Friday, December 2, 2011

Deck the Halls! {Preparing My Home for Christmas}

Happy December, everyone! I have been hard at work for the last FIVE days (good grief!) getting my home decked out for Christmas. It took me longer than usual, partly because I have two little "helpers" and partly because my husband was gone all week on a work trip (which meant no break from my little helpers). But I'm finally finished, and I love my cozy little home right now! It's definitely helping to put us in the Christmas spirit. Plus, my husband really appreciated all my hard work. He said the house looks beautiful...yes, he's a keeper! :)

This year my boys (ages 4 and 2) had a blast helping decorate the three trees in our house (I love Christmas trees!).  It was so much fun to see their little eyes sparkle in amazement when the main, family room tree went up. They absolutely loved climbing the little step-ladder and hanging the ornaments. Such good memories!

Hard at work!

My two-year-old admiring the tree at night.

The finished tree in day-time lighting.

In addition to our family room tree, we put up a smaller tree in the kitchen and one in the boys' room. I warned the DeFrump girls that I was gonna be over the top when it came to Christmas decorations and to be prepared! :-) In fact, I had so many pictures I wanted to share with y'all on this post, that I ended up making several into collages so it wouldn't be as overwhelming!

Kitchen tree

The next set of photos shows my "pretend mantel" since I don't have a fireplace. If you don't have a mantel either, get creative and use the top of a piano (like I did), a buffet/entry table, or even just put up a long shelf on one wall. It'll work in a pinch! So, here's what mine looks like...

I really had no idea what I was going to do, except that I wanted a big, focal piece on the wall. As I was digging through my stuff, I found this large, 16x32 frame that I bought last summer at a yard sale for $5. It fit perfectly around an evergreen wreath I already had, so I knew I had a good centerpiece for my wall. I spray-painted the frame metallic silver, which immediately transformed it! I hung the frame where I wanted it first, then put another nail in right under the top of the inside of the frame for the wreath. After that, I just tucked some white-tipped pine cones into the branches of the wreath and added a white bow. So easy! I also hung a large, silver ornament in the middle of the wreath that has the words "Joy, Noel, Hope, Peace, and Believe" grouped together to form a Christmas tree. I love how easy it was to create this focal piece!

Frame transformation

Next, I started setting up the top of the piano. I used the same three white, candle stands that I used in my fall decorations (they were previously topped with pumpkins). This time I topped them with vases and candle holders and added rings of red berries for a pop of color. Then I tucked in real pine cones and branches that we collected at a DeFrump girls' get-together.

Love the lace pattern on this candle holder! See how to recreate this HERE.

Use empty photo frames in your decor! Here I have a candle sitting inside a small, silver frame. Just be sure your candle is sitting on a proper holder if you're going to burn it very much! 

Have you seen all the decorating ideas on Pinterest using Epsom salt? There are so many awesome ideas! Click HERE to see some of these ideas on my Christmas Pinterest board. I knew I wanted to do something fun with Epsom salt, but I never made it to the store to get any. So instead, after thinking about what I already had that I could use, I decided to try Splenda since I had a big bag of it. Guess what? It looks just like snow! It was the perfect sugar substitute (pun intended! :) for the Epsom salt idea.

Candy dishes + splenda + pine cones = lovely, Christmas decor!

I ended up switching out the pine cones for a candle. These cute little shelves are the perfect addition to either side of my framed wreath! Red plates and white berries complete the final touches.

One more look...I love it!

Of course, there was a TON of messy chaos during the whole process! Just keeping it real here, folks! :-)


More decorations! 

I really wanted to get a pretty garland for the "window" from my kitchen looking into the family room. I was even prepared to spend a bit to get it. But once I actually got to the store and was looking through them, as beautiful as they were, I just couldn't fork over the money. So, I got a cheapy looking one for $2.50 and added ribbon, wooden snowflakes, pine cones, and twinkle lights. It works for me! And it was cheap!

I promise I'm almost done!! :-) Can you see why this took 5 days?? Okay. Next up--a couple more wreaths! The top photo shows my front door wreath. I spray-painted the wooden JOY letters with the same metallic silver (which I LOVE, by the way) and hot-glued the J and the Y to the wreath. The O I hung from the center of the wreath. I just hot-glued a ribbon to the back and hung it on one of the branches. I also hot-glued a small, sparkly ornament from the center of the wooden O and topped it with a gold bow. Added some white berry branches and called it good!

The bottom wreath was my fall wreath. I just switched out bows and added the "Peace, Love and Joy" hand-painted sign (another flea market find!). 

The little tree in the boys' room.

And finally...the most important thing! Our Nativity and Advent calendar! Next year, I would love to invest in a bigger Nativity scene. They're so expensive though! These are set up in the boys' room next to their tree. That makes it extra special for them. I still remember as a child, looking at and playing with the little Nativity scene we had. I loved moving the pieces around and acting out the story. SUCH precious memories.

Love this Advent calendar I found last summer at a yard sale for $2! Each day has a little piece of the Nativity scene that you hang from little hooks. I'm also including little slips of paper explaining that day's special activity in each box. The boys LOVE it! 

I had to show you a quick peek at some scrapbook paper I picked up at Hobby Lobby the other day. I want to make Christmas trees out of them for my kitchen table centerpiece. I'll top them with the glittery stars! It'll be a fun craft project (thanks, Lauren, for the inspiration!).

Here's a tutorial for the paper Christmas trees:

Cute, huh?
Source: via Audrey on Pinterest

Well, I hope you got some inspiration and maybe even some ideas from this post! I'm gonna be posting a sewing tutorial or two over the next couple of weeks, and I've got some great ideas for hosting your own special Family Christmas Tea party as well; so stay tuned to my Friday posts in December!

Linking up here!

Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive, 365!
Sew Darn Crafty

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  1. Sis! Love the cream theme. So pretty. Well done

  2. Your decorating is lovely! Your tree, your mantle, everything! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love the way you decorated. Your tree is gorgeous, and all the other decorations are just beautiful! Thanks so much for showing us your home!

  4. Everything is beautiful...and I love you even more for showing your mess during the process =)!!!

  5. Wow I love your trees and the embellishments you've added. As well as those ornaments. So cute! Thanks for sharing your Christmas tree ideas and decorating suggestions. Happy Holiday!