Decorating For The Rest Of Us

this post was originally part of the 2011 Newsletter. Enjoy!

There are those who like to spend lots of money on decorations at the holidays. Then there are those of us who just want some pretty, warm and inexpensive decorations in their homes that are easy to make. This post is for the rest of us who either won’t or can’t spend a lot of money on decorating the house – but do want the house to reflect the warmth of the Christmas season.

I started decorating year round using found objects, flea market finds and natural items. Its especially fun to get creative at Christmas because there is so much available to work with. Most everyone has access to the great outdoors and can beg or borrow some greenery, berries, pine cones, twigs and other natural objects. Even if you don’t have access to the bounty of the outdoors, you have your kitchen and pantry.

Here are four simple ideas you can use in your home to decorate for Christmas using natural or kitchen found objects.

Simple Greenery Bowl

You’ve seen bowls of greenery everywhere in decorating, from the smallest of cabins to the most posh homes and businesses. Its easy to put one together. The three ingredients are:

The most beautiful bowl you have or other pleasing container. A crystal bowl would be nice.

Some fresh greenery.

Something for color and texture. I used pinecones, you could also use red glass balls or even nuts in their shells.

Place greenery in the bowl, add your other items in a way you find pleasant. That’s it!

Tray Arrangement

I like this kind of arrangement because you can take it from place to place as needed. I have used three pressed glass containers, some cranberries, leaves and berries from the Nandina bushes outside, a favorite ornament and candles. To round it out I have

surrounded the tray arrangement with three oil lamps and a Christmas book.

Other ideas for a tray arrangement are as limitless as your imagination. Use nuts in the shell, coffee beans, glass ornaments, tangerines and cedar leaves.

Snowy Candle Holder

Use any kind of large glass container you have. A hurricane glass is perfect because it is wide and open at the top and candles can get oxygen to burn. Shine up your glass and pour in any size tapioca pearls; I had large ones on hand. Set one large or three small candles in the tapioca.

Applesauce Cinnamon Ornaments

These little ornaments will last for years if you take care of them. Refresh the cinnamon fragrance with drop of fragrance oil every ear. Use them to decorate the tree and even gifts.

❖1 cup cinnamon

❖1 tbsp. ground cloves

❖1 tbsp. nutmeg

❖1 tbsp. allspice

❖1 tbsp ginger

❖3/4 c. applesauce

In medium bowl, combine cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger & nutmeg. Add applesauce, stir to combine. Work mixture with hands 2 to 3 minutes or until dough is smooth and ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

You may want to cover your counter before putting the cinnamon dough on it to roll out. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on the

counter top. Using a little cinnamon to dust the counter and rolling pin, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness.

Cut dough with cookie cutters. Use a straw or pencil and make a small hole in top of ornament.

Bake on an un-greased cookie sheet at 150 degrees F for 1 hour. Remove from the cookie sheet and bake an additional hour and a half on the oven rack.

Decorating for Christmas can be inexpensive and very beautiful if you put a little of yourself in your efforts and use what you have on hand!

About Sylvia

Sylvia is the owner of the Christian HomeKeeper Network website and ministry. She and her husband Mark live in Tennessee. They are the parents of 5 children and grandparents to three so far. They have homeschooled since 1990. Sylvia is a Christian and enjoys mentoring women, writing articles for several magazines, gardening, Bible study and creating a peaceful holy home. Follow Sylvia on Google+ or check out her 21st Century HomeKeeper podcasts on the Preparedness Radio Network.
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8 Responses to Decorating For The Rest Of Us

  1. Karen D says:

    Hi Sylvia – I would like to make the Applesauce Cimmamon Ornaments with my 4 year old daughter. Where do you buy cinnamon in bulk like that? Do you have any pointers for me on doing this craft with my little one that will make it safe, fun and most importantly – stress free for both of us?

    • Sylvia says:

      Hi Karen
      I buy cinnamon in bulk at an Amish bulk store. Its a lot cheaper there.

      My best tips:
      The ornament dough is really messy, the cinnamon gets all over hands and whatever you’re working on so cover your work surface, wear aprons and work with just a small amount of dough at a time.
      Use a straw to poke a hole through the tops of the ornaments before baking.
      Use big cookie cutters that do not have intricate patterns to make ornaments.

  2. Linda says:

    I will try your recipe for gingerbread men decorations. I was at a craft show recently and they had made similar decorations, but had a jagged bite off the leg and it gave them such character. I thought some of you might also think it was cute. I am in Northern Ontario and we are having our first snow to stay on the ground. Best wishes to all for a Merry Christmas.
    Linda

  3. pilar roy says:

    all so pretty… ideas, ideas, ideas :)

  4. Sylvia says:

    Terri, we’ve done a lot of those things as well. Those are some of our favorite Christmas memories around here!

    Jilly, I hope they work out well for you, I’d love to see a picture of your finished ornaments.

  5. *~*~*Jilly*~*~* says:

    Thank you so much Sylvia, I hope it’s ok? But I c/p the recipe to the *Applesauce Cinnamon Ornaments* so I can make them in a few days and keep a copy for next year they sound like a great idea!!
    I am looking forward to making them I will let you know how they came!!
    Thank you for being such a blessing!!!
    oxoxo

  6. Terri J says:

    Thank you for this reminder, Sylvia! In years past, I have gone out into the woods to gather greenery and even cut some “Charlie Brown” trees to have something for the kids to decorate. We’ve cut out old magazines to make paper chain garlands, hung Christmas cards, made paper snowflakes, and strung popcorn when times were lean. I love your ideas!