Christmas decorating

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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby Thomolli on Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:33 pm

Don't forget to hit the thrift stores for supplies, ideas, trees of every size... Stockings make great decorations and the thrift stores have tons of them. If you have fireplaces decorate the mantels. How about fruit? I worked at a place called the Westerfield House one holiday season. They used apples and pineapples to decorate for the holidays. They have been out of business for a long time now but I did find a link to an article about their B&B that has a photo of some of the X-mas decor. You may have to scroll up...
Greenery, real or fake always spruces up the place for the holidays. Fake candles, with the bulbs that jump around and simulate fire, in the windows. Wreaths, there is a ton of design ideas online for beautiful, cheap, do-it-yourself wreaths. Some can possibly be made with stuff you find in your yard.

How about a Christmas "village scene"? You can also find these houses, churches etc...at the thrift stores.

Did you think of a scent? Pine, bayberry, cinnamon or whatever your fave is. Smells help to stimulate the production of long term memories!

What about themed trees? One year I used only homemade ornaments, another year only Santa ornaments.
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby Igloochic on Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:43 pm

We opened our house up last year for the victorian home's tour locally. 150 bodies trampling through all the floors was enough to inspire me to make a strong effort decorating. Being on Dec 4 we also had to have everything up early so I used a lot more artifical trees than I normally would.

We had ten trees (4 story house) and I only purchased one of them retail. The balance were found at local thrift stores as were garlands and wreaths. I purchased them and then fluffed and redecorated them with items found in our yard or at thrift stores as well (hot glue and cheap ornaments on a wreath can be beautiful LOL). I also did lots of wrapped boxes with bows as decorations throughout the house. A little stack of beautifully wrapped boxes is a great decoration to tuck here and there and costs very little.

Start decorating NOW (I started mine Nov 1 because I do up the house big for halloween). I had different types of trees that fit the purpose of the rooms. In the servants quarters (attic) I used very homespun decorations including dozens of small antique glass bottles which we found in our cistern. I filled them with water and baby's breath and hung them from wire around the neck in the maid's rooms. Cranberry garlands and home made cinnamon ornaments (you mix equal parts cinnamon and applesauce and roll them out like cookies, bake at 200 til dry and then use regualr house paint to decorate them...I did gingerbread men....oh I used a straw before baking to punch out a hole to hang). They smell delicious and make the place smell wonderful when the lights on a tree warm them.

The tree in our son's room was decorated with stuffed animals and had a garland of cheap straw looking stuff in it...what is that called? LOL Anyhoo, it was cute in his room. My sitting room had a tree full of antique ornaments like those discussed above. My collection spans the 20's through the 70's and now I have enough to do two trees by shopping on shopgoodwill.com.

In the dining room I pulled out all of the silver and china and made it look spiffy. I purchased VERY CHEAP glittery fabric that I used over a white paper cloth for the table, cut with scissors 5 mins before the tour started :) It was complimented constantly. Also, do not underestimate the beauty of white candles. IKEA has them for next to nothing. Tie a bow around the candle with velvet and an old piece of jewelry to finish it...it's gorgeous. Instead of buying expensive swags for our fence I used bundles of fir that cost 2.99 each and then wrapped a big (costco ribbon) bow around the post to hold it. Another thing I do is use pretty christmas cards in frames as art everywhere. (Frames from thrift stores of course).

As you can tell from the above, it pretty much looks like santa barfed all over the house during the holidays. :) I would agree that you should think safety when it comes to stairs etc, but I did do swags, I just had them hanging on the outside and made sure they weren't a hazard (which works on my stairs but not on all). They were a mess though so this year I'm going to try something new...maybe that gauze fabric as swags...I haven't gotten there (DH made me swear to wait until after thanksgiving).

I loaned out a few of my trees to a new store in town but I would have also loaned them and ornaments to a holiday tour person. They were offered to us for our tour by past participants, which was sweet (but would have ruined my fun challenge of doing it all up with thrift store goodies). You might ask around and see if friends have things you could borrow. Are you close by? I'm only doing six trees LOL

If you think you might do this again, start shopping on shopgoodwill.com for holiday stuff early. You can get some real bargains (I won't pay over 2 for an ornament and I see them sell for ten each or above elsewhere). The holiday houses go for next to nothing as well. I found some great kitch there as well which is fun to use in unexpected places. I use all 60's and 70's kitch in our powderroom and everyone leaves with a smile on their face....wait that sounds goofy....

