How to Put Away Holiday Decorations

christmas advent calendar house

How to Put Away Holiday Decorations

The key to putting away holiday decorations is having an organized system you can replicate. I know I’m not the most organized person to begin with, but it helps immensely to keep your holiday odds and ends organized. That way you can find them without too much of a headache next year!

Boxes

The first thing you’ll most likely want are some clear plastic storage bins. I can’t emphasize enough how helpful it is to have a few clear storage bins you can see into, especially for the bigger bins. So! Here are some great options that should give you the size variation you need:

You’ll probably also have a hard time saying no to these adorable keepsake boxes. They’re the perfect solution for those odd items you can’t quite find a place for but want them to be somewhere intentional and special. They’re also wooden, which means they’re durable enough to stack up while protecting your precious holiday keepsakes at the same time.

Keepsake Travel BoxesKeepsake Travel Boxes

Our DreamBox

We couldn’t talk about organizers and boxes without including a shout out to our much-used and much-beloved DreamBox! If you have a lot of decorations like we do, this DreamBox will probably be a dream come true. It’s perfect not just for storing the smaller finished crafts, but the works in progress and supplies you need to keep crafting your heart out!

dreambox

Now, you may be wondering how to put away holiday decorations now that you have these storage bins?

How to Organize Holiday Decorations

The next step after you have your storage bins/containers is to organize. Again, not my strongest suit, so if I can do it, so can you! I’ve found that the method that works best is to organize by category and size. That way, you maximize the space you have and it’s also easier to find things again later. For example, here’s how I usually categorize everything:

  • Wreaths
  • Tree
  • Lights
  • Ornaments
  • Garlands
  • Nativities/other small decorations (bottlebrush trees, etc.)
  • Tablecloths/linens
  • Books
  • Other miscellaneous items

And here’s the breakdown of what I do with each item:

Wreaths

single arm wreath shot

Wreaths can be some of the most tricky to put away from our list of how to put away holiday decorations. They’re often a bit bulky and delicate, so take extra care. If you have the space, I would recommend hanging them on hooks in your storage area. That way, they won’t get crushed. Then you can simply cover them with an old bed sheet or piece of plastic so they don’t collect dust. If you don’t have the space to hang them and need to store them in a bin, it’s still a good idea to put a layer of fabric or paper between the wreaths so they don’t get tangled. And don’t put anything heavy on top! Layer them in order: heaviest on the bottom, lightest on the top. Dispose of wreaths that have real pine boughs or berries, as those might not be in the same state you left them in next year.

Tree

tree and pig

Christmas trees come in all shapes and sizes! Obviously, some are real, so you won’t be able to store those. And frankly, that’s a relief. You don’t want to be dealing with pine needles dropping all over your storage area. If you do have a faux tree that you want to store, though, there are a few options! I know it’s sometimes easier to leave the tree set up, but this does take up a lot of space. If for some reason you can’t or don’t want to take it apart, though, use the tree bag provided (or consider investing in one if you don’t have one). There are also plenty of options for tree bags you can use if you decide to save space and deinstall the tree, too! Basically, though, the main thing you want to remember is to cover the tree somehow, so it doesn’t collect dust.

Lights

Lights are often that thing that ends up in a tangled mess if you’re not careful. Once we stumbled across these amazing light and garland holders, we never looked back.

Ornaments

Shop Ornaments

How to put away holiday ornaments? These tend to be all shapes and sizes, and, much of the time, breakable. That being said, make sure you pack up your ornaments with care so they don’t break before you can use them again! Reuse bubble wrap, or simply pack paper or plastic grocery bags around them for a little padding. Then, we’d recommend storing them in this amazing Christmas bulb organizer, so they don’t get lost at the bottom of a big bin and break when you set something heavy on top of them!

honeycomb ornaments

Some of our ornaments are paper (like these honeycomb ornaments). For these, make sure you put them on the top layer of the bin so they don’t crumple. Others are more durable, like our heirloom ornaments. You can use these to pack around the more delicate, glass ornaments as extra padding!

Family Photo Heirloom Ornament

Garlands

Garlands are also one of those decorations that can be tricky to put away. They can be big, small, bulky or trim, so here’s a little guidance as to how to put these holiday decorations away. First, if the garland is thin enough to wrap up, like this one, you can wrap it up in one of these handy garland holder bins. Then you avoid pulling out a tangled mess next year! This leaf garland also wraps up well. Other more bulky garlands may have to be placed into a big bin as neatly as possible without crumpling or smashing your pretty garland, like the Christmas bulb advent calendar. The garland storage bins still come in very handy here, as they separate the garlands so they don’t tangle up with each other!

wood bead garland

Nativities/Other Small Decorations

Decorations like our nativities are best stored wrapped in a layer of paper or something to keep the paint from scuffing or rubbing up against other decorations. Bottlebrush trees, like our other paper projects, work best when placed at the top of a storage bin so as to avoid getting smashed. This figurine holder is a dream come true and a total investment, if you’re interested in avoiding all the excessive paper!

Midcentury painted heirloom nativity figures against a pink and red striped background.

