We found this vintage sled in the garage when we moved in – I knew it would be a perfect to add a little holiday spirit to our porch!
This holiday season has varied a little from our norm…
Usually, we’d be knee-deep in greenery and cookie baking by this time in December. But, this year, we have no place to put a Christmas tree yet because apparently it’s not super simple to renovate a 145-year-old kitchen, or something. And, obviously, cooking is hard when your new oven is still shrink-wrapped in the garage. So, my living room still looks like the pic below, but, with some help from my awesome mom who has been visiting (who, side-note, will paint your kitchen cabinets until 6am for you, and do your laundry…) at least the outside of the house is looking festive!
The filter makes this pic look way more serene than it feels irl… But, the end of our sea of boxes is near!
Things are different, BUT, I’ve found comfort in some old and new traditions – some of which I’ve shared on FreshlyMinted in the past! And, a white-and-grey-and-butcher block-and-harringbone – and subway tile- rustic farmhouse kitchen is now totally within sight… so I can be patient a little longer ;)
In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite throwback holiday posts and projects:
Handmade Holiday | Rustic Boxwood Garland & Mini Wreaths, Newsprint Tree, Perfect Christmas Bow and Popcorn garland (I used holly for my garland this year – much more prickly, but just as lovely!)
Salt Dough | Gift Tags & Ornaments
Secret Holiday Treats | Aunt J’s Top Secret Chocolate Mint Cookie Recipe
A Cookie-Swappers Daydream | Salted Mudslide Cookie Recipe
I hope everyone has been having as much fun prepping for Christmas as we have! It’s no secret that I LOVE the holidays, and all that comes with them. The family, the TV specials, the food, and our annual forced popcorn-stringing marathon that The Husband simply adores…
Not. But, we like the end result ;)
This year, I was a little dismayed when I pulled out my rag-tag/hand-me-down/college-dollar-store-purchase Christmas decor. Yes, we have a few nice things I’ve picked up since we’ve been married, and lots of gorgeous ornaments for the tree that my mom has bought me every year since childhood, but nothing super put-together… and nothing like my Pinterest Holiday inspiration boards.
So, I took matters into my own hands, and did a few experiments. And somehow, week-old bush clippings salvaged from the compost pile, leftover burlap, a giant Frosted Mini-Wheats box, an old newspaper and clearance-rack ribbon transformed the house into a little winter wonderland…
Rustic Boxwood Garland & Mini Window Wreaths
- A bucket of boxwood clippings
- Green floral wire
- Ribbon for hanging, bows for decoration
- Choose 3-4 sprigs of boxwood, varying lengths
- Wrap the ends tightly 3-4 times with the floral wire
- Gather another bunch of boxwood, and lay along the wire, overlapping the last bunch. Wrap tightly. Repeat until garland reaches desired length.
- Use the same method as above, but begin your garland with a longer piece, then choose slightly shorter clippings for your bunches.
- Once you reach desired length, form into a circle, cut wire, and attach your first, longer clipping to end.
- Use ribbon to hang several of varying sizes in the window.
Vintage Newsprint Christmas Tree
- Empty cereal box
- Packing tape
- A pencil or pen
- Glue stick or rubber cement
- Ribbon or other topper
- Deconstruct and flatten the cereal box
- Cut into a rough circle, and cut a slit to the center
- Roll into a cone shape, tape, and trim bottom so it stands level
- Cut the black and white text sections of the newspaper into strips, roughly 1″ wide (I alternated making the text horizontal and vertical on the strips – variations in size and direction of the text adds to the vintage look)
- Roll strips around pencil to give them a slight curl, and cut to about 2-3″ in length
- Start on the bottom, and glue strips around the base. Allow them to hang over the edge of the cone slightly, and overlap each piece. Work your way up the tree, one layer at the time, overlapping each.
- Top with a bow, or other decorative piece.
Perfect Christmas Bow
Watch this slightly annoying video, and you’re set!
I used strips of burlap for the garland on my mantle and bay window, and ribbon for my newspaper tree and hutch in the kitchen – get creative – it’s so easy!
Classic Popcorn & Cranberry Garland
The directions on this one are pretty obvious, but I do have a few tips:
- Pop your popcorn the day before and let it go stale – it’s easier to string that way!
- Use plain kernels, and pop in a paper lunch bag in the microwave. Just put about 1/4 cup in the bag, roll top twice, and pop. No grease, no weird butter-flavoring color (a great, healthy, snack, too ;)
- Mix up your patterns!
- Use a thimble if your fingers get ouchy.
- Make your husband help while watching Christmas specials. Require he completes at least two full strands, and doesn’t use a 10-1 cranberry-to-popcorn ratio because the berries are easier string.