Happy holidays from Tumbleweed Tidings. Are you feeling overwhelmed this year by the seasonal tasks of baking, decorating, getting cards out, and shopping? All during a pandemic while homeschooling your kids? Me too! (Well, except for the homeschooling part.) You’d think it would be easier to get everything done, since we rarely leave our homes and our social life has diminished to something resembling a hermit crab. But no, Christmas in 2020 still seems to have left me feeling behind in almost every category.
Today, I have five simple things you can do to give your home a festive flair, without spending much (or any) money, and that take no more than 5 minutes to put together. Now, these are not jaw-dropping touches that will elicit gasps from everyone, but they are cute, easy, and fast. Sound too good to be true? Read on.
5-in-5 Number 1 – Embellish a thrift shop find or reimagine an existing piece.
We were in northern Idaho this past week and visited some nice thrift shops. At one, I came across this metal candle holder, that had metal pinecones and evergreen branches attached. It was kind of quirky and unstructured, which are two of my favorite characteristics:) Furthermore, it was $4. I brought it home, took three candle rings and candles I already had from previous years, and put it together. The end result is something I just love, and will put it on a table this holiday season. And did I mention it only cost $4…that makes my heart so happy!
5-in-5 Number 2 – Change out your kitchen soaps
I keep my kitchen hand soap and dishwashing liquid on a little silver tray next to the sink. Most of the year, they are uninspiring, just a nice foaming hand soap and blue Dawn soap. But when Christmas rolls around, look out! I change the hand soap to seasonal one, complete with red bow, and for the dishwashing soap, I swap out the blue Dawn soap for the green Dawn soap. This takes less than 5 minutes, other than the trip to the store to buy the green Dawn, and it is just another festive touch for our kitchen.
5-in-5 Number 3 – Decorate a lantern
We have a black metal lantern that usually sits outside our front door. Inside, it has a battery operated candle that I seldom use unless we are having guests at night. I brought the lantern in, threw out the candle that was listing to one side due to melting in the summer heat (!) and cleaned out all of the dead bugs inside…I’m so embarrassed. Next, I washed all of the glass with Windex. I found a couple of Christmas greenery picks, and bent them to fit the top. Lastly, I put a new candle inside and voila! A totally refreshed lantern to use for Christmas.
5-in-5 Number 4 – Create a “snowy” vase decoration
For this decor item, I turned to something that many people have on hand, Epsom Salts. I have been making bath salts this year, and quickly discovered that the white Epsom Salts look just like snow…and they don’t melt. I searched through my cupboard and found a nice cylindrical vase. Next, I filled it about half full with the salts. Last, I inserted some snowy looking picks with red berries and this DIY was done. I absolutely love how it looks and it couldn’t be easier.
5-in-5 Number 5 – Create a stick match holder
For some reason, I have been obsessed with matches this year, to the point where I have a blog post coming out soon called “It’s a Match.” I don’t know if I’m entering into some kind of pyromania phase, or that I’m just tired of using flame throwers, but I just love having matches sitting out to light holiday candles. I also find that the long stick matches make it easier to light candles that are inside of lanterns or vessels that are deep and harder to reach safely with a flame thrower. For this DIY, I found a tall, thin vase. Next, I purchased a box of long stick matches, which are very cheap, and come in green and red like they were just meant for Christmas. I cut the striker pad that comes on the bottom of the box into a circle a little smaller than the diameter of the vase, and attached with double sided tape. Last, I filled the vase with a handful of the matches and tied a simple bow of green and white cording around the middle. Placed beside a holiday candle, this could be one of my favorite 5 minute decorating tricks ever in the history of 5 minute decorating tricks:)
I hope you have enjoyed my 5-in-5 Holiday version DIY today. I am hoping to do more of these posts in the future, in an effort to inspire you to look at simple items you already own such as vases, Epsom Salts, or stick matches, and reimagine them in new and surprising ways. I think you’ll find, as I did, that sometimes the simplest and inexpensive decor items bring more joy than something more time consuming or costly. Please let me know in the comments which one you like the best!