Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Home Tour 2011...Front Door To The Back

Welcome to my Christmas home tour for 2011. Grab a cup of hot chocolate or iced tea for my southern hemisphere friends and enjoy the pictures...oh by the way, there are over 130 of them. Sorry, couldn't help it!!

Before I begin, I want to share with you that 99% of all the things you see in these pictures were either hand made, bought in thrift stores, hand me downs or purchased during after Christmas sales. The only thing we paid full price for is the 12 foot Christmas tree in our family room. All the parts of the old 12 foot tree, that had seen better days, are used as greenery throughout the whole house.  I have been collecting Christmas decorations for over 25 years and save just about everything. I re-use things each year in different ways, so it seems new in a new way. 

Let's begin the tour at the front's my snowman wreath I made last year from 3 artificial wreaths. Click HERE to go back to the original post for the tutorial.

2 old hats attached together for a larger look.

an icicle ornament painted orange for the nose and suspended with fishing line in the center of the wreath.

sticks for arms with little mittens added.

Another idea for front porch decor is my childhood sled with greenery and a big bow.

The entry way greets you with the true reason for the season.

In the kitchen, the baking center has lots of artificial berries that I keep collecting at every clearance sale. You can never go wrong with berries. They work any where.

This little wreath is made from the plastic gasket ring from a glass candle top and the greenery is from the old tree. Click HERE for that project.

More old tree wreaths to label my canister jars. Click HERE for that.

A berry wreath hung from a kitchen cupboard.

Use a 3M hook on one side of the 2 doors.

so that you can still open the doors.

Just a little aside for the cupboard. They had stain glass panels that didn't match and I can't change.

Quick solution is to cover cardboard with fabric and Velcro onto the glass.

Staircase always has the same green garland.

I bought these artificial sugared fruit years ago to add to the finial at the bottom. I made these bows a long time ago and neatly pack them away to re-use each year.

One tip to keep things looking new, especially delicate things like these fruits...don't keep them in the attic. The change in temperatures cracks the plastics and the sugared coating. Everything else I keep in the attic.

These fruits came with an ornament hanger on them already, so I just hooked them onto the evergreen. You could always just wire them on if you had to.

The family room is my quiet neutral zone...greens, burlap white lights and just the colors from all the ornaments on the tree.

The rest of the house is screaming with color, I need one quiet room. lol !!

This is the 12 foot tree just brimming with all our family ornaments. All the ones the girls made in school when they were little, the gifts we received, the ornaments we buy each year for the girls etc...

This cutie I just received from Tina and her daughter Julia this weekend at my ladies dessert party. Thanks Tina...I love it. You can visit Tina at her blog Seaside Stitches by clicking HERE!! ps...she's having a give away.

The tree skirt is just a piece of cheap burlap. Burlap is about $2.00 a yard in some fabric store and is so versatile.

Two branches from the old Christmas tree are wired together to create a swag for each window. Then each is wried to a small nail in the window sill. The bow is made from burlap strapping that you weave for a chair's seat support.

Add a wreath to a picture you already have hanging up to give the wreath more umph !! I used a 3M hook on the glass.

Old garland is wrapped around wire that I shaped like letters. You can spell anything!!

The holiday entertaining has begun, so I put together a wine and beverage area. The bottom of that hutch is from my niece, but I added the top hutch from something else and painted it black to match.

Place all your wine glasses in there and serve the wine on the buffet.

For the party I had this weekend, I punched out card stock circles for each glass.

Each guest writes their name on the circle and it fits on the stem. That way everyone can keep track of their drink.

This big galvanized bucket holds my fabric in my sewing room, but for parties it chills beer and wine!! Bottle openers and a jar to collect the corks!

I love this area...wish a drank beer or wine, but I just can't acquire a taste for it.

This is my mom's old pot wrack from her kitchen. Place plate chargers on each shelf and it's great to serve appetizers or will hold more glasses.

This bureau has made the rounds within my family, but I think this is it's last stop. Painted black, restained the top darker and now it serves as a buffet for parties.

wired a wreath to the front.

Punch bowls were for punch and egg nog, but were placed inside wreaths for a little greenery around the bowls.

I took down the mantel on this fireplace, so it's a big wreath this year. A new mantel is in the works (in my head) so it's a good project for this winter.

