Decorate with Holiday Scents
Spice stamp gift wrap
Handmade paper purchased at an art store and sheer tulle tied as ribbon give gifts a texture that's hard to resist. Add a personal gift tag and unique spice stamp. To make the stamp, sand one side of a star anise, dip it in glittery ink and press it on the tag.
Rosemary and arborvitae layer the mantel with green. The red seed balls add holiday punch. The purchased square foam wreath features variegated boxwood, flat evergreen and berries. The simple ultrasuede stockings only require sewing along the edges. The hardest part may be deciding what to put in them.
Caution: Evergreen branches can be extremely flammable, particularly if they dry out. Keep real evergreen materials away from open flames and high wattage electric lights.
Pair spice-toned dishware with ultrasuede runners of soft texture and hues. Flatware parks in handy pockets sewn onto the runners. Place cards feature old-fashioned photos copied in black and white and glued onto handmade art paper. An 8 x 5-inch rectangle of paper folded in half allows you to punch holes on the folded side of the paper and tie on a cinnamon stick with a strand of sage raffia.
Supersoft, no-fray ultrasuede makes for an extra-cushy pillow. We varied the fabric colors for interest, and scalloped the fringe by trimming with curved cutting shears. A small spice sachet tucked in with the filling will add to the relaxing pleasure.
Crisp linen napkins tied with glimmering tulle ribbon showcase a single star anise and a sprig of holly.
Even the kids can lend a hand in this decorative project. Make mini arrangements by filling each cup of a muffin tin with candles, spices and seed-accented accessories from the craft shop. The candles add height and bring the scents to life.
Seasonal spice table
Create a memorable table with materials having contrasting textures but related colors. We used a sheer table linen with glossy finish, overlaid with dense, soft ultrasuede runners. The glassware also varies, from nubby to smooth. A variety of fruits, pine cones, whole spices, and scented candles bring the room to life.
Small twists -- such as place cards strung on the chair and place mats that overhang the edge -- add to festive ambience.
Pinecones, kumquats, greenery and star anise surround spice-scented candles with an intoxicating bouquet as the centerpiece for this holiday tabletop. The wooden trays lift the display closer to eye level and maintain a visual airiness.