You might recognize the letters over the mantle from the wedding:
We had probably a hundred leftover glass vases of all sizes from the wedding centerpieces and picked three to create holiday vases. These were really simple, I wrote words onto the vases with my glue gun - "joy, peace, and noel." Make sure you practice these first....... Then spray painted the vases after the glue dried. Don't spray paint on the porch of your apartment......... (Lots of .............. here, learn from my experiences ;) or for most of you who already have enough common sense to not spray paint on your apartment deck, porch, 5x5square - don't follow my example.
We spray painted the pine-cones as well and I really liked how those came out. We were going to collect some from out front, but Michael's sold a bag of about 30 for $1.99 and they smelled like cinnamon. No bugs and a cinnamon smell? SOLD.
With the pine-cones I made a .....uh....cluster of hanging pine cones? Anyway it looked pretty, just didn't sound as cool when I tried to type it. This was really easy, and I was planning to hang on our front door, but I wanted to look at it inside instead of the neighbors getting to see it. (Well, that was honest.) We're still working on a door mat and wreath...no one knows we live inside the apartment. You can see the pine-cones on the right of the mantle:
To make this you'll need approximately 7-12 pine-cones, a spool of thick ribbon (the kind with wire in it...my craft vocabulary is slowly growing...is best), and a spool of thinner (wire) ribbon as well. First step was to cut 2 foot strips of the thick ribbon - I cut as many as the spool of ribbon could make. Save one for the bow you will tie at the very end. Then you fold an inch of the ribbon in order to create a flat surface to glue to the top of the pine-cone. See below:
Then, use your smaller ribbon to tie bows. Glue the bow on top of the folded surface of ribbon (shown above) to hide it.
Do this to as many pine-cones as you would like. The tricky part is to then lie all of your ribbons on the ground and gather them together in a "pretty" way. I actually made about 12 of these, but when attempting to put them together, it seemed that 7 was the perfect number. Because the ribbon has wire it in, it will mostly stay in place and make it a bit easier on you. The, tie the ribbon you saved in a bow around all of the extra ribbon from the pine-cones. We used a push pin to tack this into our mantle and it stayed and kept its shape the entire winter season.
Last but not least, I attempted to make a tree-skirt out of felt. I cut a large circle (yes it is way too big for this little tree, but in the future when we have an actual house and big tree....!) with one slit from the edge to the center and then cut out felt flowers to glue on. My goal is every year to make another whole row of felt flowers around the edge in a different shade of white, cream, or ivory to make it very full and 3d. It looks a little bare right now, but it will grow quickly. The felt flowers were simple, you can tell the shapes that were cut by looking at the flowers since they are mostly separate and easy to see. (For now!) Also it was all hot glued.
Anyway, with the rush and excitement of our first married Christmas and all kinds of new dynamics and traditions we really liked having the decorations up early to have a cozy (naturally 700square feet is cozy) place to come home to!