All that sparkles adds to fes­tive cheer

Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life -

Whether you are go­ing for an over-the-top treat­ment, or pre­fer a min­i­mal look, hol­i­day lights, wreaths, gar­lands and rib­bon can all add sea­sonal cheer to your decor. 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 Cana­di­antire.ca. Here are some sug­ges­tions that will take lit­tle time and make a big im­pact. To help you get started, shop for the es­sen­tials first, so that you have ev­ery­thing at your fin­ger­tips. My es­sen­tials are: a hot-glue gun and ex­tra sticks of glue; craft wire (thin gauge); twine; scis­sors; fes­tive rib­bon, in­clud­ing wired rib­bon; or­na­ments; and green­ery spray sticks.

Light some 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.

Cre­ate unique cen­tre­pieces. A hand-crafted 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 size dis­play, but this works with a serv­ing plat­ter or tray if you want a large cen- tre­piece. 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 for 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. Fill the con­tainer with pine cones. 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 vase.

Dis­play wreaths large and small. Ar­ti­fi­cial wreaths are avail­able ei­ther plain or with lights and other dec­o­ra­tions.

Se­lect two or three colours for rib­bon, 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.

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