Home for the Holidays

Vintage Modern Christmas Decorating

Welcome to my home during our favorite time of year— Christmastime! Turns out, decorating for Christmas this year was more challenging than in the past, because of all my houseplants! Ahhh! I have trees and greenery everywhere, so I had to relocate some babies in order to make space for things like our Christmas tree, as well as a vignette on our dining room cabinet. Things get a little more maximalist this time of year, and then come January, things will feel a little empty and sad. But let’s not talk about January! Let’s just pretend it’s never going to happen. And in the meantime, I’d love for you to come on in and take a look around at our home, slightly transformed for this special time of year.

Artificial Christmas Tree in a Pot

This year we purchased a white tree to replace the larger artificial pine my parents had given to us. We just needed the floor space. On that floor-space saving note, I decided to try potting our artificial tree rather than using a tree skirt or leaving the white metal stand exposed. I was excited about the prospect of a pot for the tree base, but a little worried it wouldn’t look right. Maybe I’m just a worry wart, because it turned out beautifully, and I’m so glad I took the time to do it!

All I did was use pour half of a bag of Quickcrete into a plastic pot with a 1.25″ PVC pip segment in the middle. I poured the concrete around the pipe rather than plunging the pipe into the concrete, because I needed the height to insert the metal rod of the tree base. I did end having to trim the PVC pipe down a bit after it was in the pot (which I did using a Dremel tool), but I figured it’s better to have it too long than too short, because cutting it wasn’t too difficult.

If you want to try potting your artificial tree, here are my two main tips of caution:

  1. Make sure you pipe is the proper diameter to fit snugly around your metal base before cementing the pipe.
  2. Drill a hole through the side of a pipe for a large eyelet screw to tightly screw into the pipe to secure the tree base once the base is in place inside the pipe.
  3. Make the potted base before assembling your tree. It’s just so much easier to make sure things fit and whatnot. :) I didn’t do this. In fact, my tree was decorated and I broke a couple of cherished ornaments moving the tree into the pot! Sad face!

Artificial Christmas Tree in a Pot

Vintage Modern Christmas Decorating

I also did more subtle decorations in the living room with greenery on the TV stand, a cute little sign, and white bottle brush trees. The former coffee table vase contents of eucalyptus was swapped out for white wintery looking branches. And I hung a star marquee light beside the sofa artwork as well. Not too much, but just enough, in my opinion.

Vintage Modern Christmas Decorating

Vintage Modern Christmas Decorating

Vintage Modern Christmas Decorating

The dining room is a bit more festive than the living room. Because I don’t have a fireplace mantel, I decorate the dining room cabinet as though it were one huge mantel. I got the silver tinsel trees here, the deer from Target, and the other elements I’ve had around for a while. Except for our little winter scene in the cloche jar! That was a fun, easy project I did with Lucy. The jar is from JoAnn.

winter cloche jar scene

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We also got new stockings for the girls (from Target) and I made an advent calendar that our whole family is obsessed with! Check out the full DIY at A Beautiful Mess here.

We also added some decorations to the girls’ new bedroom, but I’ll share more about that room soon! What are your favorite Christmas decorations? Mine, hands down, has got to be the tree.

Vintage Modern Christmas Decorating

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Holiday Craft Projects

gift wrapping ideas

I’m not sure if it’s the cooler weather and resulting hibernation or what, but Christmastime always seems to be the perfect time for crafting! As you might have noticed from my holiday house tour, I prefer a handmade touch for our Christmas decorations, so each year I make something new for our home. I thought you all might like to see what kind of holiday crafts I’ve done in the past, so I’ve rounded up my favorite projects I’ve shared at A Beautiful Mess and linked to them right here.

Top: Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas / I grabbed supplies from around the house to make extra beautiful gifts for friends and family. Did you notice the orange mesh I stole from a bag of clementines?

star light and holiday village

Above Left: Star Light Holiday Decoration / This star light was so easy to put together! You may have noticed it lighting up our desk in our holiday home tour.