Tablecloths/Linens

This one’s easy and pretty intuitive! All you have to do to store your linens is fold them up neatly and put them in a storage bin that’s the right size for the amount of linens you have. Don’t use a bigger bin than you need, or we suspect you might be tempted to put other decorations on top. That would mean having to take everything out of the box to find the linens next year! So avoid the hassle and use the appropriate size.

top view trees and table

Books

Like linens, don’t use too big a box to store your books! We’d also recommend just one layer, with the spine up, so you can see the title right away when you open the box. In fact, this is one scenario where it’s probably ideal to use multiple, smaller boxes, rather than one large box. You don’t want to throw out your back picking up holiday books next December! That would put a damper on the holiday season.

Other Miscellaneous Items

Everyone has their individual items that may not fit neatly into one of these categories. How to store your other holiday decor? Just categorize it the best you can, and then follow the steps you did for the other categories!

Christmas popperschristmas tree toppers

Labels

This is arguably the most important step! I can’t tell you how much it helps me when I have things labeled, instead of trying to remember what went inside of each random box. SO! Here are some very cute label options, and colored pens to make them extra fun and eye-catching.

More Inspiration

We hope this post helped you as you try to figure out how to put away your holiday decorations! If you want to plan ahead and get a jump on your holiday decorations for next year, you’ll probably love these Christmas decor ideas.

Neighbor Gift Ideas

Neighbor Gift Ideas

Cookie Boxes

cookie boxes

To start things off, we thought we should probably mention our cookie boxes. This is such a fun, easy way to package up your gifts! You can put actual cookies inside, like we did with our nativity-inspired cookie boxes, or you can fill them with other holiday goodies. If you loved our Mid-Century Nativity, you may want to go with the first option of cookie boxes. If you’re looking for a slight variation and fun gift to put inside, though, you should really check out our DIY Paper Fortune cookies and printable box. It’s also good gift that doesn’t involve sugary treats, so if you’re not sure of your neighbor’s dietary needs, this is a safe option.

Colorful paper takeout boxes

Another sweet and decorative option is our Paper Advent village calendar, which can be turned into a goodie box in an instant.

Paper advent village calendar 7

Christmas Poppers

Similar to cookie boxes, Christmas Poppers are a lovely way to package up your neighbor gifts. This one is a bit smaller, which means you’re limited on size. Regardless, these Christmas poppers are adorable and festive, not to mention quick and easy to make. Stuff them with Christmas candy and you’re ready to go! Hint: you can double up and use our wrapping paper to make these pretty babies.

Christmas poppers

Wrapping Paper

wrapping paperwrapping paperwrapping paper

Did you know there is a wide range of options when it comes to the things you can do with wrapping paper? Yes, you can wrap a square box with it, but we’ve also compiled a few creative things you can do to spice up your neighbor gifts with wrapping paper. This is a post on different packages you can make by folding wrapping paper (like bags and even an origami shirt box)! And if you have simple colored paper lying around, you would probably love our Fruit and Licorice wrapping paper hacks.

fruit wrapping paper

licorice

Oh, and here’s our color combination wrapping paper for all your gift wrapping needs! You can use it to get creative with neighbor gifts, and even make it into Christmas poppers.

wrapping paper

Gift Toppers

greenery gift topper

Gift toppers are another eye-catching and festive way to spice up your neighbor gifts. These holiday greenery gift toppers are the perfect addition to your neighbor gift packages! Since they’re paper, you don’t have to worry about real pine boughs drying up and falling off.

3D Paper flower gift toppers

If you can’t seem to say goodbye to flowers during winter, these 3D paper flower gift toppers are the perfect solution. Prettify your gifts while helping keep the seasonal depression at bay for you and your neighbors!

Last little gift topper idea: This put a bird on it gift topper is a good inside joke, if you’re into Portlandia, and a unique gift topper that is both cute and decorative (the nice thing is, your 90-year-old neighbor doesn’t need to get the joke to appreciate the bird). Also, need I mention that it’s so easy? Just put a bird on it!

bird gift topper

Cupcake toppers

Now these cupcake toppers are a little more involved, if you decide to make cupcakes. But the fun thing about them is you can easily make them into a simple gift topper if you don’t have the time for baking! And then the option to get baking is always there if you’re in for the extra time commitment.

christmas cake topper

The same can be said for our adorable little Christmas Tree cake toppers. Gather them into a little bundle and you have another variation of our holiday greenery gift toppers. The other option is to throw a holiday party and invite your neighbors! Then you have every reason to make a cake and use these adorable little trees in their original state, while simultaneously fulfilling your neighbor gifts.

Crepe Paper Christmas Tree Cake Topper

Christmas Ornaments

Now that you’ve made your adorable gift packaging, the question is, what are you going to fill it with? Well, it just so happens that we have some adorable and seasonally appropriate things in our shop right now that might suit your fancy! To start with, we have a large collection of ornaments that are delicate, beautiful and a wonderful option to gift to loved ones. If you’re looking for something a bit more DIY, we also have some wonderful little templates to make your own paper ornaments (like this and this). And with kids in mind, don’t forget about our lovely snowflake templates (here’s the link to the full tutorial), Nativity paper dolls or coloring pages.

