While kids entertain themselves at the holiday soiree, it's important to always consider safety first, especially when it comes to candy. Before laying candy out, be certain to ask parents if their children have any allergies or dietary restrictions, then stick solely with small, soft styles rather than hard candy, which could pose a choking hazard.
A terrarium made from old windows and architectural elements is a great place to display holiday greenery, a nativity, ornaments, plants or outdoor candles. Home decor blogger Amy Buchanan of AttaGirlSays also clipped greenery and holly berries from her yard for this terrarium on her front porch, which contributes to the rustic style with vintage appeal. When working with old windows and painted wood, be sure to test for lead paint, Buchanan says.
Menswear stockings are a great way to add a tailored touch to your holiday decor. To get the look, try a no-sew approach using iron-on adhesive tape, scissors and old sweaters or dress shirts. Those less likely to tackle this as a project can drop old shirts and sweaters off at their local dry cleaner or seamstress and have it done for a low cost.
Pinecones and dried pomegranates can help decor last well beyond the holidays. Karin Jeffcoat of Cote Designs used glass cylinders to hold small succulents, by using a filler and then inserting a smaller pot with the succulent so it would peek over the top. She covered the cylinders with pieces of sweaters.
Topping a kitchen island is this glass cylinder filled with red and green apples. It can be used at different times of the year or as a natural arrangement for the holidays. Paired with a beautiful blue and white toile tablecloth adds texture and warmth to the display.
Designer Alice Cramer includes a soft and cuddly fur throw at the foot of the bed in this muted, grey-toned bedroom. As Cramer attests, the holidays don't have to be complicated. Use things you already have and just add the bling with seasonal touches. "Nothing prettier to a tabletop," says Cramer, "than simple glass containers of different sizes filled with cranberries, red berries, greenery and floating votive candles. Mix it in with silver service pieces filled with white flowers and various candlesticks." It's a look that works for a beautiful tabletop, or in accent tables in a guest room.
After the holidays, cyclamens need a location with bright, indirect light and cool temperatures. They prefer high humidity, so try grouping them with other plants, or place them in a saucer filled with pebbles and a little water. (Just don't let the roots touch the water, which can cause rotting.) When the flowers finish, the plants will go dormant. Stop watering then and wait until new leaves emerge in fall before you water again. This cyclamen is 'Dixie Pink'.
“Designed for wine lovers who enjoy entertaining often, this wet bar was installed in the dining room where they host dinner parties, holiday meals and entertain most of the time,” says designer Nathan J. Reynolds. “Next to the kitchen, it’s a convenient place for additional counter space for mixing drinks, plating desserts, or serving coffee and after-dinner drinks.” The design includes a Kohler sink, Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer drawers, and a Sub-Zero wine refrigerator. “Glass cabinets above the wet bar distinguish it from the rest of the workspace and showcase handsome glassware and collectibles,” he adds.
Fill vases with a shiny finish, such as mercury glass, with iced branches and flowers to give your holiday centerpiece a sophisticated winter refresh. Add a few snowflake votives (these are Allen + Roth brand from Lowe’s) to transition into your new year look. Then while packing up ornaments, keep out shapes such as pinecones or finials, that can finish off the transformation.
To avoid holiday decorating mishaps, John Drengenberg, Consumer Safety Director at Underwriters Lab, strongly recommends reading labels for lights and other wired decorations to make sure you are conforming to acceptable wattage levels. If your decorations are connected by a tangled web of extension cords and power strips, you may be overloading the circuits, he warns.
Knit accessories are always a popular handmade holiday gift — but what if you can't knit or crochet? Then these personalized mittens are right up your alley — just stitch baker's twine initials onto readymade mittens, a scarf or hat for a personalized gift to keep them toasty warm all winter long. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.
What a difference the details make. Designer Alice Cramer recommends tucking bits of evergreen onto gift wrapped packages. "I love a simply wrapped gift with a sprig of greenery which adds a personal touch," says Cramer. And in this keeping room, design firm Shayelyn Woodbery Interiors uses that same idea at a table setting, tying a bit of evergreen with a pretty gold bow and bringing out the festive gold utensils to further amplify the holiday mood.
We all know someone who loves to cook (or eat what’s cooked). A basket full of practical kitchen supplies like this one by Jill Nystul will give the chef in your life fun tools to enjoy for years to come. Arrange kitchen supplies such as colorful utensils and a kitchen timer in a vibrant colander, replacing messy Easter grass with cheery dish towels. Finish it all off with faux carrots and eggs for a festive nod to the holiday.
Handmade sleeves or holders for candy canes have been around for generations. This sweet throwback holiday craft is quick, easy and fun for kids of all ages to make using just felt and glue. You will need the following materials: medium gray, light gray and pink felt quarters, all-purpose or fabric glue, hot glue gun and glue sticks (optional), scissors, craft eyes, small pink pompom, black permanent marker and clothespin.
After the holiday plates, platters and placemats are stored away, add a new element of greenery through fresh flowers and topiaries. The lemon cypress topiaries and Star of Bethlehem in urns provide a touch of green, whether on a table or on a mantle, says Karin Jeffcoat of Cote Designs, a floral and event studio in Aiken, S.C.
Make It: Mark the felt, then cut out a pennant silhouette using fabric scissors. Next create a second layer using a coordinating fabric cut two inches shorter in height and width than the felt. Add wooden letters directly to the fabric with wood glue to spell out names or a holiday message. Add grommets along the edges, and attach to the chair with ribbon to finish.
When choosing dwarf Alberta spruce for pots, consider miniature varieties, like Tiny Tower (Picea glauca conica ‘MonRon’). This little cutie reaches a maximum height of 4 to 6 feet tall and up to 2 feet wide. The slow growth rate means you can keep it tucked into containers for a few years. Tiny Tower has bright green leaves that shift to gray as they mature. It’s hardy in Zones 3 to 8. At Christmas, you’ll often see mini Christmas trees in pots. These are usually dwarf Alberta spruce and can be planted into the landscape after the holiday.