Have fun!
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby Kansas. 1911. on Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:07 am

What a treat to hear from you again. All your ideas sound...easy. I might try the cinnamon man. I've gotten one as a gift but I pack him away in a tin the rest of the year. I wouldn't want a hungry critter to find him.

Also, speaking of tins...
We buy the Schwan's ice cream collector tins each year. We save them, take the lids off, and use the lids for decoration. Now that we have about 20 (we aren't rabid about this so we've missed some years), they can fill a bookcase or dangle from the picture rail when strung on fishing line.

That is our most difficult decoration. Although cheap, you have to eat ice cream for over 20 years. ha ha
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby S Melissa on Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:44 pm

The dollar store is your friend. I never think to go in one - but my crafty friends are there all the time - and they get good bargains (something about piles of junk really confuses me - Sam's club was that way for awhile too). Scott's idea on the pots out front - yep - I do that. I don't have a source for fresh greens so I buy fresh wreaths , and put pretty frothy picks in the dirt - pine cones, berries and lots of silver and gold.

Wreaths on the windows - I fasten mine with big suction cup hangers - some folks will drop the upper sash and tie them to the window via a beautiful red velvet ribbon.

Greenery in the house - on the mantle - with candle sticks and candles and fruit - pretty.

Decorate your dining room chandelier - a red velvet cord/chain cover - greenery; icicles or clusters of balls tied together - depends on the chandy.

Set your dining room table with your holiday china, chargers, napkin rings and lots of stuff. Remember the Vics didn't mind mis-matched so if you have to use several kinds of crystal, silver etc that's just dandy. Borrow stuff from your family/friends etc.

Instead of a 3rd traditional tree - maybe something like Scott's cellophane tree/a feather tree/ or what my mom did was get a branch from a tree in the woods - small - about the size of a finger - and spray it silver, flock with snow in a can, and decorate with icicle lites and woodland birds. We put it in a coffee can with sand and sprayed the can red. You could use something more fitting like a nice pot with a foam oasis type base. Cover it with a moss or something.

Wrap empty boxes and stack around. Borrow antique toys/sleds/ice skates/mittens and hats/pull your quilts out and layer them on. Have a cozy fire in the fire place. Buy some evergreen scented candles and discretely have them burning everywhere to fill the house with the smell of fresh cut trees. You'll be fine. You'll be exhausted. You'll probably never do it again. Have a blast!
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S Melissa
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby S Melissa on Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:47 pm

Oh - Igloochic - how about pictures. You must have them and I KNOW we'd all love to see them!! Cough em up kiddo!
Canton, MI
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby Verve on Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:34 pm

Wow, so many great ideas. Thank you so much!! So far we've got two trees and I know a couple people mentioned not to decorate the stairs but I already had it started and its just garland on the outside of the railing so it shouldn't impede anyone...at least I hope not! I've got pine garland placed here and there and on mantles. I strung 4 bags of cranberries to put on my dinning room tree (its decorated in greens, golds and burgandy so the cranberries look really pretty on there). I have pine roping for the front door and I'm going to put big red velvet bows on our stone columns out front and just a few lights. I also have two big holly trees in the back yard that I'm going to trim and then decorate with the trimmings. I'm going to dress up the dining room table with all the plates and whatnot and make a pine and holly centerpiece. I want to dress up the upstairs with something but it might not get finished. I'll take pictures when everything is finished and clean, right now it looks like a glitter and pine bomb went off in the house. :lol:
Last edited by Verve on Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby artfox on Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:09 pm

If you set the dining table, it's a good idea to omit the silver flatware. Otherwise, a piece or two might go home with someone as a "souvenir" of their visit! This actually happened in my former neighborhood during one of the home tours there. A friend whose home was on another tour had a pair of antique reading glasses displayed atop a book on a side table -- when the tour was over, they were nowhere to be found.

We'd all like to believe that everyone who goes on a tour is an honest person who simply appreciates the chance to see a restored old home in all its glory.
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby Luetic on Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:18 am

lol not even some of my family has ever been in my house, let alone a tour of strangers :mrgreen:
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby seolo on Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:43 am

I searched and couldn't find anything on this topic. I'm looking for restaurants with festive Christmas decorations. I love Butch McGuire's and (of course) there's always The Walnut Room, but I feel like I am missing out on other places. Anyone been to any really Christmas-y restaurants lately that put them in the spirit?
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Re: Christmas decorating

Postby Bleave on Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:04 am

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