Shop Ornaments

nativity coloring pages

More Inspiration

If you need more last minute gift ideas, you’ll probably love our 2021 gift guides. Christmas Decorations Gift Guide, Best Gifts for Crafters, Christmas Gifts for Women, Christmas Gifts for Men, and Christmas Gifts for Kids. For more Christmas gift ideas, see our shop!

 

Five Classic Christmas Crafts

Day One of Our Classic Christmas Week

Pomander with Becky Edwards

Becky and Brittany

 

The first of our classic Christmas crafts was pomanders. Becky Edwards graciously helped us make these. If you’re not familiar with pomanders, check out our original post here, were we go into more detail about what they are and their origin. Basically, they’re oranges with cloves stuck into them. Maybe you’ve seen them around, or even made them before? We love how good these lovely little decorations smell and look around the house at Christmastime! It’s also so easy–a perfect activity for you do to with your family or friends, and especially good for kids.

Pomander top view

Becky Edwards, if you haven’t heard, is running for senate. Well it turns out she’s also and avid crafter (amazing, I know)! In our original post, you can learn more about pomanders, and get to know Becky a little better as she crafts with me.

Here’s our original post on Pomanders.

Day Two of Our Classic Christmas Week

Cranberry Garlands with Ben Schilaty

horizontal Ben and Brittany

 

Our second classic Christmas craft was the cranberry garland, which we made with Ben Schilaty. I’m assuming you’ve seen these little beauties around at this time of year–they’ve been a Christmas classic for a long time. And for good reason! They’re beautiful, timeless, and festive–just the thing if the chilly winter weather is getting you down (that deep red does look beautiful against the snow, though).

cranberry garland

If you haven’t heard of Ben Schilaty, see our original post, where we introduce him and get to know him better as we make cranberry garlands together.

Day Three of Our Classic Christmas Week

Christmas Poppers with Romy-Krystal Cutler

Christmas poppers

Third on the list of our classic Christmas crafts was Christmas poppers! We made these with the vibrant and wonderful Romy-Krystal Cutler. If you haven’t seen our Christmas poppers before, you’re in for a treat. Literally. You can fill them up and give them to your friends, neighbors and loved ones just in time for Christmas! Romy has been featured on the blog previously, and I would encourage you to look at our classic Christmas craft post, where we feature her, to learn more.

Brittany and Romy

Here’s the original blog post! There, you can also access links to read more about Romy, after you’re done making your Christmas poppers.

Day Four of Our Classic Christmas Week

Snowflakes with Sheryl Ellsworth

Sheryl Ellsworth and Brittany

Who’s never made a paper snowflake? I would be surprised if more than a few hands went up. Paper snowflakes are such a classic Christmas craft, and have been around forever. I love a good paper snowflake! They’re extremely versatile, not to mention beautiful. I gush all about them here. And making them with a longtime friend of mine, Sheryl Ellsworth, was almost too good to be true.

horizontal paper snowflakes

You can read more about how to make a paper snowflake and watch the video with me and Sheryl here.

Day Five of Our Classic Christmas Week

Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar with Pretty Life Girls

christmas bulb advent calendar

For the finale of our classic Christmas craft week, we invited Pretty Life Girls to make our Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar with us! Pretty Life Girls are crafters at heart. In fact, it’s what they do for a living, which means they did a pretty amazing job making this Larsified advent calendar.

Speaking of, advent calendars are one of those classic Christmas traditions that will always be on the docket for me. There are endless options, and this particular one is a favorite: it’s easy to make and equally pretty.

pretty life girls

Here’s the original post where you can read more about advents, and watch me make this one with Pretty Life Girls.

More Inspiration

If you loved learning about these classic Christmas crafts, you’ll probably enjoy this post where we compiled a list of our favorite Christmas decor ideas.

Christmas Tablescape

tablescape with mantlepiece

Christmas in the Studio

We spend pretty much all of our time in the studio here at The House that Lars Built. That means we certainly draw a lot of inspiration from each other, here on the team, as well as the many lovely bits of potential on the walls, floor, ceiling, etc. If it’s in the studio, you can bet we’ve probably mused about all the things we can use it for. So we got to thinking, if we’re in the studio so much, why not make a studio Christmas tablescape that highlights the things we love about our studio?!

tablecloth with centerpiece

Tablescape Inspiration

This Christmas tablescape’s inspiration came straight from the heart of Lars, triggered by our collaboration with the one and only Spoonflower. We knew we wanted it to feel festive and bright, so naturally, we picked a lovely checkerboard pattern of reds, pinks, and oranges to pair with the light, bubblegum pink of the studio floor. From there, we brought in a smorgasbord of golds and greens for the centerpiece and flatware. We topped it off with a backdrop featuring our charming poinsettias, greenery, and a smattering of what we’ve been working on in the studio! You can’t get more Lars than that.

trees and tablecloth

How to Recreate Our Christmas Tablescape

You may be wondering, how can I recreate this Christmas tablescape? Step right this way. What I love about this tablescape is that it’s so magical, yet feels so real and down to earth at the same time. The best part is, it’s simple and totally doable to recreate!

