I absolutely adore decorating for the holiday season however, I do not appreciate the price tag that accompanies holiday design. Here is an easy and economical way to get festive with your artwork.
step 1. Purchase your supplies.
You can pick up inexpensive wood frames from your local dollar store, as well as some gift bags.
Step 2. Cut the gift bags.
Have fun with your design, cut out individual pieces to make your wall art look more like a collage or cut the entire picture. Just be sure to cut the side of the bag that doesn’t have the crease in it from the bottom folding up.
Step 3. Assemble your artwork.
Place the cut out images into the frame and viola! instant holiday artwork.
I add to my handmade artwork collection each year. I particularly like the look of these two pieces.
Five additional suggestions to add to this post from October:
6. As a guest, having to ask your host for toiletry supplies, specifically toilet paper, can feel awkward. One easy way to avoid leaving your guests guessing where you keep the spare rolls is by preparing a guest toiletry basket. You can collect all of those miscellaneous toiletries that we so often forget to pack when traveling and place them together in a basket or a decorated box. Things to include would be a small tube of toothpaste, bottle of mouthwash, toothbrush, a small bottle of lotion, deodorant, tissue, and of course you can stash some rolls of toilet paper in your basket or nearby. Tie a “welcome” note card to the basket with a bow and leave it for your guests to use, and always make sure your bathrooms are stocked with fresh towels and washcloths each day.
7. Create a menu for your guests. Take the worry out of wondering when and what they will be eating for each meal. Email or call your guests ahead of time and find out about any food allergies, meal and snack preferences, and special beverages that your guests enjoy. Then compile that information into a simple menu. Having a planned menu will allow you to shop early, stock up on special items, and prepare and freeze meals ahead of time, reducing your stress and saving your company the hassle of spending more money eating out.
8. Place a clock, puzzle books and magazines, and a dirty clothes bag in your guest’s bedroom; these are simple gestures to show your guests that you have thought about their comfort.
9. Supply them with an activity planner. This is a clever idea for guests that might be staying an extended time. Research some tourists locations in your area and assemble the information and brochures into a binder or an envelope of “things to do” while in town. Provide them with a map of your city, a bus schedule, and a house key so that they have the freedom to explore their surroundings by themselves. This will allow you to refresh yourself and your home while they are out and about.
10. Give your visitors ample room to store their coats and shoes. Clear out some space in a closet or entryway and designate a place for guests to place their bags, shoes, purses, and coats. Also, provide a surface or suitcase rack where guests can open their luggage so they don’t have to spread out their belongings all over the floor.
Remember, this is a time to enjoy your guests company. If things don’t go exactly as planned, roll with it, laugh it off, and be merry…that is all that really matters anyway.
Artificial Christmas trees have been around since the early 1800s in other countries, and became popular in the United States in the early 1900s. In the beginning, artificial trees were made to resemble natural trees, however, over time, artificial trees have evolved and delved into an exploration of a more modern and personalized way to represent the holiday season.
Did you know that traditionally, Christmas trees were not brought in and decorated until Christmas Eve and then removed the day after the twelfth night, January 6th. In fact, it was considered bad luck to have your Christmas tree up before or after these dates.
The Feather Tree is considered one of the first artificial Christmas trees. It began in German around 1845 as the alternative to a live tree, mostly because Germany had concerns of deforestation due to harvesting live trees for Christmas. The tree was made from metal wire or sticks that were covered with goose, turkey, ostrich or swan feathers, that were died green to look like pine needles. In the United States, the tree became popular during the 1920s, however its popularity decreased by the 1930s. Feather trees remain popular today, especially with people who have period homes.
In the late 1800s, there was a growing interest in “white” Christmas trees. People made their Christmas trees white by wrapping leafless branches with white strips of cotton batting. This gave the appearance of snow on the trees and these trees didn’t drop any needles. After Christmas the cotton was stored with the other ornaments to use the following year and the branches were burned. This practice evolved into what is known as a flocked tree. Flocking is the process of depositing many small fiber particles (called flock) onto a surface. A Christmas tree can be flocked with a white, fluffy spray to resemble snow. Both real and artificially flocked trees were popular with the wealthy during the 1930s and remain available today.
The metallic trend in Christmas trees began in the 1950s. This was an era of new technology and a re-birthing from world war II. The metallic tradition seemed to rule this decade and almost every family had a metallic tree in their home. The metallic tree craze became unpopular for several years until recently. The metallic tree trend is back and it is bold, being seen in some very unnatural colors like, pink, black and aquas.
The aluminum Christmas tree is an artificial tree that gained popularity during the late 1950s, reaching its highest point of popularity during the early 60s. The tree is made of aluminum that had foil needles that attached to a wooden or aluminum pole. It was lit by a floor based color wheel that rotated and illuminated the tree from below. The aluminum tree has often been referred to as a futuristic or a space age design.
In the holiday special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, the aluminum Christmas tree was used to represent the over-commercialization of Christmas. The peanuts character, Lucy, begs Charlie Brown to get a shiny aluminum tree painted pink, but Charlie Brown opts for a more natural, small, and leggy tree instead. This tree is known as the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. These types of trees are sought out among the most full Christmas trees on the lot. They are often open and leggy and seem to represent love, togetherness and the absence of commercialism, which are the main characteristics expressed in Charlie Brown’s classic Christmas theme.
Among the fiber optic trees, there is one model, a very unconventional tree, that seems to be making a big. It is referred to as an upside down Christmas tree. These trees can be suspended from the ceiling or affixed to a wall. Many come with weighted stands to provide extra stability. These trees are just the thing for smaller homes or apartments.
In more recent years, there has been a trend toward a slimmer tree, known as the pencil tree. Some speculate that this trend is due to our desire to downsize in a weakened economy. A sort of “less is more” spin to the holiday season. This style is reminiscent of the tall conical trees that were seen during the Victorian era.
All of these trends are only a small part of an even larger array of styles and designs that are available today. Regardless of style, or your preference for real or artificial, it is our love of the holiday tradition of Christmas tree decorating that endures through the generations.