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Christmas Decorating with Homemade Wreaths, Holiday Plants and DIY Ideas
At home sewing
These Candles are awesome for holidays and any special occasion, showers, birthdays, weddings. Beautiful in any decor.
Decorating for the holidays can really be a fun event and even help you to get your creative energy going..It can be a time to bring your family together to work on projects together. Children are often more help than you ever realized. This time of year I love to take my magazines and catalogs to begin to get all kinds of ideas for decorating. Some things we as a family do the same decorations but is so much fun to try some new creative things in your home.
Years ago I mastered the art of wreath making and bow making. Wreath are all over my home at Christmas! I also have discovered a myriad of ideas off Pinterest website. I like to use lots of bows and flowers as well as greenery, ornaments and just about anything that catches my eye.
I fill shiny bowls with cinnamon and clove scented potpourri. Often on a super cold day we will have a pot of water on the stove with cloves and cinnamon sticks. It not only adds an awesome scent but puts much needed humidity in your home . Next I turn on my favorite Christmas carols, light some candles and maybe even put a fire in the fireplace, We usually have a festive jigsaw puzzle to put together on the coffee table.
It is always best to begin your decorating by getting your home clean and organized so you have a clean canvas to work with! It is helpful to enlist some help. I have found I am so much more motivated when someone is helping no matter how much or little they are actually doing. Somehow it gives me a surge of energy rather than a feeling of being overwhelmed, which often happens without help.
Once your home is clean you are ready to go, Put on some warm clothes and head outside. Your own yard is probably full of awesome greenery and berries. I love holly bushes which my neighbor has an abundance of. Orange Nandina berries are gorgeous but I do not have a bush. That will be a great Spring goal!! Magnolia leaves work great as do Leland cypress. Collect anything that looks festive to you, pine cones, hickory nuts, berries, etc.
You will be surprised at what you might find. You need some good pruners to collect and then divide up your treasure. It is best to do so outside to keep the mess down.
To make a green wreath from leftover Christmas tree limbs or Leland cypress.You will need a wreath form and some wire for wrapping the greenery together. If you are using a plain metal form you will need green floral wire. And with foam, floral u picks. Place pieces of greenery , even holly around your wreath securing it into place with either the floral pics or by wrapping the green wire until your wreath is as as full as you want it.
Next you might want to find some good coupons and head to your local craft store for some great ribbon to work with. You can use the ribbon as a start to deciding on your color palette. Wreaths also make great gifts so keep that in mind while you have all your paraphernalia out.
Next comes the bow. You will need about 3 yards of ribbon about 2 to 3” wide. Hold it in your right hand (or left if you are left handed) leaving room for a nice tail.Twist the ribbon and make a loop on the other side. Continue twisting and looping holding the center tight. When you get to the end and have room for a tail on the other side stop and take some wire and wrap it tightly around the center of your bow. Twist off the the wire.making sure it is secure enough to hold your ribbon tightly enough to make the bow.. Next play with your bow pulling each side out and over to the other side until your Bow is full and fluffy. Attach it to your wreath with more wire where ever you like the best.You can add little adornments like tiny toys or stuffed animals., even fruit, with the help of a glue gun.
You can make a similar wreath with cranberries from the grocery store. Be sure to get them at the last minute to be sure they are fresh, bright red and will stay that way for several weeks.
Use a smaller Styrofoam wreath form and long straight pins with small but not noticeable heads. Take a single cranberry and push it into the wreath with the pin. Go all the way around filling in all empty spots. When you are finished you can either make another bow or tie a pretty knot and use a long piece of ribbon to hang it from the top of a door or window
Another interesting craft is to buy a Styrofoam tree form and glue gun wood chips about 2" by 3" along the tree until you have the entire tree covered. You can also take s glass jars and cover them with wood and you have a fun decorative vase. Just add some pretty red and white festive flowers.
Cinnamon brooms and potpourri can be purchased at the grocery store are great at your back door. Everyone will notice the wonderful cinnamon scent when they enter your home.
Great Book for Holidays
How to Decorate your Stairs for the Holidays.
There are many fun and creative things to do for your stairs. You can be fairy casual and put a bow on the last rung of the stair rail or set some pretty wrapped packages off to the side. Poinsettias also look nice on steps.
I like to put up a garland. I let it hang down in a loop every 11/2 to 2 yards and place a bow at each juncture. At the bottom I put a bigger bow with long tails and often set a poinsettia off to the side..
My daughter likes to add little white lights to hers . She also loops the garland tightly around the stairs all the way down.
Another pretty thing I have seen is adding Christmas ornaments to the garland, being sure each one is securely fastened.
I have also seen small wreaths placed on the wall below the stairs a foot or two apart.
How to make Faux Mercury Glass
Decorating Stair for the Holidays
Besides my manger scene, sleigh and skates I like to put greenery in my pots with faux flowers . I fill them with holly and Leland cypress branches. Add some berries that are edible for the birds in your area. Not only are you decorating but taking care of wildlife .It is very festive.
Another fun idea is to take a glass block from your hardware store. Drill a hole big enough to insert christmas lights in. Push a string of lights through the opening. You can add some faux snow in the bottom. Craft stores usually have fun decorations you can glue gun on with your bow. Now tie a festive bow around your clear block and light it up on your porch or patio. Use different size blocks for fun.
