Here’s some pics from my home last year (I’m a year late…shrug).
1. Use what you have
A guiding principle of simple is to leverage what you have on hand. For me it is fallen things in the yard (pinecones and branches). Beautiful paper (old calendars and last year’s holiday cards) plus some flea market finds (metal letters, pedistal dish).
2. Work with techniques you enjoy
I can’t say I’m great with origami or paper arts, but I absolutely love the simplicity of paper. I also love anyting I can clean up with a vacuum. Here’s a tree-folding technique I’ll probably do again this year. Looks great with newspaper or pages from an old book (that would otherwise be thrown away). Window displays at Anthropologie and Light by Coco have been big inspirations.
3. Falalalala Fragrance!
The natural kind. Here’s a pot of clipping from the garden center. So wonderfully smelly! Very inexpensive too ($4-6). Place in water, lasts for weeks.
4. Hang things from the ceiling
This mobile created from a branch, paper trees and thread is very light. The placement above the table gives it more visual emphasis. Anything in your home that creates shadows and movement will change throughout the day. Such an easy way to add interest.
5. Fill your space with music
Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra, Jingle Bells
José Feliciano, Feliz Navidad
After an entire November of minimizing, I felt especially inspired to create something. This tree was a lot of fun to make! Even better, I didn’t have to buy anything. Being festive with what is easily available is a holiday tradition. Scrap paper, scissors and painter’s tape are the basic supplies. It’s a wonderfully forgiving project.
First, I cut something around 100 leaf shapes out of scrap paper (sewing patterns, old calendars, shopping bags, tissue paper… you get the idea).
Then, tape (painter’s tape) several horizontal paper strips to the wall. It helps with space planning. This also reduces the number of individual pieces of tape I had to stick to my wall.
Taping out the perimeter (big blue angled line, right) also helps get an idea of space. I ended up using it as a loose guide. A super straight edge or a triangle-tree can look a little stiff, especially since my “building blocks” were on the more rustic side.
Finishing touches include those easy-to-remove adhesive wall hooks, for hanging ornaments (see that one almost hiding in the photo below?) and lights. Lightweight lights! These are LED on a thin wire string. They’re easily secured with tape. You can hide all kinds of less-pretty tricks behind those leaves.
For more minimalist decorating ideas, visit Light by Coco. She is such an inspiration. Not to mention, one of the biggest most positive influencers on my massive decluttering initiative.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my DIY paper tree! Have a happy holiday (and crafting) season.
Wrap—I like seeing how far I can get without spending any money on the wrap. It helps if you collect things like old paper, ribbons and doodads.
In the last few years I’ve got into rubber stamping. It turns out basic black ink is my favorite.
I try to avoid the obituary section for gift wrap (just a tip). This colorful one uses a shot from the Travel section! It’s tied with butcher string, (trendy and cheap).
Pretty things—Big paper star with LED bulb (nightlight LEDs $3ish, Amazon). The branch is winterberry.
Fireplace—Jars! and bobbles and lights, oh my! I made a sparkly focal point. I stare at it all the time.
Tree—It’s a fake, but I still wish it had that one quirky branch poking out somewhere. It leans a little cuz I’m using an umbrella stand instead of the stand it came with. At least it fits in that big galvanized bucket! It was in the shed waiting to be filled with beer all summer.
Santa—Fluffy eyebrows and a bell in his hand
Waiting—Chocolate! Inside every one of those old jewelry boxes