November 30, 2015

7 Christmas Decorating Tips and Tricks

My favorite holiday is fast approaching and the thing that I love to do most is decorating my house. Inside and out. A friend once told me that during the holidays it looks like Pottery Barn exploded in my house (even though nothing I own is from Pottery Barn). The affinity for festive decor was passed down to me from my mom, and to her from her mom. I guess you could say it runs in the family.

Over the years I've developed my Christmas style, and (very slowly) built up my decor stockpile (I have a total of 5 tote bins and 2 boxes of stuff over 10 years). However, when I first was out on my own, I had to get creative. Sometimes funds are limited or you don't have much time. These tips and tricks I've learned have helped me so, so much.

1. If you have a smaller tree, elevate it to make it feel bigger. 
I love having our tree in the window so the lights can be seen from outside. We have a 5 foot tree, it's shorter than you think. To make it taller and feel a bit bigger, I put a box under the stand. The box I used this year is probably about 8 inches tall. We also have a 3 foot tree in our bedroom. I put that one on a TV tray. My Dad has a 4 foot tree and they have a small coffee-table-height table they put it on.

2. DIY "Mantle" Shelf
Much to my disappointment, we do not have a fireplace in our home. I'm 95% positive there used to be one (along with a second floor/attic room) that was taken out in a huge renovation to the house a few years before we moved in. We have some shelves in our living room that are above two of the doorways for the cats to get up and away from the dogs if they want. Well for Christmas, the larger one gets turned into a "mantle". I put up garland around the door frame, add some fairy lights, and hang the stockings. Another semi-permanent option is to purchase a floating Mantle shaped shelf (like this one) and designate a spot on the wall at the Mantle, then use it for candles and picture frames the rest of the year. More "mantles" could be bookshelves, window sills, hooks on the wall, get creative!

3. Use Clear Thumbtacks and Floral Wire to hang garland around windows and door frames.
Put a thumbtack just above the door/window frame on each corner and one in the middle. Attach a 6 inch length of floral wire around the coordinating spot on the garland in a loop, center and each side. Some measuring is involved with that part. Then hang the loops on the tacks. For a less damaging option you could use the small clear command hooks instead of tacks.

4. Dress up the decor you already have.
I use silk poinsettias, fake greenery, cinnamon (or not) pinecones, bows, fairy lights, candles, and bunting to transform my everyday decor items into a more festive version. For example, I have a hanging bucket in my gallery wall and I change out the flowers for each season. I put some cinnamon pinecones in a basket on the ottoman in the living room. I put fairy lights and a DIY mesh garland on top of my cabinets. I hung a DIY bunting on the bookshelves in my kitchen. I put a big red bow on my donkey planter on our porch. Even some holiday hand towels from the dollar section at target hung on your cabinets in the kitchen can liven things up.

5. Fill in your sparse artificial tree with garland.
Yep. Our fake tree is a lot less full as the box would have you believe. So I bought some extra garland and wound it in to fill in the bareness around the "trunk" part of the tree. Trust me it makes a huge difference.

6. Put fairy lights on the inside of your child's bedroom window
This doubles as a night light and decor! Plus it gives children a Christmas "chore" to do each night, to plug in their lights! Thanks to my Llama for this suggestion.

7. Hang extra ornaments from the curtain rod in the window.
I don't know about you, but I always have at least one box of Christmas balls leftover after I've decorated the tree. Sometimes I like to hang them at varying lengths with string/yarn/ribbon in my small kitchen window. But this would also be a great one for the kids rooms too!

Most people do up their main living spaces, but don't skip the bathroom when decorating. At least the bathroom your guests use, anyways. Holiday towels, candles, a wreath, or a rug can add a pop of Christmas spirit while you pee.

What's your Christmas style? Do you have any tips or tricks to add?

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