Here’s how to recreate your own Team Lars Christmas Tablescape:

 

The Tablecloth and Napkins

 

As I always say, the tablecloth and napkins are the key to creating a successful tablescape. They draw you in and set the tone for the entire occasion. That means it’s imperative that you be happy with them, first and foremost! Well, to say we were happy with our tablecloth and napkins would be an understatement. Spoonflower blew us away! The bright colors, together with the fun, checkerboard pattern were just the things we needed to get the inspiration flowing for the rest of the tablescape.

top view trees and table

We found our tablecloth and napkin fabric pattern here, along with other options we were considering. We went through a lot of options, and it was so hard to settle on just one. Feel free to peruse the options; Spoonflower has so many great ones.

As a note, we had some fun with our napkin folding for this tablescape. If you haven’t seen our full napkin-folding post, check it out here! It’s amazing what a fancily-folded napkin will do. We used the simple accordion fold for these napkins.

table setting with centerpiece

The Flatware, Glasses, and Plates

Target was our go-to for flatware, glasses and plates. We chose a classic gold for the flatware, glasses flecked with gold, and a dark cyan for the plates. The contrast between the dark, cool, cyan and the brighter reds, pinks, and oranges of the Spoonflower tablecloth and napkins was striking and eye-catching.

place setting

Tablescape Centerpiece and Decorations

For our Christmas tablescape centerpiece, we wanted something that felt Christmasy and would contrast nicely with the tablecloth and napkins. We decided to go with our tried-and-true crepe paper bottlebrush trees in various green shades. Then we added in some sparkling, gold accents and confetti. For the mantlepiece behind, we gathered pine boughs and some of our lovely paper poinsettias. Those elements, paired with some other inspiration we picked up around the studio fit amazingly with the rest of the tablescape.

tablecloth and napkin

Oh, and did I mention the pink floor?! It was one of those moments where I knew we’d made the right decision on that pink epoxy flooring, as tricky as it was. Naturally, not everyone has a pink epoxy floor for their tablescape, but that’s okay! Luckily, a rug like this, this or this can help complete the look in a similar way. Just try to pick something that won’t detract from that amazing Spoonflower tablecloth or napkins.

centerpiece

Shop the look

Here are just a few of the options we were considering. There are so many beautiful ones, we would love to see what you choose!

More Inspiration

Loved this post on our Lars Christmas Tablescape? Looking for more tablescape ideas? Here are some great ones you’ll probably love (bonus: many of them feature some lovely Spoonflower fabrics!). Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Tablescape, When Life Hands You Lemons Tablescape and Care Package, and Thanksgiving Table Decor.

 

Nativity Paper Dolls

Our Mid-Century Heirloom Nativity

If you’re new to this whole thing, I should start by introducing our mid-century heirloom nativity set. Inspired by the set my mom created when she was young, we decided to try our hand at creating our own version (I wish I could show you hers)! If you haven’t seen it, you can read more about our original nativity set here, since our original set is what inspired our nativity paper dolls.

Heirloom Nativity

But it turns out our relationship with that beloved Mid-Century Heirloom Nativity set was far from over. We received such a positive reaction from the first set that we got to work on the puzzle of manufacturing it, but to no avail. We did come up with a different solution, though: we decided to make a miniature version with wooden clothespins instead of the full-sized candlesticks. If you don’t want to spend quite so much time, painstakingly painting, this bite-sized, adorable version is for you!

Clothespin nativity

Nativity Craft Along

Midcentury painted heirloom nativity figures against a pink and red striped background.

After those two experiments with the nativity, we decided to launch our nativity craft along! This was SO much fun. We loved getting to support makers around the U.S. with donations throughout the craft along and from the charity auction at the end. There were so many wonderful things we learned. We especially loved getting to meet our guest stars and craft with them (and all of you!)

 

If you’re interested in reading more about our nativity craft along, see these posts: Nativity Craft Along, Nativity Craft Along: Meet Our Guests, and Nativity Craft Along: Auction Details.

Nativity Alternatives

All these experiences with our nativity helped us realize something: we wanted to make the nativity more accessible to a wider audience. As many of you know, the full-sized nativity set is quite the undertaking. It’s very time consuming, and some of you have mentioned feeling a bit inadequate as far as painting those perfect lines goes. It’s also not the ideal craft for younger children.

