Monday, December 24

2018 Christmas Tour

Or should I call it the 2018 Christmas EVE tour? I know. Every year I have these big plans for Christmas projects and Christmas posts to share, but then the season comes and we just... do Christmas instead. I highly recommend this method.

But I do have a few super easy and budget friendly decor tips that are too good to miss for another year! So here we are with a quick Christmas Eve tour!

We'll cut right to the chase with our cheery kitchen window. Easily one of the most cheerful little corners of our home, and it also happens to be one of the easiest and cheapest to decorate! That merry Christmas sign above the sink? It's our sneaky reversible "farmer's market" sign. It only costs a few dollars to make (get the tutorial here) and when Christmas comes you just flip it around to the Christmas side. The window wreathes are from Dollar Tree (so just $1 each!) and I hung them with scraps of red ribbon. Most of our house has the original wood windows, but these ones were updated to double-hung windows which make hanging wreaths so easy. Just loop ribbon through a wreath, slide the top of the window open a crack, and pinch the ends of the ribbon in the window. No nails, no hooks, just easy peasy wreaths.

Reversible Christmas Sign Tutorial - Dollar Store Wreaths - DIY Curtain (tutorial below)

This year I added super simple DIY buffalo check curtains to copy one of my all time favorite pinterest pins. I pinned it years ago and have wanted to do it ever since. Well this is the year! They took a few minutes to make, but then they are so easy to pop up with an extension rod every year.

If you don't want to make your own curtains, you can scroll on down a few photos to see the rest of the tour! But if you do want to make your own, here's all you need:
I started by washing my fabric to pre-shrink it. Nothing is worse than curtains that become too-short after a wash. Trust me.

I cut it in half and hemmed the raw edges by folding them over 1/2", then 1/2" again and sewing along the fold. Measure your window first to make sure a half-yard piece will fit!

Then I clipped a few curtain rings along the top edge.

And slipped it onto an extendable curtain rod.

Christmas magic complete.

Word of warning - test your curtain rod first to see where it will fit. I sized my curtains to fit back closer to the windows, but when I went to hang it the walls were too uneven and it kept falling so  I had to bring them out to the cabinets and now they are a smidge short. Oops. But it'll do for seasonal decor.

And you guys, I'm so proud: my husband added the last little Christmas touch himself:

All in all it takes under 10 minutes to put up all the Christmas decorations in the kitchen!

The dining room has a similar, easy story:
We just switch out the plates in the built-in, and replace our usual artwork with the "Thrill of Hope" painting I made with my sister.

The plates store down in the cabinet so it's a quick swap each year. And the best part? They are the Better Homes and Gardens plates from WalMart so they're as affordable as they are pretty! I also added a sweet little nativity I found on clearance years ago, and this year I added a stable backdrop that was technically labeled as a birdhouse with the spring decor at Michael's (got it on clearance for $2 this summer!).

Better Homes and Gardens plates from WalMart

The windows in the dining room repeat the the three-wreath system from my kitchen. Seriously guys, wreaths are my favorite in easy and affordable decor! These wreathes were $5 at Michaels (and larger than the Dollar Tree ones)I use red ribbon to hand them from the curtain rod and add a narrow lighted garland I found at Hobby Lobby a few years ago. Like most of my Christmas purchases, I bought it after Christmas. The $$ savings are totally worth shopping for next year!

On to the living room! You probably already saw how I turned basic $5 stockings into these farmhouse beauties with a few simple details (tutorial here). I added an old string of beads above them. Because I will always add beads to things at Christmas.

I also put a nativity we got at our wedding on the mantle with a string of lights. The tree skirt is a remnant piece of fleece from Joann Fabric (it was only $2!) that I tuck around the base, and the cute little Christmas tree sign was a DIY with my sister-in-law (tutorial here)!

The library/office space doesn't usually get any Christmas love, but I totally updated the space this fall and it's so beautiful that I couldn't leave it hanging this year. I moved a few of my decorations in here and didn't spend a dime on anything new. Just a couple mini trees on the shelf, a string of red beads, and another lighted garland above the window.

Last but not least, I spread a little Christmas cheer upstairs in our landing with - you guessed it - wreaths! And red ribbon. Always.

I went with the same $5 wreathes as the dining room and that simple addition brings all the Christmas cheer. This combo is in it to win it at the MLH house. I did make a tweak over previous years and it's working like a charm - instead of the metal wreath holders I've used in the past (they were bulky enough that it was hard to close the doors all the way), I switched to a thin red ribbon. Now the doors close just like they should. And here's the secret: put a command hook upside down on the back of the door to loop the ribbon over.

The hook means a flawless front and easy take-down after Christmas. And I'll be honest, there a 98% chance I will never take these down. The blend in with the doors and they'll be ready to go next year, so...

One lucky wreath has a bonus with this sweet little nativity family I found a few years ago (yep, after Christmas on clearance. I am what I am.) It was too cute to get lost in the crowd on the tree, so I put it up here where it can really stand out.

That's it for our decor this year, but I have to include this in my Christmas tour because I'm so excited about it. We decided to try a new tradition of Christmas Eve fondue so I ordered this cute little fondue pot. We made classic cheese fondue for dinner and dark chocolate fondue for dessert. Guys, it was so much fun.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to enjoy all the goodness this season brings.

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11

Merry Christmas, peeps!

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