Last time I wrote about this I was whining about the general lack of decor for this holiday. I think perhaps I was just being lazy. I’m going to blame mid winter dreariness and being sick on that. I’m better now, and so is my house! Just take a look!
Yeah, sorry but I had to cover the photos. I don’t share my face or my son’s online.
This is definitely not exactly perfect, but it’s much better than what it looked like before. And there’s certainly room for growth. We’ve only been in this house a year, barely. So rushing into filling it’s a top priority. I want to find the “right” things. We still don’t even have a coffee table and the television console has a missing panel. It did have one, but it was just shattered one morning. We checked the security cameras and don’t know how it happened, probably ghosts. It’s all okay though, I’ll buy those pieces as I find them. I don’t want furniture that’s kind of right, I want to be sure it’s right. Mostly because I’m lazy and once it’s here, it’s here to stay so I need to like it. For smaller decor items I’m okay with making some mistakes. That painting for example will probably be redone. Or maybe I’ll keep it. For those that are interested, I call it “Frustration at 2am”.
My Christmas display was probably the best look I’ve done so far. But Christmas is a holiday that decorates itself. Grab some sparkly bottle brush trees, a few cute animal statuettes and suddenly you’re done. And even more remarkably, it all looks like something straight out of a catalog and you think you’ve become an interior designer overnight. Then you pack those decorations away and you realize it wasn’t you, it was just the materials. When there’s a lot to pick from, it’s easy to make good choices. Now it’s time to really try.
As usual I visited Pintrest to look for inspiration and came away with some ideas. I’ve had this huge hurricane vase for a couple of years and I’ve found it’s kind of perfect for vase filler. I never really understood the whole vase filler concept but I totally get it now. Not only is it an easy way to decorate, but it’s inexpensive and very easy to store. Important to a lot of people who may not have a lot of storage space. It’s also fun to get creative with it. You can buy specialty vase filler, use candy, or even just look for items that fit your theme.
I found this bag of candy on sale at Target, I think it’s about $5 regular price. It’s filled with (horrible for you, yet reasonably tasty) candy inside translucent plastic easter egg type hearts. Perfect Valentine’s vase filler! I was at Daiso and found some leftover Christmas ornaments that were heart shaped. I want to say there were 5-6 to a pack and at $1.50 per pack I didn’t need many. I was just sad there was only one glitter one left. :( I popped off the silver tops and strings and arranged them in the vase how I wanted them. I love how it looks and something I love even more is when the season is over, I can just toss these in a ziplock bag until next year.
There were twenty two in the bag. They had Frozen themed hearts and the other bag had Ninja Turtles.
Out of the wrappers this is what I had. They split in half like Easter eggs.
The small hearts are from Daiso, they only had two packs and I’d have preferred three. I found the glittery ones at Dollar Tree. They come on wooden stakes. I saw them being used on other blogs and stopped in to pick some up for myself. I knew I wanted a couple to top off the felt heart trees I planned to make, and I needed a few of the wooden sticks so I cut off the remaining pieces and stuck the hearts in the tiny apothecary jar (HomeGoods, a year or two ago). The crystals are table scatter purchased from Jo-Ann’s last year around this time, you can find them in the wedding aisle. The conversation hearts are just that, conversation hearts. I was worried about bringing those into the house. I know I can use candy as decor but my husband seems incapable of walking past the stuff without “sampling”. Sure enough it wasn’t on the mantle 12 hours before I heard it hitting the floor because I purposely overfilled the jar (I like the look) and my husband tried to open it and eat some. Pantry full of candy I told him he couldn’t have but he bought anyways and he’s still eating my decor. That man will be the death of me…
This fun little family under the dome is one I made. The dome is a Christmas item from Jo-Ann’s and I grabbed it at 70% off! I hated the look of the wood, it was unfinished and honestly, looked dirty even though it wasn’t. Probably why so many of them didn’t sell. I’ve painted this since I took the photo. A couple of coats of Martha Stewart’s rose gold craft paint and I think it looks fantastic. I found all the pieces to make the little family at Jo-Ann’s (save the red sticks, those were from the Dollar Tree heart things) and it was mere dollars to put the whole thing together. I messed up on the lady’s eyelashes but otherwise I think it’s okay. I’m sure I’ll get better at them in the future. I want to make one for each holiday. I’m really looking forward to making an Easter one. :) I think I may even brach out later on and add in some fabric details. And if I ever get bored with them, this thing cost me maybe $3-$4 to make so I won’t feel bad about tossing it into the recycling bin. Although I could just probably peel off the hot glue and re paint them if I were so inclined.
The blank boards you see in the first photo (the pink heart and purple rectangle) are actually chalkboards that were still curing at the time I took this photo. I bought the MDF shapes at Jo-Ann’s (of course) and the heart was most expensive at maybe $2.49. I like it because it’s on theme, but I’ll probably be buying more of the funky shaped ones. I bought the Rustoleum clear chalkboard paint after hearing good things about it and decided to try it out. I love the notion that I could have chalkboards in the “right” color for each season. I also love that they’ll take up soooo little space in storage. Seriously, I can just lay them one on top of the other. You really can’t beat that. I know chalkboards are trendy but I love them anyways. I like drawing and growing up my grandmother lived in a condo in what was formerly the old high school in our town, so every unit had huge chalkboards (unless you removed them, and only the crazy people did). I loved drawing on them, it was something my siblings and I could spend hours doing. I found a tiny one at HomeGoods a while back and have really enjoyed coming up with things to draw on it. It usually lives in my butlers pantry and it looks pretty cute if I do say so myself.
One thing I didn’t know though is that you have to “season” chalkboards. I thought that little one I bought was “bad” or that the chalk pencils I bought were. Nope, I just didn’t know because being from a land as old as time (or as old as it gets in America when it comes to such things), all the chalkboards I’ve used in my life were seriously old. Chalkboards have porous surfaces, no matter if you make or buy them. So you have to “season” them before the first use or using them will be difficult and you can even ruin them by leaving a “ghosting” of previously written words. To season one you need to rub the side of a piece of chalk on the surface and then rub it in with a cloth. Then if you like you can wipe down the board with a slightly damp cloth. You’ll never get that perfectly black background back again, but you will fill in the little holes in the surface with chalk so hopefully you won’t leave impressions when you write or draw on the surface. Every time you wash the board you will need to season it again.
The felt heart trees were something my sister helped me with. I used scrapbooking paper and rolled a sheet into a cone and I made a stencil for my sister and she painstakingly traced and cut each and every heart by hand while I was busy painting and putting together everything else on the mantle place. I had four colors and she filled each sheet with hearts before cutting them out, I had just enough to do this one tree with some leftover. So it took quite a few to make this. If I didn’t have her doing this it would have been an extra day or so worth of work so it was nice she helped out. For the stand I just flipped a Pottery Barn stand I had laying around and set the cone on top of it. These really needed to be on some sort of stand, but I didn’t have anything. Sometimes just looking around your own home and seeing if you can’t repurpose something is all you need to do. There’s usually something laying around. Assuming you’re the same sort of pack rat I am. ;)
So there you have it, my Valentine’s display. There are some things I planned to move or change, like the hearts on sticks you see in that candle holder. I planned to make a second tree, and have almost enough hearts cut out. I’ll probably get that done just as the holiday is passing us by at this rate. As always, that’s okay. But for the most part, I think it looks just fine and I’m not really inclined to change anything.