Holiday House Tour 2016

Welcome to my home for the holidays this year.

It’s actually my sister’s townhouse. What an amazing sister to let me live there while I’m house hunting. Despite her sometimes ‘bah humbug’ attitude when it comes to holiday decor, she also let me decorate her home for Christmas. (And, I might have gone a little overboard.)

From a coffee filter wreath to DIY garlands to a few tchotchkes here and there (…and there…and there,) see how I decorated my sister’s urban townhouse for Christmas.

All it takes is a few pops of red to make your home feel Christmas-y. Throw pillow covers, like these ones from IKEA, are easy to slip on when the holidays roll around—and easy to take off and store away once the season is over.

A cozy, red blanket draped on the end of the couch (or over the back of it) is another simple trick to add holiday cheer. It’s also practical and not just for looks.

My coffee filter wreath adorns the back of the balcony door. Along with a ‘Merry Christmas’ banner from the Dollar Spot at Target, it creates a festive focal point in the room since there isn’t a fireplace mantle.

A Christmas tree is required, right? I dug this one out of my storage unit. Can you believe my sister didn’t have a Christmas tree? After a trip to Target, we decked it out with bright green and red bulbs and a few felt camping-themed ornaments that she loves.

And, what are the holidays without a few extra decorations? This snow globe has been around for years. The mini tree is a Target Dollar Spot find. (I can’t resist the Dollar Spot! Especially during the holidays.)

And, a pine-scented candle rounds it all out. Because it’s not just about looks when it comes to creating a cozy home for Christmas. Don’t underestimate your sense of smell. A pine-scented candle adds to the festive atmosphere.

Vintage stockings, a thrifted stocking holder and a red bin brimming with ornaments adorn a shelf in the living room.

The kitchen gets its own white mini Christmas tree. Draped with just a few copper, blue and white pinecone-shaped ornaments and fairy lights, it adds a touch of cheer to the kitchen window.

Placing the Christmas tree in a vintage tin gives it character. And it’s a bit unexpected.

And, finally, we showcased our homemade gingerbread house by setting it on a silver cake platter.

The house is so cheerful. Turning on the Christmas tree lights when I get home from work is always my favorite. Only two days til Christmas!

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland |

This year, I took a cue from Scandinavian decorating to make a DIY Christmas garland to outfit my Christmas tree. (And it wasn’t just because I purchased the tree at IKEA.)

Instead of a full tree dripping with ornaments, the IKEA Christmas tree encourages Scandinavian minimalism with its sparse branches. I’m not sure what it is about this look that works so well. But it does.

Maybe fewer branches mean making more thoughtful ornament choices, since you only have so many branches to hang them on. Or, maybe it’s the deliciously rustic quality of it. As if it was a real tree—imperfections and all—chopped down just outside my door. Or, maybe the simplicity is what makes the tree. It’s not decked out in twinkling lights or shrouded in sparkly twine.

Whatever it is, I needed an equally rustic and uncomplicated garland to drape on the tree. When looking at my craft supplies, I saw a bowl full of wood chips and a bag of pompoms and I knew I had to make a DIY Christmas garland using the two.

Here’s how to create your own wood chip pompom garland.

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland | redleafstyle.comDIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland |

Gather your supplies together to make your DIY Christmas garland. I ordered 3-5 cm wood chips off Amazon and I found mini red and green pompoms at the Target Dollar Spot.

What you’ll need to make a DIY Christmas garland:
– Wood chips (3-5 cm diameter)
– Mini pompoms (I bought mine at the Target Dollar Spot)
– Twine
– Drill
– Needle and thread

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland |

Step 1: Drill a hole
Drill a hole in the center of each of your wood chips. I used about 20 wood chips for my garland, but the number simply depends on how long you want your garland to be.

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland |

Step 2: Thread the twine through and knot it
Take a wood chip and thread your twine through the hole. Then, knot both sides of the twine, so the wood chip doesn’t move.

You can either trim your twine to your desired length now (I think my garland was about 5 feet long) or keep adding wood chips and pompoms until your garland is the length you want and then trim it.

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland |

Step 3: Sew on the pompom
Sew the pompom to the twine in order to attach it. I’m no sewing expert, but I managed to attach the pompom to the twine. My tip is to insert the needle through the middle of the pompom in order to secure it.

Continue attaching wood chips and pompoms until you’ve strung them all along the twine.

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland |

Tips to keep in mind when making your DIY Christmas garland:

– Space your wood chips and pompoms at your desired length along the twine. I put a few inches between mine, but you could place them right next to each other if you like.
– When you attach your last wood chip, tie a knot at the end of your twine to secure it.
– You don’t have to use twine. Use yarn, string or even fishing line.

DIY Christmas Garland: Wood Chip Pompom Garland |

This DIY Christmas garland is so easy to make. (Sewing on the pompoms is the most time-intensive part.) And, I love how this garland adds holiday cheer without going too over-the-top. It’s a bit whimsical, a touch rustic and so simple.

3 Festive Christmas Wreaths

DIY Ornament Wreath for $10 or Less |

Are you still decking the halls and putting the final touches on your Christmas décor?

As Christmas gets closer, I keep finding ways to make my home just a little bit merrier. One Christmas decoration I can’t do without is a wreath. I tend to DIY my own every year. (I can’t stop at just one!) Wreaths are so easy to make yourself.

And, you have so many DIY options. Cover it in yarn or fabric. Make a ruffled burlap wreath. Use candy canes, fake poinsettias or bows. There are so many ideas out there!

If you need a Christmas wreath, then look no further. I’ve got you covered. Here are my three favorite festive wreaths that you can make yourself.

1. DIY Ornament Wreath for $10 or Less

DIY Ornament Wreath for $10 or Less |

Add some sparkle to your front door with this ornament wreath made from dollar store materials. Besides saving money when you make your own ornament wreath, you can also customize it any way you want. You get to choose the exact color combination and size. Here’s how you can make your own homemade ornament wreath for $10 or less.

Make your own ornament wreath.

2. DIY Coffee Filter Wreath

DIY Coffee Filter Wreath |

Can you believe this fluffy, snow-like wreath is made from coffee filters? Bring a wintery wonderland vibe to your front door or above your mantle by making your own coffee filter wreath. This DIY coffee filter wreath has big style, but is low budget. Here’s how to make your own.

Learn how to DIY your own coffee filter wreath.

3. Upcycled Fabric Wreath


If you like to upcycle, then you’ll love this Christmas wreath. I made this fabric wreath using only items from secondhand stores. Scouring thrift stores, I was on the lookout for fabric or clothes in bright, Christmasy reds and greens. Check out how I made this cute upcycled fabric wreath for about $10 from secondhand finds. (It’s super easy to replicate yourself.)

Make your own upcycled fabric wreath.

Want even more Christmas crafts? Try making this DIY Holiday Burlap Garland.