Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cheap and Easy DIY Holiday Decor

My home entryway
     In my last post I talked about making your own heirloom Christmas ornaments.  You can check them out here.  This time I'd like to show a few simple Christmas home accents that I have made that are very, very easy to complete, and very affordable.

Glitter Trees
     These cute little cone trees, only take a few minutes to create!  Mine are red, but I think they would be beautiful in any color glitter to match your theme.  You could even mix glitter colors together!

  • Elmer's Glue-All Spray adhesive (or comparable)
  • Cone-shaped Styrofoam (various sizes, at any craft store)
  • Glitter, any color of your choice, 1-2 bottles depending how messy you tend to be.
  • Small plastic ornament for top of tree
  • Long wooden skewers

      Carefully insert skewer in through top, center of tree.  This will be removed later once your finished gluing, but makes it easier to handle in the process. Next, spray the adhesive all over the tree (bottom of tree is not necessary), and begin sprinkling entire tree heavily with glitter.  When finished covering, gently tap excess glitter off.  Allow trees to dry.  Finally, add your ornament to top of tree.  You can use more glue, or if you find ornaments like mine, you can simply insert directly into top of tree.  Set them as a group on your mantel or hall table for a festive look!

Throw Pillow Shams
     This idea came to me shortly after I had finished Christmas decorating one year and after looking around my home, I felt like something was missing.  It was my pillows!  The pillows that came with my couch and loveseat clashed terribly with all the red, green and gold!  I spent a few days going to various stores trying to find new pillows that I liked and didn't have much luck.  There were very few options, and to buy several it was quite expensive too! This is of course how a DIY idea is born.

Hard to tell in photos, but my shams have gold and sequin embroidered poinsettias.
  • 1 yard of fabric for each sham (you may be able to get 2 out of a yard depending on the width of your fabric choice)
  • Seam/Hemming iron-on tape
  • Coordinating thread
  • Sewing machine is optional but definitely makes it much easier
  • Pillow forms from craft/sewing store (optional, it is much cheaper to use your regular throw pillows, which is what I do.)

      Using your throw pillow or pillow form as a guide, determine how big your sham needs to be to cover the pillow.  Allow about 1/2 inch for seams on the sides and ends.  Your fabric should be long enough to wrap all the way around the entire pillow (like the first step in gift-wrapping a box).  Width-wise, there should be just enough on the sides for the fabric to meet and snuggly fit around the pillow, with 1/2" allowance for the seam.  Length-wise fabric ends should overlap after wrapping around pillow.

  Once your fabric is cut to size you should have a rectangle. Turn the fabric so the inside is against your pillow and fold it over your form, both ends should come together and overlap 2-3 inchesdirectly in the middle of your pillow.  Cut the length of your fabric so that these ends can overlap without a lot of excess fabric, allow for 1" extra on both ends to make seam, and enough for the fabric to overlap approx. 2 inches once seam is finished.

     After your fabric has been cut to size you can now finish the seams on the short ends of your fabric rectangle, using the iron-on seam tape.  Be sure to lay the tape  on the inside of the fabric and fold over.  I like these hems to be a little wide personally, but you can do however you like.  With fabric inside out wrap around pillow again and mark with stick pins where the side seams will need to be.  Don't pull to tight as the sham will be just a little smaller when you turn the fabric around after sewing.  Finish with a simple stitch on your sewing machine or by hand, down both sides and then turn right side out.  You can stuff your pillow inside and enjoy!

     Display your new creations, trim your tree, wrap a few picture frames and throw some ornaments in a bowl for a simple and complete holiday look.  Pour a glass of wine, turn on the lights and Christmas music and enjoy the atmosphere!

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