Has time slipped by so quickly that your home still feels as if it’s decorated for Christmas? (It’s ok…I found a frosted pinecone under the loveseat last week. True story.) Well, I’ve got your back with these five quick and easy tips to make your home feel more like summer!
We’re a dime a dozen — last-minute Christmas gift wrappers. I admit that I’m guilty sometimes. But I come by it honestly, my momma is a last minute Christmas gift wrapper, too. I think it’s genetic. Growing up, she would do all her shopping a few days before Christmas, and then she would make me help her wrap all the gifts on Christmas Eve. I secretly loved it. To this day, I still love wrapping gifts. The only thing that has changed since then is that I now try to plan ahead so all my gifts are personalized and coordinated. Unfortunately, I feel especially behind this year. Maybe it’s because I haven’t felt too Christmasy in Tennessee’s not-so-Christmassy, 70-degree weather. Because of this unseasonal mood killer, I found myself sitting in the living room, two days before Christmas, brainstorming ways to create pretty wrapping to make my gifts look extra special. So after a little self pep talk, a quick trip to the store and a few hours of cutting and taping, I am feeling super giddy about how cute my gifts turned out, and I thought I’d share with you!
The season of thanks is made for chilly temps and fireside cuddles. I don’t know about you, but when I’m sitting in front of dancing flames, my eyes tend to stare at the fireplace mantle—it just kind of sticks out there, you know? Mantles are a natural focal point for the entire room, and when you have a natural focal point, you should take advantage of it! During most holidays, the mantle is the only thing I decorate for a few reasons; it’s seen frequently, and the creative options are endless!
I come from a tight-knit family. One that is rich in love, humility and long-standing traditions. Growing up, we spent every birthday, holiday and Sunday sittin’ at my Nana’s kitchen table. When it was your birthday, you sat at the head of the table. But if you even tried to eat Sunday lunch in the living room, you would get a mean talking to. Rules were rules. There as a family, we shared laughs, our hearts, coupons and church gossip (oh, you know… who came in late, who didn’t show up and who was tone deaf). That table has always been like Grand Central Station for us, and, thankfully, it’s still there and welcomes me well with each visit back home.
The memories that are made and shared at the table are held dear for a reason. In Luke 7:34, Jesus himself said that “the Son of Man came eating and drinking”. Throughout the gospel of Luke, Jesus seemed to literally always be at a meal. No matter your profession or social ranking, Jesus was open to sharing a meal with you. Even today, meals together are a powerful expression of welcomeness and friendship. In a graceless culture, extending your home and table to others can turn into an outward expression of God’s grace and mission. Pretty stinkin’ cool, huh?
So clearly, an eye-catching kitchen table is a high priority in our home, and I try to dress it beautifully to reflect each season. This fall, I wanted a simple table-scape made up of deep colors and natural elements. The entire design for my table was built around a Magnolia leaf garland that I DIY’d. This garland is easy and inexpensive to make but adds incredible depth and texture.
To make your own Magnolia garland you first need to measure the length of your table. (You will need around 25 leaves per foot.) Then, gather your supplies (I’ll link them as I talk about them and also have a supply list below). All you need is wire, wire cutters and Magnolia leaves from outside. (I borrow Magnolia leaves from the Olive Garden parking lot for my projects. Shhh…) Once you have all the leaves you need, string two leaves on your wire at a time. To have the leaves stand up against each other like in my photos, pair the leaves with the backsides (the brownish side) touching each other, and then string on the wire. Continue to string leaves until you fill the desired length of your garland, make knots at each end and you’re done! Adding to the table, I paired the garland with white candles, gold chargers (from the Dollar Tree), twigs, and fall-colored flowers. Building onto this table-scape, you could add other fun fall décor like small white pumpkins or birch wood candle holders. (You could even take this garland through any season, exchange the fall-color flowers for sunflowers in the summer, or add pastel Easter eggs and blue and white hydrangeas for spring. The options are endless!) One last thing, napkins and silverware. We have limited utensils here in the Damas household, so we can’t just throw that stuff out there like candy. But it looks fabulous if you have more than one set to spare!
When it comes to Fall decorating, my first DIY is always a wreath for the front door. There is just something so cozy that transpires once you place a fall wreath on your door; it sets the tone for the crisp season ahead.
For me, the “Fall Wreath Project” process is the exact same every year. I venture out to Hobby Lobby in search of the perfect floral/Fall garland to use only to discover that nothing really catches my eye. Well, nothing except for floral picks, which are the really long stemmed flowers and pieces meant to just add some extra charm to a larger arrangement. To me, the floral picks themselves are perfect all on their own (and inexpensive!). The thing about floral picks is that they are quite large — almost too large to work with for a smaller DIY wreath unless you break them apart. And even though I know someone talented at Hobby Lobby took their sweet time to piece these picks together just right, taking them apart is exactly what I do. (But we’ll just keep that between us, okay?)
Interested? Here’s how you can use floral picks for a Simple DIY Fall Wreath.
First, gather your supplies. (This DIY is real simple, ya’ll. You only need four items!)