Christmas at 2433

I can’t believe this is our 3rd Christmas at 2433!  The day before Thanksgiving I put away our fall decor and pulled out the Christmas boxes.  You’ll notice some same decor I’ve brought out or made in previous years, but I also added to my collection too!

This was the first year we opted for an artificial tree.  I’ve enjoyed having a real tree the last two years, but it really isn’t cost effective, so we went artificial this year and found one at Hobby Lobby.  The best part about it: it’s prelit, so I didn’t spend hours adding lights around the middle and then the outer branches of the tree. That alone was a huge win in my book.

One of my favorite traditions is collecting ornaments from different trips.  We did add a few new ornaments this year: Lobster boat from Kennebunkport and a beach one from our honeymoon in Jamaica.img_8265The mercury glass ornaments & sea glass ornaments are still fixtures on our tree.  We didn’t do a rope garland this year, but went for burlap trailing from the top instead.

fullsizerender-2The other night I made a simple tree topper for the new tree.  The tree was definitely missing it, and that was my 5 minute craft version of one for this year.img_0061This spring I brought our shelves into the living room, so I had another area to decorate this year, which was wonderful!  Highlights are a framed Santa postcard from my Great-grandmother, Mama, a pelican from Raleigh, 1 burlap wrapped tree, and a little red bird with hat & scarf from Pine Mountain.
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img_0056The living room has all the normal decorations – our DIY stocking holders from 2014, coastal burlap stockings, some decoupaged Christmas trees from last year,  another burlap wrapped tree, and a driftwood reindeer on the mantle.  And yes, that’s Elf on tv – I’ve maybe watched it 5 times so far this year 😳.img_0024

img_0027I added small silver & blue ornaments to my Grandmom’s silver bowl for a festive touch on the coffee table.  Plus I had to swap out my Charleston books for my Christmas ones…img_0075

img_0081Our entry is all older items too – my driftwood angel, NOEL letters from last year, more driftwood reindeer and the normal coastal decor with some added lights.img_0025I picked up a ‘Merry Christmas’ banner during one of my several trips to Michael’s this year and hung it above our bar.  I also have my cranberry & rosemary centerpiece over there as well.xmas-2016_02

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My wine cork Christmas tree was back out and the centerpiece of our dining table.  This year I added some fresh rosemary around it, and I like it even more!img_0005

My Grinch quote went in the kitchen, behind the sink – which seemed like a great place for a little Christmas reminder. And my lil Coca Cola bear is in the window!img_0064

I also added a light up star I found at Michael’s last week to the counter by the fridge to add a little something (at this point it was really the only place that didn’t have any decor).

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The pantry door is now covered with all of the holiday cards we’ve received.  I love seeing everyone’s faces!

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Our friend Holly gave us a cute hand towel last year, so I put it in our guest bathroom.  The ‘Sanda Claus’ theme fits in perfectly with everything else 🙂

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Outdoors was pretty standard from the last few years – I wrapped the front porch with the pre-lit garland, added candles to the front windows & put out my ‘Seas and Greetings’ sign with a poinsettia out front.fullsizerender-10img_0085It was fun to look back and see what’s changed and what’s the same from our first Christmas at the house.  I still can’t get over how much difference a rug in the living room made!

Hope you enjoyed the little holiday tour!

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Oyster Shell Tree Topper

This year we made the switch to an artificial tree, and an unintended consequence was getting a new tree topper for it.  Last Sunday night I came up with what I wanted to do for a new one and shared the process on Instagram’s story feature – so here’s the written version!

Oyster Shell Tree Topper

What you’ll need:

  • Pre-made tree topper
  • Wire cutters
  • 5 small oyster shells
  • Goop, liquid cement

I found a basic tree topper that I liked at Hobby Lobby for $8 (it was 50% off).  The star shape & twine / natural feel were what drew me to it versus all of the glittery ones, but knew I was going to get rid of the greenery.

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Using wire cutters, I just snipped the greenery off the topper, from both sides.  Then I was left with a twine wrapped outer star, and almost grapevine-like center.
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I went into my oyster shell inventory (yes, this is a thing at our house) and found a few small & flat shells that I could use to put on the star instead.  I applied some Goop liquid cement to the back of each shell, and placed them on the tree topper in a star design.fullsizerender-7

When the shells are all on the topper, let it dry overnight to securely attach.
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Finally, add the tree topper to your tree!  This whole project only takes 5 minutes of work and gave our tree just the right extra touch of coastal 😉  Add in the low cost, and this is the best kind of project!img_0059 img_0061

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Sea Glass Ornaments

I think we all know that I absolutely love sea glass — Some of my favorite earrings are blue sea glass from Maine.  I also love the color blue just as much.. So when I saw Krylon had now spray paint that was a sea glass finish, in a blue color, I was dying to paint something.  Well I was in Hobby Lobby, and right around the corner were clear glass ornaments, and I was sold. Sea glass ornament time!

Sea Glass Ornaments

What you’ll need:

  • Krylon Sea Glass spray paint
  • Clear glass ornaments
  • Gloves

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Yup, this is going to be an easy project if you want to add some color to your tree.  Our tree has a mixture of blue, mercury glass, shell ornaments, and then an assortment of ornaments from growing up, and places we’ve visited (plus rope for more texture).  It could always use more blue, so that’s what exactly what I did.

Ok, find a good place to spray paint, take out your ornaments, and put on your gloves.  Hold the ornament by the top, and lightly spray it with the spray paint.  If you spray it too heavy, then there will be drip marks.

