HAPPY DECEMBER!!! The holidays are my favorite time of the year and they are heeeeeeere! I have been itching to show you guys my Christmas decorations for this year because 1. They are so good. & 2. They are SO cheap!!
I was having a hard time trying to decide what colors to use. I really wanted to do all white, but as you know, I sort of love color as much as I love air. So there was that. I wrestled with it for a few days and in the end I decided that doing all white would be a really fun challenge.
Then I sort of ran into a problem. Do you know how few white tree decorations there are in existence? Like none. I was so surprised that everything was silver, or iridescent, but nothing was just plain white. So I had to take matters into my own hands.
The other bigger problem is that I don’t love to decorate for holidays. I hate spending money on things that I can only use for 1 month out of the year. (For Frosty’s sake I have enough stuff to store with just my furniture hoarding, I don’t need to add holiday hoarding on top of it.) So if it isn’t something that can be reused, or has been upcycled, I just don’t have a place in my grinchy heart for it.
Would you believe that I decorated my entire Christmas tree with Cocktail Straws, Wire, PVC Pipe, Kilz Primer, and old ornaments?
Just think what I could have done if I had been on the Christmas Craft Wars episode instead of the dang birdhouse one.
Isn’t it pretty?
One of my favorite tree decorating secrets is to use 2 different sizes of bulbs. First string your regular small twinkle lights, and then go back through with a few strands of frosted globe lights (these ones from Target are THE BEST!) Check out the difference between the top of the tree and the bottom.
The different sizes make it look magical.
Instead of using a tree skirt, I used a small sisal rug that I picked up at Homegoods and topped it with a faux sheepskin. Totally simple and I don’t have to put it away when the holidays are over. In fact, I think I might turn it into this.
The garland is made out of PVC Pipe Rings (just like the ones I used on this dresser!) that my daughters connected together with gold wire.
Here is a shot of the tree unlit so you can see all of the ornament details.
The white ornaments were some old cheapies from last year that I sprayed with Kilz Primer.
My latest obsession that you are going to be seeing a lot of on the blog is Himmeli. Himmeli originates from Scandinavia and is a holiday tradition that is usually made out of straw and string. It is made to give thanks and promote the next years crop growth. The more detailed the better. I love the openwork geometric shapes that you can make.
I also became obsessively obsessed with making a Geometric Himmeli wreath after stumbling across this one on Etsy. After staring at it for a long while, and trying my hand at a few different techniques, I came up with a way to make it, and then came up with a new design.
I cannot wait to teach you guys how to make your own. It looks SO much harder than it is. Ivie my 10 yr old is churning them out like it is her job, and if she can do it, you can do it.
Just tell me that you are not DYING over them!? Guess how much they were to make? Just guess.
I picked up a few Norfolk Island Pines at Home Depot ($19.00 each) for some live greenery, and I am planning on not killing them so that they can live with us forever. We will see if I have the skills to pull that one off.
To spruce them up a little I wrapped them with the same frosted globe lights that I used on the Christmas Tree and painted the burgundy plastic planters with primer. (I am extremely obsessed with the matte finish right now, and there is no spray paint on the planet that can touch the coverage that Kilz has. So I just primed everything.)
I also replanted a white poinsettia in a glass vase and learned a little lesson. Do you know why they always use cellophane around the planters that they come in? Well its not just to make it look pretty. It is because they are very frageeelay and any stem that is not lightly supported will break off from the main stem from the weight of the flower. So now you know, and if you are replanting expect that to happen to some of the lower hanging flowers.
A few weeks ago I found this awesome ram’s head at Homegoods and dubbed him Ned the Christmas Ram. He needed to live inside a wreath and so I whipped this one up with wooden dowels. (Tutorial coming this week!)
And I ask you, what Christmas would be complete without a little bit of Mandilicious humor? I used the shadow box frames from this project and made the Ho Ho Ho Yo sign.
The gold chest is just one of the treasures from the best thrifting day of my life.
Nothing is safe from the reach of my Kilz. I will Kilz your guts. The nutcracker was on clearance at Ross. His red and green paint was chipped and he needed some love. So I ripped off his hair and taped off his face and gave him a coat of primer. Then I glued his hair back on and gave him a walnut for being so brave.
I love these vintage glass bells that I found at the thrift store for $1.00. I wish that there were more than 4 because they are just so sweet.
My favorite part is that this is such a handmade Christmas. You can spend all the money in the world on decorating for the holidays but spending time working on these projects with my girls trumps ALL of it.
This week I will be posting tutorials for all of the projects, so we have all of those fun dates coming up. You bring the hot chocolate, I will bring the motivation.
And then next week kicks off another year of Its A Very Mandilicious Christmas with a week of DIY Gifts that you can make for your uber favorite people! (Check out last years gifts here!)
(Psssst! Love the wall pattern? I used a Sharpie!! Here is the tutorial!)
UPDATE: Tutorials are live! Check them out below!