Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Decorating for Christmas - Salvaged Iron Topiaries

Our house has an open floor plan for the living and dining areas -- these are the two major areas where we spend most of our time and where I concentrate my decorating energy.  Before the Christmas season, in the dining room, I had two of my silk topiary trees in these cool chocolate urns that I have had for ever.

When I started decorating I decided they needed a major face lift.  So one night I had this "ah ha" moment.  I envisioned old metal wire topiary's where I could close pin our annual Christmas cards.  I'm not sure if the pictures do it justice but I am IN LOVE with these two totally {not-perfect} recycled metal topiary's.  I'm thinking of keeping them all year to hold family snapshots.

Thanks to all our family and friends for sending Christmas cards this year.  Our kids love getting them in the mail and pinning them to these metal trees.

A close up of the urn and wire.  I love the patina of this old chicken wire.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Decorating for Christmas - paper garland sign

I don't know about you but I have been inspired this year by all of the paper crafts available.  The options at the craft store for fun decorative papers is staggering!  I recently purchased a round paper punch to use for my business.  I decided to use it to make a paper garland for our front entry way.  I saw this idea in a crafting magazine.  It was fun for the holidays but could easily be used for a birthday or other special occasion.  I think Happy New Year would look cool too.

You will need fishing line, paper, round punch (or if you are really good with scissors you can cut out your own circles or squares), glue or double sided tape and pre-cut letters.

You will need 2 round circles for each letter.  Place the fishing line down on a flat surface, lay one set of the rounds even spaced along the fishing line, tape or glue the line to the paper rounds.  Use a separate line for each word or else it would be too long and hard to hang.  Place the second set of paper rounds directly on top of the first set - so that the fishing line runs between them.  Next glue or tape your letters - one on each paper round. 

Attach one end of your line to a mirror, window, buffet or wall with double sided tape or removable glue dots.  (I actually tied my fishing line between two wall sconces.)  I also added a puff of ribbon to help soften the end of the sign.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Decorating for Christmas - Block Angels

If you have read any of my previous decorating blogs you will know that (a.) we have a fireplace and (b.) my husband collects wood remnants for kindling.  Whenever I get an idea in my head for an art project my mind immediately goes to that wood pile.  Because, one of my mantra's is, "use what you have".

I really wanted to have some angels in the house this Christmas.  I came up with this cute, recycled idea.  First I used some stubby 4 x 4 end posts and Styrofoam balls.  I pounded one skinny nail into each wood.  I then found some chocolate fabric in the cupboard and decided to use that for their heads. 

I took the fabric and wrapped it tightly around each Styrofoam ball and gathered it at the top with a piece of wire.  Taking my scissors I roughly cut the fabric to form "hair" for my lovely ladies.  For eyes I used pearl pins.

For halo's I used some pearl wire and wrapped loops around my hand to form a simple circle.  I then attached it to the head with another pearl pin.

Finally we need some wings.  You can use wire hangers if you want and bend them into non-traditional free-form wings.  You will want to hot glue the wire to the back of the wood or tie a ribbon or twine around the wood inserting the wire at the back.  I finished each angel with twine to continue my rustic theme.

To give my angels a little home for the holidays I placed them in an open vintage suitcase.  Pinecones add to the seasonal look.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Decorating for Christmas - Fireplace

Well I am finally getting around to doing some decorating for Christmas.  First I am starting with our fireplace mantel - it is the most visible spot in our living room and a focal point of the room.  For those of you that are crafty I thought you might enjoy this paint and paper project.

I really enjoyed making my Halloween Sign for the mantel last month so I headed back out to the wood pile to look for more 2 x 4 remnants.  I was inspired to make a wood block and paper sign after seeing a really cool "Faith" sign at Designer Flower Center.

First I had my daughter help me paint the sides of each block white.  Don't worry about the wood blocks being the same height - in fact several different heights makes the sign more interesting.  Next I found some really fun paper in shades of grey and whites at the craft store.  I cut out squares of paper and glued them to the blocks.  I also picked out heavier card stock that was white and covered in glitter for the letters.  Before gluing on the letters I painted on Mod Podge to help seal the paper tight to the wood.

The following day I glued each letter to a block.  I didn't use a template for these letters I just cut them out free-hand. We then stacked the word "Merry" on top of "Christmas" and voila a fun, inexpensive sign for our mantel.