Fabric Christmas Tree & Other Decorations

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With Christmas only a few days away, I wanted to share the one Christmas craft I created this year. fabric Christmas tree on mantel

Last year, I created three wreaths and used a red and silver color scheme to decorate our mantel.

merry mantel polariod

This year, I wanted to switch this up, and the idea started with creating a fabric Christmas tree.

For the project, I started with these supplies:

fabric Christmas tree supplies

- a 28” x 22” canvas (spray painted silver) - 6 different green fabrics (I purchased ½ yard of each, but would have been fine with ¼ yard) - a silver star - silver ribbon - red pom pom ribbon

After spray painting the canvas and waiting for it to dry, the first step was to cut strips of the fabric that would form the layers of the Christmas tree.  I cut 4” strips of each of the fabrics.

fabric Christmas tree strips

Once the strips were cut, I was ready to glue them on the canvas.  I left room at the bottom to add the tree ‘trunk’.  I allowed for a 1” overlap of each layer, meaning that you would see 3” of each strip.  I also left room at the top to add the star.  To keep my line of hot glue straight, I measured and marked a straight line with a pencil.

fabric Christmas tree pencil line

I worked in 3”-4” wide sections at a time (so the glue wouldn't dry) and just tried  to scrunch and press the fabric to the glue.  I wanted it to create a sort of ruffle-y, skirt-like feel.

fabric Christmas tree glue step

As I worked my way up the tree, I had to trim some of the excess fabric off of the end of the strips.  I waited until I had glued it down though to make sure I had enough fabric.

trimming fabric

Once all of the layers were glued on to the canvas, I was ready to add a few embellishments.  I used the red and silver ribbon and attached them to the canvas with festive pearlized straight pins I found in my scrapbooking supplies.

fabric Christmas tree embellishments

Before attaching the star to the top of the tree, I decided it needed a darker background (instead of the silver canvas) so that it would stand out.  I cut a small section of one of the fabrics and scrunched and glued that to the top of the tree.  I then added the star (with hot glue) to complete the tree.

fabric Christmas tree star

The last step was to add the ‘trunk’.  I found a piece of brown wood-grain scrapbook paper and cut it to fit under the tree.  The fabric Christmas tree was ready for our mantel!

fabric Christmas tree

Christmas mantelTo complement the tree I added a few decorations we already had and purchased a few new ones to complete the space.  I started with our silver lantern and a green vase.  In the lantern, I changed out our normal green candle and added the red and silver one.  Into the green vase went silver twisty branches.  I also added a sparkly silver tree ornament and a clay nativity scene that my mom gave us a few years ago (from Ten Thousand Villages).  The two new decorations on this side of the mantel are two ornaments I found at Target - the sparkly Santa-gnome and his sparkly polar bear.

Christmas mantel detail

Christmas nativity

On the other side of the mantel I added height with the mountain-man nutcracker (one of Andrew’s favorites!) and the clear vase with red and silver tinsel and more sparkly branches and embellishments.  I then layered in the reindeer, silver pine cones, another sparkly tree ornament, and a small wind-up snowman (a gift from my dad, I’m sure ;) ).  The only new item on this side of the mantel is the silver and white penguin - sparkly, of course!

Christmas mantel detail

The only things I did keep the same as last year are the red pom pom garland and our stockings.

Christmas stockings

Christmas mantel

I love the collected and colorful feel our mantel has this year.  And I’m happy with how the fabric Christmas tree creates a nice focal point.

Fabric Christmas Tree on a mantel

birdhouses

ornaments

Christmas tray

I love the plate the nesting Santas are sitting on.  It has four snowmen dressed in different ethic outfits and around the rim of the plate is “Merry Christmas” in different languages.  My mom picked it out for me a few years ago when I was still teaching Spanish.

nesting santas

For next Christmas, two things I would like to add to our decorations are a new bow, or other tree topper, and a new wreath for our front door.

I want to wish everyone a safe and joyful holiday season.  We’ll be enjoying time with friends and family and holding everyone extra close this year.  May your Christmas and 2013 be filled with many blessings!

° What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Cathy Green Interiors monogram

Cribs {Christmas Edition} ~ Steve & Amy

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My friend Steve and his family love Christmas.  Steve and his wife Amy have been collecting Christmas ornaments and decorations for years.  They each have many family treasures, and they've also collected special pieces together.  Every year, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, Steve takes their three kids and two dogs out of town for the weekend while Amy does one of her favorite things – decorate the house for Christmas.Christmas house

She does have a designer help her with a few things, like the garland and the wreaths, but she also has quite the eye herself.  I was not the designer for the project, so I do not take any of the decorating credit.  Their house and decorations are beautiful though, so I wanted to share the photos with you.  Maybe you’ll find some inspiration for your own house!