I wired 3 old ornaments together and then twisted each bunch on the wreath. Added my ever popular berries and a "Believe" sign.

My Santa tree! Click HERE to revisit that post with instructions for the Santa ornament.

The hutch in my dining room holds my Dickens Village that I started 25 years ago.

The bottom of the hutch is an old tool box filled with old tree greens to hide the wires from the village!

Scraps of thin cotton batting left over from quilts I made is used under the houses. Just cut a scalloped edge for a more decorative look.

I am a wire nut...never like to show them. Each shelf has 4-5 houses wired together and then plugged into their own extension cord. Each extension cord is then brought down to the bottom shelf.

I drilled a hole in the corner of the last shelf and then the cords are plugged into a serge bar.

Cover the cords with the batting and you'll never see it.

This is the Dr Seuss tree in the den.

Lime green flower balls that I bought in the floral section in Walmart add to the topper.

The red glitter sprays add dimension to the tree sticking out like that. They were in the clearance section last year at Walmart for 25 cents.

Clearance section for the rest of the ornaments on this tree too. The trick is to get there the day after Christmas to get the best stuff!

These large glass candies were only 10 cents I think.

The base is Courtney's storage box from here college supplies. Added some cotton batting to look like snow. I put the tree in the box, because the trunk of this tree was a tall metal stick and looked to thin for me. I hid it in the storage container!

Glass ball in a vase is super easy!

Found this in a thrift store off season for 25 cents and the sign too. You could make this easily by wiring jingle bells together in the shape of a candy cane.

Can't forget the dog and the cat! Fish and bone stockings.

or the guest bathroom. Just a little bow on the soap is all you need.

Here's the tree in my husband's office. I decorate it like the tree he had as a boy...big colored lights, tinsel, silver garland and big colored ornaments.

Our bathroom just has a few touches.

Here is another project that I did. Took a mirror off an old bureau from the 90's and painted it black. Mounted to this vanity and now it really add to the piece.

I filled canisters from the kitchen with all white things for a winter look...soap, make-up sponges and Q-tips.

This wreath was round, but I wanted it oval so I squeezed it into shape!

another 3M hook, so I don't make nail holes every where.

Our bedroom is simple with just our original tree when we were's over 24 years old and still holding on...I just can't throw it out.

It's filled with my mom's collection of German ornaments that she just loved.

I've had these candle clips for years and really want to find more.

They clip onto a branch...

and they hold a candle for the look like they had in the olden days with candles for lights on the tree.

Here is the tree skirt I made for $2.50 out of a fleece blanket. Click HERE for that project.

Charlie Brown's sad little tree was a gift from my mother-in-law and I just love it to cute!!

Top of the stairs has a spot for a tree.

Kelsie's old quilt and teddy bear for a tree skirt.

and the bow is a ribbon that I saved from a gift a long time ago.

More branches from our old tree.

Kelsie's newly painted bedroom. She hasn't seen it yet, because she's still at school. Big difference from purple to tan!

Metal signs wired for decorations.

off white bisque ornaments and the rest are all homemade by Kelsie from old Christmas cards or from paper towel tubes. Click HERE for that project.

I learned to make these ornaments from my grandmother, but you can find the tutorial any where on the web. Not sure of the name though.

These curly things are in the Christmas section of Walmart. They add great dimension to the tree.

Add ornaments in the smallest hanging from a lamp.

The feather bed at the end is just a Christmas decoration.

Wrapped it in snowflake fabric.

Courtney's room is the next to be painted. She wants gray, but the hot pink will have to do for a little while longer.

Her tree is always silver...

but this year I wired a big silver "C" that was hanging on her wall.

Lots of silver, but in different textures makes the difference...glitter, quilted, matte finish and shiny.

and tree number 9 is in my sewing HERE for a link to that post with instruction for little spool ornaments.

Now out the back door. You know the old saying..."Back door guests are welcomed best!"

I used this area for a hot chocolate bar during the dessert party. Even Annie wanted to be part of the fun.

Fire pit to cut the chill in the air...

blankets to keep you warm...

and the hot chocolate bar!

Make your hot chocolate ahead of time and keep it in a crock pot on low to keep it hot. Have a selection of goodies to add and you're all set. I had chocolate bars, chocolate kisses, marshmallows, graham crackers to dip and whipped cream for the topping.

An old tree with pine cones, birds and nests to add to the outdoor theme.

