Christmas decorating

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Christmas decorating

Postby Verve on Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:43 pm

We're set to be on our counties historical society Holiday Home Tour in a few weeks and I was wondering if anyone had and ideas for decorating for Christmas on a budget? I've got the basics but not many extra details. I'm not all that crafty but I'm not opposed to giving something a try. Any ideas that would be period appropriate to a 1902 home? I'm all ears.... :lol:
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby RioG on Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:06 pm

I was going to post something similar! We're not on a home tour, but I'm pumped about Xmas this year.
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby KristenS on Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:37 pm

I'm interested to know, too!

I found this image from a quick Google search (which turned up little else of interest). It's from a postcard used by Southwell Minster, a church in England:


Two things surprised me. First, "Seasons Greetings", the happy wishes that some folks would have you believe are just a modern liberal contrivance. Second, "Xmas", which my not-very-but-still-a-little religious father always objected to because of the casual replacement of Christ with X.
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby cmm740 on Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:10 pm

Hi there -

What kind of budget were you considering? I buy all of my Christmas decorations from http://www.etsy.com - some things are pricier than others, but everything is handmade and usually lovely (and, you can probably find an artist/craftsperson near you so the shipping won't be as expensive)! Also, I find adding red and green pillows and blankets to my couches, as well as candles in themed holders, does a lot (surprisingly) to make it feel "Christmas-y.

Good luck!

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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby cadrad on Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:52 am

I had a babysitter who took the monopoly cards with x-mas on it and scribbled it out to write in "Christ". I don't know how I remember that. There is a long history for x being used as a symbol for Christ. At the museum, we have a big collection of holiday postcards (which were used as greeting cards)that I have our sign guy reproduce in a 2 x 3 foot size and use as decoration. Last year here I bought some white paper and cut out elaborate snowflakes for the front porch windows. I have a large (300) piece collection of 40s-50s-60s shiny brites that I display on a large real tree along with my vintage lights with the tin foil reflectors and (gasp!) lead tinsel ( now that Ive put this on the internet, I'm sure the EPA will show up to confiscate the tree. think of the children!) I also use a few of those wire trees to display some older teens/twenties ornaments I picked up along the way. Ornaments are my oldest collection. I've been collecting since I was about 10. On the cheap, inexpensive garland, ribbon, and those cheap plastic balls, all different sizes, wired into clusters and attached can go a long way.
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby triguy128 on Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:10 am

W'ere also on a home tour. I think we're keepign it fairly simply. Our interor is fairly contemporary so we're thinking tasteful touches here and there, one real tree in the living room and our fake tree in the formal dining room simply decorated.

I'm looking forward to it. With the 9' ceilings and plenty of space, we should be able to put up a descent size tree.

Outside I'm doing a lighted wreath on the circular balcony rail. Lights wrapped around the front post light, icicle lights along the face board at the roof line and net lights over the shrubs right in front of the house. I might throw some lights on the shrubs along the driveway too, but we'll see. That would put it up to around 1100 watts including the christmas trees. That's around $40 in electricity for 5 weeks, 6 hours a day.
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby Kansas. 1911. on Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:46 pm

Since you live in a Victorian, "excess" is allowed everywhere. Do you collect anything? Put it out.

Also, is there anybody you could borrow from? Maybe a fake tree or two would give you that "excess" feel.

We were on a Christmas tour a few years back. My big hint is to keep your bannister safe. Take the money you would have used to fix up the bannister and put it elsewhere. Old house, unfamiliar, steep staircases freak people out.

I've seen some really beautiful Christmas ribbon out there. I got some plaid to make huge bows on red sleds. You could tie ribbon around lamps, stacks of books, teddy bear necks--lots of stuff. I've seen wrapped gifts used to decorate chairs--it kind of tells people not to sit on this one, but it's cute also.

