Deck the halls with ease

Hol­i­day dec­o­rat­ing doesn’t have to be dif­fi­cult

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - DEB­BIE TRAVIS

IT’S time to get your glue gun out and gather to­gether rib­bons, a few daz­zling or­na­ments and sparkly dec­o­rat­ing bits.

Whether you are go­ing for the over­the-top treat­ment or pre­fer a more min­i­mal look, ‘tis the sea­son to be cheer­ful with hol­i­day lights, wreaths, gar­lands and rib­bon. Trim­ming your home for the hol­i­days can be as easy as cre­at­ing one or two fes­tive fo­cal fea­tures. Shop at your favourite craft or home store for in­spi­ra­tion and check out the In­ter­net for ideas and how-tos. To see my easy step-by-step projects visit www.cana­di­antire.ca. Here are some sug­ges­tions that will take lit­tle time and make a big im­pact.

To get started, shop for the es­sen­tials first so you have ev­ery­thing at your fin­ger­tips. (It’s very frus­trat­ing to be in the mid­dle of a project and re­al­ize you have no glue for the hot glue gun or a short­age of craft wire.) My es­sen­tials are: hot glue gun and ex­tra sticks of glue, craft wire (thin gauge), twine, scis­sors, fes­tive rib­bon in­clud­ing wired rib­bon, or­na­ments and green­ery spray sticks. Wel­come lanterns The soft glow from LED can­dles makes th­ese lanterns safe. Choose two lanterns, ei­ther the same size or one small and one large. Place the LED can­dle in­side the lan­tern. Tuck in pieces of frosted green­ery spray around the base of the can­dle and tuck in a few coloured bells or tiny ball or­na­ments. Use craft wire to se­cure more spray and rib­bon to the top. At­tach a bird or poin­set­tia or­na­ment with hot glue. Hold in place for a minute un­til the glue has hard­ened. Hang small bells from the top and you’re done. Unique cen­tre­pieces A hand­crafted cen­tre­piece livens up the hol­i­day din­ing ta­ble or can be ar­ranged on a bed­room dresser or bath­room coun­ter­top. Look for or­na­ments that com­ple­ment each other or pick out a few of your favourites from Christ­mases past. Choose a solid base that works with the di­men­sions of your dis­play area. I like the look of a square white plate for a medium-sized dis­play, but this works with a serv­ing plat­ter or tray if you want a large cen­tre­piece. Ar­range an LED can­dle and large and small or­na­ments. Use a hot glue gun to se­cure them to the plate. Tip the or­na­ments and have them lean­ing against each other for an artis­tic ef­fect. Loop wired rib­bon around part of the dis­play. For larger dis­plays add some green­ery sprigs and picks to fill out the space.

Dec­o­rat­ing with live flow­ers and boughs is lovely but when you are mak­ing a cen­tre­piece to last three or four weeks, ar­ti­fi­cial ma­te­ri­als make sense. Then, in time for a spe­cial party, slip some fresh stems in among your pre­pared dis­play. The base can be as sim­ple as a ma­son jar or as fancy as a crys­tal vase. Choose one that has a wide mouth so there is room for your ma­te­ri­als. Fill the con­tainer with pinecones. Cre­ate height with green­ery boughs, spread­ing them out to gain the full ef­fect. Then bal­ance your dis­play with colour­ful poin­set­tia sticks and other picks cut to var­i­ous lengths. Fash­ion a bow with wire rib­bon and tie around the top of the base. Wreaths large and small Ar­ti­fi­cial wreaths are avail­able ei­ther plain or with lights. Whichever you pre­fer, it’s easy to per­son­al­ize to suit your home. Se­lect two or three colours for rib­bons, small or­na­ments and poin­set­tia picks. Wrap the rib­bon around first, then use craft wire to at­tach the or­na­ments. Fill out with picks and fin­ish with a bow.

En­joy mak­ing th­ese dec­o­ra­tions with the kids or your girl­friends. Plan a dec­o­rat­ing party and spread the joy.

The House to Home col­umn is pro­duced by Deb­bie Travis and Bar­bara Din­gle. Please email your ques­tions to house­2home@deb­bi­etravis.com. Fol­low Deb­bie on Twit­ter at www.twit­ter. com/deb­bie_­travis. Visit Deb­bie’s new web­site at www.deb­bi­etravis.com.

Deb­bie Travis, above, is renowned for cre­at­ing sim­ple and fab­u­lous hol­i­day dec­o­ra­tions with a few ba­sic ma­te­ri­als. Top right, var­i­ous sizes of or­na­ments and loops of

sparkling rib­bon can be used to dress your ta­ble. Bot­tom right, dec­o­rated lanterns can warm up your en­trance­way with sea­sonal charm.

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