While some people have the same tried and true plan for decorating every holiday, I prefer driving myself crazy by trying to come up with new ideas every year. Basically I get bored easy and to be honest, I like the challenge. Which means, if last year the garland was draped on the banister this year it might get tucked into window boxes and you can bet that the Christmas tree will look different and may even be in a new room. It’s my way of mixing things up without having access to a Martha Stewart budget. It’s actually easier than you think to work with what you have -most of us have accumulated lots of decorations we no longer use or even have boxes of old stuff we inherited from relatives who downsized or passed away. This year why not challenge yourself to open up every box of holiday decorations? -And don’t hesitate to use a pair of scissors, some tape or even glue to transform them into what you really want!
EXAMPLE: Last year you might remember I went with a red and aqua theme for outside (for more on that click here) and since I am still really in love with this color combo, I decided to keep it but tweak it a little and best of all I didn’t spend a dime. Here are some of my tips:
1. NATURE: Grab your gardening sheers and take your dog along for a walk in a forest or field. Scan the ground for pine cones, unusual rocks, interesting bushes, moss and fallen or dead birch trees/branches (they make great accents and I saw bundles of 4 thick branches sell for $12.99 at a local shop) and use your sheers to snip evergreen branches to make your own wreaths or planters (make sure to only cut one or two branches per tree and only cut branches off trees that are 20 feet or taller, this way you will be sure not to harm or weaken the tree and it will be there next year to provide you with more free branches ;-). Aside from making evergreen planters again this year I also attached evergreen branches to to the top of the entry posts (using painters tape -it’s not so sticky that it will damage the posts but works much better than rope, especially if you are working alone! ).
2. WRAPPING. Ribbons and bows… rummage through your wrapping station, you might be surprised what you can re-purpose.
3. GARDEN DECOR. Bird houses, gnomes and even the 3 foot squirrel statue your grandma gave you can look whimsical tucked into an outdoor planter with a dusting of (real) snow (or the fake stuff!). Also, bring garden decor indoors (give them a good washing first) and try sitting them on shelf or the base of your Christmas tree.
4. THE CHRISTMAS BIN. Because tinsel is cheep and cheerful it seems everyone has some lurking around -even if it’s in the form of an inexpensive tinsel Christmas tree you picked up on clearance a few years back: I had two small red ones. I snipped the branches off and twisted the ends together to form a wire garland which I wrapped around the base of my outdoor planters and also gave a little ‘beard’ to the bottom of my outdoor light fixtures! And instead of using floppy tinsel garland in your tree this year, why not use it in a new way? I cut one up into 4 small garlands and made little ‘halos’ for the tops of my outdoor light fixtures! No longer in love with your store bought Christmas wreath? – Add colourful ornaments you already have! I added aqua Christmas balls and the pair of skates to the wreath on my front door.
5. LIGHTS. For a real feeling of change and something brand new, try re-using old Christmas lights in new places. Last year I hung aqua Christmas lights around the white support posts on my front stoop. I liked it but they really never popped because they were located so close to my outdoor light fixtures. This year those same lights are nestled in my outdoor planters which is not only a fun change, but the lights are much more noticeable at night.
Get rummaging and re-imagine some new decor for your home (for FREE) this year!
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