Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Snobbery on a budget

I admit it. I'm a holiday decor snob. I like to DESIGN my Christmas displays, and I spend way too much money on silly things like glitter covered coiled wire. Last year for Christmas, the girls were with their dad in Denver, so I didn't even put up a tree. This year it's my year and we are going all out! But we are on a budget, so much of our Christmas snobbery will have to be hand crafted.
Here are some great ideas I've found....

You might think that being a professional artist and designer that I would MAKE many of my Christmas gifts. Oh no, not so. I recognize that not everyone is a fan of my brand. And I also used to be married to the son of a crafter, so I know all too well that gut twisting feeling of opening up a gift that you know someone spent so much time on, and at the same time trying not to cry at something so completely 'not me'.
On the other hand, I also admit to be a terrible gift giver, so gift cards are my way of saying 'i love you, but i ya go...go shopping. ' I found this darling way to give a gift card, that removes some of the guilt, and looks great too! (via

I have 4 extremely sentimental daughters who have each been given at least one ornament a year for every year of their lives. Some of them involve plastic canvas. And pony beads. But they also have bunches of really unusual and fun ornaments too. They love them, I love them, so I must use them and display them on the 'kids' tree, which I usually place in the fun half of the house...the kitchen/sunroom/dining room. Since it's kind of a historic mishmash of things...I tie it all together with handmade garland and gigantic handmade paper flowers.

I love this idea for making garland out of strips of fabric. The girls can sit and do this while they watch Law & Order.

I think we will create this version, tying the strips directly to the Christmas lights. 2 birds, 1 stone! (via That blog has tons of cute ideas!

For myself, I decorate a tree in the living room that is usually based around a particular color combination. For years it was red and black, when the walls of my living room were 'candy apple red'. I burnt myself out on red so badly that I can hardly bear to use red anywhere anymore. Last year it was teal and orange. This year, I'm thinking it will be an ode to turquoise. (Remember my turquoise painted bookcases?) I love the simplicity of this tree. Another thing I do, which some of those nearest and dearest to me think it just CRAY-CRAY is that I wrap all my gifts to match my decor. It's not any more costly and the gifts look amazing under the tree, waiting to be ripped in to!

I would love to do a flocked tree this year. I have seen spray cans of flocking, but have never tried it. I'm thinking this may be the year!

Okay, okay, now for the inspirational piece de resistance...I found this blog posting at It is as though the designer of this tablescape was inside my head! I love everything, and am completely inspired by this room. The designer is Tori of Sitting in a Tree Events and captured perfectly by Joielala Photographie out of San Diego. When you look at this 'scape as a whole, you might think big bucks, but when we take a closer look, there are tons of budget ideas here!

Little gold binder clips! Who would have thought? I am recreating these confetti filled ornaments, but using a combination of Martha Stewart large flake glitter, and hand made confetti. (Hole punch to the rescue!)

While these stockings are amazing and probably expensive, the garland is just a quadrupled strand of yarn and twine! Tres chic! I also like the 'tag garland' made out of scrap booking paper.

Here's my snowball's actually just yarn that I bought for 4.99 for a skein. I draped it and looped it between my sunroom and dining room and had enough left over to make bows on some of my presents.

I like the idea of using food for display purposes. These s'mores are adorable and ready to pop into the microwave for a fun after school treat.
The classic 'I'm a cheapskate' flower, the carnation, looks awesome in bright fuschia in a row of single bud vases. You could use a combination of recycled glass, like my favorite ,the Starbucks Frappuccino bottle.

Christmas doesn't have to be expensive, in fact I think being forced to get creative with materials you have on hand makes for more unique and interesting concepts. I can't wait to get started!

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