Christmas Home Tour with DIY and Thrifty Decor

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2013 Christmas Home Tour 1

***Thank you so much to One Kings Lane and all our other friends who have shared gift packages for our readers. Please stay tuned for the giveaway at the end of this post and links to the other home tours from All Things Home.

 Christmas Home Tour and House

Every time I start to put together a home tour post my heart starts beating quickly and I ask myself what in the world am I doing?

I don’t have a fancy house. It’s not large and it’s certainly not new. 

A fire hydrant on the grass with a kite

Better Homes and Gardens has not come knocking on my burlap wreathed front door  to photograph my Christmas wonderland.

Home and House

I feel like I should apologize every time.

But the part of me that wants to encourage other women to make the best of their homes and lives takes a deep breath, relaxes her tense shoulders and jumps right in.

A stop light is lit up at night

No apologies. No fears.

So here goes!

This is my home where Christmas is celebrated.

A group of people standing in front of a house

My DIY hubby is in charge of the outside decorating. We removed all the bushes and foliage in front of the big picture window when we had a large tree taken down recently.  Yet another of my husband’s creative uses of fence board is the temporary fence he used to string garland and lights on. 

(Just wait until you see the front porch we’re dreaming about!)

Home and Tree

This little wooden reindeer was given to us sometime around our first Christmas and has reminds us of our 26 years living life together.

A bird sitting on top of a wooden bench

These lights are my husband’s pride and joy. Since there is less space to decorate, our house no longer looks an airport landing strip, but our lights do twinkle and welcome guests to our home.

Tim mainly bought a few strands of new lights, but he’s on a mission to discover the answer to the great mystery of why the lights go into storage and come out dead.  Anyone know the answer?

Home and Light

I really do have a burlap Christmas wreath I made this year (Better Homes & Gardens, are you watching?) The chalkboard welcome fits perfectly!

House and Holiday

As you come into the living room we welcome you to Dickensville.

House and Village

Filled with houses and people collected through the years, our Dickensville village delights us throughout the day 

Holiday and Village

Christmas Home and Holiday

A group of toy figurines

and night.

A bunch of vegetables on display lit up at night

I imagine stories of families working and playing together, sharing life much as we do ourselves.

Filled with houses and people collected through the years, our Dickensvile village delights us throughout the day and night.

Move a couple of steps into our living room and you can see how I decorate our modest home with things I love.

A living room filled with furniture and a christmas tree 

Just waiting for future grandkids (and great nieces and nephews already),  my collection of lovable stuffed animals is a totally hands on exhibit!

A group of stuffed animals sitting on top of a wooden shelf

My most favorite place to change up for the seasons is the top of my piano where I pretend I have a real mantel.

A vase of flowers on a table next to a christmas tree

I love this old window that my clever husband sprayed with snow to look like real frost.  

Home and Tree

Making a rag wreath for my fall decor was so fun that I whipped up another one with Christmas colors and added a mini chalkboard “Joy.”

Home and Ornament

This grapevine tree was $1 at a yard sale, and with added lights for a bit of sparkle it also continues the tree theme on my “mantel.”

Tree and Wood

Ribbon wrapped candles and mini trees with new ribbons and ornaments also grace the top of my piano, as does scrapbook paper in a white frame.

A close up of a flower

Every year we bring out this Precious Moments nativity from our early days as a married couple and remember the holidays we’ve celebrated together.

Home and Holiday

This new metal basket was another $1 yard sale purchase. Filled with fresh greenery, pinecones and ornaments it adds a fun touch to the room.

A bowl of fruit on a table, with Home and Tree

 This pallet shelf was one of our first repurposed wood projects. I scavenged around my seemingly endless tubs of Christmas knick knacks to find some new and old treasures.

A group of people in a room

 The “Noel” letters were made by a friend of ours almost 25 years ago and still hold precious memories of years gone by.

One of my favorite tricks to fancy up my decor is to add ribbon and burlap to candles. Just a simple and unique touch.

Home and Wood

I collected nativities for several years and still like to display at least a couple to remind me of the importance of this season.  

Decorating Tips and Hacks
Get my FREE guide: How to decorate your home for practically nothing!
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A group of stuffed animals sitting on top of a table

The shining star of our living room is our  real Christmas tree. Even though two of our children are now adults they refuse to entertain the thought of an artificial tree.

A christmas tree in a room

Each year we pick it out as a family on Thanksgiving evening and spend the next hours drinking Instant Russian tea, stringing lights, listening to Point of Grace music and reveling in what truly bonds us as family.

The burlap ribbon is new this year, and I had to fight with my family to make it work! My kids are very possessive of their tree, but the burlap won out over the red beads from years past. Red and gold sparkly ornaments and bows add the traditional touch.

A christmas tree in a room

There is truly nothing better than sitting in my rocking chair late at night, listening to praise and worship songs and gazing at this beauty.

A christmas tree

 One more little Christmas tree passed down from my mom sits on top of a $1 yard sale ornament wreath.

A christmas tree in a room

Even though I’m not big into Santas myself you’d never know it from my house!  My kitchen contains all things Santa!

A close up of a shelf

 When my sister passed away suddenly in 2000 I gladly accepted part of her Santa collection and made it my own. 

