It’s easy to fall back on clichéd ideas when decorating for Xmas. Steer away from Santa, his reindeer and faux snow, and get inspired with our handy hacks
Clever Christmas hacks that will inspire your festive decorating
We are officially into the countdown to Christmas. Avoid getting frazzled by preparing some small decorations that will make a big difference when welcoming visitors to your home.
There are lots of ways you can capture the Christmas spirit beyond the standard tree or without resorting to kitsch touches. Classic with a surprising twist is usually the best option. Aim for elegance – candles, gold and silver embellishments, crystal, greenery and quality baubles are all good starting points for decorations with a touch of class. See our clever Christmas hacks for your festive decor:
- Xmas wreaths are a great way to give a bit of the wow factor to spaces. Don’t just limit them to placement on the front door. Other than the traditional fireplace mantel, wreaths also look great on living room or kitchen walls and can also be placed on focal points outside, such as the front gate, a pergola or the chimney breast of an outdoor fireplace. They also make an effective table arrangement with a candle in the centre. And don’t just stick to one– a large wreath with smaller versions either side will create a point of focus.
- You can get a lot of impact from creating wreaths out of natural greenery with long-lasting flowers such as proteas for splashes of colour, or studded with ribbons and colourful fruits such as small mandarins and pomegranates.
- If using baubles to create a wreath it’s best to stick to just a couple of colours and steer away from the more obvious red and white choices.
For instance, a wreath made from baubles in vary shades of pink from blush to fuchsia teamed with acid green baubles with glints from small silver balls will make a strong statement. Mix up the size of the baubles you are using to add textural interest.
- You can get foam moulds that are the perfect starting point for making a wreath with a difference. Stud them with a mixture of fake fruit for a lively look. Star anise and cloves can be used to make a stunning wreath with a heady fragrance.You can get large bags of star anise from most Asian food stores relatively cheaply. Fresh blooms densely studded over a florist’s foam base look entrancing and although they have a short shelf life they will make an impression for a special occasion.
- Craft stores such as Spotlight and many two dollar shops sell selections of feathers that can be used to make a fun wreath with plenty of style.
Let there be light
- Christmas lights are synonymous with the season but multi-coloured, blinking strands can be garish and just plain annoying. You can get more impact from sticking to strands of constant white or golden lights. Wrap them around pergolas, decorate an outdoor tree with some weather-proof lights or wind them up a balustrade to get a festive feel.
- Place some battery-operated lights with silver baubles in a round glass bowl, glass vase or even a cake stand with a glass cover for an easy arrangement or table centerpiece.
Fill an indoor or outdoor fire grate with pine cones dusted with silver paint and interlace them with lights, or place a few potted poinsettias in a grate and decorate the branches with lights.
- And there’s no replacement for the real thing. A group of candles in varying sizes is hard to beat, especially if teamed with a standout floral arrangement in a reflective crystal vase.
- It’s worthwhile to invest in some good-quality Christmas decorations. If you are decorating a tree, try to keep it simple. Rather than a jumble of different colours and ornaments sticking to one colour wave and style is often more effective. Or try decorating the whole tree with one colour of light: skeins of white lights on a tall tree can look spectacular.
- And there are plenty of other uses for ornaments other than on a Christmas tree. Try a mini version. Get some willow branches from a florist or some branches of greenery from your garden, place them in a vase and decorate them with baubles for a table centrepiece.
Bowls and vases of baubles can be placed around a room for a festive feel, or you can hang baubles from lengths of pretty ribbon to decorate balustrades, window sills, fireplace surrounds and pergolas.
Tassles and ribbons
- You can get some luxe tassles from interior design stores and furniture shops and they make perfect Christmas decorations. Hang them off the side a drink’s trolley, wind them around the bottom of a balustrade, hang them from door knobs…you get the picture. There’s no end to the options for adding some impact with tassles.
- The same can be said for ribbons. Tied in bows they can make a stunning statement Xmas tree. Add them to flower arrangements, table decorations, tie them around the base of candle sticks or pop them on wreaths. A length of slender, pretty ribbon tied at the base of a glass can be a fun touch.
Words by: Sarah Beresford Images by: Josette Van Zutphen, Jared Fowler, Julian Kingman, John Paul Urizar, Maree Homer/ bauersyndication.com.au Additional images via: Pinterest