Charming & Cherished

Posted Wednesday, Dec. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
Materials: • An old wooden sled or hinged box (any size works) • Tablecloth or burlap • Crystal decanters and beverage bottles — holiday spirits, juices, wine in seasonal bottles, glass bottles of eggnog, etc. • Ornaments in festive motifs, such as pine cones, bells and ice skates • Old gloves, scarves or ice skates • Preprinted recipe cards • Seasonal cocktail napkins Instructions: 1. Find a place to mount the sled so it’s secure. I used a concrete bench that was a perfect setting, but if you have a larger sled, look for a patio table or large buffet card table that you could drape with a cloth. Burlap is great to put under a sled as a tablecloth or runner. 2. Stock the mini bar. Arrange the bottles and decanters neatly inside. (Full bottles always look best.) Need a festive signature cocktail idea? Take a field trip to a liquor store to check out the range of holiday mixers and spirits available. If you are not into cocktails or are preparing this for a kids’ party, load up the sled with eggnog, juices and other non-alcoholic beverages. Keep a grater and fresh nutmeg nearby to garnish eggnog. 3. Fill in the gaps. Insert some things to embellish the sled, such as holiday bells and ornaments. Put some weathered leather gloves and some cozy scarves near the setting, or prop up a pair of ice skates and adorn with greenery. You could attach preprinted recipe cards for your signature cocktail to the skates. Add some seasonal cocktail napkins for guests to grab, and the sled bar is officially open.
Materials: • Holiday cards, postcards or photos • Card stock grade paper (if color copying your images) • Acid-free glue or clear, photo-safe adhesive • Shimmer dust or fine glitter (we like Martha Stewart’s Sugar Cube Iridescent Glitter) • A round of premade garland (not too thick with greenery) • Earrings, hair clips or small clothespins • Spray paint (if using clothespins) • A few ornaments or regular-sized candy canes • Craft wire or string Instructions: 1. Select the photos or cards that you want to use and decide whether you want to color copy or reproduce them for this project. If so, take them to a photo processing center or make a color copy and mount it to card stock paper. Simply glue your copied image onto the card stock cut to match the photo size. 2. Place iridescent glitter into a small plate or tray and put some glue on the edges of each photo you’re using. Now dip the photo edges into the glitter and shimmer until the photo contains as much “snow” as you’d like. Let these images dry overnight. 3. Find a roll of garland at the craft store that is more sparse than thick with greenery. I found a muted silver and copper wired vine at Michaels that was ideal for this project. It was sold in the perfect-size roll for a mantel or furniture piece, so I didn’t have to trim it. 4. Clip the images and cards onto the vine. I like to use old costume jewelry earrings because it makes them festive. Hair pins with pearls or beads also work. Or, spray paint small clothespins to match the color scheme of the garland. 5. Add a set of matching ornaments in the same color scheme by tying them to the garland with string or wire. I bought a pack of silver, copper and gold mitten ornaments. Their playful holiday look worked well with the retro family photos of children opening or playing with their favorite gifts from Santa Claus on Christmas morning. You can use candy canes, too. 6. Tie or wire the garland of treasures to a mantel, as long as the mantel doesn’t get a lot of heat from the fireplace. If you expect to make a roaring fire, then place this garland on the front of a buffet, on the doors of an antique cabinet, or through the front of an entry table or chest of drawers.
Materials: • Train case with hinged lid • A collection of small heirlooms, such as pewter jewelry boxes, baby cups and other treasures • Several bunches of frosted greenery holiday sprays with pine cones (usually found at craft stores) • Bunch or spray of glittered, shimmering white flowers or poinsettias (real or faux) • Battery-operated specialty lights to illuminate the display. (We used some that look like tiny crystal door knobs by Phillips, found at Target. Michaels carries battery-operated mini-pine cones in clear plastic.) • Wintry embellishments such as crystallized acorn ornaments, silver and gold berry sprays and beads Instructions: 1. Dust off the train case and find your beautiful keepsakes for display. These might include antique dolls, figurines or small silver or pewter pieces. 2. Place the frosted greenery sprays into the luggage box and work in the white florals. Bend any wired stalks so they won’t be seen. 3. Insert the string of battery-operated miniature lights to illuminate the case and its contents. Insert other beaded sprays and silvery details to fill in any holes and cover the wires. 4. Place treasures into the greenery and position so they can be seen over the rim of the train case. 5. Add extra silver and gold ornaments, whitewashed acorns and other embellishments.

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Your grandmother’s exquisite brooch. Christmas cards received the year you were married. A child’s toy sled. Family keepsakes, collections and items with happy memories that normally hide in jewelry boxes and attic corners can come out for the holidays to add special meaning to your decor. Dust them off and give them new life in garlands, trees, arrangements and centerpieces that are sure to be conversation starters at your holiday parties and family gatherings.

Sled Bar Cocktail Caddy

I lugged a little wooden sled that I’ve had for many years into the house and wondered what I could do with it for the holidays. I realized this little sled could help me serve drinks on the patio at a small get-together I was throwing. It would be a simple way to set the tone for a winter cocktail made outside. The old sled is a perfect plateau to raise up the decanters and bottles of spirits. Add napkins and a few ornaments, and it’s both useful and festive. You could do the same thing with a wooden hinged box or an old artillery box. Just prop the lid open with wire and fill it with beverage options.

Merry Memory Lane Garland

Remember the days — before Facebook, family blogs and email — when we sent and received a lot of cards over the holidays? Many of us have boxes full of cards, postcards and photos from cherished friends and family. Take them out and create a “garland gallery” so you can enjoy glancing at them as you pass by your tree, mantel, antique buffet or cabinet. Adding a bit of shimmer makes the images look as though they’ve been dusted by the first snow of the season.

Train Case of Holiday Dreams

Welcome guests, especially those who’ve journeyed a distance to be with you, with a vintage train case stuffed with family treasures. It’s a perfect focal point in an entryway or as a centerpiece. Adorn it with greenery and pine cones, shimmery white flower sprays and a dusting of faux snow for a wintry feel.

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