As I opened boxes and unpacked my Christmas decorations the other day, I faced the familiar challenge of making the same cheap garland and those old, faded ornaments I’ve had for years look fresh.
But excitement rose up within me and inspiration took over as I started creating the scenes I’d been planning for the past few weeks.
I got carried away and I stayed up all night, placing and tweaking and working what I like to call my Christmas Magic.
Every now and then, the spell would be broken as I thought of you and how I should be taking pictures or filming so I could teach you my magic-working secrets. But I couldn’t stop. So I kept going and told myself I’d figure something out.
And, I did.
As I scrolled through the blog archives of Christmases past, I realized that I had indeed shared some of my secrets along the way. Over the next several days, I will highlight some of my best tips while I work behind the scenes to put the finishing touches on this year’s Christmas decor. A review of sorts.
Since I just finished creating my Christmas vignettes, I thought we’d start there.
How to Freshen Your Christmas Decor
This is the part where I’m supposed to give you step by step instructions, but it’s hard for me to explain my decorating process because it just unfolds as I go along. But, there is a little bit of method to my madness.
Part 1: Inspiration
This is the pre-planning stage when I search Pinterest and watch YouTube. Rebecca Robeson is my favorite to watch on YouTube for Christmas decorating.
Part 2: Plan
As I gather inspiration, I also start making a mental plan; creating a color scheme, getting a feel for the mood I want to create, and dreaming up new ideas sparked by my inspiration sources.
Part 3: Trial and Error
I gather my stuff, sort it out by color and by which room it’s going in. Then, I start bringing my decorating visions to life.
Sometimes it works,
sometimes it needs tweaking
and sometimes I have to go back to the drawing board.
That’s where the magic happens, where instinct and personal style collides with basic design principles and creativity is born.
Simply put, action begets action.
The first step leads to the next until clarity becomes inspiration. I’ve lived it over and over, picking up a few tips along the way.
Tip #1: Make the best of the materials you have.
- If you’re working with inexpensive garland like mine, follow these tips for making it look elegant.
- And those ornaments with missing tops or fading colors? Use them to fill boxes, bowls, or vases in your vignettes. They can also be easily disguised when tucked into garland and wreaths.
Tip #2: Add Texture
To me, incorporating texture takes decorating up a notch, or two.
- Mix types of greenery (faux with real, varying textures and colors)
- Use shiny objects
- Incorporate natural elements (even if they’re faux)
- Create depth by layering.
Tip #3: Mix It Up
- Resist the temptation to put the same things together in the same place year after year (unless you still love it that way.)
My favorite way to display my nutcrackers is on my dining room table, so that’s where they go most years, and I always hang our stockings from the mantel.
But everything else: the garland, candles, wreaths, ornaments, and even the trees get moved around or even repurposed from year to year.
There you have it…Three Key Parts + Three Easy Tips = My Magic Formula
The very one I discovered as I was putting out my Christmas decorations the other night. The one that made me feel like I was flying; realizing all of my decorating potential as I reached into my imagination to find creative solutions to decorating on such a limited budget.
Ultimately, that is what I want for you…to spread your decorating wings and fly.
See you in class,