Now I'm getting excited to decorate and we're going to be gone for Christmas this year. I'm going to channel my inner minimalist.
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby Verve on Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:06 pm

Yay! Lots of awesome ideas I hadn't though of!! I actually did borrow a tree so that we have two, one in the library and one in the dinning room. Maybe I can scrounge up another for the second floor landing :)
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby mrstan on Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:07 pm

One simple idea is look to nature.

Pods, nuts, dried flowers all could be "gold leafed" (aka spray painted) and used in vases, or floral arrangements.

Bundles of twigs, with crystal glitter and wrapped in a ribbon?

You could wrap various sized styrofoam balls in ribbons, torn strips, even twine. Styrofoam balls could also be coated in elmers glue, and then rolled in spices or glitters...

You can also take clementines or even basic oranges,

And of course, you could always bake cookies, and string cranberries.
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby 1880 Stick Victorian on Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:46 am

hi angela... i am not really sure what a holiday house tour is...meaning do they tour the inside or do the drive by? I am not really sure what part of the country you live in either. But i can tell you what my partner and i have done over the last 10 years that should save you some money and make it look festive.

We always have some big pots or urns that have been cleared of any annual plantings but still have dirt. About this time of the year we would take cuttings from red twig dogwoods (they are more of a bush and not a tree) and stick several of them in the dirt...you can fill in with any cuttings of pine or fir branches and would put white lights in the evergreens. If you don't have any red twig dogwoods then any pine, fir or evergreen. If you have the time you can wire on pinecones onto the evergreen This picture is from 2004 back when we were living in Washington St. We would also put any pine, fir or evergreen cuttings into any empty window boxes, put in some white lights.

the other thing i have seen done is use a hardware cloth or chicken wire, make a cone shape and you can also wire on lights and pinecones, relatively inexpensive but can be time consuming. You can also buy the styrofoam tree shape or wreath shape and hot glue on pinecones and you can also wind a string of lights as you are gluing the pinecones. I use like juniper bush little pine cone things to fill in any bare spots along with nuts that are in the shell to fill it out... this is providing you live in a place with pine cones. I've taken like a 1 inch brush with with some plain white paint or primer, touch up the ends of the pinecones once the tree is done and it gives the effect of snow...i've never had good luck with the can of spray snow on these pinecone trees.

I made a paper chain of red and green construction paper and have used that to decorate the tree or any evergreens that you might have in the house. I have noticed in some old christmas pictures that they did use paper chains... Our house is typical of the period here in upstate NY... lots of small rooms, doors and hallways and not much room to put in big trees... a few years ago running out of time i put up a small cellophane christmas tree in the foyer and hung some artificial evergreens above the windows...wired on the ornaments and because didn't use christmas lights, i added some tinsel to at least reflect the light that did come into the room... I also use poinsettias...even the small potted are relatively inexpensive. This picture was from our 1st christmas in the house, everything is kind of mismatched but you will get the ideal of the evergreen swags on the tops of the windows...

Like cadrad, i've been collecting antique christmas ornaments...we have some old clear glass bowls or compotes and fill them up with glass balls or ornaments...have even used pinecones and throw on some fake snow in a bag.
Back in washington, some of the thrift stores would save up their christmas decortions and not put them out until around this time of the year...if your looking for basics like ornaments, i have picked up some good deals... And as someone mentioned earlier if there are any friends or family that you could borrow some christmas decorations, that would also save some $$$.

SMelissa had a picture of her house one year with wreaths on the outside windows... Took a trip to sprawl-mart last year and found some really nice and inexpensive wreaths (also were made in the USA!!) made my own bows and put them on all of the windows outside. It might not be much help for now but two years ago went after christmas and bought 40 boxes of plastic unbreakable ornaments..i think i paid like 1.00 a box, last year bought the cheapest garland at sprawl-mart and clustered the ornaments on the garland...inexpensive and ready to re-use again this year... I also bought those electric candles and put them in the windows, they use like a 4 watt night light bulb helps light up the windows in the house and the electric candles are not expensive i think i paid .99 each.
I hope this helps...

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