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.

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


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).


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


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 🙂


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!



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.


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.

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.

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



Christmas Oyster Pillow

It wouldn’t be the holidays if I didn’t make a Christmas pillow, right?? Well my friend Meg gave me some inspiration from Maine, and I made it one week night.  Naturally I opted for a coastal vibe…

DIY Christmas Oyster Pillow

What you’ll need:

  • White pillow cover
  • Cricut Explore Air
  • Silver HTV
  • Navy blue HTV
  • Gold glitter HTV
  • Cricut weeder tool
  • Iron

Alright, since this is made with the Cricut – you’ve gotta open Design Space first.  I put together a design using oyster shells, a star fish and ‘Merry Christmas.’  It’s important to “attach” all of the oyster shells together so they will cut the same way you design them.  Since I was cutting the star fish, oysters and words in different colors, I didn’t need to attach them together too.


Cut each of the pieces out the using your Cricut.  I opted for silver oysters, navy blue text & gold glitter star fish for the top, so each was cut on different HTV.  Like always, remember to “mirror” the design before cutting so it will iron on the pillow cover correctly.


Once everything is cut, you’ll weed out the extra from the design using the weeder

When all of the pieces are weeded, you’re ready to iron!  Put the pieces together (right side up) on your pillow cover.
christmas-oyster-pillow-03Use your iron – on the cotton setting, or high heat – to apply the HTV to the pillow cover.  I’ve said it before, but every iron is different so apply heat for short periods of time until all parts of the design are applied without pulling an insert, and you’ve got yourself a coastal Christmas pillow!

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This was totally a selfish design – one I came up with and knew I wanted on our couch during December.  Maybe next year I’ll list these in the shop, but until then it’s just for me… and sharing with you!


Mini Oyster Shell Wreath

It’s been almost 2 years since I made my first oyster shell wreath, and I decided to make a mini version for Christmas!  Really, I saw the cute mini boxwood wreaths with striped ribbon on Pinterest and wanted to do a coastal version of my own – surprising huh?

Mini Oyster Shell Wreath

What you’ll need:

  • Oyster shells!
  • 6″ floral & craft ring
  • Goop liquid cement
  • Clear acrylic gloss spray
  • Ribbon

I used smaller & flatter oyster shells, and found that it took about 7-8 for a mini wreath.  Everything else can be found at your local craft shop!shell-wreath-01

First, arrange the shells on your craft

Then use the liquid cement to attach them to the craft ring.  I did this in 2 iterations: First to attach them, then the next day I went around and added some more Goop where I thought it might be

I wasn’t sure if I wanted my shells to be facing up or down, so I ended up making 2 different versions.  This is what they looked like when they were attached to the craft, spray the tops of the shells with the clear sealer to seal the shells in and add some shine.  You could probably do this before you attach the shells

Finally use the  ribbon and hang your new mini oyster shell wreaths!


I might end up hanging mine on the mirror by the entry when I pull the rest of our Christmas stuff out.   When is it acceptable to do that? Because we all know I’m waiting…


Oyster Shell Ornament

Yes, that says ornament and it’s only October.  You can never do holidays crafts too soon though, right?  Taylor gave me the idea to make some oyster shell ornaments  – how have I not made these before?!  A few hours after he inspired me, I had ~20 ornaments in 2 styles done.

Oyster Shell Ornament

What you’ll need:

  • Flat oyster shells
  • 9/64″ drill bit
  • Drill
  • Scrap piece of wood
  • Sharpie / paint
  • Twine
  • Scissors

To start, drill a hole into the top of the oyster shells using your drill & a 9/64″ drill bit.  I had a scrap piece of wood underneath so when the bit came through the shell, it would go into the scrap wood instead of into something else it could hurt.


I decided to leave some oyster shells natural and just write Charleston, SC on them with a sharpie pen.  The others were painted gold on the back, and then hand painted with a gold edge on the front.

Finally, just cut some twine, loop it through the hole and tie it so the ornament can hang.  Oyster shell ornaments are done!

ornament_oyster-01 ornament_oyster-03 ornament_oyster-personalized-01 ornament_oyster_chs-01

You can find all my holiday products, including the map ornaments from last year in my Etsy shop here!