Saturday, April 20, 2019  


An Old Fashioned Christmas

Victorian Holiday Decorating

Decorating tips and ideas for a festive Christmas

Garland Everywhere

  • § Trim mirrors and large pictures with evergreen ropes; finish with gold-colored bows.
  • § Swag a rope of garland from a center light fixture to each corner of the room. Add bows and cascading ribbons where the ropes meet each corner. Make sure the swags are high enough for guests to pass under!
  • § Do you have a light fixture suspended by a chain from the ceiling? Wrap rope garland around it for a festive look.
  • § Weave garland through the posts of your stairwell handrail. Tie in some scented pinecones and/or ribbon streamers. (Be sure the garland doesn't interfere with the use of the handrail and doesn't cause a fall.)
  • § If you have space between the tops of your kitchen wall cabinets and the ceiling, this is a perfect place to display collectible tins, trays, and holiday dishes, or for something a simpler: frame the cabinet tops with green rope garland.
  • § Welcome your guests through a front doorway framed with evergreen garland!
  • § Garland looks great on a front porch, not just for Christmas but throughout the winter. Using only garland, windows and doorways can be trimmed or swaged with lovely winter greenery. Keep it simple, though - no bows or ribbons, just green!
  • § Window boxes can be trimmed with evergreen garland for winter months. Simply cut the evergreen garland the length of the window box, staple each end to each end of the box and spread the branches out for fullness.

A Very Victorian Tree

  • § Trim your tree with string beads in a cream color or in white. They can be found at most craft stores and really add a soft, but fancy touch.
  • § A homemade Victorian tussie-mussie ornament:
    You will need:
    - The smallest size of round gold paper doilies, or color of your choice(usually found in the gift card section of most stores).
    - Hot glue gun
    - Small pre-made ribbon bows
    - Small candies, nuts, or small rosebuds for filling
    - String or skinny ribbon for hanging
    1.) Roll each doily into a cone shape and hot glue to hold.
    2.) Fill with treats; rosebuds can be hot glued for extra support. A bow can be added for decoration.
    3.) The cones can be hung from branches by a ribbon or string loop, or can rest flat on the branches.

  • § Proudly display some of your family heirlooms on your tree. Drape some of Grandma's old white gloves on a branch, or prop some of your smaller old family pictures on the branches of your tree. What a better way to remember family members, especially at Christmas!
  • § Small party favor wicker baskets can be purchased at craft stores. Fill with nuts or candy and hang on the tree.
  • § Using small cut squares of netting (tulle), fill with candy and tie the corners up with a bow. Hang these cute little bagged treats on the tree.
  • § Scented pinecones make great old fashioned ornaments (and give the tree a nice scent!). To hang: hot glue a ribbon loop to the widest end of the pine cone and hang on the tree. Bags of scented pinecones can be purchased at most craft store during the Christmas season.
  • § Popcorn and cranberries make great garlands. Popcorn is pretty simple to string, but there is a trick to stringing the cranberries. When making the garlands, use quilting thread (for strength) and cut the thread in no more than 6' lengths (this makes it easier to handle without tangling). String with a regular sewing needle, and do not knot the ends of the string. The reason: the cranberries will dry and shrink over a period of a day or two. After they dry and shrink, you can tighten them up on the string and then knot the ends. After stringing, place in the fridge to shrink and dry out, knot, and then wrap around the tree.


Groupings make quite a decorating statement: a larger quantity of smaller objects is more effective at catching the eye. Here are some suggestions for Christmas decoration groupings:
  • § a grouping of Santa or snowman figurines placed within greenery along the mantle of a fireplace
  • § a grouping of candles (different sizes, both in height and diameter) placed on a decorative platter or on a framed mirror; place on a coffee table or inside of a fireplace for a dramatic effect!
    (Hint: to remove melted wax from a candle holder, place object in freezer or refrigerator; the wax will chip off easily! Never leave burning candles unattended, or within a child's reach!)

  • § a grouping of candles in holders (different sizes, both in height and diameter) can also be placed in the center of the dining table to create a soft, cozy atmosphere
  • § a medium/large wicker basket, filled with decorative tree bulbs (all the same color) with string beads mixed throughout (gold beads with light-colored bulbs; cream or white beads with dark-colored bulbs)

Christmas Cards

Christmas cards are usually collected in great quantities over the years; continue to collect them - they come in handy when decorating the tree. As you receive cards, prop them on your tree branches; take a few out from years before and do the same. It's a great way to remember all of your loved ones!

Magnificent Mantels

Mantels are often the focal point of the room they are located in. Why not make a mantel dramatic, especially for Christmas?
  • § Drape the mantel with evergreen garland. Be sure to spread the branches for fullness. Weave ribbon throughout, and place candles randomly within the garland. Beautiful when glowing!
    Click for Larger Image
  • § Outline the edge of the mantel with swaged rope garland and string lights. Place a grouping of family photos along the length of the mantel and light up the faces of your loved ones! Variation: place a grouping of favorite Christmas cards along the length of the mantel. It's a great place to put them as they're received; the whole family can enjoy them!
  • § Stockings are always a favorite (and a tradition) for decorating the mantel. Make a grouping of decorative stockings (in different shapes and sizes) to hang along the length of the mantel. Fill stockings with inexpensive treats and decorations (popcorn, candy canes, nuts, or even pine cones) for yet another decorative effect. The treats, of course, can be enjoyed before or after Christmas.

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