From the front door to the back door and from my family to yours...I hope you have a magical Christmas!!

ps...I know some of you will ask...this takes me 2 weeks straight. I start the Friday after Thanksgiving and go to bed very late each night!! lol  It would be less time, but I had to fit going to work in there.


  1. wow...i am exhausted just seeing all you do!! LOL I have one tree with lights and candy canes... No one wanted to help me this year...

    Your home is beautiful!! Merry Christmas!!

  2. You are amazing, the place is the best. Move over Martha.

  3. WOW Karen, you house is beautiful. I havn't photographed mine, but my family will definately rethink my title of "Christmas Tragic" once they see your house.

    It is beautiful and it shows you love of the season.

    Well done.

  4. What an absolute delight to view! I can only imagine how much more magical it has to be in real life. I especially like the Dr. Seuss tree.

  5. Yippee, I have finally found someone who decorates like me. I have 5 trees over 5 feet tall decorated in my home. And a lot more that are 1 foot. I, too, have collected and made Christmas things for over 25 years and love it.

    Thank you for a peek into your home.

  6. Wow! It looks great. :) Can't choose one favorite.

  7. It is all so beautiful!!! Will you link it to my Handmade on Humpday link party over at
    Thank you!

  8. Oh Karen, your home and decor is beautiful.
    I have one little tree,(we love it)but I can't imagine how long you must work to make it look like this. Gorgeous. Especially like your Santa Tree.

  9. Goodness golly and gracious - almost speechless. Your house looks wonderful - love seeing other's decorations.

    We are a little subdued here this year, but that's ok. Have a wonderful Christmas full of blessings.

  10. I am in awe of your house. beautiful. I was tired after making 11 trips to the basement to get my bins. I can't imagine how or where you store all that.

  11. Wow! It looks wonderful!What a fantastic job you have done. Any decorations in your sewing room? Or did I miss it... I'm a little overwhelmed right now. LOL Merry Christmas!

  12. Wow!!!
    Awesome Christmas decorations!!!
    I thought I put up alot of trees.
    Loved the way you put it all together with hints and tutorials!!
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Prim Blessings

  13. Holy Smokes, your home is stunning! It must take days and days to decorate it, but it is oh so worth it. Want to come and decorate mine?? Thanks for sharing! Sue

  14. Karen, your home looks beautiful.

  15. I enjoyed seeing your beautiful decorations. Lots of inspiration!

  16. All I can say is "WOW"!! I am not worthy. I love all the personal touches but the thing that really caught my eye was the Rockettes ornament on the 12 ft tree.

    Thanks for sharing and have a very Merry Christmas.

  17. I am speechless!!! SO SO SO SO BEAUTIFUL...every darn tree!

    I am in AWE of you!!!

    I hope your family appreciates the time you put into this and how very lucky they are to have you!!

  18. I so enjoyed your house tour. It should be "Southern Living". Your attention to detail is amazing.

  19. Thanks for the shout out. Your party was fantastic, as usual! I saw Colleen in the post office yesterday, which was funny because I've never run into her in town before. Your family is awesome!

  20. Thank-you the show. Beautiful. And can I just say "WOW"..... I have never had more than one tree - I just have not thought I would want to do the work to take down two.... now, I am shaking my head, thinking, what about 3,4,5,6.....trees???? whoooooo

    I like what you do with your house. I love the way you make what is old, new again. And how even the smallest little thing, makes a HUGE impact on the area it is in.......

    For someone who has not put up the tree yet, I am thinking, I had better get on it!!! Beautiful. Just beautiful. Thanks again for taking me on a tour of your home. I think you have made it a magical place. Thank-you.

  21. I must say, your holiday decorating is amazing!! I am totally jealous. Thanks for sharing!

  22. I love it ALL!!! Merry Christmas!

  23. WOW. WOW. WOW! I thought I loved to decorate for Chritsmas. You are more Martha than Martha. I started following blogs after your last years Christmas blog, but you blew it out of the park this year!

  24. Just two questions:
    1. How many X'mas trees are there in your house?
    2. How long it takes for you to decorate them all?

    They all look so wonderful!

  25. What a lot of wonderful decorating ideas to show your love for the season and your family. Hope you are getting to enjoy it all now that the work is done. Happy Holidays!

  26. enJOYed looking at your decorated home. I can tell lot's of time went in to making every room look so festive.

