Holiday 2014: 2 Cheap & Easy Final Touches

2014 is coming to a close already - I can't believe the year has flown by so fast.  With all the adjustments and changes my family & loved ones had this year, I'm looking forward to what is ahead.  But I always welcome the celebration of the past year, with a positive frame of mind!

With a new apartment and beautiful bay windows, I could not wait to get a huge tree last year.  But with the pending change in our financial situation, I wanted to keep Christmas as hand-made as possible.  We also needed to see how much decorations were really between both Ronnie & myself (now that they were all in one place), and how much would fill our much larger home.  Although it felt like we had settled in, we moved in January, so we still had not celebrated the BIG Holiday Season in our Bay Ridge home.

This season, I want to give you 2 tips from what I did in 2013.  They are quick, cheap and easy DIY accents for your home & gifts that will help with those final touches that won't break the bank!

Leftover Wrapping Paper Garland (Origami Water Balloon)


What I assessed from combining all of Big Ronnie's & my decorations, was that we had more than enough to fill the living room.  But with such a large tree, we didn't have that many ornaments between us to fill it up!  I'd rather take our time collecting special ones, rather than just buying more, so I came up with a cleaver way to kill 2 birds with 1 stone!

The first project can be used with almost any holiday paper (preferably wrapping paper), where the fun for me is because there's no waste after you finish wrapping your gifts!  Save all of those scrap pieces, we are going to make origami garland!

The origami water bomb, also known as paper balloon is a traditional fold.  Despite the name, it's more like a cube really, and can be "blown up" in one quick breath after the fold is complete to acquire the final desired look.

The above directions are very clear, they get easier after you have done a few. 

It's best to do the folds on a flat surface.  No matter what the size, by making the first fold of any scrap piece of wrapping paper, cut off the leftover in order to get a correct square.   After making more than enough (and by that I mean over 50), I put a pinhole on the other end of each cube, so I could string the thread through each easily.

I made 2 separate strands of garland; the white & red print, and a striped green print wrapping paper.  The worked really well with the branches because the cubes would settle right in and you could draped the baking string easily, cube to cube.  I also made a healthy strand of fresh cranberries that intertwined the paper garland and ornaments!


street view

Lefty sighting

Because I wrap most of my presents in cohension, (is that wierd?!?) I loved that the paper garland through this huge tree, matched the presents below!

Onto my next tip....

Holiday Hand Writing

The Pilot Metallic Marker in gold and silver are about as classic as the Papermate Pink Pearl Eraser.  I have had one in my possession ever since I was a teen, and they work perfectly when it comes to final touches during the glitzy, glittery Holiday Season!  My 2nd tip for the 2014 Holiday Season can be used as the final touch on so many different things to give them that extra celebration glitz:
  • Gift Wrap & Tags
  • Personalizing Ornaments
  • Date on back of Photos
  • Holiday Cards
  • Table Name Cards
  • Food Labels
  • Disposable Table-ware, Tablecloth, Runner or Dish-ware

Big Ronnie's family are big fans of disposable dish-ware.  I don't mind all of the dishes at the end of the meal, and I think I'd rather use too much water cleaning and running the dishwasher, than make all of that trash.  But there are two sides to that argument!   I prefer the look and formality of real dishes.  But last year we hosted 10, and I caved in!  I only have a matching set for 8 anyway.  I found these adorable silver and white paper plates and napkins, and decided it was a good time to use this lime green paper runner.  That's when I remembered my magic marker, that everyone should keep in their craft pocket!


I wrote notes for each place setting along this paper chevron runner, and the green Solo Cups had each guests' name!  Embellish Holiday cards on the outside and inside, make name cards or labels for the appetizer table - really just about any other gift giving idea you can think of!  

Lefty Sighting

I hope everyone continue to enjoy the Holiday Season, and don't let the stress get to you!  These little tips can replace other expensive details that you can skip from time to time.  We decided to not get a tree this year, and save.  Maybe next year we will gather some new garland, keepsake ornaments, and send proper photo cards through the old fashion mail system - but I think when times are slim, these tips can ease the pain of not wanting to break the bank on decorating, and making your happy home ready to celebrate anyway!

And if you need help wrapping, don't forget StellaBella's Gift Wrap Service!


La vita è bella,

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