Pure Con­fec­tion

In­spired by the sweet treats of the hol­i­day sea­son, the Coun­try Sam­pler stylists cook up charm­ing ac­cents for a rus­tic kitchen.

Country Sampler - - Decorate With Crafts -

At Christ­mas, one of the great­est gifts is time spent with fam­ily. That is

cer­tainly the case for Amelita and Darus Hime, who look for­ward to their large blended fam­ily gath­er­ing at their Port­land, In­di­ana, home. “All the kids come home for Christ­mas, and the kitchen is where ev­ery­one hangs out. It’s my fa­vorite part of the hol­i­day,” Amelita says.

It’s no won­der the whole fam­ily is drawn to the cou­ple’s re­cently re­mod­eled and ex­panded kitchen. The room is cozy and invit­ing, thanks to fea­tures such as the cab­i­nets and is­land built by Amelita’s brother us­ing wood from her for­mer in­laws’ barn. The rus­tic feel was in­spired by the dis­cov­ery that the home was built around an 1880s log cabin, which had been ob­scured for years un­der lath and plas­ter. One of the room’s walls was once an ex­te­rior wall of the cabin.

The home’s style suits Amelita’s dec­o­rat­ing pref­er­ence, which tends to­ward the prim­i­tive. Spe­cial pieces in­clude a pie safe made by one of Darus’ rel­a­tives and the wash­stand that once stood in her own par­ents’ kitchen. The stair­way was even de­signed to ac­com­mo­date that cher­ished piece.

To fur­ther en­hance the kitchen’s ap­peal, Coun­try Sam­pler stylists René Haines and Carolynn Geesaman clev­erly sprin­kled the room with de­lec­ta­ble dis­plays in tra­di­tional Christ­mas col­ors.

Keep read­ing to dis­cover their 17 en­chant­ing ideas for cel­e­brat­ing the sweet­ness of the sea­son.


1. Imp­ish ar­range­ment. A vin­tage-style cookie tin makes an apt base for a gath­er­ing of green­ery, berry picks, candy canes and or­na­ments, with what ap­pears to be a mis­chievous elf div­ing in for a treat. To cre­ate the il­lu­sion, make “elf legs” by bend­ing a wired candy cane in half and glu­ing a small boot or­na­ment to each end.

2. Tip of the hat. Bring in an un­ex­pected item to show­case lit­tle treats, such as the top-hat tree top­per that el­e­vates a dish of sweets. “A piece like this can be used for more than just dec­o­rat­ing a tree,” Carolynn says.

3. Ris­ing to the oc­ca­sion. Place smaller decor in an at­ten­tion-grab­bing spot, like this elf perched atop a two-level riser, which dou­bles as a stand for su­gar-cookie “trees.” His part­ner frol­ics nearby on a quilted throw turned cozy ta­ble cover.


4. Baker’s choice. Trim a small wool tree with or­na­ments made from tiny bak­ing cups in al­ter­nat­ing lay­ers of red and white. Fold each cup in half twice to form a tri­an­gle shape, plac­ing a dab of hot glue in­side to hold the shape. Layer and glue three tri­an­gles to­gether for each or­na­ment. If you like, add red polka dots to the white bak­ing cups with a marker. Glue a twine loop to the top for a hanger, cov­er­ing the ends with a jumbo star sprin­kle. Clip the or­na­ments to the tree with mini clothes­pins. Sur­round the tree base with a table­top tree skirt and petite pack­ages. This pint-size setup is the per­fect ad­di­tion to a room that is not large enough for a full-size tree.

5. Orna-mint-al ac­cents. Make cup­cake pedestals from melted pep­per­mint can­dies and candy canes. Crown the pedestals with good­ies, like these cup­cakes topped with white choco­late and a pep­per­mint ball.

6. Snow glow. Give plain glass votive hold­ers a dose of win­ter whimsy by coat­ing the out­side with spray ad­he­sive and rolling each one in sparkly faux snow, press­ing it lightly to ad­here. Wrap the snow-coated hold­ers with red and green rib­bon and adorn them with holly and ivy to com­plete the fes­tive trans­for­ma­tion. Set each votive holder atop a tiny saucer from a child’s tea set and sur­round the base with minia­ture foil-wrapped presents from a crafts store.