  27. Hi Karen,

    You don't know me but I feel I must tell you that I will be coming to live with you (along with my husband and 2 cats) after seeing how stunningly beautiful your home is, I say home because it's more than just a house! :)

    I've been following your blog for a while now after falling in love with your craft room and love sitting down to your posts with a cup of tea :)

    Keep up the good work (and make up the spare room I'll be over as soon as I can, ha ha!)

    Have a wonderful Christmas and health, wealth and happiness for the new year,
    Love Mrs K

  28. Gosh, what a dressing up your home has undergone. I just love it! Your homes are huge there. We could never have decorations outside our homes in South Africa... it just wouldn't be there the next morning! Thanks for sharing your lovely pics with us, I've so enjoyed viewing them. hugs Sharon

  29. I have never seen so many trees in one house! It puts my sparse one tree and one strand of lights to shame! Fantastic house that you have put a lot of time and effort into.

  30. Karen, your home is STUNNING! I became giddy going from one photo to the next. Truly, your home is a joy to behold. Thank you SO much for sharing all the beauty. You did an outstanding job of decorating.
    ~Christina in Cleveland
    PS... I'm ready for my hot cocoa now! :)

  31. Your home is amazing! Thanks for sharing! Happy Holidays!

  32. What an awesome Christmas house, and I love that you recycle and use "things" you have. Thanks for the tour!

  33. All I can say is .... WOW! Your home is absolutely stunning. I love that you have Christmas trees in just about every room. I would love to do that, but with 5 cats, I have a hard time keeping them away from one tree! Maybe when they're a little older :)

  34. Ok I feel like a bum, I haven't even put up a Christmas tree. I am going thru all of this thinking that there is no way she is working and doing all of this, and you stated you are working too!! I am floored!!

    Wonderful job, it looks gorgeous, I have enjoied your great ideas and every time I go thru the Home Depot or Lowes, I always look for something that I can use in a different way!!

  35. But... how many christmas tree do you have! I lost counting :)
    I like every corner!
    Merry Chistmas from Spain!

  36. Wow! What a gorgeous home you have. I just LOVE your decorating. What a labor of love and beauty. Thanks for sharing the tour. I picked up several ideas I want to try.

  37. Merry Christmas - your ohuse is beautiful.

    I bought three small, prelit trees this year and have them in different places in the house. My kitchen one is decorated with small kitchen items and the colored ornaments are the tea bags wrapped in red, green and gold foil.


  38. Ok you get the prize! I've never seen so many Christmas trees in one house before. Just beautiful! but so much work.

  39. Ok you get the prize! I've never seen so many Christmas trees in one house before. Just beautiful! but so much work.

  40. I so love your house.. I am going to steal your idea of a tour.from door to door. I usually just post the trees as i decorate them... Merry Christmas . Your house is very festive.

  41. WOW! JUST BEAUTIFUL! The square wreath that you have hanging on the mirror in your entry way (I believe) did you make it? If so do you have a tutorial for it? I saw one made with green rosebuds a while ago and have been thinking about it ever since for my living room. I'm hoping you can help me with this project.

  42. Wow, amazing!!! Love it all, we do you get the energy?

    Beautiful!! Enjoy, Merry Christmas, janie

  43. right about now i am so sorry that we dont do Christmas, your house just looks so inviting, FANTABULOUS!!!

  44. Absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas

  45. The snowman wreath is unusual. So cute.

  46. Truly awesome. You are a very special lady to do all of this. Your family must look forward to it every year. Your grandkids, when you have them, will love going to Grandma's.

  47. Thank you for sharing your beautiful Christmas decor! Just love it all! I used to have a Christmas tree in every room, and may do that again some day. Just a little too busy with other things this year. Happy Holidays to you!

  48. I just love this so much! congratulations on a beautifully decorated house :)

    p.s. as an added benefit, it's made my other half stop teasing me about how many decorations we have up!! :)

  49. Thanks for the great tour! Your house is definitely something to aspire to live in! I lost count of how many trees you have! FYI: My local Ace Hardware store has special strands of lights for village houses that have 6 evenly spaced bulbs on each plug. Goodbye tangled mess of wires and fire hazards! I bought several last year with coupons for about $7 each. Set up was so much easier this year! It's a must-have!

  50. I'm speechless....

    only three letter words come to

    WOW and Wow and Wow....

