Quick and simple diy holiday decor

I wanted to make something holiday-ish for our bedroom that was a little romantic, a little whimsical and cost almost nothing.

I pick up frames at thrift stores all the time. I pick ones with interesting frames just in case. In my collection here, I had this red wood frame.


I just wrote on the glass with a paint marker then put on some lipstick and kissed it. Easiest and cheapest DIY holiday decor. Ever.

Holiday cards you can still send for FREE

Living in Switzerland, Scott and I opted not to send traditional holiday cards this year. Mailing here can be ridiculously expensive. Envelopes the post office deems too big—that are standard size in the U.S.—can cost up to $5 each.

I received an email from Open Me a few weeks ago announcing a new service: Holiday cards you could customize and send for FREE! That’s right, they are free (for a limited time).

So I decided to test the service.

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I chose this design then personalized it.

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Last minute gift guide

Holiday procrastinators, this guide is for you. I scoured the Web for gifts you can purchase up until the 11th hour and still get under the tree in time. Here are the ones that appeared in Parade magazine, and here are five more last-minute gift guide ideas you still have time to gift. Start shopping NOW!

For unexpected exchangers

Give them a distinctive surface for serving cheese and hors d’oeuvres with a mini (5.5 or 7.5 inches wide) wood board that comes with a bamboo cheese knife. Order by 12/23 for rush delivery. Personalization not possible. ($25 each)

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For your right-hand man or woman

Keep hands warm but fingers free with gloves that are 85 percent wool and naturally repel water. Available in five colors. Order by 6 p.m. EST 12/23 for overnight delivery. ($20)

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For the slow drinker

If you know someone who fancies craft beer, lambics or ciders—that typically come in larger bottles—they need this pocket-size gadget that opens bottles with one side and reseals them with the other. Order by 6 p.m. EST 12/23 for overnight delivery. ($9 each)

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For a new baby

Type in the newborn’s name, meaning behind the moniker and the birthdate, and get a downloadable customized piece of art you can print. Order by 12 p.m. EST 12/24. Eight hours later, Nameberry emails a file for you to print out. ($19)

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For the bookworm

Order the reader on your list a bestselling Kindle book—like The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt—even if they don’t own a Kindle. Input the recipient’s email, and they’ll get the book in their inbox. Order it Christmas morning. ($8-$11 each)

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Wine cork crafts: Christmas trees

Only five days left until Christmas, and if you’re like me, you still have a little shopping to do and no more time to think about decorating the house. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of simplifying the holidays this year. I made a tree out of lights, added greens to the bookshelf and crafted snowflakes out of toilet paper and paper towel rolls.

So this wine cork craft is equally as simple, made from another recyclable product and can be done in minutes, literally. Drum roll, please. I give you mini rosemary trees!

Rosemary trees

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DIY snowflakes made from toilet paper rolls

It’s no secret that I love DIY holiday decorations. Last Christmas I made a wreath that looked similar to this one from Bonnin Designs (I stupidly didn’t take a picture of mine) from toilet paper rolls I’d been collecting.

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I tossed it at the end of the season because after a month of hanging on our front door, it had sagged badly at the bottom and resembled more of a deformed oval than the circle I created.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve had to get creative with the holiday decorating here in Switzerland. We didn’t move any decorations and aren’t willing to invest in festive flair since we head home in April. Here’s this year’s tree and our shelving unit decked out for the holidays.

Snowflake photo

This photo by Bob King popped up in my Pinterest feed the other day. I love the intricacies of these snowflakes and decided to mimic these perfect specimens of nature with the toilet paper and paper towel rolls I had been hoarding over the last eight months (I’m lazy about taking my recycling out).

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