We partially addressed these concerns with our mini clothespin nativity. It’s a bit quicker because it’s smaller, but still requires some meticulous care with a paintbrush. So! If you want a fun nativity project related to our full-sized nativity, but that’s a lot more approachable, our nativity paper dolls are right up your alley!

nativity paper dolls

Nativity Paper Dolls

You may have noticed these sweet little paper dolls on our shop–they’ve been up for a few weeks now. We launched these towards the end of our nativity craft along, and we love this quick and easy version of the real thing! Spitting image of our original wooden nativity pieces, these are the perfect option if you don’t feel like your painting skills are quite up to par. They’re also great for younger audiences who aren’t quite ready for the meticulous patience the full-sized nativity requires. All you have to do is print and cut them out! You can find them in our shop. Play with them, hang them on the wall, these are such a fun little craft that’s quick and easy.

nativity paper dolls

uncut nativity paper dolls

Nativity Coloring Pages

When we decided to make nativity paper dolls, we couldn’t help but make some nativity paper doll coloring pages as well! These are a great alternative, especially if you’re looking for a festive, low-pressure activity to do with your kids at Christmastime.

nativity coloring pages

We love that these coloring pages are fun for a wide range of ages, and that you can happily color them any way you like! There’s no right or wrong way to do it, and they’ll look cute no matter what.

We would love to see your variations of our nativity paper dolls and coloring pages!

 

More Inspiration

If you loved reading about our Mid-Century Heirloom Nativity and all its variations, you’ll love these other quick and easy seasonal crafts. Our Printable cookie box is the perfect little package to send out holiday treats! Patterned Christmas Poppers are also a great way to send little goodies to friends and family. Need a little bit of color for your wall? Try our Cuckoo Holidays Print. And as you’re wrapping gifts, don’t forget about our Paper Holiday Gift Toppers and Holiday Gift Tags, which are such a fun way to spice up your wrapping job. Oh, and if you want to add to your tree decorations, Fair Isle Christmas Ornaments are a great option.

Christmas Decor Ideas

Paper Village Advent

Christmas Advent Calendars

To start off our list of favorite Christmas decor ideas, we had to include advent calendars! I love advent calendars, which is probably why we have so many to choose from at The House that Lars Built. Seriously, take your pick: we have such a wide variety that I’m sure one will suit your fancy! The thing I love about advent calendars is that they serve multiple purposes: A gorgeous and seasonal decoration to brighten your spirits, and a built-in count-down to Christmas! Oh, and the bonus of an occasional treat box.

Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

Here’s a list of some of our favorite advents we’ve made over the years:

Garlands

cranberry garland

Another tried and true Christmas decor idea we love is the garland! Besides sharing a name with the one and only Judy Garland, these sweet Christmas decorations are way to bring instant cheer and warmth to this cold season. We have a wide variety of garlands we’ve made over the years, ranging from paper to real fruit. One thing we love about garlands is that they’re so versatile! You can drape them in front of the mantle, use them to create a table centerpiece, hang them on the bannister, or drape them on the Christmas tree, just to name a few options.

wood bead garland

 

Here are our favorite seasonal Christmas garlands:

Wreaths

single arm wreath shot

 

We couldn’t leave wreaths out of this list of Christmas decor ideas. Wreaths are such a classic Christmas decoration and we have plenty for you to choose from! We’re especially excited about our new Paper Poinsettia Wreath, which we just revealed last week.

Paper Mushroom Wreath

Here’s the list of some of our wreath favorites:

Ornaments and Tree Decorations

family heirloom ornaments

Here at The House that Lars Built, we love ornaments! Really, though, you could consider it an obsession. But can you blame us?! Besides being such a classic Christmas decor element, Christmas Ornaments are such a fun decoration and an easy way to make your home feel cozy, festive, and seasonal! It’s hard to pick my favorite, honestly. There are so many lovely options to choose from on this list, you can’t go wrong!

Paper Honeycomb Ornaments

 

Here are some of our favorite Christmas tree ornaments:

If you’re not feeling in the mood to get crafting and want a quick option to decorate your tree as Christmas gets closer, we’re here for you. As always, we have some beautiful new ornaments this year in the shop! Click here to see the options.

Shop Ornaments

Cake and Table Toppers

Okay, now if you’re like me and you like to have a cozy gathering or two during the holiday season, then these cake and table toppers are must-haves! There’s just something about decorating your food to look festive that makes eating it so much more appropriate for the holidays.

christmas cake topper

Here are our go-to cake and table toppers:

Crepe Paper Christmas Tree Cake Topper

And if you’re feeling in the mood for a little seasonal piñata to add to your party, we have just the thing for you:

pig pinata

Other Decorations

We’ve also compiled these other whimsical, fun and festive Christmas decor ideas for you to peruse. They cover a wide range of options, and we’re sure there’s something for you here!

stockings

 

Oversized Paper Christmas Stars

What did you think? We’re excited to see which Christmas decor ideas you decided to go with!

More Inspiration

If you had fun looking through our Christmas decor ideas, you’ll probably love our 2021 gift guides! Christmas Decorations Gift Guide, Best Gifts for Crafters, Christmas Gifts for Women, Christmas Gifts for Men, and Christmas Gifts for Kids.

Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

christmas bulb advent calendar

Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

We couldn’t have our classic Christmas week without including an advent calendar. Advent calendars have been around since the 19th century, when families would mark the days in December until Christmas Eve with a chalk line. Well, we’ve come a long way since the chalk lines, but the tradition of counting down the days ’til Christmas still stands! We’ve made quite a few Christmas advent calendars in our day, but decided the perfect fit for this occasion was the Christmas bulb advent calendar. We love this fun variation on an advent calendar that doubles as a playful Christmas garland filled with little Christmas goodies, and who better to share it with than the Pretty Life Girls?

close close up

Introducing Liz and Sam of the Pretty Life Girls

If you haven’t heard of the Pretty Life Girls before, you are missing out. This was my first time meeting Liz and Sam in person, and wow, I was blown away by how fun they are! They are truly kindred spirits–crafters and bloggers at heart, they’re creatives who love making beautiful things and sharing them. Here’s their website if you’d like to learn more about them.

Brittany and Pretty Life Girls

The whole time they were in the studio, it felt full of life and Christmas cheer! We could have talked all day, and it took some self-restraint to keep the video to a realistic length. As you can imagine, as crafters themselves, they took the trickiest of our classic Christmas crafts of this week and made it look easy. Oh, and bonus, Sam brought her adorable baby with her.

Here’s the video of me, Liz and Sam making a Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar together:

How to Make your own Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

For a full tutorial on how to make your own Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar, we would recommend visiting our original tutorial that takes you through step by step. You can find the tutorial here.

christmas bulb advent calendar

How to Style your Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. One of my very favorite things about this advent calendar is how amazingly versatile it is! You can hang it on your mantlepiece, yes, but you can also drape it on your Christmas tree, hang it in a window, around a door, on the wall, or on the bannister. Seriously, the options are endless, and I’m sure there are more I failed to mention. This advent calendar’s bright, poppy colors are such a fun way to celebrate the holidays and add a little pizazz to your traditional seasonal decor.

Bulb opened

We would love to see what you do to style your Christmas Bulb Advent Calendars. Let us know!

Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

More Inspiration

If you loved this episode of our classic Christmas week, we feel sure you’ll love the others! Pomanders with Becky Edwards, Cranberry Garlands with Ben Schilaty, Christmas Poppers with Romy-Krystal Cutler, and Snowflakes with Sheryl Ellsworth.

Paper Snowflakes with Sheryl Ellsworth

paper snowflake

Paper Snowflakes

Paper Snowflakes are one of those tried and true Christmas crafts that just never get old. Honestly. There are so many endless variations, and it’s something almost everyone can participate in! They’re delicate, beautiful, and instantly douse a room in Christmas cheer. If you’d like, you can reference our full tutorial for making paper snowflakes here. Our Christmas gift to you is offering a template for making paper snowflakes, so if you’re not confident in your abilities to design a snowflake yourself, we’ve got you covered!

cutting with template

Introducing Sheryl Ellsworth

Those of you who’ve been following the blog for a while might recognize Sheryl. That’s because this isn’t the first time you’ve seen her featured here at the House that Lars Built! For a few years now, we’ve invited her to speak to us on Juneteenth about her experience as a black American and it’s been amazing to have her. You can read our Juneteenth posts with Sheryl here and here, and learn even more about her here and here. Well, to say we were excited to have Sheryl back to help us make paper snowflakes is definitely an understatement. We were beyond thrilled (I love any chance I can get to see a good friend!) and loved the energy she brought with her to this snowflake-making session!

Sheryl Ellsworth and Brittany

Here’s the video of us making paper snowflakes together:

Here’s how to make your very own paper snowflakes:

horizontal paper snowflakes

Making Paper Snowflakes

  1. Take a standard 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper and fold it in half diagonally. It should look like a triangle now.
  2. Fold it in half again, diagonally, so it’s a smaller triangle now.
  3. Now, fold the paper in thirds. It will look like a flattened ice cream cone when you’re done.
  4. Cut off the top, excess portion of the paper so you have a neat little narrow triangle.
  5. Now you can use your template to trace the snowflake pattern onto your folded piece of paper.
  6. Cut out your snowflake, being careful not to cut too far into the other edge!
  7. Carefully, unfold your snowflake and press flat.
  8. Done!

If you’d like a little more guidance, see our full paper snowflake tutorial here.

paper snowflake

More Inspiration

If you loved making paper snowflakes with us, we’re sure you’ll love these festive Christmas crafts, too! Holiday Napkin Folding, DIY Paper Christmas Cactus, DIY Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar, DIY Patterned Christmas Poppers, DIY Bottlebrush Tree, and DIY Accordion Christmas Village.

Fiskars paper snowflakes group

 

Christmas Poppers with Romy-Krystal Cutler

Close up of Christmas poppers

Christmas Poppers

If you’re not familiar with this traditional Christmas craft, you’re in for a treat! Christmas Crackers originate from British Christmas traditions, where these individual candy-filled poppers are set at each place at the dinner table, and playfully popped open before dinner.

These are the perfect holiday craft that can be transformed into a neat little gift package stuffed with holiday goodies. They’re small, colorful, and just the thing to brighten up the season. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to make a template, so all you have to do is download and print, and you’re ready to make this simple, eye-catching classic Christmas craft! A few years ago, we released an in-depth tutorial on making these bite-sized Christmas packages that you can find here. I should add, too, that Romy was the perfect choice to help make these delightful little bundles.

