Hi there! I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving, and was able to spend some great time with friends and family. We had our usual running around on Thanksgiving to see family, but took advantage of the long weekend to spend time with each other at home, hanging out and getting our home ready for Christmas! I have to admit though, I did put up most of our decor before Thanksgiving. I know it’s taboo and so many people talk about enjoying one holiday at a time, but for me there’s a warmth that the Christmas decorations bring, and when it gets cold outside I just can’t WAIT for that cozy feeling around the house and the boys love seeing all of the lights and trees in the house. There’s so many unique ways to make your home feel cozy in your own way, and how to achieve that feeling is different for everyone. Modern, traditional, cottage, coastal, rustic, there are so many ways to play around with decor! Let’s face it, I just LOVE to decorate, so any excuse that I have to change things up and get creative I take it. I used to love hitting up the stores when the decorations came out and buying new things each year to add to our stash, but my taste is always evolving and the past few years I’ve been more excited to break out the glue gun and DIY new decor than buying cheaply made mass-produced things. I have also learned that the simplest things are the ones that look and feel the best, and create that warm, cozy feeling that I love so much. Also, DIY’s give me the freedom to let my imagination run wild and take a cute idea that I’ve seen and make it my own. Plus, its original and inexpensive, which is a major plus. I’m always looking for way to be thrifty for my family (especially since I could probably own a few more homes with my grocery bill each month). There really isn’t much not to love about how good a DIY makes you feel. Rather than buying an item and searching for a place to put it, I look at my space and think of what I’d like to see there…then make it! I know, I know, this sounds easier than it is, who has the time, and trust me, there are plenty of fails along the way. To help inspire some creativity for your home this season I’ve put together a list of 5 of my favorite, easy (and cheap!) Christmas DIY’s.
One of my favorite things to decorate with is fresh greens. I love the natural feel they give when you use them around the house and there are so many different types and uses for them. It’s nice to bring the outdoors inside and see green, as most everything outside is starting to turn and will soon become bare. I look around at the foliage right outside of my door. My neighborhood is very lush, and I have fresh holly, cypress, pine, boxwood and more right at my fingertips! So, I get out the pruning shears and go to town! I have been obsessed with fresh boxwood wreaths during the holidays for so long, but not so excited about the price tag- most start around $40! So, like I said, I happen to have a boxwood in my yard and one day it hit me…why not make my own! Genius, I know 😉 So I grabbed an old grapevine wreath (very inexpensive from any craft store) and starting hacking away at the boxwood. So, for this you’ll only need a pair of pruning shears, fresh greens cut to about 5″ pieces and a grapevine wreath. Start at the top with the greens and thread the end of the twig into the wreath, laying them down flat. Keep layering and going around the wreath in the same direction with each peice until you are finished. You only need to cover the front and sides of the wreath, not the back. This will work with any fresh-cut green, pine, cypress and I’ve been eying a camellia bush that I bet would look fantastic made into a wreath. Chop chop!
Did you go a little overboard pruning greens? Throw a few sprigs in these bud vases! This one really doesn’t get any easier and is perfect for those that aren’t too crafty. You’ll only need bud vases, twine, gift tags and scissors. For these bud vases I used cypress from my neighbors tree (with permission). I used the cypress in 3 bud vases that I had lying around and took some metal gift tags that I found in the Target dollar section to tie around the neck of the vase with my twine. Since these were metal I used a dry erase marker to write the letters J-O-Y on each (so I can change them if my mood suits). I tied a cute bow and called it a day! So simple! I could also see this with a chalk gift tag, or one made from kraft paper tags and bakers twine with any letters.
This is my favorite so far. I’ve been eyeing those Pottery Barn flannel throw pillows as I thumb through the catalogue. So cute, they look so cozy and SO CHRISTMAS-Y! But, um, $50 for ONE pillow?!?! I love you PB, but get a grip! Here’s a DIY for a less than $5 pillow cover! Exciting, right?! Oh and did I mention, NO SEWING involved. Double yay! First I found this really cute and soft blanket scarf in the dollar section at Target. It was $7, (those prices just keep creeping up in those bins). I took it home, grabbed my scissors and adhesive fabric tape. So, that is all that you will need. First, you want to lay an old pillow on the scarf and cut a few inches around each side of the pillow to cover halfway up to the edge of the pillow. Use the corner of the material for less cuts and to maximize material. Now use that full piece as your template to cut a second piece the same size. Use adhesive fabric tape (from a fabric store or Hobby Lobby) to line the edges of the fabric on all 3 and a half side of one piece. Tear off the paper from the fabric tape and lay the other piece of fabric on top, pressing firmly so that the two peices adhere to each other. Turn the fabric inside out and insert your throw pillow through the half slit that you left open. Then take the half opening and fold the material on both ends about an inch (kind of like you would to wrap a present) and apply another piece of fabric tape to that edge, and secure. It should match the other sides. If you mess up, carefully rip it apart and try again. I had enough material with the scarf to make 2 18″ pillows and a lumbar pillow. ***Oh, and the “25” pillow was a DIY from last year using the same method from my Halloween post, find instructions here.
These little beauties are so simple and make great hostess gifts, and just make holiday cooking that much more fun. You’ll only need a set of wooden cooking utensils (I like the bamboo set for TJ Maxx that you can get for $3), craft paint in whatever color you choose, Mod Podge and painters tape. I used red and green paint and clear glitter on mine. First you want to tape around the handle of the spoon wherever you want the paint to end and paint the end of the handle. Once it dries, use a coat of Mod Podge to seal and let dry. If you are using a layer of glitter (why wouldn’t you?!) then apply that to the Mod Podge while its wet and once its dry apply a second coat of Mod Podge. Don’t worry, it dries clear. Now tie a piece of twine around it and maybe attach a cute gift tag! Its hand wash only. Happy gifting!
So, I’ve seen so many different types of advent calendars, and my super talented friend over at smarterardor.com had this really cute one made of craft tags. Her family chose activities to write on the cards and do each day. I used the same concept and wrote ours on the back of gift tags. I took twine and mini clothes pins and attached them in rows across a chalkboard, numbering each one, 1-25. We pull it each day and do the activity. Some are as simple as drinking hot chocolate or riding around looking at lights, making cookies for friends, or doing a Christmas craft together. Get creative and let the kids help choose the activities!
I hope you enjoy these DIY’s and give one a try. Most importantly to note though, as much as I love pretty things, and have equally as much fun making them, what makes my home so awesome is the feeling I get when I’m in it with the people I share it with. We love the walls we live within because we are together. Merry crafting everyone!