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This vase usually holds candles the other 11 months of the year.

2010 has been an exciting year! We moved earlier this year and I was excited to do Christmas decorations in a new place. I had two main objectives:

  1. Tie everything together and give it a more “grown-up” look
  2. Use what we already have as much as possible.

Use Your Everyday Things

The vase above sits on our dining room table 365 days a year. It usually holds some rocks and candles. We simply put that stuff in the closet and filled the vase with some ornaments and bells we got at Target.

The same goes for the rectangle vase on one of our shelves. Rocks and candles were stored and ornaments dumped in. Since we don’t have a fireplace, we hung our stockings off this shelf. Ironically, they hang over the heater. That’s like the apartment version of a fireplace, right?

Same drill with this vase we already had: everyday candles out, ornaments in.

Lorie over at Be Different Act Normal posted last week with other suggestions for non-fireplace stocking options. Check out her post here.

Avoiding Decor Overload

I love decorations as much as the next person, but I wanted to keep some of our everyday decorations up. Our second ledge shelf hangs over the TV and usually has three picture frames on it.

Before Christmas: three picture frames

Instead of clearing the whole thing off, I kept two of the frames and filled the rest of the space with some simple Christmasy stuff.

After: one frame removed and replaced with Christmas awesomeness

Beer Glasses as Christmas Decor

This falls under the objective: using things I already have. Every year since our first Christmas together, I buy the husband a commemorative Anchor Christmas Ale pint glass.

Anchor Christmas Ale Glass, circa 2004. We have one for each year but have never displayed them.

Drinking Anchor Christmas Ale is a big holiday tradition at our house. I’ve never displayed them before since they are unique to the year and I was afraid of them breaking in an earthquake. I found a solution to that issue (see below).

I took two from our collection and filled one of them with mini ornaments that normally go on our tree. I filled the other with a bunch of candy canes. The box of candy canes cost $1.50 at Target. Total for this display? That’s right, $1.50 because everything else we already had.

Filled the pint glasses with ornaments we had on hand and some candy canes.

You were wondering about Homer? How does he fit into my goal of making everything look more grown up? That’s one of five Christmas Homer Simpsons that live at our house (this doesn’t include the ones on the tree). I thought this nutcracker Homer looked cute and added him to the shelf.

Extra Bells

We had a couple of extra green bells that wouldn’t fit into the vase on the dining table (see first picture in this post). I was about to throw them back in the box when the husband came up with a great idea. He actually has a better decorating eye than I do, to tell the truth.

He took the extra bells and set them near the picture frames. It was a great finishing touch!

Extra bells get added to the shelves next to the picture frames

Earthquake-Proofing

Those of you who live in earthquake country will appreciate this. We can’t simply add things to ledge shelves (ledge shelves that sit above the TV, no less) and not worry about them breaking in an earthquake.

My dear friend Jessika told me about Museum Wax.

Museum Wax: good for earthqake-proofing

I picked some up at the Home Depot and it works great! Everything you see on those ledge shelves, including the picture frames and bells, are fixed to the shelf with little balls of wax.

To tell you the truth, a tub this size will last you a lifetime. At $6, it was a deal!

Remember when I said we had never displayed the Anchor Christmas pint glasses before? That’s because we couldn’t keep them safe in an earthquake. Now that is no longer a problem.

Special pint glasses safely displayed with Museum Wax

Merry Christmas!!

Tips & Ideas

  • Take items already in the house and turn them into Christmas decorations.
  • Empty vases and other things already on display and fill with ornaments or candy.
  • Visit Be Different Act Normal for some fun ideas on displaying stockings.
  • Place extra bells or ornaments on display shelves or bookshelves.
  • Use Museum Wax to secure your decorations if you live in an earthquake-prone area (available at hardware stores).

Linking to:

Tip JunkieHouse of HepworthsLife as LoriCreation CornerTatertots & JelloBe Different…Act NormalFunky Junk InteriorsMaking the World CuterC.R.A.F.T.Skip to My LouMad in Crafts

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