    Beautiful and Thanks for sharing...a wonderful trip through your home.


  51. Your home is gorgeous! I'm amazed at your creativity. Thanks for the tour. Merry Christmas!

  52. Wow - everything looks so beautiful. I have lots of decorations but this year decided to cut down on the decorating. Still looks very festive but not quite so many to put away.

  53. Thanks for the tour -- it was awesome. I'm going to have to take it again just to absorb some more ideas.

  54. Karen I just started following your blog after seeing a link to it on Pinterest. I just LOVE your posts, especially the Christmas home tour. Your trees are gorgeous. Your projects are so inspirational to me and I hope to do some of them. I started to do the cereal box magazine holder, but my cereal box was too small...must get a big ol' box. :)

  55. Fabulous, Karen! Thanks so much for the photo tour - I really enjoyed it!!

  56. I was hoping that you would do this again. Beautiful tour. You have such a great decorating skill. Thanks for sharing ;)

  57. Awesome! I love your home all decked out for Christmas! I think the tree in your bedroom with the German ornaments is my favorite - so sentimental and lovely.

  58. WOW!!! I love it and at the same time I don't think I could every do that many Christmas trees in my house but that's AWESOME!!!

  59. What amazes me almost as much as the amazing decor is how clean your house is. With 3 little kids, I'd forgotten it was possible to see the floor from the toys :)

  60. Oh My God! This is really beyond words and beautiful/stunning do not do it justice :@
    LiBBiE in Oz

  61. Knights of Columbus, that's impressive.

  62. Wow, this is beautiful without being over-the-top! Thanks for sharing.

  63. Absolutely wonderful.So many great ideas....where do you get them from?

    Merry Christmas ....and thankyou,

  64. Your Christmas house maketh me smile! Have a very Merry Christmas and thank you for sharing your cheer!

  65. Karen
    It is all (once again) so gorgeous!!! It must take you weeks to decorate all those beautiful trees.
    My house is very small (with lots of stuff or clutter as my hubby would put it) and so we don't have a tree - we also have two very young kids. One day when we are in a larger house we will have one. For now, I just have little things around the place and play lots of Christmas music.
    Have a very happy Christmas
    xxx Birdie

  66. Just so lovely! Everything! Happy Christmas memories to you!

  67. Oh My Goodness! That is just fantastic. I would love to have a tree in everyroom. Maybe someday. This year I did just a few things around the house. Need to figure out how to make if feel like christmas with the kids moved out! Again, That is just awesome, I LOVE IT.

  68. Wow, I just love this one! BTW, where did you get your berry wreath? My sister loves berries, and I think it would be great gift idea for her! Thank you so much for the inspiration, Karen!

  69. Can you tell me where you found that darling square wreath hanging on your mirror? I would love one of those.


  70. So fabulous, Karen! You put the rest of us to shame!

  71. Oh my goodness, I think I have met my match! At one point I had 5 trees, now my kids have gone out on their own and taken their trees (and ornaments)with them, so I am down to three. A family tree, an angel tree with angels and Crismon ornaments, and a Florida tree.
    We are in the process of building a new home, and I plan to refer to your blog for lots of ideas!

  72. Absolutely STUNNING!!! I have just discovered your blog and immediately became a follower! What a creative person you are! :) Can't wait to explore your blog some more!

  73. Thank you so very much for sharing your beautiful home with us! Did I count right? You decorate 10 Christmas trees every year? Plus all the little ones? You are seriously dedicated to the festive spirit! Please can you post a tutorial on how you decorate your trees (just one will do)? I get very discouraged about half way through but would love to have just one tree that looks as good as yours do.

    Thanks again

  74. This is late, but I just love how you decorate! I love all the trees, and the fact that you really cram on the ornaments! I want that look, but DH won't let me, guess it's not his thing : (. You have such a talent for decorating, I am jealous. Have a wonderful New Year.

  75. Wow!! I thought I did a lot with stuff in each room including my 500 plus Santas. Only do 2 big trees and a small one in each of the other rooms. You're awesome.

  76. I was browsing around in your blog and happened up on your tour. What a great idea. And what a beautiful house you have--without and particularly with your Christmas decorations. I was totally awed and inspired. Hope you don't mind that I pinned some of your ideas--and already they have been repinned.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment...I just love hearing from you!

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