During the winter months it’s easy to find ourselves seeking refuge from cold and dreary days. With a bright pop of white you can turn any space into a cozy, bright, and inviting environment. There’s a trend in decorating that is transitioning to more neutral tones of beige, grays, and soft colors. Who’s to say that same transition can’t be made with a few simple steps and without robbing the bank?
Cozy and Bright Mantels
Candles, candles, and candles! If you do not utilize a wood burning fireplace there’s still no reason you can’t enjoy the relaxing firescape canvas of burning flames. Maybe you don’t enjoy the labor of building a fire, but with a variety of pillar candles you can add a little heat and enjoy the winter glow. Simply add 15-25 candles inside your fireplace and light. Grouping candles on the mantle is always a wonderful addition. Keep the colors of the pillar candles neutral. Whites, off whites, and even silver are excellent color options to brighten up dark mantel spaces.
Pleasant Pine Cones
We all have plenty of pine cones around our homes to choose from. Grab a few of them from the yard and bring them inside. To dry out the cones, place them on a cookie tray for 10-20 minutes on 200 degrees and they will fill your home with the woody aroma of pine as they dry. Once the pine cones are dry, take them into a nice open area and spray with white spray paint. Adding them to a bowl or around a decorative votive will brighten dark corners and fill any space for pennies.
Take an old mirror or an affordable one you’ve found at a retail store in the size of your choosing. You’ll also need vinyl lettering, initial letters, or a vinyl decal that you like for your space. Get 1-2 spray cans of flat white paint or a quart size container of traditional paint, plus painters’ tape for masking. Laying the mirror on a flat surface, apply the vinyl lettering or decals to the mirror. If you want to preserve the mirror’s frame, cover it completely with masking tape to avoid paint from adhering to it.
In a well ventilated area, lightly spray the mirror with spray paint, leaving a light coat. It will take several coats to get to the desired color background, but keep the coats light and let dry completely between coats. Once the paint has dried fully (be sure allow 24 hours drying time), carefully remove the decal lettering or vinyl graphic from the mirror. The vinyl can be easier to remove if you use tweezers, but be careful not to scratch the paint outside of the vinyl area. Place the mirror on the mantel or in another decorated space, then toss in a few other decorative white items and you’re done!
This is a great activity that can get the kids involved. Grab a pack of regular size Popsicle sticks from the local craft store plus a hot glue gun and some spray paint in the desired color for your snowflakes. Think outside of the box with the colors. You might want to try silver, gold, or even blue as your snowflake colors. To start the project, line up your Popsicle sticks, crossing over each stick end to end until you have the snowflake pattern in the size you desire. Once you like your pattern, start hot gluing end to end with a small dot of hot glue.
Once the Popsicle snowflakes are completely glued together let them dry and lay them flat on a surface covered with newspaper or craft paper. Lightly spray the Popsicles snowflakes until you reach your desired color. Once they are completely dry, find the perfect place for your Popsicle snowflakes and enjoy your winter wonderland. These decorations make for great place settings at a holiday table or, for larger pieces, enjoy them as wall décor!
Keep it White with Fur
Decorative fur letters are a great addition to any space. Simply buy either foam letters or wooden letters from the local craft store. You can buy them as initials for your name or spell out holiday or winter words. Joy, Season, Snow, Twinkle, Cold, Brrr! are all great ideas for this project. All you need is some furry white fabric of your choice. White feathers will also work. Simply glue fabric or feathers to the letters to create a unique and cozy decoration this season.
Rustic Bleached Nature Elements
Pine cones and sticks are a cost effective way to turn natural outdoor elements into beautiful whitewashed colors for your tablescapes, mantels, or side tables this year. All you need are a few pinecones, cleaned up sticks (remove any hanging bark or leaves), and a vase or container to use as the display holder.
Place the sticks in a glass container (like a baking dish), laying each stick flat and not allowing them to overlap. Carefully pour bleach over the sticks until all parts are completely submerged. Relax and watch the bleach turn them into a beautiful whitewashed color. Leave submerged until your desired color is reached. Once you are satisfied with the whitewash, simply remove the sticks and set aside. Depending on the type of wood you’ve chosen, you may wish to remove the bleach smell. To do this, mix one-half cup baking soda to three cups water and wash the sticks. Lay them flat until dry, and then place them in your decorative container. Follow these same instructions for pine cones, acorns, and branches. Enjoy!