Monday, November 17, 2014

Christmas Decorating Day

This past weekend was the Toronto Santa Claus Parade! Excited about Christmas, my friend Steph and I decided to spend the day decorating our apartments and getting into the festive spirit.

We couldn't have picked a better day! Christmas music on, snow lightly falling outside, and hot chocolates at the ready; we donned our gay apparel, Christmas sweater dresses from Target, and got to work!

We started at my place in the early afternoon, with the plan of being at her place by 4:30 to watch the parade on TV while we decorated.

This is my first Christmas not living at home so I had to buy EVERYTHING! I went for a very "Gold and Red" theme, and a fairly light touch. Christmas stuff is expensive. Plus once you add your tree, any room looks done up, so a lightly decorated apartment was perfect.

Even still, it looked like Christmas exploded on my table once I got everything ready.

First things first, we got to work hanging some of the ornaments I had purchased. Red and gold baubles and stars. 

To hang them, I bought 1.5 ft wide gold and red mesh in long rolls, and cut it width wise in quarters. We then hung the ornaments using the wide strands from my curtain rod, matching red to red, and gold to gold. The ornaments were all hung at different lengths, because I wasn't feeling symmetrical, and we left the tied ends long to resemble a loose bow over each ornament.

To tie it all in, Steph used some of the smaller ornaments to hang from my ceiling fan pulls using red ribbon.


From there, we decided to get the "easy to place" pieces out of the way. These were the ornaments that required minimal effort in putting together. 

We started with the burlap and twine ornaments I picked up at Homesense; a nice little montage for on top of my bookshelf

Next it was time to get the candy out, because I was feeling peckish. 

A big part of the holidays, to me, are the treats! Cookies, chocolate and Candy! Earlier in the day I had stopped by bulk barn to pick up some festive Hershey's Kisses, some red and green jellybeans, and some mini candy canes. When I got home, I used a few different vases, as well as a red lantern I picked up at Ikea, to put them all on display.

Steph had been hard at work earlier on filling three vases I had bought at Ikea with different red and gold smaller ornaments, as well as a medium sized white candle. 

She used the old trick where you place something in the middle of the vase to take up space and build around it, so you don't end up using all your ornaments in one go.

Don't they look great! I've got them next to the record player as they don't take up a lot of room while still making the table look festive

While Steph worked on that project, I began construction on my faux-fireplace. There's no fireplace in my apartment. While I don't need to worry about if Santa will be able to come down the chimney (as I'll be with my parents Christmas Eve), a Christmas room without a fireplace felt wrong.

I decided to construct one using my bookshelf, by hanging a garland along the top, looping in some burlap, and then hanging our stockings with relative care!

I love how this looks with the burlap

Maybe not helpful for Santa, but it was making me feel a lot more like Christmas! Though it will be harder to get at my Harry Potter books now...

With all the decorations off the dining room table, all there was left to do was my centre piece! I used a small door wreath from the dollar store lain flat, then filled with candles of varying sizes. Finally, I took the few small ornaments I had left and scattered them between the candles so the table would be completely hidden.

My apartment looking good and just an hour before the parade, we rushed over to Steph's (with a quick stop to get a few supplies) to turn her apartment into a winter wonderland!

The process started pretty similarly with a Christmas explosion on the dining room table.

In similar fashion to earlier, we got as many of the larger, less crafty ornaments out of the way first

Steph put together her tall Christmas grasses vase, while I busied myself with some ornaments and garland (and watched a bit of the parade!)

With the table mostly cleared off, Steph started on her table runner. Using some of the same gold fabric we had used earlier to hang ornaments from my curtain rod, Steph doubled it over and then used some glittery trees (also from the Dollar store) to create a gorgeous tree-scape table runner. She tied in her already green arm chairs with a green bowl, filled with gold and red ornaments to pull all the colours in, ready for a festive dinner.

While she was busy perfecting the table, I took the opportunity to decorate her mini tree to spruce-up her side table (haha!), and use the same ornament hanging technique we'd used at my place for her sliding doors.

Last but not least, we did up the kitchen with the same mesh from earlier, but in green! wrapping it around the chalk board and using red bows with twist ties on the back to cinch it together, and white lights in behind to give it a gorgeous glow.

Of course, Steph got a bit tangled up in the process.

A job well done and a long day behind us, there was only one sensible way to end our fabulous day of Christmas cheer:

1) Turn on Elf
2) Open a bottle of wine
3) Order festive special from Swiss Chalet


Happy Holidays!