Many families become very creative this time of year with their Christmas lights. I have seen some special ones with music synchranized to the light show.
Making A Holiday Wreath
It's fun to be ready for company any time of the day. Have some gifts ready to go. We like to make peanut brittle and if you make it ahead of time and wrap it in some cookie packs with little tags. I have recently been canning fig jam in small half pint jam so I will use that also. I hope to decorate the jars with cute fabric cut into circles or squares with pinking shears. .Wrap it around my jam and attach a label and gift tag.
Another neat thing to do is to make your own Christmas CD from your favorites.carols. It will really get you in a festive mood. Hang a cinnamon wreath at the back door and put a little bell on your doorknob to announce someone's entrance.
We have been experimenting with Starbucks cider drink. You can buy the cinnamon syrup at Starbucks , even sugar free. Then by some sugar free Carmel syrup add it to hot cider and you have it. For those that want hot chocolate add a cinnamon stick and whip cream on top and no one will know if it's instant or homemade. A little cinnamon sprinkled on top is fun too.
Buy some frozen cookie dough . You will have fresh cookies ready n less than 15 minute. Being prepared to enjoy your family and guests is what the holiday season is about .
Another fun craft is making dried apple wreaths. Cut your best shiniest apple into small then slices so that the entire core and seeds show. Just turn your apple on it's side and cut horizontally.. .Soak your slices in 2 cups apple juice and 3 Tablespoons salt for 20 minutes. Dry on paper towels and then sprinkle with cinnamon. Place on center rack of your oven and bake at 150 degrees for 6 hours Let them cool and you will have apple slices or another fun wreath. I did one by threading mine through a heart shape metal ring. I use it year round. Add a ribbon and hang it in the kitchen or give it away.
If you want to make some pretty inexpensive candlesticks spray silver spray on some class candle sticks from Walmart or TJ Max. You can do something similar with old mason jars. Use all shapes and sizes for a fun look.You are trying to get the look of mercury glass without the price tag.
To decorate a plain candle coat with glue and sprinkle glitter all around or roll in the glitter for more coating.
When decorating your Christmas tree use 2 or 3" ribbon spread all around the tree. You may need to look for sales all year to find some you really like.
I have purchased painted clay ornaments for my three children since they were babies. We hid them and they loved playing hide and seek for their ornament.. Now they have ornaments from their childhood for their own family tree.
It's fun to collect a special pattern for Christmas china. Then your family will always have something special they know you like to give for a Christmas gift. If you don't like the newer patterns look somewhere like Replacement.com. They sell lots of older classic sets also. Set your china out in early December and enjoy the season. Find some seasonal napkins in the Dollar Store or any grocery store. They are usually very inexpensive.
Decorate your dining room table with a nice ironed white tablecloth. Add some pretty greenery and intersperse different size white candles all throughout or use new glittered ones.
Decorate your mantle with all sorts of nutcrackers. Some people have a tradition of collecting one a year. Put lights on your indoor ficus tree.
Making Poinsettias and Christmas Cacti Re-bloom
I love red poinsettias in hallways and the kitchen. Look for deals at Lowes and Costco or Sam's Club. The larger the prettier. I have a huge poinsettia from last year. I want to use it again so in October I will put it in the dark from 5 pm to 8 am and a sunny window the rest of the day. In mid-November I will stop the darkness and slow down on watering. Hopefully by Christmas I will have some blooms.
My Christmas cactus has been outside all summer. I need to bring it in October and give it 10 to 12 hours of total darkness but opposite of the poinsettia it will want cool temps in the 50's and the poinsettia likes warmer but more humidity. Don't forget to use fresh flowers for decorations. Beautiful white mums with a touch of red and some greenery makes a beautiful arrangement and it is something you can do easily by yourself.
I have seen people in very cold places freeze berry twigs in ice with a string hanger and hang it outside for a fun little ice decoration. Fill a pitcher with about 3" of water. Freeze it. Now take a smaller pitcher and put some rocks in it to weigh it down. Add more water and put berries and twigs around the outside of the inner pitcher, Fill the outer pitcher with water again about 5 " to 6" . Freeze again. When your creation is frozen lift the ice out by setting the pitchers in a little hot water. Now you have a holder to put a candle in and set outside to light up your porch or backyard.
Dried Orange Wreath
Dried Orange Wreath
To make a dried orange wreath buy enough oranges to make the size wreath you want to make. Cut the oranges with ends on the side and cut in 1/4 " slices. Place on a cookie sheet with sides not touching and bake in an oven at 150 degrees for 6 to 10 hours. Allow to cool well. Now you want to take a flat foam round and secure your orange slices with floral pins. Put a pretty bow where you want and you have a beautiful wreath.
Festive Ice Candle Holder
Get Your Hubby Involved, Make a Glass Gift Package.
A few years ago my husband and I went to the local hardware store and purchased several glass blocks for bathroom windows about 10x10" square and 4" thick. My husband then drilled a hole in each, large enough to put a small string of Christmas lights in. We added the lights, leaving the plug hanging out. I took some pretty ribbon and wrapped each package, using the glue gun where necessary and I had a fun decoration and gift for my family and friends. Everyone loved them.
One last fun idea is to put an old sleigh and ice skates on your back porch. Your might want to put a pretty ribbon on them . Don't forget your little animal friends . Fill a pot or wooden box with stick and greenery and berries for them to nibble on. It is a very pretty touch.
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