Hello! I just love Christmas and it seems each year is a new opportunity to try different decorating styles! This year:
Scandinavian Christmas sweater.
I just love the little knit sweater look and wanted to do a very traditional and down to earth Christmas tree and decor around the home. To me that meant very few colors, keeping it basic and not too shiny so I chose red and white knowing the tree would bring enough of it’s own green and I decorate with a lot of green so it will flow well.
First, I painted our Halloween pumpkins and gourds white and used red to make patterns. I googled “Scandinavian sweater” and found a few patterns I thought would be simple enough with enough impact. It’s Christmas eve and they’re still good! No icky pumpkin rot here! Hurray! They’re totally not perfect and if I were to do them again instead of free handing the whole thing I would use a pencil after painting with the latex paint to trace my lines so they would be even. I think even though they aren’t they’re still very cute and have a nice home made look to them 🙂 If I made a mistake with the red, however, I just waited for it to dry and painted it over with more white and kept working. This helped especially with this little gourd. If the lines weren’t just about perfect the effect just didn’t work so I found myself painting over a lot.
The next thing to tackle was the Christmas tree. We are so blessed to have generous friends that we were given a tree pre-lit with white lights only. My favorite! So in continuing with the sweater and warm and cozy theme of decor this year, I opted out of anything with a sparkle and shine. No bulb ornaments or anything here. Just natural matte decorations.
Hubby and I watched Christmas movies and strung popcorn. We got a needle on each end and a very long piece of thread and worked from the middle out. One garland we did just popcorn purchased at WinCo in the bulk section and heated on the stove (next year I’ll get a paper bag and do it in the microwave since it ended up scorching our pan without any oil or butter). We did another garland with fresh cranberries and popcorn alternating five kernels to one cranberry. The results are so beautiful, don’t you agree?!
Next I saw a pin on Pinterest to dry citrus. They had grapefruit, lemons, limes, and oranges. My limes were probably cut too thick and didn’t turn out well. I just had them sliced about ¼ inch and laid them on a cookie sheet in the oven at 120 degrees F flipping them every half hour or so until dried. I actually did it over a few days as I had to leave for something in the middle of drying so I turned off the oven, left, came back and turned it on again. Unfortunately because of the inconsistency of my drying I don’t know how long it took exactly. A food dehydrator is on my wish list but until that comes, the oven on super low should work just fine. The oranges and lemons turned out the best. We didn’t have grapefruit but they probably would have been quite big and beautiful. When I strung them with twine I found at WinCo for less than $2.00 I tried to position them so that a white light was behind it as the fruit look like little beautiful stained glass. The light shines through so beautifully!
Third I saw another pin on how to use toilet paper tubes in decorating. I did two things with them. First, I painted the outside of the rolls and then cut them into ½ to 1 inch strips making little rings. I painted the insides white to match the outside on one tube but then realized that the brown of the roll was actually quite pretty for the tree so I left the others. Then I got out my handy glue gun and while it warmed up folded the tubes in half one way and half the other so that when opened they looked like squares or diamonds. I glued the bottoms to each other with 5 diamonds to an ornament. One of the ornaments got really detailed and I did that by flattening a ring and folding it in half, gluing that to the bottom inside to another ring and then making three of them and alternating one with and one without an addition with a total of 8 larger rings. It kind of looks like a poinsettia. So pretty.
Last but not least I just got a box of candy canes from the dollar store and the wrappers on them are the only thing that might be a little shiny.
I did crochet a few stockings but they’re tiny.They sure turned out cute. I made them while watching Frosty Comes to Town! Gotta love the classics! I hunted and searched many pins and blogs. I happily found this one . It is just a pin, not linked to a blog.
We don’t have a mantle so I put them on pins on my husbands big speakers that holds our clock radio.
And on a trip to Target I snagged adorable candles with little tags on them. They did have green but that didn’t go so I just got these two. They didn’t burn very long so I’ve been taking tealights from their metal case and dropping them in to burn. The glow is gorgeous. One day I’ll get some mason jars maybe and make my own!
I created and advent activity calendar from Ella Claire Inspired I found on Pinterest and made up my own activities. Anything I could think of that would be fun for just the two of us. There is an extra paper in there for any additional ideas for years to come so I put the opened ones in this box from the dollar store and that’s where they’ll live until next year. I used my own paper left over from our wedding invitations and programs. We got the paper at Michael’s .
This next part is one of my favorite. I set out a Christmas photo of us from a few years ago and have been collecting our Christmas cards we’ve been sent. TOTALLY FREE! This is a great space filler too. What a special time of year to connect. I try to make it a priority to not make it only an annual thing to connect with loved ones but throughout the year foster and grow those relationships but there’s just something about being able to line your mantle (or TV table in our case) with the thoughts and warm wishes from them. I think we’ll be the kind of people to keep the pictures all year round on the side of the fridge. I’ve always loved going to people’s homes and seeing pictures of their friends and families. You will see a few other pictures from our honeymoon in Disneyland on the table which live there year round, and a lantern that does too.
Behind the table I filled one of my jars with sticks I found outside. I got these jars as a gift from a friend who was moving. She also gave me a few gorgeous curtains including the ones you can see in the pictures. I have no idea where she got them but man are they beautiful! Originally I was going to fill it with balls of yarn or pine cones but found a different use for the cones and didn’t get around to making those cute string balls. ( I think you just get glue and water and dip the string in them and wrap it around a water balloon. Let the glue dry, pop the balloon and pull it out and hang the balls.)
I really love these jars and love finding new things to put in them for the season. They’re so pretty even just by themselves!
When I was searching Pinterest I also found a great printout for the walls. I simply printed them out, cut on the lines, punched holes in them and grabbed some red yarn to string them on. Quite simple and a great wall filler as we didn’t have anything to put there yet.
Now for the dining room table. I wanted to have a warm beautiful table to come to at each meal. We try no to eat in the living room and like to connect there so I wanted it to be just as pretty.
When I was at the dollar store I found a few charger plates that I couldn’t pass up. They’re such a beautiful deep red and really seemed festive. To decorate our table I just keep our white plates on them and we either pick them up and wash and replace them or use other plates for eating, but they sure do bring a lot to the room. I love the contrast of the stark white plates we got from Sur La Table as a wedding gift and the deep red. It goes well with my theme this year. 🙂
When I lived in L.A. I found this GORGEOUS decorative bowl at a local thrift store that I knew I had to incorporate somehow so I decided to fill it with pine cones and put it in the middle of the table, matching well with the chargers. I believe I got the pine cones from Michael’s or WinCo. They smell like cinnamon which is not my favorite but it added to the scented candles and weren’t as overpowering as I thought they would be.
I just love this time of year when we can turn our attention indoors and be cozy and snuggle a little extra with our loved ones or favorite blankie and warm cup of something delicious.
Here is the link to my Christmas Pinterest Board. Check out some of my inspirations
What are your favorite ways of decorating? Do you keep it the same every year or like to mix it up a bit? What traditions do you keep to?