Guest Blogger Roundup: Christmas Decor

By Kate Riley November 27, 2009

Happy Friday friends.  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  I’m finishing up some holiday décor around my house, and will be giving a tour very soon.  I am also putting the final finishing touches on my new office space in anticipation of the big reveal – I just can’t wait to show you the before and after. 

Today, I’m wrapping up Guest Blogger Week with this compilation of decorating ideas from a few more friends across blogland. 

Stephanie wrote to me with this idea for an elegant centerpiece for a small table.

“With husband and I living in an apartment in our first year though, we don’t have a whole lot of room to store such things. So, this year I wanted to make something that could be easily stored or even discarded and remade for next year.

tree tilt

The husband and I went branch hunting earlier this week and found exactly what I had pictured.  I used a tissue cover from HomeGoods, a branch from the neighborhood, some floral foam and moss.”

supplies 1 edited

She stabilized the branch in floral foam, then covered the top with moss. 

tissue box 1 edited

Then she hung simple small silver ornaments and some crystals, both from the local craft store.centerpiece 1


close up 1

Christmas linens: Crate + Barrel

whole table tilt


Thanks Stephanie for your elegant and affordable table top tree idea !




Next, Sandy from Modern Simplicity writes about her decorative touches for her own holiday home. 

Sandy says:

“We get a ton of holiday cards, and I was never sure how to display them all nicely until I hit upon this idea last year. We decorate our kitchen dining area with festive garland, then attach our cards to it as they come in the mail throughout the season. I use large gold paperclips to attach them — the clips are hidden behind the cards. It’s fun to watch the garland go from plain to overflowing by New Year’s.

sandy 2

sandy 3

Ornaments are always fun to make, and they can really help personalize your tree, particularly if you customize them for your family.  Glass ornaments are very inexpensive at craft stores, and easy to personalize. Here’s a few I made in just a couple of minutes using Uppercase Living vinyl or you can use stickers, rub-ons, or even paint.  Leave them empty or fill them with fake snow, glitter, or other small objects. My favorite is the Seven Blessings Ornament (shown as Joy) — simply decorate a plain glass ornament, then fill it with 7 strips of paper with written blessings for the coming year.”

sandy 4

You can purchase Uppercase Living products from Sandy for your home right here.

Thanks so much Sandy !




Amanda at The Eck Life offers up her clever idea for repurposing tomato cages into miniature Christmas trees.  Take a look at her before and after. 

amanda tree duo

For the full tutorial on this transformation, hop on over to her blog right here




Lisa Shatzer sent me this clever idea: walnut topiaries.

topiary final

Lisa writes:

“Here is my winter wonderland tablescape featuring two walnut topiaries.  This tablescape would be great for a special holiday dinner or set up on a buffet table for a holiday party.

Supplies: A Styrofoam ball, spray adhesive for Styrofoam, wooden dowel, some skinny twigs, a pot (pick one with some weight to it because the walnuts are heavy), floral foam, moss, white spray paint, brown spray paint, white craft paint, stain, naturally wired, rubber bands, a hot glue gun and several dozen walnuts (one topiary has about 85 walnuts on it).

topiary supplies 

Spray paint the walnuts white.  The next step is staining the walnuts.  I used a small bottle of stain from the craft store. I folded up a paper towel, poured some stain on it and quickly rolled the nuts in the stain. It doesn’t need to be perfect because the next step is spraying them again with the white spray paint. This time you are just going to mist the walnuts so that some of the underlying stain shows through.

walnuts four stages 

Spray your styrofoam ball and dowel with dark brown spray paint and allow to dry. Spray half of the ball with spray adhesive allow to sit for a couple of minutes, then cover with moss. Turn the ball over and complete the other side.  Carve a hole in the bottom of the ball and insert your dowel. Place the bottom of the dowel in your pot filled with floral foam. Hot glue the first walnut to the top center of the ball, then work your way down the sides. Then continue in concentric circles. When one side of the ball is covered, turn it and fill in the other side. Place your walnuts as close together as you can.

walnut topiary halfway

For the trunk of the topiary, place two rubber bands on each side of your dowel at the top and bottom. Take your skinny twigs and start sliding them in with the rubber bands holding them in place. Use a product call Naturally Wired (in the floral department of your craft store).  Circle the top, bottom and middle of the dowel covered in twigs with the wire and then remove your rubber bands.  Take small pieces of moss and squish them into the openings between the twigs and dowel. Then rub on small bits of white craft paint.

walnut topiary trunk

Use a hot glue gun or some craft adhesive to secure the ball to the dowel and secure the end of the dowel into the floral foam in your pot. Cover the floral foam with moss and embellish any way you like. I used some silvery craft berries and cascading ribbon.”

Thanks so much Lisa for sharing your creativity.  These make quite a striking centerpiece, don’t you think? 

walnut topiary pair



Finally, Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog offers up her tip on adding a little glitz while trimming your tree with this idea about adding bead strands with simple fishing line and craft beads.  

Check this out:

kasey up close

Kasey writes:

“To get this look, cut fishing wire into strands of equal lengths, approximately 42” long.  For a 7-foot tree, you’ll need about 50 strands do the entire tree or 25 strands if your tree stands against a wall. Bead your strands by tying a knot in the middle every few inches. 

kasey knot

Tie the strands onto the hooks or paperclips.  Add strands to tree by placing hooks in the middle of the tree and then separating the strands so that they look like they are floating across the branches. To finish,  add the hooks to the top half and spread out the strands until the entire tree is covered.”

kasey tree after


Thanks so much Kasey for yet another elegant and affordable tip on adding those little extra special touches during the holiday season.  

This concludes Guest Blogger Week. I want to thank everyone who sent me their ideas – there were over sixty of you!  I will definitely be doing this again next year. 

With all of these helpful tips, I must say I am so ready to decorate my home top to bottom for Christmas. 

How about you ?


  1. Well this stuff sure makes me wish I was decorating my own home. We’re moving once again before Christmas so sad that we wont be decorating as much….soon though…I keep telling myself Good things come to those who wait. I cannot wait until we get settled once again! Thanks for posting and keeping me in the spirit.:)

  2. Everyone’s ideas are so creative! The beaded fishing line really adds a beautiful sparkle to the tree!

  3. Love the Blessings ornament! Used it with a little modification. We used 12 blessings (one for each month), and used fishing wire to tie, with a bead on the end, and inserted the blessing and string, but left the line with the bead attached, out of the ornament,hanging out of it. Then we capped it off. It’s easier to pull the blessings out this way. Thanks for this great tutorial and blessed idea!

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