Guest Picks: Let the Ants Come Marching In
Catch the decorating bug — or maybe even a whole colony of ’em — with accessories sporting cute versions of crawly critters
Jen L'Italien April 28, 2014
Houzz Contributor. Stylist, creative consultant and writer living in Maine with my family. I spend most of my days reading storybooks and running after my two toddlers, Juniper and Leo. I started out in magazines, working in the home department of Real Simple magazine and later worked as the home editor of Redbook. I love checking out the antique stores up here whenever I have free time.
Houzz Contributor. Stylist, creative consultant and writer living in Maine with my... More
While April here on the East Coast has brought another (unwelcome) shower of snow, I did spy a more usual sighting at the start of spring: a couple of ants in my house. Those little black bugs are usually considered pests, especially in a kitchen or picnic dishes. But just like the bumblebees and butterflies, they can add a fun, whimsical, graphic element to accessories. Here are 20 reasons to reconsider ants as the cool bug for decorating. — Jen from The Haystack Needle
Wait, don’t toss those plates! These may look like classic disposable white paper plates, but they’re actually reusable and dishwasher safe, making them good for your wallet and good for the earth. And they playfully feature a little trail of ants, just for fun.
Check out this tomato-red chevron fabric with a few ants poking around. I could see it on a chair or cushion out on the porch.
I know two littles in my house who would love to have Arthur the Ant as a decoration in their room. The ever-talented Anna Bond of Rifle Design created this winning print.
These lifelike cast metal ants will definitely get a few laughs. Place them on the table at your next barbecue or family reunion for a cheeky play on the idea that it’s not a picnic without a few ants.
This original watercolor of an anthill shows another side of ants. These bugs sure love to stick together, and they’re certainly a hardworking bunch.
Bring the picnic feel indoors with these handmade ceramic bowls that are crawling with ants. I love the milky white glaze and the random design of the ant trail.
Perfect for a picnic-style party, this set of 24 toppers features an ant on a gingham background in your choice of color. I love how the ant design makes these feel whimsical rather than overly cutesy.
These wheel-thrown porcelain tumblers feature a solid blue interior and a few ants crawling on the outside. They are on the wee side, just like those little black bugs, and the design take on the ants is more realistic, which may give some the heebie-jeebies.
This piece shows a mini army of ants on their way. It’s an original lino print, and the style of the illustration is striking but not intimidating. These are happy-looking ants!
This little espresso cup has a sense of humor. The ants are hand painted on both the cup and saucer, and you can even add a name to personalize it. Besides, when I drink a shot of espresso, I sure feel a little antsy.
An ant and a bumblebee hovering around a mushroom house — this beeswax encaustic wall art is sweet and magical, perfect for a nursery.
Crafters, this rubber ant stamp lets you create your own trail of ants on paper placemats, invitations or menus. I love when rubber stamps come on a long wooden stick like this one does; it makes it easy to get a good impression.
This sweet procession of ants is just one of many playful designs of cotton tape that I spied in this Etsy shop. You can use the tape to decorate almost anything.
This handmade ceramic bowl goes all-out with the bug design. Ants and other bugs crawl all over this porcelain piece. What’s creepy for some feels cool for others — I’m thinking of my favorite creepiness-loving character, Meghan, on the hit TV show Felicity.
I love this print because it reminds me of a lesson I’m trying to teach my kids: It’s OK to be different. These illustrated ants sure look happy together.
Encaustic paintings have such a sweet, dreamy quality to them. Hey, even ants can have a little love story!
Gingham meets plaid in this buggy twist on the iconic pattern. Turn a piece of this fabric into a tablecloth for a playful barbecue table.
This cotton fabric would be fun to use in a nursery. It features ants, snails and caterpillars and makes them feel anything but scary.
Because every good design motif needs to be on a tea towel. These playful towels feature a few black ants to elicit some laughs at your next spring dinner party.
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