As many of you know, last winter we packed up our family of six and moved into an apartment. It’s been interesting figuring out how to put a 2400 square foot home into a 1200 square foot apartment, that’s for sure. One of the more challenging parts of this epic squeeze is decorating for Christmas — I can’t possibly use all the goodies in my three giant Christmas tubs. Many of my Christmas decorations are too big for our smaller space.
In addition to the space constraints, there’s also the problem of my, well, lack of decorating ambition. I love the idea of crafting up some new decorations, but actually getting my crafty on is another story. Instead of intending to be crafty and fill my APT with homemade Christmas goodness but failing miserably, I opted to take the simple route. No glue gun, no floral wire, no fabric needed.
Here are three simple ways to decorate a small space for Christmas:
Use canning jars to decorate
Emily talked about this last week, and I am constantly amazed at all the ways you can decorate with a simple mason jar.
This one was easy peezy. I saw boxes of small colored bulb ornaments at Fred Meyer (near the mini-tree items) and thought they would be perfect displayed in a canning jar.
I love that there were glossy and matte bulbs in the same box to give the display extra interest. There were several colors to choose from.
I also picked up some cranberries in a bag in the Fred Meyer produce department and some 50% off candles in the home department.
I love how some fruit, a candle and a jar come together to make a beautiful table decoration.
I also poured some Epsom salt into smaller canning jars and put a candle on top — Epsom salt looks just like snow and it’s crazy cheap (you might just have some in your bathroom cabinet). In fact, you should search Pinterest to find all the wintery crafts that you can do with Epsom salt (I also just found this sweet craft).
Fred Meyer stocks canning jars in several sizes year-round in the grocery department.
Use stocking holders to hang stockings anywhere
I was fretting a bit trying to figure out how to hang our stockings without a fireplace mantle or without nailing seven holes in the wall (I’m not against messing with the walls, but I’d rather not pay part of our damage deposit on holes that served a purpose for only three weeks). The Halleluiah Chorus starting up when I saw these simple stocking hangers at Fred Meyer.
They aren’t exactly the cheapest option available, but at 50% off, they were an investment I was willing to make (and probably cheaper than the damage deposit hit) and I didn’t have to put any creative energy into it (that all has been sapped by endless laundry and face washing). I hung the stockings from the breakfast bar, but these would also work on a window ledge. These will work for hanging stockings or other decorations at any place we live in the future.
Use tomato cages to make an outdoor tree
I’m sure most of you even casual gardeners have a few tomato cages sitting in your garage or garden shed. Pull them out and make a quick and inexpensive lighted Christmas tree. This is the perfect outdoor decoration for those of you with small personal outdoor spaces or if you can’t staple lights to the outside trim. These would also be a great addition to your front porch decorations.
I used Kate’s tomato cages (pays to have gardening friends) and some inexpensive white lights from Fred Meyer (I used white, but I think green would look nice and could be displayed past Christmas).
Start by flipping the cage over and pulling the unattached poles together to make a tree shape. I bound them together with the twist tie from my package of Christmas lights. I used my daughter’s ponytail holder for the other cage.
Start winding a strand of lights around the outside of the cage.
I didn’t attach the lights in any way — just wind it somewhat tight and they will stay.
When you get to the bottom, attach the string of lights to the cage so it doesn’t unravel on you. I used a bread bag tie-thingy.
If you’re moving to another cage to make multiple trees, just feed the strand through the middle of the cage and start wrapping again.
The best part of this decoration is that the mechanics of the tree lights will be unseen at night so you don’t have to fuss too much with the tree’s construction. I couldn’t manage to take a picture that does the final product justice. I wish I could invite you all over to see how cool the trees look, especially from the street.
Fred Meyer would like all of you to have the chance to check out what they have to spruce up your space for the holidays by giving two Frugal Living NW readers a $25 Fred Meyer gift card!
To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment with your favorite way to decorate for Christmas! Please use an email you check regularly.
Comments will close and two winners randomly selected at Noon on Friday, December 14, 2012. Winners will have 48 hours to respond to the email.
This post was sponsored by Fred Meyer.
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