From ladies skirt to tree skirt!

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Whether artificial or natural, most people tend to use an actual store bought Christmas tree skirt to cover the bottom of their trees.  There are of course alternatives like using a wool throw blanket, table cloth, sheepskin rug and even ‘planting’ the tree in a large container (for more inspirational tree skirt ideas head over to The Pink Chalkboard).  But here is another pretty simple idea I came up with just last week:

fromladiesskirttochristmastreeskirt

It all started with not wanting to use my old tree skirt (from when I was a kid) or the newer Martha Stewart one I purchased at the same time as my artificial white Martha Christmas tree (more on the white tree here).  This year we got a natural 10 foot Christmas tree -over the years I had used the sheepskin rug, throw blanket, planter and even leftover burlap fabric from my DIY curtains.  Then I thought about how cute my plaid wool skirt (which I bought at a local thrift shop and modernized/modified last December: more on that here) would look but I wasn’t prepared to sacrifice it for my tree (at least not this year!).  So I popped back into that same thrift shop and was psyched to find that they had a few plaid skirts to choose from  -AND one with an actual purple stripe running through it! (I’m trying to work hints of purple in the living room).  Not really a typical color found in most plaid skirts (SCORE!) and although I wasn’t in love with that blue color, I figured I really couldn’t afford to be that picky.  I mean it is a tree skirt after-all!  It’ll only be on display for a couple of weeks -and even then, mostly covered up by gifts.

purpleredgreenplaid

I took it home and with a good pair of scissors cut it open along the side from waist to hem (see photo) and that’s it. DONE : cheap, cheerful, original and new (to me) Christmas tree skirt in an instant!

cutplaidskirttomakexmastreeskirt

naturalchristmastreewithplaidskirt

What do you think?  Are you doing something unconventional to your Christmas tree this year?  Please share your comments below!

Happy Holidays,

Julie

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WHY NOT WEDNESDAY: candy cane blooms!

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 “quick holiday cheer on the cheap!

Available everywhere, colourful, cheap and cheerful, candy canes are for more than just eating.  Why not incorporate them in a vase or add one to a few houseplants?  There is probably no easier or instant Christmas decor than grabbing a whole fistful and jamming them in a vase for the coffee table or as a fun (and inexpensive) centrepiece for the dining table!

Candy cane decor

easy candy cane decor

candy cane vase

Candy cane vade

candy cane with boxwood clippings

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What Oui’ve been up to: Getting into the Christmas spirit!

No, it’s not a spelling mistake.  My husband and I are French Canadians, born and raised in Montreal (Canada).   Our family name is (obviously)  French; Ouimet.   With all those vowels it can be a little tricky to pronounce for those who aren’t familiar with the language.  One particular U.S. friend (Thanks B.P.!), shortened and simplified our name to: The Oui’s.  Most people know a little basic French (Oui means Yes).  Because it’s way cuter and more fun, we gladly adopted it and it caught on quickly with the rest of our U.S. peeps and even Canadian ones!  We have been The Oui’s for about 12 years now.

CHEATING CHALK BOARD: by the front door I hung a vintage oil print of a winter scene. However sometimes I will slip in a piece of black craft paper between the painting and frame with a message I’ve scribbled using white chalk! Click here for the how-to.

Like many families, (U.S.) Thanksgiving is the kick off to Christmas in our household.  This weekend the kids made their gingerbread houses, I spray painted my white artificial Christmas tree (more on that here), afterwards the kids decorated it (and no, I did not re-decorate it after they went to bed!).  I also did a little holiday decorating outdoors and my oldest and the hubs started preparing the outdoor skating rink (it gets more elaborate every year!).  But the best part is that I FINALLY got to unveil my 6.5″ foot purple feather tree! I purchased it last February for $15 (marked down from $199) at Bouclair.  I’ve been so excited about it, and was thrilled that it turned out to be way more beautiful and glamourous than I even imagined.  It is definitely this holiday’s wow factor in The Oui’ family room!

Our outdoor skating rink is coming along; hung lights, made the form out of PVC pipe, lined it with a huge white tarp and rigged some kind of hard netting on each end so that pucks don’t fly out into the yard and disappear in the snow until spring!

VINTAGE VIBE: Red & Aqua is the outdoor color theme this year!

- Red flocked Christmas wreath is from HomeSense, I added the aqua balls which I purchased years ago from The Dollar Tree.– Red flocked Christmas wreath is from HomeSense, I added the aqua balls which I purchased years ago from The Dollar Tree.

I added the ‘well…jingle my bells” sign. Purchased last year at The Christmas Tree Shop.

In the breakfast nook: our six year old Martha Stewart Christmas tree, with a little rejuvenation courtesy of white spray paint! More on that here.

STILL TWEAKING: I went for a walk in the forest with my daughter and our dog, Kaya (blue-eyed Siberian Husky). We found some great stuff for the outdoor winter/Christmas/holiday themed planters (I have three on on our front steps)!  I snipped a few evergreen branches but the birch branches we took from the forest floor.  The planters still need a little work -like more pops of red and aqua perhaps? The bird houses were made by a friend of my mom’s years ago and the icicle ornaments I tucked in there upside down.  There are ‘branch lights’ in there also, but you can’t tell in the daytime.

the new 6.5 foot purple feather tree measures closer to 10 feet thanks to the sleek silver planter! It fills up that wall and reinforces the high (two story) ceilings in the family room! (yes, that is Racheal Ray on the TV!)

A (heavy) black marble vase, filled with faux snow and flocked white branches is a nice touch for the season -and it can hang around long after the Christmas decorations are put away.

More (complete) holiday decor photos to come soon! Have you started decorating for the holidays yet?

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Decorate: a little Christmas all winter long?

I always enjoy packing away my Christmas decorations once the holidays are over but I don’t love how it makes the house seem cold and uninviting which is why I try to leave out a few items that don’t necessarily scream holiday but do speak to the season of  “winter”.

ice skates ornament

vase of peacok feathers

faux snow + twiggery vase

If you live in a climate where it’s cold then this is pretty easy to do.  I left a “pair of skates” x-mas ornament hanging over a frame.  I removed the ornaments and sparkle from my wreath and just left some greens, I then filled a vase with faux snow and filled it with twigs (u could used white rocks or beads) and with a teaspoon of leftover “snow” I sprinkled some on the leaves of a small house plant in my powder room!

winter wreath

Entrance

I also picked up a cute painting at a thrift store of a snowy landscape which I hung in my entrance.  It can easily be changed out each season.  I also left a leafy sage garland above my door  (removing berries) because it didn’t feel Christmas-y to me.

I’ll pack all these items away and happily replace them when the snow melts  or when Easter comes around, whichever come first!

J

The 101: Think outside the box and stretch your decorating dollar!