Holiday decorating ideas that are not from Martha Stewart

Lizz Winstead

OK, kids!

Here are three quick and easy holiday tips that save you some time AND make you look like a master decoratrix.

Let's make a pact this year: I propose we all skip the Martha Stewart cranberries-in-the-bottom-of-the-vase-filled-with-white-roses thing.

We did it.
It was the '90s.
It was cute.
It's done.
Everybody knows it's Martha.
Time to move on.

Instead, howz about ... drum roll please ...

A Frost Kissed Arrangement of Fall Leaves and Branches

You only need five things:

  • A bunch of colorful fall leaves
  • Some 2-foot branches
  • Leftover decorative gourds from Thanksgiving
  • A can of spray icicle and a can of spray snow
  • Bird ornaments (optional)

Lightly spray some vibrant fall leaves with icicle spray, making sure the bright reds and golds of the leaves are dominant and the leaves look frost-coated, not caked. Now take three or four small gourds that are leftover from Thanksgiving. With a much heavier coating, spray the living you-know-what all over and arrange them amongst the leaves at the bottom of the vase.

Then get some tall, thin branches and lightly coat them as well. Now you have a very dramatic sparkly centerpiece for a corner table or an entryway. Oh, and if you really wanna get all craftastic, find one or two Cardinals or Blue Jays ornaments and clip them to or hang them from the branches! Seriously awesome.

Note: This could also be done horizontally on a tray as a long centerpiece for a table.

Scented Place Cards

You need five things:

  • Cards
  • Glue Pen
  • Pencil, with eraser
  • Clean eyeshadow brush
  • The spice of your choice

Write each guest's name lightly with the pencil on a place card. Trace the name with the glue pen. Then, take a spice from your meal -- cinnamon, rosemary, whatever you love -- and sprinkle over the glue. Gently blow the extra off and use the eyeshadow brush to dust off any excess.

I used cinnamon on Thanksgiving. Purty, huh?

Note: if you want a savory aroma, make sure whatever spice you use is ground into a fine powder. The leafy, stemmy spices are not your friend.

Also, a sprig of spice in the folded napkin is always a win.

Slow Cookers Are Your Best Friend

Lastly, and this is just an awesome time-saver: If you are making a mashed root vegetable for dinner, do it in advance and keep it warm in a slow cooker. It frees up your stovetop for gravies or any last-minute side-dish action you got working!

Happy Holidays!

Hope you eat everything on your list!

Tags: 
decorating

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