6 Ways to Craft a Merry Little Christmas | Midwest Living

6 Ways to Craft a Merry Little Christmas

Handmade decorations and cleverly repurposed items afford a satisfying sense of creating your own style. Illinois designer Jennifer Rizzo, author of Creatively Christmas, and Michigan flea-market aficionado Maria Marcusse share ideas to make your home festive.
  • String me along

    A child of the ’70s, Jennifer Rizzo loves a good tassel, and she makes them just like she did when she was a kid: Wrap yarn around an index card about 70 times. Snake a length of yarn between the card and the wrapped yarn, and tie it off. Slip the yarn off the cardboard and snip in half. Tie a second bit of yarn about 1 inch from the top to form a ball at the top. Tip: The thicker the yarn, the fluffier the tassel .

  • Pretty perspective

    Dressing up the kitchen window “makes the work happy,” during busy holidays, Jennifer says. Hang strands of beads, berries or ornaments on hooks, then create a winterscape using greens and household items—don’t overlook the kids’ toy box for inspiration. Tip: Small cypress pine topiaries are a steal—just $5 at the grocery store.

  • Easy set up

    Enjoy a casual table for holiday meals all month long. Deer-motif dish towels make nifty place mats. Buy two sets so you can leave the table set while the dirty towels get washed.

  • Second time around

    Maria Marcusse deftly uses old things in new ways. When a strand of vintage mercury glass garland broke, she hot-glued the beads to her vintage bottlebrush trees nested in mustard pots (teacups work, too). 

  • Move it

    Inspired by old-fashioned mechanical toys, Jennifer created woodland animals by using royalty-free image source Graphics Fairy for figures. She printed images onto a stiff paper, cut out the shapes and attached moveable limbs with brads. They’re perfect for embellishing napkin rings, wine bottles and packages.  

  • Days of wonder

    To create this Advent calendar, Maria adhered number stickers to shipping tags then used gold straight pins to attach them and a selection of ornaments to an artists canvas lined with foam board. 

    Holiday home tour: Jennifer Rizzo hosts a virtual holiday house tour on her website each year. She shares the decorated homes of about 30 like-minded types, such as Maria. Go to jenniferrizzo.com to start the tour.

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