Christmas crackers

Introducing Romy-Krystal Cutler

You might have noticed that this isn’t the first time we’ve featured Romy-Krystal Cutler on our blog. Last year, we invited Romy to participate in our Becoming series. If you’re interested, you can read more about it here. You can also read more about what she does on her website. It was a joy to get to know her more then, and a joy to have her back again this year! She has such a fun presence and did a phenomenal job making these little Christmas poppers. We’re excited for you to get to know her!

Brittany and Romy

Here’s the video of us making Christmas poppers together:

Making Christmas Poppers with Romy-Krystal Cutler

And now, here’s how you can make your own Christmas poppers:

how to make Christmas poppers

How to Make Christmas Poppers

  1. First, simply follow along with our Christmas Poppers tutorial, found here.
  2. As a note, feel free to customize and use any paper you like! Experiment with ribbon and wrapping paper combinations and see what you like best. We loved the way it turned out using our custom wrapping paper! You can find it here.

One of my favorite things about these Christmas Poppers is how versatile they are. You can display them around your house, but you can also stuff them with goodies and gift them to your neighbors, family and friends. You can also use them to wrap your Christmas gifts, especially for small treasures, like jewelry.

We’d love to see what you do with your Christmas poppers!

Christmas poppers

More Inspiration

If you had fun with this tutorial, you’ll probably love these other Christmas crafts and traditions, too! Christmas traditions from around the world, Bottlebrush Christmas tree, DIY Custom Christmas Stockings, DIY Holiday Friendship Bracelets, and DIY Paper Honeycomb Ornaments.

Cranberry Garlands with Ben Schilaty

Cranberry Garlands

We’re excited to be making cranberry garlands today! These are such a fun, festive tradition and the ruby red berries look so beautiful amidst all the green pine boughs and other Christmas decorations. We were curious how cranberries became associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we did a little research. We found that cranberry garlands became popular in the 1800s in colonial Massachusetts, partly because of their long shelf life. They were also harvested in the fall and winter, making them the perfect candidate for holiday decorations and food! Their beautiful red color sealed the deal and we’ve been hooked ever since. If you’ve never made a cranberry garland before, this is such a great Christmas craft to add to your repertoire. It’s so easy, and the result is magical. I had such a fun time making mine with Ben Schilaty!

cranberry garland

Introducing Ben Schilaty

First of all, Ben is my next-door neighbor! I didn’t know him nearly well enough, so I thought making cranberry garlands would be the perfect opportunity to get to know him a little better. If you didn’t know, Ben wrote a book called A Walk in My Shoeswhich is about his experience being a gay member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I would highly recommend! He also hosts a podcast with his friend, Charlie Bird (who is also a gay member of the same church), called Questions from the Closet, which also addresses being gay and members of their religion.

horizontal Ben and Brittany

Ben was such a fun guest to have join us! He also did an impeccable job on his cranberry garland, I must say. This is proof that getting to know your neighbors is a good thing! Here’s the video of us making the cranberry garlands:

Making Cranberry Garlands With Ben Schilaty

And now, here’s how you can make your own cranberry garland:

Cranberry garland

How to Make a Cranberry Garland

  1. First, measure how long you would like your garland to be. Cut a piece of string to that length, plus a few inches.
  2. Now take your string and thread it through your needle.
  3. Next, dump your bag of cranberries into a bowl for easy access.
  4. Now you can start threading the cranberries onto your string! Simply poke the needle through the middle of the cranberry and slide it all the way down. Tie a knot at the end so the berries don’t slide off the end
  5. Keep sliding cranberries along the string until it’s full.
  6. Remove the needle and tie a knot at the other end of the string. Clip the excess string.

Ta da!

close up of cranberry garland

This cranberry garland is such a versatile and beautiful Christmas decoration. You can use it to decorate your Christmas tree, string it along your mantlepiece, hang it along a wall, drape it around a window, and so much more. I love the little pop of color it can add to a room, too! The best part is, cranberries (as we mentioned before) have a great shelf life. They dry out after a while, but still look pretty that way. And after you’re done with them, they’re biodegradable, too!

We would love to see what you do with your cranberry garlands!

More Inspiration

If you had fun making cranberry garlands with us, we would recommend these other lovely Christmas crafts: Pomanders with Becky Edwards, Paper Poinsettia Wreath, Oversized Holly and Berry Garland, Christmas bulb advent calendar, holiday nesting dolls, paper honeycomb ornaments, DIY nativity puppets.

Pomanders

bow Pomander

What is a pomander?

You may be wondering, what is a pomander? The name was unfamiliar to me at first, too. It turns out a pomander is an orange that’s been decorated with cloves. I’ve been making these for years, but now I can put a name with it! I explain a bit more about it in the video below, but pomanders have been around since the middle ages, and were originally used to ward off disease. Can you think of a more fitting craft to make in the middle of a pandemic? The bonus is that they smell lovely with that orange, spicy goodness, and look so festive, too. We were also lucky enough to have Becky Edwards with us to make these pomanders, which was amazing!

