December 24, 2016
The Grinch must have sneaked up and stolen the last three weeks from my calendar! It’s down to the last week and I’m almost out of time, but I’m not going to let that green goblin spoil this Christmas.
How does this season fly by so fast? What happened to all the time I need to decorate and prepare?
Anyone else have this issue?
Don’t worry, I’ve come up with some quick and simple ideas to spruce up the homestead before the guests arrive…
I know I’m not the only parent who is struggling right now to get the holiday decorations and presents in order. The kids are almost out of school and it’s down to the wire. Luckily, with the help of some Google searches and the local art supply store, I’ve come up with some last minute, eye-catching decorations to make the house pop just in the (Saint) Nick of time!
Sliding Door Murals and Snow on the Window
My ten-year-old daughter spent several blissful hours putting a ten-color assortment of liquid chalk markers to use on our sliding glass door. The great thing about Christmas trees is that they are easy to draw and super colorful. Gifts under the tree are just squares with two or three colored stripes, and even young children can make different colored circles for tree lights and glass spheres. My daughter and I had a great time creating a glass art scene for the ages. When it gets dark out, our picture stands out like a 3-D movie! I recommend having some old towels handy for erasing (which, sad to say, I had to do a lot more than she did), and also for keeping things clean when switching the tips from bullet point to chisel point. The bullet point is great for coloring large areas and for the bold outline of the tree, but the chisel point is better for precise lines and creating texture. My daughter’s tree came out better than mine, and I have to admit I am a bit jealous.
Now, if you're looking for some inspiration, check out Kara Paslay Design's Christmas window.
The Coolest Wrapping Paper: Homemade and Customized
I’ll admit it, I wait until the last minute to get all the gifts wrapped. Last year, I was scratching my head as I wandered around the house the day before Christmas Eve, trying to remember where the heck I hid Grandma’s gift! But in spite of my procrastination, I always enjoy putting a little extra effort into the wrapping job. This year I’ve got a plan to make the gifts stand out from the crowd of boxes blandly enclosed in dollar store wrapping paper. I picked up some black craft paper and twine to get the gifts wrapped, but that’s just the beginning. Once I finish the wrapping, I’m going to pull out my trusty white liquid chalk markers and customize each present. The white on black pops out like the moon against a midnight Christmas sky. The twine gives the black paper an antique, rustic look, and also helps to slow down even the most rambunctious present openers. I like to make them work for it a bit! I write cryptic or comical messages on the packages to get my loved ones guessing and giggling. Personalized wrapping paper brings extra smiles and hilarious expressions for memorable photos.
A Few New Decorations for the Tree, Made New Again Every Year!
When I pulled out the dusty boxes of decorations from the garage and started going through them looking for the best stuff, I decided it was time to add some new ones to the stash. It’s just fun to keep it fresh. Of course, the yarn and construction paper picture of my spouse in third grade gets a prominent spot, but there has to be some new flavor to liven things up, too! While I was at the craft store, I found these fun little chalkboard decorations, which provided yet another great excuse to play with my liquid chalk markers. The kids helped me come up with fun Christmas messages to write in cursive on each one. I love how the chalk markers feel when I make loops and curves. The little chalkboards came with small loops so for hanging, so these were the easiest and quickest decorations I’ve ever made. Beyond the simplicity, the advantage of this project is that we can erase them and put up new messages next year! Maybe we will do the twelve days of Christmas instead of the names of Santa’s reindeer. These little chalkboards are so small I’ll even be able to squeeze them back into that overstuffed storage box. Really. No problem.
The Final Countdown…
You can almost hear the trumpets, but Santa’s sleigh hasn’t taken flight just yet! I saved my coolest idea for last. This one requires some chalkboard contact paper, an old picture frame, and you guessed it, liquid chalk markers! I also had in the garage some handy stuff called JB WeldÒ, which I used to stick some twine to the picture frame. I stuck one of the white chalk markers to the other end of the piece of twine so the pen would hang right next to the frame. I mounted the chalkboard contact paper right onto the glass and voila! I hung the picture frame in the kitchen and wrote, “10 days to Christmas,” a message we’ll update every morning. (Hopefully next year we can start counting down a little sooner!)
Ideas So Great They’ll Have to Wait…
I came up with one more inspiring idea, but the time Grinch got me this time. I was unable to secure the needed supplies this year—honestly, I’m lucky I got out of the mall without going completely bonkers as it was! That’s okay, though. Now I’ve got a reason to spend all of next year excited for the next time holiday decorating season rolls around! I will gather up some old plastic bottles and cut out shapes like angels and gingerbread men, then paint them with chalkboard spray paint. Once the paint dries, it will be easy to put some decorative touches on each shaped with liquid chalk markers. Never hurts to have more projects to engage the kids and highlight the season with color and flair. For now, I’m keeping this idea in my hip pocket and hoping my kids don’t read this article, so when Santa’s elves kick the workshop into high gear again, I’ll be prepared with a fresh idea to impress the whole family!
Made It! Knew It All Along, Right?
So, with a few days to spare, I’ve got sparkling designs, colorful and cheerful messages, and fun gift surprises prepared. I’ve stashed away some good ideas to save time next year, and the Grinch loses again. Ha Ha and Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!!