Home and House

 I celebrate the life of my sister by embracing her love of all things Santa.

Thrifty and Cup

 In this chalk painted hutch my Christmas china blends with the everyday, ready to host a gathering of friends at a moment’s notice.

Home and Tree

 On the opposite side of the room additional Santas grace another shelf or two.

A group of stuffed animals on display

A teddy bear sitting on top of a table

Last year my fence board Christmas tree was a hit for my readers, and it was a joy to bring it out again this year. 


New for 2013 is this fence board Joy sign, yet another of my hubby’s creative use of fence board.

A sign in front of a mirror posing for the camera

 This tablescape is one of my new favorites, with the rustic wood chargers blending in with Christmas china and seasonal glasses.

A dining room table 

I love to mix and match fine china with casual serving ware.

A dining table

The centerpiece is gold fabric underneath a large glass bowl filled with greenery, natural elements and vintage ornaments.

A table full of food, with Home and Ornament

 These angel napkin rings are years old but still make me smile.

A plate of food on a table, with Home and Wood

 Moving into the den I have another opportunity to practice my vignette skills on the top of our entertainment unit.

 A kitchen with a lot of food on a counter, with Home and Cottage

My husband dragged out these shutters for me, and I placed them behind our smaller village.

Home and Ornament

One of the easiest ways to dress up your home for Christmas is by mixing inexpensive ornaments with natural elements in a glass jar.

2013 and Home

Again, my trick to dressing up the ordinary? Burlap and ribbon. What could be simpler?

2013 and Home

When we put up our Christmas tree in the living room our window table moves to the den. The candle set below was $2 at a yard sale, fresh out of the package.

Since I definitely need a few more twinkling lights I asked Tim to use battery operated lights inside the table. Love it!


One project I hope to share you with soon is a mini scrapbook album I made with pictures and the history of all our favorite ornaments. This is a simple yet precious momento for my children to have one day.

A vase sitting on top of a wooden table

This Christmas my family will count our blessings and enjoy meals, traditions and treasured moments (including a hot cup of Instant Russian Tea). 

A person sitting at a table with a vase of flowers on a blanket

Thank you for stopping by for a visit. From my home to yours…..

2013 Christmas Home Tour featuring thrifty DIY Projects

A sign on the side of a building

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you’ll visit the other beautiful Christmas homes on our All Things Home Tour:

Worthing Court
French Country Cottage
Atta Girl Says
Town and Country Living
Decor Adventures
Lilacs and Longhorns

Marty’s Musings
Mom 4 Real
All Things Beautiful
Making Home Base
The Happier Homemaker
The Lily Pad Cottage

The Everyday Home
Craftberry Bush
Celebrating Everyday Life with Jennifer Carroll
AKA Design
Hymns and Verses
Our Southern Home

Stone Gable
Adventures in Decorating
Newly Woodwards
Setting for Four
Back Porch Musings
All Things Heart and Home

Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Cottage at the Crossroads
Top This Top That
Domestically Speaking
Mommy is Coocoo
Shabby Art Boutique

Decorating Tips and Hacks
Get my FREE guide: How to decorate your home for practically nothing!
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  5. I toured your home and must say that it is gorgeous! It looks so warm and inviting. I love all the Christmas decorations and Marty’s DIY projects. It all looks perfect!! Thanks for sharing it with me!

    1. Thank you so much, Linda, for leaving a sweet compliment. I loved my home at Christmas, but it’s still enjoyable the rest of the year, too!

  6. I love your home tour. It’s funny that I was thinking the exact same thing right before I came to your tour. I too thought that my house wasn’t big enough, pretty enough, etc. I am very thankful for my home and I love decorating it. Maybe next year I can be on a home tour. Please enjoy your beautiful home and thank you for sharing it with us.

    1. Hi, Robin. Thank you so much for your encouraging comment. It is so easy to compare instead of focusing on the blessings we have in our home. Right now I’m enjoying taking down Christmas and cleaning out and reorganizing! What about you?

  7. Your blog, your home and your Christmas decor are delightful! You are very talented. Rather than you feeling as if you need to apologize for not blogging a big “fancy” house…. we readers need to thank YOU. Of course we all love those dream homes and the exuberance that happens with a good deal of “access”, like paintings in a museum they should inspire us! But maybe more importantly there’s the amazing person who takes inspiration, her own creativity and tosses whatever “limitations” she thinks she has and lives with that same sense of abundance and flourish. Those people show the rest of us that in order to sparkle, delight and make a beautiful home we just need to embrace and celebrate what there is in our lives. Of dozens of blogs I read, this is my only comment about Christmas decor….I just had to say…..You and your blog ROCK! Belated Merry Christmas and thank you!

    1. Hi, Jane. I can’t tell you how much your comment on my home meant to me! It’s so easy to play the comparison game, and I’ll never measure up to a new fancy home. But our home is just that. Home. It’s where we laugh and work and fuss and learn. Thank you for seeing that and taking the time to encourage me and remind me that what I do may never grace the pages of Better Homes and Garden, but it brings delight to me and is the cornerstone of our family. Have a wonderful, blessed New Year’s!