1. Canning jar luminaries[caption id="attachment_906" align="aligncenter" width="410"] What you'll need: Canning jars, snowflake ornaments (optional) and clear wire battery operated dot lights, Canadian Tire. Photography by Brett Walther.[/caption] At the heart of these sparkling luminaries are Canadian Tire's clear wire dot lights, which are available in the red and green above, as well as blue, warm white, pure white and multi-coloured options. Because the light strands are battery operated, there are no unsightly cords trailing in and out of each jar, and they're absolutely ideal for outdoor applications. How pretty would it be to line the path to your front door with a series of these sweet little do-it-yourself lanterns? [caption id="attachment_907" align="aligncenter" width="410"] A close-up of one of the battery operated dot light strands, which retail for $8 at Canadian Tire. Hasn't holiday lighting come a LONG way! Photography by Brett Walther.[/caption]
2. Festive frames[caption id="attachment_908" align="aligncenter" width="410"] What you'll need: Art frames (with mattes), glue gun, mini-ornaments, Canadian Tire. Photography by Brett Walther.[/caption] Last year, my Christmas tree was decked out in purple and silver, a palette that I referred to -- with tongue planted firmly in cheek -- as "Frosted Raisin." I actually loved the amethyst and eggplant ornaments so much, I'm considering them for a repeat performance in 2012, and may even attempt this do-it-yourself dimensional art installation to boot. To make, simply remove the glass pane from two inexpensive, pre-matted art frames, and, using a hot glue gun, fix a number of mix-and-match mini-ornaments directly to the backing of the frames in the space inside the matte. This is a fantastic way to carry your Christmas tree colour scheme into other rooms in your home -- including the bedroom! [caption id="attachment_915" align="aligncenter" width="410"] In the bedroom, these two festive frames serve as a seasonal headboard! Photography by Brett Walther.[/caption]
3. Unconventional floral centrepiece[caption id="attachment_918" align="aligncenter" width="410"] What you'll need: Spider mums, white roses (I'd use carnations, myself!), evergreen sprigs, mixed berries, floral foam, trough-shaped vessel, ribbon, Canadian Tire. Photography by Brett Walther.[/caption]
I love poinsettias as much as the next Christmas junkie, but when it comes down to it, my real passion is for unconventional festive flowers. This trough-shaped centrepiece, wrapped in ribbon, struck me as particularly pretty, and I'm sure it's down to the spectacularly unexpected spider mums. Although they're not necessarily the first flower you'd select for a seasonal arrangement, the lime green is a perennial favourite of mine in holiday decorating schemes, and it plays beautifully with the creamy white blossoms.
4. Holiday window hanging[caption id="attachment_919" align="aligncenter" width="410"] What you'll need: Tension rod, ribbon, ornaments, Canadian Tire. Photography by Brett Walther.[/caption] If you've got a spare tension rod, any window or door frame in your home can be made festive in flash! Mount the tension rod in the frame, then hang leftover tree ornaments from lengths of ribbon. Holiday decorating doesn't get much easier than this! [caption id="attachment_924" align="aligncenter" width="410"] Those ornaments improve the view from the kitchen window considerably. (The chic commercial-grade faucet doesn't hurt, either!) Photography by Brett Walther.[/caption]
5. Very merry mobile[caption id="attachment_921" align="aligncenter" width="410"] What you'll need: Fishing line, wreath form, ceiling hook, ornaments, Canadian Tire. Although it certainly adds to the arrangement, the skylight is optional. ;) Photography by Brett Walther.[/caption] How's this for a showstopper? Hung with ordinary fishing line from a foam wreath form (which is itself suspended from the ceiling), these rainbow baubles would make a stunning statement in an otherwise gloomy corner, or -- as here -- in the shaft of a second-floor skylight. What DIY decorating tricks do you have up your sleeve this holiday season? I'd love to hear from you! Follow me on Twitter! Don't miss out - subscribe to Canadian Living's Home & Garden blog!