Holiday Decorating by Hand
A Connecticut homeowner makes her farmhouse sparkle for the holidays with simple-to-make decorations.
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With a Sparkle
Homeowner Lauren Henry compares holiday decorations to jewelry, saying they should complement your home's decor, not compete with it. Following this philosophy, Lauren accessorizes her house with simple yet sparkling trimmings. For instance, each year she makes one or two new ornaments for her tree, such as glittered foam balls or jeweled cardboard stars, then fills in with store-bought trimmings.
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Elegance Under Wraps
Wrapped packages beneath the tree are an important part of Lauren's decorating scheme. Every box is covered in solid or subtly patterned papers in her blue-and-green color scheme and dressed up with a shimmery silver ornament tied to a ribbon bow.
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Three classic decorations at the fireplace -- a festive wreath, evergreen boughs, and Christmas stockings -- make a stunning statement in their simplicity.
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Monogrammed with Care
Lauren personalizes the all-white stockings hung at the fireplace with glittering monograms. To copy her idea, thread tiny silver beads onto thin wire and shape the wire to form an initial, then secure the monogram to the stocking with a few stitches.
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Lauren's do-it-yourself Christmas touches begin at the front door, where guests are greeted by a classic natural wreath embellished with ornaments in her holiday color scheme and a long white bow.
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In the entry, more white bows add a soft touch to fresh cedar garland draped loosely down the staircase.
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Lauren's bows are a thrifty way to add holiday style. Three yards of white burlap or linen fabric yields about a dozen large bows. Use pinking sheers to keep the edges from fraying and to add a decorative touch.
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White tulips in blue glasses seem more like a spring tabletop centerpiece than a winter holiday decoration. Lauren makes the vases of flowers (which fit her holiday color palette) fit right in by arranging them artfully with oversize silver-painted pinecones.
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Inexpensive blue chandelier crystals dangle like teardrop earrings from bare tree branches to make an unexpected Christmas decoration. To make the beaded candy cane ornaments, thread glass beads onto a 6-inch length of jewelry wire, changing colors halfway. (Loop the ends so the beads don't fall off.) Fold the wire in half, then twist and bend into shape.
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Lauren drapes beaded garlands, necklace-style, above her windows for a surprisingly elegant holiday swag.
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