted brown bottle

How to repurpose vintage bottles:


Computer, printer, paper OR stickers to use as labels
Super glue, glue gun or rubber glue
Burlap or fabric swatches
Ribbon, broken necklaces/bracelets, or jute string
Cork stoppers or old wine bottle corks for tops

Print out colorful labels and glue or rubber glue them to your bottles. They look beautiful layered on top of burlap or fabric swatches. You can glue a jute string or cut ribbon around them as a border. To finish them off, tie a ribbon, string or upcycle a broken piece of costume jewelry by wrapping it around the neck of the bottle. Don’t forget to order some corks or reuse a wine bottle cork for the topper. You may have to cut the corks a little to get the best fit. Try to cut them on a taper or just two-thirds of the way to the top so most of your adjustments are hidden below the mouth of the bottle.

Infused olive oil in a glass bottle

Flavored olive oil bottles

Get ready for the season of dinner parties, cookie swaps and holiday festivities with your own do-it-yourself flavored cooking oils. I use these oils to decorate the mantel above my range and window shelves in my farmhouse kitchen. You could even line them up on the tops of your cabinets or hutches. They are so pretty, like food art. My favorite oil is full of dried chilies and one sprig of rosemary. It is delicious with bread, for sauteing chicken or veggies and on pizza. Yep, it’s tres-francais to add flavored (usually spicy) oil to pizza.

Gift bags flavored vinegar and olive oils with dried herbs

How to infuse olive oil:


Clear glass oil bottle
Your favorite olive oil (inexpensive oil is better)
Dried herbs, dried peppers, dried hot chilies, whole peppercorns, fresh or dried garlic
Suggested herbs: bay leaf, rosemary, sage, lavender

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

First, make sure everything is clean and dry – the bottle, the lid, the herbs, everything. Water droplets could spoil your oils. Put any mix of the dried herbs, peppers, garlic or peppercorns into the empty glass bottle. Pour in the olive oil. A funnel would be helpful if you have one to avoid spillage.

Online you can find lots of different recipes for olive oil infusions. Some of them require sauteing the ingredients in a pan. For gifts or making bottles that decorate your kitchen shelves, I don’t recommend the cooked infusions over just using herbs or peppers that were already dried out and preserved. Olive oil infusions you have to cook are quick and easy, but they don’t last as long as just letting dried herbs, spices or peppers slowly infuse into the oils over a week.

Handpainted, dried gourd birdhouses

Handpainted dried gourd birdhouses

A display of handpainted gourds is both seasonal and inspiring at this farmers market stand. It reminds you not to neglect the outdoors while you are decorating indoors! Think about the feeling you would have every time you glanced out of your kitchen window and saw a handcrafted birdhouse in your tree. It will be exciting to see sweet little birds enjoying your hard work as the seasons change.

There are a lot of articles online about how to dry your own gourds for crafting. If you do that, you are our hero! It takes four-to-ten months though…oh, um, no. To get this Fall craft idea going before next Fall, you should probably just have one shipped to your house in two days.

How to make handpainted gourd birdhouses:


Large dried gourd with a hole drilled in the side
OR gourd seeds, 10 months of waiting, and a hand-cranked screw for drilling
A pencil
Acrylic paint brushes set
Acrylic paint set (this one is under $10!)
Acrylic prep primer and paint sealer (look for fast-drying sealer)
Newpaper or an old blanket, towel or trap to minimize messes

You can use the Amazon links here to buy anything you need. Brick and mortar craft stores will also have the full rainbow of acrylic paints and brushes.

There is actually an American Gourd Society, and they have gourd-painting experts on hand to offer tips on how to template something fancy for your gourd. It sounds like I’m being sarcastic, but I’m not. Here’s the link.

The templates can be pretty intricate. I think you’re better off just priming the gourd, lightly penciling in a simple design or pattern, painting it and sealing it after the paint dries completely.

I would look for inspiration from blouses, plaid shirts, wallpaper and Pintrest patterns. The Pintrest patterns are great. I shouldn’t even have put that link in here because now you will likely forget about reading my next article and get lost in a world of patterned excess.

Come back and visit farmstand culture soon!

Posted on 3 Comments

Best 5 items at the Lizzie’s Corner farmers market stand

October 9, 2018

All summer I tried and failed to make it over to the Seymour Farmers Market behind the historic Seymour Congregational Church about 25 minutes drive from New Haven, Connecticut. You should see it. Ok, I should take some pictures so you can see it. There’s a powerful terraced waterfall in the Naugatuck River across the street. The church itself is tall and white, a true classic New England meeting house of worship.

The farmers market is only a half mile from the 18th century preserved Seymour Antiques district. When you walk down the streets in the district, you can feel what it was like to take the same stroll 100 years ago. The buildings have hardly changed, including the little gem that houses Lizzie’s Corner, a handcrafted and specialty gifts shop.

On Tuesday afternoons, the curators at Lizzie’s select some of their finest goods and set up a display at the Seymour Farmers Market. Here are my top picks from Lizzie’s Corner.

Goat Boy Goat’s Milk Soaps

Homemade goat milk soap

It’s enough to make you wish you could get a breath of these fresh scents through the phone or computer screen right now. Goatboy Soaps started 17 years ago. The handcrafted products are produced in small batches using fresh goat’s milk. There is goat’s milk soap in my shower right now. It’s so soothing.

#4 Vintage bottles re-imagined

Vintage bottles repurposed into do-it-yourself inspirational quote decor

A charming home craft turned into a business, these are Bookworm Bottles. Decorating with vintage items is a win-win. Your house looks like a designer planned it, and these old bottles get a new chance at life. The littlest ones would be so cute at a wedding. The warm brown bottles would be beautiful down the center of your table paired with candlesticks and vases of cut twigs or greens from your backyard.

#3 Elderberry apple shots

Elderberry apple shots

Oh stop, you can make gummies with these. Or cocktails. Or shoot some non-alcoholic Elderberry Apple Shots as they’re intended, as part of a healthy lifestyle. Healthy, Tiffany, not boozy. You’ve already read the ingredient list, more or less: elderberries and apple cider vinegar. Both are organic and produced by the small farm that makes the shots, Fat Stone Farm.

#2 Swedish dishcloths

Swedish washcloths

Swedish dishcloths aka eco-friendly cleaning cloths are really starting to pop up in shops, and it’s wonderful! They are all-natural, last for 6-9 months and then biodegrade. Mine will go into the compost bin someday. Google trends shows searches for “swedish dishcloth” started to increase in June 2016. I first saw them in the gift shop at a nature center in Cape Cod. My first one is still going strong after three months. You can machine wash them, but I just put mine in the dishwasher sometimes. They don’t stink like sponges. I’m going to do a whole article on these because I use and love them. In the meantime, see what all the fuss is about. You don’t need a 10-pack, just pick up a few to start.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


#1 Homebrew maple syrup

Pure New England Maple Syrup

When it’s time for comfort food and the warm smell of cool-weather baking, enter organic, local maple syrup. In New England, it’s popular to drizzle some maple syrup over sliced, baked acorn squash, another farm stand favorite. My kids and I make pancakes from our own modified recipe almost every weekend. My little daughter licks the plate clean of maple syrup if you don’t stop her. Ahh, childhood.

Have you seen the original Farmstand5 from Cape Cod?
Fancy’s Farm Stand, Orleans, MA