Friday, February 13, 2015

Made It: Christmas Decorations After Christmas

Hello! I was recently intrigued and inspired by Patience Brewster, an  artist of unique gifts and  handcrafted ornaments , on how I would use Christmas ornaments year round. Patience enjoys repurposing her Christmas décor  by doing things like keeping some of their ornaments out on display and reshaping a string of holiday lights to commemorate other occasions.

This got me to thinking. I do love my small collection of Shiny Brites and other vintage ornaments, but they get a bit lost on my heavily-laden Christmas tree. So why not design a display to keep some of these ornaments out to enjoy on their own? And since this is the month for Valentine's Day, I decided to go with a theme honoring that holiday. 

But as it's also my self-declared use-it-up month, I focused on using things I already had around the house for my vignette. Fortunately I had more than enough "accessories" to create a rather full display:

Above, my ode to Valentine's Day, resting on top of a cake pedestal. The vintage items are three Shiny Brite ornaments, a reindeer ornament, a set of strawberry-shaped salt and pepper shakers and several Valentines. I also used newer materials: the white garland, three small glass dishes, a heart shape I'd embroidered and then sewn, and three pipe cleaner ladies I'd made, all from vintage materials (pipe cleaners, crepe paper and faces cut from a grade school textbook). Oh, and a partial bag of cinnamon red hots. (normally I wouldn't include perfectly good candy, as it'd have to be thrown away after this usage, but the cinnamon red hots had gone stale). 

A few close-ups:

The three Shiny Brites, one of the strawberries, and one of my pipe cleaner ladies. Besides scattering the cinnamon red hots around the base of the cake pedestal, I also used them in the glass dishes to elevate the ornaments. 

I know that the moon/stars Shiny Brite is a dark pink rather than red, but it happens to be my favorite one, so I wanted to include it. I love the outer space design! Purchased at a garage sale in Stevens Point, WI back in the 1980's. I paid a quarter apiece for it and several other Shiny Brites. Behind the ornament you can see a vintage valentine from the 1930's; it had belonged to the mother of a friend. 

The winter scene on this ornament is fitting even though Christmas was several weeks ago. A winter storm warning begins for us later on today, plus it's going to be very cold and windy. If we get enough snow to have to shovel tomorrow, that's not going to be a very pleasant task! Behind the ornament is the heart I'd made. The fabric, a thrift store find, came with a raised stitched pattern. I accented this stitching with dark pink embroidery floss before sewing the fabric into a heart.

I've always liked this vintage reindeer ornament as well. It had been my paternal grandmother's. I don't remember it on her tree, but I happily hang it on mine every year!

And that's it for my Christmas decorations after Christmas. Although I chose to focus on the current holiday of Valentine's Day, this idea can be readily adapted to other holidays as well, depending on what occasions you decorate for and what ornaments you have. For instance, pastel ornaments for an Easter or springtime look, red, white and blue for the Fourth of July, and so on. 

And if your kids have their own sets of Christmas ornaments, why not get these out on their birthdays and display them then? The first time you do this, they might think you've gone bonkers, but especially if they're younger, they may think it's a lot of fun. It'd certainly be a change from the usual balloons and crepe paper streamer birthday decorations! 

I am glad I was inspired by Patience Brewster's repurposing of Christmas decor, as my Valentine's Day display allowed me to enjoy some of my beloved vintage ornaments in another month. What's next? Well, I guess I can dream something up for Easter soon!

(full disclosure: I was not paid to promote the Patience Brewster website and its products)



  1. I love your display! How fun! Next year, I should save out my heart ornaments for my own Valentine's Day display. What a great idea!

  2. Thanks for checking it out! Using heart ornaments sounds like a nice idea!