Christmas Decorating Ideas
You know those sibling arguments that start with, “Moooommmmm! She’s copying me! Make her stop!” and quickly go downhill from there? During those frequent episodes of my childhood, my mom always calmly answered, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Ugh. Seriously, how do you argue with that one?
Well, I continue to take those wise words to heart as an adult. When it comes to decorating, there is no shortage of inspiration out there. Pinterest, magazines, and blogs are packed with fun ideas to imitate in our own homes. I never feel like decorating is a competitive sport. My goal is to create a warm, welcoming home where my family and friends are comfortable spending time together. It takes patience and creativity, but it is possible to create spaces you love without spending a ton to do it.
Here are eight ways I combined those simple, inexpensive items I talked about yesterday to create holiday decorations in my home:
Seasonal Color in Outdoor Containers
Flipping through December’s issue of Better Homes and Gardens, I found a short article featuring ways to dress up your outdoor containers using branches. I cut a bunch of branches from trees and bushes around our yard and poked them into the soil of my empty containers. Then I tucked a few cheap plastic ornaments around the base for a little sparkle.
The article also suggested using any small ball of lights you don’t want to untangle; just set it in the pot and poke the branches in around the lights. This project cost nothing and took about 30 minutes to fill five containers from start to finish. Such an easy, satisying transformation of our normally bare winter porch.
Canning Jar Containers
I always feel slightly sad when my hard work on our pantry shelves start to empty and are replaced with empty jars instead. I love preserving food, and I know the point is to actually eat it. But still. That’s a lot of work my two-year old just slurped up in 30 seconds flat.
So apparently, I stick candles in the empty jars and light them in rememberance. I think a grouping of glass jars is a beautiful sight, though, even if they are empty. You could wrap them with a strip of burlap or ribbon and add some small items like candycanes, cinnamon sticks, or branches.
Hurricane or cylinder vases are a great decorating investment because they are simple and versatile. You can use them for flowers, candles, ornaments, or fruit to add color and interest around your home. They could easily be adjusted to fit any holiday. I keep mine out all year long and just swap out the contents.
It doesn’t have to be fancy to be beautiful
This arrangement is another example of how shopping your home before walking into a store can save you money while still bringing in seasonal color. I spent $2.48 for those key limes, and the rest came from my home or yard. Nothing fancy, but sometimes it’s those small touches that make a nice difference around the holidays.
Anytime I am wandering around a thrift store or garage sale, I keep my eyes open for small to medium-sized mirrors. I often find them for $2-$5 each. I prop them on shelves, hang them on walls, or use them on tables to bounce the light around. It makes a big difference in my home which gets very little natural light. I like to use this narrow rectangular mirror as a centerpiece on our dining room table. With candles and ornaments it is sparkly and beautiful, perfect for the holidays.
There are 101 different variations on this idea. I was hoping to find some glass snowflake ornaments this year. No luck, so I went with a random assortment of shiny ornaments instead. I kept mine pretty simple because I still wanted a clear view through my ridiculously dirty windows. Pick up some monofilament (fishing line) or ribbon for a bright addition to these gray days.
DIY Holiday Wreaths
Check out this detailed post on making your own wreath. For around $5 in supplies, you can create a beautiful, personalized wreath. These make great decorations or gifts.
Square Twig Wreath
The other day I was walking through the New Seasons floral department, when I saw these rustic square twig wreaths for $24.99. They are just sticks lashed together with twine and decorated with different combinations of moss, stones, and greens. It appealed to my simple-natural style so I came home to make one for myself. Using floral wire, I just did a figure-8 pattern to secure the sticks together into a square. Then I fired up my hot glue gun (which took forever to find because I use it less than I wash my windows) and started sticking pinecones on the corner. I used extra twine to secure the branches.
I had so much fun working on this project. No joke. It felt great to visualize, design, and execute a craft project from start to finish. That doesn’t always happen for me, especially where glue guns are involved. My wreath actually stayed in a sturdy square shape. I felt like a scout earning my first shelter patch. Look what I made out of sticks!
Since I already had the wire and twine, and everything else came from my yard, this project cost me nothing extra. I have it hanging outside, but you could also prop it on a shelf or hang it on a wall framing a picture or mirror. Oh, and New Seasons also sells a beach version using driftwood to make the frame, for $27.99. If your style is more of a laidback beachy vibe, that’d be a fun project using items collected at the coast!
Brown Paper Packages Tied up with Strings
Historically, I am not very good at wrapping gifts. I usually grab a gift bag and some wrinkled tissue paper as we’re racing out the door, wrapping the gift en route to the party. This Christmas, I decided to spend a little more time planning and wrapping gifts. After all, they all go to people I really like so it seemed like I should step up my game in this area.
This year, I bought a couple rolls of brown paper at IKEA. It is also available at most craft or office supply stores. After wrapping the boxes, my daughter and I had fun adding different things to each one. While she drew pictures on a present for her aunt, I added bows, twine, and extras like a branch and candy cane to the other gifts. Hang onto Christmas cards you receive each year, and you can cut out the image to create your own gift tags.
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