Christmas front door

A close up of the stunning garland and wreath on the front door:

Christmas garland & wreath

When you walk in the front door, you’re greeted by this adorable reindeer and his red trees.

reindeer & trees

On the chest to the right of the reindeer was one of my favorite things in the house.  These colorful finials really caught my eye.  They were bright and beautiful and sparkly!

Christmas finials

My favorite one out of all of them:

Christmas finials

Also in the foyer, is another beautiful garland strung along the stair railing.  The mixture of colors and textures really makes the garland interesting and unique!

Christmas stair garland

Over and around the doorways leading from the foyer to the kitchen, Amy hangs four garlands.  They are filled with Christopher Radko ornaments – she uses Santas and snowmen only.

Christmas door garland

There are a total of 217 ornaments on the four garlands and it took Amy 2 ½ hours to put them all together!  A few of their favorites:

Santa & snowman

Amy sets up five trees throughout the house, but one of Steve’s favorite things is the ‘main tree’.

Christmas tree

The main tree is filled with special ornaments that Amy thoughtfully hangs in special places.  Amy and Steve both share the same favorite ornament.  Olivia the octopus (on the right) was an ornament that they both, unknowingly, picked out for the other when they were first dating.

Octopus ornament

Another one of the trees is the ‘kids’ tree’.  It is filled with more playful ornaments.

kids Christmas tree

Many of the ornaments on the kids’ tree are still special, like this penguin Steve has from his childhood.  He said it was purchased from the local drug store where he grew up, and up until a few years ago, it still had the 15¢ price sticker on one of his skis.

penguin ornament

In their kitchen area is this tree, decorated with all penguin ornaments.

penguin Christmas tree

This guy was my favorite – a penguin and he’s purple, yes please!

penguin ornament

I loved this tree that Amy sets up in their bedroom.

pastel Christmas tree

The lighter colors coordinated with the feel of their bedroom and the cascading ribbons added softness to the tree.

pastel Christmas tree

The fifth tree is adorned with all silver ornaments.

silver Christmas tree

All of the ornaments on this tree hold extra-special meaning, especially to Amy.  Her mom and sister collected silver ornaments, so many of these are their ornaments that have been passed down to her.  There are bells, balls, and other figures, some of them are engraved with the dates of their children’s first Christmases or other special years.

silver ornaments

The five trees are not the only amazing decorations in the house.  Steve and Amy also love nutcrackers.  During the holiday season, their pool table turns into center stage for their collection.

nutcrackers

Amy’s mom needlepointed her two son's stockings, and Amy said she even learned new stitches in order to make them!  She passed away before having the chance to make their daughter's stocking, so to have them all match, Amy tracked down the needlepoint winner of the state fair of Texas (Amy's home state) to stitch Hunter's.

stockings

One of Amy’s favorite things is their Fontanini nativity scene.  She says that setting it up each year reminds her of being a young girl and playing dolls with her sister.

Christmas nativity village

Christmas nativity

Steve and Amy have several nativity scenes set up throughout the house.  They are all beautiful and have sentimental meaning to the family.

Christmas nativity

crystal Nativity

Christmas nativity

On the chandelier in their kitchen, Amy strings a garland and clay ornaments to create a casual focal point for the room.

kitchen chadelier

The clay ornaments are a mix of ornaments that represent the 12 Days of Christmas, and ones that are labeled with the year and the family’s names.

kitchen chandelier detail

Amy and Steve also collect the Dicken's Villages.

Christmas village

Amy enjoys finding new ways to arrange the scenes each year.

Christmas village skating

I know that my pictures have not done Amy and Steve’s house and decorations justice.  I appreciate them allowing me to come see all of their decorations and share them with you.  They love the spirit of the Christmas season and find great joy in discovering special pieces throughout the year and reminiscing about the memories each one holds.  Their biggest joy, however, is sharing their collection with others and passing along the happiness and love of the season.

I want to leave you with a few more photos from their collection.

Christmas bell players

Christmas clay figurines

nesting Santas

Christmas dining table

snowy Christmas village

Christmas carolers

Thank you so much, Steve and Amy, for opening your Christmas Wonderland to us!

° What is your favorite Christmas ornament?

Cathy Green Interiors monogram

 

Guest Post ~ Holiday Front Doors

Today, I am excited to have a guest post from the lovely Jenny Barber.  Jenny works for Homelink and we met at an industry event a little over a year ago.  With her big smile and warm personality she welcomed me into the industry and has been a wonderful resource and friend! jenny barber

A little bit more about Jenny:

“I was born and raised in Richmond.  I attended JMU where I received my BFA in Interior Design.  I have dealt primarily with residential design during my career over the past 13 years, and I was also a furniture buyer.  I had my own design business while living in Virginia Beach, but I missed Richmond and decided to move back after 5 years.  I love all genres and styles of décor and design, and I jump at the chance to do something ‘out of the box.’ I recently assisted a designer with the Symphony League Designer House, which was a wonderful experience!  I also love of horses and dogs.”