Above Right: Simple Winter Village / I didn’t have the gusto for a gingerbread house last year, so I made this little village out of cardboard instead! It’s backlit with a strip of LED uplights.

ceramic trees and holiday wreath

Above left: Porcelain Holiday Trees / These little tree cones are simple to make with the provided cone template and some air dry clay. I used LED tea lights inside for a festive glow.

Above Right: Winter Wreath / This delicate wreath uses unusual supplies— a coat hanger and ping pong balls to name two!

gift tags and citrus ornaments

Above Left: Homemade Cards + Tags / If you like to give handmade, but your family isn’t so into handmade gifts, this is the perfect compromise! Create handmade cards and tags for your store-bought gifts.

Above Right: Dried Citrus Ornaments / While simmering citrus and spices on the stove for a fresh scented home, why not slice up some extra pieces to dry for ornaments?

cake stencils and holiday garlands

Above Left: Cake and Beverage Stencil / This is the perfect decoration for a simple naked cake or pan of brownies. I also dusted a design on the top of my homemade latte!

Above Right: Homemade Holiday Garlands / So many garland ideas, so little time! My favorite is the “PEACE” one which hangs near my front door and kitchen sink.

Making Merry in the Midwest

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Welcome to Christmastime in our little Ohio ranch! This truly is my favorite time of year, and having little ones makes it all the more special. Since we’re still a young family, we’re just now creating our own traditions and watching the wonder and excitement that we’re helping to create in Lucy’s life. I’m learning to let go of my own expectations for this time of year and to be more flexible. Lucy’s actually been allowed to play with some of the decorations and she helps with everything I do, even though everything is much more difficult with little helping hands. Mom points for me! Ha! (I didn’t even rearrange the bulbs Lucy hung on the white Christmas trees above, though props to her, because she did a pretty good job!)

Seriously, though, this season is all about the ultimate gift of love, and my greatest hope is that above all else, we can teach Lucy about the love of God as we also strengthen the bonds of family and home during this season.

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

We just have one living room in our house— no basement, family room, sitting room, or any kind of bonus room. Just the living room. So in an effort to maximize our home’s Christmas decorating potential, we always put a tree in our dining room and mini trees elsewhere! I try not to get too crazy, because I want decorating to be fun, and not stressful. But often I dream of what it would be like to decorate a room with a mantle, or how I would adorn a stairway with evergreen and pine cones. Oh well! Maybe some day? But for now, I focus on our cozy home, happy famil,y and the gift of Jesus in our lives.

I also focus on the gift of food (aka butter and sugar) a lot this time of year. I’m not too worried about gaining a little holiday weight, to be honest. It always happens, and I’m happier indulging this time of year and dealing with the repercussions after the fact. January is what shift dresses and gym memberships were made for, right?

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Lucy and I tried a new gingerbread recipe this year that we really liked from the Brown Eyed Baker. I think I might try different variations on it the next time I make it, but overall I was really happy with how soft and flavorful they were. I thought Lucy would have fun using squeeze tubes to decorate them, but it was sort of a fail for her developing muscles. Next we’ll try thumbprints, I think.

We’ve also been watching the same movies over and over when the sounds of Pandora Christmas stations aren’t filtering through our home. Mostly the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July. Today we watched the Veggie Tale’s Little Drummer Boy to make sure Jesus gets his screen time too. But as of now, it’s all about Rudolph and Snoopy.

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

I’ve still got more Christmas decorations up my crafty sleeves, and I can’t wait to share them with you! Later this week I’ll be cutting up fabric scraps for a last minute Christmas gift for Lucy that I’ll share at A Beautiful Mess, and also mixing up some salt dough for a project I’ve been wanting to work on for ages. Stop back soon! I’ll also be decorating Lucy’s dollhouse for Christmas, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

My mom and dad are pictured above. Aren’t they precious? This is my favorite ornament that my mom made when they were newlyweds.

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

Making Nice in the Midwest Christmas

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