I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Strapped for time? Here’s an easy DIY guide to help you bring the holiday cheer to your home in just 5 days
Issue: Dec 2014
You look at the calendar and it is December already. While the streets are decked and ready for the festive cheer, the Christmas spirit is still far from your home.
Fret not. It’s still not too late to get your house Christmas-ready. Five days is all you need if you follow our easy guide.
Day 1: Assess Your Mess
Get out your old Christmas decoration and ware and take stock of what else you need this year
Don’t go on a panic buying spree. Take stock of what you have first.
Measure your space If a Christmas tree is a must-have, you will need somewhere with low traffic (so people won’t have to walk around the tree or bump into it) yet high visibility (a tree is, after all, the focal point of your Christmas décor) and away from heat sources (for safety reasons). Your tree also has to be at least a foot shorter than your ceiling.
Check old decorations Make sure old lights and decorations are still usable. That way you will know what else you might need to buy this year.
Day 2: Get the Basics Right
Buy your tree When buying a live Christmas tree, run your fingers along the needles and give the tree a good shake. A fresh tree will have pliable needles that do not fall off easily.
For fake trees, look out for density or tip count. This tells you how full the tree is. Check also that the branches can hold your heavier ornaments.
Party hats can be inverted and decorated to make mini Christmas tree that you can place around the house
Make your own If you don’t have the space for a full-sized tree, make your own mini one. Invert a party hat; glue layers of shredded paper to it, wind wool or colourful baubles around it; then decorate accordingly.
(Left to right) Christmas-themed paper and cards can be used to decorate walls and windows or framed to bring the spirit of Christmas home (S$3.15 – S$5.70 and S$5.60 – S$8.30)
Photo credit: Prints
Paper can be a good friend when making your mini tree. Get Christmas-themed paper and cut out Christmas tree shapes to stick on windows and walls. Thicker paper can be used to make standing trees.
Select your décor Pick a colour scheme. It helps pull your décor ideas together and guides you when you are buying your Christmas decorations.
Lights are the first to go on when trimming your Christmas tree so that you and arrange them to create depth in your tree
Day 3: Create Focal Points
Instead of decorating every available space, which can make your home look like a Christmas store, create focal points in each room.
Trim the tree The tree is a natural focal point. When trimming the tree, lights should be the first things that go up so that you can use them to play up the depth of your tree. Start from the bottom, wrapping the lights around every major branch till you reach the top.
Next comes the decorations. Work layer by layer beginning with garlands. These are draped top down. Thin beaded garlands look best hung from branch to branch. Thicker paper or ribbon ones are best wrapped loosely around the entire tree.
Now comes the decorations. Begin with the prime ones that you want prominently displayed. Larger ornaments should be evenly spaced at the back to create a backdrop. Antique or fragile ornaments go near the top where they will less likely be knocked off by people brushing against them. Finally, fill in the tree with medium-sized and small decorations.
Shelves and ledges are other focal points for your Christmas decorations and they make perfect places to put up stockings for Santa’s goodies
Look for other focal points Shelves and ledges can also be turned into focal points. They make perfect places for hanging Christmas stockings.
Table tops – coffee tables, side tables, dinning tables – is another place you can create a focal point. As a rule of thumb, round centerpieces work well for round or square tables. Table runners work better with longer tables. If all else fails, throw a Christmas-themed table cloth over the table and you immediately add a festive touch to the space
Day 4: Make a Grand Entrance
Make your own Christmas wreath for the front door to make a bold first impression
Once you are done with the living room, head for the front door. You want to spread the festive cheer to anyone who walks by so. A wreath is your best option. Store bought wreaths are fine. But you can make your own as well and customise it to match your décor theme and colour. Something as simple as ring of rope with Christmas decorations – mistletoe, poinsettia, bells, baubles – tied to it can become a wreath.
Day 5: Kitchen Comforts
Congratulations! Most of your major decorating is done. If you are too tired or strapped for time, you can stop now. But if you want to go the extra mile, just spend another day.
Raid your kitchen and turn kitchen ware into decorations for Christmas
Turn kitchen ware into decoration The kitchen and dining area can be the next stop. Kitchen-inspired decorations are particularly inspired. Clear cookie and jam jars can be filled with Christmas-related decorations – candles, baubles, mistletoe. Cake holders can be filled with pine cones. White gravy bowls can be stuffed with stringed beads and Christmas ornaments. Let your imagination be your guide.
Edible art - (left) a pasta angel, (centre) a clove-studded orange ornament and (left) cinnamon sticks and star anise – make wonderful Christmas ornaments from and for your kitchen
Make edible art Raid the kitchen for food that can be turned into decoration. Uncooked pastas can be used to make angels and bowtie pastas can be spray-painted and turned into decorations. Fill different jars with Christmas edibles like candy cane, sugar cookies, gingerbread men and line them on the shelf. Lemons and oranges can be turned into table or tree ornaments with artfully placed clovers.
Let your walls speak Now comes the nitty-gritty details. Walls are white spaces that can come in handy when decorating. If you don’t want to put a nail into your wall just for the holidays, consider putting a line across the wall and clipping decorations onto those lines with wooden clothes pegs. Christmas cards, holiday snap shots, stockings, Christmas ornaments can all be strung across the wall to add a festive touch.
(Left) String up your decorations to brighten up walls and windows this Christmas; (Right) Lights make decorations look different at night and brightens your decor
Add lights to your decorations Few things say festive fun like a string of lights. As a crowning glory to your Christmas home décor efforts, take a look at your home both inside and out and consider how lights can brighten up your decoration when the sun goes down.
So, there you go - a transformed home in less than a week. This Christmas, not only will you be home for Christmas, you have brought Christmas home.
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