OK, I have to be honest here. When Staples contacted me to see if I wanted to be a part of this challenge to create beautiful holiday decor hacks using products from their stores for their #HandmadeHolidays promotion, I was a little nervous. I mean, I guess I’m creative and all but I’m not really that creative. I wanted to give it a shot though and see if I could do it, just for fun. If I didn’t come up with anything totally amazing, no harm done. When I went into my local store though to see what I could pick up that might work, I was so surprised at the ideas that were flying out at me from every aisle! I mean, I practically had to duck because there were just too many ideas to handle! I narrowed it down to just a few of my favorites though, so here they are!
The first idea I had was to add some black and white photos to our simple dining room tree. I love the look of photo ornaments on a tree and I’ve wanted to do something like that for a long time, but the idea of making an ornament out of each and every photo that I wanted to use always seems so daunting to me. So this is the super simple version!
I had black and white prints made of a bunch of my favorite photos from this year, and special old family photos too.
It’s a good idea to get copies printed especially for this purpose because everyone who comes to your house will come up and touch the photos when they look at them, which is just fine! A tree like this is a great way to share family moments and to create conversation too! Babies will be fascinated by all the photos too and will probably grab them off the tree and maybe even take a bite out of them. Ask me how I know. 🙂
I attached the photos to the tree using these basic clips that you can find at any Staples store. Instead of the basic black color that you usually find this style of clip in, I grabbed the all silver ones for a little extra sparklyness!
I’m hoping that we’ll be able to have Christmas morning breakfast this year in our newly-painted dining room, so this type of family photo tree will be the perfect backdrop.
Even though I didn’t want to make complicated ornaments out of our pictures, I did try my hand at one type of ornament idea that I’ve seen around. I couldn’t resist.
I just basically took a bunch of thumbtacks and stuck them into a foam ball. I’m so fascinated by this little thing! It only took a few minutes to make this one, but if you wanted to make a whole set it would be a great way to keep your hands busy while watching a Christmas movie with the family. It’s so much fun to watch these little ornaments come together!
Next I moved into the living room and added this little polka dot garland to the shelf in there.Well, I guess it’s three mini garlands, but you know what I mean. It’s pretty fun though. I’ve wanted to make something like this for a few years actually, but I always thought it might turn out to be silly-looking. But it’s actually so cute!
I just picked up a package of these red color coding labels and stuck two together over a piece of white thread to create each “polka dot”.
I’m so glad I invested the 10 minutes one evening to actually try this idea out. It makes me so happy!
I thought I was all done in the Staples store and I was ready to leave when I came across the yard sticks. Or rather, I guess in Canada technically they’d be metre sticks.
I don’t know what it is about yard sticks, but I just think they’re really neat-looking. Anyway, we went out to the garage and cut two of them into different lengths like this:
We made each piece about 2 inches longer than the last, then we glued them all together and suddenly they were a tree!
So simple, but so cute! Perfect for a classroom, workshop, or craft room…. none of which I actually own, but maybe one day I will. And I’ll be ready!
So those are my “holiday decor hacks”! It’s pretty amazing what you can come up with if you have even just a little bit of creativity, isn’t it?
If you loved these ideas and you want to find more like them, you can follow the hashtag #HandmadeHolidays on Pinterest for lots more of idea just like this!
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.