Living Space: Simple, handcrafted Christmas decorations add special flair
By Kathryn Weber
When the holidays roll around, TV shows abound with decorating tips to give your home seasonal style. Most often, these shows promote unique, one-of-a-kind items or design schemes that look fabulous. But don't be put off by the prospect of using your creativity. Crafts offer a great way to add holiday flair and get the whole family involved.
It's hip to be square
One of the hot new decorations for Christmas is the square wreath. Besides looking fabulous, these wreaths are a cinch to make, and the results will look like you spent a fortune. Here's how to create your own quickly and inexpensively:
Buy a 2-inch thick sheet of green floral foam at your local craft store or online. A 12-by-36-inch sheet will yield two square or rectangular wreaths, depending on how you cut them.
Once you have your squares cut, measure from the outside in 4 inches all the way around the square. Draw a line and then cut along the line. This will be the hole in your wreath. If you want to make a larger wreath, cut 4-inch wide strips to the length you want and then hot-glue the lengths together to make a wreath the size you need.
The wreaths can be covered in anything from sheet moss to burlap, wrapped with holiday ribbon or studded with berries and greenery like privet or ivy. Dab on hot glue and attach your covering. Wrap the top with a bow to use as a hanger, and you've got a chic accent for the front door.
Decorating the outside of your home adds a festive touch to the neighborhood, but you don't have to go over the top. A good example is HGTV's Holiday House. One of the fun and super fast projects featured is a Christmas wreath snowman made by placing three wreaths on top of each other.
You attach them to a wooden post and base, add a scarf, an up light or wrap the snowman with white lights. Or how about three plywood Christmas trees cut and stained then outlined with nails. This is an easy craft project for someone handy with a jigsaw.
If you'd like some big Christmas ornaments to plop in pots or hang from trees, simply spray-paint inexpensive kids' play balls red and green or repurpose gazing balls as ornaments to tuck in around bushes.
If rustic is more your style, add a small tree to a wicker basket, wrap with lights and encircle with burlap ribbon as a garland. Hang some burlap ornaments or twig stars on trees and bushes or set out a bucket of logs, sprigs of spruce, pinecones and some white lights next to your chairs on the front porch for a casual look.
Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.