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HGTV's offers festive holiday decor shortcuts

A few of Libby Langdon's favorite tips to help make holiday decorating a snap

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POSTED: December 13, 2007 5:00 a.m.

For many people, the holidays are jammed packed with happenings, and spare time to decorate can be difficult to come by.

Libby Langdon, expert commentator on HGTV’s "Small Space, Big Style," has tips on how to dress up your home for the holidays with some of her quick and easy decorating ideas.

Holiday décor ideas

- Twig Ornament Trees: This is a great way to add some holiday cheer quickly and inexpensively. Trim some thin branches and twigs off shrubs in your yard, about 3’-4’ high and set them in a vase or pitcher and hang tiny ornaments on the twigs. If they are heavy, fill your vase with rocks or sand to anchor it. Tie bark or greenery around the vase and secure it with a ribbon. An easy way to decorate the twigs it to use different earrings as your ornaments. You can also do a quick and easy version with small store bought ornaments.

- Winter White Twigs: Spray tall twigs from your yard with white spray paint and while the paint is still wet, sprinkle silver glitter all over the twigs. After they’ve dried, shake them to remove excess glitter. Set them in a silver ice bucket and place them on your mantle/fireplace hearth or entry table for a dramatic holiday look. If you don’t have a silver ice bucket you can line a tall glass cylinder vase with green moss which brings in some green and covers the bases of the stems. If you want to bring in some more color, add some tall sprigs of red berries.

- Cool Candy Cane Vase: For a festive twist on a vase, completely wrap a clear cylinder vase (or even a coffee can) with lots of candy cane sticks and secure them with a ribbon and group them together for a luxurious look. You can then fill the vases with a variety of items - anything from flower arrangements to pinecones, to tall twigs or fresh apples. Use your imagination and you can transform the contents of your candy canes vases throughout the holiday season.

- Cool Colossal Wreath: Find the largest wreath possible and hang white ornaments on it, preferably those that sparkle. Accent it with a large white satin bow and hang it on a wall instead of the door, treating it as a piece of art. It also looks great over a fireplace with lots of silver and glass candlesticks mixed together on either end of the mantle. Don’t be afraid to take down the art over your fireplace for the holidays and replace it with a wreath.

- Ornament Garden: Take lots of different sizes of clear glass vases, pitchers and hurricanes and fill them with different ornaments. Display them all together down the center of your dining table, in a windowsill or on a buffet table. It’s a great way to showcase special ornaments if you’re not doing a tree and it can also be a more contemporary way to decorate.

- Ornaments in Windows: Use pretty ribbon and hang ornaments in your windows, it’s so simple you can do it as you’re waiting for your guests to arrive.

Votive candles

- Sheer Ribbon Votives: Just wrap a sheer wide ribbon around a votive holder or even a rocks glass, secure it with a little bit of hot glue. The sheerness of the ribbon still allows the candlelight to shine through but it adds a little sparkle. Recommended are a sheer sage green ribbon with glitter accents.

- Holly Votives: Simply tie a small red ribbon around a votive and nestle in a piece of holly or greenery in the knot for an easy way to add a special touch.

Pillar candles

- Candy Cane Pillars: Tie some candy canes around a pillar candle with some satin or velvet ribbon, you can use either the hook candy canes or the straight stick candy canes. It’s best to secure each one to the candle with a small dab of hot glue.

- Cinnamon Pillars: Tie cinnamon sticks around a pillar candle with a red ribbon and nestle in a sprig of greenery, it adds a nice holiday aroma as well as ambience.

Place cards

- Pinecone place card: Fold the napkin and set it on the table, then rest a small pinecone on the napkin and insert your place card.

- Ornament place card: Place an ornament on the napkin and simply insert the place card in the round ring at the top of the ornament or punch a hole in the place card and tie it to the ring at the top of the ornament.

- Gold Leaf place card: This works with leaves, holly, or even evergreens. Spray paint them gold and tie a ribbon with the name on it on the stem and place it on the plate.

Holiday party ideas

- A "Wrapping Presents" Party: Host a wrapping party by inviting friends over and telling them to bring gifts they need to wrap, as well as some rolls of wrapping paper, tape and scissors. You supply ribbon, cocktails and light appetizers.

- A "Create-A-Wreath" Party: Invite pals over to make their own wreaths; you supply the wreath foam forms and natural elements from your yard (pinecones, twigs, greenery, leaves) and they bring items to make their wreath special such as silk flowers, plastic fruit, feathers, shiny berries, leaves, seashells, additional greenery and ribbon.

- Holiday Open House: This is a fun way to catch up with friends for a casual visit and show off your holiday home décor at the same time. Send invitations and give people the time that the open house begins, tell them just to stop by whenever they can.

Libby Langdon is an interior designer and expert commentator. She is a regular contributor to the nation’s top daily papers with designing, food and entertaining ideas.

 

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