Well, I have a few ideas that might invigorate your holiday decorating spirit.  With some creative repurposing, just a little effort and even less money, you can infuse your living space with fun, fresh and surprisingly beautiful holiday décor.  Furthermore, by using the stuff you already have, you’ll be saving some green while also being green. 


Holiday Tree:

Reimagined, Reinvented.
Every time, I pass by a Christmas tree lot, I keep asking myself, “Why are we still doing this?”  And the artificial tree alterative is, well, artificial.  I say, let’s back up, free the tree from its literal symbolism and have some fun.  My ladder tree is a playful and clever take on the traditional tree.  And its abstract nature liberates it from any one particular faith.  So, whatever you believe, this is a tree you can have!


All I did was borrow a ladder (I snagged an aluminum one but an old wooden one would be even better) and strung some holiday lights artfully on it.  I like these lights with their big, round bulbs but use whatever you have (non-blinking, please!).  For my ornaments, I took some burnt out light bulbs that were waiting to be recycled and painted stripes using ordinary craft paint.  I like mixing different types of bulbs but, once again, use whatever you have.  Glitter sprinkled on the paint before it dries would be fun too! 


Ladder (borrowed)            FREE

Lights (had ‘em)            FREE

Light bulbs (saved burnt out ones)    FREE

Craft paint (.99c a bottle)        

$4.30 String/dental floss (had it)        FREE
TOTAL:                $4.30


The Holiday Centerpiece

A Study in Repurposing
Tabletop décor actually has a tough job.  It is meant to impress your guests while also making them feel comfortable and at ease.  I think my holiday centerpiece does that quite well.  Its iced over look mixed with the warm glow of candlelight conveys the mood of season.  Its vibe is effortless, elegant and special. 


I took a bag of mixed fruit from the grocery store, some stemware and clear votive holders I already had and brushed them all with some lightly beaten egg whites.  Then I sprinkled them with regular table sugar to create an even coating.  Then after it all dried (takes only a few minutes), I arranged the objects on my table (inverting the stemware to create a little platform for tea light candles).  Light your tea lights, and voila!  Instant atmosphere.  If you’re nervous about separating eggs, you can find powdered egg whites in the baking aisle of the grocery store.  And the good news is clean up is a breeze:  just soak everything in water to dissolve the sugar coating.  If you used the pasteurized powdered egg white powder, even the fruit can be washed off and eaten!


Glassware (had ‘em)            FREE

Bag of mixed fresh fruit        $6.48

Sugar (had it)               FREE

Tea lights (about .10c each)        $1.08

Eggs (about .36c each)        $.072

TOTAL:                $8.28


Holiday Wreath:

Nothing becomes something!
A holiday wreath can be more than just a mishmash of traditional holiday symbols, textures and colors.  It can be your personal statement!  I like wreaths composed of the unexpected.  Keep a defined color or pattern palette for a high design, modern look. Dig out a box of last year’s holiday cards or scraps of leftover gift wrap…. be creative and use what you have!  Mine is made with some leftover copies of June issue of the Vital Voice. 


HOW:    I divided and cut several covers of the magazine into four equal rectangles.  A magazine cover works well since it is a little thicker than regular paper, Then, I placed a salad plate upside down on the counter to use as a guide.  I fanned out the cut out sections around the plate, slightly overlapping until the entire wreath was formed.  When I was happy with the arrangement, using a glue stick, I affixed the overlapping sections to each other.  The bow was made using two small strips of bubble wrap.  I wanted the wreath to float off the door, so I just sliced up a cardboard tube from a used up roll of paper towels and glued them to back, spaced evenly. 


Vital Voice Covers (Thanks Darin!)        FREE

Glue Stick (had it)                FREE

Bubble wrap scraps (had it)            FREE

Cardboard paper towel tube (had it)        FREE
TOTAL                    FREE!