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When the ornament is covered, let it dry in your hand for a minute, then put it to the side, and pick up another.  I ended up doing two coats on the ornaments so the paint was even.
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Once they’re all completely dry, they’re ready to hang in the tree!  I placed the 12 of them around the tree, and stepped back.  Like most sea glass, they look great when the light is coming through behind them (and of course failed to get a picture of that).

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I also had some smaller mason jars that would be good candle holders, so I sprayed those while I was outside.  Nothing like some easy, tea light holders!
sea glass ornament 05The sea glass paint comes in a few different colors, so I might be going back to pick up another and paint other glass objects.  What would you paint for a sea glass feel?

Decoupaged Christmas Trees

Let the decoupaging continue!  Seriously, I’m basically covering everything with maps right now… and can’t stop.  Well, it was about time that I make some map covered Christmas trees to go with the other coastal trees I have, so here are the EASY steps to make your own!

Decoupaged Christmas Trees

What you’ll need:

  • Cardboard cones
  • Paper maps
  • Scissors
  • Mod podge
  • Sponge brush

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This is pretty straight forward if you’ve decoupaged anything before.  Start by getting your maps ready – I had to cut a few out.  The “trees” aka cardboard cones I got at Hobby Lobby were tall enough that one map wouldn’t cover the whole thing, so I found maps that were similar and would look good together on the tree.

Once you have all your supplies, and are ready to begin, start by using the sponge brush and applying a light coat of mod podge to the cardboard cone.

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Adhere the paper map to the cone.  You can put a little mod podge on the back first, but I had a little too much on the cone, so didn’t want to over do it.  Slowly press it on the cone, and make sure you get any bubbles or wrinkles out.

I started at the bottom, and worked my way up, so the top map would have the most showing, and overlay the previous one.  Continue to apply some mod podge and attach the maps to the top.decoupage tree_03

The top map is the easiest, because you can lay it out how you like, and just wrap it around until it’s all adhered to the cone.  The last step is to apply a thin layer of mod podge over the map to “seal” it in, and give it a more finished look. Voila —

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Naturally, after I completed 1 tree in black and white vintage maps, I had to do one in color maps to make a pair.

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I ended up putting these on the mantle, to the sides of our tv, and added some vases, a driftwood reindeer, glass buoy and metal tree to go with them. (Yes, that is a stocking, and pillow in front of the fireplace for Cleo. She’s extremely spoiled..)  You can find directions to make the wooden stocking holders here.

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The fun doesn’t stop there, haha!  After I finished the trees, I tried my hand at decoupaging some ornaments!  I had some cardboard ornaments that were much tricker than the trees because of their shape, but they worked (and are now hanging on our tree).
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In all honesty, my favorite decoupaged ornaments have been the ceramic hearts.  I’ve covered these heart ornaments in mostly low country maps, and added twine to hang them with.  The fun part has been making custom orders with specific cities for friends and other customers.

You can find all my ornaments on my Etsy shop!

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Now what else can I decoupage….?

Oyster Shell & Spanish Moss Mini Tree

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I can share some of the Christmas crafts I started early (oops).  I had high hopes of making some beautiful oyster shell Christmas trees, which is where this craft started.  Then I got started, and realized I didn’t have enough of the shells I needed to accomplish this, changed my strategy, and ended up with something completely different… Such is life.  Luckily, I still liked how this turned out, and it’s now part of my Christmas decor!

Oyster Shell & Spanish Moss Tree

What you’ll need:

  • Styrofoam cone
  • Faux Spanish moss
  • Oyster shells
  • Hot glue gun

Like I mentioned, I started this project thinking I’d cover the foam cone in oyster shells and call it a day.  Unfortunately even the smaller shells I had were still kinda big to do this, or else curved — flat shells are the most ideal.  oyster tree

So, I went through my small oyster shell stores, got the flat ones out and glued the first one to the styrofoam cone with my hot glue gun.

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That was the point I had my epiphany that my project was going to have to change… Gotta be agile!  I glued the second shell on the cone, about a half inch from the first.  Then I glued some Spanish moss around the shells to cover the green styrofoam, and fill the space where shells wouldn’t be glued.

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Now I was thinking this doesn’t seem too bad.. I can work with this.  I continued to glue a shell, then surround it with Spanish moss, until I made my way around the bottom of the cone.

I’m not gonna lie, this is messy — as are all crafts involving Spanish moss — and there’s no right or wrong method to do this.  Just glue away as you please!

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I continued attaching shells, then filling in with Spanish moss as I made my way up the cone.  For the second layer, I tried to place the shells in between the ones below them.

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For the top of the cone, I glued some Spanish moss to the very top of the cone first, to make sure that would be covered.  Then I glued 3 shells to the cone, and filled in any spots with more Spanish moss.  Since the styrofoam cone doesn’t come to a point, the top of the shells aren’t attached to anything, just the bottom of them, so you’ll need to be careful when gluing them.

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Alright — now you’ve got an oyster shell and Spanish moss tree!  I used scissors to trim any moss pieces that were sticking out really far, and made sure you couldn’t see the foam anywhere.

Then I just needed to find a place to put it!  Initially I sat it on our mantle, next to a pumpkin because I made this in early November and still had my fall decor out.  Now that it’s officially Christmastime, it’s sitting on the mantle with one of my burlap trees and a decoupaged tree.
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I still want to try to make a tree completely out of oyster shells (when I find the right ones), but am happy with how this guy turned out, despite the last minute changes!