Ready, set..holiday!

Before you open those bins and boxes, I thought I’d share my list of handy decorating helpers:

Pipe cleaners (black, green)

I use pipe cleaners to easily bind up my hand created bows and tie them to various things that need embellishment…. wreaths, garland, trees, outdoor lights. No worries about harming woods on staircase railings or frames. Some craft stores sell elegant gold or silver wrapped wires, too, that look like tasseled tie-backs…they are elegant & don’t need to be hidden!

Swaths of fabric/vintage coverlets, blankets

Layer fabrics under your tree for a twist on the traditional tree skirt….layered and draped, twisted with garland on a mantle or down a staircase, fabric can change the look instantly. And, bonus, protects wood mantles under scratchy natural garlands. Don’t want to use fabric but want to protect your mantle? Buy felt by the yard in a color to match your mantle color, and layer your natural elements on top of it. You can cut it to fit/ cut it away once you have your finished look. 

Command hooks

Use these for wreaths on windows, mirrors, doors….

Recently shopping for college dorm decor installations per college “no holes in walls or you pay up” rules left me amazed at how Command has stepped up from useful yet utilitarian to stylish! Available now in “ iron” and “polished silver” looks, as well as disappearing clear options, these hooks are ever so much more in my favor. Use the suction hooks for outdoor wreaths, but if they won’t carry the weight, Command now makes hooks for mirrors and windows that, you guessed it, come off clean, no mess or residue. Love these!

Flameless candles (and batteries!)

I carry these at KatieDid Designs…and love them for the absolutely “fools em every time” real look of a burning candle, offering soft light and moving “flame”. These are ideal for having flames everywhere, unlimited by practicality, fire code, or small children and pets. Also available are remote controls for easy management, even if the candles are layered up high in niches or atop a tall armoire.

Ornament hangers

….goes without saying. Mix it up with some of the very pretty and whimsical designs available. My best advice to handle “hanger tangles” is to scatter them into a shoebox, where they can rustle around, spread out, and above which you can dangle a tangle, shaking it gently (without a mess happening) until they fall free. 

Ribbon 

It’s an obsession, I admit it. Can’t get enough! I like to gather 3-5 strands together, knotting them loosely at the top. I then wind them down my tree or garland, again loosely gathering & knotting every once in awhile to keep the strands close….tuck these knots into the tree and “blouse” the strands to emphasize the drape and create dimension. At the end, tie one more knot about 8” (or whatever feels right to you) and “finish” the ribbon ends with a “V” cut at differing lengths. Tuck the knot, letting the strands poke out like fireworks. This works great at the top of the tree as well to highlight your tree topping arrangement. Emphasize your tucked areas with large ornaments or coordinated bows as you desire.

Fresh greens

Can’t beat the look, or the smell of them! Look around your yard, your neighbors yard, common areas. Expand your horizons to pine cones, and bare branches, too. Bunched into outside urns or pots, or gathered into vases on the mantle, there is nothing like the freshness of winter greens and naturals. Speaking of arrangements, you’ll also need floral shears, green floral foam and floral wire for cutting, attaching & creating!

Lastly… 

A Label maker

Create easy to read labels for your seasonal decor. Pre-label boxes, bins, bags for easy cleanup and putting away; label lengths of garland, wreaths, etc as to where they “fit” this year for easy access next (ie, “kitchen mantle”, or “front staircase”). Additionally, as you go through it all, keep a large trash or donations bin for anything you come across that is broken or just not your style anymore. Bless others before the season with some donated holiday cheer. 

Finally….

Hot Chocolate with Bailey’s….

for enjoying your work when it’s all finished!