Decorations liven up homes

Published 6:15 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Calming candles, colorful candy canes, svelte Spanish moss and even ornate ornaments could make for attractive Christmas decorations around the home this holiday season.

Whether you’re a spendthrift when it comes to shopping the latest décor or more miserly with your cash, shopping for the perfect looks to accentuate your living space can be a difficult and tedious task. Home and Garden experts recommend creative and simple do-it-yourself projects instead.

Selma Ceramic Art Program director Candi Duncan said using “natural granary” such as pinecones, Pine Bells, holly berries and fruit in glass jars can add a special touch.

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“You can decorate with popcorn, cookies (and) cranberries — that can keep children busy for a long time,” Duncan said. “If you get into a tradition like that, children are used to getting the natural granary; Get glass cylinders at a dollar store (and) fill (them) with apples and lemons.”

And when it comes to the most popular decorations, Duncan said “Santa” — themes or traditional, is always a favorite.

“Different kinds of Santas — cowboy, hunting santas, are always popular, even snowman,” Duncan said. “People also always use greenery (to decorate with).”

Home and Garden Lifestyles contributor Brigitt Hauck gives some easy Christmas Decoration crafts and projects for the whole family.

Give your guests a dramatic welcome. A pair of inexpensive plastic urns from the garden center instantly dress up a front doorway. Place a tall foam cone in each urn, anchor it with sand and then use florist sticks and wire to attach greenery and Christmas balls.

Make an easy table topper.  Buy a garland of greenery (available at garden centers) to run down the length of your table. Send your children out to get pinecones and use them as rustic toppers. Another festive idea: load a simple glass jar or bowl with multiples of the same fruit, nut or monochromatic ornament.

Create outdoor décor. For a subtle outdoor decoration, gather pinecones of various sizes and arrange them in a window box or in pots on your porch. The weatherproof display should last until spring.

Give the children a holiday craft. A perfect, zero-supervision craft for children is making aluminum foil ring chains. All they’ll need is squares of foil. No glue, sparkles or scissors needed parents — yay!

Spell out your message. Stencil letters will say it loud and clear. You can back some or all of the letters with brightly colored construction paper, then attach with a removable adhesive so painted walls go undamaged.

String up some starlight. Wind a strand of battery powered fairy lights around a medium Styrofoam ball. Tie it off, then tape the end of the strand to the ceiling or loop it around a curtain rod.

Make an all-purpose display. Streamline seasonal decorating with a mantelpiece tableau that can take you from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Mix various ivory and pure white candles.

Prop up some art. Blank canvases in assorted shapes make an artful mantelpiece display when wrapped with cheerful ribbons.

Do something sweet. Something as simple as glasses and dishes filled with seasonally appropriate candles can make a sweet table topper, especially at dessert time.

Make decorations good enough to eat. Bake or buy gingerbread men to personalize for your guests. Pipe their names on the cookies and use as gifts, tags, place cards or tree trimmings.

Take a cookie-cutter approach. String tin cookie cutters of assorted shapes such as angels, bells and stars on pretty ribbons then take them to the window casing.

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