Christmas decor (and sneak peek house tour!)

I’m excited to be participating in The Nester’s Christmas Tour of Homes!  I haven’t really shown any pictures of our new house yet because I wanted to get some decorations up.  Well, I still don’t have curtains in most rooms, pictures on the wall, or even all the furniture I want, so still no full house tour yet, but I do have our Christmas decorations up and I want to show you those.

(P.S. If you want to see my home apartment tour from last year, check it out here)

So, step into our home.  Enjoy the Christmas music and this cup of hot chocolate I made you…I mean, turn on Pandora to a Christmas station and make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, and take a virtual peek into our home :).

living roomAs you walk in the front door you’ll see our living room.  This is the main area that I decorate for Christmas.

tulle and lightsI used the all-inspiring Pinterest for many of my Christmas decorations this year…including my tulle and lights.  I just cut strips of tulle and tied them in between the lights on a strand of white lights.  This would be beautiful on a mantle but we don’t have a mantle so…the sofa table it is.

Christmas treeI already showed you all the details of our Christmas tree, but here it is again.

garland 1This garland I made it probably my favorite Christmas decoration this year.  It was super easy to do (another Pinterest find), I cut circles of various sizes out of Christmas-y scrapbook paper, and sewed them together into a long strand.  An easy and cheap way to add some Christmas pretties!  It can be done in any color combination too…so I’m definitely going to be using this for other holidays and events!

pie safeI used some of the extra branches from our Christmas tree and my Merry Christmas blocks to decorate the top of the pie safe.

stockingsThe stockings were hung on the barstools with care…

Christmas cardsI used a similar method to last year and hung the Christmas cards with clothespins.  I’d love to make a cute Christmas card display thing that I can use year to year, but so far that hasn’t happened so twine and clothespins are working for us right now.

Christmas countdownWe have this funny little alcove in the living room next to the bathroom, and this bookcase fits just perfectly.  I’m using it to hold Michael’s Christmas Countdown bags.

Willow Tree nativityMy Willow Tree nativity is on top.

tablescapeIn the dining room we have a centerpiece (see more about how I made it here) on the table.

china cabinetAnd the china cabinet hold Michael’s collection of Santa’s that he had from when he was little.

Michael's tree

And then finally in our bedroom, we have Michael’s little Christmas tree.

A few simple decorations this year, nothing huge since we just moved in, but still beautiful and festive and very us.

Merry Christmas!

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree

I’ve never been one for themed trees….or I guess I am if the theme is colored-lights-meets-country-meets-sentimental-ornaments-of-all-types-and-colors….’cause that’s basically what our tree consists of and I love it!  I like the idea of all white lights or a tree decorated with a color scheme, and someday if we ever have a second tree I might do one like that, but it wouldn’t be Christmas without my colorful, crazy tree.

Christmas tree 1

Our beautiful tree – I love it!  Someday I’m going to have a real tree skirt, but until I get around to making one, I just use some fabric (with small white stars on it) draped around the bottom.

burlap garland

I really wanted to have a garland of some sort on our tree this year.  Most of the ribbon I found was too shiny for what I wanted and I couldn’t find exactly what I had in mind.  You can actually buy burlap ribbon, but I couldn’t find any in the stores, I was too impatient to order some and wait for it to arrive, and I new I could make my own for much cheaper.  So I ended up just cutting strips of burlap and draping the around the tree like ribbon.  The edges aren’t nice and neat, but that’s ok with me.

burlap bowI also used the burlap and make a bow for the top of the tree.  I’ve never had a tree topper because I’ve never been able to find or make one that I like, so this is our first one and I really like how it turned out (I need to get my handy husband to trim of that top branch though, huh?)

star cinnamon ornamentGrowing up my mom made some cinnamon ornaments that smelled so amazing year after year.  I found out it is really easy (mix equal parts applesauce and cinnamon, roll out like dough, cut with cookie cutters, and bake on a cookie sheet at 200* until dry) and they made our house smell amazing!  I made a bunch of little stars.

barn star ornamentI also found these great paper ornaments at Hobby Lobby that looked like barn stars (stars are kinda my thing, if you haven’t noticed) so I gave them a turquoise base coat and then dabbed some red on top with a paper towel.

Of course I had to play around and practice taking pictures of the tree (I never can quite capture in a picture the way the tree looks in real life).

Christmas tree 2I love looking at all the beautiful lights twinkling in the dark.

Christmas tree 3It looks like the tree is glowing

bokehLovely bokeh (and coincidentally, exactly what the tree looks like to me when I don’t have my contacts in….)

A Christmas tree is definitely my favorite Christmas decoration!

simple Christmas table decorations

Since we still don’t even have the “normal” (aka year round) decorations up in our new house, I haven’t been super concerned about elaborate Christmas decorations.  On the other hand, since we finally have space to actually decorate, I have been wanting to do a bit more than I’ve done in the past.  I’m trying not to go crazy and buy a ton of stuff just yet, so instead I’ve been trying to shop the house and decorate with things we already have and/or make homemade decorations.

This weekend I pulled together a little centerpiece for our dining room table.

I used all items that I had around the house to make this red and white, burlap and twine tablescape.  I also think this would be a beautiful mantle decoration….we just don’t have a mantle so I had to settle for putting it on the table.

I gathered several mason jars in blue and clear and filled them with the extra branches that Michael cut off our Christmas tree.  I also gathered all the white and red candles I could find in our house.

I wrapped burlap, “regular” brown twine, and red and white baker’s twine around some of the candles and jars.

(Psst…did you know baker’s twine is all the rage this year?  Well it is and if you haven’t jumped on that bandwagon, you might want to grab you some.  I got mine from Pick Your Plum – I love how the red and white looks like candy canes!)

I had a ton of little red votive candles so I used some small mason jars and some other glass candle holders, filled them with Epsom salt to look like snow, and nestled the candles in them.

items used: mason jars (already had around the house), tree branches (cut off the bottom of our tree), red and white candles of various sizes (already had), Epsom salt (already had) burlap (left over from another project), twine (also leftover craft supplies), and baker’s twine (more general purpose craft items

Total cost: $0.00 since I didn’t buy anything especially for this centerpiece.

I think I might also like to put the centerpiece on a tray or a table runner to anchor it a bit.  I though a green piece of fabric or a pretty silver tray might be beautiful, but I didn’t have any on hand and didn’t want to make a special trip or purchase, so this is what we’ve got (for now, at least).

I just love the smell of the branches and the glow of the candles!