Simple & Last Second

By Kate Riley December 15, 2010

Hello hello!  What are you up to these days?  Around these parts there’s some last second decorating going on, getting ready for our holiday gathering on Saturday. 

I’m like a moth to a flame when it comes to sparkle at Christmastime.  Call me a Pollyanna, but I’m also fond of draping sparkly beads where light will catch them, so I made this simple whimsical beaded garland yesterday. 

ornaments garland chandy


Oh yes, of course you can find all sorts of beaded garland everywhere, but I had the supplies on hand in my box of leftover crafty stuff, and I just didn’t feel like changing out of my pajamas.  I made this one to fit the kitchen chandy out of jewelry beads, flat glass marbles, hot glue, and some fishing line. 


leftover marbles

beads and glue

I added a few more ornaments for fun (again, more fishing line)

marbles and bead garland


It is a universal truth that fishing line and floral wire are God’s gift to holiday decorators.  And wired ribbon.  I don’t think I’d even bother if I couldn’t rely on those trusty three.  It’s how got these up in my kitchen window.

  fishing line


I also finished up a few rosemary wreaths for color and fragrance in the family room.  I started them last weekend, but didn’t finish until today.   Believe it or not, they’re made out of wire hangers and yard clippings.  Rosemary, in fact, because it’s plentiful, free, and grows like a stinkin’ weed in my yard. 


cg rosemary wreaths on mirrors


They hang on those three mirrors in our family room that I spray painted earlier this year.  I can’t believe I didn’t do this years ago, it’s almost like I installed new windows, they pull so much light into this space.   

Anyway, the wreaths.  So easy, you won’t believe it.  You got rosemary?  Got a neighbor or friend with rosemary?  Got a neighborhood park with rosemary?  Clip some.  Just don’t get caught.  I’m kidding!  Please acquire some rosemary in a lawful manner.  If you didn’t, I don’t want to hear about it.   

rosemary hangers


Okay, now bend your wire hanger into a circle-ish shape.  Don’t worry about perfection, the greenery will disguise the hanger. 

circle shape


Next, use floral wire to secure your first layer of rosemary to the hanger. 

first layer


After the first layer is complete, insert additional sprigs into the wire for a more natural look.   Add some wired ribbon and there you have it, a Ballard Design like look for free.  And oh so fragrant too.

fresh rosemary wreath


I wish you had a scratch n’ sniff computer screen. 

3 rosemary wreaths on mirror


But I must tell you, in a week the wreaths will perish and the garland will get all tangled up when I try to take it down and I will curse it, so it may end up in the trash at the end of the season. 

This next ornament won’t.  Here’s my new favorite decoration ~ it came home from preschool with my son today.  I love when my kid makes me things and when I ask him why he says “becaws I wuv you.”   *sniffle* 

preschool pinecone


It’s official, my holiday decorating is now complete. 

(Please don’t quote me on that.) 





  1. Love those rosemary wreaths! I have a big bush of the stuff by my mailbox, so I might just have to run out there and clip some…well, maybe when the temperature increases a little. It was 11F this morning, and below 20 now. Too cold for North Carolina!

    That pine cone ornament is really sweet. I know what you mean bout those preschool treasures.


  2. I LOVE these latest additions to your holiday decor! Especially the rosemary … I can just imagine how amazing that smells. And, it looks amazing too! :)

  3. Wow, you have given me so many ideas for how to decorate a predominantly white house. Hopefully they’ll be able to help keep away the “I’m living in a mental asylum” feeling. Thanks!

  4. I love every single thing you have done, especially the garland and the wreaths, so simple and pretty!!! I think we decorating types are never done decorating, it is a little scary sometimes, isn’t it?!!! Merry, merry christmas to you,Kathysue

  5. I love the scent of rosemary! We haven’t been in our house long enough to find a safe microclimate (we are just slightly to cold for every variety to live) to plant new rosemary bushes so I went and got some essential oil to put in my burner this Christmas.

    Now I can’t wait to grow some more and make wreaths. i never thought of that, but I bet the would be good near windows in the summertime too! I used to hang sprigs, but this is so much more chic.

  6. I lost half of my rosemary last year in a cold snap (either that or it got too water logged) so I’m hoping it will fill in more so I can make a wreath like that! love those ‘got it from my backyard’ projects!

  7. I love the idea of using the rosemary, it would smell so good. Mine is always dead by Christmas…hmm, maybe next year I could bring a pot indoors.

    Isn’t it sweet when your little one brings you something…so cute.

  8. Your house is so gorgeous but I think my favorite decoration is the ornament your son made you. So sweet and especially what he said. That’s precious. I think I need to make a rosemary wreath for our kitchen window. It smells wonderful. I love the simplicty of it.

