Happy December all! The month of holiday spirits, Christmas, and presents.
And most importantly, a new blog spotlight! Today I want to introduce you to The Splendidly Imperfect Miss M. Sara and I have been online buds since before I even started blogging – in fact, I think she was among the very first bloggers that I commented on. I know you’ll love her just as much as I do!
Hi! I want to thank Kat for inviting me to guest post today! My name is Sara, but on the internet I go by The Splendidly Imperfect Miss M! I’ve been blogging for about six and a half years now. I started blogging simply because it seemed like everyone else at the time was doing it, and I didn’t want to be the last one on the bandwagon. Isn’t that terrible? Since I’ve always been a journaler though, it’s been pretty easy to keep it up even after all this time. I pretty much blog about what I’m thinking about that day – whether it’s a new recipe I’ve tried, or thoughts about my toddler (or the new kid on the way!), or some craft I’ve done; it all makes it to the blog eventually. I love having this record of my day to day life that I can look back on and see what I was into (bento lunches! scrapbooking! cake decorating!) and when.
Lately, I’m really into decorating for every holiday and season, not just Christmas. It makes me so happy to have pretty little things tucked here and there in my home to celebrate every season, because they’re all worth celebrating to me! One thing that I hear over and over again from people is that they don’t know how to decorate. I think most people, myself included don’t really know how. We just muddle along until things look right. I thought I’d share some of my tips for seasonal decorating, Miss M style.
1. Don’t feel like you have to be limited to a mantel for seasonal decor. I personally don’t even have a fireplace, so I fake it. I hung a long shelf over our television to serve that purpose, but any flat surface is fair game. I have a long shelf behind our couch as a sofa table, a table in our entry, a bar in the kitchen, the dining room table, the top of the piano, and of course, my china hutch. Use what you have, and don’t worry about what you don’t.
2. Start with a clear surface. If you have a bunch of stuff on there already, it could limit your vision.
3. Pull everything you want to use that fits with your theme. You could use a specific color theme, or you could use a type of item, or a combination of both. This year I decided to decorate the entry table in golds, greens and browns, along with a lion theme to use my lion ornament collection.
5. Shop thrift stores, yard sales and Craigslist as well as places like Target and Costco for decor. While I wouldn’t trust used items such as lights, I have no problem picking up other types of decor items. Father Christmas, the elements for the cheese dome cloche project, the bead garland on the tree, the napkins for it’s skirt, the wooden lion, the footed bowl, the vintage ornaments, and the glitter reindeer all came from various thrift stores and yard sales.
6. Keep your eyes open for cute items all year long. That reindeer is one of my very favorite pieces and I bought it in May! I scored a new in the box Elf on Shelf for $5 in July. You never know when you’re going too come across the next treasure, or how long it is going to be there. Snatch things up when you find them and stash them away.
7. On candy – I love how a little dish or apothecary jar full of seasonal candy can help to round out a display. Unfortunately, I don’t want to have to feel like I have to EAT all that candy, you know what I mean? Also, some of the prettiest seasonal candies (candy corn, anyone?) don’t happen to be my favorites. It seemed so wasteful to buy it only for it to be thrown out in a few weeks, so I just decided to keep it. I dump it into a plastic baggie and stick it in a candy box in a closet. No one ever eats it so it’s fine. Those gold Irish Creme kisses on my table are a couple years old! They were gross, no one liked them, but the green and gold work perfectly for Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day displays.
8. Mess with it. Put stuff up. Move them around. Stack them. Add stuff. Remove stuff. Push things back. Move them forward. Layer some things. What’s the worst that can happen? You don’t like it? Just put it back!
9. Remember that balance is key. You don’t want all of your tall items on one side of your display. If you need height on the other side, for balance, find a pedestal or some books that you can put under your items. Since my tree was so tall on one end of the table I knew I needed something tallish on the other end. Putting Father Christmas on the base for the cheese dome cloche gave him just the boost he needed! I also had the bowl of ornaments closer to him than the tree to give that end of the table more weight visually. After my large elements were in place, I went back and filled in the blank areas with smaller items. The dish was actually a last minute addition. I knew I wanted something in that empty spot, and due to the lion already being short it needed to be very low. I rummaged through my junk closet and came up with the metal leaf dish!
10. Finally, just remember that it’s not a big deal. So it doesn’t look absolutely perfect? No worries! You can re-do it later. You can change something out tomorrow. You can start from scratch next year. It’s just stuff. Last year that entry table held that small tree decorated with Hello Kitty ornaments and lots or brightly colored items. If you liked what you did last year though, by all means, recreate it! There really are no rules. It’s your house and ultimately, you should do what works for your family (not every toddler is going to resist breakables and candy at eye level) and makes you happy.
I hope I was able to help you come up with some ideas for your holiday decorating. I’ll probably be messing with my decor all month, so if you want to see what else I come up with, be sure to stop by my blog and visit!