My inner elf has resurfaced because my time has come. CHRISTMAS! I'm obsessed. I thought maybe this feeling would fade some as I got older. But here I am. A 25 year old wife and mom. I might be more excited about this Christmas than I ever have been because we have a BABY! I'm so excited for Presley's first Christmas. She'll have no idea what's going on but that is completely irrelevant. She will have hundreds of pictures to look at later and pretend like she knew what was happening.
So last year was our first Christmas in our house. I was so excited to finally have a mantle to decorate. I thought about what I wanted to do with it all year. The possibilities were endless! I came up with something but after I got finished I wasn't at all pleased with the outcome. I was 8 months pregnant so I didn't really have the energy to completely redo it. This year, however, I wanted to do it right. Plus I used that window with the wreath on it as decor in Presley's playroom and it is now pink sooo that's out of the question.
I wanted to stick with the traditional red and green color palate but I wanted it to be fun and whimsical. I started Christmas crafting in July (when I begin all of my October-December crafting) and I was so excited to see it all come together this year. I didn't really get to see it all put together till the day we brought out all of our Christmas decor.
Last year (2014):
This year (2015):
I'll start with the mantle. The first thing I needed to do this year was add another stocking! I went to Joann and got coordinating fabric and made Presley's from scratch with the help of an online tutorial. I used our stockings as a template so they'd all be the same size. I learn how to do everything on YouTube. After I finished it I had it monogrammed with her name. Santa stopped by a little early this year.
The next thing I did was make fabric/ribbon garland. This took forever but it was so easy and I mostly used ribbon and scraps of fabric I already had on hand so it was almost free! I bought about 1/4 yard of 4 different cheap green and red fabrics in different shades. I cut them into strips and slip knotted them onto some jute (you can use any ribbon or even yarn). I like jute because it's thicker and sturdier. I used a lot of red and green ribbon as well (solid and patterned). I wrapped it around the prelit garland and added lime green and red mesh to get the final product.
I love the mesh. It's so forgiving and easy to use. You can get it really at any craft store. I got mine at Hobby Lobby for 50% off (so $4 a package). You just cut pieces and stuff it until you like it. There's really no method I used.
Now the chalkboard! I was so excited about this because it cost me $2! I've mentioned before that when I was a freshman in college I became obsessed with garage sales. I loved buying things and redoing them (especially furniture). I brought in so much stuff I didn't have anywhere to put it in my tiny house. Most of it ended up in the attic and I forgot about it until we moved about 2 years ago. I'm so glad I got these random things for so cheap because I've used almost all of them in our current house. I just needed the space and the right place! Amongst that stuff was the wooden frame. I got it 6 years ago at a garage sale in Heber Springs, Arkansas. It was a whole dollar. I painted polka dots on it with white acrylic paint. The chalkboard part is actually foam core board with chalkboard paint. I already had the paint so I just had to buy the board. So easy! And I can write and erase anything on it and it doesn't even have to be Christmas.
Lastly for the mantle, the big felt ornaments and snowflakes! I got them at...THE DOLLAR TREE! They have glitter on them but I just turned them backwards so the backs are showing. I attached them with command strips. The red felt ornaments needed some love. I had the green ribbon on hand. I taped them up and added the green bows. I didn't like them just floating there. I got the little foam snowflakes at The Dollar Tree (12 for $1). I put these in my trees as well!
The sequin ball garland draped on the chalkboard I've had for years. I have no idea where it came from.
I'm obsessed with sewing and specifically making envelope pillow covers so of course I needed to decorate my pillows. I just made simple covers for each of my couch pillows and it really made the room instantly more festive. The polka dot and striped fabric I got years ago after Christmas on sale at Premiere Fabrics. I pooled it around my tree as a make-shift tree skirt for years but I got a real skirt this year. So I used the fabric to make these pillows! For the other pillows I got the red polka dot fabric at Hobby Lobby really cheap. The green fringe edging was in the fabric clearance section for $7 and came with 10 yards. What a deal! Just what I needed. It'd usually be $2-3 a yard so I was happy about that.
I made little yarn trees a few years ago and redid them this year to match better. Just wrap yarn around a cardboard cone and glue little pom poms on them. So easy. Click here to go to the original link when I made those.
I made a little bow and stuffed some mesh in my wreath. Seriously can't stop with that stuff.
Look at this sweet little nativity! I got it as a gift at one of Presley's baby showers and I just love it. She'll treasure it forever.
Speaking of, Pres Pres loves the tree. She's mesmerized. We had to be super strategic with our ornament placement this year because we have a crazy crawler in our midst. She loves to touch the ornaments within her reach (that aren't breakable). Man I love her.
And now the tree! We got a new tree since last year. Our previous one was old and really small for the space. So this year it found a new home in our dining room while this one feels much fuller and cozier in our living room. We put white lights on it to match the mantle garland. I bought red felt ribbon (Michaels) and lime green polka dot ribbon (Hobby Lobby) and made my own bows. So easy. Be sure to use wire-edged ribbon. I just measured the ribbon (so they'd all be the same size), tied a simple bow, looped a piece of wire through the back for easy attachment, and used a lighter to sear the cut edges (it melts the ribbon a little bit and keeps it from fraying..just learned this trick and it has changed my life). I added little foam snowflakes all throughout it. I just sat them in the branches. Of course I put some green and red mesh up in it as well. I got my new gold and ivory polka dot skirt at Hobby Lobby for $20!
I wanted my presents to match as well. Got my paper at Hobby Lobby (duh) for $4 a roll. I'm obsessed with their paper. It's cheap, comes with like 100 square feet and it's so thick and just really great quality. And it's so cute and there are so many different kinds to choose from! Almost done with my shopping except for a few men because THEY'RE IMPOSSIBLE TO SHOP FOR!!
We hung garland above the door frames and I made the loopy bows on the ends. It's red polka dot wire-edged ribbon from Hobby Lobby. I learned how to make the bow on YouTube here. I've been making alot of these bows for cake toppers recently. They're so fun!
I made the Christmas card holder a few years ago as well and it was so easy. Here's the link.
Here's our old tree now set up in the dining room. Matt doesn't like my tree hat but I think it's hilarious. Guess you had to be there. I added red/green mesh to this tree as well as ribbon bows I made out of ribbon I had on hand. It has snowflakes in it as well. I used some burlap I found amongst my craft supplies and pooled it under the tree since I don't have a skirt for in here yet.
One of my favorite Christmas decor items is Matt's office tree. I gave it to him the Christmas before we moved (we moved just a few weeks after Christmas so our old house was all boxed up). It's his very own office tree. It has ornaments that all represent his favorite things. Some are handmade and some I bought. I give him a new one every year. I love the yellow submarine lights and Yoda topper. A perfect man tree.
We wrapped some lit garland around our banister and I added more mesh (duh) and a few leftover Dollar Tree foam snowflakes. I got the big red mesh bows at an after Christmas sale a few years ago.
Lastly, the kitchen. I made the wreath a few years ago and my mom gave me this cute little baking-themed tree. My placemats came from Hobby Lobby like 6 years ago.
Phew. Christmas is definitely a tiring time of year but so magical and fun and I'm so excited that it's here. I can't wait to experience it with my very own little person this year. She makes me so happy. My favorite gift. Thank you, God, for my sweet P.