By Colleen Moulding
Add a little country charm to your Christmas decorating this
year. Forego the glitz and glam for natural materials, check fabrics and
homemade country style. The beauty of this type of decorating is that it doesn't
have to look perfect. The odd crooked stitch or slightly askew angel wing just
shows that it is homemade and adds to the charm. Lots of these projects are
perfect for children to help with too.
The easy way to do this is to buy blank cards and add your own
decoration or make your own by simply making a sharp crease in thin card. Do
this by scoring lightly along a ruler edge with a craft knife on the inside of
the card before folding.
Imagine a 3" square of red and white gingham with frayed or
pinked edges stuck on to the card, topped with a little paper or felt heart or
star, and a red hand written Happy Christmas underneath. Very easy. Very
country. Very, very nice to receive. Or try a scrap of green fabric or felt cut
into a triangle shape to suggest a Christmas tree with a gold star on the top,
or an embroidered or cross stitched initial or Merry Christmas.
Country Tree Decorations
Why not make some simple felt ornaments for the tree? Use cookie
cutters, patterns in children's colouring books or whatever you can find to make
a template, then cut out felt hearts, stars, angels, stockings, whatever takes
your fancy. Cut two identical pieces out of the felt and one slightly smaller
out of wadding/batting to go between the two and give a slightly padded look.
Blanket stitch all the way around the edge in a contrasting colour and add a
ribbon for hanging.
If you are handy with a jig saw cut out hearts and stars from
thin wood, then paint and hang with raffia for a homespun look, or even easier
make your ornaments from saltdough. Don't forget to make a hole for hanging
before baking in a very low oven or leaving in a very warm place for a few days
before painting to match your scheme.
If your baubles don't fit in with this new look, pick one colour
and get some textured fabric in a bright red perhaps, and cover them, tying with
a bow at the top, or if you want to stick to a natural look try covering your
old baubles with calico and tying with raffia.
More Ideas For The Tree
Make some imitation or real mini parcels by covering matchboxes
with hessian or gingham and tie with a bow.
Use natural or painted wooden beads, or strings of cranberries
or popcorn to drape the tree instead of tinsel.
Paint and wire on pine cones or real red glossy apples.
Tie on bundles of cinnamon sticks for a fabulous fragrance.
Push cloves into oranges to make aromatic pomanders to place in
bowls or hang from the tree. Make the holes with a nail or small skewer first to
make it easier and much quicker. You don't have to cover the whole orange, I
usually start by tying on a narrow ribbon and then arrange the cloves in lines
two or three deep around the orange in whatever design takes my fancy.
A batch of gingerbread men probably wouldn't last until
Christmas Day but they would look great for as long as you could keep little (or
big!) hands off them!
There is a trend towards using a runner down the middle of the
table to take your decorations and candles. This an ideal spot to add a country
air with a red or plaid runner, bowls and platters piled high with fruit and
mince pies, and red or cream candles swirled with ivy. You can then use plain
red place mats underneath your plates, with a napkin on top of the plate and on
top of the napkin the cutlery for that place setting tied together with a narrow
check or tartan ribbon and slightly fanned out on the napkin. Add natural pine
cones holding hand written name place cards.
Dress up your dining chairs with simple chair back covers, just
a hemmed runner of fabric to drape over the front and back of the dining chair
secured at the sides with ribbon ties. These are perfect for decorating with
ribbons, flowers and fresh foliage on Christmas Day.
Around the house
Make a welcoming display in your hallway with bowls of fresh
fruit, candles, sweets and wreaths. Add huge jugs of rosehips or berries making
a feast for the eyes when visitors arrive.
If you don't have a real fire, use a bank of candles, especially
scented candles, of all different sizes, but the same colour, to add a warm glow
to your room. Never leave candles unattended.
Make a herb wreath for the kitchen by wiring on fresh herbs to a
grapevine wreath and adding chillies, bouquet garni, tiny terracotta pots and a
big gingham bow.
Trim your kitchen shelves with red or green felt cut into
triangle shapes and held in place with sticky tack.
For an elegant mantlepiece decoration use green foliage, cream
flowers, cream pillar candles and fresh green grapes.
Add red, green, or tartan wool throws or quilts to the sofa to
Sprinkle essential oils, orange and cinnamon perhaps, to a bowl
of fir cones, Christmas tree cuttings and dried orange slices for a wonderful
Christmas pot pourri.
Decorate a tree in the kitchen with edible delights, cookies,
cookie cutters, candy canes, strings of marshmallows etc.
Bring in the beauty of nature. Line the tops of cupboards and
furniture with evergreen leaves and bright berries. Wind twinkling white lights
around a branch and suspend above a doorway or use as the basis of a hallway for
Display candles of different heights in terracotta pots topped
Add check ribbon bows to dresser drawers and cupboard handles.
Gather together any greenery you can find, Christmas tree
cuttings, evergreens from the garden etc. and wire them on to lengths of rope.
These can then be draped around porches, window boxes, or fences. Add splashes
of colour with berries, bows, red apples or painted pine cones.
Candles look lovely outside as long as they are in some kind of
container to protect them from the wind. This is a good way to use up all those
jam jars or baby food jars that collect in your cupboards, left as they are, or
painted with glass paint from a craft store.
You can also turn them into candle lanterns by twisting wire
around the top of the jar and then fashioning a hanging loop from the same piece
You can make lanterns from tin cans too by filling them with
water and freezing them, then punching holes in a pattern with a hammer and
nail. Wear gloves and secure the can to the table with a lump of sticky tack to
do this safely. Thread wire through two of the holes and hang with a tea light
or votive candle inside.
Make large twig stars by wiring or tying together six straight
twigs of the same length into two triangles, then wiring one on top of the other
to make a six pointed star. Mini versions of these look good lining a mantle
too, natural or sprayed silver or gold.
Well I hope that these ideas will help you add a little bit of
country to your decorating this year.
Have a wonderful Christmas!
Colleen Moulding is owner/editor of
http://www.allthatwomenwant.com a magazine and web guide for women
everywhere. Visit our Christmas pages at
http://www.allthatwomenwant.com/xmasindex.htm where you can check out
Colleen's new Christmas ebook full of decorating and gift ideas, foodie treats
and printable wish lists, place cards and a printable letter from Santa.