Welcome Jenny, I’m happy to have you share your holiday ideas with us!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Being a native Richmonder, I certainly appreciate and love the different areas and environs our wonderful city has to offer. Whether it be the Fan, the Far or Near West End, Midlothian, the Museum District, or Mechanicsville, each has their own unique style and characteristics when it comes to exteriors and décor.  I've always loved driving around through the neighborhoods to see how people decorate their front doors and entryways; and no better time than with the holidays right around the corner….or block.

holiday door

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“Go big or go home” has always been a mantra of mine. And when it comes to front doors, color is key. Painting it a bright or cheerful hue that compliments the exterior can really make a statement and give your house that much needed facelift without breaking the bank.

simple front door

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Paint is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to make a change if you aren't quite ready to knock out all the items on your home remodeling list.  Not sure how daring you want to be? Take a nice stroll down Monument Avenue or through Carytown to see how sapphire blue, coral, and lime green can blend beautifully with an historic building or home of every style.  Even opting for a more subtle color but using a high-gloss lacquer finish can really stand out.

sage door

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Not ready to make the paint commitment? Adding a whimsical or seasonal wreath or garland is another great option and you can change it out to your little heart’s delight!

black door

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Check out some of these creative ideas to add some “blizang” to your abode.

Caramel_Wreath

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purple wreath

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wood door

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chanukah wreath

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Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, and Krismasi Njema to all!

Much love, Jenny Barber aka…Babs

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Thanks so much, Jenny!  I love all of these ideas for holiday front doors!

º How you do decorate your front door for the holidays?

Cathy Green Interiors monogram

Easy Holiday Decorating

Do you tend to decorate for the holidays throughout the season, or do you prefer to put everything out in one day?  Whatever your preference, here are a few easy holiday decorating tips to help jump start your holiday décor. Christmas family room

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Pillows

Pillows are a fun way to add color or sparkle to a room.  Swap out your everyday pillows in the family room, living room, or bedrooms with fun, holiday pillows.  Choose traditional red pillows:

Holiday pillows

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Neutral pillows:

neutral holiday pillows

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Or a modern pattern with a little added sparkle:

snowflake pillow

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Candles

Candles are another easy thing to switch out around the house for the holidays.  Whether you have tapers in the dining room or pillars on the mantel, replacing your everyday candles with more festive ones is a small detail that will make a big impact.

Follow this tutorial for wrapping candles to create a custom look in your space.

christmas candles

Try mixing things up and using candles with non-traditional shapes to coordinate with your decorations.

christmas tree candles

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I love all things that glitter and sparkle.  To make your own glittery candles, check out this tutorial.

glitter candles

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Trays

If you have a tray that you normally keep out, it doesn't necessarily have to be put away for the holidays.  Dress it up with pretty ornaments and vases for a beautiful coffee table display.

ornaments & tray

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Color-coordinate a tray to your accessories and use it on a bar or sideboard while entertaining.

red tray

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If you don’t know how to style a tray or if you don’t think you have anything to decorate it with, check out this tray makeover from Fern Creek Cottage.

rustic tray

Andrew and I did buy and decorate our Christmas tree this weekend.  Other than that though, we haven’t done much decorating.  I’m more of a ‘decorate throughout the holidays’ kind of gal.  I do have a few craft projects that I’m planning, so I’ll be sure to share as they are completed.

º What decorations have you started with this year?

Cathy Green Interiors monogram

 

We Three Wreaths ~ #2

From my trio of wreaths, today I’ll be talking about the center wreath.

Here are the supplies I started with for this wreath:

• 12” Styrofoam wreath (it was curved on the front and flat on the back) • 1 ½” wide wired red ribbon with silver trim • silver sparkly ornament • stapler & staples

To start, I stapled the ribbon to the back of the wreath.

Then, I wrapped the ribbon around the wreath.  I overlapped each strip about half-way.  Here is a picture of the wreath partially wrapped.

And here it is wrapped, but before I added the ornament embellishment.

To add the ornament, I cut a piece of the ribbon so that I could attach the ornament to the smaller piece of ribbon and then add that whole piece to the wreath.  I decided to sew the ornament to the piece of ribbon.

Once the ornament was secure on the ribbon, I stapled the smaller ribbon strip to the wreath.

