A Little DIY Magic

With a lovely Thanksgiving behind us, and almost a full month ahead of us to enjoy the Christmas spirit, it was time to deck the house out for the holidays.

We swapped out the standard stack of books on the coffee table for some more appropriately colored tomes and topped the stack with a silver julep cup (you can score one at Michaels for around $7 – even less with a 40% off coupon!) and some red blooms that look enough like amaryllis to fool any non-botanist.

Our fall tablescape got the boot, and we put my favorite mini-Christmas tree to work as a centerpiece. I adore the burlap base, the mixture of greenery, and the pops of red from the faux berries. I filled up the tray with some cinammon-scented pinecones, my gold acorns (these little fellas have staying power, my friends), and the nutmeg I recently unearthed from the pantry.

On the shopping list is a set of Christmas-y napkins – time to retire these orange guys.

The antique radio in the corner of the dining room scored two white milk glass vases, filled with cinnamon sticks and sprays of silver berries.

The kitchen sink got some spirited decor, too. The stick that used to live on our mantle was transplanted to my old PB vase and decorated with a few leftover glass balls, a la Charlie Brown. Please disregard the delightful yellowed plastic of the kitchen faucet.

On the other side of the sink, I filled a few glass jars with water and added a holly sprig and some pine, both cut from the yard.

The mantle also got a Christmas update. We hung our stockings (a post-Christmas clearance find from Michaels several years ago – I’m not feeling ’em this year, so DIY replacements might be on the horizon) and filled the cloche with red and silver glass balls.

The other side of the mantle is THISCLOSE to being done – one of my favorite projects ever is just awaiting a coat of spray paint before a tutorial and unveiling.

And of course, we set up our tree. And yes, it’s tiny. The Charlie Brown tree, as he’s affectionately referred to, has special significance to us – Tony and Livi bought him for their first solo Christmas, and he’s been with us ever since. Although we might upgrade to a bigger version someday, for now, he’s perfect. We went with a basic red/silver/gold color scheme and some white lights. My absolute favorite part of the tree is the newest addition – a faux-birch base.

After setting the tree up and finishing the requisite fake-tree fluffing, we stood back to take a look. I sighed, telling Tony that the green, metal pole that ran from the bottom of the tree to the base didn’t exactly help in the realism department. He thought for a minute, then headed out to the garage. He came back in with a cardboard tube that had once housed my beloved Robert Allen ikat fabric. It was the perfect diameter, and we had more than the 10 inches we’d need to cover the metal stem. So Tony cut it to size, and then it was time to try my hand at some faux-painting to make it look like a piece of white birch, modeled after this picture.

I used 3 shades of Craft Barrel paint (white, black, and dark brown), plus one 2-inch wide sponge brush, and a small detail brush.

I started by squeezing some white paint onto a paper plate. I ran my sponge brush under water and wrung it out just a bit before dipping it into the white paint. I wiped off most of the paint, and then ran the brush lightly around the cardboard tube in a horizontal pattern.

Then I used a detail brush to add some black and brown stripes. I used the paint VERY sparingly, dry-brushing the paint to spread it. Then we were ready to pop it onto the tree.

A huge improvement over the metal stem – for $0. My favorite price tag.

Now that we’ve got our tried-and-true decorations on display, it’s time to tackle some fun, new holiday projects! Stop by Thursday to see the first on the list.

Have you rolled out your Christmas decorations? Are you a firm believer in waiting until after Thanksgiving, or an anytime-you-can kind of gal?



Filed under DIY Tips, Projects, The Lottery House

4 responses to “A Little DIY Magic

  1. Lauren R.

    Love the decorations– so creative with making the faux-birch base!!!

  2. Love the base of the tree! Our tree is very Charlie Brown-esque. Its tiny as well but we love it!!

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