What do the words "Christmas decorating" mean to you? Strewing a few candy canes around the house? Dragging boxes and boxes of ornaments out of storage, only to discover they are now broken? Ending the evening with a knock down, drag out fight with your nearest and dearest over the correct technique for untangling Christmas lights? Well, Christmas decorating doesn't have to rank up there with root canals and visiting the DMV. With a plan and a few crafty ideas, you'll be roasting chestnuts on the open fire before you know it - without breaking the budget.
Make Your Plan
Don't start your decorating by dragging out all of your Christmas gear and plopping it in the middle of the floor. You'll feel very uninspired, very fast. This is especially true if you have a large space to decorate, or if your decorating project is going to encompass several rooms. Think about where you want to put things - if you have a few large pieces, start with those and decorate around them.
While the traditional mistletoe and poinsettias might be enough for some, if you have a lot of decorating to do, choose a theme. Picking your theme will help you sort through the decorations you have - or guide you while you're shopping for new ones.
If Christmas decorating is new to you, and you're going to need to do some stocking up, consider your budget before you hit the mall. And once you're there, stick to it. Remember, you still have the presents to buy.
Keep some of that hard earned cash in your pocket and give some of these do-it-yourself ideas a whirl.
What's Christmas without a wreath or two?
Try this idea for this most traditional of Christmas wreaths. First, gather your holly - about enough to fill a large shopping bag. Take a wire hanger and shape it into a circle (the hook can be used to hang your wreath). Attach number 24 floral wire (paddle wire) to your circle frame (anywhere will do), and then place a bundle of holly on top. Use the wire to attach the holly to your frame, wrapping it twice so it is secure. Continue until your wreath is complete. Tuck your last bundle under your first, clip the wire and you're done. Add bows, berries, or whatever else you like to personalize your wreath.
Repeat the steps for making a holly wreath, except replace the holly with wrapped candy, such as various Brach's candies. Any candy with twisted wrapping on the ends will work. Then snack on your wreath throughout the holiday season.
Glass Ball Wreath
This idea comes courtesy of Martha Stewart.com. You'll need a double wire wreath form, glass balls in your choice of color (with wire stems already attached), seam binding in a color to match the ornaments you have selected, craft glue, and floral tape. Wrap the wire form with the seam binding, sealing with craft glue. Form bunches with the glass balls, wrapping them together with the wire stems and then securing the bunch with floral tape. Attach each bundle to the wreath form with floral tape, and then cover with more binding to hide the tape. Continue until the wreath is covered. If there are any empty spots, use the craft glue to glue additional glass balls into the holes.
- Put artificial flame candles in each of your windows. Go for the battery operated variety to avoid having all those loose chords hanging around.
- Decorate with cookies. Before your put sugar cookies into the over, put a hole into the top of the cookie (a straw is ideal for this). Then, when the cookies are cooled, put string through the hole and use as decorations. Gingerbread houses also make great holiday additions to your home.
- Make easy centerpieces by filling glass bowls with glass balls or pinecones. If you're using pinecones, sprinkle with some artificial snow.
- Let the kids cut out snowflakes and decorate the windows.
- Tie festive ribbons around tall glasses and fill with candy canes.
- When you're decorating your tree, don't forget your other house plants - put small ornaments on them as well.
- Drape garland on banisters, mantles - any place you can get it to stay! Instead of traditional garland, consider stringing cranberries or even using strings of Christmas lights.
Build a Christmas Decoration Collection Over Time
Remember that Christmas returns each year. It's perfectly fine to start out with just a few decorations and build your collection as the years go by. Stick to your theme, and purchase decorations that will last. In just a few short years your home will be the Christmas showcase you always dreamed about.