Deck the halls with DIY projects – Port Huron Times Herald


December 5, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized


Deck the halls with these 11 Christmas DIY projects

When I first joined Pinterest in 2011, I quickly created a board to keep track of all the Christmas ideas swirling around on the site. So. Many. DIY. Projects!

Looking back on that board five years later, how many of those projects have I made? One. And it didn’t work.

What sounds nice on social media isn’t always practical in real life, especially once the season of parties, trips to see family and mad gift-buying is underway.

But it is undeniably satisfying to create something with your own hands and use it in your home, especially something you can bring out year after year at the holiday season. At a time of year when our wallets are stretched in many directions, it’s also nice to get the look of some out-of-your-price-range holiday items for much less. And when you DIY, you can customize it to your precise desires.

So before the holiday season gets crazy, plan some time to try some holiday DIY.

These projects will help you get every room of your house ready for Christmas without breaking your budget or your patience (well, some of them take more patience than others). We’ve tested them all, so there are no Pinterest fails here.

Crank the Christmas tunes and plug in the glue gun. It’s time to deck the halls with DIY.

Alison Sherwood

The mantel

Garland: Eucalyptus is a calming string of green for your mantel, but the fresh garland that inspired this project cost $70. For half the price (if you catch a sale on artificial flowers), you can make your own and hang it up year after year.

Measure your mantel and lay out your selected greenery in a line on the floor (a mix of eucalyptus, dusty miller and other small-leaf greens looks nice). Use wire cutters to snip thicker branches and place them where you like. Wrap thin wire around the stems to secure each piece to the one next to it, moving down the line until the garland is complete.

Stick small adhesive hooks like 3M Command hooks to the underside of the mantel and hang the garland on the hooks using wire (wrapping a piece of wire around the garland to create a small loop).

Stocking hooks: No need to spend a lot on this stocking-hanging necessity. These stocking hooks were made by painting wood two-by-four scraps and decoupaging rectangles of patterned paper to the front. Add a picture frame hook and you’re done. They’re also the perfect platform for candles, figurines or other small decorative items you want to display on the mantel.

The living room

Christmas card display: Get your holiday cards out of a pile and display your loved one’s smiling faces on this tree. Arrange branches (from outside or purchased from a craft store) in a vase or tall container and clip the cards on with mini-clothespins. You could also punch holes in the cards and tie ribbons around them for hanging.

Holiday art: Craft buttons, fabric glue, a bit of ribbon and a stretched burlap canvas (this one is 12-inch) are all you need to create this wall hanging. The wreath is designed free form (lay out all the buttons first, then glue them on one at a time). For an alternative design, try a button Christmas tree.

Tree skirt: No sewing required for this burlap Christmas tree skirt. Measure and cut a circle out of burlap, mark the center and cut a slit from one edge to the center. Cut a long 8 1/2-inch-wide strip of burlap (for a 49-inch-diameter circle, you’ll need about a 17-foot-long strip). Hot glue the strip along the circumference of the circle, folding it over itself every 6 inches or so to stay along the edge of the circle and give it a ruffled look. Hot glue pleated ribbon over the seam where the ruffle meets the circle.

The bathroom

Festive TP: Even something as utilitarian as toilet paper can take on a jolly look for Christmas. Here, festive cloth ribbon and a strip of fake Santa fur (top roll) encircle the rolls, while a sprig of craft pine cones tops off the trio. Small paper clips hold the ribbons in place. Customize with different ribbons and perhaps some greenery.

Candle: Party guests always appreciate a nice-smelling candle in the bathroom. Add Christmas flair to a candle you already own by securing a sprig of greenery to it with red baker’s twine.

The kitchen

Cabinet ribbons: Scrabble tiles — sold online in packs of 100 or 200 — let you spell out your favorite things about the holiday. Just glue the letters to a length of festive ribbon, add buttons or other embellishments and a bow on top, and display them on cabinet doors. These are folded over the top and attached on the back with a piece of painter’s tape.

Chair tags: Who’s the Santa in your house? Designate a special place at the table for him with this chair tag. Here, flannel and felt fused with double-sided iron-on interfacing is decorated with glued-on white wooden craft letters. Punch in a couple of holes, add ribbons and tie the sign to the chair. A companion “Mrs. Santa” or “Ms. Klaus” could be made as well.

Outdoors

Door swag: Using a wire hanger and some evergreen clippings from the yard, this front door hanging is practically free.

Pull the bottom of the hanger down so it’s stretched long, and bend the head to form a loop to be used as the hook. Use wire string to secure two to three larger branches to the hanger pointing downward. Fill in with a few smaller branches pointing down, then secure three or four smaller branches pointing upward. Use wire to ensure the swag is secure, then tie a large ribbon around the middle.

Embellish with pine cones, jingle bells and berries if you wish.

Light balls: These giant balls of Christmas lights make a statement, but also require a bit of effort. To make a 15-inch ball, use wire cutters to cut four feet of three-foot-wide chicken wire, wearing work gloves if needed to avoid cuts. Form the chicken wire into a cylinder, following the natural curve of the wire, and secure the ends together with zip ties or by twisting the ends of the wires together.

Use wire cutters to cut a slit from one end of the cylinder one-third of the way to the middle. Repeat the cuts around the circumference of that end, and on the other end of the cylinder, so you have four equal-size sections of wire on each end.

Bend the wire sections in toward the center to begin to form a ball. Use zip ties or wire string to secure the wire into shape if needed. It will take some pushing and pulling to get the shape, and if it isn’t a perfect sphere, don’t worry; it will still look fine.

Wrap Christmas lights around the chicken wire ball. You’ll need 300 lights for a 15-inch ball. To make a roughly two-foot ball, use six feet of four-foot-wide chicken wire and about 500 Christmas lights.

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