7. Jolly group­ings. Se­lect a stand­out piece, such as a prim­i­tive Santa, to pre­side over a vi­gnette, or pile an as­sort­ment of sim­ple hol­i­day dec­o­ra­tions in the com­part­ments of a lazy Su­san to max­i­mize their im­pact.


8. Su­gar coated. Turn large ma­son jars into glow­ing decor. Base coat the out­side of the glass with cream-col­ored chalky-fin­ish paint and add de­tail­ing with red chalkyfin­ish paint, cre­at­ing pat­terns rang­ing from candy stripes to polka dots. Fill the jars with bat­tery-pow­ered can­dles or twin­kle lights.

9. Crown­ing glory. Draw eyes to the top of a cabi­net with an en­gag­ing dis­play of pranc­ing rein­deer fig­ures com­bined with trail­ing green­ery and a sea­sonal sign.

10. Fun fab­ri­ca­tions. Try tex­tiles to add a soft touch to wood pieces, such as the folded quilted throws that bal­ance the dec­o­ra­tive items on the up­per shelves of this pie safe and the co­or­di­nat­ing stock­ing that lends charm to the open door. ”Stock­ings are not just for man­tels,” René ex­plains.

11. Santa land. Cre­ate a small group­ing of re­lated Christ­mas col­lectibles, like these vin­tage Santa mugs and match­ing punch bowl, bring­ing in el­e­ments used nearby— pinecones and wee trees, for ex­am­ple—for a co­he­sive look.

12. Trees that please. Give a lift to smaller bot­tle-brush trees by plac­ing or glu­ing them on in­ex­pen­sive hol­i­day can­dles. The pat­terns and height vari­a­tions make a dy­namic back­drop for a folk-art elf.

13. Gift bas­ket. Pile wrapped pack­ages into a bas­ket and slide it be­low a tall piece of fur­ni­ture. It will fes­tively fill the empty space and pro­vide an ex­tra spot for stash­ing gifts.

To view a video of more how-to hints for bring­ing hol­i­day cheer to your home, visit www. youtube.com/Coun­trySam­plerMag.


14. Col­or­ful count­down. As­sem­ble a hang­ing Ad­vent calendar that in­cor­po­rates red, white and green rib­bons of vary­ing widths and lengths. Tie one end of each rib­bon around a hor­i­zon­tal bar. (A peg rack or towel bar would work just as well as this wash­stand.) Af­fix a printed pa­per num­ber from 1 to 25 to each rib­bon and tie a small candy to the loose ends. 15. Choco­late bar.

Wel­come guests for a win­ter warm-up by cre­at­ing a hot co­coa sta­tion. Con­tain powdered co­coa and a scoop in a Santa pitcher sur­rounded by con­tain­ers brim­ming with top­pings, in­clud­ing jars of pep­per­mints and marsh­mal­lows at­tached to the tops of painted and re­pur­posed can­dle­sticks. A rib­bon-wrapped tin fit­ted with greens and a bat­tery-pow­ered can­dle paired with a can­dlelit wreath on the wall cast a warm glow over the sweet spread.

16. For­ever green. Choose a liv­ing tree in lieu of a faux fir. Hide the potted base within a cute con­tainer, such as an olive bucket. Keep it wa­tered and plant it at win­ter’s end. René decked this tree with bead gar­land, snowflakes and or­na­ments made by glu­ing as­sorted hard can­dies to­gether. Over­head, a lantern shines with can­dies in­stead of a can­dle.

17. Jin­gle gar­land. René al­ter­nated sleigh bells with pom-poms and rib­bon to fash­ion rop­ing on the beam near the stair­case. The bells are a nod to the Santa sign and the themed hol­i­day sen­ti­ment on the ad­ja­cent wall. H

To learn how to cre­ate these cute pep­per­mint cup­cake pedestals, see page 4.

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