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Living space: Handcrafted Christmas decorations add flair

By Kathryn Weber
Tribune Content Agency
GGE126T8N.7
- FOTOLIA.COM
Favor a rustic touch for Christmas decorations? Create ribbons and ornaments using burlap.

When the holidays roll around, TV shows abound with decorating tips to give your home seasonal style. Most often, these shows promote unique, one-of-a-kind items or design schemes that look fabulous. But don’t be put off by the prospect of using your creativity. Crafts offer a great way to add holiday flair and get the whole family involved.

One of the hot new decorations for Christmas is the square wreath. Besides looking fabulous, these wreaths are a cinch to make, and the results will look like you spent a fortune.

Make a square wreath

Buy a 2-inch-thick sheet of green floral foam at your local crafts store or online. A 12-by-36-inch sheet will yield two square or rectangular wreaths, depending on how you cut them.

Once you have your squares cut, measure from the outside in 4 inches all the way around the square. Draw a line, and then cut along the line. This will be the hole in your wreath. If you want to make a larger wreath, cut 4-inch-wide strips to the length you want and then hot-glue the lengths together to make a wreath the size you need.

The wreaths can be covered in anything from sheet moss to burlap, wrapped with holiday ribbon or studded with berries and greenery, like privet or ivy. Dab on hot glue and attach your covering. Wrap the top with a bow to use as a hanger, and you’ve got a chic accent for the front door.

Outdoor splash

Decorating the outside of your home adds a festive touch to the neighborhood, but you don’t have to go over the top. A good example is HGTV’s Holiday House ( HGTV.com).

One of the fun and fast projects featured is a Christmas wreath snowman made by stacking three wreaths. You attach them to a wooden post and base, add a scarf, then add an up light or wrap the snowman with white lights. Another quick project is three plywood Christmas trees cut and stained, and outlined with nails. This is an easy craft project for someone handy with a jigsaw.

If you’d like some big Christmas ornaments to plop in pots or hang from trees, simply spray-paint inexpensive kids’ play balls red and green. Or repurpose gazing balls as ornaments to tuck in around bushes.

If rustic is more your style, add a small tree to a wicker basket, wrap with lights and encircle with burlap ribbon as a garland. Hang some burlap ornaments or twig stars on trees and bushes. Or set out a bucket of logs, sprigs of spruce, pine cones and some white lights next to your chairs on the front porch for a casual look.

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