That’s it!  It was really simple, and it looks cuter than I hoped.  To hang it from the window pane, I used a strand of silver yarn, but you could also use the same ribbon or a coordinating color ribbon.

red & silver ribbon wreath

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Different ribbon – patterns, plain, stripes, etc. – would give this type of wreath many different effects.  One piece of advice too: the Styrofoam sheds, a lot, so be sure to do this project before you vacuum!

º What ribbon would you use for this wreath?

On a side note: º Has anyone seen any fun Christmas lights yet?

We Three Wreaths ~ #1

Back in the fall, I visited a friend and saw her adorable fall colored yarn wrapped wreath. Her wreath inspired me to craft my own wreaths for the Christmas season, and that sparked my vision for our holiday mantel.  After seeing her wreath and falling in love with it, I knew that I wanted to include a yarn wreath in the trio that would anchor our mantel.

3 wreaths

I started doing Pinterest research, and found out that the yarn wreaths are quite popular. There are many tutorials and examples out there, but here is my version

red & silver yarn wreath

I started with:      •  An 8” foam floral ring      •  Yarn (red & silver)      •  Felt (red, white, & silver)      •  Stapler & staples      •  Hot glue gun & glue sticks

My first step was to wrap the floral ring with the yarn.  To get started, I simply stapled the red and silver ends of the yarn to the ring.

I then wrapped and wrapped and wrapped the yarn around the ring to cover up all of the green.  I let the yarn take on a pattern of its own while I was wrapping.  I also overlapped some of the yarn strands to add some interest and depth to the wreath.

My next step was to add the rosette embellishments.  Here is a picture of the supplies I used: 3 colors of felt and 3 round objects to use as sizing guides (2 ribbon spools and 1 glass).  You can also see my first attempt at making a rosette.

The rosettes are actually quite easy to make:

Step 1: Cut a circle out of felt and create wavy edges around your circle.

Step 2: Start on an outside edge of your wavy circle and cut to the middle to form a continuous spiral through the circle.  Leave a little bit at the end because you will use that piece to glue the rosette together.

Step 3:  Take the outside point where you starting cutting and wrap the felt around itself to create the rosette.

You can wrap the felt tightly or loosely to give different effects to your rosette.

Step 4:  Hot glue the rosette together on the underneath side using the little piece you left while cutting the spiral.

I made 5 rosettes and played around with the arrangement until I liked how they looked together.

I used a piece of the red yarn to hang it from our window pane, but it would also look cute with ribbon, twine, or just propped up against something.

red & silver yarn wreath

Before Christmas, I’ll reveal how I made the other two wreaths.  Believe it or not, they were easier than this one!

º Have you made any wreaths for the holidays? º What trios of decorations are around your house?

Merry Mantel

Tonight, I'm doing an early mantel reveal because I’m linking up to Rhoda’s Merry Mantel party over at Southern Hospitality tomorrow. With Christmas music playing in the background (two of my favorites right now: Josh Groban, Angels We Have Heard on High, and Barenaked Ladies, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen), I’ve been crafting away to create our red and silver Merry Mantel.

red & silver holiday mantel

We have a reclaimed stain glass window from an old church that is the center piece of our mantel.  For the holidays, I wanted to make it more festive.  I found silver wrapping paper at Target (that you may recognize from my Pom Pom Christmas Tree), and cut it to fit in the squares of the panes.

red & silver holiday mantel

To the window, I added these three wreaths that I made (tutorials to come).

On the left of the mantel is a silver lantern that we found at Home Goods two years ago.  It was originally a muted green color, but I spray painted it silver to match with the scheme.  The red and silver candle is from Jo-Ann.

I found the cute little wooden bird houses at Michael’s for $1.00 each!  I thought about spray painting them as well, or painting parts of them (roofs or perches), but I decided I liked the rustic aspect of the unfinished wood.  We've had the white branches for a while, so I added them to go along with the bird / woodland theme.

On the right side of the mantel is the Pom Pom Christmas Tree I made.  I added a white wooden ‘G’ (for Green) and a silver bird, both of which are also from Michael’s.

Pom Pom Christmas Tree

For the trimmings underneath, I found the fun pom pom fringe trim from Modern Cloth on Etsy.  Also, Andrew and I both have our hand-made stockings from when we were children.  While they are not a match to each other, they still tie in to the red of the color scheme.  I love how they are both homemade (his from his Aunt Connie, and mine from my grandmother), and add a nostalgic feel to the mantel.

Our red and silver Merry Mantel:

red & silver holiday mantel

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Be sure to check out all of the inspiring mantels from Rhoda’s Merry Mantel link party at Southern Hospitality!

When I uploaded this morning, I was already mantel #140!  

° How are you decorating your mantel? ° Do you still have your childhood stocking?  Or any other homemade decorations? ° What holiday songs are you enjoying this year?