A bottle drying rack displays several tiny wreaths. Underneath, a collection of unfinished wooden trees adds warmth to the neutral space.

Our resident design maven, KariAnne Wood or Thistlewood Farm, answers your holiday decor questions!

Q:  I love decorating for the holidays, but I want to add a few handmade projects into my décor this year.  Do you have any suggestions?

Let’s start with the best part about handmaking your holiday décor: It’s unique, inexpensive and a great way to simplify your holiday decorating. The key to handmade is sticking with projects that aren’t overwhelming or overcomplicated and don’t require a Ph.D. in directions. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Make a book-page garland with leaves cut out from old book pages.
  • Create a Christmas tree from scrabble letters that spell out the words to a carol.
  • Glue tiny pinecones onto an old wooden board in the shape of a snowflake.
  • Sew pom-poms onto dollar-store stockings.
  • Cut out triangles from old holiday cards, punch holes in the corner and tie them onto jute twine to create a banner.

Let this be the year—start a new tradition with a handmade holiday.

Q:  Typically I decorate my home for the holidays with traditional red and green, but this year I want to change it up a little and add some new colors to the mix. Do you have any suggestions?

KariAnne’s neutral theme includes both rustic textures and shimmering surfaces.

I do, but can we just start with a shout-out for red and green? (Those colors have showed up for some amazing holiday parties at my house.) That being said, I love the idea of adding a few neutrals into your décor this fall and winter. Here are some easy suggestions to change the holiday décor conversation.

Shop your yard. Bring in the colors and textures of the outdoors. Layer pinecones in a bowl, make a twig garland for your bookcase or fill a vase with stones from the walk and add in greenery and twigs.

Select natural fibers. Use burlap sacks for a Christmas tree skirt. Fill galvanized metal buckets with evergreens.  Sew stockings from flour sacks. Paint letters on reclaimed wood to spell out a holiday message.


Repurpose what you have. Sometimes all that décor that’s lost its luster needs is a coat of paint. Take a look at the basic lines of some of your traditional holiday décor, and give it a new look with a coat of gray or white paint.

KariAnne Wood blogs at Thistlewood Farm, is the author of So Close to Amazing and the DIY Home Planner.

Send your questions to romantichomes@engagedmediainc.com.