  9. I love the wreaths! The party-goers will definitely enjoy the added touches you have made. Happy Holidays!

  10. Super cute! I love the rosemary wreaths! They remind me of the Eddie Ross wreaths…well sort of! Maybe because of the hangers??? :)

  11. Loved what you did to the fishing line and marbles! And also those rosemary wreaths! I can imagine how it smells now! Divine! Enjoy the day, Kellie xx

  12. Rosemary wreaths!! THAT is fantastic – am definitely doing those!! Will work perfectly here in Sydney and might scare off some of the icky spiders we battle in Summertime..(OMG they are so big!!).
    Love all of what you did and shared. Thank you!

    xx Charlotta

  13. Your house is beautiful and so serene. You guys do a great job’ So great at Christmas time and anytime. I visit you everyday and I am in awe. Thanks for letting us stop by

  14. Probably my all time favorite decorations this year. So pretty. I esp. love the Rosemary wreath. Thank you ~ Happy Holidays : )

  15. Oh. My. Goodness.
    I just moved into a new house that has (I swear to you) a rosemary TREE in the front yard. I was going to spend the day cleaning and unpacking but now I am forced to make a rosemary wreath. Genius, I tell you!! Thanks for posting this!

  16. wow I cannot believe how wonderful your house looks!!! I luv the white!! and you decor for xmas is DEVINE!!! thank you for sharing.. ;) I am inspired to start working on my house!

  17. Wish rosemary grew like a weed here! I had 2 huge bushes that were killed in our cold snap and snow 2 years ago, sniff….. Enjoy the smell! I am fortunate to live where cedar and pine are in abundance. I just clip branches on my walk and arrange all over the house. They smell divine and then in a few weeks I replace with fresh ones!

  18. “Please acquire rosemary in a lawful manner.” One of the many reasons I LOVE reading this blog! Up until now, I have been reserving my rosemary for cooking (I can’t believe people pay money for pots of it at the store) but rosemary wreaths is a FANTASTIC idea! I will definitely be making a few of these this holiday season. Thanks for sharing, I hope the party is a success!

  19. The Rosemary wreaths are totally brilliant (and I loooove the smell of rosemary). I only have a small pot of it but if I ever come a across it in abundance – I’ll be doing something fun like this!

  20. Great rosemary wreath tutorial! Everything looks so dreamy and gorgeous ;). And my little 4yr old man brought home some ornaments for the tree. They are ugly, they don’t match my theme, but of course we are proudly displaying them! Love this sweet time :).

  21. I love the rosemary wreaths. Wish I had some in my backyard! I’ve been admiring those mirrors in your house every time you post pictures of that room. Did you make those or purchase them somewhere? If you say they’re from the thrift store or a yard sale I’ll cry. I’ve been looking for something exactly like that for my dining room

  22. Looks lovely, Kate. I love the simple things you do to make the season so much more special. And what a cute ornament your son came home with! I just found one my brother made my dad when he was about 5 and it says “To: Daddy From: Son. Happy Christmas!” Haha (: Too cute

  23. Sooooo pretty! I LOVE the beaded garland and the wreaths are TDF. I’m filing these ideas away for next year. I think I’m done with my decorating as well. As always – I wish I’d done more but I’m going to be happy with what we have and enjoy the rest of the season. We have lots of those adorable preschool ornaments too. They are the best!

  24. Okay Okay. I am now looking at my home and feeling ashamed. How do I call myself a DIYer when you’ve set the bar so high. Sigh. Back to the drawing board. Great work. I’m very impressed!

  25. I adore those rosemary wreaths. I’m also loving your chandelier. I just got one almost identical to it from my clients home and I’m getting ready to paint it up, love how yours looks. Love your holiday decor…just lovely. Hugs-Carrie

  26. I love what you did with the jeweled garland! So pretty, and I am sure it’s even better in person with the lights hitting them. Great idea!!

  27. Kate,
    Those wreaths look amazing! And they were so simple to make. I do not have rosemary, but I bet I could make it with other greenery in my yard, don’t cha think?
    I love your beaded garland too. Such a great idea to hot glue them to the fishing line.

    I haven’t been able to decorate much with teaching this year. Makes me sad. :(
    We have another snow day tomorrow…lots of ice around here…so I am officially done teaching. Woohoo!
    I can’t wait to get my blog on in January!!!

    Have a great weekend!

  28. Ha! I just wrote my ‘final’ Christmas home tour with my ‘final’ Christmas project for tomorrows post! Now I’m looking at your wreaths and thinking, ‘hmmm.’ I’ve already made magnolia and cranberry wreaths…might as well go for a hat trick! Do your hands still smell of Rosemary? I’m always hacking ours down bc it’s out of control. Usually we let it dry, then toss in the chiminea…divine on a cold night!

  29. Please help. I think my brain is sort of Christmased out. When you made the lovely glass and marble garland did you just glue the fishing line to each piece? Or was each piece wrapped or perhaps the line was sandwiched between two pieces? And that was enough to hold them? I am just not clear on this part. DIY fatigue I think.

    Thanks Kate.

  30. I think my favorite decorations are the simplest! Love the wreaths especially! You are very talented! Love how your home is decorated for the holidays!

Leave a comment!

Keep the conversation going! Your email address will not be published.*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Lately on Instagram (@centsationalstyle)