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by Christiane Lemieux 



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A Handmade Christmas

Image via Sweet Paul 

Written by guest blogger by Lauren Bailey

Most designers cringe when they think of holiday decor. They’re often garish and bright with a one-dimensional cartoony feel that seems only suited for elementary school classrooms. But believe it or not, tasteful and clean holiday decor does exist; you just have to look especially hard for it. But if you have trouble finding sophisticated holiday decorations, you can always make them yourself. Here are some clever ideas that will make your holiday decorating jolly and fun. 

Update classic images with new color schemes
An easy way to breathe new life into conventional holiday decorations is to tackle them with a refined eye for color. If you’re coloring your own decorations, don’t even go near any reds and greens (or any other traditional holiday colors, for that matter). Make them your own by infusing your own aesthetics into the design. Take the above framed print for example. The design wistfully plays with the image of the conventional Christmas tree, substituting light blues and aquamarine tones for the body of the tree and replacing the traditional star with a cute red bird. Charming!

When there's no tree
I love the idea of completely transforming conventional holiday fixtures while retaining their spirit. If you would like to create the festive atmosphere surrounding a Christmas tree without ever having one in your home, how about simply painting the likeness of a tree on one of your walls and cleverly hang ornaments in front of it as an homage to the classic Christmas symbol. However, you can also get inspired by this fun and whimsical Christmas Tree wall decal made of adhesive fabric to create your own version. Both are great ideas for those who lack space in their homes. Or if you don’t use a tree in your holiday-themed design—or if you just don’t celebrate Christmas—you can infuse some holiday spirit into your home with the tasteful placement of recovered wood. It recalls the fall aesthetic of trees losing their leaves, branches starkly outlined against a slate, cold sky. It’s an easy way to showcase the natural beauty of the season.

Play with inventive mediums and textures
If you’re fond of DIY projects, consider altering the medium and texture of traditional ornaments. You’ll be pleased to discover that there’s more to holiday decorations than popcorn garlands, tinsel, and construction paper. For instance, take this beautiful vintage paper wreath made from close to 500 pages of sheet music and hymnal pages. The designer used different books with pages slightly varying in color which makes this wreath wonderfully multi-colored. Or if you like to take a shot at creating your own Christmas tree ornaments, you can put your own spin on the usual spherical glass or plastic holiday globes by using paper from old and recycled maps. The staggered layers will really make the ornaments shine—the pieces look sophisticated without looking too busy or messy like paper mache.

Lauren Bailey welcomes your comments at her email blauren99 

Reader Comments (2)

this is beautiful!! i actually worked with Sweet Paul. Paul is a master of styling and decoration!
Dec 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterYue

Handmade owls!
Dec 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

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