Easy Peezy Christmas Cheer

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Bright Spots Make a small centerpiece starting with a clean tuna, cat food, or similar round can with a low profile. Put the can on a square of stiff fabric or wrapping paper and cover the can by pulling up the fabric and surrounding it with a rubber band. Tie a ribbon around the can to cover the rubber band and put a small piece of oasis or Styrofoam in the can. Clip four inch pieces of holly, cedar, or juniper and stick a pyramid into the foam. Start by putting sprigs in a flat circle around the can and build up from there. Now, use clear craft glue to drop in a few tiny pine cones or berries from the craft store. If the holly has berries, you are done and any little space or dinner tray gets a holiday boost. Hydrangea Topiary If you are a procrastinator and never did clip those hydrangea blossoms off the shrubs, this decoration is for you. Spray each dried flower with a light layer of gold spray paint and let them dry while you assemble the topiary base. Start with a six inch clay pot with a chunk of oasis in it. Drop in a dowel topped with another piece of oasis. Wrap the dowel with wide gold ribbon, leaving a foot loose at the top and bottom. Use florist picks or toothpicks to crowd the hydrangeas onto the oasis at the top of the dowel and then wrap the loose ribbon around its base. Fill the top of the pot with more hydrangeas and evergreen vine like Asiatic jasmine. Let some wind around the dowel and into the top if you like where you can mix it with the gold ribbon left at the base of the dowel. Add stars or twinkly lights for an especially festive touch. Okra Stars and Magnolia Showers I love to use what’s hanging around in the yard to decorate for the holidays, and usually leave some okra unpicked so it will dry out nicely. I like to shake them to hear the seeds rattle, but that is not necessary for this project. Spray the okra pods gold or silver, paint skinny Santa faces on them, with their cap for a hat and a beard as long as the pod. I gather the painted pods into circles, run wire through the caps to bring them as tight as possible. At the center you can glue a gold circle, a white snowflake, or an ornament with gold on it. Hang the stars in windows or nestle them into a wreath and start a conversation as visitors try to figure them out. My mother always gathered magnolia branches into a flat door swag tied with the biggest red velvet ribbon she could make. Gild them with a light spray of that gold spray paint for a shiny yet elegant door decoration. Finally, I clip nandina berries with a few leaves behind them and place these natural holiday decorations into a Santa’s boot I inherited. You can put them in a green bowl, a glass brandy snifter, or a crystal candy dish. Water is optional.

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