Group shot

Introducing Becky Edwards

Who is Becky Edwards? You may have seen signs with Becky’s name on them around town. That’s right, friends, Becky Edwards is running for U.S. Senate to unseat Mike Lee! I’m a HUGE Becky supporter and even more so now. To say she was a phenomenal guest would be an understatement. I mean, did you know Becky is a seasoned crafter herself?! How could we have asked for more? We learned just as much about crafting from Becky as she did from us.

Becky and Brittany

Making pomanders with Becky was such a treat. And look at her own cute sweater! When she arrived, she brought a bunch of festive sweaters with her, just to make sure our outfits matched. Can you say soul sister? We clicked immediately. If you think she sounds fun so far, you should watch the video of our crafting session below!

If you’re local in Utah, I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about Becky Edwards over the coming months. I’m particualry excited about her because of her attention to women’s issues, and paid leave. I believe she’s just what Utah needs. She’s a moderate who I believe will do an incredible job for us.

Making pomanders with Becky Edwards

How to make a Christmas pomander

Here are the steps to making your very own Christmas pomander:

How to make a Pomander steps

  1. First, tie a colored piece of ribbon around your orange however you’d like. Get creative and have fun! We tied ours like wrapping a gift.
  2. The next step is to take your cloves and stick them into the orange, pointy side down. It should be sharp enough to puncture the orange skin without too much trouble.
  3. Arrange the cloves in any pattern you want! Becky made hers into a heart shape, which we loved!
  4. If you’d like, you can secure the ribbon to the orange with a dab of hot glue, so it doesn’t slip off.
  5. You’re done!

bow Pomander

Pomanders can be displayed on a mantlepiece, shelf, countertop, or even hung as ornaments from your Christmas tree. We can’t wait to see what you do with your pomanders, and we hope you had fun making pomanders with Becky Edwards!

More Inspiration

If you enjoyed this post about pomanders, you’ll probably also love these other classic Christmas crafts! Christmas bulb advent calendar, holiday nesting dolls, paper honeycomb ornaments, DIY nativity puppets.

Paper Poinsettia Wreath

close up window shot

Paper Poinsettia Wreath

If you’ve been following our tutorials for a while, you might notice that the flowers on this poinsettia wreath look familiar. Right you are! We originally released a tutorial back in 2017, showing you how to make some paper poinsettia flowers, but then we got thinking: what if we turned those flowers into a wreath?! And the paper poinsettia wreath was born.

red close up

A winter floral wreath is a breath of fresh air from all the pine-centric wreaths, if you ask me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good pine bough wreath, but I’m always looking for a way to sneak some flowers in. Can you blame me? The poinsettias are such a perfect way to make a wreath that feels seasonal and festive, but that’s fun, colorful, and whimsical at the same time.

Don’t Have a Wreath Form?

Don’t worry! If you’re looking for wreath form alternatives you can simply buy heavy gauge wire (see the link to it in the materials list above) and coil it into a few circles, securing with floral tape or something similar. This makes a DIY wreath form that’s sturdy enough to last in any size you like.

window shot of paper wreath

Paper Poinsettia Wreath Instructions

Here’s how to make your very own paper poinsettia wreath!

Prepping the flowers

  1. Using our Paper Poinsettia Flowers tutorial, assemble your flowers. You will need roughly ten large flowers. Note: when we made our poinsettia wreath flowers, we left out the leaves that are included in the original tutorial.
  2. Next, make five or six smaller flowers, using the same steps above. The difference is that you’ll only use the two small petals in the template, not the two large ones.

Assembling the wreath

Once all your poinsettias are made, you’re ready to assemble your wreath!

step photos

  1. Resting the stem of the poinsettia against the wreath form so the flower faces towards the front, wrap the extra wire stem around it. Then secure in place with some hot glue.
  2. Continue this process all the way around the wreath until it’s full. Alternate with the small and large poinsettias so you have some size variation. Depending on the size of your wreath form and how bushy you want your wreath, you may need more or less flowers than we used for ours.

You’re all done!

close up of pinks

How to style your paper poinsettia wreath

This beautiful paper poinsettia wreath can be styled in so many ways! You can put it on your front door, but you can also hang it on any other door in your house. You can also hang it on your wall in the living room, kitchen, or any other room, really. Wreaths are really versatile, so if you don’t have very many indoor plants, this can be such a great addition, especially if you have a blank stretch of wall that needs a little love.

The best thing is you don’t have to water them and they’ll last a long time! If you’re like me and you’re constantly forgetting about your houseplants, paper flowers are the perfect solution. And if you’ve ever dealt with the needles dropping off of a pine bough wreath, you’ll love this paper poinsettia wreath.

We would love to see what you do with your paper poinsettia wreaths!

window wreath

More inspiration

If you loved this tutorial on how to make a paper poinsettia wreath, you’ll probably love these other paper flower and seasonal decorations tutorials, too: DIY paper hollyhocks, paper pansies, poppies and peonies and posies, crepe paper Christmas tree topper, paper mushroom wreath, and pink paper blossom wreath.

single arm wreath shot