Over the next few weeks I will show you some simple, easy decorating ideas for Christmas, with an emphasis on using natural and inexpensive supplies.
Let’s start with the outside of your house or apartment. First impressions are important and you want your house to look welcoming and festive when people walk up to your front door.
You don’t need life-size plastic Santas or snowmen to make an impact, in fact please don’t use any plastic! Decorating schemes look best when they are subtle, with a few surprises. Have some fun, but keep it simple. Choose a colour scheme and stick to it.
If you have a window near your front door, why not hang a wreath or garland with lights on it so that it can be seen both inside and out? Or, if you have the space, put your Christmas tree near the window inside, so that the lights will show outside.
If you have large planters on your front porch already, why not plant small junipers in them and use small lights wrapped around them? You will never have to buy annuals for those planters again!
I use natural greenery inside and out. Gather branches, leaves, moss, pine cones – whatever you can find that will provide some colour and interest. Instead of using artificial bows, make your own from natural fabrics or twine. Hemp string comes in lots of colours! Just remember not to use fabric bows or ornaments where they might get wet. I sell these hemp/silk fabric ornaments.
I also love to use natural materials like straw, wicker and rattan. Christmas is a great time to bring out any old wooden crates or wicker baskets that you have. Even galvanized tubs or pails can look great on a front porch filled with branches, pine cones or firewood. Christmas is a nostalgic time for most people, evoking good memories of happy times with family and friends. Making displays of firewood, candles, lights, nuts, and welcome messages promotes that feeling.
Remember, less is more. Don’t overdue your front porch decorations. A few simple, large planters and a beautiful wreath on the front door may be all that is needed, especially if your area is small. If you have a beautiful tree near the front of your house, you may want to highlight it by putting lights on it and hanging some homemade bird seed ornaments.
Here are some instruction for making a boxwood wreath. Square ones are very popular this year!
A great thing about decorating with natural elements is that after Christmas, you can remove any bows or “holiday” decorations and keep the rest in place for the remainder of the winter. I hope I have inspired you to do some natural, beautiful Christmas decorating! I’d love to see your ideas – please leave comments or post pics on my facebook page. Now, I need to get out there and do my decorating!
Photo credits (starting at top) – www.hometrenddesign.com, www.networkedblogs.com, www.quickstep.com, www.frontdoors.fingertouch.com, , poolandpatio.about.com, www.nikkidesigns.etsy.com, www.thisnext.com, www.southernliving.com, www.simplemom.net